Word Count: ~ 47,000
Warnings: angst, language, slight D/s undertones, AU, m/m relationships, some slightly kinky sex.
Summary: Edward can't control his killer instincts when he's around Bella. He doesn't want to have to leave Forks, but sooner or later he's bound to kill her. Emmett decided it was up to him to help his brother, no matter what it takes to keep Edward with him. Things get even more complicated when James and his coven start feeding around the home the Cullen's have made in Forks.
Author's Note: So this fic turned into a monster. I've never written anything so long before. And to think at first I was worried I wouldn't be able to get past 20,000 words. In the end I was worried that I wouldn't be able to keep it under 50,000.
On another note, I've made slight modifications to Edward's mind reading powers. It is now able to be blocked by the members of his family, since they've had so many years to practice doing such a thing.
There are also a couple of parts taken from Twilight, and from Midnight Sun. They have been used only because they were so perfect, and no infringement was meant. There are only three different parts borrowed from the books.
Edward was never able to pinpoint the moment when his feelings for his brother had changed. When he'd stopped seeing Emmett as a brother, and started viewing him as a potential lover. The thoughts had snuck up on him, creeping in when he'd least expected them, scaring him with their intensity sometimes. It wasn't so much that they were unwanted, far from it. Edward relished the thoughts, spending much of his time alone dwelling on the possibility.
The only problem was Emmett himself, the younger vampire quite obviously wanted nothing to do with another man, if the thoughts that Edward would pick up were any indication. Most of his family was careful about their sexual fantasies around him, always making sure he was either nowhere around when they chose to indulge, or else concentrated on something else as well to give him the hint to keep out. They all had specific ways to let him know they needed their privacy. Jasper was fond of military tactics, Carlisle recounted the Bible, Rose only ever thought of herself, so that wasn't a problem. Esme would politely ask him to refrain from listening to her with her thoughts, and Alice would be blunter in kicking him out.
Not Emmett though, he didn't seem to care if Edward was privy to his fantasies, in fact he had his suspicions that the large vampire showed Edward these things on purpose sometimes. Edward's private despair stemmed from the fact that every fantasy of Emmett's starred a woman and more than half of the time, the starring role was given to Rosalie. The one and only hope that he had, that he clung to desperately, was that his sister had no similar feelings towards the man she had saved all those years ago.
Emmett's dark curls, dimples and sense of innocence reminded Rose too much of her friend's little boy, an image that she just wasn't able to shake, an image she still couldn't get past to try and see Emmett for the man that he was, a man who, judging by his thoughts, wanted to treat Rose as a woman, not a sister. Edward was ashamed of the fact that he silently hoped Rose would continue to ignore Emmett's advances. Not because he wanted Emmett to be alone, far from it, but because Edward knew how good his siblings could be together. He knew Rosalie would love to have someone to adore her all the time and Emmett would love to show off the fact that something so beautiful was his.
So now, even after so many years, Edward was still alone. He'd endured through various crushes on him by a multitude of teenage girls, as well as the flirting from a few of the female vampires he knew. He never did take any of them up on their offers, he just couldn't do it. His heart was set on someone, someone he couldn't have, but he wouldn't settle for anyone else.
Edward was almost positive that he managed to hide his feelings for his larger brother from most of his family. But every once in a while, Alice would look at him funny, and it left him wondering what exactly it was that she was seeing in his future. He'd questioned her before, but hadn't managed to get any information out of her; she'd only smirked at him and giggled. And judging by how strong the emotion was, he didn't doubt that Jasper could feel it, but would never mention it to him. Jasper just didn't invade other's privacy like that, he'd keep the information to himself.
His love for Emmett only seemed to be growing stronger, encroaching on his every thought whenever the brunette was around. This was why he was glad they didn't share many classes together at school. Edward could have thoughts that didn't revolve around Emmett while in class during the morning, mentally preparing himself for lunch, Spanish and the rest of the day after school. He was able to think about other things that were important, like what he was going to do about the new girl. Bella Swan, the one person he's come across during his lifetime whose mind he couldn't read at all. While his family had eventually learned how to mostly block him out, get it to the point where he could only pick up select words or just hear the thrumming of their thoughts. But with her there was nothing, no sound at all.
Edward had seen the blush on her face when she looked at him, but couldn't hear the thoughts that usually accompanied such a look. It was definitely strange, if not a little disconcerting. Edward was so used to listening to other people's thoughts that the blank spot where Bella's thoughts should have been creeped him out. It took everything he had to repress the urge to scowl when she walked through the doorway to his Biology class, she stopped to talk to the teacher for a moment, before he gestured to the only open seat left, the one right next to him.
She avoided looking at him as she made her way over, flipping her hair over her shoulder as she sat down. Edward froze, going absolutely still as her scent reached his nose. It was mouth watering, like nothing he'd smelt before. He had to grip the table to try and reign in the urge to lunge at her, witnesses be damned. He had to control himself, for more than one reason. First and foremost was the fact that there were more than twenty other people in the room, witnesses that would out him and his family for what they really were.
The fact that he didn't want to kill anyone, least alone this innocent girl, wasn't the only thing that stopped him from biting into her neck and drinking that intoxicating blood. Edward forced himself to think of Carlisle, of how disappointed his father would be if he gave into this moment of weakness. So instead of attacking, he shifted his chair as far away as he possibly could, refusing to look at her, at the same time he turned away to get a breath of fresh air to rid himself of her scent, and then held it. As soon as he couldn't smell her anymore, the monster roaring inside him calmed. Throughout the entire lesson though, his stiff posture didn't fade, nor did he loosen his grip on the table. He was up and out of his chair, very nearly out of the room, before the bell was even finished ringing.
He had to get out of there, out of the building, away from temptation that he hasn't been presented with for decades. He nearly fled for the doors leading outside, and it wasn't until he was in the parking lot halfway to his car, that he let himself breathe again. He sucked in deep lungfuls of fresh clean air, trying to rid his senses of any lingering scent.
Edward leaned against the Volvo, palms resting on the hood, eyes clenched tightly shut. The echoes of his homicidal thoughts still bounced around in his head. The hand that landed on his shoulder surprised him. He hadn't been paying any attention to his surroundings. Edward jerked in shock, eyes flying wide open at the contact, even as a corner of his mind recognized the owner of the hand, the growl still slipped through his lips. It was quiet, but the threat it implied was still there.
Emmett released him right away, holding up his hands and taking a step back, concern written across his features. Edward wondered just how much of a sight he must look right now to have Emmett staring at him like he was about to lose it. "Whoa, whoa, Edward, calm down. It's just me. What's wrong?"
Edward looked into worry filled eyes, trying to lose himself in those dark pools. "I almost just," And he stopped there, trying to stop his voice from shaking. Instead of leaping right into a confession he asked Emmett a question instead. "Do you know the new girl, Bella? Have you met her yet, in person, not just when we saw her at lunch?"
Emmett shook his head, a frown creasing his forehead as he started to put the pieces together. "I only saw her at lunch." The frown deepened. "This has something to do with her, doesn't it?"
Edward covered his face with his hands, unable to look Emmett in the face as he admitted his near mistake. "I wanted to bite her Em." He whispered the sentence. "So badly. I've never wanted human blood so strongly before."
Emmett's hand moved back to his shoulder, squeezing slightly in comfort. "Hey, it happens Edward. We've all gone through this. Shit, Jasper goes through this every day."
"No!" Edward shrugged off Emmett's hand, pushing himself away from the car. His eyes were blazing, his face serious. "No." He repeated the word softer this time, the anger drained from his voice. "Emmett, it was almost too much. If there hadn't been other people in the room, she'd be dead right now. I can't handle it, usually there's no problem with my control. But her scent! Oh, Emmett, she smells just divine, the highest quality drug made just for me. I don't think I can do this; I can't stay away from her. I crave her blood, I want it, almost as much as I want-"
Edward snapped his mouth shut, mentally berating himself for almost letting his secret slip, almost saying 'As much as I want you.' He turned his back on Emmett then, trying to compose himself, to get himself back under control. Emmett was almost too quiet behind him, Edward would have thought he was gone if he couldn't hear the slight hum of his thoughts. Edward frowned, realizing that Emmett's thoughts were just that, nothing but a hum, almost white noise. Which meant he was purposefully blocking Edward. His heart sunk, just knowing that this was it, Emmett was disgusted with him, had interpreted what the end of his sentence was supposed to be and was revolted by the thought. Edward hoped he wouldn't say anything about it though, that Emmett cared enough about him as a brother that he'd spare Edward's feelings. He was starting to work himself into a panic, if his heart beat it would be thumping wildly in his chest right now. As it was, the breath he didn't truly need was speeding up, short little gasps escaping from between his clenched teeth.
Emmett knew better then to touch Edward this time, hearing just how close the older vampire was to snapping, noticing the tremble in his voice and how close he was to hyperventilating for someone who didn't even need air. "Look Edward," the tone of his voice was gentle, as soft and soothing as he could manage it, and damn it, Jasper was better at this then he was, and not just because he could control emotions. Emmett expressed himself better with actions, not talking about feelings. "We'll figure something out Edward. You should know that we won't let you do anything you're going to regret, alright?"
Shame flooded through his body at the mention if their family, and Edward made the decision quickly, reacting almost without thought. "I don't want them to know. Please Emmett, don't tell everyone else. I can't..." He stopped to run a hand through messy bronze hair. "I can't show them how weak I am. Keep this between the two of us only. Please."
Emmett looked into the pleading golden eyes of his brother, and felt his resolve crumble in the face of Edward's pain. He found himself nodding, "Sure, no problem, we'll keep it to ourselves. I'll help you, just me, I'll figure something out that'll help you, distract you. I promise."
Emmett watched as his words obviously placated the older vampire. His shoulders slumped in relief, some of the tension leaving his body. Emmett was still frowning, hadn't really stopped frowning since he'd first witnessed Edward's escape from school. "You only have the one class with her right?"
He nodded, "Yeah, just Biology. Why?"
"Well, she's going to be pretty easy to avoid outside of class. The closest she's really ever going to get is during lunch, and I can keep an eye on you then to make sure you don't do anything stupid."
Edward scowled at the use of the word stupid, but let him get away with it. "So what? Lunch isn't the problem. This whole thing stems from having her sit next to me in class. That's where I can't trust myself to keep control."
Emmett ignored the frustrated tone that colored Edward's voice. The flash of annoyance he felt at being interrupted seeped into his own words as he continued. "I was getting to the point, if you'd let me finish." He shot a glare at his brother, who had the good grace to look properly chastised. "If Biology is going to be the hardest part to deal with, then just get out of the class. Switch it to something else, or just drop it altogether, I'm sure you'll have enough credits still."
Another wave of annoyance swept through him at the surprise that flitted across Edward's face. "That's an idea. I should be able to avoid her otherwise, stay far enough away. Not a bad plan Emmett."
Emmett beat down the urge to roll his eyes. Really, just because he might look and act the part of a dumb jock, didn't mean he was one. He nodded his head in the direction of the office. "Head over there now; see what they can do for you."
"Thanks, Emmett. It was a genuine smile that Edward flashed him before turning towards the office. The kind of smile that always made Emmett's stomach flutter, the pouty lips guaranteed to send his thoughts into the gutter.
Emmett made damn sure said thoughts were blocked before allowing his eyes to drift to the jean clad ass walking away from him. The spike of lust that shot through him was expected, and only years of practice kept the physical manifestation of his lust away, he could hide his thoughts from Edward, but an erection was a different story. Emmett licked his lips, allowing himself a few moments with his fantasies before shaking himself back into reality, realizing he had to get to class. He wished Edward luck silently, knowing he'd be heard, and hoping the sentiment would be appreciated.
Edward had felt Emmett's eyes on him the entire trip to the office. Although he didn't quite know what to make of it. Just before he reached the door he heard Emmett wish him luck, and smiled again at the supportive gesture, although his thoughts were quickly cut off again. He was still smiling when he pushed open the door to the tiny office. The hot, stuffy air hit his nose, filled with the scent of potted plants and the cheap perfume of the red headed secretary behind the desk. He almost cringed, really she didn't need to bathe in it, just one spray would have been more than enough. He ignored it as best he could, discouraged by the fact that he'd have to breathe if he wanted to have a conversation with her. The woman hadn't heard him come in, she was still busying herself with the papers scattered on her desk. "Mrs. Cope?"
"Oh!" She looked up startled, the surprise staying etched on her face at the appearance of one of the Cullens. "Hello Edward. Is there something I can do for you?"
"Yeah, I was hoping you'd be able to help me out with a problem."
"What kind of problem are you having Edward?"
Unconsciously his mouth set into a firm line, a scowl creasing his brow. "It's my schedule. It needs to be changed." He was being a little more short with her then was necessary, and Edward tried to reign it in a bit, having an attitude wasn't going to get her to agree to help him.
"What needs to be changed on your schedule? I believe you got all the classes you signed up for." The curiosity was evident in her tone, as well as a dose of suspicion.
Remembering to be more polite this time Edward voiced his request. "I was wondering if there was something I could do about Biology? Take something else instead. Maybe chemistry or physics?"
"Actually Edward, both those classes are pretty much full right now. I just don't think there's room for another student in either."
"I wouldn't be any trouble." He hated the fact that he was pleading with her now.
"I know that Edward, but still..."
"Could I drop the class instead?"
"Drop Biology?" She sounded shocked, and Edward didn't need to read minds to know what she was going to say next. "Why would you drop a class you're doing so well in? You've got the top mark out of all of the students. Besides, if you drop the class you won't have enough credits to graduate."
Edward sighed. "I'll catch up next year, it wouldn't be hard."
She bit her lip, uncertain, wanting to help the boy but there weren't really any options. "I think that's something you need to talk to your parents about."
Edward heard the door open behind him, but whoever it was, they were staying quiet, waiting their turn. He was desperate now, and even begging wasn't beneath him at this point. "Please Mrs. Cope. Isn't there something else that I could switch to? Anything? There has to be an open slot somewhere? Sixth hour Biology can't be the only option..."
Just then the door opened again, this time accompanied by a gust of wind. The scent hit him immediately, there was no mistaking it. It was her, Bella Swan. He turned, dark eyes glaring at her murderously. She actually took a step back, a flush creeping up her cheeks at the attention. He spun back around to face the secretary, not even bothering to wipe the look off his face. "Never mind then, I can see that it's impossible. Thank you so much for your help."
He stalked off then, both Bella and the other girl whose identity he didn't care about right at the moment moved out of the way, clearing a path. He went directly back to his car then, probably faster then was humanly possible without running. He slid into the driver's seat of the Volvo. Hands clenched tightly onto the steering wheel, until it creaked ominously beneath his fingers. Not wanting to destroy his car, Edward managed to loosen his grip, until his palms were barely resting on the leather, fingers curled slightly.
He stayed put for the remainder of the period, not willing to risk going back into the school for the rest of the day. Instead, he spent the hour attempting to school his face back into something that resembled normal. Edward was hoping Alice hadn't seen anything, was hoping that his sister had been so focused on watching Jasper's future that his own had slipped by her unnoticed. And judging by the fact that at no point in the last few hours had she come storming after him, Edward figured he was pretty safe.
He didn't know what he was going to do now though. Emmett's plan had been a good one, but that route obviously wasn't going to work out. What was he supposed to do about being near her now? How was he supposed to resist his desire to attack her? Hopefully Emmett would be able to come up with another plan. Edward choked on a laugh when he realized he was leaving planning up to his brother. Sure, Emmett wasn't dumb, he knew that. But Emmett's next plan would probably consist of just giving in and getting rid of temptation instead of trying to fight it, which wasn't something Edward was even going to let himself think about.
Edward was broken out of his thoughts by the arrival of his family. Emmett folded himself into the passenger seat, too large to squish himself into the backseat. Alice, Jasper, and Rosalie crammed themselves into the back. He barely waited until they were settled before pulling out of the parking lot, speeding the moment he hit the road leading out of Forks to their house. He could feel the stares of everyone on the back of his head, except for Emmett. He was determinedly looking out the window, already knowing from the tense set of Edward's shoulders and his absence from Spanish that things didn't go well for him.
Jasper in particular was staring at Edward, his head cocked slightly to the side, a questioning frown twisting his features. Edward's emotions had never been this all over the place before. Fear, shame, anger, misery, longing, and a burning hunger all fought for control of the normally level headed vampire, leaving a bitter taste in Jasper's mouth. He winced, trying to pull away from the wild emotions now threatening to overwhelm him as well.
Alice noticed the wince, immediately taking in where Jasper's gaze was focused. She concentrated herself now, focusing her sight on more than just Jasper. Even Rosalie had her attention turned to Alice, noticing the far off look in her eyes. Alice gasped a moment later, looking accusingly at the back of Edwards head. "You're leaving?"
Edward knew right away that the question was directed at him. He grit his teeth before answering, not sure how to respond. "Is that what I'm going to do? I didn't think I'd made up my mind yet." Before he spilled things to her that Alice hadn't seen yet he asked her, "And do you know why I'm leaving? Did you see that? Or for how long?"
Edward had been seriously considering leaving, of going up to Alaska. Tanya and her clan would hopefully be willing to put up with him for a bit. Although he'd be spending most of his time trying to avoid Tanya's advances. He always felt guilty for constantly rejecting her. He nodded, her silence confirming the fact that she hadn't seen anything concrete, that Alice had no idea what was going on. He opened his mouth, actually about to lie to her, to all of them, but he was cut off before he could say anything. "Damn it, Alice, it was supposed to have been a surprise."
Both Edward and Alice gave a confused, "Huh?" to Emmett's sudden exclamation, and everyone in the car turned their attention to the large brunette. Emmett had reacted without thinking, trying to keep Edward from spilling his guts. To keep him from being embarrassed, Emmett had shot off his mouth, and now had to come up with a suitable story. "I uh, I was going to take you on a hunting trip Edward. Just the two of us. I'd found a good spot up north and didn't want to go by myself. I was going to spring the idea on you this weekend, but Alice wrecked that now I guess." He shot Alice a glare, but it was half hearted, with no real heat behind the action.
Edward had caught on to what Emmett was doing right after his first moment of confusion. Only Jasper felt the wave of gratitude and love coming from Edward, directed at the brunette in the front seat. "Up north huh? Sounds like a plan to me Emmett. It'll be nice to get away for a bit." To Edward's ears his voice sounded falsely happy, the excitement faked, his words stiff and forced.
Emmett was obviously a much better actor then he was, as his reply seemed to be honestly pleased. "Great! Trip's on then and since the cat's already out of the bag, why don't we leave tonight?" He grinned widely, white teeth flashing, eyes not moving from Edwards face.
Edward tried to smile back, but it looked strained, put on only for show. "Missing a couple of days of school won't be a big deal." He shrugged one shoulder in what he hoped looked a nonchalant manner. "It's not like we won't still pass our classes."
The bronze haired vampire stole a glance in the rear-view mirror, taking a glance at his siblings. Rosalie looked like she bought the conversation, as she'd now stopped paying attention, her gaze once more out the window. Jasper and Alice were going to be harder to sell the story to. Edward knew that Jasper could feel just how messed up his emotions currently were, but as long as he kept it together, he also knew Jasper would stay quiet about it.
Alice was frowning, arms crossed against her tiny body. She wasn't buying it, the two of them were lying. Oh sure, now they were probably going to go hunting, but that wasn't what she'd originally seen. She'd been watching Edward's future, not Emmett's, so Edward shouldn't have known he was going anywhere. Even if Edward had read Emmett's mind, she should have seen both her brothers in her vision. But it had just been Edward, alone, surrounded by nothing but rocks and swirling snow, and he'd looked so sad. No, Edward had had another plan in mind before Emmett presented him with an alternative.
Alice huffed, nowhere near satisfied. She didn't like not knowing what was going on. Sulking, she looked down, noticing the chips in her nail polish that she was going to have to fix. She concentrated again, trying to see if it had changed, but she wasn't getting anything clear, everything was hazy, pictures flickering and changing too quickly for any sort of possibility to solidify. Edward's thoughts were too disorganized right now for it to make sense.
So Alice switched her focus to Emmett, since out of the two of them Emmett seemed to know what it was that he wanted. The images that flooded her mind made her grip her arms even tighter in surprise. The irritation slipped off her face, her pixie features softening, a smile emerging instead.
Edward pulled up to the house then, and Alice was first from the car, opening the door before the Volvo had even rolled to a stop. She uncrossed her arms, latching onto Jasper's sleeve instead, pulling him from the vehicle before slipping her hand into his and tugging him towards the house. He must not have been moving fast enough for her, because she tugged even harder. "Come on, Jasper. We're going upstairs. Now." He followed more willingly once he caught both the scent and feel of her sudden arousal, and the two of them disappeared in a flash into the house.
Climbing out of the car himself, noticing Edward do the same from the corner of his eye, Emmett stared after them, not sure what had just happened, only that he knew what was about to happen with the couple. He scratched the back of his head, fingers running over short locks. He turned to look at Edward, chuckling, a leer on his face. "Guess something set her off, huh guys?"
Apparently he was only talking to Edward since Rosalie had slipped away at some point while he'd been distracted. Edward too, didn't really look like he was listening; he was looking at the roof of the car, but his eyes were a million miles away. Emmett sighed, taking in the strange look on his brother's face. Leaving tonight was definitely going to be the right decision. "We'll leave after the sun goes down, that sound good to you?" There was no reply, no reaction to show he'd been heard at all. "Edward, did you hear me?" He accompanied his question with a light tap to the roof, the bang on the metal making Edward jump.
Edward snapped back to attention, embarrassed that he'd been caught spacing out. Emmett was looking at him expectantly, waiting for an answer when Edward had no clue what the question was in the first place. It was a good thing that he couldn't blush, because otherwise he'd be bright pink by now. He'd been so deep in his thoughts, how grateful he was to Emmett for helping him, how he loved him even more if that was possible, when the abuse to his car brought him back to himself.
Emmett apparently decided to take pity on Edward then, either that or he'd gotten fed up of waiting for an answer. He rolled his eyes before repeating his question." I asked you if leaving after the sun went down was cool with you?"
"Yeah, that's fine. I'll just leave all the planning to you, since you know where we're going." His brow creased in thought. "At least, assuming what you told everyone wasn't a complete lie."
"Naw, I really did find a great spot for hunting. Lots of grizzlies around, there are some real big ones too. We'll take my Jeep up there, there's no way the Volvo could make it through the terrain we're going to go through. And I don't want to just run the entire way." Emmett paused then, a look Edward couldn't identify flashing quickly through his dark eyes before it was gone. "Make sure you pack a bag with some clothes, I plan on staying in a motel when we aren't hunting, I don't feel like completely roughing it."
After Edward nodded in understanding Emmett closed the car door, and had just turned around when his brother's hesitant voice called out to him. "Hey, Em?"
He stopped to look at him, and was somewhat startled at what he saw, but he hid it behind a smile and a gruff, "Yeah?"
Edward looked unsure of himself, nervous, and Emmett could never remember him looking like that before. He opened his mouth to start saying something several times before closing his mouth again and staying silent, just staring. Emmett forced himself to stay patient, obviously there was something Edward wanted to say to him. Finally, not meeting his eyes, Edward spoke, voice barely a whisper, and if he wasn't a vampire Emmett never would have heard him. "Thank you, Emmett. I don't know what I'd do without you."
It wasn't what he'd wanted to say, he'd tried to tell Emmett that he loved him, but the words just wouldn't come. So this was the next best thing to totally confessing. There was that look again in Emmett's eyes before it disappeared just as quickly as before.
Emmett swallowed, touched by the words, not entirely sure how he should respond to that. He settled for the safe answer, not wanting Edward to get the wrong impression. "You're welcome Edward. You should know that I need you too." At those words Edward gave him another genuine smile, and he looked happier then Emmett had seen him in a long while, his whole face seemed to light up. If he'd been thinking properly, if he'd been using his brain for once, he would have left it at that. Because the next words out of his mouth effectively wiped that happiness off his beautiful face. "You're my brother; I'm supposed to take care of you." If it was possible, Edward went even paler at that, and he actually flinched, hurt evident in everything from his golden eyes, to his face, to his entire posture.
The sharp pang of disappointment was nothing compared to the pain and hurt that washed over him. He cursed himself a fool, for almost letting himself believe that Emmett might actually love him as a man, not just as a bother. He choked back the dry sob that tried to escape from a suddenly tight throat; he had to get a hold of himself. Damn it, this day had just made him entirely too emotional, normally he'd be able to handle this. Crushing disappointment when it came to Emmett was an everyday occurrence, he should be used to this. Come on, pull yourself together Edward, you don't need to scare Emmett away permanently.
Just a moment before Emmett was about to apologize, even if he wasn't quite sure for what, Edward's whole demeanor changed. In the blink of an eye it was almost like Emmett had imagined the hurt, Edward's normal nearly indifferent look was back.
Edward forced himself to say something, to not just run off and hide until he had total control over himself. With an empty smile that didn't reach his eyes he retorted with, "Well, that goes both ways. And since I'm technically older then you I'm pretty sure it should be me who takes care of you little brother."
Emmett snorted, relieved that some semblance of his Edward was back, even if he still wasn't quite himself. "Please, I'm bigger then you. We've already proved that I can own your ass, I'm pretty sure that makes you mine to take care of." It wasn't until the words were out of his mouth did he realize how bad that sounded, but it was too late to try and correct himself.
A crooked smile was Edwards only answer. He pocketed the keys to the Volvo, taking a couple steps closer to the house. He jerked his chin in the direction of his room. "I'm going to go pack that bag now. Just yell when you're ready to leave."
And with that he was gone, racing away as quick as possible. Once Emmett was sure Edward was gone and his thoughts were still blocked, he slapped a hand against his forehead, hard, muttering to himself as he stomped towards the garage. "Stupid, stupid, stupid. Watch what you're saying, idiot."
Edward ran upstairs, just shy of slamming the door to his room shut behind him, but it still shook in its frame from the force. He leaned against the wood, feeling shaky. In case a vampire was able to have a panic attack, he slid down to sit on the floor, knees pulled up to his chest. The same six words kept repeating themselves in his head, again and again. Emmett's smug voice gloating, 'own your ass, makes you mine.' He couldn't shake the words from his head; they continually chased each other through his mind. Rationally, Edward knew he shouldn't take those words in the context he was thinking about, Emmett didn't mean them like that.
It was hard though, when his heart ached to believe he meant them the way they sounded. Edward brought his hands up to scrub at his eyes, even if he couldn't cry, his eyes still burned. He took deep, calming breaths, until finally, his emotions settled back to a tolerable level, and he felt more like himself again.
Dragging himself back to his feet, Edward emptied his backpack of all his school books, tossing them onto his desk. Once the bag was empty he wandered over to the closet, absently stuffing clothes inside, thoughts occupied with the coming trip. Edward only hoped that this was enough to distract him from Bella, the human had interrupted his life enough already. Plus he was worried about how he was going to manage around Emmett when they were alone and in such close quarters. Edward didn't exactly trust himself anymore; he was off balance, constantly teetering on the edge of his control.
His contemplating was interrupted by Emmett's shout from outside. "Come on, let's get going bro."
Instead of bothering with going through the house again, he simply jumped out the window, landing silently next to Emmett's Jeep. He tossed his bag into the back, seeing that his brother's stuff was already packed away. He grudgingly climbed into the passenger seat, knowing better then to argue about who was driving. It would only turn into a wrestling match that he was sure to lose, unless he cheated. Which, he realized with a slight pang, would have proven hard to do at this point in time. Emmett was still consciously blocking Edward from his thoughts. Eventually he was going to have to bring the subject up, he just didn't understand what was going on. More and more lately he'd been getting shut out, unable to hear any of his thoughts. It was really starting to bother him, what could Emmett possibly be hiding from him?
He dismissed his thoughts for now, knowing he'd only drive himself into a paranoid panic if he allowed himself to dwell on it. Besides, he wanted to try and actually enjoy this trip. It had been a while since just the two of them had gone on an extended hunting trip, normally they stayed closer to home.
Edward was jostled suddenly, and with a small jerk of surprise he realized that they were already on the road. And from the looks of things, they had been driving for a good twenty minutes already. He took a quick glance at Emmett, trying to determine if he'd been talked to at all while his mind had been elsewhere. Judging by the worry shining in his eyes, the tense set of his jaw, and the death grip he had on the steering wheel; there had definitely been attempts at conversation. The guilt crept in then, he didn't want to make Emmett worry about him, he didn't deserve that. Edward cleared his throat awkwardly, not sure what to say to announce his renewed presence, at the same time shifting in his seat.
Emmett's head snapped to the side to look at him. "Well look who decided to come back and join reality. Didn't realize I was that boring." His words were sarcastic, but Emmett wasn't able to hide the relief that flooded his features. Couldn't hide the fact that he relaxed his grip on the wheel, and no longer seemed to be trying to crush his teeth into dust.
"I'm sorry Em, I don't mean to space out on you like that, I'm just trying to deal with everything." He shrugged, not sure how else he could explain himself.
Emmett turned back to stare at the road, eyes not straying as he answered. "It's no big deal, really. I can understand the need to think." Edward watched his hands tighten on the wheel again briefly before relaxing. "Just try and give me some warning before it happens again, please. I don't like talking to myself for extended periods of time."
Edward knew that wasn't the problem, that Emmett wasn't mad at being ignored. But it was normal Emmett behavior to avoid talking about the real problem, the fact that Edward made him worry. "Got it, fair warning next time." Emmett sighed, hoping that was all Edward was going to say, but was proven wrong when his brother continued. "I'm sorry I made you worry and freaked you out."
Emmett always got the cutest little crinkle over his nose when he was annoyed, and there it was, right on time. Edward had to resist the urge to lean over and lick it, gripping the door instead to keep himself in place. The brunette groaned, irritation clear in the sound. "Am I really that transparent? Besides, couldn't you just avoid the subject like any other guy would? Geez, you're almost as bad as a chick sometimes."
Edward laughed, a smooth velvety sound. "Alright, alright, consider the subject dropped. I won't say another word about it."
Emmett jerked his head in a quick nod. "Good. Now, since I seem to finally have your attention, I figured I'd go over the plan for the night. We won't get where we're going until about two in the morning. There's a motel that we can stay at that's a few miles outside of town. I think we'll stay there for the rest of the night and go hunting sometime in the afternoon. Sound good?"
While he'd been talking, Emmett's posture had relaxed, one hand only on the wheel now, the other leaning casually on the window frame. He was slouched in his seat, all the tension drained from his frame. It looked like this trip might just be good for Emmett as well, give him the chance to let loose. "It sounds like you've got everything all planned out."
"Yep, I really was planning on going on this trip for the last couple of weeks. So all the arrangements were pretty much already made."
For the rest of the drive they both didn't talk, riding along in a comfortable silence. For the last fifty miles or so Emmett had turned off of the highway to a badly in need of repair road that seemed like little more than a trail. The Jeep bounced and shuddered its way along, and now Edward really was glad that they hadn't taken the Volvo, there would have been nothing left of the suspension after this.
Finally Edward could hear the sound of a small town up ahead, and nearly sighed in relief. It wasn't that the ride was uncomfortable, it was simply annoying to be jostled around like that. His relief was short lived as the streets in town could hardly qualify as better. There was definitely less bouncing, but the shocks were sure getting a workout still. It was only decades of practice at having patience did Edward not start whining when it became evident that Emmett wasn't going to stop here, but continue out through the other side of town.
Emmett must have caught something from his expression though, because he laughed suddenly. "Don't worry, it won't be much longer. The motel's actually just outside the town by a couple miles."
The grin stayed on Emmett's face until he pulled into the parking lot ten minutes later. The building looked a lot better than Edward was expecting, usually if they stayed in a motel it was some rundown little hole. Of course, he should probably reserve judgment for after he'd seen the inside, it might only look good from the outside.
Edward climbed out of the Jeep, eager to move again after so many hours of sitting. They each grabbed their bags from the back, slinging them over a shoulder. Edward let his brother lead the way into the front office, willing to let him take charge of the accommodations. Emmett pushed through the door first, the bell jangling to alert the lady behind the counter, who looked like she'd been taking a nap until they entered.
She sat up straight in the chair, blinking her eyes at the new arrivals, before pushing out of the chair to greet them. She was older, maybe late forties to early fifties, her once dark brown hair streaked through with silver throughout.
From the look on Emmett's face, the amusement hovering on the edge of his features, Edward had a feeling that he was in the mood to play with her. Edward had to suppress a sigh at the realization that he'd most likely have to perform damage control in a minute.
Edward froze when one of Emmett's arms wrapped snugly around his shoulders and tugged him in against his side. His brain shut down completely in the next moment, both from Emmett's words and his actions. The hand laying on Edward's shoulder moved, fingers stroking lightly up and down his neck as he addressed the clerk. "We're going to need a room for a couple of nights." Emmett's head tilted to look at Edward's profile. "How does a king sound? Think we can afford it, baby?"
In a detached corner of his mind, Edward noted the look of disgust that flitted across the clerk's face as she stared wide eyed at them. However, nearly all of his focus was centered on Emmett. The feel of his strong arm wrapped securely around him, the barely there brush of fingers against his throat, the fact that his entire left side was pressed along Emmett's hard body. And his voice, the smooth purr in his tone as he called Edward baby.
He didn't trust himself to speak, afraid that if he tried to voice a protest or some sort of denial, that the opposite would actually come spilling out of his mouth. So Edward stayed silent, although internally, he was close to freaking out. This was so close, so close to being everything that he wanted. Edward was trying hard to tell himself that this wasn't real. His heart and mind weren't agreeing on the matter though. His mind was jabbering at him to pull away, that this was teasing that he couldn't handle, that would only hurt him.
His heart, on the other hand, was pushing for him to soak up every second of this that Emmett would allow. He started to tremble, completely overwhelmed, not sure how much longer he was going to last before he snapped and did something he was going to regret. Like kissing the sarcastic mouth that was so close to his own. Luckily, any drastic outcome from his reaction was avoided, as in the next second Emmett let him go, stepping away.
He burst out laughing, taking in the horrified expression on the woman's face, deciding to take pity on her. "No, no, I'm just kidding. A room with two beds will be perfect."
Her expression cracked a little, relief still mixed with suspicion. "So the two of you aren't...lovers?" She choked the last word out, obviously struggling with the concept.
Still chuckling, Emmett answered. "Nope. He's my little brother. Sorry to mess with you." He glanced at Edward, almost daring him to refute the little brother comment.
Emmett's good mood vanished when he caught the look on Edward's face. He'd felt the slight shaking earlier, and had assumed he'd been suppressing his own laughter. But the frozen, stony expression had him second guessing that. Shit. He hoped he hadn't managed to piss Edward off. He'd only been having a little fun, had only wanted to feel that lithe body pressed against him for a brief time, stroke that smooth, tempting skin and pretend for a moment that he really could call him baby.
It looked like Edward had been shaking in anger though, not appreciating the implication that they were together. The jingling of keys brought Emmett's attention back to the clerk. She was dangling a set in front of her impatiently, so Emmett reached out to grab them, tucking them into his jeans pocket. "You two can stay in room eleven. Just walk around the building to the far side, it's the first room around the corner."
Emmett smiled at her charmingly, "Thank you ma'am."
He turned and strode back outside then, purposefully avoiding looking at Edward, not even waiting to see if his brother was following him. He made a beeline right for the room, following her instructions, not bothering to move the Jeep around. It looked like she still didn't trust them, she'd put them in the room as far away from the office as possible. It definitely looked like she didn't quite believe their brothers story. Fishing the keys out of his pocket, he shoved them into the lock, maybe a little harder then was strictly necessary.
He was mad at himself though, for not thinking about how Edward was going to react before he'd pulled his dumb stunt. He pushed the door open, not even bothering to take in the decor, just angrily tossing his bag at the closest bed, watching it bounce from the strength of the impact.
Edward had followed behind Emmett, although he trailed behind him by about six feet, not wanting to get too close. He still felt much too twitchy, still close to destroying the friendship he had with Emmett by doing something rash. The other vampire was mad, that much Edward could tell, although he wasn't sure why. He knew his face had stayed impassive, that he'd managed to hide all his longing behind a mask.
He slipped through the door after Emmett had gotten out of the way. He peered at the interior, impressed by how nice it looked. It was modeled after a cabin, all wooden walls and floors, a large, soft looking throw rug tossed between the two beds. Edward made his way over to the farthest bed, dropping his bag by the nightstand, and lowering himself to sit on the edge of the bed. He peered at Emmett from under his lashes, watching as the brunette started pacing back and forth, still not looking at him.
Emmett stopped abruptly, right in front of Edward, spinning to face him. "Look Edward, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to make you mad, I was just screwing with her."
The apology cut through him for two different reasons. First, that Emmett would even think playing a joke like that would irritate him. Secondly, to have him admit it was only a joke and didn't mean anything, was a blow. Edward forced himself not to think about his personal reaction to what Emmett had done. It wasn't his fault, he didn't know how Edward felt. If played on anyone else, the joke would have been harmless, he would have even found it funny.
Edward smiled, recalling the look on her face was enough for his smile to be tinged with real humor. He couldn't bring himself to laugh though, not at his own expense. "I'm not mad Emmett, I was surprised, that's all." It wasn't a lie, he'd definitely been surprised, he was just omitting the sheer amount of lust that had hit him after the surprise wore off.
Emmett visibly sagged in relief. "So the whole gay thing didn't weird you out?"
There was something odd with the way Emmett had asked the question. It made Edward pause, biting his tongue on the easy answer he'd been about to give. Edward took a good look at him, noting how anxious he was, even if Emmett was trying to hide it. He was clenching his jaw, the crinkle back between his eyes. Edward could tell that his brother was actually waiting intently for his answer, that he really wanted to know what he thought. So Edward decided to be completely honest with him. Well, maybe not completely honest, but he'd tell him the truth about his sexual preferences. Then that much at least would be known, would be aired out between them.
The silence stretched between them, until it was just shy of uncomfortable, Edward trying to decide where he wanted to start. He'd had his mind made up just seconds ago, but found his courage floundering. His eyes dropped to stare at his lap as he started to talk, his voice quiet and subdued. "No Emmett, the gay part doesn't bother me at all. I think that would make me a hypocrite." Pale fingers twisted together nervously.
"Because the thing is Emmett, it's not a woman that I've been looking for, to spend the rest of my life with, for all these years. I'm not attracted to girls, I guess I never have been. I mean, sure, I can still appreciate a beautiful woman, can still look at them and think 'Wow, she's really pretty,' but it just doesn't have that effect on me. It's nothing compared to how I feel when I'm around or see a good looking guy."
Edward paused, mentally adding; The way I feel when I'm around you. "So basically, what I'm trying to tell you Emmett is that, how did you put it, 'the whole gay thing' doesn't weird me out because…well, because I am gay." At this point he'd rather face the Volturi then find out what Emmett thought of him now. Edward gathered his remaining courage, swallowed once before looking up, his nervousness obvious.
When Edward had started talking, it had taken Emmett a couple seconds to actually tune into the words, he'd been concerned by how resigned, how lost Edward had looked. His stomach gave a lurch when his brain finally registered what he was hearing, what Edward was starting to confess. He was glad Edward wasn't actually looking at him right now, it probably would have hurt his brother's feelings if he had been.
Emmett was sure his mouth was hanging open, that he was gaping at Edward in astonishment. Now this, this wasn't at all what Emmett had been thinking Edward was going to say. The thoughts and images now twisting through his mind were less then innocent. He was having flashes of Edward, naked, his hands running over that smooth, pale flesh. Picturing those soft, full lips wrapped around his cock. Imagining the feel of long, lean legs wrapped around his waist as he pounded into that perfect little ass. Emmett had to visibly shake his head to rid himself of his perverse thoughts, stamping down his arousal. He didn't think a hard on was going to help at the moment.
Luckily, he'd managed to arrange his face into a neutral mask before Edward had looked up at him, but all his effort was nearly undone at the emotion swimming in those gold eyes. The sudden need to crush his brother in a hug was startling. He looked so fragile, so vulnerable now that he'd let Emmett in on his secret. Emmett had to tread carefully here, he had a feeling something inside Edward would break if he said the wrong thing here. He was just going to have to keep it simple. "Okay."
Edward waited, expecting something else to follow the single word, but Emmett didn't continue, only shrugged his shoulders. Confusion creased his brow, although some of the worry knotting his stomach eased. "Okay? That's all you've got to say? Just okay?" He wasn't calm enough apparently, as his voice was definitely tinged a little on the hysterical side.
Crap, simple wasn't going to cut it, Edward was going to work himself into a panic unless he talked this out, spelt out for his brother just how much this situation didn't bother him. Edward just had to realize that. "Yeah, Edward. It's okay. Knowing this doesn't change the way I think about you." Liar. His mind whispered at him. This changes everything. Now you actually think you might have a chance with him. "You're still Edward. Still my anti-social, brooding, mind reading brother. The only difference now is that you don't like boobs as much as I thought you did five minutes ago."
Hope was starting to war with the lost look in his eyes, and Emmett noted that he was no longer twisting his fingers anxiously. "It really doesn't matter to you, does it?" He barely breathed out the question.
Emmett grinned, finding Edward's amazement kind of entertaining. "Nope. Not one bit." The grin slipped from his face though, once he realized something. "There is something about this whole conversation that does bug me though."
Edward tensed again, still unsure about where Emmett was going with this, again cursing the fact that his brother was intent on keeping him out of his head. "What exactly bugs you?" Edward was proud that his voice didn't shake at all, that at least he sounded like he was holding together, even if in reality he was close to falling apart at the seams.
"Did you really think I would change the way I feel about you if I knew you liked guys? Did you really think that was going to upset me? Didn't you trust me?"
Guilt washed over him, hearing the hurt in Emmett's voice. He hadn't meant to hurt him, that was the last thing he had wanted to do. "Of course I trust you Emmett. I just…I guess I was just scared. I mean, we were all born and raised in a time where my preferences wouldn't be looked upon very kindly. I wasn't sure what you were going to think, and I suppose I talked myself into believing that keeping you in the dark would be better. Better then risk losing you, risk having you disgusted whenever you looked at me, having you hate me. I'm sorry, I should have known better."
"You really should have known better." The words came out harsher, sounded sharper, then Emmett had intended, as he watched Edward flinch. Keeping tighter control on his words this time he continued. "But I can't blame you either, I can understand being scared to tell someone something that important, that big of a secret."
"So can you forgive me? And we'll just forget about this whole little episode, and get back to trying to enjoy the trip."
Emmett's response was instant, there was no need to think about what to say. "There's nothing to forgive. You didn't do anything wrong." He clapped a hand down on Edward's shoulder. "How about as a distraction we go hunting now? Screw the plan, we can lounge around here later, once we're full."
Edward was pretty sure he would have agreed to any plan that involved getting out of this room, away from such close quarters. He nodded, shifting to stand up, careful to avoid touching his brother, even as he was careful to make his movements look as natural as possible. He was the first one out the door this time, and was striding away towards the woods without knowing if it was the right direction. Once he was off the parking lot, feet crunching on twigs and leaves, surrounded by trees, Edward stopped. This was better, this was his escape from reality. For the next little while he could distance himself from his human side, allowing instinct to drive him instead, give in to the animal always wanting to claw its way out of his chest.
He knew Emmett understood that, knew that his brother felt the same way, which was why they enjoyed going on hunts together. Emmett took off running then, knowing Edward would have no problem shadowing him. They had a bit of a run ahead of them before they were deep enough in the woods for the grizzlies to be around. Right now they were still too close to the town, the bears would be smart enough to stay away.
Edward kept up with Emmett no problem, not passing him only because he didn't know where they were going. After nearly twenty minutes, he watched as Emmett's easy gait changed, as his every step now seemed deliberate. He changed his steps to match, moving silently now, crouched slightly. Edward paid attention to what was going on around him, using his senses to listen to more than just the wind rushing past him as he ran. A grin crossed his face as he heard them up ahead.
He could hear the heartbeats up ahead, two of them, the bears angry and fighting. He could hear the thud of huge paws hitting the ground, claws scraping through dirt, hitting each other, and their roars of rage. Edward breathed deeply, taking in both the scent of the forest around him and that of their prey. The smell wasn't right, wasn't what he'd been craving since first scenting the human yesterday afternoon, but it was still enough for his thirst to resurface. The dull burn that started in his throat, narrowing his focus until all he could concentrate on was the steadily thumping heart he was closing in on.
He was only dimly aware of Emmett running along behind him. Now that he knew where his prey was, there was no need to check his speed, and he'd easily out distanced his brother. Within moments he was close enough to spot the animals, their large brown bodies sticking out in the surrounding green. His sight narrowed on the smaller one's neck, instinct whispering that Emmett was entitled to the larger of the two. They were locked together, too embroiled in their own battle to take notice of Edward, wouldn't have seen him in time even if they had been paying attention. Coiling his muscles, Edward sprang, crashing into his target, tackling him with enough force to send them tumbling across the mess of leaves and pine needles.
That first contact did nothing more then manage to piss the grizzly off, who tried to swipe at Edward in retaliation. It was no use though; the bear was no match for a vampires speed. Even if it had managed to land the strike, those vicious claws would have done nothing more then glance against his skin, unable to actually hurt him. Behind him he could hear the other bear's bellow of pain as Emmett connected with his own target.
Edward was tempted to draw the fight out, but even if he did, it wouldn't be much of one. Besides, his thirst was growing in strength, Emmett was already feeding, the smell of the bear's blood strong in the air. He pulled his lips back, baring his teeth, a snarl ripping from his throat. Hands reached out to grab onto thick muscle and fat, binding the animal more effectively then steel bands, before sinking his teeth into the grizzly's neck, tearing through fur, flesh, and muscle with no actual effort. The blood that flooded his mouth was hot, tasted as close to perfect as he was going to get. He swallowed, drinking greedily, eyes slipping closed in pleasure.
That proved to be his mistake, since apparently his subconscious mind was more fixated on Bella then he realized. The coarse fur under his fingers seemed to disappear, changing to pale, warm, fragile skin. Her remembered scent swirled around him again, burning through his system, inflaming his blood lust. Edward could picture it perfectly, her soft pliant body held in his hands, hair spilling across his arm, fanning out behind her as he tipped her further back. The taste of that enchanting blood as he drank from her, not stopping even as her heart beat fluttered, slowing until it finally stopped and she lay limp in his arms. Reality crashed back down around him then, and Edward dropped the dead bear with a short yell, horrified with himself. Blinking to get the last of the images out of his head, he stumbled backwards a couple steps, his usual grace missing.
Emmett was at his side immediately, the sharp tang of Edward's fear breaking into his concentration, sending a wave of protectiveness through him, a powerful urge to protect what was his. Angry eyes searched for the cause of Edward's fear, but couldn't find anything amiss. Emmett fought to wrestle his instincts back under control, fought to bury his sudden possessive nature towards Edward. Once he was reasonably sure that he could manage actual words and not just snarl unintelligently, Emmett spoke. "What's wrong, Edward?" His voice still had an obvious growl underlining his words, but at least they came out properly.
Edward wiped shaking hands on his jeans, trying to rid himself of the lingering feeling of soft skin cooling under his grip. "Shit, Emmett, this isn't working. This just made it worse, I could picture it, feel it like it was actually happening!"
He tried playing dumb, hoping that he was misunderstanding what Edward was talking about. "Like what was happening?"
Edward either didn't notice his skirting the subject, or decided not to comment on his apparent ignorance. "It was her Emmett, I'd had myself so convinced that it was Bella I was drinking from, it seemed too real."
"No." It was all he could manage
to get out, as his brain tried desperately to think of
something meaningful to say, something that would calm his distressed brother.
"This isn't good Emmett. I'm still thinking about her and we're gone, we're not even close to Forks. If I can't even hunt without picturing her, then there's no way that I'll be able to go back home. Faced with the real thing, I'd kill her for sure."
It felt like someone was squeezing his chest, that was the effect Edward's words had on him. He couldn't let that happen, Edward had to come home, they were a family, and Emmett needed him. "No, Edward! That is not going to be an option. You can't leave."
Edward looked like he was in pain, he looked miserable when he answered. "I don't want to leave, I just don't think I'm going to have much of a choice."
"No." He couldn't seem to stop saying that, even though the denial wasn't helping at all. "There's got to be something else that we can do. I promise you Edward, I'll think of something, you're not going to have to leave."
Edward laughed then, but there was no humor to it, it was a bitter, discouraged sound. "I wish I could believe that Emmett. Forks is home for me, it's where my entire family is, but I'm trying to be realistic here." Edward looked down at the bear at his feet, giving a shudder. "I'm going to head back to the motel for now, I'm done hunting for the day. You can stay out here if you want, you don't have to come back with me."
Emmett shook his head, turning to head back to the motel. "No, I'm good for now." He didn't mention the fact that his appetite had completely disappeared with the first whiff of his brother's fear.
Edward raced through the trees, running full out, wanting to get back so he could hide himself away. Emmett followed him, but at a much more leisurely pace in comparison. He was too busy thinking to run too fast, chances are he would have run head first into a tree. There was one solution he could think of that would help Edward, but no, that was too ridiculous, he couldn't bring that up. So he tried to come up with something else, but nothing short of killing the girl was going to work. Emmett didn't have a problem with that, he'd do anything if it stopped the torment of his brother. He also knew though, that was something Edward would never allow, that even her life was important and shouldn't be destroyed.
It all kept coming back to the one last possibility, the one that would have streaked a blush across his face if he was capable. Emmett had no problem with the idea, especially after their earlier conversation, but he still didn't know if Edward would accept. The trees were starting to thin, the motel was visible through the gaps, although Edward was nowhere in sight. Steeling his resolve, Emmett made up his mind, deciding to bring the subject up. He'd try anything if it meant he could keep Edward close to him.