Me: Hey, Stephenie Meyer, can I own Twilight?
Stephenie Meyer: Um, no.
Me: Well, how about just Jane then?
Stephenie Meyer: No.
Me: *Walks off in a huff*. Well fine then.
Disclaimer: I do not own Twilight.
A/N: Sentences in italics are other people's thoughts that Edward hears. Sentences in symbols are Edward's own thoughts (none of those in this chapter, though).
The sound of the phone broke into the relative silence of the room, interrupting my reading. I growled deep in my throat. They'd promised, promised that after two weeks of almost non-stop touring they would leave me alone this day. Not that I had anything against touring of course, or against my family. I knew how lucky I was to have all of them, and I was as glad as any of my siblings for this family vacation, but after this many days, I could no longer bear it. At least when we attended school, I had the afternoons and weekends away from the constant barrage of petty human thoughts. Now, with no such chance, I had been getting dangerously close to yelling at everyone to just stop thinking, or at least to putting my fist through a wall. So I'd been promised this one day by myself, to give me a rest from what would have been, if that were possible, a massive headache. Well apparently some people couldn't keep their promises.
I reached out my hand for the phone, remembering at the last moment to control myself. It would be hard to explain to the hotel if I accidentally crushed it. I heard the voice even before I put the phone to my ear.
"Edward!" It was Alice, and my planned furious greeting died in my throat at the frantic almost-hysteria in her voice, to be replaced by panic of my own.
"Alice, what is it? What happened? What's going to happen?"
"Edward!" If she were human I would have said she was about to cry. "Edward, it's Jasper. One of the people in his tour group got hurt, and he managed to resist, but now he's extra-sensitive. I keep getting visions- if he sees any other person bleeding today, he'll attack them. He's been putting off feeding- he promised me he'd go hunting tonight- but if someone doesn't take him now it's going to happen and I can't, I'm too far away to get to him without drawing attention. I'm sorry, I know we all promised, but the museum is only two streets away from you and-" I interrupted her.
"Alice, stop it, you don't need to be sorry. Of course I'll take him. Emmett and I can both go- he's downstairs in the arcade right now. We can go right now. It'll be fine." There was silence on the other end of the line for a moment, and I knew Alice was looking into the future.
"You're right," she said after a few seconds had passed, and I was relieved to hear the panic gone out of her voice. "If the two of you go right now, it'll be fine."
"Then that's exactly what we'll do. Goodbye, Alice."
"Goodbye, Edward. Thank you so much." The line went dead. I threw down the phone, checked the hall to make sure it was clear, then ran at vampire speed down to the arcade. In less then a minute I had explained the situation to Emmett, and the two of us were headed for the museum, moving as fast as we dared.
Once we got there, though, a new problem arose. I, of course, was able to find where Jasper was instantly, but how were we supposed to get to him? The ticket line was far too long, and people would notice and try to stop us if we just went in. Just them, I caught sight of a poster about a new exhibit- the history of penicillin- and an idea occurred to me. With a glance around, I located the help desk and walked over, then addressed the staff member behind it, making my voice as non-threatening and convincing as I could.
"Excuse me, but could you perhaps call my brother over here?" The woman answered me in a monotone, annoyed.
"We can only page patrons if there is an emergency."
"It is an emergency. He forgot to take his medication before he left, and he needs to take it daily." I could hear her thinking it over, wondering if I was just fooling with her, weighing that against the chance of real problems. I tried for a persuasive smile.
"Please?" It worked, or else she just decided in my favor for another reason, because she sighed and asked me who I wanted to call. I told her, she made the call, and finally, after five minutes of nervous waiting, tracking Jasper's thoughts to make sure nothing was going to happen in the meanwhile, he showed up. As soon as he saw us, he grimaced. Treating me like a child again. I can handle myself, I don't need nursemaids. I sighed, muttered a quick and sincere thank you to the desk woman and walked over to head Jasper off. I managed to get in the first word.
"Yes, we all know this annoys you, but Alice was frantic with visions about you, and the only way she'll feel better is if you go hunting with us." There was very little Jasper wouldn't do for Alice, and we all knew it. I could tell he was reading my emotions, checking for sincerity, and that he apparently found it, because his thoughts changed from anger to resignation and even a hint of relief.
"All right then, let's go."
The parks in this town were too empty of wildlife and full of people for us, but we always picked places with hunting grounds nearby, so it did not take the three of us long to reach the forest. We broke into a run, wanting to get as far away from humans as possible, and I even began to enjoy myself, but after only a minute, Emmett suddenly froze, in, as I could tell from Jasper's mind, abrupt surprise. We came to a stop as well to see Emmett pointing at the ground.
"What on earth if that?" I looked, and saw, right in front of us on the forest floor, a line, running off in both directions as far as I could see. To humans, it would have been invisible, part of the general pattern of sticks and dirt and leaves, but to us, with our vision, it was clear as anything. I tried to think about what it might be, but Jasper had already begun to go into hunting mode as we ran, and now the thirst in his mind was so loud it was distracting. "Oh, and look." Emmett, meanwhile, had turned away from the line to glance at a nearby tree, where, carved also with a subtlety that made it visible only to our kind, was some sort of symbol.
"What is it? Is it a border of some kind? Does it mean we shouldn't got there?" Emmett sounded bewildered.
"I don't know. Maybe."
As soon as I'd noticed the sign I'd known for certain that I'd seen it before. But where? Trying to tune Jasper out again, I began running through memories, but was pulled from my mind by Emmett's sudden exclamation in his.
Edward! I almost cursed as I saw the reason for it. A group of hikers was coming this way. Their scent had just reached Emmett. In a moment it would reach Jasper. I gritted my teeth.
"Right, that settles it, border or not, that's where we're going." And with that I grabbed Jasper's arm and pulled him across the line and further into the forest, Emmett following after me a moment later.