I Gave You Life
Bella cracked her eyes open, "How was your hunt?" She asked staring into the newly polished eyes of the vampire. As she waited for an answer she took the back of her hand and ran it over the shorter girl's cheekbone.
"Not as good as your evening." Alice said, bringing her hand up to humans, wrapping their fingers together. Smiling, the raven haired creature brought Bella's soft, warm, hand to her lips and placed a cold kiss on the back of it. For the first time in a long time she was content, spending time like this with the person she'd been longing for since she first knew of Bella's existence. Yes it had always been hard to be in the same room with her before, especially when Edward and Jasper had been around. It didn't take Jasper long to piece together why she'd suddenly become so detached when the brunette new comer was around. He'd come to believe that it had either to be love or hate; after all those are the two emotions that one always quelled in mixed company. And when she'd warmed up at all it was always driven by a joyful moment. The kind of joy that forced him to forget what was happening as the life he'd known began to crumble.
At first he'd felt hurt; it was, after all, a form of betrayal. An affair, in simple terms. But one that the second party, Bella, was utterly unaware of. And it wasn't physical, it wasn't verbal, it was barely emotional, but it was there none the less. Even if he was the only one that knew it. He learned to take comfort in the increasingly rare moments of physical intimacy he still had with his wife; and the even rarer moments of emotional intimacy.
As the days passed; however, and Alice's cover on her emotions began to crack and to loosen, Jasper began to a feel what Alice felt all the time. Maybe her cover didn't really crack (after all Edward remained blissfully unaware during his courtship); maybe he just got better at reading her. And he felt all the love that seemed to seep out of her; it was almost like when they'd first met. Almost.
What he felt from Alice then and what she felt know where essentially the same; the only real difference was amount, what it was then was the light from the full moon. Now it was like he was staring into the sun. And when that realization came to him with the fanfare that only love could herald he decided it was time. To talk if nothing else. He loved her with everything that he was and would love nothing more than to keep Alice by his side until the world ended. But he couldn't do that to her; so one night he left her a simple note. One that only read "meet me," but knowing Alice as he did, the note would be more than enough. She'd see him waiting in any place he chose; or he'd be seen writing the note first and then waiting in the forest. Either way, she'd be there.
And on that bleak December night, when both the moon and the stars where tucked safely from view behind a thick blanket of clouds they met.
"Jasper," Alice said, her voice hesitant, searching for the right words, "I…I…"
"Don't say you're sorry." He told her, his quaint southern drawl lessening the impact of the command, "You don't have anything of the sort; nor do you have anything to be sorry for."
"But-" Alice tried to interject but to no avail.
"No 'buts' my love." He said to her as he walked up to her, his feet making the faintest crunching sound on the frost that covered the forest floor in a light sheet. He stood, towering over his wife, and gently cupped her face in his hands. "Please, let me explain."
And he did, he spent the next hour telling her everything he'd seen, everything he'd felt, everything he sensed from her, and everything else that needed to be said. He told her the difference between the moon and the sun. He told her that no one else knew, and that no one else had to know; at least not until she was ready. He told her that he'd always love her, no matter what she decided to do; more importantly he told her that he'd be willing to stand by whatever decision she made.
Listening to all of that Alice was astonished, she thought she'd done so well hiding her feelings; but could she really hide so well from her husband, the man she'd thought of as her true love for most of a half century. She shook her head out of his hands before wrapping her arms around Jasper's waist and pulled him in tightly. "I never meant to hurt you, honestly."
"I know, Alice I know. And I won't lie to say that I wasn't hurt. But I told you: I'd like you to be happy." He said in his simple drawl. "Right now, seeing you happy would do the same for me."
There was a reason Alice fell in love with him in the first place; and this was that reason. One of them at least. "How is it that I'm breaking your heart and you still seem more put together than I am?" She asked as she stared into his eyes; no matter what she would always be comforted when he was around.
"Because in that way I am an enigma." He said. The corners of his mouth turned up in a smile as he pushed a small strand of hair away from his face; he leaned in and kissed her one last time. "I'd like you to not forget I will always love you."
"Never," Alice said pulling away, "I could never forget your love or what we had together. I'll always treasure what we had together, you were everything to me, and we really were happy. And this just proves it; I just hope that you find someone else that loves you half as much as you love me…" Alice's voice did something that it had never done before: it hitched, "Or as much as I love Bella. I mean it Jazz, you deserve to be happy."
"So do you Alice, and I don't need to be you to see that she's that person for you." He took a silent step backward as he watched Alice give him a meek nod of approval, "My one selfish wish is that I was still that person. I know I'm not, and I won't sabotage you, but…"
"It's a selfish wish," She finished for him, "Mr. Hale you are many things; you are sweet, sensitive, handsome, and intelligent. One thing you are absolutely not is selfish; you're entitled to one selfish fantasy."
"Why thank you Ms. Brandon." He said tipping his imaginary hat to her.
"Now I think I need to think this all over? You were the one keeping me from acting on all of this; now I don't know what to do next." She edged away from Jasper, wondering whether she should stay and talk or run straight into the forest.
"Now this is a day I never thought I'd see. You confused." He smiled and made the decision for them both as he sprinted off into the darkened woods.
Alice shrugged her shoulders, a gesture that said 'yeah, he's right.'
"Alice? Alice, are you all right?" A gentle hand shook her shoulder snapping the vampire out of her trance.
"Yeah, I'm fine." Alice said blinking a few times, trying to focus her mind back on the present. It wasn't often that she got stuck in the past, more often than not she'd lose herself in the future, and that was equally dangerous.
"Did you see something important?" Bella asked, referencing the blank stare that Alice previously had; the same stare the vampire always had when she would glimpse the future.
"Yeah, very important," Alice said with a wide smile, "but not something that's going to happen; something that already has." She stared into Bella's eyes, debating on whether or not she should even retell the story. Deciding against it the vampire decided just to kiss her lover.
"I didn't know you got visions of the past."
"Of course I do, and so do you silly. Memories?"
Bella hung her head and laughed, "I knew that. I swear I did."
"I know sweetie, I know." Alice said gently stroking her hair. "Bella there's something that I need to tell you. And you're not going to like it, I know, because I don't like it."
"More bad news?" Bella was already on the verge of tears, the last thing she needed was more bad news.
"Yeah Bella more bad news. I didn't want to tell you, I still don't, not really. But I have to. " Alice hesitated, waiting for the right words to reveal themselves, but of course they weren't going to. If she wanted them the spiky haired vampire would have to go and get them. "I decided I have to tell you. Because if I don't tell you, if I just let it happen then I'll be no better than Edward."
"No." Bella interjected cutting the vampire off midthought, "You are better than he is, without trying. What would even make you think that you'd be no better than he was."
"Alright, I'll just talk then." Alice said with a heavy sigh, "How familiar are you with the treaty between the werewolf pack and my family?"
"I know a little about it." Bella supplied, "I know that Carlisle made a deal a long time ago that said that your family wouldn't bit a human and in exchange the werewolves wouldn't hurt your family. I think there was something in there about boundry lines between your territory and theres. You're not allowed onto the reservation and...oh my god, you're not allowed to go onto the reservation, but..."
"But I did, I crossed that line to pull you out of the ocean. To save your life."
"Right, I remember that one. It was the best day of my life." Bella began to see where this was going, and in order to avoid that she shifted the focus of the conversation back onto the budding relationship between Alice and herself. "Nevermind, today was the greatest day, but you rescuing me is a close, close second."
"Bella, no, I need to tell you this."
"No, you don't need to, please don't ."
"I broke the treaty by running in to save your life."
"N-no, no, no, don't you even think it Alice. You can't, no you can't, y-you have to stay, you're supposed to stay. You can't. I won't let you." Her voice was unsteady and now here eyes were so full of tears that all she could see of Alice was a vague pale outline of her face and a fuzzy dot that was her hair.
"Bella I'm going to find a way out of this, I swear it to you. I don't want to leave you, I-I can't leave you. I want you with me for the eternity." A determined edge appeared in Alice's voice, "I won't let anyone, anyone take me away from you! Not now, not tomorrow, not ever!"
Bella threw her arms around Alice's shoulders, sobbing uncontrollably into her shoulder, moving as close to Alice as she possibly could, eventually crawling onto her lap, "Were they the ones who were here, yesterday?"
"It was the day before, but yes. Representatives did come by, they wanted to take me back with them on the spot, but I wouldn't let them. Not while you were still hurt, and not while Edward could make you do what he wanted. I had to buy time, and I did." Alice pressed herself against Bella, trying to calm her down by stroking her hair and rubbing her back in slow sure circles.
"H-h-how much time did you buy?" Bella managed to ask, slowly calming herself down. She was hoping for six months or a year...
"One week, that's how much time I got. Exactly one week to make sure you were healthy." Alice hated the sound of that, a week was barely anything to a human, it barely served as a tick on the clock to an immortal.
"A week, that's it!" So much for Bella calming down, she was hysterical all over again. A week didn't seem like enough time to spend with anyone she really loved. "What will they do with you when the week is up?"
"I don't know." Alice answered a little too quickly.
"Alice don't you dare lie to me!" Bella snapped, clenching her teeth together. "Don't you dare."
"No, Bella, I'm not lying to you. I truly do not know what's going to happen. I know that the punishment for violating any part of the treaty is supposed to be death."
"But," Alice continued not bothering to address Bella's exclimation, "I crossed the boundry line to save your life. I think they'll take that into consideration."
"What if they don't, what if..." Bella couldn't even bring herself to say it, "what if they want to kill you."
"I won't let them."
Alice quickly put her finger over Bella's lips, silencing the human, if only for a moment, "No 'what-ifs,' it will work you for the better. You're not getting rid of me that easy Swan."
"Fine, you win. I won't worry." Bella said over the top of her lover's finger.
"If you need to worry I'll tell you when it's the right time to worry. Got it?"
"Don't forget that, Bella. Please." Alice's tone was frantic and serious. It wasn't a request, it was by and large a command. One that Bella didn't quite understand. But until she couldn't, she'd comply with Alice's wish. If only to keep her smiling. When Alice was upset she was a force to be reckoned with and the human had no want to get into that battle. At least not at the moment.
"I won't. Now can I ask you a question?"
"Of course, anything. Unless it's about the right time to worry, then you'll just have to wait and see."
"No, no it's not about that." Bella chewed on her lip, refusing to move from Alice's lap. "I've been here for a while and I haven't talked to Charlie at all. He has to be worried about me. Have you talked to him?"
"No, I haven't. But I have a little bad news; his friend, Harry Clearwater, passed away from a heart attack the same day you took your swim. Your father's been helping his family make all the arrangements for it." Alice explained, shifting her position to better accomodate Bella on her small frame.
"Is he alright?" Bella asked as she helped Alice adjust her position.
"I don't know, what little I've seen of him in my visions he seems to be alright. But a call from you would might do a lot to helping him through it." Alice suggested.
"That's not a bad idea. Do you have a..." Alice's hand disappered into her hip pocket and came back out with a slim cell phone, "His number's already programed in. Thought it might come in handy one day."
"Thank you," Bella placed a gentle, almost heisitant kiss on Alice's lips, "I'm going to call him right now. Do I even have to tell you?"
"That I rock, that I'm a goddess, that you don't deserve to kiss the ground I walk on? No I already know that." Alice asked.
"I was going to say that you were awesome, but I supppose what you said works to. Even if it is extremely egotistical." Bella said, actually hopping off of Alice's lap to go call her dad.
"Hey! I resemble that remark." Alice called after her.