Disclaimer. I do not own these characters and no copyright infringement is intended


EmPOV

I couldn't believe how Bella had spoken to Carlisle. I kept making moves to get the phone from her, but she kept pushing me away. I wanted to know what he was saying, his reaction to her words. Eventually, she ended the call, handing me the phone.

"Can we please get some sleep?" she grumbled as she stomped into my bedroom. Staring after her, I looked at the phone in my hand, debating calling him to apologize for Bella, when she shouted, "Don't even think about it, or I'll break your balls, Emmett!"

I snickered at her; she knew me too well. "Okay, okay. You win, as always," I grumbled as I made my way into the bedroom and found her curled up under my duvet. It was times like this that I wished my life were simpler; that I'd fallen in love with my best friend. She was the one who had stood by me since I met her in high school. Often, I wondered if my life would be less complicated had we settled down and got married right after we graduated instead of me going through the task of admitting to myself that I was gay, and then watching as my whole world fell apart because I loved men.

Pushing these thoughts from my mind, I climbed into bed next to her, opening my arms and allowing her to crawl into them. Bella was a snuggler where I was concerned, and I didn't mind one tiny little bit. I lay there as she fell asleep, staring at the wall for a long time before I finally succumbed to the tiredness that plagued me.

Sunlight was streaming through the thin curtain that hung at my window. I groaned, pulling my arm up to shield my eyes. I found I was alone, once again. I was glad for the space and time. As much as I loved Bella being here for me, I needed the time to be able to work through my thoughts and feelings before I walked into the office in the morning and faced Carlisle. Who would've thought when I left on Friday night that the weekend would turn out like this? I certainly didn't.

Making my way to the bathroom, I had a shower to try and wake myself up. Wrapping a towel around my waist before I walked into the kitchen to make the necessary coffee to complete the kickstart that my body needed so desperately.

Stuck to the fridge was a note. I recognized Bella's writing and pulled it from under the magnet holding it in place.

Hey babe,

Had to bail, needed to get back to the boys.

Hope you're doing okay. Will pop by later.

Love ya

B x

P.S. I took your cell phone with me – so you don't get tempted to call him. Don't hate me - as if you could.

Scrunching the note up, I muttered under my breath, calling her all kinds of names. How dare she take my phone! I was a grown adult, capable of making decisions about my own life.

Letting out a deep breath, I knew why she had done it. Bella was the one person in the world that knew me better than I would ever want to admit. I wanted to call him to apologize and make it all okay, but that was just me. If he wanted to call me, he couldn't. He would think that I was ignoring him, again. Shit!

I ran to the bedroom and found a pair of sweats and a hoodie. Dressing quickly, I grabbed my keys and opened the door to my apartment only to find Carlisle standing on the other side of the door. His hand was raised as if he was about to knock. The look of shock on his face was clear, but he was less shocked than I was.

"Wh… what are you doing here?" I managed to stammer out. A smile played at his lips.

"I came to see you; make sure you were okay." I simply stood there staring at him.

"How did you know where I live? I never told you." I was confused, as this was the truth. Then I realized. "Of course, you have access to my employee records..." I let my words trail away.

Alarm crossed his face. "No, well yes, I do, but … Shit. I am not making this any easier, am I?." I found myself staring at him, my mouth having fallen open. "I've been calling your phone today. Finally, it was answered by Bella, who told me that she'd taken it from you. She only answered because I called about several hundred times. I was apparently interrupting her. I think she was at the gym as she sounded really out of breath."

I suppressed the chuckle that was threatening to break free. "Carlisle, the last place I think Bella was is the gym. You probably interrupted her afternoon workout of a very different type than you're thinking of." I couldn't help the smile that broke out of my face as realization dawned on his face, his questioning expression changed to one of horror.

"Oh no, no, no no. She wasn't? She wouldn't? Would she?" he uttered, shaking his head the whole time.

"Yes, she would. Bella wouldn't care if you knew. You're actually lucky that she didn't tell you what she was doing in graphic detail."

He held up his hands. "No, please. I don't think I could stand to hear it."

When our eyes met, I felt that pull deep inside me. I wanted to take him in my arms and never let him go. As I went to open my mouth the smile that had been playing at the corner of his mouth, vanished.

"I should go. Just came over to make sure that you were okay. I can clearly see you are." He turned to leave, walking slowly away from me. My heart lurched. I couldn't bear it. There was no way I could let him walk away from me now.

"Carlisle." I called out after him, my voice catching in my throat and tears filling my eyes.

He froze and for a moment I wasn't sure if he would carry on walking away from me. Then he turned toward me, thrusting his hands into the pockets of his jeans, his head bowed slightly. It was now or never. I wanted to tell him not to go, that I was sorry for last night. I wanted to pull him into my apartment, the one that I was too ashamed for him to see only yesterday, to lock the world out and just be with him. All it took was the slight shake of his head to signify his answer before I watched as he walked away from me.

I couldn't believe this was happening to me. Seeing him here made me realize how stupid I had been last night. Hearing his footsteps as they echoed down the stairwell, I took a decision that could backfire, but nothing ventured, nothing gained, right? What else did I have to lose here other than my dignity. Grabbing my keys and slamming the door closed behind me, I ran after him.

As I reached the entrance to the apartments, I saw him as he pulled the door open ready to step out onto the street. I made a grab for him and he pulled away, turning around as he got free from my hold.

"Carlisle, wait. Please?" I begged.

"Why? What good will it do us. Let's face it, you could barely stand being seen with me in public last night, so what's changed?"

His eyes held anger as he spoke to me, his words coming out in a harsh whisper, obviously trying not to cause any kind of scene where I lived.

"Carlisle, I can't explain this to you here. Come inside?" My hand reached out and took hold of his forearm. He stared where we made contact, but he didn't pull away from me. He let out a sigh and I knew that I was winning him over. "Please? Come back inside, we can talk in private." I was conscious of the people passing us as we stood on the sidewalk. I felt their stares of disapproval cut into me like daggers. I dropped my hand from his arm. He frowned slightly before letting out a deep sigh.

"Great. Things are the same as they were last night. What's wrong with being seen with me? Am I that hideous to look at?" he spat.

I struggled to keep myself from bolting back inside the safety of my apartment building. It was only this man who was keeping me from letting my instinct take over. Running from him last night solved nothing. It only ended up bringing us here standing on the sidewalk with people staring.

My voice, although small, made itself heard. "No, you're not, Carlisle, but people are staring. I can't do this here, please?" I looked into his eyes briefly seeing a hard look reflecting back at me. He nodded slowly and made his way towards my building, opening the door for me to step inside. Once inside, I led the way up the stairs to my apartment. I paused outside before I slid my key into the lock, struggling for the right words. My apartment, it's… I just…."

His hands were on my shoulders forcing me to turn around and face him.

"What, Emmett? Your apartment isn't the reason I'm here. I really couldn't care less where you live or what it's like inside. That's not what I'm interested in."

"But you live in that gorgeous apartment. Your bedroom is the size of my whole place. It's a mess, the furniture is horrible. I'm ashamed for you to see it," I explained.

"Yes, my place is nice, spotless and everything matches. But there is something missing from it, or there was until the other night. It isn't a home. It's a functional place; somewhere I sleep, work late into the night and shower. It always felt like there was something missing. Now I realize what it was."

I looked at him attempting to make a joke of things. "What another giant flat screen?"

He rolled his eyes before pinching the bridge of his nose, turning to walk away from me. "I was joking Carlisle." He walked to the window and looked out at my shitty view, which was straight onto another apartment building. I watched him not knowing what he would do or say next.

His fingers reached out and touched the plant that sat on the window ledge before he asked, "Is this the famous pot plant you were telling me about?"

I smiled as he had clearly remembered the conversation from the elevator even though it was so recent, so much had happened since. "Yup, this was the only thing I walked away with last time."

Finally, he looked at me, his hazel eyes boring deep into mine. I wondered if he was going to ask me what that comment meant. "Love. That's what was missing. I can have all the latest technology, a million gadgets to play with, a huge apartment with one of the best views of the city but it wouldn't be complete. You're the first person I have taken back there. It never felt right before as I'm an extremely private person, but you broke through all that. Yes, I know that we only had that one night, but I have been watching you, wanting you for so long now. Then waking with you in my arms, in my bed. There really are no words that can describe how it felt. It was the best feeling in the world. You're the thing that was missing from my life. I see that now."

I was shocked. "Me, seriously?"

He nodded. "I don't fall in love, Emmett. It's too easy to get hurt when you let someone in like that. But you already know that, don't you?" He didn't wait for an answer. "I'm not saying that what we have is love just yet, but hot sex and a mutual attraction are always a great place to start, don't you think? The rest we can just take one day at a time. If you want to, that is? But you have to tell me what happened last night. I can't do this if there are secrets between us. It won't work. Trust me, I know that much."

Carlisle had been taking small steps toward me the whole time he was speaking, and now he was so close to me, I could feel his breath on my face. The spark was there between us. I wanted to kiss him, wrap my arms around him and have him fuck me on the couch or any available surface. But I couldn't. He said no secrets, yet I was holding onto mine and they risked ripping apart, totally destroying what we might have together. I needed to put some space between us so I could tell him. If he was this close with the energy that sparked when we were so close, I might not get around to it. Stepping back from him, I put the distance between us that I needed as I took deep, calming breaths. Preparing to bare my heart and soul to this man.

No one had ever heard this before, not Bella although she knew some of the edited highlights. I didn't tell Jake despite the fact that we had a serious relationship. He always knew that there was a story to be told, but never pushed or asked any questions. Maybe that was why we were doomed from the start, he never knew me—not the real me. He saw what I allowed him to. The man he thought he knew and loved wasn't who I was. That's why I never dated since. The one night stands, faceless fucks where I could get them, scratched any itch that I might have had. It was easy to do on the gay scene where I hung out. No one there stared at you for being with a man, for sticking your tongue down his throat or your dick up his ass or in his mouth. Unless they were into watching you get off if you did it in one of the clubs' back rooms, which many people were. Don't judge me for that.

With a tremble in my voice, I spoke to him. "No secrets, no lies. But I need you to promise me that you will listen and not interrupt me if I tell you. If when I have finished you decide that it's more than you can take, then just leave. Don't talk to me, just leave. I will find another job as quickly as possible. You won't have to see me again. Okay?"

"Is it really that bad? Are you some kind of secret axe murderer, Emmett?" he joked.

"This is serious, Carlisle... I'm no angel and some of my past is hard for me to talk about. I've locked it away for so long-"

"I was trying to make you smile. Sorry, that was a bad move on my part." He spoke in a low voice.

I nodded slowly, motioning to the battered couch where we both took a seat facing each other. His face remained expressionless and I wondered how long that would last. My stomach was in knots as I fought to find the right words, but there was no doubt in my mind that I would tell him everything. If I ever wanted to have any kind of relationship with him, I had to tell him the truth.

My past had brought me to this moment here, and maybe now I was ready to lay the spectres that haunted me to rest, for once and for all.


Authors Notes:
Thanks to Sue273 for stepping in and taking on the beta job for me on this – MWAH!

Hope you are all ready for what's to come, Emmett is gonna open up and things are gonna get a little rocky as he faces his past. The next chapter is written and ready to go, he got a little chatty with me.