E M M E T T
If I'll say one thing for Paris, it's that this is the Vegas of Europe, and anything can happen. Oh, sure, you'll get some inexperienced frat boys that will tell you Amsterdam is in fact the only city where the shit gets freaky, but they're wrong.
See in Paris, weird things have been happening for centuries. Think about all the creepy, nasty things that go bump in the night, and put all of them together in one 100 square mile radius, and BAM!
You've got Paris.
I mean, come on, it's so obvious. Exactly how many revolutions do you think indecisive humans can actually pull off by themselves? The answer is like, two. Robertspierre? That dude was most definitely not human. In fact, he was so out there, no one is quite sure what he was. Napoleon, according to Carlisle, was actually a gnome, a vicious sprite that went A-wall, but it took like 20 years for the other fairies to realize he'd gone off on a tangent, because they were too busy partying it up. As for vampires? The French cops are constantly pulling bodies out of the Seine that look a little drained, if you catch my drift.
I'm sure people must have noticed over the years, but they never really say anything, because as I said, this is Paris, and anything goes. So when a snarling, snapping, teenage boy is pulled out of a nightclub, yowling and being generally unpleasant, the bouncers just pull open the door to the outside, and leave their hands outstretched for the bill that will buy silence.
After that, you're free to really go anywhere you please. They say New York is the city that never sleeps, and maybe that's true. But Paris, Paris is the city that pretends to sleep. Underneath a carefully constructed façade, a pulsing life thrives in the deep parts of the city, hot and wounded. Tonight, I want to avoid those places. Edward has enough demons to worry about.
He's still struggling. It's unbelievably hard to keep him still. Edward is older than me and (hard as it is to believe) therefore stronger, and he's practically dragging me down the street, searching for her scent. He won't find it. I think the only reason Bella is safe tonight is because he's such a god-awful tracker. One time he was tracking this real cow, Victoria, and he misjudged it so badly that he ended up in Argentina, while she had a real good time of it up in good old Forks. I've always felt that his lack of skill in this area stemmed from the fact that Edward had never even seen dirt before he was changed, much less slept in it.
As luck would have it, we pass by a kosher butcher shop, and in the back room I espy a lamb being prepared in for slaughter. Perfect. Ironic too. One lamb in lieu of another. Edward whips his head around and hones in on the fresh blood. I see him looking lustily at one of the butchers. Oh no. In an effort to prevent any hasty murders I shout out an offer of 400 Euros for the sheep. The man pauses and nods at his apprentices. They shoo the lamb out the door. I drag it into an alley, and Edward pounces. While he's feeding I slip back to the shop and give the man his money. He stares curiously at the alley, hearing the ravenous noises.
" Merci beaucoup messieurs. C'est beaucoup apprecié." Thank you dudes, it's much appreciated.
" Ouai, ouai. De rien, et j'espere jamais vous revoir." Sure, sure, you're welcome. I hope to never see you again.
I grin. This man's no fool.
" Volontairement. Merci encore." You and me both, dude. Thanks again.
I get back into the alley to see a mauled carcass and the huddled form of my brother. Oh damn. I hate a moody Edward almost more than I hate a psychotic Edward. He's silent as the grave, just sitting there. I stoop down to his level, and try to look him in the eyes. He won't even turn his head to look at me. Damn,
'Come on, Edward. We can't stay here. Someone will come, and then I'll have to explain why there's little bits of innocent lamb splattered everywhere."
Usually this kind of asinine statement will get at the very least, a baleful glare, but Edward doesn't respond. He's gone off into the deep end, into some big black hole where I can barely reach him. Right, I'm just going to have to move him myself. I'm about to go to one of the parks, but then I remember that at night, the parks are overrun with prostitutes. Right Edward, how would you like some nice tasty prostitute to go with that lamb?
Really, all perverted and rather graphic joking aside, it would be better not to lead him into temptation. I'm thinking, and I'm thinking, and finally it hits me. I haul Edward onto my back (he's mumbling incomprehensibly) and we set off at lightning speed. Île St. Louis is predictably abandoned, and we set up shop near Notre Dame de Paris. Where better to resist temptation than with one of the holiest building in existence as a reminder? Sometimes I amaze myself with my own finely tuned sense of irony and razor-sharp wit.
Edward I set gently down on a bench. I will never, ever have the emotional awareness that Jasper has, but it would take a blind man with four pairs of sunglasses not to see the desolation and pain in Edward's face. I sit down next to him, and wait. There's nothing I can do until he decides to reconnect. We sit there, bodies perfectly frozen, locked into our granite positions. I fight the urge to copy the ridiculous Denis Diderot statue close by, another being stuck in a cast iron pose. Honestly, if I were going to be immortalized in stone, perhaps I would specify that they not place my hand on my crotch when carving my statue?
I wait an hour, but the night is fast fading, and Edward still hasn't talked. I'm going to have to initiate a conversation.
He turns slowly towards me, and I stifle a gasp. He looks horrible. His eyes are dark, haunting, and his face looks sallow, somehow yellowed and aged. I didn't know vampires could be anything but beautiful, but Edward just looks old. Old and afraid.
"Edward, Alice just sent me a text message. She said Bella is okay, and that she's been asking for you."
He seems to sag even more. " She trusts me. She still wants me after everything I put her through," The tension rises in the air as Edward begins to hate himself again with renewed vigor. " Why? WHY! WHY CAN'T SHE SEE THAT I'M ONLY GOING TO HURT HER OVER AND OVER AGAIN!" His eyes go black and, oh Christ, he's started to shake. The bench beneath us creaks ominously. Suddenly he leaps up, and there's lightning in his eyes.
"WHAT DID I DO? What horrible-" (here he punctuated his self-loathing with punches to the unsuspecting statue of Diderot) "-monstrous-idiotic thing have I done?" He roars, and the whole street seems to shake with his fury.
Edward's eyes get furious again. He storms off and I watch calmly as he wrecks two magazine kiosques and a duck pond. His temper is horrendous, really it is. It's almost as bad as Rosalie's. Well, maybe not as bad as Rosalie's, but it's still very destructive. I get up and grab his swinging fist before he decides to take an important chunk of Notre Dame's foundation with him.
"Edward, you have to stop. We can't wreck Paris in one night. That's really just uncalled for."
He glares at me, but arrests his total worldwide destruction." You know Emmett, maybe you forget sometimes that I can hear every goddamned thing you're thinking, and you have been nothing but snarky the entire night. Save your 'own finely tuned sense of irony and razor-sharp wit,' for someone who cares."
"DAMN IT EMMETT, I CAN STILL HEAR YOU!"
I sigh. I know, Edward, I know. But how else am I supposed to cope with this?
His voice breaks through. " Emmett, I- I tried to kill her tonight."
My curiosity breaks through. " What the hell happened, anyways? I left you alone for a little while, and all hell broke loose."
Edward takes deep breaths, trying to calm the hysteria rising in his eyes. It takes him a while to compose himself, and I look away, a little embarrassed. He's my older brother, after all. It is strange to see the normally composed Edward in complete disarray.
" I set rules for tonight, so none of this would happen. I made an effort, and Alice ruined it all! Edward, she's never had a drink before, and I'm not going to have you ruin lawbreaking by limiting it!" Edward does cruel imitation of Alice. " She undermined me, and everything went wrong!"
His voice is rising again, and I quell him with my best Esmé imitation.
" Don't try and blame it on Alice, Edward." He's not really listening.
" I said one drink. Bella could have one drink! Next thing I know, she and Alice are having a contest, and Bella's loosing!"
I snort. I've seen Alice drink a 300-pound Irishman under the table before. Bella couldn't have stood a chance.
" Wait, hold on Edward. What does drinking have to do with it? I thought you jumped her when you were dancing, not drinking."
" It changed Bella, that's what it did! She wasn't dancing, it was more like…sex on the dance floor!"
I laugh. I can't help myself. " So wait. You attacked her, because she turned you on? You couldn't handle her being more than innocent school girl, so you just jumped her instead?"
He glares at me darkly, a look to freeze ice." No…" he mutters, but I can tell there's truth in what I've just said.
He looks up at the moon for a moment, and then sighs. " You can't understand Emmett. There's such a fine line between wanting to kill her and sleep with her. There's just this enormous savagery inside me, fighting for dominance, and it's sort of like one triggers the other. I have to suppress both at the same time, all the time, and it's so hard to be in control around her. She was just so different then, and I wasn't prepared. I didn't have any rein over my actions, because I… think I – half wanted it to happen. "
His voice breaks. " I can't protect her from myself."
" I'm worried about you Edward. I don't want you to retreat into yourself again. I'm hoping you and Bella can fix this, because she loves you and you love her."
"That's the worst part." Edward whispers this so quietly I can barely hear him.
"What?! No, Edward, that's the best part!"
He turns scornfully on his heel." Maybe for you and Rosalie. For me and Bella, though, it's a continual death sentence." I snicker. He freezes me with a look. Sorry bro, guess it's too soon?
" Because of me, she'll never have a chance to be…" he trails off here, looking morose.
" What? Happy? In love?" I hate being serious, but sometimes the situation absolutely calls for it. " Edward, Bella loves you with her whole being. She is happiest when she's around you. She doesn't want to be normal, not if that means leaving you."
He's spiteful next. " Yes, it all comes back to me, doesn't it? Bella would be normal if it wasn't for me. She would be in college right now, maybe studying the classics or partying. Maybe she'd have a nice boyfriend, one that would love her and be able to kiss her without worrying about denting her skull in the heat of the moment. Her life would be all according to her plan and she would be happy. Instead she's here with me, living her life out to the fullest until she has to die and end it all." He glares up at the sky. "What kind of half life is that?"
I grab him by the arm and swing him around," Edward, do not be an idiot. Bella would float through her life, introverted and would probably never know love like what you to have between you. Could you stand that either? A Bella that was never truly complete?"
He grimaces, and doesn't answer. I know he's thinking about her. A sudden thought jumps to my mind. What if he…Oh, he better not even think-
"Think about what. Emmett?"
I jump up and pull myself up to my full height. If I can stop any notion of the kind I will.
" Edward, if you even think about leaving her, I promise I will hunt you down until the end of time, just so that I can personally tear you to pieces and spit on your remains." I snarl, and the sound reverberates around the trees. "Leaving her would hurt more than anything you could have done tonight. Alice never told you, did she? She never told you about how when you left, Bella wandered around the forest like a madwoman, trying to find you. Alice never told you about seeing Bella lie in her bedroom, staring at the ceiling for days and days on end. I bet she never told you about the pitiful cries either, when Bella would just lie in your room at our house and call out for you. See Edward, Alice told us that. She wouldn't tell you then, because she thought you had enough self-loathing at the time, but I will not hesitate to tell you now, because if you do that to Bella again, she will never recover. You will have killed Bella, and without using venom, or crushing her skull, or whatever horrid fate you can imagine at your hands. "
I breathe heavily and try and slow the surging anger.
Edward blinks for a moment, and then completely breaks down. He hunches over on the seat, and dry sobs. In between gasping breaths, he chokes out a final stance.
" But how – how can I do that to her? Take away her…humanity, her last chance at immortal redemption, even her opportunity to have children? Those things are not for me to take!"
I crouch down on the seat, and stare deep into his eyes. " Edward, I'm not Bella. I can't answer that for you. But I think you'll find that Bella has already given those things to you. She doesn't want that, not if it means you won't be beside her the whole way."
He's sobbing, gasping- and it breaks my heart. Edward shouldn't have these obstacles. He deserves to be at peace, to be in love like the rest of us. Instead, he's tormented, constantly on the edge. No one should have to live like this.
Dammit Edward. I love you too much to let you rip yourself apart like this. I pull out my cell phone and search for Alice's number. I pause before pressing the call button. The illumination for the cell phone catches his attention, and he raises his head bleakly. "What are you doing?" His tone is alarmed, a little panicked.
I ignore his question. " You love Bella, right?"
He nods feverently. " Then Edward, you need to talk to her about your future. And you should talk seriously about changing her."
He's a little furious." Oh, so because I can't control myself around her, she has to suffer the consequences?"
" Edward, you fool, she's already suffering. Do you know how uncertain she must be, knowing the clock is ticking and that she has no assurance that you won't pull another' I'm-a-vampire-and-we-move-on-quickly' stunt?"
His face quiets. I've accidentally hit a sore spot. " I'm sorry brother, I didn't mean it like that. But you've got to talk to her. She loves you, and this vampire issue is leaving her hanging over a gap where she's mighty uncomfortable. Now come on, I'm going to call her. Will you at least come with me?" He nods, and gestures for the phone. It rings twice before Alice picks it up.
" Hey Alice. Is Bella there?"
There's a mad scrabbling. I can hear Bella drop phone in her haste. Ha. She picks it up again, a little breathless." Edward! EDWARD!"
" It's okay, it's okay, love, I'm here."
"Oh. Where are you? Are you okay?"
"We're on Île St. Louis. We're alright."
"Oh. Good." Bella pauses for a moment. " I need you, Edward."
He sighs, and rubs his temple in frustration. She continues on. " Please come to the hotel, and find me. I need to see you, check you're alright." She's almost pleading. He pauses and stares off in the distance at something. Edward, you sick bastard! Don't leave her hanging! Say 'yes.' Say something!
"Yes Bella, I'll come. Can you- can you stand to see me?"
"Edward." Her voice is heart-breakingly sweet. " I love you. Please come."
" Alright. 15 minutes and not a minute longer, I promise."
" Bye then. I love you."
" And I love you. More than you could ever know." He snaps the phone shut and gives me a long look.
" Let's go then." he says quietly.
" Good man." I whisper. Somehow I know this will all work out.
And-oh my god. I think I'm going to cry.