The Fragrance of the Perfect Lie
Bella and Edward's wedding day has arrived, but the unexpected happens. An unlikely event crashes it; no, it's not the Volturi or Jacob, but the cold hard truth. Her experiences with vampires and werewolves had been a dream.
I don't own Twilight, obviously.
13. The Truth About the Volturi
Rating 5/5 Word Count 2059 Review this Chapter
Before Bella even had time to think of running away, Carlisle appeared in front of her, while protectively spreading his arms out. Jane’s cold, sarcastic gaze grew into a glare seething with livid fury.
“If it weren’t for your filthy Edward,” Jane spat his name as if it was poison on her tongue. “Then we wouldn’t have traveled to this alternate universe. If it weren’t for him…” Her throat began to choke up. “Then Alec would still be alive!”
An unnatural screech, tinged with hate and grief, erupted from Jane as she lunged towards Carlisle. Keeping his cool, he quickly grabbed Bella by her hand and jumped into the nearest tree. Bella gave a squeal of protest as she felt a bone or two in her wrist crack at an odd angle.
“I’m sorry,” Carlisle apologized, his eyes widening in horror. “I’ll fit your wrist into a cast as soon as-”
“Look out!” Bella screamed as Jane appeared with a roar. Ignoring the pain in her wrist, Bella hung on to the tree limb for dear life.
Carlisle, clearly caught off-guard, managed to sweep his foot from under Jane’s legs. She gave a bloodthirsty snarl as she fell from a devastating height, landing on four feet as a cat would.
“Hold on to my neck,” Carlisle said urgently as he set his sights to a taller tree that was at least a hundred feet away.
She bit back a yelp of pain as she securely wrapped her arms around his smooth neck. A gasp of shock escaped her throat as the tree trunk below them began to tilt sideways. As Carlisle began to fumble his grip on the limb, Bella found herself slipping backwards. Her heart pounded wildly in her chest as her sweaty fingers lost their grip on Carlisle’s stony neck.
Carlisle gave a low snarl, accidentally grabbing Bella’s injured wrist to keep her from falling off. Bella’s stomach gave a lurch as the now rootless trunk was suddenly thrown in the opposite direction Carlisle wanted to go. Mustering all of his endless strength, he lunged off of the tree and catapulted himself across the blue sky.
A blood-curdling cry stuck halfway in her throat as the wind quickly dried it out. The wind continued to whip through her long hair, which entangled painfully into her open eyelids. Carlisle let out a low line of curses as they neared their designated location. Panic closed up her throat as it was obvious, even to her pitifully human vision, that they weren’t going to make it. As she shut her eyes and prepared for the inevitable splat, she was pleased to find that the world had stopped spinning.
“D-did we land?” Bella asked with a hoarse cough, too scared to open her eyes.
“Yes,” Carlisle replied. “But we have to start moving before Jane catches up to us.”
Bella warily opened her eyelids, just to find herself in another tree. She tightened her grip on his neck, trying to prepare herself for another unexpected leap into the sky.
“Get ready!” Carlisle growled as he leapt off of the tree and landed silently into the rest of the woodland.
“Die!” Jane screeched, appearing out of nowhere and landing a powerful punch to his jaw.
Bella fell backwards and dizzyingly landed in a leafy bush. Her vision flickered for a few moments as she tried to re-establish her sense of balance.
“Stay right where you are, Bella!” Carlisle roared furiously. “I’ll handle Jane by myself. However, if I become injured or die, run as fast as you can.”
“O-okay.” Bella managed to squeak.
Bella swiftly ducked into the safety of the bush, easily ignoring the sharp limbs that were digging into her bruised legs. Her aching body tensed at the almost electrical crackle of tension in the eerie silence. The restrained brawl between Carlisle and Jane had come to a temporary end; they now studied each other with hateful, yet calculating glares.
Meanwhile, Bella felt as if her lungs were about to explode under the pressure of uncertainty.
How can they just stand there and stay like that for so long?
For what seemed like an eternity, the two vampires still continued to formulate their latest strategies. As Bella’s heart too continued to thump more and more painfully against her rib cage, she contemplated whether she should stay put or run for her life. It took all of her strength to not follow her instincts, which screamed at her to move. She immediately clenched her broken wrist until the pain drowned out everything else.
Her heart skipped a beat as Carlisle finally made the first move.
The battle ended even more quickly than when it had first begun. Bella could see a flurry of complex jabs and kicks between the two, which couldn’t have lasted for longer than five seconds. It all ended with Carlisle lying sprawled across the ground, agonized screams erupting from his mouth as Jane used her unique, mind powers to torture him.
“Feel the pain I feel, Carlisle,” Jane said in a deadly whisper. “That Alec felt.”
Bella screamed, covering her mouth with horror. Bile rose up her throat, and threatened to spill over at the sight of what was once Carlisle.
Run as fast as you can… Carlisle’s last words echoed in her mind.
Bella froze as Jane, still wearing the same calculating glare, raised her head to meet Bella’s terrified gaze.
Oh God, I’m not going to make it, Bella thought. I hope Edward will be able to forgive me…
No, A small, yet defiant voice protested. You will not throw your life away now.
Why not? After all, a human being wouldn’t be able to outrun Jane.
Think of Edward, think of Charlie! Are you going to let Carlisle throw his life away for nothing?
No! It’s impossible!
Tears began to well up in her eyes, causing Jane’s ruby red glare to blur. She desperately wanted to believe in the voice’s words, but simply couldn’t. It would only be a matter of seconds before she even ceased to exist. What was the point of struggling now?
Suddenly, as if someone had clicked a switch in her brain, all of her memories of Edward came flooding through her waking vision. The way Edward crinkled his nose the first day they met, the way his eyes softened in their private meadow, and the way he radiated with joy on their wedding…
Again, as if the same person clicked another switch in her brain, the flood of memories came to an abrupt halt. Her vision became clearer than ever before, and the warmth of hope, tinged with a hint of adrenaline, spread throughout her limbs. Before she exactly knew what she was doing, she picked herself up and bolted out of the bush.
“You honestly believe that you’ll be able to run away from me?” Jane growled mostly to herself. “I’m getting tired of fooling around.”
Blood pounded in Bella’s ears as she sprinted through the gaps between trees, not paying any close attention to where she was heading. Her breath soon turned into short gasps, although she continued to run at an increasing pace.
Her eyes widened at the sight of the clearing before her. She only saw a peek of bright light through the overgrowth of vines and leaves entwined together, but it was enough to give her hope and push her body to its limits.
Yes, I’m almost there!
Just as she ran halfway through the vines, an icy hand took a hold of her wrist.
The hand pulled her into a tight embrace, and jumped into a large hole in the ground. A terrified scream erupted from Bella’s mouth, but was instantly muffled by the same hand. They both landed gracefully on an unusually soft pile of dirt.
The unknown figure let her go with a relieved sigh.
“Welcome to our base,” The figure said in a distinct Italian accent.
“Who are you?” Bella demanded.
“I am sure that Edward has told you about me already,” He said, still hiding in the shadows. “I am Livio.”
“Oh…” Bella replied, remembering what Edward had told her about Livio. “Thank you for saving me back there.”
“So, what did you mean by ‘our’ base?”
Livio temporarily disappeared, and after a heavy clunk and the turning of several locks, he returned with a lit lantern in his hand. Bella had to literally bite her lip to keep herself from gasping. Livio’s face was heavily scarred, not unlike the state of Jasper’s arms. The crescent shaped scars also followed a very similar pattern to Jasper’s scars.
Embarrassed, she averted her gaze from Livio’s face to his slightly unkempt, black hair.
Did the Volturi give him those scars? Bella wondered in half-fascination and half-horror.
“I apologize for my sudden departure,” Livio said with a wistful smile. “I have to ensure the safety of this area from the Volturi’s clutches.”
“That’s all right.”
“This is basically our hide-out from the Volturi. Our, meaning, me, Edward, Tanya’s coven, and the rest of the Cullens.”
“Would you like to take a seat?” Livio offered her a nearby plastic chair.
Bella slowly set herself into the chair, while gingerly resting her broken wrist upon the arm rest. An awkward silence soon followed. Just as Bella was about to ask something trivial to fill up the silence, Livio spoke up.
“I know you’re wondering how I received these scars. I can tell from your curious gaze.”
Bella opened her mouth, and quickly closed it, not sure how to respond.
“I don’t mind,” He replied. “At least, I’m starting to not mind the staring as much as it had at first.”
Feeling that the re-telling of his life’s story was about to ensue, she found a comfortable position that didn’t put too much pressure on her sore limbs.
“I was the victim of a relatively large human massacre caused by the merge of local bands of vampire covens in Italy,” He explained with a slightly pained expression. “Although most of my family and friends were killed on the spot, I was one of the few whom survived the unexpected attack. It happened in my first week as a vampire when I first discovered my unusual powers.”
“You wouldn’t believe how terrified I was when the sky before me opened into a wall of indescribable light…” His voice was barely a whisper. “And to find myself stuck in a new universe, with my loved ones alive…It was just too much for me to handle. I wasn’t sure how to travel back, but eventually found my way after a few weeks in hiding.”
“The Volturi, as you know, has a notorious reputation for making sure that the human deaths caused by vampires aren’t too noticeable. They sent out their accomplices to catch the vampire covens I had mentioned previously. Because of my uncontrollable aggressiveness as a newborn, I never stuck around the same place long enough to know about the Volturi. Somehow, I wandered aimlessly through Europe without ever getting caught by them.”
“Once I had felt that I had fully regained control over my senses, I returned to Italy. As hopeless as it seemed, I wanted to double check to see if anyone at all from my family had perhaps survived. Unfortunately, I was caught immediately before I was even able to take a single step into my old village. For the longest time, they had tortured me, and forced me into traveling to hundreds, maybe even thousands of alternate universes. I did not have very good control over my powers back then…”
“Actually, I still do not have complete mastery over my powers yet,” He admitted shamefully. “During one of my ‘journeys’, the Volturi discovered this universe. What attracted them to it was the similar Volturi they found here, and the other me that existed here. Unlike me, he has absolute mastery over his traveling abilities. It was there that the two Volturis made a deal with each other.
“The original Volturi promised to get rid of this universe’s Sustantivo prevalence, while the other Volturi promised to use their resources to recruit Edward into the original Volturi’s forces.”
“Oh no…” Bella interrupted as she thought back to when she first had met Sustantivo prevalence at La Push. “I know who that werewolf pack is. They even mentioned how they wanted to stick around here to get revenge on the Volturi...”
The relatively small headache Bella sported now grew into a steady pounding, which only seemed to grow worse in result of Livio’s discovery. Instead of receiving the clear explanation she expected, she was only left with more questions buzzing around her skull than she had hoped for.
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