I'm swimming through the ashes of another life
There's no real reason to accept the way things have changed
I could hear a beeping sound through the darkness, which slowly drew me out of my unconsciousness. I tried to open my eyes, but found it difficult to pull myself out of my slumber. Instead I lay there, still blind to what was on the other side of my eyelids as I tried to figure out what happened, and where I could possibly be. My body hurt and felt as if I was weighted with lead. I tried to swallow but my mouth was dry and my throat was like sandpaper.
My entire life my dreams and reality were always filled with visions of what's to come, but for the first time ever . . . there was nothing. That scared me worse than my physical pain. Without my visions I had nothing. I was nothing. With a deep breath that hurt profoundly, I slowly lifted my eyelids. Everything was blurry, but after several minutes of adjustment I recognized hospital equipment. The beeping noises were from several machines that I was hooked up to. My arms were covered with tape and an IV in my left hand. The sheet exposed an area with red-tinted gauze from what I can only assume was blood.
I stared at the ceiling and tried my hardest to remember what happened to lead me here. It was the first time in my life that I had to recall something purely from memory and not from an image that played itself in my head like a movie. This alone panicked me, even before the recollection of the memory I searched for made itself known. The memory crashed over me like a lethal tidal wave: Jacob's cabin, Edward shot, Bella shooting . . . me.
"Hey, we were wondering when you were going to wake up."
My head turned to find Jasper sitting in a chair beside my bed. It looked like he just woke up. I wondered how long he had been sitting vigilantly at my side.
"How long have I been out for?" I croaked.
"Three days," he replied.
"Have you been here the whole time?"
Jasper nervously ran his fingers through his hair before looking back at me. "Yes. I wanted to make sure that when you woke up I would be the one to explain everything."
He looked how I felt: like hell. I was sure I didn't look much better either. He was the best thing that had ever happened in my life and knowing he had been sitting here for three days, in an uncomfortable hospital chair, made my heart crack. He leaned forward and rested the side of his face on my legs and glanced up at me. I reached my hand up to brush my fingers along his cheekbone, but immediately realized I couldn't. It wasn't because my muscles wouldn't work; I was restrained.
Jasper sat up quickly, sighed, and moved my blanket to reveal the fact I was handcuffed to the bed. "You won't be able to move your arm. You're under police custody right now. You've been placed under arrest and, when you're well enough to leave, you'll be taken to jail. I'm sorry," he said softly.
"But . . ." I started to stutter, but then immediately found my bearings and started to explain my impeccably rehearsed explanation and alibi. "Edward called to tell me that Jacob had kidnapped Bella so I went there to help, but I arrived too late. Bella and Edward had already been shot, but in one last moment of confusion Bella shot me! She was probably thinking I was Jacob. I know it was an accident on her part, but I don't understand why I'm handcuffed right now. Jasper, please! You have to go and get the police so I can straighten this all out!" I was starting to sound desperate.
Jasper's eyes met mine, showing a hint of sadness, before he shook his head slightly and sat back in his chair.
"Alice, I am the police."
My mouth dropped open. "What are you talking about?" I gasped.
"Me and Rosalie . . . we work for the FBI. We came to Forks to uncover a gambling ring when people started to die randomly and suspiciously. This area of the country isn't the most populated place in the world . . . so after a while it started to raise red flags. We narrowed in on Jacob Black when he slipped an off-hand remark about the death of a mechanic. From his other illegal operations in the area we decided to investigate further, but we never figured out fully who he was working with.
"We started to keep an eye on him and his friends from the reservation, but they were all sloppy and dumb. We knew that whoever was pulling this stuff off with him was much cleaner and smarter than Black, but we could never find anything solid. Whoever was working this little crime ring was extremely smart and careful and didn't leave any messy footprints in their wake. That was until a little someone by the name of Isabella Swan-Newton moved back to town.
"We were watching Jacob when we saw Mike Newton meet up with him. We knew that someone like Mike would have no business meeting with someone like Black unless it was for reasons that he shouldn't be, but of course we knew we would have to watch closely to see what happened because we only saw Mike and Jacob meet once. Slowly things started happening. When Mike's mistress went missing, and then he died, we knew we were dealing with someone who was in a position to cover up death, possibly because they worked directly with death."
"Edward," I whispered.
Jasper gave me a sympathetic smile before he continued. "Yes, we did start focusing on Edward after that. I was there in the car when we had the accident that led to Mike dying, but I was injured too so I wasn't able to see if Edward did anything to kill him. It was when I finally made the connection that Edward was in the prime position as Medical Examiner to kill off people, and then write off their death as accidental that it all started falling together. Since he was the one who was doing the autopsies that would determine cause of death, it only made sense."
"So . . . you know it was all Edward? Why am I cuffed?"
"Because after we started following Edward, he didn't do anything that we could get him on. If he had done things in the past, he had covered his tracks well enough that we would never catch him. So we hoped we could catch him in future endeavors,but with Bella in his life he seemed to be living the straight and narrow. Rosalie got close enough with Bella to eliminate her as a suspect of having Mike killed, and if anything, it seemed that Edward was trying to protect Bella, not off her."
"Pssh," I hissed out annoyed, "you are so stupid!"
"Is there something you would like to tell me, Alice?"
Shit! I realized that telling Jasper that he was stupid for thinking that Edward was a good guy in all of this would just lead him to know that I knew much more than I was letting on. I quickly composed myself before I gave him my best fake smile. "Why, no. I just wonder why all this has led to me being cuffed to a bed, after I was the one shot?"
"Good question, Alice," he said as he stood up and started pacing the room. "Rosalie and I were about to abort ship, due to a lack of any solid evidence, when I overheard you on the phone one day to none other than Jacob Black." He stopped his pacing and turned to face me. "I never really understood your gift, but apparently your feelings for me weakened you, because you never saw that I heard you, that I followed you, and that I knew you were hell bent on keeping whatever little agreements you had with your team going, despite everyone else's desire to stop. My only regret is that I'm afraid my feelings for you weakened me slightly, and three days ago I let you out of my sight, and it caused a lot of tragedy. I really did love you, Alice. When I first met you I had no idea you were involved. You have no idea how heartbroken I am that things ended up the way they did."
"Where is everyone? What happened?" I asked as I felt something completely foreign fall down my cheek . . . a tear?
"What do you think happened, Alice? You got your wish," he said as he turned to walk towards the door.
"Wait!" I shouted after him. "Where are you going?"
"Emmett's outside with Rosalie. He wants to talk to you. I told him I would let him in after I spoke to you first."
"But . . . Jasper . . . wait!" I called to him again.
He paused at the door, his hand on the doorknob, but didn't turn to look at me. "What Alice?" he asked.
"So . . . are they . . . dead?"
I saw Jasper's shoulders lift slowly as he took a deep breath. "Yes . . . they're dead. The both of them," he said before opening the door and walking out.
Whispers echoed through the open door before Emmett stepped through and shut the door behind him. He was the same mammoth man he always was, but his usual smirk was replaced with a frown, and his eyes were red and puffy like he'd been crying.
"He's doing me a favor, you know?" Emmett said softly.
My heart flipped in my chest. Here was my chance to escape—Emmett would Houdini me out of the cuffs and we'd flee before Jasper knew what happened. Instead, Emmett pulled the chair closer to the bed and sat down as his eyes searched mine.
"Alice." He took a heavy breath, his chest rising and falling. "Why couldn't you have let it go? Just let Edward live his life with Bella? Let them skip town and be lost forever?" He closed his eyes briefly and shook his head slowly.
"He was going to destroy everything we created! Everything." A sob was stuck in the back of my throat. "Just get me out of here," I pleaded quietly, meeting his eyes. "Please."
"I can't do that, Alice. I'm honestly not sure if you won't do the same thing to me you did to Edward when you find out I'm going back to D.C. with Rosalie."
My mouth dropped open. "You're joking, right?" Why was everyone leaving me? Everyone! Even Jasper. . . .
"No, I'm not," he said, his voice soft.
"I'll tell them everything about you! About us!" I screeched.
"I figured as much—so I told Rosalie already."
"You what?" I shook my head, disbelieving. "You told her everything?"
"Everything I knew of. Of course, Edward died with most of our secrets. You could have had everything, Alice. Happiness, Jasper . . . friends. Instead, you ripped us all apart and lost your chance for redemption. We were fools, but Edward and I finally figured out the real meaning of life was love. Not death. Even Jacob fought for his love. You're the fool now, Alice."
Tears streamed down my face in a torrent, my voice caught in my throat. Emmett reached over and offered me a cup with a straw. I drank it quickly, still feeling the moisture dry on my tongue too quickly.
"Listen, Alice. This will be the last time you'll see me. I'm sorry that things had to end this way, but I see no other alternative. How you didn't see this coming is a mystery to me, but I hope you've lost your visions forever because I'd prefer if this be our last encounter. I don't want to be a killer. I want a family. I want love. It's impossible to have those things with you in my life." Emmett rose to his full height, creating a shadow with his massive frame as he leaned over and placed a gentle kiss on my forehead.
"Death by Alice," he murmured.
I couldn't hug him. I couldn't speak. I couldn't do anything except cry and shake my head as I watched him leave, his shoulder the last thing I saw before the door shut. There were so many words I wanted to say to him, so many things that were left wide open. Where was the closure at?
No one came back inside the room except nurses for the rest of the day.
Why couldn't the bullet have hit my heart instead?
. . .
I managed to fall asleep. It was nothing but nightmares. All my victims haunted me. Celebrating my downfall. No one got away with murder—not even someone who could see the future. It became this animal inside of me, like a beast I couldn't control. It blinded me from the simplest of truths. This beast inside me started to make me think I was invincible. God. The control and power over taking my life was not something a mere mortal could do while keeping their mind. My eyes were closed, but I was far from being rested. I had nothing. I also had no one to blame but myself.
The door to my room opened and my eyes flew open when I looked at the shadow walking towards my bed. When I saw his sad, red eyes, I looked away.
"They brought in my son three nights ago with Isabella Swan. They told me both were DOA . . . you know? Dead on arrival. Being the next of kin . . . and funeral director . . . I had to call Williamson Funeral Home from Port Angeles to handle everything. I couldn't bear it." Carlisle's voice was rough and hoarse. "Esme couldn't bear it. In two days, I will bury my son who died, and all I can think of is why, Alice? Why? I don't understand why or how and you were like a daughter to us." He closed his eyes briefly and the grief on his face was painful.
"What's the sharper end of the blade?" I croaked. "The truth or lie? Does it really matter when your throats slit open for the whole world to see? Edward was like a brother to me. I was losing him. He was the only person to ever understand me. He was the only one just as screwed up as me. I couldn't lose him . . . then I knew I was crazy."
"So you murdered him?"
"He wasn't supposed to pick her." It came out as a whisper.
"I don't know whether to hate you with a passion or pity you."
"I pity and hate myself," I finally spoke, making eye contact with the broken father before me.
Carlisle backed away, shaking his head. He opened the door, stepped through, and right before he shut the door he said, ever so softly, "If Edward came back from the dead, I'm positive he'd kill you if someone else didn't get to you before then." Then the door clicked shut.
. . .
The door slammed shut as I sat uncomfortably in the back of the government vehicle, rain beginning to mist against the glass. Rosalie was already buckled in up front while Jasper sat behind the wheel and started the car. He put the car in gear and drove away from the hospital. They were both quiet up front, only making remarks about silly things such as bad drivers. It wasn't until we were heading out of town that Jasper finally spoke to me.
"Rosalie didn't want me to do this, but I think you need to understand the ramifications of what you did," he said and glanced at me in the rearview mirror. He put his turn signal on and turned into a cemetery. It was pouring down rain outside as people gathered under their umbrellas around two caskets floating over their new homes.
"Chief Swan thought it was fitting to bury Bella next to Edward considering he died for her. He doesn't know the extent of the story, no one does, but he knows enough," explained Rosalie hoarsely. She was crying. "He loved her with everything in his being—and I tried to pull them apart."
"Go ahead." Jasper handed Rosalie an umbrella; she took it and left.
Jasper turned off the car but kept the windshield wipers going so I could see the funeral's progress. So many people were here for both of them, and deep down I knew that if it were me in one of those caskets that I wouldn't have nearly the turnout that these two had. I watched Rosalie run up to someone who was hidden behind an umbrella and assumed it was Emmett. Who else would it be? But I couldn't see the person's face so who knows?
"I was so sure you loved me." I spoke into my lap. Jasper continued to stare out of the window.
"I did, Alice." He voice was hollow. It was like he was void inside. "I still do."
"Then how can you do this to me?"
His head shook disapprovingly. "You're not the woman I thought you were. I thought you were strong. I thought you had a good heart. You are nothing but stone. Empty. You work so hard to protect yourself . . . because you know how easily you could crumble. I would love you if you crumbled. If you let yourself feel all the pain and hurt you suffered being mocked in school. You tried to protect yourself from monsters by becoming a scarier one. That doesn't make you strong. It makes you a coward."
"Jasper . . ." His name came out like a whisper. "I never loved until you."
"I know. My heart is broken Alice. I am glad about one thing though."
"What's that? That you get to lock me away?"
"No, Alice. At least I know it wasn't for nothing. I was able to show a girl who thought she was unloved, and incapable of love, to show love. I believe you loved me back, even if it was too late for me to save you."
Rosalie ran toward the car and hopped in, shaking the umbrella before she pulled it inside the car. I looked out the window and saw Emmett for a brief second before he turned and his umbrella blocked his face from view. With that, and after the conversation between Jasper and me, I felt as if my life was over. It was over. Jasper turned the key in the ignition and put the car in gear. As we drove away, my face flooded with tears as I turned around to watch the people at the funeral disperse, desperately searching for my family again. I took several deep breaths to pull myself together before I turned around and caught Rosalie and Jasper smirking at one another.
"That was a very nice funeral," Rosalie said with a wink to Jasper who returned the gesture.
"Yes, yes. Beautifully done," he agreed. Then they both hastily returned to their distraught faces with ease. Like it was all a joke.
Huh. That's strange. . . .
God pours life into death and death into life without a drop being spilled. ~Author Unknown
A/N: We wanted to thank everyone for staying with us this year as the story for Edward and Bella unfolded in Wicked Angel. We've been through thick and thin, horrible and wonderful, and now we must bid our story adieu and bow out. This was where we wanted it to end from the beginning. This was the plan. Though we know you'll be full of questions that was also the plan. End this story as you wish. Fill in the blanks with how you want this to be completed.
Thank you Lisa for your wonderful edits, as always.
We would like to say that there is a possibility that there might be a part two to this story. Add us to author alert to find out. :) Merry Christmas.
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of Stephenie Meyer. DevilishPleasures is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of the Twilight Saga. No copyright infringement is intended.