A/N- When I started this, I intended it to become the first part of a story about the 'Seven Deadly Sins'. The story was going to have seven chapters, each one focusing on one of the Cullens and how they deal with a particular sin. Somewhere during the writing process, I managed to get so engrossed in exploring Emmett's character, I lost that objective. This is the end result. I may continue with the original idea, but until then here is Emmett's story.
The tile translates as 'Envy and Salvation'.
He that is not jealous is not in love. ~St. Augustine*~*~*~*~*
When Emmett McCarty was 15, he fell in love for the first time. Her name was Kitty; she was two years older than him and had flaxen hair and eyes that crinkled when she laughed.
He chased her for an entire summer, offering a lifetime of servitude for a flash of her smile and some soft words. She blinded him with her beauty and for five long months Emmett could think of nothing but her face and the way the fabric of her coloured sun-dresses curved against her creamy skin.
He was infatuated.
He obeyed her every whim like a devoted puppy, fetching and carrying to try and earn her praise. His brothers found it hilarious and teased him relentlessly, but Emmett ignored them. It'll all be worth it, he thought to himself, one day she'll realize she wants me for more than just a slave.
He was right; it just took longer than he expected it to.
June melted into July, July sizzled into August and August was just fading into Fall, before he finally got his reward. She kissed him under a tree in her father's orchard, while her friends giggled and whistled behind them. Emmett could taste the juice from the apples on her lips and it drove him crazy.
The sun's rays filtered through the trees and fell upon her face, making her look beautiful and ephemeral; like some sort of spirit. From that moment on, Emmett knew that he would never be able to keep her. Like the winds which swept across the smoky mountainsides of his home she was impossible to contain or predict.
He knew this, but it didn't stop his heart breaking when, come October, she announced her engagement. Her fiancé's name was Tom, his father owned a big company in the city and he was almost a foot taller than Emmett.
It was the first time Emmett ever experienced envy. The emotion was stronger and more painful than he ever could have expected; it wrenched his heart and made his cheeks flush with rage.
"But what about us?" he had shouted, after he had cornered Kitty on the path outside her house, his face hot with rejection.
Kitty laughed and suddenly, instead of being the most attractive sound in the world to Emmett, it made him want to smash something.
"There never was an 'us', Emmett," She said mockingly as she tossed her curls over her shoulder and examined him with a condescending air, 'you're a sweet kid and I had fun with you this summer, but that's all it was- a way to pass the time.' She turned to leave, but Emmett stepped in front of her, blocking her path.
"Why him," he demanded, "what has he got that I haven't?" She rolled her eyes at him, not even deigning to answer as side-stepped him and sighed. Her hips swayed as she sashayed away slowly, each light footfall further shattering the broken remains of his heart.
And then she was suddenly gone, leaving nothing but feelings of rage and her familiar scent behind her… funny how it now seemed more suffocating than seductive. Emmett wanted to follow her, but he knew it was no use. So he left, not stopping until he was safely in his own backyard, where he threw himself down on the grass and sat thinking and brooding. He didn't cry though; he never cried if he could help it. With all those elder brothers, he had always been taught that it was a sign of weakness; tears were for the girls and the old, not strong, young men. In truth, it wasn't until much, much later when Emmett started his new life and found that the tears couldn't come anymore- would never come again- that he realized what he had missed.
The next couple of years were spent trying to forget Kitty. Emmett found other ways to distract himself; he became an expert at it. Good genes coupled with exhaustive practice soon made him the best wrestler in town. He no longer just watched the others fight- he joined in. He won often and it felt great. The tables had turned; now the other guys envied him and not the other way round. He learned to hunt and fish and race and he grew about a foot taller. He sometimes wondered if Kitty would have liked that, but always quickly pushed those thoughts away- it hurt to think about her. There were other girls, but they never quite manage to match Kitty or erase the memories of betrayal and anger she left behind.
Until Rose found him.
Years later, Emmett often wondered how his life would have panned out, had he not gone hunting that day in Tennessee. Had it merely been a coincidence that his path had crossed with Rose? Or was it something more? As a human, Emmett had never believed in anything as philosophical as fate. Solid and steady, he had understood what he could see in front of him and had taken most things at face value. After his transformation, however, his outlook on life changed immeasurably. There was just no way that his angel could have been brought to him by chance.
For Rosalie was an angel. Despite all her failings, all her flaws, no one could ever measure up to her in Emmett's eyes. She was his saviour, his creator, his soul mate. It did not take Emmett long to realise that his feelings for Kitty had not been real love; they had not even come close to the way he felt for Rose. His love for her was so intense, all-consuming and unconditional that it was hard to put into words, but he knew almost immediately that he would do anything for her.
However with love, came uncertainty and doubt. Emmett's insecurities had a name- Edward Cullen.
At first, he was suspicious of everything the other vampire did, every word he spoke to Rose or movement he made in her direction. Emmett knew men, he was one after all, and the way that Edward acted around Rosalie just didn't make sense. It was impossible to comprehend how any uncoupled man could look at her and not feel the love and desire that Emmett felt.
So Emmett did what he knew best, and jumped to conclusions. For several dark days he avoided the family altogether, hiding out in the woods and hunting alone. He felt awful enough, without Edward invading his thoughts. He had never wanted or loved anything in his life as much as he did Rose and the thought that she belonged to someone else was enough to make him half-crazed with jealousy. It was so much worse than it had been with Kitty; like comparing the universe to a speck of dust. What shocked him the most was the sheer pain of it and every time he visualised Rosalie or Edwards' faces he felt as if his soul was being ripped into jagged pieces.
It took three days for Edward to find him and explain. Emmett was sitting on a huge rock overlooking a ravine in the middle of the forest, staring down at the trees and river below him.
Edward leaned against a nearby tree, his arms crossed in front of him. 'Emmett,' he began, eyes boring straight into the larger vampire's face.
Emmett did not answer. What was the point, when Edward could hear every single thought he had?
'Emmett, I don't love her. Not like that, not at all.'
Emmett just glared at him, the cynicism clear on his face.
Edward sighed and shook his head, his messy bronze hair rippling in the breeze. 'No, I'm not lying. Rosalie has never been more than a sister to me. In fact, most of the time, we bicker like children.'
I bet she doesn't feel the same way.How could she, when Edward was clearly so perfect in every way?
'Rosalie feels exactly the same way. She doesn't love me, Emmett. We're too different,' he paused and Emmett wondered if, despite all he had just said, Edward was about to make a confession, 'initially… when she first came to the family… I think she felt differently."
Emmett growled, "You think or you know?"
Edward smiled apologetically, "I know. It didn't last long though, barely weeks. Rosalie was… well, let's say her transformation came about under terrible circumstances." He tensed, a dark look crossing his flawless features and Emmett wondered what memory could have brought about such a reaction. He did not ask though; he sensed that it was not Edward's story to tell.
Edward recollected himself and addressed Emmett again. "I don't have to be a mind-reader to know how Rosalie feels about you, however. Come back to the house Emmett, she's confused and upset."
Emmett jumped up immediately, shame twisting his insides as he realized that he might have distressed Rose. Edward's lips curved slightly at that, but his words were comforting nonetheless. "Don't worry, it's not you she's angry with, she's just scared that you hate her for asking Carlisle to change you."
Emmett was dumbfounded. "How could she possibly think that?" he asked, amazed. Had he not become a vampire, he would not be alive. How could Rosalie think death was preferable to an eternity spent with her?
"Rosalie struggles with this existence," Edward murmured quietly, "she despises herself for damning you to it as well."
Emmett opened his mouth to speak, but was unable to find the right words. Edward laughed at the confused mash of thoughts that were crossing through his new brother's mind. "Ask her yourself," he smiled, "come on, let's go."
They ran back to the house and Emmett was so preoccupied with thoughts of Rose that he barely even had time to be annoyed that Edward was faster than him. He was about to say something, when he saw her standing at the window of the house, her beautiful face uncertain and hesitant and all words just fell from his mind.
He froze, overwhelmed by her splendor, unable to move. Edward just chuckled and pressed a firm hand into the small of Emmett's back. 'Go,' he whispered.
Emmett shook his head and walked forward, dazed, to meet his destiny.
Years passed. Emmett learnt to accept Edward and Rose's relationship, or the apparent lack of it, without suspicion. He still found it hard not to be jealous of Edward; of his speed, his importance in the family, his unwavering self-control. Emmett was not a witness to Edward's rebellious years, so he did not ever see Edward as anything but infallible and righteous and he wished he could be like that too. God, how he wished he was stronger.
It was raining when Emmett killed his first human; huge, pounding, tropical rain that fell in sheets, shaking the trees and steaming on tarmac. He was in India with Rose- their first honeymoon. It was monsoon season, so they were mostly able to come out during the day and if not they always had the nights completely to themselves.
Emmett was standing underneath the porch outside the hotel, waiting for Rose to finish getting ready so that they could go out. He was just wondering how she would react if he went up and forcibly removed her from their room, when a delivery boy emerged from a nearby building, slamming the door behind him.
The motion shifted the air and his scent seized Emmett, grasping his throat and making the pupils of his eyes dilate. There was a screaming voice in his mind as fire, stronger than he had ever felt it, raged through his chest. His surroundings seem to fall away, dissolving into nothingness until all Emmett could see, hear or feel was the heartbeat pumping the sweet, rich blood around the human standing so close to him. He heard something snap and realised that it was the boy's neck, felt warm liquid on his face and knew it was the blood. It was like he was watching himself from down a long corridor; he was detached, uninvolved with the events that were unfolding. For the first time in his new life, Emmett was completely and utterly free of all restraint… and it felt incredible.
After it was over, after every single last drop of the boy's blood had been drained, Emmett was horrified. His victim-, who, he could see, was barely more than a child- lay motionless and broken on the dirty pavement in a ruddy pool of his own blood.
It was the most awful moment of Emmett's life. There was nothing he could do, but drag the boy into an alleyway and stuff him, sobbing, into a sheltered alcove. He fumbled through his pockets and found his lighter- a prop, vampires didn't smoke- and set fire to the body. Then he collapsed against the opposite wall as he watched the flames lick across the boy's crumpled form.
Emmett slumped there, unable to move, his huge shoulders heaving as his entire body shook. He wanted to be able to cry, to be sick or pass out; anything to release some of the waves of revulsion and terror currently crashing through him. For the first time he fully appreciated what it really meant to be a vampire and the realization was nightmarish. He sat there for what seemed like hours- but it could have just as easily been mere seconds- before he felt another presence in the alley. Rose. He could not bring himself to look at her beautiful face; such was his shame and self-hatred. She was pure and untainted and he… he was a monster.
"Emmett…" Rosalie's voice was barely a whisper. Emmett did not reply, but stayed frozen in his kneeling position. For the first time ever, he wished Rosalie would leave; he could not bear for her to see him this way. He expected her to scream or shout at him, to denounce him for fiend that he was. He was surprised, therefore, when he felt her come to kneel by his side.
"Emmett…" she breathed again, her voice soft. Again, he did not speak. Slowly, hesitantly, she brought her hand to Emmett's face. He jerked his head away in a smooth, curt movement. This didn't deter her, however, and she tried again.
"Emmett, look at me," she murmured, "please," it was the request which persuaded him. Emmett had never been able to refuse his Rosalie anything; he had been bound to her from the moment she saved him and he would never be able to turn back. So he unwillingly dragged his eyes to hers and was shocked by what he saw. The liquid honey pools held no sign of hatred, anger or rejection- just sorrow and… love? He realised that he was still sobbing when Rosalie reached out and gently stroked his cheek. "It's okay, I'm here and I love you," she said, her voice aching with sadness as she held him close. Emmett was so shocked, so overcome with gratitude that she was there, still with him despite all he had done, that another strangled sob ripped from his chest.
"But Rose, I killed him," he choked.
"I know," she whispered, a pained expression on her face, "I know, Emmett; I'm so sorry."
That didn't make sense. "Why are you apologising?" Emmett asked hoarsely. She looked away, her long lashes hiding her eyes.
"I never should have put you in this position…" she sighed, "I shouldn't have let Carlisle change you, it was so selfish…"
Emmett shook his head wildly and gripped her tightly. "Rosalie Hale," he growled firmly, "don't you dare try to blame yourself for this. I love you more than anything and I will never regret your changing me, not even if I live forever. "
She half smiled, despite the situation. It was hard not to when Emmett looked so uncharacteristically serious.
"Forever is an awfully long time, Emmett," she said sadly.
Emmett shook his head as he looked sincerely down at her. "Forever isn't long enough, Rose, not if I'm with you." Then he kissed her, his big hands tracing the faultless outlines of her face.
They sat together in the shadows for the rest of the night, the rain falling noisily around them in sheets. They did not speak, just sat in silence as they watched the last of the flames recede into mere embers. In his head, Emmett thought about his life so far. He thought about Kitty and his parents back in Tennessee, about his adoptive parents, Edward and, most importantly, Rosalie. His body and most carnal of desires may have changed beyond all recognition, but in his heart, in the innermost depths of his soul, he was still the same Emmett. He was brave, warm-spirited and fiercely loyal; he could be reckless and thoughtless and talked too loudly when he got excited and, of course, he was completely in love with Rose. He adored her with every inch of his heart and, as long as he had her, he would never be alone. Nothing, not even the horror of murder, could ever take that away from him.
"I love you," Emmett whispered into ear as he gently stroked her hair. She nodded and smiled, kissing him lightly on the cheek. Emmet did not need her to speak to know that she felt the same way; he saw the confirmation in her eyes. So he sat and watched as the rain stopped and the night faded into nothing but a nightmare, the new sun rising bravely over the horizon.