Bella Ramora, a common southern girl, claims to be the daughter of billionaire wife, Esme Cullen, wife of Carlisle Cullen, oil tycoon and president of C.E., Cullen Enterprise. Carlisle and Esme already have four kids: Edward(19), Emmett(15), Rosalie(17), and Alice(14). Rosalie is the same age as Bella, which causes the Cullen family to doubt Bella's claims. Will deep, dark family secrets unravel to bring light to Bella's claims or will she be cast out of her new life of privilege when family secrets reach the surface.
Wow! Some shocking revelations! I can't wait to see what happens next!
Holy..... words I can't say on this site. This is so... capturing. It holds onto you and pulls you in like quick sand in the middle of a forest. It's beautiful and amazing and filled with so much family drama that I could only dream about. Your writing is something I wish I could do with my stories... It's wonderful.
I wonder how things will play out when Carlisle finally finds out about the affiar Esme had with his brother. Will Rose open her mouth and tell him? Or will Esme stop with all the lies and let the truth be reveled for the first time in years? And what about Emmett? First of all, YAYYYYY HE'S ALIVE.... sorta. I love him and I just cannot wait for him to be brought into the story as someone in the household. I love that you made it possible for Edward to cry. That's a change from S.M's vampires and its kind of cool. The way he crys tears of blood, like the devils fountian of achievements. It's powerful to know that a man who was so rock solid and tough is still able to cry when he sees his mother in pain. It's a dramitc add in to the story.
Although very problematic, I love this family of Cullens. I can sense that even though most of the realtionships are built and based off of total lies, the family is still rather close at heart.
Great job writing, Strangeling.
I'm on the edge of my seat waiting for the next entry of Lie To Me
hey Envy I'm glad you're enjoying the story! =D
I am fascinated with this story. I really don't want to finish until I know you are updating again but i can't stop, lol. Have to finish reading.
Chapter 16 Running in the Night
That night, I was feeling so horrible, so depressed. I couldn’t fall asleep. I kept picturing Esme running away, her huge belly sticking out of her coat, on her way to destroy her unborn babies. And one of those babies was me. I pictured her giving birth, screaming, and surrounded by expressionless nuns waiting to take Rose and me away.
I pictured two little twin girls, holding hands, one brunette and one blonde. Me and Rosalie. We had grown up apart, and now Rosalie wishes I were never born.
I turned on my side, in the bed. Last thing she wanted was to talk to me. Now that she knows about Esme’s affair, I doubt she would want to talk to her, either. Tears fell onto my powder pink silky pillow’s slip. I got up and stepped out into the dark hallway.
I mindlessly walked to Edward’s room, taking the walk of death and doom, and opened his door. He was lying in his bed, turned towards the wall. I stood over him. I didn’t say anything, just sobbed.
He turned over, and reached to turn on his lamp.
“What are you doing in here?” he asked.
“I want you to kill me,” I sobbed.
I got closer to the bed, and he scooted up against the headboard, horrified, as if I was the monster. I climbed onto his bed, and his eyes widened. He grabbed my shoulders and held me away from his face.
“You don’t want this. Trust me,” he said.
“Anything is better than what I’m feeling right now. Take me out, quick and painless. I have caused so much trouble and no one wants me here. I want to die.”
“You don’t mean that,” he said, struggling against me. “You’re emotional. None of what happened is your fault.”
“But, I’m the catalyst to it all.”
“That’s true, but Mom’s demons would have caught up to her, sooner or later, in some other form. That’s just how life works.”
“But they didn’t. I brought them. I did. It’s all my fault. And now we’re all suffering because of me.”
“Bella, no.” He flung me off the bed. I rolled over the floor and bumped my head against the door of the closet. “I’m sorry,” he said. “You gave me no choice. Are you okay?”
I rubbed my head,”I’m fine.”
“Bella, you have to stop blaming yourself,” he said. “We’re all a part of this, not just you. If I can keep it together, I know you can.”
“Says the vampire. No offense, Edward, but you sort of have a supernatural advantage over me.”
“You don’t want to die,” he said, seriously.
“You don’t know what I want,” I stood up. “Don’t put words in my mouth.”
Edward paused. “I’ll try not to put words in your mouth,” he said. “Let’s go for a walk.”
I looked at him, blankly. “Now?”
“It’s pitch black, outside. Oh yeah, and there’s that vampire problem.”
“I’ll protect you,” he said, with a half smile.
His gaze softened, and we locked eyes. I was pulled into the deep pools of liquid gold. “Okay,” I said, monotonously.
We went out in our pajamas. We stayed in the foyer.
“This isn’t outside,” I said.
“It’s really dangerous, out there.”
“You said you’d protect me.”
“I did, didn’t I.”
We went farther out. The grass was lightly glazed over with snow, and the wind felt nice against my cheek. We walked to the gazebo, which was only a mile from the main house.
“How did you become a vampire?” I asked. He shrugged.
“I was driving home, one night, because I waited too long to leave baseball practice. I crashed my car and I thought I had hit something or someone. I got out to check it out and to check out the damage done to my car. I was furious. Then, suddenly, I was surrounded by vampires. They all fed from me. It’s amazing I survived,” he chuckled. “I didn’t go home, that night. I stayed away for almost two years, until I felt I could control my thirst. Then, I went home. I told my parents I had run away at first, until I gained the courage to tell them what really happened.
One night, I was going out to… feed. Emmett, being the annoying little brother he is, decided to follow me. I was in frenzy mode. I was feeding on a deer when I heard his feet crunching leaves. I saw him and I just went into a rage. It didn’t matter who he was. It didn’t matter that I knew his face and that he was my little brother. It was like he had no face. He didn’t have a chance.
Next, I saw him on the ground, bleeding out into the earth. His scared, pleading expression is what made me gather my senses. I looked at what I had done to him, and I wanted to rip out my own neck.” Edward’s hands balled up into fists.
“I hated myself for what I did to him. I’ve hated myself, ever since. I couldn’t face what I did, so I took him and I tried to keep him alive. I couldn’t let him die. But I couldn’t let Mom and Dad know what a monster I had become, either.
We were okay for a while. I fed him things like rats, mice, and raccoons, squirrels. He wanted something bigger. He complained a lot. One night, I returned to him so we could hunt together like we always did, but he wasn’t Emmett anymore. He must have gotten out and attacked somebody, because… because…” he stopped. He couldn’t go on. Edward was fighting back tears really well. But one escaped, a droplet of blood streamed down his angular face. Then suddenly, he gasped. His eyes got big, and his mouth gaped open. I jumped back,
And saw the arrow through his chest.
“No!” I screamed. Edward grabbed the arrow with both hands, and yanked it out of his body. Then, another arrow hit him, above the knee. I jumped out infront of him, in a protective way. I looked around, but couldn’t see anyone.
Then, Jasper appeared out of the trees. He looked at us, then he rose his bow.
“Get back, Bella,” Jasper said. “You’re making me miss my target.”
I shook my head.
“Suit yourself,” Jasper said. Another arrow glided through the air, from Jasper’s bow. I ducked, got down on the ground, and it grazed Edward’s shoulder.
“Jasper, stop it,” I yelled.
Jasper lowered his bow to his side and walked up to the gazebo. Edward was on the ground. Jasper aimed his next arrow at Edward.
“Jasper, don’t,” I begged.
“What are you going on about?” Jasper asked. “This was the plan, wasn’t it? You lure him out for me, so I can finally kill him.”
Edward positioned himself between the beams of the gazebo. Jasper had just missed his heart.
“Things changed,” I said.
“Get out of the way, Bella,” Jasper said, in a bored voice.
“No,” I refused. I got right infront of Edward. “You kill him, you kill me.”
“Don’t be stupid,” Jasper said, rolling his eyes.
“Bella, listen to him,” Edward said. “Let him do his job.”
“No,” I said.
“Bella, I want to die,” Edward said, looking me in the eyes.
“No. I won’t let you, just like you didn’t let me.”
Edward pulled the arrow out of his thigh, and snarled. I jumped back, afraid. He jumped over the rail, and snatched Jasper’s bow and snapped it in half.
He threw it on the snowy ground. Jasper and Edward were inches away from each other, growling and snarling at each other.
“Oh no,” I breathed.
I watched from the gazebo, alone. I knew trying to stop them would be instant suicide.
Jasper turned around and ran. Edward took off after him. I hesitated, before leaving the gazebo and going after them. They were a blur, and I could barely keep up, but I kept running, hoping that they would eventually stop, or atleast slow down. I lost them, but I kept running.
I came into a wide, open space, a clearing, surrounded by trees. Jasper turned around and punched Edward in the neck. Edward went flying across the clearing and landed in some bushes.
He walked over and dragged Edward out by his foot. Edward flipped into the air, and kicked Jasper in his jaw. I watched as his face cracked from his chin, up to his bottom left eyelid. Jasper screamed and punched Edward multiple times in his chest. Edward’s chest was cracking with every punch, and a dust like substance was coming out of him. Edward fell over.
Jasper went and pulled a branch from a tree. I ran out into the clearing.
“Time to finish you off,” Jasper said. He tried to stab Edward with the branch, but Edward reached his hand out and caught it. They were fighting over it. Edward rolled onto Jasper, but Jasper had the upper hand. He had the sharp point of the branch pointed at Edward’s heart. I ran over to them. I reached for the branch and tried to take it from them.
“Bella, get back!” Edward shouted.
“You can’t kill my brother!”
I gasped when I felt a sharp pain through my lower abdomen. The tree branch was through my abdomen. Jasper and Edward looked at me with horror- stricken faces.
“Pull it out!” I cried.
“No. You’ll die,” Jasper said.
“We have to get you to a hospital,” Edward said.
“No hospitals are open at night,” Jasper said.”We can’t wait until morning. They wouldn't dare open the doors for someone bleeding this badly.” I was bleeding everywhere.”I know a place, but we have to hurry. Maybe you should go home.”
“I can control myself,” Edward said. “I won’t make the same mistake twice.”
Jasper looked at Edward and didn’t know what he was talking about. “Fine. Pick her up and follow me.”
Edward scooped me up off the ground, and took off running behind Jasper. I was getting dizzy and disoriented, like being on a fast rollercoaster. The world became a blur, as we dashed through it, as fast as lightening.
Great chapter! Great insights into Edward's character, and I love the way he and Bella bonds over their shared sense of guilt. First he helps her, then she stands up for him. I hope he and Jasper can save her in time!
Awwwww I love this chaper!
is this the continuation of volterrra???
I like the way your have written the fight scene, it is very intense.
Chapter 17 Rosalie’s Baby
The wind stilled as Edward’s feet came to a stop on the snow covered ground. The white stuff was thicker here. I heard the familiar sound of neighing animals. I also heard howling wolves in the distance. He was walking, now, following closely behind Jasper. We came upon a community of tiny wooden houses, and old shops with peeling or broken store signs on the rooftops.
“Where are we?” I groaned.
“Wolf City,” Jasper said. A sharp pain caused me to hunch forward, squeeze my chest and tighten my grip around Edward’s neck.
“You’re going to be okay,” Edward uttered against my ear. I nodded, believing him, hoping he was right. Jasper walked up the steps to a house, its roof hooded with snow, much like a gingerbread house. He knocked on the door. A woman answered. Her face framed with hair black as a raven, and her skin a muted taupe.
“Jasper,” the woman said.
“Leah, hi,” Jasper responded, almost bashfully. “This is Bella and Edward.”
Leah took a cautious step backwards upon hearing Edward’s name. “It’s okay. It’s not as bad as we thought. He seems to be a level 1 vampire like me, and very self- controlled.” Jasper looked Edward up and down and seemed to be put- off that he didn’t have to kill him.
“Wolf City,” I murmured.
“That’s just a nickname,” Leah said, as she smiled softly at me. “We’re Quiluete, here. You’re on the Quileute reservation.”
The front of Edward’s shirt was drenched with my blood. Leah sighed with a worried glare. “Get her inside,” she said. Jasper and Edward entered the small living room, bright from the glowing flames of an outward fireplace. Edward followed Leah into a cold room. Leah pointed to the low cot which had a thin blue mattress on it. Edward placed me down on the cot. Jasper stood in the doorway.
“She needs antibiotics and painkillers,” Leah said. “I’ll be right back.”
Leah left me alone with Jasper and Edward.
“She knows about vampires?” I asked, weakly.
“Everyone knows about vampires. They just don’t talk about it,” Jasper said. Edward seemed to have a withdrawn reaction to Jasper’s response.
“Is she a doctor?” I asked, trying to get my mind away from the immense pain crawling through my body. Edward looked at Jasper.
“No,” Jasper said, nonchalantly. “But, she knows what she’s doing. It’s the best alternative to going to a hospital.”
“That’s nice,” I murmured, my eyes closing. Edward grabbed my hand.
“Bella, stay with us,” he urged.
“I’m okay. I’m just tired of the pain, that’s all.”
“Dozing off is helpful?” Edward asked Jasper.
“If it takes her mind off things, yeah, I guess. Don’t worry so much.”
Leah returned. She was a blurry figure, now. In her arms, she carried a plastic bag with clear bottles with red tops. Behind her was another woman, with longer black hair parted into several braids. She fed me pain killers. The last thing I saw before I went to sleep was the new woman holding up some type of surgical knife. I was too out of it to protest.
When I awoke, I was alone. I sat up quickly, and regretted it. Pain pulsated through my chest. “Ow!” I complained. It was morning, and sunny. A ray of sunlight beamed through the window and hit a corner of the room.
“You’re up.” Leah burst through the door, with a plate of food.
“Yeah,” I groaned. I was happy that the branch was gone for good, and no longer sticking out of my body, causing me excruciating pain. “Where are the guys?”
“Too sunny for them, I guess,” she said, and shrugged. I sat up the best I could and planted my feet on the cold, wooden floor. Leah set the plate on the bedside table.
“I’ll get you some blankets,” she said, and then she left. I stuffed my face with the pancakes, eggs, and sausage, all the while wincing painfully. Leah came back when I was done.
“I need more painkillers,” I said, joking, but weakly. Leah laughed.
“Sorry, but it’s risky business fetching painkillers and antiseptics. I swipe them from the town hospital. If anyone sees little animals creeping around there more than once in a few hours, they get suspicious. I don’t do it unless I really have to. Jasper’s my friend, and I was just doing him a favor.”
Little animals? I thought to myself.
“Is this some kind of secret makeshift hospital?”
“No. This is my house.”
“I’ll run you a hot bath,” she said.
An hour later, I was sinking myself into a tub of screaming hot water and suds. I would need to change the bandage around my abdomen when I was finished. The bath water was a faint red when I got out of it. Leah came in and gave me a towel and a change of clothes, which were hers.
“How do you know Jasper?” I asked, slipping my foot through a pair of size 2 jeans. They were split at some parts of the seams, but they were wearable.
“Would you want these back?” I asked.
“No, you can keep them,” she said. “Jasper and I go back a long way. We were engaged before he got… bitten,” she said, uncomfortably.
“I’m so sorry,” I chided. “You can’t marry him, now?”
“We could still get married,” she said. “Things just got so weird, you know. First him, and then I started changing-“ she paused, and pursed her lips.
“You’re a vampire, too?” I said, staring at her.
“No,” she said. “I’m something else.”
“What are you?”
“I’m a shapeshifter, Bella,” she said, scrunching her eyebrows. “I can turn into any animal I set my eyes on, at will. Since wolves, owls, and birds are so common around here, they’re in my top three. But, my favorite one to shift to is the wolf.”
“Wow. Are faeries and goblins real, too?”
“I’ ve never seen any.” She shrugged.
She helped me replace my bandage, and then we went outside for some fresh air. I was so happy to have the sun on my face, nearly blinding me. It reminded me of home, Texas. I followed Leah to the local horse stables, and spotted a familiar face. He was riding a sturdy dark brown horse, and wearing an open blue dress shirt, and jeans. He was barefoot and riding bareback. He didn’t have a lead or anything at all. Jacob gripped the horse’s mane, tightly, with one hand. He directed the horse over to us.
“Jacob?” I asked, surprised. The sun put a sharp gleam in his dark eyes. The horse let out a keen neigh and bobbed its head, once. Jacob got down from the horse and hopped over the fence in a few quick, smooth motions. He was standing before me. He pulled me in for a hug. My body rocked with pain. I winced, hard. He pulled back.
“Woah. Bella. What’s wrong?” he asked.
“She’s injured,” Leah spoke.
“Injured?” he looked at her, then looked back to me. “How. What happened?”
“It was nothing. I’ll be fine,” I said, with a fake smile. He looked at Leah for answers. But, she didn’t give him any, either.
I hugged my chest. Jacob frowned, deeply. It felt like we were giving him the silent treatment. I wasn’t sure how much I could share with him without putting things even more off balance.
“Aw, Jake. Just let it go,” Leah said.
“Yeah. Maybe, you’re right. Not my business, anyway,” he said, staring at me.
“Hey!” A far off voice cried.
A guy was approaching, with the girl I recognized from last night. The girl that operated on me, I’m pretty sure illegally.
“Hey, Rach,” Jacob said. “Bella, this is my sister, Rachel, and her boyfriend, Paul.”
“Hi,” I said, my voice annoyingly shy. I rolled my eyes at myself.
“Hi,” Rachel said. She already knew who I was, but she didn’t tell him that. I wanted to thank her, but this seemed like a weird time to be doing that.
The four of us had lunch together in the afternoon. When the sky dimmed, I went back to Leah’s house. I met Jacob on the porch in the evening.
“Did you know your friend’s a shapeshifter?” I said, casually. I was getting use to all the supernatural stuff going on around me.
“Pretty cool, right?”
Jasper and Edward appeared out of thin air. Jacob jumped, not seeing them there until Jasper spoke.
“It’s time to get you home,” Jasper had said. They seemed more like Edward’s words that Jasper was saying. I didn’t want to leave. I felt so much more safe here. The Quileute rez felt like heaven compared to the Cullen mansion. I knew I had to return, though.
I said bye to Leah. I knew I would see Jacob again at the Cullen’s stables. I dreaded walking through those doors, to that dysfunction. This was a nice break from it all.
I spent another night at Leah’s. Edward, Jasper and I arrived back at the mansion in the late afternoon. We stood outside the chateaux.
“I think you should consider joining the Fledglings,” Jasper said to Edward. “We could always use an extra set of cold, dead hands.”
Edward seemed flattered. “I can’t do that,” he said. “I have other obligations already set in stone… that I cannot ignore.”
“What the hell does that mean?” Jasper twitched.
“It means no,” he said.
Jasper looked insulted and confused. “Why not? It would be a better use of your time. I hate to say this to you, Edward. You seem like an okay guy. But, if you’re not with us, you’re against us. I can assume the reason that you don’t want to help us is because you’re on the opposite side of the fence.”
“I don’t kill humans,” Edward snarled, suddenly. I jumped back.
“You’re not doing them any favors, either,” Jasper jabbed. Edward growled under his breath. “I don’t want to fight with you, Eddie. See, I’m not the big man in charge, here. Someone else is. I didn’t come looking for you out of my own merit. Someone sent me. I’m doing my job. And part of my job is to recruit vampires like you, if I see you’re fit. You are a sane, level- headed guy.
Edward, our world is different from theirs.” Jasper motioned to me. “It’s a whole different ballgame for us, man. The rules are different, more carnal, savage. You want to survive, don’t you?”
“What are saying?” I asked. Jasper ignored me.
“Come on, man.”
Edward’s eyes were looking away.
“I’m trying to help you, here,” Jasper fretted.
“I don’t need your help,” Edward responded.
Jasper’s eyes widened, scarily. “We’re not a bunch of renegade, vigilante vampires, Edward. The Fledglings, we’re a system, a machine designed for a purpose-“
“I know what you are,” Edward interrupted.
Jasper frowned. “Then, you know what happens to vampires like you. We call them strays. You’re a stray, Edward.” Jasper backed away. “I’ll see what I can do for you, anyway, even though you are clearly making a bad choice for yourself and your family.” Jasper was gone.
Edward and I stood in the silence for a moment.
“What’s wrong with you?” I asked, scared. “Why won’t you join the Fledglings.”
“I have to protect Emmett,” he said, lowly. “If I don’t protect my little brother, no one else will.”
“You said so, yourself that Emmett is long gone. He can’t be helped,” I said, my hand on his shoulder. He shook me off, hard.
He walked up the steps to the foyer, and then stopped. “Aren’t you coming?”
I went inside the house, but Edward remained in the foyer.
“Aren’t you coming?” I repeated his words.
“I need to feed,” he informed me.
I shuttered. “Fine.”
He left, and I went into the house, alone. I heard Baron using the phone, which is probably why he didn’t bother to get the door. I crept toward the staircase, trying my best not to disturb him.
“Oh yes,” Baron said, into the phone. “It was so easy. It’s just what I needed, though; another bratty Cullen child to split my inheritance with. I’m entitled to what Master Cullen promised me before his son ran off and had all these damn kids. It’s ridiculous! I have been a great service to this family, and so had my father before me. I will not be treated like some disposable house maid, like Carolitta. I want my damn money, and I’m going to get it.”
Baron grinned. “Don’t worry. No one will ever find out that I tampered with Carlisle’s DNA test. Two brats down, four more to go.”
I tried to hold myself together. I put my hand on the rail, quietly, and tripped on the first stair. I cursed at myself.
Baron hung up the phone. He got up from Carlisle’s leather chair and spun around to see me. I stood up straight, caught. Baron walked over to me, stiffly, his head held high. Typical butler.
“What did you hear?” he said, stale.
“No hello? No ‘how was your day, Miss Bella?’ Someone’s in a mood, tonight,” I retorted.
“I am in no mood, Miss Bella.” His words came with a double meaning.
“Doesn’t sound like it to me. But, it does sound like you’re trying to wipe us out one by one. That’s not very good butler- like. Do Carlisle and Esme know that you are totally responsible for ruining my life?” I turned to go up the stairs. Baron blocked me with his chest, his crisp white shirt, black blazer, and black bowtie.
“What do you want, Miss Bella,” he asked.
“I don’t want anything from you. You are scum,” I sneered. Although, he kept his face hard, I heard him gulp. He was afraid of me. I suddenly held some sort of power over him with what I knew, and he knew it, too. I had done the same thing out of fear and weakness. I made it so it was positive that I was Esme’s daughter. I realize I didn’t have to do that because she really is my mother. She even admitted it, herself, not in the exact words. Baron and I were actually two peas in the same pod. But, I didn’t want him to think that. I wanted him to fear me. I craved that power.
“On second thought,” I said. He sighed, and rolled his eyes. “No. I’ll think of what I want from you, later. In the meantime, I’ll keep my mouth shut. But, I will always be thinking of you, Baron, and your betrayal to this family. I’ll always have it handy.” I patted my butt. “Right here, in my back pocket. Always.”
Baron looked disgusted and enraged.
“Move,” I said, simply. He rocked to the side and I went up the stairs. “Goodnight, Baron.”
“…Goodnight, Miss Bella,” he said, forcefully with harshness.
I went to bed. If Baron played with the DNA test, then there is still a chance that Carlisle is my father. That was the last thing I thought about before I fell asleep, and I ended up having good dreams.
I woke up to a lot of noise and clatter. I got up and went out in the hall way. Maids were moving luggage and suitcases down the hall. They were coming out of Rosalie’s room. Estelle was hugging Alice close to her, as they watched the maids work. I went over to them.
“I thought you’d be gone by now,” I said to Estelle.
“Not so,” she said. “Apparently, Carlisle has the law on his side and a big warrant for my arrest if I leave town with my own daughter. Can you believe that overbearing, control- freak? I swear I don’t know what my sister sees in him.”
“Oh, Mom, didn’t he reject you for Aunt Esme? Let’s not pretend you didn’t have a shot at him, first,” Alice retorted. “You obviously have the same taste in men.”
“Well, you’re rubbing off nicely on poor Alice,” I said.
“Poor is one thing my Alice will never be,” Estelle said. “Once I figure out a way to get back to Henri and get from underneath Carlisle’s giant foot.”
Alice giggled. “He does have big feet.”
Alice was already calling Estelle mom instead of Esme. Now, she’s back to being Aunt Esme, again. I couldn’t wait to see how Estelle would get around the fact that Alice was legally Esme’s child, now. How was she going to take Alice to meet her new millionaire daddy. It seems like there was no hope for that, if Carlisle had anything to say about it.
Rosalie appeared from her room, dressed in a grey suit and a grey hat with a white rim.
“Where does she think she’s going?” I asked.
“She’s moving out,” Estelle said. “Atleast, she thinks she’s moving out. The girl’s got spunk, I’ll give her that.”
My heart sunk down into my chest. “Why?” I don’t even know why I asked. I knew the answer, already. The painful truth.
“She’s still angry.”
Maids carried Rosalie’s luggage to the bottom of the staircase. Rosalie hugged Alice.
“Goodbye, little sister- cousin,” Rosalie said. “I’ll come and visit you. I do feel bad for leaving you all alone with this hot mess of a family, though. Your mother’s a gold digger, your aunt’s a damn trashy harlot, and your new sister is a phony piece of Southern Texan trash-“
“Hey! Watch your mouth you little snot,” Estelle growled. Alice’s eyes bucked, and her face scrunched up like she was about to cry. “See what you did!” Estelle grabbed Alice and hugged her to her chest.
“The truth hurts,” Rosalie said. She looked at me. “We all need to get use to it.” She walked to the edge of the stairs and looked down at all the stuff she forced the maids to drag. “This whole unit is based on lies. I want no part of it. I did nothing wrong.”
I had a knot in my throat.
“Rosalie,” Esme’s familiar voice said. She was at the bottom of the staircase,her arms folded, looking up at us. “What is all this?”
“I’m leaving, Mother. You can have all of this. You can have Bella,” Rosalie said.
“Rose, no one is choosing between you and Bella,” Esme said. “Why are you making this difficult for us? Don’t you want to work with us, not against us?”
“I don’t want to work with a bunch of damn liars, Mama,” Rosalie said, almost whiny.
“Watch your tone.”
Rosalie ignored her and went on. “What’s next? What other skeletons you guys got locked up in your closets? When are they gonna come out and join the rest of us out here?...I’m going to stay at Karen’s.”
“You’re not going anywhere,” Esme seethed.
“I already talked to Karen’s parents. They said it was okay,” Rosalie said.
“That doesn’t mean you get to go,” Esme said, her teeth clenched together.
I felt Alice’s hand slip inside mine. Something was about to happen, and she could feel it. I could feel it, too, and it wasn’t a good feeling at all.
Rosalie rolled her shoulders back and went down the stairs to meet Esme.
“Get these bags back upstairs,” Esme ordered. Some of the maids rolled their eyes. One maid picked up a suitcase, and Rosalie knocked it down from her hands. The maid flinched. Rosalie crossed her arms and stared, pretentiously, at Esme.
“They don’t have to listen to you,” Rosalie said.
Esme's eyes were blazing, burning into her. She took a deep breath. “Rosalie. I want you to call the Carters and tell them that you will not be staying with them after all. You have a 15 month old baby to look after, and you don’t have time to play around. You are 17 years old. How about you start acting like it.”
Esme's word’s were cold, and harsh. They resonated in Rosalie, so much that she paused and was speechless for a short moment.
“I take care of my baby,” Rosalie fired back.
Esme shook her head, and held back a laugh. “Wrong, darling. We, as in Carlisle and I, we take care of your baby… for you!”
“You want my baby, you want Lucy, you can have her! Take her, like you take everything else. Maybe she can go stay with Daddy at the hotel. I know that’s where I’d rather be than be here with you, you tramp of a mother!-“
Alice and I both flinched at the sound of Esme’s hand swatting Rosalie across the face. Rosalie held her cheek, her blonde strands hid her expression. Estelle rushed down the stairs, and scooped Rosalie after her knees weakened and she slid to the ground.
“You will not talk to me that way. I am your mother,” Esme said, eyes teary. Estelle held Rosalie.
“What in God’s name is the matter with you?” Estelle asked Esme, calmly. Esme wiped her nose with her hand, and walked off.
It was quiet. Lucy’s cries abruptly penetrated the silence.
“Rosalie,” Estelle, trying to get her attention. “Rosalie.” She cupped Rose’s face with both hands. “Listen to me, honey. You can’t just go and inconvenience Karen’s parents. That would be like running away. Is that what you want to do? You want to run away from your problems?”
“You do it all the time,” Rosalie choked. Estelle paused.
“That is true. I do run away a lot. I can admit that and I own it. But, that is one thing I do not want to rub off on you, or Alice, or Bella, Lucy, or Edward. Okay? Do as I say, and not as I do, because sometimes, what I do is wrong.”
Rosalie cracked a laugh.
“There’s that beautiful smile,” Estelle cood, softly. “On my one of a kind, beautiful niece. We’re going to help you get these bags upstairs. And nobody has to go anywhere.”
Rosalie nodded, tearing up.
“We’re all going to help,” Estelle said, looking right at me. I refrained from my urge to protest. Alice, Estelle, and I helped the maids drag Rosalie’s bags and suitcases back up to her room. Rosalie was sitting on her bed, head bowed, hands in her lap. I didn’t bother her. She looked too emotional.
“I’m going to check on Esme and see what Carolitta is serving for lunch,” Estelle said.
“Wait,” I said, as I tugged at her blazer. “Carlisle moved out?”
She patted my hand. “It happened last night. Be glad you weren’t here to witness that car wreck. He’ll be back. He’s not gone forever.”
“It has nothing to do with you, if that’s what you’re wondering.”
“I still want to know.”
“Why don’t you and Alice go down to the stables and ride the horses. Take Lucy with you. Oh, and don’t forget to give Rose her space. She needs it.”
“Aunt Estelle?” I whined.
“Do it,” she said with conviction. I obeyed, reluctantly. Alice had heard everything, and was getting dressed in her riding boots, and a warm coat. I slid into the nursery. Lucy stopped crying when she saw me, like she knew I was coming to peel away her stress. I picked her out of the crib and got her dressed to go out into the cold air. I put a green knitted cap over her soft, curly light brown hair and went to Alice’s room. Alice stood up, ready to go.
“Where’s your helmet?” I asked.
“It’s in the tack room,” she sassed, and brushed past me and Lucy.
“Wait for us,” I said, before closing her bedroom door, and bouncing down the stairs with Lucy on my hip.