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Angel's Shelter

Summary:
Rosalie was left broken and bleeding in the street. When she was changed, her body was healed, but the wounds in her soul were left to fester. Emmett loves her with all his considerable might. Can he reach past the pain to heal her heart? Image Hosted by ImageShack.us Banner by the amazing Iris!


Notes:
One-shot Rosalie/Emmett. Read and review, and I'll review for you. Emmett will bring you a grizzly bear!


3. Emmett

Rating 4.5/5   Word Count 1915   Review this Chapter

My voice is cheerful. It masks nerves so racking I think I can feel my teeth chatter. "Hey, Rose!"

Her voice is sweet and gentle, like music. Beautiful. "What is it, Emmett?"

I swallow deeply. "Rose, it's only been a year since you saved my life. I apologize if I'm bein' too forward, but… you're the most beautiful woman I've ever known."

"I don't need one more person to tell me that," she mutters, mostly to herself. But I feel I’ve got to address it.

"Inside and out, Rose. Not just that face of yours, though it's somethin'. Look, Rose, I know you ain't happy. I just wish you'd tell me why. I want to help you," more than anything else in the world. I want to set your heart at rest.

"I can't." It is half a whisper, and it makes up my mind. I steel my weakling’s fear and spit it out.

"I love you."

She is shocked. I’m not entirely certain whether that’s good or bad. "What?"

In the brief silence that follows, I drop to one knee. The ground strikes me with gentle force- I don’t feel pain anymore. I look up at her. "I love you, Rose. Will you marry me?"

There is a slow silence. I see her swallow, see the moisture that will never be tears pool in her warm golden eyes. "I can't."

I try to keep my tone light. I can see she’s hurting, and I can’t stand it. Yet my own pain does swell up a little. It shows in my voice despite my best efforts. "Why not? I thought you said you and Edward…"

At this, she laughs outright. "Don't be silly. He's nothing more to me than an extremely annoying little brother."

And then I can’t restrain it any longer. The pain flows out openly, and I say the words that occur to me without stopping to weigh the consequence. "Someone else, then? Or is it just that you don't care for me?"

"Oh, no. No, Emmett. No one. I… I love you too," she blurts, so quickly I can (almost) believe it.

But I can’t. It’s truly too much to hope for. "Don't lie to me, Rose… Rosalie. We can still be friends."

There is desperation in her voice. "No! Emmett, I'm not lying to you."

"Why, then? I know you're so beautiful, and I'm sorry if I…" overstepped myself? Tried to do something you didn’t want?

Hurt you. I never want to hurt you.

"Let me explain."

Finally, she’s going to let me understand, finally she’s going to tell me what’s wrong. But the only thing I can think of is the pain in her voice as she shrinks back, hides away. I am gentle as I speak to her.

"All right."

A little bit of her usual cockiness shows as she says, "Come on, stand up. Come sit with me. I can't stand to watch you kneel there."

I am silent, but I stand and then sit beside her on the soft red couch.

"I can't marry you because I'm not good enough. You're so kind and good, and I'm not. I'm a dirty, vile monster…"

I gasp. How could she believe this? Her, of all people, who is so obviously perfection? And to think that she thinks I’m better than her... "Rose. Oh, my Rose. Who told you that? They're so wrong. You are beautiful, and kind, and strong. I adore you, Rose. You are an angel. And in case you're forgetting, I'm a monster too."

These words, contrary to their intent, infuriate her. “Don’t remind me!”

I wind a supposedly comforting arm around her shoulder. "Hell, I'm sure glad you changed me, Rose. I'd be dead otherwise."

"Emmett, move your arm. Please. I'm sorry."

This hurts me. Not because of the rejection, but because I can see the pain in her eyes. "Won't you tell me?"

"You'll hate me."

For the first time in this conversation, I am on firm ground. I know what to say, what to do. I am certain of the truth. "Never. Nothing could make me do that. I love you."

It isn’t fear, anymore, that I hear in her voice. It’s shame. "I can't marry you because… I know times have changed, but still… I'm not… I can't… Emmett… I'm not a virgin."

More than anything else, I am relieved, and in this relief I turn, as always, to teasing. I had thought something so much worse. Poor Rose has been torturing herself over this, for all this time? Thank God. Thank God. "Hell, Rose, you think I give a damn? It's 1940 now, not the dark ages. I just wish I knew the lucky fella. Mind if I kill him for ya?"

She closes her eyes. "I already did."

"Rose?"

Her voice is so quiet. I can hardly hear it. "All of them."

It takes me a moment to compose myself. I must ask calmly. I keep my voice nonchalant as I say, "How many?"

And now, if I were human, I honestly would not be able to hear the word. "Seven."

I bite my tongue. A thousand questions flood my mind, and I must keep them from escaping. Were you human? Did you love them? Why did you kill them? All at once?

I can’t accuse her like this, not her. As much as I am possessed with jealous rage, I still love her. She’s still my Rose. Nothing can change that.

Clearly, she doesn’t know this, not from the way she flinches as she says, "Not like that, Emmett. Maybe I should have said this part first, but I'm so afraid. It's so hard."

My words are strangled, but they have to get out. She has to know the truth. And I am curious, almost as much as I’m furious. "You can trust me."

"I was engaged to a man named Royce. My parents were so happy. I was beautiful and young, and so happy. He was handsome and good to me and so happy. So very happy. I was walking back from a friend's house. We'd been planning my wedding, and I was looking forward to having everyone's eyes on me. And then… I walked past seven men, drunk, well-dressed. One of them was Royce. He called me over to them, and I went. They… he… I…"

I keep my emotions under control. I want to rip something into shreds. I want to kill them. How dare he? How could he hurt her? How could anyone bear to hurt her? Betray her like that, someone she was generous enough to love, and then just… How could he? Yet I remain under control. I have to help her. "You don't have to say it, Rose. Did he…"

"Them."

I stay gentle. My instinct is to reach out and comfort her, but I know that’s the wrong thing to do. I remain still and calm. "All of them?"

I hear the hatred in her voice, and, with shock, recognize that it’s not directed at the monsters. She doesn’t hate them- she hates herself. "Yes. That's why I was changed. Carlisle found me after, dying on the street… Oh, Emmett. I'm sorry. I wish I was someone who you could love. Not filthy..."

And the fury escapes. "Rose, oh, Rose, I'm so sorry. If he weren't dead already, I'd kill him. All of those, those, those bastards. But him most painfully. How could they do that to you?"

She flinches, and I curse at myself. Couldn’t stay controlled, could you, you idiot, for five minutes while she trusted you? No, you had to go and flip out and… "You're so kind. Too kind. I thought…"

I smile in relief. She isn’t afraid of me. She’s given me the chance to comfort her, and I gladly take it. "I think, Miss Cullen, that I'm a touch offended. You didn't want to marry me because you thought I'd hate you? What kind of man would that make me, to love you any less cause of what someone did to you? Cause you didn't do anything, Rose. I know who the real monsters are. And now I know how much you need me… Almost as much as I need you. Please, Rose, say you will."

This confuses her, twisting her face a bit with uncertainty. "Will what?"

I try to keep the hope from showing. I know I will probably be gently refused. I can’t expect it, not after this… but I have to try. "Marry me."

There is the longest second in the world. "I'll try."

I can hear my own voice change back to the countried rhythm of my childhood. The strength of my love and fury and relief and joy all mingled sends me back into boyhood. "It's real hard for you, ain't it, Rose? Lovin' me? You're scared?"

A cold smile touches her face. "Yes. It scares me stiff."

"I won't never hurt you, Rose. I love you. Forever." Softly, using none of my almost-infinite strength, I brush my hand against her cheek. Her skin is just slightly cool.

At first she freezes, and then she relaxes into the touch. She leans forward, forward, and kisses me softly for just one second. It’s little more than a peck on the lips, and yet in all my days of skirt-chasing and rough-housing I never felt anything this good.

She pulls herself onto my lap, and I wrap my arms around her as she says, "I believe you. That's nothing like how he used to kiss me."

I joke quietly. "Well, you don't have to worry 'bout somethin' happenin' to you again. Think anyone'd mess with my girl?"

The happiness in her voice surprises me, and I realize I’ve never seen her truly content. "Not likely, Emmett."

Her calm sobers me. "Rose, look. I will never hurt you, or allow you to be hurt. I know you're a vampire, and strong, but still I will protect you. I love you very much, Rose. I will always keep you safe. You can trust me, you can count on me."

"I do." Those words warm my heart, and give me strength to say something I most certainly do not want to.

"And… Rose, I understand if you're not… not ready for some of the… the things that go with marriage. If you don't want to, that's all right."

"I can try."

I chuckle. "Rose…"

There is a silence, a warm, soft, loving silence.

"I love you. You are an angel."

"I need you. You are my shelter."

Clinging together.

Needing.

Loving.

One.

Beauty and strength.

The broken angel has found shelter.