The drive back to Forks was longer than the trip to Port Angeles. Even though the car ride was silent, no one was in any hurry to get back. Bella was tired after a long day. She was far too comfortable in Rosalie's arms to move. She closed her eyes and waited for the day to be over.
Angela was quiet as she processed through what happened this evening. In the course of a couple hours her entire life had changed. At first, she wasn't sure how she felt about it. It wasn't that she was scared of Rosalie and Paul. Even though they were supernatural creatures they were nothing but nice to her. Her biggest concern was how she was suddenly thrust into this whole new world and there was nothing she could do about it. Now vampires and werewolves were a normal part of her life. She didn't blame Bella, or even Paul, for it. It was unavoidable. Even if Angela could get out, she wasn't sure she wanted to.
Paul pulled in front of Angela's house. He cut the engine and followed Angela to her front door. Bella was asleep in Rosalie's arms so they stayed in the car.
Paul climbed back into the car after saying goodnight to Angela. He glanced in the rearview mirror. "Where do you want me to go?" he asked.
"My house," Rosalie said. She watched as he tensed up. "Relax. My siblings would never hurt you. They know Bella likes you. And Carlisle and Esme would never hurt anyone."
Paul nodded and drove off to the Cullen house. Carlisle's Mercedes was sitting in the driveway when they arrived. "You going to be okay with him here?" Paul asked nodding toward the Mercedes.
"I'll be fine. He'll probably leave as soon as I walk through the door," she said bitterly.
Paul ran off into the woods back to La Push. Rosalie pulled Bella out of the back of her car. She adjusted the sleeping human so she was more comfortable. With a sigh Rosalie made her way inside her home. For the first time, she wasn't even sure if this was her home anymore. Carlisle was always gone when she was home. She saw Esme a few times but didn't talk to her much.
"Rosalie," Carlisle called as soon as she walked through the door. He was in the entryway waiting for her. Rosalie tightened her grip on Bella, unsure what was going to happen next. "Is she okay?"
"She's fine, just tired," Rosalie said wearily. She eyed her father figure. "What do you want Carlisle?"
"Can we talk?" Carlisle questioned.
"Let me put her down first," Rosalie said after a moment. Carlisle nodded and patiently waited while Rosalie took Bella upstairs to her room.
Emmett was standing outside his room after Rosalie tucked Bella in. "I'll watch her," he promised.
"Thanks," Rosalie said. Carlisle was in the same spot when Rosalie got back downstairs. "What do you want?"
Carlisle shifted uncomfortably in his spot. Something that never happened. "I'm sorry Rosalie." Rosalie looked up in shock. "I had no right to challenge your claim to Bella and… you were right. I thought about what Edward had done to Bella and… I couldn't imagine doing something like that to Esme. The thought of it makes me sick." Rosalie studied Carlisle, unsure what to say. "Did you know Esme hasn't spoken to me since that night?"
"No," Rosalie said finally.
"She's angry at me for siding with Edward," Carlisle continued, meeting her eyes for the first time. "I can't say I blame her."
"She sided with him too," Rosalie snapped, turning away from him.
Carlisle shook his head. "No, she sided with me," he disagreed. "She will always stand beside me, even if she doesn't like my choices, and right now she doesn't." Rosalie glared at the wall, unsure how to react. "I'm sorry Rose."
"Where is he?" Rosalie asked. She turned to face Carlisle.
"I don't know," he said honestly. "I haven't seen him since that night. He hasn't contacted me or Esme. Esme sent him away and he hasn't returned."
Rosalie studied his face for several minutes, trying to decipher whether or not he was telling the truth. "I don't trust him," Rosalie confessed. "I think he's up to something. He's getting around Alice's visions."
Carlisle frowned. "I don't understand. What is he thinking?"
"He's not," Rosalie said bluntly. "He's convinced she's his mate and I'm simply an obstacle."
Carlisle ran a hand through his hair. "I want to try and talk to him before this ends badly. Will you give me that chance?"
Rosalie was tempted to say no. To say that Edward didn't deserve another chance. But she would allow it. She would be the better person, for now.
"Fine," she agreed. "One chance. But if he comes after her…"
"I won't stop you," Carlisle promised. "I couldn't even if I wanted to." Rosalie nodded and moved toward the stairs. "Rose," Carlisle called. Rosalie stopped but didn't turn around. "I really am sorry."
"I know you are," she said. "But that doesn't change what you did."
Rosalie didn't wait for a response. She went straight to her room, where she found Emmett sitting and playing his Xbox that was now connected to her TV. "I got bored," he said sheepishly.
"How is she?" Rosalie asked, sliding into the bed beside her.
"She woke up briefly and asked where you were. Told her you were talking to Carlisle. She muttered good and went back to sleep." Emmett chuckled. "Humans are so strange."
Rosalie rolled her eyes. It wasn't humans, it was just her human. "She's been wanting me to talk to Carlisle, to make up with him."
"And did you?" Emmett asked.
"You heard," Rosalie told him. Rosalie sighed. "Yeah, I made up with him. He apologized for everything and… I don't know."
"You don't feel better about it." He paused his game and turned to Rosalie. "It's okay to still be hurt. What Carlisle did… an apology isn't going to fix that." Emmett packed up his Xbox to take back to his room. "For what it's worth, I'm glad you two made up.
"Yeah, me too," Rosalie said. And she meant it.
Rosalie spent the night watching Bella sleep. Carlisle went back to the hospital for some emergency. Alice and Jasper visited with Rosalie before going off on their own.
Around four in the morning Rosalie heard the front door open. Seconds later Esme was standing in her doorway.
"Can I come in?" Esme questioned quietly.
"Yes," Rosalie answered.
"She looks peaceful," Esme commented. She walked over to the desk chair and sat down. "How are you doing?"
"Fine," Rosalie said.
"I heard you talked to Carlisle," Esme began, testing the waters to see how receptive Rosalie would be to her.
"I did," Rosalie confirmed. Esme's shoulders slumped. Rosalie didn't want to talk to her. "He told me you were angry at him."
"I am," Esme confirmed, relaxing slightly. "I knew you weren't lying when you brought Bella here. You would never lie about something that important." Esme sighed. "Carlisle has always been blinded by Edward's faults. I finally got tired of it."
"Why didn't you say anything before?" Rosalie asked. It hurt knowing that Esme knew what Carlisle was doing and after all these decades never said anything.
Esme sighed. "I didn't see any reason to," she admitted ashamed. "Edward made some questionable choices before but never to this degree. I didn't see a reason to cause issues in our family."
"You should have said something before," Rosalie said firmly.
"I'm sorry Rosalie," Esme said softly. "You're right. I should have said something. I should have done more. And now Edward…" She sighed. "I haven't seen him."
"No one has," Rosalie said. "Alice can't see him."
"How is that possible?" Esme asked shocked.
"He knows her gift just as well as Alice does. He could easily get around her visions," Rosalie answered. "He must not be making decisions. Why, I have no idea."
"Do you think he will hurt her?" Esme asked concerned.
"He's already hurt her," Rosalie said quietly. "A year ago, I never would have thought him capable of this. Now… I don't know what he's capable of. He let her get hurt Esme. He let those men attack her. I can't forgive him for that." Rosalie sighed. "I cannot stay in this family if he is here. I won't put Bella at risk."
"Edward will not be allowed to stay if he's going to continue to put Bella's life in danger," Esme said firmly. "However, I can't speak for everyone. We can talk about it later.
Rosalie nodded. She already knew Alice, Jasper and Emmett would side with her. That meant Carlisle would be forced to cast Edward out, regardless of his personal feelings. Because they were more of a family, instead of a coven, they voted on serious issues as opposed to Carlisle telling them what to do.
"How are you doing?" Esme asked.
Rosalie froze. She hadn't thought about it. She had been so focused on Bella her feelings that she hadn't thought about herself. Not that she was bothered by it. She was fine with taking care of her mate. "I… don't know," Rosalie admitted. "I've been so focused on Bella that I haven't thought about myself."
"You need to take care of yourself," Esme scolded. "This has to be bringing up some bad memories for you."
"A little," Rosalie said honestly. "I'm okay though. I processed through my issues a long time ago."
"Look after yourself," Esme requested. "No matter how much you want to be there for Bella you are no good to her if you don't take care of yourself too."
"I will," Rosalie promised.
"I would like to spend time with her," Esme whispered. "If you'll allow it."
"It's not up to me," Rosalie said. "She makes her own choices."
"I know," Esme said. "I was simply trying to be respectful, since our relationship is a bit strained."
"Thank you," Rosalie said, grateful that Esme was at least trying.
"You've been spending time with the wolves," Esme realized. It took her until now to place the smell.
"Just one wolf," Rosalie corrected. "Paul was there for Bella when I couldn't be. He's good with her. And he imprinted on Bella's friend Angela."
Esme's eyes lit up. Wolf or not she loved to hear of others finding their soul mates. "Does Angela know…?"
"She knows everything, including what happened with Bella and Edward." Esme's eyes widened in surprise. "She wanted Angela to know, to understand our relationships a bit better. Bella told her, herself."
"She did?" Esme asked surprised. Esme remembered when Rosalie was turned. She didn't talk to anyone until Emmett was turned two years later. Even then it took time for her to open up.
"She wanted Angela to understand our relationship a bit better," Rosalie explained. "To understand why we were so close."
Esme nodded. It made sense. A human would never understand vampire mating. Even she struggled with it at times, especially in the beginning. "It's good that Bella has someone, a human someone to confide in."
Rosalie nodded. "It is good that she has Angela. She refuses to talk to her father abut any of this. She doesn't want him to worry."
"He will always worry. He's a father," Esme said softly. "She shouldn't hide this from him."
"She won't tell," Rosalie repeated. "If she did, Charlie would want to investigate. I killed those men Esme. Bella won't risk Charlie finding out about my involvement."
Esme nodded. As much as it pained her Rosalie was right. Charlie could never know not without telling him about their family. "How is she doing?"
"She's strong," Rosalie said. "She won't say she's struggling but I can see it in her eyes. Paul and Angela are good for her. So is Jasper."
"You're jealous," Esme noted.
"Jasper does so much for her. He helps her more than I can and it kills me," Rosalie admitted.
"Jasper is better at emotions then everyone," Esme said. "You can't be upset that Jasper can reach her in a way that you can't. She may rely on Jasper but it's you that she needs."
Rosalie didn't respond. Esme's words made sense but she didn't like it. "She's going to Seattle with Emmett today," Rosalie informed Esme. "I don't know if she'll want to go home after but if not, you could spend time with her."
Esme's face lit up. "Thanks. I'll make her dinner." She stood. "I'll leave you alone. I have a meal to prepare."
Rosalie sighed. She shouldn't have said anything. If Bella decided she didn't want to spend time with Esme. Esme would be crushed. Still Esme had been so excited about Bella joining the family back when she thought Bella was Edward's mate.
She would leave it up to Bella to decide. It was her choice. It would always be her choice. If Bella didn't want to see Esme she wouldn't make her. Not that she thought it would happen. Bella was too nice.
She gently pushed the hair out of Bella's face. Her mate was such a restless sleeper. Rosalie straightened out the blankets, tucking them around Bella so she wouldn't get cold. She closed her eyes and pretended she was sleeping.
It didn't work. She couldn't shut off her brain no matter how much she wished she could. She could, however, focus on the sound of Bella's heartbeat and tune out the rest of the world. She could hear her siblings moving around the house. Alice was shopping, again, this time with Jasper. Emmett was playing video games, alone now that Jasper was with Alice.
The feeling of her phone vibrating pulled Rosalie from her thoughts. She quickly retrieved it before it woke Bella. Rosalie frowned. It was an unknown number. She never received calls from unknown numbers. "Hello?"
"Rosalie, it's Paul."
"Paul," Rosalie repeated. "How did you get my number?"
"Bella," Paul answered like it was obvious. "How is she?"
"Asleep," Rosalie responded. "She seems to be okay. Is that why you called? To check on her?"
"No," Paul admitted. "I wanted to pass something along. We smelled Edward at the treaty line. He never crossed into our territory. I talked to Sam. I assured him that if Edward did break the treaty then he's acting alone."
"What was Sam's response?" Rosalie asked curious.
"He understands and knows your relationship with Edward is strained," Paul answered. "He also knows Edward is convinced Bella is his mate and is willing to do anything."
"He knows what Edward did to Bella," Rosalie said slowly.
"When we shift we can hear each other's thoughts," Paul explained. "There was no way to hide this from them. But I promise they won't say anything unless Bella says something first."
"Thanks for the warning," Rosalie said. "I will let the others know."
"Rosalie," Paul called before the vampire could hang up. "Do you think he will try to hurt her?"
"For his sake, I hope not," Rosalie said darkly.