I am not Stephenie Meyer. I do not own any of these characters. Consider yourselves disclaimed for the remainder of this debacle...

Red Eyes

"Let it burn in your eyes. Your cover is blown this time.
And you knew, but you knew this was gonna happen; you could taste the red hands.
And like flies, you'll eat the worst of everything."
Taste the Red Hands" by Dead Poetic

I shifted my weight from one foot to the other, stealing another glance over my shoulder to make sure Maria wasn't following me. She had sent me on a mission several months ago, one that had led me traipsing through the Southern States. I was getting rather wary of her tyrannical rule.

Every sound echoed through my ears and was processed in my brain, a disgusting squirrel sat to my left on a tree branch, and a baby cried in a house to my right. I could hear the frazzled mother muttering under her breath. She was woeful about having a colicky baby and a child who was distant and unresponsive.

She was so upset; her tumultuous emotions reached me almost half a mile away. She was upset, regretful, sad and furious all at the same time. I found myself being drawn to her. I could smell the fresh baby she held: the wet, hot, new blood underneath that soft, pink skin. I licked my lips in anticipation and a growl rumbled in my chest. I could feel my throat constricting with thirst, that delicious fire scorching my neck.

I started out slowly at first, eager to prolong my sweet torture. As I neared the house, I could see the mother through the window. She was a petite, plump woman with a thick plait of dark hair that fell down her back. The baby wriggled in her arms, flailing its fatty, pink limbs. I smiled to myself.

The other child was huddled in the middle of the yard, drawing pictures in the dirt with a stick. She had a wild shock of blue-black hair that hung in limp waves around her shoulders and over her face. She was a tiny thing, so much so that she was almost unappetizing.

I stood just behind the cover of the trees, watching the clouds scoot over the sun. It would be a safe time for me to make my move; no one would miss that gangly, little thing. I smacked my lips.

And suddenly, she looked up and stared directly into my eyes, and I felt something akin to shame congeal into my stomach. She had startlingly, bluish gray eyes, opened wide enough that I could see little crescents of white around the ice blue irises. She smiled at me and then very pointedly waved to me. Her frail, little arm rose above her head and rocked back and forth.

She could not possibly see me, I reasoned. She would have had to have vampire sight to be able to see my figure hidden in the shadow of a towering pine. I took a deep breath in and held it. I didn't want to kill her. At least I thought I didn't.

I stepped away from the small wood, and shyly waved back to her. She answered me with a smile and another timid wave.

I began to walk forward at a human speed, not wanting to scare the child. This was my first encounter with a human that was not meant to satiate my perpetual thirst. I merely wanted to see her up close.

She continued to stare at me with those startling eyes. She remained unblinking until I was close enough to reach out and touch her. I clenched my hands into fists behind my back instead. Her little eyes continued to stare, unblinking and unmoving.

I wanted to talk to her, to ask her what was wrong.

She suddenly looked down, bashful and started rubbing the hem of her lacey dress between her little, dirt-covered fingers.

I smiled softly and unclenched my fists so I could ruffle her hair

Her tiny hands beat me there; she combed her fingers through her tresses and tried to smooth the mess down. She stared at me from under the fringe of her dark eyelashes. I wanted badly to know her name, but she shook her head almost as if she knew I was going to ask. I pressed my lips into a thin line and refrained from asking her my question.

Her emotions were mainly blank. I could detect brief flashes of happiness or sadness as her eyes darted around the yard. She didn't acknowledge me for several more minutes. She sat nearly completely still, eyes closed and breathing deeply.

I watched her pulse fluttered through the thin, blue vines of her veins. I wanted to taste her; I wanted to relish in the feeling of rending her tiny neck with my teeth. I wanted to bury my nose into her flesh and inhale deeply so I could forever remember her scent. I wanted her to be the one to quell the monster within me.

She recoiled away from me and then looked up at me with wide, honest, blue eyes. I stared at her, trying to understand.

God, I was so far gone that I would drain a child dry without so much as a second thought.

I stood up and backed away from that beautiful, helpless, delicious, vulnerable child. Her blue eyes watched me go and she nodded, appeased. She waved to me as I went and I tried to wave back but the motion was stiff. She frowned, her eyebrows pulling together.

I wanted to tell her I could kill her. I couldn't be her friend.

"No," she said in a high, childish voice, "at least not yet."

I couldn't understand what she meant, and I figured I'd never know. I turned and loped back to the tree line, hiding myself quickly.

She didn't look back at me, and that was the last time I would see her blue eyes. However, I decided to hide myself in the foliage of one of the trees and I watched her for that afternoon.

Occasionally she would draw a picture in the dirt surrounding her, and sometimes she would stare into the distance for an innumerable amount of minutes.

Finally at dusk, her harried mother came outside and scooped her up. Though she appeared to be older, she was still small enough to be carried like a toddler. She wrapped her tiny arms around her mother's shoulders and buried her head into the crook of her mother's neck.

Her mother cooed softly to her, and placated her wild hair. I frowned, suddenly missing my own mother and craving companionship.

The little girl sighed, and started to speak in incoherent sentences. She was mumbling, so I couldn't understand her.

The mother's emotions spiked to fear and disdain. She hated the fact that her firstborn was incompetent. I wouldn't necessarily have called that little girl incompetent. She was beautiful and different, even for a human.

The mother sighed and hugged her little girl closer to her chest, and her emotions turned to disappointment. "Don't talk nonsense, Mary Alice. You know real people don't have red eyes."

I was brainstorming one night and I wondered what an Alice/Jasper encounter would have been like if she was still a little kid, and he was a vampire still in the Mexican coven. When I originally told my older sister of the idea, she thought it would suck. Oh ye of little faith. Here's our AIM conversation:

me: so, if it was like I dunno 1908-ish, and she's in Biloxi, what if she happened to by chance meet a red-eyed vampire...? and he doesn't suck her blood. he's cooler than that
sister: she'd be like 7
me: yes, yes she would
sister: i'm lost
me: what if the first time they met, wasn't in the cafe in Pennsylvania? oooooh
sister: oooooooo. You're retarded
me: you suck
sister: yea
me: i thought it was a good idea. D: [pouts] c'mon what do you think?!
sister: i don't really like stories like that...
me: you're a bum. Imma do it anywayz :d
sister: fun what ev but when it gets flamed don't come cryin to me
me: I say again, you're a bum

I proved her wrong. She liked it. Did you?

UPDATE AS OF MARCH '09: Apparently ya'll did like it!! Oh my gosh! So through the poll I had on my profile as well as all of your reviews, I have decided to continue this and turn it into a full-blown Jasper/Alice story, from well before their meeting up until Twilight takes place and even beyond!!

ALSO, I added the lyrics at the beginning of this chapter. They're from the Dead Poetic song Taste the Red Hands, go listen to it on Project Playlist or YouTube if you've never heard the song before. It's really awesome! One of my favourites.