Evening Falls Extra
This is a cut scene from chapter 18 of my story, Evening Falls, posted in this empty chapter since I didn't want to make it a separate one shot.
We had only just reached the section of forest outside of Buchans where the bear attacks had occurred. The area stank of human fear and death. I was forced to concede to myself that maybe Emmett's self-serving lamentations about leaving more people to the clearly vicious bear's mercy might have held a grain of truth. Still, I couldn't help but resent that he had forced me along, and Alice's glower was prominent enough to make reading her mind wholly unnecessary.
Emmett was urging us to spread out in order to more easily track the bear. As if we all didn't know that if anyone besides him claimed the kill, he'd be furious.
Beside me, Rosalie's face was set in a frown as she listened to him, her thoughts far away…
'I can't believe Emmett dragged us all the way out here for a stupid bear,' she was grumbling to herself. 'We'd better find it fast. I hate leaving Elisa home alone…oh, shut up, Edward!'
I hadn't actually said anything but my grin had given me away. Rose shot me a blistering glare. She zoomed off in the opposite direction before I could explain that I hadn't been making fun of her. I was just enjoying this unexpected common ground that we now shared.
Oh, alright, perhaps I was making fun of her a little.
My smile died quickly as my family zigzagged in different directions. Rosalie's thoughts had merely been an echo of my own. Although I knew I needed to feed, I had no enthusiasm for the hunt. My thoughts were home, with Bella. I simply wanted to get this over with as fast as possible so I could return to her.
"Alice…" Jasper's low voice caught my ear, once again reminding me that Rose and I were not the only reluctant hunters today. I had been so lost in my own thoughts I hadn't realized they hadn't left the clearing when the others did. He stood before Alice, his face pleading. She hadn't moved at all.
Just tuning into her mind was enough to make my own head throb with something close to a human migraine. Alice's thoughts were glum and resentful. They intermingled with lightning quick flashes that she was no longer able to control. It gnawed at her, the never ceasing, senseless parade of images in her head. More and more they were showing her places, people she didn't recognize, but never long enough for her to glean anything lasting from them.
I couldn't fault her for being unable to disguise her unhappiness. It was maddening just having to experience what she was going through for a few seconds at a time. A fresh wave of the guilt I'd been experiencing these past few weeks assaulted me. How could I leave her now, when she clearly needed me so much?
Jasper turned to glare at me over his shoulder as my emotions drifted from me to him. Stop it. For once, this is not about you. He turned back to her, his thoughts dismissing me completely. "You need to hunt, Alice. It might make it easier."
"Yes," I agreed, coming to stand beside her. "You've let yourself go without for too long. It will just exacerbate your – "
Alice shot me a furious look. " – condition." I finished lamely as her ebony eyes burned into me. She continued to glare at us both while we shuffled nervously, waiting for the explosion.
After several seconds her mouth quirked reluctantly. "Lost puppies wandering in the rain look less pathetic than you two. Fine. I'm hunting."
She hadn't even taken a step, however, when the voice sounded, freezing her immediately. It was so clear that both of us were looking around the clearing, despite the impossibility of the speaker being there. Jasper's bewildered expression clued us in immediately – he hadn't heard a thing.
"Alice!" It was Elisa's voice, there was no doubt about it, ringing out with absolute clarity in Alice's mind. It was the lack of accompanying images that made it all the more startling. This wasn't a vision. She was talking, directly to Alice, as easily as if she had picked up a phone to call her.
Alice stared in me in astonishment. "How is she doing this?"
I was at a loss for words myself. We gazed at each other, speechless, until Jasper's impatient queries broke into our shared shock. I turned to him to explain. Alice was still mumbling under her breath.
"Birthday cake? She invaded my mind to ask me to bring home cake?" Alice stared at me, and unexpectedly her mouth quirked, expanding into another too rare, genuine smile. I couldn't help a responding snicker, one that held as much relief as it did amusement. Then we were both laughing as Jasper stared at us in confusion. Neither of us could help it, despite our shock. The juxtaposition of the mundane and the unbelievable…it was just so very - Elisa.
The vision came, like thousands before it, without warning.
Crimson droplets spattered the broken remains of Esme's garden wall and soaked the ground before it. Three pairs of eyes, deceitful gold and predatory ruby, flashed at us and fell away just as quickly. Elisa screamed; kept screaming, a horrifying soundtrack to the chaos.
"Going somewhere?" That voice was too familiar. Sebastian. The dark moved again, slowing and sharpening into Irina's long wavy hair. An unfamiliar hand reached for a cowering Elisa. Bella's eyes stared at the sky, their ever-present light draining slowly away. Elisa sprawled in the ground, her blood-covered hands pressed against jagged flesh.
The vision filled with clinging purple smoke, blocking our shared sight.
What was different was the carnage this one left in its wake. With a few flickered images, Alice's foresight destroyed everything. Killed the happy, shared camaraderie the seven of us had been sharing in less than a second. Ripped away my hopes, my dreams, my future in a shower of blood and betrayal.
I didn't need to wait now for the rest of the vision that would confirm my worst fears. By the time Alice fell to her knees, screaming Bella's name, I was already running, and as I ran, for the first time in almost a century I began to pray...