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Adore

A/N I hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving! ^_^

Chapter 18 –Dust

"It's okay, pumpkin, I'll catch you if you fall."

Emmett was the one who suggested indoor rock climbing for their date. He was already way ahead of her, alerting her to the fact that she was indeed out of shape. On the bright side, however, it proved an even better distraction than bowling. Her lie mode was always on, and she was starting to believe that she could be good at lying. Not that she intended to become a chronic liar, of course.

Bella wasn't generally afraid of heights, but she was highly self-conscious. There were probably about ten people watching her from below. Sure, she thought, they were most likely just zoned out and waiting for their turns, but it was still discomfiting. And what if she fell? She could almost feel herself start to blush at the thought.

Emmett waited at the top for her, and when she finally made it, they descended. She almost slipped three times, but she figured that was actually pretty good for her.

"Man, I need to do that for real one day," Emmett said.

Bella did not return the sentiment. "As long as I don't have to…"

"You don't," Emmett said. "In fact, you're not allowed.

"What? Why?"

"Too dangerous." Emmett winked when he saw that Bella took this as an affront.

"You think I can't do it?"

"Nope," he said the word with a pop on the 'p', only infuriating her more.

"I could if I wanted to!"

"As long as I have a say, my say is no," Emmett nodded.

"I'm more likely to die in a car accident," Bella pointed out.

"Hmm, good point. Maybe we shouldn't let you drive anymore…"

"Emmett!"

He laughed. "I'm joking, Bella."

"Liar."

Emmett chuckled. "So what do you want to do now?"

Bella thought about it for a moment. "Well we could have an early dinner if you're hungry, or we could stop by the house and get the mail like we said we would."

Edward and Jasper had offered to do it, but Bella had insisted that she and Emmett would.

A knowing smile crept onto Emmett's face. "You miss our little home, don't you?"

Bella couldn't deny it. "It's our home. How could I not miss it?"

Emmett nodded. "Okay, we'll head over now. Sure you don't want another go?" He looked over at the wall they had just climbed.

Bella shook her head. "Noooo. Let's go."


There wasn't much in the mailbox aside from bills and a postcard from Esme and Carlisle saying how wonderful Italy was, and that they'd all have to go there one day.

"Your parents are so sweet," Bella said, sitting in Emmett's lap at the kitchen table. "Think we'll ever get to travel?"

"Of course!" Emmett had no intention of staying put forever. "We'll go everywhere. Just have to decide where to go first."

"And save up for it," Bella said.

"That too," Emmett frowned. "We'll do it soon. Maybe after you graduate. It could be your graduation present."

Bella perked up. "I get a graduation present?" She hadn't expected that. Graduation sex, sure, but not a trip.

Emmett almost laughed at her look of surprise. "All graduates get a present. Some get cars. Some get trips. So where do you want to go?"

Bella didn't even know where to start. She'd always wanted to travel, but she never thought about to where; it was simply a matter of anywhere.

"Norway? Japan? Canada?"

"Interesting range of countries," Emmett said. "Nowhere in particular you've been dying to go?"

"Nope. As long as you're there," Bella leaned down and kissed him. "I think I'm going to walk around the house."

Emmett quirked a brow. "We haven't been gone that long, Bells, and we'll be back in a few days."

"I know, but I want to make sure everything is okay; make sure raccoons haven't taken up residence." She stood up.

"Alright, baby. Let me know when you're hungry," Emmett stretched his arms above his head. "And watch your back."

"Why?" Bella had a moment of near panic. Had he found out about Peter?

Emmett stood up alongside her and grabbed her ass. "Because you never know when I'm going to attack." He squeezed.

Bella giggled, relieved. "I'm always prepared for an Emmett attack."

"That's what you think, but you can't see me coming every time."

"I think I've seen you coming quite a lot, actually," Bella sniggered.

Emmett slapped her butt. "Dirty girl. Go take your weird stroll around the house, and try not to be eaten by raccoons."

"Okay," Bella went in for one last kiss. "I won't be long."


The house had collected a nice layer of dust in the past week or so. Bella made a mental note to do a thorough cleaning when they returned. There was something unnerving about it. It was just dust, but for some reason the house felt…abandoned; as if they hadn't been there in years. As if it had been invaded and was no longer safe. She realized, of course, that it was just her nerves about the break-in at Esme and Carlisle's that had her shaken up. She was paranoid that their house would be next, and nowhere felt entirely safe. Maybe it wasn't the best idea to walk through it alone, she thought.

Don't be silly. No one is going to pop out of the shadows and attack you.

Bella walked into their bedroom, plopping down on their gigantic bed. She spread her arms out as if to hug it. Was it possible to miss a bed this much, she wondered? And it still smelled like her boys. That was without a doubt the best smell in the world, she decided.

And yet she still wasn't comfortable. Why wasn't she comfortable?

You're in your own house! There's no place better.

She couldn't hear Emmett moving around, either. The house was completely silent. Even the pipes weren't making noise. There was nothing, and it unsettled her. But no, she'd be brave. After all, what was there to be scared of?

How about the guy who punched you in the face, hmm? Or Peter Wesley?

Bella quickly tried to divert her thoughts. She peered around the room looking for anything to distract her. The nightstand caught her attention, as the drawer was sticking out. There wasn't much in there aside from the bell they sometimes hung on the door to alert them to her sleepwalking. It had been awhile since they used it. It jingled as she picked it up; such a stark contrast to the silence in the rest of the house. So much silence…

All right, it was time to go. Stop freaking yourself out!

She ventured out into the hallway, the floorboards creaking with each step. She told herself this was not the makings of a horror movie.

"Emmett?" She really wished he wasn't being so quiet. He wasn't normally this quiet, was he?

"Rawr!"

Bella screamed, only to find herself safely encased in Emmett's arms. "I told you to watch your back." He started kissing her neck.

"That was mean," Bella laughed, breathless. She turned around, meeting Emmett's kisses. "You know, I think the house is getting stale and dusty because it hasn't seen any action in awhile."

"Oh yeah? Well we must fix that." Emmett lifted her up and carried her back to the bedroom. It was just the two of them for once; there was no fear of interruption by Edward or Jasper. As much as they both enjoyed their foursomes, sometimes it was nice to have one-on-one time.

Emmett divested them both of their clothing, gliding his hands over Bella's bare skin. She was so smooth and soft.

"So how's this date going so far?" Emmett asked, sliding into her. Bella hissed.

"Quite well, I would say."

He plunged into her again, pressing his lips to her neck and gently sucking. That always drove her crazy. This time, however, it seemed to drive her even crazier, as it suddenly felt as if the room was shaking.

Damn, she's really into it!

And then he realized that the room was actually shaking.

Emmett stopped, looking around the room, then at Bella, who had just opened her eyes. She was as startled and confused as he was. The bells in the nightstand were jingling loudly, and they were pretty sure they heard one or two things crash to the floor somewhere in the house.

"Earthquake?" Bella was trying not to freak out, but she had never experienced an earthquake before. Emmett stayed on top of her, acting as a shield in case the roof decided to cave in. It was unnecessary, however, as it ended almost as soon as it began.

"Well that was unexpected," Bella laughed nervously, still shaken up.

"Are you okay?" Emmett asked, watching her with concern.

"Yeah, it just gave me a bit of a start." Bella rested her head back on the pillow, attempting to calm down. It had effectively ruined the moment, unfortunately. Emmett rolled off of her, making sure he still had an arm around her.

"Stupid cockblocking earthquake," he said with a heavy sigh. "Do you still want to go out for dinner?"

Bella smiled. "Of course. We're not going to let this date get completely ruined, are we?"

"That's my girl!" Emmett nuzzled her head. "I should call Jasper and see if everything's okay there."

"Oh god, you're right. I hope there wasn't too much damage." She cringed just thinking about some of the expensive vases and artwork that Carlisle and Esme had collected over the years. "It figures that things like this would happen while we're taking care of their house. I think the universe is trying to make us out to be the worst house sitters ever."

"Hey, it's not our fault that someone managed to break in. And I know I'm good in bed, but I can't be blamed for causing an earthquake."

"Hmm, I don't know. We might have to investigate that further," Bella said. "We don't want to jump to false conclusions, after all. Think of all the earthquakes we might be able to prevent!"

"You're right! Should we experiment with this theory now, or not risk another earthquake?"

"As someone once said at some point in history, there is no time like the present," Bella straddled him, piercing herself on his stiff cock once again.


Jasper wasn't expecting to get a call from Emmett during his and Bella's date, so he was naturally a little worried when Emmett's name popped up on his phone. The only reason he would call, Jasper thought, is if something bad had happened to Bella.

"What's wrong?" Was the first thing out of Jasper's mouth.

"Huh? Nothing. Bella and I are just leaving the house and heading out for dinner. I just wanted to check in and make sure everything is okay," Emmett said.

Jasper was perplexed. "Why would you need to check in? And why are you interrupting your date with Bella to call me if nothing is wrong?"

"Actually, I thought you would have called me considering what happened."

"What do you mean?"

"Didn't you feel the earthquake?"

Edward watched his oldest brother from across the living room, noting how fish-like he appeared. "What's happening?" He asked.

"I don't know," Jasper told him, quickly resuming his confusing conversation with Emmett. "What earthquake?" Edward's eyes widened in shock.

"The earthquake that shook the house about fifteen minutes ago," Emmett said. "I guess it didn't hit over there…"

"Holy shit!" Images of Bella being crushed under falling buildings and debris flashed through his head. "Is Bella okay?"

"Yeah, we're both fine. She was a little shaken up, but she's otherwise okay. A few things in the house broke, but nothing irreplaceable. Bella was worried that mom and dad's house was hit."

"Well we didn't feel a thing." Jasper looked at Edward, who was about to go into a panic. "It's okay," he said, "There was an earthquake back at the house, but they're fine."

"Anyway," Emmett said, "I'll let you go now." He was beginning to wish he'd never called. He could feel the minutes slipping by; minutes he could be spending actually enjoying his date. He could tell that Bella was relieved, though.

"When will you be back?" Jasper asked.

"In a few hours," Emmett was getting irritated. "Gotta go now."

"How – " Emmett hung up on him, somewhat satisfied with himself. Sometimes it was nice to fuck with Jasper.

"Ready for food?" He asked.

"Starving!" Bella exclaimed. "I think I just burned all of the calories I ate at breakfast."

"Yeah, I'm a great weight-loss inducer." Emmett pulled her into his side as they walked out the front door. "Not that you need to lose any more weight. In fact, you need to eat two dinners tonight."

"Hey, Jasper's been feeding me tons of food. I've already gained five pounds." Bella peered down at her waist. Yeah, she was still too thin, and it wasn't healthy or attractive, but she was improving. Her appetite had returned, and it was only a matter of time until she was back to normal. That little earthquake had done a number on her, however. The idea of food was not that appealing right then, but she would eat anyway. She already felt guilty about how Emmett and Edward were going to feel in two days' time when she told them the truth about her professor. The least she could do was not make them worry in other ways.

"Dickquake."

Bella blinked. "What?"

"From now on, any earthquake I'm involved in shall be called 'dickquake' because, for one, earthquakes are total dicks and cockblockers. And secondly, my dick is just that good." Emmett looked very happy with himself.

"Huh, I guess you're right." She definitely couldn't deny the power of Emmett's cock. Damn, she was a lucky girl. She didn't deserve them.

"Are you okay?"

The question took her by surprise. Emmett was watching her, analyzing.

"Of course. Why, do I look traumatized?" She wanted to make light of the question, but he looked serious. She was always amazed by how quickly Emmett could go from being silly to being dead serious.

"You've just seemed a little off lately."

"Off?" Oh god. Why did he have to be so observant? And why was she such a terrible actress? She actually thought she'd been pulling it off.

"Well, preoccupied," Emmett clarified.

Bella was tired of answering that question. She'd been asked it a billion times, and she almost always felt compelled to lie. She was tired of that, too, but she was bound by her secret for the time being.

"You never believe me when I tell you I'm okay, so I'm not really sure what to say," Bella replied.

"The truth, Bells."

"I'm okay."

"Liar," Emmett teased.

"Well, if I'm not," Bella said, "then it's only a matter of time until you find out." Maybe that was a cruel thing to say, she thought, but it was hard to commit entirely to the same lie over and over again. He would realize what she meant soon enough, anyway.

"Ah, so you aren't okay. You have an interesting way of being honest." Emmett wasn't happy about this, but he wasn't about to make a huge fuss. He knew he shouldn't have said anything to risk ruining their date.

"Can we let this go for now?"

Emmett nodded. "I just wish you would trust me."

"I do. It's me I don't trust."

Emmett glared out the car window. "Why? You never do anything wrong."

"Are you insane? I do everything wrong. I'm still learning to be normal." Sometimes it felt like she would always be a freak. "I'd rather not talk about this anymore tonight."

"Okay," Emmett whispered, realizing too late that he'd already ruined the rest of their date.