Mary Alice, Full of Grace
Pre-Twilight, a twist in genetics allows Alice to remember her childhood.
She remembers when the visions started, her family, and a dark moment of her past that makes meeting Jasper more eventful. Jasper's violent past and restless future beg her to tread lightly around this stranger. Will she be able to dig deep enough to find the gentle soul in there somewhere? Or will she scare herself away from the only one who can help her heal? **This story might seem a bit out of character at moments, but it's because Alice and Jasper finish BD still only 2-D, I take the liberty of giving them a few more aspects than SM has time to, so be warned! :) **Warning- contains allusion to childhood sexual abuse, please don't read if you are sensitive to that topic Jasper There were no secrets in this house with Edward, Alice and I were both uncomfortable with that thought. The difference is, in Alice's secrets she's the victim, but in mine, I'm the villian. Edward would need more than his gift, in fact more than both of our gifts, to truly understand the shift of gravity that took place when she put her tiny hand into mine. I may not have let myself entertain it at the time, but I knew in that moment that something changed and I was never going to be the same. I also knew that it had to do with the half- starved little girl who so brazenly took my hand. Was she checking to make sure I hadn't found my human genes while she was asleep? I guess so. Next time she's unsure what sort of creature I am, I should advise her to ask. She just about learned exactly what kind of monster I am with that little stunt of hers. Alice The words escape before I can even think about them. "You're even more beautiful in real life." She reminds me of my mother, her expression full of concern and compassion. He's gorgeous, rugged and tough, and the unbidden observation only makes me more nervous. He's beautiful because he's a predator, the most dangerous of them all. Emmett One minute I'm sitting here wondering what in the world we're doing having a powwow on the back lawn, and the next Edward and Jasper stalk off out of earshot and it's just me and the Chiclet, alone in the grass. I hope that my brother has an amazingly good reason for leaving us here like this, because it isn't exactly my idea of a good time to sit here and scare the hell out of a toy- sized girl.
So, I found this site and decided to try it out :) This fic is also on Twilighted and FF.net, so if you get hooked and I don't end up continuing on this site, you can find it there :) http://twilighted.net/viewstory.php?sid=10293 http://www.fanfiction.net/s/5843497/1/bMary_b_bAlice_b_bFull_b_of_bGrace_b There is also a forum on Twilighted if you're interested in discussing the story! http://twilighted.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=17&t=12601
3. Chapter 3 - Musings and Questions
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She collapses into me, her blood and tears soaking my shirt. Tantalizing. Absolutely excruciating, the beast inside me demands action without permission. I release her hand and catch the side of her neck gently, holding her to me in what must appear to be a comforting gesture. Unbidden I act, against every mental faculty that demands to know what she is and how she is doing this to me. The monster relishes for only a second, hovering a fraction of a centimeter over her neck, feeling, smelling, hearing her heart push the perfume to her veins. I can’t help myself.
Ch 3- Musings and Questions
I am immediately aware that I have made a mistake. I imagine this feeling is similar to a child who has bitten into a plastic fruit or tried to snack on an air freshener; wrong. Her taste is earthy and musky, but not meant for consumption, I pull back the venom. While I can taste undertones of venom in her system already, I can’t take the risk that my addition might destroy her. She has collapsed into me entirely; her only emotions resignation and apathy. She is breathing in a light pant, her heart still trying to catch up. I sink to the ground, carefully pulling her with me. In a single hour I have experienced more strange incidents than the span of my long life. I hope this strange girl is up for giving an explanation soon, because I am getting impatient. I scan the tree line one last time; there is still nothing else unusual around, nothing other than us. Either whatever she was afraid of isn’t coming, or it really was just me. I glance down to check on the china doll collapsed into me and am surprised to see her already watching me, her gaze absent of the madness that had just transpired. Was I going insane?
I am given a moment to collect myself before he realizes I am watching. How did I get here? And why is he still here? I was sure this massive display of my mental instability would have ruined my chance to ever get to know this mysterious man from my visions. Yet here we are. Both of us…still. I don’t know why he brought me here. The last moment of reality I clearly remember was him touching my face. It was innocent, probably, but it had been enough to send me back to a cowering child. Humans are very easy to predict, they move slowly, comparatively. I have always been able to tell with plenty of time to casually dissuade or dodge if someone intended on touching me. So, as a result, no one did; I made sure of it. But this man wasn’t a slow human, and I hadn’t seen his intention fast enough to evade.
I had always wondered what would happen if I accidentally let someone close to me again. I guess that was some form of an answer, I would have an immobilizing panic attack, as demonstrated in the last however long it has been. When he touched my face I was torn back to that vision, as clear as if I was still 12, sprawled on the floor of my home with family shaking me and yelling for my attention. It went on and on, like a horrible play with the worst scene repeating over and over. I had some memory of beating on someone, probably him. He’d probably just been trying to get me out of sight. But someone had covered my face, like before, and that had made it all loop back, starting over from the beginning and dragging agonizingly forward, and I am bleeding…a lot. I guess that answered the question of where the pain had come from. So trying to pull his hands off me hadn’t been entirely a dream as well. My fingernails are covered in blood. Gashes on my arms and chest have stained my light dress deep crimson and so thoroughly soaked Jasper’s shirt that his sleeve drips dark liquid into the mud below us.
Without much warning, he is looking back at me and I am suddenly aware of our proximity. Earlier he had tried to…bite me? At the time I had been reminded of my biological father’s intention for me and it honestly seemed fitting. The man who I have seen in my visions for years, this would be important to me. He would be the last face I saw. But just when I had resigned myself to my fate, he had pulled back, sucking sharply at the wound on my neck and crumpling to the ground. I hadn’t seen that one coming. So now we are collapsed in the mud. The dark streams of red on my arms and shoulders are deepening in color and starting move more slowly down my skin. As captivated as I was with the idea of his presence and proximity, I was not eager to continue to test my sanity. I have about run out of willpower for one night, so I gently push at his chest, trying to disentangle myself.
At first he is unyielding, and for the first time in a long time, I am aware that he is much stronger than me. The thought is unnerving, to be sure, but given his response to my complete immobilization for the last while, I know that if he wanted to harm me he could have. I am still aware of a future contingency where he might change his mind. One part of my mind wants to part ways and go back to my lonely but safe existence, but the rest of my mind knows that I will never be happy alone; for some reason this man is part of my future. I push away from him a little harder, my eyes still locked on him, asking him to earn my trust. He loosens his grasp, finally, and I am sitting up on my own, cross legged in the soggy earth, facing him. I know he must have questions, and I will do my best to answer them. I just want him to stay. I don’t know how to start the conversation again, so I am simply going to wait it out.
“What the hell was that?”
I guess I won’t have to wait long. Where do I even begin to start that one? I’m not even really sure what that was. I am going to try to be honest, but I’m not sure how much will make sense. “People don’t touch me.”
“I don’t understand.”
“I don’t let people touch me.”
“What relevance does that have?” He is clearly starting to get frustrated, although he is trying to hide it. He must be used to getting straight answers.
I have walked this planet for years and decades without a single person touching me, unless I initiate contact. But that seems like it will raise more questions than it answers. I know that I am irritating him, but I don’t know how to explain to him that what I am saying is the answer to what he’s asking. “A long time ago I didn’t have the choice, I wouldn’t have been strong enough to stop him, and now I am. So no one touches me. Not without my permission.”
“You stroll right up to me and take my hand out of the clear blue. I don’t have permission?”
His logic makes sense, but emotion is hard to reason with. So I decide to try to steer the conversation away. “Why did you touch my face?”
“I was curious. I wanted to see if the burn in your skin reached your face as well. You feel like you are dying of the fever, yet you walk around as if you are fine. Your strength betrays your size, but your heart beats strong, unlike mine. I was trying to figure out if you were dying, and that might explain your strange behavior, but the closer I got the stranger the behavior became. I was clearly wrong in my initial analysis, so I have to ask. What are you?”
This question is even harder than the other. What am I? I am going to sound ridiculous trying to explain this from the little I know. I think that he is like Mark, his skin is cold, his eyes burn red, and he is strong and fast. He probably has a better idea what I am than I do. “I’m not exactly sure. Someone once told me that I was partly like you. I was born to a man like me, with burning skin and a beating heart. But I wasn’t like him; I didn’t even know I was different from a human for a long time. Then one of your kind bit me, he was trying to save me from my father. Then I became like him, my father that is. I think that I’m partially what you are now, but I don’t know why I’m not like you. At first I grew a lot, but I’ve been exactly like this for years. More years than most ever live. I can live of off human food or blood, so maybe I’m still some strange mix. I don’t know.”
“Why did you say I’ve kept you waiting? Do I know you?”
He really knows how to ask the hard questions. There is no way other than the truth to answer this one, and I don’t know how he’s going to take it. “I saw that you would come. Before I was bitten I saw these visions, and they were of the future. After I became like this they became more frequent and clear, and now I’m better able to control them. Since shortly after I was bitten I’ve been seeing you. I never knew who you were, but I knew that someday I’d meet you and you’d be important to me. At first it scared me. You fight a lot, and the woman you are with looks fearsome. I was afraid that I kept seeing you because you were coming to hurt me. I see them attacking you and biting you”
This makes me think of all of the crazed people I see biting him. The scars look different in real life. I reach out tentatively toward a silver scar on his arm, I’m curious as to the strange shine to them. He catches my hand, trying to urge me to continue. “I always wondered what you look like in person. When I moved to this town a couple months ago I started to see you at this diner, so I’ve been spending every day there waiting for you. I’ve been waiting for you for as long as I can remember, but I don’t know why.” My fingers trace the half round shapes on his hands as well, my mind and body too spent to protest at further contact. The scars cover nearly as much of his skin that I can see.
“You’ll have a scar like that.”
“Like mine. I just gave it to you” He tapped next to the healing wound on my neck. “I’m…well…I didn’t realize…”
I can see that he doesn’t often apologize, but I understand his intent. “It’s ok. All behind us now.” He looks doubtful, but doesn’t push it.
“So what happens now?” The question of the year.
“I’m not sure. I’ve never really seen much after this. Once in a while I see a small coven with light eyes, like the man who made me, but I’m not sure how to find them. I’m hoping that we’ll be able to find them together, if you don’t have any other pressing plans.”
“I don’t have too many plans at all, little one. I was simply wandering when you found me.”
“So you’ll stay with me?”
“For now, I suppose. You are the most interesting thing that has happened in my long existence, I don’t see why not, when I don’t have any better plans.”
This pressing question resolved, I am all of a sudden very tired. My mind is finally catching up to what my body has been screaming since I woke up, and that is sleep. It’s very late, and my screaming episode had done nothing to preserve my stamina. I am still afraid that he might leave in the night, so as a yawn escaped my lips I ask, “You promise?”
He looks a bit perplexed at the question and slightly surprised as well, but his answer reveals none of it. “For now”
A small voice inside me is demanding attention. I am exhausted; mentally, emotionally and physically, but I feel a bit vulnerable here, sleeping out in the open. I usually try to find at least some sort of shelter when I have to stay outside on my trips. I know that the real reason my mind is objecting is the same reason I have the odd conviction that I will be safe; Jasper. My mind is at war with me over going to sleep so close to this irresistibly strong and violent man, willfully leaving myself at his mercy.
Even at my various homes in a multitude of towns, around comparably weak and clumsy humans, I lock my door. Anxiety begins to fight back exhaustion on the periphery of my mind, but I push it away stubbornly. If he wanted to hurt me, he could have already. And if he still wants to hurt me, he is more than able; asleep or awake. At this point, after years of being alone in the world, I am almost more afraid that he will leave me than that he will hurt me…almost. The sooner I succumb to sleep, the sooner tomorrow will come and wash away these dark suspicions. Night is always more disturbing to me than daylight, and everything will be fine tomorrow.
Satisfied, I lay back in the wet grass and leaves, my own body temperature more than enough to keep me warm. I glance at him one last time before I close my eyes, but he has such a confused expression painted on his face that I have to ask. “What’s wrong?”
“What are you doing?”
“Going to sleep, why?”
“Yes, I have to.”
“So strange…” he mutters, probably to himself. I am not interested in investigating though, the darkness is calling to me and my eyelids are getting heavier and heavier. I succumb, pulling my knees closer to myself, unconsciously settling a tiny bit closer to Jasper.
I know that I should probably give her a minute to come to, but in all fairness, she didn’t give me much warning before whatever the hell just happened to her either. Her eyes look inquisitive, and the only emotion coming from her now is a slight apprehension. “What the hell was that?” I spit it out before I can sensor it, that’s not how I talk to a lady, but I couldn’t help myself. Maria must have tarnished my manners.
“People don’t touch me.”
She states it so matter of factly, as if it should answer any remaining questions I might have. But it doesn’t mean anything out of the ordinary to me, and I am frustrated that I don’t understand what she seems to think is so clear. I am trying to project my tone as patient, to the best of my ability. “I don’t understand.”
“I don’t let people touch me.”
This is just as uninformative as the previous answer. What am I supposed to be getting out of this word circle? Is ‘people don’t touch me’ supposed to explain whatever just happened to her? People, or at least I, did touch her, I just had, and only after she had grabbed, and was still holding, my hand of her own volition. I have no idea what she is talking about. “What relevance does that have?”
“A long time ago I didn’t have the choice, I wouldn’t have been strong enough to stop him, and now I am. So no one touches me. Not without my permission.”
Didn’t have the choice in what? I had an idea. Preying on the streets put one in some seedy company, and I had seen just how cruel humans could be to one another. I had never allowed them to complete their intentions if I was around; they simply became a second dinner. Who could do that to this tiny, lively sprite before me? And who is this him in question? Was he a stranger or someone close? And what is different ‘now’ as opposed to at some point in the past when this had happened? What happened to this poor, tiny girl? More to the point, why in the world do I care? For some reason, the only question that makes any sense gets pushed aside. I do care, even though I don’t really know why. I decide on the less invasive question from earlier. “You stroll right up to me and take my hand out of the clear blue. I don’t have permission?”
“Why did you touch my face?”
She is clearly changing the subject, but I have more than enough questions to go around, on any subject, so I know that I will probably get my answers eventually. I guess now is as good a time as any to find out what she actually is, that might answer some of the other things I was wondering. “I was curious. I wanted to see if the burn in your skin reached your face as well. You feel like you are dying of the fever, yet you walk around as if you are fine. Your strength betrays your size, but your heart beats strong, unlike mine. I was trying to figure out if you were dying, and that might explain your strange behavior, but the closer I got the stranger the behavior became. I was clearly wrong in my initial analysis, so I have to ask. What are you?”
“I’m not exactly sure. Someone once told me that I was partly like you. I was born to a man like me, with burning skin and a beating heart. But I wasn’t like him; I didn’t even know I was different from a human for a long time. Then one of your kind bit me, he was trying to save me from my father. Then I became like him, my father that is. I think that I’m partially what you are now, but I don’t know why I’m not like you. At first I grew a lot, but I’ve been exactly like this for years. More years than most ever live. I can live of off human food or blood, so maybe I’m still some strange mix. I don’t know.”
I had never contemplated any form of mixed breed because it didn’t seem likely that any human would survive union with one of my kind. If I understand correctly she seemed to be saying that she was born a quarter vampire, but being bitten had changed her to resemble her father, who must have been only half. Meaning if she was bitten again…she might become fully vampire? Genetics were a strange thing. But I have no time to dwell on this strange revelation; I am brought back to her first words to me, now hours ago. “Why did you say I’ve kept you waiting? Do I know you?” This question is largely ceremonious. I am not asking if I have ever seen her in my vampire life, I know for certain I have not. Perfect recall doesn’t fail me that completely. But I wonder if she thinks she has seen me before, or has seen me when I didn’t see her somehow.
“I saw that you would come. Before I was bitten I saw these visions, and they were of the future. After I became like this they became more frequent and clear, and now I’m better able to control them.” Visions? This strange talent has never occurred to me. I have seen, on occasion, others with gifts, but never one so powerful or potentially useful as this. “Since shortly after I was bitten I’ve been seeing you. I never knew who you were, but I knew that someday I’d meet you and you’d be important to me. At first it scared me. You fight a lot, and the woman you are with looks fearsome. I was afraid that I kept seeing you because you were coming to hurt me. I see them attacking you and biting you…”
She trails off, touching the scars on my arms. I catch her hand lightly, willing her to continue. “I always wondered what you look like in person. When I moved to this town a couple months ago I started to see you at this diner, so I’ve been spending every day there waiting for you. I’ve been waiting for you for as long as I can remember, but I don’t know why.” Her hands still trace the silver scars, now on my hands. I realize that I have unwittingly marked her as well, the light skin on her perfect neck already closing into a pink scar. The regret I feel is hard to understand, just a few hours ago she was going to be dinner out of pity, and now I feel bad that she might carry a wound from me. I decide that she at least should be made aware of it.
“You’ll have a scar like that.”
“Like mine. I just gave it to you.” I cautiously tap her neck, moving slowly to make sure she realizes my intentions and can move if she wants to. I want to apologize, but I’m not even sure I know how to do such a thing anymore. “I’m…well…I didn’t realize…”
“It’s ok. All behind us now.” This sudden declaration of forgiveness is not what I expected, but little of tonight had been predictable. I have no idea what to do now.
“So what happens now?”
“I’m not sure. I’ve never really seen much after this. Once in a while I see a small group with light eyes, like the man who made me, but I’m not sure how to find them. I’m hoping that we’ll be able to find them together, if you don’t have any other pressing plans.” I have no real idea what this revelation is supposed to mean. So I only answer the part relating to me.
“I don’t have too many plans at all, little one. I was simply wandering when you found me.” Little one? What was she, my child? I was not really one for affectionate names, especially for women of unknown age I have just met. She has some sort of grip on me, and I don’t even have the good sense to be disturbed by it. She could ask anything of me…
“So you’ll stay with me?” And now she has. But I’ve left Maria, and then Peter and Charlotte, and now I well and truly have nowhere else to go. So I might as well give in to what I want, and what I want…for some strange reason, is to be with her.
“For now, I suppose. You are the most interesting thing that has happened in my long existence, I don’t see why not, when I don’t have any better plans.”
She seems somewhat content with my answer, and a long yawn escapes. A yawn? Was that simply a leftover habit, or could she sleep? “You promise?”
What a strange question. Even if I wasn’t sincere, asking me to promise is not going to secure what she wants. But the idea is endearing, that she would trust my response to, ‘you promise?’ So I give her the most certain answer I can. “For now.”
She seems to accept my answer, but then a dark glint crosses her eyes. She looks like she wants to relax, but something is disturbing her, the concern and fear beginning to bubble under the surface. What am I doing wrong now? I am not aware that I have even moved. She seems to mull it over, some sort of internal debate playing across her expressive features. Finally she glances back up at me, seeming to have decided something.
With that she seems content, and she settles into the ground, pulling her knees toward her chest. By now I realize that I must be staring but I can’t help it. “What’s wrong?” Her one last glance my way catches my shocked expression.
“What are you doing?” I can’t help but ask, even though she clearly seems to be preparing to go to sleep.
“Going to sleep, why?” I had no idea anything with any part vampire in it could sleep, and I am suddenly jealous. I am aware that I am beating a dead horse, but I have to verify.
“Yes, I have to”
Well, that is another intriguing fact to add to the growing list. The strange girl can, and must, sleep. “So strange…”
She huddles into herself, her breathing evens and then lengthens into the subtle indicators of sleep. My mind now free to roam absent from her probing and knowing eyes, I wonder if anyone will miss her, somewhere, if she comes with me. I know nothing of the coven with light eyes, but if that is what she wants I will search the planet for them. Whatever I have to do to please her. I’ve never felt this way about any other being in my life. At first it was an immediate and demanding curiosity, and now, in only a few hours, it seems to have grown into an even stronger…what? Attention? Draw? Affection? The last word strikes me as too close, I have no need for any of these weak emotions, but I cannot help but entertain the possibility. Not with this tiny burning cherub curled up not five feet away from me. I left Peter and Charlotte because eventually their closeness and affection began to grate on me. I told myself that it was because I have no patience for such weakness. But now I’m wondering if it may be some shade of jealousy. I’ve never truly wanted anyone with me before, not like that, but maybe someday…All of this brought on by a seemingly innocent encounter…
Her skin reminds me of metal in the fire; strong but pliable, not fragile, but not unbreakable either. But any chance at affection or whatever it is that I do or don’t want from her, might be much more of my imagination than a valid chance at reality, if an hour ago was any measure. She had been afraid of me, but not how I expected her to be. She wasn’t afraid of my strength or my teeth, she was afraid of my touch, afraid that I would force myself on her. For a predator that regularly kills humans for sustenance, it might be hypocritical of me to feel repulsed by the thought. But I am. I, the monster, feel indignant rage toward the human that made her so afraid. I kill for survival, and I do not draw out my hunt any longer than is necessary, except for the occasional kill for justice or punishment. But nothing she, or anyone, could have possibly done could cause her to deserve this. I wondered if the one who did this to her justified himself this same way, comparing himself to someone worse in his eyes, probably murderers like me, and knowing that at least he wasn’t that bad.
The thought yanks me off my shaky and graying pedestal and I decide to run back to the last town for a late hunt. I had seen a large bar there, and I expected to find a stray or two wandering the streets alone. I also didn’t want to risk hunting someone in this town the girl cared about. I had no idea if she was close to anyone here, but given her apparent character it seemed likely that even if she had barely met a person she probably cared. I rise silently, knowing I would easily return well before she wakes. I turn away, but the movement startles me with an overwhelming feeling that it is wrong. I look back at her, lying motionless on the late autumn leaves. She looks so helpless. It feels so wrong to just leave her there. But I don’t sense anything unnatural in the area, and given her attack on me earlier, I know she can hold her own against any natural predator that might be in the area. And I need to hunt, before she wakes. I don’t think she will like the idea much, so it seems important to get it out of the way now. My mind is clearly right, but my emotions don’t want to admit it. I turn away, under high protest, and take off to the south before I can convince myself any differently. I make quick work of a drunk staggering along the outskirts, trying, as usual, to end him before he gets too much of a chance to figure out what is going on and project back fear.