Bella was so cold. Cold, frigid, freezing, arctic, chilling, glacial, none of them compared. Her bones seemed to shiver against her skin and her fingers twitched madly even though she was gripping the steering wheel. The heater in Bella's old Chevy hadn't worked for ages so it wasn't helping any. Her clothes were dry and she had a jacket on, but it didn't matter. No amount of clothing could restore warmth to her cold body.
Cold, of course, in more ways than one. Since his departure, Bella had never felt any amount of warmth. Sure, she could muster up an affectionate smile for her father, make her laughter ring for Jacob, but it was all a façade. She couldn't remember the last time she'd actually felt anything.
Yes she could. It had happened only mere hours ago. A feeling of loneliness, of death and despair. The feeling of drowning in your own stupid charade, personified by a real current. Bella clenched her eyes shut, knowing the road like the back of her hand. Her throat still ached, raw. It seared every time she swallowed, like her saliva was only making it worse. Thank God for Jacob, who had saved her. She only wished she could give him more….
Her eyes burned. She opened them for a moment to glance at them in the rearview mirror. They were painfully red and itching. Mixed in with her brown irises, she looked feral. She looked like…no, she wouldn't think about it, she wouldn't.
She wouldn't think about her second family, the ones who'd forgotten her. She wouldn't think about him leaving her, not caring of how it affected her. She wouldn't think about her, her one true friend, who'd left without saying goodbye. She just wouldn't.
Salty tears now filled the crevices of her eyes and she closed them again, having reached her destination. The pull into the driveway was slow and agonizing. She was so tired. Everything seemed to move in slow motion now that the rushing waves weren't crashing over her, speeding up everything around her. She opened the door of the truck and stepped onto the pavement. She swayed slightly as she balanced herself. Even the ground seemed to move differently. Suddenly, she had the bizarre feeling to re-immerse herself in the water, to feel what she knew; but of course that idea was ludicrous.
Instead, Bella sighed and took notice of the fact that her father was still gone. Glancing at her watch (which was fortunately waterproof) she saw that he would be gone for a few hours more. That was good. Interacting with someone right now didn't seem like the best of ideas. All Bella wanted to do was go home, crawl into bed, and dream sweet dreams of them.
The door opened swiftly and without sound, almost as if it sympathized with her. Bella smiled softly at it and stepped into the house, shivering as the ac hit her.
Then she froze.
Someone was standing in her hallway. Someone petit, with short, spiked hair. Bella's head jerked forward, wanting to lunge at the figure. But the rest of her body resisted, unbelieving. The figure stood perfectly still, waiting for something, it seemed. Bella stared at it for what seemed like hours before she finally managed enough thought to speak.
"A-Alice?" She croaked, her throat aching with the effort.
"Bella…." The voice responded, much calmer but with the same amount of disbelief as Bella's. Bella needed no further proof. With weak and wobbly legs she lunged herself at Alice, throwing her arms around her neck. Alice grabbed her waist, sensing Bella's languid state, and supported her as Bella broke down.
"Alice, I…Alice! Alice!" All that Bella could manage to say was the vampire's name. She still couldn't believe that she was here, holding her, supporting her. She grabbed at Alice's hair, clutching it in her palm and feeling the silkiness. She pressed her nose firmly into Alice's top, even with her collarbone and inhaled deeply, memorizing it in case this was just a dream. Even one of Bella's legs wrapped around Alice's, in a desperate desire to be as close as possible to her.
"Oh, Bella, please…" Alice murmured into Bella's hair as she kissed the top of her head. Though she was better at controlling it, Alice was crumbling on the inside too. She'd come here to console Charlie on Bella's suicide only to have the accident-prone come home and leap into her arms. This shock nearly broke Alice in two and she wished that she had the ability to cry to show just how much she felt for Bella.
Bella continued to cry on her shoulder, inconsolable at this point. Gaining some strength, emotionally and physically, Alice unwrapped Bella's leg from around her and carried her over to the couch so that they could sit down. The transition seemed to calm Bella a bit and she finally managed start easing her sobs. Alice rested her chin on Bella's head and rubbed her back soothingly. Finally, Bella pulled away and stared at Alice with bright, wide eyes.
"Oh, Alice," she whispered, awed yet again. She was beautiful, beyond words. Bella felt herself becoming absorbed in them. They looked just like Edward's. And by focusing on them, she could make Edward's face out of Alice's. Unfortunately, Alice broke her concentration.
"Bella, how are you still alive?" Bella blinked a few times and was reacquainted with Alice. Her expression was a mixture of shock and somber. It took Bella a few minutes to understand the question but soon she realized the misconception.
"Oh…you saw me fall."
"I saw you jump." Alice's voice was sharp, biting. Bella flinched as she spoke. She lowered her head and felt Alice's hand on her own. Alice gave it a reassuring squeeze and Bella didn't feel so frightened anymore. "Why, Bella?"
"I did jump. But, it was just to…" Bella drifted. How was she supposed to say something like this? How could she tell Alice that she often threatened her life just to hear his voice in her ears? Alice would have her committed. Alice's grip on Bella's hand tightened to the point of pain and Bella looked at her again. She looked so pained, so used. It hurt Bella's heart to see her this way. Regardless of how Alice would take it, she had to tell her.
"When you left…when he left, I didn't exist. I had no life. And then, I drove a motorcycle, dangerously." Bella closed her eyes, remembering his voice in her mind. "And I heard him. I heard…Edward. He told me I was being stupid." She gave a drunken laugh at the thought of him again. "And so now, when I'm dangerous, I hear him. When I jumped from the cliff, it was to hear him." She stopped, smiling like a schoolgirl who'd just revealed juicy gossip. In spite of herself, she half expected Alice to understand her reasoning. It made sense to her.
Alice sighed, released Bella's hand quickly. She looked to her left, staring blankly at the wall. Her jaw was clenched firm and her shoulders squared. "Edward was right." She said after a moment. "You were being stupid." Alice couldn't believe it. Even in her era girls weren't so pathetic. It wasn't that she didn't understand love; she knew it quite well, and in all forms. She just didn't understand such desperation, such yearning. Bella lowered her head and the scent of her blood became more potent to Alice as her cheeks reddened.
"You don't have to mock me."
"Oh, I don't? You don't think I have a right to some anger after this, Bella? I thought you were suicidal!" Alice was livid now and she stood from the couch to pace, running her fingers through her short hair. Bella swallowed hard, causing her throat to ache again. Alice took a few even breaths and sat down again. "Bella, surely you know how crazy you're acting." She whispered, her voice desperate. Bella looked into those as that so resembled Edward's and couldn't help it anymore. She broke down yet again.
"I need him, Alice! I need him! I can't stand being without him. I need to hear his voice, smell his skin, taste his tongue." Bella continued to ramble, unashamed at her admissions. Alice watched her silently. "I…I crave him, Alice. I need my Edward." Bella's breathing calmed down and she looked Alice in the eyes again. Edward's eyes. They were so filled with love, skepticism, and concern.
And then, a spark flamed within her. She wanted to touch the face that held his gaze. Tentatively, she reached out, and cupped Alice's smooth cheek. She sighed at the cold stone that awakened her senses. For the first time in months, she felt full, complete. And she wanted more.
In a desperate movement, she leapt forward and placed her lips on Alice's. They were so hard, just like his. Alice pushed her away in a fleeting sweep. As a result of her reaction, she'd pushed too hard, and Bella was flown onto her back on the couch. Alice gasped, thinking that she'd hurt Bella, and leaned over her, pushing her hair out of her face.
"I'm sorry, Bella, you…surprised me." Even Alice was shocked at being surprised. "Did I hurt you?"
"No," Bella answered before leaning up to kiss Alice again. Alice pushed her away more softly this time.
"Bella what's the matter with you?" She asked as Bella rose up again, more slowly. There was a seductive look in her eye that Alice didn't trust. Keeping her eyes locked on Alice's, Bella placed a hand on the vampire's chest, resulting in another shocked gasp. Bella's eyes narrowed into a look of desperation.
"Please, Alice, I need him." She murmured as she began to undo the buttons of Alice's blouse. "Be my Edward." She whispered as she finished the final button, allowing Alice's shirt to fall open. Alice closed her eyes and took a deep breath, sensing the carnal need from Bella. If only Bella knew how much she wanted to give in. How much she had always wanted to give in. How much she wanted to be Bella's Alice. Not Bella's Edward. Bella blinked once, and placed both of her hands on Alice's breasts.
"Oh, Bella," Alice whimpered, before she lowered herself on top of her and began to kiss her again. The piteous tone of Alice's voice was not unnoticed by Bella. But she didn't care. She needed this. She needed him. And Alice was going to give him to her. Bella pushed Alice's shirt off of her shoulders, scratching the hard skin as she went. Alice groaned and threaded her hands under Bella's shirt, massaging her breasts.
Bella closed her eyes, soft moans eliciting through her opened mouth. The more she made noise, the more it turned Alice on, and the less she cared about whom was making Bella moan. In one swift movement, Alice removed Bella's shirt. Not wasting time to remove the bra in standard fashion, Alice gave the fabric between the cleavage a slight jerk and ripped it in two. Bella enjoyed the roughness and smiled as she bit down Alice's lower lip.
Alice growled in response and cupped Bella's breast, sucking on her neck. She could feel Bella's blood pulsing in her mouth and bit down softly on the flesh. It tasted good, but Alice wasn't looking for blood tonight. Instead, she moved her head lower to Bella's chest. Bella sighed and ran her hands through Alice's short, boyish hair. It was so soft, just like his. Alice dusted kisses over Bella's breasts before taking her left nipple in her mouth. She bit down rather hard, causing Bella to arch into her, and then began to massage it with her tongue, easing the pain.
Bella was panting now as she felt Alice's cool mouth encircling her nipple and she began to buck her hips against Alice, desperate for stimulation. Alice grinned at Bella's efforts and complied with her needs, skimming her hands down Bella's stomach until they reached the snap of her jeans. She fiddled for longer than necessary, watching as Bella writhed uncomfortably below her. When she finally undid the snap and pulled down the zipper, she traced Bella's pelvis with her finger, watching the goosebumps rise.
"Oh, God!" Bella urged, longing for her to do something.
"Yes?" Alice replied smugly. Bella, who was still a bit disoriented, rose up onto her elbows and gave Alice the most pathetic face.
Alice needed no further instruction as she lowered Bella's pants just enough. She slipped one hand beneath Bella's underwear and came up to kiss her again. Alice moved slowly as she felt Bella's wetness, exploring every inch of Bella's core sweetly and curiously. Bella groaned, grabbing Alice's breasts as she tried to grind against Alice's fingers. "Please," she urged again, longing to release. Alice paused, stilling her hand. This pause caused Bella to open her eyes.
"Tell me you love me." Alice commanded. She knew that it was pathetic, that she was being pathetic. But all she wanted, needed, were the words from Bella's mouth. Bella closed her eyes, smiling softly as she rested her head on the pillow.
"I love you."
"I love you too, Bella." Alice admitted finally, like she'd always wanted. Not wanting to keep her love waiting any longer, Alice inserted two fingers into Bella. Bella gave a short yell, arching her back again as Alice moved up to kiss her passionately. She moved her fingers rhythmically inside of Bella, savoring the groans that Bella fed into her mouth. Alice pulled away for a moment and rose up just a bit, surveying her lover. Bella's head was tilted back, her mouth held open in a wordless call. Her gorgeous hair fell about her face and shoulders, sticking to the sweat and her breasts bounced up and down with each of Alice's thrusts.
Alice smiled to herself and gave a sharp exhale. She'd never seen such a natural perfection in all her life. In fact….
Alice closed her eyes, feeling something swelling inside of her. She bent down over Bella again and kissed her forcefully on swollen lips. Bella groaned at the force and tried to return it, responding rhythmically to Alice's rapidly increasing fingers. Soon, Bella tore herself from Alice's mouth, wrapping her arms around her as she felt her climax nearing. Her fingers scraped down Alice's back. Though the scratches were dull, it sent Alice over the edge and she grabbed Bella's sheets with one hand as she let out her first real shout of the evening.
As Alice came, Bella began to thrust against her fingers for more force. Then, something burst within her and radiated through her body. She shook sporadically as her eyelids fluttered. She gripped tightly onto Alice as she came down from her high and began to kiss Alice's neck sweetly.
"Oh, Edward." She murmured into the vampire's ear.
Alice's eyes shot open as the realization hit her. Could she have really been so stupid? She removed herself from Bella's arms and looked down at her closed lids. Yes, she had been that stupid. In an instant, she was off of the couch, scooping up her shirt and putting it back on. Bella opened her eyes at the absence and looked lazily over at Alice.
"Where're you going, Alice?" She asked sweetly, not enjoying being out of her grasp.
"Back." Was Alice's simple, sad reply.
"Back?" Bella sat up on the couch, gripping the edges.
"Back to Denali, where I never should have left."
"What are you talking about?"
Alice sighed, throwing her arms down angrily. "I never should have come back, Bella. It was a waste of time."
"No, Alice, please don't go." Bella urged, standing from the couch and heading over to her. She wrapped her arms around Alice and kissed her neck sweetly. "We have so much to talk about." Alice sighed, closing her eyes and inhaling Bella's scent for the last time. Then, she gently pushed Bella off of her.
"What that means is you want me to tell you about Edward. Well, I hate to be frank, Bella, but he left you. He's gone. If someone did that to me, I'd be glad they were gone. And here you are going insane over him." Bella's lower lip trembled as she tried desperately not to cry. She didn't want to hear Alice's words, understand her reasoning.
"A-Alice, I…w-what about what just happened?"Bella asked, motioning towards her nude body. "What about what we shared?" Alice bit her bottom lip and shook her head softly, unable to look Bella in the eyes.
"Don't you mean what you and Edward shared?" Bella's mouth fell open before she clenched it shut. She wrapped her arms around herself and also neglected to meet Alice's eyes. Alice scoffed with her sad realization. Never so much had she hated being right. Shaking her head again, she headed for the door, pausing as she pulled it open.
"You asked me to be your Edward tonight. But all I ever wanted to be was your Alice. Guess neither of us will get what we want." Alice shrugged, glancing over Bella once more for her memory, and exited the house.
Bella stared at the closed door, listening to the purr of Alice's car as it started and roar as it took off down the street. Then she fell back onto the couch, wrapping a blanket around her bare shoulders. She thought about Edward. She thought about Alice. And tried to figure out which love she let walk out the door meant more to her.