My Greatest Strength
Summary: "Because of me, you're going to die!" Before the battle with Victoria and her army of newborns, Alice has a terrible vision of her losing Jasper, the one person she loves the most. Jasper stays with her to comfort and protect her from her deepest fear, reminding her how important she truly is to him. Jasper/Alice. Jasper POV. Takes place during Eclipse.
Genre: Hurt/Comfort, Romance
Disclaimer: I do not own any of the characters from the books, nor the lines that I took from the book. They all belong to Stephenie Meyer. I am just currently borrowing them for this little story.
A/N: Hey! Wow, it's been a while since I've been to the "Twilight" fandom. I promise I will try to start my Edward/Bella story "Dreamcatcher" again soon, but since I'm having trouble developing some later plot developments, I'm also writing a multi-chapter story called "Blood Moon," based on my favorite couple, Alice and Jasper. So, keep an eye out for that too! This oneshot is dedicated to NaleyIsLove23 since there has been a request to have this kind of story done. I hope it lives up to your expectations! Enjoy, everyone, but remember, no flames please!
I sat on the couch in our large living room with my family, the tense atmosphere the heavy silence created almost suffocating. Everyone was on edge, but I couldn't blame them. They were all anxious about the upcoming battle with Victoria's newborns, and I admit that even I was a little concerned about its outcome. I was not afraid for myself, however. I had been raised in my early vampire life to handle newborns, bearing many scars as a constant reminder of my painful past. No, I was not worried about myself. I was afraid for the lives of the people around me, the ones that I had come to lovingly call my family.
My golden eyes traveled to each one individually. Carlisle, the man who had welcomed me into his home with open arms, was now sitting tensely on the couch beside me with Esme, his gentle wife who considered me to be her son, at his side. They were sitting so close that there was no space between them as they gazed into each other's eyes, their hands so tightly intertwined it was as if they were afraid that they would never see each other again if they were to let go.
My gaze then moved on to Emmett, my closest brother, who was sitting on the loveseat with Rosalie on his lap. He was holding her very close to him while Rosalie rested her blonde head on his shoulder, hopeful that he could shield her from all the dangers in the world with his strong arms.
Finally, my eyes landed on Edward, who was standing as still as a statue by the large window as he stared intently out into the night. His extreme worry hit me in continuous waves, and I knew that this was because Victoria had created her army of newborns to kill Bella since her own mate, James, had been killed because of her. To an immortal, losing your loved one was the worst that could happen since that pain would continue to gnaw at you for eternity.
Speaking of which…
I turned my head to look at the staircase that led upstairs, sighing to myself when I saw that it still remained empty. Alice had left us in the living room some time ago to escape and find something in our futures to alleviate the heavy tension, to find some assurance to grasp onto that everything would turn out fine after all. Since she still wanted to be on her own, I knew she must not have found anything.
This thought caused me to turn back to the rest of my family as they comforted each other, beginning to drum my fingers nervously on the armrest of the couch. Though the newborns had the advantage over us with their large numbers, we had the advantage over them since we could organize fighting strategies. We would win, but at what cost? It hurt me to know that as I looked at my brothers, my sister, my mother, my father… some of us might not make it out of this fight…
"Edward," I suddenly muttered, speaking the first word in a little over an hour as his anxiousness finally got to me. "Please calm down. I do believe that Jacob will bring Bella back safely. She'll be here in a little less than half an hour."
My brother in question sighed as he turned from the window to look at me, his face contorted into a look of deep concern. "I'm sorry, Jasper," he replied quietly, unsurely. "I just can't help but worry about her. With Victoria after her and all…"
"I know," I told him gently, hoping to calm him slightly without having to use my ability- I did not like to manipulate my family's emotions unless they asked me to. "But-!"
Suddenly, we all heard a loud crash from upstairs followed by a familiar, piercing scream. I was off the couch and running up the stairs even before the echo of the pain-filled sound completely faded. Edward and Emmett were close behind me, but I completely ignored them as I hurried to the door of the room I shared with Alice. I grabbed the doorknob and shook it violently, my anxiety rising when I discovered it was locked.
"Alice!" I shouted with worry, pounding on the door in hopes that she would open it. "Alice!" I could feel Carlisle, Esme, and Rosalie hovering nervously on the stairs, but once again, it didn't matter. All that mattered was that I reached Alice…
"Jazz, just break it down!" Emmett snapped from where he stood behind me. "Or move out of the way before I do it myself!"
I sighed, seeing no other option. Alice would be furious at me later, but a broken door was worth it just to hold my troubled wife in my arms, to assure her that everything was all right, to make sure she was safe. Besides, we could easily have it replaced. So, taking a deep breath, I rammed into the door with enough force that it splintered as it came off its hinges, nearly breaking in half as it fell to the floor. I took a step into our room, but a powerful feeling of sorrow… agony… despair… terror… all combined collided into me with so much force that it shocked me. I stumbled backward into the hallway, falling when my legs collapsed from beneath me into Emmett's strong arms as he caught and supported me.
Edward rushed into the room and knelt down beside Alice, who was sitting in a tight, protective ball at the foot of our bed with her face hidden in her arms. I tried to push myself out of Emmett's arms so I could be beside her where I should have been, but the emotions rolling off her were so excruciating, I was kept at bay with my brother to keep me steady on my feet. What had she seen that made her react so strongly?
"Alice…" Edward muttered gently, slowly reaching out his hand and placing it on her shoulder in a comforting manner.
But Alice flinched away from him as though he had struck her, a dry sob sending tremors through her small body. "No! Stay away from me!" she cried, pushing herself to her feet away from Edward as she turned toward the door. For a short moment, her panic-filled eyes landed on me, but she suddenly sobbed again as I felt overwhelming sorrow wash over her. Then, she ran out into the hall past Emmett and I before disappearing down the stairs before anyone could stop her.
When I heard the front door open before immediately slamming shut again, I pulled away from Emmett as the pain from Alice's strong emotions left me. I looked back into our room at my other brother with a sigh, surprised to see that he was still in the same spot staring at the place where Alice had previously been, his eyes wide with shock. "Edward?"
At the sound of my quiet voice, Edward slowly raised his gaze to me. His shock was gone now and instead, he was staring at me with fear. He must have heard something in her thoughts that was unnerving.
"What is it?" Emmett asked, cautiously entering the room. I didn't need my ability to be able to tell that he was as nervous as I was.
But Edward just shook his head, unable to answer as he got to his feet. It was almost as if he was in a daze, unable to come to terms with something in his own mind that I was unable to decipher. His emotions were all jumbled, but I was able to pick out confusion… disbelief… sadness… fear…
What had Alice seen that made Edward respond in this manner?
He slowly walked over to Emmett and I then, placing his hand on my shoulder. "Find Alice," Edward told me quietly before going past us. "She needs you now…"
I exchanged an anxious glance with Emmett before we walked back into the hall, watching as Esme pulled Edward to her in a tight embrace while Carlisle placed his hand on his shoulder, both asking if he was all right and wondering what Alice had seen. Rosalie glanced at me curiously as she walked past me and wrapped her arms around Emmett's waist, and he pulled her closer before he kissed the top of her head.
But I ignored my family as I walked down the stairs, hardly hearing Esme's gasp of horror after Edward told her something that was so quiet I couldn't make it out clearly. I felt all of their eyes on my as I approached the front door, and I paused, turning back to look at the five vampires watching me from the top of the staircase. They were looking down at me with an even blend of fear and sadness, almost as if this was the last time that they would ever see me. With a sigh, I turned away from them and pulled the door open, shutting it again behind me as I stepped out into the night to find Alice. She needed me now…
The air was chilly as I quickly went around the house to our vast backyard, but I didn't even notice as I sped up my pace. Alice's scent still lingered in the air along with her deep sorrow, creating a trail for me to follow to where she had disappeared to in such a rush. I had to find her… I had been with Alice before when she was upset, frightened even, but never before had I seen her in so much pain. It concerned me greatly, and I didn't understand what she could have possibly seen that terrified her so much and even affected the rest of our family. Never before had I seen so much pain in her eyes… It was crushing.
I followed the narrow path through the trees, slowing my pace when I reached the gentle stream that often served as a place for private conversation for our family. I sighed, about to run to fuel my jump across when I heard a quiet sound in the darkness that made my still heart break.
Following the voice, I slowly walked to the edge of the stream and saw that Alice was sitting against one of the large rocks, hugging her legs close to her chest. Her golden eyes were wide, almost childlike, filled with fear and sorrow. Her unusually pale face was contorted into an expression of great pain, and she shook slightly as a small sob escaped from her. I had never seen her appear so helpless… so vulnerable…
I immediately sat beside her, ignoring the violent flow of her emotions as I wrapped her in my arms and pulled her close to me. Alice clung to me tightly, burying her face into my chest as a few more dry sobs came from her. I gently rocked her, rubbing soothing circles into her back as I kissed her head a couple of times- anything to calm her… to take that pain from her and bear it as my own…
Then, I began to hum to her quietly. It was a gentle melody that she both knew and loved since I had written it for her on my guitar decades before, and it was one that I always played for her on the night of our anniversary. This seemed to have a calming effect because Alice's breathing began to slow to normal and her body grew less tense in my arms.
"There," I whispered gently, kissing her head again. "It's all right now. I'm here, love."
Alice sighed before slowly climbing into my lap, keeping her head resting on my shoulder so she didn't meet my gaze as she still held onto me tightly. I tightened my arms around her, placing my chin on top of her black hair as I sighed quietly and closed my eyes. Though I didn't try to manipulate my wife's emotions, I focused on strong positive feelings, such as my love for her, my happiness when I was around her, and the hope she always gave me so hopefully she would feel them and calm even more.
It seemed to be working… until she spoke again.
"Jasper, you can't get involved in the fight with the newborns," she muttered anxiously, finally looking up at me. I knew instantly that this was where her pain was coming from. "Neither one of us can…"
I looked back at her with surprise, running my hand through her short, dark hair. "Alice, what do you mean we can't get involved?" I asked. "I, of course, will not leave you if you do not wish me to, but I also don't feel right about abandoning our family to this fight."
Alice's beautiful face turned into an expression of fear and sorrow once more. "Jasper… I saw something… something horrible… It was all my fault…"
"Shh…" I tried to soothe her again, kissing her forehead in an attempt to make the worried creases disappear with my lips. "Whatever happened, I'm sure it wasn't your fault, Alice…"
"But it was!" Alice protested, placing her hand on my cheek anxiously. "Jasper, because of me, you…" But she couldn't finish her sentence as another sob broke through her lips as she covered her face with her hands.
I sighed, gently pushing her head back down to my shoulder as I began to rock her again. Her strong sorrow was causing sharp pain within me, but I ignored it as I tried to remain calm for Alice while I held her close to me. I did not try to force her to be calm, but I could feel that she was relaxing a little as we simply sat in each other's arms. After another long moment, she slowly sat up so that she could face me.
"We were fighting the newborns." I looked at my wife intently as her gaze moved down to her folded hands, knowing that she was now telling me her vision. "There were so many, but our family seemed to be holding our own against them. For a while, I even believed we actually had a chance of winning.
"But… but then I got distracted when a few of them targeted Esme. I moved to help her, but a newborn caught me and bit my shoulder. I cried out in pain, I couldn't help it, and… and you tried to help me, but… one of the newborns got you from behind. He… he tore your throat, and… and I was forced to watch as… Oh, Jasper! Because of me, you're going to die!"
So, that was the reason why Edward had been so shaken and Alice was completely beside herself. They had both witnessed me die… I stared at Alice with shock, who was now shaking uncontrollably with silent sobs. Her fear, her pain, continued to hit me, but I forced them aside as I held her even tighter to me. She buried her face into the crook of my neck, violent tremors still running through her.
"Shh…" I kissed the top of her head, rubbed her back, but it seemed that these simple actions would not be enough to calm her this time. So, I did the only thing I could do. I sent waves of calmness to her after I had gathered enough of it for myself- gently at first, but they slightly intensified as they continued.
She didn't even have enough fight in her to protest. But after what felt like an excruciatingly long time, Alice's small body went limp in my arms, her breathing soft and light. "All right," she muttered. "I'm all right. Thank you, Jasper." But by the way she still clung tightly to me, I could feel that she was hesitant to leave my arms. It was as though she believed I would meet my death the instant she released me…
"Alice, there is one thing that you have to keep in mind," I told her gently. "After Maria changed me, I spent most of my early life dealing with newborns."
"I know you did, Jasper, but that was before you had me to distract you," Alice moaned in despair.
"What are you talking about, Alice?" I asked with surprise. "You aren't-!"
"No, Jasper. Stop. Don't try to make me feel better," Alice interrupted me with impatience, sitting up on my lap once more to look me in the eye. "I know what I saw. I don't know why you even choose to keep me with you. I'm only your weakness, Jasper…"
I stared back at her, for once the pain that was gnawing away at me being my own. I wasn't sure exactly what to say to that sorrow-filled statement, but all I knew for certain was that what she said wasn't true. "Alice," I murmured, gently placing my hand on the side of her head. My Southern accent was beginning to show through a little in my voice as it usually did when I was upset. "You are not my weakness. I thought you would know by now that you are my greatest strength."
"But, Jasper, I-!" Alice began to protest, but I quieted her by placing my finger on her lips. Her golden eyes flickered sadly as they moved back up to mine.
"Will you hear me out?" When she slowly nodded, I lowered my finger. "Alice, you know more than anyone what my existence was like before you came into it," I told her. It was true. Only she knew the full extent of my past relationship with Maria. Only she knew the story behind every one of my scars. And yet, though I didn't understand why, she still loved me unconditionally. "But you changed everything that day when I walked into that small, dimly-lit diner and saw you there, waiting for me."
I was in Philadelphia, finally on my own after traveling with Peter and Charlotte for a long time. I was standing outside, the pouring rain washing over my ravaged skin as though it would erase all of the crescent-shaped reminders of my haunted past. I felt uncomfortable and vulnerable since I was attracting the attention of the humans bustling about around me, so I ducked into a small, half-empty diner to escape notice.
But my dark eyes widened with shock when a small but beautiful, pixie-like vampire with dark, cropped hair turned her head in my direction as soon as I entered. I watched as she immediately hopped down from the high stool at the counter she had been sitting on and immediately came toward me. I took an instinctive step back. Was she going to attack? That was the only way that I could interpret her actions due to my violent upbringing. But I knew instantly that there was something different about this vampire as she came to a stop in front of me, only coming up to my chest. The emotions I felt emanating from her were different than any I had ever encountered before.
And she was smiling.
Alice turned in my lap so that her back was against my chest, and she leaned her head back so it was resting on my shoulder comfortably. I felt relief when I saw that she was now smiling. "You have no idea ho long I waited at that diner for you to show up," she muttered, cheered by our shared memory. "I'm just so relieved you finally did."
"You've kept me waiting a long time," she said, her voice as clear as an angel's while her strangely golden eyes shone brightly with excitement. But I felt nothing threatening from her. All I felt were positive emotions as she tilted her head back to look up at me with a strange sort of affection. I could hardly comprehend these emotions. Relief… joy… both brought out by my presence before her. I took a deep breath. These feelings were a reprieve from the hate and anger that I was accustomed to, but I was still hesitant, for I was unsure of what these emotions meant…
My smile mirrored hers as I kissed her neck, laughing a little as she did too. "Haven't I apologized to you for making you wait?" I asked, my lips moving against her throat. "And besides, you have me now."
I looked down at this mysterious vampire with surprise. I had not been expecting those to be the first words that this strange but beautiful creature said to me. She had been expecting me? But remembering my Southern upbringing before I had been turned and not wanting to be rude to a lady, I bowed my head to her as I muttered, "I'm sorry, ma'am."
Alice laughed again, kissing my throat in response. "Yeah, I guess you have," she shrugged, her eyes shining as they had the first time I had ever seen her. "And I will have you forever, Jasper."
Forever. That was almost too short of a time to spend with Alice. I smiled down at her, kissing her forehead. "You held out your hand," I murmured, holding out my hand as she had done for me at the diner, "and I took it without stopping to make sense of what I was doing." Alice's smile broadened as she slowly raised her hand and placed it in mine as I had done to her without hesitation decades before, my longer fingers wrapping around hers securely.
"For the first time in almost a century, I felt hope."
Alice lifted her other hand and gently placed it on top of our joined ones. "Both of our lives began in that diner," she said, raising her golden eyes to mine. "You gave me my first real memories, Jasper."
"And you gave me my first memories that I can be proud of," I replied quietly. "But don't you see, Alice? Ever since that day you found me, you have given my life a meaning. You made me optimistic when there was nothing in my life worth living for. You were a light in my darkness, a flame that still burns strong and guides my way. You have made all the difference, Alice. I would do anything for you."
"That's what I was afraid you were going to say," Alice muttered, releasing my hand before running her thin fingers over my cheek. "I don't want you to… to die for me…"
I sighed and closed my eyes, gently grabbing her hand before it could fall and held it in place against my cheek. "I would give up my life for you, Alice, but I do not believe that will happen in this fight," I told her. "Newborns rely on their brute strength to fight, but if I instructed our family on how to strategize against them…"
My wife's emotions left her then, and I opened my eyes and saw that hers were glazed over. She was probably trying to see the outcome of the fight now that I had decided to teach our family how to properly handle newborns. Unfortunately, disappointment was clearly on her face when she came back to the present, and she shook her head. "I can't see much of anything. I think the wolves must be involved," Alice whispered, some anxiousness entering her tone once more. "But what I could see past the obstacles was that Bella and Edward were elsewhere during the fight… and I do not believe that you were killed… But I can't be sure…"
"Don't be scared," I murmured, pulling her close to me again. "No matter what, Alice, we will be together in this fight. And our family will stand a better chance if we understand how to deal with the newborns, but I'm still going to keep my eye on you." I had allowed a hint of teasing to slip into my voice so that she would catch it.
Alice quickly snapped her head back up to look at me, her eyes narrowed slightly. "Excuse me? I do believe that you are the one that should be watched over. I can handle myself in a fight, thank you."
"Can you?" I asked with amusement.
"Of course!" Alice answered with a smile as she turned in my lap to face me.
My smile mirrored hers as I winked at her. "Why don't you prove it?"
Alice scowled at me as she crossed her arms in front of her, studying my face carefully. Then, she suddenly shoved me forcefully so that I was lying on my back on the ground, and she was lying over me with her arms and head resting on my chest. There was a mischievous glint in her eye as she smirked down at me. "That enough proof for you, Major?"
Suddenly, she shrieked as I rolled us over so that I was on top of her, laughing a little as she frowned up at me. "Not quite, ma'am," I said with a broad smile. "You always need to consider sneak attacks. But it does seem that you are now feeling better."
"Hmm… Not quite yet," Alice muttered thoughtfully. Then, she reached up and pulled my head down to hers, her lips meeting mine in a kiss. I returned it with more intensity, wrapping my arms around her waist as she wound her arms around my neck. Alice wrapped one of her legs around my waist as the kiss began to deepen. But then, she turned her head away from me when her eyes glazed over again as another vision came to her.
"Bella's here," Alice told me as she abruptly came back. How fast time went when you spent it with the one person you loved the most. "I can see that now since Jacob just left. Edward told her about my vision, and she's worried about where we disappeared to. They'll come looking for us if we don't head back soon. She wants to see you. Poor girl's really shaken up about this whole situation with Victoria and her newborns."
I raised my eyebrow. "I assume that my ability is needed then?" I muttered, thinking about my wife's human best friend.
Alice nodded. "Well, something needs to be done to help calm poor Bella." Then, a broad smile appeared on her face after she had another quick vision. "I see that a family sing-along, an out-of-control game of charades, and a cheesy romance movie are all on the agenda for the rest of the night."
"Sounds fun." I kissed my wife once more before I got to my feet, pulling Alice up with me. I then glanced down at the gently flowing stream at my feet, sighing when I saw our reflections staring back up at us. Of course, there was Alice, who was small and pixie-like but at the same time one of the most perfect creatures that I had ever seen.
And then there was me, my skin ravaged by battle scars and had the appearance of a true monster. There was no reason that I could think of that one so gentle and beautiful would ever want to be with someone like me…
Then, I gasped quietly when Alice's arms suddenly wound around my waist as she embraced me tightly. "You are perfect for me, you know," she whispered as if she knew what I was thinking, running her fingers over the scars on the exposed part of my neck before standing up on her toes to plant a kiss on my lips. "You are my strength, just as I am yours."
I looked down at her with surprise as I wrapped my arm around her back to keep her in place. "Alice…"
But she just laughed a little. "Thank you for staying with me, Jasper." She kissed me again, her lips lingering on mine a little longer this time, before releasing me. "Come one. I want to tell the others about your plans for training them and the change in your future it caused so they don't have to worry about you anymore."
Then, with a wink, Alice dashed away from the stream, leaving a trail of happiness and playfulness behind her.
I smiled to myself as I ran after her. These were the emotions that best suited my wife's normally optimistic nature, and it had truly terrified me when I had felt the great amount of pain that had been coming from her small body what felt like only minutes ago. It was a wonderful feeling to be able to experience the love and the joy that was absolutely radiating from her now…
But as I easily caught up to her as we entered our vast backyard, wrapped my arms around her waist, and picked her up into my arms as she laughed with delight, I couldn't forget what she had told me while we were standing alone at the edge of the stream. I was her strength as much as she was mine, but what she had failed to mention was that she was just more to me than my strength. She was my foundation, the force that kept me from giving in to my animal instincts. She was my life. Without her, I would cease to exist.
Our family rushed out to greet us with Carlisle and Emmett in the lead, Edward carrying Bella on his back so she wouldn't be left behind. They were all worried about us due to my grim future that Alice had previously seen, but that was quickly replaced with confusion when they saw how cheerful and peaceful Alice and I were as we simply stared deeply into each other's eyes. I hardly even noticed everyone gathered around us as a silent message passed between my wife and I.
I had made a promise to Alice decades before when I had married her, telling her that I would do anything for her. It was one that I repeated on the night of our anniversary and during uncertain times such as this, and it was one that I would always uphold. Whether it be through comforting her after a difficult vision or by protecting her from any danger, Alice knew that I would always be there for her.
Alice smiled slightly as she understood what I was trying to get across to her. "I love you," she whispered, gazing into my eyes with so much love and compassion I wondered how all of that emotion could fit into the still heart of a body so small.
Leaning forward, I quickly kissed her before setting Alice down on the ground and weaving my fingers through hers as we walked toward our large house, the rest of our family slowly following behind us. They were still confused about why we were suddenly in such better spirits, but that could wait. We would explain the new plans to them once we got inside. But right now, I had to tell my wife the most important thing she needed to hear right now.
"Yes, but not nearly as much as I love you."
I sighed since this was the second time that she had called me by this name. "Alice, I'm sorry," I muttered. "But you have to understand that I could not simply allow you to be hurt."
Alice slowly raised her gaze up to mine. "I know." The tone of her voice almost made it a resignation.
We were lying on our bed in our room with the newly put in door, her head resting on my shoulder as she stayed close to my side with my arm wrapped securely around her. The battle with Victoria and her army had been intense, but all of our family had survived. Bella was very shaken up, but otherwise unharmed since Edward had killed Victoria. I found myself relieved that this fragile human wasn't hurt and was now out of danger. She wasn't just Edward's girlfriend to me anymore. She truly felt like one of us now.
"I just wish you wouldn't have gotten hurt for me," Alice continued, running her fingers absently over the new scar that was standing out prominently on the skin of my forearm that I had gotten by shielding her from a newborn's attack. "But I have to admit, I am more grateful than you can ever realize that my initial vision didn't come to pass… that I still have you by my side…"
"Alice, I have promised that I would do anything for you since the night I married you," I whispered to her, kissing the top of her head as I pulled her tighter to me. "I will always be here for you, always at your side. One more scar won't change that."
"You have a new story now too," Alice murmured, turning to look up at me. But then, a small smile appeared on her face as she ran her fingers over another prominent scar at the base of my neck. "This one is my favorite."
My eyes narrowed as I placed my hand on top of hers. "The scar left by Maria when she turned me?" I asked quietly. "Why is that one your favorite?"
Alice was positively beaming as her golden eyes met my confused ones. "Because this is the one that brought you to me," she answered quietly. "If it wasn't for this scar, Jasper, we would never have met in that small, dimly-lit diner. I wouldn't be lying in your arms right now…"
I smiled back down at her, all of the tension from the memories that revolved around that single scar disappearing from my face before I kissed her. "Well if that's how you see it, I will never think of this scar in the same way."
"Contrary to what you believe, it doesn't make you a monster, Jasper," Alice said, laying her head on my chest. "Maria tried to turn you into a heartless killer, but you broke free from her."
"And then I found you," I finished with a smile, running my hand through her short, dark hair. "My frightening, little monster."
I felt Alice's content mood shift to a more playful one as she grinned and moved so she was now sitting cross-legged on my stomach. "Hey. I'm not that little," she protested, winking as she crossed her arms in front of her.
Laughing a little, I wrapped my arm around her shoulders and pulled her down to me, my lips meeting hers in a kiss. We parted after a moment, and my smile broadened. "I love you," I whispered.
Alice laughed with delight as she curled up on my chest, placing her head in the crook of my neck. "Yes," she muttered, kissing my throat, "but not nearly as much as I love you."
A/N: Thanks for reading! Your reviews are much appreciated (just no flames)! Thank you!