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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.


4. Chapter 4

Rating 5/5   Word Count 3061   Review this Chapter

EJPOV

Saturday started normal enough. I rolled out of bed, stretched and showered before heading downstairs to the kitchen. Charlie was an easy enough person to live with but I found myself keeping a safe distance from him for the first week. In my mind I imagined him uncomfortable and regretting his decision. In truth, he wasn’t close to either of those things. Bella had painted a much different picture of her father; then again, I wasn’t his daughter.

He was sitting at the small kitchen table with his back to me, reading the morning paper and eating a bowl of oatmeal. “Good morning Emma.” He let the paper fall to the table. “I’m sorry, I meant EJ.”

“Don’t worry about it. I’ll answer to almost anything.” I laughed and poured myself of bowl of cereal. “So, I thought you went fishing on the weekends?”

“Usually, I do.” He looked apprehensive, as if he wasn’t sure how I would take his next question, or if he should ask at all. “I’m heading down to La Push...to see Sue and I was wondering if you wanted to tag along.”

I swallowed my cereal too quickly, inhaling a few whole pieces. Charlie gave me a concerned look as I tried not to choke to death. “I’m fine, went down the wrong hole.” I managed to wheeze.

“It’s gonna be sunny today. Sue is an excellent cook.” He was trying to talk me into going without pressing the issue, I could tell. Sue Clearwater was his girlfriend though she hadn’t been to visit since I had moved in.

Bella was lucky to have such a great person for a father. I caught myself wishing I’d been just as fortunate more than once. Charlie folded the paper and dropped his bowl in the sink. He sighed and leaned against the Formica counter top. I shuffled, bowl in hand, towards the stairs in my Hello Kitty slippers but stopped, feeling his eyes on my back. I turned to find him chuckling and shaking his head from side to side.

“What is so funny?”

“That’s an interesting pair of slippers you’ve got there.”

A blush spread up my neck and into my cheeks. “Alice gave them to me as a joke last week. The joke’s on her though because I love them.” At that moment, the first rays of sun I’d seen since arriving in Forks spread across the carpet in the hall. “You know what Charlie? I’m gonna get dressed and go to La Push with you.”

“I’ll be in the car.” He called up after I had disappeared.

My mind drifted off into deep thought as I did my best to style the new, layered haircut Alice dreamt up. I remembered Emmett telling me what little he knew about the reservation and the beaches. It was the only part of my new home that I hadn’t graced with my presence. I glanced at my watch and groaned in frustration. Finally, giving in to my true rebellious spirit I teased the layered ends of my hair and attacked it with hair spray. For an angry hairstyle, it was cute.

Charlie was right where he said he’d be, in the car. “I’m not used to that.” He told me in a humorous tone.

“To what exactly?” I questioned while dabbing some glitter along my eyelids.

“The make up. You know, taking forever to get ready.” He cleared his throat, clearly trying to tell me in a nice way I took to long.

“Bella is a natural beauty who needs no help whatsoever. I, on the other hand have to work hard at looking like I just rolled out of bed.” I continued to apply my make up in the mirror on the visor as Mr. Swan backed from the driveway and headed to the reservation.

“Can I run the lights?”

“Are you serious?” He eyed me the best he could without taking his eyes from the road.

I nodded. I was definitely serious. Who doesn’t want to ride in a police car, voluntarily of course, and run the lights?

“On the way back. When it’s dark you can see them better.”

I laughed and agreed. We continued the rest of the way in silence.

The Quileute Reservation was the most beautiful place I had ever seen, and I had seen plenty of places. Charlie pulled up in front of Sue’s house and shut the car off. I hopped out, excited to explore.

“Did you want to come in and meet Sue?”

“I think I’m gonna head down to the beach. Next time, ok?” I felt bad for telling him no but the ocean was screaming my name.

“I’ll give you a call when I’m leaving.” He turned and walked up the front steps. “Have fun.” I heard him call without turning around.

The weak morning sun warmed my face as I walked slowly through the dense forest. I could smell the moss that covered everything in my line of sight. I took a deep breath, taking the damp air into my lungs. I could almost taste the salt in the air and I knew I was getting close to the beach. The rushing of the waves was starting to drown out the crickets so I picked up my pace.

Nothing could have prepared me for how beautiful First Beach was. I could finally place the sounds of waves with the sight. The water foamed as it hit the multicolored stones and then retreated as quickly as it had approached. Pieces of driftwood, bleached white from who knows what were scattered all over like pieces of a puzzle waiting for assembly. If I had doubted my choice to settle in such a place, I was an idiot. There was a magic in Forks that brought me to life and coursed through my veins like electric current.

A loud annoying melody ripped me from my near spiritual enlightening. I slid the phone open after glancing at the caller id, Alice. “Hello Alice.”

“EJ? Where are you?” She asked. I could hear a slightly panicked sigh afterwards.

“I rode down to La Push with Charlie. He decided not to go fishing today. Why? What’s wrong?”

I could hear Alice whispering to Emmett on the other end. “Nothing’s wrong. I tried the house phone and no one answered, that’s all. Ok, I heard you. EJ, Emmett says hi.”

I burst into a fit of laughter. “Tell him I said hey.”

“So, I’m busy with some things today but I’ll be free tonight. We could watch a movie or go out.”

“When I get back to town I’ll call you. Ok?” Was she rushing me home?

“That’s fine. Well, I will hear from you later then. Have fun.” Her usual carefree tone was there but something was off, I was beginning to read Alice rather well.

“Be sure to tell Emmett I said hi otherwise he’ll be calling me next. Before you know it, I’ll have text messages and I haven’t figured out how to open those yet. Bye.” I closed the phone and shoved it in my back pocket.

“Nice phone.” A husky voice sprang up behind me causing me to jump forward.

I spun around ready to defend myself. When I saw him, I knew there was no threat. He was grinning like a Cheshire cat and closely resembled Emmett in the muscle department. His eyes danced with laughter and at my expense.

“You,” I pointed my index finger in his direction, “scared the hell out of me.”

“You’re not from here.” He delivered the words in the form of a statement.

“You’re very observant. What makes you say that anyway?” My finger traveled to my disheveled hair and began twisting a newly dyed auburn strand.

The stranger circled behind me and took a seat on a large rock. He was still smiling like a fool and I considered smacking him for the hell of it. His chin length hair swung back and forth with every movement he made, every chuckle.

“I know everyone around here and I would have remembered meeting you. My name’s Jacob Black. Most people just call me Jake.”

I eyed him a bit before replying. “I’m EJ and you’re right. This is my first time here. I came with Charlie Swan; he’s up at Sue Clearwater’s place.”

“I know Sue well enough. I know Charlie too.” His eyes softened and looked towards the ground.

My eyelashes had suddenly developed a mind of their own and batted against my cheeks a few times before I could stop them. Was I seriously flirting with this guy? “Thanks to his daughter, Bella, I have a place to stay while I look for a more permanent home. I was traveling but I love it here.” I felt shy and started kicking at colored rocks with the toe of my shoe.

“You know Bella?” His grin was long gone and had been replaced with an angry look. “Let me guess, you know the Cullens too, right?”

“Yeah?”

“It was a blast meeting you EJ, I’ve got to go.” He waved with his massive hand as he walked away.

There was that annoying urge to scream and gesture again but I ignored it. Apparently, Jacob Black had issues and that was the last thing I wanted to be mixed up in. His reaction to me knowing the Cullens was not the best first impression. It was obvious to me that he didn’t care for the company I kept.

“Great! My first enemy.” I wandered down the beach before stopping and sitting under a tree where the mossy ground collided with the colored stones.

The rays of the sun strengthened as the morning turned into afternoon. I sat motionless with my hands resting on my knees while I hummed a song I’d been working on. The desire to strum a guitar was dull but I knew it was time. My mother was the last person I sang for and for the longest time I thought my will to do so passed with her. I thought of my new friends and my new temporary home. I fit so well in the little Olympic town. I didn’t notice the tears consuming my face until I smiled and felt one touch my lips ever so lightly.

“I miss you mama.” My voice broke as I whispered the words. She would be so proud of me for taming my demons. Demons I hadn’t shared with Alice or anyone else for that matter. If Alice hadn’t intercepted me I would probably be a statistic; just another nameless face in the county morgue overcome by life, grief and overall depression.

APOV

The night fell softly over the river and I couldn’t help but sigh as I listened to Bella and Edward share a whispered moment just inside the line of trees. Bella wasn’t doing so well with EJ staying in Charlie’s house but she would not admit it. Edward always leaned toward overbearing when I had a vision and he couldn’t read his wife’s mind. It happened earlier while we were hunting and avoiding the sunlight.

I had froze, elk in hand half drained while the images flooded my mind. Bella attacking EJ and running away then quickly it changed to Bella threatening EJ. They changed quite a few times since and I was positive Bella was just overwhelmed. Of course, Edward saw the whole thing and had not left her side since. She was unaware of the whole situation and we collectively thought it better that way.

“Alice, dear?” Esme called even though I knew she was standing behind me in the doorway.

“I was wondering when you would come to me.” The corners of my mouth lifted slightly.

Esme moved forward and pulled us both down to sit on the porch steps. Her eyes scanned the trees. “They’ve gone home. We won’t be disturbed.”

I knew what Esme wanted to know. It was what everyone wanted to know. “I’m conflicted you know. Edward wasn’t the best for advice but he was all I had. She was going to take her life Esme; I could not let that happen. I thought if keeping everything from my family meant my great niece could realize she had something to live for than so be it.”

“Oh.” Esme breathed, her mouth forming an ‘o’ shape. She wrapped her arm around my shoulders and squeezed. “You know, Alice, even though we are no longer living we have the capacity to care. We are but roses among a vast field of dandelions. Selfishness is allowed when it is created out of love. It is typical of someone who has a soul. ”

I smiled genuinely that time. Her analogies were always beautiful and reminded me of Carlisle, who was the inspiration. “I saw the whole thing; it was disturbing and I feel horrible that Edward carries that around with him. She’s alive because of me and that makes me ecstatic.”

“As you should be.” Carlisle interjected as he filled the doorway, blocking the bright light from the kitchen. “Esme is correct in her analysis.”

“See?” She looked at me and giggled like a little girl.

Our back porch meeting dispersed and I flitted up the stairs to give Jasper a kiss before I left to pick EJ up. His moods were off and I knew he was nervous about spending time with her. He would never forgive himself if something happened to Emma because of him. I, on the other hand, knew without a doubt that he would not have to worry. Her future was free of sudden death as far as I could see. The first chance I got, I would ask her about the trip to La Push and who she met. Her future had vanished today and there was only one explanation for that.

EJPOV

“Alice! You have Madonna and you didn’t tell me?” I placed the back of my hand against my forehead and rocked a little, pretending to be offended.

“You never asked, silly.” Her eyes grew large, almost too large for her tiny face. “I have an excellent idea! Let’s play dress up!” She clapped her hands and hopped in one place.

I was feeling adventurous, why not? “Ok. We’ll dress up, throw Madonna in the CD player and sing like maniacs.”

“Let me do your makeup EJ, please?” She pouted her bottom lip, as if she needed to.

“Alice, how many times do I have to tell you I LOVE makeup? You don’t have to pout like a child.” She really was used to begging for it. Of course, Alice was my best friend, my only friend and I trusted her.

She pushed me down in a small stylist chair planted to the floor in her massive bathroom and got busy on my face. When she was done, I saw her snatch a brush and flat iron from the counter. I caught her hand directly over my head and frowned.

“Hair was not a part of the agreement.”

“You ruined my haircut EJ. Just what in the world were you thinking? Tell me.” She stomped her foot as I laughed and left the chair.

“I was thinking the hair is growing from my head and this is how I wanted it to look this morning. Now get your tiny self out here and help me dress up.”

~*~

Two hours later, Alice and I were singing and dancing around her room like a couple of little girls having a sleepover on a school night. We had continued the eighties theme with Madonna-esque outfits and jewelry, courtesy of me. Like a Prayer floated from the radio and around us as we danced and spun. Alice was beaming when the song ended and we fell backwards onto the soft carpet.

“That was so much fun.” Her eyes closed and I listened to the sounds of someone talking in the stairwell.

“Alice?”

“Hmm?”

“Where is your bed?” It was a simple enough question but she looked terrified.

Before she could answer Emmett bounded through the door, smiling. “Having fun girls? We were all wondering why you stopped.” His goofy grin swayed my mind from the unanswered question.

“I’m beat Em. What time is it anyway?” I glanced at my cell phone. “Two o’ clock. Wow, I better get back.”

“I’ll take you.” Emmett yelled from the hall. He was already on his way to grab the keys to his jeep.

“So how was your day at First Beach?” Alice asked as I cleaned some of the stray clothes off the floor.

I grimaced remembering the mini-breakdown I’d gone through. Then, I remembered Jake. “I met a guy from the rez; Jacob Black. Do you guys know him?”

Alice looked hesitant. “We know of each other. Let us just say my family and his are not the best of friends. There is a history there.”

“Well that explains his reaction when he found out I knew you. He seems a bit troubled.” Emmett had returned and was waiting in the hall for me.

“I can’t say for sure. Just, be careful around the reservation ok?”

I didn’t think Jacob looked that troubled. “I will, don’t worry. I’ll see you tomorrow ok?” I waved at Alice and bid my goodbyes to the others as I passed through the house and out into the driveway.

Emmett helped me up into the jeep and then again with the harnesses. We laughed and joked all the way to town. By the time I was home and standing on Charlie’s small porch, I was wide-awake. I froze with every creak and groan as I made my way up the stairs. When I finally reached my room, Bella’s old room, I closed the door with a click and sighed. The clock showed two thirty and I moaned.

A cool breeze blew through the half-opened window giving me chills along my exposed the legs. I laughed at the reflection in the mirror. I was still wearing the dress and pearls Alice picked out. Sighing, I forced the window open further and lifted myself out onto the roof. I pulled my legs close to me, laying my chin on my knees.

Movement on the front lawn caused a small gasp to escape my parted lips. A figure moved from behind Charlie’s cruiser and into the light from the front porch. My lungs constricted and I struggled to take a deep breath when I realized who it was, Jacob Black.

“What do you want?” I forced out in a hushed, angry tone.

He shuffled his feet on the damp grass before answering. “I need to talk to you. There is something you should know.”