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I'm nothing but a monster burning in a hell that only exists in my head. There's no hope left until one harmless glance chances logic and binds two eternal enemies together in a twist of fate. Can the escape from this hell be found in an infuriating dimpled grin? Or is this another dark, dirty trick of my own mind? A forbidden passion, heat, and intense anger—this is no fairytale.

[Disclaimer: Monster is an originally plotted fic. The ideas within this fic are not to be copied in any way, shape, or form—I have not given my consent to any manner of copying. All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the intellectual property of their respective owners. All canon concepts and characters are the property of the Twilight Saga's author, Stephenie Meyer. No copyright infringement is intended. Similarities are for the sole use of fan fiction, and no profit has been or will be benefited from the posting of this fic.] Emerging Swan Award 2012, nominated into Fandom Choice Awards.

61. A Lovely Surprise

Rating 0/5   Word Count 1528   Review this Chapter

"Your golden lies
Feed my role
In this forgotten space race
Under my control." - Muse.

Chapter Sixty One

A Lovely Surprise


The throne room buzzes, the air stirring with an electric tension found only in the presence of serious matters soon to be dealt with. Aro, relaxing in his throne, remains calm, seemingly immune to the infectious spark of energy. His brothers situate themselves in their thrones on either side of him, still as stone as they wait.

Guards line the shadows, their hoods drawn over their blank, expressionless faces. Renata darts behind the thrones, assuming her place behind Aro's shoulder. Spreading his long, white fingers over the arms of his throne, Aro releases a patient sigh. Silence hovers, but not for long. Soon, the click of heels and the race of a human heart becomes painfully audible far down the hall, deafening in the ears of the immortal king.

Two pairs of pale hands snatch the heavy rings dangling from the wide entrance, parting the towering doors with a muffled groan. A young woman shuffles through, pasting on a bright smile finished off with cherry-red lipstick. She holds her head high, her burgundy dress clinging smugly to her curves and her blonde ringlets settled on her left shoulder. The woman approaches the thrones, pausing a respectful distance from the leaders. She draws a calming breath through her parted lips before resting her violet gaze on the chalky-looking man seated in above her. Her hammering pulse jumps to her throat as she meets his calm, milky stare.

Smiling through the insatiable ache in his throat, Aro appraises the young woman, mildly interested. "Ah, Bianca. Lovely, as always," he greets with formal politeness. His eyes trail down to her empty hands, lingering. "What might we have here, hmm?"

Bianca's lips curve in response. She tucks her arms behind her back, wringing her hands together against her dress. "The returning guards are just outside the city. They will be here shortly, sir."

Aro cocks his head, blinking. His smile stretches his lips, expectant.

"Master," Bianca amends. Her throat bobs with her nosy swallow. "They will return soon, Master."

"That is wonderful news." Aro waves his hand. "Thank you, Bianca."

Bianca nods, her shoulders relaxing. She dips her head politely, her eyes scanning the walls around her before she turns and hurriedly clicks back to the doors. The same pairs of hands slam them shut behind her.

Caius' low voice disrupts the silence following Bianca's departure. "Our young assistant has been quite off-task as of late. Perhaps her time is running out."

"Perhaps," Aro murmurs, his tone neutral. He folds his hands and rests them on the knee of his bent leg.

"We seem to be rather inactive ourselves," Caius presses. He runs his eyes along the guard stationed against the walls, frowning. "Almost . . . tolerant. Surely we don't plan to allow our laws to be misused to the point in which they may seem insignificant."

Aro's gaze sharpens at Caius' suggestion, zeroing in on the smooth texture of the great doors' handles. "Ah, but that is not the case here, my brother," he reasons, his tone lightening with forced indifference. "We mustn't be careless. If an extra measure of patience may prevent violence, then wait we shall."

Caius leans arrogantly into his throne, the shape of his lips expressing his extreme disapproval. Aro's crimson gaze flickers to a particular shadow, holding it for the briefest second. After a minute, Caius gradually relaxes, the burn of his irises dulling.

In the far distance, the chime of the clock tower sings. Dust swirls, caught in the beams of sunlight filtering through the glass ceiling above. Time ticks by, passing without notice to the gathered immortals until finally, the faint swish of cloaks and the whisper of careful footsteps sounds far down the hall.

Aro brightens, leaning forward as his guard breezes into the throne room, forming a line before him. He beams at the small figure in the point as she brushes her hood back, revealing her angelic face. The others follow in suit, with Alec lifting his head beside his sister and the bulk of Felix tall behind them.

"Welcome," Aro greets cheerily, clasping his hands together over his crossed legs. "I assume all went well."

"Yes, Master," Jane replies smoothly. "Our mission was successful."

Aro's smile falters slightly as his gaze travels over the three guards, counting.

Cauis narrows his eyes, breaking the heartbeat of hushed patience. "Well? What did you find?"

"The army in Seattle is growing," Alec reports. "Their numbers fluctuate. All of them are unstable, and none of them appear to be informed of the law. The humans in the area have taken notice, although their blame is currently pointed at an enemy among their own kind."

Satisfied, Caius nods, though his expression doesn't relax. Beside him, Aro tilts his head ever so slightly, his hands tightening.

"Has Demetri taken it upon himself to expel their fears?"

Felix shakes his head, his broad shoulders taut. "He's on his way."

At that very moment, the doors part. A fourth cloaked figure steps in beside Felix, removing his hood. His eyes, pitch black, lower with his apologetic bow. "I have been kept by a few last minute duties to attend to. Forgive me, Master."

Aro claps his hands together gleefully as he assesses his guard. "All is forgiven, Demetri."

Demetri lifts his chin, running his gaze across the three leaders. "There is another reason for my late appearance."

After a short nod from Aro, Demetri lifts his chin, a fierce anger brightening the vibrant reds of his eyes. "Upon our return, we came across what may be a pack of Children of the Moon. They were wolves, on four legs, despite the moonless dusk. There was a nomad in the area of which we fully intended to bring back with us. Unfortunately, curiosity led him too far into their territory and a few of the werewolves ended his life. They were strong, and they ended his life rather effectively."

A crack echoes against the walls. Caius' fist clenches in a dent in the arm of his throne, blazing. "You must go back!" he hisses. "We must eliminate them all!"

From the far side of the room, the third brother offers his opinion in a low rasp. "I would assume this issue is important. However, we must stick to the matters of our . . . own kind, first and foremost . . . Brother."

"No!" Caius snaps. "No, the Seattle conflict must wait!" His head snaps over to Aro, his gaze ice. "Brother, have you forgotten the harm of which those beasts are capable?"

Aro raises a hand, his long fingers limp and calm despite the icy glare set on him. "Let us approach the issue at hand carefully." Leaning into his throne, Aro drums his free hand on the arm, wearing a smile that could be sunny if not for the tint of venom dampening his composed expression.

"Certainly this pack is large in numbers," Marcus murmurs, blank. "If we were to wait, the Seattle newborns may create a large distraction for the Cullens."

"Ah, yes. The Cullen coven requires a visit," Aro agrees. He glances at Jane. "Jane, dearest, have you found any information on the Cullens? Specifically further information regarding their promise?"

"The girl is still human, Master." Jane smirks, clearly pleased by the direction of the conversation.

Aro rises in a sudden, elegant movement. "Very well. We shall discuss in privacy before making our final decision. Come, brothers."

As he gestures his shadow and escort to him, Felix steps forward, his deep voice stalling the leaders' exit. "Master, there is another side to this story you may be interested in hearing."

Caius growls under his breath. Aro dismisses the sound and turn over his shoulder, his brow raised. "And whose side may this be, Felix?"

"There is a visitor waiting outside the doors. She was at the gates upon our departure, although we did not grant her wish to bring her to you until we had crossed paths a second time while on our mission. She led us out of werewolf territory with the promise she would provide further information if we went with her, and proceeded to bring her to you directly." Felix cocks a brow, his lips twitching. "Shall I grace her with your presence, Master?"

Aro's expression lightens with an patient curiosity. "I'd be most delighted."

Felix and Demetri exchange a nod before darting through the doors. They return heartbeats later with a female vampire held in their stern gloved grips, guiding her forward. At first, the female vampire is nearly unrecognizable, but when she darts a glimpse at the leaders before her, there's no mistaking her.

Aro's lips raise slowly as he gazes deep into the burning scarlet of the woman's stare. "Ah, Miss Cullen! How very lovely it is to see you!" he crows.

His eyes darken hungrily with his words. He floats forward, fully turning to face the woman trapped between the smirking guards before the throne. "My, this is very curious, isn't it?"