A/N: This is the first POV outtake from my fic, "Notion".
**Spoiler alert!!** Do not read this until you have finished Chapter 8 of "Notion"!!
This takes place during Chapter 8, when Emmett comes back to the empty hotel room in NYC. Bella walks in and explains that she was with Edward in Central Park. I wanted to do this as my Emmett POV so that you could understand what Emmett has been thinking throughout the story to this point. With the main story only being in Bella's POV it's hard to realize why Emmett reacts the way he does. I'll be doing a Jasper POV as part of the outtakes at some point, too.
The elevator ride through the hotel was taking forever. All I wanted to do was get cleaned up, grab Bella, and head to Madison Square Garden before the crowds started making it impossible to get back in. The horses were prepped and ready, I had already gone to the show office to pick up our draw numbers for the night, so everything was set to go.
I flipped my phone open. Two thirty p.m..
Bella should have had plenty of time to rest. I hope she kept her leg elevated and iced. She probably didn't. That girl never listens, always does her own thing. She'll be the death of me, I swear it.
But that's what I loved about her, among countless other things.
Yes. Love. I love Bella.
I repeated that phrase over and over in my head. Of course I loved Bella, how could I not? We were practically brother and sister, and family loves each other. Right. But the way I loved her was deepening; I had no control over it, and it scared me silly.
I had always thought of her as a sister and nothing more. Hell, we even went on double dates together. One time, as Bella was making breakfast on a Sunday morning, she caught a girl doing the walk of shame through our house. After the girl made a hasty exit, she caught me coming out of the bathroom and gave me a high five for "getting some hot action" as she put it.
And when she had a date, I was happy for her. She would come home in the wee hours of the morning from time to time, slightly intoxicated with that post coital glow. I'd laugh at her, say some lewd comment on her sex-capade adventures and high five her right back. Back then, I was just happy that she could be happy. That's all I ever wanted for her.
That is until the day before we left to come here. She had broken down on the front porch and I had to remind her of the promise I made when we were sixteen. That sort of thing had happened before, many times, but for some reason that time was different. She was talking to me as if I had missed opportunities to be with someone, to have a life with another woman. I could tell she felt guilty for keeping me to herself, but I didn't feel slighted at all.
I didn't have to dig too deep in my brain to remember what I said to her.
Bella, honey, don't cry. You have nothing to be sorry about. I'm here with you because I want to be. And I love you, sweetie, you know that. My life isn't missing anything. You and I are not alone, we're here and we're together. That's all we'll ever need, okay…
I knew as those words left my mouth that day that the meaning behind them had changed. One moment was all it took for me to realize that my life really wasn't missing anything, that there was no where else I wanted to be than right there on that front porch with her. But it had to be her, not someone else. I couldn't stand the thought of someone else on that porch, in my house or in my bed. It was her. It was always going to be her that I wanted. I loved her before, but now I loved her, loved her.
When she crawled into my bed that night, I had no sexual intentions, but I didn't want her to be so far away from me either. Without thinking I pulled her close to me, pushed her soft hair out of the way and kissed the back of her neck. I had no idea what the hell I was doing, but it just felt right to hold her close to me. Sure, I'd held her close to me before, but not like this. I don't know if she felt the difference or not - she never said anything - but she didn't stop me either. So I let myself hope.
Then there was the West Virginia disaster that had almost been my salvation. Sure, I was tired and delirious, but I knew what I was doing when I leaned in to kiss her. She was so beautiful laying there in my arms. I wanted her to stay there forever. If that damn he-she-whatever hadn't interrupted, I don't know if we would even be in this Godforsaken city. I would have kissed her, confessed my feelings and begged her to just go home with me and live happily ever after.
But I guess fate had other ideas.
It hurt to see her with Jasper at the club our first night in the city. That shit was my fault - I had pushed those two together. I never gave Bella a reason to stay with me. I couldn't be mad at Jazz, though, since he was the only other person on the planet that I would deem worthy enough for her. But he screwed up, too, and opened the door for any old shmuck to waltz right in.
And even though I knew Bella was accident prone, I couldn't help the feeling of complete helplessness I experienced seeing her in that ambulance. She wasn't hurt that badly, but I knew the hospital was going to evoke some bad memories for her, and those memories were my fault. I should have been there for her the night her parents died. I should have been right by her bedside, holding her hand.
But I wasn't. I was being a dumb, self-absorbed high school jock, hanging out at some underage keg party and making out with a girl whose name I don't even remember. Jasper, who had flown in to help with calf branding and was staying at my parents house, had to drive around town looking for my sorry ass. By the time he got me sobered up and to the hospital were they had taken Bella, it was already morning. She had been there all alone overnight and no one had even told her about her parents death.
When she was sitting in the ambulance with that Edward guy, she told me to stay at the rodeo. She didn't want me to come with her. She didn't need me. It had crushed me to hear her say that, but I knew she had a good reason. I wasn't there to keep her safe in the hospital before, and I didn't get a second chance.
So I tried to tuck the feelings I developed for her away. I tried to just take care of her as I've always done - be the big brother. But it was killing me.
The loud chime and the opening of the elevator doors brought me out of my hazy thoughts. I found my room number and quickly entered, just wanting to get this run over with and get out of this city. It seemed like the farther we got away from home, the farther Bella slipped through my fingers.
"Bells? Come on, let's get the show on the road! Bella?"
Silence. She wasn't there.
I flipped my phone open and started dialing her number, but hesitated. For some reason I ended up calling Rosalie instead.
"Yes Emmett?" I inwardly chuckled. Caller I.D. is a bitch.
"Rosie, have you seen Bella? She's not in the room."
There was a pause at the other end.
"Rose, what's going on? Where is Bella?" My voice became more forceful.
"Emmett, don't get mad. Alice and I took her to Central Park. That Edward guy from the ambulance invited her there. Then we got bored and wanted to shop, but Bella didn't. So we let her there with Edward."
"You WHAT!?!" I was absolutely livid. "How could you fucking leave her in this city all alone with some strange guy? Don't you watch Law and Order? Fuck Rose! There's going to be SVU detectives banging on my door any minute!"
"Oh calm down douche bag! First of all, you watch entirely too many crime dramas. Second, Edward's a good guy and Bella's a tough girl. She has her cell with her and she promised to be back by three. And third, I think you're just jealous."
"Are you insane? I'm only worried about Bella's safety."
She's crazy. I'm not jealous. Am I?
"Yeah right. You're worried that gorgeous fireman Eddie is going to whisk Bella off her feet and get her the hell out of Texas."
"Oh you're so full of it, Rose."
"Am I? I don't think so, she said in her self-righteous tone. "You know she has every right to go out on the town with that guy. And do you know why? Because neither you nor my brother have had the balls to speak up and tell her how you feel. You're both so fucking cryptic with her that she couldn't take it anymore. She can't simply wait around for you two dipshits to make a an effort so she could at least feel some kind of love or emotion let alone get off with some great sex."
I cringed at her words. I didn't want to accept them even though, like most times, I knew she was right.
"Whatever, Rose. I'll deal with you later," and I snapped the phone shut.
I paced around the room for a while, fuming at what Rose had the audacity to say to me. After a few minutes, and still no Bella, I forced myself to shower and change. Then I perched on the edge of the lone chair in the room and waited.
At three-o-two, she slid into the room.
"Where were you?"
She jumped at least a foot in the air at the sound my voice. Clearly she wasn't expecting me to be back yet.
Even in her shocked state she took my breath away with her beauty. My eyes were drawn to my favorite thing about her - her long, chocolate hair. Her soft, dark waves cascaded down her back and I always envisioned running my hands through them.
As I sat there, I silently wondered if she would tell me the truth about where she'd been, or if she'd lie to me. I never once didn't trust her to tell me the truth…until now.
I was feeling so many emotions all at once. Love, anger, frustration, guilt, doubt, relief, lust, sadness, and yes…jealousy.
"Holy shit, Em! You scared the crap out of me!" She yelled.
Great. She's stalling. Not good.
"That's not answering my question."
She took a deep breath and looked down at the floor.
"Rosalie, Alice and I decided to go to Central Park. Yesterday Edward invited me there to watch the little league team he coaches, so I took Rose and Alice with me. They decided that they wanted to go shopping and I didn't, so Edward and I had lunch and hung out in the park, then we shared a cab - it dropped me off here first and I'm assuming it's taking him home now. And since you're obviously going to be upset with me anyway, I'll just tell you now that I accepted his dinner invitation for tonight after the rodeo."
It suddenly became hard to breathe. I slouched over and buried my head in my hands - the weight of everything crashing around me was so heavy that I simply couldn't hold it up any longer. I had already known she was with him, but I didn't know she was going to be with him again tonight. I found it ironic that the green-eyed monster of my jealousy was actually Edward.
"Say something, Emmett."
I sighed, but didn't look up. I knew it was wrong, but I wanted her to feel the fear that was in me when I found out she was alone with him. I wanted to blame somebody.
"You shouldn't have been alone with a guy that you barely know in this city," I spat.
"I'm fine, Emmett. Just don't blame the girls for leaving me. I didn't want to go shopping with them and I'm sure they didn't want my limping to slow them down. Edward offered to bring me back here, so I stayed." Her voice was even and I knew she was trying to keep me calm.
Taking all the strength I had, I finally looked up at her. I tried to hide my shame and sadness, but I knew she'd be able to see right through me.
"And you're going out on a date with him tonight?"
"Yes," she said softly. "I didn't think we had any other plans. Did we?"
And there it was. Rose was right. It was my fault. I didn't speak up, I held it all in and didn't give her a reason to stay here with me. It was too late now. If I asked her not to go she would always wonder "what if" and I couldn't have that hanging over me. I loved her enough to let her go and find her own way.
"No," I replied. "No, there were no plans. Only assumptions. And I can see now that I was the ass for making them."
Suddenly she was kneeling in front of me and hugging me close. This wasn't right. She shouldn't be the one to comfort me. It was me that should have been comforting her all this time. But we were both stubborn asses and couldn't admit anything.
"You're not an ass, Emmett. I should have called and told you where I was going. And I can cancel my plans tonight, it's really not a big deal."
"No, you were right before. I didn't say anything. It's my fault. You deserve to go and have a good time and I shouldn't be stopping you from doing that. We're both adults. I just want you to be careful, okay? I couldn't stand it if I let you get hurt."
She hugged me tighter, and this time I hugged her back fiercely, trying with my actions to convey what I couldn't with words.
"I won't get hurt," she promised, "and even if I did it wouldn't be your fault. We both deserve to have a good time. Why don't you call Rose and Alice and take them out, I'm sure they'd love to go."
I internally cringed. I didn't want any other woman. I wanted her. But more than that, I wanted her to be happy. So I would suck it up and be the man and friend that she needed me to be right now.
"Yeah, I'll do that. I need to meet the little sister, anyway," I said as I released her. Then I looked her in the eye to drive my sentiment home. "I worry about you. All the time. Over twenty years together makes me a bit overprotective I guess," I shrugged.
"It's okay, I worry about you all the time, too. But it'll always be you and me no matter what, remember?" She held up the hand with my copper ring and I nearly lost it right there. "No matter who comes in and out of our lives or what happens to us, it's still you and me," she promised.
I grasped her hand and chastely kissed her ring, then pulled her into another bear hug. I couldn't let her see my face, or else it would betray everything that I promised to be for her. Even though my heart was in excruciating pain, I reaffirmed only my original vow to her.
"You and me, little girl…"