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Eyes on Fire

One and a half years. That’s how long it’s been since Edward Cullen had banished himself and his family from Bella Swan’s life, from Forks, from the one place they truly felt at home. A lot can change in that small amount of time, and it becomes painfully apparent to the Cullen’s when they come face to face with the girl they left behind, only she’s not the same girl anymore. In an effort to protect herself from the pain of her past, she has become more confident, self assured and fierce. She’s a fighter now and their fate, along with many others now rests in her hands. Will she save them or punish them for past grievances?

Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.

4. Chapter 3: Trouble

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Chapter Three: Trouble

Bella’s POV

“THEY’RE STAYING HERE!” I screamed at Aro from where I stood beside his younger brother, Marcus.

This day was just getting better by the hour. Not.

First, I had to put up with Jane and her little jealousy act when I kicked her ass in training, yet again. Had to greet a few nomads and a stuck up coven from somewhere in the Middle East that found me being their greeting party a great insult. Of course the sight of me fascinated them, since it had been a few decades since a newborn had been among the Italian coven, but they were expecting an Elite guard to greet them, not a ‘savage’ newborn. Needless to say that the highlight of the day so far was watching their faces when Demetri and Renata came to inform them that they were, in fact, being greeted by the most powerful Elite guard the Volturi had.

Then, after all that, I had to keep Felix away from the donated blood that was being delivered for the party, and now I was told that in addition to all the other vampires staying within the castle walls, my old family would also be staying here, even though it had been said a mere week ago that they would be staying outside the walls for their hunting purposes. Guess I shouldn’t have been too surprised, the Denalis had been given rooms in the castle, and they were also ‘vegetarian’. That, and the fact that Aro liked knowing everything and anything that went on in his home.

“Yes, Isabella, they will be. They are old friends and I will not have them stay elsewhere in the city whilst the other guests stay here, and we have rooms to spare,” Aro explained coolly as he caressed my cheek. “I know some of your past and I can understand your anxiety about the Cullens coming here and staying in close quarters, but it will be okay. They will stay in the south wing, away from your rooms in the north, and away from the other guests that have already seen you. I promise that they will not stray into any place you may be, and you will only have to acknowledge them in a friendly manner tomorrow night, which was your idea, by the way, sweetheart.”

He had a point, of course. This was my idea, but I had always held firm and insisted that the Cullen’s stay elsewhere. I huffed in defeat and let Marcus pull me onto his lap.

It has been one year, five months and twenty-eight days since Edward and his family left me in Forks.

One year, two months and twenty days have passed since Felix, Alec and Heidi found me, catatonic and anorexic in my bed, after following various scents of werewolf and vampire to my house.

It was two days later that I was introduced to the ancients Aro, Marcus and Caius, rulers of the Volturi and vampire royalty. During that first meeting I stayed silent and as still as I could for a majority of the time as they tried to get answers from me.

Once it was discovered that none of the Volturi’s talents worked on me, and I started talking, they gave me a room. Feeding, washing, clothing and caring for me in any way they could.

After a few months and only a handful of spoken words, I started to respond more and move on my own without being prompted to do so. Indeed I had even started to eat and drink of my own choice.

After a couple of months, I was told that once I was healthy both physically and mentally, or as mentally healthy as I could be, they would change me.

Weeks passed, then months - my condition improved, but still they didn’t think it was the right time for me.

I knew the pain that would come with being bitten and I knew the risks of losing my memory and, to be honest, that was the most appealing part of the whole change for me.

I wanted to forget.

I wanted to forget my messed up childhood of being shared between my mother and Charlie.

I wanted to forget Alice.

I wanted to forget Edward.

In truth, I wished to forget all the Cullen’s and begin anew. Be the person I knew I could be and to be released from all my unwanted baggage.

Five months and twenty-five days ago, I took things into my own hands.

I picked up the chair from my desk and hurled it toward the glass doors that lead out to the terrace. Once the glass was broken I quickly scoured the fragments for the biggest and sharpest piece and then waited a scarce moment to see if anyone had heard the breaking glass. After a few hushed seconds of waiting for someone to burst through the door and ruin my plan, I made my way to the middle of my bed and pulled off my singlet, tossing it to the floor before I sat on my knees and put the glass point to my stomach.

“MARCUS!” I screamed at the top my lungs, knowing that he or another vampire would hear its echo and come to check on me.

I barely paused for another moment before I took a deep breath and plunged the shard into my torso at the same time.

I screamed wordlessly at the sensation of the glass cutting and slicing my insides, felt the hot red liquid pouring out of the wound and running down my hand till it dripped onto the bedding. I forced myself not to look down, knowing that if I did I would faint the moment I laid eyes on the open wound. As it was, I was barely hanging onto consciousness from the mere smell of the rust and salt that was my own blood.

Just as I managed to pull the glass shard out of me and collapsed onto the maroon quilt that covered my bed, Marcus, Felix, and Demetri burst into the room, splintering the oak of the double doors as they did.

I had done what I needed to do in order to get Marcus to bite me, and I didn’t regret it. This was my choice, my life, and somehow I knew that this was my destiny. I was born to be turned. I was born to live forever.

I knew that my wounds were too severe and I had lost too much blood for them to call a doctor or get me to a hospital. Chances were that if the Brothers decided on that course that I would be dead by the time help arrived. They wouldn’t take that chance with me, I knew that even before Marcus settled himself behind me and pulled me to his chest gently. I knew it before Demetri ran back out of the room to fetch Caius and Aro. Felix obviously knew as well since he tried to staunch the bleeding as much as possible instead of calling for extra help.

Faintly, I heard Felix ask why I would do such a stupid thing, but I couldn’t answer right away, I was far too weak and dizzy. So instead, I simply smiled lazily at him and turned my head to the side, exposing my jugular to Marcus.

I felt light pressure on my neck as Marcus brushed away the hair that lay there with his cool fingers, clearing the area for the bite I was about to receive.

“I couldn’t wait any longer.” Was the last thing I said before I felt Marcus’s razor sharp teeth sink into my skin without any resistance, like my skin was made of soggy paper and ripped at the slightest amount of pressure.

The last thing I saw was Aro and Caius rush through the door and at my bedside a second later, as Marcus continued to pump his venom into my blood stream.

Then the pain started, just like it had with James. It spread like liquid spider webs from the bite and seeped into every vein and molecule of my body, setting every piece of tissue and sinewy muscle on fire. I didn’t scream though, I kept it to myself, knowing that it wouldn’t help with the pain and would only cause more suffering for those around me.

As my eyes closed and blackness began to take over, I felt Aro take my hand and kiss it.

The last thing I heard was Aro crying my name.

I had a reasonably normal but silent change. I writhed in pain and cried bucket loads of tears and it took all of three days just like any other human being turned. But unlike those before me I didn’t scream or make a single noise other then panted breaths, and my physical transformation from mortal to immortal started within 24 hours. My body temperature cooled drastically, my skin started to pale. My hair became silkier, straighter, and my natural highlights became more prominent whilst my nails grew longer and sharper.

The last things that changed from my physical appearance were the hardness of my skin and teeth, that was normal, what wasn’t normal was that I finished the physical change on the second day. By all rights I should have woken up that same day, but the Brothers say that my mind was working through everything. Erasing what needed to be erased, coping with things my slow human brain had not been capable of coping with and recommitting the few memories my subconscious deemed necessary.

Unfortunately for me, my subconscious and conscious wanted two different things. I had gotten some of my wish through the change, but not all of it. I had forgotten my childhood, my family and my friends. I had forgotten everything but my time here in Italy, and the Cullen’s.

I retained every memory; every moment I had witnessed and experienced with in the Cullen’s presence. My first day at Forks High, the first day I talked to Edward, when he took me to his house to meet his family. Every single kiss, touch, word, thought and feeling I ever had with one of them stayed, and would stay with me for eternity.

Once I awoke and realized that that was all I remembered when I wanted to remember nothing at all, it sent me into a newborn rage. Doors, walls and furniture all turned to rubble as I crashed through the room. As a newborn I was too strong for the other vampires to stop me, and it was apparent to everyone but me that I had an extraordinary amount of strength. The ancients and guards watched me at a distance as I rampaged through my room and finally when nothing was left for me to destroy except for the very people that took me in, cared for me and loved me, I cried.

I stared into Marcus’ eyes, sobbing and crying tearlessly before falling to my knees. Marcus and Aro were beside me in an instant, wrapping their arms around me, but I didn’t want Aro. He wasn’t the comfort that I needed; Marcus, however, was what I needed. He understood what it was like to lose someone, to have everything ripped out from under you, and have your entire world turned upside down in an instant.

I grabbed his shoulders and pulled myself into his lap, he complied and sat down, allowing me to get more comfortable. Aro, sensing that he wasn’t wanted at that moment, kissed my head and shooed everyone out of the room, leaving me to cry for the next eight hours in my destroyed room with Marcus.

Now though, I was an Elite Volturi guard, the ancient’s favorite, one of the most talented vampires to ever exist and also rumored to be the most beautiful in existence.

The brothers presumed that the change had affected me differently because I chose it. I was stronger than any other newborn they had ever encountered, my talent was powerful and completely unique. They also said that I should still be blood crazy even at this age, but my blood lust had only lasted 6 weeks. Now I was able to control my thirst enough to be in the presence of freshly spilt blood and numerous humans at a time, though that rarely happened.

But all these things were nothing to me, they didn’t make me happy or excited, or intrigued like it did many others. My happiness and excitement mainly stemmed from my physical appearance. I was no longer a plain, simple looking brunette you could pass on the street without a second glance. Instead my waist length mahogany hair cascaded down my back in straight, smooth locks. My natural red highlights were now more visible and prominent, giving it a glossy and rich look, rather than the dull and frizzy version I had as a human. My arms and legs were more muscular and defined but still feminine and graceful at the same time. My stomach was tight and flat with only the slightest inclination to a six pack of abs.

My skin was the usual vampire white, though I hadn’t thought it was possible to get any paler than I was before. My lips were still the same shape, one slightly bigger then the other, but were now a delicious dark red that set of my ebony lashes and dark hair nicely and complemented my pale skin.

My eyes, of course, were now red, bright red. I don’t have a choice in what I eat and I didn’t mind having human blood at all. I mainly drank donated blood, but I had attended a number of feedings and killed quite a number of humans during those times. If I had defied rules and gone with the ‘vegetarian’ lifestyle, I would be reminded of the Cullens whenever I saw my own golden eyes, and that was not something I wanted.

I knew that I would attract the Cullen’s attention in more ways than one when they finally laid eyes in me. I knew that I could rival any and all of the beautiful female vampires around me and that only Rosalie would be some competition. I guess that was another wish I was granted, however unconscious it was. I was finally beautiful and powerful just like I had wanted last year so I could feel even an ounce of equality between myself and Edward. Now I had it, I didn’t need to be his equal and he wasn’t around at all for me to even try, but it was nice to know that he wasn’t holding something over my head anymore.

I was brought back from my reverie when the oak doors opened enough for Demetri to slip through.

“The Cullen’s are making their way here, Isabella.”

I nodded but made no move to get up. I felt Marcus place his hands on either side of my waist and give me a gentle, half-hearted push; I smiled and refused to move. He laughed quietly and wrapped his arms around my front, pulling me closer to his chest.

“If you still wish to avoid them until the party,” he whispered in my ear, “you best be going now. But by all means stay and reveal yourself now, Tesoro.”

I groaned and made a show of moving off of his lap. He knew I wanted a more public place for my reunion with the Cullens and so I wouldn’t linger much longer.

Demetri and Felix waited near a hidden panel that slid back and led into a tiny passageway, it was better to go out this way than to use the main door and risk having the Cullen’s recognize my sweetened scent.

As I approached, Felix turned to slide back the panel, and I took advantage of his turned back by jumping on and wrapping my arms around his neck, letting my legs and feet dangle freely. He was as tall as Emmett, but not as bulky, still his height let me leave my feet free instead of having to bend or wrap them around his waist like I had to do when Demetri lifted me.

I heard chuckling behind me as Felix regained his balance.

“What am I? A horse?” He laughed, rubbing up and down my arms, leaving Demetri to pull out the panel.

Demetri gripped the side groove and yanked it open, straightened and motioned for Felix and me to go first.

“Well, I’m not sure a horse suits you, Felix,” Demetri smirked and began to close the panel after us, plunging the tiny service hall into darkness, I could still see easily of course. “You look more like a donkey to me.”

I couldn’t help but laugh at Demetri’s slight as I slid off of Felix’s back and quickly danced away from the hand that darted out. Demetri always did find the most innocent ways to insult his companions, and it always made me laugh. It was one of the things I loved most about him.

“Shut up,” Felix growled; with a well disguised snarl that only I could detect by the rumbling I felt in his chest because of the tight squeeze down the tiny hall.

We quickly made our way down the hall in silence; I was tempted to rush toward the end because the tiny peephole cover that would give me the perfect view of the Cullen’s as the Brothers greeted them, came into my view. Just one tiny slip of material separated me from seeing the people who had left and betrayed me. I paused for only a second; almost imperceptible to a human, but Felix and Demetri noticed my pause and followed my gaze.

I blinked. No, I couldn’t look. If I looked I would lose all control of my anger at once and the entire wall would come crashing down. My mouth filled with venom at the very thought of Edward getting too close to me even now. My anger and rational hatred of him had been the main factors in my choice to have a public reunion, a private one would be too dangerous for all parties involved.

With my mind made up, I stepped past it and continued on my way. Demetri followed, Felix did not.

I turned back toward him, to try and get him away since I had no desire to dwell here any longer. If it were anyone other then Felix I probably would have left them there, but I knew Felix and he would probably do something stupid and irrational as soon as he saw my past.

I took a step toward him; he still hadn’t seen me staring at him and he quickly slid the silver cover away, peering into the room. I froze. I could hear voices, murmurs really, but I blocked them out, I really didn’t want to hear or see them at the moment.

I shook my head knowing I would do no good now that he was staring, no doubt at Edward, he’d be transfixed for a minute or so and then dwell on what he saw until tomorrow night when he could face Edward and the Cullen’s himself.

Once again I walked away and Demetri followed, we had walked one corridor before Felix caught up and acted like nothing was wrong, as usual.

We walked in companionable silence the rest of the way to the sunroom, my favorite retreat in the whole castle. When we reached the doorway atop one of the grand staircases I spun around on my heel with a mischievous smile on my face. Demetri and Felix immediately looked warily at me.

“So...am I saving you boys a dance or not?”

“Of course,” Demetri answered at the same time Felix said:

“I wouldn’t miss a chance to have your ass grinding into my-.”

“Always the gentleman, Felix.” Demetri cut him off with a disgusted sneer on his face. I, on the other hand, couldn’t stop myself from laughing almost hysterically for a few moments, while Felix tried and failed to come up with a smart-ass comment to wipe the smug look of Demetri’s face.

Once I regained my composure and Felix finally stopped racking his brain, I sidled up to him and placed my hands on his chest under the grey cloak he wore as a sign of his rank.

“You know we don’t have to be on the dance floor for me to do that, don’t you?”

He swallowed thickly as he looked into my eyes and I fiddled with the buttons of his shirt. Out of the corner of my eye I saw Demetri shifted his weight and raise an eyebrow in my direction. Surely he knew that I was only teasing Felix like I usually did? I wasn’t actually going to kiss him.

At least that’s what I kept telling myself.

I had kissed Felix before, but I had never initiated it like I was now, making circular motions on his chest with my thumb and biting my bottom lip. Of course he was more then eager to respond to the invite and settled his hands on my hips, leaning forward ever so slightly. Demetri stiffened and I told myself that I wasn’t going to kiss Felix, merely tease him and pull away at the last moment. Nevertheless, I couldn’t help but be annoyed when someone cleared their throat and interrupted my fun.

My smile vanished, as did Felix’s, and my nose was assaulted with a number of different scents. By smell I could tell that there were a lot of them, most of them female and that they were ‘vegetarian’. Other than the Cullens, there was only one other large coven of animal drinkers attending, the Denali’s. Personal, close friends of the Cullens.

This could be a problem.

“What do you want?” I tried not to come off as defensive, really I did, but I failed miserably. In a vain hope that if we ignored them the Denali’s would just leave without recognizing me, I kept staring at Felix. His hands tightening around my hips told me that he was aware of the connection between the Cullen’s and the coven before us.

I realized something then. I had never met the Denali’s before and the Cullen’s had no need to mention me, show them a picture or give them any information about me. They had left me, and Edward had taken all the tokens I had of him. I didn’t matter to them anymore, they didn’t love me and Edward certainly didn’t either.

This thought gave me a surge of confidence as I turned and faced them, Felix leaving one hand on my hipbone but removing the other whilst Demetri moved to my left side. I raised my eyebrows at the group before me, radiating as much power and authority as I could muster on short notice.

My earlier assessment of this coven being made of more females than males was correct as I was faced with four females and only two males. As I assessed the group, I felt Felix and Demetri shift again, Demetri crouching slightly and Felix removing his hand to do the same. The Denali’s shifted uncomfortably but knew better than to slip into an attack crouch in front of a newborn.

The female at the front, whom I assumed to be the leader of the coven, had strawberry blonde hair, a curvy figure and actually reminded me a lot of Rosalie, but was missing the one thing that made Rosalie as fierce and beautiful as she was. Attitude.

Two more blonde females flanked the leader: the one on my left having more gold than the one on the right, whose blonde hair was almost platinum. Standing furthest on the back of the staircase was a male and female who could only be described as a Latin god and goddess with their dark brown hair and seemingly tanned vampire skin.

The last male however caught my attention more than the others, and it seemed as though I had caught his as well. We studied each other intensely; he looked familiar with his dark skin and long dark dreadlocked hair, it tugged insistently at my memories.

I could hear the strawberry blonde trying to get my attention as I tried to sort through my human recollections, whilst trying to avoid the painful ones all at the same time. I desperately tried to block her out. It didn’t work for long.

“Will you shut up, you stupid bimbo?” I snapped my gaze back to her and met her golden eyes for the first time in a matter of minutes. I smiled at the dumbfounded look on her face and turned back to the man I had just been inspecting.

“Who are you?”

The blonde closest to him, the platinum one, spun on her heel and looked at him accusingly, he didn’t even acknowledge her.

“You don’t remember me,” He stated, his French accent accentuating the words and pulling the strings on my memories loose. And as clear as day he was standing there with James and Victoria at his side, the Cullen’s huddled around me, protecting their pet. He was calling James, telling him to leave us alone and back away. The only difference in his appearance was that his eyes were now orange instead of red; he had transferred to the Denali diet.

“I do now, Laurent. You were a part of James’ coven.” He nodded, a small, guilty smile marring his face.

“I see that Victoria was too late, but I hadn’t been aware that Carlisle changed you?”

Though I continued to stare into Laurent’s eyes, beating back the many talks I had with Edward about changing me, I felt 5 pairs of eyes boring into my head. I ignored them and smirked sadly at Laurent.

“They didn’t change me; Marcus did. I am an Elite guard of the Volturi and I wasn’t aware that Victoria was even after me. Why?”

Laurent opened his mouth to reply but was cut off by the Latin god.

“Demetri? Felix? Is Marcus truly her sire?” His tone was laced with awe and disbelief; I didn’t find it insulting in the least since it was always the reaction I got. And once you heard of the state Marcus had been in before I was found, it was understandable.

“Yes, Eleazar, he is. Our dear Isabella here brought Marcus back to us.” I could hear the affection and awe in Demetri’s tone as he answered Eleazar’s question. Eleazar in turn now looked at me with different eyes. Calculation and wonder could clearly be seen.

“Wait. Your name is Isabella?” I nodded to the sandy blonde that stood on the leaders left, completely confused as to why she was asking me when she had hearing as good as mine.

Something in my answer made her look at me more closely. Taking in my hair color and facial features, something dawned in her eyes. “You lived in Forks and went by the name of Bella, you are Alice’s best friend.”

It wasn’t a question; it was a statement of fact. She knew me and my connection with the Cullen’s, and all I could do was look at her with wide bewildered eyes. The Cullen’s had mentioned me by name, and possibly shown them a photo if she could recognize my main features. And it had been Alice. My once best friend who abandoned me like her brother, without a word, just up and left. Yet she was still calling me Alice’s best friend.

“You’re Edward’s mate? The human he was in love with?”

“Tanya,” The sandy blonde warned the leader, Tanya, as she took a threatening step forward, yelling at me.

“Let’s get a few things straight, shall we?” I said sarcastically. Removing my hands from my hips and making claws at my side as Tanya continued her ascent up the stairs. “One: I am not Edward’s mate nor will I ever be. Two: I am not Alice’s best friend or even an acquaintance.” My eyes flickered to the group behind Tanya who all looked very tense, their eyes drawn to my hands that had been flexing unconsciously. “Three: they left. They don’t love me and I certainly don’t love them. And Fourth: I am a newborn, so I would watch my step very carefully, Tanya.”

She snorted and blatantly disregarded my advice as she kept coming closer, steeping away from the safety a large coven provides. Eleazar seemed to have heard the warning I had issued loud and clear, since he rushed forward and took hold of Tanya’s arm.

“Don’t, Tanya,” he pleaded, keeping a wary eye on me. “She’s more powerful then she seems.” I had no idea how he would know that I wasn’t an ordinary newborn, or even an ordinary vampire for that matter, since I hadn’t displayed my talent and there weren’t any physical indications other then my ability to keep focus for longer than a minute. Which I understood to be next to impossible for a newborn because of all our heightened senses.

That was hardly the point at the moment. The point was that Tanya was clearly enraged as she shrugged out of Eleazar’s grasp and took two more steps toward me. Her eyes turning a weird mixture of black and gold as her emotions took hold and she started yelling, which immediately set me on the defensive, the predator inside me was clawing at its cage and started to seep through the bars.

“I worked on that boy since the first time I laid eyes on him. Almost 85 years I worked for his affections and yet you come along, a pathetic, weak, stupid human and tear it all away, capturing his heart. You took him from me! You took what bond we had the second you moved to Forks and into his life...”

I didn’t hear the rest of her pretty little speech, though I’m sure it was impressive and rather inventive, but the second she took another step forward, putting her less then a foot in front of me, I started seeing red. I felt a pair of strong, firm arms wrap around my torso, pinning my arms to my sides where they could do no damage. Eleazar made one last attempt at pulling Tanya away, but again she was ignorant of the danger I posed and shrugged him off. He held on firm and she hissed at the increased pressure.

Although I was fully aware that the hiss wasn’t directed at me, I bared my teeth and growled loud and long in response. That seemed to shock her enough to take a willing step back and hold her arms up in a peaceful gesture, a gesture I clearly intended to ignore.

I surged forward, dragging Felix with me, and snapped my teeth dangerously close to her face. Eleazar immediately let go of her arm and was crouched in front of the Latin female less than a second later. I also noticed that the sandy blonde vampire had been making her way down the staircase throughout the whole encounter and Laurent was currently mimicking Eleazar’s position in front of the other blonde.

I sniggered in Tanya’s direction as I realized that they had left Tanya to fend for herself now. Choosing instead to protect their mates, or had the right idea in the first place and were making a quick retreat. It was vampire instinct to protect your mate, even if it was your coven leader at risk from a threat. And I was currently a huge threat that had them all retreating as fast as they could without drawing my attention. Though in Tanya’s case she was stumbling down the staircase blindly.

I could feel my shield pulsing around me, but I was too worked up to tell if it had actually expelled itself from my mind or if it was just tugging at it’s mental restraints.

Felix tightened his hold on me as he dragged me back onto the landing and whispered in my ear.

“Calm down, Isabella. Everything is okay. You scared her off. She knows you’re boss, just calm down, please?” I shook my head back and forth both in defiance and in an attempt to get rid of the red haze that still encompassed my vision. I tried and failed, I was still too worked up to get rid of the red on my eyes, and certainly too worked up to stop fighting with Felix so I could rip Tanya’s throat out.


My head snapped around at the sound of my name to see Marcus running down the hall.

The sight of him brought me back down to earth a little bit and the red film on my eyes eased a little. Now that I was able to concentrate properly I looked up to confirm if my shield had broken free or if it was still encased in my head. It was there. A bubble of sorts covered myself and Felix as it pulsed ruby red, which served as an indication of my emotions. I smirked at the sight of it, no one had ever gotten me so mad before, other than Jane, and even she couldn’t pull this kind of rage from me.

My shield was a curious little thing. It started out as just a mental shield that I learned to expand and contract around other people; it had grown into a physical shield after one particularly nasty fight with Jane.

One minute we were screaming at each other over her insecurities and jealousy and the next minute she was slammed back first into a wall, with a bloody red bubble surrounding myself and pinning her to it. That was over a month ago. And I was still learning to control it and was unsure at times, as to which shield was which. They both felt similar and unless I was concentrating I could easily push out one or both of my shields.

I felt Felix loosen his hold on me cautiously. Once he was satisfied that I wasn’t about to tackle Tanya to the ground, he let go completely and stepped back. I rolled my head and shoulders in an effort to get control of myself and calm down at least enough to get rid of my shield.

My efforts were futile as I could still feel my shield pulsing and pushing around the edges of my brain. I closed my eyes and took a deep breath as an overwhelming sense of calm flooded my body.

I smiled at the peaceful sensation and opened my eyes to find that both the red film over my eyes and my shield were gone. The sound of a number of footsteps reached my ears, as they grew closer, slowed and then halted not to far from me. I hadn’t noticed that anyone had accompanied Marcus and curiosity got the better of me.

Marcus, of course, was the first person I saw as he stood the closest to me with a small halfhearted smile on his face and concern showing in his eyes. Demetri, who I hadn’t even noticed leave in my rage, was standing close to Marcus’ side with his eyes sending daggers at Tanya.

There was one other person with them, standing almost at the bottom of the stairs, but was inching his way forward, carefully and cautiously, inch by inch, step by step.

Jasper Cullen.