No One's POV
The house lights were off when Bella walked in, the only car in front of the house was Carlisle's oh-so-familiar Mercedes that she had spotted before with Jacob driving up, meaning Peyton and Charlie were both still gone.
Bella's thoughts raced as she remembered words Jacob had told her, words about what had happened in the harbor.
Victoria's hair, blowing wild in the wind, the color of fire... She had been right there. Bella suddenly felt terror grip her and she tried to shove it back down, afraid that she might be sick otherwise.
There were better things to focus on right now, like the car in her driveway.
Lights flicked on as she finally found the switch to the hall.
"Alice, oh, Alice!" Bella cries, racing to Alice, nearly slamming into her.
"Bella?" Alice asks, her voice a mingling of relief and confusion.
Bella locks her arms around her, inhaling as much scent as possible, practically gasping and sobbing all at once.
Alice managed to pull Bella into the living room, Bella curling into her as much as one could curl into cool marble stone that is.
"I'm... Sorry." Bella blubbers. "I'm just... So happy... To see you!"
"It's okay, Bella. Everything's okay."
"Yes." Bella continues to bawl.
"I'd forgotten how exuberant you all." Alice replies a bit strained, seeming slightly disapproving.
Bella finally looks up at Alice, noticing how Alice's neck was tight, her body straining away, lips pressed together, and her eyes pitch black.
"Oh." Bella realizes. "Sorry."
"It's my own fault. It's been too long since I hunted. I shouldn't let myself get so thirsty. But I was in a hurry today." Alice explains. "Speaking of which, would you like to explain to me how you're alive?"
That question stops Bella, making her realize why Alice was here.
"You saw me fall."
"No." She disagrees, eyes narrowing. "I saw you jump."
"I told him this would happen, but he didn't believe me. 'Bella promised.'" Alice mimics Edward's voice perfectly. "Don't be looking for her future, either. We've done enough damage. But just because I'm not looking, doesn't mean I don't see. I wasn't keeping tabs on you, I swear, Bella. It's just that I'm already attuned to you... When I saw you jumping, I didn't think, I just got on a plane. I knew I would be too late, but I couldn't do nothing. And then I get here, thinking maybe I could help Charlie somehow, and you drive up."
"I saw you go into the water and I waited and waited for you to come up, but you didn't. What happened? And how could you do that to Charlie? Did you stop to think what this would do to him? And my brother? Do you have any idea what Edward-"
"Alice, I wasn't committing suicide." Bella cuts Alice off before Alice can continue, the pain of Alice talking about Edward lashing at her and making her nearly sick.
"Are you saying you didn't jump off a cliff?" Alice asks, looking skeptical.
"No, but..." Bells grimaces. "It was for recreational purposes only."
"I'd seen some of Jacob's friends cliff diving." Bella insists. "It looked like... Fun, and I was bored."
Alice's expression only hardens and she gives Bella another deadpan look.
"I didn't think about how the storm would affect the currents. Actually, I didn't think about the water much at all."
"So if you saw me go in, why didn't you see Jacob?" Bella asks, redirecting the conversation after realizing Alice clearly wasn't buying her story and not wanting Alice to analyze her too much more.
"It's true that I probably would have drowned if Jacob hadn't jumped in after me. Well, okay, there's no probably about it. But he did, and he pulled me out, and I guess he towed me back to shore, though I was kind of out for that part. It couldn't have been more than a minute that I was under before he grabbed me. How come you didn't see that?"
"Someone pulled you out?" Alice questions, clearly distracted.
"Yes. Jacob saved me."
"Don't be ridiculous." She muttered to herself, suddenly sniffing Bella.
"What are you doing?"
"Who was with you out there just now? It sounded like you were arguing."
"Jacob Black. He's... Sort of my best friend, I guess. At least, he was..."
"What?" Bella asks, as Alice looks preoccupied.
"I don't know. I'm not sure what it means."
"Well, I'm not dead, at least." Bella shrugs almost nonchalantly about her clearly idiotic decisions.
"He was a fool to think you could survive alone. I've never seen anyone so prone to life-threatening idiocy." Alice sighs.
"So, if the currents were too much for you, how did this Jacob manage?"
"Jacob is... Strong." Bella hedges. "See, well, he's... Sort of a werewolf. The Quileutes turn into wolves when there are vampires around. They know Carlisle from a long time ago. Were you with Carlisle back then?"
"Well, I guess that explains the smell. But does it explain what I didn't see?" Alice mutters.
"The smell?" Bella asks dumbly.
"You smell awful. A werewolf? Are you sure about that?"
"Very sure. I guess you weren't with Carlisle the last time there were werewolves here in Forks?"
"No. I hadn't found him yet." Alice says, lost in a memory. "Your best friend is a werewolf? How long has this been?"
"Not long. He's only been a werewolf for a few weeks." Bella says sheepishly.
"A young werewolf? Even worse! Edward was right – you're a magnet for danger. Weren't you supposed to be staying out of trouble?"
"There's nothing wrong with werewolves!" Bella tries to defend, stung by her critical tone.
"Until they lose their temper. Leave it to you, Bella. Anyone else would be better off when vampires left town. But you have to start hanging out with the first monsters you can find."
"No, Alice, the vampires didn't really leave – not all of them, anyway. That's the whole trouble. If it weren't for the werewolves, Victoria would have gotten me by now. Well, if it weren't for Jake and his friends, Laurent would have gotten me before she could, I guess, so-"
"Victoria? Laurent?" Alice hisses.
"Danger magnet, remember?" Bella reminds half-heartedly.
"Tell me everything – start at the beginning."
YOU ARE READING
What many had seemingly forgotten was that Charlie Swan had a twin sister. Perhaps it was because Rachel Swan had left Forks for the lights of New York. Eventually, the story would come full circle. Years later, Charlie's niece Peyton would come bac...