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The Hiddin Swing

She never meant to, of course. It was an accident—an overwhelming, unstoppable, beautifully horrible accident. Their eyes meeting, their souls setting fire, the betrayal: none was ever planned or even wanted, in the end. Emmett/Rosalie/Dimitri


3. Chapter 3

Rating 5/5   Word Count 1597   Review this Chapter

Rosalie improved after that. She put effort to actually hear the conversations around her and tried to control her own responses—it was hard and she lapsed into herself more often than not, but it was better than nothing. She still refused to answer any of Emmett’s questions, but she was getting better at hiding her complete disgust with herself each time his lips touched hers.

And each night she continued to slip into the woods and flee to the swing where the world did not move, letting it pull her off the hellish place she was trapped inside.

For a minute everyone held their breath as they hoped maybe everything would return to normal. Perhaps the Old Rosy would come back. Maybe she would heal the brittle tension layered behind every silent pause.

But it was nothing more. It was like looking into a glass ball and seeing a dull surface and knowing—knowing—that there was something bright and alive on the inside. Edward sometimes glimpsed something in a moment of Rosalie’s or Alice’s laps in thought. He knew Rose was lying, that she was no better. That she was suffering more than anyone could really realize.

He was angry at both Rose and Alice. Who did they think they were? He had to sit and watch Bella and Emmett and Neisse fret and hurt over Rosalie. He saw the way the family was becoming more and more fractured by each day. Neisse worried constantly about her favorite aunt. Jacob worried about Neisse worrying. Bella worried about Rose and Neisse and Jacob. Edward worried about them all.

Worst of all, thought, was Emmett. He no longer laughed. He no longer wrestled and joked with his siblings. He sat in his room, his hands buried in his hair. More often than not, he wasn’t even home. He would slip out the front door while Rosalie fled out the back. They avoided each other a little more each day. Like humanity avoided disease.

And Edward had to hear the fruit of it all.

Was she hurt?...I’ll kill any man who laid a finger on her. But she won’t talk to me, won’t even really look at me, Emmett would constantly fret.

Esme saw it all as a relapse of the past. Just like with Edward and Bella. Worse, maybe. Oh, my children. My babies. I wish Carlisle didn’t have to work. Maybe he could fix it somehow…

Jasper rarely came to the house at all. The emotions were killing him inside and out. He usually came at night when both Rose and Em were out. And where Jasper went, Alice went. Two halves of one piece. The daylight hours were getting less populated with each passing day in the Cullen home.

It was one of the worse days where Rose had ripped herself from Emmett’s touch. Really, it shouldn’t’ve shocked Emmett so much, but he froze. Rosalie’s eyes widened for a second before she whirled around and disappeared from the house. No one knew what to do. Emse dropped her paint brush to the floor. Red splattered the wooden flooring.

Edward took a hesitant step forward to put a reassuring hand on Emmett’s shoulder. Emmett exploded. Edward recognized his intent a millisecond before it happened, but he still allowed Emmett to strike out at him. Emmett’s blow sent him flying into the couch where Bella and Neisse were frozen. Neisse yelped and Bella hauled her from Edward’s path.

Edward sighed as he sat up. He shook his head, tossing one of the couch pillows that had landed on him aside. Emmett whispered a quick, broken “Sorry,” before racing away from the house.

And still, there was nothing to say. No one knew how to break the tension or to thin the discomfort in the room. Edward merely stood up, dusted off his jeans, and wrapped Bella into his chest. He couldn’t remember the last time he’d been so grateful to have her there and warm and loving. She hadn’t been morphed into a pained goddess that gave no explanation to her sudden distaste.

That was when Alice stumbled in the room, her eyes wide and hectic.

He’s already gone. Her thoughts were more tangled than she’d ever let them be since she’d returned four months ago with the stoic Rosalie.

Edward suddenly found himself very angry. He released Bella and stood in front of Alice. Her eyes narrowed and her thoughts suddenly seemed to click off.

“You need to explain, Alice. This has gone on long enough.”

Alice eyed the room. Bella had on a hopefully yet saddened expression and Neisse was grasping Jacob’s hand tightly. Esme only looked pained as she scrubbed away the smeared paint as best she could. But they were all watching her. Alice wished she’d’ve seen this happening. If she had she wouldn’t have even come.

She shook her head stubbornly. “I can’t. I won’t,” Her lips tightened.

Edward let out an exasperated breath, “Why not, Alice?”

It was too late though. Alice whirled around and whisked upstairs, disappearing into her room.

Feeling more anger than confusion, Edward started for the stairs, but was held back by a touch of Bella. “Let me,” She murmured softly, meeting his gaze.

He lowered his head, “Help her too, if you can.”

“I’ll try,” Bella smiled sadly before racing up the stairs and down the hall.

Her knock was quiet on Alice’s door. “Alice? Can I?”

To Bella’s horror, it sounded like Alice had been trying not to cry. Her voice was broken and cracked. “Yes,”

Bella slipped in a closed the door behind her. When the door clicked closed, it made the sounds of the house and the family and the freeway disappear. As soon as she entered the room she threw up her shield, closing off the cracks of windows and doors. Lately, within the last year, she’d been working on furthering her shield to restraining physical resistance. Sound was getting easier and easier seal off if need be.

“They can’t hear us?” Alice asked from the center of her bed where she was sitting. Her hair was frazzled; if ever a vampire was going to look disoriented, it was then. Alice had too many emotions trying to cram onto her face.

“Of course. You can say whatever you want.” Bella reassured, sliding onto the edge of the bed cautiously.

Bella noticed the difference in Alice immediately—her body seemed to melt into itself. She closed her eyes and slid back into the covers of her bed, sighing long and loud. Bella thought it still sounded broken and harrowed though.

Bella sat and waited patiently, marveling at the mere sound of only hearing Alice and nothing else of the house.

At first it seemed as if Alice would say nothing, and just lay there with her eyes closed and breathing calmly. Finally though, she spoke, though it wasn’t quite what Bella had been expecting. “I haven’t seen Jasper in forty-two hours and twelve minutes. He says he can’t stand being in the house anymore. Too much confusion, too much hurt, too much emptiness, yet he says it’s too full at the same time. I hate seeing him so confused, and he knows it.” Alice rolled on her stomach and looked up at Bella from where half her face was pressed into her pillow. Bella was almost scared by what she saw in Alice’s eyes—she saw guilt and, under that, loneliness. “I’m sorry,” Alice whispered.

“It’s not your fault,” Bella instantly pressed, reached out to sooth the mess of Alice’s pixy hair. “None of it—”

Alice cut her off, “Yes it is! It is, Bella. I could take away the confusion. I could make everyone understand…”

“…but,” Bella prompted, feeling like maybe she was about to make progress. It was a dime hope, but a hope none the less.

“but…that path leads to just as much heartache, just as much pain. We have to be patient. All in time…” With that, Alice flipped her head to the other side and fell quiet again.

Bella sat back. She knew that was all she was going to get out of Alice, but she stayed in the room just to give Alice so peace. She knew that as long as she was in the room, Alice didn’t have to watch her every thought every waking moment. For now, she would be Alice’s relief.