Disclaimer: I do not own Twilight.
Author: Crushing Velvet.
Beta: xPaige Turnerx. Whom I'm borrowing Eve from.
Summary: Alternate Universe. Alice/Bella. "There are ways to escape any prison, whether it be a grand scheme, or just sitting there chipping away at the walls. In this case, however, I was her prison and the walls were my sanity, that she had been chipping at for FAR too long."
The early morning sunlight poured into the mansion from the windows, bathing the rooms in a tingly warmth Seattle hadn't felt in a few weeks, nor would feel in another eight days. It stretched across the floor of the living room, reaching out towards the coffee table and couch, reflecting off the glasses and antiques of the room, the pictures and frames, shining into Katerina's eyes. The wolf huffed sleepily to herself, turning her face away and closing her yellow eyes again to rest.
Her pack mates were all asleep as well, Bandit and Shadow curled up on the lazy boy recliner together; Bandit's back legs sticking in the air with his belly exposed while Shadow curled around his brother protectively. Bear and Butch both monopolized the couch, stretching out and leaving room for little else as they snored softly, while Duke took up the love seat, his paws hanging off the ends, his face buried under a cushion.
Behind the couch slept Rupert and Eve, the Witch laying back against the enormous dog's side while he curled around her and rested his head on his front paws. She had burrowed back in his soft fur, a big ass silver machete in her lap, watching the hallway that lead to the stairs to the basement. As the hours ticked by with the dogs crying and howling, eventually sleep overcame her and the Witch drifted off.
The mansion was quiet, peaceful in the morning. Not a single bird chirped, no mouse scurrying about. The grandfather clock ticked away in the background, almost drowned out by the deep breathing of everyone in the room. There was no closer moment to tranquility than that, in that instant, where time seemed to stop and the universe stilled.
Until the clock struck seven, and seven loud clangs rang out throughout the house, vibrating off the walls and echoing down the halls.
Eve gasped, shooting up into a sitting position with the machete held up over her head in shaking hands, ready to be wildly swung at the first thing that moved. "I will cut you!" She shrieked at no one in particular, her words slurred from sleep while she furiously blinked away the drowsiness from her mind. Rupert raised his head, touching his nose to her cheek and she looked over at him, smiling sheepishly. "Oh right."
Bones creaked as she got to her feet, stretching her tired limbs while an ungodly noise came from her stomach. She yawned, looking around the room while she sheathed the silver machete on her belt again, shaking her head. "Some guard dogs you are, sleeping on the job! Sheesh!" She threw her hands in the air, walking down the hallway with Katerina trailing after her. "Someone could have broken in here, stolen Old Georgie and other priceless valuables."
The stairs creaked under their legs as they slowly descended into the basement, wrinkling their noses at the musty scent. "Bleh," the Witch made gagging faces all the way down towards the Wolf Room. "If she got out sometime during the night, I'm blaming you!" She whisper yelled at Katerina, grabbing the handle of the machete. "Bella?" She called louder. "Is Cujo gone? Can we come in?"
She twisted the handle of the stone door, throwing her weight against it to push open. Eve stuck her arm in with the blade in her hand, waving it up and down. "We have silver…"
When only silence responded to her, Eve pushed the door open even more and slowly crept in. She sighed sadly at the scene before her and sheathed the machete again before approaching her ragged best friend.
Her dark hair was a mess; wild and chaotic, with more red in it than usual, the dark tresses spilling over her shoulders and tangled in the chains. That was the best of it, as far as Eve could tell. The rest…she tried not to focus on details, but it was hard. Bella's skin was deathly pale and clammy, sweat dripping from it and making it shine in the light. The bags under her eyes had bags, all a dark, dark purple that almost looked black. Her lips were dry and cracked, white against her skin save for the dried blood on them, the teeth inside looking sharper, the canines longer and more wolf like. The girl's eyes themselves were bloodshot as she lifted her head to look up at Eve, specs of yellow still floating within the dark irises, and Eve had to look away quickly when she felt the Wolf gazing at her from beneath.
"You weren't lying when you said the Wolf would get back at you for the locks… I'm so sorry, Bella." Eve said gently, working on the first shackle. Her light eyes lingered on the gashes, the claw marks and bite marks the girl had. Some of them were still bleeding. There were four down her face, from her eyebrow, across her nose, down the corner of her lips, and to her jaw. As if the Wolf raked its claws down its own face, leaving them for her. There were a handful of bites along her arms, her knuckles scratched up and grooves in the cement beneath her feet, probably from the wolf pounding on the ground. Her naked torso was covered in scratches, deeper than the ones on her face, bruises littering her ribs.
The Witch unlocked the shackle around Bella's neck and the other wrist, catching the girl in her arms as she collapsed. "Oh god…what have you been eating, Bella…rocks?" She wheezed and huffed, managing to get the unconscious girl over her shoulder so she could unlock her ankles and midsection. She stuck her tongue out, stretching her arm forward to reach the final shackle, slowly twisting the key and trying to work it. "Right…there…and - oh!"
Bella slid off Eve's shoulder, falling in a heap on the floor with a thud. The Witch grimaced, leaning over her friend to inspect the damage. "We'll just say that was from the wolf too," she mumbled to herself, hoisting Bella back up again.
Sucks to your ass-mar, Pixie Feet. Bella's sick today, so you can't ride off into that sunset together or split a milkshake at the spiffy eighties diner. Whatever it is you couple-y kids do these days. Sorry, home-slice.
Alice frowned up at her phone, turning over and laying properly in her bed. "Sick?" She quickly pocketed her phone, going over the extent of the girl's injuries from the accident. Carlisle had given her the details to ease her mind, and nothing sprang forward from her memory as a reason for any illness. No concision that would leave her nauseous or dizzy, no open wounds to get infected, nothing of the sort. Was her luck just that bad, that she would get sick right after having suffered an accident?
"Esme?" Alice called as she walked into her closet, pursing her lips as she searched for a nice outfit Bella would like. Maybe a skirt? No, not the right weather…
A moment later Esme knocked on the wall beside the door of the closet, peeking around and smiling at her daughter. "You called?"
"Yes, I was just wondering if we have any soup in the kitchen?" Alice asked, grabbing a sweater and holding it up to her.
The motherly vampire shook her head, blurring over and bringing down a long, tight black tee shirt. "Soup? For what?" She scanned the shelves, her golden eyes landing on a pair of light faded skinny jeans.
"Bella is sick, so I thought I would stop by and surprise her with some soup. Make sure she's okay, tend to her while Eve is at school." With an excited smile, she dashed forward and grabbed a pair of her deep crimson heels. Even wearing those, Bella would tower over her. The girl was tall for a human, standing at five foot eleven. "I just…" She frowned, looking up at her mother. "I want to make her better again."
Smiling softly, Esme guided Alice back out of her closet, setting her clothes on the bed. "A vampire craves to nurture and protect their mate when they're hurt or less than one hundred percent. I don't imagine I could stop you even if I tried. But try to remember not to rush the girl, she's only human, Alice."
"Patience is my middle name!" Alice saluted as her mother left her room.
The woman laughed, shaking her head down the hallway. "Everyone in the house knows you're the least patient of us all, my girl!"
"It's a good thing we had that chicken in the fridge, thawing out for dinner, eh?" Eve asked, grimacing as she watched Bella rip one of the wings off and start chewing on it. "Although I really don't think it would have hurt to cook the thing first…salmonella and all that…might be prettier to watch, too…"
Yellow specced, dark eyes flickered up at the Witch, making her jump. Bella grunted and went back to eating like a starving man, desperately trying to fill the burning, aching void in her stomach. It was always the same after full moons, double accounts of the Wolf burning through absolutely everything in Bella's body, and remnant traces of the Wolf still lingering. Either way, her body needed, hungered for meat. For iron.
The jingle of her phone brought Eve's attention down to her lap, rolling her eyes at the message Ben sent her. The boy had some odd theories, and this just further supported her own theory that he was stoned more often than not. "School's going to start soon, so I thought I'd quickly help you shower and then take the Camaro to - hey!" The Witch's hand shot out and she clenched it into a fist, pulling it back to her chest. Two plates on the other side of the table followed, sliding down to her own end. "I've been marinating these bad-boys for ages! You've got free reign of the chicken, the pork, the duck, and even the turkey, but the steaks are mine."
"I need them!" Bella snarled, her voice rough and dark, more animalistic than usual.
Eve stuck her chin in the air and crossed her arms over her chest. "No. There are more in the freezer downstairs, feel free, but I've been looking forward to these since yesterday morning. They are…perfection, Bella. Perfection. You can't have."
"Give them to me or I'll take them from you," the brunette threatened fiercely. Her eyes flashed and Eve swore those specs got bigger. The blood on her teeth from the other raw and bleeding meats she was eating didn't boost Eve's confidence.
However, these steaks were going to taste like magic. She knew it. They were beautiful just to look at. "Not in a box. Not with. A. Fox." The girl stated firmly, holding her ground.
Another snarl erupted from Bella's chest as she threw herself from the table and towards Eve. The Witch flinched but made no other movements, knowing what would happen and watched as it did. Bella gasped, the pain snapping her from her rage as the muscles in her legs and lower body seized, burning like they were on fire as she collapsed to her knees. She held onto the side of the table, crying out as the rest of her body was lit aflame in pain. "Eve!"
"Come on, I think it's time for a nice cold shower. You can finish your feast afterwards." She said, walking around the table and lifting Bella's arm around her shoulders. She supported most of the ragged girl's weight as they left the kitchen, making their way towards the stairs with the dogs all trailing after them.
"Now can I have your steaks?"
The brunette scowled at Eve across the room, standing at the bar with her cane in one hand and a glass of scotch in the other. True, it was too early to start drinking, but nobody else just had a damn dog ripped out of them and then shoved back in. Bella felt justified in her beverage of choice for the day. "I don't need you babying me like I'm some kind of incapable…infant." Her voice was still rough and scratchy, the bags under her eyes less severe but still around. Her hair was combed out and washed, her wounds bandaged up, the gashes on her face cleaned out and starting to heal. It was still just her strength she was trying to get back.
"Huh," Eve tapped her chin in thought. "I don't recall burping you over my shoulder after you ate or sticking my elbow in the shower to check the temperature."
Bella gave her a look.
"Okay, I'll give you that one but I didn't want to scald myself. I wasn't checking for you." She said with a huff, swinging her bag over her shoulder.
Grimacing at the pain it caused, Bella turned her back to Eve and walked over to the fire place. "Go to school, slacker."
"I'd say 'make me' but we both know you'd lose that fight right now, so I'll do you a favour and not hurt your wolf-y pride," Eve grinned.
"I'm not a wolf!"
"Love you too, Bella!" She called over her shoulder, swinging the door closed behind her. Eve took a deep breath, rubbing her hands together before she reached in her pocket and grabbed the keys. "I feel a need coming on. A need," her eyes darted over to the slick camaro sitting outside the garage and her lips curled up again. "for speed."
With furrowed brows, Alice raised her hand to knock on the polished wood door before her, a steaming hot cup of soup in her other one. This grand old mansion that stood before her was frightening. Well, not to her, there wasn't much around that could actually frighten the future seeing vampire, but she now understood why the old place hadn't been sold in nearly forty years. The place had gargoyles, for goodness sake, on each stone post on either side of the entrance to the driveway. The iron gate was sharp, black, and almost sinister. The red colour of the mansion was old, fading in the corners, with two more smaller gargoyles on either side of the stone steps up to the door. The windows were large and old, tinted so you couldn't see inside very well, nor could you see a reflection of yourself, and some had bars in them.
However, as frightening as the mansion was, it was also beautiful. It was short and wide, rather than tall and bulky looking, with sharp points and angles. The garage was separate and farther into the yard, nearly as long as the house. There was a beautiful fountain in the yard, enormous trees, shrubbery, and what looked like an old fashion rose garden, with other less…scary stone sculptures in the yards. Bears, lions, wolves, and foxes.
Alice rapped on the door lightly, distracted by the sheer sight of Bella and Eve's home. She was startled into focus by barking on the other side of the door and instinctively took a step back from it. It sounded too much like the wolves from the pack just outside of Forks. They were getting nastier and nastier over the years, to the point that the Cullens had just stopped returning to the small town, and moved out into the city of Seattle.
She was suddenly glad that the wolves had become such territorial, bigoted bastards. They'd driven her and her family right into her mate's path.
Wait. If Bella was sick, maybe she couldn't get out of bed? Couldn't answer the door? Was she trying to pull her weak body out of bed just to answer the door for her?
Twisting the door knob slowly, Alice poked her head inside. "Bella?" She called, stepping inside. She gasped, throwing herself back against the door as a large pack of dogs came charging at her. "Whoa, whoa, whoa! Stop! Heel! Sit!"
Thankfully they did stop before tackling her right out the door, but what they didn't cease to do was make all that noise. Alice winced, each bark ringing in her ears, bouncing around in her head. "Enough!"
Alice sighed in relief as they all fell silent, looking up with a bright smile on her face. "Than-ohmygod." She jerked forward, reaching out for Bella and only stopped when the girl flinched. "Bella…what…" She had to swallow down a dark growl, looking away as she felt her eyes darken. "Who did this?"
The brunette tilted her head to the side as she watched the vampire. She could hear the growl in her chest and in her voice, had seen her eyes flash. Alice wasn't particularly good at hiding her secret, anyone could see she was more than human, a dangerous predator if they looked closer. And yet, she wasn't scared. Didn't have that gut churning feeling that she was in danger. "The car accident," she answered quietly. "I've never met anyone who's come out of one unscathed yet."
"No…" Alice's mind reeled, going back to what Carlisle had told her after Bella left the exam room. A few bumps and bruises, but otherwise untouched. He gave her his word! Had he lied to her? No, no he wouldn't do that. And when she and Eve ran to Bella's side after... "You didn't have those scratches on your face yesterday. They look like they're from some kind of animal…" Her amber eyes flickered down to the dogs by their feet.
Red knuckles, scratched and bashed up, came into view as Bella quickly waved away her train of thought. "My dogs didn't hurt me. I was hit by a van yesterday, Alice, I wish it didn't turn out like this," she waved up at her face, wincing as her ribs throbbed. "But it did. Now is there something you need from me?"
Alice huffed at the annoyed and slightly defensive tone of Bella's voice. "Eve said you were sick, so I brought you some soup." She held up the cup, wiggling it in her hand.
The brunette's face softened quite a bit, her eyes flickering away to the corner of the hallway as she scratched the back of her neck. "Oh. That was," she cleared her throat, clearly uncomfortable. "That was thoughtful. Um, thank you." Alice smiled warmly, stepping even closer to her as she looked up at those dark eyes. "But unnecessary. I can't accept the soup, I'm not really sick. Just, uh, just weak."
Puffing her bangs out of her eyes, Alice cocked her hip out, levelling the stubborn girl a look. "How did I know you'd be difficult about accepting things from people? You are the most unsociable person I've ever met, Bella."
"Perhaps you're just too kind. Maybe you shouldn't offer your soup out so casually," Bella grumbled back. She waved at the dogs, turning around and started limping back down the hall, the animals dispersing into different rooms along the way. Alice quickly followed the girl, not eager to leave her presence just yet.
Alice quickly caught up to her mate, smiling brightly again. "This is a beautiful old mansion. It must have cost you a pretty penny to buy."
"Not really," Bella replied. She tapped her cane against the wooden floor beneath her feet, nostalgia filling her chest as an image of her old dog, Drake, ran scampering down the hall ahead of her when she first moved in after it was built all those years ago. "It's been in the family for quite a few generations."
"Oh yeah? One of those houses that could tell quite the stories if the walls could talk, eh?" Alice joked, ignoring her phone vibrating in her pocket. She already knew it was Edward, and that he wanted to talk to her about something very important involving Eve and Bella. She also knew he had a tendency to overreact, and frankly she was just sick of not being around her mate.
Bella chuckled and Alice couldn't help but find it almost dark, menacing. "You wouldn't believe the things this mansion has seen."
"So what happened to Bella? I heard she's in a coma after Tyler crushed her with his van!" Another random student asked, turning around in his seat to inquire about the stoic girl.
Eve sighed, her chin in her palm with her elbow on the desk in front of her. She rolled her light eyes, looking up at Edward who had a small smile in the corner of his mouth. "No," she grumbled, tired of this question. It was the umpteenth time someone had demanded to know what happened. Not even to make sure her friend was okay. Just so that they were the first ones to know, and start the chain of gossip. "She's perfectly fine, just a couple of bumps and bruises."
"Oh." The kid frowned, turning back to face his own desk again.
A thought occurred to the Witch half a second later and she grinned before wiping the smirk from her face, schooling her features into a neutral mask. "Although…" The kid whipped back around, eager to hear more news. "Well, this might sound kind of weird, but…no, you wouldn't believe me."
"No, I would! What? What happened?" He insisted eagerly. He could practically smell juicy gossip on the tip of her tongue!
Bleh. The kid was almost foaming at the mouth for it. Eve leaned back away from him, looking around suspiciously before lowering her voice. "Don't tell anyone this, but Bella says she's been seeing things."
"Seeing things? What kinds of things?" He asked, furrowing his brows.
"Apparently-" She coughed into her hand, smothering a laugh and cleared her throat. She shook her head, trying to keep her voice serious. "Apparently Bella saw her grandmother in the living room the other day. She swears up and down she saw her, but I was right there." She leaned in close, her eyes wide in fright. "I didn't see anything, and her grandmother's been dead for twenty three years!"
"No way!" The kid gasped. Edward shook his head, never ceasing to be surprised at how gullible people were these days. "You don't think she's seeing, like, dead people, do you?"
The Witch brushed off eraser shavings from her paper, shifting in her seat. "That's what came to mind when I thought about it, too. So I did some research, looked up old stories and legends, different myths and what have you." The kid nodded, leaning closer again. "People have posted stories about themselves, or people they know, technically being dead for a few minutes. Whether they almost drowned, or operations nearly taking a deadly turn. Things like that. And afterwards they've always been…different. Not totally who they were before hand. Usually they see things, people, who no one else can. Sometimes they're relatives that have long been dead, other times they're just shadow-y strangers."
"Did Bella die?!" The kid nearly screamed. Everyone in the room jumped, including Edward and Eve themselves, and he blushed, apologizing quietly. "Did she?"
"You know how Alice and I ran over to make sure Bella was okay?" Eve continued and the boy nodded furiously. "Well someone didn't have a pulse."
The pen Edward was writing with flung off into the aisle, skidding under another student's desk as he froze.
Eve snorted, unable to help herself from chuckling a little bit. This was just too fun. She started gathering her things up, tucking her papers into her text book and tucked her pen behind her ear as she got up with the bell. "This has been fun, gentlemen. Next time, I'm bringing tea."
Watching the pale girl dance out of the room, Edward pulled out his phone, waiting for his little sister to pick up. By the time he got to the hallway and she still didn't answer, it became clear she was ignoring him and he huffed, stopping next to Rosalie's locker as she rummaged around for her gym bag. "Something's…off about Eve. And Bella, for that matter."
The blonde nodded, closing her locker and leaning back against it. Her golden eyes searched through the sea of students around them, landing on the white hair of Eve. "They know what we are." She asked, though it came out more like a statement. She'd had a feeling for a while, that these humans weren't as…ignorant as the others in school.
"I think so," Edward agreed, frowning deeply. "How?"
"Someone's broken the law. They've let humans that know live." Rosalie clenched her fists, growling lowly. "And now we're going to be held responsible. And one of them is Alice's mate! Great, this is so wonderful, Edward! Our sister finally finds her mate, only for the Volturi to kill us all."
Edward shook his head. "We didn't break the law, Rose. Whoever let them find out, or told them is responsible."
"Don't be so naive, Eddie," The blonde hissed, storming down the hallway with her brother trailing after her. "They Volturi won't care about technicalities. We're all dead."
"Unless we kill them or change them."
Dark eyes stared hard at the marble countertop in front of them, trying to refrain from looking up to meet golden ones. "Was there something else you need from me, other than the soup?"
"I wouldn't turn down your company," Alice replied brightly, sitting on the barstool at the kitchen island with Bella. She watched as the girl frowned deeply, slowly crossing her arms over her chest. "You know, Bella, sometimes I feel like I'm the last person in the world you want to be around."
The brunette flinched at the hurt in Alice's voice and looked up to see the wounded look in her eyes. She bit her lip, clenching her fists tightly. She felt like apologizing. "Oh." But if she didn't, if she hurt Alice's feelings, maybe the vampire would leave her alone. The likeness would fade, Eve could finish school, and the two could move on. Forget about Alice.
"Do you not like me or something?" Alice asked, feeling her chest constrict painfully. Her worst fear was slowly but surely coming true. After all those years, finally, finally, finding her mate only for them to not like her? Bella chewed on her lip, seemingly ignoring the pixie and Alice's hand flew up to her heart, squeezing her eyes shut tightly at the searing pain. "I see," she breathed out, her voice sounding strangled. "I apologize for whatever I did to cause this. I'll just… I'll get out of your hair. Sorry."
Bella watched Alice stagger from the barstool and her hand rose up, to stop her. She paused, feeling that humming thicken, deepen. Becoming tangible. It made her skin tingle, pricking at her fingers the closer she got to Alice. Bella glared at her hand, quickly retracting it back to her chest. This…this couldn't be.
It was just a legend.
It wasn't real, not possible.
She wasn't even a wolf!
Those brown eyes glared at Alice's back as she left the kitchen, and Bella snatched the cup of soup from the countertop, hurling into the sink as she breathed deeply. It wasn't possible! No! No, the vampire must have…been giving out some kind of weird charge into the air or something. The humming wasn't - no. No.
Alice was not her Cor Meum, she didn't even have one. She wasn't a wolf.
Those pained golden eyes flashed in her mind again and she hissed in pain as she slid off the stool, grabbing her cane. "Alice," she called out. "Alice, wait. It's not that I don't like you. I just," she ground her teeth together as her ribs jarred and leaned against the wall in the hallway. Alice was at the end, putting on her coat. She pushed on down the hallway. "Alice, wait."
"No, I get it, Bella. I've been trying to force this friendship on you when you don't even like me. It was rude of me. I'm sorry." Alice said, taking a deep breath. Why did it have to hurt so much?
The pixie grabbed the handle of the door, pulling it open and Bella sighed deeply. She just wanted to curl up in her bed and sleep for the next year. Why did her life have to be full of so much drama? "Alice," she frowned at the humming again, pushing through it to grab Alice's shoulder. But the closer and closer she got, the more the humming seeped into her chest, building up around her heart. The muscle was vibrating with it, clenching painfully and Bella felt a vicious growl claw its way up her throat. She didn't know if it was the wolf or her, either.
Her fingertips brushed against Alice's shoulder and for a second there was nothing. Just her hand on the girl's shoulder, and Bella let out a relieved breath. She felt like laughing, really. She'd actually thought for a second there that Alice was her-
Her dark eyes widened, dropping her cane to grab her chest as a scream replaced the growl in her throat. The humming charge in her chest popped, like an elastic band snapping, and Bella felt like a force had reached into her chest, grabbed her heart, and was trying to pull it out. She stumbled forward, into Alice's arms as the vampire called her name in alarm. Bella squeezed her eyes shut, crying out in pain as her body burned, lucky because those eyes flashed, irises pale like the colour of the moon. Her knees gave out and the two slowly dropped down to the floor, Alice trying to gather the girl in her arms without hurting her. Bella buried her face in Alice's shoulder.
The two stayed there for what felt like forever, Alice calling Bella's name again and again. She lightly shook Bella as the girl settled, trying to get her attention. What just happened?! "Bella! Please look at me! What's wrong?"
Finally the brunette took a deep, shuddering breath, lifting her head to look up at Alice. The pixie gasped, gazing into the dark eyes that looked almost black with…with hunger. She felt Bella's hold on her tighten, her golden eyes fluttering at the exotic blend of fragrances that Bella had suddenly becoming stronger, more potent, mixed with something spicy. Intoxicating. Delicious.
She licked her lips.
Author's Note: Another long wait for you guys, I apologize! Miss Paige is quite the busy lady, and I'm afraid most, if not all, updates from here out will be a little wait like these last two have been. Worth it though, don't you think? Miss Paige never ceases to amaze! What a cliff hanger we've left you! They've finally touched! I wonder what will happen now? And what about Edward and Rose? They're quick to catch on, aren't they? And I don't know about you guys, but I'm quite the fan of Miss Paige's character Eve, she's quickly turning into one of my favourites.