Disclaimer: Sadly, I only own the plot…SM owns everything else!! Sorry for the delay, writer's block is KILLING me!! I put a few things in here to help jog your memory since it may have been a while since you last were reading…
"Was this jacket black leather, with silver buttons on the front and sleeves and a high collar?" Alice simply asked the question, but she couldn't hide the gleam in her eye.
Edward answered her warily, "Yes, it was. Why?" He narrowed his eyes, awaiting her answer.
Alice leapt in the air and twirled around, clapping her hands with the exuberance of 5 year old on their birthday. "She has experienced that visit! I've seen a vision of what happens when she wakes up, she is so happy, mumbling things about 'my other half' and 'destiny.' She's wearing a ripped dress just like you described and a jacket just like that. In fact, that visit seems to be what prompts her to leave you Wuthering Heights the next time, in her time, she visits you. You see Edward, it IS your destiny! You two are meant to be together and nothing can keep you apart."
Chapter 14: Always trust Alice
Momentarily shocked, Edward stared at his sister, speechless, his mouth agape. Quickly, he recovered enough to find the words to convey his thoughts to his companions. "She left the book for me on purpose? Then give it to me now! It's clear she meant for me to find a message in it..." He stopped abruptly mid-sentence and sank back down into a crumpled mess, holding his head in his hands. "NO! I can't continue to intrude on her life. I'm not enough for her. She deserves a real man, someone who can give her a normal, happy life with children; someone she can grow old with. And DON'T tell me we could have eternity together, because I will not damn her to this life. And don't tell me that we are soul mates or whatever you keep saying, because once she knows what I truly am, she'll run screaming faster than even you could predict Alice."
With his last accusation, he shot his sister a piercing glare, daring her to argue with him. His concentration was so riveted to her, that he didn't notice as Jasper calmly walked over to him and dropped a piece of paper in his lap. When he felt the featherlike touch of the paper on his hands, he glanced down curiously. He opened the note and read, tenuously at first, his pace quickening as he realized what he was reading.
I'm sure you will find this strange; I certainly did when I figured it out. But maybe you too will feel the same sense of relief and completeness I do once all the pieces are put together. My name is Bella Swan and I live in Phoenix, Arizona. It is October 14, 2006 where I am.
In my life, I have been visiting you for the past 7 months. In your life, I think I have been visiting you for close to 90 years. I'm certain you've recognized me at my different visits, but perhaps they don't mean the same to you as they do to me. Every moment that I spend with you, I fall deeper and deeper in love. We are meant to be together; I can't help but feel it is our destiny. I need you to know that I have made my decision with my eyes wide open. I know that you are a vampire and are immortal; none of that means anything to me. The only thing that I want now is to spend the rest of my time with you.
But I want to give you an opportunity to make the same informed choice. I know that you must feel the unusual bond we have; but perhaps it is not the same for you. I am but a silly, clumsy human girl; hardly worthy of your love. But I am yours for eternity; all you have to do is come for me.
I can't know exactly when you will get this, but I will be waiting for you.
With more love than I thought was possible,
"Th-that's today?? What? How? Is this from the book? She knows what I am?" Edward's mix of emotions nearly overpowered Jasper; had he not been prepared for the complexity simply due to the fact that he'd had a very similar reaction, the onslaught of Edward's would have rendered him useless in the situation. However, he was fully equipped for his brother's reaction and used all his emotional strength to calm the frenzy that was preparing to overtake him.
"Edward, relax. Let her explain. I was just as confused as you were when she first wrote out the note. It'll make sense in a few minutes, but you have to hear her out." Jasper nodded at Alice and she began to explain; all Edward could do was stare intently at the words in front of him, as if they might vanish if he looked away.
"It seems that with a great deal of concentration, I am able to see small snippets of Bella's future, even when it is not entwined with ours. It seems to be limited to the very immediate future so far, but perhaps the more I know about her the more far-reaching my sight will be. I already told you what I saw when she woke up from the visit you described, but I didn't tell you everything I saw her experience that morning. Your letter from Esme was in your jacket; she read it and drew some very interesting conclusions." Alice took a moment to regard her brother and husband, trying to gauge Edward's reaction thus far.
Edward half looked up at her, still fearing to tear his eyes fully away from his precious note; his eyes narrowed in anticipation of her next words. "What exactly did she conclude?"
"Well, she didn't have enough information yet to put together the whole truth, but she seemed pretty clear on the fact that you weren't human. In fact, she also seemed to gather that Carlisle and Esme were some sort of adoptive parental figures, but were also whatever type of being you were. Believe it or not, this made her incredibly relieved, as it answered almost all her questions about what had been happening to her for the past few months. Early today I caught glimpses as she thought through a few options on how to find you, but finally decided on leaving the book for you. Your Bella is quite a smart girl, her instincts were right in line with what my visions were telling me as to the outcome of her other options. Oh, and she was ecstatic to learn your name as well."
Jasper looked over at Alice, confusion showing on his face. "You never told me all of this."
Edward's eyes darted to Jasper's face, and then to Alice's. "Why didn't you tell Jasper? Are you lying to me Alice, you should know better than that? DON'T PLAY WITH ME!" A menacing growl escaped his lips as he breathed the last sentence, driving Jasper to leap towards Alice in a protective crouch.
Alice just let out her tinkling laugh as she looked up to the sky and rolled her eyes. "Boys, boys, RELAX! Jasper, I didn't tell you because I didn't find most of it out until earlier this morning when we were shopping and I knew you'd find out soon enough when I told Edward. And Edward, you know damn well I would never lie to you about something this important. You also know that I've seen enough visions of Bella and me as best friends, so I am incredibly excited at the prospect of her joining our family as well, for my own benefit; I wouldn't do anything to jeopardize my own happiness, would I?"
Edward and Jasper exchanged a glance and nodded at Alice, indicating that she should continue.
"Okay then. So she decides that she is going to leave you a message in the book, and hope she can manage to take it with her and leave it with you. Oh yeah, we already covered that. She has a friend that she trusts a lot that owns a book store; she went there this morning and the two of them did some research on what you could possibly be. Lady fate played her hand yet again, as this friend has an interest in Native American lore and had a book about Washington State legends. Apparently, there was a section about the Quileute tribe; and they not only mentioned our family but had detailed drawings of you and Carlisle and an explanation of the treaty between our family and the tribe. Oh Edward, I have to allow you to see her reaction for yourself, you'd never believe me." With that statement, Alice slowly opened her mind fully to her brother, casting aside the "Memories" she had been translating for the memories she wanted to reveal.
Tiffany leaned over and pulled the book out of her hands. She read the passage aloud, trying to figure out just what Bella had found. "The natural enemies of the wolves, vampires are normally not to be trusted. But this peculiar coven has committed to a life of human protection that complements the wolves' purpose. They choose to sustain themselves solely on animal blood and their leader has worked for centuries to save as many human lives as he and his coven could. For this reason, a treaty of sorts was struck between the coven and the local tribe of wolves, the Quileutes. They would both stick to their own land and the vampire coven would be allowed in the Forks area as long as they never bit a human."
"Forks? As in Washington? As in where Charlie lives? Do you think that he's there now? It may be easier than I ever thought for us to be together!" A huge grin broke out on Bella's face as she processed the information Tiffany relayed to her.
"You do realize that I just confirmed that the love of your life is an immortal vampire, right? Bella, only you (and maybe me since we're being totally honest here) would skip right over that tiny detail! But yes, this particular book is specific to Washington state, and I've only heard of a Quileute tribe in the Forks where your father lives. The book says they are allowed in the area, not that they are always living in the area. So don't get your hopes up too high that a simple visit to Charlie will solve all your romantic problems. On the other hand, no amount of space or time has kept you apart yet, so it is only a matter of time before you are together. Whether they are in Forks now or not, I think Charlie living there will give you two the ability to be together finally." Tiffany's grin matched Bella's.
"Hey, I heard the part about him being a vampire; I was paying very close attention. I also heard the part about not drinking human's blood and a commitment to protecting humans. That's better than most human men I know; so if that's the case I'll take a vampire any day! I'm sure we can find a way to deal with the immortality issue…who knows, maybe one day I'll get to be a vampire!"
Alice quickly resumed her translation work as Edward processed everything she had shown him. She tensed as she waited for a split second decision to derail her perfectly planned tête-à-tête; as Edward calmly stood and started walking thoughtfully around the clearing, just as her vision had shown her, she relaxed and waited for him to begin.
"She knows I'm a vampire, but understands that I theoretically won't harm humans. This friend, whom she appears to look up to a great deal, also approves of me as a soul mate for Bella, even acknowledging my monstrous nature. She won't come here to look for me, because she really doesn't know where to look; however she has an unswerving hope and belief that we will be together somehow. Above everything, she truly loves me! I'm awestruck, truly awestruck. How could I possibly deserve such a creature?" Edward continued to pace around, ticking off on his fingers all the "facts" that had been gathered. Jasper glanced at Alice, wondering if he should help his brother, but she simply smiled slightly and shook her head, looking back at Edward quickly.
"She laughs at the notion of immortality being an obstacle, and even considers becoming one of us. I won't let that happen, I can't let that happen. How can she love me? She clearly knows the truth, she had to have known what happened in that alley, and yet she is no more afraid of me than she would be of a harmless butterfly. Nothing other than the fates could have designed such a love; it seems that we truly are destined to be together." He continued to wander about, mumbling to himself and occasionally chuckling at his good fortune. Alice finally snapped him out of his daze when she noticed he was about to slip down the treacherous path of self-loathing that usually accompanied any lengthy contemplation about his possible relationship with Bella. He'd been there once already that afternoon, she didn't intend on letting him return.
"Well, dear brother, do you want to stay here, or would you like to see what she's left for you in the book? Jasper and I have all day, so you go ahead and take your time." Her sing-song voice was playful enough to bring him back to the present but not unleash any of the wrath that was bubbling under his temporary chipper exterior.
"The book? Yes, the book! I'll race you home…" Edward was out of the clearing before his words had escaped his lips.
"He'll just have to wait for us; I'm not ruining my new Jimmy Choos!"
(In Edward's room)
Alice and Jasper walked into Edward's room to find him sitting on his couch with his legs crossed, looking both anxious and relaxed.
"I should have realized that you'd be wearing your new shoes Alice; I wouldn't have run quite so fast. I have no idea where to look, so I've just been sitting here trying to be patient and calm until you came. I thought about going back out and running again to relax, but every time I decided to move, I had the sense that you and Jasper would be arriving any moment. This went on for about an hour; by the time I realized that if I simply ran in the direction you were coming from I wouldn't delay the search at all, I heard you thinking about the scuffs on your shoes."
"Well, they are scuffed now, and they weren't cheap, even if they were on sale. But, I will be able to make them as good as new with some polish I'll find in a store in NYC next month. Don't worry about it."
"I wasn't. Now, where have you hidden the damn book?" Edward let out a sound that was a mixture of a growl and a chuckle as Alice continued to frustrate him.
Alice walked over to his bookshelf and pulled something from the middle of the shelf and handed it to him. "Here you go."
"What do you mean 'here you go'? This is my book. Where is the one she gave me?" Edward's impatience was threatening to break through; Jasper was frantically signaling his wife to stop with her antics.
"Silly Edward, where better to hide something than in plain sight? I took your copy of the book and put it downstairs on the main bookshelf, so if you saw it there you'd look and see that it was yours. I put her copy here, since it was the same edition, and you never even noticed. Again, another one of those strange coincidences that always seem to line up perfectly for the two of you; I doubt I would have been able to hide it from you this long if that hadn't been the case."
"It was in my room the whole time. Of course it was." Edward turned the book over in his hands, marveling at the simplicity of his sister's plan. As he did, he allowed some of the pages to open and a slip of paper came loose and lightly floated to the floor. All three vampires watched it carefully; each perfectly capable of having caught it almost the same moment it fell from the book, but all were equally mesmerized by the sight and allowed it to continue its journey all the way to the floor.
Jasper was the one who recovered first; he knelt down and picked up the folded scrap of paper, handing it quickly to Edward. Edward unfolded it, and a look of utter confusion crossed his face as he digested the contents of what his love had left for him. "Alice, this is not the note you showed me. This is just some random trash advertisement for a school dance. I am not getting angry because I trust you, but please explain what is going on as succinctly as is possible for you." He walked back over to his couch and resumed his previous position, waiting for his sister's answers.
"Thank you for not over-reacting. I appreciate that you finally trust me. I showed you the letter earlier because that is what she meant to put in the book; I wanted to be sure you knew her true feelings for you and how much she knew about our family as soon as possible. Unfortunately, as you can see, somehow she managed to leave some random school paper in there in place of her letter. Well, actually it isn't some random paper. It is the official invitation to the Winter Formal; each student only gets one copy. She will notice that she still has the letter, but she will also notice that she doesn't have that invitation anymore. And at this point, Bella pretty much believes that anything is possible when it comes to you and her; she is banking on you coming to find her at that dance, as in her mind it is the only link you have to her."
"Couldn't I go to her now, explaining that I found her based on her school, and maybe slowly explain about your powers or something? Surely if she so easily accepted my monstrous nature, something as simple as psychic sister wouldn't throw her." Edward began casually walking around the room, surreptitiously gathering things he might need for an extended trip to Phoenix.
Alice tried to subtly derail Edward's train of thought. "Well, she hasn't really had a lot of time to digest the entire situation. It is one thing to have a book of folklore tell you that your dream boyfriend is a friendly vampire, but it is a whole other story for him to show up with claims that his 'sister' can see the future. It might scare her, maybe not forever, but it could take years to mend."
"Have you seen any visions to indicate that is what will happen? Obviously," he motioned to the half-full bag of clothes in his hand, "I am quite set on my course of action at this point."
"No, nothing like that. I just don't think this is the best way. She might be content coming to Forks with us right now, but in the long term it isn't the right path for her true happiness." Alice was careful in her arguments; she was concentrating extremely hard on her translations in an effort to prevent any of her recent visions from slipping through. She knew more than she was letting on about why Bella would be unhappy if Edward came for her right then; but if Edward knew, it would give him even more reason to go to her.
"Well, I can't see the harm in simply going to talk to her. Maybe she doesn't need to come back with us right away. It would be one step closer to heaven simply to be able to call her on the phone and speak with her, or hop on a plane to visit. I've waited almost 90 years for her, I can wait a little while longer if it is best for her. But don't deny me the opportunity to make that waiting slightly more bearable; you know it isn't just me we are talking about here."
"I can see Edward's point. Obviously, I haven't experienced Alice's visions for myself, but it certainly seems as thought she is quite willing to accept that this alternate version of reality exists. None of us have any doubt as to the strength of her love…but perhaps Alice and I should go with you, just in case. Surely making contact with her can't cause any harm; there is no reason that she would need to move here immediately." Jasper had begun to help Edward pack, not noticing Alice's frantic signals of distress.
Defeated, Alice fought her urge to scream, allowing only a slight hiss to escape her lips. "Fine! Stop with the packing, and I will tell you everything. You can't go to her yet. I told you that you'd have to wait; I thought you'd listen to me. Clearly, that isn't going to happen, so now you have to know the whole truth, but you are still going to have to wait until the dance. I've tried and tried a million different ways, but that is the only way that allows her to be truly happy. I'm sorry Edward, I wish it could be different, but it is only two more months."
Even a human could have heard a pin drop in Edward's room at that moment. Jasper and Edward turned to face Alice, with very different expressions on their faces. Edward's was a mixture of anger and fear, while Jasper's was simply fear. Neither said a word.
"Something happened the night of the visit that prompted all of this, before the visit. There was some sort of dance, and Bella went with a date, some boy named Josh. I haven't been able to discern exactly what happened, but I get the feeling that he might have had a different plan for how the evening ended up than Bella did."
Edward tensed and growled at the mere idea of someone else with Bella. "Calm yourself Edward, this isn't going to help. Now I can see why Alice kept this from you. Do you need me to help you stay calm?" Jasper glared at him meaningfully. He shook his head, and then waved his hand, beckoning Alice to proceed.
"From the flashes I'm getting of her future, this boy and his friends are going to be giving her a bit of a hard time in school. She's going to be unhappy and thinking about going to live with her father in Forks to get away from the teasing. You are another major lure in the direction of Forks; however, she tries to convince herself that she has no way of knowing if you are there so she shouldn't use it as part of her decision making process. Every time she decides to go live with her father, her future is filled with guilt and shame because she feels as if she ran away from her problems instead of standing up for herself and dealing with them. This haunts her for the rest of her life. No matter when you enter the picture in these visions, her happiness is eternally tinged with a wistful disappointment; always wishing she could have been the better person back then, never quite believing she is worthy of your love or any of the wonderful things that her life has brought her."
Edward relaxed slightly as the truth in Alice's words rang through him. He could understand how a seemingly insignificant decision like that could haunt someone their entire existence. He'd heard enough people questioning more inconsequential decisions in their lives over and over to not give credence to this theory. He rested his duffle bag on the floor, and sat back on his couch as Alice continued.
"But, if you wait until this dance, then everything falls into place. She will have found the strength to stand up for herself, and she will be expecting you to come to her that night. She'll be prepared to leave her life in Phoenix with her head held high. I don't want to give everything away, but let me show you a little bit of my vision." Alice cleared her mind, and brought back a vision for Edward of him and Bella dancing in the school gym.
Suddenly, Alice's eyes glazed over and Edward's locked onto her face. Jasper felt the emotions shift from joy to a mixture of confusion, fear and unrelenting fury. Almost before he could register the change, Edward had grabbed the duffle bag and flew out the door. Jasper shifted his gaze hurriedly between the bedroom door and his incapacitated wife, unsure what to do. Just as suddenly as she left, Alice came back to her senses and screamed at her husband.
"STOP HIM! She will never recover from this!"
Author's Note: So now he knows!! And what was Alice's vision?? Review = preview of Alice's vision!! Don't kill me, but for the next chapter we will skip over to Bella and see some of the fallout from the dance and her disastrous date with Josh. Hope you enjoyed it (please review and let me know!) - MK
Featured Author for this chapter is: 911TurboWriter!! She has seven fabulous stories. She is exceptionally skilled at writing Rose's POV and has several great stories that expand on her character. My current fav of hers is "Happiness, Tears, Love and Rain" which is an all human story with canon pairings – Alice and Japser are married, Rose and Emmett are secretly dating and Bella and Edward discover their love. My other favorite is "When Edward Pulled a Romeo", which tells the story of when Alice and Bella go to rescue Edward from the Volturi in New Moon, but from the rest of the family's perspective. You can find her on my favorite author's tab!