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Best Friends Since Ever

Bella and Amanda have been best friends since... ever. So of course that's who Renee turns to when Bella needs help with her post-Edward depression. But Amanda has a huge secret.. one that literally blurs the lines of fantasy and reality. Note- I changed the last chapter a bit to fit better with what I want to write in the sequel, so you may want to re-read it.

This is my first (written down) fan fic, so I'd really love people's opinions (however brutal they may be) to help me improve and make the story better. Thanks for reading, I hope you like it!

10. Volterra

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The plane ride was torture. After rushing to the airport, and making our flight with seconds to spare, sitting and waiting was… anticlimactic, to say the least. It was like the stillness between preparations and a great battle. I tried to will time to move faster. It didn't work. I sighed and changed tactics, attempting to distract Bella so Alice could focus on the future. I could almost imagine it changing in flashes, as Edward and the Volturi changed their minds. Just when I gave up on that and started banging my head against the plastic table in the back of the seat in front of me, I felt the touchdown. It was showtime again. Bella and I grabbed our bags and met Alice out front.

"Love the car." I said, sliding into the back seat of a canary-yellow Porsche. Alice hit the gas. We were gone as soon as Bella slammed the door. Alice filled Bella in about Edwards plans, and I stared out the window, trying to keep my mind from dangerous thoughts. We were in the countryside. We passed by farms, a pack of llamas, and open fields, in flashes. Finally, walls became visible on a hill in the distance.

"Volterra." Alice announced flatly. A few minutes later, we were inside the walls.

"Go!" Alice called and Bella leapt out of the car.

I waited, knowing Edward needed to see Bella before he could smell Alice or I. I soothed myself by imagining Bella made it in time (and didn't trip). That helped, a little.

"Meet you there! I have to keep to the shadows!" Alice called to me, jumping out of the car after a suitable amount of time passed. I saluted, and was off, following Bella's path through the crowds.

"Legs, don't fail me now!" I muttered. The clock struck, the first of twelve.

Dong! Dong! Dong! Dong! Dong! Dong! Dong! Dong! Dong! Dong! Dong! Dong!

She made it! I could sense it to my very core. Now if only I could make it as well….

I dodged passed a family, into the shadows, at the exact moment as Alice.

"Let's behave ourselves, shall we? There are ladies present." Two crouched members of the Volturi straitened up when they noticed Alice. They didn't like even odds, apparently. "We're not alone," she added added, nodding towards the family. I wondered if I was supposed to take that as my "get out of Volterra free" card.

You're not getting rid of me so easily! I thought for Edward's benefit, before blocking my mind. He didn't even notice. He must have been really worried about Bella.

One of the Volturi shook their head. "Please Edward, let's be reasonable."

"Let's," Edwards agreed coolly. "And we'll leave quietly now, with no one the wiser.

"At least let us discuss this more privately." The same guard pleaded.

"Enough." A young-sounding, reedy voice came around the corner. The Volturi guards relaxed their stances in reverence. Edward and Alice did too, but in defeat.

"Jane." Edward sighed.

"Follow me." Jane said, her tone indifferent. Alice followed first, then Edward, his arm wrapped protectively around Bella. I fell in behind them, but someone laid a hand on my shoulder.

"Where do you think you're going?" One of the burly guards asked me. Jane stopped and turned. Alice glared at me, Bella pleaded with her eyes. Edward gave me a look that said "Who the heck is that?" I folded my arms and glared at the guard that stopped me.

"Wherever Bella goes, I go."

"Suit yourself." He smiled nastily and we continued down the alleyway.

"Well, Alice, I suppose I shouldn't be surprised to see you here." Edward talked casually.

"It was my mistake. It was my job to set it right."

"What happened?"

"It's a long story." Alice's eyes flickered to Bella, then me before she continued. "In summary, she did jump off a cliff, but she wasn't trying to kill herself. Bella's all about extreme sports these days."

"Hmm," Edward said, disgruntled. "And she is?" He gestured his head towards me.

"I can speak for myself." I said pointedly. "Amanda Landi, Friend of Bella's, and part-time care-taker of those you've left broken-hearted and dying inside!" He winced and grimaced.

"Amanda!" Bella gave me another pleading look.

"I'm sorry Bella, but just because you've forgiven him, doesn't mean I'm going to let him off so easy." I pushed passed them, taking up the lead behind Jane. We were at the end of the Ally now. Jane disappeared down the hole, and I followed before anyone could stop me. I landed gracefully; it was only a twenty or thirty foot drop. Bella had more trouble, landing roughly in Alice's outstretched arms, before Edward and the two guards followed. We slowly made it through the dank hallway, before stepping into an industrial-looking hallway. It was brightly lit, and much warmer then the tunnel, making one very cold Bella sigh and relax. Jane led us to an elevator on the side and we had a short ride up to the "lobby."

It really was quite posh and inviting for the entrance to the headquarters of the most powerful vampires in the world. A human secretary greeted us. "Good afternoon, Jane." Jane nodded to her.

"Gianna." As one of the guards, he winked at her and she giggled. A ladies man, apparently.

"Jane." A boy, who I guessed was Jane's twin greeted us.

"Alec," she said, kissing him on the cheek.

"The sent you out for one and you come back with two… and two halves. I suppose that adds to a full three-- quite impressive, sister," he added, looking over Bella and I. She laughed in response.

"Welcome back Edward. You seem in a better mood."

"Marginally." I stifled a laugh. I could only imagine.

"So this is the cause of all the trouble?" Alec asked skeptically, looking Bella up and down.

"Dibs." The ladies man called. I snarled and stepped between him and Bella. He smirked. "I like them feisty," he taunted, leering at me.

"Try me." I said, showing only a little more bravado then I felt.

"Not now, Felix." Jane reprimanded. So the ladies' vampire had a name.

"Aro will be pleased to see you again," Alec said, diverting the situation.

"Let's not keep him waiting." Jane suggested, leading us down another, more ornate hall, hand-in-hand with Alec. They led us into a stone antechamber, where Aro greeted us. I stood in the back, slightly shielded by Alice and Edward as Aro got down to business. He sent Felix to get his brothers and questioned Edward and Alice about what had transpired. I hated being ignored, but I bit my tongue. My time would come.

"Marcus! Caius! Look!" He crooned when his brothers came in. "Bella is alive after all, and Alice is here with her! Isn't that wonderful!" I wondered vaguely if he was gay; there was no reason for a three-thousand year old vampire to be this perky, unless he was insane. I sent this thought to Edward. He chuckled and shook his head. Insane it is. The newcomers, had a much more normal reaction, bored and sour. The babbled on a bit more, and I heard him say "La tua cantante!" Bella was Edward's singer? He must really love her if she's still alive. No wonder he left. Maybe I could forgive him after all. Again, I stifled a snort when Aro said, "How I miss my friend Carlisle! You remind me of him- only he was not so angry!" I smiled when they got to the part about Edward not being able to read her mind, and Aro tried as well.

You're welcome, I thought, until he decided to try Jane's gift. Edward didn't like that any more than I did. He lunged and was on the ground in a flash, writhing in pain. Make the pain bearable, I thought, unable to protect him without arousing suspicion. She stopped quickly and turned towards Bella, who was, of course, unaffected. Finally, Aro got around to our future. Edward, Alice and Bella all turned down the chance to join the Volturi, thank God. I was ignored.

"The law claims them." Caius, clearly a sour puss, hissed.

"How so?" Edward glared at him.

"She knows too much. You have exposed our secrets."

"There are a few humans in on your charade here as well," Edward countered.

"Yes," He smiled slyly. "But when they are no longer useful to us, they will serve to sustain us. That is not your plan for this one. If she betrays our secrets, are you prepared to destroy her? I think not."

"I wouldn't-" Bella began.

"But you already have." He said nodding to me.

"You think Bella told me about vampires?" I scoffed.

"If she didn't, my well-informed dear, who did?" Caius smirked.

"Oh, I don't know. Maybe, hmm, my creator." This really seemed to amuse them.

"We're not stupid, you know. You aren't even a vampire."

I just smiled, imagining my true self. "Aren't I?"