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So I Hope You See (That I Would Love To Love You)

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The shower, usually a perfect place of escape, didn’t soothe her this time. She didn’t feel the usual release as the very hot water beat into her iron muscles, her mind too full. Would she really not be allowed to go if she wanted to go? Did she want to go?

It felt like the water lasted only moments before it began to run cool from the showerhead and then cold, losing all sensation on her skin as it did.

It had been unsatisfying.

And she was still angry.

Her mood was still sour, still indignant when she turned off the useless water and stepped out. What was the point of vampires having a shower they could use if it didn’t stay hot long enough to do the damn job? She needed to calm herself before facing her family again. Irina, the frivolous idiot, had told her more than once that Rosalie should try meditating. She had told her that it would help deeply with her anger issues.

Anger issues. 

That term pissed her off.

She took a deep breath, trying to calm herself. It took less than a moment before her breath cut off, her head whipping around toward the door. Naked, she tiptoed to it, her mind on red alert, and breathed in deeply. She could smell her scent, could hear her heartbeat through the door. She hissed, her teeth exposed. Alice could have told her she had meant literally any minute and not any minute in some abstract future.

Bella was in her bedroom.

In her bedroom.

In. Her. Bedroom.

It was so sudden. It was so unexpected. She closed her eyes, leaning against the wall and trying to steady her breath. She thought that Bella didn’t want to see her. For the first time in a while, she didn’t feel calmed by Bella’s proximity. It had been almost two months since they had spoken. Two months of being ignored and unwanted. And she had just walked in there as if she was totally welcome to be in Rosalie’s room. A wave of bitchiness hit her, a thousand sarcastic and rude comments popping into her head. Only... her stomach dropped out.

Her hands were clasped like a vice on her towel, all but trembling. She looked down at them in surprise and slowly registered what she was feeling. She was afraid. God damn it, she was afraid.

What had happened to her?

Squaring her shoulders, she wrapped a fluffy towel around herself, wrapping confidence around her at the same time. She didn’t feel confident, not at all, but the slight smirk on her lips hopefully would tell Bella something else.

Opening the door, she let herself stretch like a cat, the towel only just keeping her covered and showing more leg and deeper into her cleavage than she thought Bella had ever seen.

It made her feel a little better embracing her looks, her body, her nakedness.

She leaned against the frame, her arms loosely crossed, expectantly watching her small mate for some kind of reaction.

Bella’s face went quickly from its usual pale to pink to red to tomato red, the strangest look on it that even Rosalie couldn’t figure out. Blinking fast, Bella cleared her throat once, twice, her hand coming up to rub her throat as her eyes darted to Rosalie, away, and then back and stuck, hovering just above Rosalie’s left knee.

Rose watched her take her in, her bravado slowly failing her. That was annoying. The confidence that she knew she had the right to, the confidence that was right anytime she stood mostly naked, began to melt into an exposed question, as raw as an exposed nerve. The night on the cliff, she had felt Bella watching her and she had wanted something she hadn’t wanted before. She had wanted her looks to not repel Bella, keeping space between them, but instead to draw her in. She wanted to know what Bella felt. Now her feelings were so much more confusing. She wilted a little as Bella’s expression remained unreadable. Was that blush simply because she was in a towel? Did she desire her at all? What was she thinking? She wanted her looks to draw her in, to make her desire her as much as she wanted her to see her as more. Instead, Bella looked a lot more like she had a bad case in indigestion.

Flustered, she glanced at the clock, surprised to see that it was hovering around three in the morning.

“Don’t you sleep?” The words snapped out like a whip crack, making her grind her teeth in agitation at herself.

Bella flinched, her unfocused eyes fluttering. She looked up from wherever she had been staring, confusion clouding her eyes. “What?”

Rose shook her head with a small chuckle, pleased. “Nothing.” She took in Bella, not surprised given the hour to see that she was in a pair of pajama pants and a small long sleeve shirt that looked like it would be soft to the touch. Balling her hands into fists, she clutched tighter at her towel so she couldn’t reach out to see if she was right. Had Alice carried her again? Her leg looked very hard to manage.

“Are you okay, Bella?”

Bella nodded a little, her eyes moving from the comforter she was sitting on and back to Rose. Her face went red again and she looked away.

“Okay.” She said softly and, unsure if she was satisfied or not, went to her dresser behind Bella. At top speed, so fast she was sure Bella wouldn’t see anything, she pulled a cashmere sweater and leggings then went back to the spot she had been before, leaning in the doorframe across from Bella.

“You look soft,” Bella’s voice mumbled.

Rose’s arms crossed, hearing a double meaning that she wasn’t sure was there. “I can be.”

Bella’s breath caught, hitching a little like she might speak or cry.

Rose waited, but nothing came out of Bella so she decided to break the ice herself. She had planned on asking Bella why she was there, or if maybe it meant that she was no longer angry with her. Instead what came out was exactly what she had wanted to say for weeks but thought she wouldn’t have dared.

“I’m sorry I kissed you, Bella.” Her voice was soft in confession, weighty in its honesty.

Looking genuinely startled, Bella looked up into her face for the first time. “I —”

Rosalie held up a hand, her head slightly tilted.

“What is it?”

She just waited until the last set of footfalls disappeared into the woods, the house suddenly and unexpectedly empty. That had been nice of them.  

“They’re gone,” she said.

“Who?”

“Everyone.”

“Oh.” Bella frowned, her fingers anxiously picking at a spot on her brace.

She took a step forward, pleased when Bella didn’t flinch and settled on the bed beside her. She wanted to reach out, to touch the back of her hand, anything. It took a sheer force of will to refrain. “And I’m sorry that I came over after Edward left.” She ducked her head, trying to catch Bella’s dropped eyes. “I wasn’t thinking...” She huffed, her cheeks puffing out. She had just said a mouthful there, hadn’t she? “I wasn’t thinking about how he probably made you feel by leaving. I was just thinking about the fact that I wanted to see you.” There was shame in her words and yet still, she got no reply from Bella. She ducked her head again looking into Bella’s face and was surprised to see that the pain she had expected to be there was absent. She could see a shadow of it where it had been before, but it wasn’t at all like it had been before. Giving in a little, she slowly reached out and touched Bella’s arm.

“Bella?”

Her fingertips had barely brushed Bella’s skin before Bella shot up.

Rose recoiled, her hands going into her lap. Fuck. Fuck, fuck, she had pushed too far again.

Bella glanced around, looking like she very much wanted to pace. She took a staggering step and then another before she gave up, leaning heavily on her crutches.

“So you have feelings for me.” It was more of an announcement than a question and so Rosalie wasn’t entirely sure what she was supposed to say. She sighed. She supposed that if there was ever a time to deny it, that time was right now. Was that what Bella wanted? Was she looking for an out? If so, she knew she couldn’t give it to her. “I do.”

“For me?” Bella asked, her nose scrunched adorably.

“Was I in some way unclear?”

Bella gave a grunt. “No. You weren’t unclear.”

“Then why ask?”

Bella glared.

A smile tried to unfurl on Rosalie’s face. She swallowed thickly to keep it back. “Bella, would you sit down?”

Bella ignored her question, her fingers pulling a little at her bottom lip as she thought.

So Rose just sat, watching her and not moving. She was waiting, feeling a little like she was looking at a sky that was about to release a flood of rain, or worse, cloud cover that was about to dissipate when she had no secure way to flee the sun.  

“I lied.”

“Um...” Rosalie’s mouth pulled down in the corner, trying to pick up on the conversation she had clearly lost track of somewhere. “What?”

“I lied!” Bella cried a little maniacally. Her clomping footsteps began to shuffle as she moved back and forth in front of the foot of the bed, making Rosalie wince. “I could feel you. In the hospital. Before. I could feel you. And…” Bella’s gaze slipped to her out of the corner of her eye and away again. “And I could feel when you left.”

Rosalie didn’t move, her eyes unfocused as she processed that. It wasn’t a small thing, that much she knew. What Bella was telling her… it wasn’t small.

The understanding worked through her slowly, not because it was a complex thought but because she couldn’t believe it. Elation, pure and simple and clean rose in her, making her hands close on themselves, holding tightly so she didn’t reach out for her. Bella could feel her? She had been able to tell when Rosalie was no longer in the room with her.

That was it.

This was it! 

It was the sign that she had been waiting for about whether or not Bella could feel any part of this bond. Maybe her human body and mind reacted differently, maybe she didn’t understand what it was, maybe it didn’t work fully if the human was in love or thought she was in love with someone else, but regardless of all of that, it was there. Rose was somewhere inside of her in the same way that Bella was in her.

“You said that it had to mean something that I said your name and not Edwards.” Bella continued to babble.

“I did.”

“I think it did.”

Rose gawked.

“I, err, I could feel when you were in the room. It’s like, I don’t know, something in my chest, maybe? Like a weight that was missing.”

“And you don’t…”

Again Bella flicked her a side glance, nervous and scared. She paused her pacing, taking a moment to glare up at the ceiling, steeling herself. “No. I can’t… I don’t feel that with Edward. Not in the same way.” She looked at her and then away making Rosalie want to physically hold her face in place so she could see into her eyes. “Or Alice, or Jasper, or Emmett, or anyone else but you.”

“Only me?” She couldn’t quite find it in herself to feel embarrassed that her voice had come out a small, happy squeak.

Bella just hummed in response and the two fell into silence, Rosalie tumbling over that and over that, just letting herself feel the release of worry that had accompanied that confession. She didn’t know what it meant for them. It didn’t solve much of anything, but it was a step in the right direction.

“Rose?”

“Yes?” she looked up, having completely lost herself in her thoughts. “I’m sorry, what?”

“Will you…”

Bella was going red again. She could feel the heat of this new embarrassment like a space heater. “What is it?” she asked, curious as to what was making her blush quite that deeply.

“I just – uh – I mean – ugh.” Bella’s eyes rolled, specifically not looking at her, she finally asked her question to the floor. “Would you kiss me again?”

Of all the things that she had thought could come out of Bella’s mouth, none of them would have been that. Her mouth fell open, her head spinning like she had just been hit with a ton of bricks.

Kiss her? Kiss herKiss her? Ooh, she wanted nothing more than to be permitted to kiss her again, to kiss her soundly, long, deeply, slowly. More than once Rosalie had regretted their only shared kiss, thinking that she wanted to do it differently, less selfishly, more passionately. The thought of it made her insides flame to life and groan.

Bella didn’t look like she wanted to be kissed though; Rose couldn’t help but notice that. Bella was standing with the use of her crutches, stiff-backed, her jaw clenched, her hands in tight fists around her crutch handles. She wasn’t looking at her, but instead still just above her.  

In fact, it looked like Bella was about to walk into an appointment for a root canal. She looked like she was about to face a firing squad.

“What?” She asked in a brittle deadpan.

Panic filled Bella’s beautiful eyes. They flicked down to look at Rose and then as if that were too much, they closed. “I just – I don’t know!” she cried. “I’m so confused! I don’t know what I feel, I just – I don’t know!”

“Romantic,” she bit, some of the magic of Bella’s request disappearing. “You sure know how to seduce a lady, don’t you, Bella?”

Bella’s face fell into horror. “I’m sorry, I just…” but she faded off, not explaining at all.

Eyes on Bella’s, waiting for them to meet her gaze, Rose reached forward. Bella’s hands were tight around her crutch handle, so tight that the knuckles were white with stain. She brushed her fingertips against it and then closed gently, so gently that she wouldn’t hurt her, around it. Her thumb stroked slowly across the knuckles. It felt like warm velvet under her own skin.

“So soft,” she sighed.

Bella’s fingers twitched and released, her eyes dropping to Rosalie’s. She looked startled, that was sure, but she also looked very much something else.

There had been no way she wasn’t going to do this. She had been slightly offended by the lack of feeling behind Bella’s request. She wanted to feel that Bella wanted her, needed her to kiss her. She wanted the desire to be hot, wild, uncontrollable. So the manner of the request had strongly left something to be desired. Even given that, though, there had been no way she wouldn’t take the chance of one more kiss.

Slowly, so slowly that she gave Bella plenty of time to stop her, she pulled the hand to herself and pressed a kiss to her knuckles, eyes on Bella’s face for a reaction. She was rewarded when Bella’s mouth dropped open, her pupils gong wide in startled surprise. Her heart rate picked up impressively fast for someone standing stationary. It was a secret confession, and it made Rose smile, gave her confidence. Eyes holding Bella’s, she smiled against her skin. Had she decided to seduce... to romance Isabella Swan? She hadn’t thought so and yet she could feel her charisma leaking out of her, can feel her trying to charm her through their connected gazes. She let her sensuality flow, not hiding her want as she turned the hand over and ran her nose along her wrist. Her eyes closed, enjoying the scent of Bella’s skin, enjoying the release of the weight of the bond – always so insistent again, the scent of her blood, the way that Bella’s muscles in her wrist flexed, responding.

This was different. She had been the first to seduce Emmett in their relationship, her body already somewhat comfortable with her transition. That, however, had been the only time she had seduced a new person and even then, the dynamic had been different. She thought, her lips brushing Bella’s palm, that maybe she liked being the aggressor.

Bella hadn’t moved, her expression of shock still there. There were small patches of pink in her cheeks, her breath was slightly ragged as it fell from her open mouth, her heartbeat steady but quick and hard.

Her smile grew against Bella’s skin. Bella wasn’t sure what she wanted? Well, her body seemed to be very aware and that was all to the good.

She had thought that perhaps, given the way the request had been made, that perhaps she would simply kiss her hand and leave it at that. Only now, with her skin so close, her heart beating so quickly, Rosalie couldn’t end it there. She gave a very small pull on the arm she was holding, leaning up so that Bella wouldn’t lose her balance as she bent. The hand still clutched tightly between her own and held in her lap, she was pleased to see that there was no alarm in Bella’s face as it tuned, curved as she bent to face Rosalie.

She held back for one long moment, taking in Bella’s parted lips, the way her eyes were a little too round as she studied Rosalie from up close. Being very careful not to apply too much pressure, Rose crossed the distance to let her lips slowly slip across Bella’s, not so much in a kiss as simply a touch of skin on skin.

Bella shivered.

She was a goner, she realized. The static of where their lips had brushed left her lips tingling with pleasure.

Smiling, Rosalie carefully licked her lips, delighting in the way that Bella’s heavy-lidded eyes tracked her. Rosalie leaned in just a little closer and Bella’s eyes slowly closed, waiting, surrendering to a kiss that hadn’t happened yet.

Yes, she thought. This was very good.

Refusing to let her wait a second longer, she kissed her lightly once, and because that wasn’t enough, she kissed her a little more firmly a second time, and then a third, her body surging with sizzling jolts each time their lips reconnected.

She pulled back just a little before she could lose her head, just enough to see Bella’s face but not enough that their lips weren’t a moment apart. Bella’s face was slack, her eyes still closed. Her lips fell apart as Bella sighed, her breath puffing against Rosalie’s lips.

Rosalie’s hands in her laps convulsed, closing perhaps a little too tightly on Bella’s, her whole body responding with a roar. It as a feeling that felt so foreign to her. She had always loved her sex life with Emmett, had always wanted him, but this was different, this want was so much more.

She moaned a little as Bella leaned forward just a bit, her forehead resting against Rosalie’s. She let go of Bella’s hand, noticing that it didn’t leave her lap, but instead settled on a thigh, keeping Bella safely in that position. Her own hands went to the bedsheet on either side of her, balling so tightly in it that it ripped in her hands as she tried to restrain herself.

Her lips were between her teeth, her body pulsing with the promise of further kissing. She didn’t want to bite her, but she could taste Bella’s scent on her breath and she wanted to maul her. She wanted to use her tongue, her hands, her mouth. She wanted to touch and taste and search and know.

Bella swayed a little, her nose bumping into Rosalie’s cheek and settling. Her whole body gave a shutter and Bella’s free hand shot out, letting the crutches fall to the floor as her other available hand clutched at Rosalie’s shoulder, clamping down. Bella swayed, and Rose realized that without her crutches Bella could stay up for a few moments but that she was going to come down on top of her.

Rosalie gave in. She had never been someone who was good at withholding her own wants from herself and she wanted more of Bella. She used Bella’s tipping weight to wrap her up, twisting her, and settling her on the bed beside her, right over the handful of ripped comforter. She was kissing her again before Bella had fully settled, her lips curling to meet Bella’s warm ones in a perfectly chase kiss that was picking up in speed and intensity. It was a little annoying, Rosalie noticed peppering her lips with kisses, the constant worry that she would kiss too hard. There was a soft sound from below her, a release of breath with the tiniest bit of noise in it and Rosalie felt a soft brush of Bella’s tongue.

Unlike Bella, she wasn’t shy about what she wanted. She felt Bella’s tongue tentatively brush her lip and she didn’t hold back, she let herself moan with longing. Her hands came up to cup Bella’s delicate face, whimpering as her mouth opened. Her toes curled in on themselves, her body bowing, unable to touch her without touching her at that moment. Bella’s shy tongue swiped again, barely there against her own and Rosalie wanted so much more. She kissed her, really kissed her.

Was this too much for Bella, she worried. Rosalie’s back twisted again, leaned more fully into Bella, pleased when Bella’s hands on her shoulders scrambled, scratching at the skin of her shoulders, pulling her shirt up a little in the back as she clutched handfuls of it, using it to pull Rosalie closer. She took it as a sign and kissed her deeper, her tongue sweeping deeply into Bella’s mouth and Bella met her intensity. If she thought about it, Bella was kind of attacking her. Bella’s good leg came up, her foot pressing into the bed, twisting her to the side and up into Rosalie’s body. Rose met it, pressing herself into Bella with relish, her hand holding her against her from the small of her back.

A hitching breath came out of Bella as their torsos pressed together, this time the sound on it was stronger, clearer. Rosalie caught the sound, tasting it, swallowing it, and releasing one to meet it. Bella’s heartbeat, so fast, so hard, so fluttering, was so weirdly sexy. Rosalie moaned when her lips moved down Bella’s jaw, to her ear and bit very carefully and the steady sound skipped, moving faster.

“Fuck,” Bella gasped, her neck stretching, making it more available to Rose as a hand finally moved off of her shoulder and up the back of her neck into her hair. “Ahh – oh – fuck,” Bella gasped, her hips rocking against Rosalie’s hips as Rosalie sucked down the line of her throat and then back up to her lips.

This was… everything. Arousal was a tight ball in her belly, sending constant clenching jots down to her center as her tongue met Bella’s. This was so much more than she had felt before. So much. She moaned against Bella’s lips, hungry for more of her. Bella met that intensity too. Breath fast, ragged, Bella slipped down Rosalie’s throat and gently bit the skin there. Rosalie moaned again, curling around her. Her response seemed to encourage Bella. Her tongue moved against her skin, open-mouthed kisses trailing up and down, making Rose pant.

She had said to kiss her, but this was much more than a kiss.

Then Bella’s hands began to move. They slid down Rose’s shoulders like a blessing, adding to the sensation that her skin was on fire. Bella gently bit under the junction of Rose’s jaw, her hands moving down her ribs. Her lips moved back to Rose’s, her tongue aggressively swiping Rose’s and her hands came up, cupping Rosalie’s breast.

She should have been embarrassed by the sound that flew out of her, by the strong response her body gave, the flooding in her panties, the cry that had been ripped from her. The sudden need, the need to bite down on her neck, to bite and suck and inject.

With a disparaging cry, Bella’s hands ripped away from her almost as quickly as they had touched her, as if burned, her whole body pulling away. Their lips disconnected with a strangled growl from Rose and she gasped, breathless even though she didn’t need to breathe.

“What’s wrong?”

Worried, she looked over Bella’s stricken face. She looked guilty and even a little afraid.

“What’s wrong?” Rose asked again in more of a panic. Had she hurt her? Had she… she had felt that desire bubble up but she hadn’t – she hadn’t!

“I’m sorry! I’m so sorry, I didn’t mean to,” Bella babbled, her voice shaky and weak, overtaken by her breathiness.

“To do what?”

“To touch you like that!”

Right. Rosalie pulled back a little, letting Bella’s body rest on the bed again. Edward… Edward hadn’t allowed Bella to touch him. She pulled away a little, somewhat grossed out to think that the last mouth against her mates had been her brother.

Setting her down had been the wrong thing to do though, Rose could see that instantly. Bella’s face went white, her eyes wild with insecurity.

“I’m sorry!” She looked mortified, as though she had done something very wrong and Rosalie just couldn’t allow it.

In a move so fast that Bella’s eyes didn’t even track it, she draped herself over Bella, resting harshly against her, her stomach on Bella’s stomach, her thigh coming to rest between Bella’s legs. Bella’s eyes bugged, her intake of breath very sharp as Rosalie pressed gently against her with her thigh, trying to make a point. A strangled gasp fell from Bella’s mouth, he hands gripping Rosalie’s arms in surprise at the sensation. Rose stilled, remembering that as far as she knew, no one had ever touched Bella this way, nor ever touched her there. She waited, letting Bella adjust to the sensation of her thigh against her sex, watching with fascination to see what Bella would think of this.

She wasn’t like Edward. He believed in, what came down to, Christian laws. She didn’t think sex was shameful, nor wrong, nor bad. It might be dangerous, yes, but if Bella were to want sex, she wouldn’t be against it. She would have to move very carefully, she would have to do some research, not only on how to do it safely but also technique as she had never touched the female body as much as she had that early morning. But she would be happy to give Bella that if she were to ask for it.

God, it was a crazy thought to think. How very much her life had changed over these past months was shocking.

“Did I say you did anything wrong?” Rosalie finally spoke as Bella’s eyes opened again. The question seemed to confuse Bella and so she clarified. Leaning down to run her nose across Bella’s jaw, enjoying the reaction, she promised, “I’ll tell you if something is too much for me.” She leaned back up, wanting to see Bella’s face. “Okay?”

Bella nodded, her lip between her teeth.

“What is it?” She could see the question in Bella’s eyes.

“Why is it that you can do that—”

“Do what?” Rose asked, wanting Bella to have to say it.

Bella’s eyes rolled, aware of exactly what Rose was pushing.

“Why is it that you can kiss me like that but Edward couldn’t?” Before she could answer Bella ran on, her voice picking up speed. “And when I pushed at all, he had to leave otherwise attack me! He made it sound like all of you were barely in control and so I was always in danger.”

Rosalie’s mouth opened fast to give her exactly her thoughts on that matter, the vitriol of knowing Edward’s romantic behaviors that way wanting to spew out. It was only at the last second that she stopped herself from saying the harsh and nasty words, something like ‘well Eddie is a drama queen who can hear our minds and yet manages to not know us at all.’ She didn’t want Bella to think that maybe they were standing at that knifes edge that Edward had spoken of with the harsh and nasty reaction.

Maybe this was a time for sensitivity.

The problem was, she didn’t know the answer other than to say, it’s either because we’re mates and I could never be a threat to you, or it’s because Edward didn’t love you, but instead thirsted for you and was preoccupied with why he couldn’t hear your mind.

Both were filled with too much honestly.

Carefully, she shifted, moving her thigh elsewhere. “I don’t have that problem like he does. I don’t want your blood.”

The look that passed over Bella’s face was comical. She looked offended, genuinely offended. “I don’t smell good to you?”

Rose couldn’t help herself, she threw back her head and laughed. And it was a first, even Rosalie knew it. She had never just… laughed with Bella, she had never been so relaxed, so loose, so comfortable sitting beside her. There were no more secrets between them. Which, all right, that wasn’t true, but the secret she had been hiding, her attraction, was now in the open. Rose could breathe.

The smile that grew on Bella’s face as she watched Rose laugh was slow, shocked, but also maybe happy.

“Please don’t evaluate your worth to me based on your smell. I swear, I know your blood would taste amazing, and I do enjoy the scent of it, but it’s just not what I want. I want it inside your body, keeping you alive.”

Bella’s amazement didn’t fade, her eyes flicking over Rosalie’s face in startled wonderment. “So you do care about me then, huh?”

Rosalie’s laughter faded, replaced by that shining vulnerability again. Her finger came up to draw circles on Bella’s chest. “I do.”

Bella just stared at her for a long while, the cogs in her head spinning. When she finally spoke, it wasn’t about what Rosalie had expected. “It has to mean something that Edward didn’t feel that way too, right? That he was so afraid he’d hurt me?”

These questions! Rosalie breathed out a sigh, watching Bella’s eyes flutter closed as she did, breathing it in. She decided that perhaps not answering that would be best.

“Was the kissing okay?”

Cheeks going red again, Bella nodded, a large yawn getting in the way of her response.

Rosalie chuckled, looking down at her with pleasure. Carefully, she lowered her head so her cheek could rest against Bella’s. The warmth was amazing. Rosalie purred, letting her head fall to Bella’s chest, her eyes closing, her nose and forehead pressed against Bella’s sternum. She took a deep breath and relaxed.

This is my mate, she thought, and in that thought, she felt total acceptance. It was as though mental shackles fell away from her, lightening her, freeing her. The pressure that the bond constantly put on her to be closer, to remove the emotional and physical distance between them suddenly lightened and then disappeared. She wanted to groan. It felt wonderful.

Above her, Bella yawned again.

“You need some sleep.”

Bella sighed. “I’ve been struggling with that.”

She scoffed. “Yeah, I can tell.

That made Bella laugh. “God, you’re still Rosalie, aren’t you?”

“Hey!” Rosalie cried, but she was chuckling too. It was true. Bella was never going to get a completely easy time from her. She wasn’t sure she would want one.

Together and with heavy help from Rose, they got Bella to her feet and started down the stairs together.

“Should I drive you?” She asked as they started out the front door. She gave Bella a nervous glance, not liking the way Bella’s body seemed too heavy.

“No, I got it. The boot.” She answered a little awkwardly.

Having broken the bubble of their first kisses, a new layer of anxious discomfort sat between them, both expectant and exciting, and stiff and awkward.

 “Are you sure?” Rosalie asked, her hand running up Bella’s arm without much thought. The touch sent a burst of pleasure through her.

Space. The word hissed through her mind, Emmett’s warning still clear. She let her hand fall but stepped a little closer.

“Yeah.” Bella’s grin was crooked as she nodded.

Space. Give her space.

She could hear Emmett’s voice whisper through her mind, reminding her – wait, she glanced around and saw Emmett in the shadows just off to the left of the house. “give her space,” he whispered through a cupped hand, so low that she was sure Bella couldn’t hear. She rolled her eyes a little and clicked open the truck door for Bella, mindless of the fact that it took her very close to Bella again.

Bella flushed, closed in by Rosalie’s extended arm and the truck door, but Rosalie didn’t step back. Instead, a wide smile spread across her face as she looked down at her. She wasn’t sure if things had changed between them or not and so she let herself simply stay there, her body very close to Bella’s, watching Bella’s flushed face.

“Oh my god, look at her face! Fuck it, kiss her!” Emmett’s voice came again. Behind her back, she waved him off.

“Kiss her!”

She flipped him off, her hand completely blocked by her body. She felt like a teenager being heckled by her group of friends. She looked into Bella’s face, through the first date awkwardness and for just a sliver of a moment, she felt it again, that old resentment. She had been given no choice in this, in loving this stupid, frail, weak human and she didn’t want to. No, more like she didn’t want to want to.

In a roar, a wave of fury crashed into herself, nearly knocking her over with its magnitude. How dare you think something like that, her mind shouted at her. It wasn’t true, and she knew it. Bella was anything other than weak, or stupid, and yes, okay maybe she was frail, but she was tougher than Rose had expected.

Bella cleared her throat and it snapped Rose out of her thoughts.

It was laughable really. Whether she had wanted to feel this for Bella before, the truth of the matter was that she did now. And she didn’t regret it.

“All right then. Drive safely.” Instead of the kiss that she wanted, she nodded, squeezed Bella’s arm and forced herself to step away.

Bella beamed at her, lifting herself with practice up into the driver’s seat.

Rosalie definitely did not at all (okay, she did) watch her butt as she bent over to drag herself in.

She stood there, her heart light, arms crossed watching as Bella started the car and then with a shy wave, started to disappear down the driveway.

“Coward,” Emmett whispered as Bella’s taillights disappeared into the trees.

She turned and vaulted herself at him, punching him as he caught him midair. Emmett laughed loud and hard, setting her back down.

“I just got back. What happened? That didn’t look bad.”

She just grinned at him, amazed, feeling light and girlish.

“Yes!” he cried, taking her look as confirmation.

Rose let out a single happy giggle, something she rarely did.

“Yes!” he roared again, scooping her off the ground and flinging her over his shoulder. “Yes, yes, yes!” he chanted, spinning her in a circle, jumping up and down with excitement. “Yes!” He cried one last time and plopped her back down on her feet. “Tell me everything! How was it? What did she say? Is she a better kisser than me?”

Overcome, Rose just looked up at him, her heart which already felt so warm, glowed with love. She loved him. She loved him so much, her very first love. That would never change. There had been no conversation between them about their future, but she could feel the change in the air. She could feel the understanding that if she did this, if she told him about this, it would decide their future for them.

Fiercely, with all the love she could muster, she gripped his face and brought it to hers, kissing him hard and chaste.

When she pulled back, he smiled down at her and she could see, just as she felt, that there was a little sadness to his smile too.

Then he scooped her up, throwing her back over his shoulder with a force that made her scream like a girl in a horror movie. Taking her upstairs, he dumped her in the window seat and sat beside her.

She began to tell him. And as she talked she felt them shift. They were cuddling, much like they always had, her tucked under his arm, but she wasn’t in his lap. He wasn’t playing with her hair. As she talked she could feel a new type of relationship beginning.

He smiled as she told him about Bella asking her to kiss her, the smile grew as she told of the success of the venture.

When her words died, they sat together in comfortable silence, Rosalie thinking over her evening and it’s sudden turn of events.

“I’m happy for you, Rosie,” he promised, leaning down to kiss her face.

She smiled, feeling a little bashful. “Thank you.”

They sat in silence for a bit, both thinking.

“Rose, there’s something that we have to do.”

“Hmm?” She looked up. She had been lost in thought, remembering the warmth of Bella’s lips against her own while her fingers played with her bottom lip.

“My room.”

“Your what?” She asked, looking into his face.

There was a new layer of softness there, a look so sweet, and yet settled.

“Oh.” She looked around at the room they had shared for so many years. She had spent ninety-nine percent of her vampire life sharing a room with him. “Oh, you mean...” She stood, upset as she looked at the room that made them a couple.

“Don’t worry,” he sighed, wrapping his arms around her. “You’ll get Bella in here soon enough.”

She hugged herself into him and shook her head. “I won’t though.”

“What d’you mean?”

But now wasn’t the time to think about that. Now, well, now was about them.

“Do you have to?”

“I think it’s time, babe.”

She nodded, her heart pain-filled. “Are you going to stop calling me that?”

“Never,” he smirked.

“Good. Come on.” She turned in his arms and kissed his cheek. Maybe she would never have Bella in that room, as he had said, but this was still the right thing to do. “There’s a room beside Carlisle’s study.”

Emmett just nodded, a small smile on his face and together, they began to pack.