I'd fight for you
I'd lie, it's true
Give my life for you
You know I'd always come for you
+ I'd Come for You – Nickelback +
Edward fingered the scrapbook in his hands, staring at the tattered edges and the wonky letters on the cover proclaiming the book to be the 'Cullen Family Album'. The letters had been cut from different magazines so none of their styles matched one another but they still seemed to flow well together. Was it because of the starry stickers surrounding the title or maybe the colorful construction paper that made up the book? It was a design disaster but no one really cared. It was what was inside that made Edward cherish the book and brush his fingers lovingly over the paper.
A young girl, maybe nine at the beginning of the book made up the design, and her love for her family was shown clearly on every page. Edward couldn't help but chuckle as he remembered sitting beside the little girl, her black curls bouncing as she giddily stuck photos inside. He'd made her the book, tying the construction paper together with yarn that he'd found in his mother's craft drawer. The tape they'd used continually stuck to their fingers, making them giggle but when the little girl accidentally stuck a piece into her hair, Edward had gently pulled it out while she whimpered in fear of loosing a chunk of her curls. He'd consoled her afterward by climbing up on to the counter in the kitchen to get them both chocolate chip cookies from the high cupboard. She'd happily munched on her treat as they continued to decorate the scrapbook.
It had survived so many years and had so many pictures, so many memories, that the two children had to add pages on for more room. That had been years ago, before the two kids grew up into the adults that they were now. It had been forgotten as the siblings searched and obtained jobs, dated and even married other people. Well at least Edward had. He smiled silently to himself as he sat in his childhood room, his old bed still the same as the day he had left home to move in with his future wife. The room was cleaner, mind you, since Edward had always been sloppy as a young man but he had cleaned out the room when he left all those years ago to move in with his Bella.
With a sigh, Edward opened the book and chuckled at the first page. In the middle of the yellow construction paper was a large family picture. Eleven year old Edward sitting on his father's knee and his sister, nine year old Alice, sitting in their mother's lap. They were all on the couch still in his mother's living room but the photo had been taken years before he'd come to visit her for the 2010 Independence Day family celebration, which was why he was sitting in his old bedroom. His immediate family was sitting downstairs; laughing it up before the sun set and they all went to the beach to watch the fireworks. It was a tradition and he had never missed it.
Edward could hear his mother's voice drifting up the staircase as she asked his wife if she'd like something else to drink. Bella's soft voice that never failed to make him smile declined her offer and his father started another conversation.
Alice's voice chirped up, adding to the conversation and made Edward's smile grow. The thought of his little sister always made him laugh. When they were young he was known to taunt and tease her but wasn't that a big brothers job? He'd learned differently that one night years ago. It still struck fear into his heart and made him want to shield his little sister from the evils of the world. Sure, she had a steady boyfriend now whom she claimed to love but no matter how amazing the guy was, Edward could not trust him fully. He couldn't trust any men around little Alice. He'd never believed she could be so breakable until that fateful night.
She was seventeen, making Edward nineteen. He was an adult at that point in the eyes of the law. He had his license and even bought his own truck with the money his parents had got him for his birthday. He was on his last year of college for nursing and was hoping to get some real work at the hospital for a few years before going back to school to become a real doctor. Everyone has to start somewhere, his mother always told him. He'd also met Bella Swan at the college where she took her journalism course and they'd been dating for at least a year. It really looked like his life was going to be great.
Alice, however, was having trouble. She had become a rebellious teenager, fitting herself into the whole gothic hysteria that was going on at the time. She cut her black hair until it was just below her ears and streaked with purple highlights that had almost made his mother faint when she saw them. Alice ditched her jeans and colorful tops to go for black, ripped clothing and fishnet stockings. Edward had been totally confused by her complete turn around. She began to ignore him, tagging him as a 'brainless teachers pet' instead of her brother. Her somber friends came around at odd hours of the night to pick her up and bring her to random parties before dropping her off, drunk, hours later. Edward couldn't count how many times he'd covered for her when their parents were sleeping without a clue of what their daughter was really doing. Whenever Edward asked what she was doing, she always told him she was trying to 'break free from the constraints of society' before stalking away and not talking him for days at a time.
One night was when everything changed. It was six in the evening when Alice decided she was going out with her friends to a party. Their parents exchanged looks but allowed her to go and skip their family dinner as Alice usually did. Their mother was always disappointed when her daughter left but still hopeful she'd join them again the next night. She even set the table for four rather than three but the seat always remained empty.
As Alice skipped towards the door, Edward followed her and grabbed her arm before she could head for the jeep sitting in the driveway. She yanked her arm out of his grip and glared up at him. "What?" she snapped.
"Tell me where you're going," he demanded. "I know it's not Angela's house like you told Mom and Dad."
She flinched, giving away her lie. "And how would you know?"
"Because those kids" – he pointed an accusing finger at the dark jeep – "are not people Angela would hang out with. She's a good kid and you're hanging out with the wrong group, Alice. Believe me."
"Yeah, right!" she laughed. "They understand me, unlike you!"
She poked his chest and Edward stumbled back in surprise. Why was she acting like she was? "Alice, what the hell are you talking about?" he whispered. "You can tell me. I've covered for you million times so I won't tell Mom and Dad if you don't want me to. I promise."
They stared at one another for a long time before her face scrunched up angrily again. "I have to go," she muttered. "I'll be back later." She turned for the jeep and Edward caught her again.
"At least tell me where you're going!" he cried.
She stared at him again before giving in. She must have seen the concern in his eyes and had taken pity on him. "I'm going to Victoria's house, okay? They're having a party and James is taking me there."
Edward's gaze slid to the driver of the jeep who stared back menacingly. Something about the guy made him fear for his sister. Maybe it was his intimidating aura or all that black leather and long blonde hair or maybe those startling blue eyes that should shoot fear down anyone's spine. It was as if the kid was gearing up for something bad and Edward shivered in fright. The guy was older than he was but Edward was sure he could take the guy if he had to. His fingers tightened on Alice's arm, afraid to let her go with the freak.
"The one up by the airport?" Edward asked her.
She nodded. "Now can you let me go?" she demanded, yanking her arm away from him again. "Jeez. You can be so stupid sometimes." The horn honked loudly and Alice turned sharply away from her brother. "I'm coming!" she called to James. She turned to glare at Edward once more. "I'll see you later."
"Keep your cell phone on!" he yelled as she jogged towards the jeep. She waved a dismissive hand while slamming the door. The car screeched out of the driveway and Edward swore that James smirked at him before driving away leaving him standing alone in the front yard.
Edward had kept his word, staying silent throughout dinner as his parents happily talked back and forth, having no idea where their daughter really was. It killed Edward to keep the secret from them but he had promised Alice. She'd never trust him again if he told and besides, she would be fine.
It was an hour later when the family finished their dinner and his father helped his mother clean up the dishes in the kitchen. Edward sat immobile in his chair, staring at the tablecloth as his parents laughed in the other room. Drumming his fingers on the table, he thought of what Alice was doing at that moment. Was she drinking again? Was someone taking care of her? The awful feeling that James had given him creeped into his mind again and made him grimace. He really didn't trust the guy but Alice seemed to. He must be an okay guy. Edward was just being overprotective. She was probably fine and besides, she was getting older. She needed to learn to take care of herself.
His pocket buzzed, his phone vibrating inside. Fishing it out he grinned as he thought of Bella's texts. Maybe she wanted to go out again tonight. He wouldn't mind going out with her. She would be the perfect person to go to with his worries about Alice. Bella always listened and it was one reason why he loved being with her. He was sure that one day he'd marry the woman.
The screen of his cell phone lit up as he went to his new message. He frowned when it stated it was from Alice. Opening it he stared at the screen for a long time in confusion. It was just the number five over and over again. Was she drunk? He sighed in annoyance and tossed his phone on to the table. He wasn't going to deal with her stupid antics tonight. God, he really wanted to talk to Bella. She always made him feel better.
A few minutes later the phone buzzed again. Cursing softly so his parents wouldn't hear, he turned it on again. It was the same message from Alice, only more five's. What the hell was she thinking? Did they give her too much or something? Drunk Alice wasn't the prettiest thing in the world, neither was scared Alice. He remembered the one time he'd pushed her on the swing, higher and higher until she started screaming out something. He'd finally heard what she was yelling. It was the number five and he asked why the hell she was screaming that. She told him it was her favorite number and she felt safe when she said it. He thought she was crazy but told her that whenever she was scared she just had to shout…the number…five…
The revelation hit him as she stared at the phone and the continual five's. Either she was scared out of her mind or he was going out of his mind. He wouldn't take the chance. Edward took that as a signal that she needed him to come get her…now. Jumping out of his chair he shoved his shoes on and grabbed his keys. "I'm going out!" he yelled and left before his parents could ask anymore questions. He leaped into his truck, started the engine and went speeding down the road as his father stood clueless at the front door. Alice needed her big brother and he was going to get her.
He mapped out the way to Victoria's house in his mind. He'd lived in the small town his whole life, commuting to the college in the city for years. He knew the place like the back of his hand, including the way to Victoria Hunter's famous party house past the abandoned airport. He took the turn that led down the road that ran alongside the dirt tarmac's fence, pushing the engine in the old red truck. It groaned in protest but he kept going, whispering encouragement to it.
Suddenly he saw it. A black jeep parked off to the side of the road. His truck screeched to a halt behind it, allowing him to jump out before stalking towards the driver's side of the jeep. He saw shadows moving inside and then he heard Alice's squeal. He knew that sound. She was frightened, just like she was with the swing.
Grabbing the handle of the door, he thanked God when he was able to yank it open. The picture he saw inside was ingrained into his brain for the rest of his life. James had pinned Alice onto her seat as she screamed and cried. Edward reached in, grabbed the monster's jacket and yanked him out of the truck. The guy fell out on to the pavement with a grunt but Edward wasn't done with him yet.
"What the fuck is wrong with you?" he yelled. James looked up at him, a scratch starting on his face from falling on to the pavement. "You filthy fuck," Edward snarled letting his fist fly right into the guys ugly face. James shook with the impact and fell back on to the ground as Edward shook out his pained hand. He turned to look at his shocked sister still sitting in the jeep. Her dark makeup was smudged from crying and she looked completely shaken. "Are you all right?" Edward questioned her.
Before she could answer, James had run at him and tackled Edward into the grass by the fence. Alice's scream of fright melted away as her brother struggled to keep the upperhand. He'd never learned to fight but the adrenaline and anger pulsed through him, making Edward feel primitive as if he knew exactly what to do. They grappled with one another, rolling around in the grass while throwing punches and kicks. Finally, he managed to knee James between his legs making the man cry out in pain and cup himself tenderly. Edward jumped to his feet out of breath, nose bleeding and adrenaline still pumping through him. He stared in disgust at the man kneeling before him. "Stay the fuck away from my sister," he spat. "Or I'll break more than just your balls." James moaned in response.
Edward left the bastard to cry, going back the jeep to collect his sister instead of watching him in victory. Alice needed him more. She was still sitting inside when he came up to the door. "Come on," he breathed, holding out his hand. "Let's go home." She quickly took his hand and let him pull her back to his truck where he bundled her inside and turned the truck around to drive back home.
She was silent while they drove and shaking like crazy. Edward motioned to himself. "C'mere," he murmured. She immediately shifted over to wrap her arms around his chest and put her head on his shoulder. He rubbed her arm gently as he drove back into town, almost drowning in the relief of finding her alive and well.
"I'm sorry," she whispered, her voice gravely from crying. "I'm so stupid." She suddenly looked up at him, pleading with her eyes. "Please don't tell Mom and Dad. Please."
He looked down at her big brown eyes. "I won't tell them," he said and she sighed in relief. "But I want you to promise me that you won't hang out with those kids anymore. I want you to promise that you'll focus more on your schoolwork so you can get into a good college. Okay?"
She nodded. "I promise," she whispered, cuddling further into him. "Thank you, Edward."
It had been months after that night when Edward finally got Alice to admit what had happened to their parents. Charges had been laid against James but the damage had already been done. She had been one of the lucky ones since he'd only been groping her when Edward got there and stopped everything. Alice continually thanked him for that night and they became closer. She did as she promised, hanging out with Angela who became her best friend and focusing more on school until she got into a good college for business. Alice had hoped to start her own online fashion store and she was so close to achieving her dream. She had put the incident behind her but Edward just couldn't. The look of terror on her face haunted him since that day.
Staring at the scrapbook in his hands, he sighed and ran his fingers over the picture of a smiling Alice. Her two front teeth were missing and her mouth was covered in cake icing. Smiling, he turned to the last page and started in surprise. It was empty the last time he had seen the book but someone had added a picture from Edward and Bella's wedding. It was he, Bella and Alice in front of one of the huge trees that littered the park where his wedding had been held. He had his arms around both his girls, his sister laughing while sticking two fingers behind his head so it looked like bunny ears and Bella grinning widely at the camera. He laughed out loud at that one before closing the book still chuckling.
"You can keep it."
His head snapped up to see Alice standing in the doorway. She walked into his room, staring down at the book. "I was thinking about taking it with me but I think you'd cherish more."
He smiled sadly. "But you made it," he argued.
"For you," she stated. "I wanted you to remember me."
He grinned while standing. Edward enveloped her in a hug. "Like I could ever forget you," he muttered into her hair.
They stood there for a moment before she pinched his side. He jumped back in surprise as she stuck her tongue out at him. "Come on! We're going to the beach now. You've been reminiscing too long!" She left the room and ran down the staircase. He followed and met his family at the front door. He went straight for Bella and wrapped his arm around her as she smiled at him.
"Where have you been all evening?" she whispered in his ear.
"Reminiscing," he murmured back, brushing his lips against her ear. "Remembering the time we were in the movie theater…during that sex scene…for our third date."
She blushed crazily and giggled. "That was on you for picking the movie!" she said quietly. "You knew there was a sex scene in it!"
He shrugged. "What can I say? I was a teenage boy. I had to bring out all the stops."
He kissed her forehead, shifting the scrapbook under his arm as his parents opened the front door and led the way out. Alice followed with her boyfriend Jasper tagging along. Edward closed the door and jogged to his car to toss the book in before joining the family on their walk to the beach. They all walked with their respective partners and Edward couldn't help but watch Jasper's every move with Alice.
The two men had an agreement. Jasper wouldn't hurt Alice in anyway and Edward wouldn't let him suffer the same fate as James. He caught Jasper's eye and they nodded to one another before Edward turned his attention back to his wife. It was hard to do but Edward had to trust Jasper with his sister. She was happier than she'd ever been before and that had to mean he was treating her right. She was finally growing up and that meant Edward was no longer her protector. But he would always be her big brother.
This idea came to me after watching Nickelback's music video for their song 'I'd Come For You'. Great song and video so I kind of got to thinking about Alice and Edward's relationship and how it's kind of forgotten as everyone writes about Bella and Edward. They needed some brotherly/sisterly love so I wrote this in about three hours. I guess this is kind of dedicated to my older brother, no matter how much of a jerk he can be sometimes. I do love him...deep, deep, deep down inside. I mean I've known him all my life and yes, he probably won't read this since he doesn't like Twilight or written stories (he's a non-fiction man), and sometimes I wonder if he's adopted but I still do love him. So this one's for Matt, my expensive car and hot girl loving big brother.
Hope you guys like it and now I'll go back to writing 'What the Disguise Won't Hide'. Just had to get this story off my chest.