|Much Like the Fireworks
Author: IngenueFic PM
Together, they burst like bright colors in the night sky and, just as quickly, fade into nothing. An FGB fic for belladonna1472. AH.Rated: Fiction M - English - Angst/Drama - Bella & Emmett - Words: 2,024 - Reviews: 9 - Favs: 10 - Follows: 5 - Published: 07-19-10 - Status: Complete - id: 6156929
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Stephenie Meyer owns all TWILIGHT characters.
Thank you to belladonna1472 who donated money to Alex's Lemonade Stand via The Fandom Gives Back for this story.
He watches her and is mesmerized by every move she makes. Her fingers press against the beer bottle, fingertips sliding against the beads of condensation, and a nail clinks against the glass like a warning siren. When she brings the bottle to her mouth, her lips part slightly and, with a tilt, the amber liquid slides down the neck of the bottle into her mouth. The tendons in her neck shift against each other as she swallows and, when the bottle is pulled away, her free hand reaches up and wipes at the lingering wetness of alcohol.
"Stop staring at me, Emmett." Her voice is flat, nothing like what he remembers from the night before, and a sense of dread washes over him. He continues to stare, eyes fixed on the light bruise that peeks out from the V of her tank top. "I'm serious. Stop it."
He takes a large breath of air and picks up his own bottle, downing its contents as quickly as possible, because he can't think of anything else to do, can't think of a reason not to look at her.
The base of the bottle is wet on his knee when he rests it there. His thumb rubs back and forth against the name etched into glass; he wishes it were an older bottle, one with a label he could peel off. The smooth slide of skin over glass reminds him of the way Bella's skin felt beneath his palm, the way tiny bumps rose from his touch, the way her body arched into him.
Emmett raises his head and their eyes meet, brown on brown, and fire burns through his body. "What?" The word comes out harshly and he is more than a little bit happy that it causes Bella to flinch.
"You're thinking about it. Stop thinking about it."
His eyes narrow, his jaw tenses. "You're going to tell me what to think now?" He leans forward, elbows on knees, and the bottle dangles from two fingers between his legs. "You wanted it, Bella. You still want it so why do you keep acting like you didn't?"
"God damn it, Emmett, stop the mind games!" She slams her bottle on the wooden picnic table. Shaking her head, she stands and walks away, tangling her fingers in her hair as she pushes it away from her face. The sun is high and her body is sticky with summer heat.
He stares at her again, at the aggravation in the lines of her body, at the frustrated motions of her hands as they tug at her hair, as they move to the back of her neck when she drops her head in defeat. He watches the change in her body; it's a sudden droop that tells him she's given up.
"Bella." He says her name as he stands. After dropping his bottle on the table that is already littered with empty reminders of the silence that morning, he stands behind her, waiting.
"Last night," she begins. Hands grab at her waist and her breath hitches. "Last night can't happen again," she whispers.
One hand slides to her stomach, his wrist flicking up the hem of her top, so that skin meets skin. His head lowers to her ear as his fingers skim across her body. "Last night was perfect, Bella."
"Don't," she protests meekly and his hand stalls at the center of her chest, fingers flirting with the curve of her breasts, unconfined beneath her shirt. "Everyone will be here soon and just... Just please don't."
"Why?" His breath is warm over her neck. His hand, still on her waist, glides up to move her hair to the side, to bare her shoulder to his lips. Her body shivers at the feel of kisses that are hot and wet over skin that is salty with sweat. "Give me a reason, Bella," he says against her shoulder. Beneath her shirt, his fingers press against her skin, each motion causing his hand to feel the weight of her breast.
Her head falls back to lean against his chest. "Because I won't be able to stop," she admits. "I don't want to stop, Emmett, but we have to. I can't do this to him."
He's gone as soon as she says the words. His hand is no longer beneath her shirt; his mouth no longer tastes her and his body no longer presses against her in a way that makes her crave him. She spins and, this time, it is she who watches him.
A mixture of pain and anger fills his eyes and Bella feels the churning of guilt in her stomach. "He does it to you all the time," he spits out. Turning her face away, Bella feels the flames of embarrassment flood her cheeks. "He does it and you know it and, yet, you still act like he's your world."
"He is," she insists though the argument is weak.
The sound of breaking glass fills the backyard. When Bella looks over at Emmett again, the table is nearly empty, broken pieces of bottles littering the concrete. The glass crunches beneath Emmett's sneakers, a grating sound that makes Bella flinch, and then she's looking up into his face again.
"Last night, you were free," he says. Large palms smooth down her arms to grasp her wrists and he brings their hands between their bodies. "Last night, you didn't care about a thing."
She doesn't respond, can't respond, because he's right. Everything that happened between them was comforting, beautiful, needy. When the heaviness disappeared from the fourth finger of her left hand, she had taken a deep breath and melted on the bed, welcomed his body over hers, into hers.
"Last night," he whispers, "you remembered what it was like to be wanted."
Bella searches for words but can't find them, not in the haze that is now her mind, not when he's so close that she can feel the undeniable attraction between them. She moves quickly to crouch near the table. The glass glitters up at her, mocking her and, as she reaches to pick up the larger pieces, the sun hits the diamond that is back on her hand.
Emmett calls her name and he's too close again, crouching next to her, in an attempt to stay connected. He grabs her hand, bends her fingers so that he can kiss her knuckles if he wants. Instead, he presses his thumb beneath the sparkling rock.
"You don't have to wear this," he says. "This isn't what you want."
"How do you know what I want?"
Heavy silence hangs around them. His fingers move the ring back and forth, back and forth, until Bella tries to pull her hand away. He holds steady, refuses to let her get away. Her eyes are focused on their joined hands and she thinks of the way their bodies came together the night before in a perfect fit. There was no fumbling, no awkward pauses, nothing that made her question if they were right for each other.
"How do you know?" she asks again, quieter this time, like she's scared to hear what he will say.
A large whoosh of air escapes his lungs before he answers. "You told me last night." Her head shoots up. "The way you kissed me, the way you touched me, the way you let me in – it told me that this," he thumbs the ring again, "isn't what you want at all."
Bella swallows back the bile that threatens to escape her body. She hates that he knows her so well, knows that she doesn't want what she's been given, but she can't admit that, not when everything is supposed to be perfect.
"I'm right. You know I'm right."
Her eyes shut tightly. "I know." Her voice is a strained whisper. When she blinks her eyes open again, Emmett stares at her, wants her to say more but she can't. If she says anymore, she can't guarantee that she will still be engaged by the end of the night, can't guarantee that her entire world won't be torn apart.
A car door slamming interrupts the circle they've made in the backyard and a familiar, deep voice calls out for Emmett. As he stands to greet his brother, Emmett glances down at Bella and smoothes a finger down her cheek, beneath her chin, to the pulse that beats frantically at her neck.
She watches him and is both mesmerized and pained. His body is strong, full of power, and she sees the muscles of his arm move – tighten and loosen – as he gives the guest a one-armed hug that speaks of brotherhood and love and, just beneath the surface, jealousy and annoyance.
Emmett is beautiful. He has everything she finds attractive in a man, physically and emotionally and mentally. He has the ability to give her what she wants in a stable relationship, what she needs, and she knows he'd be loyal. Her heart pounds like a steady drum announcing war. In a moment of weakness – or, possibly, in a moment of absolute bliss – Bella now knows that she will never be the same again, not when the memories are burned into her mind.
The flex of his hips between her legs is a cruel reminder of what her fiancé will never give her, not with the same emotion Emmett showed her. His mouth on her skin, at her collarbone, around her breasts, across her stomach, has planted blazing fires that show no sign of burning out. The hands that worshipped her have left imprints on her soul.
When a shadow falls over her, she wishes, for just a moment, that it is Emmett, that he will give her the one thing she doesn't have the courage to take. She looks to her side and sees green eyes staring at her, tired but somewhat happy.
"I didn't know you'd be here already," he says after he presses a kiss to the side of her head. "Early start with Emmett?"
Bella stands, mindful of the glass scattered at her feet, and she takes a deep breath. Emmett is by the door, staring at her, watching her, daring her to take control and do what she wants. She wishes she could, wishes she could slide the diamond off of her finger and place it in the palm of her fiancé and tell him good-bye. She wants to turn and wrap her arms around Emmett's waist, bury her face in his chest, and smile between kisses that make her feel special.
Instead, she pastes a too-wide grin on her face. "Yes. An early start with Emmett. He always knows what I need." She says it happily, brushing it off like a joke, and she wonders if he hears the hollowness in her voice.
She almost flinches when he lifts a hand and traces the span of skin just above her tank top. "What's this?" he asks. Bella glances down and sees the small shape of blood that has risen to the surface. Her body shakes slightly and he looks at her in concern. "Did you hurt yourself?"
Silent for a few moments, his words repeat in Bella's mind. She brushes his hand aside and moves her fingers over the mark. "Yes," she answers him quietly. Once more, her eyes seek out Emmett. "Yes, I did."
Thank you to Jill, Jessica, and Josie for the beta work and Sasha and Sara for the title help.
The title was inspired by William Shakespeare's ROMEO AND JULIET, in which Juliet states that the meeting with Romeo is "too much like the lightning, which doth cease to be."