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Visions of You
There once was a time when I thought Hatred and Violence were the only things that mattered in my existence. Those were dark times indeed. I shudder to remember the dark despair I was in before she came along; my Alice. I learned quickly that Love and Compassion could be just as strong, if not stronger, than Anger. They also felt much different. Being around the two of them combined together in the atmosphere makes me feel at peace. My life went on this new way for a good fifty years before it was threatened to come crashing down again. Everything I'd worked so hard to change would be shaken.
It had been another average day in the life of the Cullen family. School was boring as usual but Alice and I had ditched Study Hall to take a walk in the woods behind the building. Bella had returned home with Edward in the afternoon and busied herself trying to beat Emmett at a game of chess. When the two of us entered the front door we were met with the usual inquiry of a worried mother. "Where have you been," she put her hands on her delicate hips trying to look angry but failing dismally, "I've been worried sick. You should have been home hours ago."
"Sorry Esme," I replied with a nod from my head; I'd been hit a little hard with Bella's scent and it was making me dizzy. Normally I was a bit more cavalier with my makeshift mother when it came to hugs and affection. I didn't like the notion of Bella seeing my soft side. I wanted her to be afraid of me, especially after her birthday last year. Her unrelenting forgiveness for it astounded me. It was like meeting Alice all over again. Edward's brow knit and he wore a slight smirk as he looked up at me, apparently amused at my trail of thoughts. I spoke to him in my head, *Just trying to keep your Bella safe. I'd hate to see you depressed again. Believe me, I know how it feels to wake up from that.*
My brother nodded in agreement at my conclusion and I felt his empathy inundate through the room. Alice's porcelain fingers interlacing with mine brought me back to the present moment. "We got distracted," she spoke in her bell like voice, "I knew Bella would be coming over so while we were already out I decided to take him hunting as a precaution."
Esme sighed and dropped her angry facade, "Well I suppose I can't argue with that."
It was odd to see her looking angry on the outside when her aura told a completely different story. "Checkmate," Emmett declared mightily.
Bella sighed and half laughed, "Again... I'm never gonna get the hang of this game."
I smirked as I ghosted to the chess table, "It's all in the strategy."
Bella jumped slightly at my voice, "Holy crow! Jasper don't do that!"
"My apologies," I winced slightly; maybe I shouldn't talk.
To my chagrin Edward had noticed my distress, "Bella... why don't you let Jasper play Emmett this round. It's sure to be enlightening."
I was imperceptibly relieved at my brother's rescue but I wasn't one who liked appearing as though I had a weakness in any form. In my former life I was always the one that had to be the toughest. The soldiers beneath me wanted to know they were following order's from someone who was up to par. I traded places with Bella as Alice situated herself on the couch tucking her feet beneath herself. Emmett reset the board at lightning speed, his hands appearing as a blur to Bella's eyes. The game ensued this in silence as my mind strategized at high speed, planning ahead, countering his moves. The chess board looked like a war map to me; two armies fighting for their lives. I wasn't going to lose. The word wasn't even in my vocabulary. After the graveyards on the side of the table were filled with long lost pieces from the board only one thing stood in my Queen's way of victory; the white Bishop.
Emmett had only two pieces left while I had a good many. There were only so many possibilities of choice for his next move. If he went one way, I could take his Bishop with my Knight and proceed to checkmate his King with my Queen. If he went the other, my Rook would smite his Bishop leaving the King open to either my Queen or my Bishop if I moved them just slightly. The look of concentration on his face was a hilarious site to see. I felt a thrill of enjoyment I recognized as Rosalie's and glanced askance to find her trying to hide a smile. He decided to move his Bishop to protect his King from my Knight and I was just about to annihilate him when Alice gave a small, "Oh dear."
My head snapped up to find her glassy eyed and the game no longer held any interest for me. I glided to her side in the space of a millisecond and laid a hand on hers, "What do you see?"
"It's dark," she spoke trying to explain, "You're approaching a building... I can't tell where... wait!... It's an old theater..."
"The one that got boarded up," Emmett questioned.
I gritted my teeth in annoyance and waved my hand signaling for him to keep quiet. "Go on, Alice. What else is there," I encouraged in my deep voice.
"It's very blurry," she spoke quietly, "As though you're undecided about something. It's like you can't decide whether to go inside or not... I can't see past it..."
"Try Alice," I spoke silently, "Why am I standing there in the first place?"
She focused her eyes harder searching elsewhere for the answer. The one that came out sent a cold chill throughout my body. "Maria," she whispered.