Into the Dark
Eclipse, Alice's Story
Chapter 1: Weekend Plans
Rating: T for mild violence
Author's Note: I'm sorry that it too me so long to get this posted! I have had the worse form of writer's block and I just could not figure out where I wanted this story to start out. I finally was able to timeline the story and get some things down on paper. Then I couldn't figure out a suitable title for the longest time – I finally settled on a title inspired by a Death Cab for Cutie song I think fits Jasper and Alice perfectly, but also forebodes to the hidden movement of other intent on cause harm to the Cullens (of course, no copyright infringement intended).
Disclaimer: I own nothing. Stephenie Meyer owns all. NO copyright infringement intended. Majority of the dialog taken from "Eclipse" Book, some from Movie.
Edward and I returned to school at Forks High School to finish yet another senior year. Jasper had forged fake transcripts from a high school in Los Angeles that we presented to Ms. Evelyn Cope, the redheaded receptionist at the school's front office. We were reenrolled into all the classes we had held previously in the school year. The principal had made no issue of reregistering us, even though there were only a few months left in the school year. After all, Edward and I had been good students, and it would increase the small school's percentage of college-bound graduates.
We had been back in school for about a week. The chatter from our fellow students, curious over our strange disappearance so suddenly in the fall and even stranger return, had started to finally die down, although Edward was still privy to their inquisitive thoughts. Now seated in the cafeteria, alongside Bella's human friend Angela, most of the talk among the adolescent was focused on prom and graduation. The walls were covered with colorful fliers consisting of Herf Jones advertisements for class rings and reminders telling seniors to order yearbooks, caps and gowns before it was too late.
Angela was staring at one of the yearbook flyers, her dark eyes wide and panicked behind her glasses. "I forgot to order mine!" She turned to me, her face conveying the terror she was feeling at the realization. "Do you think it will get here in time if I order it today?"
I nodded, trying to reassure her. "Of course. The staff always over-orders yearbooks. I'm sure you'll get yours before graduation."
Angela looked at me skeptically, but simply nodded. She glanced up as Ben approached our table. Angela nervously ran her hands over her dark hair, which was pulled back in a haphazard ponytail.
Ben joined us at the table, setting his tray down beside his girlfriend. He gave her a quick kiss on the cheek before pulling a comic book out of his backpack and disappearing into the fictional work of superheroes.
She glanced at me and then blushed.
I smiled knowingly.
Bella and Edward entered the cafeteria, hand in hand, and made their way over to our table. A small group of students turned and stared as they passed by.
"Have you sent your announcements yet?" Angela asked Bella frantically, suddenly remembering another important graduation piece that had slipped her mind.
Bella and Edward settled into seats opposite Angela and me. Ben barely acknowledged their presence at the table, completely consumed with his comic book now.
Bella shook her head. "No, there's no point, really. Renee knows when I'm graduating. Who else is there?"
I frowned at Bella, looking her over. Her light gray thermal shirt was wrinkled and her hair was sloppily pulled back in a loose bun. Faint shadows appeared under her eyes, hinting that she had not been sleeping well. Her eyes met mine briefly before she glanced away quickly.
"How about you, Alice?" Angela asked me.
"All done," I said, smiling softly at her.
"Lucky you," Angela mumbled. "My mother has a thousand cousins and she expects me to hand-address one to everyone. I'm going to get carpal tunnel. I can't put it off any longer and I'm just dreading it."
"I'll help you," Bella said, suddenly sitting up in her chair. "If you don't mind my awful handwriting."
Angela smiled brightly at her friend. "That's so nice of you! I'll come over any time you want."
"Actually," Bella said, a wide smile spreading across her face, "I'd rather go to your house if that's okay – I'm sick of mine! Charlie un-grounded me last night," she announced proudly.
I grinned and glance at Edward. A look of amusement covered his face as he kept his focus on the cafeteria table.
"Really?" Angela exclaimed, hope rising up in her again. "I thought you said you were in for life!"
"I'm more surprised than you are," Bella said, picking at the slice of pizza in front of her. "I was sure I would at least have finished high school before he set me free."
"Well, this is great, Bella! We'll have to go out to celebrate!"
Bella nodded, sighing. "You have no idea how good that sounds." Edward leaned back in his chair, lightly putting his arm around Bella, and smiled at her. Bella responded by blushing fiercely.
I leaned forward, my finger on my chin in contemplation. "Hm, what should we do?" I pondered, a mischievous grin pulling at my lips. Seattle was out of the question at the moment, with a bizarre series of murders surfacing in the past few weeks. An art festival would be going on in Boise the coming weekend… Portland was currently holding a renaissance festival for the next month… and Vancouver was holding an indie film festival in two weeks... or maybe I could even convince Bella to make a quick trip to New York City or even London… My mind was filled with events to whisk Bella off to, when Bella interrupted my thoughts.
"Whatever you're thinking, Alice, I doubt I'm that free," Bella scolded me, reading my expression.
Edward chuckled under his breath as I shrugged. "Free is free, right?" I pointed out.
"I'm sure I still have boundaries – like the continental U.S., for example."
Ben and Angela began to laugh as Bella smiled cheekily at me. I frowned in disappointment, knowing Charlie would not allow Bella to go farther than the state boarder.
"So, what are we doing tonight?" I asked, readjusting my geographic barriers for Bella's freedom celebration.
Bella shook her head stubbornly. "Nothing. Look, let's just give it a couple of days to make sure he wasn't joking. It's a school night, anyway," she pointed out.
I looked defiantly at Bella. She wasn't getting out of it that easily. "Fine, we'll celebrate this weekend, then."
Edward tried to suppress a smirk as Bella finally relented to me.
I turned my attention to Angela. "What do you think? Movie in Port Angeles? Or maybe shopping in Hoquiam?"
"A movie in Port Angeles might be fun. Do you know what movies are showing?"
Ben placed his comic book down, turning to join in our conversation. "There's a new sci-fi movie coming out this weekend. It's called Invasion. Aliens come and try to take over New York City. It's supposed to be really, good, Ang!"
Angela grimaced slightly. "I don't know, Ben, I think it should be Bella's choice since it's her first weekend of freedom."
I tapped my finger against my lip, squinting up at the ceiling. "We don't have to go to the movies. I think there's some sort of art and music festival going on over in Olympia. That might be fun, if Bella wants to go there this weekend –"
And suddenly, I was pulled out of the Forks High School cafeteria.
The night was dark and misty with rain. A thick layer of clouds covered the night sky, blotting out the light of the moon and the stars. The house before me was dark, with only the eerie yellow street lights casting a faint light against the side. Charlie's police cruiser and Bella's old, red and rusted Ford sat silently in the drive, collecting a coating of moisture from the misty rain.
At that moment, I noticed a movement in the bushes. A flash of brilliant red in the darkness of the surrounding forest. And then, she was in the tree next to Bella's bedroom, surveying the bordering woods. She took a deep breath and then turned, peering into Bella's bay window. Crawling along a protruding tree branch, she inched closer and closer. Finally, she stood, barefooted on the branch, calculating the distance between her branch and Bella's window. Then, with cat-like movement, she jumped, landing silently on the window sill.
With relative ease, the window gave way and the intruder slipped into Bella's bedroom. She drew herself up to her full height, glaring hatefully down at Bella from the foot of her bed. With malice in her eyes, she leaned over Bella's sleeping form and slowly knelt beside her on the bed. Bella rolled over in her sleep and brushing against the cold skin of the intruder opened her eyes. But instead of looking up into the face of the love of her life, she was met with a cold, murderous stare.
Bella's eyes filled with terror and her mouth opened to scream, but the redhead quickly covered her mouth and wrapped an icy hand around her throat. Bella gasped for air as her throat was crushed, obstructing her airway. Bella's fingers tore at the icy steel hand pressing against her neck, tears streaming down her cheeks as her face began to turn red.
Bella gazed up at the girl strangling her, gurgling and gasping for air as she struggled. The redhead leaned down, her lips curling over her teeth as she snarled. "Don't worry," she said roughly, pulling Bella up to her by her throat. "I'm not going to kill you just yet. I'm going to make you suffer. I'm going to make you wish you'd never been born. But I'm not going to kill you – not until he can see the pain in your face and watch the light leave your eyes. Then he will truly understand the pain of losing the one he loves. He will finally have paid the price for taking my James away from me," she spat, her hands trembling with rage.
And then Victoria grabbed Bella, threw her over her shoulder and disappeared into the dark, Bella's hollow, rasping screams echoing in the night.
A sharp kick to my shin thrust me back into the present. I jumped, blinking dumbly as I tried to reorient myself with my surrounding. Edward laughed, his face masking his true emotions over what he had just seen play in my head.
"Is it naptime already, Alice?" Edward said lightly, laughing again.
I shook my head, smiling at Angela. "Sorry, I was daydreaming, I guess."
Ben sighed, putting his comic book back into his backpack. "Daydreaming's better than facing two more hours of school," he muttered.
I stole a glance at Edward, emphasizing the anxiety I was feeling for only a brief second of time, before adjusting my expression back to hold a light-hearted conversation with Ben and Angela over more possibilities this weekend presented.
How are we going to fix this Edward? We need to protect her... Victoria is going to try to make a move against Bella this weekend.
Edward kept his eyes on Bella, although I knew he had heard my thoughts. This was a problem we needed to resolve, and soon. Victoria was out for vengeance and there would be no appeasing her until she had crushed Bella's life.
Angela and Ben were still debating movies when the bell rang, dismissing us from lunch. Angela and I headed to class while Edward hung behind to talk to Ben about an English assignment that was due next week.
Angela and I continued our conversation over weekend plan options, although my mind was elsewhere. We took our seats beside one another in Mr. Varner's Trigonometry class and pulled out our thick math textbooks.
Mr. Varner reviewed last night's homework assignment and then began to enthusiastically cover a new section from our Trigonometry book. I sat beside Angela, who was feverishly taking notes, and stared blankly at the notebook paper in front of me.
How were we going to fix this situation?
I lightly taped my pen against the spine of my notebook as Mr. Varner droned on about sine, cosine and tangent.
We could only guard or hide Bella for so long until Victoria figured out a way around our defenses... but for now, the immediate threat was this weekend. That should be our focus.
Mr. Varner instructed us to take five minutes and work on the three example questions at the end of the chapter. I flipped to page 245 in my textbook and examined the questions.
Question A. What is the cosine of 370°?
Question B. What is the sine of -3 radians?
Question C. Find the missing angle.
I turned to a blank page in my notebook and neatly wrote out my answers.
Question A. 0.985
Question C. 70°
I remained bent over my notebook for the remaining time, to not draw attention to myself. When Eric Yorkie finished the example problem set, he leaned arrogantly back in his chair, arms crossed, smiling goofily around the classroom.
Mr. Varner collected our homework and in-class problem set at the end of class, loudly reminding us, as the majority of the students hurried from the classroom, that another assignment would be due Monday.
After our last class, Angela and I said goodbye in the parking lot. With the spare key, I let myself into the Volvo and waited for Edward and Bella.
They appeared around the corner of Building 3, accompanied by Mike Newton. I gazed curiously at the three. Edward wasn't particularly fond of Mike, but apparently was deep in conversation with him about his car. Bella followed behind Edward, a perplexed expression on her face.
The trio finally stopped in front of Mike's mechanically-challenged car. Mike looked slightly baffled as I heard him say "Thanks, but I have to get to work. Maybe some other time."
"Absolutely," Edward replied.
"See ya," Mike muttered as he got into his car, still looking confused at the interaction between him and Cullen.
Bella frowned at Edward as he opened the passenger door for her. "What was that about?" She asked, refusing to get into the car.
Edward shrugged. "Just being helpful," he replied innocently.
Bella hesitated before she finally relented and climbed into the vehicle.
Edward subtly glanced at me as he walked to the driver's side of the Volvo. As soon as he climbed into the car and turned the key in the ignition, I began to talk at high speed.
"You're really not that good a mechanic, Edward. Maybe you should have Rosalie take a look at it tonight, just so you look good if Mike decides to let you help, you know. Not that it wouldn't be fun to watch his face if Rosalie showed up to help. But since Rosalie is supposed to be across the country attending college, I guess that's not the best idea. Too bad. Though I suppose, for Mike's car, you'll do..."
She knows something is going on, Edward… she's going to ask you about it as soon as you both are alone at her house, I mentally warned my brother.
"It's only within the finer tunings of a good Italian sports car that you're out of your depth. And speaking of Italy and sports cars that I stole there, you will owe me a yellow Porsche. I don't know that I want to wait for Christmas. How about as my birthday present, or a graduation present? Both of those are coming up in June, and I promise I wouldn't drive it around Forks…"
Bella is going to ask you what I saw at lunch – I don't mind if you tell her it has something to do with Jasper. That would be plausible.
Edward head tilted slightly to the side in acknowledgement.
"And then, speaking of graduation, we'll definitely have to put something on for Bella. After all, you only graduate from high school once, right?" I laughed and continued my constant stream of chatter until we neared our driveway.
Edward slowed and pulled to a stop at the entrance to the lane. I slid out of the backseat and collected my books and purse.
Whatever you do, don't mentioned Victoria, Edward. Bella would not handle that well. Figure out a way to get her away from here this weekend.
I threw Edward a fleeting last glance before I straightened and situating my purse on my shoulder.
"See you later," Edward said causally. He dipped his head slightly in agreement.
I nodded back and with a wave to Bella, began to walk up the gravel path. I kept my pace slow, collecting my thoughts as I walked beneath the green canopy of trees.
I stared down at my brown ankle boots as I kicked at the ground. What were we going to do? Bella was already suspicious that something was going on – there was no way I could convince her to stay the night outside of the area without her knowing something was going on.
Frowning at the wet earth beneath my pristine leather boots, I returned to my slow walk up the drive, deep in thought. My navy Marc Jacobs dress rippled slightly with a cool breeze, the silky fabric brushing against my knees.
Soon, the tree line broke and I was at the edge of our large yard. Esme, Jasper and Emmett had done a lot of work around the house and yard since we had returned to Folks. The new spring glass was now nicely manicured and all the fallen branches and other forms of debris had been cleared. Esme had even repaired the window Bella had thrown a thick envelop full of cash through earlier in the winter.
I lightly leapt up the stairs and slipped inside the open front door. Jasper, Emmett and Rosalie were in the living room, watching a Seattle news station about the serial killer. TV analysts and broadcasters were debating various theories, weighing in on the likelihood the killings were being committed by a single person verse a gang.
Emmett glanced back at me as I entered the room, his facial expression losing its seriousness. "What up, Alice?" he called out. "How was school today? Learn anything new?" He chuckled as Rosalie softly punched his shoulder.
I leaned against the sofa that he and Rosalie were lounging on. "No," I said, shrugging. "Get anything new from the latest reports?" I asked, gesturing toward the TV.
Rosalie shook her head, her blonde waves cascading down her back. "Nothing new. They keep analyzing the same data and it all comes back inconclusive. All disappearances are random, with little or no connection between the victims. The bodies of the people they do find are torn to pieces, but poorly disposed of. The police say they have leads and are investigating all reports, but there is no evidence left behind – no fingerprints, no DNA samples. They have nothing to go on."
Jasper finally spoke, his eyes still focused on the television. "Every day this is looking more and more like newborns. It's a wonder the Volturi hasn't stepped in already to silence them. We need to start considering the possibility that we may be the ones that need to take action against this."
Emmett clapped his hands together, excitement filling his eyes. "Excellent! Some action!"
Jasper frowned, but kept his attention on the news anchor. "We need to address this situation with Carlisle. We may want to discuss the option of sending a few of us up there this weekend to investigate the matter."
I automatically shook my head. "This weekend is no good."
Emmett frowned up at me. "Why not?" he asked defiantly.
"There is a much more pressing issue that we need to see to this weekend." I glanced over at Jasper. "I had a vision at school today."
Emmett and Rosalie gazed at me curiously. Jasper muted the TV and turned in his chair to face me, his expression still serious.
"Victoria is going to try to make a move on Bella this weekend. We need to set a perimeter, monitor the situation from the inside and out – make sure Bella is safe."
Rosalie scoffed, her lips pulling down.
"Victoria's still trying to get to Bella while all of us at here?" Emmett asked, sitting up on the sofa.
"No, you don't understand," I said firmly. "Victoria will go after Bella – for blood."
Silence fell over the room.
Finally, Emmett cleared his throat roughly. "Well, obviously we're not going to let that happen. We'll figure something out."
"Of course we will," Esme said. She had silently appeared from the dining room. "Carlisle gets home soon. He will know what to do."
Emmett nodded confidently and then stood up, stretching. "Well this sure puts me in a fighting mood. I think I'm going to go for a run… maybe find something big to hunt."
Rosalie rose with him, pulling her golden hair into a tight bun. "I'll go with you."
"Be back in an hour!" Esme called after them, watching as they disappeared into the gray afternoon. She paused for a moment, staring after them, before turning back inside. She had been toying with the idea of building Edward and Bella a honeymoon cottage out on the northern edge of our property, deep in the wood. Blue prints, a Forks Chamber of Commerce Building Code Regulation book and sketches covered the large oak dining table. Esme returned to the dining room, straightening the documents in preparation for Carlisle's return.
I slowly made my way toward Jasper, who had returned to watching the TV. When he didn't break his focus, I perched myself onto the arm of the reading chair he was seated in.
After a long, silent moment, I ran my fingers across his temple, brushing his honey hair behind his ear. "What are you thinking?" I asked quietly. "I can feel that you're frustrated."
Jasper sighed and rubbed at his eyes. "I just don't understand. Why doesn't he turn her? It would solve so many problems – Victoria, the Volturi, the thirst…"
I shrugged, running my fingers through my husband's hair. "I don't know, Jazz. Edward has his reasons."
Jasper frowned, his eyes still trained upon the local CNN News Reports.
We sat in silent for a while, the only noise in the house was Esme as she gathered and organized her papers.
When I was pulled into a vision, I felt Jasper quickly slip his arm around my waist to keep me from falling of the arm of the chair. His hand stayed on my hip until I was released from the vision.
He gazed up at me expectantly. "What did you see?"
I looked down at him, smiling. "Florida."