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The Return

Summary:
The Volturi receive a wake up call that their power might be slipping away from them. And the wake up call is NOT from another coven, nor from the wolves...who could it be? And who is the mysterious girl that two memebrs of the Volturi Guard encounter on their way back to Italy???


Notes:
THis is a one shot, and a tie-in to my story, "The More Things Change"...but it can stand on it's onw, so don't be put off by that tie-in thing. You do NOT need to read the other story to understand this one! Well, except for one timy part where it references the other story. I hope you like it, and let me know what you think!!!


1. The Return: A Special One-Shot Supplement to ?The More Things Change?

Rating 5/5   Word Count 3058   Review this Chapter

“We are the Ones who will still remain when all is laid to waste,

We are the Ones who, when angels cry, will see them face to face—

We are the Ones, undying…”

Joseph always loved this part of the work. Getting out of those infernal catacombs they were forced to live in as part of the Volturi Guard. Or, as in Joseph’s case, Voturi assassins. That part he hated. He often wondered what gave the Volturi the right to dispense their own brand of “justice” so indiscriminately. He wondered why none of the other vampire covens had the guts to unite and overthrow them. And he wondered, not for the first time, if he was the only member of the Guard who felt this way.

Of course, he guarded these thought very carefully. There were some vampires who could read minds. He was fortunate in that so far Aro had never asked to see his thoughts. If that ever happened—no, he mused…when it happened—that day would be his last. Of that fact he was absolutely certain.

Joseph and his partner William were on their way back to Italy after having disposed of a “problem” in British Columbia. Joseph had been half-way tempted to see if he could slip away from William, and head down to Washington, to see if the Cullens would have him or not. He wasn’t too keen on living exclusively off animals—he had tried animal blood a few times, and didn’t particularly care for it, and yet he would do anything to gain his freedom. But then he thought better of it…William was an excellent tracker, and very loyal to the leaders of the Volturi, and a much better fighter than he himself was. So Joseph had quickly buried the idea of freedom he was secretly nursing.

Joseph had been extremely impressed when the Volturi had gone to Forks to see about the child the Cullens now had with them. When he had seen all the other covens gathered in support of the Cullens, he had truly hoped that an uprising was imminent, and had been fully prepared to turn on his masters if such an event should come to pass. Much to his disappointment, however, nothing at all had happened, and he had returned to Italy with the others, his dreams of freedom once again dashed.

They had reached the outskirts of a quaint village in southern Switzerland, and were preparing to hunt, when he saw the girl. Or woman--Joseph really couldn’t quite tell which. She was walking along a street towards them. The girl seemed to have a strange, almost ageless quality about her. She was around five foot five, had light reddish hair, dark green eyes, and moved with an ethereal grace, almost as if she floated rather than walked. It was just after dusk, and yet a slight glow seemed to radiate from her, illuminating the ground at her feet. This, in Joseph’s mind, made the fact that the other people were ignoring her all the more strange. On top of that, she also happened to be the most beautiful creature Joseph had ever seen in his entire existence. More so by far than any vampire he knew!

But perhaps even stranger, not one of the people she passed seemed to take any notice of her. Most kept on with what ever they were doing. A few would pause, and look around them in a slightly confused manner as she passed, and then go right back to whatever they had been doing. For her part, the girl seemed blissfully unaware that anything was amiss, a slight smile of contentment on her face as she weaved in and out amongst the villagers. Joseph stealthfully moved closer to the girl, who had paused to look in the window of one of the shops along the street. He was now only a few yards away.

Suddenly, he was hit with the most delightful smell he’d ever encountered before. Indeed, if asked before that moment, he would have doubted that anything could have smelled as wonderfully intoxicating as the aroma which now assailed his senses. Vampire though he was, he actually felt light-headed from the heady fragrance! And somehow, he knew—he just knew—this glorious scent was coming from the girl. He licked his lips as the aroma nearly made him drool venom just by being so near to it.

Was this his “singer”, he wondered? He had often heard talk of the “singer” phenomenon, where the blood of a human calls so loudly to the vampire that he must hunt it down and drink it, but had scoffed at it. Perhaps he had been too hasty in laughing. This girl must be her—his singer. For he felt the overpowering urge to drain her dry right there on the sidewalk.

Suddenly, two things happened in very quick progression. The first was that the girl had moved away from him whilst he had been lost in her scent, and turned a corner down a dark street. The other was that William had joined him, and as the girl disappeared from sight, William looked back at him and smiled. “I saw her first, brother!” Before Joseph knew what had happened, William had knocked him to the ground and blurred after the girl.

Joseph sprang to his feet, eyes narrowed and teeth bared in rage. The girl was his! How dare William try and take his singer from him! And running that fast with humans so near was dangerous as well. Joseph ran as fast as he could at a normal human speed, afraid with each step that he would be too late. William was an efficient hunter, and a nasty, vindictive person.

Sure enough as he turned the corner, he saw the girl cowering in a corner by some garbage cans. Joseph could hear her poor heart beating rapidly as she gazed, terror stricken, at William, who stood over her, leering down at her face. Joseph cringed at the sight…the girl deserved better than to die in an alley, her beautiful body found drained and lifeless beside garbage cans! But he couldn’t risk a fight with William, not here. He’d probably loose anyway. And the smell of her blood grew even stronger, if that was possible.

Then a strange, inexplicable desire to protect this helpless girl flooded through Joseph. He had never felt the like of it before. She looked so fragile cowering there! And suddenly, he didn’t care what would happened. He was going to stop William from killing her. If she was going to die, it would not be in a dingy alley. No, it would be in a nice place, a beautiful garden, full of flowers and flowing water. An image of a place he had never seen came to his mind then…flowers, a bright blue sky, rolling green hills, waves crashing on the shore. The girl walked there, blissful, happy, serene. He would find that place and take her back. He would resist the urge for her blood. If he could…if only he could. But first, stop William, he thought.

He crouched and prepared to spring at William. The girl had closed her eyes and turned her head away. Her face bore a look which said she was resigned to what was about to happen to her. William was lifting her wrist to his face. He closed his eyes and sniffed along her arm. Joseph started to spring

He abruptly checked himself. For just as William was biting down on her arm, the girl’s head instantly spun around. Gone was the resigned look. Now the girl’s eyes were glowing softly. Her mouth was twisted in a grin which made Joseph reel back, cringing in horror—it looked like she actually wanted William to bite her! “Yes, my sweet,” she purred in the sweetest voice Joseph could remember ever hearing. “Drink deeply.” William’s eyes snapped open in surprise at her voice, as he continued drinking her blood. After a few gulps, William suddenly broke contact and fell over backwards in an attempt to get away.

“What are you?” He shrieked, eyes wide with terror, and started grabbing at his neck. The girl stood, and grinned down at him. William started choking and gagging, his eyes bulging out of his face. The girl stood watching him, and started to laugh. “What am I?” She said softly. “Oh, vain, arrogant vampires! Did you really think that nature, the Universe, God would allow you to exist—immortal, strong, fast, cunning--and not also create something to keep you in check? Something more powerful even than your kind? HA! You see where your ignorance has led you…to eternal death!” As she said the final words, William’s shrieking rose even higher, and he suddenly burst into flame. Soon, he was nothing but a pile of ashes. The girl laughed quietly, and kicked at the pile, scattering it to the wind.

She then turned and looked at Joseph. He gulped, suddenly terrified, and fell over backwards in his haste to get way from the girl. To think that just moments before, he had actually thought that this girl needed him to protect and save her. She had called William arrogant, but Joseph now saw that he was, too. She glided over to him, and Joseph cringed away from her. She pursed her lips and slowly shook her head as she stared down at him.

“So—this is the vaunted Volturi Guard, is it?” Her voice had a lilting tone to it…an accent Jospeh knew hehad heard before but couldn’t place at the moment. ‘Well, tis indeed good for you that none of our Italian friends have woken! You wouldn’t last a day!”

Though her words confused him, Joseph had to know what she was. And, he still had that urge to look after her for some inexplicable reason. But all he could do was repeat William’s last words, and hope they wouldn’t be his own last words as well.

“Wh-what are you?”

She smiled slightly. “A…scout, I suppose ya could call me. Yes, as good a word as any, I suppose. Y’see, we’ve decided that we have too long been absent from the affairs of the world. The humans have forgotten us, and this both delights and annoys us. We emerged from under our mountains to find things very different than before. Some humans still remember us, but precious few indeed.

“Then we learned that vampires had multiplied drastically in our absence. We made contact with some of our children who had walked among the humans during the centuries in which we had dwelt in the earth, and they confirmed this for us. Some of them had been combating the evil ones of you. But we then learned that there were also good vampires in the world. In fact, my nephew lives with one such vampire family, and has even fallen in love with one of them.”

Joseph thought back quickly to the incident in Forks. He remembered how the half-breed vampire had arrived as the Volturi was leaving, and he also remembered that same half breed appearing in the Volturi audience chamber before that, threatening the Masters. His name was Sean. He remembered because the Masters were still concerned about his presence with the Cullens, especially after what he had done during the visit to Forks. Joseph knew the masters were scared of this Sean, whom he also heard was in love with Alice Cullen. And if this girl was indeed Sean’s aunt, then the masters had good reason to be afraid.

The girl paused. She looked up at the stars that were now filling the sky. “So beautiful,” she murmured. Joseph stared at her in awe. What kind of a woman was this who faced down an attack by a vampire, then effortless killed it, and now was distracted by the night sky? He watched her. She was glowing slightly a bit brighter now than when he had first seen her on the street. Her scent still filled his head, driving nearly all rational thoughts from his mind. Josheph’s heart was lost, he knew it, though he didn’t know when the thought had entered his mind.

“You’re beautiful,” he murmured. She turned to look down at him again. “The most gorgeous woman I have ever seen in my entire existence.”

She smiled brightly. “That little speech has saved yer life, lad,” she said. Then he recognized her accent. It was the same one that Sean had—Irish.

“You’re from Ireland?” Joseph asked. She looked back up at the sky, sighed, and nodded. “Certain sure,” she murmured. “Only we have reemerged. But our Norse brethren are stirring as well.” She closed her eyes and inhaled deeply. “Ah, the air—tis so fresh! SO much better than those dank caverns.” She turned back to Joseph again. “Ah, get up, lad—I’ll not hurt ye! I want you to go back and tell yer masters that they’d best watch their steps from now on. Tis all well and good for ye tae drink human blood, but some o’ the humans are under our protection. And if they are harmed…” she paused and her eyes blazed with fury. “Then God help ye! Our wrath is a terrible thing to behold!” She turned and began to glide away from him back down the street the way she’d come.

Joseph couldn’t bear it. “Wait!” he called, hurrying after her. She paused and turned back to him, waiting for him to catch up to her. He took her hand and got down on his knees. “Please! Don’t leave me! I don’t think I can live with our you!” He felt like a complete fool. Before a few minutes ago, he had prided himself on being strong where it concerned females. But all that had gone in an instant, the moment he had seen her. Please take me with you! I can’t stand the Volturi! I have wanted to get away form them for so long! Can’t I come with you?”

She smiled sadly at him, and put her hand on his cheek. “Our kind doesn’t mix,” she said. “You are vampire, I’m not.”

“But, Sean is your nephew, and he loves a vampire!” He knew he was grasping at straws, but he couldn’t bear the thought of never seeing her again.

She sighed. “But Seaneen is half vampire, so there is a connection.”

“See?” Joseph said, grasping her hand. HE was getting desperate. “His mother loved a vampire, so it is possible!”

The girl shook her head. “Even Seaneen’s mum was only half-human. Tis the human part that is attracted to the vampire, not the other. The other part is repulsed by it.”

He looked into her eyes, and could tell in his heart that she wasn’t repulsed at all. Somehow, she knew what he was thinking. “You’re right,” she whispered. “But it still can’t be.” She turned again and continued walking. “Now go and tell the Volturi that we have returned once again to the world. And tell them to tread lightly so as not to arouse our anger.”

Joseph ran after her again, and touched her on the shoulder. I am pathetic, he thought. “She turned again with a sigh. “Wait, please! At least tell me your name,” he begged.

“Maureen,” she said, smiling. “What’s yours?”

“J-Joseph,” he stuttered, and her smile grew.

They stood in the dark street a moment, staring at each other. Then placing her hands on either side of his face, she pressed her lips to his gently. Time seemed to stop for Joseph, as he felt her love in that tiny demonstration. He had never, ever believed in love at first sight, or the concept of soul-mates. Not, at least, before that night.

She pulled away from him finally. Then touching his face one last time she whispered, “Don’t be afraid--I’ll see you again, Joseph.” And with that, she disappeared—she didn’t walk away, mind you, she was just not there anymore--the street was completely deserted, except for one sad and lonely vampire.

Joseph returned to Volterra, afraid that he was also returning to his death. For Aro would demand a full report, and demand to see Joseph’s thoughts. And when he found that Joseph was in love with the enemy, well that would be it for him. But Maureen had promised they would meet again, and that gave him the courage to return to his old life.

Luckily for him, Aro was not there. Only Caius sat in the audience chamber when Jospeh arrived to make his report. He inwardly breathed a sigh of relief before telling Caius everything that had happened. Well, perhaps not quite everything. He left out the whole part about Maureen’s connection to the Cullens, and of course the bit about him loving her. No use to die tonight, he thought.

As Joseph spoke, he could see Caius’ face growing more and more angry. And even, Joseph thought, frightened. When he was at last dismissed, (with a warning that once Aro returned, Joseph would have to repeat this whole story for him as well) he hurried to his room. Sitting down on a chair, he put his head in his hands and tried to think about what had happened. But all he could remember was her face. And the only word he could think was her name. He said it out loud, just to hear it, thinking about how nicely it rolled off his tongue.

Caius, meanwhile, had also returned to his chamber. But Caius’ thought were much less pleasant than Joseph’s were. Caius paced for a long time, mulling it all over. If he had been human, he would have broken out in a cold sweat over the news Joseph had brought back. Finally, he sat and just stared into the distance, trying to formulate a plan…any plan to stave off the sudden re-appearance of this threat to Volturi rule. How many humans were under their protection, he wondered. He shuddered over the threat that the girl had made, about their wrath descending on them…he had seen what their wrath could do! And the words that returned to Caius mind over and over that night were also very different that Joseph’s, making him shudder even as he said them.

”The Fey!” Caius muttered. “The Fey have returned!”