Title: That's my Best friend
Summary: "I had the biggest crush on you, you know? I tried to tell you once. Then you got with James and I knew that ship sailed for us."
"Stupid bag," I huffed, yanking the duffle bag out of the back seat of my Mercedes.
I slung the heavy bag over my shoulder by the strap and made my way up the cobblestone walkway. I'd traveled about halfway to the door when it suddenly swung open.
"Belly, why didn't you call me? I would have helped you bring your things inside." Emmett scolded me, rushing to meet me halfway.
Emmett snatched my heavy duffle bag and slung it over his shoulder like it was a gym towel, while pulling me into a warm hug with his other gigantic arm.
"You know Bella, babe she'd let a bear maul to her death before calling for help," Rose said from the doorway.
"I'm not that bad…" I murmured.
"Yeah, you're worse," She joked.
I rolled my eyes and made my way towards my best friend and greeted her with a hug.
"Was the drive okay?"
"Do you want something to drink?"
"Do you have more bags in the trunk?"
"Did James give you any trouble?"
I was bombarded with questions before I had even passed the threshold. I entered the foyer and turned around to face my two friends. Concern was etched on their faces as they watched me for any signs of distress.
"Guys, I haven't been here for five minutes and you're already hovering." I sighed.
"Sorry. Belly we just worry about you." Emmett apologized.
At least he had the decency to look sheepish; Rose just gave me the bitch brow while awaiting my answers.
"The drive was fine Rose, James was well… James, but it wasn't anything I couldn't handle." I answered, as I made my way to the kitchen. I opened the fridge grabbing the drink offered and sat down at the table.
"No, Em the rest of my things are in storage." I said, taking a swig of water.
"When are you closing on the new house?" Emmett asked, taking the seat next to me at the kitchen table.
"Well, I didn't expect James to come rushing home when I sent the divorce papers overnight to Hong Kong. I thought I at least had another month, so I won't be closing until the twenty-eight," I told him.
James hadn't been back to Arizona in three months. He claimed it was a six-month assignment that had kept him away. He was really just too busy giving tours of Bangkok. When the pictures came through as I had suspected they would, Rose knows a great private investigator. I had my attorney file divorce papers that same day. I had made the decision to leave at that point; this marriage has been dead for a while, anyway. James' "business trips" had progressively gotten longer and longer. He drank more and more and paid attention to me less and less. Anything I said to him turned into a fight that was somehow my fault. I put a bid in on a house down the street from the school where I worked. Once the bid was approved, draining the last of my father's life insurance policy, I had the papers sent overnight to Hong Kong; he was served two days later. I expected an angry call, or email. What I didn't expect was James showing up three days later waiting for me when I came home from work. What surprised me the most was that he wasn't mad, he didn't want to fight, and he begged me to stay. He admitted he had fucked up and asked for another chance. Afraid he'd become unruly if I said no, I told him yes. I called Rose, and she told me to wait for my moment and get out. I could stay with her and Emmett as long as I needed. When James went to check in with his office about why he "left early" I packed all my belongings and then called the movers to move anything else that I wanted to keep into storage, and rushed to Rose and Em's.
"How long do you think we have before he turns up here?" I asked worried.
"Bella if he shows his sorry ass around here I will take care of it, don't worry, Jelly Belly." Emmett reassured me.
"Yeah, and now that you live here you can carpool to work with Emmett. Just make sure you notify the school of your impending divorce, so they won't give James access to the building." Rose suggested.
"Yeah and tell the office if he shows up there to call me." Emmett chimed in.
"I don't ever know how to repay you guys," I smiled, holding back tears.
I had the best friends ever.
"You can repay us by covering my ass; I've been so swamped with this Brittney Christine case that Em has been on a takeout only diet." Rose snorted.
"Opposed to his prior burnt food diet?" I teased.
"I hate you." Rose pouted.
"I love you too; of course I'll take over the meals. It's the least I can do." I agreed.
"It will be just like college only better because Rosie is here." Emmett beamed.
"Oh no, I've heard some of you all's crazy college stories and I don't think I'm ready for that." Rose said warily.
"That was your husband not me, I just got dragged along in his crazy schemes." I protested.
"So, setting Riley Bier's underwear drawer on fire was for my benefit?" Emmett quizzed.
"You pinkie swore to never speak of that night again," I screamed, jumping up from the kitchen table ready to tackle Emmett.
"Tough titties." He laughed taking off through the living room.
I chased him around the house as Rose laughed and shook her head.
"You two are impossible!" she yelled.
I chased Emmett into the back yard, luring him into my premeditated trap. I stood by the door as he ran to the center. Then I picked up the long garden hose with the super spray nozzle and soaked him from head to toe in freezing water. Emmett shrieked like a little girl as I laughed my ass off. I dropped the hose then darted inside before he could exact his revenge. I was halfway up the stairs when I heard Rose scold him.
"Uh-uh, towel off and leave those wet clothes in the garage. You won't be getting water all over my floors."
"I don't wanna hear it, go!" she demanded.
I snickered to myself. I had won this round, but I knew he'd get me back.
Sometime later Emmett poked his head into the guest room letting me know dinner was ready. I trotted downstairs smelling pizza before I even hit the kitchen.
"Where's Rose?" I asked confused, plopping down at the kitchen table, cracking the pizza box open.
"Allister called, he thinks he might have found a breakthrough in the case. Rosie went to go check it out; she should be back soon though." he shrugged, sitting next to me grabbing a slice.
"If I'd have known I could have made something for us to eat," I said shoving a slice of cheese pizza into my mouth.
"I thought we could kick it old school. I have "White Chicks" in the DVD player ready to go. We have pizza, and beer; let's relive the glory days." Emmett smiled.
"The days when we watched "White Chicks" for you but told everyone it was for me?" I smirked.
"I had a reputation to protect," Em smiled.
I rolled my eyes, getting up carrying the pizza box into the living room. We threw a bunch of pillows and throw blankets on the floor in front of the TV. I popped a cap off of a beer and settled on the floor. Emmett pressed play with the remote before picking up another slice of pizza. He was right; this brought back good memories of us in my dorm room at college. The only difference was that this time I was watching the movie instead of him. Rose came back as promised just as we were finishing up the movie.
"Aww man I missed it? I swear he says he won't watch this movie with anyone but you," Rose complained.
"Shoulda stayed home," I teased.
"I'm first chair for this case, and it can make or break my career; there's a lot on the line for me Bella." She snapped.
"I know Rose, I'm sorry." I apologized.
I knew this case was stressing my best friend out. She'd worked hard and I couldn't be prouder, and I hadn't meant to patronize her.
"No, I'm sorry. I know you were joking I'm just hungry and tired." She explained.
"Well there's still pizza in the kitchen…" I offered.
"Great, I'm starving." She smiled.
All the tension was forgotten as we made our way to the doorbell rang, and Emmett said he'd get it. I'm chatting away with Rose as we warm up her pizza and all I hear next is a raised voice.
"She's my wife, just let me see her." James' voice echoed through the kitchen.
"The hell I will, she doesn't want to see you now or ever." Emmett yelled.
"It was the same shit in college. Bella and I would get into a fight and you were right there interfering; she is my wife, worry about your own."
"If I was really interfering back then, I would have told her ass to drop you the millions of times I wanted to."
"Bella stay here." Rose warned.
"James it's time for you to leave," Rose said entering the room.
"Not without Bella." James protested.
"Without Bella or without a bullet, your choice."
I heard the click of a gun bounce off the walls after Rose's thinly veiled threat. It was silent for a few moments before I heard the hard slam of the front door and the soft click of the lock.
I inhaled deeply releasing a shaky breath. James' impromptu visit had put me on edge, even though I had suspected it was coming.
"You okay Belly?" Emmett asked as he and Rose re-entered the kitchen.
"Fine," I said, forcing a smile.
I didn't want them hovering, so I needed to appear fine.
"It's okay if you're not you know?" Rose reassured.
"I know, I'm going to bed goodnight." I announced, hightailing it away from their worried eyes. I wasn't going to break into a million pieces. I might have been shaken up, but I was fine.
The week flew by and it was Friday. I'd be glad to have a weekend to just rest. I purposely assigned no homework because I didn't want to have to grade any assignments. It was my free period, and I was preparing my lesson plans for next week when my phone rang.
"Hey B it's me," Rose said.
"The dead has arisen." I teased.
"Whatever, can you pick up Em's dry cleaning for me? I forgot to do it on my lunch break and he needs it for Monday." She asked.
"Rose, I haven't seen you since the night I moved in, we eat dinner without you every night. Now you're calling me because you couldn't be bothered to pick up your husband's dry cleaning." I huffed.
"I don't need a lecture on what a shitty wife I am, Bella. Will you do it or not?"
"Fine." I muttered.
"I'll text you the details, thanks." Rose said before disconnecting the call.
I looked down at my lesson plan to resume my preparation and noticed the page was blank. I flipped through all the pages, and saw that I'd filled out nothing. I snatched the pen I'd been writing with and in small print I see 'Invisible Ink'.
I screamed in anger stomping to the gym to confront Emmett. His class was outside today completing a unit in track. He sat in the bleachers as the kids ran laps. I stormed up the bleachers pen in hand. His grin was as wide as ever as he realized he had gotten me.
"Asshole!" I spat.
"Why Mrs. Hunter such foul language on school grounds, and you're a school administrator at that," he said, feigning shock.
"I'll get you back for this, you know what this means?" I asked him.
"Prank Wars." We said in unison.
I stormed off thinking of the many ways I would exact my revenge.
The rest of the day passed quickly. I was out thirty minutes after the students, so I'd have just enough time to pick up Em's dry cleaning; which I haven't decided whether or not I'm going to tamper with. I walk to the parking lot and see that my car is missing. We have assigned spots based on tenure with mine being in the third row, and its gone. I spazz out storming into the office demanding to know what happened to my car. Mrs. Cope informed me that a tow truck had come with my husband earlier and had taken it. They had tried to reach me during my free period but I hadn't been in my classroom. I huffed in frustration as I walked to the nearest bus stop and waited.
I made it all the way to the cleaners only to realize that my purse was in my car and all I had was fifteen dollars in my pocket minus bus fare. The next bus didn't come for thirty minutes, due to Friday traffic. It was so late; it caused me to miss the last bus close to Rose & Em's. At this point I was blowing Rose's phone up, no answer. I called Emmett's phone, and it went straight to voicemail. Rain began to pour finally cooling the Arizona heat which would have been a relief had I not been standing in it. The bus finally came. I rode for about thirty minutes before getting off a mile from the house. I stumbled down the streets of the neighborhood tripping on my heels the whole way. One heel finally gave up and snapped right off and my stumble became a full fledge hobble. I was angry, drenched, and hurting by the time I wobbled up the cobblestone path of my soon to be ex best friend's house. It was dark by this time so I fumbled with my keys trying to find the right one. I was sure I had found it, but when the lock wouldn't turn I was left confused. I tried it again as well as the rest of my keys on my ring before I gave up banging on the door in frustration. The door swung open and all my anger disappeared as the red rimmed eyes of Emmett appeared into my view. He turned his back to me walking back in the house without a word.
"Em?" I spoke tentatively, trying to gauge what was going on.
Rose was nowhere to be found. Panic engulfed me. Was she okay? Did something happen to her?
"What happened Em? Where's Rose?" I asked concerned
"At a hotel or maybe with Alistair? Who fucking knows?" Emmett spoke harshly.
"What's going on, why would she be at either of those places?"
"Because those are the places she went to fuck him behind my back." Emmett choked out, hunching over the kitchen island.
It was silent for a few moments as I registered what my friend had just said. It can't be true; Rose loves Emmett, she could never.
"Em…that can't be true Rose loves you." I said, walking closer to him placing a gentle hand on his back.
"I saw them B, in her office. I saw them." He whispered.
I saw tears crashing to the butcher block counter beneath his tightly gripped finger tips. Emmett was always such a happy carefree guy; I'd never seen him cry in my life.
"Oh Em," I sighed.
I wrapped my small arms around his waist hugging him to me as sobs wracked his body. I tried to be strong for him but I couldn't help the tears that escaped my eyes. My friend was hurting, and I was powerless to stop it. I don't know how long we stayed like that, but it was around midnight when Emmett announced he was going to bed. I let my friend go before going to the guest room and crashing myself.
Thank god it was Saturday; I needed to sleep in after the hell that had been yesterday. I got up around eleven looking for any signs of Rose or Emmett. It looked as if Emmett hadn't left his room all morning. I decided I'd make brunch for us with some much needed mimosas. I finished pretty quickly laying the food out buffet style on the island and climbed the stairs to grab Emmett.
I pushed the doors of the master suite open without so much as a knock. What surprised me was that he was actually asleep. Emmett goes for a run at five everyday so it isn't like him to sleep in until almost twelve. I watched my friend closely; he looked tortured even in his sleep. His face was puffy as dried tears stained his cheeks. He'd clearly had a rougher night than I'd imagined. I went to the bathroom and gathered a warm cloth. I wiped his face gently. He woke up with a wary smile. I grabbed his hand pulling him out of bed and led him downstairs. I sat him on the couch turning on celeb news, our guilty pleasure. I fixed our plates, and then sat next to him. We pigged out in silence for a while watching the latest celeb gossip.
"Lindsay was so hot before all of the drinking and Botox." Emmett said breaking the silence.
"I know, "Mean Girls" was the last thing she starred in that she hasn't looked strung out." I agreed.
"Can we watch that later?" he asked, downing his mimosa in one gulp.
"Oh course," I agreed.
"Good, Rachel McAdams is still hot."
"You're a pig, they were in high school." I laughed.
"Not really though…" he pointed out.
We argued some more about which celebs looked better before or after plastic surgery, and it felt like a normal Saturday for a while.
"What's up with the door?" I finally asked.
"Sorry, I made a rash decision and changed the locks yesterday. I was all over the place. I didn't remember that you had to get in." Emmett apologized.
"It's okay, that's understandable."
"Why were you getting in so late, anyway?" he asked.
I told him the whole sordid tale. I wasn't expecting him to get so mad that he punched a hole through the wall.
"Emmett!" I screamed shocked.
"I'm going to kick his ass!" he spat, grabbing his shoes.
"Em, you're projecting the majority of your anger onto this. You're not really that mad at James, you're mad at Rose. Please don't go beat him to a pulp and leave me to come up with bail money."
"Write down the combo to the safe -fifty-six, sixty-"
"Em," I sighed.
"Fine, but if the motherfucker shows up here again, I'm using Rose's gun for real." He threatened.
"How about a movie night? Neither one of us wants to go out."Mean Girls" as promised" I suggested.
"Sure," he shrugged calming down.
I walked into the kitchen opening the fridge and pantry.
"Okay, we are out of beer, wine, and ice cream. Let me run to the store."
"Are you okay to drive?" Emmett asked concerned.
"Yeah, I'll be fine." I reassured him grabbing his keys.
I walked to Em's truck dialing Rose's phone on my way. Still no answer. I climbed in the truck, put on my seatbelt and pulled out. I wanted to see if my friend was wallowing or just avoiding me so I dialed her from the hands free in Emmett's truck, and she picked up on the second ring.
"Baby you finally called me back, let me explain."
"Ah… so avoiding me it was." I spat.
"Oh so you do know I exist?" I asked sarcastically.
"Bella look, I already know what you're going to say and I just wasn't in the mood for it last night."
"No actually you didn't. James took my car last night leaving me stranded at school. I forgot my wallet, and missed the last bus from the dry cleaners where I went to help YOU out. Then I had to walk a mile home in the rain."
"Oh my god, Bella I'm sorry." She apologized.
"Next time get over yourself Rose." I snapped disconnecting the call.
She tried calling me back it was my turn to ignore her. The nerve of her thinking I was calling to guilt trip her. That is Emmett's and her business it's not my place. Although she knows how much it hurt me when James cheated. I don't understand what my friend was thinking. She was probably only thinking about herself which seemed to be a pattern lately. I gripped the steering wheel tightly in anger. The next thing I know, blue and red flashing lights are in my review.
I pulled over and watched the officer stalk to the car in my rearview. He tapped my window and motioned for me to roll it down. I Rolled down the window and was met with the most beautiful face I'd ever seen.
"Do you know why I pulled you over?" he asked in the most velvety voice.
"Uh…uh…." I stumbled.
"Have you been drinking?" he asked confused.
My eyes darted to his badge Cullen, Edward #667.
"I had a few mimosas but I'm fine." I admitted.
"Well you were swerving back there, license and registration."
"That wasn't from intoxication officer Cullen, I was on the phone with my supposed best friend. She really ticked me off and I wasn't paying attention." I explained passing him my license and Emmett's registration.
"Is this your car?" he asked.
"No, it's my other best friend's I'm just running to the store for him."
"Okay, Mrs. Hunter I will let you off with a warning this time. But if you ever feel too overwhelmed to drive, please pull over. Or here's my number call me and I'll escort you wherever you need to go, I'm local." He announced slipping me his card, with the papers.
I watched as he walked away to his cruiser, climbed in and pulled away. I examined the card and noticed it had both his work and cell numbers on it. I pondered over what all of that meant as I stopped by the local grocery grabbing everything for our movie night.
I made it back home and the living room was prepped with movie choices laid out. I smiled as it felt like old times. Emmett had picked out a lot of chick flicks and then tried to pretend it was all for my benefit. I cracked open the beers saving the wine for the evening and we settled into a comfortable silence on the couch as "She's all That" played through the surround sound. Emmett was a huge Freddie Prinze Jr fan.
"Every time we had watched this movie in college I wished I was that brave," I announced, taking a swig of my third beer.
"What do you mean?" Em asked.
"To undergo a makeover and re-event myself."
"What's wrong with how you were then or are now, Bella?" Emmett asked confused.
"I don't know, I always felt like I didn't belong at all the parties you dragged me to. Or I couldn't hold a candle to all the girlfriends you had. You were this hot shot future sports attorney. I was just plain Bella literature major. At times I felt like I wanted to be more." I confessed.
"Bella don't ever say that, you were the reason I was sane. I was miserable next to you. I was pushed into a career I didn't want. All those fake friends and status climbing girls didn't mean half as much to me as you did, you were my bright spot, " he said. I was stunned. I never knew how his college experience truly had been for him. He was always the life of the party to me, hell to everyone.
"I had the biggest crush on you. I tried to tell you once but then you got together with James and I knew that that ship had sailed for us." Emmett said nursing his sixth beer.
"You brought out the best in me; you were the one to make me see that living up to my dad's expectations wasn't everything that being happy was. I think Rose always resented that. When we met we were both destined to be lawyers living the high life. But she got stuck with an elementary school gym teacher instead, no wonder she cheated I pushed her right into Alistair's arms. "
"Listen to me, I know it's easy to blame yourself as to why she cheated, trust me I've been there. But it is not your fault Em. She made a selfish decision, and that's on her not you."
"Then let's make some selfish decisions of our own." Emmett said inching closer to me.
"Em…" I warned.
"Are you telling me that all throughout college you never thought of me like that once?"
I looked into his dark questioning eyes. I'd been in love with Emmett longer than I could remember. I never thought I was in a league to in qualify to be on his arm. When Rose came to visit, I practically shoved her into his arms. She was way more beautiful than me, way more qualified to be with him. I never expected her to marry him. I was happy for my best friends; I really was but there was always something inside me that screamed 'what if'?
"I never thought you'd ever want someone like me." I answered honestly.
"Bella, you never saw yourself clearly." He said kissing my lips softly.
I resisted at first, fighting an internal war. This was something I had always wanted, but the stakes were too high. Rose was still my best friend, and I couldn't hurt her like this.
Emmett removed his lips from mine and kissed down my neck. For such a big guy it surprised me that his touch was so tender.
"Em, we can't" I whispered.
He ignored me and started kissing lower. My breathing peaked as I was becoming increasingly more turned on. I gripped the soft curls of his dark hair holding him to me.
"I know you're hurting but this isn't the way." I tried to protest arching into his touch as he palmed my breast through my shirt.
"Tell me you don't want this, you don't want me and I'll stop." He said looking into my eyes.
The beer was making my brain fuzzy; I had always been a lightweight. I knew this was wrong, I shouldn't do this but I couldn't lie. I'd wanted this for a long time.
Emmett's mouth claimed mine and our tongues danced as if we had been here before. Emmett cradled my head softly as I poured six years of desperation into one kiss. Our mouths only separated for air. Clothes were shed I felt weightless as Emmett lifted me in his arms. We stumbled to the guest room. Emmett laid me flat on my back and began kissing his way down my body. I moaned in pleasure as his tongue teased my nipples and he rubbed me through my cotton boy shorts. Our undergarments were discarded, and we were left with skin to skin contact. He looked into my eyes making sure I wanted to go through with this. My mind screamed no but my body betrayed me by pulling him closer. Our lips met again as he slid into me. I moaned in pleasure as I felt Emmett stretch me. He moved at a slow and steady rhythm to get me used to his girth. Before I knew it, I was clawing his back on the verge of coming undone. Emmett was whispering sweet nothings in my ear about dreaming about this for longer than he cared to admit. Our bodies moved in harmony as we played the final chord to our song. I came around him, his release following close behind.
Heavy breathing filled the room; I couldn't believe I had just had sex with my married best friend. I couldn't freak out because then he would freak out. We laid there for a while both of us afraid to say anything. It wasn't too long before I heard Emmett's soft snores. He had fallen asleep. I couldn't sleep, I had just betrayed one of the best friends I'd ever had and slept with the other one; this was a recipe for disaster. I crept out of bed and went back down stairs. I looked over the remains of our movie night. I saw the unopened bottle of wine and I went for it. Popping the cork and pouring myself a glass. I turned on "A Walk to Remember" slipped on my shirt and snuggled up on the couch. Halfway through the movie, Emmet reemerged freshly showered. He grabbed a beer and took a seat next to me. We didn't speak; we just watch the movie in silence. It wasn't awkward, it wasn't strained, but things we're about to get real messy really soon.