Many thanks to Tersaseda and Ein Kampf kann eine Lebenszeit for being fabulous betas! I'm so excited to have my first Twilight fic posted.
Disclaimer: Much as I would like to claim that I own Twilight, I can't. The talented Stephenie Meyer owns everything.
I watched carefully as Emmett took his turn. He captured one of my kings, but in doing so, had left an opening I couldn't believe. I took it, smiling triumphantly.
To my dismay, he mirrored my grin, placed his hand on one of his pieces and began a complex series of moves I was sure I couldn't have followed as a human. When he was finished, there wasn't a single red circle left on the nine boards we had put together.
"I win," he bellowed. "Oh, and king me!"
I couldn't move. I was in shock.
"What?" he laughed, "you really thought you could beat me? I've never seen someone fall for a setup so easily." When I just blinked at him, he continued. "Come on, Bella, I've yet to see you win at anything except against Edward. And that's just 'cause he throws the game, the softy."
I aimed a punch at his shoulder, but only hit air and rolled forward with the force of my blow.
He was still laughing from his new position leaning against the wall. "You didn't really think I would wager my whole weekend with Nessie over a game I wasn't sure I could win, did you?" he chuckled, winking.
I snarled at him. He had somehow talked my daughter into a three-day hunting trip with just him, and I was very worried what he planned to teach my 4-year-old who resembled a 13-year-old. I thought I could at least win at checkers and make him take me along.
And instead, I now faced a much more difficult task.
Emmett saw my reluctance. "There is no way you're getting out of this. We shook on it."
"Please don't make me do it," I pleaded
He shook his head. The smug look on his face threatened to incite my temper, but I held back. "No way, you lost, fair and square."
I tried cajoling instead. "I know, but, isn't there anything else you want?" I glanced around the large living room of our waterfront house in the hopes that something might magically appear that I could offer.
"Nope. But I suppose, if you ask really nicely, I'll call it off."
"You would do that?" I asked, shocked. There had to be a catch.
Like I said. "It had to be something like that with you. What condition?"
"Well, if you don't have to honor your bets, then I don't have to honor mine. Like keeping my mouth shut. Or staying out of your house. Or not calling your dad. Or…"
He continued to count off many of the regulations I had put on him from multiple arm wrestling matches. I had been smart enough to stop agreeing to terms before my first year as a newborn was up.
It didn't look like I had much choice.
"He's going to want to kill me, Emmett," I groaned.
"Nothing like a little tension to spice up the bedroom. Have you two ever played - "
I took another swipe at him, knowing I did not want to hear the end of that sentence. I also thought I'd remind him about the very first bet I had won, but I somehow ended up pinned on my back. Ugh, how did he do that?
"Come on, little sister," he sang from above me, "gonna make me fight you first?"
I growled and tried to extricate myself from his grip, but my newborn strength was long gone, and I was hopelessly stuck.
Suddenly, Emmett flew across the room and slammed into the brick wall of the fireplace. The crack echoed through the house. Edward was crouched in front of me where I still lay on the floor. Emmett laughed and approached him with his arms wide like he was going to hug him.
Esme wouldn't be happy about the Emmett-sized hole in the wall. She had loved fixing up this old Victorian mansion set right on the bank of a small lake in New Hampshire. But Emmett didn't pay any attention to it.
"Eddie! Just the person I wanted to see!"
I got to my feet in time to see the surprise and disbelief register across Edward's face. He turned to look at me with raised eyebrows.
"Sorry," I mumbled. "I don't know how he did it."
"Bella," he moaned, "you should know by now to never take a bet against Emmett."
"What's that supposed to mean? I didn't even cheat." Emmett's grin had me doubting that statement.
"What's going on in here?" Jasper was standing at the back door, having just returned with Edward from their hunting trip.
"Bella owes me a fair fight with Edward."
Jasper's eyebrows shot up, but he nodded. "I'm actually surprised it took you this long to orchestrate it. This should be interesting."
"Where are Carlisle and Esme?" I asked.
Edward gave me a half smile. "They got distracted."
"Dang, that means they'll be gone for hours!" Emmett complained. "I was hoping to get more witnesses."
"I don't think you can count on the girls," Edward said. "They won't be home till well after dark." Alice was over the moon that Renesmee made up for my lack of enthusiasm in the fashion department. The two of them had gone with Rosalie to New York for the day to check out Kate Spade's new clothesline. "But Jacob will be back from school in a couple hours, you could wait for him. It's not like this match will take any longer than all the others we've had."
Nessie had to be schooled at home - still growing half vampires didn't fit well in public settings - but Jacob's own lost bet with Edward had landed him in high school by himself.
Emmett guffawed. "Are you kidding me? I've been waiting for this for seventy years. I'm not giving you the chance to escape to the border."
Edward and I groaned as Emmett bounded forward and grabbed both of our hands, skipping a la Alice out the back door of our New Hampshire home. He led us through a small mass of trees and down a hill to a wide lawn that was our usual game field, Jasper chuckling as he trailed behind.
Emmett left us at the edge by the trees while he charged forward to the center of the clearing. Edward was grimacing at him.
"Tough nuggies, man. You've had this coming for a long time. Of course, I could just tell everyone that you were too scared and forfeited."
That got Edward bristled. He was in front of Emmett in an instant, crouched and ready to spring.
"It's not going to make a difference," Edward jeered. "I'll still have you begging for mercy at the end."
"Sure you will," Emmett goaded, then turned to me. "Alright, sis, both of 'em."
What did that mean? "Huh?"
"You think I want the spy listening in on the general? No way. You promised me a fair fight, and that's what I'm gonna get."
I rolled my eyes. I should have known that Emmett's idea of a fair fight meant 100 percent weighted in his favor. I sighed and threw an apologetic look at Edward before pushing out on my shield.
Four years ago there had been necessity behind my shield. I was bent on protecting everything and everyone that I loved, and projecting my shield out from myself had been effortless. This wasn't quite as easy as that had been, but with just a portion of the concentration that my vampire mind was capable of, I moved it to shape around Jasper, curve to the side of Edward and encompass Emmett. When I was finished, I nodded at them.
Edward was still angry, and lunged. But Emmett expected it, and dodged to the side. Edward turned to look at him, but only saw empty space as Emmett had leaped over his head to come crashing down on the other side. Edward had just enough time to duck beneath the blow aimed at his head, dancing back to give Emmett a wide berth.
This was hard. I absolutely hated watching Edward fight, especially since this was more serious than regular horsing around. It was probably a good thing that Esme was otherwise occupied - she would not have allowed this. But I was itching to join the fight at Edward's side. My other preferred option would be to make myself scarce until they laughingly told me the results.
But my presence here was necessary. More than my presence - Emmett had demanded my complete attention. I actually had to watch every kick, every punch, every throw, so that I could keep the shield tight as a skin wrapped around Emmett while keeping Edward outside of it.
I mentally reminded myself never to take a bet with Emmett again.
The fight lasted 47 minutes, at least three times as long as any wrestling match I'd watched in the family. Even without the mind reading, Edward was faster and could therefore avoid Emmett's charges most of the time. But, when Emmett did get in a punch, it showed his far superior strength, propelling Edward across the clearing with just enough time for him to get to his feet and dodge the next attack.
Eventually, though, Emmett did a triple feint (the doubles had not been working) and managed to pull Edward's feet out from under him. He was suddenly perched on Edward's back, holding his arms tightly.
I sighed and released my shield. It didn't really make me tired, of course, but it did take work.
Emmett, however, did not seem to think this was over.
"Oh, hey, Edward!" he called as if seeing him for the first time. "What are you doing down there?"
"Dammit, Emmett! Get off me!"
He ignored him. "Cause you know it doesn't look all that comfortable. Why don't you get up?"
Edward growled back at him.
"Enough, Emmett," I yelled. He seemed intent on irritating me to death today.
"But maybe you're used to this position, Edward. I'll bet Bella beats you down every night. You always let her win anyway, though, don't you, you pansy?"
I jumped across the field in a sixteenth of a second, landing with my legs wrapped around Emmett's waist and my arms around his neck. I was vaguely aware of Jasper laughing at us from the sidelines.
"Let go of my husband," I murmured, "or you can explain to Rosalie why she has to help reattach your ear."
I had just enough time to hear Edward's "No!!" when I found myself flying. Emmett had thrown himself into the air, with me still on his back. I tried to push off him, but he had locked his hands around my wrists and ankles, anchoring me to him. He landed with me flat on my back, burying me a good three feet into the earth. He was gone in less than half a second, and Edward's extended hand helped me extricate myself from the dirt, rock, and worms I had found myself in.
Emmett had decided to switch over to his victory lap. He was circling the meadow, singing We Are the Champions at the top of his lungs.
As Edward tried to help me brush off the mud I was now caked in, Jasper strolled over.
"That was kind of pathetic, Edward. I really didn't think he'd beat you."
Edward rewarded him for that remark with a sweep kick that Jasper neatly jumped over before moving to pounce. Not to be outdone this time, I sprang to intercept Jasper and as a result all three of us toppled to the ground with a crash that rocked the trees. Of course, Emmett didn't want to be left out and he jumped on top creating a vampire dog pile.
I didn't pay too much attention to the next series of events. I was acting more or less on instinct as I grabbed, clawed, and dodged the multiple attacks that came our way, laughing with the others the whole time. Edward and I mostly worked together, but I caught his smirk in the fraction of a second before he body-slammed me. I reciprocated by getting my feet on his stomach and propelling him right into Emmett mid charge.
The only change came when something very large and furry barreled its way through us, scattering us like bowling pins. We paused for half a second before burying the russet wolf in white bodies, and the fray began again. Jacob's playful growls mixed in with our snarling and laughing, all barely audible over the crashes and screeches echoing in the meadow.
We were all brought up short by a usually sweet voice bellowing at us.
"WHAT IS GOING ON HERE?!!!"