CHAPTER SIX

Procrastinating her Biology work, Anna led herself across the bottom of Bella's bed and decided that annoying her was a far more entertaining way to spend her evening.

Jessica had invited her to see a movie but spending her Friday evening wearing jeans and being in pain had sounded like torture. Instead, Anna was in her comfiest pyjamas, hot water bottle tucked into her waistband, yellow blanket wrapped around her and pretending not to notice her sister attempting to kick her off the bed.

Despite having been forewarned that all she would receive from Emmett was radio silence, Anna couldn't help the hopeful rush of her heartbeat any time her phone buzzed in recognition of a new message. Nor could she control the crushing wave of disappointment that followed when it turned out to be anyone else.

"You know that I love you very much and your company is a blessing but I will literally give you my sheet to copy if it means you'll leave me alone," grumbled Bella after Anna blew in her ear for the sixth time.

"I thought I was supposed to be the hormonal one." Anna sniggered before letting out a cry of fear as Bella finally managed to roll her sister off the bed.

Charlie's worried yell sounded from downstairs as he called out to them to ensure both his twins were safe. Instead of receiving an answer, he heard their light-hearted bickering and shook his head before walking back to the couch. A smile adorned his face at the unfamiliar but comforting sound. Having both of his girls back under the same roof was nice, especially since the tension from Bella's arrival had dissipated.

Apologising and handing her sister the sheet, Bella allowed Anna to crawl under Bella's purple covers as they decided to put a movie on Anna's laptop. Quickly filling in the boxes, Anna placed all the schoolwork on the floor before snuggling under the blanket. Bella's head rested on her shoulder as the movie continued but neither one paid much attention as their topic of conversation veered towards boys.

"I just don't understand him." Bella sighed, trailing off from her rant about Edward Cullen's hot-and-cold behaviour, breath coming out in heavy pants.

Acknowledging everything said and comparing it to her equally weird/frustrating experiences with Emmett, the Swan twins agreed that the Cullen boys were complicated creatures.

Emmett had a cheeky and cheerful persona and Anna often got hopeful that his behaviour indicated he could be slightly interested in her. He spent his free periods with her and refused to listen when she said he was under no obligation to spend time with her. In fact, he protested greatly and informed her that he wouldn't want to spend his time with anyone else.

However, when she finally got hopeful, the next time they interacted he was tense, clenching his fists and leaning his body away from her as politely as possible as if her very presence was some form of torture. He leant forward as if to kiss her cheek before abruptly pulling away and looking disgusted with himself and he had never once proposed that they spend time with each other away from the school environment.

Listening to Bella describe how she had opened up to Edward about Phil and Renee within their first conversation yet she knew nothing about him, Anna realised once again how similar her situation was with Emmett. During their short moments together she had done exactly what Bella had - confessed things about herself without a second thought, instantly trusting him and expected no secrets in return. She had even opened up about her slight feelings of resentment towards her mother and how it had led to a fear of abandonment. Whilst she loved living with her father and had chosen to remain with him all these years, some part of her would never forgive her mother for not taking her to Phoenix in the first place.

Reassuring her sister that there was nothing wrong with her and that she was absolutely desirable to men (considering half the male population in school wished to be with her), Anna reminded Bella that Edward had a reputation for not interacting with the students of Forks High. Nor had he ever made much of an effort with the females and had never once shown an interest in them. He never dated.

Joking that he might be gay, Bella snorted at her sister before falling silent as she mulled things over. No matter the reason, Bella felt herself being drawn in the harder Edward tried pushing her away.

As the couple on the screen reunited passionately in the rain, Anna directed her attention to the evening sky, watching as the moon become more visible. Raindrops pattered against the windowpane and she followed the trail of a drop as it slid down the glass.

Opening up to her sister and gossiping in full confidence had been a freeing moment and both girls had finally been able to discuss secrets they had kept to themselves for years.

Unfortunately, it opened Anna's eyes to a fact she had been turning a blind eye to. No matter how charming he was or how easily she found herself falling from him, Anna could no longer ignore the uneasy feeling that initially arrived with the presence of Emmett Cullen. The bruises on her abdomen hinted at the strength he possessed and the behaviour of each member of the family hinted that they were hiding a secret so deadly that anybody who knew it would be in dire danger.

Perhaps they belong to some sort of Mafia, Anna thought before laughing at her own ridiculous theory.

"Hey, Bells?"

"Yeah?"

"I'm really glad you decided to come home. I've missed you."

"Me too, Anna. It's been nice to talk to you and actually feel like I have a twin sister. I had forgotten how empathetic you were."

Tears pricked in her eyes at that comment as she had been feeling the same way. Over the years, the holidays had always been weird as she felt as if she had been intruding on Bella and Renee – a stranger with her own family. Bella being home for a permanent stay had made them form the sisterly bond that had frayed exponentially over the years. Now, regardless of whether Bella eventually returned to Phoenix, their bond would forever be unbreakable.

Pulling her sister in for a tight hug, the two girls spent the rest of the evening chatting, laughing, and watching cheesy movies that provided nothing but background noise. For the first time since they were children, Annabella and Isabella Swan fell asleep curled up next to each other, smiles adorning their lips.

Neither one aware of the man watching them with his own happy grin.


Being crammed onto a bus full of people was quite literally Anna's idea of hell. People in general tended to her annoy her, which is why she spent her spare time with a select few she had spent years adjusting to. Loud people that she was unable to escape from due to being in a confined space left her with a murderous expression on her face for the entirety of the journey. Luckily, Bella seemed equally glum so Anna didn't feel alone as she glared at people.

Wandering through the aisles of greenery, Anna sniggered when Bella stumbled and reached an arm out to steady her before continuing to follow the rest of their classmates. It was the third time Bella had skidded on the slippery surface and Anna had little doubt it would be the last but she had adjusted to saving her sister.

Barely paying attention to the hurricane of information Mr Banner was launching at them, Anna jumped when the hairs on her arm raised and a chill alerted her to the sudden presence of Edward.

Guessing that he wished to talk to Bella, Anna discreetly edged away from him before excusing herself and leaving them alone. However, she only stayed a few paces ahead so that she wasn't too far if Bella needed to be rescued.

He ought to be apologising for treating her like crap, Anna grumbled to herself, subtly glancing behind her to gauge Bella's facial expressions.

Frowning at the idea of his behaviour having hurt Bella deeply, Edward was very grateful for Annabella Swan and her protective nature. At least he knew that in the rare moments he was unable to protect Bella himself, she had her own human guardian angel watching her back. Anna was a rare, selfless human being and Edward found himself grateful that she had been made for his brother. No one else was more deserving of someone as pure as Bella's twin.

Exclaiming, Anna flinched when Jessica bounded up to her, full of energy and beaming from ear to ear. During her attempt to eavesdrop, she had been caught unaware.

"Mike finally agreed to go to the dance! I'm going to the dance with Mike!"

"Oh, Jess, that's wonderful! I'm so happy for you." Anna said sincerely, her friend's happiness melting away her earlier glum mood. "We'll have to go shopping for dresses soon."

"Wait, who did you ask then?" Jessica questioned, hurt that Anna hadn't immediately started swooning to her when Emmett agreed to go to the dance.

After all, who else would the Swan girl go with if not the beefy, handsome man whom she had developed a fast friendship with? Especially considering he used to watch her intensely when she wasn't looking and she had expressed her approval of his appearance on multiple occasions.

"Come on, Jess, you know I'm going with Tyler. It's the rules – we always go to school events together." Anna shot her friend a quizzical look, confused as to why Jessica would think Anna would choose anyone else.

Since they had developed their friendship, Tyler and Anna had decided that unless they were in a relationship, they were to prevent each other from enduring the tedious process of finding dates for functions. Instead, they would go together and save each other from boredom.

"Well, I know that but recently Lauren has been showing an interest in him and I think she asked him." Jessica frowned, hoping her friend had found the courage to ask Emmett to the dance.

Her scowl deepened when she contemplated the possibility that she had asked and had been rejected. If the tallest Cullen had broken her friend's heart then she would have a few things to say to him.

"Oi, Ty!" Anna called out, attracting the dark-haired man's attention. "You coming to the dance with me Saturday?"

"Always," he winked back. "I'm hurt you'd even ask. You know it's the unwritten rule of our slow-burning romance."

Lauren glowered at the interaction but Anna just grinned at Jessica in triumph. "See. The rules. Anyway, he would have told me if he was going with someone else."

"Hmm. I thought maybe you'd ask someone else this year."

Knowing exactly as to whom Jessica was hinting at, Anna was relieved when Angela rushed over in a panic over needing to buy a dress soon before all the good ones were gone after overhearing Lauren say she had already bought hers.

Anna was certainly not in the mood to be discussing her confusing friendship with the biggest Cullen – she didn't even know if they were truly friends or just school acquaintances. She couldn't answer Jessica's questions when she didn't truly know the answers herself.

A vibration reverberated down her leg and distracted Anna from confronting her own feelings and whether she liked him, let alone him reciprocating any feelings she may or may not have. He could barely stand to be too close to her so dancing with her would've been out of the question.

Hormones clouded judgement and the self-critical part of her kicked in. She might not even be good enough to be his friend so she shouldn't start worrying about anything more.

'See you tomorrow, Shorty x. ~ Emmett.'

Speak of the devil.

Butterflies burst in her stomach as she stared at the kiss tacked on the end of the message. Joy bubbled up in her chest knowing that he would be back in school sooner rather than later but it was replaced with dismay as she remembered the confounding situation with him.

Resolving herself to an unrequited attraction, she knew she had to find a way to rid herself of the feelings threatening to grow. Anna knew she had to find some way to forget about the endearing parts of Emmett before she ended up like Bella; in too deep with no way out. She had to cut herself off cleanly from him before he hacked away at her heart in an attempt to escape.

Sensing the turmoil rolling off the human, Jasper was further confused when Alice stared at the girl before gasping as a vision clicked into place.

Children.

A wedding.

A figure watching from afar but never getting close, trapped in heartbreak for eternity as the years rushed by.

Chuckling as Mr Banner snatched the compost tea away from Tyler before he could drink it, Anna watched his cheeks flush when Banner informed them all that it was for the plants only.

"Idiot," she grinned, swatting him on the back of the head and running away when he decided to chase her.

"Problem solved." Alice informed Jasper, sliding her phone back into her pocket.

Messaging Emmett had taken seconds but having to watch as Anna received her message from the man and respond had taken far longer than Alice had been comfortable with. However, as Anna smiled at the name on her phone, her future with Tyler Crowley become more murky whilst her future with Emmett solidified.

An eternity of love replaced a happy marriage but one filled with a sense of longing for something else.


"What the hell does that even mean?! 'It's better if we're not friends' and then he tells me that he wants to be my friend!" Bella complained, head spinning as she attempted to make sense of Edward's cryptic words. "He keeps saying how he should stay away from but doesn't want to. If he doesn't want to, then why would it be better if he did?!"

Sat cross-legged on her bed surrounded by textbooks and articles, Anna's laptop lay forgotten in front of her, screen black from abandonment. Grateful for an excuse to ignore her essay (she had been working on it for an hour and so far all that had been written was the title and an introduction), Anna listened eagerly to the new drama in the saga of Bella and Edward.

She had thought Emmett was complicated despite how regularly the man spoke his mind and was blunt about his opinion but Edward seemed to be on a completely different level of complex.

"Who even says something like that? You should never tell someone you shouldn't be friends with him or her if you're then going to be their friend. It sends some serious mixed signals."

"Exactly. He always tells me how frustrating I am because he can't 'read' me like he does everyone else but then he turns around and says things like that. Yet I'm the frustrating one!"

"Are you sure he's worth all this stress?"

Flinching at the scathing look shot her way, Anna immediately regretted the words she had dared utter.

"I've never felt this way about anyone." Bella pouted, sinking down onto the bed next to Anna and burying her face into her sister's grey pillows. "Of course I have to end up liking the one guy who doesn't act the way most guys are supposed to."

"Life would be much easier if you had just fallen for Mike. I've known him since Kindergarten and he's extremely predictable. But no, you have to actually want excitement and romance." Anna teased, laugh being cut short when a yellow cushion was thrown in her face.

"You're not being helpful." Bella's muffled voice reprimanded.

"I never listened to your problems so I could help you," said Anna in faux disgust at the idea. "I simply needed a distraction from my essay."

Letting out a frustrated scream into the pillow, Bella moved her legs and grinned when the loud thump informed her that her movement had been successful.

"Stop doing that!" Anna yelled, rubbing the back of her head as she noticed the bed was no longer underneath her.

Pouting, the older twin pulled a pillow off the bed and decided to lie on the floor as the twins continued to unravel the mystery behind the Cullen men.