A/N: This is my first novel. Please be nice…but do tell me what you think!
Special thanks to my awesome beta-reader mygoldeneyedangel!!!
Disclaimer: I don't own THEM. Stephenie Meyer does.
I blinked, blinded by the intense light surrounding me. As my eyes adjusted to my surroundings, I realized I was in a hospital room. Why was I in a hospital?
I tried to sit up, but a sharp pain exploded all over my back and legs. Oh God, this hurts like hell. I slowly touched my face. It seemed ok, except for some cuts and bruises. My head felt lighter, and when my fingers touched it, I realized that my long hair was now very short, the ends uneven. My fingers left my hair and I looked around my room, trying to remember why I was here.
Suddenly, the door opened and a young looking doctor entered the room. When he saw that I was awake, he smiled. "Hello, I am Doctor Anderson. I am glad you are up. It's about time. We were very worried about you." He came closer and started checking my vitals.
"What happened to me, doctor? Why am I here?" I asked him. He tensed suddenly. "Please, doctor, I am a big girl. I can handle the truth."
He seemed to hesitate a little. "Miss Brandon," he started, "there was a fire in your house and you were trapped inside. The house burned to the ground, and you were saved at the last minute by the firefighters." He paused, pressing his lips tight.
I gestured for him to continue, as my mind spun, trying to comprehend the news. "You have sustained second degree burns on most of your back and your legs, because a part of the burning roof collapsed on you. You will need a few surgeries to repair the damage," he looked at me with sadness in his eyes.
He patted my hand. "You know, from what the firefighters have told me, it was a close call for you. It's a miracle that you are alive."
I laughed darkly at his stupid words. Alive? He must be joking. I was forever disfigured, a freak to look upon. Who would want me? I always found it so difficult to form relationships of any kind, especially romantic ones.
I was always considered the friend kind of girl, too short, too small, too cute, too happy for anything else. And, truth be told, I never found any guy interesting enough to make an effort. I always felt that I was waiting for the right man. But, how was I supposed to keep him, even if I found him, if I was now an ugly pixie?
Dr. Anderson cleared his throat. "Alice, I know it's too much to handle now, but, take your time and rest. You need to heal and find yourself again. I will leave you now, but I will come soon to check on how you are doing."
He turned and moved towards the door. As he opened to exit, a nurse came in. "Ah, Angela, my favorite nurse. Is it time to change her bandages?" She nodded smiling. He moved aside to let her pass, and then…
….I was drowning in a sea of blue. Just outside my door, there stood a god among men, tall frame, blonde curls, deep blue eyes penetrating my soul. My hands flew immediately to my mouth to muffle my scream. Then the door closed behind Dr. Anderson. Who was that man?
Angela came next to me. "Come on, Alice dear, let's get you up to change your bandages. We don't want to catch an infection, do we?" I let her prop me up and move my gown, to allow her do her job. I bit my lip from the pain as she picked and prodded and pushed.
She smiled sheepishly. "I am sorry if I am hurting you. It's the best I can do in this situation. But I must say I am glad you are up. That handsome friend of yours was driving himself crazy from worry." She smiled mischievously.
"You know, every day he would sit next to you, keeping you company, talking to you, begging to wake up. He must really love you." She held my hand for a minute. "Don't lose him, honey. He is a man for keeps".
She picked her things, gave me a last smile and opened the door to leave. And, as I peeked through the open door, there he was in all his glory, looking at me, begging, pleading for me to invite him near me.
The door closed again and I was speechless. Who was he? Why was he here? And what did the nurse say, that he was next to me everyday, keeping me company? I searched my mind, trying to remember. I shook my head and closed my eyes in a fruitless effort to relax.
Suddenly I was overwhelmed by a strange feeling, a vision replaying in flash bits before my eyes. I saw fire around me, the sound of burning wood muffling my cries for help. Then I remembered feeling excruciating pain all over my body and losing hope. And – flash – a pair of deep blue eyes and a deep voice begging me to stay with him.
I opened my eyes, astounded by what I had just "seen". I gazed out of the window, in an effort to calm myself. That must be a memory of my ordeal. But what was the last image, those deep blue eyes? I know these eyes, I had seen them before. But where?
I kept turning everything around in my mind, looking for the answers I couldn't find, until I drifted in a much needed sleep.
I was standing outside her room, as I did every day for the past month. I was waiting for the doctor to come out, so that I could be with her again. My little pixie…I smiled thinking about her, then sobered up immediately, as I remembered the way I first met her. Through fire and death….
No, Jasper, I scolded myself, snap out of it! She is alive, thanks to you, and she will wake up soon, her doctor is positive about it. Her body just needs time to heal and regain its strength. Patience, I just need to have patience….
"Don't worry, handsome. Dr. Anderson is almost done, and after I have her bandages changed, she is all yours!" Angela, the head nurse, told me with a wink.
I blushed like an idiot, but I wasn't mad at her. Everyone working at this floor knew about my feelings for the tiny woman behind that door. Strangely enough, no one was making fun of me. The men were proud of me for standing by her side and being so noble, while the women fanned themselves at how lucky she was to have a hunk like me – their words, not mine – to fawn over her. Silly women…
Dr. Anderson came out of the room, and Angela went in, the door closing behind her. I peeked inside to have a look at my girl, even for a few seconds. She always seemed so peaceful when she was sleeping. And suddenly…
…I was staring into warm grey eyes, full of wonder and surprise. What? I almost screamed with excitement. She was awake? When? How? Oh, God, she was awake! Her eyes were glued on mine, her hands pressed on her mouth. Then the door closed behind Angela.
My mind was running wild, scared to death and happy as hell at the same time. It was the moment I had waited for for so long; that Alice would wake up and I would talk to her about…well, a lot of things.
The door opened again and Angela came out in a deliberately slow pace, smirking at me. I looked behind her back, and there was my angel, staring at me through the open door. My eyes were embracing her sweet face, begging and pleading for her to invite me in.
But the door closed again and I was still outside the room, alone and dejected. I closed my eyes in disappointment. What can I do? How can I approach her? I am just a stranger….
A small hand touched my arm, and I opened my eyes, to see Angela smiling at me.
"She knows, now. Be patient with her. She needs you…no, she loves you, even if she doesn't know it yet." She winked again. "She will call for you, soon. Don't leave."
I was speechless for a while. "How?" I managed to whisper.
"Patience," was the last thing Angela said before leaving.
I decided to follow her advice, so I remained faithfully outside the room where the most important person in my life was, hoping and praying to see her, to talk to her. And, as I waited, her emotions were hitting me in waves, startling me by their intensity. Anxiety, danger, fear, pain, desperation, and then…hope?
Blood-curling screams from inside her room cut me to the core, putting me in alert mode. "Alice…."
"No, no, put the fire out! Please, somebody save me!"
"….I am coming," I said, before bursting through the door.