OK Ok. Yes I know it has been a long time. Work has been kicking my butt, and I needed to make sure I did this chapter well. So I waited. I would rather have you guys wait then give you shit. Anyways I hope you can forgive me, and I am not going to promise when the next chapter will be up. But I will promise to try to not make you wait two months again. I will finish this story, I just want to do it right.
Disclaimer: All Characters belong to SM. No Copyright infringement intended.
They sounded so desperate, so concerned that I wanted to help whomever this person was, but I didn't know how. They sounded so far away.
"Rosalie, wake up." As I felt the pressure of a hand come into contact with my sore shoulder, memories flooded my mind. Seeing Emmett with Irina. His pleas in the coat closet. Royce dragging me through the hotel lobby.
My eyes burned as I opened them. I could definitely see more out of the left then the right, but I saw enough to know who was talking to me.
"Who did this to you? What are you doing out here?" Enrique's grip tightened on my shoulder, and I cried out.
"I'm sorry," he whispered, pulling his hand back. "Let just get you inside, okay?"
"No," I moaned, raising my hand to grip his arm.
"It'll be okay. You can get inside, take a nice hot bath, and get in bed." He tried to reason with me, but he didn't understand. There was no way I could go in there. He would kill me.
"I can't go in," I said in a hoarse voice.
"Did you lose your key?"
"I can't go in," I repeated, hoping that he would get the picture. I couldn't say it. I wouldn't say it, but I was sure looking at me was evidence enough as to what happened.
"Did Mr. King do this to you?" I dropped my eyes to the floor and closed them. I felt a single tear roll down my cheek, and I guess that was all the confirmation Enrique needed.
"It's gonna be okay. I'll get you out of here." He bent down to help me stand, but I pulled away from him.
"I can't leave. I have to stay," I pleaded, taking a deep breath.
"I can't leave you out here, and you don't have to do anything. You need help."
"No, please just leave me here," I begged, but when I saw him bend down further, I knew it was useless.
"Just let me get you out of here, okay? It's not safe for you here. I just want to get you someplace safe." Safe: something I hadn't felt in a long time. Safe sounded good. Safe sounded right.
"Okay," I whispered, quietly nodding my head.
"I'm just going to help you up." He cautiously slipped an arm around my waist, watching my eyes for any sense of fear. But as I looked back at him, I saw nothing but concern and pity in his eyes, and as much as I hated pity, in this moment, when it was from him, I didn't mind it. I didn't mind it at all.
"Ow," I groaned as he lifted me. My legs weren't strong enough to support my weight, so Enrique slipped his other arm underneath me legs and picked me up bridal style.
"We'll take the service elevator and exit out the back door. The last thing we need is someone to see you like this." He looked down at me and smiled. "I promise everything is going to be okay."
"We need to take you to a hospital," he said as he hopped in the driver's seat of his old Buick.
"No hospitals," I whined from the backseat, coughing.
"Where do you want me to take you?" he asked, looking at me through the rearview mirror.
"Maybe you should have just left me. If he finds out you helped, you'll be fired," I mused, looking out the window.
"So what if he does. My mother taught me to always help a woman in need."
"I wish all men were taught that," I thought out loud as my eyes began to close.
I was woken up by the car jolting to a stop, and soon, Enrique was opening the car door and pulling me out.
"Sir, you can't park here!" I heard a man yell as Enrique helped me into some building after slamming the car door closed. I refuse to let him carry me any longer.
"Where are we?" I asked as we walked into the lobby of a building that looked oddly familiar.
"Mr. McCarty." I froze when I heard Enrique ask the doorman for his apartment number.
"Top floor," he responded, "Apartment B."
"What? No," I whined as Enrique dragged me to the elevator. I wanted to fight him off and run back to his car, but I didn't have the energy or the strength, so I just continued to beg. "Please no."
"You can't stay at my place. Besides the fact that he'd find you, I don't have the resources to protect you. He does," he explained as he hit the button for the top floor.
"No, he'll find me here. You don't understand."
"I understand. I understand more than you know. On one of Mr. McCarty's many visits to see Mr. King, he gave me his business card with his home address and cell and told me to call him if something ever happened to you."
"He did that?" I asked in shock, looking up at him. Enrique gave me a small smile and nodded just as the doors opened. Slowly, we walked-well, he half carried me down a hallway I hadn't seen since the night that changed everything.
Ironically, in this moment, I felt more nervous than I had ever been around Emmett. What would he think if he saw me like this? I looked down at my wrinkled blue and silver dress that held small traces of blood from god knows where.
Well, this should be interesting…
As Enrique's fingers rapped the door, my hands began to shake. And when Emmett's door opened, my eyes dropped to the floor.
"Listen, bitch, I told you he doesn't... Oh, my god." At the sound of the unexpected voice, my eyes rose. The last person I expected to open the door was Alice.
"Jesus Christ, Rose, what happened to you?" she said, pulling me into an embrace.
"Umm...I fell," I lied unconvincingly.
"He hit you." She looked into my eyes, and all I could do was shrug.
"No, you're no,." she whispered back. And I couldn't really deny it as I stood here broken and bruised, heavily leaning on a bellhop.
"Emmett, get in here," Alice said with a new harshness to her voice.
"Is she gone?" I heard quietly from deep within the apartment.
"Just get out here," she yelled back.
"Alice, she'd better be gone. This isn't fucking funny." I saw Emmett's tall form round the corner into his living room, and when his eyes landed on me, he stopped and stood stalk still. Alice, with her back turned towards him, continued to talk.
"Thank you so much for bringing her here," Alice said to Enrique as she wrapped her arm around my waist and helped usher me inside. But the further we got inside, I realized Enrique wasn't following. Alice, feeling my steps slow, stopped, and I turned to look at him.
"I have to get back. If I'm gone too long, people will wonder where I went," he explained.
"Thank you," I said, nodding my head.
"Just keep your head up," he responded before Alice led me back towards the bathroom.
"Why don't you get yourself cleaned up, okay? We'll be outside." She left me to myself.
For the first time, I looked in the mirror and didn't recognize the person staring back at me. My eyes were still the same blue as always, but the purplish tint on my skin was new, and my right eye was definitely swollen. My lip was busted, no doubt from Royce's backhand. There was the distinct shape of a handprint on my neck, reminding me of Royce's harsh grip.
I'm a mess, I thought as tears began to pool in my eyes. This was never a part of the plan.
"Rose." I jumped at the sound of Alice's voice on the other side of the door.
"Yes," I answered timidly.
"I put some clothes out here for you to change into, okay?"
"Okay. Thank you," I responded before hearing her footsteps trail away.
After about ten minutes of staring at myself, I cleaned up the blood that had dried on my face and between my legs and changed into the clothes that Alice had given me. They were obviously Emmett's; I was drowning in them. I tied the drawstring on the sweatpants as tight as it would go, and I was still at risk of mooning everyone.
Slowly, I walked out of the bathroom and went to find Alice and Emmett.
"This has you written all over it, Emmett," Alice spoke quietly in a harsh tone.
"I didn't do that, Alice," he defended.
"I never said you did, but you have to be involved somehow. Why else would she come here?" At that, I felt embarrassed. Did I just push my problems on them? Was I not really welcome?
"The last thing we need to be worried about is why she came here over anywhere else."
"Emmett, you have to fix this. I'm sick of cleaning up your messes."
"Am I asking you to clean anything up?"
"You think I don't know. Do you think I'm blind? This is all your fault. Don't stand here and act innocent. I know you. I know that you took advantage of her. I let it slide, but this have gotten out of control. He beat her, Emmett."
"You think I don't see that?"
"Well, I hope you're seeing clearly now 'cause you need to see how fucked up you are. You're going to fix this, you understand me? And you'll get no help from me. It's about time you learned to clean up your own shit."
"If you're not going to help what the fuck are you doing here, Alice?" Emmett yelled, and I jumped, hiding further back down the hallway, silently begging Alice not to leave me here with an angry Emmett.
"I'm here to help Rose," she defended.
"The last thing she needs is your judgmental ass right now."
"You heard me. Get out."
"You have a lot of nerve." I heard the shuffling of feet, and soon, Alice was walking towards me with a hard look on her face.
"Rose, call me if you need anything. I mean it."
I nodded my head in silent response, and then the front door closed as she left. I walked into living room slowly to find Emmett sitting on the couch with his head in his hands.
"I'm sorry," I whispered.
"Don't apologize," he replied into his hands
"I guess it's safe to say everyone knows," I joked.
Emmett's head shot up, and for the first time, I think he got a good look at me, busted lip and all. I watched as his eyes traveled over my body like a doctor looking at a patient and taking inventory of every injury he saw. If only he knew about the ones he couldn't.
"I'll get you some ice." He stood, leaving me in the living room as he walked towards the kitchen.
Slowly and painfully, I walked towards the couch and winced as I sat down, wondering exactly how long I was going to be sore. I sat staring down at my hands in my lap until I felt the couch dip next to me. I looked up to see the somber look on Emmett's face as he handed me an ice pack.
"Here, put it on your eye first or else it's gonna swell shut."
I nodded, taking the cold compress and putting to my face.
I heard him take a deep breath and let it out loudly. I turned to my right, facing him so I could see him with my uninjured eye.
"Do you want to tell me what happened?" he asked quietly, not looking straight ahead.
"I'm sure you can guess," I whispered. At my sarcastic response, he turned to face me, and once again, his eyes slowly ran up my body before focusing on my face and neck.
"Fuck, Rose," he said when he finally got to my eyes.
"I'm fine. It's not as bad as it looks," I lied. It was worse, and he didn't even know the half of it. He reached up and slowly brought his hand to my neck, never his taking eyes off mine as he looked for a sign that I didn't want his touch. To be honest, the last thing I wanted was to be touch right now, but dependent on how determined he was, I knew I didn't have the energy to fight him off. It's not that I thought Emmett would hit me or hurt me, but tonight was proof of one thing: I'm a bad judge of character. I never thought Royce would hit or hurt me either.
I flinched as I felt him lightly trace the bruises on my neck.
"What did he do to you?"
"Nothing that won't heal in a few weeks." I forced a smile as best I could and looked into his eyes. I didn't mind Enrique's pity, but Emmett's was a different story.
"You need to leave him, Rose," he stated as if it was an order.
"Where would I go, Emmett?" I asked, challenging him.
"Anything has to be better than this bullshit," he said harshly, pulling his hand back and gesturing towards my face, causing me to pull back from him. "Sorry," he added after seeing the fear flash across my face from his sudden movements.
"Don't talk about what you don't understand," I replied, removing the ice from my face.
"What is there to understand? He hit you."
"It's not that simple. Not everyone has their life laid out for them as soon as they're out of the womb. Some people have to make their own way."
"And you think your path in life involves getting the shit beat out of you by your fiancée? Thats stupid." He stood.
"No, but I definitely strayed from it when you entered my life." As soon as the words left my mouth, I regretted it, but I wasn't about to let him know.
"Rose, you can't go back to him," he begged, dropping to his knees in front of me.
"Say I didn't. What would I do? I have a bullshit degree, and I haven't worked in two years. Where would I go? The only friends I have here are Royce's. I have no other choices." I shrugged, ignoring the pain in my shoulders.
"It's not your only choice. I'll help out however I can. Alice will help. You're not alone," he pleaded, looking into my eyes. I saw the sincerity there. I knew he meant it; he just didn't think it through.
"What would I do? Leave Royce and move in with you until I got on my feet?"
"If you had to."
"What are you going to do when you get sick of me? This isn't something that could be fixed in a week or two, and I'm not something that you can just throw money at. It would take me months. You really think you wanna live with me for that long? Yes, the week we spent together was great, but you can't expect it would be like that the entire time. How awkward would it be when you find a new girl? I know you and I were never exclusive, but that expectation is there when you live together. And neither of us is ready for that." As I spoke, it hit me. We would never be ready for that because of what we were to each other from the very beginning: the forbidden fruit. And I realized for the first time since Emmett entered my life, I was thinking clearly; it was time to use my head. It was time to do what was smart, to make the safe bet. The one I had put my money on from the very beginning, and it wasn't him.
"I know you liked me because I was untouchable. I was a conquest to you, Emmett."
He shook his head, trying to dissuade me, but I cut him off.
"It's okay to say yes. I knew that from the very beginning."
"Yes, I'll admit it was like that in the beginning, but things changed. You're different from any woman I have ever met, and you deserve better."
"Are you trying to tell me better is you?" I asked.
He just looked up at me.
"Emmett, do you even care about me other than the fact that I could scratch your itch?"
"I wouldn't be offering if I didn't," he said plainly.
"But do you love me?" This was the question that would change everything. This was the realization that he needed to reach. This was why his ideal of us didn't make sense. And as he stared at me, trying to come up with an answer, I knew he knew it too.
"And that right there is why I'm not going to leave him," I finished. Standing up, I began walking towards the door.
"Wait," I heard behind me, and my heart jumped in my throat. I'd be a liar if I said I wasn't hoping he'd tell me he did love me and everything was going to be ok, but when I turned around to look at him, I knew it wasn't going to happen. "Stay here for the night. Sleep on it, and make your decision in the morning."
For once, I couldn't disagree with him. I had no where to go, and the last place I wanted to be right now was back in my apartment. At least here I felt safe.
Nodding my head, I walked back towards the couch as Emmett stood.
"I'll take the couch. You can have bed."
I shook my head. "The last place I need to be is in your bed tonight. I'll be fine out here."
After Emmett gave me a blanket and a pillow, and made a last ditch effort to convince me to take the bed, I found myself alone, lying on his couch in the dark as tears silently fell down my cheeks. As easy as it was for me to tell Emmett we would never be, it still hurt. He made me feel happy and carefree-something I hadn't felt in a long time. But if my up-bringing taught me anything, it was that being happy didn't solve problems and make everything better. People didn't care if you were happy; they cared that you could pay your bills and do your job. And while Emmett could do all three of those things, it wasn't a guarantee that he would do them for me, so I chose the man who could at least do two do two of them.
And when I woke up in the morning at 5:30, that decision hadn't changed. So instead of waiting to tell Emmett that I was going to stick to my guns, I wrote a quick note, ran out the apartment, and hailed cab to go back to sit in the hallway outside my apartment, hoping that what I wrote in that letter to Emmett on his kitchen counter was true and I wouldn't regret it.
I'll be fine. Don't worry and don't follow me.
I am very interested to hear what you guys think of this. Was it what you expected?