Chapter Nine

With a feral roar unlike anything he'd heard before, Emmett threw Mary across the room, resulting in a vampire sized hole through the next three walls. Emmett didn't pause to look, simply launched himself at the man who had just stole the last few seconds of his time with his mate.

Speech was beyond him. All he could think about was killing the male who'd dared take what was his.

"Emmett, no!"

Once again, he was blindsided, this time by his so called brother. Edward pinned him to the ground, easily avoiding Emmett's snapping teeth.

"Listen! Emmett, listen!" Edward shouted.

Snarling at the man who stood between him and vengeance, Emmett spun them over, rolling the two across the floor. In the back of his mind, he could hear someone sobbing and someone else shouting instructions, but all Emmett could see was red.

"Emmett, she's okay," Edward choked out past the hold Emmett had on his throat.

"Em, let him go."

Someone touched his shoulder and he roared in response.


The slap to the back of the head made him snarl in anger and Edward whimpered in response. The hand that had hit him grabbed his hair, pulling his head back and baring his neck, making him pause long enough for Edward to slither out of his grip and dart from the room.


If his Bella was gone, he didn't want to live.

"My God, you're so stubborn. Open your eyes, Emmett, and look at your mate."

Damn it, why wouldn't she just kill him? He didn't need to open his eyes to see what he already knew. His mate was gone.


With strength he didn't know he possessed, he ripped out of Charlotte's hold and practically dove for the bed, scooping up his mate as he went flying over it, and cradling her as he landed on the other side, using the hospital bed as a barrier between them and the rest of the room.

Chocolate eyes stared up at him with a mix of surprise and concern. He shuddered as her hand came up to frame his face, but was unable to close his eyes for fear that this was all a dream.

"Are you alright?"

God, her voice cut through him like a knife. All he could do was sob tearlessly, hold her close, and take in her delicious scent with every gasp.

"I'm here, Em. I'm fine," Bella whispered, her hands cupping his face as his ran all over her body, assuring himself that she was real.

"I love you."

It seemed important that she hear these words from him first, now that he'd been given a second chance with her. Brown eyes watered with tears as she wrapped her arms around his neck.

"You're awesomer."

And, oh, God, nothing could've sounded better in that moment than those two words and, somehow, his little mate had known exactly what he needed to hear.

"Ehem. I don't mean to interrupt, but you really should give the doctor a chance to look her over."

Emmett turned, snarl ready, to attack whoever dared try to take his time with his mate away. His gaze landed on the vampire who'd bit her and he could feel his eyes darken. If he hadn't been holding Bella and loathe to let her go, he would've attacked the bastard right then and there.

"Come, now. All these dramatics are tiring. Allow Dr. Cullen to look over the girl before you do her further damage," the vampire insisted.

"Who are you?" Emmett asked, the question sounding more like a threat than anything else.

"I am the man who saved your mate's life. I would appreciate it if you would allow the doctor to make sure she remains alive."

"Not good enough. Give me a name," Emmett snapped, clutching Bella to him tighter.

"Very well. I am Joham, the girl's father."

Emmett hadn't thought himself capable of hating the man any more, but after hearing who exactly he was, his rage tripled.

If Bella hadn't immediately turned into him for comfort, he would've attacked the man once more. As it was, he couldn't quite get his growling or venom under control.

"Emmett. May I?" Carlisle asked.

He waited until Emmett nodded before moving forward to check Bella over. Emmett couldn't take his eyes of the bastard who had supplied one-half of his mate's DNA. He was a sperm donor and that was it. Calling himself Bella's father was complete blasphemy and Emmett could tell Peter and Charlotte both took exception to the idea.

"Everything looks good, Bella. You're healing remarkably well. I expect you'll be back to yourself in no time," Carlisle declared with a smile.

"That isn't entirely true, doctor. I suggest that if you want to keep the girl alive, that one of you bite her. And soon," Joham said in the same droll manner he'd been using since his arrival.

"Are you fucking crazy? It would kill her!" Emmett snarled, tempted to shove Bella behind him.

"No, it would have before she underwent this change. My venom could not restore her original state as a hybrid. It only succeeded in saving her human life. She is as human as her mother was," Johan said.

"It's true. I feel… different. Not like before, but still not like I felt before James injected me," Bella said.

"I can run some tests, make sure her blood with accept the venom," Carlisle offered.

"Do it. But not today. We'll worry about it tomorrow," Emmett decided, rising with his mate in hand.

"I wouldn't wait too long. She's over seventy years old. Soon she'll start to look and feel like it," Joham warned.

Emmett had to keep himself from snapping his teeth at the man. As it was, he could barely get his next words out without spraying the room with venom.

"I appreciate your help in saving Bella, but your services are no longer required. Leave now."

"Emmett," Bella scolded softly.

"No. He abandoned you and Ellie, babe. He left both of you to die. If Victoria hadn't taken you in, you wouldn't have lasted on your own. I don't want him here," Emmett insisted.

Bella blinked up at him before turning to face the man who had given her life.

"You probably should leave, but… I have some questions. If you don't mind staying nearby…" Bella trailed off uncertainly.

"I shall leave a number at which you can reach me, but I'm afraid I cannot linger. I was in the middle of some rather important business before the woman dragged me here," Joham said stiffly.

Emmett hissed at him when he smelled Bella's unshed tears.

"Alright. Thanks, I guess. And thanks for saving me," Bella mumbled, turning into his chest.

"My pleasure."

With that, he was gone, just as quickly as he'd come. Surprisingly, or not so surprisingly, Mary took off after him. Emmett figured they might have some things to discuss as there was no way Mary would have ever stepped between a raging vampire protecting his mate unless she was protecting hers as well. Emmett just hoped the bastard didn't hurt her, but he knew Mary was tough. She wouldn't stand for any misbehavior.

"Come on, babe. Let's get you settled," Emmett said, carrying his mate from the room.

He saw Peter move to step forward, but thankfully Charlotte kept him back. Emmett knew the man was eager to be with Bella, but Emmett needed time alone with his mate and he refused to put it off any longer than necessary. Besides, they all needed time to process the past hour.

It was with no hesitation or regret that Emmett proceeded to lock himself and Bella in his room for the remainder of the day.

"Do you think it will hurt?"

They had been mostly silent since coming into the room, caught up in just breathing each other in. Every breath he took confirmed what that bastard father of hers had said. Her scent was different, no longer holding the subtle scent of a vampire. Instead, she smelled deliciously human, the blood flowing beneath her skin a temptation even to him.

"I don't know, babe. For a normal human, it's worse than hell. For a human who was already half vampire before becoming fully human? I don't think even Carlisle will be able to answer that for us," Emmett admitted.

She was lay quiet for a few minutes while he traced along the veins that were now so vital to her continued existance. She was so much more fragile now and he felt an overwhelming urge to protect her.

"I think I want to feel the burn," Bella whispered.


Emmett tried to keep the horror from his voice and he managed to do well for the most part, his question coming out more inquisitive than horrified

"It'll feel more like I earned it. I didn't have to do anything other than be born a hybrid and that alone made me special. I don't want to be different anymore. I just want to be normal," Bella said, sounding weary.

"Hate to break it to you, babe, but vampires are exactly normal," Emmett chuckled.

"Well, they're the most normal thing in my world," Bella said with a small shrug.

Silence descended upon them again as each contemplated their own thoughts. When Bella sighed, snuggling closer to his side, he breathed deeply, enjoying the burn that flared like a torch in his throat. So worth it to be able to have her close, breathing, living.

"Why don't you sleep for a while? I'm sure you need it," Emmett suggested, moving them so they were fully laid out on the bed.

"Will you wake me if I sleep too late?" Bella mumbled, already drifting off into the land of dreams.


He listened to her gentle inhales and exhales, the soft beats of her heart.



"I love you, too."

"I know, Bella."

The night passed in a series of visits from his family. Charlotte and Peter came first, entering a few hours after Bella had fallen asleep. They simply sat with their daughter for a time, each holding onto the other as they watched the girl they'd raised from infancy sleep the sleep of a human. No words were spoken throughout that visit as the three of them knew without speaking that each was thanking every deity known to man, and some unknown to man, that Bella was alive.

It was during that time that Charlotte began to cry, tears of guilt clouding her eyes as she thought about hers words before Joham had bitten her daughter. She'd been prepared to watch her daughter die and only upon seeing her whole and healthy again did the reality of the situation hit home. She had come so close to losing her darling little Bella forever.

Peter comforted her as best he could, but he was also reeling from his daughter's life. He had feared never making another horrible human meal again, but he vowed to make her pancakes upon her awaking, determined to give her all the best human experiences before they injected her with the venom that would end her very short human life.

When Charlotte's grief became too much for her to bear, she and Peter left, taking themselves off into the woods to expend some of their more volatile emotions.

Not long after they left, Carlisle entered the bedroom, a vial and syringe in hand. His silent request to draw blood was met with an equally silent nod from Emmett. He'd warily eyed the door as Carlisle prepared to create an open wound on his mate's arm, knowing
Edward still resided in the house and might be overcome by his desire for his singer's blood. If her hybrid state had driven him to attacking, Emmett could only imagine what her human blood would do.

The small vial was filled without Bella so much as stirring. Carlisle's ability to locate a vein, insert the needle, draw blood, and remove the needle quickly, all without tying off Bella's arm, created a relatively painless procedure.

Practically cackling with glee at having yet another new test to run, Carlisle hurried from the room, muttering to himself about the properties of her new blood, noting the difference in scent and wondering if it held a difference in taste or texture.

Emmett didn't want to know.

Esme visited next, her motherly instincts causing her to check in on both Emmett and Bella. Her fingers had run through his hair as she'd held him close, allowing him to break down in her arms. He'd come so close to losing her, so fucking close, and the panic and pain of her last few moments as a hyrbid vampire were still fresh in his mind. He couldn't bare the thought of her not being with him, of not having her warm body pressed against his even as he clung to the woman who had been like a mother to him for seventy years.

She'd stayed long enough to offer him comfort and make sure he didn't need a thermos of blood before going to check on how Carlisle was doing with Bella's blood sample.

Alice poked her head in at one point, but didn't enter the room, simply watched the two of them for a few minutes before disappearing once more. If Emmett hadn't been used to his sister's oddities, it might have disturbed him, but he knew Alice would let him know if there was something in the future that he needed to know.

Jasper casually walked by once or twice, always sending out peaceful, reassuring vibes. Usually, these passbys coincided with either Bella's dreams turning dark or Emmett's emotions threatening to overtake him again. Each time, he made sure to send out some gratitude to his stoic brother.

The only two he didn't see throughout the night were Rosalie and Edward, but he could hear them. At one point, Rosalie crept into Edward's room while Carlisle was busy with his research and the rest of the family joined Peter and Charlotte in the woods.

It didn't take any time at all for the two to come together, their impassioned cries muffled in an attempt to keep Carlisle from investigating, but they needn't have worried. Carlisle was so wrapped up in his research, he would have missed a train plowing through the house.

No, it was only Emmett would was privy to the sounds of the two going at it like a bunch of wild animals, their grunts and growls seeming to echo through his mind. He briefly wondered if Rosalie wasn't trying to make him jealous as she was more vocal than usual. If it was an attempt to get him to rejoin the two in the bedroom, she failed miserably. Nothing and no one could compare to the beautiful angel currently slumbering at his side.

He smiled slightly as Bella welcomed the rising sun with a lovely bit of drool sliding down her cheek and onto the pillow. As much sleeping as she'd done before her… encounter… she obviously hadn't managed to get much in the way of rest. He noticed the same thing with humans. Even after they managed to defeat whatever virus plagued them, they always required sleep even after the virus was gone to complete the healing process. Emmett figured Bella would be no different.

It wasn't until nearly noon that his mate's eyes began to flicker, indicating she was close to waking up. The rest of the family had returned hours prior and he could smell pancakes cooking below. He told himself he would sit through as many pancakes as Bella could eat, so long as he didn't ever have to worry about losing her again.

She woke with a stretch and a groan, the shirt she was wearing (his shirt), riding high on her thighs, teasing him relentlessly.

"Morning," Bella mumbled, rubbing tiredly at her eyes.

"Good morning."

Emmett couldn't help but grin. After the emotion of the night before and all the days prior, he was just so damned thrilled that they could begin to move past it all and start their lives together.

"What time is it?" Bella asked, rolling towards him and onto her stomach.


She gasped, jolting up on her arms and turning towards the clock for confirmation.

"Why'd you let me sleep so late?" she asked, scrambling from the covers.

He wrapped an arm around her waist, pulling her back against his chest, laughing as she continued to struggle.

"Because you needed it and I just couldn't bare to wake you. You were too adorable, drooling all over my pillow," Emmett teased.


She practically shrieked as she looked at the pillow, which was indeed slightly damp in one area.

"Oh, God. Why didn't you nudge me or something?" Bella groaned and Emmett could feel the blush traveling across her body through their t-shirts.

"You needed the rest and, like I said, it was adorable," Emmett chuckled.

In a move faster than she would have been able to see, he had them both out of bed and in the bathroom, his arms still wrapped around her waist as they faced the mirror together. He had to admit, they made a good picture.

Her long brown hair fell past his arms as they encircled her ribcage just under her breasts. The top of her head barely reached his shoulders and her slight frame was dwarfed by his much larger one. He imagined walking down the street with her, his arm thrown around her shoulders (because the thought of even a foot of space between their bodies was just too much to even consider) and he knew people would stop a stare. Not because of his size or her beauty, but because they fit and anyone who looked at them would be able to see it.

"Do what you gotta do, but don't take a shower yet," Emmett said, knowing with the way she ate pancakes she would need to shower after breakfast.


He debated telling her, but decided it would be better to prepare her for what awaited downstairs.

"Peter's making you pancakes."

She stared at him in the mirror for a solid minute before a dreamy look came over her face and she moaned appreciatively.

"Mmmm. Pancakes."

A/N: Okay. Still trying to get into a routine, so the next chapter might take a little while or it might be up really soon. Not entirely sure, to be honest. But I will see you guys then!