Care Warning: Heterosexual sexuality here and over the next few chapters. Also some talk of Rosalie’s attack.
Rosalie was just entering the house again the following week when Edward approached.
Her arms were full of bags, having just come back from shopping in Portland with Alice and she was in a better mood than she had been in for the last seven days, if not longer. She had needed that. She had needed some fun without consequence, and she had needed the new Dior line to be in her closet. The dress she had found was beautiful enough to make her forget her recent troubles.
Her back straightened, the smile that had been on her face moments before suddenly falling off the moment Edward approached.
“Edward.” She greeted in a stiff voice.
His eyebrows were drawn, his face grave, his hands in fists at his sides. “Rose. Can I talk to you?”
She just gave a grunt that was neither a yes or a no.
“I’ll, uh, put these in your room for you,” Alice singsonged, taking Rosalie’s bags and disappearing upstairs.
“What?” It had come out short but if Edward was surprised then she couldn’t tell.
“Bella will be here tonight.”
“Will you please stay with her?”
Rosalie’s jaw dropped. Hadn’t she just done this? They couldn’t have worked through everyone else in the family already. They hadn’t. She knew that for a fact. No way in hell. No way would she be doing this. No fucking away.
She clicked her tongue. “Fine.” And she went up to her room to put away her new clothing.
Rosalie wasn’t in the living room or even somewhere she was available to Bella when the rest of the family left that night. She was holed up in her room, sitting on the bed with her knees pulled up and a scowl on her face, still pissed that she had done what she had done.
Why did this keep happening?
She had told her mouth to say no. She had told it to, and she was supposed to be in control of that. So why had something else entirely come out of her mouth?
“Rosalie?” She heard from downstairs; Bella’s voice tentative.
Instead of answering, she stood and went to her bathroom where she turned on the tap for a bath.
Something skittered up Rosalie’s spine at the name.
She blew down the stairs, moving at full vampire speed to grab a book from the downstairs library.
Bella, standing in the middle of the living room, gave a yelp of fright when Rosalie blew by, probably fast enough to only be a blur to her.
She grabbed something at random and then turned.
“Entertain yourself!” She barked and then was upstairs again, slipping into her bath.
They spent the evening that way. Rose stayed upstairs, continuously refilling her bathtub water so it stayed warm, and Beca downstairs, the scratch of a pencil on paper making Rose think she had focused on her homework.
The following week when Edward came to her and asked her again, Rosalie didn’t protest.
She changed into her old jeans and a tank top just as Bella was arriving and then headed down the stairs.
In the doorway, Bella stopped, a strange look on her face.
Bella blinked slowly. “N-nothing. I’ve just never noticed you in…” seeming too confused to finish, she just pointed to Rosalie’s outfit.
“Surprised that she doesn’t work on cars in her designer slacks?” Edward asked, taking Bella’s jacket, Rosalie noticed in a far more chivalrous way than he recently had. Apparently, her constant roasting was doing him some good.
“Don’t put that on Esme’s chair, Edward, it’s wet.”
Edward looked up, confused.
Bella rolled her eyes and took her jacket from him, going to the jacket holder and hooking it on so it could drip dry in a spot where no one would slip.
He didn’t look pleased.
“Is that what you’re doing?” Bella asked sheepishly. “You’re working on the car?”
Rosalie considered just not answering.
“Can I help?”
She stared at her for a long moment, her mind blank. Finally, she gave a slight nod and headed out without waiting.
The car bay wasn’t far from the house exactly, just perhaps a fourth of a mile off behind the garage and deep into the forest. Still, it was far enough that by the time that Bella arrived, Rosalie was already dirty up to her elbows.
“Erm, hi. You didn’t wait for m—"
“You can sit over there.” She pointed her chin to the corner, cutting her off.
“So… are all of these yours?” Bella glanced around the cathedral-like space, her eyes skimming over most of the cars with the disinterest that only someone genuinely not into cars could show.
Rosalie glared and decided not to answer her anymore that evening.
“Most of them,” she said, sliding under the car as she betrayed her intentions. There was a Ferrari F40 that she had bought that Jasper preferred and drove often, a Porsche 993 that Alice had claimed for her own, and a BMW 320, and 750 that Esme and Carlisle often used. Jasper, Emmett, Carlisle, and Alice all had at least one ‘flashy’ car in the bay as well. Those were the cars that are usually tucked away in the car bay behind the house, whereas the ‘every day’ cars are in the garage beside the house. Leave the flashy ones for long trips out of Forks, as they had been taught.
“The only one I drive regularly is the M3. The rest are taken by others in the family.”
“That’s the red one?” Bella asked.
“Yes,” Rose deadpanned. “The red one.”
Rosalie’s hands carefully picked apart the piece she needed, removing the old with her bare fingers.
“Nope.” Rosalie interrupted. “We’re not doing that talking thing.”
Rosalie flinched under the car at the disappointment in her voice. She grit her teeth and continued working, listening to the silence between them as she did.
It wasn’t comfortable, not by any means, but when Bella finally rose and went back into the main house a few hours later, Rosalie felt the absence thickly.
She didn’t come in until Bella had fallen into a deep sleep in Edward’s bed. She was quiet as she did, telling herself it was because she didn’t want to wake her and set her off on her ‘let’s be friends mission’ rather than the fact that is she was quiet, she could listen to that steady breath easier.
She showered away the grease, and then in a soft sweater and comfortable pants, she settled onto the large bed like sofa in her movie room. She picked something at random and put it on, settling back. She missed most of the movie, however, unable to concentrate on it. Instead, she closed her eyes and listened, her breath slowly beginning to mimic the one in the room beside her.
The movie was only half over when she heard the distinct sound of Emmett arriving home. She opened her eyes, blinking a few times to clear her mind from the meditative relaxation she had found.
“Hey, beautiful,” he smiled at her.
Lazily, she smiled back.
“You look comfortable.”
“I am.” She liked doing this with Bella. It was the closest to sleep she got now, this deeply meditative state. Not that she would let anyone else ever know she felt that.
He grinned at her, pulling his shirt off over his head and exposing his huge chest.
It was impressive, she thought in a semi-detached way. The indents of his muscles were deep enough that she could lose a fingertip in them, she knew from experience. His pecks were full and hard, the V that disappeared into his jeans pronounced. He was beautiful.
Shirtless, he settled beside her, pulling her in close.
She pushed back, comfortable in the spot she had been in.
“Nothing,” she shrugged. “Just comfortable.”
“Be comfortable with me,” he pressed.
“Emm, stop it.” She pushed his arms away again. “You’re making me miss the end.”
“You’ve seen it!”
Her head turned toward him, alarmed, and a little peeved.
Abashed, his head ducked a little, that look he got every now and then on his face. He looked like a little boy, she always thought, both guilty and hurt.
“What’s wrong with you?” She asked bluntly.
“You never want to be close to me anymore. What’s going on?”
“What?” She chuckled, shifting her head to a more comfortable spot. “That’s ridiculous.”
“Babe, it’s been like a month since we’ve had sex.”
She laughed a little louder, rolling her eyes. She loved that Emmett seemed like a silly man, but when you got down to it, he was able to communicate so well. He was rarely overly dramatic, often to the point, and was distinctly against exaggeration… usually. “It has not.”
Her laughter slowly died as she realized that he wasn’t teasing her. There was nothing silly in his face, nothing but a serious set to his mouth and eyebrows.
She opened her mouth to argue because that was ridiculous. They were Rosalie and Emmett. They fucked like bunnies. Hadn’t she just… she was sure she had… yes, that night when he had… She stared at him, confused. He was wrong, she realized. It had been longer. And had it been so long since she had just cuddled with him? She had been pulling away and she hadn’t even noticed. Maybe it was her vigilante kick against Edward that was making her more militant. And sex… there had been none of that since the impromptu blow job she had given him just after their last hotel stay.
In the next room over, Bella’s breath caught in her sleep, almost as an accusation.
“You’re right.” She said in a small voice. “I’m sorry, come here.”
Smiling happily, he slid over, opening his arms so that she could settle on his chest.
He sighed a little, his strong arms wrapping around her as she settled into his lap, holding her close.
Her face buried into his chest. His skin was soft, warm, and she loved it… usually. This was a perfect example of why she could never leave this. He held her like it made him happy to do so. It did make him happy, something that Rosalie thought was more than she deserved.
That early morning, however, she wasn’t comforted by him as she usually was. She couldn’t seem to find that perfect spot on his chest where her chin would rest perfectly between his pecks as it usually did. She shifted again, rubbing her nose across his chest and breathing in his scent. He smelled like earth, like wild game, and musk. It was so manly, which she always liked. She wasn’t enjoying it now though. His smell had always been smooth, rich.
He laughed. “I should probably have showered after hunting, huh?”
“Probably. You’re getting bear all over my sofa.”
He growled playfully, pretending to bite her neck.
“Go on, get, mountain man.”
He grinned and Rosalie knew what was coming before he even did it.
“Come get into the shower with me.”
“No, you stink.”
“I’ll make you stink.”
He gave her a slow smirk and purposely unbuttoned his jeans.
She smirked back, but the smirk was shallow. She just really really wasn’t in the mood. Still, she reached down, holding his eye contact like he liked, and unzipped his pants, letting him spring free.
His smile was large and bright, pleased more, she thought, by her interest than the coming sex.
She knew he did it for her. A few weeks ago, no, even any other day, she would be on it in a flash, amazed and aroused to see that she had done that to him. That was how she had always been. No, that was who she still was damn it. A trickle of fear moved through her. She was afraid, that much she knew. She wasn’t changing. She would never change.
She gave him a coy grin, and reaching down she gave him a squeezing stroke.
He hissed. “Come on, gorgeous.” He pulled her up, somehow removing her pants at the same time.
She wasn’t all of that interested in this, but she climbed him anyway.
He held her tight, entering her before they even made it to the shower.
She was on the front porch an hour and a half later as the sun came up. It was something she had always enjoyed, even in her human life. She loved watching the sun break across the sky, only now, she felt that warmth on her skin like a touch.
The sky was beautiful.
It made her miss human things though. She used to come out just before sunrise in her human life with a tray of morning delicacies, cookies, breads, Danishes, scones, and a thick cup of coffee. She didn’t remember it well, but she remembered that it had been the time for her to think. She had decided that she would marry Royce there, even before he had asked. She had planned her coming out party all the way down to the dress she would wear while sitting and looking at the sunrise at the age of sixteen.
She pulled her legs up into the chair, her eyes closed as she felt the warm rays. She missed coffee, a little bit. It didn’t smell good now, but then, she had always enjoyed the strong bitter taste. More than that though, she had enjoyed the act of drinking it, of cupping her hand around it and feeling it’s warmth.
Emmett said that this was the most human thing that she did.
She chuckled into the morning air. She supposed he was right.
… Emmett used to smell a little bit like coffee to her, she thought out of nowhere.
There had been something smooth and deep in the same way that coffee had smelled. For so many years after she had found him, years where she was still struggling with… but she turned her thoughts away before she could remember the feeling of being forcibly penetrated for the first time, a horror that had happened again and again and again.
Emmett’s scent had calmed her while she continued to emotionally heal.
His smell was different now. There was an edge to it, something fiercely male that should have drawn her in, only it was too spicy.
Why was that?
She wanted that scent now, that warm coffee scent. She always did when she thought of herself on the ground of the alleyway, her face pressed into the grime and muck.
She blinked, her stomach nauseous and looked back out at the sunrise which had gone cold and empty for her.
In the distance, she saw a handful of figures break through the trees.
Instantly, almost a habit now, her thoughts turned.
If I work hard, I think I could have the car done by spring. Emmett would like that. There isn’t all that much to do, but I do need to order a few parts.
Edward slowed as he approached the house, his eyes on Rosalie.
“Beautiful morning, isn’t it?” Esme asked, kissing Rosalie’s forehead.
She nodded, her mind slipping through the parts that needed to be ordered, pretending she didn’t notice Edward’s gaze, pretending something inside of her didn’t ache for comfort.
Even though Edward had passed her and was inside, Rosalie could hear him perfectly.
“Can I ask you a question?”
“Is Rose okay?”
Rosalie froze in her seat, surprised. Had she not hidden her thoughts well enough. At this point, she thought she was an expert at pushing those away in favor of anything else.
Silence followed for a long moment before Jasper spoke, his voice further away now. “Well, what do you mean?”
“She’s been obsessed with this car she’s building. She thinks about it nonstop.”
Rosalie tightened her grip around her legs.
She was often discussed by her family, she supposed that came with the notoriety of being the family bitch, but this was a little more obvious than usual. In fact, it was rude as hell. In fact, it pissed her off.
“I can tell she’s upset about something, but unless she thinks about it exactly, I can’t hear it. I can only hear the exact words in her head. Have you noticed anything?”
Again another long silence. Jasper, as a rule, was a gentleman. Even Rosalie had to admit that. She knew he understood things about the family and the people around him that others didn’t, but it was rare for him to divulge. “Well, Rosalie is often in… pain. I wear my scars on the outside, but she wears hers on the inside.
“Yes, yes, I know, but I think this is something new.”
Another long silence followed before Jasper spoke, his voice sounding grudging. “I suppose, I have noticed a few strange moments over the past few months, but I’m unsure of what they mean.”
Rosalie stood, unsure of exactly why. Was she going to fly in there and protect her secret, or was she going to bolt?
“Well, what do you think?” Edward pushed.
“I’m not sure, Edward. I think you should just ask Rose what’s going on with her, if you’re curious.”
Edward sighed and Rosalie breathed a sigh of relief which turned into a grateful smile.
“Right… yeah, okay, thanks.” Edward said.
She turned and started toward the car bay, wondering what it as exactly that Jasper had felt from her recently and what the hell it was that he had picked up before.
She hadn’t planned on working on the car. She hadn’t changed into the right clothes. So she couldn’t help the growl of anger when Emmett appeared behind her a little while later, wrapping his arms around her and pushing her into the car, smearing her jeans with old motor oil.
“Oh, were you trying to stay clean?” He asked, seeming honestly contrite.
“I was,” she ground out. “And I was doing a good job.”
“Sorry.” He leaned in, careful not bump her, and kissed her neck.
She wriggled out of his reach and went to her tool caddy. She was busy. And now she was dirty.
“Come on. This morning was great. Round two?”
She didn’t want to. She wanted to finish what she was doing. And get some degreaser on these jeans, even though she knew they probably weren’t still savable.
Inside she could almost feel Edward, had been able to all morning. She could feel him listening, trying to figure out whatever he had decided was a mystery. It was exhausting and she wished it would stop.
And so she let it happen, knowing that he would take Bella and get the hell out of the house as soon as possible.
And she was right. Her shirt wasn’t even off before Bella’s truck started up with a roar.
She grinned, bent over the tools table.
And if her grin faded moments after that, it was only because the table too was dirty. No other reason at all.