Challenge Number/Title: #10 – Rule Me Out…
Date Posted: July 24, 2013
Genre: AH, AU
Content Descriptors: Angst, Drama, Mystery, Romance, Violence
Character Pairing: Edward/Bella
Prompt: Somewhere in your entry, include a list of five rules your character has broken. All of the rules on your list do not have to be given at the same time, but you must "list or number" the rules off. The rules can be for anything but each rule must be similar in nature to each other.
Rules are not necessarily sacred, principles are. —Franklin D. Roosevelt
"Tell me again how this happened." Rosalie shook her head to clear the mental image of what Bella had just revealed to her.
Still biting her now swollen bottom lip, Bella's gaze shot down to her hands, which twisted in her bed sheets. "I told you already, like, seven times."
Rosalie snatched the sheets from Bella's hands and threw them off of the bed. "Yeah, you did. But you're lying to me. Now I want you to tell me the truth." She watched her friend shove away from the bed in frustration. "You can't just call me up, demand that I come over here, and then feed me a bunch of bullshit. I was in the middle of dinner with Emmett's parents, Bella, so this better be really fucking good."
"I know, I know!" Bella paced back and forth in front of the bed. "And I'm sorry about Emmett's parents. I really am. I didn't mean to make you look bad in front of them."
"It's fine. I told them you escaped from the psychiatric ward again." Her lips twitched in amusement.
Bella paused her gait to look back at Rosalie in offense. "Gee, thanks. As if they don't hate me enough already, Rose."
"They don't hate you. And will you please sit down? You're making me nervous!" Rosalie's hand yanked Bella back onto the bed. "Start talking, or I'll call Emmett."
"Ugh, okay." Bella buried her face in a pillow. "I bwokwukllnoive…"
"I frugblin wokwukllnoive…" she groaned into the pillow again.
"Bella!" Rose pulled a strip her friend's hair harshly.
"Ow!" Bella shot up with a scowl.
"Then stop acting like this, and just tell me!"
"I broke rule number five!" she screamed and then covered her mouth with both her hands, eyes wide as she stared back at Rosalie's shocked face.
"I'm sorry." Rose shook her head in complete and utter disbelief. "Say that again?"
"Please don't make me say it again," Bella whispered shamefully.
"But it's a rule," Rosalie said aloud, mostly to herself. "I thought, if anything, that was the one rule you'd never break. I can't even…" She stood up and began to pace the floor where Bella had once been. "So let me get this straight," she spoke as if addressing a client. "You've decided to say screw the rules you've held together for the past seven years and… what? What the hell would make you break rule number five?"
Bella cringed. "Let me explain."
"Oh, please do. I'm sure I'm gonna love this." She sat at the end of the mattress and crossed her arms.
"I went to Wolfpack last night." She waited fro Rosalie's explosion, and boy, she did not disappoint.
"You what? Are you crazy, Bella? Did you bump your head? Suffer a psychotic break? Were you held at gunpoint?" She scolded and then gasped in realization after seeing the expression on her best friend's face. "Someone held a gun to your head? Are you fucking with me right now?"
"I wish I was." Her eyes closed in shame. "I don't know where my head was at. I was too cocky. I wanted to show Edward that I knew what I was doing, that I could take care of myself."
"A fat load of good that did!"
Bella cringed in shame. "I know, okay? I know."
Rose shook her head incredulously. "So if you broke rule number five, then I can already guess you broke rules one through four, as well." Her mouth set into a tight thin line.
At Bella's slight nod, Rose flung her arms out and collapsed against the couch cushions. "I give up on you."
"It's not like I broke them on purpose!" Bella shouted in defense. "They were made for a reason, and I've held onto them for seven years!"
"Exactly." Rosalie scolded. "So why now? Why does his mere presence send your entire house of cards crumbling down? How could you allow this to happen, Bella? I just don't get it. This is so unlike you."
"I know," was all she could say in reply.
Bella lived and breathed by a strict set of 10 rules. They were simple and to the point, and they were put in place to help her through a tough time in her life. But it was the first five that were crucial to the entire set. Five rules so effective that even after overcoming her hardship, she kept them in place like the Ten Commandments.
So of course, the moment Edward Cullen — the sole reason the rules were made — walked into her office, she'd slowly but surely broken each and every one.
Rule number one – Never allow Edward Cullen back into your life ever again – was broken by force.
Rule number two – Never forget your number one priority: Kate – was broken when she walked into Wolfpack unarmed and without proper backup.
Rule number three – Never allow anyone to get the best of you – and four – Never forget who you are and what you've accomplished to get there – were broken every time she argued with Edward.
But it was rule number five that wiped out all the others, because to break number five was to break them all. It erased what was left of her integrity, the trust she held upon herself. It was the worst betrayal, and the beginning of the end of who she'd worked so hard to become.
"Have you spoken to each other since…" Rose shrugged.
"No," Bella sighed. "And I'm really not looking forward to that conversation, either."
"I still can't believe you went into Wolkpack, Bella. Doing that was worse than breaking all of your rules combined. I don't understand why you want to prove yourself to a man who doesn't deserve it." Rose just couldn't wrap her head around Bella's sudden change in behavior. She'd been so strong for the past several years and to watch it all drain away so easily was a shame. A damn shame.
Upon the tears threatening to fall from her best friend's eyes, Rose scooted closer and pulled the now vulnerable Bella into her arms. "It's okay," she soothed. "You both went through something pretty scary. And with the history you two already share? Something like this was bound to happen."
Bella snuggled closer and clenched her eyes shut as if to block out the day's events. "It doesn't matter why. All that matters is that it happened, and it can't be undone."
"I'm so sorry, sweetie." Rose ran her fingers through Bella's hair comfortingly.
Rule number five: Never have sex with Edward Cullen ever again.
A/N: Gracias mariahajile! I completely forgot you beta'd this for me until I was cleaning out my inbox! Forgive? Thank you everyone who reads this, it's not something I devote myself to, but the fact that you read it means a lot to me. Hugs to you all.