Twilight belongs to Stephenie Meyer.
A pale hand. Lifeless. Body lying crumpled on the wet leaves. Red, orange, brown leaves. The head thrown back, neck exposed, stained red like a scarlet ibis. A trail of crimson across the leaves. A single drop of blood lingering on a pale lower lip.
Every muscle in her body contracted.
Two pale lips. Sculpted jaw line. Blond locks dripping slowly into two burgundy eyes.
The vision dissipated as she screamed.
"Alice!" he shouted unnecessarily, digging his fingers into his forehead in an attempt to relieve himself of the nonsensical flood of images flashing from her mind into his. He threw the door open in a blur and grabbed her shoulders, peering into her wide, staring eyes.
"Alice, Alice, what is it?"
"Jasper," she whispered.
"He's not here, he went hunting. He should-"
She shrieked. "Jasper!"
Edward squeezed his eyes shut and focused on the pictures still streaming in at lightning speed. One image gradually filtered out, repeating over and over. Jasper's horror-stricken face, lips stained crimson.
"What did he do," Edward murmured.
Alice reached blindly for him. "Jasper…Jasper." She stumbled to her feet with the grace of a falling leaf and flew out of the bedroom.
"Alice, wait, Alice."
She was down the stairs in a fraction of a second, sweeping past Esme and Carlisle, standing at the foot of the stairs wearing twin shocked expressions. The front door was flung open so hard it knocked a hole in the sheet rock, white dust disappearing into the white carpet.
There was a resounding crack that echoed off the massive trees as she collided with him in the front yard. He continued into the house, staring straight ahead of him in spite of the vampire clinging to his neck, her legs wrapped tightly around his waist.
Rainwater cascaded off them as he climbed the stairs at a near-normal pace, ignoring Rosalie and Emmett, who had appeared in the hall. He strode into the room that had always been called Alice's. It was not long after school, and she had been preoccupied. Her wedding ring lay on the dresser.
As he leaned over, Alice melted off him, clutching his sleeve in fear and then panic as his fingers closed around the ring and she realized the truth that had not been included in the vision.
"Jazz," she whispered, frozen. He slid the ring into his pocket and turned to leave the room.
"Jasper, no!" He stopped in the doorway at her scream.
"I can't," he said softly.
Alice approached his back soundlessly. "Can't what"
He turned to face her, his newly burgundy eyes trapping her gaze. "I can't stay with you."
"You can't leave me!" she screamed, fumbling for his arm, his jacket, his hand. He pulled away from her and ran down the stairs. She was faster than him, even as she stumbled. She blocked the front door and looked up at him, pleading. The rest of the family faded into the background.
"Jasper, you can't go. What about fifty-eight years? We haven't been apart for fifty-eight years."
He shook his head, water droplets flying into her face. "I'm no good for this place. This town, this house, this family. I will make a mistake again! It will be bigger, a massacre! No matter how hard you try to pretend I can turn against my nature, my monstrosity." He snarled, his teeth gleaming. "I will never be like any of them!"
"Then we can go, we can leave here forever! I would do it, Jasper, I would do it right now. We can go anywhere you want!"
He stared down at her and shook his head again. "I'm no good for you."
"You are the only thing that has ever been good for me!"
He ripped her from the doorway as though he were ripping his heart out.
"No!" She grabbed for him frantically, missing by inches, stumbling through the door after him, shouting to the point where everything became incoherent but his name. She flung herself at his feet, her fingers desperately clutching the edge of his jacket.
"I can't," he said again, looking past her into the forest. "I can't, A-"
She blinked rainwater out of her eyes and stared up at him furiously. "Go on," she hissed.
His gaze dropped to her. "What?"
"Say it! Say my name!"
His resolve wavered for an instant, then his lips flickered imperceptibly, the word spilling from them in a dead tone. "Alice."
The anger drained from her eyes to be replaced with utter emptiness.
He turned and walked away.