Disclaimer:

All recognizable characters are owned by S. Meyer & Summit Entertainment. I just like playing with them and pretending they are real.

~LfW~

September 18, 2001

Dear Bella,

I don't know how to start this or what to say. I'm sorry. I hope in time you will find it in your heart to forgive me for what I've done. Maybe someday you'll be proud of me. I couldn't just sit back and watch. I had to go fight. I think maybe I was born to be a soldier. They say I won't be able to contact you for awhile; you will be on my mind every moment I am away from you. I promise I will come home in one piece.

I need to go, they're here. I love you.

Yours always,

Em

~LfW~

Bella put the letter back on the desk and wiped away the tears that stained her cheeks. It was such an Emmett thing, always shy and backwards when it came to goodbyes. But then that is what she loved about Em, her big teddy bear. He was loving and thoughtful yet strong when she needed him the most. For as long a she could remember, it had always been Em. They were four when she made him promise to marry her when they grew up. Unlike other boys, he swore solemnly to protect her and never leave her side. So far he had kept his word. Sadly this was the grown up world, time for them to do things on their own. This wasn't high school Bella thought, they were nineteen now with a future ahead of them. A soft smile graced her face as she re-read the ink stained pages once again. Carefully she placed the letter in her jewelry box and closed the lid. She was proud of him, worried, but proud. He would come back to her one day, she was sure of it. She would wait.

~LfW~

December 10, 2001

Dear Em,

I can't believe it's already been four months since you left Forks. While at times it feels like just yesterday other days I feel like you have been gone forever. Things just aren't the same without you here. Finals are finally over. Thank God since I thought Biology would kill me! Mr. Banner gave us a group project for our final and I was forced to find a partner. I've never had to do that before, we were always a team in High School. I was so glad that I had Edward in my class and he agreed to partner up with me.

Christmas is only two weeks away. I know you said in your last letter home that you wouldn't be able to be here. I know that it's selfish but I'm praying you can make it somehow. I can't remember a Christmas without you and I don't want to start now. Please come home soon, I miss you. Remember you promised…..in one piece!"

Love always,

Bella

~LfW~

December 18, 2001

Bells,

What is this about you and Cullen being partners? You tell my best friend that he better keep his hands to himself! What's mine is mine and I don't share. You don't know how much I wish I could be with you for Christmas. The snow on the ground, the logs cracking in the fireplace; I can almost smell the pine trees from here. We have tried to bring a little Christmas to the base but it's just not the same. A lot of the guys are homesick so the officers do their best to bring in little comforts here. But you can't dream away the sand. It's everywhere! I never want to see sand again in my life. Overall the guys do their best to keep the moral up. My bunkmate is from Texas so he blasts Garth Brooks Christmas CD's during our downtime. I'm starting to hate Garth! But he's cool. He makes me think of Alice for some reason. I wonder if I can bring him home on my next break…poor guy wouldn't know what hit him with that little she devil.

"McCarty! Major wants to see you right now in his office!"

"Sir, yes, Sir!" Emmett saluted the young first lieutenant and dumped the remains of his over-cooked lunch in the near-by trashcan. Grabbing the paper that contained his unfinished letter and stuffing it in his pants pocket, he walked quickly toward headquarters. His nerves were on edge as he frantically tried to figure out the reason for the sudden summons. It had been over a week since his unit had returned form their last patrol. They had encountered a small group of insurgents but nothing they couldn't handle. They had been briefed on that when they had returned to base so there was no way this summons was connected to that. Taking one last breath, Emmett straightened his uniform jacket and knocked firmly on the door.

"Come in!"

Back straight as a board, Emmett stepped into the make shift office with his arm raised in salute.

"At ease," the older gentleman nodded, indicating for Emmett to take a seat. Major Luis Garrett was a respected officer and generally loved by his men. He was fair and level-headed – something all soldiers in time of war valued above all other traits.

"I'm sure you're wondering why I called you in here. I won't beat around the bush. How would you like to go home for Christmas Lance Corporal McCarty?"

Emmett was too stunned to even notice the change in his rank from Private First Class to Lance Corporal. For a moment he said nothing, his mind completely blank. The major chuckled, enjoying the shocked look on the young man's face and wishing he could deliver more news like this too all his young men on base.

"Yes….um…I'm mean Sir, that would be amazing Sir."

Maj. Garrett smiled back, looking down at the paperwork on his desk, quickly signing on the dotted line.

"Then it's done. I've been reviewing your file, especially the report from your last patrol. I was impressed. The United States Marine Corps needs more men like you McCarty. I've processed the paperwork for a promotion. Congratulations Lance Corporal."

The Major stuck his hand out, giving Emmett a hearty handshake.

"Thank you Sir! I'm just doing my duty Sir. I'm proud to stand behind my country."

"Well like I said, we need more guys like you. Now go, spend the holidays with the family. You're dismissed." And with that, it was done.

~LfW~

Emmett opened the door softly, the light of the moon bathing the room in a soft light. Carefully he tiptoed over to the bed, gazing down at the sleeping figure bathed in the soft light from the open window.

"Merry Christmas Bells," he whispered.

~LfW~

Two years later…..

April 20, 2003

Dear Emmett,

Next week I have my last dance recital of the semester. I wish you were here like you always were growing up. Alice and I worked all last night on my costume and went through my routine several times at the studio. You know Alice….if one time is good then fifty times is better. I'm going to ask Edward to film it and send it to you on the computer so you can watch. I'm doing my routine to Josh Groban's "All Improvviso Amore". The first time I heard the song I knew I had to use it for my final project. It was like a film; I could see the whole routine play out in my head.

I hate this war! I've gotten used to being alone on campus now. I can't believe that next year I will be graduating. So much has changed for us hasn't it? The world really does move on and time stops for no one. I would have never dreamed that I would be finishing college without you. We always said we would do everything together. Thankfully I have Edward and Alice. They are good friends. But they can't replace my Em. I miss you terribly sometimes. I know Alice understands since she and Jasper started talking. You really called it on that one; I still can't get over how fast those two clicked. Still, Alice doesn't truly understand what it's like having you gone. She only just meet Jasper. Please tell me you will be home soon! I don't know if I can bear this separation much longer.

Mom said to tell you hello. Remember….in one piece!

Love always,

Bells

~LfW~

"Reading a letter from your girl again McCarty?"

"Yeah, don't be jealous Whitlock, you just wish Alice was as pretty as my girl."

Emmett winked and smiled good-naturally at his roommate. Jasper was a good soldier and an even better friend. He had brought the young Texan home last winter and introduced him to Alice, Bella's best friend. The two had spent the rest of the 2 week vacation making out like horny teenagers.. Emmett knew that they were still talking, although he didn't pry into their personnel life much. He had even seen Jasper gazing longingly at Alice's picture one night before bed. Most of the guys on base had girls back home and those that didn't tended to tease the ones that did. But they never meant much harm since everyone wished to be home and far away from this god awful war.

"Whatever McCarty, Alice is way prettier than your girl, sorry man!"

Jasper laughed and threw a stress ball at the huge figure lying in the near-by cot. Emmett laughed, rolling over and throwing the ball back, hitting Jasper in the stomach.

"Keep dreaming dude, keep dreaming."

Reading the letter again, he tucked it away in the metal box that was now filled with dozens of handwritten letters. While they may not have the best living situations, they did have access to computers and emails. Some may wonder why he and Bella preferred to write via paper and snail mail. Neither could tell you, it was a conscious decision, but there was something much more personal about this method. He missed home and his family. He would never regret this choice to serve his country. But it wasn't an easy one. War not only meant sacrifice for the man or women in uniform, it meant sacrifice for the family as well. Emmett sighed and pulled out a fresh sheet of writing paper ready to compose a response. The recent conversation with his superior officer weighted heavily on his mind.

My Beautiful Girl, …

~LfW~

Somewhere outside the open window an owl called to its mate. The light from the bedside lamp cast a soft glow about the room. It was silent in the master suite, only the gentle scraping of everyday objects being moved about by the two occupants. The room was simply decorated, a mixture of soft blue, cream, white and chocolate-brown. While there was no obvious signs of a feminine touch, those that knew her could see Bella's taste in the items sprinkled around the room.

Bella sat, her bottom lip held captive by her teeth, her brow pointed in deep concentration. She wanted this letter done before she went to bed that night. Tomorrow would be filled with goodbyes and she wanted to sneak the letter into Emmett's bag for him to find later. Smiling at the thought of his delight in finding her surprise, she subconsciously fingered the silver pendent that always hung around her neck. It was her Christmas present from Emmett the first year he had left to fight overseas. The pendent was shaped into the letter B, the lower part of the letter embedded with several small diamonds. It wasn't planned to have Emmett there, but since he was she had begged him to put it on her the moment she opened the gift that Christmas morning. From that day it had never left her neck.

"Sweetheart, please come to bed."

The rustling of sheets could be heard and she knew he had gotten into their king size bed. Putting her signature at the end of the page, Bella put the pen down happy to be done with her little surprise. She turned to face the man in her bed, a smirk graced her lips. She walked slowly over toward the bed, watching as the lust filled his deep green eyes. The tip of his tongue slowly brushed over his lips as he took in her semi-naked body. The soft pink lace and satin teddy hung gracefully over her hips and rounded chest. Slipping into the sheets Bella rolled to meet his body in the middle of their bed. Their lips were soon joined in a soft reunion, his kisses moving over her face and down her exposed shoulder. Gently he took her left hand and brought it to his face.

"You don't know how happy it makes me to see my ring on your hand."

His voice was low and deep and even his words caressed her face. A tear pricked Bella's eyes as the memory of earlier that night came flooding back to her. Her family had been gathered around the fireplace with her friends beside her, each nestled gently in the arms of their mates.

"I know how happy I am when I see it there so I think I can imagine."

Gently she kissed him back, her hands reaching for his body, seeking more contact. Passion meeting passion.

~LfW~

May 20, 2004

Dear Bells,

I wish I could be there today to watch you walk across that stage. I remember as kids how we promised to always do everything together. I feel like I have let you down somehow. I have missed out on so much these past 3 years. I know that you understand and part of me does not regret my decision to join the USMC. But I do wish I could have been by your side all this time. I know that time marches on and doesn't stand still for anyone.

Did you ever think our lives would turn out like this little one? You a graduate, all grown up with your degree. Moved into your own apartment, standing strong and making me proud. Have you decided what to do next? Jasper made mention the other day that Alice has planned to stay in Seattle until his tour is finished. I think he has decided not to reenlist and move to Seattle so he can be with Alice. Jasper is a great soldier but his love for Alice is stronger. I tease him about it all the time and he just smiles quietly at me and tells me that my time is coming.

You haven't said much about Edward in your last few letters. What is my former best friend up to these days? Hope he is still behaving himself around my girl. *smirk* Well it's getting late so I should finish this up and get to bed. Morning roll call comes early and I don't want to be late. Remember I love you Bells, always...in one piece!

Yours,

Em

~LFW~

June 1, 2004

Dear Em,

Did you get the pictures that I sent of the graduation? I wanted to send a whole album but thought it might be too big to store in your locker. Of course you can always view all the pictures on your next trip home. Speaking of which when will that be? It feels like forever since you have been home and I will never feel quite complete until you come back here for good. Yes, I have spoken to Alice and she said that Jasper has decided not to reenlist. They plan on moving in together when he returns. Alice said he wanted to study law and will be going to university once they get things settled. I think Jasper could do just about anything and Alice would agree. They are so in love. :) Alice has gotten a job at the dance studio where I work designing all the costumes for the students. It has been nice having her close by and we often carpool since she only lives down the block from us.

Edward has been offered a teaching position in one of the local high schools. He will be the new band director which will allow him to still write his own music. It's a good paying job and still lets him dabble in all his favorite hobbies. He mentioned he has a surprise for me but refuses to tell me what it is. However I think he is writing a piece for my next dance performance. Alice heard him practicing the other day and said he quickly covered the music when she walked into the room. And yes, he is a perfect gentleman so you can stop the caveman attitude. Oh, you will never guess who I saw in town the other day. Rosalie. She asked about you and how you were doing. She was accepted into the masters program at UW and is working as an intern at one of the congressman's offices in downtown Seattle.

Well my break is almost over and I hear my next class moving around in the next room. Remember...in one piece!

Bella xoxo

~LFW~

September 2004...

Bella nervously twisted the engagement ring on her left hand. The ring was actually a wedding set but she didn't care. Her heart had been set on the beautiful one carat ring from the moment she saw it in the window almost two years before. The clear diamond in the center sparkled in the sunlight. It was surrounded on both sides with a series of smaller blue, almost sea-green in color stones. They had agreed to simply use it as both her engagement and wedding band since she loved the setting so much. Last week they had purchased a simple polished white gold man's band to match her ring.

"Hurry Bella, we are going to miss the plane landing!"

Bella smiled at her friend's energy and, letting out a tired but excited sigh, she slipped her feet into the gold ballet flats. Talking one last look into the mirror she smiled back at the reflection she saw. Her hair was a little longer and darker then the last time he had been home. She wore it down, held back by a gold headband, soft curls and waves caressing her face. Her dress was simple yet stunning on her slender body. Her sun-kissed arms were exposed in the sleeveless dress, the deep V in the front showing her ever growing cleavage. The bottom hem was gold which accented the teal color of the summer dress. A gold ribbon ran under the breasts making the top half fitted while the lower half hung loosely hitting her mid thigh. Fingering the silver B charm that still hung around her neck, she grabbed her sunglasses from the dresser and closed the bedroom door behind her.

"Finally, I thought I was going to have to come rescue you again!"

"Sorry, was just putting the last touches on my hair Alice. Don't worry; we still have plenty of time."

Alice fidgeted, almost bouncing around the room in a nervous twitter. On the outside Bella seemed calm, but to the trained eye they knew she was anything but. Unconsciously she ran a hand over her stomach, a fruitless attempt at settling the butterflies and other movement she was feeling at the moment. Alice smiled at her best friend and bounced over to move a stray hair from Bella's face.

"I know you're nervous but everything will be alright, I can feel it."

For a moment the friends just smiled at each other then hugged.

"You're just excited about Jasper coming home."

The girls shared a laugh before a male voice behind them broke the special moment.

"Neither of you guys have anything to worry about. It's ME that Emmett is going to kill by the time today is over."

The three friends laughed, locking the front door as they headed together into the next chapter of their lives.

~LFW~

September 14, 2004

My Dear Bella,

I know that this letter will reach home after I arrive, but I feel like I must still write it. So much has changed for the two of us. I worry about everything even though I know it's silly. I worry that you won't accept the changed me, that somehow you won't like the man I have become. I wish I could say that I'm not different, that war hasn't changed me - but it has. I've been gone so long. Everyone has moved on with their life, married or become engaged. What do I have to show for myself except some medals and a military rank? Where do I belong? I know that many don't agree with this war but I'm not ashamed of my time served. I am proud. I answered the call to duty, that I gave up the last 4 years of my life to protect my country. Will you still love me the same Bella?

Yours forever,

Emmett

~LFW~

sun shone down brightly on the group gathered waiting patiently for their loved ones to appear on the hot tarmac. Alice bounced quietly next to an equally nervous Rosalie who had met them at the base airstrip. Bella was once again twisting her ring before running her hand over the small bump that was hidden under the soft material of her summer dress. She sighed in comfort as Edward's lips pressed a gentle kiss to her temple. Closing her eyes, she sunk back into the warmth of his arms, pressing her back into his broad chest.

"Em is going to kill me when he figures everything out," Edward chuckled softly into her ear.

"I'm sure he will be happy once he gets used to the idea Edward."

Bella smiled knowing Emmett would at least try to kill her fiancé when he learned of their impending stork visit. They had kept things quiet but Alice had figured things out one day when Bella was suffering a rather bad case of morning sickness at the studio. Edward and Bella had sworn her to secrecy as they wanted to be the ones to tell Emmett when he arrived home.

"Oh my god there they are!"

Alice's squeal had brought the couple back to the present, Edward tensing up for a moment as his arms wrapped tighter around Bella's waist. She patted his hand gently, silently assuring him that everything would be okay...she hoped. One look at Rosalie and everyone could tell she was just as nervous as the rest of the group. While Bella had been somewhat surprised at the reappearance of Rose she knew that she and Emmett would get back together eventually. Those two had been inseparable during High School so their reunion wasn't a total surprise. The crowd of military men seemed to thin out as two figures became more prominent. Bella smiled and opened her arms as the larger of the two figures made their way toward her.

"Welcome home big brother," Bella whispered into her twin brother's ear.

"In one piece...just as I promised," he smiled back. They stood there before the rest of the group crowded closer, each wanting to welcome home their soldier. Bella watched as her brother smiled softly as his reinstated girlfriend threw herself into his waiting arms. She was glad to see he would not be alone any longer. Reaching for Edward's fingers she sighed happily. Her brother was home, she was engaged and expecting a child. She couldn't ask for more as each couple joined hands and walked together into the future.

~LFW~

A.N. Hope you enjoyed my little story! This little O/S was written for my sister who is a big Kellen Lutz fan. She always complained that there were never any good Emmett/Bella stories. As a Team Edward fan I couldn't bring myself to make Em & Bella a couple; this was as close as I could get. If your still confused Bella and Emmett are twins, not lovers. Em and Bella are very close, he being very protective of his "little" sister.

Thank you to my wonderful team that helped make this story readable (i.e. pre-read and beta'd my crap). I couldn't have done it without you wonderful ladies!

A special thank you to my wonderful, talented friend (and sister) Christag_Banner. She has created a wonderful banner for this story that you can view on her blog. If you would like to see more of her awesome creations check her site out (link is on my profile).