Disclaimer: Twilight belongs to Stephenie Meyer, all characters etc. are hers. The story below is an original piece of writing that belongs to me. No copyright infringement intended, and I do not profit from fanfiction.
A/N: Hi guys, me again! I know I've had you all hanging in suspense and I am very sorry, but now you will finally get the answer you've been waiting for. Who survived?! Read on to find out :)
Chapter 4 – Goodbyes
Two weeks had passed since the accident, and I still hadn't managed to get a single word out of Emmett. He simply sat in his chair, staring out of the French doors in the living room, refusing to look at me. In the reflection of the glass, all I could see was his blank expression. It was as if he were a deflated party balloon.
I couldn't convince him to wash or to dress, nor would he eat anything I made him. When I tried to wheel him to the car to take him to physiotherapy, he lashed out at me. The bruise he left on my face was like a neon sign, indicating where the blame lay.
"This is all your fault!" he had screamed at me when we were delivered the devastating news that his parents were in intensive care following the car accident. My parents had escaped with relatively minor injuries. At the time, I figured he didn't really mean it, and I hoped that he would begin to forgive me when his parents eventually recovered.
Only they didn't recover. Both died within minutes of each other, and Emmett was distraught. The hospital security had to be called to escort him from the building because he had exploded into an uncontrollable rage, shoving me to the floor when I tried to calm him down. I had never seen him so full of anger before. I had never seen my laid-back Emmett throw and smash things with a face contorted with black fury. The police had to bring him home that night, but he refused to come into my house, instead choosing to lock himself in his.
That was where he had been ever since. I let myself in the next day with the spare key that was kept at my house, my heart pounding with anxiety, and my mind racing with guilt. I knew that if I had had the guts to speak to my dad man-to-man about the gay situation instead of running and hiding behind my aunt and uncle, leaving them to deal with it, none of this would have happened.
As I entered the living room, I could hear his sobs wracking his entire body.
"Emmett," I said softly. His red-rimmed eyes briefly met mine accusingly before turning back to look out of the window. "Please, come and stay with me at my house, I'll look after you." As I made this promise to him, I placed a hand on his shoulder, squeezing it comfortingly.
He just shook his head and continued to stare unseeingly. Reluctantly, I left, returning to the hospital to collect my parents.
Edward Sr. and Elizabeth stopped by a few days after my parents had died. I gave them a cursory glance as they stood beside me, disgusted by the sight of a few scratches and bruises here and there, a neck brace and a broken arm.
"We're very sorry, Emmett, if there's anything we can do to help…" Edward Sr. began, wringing his hands anxiously.
"Help?" I replied scornfully. "I think you helped enough when you threw your son out and left my parents to pick up the pieces!"
Edward Sr. looked away guiltily. "Son, we just want to help you organize the funeral and offer you somewhere to live."
I looked at him incredulously. "Firstly, I'm not your son; we're not even remotely related. Secondly, I have somewhere to live – I'm staying right here. Thirdly, organizing the funeral is my private business," I said coldly. "Get out."
Elizabeth wept loudly as Edward Sr. took her by the arm and led her out. After they left, the reality of what I needed to do next weighed heavily on me. I just wasn't ready to do this. I wasn't ready to say goodbye to my kind, loving and generous parents. A funeral was so final.
I sat there for what seemed like an eternity, just thinking about everything. At about six o'clock, I glanced at the front door, expecting to see my mother coming through the door like she did every day at around that time. I waited and waited, but she didn't come, nor did my dad.
Edward came again the next day, but I couldn't even bring myself to look at him, let alone speak to him. I knew that if I did, I would probably either hit him again or completely break down. Part of me felt like he deserved it when I shoved him in the hospital- reveled in it in fact, and the rest of me just felt nothing. He put his arms around me, trying to comfort me, but I pushed him away. He took the hint and left. I felt empty inside, as empty as the house I was now faced with living in on my own. For the first time in my life, I wished I had brothers and sisters to share the burden with.
As the news spread throughout the community, the phone began ringing constantly, and I had visitor after visitor knocking on my door. I ignored all of them, wishing they would leave me the hell alone.
"When's the funeral?" and, " I'm sorry for your loss," were all people could think of to say to me, along with dumb-ass questions like, "Are you okay?"
When they weren't phoning me to ask me these questions and filling up my voicemail, they were shoving notes through the door or trying to talk to me through the mail slot. In the end, out of frustration, I picked up the phone and called Elizabeth.
"Organize the funeral," I said flatly. "Invite whoever the fuck you want." I slammed the phone down and yanked the cord out of the wall. It was rude, but I didn't give a crap.
It was finally time for the long overdue funeral. I shifted nervously in my uncomfortable black suit, feeling guilty for wishing I could put my jeans on. Once again, I was back at Emmett's house and being ignored by him.
"Emmett, please get dressed and come to the funeral," I begged, falling to my knees in front of him, trying to catch his gaze. He remained stubbornly silent, refusing to look me in the eye. I stood up and with steely determination, I grabbed the handles of his chair and swiftly wheeled him into the downstairs bathroom. I was surprised that he didn't make a fuss.
"Get in the shower, you stink!" I said, hoping that being blunt would stir him into action. I leaned inside the shower cubicle and turned the faucet. "Have a shave too; you look like shit."
I stripped him out of his clothes and all the while, he just stood there listlessly, staring at the floor. I forcefully pushed him into the shower, shutting the door behind him. I left the bathroom, putting his clothes in the washer as I made my way to his closet to dig out his suit. I really hoped it still fit; the last time he'd worn it was at our graduation, which seemed like a million years ago. So much had happened since then. I laid it out on the bed and sat down, waiting for him to come out of the shower.
The minutes ticked by, and when he still hadn't come out, I began to get a little worried. I listened carefully, straining my ears over the sound of the running water. Abruptly, I stood up, thinking I could hear him crying. As I raced back to the bathroom, I cursed myself for not going to check on him sooner.
I found him in the shower, his head resting against the tiles, sobbing as the water beat down on him. In his hand, he was clutching a disposable razor so tightly his knuckles were turning white. Quickly shrugging off my jacket and rolling up my sleeves, I leaned into the shower and gently pried it from his grasp.
For the first time in what felt like an eternity, his sad blue eyes met mine, and he just looked at me. He looked at me as if he was seeing me for the very first time. I held my breath as I stared back at him, afraid to look away. His eyes telegraphed his pain to me so clearly, all I wanted to do was pull him into my arms and tell him everything would be okay. I exhaled sharply as he took my hand and tugged me forward, splashing my shirt with water.
I made the mistake of looking into his eyes. When I looked into their golden-green depths, all I could see was the love and concern Edward had for me. Instantly, I felt bad for how I had been treating him and something stirred inside me. I began to remember how much I truly loved him and how he was always there for me no matter what. I felt a surge of emotion building inside of me, like a dam ready to burst.
"Edward," I said, barely managing a whisper. I felt as if I hadn't spoken in a century. "I need you, Edward." My voice trembled and wavered as I felt the dam beginning to burst. "Please."
When he just stood there, I let go of his hand, realizing it was probably too late for us. I resumed my position in the warm shower, my head resting against the cool tiles. Suddenly, I felt a warm body behind me. I should have known Edward would never give up on me. He held me tightly, and I began to wish we never had to leave this safe, warm cocoon and face all those people later that day. He lovingly washed my skin and hair, whilst I stood there crying and helpless like a baby. When I realized how much I had missed him, I cupped his face in both of my hands and kissed him hard. Edward was taken aback by this sudden outburst of affection. As I kissed him, my grief turned into unexpected desire. Alarmed, Edward took a step back. "Emmett, this isn't the right time –" Ignoring him, I pulled him forward. "I said, I need you, Edward." I looked at him pleadingly.
"You don't know what you need, Emmett. Your emotions are all over the place." He placed his palms on my chest, holding me at arm's length.
"I just want to feel something, Edward. I'm dead inside!" I began sobbing loudly. "I need to feel like there's something worth living for!"
I could see the turmoil and uncertainty on Edward's face, as he struggled to come to a decision. I wrapped my fingers around him and squeezed gently.
"I want this, I need this," I insisted, watching him as he closed his eyes, his wet hair plastered to his forehead. With my other hand, I pushed his hair back so I could see his face properly. "I need you."
He opened his eyes and studied me for a long minute. Gently, he turned me around, and I leaned against the glass wall of the shower. He held me close and littered my neck with kisses.
" Isn't this enough?" I could feel the tickle of his breath as he murmured in my ear. I shook my head, and Edward knew I wouldn't go anywhere until I had gotten what I wanted. He sighed, and I could practically hear his thoughts: stubborn child.
I gasped as his hardness pressed into me, entering me for the first time. He held me tightly, and I didn't want it any other way. Finally, I felt like there was still a spark of life inside me, like maybe one day I would start to feel human again. Edward gave me that.
"I love you," I said quietly, when we were done. "I don't know what I'd do without you."
Edward said nothing; he simply pressed a kiss into my shoulder before helping me out of the shower.
I wasn't happy about what we had just done. I felt as though I had taken advantage of him. I hadn't wanted the first time I made love to him to be under such stress, when he was so grief-stricken and couldn't possibly know what he wanted. I wanted it to be beautiful, like the first time he made love to me. However, I knew there was no chance in hell that Emmett was going to get out of that shower until I did what he asked of me, such was his stubborn and bossy nature.
His mood lightened a little, and he even managed a small smile as I helped him to dry off. Little did I realize that this was just the beginning of one of his many mood swings.
I grabbed my pile of clothes from the floor, and wheeled him into his bedroom where I had laid his suit out for him. I dressed myself quickly, turning to help Emmett with his clothes. As he fumbled with his cufflinks, I reached forward to do it for him.
"I can do it myself," he said through gritted teeth. Ignoring him, I began buttoning up his shirt instead. "I said I can do it!" he shouted angrily. His face darkened in a way that becoming scarily familiar. I stepped back from him just in time to dodge the punch he threw at me. Unfortunately, I didn't dodge the second one, which landed squarely in my stomach.
Pain blossomed through me, and I couldn't breathe. Gasping, I doubled over as Emmett stood before me, trembling with rage and fists clenched. "Emmett, stop!" I managed to gasp as he took a shaky step toward me. It was as if my words had shaken him out of a trance, and he collapsed back into his chair in shock.
"I'm sorry," he mumbled, averting his eyes, looking anywhere but at me. Wincing slightly, I straightened up when I had caught my breath.
"Forget it," I said brusquely, glancing at my watch. "The cars should be here now, it's time to go." Grabbing the handles of his chair, I wheeled him out to the front where we got into one of the shiny black funeral procession cars lined up outside. We sat in silence as the cars slowly made their way to the cemetery. We passed Forks Community Hospital so that colleagues of Auntie Esme and Uncle Carlisle's who had to work, could pay their respects and say silent final goodbyes to the bodies lying in the oak caskets in the funeral cars.
Every seat at the graveside was occupied. The Cullens had been popular people, and it was no surprise why; both were two of the friendliest, kindest people you could ever wish to meet in your life. They didn't have a lot of family though, and it was mostly their friends and colleagues who had shown up to pay their respects.
As the priest began his sermon, I glanced around at the well-wishers; some were crying while others were shooting concerned and sympathetic looks in Emmett's direction. I looked at him slouched next to me, arms folded and face stony like a petulant child. I had expected him to be upset, but I hadn't expected him to look as though he was about to throw a temper tantrum like a three year old.
I nudged him when the priest offered the guests a chance to say a few words, but Emmett just slouched lower in his chair, shaking his head. My dad stood up and began recounting loving memories of his two best friends. As my dad talked, I watched as Em's face slowly became darker with building rage. Knowing I had to distract him before he erupted again, I tentatively reached out and squeezed his hand. Startled, he looked at me with eyes burning with anger, snatching his hand out of mine. He folded his arms tightly against himself and continued to glare at my father.
Shit, what do I do? I thought, starting to panic a little, anxious to calm the storm that was brewing inside Emmett. Finally, my dad stopped talking, the priest concluded his sermon, and the bodies were lowered into the ground. We were offered handfuls of dirt to throw inside the graves, but when it came to Emmett's turn to take some, he just frowned and turned his head aside. I could see my mother pursing her lips with suppressed anger at Emmett's childish behavior.
Thankfully, it was time to leave after that, and we got back into the cars to return to my house for the wake. Once again, we rode in silence, Emmett just staring moodily out of the window.
"We can go back once the headstones are put in if you like," I said to Emmett, simply as something to break the silence. My words hung in the air for what seemed like an eternity until eventually he turned to me, eyes big and watery; he said in a small voice, "Yes, please." At that point, my annoyance with him for his childishness evaporated, and my heart lurched painfully. I took his hand and gave it a reassuring squeeze, which he returned with a small, sad smile.
It was odd, seeing my house full of so many people I had never met before. I was so proud of my mother, she had laid out an excellent selection of nibbles for the mourners and was being the perfect hostess, welcoming them into her home and offering drinks. Emmett had stubbornly refused to remain in his wheelchair and was instead trying to use his crutches. That would've been fine, except he had missed so many physiotherapy sessions recently, and I was worried he was going to lose his footing.
I stepped out into the garden, wanting to get away from the all the people filling my house for five minutes. Upon finding several people milling around on the patio, I walked out a little further, down to the wooden gazebo. I sat, lost in thought for a few minutes, until a voice startled me out of my reverie.
"Penny for them," a voice with a Texan accent drawled. Surprised, my head snapped up to find myself staring directly into a pair of luminous topaz brown eyes.
"I…what?" I blinked, trying to clear the confusion this beautiful pair of eyes had caused. He grinned at me, a slow sexy smile that made my stomach flutter. I drank in the rest of him; tall, muscular but lean, with soft honey blond hair that stopped just short of his collar. I must have been gaping because he stuck out his hand and introduced himself. "Hi, I'm Jasper."
Slowly, I reached to grip his hand, my eyes never left his, and it was like I had been forced into slow motion. "Edward Masen," I whispered.
I was pissed. I didn't know where the hell Edward was, and he'd left me with all these god-awful people who wouldn't stop with the 'how are yous' and the 'how are you coping' and the fussing. I glared at everyone until they left me the fuck alone. I didn't want to talk to any of these stupid people; unless they could give me back my parents, I wasn't interested. Struggling with my crutches, I shuffled forward so I could go and look for Edward. Wisely, I was left in peace and nobody made the mistake of trying to help me. I managed to make it out into the hallway before I was gasping with the exertion of trying to make my legs work. Silently I cursed Edward for leaving me; this was his fault. Thankfully, the hallway was quiet; everyone was in the living room or kitchen for now. I sat down heavily on the bottom step of the stairs, grateful to take the weight off my legs. I heard a sound behind me and turned around to see a small, dark-haired girl bounding gracefully down the stairs towards me. I shuffled over to let her pass, but was surprised when she sat down next to me instead. Close up, I could see that actually, she wasn't a girl but just a very petite young woman. She looked kinda familiar for some reason, but I couldn't quite put my finger on why.
"Hi!" she said chirpily, grinning at me. Grudgingly, I mumbled back a hello and attempted to stand. Abruptly, she yanked my arm, forcing me to sit back down with a thump.
"What the hell?" I growled at her. She giggled and let go of my arm. "Why so grumpy?" she asked innocently.
"In case you hadn't noticed, my parents are dead." I glared at her, but it did nothing to wipe the silly grin from her face. "What's your problem? Who are you anyway?" I demanded.
"I'm Alice." She paused and looked at me expectantly. "Alice Brandon-Cullen," she added when I looked at her blankly.
"Oh…are we related?" I asked, confused, racking my brain and trying to work out how we could possibly be related when my dad had no siblings and very little family.
"I guess I'm still the dirty little secret huh?" Her face fell for the first time since she had sat down beside me. I stared at her impatiently, starting to become seriously irritated with this elf-like girl.
"You really don't know who I am?" she said, her voice wavering. Slowly I shook my head. Was I meant to know who she was? I'd never seen the girl before in my life. "I really fucking hate you Cullens!" she screamed at me, tears starting to slide down her elfin face. Alarmed, I reached for her to calm her down, but she stood quickly and stepped neatly away from me, heading toward the front door.
"Hey… HEY! Tell me who the hell you are!" I yelled at her as I struggled to get up. By now, we had attracted some attention and guests were poking their heads around doors, trying to see what the yelling was about. Alice paused at the front door, with her hand on the handle. She squared her shoulders and took a breath.
A/N: Massive thank you to PTB and my betas Pain Jane and Lattecoug! If you need a beta for your Twilight/Harry Potter/Hunger Games/Original story, these are your people!
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