Shades of Gray
In 1432, Aro heard a prophecy that would change the immortal lives of the Cullens......forever.
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One thing the good people of Italy did seem to be immune to was the cruel reality of the hidden worlds around them. Their belief that vampires and any other sources of evil had been driven out of the city many of years ago, but what they failed to realize was that the city was practically run by creatures of mythological legends. Run by the very creatures that haunt their nightmares.
Hunting may be forbidden with in the walls of this ancient city, but not every vampire obeyed the rules. If they played their cards correctly, they could break the rules and still remain loyal to their masters. All they would have to do was to never let Aro touch their stone like skin. Remain trustworthy and loyal to the Volturi, so Marcus did not see them wavering, and since Caius remained un-gifted, he was barely a threat to the rebels. Those three, who were sometimes painted as gods, punished rule breakers. However, unknown to all them, right under their noses held their biggest threat of all.
Carlisle and Edward sat at one end of the stone table while Aro, Caius and Marcus sat at the other end. They seemed to be having a staring contest, no one was speaking, but they knew that their thoughts were not safe in the present company. Well, Edward's were. They had sat in that same position for hours a day for last three weeks. They listened to the storm brewing outside while reminiscing on the past events that had unfolded over those long weeks.
The Volturi had welcomed them with open arms. Aro only guessing what their abrupt appearance meant. He, of course, guessed correctly. The pair of "vegetarians" were given free stay within the old castle without fuss, even though many of the residents seemed to dislike Edward and his wife, who they had not seen in years.
Take Jane and Alec for example. Alec would express his feelings towards the guests freely, while Jane just held her tongue like good child. They were just merely immortal children, or that is what everyone saw them as. Felix and Demetri also held opposing arguments, but would be forced in agreeing with their masters. So they, like Jane, held their tongues. Since they held orders from the holy three, they were forced to obey and be pleasant towards the temporary guest.
When the discussions began, rumors began to fly within the castle of the impending prodigy. The discussion began with Aro telling a story. The tale of Marcus and himself meeting a seer in a bar (Carlisle thought, at first, that he was telling a joke) and the future she for saw, which later Aro saw with his own eyes. The prophecy stated a birth of a small child from a vampire mother, whose life never should have existed. She was born merely out of fate. That explained why neither Edward's, Aro's or Jane's power never seemed to work on her. Bella was a pawn in the grand design.
The fates changed Renee's path and made her make the biggest mistake of her life. Soon after, they slowly put her back on the path that was written for her. Then, once again, when Bella grew into that awkward phase of adolescence, they arranged another miracle. They forged true love, deeper than any other human experienced. In this is why an impossible pregnancy was conceived. Out of love and pure power comes the greatest gift the world will ever see. With this child brings a new dawn.
"I still don't understand? Are you saying that the birth of my child brings the greatest evil the world will ever see?" Edward asked staring daggers at the other end of the table.
"No. You are completely wrong, my child." Aro asked with strong enthusiasm.
"They why don't you explain it to us?" Edward was about to lung across the table and ring his elders neck, but he controlled his urges.
"Let us say that Bella never came into your life, as she was not supposed to. This evil still would have arrived. And since the fates knew this, they created a way to put a stop to it." Aro said, waving his as if this was old news.
"So, what your saying is that all this time, our paths have been re-written so that they cross each other." He asked trying to make sense of this wonderful mess.
"No, you were never meant to become a vampire. You were to die of the influenza epidemic, however, the powers that be gave you a second chance. Something that does not happen often. The only two other paths that were changed were Charlie's and Renee's. Renee was never meant to meet Charlie, but she did and she fell, temperaroly in love and gave birth to a child who was never meant to live. Didn't you always wonder why you could never read Bella's mind? It's because if reality was correct, you would have died from a disease and Bella would have never even crossed Charlie and Renee's mind. If reality was correct, Charlie would have never married. He would have just died a happy bachelor, that was his original path." Aro finished in a some what over dramatic voice. He then turned to Carlisle.
"Didn't you always wonder why Elizabeth Masen asked you to turn Edward? Or how she knew you were a vampire? We do not control our world, the fate's do because we all are just simple pawns in something bigger, something that could kill us all." Aro said.
"What is this great evil that you are talking about?" Carlisle asked and it was the first thing he had said all day. Aro sighed.
"You don't know? You know everything about me and my wife, yet you can't tell me what or who wants to kill my child?" Edward said, clearly outraged by the old vampire's thoughts.
"I spent many centuries studying this prophecy. I never knew who the vampire parents were going to be. Not until you wanted to die by our hands, not until I saw Alice's vision. The evil will not revile itself until the time is right, and even I don't know when that is." Aro said, trying to calm a very annoyed Edward down.
"Alice never saw anything like this until Bella was already pr-" Edward began but was cut off by his elder.
"Alice saw you and Bella having a life together, what she didn't understand was how deep her vision truly was. What her vision truly held." Aro finished knowing that his battle was won.
"What you are saying is that, Atropos, Clotho and Lachesis truly do exist?" Carlisle asked. Atropos, Clotho and Lachesis were three sisters in Greek mythology who controlled the mortals fates. They spun quilts and each quilt represented a mortal and their lives but the sisters could simply re-spin threads and in twine them together. Aro believes that is what happened with Bella and Edward.
"I also am going to guess that you believe that Greek mythology is correct?" Carlisle said getting fired up. Edward suddenly became uncomfortable.
"I don't want to argue religion with you dear friend. All I am offering you is an explanation that we have been over a thousand times already. Now, I believe we should move on to something would make this alot simpler." Aro began but stopped when Edward growled.
"No, that is to dangerous!" The bronze haired vampire replied harshly.
"She would be safest here, don't you think?" Aro asked, not budging on this.
"Not every member of your household would except us with open arms!" Edward said standing up. Aro followed in suit.
"True, but they will not disobey our orders and if they do, they will die." Caius said, speaking for the first time.
"You are welcome here with open arms and we can offer Bella and your family protection beyond your wildest dreams." Marcus said, sealing the deal. Edward and Carlisle exchanged darkened looks. Neither of them wanted to admit it, but they were right. Being in this city with the protection of the guard was safer than Alaska could provide. If anything, Edward wanted his growing family to be safe, exceptionally if his child was on several hit list, before it's even born.
"Okay, but on one condition." Edward said while looking at Carlisle, who nodded his head.
"Anything" Aro answered before Caius or Marcus could respond.
"No one, but my family and you three are aloud any wear near my child or my wife" Edward said almost gripping the table.
"Deal, but, Bella will not be to please with the idea of being stuck inside all day. She is creative and will find a way out, one way or another." Caius said, glad that it this and not something much harder to live with.
Back in Forks, Rosalie, Alice, Esme and Bella were doing some well deserved shopping, though for the first time (well the first time for Rosalie) they were shopping for someone other than themselves. The shopping trip was going along without a hitch but Rosalie still was showing off her cold shoulder, though the ice was beginning to thaw it's self out. She is begging to realize that there will be a baby in the house. Though it will not be her child, but still, a child non the less.
The girls went shopping in Seattle because of the distance. Though they were soon leaving town, none of the Cullens wanted rumors flying of the reason why they were leaving. Bella did not need to be titled as one of those girls.
While the girls were shopping Emmett and Jasper deiced to have some fun of their own. But they just neglected to give the details of what they were doing, not that Alice didn't already see their reckless behavior, or what mortals would call reckless. The Cullens would just call it fun. Street racing, especially on a highway from Washington to California, was strictly illegal. But it all honesty, the law never stops thrill seeking vampires from finding speed one way or another.
Esme and Rosalie were looking in the crib aisle for, well, whatever the baby would need and didn't need but would get anyway. Esme was trying to reason with Rosalie about her disagreements with Bella, since Bella really didn't do anything wrong. Rosalie was still holding up her argument about not understanding why she wasn't picked to carry a miracle child.
"Look, she is apart of our family and is like a sister to you, why can't you forgive her. No wait forgiving is the wrong word because she did nothing wrong so she has no reason to be forgiven!" Said a very irritated Esme. She slammed the box that was holding a baby stroller back onto the shelf, causing people close to stare more than they already were.
"Esme, she did nothing to deserve this. Its always Bella this and Bella that! She picked this life! I didn't! Why should she be rewarded? Why not you, Alice or even me?" Rosalie asked sneering at her name loudly, though still picking out adorable clothes to dress the baby in.
"People are staring Rose so tune it down please. And you know as well as I do that if it was me or Alice you would still be here complaining that you were not the one having the child. Your jealous Rose, and I understand why and so does Bella. So make eternity easier for the rest of us and make amends, please. We don't want to raise a child in an environment where the aunt hates the mother now do we?" Esme added in a lighter tone, making Rosalie smile.
"I'll apologize if and only if she lets Emmett and I take the baby for walks in the stroller, I like that one by the way, and let us help take care of the baby. Plus I really want to see Emmett, Jasper, Edward and Carlisle change a diaper." Rosalie said, pointing at a expensive stroller on the top shelf and smirked at the last thought.
"Yes, that will be something to see" Esme grinned and continued baby shopping with her daughter.
On the other side of the baby section, Alice and Bella were shopping for clothes while arguing. Alice can not completely understand why Bella does not want to know the sex of the baby. Every time Alice would try and drop hints, like buy a certain color of clothes or empathising a certain pronoun, Bella shot daggers in her direction. Doing this annoyed Bella so much that Alice just finally stopped dropping hints.
"Oh come on! Don't you want to know so you can plan!" Alice asked basically skipping beside Bella as if she had bugs crawling in her undergarments.
"No! Alice I want to be surprised okay?" She said, getting frustrated at her best friend.
"Fine. Be that way!" Alice said, sticking her tongue out at Bella, making her, despite her frustration, laugh. Alice let the topic drop, for now. She would pick up were she left off later on. In the mean time, Bella and Alice would find some clothes that they liked. Esme and Rosalie soon joined their little shopping party, carrying a bunch of things that the baby most likely wont need. Bella wanted to put her foot down but Esme just smiled and reminded her that this is the only child they will ever get. That silenced Bella straight away.
Alice's eyes grew wide while she was looking at Rosalie. Bella was clearly not paying attention to this connection, since she was picking out a white stuffed polar bear. Alice sighed and nodded then grabbed Esme's arm to drag her off somewhere else. Bella looked up and noticed that she was alone with Rosalie and gave curious look clearly stating that the wondered were the other two went.
"I have to talk to you?" Rose said before Bella could voice her question aloud.
"What about?" She responded but she could only guess what this was about..
"I want to say I'm sorry. I've been a monster again, but you do understand why? Right?" Rosalie asked hopefully.
Bella never got to answer because Alice was suddenly at their side with Esme following in suit.
"Looks like we are not going to Alaska after all." Alice said in a grim voice.
"Huh?" Rosalie responded, clearly not understanding.
"Well, Italy does have wonderful shopping areas." Alice said while Rosalie just grinned. Bella on the other hand had a angry phone call to make.
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