Stephenie Meyer owns the Twilight Characters. This is just a short story so the other characters get to speak. Thanks to Kree for giving me the courage to keep writing….secretly.
After Dreamer's wedding I headed back to Seattle. I was staying with a friend and was anxious to get back to the city. I gathered up the tuxes, except Budge's and knew I would have to hunt him down for it. He would try to take it back, but something would come up and it wouldn't be delivered to the shop unless I physically took it there. I worry about Budge and spend many sleepless nights thinking about his future.
I pulled into the parking garage and headed up to my friend's apartment. I didn't have a key so I had to knock. The door opened and Emma stood in the doorway with a big smile, "God, you drive slowly."
She was in one of my t-shirts and it drowned her, but she looked so sexy. "I had to mediate an argument between my parents over a pen," I explained and pulled her into my arms.
"You are so sweet," she said and kissed me deeply.
I picked her up off of her feet and walked her down the hallway and into her bedroom. I set her on the ground and when we parted I looked at the clothes strewn out on the floor…they were my clothes. "What's going on with my clothes?" I asked.
"I needed to find something to wear," she explained and I looked at all my shirts lying wadded up.
"So why are my shirts all over the floor?"
"God, Trooper, relax," she laughed. "I'll clean it up."
"Um…I can't…perform, knowing my shirts are all over the floor," I told her, because I was feeling a bit sick at the sight of them lying there.
"You leave for Africa in less than a week and you're worried about your shirts on the floor?" she asked with wide eyes. I knew from her statement she was saying a lot more in that sentence. She was worried about the fact I was leaving again.
We never could get our timing right. When I was pining over her she was in a relationship, and when she finally wanted to give me a shot I was in a relationship. This was the first time we were both free at the same time and neither one of us knew how to react or what it meant to our future if I stayed with her for a week.
"Emma, let's take each day as they come, we'll talk when we need to talk, okay?" I asked and she buried her head in my chest. I ran my fingers through her silky blonde hair and she tightened her arms around me. "You've always been the most beautiful woman in the world," I said softly.
"You've always been the best man I've ever known," she said and raised her face so I could kiss her.
I hated to turn out the light and miss seeing her perfect body, but it was the only way I could keep my attention off the clothing mess. Her arms came around my neck and she jumped up into my arms with her legs around me. I didn't need the light; I let my hands see her in the darkness. It was just how our relationship always was, in the dark.
Nobody knew Emma was the girl I lost my virginity with. It was a pact, a way for us both to be with someone we trusted, but it wasn't the fumbling, panic ridden experience I expected. It was so natural to love Emma, and when we both cried tears afterwards we vowed to keep it to ourselves forever.
I didn't know what it was about Emma that drove me absolutely insane when we had sex. I had no control over my mouth and said random words that made no sense at all. She laughed as I screamed, "Guns that hark securely."
Her noises were perfect, like her. She whimpered a little and then yelled my name into the air. I could spend eternity listening to Emma call out my name. I held her tightly in my arms until her breathing became deep and even. I whispered against her head, "I love you so much Emma McCarty," and then fell asleep, too.
I got a call early the next morning and answered my phone to hear Dreamer crying. "Trooper, have you heard from dad?"
"No, is he missing?" I asked and wondered why Dreamer wasn't blissfully sleeping in Patrick's arms.
"He's not answering his phone," she sobbed.
I glanced at my phone to see it was seven in the morning. "It was a late night Dreamer, "I'm sure he's asleep. What do you need?"
"Don't be stupid, Trooper," she said angrily and I heard Patrick laugh. At least she was still with him. I also spent sleepless nights worrying about Dreamer. She was flighty, but the only thing that could keep her totally focused was dad. She worshiped him as if he was a saint.
Mom was good at letting Dreamer be the woman she wanted to be and they never fought like most mothers and daughters, but Dreamer felt it was her responsibility to protect dad at all costs. When dad had a hernia repaired Dreamer warned the surgeon that he better not let her father experience a moment of pain, or she would have his medical license revoked…and she was only fourteen.
Patrick joined the army and they would live in Germany for a few years. At least Patrick would only laugh when she flew to Washington several times each month, most likely putting them into bankruptcy.
"Dreamer, I'll get hold of dad and make sure he is okay. You have fun with Patrick and stop worrying," I said and knew she would continue to call until she heard from him.
I hung up and left a message for Dad to call Dreamer and then another message for Budge to remember his tux return. I sat my phone back on the bed table and looked over to see Emma looking at me. I smiled and she did too, showing her deep dimples that made her so adorable.
"Good morning," I said and scooted closer to her. She ran her warm hand down my cheek and I closed my eyes at the feeling. Everything about Emma was warm and it felt like she could reach into my soul and touch my heart.
"You're really here," she whispered. "I thought you were a deep wish that wouldn't come true."
"Oh Emma, I've dreamed of you for so many years, if I'm your wish, I'm all yours," I told her. I was talking from my heart and not sure exactly what I was saying or what it meant to our careers or our futures. Emma was a stock broker with a large bank and I wasn't sure what she would do in Africa. Maybe it would be me that would have to give up my dream to be with her.
"Trooper, we can't make decisions when we are so emotional. Seeing Patrick and Dreamer marry has me so confused," she admitted.
Her words stung a bit and I wondered if Emma would ever be as certain about me as I was about her. I gave her a quick kiss and headed to her kitchen to make some coffee. I got a call and Emma rushed into the kitchen to hand me my phone.
"Dreamer, he's fine," I said loudly.
"What?" mom answered.
"Oh, hi mom, I thought you were Dreamer. She's worried about dad so tell him to call her."
"Okay, he's still asleep. Have you heard from Budge?"
"I left him a message to return the tux. Why aren't you sleeping?" I asked my mother.
"I woke up early to see Eric and Garrett off. They're moving to Georgia soon. I feel old, son."
"You'll never be old, mom. You're too young in spirit," I laughed.
"I found a hair on your father's back. Only old men get hairy backs, so if your dad is getting old I'm antique. I'm not sure I'll love him the same if he turns into Sasquatch."
"You're not even fifty yet mom, and fifty is the new thirty, remember?"
"Do you think hot lesbians would still want me?" she asked and I laughed and shook my head.
"Of course, you could probably even steal Eric from Garrett."
"That was mean, Trooper. I wouldn't mess up his marriage just like I wouldn't mess up Emmett's. I don't screw over people I love."
"It was a joke," I said and heard her exhale deeply.
"I'm going to start sleeping with pennies on my eyes, so if I die in my sleep it won't freak out your father to find me with my eyes open."
"Mom," I said with gentle patience. "If you die in your sleep, your eyes will already be closed."
"Yeah, you're right. I'll start wearing sunglasses all the time," she said and I gave her a quick, "Uh huh."
I knew when my mother got fixated on something to just let it alone until she got over it. Her mind would spin in all different directions, a squiggle she called it, until she finally settled on a rational thought. I never worried about her making the wrong decision; she eventually always made the right one.
"Emma looked beautiful last night," she said and I knew she finally got to the purpose of the call.
"She did," I agreed.
"Well, with a perfect mother and amazing father she couldn't look anything but beautiful. She looked at you like you were something to eat."
I looked over at Emma and chuckled. My mother would freak to know I was with Emma and would most likely begin planning our wedding just so she could dance with Emmett again. I knew I needed to back my way out of this conversation so I said, "I think I'll go look at the pictures of her on my camera."
"That's a good idea, call me before you leave for Africa…oh, and Trooper…"
"Don't marry a whore," she said and hung up. I laughed and looked at Emma shaking her head.
"Your mother is ca raz zy," she said and it angered me just a bit.
"She's not crazy; she is actually a very bright woman. She just takes a different path, a road less traveled," I explained. My mother always amazed me with her ability to fix a situation by doing something so out of the ordinary. Most people would never think of the things my mother comes up with.
"Come on Trooper, the woman set off fireworks at your high school graduation…inside the gym."
"And it was the best graduation ceremony the school ever had…after the fire was put out."
I knew Emma was insinuating that my mother should be an embarrassment to me, but she never was. I was proud of my parents and the love they shared over the years. It made me feel safe and secure. Dad was never embarrassed and looked at mom with only pride, so I wasn't embarrassed either.
Emma's own phone rang and I was glad she left the room to answer it. I didn't want to fight with her when I had such a short amount of time. I made some toast for both of us and waited for her to return to eat. She came back into the room with a smile on her face and I relaxed a little.
"Budge is at Jasmine's," she said and I sighed loudly. The last thing I wanted was my mother declaring all out war with the Whitlocks. I liked Jasmine and didn't want to see her hurt by Budge. He would never commit to one woman, and if he did he would most likely trade her for something bizarre, like a few sticks of dynamite. "She said he fell asleep before anything happened. So much for his playboy reputation," Emma laughed.
"Let's hope he stays asleep," I said and felt my heart speed up at the sound of Emma's laughter.
I stared at her as if trying to memorize every single detail of her face. I knew it would play over and over in my mind while I was in Africa, she would haunt me, just like she has all my life. Her hand reached out and took mine and I moved my attention to her perfect fingers. At that moment my phone rang again and this time Emma sighed loudly.
I picked it up to see it was Dreamer. "Trooper, I'm going to check on dad," she announced and I knew there was nothing I could say to stop her. If I told her I spoke to mom she would worry that dad was dead and mom just hadn't realized it yet.
"Okay, tell mom Budge is at Jasmine's," I said, so mom would stop worrying where he was and begin worrying about his involvement with a Whitlock.
"Oh my God, she's going to freak," Dreamer said with a gasp. "I think I'll….oops, I have to go, bye." She hung up and I glanced over at Emma.
I actually continued on with the conversation so Emma wouldn't comment on my crazy sister, too. "Okay, Dreamer, I'll talk to you later, goodbye."
"Let's go out tonight," Emma said. "We can go to The Cube and dance and pretend like something big isn't hanging over our heads."
"You want to go to The Cube?" I asked and knew she didn't care if Jasper saw us; it was my mother with the grudge, not hers.
"Are you ashamed to be seen with me?" she asked and raised her eyebrows in a challenge. I stood and she jumped from her chair and ran screaming down the hallway. I tackled her onto the bed where I kept her captive the entire morning.