Storyid: 6543466

Name: Twisted Paths

Author: cereuleanblue

Chapter 1 to 1

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Chapter: 1

Note: When I heard it was your birthday coming up, AltheaJams told me what a big fan you are of Once Bitten, Twice Shy. I knew you liked it enough to recommend it on the blog, but I didn't know you were a fan . So, I thought you might like a little outtake from the story, since the last chapter should have been posted by your birthday (fingers crossed).

Happy Birthday! It's people like you who give me the courage to keep plugging away at this whole writing thing. Thank you for all your kind words and support.

I thought you might enjoy a little outtake from Alice's point of view. Hope you enjoy it.

Disclaimer: All things Twilight belong to Stephenie Meyer. Don't sue me if I do it better than you ;)

-x-x-x-

Alice POV

Someday, we'll all be able to sit around and have a good laugh about the whole thing, but today won't be the day. I hate keeping things from my family, but I know that if they know whats really coming, they'll do anything to stop it from happening. I can't say that I would blame them; it's a horrible thing to have to do, a horrible decision to have to make. Without foreknowledge of the outcome, I wouldn't be able to make it, but I'm getting ahead of myself.

When Carlisle made his decision to head to James' coven house in Phoenix, the events that were set in motion inevitably led to Bella boarding that plane to come to Forks. I had plenty of time to practice keeping my thoughts on the matter to myself. Luckily, Edward was taking advantage of the holiday break from school to go back to Alaska, along with Esme, to visit the Denalis. Jasper and I had remained behind in Forks to celebrate Christmas on our own.

I saw it all in a flash. The broken girl in a tattered heap on a filthy wooden floor. Carlisle throwing her attacker across the room and picking her up so gently. Rushing with her from the house as the flames licked up the walls of her one time prison. James' mate frantically dancing around the flames, trying fruitlessly to find a way back into the structure. The girl laying motionless in the cool night sand of the desert then on the crisp white cotton of a hospital bed. Covered in tubes and beeping monitors. Weeping, curled in a tight ball on the floor of a shower, cold water raining down on her head, the hot having run out long ago. The weeks passing around her while she remained stagnant, caught in the past, wrapped in a memory she was unable to free herself from.

She was waiting for the other shoe to drop. Her mind had grown used to the fact that she was destined to die and was unable to ever return to its previous state even though the threat of imminent death had been removed. She didn't know what really caused her to jump into action on that March evening when she gathered her clothes into a beaten old suitcase and reserved a seat on the earliest possible flight to Washington. Her talents hadn't given her the ability to directly sense the danger the watched her from afar, but something struck her subconscious – a glint of crimson disappearing around a street corner or some faint scent carried on the dry desert breeze. She hadn't known how close to her doom she had been or that Victoria had been stalking her, day and night for over a week, waiting on the opportunity to catch her alone, unaware.

When she boarded that plane, her future condensed into two distinct possibilities. The outcome hinged on my brother's decision, and I knew him well enough to know that if he knew all the eventualities, he'd have gone to any length to remove himself from her life. In doing so, he would have destroyed the both of them utterly.

Although, if I were faced with the option of either being responsible for the demise of the one thing that I loved most in the world or allowing that thing to be the end of me, I'm not sure what I would choose. I am certain, however, that my judgment would be infinitely clouded by my feelings, and I also know my brother well enough to know that if he is led by anything, it's his emotions.

Now, Bella, on the other hand, is a creature ruled by instinct. Sometimes, she is remarkable to behold in her sparring sessions with Jasper on the lawn behind the house. Her feet move in a blur, and without the need of more than a twitch of thought from her brain, or so Edward tells me. Whatever comes of all this, she will make through on her gut or not at all. It's only betrayed her once, but she learned a lesson that her instincts will never let her forget again.

Together, they are quite the pair. The vampire with a conscience and the vampire hunter with a heart. Buffy and Angel look out. They each fill in the blanks the other leaves, together making one smooth whole.

I'm still not certain what the final outcome of all of this will be. It wavers back and forth from time to time, as all the parties involved consider their options. There's more to it all than either of them really know. The results could change the way that our entire world operates forever, or it could be the end of us all.

Overall, I'm optimistic about our chances. Fate can be a cruel mistress. No one knows that better than I, but more and more often what she tells me bodes well for my family. She makes no choices and forces no one's hand, but she will lay all her cards on the table when the time is right. She always leaves it up to us what we decide to do with the options that she gives us and enforces the choice we make to its ultimate conclusion.

I'd do anything it took to keep my family safe, even if it means lying to them. If that makes me a bad person, then I guess I'm a bad person. But I'm a bad person who keeps my loved ones out of harm's way. I just know that my brother would be a pile of ashes by now if I'd let him know everything that I know, and Bella would be in the arms of the Volturi, locked in a tiny cell to spend the rest of her mortal life in captivity. Who would that have helped? The Volturi, I suppose, but I could care less about making their existence even one iota better.

In the end, Edward and Bella are soul mates, a matched pair. Those two belong together, and they're a match made in Aro's worst nightmares. I'm going to do everything I possibly can to help it along, and the downfall of our enemies is just a pleasant side effect. The possibilities have become quite distinct, and more and more often, I am seeing a happily ever after for the two of them. Cross your fingers.

-x-x-x-

Happy Birthday

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