I sat in the shower, just letting the water cascade over me. I sobbed brokenly over what had happened in that alley. Guilt washed over me because due to my fear, my mate nearly lost his life. I berated myself as I cried. Rose’s mind filtered up to me.
Bella, I know that you’re upset, but you need to be strong for Edward. He’s going to need you. I’m saying this because I love you and I love my family, but pull it together, woman!! Her determination rang clear in her mental voice. She was right, too.
I sniffled, heaving my body off the ground. I scoured my body and hopped out of the shower after I felt somewhat clean. Though, being as close as I was to James, boiling my skin off sounded really good. Gross, and somewhat overkill, but necessary. Huffing a sigh, I walked out of the bathroom and dried my hair, plaiting it down my back. My hand was very stiff, marred with an angry red scar. By tomorrow, it would be healed. My leg was not as bad since it wasn’t removed, but still had some fresh teeth marks, thanks to Rose’s help and some scarring, but not as bad. My skin was very pale since I was still very weak. However, I was probably stronger than Edward at the moment. It looked like he lost almost all of his venom on the pavement.
You’re a coward, Bella. COWARD!! I mentally admonished.
“Bella, I know you’re a bit of a mess,” Rose said as she hovered by the doorway.
“It’s my fault, Rose,” I cried, plucking at a string on the hoodie that I was wearing. “I was completely captured by James. I didn’t expect him to be there, getting his hands dirty with the newborns. And then, my worst nightmare was standing in front of me, in the flesh.”
“You faced your attacker, sweetie,” she crooned, walking towards me and hugging me close. “That would have been a nightmare for any rape victim…let alone a victim who ‘lost their life’ to the attack.”
“I shut down. I couldn’t do anything. I was just…” I whimpered, forcing my memories into her head. She shuddered. “It’s because of me that Edward was injured as badly as he was.”
“No, it was because of James. This is not your fault, Bella,” Rose said, looking into my eyes.