My entry to the November/December challenge over on Novel Novice. :]
Disclaimer: Stephenie Meyer owns all. Credit to Novel Novice for the challenge.
1. Chapter 1
Rating 5/5 Word Count 1555 Review this Chapter
Title: Winter Rain
Summary: If I had been smiling or not, I was sure Emmett would say I looked like an angel.
A beautifully broken angel.
Word Count: 1490
My hand gripped the railing and I could feel my fingers leaving grooves in the wood. Esme wouldn't be happy, but at the moment I was too distracted to care.
Towering nearly three feet, give or take, from the bottom of the stairs was a massive pine tree. The usual green of its leaves was covered with silver tinsel and glowing lights. Scattered amongst the branches were various ornaments and balls, some I recognized from years past and some I did not. They weren't really what had caught my attention, anyway.
Littered beneath the tree and on top of a very attractive looking blanket were presents.
Small and big, they covered the entire expanse of the area beneath the tree and, it seemed, if they had been given the chance they would have started crawling up the stairs, too.
Another overboard Christmas.
"Hello, dear," Esme drawled, and I turned around to find her standing behind me with a concerned expression on her face. "Is everything okay?"
I nodded and gently rubbed my palm against where my hand print was now on the railing, hoping she didn't notice. "I'm fine. Just looking for Emmett. Have you seen him?"
She nodded and gestured towards the backyard with a smile. "He's out putting up lights with Carlisle."
I smiled and nodded at her, making sure my hand-print was completely gone before turning and running in the direction she had pointed. I wasn't exactly thrilled about this time of year.
It only reminded me of the past and the future that I failed to have by dying when I did.
It only reminded me of what I longed so much to have.
The voice broke me from my thoughts and I smiled, but I wasn't sure if it really looked like a smile or more like a grimace. Either way, I knew I looked beautiful. If I had been smiling or not, I was sure Emmett would say I looked like an angel.
A beautifully broken angel.
Turning, I wrapped my arms around Emmett's body and squeezed, leaning up slightly to press my lips to his chin. I felt his body vibrate as he chuckled and I felt a bubble of comfortable warmth settle in my stomach. It made me happy to see that one of us was happy.
He lifted my chin with his finger so that he could actually kiss me on the lips and then leaned back to survey me, one eyebrow quirking upwards. "You okay?"
I opened my mouth to say yes, but I knew I couldn't lie to him. So, instead, I shook my head no and laid it against his chest, listening to what I assumed was Carlisle up on the roof hanging the lights.
There was an awkward silence and I took a deep breath before saying, "I can't stop thinking about Roland." Emmett froze and I put my hand on his bicep, feeling the muscle flex there.
"I'll never forgive him for what he did to you, Rose. Not in a million years." I knew his threat was supposed to be comforting, but I couldn't even manage a fake smile.
"I know," I said. "Neither will I. I just... sometimes, it's hard for me to watch these humans at school or on the streets, and they look so happy. So happy to be human and be full of humanity and life. Don't you ever miss that, Emmett? Don't you ever miss feeling your heart beat after kissing someone, or feeling your lungs burn after you've sprinted down the block to make it home on time?"
He smiled at me, an attempt at kindness. "Of course I do. We all do."
"After what he did to me..." I took a deep breath. "I just, this time of year... it isn't my favorite. The winter always reminds me of that night and crawling through the snow to get away from him... I can only be thankful it doesn't snow here. At least, not often."
Emmett nodded. "And anything that does stick gets washed away."
I put my head back against his chest as I whispered, "I just wish it would wash my past away with it."
I heard a squeal and then the soft pitter-patter of feet running up the stairs. The sound was comfortable, if not relaxing. After having dealt with the dog and Nessie for so long, it made it unnatural for there not to be some sort of noise or commotion going on inside the house.
A small peal of laughter echoed outside my door before I heard the soft tap tap of a child's hand on the door.
"Come in," I called.
Almost immediately, a small bundle of flying brown hair had landed directly on my lap, placing her hands on my face. I smiled down at her and touched my forehead against hers as she communicated in the only way she knew no one but her father could hear.
Jacob's trying to find me so I'll tell him his present. I want to hide.
I nodded and took her hand, hoisting her up on my shoulder before taking her into the closet to look for just the hiding place I had in mind.
"Here." Reaching my hand into the back corner, behind several racks of shoes and accessories, I pulled out a large red box. On the lid was a bow, and inside was just enough space to hide Renesmee. Even though Jacob could easily find her by just listening to her heartbeat, Nessie had threatened him long ago that if he cheated like that, she wouldn't play with him anymore. The pathetic pup couldn't refuse her anything.
Even if I wished it wasn't him, she definitely deserved someone who loved her as much as he did.
Carefully, I lifted her off my hip and set her down in the box, she looked up at me curiously and I explained in a whisper that was as soft as the wind, "Hide in here. That way, if Jacob does find you, you can pop out and surprise him. It'll be like another Christmas present."
She giggled and then slapped a hand over her mouth, realizing that he probably heard her. Her free hand frantically waved in the air, motioning for me to shut the lid. I carefully did so, propping it just slightly so she would have enough air to breath and so she could get out quickly if necessary.
It was times like this when I really didn't mind the holiday season.
As soon as Nessie was secure, I left the room (leaving the door open) and made my way slowly towards the kitchen. I could smell something coming from the general direction I was heading and, though it didn't smell appetizing to me, I knew that Bella was cooking something delicious for lunch.
I walked in quietly and sat behind her. "Hello, Bella."
She looked behind her and smiled shyly. "Hey, Rose. What's up?"
"Renesmee and Jacob are playing hide and seek."
Bella laughed. "Again?"
I laughed too, tucking a strand of hair neatly behind my ear. "Aren't they always?"
She nodded and smiled, returning to the oven where she was laboring furiously over a bowl of what looked like cookie batter.
"That doesn't look very good. No offense, Bella."
She wrinkled her nose and looked back at me with a small smile on her lips. "Trust me, I know. But Renesmee loves chocolate chip cookies."
Nodding, I stepped forward and placed my hand over hers which had rested momentarily on the counter. She looked up at me, shocked, and I looked down.
"Listen, Bella," I said, leaning against the counter. My attempt to remain casual wasn't working; I could feel all of her muscles tense up in front of me. "I know that we didn't exactly... get along before Nessie. And I know we're not exactly close now. But I love her, she really is like my niece, and I love you, believe it or not. You've become the sister I've always wanted. Thank you, Bella. Thank you for never giving up on me, even though I've more than deserved it."
If vampires could cry, I was sure that Bella would have been. Her expression turned soft; tender, and she placed her free hand on top of mine now. "Of course. I think of you that way too, Rosalie."
There was an awkward pause before I removed my hand from between her two and turned to leave the room. As I did so, a loud thud came from directly above us -- mine and Emmett's room -- and a loud peal of laughter followed. Both Bella and I reveled in the happiness of the sound for a moment before I smiled at her and left the room, feeling oddly content.
I stopped for a minute to gaze out the window, and gasped. The light dusting of snow that had accumulated on the front lawn was being washed away by the rain.
And for the first time, I felt my stomach clench in anticipation, already missing the frost that was being demolished and eagerly awaiting the next.
My past truly was washed away in that winter rain.