I have no idea what the heck happened. All I knew, or at least, think I knew was that I was lying down on…a surprisingly comfortable bed. My mind was strangely fuzzy. Not to mention that it hurt whenever I tried to move my head. There was this spot…that was…slightly…sore...painful to…move-
My limbs felt weighed down with tons of rocks. It was as though someone was physically pinning me down onto the bed, even though subconsciously I knew that there was no one on me. My whole body was so sore that even thinking about moving hurt.
The soft material blanketing me helped though. I could feel the smooth caress of…cold satin, I think, against the exposed skin of my legs. I did not exactly know my fabrics well, not being all into fashion and such; but I have to say that it was therapeutic enough to distract me from my discomforts.
Talking about discomforts, my heart just took a hyperactive leap. Curiously enough, my heart…ached as well. It felt as though it was beating continuously against a…a void. And that hurt.
I…I felt like I wasn't making any sense. And that was probably the most sensible answer I had came up with in my state of confusion.
That voice…No…It couldn't be…Alice? Alice…she left me…
Alice…Alice left. Yes…that probably explained the ache. And the ache…intensified when my thoughts drifted to my…the pixie.
"Look, Alice, her fingers; they are twitching."
"Bella? Honey, can you hear me?"
Alice…I tried to open my eyes. Eyelids quivering, I managed to pry them open about a quarter of an inch, only to be met by glaring sunlight. Closing them rapidly, a whimper escaped my throat.
I heard the sudden swish of curtains closing. The light streaming through my eyelids was reduced significantly after that. Then, a cold hand slipped into mine, melding into my own like hands in gloves. It felt…so right.
"Bella, open your eyes please."
I listened to the anxious honey-smooth voice and slowly pried my eyelids apart. Blinking a few times slowly, a certain short-haired brunette came into focus. In the background, I heard Esme's voice, filled with relief, "I'll give Carlisle a call to let him know that Bella's awake." A sharp click announced her departure.
"Ali-" My pathetic attempt to speak was cut short by the persistent ache from the dryness in my throat. My voice rasped weakly and broke off into silence.
A worried frown surfaced on the face of the dainty pixie and she disappeared for a second; reappearing again with a cup of water. Gently, she edged me up into a half-sitting, half-lying position against a few cushy pillows which I recognized to be hers. Alice settled down beside me, her body a comfortable cooling patch to the burning ache lingering in mine.
"Come, drink some water."
Her right hand rubbed my lower back soothingly while her left brought the glass slowly to my lips. My throat eagerly welcomed the cooling and lubricating fluid.
Her golden eyes were speckled with drops of black, like oil in honey. Her hair was more of a mess than usual. I could get used to that. Nevertheless, she still carried the same scent, a cross between floral and musk. Her eyes met my gaze with a soft, loving look that eased my discomforts immediately. Just as I was about to speak, a loud bang resonated.
"Emmett Cullen, you idiot!"
The bear-like brother of hers ruffled his hair with a sheepish grin painted on his face. "Well, I'm so-"
"Not forgiven." The angry spit-fire of a vampire next to me shot him down. "Bella just woke up and you have to go around scaring her like that?"
"Aw, come on, Ali; she's fine! Just look at her!" The huge man winked in my direction and I responded with a strained smile.
Alice barely threw me a glance and jumped off the bed to confront him. With a finger jabbing his chest and another finger pointing towards me, Alice was sure intimidating for someone of her size. "She's not fine! She's shocked speechless! Wait till I let Rose know about this!"
I would have laughed out loud if I could, but my body was too sore to even more, let alone shake with laughter. A soft whine broke free when the soothing, therapeutic effects of my angry, escaped cool-pack wore off.
That effectively broke up the scene in front of me.
Alice was back by my side in a heartbeat, while Emmett struggled to contain himself, letting out a fake hack of a cough that sounded suspiciously like "whipped". In any case, if Alice did notice, she paid him no heed.
"You all right, hun?"
I gave a small nod of my head. "But I would be much better if my cooling pack decides to stay with me and not go bounding off to pick fights."
The petite woman frowned, a small crease delicately carved onto her marble-smooth face. I was tempted to smooth it out, if only I could just move my arm without grimacing from soreness. "Did you hit your head too hard?"
Emmett could not hold back anymore and burst out laughing in guffaws, which in turn made me choke in painful laughter as well.
Alice whipped around boiling with irritation and confusion before Emmett managed to gasp out in between his laughing fit, "She…meant you, sis! Cooling…pack; hahaha! Nice one, Bells!"
"Shut up, Em. I mean it when I said I will tell Rose about this." Speckled-golden eyes met mine again. A cool hand rubbed soothingly up and down my arm. "Better?"
My body relaxed into her familiar touch which I have missed. "I would be much better if you come into bed with me-" I shut my mouth immediately, realizing what I had said a little too late. Emmett got into another bout of laughter, clapping his hands gleefully. "Smooth, Bella! Real smooth!"
The man stopped laughing and cringe under the menacing pixie's threatening glare. He slipped out immediately without a look back. Alice strode towards the door after he was gone and locked it securely before returning to my side.
Before she made the attempt to sidle into bed with me, I stopped her. "Are you sure? You look like you haven't hunt in ages; do you want to-"
"I'm fine and in control. Don't worry. You need me more now anyway."
I could distinctively feel my heart leap with the hope that things were going back to how they were once before. Alice slipped under the covers with me, taking care not to bump into me. Her smooth, cold skin grazed past mine, eliciting a small shiver from me. Instinctively, I leaned into her, welcoming her sinewy arms wrapping around my body.
We laid there silently for a couple of minutes, reveling in each other's presence after separation for so long.
Her body tensed around mine in that instance.
"You don't remember?" Her voice was no longer honey-smooth, but contained a sharp edge to it.
"I could only recall brief flashes. I think I was at… a pub. I haven't… seen you in a while, and I just wanted to take my mind off things. Then I started to feel weird. I thought it was the blasting music and the stuffy atmosphere so-"
"-you went out for some fresh air." Alice finished my sentence with a distinct hint of displeasure.
Needless to say, Alice was not happy with the events that had happened after I left the pub. Not because of what I did, but what she had done. She was absolutely livid at herself for leaving town and me all "emotionally-weakened". I told her that it was not her fault (of course, I lied). It was her fault, but I could never hold any grudge against her. She could see that I was lying; anyone could, but she did not try and argue with me about that.
I almost puked in disgust upon hearing what happened to me in that dark, abandoned alley. She was reluctant in recounting it at first, not wanting to bring back horrible memories for me (and for herself). But of course, me being the stubborn mule around bugged it out of her. And Alice, being Alice, just could not hold it back when I pleaded. I just had to know. It made me feel much better knowing the details than not knowing. At least I was assured that nothing irreversible took place and that my chastity was still intact. I rather know than to spend the rest of my life in the dark, imagining things and blowing everything out of proportion with my overactive imagination. After the series of events was made known to me, I silently thanked the gods that Alice was there when I needed her. And for me not being able recall the exact details of the incident at all. It helped to make the emotional recovery phase much easier.
I could see that Alice struggled while retelling the story, and I felt a twinge of guilt for putting her through that. The fact that she almost lost me constantly plagued her, and she was not taking it lightly no matter how much reassurance I offered. Making her go through it again was another painful reminder that she had nearly lost me (in many possible different ways). All I could do to ease her agony was to tell her that I have forgiven her for what had happened. I could not say that I have never blamed her for leaving, but at least she came back. And she promised never to leave me like that again.
We spent the rest of the day in bed, just refreshing the memories of having our bodies in such close proximity. Alice kept her arms around me and her legs tangled in mine, as though afraid that I would slip away if contact was minimal. I didn't mind it that much, having missed the feel of her after she had left. We clung to each other firmly but gently, allowing our bodies to memorise the way we melt into each other.
Whatever may happen, we would deal with it. Together.