Nothing But Time
Sequel to 'The New Kids' When Renesmee leaves Owen, he goes to extreme measures to get her back.
2. Chapter 2
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I collapsed onto the floor, my head making a sickening sound as it cracked against the edge of the counter top. Though I realized that I'd lost my grasp on consciousness, I heard an echo of Aunt Alices words in my head. "It's too late."
I'm not sure how long I was out, it could have been 10 seconds or 10 hours, but I woke up still on the kitchen floor with a splitting headache and Jacobs face hovering a few inches above mine. I must have only been out for a minute or two.
"Oh, Nessie!" he exclaimed when he saw my eyes open, tears were pooled in the corners of his. "Are you okay? Thank god your head is so hard, for a second I thought you must have split it right open!"
"I'm okay...a little bit of a headache..." I mumbled as I tried to pull myself into a sitting position. The rest of my family was bent down over me as well, and I started feeling claustrophobic with the wall of people surrounding me.
"Give her some space," Dad said calmly. He stood up straight and pulled my mother back.
Grandpa Carlisle made his way to the freezer, pulled out a blue icepack, wrapped it in a dish towel and handed it to me. "Put this on the back of your head, sweetie."
I did as he asked, and winced. My skin might have been impenetrable, more vampire than human, but it still hurt like human skin would. I leaned my back against the cabinets and sighed, not wanting to ask about what I knew to be true. I forced myself anyway. "He's going to make it there, isn't he?"
"Yes," Aunt Alice said simply. She was leaning heavily into Uncle Jasper, looking very vulnerable, like she needed the support. It was an odd thing to see.
"What do we do now?"
"We wait," my mom said quietly.
More waiting, great. I would go out of my mind waiting. I was vaguely aware of Tanya speaking low and fast in the other room, still on the phone with Carmen and Eleazar. "No, you must stay put, you can't follow him all the way to Volterra. You'll just be killed right along with him, and if they do decide to turn him, do you think they'll leave you unharmed?"
My father strode into the living room then, and I heard him take the phone out of Tanyas hand. He spoke low and urgent, "Eleazar, you cannot go anywhere near there. You know as well as I do that you will have to touch Aro, and you know too much. He can't find out what talent Owen might hold."
I could tell that Eleazar must be seeing reason now, he wouldn't want to make matters worse.
"Make your way to Florence, that way you'll be close....just in case. We'll call you the second Alice sees anything new. Thank you, Eleazar. My family owes you so many times over." I heard the small phone flip shut. "Jacob," Dad called. "Carry Nessie to the couch please, she'll be more comfortable in here."
I attempted to protest as Jake leaned down to scoop me into his arms, but gave up quickly. It was easier to just let him have his way on this small thing, and I needed to concentrate. There was an idea swimming around in my brain, it hadn't fully formed yet, but I was afraid that my father would quash it before it had the chance. I focused my attention on something random and meaningless instead, the cheesy reality show that was playing on the television. It was easy to hide my thoughts as I tried to unravel complicated relationships on the screen. Jim was dating Melissa, but used to date Anne. Anne was Codys cousin, and he used to date Melissa....I went on like this for half an hour before my father finally let out an exasperated sigh and turned it off.
"Stop it, Renesmee. Quit keeping me out."
"I'm not keeping you out," I lied easily, while continuing to think about Melissa and her twin sister switching places to see if anyone noticed. I knew I could only keep this up for so long...maybe I needed to go out and hunt, just to get away from him for awhile.
"You're not going anywhere," he said firmly.
"Dad!" I was being whiny now. There had to be a way. And then, for a split second, I slipped.
"ABSOLUTELY NOT!" He roared.
Our short conversation had gone mostly unnoticed by the rest of the family, but they all looked at me now. Over my fathers growls and sounds of protest, I thought of what I had to do. Owen had run to Italy for my sake, to try and become what he thought I wanted. I knew I'd be too late to completely save him, but if the Volturi did decide to turn him, well...then I should be there. That would prevent them from coming here. I was the only one who truly deserved to be punished.
"Edward? What's going on?" Jacob asked frantically.
"She want to go...to them," he hissed.
Now it was Jakes turn to freak out, along with the rest of my family. I couldn't make out any distinct words, it was just a tumult of hisses and growls. Well, so much for that idea. There was no way I was being let out of the house...or possibly this room...anytime soon. When the noise died down, I let out a sigh.
"You are so your mothers child." Aunt Alice shook her head. Then, she paused for a moment, her eyes shifting out of focus. I heard everyone around me stop breathing. "It's going to be soon. He'll rent a car and be in Volterra by the time the sun rises here," she said.
The next several hours seemed to drag on endlessly. No one spoke or moved. Jake and I were curled up together on the couch, our arms and legs tangled and wound tightly. It was like we were trying to squeeze an eternity of touches into the space of a few small moments. It seemed as if days had passed when the black sky finally started to turn a deep gray. Aunt Alice sighed, and I knew it was time.
"What are you seeing?" I whispered to her.
"He's pulling up to the city, not sure how to find them. He's figures that if he starts asking around for Aro, one of them will hear and take him there. It's a good plan. It won't take long for one of the guard to realize that something is up and take him to their master."
I felt nauseous. The idea of Owen standing so close to Aro and his chalky, milky eyed brothers was nearly too much to take.
"Can you see what they'll say to him, what will happen next?" Jacob asked.
"Sort of," she replied. "I think he'll take them by surprise. Not an easy thing to do. And just like last time, I can see that they'll come for us, they're just waiting for an excuse. Also, given Aros dislike of 'waste' I'm fairly certain that they'll agree to change him..." Her eyebrows were pulled down in concentration, like her visions were coming too fast now for her to keep up.
So that she could concentrate fully, my father began to tell us her thoughts. "He's walking around the main plaza, asking for Aro. No one knows who he's talking about...yet."
"A lesser member of the guard was out in the city and just heard him...."
"He's reporting back to Aro right now....."
"Aro is sending Demetri."
There was a longer pause.
"He'll follow Demetri into their building, and...right now it looks like he'll just tell them the truth, the whole story. He knows that Aro will find out the truth anyway."
Another pause. My breath was coming out in short heavy pants now, it was the only noise in the room.
"He's standing in front of them. He doesn't look frightened at all, but Aro looks surprised."
It was quiet again, for longer than before. I was about to ask what was happening when Aunt Alice started speaking again. "They're deliberating. They honestly don't know what to do about him. They'll be here by the end of next week, though. That is very clear. Caius is overjoyed that he gets to confront us again."
"They're all coming again?" Jasper asked her.
"No...I don't think so. Only Caius and some of the guard," she answered. "They know if they come fast enough, we won't have time to ask anyone to stand with us."
I heard my breath coming out in big gusts, like I couldn't get enough air down my throat. I felt tears on my cheeks, but hardly noticed them. I could only think about the week I had left. One week.
"Alice, what was that? What did you just see Aro saying?" My father gasped.
Her eyes grew wide. "Oh no...no no no."
We all looked imploringly at my father to explain.
"Aro said that we...our family... seem to have a knack for finding people with exceptional talents. He saw enough in Owens thoughts to give him a small inkling of what he might be capable of, and Aro suspects that he'll be quite an asset. He's going to try and use Owen against us."
"Well, then there is no way they'll be able to come next week. It could take months to prepare Owen," Uncle Jasper said confidently. I could tell he was forming a plan in his head, a plan of counter attack. Unfortunately, that wouldn't matter much if Owen was taught to use his abilities against us. He could disable any talent of ours. Even if he couldn't penetrate my mothers shield, we still didn't stand a chance.
This stupid car. Who comes to Italy and ends up with a rented Ford? I needed something fast. I could practically feel them on my tail, the two vampires who had tried to corner me in the airport. They must be following me, right?
I wouldn't think about that, I had to press on regardless. I knew, deep in my soul, that Renesmee and I were meant for each other. If I were more like her, part of her crazy world, maybe she would realize it too. I knew enough to know that it would be painful, and that I would be crazy for several months. Crazy with thirst for human blood. I was resolved to never kill a human though, she surely wouldn't like it if I did. I could live on animals, just like the rest of her family.
It took longer than I thought it would to get the walled city that the road signs identified as Volterra, but I still slowed unconsciously as I pulled up to the towering walls. What was I going to say? How was I even going to find them? I knew very little from the memories and thoughts that Nessie had shown me about the ancient ones I was looking for. I knew they were the rulers of the world I wanted to belong to. I knew that they punished those who broke the rules. For a moment, I was worried about the Cullens. Did me coming here, knowing too much, break a rule? Even if it did, how could they harm them? Carlisle had lived as one of them for a time, they were friends.
I considered lying for a moment, telling them that I figured it out on my own...not letting them know I had any connection to anyone in the vampire world, or that I had once come upon a nomad and escaped him after finding out the truth. But then I remembered the gift that Aro possessed. Nessie had shown me once, one of the only memories she had of Aro. His hand was pressed to Edwards and he had small fascinated smile on his face. He looked very kind in that memory, but it had been tinged with fear when she showed me. I didn't understand why.
I was resolved now, I would tell the simple truth. It was the easiest way. But how to find them? I supposed I could just start asking around. Though I was sure none of the humans would have any idea who I was talking about, perhaps a vampire would hear me.
I pulled through the arched gates at around four in the afternoon and parked along a quiet side street. I'd been all over the world, and though Volterra was beautiful, it did not fascinate me. I'd seen too many similar Italian cities for it to have that effect. I followed the flow of light foot traffic to the main plaza, asking a few people along the way if they knew Aro. My Italian was rusty, so after a few confused looks, I just stuck to English.
I wandered aimlessly around the square, asking someone every minute or so. I was starting to feel silly, and a little nervous. The ones who were following, Carmen and Eleazar who I knew from Nessies memories, must be getting closer.
Finally, after what felt like an eternity, but only about 15 minutes in reality, I saw a mysterious figure lurking in the shadows. He must be one of them. He wore a long dark gray cloak that brushed the ground and had the hood pushed back so that I could see his pale face. It was definitely not Eleazar, so I made my way slowly in his direction.
"I'm looking for Aro, do you know him?" I asked, knowing full well that he did.
"Yes, I do," he replied musically. "What is your business with him?"
"I'm a friend of a friend. I know the Cullens, and I have a favor to ask."
I noticed his eyes brighten when I mentioned the Cullens. I couldn't tell if that was a good or a bad thing. "Of course, follow me please."
I followed him through a few alleyways and into a side door of a blank, nondescript stone building. The hallway inside was just as boring. It looked like any hall you'd see on the inside of any office building. There was an elevator at the end, its door open and waiting for us.
The vampire I followed didn't speak to me again, he merely looked amused. When the elevator opened I was surprised by the area we stepped out into. It was quite an extravagant waiting room, like something you'd see inside an exclusive members only club. The scent of the fresh flowers that sat on every table was nearly overwhelming.
"Good afternoon, Christina," the man said to the woman behind the dark wooden counter. I was surprised again when I registered the fact that she was human. These vampires must be just as civilized and compassionate as the Cullens, to live and work in such close proximity to humans without harming them. Perhaps they only hunted the bad ones, as Nessie told me Edward used to do.
"Hello Demetri," she said back to him, a polite smile on her face.
I kept following Demetri through several more winding halls until he finally pushed open a set of large golden doors. This place was very lavish, I could see why they were thought of as royalty, and the room we walked into was the most opulent yet. It was large and long, lined with marble looking columns. It could have been the sanctuary of a church, but instead of stained glass windows depicting biblical scenes, huge colorful paintings and rich tapestries hung on the walls.
At the opposite end of the long room there were 5 ornate chairs grouped together. I recognized Aro at once, and assumed that the two men and two women seated next to him were the rest of the Volturi. As I got closer the waif looking women got up and ghosted from the room, followed by a small contingency of other vampires. Still, more remained, grouped loosely around the three seated men.
I was about 10 feet from them, when Aro stood and spoke. "Hello, young friend! I hear that you have been looking for me?"
"Yes." My voice sounded more confident that I actually was. In truth, I felt like I could get sick at any moment. I was still confident of what I wanted, but I was starting to wonder if this had been the ideal way to go about getting it.
"What can I do for you?" He asked genially.
"I...I want to become a vampire," I stuttered. "I am a friend of the Cullens, and I wish to join them, but they won't change me. My girlfriend showed you to me in her thoughts once and I knew that if they wouldn't do it, you might be my next best chance."
"Ah," he said lightly. "Very interesting. What is your name, young one?"
"Owen Ross, sir." Was 'sir' appropriate? I almost felt like I should be calling him 'your majesty' instead.
"Well, Owen. I'm very, very glad you came to see us here. Of course, I will need the whole story before we make any decision regarding your future. I take it you know of my talent?"
"Yes, sir." I took at tentative step toward him and stretched out my hand. He smiled and walked the rest of the way to me, shadowed closely by 3 others. I shivered when his icy, white fingers touched mine. His face was blank, but smiling as he probed my thoughts. I didn't like the idea of him seeing everything, every moment I'd shared with Nessie. I worked not to think about them, to try and hide it, even though I knew it was futile. Ness had told me that he could read every thought that had ever crossed my mind. I wondered what it would be like, to see and hear all that Aro had. To know every thought of every person he'd touched.
Then, something very curious happened, and I wondered if it was a side effect of Aros ability. As I was thinking about not wanting him to hear everything, and trying to bury certain thoughts deeply, it seemed as if I could glimpse into his mind. There were weak murmurings in my head that did not belong to me. Shock, mostly. Before I could get anything more, or even figure out what was happening he drew his hand away.
His face betrayed nothing, so I figured that this must happen with everyone.
"Hmmm. Interesting, indeed." He looked to at the two seated behind him. Caius and Marcus, I remembered. "Very interesting, that the daughter of Edward and Bella would fall in love with a human. Ironic."
A huge hulking vampire standing behind Aro laughed menacingly. It gave me chills.
Caius spoke for the first time, and his voice had a sharp edge, but also an eagerness. "Really, Aro? So soon do we get news of another opportunity to finish what was started?"
Aro cut him off before he said anything more. "Carefully, Caius. Young Owen here has immense love Renesmee and the rest of the Cullens." It sounded like a warning for Caius to shut up before he gave something vital away. "As do we, as well..." he tacked on for good measure.
"Yes," Caius added, narrowing his eyes. "Carlisle is like a brother to us."
For some reason I did not believe them, and I grew increasingly wary. Marcus had yet to speak, and really didn't look inclined to, but he nodded vaguely when his brothers spoke.
"We must council, and decide what fate we will give young Owen," Aro said in his sing song voice.
Caius and Marcus stood, then followed Aro through a small door that I hadn't noticed beside the chairs. He motioned for the others to stay behind, and I was left in the cavernous room with around a dozen vampires, all of whom were looking at me with various expressions on their beautiful faces. A few looked downright giddy, as if my request had made their day. Others looked more disapproving, like I didn't belong. None of them looked at me thirstily, I thought.
Their eyes were disconcerting at first glance, menacing even, but they did not detract from the stunning beauty of their faces. As I peered timidly into them, I began to worry. This had not been what I expected, and I had feeling that if my request were turned down I would not just be free to go. Just think of Nessie I told myself over and over again. I thought of her big brown eyes that were beautiful beyond description, her curly red brown hair that smelled so sweet, and her smile that would melt anyone who looked on it. I sighed contentedly, just thinking of her made me happy, no matter where I was.
Somewhere deep inside of myself, I realized that I was doing something beyond crazy and that I had snapped....something that the normal, rational side of me, which was usually so dominant, would be having an absolute fit about right now, if I allowed him to surface. But what were my other options? I had to win her back.
That thought brought me to the reason I was here. The stupid dog. The imprinting thing disgusted me, because it had taken my Nessie away. I knew she had freewill and a choice in the matter, but I wasn't entirely sure she knew that. She said she did, but I didn't believe it. One lousy kiss wouldn't have made the whole world suddenly rotate the other direction if she'd known she had the choice. I couldn't believe that my Nessie would do that to me of her own freewill.
When...if...I became a vampire, I would be far better suited for her than him.
I was snapped out of my brooding thoughts by the three ancient vampires gliding back into the room. They had reached their decision, and I felt my stomach heave as I thought about the future I was so close to getting. I didn't know what to expect.