AN: Sorry I'm little late with this one! My only excuse is that I get sidetracked very easily anymore. ;-)
Chapter 5 will be up in about two weeks or so! Thanks for your patience and I hope you're still enjoying the story!
Chapter 4: No Light, No Light
Moving forward is easier said than done. When my mother called earlier this week and asked that I come for a visit this weekend, my first instinct was to make up an excuse. In the year since I'd moved out of my parent's house, I think I visited them twice. First I blamed settling into a new place, and then I began to throw the blame on work. In reality, the first was a valid reason, the second not so much. I have a great job; it's an easy-going and peaceful environment.
My mother is a very perceptive woman, and I'm sure she knows the real reason why I stay away. I know it's not fair to her, having her children at odds with each other, my not being able to stand being in the same room as Emmett. Even though she's never said the words, her eyes have told me that she doesn't understand how I can't forgive him yet. She's never been in this situation before, so how on earth could she understand? The mental image of my mother walking in on my father balls-deep in her sister's snatch sends a sudden shudder through my body. That's the only way she'd ever really understand.
I know sooner or later I'll need to work past that, but for now, I'm fine with pretending he doesn't exist. That's a kind of betrayal that will never fully be reconciled. I honestly don't even know if I want to bother. Fuck, I can't lie to myself; I miss my big brother. I miss his blunt honesty and childish charm. I'm fucking bitter and angry and still completely torn up over this. How could he do it to me—to his "baby bro"? The answers I need can only come from Emmett, but I just can't bring myself to go there yet.
As I pull up in front of the house, I let out a huge sigh. Mom had promised that Em was out of town this weekend, so there was no chance of his showing up if he knew I'd be here. He did that the last time I agreed to visit. He wanted so desperately to talk to me, but I walked out without a word. Mom called every day for a week straight to apologize, but it wasn't her fault—it was my baby sister's.
Alice was the youngest and thus spoiled magnificently by all of us. Which has given her this sense of entitlement—if she says it's so, it should be so. She wanted me to talk to Emmett, and I continued to refuse so she took matters into her own hands. I've barely spoken to her since. One thing most people should know about me is that I hold a grudge like a motherfucker. I don't take being hurt kindly, especially not by those closest to me.
I stride up the front stairs, quietly letting myself in through the front door, and make my way to the kitchen, where I know my mom will be waiting. On the way, I pass by a picture in the hall that stops me in my tracks. It's a newer one of my brother and a stunning blonde, arm-in-arm on a beach. His eyes are light and happy, looking down at her with love. Hers mirror his, gazing up at him adoringly. Bile rises up my esophagus, and my throat feels like it's closing.
What the fuck is this? Why does he deserve such happiness when I'm left in a pit of despair? Jealousy and anger hit me full force, and I take a deep breath to rein it in.
"That's Rosalie Hale," I hear Mom say from somewhere behind me. "He's been seeing her for about six months. He's even thinking about proposing."
I let out an involuntary snort, which causes my mother to sigh.
"Edward, really," she speaks softly, gently, as if I'm a caged tiger. "I wish you would see a professional to help you move past this. It's not healthy, darling. Your brother made a mistake, and he's regretted it every day since."
"Really?" I ask, surprising even myself at the harshness in my tone.
"Edward Anthony," she scolds, "don't take that tone with me. I know you're hurt, but there's no reason to take it out on me."
My head drops in shame. "I'm sorry, Mom," I whisper brokenly.
"Oh, baby," she murmurs, wrapping her arms around my waist. "I wish I could take it back. Emmett wishes he could take it back. But none of us can; all we can do is come to terms with what happened."
"Can we drop the subject, Mom? I didn't come here to fight."
She smiles sadly and tugs on my hand. "Sure, sweetheart. Come on, I made your favorite for lunch—stuffed shells."
My father comes home less than an hour later, and we finish up lunch, talking about what's been going on in our lives. They express their happiness that my job is going well and that I seem content. I mentally eye-roll at that one; I know they're just placating me at that point. Thankfully, no unexpected guests have shown up yet.
When I stand to clear the dishes, my mother shoos me away, suggesting that my father and I go into his study. He pours us each a glass of brandy and motions toward the couch.
"I can't tell you how happy I am that you've come today, Edward. Your mother has been a wreck worrying about her sons."
Not wanting a repeat of pissing off a parent, I choose to remain silent.
He sighs and looks me right in the eye before continuing. "She has good intentions, but trust me, I know she can be a pain in the ass."
He takes me by surprise, and I can't help the laugh that escapes.
"I know she means well, Dad, but it doesn't make it any easier."
He nods thoughtfully. "I know, son. It's a difficult position for all of us. She just wants you two to kiss and make up, and I can't say that I blame her. You're my children, and I love you both."
He sits back and brings one ankle up to his knee. "That being said, I have no clue how I'd handle being in your shoes. I was cheated on by my high school sweetheart, and it hurt like hell. Now, if it had been my own brother who had been a part of it? Christ, I probably would've reacted the same way and beat his ass."
This surprises me; I've never pictured my father as having a violent bone in his body. But I guess that just shows the power our hearts have over our actions. I don't quite know how to respond to him, but I feel that honest, yet vague is my best option.
"I can't give you a time frame on forgiveness, but I'm moving past this, Dad. It's taking a while, but I'll get there eventually."
He smiles and winks. "That's all I need to hear. I'll do my best to keep your mother off your back."
After saying goodbye and getting a massive hug from my mother, I spare another glance at the happy couple's picture. Something about it burns a hole in my chest. The more I analyze the feeling, the more I realize that it's jealousy and resentment. If anyone had told me eighteen months ago I'd be in this position—hating and missing my brother at the same time—I'd have laughed in their face. Emmett had always been my hero, and one of my closest confidants, but one roll in the sack with the woman I loved ripped all of that to shreds. At this point, I don't know if our relationship will ever be salvageable.
Now here I sit at my desk, searching the Internet for Rosalie Hale. A plan is hatching slowly, but surely. I wonder how Emmett would feel if I took something precious from him. To find out that his brother seduced the woman he loved? I close my eyes and imagine the scenario clearly, walking up to her in some bar and buying her drink. I could charm her and make her forget all about my brother, I'm sure of it. My conscience starts shouting at me that this is madness, but in all honesty, it's not like this is something I'm actually going to go through with.
After a quick Google search, I find a Rosalie Hale on Facebook who lives in Seattle. The dumb bitch's page is open to everyone. I don't know if it's stupidity, naivety, or just plain arrogance on her part, but she really should keep her information more private. She's tagged in picture after picture with my brother, their bodies always seem to be touching in a simple, yet loving way. I roll my eyes and forcefully shut my laptop.
I need to get out of here before I do something incredibly stupid. I throw on my jacket and head out to Full Moon for a drink...or a dozen.
The place is fairly busy for a weekend, and I find a seat at the bar. James sets a bottle of beer in front of me, shooting a quirked eyebrow in my direction.
"Fancy seeing you here on a Sunday, Eddie."
Shrugging, I take a gulp of the amber liquid, letting it burn slightly on the back of my throat.
"You know, your girl was in here looking for you the other week."
My heart starts to pound. Could it be? Considering that "the brunette" is the only woman James has ever commented on in casual conversation, irrational hope that he's talking about her springs to life.
"Well, speak of the fucking Devil," James murmurs, before walking away quickly.
A tingle runs up my spine, and my chest feels tight. There's no fucking way. Is there?
I feel her hand touch my shoulder, and I know it's her. I just know it. I take a deep breath, and turn in my seat. Her mahogany hair is loose around her shoulders, and her smile is shy and tentative. I can't speak, I can't think.
This moment has been in my dreams, and my nightmares.
"Hey," she practically whispers, her nerves very apparent. I can't pull my eyes away from her, and when she realizes I'm not going to say anything, she nods sadly. "I'm sorry, I guess this was a bad idea."
I reach out and grab her hand as she turns to
leave. "Wait, please. I'm sorry, I was just shocked to see you. Would you like a drink?"
Her next words are either going to make me or break me. If she agrees, then I'm making damn sure not to let her out of my sight ever again.
She smiles brilliantly and nods. "I'd love nothing more."