"Maria Estevez is that you," a familiar voice called and I mentally cursed, praying I was wrong.
I turned just as a small body collided with mine. My arms automatically went around the petite figure to keep us both from tumbling to the ground.
"Umm Alice," I finally murmured after catching my breath. "You can't just charge people like that. I was 2.5 seconds away from tossing your ass into traffic!"
"Hence why I grabbed on for dear life," Alice Brandon stepped back with a laugh, green eyes sparkling merrily. She was still just as tiny and bubbly as ever.
"Yeah, I think I will have the bruises to prove it," I said with a wince. The imprints of her arms were still indented in my ribs.
"Sorry I am just so happy to see you. Wait until I tell the others! They are going to be so shocked and happy."
"Ali breathe," I cautioned, worried that she might pass out from lack of oxygen.
She pulled me into another fierce hug. "Damn girl. It's been over a year since I've seen you," she said, releasing me before continuing. "You look amazing by the way!"
"So do you Ali. I see you finally grew your hair out. I like it."
"Thank you," her hand lifted to brush over the smooth length of hair that fell just past her shoulders. "I got tired of the spiky hairdo. Plus, I gotta give them something to grab onto!"
I was choking back a laugh when her expression changed to one of anger. "Where the hell have you been? I've been worried sick about you!"
I shrugged knowing that question was coming. "Auditions and working. I've been meaning to call you, but you know how it goes," I trailed off. Truthfully I'd been avoiding her like the plague. Seeing her would mean seeing him and I just couldn't do it.
"No excuse," she chastised, linking our arms and dragging me into the coffee shop I'd just vacated. "We have so much to catch up on," she babbled, completely unaware of the fact I was trying to inch out of her grip. I'd forgotten how strong the pixie was. "Let's have coffee and catch up."
Alice had the gift of making a demand into a request. You would think that you actually had a choice in the matter. Really, you didn't.
"Ali I really need to get going…," I trailed off as she fixed a stern look on her face.
"You really need to sit because you are not leaving until I find out why one of my best friends pulled a disappearing act on me. You changed your number, didn't even bother to give me the new one. You moved, left no forwarding address. That shit hurt Maria! I want to know why," she demanded before turning away and ordering both of us an iced latte as if nothing was out of the ordinary.
I went to find us a seat while she waited for our drinks, unsure of what to tell her. Certainly not the truth because then she would see me for what I truly was. It had started with a kiss. I should have pulled away and slapped his face, but once his lips had touched mine- I'd been lost forever. That kiss still haunted my dreams and left me aching for more.
Who could blame me? Emmett McCarty was an Adonis whose body needed to be worshipped constantly. He was six-five to my five-five with muscles that rippled and moved under his skin even when he wasn't flexing. He had curly black hair my fingers longed to tangle in, smoldering blue eyes, deep dimples my tongue itched to lick, and a grin that could melt your panties off. On top of being breathtakingly beautiful, he was smart, funny, and a perpetual joker. All the things I so happened to like in a man.
Unfortunately, he'd been picking Alice up for a date the first time I'd seen him. So, I had to keep my greedy little hands to myself. I'd hoped they wouldn't work out, but three months later they'd still been dating. A part of me had died every day they were together. I used to sit across from them, wanting to claw her eyes out every time she looked at him. The desire to break her fingers every time she touched him seemed overwhelming. I wanted to scream that he was mine and rip her throat out before sinking my teeth into his skin marking him for the entire world to see. I had never felt this way about anyone and it shocked the hell out of me.
My mind traveled back to the night that changed everything. I'd been crashing with Alice until I found a place of my own. I'd gotten into a major fight with my former roommate and ended up homeless. Alice had immediately offered me shelter. On this particular night, she'd been late getting home. Emmett had come by to see her and I'd told him he could sit and wait until she got home. We'd had a few beers while playing video games. I chatted a mile a minute about any and everything, completely enjoying this time. He'd beat me several times due to the fact I couldn't focus my attention on anything but him. The way he sucked on his lower lip when he was concentrating had my panties drenched.
"Ria, do I make you nervous?" He asked during a lull in conversation.
"Huh?" I asked pretending I hadn't heard him correctly.
He stopped the game and asked me again, "Do I make you nervous?"
"Of course not," I said with a slight laugh. "Why would I be nervous?"
"Well...," he replied and I couldn't help but look his way. He was chewing on his lip thoughtfully and I was seconds away from doing it for him.
"'Well', what?" I asked shifting slightly to relieve some of the pressure building in between my thighs. Yup, I was going to have a party with my wonderfully devoted battery operated boyfriend when he finally left.
"I've noticed when you get nervous your accent comes out a little more. Just trying to figure out what has you so keyed up. "
My breath lodged in my throat. How did he know that? It was true; whenever I was nervous or agitated, my Spanish accent became more pronounced. It was something so minor, but Emmett McCarty had noticed something about me! Yup, I was going to swoon, then die of embarrassment.
What happened next I would totally blame on the three beers running through my blood.
"Estás tan puta caliente," I sighed wistfully.
He reared back staring at me in shock. "Did you just call me hot?"
Oh shit! He understood Spanish. Just my freaking luck! I willed the floor to open up and swallow me, but it didn't happen.
"Ah no," I said quickly. I was pretty sure my face had flushed in embarrassment. "I said it was hot in here."
"I'm pretty sure that wasn't what I heard," he teased and I wanted to die.
"Y-y-yes it was," I stammered, avoiding his eyes.
He smirked "Mi español puede ser oxidado, pero yo lo oí."
Yup kill me now his Spanish was pretty good.
"No need to be embarrassed Ria. I have a mirror and it tells me every day how incredibly hot I am. Thanks for noticing though," he drawled with a twinkle in his eyes.
Had he really just said that?
"Conceited much," I said with an eye roll.
He started chuckling and I realized he was joking. Emmett had one of those booming laughs that could shake the room. It was so infectious you couldn't help but join in. At that moment, I was too mortified to do anything but gawk. Not only was he hot, but he knew Spanish as well? My mother would love him.
"Relax," he tugged me until I was nestled into his side. "If it makes you feel any better, I think you're pretty hot too."
My heart literally careened to a stop in my chest. This felt so good and so right, but I knew I had to pull away. Remember Alice, a tiny voice whispered in my ear. Alice who, another voice whispered in my other.
"Thank you," I whispered.
"I've never heard you speak Spanish before. It's pretty sexy."
Yeah, I hadn't, I thought silently and added, I'd been thinking about the sexy that is you too buddy!
"Gracias," I murmured, not trusting myself to say more.
He stared down at me in curiosity "You know I have to ask right?"
My eyebrows furrowed as I considered everything he could possible ask.
"Why are you single?"
"Why wouldn't I be?"
"Can't answer a question with a question Ria," he poked my arm lightly. "I just think you are a very beautiful, intelligent woman who likes video games and sports. You don't seem like a nag, but you're feisty when you need to be. In the time I've known you- I haven't seen you date or see some dude knocking down your door. And let me tell you it's not because they don't want to. I've seen how men look at you," he said strongly.
"And how do they look at me," I asked curiously. I knew I was attractive, but I wanted to see what he said.
What he said next completely floored me.
"Like you are a piece of ripe, juicy fruit they can't wait to sink their teeth into."
Cue spontaneous combustion. I should have been offended but coming from his lips it was poetry in motion.
"Wow," I breathed.
He smirked. "So spill what's your type?"
I gulped as his arm came to rest behind my head. "Oh you know tall, dark, and handsome. Then again they could be tall, blonde, and handsome," I corrected quickly seeing his eyes light up. "Basically it's all about personality. Looks are nice, but when that's all gone all you are left with is personality. If the personality sucks, then you are screwed later on."
Was he playing with my hair? Yup his fingers were toying with the ends of my hair.
"That's actually a pretty good way to look at it. Too often we get caught up on the outward appearance."
He picked up the game controller, breaking the moment. "Ready for another ass kicking?"
I scoffed picking up mine. "Dream on McCarty!"
I pulled my head out of my ass and stopped ogling Emmett long enough to kick his ass in a game of MLB2011. When I won, I jumped up and bust out in the running man. It was my standard victory dance.
"In your face," I shouted fist pumping a few times before taking a seat.
"And that my dear is how you deliver an ass kicking," I taunted smugly.
"My controller doesn't work," he protested, tossing it on the sofa with a glare.
"I smell bullshit," I said with a shrug. "Don't worry; your secret is safe with me."
"Why you little," Emmett started to say.
Before I knew it, Emmett was on top of me tickling me until I couldn't breathe. I struggled against his hold but I couldn't get away. All I could do is lay there while his long fingers raced along my ribs.
"Emmett," I shrieked in between breaths "Stop!"
"Say uncle," he demanded as I squirmed underneath him.
"No," I panted, caught between laughing and crying.
"No," I gasped arching my back hoping to throw him off. Emmett was a heavy son of a gun and I couldn't budge him. "Emmett I can't breathe," I panted. "Please!"
"Promise to behave?" he asked sternly. "Or, you get more of this," he wiggled his fingers playfully.
'Yes, yes, yes," I felt like I was about to explode from laughing so much.
He reached up wiping the tears from my eyes as I struggled to catch my breath. "You ok?"
"Yeah," I breathed as it dawned on me the intimate position we were in. During all that tussling, I'd ended up flat on my back with Emmett wedged firmly between my legs. I could see the exact moment the same thought registered in his brain. Apparently, both his "brains," I concluded as something poked me. A very big something I might add, as I wiggled against him.
I moaned his name at the same time he groaned mine. In that next second, his lips captured mine. Shock, want, and awe all ran through my body as our tongues tangled in a slow sensuous kiss. My fingers curled into his hair pulling him closer as another moan escaped my lips. We'd barely tasted each other when the key in the lock snapped us both back to reality. He pushed away so fast I'd barely had time to register him moving. The look of disgust on Emmett's face as he stared at me was still engraved in my heart.
Alice bounded in all smiles and apologies. "Oh someone's happy to see me," she purred dropping into Emmett's lap. "I hope he didn't bore you too much Ria?"
I had mumbled something incoherent before escaping to the bathroom to cry in peace. By the time I'd returned, they'd taken themselves off somewhere and I'd moved out a few days later. Nothing like making a fool out of yourself to motivate you.
"Earth to Ria," Alice said waving a dainty hand in front of my face. I jumped, startled to see her settling onto the sofa next to me. "Where was your mind?" She asked, giving me a strange look. "You were completely spaced out."
"Just thinking about an audition I have in a few days," I lied smoothly.
"You still dance?"
"Of course, mostly whenever I can find work."
"That's good. You were always happiest when you were dancing."
"Yup," I said sipping the latte she'd brought for me.
"What have you done?"
"A few music videos. It's been an amazing experience."
She set her latte aside and I knew it was question time.
"So where have you been luv? I've truly been worried about you."
"I know. I'm sorry things just got all twisted and hectic in my brain. I just needed time to find Maria. With the dance auditions and working full time, I just haven't had time."
"You still could have let me know you were alright. If you just needed time alone- I would have given you that without a problem. But, to just disappear…," she shook her head. "That just ain't right."
I bowed my head and agreed, "I'm a bad friend."
"No, you're my best friend," she corrected and reached over to take my hand. "I am always here for you. No matter what, but if you do this again, I will kick your ass!"
I couldn't fight the smirk that appeared on my face. I was at least five inches taller and fifteen pounds heavier than her. Who was she kidding? I could so take her.
"You and what army Brandon?"
"No army, just a well-placed kick to one of those sexy legs and it's all over."
"You wouldn't," I gasped in mock horror.
Her grin was downright evil as she replied, "Care to test me?"
"Ah no," I back peddled. "I'll just take your word for it dear."
"That's what I thought," she said with a smug smile. "Em is going to be so thrilled to hear I saw you. Every so often he asks if I've heard from you," she explained and my earlier mischief and smiling face disappeared.
My heart kicked up a few notches at the mention of his name. Why would he bother to ask about me? Last time I'd seen him, he was running the other way.
I covered my dismay with a surprised smile. "Wow you two are still together?"
She opened her mouth to answer, but the ringing of her phone cut her off. "Hold on sec," I tuned out her conversation not wanting to be nosy. "I'm sorry Ria. I've got to go," she scribbled on a napkin quickly. "We are having a housewarming party next Saturday. Please come," she pleaded, pressing the paper into my hand.
"I have an audition that day," I mumbled which wasn't a lie. However, the thought of seeing the man I still loved killed me inside. I realized the moment our lips touched that it wasn't just lust. I absolutely loved him. I had been from the moment I opened Alice's door to let him in. It was one of the reasons I simply faded out of their lives. I didn't want to cause any more trouble.
"Just come whenever you can. I'm pretty sure the party isn't breaking up until the cops come knocking," she smirked. "And since all the neighbors have been invited, I doubt that will happen. Ria, just come. I've miss you friend."
"Ok," I agreed standing to give her a hug. "I'll see you Saturday."
"Awesome," she squealed as I wrote my info down for her. "Wear something hot," she called back as she blew me a kiss.
I watched her leave praying for a freak accident so I wouldn't have to attend this party.
The rest of the week passed in a blur. When I wasn't working, I spent my time in the dance studio pushing my body to the limits. Alice was right; this was the one place I was truly happy. When I danced, I left everything on the dance floor. It had helped me work through my anger over my father's senseless death when I was ten. It helped me come to terms with loving the unobtainable as well as losing a good friend. The day of the audition loomed closer. I couldn't tell if the butterflies that fluttered in my stomach were due to the audition or seeing Emmett again. I had already decided I would be cordial, but aloof when I saw him. I didn't want him thinking I was still harping over that night. Never mind the fact that I was. A simple kiss had ruined me for anyone else.
The audition went well, but I wouldn't know if I got the part until Monday morning. If I got the gig, I would be a backup dancer on Ne-Yo's tour. It would involve traveling for a few months, but I honestly did not mind. It would keep me away from the people I wished to avoid the most. Now that Alice had found me, I knew she wouldn't let me disappear again.
I arrived home with plenty of time to prepare for the night. I took a two hour bath to ease my tired muscles. Another hour was spent on hair and makeup before slipping into my black, figure-hugging dress. I turned and checked out my ass in the mirror with a smile. Yup, fit just right. It was one of my favorites; every time I wore it I stopped traffic. If I was going to have to wear a fake smile all night, I would do it looking fuck hot. Maybe there would be some single men at this party, I thought as I stepped into my four inch silver snake skin stilettos. I could do this. I could go to this party, suffer in silence, and leave. Right?
I was laughing at something Edward said when a vision in black walked through the door. Her face was averted so I could only see her profile and her killer curves. Usher's "OMG" chose that exact moment to start playing and I nodded along in agreement. Damn if I only I could see her face.
"Who's that," I asked poking Edward in the ribs with my elbow.
He peered in the direction I indicated and let loose a low whistle. "I don't know. Must be the friend Alice was talking about earlier. Does the face match the rest of that perfection?"
I shrugged taking a swig of my beer. "She turned away before I could see her," I replied.
All I had now was a view of dark hair flowing down her slender back in a riot of mahogany curls and a killer ass. I ached to bury my nose in those curls while kneading her tiny waist with my hands. I wondered what she would smell like. Jasmine I decided, she looked like the type. A memory threatened to surface of another dark haired beauty that smelled like Jasmine and I pushed it back.
I noticed Edward still staring and I shot him a dirty look. "Aren't you in a committed relationship?"
He held up his hands in surrender, "Sorry bro didn't know you had dibs on her."
"I don't have dibs on anything just don't think . . .,"
"Hi guys," Alice chirped from behind us. "Enjoying the party," she asked leaning up kiss us both before ruffling Edwards's already mussed hair. I mean seriously the kid's hair could really use a good brushing.
"Yes," we both said in unison and she clapped her hands in glee.
"Ali, did you see the girl who came in wearing black?" Edward asked casually and I glared at him. His answering smirk almost got him knocked out.
She stood on tip toe trying to see where he was pointing. My lips twitched, but I knew better than to laugh. Everyone in here was taller than her short ass. There was no way she would see anything without a boost.
"Probably one of the neighbors," she said dismissively. Just then Kelly Rowland's "Motivation" started playing and people began to shuffle off to the makeshift dance floor Alice had created. I flexed my aching back and cursed the fact that we would have to move all that furniture back into place later. The crowd shifted a little and I could see those hips I'd already committed to memory swaying in time to the music. Two hands slide around her waist a growl escaped my lips as they started grinding into each other.
"Did you just growl," Alice asked watching me closely.
Edward smirked. "Sounded like a growl man."
He was going to die before the night was over. I could see that now.
"Just drop it," I murmured. "Let's just dance?"
"Thought you would never ask," she sighed pulling me on the dance floor.
I'm sure we created a funny picture. Her head barely reached my chest. I was whispering something in Alice ear when something urged me to look up. My mystery woman turned and our eyes collided for a brief second before she turned away again.
"Maria," I whispered forgetting all about Alice. That was the friend she'd been so excited about. I hadn't seen her since that night, but she was never far from my thoughts. The hurt in her face when I'd pulled away from her was seared into my brain. I'd wanted to explain and set everything right, but suddenly Alice was in my lap nuzzling my jaw and Maria had left the room. I'd planned to talk to her a few days later, but she'd vanished without a trace and I knew it had to do with me.
God she looked amazing. My eyes trailed over her noticing the way the fabric clung to her curves like a second skin. Was she even wearing underwear under that thing? I was seconds away from storming over there and punching the fool she was dancing with in the face. I didn't like how he was touching her. Alice noticed I'd stopped dancing and looked up inquiringly. Her eyes followed the direction of mine. "Ria!" She shouted over the noise of the crowd. Alice elbowed her way through the crowd like a mini bulldozer. I followed close at her heels. There was no way I was letting her out of my sight. Alice pulled her into a tight hug, effectively tearing her away from the douche she'd been dancing with and I breathed a sigh of relief. Thank God for small miracles.
"When did you get here?" Alice was asking.
"Not too long ago. I tried looking for you, but the hottie over there asked if I wanted to dance and I couldn't resist. Hey Emmett," she said giving me a small wave.
"Hi Maria," I started to step forward for a hug, but the look in those liquid brown eyes stopped me cold. What was that about?
"I have a gift for you in the car. Wasn't sure what you guys needed so I hope you can use."
"Doesn't matter, the greatest gift is you being here."
"Well damn I wish I'd known that before spending money," she joked.
"Very funny," Alice said around a laugh "I have someone I want you to meet. Wait here and dance with Emmett. I'll be right back," she called dashing off.
"Well you heard the lady," I drawled, looking forward to holding her in my arms. A slow song had started to play. I could kiss the DJ for this one.
She sighed as I took her in my arms. It wasn't a happy sigh. It was more of a 'God, you get on my nerves' kind of sigh. That shit hurt.
"How have you been Emmett?" She asked politely.
"Can't complain," I said with a shrug pulling her close. She still smelled the same, like Jasmine. My nose itched to graze her neck before nipping at the tan skin exposed. "How have you been?"
"Fantastic! Been so busy with work and auditions, life just got away from me for a little bit."
She was lying! Her smile looked fake and not her usual one; the one that reached her eyes, causing them to sparkle. "Yeah, we were wondering where you had disappeared off too. You really had Alice worried," I chastised lightly.
"She told me when I saw her," she ducked her head. "I never meant to alarm anybody."
"Right. You pack your stuff and leave without a word. Sure. No one will be alarmed," I replied sarcastically.
She stiffened in my arms. "What the hell do you care Emmett? Gee I thought I was doing you a favor."
"Me," I asked in shock "What do I have to do with this?"
Those lush lips opened to say something, but she must have thought better of it. Instead she shook her head and relaxed her muscles. "Absolutely nothing. As I told Ali, I just needed to focus on my dancing and stuff. It was never my intentions to worry anyone."
"Well I'm glad you're here now," I told her deeply.
There were so many things I wanted to say to her but the words just couldn't form properly. Emmett McCarty didn't do sensitive. I was loud and boisterous with a need to be the joker. Feelings were for pansies like Edward Masen, but there was something about Maria that had always brought out that side. The first time I looked into her eyes, I wished it was her I was picking up for a date. We could laugh and talk for hours and I was never bored. She wasn't all about fashion and facials she knew sports and video games. The one night I'd spent with her had been the best night of my life and I'd screwed it up by kissing her. I'd been so mad at Alice for walking in when she did.
"I can smell the wood burning up there," she teased lightly "What are you thinking about?"
"Just you and the last time I saw you," I said absently.
The grin slide from her face and her expression blanked. "Oh I see. Hmm I don't remember much about that night except that I beat the crap out of you in MLB."
Had she really forgotten our kiss? Granted it had been brief, but I could still feel the imprint of her lips against mine. That one moment on the lips had set something off in me and I haven't been right since. Tonight had been the first time I'd been remotely interested in another woman.
"Is that all you remember?" I asked testily. No one forgot kissing Emmett Dale McCarty!
She shrugged turning her back to my chest, "Should I remember more?"
My mind blanked for a minute as she grinded her butt into me. I was pretty sure she had to feel what she was doing to me.
"Are you shitting me?" I asked nearly breathless.
"I don't believe so. Care to refresh my memory?" she asked as she turned around with a bored look.
Oh I could refresh it alright by kissing the living daylights out of her. Somehow I didn't think that would go over well.
"Apparently not," I mumbled sullenly herding her off the dance floor as the song ended. How could she forget?
"There you are," Alice called dragging a tall blond female in her wake. "I thought you two would still be dancing?"
"It got a little crowded out there," Maria said with a smile.
"Make sure you take her out again later," Alice warned me with a glint in her eyes. What was the pixie up too tonight?
"Yes ma'am," I drawled tipping an imaginary brim.
Alice was bouncing with excitement as she pulled Rosalie Hale close to her side "Maria Estevez I'd like you to meet my wife, Rosalie Hale. Rose this is the infamous, Maria but we usually just call her Ria."
I wish I'd had a camera to capture the look on Maria's face. She looked like she was suffocating.
"Hi Rosalie, nice to meet you."
"Just Rose please," Rose pulled her into a hug. Maria recovered to return the warm embrace. "I've heard so much about you. I feel like I've known you for years!"
I could see the smile playing at the corners of her lips as her hands flew to her hips. "Ali, you have some s'plaining to do!"
Alice laughed, "I know, but not here. Come into the bedroom and I will tell you the whole story. Emmett would you be a doll and keep an eye on the guests."
"Sure Alice," I agreed wondering why Maria was looking at me with that weird expression.
Well fuck me sideways. As far as dropping bombs were concerned, this one was certainly a doozy. I had known Alice for five years and she'd never hinted that she rowed for the same team. It didn't make me love her any less. In fact, I was happy for her. Yet, I was still confused as she had dated a lot of guys during our friendship. It took twenty minutes and a slew of questions to finally get everything squared away.
Alice told me she'd always been into woman, but her parents would have disowned her if they found out she was a lesbian. She'd tried dating a few guys hoping one would inspire her, but it never happened. Instead, she'd met Rose. Eventually, their parents wanted to know who the special person was they were hiding away so they'd concocted a plan. They would have one of their guy friends play their boyfriend until they were ready to come out. In walked Emmett sexy, smart, and willing to be the fake boyfriend when needed. He was the perfect guy to bring home because all parents loved him.
"So when did you stop pretending," I asked curiously.
They both looked at each other before Rose answered.
"It was actually Emmett who put a stop to it. He sat us down a few days before you moved and told us to get our shit together. We were two grown ass women with careers and it shouldn't matter what our parents thought. He was getting tired of putting his happiness on hold so we could have ours. He gave us a few days to do the right thing or else he would simply bail on us."
"The fall out actually wasn't as bad as we thought it would be," Alice continued with a smile. "My father actually commended me on finding such a hottie."
Rose blushed and I laughed. I'd met her Dad a few times; I would not expect him to say something like that.
"Ok. I understand why you didn't tell your parents. That doesn't explain why you didn't tell me." I asked quietly. Things could have been so much different if she had.
Alice stood and sat next to me on the bed, "Ria, I was scared and didn't know how you would react. Growing up…I've seen how people treat gays and lesbians. I've seen the closet of friends become strangers and I didn't want that to happen. You are my best friend; I never wanted to lose you."
I should really kick her ass six ways from Sunday, but I didn't want to ruin my dress in the process. So, she would escape unharmed tonight. My mind started thinking of ways to pay her back.
"You won't," I promised. "I love you no matter who or what you are Ally cat."
She smiled at the nickname I'd bestowed on her the first time we meet "Love you too Ria, which is why I am going to take this moment to give you some much needed advice. Go get your man!" I nearly choked on my spit, "What man?"
She looked at Rose and they both snickered. "Emmett," she purred. "You are in love with him and he is in love with you."
"And how do you know this?"
"Your eyes," she said simply. "When you left, all the fire in Emmett's eyes burned out. It was like he was searching for something that he could never find. I realized not long after you left that it was you. He would get this faraway look in his eyes anytime your name was mentioned. I finally cornered him one day and he told me the whole story. As for you, there was something in your eyes the night you two hung out, but I couldn't put my finger on it. It wasn't until you were gone I put two and two together. I feel like such a heel for not realizing it sooner."
"We both do," Rose added, coming to sit on my other side "We never meant to hurt anyone."
"You didn't," I protested.
"We did. If not for us, you and Emmett would be together."
"Oh stop," I shushed standing up. "No more take of this. What's done is done and all we can do is move forward," I smiled. "I'm ready to party, what about you girls?"
Once we left the room, I parted ways with them to find my prey. Knowing what I knew now, there was nothing that was going to stop me from getting what was mine. Not even that little brunette Emmett was currently talking to. My eyes narrowed to dangerous slits when she touched his arm. Oh hell no! Someone was losing a finger tonight.
I slithered up to them and grabbed his hand. "Dance with me Emmett," I cooed giving him a pretty pout.
"I'm kinda in the middle of a conversation," he said barely sparing me a look. So that was how we were going to play it? Ha, he didn't know who he was messing with.
I turned to the girl with the doe eyes. She was cute and all but a little skinny if you asked me. Emmett needed someone with real curves. Someone like me.
"Hi, I'm Maria. I don't believe we've meet?"
Her eyes darted between us briefly. "Uh, no we have not. I'm Bella," she said with a knowing smile.
I shook her hand because my mother had raised me better than that. "Bella, it's so nice to meet you, but this…," I said pausing as I jerked my thumb in Em's direction. "…sexy beast is all mine. So, you might want to find someone else to flirt with."
Emmett's jaw dropped in shock and Bella burst out laughing. "No problem," she said backing off with a smirk.
"Now we can dance mi amor," I purred, letting my accent come through.
His eyes darkened dramatically as I pulled him out on the dance floor. "Ria, not that I didn't enjoy that little show you just put on but Bella is…,"
"Unimportant," I breathed burying my face in his chest and breathing deep. God he smelled so good.
His laughter vibrated through him and I looked up at him "Bella is my friend Peter's girlfriend. You have nothing to worry about."
My mouth spread into a saucy grin "Trust me. I'm not worried. Everything you could ever want or need is right in front of you."
"Hmm," he said twirling me around. "What brought this change on?"
"Alice," I said simply.
"So she explained everything?"
"Yup," I sighed happy to be in his arms. He felt like home.
"You know, if you hadn't run off we could have avoided all this," he asked with a frown.
"I didn't run. I merely removed myself from what was a sticky situation. I don't make a practice of making out with my friends boyfriends."
"I hope not," he growled. "Because from here on out these lips belong only to me."
My reply was cut off by his lips touching down on mine and I immediately forgot everything I was about to say. His tongue swept into my mouth boldly. Our lips and tongues stayed connected and entangled until we both needed to come up for air.
"Wow," I breathed, running a thumb along his lower lip.
He smirked knowingly. "Memory refreshed yet?"
I nodded, catching sight of Alice and Rose giving us the thumbs up. "We have an audience," I whispered.
"I can't see anyone else but you," he whispered back and my heart dissolved into a puddle somewhere at his feet.
"I love you, Emmett."
"Not as much as I love you, Maria."
I shot him a sly grin "Where do we go from here?"
"Mine," I growled pulling him down for another kiss.
"Yours," he confirmed just before our lips collided.
A/N To my lovely beta and prereader theunderstudy and Jaspers_Bella thanks for encouraging me even when I think is not good. I may not have won the contest but I still think we rocked it.