I watched as Aro did the witnessing, and frowned. Abandoning Bella's side, I walked toward him, trying to keep my mind fogged in case Edward was trespassing.
"Alice, come back here!"
"What is Alice doing?"
Behind me, the witnesses were uneasy.
Knowing now that Edward would be listening, I kept my mind fogged and grabbed Aro's hand.
Aro's face was surprised as he took my hand but he did, and smiled balefully at me. I let my mind blank as I searched the future. I checked on Bella and found her eyes bloodshot with tears she couldn't shed. I hesitantly looked into the Volturi's future. I saw a blurred form of Aro and tried to work it out. What was he doing?
My attention snapped into focus as I saw something from Aro's mind. I hadn't known I could do this. I focused harder on the image and felt my mind swell with the images. I heard Edward begin snarling behind me.
"Edward? What's happening? Is Alice okay?" Bella's anxious voice seemed to calm him, but he looked into my memories again and growled deep in his throat. I saw Aro watching my memories. Watching him suddenly made me remember everything. . .
I saw Aro, same as always, but he seemed younger in his red eyes. He was leaning over me and I realized that we were at a booth in a dinner. What dinner was it? I struggled to remember. I had lost my human memories after I turned.
After I turned.
I had never realized how I had turned into a vampire, and I remembered how much Bella had wanted to be like me. A monster. Something that desired innocent blood just to live.
Aro leaned in his neck and kissed me gently on the lips. A jolt had struck me at how cold he was. How strong he seemed to be when the waiter had dropped the trays full of dirty dishes. I recalled how fast he stood up and caught the tray.
Bella had once been pure. But she wanted to be with Edward forever. That's how I had felt with Aro.
I probed deeper into his thoughts, even though he was reading my mind.
I watched as a younger appearing Jane and Caius sat in front of us in the same booth. They were joking around when Jane happened to look up.
Jane was my best friend then.
Maybe she still was. . .
Jane grinned as she watched us kiss. Caius pulled Jane in for a kiss of their own.
The waiter came with our meal and we ate rather quickly. I recalled how suspicious that seemed, I thought Aro was trying to be good and obey my father's curfew rules. But we had been on many dates and my father allowed us to stay with each other at 2:00 on the weekends.
It was only 11:35 then.
When we left and we were all riding in the car, I had blanked, just for a moment. I saw myself on a bed, wearing nothing. I had assumed that I had went to sleep without any clothes. But I was proven dreadfully wrong.
Aro parked the car at Jane's house. Jane lived by herself, claiming to be 21 but she was really 17 and she couldn't stand her parents' house.
Jane led me inside quickly, her blue eyes panicked.
"Alice, do you have any fucking idea what we just did?" She demanded.
I was confused. "J, what are you talking about?" Seeing her incredulous face, I tried to keep going. "We just went out with the baddest shit in town! Do you have any idea how Renata will feel?"
Jane glared at me. "Renata couldn't go out tonight and you know it." She waved a dismissive hand. "She was a bitch anyways. Always mad about something."
I glared at her then. "So we went out with Aro and Caius. Why are you acting like that's such a crime?"
Jane looked at me in horror, the anger fading. "He's gotten to you already! Shit, shit, shit!"
"Aro?" I was starting to catch her fear. "Do you feel it too?"
"Girls, everything okay?" Caius was standing by the door. Shit! How long was he listening?
"Everything's fine." The floor started to sway; I realized I was panicking inside. Did Jane suspect something suspicious about our dates? But why after two years? "I need a glass of water and a bath."
Aro appeared in Jane's kitchen. "No water. Beer for you. You're 18, right? You need an adult drink in you." He grinned at me. "It'll keep the cops away."
I felt myself melt as I stared into his familiar red eyes. "Sure, I'm 18."
Jane hissed at Caius. "I need to ask Alice a girly question. We'll be right back." She yanked my hand and hurled me up the stairs.
She led us into her room, shut the door, and locked it quickly in one motion. I blinked. Must be the nerves.
"What? Need a womens' product?" I asked her.
Jane looked at me, her eyes panicked again. "We have to get out of here." She whispered.
"How in hell, Jane! We're on a date."
"No, we're not. We're about to get date-raped." Jane's blue eyes were full of fear. Something made me feel as if she knew more than she was telling me.
"What?" Did I hear her wrong?
"You need water, yet he gets you a beer." Jane stared at me desperately. "Either he'll pour too much or put something in it, Alice. We have to go!"
"Something like what?" I didn't want to believe that Aro was like that. I knew him, didn't I? But was this really what Jane was afraid of?
"Ever heard of Roofies? I thought Caius seemed a bit shifty, he could have put something in our drinks a long time ago. We might pass out any second."
I glared at her, getting angry. "You look as if you're about to pass out from fear of nothing."
Jane tried to ignore my remark, but fear started to creep in her eyes and she went to her closet. She banged around before she came out with four backpacks.
"What the hell are you doing?"
"Getting out. I'm not letting us get date-raped." Jane moved to her dresser and started stuffing in underwear and shirts. "You're my size right?"
The tension was getting to me so I tried to joke. "You're practically my twin. But Twin, this is the stupidest thing we're going to do. Ditch a date who is in your house? Classic."
Jane looked up to smile at me but it was easy to see the panic in her eyes. I moved to her side and started helping, stuffing in a ton of tampons and pads.
"I think we've got everything." She said.
"No food." I reminded her, a little bit thrilled at the thought of our "escape".
"Food is in the kitchen! Freaking shit!" Jane nearly yelled out in panic. I stroked her arm, trying to keep her and myself calm.
"Everything okay? Is Jane alright?" Caius shouted.
"Everything's fine! One moment." Jane yelled back, her voice cracking.
I thinked we both hoped he didn't notice.
"I'll go get some grub. Want anything specific?" I stood up and headed to the door. I lingered by it, my hand already on the knob.
"No! Alice, wait-"
I ducked out the door before she finished.
I hurled myself down the stairs; I had a planned diversion. I hoped Jane knew what I was talking about.
"Hey Aro, Caius. I need to find some food for Jane." Their faces were perplexed. "She's throwing up. I think it was the shrimp."
Caius's face changed. "Is she okay?"
I nodded and kept going, hoping they would believe me. "She's just not feeling too good and asked me to get some soup for her."
Aro smiled at me. Weird.
"I got the soup." Caius said. "Does she need anything else?"
"Water." I said automatically. "Lots of water. Several bottles of it." I tried to throw in my brain. "Water dehydrates you, you know. Especially if you throw up."
Aro's face turned into a look of understanding. "Do you want us to go?"
"Okay, thanks, you guys." I made a sad face. "Jane's sorry she's sick. We'll be at school on Monday. It's probably a stomach bug or something."
Aro nodded and I went to boil the soup.
I felt Aro behind me and stifled a shiver as he placed a soft cold hand on my hip from behind. "Do you have to stay, Alice?"
I tried to keep fishing for a pot, and made my voice sound regretful. "I have to. She lives by herself and her parents don't care what happens to her now."
The hand went up my body to my cheek and he turned me around. His red eyes bored into mine and he bent to kiss me. Almost against my will, my hands went up to tangle in his hair before we broke away.
"See you." I muttered, turning back to the pot.
"Bye, Alice. Call us if you need anything." Caius was by the door, watching us with a smug expression.
I nodded and started the soup. Aro's and Caius's skin had always been cold. But since Jane and I had started dating them at the same time, we stopped noticing. But since I was already cold with fright, his hand had seemed colder.
Maybe it was me.
As soon as I heard the door close, I ran over to lock it before hurtling myself back up the stairs.
Jane opened the door and my sudden appearance had her falling down with a gasp.
"Sorry, J. Everything's okay; they've gone." I helped her to her feet.
She hugged me tightly for a moment before she broke away to gesture toward the suitcases. "All packed."
I frowned at her. "Food, remember?"
"Shit! Forgot again, my bad." Jane cursed, looking at me with a baleful expression.
"It's fine. So why are we packing?"
Jane held up a finger to shush me and gestured for me to get on the bed. I complied and sat there, waiting.
Jane sat down on me and focused her suddenly intense blue gaze on me. "We just made the biggest fucking mistake in our fucking lives because they're about to be fucking-"
"Keep it P.G, J." I interrupted.
Jane sighed, she knew I hated to tell her to stop cursing. She was hilarious when she was cursing, something about it made her more funny. But she couldn't curse, specially when she was freaking out about things. The reason was that my little sister, Cynthia, couldn't stand it when people cursed. She would say, "Go wash your mouth out with some soap and charcoal." She was almost 8.
"They're going to kill us, Alice!"
"What the hell, Jane! How the fuck do you know?" I couldn't believe what she was saying.
"While you were getting ready right before they picked us up from your house, I was talking on the phone to Caius about that party Renata was having." Jane was trying to stay clam. " When we had said goodbye, Caius forgot to end the call so I heard their conversation." She started shaking.
"Did they say how?" I had no doubt that Jane was lying. She never lied to me, nor did she like Renata. But Renata liked Aro and Caius so that made her okay.
Jane shook her head and the bed swam in front of my eyes.
"That's why we have to go." Jane got off the bed and put on two of the backpacks.
I got up and put on the other two before we walked out of the front door, locking it behind us.
We hurried through the darkness.
"Take the woods. If they follow us, they'll get lost." Jane was running after me. I changed direction. "Hopefully." I heard her gasp. I didn't stop to ask her what would happen if we were the ones who got lost.
After a quarter mile in the woods by Jane's house, I had to stop. Jane sat down next to me on a tree root. The moon was up, plump and bright.
"Alice!" I looked up, seeing nothing but the moonlight glimmering on the trees and vegetation. Who said my name?
I felt Jane stiffen next to me. "Holy shit, holy shit..." She started gasping.
"Oh, Alice? My sweet darling." I could see Aro's eyes, glowing strangely in the bright moonlight. "How could you run away from me, Alice?"
Then his bright eyes disappeared from my view.
"Run! Now, run!" Jane screeched. We were immediately up on our feet, hurtling ourselves through the dark woods.
I kept my mouth shut, hardly breathing as I ran. Jane was running quickly, by my side. Her eyes met mine. I stopped in my tracks.
"Jane?" My gasp was horrified.
Her eyes were red.
Just like Aro's.
I staggered backwards, my eyes still on her face.
Jane stopped and caught me as I began to fall back.
"Get your hands off of me!" Tears were streaming down my face as I screamed and struggled with her suddenly overpowering grasp. "Liar! You lied to me! You're one of them!"
Jane shook me roughly. "Alice, quiet! I'm saving your life!" She scooped me up bridal style, my backpack and hers both, before she took off running again.
I tried to cry quietly as I realized that three out of four people had lied to me tonight. I felt a piercing wind tug at my face and I saw how fast we were going. Faster than the wind.
Jane set me down after a while. "I think we're-" She cut off, and through the bright moonlight, I saw her hands extend toward me in an unbelievable speed.
Faster still, something knocked me against a tree.
I was able to make out Aro's bright, normally loving eyes, but they were filled with anger.
A glass bottle came down on my head.