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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.


5. Chapter 5

Rating 5/5   Word Count 2916   Review this Chapter

Last time…

“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.”

“You had a chance to tell me whatever it is you want to tell me, earlier today on the beach. Go away.” I was usually a pleasant person, just not early in the morning with a strange person invading my space.

“Look, I’m sorry about that ok? If you’ll just come down from there I can explain some things to you.” His voice was leaving him in a harsh whisper, as was mine.

“Oh. Fine!” I threw my arms up over my head in anger and crawled back through the window. Dodging the squeaky spots in the floor, I hurried through the dark house to the front porch. Jake was waiting on the steps when I got there. He gave me a weak smile that I did not return. So far, he wasn’t high on my list of people to call for a good time.

“You should have grabbed a jacket.” He told me, his smile growing. His eyes roamed my bare legs and I felt very naked. “Nice dress.”

Could he annoy me anymore? “Can you please just get on with it? I’m tired.”

We sat side by side on the cool concrete steps and I actually enjoyed the heat that seemed to radiate off Jake. It was comforting and seemed to ease my foul mood, lucky him.

“I’m really sorry about this morning. I shouldn’t have reacted that way.” He paused to take a deep breath. “Before Bella married...Cullen, I thought her and I would be together. She loves me you know.” He stated the fact so nonchalantly I almost didn’t notice it. “There is so much I can’t tell you so let’s just say that her new family and my family don’t get together on the holidays.”

“Wait, you called me down here to tell me that? That is no excuse Jake, really. So you and Bella don’t get along anymore, move on.” There was no point in beating around the bush. Didn’t he know that an outsider’s opinion is always the most honest?

He stood up and started to pace back and forth in front of me. “It’s complicated EJ. It is EJ, right?” I nodded and he continued. “I really should have left it alone and left you alone but I can’t watch them ruin your life too. I just can’t. There is so much they haven’t told you, stuff you need to be aware of.”

“How do you know what they’ve told me? How do you know so much about me in the first place?” For a moment, I felt betrayed. Jake stopped his rant and gave me an incredulous look.

Alice was keeping something from me after all the things I had shared with her and even some of her family. Things started to fall into place. No eating, the colder than normal skin, missing beds and the weird looks I received from Edward. All was not well with the Cullen family. Somewhere in my revelation, I must have started to cry because Jacob sat down beside me and wrapped his warm arm around my shoulders. I flinched at the touch.

“Sorry.” He mumbled and started to remove his arm.

I grabbed his elbow and pulled his arm back into position. “It’s ok, really. I should be saying I’m sorry for blubbering like an idiot.” The last thing I wanted to do was expose myself to yet another stranger, just to find out it was in vain.

“They won’t be very happy that I’ve been here putting ideas in your head.”

“You know Jacob; this isn’t your fault really. I trusted Alice so easily.” He was looking out for me. Then again, he could be taking out his anger and frustration with Bella on me.

“Maybe you should give her a chance to explain. I really can’t be the one to tell their secrets.” He was starting to backpedal.

I stood and turned to pull the inside door completely closed, locking it. “I’ll give them a chance then. I’m going over there.” My feet propelled me off the porch and through the damp grass. I would walk all the way to the Cullens’ if I had too.

“You can’t walk all the way there!” Jake called, easily catching up with me. “Let me give you a ride, please.”

I stopped in the middle of the road and sighed. For someone who was alone for so long, I sure had enough people to keep me busy now. Unfortunately, with friends comes drama.

“Thanks.” I told him as I climbed into his car. He looked awkward driving the little car.

Jacob drove me to the dirt lane and stopped. I realized that he was unwilling to go any further so I smiled weakly and thanked him again for the ride. He gave me a tiny wave and promised to come see me during the day next time. I sure hoped there would not be a next time; one all-nighter full of truths would be enough for me.

A light rain began and I shivered, realizing once again that I had forgotten a jacket. My thin lace dress was quickly becoming soaked through, what a day to wear white. It was a good thing I rejected the sky-high pair of heels Alice tried to make me wear. I would be ankle deep in mud.

Off to my left, the sound of someone laughing out in the woods rose above the rain. I cocked my head and gave the dark forest a confused look. It sounded like Emmett. Why would Emmett be out in the woods, in the rain, at three thirty in the morning? Knowing I shouldn’t, I let my feet carry me off the dirt lane and into the woods. My heart started to pound as soon as the forest closed me in.

Emmett’s laughter was getting farther away and I started to run, cutting my bare legs on the rough underbrush. I was completely terrified. The thin lace dress was stuck to my body in all the embarrassing places and my make up was running. The mental image I got would have been hilarious in any other situation. I could feel the scratches on my legs burning. My lungs expanded and constricted to quickly, passing out was almost inevitable. There was no explanation for my fear now but I was scared.

I stopped moving and stood in one spot, trying to calm myself. There was a moment before all hell broke loose when I realized I was starring in my own personal horror film. The feeling that someone was stalking me from behind was overwhelming but I couldn’t turn. Seconds later my feet left the ground and I was flipped mid air, only to be slammed back first against a cedar. All the air left my lungs and I teetered on the brink of unconsciousness once again…

I was staring right into Jasper’s deep black orbs and he did not look friendly. His lips pulled back from his teeth with a low snarling growl just as my lids drifted closed and I fell into the abyss.

~*~

The dark night had faded away to daylight when I finally forced my eyes open. For a moment, I was disoriented, concentrating only on keeping my head from spinning. Funny, I didn’t remember hitting my head; yet, there was a throbbing pain in the base of my skull. I pulled myself from under the covers slowly, letting my head adjust to being vertical. The wet, dirty dress I had worn last night was gone, replaced with matching silk shorts and top.

I sorted through the fuzzy parts of what happened the night before. A gasp escaped me as the image of Jasper’s dark, hungry eyes made itself known. For a split second, I wanted to run. Before I could execute my plan there was a small knock at the door.

Alice poked her head in, not waiting for my invitation. Her eyes were full of sorrow and I felt bad for her. She carried a burden, granted I had no idea what, but there was something she had not told me. I suspected that it might have something to do with her husband’s appetite for humans, or me to be more specific.

She closed the door behind her and approached me very slowly. “I don’t want you to be afraid.” Her voice wavered.

“Jasper tried to eat me Alice! What the hell was that all about?” I sounded angry and I could see that register in Alice’s expression.

She sat gingerly on the bed next to me. “Emmett thinks I should tell you to whole truth about our family but I think you have already made an assumption EJ. I think you made that assumption the very first day when you got into my car. I can’t blame you for pushing the thought away, it’s a huge decision.”

My mind raced while I stared at her with eyes the size of quarters. The admission to myself that I knew exactly what she was saying happened in stages. First, I was confused, not making the connection. The anger and sorrow came and went, making room for my answer.

“You reminded me of a vampire.” I scoffed at my own silliness. When Alice smiled and looked away, I knew I was right. I jumped from the bed, completely ignoring the vertigo that tried to claim my upright position. “You’re a vampire? That can’t be, that stuff is fantasy, fake! I cannot believe this! You mean all of you?”

“Yes.” She spoke quietly in her tiny, high voice.

I paced the floor a bit. “Shit, Alice. Jasper was gonna drink my blood!”

She grimaced. “There is more, if you would like me to explain.”

I nodded and leaned against the far wall. I couldn’t bring myself to sit with her on the bed.

“Our family is special in so many ways. Edward, Jasper and I have extra abilities that sometimes make life easier or more difficult, depending. Edward can hear people’s thoughts. He’s a very skilled mind reader.”

My mouth fell open. “Edward has been reading my mind?”

“Only a few times. He did it at my request.” She remained calm despite the incredulous look on my face.

“Go on.” I urged, scared silly but curious.

“Jasper has the ability to control moods or feelings. I would have brought him with me.” She glanced toward the window. “He’s so upset about what happened last night; he hasn’t come home yet. What were you doing in the forest anyway?” She seemed agitated at the thought of it.

I could not ignore the pull of guilt in my stomach. I felt one hundred percent responsible even if it was the most ludicrous feeling to have at that moment. “Jacob Black gave me a ride over. He was at Charlie’s last night and now I see why. He knows about your family apparently. He said he was protecting me.” I was veering off course. “What can you do Alice?” My body shifted away from the wall and toward the center of the room.

She stood, almost meeting my five foot height in her stilettos. “I can see the future but only after it’s been decided.” Her ice-cold hand was in mine before I could blink. So that’s how she got around so quickly, superhuman speed. “Don’t let Jacob turn you against us Emma, he is extremely prejudice and I will leave that story for him to explain.”

A moment passed and Alice relaxed a bit. I knew without asking that she was relieved I didn’t pull my hand away. “You saw me, didn’t you? I had decided months before we met and you already knew.”

“The vision came from nowhere and it took some research to find out just who you were. Edward helped me; I am in debt to him for that. I couldn’t let you end your life that way Emma, you are my one true family member.”

The pleading look in Alice’s dark eyes tore through my heart. I was related to her somehow; that would be why she picked me up that day. She knew right where I would be and when. I wracked my overworked brain to place her in my family tree. “I’m not sure I remember hearing about an Alice.”

She smiled, probably elated that I was still standing in the same spot, holding tightly to her ice cube of a hand. “Mary Alice Brandon; my sister Cynthia would have been your grandmother. My niece, your mother; which makes me...”

“...my great aunt.” I finished her thought quickly. The shock finally broke free and all of the emotions I had experienced in the past hour filled my head, making it swim. I knew exactly who she was; I had pulled the weeds at her grave with my mother so many times.

Alice caught my elbow and helped me to the bed. I must have looked faint. “I’m so sorry about all of this. It was selfish of me to draw you in as I did but I could not bear to lose you. You are my last surviving family member and the key to who I was before this.” She motioned to herself, clearly speaking of her lack of a beating heart or a pulse.

“I’m not sure what to say, Alice. How can I be around vampires and not fear for my life. I’ve actually found comfort in knowing you and I have a value for myself that I didn’t before. This is the first time I feel like I’m doing exactly what I should be since mom died.”

Alice hugged me gently and I let her. I was terrified, to the core. More importantly, I was torn between loving my new life and spending aforementioned life in the midst of eight vampires. Worst things had happened in my life; I could give it my best try for Alice’s sake.

“I’ve got a box of photos at Charlie’s house. I got them from Grandma’s attic when mama sold her house.”

Alice’s eyes smiled. “Really? Oh I would love to see them!” She hopped from one foot to another before yanking me from the bed, our morbid conversation pushed to the back burner for the moment. “I’ll get you something to wear from my closet.”

We crossed the hall, hand in hand until we reached her closet. She let go of me and disappeared into the depths of clothing. A pale pink top flew through that doorway followed by plain white dress pants. Alice reemerged with a pair of pink peep toes. I grimaced at the sight of them.

“Give them a try, honestly.” Her hand was mid air as if she were blocking the negativity I had shown toward the shoes.

It’s weird how an amazing outfit could clear the air. Alice was my great aunt and a vampire. I looked closer and all I saw was Alice. “Ok, I’ll wear the shoes. Give them here.”

I stripped the borrowed pajamas off and admired the garments underneath. They were not practical in any way but I ignored it and pulled the pants on followed by the shirt. A sigh escaped my lips when I sat down to slip my feet into the pumps. I had to laugh; Alice was turning me into her.

“You are so cute.” She exclaimed as I spun around. “Never underestimate the power of heels EJ. For us and by that I mean the vertically challenged, it’s almost a necessity.”

“Thanks.” She reclaimed my hand before we made the long trip downstairs. My insides were churning at the thought of facing the others. I was forcing myself to be calm, although it was easier to be with Alice. “Do they know I know?” I spoke my thought aloud.

“Ask them.”

As I came around the second landing my eyes landed on Emmett, Esme, Carlisle and Rosalie huddled together in the far corner of the living room. Upon seeing me, Rose took a quick breath and stalked in my direction.

“At least you have a decent enough fashion sense.” She flicked my hair from my left shoulder and left the room.

Emmett was laughing his deep hearty laugh, obviously amused at his wife’s gesture. “It’s a start. Probably the best you’ll get.” He spoke to Alice directly.

“Don’t be frightened EJ, we are all controlled enough to handle your presence. The incident with Jasper was a fluke that our Alice did not catch. She is unable to see last minute decisions.” Carlisle was all business as usual. “Jasper has had some trouble conforming to our lifestyle but since Bella joined us, when she was human, he has come a long way.”

Esme gave me a motherly look. “How are you feeling dear? I would really like to give you a hug. Is that ok?”

I was relieved that they were giving me my space and letting me adjust to the news. “A bit dizzy but otherwise fine.” I went to her and allowed her to embrace me in an icy grip. Carlisle gave my shoulder a polite squeeze at the same time.

“I am so happy that Alice has found you dear. I have not seen everyone so happy since our Edward met Bella. Family is so important but I’m sure you know that.”

I felt myself nod even though the shock was starting to return. There was no handbook for this situation. No “How to Survive Your Vampire Family” guide to staying sane in such a situation. All that I thought I knew about their kind was being proved wrong.