After I "woke up" I didn't want to be where I was. I couldn't stay in Forks without Him. Life in Forks held no interest for me, than again, anywhere without Him was no life worth living. I wanted to end it, end my pain and loss at his departure. But I couldn't bring myself to. I promised him that I would be careful. I was never one to break a promise, unlike some people that I know. I thought of some way to end it all. Hadn't He once told me that if vampires wanted to die, than you went to Volturi in Italy and they would take care of that for you? I wasn't a vampire, but surely if I told them my story, told them that I knew all about vampires and that I was going to start telling people about vampires. But since the Volturi are vampires, and I smell so much better than a regular human, I wouldn't need to ask twice. Now that I think about, I probably wouldn't even be able to finish asking before they tore into my flesh and relieved me of my blood. With these thoughts, I decided to visit the bank and withdraw all of my money. I mean, I had started a college fund hadn't I. Hopefully it was enough for a one way plane ticket to Italy. I could only hope so.
I got dressed and went outside to my truck. It took a little while for me to get it started. Once it started I rumbled down the road heading towards the bank. I got out and walked inside. I went towards the first teller I saw. As I stopped in front of the teller's desk, I groaned in despair. Just my luck, who would the teller be, besides Jessica's mom. Mrs. Stanley was the biggest gossip in Forks, right before Jessica that is.
"Bella, is that you? You look horrible. Are you okay?" she asked more curious than concerned.
"Yeah, and I'm perfectly fine," I said curtly. As to the second question, I wondered what she would say if I told her, I am feeling horrible. So horrible in fact, that I am going to Italy to ask the "royal" coven of vampires to drink my blood. Wouldn't she get a really good story out of that? Instead I just said, "I need to withdraw money from my account," I said to her.
"How much," she asked.
"All of it," I said shortly.
"All of it? Are you sure? What are you going to do with it?" she asked with too much feeling.
"I am sure that I want all of it. And as to what I do with it is none of your business. After you take out the money, I would like to close my account," I answered back sharply.
"Of course," she said sounding hurt.
After she handed all the money in my account I left the bank in a hurry. Not bothering to grab any extra clothes I went straight to the airport. I was able to buy a ticket to Phoenix. I got immediately on the plane. Once in Phoenix I bought a plane ticket to London, England. After London, I bought a ticket to Italy. It took me two days to get Italy.
Once I got there, I didn’t know where to go. I hitched a ride with somebody who was heading in the same direction as me. Once I got there I wandered around for hours. It was starting to get dark when I saw a small dark figure heading towards me. The shadows seemed to flow around the figure. It got closer to me; it came to a stop in the light of a lamppost on the side of the street.
A saw a small, beautiful, dark face staring at me from underneath a black hood. I could see it was a girl; she smiled a beatific smile at me. When I just continued to stare at her, her smile faltered.
”Why aren’t you screaming in pain?” the girl asked in a voice like a little girl. I knew then that she was a vampire. Her voice wouldn’t have been like that if she was human, and the black cloak. Nobody normal would be wearing something like that.
“Because I don’t feel any pain,” I said. “What’s going on here?” asked a male voice. I turned to see another dark cloaked figure coming towards me. This was a man big like Emmett, but still he had nothing on Emmett.
“This human isn’t screaming in pain. And I am trying hard to hurt her,” the small woman’s voice replied.
“So, that’s what Edward meant about the Volturi having formidable gifts,” I said, wonder in my voice.
“Wait, how does this human know about us?” asked the female’s voice.
“I don’t know Jane, but I believe that Aro is going to want to speak with this frail human,” the male said.
“Fine, Felix, but you get to carry her. I don’t feel like traveling at human speed with her. The faster we get her to Aro the better. Maybe he’ll let me have her since I found her. She smells absolutely mouthwatering. I can just imagine the taste,” Jane said.
The guy, Felix came towards me at vampire speed and swept me up into his arms. I felt cold air rush past us as both he and Jane started running. I closed my eyes. When I opened them, I saw the guy looking down at me, when he caught me looking he leaned close to my neck. I saw him breathe in deeply. “Jane’s right. You do smell good,” he leered at me. “You smell even better than you look.”
We went down a hole in the street and in a matter of seconds were at large wooden door. Jane opened it and Felix set me down on my feet. We continued through the open door. We were in a long hallway. There were vampires in cloaks and vampires in regular clothes. They all looked at us as we went down the hallway. We went through another door and ended up in a large room.
”Jane dear, your back, and Felix too. What do you guys have there? That human smells absolutely luscious. Did you bring her back here for me or did you just want us all to share her?” asked Aro, the man that I had seen in the picture in Carlisle’s study.
“No, Aro. Felix said that you might like to meet this human. I tried to hurt her and she didn’t scream in pain. When I asked her why she said that she didn’t feel anything,” Jane said her full lips pouting.
“She didn’t feel anything?” Aro asked curiously.
“No, and she even knows about us. She said something about Edward saying something about the Volturi having formidable powers,” Felix put in leering at me all the while.
“Edward,” Aro asked. He looked at me and asked me how I knew about the Volturi and vampires.
I told him my whole story and he said, “I know Dr. Carlisle Cullen although I haven’t met any of the other Cullen’s. I always thought that Carlisle would weaken over time. I have to admit that I am glad he finds his way works so well. Anyway, I need to see if you are telling me the truth. My power is like Edwards, except that I can see every thought your mind has ever had. But I need contact to do that. May I?” he gestured towards me.
I nodded my head and he came towards me and grabbed my hand. “Hmmmm, I can’t hear a thing. I guess you repel me as well as Jane and your Edward,” he said.
“He’s not my Edward,” as I said those words I doubled over holding my stomach together.
“I see his leaving as taken its toll on you. But why did you come here seeking us out?” he asked curiously.
“Because, He told me about coming to the Volturi if you wanted to die. Since I want to die and can’t do it myself. I figured that you would do it for me,” I said confidently.
“I’m sorry I can’t do that. You have a lot of potential, even more than Jane and Alec when we found them. Do you still want to a vampire as you did before?” he asked.
“Not really,” I replied.
“Then I am sorry for what I am about to do,” he said with an apologetic smile. He grabbed my face and turned my neck to the side. I felt him sink his teeth into my neck. The last thing I saw before the darkness claimed me was Aro’s face contorted in self control. I could only imagine how he wasn’t draining my body of blood. Everything went black and collapsed to the ground.
I felt the fire in my body burning everywhere. I desperately wanted to scream but held it in. The fire burned through my body. After I don’t know how long, I started to feel the fire go away. I started to feel coldness in my feet and hands. It slowly worked towards my heart. My heart started to beat faster and faster. All of a sudden it stopped with one last feeble thud. I opened my eyes and looked around me. Everything was so much clearer. I sat up and saw Aro and Jane standing before me.
“Well, Bella, how do you feel?” Aro asked.
“Thirsty,” I replied.
“We saved a couple of humans for you. Or would you rather be “vegetarian” like the Cullen’s?” he asked.
“Don’t remind me of the Cullen’s,” I snarled. “ I hate the Cullen’s. I don’t want to be like the Cullen’s in anyway,” I said growling.
“Good. You’ll fit in just fine,” Aro said. “Jane, will explain the Volturi to you in a way no one but the Volturi can. Jane will help you with your fitting in. I do hope that you will be friends,” he finished nodding at Jane.
She just nodded at me begrudgingly. Again, she smiled her beatific smile. I just met her gaze coolly. Suddenly she fell down on the ground screaming. I tore my gaze away from her and met Aro’s gaze. He just looked down at Jane shocked. “It seems that Jane still cannot hurt you. I wonder, he looked at me and grabbed my face in his hands. I stared at him and he said that he still could not hear me, all of a sudden I could hear what he was thinking. ‘Strange, I knew this one had potential. I still can not see how young Edward could leave something like her.’
“Stop thinking about Edward,” I snarled at Aro,
”You could read my mind? Interesting it seems that you can use other vampire’s powers. I wonder if I could get Eleazer in here to look you over, maybe later when you’re no longer a newborn,” he said with excitement in his voice.
That happened five decades ago. Today I am still with the Volturi. I have never felt the need to leave. I am happy here.
“Artemis,” I heard Jane call.
“In here,” I replied. Ever since my transformation I put Bella Swan away for good. I decided that since I was leaving Bella Swan behind, it was only proper that I should choose myself a new name. My new name is Artemis Voltaire. I even had Jane get me hair dye. I bleached my hair and dyed it fire red. It still hung down my back to my waist.
A/N: This is all I will write for now. Before I continue, I want to see how this will be accepted by other people. Please read and comment. Thanks.
Jane entered the room with a smile on her face.
"We have visitors. I'm not sure if they are people that you know but they know the Cullen’s."
"The Denali coven? Am I correct?" I asked.
"Yes, you are correct. Come out and see them. When Aro told them that you knew the Cullen’s but didn't use your name, they wanted to see you. You'll be fine seeing them won't you?" Jane asked a little worried. She was my best friend her amongst the Volturi. She didn't even try to shock me ever again.
"Yeah, let's go," I told Jane with a smile.
We went to the chamber that was for receiving visitors. Once we entered a group of vampires with gold eyes turned to watch us approach. There were five of them, four female and one male. Three of the females had blond hair. One blond was curly and to her shoulders, one was blond all the way to her waist, the last had blond hair cut straight to her chin. The last female had dark hair to her shoulders and her skin was olive toned as was the male. His dark hair also reached his shoulders.
"Jane you brought Artemis. Good. Artemis, the Denali coven. The dark haired female is Carmen, her mate is Eleazer. The blonds are Tanya, Kate, and Irina. The Denali's as you know Artemis, know the Cullen’s. You won't have any trouble receiving the Denali's will you?" he asked with a smile.
"Of course not, I hold no grudge against them. It's the Cullen’s that I hate. Especially Edward," I spit his name out with a snarl.
"Edward," Tanya gasped. "Why do you hate Edward? How could anyone hate Edward? What has he ever done to you?" she practically yelled at me.
I flashed in front of her and glared at her with my red eyes. She flinched and took a step back. "I hate Edward for lying to me and leaving me! He said he loved me and I believed him. I loved him with all my heart. I believed all the lies that he told me. I loved his whole family, although I didn't really like Rosalie since she hated me. Jasper always kept his distance from me, but still I thought of them as family. They deserted me," I spit at her.
The Denali's just stared at us, their mouths hanging open. "Edward...said...he...loved...you?" Tanya stuttered out.
"Yes, what a liar that boy is. I can't believe I was so stupid as to think that someone like him could actually love someone like me! Hah! I won't be so stupid and gullible the next time that happens. If it ever happens again. Which I highly doubt." I said with finality.
"But Edward would never say he loved somebody that he didn't really love. I have always loved Edward but he never felt the same towards me. Wait, you must be the reason that he came to stay with us. He said that there was something haunting him and he needed to get away. I guessed it was woman problems and told him as much. I said that everything I was thinking was wrong. But he wouldn’t tell me what it was. It was March, the year he was in Forks pretending to be a junior in high school," Tanya gasped out.
"Yes, you are correct. That was the first time that he saw me. We were in the same biology class. He left because I smelt really good to him and he wanted to kill me. But he didn't want to be a monster, so he left so he wouldn't kill me. Now, thinking about it, I suppose he should have. Then he need never lie," I said.
"I don't believe you. Edward and the Cullen’s would never do that," Tanya shouted.
"Then why don't you have the Cullen’s come here. You can ask them about me with them here. You can see their reaction to seeing me. I changed my name so they won't know who you're talking about. I suggest you don't tell them any names, any ideas. Don't think about me at all. I want them to be surprised to see me. So whichever of you go, don't think about me at all. I could shield you but it wouldn't work if I can't see you. Besides you'll be to far away and he'll want to know why he can't hear your thoughts. So, which of you are going?" I asked. Everyone gasped.
"What you makes you think you have the authority to invite vampires here without permission?" Cauis asked me in a low deadly voice.
"I was going to ask. Right I after I suggested it,” I told Cauis with a smile. "Aro, don't you think that's a wonderful idea? If would give you a chance to see your "dear" friends the Cullen’s again," I said innocently.
"Of course, you must invite the Cullen’s to come. Tell them Aro wants them to come," he said excitedly. I would love to meet the other Cullen’s, as I know only Carlisle. Besides it would be good to see them in a different perspective than yours." he said loudly with a huge smile.
"I will go," Tanya said.
"As will Carmen and I," Eleazer put in.
"Then Irina and I will stay here," Kate said.
"It's all settled than. Just remember, no thinking about me at all. Completely control your thoughts," I warned them with a low growl.
"We will," Eleazer answered me with a growl of his own.
I lay on my bed staring out the window at the drizzling rain. My life was completely empty without Bella. It almost hurt to think about her. She must be dead. Alice wasn't able to see anything about her. The only way for that would be for her to be dead. I didn't want to live anymore, but my family wouldn't let me out of their site. I tuned out their voices. I didn't want to hear them. Most of my family was thinking sympathetic thoughts towards me. With the exception of Rosalie and Emmett. She was just a human to them. Emmett loved Bella as a sister but she was only human and an eternity is a long time to wallow in guilt, according to Emmett. I heard a knock on my door.
"Edward, it's me Alice. Can I come in, please? I have something to tell you." she asked.
I got up and opened the door. She came flying in and gave me a hug.
She let go of me and said, “You needed a hug. And we are going to have visitors. They should be here in a couple of hours. Tanya, Eleazer and Carmen are coming. I didn't see Kate or Irina. I'm not sure what's up there," she said with a smile.
"Why do I care if they are coming? They are not my Bella. I need my Bella, Alice," I fell into her arms sobbing tearless sobs. My body shook with the force of my sobs. Alice and I just rocked back and forth. She whispered soothingly into my ear and stroked my hair. I felt a calming presence cover me and I knew that Jasper had entered the room.
"They’re here," Jasper said. "I figured you would need some calming down before going down to meet them."
"Thanks Jazz," Alice said with a smile.
We headed down the stairs to the living room. Standing in the room were Tanya, Carmen, and Eleazer.
"We just came from visiting the Volturi. Irina and Kate are still there waiting for out return. Aro told us to come and bring you to them. There someone there you are going to want to see. But we can't tell you who. We are not allowed to. Will you come?" Eleazer asked.
"What do you mean you aren't allowed to tell us?" Carlisle asked.
"Because we are not. So, will you come?" Carmen asked.
"Yes, we will come. I don't know who you are talking about. But we will come," Carlisle said.
"Well, hurry up and get packed. The sooner we can leave the better. The truth should come out soon" Tanya said.
"It's going to be sunny tomorrow. So pack sunglasses. And whatever you need to keep your skin covered." Alice said her eyes slightly unfocused.
We packed and left all in about five minutes. It took as two days to get to Italy. Tanya kept her distance from me. Her behavior confused me but I was glad that I didn't have to bother with her.
We got to where the Volturi were and saw a human sitting there smiling at us. She had black hair down to her waist, green eyes, and was pretty for a human, but she had nothing on Bella. "Follow me," she said motioning us to follow her. We followed her to a chamber. Inside at the head of the room were Aro, Cauis, and Marcus.
"The Cullen’s, and the rest of the Denali coven," she said and then turned to leave but blushed and giggled as Felix blew a kiss at her.
"Carlisle, old friend, it's been a long time. I must say that I am glad your idea of being "vegetarian" is working out for you. I am glad that you listened to Eleazer, Tanya and Carmen. You will be glad that you did. Especially you Edward." Aro said with a smile and nearly bursting with joy. "Artemis," he called.
"Yes, Master," answered a voice like bells shimmering on the air that I thought I would never hear again. Although the voice wasn't human. It was pure grace; the sound was like a symphony of one instrument. But the name didn't match the voice.
My family and I watched in disbelief as my Bella walked into the room from somewhere behind Aro. She was different than I remembered. Her hair was no longer brown but a shocking fire red. It still flowed to her waist. Her eyes were deep burgundy, tinged with black. Her skin was white as snow, her face, hard, cold, and immortal, and she looked a little thin. She was thirsty that much I could tell. My dead heart felt like it would burst with pleasure from looking at my beloved Bella. But Aro hadn't called her Bella. He called her Artemis.
"Hello Cullen’s. It's been a long time," Bella said in a cold voice.
"Bella?" we all gasped out. Except for Rosalie.
"No, not Bella. Bella Swan died five decades ago. She no longer exists. I am Artemis Voltaire. You will remember that and no longer call me Bella," she spit out with a snarl. "Now, Tanya, do you believe me?" she growled at Tanya.
All of our gazes swung to Tanya. She looked at us and looked back at Bell... no Artemis.
"Yes, I believe you Artemis. I never should have doubted you. I just didn't think that Edward would do that. I guess I didn't know him as well as I thought I did," she said sadly,
"Good," Bell... Artemis snarled. "Aro, could I please go out and hunt? I need to feed," she asked turning to Aro.
"Of course, darling Artemis. You aren't going to leave us are you?" he asked a bit hesitantly.
"No, I just need to feed. Anybody wants to come with me?" she asked the room at large.
"I would," said a small dark woman. "Thanks Jane," she said.
"I would like to," I said.
"What," I asked shocked. I looked at the Cullen’s and the Denali's. Their faces mirrored my shock. "Why do you want to go hunting with me? And then again, I'm not sure that I was asking you anyway," I asked him.
"Well, I want to go anyway." he replied stubbornly. "I finally see you after five decades and I'm not going to just let you walk away from me."
"I don't hunt animals you know. My hunting habits would probably disgust you, being "vegetarian" and all," I said smugly.
"You don't hunt animals?" Alice and Edward asked together.
"No, why would I? I don't want to be like any of you. I don't break promises and I don't turn my back and family. And don't say I have turned my back on you, because you turned your backs on me first. You left without saying goodbye Alice, as did your whole family. And Edward told me that he had been lying to me the whole time that I knew you guys. I don't take kindly to liars. I can't trust anybody but me and the Volturi, you, the Cullen’s, have taught me that. I learn my lessons well," I said to the still shocked Cullen’s.
"Still, I'm going hunting with you. You can't stop me," Edward told me with a determined look on his face.
I stared at him for a long minute. "Fine, you can go, but no more. Three is enough to attract attention." I said looking at Tanya in particular who opened her mouth. There was no doubt in my mind that she was going to say she was coming too. "Let's go," I said to Jane and Edward. I turned to leave Jane following me immediately. Edward paused at Carlisle who had grabbed his shoulder. I assumed that they were having a conversation in their heads. I decided it was time to use my gift to use Edward's gift. I opened up my mind and looked at Edward. I concentrated on only Carlisle and Edward's conversation. I didn't want to hear everyone's thoughts.
"Be careful my son, you don't know what she's capable of. Neither do you know if she is looking for revenge. Also you must not give into temptation to drink any human blood," Carlisle's mental voice said. I saw Edward nod his head. “I won't. I will try to change my Bella; I love her and want her to forgive me. I will remain strong and not disappoint Carlisle or any of my family," Edward's mental voice said.
"My name is not Bella," I snarled at him. "It's Artemis!"
"What did you just read my mind?" he asked shocked. Again the Cullen’s stared at me completely shocked.
"Yes, I did. I don't care where you call my name, but you are never to call me Bella again. I told you Bella died five decades ago. She no longer exists. My name is Artemis, don't forget it!" I snapped.
I ran out at vampire speed, Jane at my side. "Would you like me to shock him?" she asked.
"No, if he misbehaves again and I'll show him just how strong that I am," I told her smugly.
He was at our sides in a second. We got outside, Jane and I searching for a really good human smell. I found mine, only a couple minutes after being outside. I leaned forward into my hunting crouch, running close to the ground. I could sense rather than see Edward beside me; I didn't bother to turn to look for I was too involved with my hunt. I saw a human man standing in the alleyway of a dark street. As I straightened out of my crouch, I sauntered slowly towards him. At first, he looked shocked, than a slow smile split across his face, as he took in the sight of me. I smiled coyly at him and stopped right in front of him.
"You're a real pretty thing," he leered at me.
"I just smiled even wider and walked towards him. I heard his breathing stop. I wouldn't be able to do this if Edward wasn't here. I concentrated on Edward for a minute to use my gift again. I opened up my mind and heard inside the man's head. I ignored Edward's thoughts as they were not important to me at the moment. "Man, this chick's hot!" I smiled at the images that filled his mind. He thought about kissing me and things he would say to me. I stopped right in front of him and leaned towards him. I touched his lips for the barest second, I felt his lips part and I slid my mouth down his chin and neck. I parted my lips over my bright, white, and sharp, venom encases teeth. My teeth slid into his neck like a hot knife into butter. He tried to scream but couldn't as my hand was over his mouth. I drank and drank, till his body had no more blood left in it. I dropped him and licked around my mouth as his blood had dripped a little. I could feel a little stream trickle down the side of my mouth. I wiped it away with back of my hand and then licked my hand. For a second I felt like a cat. I then knelt down by the ground and dug my fingers into the hard road of the alley. When the hole was big enough, I dumped the man's body in it and started to fill the hole in with dirt. The whole process took me about three seconds. I looked up to see Jane walking towards me; I could smell the sweet smell of pure human blood on the air and knew that she had found her prey as well.
Edward was staring at me, his eyes were wide with shock and I would guess anger. As to why he was angry I couldn't fathom. I also could see the self-control in his eyes. I guess watching me feed was just a hard little test for his self-control.
"Jane, I think that I have had enough, what about you?" I just needed a little snack. I'm all better now," I asked her sweetly.
"Good for now, I know that tomorrow there will be a lot of tourists here. Everyone else is going to want to feed tomorrow anyway. And I think it's your turn to go fishing. Heidi went last time, although she may go with you tomorrow. You know how she loves to be the fisherman and the bait. The center of attention," Jane said with a smile. We were all quite fond of Heidi. I know that Heidi had been with the Volturi longer than I, but I was Aro, Caius, and Marcus' favorite, right after Jane and Alec, of course and Demetri.
I turned to see Edward staring at me. I was dying to know what he was thinking. So I once again opened up my mind. "Bell... Artemis, I know that you can read my mind. If you are will you please just nod your head," his thoughts asked.
I looked at him for a couple of seconds before nodding. He smiled briefly, his thoughts showing me how glad he was that I was going along with him. "Artemis, why are you drinking from humans? Do you want to be a monster? I thought that you didn't want to hunt humans. And the Volturi? Why would you want to live with them?"
He couldn't hear my thoughts as I never let my block down unless I wanted to. And now was not a time that I wanted that. I didn't want him in my head. He was already making me want him bad enough. If he was able to get into my head...I shuddered at that thought. I couldn't allow that. " I drink from humans for a couple of reasons. One: I don't want to be like your family at all. Your whole family betrayed and lied to me. I don't forgive that easily. I went through so much pain after your family left. Two: it tastes so good. I don't really feel like using any self-control. I was never able to have what I want and now I can. And I want human blood. and revenge, I added in my head. As to why I am living with the Volturi, they don't lie to me. They are love me and are my family now. They made me strong and immortal when you wouldn't. They are stronger and worthier of my respect than you," I said to him harshly.
When he flinched, I was barely able to keep my face fierce and cold. I couldn't show him how much I wanted him. I would stop wanting him, he wasn't good for me. He was staring at me intently and I was surprised when I started to hear his thoughts again. "God, she is so beautiful, even with her hair and eyes red and no longer the brown I so loved. Why can't she see that the life she is choosing to live is wrong? I will make her take me back..." I quickly skipped out of his head before I fell apart.
"We need to get back, Jane, Edward," I told them as airily as I could manage. I started running to distract myself. I loved to run. It was almost as good as an old adrenaline rush. The beautiful scenery of Italy never failed to submerge me in its beauty. I had always loved old things. Although, Bella wouldn't of liked the castle. She would have though of it as too big, old, and drafty. I loved the gray bricks of the walls and streets. The lampposts always lighted small squares of lights, leaving many shadows in which things like me could hide. The shadows and the dark were a bit mesmerizing to me. Artemis loved the hunt, moon, and darkness. I must be like the goddess Artemis, after all, was she not my role model and new name? Artemis had vowed to never fall in love, so she wouldn't get hurt by any man. I had made that mistake and he had hurt me. I mustn't fall back under his charm to allow him any power over me. Also, was not Artemis a glorious and beautiful goddess? Now, a vampire, I am a goddess too, immortal as the old stories of the ancient gods and goddesses.
When we got back to the Volturi's castle, Kelli, the secretary was waiting for us. “Artemis, Aro would like to speak with you alone. He's waiting in your room. He said to go there as soon as you got back," she told me, looking down at the ground.
"Of course, Kelli, thank you for giving me the message. Jane, Edward, it's time for me to take my leave," I said walking away from them. I was suddenly glad that Aro wanted to see me. That means that I wouldn't have to be spending more time with Edward. Already I was weakening. I had to be strong. I was in the right, Edward, the wrong, and he would pay. I don't know how or when, but he will. I comforted and distracted myself with these thoughts.
I got to my room on the seventh floor and opened the door. Aro was standing by my closet just staring at the wall. He turned to look at me and said, "Artemis, tomorrow there will be many tourists here waiting to come and visit the castle. They don't know that they are on the menu. Last time, Heidi went out to fish. This time it's your turn. If you'd like to take someone with you, that's fine. As long as you get enough tourists for all of us. Oh, and I suppose if the "vegetarians" stay here, we'll need to have animals brought in for them. Unless we can convince them to turn to this life. Kate's power would be a wonderful addition to our family, if she was willing. Eleazar and Carmen had been a part of our family a long time ago. But we allowed them to leave. Did you have a fine time hunting," he said.
"Yes, Jane and I separated. So I was stuck with Edward although all he did was watch me. So it wasn't that bad," I confided in him.
"Why did you want them to come here in the first place Artemis? As to your reasons I am very curious." he asked me.
"I wanted to show Tanya that I was not lying and that the Cullen’s aren't as great as some vampires think they are. They have their faults. Although I must say, they are the biggest coven besides us. And if they joined us, do you know how much bigger we would be. I know that they will not join us. It goes against their very nature. But if they did decide to stay, if you are stupid enough to ask them, I won't be staying much longer. It would be nice to get out and travel around the world," I said just a bit dreamily.
"I'll leave you to your daydreams. I need to speak with my brothers about some very important matters. Good-bye for now my dear," he said grandly as he kissed my check, before gliding out.
I sat there on my bed. My bed was queen size and had, surprise, surprise, black sheets on it. I know I don't need a bed, but it's still nice to have one. Just to rest on and read. I was laying there rereading Wuthering Heights. When all of a sudden I heard someone in the room. I looked up from my book and Edward was standing at the foot my bed. He had closed the door behind him.
"What do you want?" I asked, getting up from the bed and closing my book. I stood in front of him, my hands on my hips. So fast that I didn't even see it coming, he had stepped even closer to me and his arms were around me. I was in his embrace, I leaned back to pull away when he crushed me closer to him. His lips found mine and he kissed me with a passion that astounded me. Before I knew what was happening, my arms moved of their own accord, wrapped themselves around his neck, and my fingers braided themselves in his hair. He pulled me even closer and moaned into the kiss. His tongue traced my bottom lip. Desire raced through my veins like molten fire. This isn't happening, I screamed in my head. Yes, it is, said a voice that I haven't heard from in five decades, Bella. Go away Bella, you are dead. Dead, dead, dead. I pulled myself away from Edward's embrace.
"What are you doing?" I growled at him.
"What does it look like I'm doing? I'm kissing you. I've wanted to kiss you since I saw you," he said exasperated. He came towards me as if to pull me back into his arms.
I leaped back from him as if he had burned me.
"I'm not going to say that I'm sorry I kissed you. Because I'm not. And I'd do it again, but next time I'll wait until you give me a sign that that's hat you want. Your wish, my command," he said bowing with a flourishing sweep of his hands. With that he left the room only to be replaced with Alice and Jasper. The Bella side of me wanted to yell out for Edward to return to me. No, I snarled. Go away Bella. I can not allow myself to fall for Edward again. Never again could he hurt me, yet still I wanted him. Shut up, Bella! I'm warning you. I growled at her.
"Bell...Artemis; I wanted to talk to you. Please could you forgive me for leaving without saying goodbye? Edward wouldn't let me. And I didn't want to fight with him,” she asked throwing her arms around me.
Again with the touching, I thought. Aloud I answered,"Alice, I'm not sure if I can forgive you. After you guys left, I was so empty. You guys left me and it was like a part of me died. And in reality apart of me did die. The Bella part of me died. Bella would have already forgiven you, Edward and your whole family. But I'm not Bella. I'm Artemis, and Artemis isn't so weak as that. I am stronger than her, and she will not be allowed to come back. I will NOT let her come back," I snarled more to myself than to them. But of course Jasper took it as a threat, and crouched in front of Alice snarling at me. His arms reaching out towards me as if he was going to attack me. His scar ravaged skin was something that my human eyes would never have seen. Of course, I crouched in response to his snarls and his scars.
Before either of us could do anything several things happened in succession. All of a sudden Alice was standing between me and Jasper reaching out towards Jasper. He grabbed her wrists and whirled her back behind him. He sprung towards me, before I could do anything Edward was between me and Jasper. My room filled with people, the rest of the Cullen's, the Denali's, Jane and Heidi. Jane smiled beatifically at Jasper and he collapsed on the floor writhing in agony and screaming. Before anyone else could react, I jumped in between Jane and Jasper. Jasper stopped writhing in pain and instead Jane was the one on the floor writhing and screaming in agony.
I stared at Jane my eyes horrified. I couldn't believe what I was doing to Jane. My best friend. I was protecting one of the vampires I hated from my best friend, and hurting her. I looked away from Jane horrified and sickened. I reached out a hand to help her up saying, "Jane, I'm so sorry. I didn't mean to. I wasn't thinking. I'm so sorry," I said in a rush.
Surprising she let me help her to her feet. I could feel everyone in the room staring at me in disbelief. I ignored them, and asking my friend to forgive me.
"Jane, please forgive me. I didn't mean to hurt you. I don't know why I even protected Jasper," I said.
She looked at me for a long minute, before laughing.
"Jane, why are you laughing? And why aren't you mad at me?" I asked surprised at her reaction.
"I'm laughing because Heidi was right. Artemis, Heidi told me that she thought Bella was going to come back. I didn't believe her, but now I can see that Bella is trying to come back. And I know that you won't let her come back. You are stronger than that; you are no longer weak, human, Bella, but beautiful, immortal, goddess Artemis. Oh, and of course I forgive you. You're my best friend and I know that Artemis would never hurt me. Bella would hurt me to protect the Cullen’s. Artemis would hurt the Cullen’s to protect me. So, if we ever have to fight against the Cullen’s, I know that you'll be on our side," Jane explained to me with sidelong glances at the Cullen’s and Denali’s.
"You and Heidi are right. Bella is trying to come back but you are also right when you say, that I'm not going to let her. Bella has been visiting me more and more lately. More, that is, since the Denali’s and Cullen’s got here. But she's not strong enough. Pitiful, weak, Bella," I sang, tossing my hair.
"How did you do that?" Carlisle asked me, wonder in his voice.
"I have powers too you know. Your family isn't the only one that's gifted. Although, I have more than one gift. You already know that if I want to, I can read minds. You see, that's my power, I can use my power to use other vampire's powers. I am also a shield. I can shield myself and others from mental and physical attacks. I can also pull my shield in and allow vampire's powers to work on me. Like right now, I am blocking Alice's, Edward's, Jasper's, and Jane's gifts. That's why Alice didn't see me coming to Italy to be killed. She didn't see me being changed, and she couldn't see why you guys were being asked to come here," I explained to them with a patronizing air.
"Now, Artemis, it's time for you to go fishing," Heidi told me with a mischievous smile on her face. "I'm not going with you this time. Because I would love to see how many little fish you can bring in on your own. When you get back, we'll compare. See who gets more fish."
I smiled widely her challenge. "You're on!" I told her excitedly.
"Now, everybody that isn't me, Artemis, or Heidi, and better clear out now." Jane said sharply to all the waiting vampires.
They all looked at each other before filing out silently. Soon, only I, Jane, Heidi, and Edward were left. "I said everybody that isn't..." Jane started to say, glaring at Edward.
"I know, I heard you. But I wanted to speak with Bell...Artemis alone for a second, if she wouldn't mind," Edward said, looking at me.
Jane opened her mouth, what she was going to say I don't know, but I forestalled her saying, "Why not?" more to myself than to anybody else. Bella was in my head singing at my reply. She knew better than to come out, but that didn't mean that she wasn't going to talk to me or make comments in my head.
Jane and Heidi looked at me in surprise, but said nothing and just left the room silently.
"What did you want to talk to me about Edward?" I asked him quietly.
"Why did you do that to Jane? Why did you protect Jasper when you say you hate us so much?" Edward asked confusion and curiosity the most dominant emotions on his flawless face.