A/N: Promise that my updating for the night is done. I remember now why I don't write so much these day, it makes me tired! I feel so much older now than when I started writing this, it's unreal. But please just enjoy this chapter, which hopefully is going to begin the process of winding down a story that I've absolutely loved writing. I'm guessing somewhere in the vicinity of 5 chapters, and then Emmett and Kate are going to be disappearing into the sunset...
Disclaimer: Same as before. Not mine, darn.
"Would you like me to make you something to eat, Kate?" Edward asked, as Emmett fussed over me, and scolded me from what he called 'taking a bullet' for him.
"All I'm saying" he reprimanded, sitting me down on the sofa and stroking my hair, "Is that you're human, and fragile, and precious, and what you did back there was real stupid."
"Almost as stupid" I returned archly, "As thinking there was a hope in hell that you'd be able to take Aro out. And no thanks Edward; I ate before you guys collected me."
Edward protested weakly, about my having very recently been subjected to torture.
My thought, "Yeah, for all of a quarter of a millisecond" deterred him from pressing the matter any further and he wandered off to find Renesmee.
It was practically midnight before I was left to any sort of peace, after Edward came Esme to check that I was quite alright after meeting the Volturi, and then Carlisle to ensure that Jane had not caused me any physical harm, and all the others, one by one, each as difficult as the last to convince that all I needed was Emmett.
When Alice, the last to flit away having satisfied herself that I was not suffering from post traumatic stress syndrome, was gone, I was just about ready to curl up on the sofa put my head in Emmett's lap, and go to sleep.
"Hold fire, for two minutes" he pleaded, on seeing my eyes droop sleepily for the fiftieth time in about a minute. He reached into his trouser pocket, and tantalisingly slowly drew his hand out and something clutched within it. I was not quite so tired now that we were playing this game, and even less so, when on placing the object on the coffee table it was revealed to be a jewellery box.
My heart audibly skipped a beat, which made Emmett chuckle, before he nudged me gently with his shoulder. "Well, go on then, don't you want to open it?" he coaxed.
I needed very little persuasion. I pounced eagerly on the box, snatching it up in a rather unladylike manner. I held it close to my face in my left hand, before raising my right hand, and sliding my fingers over the velvet case.
It made that satisfying 'snap' that jewellery boxes commonly do, opening to reveal its treasure within.
A car key.
I expelled my breath hastily, then turned to face Emmett.
"I don't think I quite understand" I told him, the disappointment in my voice ringing clearly. The oblivious look on his face made me realise that he was just like any other man; utterly clueless when it came to handing jewellery boxes to women who love them. It was probably wrong of me to expect a ring, I know, but a tiny part of me was furious that he could be so utterly stupid.
"Come and see" he urged, tugging me from the sofa, towards the garage.
"Can't I look in the morning? I'm really tired, and I'd rather just go to bed."
He decidedly ignored me, and got bored of tugging, so he simply threw me over his shoulder and strolled into the garage. He let me down before switching the light on.
Amongst the now familiar cars stood an object covered over with a dust sheet, as was usual for Jasper's bike.
"Go ahead" Emmett encouraged, leading me towards it. A little thrill went through me. Okay, so maybe he hadn't proposed. Maybe I didn't have a diamond ring on my left hand. But he had, apparently, bought me a car. Which, when you think about it, is a pretty big commitment. Almost as good as a proposal.
I whipped the dust sheet off with a flourish, and gazed, open mouthed at the Aston Martin DB9 which lay beneath it. I gurgled ineffectually at Emmett, who simply beamed at me.
"Mine?" I finally managed to articulate, pointing at myself for good measure.
"Everyone else seems to like their cars just fine, so I guess, yeah, it must be yours" Emmett teased, as I flung my arms around him, and kissed him as gratefully as I could.
"Can I get in?" I begged, doing my best puppy dog impression. Emmett tossed me the jewellery box I'd neglected to bring with me, and I was just putting the key in the door closest to me, when Emmett informed me, "It's an American drive, Katie."
Somewhat perplexed, I switched to the other door, unlocking it, then grasped the door handle to open it tightly, as though the car were made of smoke, which might disappear at any second. Once I was satisfied that it was real, I pulled the door open gently, and eased myself inside. Emmett was already sat in the passenger seat, having been in less awe over it than me, and therefore having taken only a fraction of a second to open his door and sit down.
I put my hands on the steering wheel, then turned to face Emmett. "I don't have my license yet, you know" I told him, not sure that, even if I had passed my test, I'd be able to handle a car like this. I was learning on a Polo with a 1.2 litre engine capacity, and whilst I wasn't exactly sure of the DB9's engine capacity, I knew it'd be a darn sight higher than 1.2 litres.
"Don't worry about that now" Emmett persuaded me, "Right now, I'd be going to thank Edward and Bells, if I were you."
"Thank Edward and Bella?" I echoed confusedly.
Emmett nodded his approval, adding, "I think they're in Nessie's room at the moment."
He looked at the door, as though he expected me to trot off to Renesmee's room at that very second.
"Hang on" I said, "The car? I thought that was you?"
Emmett laughed, his most intoxicating laugh before he replied sweetly, "Oh no, the car is all Edward and Bella." He paused, and threw me an innocent grin, before continuing, "Their engagement present."
"Their what present?" I almost spat, catching myself just in time.
The innocent look intensified as Emmett opened the glove compartment. "Oh, did I forget to mention?" he pondered, retrieving another box. "Katherine Evania Taylor, I'd quite like it if you'd afford me the honour of your hand in marriage."
And he'd opened the box, and slipped the ring on my finger before I'd had a chance to respond. Looking down at the platinum band on which sat the most beautifully cut emerald I'd ever seen, surrounded by a guard of diamonds, I burst out indignantly, "I haven't said yes yet!"
Of course, that was the only reply I'd give, but I was just so overwhelmed I couldn't find anything more sensible to say.
And then, a little pixie face appeared at the window, and motioned for me to wind it down. I had to turn the engine on, as the windows opened and closed electronically, and when I had, all Alice did was thrust a handkerchief embroidered with the initials 'K.C' into my hand and hint, "You'll need that in a minute, Mrs. Cullen."
I needed it then, her timing couldn't have been more perfect, as I burst into copious amounts of noisy tears.
"If you don't like me that much…" Emmett joked meanly, making as though to get out of the car. I grabbed his hand, and kissed him more deeply than I think I ever had.
"You do realise this is forever now?" I told him, holding onto him as if now he were the thing I was scared was made of smoke. "There's no getting rid of me now, not now this is on my finger?"
I waved my newly bejewelled hand in his face and he grinned massively. "Well, that was sort of the idea behind my asking you to marry me."
Unless you happen to have been proposed to by the man you love more than life itself with an impossibly beautiful ring, in your brand new Aston Martin DB9, you probably just don't know how happy I felt at that moment. Simply, it was indescribable. Even when hordes of Cullens appeared from seemingly out of nowhere to drag me from my new car to hug and kiss congratulate me.
"Thanks for the car" I sobbed at Edward, as Bella hugged me warmly (in emotion, if not in body.)
"For a little sister like you? No problem" he replied sincerely, as Alice whisked me from Bella's arms to hug me herself.
"Kate, honestly, I'd love to tell you things that I see in the future, but they're all just too lovely for words!"
It felt like I was being passed from pillar to post, everyone getting a hug and a kiss (even Jasper) and fussing more over me, until Esme exclaimed worriedly, "Goodness me, it's after one in the morning!"
All of a sudden, it was no longer cries of "Congratulations!" but choruses of "Kate should get some sleep!"
And Renesmee added, "We have an early start in the morning."
So I was chivvied up to Emmett's room, and Alice found my overnight bag, and gave me my pyjamas and toothbrush. "Not long now, Katie" she promised me, as she sat brushing my curls.
"I always wonder what you guys do whilst I'm up here dreaming my head off" I told her, after a companionable silence.
"Emmett watches you" she replied, "And Carlisle usually reads, I design, Nessie plays. We just do the same things we do during the day. Except tonight, of course."
She refused to tell me why, or how tonight would be different, but insisted on tucking me in like I was a little child.
"Alice, do tell!" I pleaded, as she hummed to herself.
"Shan't" she replied shortly, "It'll ruin the surprise."
I waggled my hand in her face, just before she turned the light out. "I rather think this is surprise enough for one day, don't you?" I questioned.
She merely smiled knowingly, and replied, "That was a surprise for yesterday, Kate. Tomorrow's a new day."
I was not quite ready to give up though.
"He proposed today Alice" I corrected her, "Hence, enough surprises for one day."
Alice simply clicked her tongue at me, and no doubt would have tried to change the topic of conversation skilfully, if Emmett hadn't walked through his door and asked playfully, "Are you causing trouble, Katie?"
I was decidedly NOT causing trouble, and would have told him so, if he hadn't jumped onto the king size bed and lain next to me. I decided to let it go; I didn't want to spend my first night as an engaged woman quarrelling, and certainly not with my fiancé. "Fiancé, it's a beautiful word, isn't it?" I mumbled sleepily, as Alice closed the door quietly behind her.
"I thought you were tired" Emmett accused, hugging me close to him, even with a duvet in the way.
"I just want to-"
Here, I yawned, and my eyes fluttered shut for a second.
"Yes?" he prompted cheekily, "You just want to what?"
Another yawn interrupted me, as I closed my eyes again.
"Know what you lot are up to."
Despite their coherence, these words were actually uttered in my sleep. I rolled over, so that my cheek touched my palm, and Emmett chuckled.
"Actually, Katie, I think you just want to go to sleep."
And so, one chapter of my life ended, the chapter where I was Kate Taylor, and another one was about to begin, where I was to be Katie Cullen.