A/N: Oh, wait, so who knew that Alice was actually in an institution, like in the real books? Cuz someone told me that today, and I was like, oh, nice. It’s the little things, I guess.
I looked up to Edward, my heart pounding in my chest. It’s beats were irregular, like my nervous breathing and the flickering images in the back of my mind. There was something about him almost unnervingly familiar, though perhaps it was merely his relation to Carlisle that was so evident. It was in the shadows beneath his eyes and the unnatural glow they held. It was in the very manner he carried himself, and in the devious smirk he wore.
“My father has told me many things about you,” Edward said then, breaking through the silence that had held us so tightly. “I cannot deny how long I’ve been dying to get my hands on you.”
Well, maybe I was crazy after all, but I most certainly did not like the sound of that. Not a bit, actually. Still, I refused to let my fears show. I had to appear strong, lest Edward think he had some sort of upper hand over me. Which he absolutely did not.
“Why don’t you get this damned straight-jacket off of me?” I suggested, my voice a bit too harsh. “Or maybe you’re too afraid of me. Since I’m insane and all.”
Edward threw me a scowl. I thought maybe I’d gone too far. But then he came around to the table and, sure enough, began unlatching me. A rush went through my veins. I had definitely taken a few large steps back, but now I was moving towards freedom once again. I knew I could get there. I knew I wasn’t far.
As soon as I was liberated from that accursed thing, I sat up, taking a minute to stretch out. Edward moved back to his post by the door, his eyes never leaving me. Not that it mattered. For the time being, my ankles were still bound. And when I made my escape, I planned to use the same out Alice had. I wondered if Edward knew about it. I wondered how the hell this was all connected. And what part I would play in the grand scheme. And what the grand scheme entailed, exactly.
“As I was saying,” Edward went on, “I would like you to feel entirely comfortable around me.” Right. It was so easy to feel comfortable with people who have unexplained tendencies to tranq you ad strap you to tables. I couldn’t help but think of Emmett’s warnings. Would I ever make it out alive? I thought I might have a chance. I thought Alice might be that chance.
“You see, Jasper, we have a very advanced program here. Our creations are the most useful in the world. But they are also the most realistic, and for that reason, we cannot perfect them. I believe you may be the perfect… subject.”
I was so, completely lost. So lost. But I was nodding along like I had any idea what he was saying. Like I wasn’t utterly creeped out by his words.
“Jasper Hale, I would like you to meet Bella.”
My gaze hovered at the doorway, watching intently until it swung open. The girl that came in was nothing particularly notable, save one thing. There was a vacancy in her eyes that could have matched my own. As soon as she had made her way into the room she turned around and fixed her eyes on Edward.
“She is virtually brainless,” Edward explained. I watched the girl, the adoration plastered upon her face. Edward never even looked her way. “Which gives me complete control over her.”
My mouth had long since fallen open. Edwards only smirked. “We intend to make more.”
Okay, this was starting to sound like a very badly written sci-fi. A very badly written one. I was just waiting for Edward’s face to melt off and reveal an alien. I couldn’t even stand this. Either I needed to wake up or some sort of twist was coming. And it had better be a good one, because I was feeling sick.
“Not to worry, Jasper,” Edward told me. “When I’m through with you, you wont remember a thing.”
He turned and left then, and Bella trailed behind him like a lovesick puppy dog. The door latched, and I was alone. Alone, with no one watching me, and no one guarding the secret escape route.