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Afterglow

Summary:
The in canon tale of the daughter Rose never thought she could have. When my mother found me, fate seemed to link us together. Not only was I the daughter she never dreamed she'd have, I was unusually unappetizing for a human. However, being raised by vampires does not come without conflict. This is my tale about growing up Cullen and finding love in the most unexpected place. The world's largest coven is about to get a whole lot larger!


Notes:
Sorrowfully, I do not own the Twilight saga or any of its characters. They belong to the glorious Stephenie Meyer. But Emmalie is MINE, as is the plot. :)


16. Kiss of Death

Rating 5/5   Word Count 3033   Review this Chapter

The most liable culprit was jet lag or exhaustion from emotions but for whatever the reason, I fell unconscious on the second flight. My revival was brisk, for Jane awarded me a bruising kick to my right shin to pull me from my slumber. My comatose body was lugged off the third plane, arriving under the cover of darkness in the city of love. Demetri escorted me to the airport egress. At some point he simply tossed me over his shoulder and I returned back to the haven of sleep. I awoke to find myself asleep upon the frayed back seat of a musty smelling taxi. My pale captor sat stiffly in the passenger seat in front of me.

The driver was a large, heavy man with a scraggly, unshaven look but his posture was such that he looked small. He kept nervously glancing to his right at Demetri, whose face was frozen in a deep frown and his eyes were fixed forward. A separate taxi was closely trailing behind us, mimicking our sharp turns down the narrow Parisian streets of the Le Marais District. The wet brakes squeaked to a halt as we arrived outside an old Bourgeoisie townhouse.

The taxi door flew open and an icy hand on my neck pulled me onto a brick walkway into the cover of the night. Jane emerged from the other taxi, dragging the same meek girl. In the golden glow of a streetlight I could make out an old residence. The house was large and quaint, while maintaining somewhat of a gothic charm to it. The large windows were frosted and the mammoth door was a glassy, red French Rosewood. The house whispered of neglect: the windows were boarded from the inside and weeds were boldly sprouting through crevices in the stoop.

Jane led the way not using the front door but entering through a narrow side door in the adjacent alley. I was pushed forward into a swell of darkness, up the cracked stone steps and though the narrow door. I stumbled and fell on my knees, scraping them raw on the aged and splintered floor but not caring.

A match was lit and seconds later a dozen candles soaked the dark room with a golden light. A shadowy figure sat in a high-backed Victorian parlor chair. In the corner I could see a petite woman tied and gagged, lying on her side. Her muffled cries were muted as she squirmed. Her blonde hair was disheveled and makeup streaked down her face but at one time she probably looked attractive. Unlike the mousy girl, she had a look of rage on her face.

Demetri came silently from behind, pushing the mousy girl through the threshold, then slamming the aged door.

"Felix, I trust you've not been kept waiting long," Jane inquired curtly, speaking to the vampire, who had not even flinched from his standoffish posture in the chair. He was extremely tall and thick with short, cropped, black hair.

Felix stood and assessed the new livestock. He looked at Jane and the mute, who cowered guardedly against the wall and me still on my knees. I tried my best to conceal the anger burning in my eyes by staring at the joints in the floor boards. His muddy steel-toe boot pressed into my chest, forcing me to lean back so he could see my face at whatever angle he was trying to achieve.

Demetri leaned casually against the mantle of the ash streaked fireplace and watched as I endured the assessment. Jane took her time to appraise his captive as well, kneeling next to the feisty one and grabbing her chin forcefully. The blonde screamed profanities through the gag.

"I do not see anything special about this one," she spit in shrill anger. Felix knelt beside her and stared.

"Nor do I, yet Eleazar claims she holds potential. If not, she looks strong enough to breed upon," he added pinching her arm. The girl flinched away in stifled wrath. Felix then sniffed the air and walked over to me again, this time hauling me to my feet by my hair. I ground my teeth together in agony.

"What is wrong with this one?" he demanded, scowling at me. I tensed my bony shoulders in pain, pulling them up to my ears. His eyes were evil, his presence frightening like Jane's.

"She was the Cullen's pet," stated Demetri plainly. Jane prowled around me.

"She is too small to breed off of. And too foul to snack on," he said, squeezing me like one would a melon in the produce aisle. I did not like how they were looking at me, so I tugged away and glared at him.

"You should not keep her gagged. It is cruel and I demand you get us food or you will have corpses to play your sick games with."

For a second, Felix looked at me like he was astonished humans were capable of talking. His red eyes blinked then narrowed again, as if focusing in on something far off in the distance. Then he looked at Demetri and his smile grew wider than the Cheshire cat's. He turned around and spoke to Demetri in a low voice; his words too fast for me to make out. And then he turned around with a stormy look clouding his malicious face and he advanced onto me.

"First of all pet, I am not trying to win the Nobel Peace Prize so I'll be as cruel as I wish. Secondly, it would be beneficial for you to realize how she got to be gagged; she talked too much. Thirdly, but most imperatively, you'll get food when that spirit of yours breaks. And until then, I care not about the state of your body."

"Bastard," I accessed daring to face him. He liked and almost welcomed the name.

"Pet, you're getting dangerously close to the fire. I would take several steps back or you may get burned," he warned gleefully. It was a threat but I could tell he would love nothing more than to see me suffer. Jane was already staring me down her with crimson eyes locked on mine. Felix sneered, taking a strand of my hair and twisting it in an insidious sort of way. Goosebumps ran rabid up my arms and alarms went off in my head. I could stand it no more.

I took my two fingers and jabbed them into his vile eyes; I was not stupid enough to think I could disable him any other way. I pivoted and dashed to the door, glad I finally got the 75 dollars out of the self defense class my Mia made me take. Before I could turn the doorknob, pain ravished my body.

It was a screeching pain, one you could not ignore. I fell to the floor in convulsion, as if volts of electricity were coursing up and down my body. I wanted to scream but I could not do more than open my mouth. I looked at them through tear glossed eyes. They all stood watching me unalarmed. Jane.

I had heard the stories but none did her gift justice. I made a small whimpering noise but upon seeing her sick pleasure I vowed to suffer silently. It felt like eons before she stopped and stomped out the door as if to say "she is no fun to play with." I curled up into a fetal position and attempted to steady my breathing. Felix came and towered over me.

"Learn from that, you little brat!" he demanded with a heavy kick to my ribs. Then he too made his way to the door, turning only to address Demetri.

"I'm going to feed. Tie up the mute one and watch the brat," he directed as the door slammed. I then let myself cry while Demetri tied up the other captive. He then stood over me and listened to me cry noisily.

"Shut up." He demanded in a forceful whisper and a gentle nudge of his boot. But I let my sobbing continue, adding in a few screams here and there. He watched for a moment more, cringing when an aggravated neighbor started spewing French curses a few houses down.

"Would you shut up please?" He asked progressively more annoyed than he was a moment prior. To aggravate him further, I let my cries attain a soprano like pitch.

"Uhhhhhh, if you are going to continue to make that much noise I'll have to take you to another room," he said scooping me up.

He took me to through the house, up a grand staircase, down a dusty hall and into a forgotten room at the end of the landing. The house was like a time capsule. It was as if no one had occupied it for a hundred years. I felt anxious about the place but he seemed at home. As the door opened, I shivered in fear of what would be inside. But there was only a grand four post bed and a chest of drawers topped with a dust covered wash bin. He ripped back the threadbare covers, sending moths scattering in every direction. None to gently, he laid me down.

"Sleep girl. It might be your last night of rest," he whispered before leaving me. I obeyed.

I awoke in a start, a beautifully eerie man was sitting by my head. He had an angular facial structure and long, jet black locks. His skin had the translucent quality of an onion peel. His pasty white face contrasted with his eyes of blood and cobwebs. He smiled down and scoffed in aristocratic manner.

"So like a Cullen to demand special accommodations," he growled, looking at the bed. I was not sure which one he was. He drew back the covers and looked at my body as if he had the right to. I shivered.

"Yes, how unfortunate. Your body would never bear child birth of even a normal child," he said downcast. "But you are a pretty little thing. I could enjoy you thoroughly," he added in a wistful, low voice. His cold fingers caressed my cheek in a way that made me balk. Just then there was a beeping noise. The presence of technology somewhat staggered me. His pale fingers flipped out a small streamline phone and pressed it to his marble ear.

"Hello friend, I was expecting your call."

"You're in Volterra? What a pity. I'm out of town on business."

"Your granddaughter? Oh yes, she is right here."

I could hear my Papa's smooth voice. It was swelling to a new level. I could not make out the words but I listened in on the one sided conversation.

"Now Carlisle, let's not say things that we do not mean. You can take it up with Eleazar; I would have never known about her if it were not for him."

I heard his voice and others in the background, my Mia among them. My heart leaped at the thought of my family, at the hope for escape. Tears sprang to my eyes as I realized that they were still far from me and unable to help.

"She is fine and will continue to be fine. She will, however, be joining our race. After she serves us for a nice time, she will be free to come home. You can just see it as a tax for living such a great existence. Look at the good; you'll not even have to tame her in her newborn years."

There was a great upheaval of detest on the other end, and I could hear my Popeye demanding the phone. But Carlisle's voice spoke again.

"Now Carlisle, I understand your family might be a little dismayed, but she will learn our way of life and be a part of our family. I am quite fond of her already."

I then heard a spew of angry words that indicated that my Popeye had gotten the phone for a moment. Then Carlisle's calmed voice spoke again.

"Now, now, I'm not that fond of her. Carlisle I will warn you. You and your motley crew will leave Volterra or the girl dies-"

There was protest and yelling.

"-Yes I will do it. In fact as we speak, it is becoming the more gratifying option. After all, I never punished your family for their insubordinate display all those years ago when the mutant was born."

"I'll cut a deal. If, in the end, I resolve to drink your granddaughter, I'll write and tell you what she tastes like. After all, you should know what you've been missing."

I could not hear precisely what was said, but I thought I heard Carlisle drop the f- bomb a few times, something that was uncharacteristic of him.

"Ahh, yes Carlisle my feelings for you are mutual. Salutations my friend."

He shut the phone with grace, while I grasped at the air reaching for it. I looked at this man and growled as best I could. He laughed and his eyes gleamed in delight.

"You are something. It is uncanny how vampire-like you are already," he grabbed my chin with his glass fingers. Rudely, I smacked his hand away and stomped off to be in the corner of the room looking out a small window, a portal to the outside world. Outside, past the faded lace curtains, it was dusk. People were rushing home to their loved ones, some even walking hand in hand with one another. I was not going home. A pang of despair hit me hard. I did not belong here. I had spent almost all my life in little old Forks; never had I been alone, without them.

"Come hither child, let me look at you." It was a demand, not a request.

Reluctantly, I went to him. If looks could kill an already dead vampire, this guy would have keeled over. He did not seem turned off by my disgust. His ice hands settled on my forehead and immediately I felt the discomfort. It was as if someone was inside me sorting through the rubble, probing my soul. I felt exposed, naked. I looked at him. His eyes were closed as if dreaming or recalling something. After what seemed like minutes, he pulled away.

"Ahh, Emmalie Marie Alice Cullen, you are an interesting thing," he said with an almost friendly smile on his striking face.

"Don't call me that," I said shivering. "It sounds wrong coming from your lips."

I felt her before I saw her in the door way. I crumbled to the ground, body throbbing with pain.

"Jane dear, there is no need to be protective. Restrain yourself," he scolded lightly. The pain subsided instantly. He offered me a hand to help me stand, but I would not take it so he knelt beside me.

"I will call you whatever you wish to be called child. But make no mistakes, you will call me by one name and that is Master," he said coldly. My heart iced over with hate.

"Now child, let us talk frankly with one another. Some of us come with added talents, mine being with a touch I see everything that has happened as of yet to you. Your friend Eleazar has a talent for seeing these talents. You, my dear, will possess a talent though I'm not sure what it will be. It is promising." He stood and loomed down at me, making me feel even smaller.

"We are both offering each other something child. You wish to be immortal and I wish for you to join the guard. You will not need to stay with us forever, though most do. If, at the end of your service, you wish to go then you may."

"How long?" I asked.

"Fifty years," he ventured. I gasped at such a timeframe. That would be forever; in that time Ness would be married and my family would have started over in somewhere fresh, maybe three times over. What if I could not find them?

"That is far too long," I fought in a whisper.

"When your immortal, 50 years is not but a moment," he reminded me, clasping his hands together conclusively. He was not going to let up, I could tell he was set on a certain outcome.

I bit my lip as I thought about the offer, weighing my options or lack thereof. My family would come to save me, but how long would it take them to buy someone off with where I was? How long could I continue without my rigorous regime of medications and supplements? How long would this man let me put off the change? I still felt apprehensive, but what was the alterative? Being feasted upon by vampires? Maybe, in reality, I had no choice.

"I do bargain; you know that already don't you? What was her name? That half blooded sister of yours? Oh yes, Nessie! You could lead me to her; and I'd be willing to make a substitution."

I felt instantly nauseas. I could never betray them, not in that way.

"Change me," I demanded, disgusted by his offer.

In an instant he advanced upon me, pinning face down to the bed, smothering my face into the covers. For I moment I thought he was trying to suffocate me, but then his frozen lips found their way to the back of my neck. There was fire burning fiercely ringed by the iced flesh of his lips. The back of my neck felt three bites and that was it. I never did turn sixteen. It was the day before my sixteenth and always would be.

I fell into what felt like a raging inferno, a heat equivalent to that of the fires of hell. I was not unconscious, it just that the pain was all I could focus on. My Mia had told me three days but there was no way to measure time. My body ached from fighting the burn. My eyes seemed as if they were seared shut. And for one last time, I slept, cowering under a blanket of fire.