Struggling to find time to write and trying to plan on where I want this whole thing to go.
Disclaimer: None of the characters belong to me
I stared at the Cullen household from the safety of the outskirts of the woods that surrounded it. I held my breath as if that made any difference. The house just felt different to me even looking at it now. It felt like the place where all the secrets had begun, it felt like the end of the world that I had known for so long. I could feel all my nerves buzzing like my body was suddenly filled with electrify. Whatever I saw here, would change my future rapidly and of that one thing I could be certain.
I kept my mind as clear as I could with the exception of Alice buzzing around in my brain. My beautiful little spark of hope that found me when I was consumed in nothing but darkness. I was forcing myself to stay calm, but if it was possible I'm sure I'd be losing all the contents of my stomach right now. How do you go searching for something that you know is going to change everything, even when it's the only thing that'll quiet your mind?
I can still remember when I first laid eyes on Alice. She was so determined, so happy and it was just a striking difference between what I had been around. She pushed me outside of my comfort levels but I didn't question any of what she said for a minute. She just had this aura that made you feel like everything was so genuine and true. Alice was like the sun, and when she shined on me I felt so warm. As it stands now that my 'sun' is gone and shining her warmth down on someone else, I felt so cold. The cold crept through me even moment of the day, it settled into my bones like I would never again find an ounce of warmth.
It's not like every moment between us since we had moved out of the Cullen's house had been awful. I think that's what makes it worse for me. We'd go through periods together where it felt as if our daily life didn't change. We would go out together, and stroll through Farmers markets like we were normal humans. She'd look over and peer up at me through her lashes, and I'd feel the hope that things were fixable. Then she'd disappear to Forks again, and it was just the endless cycle of pain. I know my Alice would never hurt me, but now I would catch glimpses of her through the corner of my eye and things just felt different. She'd be chewing on her lip, lost somewhere in her thoughts or maybe memories. Her brow would furrow and then she'd catch me look at her and her face would go blank. I knew that the Alice that shared my life now, wasn't the same person that had grown into my heart.
In some way, I had to justify why I was following her today. I had to calm this voice and the knot rising in my stomach. I needed the truth more than I had ever needed anything in my life. I scanned the house for any signs of movement or that anyone knew I was just simply out here waiting. The lights in the house were dim, and I closed my eyes again. I tried to feel for them or for anything. I missed sparring with Emmett, and trying to be the neutral party when Rosalies' attitude got too much for everyone to bear. I missed the way that Esme would reach out and brush her finger tips across my cheekbones. It had been as if she was my pseudo mother and I was her child that needed reassurance. I even missed Carlisle, who had been the backbone of my old family. He had been a sense of gravity for all of us. The one person that I did not miss was Edward.
Even just letting his name fleet across my brain was completely unnerving. I may not have been able to read minds like him, but unlike him I am far more observant. I had lived my life around so many vampires before coming to the Cullens that it was impossible not to pick up on certain cues. Edward would withdraw himself from me, sometimes what I felt from him could be interpreted as aggressive. He would leave the room as soon as I entered it. I wished then, I had pulled the truth from him with the skills that I had learned in training all of the newborns. I didn't do it for sake of keeping the peace with Alice and the rest of our family. Those moments in my life had been constant moments of pushing down the dread I felt and fighting all the instincts I had. I didn't want to believe that Edward, my brother, my coven family member could betray me right beneath my nose. Nor did I want to believe Alice had fallen for any of these things.
I struggled through the darkness even worse than I did now. I was a man pushing against the current of all of these thoughts and feelings and no one seemed to notice except me. I had always wondered if maybe the rest of my family had an inkling for what was going on, but denied it for the sake of protecting everyone. Edward had never been held to the same standard as the rest of us. Edward was so lost in his self-hate and loathing for so many years, that we all simply gave him a pass.
To make matters worse, Edward had Bella on top of everything else. We all allowed it and I myself had even been supportive. When they first began seeing each other, I could see the lure of dating a human. Bellas' scent alone struck a chord deep within me. I'd kept my distance because often times I still struggled with the blood lust. I had spent so much time as a 'savage' for lack of a better word, giving into my indulgence of human blood. When I was in the same place as Bella, I felt it call out to me often. Alice had been my anchor in those times. Accompanying me on many endless hunting trips and talking me back from the edge. I was strong because of my sense of loyalty to her and how I cared for my brother. I wouldn't take something from him, that wasn't mine to take.
That thought filled me with a quiet whisper of rage. Bella wasn't mine to take or indulge on and I knew that. So why, if Alice essentially belonged to me, did Edward feel like she was his for the taking? And in turn, why did Alice not resist him and put distance between them, if for nothing else, then the sake of sparing me. This is what I was lurking outside of the house to find out.
I exhaled finally, tried to regain my composure and focus on the task at hand. I made my way quietly to the wall outside of Edwards bedroom. I wondered if they could sense me, or if Alice was getting flashes of my plans through her mind. It occurred to me that all of this was possible, but I wouldn't let it stop me. I had made up my mind, and I wouldn't back out now.
I ran my palm against the cold wood that made up almost the entirety of the outside of the house. It felt so familiar to me, as if I this wood could possibly hold all of the comforts I had left. I decided to scale the walls, unconventional but it also seemed like the most simple of all of the details of any of the many scenarios that ran through my mind. I wanted to avoid encountering any of my other family members. I didn't want to drag them into any of this. This was simply between Edward, Alice and myself.
I tipped my head upwards, sending a silent prayer into the great beyond. The night was clear and didn't reflect anything that I was feeling. I began to climb, for being such a smoother surface I scaled it easily as if it had just became a natural extension of my body. I could see the vast windows that held Edwards little sanctuary.
I peeked my eyes into the room, even though they were shielded in darkness I felt like I could see things perfectly. I made out the outline of my little pixie, and she was mindlessly flipping through a book as if lost in the absolute nothing that immortality brought. She was completely relaxed and at ease, it had been rare lately to see her like this. Edward had his back towards me and was standing leaning against a bookshelf. He held tension in his shoulders, which wasn't completely unexpected. The ripples of his angst flowed freely and hit me like a wave. I held my breath out of some kind of habit I seemed to be developing tonight, but I could feel it. I could feel all the answers right at my fingertips.
I'm not quite sure if it was the way Alice relaxed near Edward that just told me everything I suspected it was right. I let my eyes take in the room, like a snapshot in my mind. I held onto this one certainty, my last shred of sanity that I knew I had been completely right. I continued to observe Edward as if drinking in all of his actions and emotions. I didn't feel any grief, or anger or love in this moment. I felt like the calculated killer that I had been trained to be all of those years ago. I was studying him, observing him like he was some form of a threat that needed to be taken care of. I knew I wouldn't kill Edward. Not even I could live with myself if I did that, it was too personal, you never come back from something like that.
Edward casually shifted his weight from one leg to the other and I felt even from here that a part of him had to be aware of my presence. He casually peered over his shoulder, and I know it was to catch a glimpse of me. I asked myself if Edward going to make things easy this way. He could make my presence known, and end all of this.
Edward then took a stride toward Alice, and simply kneeled down in front of her. She absently reached out and skimmed her fingers over his unkempt hair. His lips curved upwards in a half dazed smirk and tilted his head up to brush his lips against her fingertips. I felt the cold creep back into my bones. I was seeking a truth that would destroy everything I had ever known and a sense of almost grief would accompany that. I watched silently from the window, digging my fingers even deeper into the wood. It splintered easily beneath my hands but I couldn't pull my eyes away from the two in front of me.
Edward had gotten up and joined Alice on the couch in his room. He reached his arms out and pulled her effortlessly into his lap with familiarity as if they had spent many nights doing this. Alice tucked her head into the crook of his neck and even I had to admit how comfortable she looked in this position.
My beautiful, sweet Alice. A lump had begun to swell in my throat, as if the levee had broken and let the darkness consume me. I felt like screaming, but my jaw was clenched so tightly no sound would escape from my mouth. My pain was coming in sharp waves now, and I didn't want to keep watching any longer. It felt as if I knew a train was about to crash but I could do nothing to stop it.
Edward brushed his lips against the top of her hair. Did she still even smell like me? I couldn't even remember the last time we had so much as touched each other. He trailed the soft kisses starting at her temple, down to her chin. Alice leaned deeper into his touch and let her palms trace his chest from the outside of his shirt. Edward began to nip at her chin, encouraging her to open up to him. I felt the lump in my throat growing larger with every passing second. I know Edward was very aware of me at this point. He couldn't just turn off my voice and my thoughts, I knew this from living with him all of these years. It was so hard to reign in my thoughts and keep my mind quiet while I watched him touch Alice in the way that I used to.
Alice tilted her head back as far as it would go. From here in my silent little perch, I could hear the slight gasp as her lips parted. If my stomach held any bile, it would be threatening to spill out of my mouth at this point. Edward obliged in the signals she was giving him and kissed her neck with a new fever. I watched her respond in a way that was all too familiar to me. This was still my Alice in the most basic ways. The foundation of the things that brought her pleasure were still the same, even if I didn't have access to these things with her anymore. She grabbed for his neck and the back of his head as if never wanting to lose the feeling of him on her skin.
I turned my face away and let my eyes fall close for a second. I couldn't watch this, it felt too intimate, too personal between them now. It was as if this was a secret sanctuary for them and I was just an outsider invading it. How do you watch the person that is your entire existence, the reason you're still breathing, love someone else? I couldn't.
I let my grasp falter on the house and slid back down with an ease that I didn't know I was still capable of. I felt as if my legs were going to buckle and sway beneath me. I didn't think I was going to survive this. I didn't need oxygen to survive anymore. So why did my chest feel so painfully tight? My lungs were burning like I was suffocating. Every inch of my being was on fire as I just simply walked away from the house. I had all of the truths that I would need and I didn't feel any sense of peace. The little voice that was in the back of my head, was screaming now and it was deafening.
I was internally screaming from pain, relief and something else that I couldn't quite put my finger on at this point. I was following my feet mindlessly now. In an instant I had lost every sense of purpose. The craving for this truth littered the past months of my life. It became this small comfort in the darkness. I had pictured this very moment countless amounts of times. It had always been the championing moment of the plan. I held onto getting the truth, it was my salvation. Now that I had the truth, essentially resting in my palms, I felt no sign of comfort. This had felt so much different than anything I could've expected or dreamed of.
I had felt grief, and I had felt loss many times in my life. Those things were nothing new to me. I carried the crescent shaped scars with me like badges of the memories of things I would never completely escape from. Everything else previously paled in comparison to what I was drowning in now. Alices face was all that I could picture in my head. I had loved her so easily, it was as if my soul was mirrored in hers from the moment that we met. Alice had been patiently waiting for me, every day until our paths finally crossed. Alice had felt my presence in her visions and she couldn't ignore the pull of the strings of fate. She had been so bubbly, and so sure of everything, it was infectious. She had been hard to ignore, and impossible to convince that she was wrong about me. She said she could see my heart as clear as if it were her own.
I let my hands rip the branches from the trees that I was passing. I crushed them in my palms like they had never been anything. This was exactly how I felt now. I was just a low hanging branch, always available to be ripped away from the base of my life. I had lulled myself into a false sense of comfort with my coven, that I wasn't sure could ever have been real. Finally, I didn't have to worry about wandering. I had found the one person who knew about my marred past and didn't shy away from me. My scars didn't set her on edge, the way it did other vampires. She led me straight to our coven, and she helped me change my entire life.
I can feel the memories of our time flooding through me as if it had just happened yesterday. I could still smell the scent of jasmine and mint that was Alice in her entirety. I could feel the late night whispers of the conversations as we revealed our souls to each other. I still felt her hands intertwined with mine, like a ghost coming to haunt me. I remember every curve of her body, the slopes of every indent of her and how it felt underneath my own body. Two slabs of perfect marble that somehow curved and swelled perfectly together. She fit so well against me, as if she was made to be mine. I had believed that in the fiber of my very being. The fates and the heavens had brought us together. I couldn't pinpoint at what point that had changed.
My grief consumed me down to the soles of my feet now. I was shuffling, and I could hear the leaves scraping underneath me. I didn't know what I was going to do next. I didn't want to imagine a life beyond this, beyond Alice. I knew that by seeking out the truth, I was risking it all. When I was so consumed to find it, losing Alice had seemed small in comparison. I didn't want to really think that I was going to actually be right about my suspicions. I held out hope that Alice was exactly who I had always known her to be. I felt so bleak now with my hope being pulled out from under me like a rug. I forced myself to continue on the path back to my home, even when my legs felt like they couldn't support the weight of my own body. I know I needed to think about what I would do next. This had never really been part of the plan. The truth weighed down on me so heavily it felt as if I was carrying a boulder upon my shoulders. What is an immortal life if all your sense of security and hope disappear?
I let my eyes wander around me now, but I wasn't actually able to fully process the forest around me. I had no answers to bring myself comfort. I had the truth that did nothing to set me free. I had lost my family already, and I should be preparing myself now to lose Alice completely. I couldn't do it, in the same way that I couldn't voice my presence to them while I looked into Edwards window. I felt defeat in its entirety for the first time in my vampire life.
I dropped to my knees in the middle of the forest, letting myself feel the pain. I greeted the darkness like it was an old friend. I thought I had escaped this pain when I left Peter and Charlotte for the unknown that would become Alice. I ripped my fingers through the cold ground and let out a deep guttural scream. It sounded completely in human as it echoed back to me. It was filled with all the things my lips could not speak and all the pain I felt vibrating through my chest. It felt like my soul was splitting in two. I'm not sure when the scream subsided but I remember the forest becoming eerily quiet. My pain was out there in the world now. It didn't just belong to me anymore.
The relief I felt shortly followed the silence. It settled over me like a blanket, encouraging me to pull myself together. I stood back up, not bothering to brush the dirt from my skin and clothes. I had to pull myself together, if I was going to go through what I knew I had to do next.
I could've easily mapped out all the things I knew I had to do now, but I wanted to savor the plans slowly. I wanted to be able to turn over each agonizing detail in my mind without a fear or a care if Alice can see them too. I needed to figure out where I was going to start. I didn't want this to feel like revenge. I wanted everything to feel so cold like I am a blizzard about to rip and cover everything in my path. This is the only thing that Alice had deserved from me now. If she had offered the truth, I could've in turn pardoned her with my forgiveness. Except she didn't offer me this solution, and now I had the image of Edward with his lips on her ingrained into my brain. My tongue casually flicked over my lips, I could almost taste the relief that buzzed through my body.
I approached our house with a new sense of purpose. The quiet hum of the silence brought me a sense of renewed reassurance. I sat down in the black velvet armchair that Alice had handpicked especially for me. I steeled myself against the memories that threatened to overcome me in this house. I couldn't let myself waver in this decision. I would wait for her to come back here, and I would wait for as long as it took. My fingers strummed against the arm into a comforting rhythm.
I lay awake in my bed for another sleepless night. The days seemed to blend together for me now. I looked over at the empty space next to me. I'm not sure I'd ever get used to being this alone. My bedroom felt so large without him in it. My mind and my life had become so large, just this endless space, which was usually occupied by Edward. He had taken to showing up later and later or not at all during the nights now. The pattern in which he showed up, had become completely sporadic. It unsettled me, because he had previously been so predictable. I had grown accustomed to the comfort that I felt by him just lying next to me. I just felt so lonely without it, without him.
I still saw him almost daily at school, with the exception of his hunting trips. In many ways our relationship was still what it had been. We sat together for every lunch, and in the classes we shared. His touch still sent sparks through me when we'd brush against each other in public. Nothing had changed within the four walls of my bedroom much either. When he'd let me push the boundaries of his resolve and wrap myself around him. I'd coil myself so that I was wound up so tight everything threatened to burst out of me. Some nights were so painful most of the time when he decided enough was enough and put distance between us.
I shivered at the memories of us, and let them wash over me with pleasure. The longing I felt for him to just be crushed against me in my bed had my heart hammering steadily in my ears. I think the hardest part of dealing with any of this is that I never even questioned Edward. I didn't voice any of the questions that I had about where he was at night. I had no real reason to not trust him. I think that's the beauty of finding your first love. You gave your trust away so freely, and you didn't expect there to be any downside to that. Edward made me feel so safe in every sense of the word.
I couldn't exactly pinpoint why I had fallen in love with Edward. He had been so beautiful and stoic. He was so cold to the point that he bordered on having an air of disdain for me. To give him credit, he was thirsty and I hadn't exactly observed his interactions with anyone else. Something had drawn me to Edward. I felt like he was the sun and I was sucked into his gravity. He burned bright, hot and had me pulled into his world from the first moment I laid eyes onto him.
I rolled over, burying my face further into my pillow. I could feel my cheeks burning and tears prickling behind my eyes. I felt way too much sadness for someone who had blind faith in the person she loved. I was smart enough to know that. Sometimes I'd lay awake all night, just praying that Edward would slip in through my window. It seemed so silly, hoping for something so small. When the truth was that we spent time together all throughout the day. It just had stopped being enough at some point, when he settled himself into my life and into my bed. I pulled the blanket tighter around me to chase away the chills. I felt the pangs of missing him like crazy now.
It had been four nights consecutively that he had been absent from our nightly routine. Four lonely nights. The absence of him had left me with dark circles under my eyes. I couldn't sleep, I was unable to let my mind relax long enough. I carried around this small fear that he'd show up in the time that I was sleeping and leave before I woke up. I didn't want to miss a second of him if he finally decided to show. He didn't mention my dark circles when we were together at school. He didn't rub the pad of his thumb under my eyes with a scowl knitted between his brows like he once would have. I didn't know how to take in any of this new inattentive Edward that had replaced the old one.
I did the best I could with the time I was given. I tried to fill the silence with slight babble. The conversations we were having these days really amounted to nothing of substance. I internalized so much of my pain, my questions and the slight deterioration of us. I could feel Edward slipping through my fingers like the easy flow of a river. I was a rock being slowly eroded away by him. Every day I felt the distance grow, and all it did was leave me feeling so exposed. I didn't want to do anything except grip tighter to him. I didn't want to let him go. Letting Edward go would be comparable to cutting out all of the oxygen in my life.
I felt like I was withering away as the minutes ticked by. I slammed my eyes shut, trying to conjure up every detail of his beautiful face. I wouldn't let myself be pulled into the pain. I had to believe in the love we shared, because I could barely remember any of my life without it. I didn't know any longer how to be Bella without Edward.
This chapter was so angsty and kind of redundant in some ways but I want everyone to get a real feel for what Jasper and Bella are going through and their present mind frames. Heartbreak is a bitch, but it's the catalyst and the foundation for which I'm building this story.