Thursday, July 1, 2010

Nostalgicmiss Week 8 Entry: Sole Al Pomeriggio


Nostalgicmiss's Choice: Picture 2

Sole Al Pomeriggio

Tuscany and two cats was my life.

Was, being the operative word.

I'd come here almost two years ago in search of something more. After my life had fallen apart and everything I'd known and loved abandoned me all I had left was my waning spirit. Unfettered to any one place I took off, I wandered, I searched.

I came to Italy on a whim, making my way from one end to the other a slow trek across a beautiful landscape, only the sunlight to guide me. I no longer wore a watch, I didn't live by the standards of todays civilization, I just moved. From one place to another and drank in all of earth's natural beauty.

When I found Tuscany I never left.

The rolling hills and myriad of colors were the curb appeal. The vineyards and local hospitality the neighborhood, and my beautiful cottage in the middle of nowhere my solace. Hook, line and sinker. The moment I saw the for sale sign I was decided.

I kept myself to the confines of my property line with my easel and painted the pictures of my personal heaven to sell to tourists. Everyone wanted a reminder of their time here because few were as fortunate as I was. My sun-kissed skin was beginning to blend me in with the locals who's olive tones would make me envious. I was a golden brown, and still didn't have the sparkle they had in their eyes, one I could only imagine came from a lifetime surrounded by this beauty.

Today, I had painted the small village that was cradled by the hills that surrounded it. The rust colored roofs, a beautiful comparison to the rolling green hills behind it. I could even see the sunny disposition of the Sunflowers that seems to reach for the small town.

I had been on the edge of my property, practically straddling the line with my neighbors so I could see past the lines of trees that dotted the horizon. With little shade, I was now warn out and headed back to the sanctity of my home. My solace.

I dropped my easel by the front door and walked my way through the house to my bedroom. I tugged my flimsy white blouse over my head as I moved, the fabric clinging to me and the sweat that had formed on the trek home.

I stopped at the door of he spare room that I always left open and smiled. The afternoon sun was streaming in through the windows warming the sheets as Bentley and Baxter curled up in the desultory rays of sunshine. The ribbons of light highlighted the hues of color in both cats fur as they stretched toward the heat with a admirable laziness only a feline could possess.

"My lazy boys," I giggled, letting the skirt I was wearing drop to the floor. Having so much property was one of those liberating things that meant I was alone, so all of my inhabitions had fallen away. "I'm going to take a shower."

I knew telling my cats of my intentions was insanity, but they really were the only reason I used my voice these days. I hadn't seen anyone since my last trip into town when I had bought the groceries and called the only person in the world who even cared if I lived or died.

I made my way to my bathroom and shed the rest of my clothes as I turned on the water but realized all of my towels had been line dried and currently sat on the table neatly folded.

Naked, I made a dash for the dining room, giggling at my own liberation. A liberation that was currently non existent.

"Shit. Sorry. Door was . . . yeah, open."

"Fuck." The word fell from my lips as I skidded to a halt by the table and grasped at the cotton towel to tug over my exposed flesh. The burn in my cheeks was like a fire, radiating heat as my embarrassment coiled around my veins.

The moment the towel was around me and secure I spun around and put my hands on my hips, my eyes narrowed. i tried to keep my temper, I tried to keep the venom from my voice, but it was impossible.

"What are you doing here?"

"That's all I get?" His cocky grin was in place making his dimples deep in his cheeks.

"What do you expect from me, Emmett?" I whispered, his cornflower blue eyes were full of his usual joviality. It felt like a lifetime since I'd seen him.

"I've been looking for you. I looked everywhere, even that stupid hotel in Roswell you love so much, you know with the aliens and the . . ."

"Stop it." I said sternly, putting my hand out to protest. I'd always though of Emmett as a friend, we'd always talked about everything, but I couldn't do this. "Have you considered that maybe I didn't want to be found?"

I could see the pain in his eyes, but didn't quite understand it. I didn't want to understand it. I wanted my solitude back. I wanted to be alone with Baxter and Bentley. I wanted the freedom I had just lost after two years of nothingness.

"Why? Why would you leave and not tell anyone you were going?"

"I told Uncle Charlie," I said defiantly, my hands on my hips. "He's the only family I have, he's the only one who cared enough to know where I was."

"I know, he told me," Emmett confessed his hand raising to rub his neck.

As much as I loved my uncle Charlie I was going to now have to hurt him. He'd promised not to tell anyone where I'd gone. He knew better. Did he honestly thing two years of no one asking meant the first person to get curious about and ask should have the answer? Not in my book it didn't. What's more, he gave it to the Emmett. Emmett. My ex-husband's best friend. The ex-husband who was probably married to that red headed bitch Victoria by now. The very woman he'd been with behind my back.

Pain broke through the small fragmented fissures of the heartbreak I'd thought I had already mourned enough for. My mind screamed as my stomach rolled. No, not here, this is why I had left that life behind. This was the one place I didn't allow myself to think of him and what he'd done. The one place that I had left and Emmett was now killing that for me.

My hand gripped the edge of the table as my knees weakened My body felt too heavy to hold them.

"What. Do you. Want?" I forced out, my breathing becoming more labored with the roll of nausea. I just wanted him to leave. I wanted to be on my own. I wanted to forget everyone that chose him when all of that shit went down.

His face, burned into my memory popped up again with the words he'd said, 'What did you expect me to do? We haven't had sex in months. You're on the pill even though you promised we'd try for kids. You're frigid, cold and barren. Did you think I would stick around in a loveless marriage forever? You're the only one who didn't know about her. Except maybe your cousins. They're MY friends, sweetheart. You're a hard bitch that everyone is glad to see the back of.'

His voice echoed through my memory, as hard and bitter as it was the day he said it. He cheated and somehow I managed to get blamed for it. That was always his way though. Cold and manipulative, controlling and unforgiving. Me taking the pill had been a personal insult to him so he found himself someone better.

"Why did you leave without saying goodbye?"

I laughed, the edge was a steely and sharp as a knife. "You all made your choice. He's your best friend, Emmett, I was aware of that and he was certainly quick to tell me how you all had chosen him and agreed with his new choice."

Emmett's mouth dropped open and floundered for a couple of seconds.

"Not. Finished." I breathed, finally taking up pacing. "I can see how everyone would think I was cold. I can even see my cousins thinking it. Well, maybe not Bella, she probably did what Edward asked her to do considering he's been friends with Peter for so long. I just don't know why none of you told me about her. Why you let him do that. He was so . . ."

"What the hell are you talking about?" Emmett asked, his patience finally wearing thin. He wouldn't be talked over any more."You left without saying a word to any of us. You told Peter that you were tired of his games and that you were going to New York to paint. He didn't meet Vict . . ."

"Don't say her name."

Emmett's eyes darkened to a cobalt blue the iris' swarming out as the small lines at the edges of his eyes deepened. Taking a look at the bigger picture, I could see his shoulders tight, his fists balled.

I gulped as I tried to form the words, but none came. Had they been lied to as well? How did I even handle this?

"He said you left him."

"Nope, he left me for her. The red head," I said my tongue popping against my lips as the D was forced past my lips. "Amazing that isn't it. The bastard never did like competition."

"It's my fault," Emmett growled, pulling out a chair and falling into it. The wooden legs screamed against the tile. "I was at the bar. Peter was being an asshole, he saw this red head and he was drunk off his ass. We tried to leave but he wasn't having any of it. Edward and I left him and Jasper there alone. I was so pissed."

"You know Peter," I sighed, pulling out a chair and sitting, making sure my modesty was covered. "He did what he wanted. Nothing can stop him."

Emmett ran a hand done his face, the scratching sound of it hitting the dark stubble that framed his face almost echoed through the silent room. I finally looked at him and noticed him for the first time.

His clothes were rumpled, his eyes bloodshot. There were dark circles under his amazing iridescent eyes, his dark curls seemed to have no direction to them and he looked . . . defeated.

"For so long . . ." he started. He cut himself off and leaned forward in his chair, his elbows crashing down on his knees. "Do you remember the last conversation you and I had?"

I hung my head and nodded. Maybe that was why I'd been so resistant to fight and more inclined to believe that his friends knew. I'd thought Emmett was doing that whole wingman thing for his boy.

"What did I say to you?"

"Emmett, this isn't a good . . ."

"What did I say?"

"You told me to leave him." I couldn't say his name again. My mouth felt dirty enough having said it as many times as I had.

"What else?"

"Emmett . . ."

Emmett's eyes closed cutting off my access to the soulful blue that told me everything I needed to know. I remembered the conversation well. It was everything I had clung to for the eight months I had backpacked around Europe, for the three months it took to close on this house. These past two years of solitude.

The words haunted me everyday.

I backed away from him and the table now, unsure if I could really do this, if I could rehash everything I'd worked so hard to push to the back of my mind. The pain of betrayal, the ache of missing my friends and their loss. The fragments of my heart, the heart that had always belonged to Emmett.

I knew I was disgusting for falling in love with my husbands best friend. I'd met him at the wedding, there was never any denying . . .

I backed away, my ass hitting the hall wall. I slid across it, watching as Emmett scrubbed his face in frustration. He hadn't even noticed my absence. I kept moving back toward my room. I came to the spare room and stepped into the pool of light still in ribbons around the bed.

I had suppress all of this. I had pushed it to the back of mind no matter how often I though of him, the conversation. I forgot I wanted him.

"You're all I thought about for almost three years and you walk away?"

"No, I just, I . . ."

"It doesn't matter. I came here to deliver a message."

"Emmett . . ."

"I love you."

"You can't." Please prove me wrong.

"I can and I do. I love you, Rosalie Hale and I always will."

Everything had changed so drastically, I had just wanted him to leave. To take the reminder of the pain and betrayal I had left behind in my old life and now . . . now, I wanted to drown in his words. I knew the way I'd felt about him was wrong when I was married, so I had allowed us to be friends with no hope of ever knowing him better.

When I had left Peter, I had believed I would never see him again, I had believed he would stay with his best friend.

But he was here.


Telling me he loved me.


I heard the shuffling of his steps as I watched the bands of sunlight hit my bare toes. I was trying to breathe, trying to find my voice rather than sitting here like a simpleton while his words rolled around in my head.

"Did you hear me?"

I nodded.

"Say something."

I tried to tell him to let me think. I tried to tell him to leave me to think, but I couldn't. I didn't want that because I knew what I wanted.

"I love you too."

His heated breath brushed over my shoulder as his arms circled my waist and pulled me back against him. I could feel his heart pounding on the naked flesh of my back.

"I wanted to believe you did. I hoped you did."

"I do." And I always would.

Emmett spun me in his arms trapping my arms with his as his head tipped down, one of his hands lifted my chin slowly.

The minute his lips met mine I knew this was right. Love and passion exploded inside of me like a naked flame in a firework store. I was happily drowning in emotion.

This was what I'd been missing in my new life.

He was what I had been missing all along.