The Way They Met

The morning was cold, and his throat hurt every time he swallowed. He fought the urge to close his eyes and turn over in his bed. He reached over and opened the small silver bottle on his nightstand. He placed the rim of the bottle to his lips and opened them wide enough to let one small white pill slip into his mouth. He crushed it between his teeth, squeezing his eyes shut against the sour taste in his mouth.

He shuffled to the bathroom, completely used to the silence that greeted him when he woke up. He was used to having women every other night, but he didn't let them sleep with him. He had rules regarding females: they never slept in his bed, they never touched his food, and under no circumstances, male or female, was anyone allowed to touch his hair. His world was black and white; there were no shades of grey with Emmett Cullen.

It had to be that way, because of how he lived. He lived a dangerous life, and there were plenty of people who would do anything to get the opportunity to kill him. He couldn't trust anyone, and he'd long come to terms with it. When he spoke, his words were law. If he made a promise, he kept it. The people around him learned to never question him. They feared him and respected him, but his subordinates didn't love him. There was no doubt in his mind that if his subordinates didn't fear his wrath; they would've long turned against him.

So he ran his drug empire with an iron fist, working only with his brothers, Edward and Jasper Cullen, but toward them, he didn't feel love, he felt loyalty. Love wasn't a luxury Emmett could allow himself, but when he was loyal, he was loyal, no matter what. Emmett Cullen was the man you wanted on your side, not the one you wanted angry with you.

The hot water on his back warmed him, but didn't seem to warm his heart. He dressed quickly, he was a businessman, but he hated wearing suits. When he wasn't going to the Meeting of the Minds, he dressed properly, but other than that, he dressed like every other thug in the street – with more class. He had a diamond stud in his ear and that was the only thing he did to his body, except for the small tattoo on the lower left side of his back. 'Empire'.

He pulled on a pair of shades, and slid into his back Lincoln. It had been custom made, and on the outside it looked like a regular black car, but in the inside – well, you just had to be on the inside. The engine caught quickly, and he sped out of his garage. His blackberry vibrated and he picked it up, keeping his eyes on the road. It was from Cullen.

'Indians getting feisty. MOM'

Emmet smiled at how comfortable Cullen was with calling him to a Meeting of the Minds. They didn't do that often. They knew not the mess with Emmett. He did his own thing and they did theirs. He pulled up to a low building, and surveyed his surroundings, being overly cautious as usual. The cold press of the metal gun against his waist comforted him. He walked out of the car carefully, trying to use the door of the car to protect himself as much as possible.

He rested his hand on the gun, not having any qualms about pumping someone full of lead. He walked into the building and looked around, his ears perking up for the slightest of sounds. "Mr. Cullen?" Emmett turned and looked down at the small girl in front of him. The top of her head reached his chest and she looked like he could lift her with a hand. He cleared his throat, "Yes."

She looked up, her brown eyes making him pause for a second. He appreciated a pretty girl and she was pretty. Very pretty. She wore her long chestnut colored hair in a bun and let side bangs fall in front of her face. She wore dark blue jeans and a pink top that matched her flats. She looked innocent, way too innocent for him. He tore his eyes away from her.

"Please follow me."

She looked down and began walking down a corridor. She knocked on a door, and someone from the other side gave her permission to enter. She walked into the room, keeping her eyes down. The room was filled with smoke from drugs and cigarettes, and Emmett could make out the figures of three men sitting around a small card table. Emmett tensed, aware that his commanding presence alone said the things he didn't need to say.

"So you came, Cullen." A figure stood and walked toward him, a smile on his face.

"Wouldn't miss it, Black."

Jacob crossed his arms and eyed the large man in front of him. "You came alone? Not smart for the leader of a rival gang."

Emmett's gaze was colder than ice. Jacob took a step back, unconsciously afraid of the heartless eyes boring into him.

"What do you want, Black?" Jacob made a motion with his head and the other two figures stood, lumbering toward him. "You high, Black?" Emmett almost laughed. This little kid was trying to scare him. "You're supposed to sell the goods, not smoke it."

Jacob laughed. "Don't be a smartass, Cullen. You're on my territory. So, we're going to make it simple. Just tell me where your brother Jasper keeps the stuff." Emmett's mind reeled. What was he talking about? "You're insane, Black," Emmett grunted, the grip on his gun tightening.

"Jacob, don't!" The small girl from before threw herself over Jacob's arm, trying to keep the gun he was pulling out in place. "The fuck this is, bitch?" Jacob exploded, his body vibrating with anger. The leader of the Native Americans was known to have a terrible temper. Jacob's hand shot out as he backhanded the girl across her face, sending her flying across the room. "You want to fucking tell me what to do?" Emmett clenched his jaw.

He usually didn't involve himself in other people's business, but he couldn't stand to see men hitting women. Jacob advanced on the small woman who cowered in the corner. "I-I'm sorry," she stuttered out, tears filling her eyes as she tried to protect herself as much as possible.

There were two shots, and Emmett cocked his gun again. "Put your hands on her, and I'll put a bullet so far in your brain, the doctor's will wonder how the fuck I happened." Jacob froze, realizing that he was at the disadvantage. He cursed under his breath and turned around. "Ain't none of your business, Cullen. So stay out of it, you hear me?" Emmett's arm didn't move.

"Walk away, Black, before my finger slips and the only thing left of you is a few organs." Jacob scoffed and turned, spitting on the small girl before barging out of the small room, Emmett's gun trained on him the entire time. Emmett relaxed, wondering what had gotten into him. Why he wanted to protect this girl. She sat up in the corner, sniffling and eyeing him fearfully.

"What's your name?" he asked her finally, not meaning for his voice to sound as cold as it did. "B-Bella." He looked around the room, he couldn't leave her here. Well, he could, but he didn't want to – Black would come back and she'd be in serious trouble. Emmett rubbed his forehead. "Aight. Get up," he commanded. "And stop the crying." He turned and walked out of the room, not checking to see if the small girl was following him.