A/N: Stephenie Meyer owns Twilight.
To say I'd ordered Alice not to look for her was to put it charitably. Still, even as I'd pinned my petite little sister to her bedroom wall, threatening her menacingly, I knew she wouldn't be able to resist.
The one and only time she'd allowed her thoughts to betray her breach of that promise in my presence, Alice had been so terrified for my life and sanity that she'd abruptly stopped her monthly visits.
That was over two years ago.
Still, I cursed her to hell for not warning me about this.
My existence for the past six years had been characterized by only two sensations: excruciating visceral torture and catatonic numbness. Over time the catatonic periods began to last longer and the sharp bursts of unbearable pain were fewer and farther between.
I'd been avoiding Emmett and Jasper, along with the rest of my family, ever since we left Forks. But even more so since the incident with Alice two years ago.
Then, six months ago Irina had told Emmett where I was staying. He'd shown up one day and locked my head in a vice grip. Told me that they were taking me hunting willingly or forcibly. But that I was going.
Ordinarily I would have fought him, outrun him. But I was weak. It had been six weeks since my last kill. My eyes were blacker than onyx. To my shame, my own self-loathing was no match for my scorching thirst.
We were 50 miles outside of Juneau, hunting moose. Nothing in the general vicinity except a small Inuit village.
I had just taken down a large buck, allowing myself to enjoy the kill more than usual. I was draining the brute slowly, savoring the brief flash of euphoria in my otherwise wretched existence. I glared into the animal's huge eyes, and felt myself grow hard as I watched them darken, flatten, and finally roll back into its enormous head.
I was still suckling at the wound when I heard it.
The thought was crystal clear, yet totally unfamiliar as it floated to me from the mind of a faceless human some distance away. The shock of it forced me backwards into a rock face, where I landed with a thundering crack, my face still dripping with blood.
I was on my hands and knees then, crippled by the weight of it. Of her name, in the mind of another. The thoughts were feminine, but a tide of jealousy rolled through my body and I began to convulse. A torrent of blood streamed out of my mouth.
As I writhed in agony the girl's thoughts continued to batter me.
They were images from her life. Our life.
But, yet, they weren't.
The thoughts came in a stream, burning me like acid as they washed over me, through me.
The girl, this random, cursed girl, was thinking of that first day. The day I'd nearly ended that sacred life before it had even really begun.
But the image was off somehow. It was a classroom, but it wasn't the same classroom. It resembled us, but it wasn't us.
I buckled with the memory, distorted as it was. A seemingly endless reserve of blood poured from my throat and out of my mouth, soaking the snow beneath me.
The thoughts were unrelenting.
The school office. A warped but identifiable rendering of myself asking a grey-haired woman to transfer out of biology lab.
What the fuck?
I began to wonder if this girl and her thoughts were a punishment of some kind. If the God I'd vainly tried to appease for the past eighty years was finally meting out his judgment.
The distorted images continued their assault as I wretched and spilled the remaining contents of my bloated belly.
Her purple bedspread.
Christ, her truck.
I don't know why, but it was this last image that finally broke me. I sank back on my heels and folded into myself. Eyes clamped shut, clawing uselessly at my hair, I unleashed a desperate roar, hoping in vain to drown out the assailing memories.
Time lost all meaning as I burned in my hell. At some point-it must have been mere seconds later-Jasper and Emmett were on me.
I was vaguely aware of the pain dulling marginally, numbness taking its place. Jasper.
Then suddenly, the images disappeared. As abruptly as they had begun.
A/N: Thank you for reading! We hope you like this story - our first FF endeavor. The concept of this story was born when two girlfriends from grad school discovered they shared a mutual love for Twilight and Rob and mutual dislike for (a) the New Moon Reunion scene and (b) babies born with teeth.
We wanted to give Bella a chance to grow up, get her shit together, and put Edward through the paces. And, trust us, she will. But also trust that there will be some juicy lemons ahead.
Please review. We are new at this and would really appreciate knowing that someone out there is reading our story and, if so, what you think! Pretty please?