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Everchanging Destiny

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.


24. Chapter 25: Volturi

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Chapter 25: Volturi

Felix and Demetri luckily, or perhaps unluckily, remembered who I was. After they convinced Jacob to let me go, they “offered” to escort us through the plaza, informing us that Aro was anxiously waiting to speak to us. I pleaded with them to only take me but they politely insisted that Jacob come as well. I wasn’t surprised.

I knew I should have been terrified as we approached the familiar shadows where the sunken drain awaited for us to enter the long, chilling tunnels below, but I felt nothing but the anger and hatred that had consumed me.

When we reached the drain, Felix told me to wait until he got down there so he could catch me. I jumped without hesitation, not caring if I splattered onto the cold, wet stones below me. I landed in Felix’s massive arms and even though it was dark and I couldn’t see anything, I knew he was closely eyeing me, salivating for my blood. Jacob jumped next, followed by Demetri.

After taking only a few steps I tripped and fell on my knees in the darkness. Jacob helped me up and put his arm around my waist just as Edward had done the last time we were here. I assumed I didn’t break my skin anywhere as if I did, I would have most definitely been devoured by now.

The walk was just as long as I remembered. No one said a word the entire time. Even Jacob was uncharacteristically quiet. The only sounds that broke through the eerie silence were our footsteps and the drips of water crashing onto the stones below us.

A faint light finally penetrated through the darkness in the distance and I knew we were approaching the end of the tunnel. When we reached the thick, iron, gate I was prepared for fear to set in and my heart rate to speed up out of control but the fear never came. There was only resolve.

We passed through the gate and through the brightly lit, corporate looking hallway to the elevators. Demetri and Felix relaxed and took down their hoods off once we were safely in the elevators revealing their stunning, facial features and olive complexions. It was the oddest dejavu I had ever experienced. The only difference was my Edward wasn’t there and this time I had no fear.

I was pleasantly surprised when we got to the posh reception area and the pretty, tall, dark skinned, green eyed human receptionist was still there. I thought for sure they would have had her for a mid-day snack by now.

Demetri and Felix continued to lead us past the reception area down the other ornate hall. They slid aside the piece of paneling that exposed the wooden door leading to the stone antechamber which opened up into the huge, round, castle turret like room.

The room hadn’t changed much from what I could remember. The room was still filled with the same unevenly spaced, massive, wooden, throne-like chairs and the long window slits two stories up that cast the daylight onto the stone floor. My heart skipped a beat when my eyes found the sewage drain in the middle of the floor. The last time I was here I had assumed this was just another exit but then quickly realized it led to the feeding room where the Volturi munched on unsuspecting humans by the dozens. A chill came over my body but it wasn’t fear, just sadness for the many lives that undeservingly ended here.

The room was empty with the exception of one person in a long, black cloak sitting in one of the chairs in the middle of the room. I couldn’t tell who it was at first because he or she was facing away from us. As we slowly approached the center of the room, the dark figure stood up and pulled his hood down revealing the strange, old, translucent, onionskin like face.

“Bella! What an unexpected surprise,” Aro exclaimed. “And you brought us a friend! How lovely.”

“Hello, Aro,” I replied so calmly that it stunned even me. “It’s nice to see you again.”

“Please, please come in, sit down. I am beyond curious to hear about why you have come to see us.”

Aro waived for me to join him at the seat next to where he was sitting and Demetri and Felix closely followed Jacob and directed him to sit in a chair across the room from us. They didn’t leave his side. I couldn’t believe that Jacob hadn’t made any bloodsucker remarks or tried to egg them on once since we first met them outside. I guessed that even he knew that these vampires were not to be messed with.

“So Bella,” Aro continued. “I must confess I was surprised to hear you were here, especially without Edward. You are a much braver human than I have given you credit for.”

“Aro,” my voice was still unwavering and steady. “I know I have no right to come to you and I don’t care what happens to me when we are through, but the Cullens need your help.”

“The Cullens?” Aro laughed. “What could the Cullens possibly need from us?”

I went on to explain to Aro about Megan and the others. I told him about Megan’s abilities, the murders and the bodies they left for the police to discover, the body they left on the Cullens property, and how they threatened to kill the Cullens. Aro didn’t say a word , just concentrated and took everything in that I was saying.

When I was finished he gracefully leapt off his chair and paced the floor, still not responding in any way. His silence was nerve wracking.

After a very long lag in the conversation, Aro came back and took his seat next to me again.

“You were right to come to us, Bella, but I’m curious as to why you are the one here. I’m sure Edward and Carlisle would not have approved you coming without them.”

“They don’t know I’m here. I mean, they know now, but they didn’t know where I was going when I left. That’s why I brought Jacob with me. Alice isn’t able to see any of her visions when the wolves are around. They somehow block her.”

“Fascinating!” Aro exclaimed, clapping his hands like a little child. “So you took it upon yourself to come get our help?”

“Yes, Aro. The Cullens are strong and like to take care of these matters by themselves, but I knew they were in way over their heads this time. I couldn’t bear it if anything happened to another one of them.”

“Another one of them?” Aro asked.

For the first time my heart started beating rapidly, but it wasn’t from fear, just anger.

“Megan killed Edward after he found out what I was up to and attempted to come after me. They caught him alone… and…” I couldn’t finish the sentence. I couldn’t bring up the buried thoughts of him being dead if I was going to get through this.

“Fascinating,” he replied, again. “But Bella, what makes you think we would do this to help you? You have already betrayed us once as you are sitting here, still human.”

“I never meant to betray you Aro. I promise. My dad had a heart attack and I needed to be there to take care of him. He doesn’t have anyone else. I swear to you, we did have plans to turn me. I wanted to be turned more than anything. Things just kept getting in the way. Please, Aro, I don’t care what happens to me, just please help Carlisle and the rest of the family.”

“You’re devotion to the Cullens is quite fascinating I must say,” Aro replied, deep in thought. “I’m curious though. What would you be willing to sacrifice for their protection?”

“I will sacrifice anything, Aro. Anything you ask. I never expected to make it out of here alive so if you’re asking if I’m willing to sacrifice myself, I am. I’m here.”

“Oh, Bella,” he laughed. “You think so little of me! Why would I want to waste such a wonderful, mysterious species like you?”

I was confused. I didn’t know how to respond.

“Bella, remember when I told you on your last visit that we could really use someone like you?”

“Umm…yes,” I answered, my voice shaking and trembling for the first time.

“Well, what would you say if I told you we would help your friends if you agreed to come work with us?”

“Oh hell no!” Jacob yelled. He attempted to jump out of his chair but Demetri and Felix were all over him.

“It speaks!” Aro laughed, clapping his hands in amusement again. He floated over to Jacob and put his bony hand on Jacob’s shoulder. I remembered what Edward had told me the last time we were here. Aro had the same ability as Edward only stronger. While Edward could only see what people were thinking in the present, Aro could see every thought they had in their entire life.

“Fascinating!” Aro laughed again and returned back to me. Jacob struggled but to no avail.

“So, where were we? Oh, yes. My proposition.”

“I’m not quite sure what you mean, Aro. Are you saying you want to turn me and have me stay here with you? I mean, I would do it. I’ll do anything. I guess I’m just a little confused about what you’re asking.”

“That’s an interesting idea, Bella,” he replied, deep in thought again. “You would be remarkable as one of us. But I had something else in mind. I think for now you could be of much more use to us as a human. You could go places and be seen where we can’t. It could be quite helpful to us.”

“What…what is it exactly you would need me to do?” I was still confused.

“In due time my dear. In due time. Right now all I need is your promise that you will be there when we need you.”

For the first time since we had arrived I felt tears strolling down my face. I knew I would do anything to help the Cullens but at the same time I didn’t want to remain alive. I couldn’t go on without Edward. I just couldn’t.

“Oh, Bella, there are no need for tears. We are not that horrible to work for.” I was taken aback that Aro actually sounded sympathetic.

“No, it’s not that...it’s just…” I struggled to find the strength I had when I arrived. No matter how painful it was going to be for me, it would be worth it if I could help save the Cullens. “Ok, Aro, you have my word.”

“Wonderful!” he clapped again. “Now Bella, it is rare that I give anyone the second chance I am giving you. I won’t be so amiable if you break your promise to me again.”

“I promise Aro. Whatever you need. Just please, help the Cullens.”

“Perfect!” He exclaimed loudly. “And just in time!”

Just in time for what?

“Demetri,” Aro continued. “Would you be so kind as to go get Jane and Alec?”

“Or course Master,” Demetri replied and glided out of the room. Jacob struggled again to get loose but Felix had a firm grip on him.

Fear had finally reared its ugly head and engulfed me. I wasn’t afraid for myself, but for Jacob. I knew that Jane had no power over me but the pain she could inflict on Jacob would be horrifying. I remembered what Edward looked like lying on the floor, holding his head, withering in pain as she mentally tortured him the last time we were here.

I was about to tell Aro that if he hurt Jacob the deal would be off, when I heard the door open behind me. I slowly turned around and saw little Jane and Alec standing in the doorway. It amazed me every time I saw them at how young and beautiful they looked.

“Well, don’t leave us in suspense, bring him in Jane,” Aro commanded.

Jane and Alec walked back out of the room and came back with someone. There was a bag over his head and his hands were tied behind his back. When they closed the door they removed the bag. I couldn’t breathe when I saw it was my beautiful Edward. He was alive.

“Bella!” he shouted as he escaped their grasp and ran over to me. Aro held his hand up, telling Jane and Alec to let him go.

“Edward! Oh my God, Edward! I thought you were dead,” I cried as I wrapped my arms around his neck. Alec was quickly behind him and untied his hands in a flash. Edward picked me up and held me so tight I couldn’t breathe.

“Oh, Bella, thank heavens you’re ok,” he smiled, looking me over from head to toe to ensure I wasn’t injured in any way. “What were you thinking coming here? And what do mean you thought I was dead?”

I explained to him about what Alice saw and how Megan answered his cell phone to confirm it.

“Oh no,” Edward responded. I lost my phone while running to the airport. She must have been following me and found it. I’m so sorry I worried you my love.” He smiled and hugged me again and for a brief minute of bliss we both forgot where we were, and that we weren’t alone.

“What a heart-warming reunion,” Aro clapped again, slapping us back into reality. “How nice to see you again Edward.”

“Aro,” Edward responded, instinctively pulling me back behind him to protect me.

“Edward, I’m disappointed. Bella and I have become good friends. There is no need to get so defensive.”

Edward starred Aro down for a minute reading his thoughts. He turned to look at me with anger pulsating out of his eyes. “Bella, what have you done?”

“Edward, please, come, have a seat,” Aro interrupted. “There is no need for all of this anger. Bella has just agreed to help us out a bit. There’s nothing for you to worry about.”

“Never, Aro!” Edward hissed. “She is mine! You can’t have her!”

“Of course she’s yours Edward,” Aro laughed again. “I would never dream of separating such a fascinating couple as yourselves.”

“I won’t allow you to put her in danger, Aro,” Edward growled.

“Well, then you will have to just help her so your there to protect her won’t you,” Aro smugly replied.

“Whatever deal you made with her is off, Aro, do you understand me?” Edward was so angry I thought he would self-combust.

“Your never ending shivery is admirable, Edward, but I’m afraid you are too late. Bella has already given me her word. And you know what consequences will await her if she should happen to go back on it.”

Edward turned back to me and tried to talk calmly even though his body was shaking with anger, “Bella, what exactly did you promise him?”

“I…I don’t know. He just said I could help him in due time and I agreed. But Edward, he doesn’t want to turn me. He wants me to stay human. That’s a good thing.”

“A good thing? A good thing, Bella? Are you kidding me? Not only does he want to put you in dangerous situations but he wants you to do it as a fragile human! There is nothing good about this!”

Edward turned his attention back to Aro. “Ok, Aro, what do you want. Whatever it is I will do it for you. Leave Bella out of it.”

Aro continued laughing, “I’m sorry Edward but I cannot do that. I will however accept your service as well if you want to help her.”

Edward snarled and growled and I knew he was on the verge of lunging towards Aro, so I jumped between them. “Stop this! Edward, it’s too late. I’ve already made a promise to Aro but forget about that right now. We don’t have time to argue about this. If you’re still alive that means that Megan still is planning to go through with her plans on taking out the rest of your family.”

“Aro,” I continued. You have my word and my service. Now it’s time for you to live up to your word. Are you going to come help us?”

“Of course, Bella,” he smiled. “I will send Jane and Alec along with some others and we will help you take care of the infestation. I will have them leave immediately.”

“Thank you, Aro,” I replied. “Is it ok if we leave now? We really don’t have any time to waste.”

“You and Edward may leave, Bella. I will be in touch.”

“You mean me, Edward and Jacob can leave,” I commanded.

“I’m sorry Bella, but we cannot let the shape shifter go. He knows about us now.”

“He already knew about your Aro! Jacob and his pack helped us destroy Victoria and the younglings. He knew you came to clean it up, he knew all about you! The wolves are our friends, not our enemies.”

“Friends? This man may be your friend, Bella, but he certainly isn’t ours. I have seen his thoughts. He would like nothing more than to see us all dead, including your fiancé.”

“Aro, Jacob was hurt for a while and thought that just because he was angry, but he doesn’t feel that way anymore. Tell him, Jacob.”

“I’m not telling these leeches anything, Bella. Just go.” Jacob stupidly replied.

“Jacob, why are you so stupid!” I screamed. This whole thing was ridiculous. We were wasting time.

“Aro, I’m not leaving here without Jacob. You can kill us both if you want, I don’t care. But if you want my help I will be leaving here with both Jacob and Edward. Anything less is a deal breaker.”

“My, my, my,” Aro grinned, as if he was pleased. “You are turning out to be an incredible young lady, Bella, even more so than I anticipated. OK, I will let you have your little pet. But we’ll be keeping a close eye on him and if he even so much as attempts to reveal anything about us, he will be swiftly dealt with.”

“Thank you, Aro. For everything. We really must be going now though.”

“Thank you, Bella. I do hope you will come visit us more often. It is always such an enlightening experience. Demetri and Felix will show you out.”

It was colder traveling through the dark tunnels on the way out, but I didn’t mind. I was chilled because Edward has me pulled tightly next to him with one arm and was running his fingers down my cheek with the other. It was dark by the time we reached the exit by the clock tower. Demetri and Felix left us there.

Edward laughed and rolled his eyes when he saw my small, hatchback rental car. I usually hated it when he laughed at my expense but this time was different. His laughter was like music to my ears.

When we got into the car Edward’s laughter was suddenly replaced by seriousness.

“How could you let this happen,” he sneered, glaring into the rearview mirror at Jacob. “I have come to expect reckless behavior from her, but I thought you had more sense. Do you have any idea what could have happened to her in there? Do you know what could have happened?”

“Why you…you…leech.” Jacob growled and straightened up into attack position.

“Jacob, no!” I screamed. Before I could realize what was happening, Edward had the car pulled over and he and Jacob had gotten out. They were circling around each other like they did that day in the woods.

“Stop it! Both of you!” I begged as I ran over to them. “Edward, this wasn’t Jacob’s idea. It was mine! He didn’t want to come but I begged him. We came here to help save everyone and it worked so knock it off! We don’t have time for this! If we don’t leave now everyone we love and care about will be dead. Is that what you both want?”

Surprisingly they both listened and backed down. Neither one of them said another word, but they never took their eyes off each other, as if they were waiting for the other to attack.

Jacob decided to not sit near us on the plane which was one of the better ideas he ever had. Edward grabbed a hoodie and gloves out of his bag to have on hand just in case it became sunny at some point on our trip home.

When we were safely up in the air and away from Volterra, we both relaxed a bit.

“Edward, I can’t believe you’re here,” I whispered as I traced every inch of his face. His eyes were fiercely dark but I couldn’t help getting up close to him.

He didn’t seem to mind. “Where else would I be,” he whispered back, leaning over to kiss me. “Did you really think I wouldn’t follow you when I found out what you were up to?”

“I thought you were dead, Edward. I can’t explain to you what that felt like. It was like I was dead too.”

“You don’t have to explain, Bella. I’ve been there. I’m so sorry you had to go through that.”

“In some kind of weird way it helped me get through this. I was so consumed with anger and hatred that I wasn’t afraid. I’m not sure I would’ve been able to go through with it any other way.”

“I wish you would have been afraid,” he replied, his voice distraught from sadness. “You know that I’m still incredibly angry with you, right?”

“I know. But can we fight about it later?” I yawned. “Can’t we just enjoy each other right now and be happy that help is coming our way to save the people we love?”

“Yes, Bella, we can do that,” he answered and kissed my forehead. “But only after you get some sleep. You look dreadfully tired.”

I wanted to argue with him but there was no point. I couldn’t keep my eyes open any longer. I drifted off to sleep as he quietly hummed my lullaby in my ear.