My head throbbed painfully. My body felt numb. I opened my mouth slightly and let out a small grunt. My eyelids were heavy, my weak body lying on something lumpy. I tensed all my muscles, using my little strength to force my eyes open. My vision was blurry, everything spinning around me. I blinked rapidly, keeping my breaths short as it pained me each time. My eyebrows drew together as I looked up at the damp ceiling above me. Where was I?
I couldn’t remember anything, the reason for my sore muscles and aching head unknown to me. Another grunt escaped me as I attempted rising from the uncomfortable object under me. With the remaining strength the hazy events of earlier had left me with, my torso rose from the lumpy object between my weak body and the ground. Rubbing my eyes with the heels of my hands, my memory began to come back to me in short flashes.
My back crashed to the wall. A figure’s arms outstretched. I tried to gaze at him from across the room. His outline was the only thing I could make out. But it frightened me nonetheless. My body flinched as the growl emanating from the dark shadow when it had struck my chest echoed in my skull. I needed answers to these mysteries.
I shakily scrambled to my feet, knees involuntarily trembling under me. Using all my willpower I straightened myself up, hands flattening down my crumpled shirt. I let my gaze wonder around the dirty room until my eyes locked onto the mirror in front of me. I gasped as the mirror displayed what I looked like. I took wary steps towards my reflection, the weak vulnerable state copying my actions.
I had a tight bandage around my head, a throbbing pain emitting from the back of my skull. I weakly grazed the white material with my fingertips, feeling the sensation of being thrown across the room, head smashing into the wall. I was feeling woozy, in need of assistance. But I remember passing out before I knew whether I would have it.
I locked eyes with my reflection. My eyelids were drooped, dark circles running under my eyes. I rubbed my hands roughly over my face, wincing at the sharp pain the pressure has caused to them. Tears stung my eyes with the throbbing of my head, wondering what had happened to make me feel like this.
I finally let my arms fall to my sides, reluctantly taking another look at the state I was in. My gaze descended down my trembling form, skinny legs struggling to keep me from crumpling to the floor. I poked tenderly at my chest, a breath sucked in through gritted teeth as I came into contact with bruise under my t-shirt. I bit my lip, eyes squeezed closed as I felt pain and dizziness wash over me. But my cloudy mind soon began to lighten, my eyes shooting open at the new revealing sensation.
That’s when I remembered. Walking in on Rosalie getting attacked by that mad neighbour, watching him punch and hurt Rosalie. Then I had the neighbour pinned against the wall. I could never forget that scared look in his eye, like he’d seen a ghost over my shoulder. The colour had drained from his once red face, his body shaking against mine. It was Rosalie. She had attacked the neighbour, hunger and fury spread over her gorgeous face. My stomach twisted at the thought.
I let my eyelids droop again, trying to forget. But I couldn’t. Rosalie had attacked me, flung me across the room like a rag doll. My body began to shake with fright, my bandaged forehead resting in my palm.
Suddenly my heart stopped when a small whimpering sound came from behind me. I was being watched. My eyelids rose as the sound travelled around the room, encircling my body with the vulnerability in its tone. A cold chill flew down my spine.
My gaze shifted to the lower left of my reflection, a knee and elbow visible to me in the mirror. My eyes widened upon realising a body had been masked from my view by my own reflection.
I spun around too quickly, stumbling on the spot slightly with wooziness. My gaze fell down to the curled up figure several feet from me, my lips parting.
There was Rosalie, curled up in the corner of the room. She buried her head in her knees as our eyes met. Her arms were tight around her legs, ankles crossed as she rocked herself gently, mumbling something to herself.
“Rosalie?” I groaned weakly, my throat dry. She started rocking herself faster, her voice growing quicker with every word. She kept his head down, her muscles in her arms expanding as she tightened them around her legs.
I took a deep breath before attempting to stumble around the mattress, the only barrier between me and Rosalie. My back ached, but I didn’t care. My muscles felt as though they had been torn apart, but I didn’t care. The mere sight of Rosalie frightened and lonely kept my strength to walk over to her. I kept my eyes on Rosalie as I staggered towards her. She must have sensed I was near. Her shot his head up, her eyes strong and darker suddenly.
“Don’t,” she snarled. Her eyebrows were drawn together as she stopped rocking herself.
“But I want to help, Rosie.”
“I said don’t!” she growled, her voice suddenly growing darker, deeper. A cold shiver ran down my spine as we stared at each other. I took a shaky step back, my body trembling. “Get away from me, Harry. I’ll hurt you again,” she continued, her voice still gruff with a hint of softness behind it. I watched the silent rage swimming in his orbs, telling me to back off, to run from here. But I didn’t.
“No,” I ordered, crossing my arms over my chest. “I’m staying. You need me.”
I drew my eyebrows together, morphing a stern frown to my features. A long silence grew in the room as anger flickered in Rosalie’s eyes. But I didn’t flinch. She suddenly got to her feet, her fists clenched by her side. She stood in front of me, looking hungry.
“Don’t you get it?” she bellowed, her voice growing louder with every word. “I’m a murderer, Harry. I’ve killed before and I’ll do it again. I can’t control it!” She wrapped his arms around himself, rubbing his upper arms. She took a step closer, a tear running down her red cheek. “Go,” she snarled.
“Go,” I snarled. He needed to go now. My eyes flickered to the patch of blood on the side of his bandage. My skin crawled as I remembered the blood spreading across the back of the bandage to the side as I put it on him. When he was sitting on that floor against the wall, the voice screaming in my head, a sudden jolt of warmth and love hit me. The urge was there the whole time, to get me to seriously harm him, but I bandaged Harry up and carried him to my mattress instead. As soon as the job was done, I wanted to get as far away from him as I could, not wanting to give into the urge and hurt him. But I couldn’t leave him alone like that, injured and passed out. He had looked after me when I was scared, vulnerable, passed out in his arms. I had to stay. And I wanted to.
Once I’d set him down onto the mattress, I crouched in the corner, muttering my favourite nursery rhyme again. It calmed me slightly, pushing the urge away slowly. But I knew that it wouldn’t last long. I needed to get him to go, to never come back. Once he was awake I had to pretend to hate him again. The nagging feeling to have him hold me and comfort my pain was unbearable, but I knew I would be giving him to the hands of this beast if I did. It was close this time. That violence was nothing compared to what I’ve done to others to kill them. It’s not just violence, it’s so much more. There’s still one more piece of this jigsaw, my secret. I’m not risking doing it again. So I said the first thing that came into my head, however painful it was to say.
“I hate you,” I growled at him, taking another step closer. Harry’s face fell slowly, his eyes growing forlorn, neglected. But the urge was growing again, getting stronger inside of me. I began feeling the full effect of what I am. And it hurt.
“I never want to see you again. I hate you!” I spat, forcing back the sobs wanting to burst from me. I clenched my teeth as pain engulfed my body. Something was trying to fight its way out of my body, ripping through my flesh, burning me from the inside. I stumbled back until I hit the wall, letting out breaths through my teeth.
As Harry watched me, he still refused to leave, ignoring my horrible comments. I pressed a hand to my stomach as it twisted violently. I couldn’t risk touching him. I’ll hurt him again.
“What about that kiss?” Harry finally whispered.
My eyes flickered up from the ground to meet Harry’s warm gaze. I swallowed hard, my eyes drifting down to his lips for a second. His tongue appeared, gliding softly over his lips to wet them. I knew he was thinking the same as me. My body started feeling weak, the pain dying down slightly as I remembered it, his bare chest against mine, his taste swirling around in my mouth. But I couldn’t show it.
“That kiss?” I asked, dark eyes staring deep into Harry’s innocent orbs. I straightened up a little, taking a small step towards him. “Harry, it meant nothing. I was upset after what happened that night. It was nothing. Just forget about it. Forget about me.”
“You know I can’t do that, Rosie,” Harry whispered, reaching out to me.
He took a step forward. I stumbled back again, staring at his hand until I was pressed against the wall. I suddenly grunted loudly, the pain returning, my muscles needing the urge to win. I wanted to hurt Harry again, do to him what I did to my previous lovers. I squeezed my eyes shut, leaning my head back against the wall. I locked my fists, tensing my muscles as I tried fighting it off. There was so much to say, but we had such little time. I shot my eyes open, about to tell him to get lost again. But he stopped me.
Harry strode forward, reaching out to me. Before I could stop him, he cupped either side of my neck with his large hands, his chest pressed against mine. He pulled my head closer to his until his lips were able to capture my own, instantly causing small whimpers to fall into his mouth. The pain quickly numbed, Harry’s touch calming me instantly. I hesitated at first, knowing this shouldn’t be happening. But I could feel the passion in the kiss as he pressed his lips firm against mine like he was searching my mouth for an answer to all of this, trying to seek my secret that I’ve hidden from him, from everyone since the day of my parents’ death.
I relaxed into the kiss, wrapping my arms tight around him. Our lips moved in perfect sync like they were made to do this, to live in this moment. He pushed his body against mine, pressing me tighter against the wall. The roughness elicited a small groan from me. He smiled against my lips as he ran a hand through my hair, cradling the back of my neck with his other hand. Our lips moved faster, more passionate against each other’s until an eruption of tingles through my body made me grow cold with fright. This monster in me, the reason for my violence, was forcing its way through my flesh again, the numbness disappearing once more. Too much intimacy makes my heart race, coaxing this beast out of me.
I couldn’t take the pain for much longer. I pushed my hands into Harry’s chest, gently pulling him back from me. It left me wanting so much more, but I knew it couldn’t happen. My head hung in shame as I watched Harry’s face fall. I wanted to kiss him again. I wanted his lips attached to mine. But that was my torture, the curse of this beast. I couldn’t be intimate with anyone.
I shrunk away as Harry pressed his hand into the wall by my head, leaning so close into me I could feel his breath on me. He cupped one side of my neck with his other hand, lifting my head up to search my eyes.
“Did that mean nothing?” he whispered.
I shook my head in response. But reality soon kicked in again. I would surely kill him. Everyone I have ever loved is gone because of this urge. I lowered my gaze, hanging my head as the faces flashed in my head, my victim’s faces.
“Look at me, Rosalie,” Harry murmured.
He curled a finger under my chin to tilt my head back up, searching my eyes as they connected with his. But I shook my head, looking away from him again. I pushed myself off of the wall, moving away from Harry. He stepped to the side as I shuffled around him, keeping my head down as I walked away from him. We needed to keep the distance. I can’t control it. I’ll kill him.
“Rosalie.” Harry growled from behind me. I suddenly couldn’t take it anymore. He needed to go.
I spun back around, tears pooling in my eyes. He smirked at me again, believing he’d beaten me. But he hasn’t.
Before I could stop myself, I shoved him up against the wall behind him by his shoulders, standing so close to him. He was pressed against the wall, a smirk deepening the corners of his mouth.
“I can’t,” I hissed into his face, the urge still lingering in the back of my head.
“Why not?” Harry asked, his voice trembling as he spoke.
“Because I love you!”
I slammed my hand against the wall by his head, moving my head closer to his. Shock spread over Harry’s face as well as my own. We stared at each other as we took in what I just said. My hand sunk down the wall by his head until it got to his shoulder. I cupped the side of his neck, feeling weak, feeble.
“And I can’t do that. I can’t allow myself to have feelings for you,” I murmured, my emotions clearly evident in my tone, but I didn’t care. “I’ve tried stopping myself from feeling like this, but it’s impossible. I can’t resist you! I love you, okay?! I fucking love you!”
I let my head droop, eyelids gently closing. I could feel the urge dying down as I spoke, relief crashing into me. But I still felt like I had been hit in the stomach as I finally admitted it. I love him. I let the tears roll down my face. Harry held my head in his hands, tilting it back up to him. He moved my head towards his, pressing our foreheads together.
“I love you too, Rosie,” he whispered.
I gazed into his eyes, feeling his breath warming my lips. A corner of his mouth tugged up before he kissed me softly, his lips gentle against mine. At first I didn’t react, but I soon gave in, kissing him back. Our lips moved slowly against each other, like we were cautious about hurting each other. But I preferred it that way. And Harry knew that.
Just as the familiar sensation of the beast fighting its way out of my body emerged once again, Harry finally pulled back, his eyes connecting with mine. My eyes drifted down to the hand offered to me, fingers wiggling softly towards me.
“Rosalie, will you be mine?” Harry whispered.
My gaze snapped back up, taken aback by his soft tone, his simple words. Our eyes met and it felt like the worries, the constant weight on my shoulders had been lifted. My lips parted to let out my first breath in a few seconds, gently taking his hand. A smile relaxed onto my face. I’d be a fool to say no.
“You can do so much better than me,” I murmured with a small smile. “You know that, don’t you, Harry?”
“All I want is you,” he whispered. “Only you.”
His words brought more tears to my eyes. I grinned madly, believing his every word
“Okay,” I finally whispered. “I’ll be yours, Harry.”
Harry’s grin could not grow any wider. He smiled down to his feet as he held my hand, swaying it softly between us. I wanted to hold this man forever, to keep him as my own. But being with me would surely change his life. Could I risk putting him in so much danger?
“Harry, if you want to be with me you need to know it won’t be easy,” I told him. I kept the eye contact strong between us. He needed to know I was being serious. “It’ll get hard and complicated. You may get hurt. It’s dangerous being with me, Harry. There are people out there to get me, to harm everything I love in my life. Are you sure you still want to be with me? I don’t want you getting hurt just because you know me.”
“Well I know you now,” Harry spoke. The whole time the smile was kept on his lips, not once faltering. “I’m already in danger. What else can I lose?”
A small smile crept on my face. Harry opened his mouth to say something rude again I expected, but I interrupted him. “There’s something I need to tell you, Harry,” I said. “A secret that I’ve never told anyone before, that I’ve kept all my life. I trust you, Harry.”
“What is it?” he asked.