Chapter 24: Rosalie
The feeling of the wind in my hair made me smile; I hadn't run this far in a long time. Bella and I ventured out to hunt and ended up just running until we were well into Canada. I stopped to see Bella crouched a few feet from me. A strong heartbeat came to my ears, and we feasted on moose. I had to laugh at Bella's newly torn shirt.
"What the hell did you rip it on?" I asked jokingly.
"Antlers, I guess..." Bella said, laughing at herself. "God, I am so full. I don't want to move."
I stood and looked down at the carcass at our feet. I took hold of a nearby tree, lifting and uprooting it, making a grave for what had been our meal.
"I wish Emmett was here, I usually make him take care of this shit." I huffed and moved the corpse, placing the tree back down, pushing it into the earth before I sat next to her.
"I have a bone to pick with you, Miss Bella." She looked up at me nervously, her eyes questioning.
"You still gave Edward his lap dance, after the little stunt they pulled. Hun, you need to learn to make him work for it, you are too easy."
She rolled her eyes. "Sorry, Rose, I couldn't help myself."
"You can't ever help yourself when it comes to Edward, you sex crazed newborn." I smirked at her.
"You still haven't given Emmett his dance? Rose, you are so cruel," she said.
"I'm not cruel; I just like to watch him beg. We have been together for awhile and, unlike you and Edward, we can go a few days without ravaging each other." We exchanged grins. "I know you can't help it. I'm just teasing."
I thought back to the first years that Emmett and I were together. Bella and Edward had nothing on us. We locked ourselves in our room for weeks, only coming out to hunt. I giggled to myself.
"Actually, I have been meaning to thank you." I said, my expression softening. I knew better than to tease her too much, she was still learning our family dynamic.
"For what?" She asked.
"For finally making Edward stop with all the brooding. You don't know what a miserable prick he was until you came along." I spat. Bella furrowed her brow, but didn't say anything. She looked out into the forest and I instantly felt bad about how I had worded that.
"Was he really that bad?" She picked at the torn hem of her shirt.
I sighed, taking a moment to phrase this properly. "I have always been pretty bitter and cynical myself, so I guess I'm a little biased; the truth is he was lonely and stubborn. After Emmett came into to our family, Edward spent a lot of his time by himself. Carlisle had Esme, I had Emmett and Edward wasn't comfortable around us. His gift made it hard… He couldn't escape our lusty thoughts and I… It's not as though we were trying to be crude, but as you know, you become consumed by your mate. I wasn't willing to change the way I thought just because of him. In return, he dove into school and studying. The man has spent decades in school. Blah!"
"I don't think school is that bad," she replied, her voice low, and I smiled at her youth. She would tire of school eventually.
"That's because you haven't been through it a few dozen times. Believe me, it will get old. As is, I am already itching to get to Denali. I can't wait for the break."
"I know! I have never been to Alaska before. I hear it's beautiful." Bella said with excitement in her voice.
"It is beautiful, breathtaking actually."
"Rose, tell me about your friends up there. They're vegetarians too?"
"Yes, they are like us, golden eyes and all." I hesitated at the thought of Tanya. Obviously Edward had not told her, but she needed to know. "The family is great, they are all very down to earth. There's Kate, who is a bit quiet but lovable. She has quite a gift; she can incapacitate anyone with just a touch of her finger. She did it to Emmett once, knocked him right on his ass."
Bella frowned. "Don't worry, she only did it because Emmett bet her a hundred bucks that she couldn't pin him to the ground. Needless to say, Kate won the hundred bucks and we all got a good laugh. Her gift doesn't cause any permanent damage; it's more like being stunned. Then there is Eleazar and his wife Carmen. Eleazar is an interesting character; I think you would get along well with him. Oh, and be sure to ask him about your gift, he is sure to have some useful information."
"You think so?"
"I know so. Eleazar has a very unique power- he can tell if you have a gift, just by looking at you. He used to work for the Volturi guard and used his power to size up potential enemies. He must know something. If anyone can give you information, he can. And last, but not least there's Tanya. Has Edward told you about her?"
"No, why would he?" She asked, sitting up and turning toward me.
"Well… She has had a thing for Edward for quite some time now. I don't want you to get the wrong idea, there has never been anything between them, and Edward has never shown any interest in her, but she has a bit of a crush on him. I am only mentioning it because I don't want any awkwardness when we get up there. Tanya is snarky and confident and she can be a little intimidating. Try not to take her too seriously; she has a very dry sense of humor."
Bella sat quietly, her fingers tracing the crest on her bracelet and her expression suddenly sullen.
"There was never anything between them? Ever?" She asked meekly.
I moved closer to her. "Definitely not, she annoys Edward more than anything. Last year, they came down here for a visit and he avoided her like the plague the whole time. She kept asking him to take her for a drive in the Vanquish."
"Nope, and she decided to start thinking about stealing it and taking it for a joy ride."
Bella's mouth dropped open.
"She didn't do it. She was trying to piss him off, because she was feeling rejected. Edward ending up taking the car and leaving, he went up to Vancouver for a few days and came back after they had gone back to Alaska."
Bella took a deep breath and then threw her head back and laughed. "I just asked him about his car this morning. He's going to take me for a drive in it soon." She smiled at me and said, "I asked him if I could drive it."
Now, it was my mouth that was hanging open. "Tell me that he is going to let you drive it."
"He said he would consider it." She was laughing even harder now.
"What is so funny about that?" I had to ask.
"I was thinking about something else that happened right after I asked about the car."
"You are not going to tell me a sex story are you?"
"No, but Edward was having such a bad day and I thought he might kill Mike Newton if I didn't distract him. So, I pushed my shield over him and let him listen to my thoughts for a minute or two." She gave me a devious smile.
I raised an eyebrow. "And what were you thinking about?"
"The only thing that I thought might take his mind off other people's thoughts." She winked at me. "But after a few minutes, I decided that he had enough and I pulled my shield back in. You should have seen him Rose. We came up with a signal, so that we could communicate in our thoughts, and he was signaling me over and over and begging me to let him back in my head, but I didn't."
I let out a laugh. "Good for you. No wonder he dragged you out of there. He must have been going crazy. You are so lucky to have your gift. You don't know how much I would love to keep him out of my head."
She snickered. "He was all wound up. After begging for a while, he finally realized that I was not going to let him back in. So, he passed me a note that said: Prepare yourself."
"Prepare yourself?" I laughed again. He is so going to be teased about this one. "Hey, Bella, if you put your shield over me, do you think he could still hear my thoughts?"
"I'm not sure, but we should test it when we get home."
"Bella, this could be great. We could finally play jokes on him. Oh my god, let's get home and try this out." I said as I grabbed Bella's hand and stood.
I ran as fast as I possibly could. The idea of keeping Edward out of my head kept a smile plastered on my face, and I prayed that Bella's gift could shield my mind, even if only for a moment to escape Edward's evil grins when he heard something private that amused him. Please let this work!
As Bella and I came close to the house, we found Emmett and Edward waiting outside. I ran straight for Edward.
Edward, Prepare yourself!
I laughed as we approached them, but Edward's expression told me that he did not find this humorous. Was he mad that Bella told me about that?
"No, I'm not mad about that. Your comment was slightly amusing." He said and a tiny smile crossed his lips. "We need to talk to both of you."
Emmett put his arm around my shoulder. "Girls, we are going out tonight, and with any luck, we will kick come canine ass."
Edward shook his head. "We are meeting with the Quilluettes tonight, all of us."
What the hell is going on? I shook off Emmett's arm.
"Don't worry, baby, I won't let them touch you," Emmett said as he tried to put his arm back around my shoulders, but I took a few steps back. Edward looked at me.
"We are meeting the pack at the boundary line at midnight tonight. The alpha approached Carlisle today; a girl from the reservation is missing. The pack picked up the scent of a vampire at La Push." He squeezed Bella and kissed the top of her head.
They think it was one of us? Those damn flea bags.
"They know our family has grown in number and they're unfamiliar with our scents. They simply want to get a whiff and to get a look at everyone's eyes. We met with the alpha earlier and I read their minds. I don't think they'll attack as long as we cooperate."
"What does Alice have to say about all of this? Has she seen anything?" I asked.
"She didn't see anything. She has been up in her room ever since we got back. She can't see the wolves at all." Edward answered.
Emmett sighed. "Maybe this is a good thing. Maybe she hasn't seen anything because there is nothing to see. We will go there, they will see that we had nothing to do with this situation, and we all come home."
"I hope you're right," I said. I walked into the house and turned to Bella who had followed me inside.
"Can we try that now?" I asked with a wink. She smiled and took a few steps closer to me, closing her eyes and then nodding.
He said nothing.
Edward can you hear me?
He didn't acknowledge me at all.
EDWARD! Emmett and I had sex in your room last night!
I howled with laughter. "Yes!" I exclaimed. "Edward, can you hear what I am thinking right now?"
Blink three times if you can hear me.
He looked into my eyes and concentrated then shook his head no.
You can't hear me. You can't hear me. You can't get into my head right now, you intrusive little vamp.
I was so amused that I actually did a little dance then I hugged my new favorite sister.
"What are you doing?" Edward asked me. Emmett walked up behind him and gave me a curious look.
"Bella put her shield on me and when she did, you couldn't hear me." I said with the most evil grin I could force out.
"Try me! My turn." Emmett threw his arm around Bella's shoulder. She chuckled and took a deep breath and nodded at Em.
He looked at Edward and then took a step closer to him. He stared down Edward for a moment and then he started laughing.
"Bella, you rock." Emmett said as he gave her a high five. "How long do you think you can keep this up?"
"I'm not sure," she answered.
"We'll figure it out later," Edward said. He walked to Bella and put his arms around her waist. Jasper walked down the stairs and sat on the couch. Bella took Edward's hand and led him to the couch and sat next to him.
"How is she?" Bella asked.
Jasper put his head back and sighed. "She still can't see anything. She is upset and frustrated. She pushed me away when I tried to send over some good vibes."
"Just give her a little space. I'm sure she will be fine." Edward said.
We all sat in the living room and watched some mindless television for a few hours. Alice finally came downstairs.
"It is time to go," she said then she looked at the door. Right on cue, the door opened and Esme and Carlisle came into the house. With a nod, we all acknowledged it was time and ran to the boundary line.
Carlisle turned to face us. "We all need to remain calm. They will be here very soon. Just let them look at your eyes. They will need to get our scent and then this will all be over."
Emmett put his hands on my shoulders and then stepped in front of me protectively, as if I couldn't defend myself. I huffed at him and he ignored me. I looked to see all of the men in our family putting themselves in front of the women, stupid male pride. We are vampires for Christ sake, not some feeble human girls. Edward rolled his eyes at me then he looked to the forest.
"They're not all in human form. There are a few who are going to hold back in the woods, as wolves." Edward voice was low and he spoke quickly.
Just as Edward spoke, the foul smell filled my nose, radiating and swirling around on the light breeze of the night. It was an offensive reeking stink that forced me to wrinkle my face in disgust.
Edward looked at me and whispered, "Stop it. We don't want to anger them."
The first man stepped into sight followed by six others. Carlisle stepped forward to meet him.
"Please Sam, take a look."
The large man walked slowly first to Esme, looking into all of the eyes of the women in our family and stopping when he came to Bella. Edward glared at him, his arm possessively around her waist. Sam took a deep breath and looked at Edward before turning his head toward the rest of the men.
"As your coven grows, so does our pack. Who you see before you today, is just a fraction of what you and your kind has forced us to become. Be warned that we are on full alert. Our pack will be running patrols around the clock until we hunt down the creature that did this," Sam said as he took a few steps away from us.
"We understand. Our family will continue to respect your boundaries." Carlisle spoke softly but stood tall.
There was movement in the trees, and Edward put his hand on Carlisle's shoulder and gave a minute nod, letting us know to stay calm.
"If there is anything we can do. If we can help you in any way…" Carlisle offered.
Sam laughed. "We do not need help from your kind. You have done enough."
He looked at Bella again. Edward stepped in front of her and let out a fierce growl.
"We didn't do this." Edward said as he pushed Bella behind him.
"You may have not had any involvement with the disappearance, but you are forgetting something. As part of the treaty you agreed not to feed on humans. How do you explain the new members of your coven?"
"They did not do this to me." Bella said. "They would never so such a thing. Carlisle speaks the truth. We respect human life. Please don't do this."
I looked to everyone in our family; Edward was holding Bella and he was seething, his chest heaving in anger; Jasper was in deep concentration, trying to calm everyone; Alice rubbed her temples and shook with frustration; Esme was by Carlisle's side, clutching his arm, and Emmett was in front of me once again. When the rustling in the trees began again, I realized what was happening- we were preparing for a fight. Edward looked at me and nodded, confirming my thoughts. I must have been picking up Jasper's calm, as I felt unconcerned and detached. Edward let go of Bella and joined Carlisle in the front of our family.
"Sam, don't do this. We have done nothing wrong. We have forsaken our very basic nature to respect ourselves and to respect your kind as well. We did not break the treaty and we do not wish to fight you." Edward's voice was composed, his stance casual. He turned to face one of the men behind Sam.
"Jacob, I plead with you to uphold the word of your grandfather. Ephraim was a good man-"
"Don't speak of my grandfather. Don't you dare speak his name." Jacob spat. "You didn't know him. He would have done anything to protect our family, including killing a few of you god forsaken leeches."
"You're right," Edward replied. "He would have done anything to protect your family, but this is not what he wanted. Do you remember what he told you? Do you remember his love and sincerity when he spoke of respecting all living creatures? He told you that even though our hearts do not beat, we live… He understood that my family and I are different from the rest of our kind. We stand here because Ephraim knew better than to do what you are thinking about. Don't betray him."
Jacob hurled himself at Edward, who had crouched down avoiding him. Jacob rolled across the ground and slid into Bella, knocking her down. Within seconds, Bella jumped up and landed next to Jasper, grabbing his arm, and then she gritted her teeth and screamed.
Suddenly, everything started to happen fast, too fast; so accelerated that things seemed to happen in slow motion. Bella's piercing cry echoed through the trees and bounced back in an eerie melody that filled me with fear- so much fear that I shook and fell to my knees. There was silence when there should have been chaos. I should have ran, I wanted to run but I was paralyzed by fear. I looked around to see my family and the Quilluettes all still. They were frozen with panic and confused as to what was happening. I reached for Emmett, his arms coming around me tighter than he ever had ever held me before; I could feel him shaking, his courageous exterior faltering.
The wind picked up and Bella's scream began to fade. She looked at Sam with a piercing glare and he stepped away from her. She was desperately clutching Jasper's arm, a crazed look about her that was scaring me. Jasper looked stunned, his mouth open and his eyes wide. Bella looked to Jacob, who was still on the ground, tears welling in his eyes as he started to crawl away. Without warning, Sam and his pack began to run. My mind was swimming through a hazy drift of emotions. I wasn't sure what had just happened. Then I heard another scream- it was Edward. He held a lifeless Bella in his arms.