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Canzone di Anima

Summary:
AU. Bella has always known that vampires exist - how could she not, living in a place like Forks? - just as she's always known that they are monsters. But then the Cullens arrive, and Edward is determined to convince Bella that he's different.


Notes:


1. Prologue

Rating 4/5   Word Count 624   Review this Chapter

Prologue

His gaze never wavered from the three people sitting in front of him. All of them had an imposing presence about them, the kind that had him standing at his full height of six foot two, poised so as to be able to defend himself easily, should the need arise. Aro, Caius and Marcus. The leaders of the oldest, most respected and most feared vampire coven had requested an audience with him. It would have been foolish to refuse.

“You, Edward Cullen,” the one with long, jet-black hair – Aro – spoke first, speaking his name slowly as if emphasising how inferior the young vampire was, faced with the Volturi’s royal presence. “Have come to our attention. Your … power perplexes us.”

Edward’s gaze never wandered, his face the picture of perfection as he stared at the leaders of the coven – never in their eyes, for that would be disrespectful. “How so?” His voice held no hint of sarcasm or maliciousness; it was merely inquisitive, even as his anger at their cold treatment of him was slowly building up within him.

“It is unlike any we’ve seen before,” Caius interjected, the pale lighting casting an eerily ethereal glow on his almost translucent skin. “We’re interested in having you join us. For you to become one of us.”

His body remained still, revealing nothing to the searching gazes of the members of the Volturi. When he spoke, it was in a tone that was almost as hard as a diamond. “Why me?”

“In truth,” Aro continued lazily, appearing to glance disinterestedly around the cavernous room, even as every other sense was honed in on their visitor, “It is not just you who confounds us – it is all of you in the Cullen clan. However, it is you who is the most amenable.” He paused, scarlet-red eyes perusing the boy in front of him. “You are the one with most potential. As well as being the one with nothing to lose.”

A growl built in his chest, rumbling through him before it caught in his throat, never gaining life. Edward’s clenched fist relaxed slowly, finger by finger, as he focused on that action alone and not the ire that had encompassed him. “I have something to lose,” he disagreed, his voice escaping in a quiet hiss. “I have my family – they’re everything to me.”

“Maybe so.” Aro was clearly uninterested in anything Edward had to say. “But the rest of your family are all in relationships.” His eyes locked on Edward’s, becoming aware of the vulnerability that he’d been trying to hide. “Obviously you are not the most important to them.” He continued on quickly, seeing the anguish in Edward’s eyes and not giving him the chance to reply. “But, if your family matters that much to you …” Aro trailed off, reaching out to press a finger to Edward’s temple, hearing for himself every thought the boy had ever had in an effort to confirm what the boy had said about his family, and smiled at what he had heard. “You have one year, Edward Cullen, in which to find the girl whose blood sings for you. One year in which to find the love you seek. Failing that, you have no excuse not to join our little family here. Agreed?”

Edward had the feeling that his fate had just been sealed for him. The simple touch from Aro had enabled the Volturi to manipulate him so easily that it was almost guaranteed that he would be back in Italy, one year hence, loveless, miserable and ready to join the coven regarded as royalty.

The word left him with a sigh as he jerked away from Aro’s touch, staring up at the vampire with butterscotch eyes filled with steely determination. “Agreed.”