I heard a knock on the door and sat up, hoping it was Bella, but I knew who it was before the door opened.

I could hear her thoughts, her hesitation. Rosalie.

“Come in, Rosalie.”

She poked her head in, her honey-colored hair framing her heart-shaped face.

“I just came to see how Bella was doing.”

“She’s not here. She’s talking with Carlisle.”

“Oh. May I come in?”

I beckoned for her to come sit next to me.

“Is she doing all right, Edward?”

“Better than I expected.”

“Are you doing all right?”

I was surprised at how solicitous she was being. This was not normally her nature. “I’m doing OK. A little surprised at how easy it’s been so far, honestly. I didn’t think she’d be up and about on the third day.”

“Bella’s strong. Stronger than all of us. Except Emmett, maybe,” she chuckled.

“I wonder if Jasper will get them to arm wrestle like he wanted to.”

“Probably, knowing Jasper. You know, Edward, I’m glad it worked out this way, despite my earlier doubts. Our family feels more complete somehow.”

Something in Rosalie’s words made me realize the truth of that statement. We were a family now, in every sense of the word.

Abruptly, I leaned forward and wrapped Rosalie in a bear hug. She squeaked her surprise.

“Thank you, thank you, thank you, Rosalie!”

“Um, you’re welcome, but what did I do?”

“It’s what you said. I have to go find Bella.”

I ran into the hall, drowning out everyone else’s thoughts except Carlisle’s. Strangely, he didn’t seem to be speaking with Bella anymore. And I couldn’t get a reading on where she was at the moment.

I walked into the living room and found Esme curled up on the sofa watching TV.

“Have you seen Bella?”

“She was in the library with your father.”

“She’s not there anymore.”

Carlisle walked in carrying his black case. He leaned over the sofa to kiss Esme’s forehead. “Well, I’m off to work.”

“Carlisle, do you know where Bella went?”

“No, I don’t.”

Then Alice entered the room, her dark eyes uncharacteristically somber. “Edward, she’s gone.”

The End

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