::Interlude: Edward::

"She's happy, Edward. I've seen it."

There was a part of me, as I sifted through the visions Alice was showing me in her mind, that was relieved to see – her – smiling, moving carelessly through mindless chores at her home, speaking again to her friends in school.

Another, wilder, more primal piece of me screamed in agony as my soul – if one existed at all within me – was ripped in two.

This was what I had intended, after all. For her to move on with a normal, monster-free existence, and choose life instead of eternal death.

Then why was I suddenly looking for holes in the truth, imperfections in the tapestry, warped notes in the melody?

I wanted to know – did she miss me at all?

It was why I had come to see Alice today, why I had traveled halfway across the globe, purposefully avoided the others, made certain they wouldn't be at home when I came to call – Carlisle at work, Esme and Rosalie shopping, Emmet and Jasper hunting – and of course she had seen me coming, and was waiting with what I wanted to know.

But there was something about the careful, uneasy way Alice was showing me her thoughts that disturbed me.

"Why are you censoring your visions? What aren't you showing me?"

Alice sighed. She balled her tiny hands into fists and pressed them to her temples.

"It's confusing. Sometimes I can see her very clearly. But there are times, like right now, for example, where I – "

A dense gray fog covered her thoughts, obstructing her entire vision. She showed me how she tried to see around it, but there was no use.

My heart, if it hadn't been long dead, would have stopped beating at that moment.

"What's wrong? Why can't you see her? What does that mean?"

"I don't know!" Alice snapped, dropping her hands from her temples sharply. She took a deep breath. "I'm sorry, Edward; I didn't mean to yell at you. You're not the one with holes in your vision. I feel…extremely…useless." She turned and dropped onto the sofa behind her, her hand shading her eyes.

I began to pace the length of the living room in Esme and Carlisle's London flat, my thoughts in a blur.

"What if there's something wrong? What if she's hurt? In danger?" I stopped pacing abruptly in front of Alice, who had not moved a fraction of an inch. "We have to go back to Forks. Right now. We have to – "

Edward, calm down.

Alice removed her hand from her face and looked up at me, her golden eyes narrowed slightly.

"You said you wanted to give her a chance to have a normal life. A chance to be happy. And she is. If she were in danger, I would see it. Even with these…ugh…walls barring my visions."

"You can't be certain of that, Alice."

She raised one delicate eyebrow at me, defiant. Do you think you know better than I do how my own visions work?

"Of course that's not what I'm saying; I'm only suggesting that we go there so that we can be certain that she's safe."

Alice pursed her lips and thought about that for a moment. And if she's safe, Edward? And happy? Will you be able to leave again?

Joy rushed through me at the thought of seeing her – Bella, soft and warm, fragrant and so sinfully tempting. I barely heard Alice's silent questions. My eyes were closed and I was with her again, brushing her hair back out of her dark eyes, tracing her face with my hands, wrapping her up in my arms, pulling her close to me, breathing her in. Feeling complete once more.

"Edward?" Alice was saying.

I opened my eyes, shaken from my daydream. "Yes?"

"You didn't answer. Will you be able to leave again if – when – we find her safe and happy?"

"Of course."

Alice knew I was lying.

A/N : Yes, yes, I know there is no smut in this chapter. I wanted to address Edward, because I know he would have been checking on Bella through Alice, and of course Alice would have had multiple holes in her visions because of Jake.

Also, I know I've been MIA for a L-O-N-G time now. But I had something happen to me today that sufficiently kicked me in my rear. My story was mentioned by the wonderful girls over at Easy As Breathing in one of their podcasts. I honestly don't know much about them or their site, which I only just joined today, but I know that their kind words about my story were to much for me and sent me into writing mode. So if you want to thank anyone for reviving my muse, thank those lovely ladies! I'm still grinning like an idiot.

While I cannot promise for more regular updates, I can say that I have recently been able to bring my old, wonderful laptop, Eloise, back from the grave and she works like a charm. No other keyboard or word processing system has ever been as lucky for me as she has been, and every time I tried to write anything on any other computer, nothing would come. So now that I am home again, home again on my dear little laptop, I MIGHT be writing more. I certainly hope I am. I feel quite inspired. I would welcome any and all suggestions you wonderful people might have for me.

And ack! It's a plot. Ewwww.