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Lovers' Rain

"‘I know when it happened to me,' Emmett reminisced, going back a half a century, to a country lane at dusk, where a woman was taking her dried sheets down from a line strung between apple trees... The sky was purple overhead, orange over the western trees. Emmett would have continued up the meandering cart path and there would have been no reason to remember the evening, except that a sudden night breeze blew the white sheets out like sails and fanned the woman's scent across Emmett's face. ‘I didn't even think about resisting' Emmett said." Lies! Her face flashed across Emmett's mind and he quickly pushed it away so that Edward wouldn't know the truth: that Emmett had resisted his own la tua cantante. So that he could keep his one and only secret safe. The beginning is an excerpt from Stephanie Meyer's Midnight Sun (Emmett to Edward)

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1. Falling for the Charmer

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I just might be able to love him. Landon Malcom certainly had grown from the scrawny boy he had once been. He wasn't just the little neighbor boy anymore, he was tall, broad shouldered and wiry now.

It began to rain lightly, shaking Aitana out of her wanderings. It was the kind of warm, soft rain that Aitana loved. She threw her head back and let go of the handle bars, balancing on her bike. She sat up straight and opened her eyes when Landon laughed aloud. Peddling his own bike slightly ahead of her his thin, expressive lips stretched mysteriously. For a moment Aitana was unnerved by his black eyes and smirk. She was usually a fantastic judge of character, but Landon left her miffed, or rather happily challenged. He was cold and blunt one minute, his ebony eyes peering out at her and the next he was warm and friendly.

"I was about to ask if you would like to turn back, but I see that the rain doesn't bother you."

"Not at all." Aitana peddled on, listening to him continue to talk about his schooling and plans for the future.

"...I plan to settle here now, build on to the Malcom home. It needs redecorating too, but I decided to let my wife handle that."

"Oh. I see, well, I'm sure that is a very wise decision. Why didn't your wife accompany you home? Is she a city girl then?"

"Probably can't even sit a horse," Aitana mumbled.

Landon heard and smiled lightly, he'd won.

"Actually, no, I'm not married."

"You aren't?"

Landon turned in his seat for a moment and watched as her brow furrowed. "No. You see... I was hoping you could help me with that. Marry me, Aitana Rousseau?"

Aitana agreed to marry Landon that very afternoon. He quickly and charmingly excused himself that evening, explaining that he would be returning to the city until just before the wedding. Aitana was only a little disappointed, but Landon quickly smoothed her feathers. He was very smooth, very charming. Aitana grinned. Mama always had said that someday a man would come along, charm her socks off, and then she'd be a goner. The man would run away with all of the Rousseau fortunes.

It was true that Aitana had always been a sucker for charm. Once, Aitana had fallen in love with the son of a hired hand. He took her to the carnival one evening and ended up leaving her with a friend and forgetting about her, so she'd had to catch another ride. The next day he smiled at her, brushed the hair off of her face, and cajoled her out of being mad. The trend continued. In fact, Aitana still had quite the collection of strays.

As for a particularly charming man running off with the Rousseau fortunes? There was little of that left anyways. Mr. and Mrs. Rousseau were very happy to have their daughter agree to the marriage. Surprisingly they didn't even begrudge turning the orchard over to Landon despite the fact that he wasn't a Rousseau.

Aitana couldn't see that the barns needed repair, that the orchard was becoming overgrown, or that the number of hired hands had dwindled alarmingly. Those are worries that come with age, or maybe whenever it is that one ceases to be so sheltered. Aitana saw her pretty future: a tall, broad shouldered, handsome husband, a few children, a real treasure and all in the same hills where she had grown up. Gratefully Aitana realized that Landon's eyes weren't ebony anymore, they seemed creamier. Closer to a puppy dog's than a snake's.