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Welcome to Volterra

Summary:
"Caius, surely you see the potential. I haven't seen a prospective talent so promising since we found Jane and Alec. Can you imagine the possibilities when she is one of us?" - Aro Edward is gone. Jacob never came to Bella's room. She is alone. What happens when she goes to Italy for her senior class trip?


Notes:
This is my second fic and my first attempt at a multichaptered fic.


2. Decision

Rating 0/5   Word Count 1185   Review this Chapter

Since it was Friday, my homework load was light. I only had the World Cultures report to keep me busy. After school, I went straight to my room, dropping my bag next to the desk and turning on my ancient computer. I don't have cable Internet; instead I have a free dial-up service. This was going to take a while.

I needed to keep busy, so I went down stairs and did some light cleaning. After vacuuming the living room and wiping down the already clean kitchen counter and table, I returned to my room.

I sat down at my desk in front of the computer. My homepage was waiting for me. I typed Saint Marcus Day festival into Google and clicked search. The first result was labeled Annual events in Volterra, Saint Marcus Day. I clicked on the website, visit-volterra-italy.com. Volterra - that sounded somewhat familiar.

I waited a minute for the screen to come up and began reading.

The Saint Marcus Day Festival is an annual celebration held in Volterra on March 19th. The festival honors Saint Marcus, the patron saint of Volterra. Legend says that Father Marcus, a Christian missionary, used holy water, crosses and wooden stakes to rid the city of its vampire scourge nearly fifteen hundred years ago. Today...

I stopped reading and just stared at one word on the screen. Vampires? Does it really say vampires? Or am I hallucinating? I blinked several times and looked back at the screen. It really did say vampires.

Vampires. Italy. Volterra. I had a nagging feeling in the back of my mind, like I was missing something - something important. I tried to think. It felt like I had all the pieces to a puzzle, but I just couldn't make them fit together. That's when I heard his words in my head.

"I was thinking maybe I would go to Italy and do something to provoke the Volturi."

It was his words, but not his voice. It wasn't one of my long absent hallucinations. Those didn't hurt. This was different, a memory. The voice was my own. There was a scorching pain in my chest. Was I forgetting His voice? Would I forget Him completely someday? I brought my feet up on the chair and tightly wrapped my arms around my knees, trying desperately to hold myself together as I began gasping for air.

"It will be as if I'd never existed."

No. No, I won't let that happen. That promise was broken the moment it left His lips. How could it be as if he never existed if I remembered? I would not...I could not let myself forget. It hurt to think about him, but I wanted, no needed to remember. I forced myself to slowly breathe in and out, willing my body and mind to calm down. Once I felt my breathing and heart rates slow, I searched my brain for anything else related to the Volturi.

"The Volturi are a family. A very old, very powerful family of our kind. They are the closest thing our world has to a royal family, I suppose. Carlisle lived with them briefly in his early years, in Italy, before he settled in America - do you remember the story?"

I did remember. There was a beautiful painting of them hanging in Carlisle's office. Two had long black hair; the third had hair white as snow. Their names were Aro, Caius, and Marcus.

Marcus. Saint Marcus. This could not be a coincidence. Volterra must be where the Volturi live.

If I went to Volterra, if I could just see another vampire, I could prove Him wrong again. It could never be as if he didn't exist.

But, Could I go? I knew the answer to that. Yes. Charlie was even willing to pay for the trip. The real question is should I go? It would be dangerous, I thought. Yes, it would be dangerous and reckless and stupid. If he was going to keep breaking his promise, than why shouldn't I continue to break mine? Plus, it was the perfect recipe for one of my hallucinations. And I haven't heard his voice in so long, not since Jacob "broke up" with me.

Without Jake, without my sun, I could feel myself slowly being consumed by the blackness of my pain. Everyday, I prayed in vain for the numbness to return. I'd rather feel nothing than the pain, but the hallucinations revived my senses. And now, without Jacob and without my bike, my hallucinations are gone and the pain remains. I have nothing but the pain.

If I could have another hallucination, at least that would mean a brief respite from the pain. How I long to hear his smooth velvet voice again. But what would I be willing to do to hear his voice again? How much danger was I willing to face? A vampire attack? Death? I knew these were very real possibilities. But did it really matter? I have nothing. What would I be risking? Nothing.

I needed to hear his voice again and I had nothing to lose. There was my answer. I would do anything, including entering Volturi city, home of the vampire royal family. My decision was made, that was always the hard part. Following through with my decisions once they were made was easy.

I looked down at the right-hand corner of the computer screen. I figured I better get dinner started. Charlie would be home soon. I didn't even begin working on my report yet, but that would give me something to do after work tomorrow.

I went down to the kitchen and quickly gathered all the ingredients for Grandma Swan's famous beef stroganoff. It was Charlie's favorite and my way of making a peace offering. I felt bad about my less than enthusiastic response to his generous gift, especially since I was now very eager to accept it.

Charlie arrived home just as I was setting the table. He opened the front door and said, "Smells good, Bells."

"Have a seat, Dad. Dinner's ready." I replied, glad to see he was in a good mood.

Charlie hung up his gun and jacket and sat down at the kitchen table. We ate in silence for a while. After Charlie finished his first serving, I went to the stove and piled another heaping helping on his plate. I sat back down and was about to bring up the subject of the Italy trip, but Charlie beat me to it.

"So, Bells, have you thought anymore about your graduation present?" He asked, with a slightly nervous edge to his voice.

"Actually Dad, I have." I said, trying to sound reassuring.

"And?" He asked, anxiously. I knew he thought I was going to argue with him again. He couldn't have been more wrong.

"And, I decided that you are right. I think getting away...going to Italy may be exactly what I need."