No Infringement Intended
A/N: blah blah blah . . . school, kids, work, writer's block, illness, lack of time . . . blah blah blah
Review Response: This is for those of your who ask me questions in your reviews but I can't respond
-I will not abandon this story! Promise. School just takes a lot of time . . . A LOT!
-I use "Isabella" instead of "Bella" simply because I love "Isabella" and wish she had gone by her full name in the series so I tend to use it in my stories more than I use "Bella"
Content Not to See
Alice continued to search the night sky for the allusive star she wished upon. But no matter how much her perfect sight looked over the dark blue hood above her she could not find it anywhere.
Alice didn't know how late it had gotten, and she didn't really care. She wanted still to be amongst her trees and the fact she could only get so close angered her; furious with herself and the situation. She didn't know how long she was going to be able to keep things together for appearances sake. She didn't think she was really fooling anybody, not even herself. Her sleepless nights were filled with the thoughts of steel gray, immortal eyes that ran from her. Now looking into the sky she couldn't help but think that Isabella's eyes were much like the stars above her; priceless spots, shining brightly and holding secrets Alice would never know. And just like Isabella, Alice was so far away from being able to touch them. At the thought, her hand stretched above her, as if to test the notion, and as expected she failed. The stars and Isabella shared something else: they both ran from Alice when she let her heart speak to them. She felt she really should have hated them both, the stars and Isabella, but she couldn't pull herself to hate beauty, or its place in the world.
But Alice tried not to be all negative. In the corner of her heart she thought her disappearing stars could be working. Maybe the soldiers of the sky were running off with their mission in hand desperately trying to hand them off to the one who could make the wishes so. Maybe something was blocking the answer from coming back to Alice or in the fabric of time the wish was already granted and Alice just hadn't gotten there yet. She just hadn't seen it.
Alice would have given anything to "see' it. To see a future was Isabella. If she could reach deep into the gift she was reborn with to see just enough to inspire her, she could hold on a little while longer. But no matter how often she tried, no matter how hard she concentrated on the memory of Isabella's scent, touch, taste, or the sound of her voice, Alice couldn't conjure up a future for the allusive women. Even as she tried to search her own future she would come up blank. The only thing Alice would see would be an image of her smiling. So, maybe she would make it out of the mess in one piece, but she would still be alone. As Alice thought about it she realized that it wasn't a future that she wanted; even if in the premonition she looked happy.
Lost in her thoughts of soldiering stars and distant, vacant eyes Alice didn't notice when her brother had come and sat beside her. When his scent surrounded her she knew she could do nothing to avoid the talk that he wanted to have. Alice had to admit, she was shocked that it was this one of her siblings who would try to breach her, but then again he was always full of surprises.
Emmett was such a large man that the description "cuddly" was laughable. The six foot, five inch man sat beside Alice, with his legs crossed underneath him. His wide shoulders and large body made Alice look like a rag toll beside him. Alice could see that the gold of his eyes had faded away. Emmett smiled down at his small sister, not saying a word. He picked at the grass in front of him, pulverizing the blades into sticky mush as he ground them between his thumb and index finger. Occasionally, he would look up into the night sky when Alice did or stare out into the shadows of the trees in front of them as did Alice, but he did not speak.
Alice didn't know why sitting in the shadows of Emmett's broad shoulders made her feel better. The lightness of the moment made her think Jasper must have been somewhere nearby, feeding her a bit of contentment or happiness, but as she looked across the yard on all sides from her seat she could not sense him, nor see him anywhere. The light feeling was genuine, all hers and likely at Emmett's doing. Alice concluded that it was that feeling of comfort that freed her to finally speak.
"She was very beautiful," Alice said. "She is beautiful," she corrected.
Emmett didn't say anything.
"She has very rich brown hair that she always wears in a ponytail of some sort. I don't think she owns a pair of curling irons but the ends of her hair is always curly as they sit against her shoulder or fall into her face. I think the wind kisses it for her, with all of her flipping and tumbling she does. She's very agile. She can flip and turn and glide and hang better than any human of course but even better than most vampires I've see. You should see her leap from a tree," Alice snickered, "she falls on the balls of her feet like a feather landing on the top of a pond; effortless, graceful, and gentle."
Alice dropped a blade of grass from her hands to demonstrate her point, but even the sound of the grass falling onto the peaks of its remaining rooted friends was too abrupt to represent Isabella.
Emmett looked down at his sister, intently listening to her words, but not interrupting her.
"Her eyes are like frosted glass; gray, steel, almost translucent. They change just like ours do when she drinks. Oh! Can you believe she is a vegetarian," Alice laughed looking up into Emmett's face.
Emmett was both shocked and happy to hear that his baby sister was not out gallivanting around with some human blood sucker.
"Well, when I first met her she fed on squirrels and rabbits, but I thought her how to hunt bigger game," Alice said proudly pointing her finger at her chest. "She is even more beautiful when she hunts; more graceful, animalistic, vivacious; mouthwatering even."
Alice's words trailed away; her mind returning to the first day Isabella caught a game bigger than Thumper. She could still taste the rustic blood that ran from Isabella's lip when she dared to kiss her, the look of her tattered and stained shirt sticking to her porcelain white skin, and the swarm of new gray surrounding Isabella's eyes. It all flashed through her memory like an erotic slide show.
Alice turned around to see a smirk on Emmett's face; the kind he only made when he was making a dirty joke at their siblings and parent's expense.
"I don't need Edward or Jasper's power to know where your mind just went little sister," Emmett said.
If she could have, surely Alice would have blushed. Dropping her head to hide her face from her brother she waited for the moment of embarrassment to pass.
"But as beautiful as her eyes are, they are also empty," Alice said taking a deep breath and looking back out into the darkness of the trees. "There was nothing there. No life before her change; no happiness or peace afterwards. They were just unnatural eyes belonging to a woman who could never love me."
"Al," Emmett began.
"I told her. I couldn't help it really. I just felt this uncontrollable desire to always be with her; to get to her, to stay with her, and to protect her. I couldn't think straight when we were apart. Those days were difficult but," Alice faced her brother who looked down on her with concern etched in his forehead, "nothing like how I feel right now. I'm so hollow, like I've never been right before. I feel as if I have never seen a sky before," Alice pointed to her retreating stars, "or sat in the grass. How did I know how to live without her? All this time I thought I was alive, but I wasn't. I was just here. She is my mate, Emmett," Alice said looking back into his eyes. "I knew that it seems from the very beginning, but maybe I was fooling myself. Maybe we were never anything but two of a kind bumping into each other."
Emmett felt he should have said something to his pained sister, but there was nothing to say. He understood the feeling Alice spoke of so passionately. He felt it the moment he looked into his angel's eyes. Rosalie saved him and had been saving him every single day since. It was almost painful and unnatural the way he loved Rosalie. There was a burning desire to do, go, and be whatever she needed. He saw the same thing in the eyes of Edward and Jasper, and Carlisle and Esme. They would all burn the world to the ground if their mate ever thought it was what they wanted or needed. He couldn't imagine what his world would be like if he ever lost his Rosalie. He didn't think he would survive long after such love lost. Yet, despite its control and weight it was a feeling Emmett knew he wouldn't trade for anything in the world; it was something that he so desperately wanted for Alice for so long. But as he sat and listened to his sister speak of heartbreak he wished that maybe he hadn't wished so hard.
"Oh, but she has such a brilliant mind," Alice began again, praising the woman who had broken her heart. "She writes these stories and journals that are so deep, dark and profound. I could listen to her read and talk for hours . . . and I did. So much time we spent in each other's arms in those trees," Alice said pointing into the dark forest.
Emmett understood Alice's escapes; desperately wanting to ask how long this had been going on. But he didn't; wanting Alice to tell her story in her own time.
"She's as a dark as her stories are. I know that now, and I understand why. If only," Alice let out a loud sigh, "if only she had let me be her light."
"I don't know rather to be happy or sad for you, Alice," Emmett met Alice's questioning stare. "I'm sad that you lost someone you cared so much about, someone you were so close to having that thing that the rest of us share . . . but at the same time I'm happy you got to experience it. Alice, you have to understand so few people do."
Alice looked into Emmett's face wondering how he could say such a thing. Emmett could see the confusion in her dark thirsty eyes.
"When I was human I thought something was seriously wrong with me."
Alice interrupted Emmett with a snicker, the first genuine laugh she had made in such a long time.
"Not like that!" Emmett said, throwing blades of grass at his sister. It warmed him inside that he could be the one to finally make her smile.
"I was finishing school and ready to accept my role as a man in this world. Above all other things I wanted to have a family. But how could I start a family when not a girl in all of Tennessee wanted to be with me."
Alice found it hard to believe Emmett wasn't breaking hearts left and right in his days as a warm blooded young man.
"All of my friends had girlfriends. All of the neighbor's daughters were talking of marriage; everybody except for me. I didn't let it get to me at first, but as I began to get older I figured that I was supposed to be alone. It broke my heart to think I wouldn't be given my Mamma the grandbabies that I knew she wanted so badly. Trust me; she didn't hesitate to remind us McCartys of our obligation to reproduce."
"I tried to date the girls in my little town, but none of them really caught my eye. They didn't seem like the family making type, I guess. But then they would start dating someone else and prove me wrong. I had settled on just being alone. But fate knew that my time was coming. How was I supposed to know that the love of my life was waiting on me on the other side of a Black Bear's paw?" Emmett curled his fingers into claws and growled playfully at Alice, making her laugh again.
"So what are you telling me, Emmett?"
"I'm saying everyone's happily ever after doesn't happen in the easiest of ways. Maybe to get there you have to be willing to fight and its damn sure goin' to hurt, but your angel will be waitin' on the other side."
Emmett and Alice sat there in silence. Alice looked into Emmett's eyes and saw a wisdom she didn't know could be hidden behind his superficial exterior of muscles and internal wall of jokes and sexual innuendos.
Looking back into the deep of the forest Alice said to Emmett, "You know I almost ran after her, I was going to go fight for her. It was after I snapped out of my crazy state," Alice waved her hands around her head. "I was about to pack a bag, and just go in hopes my heart-or this feeling that I still can't explain-would lead me to her."
"Okay, look now, don't make me chain you to your bed," Emmett joked.
Alice didn't say anything else, only offering a sad smile to her brother.
Time continued to pass around the siblings. The night breeze whipped through Alice's hair, causing it to fall into her eyes. Alice's mind thought over Emmett's words over and over. She was still willing to fight for Isabella, but she couldn't help but think that she had waited too late. Alice was no tracker and she knew Isabella was long gone. Maybe if she could get a vision of the woman she would know where to go. Maybe in a diner in some other remote city, Alice could be there waiting for Isabella. Maybe she could be sitting in the crowd of the next big circus act watching her ballerina dance for her. And when the show was over she would approach her and give Isabella her much deserved standing ovation, taking Isabella in her arms and carrying her away with love and devotion.
But she couldn't see Isabella and she didn't know where the woman had gone. All Alice had was a trail she was sure had completely faded, and a tree where all the magic began. Alice looked down at the notebook that occupied her lap, flipping to the end; to the letter that was without question for Isabella. Emmett watched as Alice tore each sheet out of the binding one by one. When she was done she held a letter only for one person's eyes. Alice folded the multiple sheets of paper, placed the notebook back into her bag and stood.
"Thank you, Em."
"Anytime," Emmett said looking suspiciously at Alice. He quickly stood to his feet. Just as Alice took a step towards the dark, shadows of the lining trees he grabbed her by the arm.
"Whoa! Lil' sister, where are you going?"
Alice looked down at the pages in her hands and back to Emmett, "I have to deliver a letter that may never be read."
"Alice, no! I'm not about to let you go looking for this woman. I understand she means the world to you, but do you honestly expect me to let you leave after what you just told me?"
Alice yanked her arm from Emmett's grasp.
"Let me leave? Exactly who is going to stop me?" Alice growled.
Emmett stepped back from his sister. The last thing he wanted was to anger or fight her, but the protector in him could not let her run away from her family for some dark, flaky girl he didn't know.
"I'm going to do what I have to do. I have to accept certain things and I will do them my own way. My chance is lost, Em. There is no angel waiting for me on the other side of my healed wounds like you had. I lost her, forever!"
Alice let the truth and severity of her words fall around her and Emmett. The scares on her long dead heart sizzled alive at speaking the words she had been feeling for so long.
"I am coming back, but if you try to stop me again I will run into those trees and never look back."
Emmett looked at his sister and saw nothing but truth in her threat. As much as he couldn't let her leave he couldn't take the chance of her running away from the family all because he just wouldn't let her go. Esme would be crushed and the entire family would scour the world in vain looking for her; always missing her thanks to her ability to see their next move. So with defeat he backed away from the determined woman.
Alice walked backwards into the trees until she was completely encompassed in their shadows. She looked back at Emmett, struck by the weight of her own words. She knew her family, especially Emmett, only wanted to protect her. She didn't want to hurt them but she couldn't say without any certainty that if leaving them meant she could be with Isabella, that she wouldn't take that opportunity.
Turning into the trees, Alice began the walk that she had taken so many times before.
Determination can break down any barrier; including emotional walls. It was not until Alice stood before the tree that had managed to become the focal point of her and Isabella's love that she realized she had made it into the forest. The emotional weights that had stopped her earlier that afternoon seemed to break away with the decision Alice had made.
She needed, even if only in spirit and theory, to speak to Isabella again. To Alice that could only happen in one place. With the same determination that broke through her imaginary block, and the agility of her nature, Alice climbed the next obstacle to reach her home away from home.
Alice tucked the folded message in the nick of their treasured branch. Alice stayed there in her heavenly nest staring at the folded pages stiffly leaning against the tree. The next wind could have blown her thoughts away; the message could be carried away by the tree dwelling creatures of the forest, but in that moment none of those possibilities mattered. All that mattered was that there was a possibility that Isabella would find it.
The hope was that Isabella would find it, read it, understand it, and come running to Alice, declaring love and devotion. All things would be right in the world and the two could go off to live an eternal happily ever after. Alice snickered into the fold of her arms at her harlequin romance reunion. She couldn't help but think that maybe she had in fact gone crazy in the two week since she had last touched her mate. But if she was crazy then she would stay that way because that was what love was.
Real love is sometimes unyielding and chaotic. Love is fighting for impossibilities and things with the slimmest probability. Love is never giving up on things just because they didn't play out like fantasy and fairytales. Love could be dangerous; making you run into pitch black forest in the late of the night to deliver a piece of paper that was just as unlikely to be read as it was that the two hearts would be rejoined. Love was far from easy. If love were a career it would be one of vast difficulty; like a blacksmith, forging away at molten liquid trying to make a solid; polished and useful. Maybe it would be the gardener; taking itty bitty seeds and toiling in the bake of the sun until blossoms of color arouse. Or maybe love was the tight rope walker; balancing a thin line of glory and death, trying to wow someone who looks on not knowing if they are hoping for your success or anticipating you fall.
Alice and Isabella's love was much like that tight rope walker, and just like Isabella's performance there was no net below them to catch them. If they fell there would be no recovery for either one.
Despite the difficulty to make it there Alice felt at peace for a time. Her proximity to a once treasured place of her and Isabella was calming her. It was as if Isabella was close enough for her to touch.
"It feels so much like you are here," Alice spoke to the spirit of Isabella that sat beside her in that tree.
"I don't know where you are my love, my beautiful Isabella, but my prayer is that you are okay. I think about you often; things never quite the same since you left. I don't know if you will ever get this letter," Alice ran her hands across the face of the paper, "but I hope that you do. I tried to be as honest with you as you were with me."
Silence surrounded Alice again. Maybe it was her presence but even the creatures of the night, the predators, were silent. The wind was as still as Alice's long dead and now broken heart.
"If you never find my letter," Alice began again, "and I should never see your face again . . . well both would be a travesty, but know one thing," Alice looked to her stars, "I will always love you and despite it all I have never stopped."
Alice stood up right on the branch looking back down at her letter, prepared to jump and begin her journey home, but the rightness of the moment compelled her. Reaching into her bag she removed her camera. The picture featured nothing more than the position of the letter. The soft script "It Begins With Us," faced the camera. The camera clicked just as the wind bent the upper right edge of the paper away from the tree. The tree snuggled the letter securely in its grasp as if it was the lost lover the letter called out to.
Alice didn't know if she would ever be able to return to that tree, that place that was undoubtedly them. It seemed wrong for her to be there alone, but it also felt painful. It was their tree and only they should be there together.
The walk back to the house was slow and less painful. Alice broke through the tree line just before the sun rose. Alice felt a sense of relief. She had managed to get every thought of Isabella onto paper. She had managed to break through the invisible wall that was keeping her out of her forest. She had managed, even if only by spirit, to be close to Isabella.
Her emotional out pour took the last of her strength from her. She gave into her thirst on her trail back home, immediately adding the golden color to her eyes. As she crossed back into the Cullen's territory, there in the grass, exactly where she had left him, Alice found Emmett sitting, looking directly into the forest.
"Emmett, why," she began to say.
"You had until sun up to get back or I was coming in after you, Alice," Emmett said looking into Alice's face.
"I was going to invite you to go hunt with me, and Rosalie, but I see you have already taken care of that," Emmett continued. He stood from his seat in the grass, dusting off his denim. "It's a good thing we can handle so much or else my ass would be throbbing right now," he added.
Alice couldn't help but giggle another genuine laugh she had since it all began. Hearing her tinker bell laugh brightened Emmett's morning.
Wrapping his arm around the shoulders of the petite and much shorter woman, Emmett guided Alice back to the house. He vowed to make her laugh again if it was the last thing he did.
Isabella had watched Alice for the better part of the day. She looked on through Alice's window watching her prepare to leave, though she was sure to look away when appropriate. When Isabella watched Alice crash to the ground as if she had been obstructed from going into the lining trees Isabella was afraid something else was wrong. Her body screamed at her to put away the foolishness and go to her, but just as fast as the anguish appeared on Alice's face, it was gone. In the next moment Isabella returned to the idea that she was not ready to go to Alice.
For the rest of the day she watched as Alice sat in the edge of her yard writing. Isabella could not see what it was that Alice was looking at but from the distance in the shadow of the trees she thought that maybe Alice saw her. Isabella sat very still in the distance waiting on Alice to come to her, angry tone and fighting hands, but that never came. In fact Alice never moved even as darkness surrounded her. As Alice continued to stare into oblivion and write, Isabella continued to only watch.
Watching became difficult when the burly, curly haired man joined Alice in the grass. The only thing that kept Isabella in check was that the man didn't touch Alice the way the blond haired man had. Who was this man? What was he to her Alice? But despite the turmoil Isabella maintained her position; watching.
As she sat watching her beautiful creature and her companion she was struck by an image of the man's past. The scene was decades old from the look of the cloth he wore. Isabella could tell he was badly injured, lying in the ground barely alive. The blood pulled around his body; so strong Isabella's throat burned. Isabella watched as the man was carried away by a woman, a blond haired woman. Isabella recognized the woman she saw hovering over Alice's body those many nights ago. Then there was that scourging pain; that fire that she recalled from her own past; he was being turned into a vampire but unlike any other recollection she had experiences, this man was happy when he awoke. Isabella knew it was because of the women that sat at his side, holding his hand. She looked at him the way she looked at Alice. She could feel their love between them and suddenly she felt like she was a trespasser in her own vision; this memory of the man's past. And so Isabella knew this man was the blond haired woman's mate. Isabella was baffled by the existence of so much love that surrounded Alice.
When Alice went into the woods Isabella nearly lost her to the overcrowding trees and vines. So far behind the fast moving woman Isabella could only rely on the scent Alice left behind that she eventually found. Isabella was surprised to find they had stopped in the spot they had claimed as their own. Isabella froze when she heard Alice began to speak and panic when she heard her name.
"It feels so much like you are here," Isabella heard Alice say.
How could Alice know such a thing? It was then Isabella accepted the fact that Alice felt what she felt: an un-caning presence of each other that surpassed that of some vampire skill. Their souls called to each other; always aware of the other. It was a thought that sadden Isabella, because if they were so connected, what would ever happen of her Alice if she never gathered the courage to go to her?
Isabella sat back in her hiding spot listening to the words that sounded as a whisper falling from the lips of her Alice. Her anxiety only increased when she heard that Alice had left a letter for her. She was anxious to know what it could say but she held herself together, waiting for Alice to leave before going to their tree to retrieve it.
Isabella bathed in the newly fresh scent that lingered on behind Alice. The scent saturated the paper that Isabella held in her hand. Removing the folded sheets from its resting place, Isabella waved the massive before her face to drink in the essence of Alice. Alice's scent was a balm to her achy heart and empty spirit. Isabella could not handle any more. As she sat and watched Alice she neglected to see what the absence was doing to her.
Exasperated and exhausted the best way a vampire could be Isabella could delay her agony no longer before unfolding the pages to read the words an angel dropped for her.
How do I, in any other way, tell you the words I've told you so many times before? How do I convince you to feel freely what it is that I hope I see in you?
Happily Ever After is waiting on you to stop running, Isabella. But I did not write this to blame you. Thank you for taking the time to explain your past and present to me. What I am asking now is that you allow me to be that change in your future.
Have you ever had a moment of pure joy and utter despair simultaneously? If you have not experienced such a thing, it can be a bit uncomfortable, confusing, and disjointing to say the least. If I had to describe such a feeling I probably could not properly. . . Maybe it is like feeding on a human (yes, Isabella, I am not as innocent as you think me to be): The satisfaction of dousing the burning fire in you combined with the knowledge that you took the life of a person who didn't deserve it, who could have had a family, who could have been happy. I imagined you felt that tremendous weight not only during your own feeding but also witnessing Victoria's hordes of murders the first time you saw her in your vision.
What a remarkable gift to have and I hate that your first use of it was to see something so treacherous. What I am trying to say is receiving your letter made me feel that very uncomfortable way. I'm sorry . . . I am getting a head of myself. I will take a lead from you and start at the beginning . . . or as close to the beginning as I possibly can.
You see, Isabella, I remember nothing of my days as a human. What I know of those days I learned after I became what we are, after meeting my family. So the Cullens are my beginning.
I met Carlisle, Esme, Edward, Rosalie, and Emmett in 1950; after thirty years of being alone. I saw them in a vision of myself and waited for the right time to go to them. It was also through my vision that I learned how to be a vegetarian. I was not always successful; having more slips than success in the beginning, but once I felt like I had acquired a substantial grounding on the diet I sought them out in the home I had seen in my vision.
See, my gift isn't always bad. If it had not been for that glimpse into my future who knows where I would be, really.
After I had been with the Cullens for about five years, Jasper joined us. Jasper is Edward's mate; as Rosalie is to Emmett and Carlisle is to Esme. See Isabella I am surrounded by love . . . but I will get back to that later. As we all began to get to know Jasper, of his past both human and vampire, I realize I was the only one of my family who did not know where they had come from. So I began to look into who I was.
I started looking for myself in the city I was in when I woke up literally a changed woman. From a newspaper clipping I learned I was born in 1901 in Biloxi, Mississippi. Using the names of the parents listed in that article I discovered I had a sister name Cynthia who was nine years younger than me . . . and apparently I died in 1919 at the age of 18. If that last part sounds a little off to you than you would be correct.
It took much searching but I discovered that the Brandons, my sir name, had a daughter who was crazy and was shipped off to an asylum. They informed the world that she was dead rather than face the shame. That girl was me apparently. I located some old and very horribly kept records of said asylum to learn that a Mary Alice Brandon was admitted in 1919. What the records did not say was what happened to her. The asylum was shut down in the 1940s and all residents were transferred to other facilities but there is no mention of where Mary Alice Brandon was sent. And it is from there the rest of my history is non-existent. I can only confirm my findings with the memory that when I awoke in a ditch one day I was wearing a hospital gown and no shoes. I do not know how I became a vampire or if there was a reason behind it. Not that it is a good reason but at least you know your creation was because Victoria desired you (even if it was in the most retched way). I do not have knowledge of such emotions prior to my time with my family now. I mean, after all, how much could a family want a child that they sent to an insane asylum and announce to the world that she was dead?
But despite by gray past, my present up until recently has been wonderful. I was terrified to meet the Cullens originally but my gift kept showing me how everything was going to be okay. Carlisle ushered me right into his home and the others accepted me almost immediately. I had waited until my eyes were good and golden before I went; I am sure that helped some. During all of that time surrounded by three devoted couples I was okay with being alone. I was content and couldn't imagine being happier. But then I met you haphazardly in the very woods I had visited so many times through the years and since that time I can't help but notice nothing was ever as it was supposed to be because I didn't have you in my life. And now that I know what love looks like - gray cloudy eyes, dark flowing hair, porcelain skin – I don't want to go another day without it.
I no longer want to be alone; I want to be with you.
What I am trying to say Isabella is that my life did not start with some great easy beginning and shiny silver spoon. Just like you, my days as a human are cloaked in an unknown darkness and betrayal by the people who should have been there to protect us. We were both abandon by our sire and had to learn a new way of life, with an extraordinary gift, essentially on our own. The difference between you and I, Isabella, is that I used my gift to help me re-enter the world; find the family where I belong. You have run from your gift, and allowed things that you cannot change make you angry.
It doesn't have to be that way Isabella . . . not anymore.
Have faith in who you are and what it is that you deserve. You are stronger than you see and capable of more than just running. You are capable of love and to be loved. I don't say these things just to fill this page but because I know them to be true. No one deserves to be alone, especially for as long as you have. It is time for you to be happy. You can have that!
And if you cannot yet have faith in yourself, than I ask you to have faith in me. Believe the things that I have told you while we were together. Trust in the things you have seen in my eyes and felt from me. Hear all of the passion and devotion I am pouring into this letter. I am here for you. I was created for you and you for me. We cannot continue to fight what is supposed to be.
I find it . . . interesting . . . that I did not see visions of you. As I told you that night before you ran, I do not see visions of your future either. Maybe it has something to do with how our powers are the opposite of each other. Maybe it is because you have not made a decision? There is such a peace while I am with you simply because I cannot see and I am content with that. Seeing everyone's decisions can sometimes take the excitement out of life. So while your flight left me in agony I can honestly say I did not see that coming . . . and that is the way life is supposed to be, full of surprises. I want more of these things with you . . . both life and surprises.
All of my time surrounded by examples of love between my families thought me this:
Love is patient, love is kind and above all else it always protects, always trusts, always hopes, and it always perseveres.
This unyielding love is what we carry in us, Isabella; it is in you and I and it is only for each other. And should you, rather than the birds of the air or the creatures of the forest, find this letter, regardless if it is a day from now or a hundred years from this moment, please know that this love I have for you will never change and somewhere I will be waiting for you.
Isabella looked over the pages in her hand again. The words that Alice had said to her so many nights ago still stuck out to her as if she had never heard it before.
Despite her behavior, despite being everything Alice didn't need, nothing of what Alice deserved, she still loved Isabella. It was a thought that warmed Isabella from the inside, from a place she had never felt radiate from inside of her. And though she didn't think she deserved the beauty that was Alice Cullen, she was done fighting it as if she didn't want what Alice was offering.
"I'm so sorry Alice, I should have never left you," Isabella said as she folded the letter back, holding it close to her body as if it would protect her from anything.
The heaviness that seemed to weigh on her for the last two weeks lifted from her as if it had never been there. The piece of her that was missing for eternity fell into place without effort. Isabella new she was almost whole.
There was only one thing she needed.
"I'm coming Alice. I'm coming."
Alice slowly walked towards her room. Despite the blood that hummed in her body she didn't really have a reason to move quickly. As she reached for the handle of her bedroom door she caught sight of Rosalie approaching her. In plain jeans and dark blue, long sleeve shirt, with her hair pulled into a high ponytail, a look Alice could see Rosalie wearing in her day as a school girl, Rosalie looked stunning. Her eyes had lost all reminisces of their golden color. Her black eyes and her need for blood made her skin look pale which in turned made her lips look as if she wore pink lipstick. Alice hoped Rosalie had not been ignoring her needs for her sake.
"It would be great if you would come and hunt with us," Rosalie said in a small voice. "I mean obviously you don't need to hunt," she said lifting her hands, indicating Alice's new eyes, "but it could be fun, you know? All of us, sisters and brothers, together."
Alice smiled at her sister; a genuine smile.
"You know the boys are going to turn it into some outlandish competition and a few trees will be up rooted. What's more fun than watching Emmett and Jasper trying to beat Edward?"
Both sisters laughed. Alice could feel the life fill her again as she thought about how thing transpired whenever they all were in the woods together. There was sure to be destruction and maybe going with them would take her mind off of things for a little while. But the sheer thought of going into the woods also saddened her. Having accomplished that feat once for the day, Alice didn't think she could bear fighting that barrier again.
Rosalie watched as Alice's emotions warred on her face. Though she knew Alice was going to turn down the opportunity to watch the mayhem that was their siblings, she was content in knowing that something in Alice had begun to change. She didn't know if it was the talk Alice had with Emmett that she watched from her bedroom window, or maybe it was whatever transpired when she disappeared into the woods. But to Rosalie it didn't matter, all that mattered was that something was happening deep in the tattered heart and mind of her little sister and it was on the verge of making her whole again. Rosalie had known and understood pain, and she knew it would still take time before Alice was one hundred percent herself again, but this was a progress she was happy to see.
"Thanks Rosalie, but I think I will pass this time," Alice said.
"Okay," Rosalie gave Alice a knowing smile. "We will talk when we get back? Maybe do a bit of shopping?"
"Yeah, I think I'll like that."
Rosalie clapped her hands, bouncing on the ball of her feet at the possibility. She rubbed Alice down both of her arms in a gesture of love as she walked passed her sister, down the stairs and into Emmett's waiting arms.
Alice walked into her room depositing her bag onto her desk. She moved robotically around her room collecting her things for a shower. As the hot water ran down her body and through her hair her mind wondered to the letter she had left sticking into the wood of her favorite tree. Her perfect memory recalled the words she read back over in her letter to Isabella. There was no mistaken Alice had put what was left of her heart into that letter. Now Isabella had all of her: the first of which she gave that night sitting so many feet above ground in the tent of a circus and then this day in a multiple page letter left with hopes that Isabella would see it.
Alice laughed to think maybe instead a squirrel or bird would know how she felt before Isabella had. Maybe the paper would become a home for some soon to hatch birds or apart of some beaver's dam in some nearby stream. It was comical to Alice. Alice stepped from the shower, dried and redressed still musing over the idea of some hiker finding her love letter before Isabella had.
Sitting on the side of her bed she couldn't resist reaching for the letter that Isabella had left for her on her door step. Alice thought how yet again she was at a disadvantage: there was no doubt she would have gotten the letter Isabella had left for her. Alice couldn't help but read over the letter again, still struck by the pain that was inaccurately conveyed with the dark ink of the pen. The letter should have been written in blood because that is what it had cost Isabella over all of those years.
Suddenly, the letter fell from Alice's hands, falling to the floor in a disorderly pile. It had been so long since Alice had seen a real vision that the bright clarity of it shocked her.
Jasper flipping through the air, crashing into a tree, breaking the fragile wood in half. Rosalie runs to him, kneeling down before him as he laid stun on the ground. Edward stands defensively before he leaps through the air striking something. He runs in a blur, swinging and attacking. His eyes are full of anger and vengeance. Whomever he fights isn't after him as they blur pass him, flying from tree to tree as if to get pass Edward, Emmett and Rosalie. They are going after Jasper. The scene slows to Emmett and Rosalie standing opposite each other holding down something or someone. Jasper walks back towards Edward, sending him a cooling wave of tranquility just as Edward prepares to behead the captive. Despite the situation the vampire doesn't speak.
Alice's falls from the bed, struck by the sight before her eyes. Her family was in danger though obviously not too much, but there was something about the vision that made Alice unable to breathe. There was a familiarity to the missing entity that she couldn't seem to see.
Who attacked Jasper? Who was Edward fighting? Who had Emmett and Rosalie captured?
Kneeling on the floor Alice replayed the vision over and over, focusing on the twinge of something just past her ability to see. As the premonition played repeatedly at her will the desire to protect grew, but all Alice knew was that it was not her siblings she needed to protect. Not so much because obviously they would survive but because this need that burned at the corner of her mind was not familial but intimate, private; like a part of her that was not actually a part of her, but yet and still.
As Alice watched she focused on the unclear, that which she could not see rather than what she could. That is when it came to her. As the last scene crossed her eyes that darted in the presses as if she was watching it on a television screen Alice made out the edge of a women, a small woman. Alice focused harder, forcing her mind to move up from where Rosalie's hands held strongly to an arm, up to the person's shoulder. Then, the truth was there.
Dark chocolate brown curls falling on a shoulders and the sight of steel gray eyes.
The shocked forced Alice from the floor and scampering back into her bed; knocking the unneeded breathe from her body.
Alice was in motion; running into the trees before she registered her feet making contact with the stairs.
Alice could taste venom in her mouth and the fire of vengeance in her heart . . . and it was aimed at her siblings