It took me several moments to realize what I had done. In my arms lay a man, his head hanging from the bits of bone and gristle that once was his throat. In my mouth, I tasted the purest ambrosia that no creature of four legs could have ever provided. My hands clutched his lifeless form like steel bands holding up the bridge on which I squatted.
Bridge? Sweet mother of Jesus.
I stared down in my state of shock, my arms locked around a thin man, whose clothing was so torn from his struggle and stained with the proof of his humanity that identification would be impossible. At that moment, I felt fear as I had never felt it before. Again I wondered in my panic: what had I done?
I heard her before she got near. Rose. Oh my god, my mind shouted louder, what had I done? I looked up, the phantom beating of my heart pounding in my ears. Rose, my beautiful angel of redemption; she would soon see the monster in its blood covered form.
"Emmett? Where did you—" I braced for impact. She stopped short of the bridge, her amber eyes growing wide where she stood. Even in the midnight black of this country side, she could see the macabre sight, smell the blood that covered me as I stood, shaking. Should I run? Would she scream? Did she understand that I hadn't meant to?
"Rose..," I faltered, staring at her eyes. I closed my mouth tightly, feeling the blood from my fingers drip onto the ground and pool around my feet. In my state of shock, sound that was once loud was impossible to tune out. Each drip was the ticking of a giant grandfather clock, and Rose was an angel standing out to guard the populace below. She was a statue in her own shock, not moving a muscle. Yet even though fear and anguish gripped her, she was exquisite in the moonlight. Her long, gold hair was unbraided and free. Her mouth was tight, and I knew that what I had done had changed us forever. We were alone, she and I. Alone on our first honeymoon…and I, I had ruined everything.
"Emmett…" She also could not speak. Then, bravely, she stepped forward, the sound of her step on the wooden bridge echoed over the wild Scottish moor, the sound also enhanced by my shocked senses. "Emmett, we have to get rid of the body."
Her words did not register. I only heard her steps, afraid of what her words would be. As she cam closer, not touching me, I backed away, at a loss.
"Rose, I'm sorry. I didn't—"She was knelling beside the corpse now and when I spoke her head snapped up.
"Not one word Emmett McCarty." She hissed. I flinched. Her mouth trembled, and her tone softened. "Explanations later."
She lifted the man easily, one arm underneath his torso, and the other under his limp knees. His body was badly torn from my attack. There was a thud and I picked up his head, as it broke from its source with a sickening tear. Rose glanced at me and shuddered. I felt shame tighten my throat and I looked away. She turned gracefully and took off towards a small wooden glen we had passed two miles back. I flipped the head neck up so as not to leave so incriminating a trail. In the seconds that we ran, my head began to clear. We would have to leave this place—one never knew if it was the hunting ground of another of our kind…and the few she and I had run into were not keen on sharing their land.
I watched her as she sprinted forward. Even though the man in her delicately shaped arms was larger than she, she still moved as if she held nothing more than a bag of feathers. However, these feathers were bleeding on her shirt, and I had to look away, knowing that she had bought the clothing she wore to impress me.
.It took five minutes to find a tree large enough to bury the corpse under. We worked quickly, burying the remains and then replanting a tree to hide the ground that was now this stranger's grave. However, the moment the last dirt pile was settled, Rose turned towards me. I stood waiting, ready for her screams and her condemnation. That was not what happened.
Her arms were around me in an instant, and her face buried in my shoulder. I believe that if she had been capable of tears, they would have fallen down her fair face. I squeezed her tightly, and shook in her arms. We stood still, very still…for several minutes…or maybe they were hours. The knowledge that she did not hate me for what I had done was all that I could process, so time was unimportant.
Finally though, the moment of reassurance passed and Rose began to form words. "Why Emmett…" She cried, her voice broken against my chest. "You swore that you wouldn't drink the blood of a human!" She pulled back, her divine countenance twisted with anguish. I hung my head, and her fingertips brushed against my lips. I knew she was wiping away the blood of the slaughtered man.
"I..don't…know." I confessed. The images of the events blew through my mind in a flurry. "One moment I passed by that bridge, the next, I was drinking." I held her around her waist. I wanted her to understand how strong my urge was. "I couldn't stop Rose. I tried." I felt frustration. "I promise…" Again, I hung my monstrous head. "I tried."
In a moment of tragedy, time does interesting things. For some it stops all together while their brains dissect the information thrown into its receivers. Others feel as if time has warped forward to a place where they are no longer in control. For myself, it was a war that began in my brain and strained against all of the bindings that my will could present. I was afraid, afraid because of how much I had hungered for that man's blood. Before, when I had taken my oath to abstain from the damning substance, it had seemed a trivial thing. Animals were satisfying in their own ways, and always I had kept Rosalie, my angel, to the very front of my mind. However it hadn't taken long. Honestly, I hadn't really considered much about the kill other than it was necessary.
That was when the anger began to blossom. I opened my mouth then, unable to keep these realizations and thoughts to myself. "Rose." I began, and her eyes closed at the sound of her name. I couldn't help myself, I began to speak quickly. "Rose, I had to. And maybe it is good that I have. I've never understood the restriction before now. And darling you must understand how fulfilling it is." I shook her slender frame then and her eyes flickered with fear. However, Rosalie is a brave woman and she was not frightened by my ill-begotten strength. Instead she did something that she's never done before. She slapped me.
I let her go instantly, ashamed of what I'd said, but unwilling to ignore what had happened. She turned away before I could speak and went off onto her own rant of suppressed rage. "Emmett, you cannot tell me that that man deserved to die so that you could be taught the pleasures of blood!" She turned around, her movements faster than a mortal could comprehend and the flow of words continued. "When you married me you swore! You told me you understood! If you could tell me now that it was worth it to break the---" I had to stop her before she said something dangerous. So I caught her and kissed her. It was not a gentle and loving kiss, but instead a consuming and possessive one. She pushed against me and tried to hurt me with her nails, but I stood still, enduring the struggle. Finally she relaxed and I pulled my face from hers.
"Rose. Shut up and listen for a minute. I love you. I am sorry. I'm a worthless sack of shit and I don't deserve you. So stand still and let me explain what I did." Her eyes were beams of fury that could not be concealed but she did not struggle from my arms. I looked over my shoulder back to the place where we'd hidden the body. I instinctively took a deep breath, surprised by how the remaining traces of the blood could still burn my throat. "There was no resisting that smell Rose. It was not the normal temptation." I looked at her and made sure she was listening. She was. "It was as if someone had waved my mother's apple pie underneath my nose and handed me a fork with a glass of milk. It was as if---" I searched for words to make her understand the intensity—"as if YOU had stepped out of a wood clothed in nothing but your wet hair." Her eyes were not locked with mine and the realization of my need finally dawned on her.
"I've heard of something like that before." She finally whispered, looking ashamed now of the fight we'd had. "Father told me of a time when he'd seen the same thing. I don't remember what it is called but…" I waited tense for her final words. "I believe you."
I sighed out my anxiety. It was all I was probably going to get from her tonight and that was good enough for me. "I feel terrible about it you know." I whispered into her hair, pulling her close again and locking her in my arms. She did not protest and I was gratified to feel her body press against mine. "It was wrong what I did…and I'm sorry I hurt you."
She bit my ear then and I pulled back, surprised. She gave me a smile, and then a sad nod of her head.
"It was terrible what you did." She said gravely. "But that is going to have weigh on you. I can see that it will." I winced, surprised that she was so intuitive about the way I felt. She continued. "But for now Emmett, let's just get out of this place. I want to rest. The night has been long.
We turned away from that man's grave then, and we did not look back. It was hours before we found a hostel in the cloudy dawn. We bought a room and lay in that bed for hours, holding one another. I basked in her forgiveness and she said nothing. That was okay though. When you're in love, sometimes, no words are really needed.
Author's Note and Disclaimer: I am not Stephenie Meyers. I am not Little, Brown, and Co. I own nothing and all characters and references to the book series Twilight are the property of their owners. I would like to thank bronzehairedgirl who did a wonderful job as my beta, even though I took forever to finish four pages worth of fic. Thank you for reading.