Episode I - Worry
It had been a while since I heard from Brad. He never missed my calls unless he was in class, and I couldn't remember the last time he failed to return my calls. Was his crazy vampire scheme true and was he killed? I chuckled at the thought. His obsession was starting to rub off on me.
I called him again, no response. I hated not knowing how my brother was doing, and while I believed in the whole twinship thing, I was too far from him to know whether he was in trouble or not. I wondered if I should go to New Hampshire to surprise him, but would he be unhappy at my sudden decision if he was trying to ignore me? I couldn't accept that he would do such a thing. I was his closest friend and he hated people too much, he would need to keep in contact with me or go crazy in solitude. Was this vampire obsession of his driving him away from the real world, or did he make some friends and my existence became nominal? I didn't want to accept any of my hypotheses.
I called again, and this time it went straight to voicemail. That meant his phone died, as he never turned it off, nor was there anywhere around New Hampshire where he would go that he would reach an out-of-signal location. Fear crept up in the pit of my stomach. I had to go see him.
I made a different call this time. "Hey, Carol. Yeah, I think I'm gonna take you up on that offer. Yeah. I miss my brother and I want to go see him," I wondered if she could tell I was lying, but what reason did she have to even suspect anything?
"Yes. A whole week!? That would be great! Thank you so much! Thanks again, I owe you big time!" It was great having a boss who respected me so much, and even greater still that she had previously offered me a vacation to surprise my brother at New Hampshire when I told her how I worried about him being alone.
"Don't worry Brad...I'm coming," I said to myself. Maybe I was overreacting, but something told me things weren't right. I knew my brother well enough that he would at least contact me to ameliorate my already officious self.
I was going even crazier on the plane. I could hardly sit still as I wondered what was waiting for me at New Hampshire. Would my brother be there sitting silently on his bed and be annoyed that I just showed up? I had left numerous messages, so if he bothered to look at his phone, he would expect me. I wouldn't be able to stomach it if something really did happen to him.
As I drowned myself in my worry, I noticed an exceptionally beautiful woman sitting across from me. She had pure white skin, the whitest I've ever seen that glowed radiantly in the plane's dim lights. Her eyes were a beautiful gold, sparkling more than her skin was. She had her hair cut short, perky in black spikes. She had the perfection of a statue, or perhaps some super model, but what business did a super model have in New Hampshire. I shuffled nervously and looked out the window when she smiled at me, and I was sure I was blushing.
"Do you mind if I close it?" she asked, gesturing towards the window. Her angelic, sing-song voice surprised me.
"Um, sure," I replied, a bit shaky. I couldn't take my eyes off of her, and it seemed as though she acted the same, those flawless topazes staring intently at me as though she were trying to figure something out.
"You look just like him," she chuckled, and I instantly knew what she meant.
"Oh! You know Brad!" I said excitedly, wondering if she was a close friend of his. That would be unlikely as he never made friends. Nonetheless, it calmed me to be speaking to someone who knew him.
"I'm Alice Cullen," she said. I instantly knew she was one of the several that my brother thought a vampire during his neurotic escapades. Studying her features, her flawless voice and that sweet scent he told me about, I wondered if he might not be as crazy as I originally thought.
"I think he was a friend of my brother, Edward, and my sister-in-law, Bella. They seem to have quite a liking to him," she smiled brightly. I couldn't believe my brother made friends, though remembering that he thought them as vampires and would probably study them intently made me realize he would try to at least fake friendship with them.
"You look surprised?" she said inquisitively.
"Well, my brother isn't one to make friends," I said bluntly.
"Neither are Bella or Edward. Seems a perfect match," again she flashed that smile that made my heart almost stop. "So David, what brings you here?" with that question, her smile vanished and she instantly became very serious.
"I came to check on Brad. I'm a little worried about him, though I don't understand why. It's just a gut feeling, I call it a twinship. I usually know when something is wrong with him," I smiled a weak smile.
"Oh..." she paused, as though wondering whether she should tell me something or not. "I'm actually going to see Edward about something to do with him..."
"Is something the matter? What happened? What's going on!?" I shouted, almost lunging out of my seat.
"I don't really know," Alice said quickly, as if already regretting telling me what she did.
"So what are you talking to him about?" I asked, trying to relax. I felt bad for throwing myself at her as she probably knew nothing and I was most likely overreacting. But I did know that she knew something I didn't and I needed to figure out what was going on.
"Edward told me he stopped coming to class and I saw-" she stopped herself. "I saw him before," I knew that wasn't what she was going to say, but already embarrassed about my previous outburst, I decided to let it go. "And he seemed very...studious," again, she said a different word than what I knew she wanted to say.
"Is that all you know?" I asked her, leaning closer to her and looking intently into her eye, wondering if I could persuade her to tell me more. "I mean...it seems like you're holding something back," I flashed a smile. "Brad is the closest person to me, and you must understand my pain. How would you feel if the situation was reversed and it was I who knew something about Edward?"
I knew I hit home with that statement as she looked at me intently, studying me with a motionless expression. She would want me to explain everything to her if things were the other way around, and she knew that, but something dire was holding her back. Almost like a secret, like the secret life of vampires that my brother obsessed over. Was it more than just an obsession? I placed a hand on hers, and was shocked at the iciness. She quickly pulled away.
"I want to-" she started and gasped. She stared blankly into the space in front of her as though she had fallen into a trance. Her eyes flickered lightly as though she was watching a movie, a movie in her mind? Was she daydreaming?
"Oh my god..." she finally gasped.
"What?" I was confused and even more afraid, my blood pulsing quickly.
"I cannot say anything more to you," she said, hiding her face as though looking at me would make her spill out the truth.
"Please, is my brother okay!?" I could barely speak and my voice cracked at the thought of something happening to him.
"I can only let you come with me, and nothing more..." Alice said, and I had no choice. My brother had gone missing in Dartmouth, perhaps fallen off a mountain on one of his hikes, maybe kidnapped by someone, or worse, was he a little treat for the vampires he was so determined to prove existed? I had to follow Alice. Perhaps Edward and his wife would know more.
"Interesting choice of company," Edward glowered at Alice.
"This concerns him more than you think," she said. Edward muttered something to her in such low and quick words that I could not make out what was said. Edward's eyes bulged out of his sockets as though he heard some astonishing news, though I could barely hear words exchanged.
"What do we do?" another female, about the same age as Edward, asked quietly.
"We knew this day would come, it was inevitable. Call Carlisle," Edward spoke quickly, but he spoke clearly enough for me to hear, though it was obvious he didn't need to. I could see what Brad meant when these guys were different. Not in a bad way, but special, something a bit inhuman, but too human to comfortably call them vampires. I wondered if Brad figured things out and that's why he was killed by one of them, but I ruled out that possibility immediately as I studied them, just as preoccupied as I was and just too friendly to be able to intentionally murder.
Edward scowled, and I wondered if more unheard dialogue occurred between the three that stood in the room. The girl held tightly onto Edward as though they were joined at the hip, and I knew she was Bella. Their love was overwhelming, just throbbing out of them and filling the entire room. Everything Brad said was accurate down to the finest detail of their marble skin and golden eyes. I wanted to test his theory.
"Bella, go check on Nessie," Edward snapped as he leered at me when I placed my hand into my pocket. He shot a glance at his sister so fast that I almost missed it, but I definitely saw her take a step back and Bella left the room too quickly. I jabbed the tip of the pen in my pocket into my finger, puncturing the skin of my thumb as I had seen protagonists do in low-budget movies. I then pulled it out, and squeezed until a single droplet of blood pushed out of the little wound.
"Crap," I mumbled, pretending it was an accident. I was good at lying unlike Brad, but the look on Edward's face seemed as though he knew my intentions. "Sorry, does anyone have a bandage?" I gestured my wounded hand towards Alice who shook her head quickly, taking another step back and covering her mouth with her small hands. They were acting strange enough for me to suspect something and doubt Brad a little less. He was a smart kid, and I should've trusted him from the beginning.
"Why did you bring him?" Edward snapped at Alice.
"It's his brother!" she shrieked in response. "How can you be so insensitive!?"
"Insensitive!?" Edward snarled. "How can you think this was a good idea!? Do you know what the Volturi will do if-"
"The Volturi have already made their decision," Alice snapped. "You saw. They are coming whether they find him or not. He's safer with us!" I wasn't sure what they were talking about and worried for the safety of Brad. Was he in danger by this Volturi - whoever they were - and did these things not care? It was irritating me.
"Someone tell me what's going on," I said angrily.
"We can't," Edward shot a deathly look at me, his intense gaze making my body tremble. "And I'd appreciate if you'd quit your little games," he added viciously, glowering at my bleeding thumb. I quickly put my thumb into my mouth to remove any blood that may be affecting the others had they been vampires.
"The Volturi are coming regardless and this time, they will fight," Alice told Edward. "It makes no difference what more we do, not that we did anything wrong to begin with."
"If we tell him, we are giving them a reason-"
"Stop it!" I shouted out angrily. "I can see that Brad was right. You guys are not human. No human could ever be okay with leaving me in the darkness while my brother is facing some terrifying situation where some Volturi might harm him!" Brad was right; these apathetic creatures were far from human.
"Don't you dare call us apathetic," Edward hissed. How did he know what I was thinking? Had I said those words to him, or were these things more than just the ordinary vampire like Brad assumed. He said something about mind-reading.
"Edward, you already know that he sees what we are," I heard Bella's voice as she walked back into the room holding tightly onto the hand of what looked like a seven year old girl. White, marble skin like the others, but with more color in her peachy cheeks and flushed lips.
"Brad!" the little girl trilled in the same sing-song voice as Bella.
"No Nessie, that's his brother," Bella said sweetly to the little girl who looked at me, vexed.
"That's beside the point. I refuse to put my family in any more danger-" Edward began.
"You saw it!" Alice hissed. "You know as well as I do that they are coming to kill us, and David is in as much danger as any of us." Why was I in danger? I thought this was about Brad? Their conversation was creating as many questions as they were answering.
"You can't be serious!" Edward shouted to Alice though I could no longer tell what was upsetting him. It seemed as if everything upset this male, me being the biggest of his worries.
"You know Carlisle and Esme both will refuse to put him in danger. Would you rather they die protecting him when he can be made to fight with us?" the perky girl snapped.
"You can't be thinking to change him," now Bella gasped in surprise.
"She's already made the decision," Edward glowered at his sister. Change me? Fight? What were they talking about? Things were definitely much more serious than I thought, and I couldn't help but realize that Brad was in the center of this.
"If someone doesn't tell me what's going on-" I started.
"You can't do anything," Edward snarled. "They'll murder you before you can blink."
"Unlike you, I have a heart and I vow to protect the person I love most," I said calmly. "He is half of me, and more significant to me than even my own life. Isn't there someone you promised your life and knowing death was inevitable, you'll still plunge yourself into the darkness for just the slightest chance to save him?"
The three looked at me speechlessly. They glanced at one another as though once again having a soundless conversation, and I knew that they finally understood. Whether they helped me or not, whether these Volturi could snap me in half before I could even see Brad, I would take that chance to save him, and nobody could stop me. And the way the three looked at each other, I knew they would do the same for each other. Their love was strong, as tight as mine for my brother, and it made me feel guilty for thinking of them as apathetic drones.
"I'll save Bradley!" Nessie trilled cheerfully. "Bradley loves me and I love him too!"
"Well if Nessie agrees, then who will change him?" Bella finally asked.
"Bella!" Edward hissed. "The decision has not been made. Carlisle and Esme will definitely be on my side on this matter."
"The decision has been made," Alice snapped back.
"You think a newborn is any better than a mortal?" Edward challenged. I was still lost, but I knew they argued about me and some change, a big decision I would have to make in the near future. And something about a newborn? Was I being reborn?
"I don't think he will be a typical newborn," Bella said, a smile on her face. Alice seemed to understand what she meant and nodded.
"Bella, you were an exception," Edward said, frowning. He was clearly losing the argument.
"And do you know why that is?" Bella asked, pulling Edward closer to her. She closed her eyes, the smile still on her face, but faltering with obvious strain as though trying to mentally speak to her partner.
"Bella!" Edward shouted, all anger dissipated. "You make a valid point, but again, it's not a matter that I am willing to negotiate."
"Tomorrow," Alice said with a quick nod. She smiled at me. What was I getting myself into?