Disclaimer: Characters at S. Meyers. I'm just passing the time.

ADF (A Different Forest) Happy Valentine's Day Emmett Challenge

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Past, Present and Future.

She showed up on his doorstep at the same time. It wasn't a set day or week, but at 7:45 there would be a knock at the door and she would be there, beautiful and sad and needing him.

Emmett could never turn her away. Not his Rose. Even when he knew she wouldn't stay his, that she would be gone before he woke. Once he tried to stay awake until dawn to see if she would stay but he fell asleep and she stole away like a thief in the night. And she was thief. She took everything of him with her.

But it was only on these nights that she was his Rose. When he saw her in other places she was Rosalie. She was Royce King's Rosalie and she was his boss's fiancée. She walked through the office in constricting dresses and downcast eyes like ice and Emmett snapped his pencil as he watched King touch her.

When she was with Emmett, she wore his shirts and smiled and kissed and loved and her eyes were soft and warm.

Emmett went home alone and never tried to catch her eye. King looked at him and nodded.

"Goodnight, McCarty. I'll be in the nine am meeting on Monday morning but I'll be in New York this weekend."

"Good night." Emmett said back quietly and he went to his apartment and listened to his messages. His cousin, Edward, asked him to call so they could talk about his wedding plans to Bella. Edward's sister, Alice, demanded contact so that they could have lunch. Emmett didn't call them back but opened a bottle of wine and poured two glasses as the clock struck seven thirty before going to sit on the sofa.

She sat down beside him sixteen minutes later and her head rested in his lap, the wine on the table before them. He laid his hand on her hair and stroked the soft golden strands, pleased that King would never see her like this, all curled up and vulnerable and sweet.

But his Rose could be thorny too.

It was the first and last time that he'd asked her to stay with him, to leave King. Her eyes had spat ice at him and she'd shouted.

"I can't leave him!"

"Why not, Rose?" Emmett had thundered, seizing her by the shoulders and forcing her to look at him. She'd glared and hissed,

"Because he keeps me safe. He'll give me a life."

"I could do that!" Emmett had angered at her and she'd looked at him sadly.

"Isn't it enough that I'm yours for these nights? Is that not enough for you?"

It wasn't but he couldn't tell her that. He was selfish. He couldn't give up his moments with his Rose.

Tonight she was his. She sat up and sipped her wine and turned her face to his, warm blue eyes and soft red lips that he caught with his, his hands huge on her cheeks as he pulled her to him. She straddled his lap and wound her fingers into his hair, desperate and pleading without words. He ran his hands down her sides, brushing against the sides of her breasts before down to her waist and grasping her hips, pulling her against his hardness. Her tongue pressed to his, coaxing and warm and sweet, the tartness of the berries and tang of the alcohol on her breath.

Tonight she was his and in the morning she was gone. She took another little piece of his soul with her.


"My name is Rosalie." She said quietly. Emmett smiled and looked down at his coffee, tapping the wooden stick lightly against the edge of his cup to shake free a droplet before glancing up at her again. She was watching him with an unreadable expression.

"I'm Emmett."

"I like my coffee with cream and one sugar." She in a soft voice and Emmett's smile widened.

"I like mine black with one sugar."

"I like engines. I like to take them apart and fix them again."

"I like to run. At dawn, so I can see the sun coming up."

"I have a brother. We're twins." She smiled and Emmett saw the sun coming up, blinding and beautiful.

"I'm an only child, but I'm close to my two cousins. They're both younger than me by a couple of years." He offered with a smile and she gave a very quiet laugh, reaching up to brush her hair behind her ear. The ring sparkled, reflecting tiny rainbows over him and she dropped her hand to her lap quickly, but Emmett had already seen it when she'd ordered her drink.

After a long silence she looked at him with heartbreaking eyes.

"I'm engaged."


Emmett always knew when she had entered the office, because what was left of his soul began to hum, as though sensing the rest of it's self nearby. He looked up and saw ice cold eyes, bored and so different from the glowing warm ones that had laughed with him only three days before. His conversation with Tyler died on his lips as he watched, almost wishing he was still locked away in his office.

King saw her too and crossed the office floor, kissing her cheek and drawing her to his side. Emmett put his pencil down. King caught his eye and gave that hideously handsome smile, beckoning him over. Rosalie saw him coming and her jaw flexed minutely.

"McCarty, you know my fiancée." He said and his voice was full of pride of ownership. She was a new car, a prized horse, a shiny toy for him to play with.

"We've met." Emmett replied in a low voice, not looking at Ice Eyes. She looks past him and King squeezed his fingers against her hip, nails digging into soft flesh.

"Rosalie is going to be organising a charity benefit for rape victims. It gives her something to do."

Give her a car, Emmett thought, or a broken piece of machinery. Let her get oil under her fingernails and watch her delicately place screws and springs and make magic with metal.

"I told her that if she needs anything you can give her resources or whatever it is she wants," King carried on, disinterested but with his fingers still gripping her to him, "I don't have the time for it. Rosalie, I have to go, I've got a meeting with your father. McCarty, I'll need you to go over the Marriot accounts before this weekend."

"Yes, sir." Emmett said flatly before looking at Rosalie. Their eyes met and he saw her, the softness once again flashing before burying itself deep in an iron cocoon.

"Anything you need."


He comes home early, eager to surprise her. Sure enough, she's up to her elbows in flour, glaring at the recipe back as though it has mortally offended her. Emmett chuckles and she looks up in surprise before a smile shatters her frown.

"Emmett! You're early!"

"Good thing too. You know how I feel about you cooking." He drops his briefcase and waggles a finger at her, "A woman belongs in the garage, not in the kitchen!"

"I was trying to make that apple pie you like." Rosalie scowls, "But it's not coming together. I mean, there's a frozen one in the refrigerator, but I really wanted to get this one right. For God's sake, I can pull apart an engine and put it back together in less than an hour but I can't make a damn pie!"

Emmett laughs and pulls her to him, not caring about the white flour that is settling on his suit.

"If I want a pie, I'll call Bella and ask her to make me one," He chuckles, kissing the tip of powdery nose, "All I want from you is a kiss."

"Charmer." She teases.



She came to him again that night, her fingers wrapping around his length and bringing him to weakness before he pushed her into the mattress and loved her again and again. She clung to him as though she was lost at sea and he was a life-saving raft. He rocked her gently and she looked at him with soft eyes. Emmett kissed her mouth softly as she lay on his chest, his hand trailing down her back, tracing the gentle bumps of her spine, circling the two dimples at the top of her backside before stroking the soft cheeks and working his way back up to her shoulders.

"Stay with me, Rose." He murmured against her forehead. Her long hair fanned over his chest as she traced the tribal pattern tattoo that was printed on the upper part of his left arm. She was silent for a long time.

"We have tonight." Was her eventual reply.

Another part of his soul gone.

He rolled over, trapping her beneath him and she bucked her hips against his, rubbing herself against him. His hand slid down her arm and caught her hand, taking great pleasure in the absence of the ring that should have been there.


Emmett swallowed hard, wondering how he'd gotten into this situation and if he wanted to get out again. Rosalie's eyes were fixed on his and her teeth scraped over her lower lip. The sight of her tender lip being torn at shocked Emmett and he lifted his hand, brushing a finger over her mouth and she gasped, releasing her lip.

He did not want to get out of this situation.

Emmett pulled her to him, hands firmly on her face and neck as he kissed her, a little too roughly but she dug her nails in his shoulder, holding him just as tightly.


She didn't approach him in the office for anything and he was almost glad for it. The benefit came around without his input and King announced that all employees were to attend. Emmett pulled on the tuxedo, staring at his reflection and knowing that tonight would be hell. Tonight he would watch her play the dutiful fiancée, would show off the rock that adorned her left hand and he would stand on the by-lines, helpless in the wake of her. He would watch King run his hands over her, every action making Emmett want to pummel his boss into the ground.

Emmett drove, not trusting himself to drink. The benefit was being held in a hotel and he walked into the function room to find it adorned with ribbons and tables, soft white lights illuminating everyone as they moved like the eddies and tides of the ocean. He stood like a rock, alone and still and he saw her like a ship, above them all, better than them and forcing herself to stoop to their level because she thought that it was what she wanted. Her anchor was hooked onto her and he was the envy of every man in the room, because she was stunning. Her hair was knotted up in an elegant chignon and the black waterfall of silk that covered her body tore Emmett apart because he wanted to lift it from her and set her free. He wanted her hair loose and wild, her clothing comfortable, if not entirely absent.

She saw him and her face was set, impassive and calm. Emmett turned away.

He only had a small part of his soul left. He could not afford to let her take it yet, because once she did, she would have nothing left to come back for.


Rosalie pushes him down onto the bed before straddling his waist, pulling his face up to hers as her blonde hair forms a curtain around them. Emmett slides his hand to the front of her shirt, beneath the silky fabric and she pulls back from the kiss, using both of her hands to clutch his fingers to her abdomen. Emmett frowns in confusion.


"Emmett…" She murmurs, her eyes begging him to understand.

He does.

He laughs and then sits up, wrapping his arms around her tightly, clutching his wife and the baby that she is carrying to him.


The food was delicious and the wine flowed freely. Emmett barely touched his dinner and drank only water. She was sat down the long rectangular table and to his left and she picked at her food. King didn't notice, but Emmett saw his hand venture under the table and Rosalie stiffened as he caressed her thigh. Rage boiled in Emmett's chest and he stood abruptly. Tyler looked at him in surprise before turning back to Mike, continuing the conversation as though nothing had happened.

The atmosphere, the joviality was suffocating him. Emmett picked up his jacket and walked away from the table. No one noticed him go.

Almost no one.

He was in the parking lot, walking as quickly as he could towards his car when she spoke his name. Emmett turned and she stood still, staring at him. They were silent for a long moment before she fidgeted uncertainly.

He had never seen her uncertain before.

"Aren't you staying?" She asked and her voice quavered with unrecognisable emotion. Emmett ground his teeth together as she changed from Rosalie to Rose before his eyes, going from a stiff statue to soft and lovely but so unsure of herself.

"No. I'm not staying." He said quietly and her eyebrows drew together as she moved a little closer to him.

"Please…" She began and his last piece of soul blazed like a fire. He pulled his keys out and unlocked the car before turning to her.

"No. I can't stay anymore, Rose. I can't only have you for a couple of nights a week."

Emmett saw the dread rising in her eyes and knew that he had to have his say before she stopped him, before he lost his nerve and took the little that she offered him.

"I'm in love with you, Rose Hale. I am in love with you and I am saying to you now that I want you to get in this car with me and come home and wake up with me in the morning. You're not happy with him and you don't love him and I don't understand why you won't stay with me!"

She stared at him.

She stared at him.

She stares at him.

And then she is gone.




Emmett quit his job. He dove into his savings and took a short vacation, travelling from Seattle to Chicago to visit Edward and Bella. They didn't ask questions, didn't press for information, but welcomed him to their home. Edward took him to a baseball game and Bella curled up with him on the sofa, stroking his hair. Emmett loved his family more than words could express.

When he returned to Seattle, he began to hunt for a new job and a new apartment. He wanted no memories of her. If he couldn't have her completely, then he didn't want her.

At least, that was what he told himself. But at night, he still dreamt of what could have been.


Emmett can't decide when she looks most beautiful. Maybe it when she's in the garage, oil smudges on her skin and a look of concentration in her eyes. Maybe it's when she's watching a movie, her brow smooth as she absorbs the story.

Maybe it's when she's lying beneath him, her legs wrapped around his waist and her head thrown back as she cries his name.

Or maybe it's right this minute, when she's in that peculiar place between sleep and awake, soft curves and warm flesh against him and one hand running tiredly over the tattoo that fascinates her so.

"Love you." He whispers, kissing her forehead and she sighs softly.

"Love you, Emmett."


Emmett ran every morning. He got his morning coffee from a different Starbucks, just in case. He avoided the streets that led to his old office building, taking a longer but safer route.

But life wouldn't avoid him, which was how he ran into Tyler Crowley outside a bar in Green Lake.

"How's the new job going?" Tyler asked, after insisting that they get a beer and Emmett had been unable to think of an excuse.

"It's fine. Pretty much the same as my old one but I have a slightly bigger office." Emmett chuckled quietly and Tyler laughed, sipping his beer.

"I haven't seen you around since… geez, was it the night of that benefit dinner? That was months ago."

"Yeah. Yeah, it was."

"You missed the drama that night." Tyler sniggered, "Christ, what a mess that was, with the boss."

Emmett's heart began to beat marginally faster as he looked at his drinking partner inquisitively. Tyler shook his head, grinning inanely.

"Yeah, right after you left that Rosalie chick that he was engaged to came back in and took him to one side. Nobody thought anything of it until he started shouting. Who knew he had such a temper, huh? Anyway, she broke off the engagement. No explanation, although Jessica reckons she heard Rosalie tell King that she didn't love him enough to marry him and that was that. Of course, you know Jessica, she'll spread any rumour she can get her hands on. She's still convinced that Lauren and I are at it…"

He continued talking, but Emmett's mind was miles away.



"Hmm?" She looked at him sleepily and Emmett couldn't help smiling, caressing her cheek.

"I like calling you that."



"S'not really my name." She pointed out, snuggling closer for warmth. Emmet smile widened as he wrapped her in his arms.

"I know. But I like being the only one who gets to call you that."

The shadow of Royce King fell over them but she turned away from it, rolling over so that she was lying on his chest, face to face with him.


"Rose." He confirmed and she smiled, leaning forward to brush her mouth over his.

My Rose.


He should have debated for a long time. He'd taken months to get over her, to get his priorities sorted.

It hadn't worked.

She was his priority.

He left a message in her mailbox, giving her his new address and nothing else. Just to see what would happen. No, that wasn't right. He knew what would happen.

At 7:30 Emmett opened a bottle of wine and poured two glasses, taking one and going to sit on the sofa. The TV played quietly, some documentary that he had absolutely no interest in.

At 7:45 the door opened. Her footsteps echoed to the kitchen, where she picked up her glass before she crossed to the sofa and sat, holding the glass in both hands. Emmett closed his eyes, willing his strength not to desert him as he turned his head to look at her.

She had lost weight. There were faint circles under her eyes. Her hair was tied back and needed trimming.

She was beautiful.

She sipped her wine slowly, not tearing her gaze from his before she leaned over to put her glass on the low table in front of the sofa. Emmett watched her actions, so slow and deliberate as she shifted in her seat, a hand wavering uncertainly in his direction. Her left hand, from which a diamond ring was noticeably absent.

Emmett took her hand and kissed the bare knuckles. Then he took her other hand and kissed her open palm. Rose sighed and slid towards him, slipping one of her legs over his waist so that she could press herself to him, desperate for contact. Their mouths met, without urgency or rushing because this time, this time, she wouldn't need to be somewhere else later on.

Emmett took her to his bed. He made love to her again and again, kissing and sucking and stroking and reassuring himself that she was truly here. And as he entered her, wanting to die from the pleasure, all of his visions of their future together vanished. Apple pies and pregnancies were gone in a single thrust because he didn't want to imagine their future. He wanted to see it happen instead.

But for tonight and just for tonight, he would be happy just to wake up to find her still with him, holding all the little pieces of his soul.

A/N: My first prompted twific. Who can resist Emmett, eh?