The Cullens decide to travel the world. Their adventures along the way. Chapter 4! Please read people! Fashion Week!!!!! I will not post the next chapter until I get at least 15-20 reviews! C'mon people...it's not that hard! I own none of Twilight! I give all credit to the ever talented Stephenie Meyer!
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3. Second Chances
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The sun had set on the drive to Volterra, so there was no need to cover up. We walked a ways till we reached the front doors of the ‘business’ entrance. We walked through the doors and past the tasteful lobby that hadn’t changed one bit. I noticed a new receptionist, had they changed Gianna or had she become dinner? The receptionist took one look at us and hit a button, she spoke quietly, “There are some people here to see you.” Alec walked around the corner a few minutes later. Surprise crossed his face for a sixteenth of a second, but he smoothed his features in to a calm mask. It reminded me of how Sam always looked. Thinking of the wolves made me smile to myself. I did not think of them often enough. Alec brought us to a different room than when I was here last. I only remembered the room from my fuzzy human memories, but it was enough. The room he led us to was large and elegant. The fabric walls were a dark burgundy with gold accents. The walls were lined with immense wooden bookshelves; there were more books than I had seen in any library lining the walls. There was a large wood table in the middle of the room. Aro sat at the head; Caius and Marcus were not in sight. There were tasteful paintings on the walls, priceless artifacts no less. I swallowed any panicking feelings and put a relaxed face on. Jasper helped a little bit, I shot him a grateful glance. He nodded. Aro stretched his arms out, palms up in a greeting.
“Ah, my dear friend Carlisle. This is a pleasant surprise!” His enthusiasm was something you never forgot. He smiled graciously, he gestured for us to take a seat.
“It is good to see you as well.” Carlisle was always so polite. Usually I thought it was so nice and gentlemen like. Right now, it irked me. I sat down next to Edward; I grabbed his hand under the table.
“Ah, to what do we owe this visit? Due to the circumstance I presume this is not merely a social visit. Please tell me if I am incorrect.” Aro spoke smoothly. Carlisle chuckled.
“Aro, my family and I are going to travel on this side of the world for a while. I forget how little of the world they’ve seen. We thought we would come and see you since we were close by.” Aro didn’t look pleased that this was in all honesty a friendly visit. Aro looked past Carlisle and at the rest of us.
“Why Bella! You look well.” He grinned politely. I smiled a cold smile; his façade was getting tiresome.
“I’m well thank you, Aro.” I said; I tried to sound polite, but my voice had an icy edge. I saw Edward press his lips in to a tight line to keep from laughing, whether this was at me or from Aro’s thoughts I didn’t know. I would have to ask later.
“Where is that lovely daughter of yours?” He said. I took a deep unnecessary breath.
“She lives with her husband away from us.” Aro smiled brightly at this. We spent the next hour or so telling Aro of what we had been doing the past 20 years.
“Jane, dear?” Aro called. I really hoped he wasn’t going to ask her to show us around.
“Would you be a dear and show the Cullen’s around while I speak to Carlisle?” I had thought too soon. Ugh. Really? Jane nodded, smiling sweetly. She motioned for us to follow her. We stood up, Edward wrapped his arm around my waist, as did Emmett to Rosalie and Jasper to Alice. My rolling eyes met with Alice’s. “Overprotective fools.” I heard her mutter. I couldn’t agree more. Jane led us down a narrow hallway; we had walked a good 5 minutes when she finally spoke.
“You know I don’t like you; I think your family disgraces what we are.” Ah, she wanted to be out of hearing range. This made sense.
“Well Jane, we don’t exactly love your family either.” I retorted. She snorted lightly. I saw Alice roll her eyes.
“So, uh, Jane. What do you guys to for fun around here?” Emmett asked. He could be civil; as long as his random train of thought distracted him. Her eyes widened in disbelief; “Fun?” She asked incredulously; “We don’t have ‘fun’, we work hard for our masters.” Emmett looked just as shocked as she had.
“You guys don’t have fun? All you do is work? That sounds even worse than school.” Emmett was still shaking his head in disbelief. Jane let out an exasperated sigh.
“Would you like to go ‘hang’ out with Demetri, Felix, Alec, and Heidi?” She asked. We contemplated. It would be something to do, and we were extremely bored.
“Sure.” Jasper told her. She led us farther along the narrow hallway, we past many doorways. The thick red carpeting that covered the mahogany wood floors was immaculate. The walls were gold with woodworking in the corners. The paintings that hung perfectly straight on the walls were exquisite. They matched the décor perfectly. We reached a gorgeously furnished parlor area where there were 3 more doors. Jane led us through the one on the right. I walked past the antique wooden coffee table and the grandfather clock. She finally lead us down a wide hallway and in to a large living room. Felix and Demetri were sitting on a couch; Heidi and Alec were seated on another loveseat. They were talking amongst themselves, but everything went silent when we walked in.
“What the…” Felix trailed off. Everyone looked speechlessly shocked. Jasper’s eyes widened as he felt the surprise radiating off most of the people in the room.
“They were here and Carlisle wanted to visit Aro. They’re going to ‘hang out’ here for a while, just while Carlisle and Aro catch up.” Jane caught them up to speed. They all looked about as excited as Jane had. We weren’t too excited to be here either, I guess. All of a sudden I heard Heidi gasp.
“Are those…Chanel’s new boots?!” Rosalie smirked.
“Why yes. Yes they are.” Heidi’s eyes widened. Apparently she shared Rosalie and Alice’s ‘passion for fashion’ if you will. I rolled my eyes. Apparently I was one of the only female vampires not obsessed with fashion.
“How did you get them? They just came out like last week!” Heidi gushed.
“Alice has connections in the fashion world. She got them for me.” Rosalie looked down at her boots admirably. Soon Rosalie, Alice, and Heidi were chatting together. The earsplitting squeal when Alice told Heidi that they were going to Fashion Week was almost unbearable. Everyone else just stood there awkwardly. Leave it to Emmett to start up a conversation.
“So Felix, ever lost a wrestling match?” Emmett challenged. Felix was almost as big as Emmett, which meant he was almost as strong. They were soon engaged in a heated debate about fighting styles.
“So you were an army general or something while you were human right? I was too. What are you’re favorite weapons?” Alec asked, almost sounding interested. It looked like it took some effort. Jasper smiled and nodded. They walked over and sat down on one of the couches facing each other. Before I knew what was happening, Demetri was talking to Edward.
“So you play the piano right?” He asked. Edward nodded and smiled. Ugh, he was such a traitor. He and Demetri were now talking about music and their latest compositions. My annoyance was strong; Jasper looked over at me a couple of times curiously.
“They’re SO annoying. Gah. We’re enemies.” Jane said to me. I completely agreed.
“I know! Between the fashionistas over there, and combat 101 in that corner I strangle someone.” We both stood in the middle of the room, our arms folded across our chests. We scoffed at our families who were talking as if old friends. While they mingled our disgust grew.
“Seriously. How can they stand to be so close to each other? You repulse us and vise versa.” Jane looked furious. It was weird; I agreed to everything she was saying.
“Do you want to go somewhere else? This place is huge.” Jane offered; her tone was still cold, but it was softer some how, almost more friendly. I nodded; I appreciated this immensely. She led me down a long corridor and up a several huge flights of winding stairs. We stepped in to a small space with a large oak door. She took a key out of her pocket and opened a door. There was the most beautiful balcony. It was the highest point of the castle. There was a beautiful view.
“That’s not something you see everyday.” I murmured. I was in awe; the beauty of this small city in Italy was like nothing I had ever seen before, except in Edwards perfect face. I walked forward and leaned against the railing of the balcony.
“I know. I’m the only one that ever comes up here; I like to use it when I need privacy. It’s a nice way to get away from all the fighting.”
“I guess you’re not the villain I always made you out to be, are you?” I asked. She laughed one humorless chuckle.
“No. I don’t really like this life. I wish I could be human, or dead. I’m not sure which one.” She admitted in a small voice. She looked wistful. It was weird; I had never been able to see Jane as anything more than just a sadistic creature. I realized now that there was a whole other side to her. She looked so small and fragile standing there on the balcony, even more so than Alice. She looked so vulnerable that I longed to reach out and hug her. She looked at me, her eyes filled with sadness.
“I wasn’t always so angry and ruthless. I used to be full of love and joy. I was born in 1845, in Venice. I was barely 16 and in love. I was engaged to my soul mate. We had known each other since childhood. I was young to be getting married; but I knew what I wanted. Him. Our wedding was only a few weeks away when he took me for a walk in the nearby forest; he led me to a river. The light from the sunset caught on the water; it was so beautiful. It was the most perfect evening of my life. It was also the last. It was dark; the sun had long set when we first saw him. He was paler than anything I had ever seen, but also the most beautiful. His walk was fluid and graceful. He smiled; it would have been the most beautiful thing I had ever seen, but the face was full of menace. I didn’t know what I was seeing when he attacked my fiancée. I just watched in horror as the life was drained from him. He never even screamed. He just looked at me, his eyes full of love and fear. When the monster came at me, another stopped him. I learned later that it was Caius and Aro. Caius had killed my Lorenzo, and almost killed me. Aro had wanted to keep me; for some reason, he felt I would do well as a vampire. When the change was over, they told me what I had become. They changed my older brother, Alec after me, hoping he would also have strong powers. I was so sorry that this life had been thrust upon him as well. The grief that I experienced was something so strong I could hardly bear it. So I became this spiteful, hate filled monster, no pun intended. I have never forgiven Caius for ending our lives; at least Alec and I were technically alive. Lorenzo was dead. I still feel like my heart is being ripped through my chest when I think about him. No…” She shook her head sadly, “I will never forgive Caius. Though I do tend to agree with him on certain things.” She sighed and stared out in to the dark. I was instantly filled with remorse. I knew I would no longer be able to view Jane as the hideous monster I once had. I might not be able to consider her a friend, but I knew I wouldn’t hate her anymore. I couldn’t, knowing what she had been through.
“Jane. I am so sorry for everything you have been through. If you ever need anyone to talk to…feel free to call me.” I reached in to my purse and found a piece of paper and a pen. I quickly scrawled my cell phone number on the paper. I handed it to her. She smiled in a friendly manner.
“Thank you, Bella. I will. I hope you can think of me as a…well maybe not a friend, but at least not an enemy.” I knew I could trust her eyes. I nodded. We would never be as close as Alice and I, but we wouldn’t have to be enemies. I was happy about this.
“Well we had better get back down to the others. They’ll be wondering if we’ve killed each other yet.” I laughed at her statement. It was so true; up until now, I had hated Jane more than any member of the Volturi besides Aro and Caius. I slung my arm around her tiny shoulders, she wrapped her arm around my waist and we walked downstairs. We looked like old friends. It was nice to understand where she came from, I could relate a little bit. I thought about how I had been when Edward left. I couldn’t imagine having him dead. I wouldn’t be able to go on, with or without the Volturi, human or vampire, I would have died.
“And…Jane?” She looked at me.
“Thank you. For telling me your story, I know that was probably hard for you. It’s good to understand you.” She smiled and nodded at me.
When we walked in to the large room, everyone’s jaws dropped. We both grinned at each other.
“Jane and I have come to a friendly truce.” I stated simply. She laughed. Everyone still looked disbelieving. I took my arm from around her shoulders and walked over to Edward. I stood on my tiptoes to kiss him. He seemed deeply lost in thought; was it that unbelievable that Jane and I were friends now? It didn’t seem that odd to me now that it had happened.
“You guys are all buddies now, what’s wrong with Jane and I being friends?” I asked innocently. Edward’s eyes widened.
“It’s just that, well, Bella. You and Jane hate each other.” Edward said quietly. I rolled my eyes.
“Cause you loved Demetri so much. We came to an understanding, we have much more in common with each other than either of us expected.” I explained. Jane was still smiling from across the room. I had a feeling that she hadn’t had many vampire friends since she was changed. None of her ‘family’ hated her, but she was obviously not close to anyone but Alec. I was so glad that we had befriended each other.
Hours had passed when Carlisle came to find us. He looked severely shocked as he saw we were all engaged in friendly conversation with our former enemies. I suppose I could forgive them for what they had almost done to my daughter. They had just been following orders. Unfortunately it was time to leave, though I promised Jane that I would try to visit again before we left Italy. With some final hugs goodbye I bid adieu to my new friends. I gave Jane an extra long hug. I think I would truly miss her. With our final goodbyes we left the enormous castle that was home to the Volturi. With one last happy glance at my new friend, I found her looking at me with a fond smile on her face. I was ecstatic as we drove to our hotel. I realized that all some people needed were second chances. Behind every evil being, there is the person that made them that way. Behind all the anger and hate, the same innocent person exists. You just have to dig a little to find them, but deep in that person’s soul, their former self exists. Sometimes people just need a bit of help to find themselves, because beneath all that pain and anger, you can lose yourself.