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The Inevitable

Summary:
-Eclipse in Edward's Point if View- ~*~"It's more Inevitable than the sun rising in the East." -Alice Cullen Midnight Sun~*~


Notes:


21. Vision

Rating 5/5   Word Count 4528   Review this Chapter

Chapter 20

Vision

I didn’t want Bella to have to hear our plans. But there was no way I could let her go. The overwhelming panic of her absence was harder to deal with than the fear I could see in her eyes as Carlisle, Jasper and I discussed our next steps.

I also knew she had every right to hear everything, despite my desire to keep her protected from the truth. Jasper had been right when he said she was a part of this family now and needed to understand.

Before we went back downstairs to prepare for our ‘act’ ,we all came to an agreement to have a full family meeting after the party and that we would discuss our plans to go to the baseball field so Jasper could teach as much as he could in a short amount of time. Because despite our new found information we were still clueless on the amount of time we actually had.

Through the whole discussion Jasper’s thoughts had been fast and intense. It was very strange to hear how shaken he was in his thoughts and feel it in the atmosphere. It was so unfamiliar, and to be honest a little too much for me to handle. It was then that I took Bella’s hand and led her down the stairs. We both had enough panic and fear of our own without more added to it.

As we made it to the main room Alice and Esme were putting unnecessary last touches to the already unrecognizable room. Emmett was right behind us and shortly after Carlisle followed. I knew Jasper would be keeping to himself most of the night, even with Alice’s reassurance that everything would be fine.

I couldn’t blame him. We all had heard that once before, at another party. We had all learned our lesson. None of us blamed Alice, we just knew one simple gesture, or slip could change the outcome of the entire night. It was best all around if he kept himself distanced.

Everyone in the room aside from Bella heard the tires turn off onto our long drive. As it got closer I realized it was a van load of kids. Their thoughts were excited and curious. Then when they caught sight of the house shocked and intimidated.

Here we go I thought.

Everyone in the room was silent. The only sound being Bella’s steady heartbeat and Alice’s small heels as she bounced eagerly on her feet, waiting.

When the door bell rang everybody in the house froze for the tiniest fraction of a second. Carlisle met my eyes in that brief pause and I nodded.

Here we go’ he thought echoing my very thoughts only moments ago. I watched as the familiar smile of welcome and patience stretched across his face as Alice sped eagerly to the door, inviting in the clueless children.

I watched Bella’s face closely as her eyes took in her classmates….her hand gripped mine tighter and the pressure made my skin burn hot. She looked up at me and smiled a smile that didn’t touch her eyes. But as I gazed back I saw something there that finally reassured me, however small. She was telling me that she was for the moment alright and that she could handle this.

In that moment I was grateful for Alice. She was right, this was a good distraction.

I squeezed her hand back and gave a small smile of my own. We could get through the next hours together.

Giving her hand a light tug I nodded towards the door. She took a deep breath as we walked towards the entering group where Alice was already greeting them excitedly and thanking them for coming.

Newton and Jessica were the first ones inside, with six others trailing behind. Their eyes were wide as they took in the lights and music. It was a lot to take in for their small town minds and I found it rather humorous that their thoughts ran along the same thing….Disbelief and Awe.

I could see Alice was very pleased with herself.

“Hi Jess,” I heard Bella say, drawing me away from Alice’s smug thoughts.

Mike and Jessica took their eyes from the large room, just now realizing Bella and I were standing in front of them.

“Oh Bella, Wow!” Jessica breathed, her eyes wide. “This is really great.”

“Yeah,” Mike agreed. Though he wasn’t looking around the room like Jessica. His eyes were trailing over things that made me drop Bella’s hand and wrap my arm around her waist, pulling her towards me.

“I didn’t get a chance to see you at graduation….you look nice,” he went on his eyes trailing down again. It was a quick, seemingly innocent gesture.

On the outside.

I felt Bella’s blush radiate around me at the compliment but it wasn’t enough to distract me. Not only was I able to see the movement of his eyes but I could also see through his mind what he was looking at and the thoughts behind it.

The low rumble in my chest was automatic. It couldn’t be heard over the music, especially the thundering base, but Bella seemed to have felt it because her eyes looked up at me questioning for a second before she went back to her conversation with Jessica.

I couldn’t look back though, nor was I listening to what they were talking about.

My eyes were glued on Newton.

I honestly thought I was somewhat immune to his thoughts. They were always there and I knew his eyes wandered when he thought no one was looking. I was use to it. It didn’t make me any less angry when it happened, but I was able to control myself.

Tonight however was not the night. My nerves were already frayed and bare.

I’ve never seen her in a skirt before….’

His eyes moved down again.

I shifted forward.

Then two things happened at once.

Mike caught the slight movement of my feet and his eyes shot up to me and then widened when he saw I was glaring. And then Alice appeared out of nowhere and put herself between the four of us. She began to babble about Jessica’s dress and then mentioned where the refreshments table was, and how there was plenty of food and to make sure they enjoyed themselves.

In a very discreet manner she had them both headed in another direction in less than a few moments.

Alice looked up at me and I tore my eyes away from Newton’s retreating back.

“Behave yourself Edward,” she hissed up at me. “You are not allowed to frighten, threaten, or kill any of the quests”

I rolled my eyes. “I wasn’t going….” I stopped mid sentence when I once again caught on to Mike Newton’s thoughts. Again I saw what he was looking at….from behind us.

My head whipped around. If he didn’t remove his eyes from their current location I was going to remove them myself.

Edward!’

“What!” I snapped. Turning back to Alice.

She looked at me and then around my shoulder before she snorted.

I narrowed my eyes. I didn’t think it was funning.

“What’s wrong?” Bella asked, looking between the two of us completely oblivious.

That made Alice’s laughter burst through and she covered her mouth to try and stifle it.

“It’s nothing,” I murmured, still gazing at Alice.

God you’re funny when you’re jealous!’

“I’m not…” I stopped again and glanced at Bella. She was still looking confused. “What?” she asked again, this time with a slight edge of impatience.

“Nothing,” I repeated. But at the same time Alice said “It seems Edward doesn’t have the patience for you admirer today.”

“Uh?”

Alice nodded over to the table where Mike and Jessica stood.

Bella followed her gaze and I felt the blush from her face again as she caught Mike staring at her.

Wait. He was still staring?

I turned to glare again and he quickly turned away.

Alice snorted out another laugh.

“It’s not funny,” I said through my teeth without looking away from the back of his head. “You have no idea what he was thinking….what he is still thinking.”

When Bella’s soft laugh joined Alice’s I finally turned away to look down at her.

“Don’t look at me like that Edward,” she said still chuckling softly. “You’re ridiculous sometimes and I agree with Alice, it is funny.”

The humor on her face had the irritation instantly gone from my mind. “Maybe for you,” I murmured, trying desperately to hold back my own grin as her laughter filled my ears.

She rolled her eyes and leaned into my side. “Oh grow up,” she breathed barely under a whisper.

Alice’s laughter increased as she turned to head towards Emmett and the stereo. She had heard Bella’s statement as clearly as I had.

“What?” I asked feigning hurt.

Bella snickered, “you heard me.”

I couldn’t help but smile and hold her closer as we made our way towards Angela and Ben. Bella seemed to be in a bit of higher spirits and who was I to complain, even if it was at my expense.

The party seemed to flow easily. And besides the continuous male thoughts that penetrated my mind, it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. I had hunted , as well as the rest of my family, very early this morning and it was a good thing.

Between the rapid heartbeats and movement of so many bodies the air in the room was compacted with pure human blood. Something these walls had never experienced. It was strange having to deal with the internal battle here of all places. Usually that was reserved for school days only, or on those rare occasions we had to venture into to town. This house was always our haven, a place we could be relaxed and carefree.

It didn’t surprise in the least that Alice was the one to turn that all around in a single night and she seemed to be truly enjoying that fact.

My mind stayed focused on my siblings thoughts as much as possible. It wasn’t that I didn’t trust them. I trusted all of my family and I knew they wouldn’t do something to push their own limits, but it was a routine and precaution so engrained in my mind that it was second nature to me. It was something I had been doing for Carlisle for as long as I could remember and something I did for the overall protection of our family.

Every once in a while I would tune into Jasper, because out of all of us I knew he would be having the most trouble. But he was still keeping a safe distance somewhere on the third floor. I noticed he too was keeping his own surveillance though, his mind was constantly sorting through the emotional atmosphere reaching him from downstairs. He would have as much a warning as me if someone slipped up.

Most of my concentration however went to Alice. This was due partly to the fact that my mind automatically gravitated to her thoughts, seemingly on its own. We were so in tuned with each other. Our minds seemed to always pull together and work off the other. Two unnatural minds working together naturally.

Tonight however that bond was stronger, she knew I was with her in her mind and she knew that I was waiting just as much as she was. We were both waiting for something that had nothing to do with the celebration around us.

Which is why I froze when her mind went blank and then immediately pulled in on itself.

Alice’s gasp reached my ears from across the crowed room and I unwound my arm from Bella’s waist.

“Stay here,” I murmured into her ear. It felt physically painful leaving her side but my mind was too overwhelmed with what I knew was coming. I couldn’t make out anything from Alice yet, but the force I felt there told me the waiting was over. I was both relieved and terrified.

I wove as swiftly as I could through the crowd of people, reaching out to grab Alice’s shoulders just as she began to lean forward.

“Alice?”

She just shook her head slightly, her eyes un-focusing. I could tell from the slight buzzing in her mind that when it hit it was going to be a strong. ‘The decisions been made’ her thought was quiet and slightly strained.

I quickly tucked her under my arm and lead her towards the shadow created by the kitchen doorway. It was as far as we would make it, just as I leaned her against the wall the first flashes began. They were the same blurred images she had been getting for weeks now.

A flash of red eyes.

Broken voices running together.

no….” “Tomorrow…”

Not until….”

Listen for…”

“….Are not safe….”

There were more voices this time and they were slowly becoming clearer.

It’s time….”

“….gather everyone….the scent….’

‘”we move when ….”

Then it seemed like whatever blockage that had been in our way was abruptly gone.

The flood gate was wide open.

I leaned forward and held Alice’s small shoulders as she tensed under the onslaught.

“Just focus,” I whispered.

Then it cleared out and she gasped squeezing her eyes shut.

I was dragged in right behind her:

The surroundings were dark, we were unable to make it out. It could have been anywhere….

It’s time…” a phantom voice seemed to speak from the background….this voice didn’t go with the image of what we were seeing and it was echoed almost immediately by another much clearer voice.

It’s time, I’ve been given the orders” A male vampire spoke the words. Unlike the first these words went with the scene. He was speaking to a group… His form kept fading in and out but it was easy to catch the head of blonde hair and the bright red irises. He was very young on both counts.

“We're heading North towards a small town called Forks…There is a coven living there….”

“…They are different ….”

“…they pose a serious threat to all of us.”

“….to me….” For a fraction of a second that same unrecognizable voice seemed to overlap his, confusing the words. The blonde still spoke to the group but it almost seemed as if there was something underneath it all, something that still couldn’t get through….Was this voice talking to the Blonde vampire?….. It came so quickly and was gone just as fast, it was like it was never really there.

We will move against them before they have the chance to reach us. When they are taken care of this city will be ours….all of it…”

“…..They will have yellow eyes and will be protecting a single human girl….”

He threw out a pillow case and many loose articles of clothing….the red shirt stood out above the others.

This is the scent you will be looking for….”

Growls rippled through the grouped monsters as they took in the smell.

Whoever finds her ….gets her”

The growls increased.

I had a short moment to feel my locked muscles, and Alice’s tense shoulders still under my fingers before the vision shifted, pulling us back in and showing us the imminent outcome this decision made.

The group running though the forest….. feet -some with shoes other barefoot- tearing a rough path through the underbrush. There was no caution…no need for stealth. They had their target and the hunt was on.

There were over twenty.

They were all different…. Male and female, tall and short, young and old.

And all the same….blood red eyes. Killers….Monsters.

Growls and incoherent babble filled the air as they ran.

Loud voices cut through the night….piercing cracks and snarls echoed off the trees. Fighting.

Then it shifted again. It was like a domino effect….after each decision there came an outcome that would only fall forward into another.

Charlie’s house came into view….and two outcomes folded into this:

First Charlie was home: Growls. Screamng. Blood.

Then he wasn’t: Empty house. Yells. Anger. Bella’s room being torn apart.

Then the vision changed course faster than the other times, because it was an automatic decision that with the knowledge that the army would be arriving in Forks we would stop them before they could get anywhere near town. With this set decision the dominoes stopped and fell in a different direction. The future once again changed.

The base ball field.

Seven against two dozen.

Fear. Anger. Screams. Ripping. Crying. Despair.

Then it was over.

Nothing left but burning piles.

Pieces.

Alice whimpered and I leaned over her, trying to soothe her while pushing back the terror running though my own body. I tried not to see, tried to detach myself from the images of burning body parts….body parts I could recognize.

No!” Alice breathed, just as the vision replayed the same thing. Except this time there was one small difference. Only this difference was everything.

Bella stood in our midst….Her face terrified but determined….her hand clutched in mine…..waiting….

“No!” I growled pulling myself back, trying to block the images. This time it was too much….I couldn’t watch.

I made myself focus on Alice’s wide eyes. The pictures continued in her mind but I refused. I would not watch. We both disconnected ourselves. No matter the course the future took it always ended the same.

With nothing.

Carlisle, Esme, Emmett, Rosalie, Jasper, Alice…….Bella.

Gone.

Everything. Everyone. My familiy, my entire life....

I shook my head. “No…”

“Edward…” Alice whispered. Her voice was frail and broken. I knew what she was thinking, what she was seeing again. I understood but I could not deal.

“No Alice I need to find Carlisle.”

I went to turn away but her small hand clutched at mine. I turned back and met her terror filled eyes. “Jasper,” she breathed fearfully ‘Jasper’

Her mind repeated the name again and again. I swallowed and pulled her to me quickly. “I know Alice,” I breathed into her hair. “….I know….we’ll stop it.” I held on tightly for a second more. “We’ll find a way,” and then I let her go, leaving her in the shadows.

My body was numb as I walked away, my mind shut down against the truth of what we had seen and the lie I had said.

I made it halfway across the room and paused.

“What, Alice, What? What did you see?”

I whipped back around. Bella was next to Alice now.

Alice met my eye. ‘Edward? I ….I…’

I shook my head. “No,” I whispered firmly.

Bella turned her head and I knew she saw me, but I could not look at her face. Not now. Not yet.

I turned and headed straight for Carlisle. He had been across the room under the stairs but his eyes were focused on me as I made my way towards him.

Edward?’

I just shook my head. The dread had bubbled up to lodge thickly in my throat and I didn’t know if I could trust my voice just yet. Instead I placed my hand on his shoulder and steered him towards the stairs. He understood immediately, Carlisle could read my face better than anyone.

Alice….is she alright?’ he asked. I nodded again and then out loud I called “Emmett…Rose” they were by the stereo again but I only needed to raise my voice to a normal level. They would hear.

Carlisle paused and looked at me, I had been right about my voice sounding off ‘Are you alright?’

I hesitated, my insides had twisted and dropped somewhere under my feet when I looked into his face. A face I cared deeply about, a face that was still here, still existing. I shook my head and looked away.

“No…” I murmured truthfully. I began walking again and he followed. Before he could ask me another question I cut him off. “Where’s Esme?” Saying her name hurt more than it should. I still refused to feel it.

with Jasper….she didn’t like him being up here alone’

“Good,” I nodded absently. That was good, I needed everyone….they all needed to hear….they all needed to know.

Just as we made it to the second floor landing, Jasper was making his way down the hall, his eyes wide.

“Edward!...What’s wrong?...Alice...”

“She’s fine…she had a vision with…”

He was already pushing by me. I grabbed his arm, I understood his worry….I could only imagine the emotional storm he had gotten from Alice but we all needed to talk and we all needed him.

“I promise Alice is fine Jasper, she’s with Bella….but we need to talk, the…”

Jasper wasn’t listening to me, his mind was focused on one thing. “Alright as soon as I…”

In that same second everyone’s thoughts hit me at once….mixing with the already overcrowded babble of humans downstairs and I was unwillingly distracted….

Right behind you Edward’ Emmett was on his way up with Rosalie beside him. ‘what’s going on?’

Are you alright?’

“Carlisle? What’s wrong?” Esme had come up behind Jasper. ‘Edward?

What’s wrong with Alice?’

I growled in frustration when Jasper was able to pull away from me. He didn’t understand…none of them did…time was against us. The last thing Jasper needed to do was push his limits by going downstairs and the very last thing I needed was to feel his worry and alarm over Alice.

That was not helping my own urge of wanting to run back down the stairs. Being away from Bella was hard enough without his help. I was about a second away from snapping. I had felt it building earlier tonight and I was reaching my limit.

Then out of nowhere Alice was there, pushing in between Rosalie and Emmett, and throwing her arms around Jasper’s waist.

“I’m alright Jasper,” she murmured into his shirt. He pulled her close and I felt a thick wave of calm wash outward. I soaked it up, trying just as desperately as Alice seemed to be doing to erase the images we had both scene.

“What is it Alice?” Jasper whispered.

“The decision’s been made…it’s what we’ve been waiting for…why I couldn’t see.” Alice pulled away and looked at Carlisle, her eyes still wide. “There are more than twenty….they….”

“Twenty?” Esme gasped. “And they’re still coming here?....”

Alice nodded.

That’s too many….we can’t win….not alone…” I looked at Jasper. He met my gaze. “Alice saw didn’t she?....It’s too many.’

All I could manage was a single nod.

“And they’re still coming for Bella?” Esme asked, oblivious to the silent conversation between me and Jasper.

Alice was the one to answer again, I couldn't. “Yes, they had her clothes. Bella was right about everything being connected, the stranger in her room was there to get traces…. the army has her scent now and….”

“That’s going to lead them to town” Esme said horrified.

“No, it will lead them straight to us,” Rosalie snapped. I could feel her eyes glaring into the side of my face. ‘It’s one thing after another isn’t it?’ she thought acidly.

I clenched my jaw, ignoring the blame she was throwing at me. It was no surprise, I had been expecting it, so there was no point in retaliating. I didn’t even bother to look at her. And it wasn’t like I had much of an argument.

“Alright then!” Emmett boomed, clapping his hands together. “Let’s go!” ‘better to meet them before they have the chance to get too close.’ “When will they be here?”

Rosalie hissed and turned her glare on Emmett. At the same time I heard a loud growl and it took me a moment to realize it had actually come from Jasper. “It’s alright Jazz, he doesn’t…” Alice began soothingly, but he ignored her and I was shocked further when he took a step towards Emmett.

“This isn’t a game Emmett!” Jasper’s voice was loud and hard, it was rare to hear him raise his voice, and it was a first to see him do it to one of us. However I wasn’t surprised in the least to see Rosalie slide over to stand in front of Emmett. Her aggravated glare had turned into a firm warning, her eyes now locked squarely on the much taller vampire in front of her.

Emmett’s eyes were wide as he put up his hands, he was more shocked than I was, not being able to understand Jasper’s anger the way I could. “Whoa man I didn’t mean….”

“We’re out numbered, don’t you see that!?” Jasper went on, completely ignoring Emmett’s words and Rosalie’s glare. “This isn’t the time to get careless and thick headed!!”

A low rumble came from Rosalie’s chest and I stepped forward at the same time Carlisle did. I didn’t actually believe a fight would break out….at least I think I believed that. I just knew that the waves of anger and terror rolling off Jasper were not going to help the situation.

“That’s enough,” Carlisle said calmly, but his voice made his order clear. He put a hand on Jasper’s shoulder and looked at Rosalie and then Emmett. “Come on, let’s take this somewhere more private.” He squeezed Jaspers’ shoulder and then turned to take Esme’s hand.

Emmett simply nodded and placed both hands on Rosalie’s shoulders so he could steer her away from Jasper and followed Carlisle down the hall.

When they turned the corner I looked at Jasper. He was glaring at the empty hall now. “He just doesn’t know.” Alice was murmuring.

Jasper took a deep breath and closed his eyes “I’m sorry Alice,” he looked down at her. “I didn’t….it’s just….” ‘He has no idea….no concept of what’s coming at us.’

“That’s the problem,” I murmured, my hand running through my hair again as I found myself defending my younger brothers actions. Jasper looked at me and I went on. “Emmett was the last….he’s never even seen a newborn….he has no clue.”

Jasper sighed and shook his head. ‘I know. I shouldn’t ….he didn’t deserve that.’ “I’m sorry,” he said again.

Alice took Jasper’s hand and looked up at him. “You have nothing to apologize for… We all know Emmett doesn’t think before he speaks. And he needs to realize the seriousness of the situation…” she tugged on his hand. “Come on….” With another mental apology sent my way Jasper willingly let her pull him down the hall after the others.

I hesitated, peering over my shoulder at the stairs. The lights from the nearly forgotten party flashed rapidly on the wall and ceiling from the first floor.

Then, like a wave of ice it hit me.

Alice was up here….which meant Bella….

The muscles in my chest locked down and my breathing stopped. I turned around swiftly but only made it a couple steps.

“Edward wait,” Alice called, I slowed and looked at her but didn’t stop moving . “She’s fine….”

I shook my head. The panic was crushing me again, only this time it was much worse. Every member of my family was up stairs, there was no one down there with her. And I couldn’t see or hear her….I couldn’t smell her….. couldn’t feel her. The fierce blow hit me and it was too much.

“I’ll be right back,” I whispered turning around again. I’d rather Bella hear everything that was going on, than have her away from me and unprotected for another second.

Suddenly Alice’s hand was in mine for a second time, gripping my fingers. ‘She’s not alone, she’ll be fine.’

I opened my mouth but she cut me off. ‘Jacob is here….he showed up with two others.’

I froze. What was he doing here? A flash of anger swelled in me, but before I could try to focus and pinpoint his thoughts Alice went on.

“I don’t like him anymore than you do….but Bella will be safe with him till we figure everything out.” then she added silently ‘Bella doesn’t need to hear this.’

I took a deep breath and slowly nodded my agreement on both counts.

If I hadn’t known beyond a single doubt that Jacob Black would protect Bella with his very life I would never have allowed Alice to pull me in the opposite direction of the stairs.