LJ Summers' A/N: First, a shout out to Kathie, the erstwhile Birthday Girl. No, I haven't forgotten. I was just waiting for my muse... And out came EMMETT!
So, yeah. It's been a while. A LONG while. Since we've had any epilogues. I am just taking MY lead from KATMOM's example. Cough. Yeah! That! And no, I still have two more epilogic (heh) ideas...
Epilogue 2 - Emmett and Bella
"Newborns are fun!" Emmett declared as he paced Bella on a hunt. Her speed was exceptional, and he looked forward to seeing if it lasted past this newborn year. "Come on, Little Sis, take that one down!" The trajectory of her body and her current land-speed would make it a quick trip to the back of the bear, and Bella was a bear-hunter. Just like him!
Her growl was deep and low as she launched herself at the shaggy creature across the stream. The sunshine prismed off her skin. "Shut it, Emm," she advised as, with a powerful twist, she snapped the beast's neck. "I'm not wrestling today." Instead of wrestling, she bit and drained with deep pulls that Emmett found to be efficient, if not particularly amusing.
He himself had hunted yesterday. No way did he want to be tempted to get in the way of a newborn while she was hunting. Emmett often went with Bella. She reminded him of misty human times when he had brothers and sisters who would run in the woods with him, back in Tennessee. Like Alice had adopted Edward, more or less, as the nearest thing to a natural-born sibling, Emmett had taken to Bella and she to him.
Rosalie was actually pleased for him. "About time you got a playmate that doesn't make you break things," she had told him only yesterday. "You get competitive with Jazz, and it's hot, but I'm glad you've got a little sister, hon."
A messy little sister. "Here, Alice sent this," he told Bella now, shrugging off the L.L. Bean backpack. Bella grimaced but accepted the bottled water and white towel.
"Why white?" she asked, pouring out the water into the terrycloth sheet. "It'll stain."
"Bleach works wonders, Bella," Emmett told her, settling himself down beside the bear carcass as she cleaned herself up. "You did good, today. Still thirsty?"
"Nope, I'm good, thanks. D'you know when Edward's hunting?"
Emmett grinned broadly. "As soon as we get back, Sis. You remember last time we let the two of you hunt together..." he teased with a suggestive wiggle of his brow.
Bella instinctively ducked her head into the blood-streaked towel. "Yes," she muttered. "Do you try to find new ways to embarrass me, Emmett? Are you that bored?"
With a laugh, Emmett bounced gracefully to his feet before extending his hand for hers. She angled a look up at him through her lashes and then pulled. Hard.
Down went Emmett McCarty into the exsanguinated corpse of one Ursus americanus. Laughing, Bella leapt away and ran as fast as she could back to the Cullen house.
Oh yes, she remembered exactly what happened the one and only time she and Edward had gone hunting together. The family gently teased them about newborn emotions going haywire but Bella didn't think it was entirely a bad thing.
At least, not with Edward!
The hunt had been...wild. Chasing a herd of deer and taking them down one by one while the family watched. They should have maybe been farther apart, Esme said later, a gleam in her golden eye that had nothing to do with the sunlight. Bella didn't know. She only remembered that one moment, she had been drinking from her deer and a wary glance had darted over the closest family members before landing on Edward, who was just finishing up his deer and their eyes met... and... Wow!
Growling and visually stalking one another, they had come together hard at the exact midpoint on the straight line between his body and hers. The crash had sounded like a boulder hitting asphalt and the two of them had fallen to the ground, lips molded together, grass-and-deer stained bodies straining toward one another. She had been briefly submerged in the wonder of it all. They had had a few moments upon awakening as vampires, but this was the experience that had outshone them all. A kiss – an amazing kiss. A consuming kiss, like a beneficent flame that burned inside of her.
And then, the applause that had had her trying to roll up into a ball of sheer embarrassment. Edward, too, but he had risen to his feet, a sheepish expression on his face as he tried to smooth his permanently tousled hair.
"Next time," Jasper said, laughter in his eyes, "we'll take y'all out separately. I can only do so much with a pair of newborns."
Today, Bella beat Emmett home and was met by Edward, who caught her eagerly just inside the back porch, where the wooden door went into the mudroom. "Good hunt?" he asked, his eyes still the crimson color that hers were. She nodded and he inhaled deeply from her hair, holding her closely against him. "I smell bear."
"It was a big one. I only needed one," she murmured into his chest.
"Then I guess I'll head East instead of North, love," he decided.
"Won't Rosalie tell you where to go?"
He laughed softly. "Oh, she'll try, but I'm faster."
They shared a chuckle and then a sigh as Emmett and Rosalie reached them simultaneously. Emmett a little dirty around the edges and Rosalie as clean and lovely as the dawn. "Wish I could come with you," Bella sighed as she moved away from Edward and toward the stairs.
Emmett laughed and caught her around the waist. "Oh, no. Not again! Not until you guys can be trusted alone!"
"Oh, like you and I never, erm – Yeah. What he said," Rose finished with a rush, pushing past Edward. "Come on, little brother. Let's go."
Flopping on Emmett's back, Bella resigned herself to being handled like a child. "You know, I could rip your arms off, Brother Bear," she reminded him.
"I know. But you won't, because you hate to hurt anyone and it would hurt, let me tell ya."
With mingled laughter, he tossed her off his shoulder and onto the third floor landing. "Go clean up and, if you're fast, I'll teach you how to kick Jasper's butt in your next wrestling match!"
"I heard that!" the empath called from the study.
Emmett's dimples dug deeply into his cheeks as he held his hand out for a high-five from his little sister. "You're on," she whispered.
"You know," Emmett called to Jasper after landing lightly outside the study door, "newborns aren't so bad."
Jasper flipped him off. "She won't win."
"Oh yes, she will!" Alice called from their bedroom.
Emmett didn't think he'd had this much fun since the '60's.
Thanks for reading!