You Might Die Trying
The Volturi have requested an immediate return of all vampires to Volterra to discuss the recent threat pressing upon all their kind. A request that has never before occurred. The reason: the complete exposure of the vampire world to the entire human population. A request that forces not only the Immortal Children to become involved, but also forces Isabella Swan to come out of hiding since she was changed in 1692.
5. Chapter 5: Dangerous Confrontation
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You Might Die Trying
Chapter 5: Dangerous Confrontation
“Glad you guys know how to follow something related to a schedule,” Vespera commented as she walked into the abandoned warehouse they were currently using as a newborn storage facility.
Aliza, Jason, and Angela all looked up from their discussion near a door and turned to face the woman that had created them.
“Vespera,” Angela greeted.
“Where is Jeremiah?” Vespera asked, her red eyes shifting around the room only to stop at the door the three were currently standing in front of.
“He went to round up the newborns that were out hunting,” Aliza spoke up, her voice timid and fearful since this was her first encounter with Vespera since that time in the alley.
“I assume you’re here to give us instructions,” Jason said. “It has been two days since you last visited us. So what’s the plan?”
“Your right, but I think we had better wait until Jeremiah gets back, I don’t want to have to repeat myself twice.” Vespera commented as she walked over to sit on a large cargo box.
After a moment of awkward silence to see if anyone would say anything more, the three shared a look before Aliza vanished to go find Jeremiah and let him know that Vespera was waiting.
Angela and Jason resumed their talk in the corner until Aliza reappeared five minutes later with Jeremiah in tow. Vespera looked up from looking at her nails to see them re-enter the room. Hopping from her spot on top of the wooden box, she landed on her heels to make herself comfortable.
“Now that you’re all here, I need to fill you in on what is going to be happening tonight. I’m assuming you have most of the newborns under some control?” Vespera asked, looking at Jason and Jeremiah.
“If what you’re asking is if they will follow our orders,” Jeremiah spoke. “Then yes. They have been filled in on the general goal.”
“Excellent.” Vespera grinned, her red lips splitting to show her white teeth. “Aliza and Angela, how is the project going? How many are ready to make a move tonight?”
“I’d say we would have about six,” Angela paused. “Maybe eight if we’re lucky. They are too new to actually control and they aren’t exactly the best thing to take a risk on if you ask me.”
Vespera paused, thinking about what Angela had said. Eight was not what she was hoping to hear. She needed at least ten or more.
“Alright, here is what is going to happen,” Vespera’s voice took on a deeply seductive and commanding tone. “I had a visit from Aro and Jane and they basically told me where they are going to be. Apparently, the Cullen Clan stepped in to help come after me, so I am going to take a guess that that is where the tracking group is going to make base. Also, considering that Christian is also part of the group, I need to assume that they know the general area that we are,” Vespera hissed the name while glaring at Aliza who shrunk back.
“The Cullen Clan?” asked Jeremiah. “I thought we were going after the Immortal Children and that Isabella girl.”
“We are,” Vespera hissed. “But at the meeting apparently there were some very willing participants in tracking me so now we not only have those five, but the Cullen clan as well.”
“We won’t have enough for that many,” Angela brought up.
“We will make due with what we have then,” Vespera responded. “I want at least half the newborns to be ready to move out to the Cullen house in Forks. You all shall be going with them. But stay out of their sense range until you get the signal from me, and then move out; you know what to do.”
All four nodded, not having much of a choice either way.
“You want us to basically focus on the Immortal Children and the back-up?” Aliza clarified. “I’m guessing that you want to go after the girl by yourself.”
“Yes,” Vespera grinned. “I shall be taking that lovely surprise pack with me. Where are they anyway?”
“There in here,” Jason said, making a quick motion with his head to the door.
“Perfect,” Vespera said as she walked over to the door and opened it.
Immediately, growls erupted and sharp snapping sounds echoed off the rooms walls. About twenty pair of red eyes glowed from within the dark room with white fangs snapping and glinting off the light that was spilling into the room from the open doorway.
They were the unwritten rule that all vampires were expected to follow. Never ever, create them. The sole reason being that instead of hunting and surviving off humans and blood, they hunted and survived off vampires and their venom. There teeth were fully capable of piercing vampire skin as if it were a regular humans. Their bite was definitely worse than their bark. Deathly so. The wounds inflicted by the dogs on a vampire also took longer to heal due to the dog’s venom as it is practically caustic to them.
They were used last in the battle that happened about 1500 years ago between the once ruling Romanian coven and the rising Volturi. The Volturi accredited their success of defeating the Romanian coven due to their skill and powers, but the last two of the Romanian coven, Stefan and Vladimir, said the only reason that they lost was the vampire dogs that the Volturi had created and unleashed on them.
They only obeyed their creator and whomever their creator extended that ability too. In this case, it was Vespera.
“Well babies,” Vespera’s grin widened as their glowing eyes settled on her. “I think it’s time we get you some dinner.”
Vespera walked further into the room to pet the closest one to her, letting out a chuckle as his head bowed in acknowledgement of her.
“This should be fun,” Vespera whispered.
The Cullen’s house was truly an interesting architectural achievement. It was mainly built out of tinted two-way glass, so that from the outside looking in you couldn’t see inside and you were left with a smooth onyx impression of fine glass. From inside the onyx structure you could see out into the vastness of the forest that surrounded the house.
The inside was decorated with a fine artistic eye that left whoever entered the house with an impression of class and tranquility. The kitchen was state of the line and seemed to be kept in pristine condition, partly because it only was there for public appearance if anyone were to actually enter the onyx palace that was the Cullen’s home for the time being.
“Edward!” Alice shouted through the door that he had shut and reinforced so if anyone wanted to get in they would have to actually destroy it, which would cause Esme to go through the roof at having to replace another door. “What are you doing in there? You’ve been in there all night!”
It had been two days since they had left Volterra and they were expected the rest of the tracking team to show up at any time to start making further plans in going after Vespera.
“Alice, I’ll be out in a little bit,” Edwards muffled voice shouted through the heavy door.
Alice leaned against the door with a grin on her face, “Why do you need a minute anyway! What are you doing in there?”
Alice heard a dull thud before Edward decided to respond to her question, “Nothing! I’m just rearranging my room a little bit.”
Alice let out a little giggle at this remark; she knew what he was doing in there before he had even started. His mind was made up the moment they had started to head back from Volterra.
“Well, I just came up to tell you that we are all meeting up in the living room! I had a vision of Stefan, Vladimir, and Zafrina showing up here sometime tonight.”
The sounds from inside the room paused for a moment as what she said seemed to sink in.
“Just those three? What about the rest of them.”
Alice was having too much fun with this, after hearing from Jasper about Edwards sudden intense mood swing she had decided to pick on him a little bit to get even.
“For the moment it’s just those three, I haven’t seen anything about the kids or Bella,” Alice answered through the door once more and her eyes lit up as the movement inside the room started up again.
“I’ll be down in a minute then,” Edwards’s voice carried through the door from what Alice guessed was on the opposite side of the room against the windowed wall.
“Alright,” Alice called back as she turned and started to head down the hall toward the stairs. “Be sure to check the headboard to that bed you’re setting up, I have reason to believe that it’s not attached correctly!”
As soon as the words left her mouth, she heard a large crash and shout from inside the room.
Alice giggled and then shot down the stairs to gloat to the rest of the family.
Everyone turned their heads as Alice came bounding down the stairs giggling madly before plopping down next to Jasper on the couch. They had all heard the conversation between Edward and Alice and were grinning in their own way.
They would have to blind not to notice the chemistry between the Bella girl and their own Edward. Especially after the two of them had up and disappeared during the meeting for a little while. They all had been hard-pressed not to laugh hysterically when they all introduced themselves to the girl only to have Edward introduced himself as if they had never met before.
“How long do you think he’s going to be up there?” asked Emmett from his seat next to Rosalie.
“Oh…he will be up there until Stefan and Vladimir show up,” Alice answered. “He’ll be down after that though.”
“He has some serious vibes coming off him,” Jasper answered from his spot next to Alice. “I’ve been having a hard time putting them off since we first showed up at that meeting a few days ago.”
“Poor baby,” Alice cooed as she reached up to grab his head and pull him down to kiss him softly on the lips.
“Guys please,” Rosalie said. “I don’t need to have that image in my head tonight.”
Alice turned and pouted at Rosalie before leaning back over to her original relaxed position against Jasper instead of half in his lap as she was a minute ago.
“Who does he think he’s kidding anyway?” Emmett spoke up again. “He has to know we all know what he’s doing in there. We have ‘I see everything’ Alice for crying out loud.”
Everyone knew that Emmett was patiently waiting for his moment of fun to begin. He would not be able to pass up the opportunity to pick on Edward and, to the surprise of the whole family; he seemed to be biding his time for the perfect moment to lay it on thick.
“Alice?” Esme’s soft voice echoed across the room. “When did you see them showing up anyway? Were you able to see a time or anything?”
Alice swiveled her head around to Esme who was sitting near the back glass door in her reading chair. “Nah, but it was slightly darker outside so I’m guessing they should be here sometime after it gets dark.”
“Hmm,” Esme hummed before turning back to her book that she had been reading.
“Jasper, maybe we should try sneaking up into Edward’s room and have a little fun,” Emmett’s plotting voice asked excitingly.
Jasper sent him a cautious look before shaking his head. “I don’t think that would make the situation any better than it is Emmett.”
Emmett pouted before turning a hopeful glance over to his wife. “What do you say Rosie?”
Rosalie gave him an annoyed look before rolling her eyes. “Yeah right. Just what I need right now, Edward coming after us in a bloody fit. I think I’ll pass my dear.”
Effectively put out, Emmett turned to glance out the window toward the front of the house. All of their cars were parked out in the front and he had a sudden urge to jump in his jeep and go for a spin.
“Have you guys been reading the news in Seattle lately,” Carlisle answered as he came through the door, having finished his last shift at the hospital before he went on leave.
“Nope!” Alice exclaimed from her spot, hopping in her seat to twist and face Carlisle.
“Well, it looks like Christian was right in where he thought Vespera would be,” Carlisle said as he walked further into the room, walking over to kiss Esme on the forehead before sitting down on the arm of the chair. “There’s been a large amount of missing persons cases popping up since about a month ago. It looks like the amount of cases has been steadily increasing since that time.”
“I guess Vespera is really pulling out the newborn army card,” Jasper softly muttered. “I wanted to hope she wasn’t actually going to do that. Newborns are more trouble then there worth. Plus, after the Volturi stepped in the last time, most vampires wouldn’t want to risk having them come after them.”
“But that’s not the interesting thing,” Carlisle started up. “The missing cases have slowly been getting close to Forks.”
All the eyes in the room turned sharply to look at him.
“What?” Rosalie asked in surprise. “Vespera is heading in this direction?”
“Either that or there is another vampire on the loose following in her example,” Carlisle answered.
“How close are the disappearances?” Alice asked.
“That is what is troubling me,” Carlisle said as he pulled out the local paper for Forks. “Apparently there have been five new cases that popped up in Forks three days ago. With a disturbing issue involving the wife of one of the men that went missing, saying that she swore she saw him earlier today outside their home in the woods.”
“Well shit,” Emmett said, a whoosh of air escaping him as he brought a hard up to brush against the top of his head.
“That’s definitely not a good thing,” Esme said, setting her book down that she had stopped reading the moment Carlisle had walked in but had not released until then.
“Hey,” Edward commented as he came down the stairs. “We have some visitors outside.”
Everyone turned in his direction before following his finger that was pointing out front where Stefan, Vladimir, and Zafrina all popped out from the forest that surrounded their home.
Esme popped up and moved to the door, opening it quickly to let the trio in. Everyone exchanged greetings quickly before they either all returned to their seats or found a spot to settle in. Edward was leaning up against the grand piano, Zafrina had taken up the empty spot next to Alice, and the two Romanians had remained standing against the wall near the stairs.
“I take you all got whatever business you needed to get done finished,” Carlisle spoke up, hoping to start some sort of conversation.
“Yes, we took care of our affairs yesterday before we headed in your direction,” Vladimir’s deep voice responded.
Carlisle nodded, turning to Zafrina.
“All’s taken care of on my end,” her seductive voice floated through the room. “I was kind of hoping that those children would have beaten us here. That blonde girl certainly is an interesting one.”
A few present raised their eyebrows at that; they all assumed that those two hated one another.
“No,” Alice broke in next to her. “You guys beat them. They should be popping in sometime soon, I haven’t seen anything yet but sometimes it’s a little tricky.”
“See them?” Stefan’s dark voice spoke up in curiosity.
“Alice can see things when someone’s makes up their mind,” Emmett answered. “She’s our little psychic pixie.”
Alice reached over and grabbed the pillow that Jasper was leaning on to fling it across the room, hoping to hit Emmett in the face, but he quickly caught it while smirking at her.
“Don’t call me a pixie you overgrown bear.”
Emmett stuck his tongue out before setting the pillow next to him.
“You guys didn’t happen to find anything else out about Vespera while you were on your way here did you?” Edward asked from his post against the piano.
“No,” Zafrina answered. “Not many know much about her than what was already said at the meeting. That little pipsqueak Christian seemed to have the most information from what I can tell.”
“That little pipsqueak and his friends are about to come through those trees,” Edward said as a grin slipped past his lips.
Moments after he spoke, the four Immortal Children popped out of the darkness of the trees to head toward the front of the house. Edward being the closest, moved to the door, opening it for the second time that night to let in the forbidden quartet.
The four nodded to them as they entered the house, their eyes shifting around the room to take in the oddly assorted group present, noticing that one person was missing.
“I told you we would beat her,” Alijah said to Christian who merely shook his head in exasperation.
“Oh for crying out loud Alijah, I told you I figured we would unless something came up,” Christians’ child-like voice sounded fed up and on edge.
“Yeah, that’s what you say now,” Alijah muttered. “An hour ago you were betting me she would already be here.”
“That was an hour ago moron,” Christian looked ready to jump him.
“I hope you guys didn’t have any problems getting here,” Esme broke in, hoping to break up what looked to be a fight between the two boys.
“Yeah,” Emmett broke in. “I don’t think Esme would take too kindly to her living room being destroyed, she just had it redone about a week ago.”
Emmett was chuckling by the end of his remark, knowing from experience that you did not mess with Esme and her projects. Especially when they were recently completed. The last time the living room was destroyed, which was the reason why Esme had to redo it in the first place, was when Edward and Jasper had issued a challenge to him. That resulted in a full-blown wrestling match that ended with a destroyed one of a kind living room set, a smashed vase that was priceless and broken glass wall. Esme had thrown them out by their ears.
Edward and Jasper shuddered as they followed Emmett’s train of thought, all three of them looking over at an oddly pleased Esme.
Jasper leaned over to Alice. “That look is just wrong, don’t even get me started on what she’s feeling right now,” he muttered to Alice who glanced at Esme and smiled pleasantly.
“It was very simple actually,” Elizabeth commented politely to Esme’s remark, her voice light and pleasant.
“That’s good to hear,” Esme smiled at her.
“So what have you all been talking about, anything new on this Vespera woman?” Ivy broke in, she was the only one to not have spoken since they got there.
“Besides what Christian told us earlier, we haven’t had much luck,” Carlisle said. “But there is some interesting activity happening in Seattle and starting to occur down here. Apparently there is a large amount of missing person cases in Seattle, and recently there have been a couple here in Forks.”
“So you’re saying that Vespera might know what is going on and where we are?” Vladimir asked.
“It seems like it,” Carlisle said.
“Newborns really are a pain to deal with,” Stefan said, getting a glance of acknowledgement from the silent Jasper.
“I take it that most of you have some experience in dealing with them,” Alice asked, noticing the looks a few of them were sharing. “Considering your pasts and all, from what I know of them at least.”
Everyone other than the Cullen’s nodded their head in understanding and acknowledgment.
“So what’s the plan?” asked Zafrina. “Anyone have an idea of where to go from here?”
A few minutes passed as no one had anything to say.
“Maybe we should wait for Bella to show up before we start making any plans or theories,” Ivy finally spoke up, breaking through the silence that had spread throughout the room.
“Do you happen to know when she will be showing up?” Edward asked, his voice carrying an indifferent tone that fooled not a single person present.
Ivy’s red eyes turned to him, a grin spreading across her lips. “I’m sure she will be here fairly soon, no need to get antsy.”
Edward nodded before looking over at Alice who was giving him a strange grinning look, almost like a cat who caught the canary.
Immortal Children (past)
Ivy and Elizabeth looked up as Bella shot passed them and headed to the spare room they kept open for her whenever she dropped by. They stared after her in surprise before turning to Alijah and Christian as they walked in a few seconds after her.
Christian tilted his head off to the side, a sign that he wanted them to follow him.
Ivy and Elizabeth shared a look before standing up and following him out of the house and a large distance away from the house.
“We have a slight problem,” Alijah said, holding up the chain with the sword charm dangling on it.
Ivy’s eyes lit up in recognition. “Is that what I think it is? How did you get it?”
Alijah tossed it over to her so she could look at it closely.
“We have it,” Christian said, his tone carrying a strange quality to it. “Because Bella happened to kill the owner of it.”
Ivy’s eyes shot up in surprise, mimicking the shocked look Elizabeth was shooting his way.
“Bella killed him?” Elizabeth’s voice was high and full of shocked surprise. “How on earth did she manage to do that, she’s less than a year old?”
“We don’t know,” Alijah said, reaching out to take the necklace back and slip it into his pocket. “We got there after it happened and Bella seemed as surprised as we were.”
“Does,” Ivy paused. “Does she know who it was?”
“As far as we can tell,” Christian said. “She has no idea. From what we got her to say, she doesn’t even remember what happened. All she could say was that he was messing with a girl and Bella got angry.”
Elizabeth nodded as she looked off into the trees, in the direction of the house.
“Whatever the reason and however she managed to do it,” Alijah said. “We need to decide what we are going to do.”
“It just had to be Samuel she runs into,” Ivy sighed.
“They will come after her,” Christian said. “Hell! Jane is going to come after her. I don’t think her power will work on her but that will not stop her from killing Bella. Bella is too young, she won’t stand much of a chance against the Volturi. Especially the group of Elite’s that come chasing after her.”
“We need to go to Volterra,” Elizabeth said strongly, coming out of her dazed expression to stare directly at the other three. “We need to stop this before anything starts.”
“When do you want to leave?” asked Ivy.
“I say right now,” Alijah said, getting a round of agreements from the rest of them.
“Alright,” Christian said. “Ivy, why don’t you go back and tell Bella we needed to go and take care of something and that we will be back in a day.”
Ivy nodded to him before turning and taking off back toward the house to tell Bella just that. Not more than ten minutes later, Ivy reappeared.
“We’re all set.”
“Alright,” Elizabeth said. “Let’s get going then. This will not be a fun visit.”
“Your telling me,” ground out Christian.
“Out of all the freaking vampires to cross Bella’s path it just had to be Jane’s mate,” a stumped Ivy said. “I mean really, what are the odds of that! And that she managed to kill him without remembering how, that is interesting.”
The other three had no answer to that or comment, so they just fell into silence as they took off racing to Volterra.
They would have to face and confront the Volturi on their own ground.
“You all ready?” Ivy asked as they came to a stop outside the front of the building that acted as the front for the Volturi’s business.
“As ready as we’ll be I guess,” Elizabeth said, her face dropping into a dark, defensive scowl to match the other’s prepared faces.
“Alright then,” Ivy said, pushing the door open into the grand entrance reception area for V. Inc. They immediately took notice of the human woman, Gianna, jumping out of her chair behind the desk in surprise at seeing them enter the doors.
“What are you all doing here?” she asked her voice slightly nervous as she looked off to the side.
“We need to have a chat with the Royalty and Jane,” Christian spoke up, not pausing in his walk across the tiled floors.
They were heading toward the hidden elevator behind Gianna’s desk that was disguised as part of the wall that would lead down to the tunnels of the Volturi’s home.
Gianna moved to block them before they could get direct access to the door. “You all can’t just barge in there.”
“I’d like to see you stop us,” Elizabeth hissed at her, she had always hated this woman.
Gianna looked frightened for a moment before she relaxed, glancing at something behind them. Elizabeth twisted around to scowl at the approaching vampire that was exuding an air of confidence from across the room.
“I’ll take it from here Gianna,” Felix said as he finally reached them.
Ivy rolled her eyes at the tall man before them. Felix was very big, tall and thick. His complexion was an oddity as well, it being an olive tone with a chalky pallor. His red eyes glanced down at them before his grin erupted.
“Why hello kids,” his voice dripping in sarcasm. “What can we do for you?”
“Don’t call us kids, Felix,” Christian muttered, his dark red eyes glinting as he looked up at the large man. “We need to speak with the Volturi right now.”
Felix paused, seeming to be having an internal debate, before nodding to them.
“Alright, I’ll bite.”
“Gianna,” his gaze shifted over to the beautiful woman that had returned to her seat. “I’ll be taking them down now.”
Gianna nodded before glaring at them and reaching under her desk to press the hidden button that would open the doors to the elevator.
As the walls parted, Felix entered the elevator, motioning with his arm for the four of them to enter with him. They entered calmly, having been through this before.
As Felix reached out to push a button, the doors slid closed and they began their descent into the Volturi’s lair. The ding of the elevator signaled that they had reached their destination and the doors slid open to reveal a long dark hallway leading to a large set of double doors that led into the Volturis’ feeding room.
Felix stepped out and headed toward the large doors, opening the door and letting them enter before him.
“How convenient,” Christian said as he got the first look into the room to see the Royalty, Elite, and Guards all waiting for them.
“Why hello children,” Aro’s careless voice called out from the front in welcome. “To what do we owe this pleasure?”
As the four Immortal Children reached the front, all of their eyes shifted to glance over at the motionless figure of Jane.
“We actually have something rather important to discuss with you,” Alijah spoke up, his eyes shifting from Jane to Aro. “It involves Jane and Samuel.”
When Alijah mentioned Samuel, Jane stiffened and seemed to lean in their direction, confused as to where it was going.
“Samuel,” Aro said in surprise, his eyes glancing at Jane and then back to them. “What does this have to do with Jane and Samuel?”
“Isn’t he on a little mission?” Marcus spoke up, his dark voice expanding throughout the cold room.
Aro twisted around to look at him, “Last time I checked he was,” Aro twisted back around. “But it didn’t have anything to do with you four. Did you happen to cross paths with him by chance?”
Ivy shared a look with her companions to let them know she would take it from here, “You could say that. Actually a companion of ours, a newborn that was changed about six months ago because she became aware of us,” the other three looked at her discreetly in surprise, knowing that wasn’t the case but deciding not to comment. “She was the one that had a run in with him.”
“So what,” Jane spoke up, stepping out from the side and more toward the middle. “If he got rid of her I don’t see what the big deal is.”
Ivy cringed for a moment before deciding to take the leap that would cause a lot of problems. “Someone was killed, but it wasn’t the girl.”
Stunned silence wrapped around the room as all those present shifted their gaze from Ivy to the frozen Jane.
“Samuel was the one that was killed,” Alijah clarified, his voice seductive and defensive.
Jane suddenly shot forward snarling, wrapping her hand around Ivy’s throat and slamming her into the back wall of the feeding room, near the doors, a good twelve feet away.
“Your newborn killed my mate,” Jane hissed, her gaze positively black as she stared into the calm face of Ivy.
“Yes,” Ivy answered calmly, her eyes glaring back just as darkly at Jane. “Now I suggest you get the hell away from me before I actually decide to fight back.”
Jane tightened her grip, a deep growl escaping her as she thought about ripping the girls head off.
“Jane,” Felix called as he raced over to pull Jane back. “Do not do anything rash.”
Jane allowed Felix to pull her back because the one she wanted to rip the head off of wasn’t Ivy, it was the newborn.
“Who is she?” Jane hissed from Felix’s arm. “I want her name and I want her dead.”
Felix pulled Jane back until they were once again in the front of the room next to the amused Aro who was standing there like he was watching a funny show, as opposed to a pissed off vampire trying to kill another.
Ivy walked back to the rest of the Immortal Children as if nothing happened, although it was obvious to see that they were all tense.
“Isn’t this interesting,” Caius finally spoke up after the momentary silence that had enveloped the room.
“I want her dead! Where is she?” Jane hissed from her spot.
“That’s what we are here to talk about,” Christian said.
“You all know the rules,” Aro said. “Jane has every right to go after this newborn and I am partial to agree. I was quite fond of Samuel.”
“Yes,” Elizabeth answered. “But we are responsible for her and we have grown quite fond of her over the short time.”
“What are you trying to say then?” Marcus asked.
“Let’s be blunt,” Christian hissed. “You come after her, any of you come after her, and we will step in. I don’t care who she killed, she is under our protection for the time being and we will not hesitate to step in and stop Jane or whoever you send to kill her.”
Stunned. That was the only way to describe all the vampires present.
“Are you making a threat against the Volturi,” Aro asked carefully, his voice fully surprised. “Because I don’t think this would be the best place to do it.”
“We aren’t making a threat,” Ivy spoke up. “We are merely letting you know our position on the matter and giving you a warning.”
“I see,” Aro said, his gaze shifting over to the positively seething Jane who was growling from her cage within Felix’s arms.
“Well, I guess we’ll have to think about this for the time being,” Aro finally said.
“What!” Jane shrieked, her glaring eyes turning to focus on Aro. “That newborn killed my mate! I have every right to go after her!”
“You go after her,” Alijah said carefully. “We will come after you and whoever else comes after her.”
“You won’t be able to do a thing to me,” Jane answered smugly.
Christian’s smile was positively predatory as he glanced at her. “You would be surprised what we could do Jane. Do you really want to risk it,” he paused to look over at trio of Royalty watching the conversation critically. “Do you three want to risk it?”
“You ungrateful…” Caius started only to stop when Marcus grabbed his arm to silence him.
“I suggest,” Aro started. “That you four leave, before we do decide to take drastic measures. I give no promises of not going after her and for that matter; I make no promises of going after you four. You have a lot of nerve coming here to threaten us.”
Aro’s voice turned angry near the end of his speech.
“We will go,” Ivy said, already turning toward the doors. “But you better think very carefully if you want to take the chance of coming after us or her.”
Elizabeth, Alijah, and Christian nodded, turning to follow Ivy to the doors. As they opened them and slipped through, Christian turned. “I wouldn’t take that risk if I were you.”
Then they shut the door and entered the elevator that led them to the floor level. Nodding to Gianna, the four slipped through the door and vanished into the night, intent on returning to their own territory to make plans and find out how they were going to keep this from Bella.
One thing they knew for sure, they had left behind an extremely pissed off group of vampires.
Why me?’Bella thought as she smiled politely at the woman talking to her sympathetically. I just had to come back here to grab my stupid wallet, who would have thought she would be here.
The woman talking to her was a fellow teacher that taught across the hall from Bella. She had heard about her leaving and apparently talked to the principle, Bella’s boss, to find out why she was taking leave.
“It’s just so awful,” Mrs. Kranston said. “I hope your father is okay. I mean a heart attack at his age. You’re so lucky your mother was there and got him to the hospital in time.”
“Yes,” Bella said, trying to put an end to the conversation. “It is very lucky that my mother was home that afternoon. However, I really should be going. I have a plane to catch.”
“Oh,” Mrs. Kranston exclaimed. “Of course! I wasn’t even thinking. Yes, you had better get on your way! Security takes such a long time to get through and you don’t want to miss your flight.”
“Yes, it would be horrible to miss it,” Bella said, smiling to Mrs. Kranston and saying good-bye before exiting the building to head to her car.
Throwing her wallet into the passenger seat as she opened the door, she slid behind the wheel and slipped the key into the ignition. Pulling out of her parking spot, she headed toward her temporary apartment to grab a few things before she headed over to the Cullens.
It was the morning of the second day and she had to get there before nightfall. She had a flight to catch in two hours at noon to Forks, Washington. Pulling into the underground garage beneath her apartment building, she parked her car and hoped out, heading toward the elevator that would lead up to her tenth floor apartment.
Quickly entering her apartment, she grabbed her bag that she had packed earlier and her purse before slipping back out and hopping into the cab that she had called for that would take her to the airport.
She managed to get through security without any problems and quickly boarded the flight with the rest of the passengers. She had paid for a first class ticket because she didn’t really like cramped corners and coach was notoriously cramped.
After a three-hour flight, the plane landed right on time in the small airport just south of Forks, Washington. Bella slipped off the plane quickly and headed to where she would pick up her rental car.
It was already four in the afternoon by the time Bella left the airport heading north toward Forks. She would be cutting it close. She had about an hour drive, which normally would take two and half hours, until she hit the small town of Forks and then she had to head to the post office where she had priority mailed a large box that contained some things that Bella felt would be useful in the hunt for Vespera.
She reached Forks by five and quickly headed toward the post office only to be faced with a long line. Sighing, she leaned back on her heels to wait behind two women who seemed to be gossiping excitedly to one another.
“Did you hear?” the red headed woman asked. “Jenny’s husband went missing a few days ago.”
“I know,” the brown haired woman replied. “I was just talking to her earlier today and she said that she apparently saw him outside their house in the woods, but when she went out to see if it really was him, he vanished.”
“I think she’s just lost her mind a little,” the red head replied. “I mean, have you heard about all those people going missing in Seattle, and now with five people vanishing here? I would be terrified if I was Jenny.”
‘Seattle. Missing,’ Bella thought, listening more closely to the two women in front of her.
“The police are completely stumped too,” the red head continued. “I was talking to Sarah, the wife of the chief, and she was saying that the police have absolutely nothing on the missing people. It’s like they just up and vanished.”
“That’s horrible,” the brunette gasped. “I don’t know what I would do if my daughter or husband ended up missing.”
Bella was distracted when two lanes opened up, the two women heading to one and she headed over to the other.
“I have a package that I delivered here about two days ago,” Bella said, taking out the slip of paper that confirmed her delivery.
The woman nodded, taking the slip and disappearing into the back. Bella looked around her, taking notice of a few people glancing at her in curiosity, including the two gossipy women she had been listening to earlier. Bella was caught looking when the brown-haired woman looked at her and smiled, forcing Bella to smile and nod at her before turning back to the woman when she came out pushing a cart with her long box on top.
“All I need from you is your signature here,” she said, coming to a stop at the counter once more.
Bella signed the paper and stepped back.
The woman pushed the box around the counter to Bella’s side. “Did you need any help getting this out to your car?”
“No thanks, if you wouldn’t mind, could I just open it up here,” Bella asked leaning down to rip off some of the tape.
“Not at all,” the woman said, stepping back and watching her.
She opened the top of the box to reach in and lift out a large black duffel bag that was about just as long as she was tall. A metallic clang was heard as she set it on the ground beside her.
“That looks really heavy! What’s in there,” the woman who had brought the package out asked.
Bella looked up at her and smiled. “I’m a photographer so it’s just some filming equipment and metal camera stands. It’s really not as heavy as it looks.”
“I see! Well, you have a nice day dear,” the woman said, turning and pulling the cart to the back and depositing the empty box off to the side with other discarded boxes.
Bella leaned back toward and lifted the large bag effortlessly, carrying it out of the post office and slipping it into the back seat of her rental car. She had spent a good thirty minutes in the post office and it was starting to get dark, the already overcast skies turning darker as the sun went down.
God, Bella thought slipping back into the car. I hope it doesn’t start to rain.
Her interest had been peaked by the women discussing the missing people from the town and decided to head to the grocery store, almost positive that pictures would be posted of the recently missing people from Forks.
It wasn’t even six and she figured she had a time to spare, they hadn’t specified a time and it wasn’t as if they were all going anywhere. Parking the car, she quickly hopped out and walked toward the large grocery store that was in the center of Forks, situated next to the high school. The parking lot was full; obviously, this was the prime time to go grocery shopping.
The sliding glass doors opened up as she entered and immediately she saw the community board that was always posted in small towns grocery stores. There were signs for the local bingo night at the community center, a few offers for animals, and exactly what she had been looking for, pictures of the missing people from Forks.
There were three men and two woman, all seemed to be around middle age. As she read the details, she didn’t see anything that popped out at her, except that they all went missing the same day and around the same time.
“It’s such a shame,” an elderly woman said as she stopped her full cart next to Bella.
Bella was surprised the woman had spoken to her, typically, humans could sense that something was off with her and kept a distance; the feeling was probably similar to a predator and prey scenario.
“I’m sorry,” Bella said, glancing at her.
“All those people,” the woman said, pointing a wrinkled hand toward the display on the board. “I knew all of them. This town is so small, everyone knows everyone. All of them had families. It’s such a shame that they all vanished suddenly like that.”
“Oh,” Bella said. “Yes, I just got into town and heard some people talking about it! I was curious and figured this was the best place to look.”
“Aren’t you smart,” the woman said grinning at her, her face crinkling.
“Do you know anything else about them?” Bella asked, seeing if the lady could give her any more information. Bella had a good idea what was going on but was hoping that she was wrong.
“Nope, the local police are keeping all the information under wraps so far,” the older woman said, turning her gaze back to the pictures. “Personally, I think it’s because they’re embarrassed. They haven’t made any headway in the case so far. They don’t have any answers as to what happened.”
“I see,” Bella said. “Well, thank you so much for the info. I guess I will see you around.”
The woman smiled at her as Bella turned and exited the grocery store, heading back to her car.
‘I bet I know what happened to them,’ Bella thought. ‘But I didn’t think Vespera would come this far east.’
By now, the sky was completely dark, the sun having vanished long ago. It was barely past seven but the night was quickly ending. Deciding she had stalled long enough, she turned off into the direction that would take her to the Cullen’s house. There was only one main road that leads through Forks, so it would be hard for Bella to get lost.
Turning off the main road and onto the street that would take her out to their home, Bella glanced off into the woods that were on either side of her. As she reached the hidden turn off to the Cullen’s secluded house, she got the strange feeling that she was being watched but brushed it off as the trees opened up to the large house that was situated in the middle of the woods.
There was a large assortment of cars out front, a monstrous Jeep immediately catching her attention due to the ridiculousness of it. She sat in the car for a moment after she turned it off, she still had the strangest feeling that something was watching her from the trees, but as she glanced around, she couldn’t see anything.
She knew that all the vampires in the house knew she was there; cars did make an awful lot of noise, so she figured she didn’t have much longer in stalling out in the car.
“I’m just making up things because I don’t want to go in,” she whispered to herself.
Sighing, she slipped the key from the ignition and opened the door. As she slid out, she suddenly realized why she had not seen anything. As she stood out of her crouch from sitting in the car, she drastically changed directions, diving forward and twisting around, barely avoiding the large mass of fur that slammed into the side of her car; denting it and causing the car to flip over onto its side and slide about twenty feet before coming to a stop against a tree.
The car made a large grating sound as it was pushed across the cement and dirt from the force of the hit, before shuddering to a stop, the tree it slammed against falling to only crash against another tree. The car had curled itself around the trunk, partially lifting into the air as the tree tipped over.
Bella stood up in surprise, whipping around to stare at the bundle of fur that was stalking toward her from his position by the totaled car. The wolf’s eyes were glowing red; his white teeth clenched together with his lips pulled back, silver liquid slipping off the sharp canines.
Bella took a step back, not quite understanding what was happening, but knew from its eyes that this wasn’t a normal wolf. Its jaws snapped and suddenly there were four more, flanking it on either side. They were tall for a wolves, there heads reaching to Bella’s mid chest. She instinctively knew if what she thought was right, that she could not let those wolves bite her or catch her off guard.
Bella saw the door to the house fly open as the Cullen’s, the Immortal Children, Zafrina, Stefan, and Vladimir filed out after hearing the noise from inside.
“Ivy,” Bella said, her eyes not leaving the eyes of the wolves getting closer to her. “I don’t know what’s going on, but this doesn’t look good.”
The middle wolf, the one that had initially attacked her, lowered himself and began to snarl and bark at her fiercely, his gaze intent.
“I don’t believe it,” Stefan said in shock. “Those are vampire wolves.”
“What?” Alice asked in confusion.
“We’ll explain later,” Vladimir cut in. “Right now, all you need to know is that those things are very dangerous. Do not let them bite you under any circumstance. We need to find who’s controlling them.”
“That would be me,” a tall beautiful woman said stepping out from her position behind a tree.
Everyone looked at her in surprise. They hadn’t sensed her at all. She was wearing a pair of jeans, with white sneakers, and a red sweater. Her black hair was loose and hanging down her back in a splash of curls. Her skin was a white ivory and she had dark red eyes that were almost black.
“Vespera,” Christian hissed.
Vespera’s gaze shifted over to Christian’s. “Christian, how lovely to see you! I see your recovering quite nicely. At least you have your hand back.”
Christian made a move to go after her but Alijah reached out and caught him in mid flight.
“I’ve been dying to meet all of you,” Vespera’s voice was honey coated, dangerous. “I knew the Cullen’s were involved, but the rest of you, are quite a surprise.”
Zafrina, Vladimir, and Stefan inclined their heads in acknowledgement.
“You have some nerve showing up here Vespera,” Zafrina called out. “You saved us a lot of time though. Now that we don’t have to track you down.”
“Hmm, I can assure you this was very well thought out,” Vespera said, turning her attention back to Bella, who was still backing up cautiously as the wolves continued to stalk toward her.
“I see we are right on time,” Jason said, stepping out of the woods with Jeremiah, Angela, and Aliza stepping out from their spots, surrounding the front of the house.
“Now that we’re all here,” Vespera said, her gaze still on Bella. “Let’s get started. First off, Bella dear, I just want you to know that I personally have nothing against you, but the person that I answer to certainly does.”
“You might want to focus on us,” Ivy called out, stepping out of the group to make herself known.
Judging the distance, Ivy shot out to come to a stop beside Bella, placing herself next to her in case the wolves decided to make a move.
“Yes, the Immortal Children,” Vespera said sarcastically. “I know all about your little group. But I have some backup to deal with you and everyone else while I focus on little Bella here.”
“You think we’re just going to let you kill her,” Edward finally broke in, making the same decision as Ivy and racing over to stand on the other side of Bella, slightly in front, determined to block an attack at her.
“Well gee,” Vespera let loose a chuckle. “I didn’t think you were going to just let me kill her, no. I’m quite prepared actually.”
The group remaining near the house suddenly jumped in different directions, spreading themselves out across the front area of the Cullen house as a few vampires leapt down from the roof at them.
“Ah! I see some of the newborns have arrived,” Vespera commented happily. “Enough talking though, I think it’s about time we got started, don’t you?”
As if a button had been pushed, the wolves suddenly sprung into action, leaping across the distance directly at Bella, Edward, and Ivy.
It had started.
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