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The Pianist

Edward loves three things in life: His wife, his family, and his music. When the last of the three is in question, Bella cannot imagine a more superior being to exist. But when the master among pianists appears at their doorstep, Bella can only observe in awe as Edward is tutored by this grandiose, though slightly eccentric vampire. Music has never seemed so complicated before. Yet: Are musical notes really all this man weaves together, or is there something more involved? Something... Romanian? Banner
Banner by cocoa-luvah :)

Don't ask me where I got this idea from. Just enjoy!

9. The Seed of Doubt

Rating 5/5   Word Count 1271   Review this Chapter

"Should we ring the doorbell, brother, or should we get straight to business?"

"In medias res, I think, Stefan. I'm sure Vladislav won't mind."

The pianist sighed at the pettiness of his two allies. Their loud and pointless conversation was obviously not meant to be a private one. Gerasymenko was painfully aware of his three guests instantly tensing and preparing for attack.

"Ah, Vladislav, my friend! Long time no see, hm?"

The dark-haired vampire entered the room with his arms outstretched, as if he intended to give his host a large hug.

"Vladimir. Stefan."

As much as the job was going to do for his advantage, the pianist had nevertheless not been looking forward to their meeting. There was something so repulsive about the way the Romanians conducted themselves – they moved as if the air was a barrier, not a patron. Their ruthless way of seeing the world as nothing but a gold mine to exploit was sordid, to say the least.

Vladimir, especially. His eyes had more sheer brutality in them than those of his ashen brother.

In the end it was him, too, who first cast his eyes on the three raging vampires that had miraculously remained in their seats.

"Edward, Isabella, and Alice. What a pleasure this is!"

The pianist felt horribly ashamed for the young woman as he saw her lose the last ounce of self-control. She sprung to her feet and charged menacingly at her two adversaries, her screams coming out more as growls than anything else.

"You monsters! Who do you think you are? Kidnapping my daughter?"

Vladimir jumped out of the way just in time, a frown taking the arrogant smile's place on his lips.

Isabella twirled around just when she was about to hit the wall. Gerasymenko sighed again – was this how children were raised these days? Were they never taught to show more respect when as a guest in someone's home?

Edward and Alice joined Bella's side, but instead of helping her attack, each put a restraining arm around her waist.

"Calm down, Bella," Alice whispered, "We can't hurt them."

"Yet," Edward added suggestively.

The Romanian vampires, who had crouched down in the anticipation of a fight, straightened up again and took a step forward, a now more serious expression spreading across their faces.

Finally, the pianist thought, the circus is over.

"Where is my daughter?" Bella asked through clenched teeth and tightly closed eyes. Edward tightened his grip around her, but sent a murderous look at Vladimir.

"He doesn't know," he growled, clearly frustrated.

"Let us not be unreasonable," Stefan spoke for the first time. His manner was calmer than that of his brother, and for that Gerasymenko was grateful. Composure would get them much farther than screaming, and it was a wonder that Vladimir had not yet perceived such a basic rule.

The pianist stood up slowly and deliberately, knowing that his movements were being recorded by every pair of eyes in the room. He laughed internally at their mistrust – how childish it was that they couldn't even trust the man who had brought them so far!

"Children," the pianist addressed them for what they were, "Please, sit down! We shall talk about this."

Alice relaxed a little, but both Bella and Edward glowered coldly at his proposal and did not move.

"Suit yourselves."

Gerasymenko walked over to his grand piano and sat down on the mahogany bench. Crossing his fingers, he decided that it was up to him to begin the negotiation. As always, he would have to be the only adult.

"We all have something the other wants," he began, "Of course we can kick and scream like infants in a candy store and come to no conclusion at all. But please, for the sake of saving some precious time, let us cooperate."

Vladimir picked up on his lead.

"You know what we want, I believe."

"World domination?" Edward asked bitterly, dark humor flashing in his eyes.

"No, not world domination," Stefan preceded, his slight frame as still as a river on a windless day.

"Only the Volturi must go," Vladimir clarified.


The Romanians smiled and looked at their captives with the tiniest glint of disdain in their eyes.

"Must we explain where you will come into the picture?"

The three vampires didn't say anything, but their hush was answer enough.

Gerasymenko observed apathetically as despair crossed his guests' expressions.

"Of course we would highly appreciate it if you could… convince your family to join us. It truly would be an honor to fight alongside the great, victorious Cullens."

Edward growled, but gave him no answer.

Bella, who had gradually begun to calm down – from defeat or desolation, he could not tell – opened her eyes again to reveal two pleading black irises.

"And if we do as you say," she said carefully, obviously having to battle each word out of her mouth, "you will not harm Renesmee."

The Romanians looked uninterested in the fate of their other prisoner, but answered anyway: "Of course not. We are men of out word, Isabella. If you keep your side of the deal, we will keep ours."

"I hope that applies to my side of the deal as well, gentlemen," the pianist interjected, looking sternly at his allies. Children did always need reminders to keep them on track, after all.

"Yes, yes," they answered, possibly less single-mindedly than to the former question. Gerasymenko saw Edward's head snap up, but ignored the sudden hope that he found in his eyes – most likely it was merely a misapprehension that always struck the despaired at some point in the beginning of their misery.

As all the sides seemed to be contented, Vladimir and Stefan exchanged a glance and headed back towards the door. The pianist felt instantly wounded from their lack of manners – did they not know any respect towards their host?

"We have other businesses to see to, I'm afraid, so we cannot linger," Vladimir said.

"But we will meet again soon," Stefan concluded, "As already mentioned, we would be very grateful for your family's help."

And without another word of goodbye, the Romanians left the professor's house as rudely as they had arrived.

They listened to the footsteps disappear into the thick woods around the manor, and soon they were but a small clicking against the rest of nature's sounds. The professor looked at his guests' faces again.

The hostility had left their appearances, and all that was left was the despair.

"We're as good as dead," Alice finally whispered, only to receive no answer from her equally desolate friend.

But Edward was different. The pianist scrutinized his pupil's face, and their eyes met instantly. The ferocity of his hope rendered him speechless.

"Professor," Edward said in a tone calmer than his appearance would have suggested, "They are lying."

He understood the words but not their meaning. Confusion swept over him.

"They don't care about music. All they want is to overthrow the Volturi, and they will say anything to get them there. They'll promise anything to anyone."

No, it couldn't be. Edward was playing a silly game with him, that was all.

"Sir," Edward continued, taking a step closer, "You're not the only musician they've promised monopoly to."

It was a silly game. Knowing that young people would do anything when chased into a corner, he pianist waved off Edward's accusations.

But still, it was there.

That first seed of doubt.