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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.


2. Chapter 2

Rating 5/5   Word Count 2924   Review this Chapter

EJPOV

Birds were singing happily when I stumbled from my tiny room at the Dew Drop Inn. I stared wearily at the overcast sky and wondered if the birds sang everyday in hopes of seeing the sun. I walked down to the office and browsed the items in the vending machine. I dumped the correct amount of change in and watched my potato chips drop into the pan at the bottom. I’d have to eat a decent lunch to make up for the early morning salt intake.

Traveling gave me exhilaration like nothing else. I did what I wanted and worried very little about anything. Of course, I had had my fill of worrying while my mother was sick. I guess my father would have been a huge help if I knew who he was. Mom sat me down more than once and gave me ‘the speech’. The one where she told me I was better off not knowing and I would thank her later, when I was older. It’s a shame she didn’t stick around long enough for me to thank her.

I lounged on the only bench in front of the inn, reading a free travel guide I’d snatched from the lobby. Every now and then, a lone car would pass by and the occupants would break their necks trying to get a good look at me. I considered a variety of rude gestures before realizing I would just be giving them what they wanted, a show.

“Do you always eat deep fried potatoes for breakfast? A tiny voice asked.

I spun around immediately embarrassed. “Alice? You scared me.”

She laughed, “I’m scary sometimes.”

Was she serious? “Why are you up so early?” I was horrible at small talk. I was horrible at conversation in general.

“I came to make sure you got settled in okay,” Alice shifted from one foot to the other.

“You have a lot of energy Alice. Has anyone ever told you that?” I crumpled the empty chip bag and tossed it into the garbage. “To answer your question, I’m as settled as I’m going to be.”

“Have you thought about sight seeing while you‘re here EJ? I‘m an excellent guide and I‘m sure my brother could go along with us,” she smiled.

“I‘m not much of a tourist. I like to blend in,” I cringed internally. She was a hard girl to say no to. Staying under the radar did not include traipsing around the woods with a strange girl you just met.

“You’re fooling yourself if you think you are going to blend in around here. What is the point of traveling if you don’t stop and enjoy the places you’re in? You’ll have fun and Emmett will love you.”

I followed her reluctantly. Something about Forks was getting under my skin and not in a bad way. I felt the urge to buy a house, get married and never leave. Though I prayed nothing that drastic would happen I could definitely see myself staying. I even smiled the tiniest bit at Alice as I got into her car. “Who’s Emmett?”

“My brother. How’s your room at the Inn?” she asked as we sped away down a back road.

“It’s quaint. That’s the best I got.” I hit the button for the automatic window, letting the wind blow across my face. “Where are we headed?” I watched the forest sweep by in a green blur and breathed in the fresh mossy smell.

“We can stop at my house first and I’ll introduce you to my family. They are going to love you.”

“Whoa! Wait just a second. I agreed to one brother and now I’m meeting your whole family?” My voice raised several decibels and I felt bad for shrieking at her.

Alice just laughed it off and turned the car off the main road onto a dirt lane. I slid further down into my seat and pouted. It was juvenile, I know.

We continued up the lane in silence and I found myself sitting straighter in the leather seat once I caught sight of the house. It was definitely not something that belonged in Forks. Despite the cool weather, the windows on the top floor were flung open carelessly and the breeze was blowing inside, ruffling the curtains.

“Well, here we are,” Alice interrupted my stupor.

“Damn, now that’s a house!” I wiped my chin expecting to find drool. I got out of the car and shut my door as quietly as I could. Something about the house and its surroundings made me want to whisper and tiptoe.

“Come on EJ,” Alice was waving me on from the porch.

“How did you get up there so fast?” She was a quick little thing. “Can’t I just wait for you here?” I was not good with people. Keeping to myself was so much easier.

“Suit yourself. I’ll bring everyone to you.”

Before I could object, she had disappeared into the house. I wandered away from the car and into the front yard. A slight rain was beginning to fall and I cursed once again for leaving my jacket.

EPOV

“She has a colorful vocabulary,” I stood motionless at the foot of the stairs waiting for Alice. I could hear the girl’s thoughts and laughed. She was full of insecurities and words I would never utter in front of a woman. It was comical to me that she was a woman, possibly a sailor, but a woman nonetheless.

“She could use a make over,” Alice flitted past me and up the stairs looking for Emmett and the others.

I watched EJ through the front window as she paced back and forth in the yard. I listened to her thoughts of needing a jacket and made a mental note to tell Alice.

“She has potential, with a little help,” Alice had returned with the rest of my family. Do not ruin this with your negative attitude Edward. “I doubt I can do anything about her mouth. Emmett will enjoy that aspect of her.”

I nodded and laughed, “Alice has something to tell us all.” Bella pulled me to her from behind. She was chuckling lightly.

“Does it have anything to do with the human girl wandering around in the yard?” Emmett asked loudly. He was not one for subtleties.

I buried my face in Bella’s hair, waiting for Alice to clue everyone in on her new friend. Bella turned and smiled up at me. “Stop worrying so much Edward. I’m more than capable of handling my thirst around humans. It’s been two years.”

“I’m only looking out for your comfort. Getting used to someone new isn’t the easiest no matter the circumstances.”

Bella patted my cheek with her pale hand. I suspected there was pity implied with the gesture but I kept my comments to myself. Bella could take care of herself and the habit to do it for her was hard to break.

Interrupting my thoughts, Alice cleared her throat, demanding attention. “I’ve never kept anything from any of you and this may come as a surprise but I’ve had some visions. I had no idea why I was getting this human girl and after some research,” She glanced quickly at me, it didn’t go unnoticed, “I’ve learned she’s family. She’s my blood relative.” Alice grinned, flashing her ultra white teeth around the room.

Jasper swept forward and embraced his wife. “Alice that’s wonderful! Why would you keep something like that from us?”

“Surely, we would have understood,” Carlisle chimed in, a knowing smile on his face.

“I wanted to tell all of you, especially Jasper. I swore Edward to secrecy.” Alice hugged Jasper again. “Her future vanished every time I decided to tell you. Now that she’s here I can see she’ll stay.”

No one objected; they knew I was not someone you could keep a secret from. I felt Bella tremble in my arms trying to abstain from laughing. I growled at her playfully.

“I should have known.” Jasper chuckled and shook his head. “You have been really happy for a few weeks now.”

Rosalie walked to the window and looked out. “So, what now Alice? We may as well hang a welcome sign for the Volturi over the house.” She rolled her eyes. “Why are you forcing Emmett on her? Send Edward the walking underwear model out there.”

“Hey!” Bella piped in.

Esme spoke up, reminding us she was there. “Rose, that wasn’t very nice. We should be happy for Alice at a time like this. If anyone can make her feel welcome it‘s Emmett.”

My head was starting to swim with my family’s thoughts. “Esme is right Rosalie. I think we should go introduce ourselves before EJ wanders off into the woods.”

“Sounds good to me. Any family of Alice is family of mine.” Emmett wrapped his huge arms around Rosalie, kissing the top of her head. “Come on Rose. Don’t be that way.”

“Would it hurt to find one of my long lost family members?”

I laughed at Rose on my way outside and she cut her eyes at me. I understood where her anger stemmed from and it wasn’t in my nature to hold it against her. She had warmed up to Bella, after all.

I am sure we looked humorous, a group of pale, beautiful people huddled together on the porch, all eyes turned toward EJ. She studied us, ignoring Alice’s outstretched hand. I took in her appearance, realizing just then how much Emma resembled Alice. Sure, she was just a bit taller and not as slim through the waist but her face was remarkable.

EJPOV

I gathered all the confidence I could muster and walked towards the group of people huddled in front of the house. Alice was the only one to step forward and offer me a hand but I didn’t need it. I realized suddenly that I did not like being treated like a child whether I acted the part or not.

“Hello, I’m Emma Jane. It’s nice to meet all of you.” Making the greeting a group event seemed to be the easiest way out. I couldn’t see myself shaking hands one by one as if we’d just played a baseball game.

“She prefers EJ,” Alice added her two cents, happily.

I caught the blush before it erupted across my face. “Thanks Alice.”

She bounced forward and named off her family one by one. “Carlisle, Esme, Emmett, Edward, Bella, Jasper and Rosalie.”

Everyone greeted me in his or her own way except Rosalie. She twitched at bit when I smiled in her direction but that didn‘t count. Out of the seven only one seemed to hate that I existed, not to bad.

Emmett stepped forward and ruffled my hair. He grinned a large goofy grin at Alice and me. “Don’t mind Rose, she’s not good with people.”

The others laughed at the joke I obviously missed.

“Would you like to come in dear?” Esme reminded me of my mother, warm and inviting. Her smile was genuine as she opened her arms and welcomed me.

I questioned the frigid nature of her skin silently as I walked with Esme up the steps but not before I noticed Edward’s face tense and relax. It was quick but I was sure it was not imagined. We filed into the living room and I took a seat on the edge of the couch cushion. I braced myself for the uncomfortable silence.

“Alice tells me we’re going sight seeing. I can’t say there is much to see but if we get bored I can take you for a ride in my jeep.” Emmett was a friendly enough person. He seemed genuine, like Esme.

“She talked me into it. Although, after the ride over I think I’m excited. I was in Hollywood last week and I’m burned out on people. There isn’t that many people here.” I caught myself before I could ramble on any longer. The words felt foreign to me.

Alice excused herself from the room and danced off up the stairs to change. Jasper followed close behind her. “Nice to meet you EJ,” he tipped his head in my direction.

I smiled and let my eyes scan the large room. The piano pushed off to the corner caught my attention and I ached to play it. Granted, I hadn’t played an instrument for years but I could still imagine the feel of the ivory keys beneath my fingertips.

“Would you like to play it?” Edward asked, scaring out of my daze.

“Oh, well…I’d better not. I haven’t played for so long. I’m better with a guitar.”

“You play the piano and the guitar?” It was the first thing Bella had said to me. Edward squeezed her shoulders and chuckled lightly at her astonishment.

“Yeah, I used to have a guitar actually. I pawned it in Biloxi, you know, so I could buy a bus ticket.” I cringed. Why was I telling these cold, beautiful people my life story?

Finally, Alice reappeared with a jacket and saved me from further verbal diarrhea.

We abandoned the yellow Porsche and loaded into a silver Volvo that I later learned, belonged to Edward. I thought about Emmett squeezing into the back seat of Alice’s car and laughed. It reminded me vaguely of a bear on a tricycle, the kind you would see at the circus. They looked at me curiously as I waved my hand, brushing it off.

The trees rushed past me and I had the desire to poke my head out the window. I decided against that for fear of looking too much like a dog. We drove around most of the day, stopping here and there so I could play tourist. The pair of them bombarded me with questions and as the time passed, I minded them less and less. It was an odd experience.

“Can we turn the radio on?” Emmett pleaded after our conversation died out.

That was the best idea anyone has had all day. “Great idea. Can I choose the station?” I plastered my best pleading look on.

“Sure, Edward has satellite radio. Just put it back before we get home. I’d hate to hear that lecture again.” Alice giggled.

I sifted through twenty or thirty stations before settling on one. Heart drifted through the car and the upbeat song made me want to throw caution to the wind. Music always had the same effect on me, no matter the genre. A soft, low hum from the backseat caused me to turn, my eyebrow raised, curious. Emmett immediately stopped his humming.

You know Heart? I can’t believe it,” I turned to Alice. “Turn it up.”

With the music almost loud enough to drown me out I started to sing along. When it came time for the chorus all three of us were singing over the music.

How do I get you alone! How do I get you alone!

I fell back against the seat as the song ended and Alice turned the volume back to a reasonable setting. There was a healthy flush in my face that hadn’t been there for a while. My heart thumped against my chest and I took a deep breath in hopes of calming it.

“You have an amazing voice EJ. Have you ever thought about singing?” Emmett was quickly becoming someone I could call a friend.

“No way. I’m a chicken. I don’t think I could take all those eyes on me. What about you Alice? You have a pretty singing voice.”

“Thank you but I’m better at shopping. Music is a past time between the mall and home.” She steered the car towards the inn, pulling into a spot directly in front of the lobby.

I could almost hear Emmett rolling his eyes. “Don’t worry EJ. You’ll be exposed to Alice’s true talent soon enough.”

Rain splattered against the windshield as we all three shoved the car doors open and rushed under the awning over the main door and down the sidewalk to my room. I dug my key from the pocket of the jacket Alice had let me borrow.

“Well, I have to be honest and say today was nothing like I expected it to be.” Alice grinned and accepted her jacket back from me. “Good night.”

“See you tomorrow.” They called as I shut the door and locked it.

After being in such good company all day the motel room hardly seemed fitting. In a situation where I would normally welcome the silence I actually missed the easy conversation. I had learned so much about the Cullens in the previous hours.

Edward was married to Bella, Emmett was married to Rosalie, Esme and Carlisle were married and the ’guardians’ of all the children except for Bella. I had also learned that Alice was married to Jasper, which was surprising. She seemed far too young to be married. The more I thought about it, the more I realized the whole family seemed young.

I fell back along the bed sideways. They were a strange mixture of people with so many differences in personalities. Alice and Emmett hadn’t eaten anything the whole time I was with them despite my many offerings. The feeling of Esme’s cool skin crossed my mind and I pushed it away. I refused to dissect the Cullens and sabotage whatever it was I had going with them. It was a dangerous game I played with myself. Get them before they get you or simply enough, find some reason why I couldn’t invest my heart even if it was totally absurd.

I am not going to ruin this. I thought as my body relaxed and my eyes drifted closed. The whole day had been nothing but bright neon signs screaming at me to get over myself and let someone in. Who was I to ignore the signs?