AN: This is the most shocking thing I've ever written. First, let me tell you that this was born out of a lot of research on the subject. I tried to make the emotions as real as I could, that's why I feel that some of you will be deeply disturbed.
Please, understand that I'm merely bringing forth a reality not many even think about. I hate it. I don't condone it.
This chapter contains non-consensual incest. Read at your own discretion.
Stoically enduring the gentle brush of the towel against her skin, Rosalie closed her eyes in shame. Revulsion and desire coursed through her veins while she struggled to maintain a calm façade. The violence she could easily endure, for it brought forth nothing but the hate always simmering in the back of her mind; however tenderness was her undoing, for it gave the illusion of being loved. And there was nothing she craved more than her mother's affection, the sweet illusion of being important to somebody … anybody.
For those fleeting, rare moments of false warmth, Rosalie was willing to sacrifice the remnants of her soul, the few shreds of dignity and self-worth she had managed to retain. Those were the only times she didn't fight her mother's advances, for she had talked herself into believing that they were an expression of love instead of another form of sadism. The pleasure she felt under her mother's sedate manipulation was always followed by self-hatred and tears, for she couldn't hide from how unnatural their relationship felt.
The most alarming fact was that the need to please ran strong in her veins, even though the rational part of her mind felt nothing but contempt for her subservience. She gave whatever was asked of her, be it her compliance or her screams of pain—anything to placate her mother, anything to make her want to keep Rosalie by her side. Having no friends, no social skills and no way to provide for herself, Rosalie felt trapped, totally dependent on the charity of her torturer.
Fear drove Rosalie to elaborate a thousand excuses for the abuse she endured—forgiving her mother was the only way to survive her unbearable reality. Constantly reminded that she was an unplanned child whose father failed to acknowledge, Rosalie felt directly responsible for her mother's descent into prostitution. To her mind, had her mother not been a prostitute, she wouldn't have been the recipient of innumerable acts of violence, therefore she wouldn't feel the need to take out her frustrations on Rosalie. Neither would her mother hate men, consequently she wouldn't have felt the compulsion to seek sexual satisfaction from women, more specifically her own daughter.
Despite all her reasoning, deep inside her heart Rosalie questioned if there wasn't something intrinsically wrong with her mother. If so, she dreaded the possibility of having inherited the same sickness that assailed her mother. Those were the times desperation hit hard, making her mind turn to a world of dreams where a knight in shinning armor came to her rescue, taking away the pain and the doubts. Hopelessness always followed that image, for Rosalie feared that her preferences tended to girls. After all, didn't she sometimes welcome her mother's touch?
All the divagations swirling through her head were brought to a halt by the strong hands of her mother, forcing Rosalie to her knees. She obliged her mother's request, pouring all her gratitude into the act she performed. Regardless of all her flaws, her mother hadn't let her pimp have his way with Rosalie preferring to gather their few belongings and escape the city without delay. They'd been on the road for a while when they found the abandoned house they were currently in and made it their temporary home. Her mother's efforts in protecting her made Rosalie feel truly and unconditionally loved for the first time in her life.
From the corner of her eye, she saw someone step out of the shadows. The silhouette resembled that of a human male, but there was no mistaking the incongruity of his fluid movements, the inexplicable silence of his steps. A flash of lightning revealed his face to Rosalie's startled eyes—the fury contorting his features left no doubt as to the nature of the creature slowly approaching her. It was the thing of nightmares, an avenging angel bent on cleansing the world from wicked sinners … like herself. Feeling desperate and impure, she scrambled away from her mother, from the man, to the corner of the room, while praying for invisibility, for forgiveness.
"You are wrong in so many instances, dear girl."
Confused by the endearment, Rosalie could only stare at the unearthly good looking man who now stood right before her. Scared and unsure, her eyes franticly scanned the room for her mother, but the dark stormy night made it impossible for Rosalie to find her. Huddling in the corner, she prayed for a swift, painless death.
"Don't worry, Rosalie. You are not dying today."
For some unfathomable reason, she believed his words, but she wasn't appeased. A nagging suspicion on the back of her mind became a horrifying thought that had her sobbing in fear. Before she could stop herself, the thought materialized into a question. Dreading the answer, she lowered her eyes, survival instinct taking over. She had learned long ago to accept her fate, display obedience and hope for the best.
"No, my love, I don't want that from you."
"You are not going to kill me and do not want me to do stuff for you. Then, why are you here?"
Studying the confused thirteen year old girl, Edward felt a tug at his heart. For the first time in centuries, he turned his eyes to the place his maker allegedly inhabited and said a thankful prayer for the chain of events which resulted in altering the sequence of the punishments he was meant to enforce. The early appearance of the man who should have been his second encounter; the distance between the back room mother and child occupied and the front rooms where he'd had his first appointments; the shower that coupled with the thunderstorm muffled the screams of his kills; they were all a gift from Heaven, for the girl had been spared from having to endure the trauma of witnessing such gruesome scenes.
"Are you going to hurt my mother? Please, don't! I need her … I have no one else!"
He noticed how genuinely afraid she was for her mother. Rosalie was such a helpless creature, hysterically clinging to the one constant in her miserable life. That was the ugliest side of this kind of abuse: how the victim believed herself incapable of existing without the perpetrator. The poor little thing obviously wouldn't be able to survive alone. Against his better judgment, he felt the need to get involved—he didn't want her to be victimized by another predator. She was an innocent, precious child who deserved a new beginning. And he would make sure she got one.
"Have no fear, dear girl: from now on you are under my care. Just close your eyes and cover your ears. I'll be back in a couple of minutes."
Before obeying his orders, she gazed at him with tentative trust and endless hope. It humbled him. Paternal love filled his heart like it hadn't since the days before his first children had grown up to be such a disappointment. For so many years he had been immersed in the worst of mankind, so much he had forgotten some people are worth saving. A spark of hope burned in his soul and suddenly he didn't care for torturing the uncaring woman who broke such a precious child. He was eager to be done with his task and come back to the girl he intended to help.
An undercurrent of malefic intent tainted his brain with the hateful emotions of the girl's mother. She thought only of escaping, frantically struggling to open the locked front door. The little regard she showed for her daughter's safety in the presence of the menace he presented only fueled his anger. But what else he could have expected from a monster like Esme? Maybe he had, over the years, somehow assimilated the human myth about the unconditionality of a mother's love.
However, now was not the time to lose himself in the matter of the influences of human ideas in his thought process, for Esme had finally noticed his presence. The brightness of her eyes would have been deemed madness by any other observer, but Edward could see inside her head and there was no mistaking the lucidity of her filthy head.
Startled, Esme turned to him with a sneer on her unimpressive face. Predictably, she was planning on bartering her favors in exchange for her liberty. She also considered offering the use of her daughter's body and that gave him pause. Sifting through her memories, he saw the day Esme's pimp had tried to call social services, for even a man as hardened as he was revolted by her treatment of Rosalie. She wasn't on the run to protect her daughter—she was trying to evade the police after killing the man who had threatened to take away her favorite toy.
Cocking his head, he analyzed his findings. The woman before him had systematically tortured and abused her own child: every step, every gesture had been planned to further shatter and hurt Rosalie. Even Esme's sparse demonstrations of affection were given for the only reason of watching her daughter's hurt after the attentions were withdrawn. The unwanted pregnancy was part of the reason for Esme's hatred for Rosalie, but it couldn't account for the bulk of it.
Looking deeper, underneath the lies Esme told herself, he found a deep rooted hatred for everything that was beautiful. In her simplistic mind, all the misfortune she had experienced in life boiled down to being ugly. Had she been beautiful she would have been loved by her parents and she wouldn't have been forced to run away from her troubled home. Consequently, she would have been spared from the experience of having to whore for a living and Rosalie's father wouldn't have been ashamed of her—Carlisle would have left his wife and married her … but she was a whore and he was a Pastor who had an image to maintain. Esme never realized that her most cherished dream would never come to pass, for her daughter was the fruit of incest between half siblings.
Weary of digging inside the putrid well of her psyche, he didn't wait for an answer. Eyeing her chenille rayon attire he grinned in perverse satisfaction, for the highly flammable fabrics worked perfectly for what he had in mind. Producing a lighter, he made good use of the bottle of vodka the good Pastor had lost. He set Esme's body on fire, watching with dispassionate interest the way she writhed in pain. Her screams were a beautiful symphony of vindication and he almost felt lighthearted by the scene he witnessed. So much that he was oblivious to the danger approaching his new protégé.
The smell of burning flesh filled Rosalie's nostrils, making her eyes open against her own will. It was an ancient reflection, looking for the source of a strange stimulus. Finding nothing and remembering the strange man's orders, she was about to close them when a woman suddenly materialized in her field of vision. The woman exuded danger, despite being undeniably beautiful. She somehow resembled the man Rosalie had met and she wondered if the woman would be as forgiving as the man had been.
A smile graced the woman's lips when she clamped her hand on Rosalie's mouth. She tried to struggle against the hold but the woman was surprisingly strong, effortlessly dragging Rosalie out of the room and down the stairs. Rosalie didn't understand the reason why women never seemed to like her, but at that moment she resented it more than never, for it was about to cost Rosalie her life.
Brought out of his reverie by the girl's frantic state of mind, Edward could barely believe the sight that greeted his eyes. It took him less than a second to guess his lover's malignant intent, but it was already too late. Her sure, steady hand slit the girl's throat open before he could even move.
Rosalie's final conscious moment was spent lamenting how even her knight in shining armor had failed her.
The profaned mother, burnt by fire; the daughter brought forth in iniquity, far more precious than rubies, slaughtered by jealousy cruel as the grave.