I wake up to hissing. And growling. Very, very loud growling. I go to sit up and I feel something push me back down.
“Bella, dear, you have to stay on your back.” I can hear the gentleness in the person’s voice and it sounds familiar, but I can’t place who it is. I open my eyes, but my vision is too blurry, all I can see is a figure leaning over me. Fatigue hits me and I close my eyes, and soon fall asleep, even with the growling and hissing.
I wake up and the first thing I notice is absolute silence. Nothing, and I mean nothing is making any sort of sound. It’s deafening. Which leads me to think that I am not outside, well, that and all I can smell is antiseptic I open my eyes and the blurriness is still there, but after blinking a few times, I can see. The next thing I notice is the piercing pain in my head. I reach up and can only feel bandages. Oh my God, what had I done this time? I sigh to myself and sit up. Not the best move ever considering that almost immediately the room starts to spin. I grip the edges of the bed and wait, for what seems like hours, for the room to right itself. After it does, I come to my third conclusion of the day; I am in the Cullen’s house, specifically Carlisle’s office.
I swing my legs over the edge of the bed and stand. I don’t fall, so that’s a bonus, but the room tilts. I close my eyes until I feel my balance getting back to normal. After a minute or so I open my eyes and walk towards the door, only stumbling here and there. I reach the door and open it, cringing when it makes the slightest of creaks, sounding so loud in the silence. I creep out the office, trying not to make noise for some odd reason. I make it to the stairs and there is still no noise, which is really out of character for the Cullens since they were always breathing, watching TV, playing video games, cooking, or teasing one another… there was always some sort of noise, and this lack of noise was starting to scare me. I walk down the stairs and stand in the doorway that leads into the living room.
If I hadn’t known any better, I would have thought that someone had perfect statues of the Cullens and had put them in their house. They weren’t moving at all. I lean up against the doorframe and study them closely.
They all have dark circles under their eyes, worse than usual. Carlisle is holding Esme close, with a small frown playing at his lips. Esme looks like she hasn’t slept in days, which she hasn’t but you know, whatever. Her hair is slightly messed up and her skin looks paler than usual. Her lips are pressed together and she looks worried. Emmett and Rosalie both look concerned. Emmett isn’t wearing any form of a smile and that scares me more than anything. Rosalie is looking at the ground and her mouth is set in a frown. My eyes roam over to Jasper who looks the worst out of everyone, although I’m not surprised. Whatever they are worried about individually must be pretty significant if they aren’t doing anything. I can’t imagine what Jasper must be feeling, or the extent of which he is feeling it. His eyes are pitch black, his clothes are wrinkled, and his hair is mussed up. That’s when I notice that neither Alice nor Edward are in the room.
I take a step into the living room and, at the same time, their heads snap up and look at me. I give a small smile and a little wave. “Hey, guys,” I say softly and it comes out roughly. Carlisle looks at me, a small smile playing on his lips. Esme’s hand is covering her mouth, but I can see the tears gathering in her eyes. Emmett has the biggest smile I’ve ever seen on his face. Even Rosalie has a smile playing at her lips and I can see the relief in her eyes, and if I’m not mistaken, she might have a few tears of her own. I look over at Jasper and I can see the relief in his eyes and posture, he’s nearly slumped over in his seat. He has a smile on his lips and I think that that is the first time I’ve seen him smile fully.
I hear a small laugh and before I can turn to see who had done it, I am wrapped up in a strong, yet gentle embrace. I inhale and Esme’s familiar scent washes over me. I hug her back and chuckle.
“Oh, Bella. We didn’t think you were going to wake up.” She says and her voice is shaking a little. I pull back, startled.
“You guys were that way because of me?” I ask looking around the room. “You were catatonic, what the hell?”
“Bella, do you not remember what happened?” Carlisle asks walking up to his wife and pulling her into his arms. I shake my head.
“All I remember was Edward freaking out, we fought, I won….. and then nada.”
“It was one hell of a good fight, Belly-button.” Emmett pipes up and I hear a small smack from Rosalie’s hand connecting with the back of his head. Carlisle shakes his head and looks back at me, and looks me up and down.
“Bella, Edward had, essentially, broken your head. Into pieces. You passed out because of the major trauma to your brain. Even with your superior healing abilities, you were out and in danger for a week. Frankly, Bella, you are lucky to be alive.” I stare at Carlisle, my mouth hanging open.
“But, Edward didn’t hurt me that bad,” I mumble and Carlisle shakes his head again.
“Bella, your skull was in pieces, literally. He did hurt you that badly.” Carlisle says and I can hear a hint of anger in his voice. I look around and I can see that Rosalie and Emmett are mad. Jasper looks pained and Esme looks torn between feeling happy that I’m here and being upset at Edward.
“But we’re cool now. I don’t blame Edward for what he did, he was angry and he dealt with it.” I shrug, “We’re all good, in my opinion.” I ignore the surprised looks that I get from some of the vampires and take another look around the room. “Speaking of Edward, where is he, and where is Alice?”
“Well, after you passed out, Alice lost it. She went after Edward like she was possessed. We couldn’t break them apart… at all. I tried and I got my arm ripped off. I’ve never seen Alice that pissed.” Emmett finishes talking more to himself than to me. I turn and face Carlisle and cock an eyebrow.
“We really did try to stop her, but we couldn’t. They finally stopped fighting only after Edward managed to get away and run. Alice was gone the rest of the day, but she came back that evening and was by your side the rest of the time.” Carlisle says softly. I was worried, my pixie was never hot-tempered, and certainly the least violent of all the vampire “children”.
“Where is she?” I ask, clearing my throat and pushing the tears and worry away.
“She was by your side until yesterday. Since then she has been outside in the forest somewhere.” Esme says looking concerned for her youngest.
“I have to find her,” I say and head towards the back door. I hear the Cullens follow me out but I turn and stop them. “I think it would be best if I went and got her alone,” I say softly and Carlisle nods and gently steers his family back towards the living room. I toss a quiet “thank you” over my shoulder before heading towards the woods.
It isn’t Alice at all to be sad and depressed. I didn’t voice it, but I was scared. So very scared that Alice had gone off somewhere and I wouldn’t be able to find her. I knew Alice could take care of herself, but Rachel had told me about what happened when vampires--and werewolves actually--lost their mates. Some recovered and went about their business, some secluded themselves for the rest of their days, and some lost it. My wolf whines and paces back and forth to go and find my mate before anything could happen to her.
I make it outside and wipe the tears away from my cheek. I hear quiet steps behind me and I inhale deeply again in a vain attempt to control my emotions. I feel a set of cool, strong arms wrap around my shoulders and I can tell it’s Rosalie. Against my will, my body leans into her, and words fall from my lips sounding shaky and hoarse. “Is she okay, Rosalie?” I hear Rosalie take in a deep breath and I feel her shoulders sag a little.
“To be honest, I don’t know. After she came back she stayed by your side for almost a week. She didn’t move, she didn’t eat, nothing. We were all worried about you, but Alice? She looked almost broken. At first, we all thought that you would get better, and Carlisle told us that you would… but after three days, even he stopped hoping. You hadn’t wiggled, your heartbeat was weak and slow, so slow. By Thursday, yesterday, we all thought that you were going to be like that forever. Alice just… left. When she left, she didn’t say a word. Bella, she looked so broken and lost, like she nothing left to live for. We didn’t know what to do, Mom and I went to go after her, but Jasper stopped us.” She pauses and looks out, searchingly, at the forest. She turns back to me and squeezes my shoulders, and I can see tears in her eyes. “Bella, I beg you, find her and bring her back. We won’t be the same without her.” I don’t have a response so instead, I kiss her cheek and I pull away from her embrace. I look at her one final time before I shift and head off into the forest.