Sunset

Chapter Eight- Kidnapping

JWJWJW

I woke suddenly, my eyes flying open and my breath catching in between my chest and the pillow my face was pressed against. I had been dreaming, I don't know what of, when a noise had woken me. I bolted into a sitting position.

Alice was standing near my book case, sheepishly standing my guitar back up from where it had fallen. "Sorry, my jacket caught on it." I just stared at her and she stared back. Her eyes flicked briefly down from my eyes and then back. She looked guilty.

Then I remembered that I was only wearing boxers. I felt my face flame up as I scrambled for the covers. "What are you even doing here?" I squawked. I felt decidedly effeminate as I clutched the sheet to my bare chest. It was like every romantic comedy where hilarious misunderstandings happened, only I was in place of the beautiful heroine who had to win the heart of the dashing male lead.

Shouldn't Alice be the one holding a sheet to her chest?

My brain tried to go off on a tangent, but I forced myself to think about the vampire in the room first.

"I came to see you. It's bright and early, just like I promised." Her voice was chipper but she was looking at everything except me.

"Guh," I croaked, wiping drool off my chin and searching franticly for something I could use to cover my scared chest.

"Are you always this ruffled in the morning?" Alice asked, suddenly holding a plain undershirt out to me. I hadn't seen her move and I jumped.

"Only recently," I replied gruffly as I jerked the shirt over my head.

I looked up at her to find that she was watching me intently. My cheeks felt even hotter than before and a scowl pulled down my eyebrows.

"I'm sorry, I'm making you uncomfortable." She shuffled her feet and looked away. "When is your family returning?"

"Tonight. I don't know exactly."

"Good, then I'm kidnapping you for the day," she informed me, back to being cheerful. "Go take a shower and get dressed. You'll need to be warm." She was gone before I could blink, most likely in an attempt to keep me from complaining.

I complained anyway. "What do you mean 'kidnapping'?" I asked the empty room.

She didn't reply so I got out of bed. I collected some clothes out of my dresser, grabbing my thermal underpants when I remembered that Alice said I would need to be warm.

The shower was bliss. I let the hot stream pound away the tension in my neck and shoulders. By the time I allowed myself to exit the shower I was relaxed and looking forward to what the day would bring. A whole morning, afternoon, and evening with Alice? I was probably going to lose my shit over how awesome that was.

The relaxing atmosphere was ruined before I even pulled on my boxers.

A high pitched wailing rang through the whole house and I felt my heart leap into my throat. I jumped in surprise and stumbled back, hitting my elbow painfully on the bathroom counter. I whined at the ache even as I ran from the bathroom, securing my towel back around my waist. I knew that noise.

I just wondered what Alice had set on fire.

It didn't take me long to find out at all. It was the stove.

I assumed by the various props on the scene that she had been attempting to cook and it had gone horribly wrong. My brother's family employed a gas powered stove and the butane flames were roaring over the sides of a skillet filled with burned crisps of what used to be eggs. Alice was curled in the farthest corner of the kitchen from the stove, staring at the fire with panicked gold eyes.

I marched across the space determinedly and located an oven mitt before using it to help me turn off the gas to the stove and then remove the hot pan from the burner. I through the skillet into the sink and flinched when I heard a dish break.

I was sure to catch hell for that.

I turned the sink on and let the cold water hit the hot metal, the loud hiss and cloud of steam was likeplessing. It told my mind that the action was over.

Once I had turned off the water and left the pan to soak, I moved to Alice, crouching in front over her and observing her state.

She was gasping loudly and her pupils were blown. She was focused beyond me and I wondered if she even noticed my presence. I didn't want to touch her when she was in that sort of state so I snapped my fingers in front of her face a few times.

She jumped and looked right at me.

Improvement.

"Hey, hey, hey," I called in as calm a voice as I could manage. I had to swallow a few times to get some spit back in my mouth. "It's ok, it could happen to anyone. There's no need to panic."

She shuddered against the cabinet and the doors banged. "If I had a heart beat it would be so fast right now," she confessed. She swallowed and looked me in the eye. I felt better to see that her pupils were shrinking. "I don't like fire."

"Ok." I nodded, remembering what she had said the night before about fire being one of the only ways to kill her. I noticed the way she was cradling her arms against her chest. "Are you hurt?"

She closed her eyes and sniffled, shaking her head. "No, I'm fine." Despite the fact that she shed no actual tears, I knew she was crying by the way her shoulders quaked.

I dropped from my crouch to stand on my knees. "Baby," I cooed, "come here." I was a little nervous to have her close to me, but she was a girl and she was crying and I was kind of in love with her, so it was something I felt like I needed to do. Men are supposed to comfort and protect their women, and even though Alice didn't really need any kind of protection from me, I still felt that natural urge welling up under my skin. Alice apparently still had the instinct to be held too, because she slid in to the circle of my arms without complaint or further prompting.

This time I was the one gasping. In the excitement I had completely forgotten that I was only wearing a towel, and her hands and face were cold. I jerked and tried to pull away, but she whined and held me tighter, pushing her face against my neck. "I just wanted to make you some breakfast. I'd never done it before but I watched the cooking channel last night and it looked so easy."

I couldn't help the chuckle that eked out of me. "That's really sweet," I assured her, wrapping my arms completely around her and rocking from side to side. After a minute she pulled away, just enough to look up at me. I looked down so our eyes met, grinning happily at her. She didn't exactly match my smile, but there was a quirk to her lips that made her whole face more enchanting. Her gaze was intense and focused on mine, so when she stared for several seconds beyond what was comfortable I began to shift nervously.

She noticed and smiled a little wider. "I want to do something, and I want you to be a good boy and stay still for me." My heart was the only rebellious muscle in my body. The rest locked, but it sped its lusty contractions to double time.

Alice shifted back from me, her hands sliding from around my neck to rest on my bare shoulders. I felt self-conscious suddenly but I didn't move. The look in her eyes had nailed my knees to the tile.

She moved forward until our faces were just an inch apart, her cold nose gently brushing mine when I would exhale. I noticed that she wasn't breathing at all. We sat/kneeled in that awkward position for so long I thought I would have to pull away for sure because my knees were starting to ache.

And then she closed the distance and her lips were on mine.

I don't mean to brag, and I don't want to sound like a man-whore or anything, but I've kissed a lot of girls. And by 'a lot' I mean eight. I mean, I was kind of a stud back in Texas, and all the girls here had wanted me too. I considered myself super lucky that a girl as beautiful as Alice had even looked my way. So yeah, I was no stranger to making out with girls.

But kissing Alice was in a whole other ball park.

It was different, for sure, not even counting the fact that she was the shortest person I'd ever kissed so I had to lean down pretty far to make it comfortable for her. Her lips were just as hard and cold as the rest of her, and my lips were the ones yielding to her pressure instead of the other way around. I had let girls take control of kisses a few times in the past, but this time I wasn't able to turn the tables. Alice had complete control. Every time I would try to add more pressure she would pull away a little, when I would tilt my head to make the kiss deeper she would move in the same direction to prevent it. I tried to direct her with one of my hands in her hair, but she just smiled against my mouth and ignored me.

It was nice too. Sweet and simple. She kept her mouth mostly closed; only separating her lips enough to take my bottom one between hers for a few brief seconds.

She was the one to pull away first, her eyes wide and hair as mussed as it could be. She took a deep calming breath and fixed me with her molten gold stare.

I licked my lips and noted that she followed the path of my tongue. I could taste her on my mouth and she was just as sweet as she smelled.

"Wow."

She nodded and smiled shyly; biting her lip and drawing my eyes back to them. She giggled and I looked back up. Her smile was no longer shy, but teasing.

"What?"

"As much as I like seeing you nearly naked, this attire is completely inappropriate for what I have in mind for today."

I looked down, remembering my attire, and thanked God that the front of my towel wasn't tented. I scrambled to my feet and out of the room before she could tease me any further, and it wasn't until I was already dressed and pulling on my socks that I even realized that she had seen my scars.

She hadn't been freaked out at all.

oooooo

Alice's idea of a grand adventure and 'kidnapping' turned out to be playing in the snow in an old corn field three miles outside of town. She had pulled into a rarely used side street and parked there, leading me from the warmth of her car to the bitter chill of the field.

We made snow angels. Hers were perfect and mine looked more like circles than angels.

Then we made snow men like Calvin and Hobbs, which was something I had always wanted to do. It doesn't snow often in Texas and when it did there was never really enough to justify building a snow canon and a snow man with a hole blown in him.

We made several drowning snow men too, Alice disappearing into thin air for short periods to collect branches for arms and little rocks for the eyes and mouths.

When we got tired of building the men we trudged through the deep snow towards the stand of trees at the edge of the field and spent some time walking through the 'woods,' mostly silent and just enjoying the sound of snow crunching and each other's company.

As the morning faded into afternoon and my stomach started to protest the lack of food, we made our way back to Alice's car and she drove us back into town so I could eat.

After my quick lunch we just drove around aimlessly for a little while. Alice took me 'sightseeing,' which really wasn't that impressive in Gilbert, but she tried to make it interesting.

There was a big hill near the school that I had passed every day. It was always covered in snow and it looked like an awesome location for sledding, especially the backside because it didn't lead out to the street.

I suggested we try it out, and when Alice protested with a reference to our lack of sleds, I ran up to the nearest house with trash bins out front and took the lids. She was not impressed, but she followed me up the side of the hill anyway.

From the top, the drop looked a lot more daunting. But the smug look on Alice's face when I started to reconsider the idea clenched my decision.

"Let's do it."

Before Alice even opened her mouth to protest I had flung my makeshift sled down into the powdery snow and took my perch, pushing off with my arms.

I screeched from joy as I tore down the hill. The trashcan lid spun me around in circles and about halfway down the slope I felt the edge catch on something, a rock or a tree root probably. The lid tilted under me and in no time I was flying through the air, still screaming. I hit the snow hard and continued my way down the hill at a roll. My forward momentum was stopped by a snowdrift that had accrued at the bottom. I landed on my back and watched breathlessly as the snow went up in a fountain around me.

As I struggled to regain my breath I became aware of the sounds of running feet approaching my bed of snow. Within seconds Alice's face appeared above me. She smoothed my hair away from my face carefully.

"Are you ok?" she demanded when I did nothing but smile back at her.

I laughed. "I'm great!"

Her beautiful face dissolved into a scowl. "You could've been busted up back there. Or killed!"

"Fun though, wasn't it?" I asked with a cheeky grin.

"You'd die for fun?" Her incredulousness made me laugh more.

"Wouldn't you?" I asked in all seriousness.

She just rolled her eyes as she leaned down to press her cold lips to mine.

I lost my focus for a long time after that, but once I'd remembered how to breathe again a thought managed to wriggle into my brain. I looked up at Alice's adoring face. "You wouldn't have let me go if anything bad was going to happen anyway."

She smiled sheepishly. "True."

I grinned my most charming grin. "Wanna go again?"

"No!"

We trudged back up the hill and replaced the trashcan lids on the cans we had nicked them from. Both of us were soaked but only I was bothered by it. When we got back into her ridiculously yellow car she turned the heat all the way up.

"We'll be at your place soon. Then maybe we can start up that fireplace I saw earlier," she suggested with a wink. I felt like I was blushing to the roots of my hair.

"Okay, sure," I muttered.

oooooo

When we arrived back at my brother's house I was almost surprised when Alice pulled a small duffle bag out of the trunk and announced that she was going to change into something dry. I wondered if she had seen it all coming or if she just usually carried extra clothes with her all the time. Both options seemed equally likely.

When she returned from the bathroom in a dry outfit I followed her example and went to change.

I arrived back downstairs to find that the duffle bag was nowhere in sight and Alice was perched on the couch texting away on her fancy phone. The TV was on and set to some weird western movie. I picked up the remote to check the listings but my little vampire beat me to it.

"Princess Bride is about to come on."

"Oh, well," I tossed the remote back on the couch beside her and went to the fire place. It was one of those newfangled gas ones that didn't burn real wood. It was heat though, and it looked pretty so I didn't want to complain about it much.

There was some old phrase about gift horses that I nearly thought of before the pretty girl on the couch called for me.

We cuddled and laughed at one of our favorite movies. It felt like a slice of Heaven.

"You're like my very own Wesley," she said against my neck and I chuckled at the ticklish feeling.

"As you wish," I quoted. It was cheesy but it made her smile wider and I was into that.

When the movie ended we 'watched' a documentary that probably would have been really interesting if 'watched' had actually meant something other than 'kissed for the next two hours.' The only reason we stopped in the first place was because the back door rattled and then opened, pulling us apart because of the noise, and admitted my brother and his family.

I was nervous and shifty, and when they entered the living room I got more nervous and shifty because of their surprised expressions.

Alice seemed to be immune to the tension, or more likely, she was just very good at ignoring it. She uncurled herself from my side and stood. I followed her lead, grabbing her jacket off the chair we had put it on in front of the fireplace and moving to stand behind her.

"Hey, welcome back," I said uncertainly, glancing between Josh and Jenny. They didn't look angry, just surprised and I tried to relax but I didn't feel very successful. "Um, this is Alice. Alice this is my brother Josh, and you already met Jenny."

"Lovely to meet you, sir," she directed to my brother after smiling politely at Jenny.

"Have you eaten?" Jenny asked after a stretch of silence.

"Not since lunch," I replied, a nervous energy was filling my chest. I had the sudden urge to get Alice away from my family as quickly as possible before they embarrassed me, or before I embarrassed myself.

"I could make a late supper then. We could all get to know each other better," Jenny offered, glancing between Alice and myself in a way that was not at all subtle.

"Well actually, I must be going. My parents are expecting me home by nine. I'd love to take you up on that offer some other time though, and my mother did mention wanting to have you all for dinner soon," she offered as I helped her into her mostly dry coat. She gave me a sweet little grin when my lip curled at her turn of phrase.

I wondered briefly when she would have had time to tell her mother anything about our new classification and then I remembered her texting earlier in the evening after we had returned from our sledding adventure. Vampire moms must be cool enough to text. Or she could be lying.

"If you must…"Jenny replied, trailing off. There was tense silence for a moment and she shifted the sleeping boy in her arms. I looked pointedly between her and Wes a few times. "Oh! Um…I'm just going to go put Wes to bed. Nice seeing you again, Alice."

Alice smiled politely and moved aside so Jenny could pass her. My brother shuffled his feet for a second longer. "I think I'll do the same with Katie. It's been a pleasure, Ms. Cullen," he said quietly, in an effort to not wake Katie with his deep bass growl. He offered his hand awkwardly and she shook it.

I waited until he was gone before turning to Alice. "You're having us for dinner? You aren't going to cook are you?" I teased.

Alice huffed and pouted and poked my chest. "No!" she insisted over my chuckles. "Edward is quite the accomplished chef." That stopped my laughter.

"Well then I'm not going. He might try to poison me!"

Alice smiled and pulled me into a loose embrace, placing her ear over my thudding heart. "Hmm, he does hate you. But he loves Bella and me, and poisoning you would annoy us both."

"Oh, you'd be annoyed if I was poisoned?" I questioned sarcastically.

"Yes, I'd be extremely put off." I laughed again.

"Ugh! I'm not looking forward to what Josh is going to say once you leave," I muttered.

"It looks like it's going to be incredibly embarrassing, but he didn't sound angry," Alice informed me.

I gaped at her. "You little cheat! Tell me what he's going to ask."

She giggled. "I'm not giving you specifics, but he will want to know the nature of our relationship."

I rolled my eyes. "Great. What should I say?"

A mysterious smile stole over her tiny features. "You'll figure it out." She moved closer and lowered her voice. "Just so you know," she began, running a finger down my chest, "I'm quite pleased with your answer."

She refused to say anything else on the matter, even after I walked her to her car. I was just given a swift peck on the lips and then she was gone.

JWJWJW

A/N: Well, it's only been about a year since I updated this…sorry about that. If any of you are still interested in it I'd love to hear from ya.

I'm not setting a review limit on this, because I just honestly want to know how many of you still care enough to review without prompting.

Also, I'm working on other things that are priorities, so I don't want to make promises with this.

Let me hear from ya.