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Goodbye Too Soon

Summary:
Edward, Bella, and Alice face the Volturi in Italy but didn't expect the lesson that is given to Edward. What will he decide if he faces losing her again? Edward: Vampire
AU: New Moon


Notes:


2. Chapter 2

Rating 5/5   Word Count 1809   Review this Chapter

Good-bye Too Soon

I wish they were mine but of course they aren’t. Making no money from this little tale but hope you are enjoying it. Please send me reviews so I know that someone is listening out there!

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Chapter 2

Edward couldn’t move.

He was keenly aware that Alec had used his own ‘special’ gift on them managing to immobilize them where they stood. Talents among the Volturi guard were, of course, talked about but he had never been subjected to them on a personal level such as this. The apparently ineffective grasp he had on Bella was gone while he had no control over his own body. Fury raged in him, but it was for nothing. He was completely and utterly unable to protect her now. If he had lungs that functioned his reaction would be to gasp at what he was watching unfold before his very eyes.

He couldn’t even turn to Alice but could feel her mind moving too with endless possible futures flashing through her head too quick for him to read, to feather out the ones that mattered. But the one that had struck him, unfaltering and unforgiving, he knew had to be altered and must not be allowed to come to pass. The single vision of Bella dying in his arms took a hold on his unbeating heart and threatened to pull him completely under.

His eyes again focused on her, his love, his Bella, the one that made his existence bearable. She stood in the middle of the room alone, unmoving, frozen in fear and in anticipation as Aro moved away from her to rejoin his cloaked brothers. He watched as the other figures of the room seemed to move instinctively backwards, almost too quickly, as if they held a silent fear of what was coming.

The mist from Alec seemed to have another effect on Edward clouding his ability to read those around him clearly. He could feel the fear in the room, like a thick winter blanket that threatened to cocoon him. It was beyond frustrating to only feel basic emotions, unable to see what he wanted to see. He needed to see what was coming for Bella even if he couldn’t do anything about it right now. He had to know.

Bella stood, afraid to move, afraid to breathe while she waited. Aro’s words had seemed to seal her fate, and now her only goal was to get through this challenge to the best of her ability, with a hope that if she ‘performed’ well maybe Aro would let Edward and Alice leave unharmed. It was probably for the best that they couldn’t move as it would protect them both from doing something utterly stupid to attempt to save her. Never would she want their deaths to be as a result of doing something for her. But she knew that he would never see it that way, so she wouldn’t complain about her beautiful statuesque Edward. Frozen and safe. Although she could feel his eyes behind her she refused to turn and look at him, simply grateful for that brief time they had together, for the ability to touch that glorious cold marble smooth skin one last time.

Aro and his brothers moved backward, closer to the wall with the others in the room. The room was awash with a wave of uneasiness as another door opened and a completely cloaked figure entered and faced Aro.

“Ahh, Legeera my pet. I’m so glad you felt that you could join us on such short notice.”

A purr came from under the hooded cloak.

The change in scent from the air wafted into Edwards’s nostrils sending off an alarm in his head even though he didn’t recognize it right away. It immediately activated his reflexes and sense of urgency to protect her. However, despite all of that, he remained trapped in his own skin with no option except to watch. Alice’s vision was coming clearly now to him and a low growl began to rumble way down deep inside his chest, for he now knew that there was no way Bella could survive this.

A purr? Bella thought. She fought the urge to look back at Edward as she wondered what his face might reveal to her. Did he know who this was? Could he tell her more about how to protect herself? Of course not. She wanted him to stay frozen, protected from his own instincts.

Then the figure turned to face Bella without speaking and lowered the dark hood revealing a young girl, seemingly only a little older appearing than Bella. To Bella she lacked the porcelain beauty of Alice and Rose. Her hair was as pitch black as the darkest night, silky smooth but cut short like Alice’s with eyes of a brilliant green that reminded her of the gem stones. Her skin was a deep olive tone which was rich with warmth making you almost want to reach out and touch her. She wore minimal attire composed of a bikini styled top which was tied around her neck seemingly made of an animal fur with matching bottoms. They accented her coloring with trim of green bringing out the color of her piercing eyes.

Bella could only think about how gorgeous she was as she watched her approach until the hairs on the back of her neck began to stand on end. The small yet lithe figure tossed her cloak aside and began to move around her. Bella was then startled by the low hissing sounds that emanated from around the chamber obviously not liking this new being that had come into their ‘home’.

She was afraid to move although every inch of her wanted to keep an eye on the girl that was seemingly stalking her, appraising her and ….sniffing her? Bella began to run through in her mind her own assessment of what skills she might possess of her own to protect herself. She almost laughed thinking of the men in the alley that dark night so long ago. They almost seemed like children to her now that she was awake to what really wondered around in her innocent world. Aro spoke of a physical test so she knew it would come down to hand to hand combat and with that, she surmised that she might have some form of a chance. Oh, a skilled fighter she wasn’t, not by any stretch of the imagination but she had learned some self defense over the years and Jacob had taught her some new moves.

A low rumble came from the girl’s throat, similar to the sound that Edward would make when he was being protective or defending himself. It was similar, yet not the same. This one was less primal and more like something you would hear from an animal at the zoo.

Like a large cat.

Bella’s nerves were almost frazzled to the point where she didn’t know how much longer she could just stand still while every instinct in her was screaming to run. No chance of escape didn’t even factor into the primal fear that was growing deep inside her. In the corner of her eye she watched Aro and Alec move behind her, crossing the room once again to stand with Edward and Alice.

Aro stood before Edward. “Lovely isn’t she? So delicate in her own way.”

Of course he knew that Edward couldn’t answer him but this was a conversation he wanted to have and motioned to Alec to adjust his control. “Wouldn’t you say so Edward?”

Edward clenched his jaw and for a moment didn’t say anything. In the blink of an eye they could all be dead if he didn’t keep some form of control here. “She will kill her Aro.”

Aro looked thoughtfully for a moment. “A possibility, yes.”

His eyes remained on Bella. “This isn’t necessary.”

Aro chose to ignore that statement. “Aren’t you curious Edward, about why she is here?”

His eyes shot to the taller figure. “Does it matter?”

Again he was thoughtful. “No, not really, but it is an interesting story that I would love to share with you.” He positioned himself beside Edward wanting to make sure he had a perfect view of the upcoming test. “We were alerted to a rash of killings in the southern tip of Africa. Imagine our surprise when we found this young creature in battle with a small coven.”

He laughed. “And she was winning.”

Edward had no choice but to listen, his eyes fixed as steel on Bella.

“Have you figured out what she is Edward?”

“Her scent, it’s something I haven’t come across before,” Edward answered.

“Even among her kind she was unique, actually an outcast. We were prepared to destroy her of course.”

Edward was beyond annoyed at the trivial conversation. “Of course.”

Aro smiled. “She is a natural enemy to our kind, if you haven’t guessed that much. But the surprising thing was how her mind was open to us.”

He looked up at Aro. “As opposed to what?”

“Her kind is usually unreadable to the varied gifts of our company, but not only was she easily read, she was easily controlled.”

Of course, thought Edward. The Volturi were well known for bringing those into the guard that had unique talents such as his mind reading or Alice’s foresight.

“She has made an excellent pet. So willing to do anything we ask of her.” Aro was obviously pleased with his newest toy.

Edward looked over to Alice who remained frozen, her thoughts still clouded to him but the outcome remained the same. “Please, don’t hurt her.”

This very much intrigued Aro. “A vampire pleads for his human love.” It wasn’t a question.

Edward’s eyes met his, his jaw set and hard as stone, teeth clenched. “Yes.”

Aro continued on. “She’s ready. I’m very interested to see what she’s capable of.”

Edward wasn’t sure if he referred to Bella or Legeera.

She stood now before Bella, still and quiet, then sank to a crouching position. It was faster than the blink of an eye, and with a fear that was not completely unfamiliar to her she watched Legeera instantly change forms.

Hair came out all over her body, black and glistening. Her green eyes darker and even more intense as the pads on her feet, now paws, padded softly closer to her.

“No.” Edward whispered.

The hissing in the room became more pronounced as they sought out the farthest recesses of the chamber.

Aro continued, “Rejected by her own kind, a deviant you might say. Sad really when I thought about it.”

Edward shot him a look. “What is she?”

“She is a shape shifter. Her form is, as you can see, a black cougar. Incredible.” Aro was smiling with delight. “Of course, she would be our natural enemy if she wasn’t damaged.”

Edwards mind was reeling. This couldn’t be happening to him, to her as he just now had her back in his arms. But under Alec’s steady control all he could do was watch as the predator closed in on the prey.