Another Word for Lonely
Thank you to Oh Mike, How will I go on for the amazing Banner!!! Go read her stories :) Bella's a half Vampire and half human, daughter of Aro, a secret that is to be kept at all costs. She moves away, disgusted from her life in Volterra, to Forks to start fresh. There, she runs into the Cullen's, who don't have any idea what she is, or who she's the daughter of. What happens when she falls for Edward, and Edward for her? And what will happen when Aro summons her back home? Who is in danger, Bella or the Cullens? AU Slightly OOC BxE
Rating 5/5 Word Count 3838 Review this Chapter
I was led into Volterra the same way I had left all those years ago, through an underground sewer system with a hidden entrance into the castle. No one, Vampire community included, knew about this entrance except for the personal guard. Anyone else who had ever been led in through this entrance had never lived long enough to escape out of it again. This was the only way into the castle without being noticed by anyone.
I walked through the dark passage ways like a pro, knowing exactly where I was heading in the dark tunnel. Not even the newest guard to be promoted as my escort seemed as confident. After about 4 miles of winding tunnels and crawl spaces, we finally came to a small rounded door... the entrance to my wing of the castle. It was directly beneath the few rooms I was permitted to walk freely around, connected by a long corridor to Aro's quarters and the main hall.
I climbed through the hole and waited for my escort to follow. He shut the door and securely fastened it; it seemed more than usual but that may have been my imagination running wild. He instructed me that I was to clean up and change and would be expected in the main hall in one hour. I wasted no time in running to my bathroom for a much needed hot shower, rinsing off the grime that had collected through my sewer walk. As I wrapped a towel around myself to go figure out what I would wear, I had found a dress hanging from my bed post. I must have over-looked it in my haste to clean myself up.
It was beautiful in its rich navy blue color and one shoulder chiffon silhouette. It was dramatized with chiffon flowers grouped on the covered shoulder and a small belt creating an empire waist effect, the bottom flowing around me. It was magnificent, and that terrified me. This type of dress was meant to be seen, to be worn for an occasion...but what occasion? Yes, Aro liked to indulge in the finer things of life, yet this was beyond his norm. Dinners here were always met with a cocktail dress, even slacks on occasion, never a gown.
My fear of what could happen on this short trip escalated 10 fold. I looked to the clock and realized I needed to call Edward. I pulled out my phone and sent him a quick text letting him know I arrived safely and things were running smoothly.
'Be Safe. I love you.' Was his reply.
'Always.' I put the phone safely into my desk, hiding it under some jewelry.
I double checked my appearance, content with the messy bun I had piled my hair into and the light brush of makeup gracing my face. I left everything in my room as I made my way to the main hall, amused to see I now had 2 escorts. This was new.
The door opened slowly as I approached, resisting the urge to roll my eyes at the dramatics of it all. Unlike all the other times where Aro, Caius, and Marcus sat in the center and everyone else below them, there were only 2 seats on the highest steps before me. Aro was seated in main throne and the one to his right hand was empty. The other throne was slightly smaller and not as dramatic, yet you knew that whoever sat there still held title and privilege. I wondered who that seat was for.
"My beautiful darling Bella! My, you have grown even more beautiful since you last left me if that were even possible. Come, come dear and give us a kiss." Aro said delightedly as he rose from his seat and walked towards me.
"Hello father, it is nice to be home." I said forcing a smile to grace my lips. "May I ask where everyone is? I thought there was supposed to be a dinner party in honor of the festival?"
"Ah yes my dear. The party will commence as soon as my heir has arrived, and here she is." He said smiling.
"Heir? Where...?" I asked, looking around. I half expected to see Jane around here somewhere.
"You my dear. You are my daughter, are you not?" He said chuckling.
"Heir? But...but what of my secret? And why would you need an heir if you cannot die?" I asked, this was beginning to become ever more alarming. I tried not to let my heartbeat flutter frantically and keep my cool. There was something going on here and I wasn't sure I liked it.
"Your secret is still kept darling, the only ones invited to our little dinner party are those already privy to our secret. And you are correct in the fact that I will never die, thus having an heir is useless. But I realized I never claimed you officially as my daughter and your importance to me. I would like all to know that you are to be respected and shown the honor you deserve. No one will be allowed to disrespect you unless you permit it, you will never be harmed and the transgressor be untouched, you are royalty and will be treated as such." He explained to me as a father talks to a young child.
"Thank you...?" I said as a question. I wasn't sure why he was doing this, he had never really cared over my happiness before.
"I am truly sorry for not taking an interest to you sooner my beloved. I wish to make up for that tonight with this small party in your honor. Come, sit with me and I shall be at your right hand tonight. All will know how you shine tonight." He said, leading me to the great throne in the center. I hesitantly sat, waiting for someone to pop out and say 'Just Kidding!'. It never came, instead, Vampires began to file in, taking their places on nearby tables and chaises, talking to one another. I had never realized so many knew of our secret, there must have been at least 35 of us in the room.
"Welcome Friends! We've all gathered here tonight to welcome the return of my lovely daughter Isabella! Before our dinner is served, I welcome each and every one of you to approach her and give her praise and pretty little compliments that are deserved to her." Aro said clapping his hands together and sitting back down. Everyone in the room knew that it was a command, not a suggestion, so as instructed, everyone began to file up and approach me.
Some kissed my hand and gave me compliments, others asked to reserve a dance for later, some grunted and nodded in acknowledgement; but only one refused to apporach me, and that was Jane. After everyone had resumed their seats the doors began to open again and what looked like a tour group of humans walked in.
My eyes shot open in horror as I realized why they were here...they were dinner. I had expected everyone to drink, but I had assumed that the bottles of fresh blood on the tables were meant for that purpose. I didn't think Aro would be so cruel as to force me to witness the death of all these people. I looked around the room for a salvation, and found none. Jane and Caius snickered at me, their smiles paling my face even more. I looked to Felix, Demetri, and Heidi and they looked apologetically at me and looked away, their hunger besting them. I quickly looked over my shoulder to Aro, who I caught a quick glimpse of a smile from and then he stood, speaking to the newly arrived crowd.
"Visitors! It is so nice that you have made it, we've been waiting for you." He said charmingly. The tourists didn't seem to realize they were in grave danger just yet, some were snapping pictures of the scene, others were admiring the beauty of us, and others were glancing at the marble art placed around the room. Not a single one looked terrified of the situation they were in. I tried my best to remain calm, to breathe deeply and exhale, trying to calm my nerves.
"I offer you the chance to approach and wish well Volterra's very own Princess. I introduce to you Isabella Marie of Volterra." Aro said, motioning with his hand that they could approach me. My heart began to beat erratically now as the crowd began to excitedly come towards me, overjoyed at the fact that they thought they would be meeting royalty. I felt pity for them, for the realization that they were small vulnerable lambs in a lions den. I didn't smile, I didn't have the strength to. I sat unmoving as they approached me, out stretching their hands to take mine and wish me good health and compliment my beauty. Some even snapped pictures.
A small tear escaped my eyes when a mother and father brought their 4 year old daughter to me and whispered in her ear, 'Look honey, it's a real life Princess. Go tell her how pretty she is.' They nudged her towards me and she timidly walked over to me looking down bashfully, then looking back up to me, she said, "Hi Princess, your really pretty. I...I want to be a princess one day too." My emotions over took me in that moment and I knealt down beside her and took her in my arms and hugged her. I cradled her to my chest and let a few more tears fall for what was to come in a few moments. This young, beautiful, breakable girl would be killed and I was powerless to stop it. I held her at arms length and looked into her beautiful ice blue eyes. So naive. So sweet. She couldn't die, I couldn't let them die! How could I ever face myself, ever face Edward if I stood by and watched this genocide.
I was broken out of my reverie by a gut clenching wail. I looked up, instinctively bringing the girl into my arms and covering her ears. I looked about the room and noticed all the tourists were on their way to their deaths, including the young girls parents that had been standing here just a second ago. Screams began to die down, bodies thrown aside as trash. I shuddered and remembered what I was holding. I looked down to the little girl in my arms and saw her clenching her eyes shut, covering my own hands over her ears. I picked her up, holding her against me, still proctecting her. I turned around to face Aro, who had a bemused expression on his face.
"Bella dear, you have not touched your dinner, you should not let it become cold." He said, smiliing slightly.
"I...I won't kill her. And no one else shall either." I said, determined to walk out of here with this little girl.
"I beg your pardon?" He said, a quick flash of anger crossing his feature before they returned to normal. "You know that no human may leave this room alive my dear."
"She is too young to remember a thing father, and now that she is orphaned, I wish to keep her...as... as my own. Will you deny me the pleasure of this child's company father? It is a banquet in my honor is it not? This would greatly please me." I entreated him. I had to play with his rules, and that meant treating this young girl as an object, not as a human.
"I suppose so...This...humanchild... would really please you my dear?" He asked, spitting the words human child from his lips as if they were poison.
"Very well, you may keep her."
"Thank you father, thank you. If I may ask...may I please leave for Forks as soon as the jet is ready?" I asked, stroking the young girls golden hair. I could feel my shoulder becoming wet by her tears, no doubt realizing that things were different for her now. I looked up to the crowd, sickened that not one of them took pity on her as I did.
"Whatever for my dear?" He asked confused. I had only been here half a day, it was quite soon to leave, even by my standards,
"I would like to remove her from this place, transition her to life in my home, with me. I need to prepare papers for her and create her a new life." I explained.
"Very well... I shall hear form you soon." He said walking over to me and kissing my cheek. He resumed his seat in the center throne as I walked back out the main hall without a second glance.
Once in my room I tried to set the sobbing child on my bed so as to pack up what few belongings I wanted to take with me, and at the very least change my clothes. The moment I set her on the mattress, she wailed and scrambled back into my arms, gripping my neck tightly.
"Shhhh...it's okay, I won't hurt you, they can't hurt you anymore." I tried to sooth her, rubbing her back soothingly.
"Where's my momma and papa?" She sniffled, looking up at from beneath tear soaked eyelashes.
"They...they are in heaven now. Do you know where that is?" I wasn't entirely sure how much kids knew, I didn't even know how old she was exactly. She nodded her head and slowly pointed up at the ceiling. "Yes, up there." I said trying hard not to cry again. "What's your name pretty one?"
"How old are you lily?"
"4 and a half." She sniffled, beginning to calm in my arms.
"Can you do something for me Lily?" I asked, caressing her cheek. She nodded.
"I have to change okay honey, do you think you can sit right here so that I can do that? I promise I won't leave this room and no one will come in. Please?" her eyes grew wide, but she nodded her head, releasing her grip on my neck. I slowly and carefully sat her on the bed, grabbing a throw blanked and wrapping her up inside it.
"Okay, I'm going to go to that closet right there and change into some clothes, I'll be back in 10 seconds okay? You want to count 10 seconds for me?"
"One..two...three...four...five...six...seven..." She began to count to ten quietly, and I changes as quickly as vampirically possible for me and was back before she even hit 10. I had thrown on a fitted pair of dark jeans and a knee length black trench coat with a simple tee underneath it. I had needed something dark to help hide me in the darkness, as well as mature enough to show that I meant business. I left my hair in the messy bun from earlier, happy that it at least was not in my face. I grabbed a bag from the floor and threw in another pair of jeans, shirt, underwear just incase, and a small sweater for the girl. I would find her some things once we were far from here. I rand over to my desk and pulled out my phone and quickly texted Edward.
'Change of plans...On my way back.' Not two seconds later had I received a reply.
'Are you in trouble?'
'No, but I need help. Have Alice meet me at the airport when I land.'
'Why Alice?' He asked.
'No time to explain, she'll know what I'm talking about.' I replied, hoping to god that she would see why I needed her at the airport. She was the only one I could think of at the moment that would remotely know what to do with a little girl, and that was likely because she reminded me of one herself.
"Ready to go Lily? We're going to go far away form here okay? You'll be safe with me." I said, wrapping her up tightly in the throw blanket and cradling her to me. I slung my bag over my shoulder and opened the door. To my surprise, no one was waiting for me on the other side. I quickly ran to the escape door, hoping that would be unguarded as well. Although I had permission to leave, I was afraid of Lily's reaction to someone else.
Unfortunately, I was not so lucky to find it empty. Jane was waiting for me at the door.
"Silly compassionate Bella, did you really think you could get away with that stunt in there?" She asked.
"You walking away with a human? Just because you are Aro's daughter doesn't mean you can break the rules. Hand her over Bella." She ordered.
"No. I will not let you harm her. You are in no position to order me around Jane, we both know that." Anger seeping into my words. Lily curled into herself in my arms, shaking from the fear that I was sure she was in. "Lily, cover our ears." I whispered to her, she did as I asked.
"Lily? What a sickening name." Jane spat.
"Not any more that the name Jane." I spat right back. "I have no patience for your games Jane, move out of my way or I will make you."
"You move one inch and I'll kill that girl before your little fluttering heart can skip a beat." She threatened. I considered my options...I already had Lily enveloped in my shield, she was untouchable to Jane, but Jane didn't know that. If I allowed Jane to attempt to hurt us, I could use it as an excuse to finally kill her with just cause. But if I killed her, I would not only anger Aro, I would scare Lily...What was I to do?
"Give Aro my regards." I said pushing past her. She growled at me at I prepared myself for the attack she planned to throw. I felt a slight nudge on my shield, but nothing affected either Lily or I. She realized how ineffective she really was and stepped aside, arms crossed and glaring daggers at me. "I hope this is the last I see of you, but that may be too much to ask for."
"Go back to your precious Cullen's, filth belong with filth."She spoke as she slammed the door and locked it.
I ran quickly, making it out of the tunnel within a couple of minutes, the night sky just as dark as the tunnel. I ran under the cover of darkness and the full moon until I found a small car that I could steal and placed Lily on the passenger side, strapping her in. We drove all the way to Rome, and I was pleased to know that she had fallen asleep along the way. It was 2am when we pulled into the Airport parking lot. I unstrapped her form the seat and picked her up again, relieved that she had not woken up. As I entered the airport, i made a few calls to some people that I knew worked here. I already knew that I would charter a private plane rather than use the Volturri's private jet, but I need assurance that I would not be given problems with Lily's lack of papers. Once my bribes and payoffs were worked out, I managed to book a private plane to Seattle, with only one stop in New York for fuel.
I walked us over to the terminal that would lead us to our plane when Lily finally stirred. I could hear her stomach grumbling and knew she was hungry, not unlike myself.
"Hey sleepy head, you're awake." I smiled at her.
"Where's my mommy?" She asked groggily. A pang of hurt flushed through my body at the fact that she had forgotten her parents had died.
"Up in heaven rememeber?" I said quietly.
"With the angels." She whispered.
"Yes, with them." I said. "Are you hungry?"
"You wanna get some food before we go on the plane back home?"
"Yes please." She said as I placed her on the floor and folded the blanket over my arms. I held her hand securely as we walked to a 24hour cafe that was situated near the waiting area. We looked through piles of sandwiches and packaged sweets, to bottles of soda and juice.
"See anything you like?"
"Can I get anything?" She asked, looking up at me with wide eyes.
"Anything you want. You can even get more than one. It's along trip so we should probably have some snacks with us." I said grabbing a basket with my free hand and throwing in a few bottles of water and juice. She excitedly threw in a few packages of mini powdered doughnuts what looked like the Italian equivalent of pop-tarts. I added some fruit plates and a couple sandwiches for later, as well as a cup of coffee for right now. We took our goodies to the front to be paid for and walked out, each of us with a small bag of food. I took her to the souvenir shop that was next door and bought er some coloring books and crayons for the plane ride. I also bought her a pair of pants, a novelty t-shirt and a sweatshirt, all with Italy stamped across the front, so that she could change into some fresh clothes.
By the time we were finished, our plave had been prepped and it was ready for take off. I gathered her into my arms as I handed the flight attendant the bags of stuff we had collected. I was gratefull that it was only the pilot and one attendant on this plane, so we would be left in complete privacy.
Lily and I snacked on a few of our goodies, and waited for the plane to take off. Once in the air, she crawled up on to my lap and nestled into me, my arms holding her tightly. I took the time to think about what I would tell the Cullen's and Edward once I was back in Fork's. I allowed my mind to wander to the idea of Edward and I adopting her and living like a happy little family. The quaint house with the white fence and a tire swing with Edward pushing Lily and I on the porch with a swollen tummy... I shook the thought out of my head, what was I thinking?! I was crazy... What would I really do with Lily though? Would I really keep her and subject her to the life that I led, or would I track down what remaining family she had left and set them up in a secluded town somewhere to live in peace and safety? So many possibilities that I didn't know which to choose.
Oh how my life had cahnged in a matter of hours...