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She wasn’t trying to shelter him. She was trying to keep him uninformed.


1. Chapter 1

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Alice Cullen had never hidden anything from her brother.

Of course, it was especially hard to do so anyway, considering his mind-reading capabilities.

But despite that, she had never found any reason to hide her thoughts or visions from him. He knew everything about her, and she found that that was the reason she was so close to him, closer than she was to Rosalie and Emmett.

Lately, though, she had mastered the art of blocking her mind from him. Visions, terrifying visions of various ways in which the love of his life would be in danger, ran through her head more and more frequently. Bella had never been more of a danger magnet than she was at this moment.

And yet, though she knew that these visions would tear Edward apart with worry, this was not the reason that she didn’t disclose them to him. She wasn’t trying to shelter him.

She was trying to keep him uninformed.

Edward would try to stop these occurrences from happening. He would do anything in his power to make it so that his Bella would never be in danger, would never again be put into a near-death situation, would never lose the humanity within her.

And Alice couldn’t have that.

No matter how much she wanted to keep her human friend safe, she knew what all of these dangers led to. In each and every one of the visions, Edward had been capable of getting to Bella just before she slipped away completely.

And in each and every one of these visions, she saw him completing the task which he had so adamantly decided against but which Alice (and quite frankly, the rest of the family) knew was bound to happen soon. Even if Bella should not agree to the wedding (at least, not soon—Alice had seen them married but hadn’t known when exactly the vision was taking place, a fact which frustrated her to no end).

And so, Edward would come to her room at random points during the day, asking if she had had any visions of what should happen in the near future, and she would shake her head, her conscience reprimanding her but her mind urging her to keep her concentration, to keep up the barrier that separated his knowledge and her thoughts.

Her excuse? Stress. She told him stressful situations had always had an effect on her visions (lie) and that she would certainly tell him when she happened to have another one (also a lie).

Though she knew that she was just as selfish as Edward, she wanted much different things. While Edward was too stubborn to take away the humanity that he loved so much in Bella, Alice was eager to do so, only so that she could have her best friend with her for eternity.

Rosalie had just never cut it. As much as Alice loved her (even despite her awful vanity), she had always thought of Bella as more of a sister.

And she wanted desperately to make that official. Soon.

As she sat on her navy-blue bedspread, contemplating her selfishness for Bella, a knock on the wooden door startled her quickly out of her reverie.

“Alice?” Edward’s smooth voice sounded from behind the door, and Alice sighed.

“Come in, Edward.” She said, almost exasperated. He had been in just an hour ago—he could be so impatient.

Edward opened the door, stepping into the room, and then closed it behind him carefully. Alice looked up at him…and her heart fell.

His eyes were tormented in such a way that she had never seen before. The stress of the unknown had obviously been overwhelming him more than she had previously thought.

But she knew she must remain strong. As much as she wanted him to know about the last premonition she had had (involving Bella and a very angry pack of werewolves), she knew that it would be best for the both of them if her mouth—and her mind—remained closed. At least for the time being.

“Anything yet?” he spoke quietly, his gaze never leaving hers. Her eyebrows creased as she pretended to think. For a moment, everything was at a standstill. She attempting to use what little acting skills she possessed while concentrating on keeping her mind closed and he waiting in a sort of horrified anticipation.

And then she shook her head. She didn’t trust her voice. If she spoke, she would lose her concentration and open her mind.

Edward sighed, placing his head in his hands.

She wanted to put him out of his misery. She really did.

But she remained silent.

Eventually, he looked up at her, hopeful for a split second before he sighed, dejected. He walked to the door, opening it carefully, casting one last painful glance in her direction, before leaving.

She heard the melody start to play on the piano downstairs and flopped onto her back, feeling the soft comforter beneath her and staring at the ceiling, still concentrating, still erecting that barrier, still keeping from her brother so much when she had promised him long ago that she would never do so.

If only...if only she could ignore her conscience. If only she could focus simply on what she knew was best, rather than seeing so vividly Edward's pained gaze, even when it wasn't on her.

She kept the peace between her two debating sides by repeating to herself that he would thank her later.

But at the moment, the battle between her mind and her conscience was playing behind her eyelids and she found herself afraid to close her eyes.

It was a good thing she never had to sleep.