Nothing. There is nothing. I don't hear anything, smell anything, see anything, or feel anything. Fear starts to run through my body, but my heart doesn't quicken its pace. It doesn't beat at all.
This revelation brings other things to mind. Little sounds that I hadn't noticed before. The running of water, like in a small river or brook. Hundreds of singing birds, each one sounding clear, none of them blending together. I hear the rustle of leaves as they are caressed by the wind. Faint sounds of animals grazing. I resist the urge to cover my ears at everything I can now hear and open my eyes. I take in a startled breath.
Everything. I see everything. The bits of dust floating around the room I'm in, the wood grain of the bookshelf sitting across the room, the fibers making up the carpet in the room. Overwhelmed, I slam my eyes shut hoping that the sensory overload will soon pass. That's when I notice the other things going on. I can hear the murmuring of a TV in the background, along with hushed whispers. I hear the intake of breath at seven different intervals.
I open my eyes again, this time knowing what I'll see, but still unprepared. I sit up, blinking in surprise at how quickly I managed to do it. I glance around the room, taking in all of the details that I can until a glimmer of light catches my attention. I glance down and see that it's me. The sunlight from the window is reflecting off of my arm in an array of colors. I reach to touch my arm, to see if it's real, only to have the sun reflect off of my hand. I can't help but stare in awe. The colors and sparkling of light make me, well, gorgeous. I feel a grin tug at my lips as I move to get out of the bed, allowing more of my body to be exposed to the sun.
So enraptured with everything that I can see I fail to notice the presence just outside of my room until I hear a sharp intake of breath. I whip around faster than humanly possible and lower into a crouch. There is a low rumbling filling the room and it takes me a moment to realize that the sound is coming from me. Pushing the knowledge away, I focus on my intruder.
He smells like the wind, like he spends his time running outdoors, and faintly of books. He is taller than me with bronze colored hair. His skin is pale, with dark circles under his eyes. His mouth is pulled up on one side, giving him a lopsided look.
"Bella. It's okay, love." His voice is musical, like that of a baritone, and it sounds faintly familiar. I look into his amber eyes and try to remember where I know him from. His face pops up in my mind, but is blurry. I manage to pull out a name.
"Edward?" A voice that can't be mine asks, and his response is immediate, he beams at me, a full smile, and rushes towards me. Without thinking, my arm lashes out and my hand wraps around his throat, my chest rumbling with a growl.
"Bella. I'm sorry, I didn't mean to startle you, love. It's okay, I'm not going to hurt you." I push down the flash of irritation at him calling me 'love' and I stare at him for a moment, studying him. It finally hits me what has happened. I've gotten my wish; my new speed, improved hearing and eyesight, my lack of a heartbeat. I am now a vampire. I release Edward's throat as all of my human memories flood into my mind, still as muddled as before.
"Edward! I'm so sorry, I don't know what came over me!" I say, still ignoring the fact that I sound like I should be part of a wind chime set, and rush to him, wrapping my arms around him in a hug.
"It's alright, Bella, I shouldn't have done that. I've forgotten how… disconcerting it can be once you've woken up." Edward chuckles as he returns my embrace.
Overwhelmed with emotion, I bury my face in his neck. I can feel the burning sensation in my eyes, but I don't feel the tears fall. I pull back and Edward cups my face in his hands. "No more crying. You'll feel like you have to, but you won't be able to." Laughing quietly I glance around.
"Where is everyone?" Edward frowns slightly before his smile returns and moves to my side, wrapping one arm around my waist.
"Downstairs. They didn't want you to be overwhelmed more than you already were." Edward says and I can hear someone pacing downstairs and grumbling, along with three sets of chuckles.
"Can I see them?" I ask timidly and Edward just smiles. Almost immediately everyone is upstairs and in the doorway, with Esme in the front.
She is pale, like Edward, and has circles, but they don't seem as dark. Her eyes are more of a honey color and hold a warmth in them that makes me want to cry. She hesitates by the door, seemingly unsure if she is allowed to come in. I pull away from Edward's grip and take a step forward, opening my arms. Not a second later, Esme is filling them.
"Bella, I'm so glad you are awake, sweetie." She says and tries to pull back, but I pull against her and rest my head on her shoulder. I take a deep breath to keep from crying and notice that she smells like fresh cotton and sunshine, I don't know how she smelled like sunshine but she did. In my mind, she smelled how a mother should smell. She chuckles before squeezing me one last time and pulling away and moves to one side of the room.
The next person in is Carlisle. He smells of leather bound books and hospital. I wrinkle my nose and he laughs gently. "The hospital smell comes off after a shower. No worries." I grin and he pulls me into brief hug before moving to Esme's side.
Jasper, Emmett, and Rosalie all greet me in their own way. Emmett pulls me into a bear hug and swings me around saying that he's glad that I've finally become one of them and that we'll have to wrestle sometime. Jasper gives me a warm smile with knowing look in his eye, and, to my surprise, a wink before moving to Edward's side of the room. Rosalie stares at me a moment before eventually rolling her eyes and pulling me into a brief, but warm, hug. She throws a smirk over her shoulder as she joins her husband who is sitting on the bed I was using earlier.
I glance around, confused and hurt that Alice hasn't come to see me yet. She was the one who was most excited about my change, who promised that she would be the first one there after I woke up. I feel the burning sensation in my eyes again, and I go to rub them even though I know it won't do any good. I turn to Edward, my vision blurry and open my mouth when I hear someone gasp in the doorway.
"Bella?" Alice asks breathlessly and I turn and look at her only to have my breath leave my body. Alice is standing in the doorway with her eyes wide and her mouth pulled into a heartbreakingly gentle smile. My whole world narrows down until it is just her and me. I feel a tugging in my chest and my eyes start to water. I gulp in as much of her as I can, studying her, putting her to memory. Her eyes are a golden color I've never seen before and her skin, even though it is similar to all the others, seems to have a glow to it. Her hair is as fashionably spikey as ever but I have this urge to run my fingers through it.
"Alice." I say, my voice hoarse with emotion and she beams, taking a hesitant step towards me. Not willing to wait, I rush into her, my arms wrapping around her waist, lifting her slightly. She laughs in my ear before wrapping her arms around my neck and resting her head against mine. "Alice, I thought you weren't going to see me."
"Oh, no, sweetheart. I'm sorry I wasn't the first to see you like I promised, but I would never, ever miss this." She says, a frown pulling at her lips as she caresses my cheek with her hand. "Not for the world." She whispers burying her face into the crook of my neck. I kiss her temple before burying my nose in her hair and inhaling her soothing scent. She smells like lemons and lavender. I melted into her embrace and she just pulled me tighter against her. "You look gorgeous, Bella. You make an absolutely lovely vampire." I chuckle shakily in response and pull her closer.
I don't know how long we stand there, holding each other, but eventually I hear someone clear their throat. Alice goes to pull away, but I tighten my hold on her. "No, please don't leave me." I say, suddenly flooded with the need to be next to Alice, to hold her and never let go.
"Bella, love, come on. You need to hunt." Edward says gently, putting his hand on Alice's shoulder, pulling her back slightly. Rage and possessiveness race through my body and the only thought in my head is she's mine. I let go of Alice and have both my hands on either one of Edward's shoulders, my face inches from his in a second. I slam him against the wall ignoring the crunch and crack of plaster.
"If you ever touch her again I will rip your head off." I snarl meaning every word. I feel Emmett come up behind me and place a hand on my shoulder but I snap my head around and glare at him. "Back off." I growl and he hurriedly takes a step back. I turn back to Edward, snarling. "Do not touch her," I say pushing him harder against the wall, "she is mine." I growl and Edward glances away from my eyes.
"Carlisle? What just happened?" I hear Emmett ask behind me, bewildered. I growl at Edward one last time before turning to Alice and looking her over with a careful eye.
"I believe… she has claimed Alice as her mate," says Carlisle, "well, not claimed exactly. We all thought that Edward was her mate, but Bella's vampire side clearly says otherwise." Carlisle finishes, speaking more to himself now. I barely register Jasper's 'I told you so, now hand over fifty bucks' and Emmett's groan, over my concern with Alice.
"Are you okay?" I ask, running my hands up and down her arms. She smiles gently at me and rests her forehead against mine.
"I am perfect." She breathes happily and I smile.
"Did you know this would happen?" she smiles sadly this time.
"I had hoped. Before you came to Forks I had had a vision of you as a vampire and being with me, but then you fell in love with Edward…" she trails off shrugging. I growl at myself and roll my eyes.
"And I am such an idiot. Why didn't you ever…" I trail off as I realize something, "you have known we were mates this whole time?"
"Known we were mates, no. Loved you and hoped you would pick me, yes." She says and tears fill my eyes once again (God, so much almost crying).
"Alice, I am so sorry. What about you and Jasper though?"
"Jasper has known ever since he met me that I wasn't his mate. And he knew the minute that I saw you that I had found mine. As you might have heard, he and Emmett had a bet going on. He supported us." I laugh and pull Alice against me, nuzzling my nose in her hair. I hear Carlisle telling everyone that we should have some time alone and flash him a brief smile before turning my full attention back to Alice.
"All that time, you loved me and waited in the sidelines playing best friend." I pull back, frowning and she frowns, too.
"I wasn't playing, Bella, we were—are—best friends. And yeah, I did love you, but I loved you enough to be happy with being just your friend."
"God, Alice, I don't deserve you." Her lip curls and her eyes harden slightly.
"Don't you ever say that, Bella. You deserve me and I deserve you. We were made for each other. No one else." She stares at me for a moment before her features soften. "I love you, Bella, always and forever." She whispers, her breath ghosting over my lips. I feel tugging at my chest, warmth spreading to all parts of my body and I know that I love her, too.
"I love you, Alice." I say before pressing my lips to hers.