A/N: Sorry about the delay. I have really good excuses, but I'm pretty sure nobody wants to hear them. Thanks for those of you who wanted to read the story when it was updated and those who reviewed. Getting reviews makes my day. On with the show:
The phone call from Alice received many reactions.
We'd gathered together in that front room—that front room where I'd first learned about Edward. Emmett, Rosalie, Carlisle, Esme…They were all there. The Denali clan was there as well, sharing in our agony. I laughed to myself as I caught Tanya's feelings; she'd always fancied herself in love with Edward.
Everyone else was pretending to watch television. I was pretending to not go mad.
Next to me on the couch, Emmett clicked a ball point pen open and closed. Open and closed. Slowly. Even slower. Carlisle was sprawled in a reclining chair, staring at the ceiling. Esme…well, she was staring at the television, but she was in despair. She had no hope.
So many people, in such a small space, with such heightened feelings…The emotions that everyone was putting off was sending my emotions through the roof. As a result, I as putting out more emotions: more anxiety, nervousness. This elevated everyone's emotions even more. It was a vicious circle.
I was only staying because I wanted to pretend to calm them down. I'd done such a poor job at calming Carlisle and Esme when I'd told them the news, I wanted to make up for it. It was my penance, my atonement. And it wasn't working.
Emmett clicked his pen again, and I visualized throwing him through the wall. His nervous habit was driving me crazy.
But then my phone rang.
The phone was sitting on the coffee table in front of me, in plain view. As it rang, everyone's attention snapped to focus on it. We all stared and the room became strangely airless.
It was a painful ring. Normally, I would have answered instantly, but I couldn't move. Destiny was calling.
It could be Alice.
It could be the Volturi, calling to gloat, calling to see how many vampires Alice was in contact with, how many more there were to kill. The possibilities were endless.
Pulling myself together, I answered before the second ring.
Not wanting to give anything away, in case it was the Volturi, I answered briefly. "Yes?"
"ALICE!" I yelled.
A shout filled the room. The relief was immediate and overwhelming. Emmett and Rosalie embraced, Esme smiled. Carlisle slumped forward, placing his head in his hands, much as he done when I had first told him about Edward and Bella.
Alice was speaking quickly, giving me the recap of their trip to Volterra. Edward safe, Bella safe, on their way home—she was condensing, obviously calling from a plane full of humans. It didn't matter. We all had eternity to hear the play-by-play, and to hear her observations.
It was magic to hear her voice again. Until she spoke on the phone, I hadn't realized how much I truly believed her to be doomed.
I was happy to be wrong.