Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.
Based on the characters created by Stephanie Meyer, in her Twilight Saga series of books
WARNING: This story will contains scenes of domestic violence, strong language and other forms of physical violence, up to, and including death.
I'm trying something a little different this time. Longer chapters and more detail. I'm hoping it will make a better story without too much "get on with it" going on. I'm also going to try to post one chapter every two weeks. I hope I can stick with that, writing longer chapters sometimes takes me a while. I hope you all like my version of Alice's back story.
In The Beginning
The winds had already begun to acquaint the small estate with the storm that was to come. The entire city of Biloxi, Mississippi, was preparing for the hurricane. Word was this was only going to be a mild blow; winds under 100 mph. Allison Brandon, the newest of the Brandons, hoped it would be mild and short. She had been married to Vernon Brandon for just over a year, and was already with child. In fact, she was very much pregnant. The child was due next month. A September baby.
Alison smiled to herself, as she brushed her hand over her very swollen belly. "Soon little one," she cooed to her unborn child. "But first this storm."
"Alison," Vernon called from the top of the stairs. "You should be resting." He began to descend the stairs slowly. "Go to the library and rest on the davenport." He ordered her.
"I was only trying to help secure the windows down here," she tried to explain.
"That is not necessary," he stared down at her. "I have seen to the upper floor. Now I shall see to this floor. Please do as you are told."
"As you wish, my husband." Alison hung her head as she followed her husband's wishes. She had tried many times, since they had returned from their honeymoon, to recall if Vernon had been quite so demanding while they were courting. She was sure this was a development that had occurred since they had moved into the home of his family. As she relaxed on the davenport, she rubbed her belly lovingly and allowed her thoughts to drift back to one of many discussions about their living arrangements.
"Vernon, do we have to move in with your parents?" Alison asked from her position with her head in his lap.
"Only if we ever hope to have a home as magnificent as my childhood home," he smiled down at her, as he played with her long black hair.
"I don't care about a large home. I would be happy in a small house, as long at you were there."
"Don't be ridiculous, Ali. Where would our children play? Where would they grow?" He sighed before he continued. "We've had this discussion several times. We're moving in with my family, and there will be no more talk about it. Now, please my dear, rest. We'll be home soon."
His voice had been gentle but firm then. Alison was sure that the harsh demanding voice he now used, didn't start until they were firmly instilled in his family home. Her grandmother had tried to warn her about his temper, but Alison had never seen any sign of it. He had always been gentle and kind to her. His generous heart was one of the first things that attracted her to him, but it had been ages since she had seen that side of him.
"Be careful" her grandmother had warned her. "He has a streak, and no understanding of the unseen."
Alison had smiled and hugged her grandmother. She remembered how the old woman had been obsessed with the mystic arts, an idea that had grown from a childhood surrounded by servant slaves. Alison had never mentioned her grandmother's claim to 'see the unseen', because the Brandon's did not hold with slave beliefs and didn't allow 'that sort of thing' to be discussed in their home. Since her grandmother had died shortly before the wedding, Alison was free from the need to explain anything.
Alison woke with a start, as the wind whipped at the shutters of the house. She sat up slowly and noticed the darkness of the room, as the hurricane swirled around the house. Then she noticed that the windows in the library had not been shuttered. She watched the trees branches beat against the panes of glass, as she rose to close the interior shutters. She had three of the eight foot high shutters closed before the fourth window shattered as she had the shutter nearly closed. The wind and rain whipped at her hair and dress, as she fought to close the last of the large wooden shutters, against the storm. As she finished latching the shutters closed, Vernon appeared at the door to the library.
"I thought I told you to rest," his anger was evident.
"The shutters were open. I had to close them against the storm. The window broke and..."
"I didn't ask about the windows," Vernon crossed the room to her, and grabbed her by her upper arms. "I told you to rest and I expect you to do as I tell you," and with that said, he pushed her to the davenport and made her sit on it.
"There's no reason to be so gruff," Alison rubbed her arms where his hands had been.
"You are my wife and I expect you to behave as such." He paced the room as he spoke to her. "My parents have noticed a lack of obedience on your part. They have brought it to my attention, and now I bring it to your's."
"Vernon," Alison smiled at her husband. "Obedience? Are you really..."
The slap to her face was both loud and hard. Alison was thrown to the side of the davenport and nearly over the low arm on the end. When she was able to sit back up she had a hand on her face, to cover the painful area of her cheek.
"Vernon?" she asked, too shocked by his action to speak in anything over a whisper.
The second blow was not a slap. This time his fist connected with her eye, and knocked her to the floor.
"You will speak only when a response is requested of you." He leaned over her, grabbed her by her long black hair and lifted her face so he could look into her eyes. "Do I make myself clear?" he demanded of her.
Terror filled every nerve in her body, as she slowly nodded her head, as much as his grip allowed, and whispered a shaky "Yes Vernon."
"Very good," he dropped her head and walked to the door, smiling. "Oh, go to your room and clean yourself up," he ordered. "Mother and father will be returning as soon as the Hurricane passes. If you require assistance, Molly is in the kitchen. And please dear, get off the floor," and he left the room.
Alison crawled up to the davenport and sat for a moment, as silent tears flowed down her cheeks. Her face was throbbing, and the vision in her left eye was greatly diminished, but she refused to give in to the gut-wrenching sobs that threatened to take over her body. Her arms wrapped around her belly protectively, as she tried to stand on trembling legs. She felt the baby begin to kick and move inside her. When the contractions started, she was halfway to the library door. Carefully and slowly, Alison forced her shaking legs to carry her to the foyer. From there she used every piece of furniture in the dinning room to help her make it to the kitchen door.
"Molly," she called barely above a whisper, as she neared the entryway to the kitchen.
"Yes Miss Alison," Molly came through the door wiping her hands with a towel. When she saw Alison's condition, she swore under her breath and rushed to her side. Just as Molly reached Alison, a rush of fluid dropped from the pregnant woman and crashed to the wood floor. "Oh my, Miss Alison, we need to get you to your room." Molly looked around, looking for anyone to help her. "I'll call for Mr. Vernon. He'll..."
"No!" Alison grabbed Molly. "No." and she shook her head. "I'll make it. Just please help me with the stairs.
Molly looked at Alison's face. She saw the bruises, the swollen eye, and understood why Alison had refused the help of her husband.
"We'll make it," Molly encouraged her, as she pulled Alison's arm around her own shoulders, and turned her to the stairs.
As the two climbed the staircase, Alison's contractions worsened. By the time they reached the halfway point on the stairs, she fell to her knees and tried not to scream, as a hard contraction hit her.
"Please, Miss Alison, let me call the Mister." Molly begged her.
"No!" Alison spat out. "I'll not give him cause to fault me for speaking without permission." Her pride refused to allow her to call to the man that had hurt her. She pushed herself off the stair and continued on to her room.
By the time Molly had helped Alison reach her room, the contractions were coming minutes apart, and her breaths were raspy attempts not to scream. Molly helped Alison out of the wet dress and into a night dress, for the delivery of the baby.
"It's too early," Alison gasped, as she tried to relax against the headboard of her bed. She listened to the wind as the hurricane battered at the house. Molly noticed Alison looking up and around the room.
"This is a sturdy house, Miss Alison. It will hold out the wind and the rain."
Just then lightening flashed through the cracks in the shutters, as thunder rocked the small mansion. As a second flash of lightening lit the room, and the thunder rumbled, Alison screamed as her contractions suddenly increased in strength and frequency. Molly rushed to Alison and tried to comfort her.
"I have never delivered a babe, Miss Alison, but I have watched it many times. I think I can do this."
"You have to, Molly," Alison struggled to say between contractions. "There is no one else, and with the storm, no one else is coming." And Alison screamed again.
Molly did all the things she had seen done, to assist in the birthing of a child. All except for the hot water. There was no time for her to return to the kitchen to heat any water. As she checked on Alison, she saw that the baby was indeed due at any moment.
"Here," Molly grabbed one of Alison's hands and pulled it to the side of the bed, at her side. "Feel the loop here?" she asked her. "Pull on this. Wrap the other in the sheets. Try to keep your hands down. It will help the baby come sooner."
Alison tried to do as Molly asked but as another contraction ripped across her distended abdomen, her free hand reached to grab the headboard and she screamed. The storm was in full blow outside the house, but the noise from the hurricane drowned out all sound within the small mansion. Alison screamed again, just as lightening split the tree outside her window, and a huge part of it came crashing through the shuttered window and wall. Lightening danced down the length of the tree's split trunk, and into the spacious bedroom, then back down the trunk and out the window. The tree continued to ground the lightening, but the fear caused Alison to start so badly that her daughter was born with a sudden massive push on her part. Molly caught the premature child, as she slid from her mother and began to cry immediately.
Molly chattered calmly to Alison, as she cut the umbilical cord then laid the baby in her arms and began the clean-up process, that she had been a part of in the past. The wind and rain wailed through the room, but Molly would not be rushed with the care or the newborn or her exhausted mother.
"This is part of the birthing," Molly told Alison. "You must push out what is left behind as well," and she helped Alison dispel the afterbirth. "I have helped with this part," Molly assured Alison with a smile as she secreted the afterbirth away, so she could properly dispose of it after the storm. She packed Alison and carefully changed the bedding and her night dress before she finished cleaning up the baby.
"Such a beautiful girl," Molly yelled to Alison, over the sound of the storm, as she returned her to her mother's arms.
"So tiny," Alison breathed.
"Do you have a name for her?" Molly asked as she prepared to move Alison to a less—drafty room.
"Mary," Alison said smiling down at her daughter. "After my grandmother. Mary Alice Brandon." Alison looked up at Molly, and saw her husband standing in the doorway.
Vernon's eyes surveyed the tree that had caved in a good portion of the wall of the bedroom. He looked at his wife and his new daughter with less concern than he did the ripped wall.
"Molly." His voice was loud over the sounds of the storm. "Prepare my old room for my wife and her child." Molly left immediately.
Vernon stepped to the side of the bed and picked Alison up in his arms, none to gently.
"We have a daughter," Alison smiled down at her small bundle, with her one good eye.
"You have a daughter," he told her. "I requested a son, an heir." He said nothing else, as he carried her to his boyhood bedroom and placed her on the smallish bed. "Molly, you will see to her needs, until the storm has passed."
"Yes, Mister Vernon," Molly kept her eyes on the floor until Vernon Brandon had left the room, then she rushed to Alison's side. "Are you alright, Miss Alison?"
"I'll live," she smiled at Molly. "And so will Mary Alice, thanks to you."
Molly tucked the blankets tight around Alison, as she went to start a fire in the small fireplace in the much smaller bedroom. The fire soon had the room toasty warm and comfortable for both mother and daughter. Alison was soon fast asleep, lulled by the warmth and the sound of her tiny daughter suckling on her own fist. While Alison slept, Molly retrieved a rocking chair and pillows from the ruined bedroom. She also moved the large wood cradle, and other baby items from the nursery, that had been prepared for the coming of the baby.
Molly was not surprised by Vernon Brandon's behavior. She had been a servant in the Brandon house practically since her birth. Her grandmother had been one of their house slaves, and her mother had been kept on as a servant when slavery had been abolished. Her mother was long dead, as well as her grandmother, but Molly remembered. She had felt the violence of the Brandon family on her own body, just as her mother and grandmother had. She felt for Alison, but could do nothing for her. She could only be there to comfort her, as she did now.
As Alison slept, Molly cared for her child. She changed her diaper as needed, and woke Alison only so her daughter could suckle at her breast. Alison was exhausted both from the childbirth, and the violence that preceded it. As the night passed, the hurricane abated, and then there was just a heavy rainstorm.
As morning dawned, Alison woke refreshed, but in some pain. She reached for her face and felt the swelling around her eye. She looked to her right, to see Molly sleeping in the rocking chair with her foot on one of the rockers of the cradle. Alison smiled as she saw the sleeping bundle in the cradle.
"Mary Alice," she breathed.
Just then, the sound of the baby wailing to be fed filled the room. Molly woke and reached down to collect the indignant infant, and took her to her mother.
"She's a very good baby," Molly commented as she laid the child in her mother's waiting arms.
Vernon opened the bedroom door without preamble, and brought with him the family's doctor and a blond-haired woman of about Alison's age. This woman carried with her a baby not much older than her own newborn daughter.
"Molly, you will return to your kitchen duties, now." He waited for her to leave before turning to the people he had brought with him. "Doctor Wilton will check to make sure you are hail and fair, from last nights activities. This is Rita, and her son Virgil. She will nurse the child."
"I had hopes to nurse her myself." Alison was surprised by Vernon's hiring of a wet-nurse since they had not discussed the issue as yet.
"Nonsense, Alison. How do you expect to give me an heir if you are nursing this child." He took a menacing step toward her. "You do want to give me an heir, don't you." It was not a question.
"Of course, Vernon," Alison reached a hand to her face as she answered her husband.
"Then it is best to get started on that as soon as possible." And he turned and left the room, closing the door behind him.
"Well," Dr. Wilton started, "let me just check on that little darling for you," and he took Mary Alice from Alison's arms. He opened the soft blanket she was wrapped in, and examined her thoroughly before handing her to Rita. Rita sat down in the rocking chair and began to nurse the tiny baby. "She's very healthy for coming along a month ahead of time." Dr. Wilton announced. "Now, let me take a look at you. Vernon told me you were injured when the tree crashed through the wall in the other room?"
"Is that what he told you happened?" The doctor looked at her puzzled. "Well, if that's what Mister Brandon said, then that must be what happened." Alison was very matter-of-fact, about the ordeal.
"Well, yes." Dr. Wilton cleared his throat and continued to examine Alison. The doctor took his time and made a thorough examination of Alison, including her eye and face.
"All-in-all, I'd say you were a very lucky woman," he finally pronounced. "But I do suggest that you and your husband refrain from any marital relations for at least six weeks. You need time to heal and recover form last night's activities," he finished, wiping his hand on a towel then throwing it on the pile of laundry in the corner of the room.
"You will be telling Mister Brandon of your recommendations?" Alison asked.
"Of course, my dear. Of course. And I'll be sending along a certificate of birth, as soon as I have completed the required documentation. The child was born before midnight?" Alison nodded. "Good. Then August 15, 1901. A very good day for this child." and the doctor left the room.
Alison took a deep breath and tried to sit up in the small bed. She looked over at her daughter in the arms of her wet-nurse and tears began to fill her eyes.
"It's Rita?" Alison asked.
"Yes," she smiled back at Alison.
"And the father of the child, will he be coming to work for the Brandon's as well?"
Rita pursed her lips as she debated on how to answer that question. She finally smiled at Alison, but it was not a friendly smile.
"His father is already here," she told Alison. "He's always been here," and she began to quietly laugh at Alison. "But don't worry. I won't let anything happen to this little one."
Alison was too shocked to respond to the woman. All she could do was roll away from her and let the tears flow to her pillow. Her mind whirled at the thought that not only had Vernon been unfaithful to her, but he had produced a child with this-his mistress. That he had the gall to bring her to this house, as his daughter's wet-nurse, seemed not to be the most surprising of the days developments. As she began to understand more about this man she married, she could believe him capable of almost anything. And in an odd way, she was glad his mistress was in the house, because she would be spending much of her energy trying to avoid sleeping in the same bed with him. And she would do everything she could, to keep him away from her daughter. Vernon had been right, Mary Alice was her daughter, not his. And she would do whatever it took, to keep it that way.
Please let me know what you think. I'm trying new things and would like to know how you feel about them.