All belongs to Stephenie Meyer - I just elaborated Jasper's view. Read and Review!
Looking back, I now understand why vampires don't have birthday parties.
As I watched my wife flit around the room, arranging and rearranging the endless supply of petal pink candles and matching flower arrangements, I have to admit I was a bit bemused. Not that that was a strange occurrence around Alice – she did a lot of things that confused me. However, after nearly sixty years of marriage I have learned to simply nod and smile, sometimes adding on a 'Yes, dear'.
Unfortunately, I didn't remember much about the last birthday party I went to. Granted, it had been nearly a century and a half ago and a human-to-vampire change later, so one can understand why I didn't' remember much about it.
Alice hummed an unknown melody absently to herself as she arranged the flowers in their glass vases, changing and rearranging them in their abstract clusters. She would tighten a bow, move a package on the table, pull one flower just so…and then she would step back and look at it all.
And then the process would repeat.
If she heard my patient sigh, she didn't acknowledge it. I was content just to be close to my mate and soak up the loveliness pouring off of her.
Sometimes I felt like Alice's joy and love was like sunshine; it poured down from her happy, smiling face and I could catch it and bathe in just like real sunlight. Her constant good moods that I had stored with my gift were much like my proverbial tan. I could pretend that I could wear her rays of sunshine much like a human would wear the real effects of sunlight on their skin. I would be happy to wear her cheerfulness forever.
Alice was my bliss.
I had fought the monster within myself successfully for almost two decades; I would not let him success and prosper now, especially now that Bella was in our lives. I wouldn't ruin that for Edward. I knew that if the tables were turned and Alice was Bella, Edward would never have let anything happen to my Alice.
Life with Alice was peaceful.
Everything else fell to the wayside; life with her cancelled everything else out. As a newborn, I had been nearly crippled by the horror of the vampires around me, and that fact doubled with the things I could never have, well…that too held me captive in my own mind for decades.
As a young soldier in the Confederate Army, I had foolishly hoped for things I didn't know I would never have. If I would have known about all the silly things I would never have, would I have sill wished for them?
I would never own a home, or have a wife, a family, and children. My freakish appearance was far too unchanging and perfect to go unnoticed, even if I did manage to meet the right woman and not kill her.
Instantly I was taken back to the dusty, abandoned Mexican towns where we stayed. Often the newborn vampires would go on feeding raids into the city and would bring back live humans that they had hoped would be their mates.
Dozens of times I had seen and felt the appeal of a human to one of the newborn vampires I shared ranks with in a romantic sense. They were all fools. Often times they would tempt fate and try to change someone of the opposite sex just to have company and someone to share their hellish existence with.
Ninety nine percent of the time they lost control and killed their chosen human mate instead of changing them. Their devilish thirst would bring them no companions. I could hear it like it was yesterday; hear the hollow screams of the few vampires with actual feelings as they bent over their drained potential mates, bawling and often cursing their own creator. Their cries of anguish would echo off the desolate buildings in the southern ghost-like abandoned towns. I could almost taste the dust on my tongue as I pictured the desolate landscape that had claimed the bleak first part of my life.
I blinked in a feeble effort to banish the images from that danced in the front of my mind.
That time felt like it had been centuries ago, yet I could still remember it with a hunting clarity that would never leave me in peace. Those years had been nothing short of agony.
Yet somehow I had managed to escape the binds that held me steadfast in the south, and soon after I found Alice. My Alice.
Every worry, every fear, every petty little thing I had held onto over the years had fallen away and withered like dead petals on a flower when I met her. The house, the children, the job, the white picket fence I yearned for all became forgotten, even to my sharp mind. She had become my wife, and had in place expelled every want for those trivial things with one simple smile.
I fought every day to be worthy of that smile.
I had fallen down several times. More than several. Each time I had come back to her with tell tale irises and blood on my collar, she had simply smiled sympathetically at me and handed me a clean shirt. I could practically see her wiping the slate clean of my sins against humans. With Alice, I would always have a fresh start.
I sat in the chair stiffly, silently swallowing and gauging my thirst. The all too familiar burn echoed back as if to taunt me.
I had been careful to hunt the night before, however I had been unlucky with the selection and had only caught a small fox. I had been crabby upon returning, but Alice had assured me that it would be fine. I never even thought to doubt her.
Rosalie walked into the living room first, her tall high heels clicking on the hardwood floors. She paused, surveying the scene before her with an annoyed look. But, behind that was a look of apprehension. My sister was no fool. Rosalie had never killed a human accidently; in fact, in times of need when my control was slipping I would often linger with my 'twin' sister in hopes of soaking up some of her iron clad power.
I envied Rosalie.
Her hatred for what she was and what she could become by giving in to her thirst was what drove her like a riding whip would a race horse. My sister could take her waning resolve for human blood and turn in around to build up an imaginary steel wall around herself.
After years of being around humans I could not taste, it was a wall I ached to be behind.
Alice turned to Rosalie from her position in the center of the room, her expectant smile undoubtedly hoping for praise. Rosalie chose not to indulge her.
"This is silly," she said. "She doesn't want a birthday party and it's ridiculous to keep inviting her into our home."
If her malicious comment bothered Alice, she didn't let it show. Her golden eyes looked sideways at me, and I offered her a tight smile.
Maybe I'll ask her to marry me again, just so she might have something pretty to plan. We haven't had a wedding in a few decades. I've been looking for an excuse to buy her a new ring, I thought, eying the simple diamond eternity band that my wife insisted was her taste.
I heard the bigger, stronger footsteps of my brother Emmett, as he strode in to stand next to Rosalie. How he dealt with her, I still wasn't sure. Even after decades together as a family, it still sometimes amused me that Emmett, good hearted, jolly Emmett, belonged to Rosalie. I had missed my brother while he was in Africa. As strange as it was to admit, I had pouted around the house for weeks after Rosalie dragged him to the far off continent.
When we had returned from Arizona and rescuing Bella from James, Rosalie had felt like a real fool. I didn't need Edward's gift to tell me that much. She was embarrassed for throwing such a fit the day before we left, but she was ten times more upset when Edward had paraded Bella around the house all summer afterwards. Every soft 'thump' of Bella's cast on the hardwood floors had mocked her. Waves of anger and shame had rolled off of her for an entire month after that.
Then the one time Rosalie had actually acknowledge Bella, the sweet girl had been so kind to her that I thought Rosalie was going to leap over the kitchen counter and rip her head off. She had bought the tickets for the month long African safari just an hour later. Then before we knew it, she and Emmett were gone.
Just thinking about the wild African game he had described to me made my mouth pool with venom.
I can't be thinking about how thirsty I am when Bella arrives. I'll drive Edward insane.
I instead concentrated on watching my wife dance around the room with glee, this time to light the candles that floated in the crystal bowls that were placed on every flat surface of the room.
"How much longer?" Rosalie asked impatiently, flipping one of her golden curls behind her shoulder. Alice paused as she lit the candles, letting her vision go hazy and her body stiffen.
"About two minutes. They're still on the highway."
I watched as Rosalie frowned, and I tried to avoid the annoyed emotions that were rolling off of her. Not one to be shown up by the human, she had carefully hunted just hours before and had even done her hair for the occasion, donning a fancy black dress. It was almost as if she was saying, 'Here I am, just try and get the better of me.' No, Rosalie was never one to be out done.
I tried to think about something besides her negativity while we waited for Bella. I had to be careful whose emotions I focused on in my family; if I dwelled too much on one person's fear, anger, thirst, apprehension…it could be overwhelming.
I always had to be extremely careful.
"Did you hunt today?" I asked Alice carefully. She paused as she adjusted the cake on the table, her humming stopped.
"No, I didn't have time."
"Alice, you don't even sleep. Why didn't you have time?" I asked her with a quiet laugh.
She snorted and didn't even look at me. "Too much to do!"
I settled back further into the chair, swallowing again. Just thinking about Bella's enticing aroma that rolled off of her in waves made my throat singe with the familiar fire and ache.
Carlisle came in next, followed by Esme, who squealed in delight when she laid eyes on the scene before her.
"Alice! This is wonderful…oh; you have such an eye for decorating. The next time you go college, why not do something for interior design?"
Alice smiled shyly and smoothed her navy blue dress. "Oh Esme, you know that my real talents lie in fashion," she mused.
"When will she be here?" Rosalie asked sharply from where she stood in the doorway. She pressed her fingertip softly to her nails, which still reeked of nail polish.
Esme gave her impatient daughter a knowing look, and then turned to smile reassuringly at Alice. I could feel the waves of love and excitement rolling off of Esme; she was so enamored with Bella Swan it was almost comical. I secretly hoped that Bella never directly asked Esme to change her; I had a feeling Esme would have dragged her to the hospital during Carlisle's shift to coyly ask her husband to bite the girl right there as if it was nothing more than a simple vaccination.
We all heard Bella's exasperated moan as soon as her decrepit Chevy began its journey up our winding driveway. Esme giggled, sharing her amusement with Carlisle, who affectionately touched her nose and looked in the direction of the driveway.
Another groan could be heard as Bella climbed out of the passenger side of the truck, undoubtedly at the magnitude of Alice's decorations.
"She's seen my lanterns," Alice chuckled daintily to herself, clapping her hands together.
Sometimes I think she enjoyed embarrassing the poor little human girl. My Alice…sometimes the strangest things amused my Alice.
We all stood, arranging ourselves as best we could in a non-threatening way around the living room. A smart human would have feared us either way, but I could always read Bella's emotions when she was around us. She was almost never nervous of anxious around even me or Emmett. No, the Swan girl was entirely trusting.
Almost too trusting.
We waited, frozen like statues as Bella slowly made her way to the front door. I could still hear her favoring the still healing leg that James had broken when she walked. The awkward cast was long gone, but I could still hear a gimp in her step.
I swallowed nervously, struggling to collect my thoughts and what should be my nonexistent thirst. The monster within me cackled, as if to remind me that he can and would rear his awful head should I give him an ounce of power.
But I didn't want to kill a human, especially not Bella Swan. I would not kill her.
I'm sorry Edward. Nothing to be worried about. I hunted last night, I promise. Just a little nervous, I've got it under control, I thought at my brother. The last thing I wanted to do was ruin this day for either one of them.
She paused at the door and asked my brother the most ridiculous question about whether or not he would appear on the film should she develop the pictures from the party.
That caused us to relax and actually share a quiet laugh. We stood together, my family and I in our living room, trying our best to welcome our guest. We were there to give her a birthday party because she had grown another year, and she was aging. In that moment, as Edward gave Bella a moment outside to calm herself, I think we all almost felt human. We were there to give our friend, Edward's girlfriend, a birthday party, just like any other humans would.
Then, Edward opened the door with a flourish, and Bella walked in with a grimace. Her heart pounded her intoxicating blood through her veins and her delicious, human scent hit all of our noses at once.
Based on the flurry of emotions of wild thirst and fights for control that echoed off my family, I doubted that any of us had ever felt less human that we did at that moment.
Part II is coming soon. I'd love to hear what you thought – please review!