All We Have
A few days had passed since my return. Mom and Charlie thought it would be best if I waited until Monday to head back to school so I could back in the groove easily. I had only missed a few days but it felt like I would have to repeat the grade or something by the way they spoke. Jacob still had not come by nor had he returned my calls. I wondered if he was dead but Alice had assured me that he wasn't. Yet when I pried for more information, she clammed up, insisting that it wasn't her business. So I had no Jacob again. Though sometimes, at night, I could have sworn that I heard a wolf howling not so far in the distance.
But I didn't mind. Because not heading back to school until Monday meant that I had four days to spend with Alice. However, today was now Sunday and even though Alice would be returning to school with me I still felt weird about the whole thing. Alice was helping with my nerves to the best of her abilities…which were very good to begin with.
We were lying on my bed together. Alice had wrapped one leg over mine and used it to keep us as close as possible. I could hardly mind. I thought I would be used to it, her, by now but it just wasn't the case. I was still surprised to see her every morning, see her beautiful face and try to understand why they lit up so much as she gazed at me. But I wasn't complaining. Alice was back. And she was back with me. My aforementioned pixie then licked her lips and raised her eyebrows.
I knew what that meant. I knew what that meant and I didn't like it. I shook my head and kissed her slowly, hoping she would somehow forget what she had just suggested. Alice wove her fingers through my hair and allowed the kiss for a few more seconds before pulling away. I tried to follow her lips but the hand on my head remained firm and I pulled my own hair when I struggled. The result of this was me groaning in annoyance and Alice laughed as she untangled her hand from my hair.
"I'm going to have to talk to him sooner or later," Alice said to me, her eyebrows working to form an intimidating look. It worked…kind of… but not really.
"Yeah but what if he says something mean. What if he threatens you or something?"
"He's not going to do any of those things. He just wants to talk. I know these things." Alice pointed to her head and I rolled my eyes.
"That doesn't make me feel any better."
"Well it should."
"Well it doesn't."
"Well then indeed."
Alice laughed again and I found that I couldn't keep the glare on my face. She leaned forward and kissed me again. It was just long enough for me to fall for it and by the time I realized her lips were gone, she was too. I groaned, cursing her in my mind and sitting up. Not three seconds later the doorbell rang and I had to grip onto my bed to keep from racing downstairs to beat my father to the door. Alice was right in that she needed to talk to him. And waiting too long might result in Charlie not responding so well to her. I scoffed at that notion. Yeah…like anyone couldn't respond well to Alice. You'd have to be in a coma…or Russian.
The front door opened and I made my way to my own door, pulling it open as gently as I could. They were talking softly and I could only make out a few words. Taking extra care, I stepped out into the hallway. It creaked a bit, but not loudly enough that Charlie would have heard. I licked my lips and got down on my knees, using my jeans to slide over to the top of the stairs. It seemed soundless to me, though I was sure Alice was smirking to herself downstairs. However, though I wasn't completely discrete, I could definitely hear more clearly.
"You're looking well, Alice. How are your…"
"They're just fine, sir. I made a full recovery. Though, I'm supposed to stay from in between vehicles for future reference."
"Yeah, yeah that'd be a good idea. And first off…I'm very sorry about Edward. He was a good kid, you know?"
There was a silence then and I bit my bottom lip, choosing to play with my nails as I tried to imagine just what Alice was doing. After a few minutes I could hear her heave a great sigh. "Thank you. It's…it's been hard. But we're working through it. Your sympathy is very much appreciated."
"No problem. So, uh, I don't want you to feel like you're in an interrogation or anything, but I'd like to ask you some questions."
"I'll answer to the best of my abilities, Chief Swan."
"Charlie, please. I understand that you guys went up north for awhile?"
"Yes, Carlisle got word of a great therapy center specializing in hip therapy. None of us really had a say in the matter. It was sort of sweet, albeit our quick departure."
"I'd say it was fairly quick. You sure left Bella in one hell of a mess."
"I know and I can't…I really can't stress just how much it still hurts to know what I did. To see it in Bella's eyes and yours and in the mirror every morning. I'm not trying to wax angst, Charlie, but it really wasn't my intention. I would never intentionally hurt Bella."
"I know that, kid. No one would intentionally hurt Bella. And if they did, they'd have me to deal with."
"Is that a threat, sir?"
"You just said you didn't intentionally hurt her."
"So I'm safe from the wrath of Chief Swan?"
"For now," Charlie chuckled and I could hear Alice's tiny giggle as well. "Now, I don't mean to pry here, Alice, but you do only want what's best for Bella, don't you? This isn't some teenage phase you're going through? Because Bella is too damn fond of you for you to—
"I love her, Charlie. And not this teenage faux love, this is real."
"Well…that's…that's good to hear. You be sweet to her."
"With all due respect, when am I not sweet?"
"That's a damn good point, Alice."
There was more laughter and I heard Charlie excuse Alice. Not a moment later she appeared at the base of the stairs, pointing a finger at me. I stayed exactly where I was until she reached me. It was then that I had intended to get up but it appeared that Alice had other plans as she scooped me up in her arms and carried me back into my room.
"You naughty little eavesdropper, you," Alice hummed to me as she closed my door with her foot and proceeded to take me over to the bed. She laid me down and then rested herself on top of me, brushing my hair back. I shrugged as innocently as I could and wrapped my arms around her.
"Can you blame me? Never know when I might have to protect you from my father."
Alice sighed whimsically and shook her head. "He is just the sweetest man."
"I'm sure he thinks the same about you."
"I love you."
"I love you too."
Alice kissed me then, slowly and sweetly with her cold hand placed upon my cheek. I felt like crying for some reason but managed not to. She pulled away after a few minutes and I took my bottom lip in my teeth. She laughed at that and brushed my lip with her thumb, pulling it from my teeth. "That's why you're lips get so chapped, you know."
"Right…it's not from constant kissing or anything."
"Of course not. But seriously though, please be careful. I don't want you to accidentally draw blood."
"I am careful," I said earnestly. Alice nodded and I took a deep breath. The look in her eyes told me that she knew what was coming and yet she allowed me to say it anyway. "I don't…want my blood to be a problem anymore."
Alice closed her eyes and shook her head sadly. "It's not your fault, Bella, it's mine. And I'm getting so much better. It's almost easy now."
"But it's still a hindrance. I don't like that you have to be so gentle with me."
"You like it rough?"
"Don't change the subject. This is serious," I said slowly. Alice nodded again and her shoulders fell a bit.
"I know what you want, Bella. But I don't want you to want it because of me. Because it's your life. And the word 'life' has so much meaning now."
"I do want it because of you. I want it because of us, Rosalie, Esme, your entire family. It would solve so many problems. My blood, how gentle you have to be. The Regentoi might even leave us alone."
"I actually think The Regentoi want you changed. I feel that somewhere inside, though I can't see it. I can't yet see what Leonid has." Alice looked sadly at me and I took her hand, rubbing it gently.
"What do you see in our future?"
"It's not what Leonid sees. I know that."
"I don't care about what Leonid sees."
"You should, Bella. You really should."
"What do you see in our future?"
Alice swallowed and then cast me a short grin. She entwined her fingers with mine and played with them a bit. "I see us…happy. I see you changed and we're all happy."
I smiled and kissed her chastely. "That sounds like a good plan."
"But it's not the plan, Bella. Some unknown factor will present itself to become what Leonid has seen."
"Do you really not care about your life? Before or after changing is it that meager to you? Because I know that if you died I would really have a problem continuing on." Alice frowned at me and then looked away, though I could feel her hand gently squeezing mine for reassurance. I squeezed it back as hard as I could and nestled closer to her.
"I don't think I'm going to die. No one said anything about me dying. I just…I just want to be with you for as long as I possibly can. And that can be forever if I'm changed. Unless…unless you don't want that." I hadn't really thought about what Alice thought. It had really only been my selfish desires up until now and while I had originally thought that Alice would be all for this…maybe she had other plans. As if she'd heard me, Alice lifted my head to look me in the eyes. Her eyes were golden brown and shining bright as she creased her brow, daring me to look away from just how serious she was.
"I want nothing more than to be with you forever. I just…it might not be forever, you know? The Regentoi might—
"You know, maybe we should not look that much into the future," I said quickly, interrupting her. "If I could have just one minute where you could kiss or touch me with as much strength as you'd like then it would be worth it."
Alice laughed softly and put her hand on my cheek. "You're entirely too selfless…and just a bit strange."
"Strange is good, isn't it?"
"Of course it is. Bella, may I explain something to you?"
Alice looked nervous and that in turn made me nervous but I managed to nod. "Changing into one of us is not pleasant. It's absolutely the worst pain you can imagine. No, you can't even imagine it. You're on fire for days, Bella, sometimes weeks. The body needs to die and be regenerated and that takes time. And you will wake up with fire again. It hurts so badly, Bella. It's like inhaling smoke constantly but ten times worse. You'll want to attack anything and everything that has blood in it and the restraint from that is brutal. It is possible, of course, but not without some practice. None of this will be easy. Are you really sure that you want this?"
I nodded and Alice managed to laugh. "That didn't faze you at all, did it?"
"That's one of the things I love about you." Alice kissed me again and I sighed happily. She returned it and then licked her lips. "May I ask one thing from you?"
"Would you…mind waiting until you graduated? We'll be the same age then and it will be easier to formulate a lie to get you away to be changed. If you really can't wait we'll think of something but…"
Alice had drifted because I started shaking my head. She looked sadly up at me and I hated seeing her that way so I was quick to correct her mistake. "I don't mind at all. In fact, I was just going to suggest that."
"Really?" Alice smiled.
"Really," I confirmed with a single nod. "Besides, all we have is forev—
Alice cut me off with a kiss and I was glad that she did.
It was a stupid thing to say anyway.