The girl's screams echoed around the clearing near the only river in their Californian town. "Edward!" Her scream bounced off the trees and she stood, soaking wet and unhappy. She forcefully strode out of the river and shot him a glare as she grabbed a towel off a branch nearby.
He couldn't stop himself from taking her in as she dried off. He was, in fact, a teenage guy and Rosalie was an extremely beautiful teenage girl. Her hair was a soft blonde and her eyes shone a pale blue, like the sea illuminating from her pale skin.
"You need to quit throwing me in the river." She grumbled, placing the towel on a tree branch and making her way closer to Edward. His bronze hair reflected in the waning light and she tried to keep the smile off her face.
"Rosalie!" Her name echoed around the forest as Alice stormed into the clearing.
Alice was Rosalie's best friend and, by default, Edward's as well. Today her deep black hair was pulled back tightly instead of in the usual spikes, giving her the appearance of a stern teacher. "You were supposed to come to dinner a half an hour ago." She put her hands on her hips and shot Edward a glare, obviously already anticipating Rosalie's answer.
"Blame Edward." She said with a shrug, gathering her things and walking over to Alice, the towel left forgotten back on the branch.
"I'm ready now." She continued, ignoring Alice's eye roll.
Alice said nothing as they trekked through the woods and away from the hidden meadow. "Next time, I'm just going to leave you." Alice threatened climbing into the driver's seat of her car.
Rosalie didn't answer, simply staring out the window of the passenger side having heard the empty threat countless times before.
Edward continued the familiar dance by adding, "I'll watch the clock next time." With only one, "See that you do," from Alice, the dance was over and they rode in silence.
They raced through the sleepy town to get to their favorite diner, the one they ate at nearly everyday.
"My parents are in Greece. Jasper's gone with them this time." Rosalie said quietly, not taking her eyes of truck's window to the outside world.
Alice sighed a nearly inaudible sigh. Rosalie's parents never wanted children, that much was obvious from their lifestyle. Every month they travelled to a new place and every month they left Rosalie and her twin brother, Jasper, alone in a giant house on top of the cliff overlooking the tiny town. Sometimes, the twins were happy to have the house to themselves. They took it as a time to host parties or order takeout for every meal and give their cooks some time off. More often though, they were left feeling like the abandoned children they were. Of course, they didn't show it. The twins were well aware that their successful parents and massive mansion left them very little to complain about. Still, Rosalie would retreat into herself, as she was doing now. Especially with Jasper having gone with her parents, which was rare, she would be completely alone in the mansion.
The car pulled to a stop outside the restaurant. Alice sighed and shut off the engine. Rosalie continued to look out the window, paying no notion to the lack of movement.
"I'm sleeping at your house tonight." Alice announced, removing the keys from the ignition, but not moving to get out of the car.
They sat there in silence, waiting from some response. Rosalie didn't seem as though she heard or cared.
Alice looked over at Edward, concern in her eyes and he shrugged, about to open the door to get Rosalie out of the car. Alice quickly shook her head and turned back to Rosalie, Edward's hand frozen on the door handle as he watched them.
She snapped her fingers forcefully until Rosalie turned, a blank stare and confusion on her face.
"Sorry?" She questioned slowly, looking around as if she just came out of a long sleep.
"Don't be sorry." Alice said sharply. "I'm sleeping over tonight. But first, we're eating here so shape up."
The change was almost remarkable. It was as if Rosalie was suddenly coming out of slow motion. She held her head up and put on a beautiful smile for Alice.
"That's my girl." Her eyes didn't change with her expression, though. They still reflected the sadness and loneliness that Alice and Edward could sense inside of her.
Edward quickly slid out of the car, intent on opening her door and encircling her in his arms. Before he could open her door, she quickly got out and strode past him into the diner.
Alice appeared next to him then and they watched Rosalie glide into the restaurant without a word. When the door closed, Alice let out a huge sigh and seemed to deflate.
"Must be hard being a teenage mother." He joked quietly, glancing at Alice to see her eyes closed; she looked so tired, caring for Rosalie's constant mood swings was starting to wear her down.
At the comment, her eyes shot open and the tired look was replaced by a more practiced, stern look. She didn't say anything, just walked forward to join their friends.
Emmett McCarty had been eating his burger, his arm protectively around his girlfriend when the door to the diner swung open and in walked Rosalie Hale.
Her eyes scanned the room and when they met his, she shot him a little wave with a coy smile. He shot his head to the side, but his girlfriend, Angela, had her eyes on the burger she was trying to eat. Noticing this, his eyes shot back up to meet Rosalie's and she motioned to the back door of the diner.
"Sweetheart, I'll be right back I just need to use the bathroom." Emmett said to Angela and she nodded sweetly, so trusting of her long time boyfriend.
Angela could never have imagined that her boyfriend had the ability to betray her. In her head, they were pre-engaged, not just dating. She realized it wasn't practical to get engaged in high school which was the only reason why she assumed that they were waiting.
Emmett strode across the diner, but before he made it to the bathroom a delicate hand shot out and grabbed him by the shirt, pulling him out the backdoor.
"Did you miss me?" Rosalie asked, pulling him playfully into the alley.
Emmett still could not believe, even two months later, that anyone half as beautiful as Rosalie Hale would want anything to do with him.
"Em." She demanded. Emmett never let anyone, not even Angela, call him Em. He thought it was a childish and feminine name, not masculine like Emmett. Emmett was who he was since grade school. But out of Rosalie's mouth it was heaven. He wasn't himself when he was with Rosalie so it was only fitting that he would get a new name with her too.
"Yes, I missed you very much." He answered gruffly, preoccupied by the sight of her tongue darting out to wet her lips.
A wicked grin spread across her face while she took note of where his eyes had drifted to. She considered the boy standing before her carefully. He was gorgeous, that was obvious. Curly brown hair falling into piercing blue eyes which met her gaze as he looked straight at her, taking in her angelic appearance.
"Rosalie, this is wrong." He said slowly, glancing back at the door that would take him into the diner and back to Angela.
The grin dropped from Rosalie's face. She quickly took Emmett's face in her hands and raised her lips to meet his. They were met with no resistance as Emmett wrapped his noticeably large arms around her waist and pulled her closer. His guilt was shoved away by desire as Rosalie moaned softly against his mouth. Too soon for him, she pulled back and rested her forehead against his chest. She could feel his heart beating a mile a minute and reached up to place a lazy kiss against his neck.
"You can't come over tonight. Alice is sleeping over." He groaned quietly, not wanting to spend the night without her. "We still have Sunday, baby." She said softly, listening to his heartbeat slow as he regained control. "See you then." She pulled back from him and fixed her hair before walking back into the diner.
Edward eyed Rosalie suspiciously as she joined them at the table.
"Have fun?" He teased her only to be met with a glare.
"It's the bathroom, Edward."
Emmett walked back into the diner a moment later, joining Angela at their booth. Angela looked up at her boyfriend, frowning when she saw his eyes linger on Rosalie Hale. She couldn't deny that Rosalie was gorgeous, but Emmett really shouldn't be looking at her like that.
"Hi, sweetheart." Angela said to get Emmett's attention back on her. He turned back to her, devotion written on his face.
From her booth, Rosalie looked over at Emmett deep in conversation with his girlfriend. "Rose, I asked you a question." Edward said sharply to her. She didn't like the knowing look he gave her.
"And I didn't hear it." She responded sharply, turning back to him. His green eyes lit up in amusement.
"I guess your mind is just on…other things today." He commented dryly, leaning back in the booth.
She resisted the urge to slap the smug smile off his face. "I guess." She said, her face twisting in anger as the glare threatened things to Edward that she didn't need to say out loud.
Alice watched the pair of them with relative disinterest. Her gaze wandered around the diner, barely landing on any particular group before moving to look at the next.
At Angela and Emmett's table, she paused. It was obvious to her that Emmett and Rosalie were fooling around, but she couldn't quite grasp how it had happened. Alice had known Emmett since they were kids. He was always a good kid, holding her hand, standing up to bullies, and playing the prince to her princess. Growing up, he remained that kind hearted guy which is why he was eventually drawn to Angela, the nicest girl Alice knew.
Unfortunately, that was all that could be said of Angela. She was nice but not particularly interesting. Alice had tried on various occasions to befriend the girl out of respect for her and Emmett's relationship, but she simply could not hold a conversation. Emmett and Angela worked though in a way that Emmett and Rosalie didn't.
"Quit checking out Tanya." Rosalie's voice sharply cut through Alice's memories, bringing her back to the pair sitting across from her.
Edward rolled his eyes but took them off of the strawberry blonde across the diner. Rosalie moved closer to him in the booth, almost prompting an eye roll from Alice. Almost, but not quite. Instead she excused herself from the booth to use the bathroom.
With her gone, Edward turned to Rosalie. "So you can go make out with Emmett McCarty but God forbid I even glance at Tanya Denali who, might I add, is single?" Edward demanded to know of her, his hand resting on the back of the booth.
"Correct." Rosalie said simply, crossing her arms. "Oh, and you're sleeping over my house tonight, too." She added, waving her hand in a premature dismissal to his objections.
"You know I can't." He sighed having had this fight many times before. She placed one of her hands on his chest and leaned closer. His green eyes were mesmerized as he looked at her. "Of course you can." She spoke softly, begging with her own eyes.
The pleading in them was real. Edward wasn't stupid, he knew that Rosalie had the ability to play him like a harp but he also knew her, a product of a ten year friendship. She may want to think that the play was a power trip, but he recognized the actual loneliness in her eyes.
He sighed again, losing the fight before it even started.
Rosalie sat back in the seat, a triumphant smile on her face as Edward allowed his arm to drop over her shoulder, protectively. He looked over to Emmett to see if the prick was paying attention, but he was mindlessly in conversation with his girlfriend.
Edward happened to notice Tanya though as her blue eyes took in his arm around Rosalie's shoulder. He made no attempt to move it or brush it off. You would think people would be used to it by now. Rosalie moved in closer to him, sipping on her shake gently, her eyes on the table and not the people in the diner for once.
"Edward's sleeping over tonight, too." Rosalie announced the second Alice returned to the table, springing back to life. Alice noted Edward's arm around Rosalie and nodded, expecting no less from her.
Alice had joined Edward and Rosalie's friendship later in life, after the boundaries of their relationship had been established. Well, whatever boundaries there were.
Alice didn't try to understand how they operated, only rolled with whatever they said. One night they were snuggling and holding each other like a pair of newlyweds and the next Edward was leading a girl back to his room as Rosalie looked on indifferently. But they always returned to each other.
Rosalie nuzzled further into Edward's chest, not wanting to look up at Emmett and Angela. She didn't like him with her, but Rosalie was undeniably not ready for a relationship. With her eyes closed, she didn't notice Edward's eyes return to Tanya, although Alice did.
Why Edward encouraged Rosalie was beyond Alice's grasp on their relationship so she left it alone. That was the only way anyone could be friends with the two of them, by letting them be them. Many had tried to befriend the pair, but the questions about their relationship had soon followed and they fell out of Rosalie's grace and thus, the school's.
Rosalie opened her eyes and sat up in the seat on no cue that Alice could tell. "When do we get to leave?" She asked her friends, bored by the familiar red walls of the diner and cheesy 50s songs playing in the background.
"Can't you sit still for two seconds." Edward teased, pulling on her blonde hair. Rosalie moved away from him, annoyed now.
"Maybe I just don't want to."
Alice ignored the two of them again. Rosalie would get over this latest problem soon enough. Before Rosalie could get too far into the petty fight with Edward, Royce King walked into the diner and Rosalie perked up, pulling away from Edward's arm which fell off her shoulder and back to his side.
Royce made his way over to their table, his eyes locked on Rosalie who was currently playing with her milkshake straw, prodding the rapidly melting ice cream.
"Hi, Rosalie." He said, his hands going into his pockets as he observed Edward's glare.
"Hi, Royce." She beamed up at him, distracting Emmett from his conversation with Angela.
Emmett hated when Rosalie looked at other guys like that, but he prided himself in being the only guy that she actually did anything with. Although he did have to pride himself silently.
"Are you going to the football game tonight?" Royce asked Rosalie, his chest practically puffing from his pride. His status as the quarterback earned him a lot of respect in their small California high school.
Before she could answer, Edward stepped in.
"We're actually going back to her house after this." Edward emphasized the we implying more than Rosalie cared for.
A frown etched her face as she looked at Edward but her smile was back as she looked at Royce.
"Actually," She began, drawing out the word, "I'm thinking of going tonight. Gotta support the team after all." She winked at Royce and he beamed down at her, pleased to see her happy.
Rosalie had Royce had dated for nearly a week, a record for Rosalie, before she got sick of him and broke up with him to move onto different things. But, if he was back in Rosalie's good graces, there was a chance they could get back together, something that Royce had become obsessed with.
At her words, Edward stood up and left the table. He loved Rosalie but she was a real pain. Roping every guy she could imagine along and allowing them nothing. He made his way to Tanya's table, sliding in the booth next to her.
"Mind if I join?" Tanya giggled, shaking her head. Her friends got the memo and muttered quickly about going to the bathroom before exiting.
"You know, I have been watching you all night." He said, sliding his arm around her.
"I did notice that, yes." She said with a laugh.
Edward couldn't help but compare her eyes to Rosalie's clear blue ones, but he stopped himself before comparing further. Tanya came up short when compared to Rosalie. But then again, almost any girl did.
"Why don't you give me your number and we could get some food or catch a movie sometime." He said, passing his phone to her.
She smiled, putting her number in.
"I look forward to hearing from you." She said, smiling even more and leaning in.
"Well, don't." Rosalie's voice snapped near Edward's ear. She was standing over the booth with her arms crossed, her voice sharp.
Royce stood at their old booth still, pretending to be interested in whatever Alice was saying while his entire body faced Rosalie and Edward.
Rosalie grabbed Edward's arm before Tanya could say anything, marching him past Alice and out of the diner.
"What the hell was that." Edward fumed, ripping his arm out of her grasp once they were outside.
"You shouldn't be talking to other girls." She said petulantly, crossing her arms.
"And why is that? Or is one just not enough, I need at least three right. Emmett, Royce, and I guess I'm lucky number three on your list."
"Don't be ridiculous. You're the one that I actually picked to be my friend." She rolled her eyes like this was an obvious compliment.
"So what are they then? Nothing?" Edward demanded.
"They are nothing and even if they were something they would continue to be none of your business." And that was the end of that. She pushed past him and sat in the car, waiting. Luckily, that was the moment that Alice came outside, having seen them leave.
"Let's go." She said, commenting on nothing that happened inside.
Alice had seen it a thousand times, their little games and didn't care to discuss them.
The radio was playing the same mindless music that the diner had been and Rosalie flipped through the stations, not really paying attention to the songs as she flipped by them. Alice drove straight to Rosalie's house, the massive mansion on a cliff overlooking their town. Rosalie didn't talk much about her parents but Alice had gathered some information over the years.
Her mother owned a chain of restaurants that Rosalie actively avoided going to in town and her father was constantly travelling with his pharmaceutical company. They travelled for work and fun, but never with Rosalie and rarely with Jasper.
Jasper was Rosalie's twin but he was aspiring to a career working with one of his parents, something that Alice admired in him. She liked to think of him as the sane twin, the one who didn't find joy is fucking with people's heads. Alice missed him when he was gone and the calm that he brought to their little group.
They pulled up to the white marble mansion and got out, the view having little effect on the three of them, having seen it countless times before.
Walking up to the house Edward grabbed Rosalie's hand and she let him, grateful to feel the warmth encircle her hand. It was rougher than hers, Edward had to actually work unlike Rosalie, but she liked his hand like that.
Emmett and Royce both had soft hands and they felt different against her hand. Not as manly. Of course Edward's hands had never been on her body in the way that Emmett or Royce's hands had. She had wanted him to and he undoubtedly wanted to, but they never breached that barrier. Something about sex just felt ultimate between them, like it would change everything, which was how sex was supposed to feel, but not for Rosalie.
Her first time actually having sex was with James Novak a boy she had shared her first kiss with years before and it just felt right to lose her virginity to the same boy. A complete circle almost. She had no feelings for him, she just wanted to try it out, which was probably wrong as she was a freshman and he was a junior. But she didn't mind and it wasn't a bad memory.
With Emmett and Royce it was about the feeling; a way to starve off the loneliness for some time. With Edward she feared it would be a lot more.
So they continued with their fucked up relationship, unwilling to give up the pretense that they were just friends for anything real.
And Alice let them pretend.
She let them pretend even as she watched them crawl into bed together after a long day, Edward holding Rosalie as the tears came and kissing them off her cheeks. That was when Alice left the room.
Wandering down the cold marble hallways to find the fireplace in their living room and start it up. She didn't like watching them when they got to be too much like a couple.
Often she felt like Rosalie's mother instead of her equal, something Rosalie undoubtedly needed, but maybe not what Alice did.
When would it be her turn to have someone look at her the way Edward did Rosalie? Alice's thoughts drifted to Jasper before pulling back to Rosalie. Maybe Alice would actually look back at this mysterious person instead of turning away from the love in his eyes. Maybe she would give in to it, to the love she yearned for.
For try as Rosalie did to push everyone away, Rosalie Hale yearned for love. Alice saw it written all over her face clear as day.
From Emmett to Royce, Rosalie was looking for love and instead she was tricking these guys into loving her while she ran away only to tug them back in at the last moment.
And Edward was the same, except unlike the others he actually was Rosalie's equal. He was the one that could teach her the error of her ways if he only sought out to do so. But he didn't because he was afraid and he was tired.
Alice didn't doubt his love for Rosalie but she also could recognize that he was weary of her. She snuggled in a blanket by the fire, thinking how nice it would be to have someone to hold her at night, someone to kiss her tears away. But her tears never came.
Because there was no point but to keep moving.
Miss Mackay, the housekeeper, came into the room then, drawn in by the fire. When she saw Alice huddled in the blanket she quietly nodded and closed the door, leaving Alice alone in the massive room, the fire in her face and the wind howling in her ears.
If she listened closely, she would be able to hear Rosalie's cries faintly echoing throughout the house. But she didn't listen.
She didn't want to hear anything but her own cries tonight.