Disclaimer: Sooo not mine, I just like to play.
Emmett, the Bear, and the…I'm Sorry…What?
It was a warm day. Warm for the Appalachian Mountains in September anyway. But the sun was out now, the breeze was light and there were southward bound Canada Geese noisily flying overhead. I'd been hunting since dawn, and wasn't having much luck. The deer that were normally in abundance in this part of the mountain were no where to be seen. It would be sunset soon, and I would have to head back to Uncle Liam's cabin. I didn't want to be the only one without a deer to bring back. Liam and his son Thomas were very competitive, and I never liked to lose to Thomas. My cousin got under my skin in the worst way. I wondered where he got his sour disposition because Liam and his tiny wife were more like me in the sense that they tried to find the fun in whatever they did.
I heard a rustle in the foliage further up the path. I tightened my grip on my rifle and half lifted it to my shoulder. I had scattered some apples and some salt up there this morning – perhaps I would have my deer after all. I crept silently up the path, going slowly in fear of alerting the beast of my presence. It sounded big. I could just picture a twelve point stag in the bushes, with a beautiful hide and proud rack – and enough meat to feed my family well for a few months. Father had bagged a deer last week, and another one would do well to keep us from starving come winter. Being poor sucked. Uncle Liam hunted primarily for sport, my family hunted for necessity.
I could see the bushes rustling up ahead now. Big bugger! He probably had his antlers caught in the thick undergrowth. I stepped off the path to get around the bushes so I could line up my shot. Plus, I didn't want to shoot blindly in case it was Thomas in the bushes taking a shit.
Damn it! I'd stepped on a dry twig. But the head that popped out of the top of the bushes wasn't that of a deer. It was a brown bear. And when it stood up on its hind legs, it was the biggest brown bear I'd ever seen. It easily stood over eight feet high, with a big head and thick neck. And when it opened it's maw to roar at me, I realized my head would easily fit in its jaws. The sound that came out of that bear's muzzle was enough to unfreeze me. I raised my rifle and shot straight to where the beast's heart would be. It roared its anger at me as the shot hit. The brown dropped to all fours and came at me. I didn't have time to take another shot at it when it barreled into me and knocked me into the ground. It pummeled me with it huge paws, dagger-like claws raked across my chest and stomach with incredible savagery. I tried to roll over to protect my face and vitals, but it was no use. So much for playing dead. The damn bear knew I was alive by all the screaming I was doing.
I managed to punch him in the snout. However I managed that, I don't know, but it backed up then. God, go away bear. I wrapped my arm around my stomach – it hurt something fierce, and it was all warm and wet. The bear stood up on its hind legs again. He looked down on me, opened his jaws and let out a defiant growl. It raised a mighty paw, I know, to deliver a death blow. I knew it was coming, I could see my death in the beast's black eyes. It let out a triumphant roar, when something else came to my ears. It was a blood curdling shriek.
Something pale barreled into the upright brown, and both objects went tumbling to the ground in a flurry of dark and light. There were snarls coming from both creatures. One the deep growl of the bear, the other a more high pitched snarl that chilled the blood. I'd never heard a sound like that before. What kind of animal made a noise like that? I couldn't see much. I was pulling at the stones in the path to pull myself away from the fight. I was still holding my stomach with one arm, and the scent of blood was overpowering me. I glanced at my hand, and it was a glistening crimson. And now that I was trying to move, I could hardly breath.
I tried to raise my head to watch the fight. My strength was dwindling and through my rapidly blurring vision, I though the pale creature looked human. But that couldn't be. Humans couldn't wrestle bears, let alone one as small as this one. It had to be a mountain lion or something, but I'd never heard of one being in these parts before. Didn't mean it couldn't happen though.
The mountain lion got on the bear's back, and with final shriek, it ripped the bear's head off.
Ripped its head off!? What the fuck!?
I blinked rapidly to try to clear my vision. This was no wildcat! It was girl! But it couldn't be. Girls couldn't rip the head off of a bear! The bear carcass slumped forward onto the ground, blood pooled onto the forest floor, and the woman tossed the head into the underbrush.
I recalled the blood curdling shriek the girl had made. No human was capable of that sound. Banshee? Could this creature be one of the Banshee's that my Gran was always trying to scare me with? Go to bed now or the Banshee will get you. I'd always thought that a Banshee couldn't possibly be real, or if they were, why they'd leave Ireland to come here. Maybe Banshee's felt the need to try their luck in the new world like Grandpa McCurdy did.
The Banshee tossed her golden hair out of her face and dropped to her knees by my side. She was the most beautiful thing I'd ever laid my eyes on. Her honey hair hung in soft curls to her waist, she was slender and radiant in her cream colored dress, and her skin sparkled fainting in the dying light. Her face was pinched in worry, and her brows were pulled together over her liquid-gold eyes. I'd never seen eyes that color before, and if she was a Banshee, she was drastically different from the stories of a hunched-over hag whose very scream could kill a man. If this was a Banshee, sign me up.
She covered her mouth with her hand, and her eyes turned black. I felt my heart tremble. Holy shit! Her eyes just turned black! In an instant! She closed her eyes, tipped her head back and swallowed hard. I couldn't take my eyes off her, though I was fighting just to keep them open.
I'm a dead man.
"It's okay." She whispered, opening her eyes and swallowing again. Her eyes were still black as night and they were terrifying, despite her having a voice that reminded me of church bells ringing on Christmas Day.
"W-wh…" I tried to speak but I just couldn't get around the pain in my chest and stomach. And I still could hardly breathe.
"Sshh," she whispered, placing a slim finger over my lips. It was like ice. "Don't try to talk. I'm going to get you help."
"Don't leave me," I rasped. Somehow, as frightening as she was, I didn't want her to go. I didn't want to die alone, no matter if whoever was with me was…whatever she was.
"I won't leave you. I'm taking you with me."
"You're a girl. You can't carry me." I slurred.
"I can't wrestle bears either."
Did her eyes just roll? "How…?"
"I'm going to take you to my father. He's a doctor and he can help you." She was smoothing my hair along my forehead. It was comforting.
"How far? I didn't know anyone else was up here." It was getting harder and harder to talk, and my vision was swimming.
"A hundred miles." She answered with a straight face.
I tried to laugh but it came out more like a gurgle and it hurt my stomach like hell. "Too far." I gasped.
"We'll be there before you know it." She placed her arms under my shoulders and knees, and lifted me as easy as mother lifts her infant. She did it just as tenderly as well, despite how her arms felt like toughened oak under my battered body. No matter the care, I couldn't help the groan escaping my lips when she lifted me. I was in the most agony I'd ever known.
"I'm going to take you to my father. I need you to keep your eyes open, and I need you to look at me – don't look around."
Look at her? Got it. "Okay."
And then we were flying. There was no other way we were moving so quickly. I kept my word and only looked at her, but that didn't mean that I couldn't see the forest canopy whipping past overhead. It was making me more dizzy, so I tried to focus solely on her face. I kept getting glimpses of her glittering skin when the sun struck it. She was beautiful, strong, and could fly, she could only be one thing. "Are you an Angel?"
"No." She answered with such resolute hardness, a chill ran down my spine. Then I remembered her black eyes.
"Are you a demon?" I whispered.
"We're almost there" She ignored me. "Hold on."
Almost there? How did she cover so much ground so fast? Right, we were flying. I didn't miss how she didn't answer my question about being a demon. Was she a greater threat to me than the bear? Would I have been better off dying on the forest floor at the paws of a giant brown, than being whisked away by a beautiful demon? To her father, no less? But I didn't feel in danger. I felt oddly safe despite the fact that I was likely bleeding out.
I could feel my consciousness slipping. It would be so peaceful to sleep, to let all the pain slip away. Just to sleep here in the girl's arms. Having my last sight be of this beautiful, sparkling woman wouldn't be such a bad way to go out.
"Don't you dare give up on me!" She ordered. My eyes snapped open. "We're almost there."
It was only another moment until she was maneuvering me through the door to a small cottage. There was a man there, similar in appearance to her and holding open the door. He didn't look much older than me – a brother perhaps?
"Edward and Esme?" She asked the golden man.
"Edward heard you shouting at him a couple miles out. He and Esme are taking refuge in the woods."
Heard her yelling? She hadn't said a word above a whisper since the bear.
"There's a lot of blood. I didn't want to test their self-control." She whispered, placing me gently on a wooden table.
"And rightly so." The man said, moving to lift one of my eye lids and peering at my face. "They are too young to withstand the temptation." The man grasped my hands in his ice-like ones, and gently pried them away from my stomach.
Don't do that! I'm trying to keep my insides inside!
"I'm amazed you were able to bring him so far without succumbing yourself. You're strength defines you."
I'll say she's strong. Ripped the head off a giant bear.
"Can you help him?" Worry marred her beautiful voice. I wanted to reach out to comfort her, but I winced as the man pulled the torn remnants of my shirt away from my chest. The blood had started to thicken and the fabric stuck to the wound. "Carlisle!"
"We need to keep him conscious and relaxed while I examine the depth of his injuries."
Wait. This guy was going to treat me? What happened to her father? And who were they talking about earlier? The ones who left because they were tempted? Tempted by what?
"What's your name, son?" The young man asked.
Son? What was this guy? Two months older than me? "Emmett," I managed to gurgle. My breathing was labored, like I was under water and trying to breath through a clogged straw.
"Emmett, I need to examine you before I can help you." The golden man said. He had worried eyes. Liquid gold eyes like the girl. I tried to see if they turned black like hers had, but they just remained that odd color. But I would try to watch his eyes regardless. That black was scary.
"Not you…You're father." I tried to make the man understand. I needed real help, and what could this young man, barely older than myself know of medical treatment? My eyes roved around the room for the girl. She was still in here, I could feel her. I found her in the corner with her hand covering her mouth again. Her eyes were dark, and she looked frightened. I weakly reached out for her. Hesitantly, she stepped forward and grasped my hand in her cold fingers. "Your father," I rasped.
She seemed to know what I was asking because she said, "This is my father – Carlisle." She was stroking my hair again.
I shook my head slightly. "Too young."
"I'm older than I look," Carlisle answered, still gently prodding at my wounds.
"Rosalie, you don't have to prove anything to me. If it's too much, go out and join Edward and Esme in the woods." Carlisle the boy/father said.
"I'm not leaving him!" She hissed. "I'm strong enough to help."
"Rosalie?" I breathed. A beautiful name for such a beautiful woman.
"Yes, Emmett. I'm Rosalie." She smiled at me, but the smile didn't reach those black eyes.
"Stay with me?" I whispered.
"I'm not going anywhere." She gently squeezed my hand. "Just try and make me."
"Didn't answer my question *gasp* before…you a demon?"
"We are certainly not demons!" Carlisle answered for her, giving her a sharp look.
I tried to give her a pleading look, "What…" but caught a glimpse of motion at the window.
Rosalie followed my gaze. There was a young man at the window. He had messy bronze hair and black eyes like Rosalie. "That's my brother Edward." She told me. Carlisle was still examining me and the pain and blood loss was making it difficult to keep my eyes open. "He wants to help," she continued to stroke my hair, "but he can't come inside because of the blood."
"Kid's afraid of a little blood?" I tried to laugh. The blood loss was making me lightheaded and giddy.
"Something like that."
"You're not scared of it."
"I'm terrified of it." She corrected me.
"What are you?" She just looked away and ignored me. "Not human and not a demon…must be an angel." I whispered. Everything went black then. I felt a weak tremble in my chest but at the same time I felt Rosalie grip my hand tighter.
"Hold on Emmett!" She shouted. "Carlisle?!"
"He's lost too much blood and is bleeding internally. His intestines are shredded, a rib tore a hole in one lung and he's slowly drowning in fluids."
Great bedside manner Doc.
"Can't you do anything for him?" She shrieked.
"If we were in the hospital, we could give him more blood and try to do some surgery to give him more time. But we're too far out and we'll never get him there in time. I'm sorry Rosalie, there's nothing I can do."
"You can't give up!"
You tell him beautiful. I couldn't say anything for myself, I was floating on a black ocean.
"There is something I can do for him Rosalie." Carlisle whispered.
"No!" She said with such vehemence that the table vibrated.
Oh…she's got a temper.
"Rosalie, I can make him comfortable for the time he's got left, or I can save him. The choice is yours."
"Why is it my choice to make?" She cried.
"You brought him here. You withstood the blood. Am I wrong in thinking you saw something in him?"
"It shouldn't be my choice to make." She whispered harshly.
"Well, he's not in any condition to choose for himself."
"I didn't get to choose. Neither did Edward." She said bitterly. I wished I could see her face, but I just didn't have the strength to open my eyes.
"A fact you've never withheld from me, and a mistake I'll never make again." Carlisle said softly.
What are they talking about? Can the Doc save me or what?
"I don't know what to do." It pained her to say that, I could tell.
"You'll have to decide now Rose. He's only got minutes left."
Don't cry. Don't be sad. The Doc said he can save me.
"Edward?" She called. "Is he still with us? Can you hear him?"
"He can still hear you Rose." A muffled voice came through the window.
"Emmett," she gripped my hand and held it to her cheek. "Emmett, Carlisle can save you, but you have to know, this path is not easy. You can never go back to your old life."
What are you talking about?
"He confused Rosalie." Came the window voice again.
How does he know what I'm thinking?
"Rosalie…" Carlisle warned her.
"He wants to know why saving him makes you sad Rose." Said the window.
"Oh Emmett…you can never go home again, you'll have to stay with us."
That's not so bad – I want to stay with you.
"He wants to stay with you Rosalie." Mr. Window was freaking me out.
"Emmett…" she whispered, "we're vam…". But then I sunk deeper into the black ocean, and I couldn't feel Rosalie holding my hand anymore.
"You're loosing him!" Edward shouted.
"Carlisle! Do it!" She screamed.
I felt a sharp pain in my neck…and then I felt fire.
The fire burned in my veins. My very blood was boiling, though I couldn't have had much blood left. I writhed and screamed, all the while, Rosalie stayed by my side and kept whispering "I'm sorry. I'm so sorry."
I. Was. In. Hell.
And I must have been wrong about the angel part, because there was no way an angel could be in hell beside me and holding my hand. She must be a demon after all.
On and on the torment went. I should have led a better life. I should have been good so that I would have been spared this torture. I had lied, I had cheated and stolen. I had lusted and then lusted some more. And there was no way the Mallory twins in the hay loft was worth this agony. No. Definitely not.
The Doctor drifted in every once in a while, though no one could bear to listen to my screaming for too long. Only Rosalie never left my side. Edward came in once but left immediately. Rosalie said, "Edward wants to be here for you, but he hears your thoughts, and the pain is too much for him."
How in the hell does he hear my thoughts?
I wasn't aware I had any thoughts. I just assumed there was nothing but excruciating pain. I couldn't even vocalize anything other than agonized screams. The only thing I could really focus on was Rosalie.
"I'm sorry Emmett, so sorry. I didn't want this to happen." She talked nearly non-stop, but concentrating on her beautiful voice seemed to help. "I was following you in the woods. I wasn't hunting you, I promise. But you reminded me of someone I knew briefly in my old life, and I couldn't stay away. When the sun came out, I had to stay far back so that you wouldn't see me. Once you wake up, you'll know what I mean. But I was too far back to save you from the bear. When he hit you…I lost it. I got there as soon as I could, but it did so much damage so fast. I couldn't leave you to die on the forest floor. I had to try to save you, which is why I brought you to Carlisle. I swear, I wanted him to save your life. I wanted you to be able to go back to your family. Please forgive me for changing you. Please don't hate me."
I still didn't understand what she was talking about. It was really hard to focus on everything she said because the pain was too great. I mainly focused on the tone of her voice – and it was obvious she was sad. Did she think she had something to do with my going to hell? I'd never known her before today, and she'd saved me from the bear. Was she being punished for not getting to me in time? Was that why she was in the pit with me? She didn't seem to be writhing in agony like I was. Maybe her punishment was to watch me suffer.
I tried to be still and quiet after that, but it was no use. The fire burned through me no matter what. Eternity passed by at a snails pace – my purgatory – just me and my angel.
"We're different – my family." She said after awhile. "We don't live like the others of our kind. We don't kill humans."
Well that's nice to know. What are you?
"Carlisle was turned two centuries ago, and he learned that we could survive on animal blood. So when he created the rest of us, he taught us to restrain ourselves. We'll help you too, Emmett." She was stroking my hair again. "You can stay with us, and we'll teach you our ways."
I'll get to stay with you after all? Eternity in Hell with…whatever you are?
"It won't be much longer. It will all be over soon."
My damnation was almost over? Then what?
"I can hear your heart slowing."
I could feel it slowing. And the pain was withdrawing inwards, away from my arms and legs. The pain may have been withdrawing, it didn't mean it was lessening. I continued to scream, and Rosalie stayed by my side, letting me squeeze her cold hand with all my strength.
An eternity later, everyone was gathered in the room I was in. Carlisle, Esme, Edward – and of course, Rosalie. Edward was lurking at the back of the room while Carlisle and Esme were waiting expectantly. Something was going on. The pain was receding towards my heart, and it was slowing down drastically.
I was afraid.
I could hear everyone holding their breath. So this was it. This is when I die. Do I get to join them in heaven now that I did my time in Purgatory?
"You're not going to heaven, Emmett." Edward said callously from the corner.
How are you in my head?
"I don't know, it happened after I was transformed." He whispered, "Perhaps you'll have an ability as well."
Transformed into what?
"Haven't they explained it to you?" Edward asked coldly.
"Edward hush – you'll frighten him." Esme scolded him.
"He deserves to know what we are…What he is becoming."
What am I becoming?
"Shut up Edward." Rosalie growled.
My heart was faltering now. It only beat every few seconds. Slower and slower.
"Vampire." Edward whispered.
I'm sorry what? Alarm ran through me.
"Shut up Edward!" Rosalie threatened him.
I felt a shudder run down my spine as my heart gave its last pitiful beat. There was a sharp intake of breath as I opened my eyes and took in my heighted senses. Everything was too bright, too sharp, too loud.
And there was a burning in my throat.
A/N: Hope you enjoyed that. Emmett and Jasper are my favorite characters and I'm also currently working on a story of Jasper's early days. Stay tuned and leave a review – they make my day!!