Back2Skool UNFmett Contest

Title: While She Was Away

Author(s): juliebutterfly

Category (AU, canon, AH, other): AH

Disclaimer: SM owns Twilight and all its related characters, but I wish Emmett was mine.

To view other entries for this contest please visit: http:/www(dot)fanfiction(dot)net/community/Back2Skool_UNFmett_Contest/73925/

A/N: Many thanks to Dahlia Black for helping with this story, she's a kick ass beta and I'm lucky to have her in my life.

"A little more to the left... No, up... You need to angle it a bit more there... Little to the right then..." I complained

"How about now? Is that better? If you could just hold still, it would be much easier to find the right spot," Jasper breathed heavily

"No... Little more to the left again... Higher... Right... No up..."

"I swear, when this is over, we are never doing it again."

"It's not like I'm enjoying this either," I gasped, "if you could just move it a little more to the left, I think we've got it."

"The fact that you two are related makes this conversation extremely disturbing," Alice laughed as she entered the apartment, her tiny arms full of boxes.

"You're such a perv Ali. You know perfectly well we are trying to put my closet together," I called from the bedroom.

"I hate your closet!" Jasper yelled. "Are you sure it's even possible to put this piece of shit together at all?"

"Easy there big brother, you know just as well as I do that this closet was in one piece in the old apartment. Therefore it must be able to become one piece again in this apartment. However, I will admit that it's rather tricky," I replied as I picked up the screwdriver again.

"Don't mock the closet," Alice gasped in a horrified voice, "it's where all the clothes live."

"Go retrieve some more boxes from the van, Alice. I can't concentrate." Jasper was one step from throwing the entire closet out of the window, so even Alice got the hint and left.

"If you hand me the two large screws there, I think they go over here." Jasper let out a loud sigh, but before I could hand it to him we were interrupted by a loud knock at the door.

"The door is open, why do you even bother knocking? Just get in here!" I yelled, expecting Alice or Bella with more boxes.

"I'm sorry," a deep male voice said with a hint of amusement, "I didn't just want to walk into a stranger's apartment without knocking first."

I got so startled by the unfamiliar voice that I accidentally dropped the shelf I'd been holding right on Jasper's foot.

"FUCK that hurts! Are you trying to kill me?" Jasper cried. "Is this how you repay me for helping you move?"

"Shut up Jasper, we have company," I hissed, realizing that the strange voice belonged to a very handsome man. A handsome man who was now standing inches from my bedroom door, taking in the entire scene.

"I'm sorry," I apologized. "I was expecting my friends."

"I think I should be the one to apologize, I didn't mean to scare you like that. It just sounded like you could use a hand in here. I'm Emmett, I live next door." He held out his hand.

"I'm Rose, and that's my brother Jasper," I said, taking his hand and nodding towards Jasper, who looked like he was still in pain from the shelf incident.

"Nice to meet you both. Do you need a hand? It sounded like you were having trouble," Emmett said, nodding towards the closet.

"Thank you," Jasper sighed in relief, "that would be great."

"Thanks," I said, "I'll go help the girls with some boxes and then I'm going to go pick up James. I bet mom's getting really tired of him by now." I walked out of the bedroom and almost crashed into Bella at the door.

"Shit!" she exclaimed. "This is all your china Rose, you do not want me to drop it."

"No, that's true. Why are you carrying that anyway? Where's Alice? Shouldn't you much rather carry something that doesn't break so easily?" I teased.

"She left to get some pizza, and it was either this or a box full of books and that was too heavy for me to carry," she admitted.

"Leave the book box for Jasper then," I said and lowered my voice to a whisper "There's a very hot guy in my bedroom, and I really want to keep him in there. He's helping Jasper put together my closet. Don't let Jasper tell him some embarrassing stories about me while I'm gone, I need to pick up James before he drives my mom crazy."

"I would be more worried about Alice if I were you, she knows more stories about you than Jasper does. She knows all the real stuff that happened in Europe, Jasper only knows the censored version. I'll try to keep them under control though," Bella laughed as she started to unpack the box.

"Thanks, I'll be back soon." I grabbed my car keys and headed out the door.

When I came back with James 30 minutes later, I found the four of them sitting on my living room floor eating pizza. It was a good thing I had James on a leash, otherwise he would happily have joined in the pizzafest.

"There he is," Alice cooed as soon as she saw him. "Hi James, you want some pizza?"

"Don't feed him pizza Alice," I objected, lifting up the puppy so he couldn't reach the slice Alice tried to hand him.

"This is James?" Emmett asked, his brown eyes lighting up with amusement. "I thought James was your kid."

"Nope, James is my English Bulldog," I smiled and sat James down so Emmett could pet him. "I said, don't feed him Alice!" Alice tried to hide the slice she had been offering James and shot me an innocent glare. Luckily James had already forgotten about the pizza and instead tried to make himself comfortable on Emmett's lap.

"You can just move him if he's annoying," I said and hurried to get a slice of pizza before it was all gone, settling on the floor with the rest of them.

"No, it's fine. I always wanted a dog, but my girlfriend doesn't want one." I felt myself getting disappointed at the word "girlfriend". I had secretly been hoping he was single. It was completely ridiculous, I didn't even know him, but still, I was a little disappointed.

"Does she also live next door?" Bella asked.

"She does, but not at the moment though. She got an internship in Poland for six months, she just left three weeks ago."

"Poland? That's far away," Jasper said while wrapping his arm around Alice pulling her closer, "are you up for a long distance relationship like that?"

"It's only for six months, I'm sure we can handle that. It's a really good deal for her, so of course she had to take the opportunity. I'm flying over to see her in two weeks, and then she'll fly back here at least once before she comes home. We've been together for three years now so it might even be healthy with a little break from each other. We have Skype and email, so it'll be fine," Emmett said as he continued to pet James who was now fast asleep on his lap.

"How did it go with the closet?" I asked, changing the subject.

"Thanks to Emmett here, we managed to put it together," Jasper answered as he shoved the last slice of pizza in his mouth. "But the next time you decide to move, Rosie, I beg you to buy a new closet. It'll make everyone's life much easier."

"Jazz, before you leave tonight, can you help me put together my dining table as well?" I pleaded, knowing I was starting to run out of favors from my brother. Jasper sighed heavily but before he could answer my question Emmett interrupted.

"If you want, I can do that for you tomorrow, I'm home anyway so it's not a problem. And, no offence, but I hope you don't put together furniture for a living," he said with a wink at Jasper, "clearly you're not any good at it." Jasper just laughed, relieved he didn't have to go into battle with my table as well.

"What about your bed?" Emmett turned to ask me.

"My bed?" Unsure about where he was going with that, my mind instantly began imagine him in my bed. Naked.

"Does that need fixing too?"

"Oh," I said dumbfounded. Of course that was what he had meant. Alice coughed something that sounded like "busted" and I quickly snapped back to reality.

"No," I said clearing my throat, "my bed is... uhm... fixed already. Thanks, though."

"No problem," Emmett said with a big smile, flashing a perfect set of dimples. "What time are you home tomorrow? I'll come over and help with your table. I should probably head home anyway, even though it's a shame to wake this little guy up." He scratched James on his tummy while he gently sat the puppy down on the floor and got up.

"I get off from work at 5, but then I need to pick up James first, so how about 6?" I asked.

"Who's puppysitting?" Alice asked while she scooped James up in her lap.

"My mom, even though she's not his biggest fan. I can't bring him to work just yet, there are some quarantine rules that we have to adhere to, but in two weeks or so he should be able to come with me," I replied as I got up to let Emmett out.

"You know, I'm home tomorrow anyway. So if you want, I can watch him for you," Emmett said as he bent down to give James one last goodbye scratch.

"Are you sure? That would actually be a really great help. Thank you so much. I'll bring him over tomorrow morning before I leave for work then."

"That's what neighbors are for. Bye guys, it was great meeting you all." As soon as he had closed the door behind him, Alice let out a small squee.

"Oh my God. Rosie, he's so hot! You totally need to go for him. I can see you're into him already."

"He has a girlfriend, Alice," I reminded her, starting to clean up the empty boxes from dinner.

"So? She's in Poland, remember? You are right here, living next door to him. And I have a really good feeling about this."

"Okay, I think it's time we wrap up here. You okay from here, Rosie?" Jasper asked. I nodded and my friends started to pack up their things, leaving me and James alone in our new apartment.

XxXxXx

The next morning started with complete chaos. I had forgotten that moving would add an extra 30 minutes to my commute to work in the mornings, so when my alarm went off I was already running late. I quickly showered and got dressed before I grabbed James and his leash and knocked on Emmett's door.

He answered after a few knocks, wearing nothing but a pair of boxers and holding a cup of coffee in his hands.

"Hi, good morning, I'm... I'm here to drop of James, " I stuttered, trying not to look too far below his waist.

"Good morning. How's the closet? You want to come in for some coffee?" he asked, flashing me a big smile.

"The closet is fine, but unfortunately I can't stay for coffee, I'm running really late. Here's the dog, his leash and here's my card if you need to reach me." I handed him everything, trying my very best not to let my eyes trail down his muscular body. I let out a small sigh. He was really, really good looking.

"Anything special I need to be aware of?" he asked, petting James who was perfectly fine being handed over to my hot new neighbor.

"No, not really. He just had breakfast and I'll feed him when I get home. So, just make sure he has water and take him out for a walk or two. He should be fine. Call me if anything happens," I glared at my watch. "I'm so late already, thanks again for doing this!" I heard his booming laughter behind me as I ran down the stairs, knowing that no matter how fast I drove I wasn't going to make it to work in time.

XxXxXx

"I know, I forgot that moving also means a longer drive. How are things looking today?" I asked as I changed into my lab coat at work.

"It shouldn't be too bad. You have a few check-ups this morning and then you are needed at the pound after lunch. So, is James with Emmett?"

"Sounds good. Yes he is, I just dropped him off. Bella, he answered the door this morning wearing nothing but his boxers, I nearly died," I sighed. Bella just chuckled at me, snapping me out of my daydream. "Who's up first?"

"Mrs. Cope and her little angry terrier," Bella laughed, "you know, the one who bites."

"Oh joy," I said sarcastically, opening the door to the waiting room. "Mrs. Cope?"

Around noon my phone started beeping, letting me know that I had received a text:

Hi mommy. I'm fine, went for a walk with Emmett and I behaved really well, so now I'm napping. Love, James.

I quickly texted back

Hi James, glad you're being a good boy. Don't nap for too long or you won't be able to sleep tonight. Pick you up at 5.30.

After work I quickly stopped at the supermarket, deciding that there would be no harm in inviting my new neighbor over for some dinner. After all, that was the least I could do after he had fixed my closet, taken care of my dog and offered to put together my dining table. At the last minute I decided to get a bottle of wine as well. He has a girlfriend, the little voice inside my head reminded me. I know, but red wine goes well with pasta, there's no harm in that. Besides, I'm not interested in him that way, I answered back. Yeah, keep telling yourself that. I sighed, it was impossible to win against that voice, it always got the last word.

As I got out of my car balancing, two large bags of groceries, I heard a small bark behind me, so I turned around to see Emmett and James standing at the door looking at me.

"We just went for a walk and then I saw your car pull up. You need some help with that?" Emmett asked nodding towards the groceries as he flashed a perfect set of dimples that made me knees go just a little weak.

"Thanks, that would be great," I said and handed him one of the bags. "How did it go today?"

"It was great, we had so much fun. We played in the park and then we napped on my couch. He's a great dog."

"Sounds nice, I'm so glad it went well. Now the question is if you are ready to tackle my table?" I asked as I got my apartment door opened.

"Bring it on," he laughed flexing his upper arms.

"I wanted to make you some dinner as a small thank you for all your help. I hope you like pasta?"

"I do, that sounds great. I'd better get this table put together then so we have a place to eat."

Emmett, closely followed by James, went into the living room and began to work on my dining room table. I started working on the dinner and by the time I was done, so was the table.

"Would you like some wine?" I asked as I sat dinner on the table. Emmett just nodded, he was completely occupied by playing with James who looked like he was in heaven. When I got back with the bottle of wine and two glasses, Emmett had managed to tear himself away from James and was now sitting at the table, the puppy lying right next to him on the floor.

"Did you have today off from work?" I asked, curious to find out more about him.

"I work freelance as a photographer, so I don't really go to work. I do a lot of stuff for newspapers and magazines but I also work for private clients, like weddings and that kind of stuff. I do all my editing at home which is why I'm home a lot during the daytime. What do you do?"

"I'm a vet. I work at a clinic down town. My friend Bella works there too."

"Was James one of your patients?"

"No, he was a gift from Jasper actually." I hesitated a bit, not knowing if I should tell him the entire story, but there was something about the Emmett that made me feel it was okay to tell him the whole thing. "I was supposed to get married, but two months before the wedding I found out he was cheating on me, and that he had been for some time. It ended pretty badly so Jasper bought me James to cheer me up. Royce wouldn't let me get a dog, so Jasper figured it was a nice little bit of revenge."

"My girlfriend won't let me get a dog either but I - wait... Did you say Royce? As in Royce King?" Emmett asked.

"Yes, do you know him?"

"We went to high school together, he's a real bastard. He thinks he owns the entire world, just because his family is rich." I nodded in agreement, that was a very accurate way to describe Royce.

"Like I said it ended pretty badly. He wouldn't let me go at first, claiming that it would be a huge scandal if his fiancée left him just before the wedding." I let my fingers trail up and down the wineglass as I told the story. It wasn't really something I shared with everyone, but I instantly felt I could trust Emmett. "That's where knowing Alice comes in handy. Jasper is pretty nifty with Photoshop, so she had him manipulate some pictures of Royce, and then she showed up on our doorstep threatening to leak the pictures if he didn't let me go. It would be a much bigger scandal if those pictures got leaked, fake or not, so he did the right thing and let me go."

"I'm sorry to hear that. Are you okay?" he asked, locking my gaze with his and I felt my heart starting to beat a little faster as I nodded. "But I'm pretty sure I read recently that Royce got married?"

"Oh he did. He never cancelled our wedding, he just married his other girlfriend instead. It was pretty weird reading about it in the newspaper and discovering that someone else had your wedding."

"What a giant ass. Now tell me, what was in those photos?" Emmett asked, leaning a little closer, his eyes twinkling with amusement.

"Sorry, I'm sworn to secrecy. But these were not the kind of photos that any straight guy would want to have leaked," I said with a wink. Emmett leaned back in his chair and laughed his loud booming laugh.

"You should have leaked those photos anyway and given the douche bag what he deserves."

"I'm just glad I got out of it when I did. He was never really my type to begin with but he can be very charming when he wants to be and I got fooled by that when I met him. I thought he was completely different. Anyway, long story short, that's why Jasper bought me James. He wanted me to finally have the dog that Royce wouldn't let me."

"So, if Royce wasn't your type, what is your type?" Emmett asked.

"Um... I don't really have a type." His question caught me off guard and I refused to answer it with "you". " What's yours?"

"I like tall, blonde girls, not too tall but like your height. And I like smart girls with strong opinions." He paused for a few seconds before he continued. "My girlfriend is actually exactly my type." Oh right, the girlfriend. Damnit.

The rest of the dinner conversation flowed easily. Emmett was fun and easy to talk to, he made me laugh and I quickly realized he was someone I could easily fall for. More than a few times I thought I picked up some flirting from him, but right after he always mentioned his girlfriend. By the end of the evening I was completely confused.

"Do I get to watch James again tomorrow?" he asked as he was getting ready to leave.

"Are you sure you want to? I can easily drop him off at my mom's."

"I had so much fun with him today. I'd love to have him over again." He wrapped his arm around my shoulder as I walked him to the door.

"That would be great. I'll have him over a little earlier tomorrow," I smiled. "I had a really great time tonight. Thank you so much for all your help."

"I had a good time too." He squeezed my shoulder lightly, "I'll see you tomorrow morning."

XxXxXx

Over the next few days we settled into an easy routine where I dropped James off in the morning and picked him up again when I got home from work. Without ever discussing it we also ended up having dinner together every night. Sometimes he had cooked already or picked up take-away when I got there and a few times I made dinner for us as well.

"So, my little brother and I are going out for a few beers and some pool tomorrow night. Maybe you and some of your friends would like to come too?" Emmett asked me on Thursday. He had picked up Chinese food for us and we were eating in his living room while James was snuggling between Emmett's feet.

"I know Jasper and Alice have plans, but maybe Bella would to go. I'll ask her right away." I grabbed my phone from my purse and quickly shot Bella a text:

Hot neighbor and his brother want to go out with us for a few beers tomorrow. Game?

It didn't take long for her to text back:

Is the brother hot too? But sure, sounds like fun. I'm game.

I have no idea, I replied, we'll have to see tomorrow. See you at work!

"Bella is up for it," I told him as I put my phone back in my purse.

"Awesome. I'm going over to my brother's first, but we're going to go to that Irish Pub on 1st, so we can just meet you down there."

"Sounds good. It's been a while since I last played some pool, but I'm looking forward to that." Truth be told it wasn't so much the pool I was looking forward to, as it was a night out with Emmett.

"Do you see them anywhere?" I asked Bella as soon as we arrived at the bar.

"Oh Rosie, you're in way over your head already," Bella laughed. "We barely got inside and you're already busy looking for him."

"It's not like that," I lied, "he has a girlfriend remember?"

"I remember, but do you?" she laughed, "I'm sure we'll find them soon. I'm curious to see what the brother is like, too."

"Let's get some drinks then." We pulled out some barstools and ordered some drinks. We settled on some light girl talk while we waited for Emmett and his brother to show up. Right as I was in the middle of telling Bella something about one of my patient's owner, I felt a hand on my waist and a warm breath in my ear

"Hi neighbor, there you are. I've been looking for you."

"Hey," I whispered back, "we didn't see you so we decided to just hang at the bar for a bit." I turned around so I was facing him.

"We're sitting right over there." He gestured towards a booth in the far end of the bar, where another guy was sitting. "Fuck, you're wearing red lipstick and black leather boots. I need to leave." I started laughing as he turned around and left without saying anything further.

"What did you say to him? Why did he leave?" Bella asked, looking completely confused.

"I didn't say anything," I laughed. "He said that because of my lip gloss and my boots he had to leave. He probably just went to the bathroom and that was his stupid excuse to leave. Let's finish out drinks, so we can order some new ones and then go and join them."

As expected Emmett returned to the booth shortly, so Bella and I grabbed our freshly refilled drinks and walked over to join them. They were sitting across from each other so I slid down in the seat next to Emmett and Bella sat down next to his brother.

"Hey ladies, glad you could join us. Nice to see you again Bella," Emmett said, letting his arm casually rest on the back of my seat. "This is my little brother Eddie. Eddie, this is my neighbor, Rose and her friend, Bella," he introduced us.

"It's Edward actually. I don't know why Emmett always insists on calling me Eddie," Edward looked like he had eaten some very sour grapes. "It's nice to meet you both."

"Oh, relax Eddie, don't be so uptight," Emmett laughed. It was a good thing that looks couldn't kill. If they could, judging by the look that Edward was shooting at Emmett, he would certainly be dead by now.

"I wanted to ask you something, Rose," Emmett said, shifting his body in my direction. "It looks like it's going to be a nice sunny fall day tomorrow, and I was wondering if I could take some pictures of you and James in the park. I'm doing an exhibition at Edward's art gallery soon and I need some new pictures for that. I'm thinking you and James playing in the park could turn out nice."

"So you want us to strike a few poses in the park?" I laughed.

"No, nothing like that. Just be yourself and act natural, you shouldn't be paying attention to the camera at all. It would really be a great help."

"Well sure. If it could be a small way to repay all the favors you've done for me, then of course." He could have asked me anything and I would have agreed to it. It was hard for me to resist his brown eyes and dimples when he smiled.

"It looks like my brother likes your friend," Emmett said, leaning closer towards me. I shot a quick glance in Bella's direction and nodded in agreement. She was deeply involved in conversation with Edward, not paying attention to much else that was going on around her.

"Looks like my friend likes your brother, too." I leaned a little closer towards him as well and I could feel his hot breath on my face.

"So..." He trailed off, tugging a lock of my hair behind my ear, moving just a little bit closer once again.

"So..." I replied, trying hard to control both my breathing and my racing heartbeat.

"Hey guys, we're closing in 10 minutes. Can I get you anything from the bar before we close it up?" A tall guy with an Irish accent standing at the end of our table asked. Emmett let out a small cough and sat straight up in his seat:

"No thanks dude, we're fine. We should probably get going then." I nodded and we all got out of our seats and grabbed out coats.

When we got out to the street there were a few awkward moments of silence between us all.

"So, how is everybody getting home?" Edward asked as he put his gloves on.

"I was just going to walk home, it's not that far. Are you going to take a cab Bella?" I asked.

"Yeah I guess so. It's a little too far to walk home alone in the dark I think. What about you guys?" Bella asked, looking straight at Edward.

"Maybe we can share a cab then? I'm going that way," Edward gestured loosely to the left, not really pointing out which direction he was going.

"Me too," Bella replied. "Bye guys, I had a great time. See you Monday Rose. Come on Edward, let's find a cab." And without any further comments or even backward glances, they both left.

"Are they even going the same way?" I laughed once they were out of sight.

"I have no idea. Come on neighbor, let's walk home." Emmett wrapped his arm around my shoulder and we started walking home.

"Do you think they went home together?" I asked.

"Maybe, but I doubt they'll do anything except sleeping. Eddie is always so uptight."

"They are perfect for each other then," I smiled. "I can't really imagine Bella sleeping with anyone she just met."

"You want to share the dirty details afterwards? See if their stories match?"

"Sure, if I get any. I wouldn't get any high hopes about it though. Bella doesn't really kiss and tell."

We reached out front door and as I was trying to locate my keys, Emmett suddenly got the hiccups.

"Oh man," he sighed. "Now you need to scare me."

"Boo," I said sarcastically, finally reaching my keys at the bottom of my purse.

"Or you know, you could just kiss me."

"What?" I gasped and I got so startled by that comment that I accidentally dropped my keys in the street.

"Yeah, you know," he continued. "I have a girlfriend so if you kissed me it would be something I didn't expect, so maybe the hiccups would stop." He hesitated for a brief second before he continued. "Nah, just kidding. You know that." He let out a short laugh, but it certainly didn't feel like a joke to me. Before I was able to recover from that comment, Emmett had picked up my keys from the street and opened the door.

"So, about tomorrow, you can just knock on my door when you're ready to leave. I'm home all day."

"Okay, sounds good." I wasn't really sure what to do or say after he had almost asked me to kiss him.

"Goodnight Rosie, sweet dreams." He gave me a big hug and before I was able to say anything back he had gone into his apartment.

When I got into my apartment, James was sound asleep on my couch. I brushed my teeth and went back to my living room, scooping James up and carrying him to my bed. I didn't usually allow him to sleep in there, but my head was spinning and I really wanted the company of the soft, snoring puppy tonight. I gently placed him on bed and then I crawled in next to him, knowing that there was no way I would be able to fall asleep after what had just happened.

XxXxXx

When I got up the next morning I called Alice first thing to fill her in on last night events. Then I called Bella to find out what had happened between her and Edward and ate breakfast before I realized that James would probably appreciate to be taken outside for a walk. If not, accidents were bound to happen.

I quickly got dressed, found James' leash and went to knock on Emmett's door.

"Hey," I said when he opened the door, "ready to leave?"

"Yes, sure, I just need about 10 minutes to finish up here and get my camera ready. Is that okay?"

"Cool, we're just going to wait outside. I think James really needs to go," I nodded towards the puppy who was already on his way down the stairs. James and I went for a quick walk around the block and when we came back we found Emmett waiting for us.

"Where do you want to go?" I asked.

"Well, if you're up for it I was actually thinking we could do a drive up north to Lakeview Park."

"That sounds nice, I don't think I've ever been there before."

"It's one of my favorite places, we definitely have to go if you haven't been there before. It's about 40 minutes from here, but it's such a beautiful area. It's a nice big park and there's a lake there too."

"Sounds perfect, let's go." We got into Emmett's big jeep and made the drive up to Lakeview Park in comfortable silence. At one point Emmett began to hum along to the songs on the radio and by the time we made it to the park, we were both singing loudly in the car. It wasn't pretty or perfect, but it made us laugh.

When we arrived Emmett grabbed his camera and we went for a walk through the park. Emmett had been right in his description of it, it really was a beautiful place. There were lots of squirrels running around in the park and James was happily bouncing around after them trying to catch them. We had the park almost entirely to ourselves and the only sound was a few birds singing and the almost constant clicking sound of Emmett's camera. He had instructed me not to pay too much attention to the camera. He would be taking a lot of pictures; some would be of James and me and some would be of whatever else caught his eye. The best way was just to act natural and forget the camera was even there, and it didn't take long for me to forget that the whole purpose of this trip was for him to take pictures

We ended up playing in the park for several hours. It was a beautiful fall day and James was having the time of his life running after ducks and squirrels by the lake. I sat down on a bench, keeping an eye on him but he never ran far away from me, he was too much of a chicken for that. Emmett sat down next to me, wrapping an arm around my shoulder and pulled me closer to him. He moved his hand down to my waist and I casually rested my head on his shoulder as he absentmindedly traced circles up and down my thigh. We sat there in silence and watched James, until he got tired and crawled up between our feet and feel asleep. We continued to sit there and enjoy the view over the lake and it felt like we were the only two people in the world.

"Are you getting cold?" Emmett whispered in my ear.

"No, I feel perfect actually." And it was true, in that moment I was completely happy.

It was twilight when we finally got up, walked back to the car and drove back home.

"Did you talk to your brother about last night?" I asked, suddenly remembering the conversation I had with Bella that morning.

"No, I was going to call him when I - wait, did you hear something good?" he asked with a smile on his lips.

"I'm not sure if it's good or not, but I did talk to Bella this morning, and Edward did indeed spend the night there..." I trailed off, looking over at Emmett who smiled widely.

"Nice move, little brother." He nodded approvingly.

"You might want to wait until you've heard the rest of the story, before you say that," I laughed. "It turns out they spent most of the night discussing the poetry book Bella had lying on her table, and when they finally went to bed they just slept. As far as I know, they didn't even kiss."

"Are you fucking kidding me with this?" His face fell completely and he looked at me in disbelief.

"I'm most certainly not. Bella is a terrible liar, so I'm pretty sure she told me the truth."

"Man... Leave it to Edward to go home with a pretty girl and then stay up all night talking. I would have used that night doing something else, that's for sure." I laughed and nodded in agreement.

We continued the drive in silence, I was looking out the window when I felt his hand on my knee. He gave it a light squeeze and he continued to rest his hand there for the rest of the drive.

"There's something I've been meaning to run by you," he said in a serious tone as we pulled up in front of our building. "I'm leaving for Poland on Wednesday morning, so I won't be able to watch James for you."

"I can just bring him to work. His quarantine is over by then, and I was going to take Friday off anyway so it's no problem. So, Poland huh? Going to visit your girlfriend? Are you excited?" I tried to sound casual about it, but it didn't come out that way. I've known all along that he was off limits, but that didn't mean I was psyched to see him leave to be with his girlfriend.

"I am, it'll be great. I've never been there before so it'll be exciting to see the country. Tanya will be working while I'm there so I have time to do a lot of sightseeing. Maybe I'll get some photos for Edward's gallery done while I'm there."

"That sounds nice," I managed to smile but my heart wasn't in it. "When will you be back?"

"It's just two weeks, you won't even have time to miss me."

I wasn't so sure about that. In the short amount of time we had known each other we had become close and I was going to miss him for sure while he was gone. Not only because I considered him a good friend, but also because I had to be honest with myself and admit that I had fallen pretty hard for him. I couldn't imagine surviving two weeks without him.

"I had a great time today, thanks for helping me out." He pulled me into a massive bear hug and we stood on the street for a while like that, our bodies wrapped around each other, neither of us willing to let go.

Tuesday evening he came over to show me the photos he had taken in the park. They were all done in black and white and were absolutely beautiful. He had captured the day perfectly, James playing in the leaves, me laughing at him and then there was the picture that Emmett had asked a stranger to take. The picture of us, sitting on the bench with James at our feet. Emmett's hand around me and my head resting on his shoulder. We looked like something we would probably never be, two people in love. When he went back to his own place he left that picture behind on my coffee table.

I brought James with me to work on Wednesday and Thursday and on Friday, my day off, it was raining. It suited my mood perfectly. I was starting to feel completely miserable and the thought of Emmett together with his girlfriend made my heart hurt.

"Come on James, let's go out quickly," I mumbled as I located his leash and my raincoat. All I wanted to do was curl up on my couch and watch random movies, but first I had to make sure James wouldn't have an accident on my floor. As I was locking my door, James was already on his way over to Emmett's apartment. He had gotten so used to either go to Emmett's place or pick him up to go for a walk together.

"He's not home baby, I miss him too," I sighed. I decided we might as well make out way over to Blockbuster and get some movies to entertain myself with. If I had to go out I might as well make the trip useful.

It was a short walk to Blockbuster and I randomly selected some movies before we made our way back. I took James off the leash and let him run free. He never ran away and there were nobody on the street he could bother. When we turned into out street James suddenly started running towards a big jeep that was parked right in front of our building.

"Don't bother, James, it's not his car," I sighed. "He's gone for two weeks, it's just a car that looks like his." The sight of the car made me even more miserable because it also reminded me of him. I opened the door and let James run up the stairs. He started barking and I heard a familiar deep booming voice.

"Hey there buddy, you're all wet. Where's your mommy?" No, it couldn't be. He was supposed to be all happy in Poland. There was no way he could be standing inside our building now and talking to my dog. I made it up the stairs and there he was, standing in front of his door with a big suitcase next to him, talking to my dog.

"Hey," I whispered, I couldn't get my voice to work properly. "What are you doing here? Why aren't you in Poland?" He looked up and took a step in my direction.

"I came back," he whispered back in a low husky voice.

"Why?" I took a step towards them.

"We broke up." He looked me straight in the eyes and took yet another step.

"Why?" I dropped the bag of movies I had in my hand and moved a little closer.

"Because she wasn't you." He closed the distance between us, wrapped me in his arms and crashed his lips against mine in a deep, fiery kiss. He pulled me in even closer and let his fingers tangle in my wet hair.

"I can't believe you came back," I whispered between kisses.

"I can't believe I left in the first place. I went halfway around the world to be with somebody, but when I got off the plane in Krakow I realized that the only person I wanted to be with was the one I left behind."

"But you came back," I whispered a smile playing on my lips.

"I came back, and I'm not letting go this time." And then he leaned in to kiss me again.

End note: I hope you enjoyed this, don't forget to read the other entries and vote for your faves!