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Play Your Part

Aro always did find other people's suffering particularly entertaining. Especially Edward's. Oneshot.

Here's an oppurtunity to take a walk in Aro's shoes. I promise it'll be a blast! :P

1. Play Your Part

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Play Your Part


'All the world's a stage,

And all the men and women merely players;

They have their exits and their entrances;

And one man in his time plays many parts,

His acts being seven ages.'

-- William Shakespeare

x x x

Never before had something been so entertaining. Not in a long time.

I just didn't know what he would do next! The possibilities were endless; his mind and reasoning were particularly unsound, seemingly tortured by the prospect of spending even one more second alive. His request had certainly caught me off guard but in a strange way I was amused; this was definitely was the first suicidal vampire I had met in all my three millennia, and mentally I ticked that off on the list of things I thought I would never see even after gaining immortality.

"And this is what you really want?" I asked him in quiet disbelief.

"Please..." was all he muttered, voice broken.

The whole situation left me plagued with a strange sense of curiosity and excitement. Never before had somebody else's pain been so enthralling. The boy really was desperate to die and he'd showed me the reason why willingly enough; he didn't resist when I'd reached for his hand. It seemed he'd fallen head over heels in love with some human girl; told her everything about what he was and she still-from what Edward seemed to believe-loved him back.


I must admit that at first, I honestly couldn't understand why he cared for her or what the attraction was. Why some of our kind regarded mortals as something other than food puzzled me exceedingly. She was neither pretty nor sophisticated-she was quite the opposite-clumsy and constantly losing her equilibrium even in the most simple and everyday situations, and quite the ‘plain Jane' when it came to her appearance. Nothing stood out about her at all...

I stifled the urge to yawn.

This was supposed to be entertaining? How could such a pathetic life form be worth dying for? It was hardly an excuse, especially when this boy had an amazing talent. He was gifted with the mind where I was not; to read from a distance, what convenience! And here he wanted to throw it all away to stop this so called ‘unbearable pain'? Inexcusable. He'd get over it...pining after the loss of this pet of his could hardly be called grieving.

But the exasperation couldn't hold me for long.

I watched through his recollections of the past as an unsuspecting Edward was ravaged and consumed by the most wonderful, intoxicating...floral flavor. It was simply delicious. Mouth-watering. The venom violently churned on my tongue and I was left winded at how potent the scent was...and this was only a memory! What must have the real thing smelt like? Tasted like? Ahhh, what a delight! I suddenly found myself wondering why the young vampire before me hadn't simply sucked her dry then and there on the spot. How could such a strong resolve exist?

What was even more astounding was that, as the memories continued, I began to see that this was daily exposure-he kept coming back for more time and time again...and all the while I felt his thirst flare, sometimes to the point where he was in utter agony. Simply amazing! And here I thought my friend Carlisle had restraint. This young man put his own father to shame!

It truly was a pity though. Carlisle and the rest of his misfit family seemed so intent on denying their nature-a nature they could hardly be blamed for! This so called "conscience" they had developed was in my opinion, completely unfounded. Why they fought what only came natural to us as a species of predator was a concept that completely eluded me. I had tried animal blood once-simply out of curiosity, (I did dearly want to support my friend)-but the taste was absolutely putrid. Quite possibly the worst thing I ever forced myself to eat. I could only compare it to perhaps living off lemons ground in dirt-the strong bitter tinge left in one's mouth afterwards is truly appalling.

But from what I could see, Carlisle was content with his lifestyle (as much as I disagreed with it) and it was of the greatest surprise to me to find out how...pleased I was for him. I'd laughed openly at his determination to find others that shared his vision. I had actually thought that he would whither away with time and then finally see how foolish this crusade of his was. I was strangely happy to be proved wrong.

These memories truly were a gift, even though the beholder seemed to see them as more of a curse.

But then the plot twisted with an unexpected turn and I was left with an insatiable desire to know why this...Bella, (Edward's thoughts seemed to be plagued by her very name) not only smelt delightful, but now also seemed to be the one true exception to the boy's talent. Remarkable! I watched his frustration at the void that was her mind, as well as the resulting anger at knowing that she was indeed thinking, but he just couldn't hear her thoughts...and for the girl there seemed to be no effort involved whatsoever-it all seemed to come naturally for her. Fascinating!

Again, my mind was engulfed in the possibilities. Did that mean she was immune to me? Was she protected against all forms of mind invasion, or just the one? If that was true and she was only a mortal now, what lengths would her gifts extend to were she to be changed? It was all certainly very promising...but then I realized I was getting excited over nothing-the girl was long since dead and buried. I shook my head, suddenly disappointed-what a waste.

The remainders of his memories of the girl were intriguing to watch-the love they seemed to have for each other was astounding; even more so were the lengths Edward had gone to ensure that she was never hurt during even their most intimate moments...and all the while her scent battered his senses. How he could even stand so close to her while fighting back his unquenchable urge to drain her dry certainly was worth commending. I had to admit, it certainly was very masochistic of him. I almost felt that if perhaps he was asking for her to die. I could see that he was very much intent on keeping her human-a decision that made absolutely no sense, despite his reasoning. Honestly, if that were the case, I'm surprised she lasted this long.

The suppressed passion between them was almost tangible...and then I watched as Edward left her-ever the prince saving his beloved from the monstrosity that he was-spending months drowning in his own grief in some god forsaken slum in Brazil. Oh, the melodrama of it all! This definitely was better and so much more entertaining than any soap opera I'd ever seen.

"How did she die?" I inquired, genuinely interested to know now after everything I'd witnessed.

His voice was dead when he spoke. "Alice...she...she saw Bella"-wince-"jump off a cliff. She killed herself...because of me."

"Come now, Edward," I scoffed, watching him with a weary smile. "You'll learn to get over this. You have a very strong will."

"No," he tried to say in a firm tone but ridiculously his voice broke. "I won't. So please just give me what I came here for; I want nothing more than for my life to end. Anything to stop this pain..."

I couldn't help it, I chortled. "You really are resolved to follow in Romeo's footsteps,aren't you? What if you're making the same mistake? You have family, Edward. I can't kill you-that would hurt my dear friend Carlisle too much. You would ask me to bear that kind of guilt simply so you can have peace of mind? That's not very fair of you now, is it?"

I admit I was trying to bait him-I didn't want to waste his talent. He could actually be very useful on our guard, now that I thought about it. And perhaps if I could convince Edward to join, his sister Alice might follow... but I had also seen his thoughts right up until this point, and I knew that he was already working on a contingency plan were we to refuse his request. He would provoke the guard doing simple things; hunt a human within the city walls; lift a car above his head; walk into the sun in front of the entire city. I knew that if he did indeed decide to take such a drastic course of action, I could do little to stop Demetri and Felix from killing him.

"He would understand," Edward told me, although I could tell that the boy didn't believe his words.

I smirked. "I don't think so. I've known Carlisle for a very long time. He's the most compassionate of our kind-he loves you dearly...and you would take yourself away from both he and Esme over some mortal girl? Honestly, Edward," I said incredulously, "I wouldn't have thought you capable of such selfishness!"

"Shut up!" he roared, growling. My little speech had gotten to him, obviously. Excellent. Appealing to this young man's emotions was easy, especially when he was in such a delicate frame of mind. "Tell me once and for all," he ordered, "what is your decision?"

I sighed in annoyance. "Patience," I warned him. "Killing our own kind is not a simple matter, as you should very well know-it's not to be taken lightly. Marcus, Caius and I shall convene momentarily to decide your fate. They too must agree. It is not a choice for me to make alone."

I turned swiftly and exited through the large wooden doors at the back of the room without another word, Felix and Demetri trailing behind. Yes, we would discuss Edward's request. But I already knew what the verdict would be, much to his displeasure.

And so it promised to be an interesting afternoon, and I couldn't wait for the finale. Just what would Edward do? It was a pity the boy wasn't an actor, he was the best entertainer I had seen for the better part of five hundred years. But he should know that there's never an easy way out in these situations. If suffering was that easy to run away from, thousands of people would have killed themselves already.

He really was on a fool's errand.

‘You cannot escape pain, Edward. Not even in death.'

x x x

This, truly, was amazing. Not even the great Shakespeare himself could have conjured a twist that was as surprising.

Juliet was alive! And what a heroine, too! Risking her life to save her Romeo, managing to save him with only seconds to spare...the suspense had been killing me. I was delighted, though. It's about time one of that silly writer's plays ended with a "happily ever after"...tragedy gets old very quickly. I had been right, I could tell that much simply from where I stood-that human girl's scent was even stronger in person. It was difficult, even for me to resist such a sirens call. I was happy for Edward, though. It really would have been such a shame were he to die. I had Bella to thank for that...and Alice, too. It was wonderful to see everything end so beautifully...

Time for the experiments to begin.

Bella was alive and well (albeit a tad shaken and wet) and so now my original suspicions about her abilities could ultimately be put to the test. It was very exciting, I must say. The anticipation of it all was enough to have me squirming in my seat. I waited impatiently for a chance to finally bring it up and when I found that the party had no objections to my trials, (although I technically only asked permission for the first) I continued.

I saw that was Bella was frightened-she was shaking and so I tried to reassure her by smiling, but it seemed to do little to ease her discomfort. I gently touched her small, warm palm, waiting for the usual chaos of her thoughts to course through my mind...and nothing came. I concentrated harder and still I received nothing. Her mind stayed silent. Why was nothing coming through? I was far more powerful than Edward, so I should have been able to see what he could not...but I couldn't hear anything.

Slightly deterred, I released her hand and stepped back. Remarkable! So her thoughts were closed to those who wished to read them...but would Bella be immune to the power of someone who wanted to put thoughts or suggestions in her mind...?

We would soon find out.

"Jane, dear?" I asked without turning to face her.

"Yes Master?" She looked adoringly up at me and I couldn't help but smile. What a wonderful, obedient child. I would have much preferred to change her when she was a little older, but the circumstances of her and Alec's rescue all those centuries ago had forced me to act much sooner than I would have liked. I didn't like changing children-they were still too immature to deal with their powers. Mortals really were prehistoric idiots back then. A lot of them still were; even these days.

‘Show Bella what you can do, my little angel.'

Even before I could finish thinking the words Edward was snarling away, legs flexing as he prepared jump in front of Jane's gaze. He launched himself into the air and I watched-hardly surprised-as he writhed on the floor in obvious agony. He remained incredibly silent through the entire episode...and once again, I found myself slightly awed at his restraint. Typical of Edward, though. I definitely saw that one coming...but it was definitely tempting to see exactly how much self-control he was capable of. Of course, Bella was the only one making all that unnecessary racket, but Alice seemed to have her under control.

Good. Now Edward was out of the way.

"Jane." I redirected her attention to the main subject.

She moved quickly and I waited expectantly for something to happen to Bella...but just like before, nothing came. I didn't even think Bella knew we were trying to use it on her-all of her attention was focused solely on her beloved Edward. The only one who wasn't relieved or impressed with the outcome of the experiment was Jane-the sweet girls cheeks puffed in anger as she glared at her target, focusing all of her energy into her assault.

"Don't be put out, dear one," I comforted her, patting her head gently. "She confounds us all."

I had some truly stimulating knowledge on my hands...the tests on Bella Swan couldn't have been more successful. I was ecstatic with the results. She had the promise to become a very unique vampire...and she would be turned if Edward didn't want to lose her. Either way, it was a win-win situation for me. The laws claimed them-that was true...but they didn't claim Bella. If Edward didn't want her changed, then we would have her as one of us. She would be a worthy addition to the guard-a formidable opponent for any vampire that should break the laws...

Of course, Marcus threw my plan completely out the window by teasing Edward with the thought of having to kill his beloved human. I honestly didn't know how those two couldn't see the possibilities! Why didn't they think of Bella as I did? Edward wasn't leaving without her though, but we couldn't let him leave with her because she wasn't a vampire. Quite the conundrum...that is, unless he left here on the soul condition that he would make her an immortal soon...

When I presented the choice to him, he seemed to hesitate for a moment, looking at Bella for the answer. It was cute, in a pathetic sort of way...and judging by Bella's pleading; she wanted this for herself just as much as I did. It seemed that Edward was the only one who seemed to disagree and I knew his reasons...pitiful as they were. He wanted to preserve her humanity, to not take her away from her family...it was sort of endearing...to an extent. But it didn't matter anyway. We'd made the choice for him. He didn't have a say in it anymore. Bella's fate was sealed.

Any doubt I may have had about Edward keeping his word was quickly banished when Alice danced forward and showed me one of her visions...yes, it was quite determined. Bella would be one of us soon. I hadn't been this excited about changing a mortal since Jane and Alec.

I relaxed. That was the most...fun I'd had in a long time.

I wished them goodbye, genuinely looking forward to when I would see them again. I wonder...what will they do when they see us then? I smiled at the thought.

Felix groaned. I smirked. I was almost ravenous after having been in such close proximity with Bella for so long. "Patience, Felix. Heidi will be back soon."

Edward stiffened, his cold mannerisms changing altogether. "Ah...I guess that means we should probably leave sooner rather than later." His tone was urgent now; no doubt trying to protect Bella from having to see how real vampires fed...although if she was to join us one day, perhaps it would do her some good.

"Yes, I think that's for the best," I suggested lightly. "Come back soon! This has truly been wonderful!" I called, watching them hurriedly push their way to the door. The sound of noisy tourists bustling through the doors made everyone relax. Dinner was here. Heidi followed in suit, looking as lovely as always. She had done some very nice hunting-there was an impressive variety to choose from.

Edward had tried, but he couldn't get his pet out the door before the screaming started. The noise didn't last long-everyone's necks were snapped in less than a second.

It was quiet again. Everyone was engorged with their food.

I found a small Spanish woman with a Rosary still clutched tightly in her palm, lying amongst the bodies and decided to go for her first-an entrée of sorts. I laughed at the cross dangling from the beaded chain-even if she had suspected what we were, to think she thought that would protect her! Ahhh...the irony of it all...humans truly were sheltered creatures.

It had all been very enjoyable-the actors had played their parts spectacularly! It was definitely quite the show, but today had only been the first act, and if the rest of it played out just as suspenseful and rewarding as the premise...

...Then I certainly couldn't wait for the finale.