Chapter 17: Edward
I drew in a sharp intake of breath and started cursing widely as I wrapped my arms around Alice and started hissing questions into her ear. But she ignored me so I watched Bella instead.
She had frozen, out of what could be assumed as pure shock, while Jake started swearing, like me, and hissing profanities into her ear. Humph, he was clearly a bad-boy and would be a terrible influence on Bella. What was he, eighteen, nineteen? Bella was then pulled to the couch by him, rather roughly, so I snarled at him but he ignored me. Lots of people seem to do that a lot round here…
“What did you do to her?” he demanded to know as the couch shook under his quivering body.
Alice ignored him as she approached her. “Bella? Bella, snap out if it. We have to hurry.”
“Stay back,” Jacob warned.
“Calm down, Jacob Black,” my sister ordered. “You don’t want to do that so close to her.”
“Keep your trap shut, dog,” I snarled menacingly to Jacob at the same time she spoke to him. “Unless you want me to do it for you!”
“I don’t think I have any trouble keeping my focus,” he retorted, but his voice sounded rather a little cooled. “And you,” he suddenly snapped before he glared at me. “I can say what I want here.”
I growled. He growled back, rather less threateningly sound might I add, before Bella spoke up. “Alice?” he voice was weak. “What happened?”
Alice’s answer was a wail of despair, something I rarely heard. “I don’t know, what is he thinking?!”
My grip around her shoulders tightened. Bella stiffened and then pulled herself up from the couch, holding onto Jacob’s arm and using it as a lever to get up.
Alice pulled herself away from me and pulled a silver phone from her bag and dialled a number so fast her fingers were a blur, even to my eyes. And when she put it to her ear, I got a look at the number she dialled.
“Yes?” The beautiful voice on the other line answered innocently. A little too innocently if you asked me. Like she was trying to hide something.
“Rose, I need to talk to Carlisle now.” Alice snapped at her sister, her voice whipped through the words as she spoke. I heard Rosalie’s reply with ease with my super (somewhat) hearing.
“Oh, Alice! Carlisle’s hunting. What –”
“Fine, as soon as he’s back,” Alice snapped in response to that. Rosalie was awfully cheery for some odd reason. The word cheery didn’t suit Rosalie at all, not one bit. Angsty, bitchy and moody, yes, but cheery? Not, not at all.
“What is it? I’ll track him down right away and have him call you –”
“No,” Alice interrupted again. “Look, have you heard anything from Edward?”
“Well, yes, Alice. Actually, I did talk to Edward. Just a few minutes ago.” She took a sharp intake of breath and then started at Alice, in an angry tone. “You and Carlisle wrong, Edward wouldn’t appreciate being lied to. He’d want the truth. He did want it. So I gave it to him. I called him… I called him a lot. Until he picked up. A message would have been… wrong.”
Oh no. Please tell me I didn’t hear what I think she just said. Pleas tell me I heard wrong, please, oh god, please…
“Why?” Alice gasped. “Why would you do that Rosalie?” Oh shit, she did do it! Oh, man, when I got home she was so dead. I put out my hand for the phone so I could yell at my other sister but Alice ignored me and turned away. I let out a frustrated sigh.
“Because the sooner he gets over this, the sooner things go back to normal.” Rosalie continued on. “It wouldn’t have been easier with time, so why put it off? Time isn’t going to change anything. Bella is dead. Edward will grieve and then get over it. Better he begins now then later.”
Alice’s jaw tightened and her eyes flashed angrily as she narrowed them. I growled and Jacob bared his teeth before he held on tighter to Bella. Like I was going to attack her. Hah, I don’t make the same mistake twice in a row.
“Well, you’re wrong on both counts, though Rosalie,” Alice continued, though in a fierce, vicious tone.
“Bella’s still alive?” Rosalie whispered through the phone.
“Yes, that’s right, she’s absolutely fine –”
“Fine? You saw her jump off a cliff!” Rosalie practically cried, as if she didn’t believe her.
“I was wrong,” Alice replied bluntly.
“It’s a long story.”
“Well, you’ve made quite a mess.” Wait, Rosalie was blaming Alice? When it had been her that told Edward? That son-of-a-bitch… “Edward’s going to be furious when he comes home.”
“But you’re wrong about that part too, that’s why I’m calling,” Alice growled into the phone. She was possibly even madder at Rosalie then I was. And that was pretty pissed off.
“Wrong about what? Edward coming home? Of course he will.” She laughed mockingly through the phone and Alice’s fist tightened. “What? You think he’s going to pull a Romeo? Ha? Like some stupid, romantic –”
“Yes!” Alice hissed, with her voice like ice. “That’s exactly what I saw.”
“No. He’s not stupid. He – he must realise that –” Alice hissed into the phone, covering the rest of Rosalie’s sentence. “I – I didn’t mean it like that, Alice! I just wanted him to come home!” Her voice was a howl of despair.
“It’s a bit late for that Rose,” Alice replied, her voice harder and colder then ever before. “Save your remorse for someone who believes it.”
She snapped the phone shut with a sharp twist of her fingers. Her gaze was tortured as she turned to stare at us all. With Jacob shaking and holding a slightly stunned Bella to him, and then to me with bared teeth, and trembling hands. Growls were coming from deep in my chest.
“Alice,” Bella suddenly blurted out. “Alice, Carlisle is back, though. He called just before…”
Alice stared blankly at Bella as I shifted my gaze to her as well. “How long ago?” Alice asked in a hollow voice.
“Half a minute before you both showed up.”
“What did he say?” She was focused on Bella, waiting eagerly for an answer.
I didn’t talk to him.” Bella’s eye’s flickered to Jacob.
Alice turned her penetrating gaze on him. He flinched slightly but held his place. He shifted and sat awkwardly, like he was trying to shield Bella with his body.
“He asked for Charlie, and I told him Charlie wasn’t here,” the boy muttered resentfully, sounding a bit younger then his true age. Or maybe he was younger then what I had guessed? Maybe he was physically a man but perhaps inside, he was still a boy… I did not know.
“Is that everything?” Alice demanded in an ice-like voice.
“Then he hung up on me,” Jacob spat back, before a tremor rocked his body.
“You told him Charlie was at the funeral,” Bella reminded Jacob.
Alice’s head jerked back to Bella. “What were his exact words?”
“He said, ‘He’s not here,’ and when Carlisle asked where Charlie was, Jacob said, ‘He’s at the funeral.”
Alice moaned and sank to her knees. “Alice?” I cried panicked as I sunk down beside her and wrapped an arm around her shoulders. “Come on, chica, you know I hate secrets, what’s going on? Where’s my hermano?” I went into an old habit, speaking in certain Spanish terms to her, from my early days of high school, where I would eagerly learn Spanish with Edward patiently helping me. I swallowed a mouthful of venom as the old memories resurfaced, and as Alice turned to gaze meaningfully at me before she fixed her gaze on Bella’s bewildered face.
“Tell me, Alice,” she whispered.
“That wasn’t Carlisle on the phone,” Alice answered hopelessly.
“Are you calling me a liar?” Jacob snarled but everyone, even Bella, ignored him.
“It was Edward,” Alice chocked out. “He thinks you’re dead.”
I heard nothing after this statement except for two heartbeats. Thump, thump, thump, thump… Bella’s meek human one accelerated as Alice’s shocked words reached her ears. Jacob’s kept going at it’s regular fast pace, thumpthumpthumpthump…. He was not shocked, or scared like we were.
“Rosalie told him I killed myself didn’t she?” Bella said, sighing as she tried to relax her body.
“Yes,” Alice admitted, her eyes flashing hard again. “In her defence, she did believe it. They rely on my sight far too much for something that works so imperfectly. But for her to track him down to tell him this! Didn’t she realise… or care…?” Her voice was horror struck and I knew the answers to her questions. No… she mustn’t have realised the consequences of her actions… but if she did, she wouldn’t have cared, not one bit. I held my face in my hands before I sighed deeply and stopped the growls in my chest that had been rumbling involuntarily for the time Alice had spent talking to us.
“And when Edward called here, he thought Jacob meant my funeral,” Bella concluded, realisation hitting her like a speeding bus. She dug her nails into Jacob’s skin, he didn’t seem to notice… or care.
Alice looked at her strangely. “You’re not upset.”
“Well, it’s really rotten timing, but it will all get straightened out. The next time he calls, someone will tell him… what… really…” She trailed off as she saw Alice’s tortured gaze. Alice was panicked, her face twisting with pity and horror… It was about what she had seen and right now, even I didn’t know what was going on. It was something about what Rosalie said, and her sudden remorse… not remorse for Bella, but for her family, her brother…
“Bella,” Alice whispered. “Edward won’t call again. He believed her.”
“I. Don’t. Understand.” Bella said each word slowly as I she couldn’t quite comprehend what was going on.
Alice took a deep breath. “He’s going to Italy.”
The length it time that it took me to realise what he words meant was less then one of Jacob’s heartbeats. I gasped and stepped back, my mouth forming a little ‘O’ of horror. My fists clenched in my hair as ran my fingers through it before I began to swear and curse. “No, no, no, no, no! Alice!” She glanced at me. “He won’t, he can’t! Can he?” She nodded slowly, an agonising, tortured gesture.
“NO!” Bella suddenly shrieked, making us all jump at her denial of the situation, with the blood suddenly rushing to her face. “No! No, no, no! He can’t! He can’t do that!”
“He made up his mind as soon as your friend confirmed it was too late to save you.”
“But he… he left! He didn’t want me anymore! What difference does it make now? He knew I would die sometime?”
“I don’t think he planned to outlive you by long,” Alice said quietly.
“How dare he!” Bella screamed, on her feet now. Jacob rose to plant himself between her, and us. But Bella would have none of that.
“Oh, get out of the way, Jacob!” She elbowed her way around his trembling body. “What can we do?” she begged to us both. “Can’t we call him? Can Carlisle?”
I shot a panicked look at Alice. I didn’t know what to do. She would know; could we call him? But she shook her head. “That was the first thing I tried. He left his phone in a trash can in Rio – someone answered it…”
“You said before we had to hurry. Hurry how? Let’s do it, whatever it is!” Bella cried hastily.
“Bella, I – I don’t think I can ask you to…” Alice trailed off uncertainly.
But Bella didn’t care. “Ask me!” she commanded.
Alice still looked unsure. “Come on Alice,” I urged. “Let’s just do it! Let her come with us! She might be our only chance.”
Alice put her hands on Bella’s shoulders, holding her in place, her fingers flexing sporadically to emphasize her next words. “We may already be too late. I saw him going to the Volturi… and asking to die.” All three of us cringed when she said the words and Alice’s eyes went blind. I held a hand to her shoulder, a protective gesture. “It all depends on what they choose,” she continued on. “I can’t see that till they make a decision.
“But if they say no, and they might – Aro is fond of Carlisle, and wouldn’t want to offend him – Edward has a backup plan. They’re very protective of their city. If Edward does something to upset the peace, he thinks they’ll act to stop him. And he’s right they will.”
Bella stared at her before her jaw clenched in frustration. Alice kept going. “So if they agree to grant her favour, we’re too late. If they say no, and he comes up with a plan to offend them quickly enough, we’re too late. If he gives into his theatrical tendencies… we might have time.”
“Let’s go!” Bella and I yelled at the same time, before we both glanced at each other and I grinned cockily at her.
“Listen, Bella, Shay! Whether we have time or not, we will be in the heart of the Volturi city. I will be considered an accomplice if he is successful. You, Bella, will be a human who not only knows too much, but also smells too good. There’s a very good chance that they will eliminate us all – though in your case it won’t be punishment so much at dinnertime.”
“This is what’s keeping us here?” Bella asked in disbelief.
“Surprisingly,” I said in a rather bored voice. “Yes.”
“I’ll go alone if you’re afraid,” Bella threatened to Alice while she stole a hopeful glance at me. Like she was asking, if she won’t, will you? I gave a swift nod of my head. Yes, yes I would.
“I’m only afraid of getting you killed,” Alice replied.
Bella snorted in disgust. “I almost get myself killed on a daily basis! Tell me what I need to do!”
“You write a note to Charlie. I’ll call the airlines. Shayla, please tell me you brought a passport.”
“Bingo.” I held it in front of her face along with a wad of cash.
“Charlie,” Bella gasped, suddenly having a look of great anguish and pain on her face.
“I’m not going to let anything happen to Charlie,” Jacob growled in his gruff and deep voice. “Screw the treaty.” If it was anyone else but Bella’s father I would have been angry at this statement but now wasn’t the time to get upset over treaty lines. He needed to be kept safe, which was the most important thing right now.
Bella ran to the kitchen with Jacob on her heels. Alice dialled an airline and arranged a flight to Italy with a stop in New York for Bella.
“Don’t go,” Jacob whispered from the kitchen to Bella.
“Please, please, please take care of Charlie, Bella said as she dashed back to the front room where I now stood with Alice with a bag over each of our shoulders.
“Get your wallet – you’ll need ID,” Alice ordered to her. “Please tell me you have a passport. I don’t have time to forge you one.”
Bella nodded once and ran up the stairs. I could hear her fumbling around, grabbing items, opening and shutting drawers. She soon fled back down but the sound her footfalls were interrupted by Alice’s and Jacob’s heated confrontation by the front door. They were standing so far apart, clearly disgusted by the other’s smell, that you couldn’t tell they were arguing at first.
“You might control yourself on occasion, but these leeches you’re taking her to –” Jacob was furiously accusing her.
“Yes. You’re right, dog,” Alice snarled back at him, just as furious as the mutt. “The Volturi are the essence of our kind – they’re the reason your hair stands on end when you smell me. They are the substance of your nightmares, the dread behind your instincts. I’m not unaware of that.”
“And you take her to them like a bottle of wine for a party!” he shouted back.
I growled at him before Alice spoke again. “You think she’d be better off if I left her here alone with Victoria stalking her?” Alice had a comeback for every sentence he unleashed.
“We can handle the redhead.
“Then why is she still hunting?”
Jacob growled then and his body shuddered.
“Stop that!” Bella suddenly yelled at us, very impatient. “Argue when we get back, let’s go!”
We turned for the car and run. Bella was still on the porch, locking the door as I dove into the backseat.
I glanced out the window to see Jake grab Bella’s arm. “Please Bella. I’m begging.”
“Jake I have to –”
“You don’t though. You really don’t. You could stay here with me. You could stay alive. For Charlie. For me.”
Alice started the car which she coaxed into a purr, thanks to me and Rose’s mechanical skills. It however thrummed impatiently when Alice revved it.
On the porch, Bella yanked her arm free and shook her head at Jake, tears starting to appear.
“Don’t die, Bella,” Jacob chocked out. “Don’t go. Don’t.”
Bella sobbed before she hugged him briefly and then kissed his palm. “Bye Jake. Sorry.”
She turned and ran towards the car. I reached over the passenger seat to yank open the door for her. She threw her back pack to me and slid in, before slamming the door.
“Take care of Charlie!” she shouted out the window but Jacob was gone. And as Alice stomped on the accelerator and raced out of the dark street, a single shred of white was caught on a tree. A piece of shoe.