I glanced to Alice, and she nodded. I started up the stairs slowly, to not scare her. Carlisle trailed me close behind.
We went up to Rosalie’s room, which was the last in the hallway, and I knocked on the door once.
“You can come in, it’s your house you know.” I turned the bronze doorknob on the white door and exerted the tiniest amount of pressure. The door still slammed open, crashing into the wall. I silently cursed myself and looked around the room.
I had never been in Rosalie’s room before. Though we were somewhat friends now, we still respected each other’s privacy. It was white and pink, very girly to say the least. There were at least 5 mirrors laying around that I could see, and two walls were pink and two were white. And there was a white dresser spanning the wall. Another wall was completely made up of a walk-in closet, easily the size of my living room.
In the middle of the gigantic room was a white king-sized bed with a pink canopy. Lying under the canopy, the veil covering her face, lay Gianna, reading a magazine. Her eyes darted to the door as soon as it opened. I froze, hoping she wasn’t frightened. She stared at us, her eyes resting on me for a second. Then dawn broke across her face. I grinned back, letting my teeth show just a bit. Was this for real?
“Hi. Um,” she looked around. I noticed magazines were scattered around Rosalie’s bed and floor. I took another step in.
“I apologize about the mess.” She started pulling in all the papers, putting them on a pile.
“Oh, it’s fine. Really,” Rosalie said, coming in beside me. Gianna glanced up, her eyes thankful.
“I just figured if I was gonna be living in the real world now, I’d better fit in.” I grinned ruefully. No vampire would ever fit in. I had learned that a long time ago. There was a pang of pain in my stomach at the memory of Edward, and I stifled back a whine. By now the numerous magazines were in a neatly stacked pile next to Rose’s bed, and Gianna was attempting to crawl out of the bedsheets. Emmett and Carlisle had raced over to support her under her shoulders, and Rosalie was standing next to me, her arms crossed and eyes piercing.
“Really, Gianna, you shouldn’t be walking yet. You’re not fully healed,” Carlisle warned but she brushed him off with her hand.
“I’m fine doctor! I heal quickly.” Emmett shook with laughter, and Gianna looked up at him nervously, chuckling slightly, probably wondering what was so funny.
“Did you get injured a lot before, Gianna? Trust me, you wouldn’t be the only one around here,” Emmett commented, sneaking a glance at me. My glare now joined Rosalie’s. I appreciated it when Gianna didn’t answer his question, but then realized it was only because she was concentrating on standing straight and not collapsing to the floor.
Her legs were twisted in an odd way under baggy designer sweatpants, which I knew were Rosalie’s. Her cheeks were flushed under her dark skin and one coal black eye was swollen shut. Otherwise, I assumed her weakness was due to a lack of feeding. She probably hadn’t hunted for a while.
Emmett gently picked her up and put her back in the bed. She looked at him gratefully then laughed.
“I guess you were right! Maybe I haven’t recovered fully. But you did an amazing job, Mrs. Cullen,” she addressed Esme.
She smiled. “Please, call me Esme.” Jasper hissed softly outside the door and I heard Alice slap his arm. But Gianna wasn’t paying attention. Instead she was staring at me, probably taking in my face as I was hers.
“Hey, I know you,” she muttered. Emmett, who was standing next to her bed now, looked dumbfounded. Obviously, he hadn’t been filled in yet.
“Yeah that’s Bella. Cullen, er- she used to be Swan. She’s married to my brother. Er- other brother.” He looked confused, as if someone had hit him on the head with a baseball bat, though that probably wouldn’t have even left a mark. And now that I looked around, so did everyone else in the room. My mouth dropped as I padded over to Gianna.
“Are you doing this?” She looked innocently at me, but then her rosy lips turned up at the corners.
“Gianna, you shouldn’t have done this without warning us,” Carlisle scolded hotly.
“I’m sorry Carlisle. I just wanted to see if it was really the Bella I remembered,” she explained turning to Carlisle who snapped out of his trance. I wondered who he had seen with Gianna’s gift.
“Bella Swan. The lucky human. I didn’t recognize you! You look so different than you did when you stopped by to visit the Volturi all those years ago.” Her voice was sweet. Almost too sweet. I smiled grimly.
“Yeah, looks like we both changed, huh?” Her welcoming smile faded, her face becoming stone. She looked down at the mangled bed sheets.
“I made a mistake. Trust me, it’s not the only one I’ve made in my life.” Her eyes were suddenly glassy, and her frown parted to take in deep breaths. I opened my mouth to console her, but shut it because I didn’t know what to say. Obviously she was very fragile right now, and I didn’t want to upset her anymore than she already was. Carlisle picked up on this also and put a gentle hand on my shoulder.
“Perhaps we should leave Gianna some time to sort things out,” he whispered in my ear. I nodded and followed him downstairs, Emmett at my heels.