Edward left Bella in New Moon and never came back. Now Bella has a plan for moving on with her life
Disclaimer. ** All characters belong to Stephenie Meyer **
WARNING: **There is direct text from Stephenie Meyers Twilight Saga**
*It is not my intention to steal anything from Stephenie Meyer*
You could run from someone you feared, you could try to fight someone you hated. All my reactions were geared toward this - the monsters, the enemies.
But how could you run, how could you fight, when doing so would hurt that beloved one?
How could you, if it was someone you truly loved?
Chapter 1: Goodbye Forks
“Happy Birthday Bella” Jacob said towering over me as he stood in my doorway. He was holding a pink frosted cupcake in the palm of his hand, lit with a single candle. I smiled up at him, this was the perfect gift -no party, no celebration -just my best friend, a cupcake and a quiet evening in, on my last day in Forks.
“Make a wish -preferably before the wax completely covers the thing!” he said teasing.
I quickly blew it out, and then stepped aside, letting him in my tiny apartment “Jake, I’m a little old for making wishes. But thank you.” I reached up around his neck, giving him a peck on the check.
“Your only twenty Bella, and your never too old to make a wish!” He answered me, rolling his eyes at the same time.
He walked into the kitchen and went to the cupboard where I normally kept my plates, when he opened the door and had a brief moment of shock and then looked around, finding the boxes.
“You already packed up the kitchen?” he sounded a little confused.
“Jake, I’ve already packed up the whole apartment” I answered him, fanning out my hand towards the empty space.
“Oh” he nodded, slowly dropping his head.
“I know, I know. I just thought maybe you would have changed your mind” He cut me off, knowing I would just repeat the same thing that I have been telling him for almost a year now.
“Well, I haven’t and I’m sorry”
“Don’t be sorry Bella, I’ll just miss you that’s all” he smiled a weak smile at me, trying his best to hid his disappointment.
“It’s only college Jake, it’s not like you’ll never see me again” I lied.
“Yeah, college in Britain!” he scoffed.
“Whatever Jake!” I rolled my eyes and smiled at him, lightly punching him on the shoulder -which still managed to hurt a little.
I remembered back to a summer not that long ago when he kissed me without my permission. I unthinkingly punched him in the face and broke my wrist, after that I only had to fight him off for a couple more months before he got over the ridiculous idea of us being together.
Thinking about that made me chuckle, so I shook my hand like it really hurt -he remembered too and laughed back, shoving me very lightly on my shoulder, just enough to make me stumble back and laugh a little louder.
We split the cupcake and spent the remainder of the night on my tiny sofa talking and watching bad TV.
The next morning Jake and I drove over to my dad and Sue’s -my step-mom’s house, so the three of them could drive me to the airport to see me off.
About a year after Harry Clearwater passed away, Charlie and Sue where married. They both had loved Harry so much, that when he died they ended up spending a lot of time together, and eventually falling in love. They made each other happy and seemed to be perfect for each other, which allowed everyone to accept it so easily, no one looked at it as wrong or in a judging way.
I really like my new step-siblings too, we all got along really well. We were like the brady bunch -minus three.
After the long drive to the Seattle airport I had just enough time to check in and say goodbye to my family and best friend.
“I love you guys, thank you for driving me” I said to all three of them.
“We love you too sweetheart” Sue smiled, holding out her arms for me to hug her. We exchanged a quick hug and a kiss on the check before I let her go.
“I love you Bells, I’m really gonna miss you” Charlie grabbed me into a tight hug, his voice was horse as he fought back tears. Hearing him like this broke my self control and I began to weep.
“I love you too dad and I’ll miss you very much” I choked out between breaths. We stood there holding each other for a few minutes, neither of us moving to let go, Jake finally spoke up.
“Bella, your going to miss your plane” he said quietly.
“K” I whispered back, moving to let go of my dad. He still held on for a few tight more seconds then let me go, but not before kissing me on the check. “I love you, you call me as soon as you get there” he said sternly, looking me square in the eyes.
“K dad, I will. Promise” I tried to smile under he hands that surrounded my face. He bent down and kissed me one last time on the forehead before letting me go.
As soon as his hands were off my face Jake picked me up in a bear hug, squeezing me so tight I could barely breath “Jake…can’t….breath….” I managed to get out.
He laughed and set me down and then pulled me back into a hug, this time light enough that I could return his affection. I buried my face in his chest as I began to cry again. He was my rock, the one I counted on most in my life and I would miss him terribly. He bent down and kissed me on the top of my head, then resting his check there for a while, until I caught my breath.
He pulled me in tightly when I started to pull away, then let me go after giving me another kiss on the head. “Love you Bells”
“Love you too Jake” I replied, my breath hitching on the words.
I was holding Jakes hand when I started to walk away, neither of us letting go, until we had to when the slack ran out, both our arms falling heavily to our sides when our fingers slipped from each other. I walked threw the gate and turned to look at them one last time whispering the words ‘I love you’, I knew Jake would have heard me, but to my dad and Sue it would have looked like I only mouthed them.
I turned and continued to my boarding gate, leaving them and Forks behind me.
Once I reached London, I did as I promised and called Charlie to let him know that I had made it safe. We talked for a few minutes before I called to talk to Jake, he sounded happy to hear me but still had sadness in his voice.
When I hung up with them I went to the desk to check in for my other flight, the one that would lead out of the UK.
Chapter 2: Volterra
Once the plane landed at my final destination, I grabbed my two small bags and headed out of the airport to find a cab. Between the drive and my search it had taken me three hours until I found the place that I had always intended to come.
I was scared and nervous, but completely accepting in anything that was to come. I had decided on my fate long ago, it was a decision I had made, and had been planning and intended to keep. So as I walked up to the guards, not letting the hammering in my chest detour me, I confidently walked up to one of the men, looked him square in the eye and said
“I am here to speak with Aro”
It was just after dusk, dark enough for a vampire to be out in the open, but there were very little people on the street. He looked down at me, with amusement, confusion and shock fleeting across his cold face, then he squinted his eyes at me ever so slightly before answering “Excuse me?”
“Please, I must speak with Aro, your master. I have come a very long way, and with the information I hold, I’m sure he would like to speak with me as well.” I said, trying my best to sound confident, as if I actually had something he would want.
He continued to look at me with a bewildered expression on his face before looking up at his partner and nodding towards the door. The other vampire gave him a nod in return and went into the castle.
I took in a ragged breath, trying to calm myself. I never really expected it to go this far, I had hoped but didn’t think it would, a new wave of butterfly nervous erupted in my stomach as I tried to keep my breathing and my heartbeat under control.
Several minutes had passed, long enough for my nerves to die down, only to be replaced with despair. They were not going to let me in, and I would have to find another way to get what I wanted. All this time and planning was now wasted, and I had no back up plan.
The vampire guard must have noticed my change in demeanor, he chuckled softly with a grin “What’s your name?”
“Bella” I answered him softly, all hope and confidence from my voice “My name’s Bella” I looked down, trying to squish the urge to run away and cry.
He didn’t say anything else, we just stood there continuing to wait, in the dark and silence for someone to return with any news.
Finally after what seemed like an hour the other vampire came back out, he walked up to me, looking at the other guard and then telling me “Follow me”
I stood there, I was confused, I had been waiting out here for such a long time that I was sure I would be sent home, and when he said ‘Follow me’ it didn’t make sense. After a few seconds of both of them looking at me like I was a crazy lunatic, the guard who had been standing with me finally spoke again.
“Bella. Aro will see you now” he said slowly, as though I were a child who needed specific directions to understand, which was apparently the case.
“Oh, right. Ok” I mumbled out.
They looked at each other and shrugged before walking, one in front of me the other behind. We walked into the castle through the massive wooden doors and down several different halls, making our way deeper and deeper into the castle. After several minutes of walking we finally reached a room, I was shocked to find a human women at the reception desk. She smiled a gentle smile at me and then giggled at the vampire who walked behind me.
We walked through the last set of doors before reaching a room. It was round with three large chairs set up in the middle of the room. I recognized the men in them immediately as the vampires from a painted portrait that I once saw.
The two guards I had walked with, took me to the center of the room facing the three vampires, one standing on either side of me.
The vampire in the middle smiled a kind smile and stood up walking towards me “What is your name dear?” his voice was velvety like all the other’s I had heard, but raspy having an old sound to it.
“Bella” I said timidly, tipping my head towards him as if he were royalty.
“And why have you come here Bella?”
“I..uh..I” I shook my head, I had no idea what to say to him. I knew why I had come, and I knew what I wanted from them, but I had no idea how to explain myself or ask for what I wanted.
“Don’t be afraid dear Bella. My name is Aro, you asked for me by name. Now there must be something I can do for you, it’s not everyday a young human girl come’s knocking on the Volturi’s door asking to speak with one of the leaders.” He was still speaking softly, his words kind and curious.
“I..I’m sorry…I don’t…know what to say…where to begin….I” I couldn’t form a coherent thought let-alone a sentence.
“Why don’t you start by telling me how you’ve come to know my name and where to find me” He smiled a gentle smile.
“I knew a family, who had spoke of you and your coven.” I told him, flinching on the word family, hoping he would not ask me any names.
“Family? What family do you speak of?” he looked confused, and my chest began to writhe in pain. I had yet to speak any of their names aloud, not even a last name, and my body instinctively began to react on the impending doom, so taking the natural precaution, one that I had become very used to, I tightly wrapped my arms around my chest -in a hopeless effort to hold in and prevent the burn.
“Cullen” I whispered out as quickly as I could, wincing at the sound of the word, then tightly clenching my jaw.
“Ah, Carlisle. My dear old friend, how is he doing?” He asked apparently oblivious to my pain.
“I wouldn’t know, I haven’t seen them in two years.” I told him as calmly as I could, closing my eyes, forcing away the pain and then opening them again to look at Aro’s face.
“Ah, I see. And are they why you have come here today?”
“No.” I told him flatly -and in complete truth. They were not the reason I had come.
“And how’s that?” he asked curiously again.
“They are the reason that I know, but not the reason I have come. I came for me.” I was gaining some of my confidence back, remembering why I had come in the first place.
“You came for you? And what can we do for you, Bella”
“I want you to change me”
This is a work in progress, but while you wait you can read my other completed fan-fic here:
Chapter 5: Ciao Bella
It was late, the sun had gone down hours ago and I still wasn't ready to leave. I loved the library at the University of Pisa, it was perfect. It had that old book smell that I love so much, thousands of them lined up on shelves, each filling the room with there perfume, just waiting for me to read them. All of them unique and beautiful in there own way, millions of words just waiting to be absorbed.
'Nerd.' I chastised myself.
It wasn't unusual for me to stay late, most of the cleaning staff was used to me being here by now, but tonight was later than ever, I didn't want to leave.
Today was the last day of the semester, and there would be no more classes being held for two weeks, and that's only if you signed up for extra credits. Most of the student body wouldn't be back for months. So I had two weeks to find something else to do with my time, all 336 hours to fill, with what I had no idea.
I heard the night guard and the janitor discussing me before he finally made his way into the library, so with a dejected sigh I started to pack up my things as he entered the door.
“Si?” I said to him while stuffing books and papers into my bag.
“Io dovere chiedere lei finire la sculoa per favore.” He seemed a little abashed that he had to ask me to go, so I apologized and hurriedly went to leave. “Si, certo! Scusa!”
“Ma certamente! Grazie della sua comprensione”
“Addio” I said to him as I passed through the door of the library.
The door to the courtyard was only a little ways from the library, so I turned to wave at the two men who were staring after me, before disappearing outside.
Once out of sight I began to move more quickly, and before too long I was outside the city limits and at my small house that was located near the Tuscan countryside.
“Hey B!” Felix greeted me as I walked in.
“Hi Lex” I responded while flipping on the lights. I know that it's completely unnecessary but I'll never understand why vampires don't use lights when humans aren't around.
“Taking more classes?” He asked me while fingering my pile of forms and papers required for the next year. I was immediately glad I'd already turned in all my summer forms, the pile would have been double, and so would have been the teasing.
“I already told you that last time you were here.” I tossed my bag on the chair and went over to grab the pile from him
“I know.” he smiled at me; his big goofy brute grin, dropped the stack of papers just as I was getting ready to grab it and threw his arms around me, trapping me in a big bear hug. “But I can still hope!” he said to me before bouncing me around the room.
“Felix!....Don't break me!” I was finally able to get out after forcing air back into my lungs.
“Right B, like that's even possible” he grinned at me again before giving me a quick peck on the cheek and letting me go. “You could have gotten away if you really wanted too” He said with a final wink.
“What are you doing here anyway?” I asked.
“Why! Isabella Marie Swan, I am shocked! Is that anyway to speak to a guest in your home?” He taunted me with fake dismay.
“You're hardly a guest Felix. More like a nuisance, or a pest...” he threw a pillow at me before I could finish.
Of course he knew I was only teasing him, the same way he always teases me. Felix is the best. After my change it took most of them several months to warm up to me -some of them still thawing, but not Felix, he and I immediately clicked. At first I was afraid that he might like me too much, but I soon realized that that just wasn't the case, we've been close ever since.
He's always reminded me of someone though, like an older brother, but I could never put my finger on it. That probably has more to do with the fact that I don't remember anything from my human life, and less about me forgetting a specific person, than anything else. Since of course there were no specific people to remember, maybe he does remind me of my older brother?
Regardless, even if there are people out there from my human life, they could never be apart of my existence now, so it doesn't matter. All I really know about my life before this one is my name, my human age and why I was changed. Anything else doesn't seem to matter much, I'm happy, so much so I can't imagine anything before this life that would have been worth looking for. So I haven't. Well, and I can't, it's one of the laws, but I don't want to anyway so it doesn't bother me.
“Did you need another break from the Ice Princess?” I laughed at him while he was making faces over my summer class schedule.
“Always.” he said with mock shivers, running his hands up and down his arms as if to warm himself up.
Jane has that affect on people, not me, but other people definitely. She's never been able to get to me with her power, even when I mastered the ability to completely pull back my shield, she's never been able to really use her ability on me. I've let her -once, and that was enough, and I only allowed it to happen for a fraction of a second before my instincts took over and shut her out. It's not even a choice really, my ability reacts to the attack and protects me.
She's definitely one who's still thawing out to me. I can only guess that it's because she doesn't have the same power over me she holds over everyone else in the guard, and Felix agrees with me on that, but he thinks it's something more. He thinks Aro's fondness of me has a lot more to do with it than anything else.
Aro; although he never forces people to stay with him, has also never before let a member of his guard be 'on call' either. I'm the first. After the first couple of years with them I started to get bored. My presence isn't required full time like Jane or even Felix is, that's when I started to search for something to occupy my time.
I couldn't really do much in the human world, I'd thought about a job but I'd be limited to what I could do, and that seemed just as boring as sitting around the castle all day, so that's when I decided on school. I'd already read through the library in the castle, and had taken a few online courses when I finally found myself looking into the University of Pisa.
Surprisingly it didn't take much convincing for Aro, Caius and Marcus to agree (so maybe there is a little something to Felix's theory) and soon I was off taking classes, getting called back for visits every couple of months and more often if my duty required it.
“You know it's just because she likes you so much more than anyone else Lex, that's why she treats you so differently.” I continued to tease him, he hates it when I put them together in an imaginary coupling.
“Hilarious.” he sneered while giving me his death glare “Maybe when we get back to the castle the four of us could all get together, Jane, me, you and Demitri, we could double date.”
“Ouch.” I flinched internally at the thought. Jane is to Felix as Demitri is to me, but not, at the same time. He always makes me incredibly nervous and uncomfortable, something else I couldn't put my finger on.
“Actually B, Aro wants you to come home for awhile.” he said stretching out on the couch, obviously it wasn't an emergency “he 'requires your assistance' '' he finished with air quotes.
“Why didn't you just call? I could have been there hours ago?”
“Break from the Ice Princess remember? Jeez Bella, try and keep up!” I threw the pillow back at him.
“Well, we should go then” I stood up from where I was sitting “I can see you had a snack before coming here, but I'll need to hunt.” I chided him while pointedly looking in his glowing eyes.
I had become used to their eating habits, and tried to be as light about it as I possibly could, but it was still hard, mostly I just tried not to think about it now.
“Hey, I tried it your way Bella.” He jumped up from the couch, unaffected by my jab.
“You could have tried it longer, maybe you'd even like it by now”
“Ditto.” he chaffed as I cringed.
In the beginning I didn't know there was another way and it is true, I killed and drank from humans my first years as a vampire. I hated it. I hated it so much, that after my newborn thirst began to wane and I could more easily control it and the need to consume, I began to starve myself. I would go weeks upon weeks without so much as a drop of blood until the need completely took me over and I gave in to the thirst.
It was just over my second year with the guard when I meet someone who lived another way. Her name was Irina, she had to come to the Volturi to report to them, something I wasn't allowed in on.
I was still new to the guard and wasn't included in all of their business dealings, but afterward had been introduced to her. She had the strangest color of eyes I had ever seen, nothing close to what I had become used to as a vampire, and so I questioned her about it.
That's when she told me about her family, how they all lived, only drinking from animals in the forests. She said that her family lived among humans, interacted with them on a daily basis. At first I thought she was ridiculous, but she told me of another family that lived like hers did. I was so intrigued by the idea, and disgusted with my own eating habits that I asked her to take me hunting.
It was disgusting. But I found that it didn't make me feel sick and there was absolutely no guilt tied to it whatsoever. So I continued on, and soon my eyes were the same weird golden color of topaz that hers had been when we meet. And I've never looked back, it freed me, that was really the moment I had realized my bliss. Before I was happy with my vampire life, but not completely, and after meeting Irina everything changed. I was truly happy, and with my new eyes and diet, I found myself able to interact with humans like she had said, and now I do.
“Are you coming or not? I am more than capable of going by myself.”
“Oh I know Bella, but yes, I would love to join you for dinner. Thank you for inviting me.” He teased.
I rolled my eyes as we headed into the wilderness and back to Volterra.
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Chapter 6: Wanted
I was glad to see Felix's eyes had at least lost the blazing glow of red by the time we were back at the castle in Volterra. He was a good sport and feed from two large game while I hunted my fill.
We had entered through the underground tunnels and had just exited the elevator when we ran into Demitri. We were laughing fairly loudly at our own joke when I spotted him. He was as cool and composed as he ever was, turning slightly away from the newest human receptionist toward the sound of laughter, something I was sure he knew nothing about. He gave us (me) a once over, nodded and then turned his attention back to the woman. I looked up at Felix just as he looked down at me, he rolled his eyes which caused us both to start laughing again like a bunch of idiots.
I grabbed onto Felix's arm in an effort to get us out of the room faster, we'd almost made it when Demitri suddenly appeared in front of us.
“Something funny?” he questioned in his controlled voice.
I looked up at Felix again, he knew how uncomfortable around Demitri I was, and all joking aside he always bailed me out when it came to him directly. Of course I could hold my own, I was excellent at hiding my emotions, but whenever possible I let Felix take over for me.
Felix smirked at me then looked at Demitri with a shrug “It's nothing, just an inside joke about Bella's weird eating habits.” he looked at me again, and with his free hand (the one I wasn't clinging to) ruffled my hair like a little kid. “You wouldn't get it.”
I smacked him in the arm and fixed my hair, catching Demitri's sight. He didn't look convinced, he just stared down at me with that impassive gaze of his.
After a few uncomfortable seconds he finally spoke “Bella, it's nice to have you back where you belong.” With that he nodded to me, looked at Felix, turned and walked away.
Demitri was one that didn't agree with me not living with the guard twenty-four seven, and he never hid the fact that he didn't approve either. He thought that I should always be here with them and didn't understand my need for other things, or more specifically -school.
When it was first decided that I was allowed to leave and live outside of the castle he objected fervently, so much so he had convinced Caius and had Marcus wavering, both who had originally agreed to the idea with very little effort on my part.
After a much heated debate Jane finally spoke up, taking 'my side' saying that I was right, I wasn't needed the way the rest of them were and I should be allowed to go. I of course knew it was for her own benefit, but I didn't mind if she were helping my case.
Felix agreed with Demitri, but he did it for other reasons; he just wanted me around, but in the end he knew it was something I really wanted and needed to do so he agreed with Jane. Ultimately it was Aro who changed Caius and Marcus's minds (back), whenever Aro agreed to something or believed in it, they usually followed his lead, trusting his judgment entirely.
The strain between Demitri and I only grew after that, which I was even more grateful for my leave because of it. And each time I come home, he makes sure to say something to me about being 'where I belong'. Ugh.
After Demitri was out of sight I feigned fainting and fell against Felix, which caused him to chuckle as he bent over to scoop me up and fling me over his shoulder like a sack of potatoes.
I started to squirm and bang on his back to let me down when I heard a quiet snicker behind us, I lifted my head to see the human receptionist covering her mouth with a smile. I smiled back at her and held my finger up to my mouth 'shh', I winked at her while quickly and quietly telling Felix to let me down.
He heard her laugh too, so he didn't hesitate when I told him to put me down. Jane would be furious if she knew we were acting so unprofessionally in front of the help, not to mention what Demitri would say.
We quickly left the room once Felix had put me down, not talking, touching or even looking at each other.
We made it a little further down the hall before I finally said to him “I should go see Aro before you get me in real trouble”
“Ha! Please Bella! I don't get you into trouble”
“Oh really?” I asked him sarcastically.
“Yes really, before you showed up there would have been none of this non-sense -super shield.” He raised an eyebrow to me, a gesture of challenge. He was exaggerating of course, but I remember my first year or so here, it wasn't as 'laid back' as it appears to be now.
“If you were to leave” He continued, “they'd put my shackles back on! Like in one of those labor camps!” he laughed, but there was an edge to his tone, truth of some degree laced in the words.
We were back to teasing and joking as we rounded the last corner before getting to the meeting room. Demitri was on guard at the door, catching the tail end of our conversation.
“Lucky for you then isn't it detainee that I have no intentions of leaving!”
“Glad to hear that Bella.” Demitri said looking down on me, again catching me in his sight. “Does that mean you'll be staying indefinitely then? Dropping school and the ridiculous idea of a college degree?”
“No. It doesn't mean that at all Demitri.” I finally had to respond to him. “Will the elders see me now?” I continued so he couldn't respond to me about the topic of my schooling.
“Of course, they've been expecting you.” He knew what I had done, you could see it in his eyes, but he was too professional to go back to a dropped topic when business had been presented to him.
He led us the rest of the way and into the large room where the leaders were waiting. As soon as the door began to open I instinctively pushed out my shield, wrapping up Felix first and then including Demitri, immediately glad I did when we were fully in the room.
“Hello Jane, so nice to see you again.” I turned to look in her direction. As soon as she was able to fix her eyes on me she instantly began emitting her power, trying to catch me off guard. When that didn't work, she quickly moved onto Felix, knowing that would get a rise out of me.
I turned back to Demitri when I saw the beginnings of frustration appear on her face, he was looking at me when I turned around “And you can thank me later.” I said to him, watching his reaction as my words sank in. Realizing she'd turned on him he looked away to face her, understanding and relief evident in his features.
“Bella dear! How wonderful to see you” Aro said blithely, holding out his arms to me.
“Father” I adorned as we embraced.
Aro preferred the one's he sired to call him something more affectionate when in private, only wanting for formalities when on duty.
“I'm so glad to have you home with us dear one” He pulled back just enough to kiss the top of my head. “Let me see what you've been up to since I saw you last.” With that we pulled back to smile at each other.
He gently took my offered hand into both of his, I pulled my shield back just enough to let him read me without exposing Felix or Demitri.
I'd been gone for just under three months since my last visit, so it wasn't but a few moments later he released my hand with another approving smile. “Ah Bella, you make me proud. I see you've completed your Bachelors degree is Philosophy. Are you planning on accepting the T.A. position after next year?”
“I haven't decided yet” I said to him taking back my hand and moving toward the others. “It might be difficult at times with the sun. And of course my duties here.”
I walked over to where Marcus was still seated “Bella” he said to me affectionately, rising from his throne. “It's so nice to you, I trust you have been well since our last visit?”
“Yes Uncle, thank you.” I said to him as we released from our hug.
I was the only one who called Marcus something other than his name or master. It was not something that was asked, but since the first time I addressed him as Uncle, he's never objected to it. Instead, seeming as though he enjoys it, or even appreciates it. After losing Didyme I was told he withdrew from everyone, barely taking an interest in his own life, much less everyone else.
Because of his loss and sadness I've always felt connected to him, a kind of kindred spirit of sorts, I'd always felt close to him because of it, I applied it to family terms and decided Uncle fit him best, and so Uncle he's always been to me.
Caius on the other hand was nothing but Caius. Closer to my own age than Aro or Marcus he never held the same reverie for me as the other two had, I'm sure if asked he would say the same of me. He's never treated me any differently than the rest of the guard, but never worse either. He was very steady in his position, very little gray area with him, if any at all. Always polite, but not warm.
“Hello Caius.” I said turning to face him with a smile.
“It's nice to have you here with us once again Isabella.” He greeted me in his usual evenness.
“Thank you, I'm glad to be home.”
I went back over to stand next to Felix and Demitri, the room, after my greetings with the elders, silently shifted, formality taking friendly's place as we began into business.
“Now that we are all here Aro,” Caius addressed the room “we should proceed with the requisitive search to put this matter to rest once and for all.”
“Yes” Aro agreed with him as he began wondering the room. He did this sometimes when he was gathering his thoughts, weighing what and how to say what was on his mind.
“As most of you know, we've been watching a situation for a while now” He began and then stopped in front of me as he made a pass around the room. “Bella dear, this will all be news to you.” he told me before continuing.
“We've been getting increasing reports of an uprising within our race, a group who intend to strike against us. Today however we received information from a more reliable source than any in the past.”
A low but involuntary hiss escaped the lips of some members of the guard, the thought of anyone striking against us for simply protecting them was contemptuous. We didn't appreciate our duty, which we all took very seriously, being thwarted and undermined.
“We've been watching the situation, but only from a distance.” Caius continued “Our informants have given us all the information they have and they are no longer a reliable source for further investigation into the matter.”
“ A few nomadic members of our race have also reported notice of this group as well, but they too, are an unreliable source.” Aro added.
“It is time we set out ourselves to learn of this group of miscreants, they must be dealt with swiftly and decidedly, an uproar like this could undermine our entire society, expose us in dangers ways.” Caius informed us.
“However,” Aro took over again “They must be given the benefit of the doubt, our information must be pure and untainted, under our laws they must be allowed to defend themselves against false accusation.” He said, turning to face the guard members.
When a scouting party was sent out it always included Demitri, Felix, Jane, Alec and myself, he was pointedly speaking to us now.
“We need accurate information in order to ensue lawful dealings with this group. We trust that you will be very thorough in your analysis, reporting back to us before any action is to be taken.” Aro instructed before turning to go sit next to his brothers.
“Demitri you will need to inform Felix and Isabella of your course of action since they were not here when your strategy was decided on.” Caius informed us “Afton and Chelsea will also be accompanying you on this assignment. Although we don't anticipate trouble or expect you to defend yourselves, we are preparing for every possibility of advantage to you, because of the unusual nature of these reports.”
It isn't often that Afton joins our party, but his power can be of great use when in the right situation. He is a magnifier, but only when physically in contact with another who is actively using there gift, he then amplifies their emission exceedingly.
During a field test of our powers Afton was able to increase my shield expansion by double, which is very impressive considering alone I've been measured to emit just over a half mile in distance. Demitri was able to increase his sense of tracking, the distance is which he is able to pick up the sense didn't increase but strength of it did. Alec's ability increased in speed, taking only half the time it normally does to reach his targets.
No one was willing to test out Jane's ability with Afton's increase, so we can only assume her results are just as impressive as all the others.
I'm not sure of the reasoning for including Chelsea on the mission, she's never been on any other assignment before. I don't fully understand her ability, all I know is that she strengthens our bonds with one another, so I suppose that in theory she could be useful during an assignment like this one or even during a confrontation with an enemy, keeping use united and focused is never a bad thing when in the field.
“You will leave at Twilight.” Caius concluded.
As silently as business began, it ceased just as quietly.
Everyone split off, moving to finish previous discussion, while others began engaging in new ones.
Sulpicia and Athenodora came to me as soon as the meeting was over, the wives of Aro and Caius.
Sulpicia, although her mate preferred me to call him father when in private, was Aunt Sulpicia. In the beginning I had approached her more formally calling her Lady Sulpicia, but she quickly squashed that title, informing me 'Sulpicia will do', but she was more than just her name to me. Like Marcus, she reminded me of family, so with her permission I began addressing her as Aunt.
Athenodora was sister, like Caius she was very close to my human age, but unlike him she was very friendly and warm. She truly was like a sister, we talked almost as frequently as Felix and I do and when I'm home I spend equal amounts of time with both of them.
“Bella!” They both crooned as they approached me, each taking their turn for a hug.
“Oh it's so good to have you home with us again” Sulpicia thrilled.
“Thank you Aunt, I'm so glad to see you.” I smiled at her, giving her another hug. During my last visit I didn't get to spend much time with her, so I was truly happy to see her this time around.
“And you sister, why didn't you tell me you were coming! I would have meet you straight away!” Athenodora teased “Made you change out of these hideous clothes!” her and Sulpicia giggled at my attire.
And with that they were off, we talked about my schooling, what they have been doing since my last visit, what I will be doing when I return from my business trip, insisting that a shopping trip is on the schedule before I return to school.
We had been talking for quite some time when I finally noticed Felix impatiently waiting by the door. When I eventually made eye contact with him he gave me 'the look' I couldn't help but chuckle at him, he really looked pitiful.
“We better let you visit with the others.” Sulpicia tittered after seeing the look on Felix's face.
“Yes, we'll have plenty of time when you get back” Athenodora added “you'd better hurry, before he explodes.” She added quietly, as if he wouldn't hear her jab towards him.
“I guess, it must be something important by the way he's acting.” I teased. I could almost hear him rolling his eyes.
“Bye dear.” Sulpicia said excusing herself and rejoining Aro.
“Take your cell, call me when you get bored.” Athenodora winked to me as she was leaving “I have secrets to tell you” she added in a whisper.
I already knew that whatever they were, I didn't want to know.
“It's about time!” Felix hollered exasperatedly as I approached him.
“Oh stop! Now lets go before you make a scene.” I grabbed him by the arm and began dragging him out the door.
We almost made it, a few more steps and we would have been home free...
I internally groaned, slowly letting out my sigh before turning around “Yes Demitri?”
“I need to talk to you.”
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Chapter 7: Itinerary
Demitri and I went down the hall into a private meeting room. After I agreed to speak with him he didn't say anything more after that, instead just leading the way to the room we were in now. I was a bit nervous to say the least, I had no idea what he would need to talk to me about, especially privately.
Once inside he closed the door behind us as I went across the room to wait for him to begin, he didn't say anything for a few moments, instead looked at me for a second and then started to pace around the room. He reminded me of Aro just then, looking deep in thought as he wondered the space before speaking.
“Bella,” he began, and then paused, as if to change his mind about whatever he was originally planning to say. “How, are you doing in school?” He finally asked.
I looked at him a little abashed, Demitri could care less about school or how I was doing in it, by the return look he gave me, I'm sure my features relayed as much.
“School's great...” I said to him anyway, it sounded more like a question than an answer.
“Good. That's good.” He continued uncomfortably. “I'm glad to hear that you are enjoying it. I know that I haven't been very supportive, but I'm still glad you are happy Bella.”
“I am, thank you.”
Another awkward silence.
“Was there something you needed to speak with me about Demitri?” I finally asked. More than anything, I wanted to run out of the room, but he was standing in front of the door at the moment, so instead I asked the question.
“Yes.” he said eyeing me. “I'm sorry, this is very unprofessional isn't it.” He seemed to be getting flustered and started speaking more quickly, it sounded like he was diverting from whatever he originally wanted to talk about and instead started with business. “I wanted to go over assignment details with you, I apologize for not getting right to the point.” he finished in a rush.
“OK, well, we should get Felix then.” I said taking a step forward.
“No. I'll speak with Felix privately.” He told me strictly. “I have some other things I need to speak with him about, it is just easier this way.”
“Alright.” I muddled concede.
I pulled out a chair at the small table that was in the office room and took a seat, Demitri came over and sat with me, filling me in on everything that I missed and what had been decided on for pursuit tactics.
We would be leaving tonight just as Caius had told us. Our current employment would take us over seas, into the United States and provinces of Canada. The leads we would be following spread out all over the northern and western hemispheres, and some in the southern as well. The majority of them were concentrated in the US, and would take the most time.
We had no way of knowing which leads would prove to be true, and were tasked with investigating them all. We would begin in the southern hemisphere, eliminating the smaller accounts first, then working our way up into the states before finishing with the provinces.
Our expedition would take much longer than I had originally anticipated, I was surprised by the amount of data we would be following up on and a bit concerned that we were only now being sent out to investigate. The witness testimony alone would take weeks, and that's only if they prove to all be false leads. Any concordant of facts would require more examination during our trip, continuing our search and increasing the amount of time to our junket.
I would not make it back in time for my summer class schedule and would need to cancel those before leaving. Demitri must have guessed I would be thinking of that once he finished telling me of our plans.
“If we had known it had gotten this far, we would have said something to you sooner Bella.”
“Of course Demitri, I know that.” I said to him with a smile, trying very hard to hid my chagrin. I was really looking forward to my summer classes and now it looks like I will not be able to attend them at all.
“I am sorry, if we didn't need you, of course you could stay.” He said to me with concern, I guess my disappointment was evident after all.
“Don't be ridiculous.” I told him. “You know that my duty comes first. Regardless, this is far more important than any writing class will ever be.” I told him very truthfully. Yes, I was upset, but never enough to stay behind and thwart my obligation.
My sense of loyalty must have pleased him; he smiled at me with such adoration that I had to look away. He wasn't one to display emotion and never have I seen him regard favor.
“If that's everything?” I stuttered out, allowing just a glance to his face. “I have some things to get in order before we go.”
“Yes, of course.” He said with a deep intonation of approval, while rising from his chair.
I was still so unnerved by his display I wasn't moving as fast as I should have been, he moved behind me to pull out my chair, and then to the door to open it for me.
“I'll see you in a few hours then Bella.” He smiled at me again with a nod before turning away.
I watched after him for a few seconds before turning to leave in the opposite direction. I walked a few feet down the hallway, still in a daze over our last moments together, before finally concluding:
“That was the weirdest thing ever.” I mumbled to myself as I headed to my room.