Ambition is the way to Hell. Jane knows this, has witnessed it first hand. After all, it was her ambition that led her to Volterra, her own personal Hell. A peek into Jane's existence, the not-so-good, the bad, and the ugly. Written for the Jane One-Shot Challenge.
This is a lot different from the things I normally write, I know, but I'm growing up, and so is my writing. WARNING: This story contains mature situations -- rape. There is also some language, though nothing to graphic in either case. If you don't like that, stop reading now.
1. Ambition - The Way To Hell
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Ambition is the way to Hell.
Many would say that isn’t true – they would say the way to Hell is paved with hate. But they haven’t lived the life I have. They haven’t discovered that their perception of Hell – the one with Satan and demons and eternal fires – doesn’t exist. And if they’re lucky, they never will. I don’t wish my fate on anyone.
I know exactly what traps you in the real Hell, you see, and I can tell you that ambition is what does it. Ambition is what gets you sent to that that horrible place between life and death. And hate? Hate is what keeps you going after you get there. Hate is what stops you from laying down and letting the misery eat you up. Hate is what motivates to keep moving towards revenge. Hate is not the enemy in the real Hell.
But ambition is the enemy – in and out of Hell. When you’ve been a street urchin for half of your short life, living with royalty sounds pretty damn good. That, my friends, is ambition. Moving up in the world by letting your brother die – an unorthodox death, but death none the less, is ambition. Trying to overthrow your Master to get revenge for trapping you in a child’s body for all of eternity– ambition of the highest order. Ambition is the stepping stone on the pathway to Hell.
Ambition is what turned me into a vampire.
And ambition is what got me sent to Volterra.
I am Jane. I have no last name, I am simply known as Jane. Jane of the Volturi. It’s strangely ironic – my last name was once P’morte – which, roughly translated from Italian, means ‘walking dead’. My ancestors must have had some sort of precognitive abilities… and a bad sense of humor. Needless to say, my Master didn’t much like that name – too much potential for discovery – so it was discarded. I became one of the many. No longer was I an individual with my own identity… I was simply one of the Volturi’s guard.
“Jane? Reminiscing again?” My brother, Alec, had also been grounded in Hell. That was my fault – but luckily for me, he cast none of the blame in my direction. We were closer than we had ever been while living. Trapped forever at age ten, we made quite the pair. Both eternally young and powerful – both in special talents and as vampires – not to mention inhumanly beautiful, we were a force to be reckoned with.
I forced the tense muscles in my face to relax as I faced him. “Hardly,” I said coldly, not wanting to talk to him. I just wanted to think. It wasn’t very often I got time to myself, and I wanted to make the most of it. “The Master would like me to see him in his private quarters.” I explained briefly, seeing the hurt look on Alec’s face. This would upset him, but I owed him the truth, at the very least.
Demetri had come to my private apartment earlier, a satisfied smirk on his face as he relayed the message from our Master. I had never understood how Felix or Heidi could put up with that bastard – he took the term ‘stuff of nightmares’ to a new level. Arrogant and competitive, I could barely stand to be in the same room with him without punishing the callous words that came from his mouth.
A rather well known fact about me – I have a bit of a temper. Demetri had been deliberately antagonizing, mocking my youthful appearance, my one weakness. I couldn’t condone it – others would be walking all over me in no time. So, I had simply reminded him why I should not be angered.
It wasn’t that complicated – I had a talent that caused more pain than anything in the world. It was extremely unwise to provoke me.
Unfortunately, Demetri is one who doesn’t enjoy being shown up… or being in pain. It was a pity, really – a healthy dose of sadism does wonders for vampire’s strength. And masochism can be fun too. But Demitri doesn’t like to lose, so he ran to the Master, tattling on me. And since I had already been reprimanded for punishing other members of the guard without permission, I knew that I was in trouble.
Alec’s teasing smile melted from his face, leaving a horrified and angry one in its wake. “Jane, we can’t keep allowing this to go on! We can –“ He knew exactly what was coming my way, and he didn’t like it. Not at all. He always had been ridiculously over protective.
“Shut up, you fool!” I hissed, the scene before my eyes gaining a red tint before I managed to reign in my temper. “Someone will hear. We can’t, and you know it. Not yet. And if it takes my letting Aro play pedophile a few more times to take him down, I’ll do it.” I managed to suppress the shudder than tried to run through my body, but I was sure Alec had caught it somehow. We were too similar for comfort, occasionally. He knew almost everything that went through my head – it was almost as bad as spending fifteen minutes in Aro’s company.
“I don’t want him to touch you, Janey,” he whispered, and for a second, I saw a flicker of the child he had once been. His red eyes softened and worry lined his brow – he had always been so careful around me. Tried to be the responsible one – he kept me off the street after our mother died, and kept me fed and clothed when our land lord had evicted us. He had always acted older than he looked… and now, he didn’t even have to act.
Impulsively, I reached out and clasped his arm. He looked down at the point of contact in surprise, then turned away from me, shame chiseled into his granite like face. He knew we could not be weak, just like he knew I would not tolerate it. There was too much at stake – our freedom, our lives… and Felix.
I shook my hair over my shoulder and preened, my girlish figure making the act look ridiculous. It was a purposeful act to force my brother to relax – but it did no good. Words were going to have to do – I was already late for my appointment with the Master. “Alec, really. It’s not that big of a deal. Aro will do what he wants; we both know that it’s true. We may as well go along with it for now – we would only die if we didn’t.” And our lives were not going to be wasted, damn it. I refused to let it happen after everything that I had been put through. Everything Alec had been put through.
His expression almost made me retract my words. Almost. “I cannot wait until I can wrap him in darkness and leave him for demons to find.” He growled, flashing more teeth tan any normal human being. The darkness speech referenced his ability to blind and terrify his victims before killing them. He was wholly dependent on his power, as was I. Trapped as we were, as children, our strength and fighting skills were awfully weak compared to that of those who were older than us, physically.
I bared my teeth in an equally feral smile. “And I cannot wait until I can make him writhe in pain and beg for mercy. However, we are both going to have to wait to get what we want. And I need to go to him.” I pretended not to notice my brother’s sudden stiffness as she swept out the door – as gracefully as I could with the build of a ten year old child – and began the trek down the maze of hallways that led to the Volturi’s inner chambers.
Marcus’s chamber came first, on the right hand side of the dark stone hallway. The ancient vampire, with his wispy white hair and red eyes, was the stuff of nightmares. He was in no way endearing, like Aro could at least pretend to be. Out of all three of the demons inhabiting Volterra, Marcus was definitely my least favorite.
Caius’s apartments were on the right, about half a mile down the dark corridor. Like his brother, he had piercing red eyes and paper thin skin, causing fright to seep deep into the bones of anyone who gazed upon him. I wasn’t scared of him, however. We both knew that my powers far surpassed his, and left it at that.
I had passed the other two’s rooms without any trepidation, but as I came up on the painted wood door of Aro’s room, I felt my back bone stiffen. This was going to be horrible – that much I knew from past experience. I was nothing but a toy to the leader of the Volturi – Aro cared no more for me than he did his last meal. But I was strong, which meant that I had to be on his side.
A laughable thought, really. I had never been on his side – not since the moment he had decided to change me as a ten year old. He had promised, the first time he had come to speak to Alec and me, that he would wait until I was an adult to make the change. That way, Alec and I would be more inconspicuous when on missions.
But I hadn’t seen it that way. I wanted to be an adult for reasons that had nothing to do with the Volturi – and everything to do with a fellow guard with unsurpassed physical strength and an angel’s face.
But I couldn’t think of that – any of it – at that moment. I just needed to pluck up all of my courage and open the door, and then face the punishment like an obedient minion. And to do that, I was going to have to push all thoughts of mutiny and love right out of my head.
Aro’s abilities were extremely inconvenient at times… well, all the time. With one touch, every thought I had ever had would be his – unless I distracted him. Aro had read me enough times to think he knew everything… he had no idea that I still had a few human emotions.
Hidden behind memories of my brother and my love for Felix, were my plans. My ambitions.
Busy thinking through all of this, I was almost startled when the painted door creaked open, revealing the source of my trepidation. Aro – the head of the Volturi, who may as well be called King of Volterra.
“Ah, Jane. I was wondering if Demetri had gotten lost on his way to your apartment.” His all-seeing eyes swept my form once, twice, and a third time, making me wonder if maybe, I hadn’t been acting more suspicious than I thought I had. Maybe he suspected something?
“Come in, my dear.” He propped the door open fully, allowing just enough room for me to slip into the darkened chamber. Of course, as I did, my rear end brushed against his groin – we were roughly the same height – and I felt a certain part of his anatomy stiffen in excitement.
This was how it always began. An innocent, accidental seeming brush of skin, a lecture – and then sex. If it could even be called sex when it was between an old man and a mere child… an unwilling child, not to mention.
“Now, I’m sure you’ve realized why I summoned you,” the lecture began. I immediately tuned out, knowing exactly what he would say and how he would start the ‘seduction’. I didn’t have to pay attention… I had experience on my side.
I spent the duration of the Master’s riot act staring around his chambers, soaking in the sight for anything I could use as a weakness. Anything I could use to take this monster down, right off of his throne.
Of course, I didn’t find anything. The chamber was as solemn as ever. Several couches rested against the dark stone walls, and an easy chair that had been pilfered from Queen Isabel’s bedchamber sat in a far corner. There was even a bed in the middle of the room – a much unneeded bed, but Aro like to exist decadently. And it would be used this evening, I suspected with a shudder. Behind the bed was a giant wall hanging, depicting an ancient battle with another ancient coven. I had never asked Aro about that one – there was a lot of blood in that painting. I didn’t really want to know… as much as I loved blood, there was something about that hanging that set my teeth on edge.
“You are not listening to me, are you my dear?” Aro’s unexpected question would have made me jump in my past life, but now, after countless years of vampirism, I was able to school my expression and reaction into some semblance of calm.
“Not listening? Of course I am, Master,” I bowed my head, as if saddened that he thought so little of me. “I would never dare ignore one of your lectures.” There was a hint of sarcasm in my voice… but could he hear it?
Aro gave me a tight smile. “Well – yes. Yes, of course. I know that, Jane.” He came closer, his small form suddenly very close to mine. He had heard the attitude I had used, and I knew that I would regret it later. But for now, it was a triumph. He may win the war, but I had at least won a skirmish.
When he stood less than a foot away, where I could see his red eyes sparkle lustfully, I knew that the time had come. I was past the point of no return, and all I could do now was grin and bear it.
“You should fix your hair, my dear.” He reached out with one white hand and brushed a few fly-away hairs away from my forehead, back towards the twist I had done in my hair earlier that day. “It is very unbecoming that way. It makes you look so much older.”
I knew that, naturally. That was why I wore it that way – did he think I enjoyed looking like a little girl? But Aro got off on the fact that I looked so young, which made him vulnerable. That was the only reason I reached up and pulled the clip from my hair. That was the only damn reason. If I could do so without it being suicide, I would put him in so much pain that he would writhe on the cold stone floor, begging for my mercy.
Someday. Someday, that dream would become a reality.
Something must have shown in my eyes. It was the only explanation for what happened next. One second, Aro was standing a foot away, assessing me, and the next, his sandpapery skin was resting on mine, sifting through my thoughts as if they were his own. I couldn’t react, couldn’t hide anything like I usually did.
And that was when I realized that my ambition was about to get me killed.
A raspy laugh came from Aro’s throat when he heard that little thought – he was enjoying my fear, feeding off of it. Fear was almost as good as blood for him. His eyes darkened with a physical and blood lust, then, suddenly, I was flat on my back on the canopied bed in the middle of the floor. I glared up at the leader of the Volturi, no longer trying to hide my hatred. He already knew about it – he had just been in my mind, and I hadn’t managed to hide a thing, so why bother?
The clip I had pulled from my hair went flying across the room and hit the wall with a loud thump, signaling that Aro had thrown it with more force than necessary. His hands were surprisingly nimble for such an ancient being, and made quick work of my clothing. Within seconds I was bare and shaking, my hair the only cover I had from his prying eyes. I tried to cover as much of myself with it as I could, but he was having none of it.
“No need to hide, young one,” he rasped, a horrible smile on his ancient face. One hand shot out and grabbed both of mine, and the other brushed my hair from my breasts irritably. “You will never hide from me again. Not yourself, not your thoughts --nothing. Or you will die. And this time, it will be permanent.” He referred to the true death, the only way a vampire could pass to the next life – to the true Hell. I found that I wasn’t afraid – anything had to be better than here. Anything was better than Volterra, even demons and eternal fire. And at least I wouldn’t have to worry about what I looked like in that version of Hell – surely Satan wasn’t a pedophile.
I squeezed my eyes shut as Aro pulled off his pants and cloak and climbed on top of me, trying to pretend I was somewhere else. As he mounted me and filled me, creating a too full sensation in my lower half, I pictured myself with Alex, in his strong arms, looking ten years older – he would protect me. He wouldn’t let this horrible monster hurt me, he was stronger than anyone. He would throw Aro against a wall and rip those age weakened limbs from the trunk. He’d save the head for last, of course, so the beast could feel every injury. And then, just as he died, I would use my talent, enhancing the pain tenfold. He would pay for this. Someday, somehow, Aro would pay.
Aro must have read my mind again, for his papery fingers were prying my eyelids apart in the next instant, forcing me to look up into his face. “None of that, bitch!” He snarled, his once kindly face torn into a vicious snarl. “You are mine. Never forget that!” He panted, growling and convulsing instantaneously. It was clear he was nearing his release. This was almost over. The torture would end.
He came and collapsed on top of me, making me wish I was still human so I could vomit. The thought of that part of him in me, forever, was repulsive – sickening, even. The only comfort I could find in the situation was that I was not going to die. I was going to live to fight another day – my plans, my life’s work, would someday come to fruition. I would live for my revenge.
It was the only thing that motivated me to climb out of that bed, dress, and go back to my apartment where Alec was waiting. It was the only thing that made me assure him everything was fine and continue living.