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

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It had been a week since that amazing morning with Bella in the room that was now only her room, and still, Rosalie’s good mood had persisted. At first, her family had been pleased, but after a few days, they had begun to look at her like they were worried that she had been body-snatched. She thought Alice and Esme specifically had been looking for seams where her skin had been resealed over her alien body. She hadn’t been able to help it. She had been all smiles, all laughter. Nothing seemed to bring her mood down, not even when Carlisle had pegged her in the back of the head with a snowball a few days before. She had turned on him and she had seen his look of regret; the face of a father who had just ruffled the feathers of his most hostile daughter. She had been on her way to the car to leave for school, so she would have to do her hair again, because there would have been no way that she would be able to go that way. Still, she had laughed.  Laughed . That had felt strange, even to her. The ruining of her perfectly quaffed hair was  never  a laughing matter, and yet she had laughed until Carlisle, nervous, had reluctantly begun to laugh too.  

That whole kissing Bella senseless thing was the best mood elevator that she had come across. She didn’t understand why humans needed drugs. All they needed to do was spend a few moments kissing Bella and they would get a better high. Except they couldn’t. She wouldn’t allow them. Kissing Bella was her job. At least, she hoped it was her job… or would be soon.

The feeling in the house had lightened considerably along with Rosalie’s mood. Alice and Jasper had simply gone back to life, perhaps never having thought that Rosalie would leave. Esme, however, had spent an entire day in euphoria once she realized Rose wouldn’t be going. Of course, after that single day her previous upset had returned and she had gone back to mourning Edward’s absence.

Rosalie had been doing her best to not take that personally.

The only real damper on the week was that she hadn’t seen Bella. She still hadn’t shown back up at school, nor had she shown up in Rosalie’s bedroom in the middle of the night. She hadn’t called either, something that Rose half expected. Still, she had kissed Bella... really kissed Bella, and with Bella’s permission this time so she had let that stress slide. After all, she had never once called Bella for a... chat. She wasn’t sure she could handle the momentary humiliation when Bella asked who it was and she admitted it was her. She could already mentally hear Bella’s pause of silence, could hear her stutter a little as she asked ‘Rosalie? As in Rosalie Hale?’

No. And if she wasn’t calling Bella then she couldn’t blame her for not calling her.   

      


 

“Just a little bit. Come on. Admit it. Just a little.”

“No.” Rose shook her head, turning from the main freeway and onto the off-ramp toward school.

“That’s crap. It’s so true, though.”

“It’s not. I was completely within the rational response to the situation I was in and with the information I had at the time.”

Emmett snorted, his head shaking. “You should study law, not medicine.”

“Hmm.” Rosalie simpered. As usual, she felt a small pang when her not at all established medical career was brought up. She cleared her throat, blinking quickly a few times to brush that off.

Emmett had been insisting on the same subject for the last week, laughingly trying to get Rose to admit that she had been a ‘dramatic bitch’ by trying to leave but this far she refused. She hadn’t been. Her response had been perfectly reasonable.

Her iPod shuffled and an upbeat 80’s Dolly Parton song came on.

“Uuuugggh, no! I told you no Dolly Parton in the morning!” Emmett reached for the iPod to change it but Rosalie slapped his hand away.

“Yeah, but I’m not sleeping with you anymore.”

“So what, you don’t have to listen to me?”

“Something like that,” she smirked.

“Bitch.”

Her smirk grew as she began to sing along.

“You’re crazy.” And in case that wasn’t enough, he stuck his head out of the car window as they pulled into the school parking lot and yelled, “She’s crazy!” A passing freshman boy stopped in his tracks, his face genuinely petrified at Emmett’s sudden shout. He paused for a second, clutching the straps of his backpack and then scampered off, shooting glances back at the car.

“Awe, look, you scared the child,” Rosalie scolded mildly.

“My bad!” Emmett called after him, laughing.

The boy didn’t respond, only walked a little faster, his head ducked, his neck red.

Rosalie cackled, pulling into a spot a few away from Alice’s car. “How can you not like her?”

“Can you hear her voice? Listen to that synthesizer. It’s terrible.”

“I think she was pretty sexy when she was young. ... What? Remember Best Little Whorehouse in Texas? Those dresses were all tight around the waist. Oh, and that lingerie. She was all tiny waist, and thighs, and cleavage. …What?”

Emmett was just stared at her.  

“What?”

“Were you always this into women? Did I just never notice it?”

Amused but unable to answer because she didn’t know herself, she glanced in the rearview mirror and caught a boy gawking at the car. Rosalie’s eyes rolled. It was a daily occurrence now that she drove her own car. She didn’t get it. The car wasn’t that appealing. She had gotten it as a concession to Edward’s demand that they all have simple cars, only pushing the color. But while the car was painted in ‘Ferrari Red’, it was lackluster. It was boxy, and though the year was only two years before, it had a shape that reminded her deeply of the ’90s, which was not a good time for cars. Her hand slid over the steering wheel. Suddenly all she could see were long trips to quiet locations with Bella at her side and this car just wouldn’t do for that. Her BMW was solid, but... she liked the new Aston Martin that was coming out soon.

“You’ve got that look in your eye.”

“What look?”

“The look that always comes before a new car.”

“Maybe I should sell this one,” she said, not listening to what he had said at all. Or give it to Bella, she thought. That poor truck deserves a nice long rest.

“So I’m right then.”

“Hmm? I’m sorry?”

Emmett snorted out a breath. “You look like you’re suddenly sick to death of your car and can’t stand the sight of it a moment longer.”

Rosalie’s smile grew wide and beaming, though she wasn’t sure if it was an admission or if it was because that guttural roar of the truck she had just thought of had just turned into the lot. She had been excited when Alice had informed her that Bella would be returning to school the next morning. She had been a little nervous too. And if she had happened to spend much more time in front of the mirror that morning then she was sure it was a coincidence.

“Or like you want to show off,” Emmett laughed.

never show off,” she said with a haughty expression.

That made Emmett laugh hard. “Yeah right!”  

She fluttered her eyelashes at him, doing her best to look innocent. “Well. Who doesn’t like to show off now and then? We’d look good in the new Ashton Martin, wouldn’t we?”

“Somehow I don’t think that I’m part of that ‘we’.”

She didn’t answer, just clicked her tongue and pulled herself from the car.

Across the lot, Bella had just struggled out of her car and was gathering herself on her crutches.

Rosalie smiled a little to herself looking at her.

Yes, she thought. She was going to trade in her M3 for the Ashton. Hammerhead Silver, custom tint. That wasn’t too flashy… all right, yes it was, but it was also certainly sexy. It might be a little difficult, she admitted to herself. Usually, if she wanted a car that was about to be released, she would order it a year in advance. This car was coming out in a matter of weeks. She knew they were almost sold out. She would have to throw a lot of money at it to get one at this point, and that always made her nervous. But she supposed... if she were to the Ashton Martin dealership in Las Vegas... That would be tricky, Vegas was a very bright place, and she doubted a dealership such as that would have night hours, but she thought it just might do the trick. Then she would pick up Bella and they would see just how fast they could get to the warm moonlit beaches of southern California.

Her plan was fully formed before Bella had even finished adjusting, let alone started through the parking lot.

Rosalie debated and then turned and headed toward the school, listening to Bella’s slow clacking behind her. Just as she stepped into the curb, she paused, her small phone in her hand as though distracted out of walking. Emmett paused too, glanced behind them and then shook his head.

“I’ll see you at lunch.”

Rosalie vaguely nodded, her eyes on her phone.

She was just slightly off to the side of the walkway as she waited. There was plenty of room for Bella to pass her, or even other branched off pathways that Bella could take to avoid her altogether. She was giving Bella a choice.

Breath held tightly in her lungs, she waited. At the last second, she turned a little and began walking, but very slowly so Bella would fall in line beside her if she wanted.

Bella said nothing as she appeared at Rosalie’s side.

Rose didn’t turn, didn’t acknowledge her, but inside she was singing. A smile on her face, they started toward Bella’s first class together in silence. She felt as they walked, feeling the relief of not fighting her long, feeling what she could from Bella’s mood, feeling the wind as it blew first through Bella’s hair and then across her own face, bring the scent of it and memories of their last meeting.

If Bella was surprised that Rosalie knew where her first class of the day was, then she didn’t say. Instead, they approached in reverent silence. Just as Rose was about to turn and say goodbye, maybe adding something slightly sarcastic but also secretly heartfelt like ‘have a good day, dear, learn a lot’, accompanied of course by an eye roll, Bella’s hand suddenly shot out.

The strength of it, the fact that it was touching her at all surprised her so much that she looked down at it, looking to be sure it was real on the sleeve of her trench.

Bella’s eyes followed hers and she blanched. Nearly tipping over in the process, Bella yanked her hand back, her face crumpling into defiance and hurt.

Rosalie’s mouth opened, ready to tell her that it wasn’t that she wasn’t allowed to touch her, as much as she was surprised she had. She didn’t think Bella ever had before, at least, other than that blissful moment where Bella had taken charge of their kisses.

Rosalie shivered, remembering the momentary feeling of Bella’s hands on her breast. She hadn’t done enough of her own touching, that much she had become very aware of in her many hours of daydreaming. She licked her lips, very glad that Edward wasn’t on campus. Hoping that Bella hadn’t seen any of those thoughts on her face, she opened her mouth again and yet again closed it. She had been about to say something flirtatious, something like ‘you can touch me anytime you like’. She could only imagine the shade of purple Bella would have turned. That wasn’t right either. Damn it, surely there was something to say when your secret mate touches your arm unexpectedly and you have a meltdown. She looked into Bella’s face, frustrated with her speechlessness.  

“I think we should spend some time together.” Bella suddenly blurted.

Thrown yet again, Rose ostentatiously glanced around them. “Um... aren’t we?” Leaning in a little she dropped her voice into a sarcastic whisper. “Isn’t that what we’re doing right now?”

“Yeah, but...” her words trailed off as a girl Rose had seen hanging around Bella paused beside them, her eyes on Rose.

Rose glanced at her, confused.

“Um, can I help you?” Rosalie finally snapped after long moments. She glared down at the short girl, realizing slowly that it was the girl who often thought they were friends through gossip. She was staring at her with an intensity that surely wasn’t necessary.

With Rosalie’s snap, the girl jumped a little. “Nope!” But she turned on Bella, her eyes large and obviously trying to communicate. “Talk to you in class, Bella?”

Bella just nodded, her face pink and downcast and they both watched the girl go in and take her seat at her deck, aware that her eyes never left them.

“What was that?”

“My friend, Jessica,” Bella answered miserably.

Jessica!  Right.

“She probably wants to know why I’m talking to you since you don’t talk to anyone.”

Rosalie crossed her arms and scoffed, her high heeled foot tapping. “I talk to people.”

Bella eyed her, her face incredulous.

“You are not in my classes. You can’t possibly know,” she sniffed, her voice snooty.

No. She didn’t talk to anymore, but that was beside the point.

With a glance back at Jessica, who might as well have a bowl of popcorn she was watching them so intently, Bella stepped forward a little, into Rosalie’s personal space so she could whisper to her. “Look, I know that there’s this thing... now.”

Rose’s eyebrows shot up. “Thing?

“The kissing thing!” Bella hissed, obviously uncomfortable.

Rosalie’s eyebrows disappeared into her hairline.

“And... I don’t know. I feel... things... um, so let’s, arugh—”

“Bella, spit it out,” she snapped.

Teeth grinding Bella did in a fast and slightly high voice. “Let’s hang out and see what happens now. Okay? There. I said it.”

It wasn’t easy to keep her smile back, but she managed it. She gave a sober nod, feeling like she was in the presence of a skittish deer that could bolt any moment. “Okay, Bella. Let’s do that.”

Bella nodded once. “Okay.”

The five-minute bell rang and Bella sighed. “So, uh, I’ll see you.”

Rose nodded again, feeling the way she had felt after their kisses. She wanted to touch her in some way, any way. She wasn’t sure she was allowed to touch her though, so she settled on something simple. She let her fingers trail over the hand that had been on Rosalie’s sleeve, her fingertips following the small groves of her knuckles. Then she turned to start to her first class. At the end of the hallway, she paused and looked back.

Bella was still standing there, in the exact same spot, her face beet red and upturned toward the ceiling as if trying to hide that fact.

Rosalie bit her lip. So the touch had done what she had hoped, had reminded Bella of when it had been her lips there.

Pleased, Rosalie headed to class.

 


 

If Jessica’s response to seeing Bella speaking with Rosalie had been strong that morning, it was nothing compared to the silence that fell over the cafeteria when Bella took a seat at the Cullen table without Edward there.

Edward was fully convinced that if they were careful, they as Cullens could blend in enough to evade notice. It was his main mission in life. He insisted on boring cars, he insisted on clothes that generally didn’t show their wealth, he insisted that they much get good but not perfect grades, that they must be model humans. Rosalie had never understood it. They did stand out. No, perhaps people wouldn’t take one look at them and say ‘oh, you are all this ancient being that has now become no more than myth’, but they knew that something was off about them. They didn’t make friends. They all sat together. They didn’t join clubs or go out on the weekends. They kept to themselves. The entire high school even knew they were all dating one another, she with Emmett, Alice with Jasper, and that was a scandal that would have given them notoriety in the first place. Even if all of that weren’t true, their general aura would be enough. They repelled people. Well, she glanced to her left as Bella took a bite of her lunch, and mentally amended that to most people.

Bella had caused quite a stir by befriending and then dating Edward. It seemed the rabble didn’t know what to make of her there now without him.

All of the Cullens had stiffened as Bella sat down, alerted and alarmed by the sudden silence that had fallen. Once the voices picked up, Rosalie hadn’t need to be able to hear each and every single muttered voice to know that they were talking about them.  

What is it about that Bella girl?

Do you think they’re still dating?

Ooooooh, I hope Edward comes back if they broke up. He’s so dreamy. I would love a chance with him.

Do you think they’re some kind of gang and they mind raped the Swan girl into joining?

…should be sitting with us instead of over there. I don’t like it. Something is off…

Her head turned slowly at that last voice. Mike, Mike… she had no idea what his last name was, but thought it should be Annoying. She hadn’t forgiven him yet for being the one to help Bella when she couldn’t, and the obvious desire in his voice was only making his case worse. He looked back at her, eyes wide like a mouse in the gaze of a snake. She snarled and he looked away.

The amazing thing was, though she was the topic that everyone was discussing, Bella simply smiled at them, completely unaware.

“So Bella, how’s the leg?” Emmett asked, making a leaning tower out of crackers.

Bella shrugged. “Oh, you know. Heavy. Awkward. Errr, slow making.”

The group chuckled.

Have you ever talked to her? She’s not that interesting. I don’t get why she was the one they all decided to be friends with. Did they know her before?

…no, totally, yeah. Something is up. For sure. This morning Rosalie walked her to our class. Seriously. Like Edward always did. …No, really, I promise. When I asked her about it she just kept saying that they’re  friends , and I’m like no one is friends with Rosalie Hale. …well, yeah, you realize that she and Edward broke up, right? I mean, I think they did, Bella won’t say. But what, he disappears and suddenly she’s sitting with us again? Super sketch…

Rosalie’s gaze drifted to the girl Mike had been speaking to. Jessica, of course. She could have assumed if she had thought about it for a few minutes.

“Your friends are wondering why you’re not sitting with them,” Rosalie murmured.

Bella looked up, her gaze drifting over to her friends as if confused that they still existed.

Both Jessica and Mike looked quickly away, suddenly in a deep conversation with one another about a movie they had both seen.

“Really?” Bella asked, bemused.

“Mmm-hmm.”

Bella chewed her lip. “You know, you could come sit with us at that table.”

Beside them, Emmett began to laugh at the idea.

“With you… and those toddler s over there?” She asked, not understanding at all.

Bella’s eyes rolled. “They aren’t toddlers. They’re the same age as me.”

“Ah, yes, but you don’t behave like they do.”

“What does that even mean?”

As if to prove her point, Mike suddenly roared across the room as another boy dumped a bag of chips on top of his head. He swung at the boy, who dodged. He launched himself and they fell to the floor together, wrestling while teachers sped over.

She looked back to Bella, her head tilting in that direction.

Bella just avoided her gaze, going back to her food.

The muttered conversations didn’t stop when Emmett took his, Rose’s, Bella’s trays over to the trash can, only one having been cleaned, and dumped them. Still, Bella didn’t seem to notice.

Just like she didn’t seem to notice the looks on people’s faces when Emmett turned left out of the cafeteria and she and Bella turned right, starting slowly down the hall. She didn’t seem to see the faces turned their way, staring in shock as Rosalie kept that incredibly slow pace to drop Bella at her next class.

Rosalie went to her own after lunch class, shaking her head as she went.

She held the entire school in awe, and Bella didn’t even notice.