“Essentially, I was still Bella, just with a few modifications. But it wasn’t Bella that he wanted; he more or less said so.” Bella Swan suffers a broken heart, possible catatonia, depressing hallucinations and a life as one of the eternally damned. Her heart is silent, yet it still longs for that which it cannot have. Or can it?
Can Edward save her before she gets caught up in a life of murder and blood? Does he even know?
2. One: Enlistment
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“Bella!” he cried joyously. I hadn’t known where I was going; I merely followed the sickly, sweet smell. And I ended up in this room. It was large, rectangular and smelt like off meat. I wrinkled my nose. Aro was standing upon a dais, two other men flanking him. They looked as old as him, with their papery skin. One stared at me, the dead look in his eyes accosting. The other had a foul glare on his features. The rest of the room was filled with black cloaked vampires. I trembled, afraid. “How are you feeling?”
I said nothing, not bothering to explain the dull ache in my chest to these barbaric strangers. I recognized the girl, Jane, standing quite close to me. I felt another shake ripple through my icy body. In the lair of the beast...
“No doubt you are quite thirsty, then, my dear.” Aro was grinning as if he’d won the lottery. I felt sickened. I was not going to be a killer. I would not.
But I could feel the syrupy liquid on my tongue, aching to taste fresh blood. I didn’t know how I knew this. I shook my head in response to Aro’s statement. I recognized the colour of their eyes. I had only seen eyes like that on James, Victoria and Laurent. I had a guess as to what it meant. And I would not kill a human.
“No?” asked Aro, curiosity raging in his voice. “How… peculiar. In that case, I hope you will not object to coming upstairs with me to have a little chat.”
I still could not bring my self to speak. It was as if the world had finished, well, my world, at least. I followed him from the room, ignoring the intense stares from those around me.
He led me to his office. The two older vampires following us. It was a richly decorated room and looked as if it belonged to the CEO of some global company. I sat in the expensive leather chair he offered.
“Bella, this is Caius,” he gestured the white haired man, the one with the furious glare. “And Marcus,” pointing to the bored looking one. “We are known as the Volturi,” he must have seen the glimmer of recognition in my eyes because he pressed on, detailing what they did, even though I was miles away, wallowing in my own memories.
I closed my eyes, letting my mind wander. I recalled lying on the lounge in Forks, bawling my eyes out as Romeo plunged the dagger into his heart. I realized I was lying next to him. I heard him speaking.
“Well I wasn’t going to live with out you... But I wasn’t sure how to do it ? I knew Emmett and Jasper would never help... so I was thinking maybe I would go to Italy and do something to provoke the Volturi.”
My mind refocused. The illusions I used to have in Forks were good. But this memory was better. I opened my eyes. And gasped in shock. His shimmering form was next me, his arm comfortably around my shoulder. He was actually saying the words, his mouth opening and closing in perfect sync. In fact, I could hear his voice. This vision was talking to me. My eyes were wide, my lips shook uncontrollably. I heard, distantly, a vague intake of breath. The others where still in the room. They were staring, dumbfounded, at Edward, lying casually in midair next to me, the glittering lounge from my house beneath him. He looked so real. The intense, heated look in his beautiful eyes seemed almost too cruel. He didn’t love me, he’d said so himself. He had his distractions. I began my uncontrollable, tearless sobbing again. More images flashed up, of he and I in the meadow, in my old room, at his house, all the glittering memories danced about the room. Aro, Marcus and Caius looked on in wonder.
It was only when Caius spoke that they disappeared. I didn’t look up, was still curled in the fetal position. “Bella, what happened in Forks? Why do you have such a… strange gift?”
“He didn’t love me,” I murmured. “He never did. It was a lie. It was all a lie.”
I glanced up, straight into the red pits of Marcus’s dull eyes. There was pity there, and something else. Something different. My mouth hung open. I could see it all, in his head. By the change in his face, I could tell that he could see it too. A woman. Her beautiful golden hair swirling about her as she danced with her black haired partner through the hall. I recognized the room as the one downstairs. The one that smelt funny. The scene changed, I could feel it leaving the confines of his head and become one of those glittering images, like the ones of Edward. Aro and Caius stared at the woman in amazement. Marcus’s eyes were wide, his palms in tight fists.
“Didyme…” he breathed.
I gulped. What was going on? And the moment I took my eyes off his, the image disappeared. He moaned in longing.
Marcus stared at me the whole time Caius ushered him from the room. My shoulders dropped as soon as he was gone.
“Bella. I have a proposition for you. Join us. We need talents like yours amongst us.” Aro sat down across from me, interlacing his fingers. I had been staring at the spot where the beautiful vampire woman had stood. I looked at him.
“Who is she?” I whispered.
“‘Who was she?’ you mean. Her name was Didyme. She was Marcus’ mate. She was killed many hundreds of years ago, in a battle. I’m afraid my companion has not been the same since.”
I shuddered, a wave of guilt clouding me. I had brought up his dead mate. Cruel.
“Now, will you join us?” Aro looked at me expectantly.
“I want to go home.”
“That option is… unavailable,” he said, though he looked as if unavailable was hardly the word he would use. “You are a newborn vampire, Isabella Swan. You don’t have a home. You do have a potent gift, and by staying with us, you are safe.”
“What’s happening to me?” I asked quietly. He knew what I was talking about. “Why can I see him, all the time? And Didyme. Why can I see her?”
“See who all the time? Tell me, Bella. When you were human, did you experience any psychic powers or anything like that?”
I thought immediately and painfully of Alice. I shook my head. My human life was a paranormal mess tangled in the web of some of the darkest of fantasies. I was not the one to go to for sorting it out. In truth, I had no idea how to unravel my own personal mind-clutter.
“What about dizzy spells. Times when you couldn’t remember what you’d been doing?”
I thought about it for a moment. He was asking me to find something like what was happening now. A weaker form. I jumped to the conclusion of my hallucinations. The ones I had chased. While doing dangerous things, I could see him clearer, as if he were right there next to me. When Jane had captured me, all I could hear was growling. I had thought it was her, even though she had not even opened her mouth. And when I was going through the transformation, I could hear him. I was sure that he’d have been there with me.
“Hallucinations,” I croaked. “I used to see things, after... after Edward left. When I was doing something stupid or dangerous. I could see him, I could hear him telling me off. It was like he c-cared again,” my voice cracked on the last sentence. I told Aro about when I was changing, how I could hear him then also. “And I saw him when I woke up. I saw us, like we used to be. I tried to touch him, but he wasn’t r-real…”
Aro sighed. “In that case, it’s easy to say what’s happening here. You’re giving others hallucinations, like the ones you have yourself. They appear to be very realistic. Is it only about love? Can you give me one?” his voice took on a curious tone. He seemed eager.
“I didn’t know it would happen. When I stared at his eyes, after a couple of seconds, I could see her, Didyme. We shared it for a while, in our minds, but it got stronger and then she was actually in the room. It was like… I’d pulled her out of his memory. And you could see her too.”
“Try it. Do it to me.”
I looked at him, the black hair, the pale, paper-like skin, the sharp, beaky nose and cruel smile. I looked at his burgundy eyes and after a few seconds, another image formed. I could see him, lying on the ground, breath coming short. The colour was draining from his eyes. He shivered. He was afraid of dying! He, a cold, blood thirsty vampire, was afraid of death! I searched further, determined to see how far my new power went. So many painful memories, so much at my finger tips. I pulled them out, selectively, letting them leak into the cold office room. Aro was on his knees, his eyes locked in mine, like a mouse before a snake. He could see me sifting through his memories, searching for something. I had gone back centuries, the world was so different. I saw him, human, wondering through the forest. I saw him being attacked by a feral, red eyed monster.
The room was quiet, except for his sobbing. I stood, transfixed by the glittering images around me. I let him go, not quite sure how I did it. He lay on the stone floor, a mumbling heap.
I sighed and reached to help him up. He took my hand. I winced at the feel of the brittle stone. He grunted his appreciation.
“That is truly wonderful. I have not shared my past with many, believe me. I never knew quite what it feels to have your mind invaded so. I think I may be more considerate next time.”
I frowned. “What do you mean?”
He smiled a dazzling smile, dusting the dirt from his black cloak. “I can hear thoughts. Every thought you have ever had.”
I grimaced, the gaping hole in my chest threatening to explode. My hallucinations were painful, but oddly therapeutic. But they never lasted long enough. “Like Edward.”
“Very much so,” he nodded. “Except, I need physical contact.”
I smiled softly. “I really have to stay here, don’t I?”
Aro was careful with his answer, as though each word had been heavily thought out. “Yes. Until you are in control, you can go no where without a guard. After your first year here, we will reassess. On the topic of thirst, we have a meals brought here, we do not hunt in Volterra.”
“That’s okay. I have no intention of joining you for dinner.”
“So, what will you feed off?”
“Animals,” I said automatically. “Like the Cullens. I could never kill a human.”
He nodded. “Maybe, in time, you shall change your mind. You are unlike other newborns. You have such control over your thirst. The others whom I have changed awoke screaming for blood. You, however, woke screaming for your Edward. Funny isn’t it? Almost like you need him more than food.”
He had no idea.