"You move and give me the seat, woman." "Or what? You'll bite me?" EmxB
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Chapter 2— Confrontations
"So?" Alice asked when we were all assembled at a lonely lunch table. "What do you make of Forks?" And before any of us could answer, she burst out, "I love it!" She crowed.
"I like it, too," Jasper answered quickly.
"Only because she does," Edward sniggered.
Jasper's eyes flashed.
"Jazz?" Alice pressed.
I opened my mouth to tease him, too, but he snapped at me, "Say another word, Emmett, and I'll make you so loose–lipped that you'll be spilling your darkest secrets over the PA system."
I shut up, fast.
"I like it, too," Rose said, uncertainly, glancing to Edward. "Carlisle is calling himself twenty–five. We've got a good five years here at least…given that no one slips." No one missed how she glanced at Jasper from the corner of her eye.
"But it's so dreary." Her husband frowned. "What's here for us?"
"You know, for someone who considers himself a hell-bound monster, you are so self–centered," Alice told him coldly.
He bared his teeth at her in response.
"What do the humans think of us, Edward?" Jasper asked quickly, to defuse the tension.
"Nothing new," He smirked. "We've toppled every social ladder."
We usually did. We were the Plastics, the It Group, whatever haute title the humans gave us, we deigned to accept. I suppose you could say, everything the light didn't touch was ours...
Two girls several tables over stood up and, eyeing with determination, began to walk toward us, heads high, hips swinging, off-brand shoes clacking against the linoleum floor of the cafeteria-plainly making a beeline for my brothers.
"The brunette is Jessica and the friend calls herself Lauren. I'd watch out for them if I were you; they're malicious," Edward said aloud for our benefit.
As they neared, Rose stood and did a little twirl as she tossed her food away, allowing the humans to view the flawless exhibit of her body from her glossy mane of blonde hair, to her full lips, to her legs that seemed to go on for mile.
Lauren and Jessica froze, like a record screeching to a stop, and veered off to another table like they hadn't been approaching us before scrurrying back to their home terf where they put their heads together, no doubt debating how likely it was for Edward to dump Rosalie for one of them.
The girl sitting next to them, chatting animatedly to her friend from our class was Bella.
"Who's Bella?" Edward asked.
"No one," I said, innocently.
But as hard as I tried, I couldn't keep my mind clear. Edward stared at me as he read my psyche. Then, quite suddenly, he burst out laughing.
They all turned to him, confused.
He merely laughed harder.
"What?" Rose asked, looking from one to the other.
"Emmett was…bullied…in Calculus into sharing his desk by that!" He pointed, wheezing with laughter, to Bella gleefully.
The others all turned to examine this new breed of human.
Of course, Bella chose this fateful moment to throw away her lunch, allowing my family to study her fully. As she made her way back to her seat, she tripped over…what? Nothing?
Was it possible to trip over nothing? Apparently.
"Her?" Rose confirmed scathingly as the rest of my family erupting into gales of laughter.
The laughter stopped abruptly. We turned to the weakest member of our family. He breathed shallow breaths, leaning close to Alice so that she could, at least momentarily, mask the humans' scent.
"We're going to skip the rest of the day, alright?" Alice led him out of the cafeteria and a few moments later we heard the familiar purr of the engine as they took his Saab home.
The bell rang. Humans poured out into the hallways. Even in the rush and close quarters, they managed to give me a wide berth.
I seated myself in the far corner of the room, passing time by trying out a leer at whoever chanced close, but without one of the others, it was boring work, until sometime halfway through the class, my phone went off.
"You need to get Edward out of class, right now!"
"Alice? Excellent, are we skipping together?"
It would be odd if all the Cullens and Hales missed class on their first day here. Certainly it wouldn't give the good doctor a good name as a father and Carlisle loved to use his public influence to take us out of school, but we had sat through this tedium several times before. It wasn't as if they would teach me anything new today.
"No, Edward's going to kill someone. You need to get him out right now. I'll call Rose as well, but you're stronger, you can control him-you need to get him out. Go!"
Without argument, I strode to the door.
"Where are we going, Mr. Cullen?" Mr. Banner paused in his lecture.
"To the little boys' room," I growled, pulling myself to my towering six-three height.
Mr. Banner cowered in my shadow.
"Proceed," he muttered.
Finding Edward's classroom wasn't hard; he, like everyone else, had a scent that I could track although sometimes it was masked by Rose's eponymous fragrance.
When I found his class, without knocking I burst into the suspected room.
Everyone turned to look at me, everyone except Edward who was too busy glaring at the girl sitting next to him: Bella.
His entire demeanor had changed. Once upright, prim, and proper, his eyes had turned black; there was a hint of a snarl on his lips, he was hunched over the desk, hands covering his mouth and nose. I could see wood shavings, presumably from the desk, under his chair, as his finger dug into the wood.
"C'mon, kid," I boomed. "Let's go."
His head swiveled to face me. "Emmett," He whispered in relief.
I went over to him, grasping his upper arm firmly in case he tried to jump me and get her.
"I beg your pardon, where are you off to?"
"Edward forgot to medicate this morning, you know, in the excitement of a new school and all," I explained smoothly. "Carlisle says that we should take him home immediately. He's waiting in the parking lot to take him home."
I steered Edward to the door, without waiting for his permission.
"You cannot just remove him from the classroom!" He protested.
I glared at him. Are you going to stop me?
I hustled Edward from the room and we paused in the hallway by the cafeteria, where the food smells could clear his head.
"God, thank you for that. I don't know how long I would have lasted. She smells fucking amazing. I can't believe it. I can almost still smell her: it's like freesia or honeysuckle. I've never sensed anything like that before," he sounded like a little child, awestruck.
Freesia, yes, that was exactly what I had smelled before, though she hadn't been as potent to me.
"Edward!" Rose ran up to us. "Are you alright?"
"I need to leave. With her so close, I have to leave, change-" He glanced wildly around. "I nearly killed her-I need to get away from her or, I might actually lose it next time."
"No, I need to sort this out by myself." Edward pushed her away, and she stood back, looking hurt. "I'm going to take the M3 so you'll have run home. I'll see you in…a while. I'm going to Tanya's..." He kissed her lovingly, but then, without a backward glance, ran from the building.
"What was up with your brother, Edward, in Biology, yesterday?" Bella asked me in class the next day. She eyed my paper quizzically. "How are you so good at this?" She wailed. "These are hard problems, extra credit!"
"Lots and lots of practice," I said, smirking at my private joke.
She shook her head at the futile problem and pushed it aside, looking up at me. "So, what's wrong with Edward?" She repeated.
"I don't know." I shrugged.
"C'mon, I know you know." She wheedled.
"Maybe you smell bad," I joked, aware of the irony.
She frowned, raising an eyebrow, but ignored the jibe. "Does he wear contacts or something? Do you?"
"That's odd. When I first saw him, I could have sworn that he had golden eyes, but when you picked him up – his eyes were dark." I froze. "Even you: your eyes seem darker today," She observed casually.
"Why is that?" She wondered out loud, twiddling her pencil.
"The reason Edward was acting funny in Bio yesterday is because he likes you!" I blurted out.
Her entire face turned red like a badly sunburned tomato. "What?" She whispered even though I knew she'd heard me perfectly well.
"You heard me."
"You're lying," She accused me. "How could he even consider me when people like Rosalie Hale are walking around?"
"Rose? Rose is just…Rose. She's just there. I guess, she's pretty, but…"
"Pretty?" She asked, disbelievingly. "Are your eyes on backwards? My ego takes a number just being the same room as her." She sighed wistfully. "Besides, I thought they were an item, Edward and Rosalie."
"Don't worry about it. You're, er, fine–looking. And, he's going to break up with his girlfriend, Rosalie, I mean." I looked down at my sheet, uncomfortably. Edward was going to kill me when he got back.
"Does he really like me?" She asked quietly.
"Yeah, he especially likes your perfume." I smiled to myself again at the joke.
"I–I don't wear perfume," She replied, confused. "Did he say anything about why he's not here today?"
"He's avoiding you because he's embarrassed. Also, he's sick. He's a bit of hypochondriac, to be honest," I said, inventing wildly. "He's going to ask you out as soon as he gets back."
She beamed brightly.
"But you can't tell anyone!" I blurted out.
"Because," I cast my eyes about for an answer; they landed on Jessica who sat at the front of the room. "Because, there are a lot of people in this school that like him and ones that like you. He doesn't want to be bothered or have any competition."
She blinked. "W-o-w." She stretched the word into three. "Edward Cullen likes me."
Her face lit up and in that moment, I had to admit, sometimes, even with someone as beautiful but stone-cold as Rosalie around, she couldn't compare with a living, breathing, human who practically glowed with life.
I hated the idea of that smile going anywhere, although when Edward found out…when she found out the truth, it certainly wasn't going to stick around.
Then she eyed me quizzically. "Why weren't you in P.E. yesterday? Coach Clapp called your name three times."
"I'll be there today."
I accompanied her to the gym whence we separated into the locker rooms. When I got back out, dressing as fast as I could, she was already waiting for me, bouncing up impatiently.
When she saw me, she hurtled toward me with the grace of a new born calf, in other words, with such a startling lack of grace that I was not surprised when she took a tumble. She pulled herself up quickly with the air or someone used to such falls.
"What are you laughing about? I was just reacquainting myself with…an old friend." She sniffed, affronted by my laughter.
"The floor?" I sniggered.
"Well, we go way back." She answered snappishly.
Coach Clapp called us together and called roll. When he came to my name, he glanced suspiciously at me, no doubt expecting a delinquent. When he saw my musculature, he blinked in surprise.
"Well, Mr. Cullen, because you were not present yesterday, I'd like to have a word with you in my office after we get a game of volleyball going."
"Sure." I turned back to Bella. "Are you going to be okay to play?" I smirked.
She frowned. "Keeping mocking me, Emmett. I'll best you yet."
I roared with laughter at this. For a human, she was certainly entertaining.
"Emmett Cullen," Coach Clapp called. "Come with me, please." I walked alongside him as he led me down the hall. "I hope your absence won't be regular."
"Not that I know of."
"Then there's something I'd like to suggest." He stopped at a room and pushed open its door. Inside, I could see several of the more muscled, but still relatively weak, humans lifting weights like ants lifting crumbs.
"If my observations are any indication, you could be very valuable to Forks' many sports teams. The wrestling team, the football team, the basketball team?" He suggested, looking hopeful.
"I don't think so. Carlisle and Esme would prefer that I take my education seriously, without any distractions," I answered dutifully and by heart.
"Yes, I looked over your transcripts from the school you transferred from and you're grades are phenomenal. If they decrease by any chance, you could always take a break."
"I–no." I shook my head.
"I see there's nothing I can say to convince you or your brother, Jasper. Well, in that case-–"
"Hey, coach, who's this wimp?" One of the boys lifting weights came up to us, eyeing me. "Is he starting?" He cocked an eyebrow at me, his blue eyes twinkling, pushing a shock of blond hair out of his face.
"Too weak, I suppose," He announced with a presumptuous air.
I sneered at him. "Pipe down, pipsqueak," I snorted. "I could knock your teeth out with my pinky in my sleep." No need to mention, I didn't sleep.
"Oh really?" He dared me. "Let's see you then."
I scoffed. "Don't waste my time."
"Then, let's make this interesting."
I could never refuse a taunt or a bet.
"Well, are you in, newbie?"
I smirked. "I'm still here, aren't I?"
"If you lose, you have to join the team. If I lose, you have eternal bragging rights and my girlfriend."
Coach looked like Cheshire cat; he was obviously getting the best end of this deal.
He smirked. "Arm wrestling contest."
"Fine." I dragged over a small table, making it appear as if I struggled with its ponderous weight.
We gripped each other's hand; I held his gingerly, afraid of the consequences if I mysteriously, inexplicably shattered his digits.
"Go," Coach Clapp muttered, bending down to arm–level.
We grappled and strained-for this performance, I deserved an Oscar-I even allowed him to push me down so my arm was hovering a few millimeters above the table's surface, to give him false hope while he spewed a cesspit expletives and oaths.
"You look a little there, newbie."
I held back a laugh. I wasn't going to enlighten him. Trash-talking wasn't my game; I let my game speak for itself.
I smiled at him.
"You know, I think that's enough."
With that I slammed his hand into the table.
Coach was struck silent with stupefaction.
The human whimpered in chagrin, his face bright red.
"Mike?" Coach Clapp went to his side.
"Fuck." He whimpered. "My hand!"
This time, I did go pale, my already pasty face going paper white as Coach Clapp made his diagnosis: by the end of the day, it was all over the school: how Emmett Cullen had broken Mike Newton's hand arm–wrestling.