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Sep. 7th, 2009

dtbl 6

The dark broke into day and the amorous actions of the night were hovering in memories of the near past. For a girl and her vampire it had been a glorious revelry in lips and touches.

The tastes were exotic and new but the passion had always been there under another name. At the moment entwined hands splayed on the pillow behind Bella’s head, one unnaturally perfect and one perfectly human and amber eyes gazed lazily at closed lids.

Alice nuzzled into the pale neck unconsciously offered her in the hopes of seeing the brown irises beneath. She was quite successful because the lids shot open. The sigh that followed sounded the call of a tension that had not completely snapped yet.

“Alice?” Bella leaned into the cold skin, shivering from something different altogether.

“Yes,” the answering whisper confirmed.

“Good,” Bella nodded and moved her hand from Alice’s to her own face, “I was afraid it wasn’t real… again”

“No, it is quite definitely real. I am here."

"I'm glad you're here." Bella said.

An idea grabbed Alice that set her brow with fear. “Are you okay? I would hate for you to regret…”

Bella rose so that she could look into Alice’s face. “I don’t regret it,” she struggled, “I just don’t know…well… what…I’ve never.” She couldn't find the words now that the heat of the action had ceased.

“It’s okay,” Alice replied trailing fingers over Bella's face.

Silenced and calmed by the action Bella got a grip. “What does it mean?” It was something she wasn't sure she was ready to address but the question had flown out of her before she could stop it.

Alice squared her shoulders determined to get her side of the explanation right. She feared scaring Bella, who she supposed had never embarked on something like this before, at least not with someone of the female variety.

Obviously, Bella had done something similar with a vampire before. She didn't want to dwell too long on that because she was still irrationally angry with Edward. It was something she would get over in time.

“Bella, I have to tell you this because I need you to know what you're getting into. I’ve had feelings for you for quite some time,” she paused when Bella looked perplexed, “Obviously; it was never a good idea to reveal them to you for so many reasons.”

It was too late to take it back now even if she had wanted to but it was obvious that she had been correct in her assumption that Bella had never considered anything of the kind.

Bella bit her bottom lip as she considered the revelation. She had never known of Alice's feelings and was confident that she would have never found out if circumstances had not been laid out as they now were.

Alice Cullen had feelings for her. How did she feel about that? She had always thought of Alice as this unattainable being, even more so than Edward. The fact that this was happening, that this beautiful creature wanted to be more than her friend was beyond the boundary she had built between them in her mind.

Alice had always held her attention but it was as if they were both shy and bold with each other. Their friendship had been struck instantly because beyond the physical they fit together with no hard edges. Their personalities seemed to wrap around each other like supportive arms.

They had always been united in the fact that Edward was special to both of them, but now there was something further to consider beyond that. If they had met independently of Edward would their relationship be different? Now, that led Bella right back into the other parties involved in their lives.

“Jasper,” Bella asked?

Alice unconsciously placed a hand on over her chest. She exhaled forcefully showing that human emotions were still quite a catch for the superhuman.

“He knows… something,” her eyes lowered, “You see, Jasper and I have always had this fateful relationship so I never considered what would happen if I ever really had feelings for someone else. We both know that we might be attracted to others since it is in our nature as it is in yours. I like to think that it's human part of us that makes love and attraction possible."

She paused for a moment wanting to answer satisfactorily for herself as much as for Bella and because this next bit was tricky.

"What I was not prepared for were feelings deeper than mere attraction or infatuation directed at someone else and to actually answer your question... I have no idea”

Now it was complicated and they were obviously in over their heads at the moment. She did not want whatever was happening to wreck Alice and Jasper’s marriage, however unconventional it was, but there was something to this that warranted further exploration. The door was opened and it was only a matter of feeling their way forward if they chose to.

“What are we going to do?”

“Well, I know what I would like to do,” Alice’s mischievous tone was almost instantly culled by the seriousness of Bella’s expression. “Instead, I think we should return to how you feel about the situation.”

Bella felt strangely calm. She should be freaking out, but it was as if part of her expected and was just waiting for this to happen. Still, that did not deter her from considering the possibility that her experience with Alice could be a flash in the pan because of Edward.

Edward and his sister were similar, but it didn't feel the same. On the contrary, Alice made her feel alive and new. Even in this incredibly early stage it felt like something that had just fallen together, unlike the difficulties that had surrounded her feelings for Edward.

She was no longer that wet and sodden being on the forest floor. Alice had brought her up from the hole she had been falling into and back home to the warmth. Jake had helped her start the process but Alice seemed to be finishing it.

Alice could no longer take the silence so she reached out tapping Bella on the nose. Bella looked into those amber eyes trying to find the secret to their predicament in their ageless depths. All she saw was something she couldn't quantify. She wondered what her own eyes were showing the vampire. She could tell that Alice was reading her like text.

It was in that moment that Bella just decided to let it fly. She was jumping off a cliff again but this time she was jumping into her rescuer's arms. Giving in to the feelings just felt good and maybe by experiencing them she would find her way. After all, Edward was no longer a factor and at least Jasper knew something was up. Maybe things weren't so bleak after all.

"I don't want to worry about it right now," she finally said, "You just got back and I want to feel good about that. Alice, can't we please just be happy for awhile?"

That request was something that the vampire was more than happy to comply with. "For today," Alice replied, "But we need to talk more soon."

Bella felt confident that she might be able to persuade Alice otherwise but for now she would seal the agreement with a kiss. Just before their lips met a thought ran across her mind. She put it aside, instead feeling the pleasure of cool lips on her own.

They parted and Bella's brain took up just where it had left off, like a tape that had been paused. Kissing Alice left everything suspended for a moment. It was like gravity lifted for them every time they embraced.

"How can you do this Alice?" She pulled back so that she could see Alice full in the face. "What do you mean?" Alice was suddenly worried that Bella was experiencing a change of heart.

"Well, Edward could barely touch me without hunger taking over."

Alice's lips formed a line and her brow creased even though she was relieved. This was something she had not considered in the heat of the moment. There were many things that she had simply not though to question. This was not smart of her, but Bella obviously affected her good sense.

Ever since she had seen Bella jump off the cliff and into the water things had felt different. The shift in the point of view in her vision had something to do with it but she couldn't figure it out. She thought it was best not to mention it when she had no idea how it fit into the issue herself.

"I guess I was just so happy that you were alive that I was not really thinking about killing you," Alice murmured. "Now that you say that though, I am feeling a bit peckish and your scent isn't helping. I can hear your blood so clearly."

Alice's voice betrayed her complete wonderment. She had never expected to be this close to Bella in the way that she was now. She could sense everything even more clearly than she could before. She felt they had merged in some way beyond normal means.

Bella choked out a laugh. The way in which Alice had said that last bit so nonchalantly was both adorable and slightly garish. After all, How does one reply to such a statement?

Far away on a desolate plain in South America Edward was wasting away in his eternal body. His decision was driving him mad and his inability to attain the one goal that he had set further worsened his condition. His fingers touched the dry, cracked ground as he allowed himself to collapse.

His knees buckled and he met the dirt with a welcoming mind. If oblivion were possible he would dive into it with pleasure. He vaguely hoped that Victoria would find him here and rip him to shreds. He knew that she was far away. The scent she had left behind was so faint he could barely detect it.

He would rest here for the moment but knew that if he was idle for too long that he would look back. If he allowed that it was only a matter of time until he would return to Forks. He would tell himself that it was just to make sure that Bella was alright but he would know deep down that he would return to her in the end. He could not help putting her in danger.

Sep. 2nd, 2009

Inspiration from a song... for a vampire story

Stormy - Holly McNarland
If I told you the story of my life
Would you break down in laughter
Or run from me, hide from me in fright
'Cause I'm stormy again

With your questions
Not knowing what's right
I will taint you and poison your mind
I will eat from your heart,
Tearing you apart
Does it feel as good for you?
'Cause I'm stormy again
Yes I'm stormy again

With your blood soaked lips
Wet my appetite
And the hunger's knotting up inside
I yearn for more than just your mind
My eyes won't leave much behind
I yearn for more than just your mind
You would die
You would die

'Cause I'm stormy again
Yes I'm stormy again
You would die for me

Aug. 12th, 2009

New idea (unedited)

Bones were the instrument through which Temperance Brennan viewed the human experience for many years. The precise scientific language that human remains spoke in are what drew her in the first place. She had a yearning to understand everything but to accomplish this in a manner that satisfied her need for distance. Cool calculation is the manner in which she treated remains and those around her. However, this left her open to attack in so many ways. Despite her cold demeanor she had drawn warmth around her in the form of her best friend Angela Montenegro and now Seely Booth was also doing his best to melt her pure scientific mind a little at a time.

The humanity was expanding inside her but she was unaware of how influential these people had really been on her. Case in point, Brennan would have never been dragged out for a weekend away with her best friend while there were ancient Chinese imperial guards long dead in her lab. They were just waiting to be identified and she was itching to put some dates to those bones. The delightful dance of convincing had begun.

Angela sat on the floor of her office trying to find a little peace in the hectic goings on of the Jeffersonian. She was feeling a bit drained after the most recent investigation had been concluded. In fact, everyone seemed a bit fried of late. Even Booth was taking his son away for a weekend of fishing and male bonding. Three small lines formed on her brow as she focused on keeping all of the distracting thoughts out. She could not keep herself from thinking of the three things that were stressing her out. She lined them up in her mind so that she could vanquish them.

One, her recent break up with Hodgins. Thinking that you've found the person you are going to spend your life with only to end things was definitely depressing her spirits. Two, victim in the investigation that they had just wrapped up had really gotten to her. Three, she had this strange itching feeling in the back of her mind that there was something big coming. Something that could potentially be life changing.

It was that third one that was really punching its way through her consciousness. Even sitting in her usual meditation pose was beginning to annoy her as her muscles continued to itch with unfulfilled anticipation. She shook her head from side to side slowly as if to physically make the thoughts dissipate. She concentrated on something relaxing. Images began to appear in her mind; a forest, a lake, and finally a blank canvas. The canvas began to fill itself with brush strokes. Life poured into the white surface making her muscles tense. When the image was finished rendering itself it was quite familiar. It was Brennan. She suddenly knew what to do.

She rolled to the right and up to her feet. Her strides took her quickly to the door and beyond into the lap. She reached Brennan's office only to find it unoccupied. Her hand flew to her head in frustration.

"Where are you," she whispered.

She turned back toward her own office, head down, concentrating on her goal. Her office was not very far and when she made it back she was not expecting the impact of another body on her's. Bam, they met just in front of the door, both sets of eyes averted and too distracted to notice the other person in front of them. Angela staggered back in surprise. When she realized that her goal had come straight to her she let out a loud laugh. Brennan being just as surprised as Angela at the collision laughed back.

"I was just coming to look for you," Brennan said.

"I just left your office," Angela smiled, "I was looking for you."

"Well, I suppose we've been successful despite the manner of the meeting."

"I have to.."
"We need some..."

Both women started and stopped speaking at the same time.

"We are not very good at this today," Brennan surmised.

"No, but I lets try this elsewhere," Angela suggested.

She motioned for Brennan to enter the office and followed her when she went in. They both sat and Angela regrouped her thoughts.

"Can I go first," she asked?

"Certainly."

She leaned toward Brennan in excitement her pulse slightly quickening. This did not go unnoticed by her best friend.

"I want to go away for the weekend, and I want you to go with me. I really need to get out of here and I can't go alone."

Jun. 25th, 2009

more

The silver pendant that had been given in love was no longer cold. Bella pressed it into her chilled hand and felt the metal suck the frigid feeling from her fingers momentarily.The image of Edward returning to find her in her happy state had sent a bolt of reality between herself and Alice. His face had never betrayed his emotions as it had in that moment. The world was cast in blues and the sounds came to a shuttering stop. It was like someone shouting in the middle of a choreographed dance. Everything stopped and paid attention to the intruder. She could feel the hands falling from her in surprise and the eyes boring into her, daring her to recant the truth.

Edward knew the moment it was out of her mouth that other hands had been on her. He felt the mark it left on her. There was an absolute that had been broken. In his heart he had truly believed that nothing would change the way she felt. Even if he wanted her to move on he couldn't stand that she obviously had. He smelled the scents on her. The vampire, the wolf, but he could not distinguish.

May. 2nd, 2009

Hey guys

You sewed up this plan that we made,
But I can't find anything
That I won't look back on,
And find some kind of pleasing pain
We maybe had too much time
I can't take it down
I won't end this chance to punch you back

*If I knew you were doing well
I would find a ride away
I can't reply, I can't send you a name
'Cause I'm not sane
You played with me, I'm clay
I'm a unicorn, I'm weird

I wish you'd let me contract some more
I could shrink back into balls of stars
Like those marks on your face
I think they call them life getting older
But we won't get older.. we're weird

C2X

My friends don't know you
They don't know me
That's why you have to be back walking
I'm pushing you on the inside
It's not what yo think...
We're weird, We're unicorns

Apr. 18th, 2009

new blog for krikki

Choices, we make them every day. Things such as; apples or oranges, right or left, and Canada or Hollywood. As I was cruising around the usual sites looking for some krikki goodness I noticed a theme occurring. People were being asked to make a choice and according to most it was an easy choice one way or the other. Kristen Stewart or Ellen Page... that was the title of the blog I found hidden away within the huge vault of lesbian web information known as After Ellen. Let me first say that I love both actresses. My love of Kristen Stewart is new compared to Ellen Page, but she has swarmed all over number one in my tomboy/baby butch young actress category. What I got from the posts that I found were mostly about who was hotter, but I thought, being the super fan nerd girl that I am, I would dig a little deeper and compare their filmographies, clout, and presence.

One might say that Ellen's oscar nod puts her in the lead clout wise but if you look at the phenomena that has been created by the Twilight film just about any project that KStew takes part in has a guaranteed audience. The sort of projects that KStew has expressed interest in doing, little indie films that never see the light of day, are now actually getting distributed. One can just look at The Cake Eaters as an example. That film would not have garnered the amount of attention it deserved if it had not been for a little thing called capitalization on Twifame. So while she may owe her clout to Twilight she has shown that she has the talent and willingness to take those roles that have layers and guts. After this I must take you back to Hard Candy. This film proved that Ellen Page has goolies and can carry a film with elegant bloodlust that usually isn't seen in one so young. The next category is completely up to personal preference. While I think both girls are adorable with their tomboyish fashion senses and laid-back manners, Kristen Stewart has this deep, anguished look in her eyes that could make a grown biker cry just by looking at her. Again, that was personal observation talking but I have it under good authority that others have noted this fact as well. I love, love, love Ellen Page and her unique persona but the gravitational pull of a quietly tortured young KStew beckons from inside those green eyes. Having outed myself as someone who spends way too much time looking at pictures while researching for blog posts I will end that particular line of insanity right there. At the end of the day it is all up to you to answer this pressing and important question for yourself. Hold on you have a little sarcasm in your eye. Let me help you with that. If anyone is actually reading this feel free to give your answer to our question. Come now don't be afraid... Kristen or Ellen?

Apr. 9th, 2009

another 4

Bella's life had always been going somewhere extraordinary and she was unaware of the fact. She was in no way sure of herself and like most beings on earth she had no idea who she was but today she slept in quiet peace away from the turbulence of the last few months. There were no thoughts of suffering or happiness. She was simply being herself even in unconsciousness.She could not know that there were limbs everywhere. Wrapping, bending, feeling, holding each other away from the light, but Alice was fully aware of their state of entanglement. Bella woke to diamonds in her eyes. The world in its enigmatic nature had blessed Forks with two straight days of seeing the sun. The clouds in the sky had retreated back to a respectful distance making the full beauty of vampire skin possible to witness. Today the striking nature of the creature before her would be rejoiced in by even the sky. She knew Alice was awake but she didn't move as Bella's eyes roamed her face. The eyes were closed and her soul rose forth from her petite frame to magnify the way being near Bella made her feel again. Bella's hand reached out to feel the hair that was so near her. She felt the way the edges blended against her fingertips and rubbed a few strands together. The texture was amazing and real. She felt the air release from her chest and make its way out of her body and saw the spiky hair flutter as her own carbon dioxide flew through it.

Alice smiled and Bella's attention was drawn once again to the glowing crystal of her skin. The facets of the sparkling paleness changed as she moved slowly to face her companion. Now Alice was relaxed and it felt delicious after such a long time away. She stretched like a cat even though she had no need of the act. It felt natural to do so. She watched an answering smile light Bella's face.

"Good morning," she cooed.

The spoken words surprised Bella and she had once again forgotten the ring of Alice's voice in the night.

"Morning... did you rest well," she asked?

Even if Alice did not sleep she partook in some sort of rest Bella imagined.

"It was nice," Alice thought wonderful was a more descriptive word but she held back, "I had a moment of concern when Charlie went to work but he didn't even check on you."

Bella's face fell into concern. The fantastic manner of her waking had left her oblivious to the real complications that awaited them. She was suddenly aware of her body and what it was currently doing. She looked down to see her legs flung into a chaotic tangle with Alice's and her cheek was currently resting near Alice's chest. It had felt like the most natural thing in the world until she had become aware of it. She lifted her body backwards toward the edge of the bed and pulled her legs free. Now she was standing to the side of the bed looking down on Alice. She felt even more awkward. Her arms flew across her body as if they could protect her from her own feelings. She desperately reached for any kind of logical thing to say to return the situation back to normal. Alice's patient, pleasant expression had not altered. She beamed up at Bella as if nothing was amiss. Bella blinked rapidly thoughts coming and going in seconds.

"Charlie," she finally managed, "what are we going to do about that..."

She had run out of steam when Alice's smile had widened. The effect of even more light being deflected was stunning.

"Well, since I had a lot of time to think while you were sleeping," she looked at the place Bella had vacated on the bed with fondness, "I came up with a story."

Bella sat back on the bed, put at ease that at least someone had the brain capacity to come up with a plan. She motioned for Alice to continue.

"I thought I would just hang out until Charlie comes home and when he does we can just tell him that I am visiting for awhile."

Bella nodded but still had her doubts. "But what are we going to tell him when he asks why you are visiting?"

Alice shook her head slowly as if it were the most obvious thing in the world.

"I have to visit my best friend in the world on my only break before college don't I?"

Why hadn't she thought of such a simple answer. Though, it was hard for her to think when she was suffering from the combination of tiredness and having a vampire in her bed. Bella gave one of her exhale scoffs and smiled at her own lack of thought processes in the presence of this family.



Charlie slammed the door to his cruiser a little harder than he normally would. He had experienced a less than stellar day at the police station. The district commander of district eight of the State Patrol had come all the way from Bremerton to lean on him about the rash of murders that were happening throughout the area. It looked as if whoever had been killing folks around the surrounding counties in animalistic way was back at it. When this killer had last struck it had been at someone he had called a friend. He squeezed his eyes until he was sure the sight of Waylan's blood drained corpse was pushed back into its rightful place in the back of his mind. He stepped up to the porch and opened the door. The first thing that hit him was the smell of cooking, the second thing was the high lilting voice of Alice Cullen. He moved right into the kitchen without taking off his utility belt as he usually did. His first thought was that if Edward had returned he would skin him alive.

Bella whirled around when she heard his booted footfalls. Alice had warned her that he was approaching but in the interest of acting natural they had carried on as if they didn't know he was home. He glared at Alice. His day was getting weirder. Bella came forward, spatula in hand.

"Dad, I'm glad you're home," she said.

She moved between her father and Alice who was sitting at the table. She could feel the tension vibrating off of him.

"Alice?"

His question was obvious. She stood and approached him with grace, placing a hand on Bella's shoulder. She smiled at her friend and held her hand out to Charlie. He looked down doubtfully but finally reached out his own much larger hand to engulf hers.

"Nice to see you Charlie," she paused looking him in the eye and wasted no time in answering his unspoken question, "I finished school early due to my accelerated courses and I thought I would come visit Bella... and you of course."

She smiled warmly at him and he relaxed. He let go of her hand and looked from his daughter to Alice.

"Your here alone," he questioned, his tone implying that he had no interest in seeing certain members of her family in his home.

"Yes, the rest of the family is off on a trip of their own. They went to climb Mount McKinley. Our house isn't far from there but climbing mountains is just not my thing so I thought I would come get away from the cold for a bit."

Her natural ease at lying was so prominent that even Bella almost believed her for a moment. Charlie looked at his daughter closely. She seemed to be fine with Alice being back. In fact, she seemed much more animated than when he had last seen her. There was some color back in her face and though she was still painfully thin she looked more alive.

"Hmm, welcome back Alice," he grumbled.

She waved cheerily and returned her seat at the kitchen table. He shuffled back to the entry way to relieve himself of his belt and gun. He pulled the gun from its holster and placed it in the small drawer in the hall table. There was no way he was done questioning Alice. He was not going to let her just skate back into Bella's life without knowing that she was not going to harm his daughter even more than she already had. He was not a stupid man. He knew that Alice's departure had hit her pretty hard. He had been the one standing at Bella's door at three in the morning listening to the tears fall.

Bella was back over the stove the moment that Charlie had left to change. She was relieved that it had gone so well but still afraid that he was going to ask some tough questions when he came back downstairs. Alice grinned at her from the table. It was very unsettling to see her friend still so at ease when she was sweating like a pig, but this was what happened when one fraternized with vampires. She wondered how Alice was going to wiggle her way into staying. That is, if she was going to stay. The realization hit her that Alice could just take off again or at least not stay with with her. That was enough to send her stomach plummeting. She turned, determined to elicit a promise from Alice when Charlie reentered, clad in his usual flannel and jeans. He was straight and to the point.

"Alice, how long do you intend on staying?"

She casually turned toward him.

"Well, I thought at least a week if that's okay with you."

He looked back and forth from Bella to Alice. It was quite an awkward situation for him. Even though he was afraid of what Alice being here might mean he understood by just looking at Bella that she was already feeling better. He decided to give Alice a chance. She was always his favorite Cullen anyway, even if she was just as mysterious as the rest of them. She had a way about her that charmed him.

"If you're staying here I guess I should get the extra blankets out so you can use the couch."

"Dad," Bella shot from across the kitchen. "She can stay with me in my room."

She was so relieved that it seemed as if Alice would be around at least for a little while that she had no qualms about speaking up. She didn't notice that Alice's face lit up with her words. Charlie put his hands on his hips and considered the possibility.

"That's fine," was all he said. He would definitely be keeping his eyes on Alice but for now he would settle into his favorite chair in front of the flat screen and wait for what looked like a good dinner.

Alice was shining like a new penny. She erased her doubts about staying for the moment and returned to watching Bella cook. It was the only thing that made Bella appear physically graceful. When she forgot that she could trip over herself she turned into quite an accomplished cook. She had bought herself a week to be with Bella and she would not let it pass without cataloging every moment in her mind. There would be a mark on her memory for every smile and movement that was bestowed on her, and there would be no wasting these days.

Bella pushed the chicken she was frying around to new positions in the pan and basked in the feeling of being watched. As long as Alice's gaze was on her she was assured of the continuation of her heart to beat. She felt the blood pump strong for the first time in ages. The warm liquid feeling of it pooled in her gut making her a bit dizzy. She turned knowing she had to meet the eyes she felt were there. When she did her mind exploded with possibilities that she had never before considered. Now that her eyes had met their burnt amber matches she shifted to the lips that curved in an appealing manner. Their fullness was amazing. What was she going to do with thoughts such as these?

Apr. 6th, 2009

ch 4

Bella absentmindedly chewed on her fingernail and tapped her foot while she watched her dad eating his breakfast. To a more observant person she would seem completely out of sorts and nervous. She was pushing eggs around her plate with her other hand. When Bella had woken the newly reunited girls had talked over what they were going to do about a very important problem. What were they going to tell Charlie. In the end they had decided that Alice should wait until breakfast and come to the door like a normal human being would. Hopefully, Charlie would buy the story that they had concocted about Alice being in town for a visit and needed to stay on short notice. Bella desperately wanted Alice to hurry up and ring the door bell. The suspense was driving her mad. For the fifteenth time she looked toward the entryway between the kitchen and living room. Charlie finally looked up at his daughter and realization smacked him in the face making his eyebrows scrunch slightly.

"You okay, Bells," he asked?

Her head whipped around to him, her hand freezing over her plate. She sat still for a split second making Charlie even more suspicious. She looked like a guilty suspect.

"Yeah, fine... why?

"Well, you seen sort of nervous and you haven't eaten a thing"

He pointed at her uneaten food with his butter knife and shrugged.

She looked down and scoffed slightly at herself.

"Guess I'm just not hungry this morning."

Mar. 31st, 2009

bella alice ch4

The time had come for the newly reunited friends to brainstorm over a very important question that hovered between them making them each think deeply. What were they going to tell Charlie?

Mar. 29th, 2009

chapter 3 alice/bella

The sun peeked through the round, wet clouds outside illuminating the floor where the last rays of the day splayed through the open window painting the room with a pink glow. Bella lay on her bed passed out from her strenuous afternoon. She had fallen asleep in Alice's arms on the way back to the house. For once it was a dreamless sleep that settled like a heavy blanket over her mind. Alice sat facing the bed with her legs pulled to her chest. Her arm was propped on her knees and extended toward the bed. Inside her cold grasp sat Bella's hand, gripping the pale fingers tightly. Charlie had come home some time ago and Alice had hid in the closet when he had come looking for Bella. When he had been satisfied that his daughter was accounted for he left and Alice returned to her previous position. Bella had seemed to sense her returned presence and her hand opened and closed around thin air until Alice took it into her own again. Then she had sighed and scooted closer to the edge of the bed. The pink light gracing Bella's face made Alice sigh with contentment. She listened to the sounds of Charlie microwaving dinner downstairs and chuckled to herself when he firmly planted his butt on the sofa in front of the television. Then she returned to thinking of the many ways that Bella's beauty touched her. She now fully understood the fascination with watching humans sleep or maybe it was only this particular person that could inspire these feelings. Sleeping was strange to her even if she did understand the basic concept and reasons behind it. She would have to find out someday. For now, it seemed as if her sleeping beauty was waking.

Bella's lids slid slowly up until she was staring groggily into Alice's face. A lazy grin spread across the vampire's visage and Bella's lips responded in kind. She was so happy that it had not been a dream and she found that she could not look away.

"I thought you were going to sleep forever," Alice said.

"You are just impatient," she replied after a moment.

She started to stretch her arms but found that she was still clasping Alice's hand. She looked down, slightly embarrassed but was surprised when Alice didn't let go immediately. After a moment of close observation Alice finally did let go allowing Bella to find a more comfortable position. She looked down and power blushed when she noticed that she was definitely not wearing the clothes she had been earlier. She realized that Alice must have changed her out of them and into the shirt and shorts that she now wore. Her eyes surveyed Alice straight on again and she registered the grime coated state of her clothes and parts of her body. Alice noticed what she was looking at and glanced down herself. She had washed off some of the dirt in the sink and had placed a clean brown towel under herself so she would not make a stain on the floor but she still looked pretty covered with dirt. Bella reached out and pulled a twig from Alice's spiky hair. She looked at it for a moment before thinking fondly of how Alice was taking care of her once again. How would she ever repay the kindness. Then the fact that Alice had changed her clothes came off the back burner of her mind with a sizzle.

"Did you change me," she asked?

She knew the answer obviously but she had been compelled to visit the subject. Alice nodded solemnly before bursting into a wide grin again.

"You were very out of it so what else was there for me to do. I knew you would catch cold if you stayed in those soaked things. I'm sorry if it offended you."

She stopped when a blush erupted on Bella's face again but continued in a semi-teasing tone.

"I promise I closed my eyes at the good parts."

This made Bella go even redder. "No.. it's fine," she finally stammered out blinking rapidly.

The thought of Alice seeing her imperfect human body was enough to send her mind out of the universe. How would her body compare to the beautiful stone skin of a vampire. As Bella remained silent Alice started to worry.

"Bella, it really is fine. I promise," she reiterated.

This seemed to relax her and Alice retracted her hand that she had unknowingly extended when she had started to feel awkward. Now the two sat in a strange silence not knowing where to go next. Finally, Bella remembered Charlie.

"Is Charlie home," she asked somewhat alarmed.

Alice nodded, "He came home awhile ago but he only looked in on you. Don't worry, I hid in the closet. I think I might have gotten some mud on your clothes though. You really should have a bigger closet."

Bella looked toward the small space in question and frowned.

"I'm sorry you had to hide in the closet."

She could care less if Alice got mud on her clothes. The fact remained that she had returned. Now the natural question occurred to her and she considered how to approach the subject. She could only figure one way.

"Alice why are you back?"

Alice's face hardened slightly.

"Why did you jump?"

The question answered Bella's for her. The obvious conclusion was that Alice had seen her little attempt at a high dive in a vision. She looked away from Alice for a moment thinking of a way to answer correctly. Before she could she heard a noise that she couldn't name come from Alice. Then she was pulled into the muddy arms of her favorite female vampire.

"Bella, how could you.."

Alice stopped speaking at the thought of loosing Bella to the whirling waves that she had experienced second hand in her mind. Her nose found the crook of Bella's neck and rested there not caring if her display of affection might seem out of place. Their interaction often defied the strict boundaries given to most friendships even if they hadn't stopped to think about that aspect. Tears escaped Bella's eyes and fell to Alice's back where they were absorbed by the dried mud. Long dead emotions uncoiled inside her and she started to cry in deep, racking sobs. The dirt was reanimated where the tears fell in a stream and she finally pulled back from Alice gently. Her hand wiped self consciously at her nose.

"I wasn't trying to kill myself she said with certain finality. I just wanted to know what it would be like. I saw some guys diving earlier today and I... I just wanted to do it.

Alice nodded almost imperceptibly. She knew that there were other reasons behind Bella's jump but she believed that she had not been trying to kill herself. However ill thought out the action was she trusted the tone of Bella's confession.

"You're all dirty," Bella pointed out. She touched Alice's arm where a spot of dirt had stubbornly dried. Alice's hand flew to her hair and she sighed.

"Yeah, running long distances does tend to do that to a girl. I met more than a few rivers on the way."

She picked at her ruined shirt. "I will never be able to wear this again."

Bella smiled,"You wouldn't have anyway."

Alice reached out and flicked Bella lightly careful to put no strength behind it. "Who told you that."

When Bella just grinned back at her, she knew who the culprit was. When she registered the state of Bella's face the grin was gone. It had been replaced with pain and confusion. She started to reach out but stopped. She cursed herself for letting the conversation go there.

Bella waited for the throb to return to her chest. She held her breath and closed her mind in anticipation. Then she let the air out in one gasp when the pain didn't come like she thought it would. She tried to pull Edward's face into her mind but could not and the vagueness of her reaction caused her to pause longer still.

Alice was busy deciding if she should apologize and acknowledge what had passed or if she should just not speak until Bella did. She didn't know if she could take seeing Bella in pain over her brother when all she wanted was to scoop Bella into her arms again and keep her close.

Finally, Bella moved again. Her eyes found Alice's and she regained her grip on the present.

"You should get cleaned up," she stated. She glanced at the clock. "Charlie will be in bed soon and he won't even notice. He has to go in early tomorrow and besides when he's asleep he won't wake up for anything."

Alice shook her head in protest. "I should go elsewhere."

Bella panicked slightly at the thought of letting Alice get too far away from her. She couldn't risk her disappearing again. Alice started to get up but Bella reached out and pressed her hand to Alice's shoulder.

"No, it will be fine. Charlie will just think that it's me in there." She did not care if desperation colored her voice. She would do whatever it took to get Alice to stay.

Alice could not refuse when she was assaulted with Bella's pleading face. In truth she would have found it extremely difficult to leave Bella and so she agreed.

"I'll have to borrow some of your clothes." She looked at the closet door. "Preferably, not the ones I got mud on earlier."

She smiled down again and Bella visibly relaxed.

"Of course, whatever you need."

Alice tensed as she heard the lack of sound signaling that the television had been turned off. She looked to the door and Bella followed her gaze. Charlie ascended the steps slowly and when he reached the top he paused near Bella's door listening. Alice stood completely still prepared to hide if Charlie decided to enter the room. Bella did her best but could not attain the perfect stillness that Alice did. She watched Alice's face for signs of what would happen. Then Charlie's footsteps sounded reassuringly in the opposite direction of Bella's room. They grinned at each other and Alice silently settled back down on the floor to wait until it was safe for her to make her way to the bathroom.

Thirty minutes later Bella sent Alice off to the shower with a set of fresh clothes and a promise to stay put in case Charlie decided to investigate. Now that she was alone she let herself probe her feelings. Alice had never really answered her question about why she had come back. Though the obvious answer hung between them it was still unresolved. She had been working under the assumption that Alice had to be upset about the events of her birthday. She figured that this was why she had received nothing but that note as a goodbye. Now that she thought about it anger flared in her belly at the memory of how Alice said goodbye. It was slightly irrational but it was there nonetheless. Now why didn't she feel that familiar overwhelming ache when she thought of Edward. It must be because his sister, who was so similar to him in many aspects, was near. Maybe it was filling that gap that he had left or perhaps it was just going to be a delayed reaction and she would feel the full force of later.

The door opened and Alice's wet head appeared followed by her graceful body that glowed clean in the soft light. The clothes were slightly loose as Alice was just a little smaller than Bella but they fit pretty well. Bella's breath caught hotly in her throat. She had forgotten how beautiful Alice was. It hit her like a jet powered train. How could she have let the memories get so frayed and fuzzy. The small angular face was perfectly shaped and the flow of her torso to her legs was perfect symmetry. She seemed unearthly under a human gaze.

Alice watched Bella's eyes roam her body and felt particularly lucky to have that gaze raking her from head to toe whatever the intention behind it was. She would be happy with anything at this point. She came to rest at the end of the bed, sliding closer to Bella and placed her hands neatly in her lap. She was once again waiting for Bella to speak.

Bella finally cleared her throat and found that her brain was still actually functioning even if its rate was rather slow.

"So, I guess we should talk about this."

Alice held up a hand to stop her. "I think we should wait for the morning. You look tired."

Bella had not really been paying attention to what her body was saying to her beyond her basic reactions to Alice. She had been so happy to wake up to find Alice in her room that the sluggish state of her limbs had not registered with her. She grimaced at the thought of sleeping but didn't see how she could avoid it. She had a condition though.

"You promise you won't leave?"

Her eyes burned into Alice's daring her to refuse. She watched as Alice placed a hand over her heart.

"I promise that I will not leave this room until you tell me to."

She punctuated her promise with a wink and started to go back to her spot on the floor. Bella stopped her with a hand.

"What are you doing?"

The question seemed to confuse Alice. "I was just going to sit on the floor while you slept." Bella pulled her hand back but her eyes kept Alice where she was hovering between the bed and the floor.

"Alice, you can stay on the bed," she paused, "Unless you don't want to. I mean I understand..."

Alice readjusted so that she was sitting on the bed again. "No, I'd like that. I just thought it might be uncomfortable for you with the temperature difference and all."

"Actually, its comforting," Bella said as she settled back into the bed pulled herself under the covers. Alice followed her laying on the outside of the covers with her arms over her head. She fought the urge to reach out and placed her hands behind her head and pressed down.

Bella watched her companion settle into her position and rolled to the side facing Alice. She placed one hand under her head and the other between her knees. She wanted to reach out and touch Alice but fear stopped her fingers from what they wanted. She could feel the coolness coming off of Alice's skin and she supposed that would be enough. She didn't want to make her friend uncomfortable and the thought of Alice moving any farther away was too much so she stayed where she was until she fell into a unfulfilled sleep that racked her body with the need to move closer to the body beside her.

Half an hour later Alice was grinning like a fool as she luxuriated in the feel of Bella's arms grasping her from the side. In sleep Bella's body had found what it needed. Her head rested on Alice's chest and her arm was slung across the petite body under her. Alice had wrapped her arms around Bella cautiously at first afraid of waking her but when Bella had snuggled closer she had given in and placed her arms where she had wanted them all along. They were perfectly snug together. Alice's hand gently stroked Bella's back where her shirt had risen and in the front she had gently tugged the edge of the t shirt she was wearing out of the way so that she could feel Bella's skin against her own there. The covers had been pushed down to just below Bella's waist. Alice could not bring herself to feel bad about wanting to feel this. It was natural she told herself, even if she was setting herself up for a fall later. At least she would have this singular experience.

Then suddenly she felt guilt wash her like paint. She was here enjoying stolen comfort in Bella's arms while she had left Jasper far away in the frozen mountains. It was not as if she hadn't thought of this before but she had not allowed herself to explore the concept. Her brave ever loyal soldier was waiting for her with the rest of her family minus Edward while she lay here enjoying the warmth of the girl that her brother was in love with. She was betraying so many, including the girl that slept with her now. In a way she felt like she was lying to Bella by being here with her and feeling what she was feeling. She forced her mind to slow down and breathed deeply until she found a slow, dead feeling descend on her. Once again she would worry about it later.

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