Copyright alert: not all these characters are mine, but Jack, Kianna, Marcello, and (of course) Cassy are. If you want to use them in one of your stories, please consult me first, and please don't copy my ideas; that's called Plagarism, and it's not very nice... If you want to make a story with a similar plotline to mine, with a different ending, that's fine, but again, please talk to me before you do something like that. :)
Okay, this is now officially a saga!!! :D If you haven't already, read about Cassandra's other adventures so you know what's going on. This one will have a lot more action in it, though it may be a bit shorter than the others, and it is going to be the last one. It does have war involved (obviously), so consider yourself warned if you don't like violence (like me). I'm not used to writing stuff quite like this, so I hope you enjoy it. Without further ado, I give you Cassandra's most exciting adventure yet. :)
“Okay, here’s what we need to do,” I said, brushing my hand over the drawing of Volterra in front of me. “Somebody will need to go down into their lair and gain their trust. This may take a few days, but if it’s someone Aro really wants on his side, he’d be too happy getting his way to be suspicious. To help that along, that person’s going to give him some ‘information’ leading his best guards down to the Bermuda triangle. We’ll need to try to get at least Jane and Alec down there, and Demetri as well, no doubt. Hopefully even Felix if we’re lucky. Anyway, they go down to the islands to find an ambush waiting for them…”
“Their talents will be useless,” Kianna chimed in. “I have seen it before. The one called Demetri has tracked me to the triangle in the past, but never to the correct island. This interference will no doubt affect the twins as well, so it should be easy to take them down.” Jack nodded.
“Meanwhile, in Italy,” he continued, “the pack, the herd, and everyone else who isn’t on the islands will be hiding in the background, waiting for the perfect time to strike. We’ll all need to sneak in little bits at a time. We can’t have the whole group going at once; it’d be too conspicuous. Cassy will probably have to use her talent to help us travel around. It works out well that she was part of the Volturi for a week, so she knows everything about the palace.” Kianna looked at me in alarm, not knowing this particular piece of information about me.
“It was really more against my will than anything,” I told her, shaking my head irritatedly. “They took me away from Jack. I would never want that to happen. Back to the topic at hand, I DO know of a good room for everyone to hide out in while we wait. Before that pretty little feeding room that everyone’s grown used to, they had a different one, dank, slimy, and in a very desolate place on the bottom floor. They had problems getting humans down there, so they built a different room with more ambiance. Nobody ever goes to that other place anymore; in fact, they hardly even go on that floor anymore, so it should be easy to sneak in. After we get everybody inside, we’ll need to wait for a signal from whoever swears their loyalty to Aro. Then, we attack.”
I looked around at the crowd in front of me. It had only been a day since we got back from our honeymoon, and already everyone we needed was right here in front of us. The wolves, the unicorns, the Cullens, the Denalis, everyone. Naturally, the group was too large to fit into our humble little house, so we were having our meeting in the clearing where my wedding had taken place less than a week before. This place was going to have a lot of memories by the time our lives settled down.
“We figured the wolves would roam all around the building sniffing out loners while the rest of us went to face Aro,” Jack said. “The, uh, unicorns will be just outside the room getting rid of anyone who tries to stop us. We may want one or two of them inside with us, of course, in case we need some extra help, but if all goes well, they won’t have to do much.” Everyone looked around at each other, grinning and whispering excitedly. We might actually pull this off.
“But who will be the one to interact with Aro?” Carlisle asked. “They’re the one who sets everything in motion.” At this I glanced at Edward before looking back down at the picture in front of me.
“Well, at first I had suggested that I be the one to do it,” I said cautiously, “but I wouldn’t be able to lie to Aro; he would know everything that’s going on with one touch of his hand. There’s really only one person who would be able to pull off such a lie…” I looked slowly up at Edward to see his reaction. He had stiffened as soon as he read my thoughts, and I could tell that he wanted to say no with every cell in his body, but he knew just as well as I that Bella was the only one who could pull this off.
“She won’t actually be in any danger at first, Edward,” I said quietly, turning my gaze to her. She had caught on to what I was hinting immediately.
“I can do it,” she said. “he won’t have any idea what’s really going on.”
“I have no doubt in my mind that you can do this, love,” Edward murmured, looking into her eyes. “I simply don’t want you to cross paths with someone as dangerous as Aro. You know what he’s capable of.”
“I’ll be fine,” she assured, touching his cheek. “He can’t get into my mind. As long as I know what to say to him, he’ll be forced to believe me. And then we can deal with him together when the fight begins.” I shifted my weight awkwardly.
“Yeah, about that…” I said, glancing at Jack and Kianna. “We kinda planned that out too. The only way we could think of that would convince Aro to send his best fighters anywhere was if-”
“I were the reason they needed to leave,” Edward finished for me, reading my thoughts again. His gaze seemed tortured. “He knows Bella and I are inseparable. If she tells him she’ll only stay if I join as well, he would immediately send somebody out to get me. And if she makes it perfectly clear that I would never give in without a fight, he would be forced to send some of his better minions, including Jane.”
“But how would we get Alec there?” Bella asked. “This plan won’t work unless he’s gone.”
“We’ve thought of that too,” I replied, looking at Jack.
“Naturally, Alice would have seen Bella’s betrayal,” he said, “so she went to the islands as well to warn Edward, with a few extra allies to fight off the hunting party. Alec would be forced to help get rid of them. As much as Aro wants Edward, he wants Alice probably twice as much, and he would never skip an opportunity as rich as this one.”
“He also believes that I am still on the islands,” Kianna added. “Trust me, he will not be able to resist such a tempting crowd, despite the magic of the area.”
“Who will be part of the ambush party, other than Alice and Edward?” asked Esme. I watched the crowd as they discussed amongst themselves.
“Rose and I’ll go,” Emmett practically yelled, grinning broadly. “I’ve gotta give Demetri a piece of my mind.”
“I’ve always been dying to give Jane a taste of her own medicine,” Kate said thoughtfully. “I may not actually be able to do that, but I’m certainly not giving anyone else the privilege of ripping her to shreds.” I tried to hide my disgusted expression; even though the Volturi were dirty rotten parasites, I just couldn’t bring myself to enjoy the thought of killing them off, one by one. From what I understood, Carlisle felt the same way, but at least he had more experience with this kind of thing. There was no way I would actually be able to rip somebody apart, no matter how much pain they caused me.
“Well then of course I’m going too,” Garrett said, wrapping his arms around her waist. She smiled up at him slyly.
“I’ll go with my dad,” Renesmee piped up, looking at Edward. “I won’t be much help with Momma.” He nodded slightly.
“Marcello and I could go,” Tanya offered, glancing at her new mate shyly. He smiled.
“Sorry Tanya,” I said. “Marcello’s talent would be quite useful up in Italy. We could use another translator like Kianna, or another one of me, dare I say it. You can still go to the islands with Kate if you want, or you can go to Italy with us. It’s your choice.” She frowned and nodded.
“They’ll need me more on the islands,” she sighed. “I’ll go with Kate.”
“Esme and I can go,” Carlisle said, “for safety purposes. It’s unlikely that they’ll send any more than eight people, but it would be good for us to have a majority advantage.” I turned to watch Jasper, who was sitting quietly next to Alice. He was really the only person who hadn’t offered to be part of the ambush, which surprised me.
“Aren’t you going to want to go with Alice?” I asked him hesitantly.
“Of course I want to go with Alice,” he said, “but you’ll need me more up in Italy. Caius could use an attitude adjustment.” He chuckled humorlessly. I just shrugged.“Okay, so all of those going to the islands will leave at dawn tomorrow,” Jack announced. “The rest of us will leave at noon. Good luck, and down with the Volturi!”
:) thanks. Yeah, I try to keep the people in character. It actually took me a bit longer than usual to write this chapter, in my attempt to make it seem more realistic (where Aro would act like he's supposed to) so I'm glad it worked. :) And sorry for not updating in a while. Apparently the updates come and go in spurts... I'm working on that. But I'm almost finished writing the story now, on the bright side. :)
The transition was a slow process. There weren’t many times when Bella was alone; some person or other was always with her, asking her questions and giving her suspicious looks. The only time she was really alone was at night, when everybody else usually kept to themselves, roaming outside in the time they had out of the sun. And even then there was at least one person who just happened to be lonely and wanted a companion with them for a few hours. We managed to sneak out about four times within the week, and two of them were excuses to hunt on Bella’s part. Obviously Aro was trying to ‘cure’ her aversion to human blood as well, as he had done with me and Carlisle all that time ago, but once again he had no success.
We may have only had four trips in seven days, but it was enough. Everyone was here. The wolves, the unicorns, the vampires, everyone. Demetri was long gone, so Marcello had taken up my talent to help transport everyone. I had to admit I was bursting with pleasure as I watched the subtle hints of brown creeping into his eyes after every plant he drank (that must have been his natural eye color as a human), but I was too preoccupied by my next relegation to fully enjoy this accomplishment. I had to make sure everyone stayed in the abandoned feeding room, unnoticed, with enough food for the werewolves to keep their appetite at bay, all the while waiting for a signal from Bella to come out and join her for the critical moment with Aro that would start the war.
Luckily for me, I didn’t have to juggle these tasks for too long. Exactly ten days after we arrived, the moment came.
I was standing in the room with everyone else, my arms linked with Jack’s and Kianna’s, making sure everyone was completely undetectable. Bella was in no immediate danger, so I had let her wander alone for awhile, but now I was starting to get worried. Where was she? Had somebody discovered her lie? Was she okay? When would she give us the signal? I wished I had stayed with her, when I knew what was happening. When I could better protect the ones I loved.
The footsteps were subtle at first, hardly noticeable in the midst of the beating hearts of the werewolves and the impatient of the vampires. But as they grew in volume, I realized they were coming in our direction. I froze with sudden stress; had somebody found us after all? After all that planning and preparation, would it all come to nothing? I held my breath
Bella burst through the door.
“Everything’s set!” she said to the invisible crowd. Her voice was breathless with excitement. “The moon just came up a few hours ago, and most of the guard’s gone out to one of the parties in the area. The only people here are Aro, Cauis, Marcus, and their bodyguards. That’s about fifteen people in the throne room. The wives are probably somewhere else in the building. The wolves will have to catch them. But we have to hurry! I don’t know how long the party will occupy the stragglers, and we can’t afford any more than the group we have now.” There was a rustle from everyone as they murmured excitedly, but I silenced them with an abrupt, shrill whistle.
“I know everyone’s eager,” I murmured. “We’ve been waiting for over a week. But you need to be quiet just a little while longer. We cannot let anyone catch us at this most critical moment. We need to catch Aro completely by surprise. Marcello, make sure you have everyone covered. I will need to be in front with Bella, and I will break off from the group when the time comes.” I saw him nod. “Okay then. Good luck everyone. Let’s go.”
Bella led the way, with me right behind her. I was still holding onto Jack and Kianna, but it was more to be safe than anything. I didn’t know how strong Marcello’s invisibility was, and though he may have been able to shield the group for days, I just didn’t want to take any chances. Not now.
Finally, we reached the throne room. I took a deep, unnecessary breath, and broke off from the group to shadow Bella’s footsteps. She opened the big wooden double doors and we walked inside.
“Hello Bella,” Aro said, looking up from a big leather-bound book in surprise. “Is everything alright?” Bella shook her head sadly, and I could tell she was trying very hard to suppress a smile.
“I’m sorry master, but there are some visitors here that seem to have some ill will towards you.” Not to mention that she was one of those visitors.
“I’m sorry to hear that,” Aro replied smoothly, glancing up at a woman not far behind him meaningfully before turning his gaze back on my friend. Renata. “Tell me, who are these visitors?” This was my queue. I took another deep, unnecessary breath before answering, making sure my voice didn’t waver.
“Well, they’re not a very friendly bunch,” I said in a clear voice that echoed off the walls. I knew how hard it was to catch a vampire by surprise, so I couldn’t deny the absolute pleasure I felt when Aro nearly fell out of his chair. “And I don’t think you’re really going to be too happy to see them. Master.” I spit the last word out cynically and crouched down on the floor, finally allowing my body to reappear for the first time in days. Aro just looked at me with blatant shock, unable to form a coherent reaction. I blew one sharp, blasting whistle through my teeth before he could pull himself together.
There was a blur of activity.
At the sound of my signal, the doors we had just entered burst open with a crash and the rest of my vampire family came charging through. I noticed from the corner of my eye that most of the wolves were sprinting down the hallways, looking for any lone Volturi members they could find, while a select few came running in with us. The unicorns did a very good job of staying out of sight, angled very precisely around the entrance to ward off anyone who attempted to come to the rescue. Marcello very subtley touched Kianna’s hand, switching out my talent with hers to make his venom deadly. Everything was set up as I had planned.
Although Aro was still in shock at what was going on around him, his guards reacted much quicker. A big burly one- I recalled his name was Braxton- lunged toward Jasper, obviously thinking he would have the upper hand. I knew what would happen: Jasper would use his talent to make Braxton lethargic, then rip off his head. I turned away.
Another guard, a woman this time, came hurdling out from behind Marcus’s throne and headed straight for Jack. I hadn’t known this woman very well in my time with the Volturi, so I hadn’t really expected her reaction. Her name was Lucreita, a viking-sized lady with muscles even bigger than Emmett’s. She had always scared me somewhat, but I was terrified now of what she might do to my mate. Luckily he saw it coming and ducked out of the way, then pounced for her neck. I didn’t have time to see who won; someone had picked me out as their next target.
Caius, to my surprise, was glaring at me with a hatred I hadn’t even thought was possible. He muttered something undecipherable in the chaos and another girl came shyly out from behind his chair. She hardly looked to be any older than 12, and I was surprised he would send someone so young into the middle of a fight like this. Her hair was very long and needle-straight, swaying ever so slightly as she shifted her weight from foot to foot. She smiled at me timidly and I felt that strange prick form in my eyes again. We were going to have to destroy this girl, along with all the others. She didn’t look like a threat. Maybe we could spare her…
“Cassandra!” Jasper said harshly, pulling me away from the young girl’s auburn gaze- her eyes dark with thirst. I met his eyes for a short moment, seeing his warning, and nodded as he pushed away to collide with another of our enemy’s allies. I couldn’t afford to get distracted now, not with how much was at stake. My job was to protect my family and friends, not some stranger girl that seemingly came out of nowhere.
I risked one last look at the young vampire just in time to see Seth tackle her to the ground. Her infuriated face transformed into one I knew all too well: Genevieve, the illusionist.
I would not let myself be distracted again.
... it occurs to me that I haven't put Tasha in this story at all... she's back at Carmen's and Eleazer's house so she doesn't get into trouble (Kianna thought it would be too dangerous for her to join the action). Just so we know where she is... Anyway, here's the next chapter. :)
I fazed in and out of reality constantly, helping out whoever needed it most, which was, unfortunately, usually Jack. He didn’t have much experience with this sort of thing, and I hated to admit that without my talent, both of us would have been torn to shreds by now. I also helped Bella pretty often too, since she only had a few more years of training than we did. Kianna, on the other hand, proved to be the best fighter out of all of us, which surprised me. I hadn’t thought anyone could pass Jasper when it came to tactical pursuits, but she proved me wrong. She kept making her way to Aro, attacking anyone who got in her way, but then turned around abruptly and went the other way, a dazed look on her face. Then she would get her senses back, grind her teeth, and start the whole thing over again.
I realized with a start that this was probably because of Renata. She was cowering behind her master, who was watching the whole fight with an amused look on his face, but the look in her eyes was very focused, intent on keeping her object of obsession alive.
“Bella!” I shouted, shoving four Volturi members out of my way in an attempt to be heard. She looked up from her prey for just a moment, long enough for him to get the better position. I let myself react solely by instinct, refusing to think about the decision, and bit down into his neck. He yelped in surprised anger and I thrust him off of her, right over to Jacob’s eager paws. I turned visible for a split second to help my friend up.
“Thanks,” she breathed.
“Get Renata,” I commanded, glancing over at the shield. “Nobody else can reach her except you. I’ll escort you there as far as I can, but I’m not immune to it like you.” Bella nodded and I took her hand. Then we ran towards the Volturi leaders, unopposed.
It took a moment, but I could feel the shield pushing at my subconscious as we approached Aro and his brothers. My reasoning began to blur, began to fade away. Why was I going in this direction? Wouldn’t I be more needed over by the door, where all the action was? I turned back towards the makeshift battlefield, my hand slipping off of Bella’s almost by accident. As I walked away from wherever I was originally planning to go, I heard an echoing screech resound, like the sound of metal being crushed. The sound I had been hearing for hours now, though I was never the cause of it.
The sound of a vampire being torn apart.
I glanced back towards the thrones, suddenly remembering why I had been walking over there, and smiled grimly. Renata was nothing more than a pile of rubble, awaiting the flame that would engulf her when we were finally done with this massacre.
Aro was no longer in his seat.
I looked around wildly, disappearing once again as a precaution. Had he decided to join the fight? Would he attack me for helping Bella destroy his shield? Would he try to escape out the door? This last option didn’t seem likely, considering an entire war was blocking his means of escape. But where could he have gone?
I finally caught a glimpse of him in the far corner of the throne room, behind where the thrones stood. He was bent over one of the designs intently, tracing his finger along its edges. A strange rumbling echoed off the walls as a small doorway opened just next to him. A secret passage.
“Cassandra!” I turned towards the sound of my name to see Kianna flying towards me, on the back of Aleka. Another, smaller unicorn from the herd followed after them. “Ride on Kita! We have not much time!” I glanced at the young horse wearily, then leapt onto her back, knowing we had only seconds before the three Volturi overlords disappeared into the passage, ruining all our plans.
Aleka let out a very loud, distracting whinny, making Aro pause to look up, one leg in the passage.
“Incredible,” he breathed, a small smile touching his lips. Then the frown returned and he disappeared through the tunnel. The door began to close.
“No!” Kianna screeched, kicking her heels against her steed’s sides. We both lurched forward, sailing straight over the chaos, and straight through the tiny gap between the wall and the door. The stones scraped shut behind us.
“Use your talent,” Kianna hissed, her eyes glaring forward. “Kita is young, but she is still faster than them. Go straight forward until you reach the exit. Keep them trapped.” I gulped and nodded. It was four against three now. Two ironically dangerous unicorns, one deadly fighter, and one completely oblivious disappearing act. My talent made up for my lack of fighting skills, but I wouldn’t be able to kill anyone. Kianna knew that. So she was getting me to keep them in the room while she picked them off herself, one by one…
I kicked into Kita’s sides, hoping it didn’t hurt her, and we shot forward, faster than I had ever gone before on foot. I let my urge to fade into the background take over once again and watched as her neck blurred around the edges, completely unnoticeable by anyone else.
The passage led to a large, dark cavern with no noticeable light source anywhere. The walls were wet with moisture, and there was some sort of crystal embedded in the granite that gave the place an eery purple glow. It felt magical, and I would have stopped to look around more thoroughly if the situation had been less dire.
We sailed right over the three ancients, who were already running as fast as they could, and landed with a light *clap* in front of the door. They paused on hearing the noise, and I reappeared before them, my expression grim.
“Sorry about this,” I said, watching them fidget nervously. “But you shouldn’t have overused your power.” Kianna came barreling out of the passage just then and landed agilely on her feet, sending Aleka to guard the only other way of escape before stalking towards us. Her teeth gleamed and her eyes shone with bloodlust.
“Prepare to die,” she snarled.
heheh, I've just realized why it always takes me so long to update... When only one or two people comment, there aren't so many people encouraging me to keep moving, and reminding me to get the chapters done. When I first started writing about Cassandra, I had at least four or five people commenting (not to mention plenty of free time during summer break, similar to now). They kept asking me to 'post more soon' and things like that. :) I'm glad that all of you like my stories, and I'm still going to finish this one, as I said, I guess I've just been losing my motivation with my lack of readers. I'll try to work on that. Meanwhile, here's the next chapter. :)
PS: be prepared for an epic surprise! ;D (at least I hope it's epic, I haven't really hinted to it AT ALL) ;)
I watched her step forward cautiously, calculating every step, every possible scenario, every reaction she might receive. Aro had already stepped back away from my friend, but the others stood frozen, watching her. Cauis was angry, but I could sense a trace of fear in his auburn eyes. Marcus… well, even in the face of death he managed to look bored. It didn’t really seem like he cared if he lived or died. I supposed I couldn’t blame him; he had lost his mate, his other half. No wonder he was so emotionally unavailable.
Kianna lunged forward, her teeth bared, and managed to snip Cauis on the shoulder as he dodged the blow. He howled in fury, and pain. She lunged again, this time getting a good chomp out of his arm before he managed to escape again. Her venom was already taking a toll on his strength; he was dragging. Marcus glanced over at them and sighed, then shot forward in a movement quicker than I would have thought him capable of. I merged into the background once again and jumped forward as well, colliding into him with a resounding *crack.* He had managed to save Cauis from one of Kianna’s blows, but had gotten bitten himself in the process. He grimaced in pain, but otherwise showed no emotion. I stood up stiffly and returned to Kita, watching for any other attack against my friend. Aro was hiding in the shadows, his eyes confident, as if he knew she wouldn’t find him there. I couldn’t understand this at all, but I didn’t want to risk getting lost in my thoughts now. It would be too risky.
I heard a low, agonized, yet somehow still angry moan as Cauis fell to the floor. I turned away from him, horrified, and waited until after the screeching was done and he was nothing more than what Renata had become. Kianna was much better at this than I was. I hoped I never had to suffer this experience again.
Aro stepped out of the shadows just as my friend finished throwing the remains of Marcus onto the pile of rubble. His face showed mixed emotions. He looked intrigued, hopeful, amused. There wasn’t a trace of loss for his brothers. He had never cared.
“So my dear Kianna, we reunite at last,” he murmured, folding his hands in front of him as she straightened to her full height. I was confused. I knew he had been after her for hundreds of years, but the way he worded it made it sound much more… personal. She bared her teeth.
“Do not sound so pleased, my friend,” she retorted, “for I have come to set you in your place. You deserve to rule this world no longer!” He sighed dramatically.
“There is another option for you,” he said, as if it were the most obvious thing in the world. She growled.
“I will not join you,” she spat, getting into her hunting crouch again.
“It would have been perfect,” he continued, as if she hadn’t spoken. “Together, we could have been invincible. You would have led me away from any wrong decisions. I would have done the same for you. Nobody would have stood in our way.” He made it sound like he had made this offer to her already. That she had said no long before this current conversation…
“You caused me to flee from my home,” she snarled, stepping closer. “You made me flee from the outside world. You led me to believe such rumors as burning in the sun, being vulnerable to wooden stakes, simply to keep me where I was, but it only made me just that much more desperate to leave this wretched place!” So he was the one who had put that silly idea in her head… “You think it was an accident that I traveled to the Bermuda Triangle? Where you could not track me? I never had, nor will I ever have, any interest in ruling with you. But never had I imagined that you would cause so much devastation. You are not fit to rule! If I became monarch over the undead, I would never share rule with anyone like you!” She took another menacing step forward, and he backed up slightly, the confidence in his eyes dimming a bit.
“You are being irrational, sweetling,” he cooed, raising his hands in surrender. “There is no need to go to extremes.”
“I am no sweetling of yours,” she growled, still coming forward. He backed into the wall.
“Now, now, is this any way to treat your father?” She froze, an infuriated growl ripping from her throat. I was paralyzed where I stood.
He was her… father??
:) here's the next chapter. Yay, backstory time!! ;) There's another part of this chapter that'll be rather... surprising, as well. I have to get used to doing that kind of thing in this type of scenario... =/
The room was utterly silent, save for the two beating hearts of the unicorns on either side of us. I was looking at Kianna in disbelief, who was glaring at Aro, who was watching me. It was a very silent exchange.
“What?” I gasped when I could finally form a coherent response. She sighed and straightened up again to look at me. The confident look returned to Aro’s face.
“Yes, he is my father,” she said, her eyes utterly sincere, and full of regret. “Not just my creator. My father. A long, long time ago- longer than you could imagine- I was human, living with the richest family on the countryside. I was daughter of Laelia and Aro Volturi, the most respected aristocrats of their time. My life was perfect, or at least very near to it, from my perspective.” She paused, trying to see through the dim memories no doubt. “Then one day, father left.” A dark glance in Aro’s direction. He looked at us innocently. “He was gone for days. Mother was worried about him, and almost went looking for him herself before he finally came home. We knew all about vampires then- it wasn’t just folklore, but an entirely real part of our life- so when we saw his pale skin, his strange eyes, we knew what he had become. Mother was terrified.” She chuckled darkly. “She wanted to go straight to the townspeople, tell them what he was, but she knew well that her fate would mirror his if she did so. Anyone contaminated by the undead must die.
She wouldn’t even sleep in the house anymore. She chose instead to room with the servants at night, and often suggested that I do the same. I had known there was no reason behind the precaution. If he had wanted to drink our blood, it did not matter where we slept. So I stayed, and every night before I went to bed, he would tell me stories about the undead. He explained how he was so much stronger than everyone else, so much faster, so much better. Naturally I was intrigued.” Her face darkened and she turned to glare at Aro again. She continued the story without looking at me.
“Mother disappeared. I was confused, I knew nothing of what had happened to her. Father said she died. He did not bother to hide that truth from me. He said that because she was a vulnerable human, she had passed away, and I would follow her at some time if I did not agree to turn. In a panic, I had agreed. It did not occur to me until later that she had not died of a disease, or an accident…” Her eyes hardened. “She was murdered in a frenzy to feed.” I glanced wearily between father and daughter as her words slowly clicked into my head. Aro had killed his own wife.
“Naturally he did not care,” she continued once she was sure I understood. “After all, he loved her no more. He was infatuated with the young vampire who changed him, Sulpicia. She had seduced him from the very beginning. She had taken him from us, knowing he would be different. He would have powers beyond any other vampire’s. So he was turned, and I after him. We had ruled together, for a time, as a family. We recruited newcomers, fresh talents such as Demetri. But when I found the truth of my mother’s fate, I fled. There was only one place where I could go that he would never find me. I was forced to hide under the shield of the triangle for one thousand long years, hoping never to have to face him again. And as you can see, it was a futile attempt.” Her steely gaze never left Aro’s, never even faltered as she spoke of her past. His eyes were calm, almost sorrowful as she told of her unforgiveable past.
“And we were invincible then,” Aro sighed when he was sure she was done. At least he was polite enough not to interrupt. “The Romans were no bother. After we gained young Alec and Jane, and with my daughter’s venom, they were easy to overpower. No one could defeat us.” With the mention of their relation on his lips, Kianna growled softly and crouched down again, intent on destroying the thing that had oppressed her for so long.
“Forget it Aro,” she spat, baring her teeth. “I will not rule with you. I denounce any relation to you!” At this comment he looked absolutely baffled, then absolutely enraged. He glared at my friend, his former daughter, with a loathing so strong that I had to take a step back. This was a personal thing, something I didn’t want to get involved in. I had agreed to help if necessary, but this scenario had never occurred to me before. It made it just that much more difficult when I had to intervene in family affairs.
“You denounce me, do you?” he sneered, bending into a hunting crouch as well. I disappeared so as not to get in the line of fire. “Well, daughter, if you will not rule with me, you will not rule at all! NOBODY WILL!” He threw himself at her with an abnormally graceful movement, and she just barely dodged out of the way, a little staggered. Apparently she hadn’t expected him to show any resistance to his only child. Her eyes were clouded with confusion.
He used this one moment of distraction to his advantage.
“NO!” I screeched as he lunged for the dazed vampire, aiming for her throat. At the same time as I moved my feet to help, there was an ear-shattering cry as Aleka shot from her post by the door. Naturally she beat me to the battlefield, being faster than any vampire.
Everything seemed to happen at once.
A new cry, not one of agony, but more of surprise, came from Kianna as she was shoved out of the way, a gaping hole at least two inches wide right in the middle of her torso. She smacked against the stone wall with a loud *boom.*
At the same instant, there was a loud crack, an unearthly scream, and the gurgle of lost blood as vampire and horse collided. Aleka lay on the floor unmoving, her large body pinning Aro to the ground. There was only one heartbeat in the room.
A sound like breaking glass came from the one visible door, where Kita stood watching, all but forgotten. Her eyes were wide with fear, her legs shaking with rage as she very slowly approached her mother’s body, the red-eyed murderer writhing helplessly against the floor. I ran over to Kianna, trying to distract myself from that dreadful image in any way I could.
“Are you alright?” I whispered. Though her wound was huge and went right through her body, her eyes were still sensible, her senses obviously in tact. She shook her head and looked down, motioning to where her heart should be, then to her lungs…
Of course, she couldn’t speak. Even if she didn’t need to breathe, she still needed oxygen to talk, and she needed lungs to take in the oxygen, and they had been completely torn through.
“What is she saying?” I asked, glancing at the scene in the middle of the room helplessly. Kita was mourning over her lost mother, Aro completely forgotten in the moment of sorrow. With an entire unicorn’s body crushing his legs, he wasn’t likely to go anywhere any time soon.
Kianna shook her head irritatedly, signaling for me to come closer. I did so hesitantly, not sure what she wanted. She touched her palm to my forehead.
“No no no no no no…” Kita’s broken whinnies formed into half-formed pleas with the contact of our skin, and I stared at Kianna in shock. She motioned for me to say something with her free hand.
“Kita, I’m so sorry,” I whispered, not sure what else to say. She looked up at me in surprise, large tinted spheres of blue rolling down her face. After a moment of recollection, when she remembered she was not the only one in the room, her eyes turned steely and the fire of vengeance spread across her entire face. Aro would not be alive much longer.“You killed my mother!!” she screeched, the tears of hatred rolling down her cheeks even faster than her tears of sorrow. She jumped over her mother’s dead body and thrust her horn downward, ripping him to shreds within moments. I turned my head away until the violence was over.