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The princess and I

About half a century after Edward's departure, Bella and Edward find themselves in an extemely uncomfortable position, Bella's the bride, but Edward isn't her groom.

Disclaimer: Stephenie Meyer owns all. I would be thoroughly grateful if you review. This is my first piece, so please lower your expectations.

5. Chapter 5: Hurt

Rating 4.5/5   Word Count 823   Review this Chapter

Bella’s P.O.V

I kept my face drained of emotions, blank and empty as a fresh piece of paper, not a thing to decipher, not a word to read.

I watched as their beautiful faces twisted in what seemed like horror and agony, quickly masking the grimace, matching theirs, that began to grow on my lips, the grimace that would have given away the clarity of my memories.

“Bella,” Edward whispered, taking an involuntary step forward.

I hurriedly drew myself back, somehow managing to trip over my own feet. Demetri caught and steadied me, as Jane asked with unnecessary concern if I was all right.

Edward stared at me with pain- filled eyes, as Alice and Jasper recovered enough to pull a calm mask over their distress.

“Have we met?”

Thankfully, my voice was steady, a tad bit breathless, but not in the slightest shaky. All my months of lying in the Volturi appeared to be of use, I was playing the part of ‘The Dignified Volturi Princess’.

It was much easier to pretend, to lie to myself that I never knew them, that they were indeed complete strangers.

Alice winced in disbelief, the hurt in her expression wrenched my insides out, and it took me a short moment to compose myself.

She whimpered, the pain in her voice was poorly disguised, “You don’t remember me?”

I shook me head, fixing a smile on my face, “No, but perhaps you could help with the memories?”

Alice opened her mouth, but all that she uttered was an agonized sob. She clung tightly to Jasper’s side, as he slid her behind his body protectively, hiding her from my view, as if he was afraid I would hurt her.

The gesture enraged me. To think he thought that I would allow any harm to come to Alice! She was the sister I never had! I knew that what I felt was unjust, for the creature who presented herself to them was not ‘Bella Swan’ the human they were once fond of, it was ‘Bella Volturi the lethal vampire princess.

“Bella,” Jasper pressed on, “Do you have any recollection of your previous life? Your human one?”

Perhaps I had misunderstood his actions, it was not me he was protecting Alice from, it was the others.

“I’m afraid not,” my tone was convincingly wistful, “Human memories fade.”

Jasper nodded silently, and an awkward silence filed the room.

I gestured to the door, “Shall I show you to your rooms? It’s a floor above mine, if you wish to show yourselves there.”

Alice jumped at the opportunity, “If you don’t mind, I’d like it if you show us the way there!”

“Nonsense!” Felix inserted, picking out the fierce longing in Alice’s tone and Edward’s eyes, “The Volturi Princess never does these lowly, mundane chores. Your highness, don’t trouble yourself, please allow me to accompany them to their lounging.”

I had no reason to decline his offer, despite the fact that I badly wanted to be alone with the Cullens. Then again, it would be better for me not to be alone with them.

“Bella wants to!” Alice insisted, her tenacity would land her in rough waters.

I sighed, resigned. It would make no difference, I had to face them soon enough.

“It’s okay Felix. I shall escort them there. Besides, all of you pamper me too much, I was beginning to feel useless.”

The members of my current family laughed heartily, allowing me to leave with the family I once believed I belonged in.

Alice kept up an easy flow of conversation on her part, throughout the trip one level up. I smiled politely, nodding when required of me, but keeping in mind not to show too much interest or enthusiasm in the news of the Cullen household.

Unfortunately, we reached Alice and Jaspers’ designated room, before we made it to Edward’s. An uncomfortable tension ,that constantly kept me on edge, settled in the space between us, as Edward and I made our way to his room.

I paused at his door, “This is your room, Mister Cullen. I hope you find your stay here, in Volterra, pleasant. If you require anything, please feel free to look me up in my room, or Felix and Heidi in theirs’, I am afraid Jane, Alec and Demetri would not be available to attend to your needs for the time being, so please bear with them for the moment.”

I was aghast with the very words that slipped my tongue, I was literally seeking out trouble by inviting him to my room. Turning to leave, while feeling rather idiotic that I actually sounded like the room service for certain hotels, I felt a cold hand around my wrist.

“Bella,” Edward breathed, his ocher eyes smoldering, “Stay.”