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Loving Emma Jane

Summary:
Thanks to emerald-rosalie for the sexy banner! Love you girl! She was a quiet, independant girl who was left broken inside after her mother passed. With nothing left for her in Biloxi, Emma Jane packed what little she could carry and left. She had no way of knowing that the tiny town of Forks held the key to her future and the ingredients to make her a stronger person.


Notes:
Stephenie Meyer owns all things Twilight, no copyright infringement is intended.


13. Chapter 13

Rating 5/5   Word Count 3004   Review this Chapter

APOV

I watched as EJ came unraveled in front of my eyes. My hands went to her hair that had fallen loose in her run from the building and twisted it away from her face. I glanced back to see Emmett and Jasper trying to talk some sense into the wolf. He just was not going to give up.

“Esme, help Emma please.” I ordered, a biting tone in my voice.

Esme took my spot and I walked at a human pace back to the parking lot of the Elks. Carlisle was keeping pace with me, for support, I was certain. Jacob went silent when he noticed me.

I glared at him, feeling less than thrilled with his behavior. “I advised you to wait, wolf. I have been supportive of your relationship with Emma the entire time, until now. Do you have a problem taking advice?”

Carlisle placed a steady hand against my shoulder.

“I thought she would say yes . . . she loves me,” Jake admitted sheepishly.

I took a deep unnecessary breath. “She does love you. That does not mean you ask her to marry you in front of the whole town on her twenty first birthday, while intoxicated no less.”

Carlisle stepped forward, “What Alice is trying to say is that the timing was all wrong.”

“What do you know about this?” Jacob spat.

“Don’t talk to Carlisle that way!” EJ growled from behind me. I was so caught up with what was happening I did not notice Esme and her approach.

“EJ, please. I’m sorry, I love you,” he pleaded with her.

She swept fallen curls from her face and took another step forward. “I need to go home. Jake, I need a break, ok?”

“I can take you home,” he pushed.

“Are you listening to me at all Jacob Black? I need a break! I need Alice to take me home, to the house in the woods.”

Emmett and Jasper stepped away, leaving the space between them open. I grabbed EJ and guided her toward my car. There was a moment when she caught his tears that I just knew she would go to him, she didn’t.

It was a long silent ride back to the house. Once Emma was safe in Edward’s old bed, I would return to the hall and clean up after the party. The look on everyone’s face played over in my mind. No one knew what Jacob was planning, except for me. I knew. He asked me for my input and I told him it was not a good idea. Part of me was afraid that EJ would add me to her shit list once she found out. I did advise against it, which had to count for something.

Rose and Emmett were already clearing tables and trash when I returned to the Elks lodge. The guests were long gone.

“Some party, huh?” Emmett announced jokingly.

Rosalie rolled her eyes. “This isn’t the best time Em.”

We went on clearing the room in silence, waiting until well after one in the morning to toss the human facade. By two, the space was back to the Dirty Dancing replica that I first booked. I was packing the napkins and tablecloths away when Bella walked through the double doors. Edward was nowhere to be seen but I was sure it was a deliberate decision.

“Why did you run away?” I questioned her, keeping my eyes to the piles of fabric before me.

She appeared next to me and started to help. “It’s not what you think, Alice. I couldn’t stand to see the whole thing play out so I left. I’m a coward, I know.”

“That is absurd, Bella. You are nowhere near being a coward.” I stopped packing to face her.

“I know what you’re going to say and it’s not true. Not really, anyway. Emma and Jake are welcome to their happiness but I can’t watch him mess things up because of what happened between him and me,” she sighed in frustration, her eyes were dark. “It sounds completely selfish doesn’t it? I just knew he’s rushing things, trying to hold on to her.”

I lifted the tote of supplies easily. “Let’s go hunting...you look famished.”

EJPOV

The strong aroma of bacon frying floated through the open places around the door. At first, I wasn’t sure where I was but then the disaster that was my birthday made itself known. The soft, stark white sheets told me that I was in the big bed in Edward’s old room. A throaty laugh escaped when I realized the dark humor in it all.

After each negative situation, I ended up in that damn bed.

I groaned and rolled out of the king bed onto the floor. My knees screamed as I crawled to the door. When I realized I wasn’t going to make it to the bathroom anytime soon I collapsed on the floor, my arms and legs sprawled awkwardly.

I lay there for a moment before the sounds of light footsteps on the stairs caught my attention. Before I could move, the door swung open and right into my already aching head.

“Shit,” I cried, holding the edge of the door back.

“Oh Emma...I’m so sorry I didn’t know you were in the floor,” Bella bent over me, a sheepish look on her face.

We stared in silence, not quite knowing what to say. Guessing she was not quite forward enough to help me I sat upright, ready for the room to spin.

“I saw you run out last night,” my voice was stern. Seriously, I thought she was past all of that.

“It was more the look of horror on your face than anything. I didn’t think I could face Jake after you rejected him.”

That was a glass half-empty perspective. “Did I really look horrified? Damn him...why did he do that?” I asked her, more frustrated then ever. “More importantly, why do I smell bacon?”

“Charlie called this morning. He was concerned after...last night,” she spoke each word slowly, probably waiting for me to explode into a thousand little pieces. “He suggested something greasy for breakfast. Apparently it soaks up the alcohol.”

“Apparently you haven’t had a drink before,” I countered. “It feels like my head is going to explode.”

“Would you like me to get Alice?”

“Yes,” I moaned.

Bella sighed and turned to leave. “I’m really sorry about everything Emma. You and Jake can work this out, whatever this is. I’ll go get Alice now.”

I fell back on the carpeted floor and stared hatefully at the ceiling. I had to deal with the whole proposal fiasco eventually. Bella was acting weird again and I felt like I did the day that I first stepped off the bus in Washington. I didn’t know how to deal with a man wanting to marry me, let alone a man who turns into a wolf wanting to marry me. How the hell did I end up with so many mythical issues anyway?

“Come on, off the floor,” Alice scolded, lifting me easily with her tiny arms.

“I like it on the floor,” I whined.

“To bad you big baby. Esme and Bella made you some breakfast and you aren’t going to hurt feelings by not eating it,” she guided me to my feet then reached back to hand me a robe.

I trudged down the stairs to my impending doom. Just as I had predicted, every member of the Cullen family, including Edward and Bella were gathered around the island in the kitchen. They watched me carefully while I gathered a plate and food.

The stalker-like staring finally got to me. “You guys, I’m hung-over and confused, not dying. I can swallow my breakfast without an audience.”

“I told them the same thing,” Emmett announced proudly.

“Oh, I’m sure you did Em. Thank you,” I praised him sarcastically.

He took the chair at the table next to me and turned it around backwards. Alice sat across from me, while Rose hovered near her husband.

“That dog was out of line EJ. Frankly, I think you should end things now before it becomes too complicated.” Rose barked out orders like we were privates reporting for duty.

“Rose, I think you’re acting a bit rash,” Alice tried to placate her.

Rosalie glared at Alice. “You do? Well, let’s lay it all out on the table then,” she turned to me, “Alice knew he was going to propose.”

The fork fell from my grasp and landed on the plate with a clatter. “What! Alice you knew?”

She stood a look of fury and woman scorned in her eyes. “You neglected to tell Emma that I advised him against it. Now stop trying to start trouble Rosalie.”

She huffed and slunk off in her best angry walk. Alice then turned to me with a sympathetic gaze. Emmett threw a huge arm around my shoulders and pulled me to him.

“He’s called at least twenty times since last night. They finally stopped around eight this morning and I only guess that it’s because he fell asleep,” Alice informed me.

I used my fork to push around the solitary bacon strip on my plate. I felt horrible and deep down I desperately wanted to say yes. I could marry Jake no problem; but it was too soon. “I can’t believe he did it in front of everyone we know. Jesus, I was mortified. What a selfish thing to do!”

“Hey, take it easy.”

I spun in my seat to see that Edward was studying me. He must have heard my rampant thoughts. Emmett excused himself, allowing his brother to take the seat he was abandoning.

“If I may, I would like to say a few things in Jacob’s defense.

Seriously Edward? You hate Jake." It was much easier chastising Edward Cullen silently.

“He is young and impulsive, much like Bella was when I first met her,” The morning light danced around in his golden eyes.

I chuckled, Alice watched our display curiously. Look what came of that. You two are happily married.

He extended his slender fingers to emphasis the point. “Precisely Emma. All it takes is a thorough look at the whole situation by both parties...and patience, of course.”

“Wow Edward. That was really profound and I think you have said everything I would have,” Alice seemed satisfied. “So, can I get you anything else?” Her hand motioned to the almost empty plate.

“I need two people right now. Ben and Jerry.”

Alice laughed at Edward’s confused look. “Ice cream, it’s a brand of ice cream. Go get dressed EJ, we’ll take the Porsche into town.”

I dug through Alice’s closet and dressed as fast as I could without falling over. When it came time to navigate the slippery stairs in platform heels I swore off alcohol completely. The light outside blinded me. Alice laughed as I squealed and hopped around awkwardly in her shoes.

“It’s not even sunny EJ. Look I’m not even sparkling.”

“I am so glad you find this amusing,” I tried to sound angry but instead came off sounding like a chain smoker. My eyes adjusted to the natural light just in time to spot Jacob leaning against his Rabbit.

As soon as he saw me, his long legs started in our general direction. “EJ, thank god...We need to talk. I didn’t mean to fuck everything up.”

He was frantic and it made me nervous. I knew he had the habit of exploding into a cloud of fur and teeth any time he got too upset to control it. I backed away a little. Alice hissed quietly.

I grabbed my hair, pulling it in frustration. “Don’t you understand the meaning of taking a break?

“Are you coming home? I can’t believe you left Moe there all this time,” he accused.

Oh god, I forgot about my own dog.

“I let her out and fed her,” he admitted.

“Gah! Jake you are making me crazy right now. This is why I couldn’t give you an answer. This is all too fast and too intense right now. Can’t you see that?”

Tears started to leak from his brown eyes and I knew for sure I would come undone once again. “Don’t you love me EJ, cuz I love you...so much.”

“Of course I love you. There would be no reason to put myself through all of this crap if I didn’t,” I moved a little closer, dying to comfort him. “We can be together, just be together. Just because I don’t want to wear that ring right now doesn’t mean we can’t be together.”

His skin began to crawl as his stress level rose. “I don’t understand what the big deal is. It’s a ring. We can get married in ten years for all I care.”

“You just don’t get it Jacob. It is more than a ring to me and the fact that you expected me to jump right on it pisses me off. You don’t really know me at all.”

Alice slid in front of me as Jacob twitched. His anger built until eventually he took it out on her as well.

“You leech. You filled her head full of shit! The blame is on you and your bloodsucking family,” he pointed a trembling finger at Alice.

“Watch your tongue wolf,” Jasper appeared, positioned to defend me and his wife if needed.

“Just get the hell out of here Jake!” I screamed at him, failing to hold back the tears.

“Go inside Emma,” Jasper ordered.

“No, I won’t.” I stepped around the both of them until I was directly in front of Jacob. “You have a lot to learn before you can be somebody’s husband. If you were truly seeing me for me, you would realize that I have the same problem. Now go home and leave me be.” I spat the words at him through clenched teeth.

He punched at the air furiously. “Dammit Emma I love you! Don’t do this to me.”

“This isn’t like before.” Bella was there suddenly, her steady, cold hand on mine.

Jake stopped mid punch. “What?” He only realized then that Bella was standing right in front of him. He cringed, obviously catching her scent in the light breeze.

“It is not fair to compare Emma to me Jake. Our problems are a whole other issue. Don‘t force her into something because you‘re scared she will leave you.” Her voice was calm and it comforted me.

I stood silently, holding Bella’s hand and sniffling. No one spoke. Alice walked forward, as did Jasper.

“I love you...” he forced the words. “Come back.”

Seeing him fall apart broke my heart. “I’ll be home...eventually. You can find me here if you need me. Rose will come and get Moira, make sure you pack her bowl and food. Leave it on the front porch.”

“Yeah,” he nodded slowly, his hands hung limp at his side. He got into his car calmly, turned around in the front yard, and drove off down the lane.

I released the breath I was holding. My heart was pounding furiously as I let Bella’s hand go. We stared at each other for a moment before she headed back toward the house at a human pace. Alice gripped me tightly by the shoulders, shaking me a bit.

“Emma...are you ok? I can’t believe you pushed him like that, he could have injured you or worse.”

My muscles began to relax and I realized Jasper was responsible. His arm was draped over Alice’s shoulders, trying to hold her back.

“I’m fine, except for a splitting headache anyway. I just need to talk things out with Jake privately; he can’t handle all of you in his face when he’s upset.”

We walked back into the house together, forgetting about the trip to town.

~*~

Walking into the station the Monday after my party was an experience. Everywhere I turned, there were sympathetic gazes and smiles. It only took me two long minutes to realize they all felt sorry for me. According to Charlie, I was the talk of the town. Yay.

Sue brought me chocolate chip pancakes every day that week. I never wanted to see a pancake again. Leah actually called me and told me I was doing the right thing; I knew she would understand. As for Jake, I heard absolutely nothing from him.

By Friday, I was sick to death of the mansion in the woods and I made Jasper drive me home after Alice refused. The Rabbit was parked in its usual spot, right next to my bright red Jeep. Moira yelped at the sight of home. I think she missed Jake. Unfortunately, by my third day of Sue’s famous breakfast food, I realized I missed the hell out of him too.

“Do you want some help?” Jasper inquired as I told hold of my dog’s leash, letting her do her business while I grabbed my bag from the back of the car.

“I got it Jazz, thanks.”

He pursed his lips and gave my hand a light pat. “You will figure things out, I know you love him. Alice knows as well, she is just really stubborn when it comes to family.”

Rather than answer, I nodded and almost ran to my front door. I could not wait to be alone, in my own home. I was elated as the key turned in the dead bolt and the familiar squeak of the hinges sounded through the cool night. Jacob had been there recently and organized all the mail on the coffee table.

A small cluster of daisies set daintily in a textured glass vase along side the mail. Damn, he remembered my favorite flower.

Before I could wonder where he was, I saw Jake, sleeping soundly in my recliner. I sighed and fell backwards onto the couch, letting Moira hop up on Jacob’s lap.

He was persistent. That’s why I loved him so much.