New story - hope you like it...

Bella sighed and sank into the first empty seat she found. The corner table was, shockingly, empty and hidden away. She could sulk and watch Edward perfectly from here.

The music was too loud and the bar was too smoky. St. Patrick's Day generated a huge crowd of partiers, and the majority of them were decked out in green. Bella glanced down at her black v-neck and jeans. Not very festive.

She toyed with the frosty beer bottle in front of her, picking at the label. She didn't really want to watch him. She definitely didn't want to see him dancing with that skanky blonde, her grimy hands all over his back and in his hair.

All right, in all honesty, the blonde didn't look too skanky, and her hands probably weren't that dirty…but Bella really thought that this year things would be different. Edward was supposed to finally notice her. He was supposed to realize that she wasn't the girl who grew up with him anymore – she was a woman.

Not just any woman, either…she was completely in love with him. Had been ever since the eighth grade, when he offered to accompany her to the school dance. She suspected it was a pity invite and his mother forced him to ask her, since her ankle had been broken and Dr. Cullen said she couldn't dance.

Still, that was all it took. She fell, and she fell hard.

Bella snuck another look at Edward and felt her stomach turn at the way he was dancing with that girl. Jealousy coursed through her and she bit her lip, willing herself not to cry.

"Bella Bella fo fella banana bana bo Bella fee fy fo fella - BELLA!" Bella immediately recognized Emmett's booming voice.

She quickly averted her eyes, but not quickly enough. Emmett's expression fell into one of knowing, and he dropped into the seat across from her.

"Aww, Bella, you can't let him get to you like that," he said kindly. He pushed a beer across the table. "Drink up. Can't let him see you like that, either."

Bella sniffled. She didn't want to drink anymore. She wanted to go home. "I know."

"You know?" Emmett repeated, his voice belying his disbelief. "Well, it looks to me like you're sitting here in the dark, all alone, watching Edward get nasty with random chick."

"I'm not," Bella said defensively. Emmett eyed her doubtfully and she sighed. "I guess I am. Just – ah, why doesn't he like me?"

"Have you ever told him?" Emmett asked, taking a swig of his Heineken. "I mean, we all know, but does he?"

Bella's eyes narrowed. "What do you mean, 'we all know?'"

He laughed, and it was a loud, happy sound that was easily heard even above the roar of the bar. "It's pretty obvious, Bells."

She scowled. Well, that sucked.

Emmett laughed again. "So that's a no. Well, you can't blame the kid if he doesn't even know how you feel."

"He does know," Bella protested. "I mean, he must. Edward just…I guess he doesn't feel the same way. I mean, I can take a hint."

"It doesn't look like you're taking a hint," Emmett observed. "It kind of looks like you're wallowing. Why are you here alone?"

Bella felt the harsh prick of tears in her eyes; Emmett wasn't being mean, he was just being honest. She looked down and made sure her voice was steady before she spoke. "I was just about to leave. Jasper brought a friend for me to meet but he got sick, so he and Alice left to bring him home." She looked up, curiosity getting the best of her. "What are you even doing here tonight? I thought tonight was the big night with Rosalie."

"Ah," Emmett sighed. He reached his thick arms above his head and stretched. "Turns out she's got a boyfriend. That sucks, right? I wasted like three hundred bucks on flowers for nothing."

"So both of our nights suck," Bella mused. "What a shitty night."

"My night is not sucking," Emmett corrected her. He stood up and drained the last of his beer, then held out his hand. "I came to drink and dance, and maybe get lucky. After all, it is St, Patrick's Day and I am Irish. And since you're the hottest girl here, you've got to dance with me. So come on."

"No – no! I don't dance," Bella shook her head, blushing at his compliment. She loved Emmett. He was so sweet, and always knew how to get her to smile.

"Bella," he sighed. "We can do this the easy way, or we can do it the hard way."

She sat back in her chair to take a thorough look at him. Bella had a pretty good idea of what the hard way was – the usual hard way. If she ever resisted Emmett's attempts to cheer her up, he had a tendency to just pick her up and toss her over his shoulder. He was definitely strong enough to do it, as he had proved numerous times.

Emmett stood a few inches over six feet, taller even than Edward. He had the shoulders of a linebacker, broad and muscled. He was just big all over – his heart, his personality, and his sense of humor.

He took a step towards her and Bella squealed, already anticipating his attack. For such a big guy, he was disturbingly agile. He laughed and darted right to her, scooping her up in his arms as if she were weightless.

Bella gasped and locked her arms around his neck. "Put me down!"

He just laughed again and moved onto the dance floor. As if knowing that she wouldn't be able to resist peeking, he moved far away from Edward and then stood in front of her, solidly blocking the bronze-haired God from her view.

She didn't want to know if Emmett actually did that on purpose, because if he did, it spoke volumes about how pathetic he thought she was.

"I don't dance," Bella said, speaking loudly to be heard over the music.

"Everybody dances," Emmett replied automatically. He grabbed her hips, wiggling his eyebrows lasciviously when she jumped. "You just move to the music."

Bella swayed awkwardly back and forth for a few moments before Emmett took pity on her. He pulled her closer, so their hips were bumping together, and forced her in synch with his movements.

"See? It's easy," he said. Emmett reached for her hands and placed them on his shoulders.

Bella was surprised at the warmth spreading through her body. It felt good – it was nice to be touched by someone, however innocent it was. Bella couldn't remember the last time someone just held her. Overcome with the urge to lean into Emmett and rest her head on his chest, Bella tried to move away. She was surprised, and kind of terrified, by her sudden yearning for affection.

Emmett immediately frowned and yanked her closer, abruptly ending the squirming. "Dude, the last thing you want is for him to see you acting like a pissed off girl. Just relax and dance with me."

Bella realized he was talking about Edward and had assumed her reaction was because of him. She decided it was probably safer to pretend that Edward was the reason she pulled away, and ignore the fact that it was actually because she secretly wanted to feel up Emmett.

"You're not so bad," Emmett grinned. Without missing a beat, he practically flung her away from him, only to pull her back in a spin.

Bella gasped and clung to his huge shoulders for dear life. He laughed and dipped her.

The lights in the bar flashed and the music abruptly changed. The fast beat of the rock song switched to the sultry beat of an r&b hit. She had to wrack her brain for the name of the song, but it came to her – "Too Close."

Emmett seemed to hesitate and Bella immediately felt the sting of rejection. She knew Emmett very well, and he normally danced with four or five different women a night. What, he had no problem grinding with strangers, but wouldn't with her?

The rest of the crowd had already adjusted to the new music but they continued to move to the beat of the nonexistent rock song.

"What?" Emmett asked defensively, catching her expression.

"Nothing," Bella scowled.

"Fine," he said knowingly. "You wanna dance? We'll dance."

He twirled her around so her back was flush against his chest. Bella's heart thudded against her rib cage, and when his big hands settled on her hips, holding her against him, she felt her insides begin to liquefy. She didn't know if she should put some space between them, and when she tried Emmett just jerked her back against him.

His chin rested on her shoulder and Bella felt his curly hair brush against her cheek. He rocked against her, guiding her, leading them both to the music. She didn't know what to do or how to respond, but a slow burn had begun inside of her. It felt so intimate.

The delicious pressure against her ass disappeared when Emmett turned her around to face him. She didn't miss the intense gleam in his eyes or the hungry way he was staring at her. Another wave of longing washed over her.

Bella's stomach clenched when he closed the gap between them, making their bodies touch.

The way she suddenly wanted him was unprecedented; she had known Emmett for years and never felt even a flicker of sexual desire for him. Bella let her eyes close as she lost herself in the music, in Emmett. It was confusing and disorienting.

"Don't use me to tease Edward," Emmett said quietly, his mouth by her ear.

Edward? Was he watching? Shivers ran down her spine at Emmett's menacing whisper. Bella wanted to look at him, and to look at Edward, but if she turned her face their lips would meet and she wasn't sure if she was ready for that. "I'm not."

Emmett drew back a few inches to look her in the eye. "So who are you teasing, then? Me?"

Bella blushed. "No – I mean, I don't mean to tease you. It's just – it feels – "

Emmett ducked his head and she felt his cheek skim hers; the light touch felt almost erotic. The rest of the bar - the people dancing around them, the clinking of beer bottles and the laughter of people having fun - abruptly faded away. "Feels like what?"

"Good," she blurted out. "It feels good."

He sucked in a sharp breath and shook his head, as if to clear it. Bella felt him begin to step back and she tightened her grip around her neck. "Just – let's just finish this dance."

Emmett's jaw tightened but he nodded. Still, the change in his mood was palpable, and he held himself rigidly.

She didn't like this unhappy Emmett, who so obviously wanted to get away from her now. Like air hissing out of a balloon, Bella felt her brief elation, and that flare of desire, disappear.

Emmett was staring at the crowd around them coolly, avoiding her.

Stinging tears filled her eyes and Bella swiftly cast them down, hoping Emmett didn't see. What a baby! She blinked rapidly, but when it quickly became clear that they weren't going away, she broke out of Emmett's arms and dashed for the exit.

What a horrible night… She could just hail a cab and get home. Emmett would probably be glad that he didn't have to give her a ride. He could hook up with someone more his style. And Edward – well, Edward probably hadn't even known she was there.

The cool night air was a refreshing difference to that of the crowded bar. Bella pushed through a crowd of girls wearing green and ignored their irritated comments. She only made it a few steps past them when the girls acted up again; this time, their comments were anything but irritated.

Bella could hear Emmett excusing himself so she moved more quickly. It was pointless to even try to get away, because Emmett was in excellent physical shape. The star quarterback of his college team, Emmett was being scouted for several NFL teams and was constantly training. His coach had him running six miles a day, whereas Bella probably couldn't make it to the end of the block without keeling over.

"Bella!" he called.

She ignored him and whipped out her cell phone, ready to call for a cab. Emmett side stepped her and plucked the phone out of her hand, tucking it into his back pocket.

"What are you doing?" he demanded. "Why did you leave?"

Bella whirled around and started in the other direction, not trusting her voice to work. Emmett grabbed her arm and forced her to face him. She realized that she had never seen Emmett look so distraught.

"What's wrong?" he asked again. Emmett reached up and smoothed her hair back and Bella gulped for air, really fighting tears now. The way he was acting was giving her whiplash, and this unexpected sweetness was the last thing she needed. "Bella, please. Tell me what I did."

"Nothing," she whispered. Bella shrugged and finally raised her head, meeting his eyes and not caring if he saw her tears. "I just felt stupid. I don't want you to think I was trying to tease you. I just…"

"You just what?" Emmett encouraged. "Come on. Tell me."

He was standing close again, too close, and her thoughts began to jumble together. Bella's head swam with the scent of his cologne and she had to fight the urge to lean into him again. He towered over her, so big and comforting and safe, and Bella opened her mouth but nothing came out.

"Jeez, Bells, you're killing me here," he joked, trying to lighten the mood. "Did I step on your foot or something? Break it?"

She managed a tiny smile, despite how horrible she felt inside. "I'm sorry. I don't know. I got confused, I guess. It just felt different, ya know?"

Emmett nodded, and when he spoke his voice was cautious. "It did feel different. Nice different."

Bella looked up at him sharply. He couldn't possibly feel the same way, could he? He could have anyone he wanted…surely she wasn't his first choice.

Emmett had everything going for him. He was sure to be drafted by the NFL, but he was studying physical therapy "just in case." His grades were admirable, and quite frankly, Emmett was gorgeous. He was the epitome of masculinity. She had seen him once without his shirt on and, despite their platonic relationship, admired his physique.

He never had a steady girlfriend, except for Rosalie, but that was back in high school. She came to visit for the weekend, to see everyone. Bella knew Emmett was hoping for some kind of rekindling, but apparently Rose had a boyfriend she neglected to mention on the phone.

Bella was surprised that Emmett hadn't been snatched up by someone a long time ago. He was always so sweet, and just stable. He was always there, whenever anyone needed him, for whatever they needed.

Emmett cleared his throat. "I'll take you home."

Bella realized she had been quiet, lost in her thoughts, for too long and felt her cheeks warm yet again. Emmett had already turned and began walking in the direction of his jeep. His words caused her heart to sink, and she wondered what exactly she had been hoping for. Bella quickened her step and followed him.

The ride home to her apartment was short and tense. Emmett didn't say anything; he didn't sing or badger her relentlessly about Edward, or even tease her about her lack of green.

He parked in front of her building and Bella's hands began to sweat. Why was she so nervous?

"I'm sorry your St. Patrick's Day was so terrible," she apologized. "I know it's your favorite holiday."

Emmett shrugged. "I'll walk you up."

"It's okay," Bella replied, shaking her head. She didn't want to prolong the awkward goodbye.

He rolled his eyes. "Let's go."

She braced herself and climbed out of the jeep. Emmett walked two steps behind her, his hands shoved into his pockets.

Bella fumbled with her keys but finally got them in and swung the door open, revealing her darkened apartment. She turned and almost collided into Emmett's chest.

"Sorry," she mumbled.

"Well…" Emmett trailed off. Time seemed to slow down, each second lasting a minute.

"Good night," Bella whispered, daring a peek up at him from under her lashes. The tension was so thick that she could scarcely breathe. She began to turn around.

"Bella, wait," he said, his voice frustrated. Emmett looked even more upset now. He ran a hand through his short, dark hair, and Bella couldn't help herself – her eyes dropped to the sliver of flesh that became visible above his jeans when he raised his arm.

She quickly looked up but Emmett didn't even notice. He was rubbing his face with both hands, and when he pulled them away, his cheeks were ruddy and his eyes held a determined light.

"Bella, can I just – I just want to try something," he said, his voice a soft plea. He took a step closer, and everything slowed down. Bella could feel each separate heartbeat as they thudded against her rib cage.

Emmett's head ducked and she felt his warm breath exhale across her lips.

Her insides tightened with want, with such an unparalleled amount of longing that her knees almost buckled.

She whispered his name and he nuzzled her cheek. His skin was surprisingly smooth and she thought he must have shaved just before they went out. Bella squeezed her thighs together just as Emmett's lips ghosted over hers, in a quick sweep.

Before he could completely pull away, Bella reached for him; whether it was to steady herself or pull him closer, she didn't know. Emmett responded with a low rumble in his chest, and then his lips were back on hers.

This time they were braver and when his lips captured hers, they didn't let go. Bella gasped into his mouth and her hands held onto his broad shoulders as he explored her. Emmett broke away just long enough to walk her backwards into the apartment and shut the door.

Bella heard the lock click shut and then Emmett's thick arms were around her. He easily picked her up and stumbled over to the couch.

"No, no," Bella whispered against his throat. "The bedroom."

He stilled for a moment, and when he spoke his voice was several octaves deeper than usual. "Are you sure?"

Bella nodded, and though it was dark, he understood. They made it to the bedroom in two seconds flat, and then Bella was bouncing on her bed. She laughed and leaned over to turn on her bedside lamp.

Emmett stood at the foot of her bed, looking tousled and turned on and way too good.

He didn't belong in her bedroom; her brain still couldn't understand Emmett wanting her.

Then he reached behind his head, grabbed a fistful of his emerald t-shirt and ripped it over his head. His chest rose and fell with his heavy breathing and Bella's eyes got stuck on his rippling muscles. They contracted and bulged and each one was sharply defined. She longed to run her hand over his skin and see if his muscles jumped under her touch.

His body was perfect. She knew he was obscenely fit, but seeing him shirtless was a whole different ball game than seeing him in a shirt, no matter how tight. How did she ever forget? Emmett was built like a Greek god.

"You're beautiful," she whispered, finally tearing her eyes away from his sculpted torso. "Perfect."

He laughed and shook his head. "Bella, you have no idea what you do to me, do you?"

Despite her compliment, Emmett experienced a brief moment of insecurity. Was she comparing him to Edward? Had she ever actually been with Edward? He didn't think so, but…the thought troubled him.

Bella looked at him curiously. He forced another laugh, then unbuttoned his jeans. He remembered her dating that kid Jacob, and then that asshole from school, Mike Newton. Emmett had wanted Bella ever since the first day he saw her. Unfortunately, Bella wanted Edward the way he wanted her, so Emmett never made a move.

But now…he was tired of waiting for Bella to realize that she could do so much better than Cullen. She could have someone who really wanted her, someone who worried about her and wanted to make her happy. Someone who loved her. Someone like him.

His gaze was so intense that Bella looked away. Her eyes found his hands instead.

His hands moved slowly, working the button fly until the front of his jeans hung open and revealed a pair of black boxer briefs.

Bella kneeled on the bed, waiting for Emmett to come to her. She couldn't stop fidgeting and was vividly aware that she had never been so turned on in her life. It no longer seemed so difficult to reconcile this man, this fucking beautiful, masculine specimen, to Emmett - one of her best and oldest friends, the one she could always count on.

"Your turn," he said quietly.

Bella swallowed hard. "I'm – I'm shy."

She heard Emmett's breathing hitch and he kneeled on the bed, just inches away from her. All that golden skin, just asking to be touched...her heart pounded. Bella held her breath and looked up at him anxiously.

"Let's go slow, then," he said. "Can I kiss you again, Bella?"

Bella leaned into him, so eager for his lips on hers that she nearly fell into his lap. Emmett groaned and scooped her up, letting her straddle him. Bella could feel his erection, and like every other part of Emmett, it was huge.

Emmett's kisses consumed her and Bella lost her breath, tumbling dizzily into a black hole of sexual desire. He was so warm, and his skin was so soft but the muscle underneath was like rock. Her hands skimmed over his body, touching everything she could reach, until the need inside of her was too overwhelming.

"Emmett," she gasped.

He pulled her shirt over her head and Bella fought wanted to hide herself against his chest. Emmett ducked his head and kissed her throat, his hands reaching up to cup her breasts. His hands were so big that they practically swallowed her up.

"Take this off," he muttered, sliding a fingertip under the edge of her bra.

Bella reached back and undid the clasp, and her bra slid off and landed between them. Emmett moaned against her throat when her nipples puckered tightly in the palms of his hands. He squirmed underneath her and when the temptation became too great for her to resist, Bella slid her hand into the waistband of his briefs.

As soon as her hand had wrapped around his scorching flesh, Emmett moved away. He picked her up and flipped her onto her back.

"Hey," she protested.

Emmett didn't say anything. He went straight for the waistband of her jeans and made quick work of the zipper. He tugged them down her legs, one hand returning to her panties before the jeans were even on the bedroom floor.

His fingers snaked into her panties and Bella jumped at his touch. He parted her overheated flesh, and for once Bella was too aroused to be self-conscious. Emmett's skilled fingers deftly found her most sensitive spot and he passed over it in tiny circles. Soon Bella was panting and writhing.

She clamped her thighs shut on his hand and looked up at him. "No more. I'm too close."

He laughed shortly, but withdrew his hand. Bella watched, unabashedly curious as he shucked his boxer shorts. "There's no way you're closer than me."

His thick, long erection sprang forward and Bella had to stifle a squeak of surprise. He was too big! There was no way that would fit inside of her.

"We'll go slowly," he promised, and Bella realized belatedly that the trepidation she felt was probably splashed all over her face.

She dug her heels into the bed and lifted her ass so Emmett could remove her panties. He watched her carefully, waiting for some sign of real unease. She was visibly nervous but he could handle that. It was even kind of cute.

Emmett kneeled between her legs and took himself in hand, slowly stroking up and down. Bella watched him pleasure himself, her eyes locked on his thick cock. She glanced up once but Emmett's gaze was focused at the glistening juncture between her legs. Bella was almost embarrassed at how aroused she was…almost.

It had been so long, and Emmett was so beautiful…her legs felt boneless and her hands shook with anticipation.

"I want to taste you," he murmured.

"No way," Bella shook her head. "I want you to – I want you to be inside of me when I finish."

The quiet, bashful way she made her declaration almost made Emmett lose it. He moved quickly, shifting so that he held himself above her. His dick rested on her stomach and Bella giggled, then rubbed her hand up and down its length. Her insides clenched with want.

He groaned and realized he couldn't wait any longer, or Bella wouldn't have a chance to finish. He grasped his dick by the base and rubbed its plump head against her opening. Bella's breathing abruptly became louder and more erratic, and she pulled her knees up around him.

"Are you ready, Bella?" he asked throatily.

"Yes," Bella responded, her hips pushing up. "Now."

The plump head slipped inside of her and Bella let out a low moan, arching her back. Emmett's hands fisted into the bed sheets and his hips moved slowly but surely, not stopping until he was completely buried inside of her.

"God, you're so big," Bella breathed loudly. "Oh, my God."

"Is it too much?" he asked, dreading her answer. He couldn't pull out now, or he'd just die.

"No," she moaned. "It's perfect. I didn't think it could be like this. It's – "

She froze when his hips began pumping, but Emmett went nice and slow, until she wrapped her legs around his waist and dug her heels into the back of his legs. Her fingers bit into his shoulder muscles. It had never been like this before.

"Emmett," she said in a high voice. "Oh, God, I'm going to – "

"Yeah," he grunted and buried his face into her neck. "Please, Bella."

Her walls, already excruciatingly tight around him, convulsed as her orgasm crashed down on her. Emmett groaned at the delicious torture, feelings his hips hammer out an unsteady rhythm. He was so close. This was his fantasy – Bella, his dream woman, whom he had wanted for so long – but she was so much better than he imagined.

"Emmett, I want to see you come," Bella whispered. She opened her eyes, which were totally satisfied and sated. She reached up and cupped her right breast, rolling the nipple between two fingers. "On me."

He growled, not even able to speak, and thrust into her hard; once, twice more, then pulled out. His hand flew up and down his shaft, coated in the juices from Bella's orgasm, until his muscles began to seize up. Emmett moaned at the way Bella licked her lips, still playing with her nipples, and closed his eyes.

He spurted through his fingers, the hot, sticky substance landing on her stomach and breasts. Bella gasped at the contact and stared down at it in wonder.

"Jesus, Bella," Emmett swore. It took him a moment to calm down, his heart beating a sharp staccato and his lungs working as hard as if he just ran five miles. He sank down onto the bed next to her, kissing the side of her throat.

He looked at her and smiled. Bella's glow and obvious happiness made him feel even more content. "This is the best St. Patrick's Day of my life."

Bella laughed. "Mine, too."

"All right, I'm all rested up," Emmett said abruptly. He sat up and grabbed Bella.

"What are we doing now?" Bella exclaimed, holding onto his muscular arms.

"Showering. And round two," he grinned.

"Round two?" Bella repeated incredulously. She laughed and put her head on his shoulder.

Emmett breathed a sigh of relief as he carried Bella into the bathroom. She didn't seem to regret anything. If she closed off or shut him out now, his ego probably wouldn't be able to take it. This glimpse of perfection, of what life must be like with Bella, had straightened out his priorities, and she was now number one.

Bella didn't close off. She turned the shower on and stepped in. "Come on, Em."

He stepped under the warm spray and Bella pulled him close. "Happy St. Patrick's Day."

"You too," he murmured, her lips cutting him off.

Still ridiculously relaxed from her first orgasm in months, Bella allowed Emmett to kiss along the column of her neck. She felt almost drowsy from the pleasure he gave her. Maybe this was exactly what she needed...but when she closed her eyes, it was Edward's face that she saw. Did he see her and Emmett leave together? Would he find out? Would he even care?

Guilt coursed through her veins, and it was something that not even the hot shower could wash off.

hey ladies! this was originally a o/s written for the countdown to april fool's day...but i want to expand it a bit. mr. cullen will get involved. there will be a lot of angst. will she stay with emmett? fall back into edward?

what do YOU want to happen? no promises...