The Dark Hour
Edward debates how he should anger the Volturi enough for them to kill him. One-shot. (This is partially to atone for taking to long to update Moonlight. Sorry! I hope you enjoy this.)
1. The Dark Hour
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"No?" I said, weighing the word carefully, trying not to let my rage show through.
"I'm sorry, Edward," Aro said dreamily. "I really am quite fond of Carlisle, and I know he would be so upset if I granted you what you ask..."
I was practically steaming with anger. "This is between you and I. I beg you, destroy me! What business has Carlisle with this?" I clenched my fists together and apart, breathing hard through my nostrils.
Marcus looked bored, but Caius almost appeared upset. ‘The little upstart...' he thought, and then noticed my gaze on him. ‘Yes, you are indeed an upstart. You're a whining, foolish little creature.'
Aro only smiled, unaware of Caius' silent tirade against me, his filmy eyes gazing slightly over my head, as if to direct his attention - and mine - elsewhere. ‘Oh, where is Heidi... I am beginning to get thirsty...' Aro's thoughts were almost petulant.
"How about this, Edward," Aro said, directing his gaze almost unwillingly to me. "Why don't you join us? You will never have to see, ah, Bella again, and we could always use someone of your talents."
I flinched, and tried to keep my voice under control. "That's quite alright, Aro. I will not, and never will in my existence, join you."
His lower lip jutted out slightly, like a pouting child. "Well, fine then. Know, however, that despite what you have said, the invitation remains open." He made an arch with the tips of his fingers, and rested his flaccid chin on the steeple. "And that brings us to our previous topic - my answer remains the same."
"I see," I said, resigning myself to forge a Plan B. "I will go now."
"Oh?" Aro shook his head, as if he'd forgotten why I was there, or what I was now talking about. "Ah, alright then." He smiled dimly. "My blessings, Edward."
Aro looked comforted by my apparent acceptance of his judgment, and smiled whimsically. Marcus only scowled at me, while Caius blocked me from his thoughts with a glare.
As I turned to leave the dank dungeon, I threw the hood of my borrowed cloak over my head.
"What's happening?" I mumbled.
"They've told him no," she said quietly. I noticed at once that her enthusiasm was gone.
My voice choked in my throat with panic. "What's he going to do?"
"It was chaotic at first. I was only getting flickers, he was changing plans so quickly."
"What kinds of plans?" I pressed.
"There was a bad hour," she whispered. "He'd decided to go hunting."
Her red scarf was like a grievous wound. I edged forward from behind the stone gargoyle I'd perched on. No, not her - she tugged on a small child and walked out into the procession. I couldn't take an innocent mother from her more innocent still child
I looked around again, for a more suitable victim. There was an old man, resting in a chair in an open doorway, laughing at the thoroughfare as he leaned on his cane. It wouldn't be long before he died, anyway. I closed my eyes briefly, and searched for the tenor of his mind.
His thoughts flowed in rapid Italian... ‘Mm... Lorenzo is selling his bread on the corner, it smells so good... almost as good as Maria's...' An image of a heavy woman wearing a dusty apron filled his mind. He smiled sadly, and more images flashed through his head. A young doctor with slicked back hair, explaining something to him... the old man yelling at the doctor and throwing his hands up in frustration... Maria lying serenely in an open casket.... I winced.
This man wouldn't do either. He was missing a woman, as well. Bella... how could she have done this? She promised me, she wouldn't do this sort of thing... she promised, nothing reckless. I wished desperately I could have been there, to stop her. I would have explained that I was meaning to come back, soon. She didn't have to die.
My face crumpled in pain. I crawled slowly back behind the gargoyle and slumped against it, letting my grief consume me. For a few moments I wallowed in the misery, letting thoughts of her freesia scent, her thick mahogany hair, and her perceptive eyes waft into my head unhindered.
Below me, festive natives of Volterra laughed and cheered as the clock tower chimed half past eleven. I turned back to the pedestrians, scanning the crowd once again for a victim. Perhaps I could find a criminal?
I relaxed my body and opened my mind to the swirl of minds I had tried to ignore. They flowed in willingly, and I sifted through easily. One particularly colorful tongue stood out against the rest. This man was not a criminal, not yet, but he would be soon.
He was hungrily eying a group of children laughing and playing in front of a fountain. He had selected one girl, of no more than eight or nine years, who was off by herself, tossing a large red ball up and down. I could hear his vile thoughts... ‘So young, so sweet...' I shuddered with revulsion, and jumped from my perch to a lower building adjacent to it.
The man was creeping forward stealthily, looking round him for any watchful parents. Finding none, he decided he would make his move then. I was leaping faster now, going from building to building at speeds that would make Spiderman envious.
But, before I could reach the would-be perpetrator, a concerned mother stepped out of the bog of people. She grabbed her daughter's hand, scolding her verbally but mentally praising God for her fortune in finding her. The leering man stepped into the shadows, where his brother yanked him into an alley and back into their run-down home. ‘Giormo, that idiot... he knows he's not supposed to be that close to kids...'
Crisis averted. And, anyway, it wasn't my job to punish criminals. That was left to a higher authority...
The clock struck a quarter till noon. Carlisle's concerned face circled into my mind. I wouldn't want to disappoint him like this, destroying all the years of hard work and discipline I'd instilled in myself like this, at the very end. He would be greatly saddened, that I'd taken a human life...
After all, there were still other ways to anger the Volturi... perhaps I could give the humans a shock? Throw a car through one of the historic buildings? Tear apart the scenic fountain in the middle of the plaza? No, that wasn't grand enough... If I was going out, I may as well do it with flair.
Ah. I could keep it simple... make it something the humans would never forget.
I would walk into the sun at high noon.