Path Of the Empath
The disclaimer: I do not own the rights to Twilight or to any of its characters.
Thank you all for your continued interest in my story. I love the reviews you guys have been sending-it really keeps me motivated. Please continue to let me know what you guys think!
Chapter 33- First Attempts
Alice and I adjourned to the sanctity of our bedroom so that Alice could change for her rainy overnight watch outside Bella's house. She was deeply disturbed by the day's events. I felt the uncertainty radiating off of her. I followed her right into our enormous closet and grabbed her arm.
"What is it?" I asked searching her eyes.
"I feel like this is my fault." She said softly, letting her amber eyes study the floor rather than look at me.
"Alice, this isn't anyone's fault. Bella is fine, nothing happened and we are going to make sure it doesn't." I moved closer to wrap my arms around her, but she pulled away.
"Jasper, what if it's me? What if my power is broken, or gone?" She finally looked up at me.
I laid my hands on her cheeks and kissed her lips gently. "There is nothing wrong with your power. You are being paranoid, now stop beating yourself up about this. I'm sure there is a perfectly good explanation for why you didn't see whoever was there."
She nodded slowly, unconvincingly, and turned to grab an outfit that was less likely to leave her soaked as she watched over Bella from the woods. Her stilettos and sweater-dress were not going to cut it. Obviously she wouldn't be cold, but that didn't mean being wet for hours was comfortable. She dressed in dark jeans and a long sleeved black tee-shirt, then pulled on her black boots and a black rain slicker. I smiled at my wife's instinct to stay as camouflaged as possible, even if the real threats were going to be ones that could see in the dark. I knew she was more than capable of handling herself, but the fact that our enemy was invisible to us made me uneasy.
"Do you have your cell phone?" I asked.
"Yes, of course. Don't worry, everything will be fine." She smiled, but it was only a shadow of my normal Alice's smile.
That only increased my determination. I would figure this out. The ball had to start rolling before she or Edward could pick up on my plans. If Edward heard my thoughts, he wouldn't disapprove, but then he would be one more person whose future could tip Alice off that something was up. Keeping MY future quiet was going to be hard enough. I focused on clearing my thoughts, and then suddenly sent a huge bolt of anxiety and impatience out into the house. I felt bad, because I knew my Alice would get the brunt of it. It had to be strong though, because I needed Edward to feel it too. He needed to get Bella home so I could experiment. There was a rap on our door, and I knew it had worked.
"Come in," Alice called. It was Edward. What a surprise. I smiled smugly.
"Alice, I really think we ought to get moving. I will feel better when everything is in place." Then he turned to me with a puzzled expression on his face. Damn. He knew something was up.
"Jasper," He locked eyes with me. Edward, please trust me. Don't say anything. His eyes narrowed and he nodded slightly, changing whatever he had been about to say. "What time are you coming to relieve Alice?"
"I'll be there before sunrise, as earlier discussed. I am capable of following the plan, Edward. I'm not Emmett, you know…"
"HEY!!!" Emmett boomed from downstairs. I smirked and fanned the fire a little more to take the focus of off myself.
"Well, Emmett, it's kind of true. I mean it's probably just because you are still practically a baby by vampire standards…"
That did it. I heard a crash from the stairs, most likely the banister, and Emmett was in the room almost instantly. He took one look at my mocking expression and leaped straight for me. So predictable. I quickly stepped aside. "Oh, come on Emmett. There you go showing your age again." I twirled and grabbed his throat mid growl. Edward rolled his eyes at our game.
"Alice, are you ready?" He sighed.
She giggled, oblivious to my scheming, "Yeah, let's go get Bella home." She blew a kiss at me and shut the door behind her, leaving Emmett and I wrestling on the floor.
I kept up our mock battle until I heard Edward's Volvo rage to life. I rolled expertly out of Emmett's headlock and grinned at him.
"Well done, brother."
His astonished look made me laugh. "What the hell are you talking about Jasper?"
"I needed a distraction. Edward was in my thoughts and I needed him out."
"Ah, enough said." He stood up and dusted off his jeans. I'm sure that was for Rosalie's benefit, rather than his own. She tended to react just as poorly to ruined clothes as Alice did. "What were ya thinking about Jas? Our new vampire sister again? Tsk, tsk…" He shook his head mockingly.
"Yeah," I lied smoothly. "I wish he would just do it already." I had to get Emmett out of here. "So what did you break on your mad dash to rip me apart?"
"The banister…again. Oh, and I crushed the third stair from the top." He laughed to himself. I'm sure he was recounting the last time he had broken the banister. It had been quite a scene, involving Emmett, a rope and a Tarzan costume. It was a Halloween Esme would never forget no matter how hard she tried. She had walked into the room just in time to see Emmett try to swing down and grab Rosalie. He didn't make it. He had split the banister in two and landed ass up in Rose's lap. And had, conveniently not tied his loincloth properly. I shuddered at the memory.
"Maybe I should clean that up before…"
"EMMETT CULLEN! WHAT HAVE YOU BEEN DOING ON MY STAIRS?!"
"…Esme sees it. Damn. I'm toast. Later Jas." He bounded out of the room.
I figured that right now Alice was about halfway to Bella's, running alongside Edward's car under the cover of the trees. So Bella would be safe and looked after for the next few minutes. Time to test the waters. I figured I knew the boundaries of Alice's power better than anyone, other than her and Aro. Most of what we knew were theories though. There was no way to be certain exactly what her parameters were…unless we experimented a little. I figured I should start small, I didn't want her to notice the visions I was going to try to plant. It was time to get specific, because I knew specificity was intrinsic to her seeing the future. I needed to make a definite, specific decision…
I think I will rearrange our closet, since there is nothing to do today. I walked deliberately into our closet, glancing at my watch. I went straight to her hot pink Jimmy Choo's and had just placed my hand around the left one when my phone rang. I checked the watch, exactly 43 seconds.
"What are you doing? Why would you rearrange the closet?" She demanded. "Please just leave it alone Jasper. Can't you find something else to do? I only left a few minutes ago, and already my Jimmy Choo's are in danger."
"Ok, ok! You win. I will find a different project."
"Thanks Jas, love you!" She hung up, satisfied that her precious shoes were safe and sound.
Hmm…well one thing was for sure. Alice's power was functioning. Now how about something more dire…
I wonder if I get in Carlisle's Mercedes, if Emmett will play chicken with me in his Jeep?
I had barely gotten the full thought together when the phone rang again. "Hello?"
"Jasper, what is with you today? Chicken? You are acting worse than Emmett. Go read a book or something that won't destroy you or my shoes." She said with exasperation. I smiled to myself.
"It was just a thought, Al. Don't worry I wasn't seriously going to play chicken with Carlisle's car. Edward's maybe…"
"Kidding love. Forget I ever considered it." I hung up. So if her power was working, and if danger made the vision pop up quicker…why hadn't Alice seen this mystery visitor? Maybe it was human related. No, she had seen Bella's future before. Maybe it was Charlie. Maybe something about him made Alice blind…like the way Edward couldn't hear Bella's thoughts. It could be genetic.
I jumped in the car intending to "just get out for a bit". I drove aimlessly, closer and closer to Bella's. Finally I parked down the street from her house, intending to "just go for a walk". I wandered closer…
"What are you doing here?"
I spun around and there she was. "I was just going for a walk…" I started lamely.
"You were going for a walk in the rain on Bella's street at the exact same time I happened to be watching her? Come on Jasper, you were checking up on me. Admit it!"
"You're right. I'm sorry, I just felt uneasy and wanted to check and make sure everything was okay." I said quickly. I couldn't believe my good luck. She had spoon fed me an excuse. For now, it would do. But I was not finished yet. Not even close.