What was I THINKING, marrying EMMETT MCCARTY?! He is so… ARRRGGGGHHH!!! I was shaking with fury. Unfaithful bastard!
I have to get out of here. I don't want to be on the same continent as him right now, let alone in the same godforsaken house!
And so, as I usually did when I was upset, I grabbed my keys and my purse and headed out the door. I jumped into my beautiful red convertible, slammed the gearshift into the reverse position, and sped away from the house. If he wanted me, he was going to have to come after me.
It was a clear night, so I hit the button to let the top down. The automatic top was a new feature on this model. And it was ingenious. I had only had the car for a year—a gift from Emmett, actually, after the war ended and metals became more readily available. And I loved it.
Ever since I'd learned to drive—back in '37—I couldn't get enough of the open road. I had no idea what I had been missing when I was human. The freedom of driving was exhilarating, although the condition of the roads, poor as they were, was a drawback. I had heard that the United States government had a plan in progress to build large roads that would connect the States together. I couldn't wait. Imagine that—being able to drive from the East Coast to the West Coast all on a single road. It was nearly incomprehensible to me.
At least more roads are being paved now than when I was alive. I realized what I was thinking and laughed mentally. Who would have thought that the idea of concrete and asphalt could make me so happy?
I was much less angry when I got away from the little town roads and onto the larger paved road that stretched from here to the city located about 50 miles away. It was the middle of the night. All the humans had been home for at least 3 hours by now, so mine was the only vehicle on the road. I pushed the gas pedal to the floor, and before I knew it, I was going 65 miles per hour. With my hair whipping behind me in the wind, it felt incredible.
Not incredible enough for me to forgive Emmett though. I couldn't believe the way he had looked at that girl. He had wanted her.
He was my husband! He shouldn't want anyone but me! I was beautiful! I had never seen another being that could rival me in looks—and he still lusted after other women? Was he simply insatiable then?
Could he see me—be with me—and still find me wanting?
The thought made me want to cry, though I could not. I hated that he could make me feel this way—that he could reduce me to this state.
But it would not be the first time a man had rejected me. Even after my revenge—oh, how sweet it had been!—I couldn't help but remember. He could have been with me—could have had me for the rest of his life—but he… they… I shook my head, trying not to remember how it felt to lay there, waiting… praying to die.
Emmett. I was mad at Emmett. For fawning over than little harpy of a girl. She wasn't even that pretty by human standards.
I probably would have driven forever, fumed forever. Or at least to the city limits and back a couple of times, but suddenly, the car started handling strangely and making a fast, irregular sound.
Thu-thump, thu-thump, thu-thump…
Oh, no. THAT can't be good.
I pulled off the road and stopped the car. I had no idea what was wrong, but I could at least check to make sure nothing was smoking or leaking or clearly broken. I walked around the car, slowly, looking for anything obvious. When I reached the passenger-side rear tire, I saw that it was flat.
"No! No, no, no! This completely RUINS my getaway!" I exclaimed aloud, to myself and whatever gods might hear me. "I can't go home because I've been defeated by a piece of rubber! This is so unfair!"
And suddenly, I was genuinely mad again. Mad enough that I kicked the tire.
I realized as soon as my foot hit the rubber that it was a bad idea. The rear end of the vehicle shifted about a foot back toward the road, but the real indicator of a problem was the sound of metal bending.
Uh oh… But at least it didn't snap… right?
I bent down to see if I could locate where the sound had come from. I could see the piece of metal that held the wheel on was not straight—that the rear wheel and front wheel were no longer aligned with each other.
I just made it a lot worse, didn't I?
I knew I couldn't fix it, and that taking any more of my anger out on my convertible was going to result in me having to buy a new one. But I loved this thing. I didn't want a new one. I wanted this one, with its sparkling red paint, shiny chrome bumpers, sleek detail lines, and pristine white top.
I had to go home. And Emmett would hear that my convertible wasn't with me. I wasn't ready to go back yet. My pride was still black and blue with bruises. I wasn't ready to forgive him.
I took off running anyway, dwelling on how much I hated everything. I hated rubber. I hated tires. I hated tire companies. I hated that stupid, ugly girl in town. But most of all, I hated Emmett. I hated how he had looked at her. I hated how he made me feel.
But along with my anger, I thought of a solution. I could get Edward to show me how to fix the tire, and then I could just keep on driving! And then, if it ever happened again—God forbid—I would know what to do.
Yes! It was perfect!
Don't think about Emmett. Just talk to Edward. Don't think about Emmett. Just talk to Edward.
I was still repeating this mantra when I barged into the house and saw Emmett sitting on the couch, slumped over pitifully, resting his elbows on his knees, his forehead in his hands.
How dare he make himself into the victim here! UGH!
As soon as the door slammed behind me, he was there, in front of me.
"Rosalie! I am so sorr—" he started.
No way. You're not getting off that easy.
"DON'T. TALK TO ME," I said, glaring at him, and ran up the stairs to Edward's room.
I opened his door without knocking.
"Did you want to dance?" Edward asked, before I could think up exactly how to phrase my request.
What the hell…? "What?!"
"You burst in so excitedly—I thought you might be yearning to dance," he replied without looking up, but motioning to the record player with his hand. I heard the music now. Swing.
Yeah, because that is so what I'm in the mood for, I thought, sarcastically. I shook my head though, not allowing him to goad me any further. No. I need you to show me how to change a flat tire.
Edward looked up with this stupid surprised look on his face. He lifted his eyebrow at that thought. I rolled my eyes at him.
"Why?"he asked, puzzled.
I didn't want to explain—I didn't want Emmett to hear. So I showed Edward. My car on the side of the road. The flat tire. Getting frustrated and taking it on my poor vehicle.
"You shouldn't have kicked it," Edward said, trying to annoy me, I think.
"I realize that now," I replied, hearing the creaking noise again in my mind, and seeing how bent that metal bar had been.
"You made it about twenty times worse, you know."
"Yeah, I do know, thank you very much. Are you going to help me?" Or am I going to have to pick the damned thing up and run it back home?
He snorted at the thought. "Fine. Let's go."
It took us about 10 minutes to run back to the car. I guess I hadn't actually gone that far. But we were running in a straight line toward it. And roads never took the most direct routes.
When we finally arrived, Edward bent down to look at the bent metal rod.
"It's called the axle. It should be straight."
"I figured that much out on my own. How do you fix it?"
"You get a new axle—either from an old model or directly from Ford—then lift the car up, take this part of the car apart, replace the axle, then put the car back together."
"That sounds… complicated."
"It is. We can worry about all that later. But we should be able to make it drivable for now," he said, scooting himself underneath the car and bending the axle slowly back into place with his hands. "I guess vampire strength actually comes in handy once in a while," he joked.
"What about the tire?" I asked.
"We'll have to change it. It looks like you ran over a nail," he said, producing a nail from the rubber and giving it to me.
An entire automobile rendered useless by a tiny piece of metal.
He shrugged and added, "The spare tire is in the trunk."
I unlocked and opened the trunk. Edward took the extra tire out, along with a metal contraption.
"A jack," he said, lifting the metal instrument up. "You put it under the rim of the car, and then use this lever," he pointed, "to lift the car up."
"Why can't I just lift the car up with my hands?"
"One—you're going to need both hands to change the tire, and two—what if someone saw you? The jack isn't hard to use."
"Fine. Move over. I can do it."
"You do realize you might get dirt under your fingernails, right?" he added, patronizingly.
I glared at him. "Move."
He talked me through how to use the jack. It was pretty easy. It took a while, but it was easy. Once he pointed to the "lug nuts", and told me how the lever from the jack could also be used to loosen them, I did the rest on my own. It was pretty obvious: take the lug nuts off, take the tire off, put the new tire on, put the lug nuts back on, and then lower the car.
After I had the lug nuts tightened again, I cheated—lifting the car up and pulling the jack out from under it.
"Anxious to get home?" Edward asked, obviously referring to my fight with Emmett.
I shrugged and as an explanation thought, That was kind of fun.
Edward smiled at me. I smiled back.
Edward put the flat tire and jack back in the trunk as I got the car ready to go. When he got in, I pulled the car around and headed back toward home.
After a few minutes, Edward broke the silence. "You know, Rosalie—there are a lot of things about cars that really aren't too complicated. Things that need to be checked regularly, simple repairs. I could show you some of them, if you would like."
I looked over at him, confused. You're volunteering to spend time with me?
He shrugged one shoulder, still looking out the windshield, his face revealing nothing.
I smiled. "I'd like that," I answered, still a bit surprised. Do we actually have something in common?
He laughed. "Shocking, isn't it? After all this time, we have finally found a common interest? And it only took fourteen years!" He laughed again, shaking his head. "And automobiles, of all things! I never would have guessed it."
I couldn't help but laugh as well. It was pretty strange, I had to admit.
Edward and I spent the rest of the drive home in companionable silence. What a change. And thinking about that change made me think about how drastically my mood had changed since we left the house. And I realized why. It was fixing the car! It put me in a better mood, somehow. I was able to use my excess energy from being frustrated to repair the car, and now the frustration itself was just… gone! I need to change tires more often!
Suddenly realizing, yet again, that Edward could hear her—Why is that so hard to remember?—I added, verbally, "I think Emmett will be happy with my discovery."
He laughed. "Yeah?" he shrugged, pretending not to know what I was talking about.
Yeah. That innocent act is totally working on me, I thought sarcastically. You know as well as I do that he will be ecstatic.
He laughed again. "Yes, he will be," and after a moment he added quietly, "He wasn't attracted to her, you know. I heard him. He was just thirsty, like he said."
"I know," I sighed.
"You do?" he asked, shocked. "Then why…"
"I know now," I amended. "I wasn't thinking clearly before. I cannot think clearly when I'm like that. I don't care how many minds you have read, you do not know what it feels like to know you are being irrational, but not be able to stop. I needed some time to cool off. That is why I drive. It helps clear my mind—so I can think rationally."
He didn't say anything in response.
Wish me luck, I thought, as I pulled my car into the detached garage.
"You don't need it," he said matter-of-factly.
Maybe not. But I should. But when I turned around, Edward was no longer there. He still heard me though.
Emmett wasn't in the living room anymore, so I went upstairs. He was the first place I looked—in our room. He was sitting on the bed, legs out, crossed at the ankle in front of him, leaning his head back against the headboard. His fingers were combed into his curly hair, as though the only thing holding his head together was his own strength. I closed the door behind me. Emmett's eyes opened—they were a lot darker than I remembered them being earlier. He really was thirsty. I went over to the foot of the bed, and climbed onto it, but he wasn't moving. I crawled up toward him, until I was sitting on his lap, one leg on each side of him. My skirt had hiked up, revealing an indecent amount of my legs, but we were married, after all.
Emmett's eyes were watching my every move, so I gave him a little half smile, before taking his face between my hands and tilting it down, so I could reach his lips with mine. I felt his eyebrows shoot up when our lips made contact—he was surprised, and I didn't blame him—but that didn't stop me from kissing him long and deep. He didn't hesitate to kiss me back. His hands moved from his hair to my back, holding me to him.
God, he tastes good, and his lips are so… And the things he does with his tongue! I moaned, and broke the kiss, knowing I needed to talk to him before we continued.
"Mmm… I wasn't done yet," Emmett murmured, leaning forward to recapture my lips.
We kissed for a few more minutes before breaking apart, both of us breathing heavily.
"I love you, and I'm really sorry," Emmett said quickly.
"I'm sorry I got so mad at you—it was so stupid! I was already frustrated that they didn't have that blouse I wanted in my size, and then I saw you looking at her all longingly, and I just overreacted. I love you so much. I am so lucky to have you!" I exclaimed.
"I was just thirsty—I swear! Her blood just smelled better than anyone else's around. It could have been a guy just as easily. It wasn't her." He took my face between his hands. "I love you, and only you. You are so," he kissed me, "so," kiss, "so," kiss, "unbelievably beautiful," long kiss, "and so," kiss, "so," kiss, "incredibly," kiss, "Mmm… sexy." He kissed me slowly and deeply.
"I love you," I said, more tenderly this time. He started placing kisses down the side of my neck. But I wasn't done talking yet. "Emmett—wait a second."
"Why?" he breathed, between kisses.
"I need… ooooh…" he had pushed back the collar of my blouse, and was sucking lightly right on the spot where my neck connects to my shoulder. As soon as his lips moved, I could think again.
"Emmett! Stop it!"
He pulled away, a sexy pout on his lips. I grabbed his face and made him look at me.
"I just want to tell you something quickly, and then we can go right back to kissing," I qualified.
He perked up, "Promise?"
"YES, I promise," I said, getting exasperated. I wanted to get back to kissing, too, and he was wasting valuable time. He grinned right at me, and that smile always caused my insides to melt.
What? What, what? What was he talking about? Damn that smile. Uhhh… oh, right… "I changed a tire."
His eyebrow went up. "And?" he asked, tugging at the back of my blouse, trying to un-tuck it.
"AND it was quite stress-relieving," I explained.
"And?" he asked again, not getting it. That might have had something to do with the fact that he was trying to undress me. I shivered, feeling the smooth material of my blouse slide against my lower back. I grabbed his hand, halting the wonderful sensation.
"And, you nitwit, will you listen to me, please? I'm going to need to fix the entire axle in a second here if you don't stop!" I exclaimed, annoyed.
"I'm sorry," Emmett rushed to say. Apparently he wanted to 'make up' as much as I did. "I'm really listening now."
I took a deep breath and started over, more directly this time. "I made a discovery tonight, Emmett. Fixing my car helped me to calm down and think clearly. That's why I'm back so soon. That's why I'm not upset with you anymore. I took out my negativity on the car."
"That's awesome! And I was the one who bought it for you!"
"Yes, and I'm glad you did," I said, deciding that was enough talking, and kissing him again, placing his hand back where I'd taken it from. He was quick to pick up where he left off. I shivered again, feeling his cool fingertips grazing the skin of my lower back.
We were having a lovely time kissing, until Emmett interrupted, trying to talk. "Rose?"
"Mmm?" I asked, sucking lightly on his earlobe. He shuddered, and I smiled.
"If you need to change any more tires, I have four on my Jeep. And I could talk to Edward and Carlisle—that would be eight more."
I pulled back and whacked Emmett on the shoulder. "What are you saying?" I asked, feigning offense.
"Uhhh… I was just thinking that…. Well… you can't change the same tire over and over again," he stuttered.
"Are you saying I'm temperamental?" I could practically see him sweating.
"No. No, no. I just… Ummm…" he stammered some more.
"Well?" I said, giving him a look that clearly meant, 'This had better be good.'
"I do a lot of stupid things that make you understandably frustrated, so you'll need something to take your frustration out on—that's all," he finally managed.
I beamed at him, "Good answer."
He grinned and grabbed me, flipping me onto my back. I let out a little squeal and Emmett laughed happily. He quickly un-tucked the front of my blouse and ran his fingertips across my bare tummy. My stomach muscles trembled under his touch.
We had scarcely begun kissing again when we heard, "I'm going to go for a run. I'll be back… later."
And then we heard the front door close.
We both laughed, knowing we'd scared our poor brother off. I couldn't exactly blame him. I had no idea what was going on in Emmett's head, but it was probably worse than my thoughts. And I was thinking of all the many things I was going to do to my husband…