Bella’s happily ever after lasted two days. This is Bella’s own account of what happened after Breaking Dawn, her growing understanding of her powers, her battle to remain with the man she loves, finding her place in her new family, and the ever-present threat of the Volturi.
New posting Chapter 55 - Postscript
Cold Gray Light
Please view the new trailer by Jesse Desplat it is brilliant.
Thank you so much Jesse!
This fantastic trailer was made for me by Marisa Wilson
Please view it is spine chillingly good
Thank you so much Marisia!!!
From the moment I walked through the door I could feel his eyes on me. Boring into me, owning me, watching even the minutest move I made.
I thought that I’d lose this intuition when I became a vampire. But in reality it had just got stronger along with everything else.
I thought for a moment about the one big change that my transformation had made, my thirst. Although I was still young, and the thirst for blood should be overwhelming, I had been able to handle it from the first moment I awoke in my new life. No one knew why that was. I could cope with human scents even up close, when I should have wanted to drink them dry. The scent caused me physical pain, an intense burning from my nostrils all down my throat, and feeling my throat squeezing tight with the dryness. But it was bearable. This was unusual for a new born. My kind usual manage this much control after a few years. But even with my self control the thirst was still there, the longing for something to put out the dryness.
My mind churned again. My mind could think of so many things at once. The dryness was always one of my thoughts, sometimes near the surface, then moving back into the background. I could keep all the thoughts in my mind -- juggling two, five, ten thoughts in parallel -- but never mixing them. Like watching ten TV channels at once. Another vampire trait.
Maybe I was just being paranoid. Maybe there was no one looking at me. I still hated attention just as I’d done as a human, I still shied away from it. I was just letting my imagination run away with me again. No one was looking at me. But I could hear his heartbeat six feet to my left, slightly behind where I was standing. He was sitting on a chair next to the loveseat. He was close enough to feel the warmth of his skin in the cool of the morning air. I could smell the strong scent of the skin pouch he wore round his neck. A smell that forced out every lesser smell from that part of the room, like a car headlamp blinding out a flashlight. It was not just the animal fur with its heavy notes that I could smell, but what was inside it. The herbs and berries that it contained, each type giving a new harmony to the smell. Some sharp, some sweet. Some I knew -- citrus, juniper, cinnamon -- some I had no words for.
Maybe he was just looking at Nessie like everyone else in the room. My four month old daughter was reciting a poem for her audience in her beautiful childish voice, complete with dramatic pauses and carefully characterized accents for the speeches. She was a very advanced four month old. She looked more like a small four year old, but she would have been counted as a genius in any preschool. This was because she was half vampire and half human, and of course could never be allowed in preschool. Her brown hair, with a tinge of bronze that came from Edward, fell down her back in beautiful curls. Her eyes were a warm milk chocolate color that had been mine when I was human, and were now excited by the attention she was receiving. Her complexion was pale with a healthy pink glow of excitement. We knew now that her rate of growth and progress would slow and she would be fully mature in another 6 and half years, and then live forever. We’d learned this from Nahuel only two days before. My dark worries of losing Nessie had vanished. We’d thought we would have to watch our daughter grow old and die in fifteen short years, and we would mourn her for ever.
I didn’t look to check if I was right about Nahuel and his staring. I had caught his eye only once that morning, when we came in and gave the usual greeting to our family and their two remaining guests.
I still didn’t understand why these guest were still here. Yes, I was grateful to them, especially him. So grateful it hurt. He had saved us all: my daughter, my husband, my vampire family, my wolf friends, and me. And he put himself and his father and his sisters in danger. How could I not be grateful to him. We all were.
I’d asked Edward twice why they had not left with the other guests after the standoff with the Volturi. The first time was after the celebrations when all the other guests had left and we had taken Nessie back to our cottage to sleep in her own bed. This was the first day that we’d met them, the first day of the stares. Edward had given his answer, saying Nahuel was so glad to know that a family like ours could exist. A family with a half vampire child, the only one Nahuel knew of that was not related to him, and a surviving mother. Nahuel’s mother died in child birth and so did the mothers of his half sisters.
It is rare to find a vampire who would want a physical relationship with a human woman, even rarer to find a women who survived such an encounter. Her life could end at any moment if he did not concentrate fully on keeping her alive. And what about the outcome of such an encounter? Mortals are not compatible with half vampire babies, the babies are so much stronger than the women. I had only survived thanks to the care given to me by my vampire family and because Edward changed me into a vampire as soon as the baby was out. The memories of this violent birth were now dimming for me. The vampire venom had mended the terrible damage and left me whole, strong, and beautiful.
According to Edward, Nahuel had spent his long life, over 150 years, thinking he must be evil to the core to have killed his mother. But seeing me set him free from his guilt. He now blamed his father for not caring for his mother as Edward had for me, and for not changing her when Nahuel ripped his way out of her.
The second time I’d asked Edward why Nahuel and his aunt (a full vampire) were still with us, Edward said that they wanted to learn more about our vegetarian lifestyle. This was how we liked to describe our abnormal hunting habits in the Cullen family. Unlike other vampires we only hunted animals, not humans. This gave us distinctive golden eyes which intrigued the normal red-eyed vampires. When I asked this second time, it was not what Edward had said that set me thinking but the way he said it. If I wasn’t his wife and didn’t know him so well I would not have noticed the slight tightening of his straight shoulders under his tan colored jumper, and that he was holding his perfect jaw a eighth of an inch higher than normal. He was lying to me.
Edward lied a lot. He had to. When you can read the minds of everyone in a mile radius then you have to lie to appear normal. You have to learn to ignore the thoughts most of the time. You have to answer only the questions people say out loud and not all the far-reaching ones they think in their heads but don’t dare ask. Edward also felt he must not betray confidences of those around him. It was not as though he could stop hearing thoughts if he wanted to, and not as if people could stop thinking when he was around, so he just didn’t pass these thoughts on. I was a shield which meant that he could not read my mind, not even when I was only human. Now that I was a vampire I had learned to remove my shield if I wanted, but I could only do so for a few moments at a time and even then it was exhausting work.
But why would he lie to me about why Nahuel and Huilen were still here? We had just made it through the worst danger imaginable: the whole of the Volturi forces lined up against us, the judges, jury and executioners of the vampire world. We had survived that, so what now? What was he covering up? Surely we had to have a break from peril sometime.
Maybe bad luck was something that I’d brought with me into this life. Since I met Edward as a human I had always had bad luck. My life before Edward, before my return to Forks to live with my Dad, Charlie, was a quiet life in the big city of Phoenix with my Mom, Renée. The memory of this former life was becoming hazy, almost a pre life to my human life, as if I was now in my third life, not my second. I’d had too much on my mind to sit down and think about it, though that was the only way my family said that I would remember it for the future. As I remembered it now, it was a happy but lonely time of looking after my hair-brained mother and being the adult in the relationship even though I was the child. She didn’t need to be looked after in a physical way but in an emotional one, helping her to organize and control her life. I was the one who made sure we went to the store when we needed groceries and that we went to the bank when the bills needed to be paid. In many ways you could say I was her keeper rather than her daughter. This role was taken by Phil, her husband of nearly three years.
I argued with myself that I had already brought my shield through to my vampire life along with my strange ability for self control. I was sure that I could not have brought anything else. I had left my clumsiness behind, which was a truly good thing. I now moved so fast and was so strong that if I was clumsy lots of things would get broken. Not just inanimate objects, but living things. Even people.
I looked over at Edward, to keep my eye from straying to Nahuel. His beauty never failed to amaze me. He was stunning. His eyes were a warm amber color. But this morning more like stone than liquid. Something was bugging him. No doubt he was hearing things he didn’t like. His face muscles twitched slightly and his teeth locked together noiselessly. His smile remained, a facade to keep the others away from his upset within. I had no idea what he had heard or who it was that was having these thoughts, but my mind turned to Nahuel again, though I didn’t let my eyes follow. Edward would tell me when it was right and certainly not in the middle of this gathering.
Edward applauded when Nessie came to the end of her poem, pride now on his face. I felt a jolt of joy at his pride. I was proud of her, naturally, and applauded loudly too. But to have him so in awe of her gave me such a feeling of belonging. I had, in the end, been able to give him something so worthwhile. A daughter, our miracle. It made up for the lack of balance in our relationship. He had given me everything: his love, his life, my new life, money, possessions, a home, a car, a family. But the one thing that that he had never imagined, that none of our vampire family had thought possible, came from me. She was a delight to them all, and especially Edward.
It was only as I turned away from Nessie’s performance that I noticed Alice was staring into thin air, her eyes out of focus, completely still. I knew she was seeing something. My sister’s ability to see into the future was enviable. It had made her top of the Volturi’s list for acquisitions. It was this ability that had saved the family and herself many times over. The future she saw was only one of the possible outcomes. If decisions that had been made were changed then what she saw would change.
“Demetri is coming,” she said simply in a clear chiming voice, not altering her stance at all. “Aro has decided. He will follow Carlisle to us.”
Carlisle was at her side in an instant. “But why?” he whispered. “Why now?”.
The image of the the Volturi tracker was instantly in my mind. It was not possible for anyone normal to run from Demetri. He had a gift for finding them. But this gift needed access to someone’s mind, and it was something I could block with my shield. As well as being a tracker, Demetri was a warrior, with centuries of experience working with the Volturi.
“But why, Alice?” he asked again.
Alice had gone back into her trance. This time it took her over a minute to come round. “He comes only to observe,” she said with a little relief in her voice. “Aro will order him to stay with us and just observe. He is to watch Nessie grow for Aro and to find out more about the wolves for Caius. He is to cause us no trouble. He will be ordered to hunt like us. Aro wants to see how this will change his character. He is report back regularly by letter. This order will be made at full council the day after tomorrow. He will arrive three days after that.”
She looked around the stunned room.
“Please look for more,” Carlisle urged her.
“Demetri will bring a note with him from Aro but they know that I can see what it says so you will be forewarned. Aro is staring at it so that I can read it...
My Dearest Friend Carlisle,
I am sending my dear one Demetri to visit you as an emissary. I feel that our last meeting left a rift between us which I want to close. I have asked Demetri to learn about your life style and your beloved granddaughter so that we may better understand each other in future.
I ask you to take Demetri into your hearts and your home, and to this end I will ask him to make himself useful to you and cause you no trouble. Please use him as a son.
Yours in friendship,
Carlisle looked aghast. “Is there more?” he said, shaking his head.
Her face returned to the distant mask, but seconds later disgust was clear on it. She came back to the present again shaking her head. “Uh, that is so gross”.
“I saw part of the inner council meeting that was only the family, no guard. It is so gross.” she said, hardly able to speak for revulsion. “Aro says he wishes to watch a half vampire child develop first hand. He says that he will order Demetri to try to father a child when he has returned from his visit. He laughs and says that he may have learned some restraint from us. The mother is to be the only human they trust, their administrator Gina. They will promise her immortality if she successfully gives birth, but she has no choice. If she says no, she’s lunch. He says it will be a great honor for Demetri to father a child to be brought up and studied in Volterra. Caius is against the idea, the decision will be put off until a later date... I can’t see further than that, I’m not attuned to them, I can’t see so far ahead into their futures, I can’t see if she will become pregnant or if they will kill her, it is many months away, it may change.”
There was stunned silence.
All the joy after the last successful encounter with the Volturi was gone.
Then the speculation started. Alice could see the event but not the motivation behind it. It boiled down to three simple questions: why this? why now? and why Demetri? A dozen answers to each question came from the gathered family. The most likely answer was that they wanted to catch us doing something against the rules as soon as possible, and Demetri can stand up for himself.
The others gave little thought to the planned baby. It was beyond the immediate worry and didn’t affect us personally. But my mind was on Gina and how I could help her. I had only just survived my own pregnancy and I had had good medical care and love from all my family. I felt cold, cold to the heart.
Had I started some new vampire fashion? Would lots of vampire males want to father children? And what of the vampire females, would they want to become stepmothers? I thought of the loss of human life. I thought of Gina.
I found myself a spot on the floor and sat there still, shocked, horrified.
The discussion went on for nearly an hour, until Carlisle looked at the clock and said that he had to go for his shift at the hospital.
He turned to our guests, “Nahuel, Huilen. It may be best if you were not here when Demetri comes to call. I do not wish to ask you to leave but for your own safety I must ask you to think about what you want to do. You know you have our thanks for what you have done for us, and I owe you for the safety of all my family. You are welcome here at any normal time.”
It was Huilen who spoke this time. She spoke simply in her heavy accent. “We will leave before he arrives.”
Carlisle smiled warmly at her. “That is for the best. We can visit you before long, and maybe meet Nahuel’s sisters if that is possible.”
The others continued to speculate after Carlisle had gone, Emmett debating with Jasper the possibility of beating Demetri in a fight. Jasper thought that if there were several of us it may be possible, but it would only bring the rest of the guard down on us, a battle which we would not win this time.
Alice touched me lightly on the arm, tutting at my pants and jumper combination. My favorite sister was never happy with my lack of fashion sense. But she could see the future, and would have known the day before about this particular lapse of mine. I thought to myself that I would suggest to her that she warns me in advance next time, so that I don’t disappoint her again.
“You know, I thought you would have learned a little by now Bella,” she chided quietly. “I will just have to take you back to your cottage and show you how to match up those pants myself. I didn’t spend weeks putting together your wardrobe for you to use it like this.”
That morning I must have really gotten under her skin. How could she care so much about fashion when she’d just given us the news about Demetri? Really. It made no sense.
I looked down at my outfit. It didn’t look that bad to me. I’d made sure that some of the threads in the jumper were exactly the same tone as the pants, but if it made her happy we could be home and back in a very short time. A few minutes out of the house would do me some good.
“Edward,” she chimed. “I’m taking Bella back to your cottage, can you look after Nessie by yourself?” The look on her face one of great effort.
He smiled warmly at her. “By myself? I don’t think that I will ever be allowed to look after Nessie by myself. She has too many fans for that.” He looked quizzically at her while he made his answer, as if they were having another inaudible conversation but failing to understand each other.
It was true. Most of the room were watching Nessie again, just waiting to see what she would do next, fascinated by her. Her Aunt Rose and Grandma Esme sat on the floor with her.
“We’ll see you soon,” Alice chimed again, wincing with effort, like a small child trying to remember a really difficult times table sum.
As soon as she said this I looked around the gathering to smile a normal goodbye. Then I saw him, Nahuel. He was staring at me. Staring at me with total adoration in his eyes as if I were the only thing he could see in the world. The only thing he had ever seen. Like a blind man seeing the sun for the first time.
Oh no... no please no, I screamed inside my head. My face turned from a smile to sheer dread, his calm face turning from adoration to puzzlement at my expression.
Edward stiffened beside me, but said nothing.
Alice tugged my sleeve and we were off through the patio doors at the rear of the house, running back to my cottage hand in hand. I was only too glad to go, and Alice's excuse was perfect.
As soon as we were over the river she said in a very hushed voice, “Shield me, stop him reading my mind.”
New posting Chapter 55 - Postscript
thanks for the comment, I'm glad I have got you thinking.
Yeh, I think that Edward really misses Carlisle and that is part of the problem. He is trying to do without Carlisle guidence as he thinks he should be able to cope now he is a married man but he is in so many new situations that he can't cope. He still really needs a strong father son relationship.
Will update later this week hopefully.
The next chapter is about Demetri.
I like your banner it shows a good progression through the twilight saga. It must have taken a good while.
10 days isn't years! The next chapter is nice and long again so it does take time to finish.
Which is your favourite bit so far? Personally I'd go for chapter 27 the Jasper incident , or the fight with Fred.
I loved the "Jasper incident", I've never thought Jasper could be so dangerous, but it fits. Great work Chris, I can´t wait for the next chapter
you get this very cuddley image of all of the Cullens from the films but Jasper can be ruthless when he wants, it is how he has survived this far.
Awesome!!! loved this chapter!!!
Edward doesn't handle bad news very well does he? He need to learn to calm down.
I don't think Bella's choice to keep things from Edward is a very good idea, even though he can't handle it, he has a right to know.
Anyway, can't wait for more!!!
thank you for the comment.
I think he is getting worse rather than better at handeling news. But he has his own demons to battle just as Bella has hers.
Hope you like Chapter 31.
this story is adictive please keep me updated :D
Thank you so much, I'm glad that you are enjoying it.
I'll let you know when I update.
By mid February the weather had worsened but life had settled into a routine.
I was still avoiding Emmett whenever possible but I had no need to worry about avoiding Jasper. He was working so hard at avoiding both Edward and me that I had hardly seen him at all since the incident. He had taken extended hunting trips and shopping trips with Alice. He had even signed himself up for a short training course in Seattle, something about computers, claiming it would be very useful for the family. He sometimes stayed overnight in a hotel in the city, claiming it made better cover than what would be an abnormally long commute for a human. All I cared was that he was nowhere near me or Edward. On the very rare occasions I was with Edward and Jasper I shielded Jasper from Edward's mind reading. It was the lesser of the two evils to have Edward guessing why I was shielding him rather than having him hearing the truth of what had passed between Jasper and me. When Edward questioned me about it I just smiled and said I was being sneaky and doing some shield training. He didn’t ask a second time.
Demetri had turned out to be a remarkably easy house guest. He’d taken to our hunting style, not with ease, but with resignation. Although he didn’t enjoy the animals at all, and the smell of them even on the hunt nearly made him sick, he did have to agree that they satisfied his thirst. His eyes started to change color quickly, the rich dark red being replaced with yellow, making at first a very odd orange color before finally finding a reddish amber. This would have been a very unusual color for a human's eyes but with a pair of colored contacts they were no problem in public.
He also found that he was able to cope better with the company of humans and enjoyed taking a shopping trip with Alice to Seattle to buy clothes. He said it was much more satisfying to go shopping, rather than breaking into stores by night and taking what he wanted as the Volturi guard usually do.
He ingratiated himself with Edward by playing music with him. Demetri had been a self-taught expert on the lute in the sixteenth century but had fallen out of practice a couple of centuries ago when the instrument became very out dated. He went with Edward on another trip to the city to buy music and came back with a classical guitar which he started playing at the house. Within a very short space of time he was able to duet with Edward who was playing his beloved piano. He would sing too, his voice would rival any opera star. I had always thought that Edward's voice was the most beautiful voice that I would ever hear, a lush velvet. But Demetri’s voice was like silk. Clear, strong and smooth, yet soft. His notes were precise and never cutting or harsh. His delivery was full of emotion that spoke of centuries of experience. It was a voice that would melt any heart. His repertoire would range from the chants of ancient monks through classical opera to modern pop. In fact he could do such a good impression of the 80’s pop star that he looked like, a fan would only tell the difference because Demetri would get each note exactly right and the pop star would miss some.
He talked endlessly with Carlisle about the old history of our people and we all learned a great deal about the current state of the vampire world from him. He shared anecdotes with us about eccentric vampires he’d come across in his travels.
He told us of a vampire coven living in Asia who pretended to be the heads of rival drug smuggling gangs and used the inter-gang rivalry as cover for the high death rate.
He told us an of an extremely tall vampire who lived in the mountains in Tibet who had caused all the Yeti stories. He had been warned by the Volturi that he needed to curtail his appearances to make sure he was undetected in the modern human age.
He told us of an Indian vampire who specialized in hunting humans in the sea and pretending the deaths were due to shark attack. He would mimic the correct injuries on the bodies, using a shark's jaw with teeth still attached to ‘bite’ the drained corpses .
He talked with resignation about the West African vampire wars that were brewing and looked as if they could rival the Southern wars on our continent. The death toll was already high in both humans and vampires but the former was covered over by the high mortality from famine and drought and disease. In the past, the human authorities largely ignored deaths in rural areas, but now, with modern technology, patterns in the data were starting to emerge. The press, both local and national, were starting to question what was really going on in the villages. It wouldn’t be long before the international press started to become aware of ‘interesting news’ and go to investigate. They may find it interesting to listen to local peoples whose cultures made them more aware of the supernatural causes, people the local authorities had ridiculed for years.
He told us of the Volturi’s attempts to create skin covering creams for vampires so they can go out in the sun if required. And of similar efforts to make cosmetics for humans that would cause the sparkling reflection our skin naturally made. Neither experiment was proving fruitful so far. However, they had developed a good line of red contact lenses that they were retailing to humans, along with other colors, to try to make ‘normal’ vampire eyes not seem out of place to their prey. I was surprised to find that my colored contacts had been sourced from a Volturi-headed company.
One rare, cold, crisp, but sunny day, when we all had to be out of public view because of the sunlight, the whole family was in the main house and he told us his story. His face took on a new warmth as he talked gently about his human life.
“I’ll start at the beginning and then I won’t confuse you in the telling. My early years were very similar to most of my countrymen. I was born near Naupactus in the year 986 to a farmer, and I spent my youth tending goats on the hill sides above our village. But, like a lot of young men, I wanted to see more of the world. I enjoyed sitting on the very tops of the hills and seeing if I could see any new places that I had not been. I soon knew my way around the area better than most of the old men. I also became good at finding lost animals, and on occasions people. I never lost any of my goats in all my years on the hills. ‘Demetri the finder’ they used to call me. Once, in bad weather, a young child did not come home with his goats from the hills. Some of the flock came back, but he did not. We sent a search party for him. All the men of the town, young and old, went out. I went with my father and brother. We found him, his leg broken after a fall, and got him home. I knew then that the gift I had was not usual. I knew that I had been drawn to the spot. I thought that maybe God was working through me to save the boy, but I said nothing. The penalties for taking the Lord's name in vain were very high in those days. There were other times I found people – a young child who’d run away, not far, but I found her. And once I got there too late and only found the remains of a women who’d been for water at night and been set on by a bear. All these incidents gave me the reputation of ‘Demetri the finder’.
“But as I said I was keen to see more of the world, and when I was old enough I joined the army. Our Emperor was Basil II. I was just a low-ranking solder as I came from a poor background, but I was useful to my superiors – they soon started to use me to find people.
“We were at war with the Bulgarians. We were trying to win back our land for our people, for our emperor, to make us glorious again. We had a huge battle in the summer of 1014. My legs were seriously injured and I had to return to my home to recover. There I married one of the women from the village who I’d always known, and she had a child, a boy also named Demetri. After a while I had to decide what I was going to do. I could farm and struggle like my father, or I could go back and be a soldier and send good money home to my wife and child. I took the second option.
“This time, I was more keen to climb through the ranks to get better pay and status. My reputation for finding people and for fighting became bigger. I was concentrating hard and practicing all I could. In the end I joined the elite forces of the emperor himself. It was an honor I was please to accept. As I was both good at combat and finding I become known as something of a ‘fixer’ to the Emperor, removing tricky situations and people for him. This meant that I would have a good variety of tasks, some were diplomatic assignments, and others were more straightforward 'find and kill' assassinations. The emperor came to rely on me personally both for work on the field of war and with matters of a more delicate kind, such as silencing troublesome nobles.
“I worked in this role for some years. My wife and I had a house in the city near the palace, I was no longer expected to live with the rest of the unit. We had lost our firstborn child to measles when he was only eight but we’d gone on to have two more children much later, my wife surviving despite her age which was at the time considered too old for child bearing, a miracle we called it. We thanked God for it every day. We were happy, so happy.”
A sad smile appeared on his face at this memory, showing both joy and grief, even though it was almost a thousand years ago.
“The Emperor died, and so did his brother, and the new Emperor Romanos Argyros came to power. After a terrible defeat near Antioch, I was asked by the emperor to take a small group of men and find and kill a couple of the enemy generals. They were threatening our Eastern boundaries. We did not want all-out war with them, but if we could remove the two generals that were causing such trouble to our forces we may be able to contain them for a few years longer.
“I found the generals without difficulty. They were in a tent without guards on the edge of a forest. I couldn’t understand it, where were their men? Why would they leave themselves so exposed? We watched and waited expecting a trap, but there was no sound, no movement in the tent.
“I went forward, sword raised. I decided to try to negotiate with them. It would be better to get a surrender than just a killing. It would give us more leverage with the rest of the enemy forces. I went to the tent and drew back the flap, and then I saw them. The two generals sat waiting, still as stone but sparkling dimly in the sunlight that filtered through the tent. I thought it was a strange war paint. It took me a few seconds to recover myself before I could deliver the message that I had come to say.
“'I am Demetri, agent and officer of Romanos Argyros. I demand you surrender. You shall not be harmed by my men if you do so.'
“'So Demetri, you have finally plucked up courage to visit us. We have been waiting all day for you to come forward. We wanted to talk with you. Were you the one who lead the men here to find us?'
“I was surprised by this answer and I replied, 'Yes'.
“Then in a moment the taller of the two was by my side. I couldn’t understand how he had moved so fast but he was unarmed so I was not overly concerned. Then he lunged at me and all I felt was pain.
“I remembered hearing the shrieks of my men as they were dealt with. I assumed that they were being attacked in the same way that I was. Then I remembered nothing but wanting to die, begging for mercy over and over but there was no one there to kill me.
“They returned to me before I was able to walk and explained to me what I now was and what they wanted me to do for them. It was a very simple bargain. If I did as they asked they would not pull me apart and burn me nor would they find and kill my wife and family. I spent ten years or more working for them, trying to win over Egyptian vampires to their cause and removing those who would not bend to their will. I was rewarded with blood when I did well, and left thirsty if I was weak or lenient in the slightest.
“We also searched for talented humans, always looking for men or women with above average abilities. We would listen to rumors and reports, look who was being prosecuted or persecuted as that was so often the path for those who excelled. We found a few, but their skills were not powerful enough and they proved troublesome to us, so we disposed of them.
“I could feel that my wife was still living in our old house but our children had left. They must have grown up and married, I presumed. I could always feel where my wife was even if we were a thousand miles apart.
“After about fifteen years I was tasked with my most difficult mission. I was to infiltrate and spy on the Volturi, who were the enemy. Many hundreds of years before they had dislodged the Egyptian coven from their place as rulers of that part of the vampire world and the Egyptians were plotting their triumphant return. I was to spy on the usurpers and report back on the state of their guard.
“I found the Volturi without difficulty and tried to infiltrate. But then I was given an interview with Aro and, as you would expect, my secret was out. Amun did not know his power, or he would have seen that the scheme for a spy was useless. Fortunately for me, the Volturi had lost their last tracker a century before and were finding this a weakness. I was given another ultimatum. Be destroyed and see your family destroyed, or join the guard. I thought that I had a negotiating position, I thought that I could save my wife, and leave to live as a nomad. I had underestimated Cias’ wrath. Guards were sent immediately to bring my wife to Volterra. I was given the choice: did I want to turn my wife or see her die? I chose to turn her. I thought that it was the correct choice but she died during the transformation. She was not young anymore and the pain was too much for her aging heart; it stopped before the venom reached it. She died in agony caused by me.”
He stopped at this point, obviously distressed by the memory. After a silence of a minute or so, Jasper eased all of us with a gentle calming. Carlisle voiced what we all felt
“Please don’t feel obliged to continue if you find this distressing.”
“No, Carlisle, that is quite alright. Jasper has soothed me and all of you I think. I loved my wife very much and I miss her even now after over nine hundred years. We had such a short time together. At least she does not have to bear the burdens of immortality.”
“There are indeed few vampires who were turned over fifty, I believe that it is common for the heart to be the weak point in older transitions. Of course those that survive often have great wisdom to bring to our world,” Carlisle agreed.
Edward sat with his head in his hands. He look distraught. The only reason I could think of was that the agony in Demetri’s mind was worse than in the words he spoke.
“And you children,” Rose asked, “what happened to them?”
“Well,” Demetri smiled here, “I felt their locations until they grew old, and then I felt them no more. First my son left, and then my daughter, so I feel that they must have lived a normal human life and died in the right way and that gives me comfort.”
After that I stayed with the Volturi. I was in the end happy to change sides … I can see to you that would seem strange. Amun was a hard master to work for, and was a poor leader of men, his strategy and methods were rudimentary. The vampire world needs stability and that comes from the powerful, which means the Volturi. With the three brothers in equal power a fine balance is kept. Cias will always argue for vengeance, violence and strict adherence to the letter of the law. Aro will see new angles on a problem and new ways to approach it and Marcus is there to represent mercy, justice and peace.
Of course Chelsea helped me. When we are near her, she makes us feel obedient to our masters. She makes it easier for so many vampires to work and live together in harmony. I admit I feel I like them a little less now I am away from her. There is little room in the castle in Volterra and our quarters are very sparse, just a simple cell like a monk's. It is a real treat to be here in a home with a family and with a little one.”
At this, Nessie took a flying leap from where she’d been sitting on the floor leaning on Rose’s knees, and on to Demetri’s lap.
“Well, stay with us all the time, don’t go back,” she squealed excitedly.
“I’m sorry, Nessie, if I could I would but I have a duty there in Volterra. We are like the policemen of the human world, like your Grandpa Charlie. Some fear us, some hate us, but if we were not there the world would be a very different and much more scary place for everybody.”
End of Chapter 31