A/N::::::: Hey everyone! My first Twlight fiction! Hazzah! I ripped it off pretty quickly, but I've been mulling this idea around for some time now. It's about my favorite Twilight couple, Jasper and Alice. I just love those two, and hope my short story does their relationship some justice. Although I am a fan, I'm not an all-knowing fanatic, so please forgive me if I wrote something that goes against the canon. I tried to keep it realistic. I hope you all enjoy, and I could very well be writing more Twi-fics in the future. As for those waiting for an update on my Narnian novel, don't worry. I will definately be posting a new chapter very soon! Thanks for reading, and thanks in advance to all who tickle me with a review. That's right... I said "tickle".
:*:*:*: No Refill. (One More Moment Until Destiny) :*:*:*:
I held up my glass. The light from the lamp dangling above my table glittered through the ice cubes, floating in their sea of Coca-Cola. It was still full; not even an ounce had vanished through the straw in the past ten minutes. I couldn't see the waiter… not really. But I still knew that he had decided to pause mid-step on his way to my booth. I smiled dryly to myself, feeling rather sorry for the poor young man. He no doubt was mulling over a series of questions. Like how I always seemed to know he was about to check on me before he actually reached my side. Or how it was that over the past hour and a half, I hadn't been tempted to take a single sip of the soda I had ordered upon first entering the diner. Or how in all that time none of the ice had melted as it sat in my hands (which he had no idea were just as smooth and cold as the cubes themselves). He must also be wondering why I was here… on this rainy evening in Philadelphia. I was just a small brunette with deep black eyes who never needed a refill, offering only a friendly but somewhat distracted smile.
I listened to the pounding rain, watched it roll in small rivers down the dark glass of my window. My reflection gazed back sullenly at me as the hum of the diner noise vibrated around me. It was quiet… only the clinking of mugs against saucers and the murmurs of a few conversations. I imagine that if I could have slept, it would have lulled me into a light slumber. But I never slept. I only dreamed. I sighed softly, shutting my eyes and checking his progress… or what was about to become his progress within a few moments.
I saw him like a daydream. Like a memory you have as a child that you try to recall many years later. It all had the same appearance as my blurred reflection in the misty window. I saw him sitting on a rooftop. The rain was rolling off his marble skin and dripping through his tangled golden hair. He was watching the lights of the city shimmer through the darkness. I imagine he felt safest up there, away from the scent of the warm life on the streets far below. I knew he would soon decide to scale the walls back down. He just needed a few more minutes. Always just a few more minutes of thought for him.
The jingling of the diner door bell awoke me from my dream. But I knew it wasn't him. I could smell their blood waft in on the cold night wind that swept in through the doorway, then I heard a child's voice begging for a milkshake as his father insisted it was too late for sugar.
I listened to the clinking of the ice against my glass as I used the straw to churn the coke. It wasn't as fizzy as it had been an hour ago. I felt the back of my seat shudder as the child slid into the booth behind me. He was still heckling his father for dessert, and I smiled to myself as I heard the weariness in his parent's voice. I finally turned to look at them. The boy was just an average 8-year-old with ocean-colored eyes and sandy hair. Nothing extraordinary, but I would never describe any human child as being plain. He was beautiful nonetheless. The father was pinching the bridge of his nose in exhaustion; his shoulders slumped as he implored the waitress beside him to bring his son a milkshake. This human intrigued me for a moment. He had fair hair, sharp features, and a caring aurora that reminded me of someone. Of another dream. Another vision. A future within my grasp.
"I can tell you're upset," the handsome father spoke softly. "But once you rationally assess the situation I think you'll find that we have no other option."
"I feel like I just left High School!" she snapped, tossing her mane of sunshine hair over her shoulder. "I have no desire to go back already!"
"Feel free to stay homeschooled this time," a rusty-haired boy mumbled, running his fingers over the keys of the piano he sat at, just a few yards away from the rest of the family.
The big one choked on a laugh, snorting it out his nose and meeting the fiery gaze of the blonde beauty beside him. "I'm sorry," he chortled, failing an attempt at recovery.
"We've been here too long," the mother cooed, lovingly brushing a strand of hair from her daughter's furrowed brow. "You know how it goes."
"But I've really grown to like Canada," she moaned. "I've set up a life here."
"We all have dear," her mother nodded.
"But Alaska has treated us well before," the father assured her. " And we have friends there."
"I have friends here."
"How adorable. Invite them over for a sleepover then," the little brother snapped impatiently.
"Go to Hell, Edward!"
"Give me time."
"Enough!" their father spoke not loudly, but firmly. The room fell silent. "It's time. We've all adapted before. We'll do it again. I'm sorry… but I've decided."
And with that decision… my future began. My family was decided. Now I knew where to find them.
I'd been watching them for some time now. Watching the brothers wrestle in the early morning dew, watching the gorgeous blonde ward off unsuspecting men, the parents cuddling on the rooftop as the sun went down and its last rays glittered off their skin. I watched the cars they bought with childlike enthusiasm, the jobs they attended with either a sense of boredom or duty, their arguments, their shared moments of passion or affection, and their hunts through the foggy woods. I loved them. I really did. I'm not sure why. But ever since I woke up alone, with a throat burning for blood and a mind filled with visions, I only had the people in my head to cling to. To love.
The one I loved best… was the first thing I ever saw.
I didn't feel any coldness on my body, but it lingered inside me. I was sitting with my back up against a wall in an alley, burying my head in my arms and hugging my knees to my chest. I had seen people cry before, but somehow I couldn't. It was dark, and snowing lightly. My eyes were squeezed shut, my head buzzing with a thousand images. A thousand futures, a thousand decisions I didn't understand or care about. People I had never seen before, never would see, all going about their lives, all embarking on destines that would flash by in the blink of an eye. It was like flipping through a million picture books at once.
He will take a left-hand turn; she will order it medium-rare; he will slip on that puddle while running too fast; he will awaken with a pounding headache; she will never hear from him again; she will be waiting; they will go Christmas tree shopping tomorrow; she will hate those gloves he picked out for her; he will tell his brother in the morning; he will kiss her now; she will die as soon as that driver turns the corner; they will all get the flu when they shake that man's hand; he will buy that puppy; she will spill her coffee when he startles her like that; he will miss the shot; they will take the train; he will; she will; they will—
He will only watch them for a minute. Just a few minutes at the most. I watched with open, unseeing eyes as he gracefully crossed the frosty lawn and scaled the maple tree. The moonlight was sparkling off his bare chest and no fog escaped his lips into the freezing air. His crimson eyes glowed in the darkness as he climbed the gnarled branch to the side of the house, like a pair of red fireflies.
He leaned close to the window, the warm glow from inside spread across his pale face, making it seem almost human. His eyes watched with wonder as the father sat on his daughter's bedside, a book in his lap. Toy soldiers lined the walls… a funny toy collection for a tiny girl. In the bedroom doorway, he could see a young mother crossing the hall with a small baby tucked in her arms.
He stayed impossibly still just outside the window, like a ghost in the branches of the tree. His fingernails dug into the bark as his burning eyes stared out through the wild tresses of his hair.
He will not kill them this time. He will not let the intoxicating lure of their blood block out his heart one more time. He will not interrupt the father's story with the soundless terror of his entry. He will only sit out here in silence. He will only let their happiness tear at what was left of his heart. He will only watch them for a minute more….
He was dark. He was deadly. He was sad. He was a monster. He was perfection.
And my heart ached for him every moment since then. Ached for him to be happy. For him to laugh. For him to hold me. It was after that first vision of him that the barrage of futures stopped invading my mind. My control remained shaky and unpredictable at times… but that image of the damned beauty just seconds before a snow storm was the thing that saved me. He was my angel. My demonic angel. A soft smile curled my lips wistfully as I watched the rain roll down the windowpane.
The little boy in the booth behind me was contently sipping his milkshake now, banging his feet against the base of his seat. I could smell him perfectly from where I sat: his throat not more than two feet from my fangs. It smelled delicious… alluring… wrong. I wanted nothing to do with it. Although drinking this soda would be like swallowing cloth, I would down a million cups before I sunk my teeth into that boy's skin. I would finish a thousand milkshakes and be just as starving and crazed with thirst as when I began, but I would not allow myself the satisfaction of sucking a human's blood. I spent most of my days thirsty, my eyes pitch-black and my face drawn. I couldn't recall a time in my life when I didn't crave the taste of hot, pulsing blood. But I knew there must have been a part of my life that wasn't like this. It was nearly impossible to cling to a part of your humanity when you couldn't even remember having that part to begin with. But somehow I managed. Somehow I was able to hunt in the wilderness on rare occasions, falling upon innocent deer that were simply passing through on their evening walks. I hated it. Even killing a deer was painful to me—watching the fear in its black marble eyes as I cut through the greenery to take hold of its delicate neck. But it beat the alternative. And it beat my lowest point not too long ago. I'd been walking through the streets of Brooklyn late one night, the only time when I could wander without fear of sticking out, and suddenly a glorious scent filled my nostrils. Just breathing it in sent an unexplainable sensation coursing through me. It wasn't a pure or wonderful feeling, like swallowing light. It was more like injecting a drug, the way it buzzed my brain and sent my nerves on fire. At the mouth of an alleyway was a turned over trash can. There had been a scuffle. A fight. I could still smell the anger and panic in the air. Lying on the sidewalk was a small pool of dark blood. Human blood.
I shut my eyes against the glare of my memories and tried not to shatter my glass of soda in my tightening grip. Try as I might, I could not erase the memory of me on that dark night, crouched on my hands and knees and licking the blood off the pavement like a cat laps at milk. I wasn't Alice that night. I was more alone than I had ever been. And once it was all over, I couldn't even lose myself in sleep. So I just whisked away into the countryside, faster than a creature should be able to travel. I found a small river in northwestern New Jersey, running through the valley like a ribbon of reflected moonlight. There was this grandfather of a tree stretched out over the running water—a sycamore with leaves that shimmered when they moved in the summer wind. I scaled the trunk until I was safely snuggled in its grasp, and waited for them to come. My family. My only loves. My visions.
And just as if they loved me as much as I them, they came.
We will be standing at their doorway. A bright red door with two brass bells tied to the doorknob. The wind will be singing, and the cool Alaskan air will taste better than anything running through human veins. It will be a moment before we knock. I'll look over at him first; he always needs another moment to think. He'll look anxious, wide-eyed, still in disbelief. But I will know better. I can somehow sense it within him—the hope he thought had vanished so long ago.
"Take my—" But before I can even say "hand", his fingers intertwine around mine. Cold, smooth, perfect fit. God, how I love him. And with a smile that my small face can barely contain, I'll knock on the door. The father was already there to open it… he was just waiting until we were ready.
We will ask for the best room.
"Miss?" a nervous voice asked. "Are you sure I can't get you anything?"
I was actually caught off guard, so enveloped in my past visions. I looked up at the boy in the apron smiling anxiously down at me. Funny, the subtle imperfections of the human face. He was probably what most females would consider handsome. But I could see better. The slight texture of his face, the bluntness of his nose, the faint tint to his teeth. Or perhaps I was being too harsh. It was not this boy's fault that I had already seen perfection. No face would compare for all eternity.
I gave him the least-distracted smile I could muster. "I'm perfectly content. Thank you."
He was reluctant to leave; I could see him tossing about questions in his mind. "Are you dining alone tonight?"
I smiled wistfully again. "I'm waiting for someone."
"Boyfriend?" he asked hopelessly. I had to try hard not to chuckle at his desperation.
"Destiny," I replied.
His brow rose. "Sounds intense."
"Is he running late?"
I thought on that for a moment. Time was so irrelevant to my kind. At least, it was to me. I couldn't imagine the hands of a clock mattering to anyone who had all eternity to wait. But somehow, time did matter when it came to him. There was never going to be enough time. "Yes," I answered distantly. "He's kept me waiting a long time."
I imagine the happy tone of my voice must have thrown him off a bit, because I saw him blink in dull confusion. "Are you sure he's coming?" he asked.
I gazed into nothingness for a moment, searching for that familiar pulse in the universe… that aurora of comfort to which I had become so addicted.
He will decide to wait until the small boy and his father have left the diner. The boy's blood smells exceptionally good, and he cannot afford another slip. Not so soon. Not this time. He will wait in the rain, hidden by the shadows, until the boy and his father leave.
I snapped my eyes back into focus. "He won't be much longer."
The waiter smiled fruitlessly once more before turning away. "Well he's a very lucky guy," he sighed.
I gave him a wide, departing smile. "I'll tell him you said so. He'll be glad to hear it."
The boy just shook his head dazedly and scratched the back of his neck as he walked back to his station. I'm not sure how much longer I sat there alone after that. Like I said, time dissolves for vampires. But I do know that time never seemed so unbearable as I sat there, waiting for the small boy behind me to leave. I just listened to the rain, gazing out the dark window at the city lights and passing cars, knowing he was out there just a breath away, looking back at me. Waiting to enter.
I began to wonder if he'd love me the way I already loved him. It was strange to think that he knew nothing about me, despite the fact that I'd been watching over him for so long now. He didn't know I even existed, and I knew so much about him… things he didn't even know. I knew he loved kids, I knew he would always choose the left door over the right, and that he would always decide to pause when he heard the violin. I knew he would walk into this diner and smell me instantly, that he would watch me carefully. I knew he would take my hand, and with butterflies tickling my insides I knew that he would follow me to our new family. And I knew he had more strength than he could ever imagine—strength that could free him from the bonds that made him so tortured, so alone.
He will decide to hunt with his brothers. This will be a new and frightening choice for him… picking others over solidarity. But he will agree at last to go out into the forest, with them at his side. He will choose to stop exerting so much energy attempting to block out the mind-reader with the crazy hair. And he will choose to let the emotions of the big, dopey one flow through him as they pause their hunt long enough to wrestle by the river. He will decide to laugh.
I can't sleep. But I can dream. I can't eat. But I can feel hunger. I can't remember being human. But I can feel it deep inside me. I can't cry. But when I recalled that vision… that future… I swear I felt something in my eye. Something cool, something wet, something human. I was a vampire. But I felt hope. I was alone. But I felt love.
In this moment of reflection, I hadn't even noticed that the seat behind me was now empty. There was only the empty glass and straw on the table, a puddle of ice cream on the smooth surface and a cherry stem on the napkin. I didn't need to breathe, but suddenly I felt like I couldn't even if I wanted to.
The bell above the diner door chimed, and I looked up.
It was like swallowing light.