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Convince Me

Summary:
The Cullens are the ruling class of the Volturi, strict and traditional. What happens when Edward is ordered to go and meet with a new coven of 'Vegetarian' vampires called the Swans? Will he find romance with the youngest, Bella? AU!


Notes:


3. Bella

Rating 5/5   Word Count 2217   Review this Chapter

“Good luck honey!” My biological mother, Renee Swan, hugged me tight, her golden eyes bright with happiness. “Your first day of high school! I’m so proud!”

I’d already been to college once, and she’d been proud then, which I could understand, but proud of me now, for deciding to attend public high school?

My father, Charlie, had already gone off to his new job as Police Chief here in Forks, so that was one less embarrassment to endure. He’d wanted to see me off, but I’d persuaded him otherwise.

I felt a little guilty about doing it though, because after Renee had released me she said, “Your father wishes you well too.”

“I’ll be fine Mom,” I reassured her, and I was glad she couldn’t cry, or else the tears would have been flowing full force now. “I’m not thirsty at all! I’ll behave, don’t worry.”

“One thing Bella,” She said this quietly, and even though I was at the end of the driveway by then, I heard her. “Don’t overuse your power. Just because you have it, doesn’t mean you always have to use it.”

I scowled in response, but I laughed as I swung myself into the front seat of my red Volvo. She laughed as well. No doubt she was remembering my college days, as I was. I’d loved to use my talent in college.

According to Renee, who had done a lot of research on the matter in her two hundred plus years, vampires very rarely had special talents, and the largest group of them with specific, unique powers lived in Italy. They had intrigued me, and I’d always wanted to meet them. The coven we’d met in Alaska had said there was a mind reader, an empath, a psychic and a pain bringer.

No one had heard of my talent though. Then again, no coven had ever lived like ours before either. In my earlier years, I tried to convince other vampires we’d met to change their lifestyle as well, but my power hadn’t been strong enough. Eventually I’d stopped trying, and we kept to ourselves. We were happy feeding off of animals, and that was good enough. No one had tried to kill us yet because of it.

We were doing so well with the new life that I decided to go to college. An institution crowded with thousands of humans. I resisted them all, but not without great struggle. My parents were ecstatic, so we decided to begin living in areas permanently for allotted amounts of time. Seventy years was our longest. That had been in Alaska, but we’d hardly seen any people, and as we encroached closer to the human population there, we discovered it was too sunny to be within seeing distance of them. So my mother did some research, and here we were: Forks, Washington. The rainiest city in all of the United States of America.

So I was headed off to Forks High School. As I pulled into the parking lot a little faster than I should have, I noticed that my car would most definitely stick out here. Everyone had varied boring shades of color to their cars, and they were mostly old Toyotas and Fords with a Chevy here and there. Nothing new. I chuckled to myself as I realized that I was the oldest person – or being rather – but I had the newest car. Ironic.

I walked over to the building labeled ‘Office’ and strode through the doors with grace. I walked up to the counter, and the receptionist glanced up, realized she didn’t know me – there was a small populace of students here – and asked my name.

“Isabella Swan,” I responded in a perfect, musical voice, and the receptionist blinked slowly before turning to a stack of papers. I smiled inwardly. We had that effect on people.

“Here you are Miss Swan,” She handed me a small pile of papers. “I hope you find all of your classes alright, and that you find Forks to your liking.

“Thank you so much,” I flashed her a brilliant smile and turned to walk out into the grey morning drizzle again.

I looked down at my list of junior classes – I was bitten at about eighteen, but I don’t remember it at all – and smiled. Spanish, Trigonometry, English, PE and Biology… Nothing I couldn’t handle.

My assumption turned out to be correct, and the six hours of monotony went by faster than I’d originally thought.

Everyone seemed to love me, which was fine, but in cases such as Mike Newton, it was just highly annoying.

The blonde surfer wannabe followed me around all day, and I almost lost it and used my full power of convincement on him to make him go away, but I abstained. Besides, I’d rather watch him try and be rejected publicly instead of seemingly ‘changing his mind.’

That’s what I did. At the beginning, I could only persuade people to say the truth instead of lie, and I could do so completely undetected, albeit a bit messily. I discovered if I did it to one person over and over, their brain went slightly addled for a while.

So I worked on it, and eventually my technique became more refined, my power of persuasion almost flawless. Now I could literally force someone to change their mind, or to say something they didn’t want to.

It was a good thing I wasn’t a sadist.

I pulled up to the house, which was fairly far into the forest, so I ran to the door after parking. I flung it open and called, “Mom! I’m home!”

I reminded myself of a normal human girl for the first time in two hundred years.

Then I smelled it. Foreign vampires, roughly four by the power of the scent. I growled low in my throat. Why were they here?

“In here Bella, dear,” My mother called from the small living room adjoined to the kitchen where I was currently standing. Her voice sounded slightly strained.

“Hello,” A lilting, melodic male voice greeted me as I walked into the room. I glanced in the direction of the voice, and my golden eyes met with his blood red ones.

I stopped dead in my tracks as my mind digested the image of him sitting on my couch. He was beautiful, possibly the most beautiful vampire I had ever seen. His skin was slightly darker than my own, but still pale, and his face was perfect from all angles. His mouth was currently resting in a pleasant smile, and his eyes looked kind enough, despite their hue. His hair was a beautiful reddish brown, almost bronze. I forced myself to look down from his face and saw what he was wearing.

He had on an unbuttoned black traveling cloak that I hadn’t seen the likes of in over a hundred years, and underneath he wore a black tunic with a small coat of arms embroidered in gold. It said ‘Cullen’ on it, along with a Latin phrase that I didn’t bother to comprehend. He looked like something straight out of a Renaissance Faire.

“I was wondering that myself, Renee,” He said suddenly, and my mother’s eyes snapped up to meet his in alarm. So this was the mind reader. He looked at me questioningly and asked, “Bella, right? You don’t look very pleased to see me.”

“Read my mind there,” I responded stiffly, refusing to think of anything but my displeasure at his presence, even though he had a very stunning one.

“I’m sorry, but I can’t seem to do so,” He smiled but his eyes appeared sad, and he looked away from my gaze.

“Why is that Edward?” I glanced away from Edward, as I supposed he was called, and saw that there were three other vampires sitting with him. The one who had just spoken was wearing the same outfit as him, and the other two were wearing their black cloaks buttoned up to their necks, making their skin appear much more pallid than it already was.

“I… I don’t know,” Edward admitted, and I was surprised to hear so much grief in his voice. He couldn’t read my mind; so what?

“Why are you here?” I demanded suddenly, angry that they had scared my mother. Indeed, she was sitting in the armchair in the corner, her eyes frantic.

“We were… curious about your way of life,” One of the ones in a buttoned up cloak answered me. “We were hoping you could show us how you hunt.”

“No one else has bothered to care before,” I snapped, annoyed at these vampires. My mother shook her head silently from behind me. I don’t know why she was so scared of these odd people.

“No one else rules over the vampire world,” The second buttoned up cloak one answered quietly and ominously. “Edward here is the crown–”

“Felix!” The tall one with the brown curly hair and the tunic hissed from the corner. Too late. I had already gone looking.

I put a mask of polite attentiveness on my face as I delved into the one called Felix’s mind, and found what he had wanted to say fairly easily, as well as something else. Edward was the crown prince, the next in line to the throne in… Volterra, their city in Italy. They called themselves the Volturi. Edward was supposed to convince me to come and live with them. Felix didn’t know why. I would find out though. Eventually, I ended up letting him get away clean, not forcing him to say anything.

I smiled up at all four of them now, my voice sickeningly sweet as I said, “Once my father returns from work, I am sure he would be honored to allow you all to accompany us on a small hunt. In the meantime, may I get any of you anything?”

“We have not hunted in a while,” Edward confessed, and I noticed his eyes were darker than I supposed they should be.

“You can’t hunt here,” I replied through gritted teeth, “Not unless you wish to hunt game as we do.”

The one who had silenced Felix answered instead, “We will do as you wish, and hunt with you once your father returns. We swear not to harm a human while we are visiting here.”

Edward glared at him, but I was grateful. I didn’t want them to cause us to have to leave Forks. The more cooperation on their part, the better. They had come here unwanted, and now they would do as asked. A fine exchange in my eyes.

Charlie wouldn’t be home for a few more hours, and my mother looked in no condition to hold polite conversation, so I did so, rather stiffly though.

Eventually I asked, “How did you know about us?”

Edward supplied me with no more but, “We have our ways.”

That sort of answer made me angry, so I smiled, but really I was going into his mind.

“I wouldn’t try it,” He whispered, his mouth barely moving. “I saw what you were doing to Felix earlier. I may not be able to read what you’re thinking, but I can guess what you’re doing.”

This infuriated me. I barely knew him, but I felt as if we had been acquaintances for years as I glared at him now. How dare he come here unwanted! No matter how beautiful and royal he was, he would not get away with intrusion here! I growled at him, crouching into position.

Immediately, the black cloaked male whose name I did not know had pounced on me. I was slammed hard into the wall, and I growled even louder in fury. My mother stood up, and soon she was growling too, no longer afraid of these stupid, stupid men.

“Miss Swan,” He addressed me politely as I remained pinned against the wall, “I really do understand what you’re feeling right now, and I must agree I would feel the same way. However, my father will not take it too kindly that you have disobeyed our orders and wishes, so if you would like to remain alive, I strongly advise you to comply. We have promised not to hunt humans on your land, and you have agreed to show us how you hunt in turn. Then we shall be on our way, and you will most likely never hear from us again. Demetri, please release her.”

He said this all politely enough, but I knew better. As Demetri freed me from his hold I shrieked, “You’re lying!” in Edward’s face and ran upstairs to my room.

Why? Why oh why did he have to be so beautiful and so absurdly evil at the same time? He seemed adequately nice, educated and well-mannered, but he was a liar, and he knew I knew that.

“Bella?” My father pushed open the door and found me lying on my floor, head in my hands. “Your mother told me what happened.”

“Where is he?” I whispered, “Where did he go?”

They have left for a time, but they will be back,” Charlie came over and took me in his arms, pulling me up into an embrace. “They’re just curious Bella. They will leave eventually.”

“You’re wrong!” I told him fiercely, my anger getting the best of me again, “He’s a liar Dad! A no good, royal liar! He wants me Dad! He was sent to get me!”

My father’s face turned to one of alarm as he looked into my eyes. “Are you sure?” He finally asked, his voice uncharacteristically nervous.