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You Might Die Trying

Summary:
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.


Notes:


7. Chapter 7: Running Up That Hill

Rating 4.5/5   Word Count 9517   Review this Chapter

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You Might Die Trying

Chapter 7: Running Up That Hill

By: HayleyM425

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Volterra, Italy

Aliza walked out of the overcast city of Volterra into the chilly, air-conditioned building that was settled within the heart of the ancient city. The sliding glass doors breezed open quietly, a blast of cold air escaping out into the humid and warm air, which was to be expected in the summer months.

Even though the inside reception area of the building was made to appear cozy and homely, the only people present were a man seated on the couch who was reading a newspaper, and the beautiful secretary behind the large ‘welcome’ desk. The expensive appearance of the Volturi Company was all a façade that had been in place for hundreds of years. The high ceilings with the expensive crystal and glass chandeliers were mesmerizing. The marble floor and walls were accented artistically with golden panels and lines. The dark black leather chairs and one of a kind furniture were strategically placed throughout the room, and it was enough to make even the most well off individuals step back and marvel at the beauty and quality presented within the room.

Aliza quickly walked towards the desk where the young woman was sitting and watching her expectantly.

“I need to see the Royals,” Aliza said swiftly, nodding to Gianna.

“For what?” Gianna questioned, her perfectly shaped eyebrow rising in curiosity.

“I’ll let you know when I feel like it’s any of your business,” Aliza hissed. She absolutely hated it when people got into business that did not even involve them.

“Well then, I think it’s going to be a little bit of a wait in that case,” Gianna said smugly, her eyes lighting up in a small victory.

Aliza narrowed her eyes. She took enough shit from Vespera, she didn’t need it from this wanna-be woman who had some sick twisted idea of becoming a vampire because she felt it would make her beautiful forever.

“I see,” Aliza muttered.

Completely ignoring the woman who she wanted to desperately kill, the venom pooling in her mouth an obvious symbol to her desire, Aliza turned and walked around the desk.

“What do you think you’re doing?!” Gianna cried out as she jumped out of her chair to try to block Aliza’s path.

“I think I’m going to visit the Royals before I snap your neck and dump your body in a trash can,” Aliza hissed back.

Gianna recoiled from the angered vampire as soon as she had heard the word ‘snap.’

Aliza smirked and opened the door that led to the elevator. Stepping inside, she waved to Gianna as she pushed the button that would take her into the underground world of the ruling vampires of the world.

The ride took less that a minute and as soon as the doors opened, Aliza wasn’t the least bit surprised to see Demetri and Felix standing there waiting for her. The two were dressed in loose, dark jeans and simple black shirts.

“Hello Aliza,” Demetri drawled, “have some information for us?”

“Demetri, Felix,” Aliza nodded in their direction as she spoke their names, “I need to speak to Aro. Vespera sent me.”

Demetri stiffened and glanced over at Felix sharply at the mention of Vespera’s name. Felix didn’t show any sign of reaction, just continuing to stare at Aliza.

“About what?” Felix asked.

“I need to speak to Aro,” Aliza reiterated, her voice firm as her patience began to wane.

Felix sucked his teeth for a minute before nodding and turning around to head towards the feeding chamber, where the Royals and Elite tended to hang out when they weren’t doing much.

Aliza followed behind the two, her thoughts racing as to what she was going to tell Aro about Vespera’s failed attempt to get rid of Bella and the Immortal Children. She was still surprised at how many vampires had been willing to help in ‘hunting’ Vespera. They had nowhere near the numbers they needed to take care of that large of a group.

Felix and Demetri slipped through the large doors that led into the Volturi’s infamous feeding room, immediately falling into their positions they took to the side when guests were visiting.

As Aliza stepped through after them, she noticed that Aro, Marcus, and Caius were leaning close to one another talking amongst themselves. When she was closer, she noticed Aro nod and then he stepped away, nodding at her to follow him. She moved swiftly to his side, following him into one of the rarely used side rooms used for private discussions. Jane broke from her spot and followed them.

As soon as all three were through the entryway, Jane shut the door and turned to face Aliza in a similar fashion to Aro.

“What news do you bring us from Vespera,” Aro asked pleasantly. “I’m hoping her efforts to take out Bella and the Immortal Children were successful.”

Aliza cringed.

“Not exactly.”

Jane hissed from her spot at the sour news.

“What do you mean,” Jane asked in an aggressive tone.

“We had more than enough numbers and dogs to take on Bella and the Immortal Children, but we weren’t expecting that many people to be part of your hunting plans.”

“I see,” Aro commented, his eyes lifting as he thought about the news.

“I told you that wasn’t a good idea Aro,” Jane said dryly. “We should have just had Vespera go after them on her own when they were split up! Bella was completely separate from the group and on her own.”

“Where’s the fun in that Jane,” Aro cheerily replied, a grin spreading across his face.

“Why does it always have to be a game with you.”

Aro shrugged before turning back to Aliza.

“So what do you need from us,” Aro asked, knowing there was a reason for Aliza’s in-person visit.

“Vespera sent me to see what you think should be her next move,” Aliza commented darkly. She was still mild pissed Vespera had sent her on this pointless task.

“Her next move should be to get rid of that bitch,” Jane hissed as if it was the most obvious thing in the world.

“You’ve made that point obvious Jane,” Aliza replied dryly.

“Maybe I should send someone back with you that can be of some help,” Aro butted into their little battle.

“Like who?” Aliza asked in surprise.

“Someone who won’t be all that missed,” Aro said, a wicked grin spreading across his features.

When only silence met his comment, he glanced at Aliza then at Jane.

“How about we send Felix,” Aro revealed.

“Are you joking me?” Jane asked in surprise. “He is the only reason we managed to talk Vespera into going on this suicide mission in the first place. You can’t just send our only leverage to the person who we are holding all the cards against.”

Aliza glanced between the two in confusion, not understanding what they meant by Felix being leverage against Vespera.

“Why not?” Aro asked. “It would make things a lot more interesting. I am quite sure that Vespera is pissed enough as it is that she failed already in the first round. Sending Felix might give her some motivation to not fail next time because she knows the consequences if she doesn’t finish what we have asked her to do.”

“Or she might just say ‘screw you all’ and the two of them will vanish,” Jane said sarcastically.

“Or they could do that,” Aro conceded.

“I’m sorry,” Aliza butted in, lifting a finger in confusion over the conversation going on as though she was not there. “What exactly are you two talking about. How is Felix any leverage against Vespera and what are the consequences.”

Aro and Jane broke from their silent conversation to glance impassively at Aliza before Jane scoffed and Aro smiled.

“It is quite simple my dear,” Aro said as sweetly as sugar, but with an undertone of salt. “Felix is Vespera’s mate and if Vespera fails to get rid of Bella or the Immortal Children, then we kill Felix.”

Aliza’s mouth dropped open. She did not see that one coming at all, but suddenly it began to make sense to her.

“We initially threatened to just kill Vespera herself,” Jane threw in. “But she didn’t seem to care too much about it. So imagine our surprise when we learned that Felix was her mate. Threaten a vampire’s mate and suddenly they will do anything you ask if they know your threat is plausible.”

“Let’s send Demetri,” Aro broke in.

Jane smiled at that suggestion.

“Demetri,” Aliza muttered dryly. She was none too happy about that. Demetri was a perfect choice because now they could find any of them if need be because of his tracking gift, but he was just so annoying.

“It’s settled,” Aro said as he turned to enter back into the feeding room. “We shall send Demetri back to give you guys some more power.”

“Wait,” Aliza called before Aro could open the doors. “I’ve been curious about something for awhile and Vespera has never told me.”

Aro turned his head toward her and nodded for her to continue.

“I understand Jane’s want for Bella to be killed, but why the Immortal Children?”

Aro’s blank face turned dark as he faced the doors once more. Jane was glancing at Aliza like she was suicidal before turning back to look at the stiff Aro.

“It’s quite simple actually.”

Aro’s voice was devoid of all his usual cheerfulness that he used as a façade to manipulate people. It was chilling sound. It was flat and angered. Something Aliza never wanted to hear again after this moment.

Aro swung the doors open as he answered the question, Jane gliding out passed him to return to her position in the room.

“No one threatens the Volturi.”

While the answer may be simple to Aro, Aliza had a sinking suspicion there was more behind his words than what he wanted her to believe.

It did not quite hit her until Demetri and her slipped out of the Volturi’s building and into the chilly night of Volterra, what Aro had not said or even wanted to admit. Least of all to her.

The Volturi felt threatened by the Immortal Children.

Aliza started to rethink her position as Demetri and her headed back to the states to meet up with Vespera.

‘If the Volturi are afraid of what the Immortal Children are capable of,’ Aliza thought. ‘Does that mean that the Immortal Children are powerful enough to destroy them if they wanted too? Is that why they were allowed to continue to live while all the other Immortal Children were destroyed?’

Aliza was certain that was the case.

The Immortal Children had the power to end the Volturi’s centuries long existence and Aliza suddenly wanted nothing more than to turn tail and run as far away from the upcoming confrontation that she knew was going to take place.

‘This is not going to end well,’ she thought as she slid onto the airplane behind Demetri, unnoticed.

‘Not well at all.’

Stefan, Vladimir, and Zafrina

In order to keep true to promise to not feed within a traceable distance to Forks and the necessity to keep away from Seattle due to their numerous occurrences of missing people, the three slight outcasts of the Vespera hunt group headed south toward the center of Oregon.

Currently, Stefan and Vladimir were off in the city searching for their prey while Zafrina followed behind. No conversation had occurred between the three since they had left the company of the Cullen’s and the rest in Forks. Fortunately for the three, upon reaching their destination, they had stumbled upon a group of homeless men hiding out in an abandoned building and managed to satiate their thirst that had increased to soaring levels after the invigorating fight.

“You know, there is only so much blood you can draw out of that body before it gets cold,” Vladimir called over to Stefan who was attempting to get every drop out of the last man of the group they had attacked in surprise.

Stefan shoved the cold body away from him at the taunting call of his brother.

‘He’s right after all,’ Stefan thought coldly. He was still incredibly thirsty for having just fed off two fully-grown human males.

“Are we good or do you two need some more time?” Zafrina called out from her spot sitting against the alley wall. She had finished off her two a long time ago, while the two Romanians seemed to enjoy goading and playing with their food. When Zafrina had started on her second human, they were just sinking their teeth into their first.

“You know Zafrina,” Stefan chuckled darkly as he approached her and crouched down in front of her to look her in the eye. “You seem to have lost the pleasure and fun that you gain from being a vampire. The blood tastes so much sweeter and pure when the human is terrified.”

Zafrina raised her eyebrow at him in question before glancing over at Vladimir who was in the process of disposing of the bodies by throwing them into a metal trash bin and lighting it on fire. It was slightly ironic that he lit it with the small trash the group of homeless men had been using to stay warm.

“Is he always like this?” Zafrina asked Vladimir.

“Normally,” Vladimir responded.

“You’re disgusting,” Zafrina said turning back to the grinning Stefan.

“You don’t mean that, my exotic Amazon,” Stefan commented in a hurt voice while grabbing his chest where his non-beating heart resided.

“Your what?” Zafrina asked in a dry voice.

Stefan reached out and grabbed Zafrina to stand beside him, as he slung his arm over her shoulder, which she cringed away from him with a roll of her eye, and extended his hand out in a sweeping motion.

“My exotic Amazon, don’t you just love that title,” Stefan asked happily.

Suddenly, Stefan was not standing in an alleyway with his arm around Zafrina and Vladimir staring at Zafrina in sympathy. He was suddenly in a dark dense jungle. Vines and trees littered the area and a few wild animals were staring back at him in curiosity. Then suddenly Zafrina was standing in front of him with a cold smile on her face.

“Let’s get something straight mister Romanian,” Zafrina stated calmly as she walked until she was standing directly in front of him.

Leaning in, Zafrina got her point across.

“I’m not your anything.”

Stefan had probably less than a second to understand what she said before her hand was around his throat and his back smashed into a tree.

Before he could retaliate, Zafrina vanished and three dark leopards took her place. They were crouched low to the ground and their bodies were poised to spring at him.

While he was a vampire and he could most likely take them on and walk away, something about having missing body parts in the stomachs of one of the beasts wasn’t at all appealing to him. He may be a vampire but he had a feeling that these leopards could easily bite through his granite like skin since Zafrina was involved.

As they leaped at him, he was suddenly back in the alleyway with his arm around a smiling Zafrina and fed up Vladimir.

Stefan leaped away from Zafrina with a calculating look in his eye.

“You just used your power on me didn’t you,” Stefan accused angrily.

“I might,” Zafrina calmly replied, turning to appear next to Vladimir.

“That’s not cool, we’re on the same team,” Stefan changed his expression from anger to pouting.

“Are you physically harmed?” Zafrina asked.

“No,” Stefan answered, unsure of where this conversation was going.

“Then everything is fine, as long as you got my message.”

Stefan 'hmphed' before turning and walking toward the exit of the alley.

“Whatever, lets get back to Forks and figure out what the plan is.”

Cullen’s Household

“Man! Is anyone else still pumped from that fight?” shouted an excited Emmett from his spot by Rosalie. He had attempted earlier to try to chase after Vespera, but Rosalie had grabbed him and forced him inside before he could even head in the direction her scent trailed.

“Emmett, if you don’t calm down right now,” Rosalie commented. Sometime he was just too much for her to handle and she would end up smacking him in some way. She knew it would not hurt him and after so long together she knew that was the only way to literally ‘knock some sense into him.’

“Did anyone think it was strange that Vespera was going after Bella,” Jasper’s soft voice spoke up. He was leaning against the wall looking out toward the forest. The wall, or window, that used to be there was laying in pieces on the floor from where one of the newborns had flown through.

“What do you mean?” Carlisle called from his spot where he was helping a frustrated Esme clean up what was left of their dining room.

“It’s just; Bella was roped into this by Aro right? We all saw what happened in Volterra. Which led to the Immortal Children becoming involved and it is just incredibly strange. Vespera’s emotions were incredibly calm. Even when she was face to face with Bella, the anger and intent in her voice and actions didn’t match what she was feeling.”

The Cullen family all looked at Jasper in surprise. They knew what he meant and it was incredibly strange now that they thought about it. Normally when someone went after someone in particular, especially to kill, there was some level of hatred and animosity. But Jasper was saying that there was no feeling of anger or hate.

“What did you pick up from her then,” Zafrina asked as she appeared in the room suddenly with Vladimir and Stefan popping in behind her.

Not at all surprised by their sudden entrance, Jasper responded without missing a beat. “All I picked up was annoyance and a sense of duty. None of which was directed at Bella or any of us in general.”

“That is strange,” Esme called from her spot by the shattered window.

“Alice, have you seen anything to give us a clue,” Rosalie asked. Everyone present turned to glance at the silent pixie who was sitting in a chair motionless.

“Not a thing,” she muttered. Alice was frustrated. An image would pop up but then it would vanish before she could figure out what it meant. All she kept seeing was a wall in a building that held absolutely no clue on it.

“Well I guess there’s nothing to be done there until Vespera makes up her mind,” Rosalie said in defeat.

“I keep seeing this wall. Nothing on it, just a white wall.”

The frustration in Alice’s voice was not missed by anyone present. Jasper suddenly appeared next to her pushing a feeling of calm and patience in her direction, which Alice smiled at. His attempt was sweet.

“We lost her,” Christian spoke up as the four Immortal Children came through what used to be the front of the house.

“How far were you able to track her,” Carlisle asked.

“Not far. We made a pit stop to feed after we lost her trail,” Elizabeth said.

“You guys know Bella pretty well. Do you know why Vespera was targeting her?” Jasper asked.

The four shared a look before Ivy shrugged and turned back to face the group assembled in the Cullen’s destroyed living room.

“We may have an idea.”

“Maybe we should clear up some of the history for everyone since everyone is back,” Bella said as she came down the stairs with Edward.

“What were you two doing up there?” Emmett asked as he wiggled his eyebrows suggestively.

“How attached are you to those eyebrows of yours?” Edward asked.

“Alright,” Bella broke in as she came to a stop at the bottom of the stairs. “There’s something you should all know, which may also cause you to give up this chase after Vespera.”

Everyone present who didn’t already know the story all focused their attention on Bella. Curiosity was horrible when it came to vampires. They had been around so long that nothing really surprised them. So when they found something they didn’t know about, there curiosity was worse than a cat on crack.

“A little while after I was changed, I had a run in with a vampire who I later came to understand was named Samuel. He was Jane’s mate. And I don’t remember exactly what happened, but I ended up killing him somehow. Now Jane wants me dead and somehow she managed to persuade Vespera to come after me, since Aro will not allow Jane to come kill me herself.”

It was silent for a moment as the vampires present digested the new information. Well, it was silent until a booming laugh escaped Emmett’s lips and caused him to fall over.

“You killed the little albino’s mate,” Emmett managed to get out between his loud chuckles. “That is absolutely perfect! No wonder Jane looked like she wanted to kill you at Volterra. And her powers don’t work on you! This is the most hilarious thing I have heard in decades!”

“Emmett, seriously, this is no laughing matter! We are all involved in this now,” Rosalie said as she stared at her maniac of a husband.

“Rosalie, the albino is a pissed little demon, how can that not be funny,” Emmett asked seriously, as he stared at his wife before he broke down once more and started laughing again.

Ignoring him for the time being, Rosalie turned to Bella who was staring at Emmett with a small smile on her face. The Immortal Children didn’t seem the least bit interested in the story since they had heard it all before, and been there when it happened.

“So let me get this straight,” Carlisle spoke up. “This is all some big secret plan of Jane’s to get back at you for killing her mate?”

“It’s a little more complicated then that,” Ivy said.

“How so?” Carlisle turned to glance at the young girl who was probably older then him.

“It’s not just Jane wanted to kill Bella for what she did, it is also the Volturi wanting to get rid of us,” Jane said pointing at the three young vampires at her sides.

“Why would the Volturi want to get rid of you,” Alice asked in curiosity.

“We may have, or may not have, threatened them when the whole issue with Samuel began,” Alijah said with a tiny smile that made it obvious they weren’t in the least bit sorry.

“You threatened the VOLTURI,” Emmett erupted from his spot. He had just calmed down from the first bit of news and then the little pip-squeaks had to throw that in. A new bout of laughter escaped from him.

“This is like an after school special,” Emmett blurted out as his laughter got louder. “And next on ‘Vampires of Our Lives,’ Jane and the Volturi join forces to get back at the munchkin pack and their faithful friend Bella who has a few secrets of her own. Stay tuned for next weeks life altering episode.”

Rosalie let out a light chuckled at that one. Her husband was a fool. But she loved him anyway.

“Are you done?” Elizabeth snapped.

Emmett waved her off as he started to calm down again.

“So what you’re saying is, that it’s the Volturi and Jane that are coming after Bella and you all? It’s not really about us stopping Vespera from revealing our existence?”

Carlisle’s voice was not amused as the news hit him. The Volturi had been corrupt for years and were beginning to violate their power. He had put up with that group for all of his existence.

“This is perfect,” Vladimir said, speaking for the first time since his return.

“Your right about that,” Stefan said.

Both the Romanian’s eyes were glowing at the prospect of going after the Volturi and regaining at least some of their power.

“This is about to turn into a blood bath isn’t it?” Zafrina commented. “Not only do we have to worry about Vespera and those pesky dogs, but not we have the Volturi breathing down our necks.”

“That sounds about right,” Bella said.

“What was up with those vampire dogs anyway?” Edward asked.

A look was shared between the two Romanians before Vladimir spoke up.

“We have. They are what the Volturi used to eliminate our reign and destroy everyone in our coven except us.” Vladimir’s voice was dark and not amused.

“I should have known that those despicable Royals were involved in this the moment I saw those mutts again,” Stefan’s tone was equal in darkness to that of Vladimir.

“How is it possible?” Esme asked.

“I don’t know and I don’t want to know. All that you really need to know is to not let them bite you. They feed off our venom. They are the ultimate enemy to vampires. They can’t match us in strength but they haven’t lost their canine instinct. They hunt in packs and they will not stop until you tear them apart or they overpower you and get their fill.”

“What happens if they bite you?” Bella asked. Her eyes shifted over to Ivy quickly so as not to alert anyone present. Ivy’s eyes flickered in response, telling Bella to keep quiet. Bella had known Ivy had been bitten when she first saw her. Ivy was hiding it very well, but after being around her for so long, Bella could see the signs.

“The venom in their mouth is caustic to vampires, it’s similar to snake venom. Depending on how much they get in when they bite you, it will paralyze a vampire.”

Vladimir’s voice was simply pure anger as he responded to Bella’s question. His whole coven and all of their power had been taken away because of those vile dogs and the corrupt Volturi.

“Is there a simple way to stop them?” Bella asked. “Or is it just basically, fight with all you’ve got and hope you don’t lose?”

“Basically fight till you tear them apart,” Stefan said. “The most effective way is to find out who is leading them though. The only person they answer to is their creator or whoever the creator gives that power to. Once you eliminate the one in control of the dogs, they turn on themselves until only one is left standing.”

“Is there a way to stop the venom from paralyzing a vampire?” Bella asked.

Vladimir glanced at her in suspicion. “The only way that we have been able to figure out is if another vampire bites the wounded vampire in the spot where the dog released its venom. It’s simply a game of diluting at that point. It’s incredibly painful, but it’s the only way we have figured out.”

Bella nodded as she glanced out the window, acting nonchalant about her line of questioning. “That’s good to know?” she whispered.

“Bella,” Alice asked unexpectedly, glancing at the motionless vampire staring out into the morning sun. “When we were in the feeding room, Aro made a comment that I have been wondering about.”

Bella’s gold eyes shifted to glance at the small girl on the couch giving her a nod to continue.

“What did he mean about ‘your bag of tricks’?”

Bella stiffened. She appeared indecisive for a moment, her eyes shifting to glance at the Immortal Children then out to where her totaled rental car remained.

“Bella?” Edward asked, his hand reaching out to grip her elbow lightly.

“Give me a minute,” Bella said before vanishing out the front.

There was a large grating sound and a smash before Bella returned with a long, black duffel bag that clanked heavily when she set it onto the ground.

“What was that sound,” Edward asked curiously.

“I had to get into the trunk,” Bella responded like that was all the answer they needed.

“What’s in the bag,” Zafrina asked curiously.

Bella kneeled down next to the bag and glanced at everyone for a moment.

“First, forget everything you’ve been told about vampires and their ability to be injured by anything other than another vampire. Our skin is like granite and ice combined, but there is ways to force it to react and be damaged like a regular human.”

Fourteen different pairs of eyes glanced at her in complete confusion.

Bella reached out and grabbed the zipper before pulling it down and opening the large duffel bag. Inside was an assortment of weapons ranging from swords to staffs to daggers. She picked each one up delicately and set it on the ground in a row so everyone would be able to see.

“Here are some of my tricks,” Bella said as he eyes gazed lovingly at her weapons. “This is the bag that Aro was referring to.”

All present, besides the Immortal Children, stood up and walked towards the assortment of weapons lying on the ground.

“I don’t understand,” Stefan said. “They look like normal human weapons. How can that work on vampires, let alone dogs and newborns?”

“These aren’t normal,” Bella said mysteriously. “The life that we lead, you think anything we do is considered normal?”

The humor in her voice didn’t go unnoticed.

“I’m lost,” Emmett said. He was hoping beyond hope that what he thought she was saying was exactly what she was saying.

“These,” Bella paused to motion with her hands the assortment of laid out metal. “These are my collection of toys that can cut, slice, dice, stab, and penetrate a vampire’s skin and cause damage to a vampire’s general ‘death’ make-up by essentially speeding up time and causing their bodies, wherever cut, to become the equivalent of that of a normal humans.”

Ten pairs of mouths dropped open in shock.

“You are shitting me,” Vladimir said in awe.

“HELL YEAH!” Emmett shouted, pumping his fists into the air in his excitement.

“That’s not possible,” Carlisle said.

“It is when you have the powers that I do,” Bella replied calmly. She knew that they would have questions. She was ready for them.

“Powers…as in multiple,” Carlisle asked skeptically, raising his eyebrow at her.

“Yes, as in multiple,” Ivy said with a grin on her face.

Bella (Past)

It had been 100 years since Isabella had first been changed by Jane on that fateful day. The year was 1792 and Bella was having the best time of her life. After she learned to control her powers and her hunger to a tolerable level, Isabella had decided to go off and explore the world.

Ivy, Christian, Elizabeth, and Alijah were more than happy to let her go her own way. They were still incredibly close and protective of one another, but they could see the curiosity growing within Isabella. Her whole life had been spent with her mother in that small cottage and the small town that resided next to it. She had never seen the world or traveled across sees to discover intricacies and uniqueness of places like Europe, Italy, and France.

The most important thing in Isabella’s opinion was that she was able to camouflage herself. Alijah had taken to calling her a chameleon because she would always alter her appearance in little subtle ways to explore areas that interested her.

At the moment, she was standing in the busy market place of a city called Volterra, Italy. The only reason she had deviate from her initial travel throughout Italy was because Ivy had basically forbidden her to come to this particular city. This, in Isabella’s book, was basically a sign to go there immediately and see why.

She had made her skin slightly tanner and her eyes were a warm brown color. The most wonderful thing about her gift was that she could hide the ‘glow’ that all vampires experienced in the sun.

The vendors were in high form as they called to passer-by’s trying to sell their products. It mainly consisted of food products, like bread and produce from small farms. Women and children walked around in their intricate dresses and petticoats while the men walked around in proper suits with canes and certain articles to pronounce their level in wealth.

Bella had become an extreme people watcher. She found it fascinating, especially as the years passed, how little things changed and the interaction of groups to different ones. She didn’t have much else for entertainment so she made due with what she had.

Shaking her head softly at a plump man standing in front of his cart trying to get her to buy some bread, she glanced around and noticed that the sun was beginning to set and was casting a soft golden glow across the market that was dwindling down.

As wives returned home and children diligently went inside to play, Isabella was left on the cobble-stone street with the vendors who were packing up for the day and hitching their carts to horses to return home and start again in the morning.

I don’t get why they warned me not to come here,’ Isabella thought as she walked down the streets.

She was heading out of the center of Volterra when she noticed a large building that didn’t quite fit. It was much more unique and classic looking then the simple village structures that surrounded it. It had a quality of class to it that made it blend in, but at the same time, if you did happen to notice it, made you stop and stare in curiosity.

Realizing she had stopped and was staring in surprise at the building, Isabella shook herself out of her stupor and began to walk passed it when someone addressed her.

Hey! You there,” the voice called out into the suddenly abandoned street.

Isabella turned back toward the building to see a girl who appeared to be around her age waving her over. She was tall and slim, dressed in a classic dress that complemented her figure beautifully. What really caught Isabella’s attention though was her pale skin and dark eyes.

She’s a vampire,’ Isabella thought in surprise.

You want to come in and help me real quick, I am having some problems and could use a woman’s assistance,” the woman called out with a smile that made Isabella wonder if she was up to something.

She doesn’t know I’m a vampire either,’ Isabella thought in amusement. She sometimes forgot that she changed her appearance to help her to fit in.

Isabella walked toward her and nodded as the woman stepped aside to let Isabella pass her. As Isabella entered, she realized that this building was set up to appear like it was a museum. But there was a level of deceit that instantly set Isabella on defense.

I’m so sorry to pull you off the street like that,” the woman said. “My name is Chelsea by the way. By the look of it, you’ve never seen our museum before. There is a final tour going on right now. You can step in and help me afterwards if you are curious.”

Isabella raised an eyebrow before shrugging and saying she would be delighted. She didn’t offer the woman her name because she seemed like she didn’t care. Isabella could tell off the bat that she didn’t care one bit and that it was a routine.

The woman released a forced smile and led her toward a group that was being led by a tall pale man with long black hair and dark eyes, the same color as Chelsea.

Another vampire,’ Isabella thought in surprise as she took in the group of twelve humans that seemed to be hanging on to his every word. ‘Vampires are certainly alluring when they need to be. What are they up to?’

I’ll just leave you here with Demetri and I’ll come find you when it’s over. That kitchen has been giving me hell lately and you seem like you know what you would be doing! I’m more than willing to pay you for your time.”

With those final words, Chelsea turned and vanished, leaving her trailing in the back of the group and watching the Demetri character charm the group of tourists visiting the museum before they went home and went to bed.

And if you all will follow me just down this hallway, I’ll show you the special room that really speaks for itself,” Demetri’s smooth voice rang out and wrapped around all those present. Some of the women in the group, who were clutching their husband’s arms, let out signs and stared after him in admiration as he turned around and led them down a long hall to a pair of large oak double doors.

As Isabella passed through the doors, she suddenly got the feeling that something was going to happen she wouldn’t like.

Welcome to the exquisite greeting room of the Volturi,” a voice called out. The humor in the voice was odd, it sounded forced.

As the group murmured to one another and glanced around in awe, Isabella took noticed of the large group of vampires in the front of the room. More specifically, the small white haired girl to the left of the man who had spoken when they had entered.

Shit! That’s Jane,’ Isabella thought as she turned around and attempted to duck back out but Demetri has closed the doors silently behind her and was ginning at her with a glint in his eye that Isabella was all too familiar with. ‘This is not what I think it is, I hope.’

Have you all enjoyed your tour of our wonderful little museum? My name is Aro and these are my two brothers Caius and Marcus. We are the proud owners of this little establishment,” the pale man in the front spoke.

A murmur of acknowledgment erupted from the group and Isabella could only watch sadly, as some of the women began to notice something wasn’t right and clutch tightly to their husbands arm as they glanced around nervously.

Unfortunately,” Aro spoke up, his two brothers on either side of him standing up along side him now. “This will be the last experience of your lives.”

Before Isabella could blink, screams erupted as the vampires in the room pounced and attacked the group of people in the center of the room. The growls and hisses of vampires feeding echoed off the walls and Isabella only had a moment to react. Demetri had snagged her from behind and was inches from biting into her throat.

‘I don’t think so,’ Isabella thought.

Letting out a hiss of her own and reaching up to grab Demetri’s head as it leaned toward her neck, she gave a sharp yank and tugged his body up and over her own to slam him into the hard concrete ground in front of her.

After her first meeting with Jane, the Immortal Children had taken it upon themselves to teach her to fight. She was no push over and it normally took two of the Immortal Children to beat her in a spar.

Demetri was quick to react with a hiss and growl of his own before he leapt up and lunged at her, his hand moving for her throat to slam her into the back of the wall, but Bella managed to twist to the side and brought her right leg up to slam it into his side and send him catapulting to the side of the room. A large smash was heard as he cracked the solid rock wall and suddenly everything was silent in the room besides Demetri’s cry of outrage.

Isabella swept her eyes across the room to see Aro and his brothers glancing at her in curiosity. The remainder of vampires that had finished their feeding were also looking at her. Chelsea was within the group and had just let a mans body drop to the floor in front of her, her head tilted to the side in surprise.

Jane was glaring at her and seemed to be trying to figure something out.

“You bitch,” Demetri roared from him spot by the wall.

Isabella figured it was pretty much a lost cause and dropped her disguise. Her skin became a pale white that was, in her opinion, the curse of being a vampire. Deciding in this situation the best bet would be to appear normal, instead of her normal golden hued eyes, her eyes changed from their soft brown to a vibrant red.

As Demetri charged at her in anger, Isabella crouched low to the ground and faced him as he came barreling toward her. It’s funny how she didn’t noticed before how big he was.

Isabella was momentarily distracted by the scream of utter rage that erupted from Jane when she recognized her. Isabella’s eyes shot toward the girl charging at her like a bullet with the intent to kill her once and for all. The second she looked away, Demetri had managed to get her and pulled his knee back only to slam it into her torso and send her flying back and into the wall. The cracking sound of rock hitting rock erupted across the silent room as Isabella managed to catch herself and brace herself against the wall at the last minute to land on her feet.

“Everybody FREEZE,” Aro’s voice erupted. All traces of amusement were gone and his eyes were narrowed as he took in the sight before him. He was shocked when Jane, who never physically went after anyone because she didn’t need to, went charging after the strange girl that had managed to sneak in and trick them into believing she was human.

Jane howled in anger, but nonetheless obeyed Aro. Her red eyes were trained solely on the crouched girl who was flicking her gaze between Jane, Aro, and Demetri.

“What on earth is going on,” Aro asked when he saw them all stop. “Chelsea.”

The bark shocked the woman who had led Isabella into the room.

“Yes Aro,” Chelsea asked, her voice admiringly strong for her situation.

“Who is this girl.”

“I…I don’t know. She looked and smelled human when I pulled her in from outside,” Chelsea stuttered trying to come up with an answer.

“It’s the little witch that took my Samuel from me,” Jane hissed. “You must have a death wish for you to show up here of all places.”

Isabella slipped out of her crouch to glance at Jane. Not having any response in mind, she merely shrugged. “My bad?”

“Argggh,” Jane scowled as her eyes shot to glare at a slowly becoming amused Aro.

“Now isn’t this interesting,” Marcus commented. “What is your name, girl?”

Isabella was cautious to give out her name but seeing that she was cornered, and couldn’t really think of a way to outrun and escape a large group of vampires in their own city, she decided to just go along with things for now.

“Isabella.”

“You’re the girl with the Immortal Children, aren’t you?”

This time it was a mellow Caius that asked. His stance was a cross between boredom and anger.

“Yes.”

“Fascinating! Jane’s power doesn’t work on you does it?” an excited Aro gleefully realized. “This is absolutely astounding! I have never met a vampire immune to her little gift before you. Come here Isabella. Let’s see if I can read your mind.”

Isabella stepped back, confusing swirling in her eyes.

“Um…no?”

“It will be alright! I don’t mean you any harm, I am just simple curious!”

“I would rather not.” Isabella was on the verge of bolting. ‘This is the last time I don’t listen to them. Absolute last time.’

She was in deep shit and she knew it.

Aro seemed miffed that she denied him, but moved on all the same.

“What brings you here then,” he asked.

“Traveling,” Isabella said quickly.

“Aro, you know the law! I have every right to kill her! She took my mate,” Jane hissed before disobeying Aro’s command and shooting toward Isabella.

Expecting it, Isabella managed to block Jane’s slam and duck to the other side of the room away from the vengeful vampire.

“Jane! I told you to stop!”

Aro’s voice was like a whip snapping. Jane tensed and turned around slowly to glance at him in anger before standing still and glaring at Isabella.

“She’s right you know,” Aro called out to a cautious Isabella. “By law, she has every right to kill you. And I find it astounding that you walked right into, shall we say, the vampires den.”

“You like to make dry humor remarks don’t you?” Isabella asked.

Aro blinked and stared at her for a minute before a grin spread across his face. “Why yes, yes I do!”

“Aro, is there something you have in mind for this girl? I need to make up for that kick,” a disgruntled Demetri asked.

“Relax. This is interesting. I want to know what makes this girl so special that the Immortal Children would come here of all places and threaten us if we go after her,” a smiling Aro said.

“Good point,” Caius said, his hard eyes turning to glare at Isabella.

“Well,” Aro hinted at as he stared at Isabella.

“Well what,” Isabella asked defensively.

“What makes you so interesting,” he reiterated.

“I don’t know. How about you just let me leave and we can call it even,” Isabella attempted to compromise.

“Let you leave,” Jane shrieked in a violent hiss. “Over my dead body!”

“Your already dead. So that takes care of that. And I’m fairly certain I can go ‘over it’ if I throw it to the ground,” Isabella threw back at the vibrating Jane. “I’m not the same person you fought before. I’ve learned a few tricks since our last meeting.”

Jane seemed stunned for a moment as Isabella’s words hit her. “Did you just…”

A laugh erupted out of Aro as Isabella effectively silenced Jane.

“My dear, I think I am going to like you,” he chuckled out.

“That’s fantastic,” Isabella said. “Can I leave then?”

“I tell you what,” a contemplating Aro said. “If you let me try to read your mind, I will let you walk out of here unscathed.”

Isabella tilted her head. ‘It can’t be that easy. What is he up to?’

“Is that all? I let you try to read my mind and you’ll let me just walk out of here?” Isabella asked in a confused and defensive tone.

“Yes dear! It’s as simple as that. What do you say?”

Isabella glanced around the room, taking in each individual vampire one at a time, weighing her odds. Finally coming back to rest on Aro, who she knew wasn’t going to let it go as easy as he made it seem but not having much else of a choice, she nodded her head in consent.

“Splendid,” he said before he was suddenly in front of her and holding his hand up in front of her like he wanted a high-five.

“Um…am I supposed to do something,” Isabella asked in confusing while staring at his hand.

“Just place your hand against mine, that’s all,” a smiling Aro said.

Lifting her hand cautiously, Isabella placed her palm against his and waited.

Nothing happened.

Isabella could swear that Aro’s smile was getting bigger as the seconds passed. Finally, after a full minute, Aro dropped his hand and grinned at her.

“Fascinating,” he said. He vanished for a moment and reappeared in the front by his brothers once more. “Completely silent. You’re a mind mute. It’s astounding.”

Isabella let out a breath. ‘That was a close one.’

“You couldn’t see anything,” Marcus asked in confusion.

“Not an image or a color, completely blank.”

“That is interesting,” Caius commented as his red eyes focused on the miniscule slip of a girl across the room.

“Can I leave now?” Isabella asked.

“Yes, yes! Go right ahead! It was nice to meet you my dear! I hope we cross paths more in the future,” Aro said, his eyes looking off into space as he seemed to be contemplating something.

Isabella didn’t need to be told twice and bolted from the room and out onto the streets.

Jane’s cry of rage and anger following her all the way out of Volterra.


Back at the Cullen House

“So what you are saying, is that a vampire’s power won’t work on you, you’re a shield basically,” Zafrina started, trying to clear up all that Bella had unloaded on them.

“Pretty much. I haven’t met any vampire to date that has been able to affect me in any way,” Bella nodded.

“Is what she’s saying true,” Carlisle asked. He glanced at Zafrina, Jasper, Edward, and group of Immortal Children.

He got nods of confirmation all around.

“Amazing,” Carlisle breathed.

“On top of this, you are able to alter your appearance,” Stefan asked skeptically.

Instead of vocalizing her response, Isabella darkened her skin tone, changed her eyes to a vibrant green and made her hair a light blonde shade. She held it for a moment before she reversed it and returned to her normal image of brown hair, pale skin, and gold eyes.

“And not only that, but you have more powers,” Edward asked.

“Yes. I can also absorb the powers of those vampires that I can physically touch and am able to unlock a vampire’s subdued power or expand on an already existing power. To an extent of course. But it takes time to do either because its tricky.”

All the vampires present seemed to be absorbing what she said, most not exactly believing it but not seeing any reason not to.

When no one had anything else to say, all their thoughts focused on the strange woman who had come into their lives, Esme calmly broke in and suggested they take a break from serious talk and get things cleaned up and give them some time to go hunting before they went after Vespera again.

Everyone agreed with her suggestion.

“Feel free to test out the toys,” Bella said with a smile, noticing how Emmett, Vladimir, Stefan, and Zafrina’s eyes shifted with hunger toward the assortment of destructive weapons lying on the floor. It was like a candy store for a kid. Something that seemed at once out of reach was suddenly within there reach and held a large amount of promise.

Bella glanced at Edward and smiled while shifting her head off the the side slightly. A clear sign for him to follow. With a discrete nod, Edward followed Bella as she ducked out of the house toward the front yard of the house.

Edward/Bella

Bella stopped in front of her totaled car before turning to glance at Edward.

“You wouldn’t happen to have a car at the ready would you,” she asked.

Edward grinned at her.

“Right this way my lady,” he voiced playfully while gesturing with his hands.

Bella laughed and followed after him as he walked up to a simple silver Volvo.

“Really?” Bella asked in surprise. “From what I saw of your family’s cars I wasn’t expecting yours to be so, normal.”

Edward let out a chuckle and winked at her before opening the passenger door for her to slide in. Seconds later, he was in the driver’s seat with the car turned on.

“Where to,” he asked pleasantly.

“I’m not sure. I just couldn’t stand being locked up in there any longer explaining my life story. Is there anywhere around here that you like to hang out at?”

Edward didn’t even have to think about it before he took a sharp turn out of the drive onto the main road.

“I have an idea,” he said.

Bella smiled at him and glanced out the window, taking in the flashing scenery. Even though he was going at least 100 miles per hour, her sight allowed her to see and notice everything that passed by as if they were walking. She didn’t doubt that it was the same for him.

Feeling bold, Bella reached out and grabbed his hand, linking her fingers with his. To Edwards’s credit, there was no reaction other then a twitch of his lips and a tightening of the hold on her hand.

They remained quiet, simply holding one another’s hand as Edward took them to some unknown destination.

Bella couldn’t put her finger on it but something about him just made her feel whole. She was beginning to get the feeling that she had found her one. The one person out there that could make her complete and if that was the case she suddenly understood why Jane was so angry. Even though they had only known one another for a few days out of their entire existence, Bella knew she would die if Edward were to be killed.

Edward came to a stop a few minutes later and turned the car off to only appear at her side and open the door for her to get out. He motioned with his hand and suddenly he took off running into the woods.

Bella followed behind him in complete trust.

She was slightly shocked at how fast he was. She considered herself to be fast by vampire standards and he was grinning as he left her in the dust. He kept himself just within her sight but other than that, he seemed to be enjoying the moment as he ran through the crisp, fresh air of the morning woods toward their destination.

Bella saw Edward stop ahead, and she closed the distance to stop next to him, and glance around.

It was beautiful.

They were in some meadow that seemed like it was a secret garden or Eden. The grass was the greenest she had seen it since she was human and before humans began to overpopulate the world. There were scattered flowers of bright reds, pinks, yellows, and blues that created an image of peace as Bella took in the tall grass that bent to the light breeze that was traveling through the trees.

“Edward, this place is beautiful,” Bella managed to get out as her eyes swept appreciatively throughout the meadow.

“I like to come here sometimes by myself to just think,” Edward said, his eyes swinging to glance into her own.

Gold met gold.

“I can see why,” Bella said softly. “It’s so peaceful here I almost don’t want to disturb it.”

Bella grinned and grabbed Edward’s hand to lead him to the middle of the meadow before sitting down and lying back, to look up at the sky. Edward followed her example and laid down next to her, there arms brushing one another.

They remained like that for a while, both thinking and reveling in the others touch.

“Bella,” Edward’s voice held a questioning quality to it. “Why are you so tense whenever we are together? It’s almost like your scared of something.”

Bella froze at Edward’s question.

“I mean, you admitted that you feel what I do. I knew from the moment I saw you that I would fall in love with you and it didn’t even take me five minutes into your company to realize that you’re the one.”

“Edward,” Bella said, her tone regretful.

“What’s holding you back,” he asked as he flipped over and looked at her. “It’s not like we have anything to loose. You feel it too, right?”

Bella peered over at him. “I do. I mean, I feel it too. That connection that everyone talks about. I don’t doubt it for a second that I love you.”

Bella laughed softly as her confession escaped her. Edward’s eyes had lit up.

“It’s just that, I don’t deserve it.”

Edward’s smile and eyes dimmed as he comprehended her words.

“Your thinking about Samuel aren’t you?”

“Yes. Now that I know what it is. That connection. I can’t imagine if I ever were to loose you now,” Bella paused to cup his cheek softly. “Just the thought of what Jane must be going through. I don’t deserve this.”

“Bella,” Edward whispered as he leaned down and placed a soft kiss on her lips, her hand never leaving his cheek.

Bella responded immediately, leaning further into the kiss and twisting so she was lying against Edward.

“Bella,” Edward murmured. “You deserve it. Everyone deserves it. What happened is terrible. But you said it yourself: you were a newborn and you don’t remember what happened. You can’t blame yourself for something you had no control over.”

“I know,” Bella said pulling back and looking at him. “It’s just. I never could imagine before what Jane must be going through. But since I met you that is all I can think about. I’m starting to think I deserve to die.”

“No!”

Edward’s exclamation was forceful and filled with emotion. His hands reached out and grasped her arms, pulling her upper body to lie across his chest as he rested his back fully against the ground. His hold was tight but comfortable and Bella sunk into it, wrapping her arms around him like she never wanted to let go.

“Don’t you ever say that. I won’t loose you now,” Edward hissed vehemently.

Bella smiled as she tilted her head up and kissed him.

After a moment, she pulled back and placed her head under his chin, just resting against him.

“Don’t worry Edward. Now that I know what this is, I don’t think I’ll ever be able to let go now. Now willingly at least.”

Edward seemed to relax at her confession and they just continued to lie there in one another’s arms, until a sudden beeping noise interrupted the tranquil environment that had been cast around them.

Edward groaned before he reached down and pulled his cell phone out of his pant pocket. The little silver phones screen was flashing and vibrating angrily in his hand. He glanced at the caller I.D. and groaned.

Flipping the phone open he held it up to his ear as Bella glanced at him curiously.

“What can I do for you Alice,” Edward asked. He was slightly annoyed at the interruption.

“Edward! Get back to the house as soon as you can. Make sure you bring Bella with you! I figured out what that wall I’ve been seeing is,” Alice’s voice was soft, but there was an urgency to it that Edward had never heard before.

Bella seemed to have heard and was standing now, holding out a hand to help him up. Edward grabbed it and stood up, the phone remaining against his ear even as they started to race back to the car.

“What wall?” Edward asked.

“There is no time! I know what Vespera is planning to do now! She’s going to try to corner us and she’s stacking the cards high this time,” Alice continued on, her voice sounding far away.

“What is she going to do Alice, just tell me,” Edward asked.

They had reached the car and Bella was in and buckled before Edward even had the key in the ignition.

“She’s going to attack Forks High School.”