Disclaimer: I don't own the Twilight Saga.

~Chapter Six~

Memories

The soft rumbling and rough crackling of thunder was loud enough to be heard in the distance, but my focus was somewhere else.

'I want to die. I want to die. I want to escape, disappear.'

These thoughts went through my mind as I repeatedly let the shard of glass slide down my forearm, my sight blurring before me, my heart's ache throbbing excruciatingly against my chest, my mind blacking out, the slashes across my arms numbing me, my soul, my spirit.

He's done it. He's proven and shown me who I was.

I was disgusted with myself. To the point that my existence was something not to be proud of, but something to be utterly ashamed of.

I wanted to die. I didn't deserve to be living. To still be under the roof of his great-grandmother's home, to still have this opportunity to be in close proximity to his presence that I was undeserving of.

Tears silently rolled down my cheeks, and I suppressed my sobs, worried that I might wake the sleeping figure sprawled on our marital bed. As I watched him sleep in his peaceful slumber, flashbacks of the night we first met and snippets of how we ended up together crossed my mind.

~o~

"Miss Rosalie Cullen?"

The laughing blonde female in the midst of four more females surrounding her on their 'exclusive for socialites' table looked up as her name was announced.

"What do you want?" she snapped, a little annoyed that the bartender came over to disturb the fun little session she was having with her female companions.

"This drink is compliments of that gentleman at the far end of the bar," the male bartender that was now also serving as a waiter explained.

The young lady annoyingly turned around to see this "gentleman" who probably thought that one single drink would help him get her into bed with him. It was always the same scene. Partying out somewhere, finding a nice spot in the bar or club, having a hot guy who had to be in the same social circle as you hit on you, you hit it off right away, sparks are seen in between drunkenness and you end up in a hotel for a quick one-night stand. And the next week, when you cross each other's paths in broad daylight in a state of sobriety, you pretend like nothing intimate between you ever happened.

This was the usual lifestyle of this young, elegant, radiant blonde beauty who would've, on any other day, be eager to get this meeting with the perfect, rich stranger over with, but today was different. She wanted something different. After all, she wasn't getting any younger. And the same scene over and over again since she was eighteen was quite tiresome.

Directing an annoyed look toward the generous man who was "wasting his time," as Rosalie thought, she found herself immediately turning her exhausted look into a smile at the unexpected sight of the one man she wouldn't mind receiving drinks from the entire night until he took her home.

Looking back at the waiter, Rosalie then took the drink from the tray he still held before her and said a polite "Thank you" before he turned and left. Her gaze was now at the man making his way toward their table, while Rosalie was already excusing herself from her group of jealous admirers who she knew were only desperate to be friends with her to climb the social ladder in their circle faster.

"From the reaction I saw from you, you weren't quite pleased to receive my drink," the blonde man, who had the same striking features on his flawless face as the young lady herself, said quietly, a little smile forming on the corner of his lips, amusement gleaming in his brown eyes.

"If I knew it was from you, I would've never had that expression on my face," Rosalie countered. "What is the CEO of Tech and Coms doing here?" she then asked.

"Why, what else? To greet my wonderful baby sister happy birthday, of course."

Arms opened in a welcoming embrace and the blonde beauty stepped into her older brother's arms. The familiar scent of her brother lifted Rosalie's crashing spirit, this day being a little too depressing for her. She hated birthdays. She didn't want to age, grow old, and worse of all, look old.

"I missed you so, Jasper. You've been so busy, I thought you would forget my birthday," Rosalie admitted, her hands clutching onto the front of her brother's suit.

"You've been feeling quite lonely, haven't you, sis?" Jasper asked, tightening his arms around his younger sister. "I should try to spend more time with you and Bella. I'm so sorry, lovely."

Shaking her head, Rosalie said, "I understand how busy a CEO is, so it's all right. How is your wife? How come Alice didn't come with you?"

"Ah, Fashion Week's about to come up. You know how busy she gets before that," Jasper said in answer to his sister's question.

Rosalie nodded in return. "Yes, of course, I understand."

"But she sends her love," Jasper added with a smile, which Rosalie immediately returned, before he continued, "and she wanted me to give you this – a birthday present." From the inner pocket of Jasper's suit, a tiny box was pulled out, and within its protection, two garnet stones studded in white gold earrings came into view as the slender fingers of the birthday celebrant opened its case.

"My birthstone. How thoughtful of her. It's beautiful. Please thank her for me. And tell her I can't wait to see her during Fashion Week," Rosalie told her brother cheerfully, carefully replacing her earrings with the gift of Alice.

"About that," Jasper started, remembering the message of his wife that was to be passed on to Rosalie, "she'd like you to be one of her models. She told me she was one model short, and you know she's very fond of you and finds you extremely perfect as a model for her designs."

With incredulous eyes and utter disbelief but greatly pleased at the opportunity, Rosalie chattered away in excitement, "Oh my! Tell her I'd be honored to! My sister-in-law is so perfect. I was never against her to lose my big brother to."

At that, Jasper gave out a small chuckle and kissed his younger sister's forehead. "I've missed you so much too, lovely. I don't know if it's possible, but I think you're becoming more beautiful each day."

The teasing yet sincere compliment made the young woman smile. Remembering her sister-in-law, Mary Alice Brandon, now Cullen, Rosalie then remarked quietly, "I wish I could also have what you found in Alice."

The oldest of the three Cullen children, born to Carlisle and Esme Cullen, Jasper, being four years older than Rosalie and being a big brother who was quite protective over both his younger sisters, almost instantly noted the sad longing in Rosalie's tone.

"One day, lovely. You'll find it too," he reassured her lightly, wrapping his arm around her shoulder and giving it a reassuring squeeze. To lighten his sister's mood, he then said, "Wanna see my present? I made sure it matched Alice's."

From the front pocket of his vest under the jacket of his suit, Jasper pulled out a white gold chain that held an uncut garnet stone, its sharp edges reminding Rosalie of the dangerous thorns on a rose, the flower that people always used to describe her beauty. It suited her, she thought, and gave her brother a kiss on his cheek at the perfect representation of who she was, shown through her birthstone that now rested between her collarbones.

As Rosalie admired her new earrings and her necklace in her compact mirror, her older brother stated uneasily, "I… have another gift…"

Wary of her brother's tone, Rosalie looked up and waited for him to finish what he had begun to say. "It's from our baby sister."

At that, Rosalie let out an exasperated sigh to which Jasper eyed her curiously. "You're still not talking to her?"

"I will never talk to her," Rosalie furiously and bitterly spat out.

The twenty-seven-year-old CEO glanced worriedly at his sister, but knowing better than to push the subject, he just asked the mildest question he could think of in the current situation, "You don't want to see her present then?"

"What is it?" Rosalie asked, excitement completely nonexistent in her voice.

"A bracelet. That, coincidentally, matches well to my gift and that of Alice."

"So you went to the Rehab Center today?" Rosalie inquired.

"She got out this morning, so, yes. I brought her back to her house," Jasper answered as he busily clasped the bracelet over Rosalie's right wrist.

"I see…"

Long after her brother had left and her leeching "friends" had too much to drink, thus making it time for them to go back home, Rosalie finally sat alone at the bar, her vodka martini before her still untouched. A few minutes later as the young lady took the final sip of her drink and was about to step off the barstool, deciding that she'd call it a night, a voice called her back.

"Rough night?"

Swiveling the stool around to the voice, Rosalie met the familiar face smiling at her. "You're the one who brought me that drink."

"Yes, I most certainly am. How come you weren't pleased to be getting a drink?"

Rosalie sighed, her finger tracing the rim of the empty glass before her, and before she could stop herself, responded, "Men think that one drink can help them get me into their bed."

"Well, doesn't it?"

Eyes widening, Rosalie sent an indignant look toward the bartender who was still smiling knowingly at her.

"I've seen you here tons of times before, but tonight was the only time I ever saw you up close. I must say, I'm not surprised that so many men are willing to spend so much on drinks. They must be pretty damn desperate to get your attention. I don't think there's a man who can catch your attention easily at all, without any pathetic, flimsy attempts like buying you a drink," he explained.

Not sure whether he meant it as a compliment or as in insult that she was an "easy" woman who left with every man whoever offered her a drink, Rosalie spun around and finally stepped off the pedestal.

"Can I buy you a drink?"

"You must be incredibly desperate to use that on me," Rosalie stated haughtily, her voice filled with contempt as she pulled on her white fur coat over the black seductive sheath that showed off her bare back and had a very enticing, low, dropping neckline, showing an ample amount of cleavage. "Besides, I think you might have a better chance with me if you weren't offering to buy me a drink while you're on your shift. That would be cheating since you wouldn't have to pay for it. I don't like people who cheat just to get to me."

"Well, isn't buying you a drink a little like cheating, letting the drink talk for them? If they were sincere about wanting to strike up a conversation with you, wouldn't they just go up to you and talk? And then afterwards, offer you that drink? Or are the gentlemen in your social circle somewhat cowardly?"

Spinning around, the annoyed young woman already losing her patience, she lowered her voice as much as she could and lectured the young man without drawing the attention of other customers nearby, "Listen, bartender. I didn't come here to be insulted on my birthday. And insulting the people in my social circle is indirectly insulting me. As for your offer, I don't want that drink and I certainly don't want you."

Dumbfounded and amused by the feisty behavior of the young woman in front of him, all the bartender could do was stare at the way Rosalie huffed in frustration then breathed out in relief as she composed herself. A very calm and poised lady on the outside, but a fiery, brave personality to go along hand-in-hand with the divine beauty of heaven itself, the young man was immediately drawn to the fair-haired angel that had seemingly graced his life with her angelic presence.

"Hey, Em, you're off! Don't go overtime, man. Manager won't pay you even if you put in extra hours!"

"I got it. Thanks, Riley!"

The irate beauty composed herself and took deep breaths before sitting back down onto the barstool. Coming from behind the counter, the bartender whose shift was now seemingly over, took his seat beside her, his smile still not wiped off his face, clearly pleased about something.

He held out his hand for a handshake but the young woman simply ignored it. Instead of getting offended, he held his hand to his chest to gesture to himself. "Emmett McCarty. Pleased to meet you. And I apologize if I offended you in any way. It wasn't my intention, Miss Cullen."

Rosalie finally looked up and found herself a little too stunned to silence as she observed the very unusual childlike features on this grown man's face. What especially drew her in instantly were those crystal clear orbs of his, a very light shade of blue, his soul so open and unashamedly displayed before her in those bright eyes of his. Neatness was seen in the way the curls of his black hair was kept in place, pride presented in his square jawline, defiance showed in his brows, but kindness manifested in his smile, his dimples prompting anyone to smile with him.

'Funny how I missed all those entrancing features on that beautiful heart-shaped face of his when he was serving me Jasper's drink,' Rosalie thought to herself. 'Then again, the lighting in here is very dim.'

Her eyes drifted down to admire his build. Still in his bartender uniform, the crisp white shirt hugged the muscles on his shoulders and arms remarkably; the black vest over it outlining his broad torso down to his narrow hips, and the black slacks he wore looked absolutely gorgeous, fitted perfectly to his long legs, and from what Rosalie saw before, she assumed his height to be more than six feet.

Snapping out of her admiration of a stranger's face and body build, Rosalie blinked innocently, trying to recall what he had just uttered. Emmett McCarty… Not recognizing the surname, she commented frankly but with no rudeness attached, "You're not from my social circle."

"I most certainly am not," he replied with honest pride.

"I don't date men outside of my circle," Rosalie continued, testing what Emmett's reaction would be to someone as high-maintenance as her who had high expectations of the men she dated.

Emmett studied the appearance of the blonde beauty before him. Rosalie Cullen, at twenty-four, was a very appealing young woman, desire exuding from every curve of her body, sexuality and sensuality both present in the way she moved, the way she conversed, the way she held herself in public.

A small ounce of stubborn defiance in the slight cleft of her chin, a sense of superiority in the way she held her chin high, the fine straight line of her nose and the contours of her cheekbones speaking of her pride of her status in society, calm confidence in the length of her brows, carefully lined and curved with meticulous precision, and sensuous lips from which the enthralling tone of her voice emerged – it all captivated Emmett's attention easily, all on a lovely, round, fair, flawless face.

With the right amount of make-up, Rosalie's beauty was amplified, from the light eye shadow accentuating the deep shade of blue in her eyes, to the dark eyeliner and black curl to her long lashes, outlining and highlighting the exquisite shape of her eyes, to the shy pink blush on her cheeks, emphasizing her pale skin; add to that the redness of her lips that looked as inviting as a freshly harvested ripe strawberry.

Her golden hair, magnificently styled up with half of its length while the remaining half cascaded down her back in gentle waves shone with the same lustrous iridescence of a precious pearl.

The red garnet stones embedded in Rosalie's jewelry caught Emmett's gaze. Then it dropped down to the floor-length dress she was donning. A little disappointed that she was already wearing her fur coat, covering her bare back that he enjoyed the sight of, Emmett's eyes drifted down the front of her gown, her breasts boldly drawing his attention to them.

Further down, her black heels strapped delicately across her dainty feet, Emmett noted that nothing on this woman stated 'simple.' Everything about her was extravagant. Seemingly vain and superficial, but all Emmett saw was pure, polished female sophistication. Add to that her feisty spirit, Emmett was pointblank spellbound and definitely attracted.

On the counter, next to the empty vodka martini that she had just consumed, was her black purse, sprinkled with tiny diamonds just like her dress was.

With a nod, Emmett finally responded, "A woman of your status most probably doesn't."

"And I certainly don't date bartenders," Rosalie added, a little mischievous smile forming on her lips.

"Oh, that, I know," Emmett said with full certainty as he mirrored the same smirk on Rosalie's lips.

Something about the man's high-spirited attitude intrigued the young woman. To think that he knew the social gap between the two of them yet not making a big deal out of it was something new to Rosalie. Men outside her social circle wouldn't even dare speak to her.

"Well, my shift's over, so I don't think this offer would be cheating," Emmett began, "would you care for a drink, Miss Cullen?"

Rosalie's smile widened and she shook her head at the outrageous advances this man was making on her. He was fearless of rejection, confident in his advances and someone who obviously knew how to use the charm he possessed. And he was a very interesting man, indeed… Not at all like the gentlemen in her social circle who either treated her with too much politeness or treated her as if she was someone who intimidated them, thus making her lose her interest in them very quickly.

With an amused smile still fixed upon her lips, she decided, "Sure, it wouldn't hurt, would it?"

Emmett grinned. "That's up to you to decide."

He always had something to say, and that was something Rosalie found very witty. And the fact that he left it up to her to decide whether or not she'd enjoy the time she was about to spend with him was refreshing. Men would invite her out for dinner and if they even noted one slight bout of reluctance from her during her decision, they'd convince her that she would have a great time. Most of those times, she never did.

"Hey, Riley! I'll have an Aristocrat Tequila, straight up. And for the lady…"

A slight glance was all that it took for Rosalie to understand that Emmett was giving her the choice of choosing her own drink. Turning to the bartender awaiting her order, she sweetly and confidently said, "Same for me, please."

Honest surprise and amused curiosity appeared on Emmett's face. "How courageous," he commented, considering the shot was quite strong.

Rosalie, turning her gaze to Emmett, a knowing smile on her lips, said in return, "I know how to handle my alcohol. Don't think me a weak woman."

Amused, Emmett stated, "It would've never come to mind, Angel. Your presence alone is quite domineering."

With her mouth agape in pleasant surprise, Rosalie asked with incredulous eyes, "Did you just call me 'Angel'?"

Emmett's eyes locked onto hers, he then said sincerely, "You're as beautiful as."

Flattered at the compliment, a slight blush spread across Rosalie's cheeks. Certainly used to receiving and hearing plenty of compliments and praise, Rosalie was intrigued that his admiring comment of her being as beautiful as an angel thoroughly surprised her. That, undoubtedly, was a first.

Still in a flattered daze with an amused smile on her face, Rosalie refuted with all honesty, "I'm no angel, believe me."

"That's for me to decide now, is it?" Emmett countered, his gaze drifting to the wide smile on her face that he began to admire.

With her smile still not wiped off, Rosalie remarked, "I can't believe you. You're so… so yourself."

"What would you know about who or how I am?" Emmett asked, curious to know what the young lady already thought of him.

"No, I just mean, you're not afraid to be yourself around me. I can tell you're not acting at all," Rosalie expounded.

With a light chuckle, Emmett said in response, "Angel, I have no acting skills. And why, pray tell, should I be someone else around you?"

Rosalie sighed before explaining. "The men I've been with have always either stuttered in my presence or were way too polite, like a woman like me didn't know how to have fun. They always treated me like a fragile doll and showered me with presents and riches. I'm quite sick and tired of always being treated like a child who needed protection twenty-four-seven."

An idea forming in Emmett's head, he then asked, "Do you know how to have fun then, Miss Cullen?"

Feeling that 'Miss Cullen' was too formal with the way they've been conversing for quite some time now, Rosalie requested politely, "Please, use my name."

Happily giving in to her to her request, Emmett asked once more, "Do you know how to have fun, Rosalie…?"

The minute her name rolled off his lips, her breath hitched and was caught in her throat. Something about the way he said her name thoroughly surprised her. With a sense of reverence, he uttered her name like he was extremely grateful to God that she allowed him to call her by her precious name.

Emmett had stepped off his stool and was leaning his face close to hers, waiting for an answer.

"P-perhaps…" Seemingly now, it was her turn to stutter. Exactly what kind of effect did Emmett have on her?

Downing the Tequila that was served before them, Emmett then spoke after biting on the slice of lemon, "Drink up, Angel. Imma take you to a place where we'll see if you really know how to have fun."

Emmett had to suppress the urge to smile at the way Rosalie delicately dipped her finger in the small porcelain saucer containing the salt, then resisted the urge to stare as her tongue darted out to lick it off her finger. Bravely, Rosalie drank down the liquor in one go, her hand immediately reaching for the slice of lemon she bit down on to suppress the rich scent of the alcohol and the strong aftertaste of the tequila.

~o~

"There's no way I'm going to do that!" Standing at the top of the snowy hill, Rosalie shouted to the man who was now sliding off the wooden sled to lie in the snow.

"Come on, Angel. You won't know how much fun it is until you experience it," Emmett shouted back, sitting up in the snow, watching the young blonde woman trying to take her seat on the wooden sledge.

Chuckling at the sight of the woman trying her utmost best to still look poised as she took her seat on the sled with the difficulty of her dress, Emmett thought to himself that she was a wonderful sight of an independent woman. And that was one thing he wanted in a woman. Independence. Someone he could protect from the shadows. Someone who he could appear for whenever she called for him.

"Come on! Slide down! Don't worry; the snow will cushion your fall, if ever you manage to fall off the sled!" Emmett teased. "I'll catch you, Angel. Trust in me."

Rosalie took one last look at the steep hill in front of her, and, clutching tightly onto the front of the sled, pushed it off the hill and kept her eyes closed as the feeling of slanting forward filled her, her dread turning into a feeling of freedom. As she opened her eyes, she already found herself at the bottom of the hill, the sled already coming to a stop. Feeling that that was too short, she went and tried it multiple times, bravely keeping her eyes open those next several tries.

'Will you give me the honor of riding with me?" Emmett asked her at her nth time to take it down the hill. Nodding, she waited until he took his seat behind her.

Reaching from behind, Emmett rested his hands on the front of the sled, his arms grazing her thighs, making Rosalie aware of the intimate proximity they had. To add to the fun she was having, Emmett steered the sled with his feet from left to right as they slid downhill. At the bottom, the sled turned over to its side, its passengers tumbling over it onto the snow.

Rosalie's body slightly covered Emmett's. Laughter and ragged breathing filled the echoing distance.

With Rosalie's laughter ringing in his ears, Emmett's hands clasped the back of her head, knowing she wasn't hurt, but still making sure she was all right. "We're both right. You're not fragile at all, Angel. And you definitely know fun."

Rosalie lifted her face inches away from the young man's and as he spoke his next words; his clear, bright eyes bore into her deep blue ones.

"You're fed up with the way men have been treating you. You want someone who will let you do things on your own, the way you want it. Not follow everything as it is already laid out in front of you with guides and directions. You like making your own decisions, your own mistakes. You like learning from them. You want to learn. Not just be taught. You're a very strong-spirited and strong-willed person. But though you already know all that, you still want someone to care for you when your world comes crashing down. Am I not right, Angel?"

The stunned silence was taken by Emmett as a 'yes.' A complacent grin appeared upon his lips. "I think I am."

Riveted by his insight and by the confident way he shared it, Rosalie asked, "What makes you think your presumptions are correct?"

Chuckling, Emmett told her, "I have my own ways of understanding women, love."

Inches were breached, the gap was broken, and those full lips as red as ripe strawberries that tasted of them as well, landed softly against lips that spoke words of truth about the woman whose lips now lifted off them.

Slowly withdrawing, Rosalie, a little embarrassed at being the one who initiated the kiss, leant her head down against Emmett's chest.

With a low chuckle, Emmett whispered, "Lucky me. I got to taste an angel's lips."

Minutes were spent in silence, and as Rosalie listened intently to Emmett's heartbeat, wanting to memorize the speed and tempo it was making at that very moment, she tried to hide the feeling of excitement that she was sure was about to burst from her chest. It was the very first time for her to feel this way with a man. It was so different with him than with any other man she's ever been with.

Inside Emmett's car, the visible gap of their social life was there again. Rosalie couldn't even recognize the brand of his car and was a little embarrassed as she asked what it was.

Driving up to the Cullen mansion, the gap between them dawned upon Emmett once more and the silent comparison between the enormous structure before his very eyes and his small apartment that he rented went through his mind. Instead of making a joke and be nonchalant about the young lady's apparent riches like he did in the bar, he said nothing about her home. Even he himself, though he didn't want to admit, was overwhelmed by the regal manor right in front of him.

Standing before the main door, Emmett tried to break the uneasy atmosphere since Rosalie asked the brand of his car. "By the way, who was the man who sent you a drink tonight?"

"That was my older brother. Jasper Cullen, CEO of Tech and Coms," Rosalie said in reply.

"No way! Your brother is the Chief Executive Officer of Technology and Communications?"

The astonishment in Emmett's voice and facial expression caused the young woman to study him a little closer.

"Hmm, you've really never heard of the Cullen family before, have you?"

Emmett gave out a small laugh. "Angel, I rarely read the news, and I have no interest in celebrities."

With an eyebrow raised, Rosalie asked, "What makes you think we're celebrities?"

"Aren't socialites nearly the same thing?" Emmett asked in return, a knowing smile tugging at the corners of his mouth.

Shaking her head at his wittiness, Rosalie chuckled. "What makes you think I'm a socialite?"

Emmett pressed further with certainty, his smile widening, "Well, aren't you?"

Once again, he was spot on. Rosalie could barely keep her smile to herself. She thought that she must've been grinning like a fool by then. This man was good at reading her, and she was ultimately excited and definitely fascinated by it.

"Good night, Mr. McCar–"

"Emmett."

"Good night, Emmett…"

"Good night, Angel. Have sweet dreams."

With one last chaste kiss on her cheek, Emmett turned and left her by the front door that was now being opened by the loyal butler who's served the Cullen family for over thirty years. "Good evening, Mademoiselle. Welcome back home."

Rosalie could barely move from her spot. Her breath had been taken away by the exhilarating night she had just spent with the perfect stranger. The depressing start of her twenty-fourth birthday ended perfectly with the meeting of a god she had already begun to idolize.

If to him, she was his angel, then to her, he was her god.

Every night since then, Rosalie waited for Emmett's shift to be over and they'd spend the rest of the night having fun in the same playground they visited on their first encounter.

During his day-offs, he'd bring her to concerts of his favorite bands, and those times, Rosalie always dressed down. It was her first time to wear jeans when Emmett gifted them to her on Valentine's Day. Just what she wanted, he gave it to her. To be free, feel free, feel like her own in her own skin, have fun and let her hair down. These things, she could do with Emmett alone.

'Maybe men treat you so much like a fragile woman because you're always clad in expensive gowns, Angel,' he had told her when she opened the very unusual Valentine's gift.

When Emmett disappeared for two weeks in April, Rosalie's world turned upside down. Filled with worry and doubt that she wasn't enough or what he wanted in a woman, Rosalie spent her days and nights haunted by ridiculous possibilities that infected her mind, making her self-esteem as low as it has ever gotten.

Calling the bar he worked at every day, Rosalie gave up on the seventh night. Luckily, she was informed by the manager that Emmett was back after two weeks.

Standing before his exhausted appearance, Rosalie waited for a well-deserved explanation.

"Angel, I'm sorry. I just found out two weeks ago that my great-grandmother is alive when she came down to the bar and asked for me. I learned of a family feud that's been going on and kept from me between my grandfather and his mother. Seemingly, she wants me to take over the family business. I stayed quiet about it because I didn't want you knowing about my possible inheritance…"

Confused, Rosalie asked, "Why…?"

Hesitantly, Emmett answered, "I didn't want you to stay with me just because of the possibility of me being rich."

His reasoning was a little insulting to Rosalie, and a tad ridiculous. Nevertheless, she wanted to understand, but she also wanted him to understand one very important matter.

"Emmett… We've been dating for three months… Do you really think that I would've broken up with you just because you work as a bartender?"

That wasn't something Emmett was worried about. After all, she did go out with him for three months despite his job. What really bothered him was the huge social gap there was between them. And with her knowing of his possible inheritance, all she might do is rely on the money, and no longer on him, no longer concentrate on the happiness that he could bring her without the riches.

"I'm sorry for thinking that way but you have to understand… For someone as normal as me, I'm blessed to have you. Winning you over without riches was a great accomplishment I can say I'm proud of." A silent pause hung in the air before Emmett added, "You can have everything you want, Rose. Even the world at your feet. Why would you possibly want to stay with a man who can barely give you a decent gift on Valentine's Day?"

"I would rather receive jeans every Valentine's instead of the usual expensive chocolate, flowers and stuffed toy." The honest remark caused the serious male before Rosalie to smile. Urging on, Rosalie continued, "Emmett… I wanted you back then even when you didn't have much to spoil me with. The happiness you bring me with your simple gifts and the time you spend with me are worth more to me than the riches you'll possibly inherit. You've successfully made me fall in love with you for who you are. Not what you have in your bank account. And don't say that you're just a 'normal' person making me feel like I'm special. I'm no one special, Em–"

"You're special to me," Emmett interjected.

"And so are you to me…" Rosalie whispered achingly, wishing Emmett could see how much he already meant to her in her life.

Taking one step towards his angel, Emmett's hands landed on her waist as her hands rested against his chest that slowly slid up to his shoulders. With her gaze glued to his, Rosalie spoke tenderly, "Can't you see, Emmett? You make me feel special in your own ways. As you said, you have your own ways of understanding a woman. That, so far, goes the same, in my opinion, when it comes to loving a woman."

Winding his fingers through the beautiful gold strands of his angel, Emmett finally professed the love that he could barely contain, "I love you."

"I love you too, Emmett…"

That was the very first night Emmett finally took Rosalie to his bed. And the next day, Rosalie got the opportunity to meet the head of the McCarty family.

On Rosalie's beauty, Miranda McCarty commented that "even though it's still snowing, when you entered the room, winter cowered back and made way for spring." She approved of Rosalie and even gave her and her great-grandson the special blessing to be married, although neither of them had that thought planted in mind yet at all.

Emmett told Rosalie the history of the McCarty family which was once one of the most prominent families in society, just as the Cullens were right at the moment. His great-grandmother explained to them the truthful events that transpired back in the 60's to 70's that led his grandfather to hate her.

As the old lady asked if Emmett's parents already approved of Rosalie, Emmett told her that she was the first to ever meet his girl. Emmett formed a strong bond with his great-grandmother, to which his grandfather and parents were a little jealous of, and even a little resentful of. But as Emmett repeatedly told them, his great-grandmother never did anything wrong to him.

To exacerbate the problem of the family feud, the day Rosalie was presented to Emmett's relatives was a disaster. His father and grandfather both had their reservations when it came to socialites, their past after all affected so much by the social circle that Emmett's great-grandmother was in, which was the same social circle Rosalie belonged to.

Emmett's mother, Renée, at least, was ecstatic for Emmett to have finally found a girl who didn't care if he was working as a mere bartender. That's when Rosalie found out that all his past girlfriends eventually broke up with him due to the fact that he didn't make as much money as they would've liked him to have.

In October of that year, Emmett's great-grandmother passed away at the age of eighty-nine. And as she did, Emmett became the owner of several bars and restaurants that has always been under the McCarty name for several decades already.

In Christmas 2009, that same year, when Dr. Cullen and his wife Esme came home for their yearly visit for Christmas and New Year, Rosalie introduced Emmett to them, whom they immediately approved of. Emmett also met Jasper, his wife Alice and Rosalie's younger sister, Isabella.

All was well and to an even greater surprise, on Rosalie's twenty-fifth birthday on January seventeen of the next year, Emmett proposed with her birthstone studded in a white gold band as an engagement ring, completing the set of her garnet jewelry.

In three months, in April, when spring's first blossoms thawed the final minutes of ice and snow, they were wed in the garden of Emmett's great-grandmother's mansion which they lived in from then on.

~o~

Hearing him shift on the bed, I stilled and even stopped breathing for a few seconds. I waited in the shadows, way back in my corner. He was stirring in his sleep, and his silhouette finally made me aware that he was awake, his body sitting up.

In the single second of the thunder flash lighting the darkness in our room, his eyes caught mine. He was staring directly at me, and with a hard swallow of my throat, I anticipated an outburst of anger or any kind of violence.

~o~

Author's Note: Like in my other fanfic "The Only Way," this story will have two endings, which you can choose from. Chapter Seven will be the good ending, Chapter Eight the bad one. They'll be uploaded at the same time. Now, I'm still working on both endings, but I'll try my very best to upload them within the month of October, before school resumes for me in November.

Please do leave a review, dear reader. I'd really appreciate it.

~Aoi.