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Everchanging Destiny

Summary:
Bella and Edward continue their relationship as a vampire and a human. This story takes place after Breaking Dawn but not as you would expect it to. There are the usual threats of other vampires trying to get to Bella and ruin the Cullen family.


Notes:


23. Chapter 24: Italy

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Chapter 24: Italy

Jacob was beyond angry with my revelation that we were going to see the Volturi. He screamed for a while, told me I was crazy, stupid, and asked me to turn around at least a dozen times. When I was done telling him the whole story, the size of Megan’s coven, the detailed deaths in Alice’s vision, he seemed to calm down a bit and realize that this may be our only option. He wasn’t being the slightest bit friendly to me and insisted that even though he was going along with my idiotic idea, he hadn’t changed his mind on telling Charlie the truth about Edward. I couldn’t have cared less. I knew what I was doing was a long shot and we would all more than likely be dead anyway.

My cell phone thankfully didn’t start beeping away until we were about twenty minutes from Sea-Tac airport. I knew I would have to call him but I wanted to be sure I was sitting on the plane when I did so he didn’t have time to figure out where I was and have time to get there to stop me.

When we arrived at the airport it appeared that luck was, for once, on my side. There was a flight leaving for Florence in forty-five minutes. By the time we got our tickets and checked in at the gate they were already starting to board. My phone continued to vibrate in my pocket the entire time.

As we got seated and settled in, I knew I only had a few minutes before they would make me turn my phone off so it was time to face the music. I didn’t bother to listen to the 20 messages on my phone, I just dialed his number.

“Bella? Is that you? Oh, thank heavens…where are you…are you ok?” Edward panicked when he picked up on the first ring.

“Yes, Edward, I’m fine. I don’t have much time to talk I just wanted to let you know I’m ok and that I’ll be back in a day or two.”

“What? What do you mean you’ll be gone for a day or two? Are you insane Bella? Are you trying to kill me? Tell me where you are right now so we can come and get you.”

“No, Edward. You’re going to just have to trust me on this. I’ll be ok, I have Jacob with me.”

“You have Jacob with you? Oh, great. Jacob’s with you. I feel much, much better now. I’m sure he’ll be able to fight off a dozen or so vampires without a problem. Thank goodness. And here I’ve been worrying myself to the point of insanity for nothing.”

He was silent for a few seconds before he spoke again. “Ok Bella, I’m going to try to remain calm here. I don’t know what hair-brained idea you have up your sleeve but whatever it is, it needs to end now. I’m going to ask you one more time. Please tell me where you are so we can come and get you.”

“Edward, please don’t worry. I’ll explain when I get back. Please, if you…” Before I could finish my thought the pilot came over the speakers asking us to turn off all of our electrical equipment and get ready for takeoff. I knew I was busted. There was no way his super powered hearing didn’t hear it.

“Oh my God, Bella, what are you doing?” The panic had returned to his voice.

“Edward, please don’t worry and please don’t be mad. I have to go do this but I’ll be back soon.”

“Listen to me Sweetheart. I’m not mad. You don’t need to be afraid to see me. I’m not going to yell. I don’t care what you were planning or doing, I’m sure you had your reasons. Just grab your bag and calmly walk off the plane. Where are you? Seattle? Just stay there and I will come and meet you.”

“Edward, I love you but I have to do this. It’s the only way. Just please try to stay safe and away from Megan until I get back.”

“The only way? What? OK, Bella, I’ve had enough. I’m not playing around here anymore and I’m not going to tell you again. Get off of that plane, now!!” He hissed.

“I have to go, Edward. Please make up some excuse to Charlie for me. I love you very, very much and I’ll be back soon.”

“Bel…” was the last thing I heard when I hung up the phone. Half of me wanted to listen to him and run off the plane but I knew I had to be strong. I had to be strong for him, for everyone I loved.

Jacob didn’t say a single word to me. He watched a movie and when the movie was over fell asleep. When the stewardess came around to offer us something to drink, I took a Coke and asked her if she had a pen and some paper. She came back with a pen and some airline stationary.

I didn’t know where to start but knew it had to be done. How could I express how much I loved him in just a couple of pages? I was sure I could write an entire novel on the subject and still not be able to convey my feelings accurately.

Dear Edward,

If you’re getting this letter it means I am gone. I hope that someday you will be able to understand why I had to do this. Ever since we met, the most wonderful day of my life, you have used every minute of your existence to be sure I was safe and taken care of. There was never anything I could do to return the gesture until now. I know you thought you had the whole Megan problem under control but it was obvious from Alice’s visions that you didn’t. I can only hope that even though I’m gone that the Volturi showed up to help you and you are safe.

I hope you’ll please tell Carlisle and the rest of the family how much I loved them. Even though you and I never made it to the altar to make it official, I always felt like I was part of the family and loved them as such.

As far as Charlie goes, I’m enclosing two other letters along with this one. The first one will be a false one to you saying that I got cold feet about the wedding and had to leave. The second one will be for Charlie which will basically say the same thing. I know if I just disappeared that the FBI would be all over your family investigating what happened to me. Hopefully these letters in my handwriting will make sure that doesn’t happen.

Edward, I’m so sorry for hurting you like this. I only wanted to help. I couldn’t bear the thought of anything happening to you or anyone in your family. I hope that I’ve done enough in this life to show you how much I love you. Words alone can’t even begin to express what you’ve meant to me. I didn’t know what life and love was until I met you. Every day I got to spend with you was a blessing, and even in the scariest of times, they were the best days of my life.

Please know that I left this world with no regrets. I don’t even regret that I was never able to share my love with you physically. Even though I wanted to be with you more than anything, I believe that I did the right thing by going to Italy. I would’ve never forgiven myself if I at least didn’t try.

I’m counting on you to keep your promise, Edward. You need to go on without me. The world would be a horrible place without you in it. I know it will be hard at first but you have so much love and good in you, you’ll find someone else to share it with.

I hope that you won’t stay mad at me forever and will one day be able to forgive me for leaving you. Please never forget how much I loved you and will continue to love you from wherever I am now.

Eternally yours,

Bella

I was able to finish the other two letters before we were ready to land and Jacob finally woke up. I folded them up and snuck them in Jacobs back pack without him knowing, figuring he could deliver them to Edward if something happened to me. Jacob didn’t know it yet but I had no intention of letting him come with me to see Aro. The chances of me surviving would be slim to none but there was no chance they would let a werewolf live.

It took longer than I would’ve liked to get the rental car. The agent spoke very little English and I of course knew no Italian. After about 40 exhausting minutes of trying to understand what each other was saying, we finally got the keys and a map of Italy I purchased from the counter. To my dismay, neither Jacob nor I could figure out how to read the map so we wasted another good hour stopping people walking through the busy airport before we found someone who spoke English and thankfully happened to know how to get to Volterra.

It was an all too familiar, eerie feeling flying down the road through Florence and the Tuscan countryside. It was almost exactly like the first time. I was again rushing to save Edward but instead of stopping him from destroying himself, I was trying to stop him from being destroyed by Megan. The only real difference was Edward wouldn’t be there waiting in the shadows for me this time. I would be all alone.

I tried to comfort myself by thinking it wouldn’t be as bad this time because I knew what to expect. I knew about the long journey I would have to make through the cold, underground corridors and the ancient vampires I would have to face once that journey was completed. I knew about the horrible, unthinkable things I would see and hear as they lead innocent, unsuspecting humans into the feeding room, knowing I would certainly become one of them.

I was so busy thinking I hadn’t realized that the time and the miles had gone by so quickly that we had made it to Volterra already. Everything looked familiar but in an unfamiliar way. The old buildings and surroundings were the same, but this time there weren’t a lot of cars or people dancing around in red costumes. The atmosphere wasn’t party like at all. It had an eerie, gothic feel.

As I pulled into a parking spot on the street across from the Palazzo dei Priori, Jacob finally decided to speak.

“So, what’s your plan now? Do we just go find the bloodsucker police and shake their hands like we’re old pals?

“No, we don’t do anything Jacob. You’re staying here.”

“Oh, no you don’t. You aren’t going to leave me in the car after dragging me half way around the world. I knew this was going to be a suicide mission so I’m as least going to have the pleasure of taking a few of those leeches out before I go.”

“Jacob, you can’t go in there with me. If you do, they won’t even let us past the sewage drain alive. This will have all been for nothing. If I go alone I’ll have a better chance at reasoning with them. I won’t stand a chance if you’re with me.”

“This is crazy, Bella, even for you. What kind of man would I be if I let you go in there alone? I’m sorry, but it’s not going to happen.”

“Jacob, we’ve come this far. Please, this is going to be our only chance. You have to believe me. I know how they are. Besides, if something happens to me I need you to go back to let the others know. You’ll have to go back and help Sam and the others defend themselves. They’re going to need you. I mean, that’s why we’re here in the first place, right? To save the people we care about?”

“I can’t believe I let you talk me into this. This sucks Bella.”

“I know. I’m not too thrilled about it either Jake. But it’s the only way.”

I got out of the car and grabbed my cell phone out of my bag. I hadn’t turned it on since we took off in Seattle. I knew there would be a hundred different messages from Edward that I didn’t want to hear at the time, but wanted to listen to now. I wanted to hear his musical voice one last time.

When I checked my call log I was surprised that all of the inbound calls had come from Alice, not Edward. I suddenly felt nauseated knowing that this probably meant he found out where I was and was on his way after me. I had to call her to find out and to see how much time I had before he got here.

She picked up on the first ring. “Bella? Is that you? Are you ok?”

“Hi Alice, yes, I’m fine. Where’s Edward?”

“Oh Bella, I can’t…I can’t even…” I couldn’t hear anything else she was saying. It sounded like her phone was shuffling around in her pocket or purse or something, everything was muffled.

“Bella?” Carlisle’s voice was now coming over the line.

“Carlisle? What’s going on? Where’s Edward?”

“Bella, where are you? You haven’t been to Volterra yet have you?”

“I’m here right now, Carlisle. Please, put Edward on the phone.”

“Bella, please, turn around and head back to Florence and get on the next plane out of there.”

“Carlisle, let me talk to Edward!”

“I can’t Bella. He…he isn’t here.”

“Is he on his way here, to Italy?”

“No Bella, he isn’t.”

“Then where is he? Carlisle please, you have me really freaking out now!”

“Just come home Bella. We will all meet you at the airport when you get here.”

“No Carlisle, tell me where Edward is!”

“Edward is gone, Bella.”

“I know that Carlisle, you already told me. Where is he?”

“He is gone Bella. After he talked to you and found out you were on a plane, we sent Sam to find Seth. Seth didn’t know where you were going but he did mention something about Jacob’s passport so it didn’t take us long to figure out what you were doing. Edward of course knew he had to come stop you so he headed off to the airport.”

I was confused. So he was then on his way to stop me? Why did Carlisle say he wasn’t?

“Bella, about 15 minutes after he left is when Alice saw it happen,” Carlisle continued.

I was still confused. Saw what happen?

“Carlisle, what are you talking about? Alice saw what happen?”

“She saw Megan, Bella. Megan must have been watching, waiting to get Edward alone. The whole thing was a set up. The ambush, the killing us. She didn’t want any of us at all, it was a lie; she wanted Edward the whole time.”

I felt like I had fallen from a two-story building and all of the air was knocked out my lungs. My ears started ringing and it felt like all of the blood was draining from my body. I couldn’t speak and could barely hear what Carlisle was saying on the other end.

‘Bella, I’m so sorry. I didn’t want to have to tell you over the phone like this. Please Sweetheart, promise me you’ll turn around and come home. We couldn’t handle losing you as well. No matter what, you’ll always be a part of this family.”

We couldn’t handle losing you as well? No…it couldn’t…he couldn’t be…

“No. No! Carlisle, it’s…it’s another trick. Megan is making Alice see things again. You can’t believe it. Edward’s fine. I know he is.”

“I wish I could say you were right, Bella. I truly do Sweetheart. We actually thought the same thing but when we called Edward’s phone…Megan answered.”

I fell to my knees and dropped the phone out of my hand. I was sure my heart had stopped beating and I was dying. I couldn’t feel anything. All of my limbs were numb and Jacob’s voice talking to Carlisle on my phone kept fading in and out.

I didn’t know how much time had passed before Jacob came over to talk to me. “Bells, I’m so sorry,” his voice faded as he kneeled down and wrapped his arms around me. “I know how much you loved him and I’m so sorry about all of the grief I gave you. I’m so sorry Bells but Carlisle’s right. We have to get you out of here, now. There are tons of creepy leeches walking all around here.”

I couldn’t concentrate on anything he was saying. I could only think about how my Edward was gone and it was all my fault. I could only think of the hatred I had for myself for not only failing him but being responsible for his demise. I could only think of my hatred for her that was slowly and steadily creeping through my veins.

It took me a couple of seconds to realize that Jacob had picked me up and I was cradled in his arms. Before I knew it I found myself kicking and squirming, trying to free myself from his embrace.

“Bella, what are you doing? There’s nothing you can do for him now. It’s over. C’mon, let’s go.”

“She won’t stop, Jacob. She won’t stop until their all gone. I still have to do this.” I didn’t even notice I had been crying until I tasted the salt from my tears as I spoke.

“No. Let’s go Bella, I’m done playing around. It’s over, let’s go.” Jake demanded.

“No Jake, it’s not over. You need to stay here. If I’m not back in an hour take the car and leave.” I was stunned at how unwavering and calm my voice was. I was stunned at my resolve in knowing I still had to go through with this. I knew that Megan would kill the rest of the Cullen’s and probably Charlie too if I didn’t stop her. What I didn’t know was where I was finding this new found strength. I would normally be curled up in a ball passed out somewhere. Maybe it was coming from the pure anger and hatred that was running through every bone in my body right now letting me know that there was no way I was going to let her get away with this. That she would suffer the same fate as my Edward, but hopefully with a lot more pain. Maybe it was coming from the fact that I knew after I talked to Aro and he agreed they had to stop Megan, that I would be dead soon and wouldn’t have to suffer through this excruciating pain for much longer.

A minute later, as if some unknown force was guiding, controlling me, I started walking through the plaza towards the clock tower with an unprecedented determination. Nothing was going to stop me from avenging his death.

“Bella! Stop! I can’t let you do this!” Jacob exclaimed, running up behind me, picking me up again. I tried to kick and scream my way out of it again but he wasn’t having any of it and started carrying me back to the car. We had almost reached the passenger door when out of nowhere two familiar, dark figures in long, black cloaks appeared, blocking our path.

“Put the girl down,” Felix commanded.