Empathy

New Moon

Jasper POV: What was it like for Jasper while Alice is in Italy?

Disclaimer: Everything belongs to Stephenie Meyer.

Alice.

I couldn't move. I was pressed against the wall where I had fallen hours before, the phone still clutched in my hand.

Today, I could lose Alice.

My mind was broken, replaying bits and pieces of our last conversation.

"I'll do everything that can be done. But prepare Carlisle. The odds aren't good."

This was not a bet I was willing to accept. The stakes were too high, the chances too low.

"One way or another, I'll get out."

I had to hope. It was all I had to hold on to now.

"Don't follow me."

Did she really think I could go on without her?

"And I love you."

The agony was pressing down on me from all sides. I had to get up, my family needed me. But I still couldn't move.

Time squelched by as I lay dazed, oblivious to any meaning in its passage. After all these hours of pain, I still couldn't blame Edward for what could happen to Alice. Instead, I only began to understand him more—Edward, the lone, mysterious creature whose emotions I vicariously felt but could rarely comprehend—as though my extra talent was somehow enhanced so it could bridge the immense distance between us. Just as I couldn't handle the anxiety of not knowing my love's fate, Edward thought his own mate was dead. I knew that in his place, I would be seeking oblivion just as he was. All I could do was hope that, despite the odds, all three would survive.

I felt someone else's emotions beside me—love, fear, hope, and pain—and I opened my eyes in time to see Esme pull me into a gentle hug.

I hugged her back, then leaned away to read her gaze. Besides her fresh, cutting fear of losing Edward, Alice and Bella, I could also experience old pangs of loss long ago. I knew behind her eyes there were images of her baby, and memories of the sorrow that lead her to the cliffs.

She gently brushed my hair back from my face, our eyes communicating more eloquently than any words ever could. She squeezed my hand and then stood, seeking to reach out to other members of the family.

The phone rang suddenly in my hand. Feeling as though my heart would explode with the household's hope, fear, and anxiety, I lifted the receiver to my ear.

"Hello?" My voice was low and faltering.

"Jasper!" Alice cried happily. "We made it, Edward's okay!"

I closed my eyes, suddenly lightheaded from the flood of happiness and relief that washed over me.

Alice was coming home.