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Angel's Shelter

Summary:
Rosalie was left broken and bleeding in the street. When she was changed, her body was healed, but the wounds in her soul were left to fester. Emmett loves her with all his considerable might. Can he reach past the pain to heal her heart? Image Hosted by ImageShack.us Banner by the amazing Iris!


Notes:
One-shot Rosalie/Emmett. Read and review, and I'll review for you. Emmett will bring you a grizzly bear!


2. Rosalie's POV

Rating 5/5   Word Count 2196   Review this Chapter

His cheerful call, the sweet beloved tone of his voice, interrupted my grim remembrances. "Hey, Rose!"

I smiled as I replied. "What is it, Emmett?"

He speaks so sweetly and softly, so gently and kindly, with words as full of love as his heart. "Rose, it's only been a year since you saved my life. I apologize if I'm bein' too forward, but… you're the most beautiful woman I've ever known."

I knew how damn beautiful I am. I didn’t need to hear it again. I muttered to myself, "I don't need one more person to tell me that." Especially not him.

His response is careful. "Inside and out, Rose. Not just that face of yours, though it's somethin'. Look, Rose, I know you ain't happy. I just wish you'd tell me why. I want to help you."

He can’t know. I can’t tell him. He’ll hate me. "I can't."

"I love you."

I am shocked. Floored. I cannot find words. "What?"

He drops to one knee and produces a ring. Seeing him like that, so vulnerable, stirs my heart. "I love you, Rose. Will you marry me?"

I am silent for a moment. I really don’t want to have to say, don’t want him to know. I want to be loved, but mostly I want to be loved by him. "I can't."

His voice is sad. I have broken his heart. "Why not? I thought you said you and Edward…"

I scoff, almost laugh. What a ridiculous idea. "Don't be silly. He's nothing more to me than an extremely annoying little brother."

He seems even more downcast. "Someone else, then? Or is it just that you don't care for me?"

Instinctively, I blurt out the words I’ve been keeping within myself for so long- for too long. "Oh, no. No, Emmett. No one. I… I love you too."

His dark eyebrows narrow, and his beautiful eyes flare into something akin to rage. Somehow, his anger frightens me. It isn’t just that I might lose him- because I can’t do this. It’s a deeper fear, tied to the root of my inhibitions. He is a gigantic man. I have never been afraid of him before, but now… he is not laughing. "Don't lie to me, Rose… Rosalie. We can still be friends."

I am desperate in my terror. Using my name fully reminds me again of him. "No! Emmett, I'm not lying to you."

He seems skeptical. "Why, then? I know you're so beautiful, and I'm sorry if I…"

There is no way around it. I have to tell him. "Let me explain."

His voice is gentle again, like a trainer with a spooked animal. He senses my terror and need. "All right."

The fear fades. How ridiculous to believe he would ever hurt me. "Come on, stand up. Come sit with me. I can't stand to watch you kneel there."

It is very unpleasant, seeing him on his knees, begging. For something I cannot give him no matter how much I want to. He is silent for a moment, but finally stands, following me to the couch.

I am afraid as I begin to speak. "I can't marry you because I'm not good enough. You're so kind and good, and I'm not. I'm a dirty, vile monster…"

He is so gentle and regretful and loving. "Rose. Oh, my Rose. Who told you that? They're so wrong. You are beautiful, and kind, and strong. I adore you, Rose. You are an angel. And in case you're forgetting, I'm a monster too."

I am furious at this recollection of my selfishness. I damned the one I love to this hideous cursed existence. "Don't remind me!"

He places his arm around my shoulder. It is meant as simple comfort. "Hell, I'm sure glad you changed me, Rose. I'd be dead otherwise."

I rejoice in his touch. I should. I am being held by the man I want to spend eternity with. And yet being embraced brings back a nauseating swirl of memories. "Emmett, move your arm. Please. I'm sorry." I phrase my request as carefully as possible, yet I know it will still hurt him.

And it does, clearly it does. I hate myself for it but the terror is still there. And yet his voice is so sweet, encouraging. "Won't you tell me?"

I am afraid. "You'll hate me." How could he not?

His voice, though, is steady, sure, absolute. It convinces me. "Never. Nothing could make me do that. I love you." I will tell him, just for those three words

I stammer out the truth in my shameful embarassment. "I can't marry you because… I know times have changed, but still… I'm not… I can't… Emmett… I'm not a virgin."

He seems almost… relieved. Like he’s glad it’s not something worse. As if there is anything worse! How could he be so forgiving? What could I have done to deserve him? And he is teasing again, smiling. "Hell, Rose, you think I give a damn? It's 1940 now, not the dark ages. I just wish I knew the lucky fella. Mind if I kill him for ya?"

That strikes home. I close my eyes, the eyes of a monster. "I already did."

This, unlike the other epiphany, shocks him. He knows I am no killer. "Rose?"

My voice is quieter still. I almost hope he will not hear, though he deserves to know. "All of them."

He seems nonchalant, uncaring, casual, but I know he just wants me to tell him. "How many?"

Even quieter now, I whisper the disgraceful truth. "Seven."

A heavy silence stretches between us. I can hear his accusations. Slut. Tramp. Whore. No good. Scarlet girl. There are hundreds of names for that. I am ashamed. So ashamed. And I feel his disgust, still worse. He hates me now, and he has every right. I feel him shift away from me, and I am desperate. I would rather he think me vile than weak, perhaps, rather his loathing than the agony of recounting his shame, but I cannot suffer his despite.

I break the silence, terrified. "Not like that, Emmett. Maybe I should have said this part first, but I'm so afraid. It's so hard."

And his voice is strained, pained, but still reassuring, filled with love though I am repulsive. "You can trust me."

I must be almost inaudible. "I was engaged to a man named Royce. My parents were so happy. I was beautiful and young, and so happy. He was handsome and good to me and so happy. So very happy. I was walking back from a friend's house. We'd been planning my wedding, and I was looking forward to having everyone's eyes on me. And then… I walked past seven men, drunk, well-dressed. One of them was Royce. He called me over to them, and I went. They… he… I…" I can’t say it. Can’t say the words. I rock back and forth against the couch, wrapping my arms tight around my torso.

He is horrified, as I knew he would be. He will never love me again, he will run screaming from my presence. "You don't have to say it, Rose. Did he…"

I stutter out the monosyllabic confirmation of my shame. "Them."

He is gentle again, voice soft. Yet the smile I love is missing. "All of them?"

How I hate myself. I want nothing more than to be what he thought I was, than to deserve him, than to love him, yet I am defiled. Filthy. Awful. I do not deserve Emmett. "Yes. That's why I was changed. Carlisle found me after, dying on the street… Oh, Emmett. I'm sorry. I wish I was someone who you could love. Not filthy..."

He is angry, furious. I can tell right away. I brace myself… maybe he will hate me enough that he will strike me. I know he is a good man, but even gentle Emmett can only take so much, and he’s just discovered that the one he thought he loved is little better than a whore. "Rose, oh, Rose, I'm so sorry. If he weren't dead already, I'd kill him. All of those, those, those bastards. But him most painfully. How could they do that to you?"

I flinch in surprise. He doesn’t hate me? It seems the impossible is true. "You're so kind. Too kind. I thought…" I trail off, not wanting to offend him with my suspicions.

Teasing, always teasing. My light-hearted love. "I think, Miss Cullen, that I'm a touch offended. You didn't want to marry me because you thought I'd hate you? What kind of man would that make me, to love you any less cause of what someone did to you? Cause you didn't do anything, Rose. I know who the real monsters are. And now I know how much you need me… Almost as much as I need you. Please, Rose, say you will."

It is the sweetest thing I have ever heard. My vestigial heart swells, almost bursts. I am confused by his final sentence, though. What is he talking about? What can I give him? "Will what?" I enquire, feeling dumb in addition to dirty.

He is hopeful. "Marry me."

I take a deep breath. If he can love me after what I did, I can do this for him. He still wants me. I can give myself to him. "I'll try."

His accent becomes thicker. It may be because of emotion or just because he knows how much I love it. How much I love him. "It's real hard for you, ain't it, Rose? Lovin' me? You're scared?"

I smile coolly, emptily. He sees right through me. "Yes. It scares me stiff."

Gently, cautiously, he strokes my face. It is so sweet. The terror is containable, and the urge to flee and punch and scream is not as strong as the urge to hold him close and never let him go. "I won't never hurt you, Rose. I love you. Forever."

I trust him. I believe him. My gentle giant. And he places one hand on either side of my face and drops his head down to mine, pressing his lips against mine. He kisses me so very softly. It isn’t pain… it isn’t fear. It is love. And that is enough for me to return the kiss.

I move closer to him, snuggling into his arms. There is nothing to fear, I tell myself. He will never hurt me. He loves me. He protects me. And his arms are not a prison. They are a shelter. "I believe you. That's nothing like how he used to kiss me."

He is joking again, laughing with relief. "Well, you don't have to worry 'bout somethin' happenin' to you again. Think anyone'd mess with my girl?"

And I am happy enough to join in the fun. "Not likely, Emmett." But abruptly, he breaks off laughing and spins me in his lap. He looks straight into my eyes, right down into my soul.

"Rose, look. I will never hurt you, or allow you to be hurt. I know you're a vampire, and strong, but still I will protect you. I love you very much, Rose. I will always keep you safe. You can trust me, you can count on me." His voice is so sweet and gentle and loving and I adore it and I adore him.

I smile up at him and say the truest words I ever have. "I do."

He follows with a few awkward sentences. Obviously, they imply a sacrifice for my very physical darling. "And… Rose, I understand if you're not… not ready for some of the… the things that go with marriage. If you don't want to, that's all right."

Faltering, unreasonably terrified, I make another small sacrifice. A small one. I love him, after all. It will be scary, but I know he will never hurt me. "I can try."

He chuckles and traces my face. "Rose…"

There is a silence, but it is not awkward. It is gentle. Beautiful. Like him.

"I love you. You are an angel."

"I need you. You are my shelter." I hold him closer and he protects me from the world and from myself.

Clinging together.

Needing.

Loving.

One.

Beauty and strength.

The broken angel has found shelter.