Author: omens PM
What happens when you fall for someone you can never have? How long can the feelings be denied? A love story you’d never expect. AU Season 5. [Joey.Emma]Rated: Fiction M - English - Romance/Angst - Emma N. & Joey J. - Chapters: 7 - Words: 11,115 - Reviews: 36 - Favs: 6 - Follows: 17 - Updated: 09-11-07 - Published: 12-10-06 - id: 3282839
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Title: Secondhand Hearts
Summary: What happens when you fall for someone you can never have? How long can love be denied? A love story you'd never expect.
A/N: This idea popped into my head and the only way I could get rid of it was to write it down. I accept no responsibility for the ensuing bizarreness. First chapter's a bit random, but it will get better. Enjoy.
Prelude to Confusion
Summer in Toronto was never this hot. Especially early summer.
The temperature and humidity made it seem as if the entire world was moving slower than it actually was. Nobody was in a hurry and it seemed as if there was a heaviness hanging in the air that was uncommon on cool days.
Emma looked up from her place on the porch to where Angela was drawing on the sidewalk with the multi colored pack of chalk Craig had gotten her. She smiled fondly at the memory of drawing with the two of them and Manny that summer afternoon so may years ago.
A loud thump sounded from inside the house. Emma sat her magazine on the table beside her chair and yelled out to Angela, "I'm going inside for a sec, okay?"
"Okay," Angie yelled back.
"Joey?" Emma called through the house. He had come home from work early about an hour before, and headed up for a shower before she left. An entire day selling cars in the hot sun had left him sweaty and uncomfortable and he begged her to stay late to allow him the chance to wash off before he took Angela out for dinner.
She called again. Then heard another, quieter thump coming from the second floor. Afraid that Joey might have fallen and hit his head or something, she rushed up the stairs to the bathroom.
"Joey?" she yelled, flinging the door open, silently praying she didn't find him unconscious on the floor.
He looked at her in surprise as the door swung open, confusion plain as day on his features. "Emma, is everything alright?"
Emma was flushed red with embarrassment at barging in on Joey, who happened to be without a shirt.
"Uh …" she stammered, averting her eyes quickly to the palm tree covered shower curtain, "I, um, heard a thump. I just wanted to make sure you were …" her eyes wandered back over him briefly, "okay."
He smiled at her warmly, missing the way her eyes traveled over him. It never occurred to him that Emma would even dream of checking him out.
"I'm fine. I knocked over the mirror," he explained, pointing to the large full-length mirror that had stood in the corner of the bathroom for as long as Emma could remember.
"Seven years bad luck," she responded with a nervous chuckle.
"I make my own luck," he replied with a wink.
Emma flushed hotly. "I'll just …" she gestured to the shards of glass littering the bathroom floor.
She bent to pick up the pieces, desperate to find a way out of the supremely awkward moment she was in. Joey tried to protest her handling the glass, but she insisted, stating that he was barefoot and was likely to cut himself if he came any closer.
Despite her warning, Joey crouched down in front of her, pulling the trash can over with him. Emma glanced up, gulping audibly at the closeness of Joey in front of her clad in nothing but dark blue sweat pants. She became acutely aware of the remnants of steam in the small room, the smell of Joey's body wash, and the amount of skin showed by her tiny tank top.
She looked up, just to see if he was as jittery in the situation as she was, and saw that he was intently focused on the glass splinters on his floor. But feeling her eyes upon him, his gaze flicked up to her face, locking eyes with her.
Emma had been holding a piece of glass in her hand, the largest one on the floor, when her gaze caught his. She gripped it involuntarily, the butterflies fluttering in her stomach unlike anything she had ever experienced. She yelped when the jagged edge sliced open the skin of her palm and dropped it to the floor.
Alarm filled Joey's eyes and he grabbed her wrist in one hand and a towel in the other. He wrapped the towel tightly around her hand, the blood soaking it almost immediately.
"Emma, this is gonna need stitches." he said, squeezing it tighter.
She shook her head. "It'll stop in a minute. I've always been a heavy bleeder. I'll be fine."
Joey chuckled. "I forgot how much you hate doctors."
"I don't hate doctors," Emma insisted, "I hate going to doctors. There's a difference."
He shook his head. Emma was a natural born arguer, had been since she learned to talk. No matter how young she had been she was always able to talk her way out of things, and Joey could never resist caving and being the fun adult in her life.
As Emma predicted, the bleeding subsided after a few moments and she sat on the toilet while Joey bandaged her hand so tenderly it was like he thought she was made of glass. She felt a swell of emotion in the familiar settings that she had always felt so safe in.
Everything else … she attributed to the heat.
That was how it began. But not how it ended.
That night began a series of dreams that unsettled Emma so deeply she was starting to think that she had somehow managed to catch crazy from Craig.
For the dreams were very … bizarre.
Hands that were rough at times and surprisingly gentle at others.
Eyes so dark and deep she felt like she could drown in them.
Lips she knew, but hadn't really known until then.
A voice she could remember from the very beginning, but was unlike anything she had ever known whispered against her ear in ragged breath.
Emma awoke with a start the first morning, sweating profusely and her heart pounding wildly in her chest. She gasped for breath, knowing there was no way she could have just dreamt that.
"What the hell?" she whispered aloud, thankful that Manny was still asleep and couldn't see the state she was in.
Had she really just had an erotic dream about Joey?