A/N: Hey everyone... this came to me one day while I was working and listening to the new Taylor Swift Speak Now CD, so I have to admit that the cd is the inspiration for this story, except it's not really one song in particular... there are a few different ones that contributed indirectly to the plot line and of course, I stole the title of the story from one of her songs. The line from it that inspired me most was "The story of us looks a lot like a tragedy now." Well if you've heard the song, the story doesn't really have anything to do with the plot of the song but that line stuck with me all night and I kept thinking it over until this whole thing popped out.
Thanks to the amazing Coachlady1 for her beta work. As usual, she is the best and I owe her everything!
Also thanks to my fantabulous pre-readers Tiffaninichole and Handsandfingers... you all know that without them and their dedication to me, this story would suck... I love them and they deserves medals, which they'll get someday!
One more person I gotta thank is my twi-hubby, jacksonmccoy... he's been there for me through a really emotional week and is really truly the most supportive and amazing man I've ever had the pleasure of knowing. He's got a story he's working on called Too Close and it's amazing. I urge you all to read it because he deserves as much exposure as possible :) I love you bb, you're wonderful and fantastic and you mean the world to me. You own me so completely that's it's crazy!
You can find his story in my favorites :)
Okay, without further stalling, here's the story and I hope you all like it! Please review and let me know what you think of it!
Have you ever had that one moment where you looked at someone, and, without even speaking, you knew your life would be forever changed, even if you had no clue how? I remember that moment in my life so clearly, as if it had just happened yesterday, when in reality, it was just over seven years ago.
There were multicolored strobe lights flashing all around me; people were dancing to catchy music that was pulsating loudly throughout the club but I was standing still in the middle of the dance floor, completely awestruck.
I was being pushed around by sweaty bodies that were bumping and grinding on their partners or groups of friends but I couldn't take my eyes off of him. He was tall, well over six foot, wearing a tight black shirt that showed off his very muscular build perfectly. He had short black hair which complimented his exquisite pale skin nicely. Easily, he was the most gorgeous man I'd ever seen, and he couldn't help but stand out to me, even in the crowd of hundreds. His baby blues were locked on mine as he danced with a couple of boys and in that moment, I knew he was the one.
Our eyes continued to have a silent conversation and I was done for. His gaze had me completely captivated and even though I had been brought to this club to celebrate Jake and Paul's one year anniversary, I instantly hoped I wouldn't be leaving with them.
He raised his eyebrows at me questioningly and cocked his head toward an empty booth. I nodded in reply at his silent request and made my way through the crowd. My heart was racing and my hands were shaking, but I knew I had to take this chance. It seemed to take a lifetime to get to the booth but I would have walked through fire to get to him.
As I approached the booth where he'd already sat down, the smile that crossed his face was enough to calm my nerves and assure me that everything was going to be okay. Up close, he was even more enchanting than he'd been from across the room.
"Hello, gorgeous," he greeted me, his melodic voice drifting into my ears and hitting me straight in the heart. "I thought I'd never get you over here..."
I smiled shyly, not knowing how long before I'd noticed him that he'd been watching me, suddenly self-conscience of my meager dancing ability. "I thought I'd never make it through that crowd. Those boys have a one-track mind when they're dancing." I laughed and slid into the seat next to him. The corner was dark and empty, everyone else was out dry humping on the dance floor.
He winked at me and my heart skipped a beat. "You seemed to be having fun with your boys over there."
"That's my best friend and his boyfriend; it's their one year anniversary so they dragged me out of Forks and up here to visit them for the weekend," I explained. "What brings you to this place?"
"My brother, Edward, and his husband Jasper. They insisted we have a boys' night and, well, they really meant a boys' night. So since it was two against one, we ended up here." He chuckled, then without notice slipped his fingers into mine. I jolted slightly at his touch, feeling a connection to him the second our skin came in contact. "Is this okay?" he asked quickly.
"More than okay," I assured him. "What's your name?"
"Emmett," he replied casually, staring into my eyes again. "And you are?"
"Well, my beautiful Bella, it's very nice to meet you. I didn't think tonight was going to be much fun, but it just might end up in my favor." He smiled at me again, only this time his eyes were darker and more intense and it stirred something deep inside of me. My panties began to dampen as his touch and the way he licked his delectable lips were turning me on. I wanted nothing more than for him to lean down and kiss me.
There was something electric happening between us and even if I couldn't explain it, I didn't want it to stop. I gazed back into his eyes and squeezed his hand, which caused him to take his free hand and lightly skim my face with his fingers. He cupped my cheek and I could sense him asking for permission without words and so I granted it to him.
Our first kiss was more like a meeting of souls, an outpouring of emotion and a mind-blowing connection to each other unlike anything I have ever felt before. I was tingling all over from the mere joining of our lips, so sweet and gentle, yet so intense that I wasn't sure how to deal with it.
"Bella," he whispered breathlessly, as he pulled out of the kiss, keeping his forehead pressed firmly to mine. "Please tell me you feel it too. I need to know I'm not the only one."
"Yes, Emmett, I feel it too," I assured him, pressing my lips to his once again. "Are we crazy? We don't even know each other."
"If this is crazy, sign me up for the nuthouse, baby. I'm all in..." His lips crashed back into mine with so much passion and fierceness that I thought I might pass out from it all. I was dizzy with all the emotion flowing freely through us and it was truly the best moment I'd ever experienced.
I climbed into his lap and wrapped my arms around his neck, pulling him as close to me as I could, silently thanking Jake for picking out the flow-y, easily maneuverable skirt that kept me covered as I straddled Emmett.
I could feel his erection growing hard beneath my heat and he nearly growled when I accidentally ground into him. "God, Bella... I need you to know that I never do this but I want you so bad right now." His breathing was coming out harshly and I could feel his massive chest heaving into mine.
"I-I-I want you too, Emmett," I stuttered, shocked by my ability to be so blunt with him. I was usually this quiet, shy girl who didn't take chances, but this chance was too big to pass up.
"I don't think I can wait to take you home, Bella," he whispered in the sexiest voice I'd ever heard. "I need you right here, right now."
I had to admit, I was scared but also exhilarated at the thought of something so intimate happening between us in a public place where we could get caught at any moment. Maybe I had some exhibitionist tendencies after all.
"Please, Emmett, God yes, right here." I punctuated my agreement by attacking his neck with kisses, nipping and licking and sucking at whatever exposed skin I could get my mouth on.
"Bella, baby... unghhf, that feels so good," he cried out, his volume barely drowned out by the music as his hips began to shift up involuntarily into me.
"Fuck, Em!" My fingers were clawing at the back of his neck and I was so sure there were going to be scratch marks left, but I couldn't help myself. I ground into him shamelessly, the two of us getting into a rhythm that was quickly spurring me toward the edge.
Emmett brought his hands up to my breast and began to knead them with his hands, tweaking and twisting my sensitive nipples through the thin material of my tank top; they hardened instantly at his touch. His face gravitated toward them, his mouth licking and sucking on my skin, that, coupled with the sensation of his rock hard cock grinding against my clit, rocketed me into my first release.
"Oh, holy fuck, Em," I cried out, biting down on his shoulder to stop me from attracting too much attention to our activities, as I rode out one of the most intense orgasms of my life.
"Fucking Christ, Bella!" He smiled at me with a wicked grin that should be ten kinds of illegal. "That has to be the hottest thing I've ever seen."
"You're amazing, Emmett. Why couldn't I have met you before this?" I wondered softly.
"Everything happens for a reason, Bella. And your being too damn sexy is the reason you're about to get fucked in this club." He reached between us and began to unsnap his pants, his cock springing out of it's khaki prison.
My skirt moved up just enough to give me a peek. Holy fuck, he was huge and going commando. I crushed my lips back down to his and plunged my tongue deeply into his mouth, taking in every inch, every crevice I could reach. I knew I would never be able to get enough of this man for as long as he allowed me to be his, which I hoped would be forever.
He kissed me back, his tongue mingling with mine before panic flashed in his eyes and he pulled back. He brought his hand to his forehead and looked distraught while he muttered a very frustrated, "Fuck!"
"What's wrong?" I asked, dread coursing through my veins. Was he backing out? Did he realize that he can't do this? Was I not enough? There were so many questions I wanted to ask but they were all jumbled up in my head and nothing came out.
"I, uhm... I don't have anything with me..." he told me dejectedly. "Do you?"
"No, I wasn't really expecting to meet anyone like you at a gay club," I told him, resting my forehead on his again.
"Fuck... I wonder if Edward or Jasper have anything," he pondered quietly. "Let me go ask."
I wasn't ready for him to leave, I didn't want to break the connection I felt with him. "I'm on the pill," I blurted out suddenly.
"What?" He looked both relieved and confused at my revelation.
"I've been on it since I turned sixteen; my dad insisted..."
"So, are you suggesting what I think?" he asked me, obviously needing clarification.
"Yes, I'm safe. Unless... you know, youdon'twantto..." I mumbled, my words running together almost incoherently.
"NO!"' he nearly roared. "I do want to, I just don't want to pressure you into thinking we have to..."
"I want to, Emmett; I want you now," I insisted because it was true. I wanted him so badly, I was about to explode.
His wicked grin was back. "If you insist..."
I grinned back at him and kissed him chastely on the lips before bringing my hand down to stroke him firmly, readying him for me. After a few strokes, he was more than ready and he lifted my hips up so that I could line him up at my entrance.
"Are you sure?" he asked me one more time, his gaze burning my skin.
I nodded and he pushed into me excruciatingly slowly. It was the most exquisite feeling I'd ever felt as I stretched around his massive dick until he was fully seated inside of me. He leaned into me and captured my lips in a soft, slow kiss.
Our lips continued to mingle with each other as he pulled out just as slowly and continued his slow but steady ministrations on my body. Each time he pushed back into me, skin on skin without any barriers I felt our bond grow even stronger. I'd never felt that kind of instant connection with anyone in my entire life and his whispers of how good it felt, that I was wet for him and only him, made it even better.
The build up was mind boggling; being so intimate with another person surrounded by hundreds of other people made the experience that much more special. Emmett wrapped his huge arms around my back and pulled me flush against his chest, giving him a better angle to thrust into me.
His rhythm was slowly speeding up and I could feel the coil in my stomach and my thighs begin to gradually burn it's way to my core. "Fuck, Bella, you're so tight... I'm not going to last much longer..." he warned me.
"I'm so close, Emmett. So... fucking... close..." My hands grabbed onto the back of his head, trying to pull him closer to me, as if that was even possible; there was no space left between us. "Harder... faster... please..." I begged breathlessly as I pushed myself down on him, trying to create more fiction.
His cock began lunging into me faster and harder just as I had requested and his fingers reached to stroke my clit. Before I could warn him, the pressure exploded, my head lolling, back arching as my walls clamped down on his cock. "OH, MY FUCK!" I screamed, not caring who could see me or hear me. "YES, EMMETT, YES!"
He growled and pushed into me one last time before his dick pulsed and was coming into me hard, filling me up. "Christ, Bella!" he cried, his head banging on the back of the booth as his face contorted in the most beautiful way. I watched him intently, committing his come face to memory as he rode out his orgasm.
I collapsed onto him and snuggled into his chest, my head laying on his shoulder. He turned his face down to me and kissed me sweetly. "That was amazing, Bella. Please say I can see you again."
"Of course you can, I wouldn't want it any other way. I don't know how to explain it, and I don't want to scare you away, but I think you're it for me. I don't think anyone could ever make me feel how you've made me feel. It goes beyond the sexual aspect, straight to my soul. I know it's crazy..."
"You're not crazy, Bella. It's the same for me and like I said before, I'm all in."
I was smiling like a fool but I knew I had to get off of him so he could put himself away. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Jake and Paul dancing and I was so glad they'd brought me.
Emmett was speaking to me during my space out and I hadn't heard him. "I'm sorry, what?"
"Can I have your phone number? It looks like Edward and Jas are ready to go and I drove, so I have to leave, but I want to call you later."
I gave him my phone number and he promised to call when he got the guys home. He stood up and wrapped me in the tightest hug ever. He kissed me so passionately that I was left dumbfounded as we said our good byes and he walked away.
Meeting Emmett had forever altered me, but I truly had no idea to what extent that would be.
When I got to Paul and Jake, they looked like they were ready to leave, but the moment Jake looked at me, he grinned his big goofy grin and said, "You got some."
It wasn't a question but a matter-of-fact statement. "Yeah, I did." I giggled and he high-fived me.
Jake and Paul drilled me with questions as we walked to the car. My phone beeped alerting me of a message so I checked it.
Tonight was amazing, baby. I can't wait to talk to you again... -Emmett
I read and re-read that text over and over and I knew I was beaming, but I couldn't help it. Just the thought of Emmett had my heart racing. It felt like I had known him forever not less than a few hours, but I was certain of one thing—it was not just another hook-up for either of us.
We got back to Jake's apartment and he and Paul disappeared into their bedroom for the night, so I sat down in the living room with a book and waited for Emmett to call.
He never did.
At some point during the night, I passed out with the book still in my hands. When I woke up the next morning, I was in the guest bedroom snuggled deep under the covers. Jake must have carried me in there but I instantly got a horrible feeling in the pit of my stomach.
The emotional side of me said that something had to have happened to Emmett because he wouldn't have just blown me off. The logical side of me said that I didn't know him that well and just because he'd put on an act for me, didn't mean he was sincere about it.
I sighed deeply, not knowing what to believe but trying to stay hopeful. I gathered up my things and went into the living room to say good-bye to the boys.
I was not prepared for what I saw on the television. There was a picture of Emmett on the screen and I vaguely heard the news anchor say, "Emmett Cullen, 21 of Seattle, died during a hostile burglary situation at a local convenience store in the early morning hours. He was trying to help the young female cashier who had a gun pointed at her head when the robbers pulled the gun on him, before making a run for it. The police have apprehended the suspects but their names are not being released as of yet. Such a sad situation for a young man who was just trying to help. He's a hero, that one! And in other news..."
I tuned out after that. Emmett was gone? How is that possible? My heart felt like it had just been ripped out of my chest and suddenly I couldn't breathe. My friends had no idea what was going on as I collapsed onto the floor.
Jake rushed to my side, picking me up and cradling me into his chest as we sat down on the couch. "Bella, shhhh... it's going to be okay..." he cooed at me, rubbing my back and holding me tightly. He and Paul sat there with me for what must have been hours until I had no more tears left to cry and I finally passed out from pure exhaustion.
I know they didn't understand how it could possibly have affected me so much since I'd only met him the night before. There were no words to describe how it felt to have met your soul's counterpart, only to have him violently ripped away from you before you got to experience a life together.
The next few months dragged out and I was a total mess. Jake and Paul had insisted that I stay with them until I was feeling better but I had my own life in Forks to get back to, so they drove me home a week after the tragedy had occurred.
No one understood what I was going through. I pretty much stopped eating and was so stressed out that my body no longer functioned properly. I was always throwing up and was just sick all the time.
My father made me go see a grief counselor. Dr. Weber was the only person who didn't make me feel like an idiot for grieving so hard for someone who I'd only known one night. She taught me the five stages of grief and gave me tools on how to deal with them. I'd gone through denial and anger so quickly because I refused to believe it was true and was so angry at God for taking Emmett away that I lashed out at everyone. Depression had taken a huge toll on my body, so Dr. Weber suggested I make an appointment to have a physical and let the doctor decide what he thought was best for the antidepressants.
I went to the doctor and had the physical. I was sitting in the exam room, waiting for the results of the blood tests when Dr. Hunter came in and sat down on his stool right in front of me.
"Bella, we have the results of all your tests. Your iron and calcium are fine and your cholesterol is a little low, but I'm afraid I don't know how you are going to react to the next result," he told me, a bit anxious.
"Is it bad? Is there something wrong with me?" I asked him, beginning to freak out.
"Well, no, it's not bad and nothing is wrong, but, Bella, you're pregnant."
I shook my head furiously, thinking that if I did that enough I could make those words go away. "But... that's not possible; I'm on the pill..."
"The pill isn't one-hundred-percent effective, Bella. When was your last period?" he asked.
"I have no idea, but I can tell you the only time I've had sex in the last six months was the sixth of May." My voice broke as I said that because I realized that if I was pregnant, Emmett was the only possibility of being the father.
The tears began to flow down my face and I knew in that moment that I had to snap out of it. I had to start living my life for our baby and do everything I could to make sure he or she had everything they needed. It was really overwhelming but it was the first thing I'd felt good about in well over two months.
"Well, if that's the case Bella, then you should be due approximately..." He took out this small paper circle and adjusted it to the right date, then responded, "January 27th."
"Really?" I asked, hot tears still burning a path down my cheek.
"Yes, you're ten weeks along right now. I'm going to put you on some pregnancy-safe antidepressants as recommended by Dr. Weber and I suggest you continue to see her, Bella. You need to get yourself healthy for this little one."
"Yes, but how did I not know about this before now?" I asked, still so confused about it all.
Dr. Hunter took a deep breath before responding. "I'm willing to bet all the signs were there but you put them off as symptoms of the grief and depression. Missed periods, throwing up, feeling tired and run down, does any of this ring a bell?"
"Yes, but I was on the pill so I didn't think it could happen. Thank you, Dr. Hunter," I told him before leaving. The receptionist scheduled a preliminary ultrasound to confirm that everything was progressing as it should and when the day came, Jake was right there by my side.
Jake and Paul were my biggest supporters in those following months. I went through a lot of phases of pure anger and daily mood swings and I cried a lot, but they never let me down. During my sixth month of pregnancy they even talked me into moving to Seattle into the same complex they lived in so they could be there for me.
On January 31st of that next year, Emmett Charles Swan entered this world kicking and screaming and from that day forward, he was the light of my life. Every single day he made me a better person than the day before.
I never tried to find someone else to take Emmett's place because I knew it would be a futile effort. Like I told him that night, he was it for me. My heart felt so much for him and that would never go away. As Em grew up, he became the spitting image of his father. He would ask me questions about his dad, like what his favorite color was, did he like macaroni, too, and did he ever go fishing, and it saddened me that I couldn't give him the answers.
I did Google him and found a social networking site where he had posted a few pictures of himself. I greedily saved them to my computer and had them printed out so that Em would at least have a little piece of his father and know how much he looked like him. I couldn't give him much in the way of material items, but he had an abundance of love from me and his two favorite uncles.
Every year on the anniversary of Emmett's death, I would take Em to the cemetery to visit his grave site. I only had the knowledge of where he was buried from the obituary in the Seattle Times, and it took a lot of diligent searching before I found the spot, but after a week of afternoon searching I'd found it. I'd spent a lot of time there when I was nearing the end of my pregnancy because I wanted to feel closer to him. Some of the time was spent with me in tears because of how incredibly unfair it was that he'd been taken away from me so soon, while the other time was spent just talking to him. I'd tell him things about me that he hadn't been able to find out for himself, but mostly I'd talk about our baby.
One day in mid-July, when Em was six, we'd been out on an adventure, exploring a part of Seattle we hadn't been to before. I'd made it a game to try and discover new parks we'd never been to before.
Em was having a blast playing with a couple of other kids on the merry-go-round while I watched from a close-by park bench, flipping through a magazine to pass the time. I'd noticed a few other parents sitting on the other benches, but one of them caught my eye more than the others.
She was a small woman, maybe a few years younger than myself, with short, black hair. She was staring intently at Em and the little girl he was playing with. I figured it must have been her daughter that he was playing with, but something about the way she stared made me a bit uncomfortable.
All of a sudden, I heard the little girl cry out and my head snapped just in time to see Em pushing her down on the ground. I flew up off the bench as I hollered at him, "Emmett Charles Swan you apologize to that little girl right this instant!"
His eyes got huge and he helped her up, told her he was sorry, and hugged her. I was satisfied with his behavior but it seemed as if the child's mother was not, because she was quickly making her way over to me.
"Excuse me," I heard her say.
I looked up at her and she was almost trembling with nerves. "Yes?" I asked, waiting for her to get on with it.
"Did you just say your son's name is Emmett?" she almost whispered.
I nodded and her eyes filled with tears. "How old is he?"
"Six," I answered, getting a little weirded out by her interest in my son's personal information. "Why do you ask?"
"I... ugh, I know this is going to sound crazy but I have to know..." she stuttered. "You see, your son looks exactly like my brother whose name also happens to be Emmett and either it's an extremely weird coincidence or his father is my brother..."
I swallowed loudly, not wanting to have the conversation any longer. My heart was pounding in my chest so loudly I could barely hear what she was saying; my breathing sped up and my head felt like I was about to pass out.
"Breathe... please, breathe..." she begged me. "I have to know..."
I took several deep breaths before I looked her in the eye and revealed, "My son's father is Emmett Cullen."
She gasped suddenly and her hand went to mouth. "Oh, my God." Her eyes were fixed on my son like she had just seen a ghost.
I gave her a minute to digest the information and took a little time myself to understand what this all meant. "And you are?" I asked her finally.
"Alice... Emmett was my brother."
I responded very eloquently with a small, "Oh..."
"You must be Bella?" It came out more like a question and it shocked the hell out of me, knocking my breath straight out of my chest and making me choke for air. How in the hell did she know who I was?
Once I had regained my ability to speak again, I told her I was indeed Bella and asked her how she knew. She told me that Emmett had called her as soon as he left the club that night.
Those words sealed away any doubt that I'd ever had about our connection and the tears started freely flowing down my face. I knew in that moment that he truly had felt exactly as I did and that it wasn't all in my head.
I sat there, lost in my own thoughts for several long moments before being pulled out of my musings by Alice again.
"Bella, I need you to come see my family with me. They need to know about this," Alice told me. "Please, will you come?"
I had mixed feelings about the proposition. I had always known that if I'd tried hard enough, I could've located Emmett's family and told them, but I always feared that they would've thought I was some delusional tramp who'd tried to trap their son, ending up pregnant in the process. I mean, honestly, who would've believed me if I'd tried to explain our instant connection or how we'd had sex in a corner booth at a gay club because we couldn't be bothered to wait?
"Bella... please? He's our family and we would love to know him," she pleaded with me and I couldn't deny her logic. Em deserved to know his father's family. They could tell him more about his father than I ever could.
"Okay, when?" I conceded quietly
"Would you come now? You could follow me to the house; please say you'll come." There was so much hope in her eyes that I couldn't crush it.
I agreed, gathered Em up and got him to the car. As we were following Alice to her house, I noticed she was on the phone the entire time, dialing and talking then hanging up and dialing again. I tried my best to explain to Em that we were going to meet back up with his new friend and that this family was actually his dad's family.
Em took it all in stride; he didn't really understand but he just knew that he was meeting new people and he was super outgoing so it didn't bother him at all.
My pulse was racing and my heart was about to pound it's way out of my chest as we pulled up in front of a huge, white house with a white picket fence surrounding a perfectly manicured lawn. It made me feel so completely out of place being there and I had no idea what to expect once I entered their house.
Before I had time to back out, Alice was at my door tapping on my window, looking at me expectantly. I took a deep breath and opened the door. Once Em was safely attached to my hip, we walked toward the house.
We weren't even to the door before it swung open and an older couple came rushing outside. "Oh, my God!" the lady gasped as soon as she saw Em. "He looks just like him, Carlisle!"
Tears of what could only be described as a joyful sadness graced her face as they slid down. She was a very beautiful woman and the man with her was distinguished and handsome. I could feel the love pouring out of them at the sight of their grandchild in my arms.
"Mom, Dad," Alice said to them. "This is Bella and her son, Emmett. Bella, these are my parents, Esme and Carlisle Cullen."
"It's very nice to meet you both," I told them quietly, holding Em to my side with a vise-like grip.
"It's more of a pleasure than we can express with words to meet you, Bella. Shall we go in and sit down?" Carlisle suggested. "Edward and Jasper will be here soon."
Em was wriggling because he wanted down to go play with the little girl when I realized I had no idea what her name was. I slowed a bit, and once Alice was right next to me I asked, "What your daughter's name?"
She beamed when I asked. "Her name is Charlotte but we just call her Char most of the time."
The kids ran off to play but I wasn't worried because I doubted he was in danger here, so Alice and I headed into the living room to sit with her family until the others arrived.
It was uncomfortably silent for several minutes before Esme finally broke the silence. "Would you like anything to drink, Bella?"
"No, but thank you for asking," I replied kindly, my voice breaking while answering.
Carlisle stood up and walked over to me, placing his hand gently on my shoulder to calm me. "Bella, there is no need to be nervous. No one is going to attack you or make you feel bad, we just want to ask you some questions about the whole situation; would that be okay?"
I nodded my head in agreement because I knew I owed it to them to answer any questions they had but just as I was about to speak, two men walked into the room. I recognized them immediately as the two men Emmett had been with at the club that night all those years ago.
"Edward, Jasper," Carlisle greeted them. "So glad you are here; this is Bella."
"Hello, Bella," Edward warmly greeted me with a huge smile on his face. "It's nice to see you again."
My face must have been bright red because I knew the only way he had actually seen me before was straddled across the lap of his brother in the gay club. "It's, uh, nice to see you again too, Edward."
Jasper walked over and took my hand, kissing it gently. "Bella, so good to have you here. Edward and I heard so much about you that night."
The embarrassment only got worse; I couldn't even imagine how red my face must have been at that point.
"Okay," Carlisle began, "now that everyone is here, how about we let Bella tell her story."
My mouth dropped open because I wasn't expecting to be put on the spot like that, but they were so open and welcoming that I decided to tell them everything. It took me awhile to get the whole story out and when I finished I asked them if they had any questions.
"I just want to know how come you never felt like you could come to us, Bella. We would have been here for you and little Emmett," Esme asked, her eyes brimming with unshed tears.
"It's not that simple, Esme. I wanted to come to you, but I had no idea how to find you as I really didn't know a lot of information about Emmett. The night we met at the club I felt a pull toward him so strong that I never would have been able to escape it even if I'd wanted to. I didn't know how to explain that I knew he was my soul mate after only one night together, everyone else thought I was crazy for grieving so deeply, so I could only imagine how you all would've reacted to my showing up on your doorstep, claiming to be in love with your son and having his baby after one night," I explained.
"I know you couldn't possibly know this, Bella, but we would have completely understood. You see, it seems to be something in the Cullen family DNA, but we've all experienced love at first sight. I saw Esme in the cafeteria at the college we were attending and I knew within seconds that she would be my wife and we would have a beautiful family together. Alice and Edward both have experienced the same thing," Carlisle told me with a wistful look in his eye.
I looked toward Edward and Jasper, and they were looking at each other with so much love in their eyes that I almost choked up and had to look away quickly. I felt as though I were interrupting an extremely private moment between them.
"It's true," Alice spoke up. "I knew Peter was it for me in the produce aisle at the grocery store. He was buying some bananas and as soon as his eyes hit mine, I was undeniably his forever."
Alice got up from the spot where she had been sitting and came to kneel in front of me. I tried to back away but something in her eyes insisted that I stay. "When Emmett called me that night after they'd left the club, the first thing he said to me was, 'I found her, Alice. I found my soul mate.' He continued on and on about how perfect and amazing and beautiful you were and how he couldn't wait to spend the rest of his life with you. He was the only one of us who hadn't found his other half yet and he had been losing hope that it would happen to him. When he spoke about you, he was a different person. I can't imagine how awful it must have been to lose him without ever really knowing him, Bella. I'm so sorry..." she trailed off as her voice broke.
Everyone was crying at this point, most of all me. I had always held out hope that Emmett had felt the same way I did but, of course, I hadn't ever gotten the confirmation I'd needed. The words Alice had just spoken to me revived my heart in a way and healed a part of it that had yet to be healed at that point.
"Thank you for telling me that, Alice. You have no idea how much it means to me." I sobbed.
"Bella, we are here for you and Emmett now; I hope you know that. If you need anything, please ask, and we would love it if you brought him around so we can get to know him," Esme reminded me, her eyes pleading with me.
"Of course, I would never keep him from you guys now. You can give him something that I never could, a sense of who he is and where he came from and that's very important to me."
"Bella, we consider you a part of this family, too, you know that right? Emmett would want us to take care of you and make you feel as loved as he would have made you feel and we intend to do that," Edward chimed in, his gaze was intense but I knew it was an emotional day for everyone.
"Thank you, that means a lot to me," I responded sincerely and it truly did.
Just then, Em came wandering around the corner into the living room and came running to me. He threw his arms around me and hugged me tightly. "Mommy, I love playing here!"
I smiled. "I'm so glad you do, sweetheart. Would you like to meet everybody?"
He nodded, not the least bit shy like I was; he got that from Emmett. I went around and explained who everyone was and that this was his daddy's family, like Papa Charlie was my family.
When I finally got to Edward and Jasper, who were holding hands with each other on the couch, Em looked at me with a big smile and asked, "Mommy, do they love each other like Uncle Jake and Uncle Paul?"
"Yes, baby, they do," I answered and the room erupted in giggles and Jasper's face got really red. "Jake is my best friend and Paul is his boyfriend so Em's grown up with it being perfectly normal for him to have two uncles who love each other."
"That's great!" Edward's smile was so wide that I thought his face was going to break.
We spent the rest of the night with everyone at the house and Em was shown a lot of pictures and home videos of his daddy. After the initial uncomfortableness of the situation, I found that I was able to relax and have a good time with everyone.
I had no doubts that they were the family that I was meant to be a part of, and they were going to make sure I felt as if I were. I was Emmett's soul mate and whether he was there or not, I was going make sure I did my part.
As the next year passed, we spent more and more time with the Cullens. Em had a true sense of who he was and loved being there with everyone. It was the best feeling in the world, and they had even transformed Emmett's old room into Em's room when he stayed over. They had given so much of themselves to us, and, in return, I gave them the only thing I could, which was a part of Emmett still living in their grandchild.
That fateful night I'd met Emmett was both the best and the worst night of my life. I lost the love of my life after mere hours of knowing him and had always felt cheated out of the greatest love I could have known, yet he still gave me the greatest part of himself in the form of our child.
I didn't think I'd ever be okay again after Emmett was killed but I learned that I was a lot stronger than I could have ever imagined and maybe, just maybe, everything was going to be alright.