Tear stains marked the light grey pillowcase beneath her head. Predictably, Tyler had picked her up and asked no questions about why she was so distraught or why he was collecting her from the side of the road in the middle of nowhere. Instead of an interrogation, Tyler came prepared, tucking her into her bed with some of her favourite snacks. Pressing a kiss to her head, he told her he'd message her in an hour to check up on her, and swiftly vacated the Swan house. Well, vacating made it sound voluntary. Fed up with his mother-hen behaviour, Anna had kicked her best friend out of the house with threats of castration. Wishing to protect his manhood, Tyler had asked one more time if Anna would be all right on her own before dashing out the room. A pillow sailed after him, hitting him in the back.
Curled up under the duvet, Anna barely focused on the 80s movie playing out on the laptop screen. Dark frame glasses sat on her face, her eyes unable to see things that were too close to her. It was unfortunate that her comfort movie happened to be The Lost Boys. She didn't feel very comforted by it after the events of the morning. Whilst she cracked a smile at the parts that usually made her laugh, her eyes pooled with tears at the reminder of vampires.
Was that what Emmett looked like, she pondered when David and Michael fought, their fangs out and faces contorted. Rubbing at the tear drops, she berated herself for such foolish thoughts.
Of course Emmett doesn't look like that; he's not a vampire. They don't exist, she reminded herself.
Vampires were a make-believe, fantasy story. As the story hit a plot twist, the wind outside her window picked up. Glancing up, she squinted at the window, unsure as to when she opened it. Despite the dark clouds looming closer, the afternoon weather was perfectly calm. A large fuzzy figure emerged from around her wardrobe and she pulled the glasses off to see it better. As the person approached, Anna opened her mouth to scream but a large hand silenced her. Making her promise that she wouldn't scream again, Emmett hesitantly removed his hand. Attempting to calm her racing hear, Anna took large gulps of air.
"What the hell are you doing in here? How did you even get in?" Anna fret, glancing around.
The door to her bedroom was still shut after Tyler's departure. The thin grey curtains covering her window blew slightly with the wind. Strangers breaking into her home had never really been a fear of hers. After all, her father was the Chief of Police and everyone in Forks knew that. They'd have to be high out of their mind to even attempt it. However, Charlie was currently on duty and Bella had yet to return from her outing with Edward. Anna was completely alone and a (potentially insane) man had broken into her bedroom.
"I climbed through the window." Emmett declared, facial expression conveying that he believed it was a clearly logical explanation. "I just want to talk to you. I don't want you to be upset, especially not with me. Please. Can we talk about this?"
Hesitantly, Emmett leaned forward, thumb stroking the side of her face. Flinching away from him, some part of Anna wished she hadn't once she'd seen the sadness on Emmett's face. It was unusual to see his face devoid of its usual joviality. If he had been anyone else, Anna would've told him to go fuck himself and demand he leave her house. However, Emmett wasn't like everyone else. He had burrowed his way into her heart. All logical sense told her to forget about him but she wanted to hear him out before she made a decision that could lead to both their misery. She wanted to believe him because then she could continue to like him without her feelings making her believe she was a psychiatric escapee.
Agreeing to hear him out, Anna – warning him that it didn't mean she believed him – excused herself to the bathroom. Locking the door, she glanced at her reflection before grimacing at the person looking back at her. Brown hair hung in limp strands around her face from where her fingers had run through it. Her nose was red from rubbing it with tissue and splotchy red patches dotted her pale cheeks. Puffy red eyes looked sadly at her but there was a spark of hope returning to them. Splashing cold water on her face, she did her best to reduce the inflamed look. Bella had abandoned her brush by the sink and Anna picked it up. Running it through her hair, Anna's fingers nimbly braided the long locks so that she appeared more presentable. Turning to leave, she hesitated before taking a quick sip of mouthwash.
Shuffling back into her room, she smiled sheepishly at the man who didn't seem to have moved during the entire time she had been gone. At the sound of an anxious hear, Emmett looked up. A smile tugged at his lips once her familiar scent wrapped around him. He thought she'd have kicked him out the moment she saw him but instead, she sat down on her bed and looked expectantly at him. Even if she never wanted to see him again afterwards, he was grateful that he had stolen a few extra moments with her.
Pulling the grey comforter over her bare legs, Emmett froze as fair skin caught his attention. Patting the space next to her, Anna waited for him to move. An oversized sweater draped over her figure and Emmett felt close to having an aneurysm. That was his. Confused at the intense stare she was receiving, Anna looked down self-consciously. Blushing, she began apologising for her choice of clothing.
"It was the first thing there when I got home, and it was comforting, and-."
Emmett groaned, fists clenched tightly. "Please, stop. You have no idea how beautiful you look right now."
"I look like crap," she snapped. "I feel like crap, Emmett. You hurt me."
Kicking his shoes off, Emmett clambered onto the bed, ignoring the way it squeaked beneath him. He could smell himself on Anna and it ignited a primal instinct that only made an appearance during feeding. Before, he would run from her when he felt the urge to sink his teeth into her neck. Now, the urge to make her happy again was more important.
"Hurting you was never my intention. I wanted you to know the truth so I didn't have to keep pushing away."
"Oh my, God. Are you still trying to sell this? Why can't you just be honest?"
Frustrated, the dark golden-eyed man struggled with how he could make her see the truth. He had demonstrated his enhanced abilities by jumping through the window without being seen/heard. He had saved her from getting hit by a van with inhuman speed and strength. She had seen the supernatural hue of his eyes and had commented on how they seemed to change colour. Unfortunately, the sky was dotted with dark clouds so rays of sunshine would not be able to aid him with his mission. Before Anna could register that he had disappeared, Emmett was back on her bed with a large steak knife in hand. Alarmed by the blade-wielding maniac, Anna gasped as he shuffled closer. Flipping it over, Emmett presented the handle to her and waited for her to take it.
"Stab me." Anna blinked.
"I want you to stab me, as hard as you can."
A terrified laugh bubbled past her lips as she shook her head profusely. Rolling his eyes at her hesitation, Emmett took the knife back and plunged it into his hand. A grin split across his face.
This'll work, he thought. Anna screamed and reached for his hand. Mouth agape with shock, she inspected Emmett's palm. There was no wound. Shattered pieces of the blade were placed delicately into her hand so she could see first-hand what had fared worse. Emmett was quick to take the jagged pieces away before her own hand was sliced. Instead of blood, the palm of his hand had crumbled inwards slightly as if he were made of marble rather than flesh.
Hyperventilating, Anna felt the reality of the situation start to settle in. Vampires existed. Worse still, she had developed feelings for one. Moving forward to reassure his mate, Emmett panicked when her heartbeat increased further.
"Oh my, God. Please don't eat me. I don't want to be eaten." Anna struggled to choose between crying or laughing so a snorting sound echoed around the room.
"I've never met anyone who smells as good as you do but you're not really my type, Princess."
Anna was shocked that she felt slightly offended at his words.
"I only eat animals." Emmett elaborated.
Anna's heartbeat began to slow to its normal rate when he began explaining that his family were vegetarians. None of them touched a drop of human blood, preferring to only prey on animals. Human life was precious to the Cullens. Carlisle had dedicated his existence to preserving it; he was not about to let his family make those efforts futile. Anna could feel her respect for the handsome doctor increase tenfold. She should be disgusted at the fact that she'd spent her morning with a family designed to drink blood but she could only feel respect for them. They fought against their innate desires so they could lead relatively normal lives and not harm those they lived amongst.
It must be so hard for them to live the way that they do, Anna thought sympathetically. Ever so slowly, she reached over and placed her warm hand atop the cold marble. Emmett refused to move in case she thought twice and moved away again.
"I'm scared," whispered Anna, finally glancing up at him.
"It'll be okay. You're proven yourself to be versatile. Any questions you have, I'll answer. I'll be there to help you. I'm just glad you'll believe me."
Like a faucet that had once been blocked, the millions of questions inside her head came pouring out of Anna's mouth. For the next hour or so, she interrogated Emmett with all her queries. Giggling at his impression of a mountain lion, Anna paid no attention to Emmett's bizarre behaviour when he tensed and spun his head towards the wall that connected Anna's bedroom to Bella's.
Emmett had told her about his Change and the events that had led to his un-death. She had discovered that some vampires possessed extraordinary talents. Alice could see glimpses of the future but these were susceptible to change based on the decisions a person made. Anna had joked about Emmett taking advantage of his sister's clairvoyance to find out about her feelings for him. Emmett had shut that down by revealing that Edward was capable of reading other people's thoughts and had provided a commentary on Anna's emotions. Feeling slightly mortified and violated, the elder twin was amused by the fact that Edward was unable to read the mind of the younger twin. Jasper was able to control moods. Hence why Anna had felt calmer during her earlier outburst.
Begrudgingly, Emmett admitted he lacked a cool 'power' and that he was simply stronger than the rest of his clan. Lifting his hand to her mouth, Anna placed a kiss to the dorsal side. Muscles were more than enough and he didn't need a talent to be the most interesting person she had met. Finally realising that her handsome man was distracted, Anna turned to ask what was wrong.
"Bella's home and you have visitors." Emmett stood, ready to dart back out the window.
"I'm not sure I want you to leave," she admitted, standing on the end of the bed so that she reached Emmett's height. "God, I have to apologise to Bella though. I should also apologise to your family for my behaviour."
"My family are playing baseball tonight. Edward is bringing Bella and I'd like it if you joined us. Also, not that you need to but you'll have the opportunity to apologise, if that's what you wish."
Smiling at the bashful man, Anna shuffled closer as she told him that she'd love to. Her knees bumped against his as she reached for his hand. Emmett's head snapped up to look at her. Brushing her nose against his, Anna waited. Emmett gulped, worried about her close proximity.
"I trust you." Anna whispered, breath fanning over his face.
Emmett was drowning in her scent. Floating in it. It was all he could feel, smell or see. He would let it carry him away but as she leaned forwards, her lips kept him grounded. All that mattered was her. Unable to help himself, Emmett surged forwards and wrapped his arm around her waist. Crushing her body against his, Emmett kissed her harder. Weeks of pent-up frustration poured their way into the kiss and Anna gasped. As her tongue darted out to swipe his bottom lip, the world faded.
A crash echoed from the other side of the room. Ceiling glanced down at Anna as she panted, startled to find that she was somehow on her back. Crouched on the floor, Emmett was surrounded by her books. Sitting up, Anna saw that the white shelf that had once hung straight now dangled off the wall. Apologising, Emmett started picking the books up and placing them in a pile on her desk. The front door slammed shut. Both of them turned to look at her bedroom door at the sound of her name.
Reminding her that they would see each other later, Emmett bent down to lean over her. Just before their lips could meet once more, the black-eyed man pulled back. Anna was surprised to see that his eyes had changed colour. When he had entered her bedroom, they were a glimmering gold but now they were blacker than night.
"You're going to kill me." Emmett groaned. "Kissing is off limits," he chastised.
"Just until I'm used to physical contact, and I can trust myself around you."
"Anna?" Bella yelled again.
"Up here!" She called back.
Cold air swirled into the room and the dark-haired girl tuned to see Emmett with one leg dangling out the window. A grin was plastered on his face and he told her he'd see her later. Then he was gone. Rushing to the open window, Anna watched as he disappeared into the expanse of trees, displaying the fact that he could move faster than any human.
By the time she had fumbled down the stairs (head reeling from the kiss), the car had driven off. Anna had missed her chance to see Jacob. Since they were children, they pair had been forced together and friendship eventually blossomed between them. Charlie had spent a lot of weekends at Billy's house watching sports games, and vice versa. Billy had two daughters close in age to Anna but she had much preferred playing in mud or climbing rocks at La Push. Now in their teenage years, their common interests were further apart but their bond hadn't faltered. Dismayed that she'd have to wait longer for the next time to see her friend, Anna shuffled nervously into the kitchen regardless.
At the sound of her sister's voice, Bella straightened from her slumped position against the hallway wall. Unaware that Anna had spent her afternoon with a visitor, Bella tensed, expecting another outburst. Her morning had been wonderfully spent and she wasn't in the mood for her sister to run the joy she felt. Due to her ability to accept the weird and unusual, Bella struggled to comprehend why her twin couldn't accept the Cullens. Being with a vampire was extraordinary.
"I'm really sorry for telling at you." Anna started, much to Bella's surprise. "And for what I said about Renee. It was out of order and, quite frankly, a low blow. I didn't mean it but I understand if you can't forgive me. Just because she wasn't there for me, doesn't mean she was a bad mother to you."
Sighing softly, Bella crossed the distance between her and Anna, pulling the emotional girl in for a tight hug. At the end of the day, this was her sister, and she was hurting. Nothing else mattered. Reassuring Anna that everything was okay between the two of them, Bella apologised for not warning her sister about the undead. Brushing off the apology, Anna understood why she had done it. It hadn't been her secret to tell.
Still wrapped up in their embrace, the Swan twins promised that they would be more open with each other from now on. Distance had kept them apart for so many years, secrets wouldn't do the same thing. Pulling apart, Anna asked Bella if she knew what to wear to a vampire baseball game in the middle of a storm.
"I knew Edward was keeping something from me." Bella exclaimed. "He kept telling me everything would be fine and smiling at me. It was weird."
Anna laughed at the visual. "Emmett came over an hour after I left. We talked and I'm still freaked out. However, I'm trying to be more understanding."
"If it helps, the Cullens love you. Esme couldn't stop talking about how lovely you were and Carlisle was impressed by your manners – prior to the outburst. Rosalie likes your colourful language and Ashton said they hadn't seen such entertainment in a while."
Dressed and bouncing down the stairs, Anna paused before she could skip into the kitchen. Bella and Charlie were in the middle of what sounded like an uncomfortable conversation. Fulfilling her end of the bargain, Bella had told her father where she had spent her day and with who. Abandoned on the table was Harry Clearwater's fish fry. Charlie had stopped eating in favour of starting his young daughter incredulously.
"Edward's the youngest, the one with the reddish brown hair." Bella corrected, voice trailing off as her mind took her to another place with Edward.
Not wishing to interrupt the father-daughter conversation, Anna hovered on the stairs until the awkward part had passed. Over the years, Anna had done her best to keep her romantic affiliations off her father's radar. The few times he had been told by others that she had been on a date, Charlie had skirted around the subject; face red and a grumpy attitude. It had taken an entire five minutes for both of them to agree to drop the subject. Charlie had never prohibited her from seeing boys but he'd rather pretend it didn't happen at all. If he did his best to ignore it, he could pretend it didn't happen at all.
"Oh, well, that's nice," he said, tone stiff. "I don't like the look of that big one. I'm sure he's a nice boy and all, but he looks too...mature for you."
A soft snort sounded from the stairwell. Bella glanced in that direction and saw the small head of her sister crouched down. Knowing she had been spotted, Anna skipped into the kitchen, doing her best not to laugh. If their father was opposed to Bella being with Emmett, he would pop a vessel at the sight of Anna with him.
Charlie loved both his girls equally but he couldn't help being slightly more protective over Anna. Bella had grown up supporting herself and her mother. She was more mature than most of the adults in Forks. Anna, whilst wise beyond her years, had been allowed to be a semi-functioning teenager. A few times she had stumbled home slightly intoxicated. Charlie had held her hair back whilst she puked in the sink whilst including a fatherly/police chief lecture over the sounds.
In Phoenix, Bella had been the one her mother relied on. Anna had been the one reliant on her father. Taking in the appearance of his amused daughter (he couldn't fathom what she found funny), Charlie furrowed his eyebrows.
"You're going too?"
"Great job, detective." Anna joked. "I was invited as well because I'm a delight."
Charlie raised his brows at her in disbelief but a smile teased the corners of his lips. In truth, he wasn't that surprised that the Cullens had invited her. Despite her initial shyness, Anna was a sociable person and (pessimistically) optimistic. Most people ended up liking her after one conversation with her and she made friends easily – a stark contrast to her more sullen twin.
Seated by the front door so she could slide her sneakers on, Anna was tying the laces on her shoes when a tall slim form approached the door. Knowing their conversation was coming to an end, Anna turned back towards her father.
"And by the way, Emmett is a very nice boy."
A white cap slid past her eyebrows causing Anna to lift it back up for the sixth time since Emmett had dumped it atop her head.
"My number one supporter." Emmett had joked, taking his hat off and placing it onto her locks.
Faster than her brain could register, he placed a kiss on her cheek and leaped back into the game. Anna watched as Edward said something to Emmett, causing the larger man to smack into him. The two brothers laughed as they pretend to wrestle for a few moments. Esme had linked one arm through Anna's as the twins stood and watched the vampires play. Whilst their human eyes struggled to keep up with the movements, they had never been more engrossed in a sports game.
Upon arrival, Anna had instantly began stuttering her way through an apology. Well, she had attempted to but Esme had cut her off with reassurances that none of the Cullens blamed her for her reaction. Carlisle had outright refused to listen to her if the word 'sorry' left her mouth. Expressing his gratitude that she had trusted Emmett in the end, Carlisle told Anna that his high opinion of her hadn't changed. Rosalie, much to everyone's surprise, had beamed at Anna and greeted her cheerfully. She even thanked her for having a perfectly normal reaction to the revelation. The moment Bella came into view, Rosalie's smile dropped and she floated back over to her Mate.
Bounding across the field, Emmett scooped Anna into his arms but placed her back down when venom pooled into his mouth. His mind kept drifting back to the kiss they had shared; their first and last for a while. Edward had picked up both of the twins, which had made for a slightly uncomfortable car ride. Anna had been forced to sit in the back and watch the young couple make 'moon eyes' at each other. Apologising for not escorting her himself, Emmett explained he didn't feel it was appropriate for his presence to be there whilst Edward was being introduced as a boyfriend for the first time.
Over the duration of the game, Esme provided the twins with running commentary. The matriarch couldn't stop smiling when she caught the admiration in the human girls' eyes. Both her boys had found their love, and would no longer be lonely. All of her family were happy and mated. Unfortunately, all good moments come to an end.
Alice gasped and the Cullens froze. Carlisle dropped the bat as his oldest son (in Vampire years) glanced at Alice, watching the vision as it played in her head. Jumping at Edward's sudden appearance between her and Bella, Anna looked to Emmett for clarification. Fear radiated off her and Jasper did his best to ease it until Emmett was near her. She felt safe when he was close. Even though everyone could hear her, Anna asked Emmett what was happening in a hushed tone.
"Can you make it?" Carlisle asked Edward, eyes flickering between the two humans.
Dismayed, Edward admitted he wouldn't be able to do it whilst only carrying one, let alone two of them. "The last thing we need is for them to catch the scent."
"How many?" Emmett asked, arm curling around Anna's waist and pulling her into his side.
Overwhelmed by her scent, he refused to let her go this time. She needed him and his desire to protect her outweighed the desire to taste her blood. Unsure about what was happening, Anna glanced up at Emmett as he snuggled her in closer. The game resumed but Emmett and Edward didn't return to the field. Voice trembling, Anna inquired into what Alice had seen. Bouncing restlessly, Emmett explained that three unknown vampires were heading towards the clearing they were playing in.
"And they might want to eat me?"
"Probably, which is why you're not going to leave my side, and you're not going to move."
"At least I'm someone's type." Anna muttered under her breath but she burrowed into Emmett's side.
Emmett laughed, his shoulders relaxing slightly. He placed a kiss to the top of her short head. If it came to a fight, Emmett knew he would die in order to protect her. Attempting to appear casual, Rosalie floated over to the couple, standing as close to Anna. Without breathing, she smiled at the startled girl. Before the curious brunette could ask anymore questions, Emmett clapped his hand over her mouth as three figures appeared at the edge of the forest.
Two men accompanied a woman with radiant red hair, and they closed ranks before cautiously walking over to the larger clan. All of three of them were barefoot, Anna noticed. Ashton sauntered over to his mate, blocking Anna's view but blocking her from the newcomers view. Doing their best to mask the scent of human blood, the Cullens were tense because Anna's natural fragrance was over-powering; hints of Bella crept through as well. Goosebumps rippled down Anna's spine as she took in the vibrant red eyes.
These vampires would eat me, Anna panicked internally, why did I ever fear the Cullens? They're lovely, and they don't hurt people. They're Care Bears compared to these.
"Emmett, Anna, and Alice, you can go with Edward and Bella to the Jeep." Carlisle said casually, trying not to draw too much attention to the humans.
As they turned to leave, a light breeze ruffled the leaves as it swept through the clearing. Strands of hair flew into Anna's face and Emmett also doubled over at the smell that hit him.
"You brought a snack."
Emmett and Rosalie crouched over Anna, shielding her from the hungry vampires. Offended by the derogatory use of the word snack, Anna wanted to storm over to the lead Vampire and give him a piece of her mind but her muscles refused to move. If he hadn't been so focused on trying to get her and Bella out alive, Edward would've laughed at the murderous thoughts tumbling in her head.
Dazed, Anna barely felt it when Emmett slung her onto his back, racing through the forest. The scenery blurred as he ran with a furious need to protect the fragile person clinging to his neck. Once they reached the Jeep, the small group paused briefly so Anna could empty her dinner onto the ground. Bella looked at her sympathetically, understanding that it was difficult to adjust to moving faster than her body allowed.
Safely strapped in, Bella curled in on herself. In the driver's seat, Edward growled furiously to himself and Alice glared out of the window. Regardless of the temptation it provided, Emmett pulled Anna into his lap. Wrapping his arms around her, he felt content that for the moment she was safe and she was close. As Emmett whispered reassurances into her hair, Anna nervously traced patterns on the hand resting on her abdomen.
"Whoa, whoa, whoa. Hang on." Anna yelled, catching the tail end of the conversation between Edward and Bella. "Edward Cullen, you take me home right now or I will rip your head off with my bare hands."