Condensation coated Anna's window as she pushed back the grey drapes to let the weak morning light fill up the room.
Ice coated the windshield of her car and she groaned upon realising she would have to spend some time in the icy air defrosting the windscreen before she left for school that morning.
Wrapping her dressing gown around her, Anna stood in the kitchen window smiling affectionately when she noticed her father scraping off the ice and putting snow chains on her and Bella's cars. Making a fresh pot of coffee for when he came back in, Anna took her slice of toast upstairs with her as she got ready for the day.
An hour later, freshly washed and dressed, Anna waited for her sister to wrap herself in another layer of clothing (she wasn't used to the frosty start) before kissing her father goodbye.
Taking their separate cars, Anna was grateful for the peaceful drive where was able to sing along to the radio, loudly. Since Bella had moved in, Anna no longer had the house to herself every now and again to dance around belting out musicals and had to savour those moments in her car.
Pulling up across from her sister, Anna waited in the car for just a moment longer, savouring the warmth that the heating offered. Wrapping her scarf tightly around her neck, Anna turned off the engine and clambered out the car. Instantly, the bitter wind cut her cheeks and filled her eyes with unshed tears.
Treading carefully across the salted road, Ana was halfway across the road when Bella's face paled further and her eyes widened in terror.
A horrendous screeching sound filled the parking lot. Anna whirled around to see Emmett watching from his car (parked a few cars down from hers), horror marring his handsome features as Tyler Crowley's dark blue van hurtled towards her. Fear froze the dark haired girl in place, as she knew that no matter how fast she ran it would be too late. Moving was futile – the van would hit her regardless.
Thankfully somebody moved faster than she did (faster than humanly possible) and strong arms wrapped around her body, pulling her backwards and out of the path of danger. Anna's heart pounded inhumanly fast but she told herself it was only due to the adrenaline pumping through her. Unable to appreciate the muscle pressed against her, Anna turned back to watch as Tyler's van continued spinning towards her sister. Arms tightened around her midsection as Emmett prevented the older twin from tearing across the car park in an attempt to rescue her sister.
"BELLA!" Anna's voice screeched when the van settled and people burst into action.
Not even caring that her hand was tightly gripping Emmett's, the brunette dragged Emmett with her as she flew across the car park. Stopping short, Anna was in disbelief when she noticed Edward had come to Bella's rescue; the last she had seen of the stoic male, he had been stood near Emmett.
Unfortunately, Anna was forced to stand on the sidelines and wait for the EMTs to move the van before she was able to check if Bella was okay. After hearing that Anna had also been involved, she was forced to go to the hospital with Bella to check for any injuries sustained. Apparently reassuring the nurses that she hadn't been harmed wasn't good enough when the daughter of the Chief of Police was involved with a car accident.
Detaching herself from Emmett, Anna clambered into the emergency vehicle after Bella. As soon as the doors shut, Anna turned to face her twin and began bombarding her with questions.
"Are you okay? What hurts? Are you bleeding? How hard did you hit your head? Thank god for Edward. I was so scared for you, Bells. I'm so glad you're not hurt. Both of us have to be grateful for the Cullens."
Situations of panic where apparently something Anna struggled with as her mouth babbled on and on, rushing through the words her brain was frantically thinking. Unfortunately, Bella was unable to discuss the topic of Edward and Emmett due to the former being seated in the front of the ambulance – the EMTs had insisted he come along to the hospital due to his involvement in the accident.
Answering questions about their injuries, Bella squeezed her sister's hand in an effort to reassure the poor girl that she was perfectly fine. The emotional concern was highly touching and Bella once again realised how much she had missed seeing her sister during their years apart.
Brain racing with confused questions, Bella was unable to tear her gaze from Edward's back. How did he get to her so fast? How was Emmett able to pull Anna out of the way? Neither man had been in a close enough proximity to explain how they had saved the twins in time. No matter how fast she was, Anna would've been hit by the van regardless yet Emmett somehow moved from his position and pulled her out of danger before that had happened.
Glancing over at her twin, Bella realised just how close Anna had been to death and despite being suspicious, she reminded herself to thank Emmett profusely. Despite their differences, Bella knew her world would be a darker place without her sister's cheerful, sweet and feisty demeanour.
Unfortunately for the Swan girls, by the time they had finished being checked over, Charlie had arrived at the hospital and had been informed about the danger both his girls had been in. Someone had decided to tell him exactly what had happened, including the Cullen brother's heroic acts. That was one of the downside to having your father as the Chief of Police, there was no downplaying accidents to ensure he didn't worry as much.
Brushing off her father's concern and reassuring him the only injury she had was some bruising, Anna gasped when her attention was directed to the person now occupying the bed next to Bella's.
"Tyler, oh god," Anna murmured, rushing over to inspect the bloodied bandage on his head.
Whilst they weren't the best of friends, they had been lab partners last year and Anna had become accustomed to the numerous flirty comments he threw her way. Therefore, seeing his face covered in cuts and gashes was highly upsetting and she took his hand in comfort as nurses began cleaning his wounds.
"Anna, Bella, I'm so sorry!" Tyler practically sobbed, remorse pooling in his eyes. "I thought I was going to kill you! I was going too fast and I hit the ice wrong and -."
He gripped Anna's hand tightly as the nurse dabbed a larger wound on his face, giving Bella the chance to speak over his hysterical words. All she wanted was to go home and for all this mess and attention to be over.
"Don't worry about it, you missed me and Anna was pulled out of the way."
Turning to face her furious father, Anna tried to convince her furious father not to take away Tyler's license. Arguing back and forth, Charlie eventually gave in and decided to just put some points on his license, which he considered lenient considering both his girls had come close to death and were suffering injuries of some degree.
Pressing a kiss to the top of his daughter's head, the chief of police pulled her in for a hug and Anna attempted not to exclaim in pain when he pressed against her bruised ribs. Switching into 'Chief mode', Charlie left the two girls so as to interrogate poor Tyler.
Reassured that the only injury Anna had sustained, the doctors left her alone as they took Bella for an X-ray of her head, Anna smiled down at her phone as she attempted to drown out Tyler's persistent apologies. Finally having a moment to herself, Anna soon realised being alone with her thoughts wasn't a good choice when anxiety began seeping in as she recalled the events of the day.
In an effort to distract herself, she checked the numerous messages she had received. Jessica had messaged her 10 times and called once and Anna chuckled to herself as she flicked through each one before landing on the last one, which read 'crap, just realised you're obvi still in the hospital. Txt as soon as you're home x.'
Quickly reassuring her best friend that she was alive and hadn't been kidnapped by doctors (yes, one of the messages did ask that), Anna told her that she would ring her the moment her foot crossed the threshold of her bedroom. Mike had also begged Anna to message him the moment she was home safely and the various other messages asked the same thing and whether she was injured.
Responding to them all with the news that she would be returning to school the next day, Anna was dismayed to notice there wasn't an incoming message alongside Emmett's name. Debating whether or not she should message him first and thank him for saving her life or whether she should leave him alone and thank him in person the next day, she was saved the decision when her father's return caught her attention. Telling the twins to go wait inside the car, Charlie told them he had to fill out some paperwork and would only be five minutes.
Trudging down the pristine hallways, Anna giggled when she bumped herself into Bella (who was in a world of her own) and the younger twin smashed back into her, sending Anna crashing into the wall. Apologising to her sister, Bella couldn't help laughing herself until drifting voices floated towards her. Following Edward's voice down a corridor, Bella dragged her sister to the end of the corridor, where they listened in on the heated conversation happening between a few of the Cullens. Noticing the two girls, the family ceased their discussion and focused on the eavesdropping twins. Smiling meekly, Anna felt guilty for interrupting but was distracted when Emmett walked over to her, usual grin plastered on his face.
Guiding the older twin a little bit away from Edward and Bella, Emmett glanced down at the smaller girl feeling grateful that she was free from harm. He had enough trouble resisting her and her intoxicating scent without having to smell her blood if it had been spilled over the school car park. Even worse, he would have had trouble controlling his rage and grief if her deceased body had landed before him.
Stammering slightly, Anna struggled with the right words to say. Not only because she had no idea how to express her gratitude to the man before her but because he always found a way to prevent the smart-mouthed girl from being smart-mouthed.
"I honestly don't know how to thank you for saving my life."
"You don't need to. I'm just glad you weren't harmed."
"I'm perfectly healthy, thanks to you." Anna smiled.
Whilst being a cold undead creature, Emmett felt as though his temperature spiked upon seeing that dazzling smile. Golden flecks sparkled in her brown eyes as they lit up and he felt himself getting lost in them. The corners of his lips upturned as he recognised what he had learnt were the telltale signs of Anna beginning to rant as she continued to express her gratitude.
Catching her hands in his, he gave them a gentle squeeze before assuring her that she had no need to thank him for saving her life. After all, he had done it for selfish reasons and not because he was a good citizen (although he kept that bit to himself).
Stood at the end of the hallway having finished his conversation with Bella, Edward patiently waited for his brother – Bella had already stormed out to wait in the car. Realising she had to finish up their conversation, Anna's eyes glanced down at the large muscular arms as she contemplated hugging him. Remembering the pain in her ribs, she opted to press a kiss to his cheek (with great difficulty because of the height difference) and was pleasantly surprised by the smooth cold of his skin beneath her lips.
"Thank you," she called out over her shoulder as she rushed off towards her sister, refusing to acknowledge what she had done.
Turning the corner, she berated herself for her impulsive affection before glancing down at her stomach. Lifting up her top, she stared at the deep purple bruises that had formed where Emmett's arms had been tightly wrapped around her. She knew he was strong but she had no idea he was capable of doing that, especially when it hadn't felt like he was gripping her that hard in the first place.
Frozen, Emmett watched the blushing girl's retreating figure until her scent faded and he could no longer hear the rushing thump of her heartbeat. Golden eyes had turned black and he realised just how much of an effect she had on his self-control. Fingers brushing the spot on his cheek where her lips had touched, Emmett grinned until he caught sight of Edward smirking at him.
Dropping his hand and smile, Emmett passed Edward and deliberately knocked into him as they walked towards Carlisle's office.
"Shut up." Emmett grumbled.
"All I can say is, who's acting like the lead man in a chick flick now." Edward snickered, laughter only increasing in volume when Emmett slammed the door in his face.
Fog hung over the school car park darkening the glum look on Anna's face. After the drama yesterday, Anna had been hoping her day would be uneventful – a day where she could go through the motions and pay little attention to life around her.
She had not received that kind of day.
Instead, everything had gone wrong. She had been running late for school because Bella had taken too long in the bathroom that morning. Her period had decided to make an appearance three days early, which was a nasty surprise for Anna when all she wanted was to pee as she sat on the toilet. It had been pouring down with rain during the morning but the weather had decided to be warm so everything felt sticky.
Due to missing school yesterday, she had spent her free period copying up Jessica's notes for English Literature but hadn't finished them in time resulting in a scolding from her teacher (who couldn't care less that she was almost killed by Tyler's van). Psych Studies had resulted in a 2000-word essay for homework and to make matters worse, the one person she had wanted to see today had been noticeably absent. During lessons, the desk next to her had sadly been empty and she hadn't realised how quickly accustomed she had become to the gentle pokes and running commentary from Emmett. She had been alone in the near empty Library during her free until Jessica had come looking for her and occupied/distracted her with an incessant stream of gossip.
Dragging her weary body towards her car, Anna had never been more grateful for a Friday. Going home and sleeping until Sunday seemed like the best way to spend her weekend before remembering she had Biology reading to complete before the school trip on Monday.
However, when the looming figure near her car turned to face as if hearing her footsteps, she couldn't help but feel her spirits lift significantly. Mustering a slight grin, she slung her bag into the passenger side of the car before turning to greet the mass of muscle. Alluring scents washed over Emmett and his grip tightened on his leg hard enough that he heard a slight cracking sound.
"Ah, there you are. You've been absent all day and I almost feared you'd been eaten by a bear." Anna joked, a warmth spreading through her when Emmett's booming chuckle rang in her ears.
No wonder this girl is my mate, thought Emmett as she unknowingly guessed the way he became immortal.
"I offer you my sincere apologies." Emmett joked, grinning at the girl and attempting to ignore the tempting smell of her. "You will have to get used to my absence because I've been put back in Senior English due to improving my grades."
Keeping the knowledge that he knew the entire course off the top of his head to himself, Emmett had deliberately failed some tests and pulled some strings to get him placed in Anna's English Literature class so as to spend some time with her. However, after realising how difficult it had become to resist her, he realised that returning to his own class would be safer. Instead, he would spend their free periods together knowing he could easily escape any enclosed area without suffering educational consequences.
"However, I wouldn't be so cruel as to leave you alone forever. If you'll still put up with me, I enjoy your company during our free periods."
"Ah, yes, because how would I survive without the pleasure of your presence," shot back Anna with a teasing smile. "I'm sure I'll find some way to suffer through you being there during my free periods."
A wave of pain washed over her and Anna clenched her jaw tightly as she waited for it to pass. Another reminder that life was kicking her ass today. Staring at the cheerful face of Emmett Cullen, Anna noticed how his eyes visibly darkened but it happened simultaneously with the sky darkening.
Ignoring the anxious part of her brain that attempted to convince her there was something abnormal about the Cullens and listened to the rational part of her brain that informed her it was the lighting.
Inhaling deeply, Emmett felt pain deep in his core as the full force of Anna's scent washed over him and his throat burned. Thankfully, Edward was waiting by his car for his brother and was able to read the thoughts of hunger racing through his mind. Calling out for his brother, Edward informed Emmett that they had somewhere to be, distracting him from his focus on the thrumming jugular. Half of Emmett wished Anna wasn't in pain whilst the other was begging him to cause more pain.
"I just wanted to let you know I won't be around for the next few days so I'll see you Tuesday or Wednesday. I have to go and visit my cousins and cell reception is crap." Emmett explained, hoping that would be a good enough justification for why he wouldn't be contacting her for the next few days.
Obviously he couldn't tell her that he would be spending the remaining days of her cycle far away from her, tearing mountain lions and deer apart in an attempt to banish the smell of her blood from his memory. Swallowing deeply, Emmett felt his thigh crumble beneath his grip and Edward called for him again, more urgently.
Informing him that he ought to go before Edward dragged him away, Anna thanked Emmett once more for saving her. Resting on the handle of the car door, Anna awkwardly waited for Emmett to decide whether or not he was going to continue speaking as his mouth opened and closed a few times. Bending down to press a kiss to the Swan girl's cheek, Emmett rethought his decision before his lips touched her skin and abruptly straightened himself. Taken aback and slightly wounded, Anna attempted one final smile (more of a grimace) before opening the door of her car and wishing Emmett a good trip.
"Anna." Emmett called out before she could shut the door and drive away from him.
Having to stay away from her for a week would be torture but he knew it was an important sacrifice that had to be made to ensure Anna remained human and alive.
"I'll miss you." Emmett grinned cheekily before winking at her.
Ensuring all her limbs were safely in the car, he shut the door for her before bounding over to Edward. Ignoring the look on his brother's face, he couldn't help but grin when he asked Edward what Anna was thinking. Not wishing to invade the other Swan twin's privacy too much, Edward simply told Emmett that she was flustered and flattered to have received his attention.
Fist bumping the air, Emmett waited until Edward and parked safely in the garage before disappearing deep into the trees, desperate to feed before he turned around and tracked down Anna.