The result was instantaneous. On the couch, Emmett and Rosalie were immediately still, listening. Esme moved closer to me. I turned to Edward. "What…?" I never had a chance to finish the question.
The door swung open, and a female vampire skipped daintily into the room. She was small, petite, and graceful. Her brown hair was cut short, and her eyes were dark. She hadn't eaten in a while, then.
She was followed by a taller vampire, a male. He was blond, with bright red eyes, tall, thin, and tense. He was also covered in scars. He was dangerous, I sensed, a threat.
We were all tense, all ready to defend our home, if it turned out we needed to. It was instictive, this reaction to two vampires invading our home.
These two strangers had come into our home, invaded our privacy and safety. I wondered what they wanted, why they were here. The male flinched ever so slightly, I noticed, before the female demanded my attention.
She moved forward, almost dancing, and threw her arms around my wife. Edward growled at this intruder, worried for the woman who was his mother in all but biological fact. I caught his eye quickly, not willing to start a fight yet. Wait, Edward. We don't know why they're here.
He was still, though very unhappy about it, and still largely confused.
Alice let go of my wife, and moved to stand on tiptoe before me, kissing my cheek. "Hi mom, Hi dad." She said, as if she already knew us, and we should have known her. Curious. She turned to face Edward. "Edward, my favorite brother!" She squealed. "Not that I don't absolutely adore you, too Emmit." She said quickly to my other son. "And not to slight you, Rosalie." She added, addressing my daughter, who gaped at her. I wondered how she knew their names.
She skipped through the house, oblivious to the tension that filled the room and the surprise she had left in her wake. "And here's my room!" I heard her declare. "Just as I saw it, Jazz!" She squealed. Jazz must have been the male. It was an odd name, certainly, though I had heard stranger.
I wondered what exactly she had meant by my room.
Without warning the male suddenly groaned and slumped backwards, away from us, his eyes closed and his face contorted as if in pain. I stood uncertainly, alarmed and worried about this stranger, wondering what was wrong. I wondered if there were any way I could help. He buried his head in his hands.
"Jasper!" The female was beside him in a second, helping him up, and opening the door. "Stay there!" She ordered us, taking the male outside.
"What the…?" Emmit didn't bother finishing his question.
Edward merely shook his head, as if he couldn't comprehend whatever he had heard. I looked to my wife, who was standing still, a faraway look in her eyes.
"Esme?" I asked, and she snapped back to reality, her eyes focused, but still dreamy.
"She called me mom." She murmured softly.
"Who-?" Rosalie didn't finish her question either.
I shook my head. "I'll find out. Wait here." I followed the two strangers through the door and onto the porch. He was seated on Esme's favorite chair, and she was beside him, almost kneeling. I approached her cautiously. "Is there anything I can do to help?" I asked her, softly.
"I'm fine." The male said, and his voice was calm, sure. "I just needed a minute."
"I'm so sorry, Jazz." The female whispered. She looked miserable, as if she thought his reaction had somehow been her fault. "I didn't even think, I didn't see anything, I should have-"
He lifted a hand to stop her. It was trembling slightly, contradicting his previous words. "It happens." He said wearily. "I probably would have been fine if I hadn't been trying to calm everyone in the house."
I wondered what he meant by that.
"Still," She insisted, "I never even thought about how they would react. I never even thought about how I would act. It was impulsive, and foolish. It's the same thing I did to you."
He was silent, for a moment, and I felt as if I were intruding on a private moment. It was too late to retreat, however. He spoke to her, finally. "I'm glad you did."
"Are you certain there is nothing I can do?" I asked finally, but he shook his head. "I am a doctor." I added, trying to be reassuring. I wanted to help, if I could. He forced a turn of his lips that was more of a grimace than the smile he was attempting. I decided to leave him be.
I turned to the female, curious. "Have we met?" I asked uncertainly. I was not entirely certain that she was not a danger to us, but she seemed to have simply introduced herself improperly more than anything else.
She smiled, a bit sheepsihly. "We have now." Was her response. "I'm Alice, and this is Jasper. We're your newest family members." She announced, and I nearly stopped breathing in surprise.
I could hear male nearly choke at her announcement. "This is Carlisle, by the way, Jasper." She told him. "And he really is a doctor." Did she know for certain I was telling the truth? How?
"Pardon," I asked, feeling rude at questioning her confidence in me, "how did you know that?"
"I saw it." She said brightly, and launched into an explanation of her ability to see the future. It was how she had found the male, Jasper, who was with her, and why she had come here. It was also why she had greeted us as if she had known us already. In her mind, she had.
"I see." I said when she had finished, thoughtful. "Welcome to the family, then, Alice. And Jasper." I added, turning to the male. "When you're both ready, we can introduce you to the rest of the family." I chuckled softly. "I must admit, you did startle us." I was already growing fond of this girl, Alice.
"Sorry." She said, smiling innocently. She turned to her companion. "We can wait as long as you need to, Jasper."
He took a deep breath, and sat up straight. "I'm ready now." He said, and he sounded certain, but the tension in his posture told a different story.
Inside, I took over the introductions for these two, knowing it would put my family more at ease. Then I reintroduced my family, for Jasper's sake.
Edward turned in response to Jasper's thoughts, I assumed. Alice confirmed it. "Edward reads thoughts." Alice leaned towards Jasper and whispered. Edward frowned, glancing at her in curiousity before nodding in understanding. He had found an explanation in her thoughts.
"I did." He said simply. An incline of his head matched another of Jasper's thoughts.
I looked at my family. Rosalie absolutely did not want them there. Emmett didn't seem to care. Edward was curious, about little Alice, at least. Esme caught my eyes with her own, her eyes pleading, practically begging.
Can we keep her? She was asking, silently. And him? Can they stay? I nodded. They would be welcome here as long as they wished to stay.
Disclaimer: Oh, and I don't own this stuff either. I wish I did.