This is a work of derivative fiction. All things TWILIGHT are the intellectual property of Stephenie Meyer and/or her assignees. I write merely to entertain myself and others and receive no compensation.

One-shot. Twilight AU

Alternative: There is no Rosalie; Emmett was rescued by Esme and Carlisle on a hunting trip in 1934/5 when the family lived in the Appalachians. This takes place during the Twilight timeline, during Bella's first couple of weeks at Forks High.

Rated PG, maybe, if Emmett's mouth gets out of order...

"So, what's with the new girl?" I asked Edward, nudging him as he studied the brown-eyed brunette. "Is she afraid of us yet?"

Alice kicked me under the table. I ignored her. Edward only frowned, still staring at Isabella Swan. "I don't know," he muttered, sounding puzzled and irritated. "I can't – can't hear her."

I blinked and then I had to laugh. Softly, of course. I knew not to draw more attention to our family. "Maybe I should get to know her and find out how she does that. You'll never win a wrestling match again!" I socked my brother lightly on the shoulder. "D'you think she's scared?"

Edward scowled at me and dragged his eyes away from the girl. "Not of me. You, maybe."

"Yeah?" I asked, hopeful. Loved scaring little girls. Better than Halloween. Also beat the hell out of staring at the ceiling, Edward's favorite pastime while we played human. I looked at the new girl with the pale skin and long brown hair and grinned hugely, showing lots of teeth while leaning slightly forward over the lunch table. Her eyes widened and she jerked her whole body around to face Jessica Stanley. "Good reflexes," I remarked in a low-voiced aside. "Smart girl."

Edward shrugged with pretended nonchalance. Had to be irritating him that he couldn't hear that girl's thoughts. He listened to all of us, all the time.

Hey, Edward?

He rolled his eyes but didn't actually look at me. "What?" he asked, sounding bored beyond belief.

Just making sure it's still workin', bro, that's all.

He rolled his eyes again. Jasper frowned.

After lunch that day, Edward went to his biology class and I took off to gym. Hated gym. Jasper and I had it together and it was so pathetic. Then, there was Spanish, which Edward had with me, but he didn't show for class. Jerk. Class was so boring, we made it a rule to keep a running commentary on Mrs. Goff in Creole while she taught. She never knew the difference; her Spanish wasn't that great. Completely not an option if he wasn't there.

After class, I joined Alice and Jazz at Edward's Volvo. Man, I would have enjoyed my Jeep, but it was way too much for a high school parking lot.

"What's the matter, Alice?" She looked all worried, her tiny face scrunched into a point at her nose.

She shook her head; wouldn't tell me. "Brat," I muttered.

Then, Edward arrived and his expression made our sister's look like a sunny day in California. "Bro, dude, what happened?" He needed to hunt – we all did – but his eyes were burning. His face, too. Like he was a man who had seen his own personal demon.

And who thought that demon was coming back. With a torch. And gasoline.


Edward? I asked silently, tentatively. You all right?

Nothing. His nostrils flared and he almost broke the steering wheel, but he didn't answer me.


She shook her head once, her lips clenched tight together. A glance to Jazz showed me that he was swamped with whatever bad vibe had Edward so screwed up.

Well, damn. And I thought it had been a decent day to that point.

Edward dropped us off at the end of the three-mile drive to our house and flew off like the proverbial bat out of Hell.

"Alice! Tell. Right. Now."

Jasper didn't say it so abruptly, but he cupped his wife's face and I knew he wanted the same thing, so Alice took a breath and said:

"He almost killed a human today. And about eighteen others. And it scared him to death."

"Who?" Jazz and I asked on the same breath.

"The new girl. Isabella Swan."

I swore. Out loud. And even Jasper – Southern Gentleman that he was and always would be – agreed with me.

"Why?" I had to know.

She frowned. "I saw him talking to Carlisle. About how her blood smells really, really good to him. Better than any other, ever. Like, ever."

A distant shame washed over me, with memories of two times when I had encountered a human with amazing blood... So So delicious.

Damn. I felt for Edward, I really did.

When Carlisle showed up that evening, he didn't say anything except that Edward had left us for a while. Probably returned to Denali.

If it hadn't been for the fact that I saw his face when he got to the car, and hadn't heard what Alice said, I would have thought Edward might've been heading back to Tanya. We all knew how hot she was for him. I should've been so lucky. But I saw that the girls in Alaska had a taste for "pretty boys." And, mostly, humans.

Seeing as how Carlisle wasn't going to say anything more, Alice, Jazz and I congregated outside after darkness fell. We stood on the river bank as a cold rain helped to mask our conversation. Carlisle had ears on him that went for miles. "So what're we going to do?" I wondered aloud. "Did Edward freak anyone out when he left?"

"You mean except us?" Alice snorted. "Don't think so, but I can't read Bella's mind, either. I don't... see... anything off happening... But..."

"Did he touch her?" Jasper wanted to know, his tone grim. He was probably thinking about our skin temperature. Or maybe not.

Alice crunched up her face again. "I don't think so... I think she'll probably just think he's psycho or has anger management issues."

Jasper's turn to snort. "Yeah."

"So we need to soften her up, right?" I ventured. "Make her think we're, like, normal?"

Alice lifted her face up to meet my eyes. Way, way up. "Oh sure, Em. You are SO normal."

"Hey! I can be, you know. I've been playing human for seventy years. I haven't killed anyone... lately." Haven't even wanted to since the 1950's, actually. I'm doing good. "And I used," I went on, making like some James Bond wannabe, "to be good with the girls, once upon a time."

"You're better with bears," Jasper remarked.

"Oh! You are SO paying for that one!"

Alice tossed her hands up and let us wrestle in the rain. "Make sure to clean up in that river before you step inside. Esme will not appreciate the mess."

The next morning, we took my Jeep to school. Awesome. Jasper chuckled as soon as we got to the parking lot and I basked in the aura of my Jeep. Nothing like a fine set of masculine wheels, and this baby has the best.

"All right, all right," Alice chirped. "Fine. You're officially the biggest man on campus. Can we go in, now? We have a job to do? You know, covering for our brother?"

"Do you have Isabella's class schedule?" I asked. "Or should I wait 'til lunch to unleash?"

Alice and Jasper groaned in tandem. I laughed. Loudly.

"Lunch. Lunch is good. Don't scare the girl," Jasper advised, his tone calm. He angled a brow at me. "I'm serious. You like scaring children. You're supposed to be making her comfortable, okay?"

It was an assignment and I got it. "Yep. Will do. I'll behave. See you guys at lunch."

Getting through classes wasn't a big deal. Kids don't mess with me; I'm scary. It's cool. Teachers don't mess with me; I'm scary. It's great. They call on me once in a while, to show they're not intimidated, but I always answer respectfully – my mother, God rest her soul, taught me well, back in the day – and that's that. I'm also doing my umpteeth go-round of high school. Someday, I'll find something else to do.

I was thinking, during my morning classes, about how to approach Isabella Swan. Bella, actually, I heard. Her name was Bella. The kids were still whispering about her. The guys were running bets and the girls were all kinds of jealous because the guys were running bets. How to approach her? How to be non-threatening when I towered over her and probably out-massed her by a full body-weight?

Well, I still had my charm! And some really good threads, courtesy of Alice the shopaholic. White cable pullover, jeans, sturdy sneakers. And of course, my dimples. Hey, the girls love 'em. Well, they used to.

Lunch rolled around – another fun-filled hour for the Cullens, ha! – and I smirked at my brother and sister. "There she is. I'm gonna go make nice with the human."

"Emmett! You better be so careful!" Alice warned.

"Why? Am I gonna take a nibble or something?" I asked our resident psychic.

She rolled her eyes. "Not that I can see." Exchanging a glance with Jasper, she sighed musically. "Fine. Go. Just try not to break anything."

I pushed myself up from the table and sauntered – yep, I sauntered, because I am so James Bond – across the crowded cafeteria to where Bella Swan was buying some sad excuse for rabbit food. Big on fruits. Great. I was vegetarian, right? Cool. I saw her stumble as she headed to the table she had shared yesterday with the other kids and saw my opportunity to introduce myself as the red plastic tray slid from her hands as she tried to recover her balance.

"Here! Let me get that for you, all right?"

Her cheeks flooded with blood. And she smelled amazing as it heated up, I gotta say it. Deep brown eyes widened and she stuttered out an apology.

I grinned. I do love scaring little girls, but I'm good at gentle. Sometimes. "C'mon. I don't bite," I told her, laughing a little. Nope. At least, not for about fifty years... "I'm Emmett Cullen."

"H- H- Hi. I'm Bella Swan" she managed, walking next to me. Kind of unusual, really. She was sort of hunched over as if she were worried someone would, like, notice her. "Thanks. Um, for rescuing my lunch." Her voice was kind of low, for a girl, but pretty.

"No problem, Bella Swan. These plastic trays are tricky. Where are you sitting?" I shot a wink over at Alice and Jasper. They shook their heads.

"Behave!" Alice whispered so only I could hear.

"Do you need help, Emmett?" Jasper asked, his tone more serious.

I shook my head at them subtle-like, as if I were checking something out that flew by the window.

"Over there, where Mike Newton is saving a chair?"

I winced. Dramatically. "You sure you want to sit by him?"

She stiffened and met my gaze full-on. Spark! Spirit! Love it! "Yes! He's been very friendly. He's a nice guy."

"Hey, I'm a nice guy. And I rescued your lunch."

She blushed again. She was just too easy. "Thanks. Again. Did you want to, um, join us?"

I was playing nice with the human, but not with her friends. "Nah It's cool." Mike Newton and Eric Yorkie were giving me a look that would have been a dirty one if I were more their size. I so didn't need that. "I just wanted to make sure you didn't lose your lunch, Bella, that's all."

She glanced around me to where my brother and sister were sitting, looking like the lovebirds that they are. All eyes. Both of 'em. Nauseating? Yeah. But it's harder to tease them when Edward was gone.

"Is your brother out sick or something?"

Bella's question surprised me as I set her tray down and smiled at the others at her table. The guys got a little bigger, more menacing grin. The girls got the dimples. And that Lauren girl got a wink. She quit breathing for a second. Ah, I still got it.

"My brother? Edward?" I asked innocently.

"Yeah. He's my lab partner. Is he – is he okay? He looked like.. Um... Like something was wrong, yesterday."

Something huge, little Bella. Something terrifying. Oh hell, yes. "He's fine. He just had to help out some cousins of ours."

"Ah, okay." She frowned a little and glanced at her tray. "Well. Thanks again, Emmett."

"You're welcome, Bella."

I held out her chair and she blinked before the fiery color returned to her cheeks. She really was kinda cute, like that. "Thanks."

"Any time! See you tomorrow."

I felt her eyes on me as I returned to the table with Alice and Jasper. "Have I still got it or what?" I asked, feeling fairly certain I had managed to charm the girl.

Jasper glanced casually at Bella. All heads at her table were inclined toward her, as if trying to figure out why one of the reclusive Cullens would have decided to rescue her lunch tray. Excellent.

My brother cocked his head. "She's embarrassed. Really feeling shy, right now. Confused. You might need to do that again. She's not worried, but she is confused. I feel her interest inclining in this direction, though." His smile was crooked as he looked at me. "And I thought you liked scaring little girls?"

"I do. But that wasn't the job with her, was it?" Nope. The job had been to distract her. Maybe charm her. At any rate, make her forget all about our brother who was unfortunately drawn to her blood.

It wasn't the sort of thing that came up in human conversations, though. Lucky for us.

The next day, Alice took her turn at charming Bella Swan. And the next day, it was my turn again. We tag-teamed Bella Swan in the hopes that when Edward returned, which was supposed to be over the weekend, according to Alice, she would have more memories of the engaging and witty Cullen siblings...

Not their thirsty, driven brother.

Thing was, Bella was a cool girl. Spunky. Lively. I actually asked her to come join us on Friday at lunch. To join Alice and Jasper and myself. With a wary look, she did. I carried her lunch tray.

"Bella!" Alice chirped, practically bouncing in her seat. "Hi! Have you met my – have you met Jasper?"

Bella met Jasper's eyes tentatively. I felt Jazz giving her the old "mellow" vibe, to relax her. Everyone was staring, all over the cafeteria. She was blushing, of course, in spite of Jasper's subtle manipulations. "Hello, Jasper. Are you a senior or a junior?"

Loved that she asked him a question. No one ever talked to Jasper. He blinked in surprise. "A senior, Bella. Nice to meet you." I could still hear the Texas in his twang. It was a reminder that he was adopted – hell, we all were – but it was all right. Bella had heard the stories.

We talked, then. Asked her how her classes were going, now. She made noncommittal answers. Alice asked her about her old home, which was brilliant. Bella started talking, we asked questions, and we even got Jasper talking, too, about Texas. Some vague observations, but that was cool.

It was almost human!

Bella never asked about Edward, though. Not once. I took that as a good sign. I guessed she wasn't worrying about his freaky behavior earlier in the week.

The bell rang to signal the end of the lunch hour and Bella stood, meeting each of our eyes, as if she was trying to figure out how to say goodbye. As if she were, maybe, trying to figure out what was different about us. Adopted, but all kind of the same, somehow. Her eyes were thick with questions. All she said was, "Hope you guys have a good weekend. See ya."

We hunted that weekend. All of us as a family, because Edward was coming home. He arrived a little after two on Sunday morning, just as we were returning. I had found myself a moose, which was outstanding (if not as good as a bear) and one mountain lion. Edward generally gets those, but they make a nice change for me.

Edward was just pulling stuff out of Carlisle's Mercedes when we came running back to the house. Alice shrieked in joy.

"Edward! You're home! I thought you wouldn't be here 'til dawn!"

He caught our sister in an embrace and rolled his eyes. "That's because I left a little earlier than planned." A brief flash of discomfort crunched his brows, but it was gone almost before we noticed it.

We all welcomed him home before letting him unpack while we cleaned up. It took the "couples" longer to do so than it took me, so I was knocking on Edward's door alone.

"Hey, bro? You okay, now?"

His eyes were shiny golden coins when he opened the door. "I'm fine, Em. I'll get through this. I will. Has she, er, said anything?" he asked, looking around me to see if anyone was listening.

But we could both hear that no one else was listening. At least not to us. Hunting had an aphrodisiac effect on our family, for some reason. Sucked to be single, but I've got a great imagination when I feel the need.

"Nope," I told Edward. "She hasn't said a thing."

"I didn't frighten her last week?"

Shaking my head, I said, "I guess not. Of course, we've been kind of busy charming her socks off so she wouldn't be thinking about your behavior." He grimaced. I continued. "She's a good kid, Edward. Alice is going to declare them BFFs any day now."

Edward backed from the door and collapsed on the black leather sofa in his room, burying his head in his hands. "How the hell did that happen?"

"Hey, we're family. We're just covering, you know? Just in case." I ignored his growl. "You'll see, Edward. It'll all be fine come Monday."

"Fine. Right. Unless I breathe and kill her."

"Well, yeah. Unless that." I smirked. He glared. I sobered and went to sit next to him. "Look. If you do, we're still your family. You guys stood up for me, remember?"

"You were a newborn, Emmett," Edward reminded me softly. "We all had our slips when we were newborns."

"Except for Carlisle."

"Except for Carlisle." He turned his head to study my face. "But Emmett, have you ever met anyone whose blood smelled better than anyone else's? Ever? Like... Almost like it was a siren's song, just for you? Like a drug, maybe? I've seen addicts, back when I was working with Carlisle. Opium addicts, maybe. Her blood is like that, for me. Has that ever happened to you?"

"I never told you guys, but yeah..." And the memory filled my mind.

Jasper and I had been wrestling. The winner got to take the car home. It was a great car, too. Brand new 1957 Cadillac convertible. I wished I'd won, but I'd lost and it had made me so frustrated. Jazz was just way too quick. And he and Alice had been with us less than a decade, so his fighting skills were still honed. And he was scary, sometimes...

So he won. I was sulking, walking home on a back road, about to take a shortcut through an orchard when I smelled it. Her. Caught the scent of the most incredible blood I had ever encountered. It staggered me, pulled me. Like a magnet did iron. I didn't even think about not following. There she was, a motherly type woman pulling wash down from a clothesline, her hair caught up in a scarf, leaving her throat bare to the neckline of a faded blue cambric shirt. She wore cuffed jeans and was barefoot and that amazing scent emanated from all the points of her flesh that were visible.

Her scent... My throat was on fire; I had to quench the thirst. I needed to more than I had ever needed anyone or anything in my entire life or vampire existence. She saw me approach, set down her laundry basket and smiled at me. I smiled back and moved with extra speed to catch her, crush her to my chest, and sink my teeth deep into her throat. The blood was hot, pulsing, quenching the fire...

"Stop! Emmett, for the love of all that's holy, enough!"

Edward's tortured plea shook me from my memory. I was embarrassed, anyway. It had not been one of my finest moments. But still... I'm a vampire. "If it's any consolation," I offered my brother softly, "that was the last time, for me."

His hands tore at his hair and I guessed it wasn't much of a consolation for him. "I can't let that happen, Emmett. I can't."

"Well, you've got a day to figure it out, Edward. We're here for you."

I left him alone then, to sulk or think or maybe lose himself in a CD of angsty music. Or maybe even Mozart. I never did "get" Mozart, but Edward and Carlisle were big fans.

Monday morning, we all rode in the Volvo with Edward. He liked driving and if it gave him some measure of control, that was good, as far as the rest of us were concerned. We all encouraged Edward like siblings do before splitting off to our different classes.

When lunch came around, we met up at our usual table. "You're going to be fine," Alice whispered over her full tray. She tore up her sandwich, but hadn't eaten any of it. "Just remember, she's my friend, Edward. Not prey."

"We're vampires," Edward hissed at her. He hated what we were. "She is our prey. She's mine."

We all blinked at the unexpected fervor in his low voice at that last statement. "Damn, here she is," I informed Alice. "Your new BFF."

"Bella! Come here! Join us!"

I saw the girl shake her head a little, her eyes shifting minutely to Edward, who was doing his level best to ignore her.

"Edward," Alice said, fast and almost inaudibly, "at least look at her. So she knows you're not a psychopath."

Obediently, Edward flickered his gaze to Bella Swan. Held it a moment, and then returned to tearing up a hotdog on his tray. Jasper wouldn't move from Alice's side, so it was up to me to rescue the awkward damsel as she tried to figure out where she'd be sitting.

"Bella! C'mere!" I called, grinning at her and nodding at the next table over. It was vacant – no one wanted to sit too close to us. "I know, Edward's being an antisocial jerk," I told her, kicking his chair as I passed it, "but I'd like to have lunch with you."

She appeared nervous, but joined me anyway. "Did you have a good weekend?" I asked, trying to get her mind off my nutcase brother.

"Um, kind of boring, actually. Homework, the usual."

"What's it like having a cop for a dad?"

"What's it like having a doc for a dad?" she countered.

We passed the rest of the time talking about this kind of thing. I could hear, though, Edward's remarks to Alice. They heard everything, of course. Except that Edward still couldn't hear Bella's brain. I thought that was awesome.

I thought I'd ask her something. Trying to be subtle, remember. "You ever do any yoga or anything? Meditation or something?"

Her big brown eyes, impossibly, got bigger. "Um, once, yeah? When Renée was into it."

"Did it help, like, quiet your mind?"

She looked completely puzzled and flashed a glance around me to my brothers and sister. Alice appeared at my side almost immediately.

"Is he scaring you?" she asked, kicking my leg.

Bella blushed and shook her head before sipping at her lemonade. "Uh, no. Just. Um. Do you guys do yoga and all that, Alice?"

To give my sister credit, she's a terrific actress. "Oh! Is he asking you about that? He's into sports psychology, Bella. Don't let him get you into a discussion about it. He'll try to convert you. Next thing you know," she went on as Edward choked on a laugh behind us, "he'll be having you chant a mantra and hefting free weights."

"I've done that. Lifting free weights," Bella supplied, nodding as if Alice's explanation had made perfect sense. I reminded myself to high-five my tiny sister later. "I never, ah, thought of chanting, though... Sorry, Emmett. No convert here." She grinned a little, then, her attitude easier and less constrained. "You keep right on, though, if it works for you. You're obviously trying for the next Mr. Universe medal or something right? Or," she speculated with a light in her eye, "maybe professional wrestling?"

I had to laugh. The kid was a crack-up. "You know, Bella Swan, I think I like you."

I felt Edward slap me on the back of the head. "Quit feeding the tourists, Emmett. Time to get to class."

Bella's focus shifted to Edward and I saw a gleam in them. The girl was trouble. Big Fat Trouble.

Edward was history. I rejoiced. Quietly, you know. Because he could still read my mind even if he couldn't read hers.

"What the hell was that all about?" Edward demanded later.

"How'd class go?" I asked instead of answering.

He grimaced. "No one died. So answer me."

"I thought I'd see if Bella Swan had any tricks to pass along to keep you out of our heads."

He just stared at me as he maneuvered the Volvo out of the parking lot. "You're kidding."


"You're impossible," he muttered, glaring out the windshield.

"Nope, just incorrigible."

The next morning was cold. Not that it mattered to us, of course, except that the roads were icy and Edward actually agreed that my Jeep might have better tires for getting us to school in one piece. So I drove. Loved it, too, man. Edward was sometimes such a stick!

At school, I parked in Edward's usual space. We had just piled out of the Jeep when we heard the distinctive sound of Bella's truck coming down the street. Icy roads plus a clumsy girl plus an old truck sounded like an equation for some sort of disaster film. We pulled our backpacks and stuff slowly out of my Jeep and watched – all of us simultaneously – making sure that Bella Swan didn't come to grief on a patch of ice. Black ice was serious trouble.

She made it all right though, and Jasper breathed easier. I saw Edward staring at her. "Go talk to her, man," I encouraged.

He refused. "Can't. I'll just, ah, wait 'til lunch. Or Biology. I can't even breathe when I'm near her, Emmett. Don't push it."

Did he know how desperate he sounded? I doubted it, so I decided to egg him on a little. I'm such a great brother. I crossed the lot to Bella as she cut the engine.

Bella slid carefully from the cab of the truck and slammed the door before moving to the rear bumper. "Hey, Bella," I called. "You all right?"

"Oh, sure, Emmett," she said, her voice sounding far away. "Just making sure the chains stayed on my tires. Charlie set 'em up this morning."

"They look pretty good," I told her. "Want me to double check 'em for you?"

"Do you know how?"

I grinned, flashing her the double-dimpled smile and making damn sure Edward saw me do it, too. He was still staring at Bella like she was a fascinating puzzle. I was going to enjoy getting to know her better.

So long as my brother didn't kill her first!

"Emmett? Can you check my tires? I mean, were you just messing with me?"

"Can I check your tires? Ha! Do ducks swim?" I asked her, kneeling down to check the right rear tire.

And then, I heard a really horrible sound. A huge car squealing into the parking lot. I looked up and heard Bella gasp. It was headed directly for her.

For us!

"Emmett!" she squealed.

There was no hesitation on my part at all. I lunged for her and tucked her next to my chest as I turned to make sure I took the van's impact on my back. Bella was a tiny girl, barely an armful, so that made keeping her safe a little easier. A blue van skidded as the driver overcompensated and sent it into an icy patch. Black ice is deadly. "Hang on," I muttered, bracing myself.

The van hit me square on my spine and shoulder blades. I could feel the metal side of the van curve around my shoulders as the van halted briefly. It rocked on the ice and started to spin, and that's when I tossed Bella up into the bed of her truck. "Lie flat," I shouted at her. Her mouth was open in fear, I guessed, as the van came back.

Stupid van. Idiot driver! "What the hell!" I growled catching the thing as I turned from dumping Bella. This time, the dented van stayed down. Glass had broken in the van, and I could hear the driver start calling for help. Let someone else help him. I was worried about Bella.

"Hey, Bella. You okay?"

Her eyes were huge. Enormous. I could see the whites all around the chocolate-brown irises. She swallowed, and I heard her heart running along at a hundred miles an hour. I had to calm her down or she'd have a heart attack. Humans were so fragile. Especially tiny ones like her.

"Emmett?" She sat up and pushed hair off her face. Her hands were abraded a little. Nothing serious. Not even any blood yet. "What happened?"

"Uh, a van skid on the ice and tried to ram you?"

"And you...?"

I swore under my breath. Protect the secret. Protect the family. I manufactured a casual shrug and a wince. "Uh. Must be all that sports psychology, Bella," I bluffed. "Big shoulders, you know? Professional wrestling?"

Her face relaxed into a laugh. Maybe a little hysterical, but I would work with what we had. A crowd of people were surrounding the boy in the van, but Edward, Alice, Jasper and I were with Bella in the back of her truck. Alice glanced down at the blue side panel of the busted van.

"Nice one, Emmett. You could do a plaster cast of your back in that thing," she whispered quickly to me. So quickly that Bella didn't hear. "Didn't you stop to think?"

I snorted at her and glanced at Edward. He appeared completely at a loss for words, but managed to ask the obvious question: "Bella? Are you all right?"

She eyed him hesitantly and then beamed at me. "Completely all right. And Emmett, you totally have to work on your WWF costume. Just don't use the words Yoga Chanter in your professional name, okay?"

The ambulance came, and Bella Swan was pronounced to be perfectly fine. Kids admired my back, I told the EMTs that my dad, Dr. Carlisle Cullen, would check me out, and I went to the hospital with my siblings.

All the while, Edward kept staring at me. "What?" I finally demanded. "What the hell is wrong with you?"

Alice sighed dramatically. "Thank you Emmett, would be a good thing to say, everyone. If he hadn't got Bella out of the way, she'd have been crushed. I think Edward is just relieved that her blood wasn't spilled all over the parking lot, right?"

Edward swallowed and turned to glare out my windshield again. "Right."

"Now, don't waste the opportunity, Edward," I advised him.

"What opportunity?"

I grinned wickedly at my sister in the back seat before I answered. "I like Bella Swan. A lot. And I want YOU..." I paused, knowing it would kill him not to ask.

He made me wait for it, but eventually his curiosity won out. "You want me to what?"

"I want you to go make nice with the human. I think she'd make a great little sister."


I laughed out loud as we reached the hospital where Carlisle worked. "Just messin' with ya, Eddie."