Live This Life
Sequel to I Need You to Love Me. It is strongly recommended that you read that first or else you won't know half the characters. She doesn't own a dress, and her hair is always a mess. If you catch her stealing, she won't confess. She's beautiful. Here she is again on the phone. Just like me, she hates to be alone. We just like to sit at home. Well she wants to live her life, then she thinks about her "life". Pulls her hair back as she screams, "I don't really wanna be the queen, I--I don't really wanna live this life.
Well she wants to be the queen, and she thinks about her scene. Wells she wants to live her life, and she thinks about her life. Pulls her hair back as she screams, "I don't really want to be the queen. I don't really want to live this life." As always, it belongs to SM, except for the summary. those are the lyrics to change your mind by all-american rejects.
6. Chapter 6--Pressing On
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Chapter Six--Pressing On
He was on a plane to Charleston. After that, he would run straight to Myth. Alec sat in first class, agitatedly tapping his fingers against the armrest. He was anxious to land. Thought it was indubitably faster to fly, he was extremely impatient and to quote Gia, “freaking out”. Never had a plane taken so long to land. His ears listened acute for any sign of the engine slowing down or turbulence alerting their course even the slightest. Really, what slowed the metal bird’s progress was the wind resistance.
The masters had sent him alone. They did not want to brief any more vampires than necessary. Panic would spread which would lead indubitably to desertion. Chelsea was manipulating people’s loyalties rapidly--Master Aro had been insisted that she be told so that she could prevent any misgivings that might arise. Alec was the perfect candidate to go retrieve Gia. After all, he was her mate, and it would seem to all that he simply was bringing her back to her mistress to be punished for her insolence. The fact that she had to be punished enraged Mistress Emaelia to the point where Master Marcus had to remove her from the room so she would not cause any more untoward damage.
Alec personally agreed with the mistress. He found himself liking her more and more each passing day. Before he had left, she had approached him, and gave him her cellphone number, something she kept exclusive.
“You call me if you need anything--anything at all, you hear me?” she pleaded more than ordered. “I’ve already called. You will have a friend waiting for you in Charleston. Together, you will retrieve Gia and bring her back. On my orders,” Emaelia clarified, looking Alec directly in the eye. “Make sure she knows that it was I that ordered her return.”
“Of course, Mistress,” Alec said with a bow.
“You have the same arrangements as Gia,” Emaelia continued. “Two first class seats. She needed to sleep. I am sorry, but you are not afforded the same luxury.”
Alec offered her a quaint smile on to have it drop off of his face. The mistress was completely serious.s
Forty-five minutes before he reached Charleston. He was going to go mad.
It had been two days since Callum’s announcement and a different kind of paranoia had set in. Gia now feared that somehow, they would discover her connection to the Volturi and then use her to the disadvantage of her coven. Urging her soul to remain strong, she put on a smiling face and tried to befriend Georgiana. The girl was lonesome for female company, so she readily attached herself to Gia’s hip. Gia pumped her for all the information she could. Unfortunately for her, Ezekiel seemed to be suspicious of Gia. After her first thirty-six hours in Georgiana’s continuous presence, he began to hang around, just listening as Gia described her life before.
“I lived with my parents at at military base in Italy. A little over a year ago, I went on a date with this guy named Scipio, and before it was finished, he--well, you know,” she mumbled face down cast and bright red. Tears welled up in her eyes. Even though event was a lifetime ago, it still hurt to think about. Blinking them away, she continued, “He was tried, and he got off because we were on a date on Italian soil. It was not American jurisdiction, especially since the bastard was half-Italian. So, I came here, to live with my aunt and uncle in Manteo.”
“How did you end up in the Appalachians?” Ezekiel interrupted. Georgiana glared at him for his insensitivity.
Gia bit her lip. “Camping trip. I got lost,”
Ezekiel scoffed. “I’m not stupid. I wasn’t born yesterday.”
“Could’ve fooled me,” Gia muttered. She bristled and waited for the reprimand. It never came. He was a human, just like her, she remembered. His hearing was as abhorrable as her own. All of their hearing was. That meant that their movements were slow and sluggish as well. If she could grasp at her power long enough for her to get away, she might have a fighting chance. If she went north a state or two and then called the number Mistress had given her, she was home free. Gia grinned. She could not help it. This was even easier than slipping away from Alec!
“Why are you smiling?” Ezekiel shot out.
Gia smiled at him brightly. “I was just thinking,”
“About?” the nosy kid prodded.
“How nice it would be to shove impale your ass on a stick,” she retorted, rising to her feet. Angrily, she strode out of the sitting room.
Georgiana glared at him. “Nice,” she hissed.
Ezekiel blanched. “What?”
“If you like her, you don’t have to be mean about it.”
“I don’t like her! Well, not like that!” Ezekiel protested.
“Uh-huh, right. Just like you did not like Kat and then went ballistic whenever she started dating Fred. Then, when they got engaged, you tried to kill him. You don’t like Gia just like you didn’t like Kat!” Georgiana yelled.
Ezekiel pursed his lips. “What’s your point, G?”
“All I am saying,” said Georgiana with a sigh, “Is that if you want Gia to like you, then you better act like a nice guy, a gentleman, instead of this pompous git that likes to throw people’s trauma in their face!”
“Don’t tell me you believe her story about Scipio!” Ezekiel protested. “That was the biggest load of crap that I have ever heard!”
“That isn’t the type of thing someone would like about, Zeke!” Georgiana retorted vigorously, “Did you see the way she reacted to even thinking about it? No! Of course not. Zeke, if you looked at her eyes, you would have known that she wasn’t making it up. That story was all true,” she ended her tirade in a whisper. “Now, get your butt up their and apologize to her. If you think she is that cute, get up there now.”
With a nod, Ezekiel took off. She was sitting on her bed, staring into nothing. He sighed, instantly sorry over his poor choice of words. “Knock knock,” he said as he opened her door.
“Go away,” Gia said in a deadpanned tone.
He flinched. “Can we talk for a second?”
“You have taken up more than one second of my time already. Leave.” she ordered.
“Just talk to me. Please. I want to apologize,” he added softly, as if it were a revelation between two lovers. When Fred spoke like that to Kat, he had her swooning.
Gia seemed to be unaffected. “I wasn’t asking.”
“Look at me!” Ezekiel thundered.
She chose to make an inappropriate hand gesture.
He scoffed. “You are so mature, you know that.”
“Sarcasm will get you nowhere,” she retorted.
“At least it has you talking,” he gloated.
“Yeah, you’re right. It’s working great. You get to hear my sweet sweet voice while I sit here and insult every single thing about you. It’s a win win situation! Maybe I should let you talk more. I do enjoy insulting you.”
That shut him up. Gia smirked. “I know what you are up to,” she confided in a whisper.
Ezekiel blinked. “What?” He added with intense heat. “What am I doing? What am I up to?”
Gia said nothing. Instead, she stood up and sauntered over to him. Her hips fell into their natural swinging gait as she looked up at him through her coal black lashes. When she stood less than a pace away from him, she reached out. Snaking two fingers under his shirt collar, she pulled him close. Their lips were just a hair’s breadth apart. “I know your game,” she said in a husky voice. Her warm breath hit his lips, sending shivers up and down his body. “You want me,” she continued.
Somehow, his body mechanically moved. He nodded his head like a bobble head in slow motion.
“You think I’m hot,” she pressed forward, careful to keep them separated oh so slightly.
Again, he nodded. She smiled coyly at him.
“Good. Now,” she shoved him with all of her might, flinging him against the door. The knob jabbed his back hard, making him go numb momentarily. “Get the hell out of my room,” she snarled. With a staunchly proud glare, Ezekiel obeyed.
As soon as she heard the door slam shut, she sat back down on her bed and buried her face in her pillow. She breathed in deeply, tears welling up in her eyes. It should have been impossible for someone to love Alec as much as she did. If it physically hurt her this much to be away from him for two weeks, it was beyond odds for her to survive a lifetime without him. Often, in the dead of night, he held her close and tenderly whispered that she was his reason for living. She would sigh and nestle further into him, not seeing the reason for her to repeat that simple truth until now.
She loved Alec because he was her strength. When she was scared of the dark, and when she had her nightmares, he held her tightly against him and made it all go away. He was insistent. He always kept her looking forward, and not back at the past with her family. He was intimate, not necessarily in the normal sense. He preferred quiet moments shared between the two of them. Alec was simple-minded; he kept her grounded and focused, and they did not waist their time on useless things. He was a person of extremes: he loved fiercely, hated fiercely and he was passionate about life. He was a softy: his touch against her skin was always feather light as they lay together in the moonlight, his words were cooing and seductive when he told her that he loved her, his mannerisms were soft whenever he dealt with Jane, making sure that the lost vampire knew full well that he loved her, and his actions among the rest of the guard was firm but not repressive--no one felt smothered now.
She breathed in deeply. The pillow did not smell like Alec, but rather like fabric softener. Everything in this room was foreign to her, and she did not like it, but it was only worsened by the fact that there was nothing to connect her to her lover. If he was there, she knew that she could handle anything that the tospy-turvy world threw at her. He wasn’t, so Gia felt lost and depressed.
Alec stood at claims, looking for his luggage. He was not sure how long he would be in the Americas, so his mistress had made him pack for every occasion. That amused him because Gia most certainly had not, and as soon as he found her, he was not going to ever leave her side again. He grabbed his large rolling rectangular luggage and with effortless grace, pulled it off the conveyor belt. He pulled his jacket around him tighter. He looked utterly ridiculous.
It was a humid ninety-five degrees outside as he strode into the lobby. A familiar sweet scent lingered in the air: vampires. It was faint, so, though his eyes were narrowed and a scowl littered on his face, he knew that one of his kind had not been in the vicinity for the past little while. He could not smell Gia, but, rationally, it had been almost three weeks since she had come through. In a place so littered with human activity, that was plenty of time for her smell to be absorbed.
“Alec!” a sweetly tart voice called.
He halted. Turning, his eyes widened in surprise. A short girl--well, shorter than most girls, but still taller than him--ran up to him, and threw her arms around him. Thanks to Gia, he almost returned the hug; the only thing that stopped him was his fifteen thousand plus years spent as a heartless guard to the Volterra vampires.
The thing that clung to him was beautiful, that hew as sure of. Her short hair was spastically bobbed, and he smelled the dye on her hair. She wore a bright blue sweater and a short khaki miniskirt. Pulling back, she looked up at him with a large smile on her heart shaped face. “It’s been too long,”
Alec blinked. No. “Carlie?” He asked in shock.
Carlie laughed as she furiously bobbed her head. “I am surprised that you remember. I have grown up since you saw me ten years ago.”
“I’ll say. What are you doing here?” he asked. Carlie Cullen studied him taciturnly for a moment. His expression was pleasant but his voice was solemn.
“My mom called me,” she said. “When she said it was Gia, I had to help.”
“Thanks,” Alec said through thin lips, though Carlie knew that he was truly grateful. “I really appreciate it.”
“It’s no problem,” Carlie said as she grabbed his hand. “C’mon, we better get started. My car is just outside,”
“You can drive? Aren’t you too young?” Alec asked, pulling his hand back away from her. He did not like to be touched in such an intimate ways.
“Nah,” Carlie shook her head, “I’m seventeen, legal in all fifty states and Puerto Rico. Haven’t been to Europe yet, though.”
“That surprises me,” Alec confided as they slid into a shiny red convertible. He was skeptical of it’s ostentatiousness, but held his tongue. He was unaware of current styles.
Carlie turned the keys in the ignition as the top slid down. It was cloudy so it was all right for the moment. “I got the call from my mom three days ago, telling me what Aunt Emma said. I can’t say that I am totally surprised by it, because, I mean, it does make sense and all, but I never would have thought it ever could have happened. Especially to Gia of all people. I figured that venom was too powerful of stuff to be reversed in any way.”
Alec shrugged his shoulders as they sped out of the city. “I thought the same thing. Apparently, we were both wrong.”
“Well, what are we going to do about it? I mean,” Alec did not roll his eyes in exasperation as he wished at Carlie’s loquaciousness. “If there is an uprising, surely you don’t think that Gia would be a part of it?”
“Never!” Alec momentarily lost his cool as he let out a ferocious snarl that had the half vampire jump back in fright. Though she had grown up around vampires, they were weak vegetarians and none were as powerful nor had they killed in cold blood the way Alec had. The vampire spawn had never experienced a force like him before. He could guarantee that if he had to fight a war, she would see a whole new side of the race that few could so tenaciously possess.
“I didn’t mean to offend you, Alec.” Carlie tried to placate him, her voice two octaves higher from fear. “I just want to be ready for any possibility, no matter how unpleasant it may be.”
“You know Gia,” he retorted. “She loves you as though you were her sister. You should know that she would never betray us, especially not to our doom,”
Carlie sighed. “I know, I know. But you never know,” she said. “People change,”
Though curious, he refused to pry. He did not want to attach himself to the girl, despite his mate’s obvious adoration of her. In his mind, she was an illegitimate creature, one of sin and desecration, unfit to scar the earth with her presence. He tolerated her only for Gia, and no one else, not even Mistress Emaelia. “We need to find her now.”
Carlie nodded. “Agreed. I have been scouring the mountains for the last thirty-six hours looking for Myth. I think that I found it,”
“Think?” Alec inquired for verification.
“Yeah,” she faintly blushed as she confessed, “Since it is a city of myths, they have a guard and a gate to get in. Let’s be honest. I don’t exactly look like I come from a fairy tale or a nightmare.”
“Nightmare?” Alec almost smirked at her word choice.
Carlie bobbed her head. Though he hid it extremely well, she intuitively knew that beneath his dry, bored tone, he had found that remark amusing. She grinned. “Yes. According to my parents, werewolves roam the world. I have yet to meet one, but I think that I hope to some day.”
“That surprises me,” he commented.
“What?” she shot back defensively. “That I might want outside the protective glass bubble that my parents try so hard to keep me in? I can’t believe that you are so closed minded yet you are Gia’s husband!”
“I am not her husband,” Alec clarified, “I am her mate. Secondly, no, I do not think that you should live in a cage despite your awkward nature--” here Carlie scoffed, but did not interrupt him, “--I just find it contradictory that you have never met a werewolf. Your parents were friends with a gaggle who claimed to be,”
Carlie was so surprised that she momentarily lost control of her zippy little car. “No!” she cried aghast. She looked at him with wide, confused but happy eyes. “Really?”
He nodded his head.
Her joy was quickly replaced with anger. “Why didn’t they tell me?”
Alec shrugged. “I know naught. Your mother was a very open minded human. I thought that it had transfered to this life,”
“You knew my mother as a human?”
“Not intimately,” Alec said, “I knew more of her, I suppose. Though it should be very obvious to you that she was an open-minded individual. She chose to willingly become your father’s mate, bear your and then turn to this lifestyle. Most humans would have shied away from it.”
“My mother is married to my father. She is not just his mate,” Carlie said somewhat hotly.
Alec shrugged. “It is the same thing,”
“No,” Carlie looked at him seriously. “They are similar, but not interchangeable.”
He did not question her semantics. Seven minutes passed in silence before she pulled over. Alec did not question her. She was the one with the experience in the area. Carlie paused. “The sun’s coming out,” she commented.
“I doubt that the secret shall be revealed now,” was his answer.
She tilted her head, reminding Alec of the psychic. “Myth is just over the hill.”
“Do you wish to walk?” he inquired out of politeness.
She shrugged. “I thought that since you were the one with the military experience, you would take the lead.”
“Military experience?” he repeated, confused by her words and their lack of meaning.
She winked at him. “I count working as a Volterra guard being in the military. We both know that it is the highest type of vampiric occupation, and is just as hard, if not harder to serve there. You are an elite member of the vampire military.”
He did not smile. Carlie almost sighed in defeat. She figured that if any compliment could draw any emotion out of him, it would have been that. When she spoke with Gia on the phone, Gia always seemed to praise her husb--no, her mate’s abilities and his pride at serving their master’s. She looked at the man in a boy’s body as he sat in the passenger’s seat, looking at her intently and tersely, almost as if he were daring her to continue. If she had not feared for her life, she might have.
“Anyway,” she brushed him off as well as the incident. It might as well as have never occurred. “I thought that you should decide how we proceed.” Carlie tried again with her smile, as bright as ever, still intact. “After all, Gia is your mate,”
Alec nodded. “She is. I suppose that it would be the least suspicious if we-”
“Drove up to the gates in the car? That’s what I thought to,” Carlie interjected. “That way, we look more official,”
Alec looked at the lunatic girl. That was not what he was going to say in the least. Yet since she was accompanying him of her own volition, Alec supposed as he remembered Gia’s teachings, he supposed that he was supposed to give her an opinion in their actions. That did not necessarily mean that they were going to go through with them, however. Before he could voice any objection, she had pushed down on the gas pedal. The tires pealed loudly, hurting his ears, and they sped up the mountain. Myth lay just beyond that.
“I think that it is time that you begin to learn how to control your power,” Callum had told Gia the previous night. Originally, that had seemed like a good idea to her. That way, she could control it and use it to her advantage, not theirs. That way, she could save Alec. When they had woken her up at six o’clock in the morning with the intent of carrying the idea to fruition, Gia realized that it was a very very bad idea.
It was three in the afternoon and they had been going nonstop, breaking only for a quick lunch. Apparently, to be a hunter one had to be in perfect physical condition. Though she was not necessarily out of shape, Gia was fully aware that she was not the top physical specimen. Until the last several hours, she had no need to be. She and Georgiana had started off with a gentle run. Gentle did not aptly describe the depth of the pain and pace that had gone through the entire three mile run. It had been eleven years almost since she had last run as a human. The exertion was not a welcomed feeling.
After that, she had done core exercises and lifted weights--not to bulk up, but for her to get lean, strong muscles with an astonishing endurance. She used the five pound weights with a smile as Georgiana used the ten. G warned her to not go above the ten pounds because that would lead to ungainly muscles, which were unpractical and unattractive. After the extensive core that Gia’s abdominals somehow remembered the many different movements. Still, it hurt. Muscle memory was not the same as muscle strength.
Then, they moved on to working on her control. That was the really hard part. Completely mental, her exhausted, perspiring body did not help her concentration, something that the four other hunters in Myth counted on. She really had to focus and apply herself if she was to succeed. In a way, it was as if she were using her mind to push her humanity far out, but not away. That was what she found to be the most problematic. She could not effectively place her full humanity on other being and revert to her vampiric state, which as of yet, she still had not been able to return to, no matter how brief of a reprieve she wished. So, without being able to throw off her humanity completely, but control it to where both she and her opponent was human proved to be almost entirely possible. Georgiana was impressed with her ability albeit weak, to thrust her humanity onto others. She wondered aloud about Gia’s so called natural talent, and Gia did not inform her of her countless days spent (sixty-seven) with various members of the Volturi (Caius) trying to make sure that she had every nuance of her talent completely under control.
What proved to be impossible for Gia was for her hair to pull her humanity back to her and her alone. As a vampire, she did so naturally, and had no need to control it--it never occurred to her that she might be able to. Though she tried, she could never do it.
At three-thirty, Gia was spent. Her eyes would unfocus as she stared at the stone wall, trying once again to pull her humanity back. Georgiana saw her exhaustion and took pity on her. “I think that we’ve done enough for today.” Stretching, she added with a yawn, “Boy, I’m beat.”
Gia could only yawn.
G smiled. “You wanna go get something to eat?’
Gia shook her sweaty head. “I think that I’m gonna shower and then nap until tomorrow morning. Thanks anyway, G,”
G just laughed. “Perhaps that is best. Callum will have one of us fetch you for dinner. He is big on the whole family community time thing.”
As she walked out the door, Gia mumbled almost incoherently. “You’re not my family.”
She showered with her eyes closed. It was struggle to even stand erect as she bathed. She knew that she had to, otherwise she would stink and would not have been able to sleep. Popping her toes to keep herself awake, she went as quickly yet thoroughly as possible. Pulling on a tee-shirt and her favorite plaid boxer shorts, she collapsed on her bed. Gia fell asleep to the hallucination of Alec scooping her up in his arms and holding her securely in his delightfully cold embrace.
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