Chapter 1: Never Saw it Coming

The clouds overhead glistened. Wet and gray, heavy with what appeared to be the next impending downpour. Torrential rains were the norm here, so to see the sky so dismal was not anything out of the ordinary. But still, I smiled to myself. I knew better. Well, perhaps the correct term would be that I could see better. At any rate, there would be no rain today, that much I knew for certain.

To say that it's 'nice' to see things before they happen would be an understatement. I don't remember a time in my life, though this life is all I've ever really known, when I did not have my gift, which is probably why it feels like such a natural part of my existence. My family and I rely on my visions for many things: the stock market, world news, the weather. I peered out the thin glass wall at the menacing sky and resisted the urge to stick my tongue out at it.

But most importantly, everyone relies on me to help protect them, to search out danger before it shows up on the doorstep, luggage in tow. Which is exactly why I had such a splitting headache at that very moment.

I rubbed circles into my temples with the first two fingers on each hand. Was there no relief? It wasn't like I could pop two Tylenol and call the doctor in the morning. Even if a doctor would be of any real help, I had no need to call for one when there was already a perfectly good one sitting not ten feet away from me, relaxing on the sofa.

My eyes flicked around the room, taking in the scene. I hadn't realized that my entire family had gathered in our great room. Carlisle and Emmett were watching television on the sofa. Esme was showing Rosalie the new renovation blueprints she had just drawn up. Jasper sat at the computer, throwing glances at me every few moments.

They were all lingering too close, pretending to be involved in whatever they were doing. I didn't need my gift to know they were waiting on me to say something.

The problem was, though, that for the first time in my life, I felt completely blind. And I hated it. Hated it so much that it actually made me angry…

"Alice?" Jasper swiveled the computer chair to face me. His lips were pressed in a hard line.

I shook my head and stared out the array of plate-glass windows that formed the back wall of our home. What was I missing?

The day had begun normally enough. Not that days ever really began, so to speak. Jasper and I had been hunting near the river that ran close to our property when it happened.

"Alice?" Jasper's question had taken on a more wary tone then.

I let the vision dance out of sight, making sure I had every detail, before I answered. Then I smiled a wide grin.

"He's coming back. Tomorrow evening." I sang, the smile stretching the limits of my stony lips.

"It's about time…" Jazz murmured before looking up at me, "Let's go tell the others."

Everyone had been excited to hear my news, Esme and Carlisle in particular.

"Should we do something special for him? A coming home party, perhaps?" Esme had asked me, hopeful.

I thought for a moment.

"Nothing too big…" I hesitated, looking into Esme's bright golden eyes, "He's coming home out of…necessity, rather than pleasure."

"Necessity? What do you mean, Alice? The Denalis are our closest friends. I'm sure that Tanya has shown him nothing but hospitality." Carlisle declared.

"Oh she has, trust me on that…the sisters have shown Edward more than enough hospitality." I chuckled, and everyone in the room exchanged knowing looks.

Tanya, Irina and Kate—sisters would be the only appropriate term for them—were always quite taken with Edward. Tanya especially. My vision had afforded no evidence to the contrary.

"When exactly will he arrive?" Esme asked.

I thought for a second, searching for a time. And then it happened. Suddenly, my vision took a very strange turn.

I saw what looked like an airport, but the people were all blurry, like they were running much too fast for the camera in my head to get a proper look. Before I could focus, the images shifted to a dirty white police cruiser, driving down a long winding road, bordered by lush, green vegetation on either side. I tried to make out the letters on the side of the door.

"Town of Forks. Chief of Police…" I muttered, still focusing. What in the world was going on? Usually the things I saw appeared with crystal clarity, though I did not always know the meanings behind their appearance.

"What do you see, Alice?" Jasper inquired patiently, as he always did in these situations.

I focused, closing my eyes shut tight. Inside the cruiser…the police chief was surprisingly clear, sitting behind the wheel. Was he alone?

He parked the cruiser in the driveway of a small two story and leaned across the seat, patting the air beside him, smiling uncomfortably. The blurriness returned, twice as bad as before. There was something in the seat next to him. An animal? A person? I couldn't….see.

I directed my attention at the passenger seat. It was like look at something so translucent, you couldn't even discern where it began and ended without looking at it from multiple angles, letting the light bounce off the edges to define its shape.

I didn't have the chance to search through the mysterious haze any longer. As suddenly as it had come, my vision disappeared into blackness, my head aching from the strain.

I told my family about what had happened, and naturally they became very worried. I told them not to, but even I could not fool Jasper with my calm outward appearance.

I did not know what it was, but something very wrong had been at the airport in my vision, blurring through the crowds, and in the local police chief's cruiser. It bothered me, this not knowing. In part because I felt utterly useless without the advantages of my usually unadulterated sight, but mostly because I knew the sort of things that existed in this world, things that people like the Police Chief could never fathom, let alone understand.

Or could they? I didn't have time to ponder that question before a fresh vision came into view. I sighed in relief when it came clearly into view. As soon as I saw what it was, I bounded gracefully towards the front door, opening it just as the vampire on the other side held up his hand to knock.

"Welcome home." I smiled at my brother, embracing him in a tight hug. The migraine lessened. I had truly missed him.

"Thanks, Alice." Edward replied, smiling as he loosened my vice grip. As he read my thoughts, however, his smile crinkled ever so slightly, a question clearly forming on his lips.

"Later." I assured him as the rest of the family came forward to embrace him, ushering him forward to the great room.

I looked up at the sky before closing the door behind Edward. The dark clouds had begun to dissipate, allowing singular rays of sunshine to reach the town of Forks. I quickly ducked inside.