|Escaping Sol: YA Edition
Author: Ranma15177 PM
Bella is forever changed by her second encounter with the Volturi. Now it is up to all of the Cullens to find out the secrets of the mysterious Lillith, the intentions of the Volturi, and the fate of the 'Innocent.' Altered to be YA RatedRated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Adventure - Bella & Edward - Chapters: 3 - Words: 9,927 - Reviews: 2 - Favs: 4 - Follows: 5 - Updated: 11-25-08 - Published: 11-24-08 - id: 4675839
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Escaping Sol: YA Edition
A Strange Compromise
I'm working through each chapter and adding a bit of new flavor in parts, so those of you that have read the mature version of the story will see new bits here and there to make up for the total lack of naughtiness.
Thank you again to Tammy my YA editor, she really did an excellent job on these early chapters! I would have been lost without her input and all of her endlessly hard work! Also, my full time beta Cullenista, whom I couldn't write proper English without!
I walked through the drafty old stronghold noticing my sure steps. I never tripped up the stairs; never fell over my own feet. The only thing that could have possibly been more disconcerting than my steady feet was Gianna's unsteady ones. She constantly fell or stumbled along the stones of the hall. Only my strange mental quirk was keeping her alive…and she wasn't creeping me out just because she was clumsy. That I could definitely on some level identify with.
Only a few days ago I had tripped over my own feet and nearly gone careening down the stairs to my doom. The only thing that had stopped that was Edward. Even thinking his name caused the hole in my un-beating heart to fray at the edges. Would I ever see him again? Was I going to be hidden here in Volterra forever?
The Volturi could definitely hide me for as long as it took for the Cullen family to give up. They would probably tell them that they had made their decision. That I had gone wherever the tourists that day had gone. The other thing that was creeping me out about my compatriot was that she didn't seem to know whether I was protecting her or saving her for later and she seemed to be switching philosophies on each floor we visited.
"You're terrifying her. Maybe that's why she's so manic." Edward whispered in my ear.
I could only imagine Edward's pain and guilt if he was lead to believe they'd killed me. I whimpered out of true despair. It was the first time I had made a noise since leaving my cell. What if he hurt himself? What if he demanded for someone to destroy him? Would Carlisle allow it? I started to uselessly hyperventilate.
Unfortunately, my unnecessary gasping opened the floodgate of smells onto my already thirst crazed brain anew. I had spent the entire time so far walking down the hall with the ex-receptionist while creepily not breathing and wishing I had just drunk her blood instead of waiting for Edward's approval. What was one tasty bookkeeper after all? It was all relative, especially if she was right and they were just going to kill her the moment I walked through the door with her. I forced myself to stop hyperventilating for the sake of my companion... Edward's voice.
"Bella darling, you're going to make it worse." He was probably right.
No, the truth about my not killing the woman stumbling behind me was that I knew my family half-way around the world would disapprove. They would be very disappointed. Could Edward possibly call me anything more than a monster if I gave in now? Without doubt all of the words he'd called me before would no longer apply, Angel, certainly never again.
Carlisle would be accepting, but pitying of my lack of early judgment. Esme would love me regardless, but she would get that worried crease on her beautiful brow. Jasper would probably be upset…not because I ate Gianna. Of anyone in my family he would understand that particular lapse in judgment. No, Jasper would be angry because he lost the bet with Emmett because I only ate Gianna... Oh… that was a very morbid thought. Emmett didn't think me capable of a mass killing, or maybe he thought himself capable of stopping me.
"We would never let you hurt anyone if it were in our power to stop you. Emmett loves you. Jasper loves you. He doesn't want to be the one screwing up… but he doesn't want you screwing up either." I believed that.
Of course I felt, no I was certain, that if I did in fact indulge in what every sense I had was begging me to do it would end in glorious red liquid dripping down my throat. Saturating every thirsty inch of my hunger with intense hot wet abandon and calming the demon that was screaming inside my head that I was owed what pumped uselessly through the creature next to me.
"Bella. Don't think about the hunger. Think about your family. Think about me." It was Edward again. He was right. If I kept vacillating back to thoughts of the sweet blood in Gianna's veins I would most certainly fail.
I distantly wondered again what it was Emmett and Jasper were betting with. Rosalie would already be fierce, but I figure it's mostly due to my being a vampire. According to her I was supposed to be doing my hair and birthing babies, and now that was definitely out of the picture, with or without Edward's help.
I gave another shudder at my love's name. When he wasn't talking to me it hurt to think of him. Alice…OH! ALICE! What grizzly scenes had she already seen? Me, probably driving my teeth through tender flesh and savaging the woman behind me like some kind of red eyed demon? Wait…ALICE!!
Why had they not come for me yet? Alice had always been able to see me before. Obviously they had not been able to see my abduction because of Jacob, but what would have caused them to neglect me here now? Had they been hurt as well?
"We would never leave you alone to face this nightmare." I knew that.
That is why my fiancé's name made me hurt so much. He hadn't come for me. If he hadn't come for me, then it was possible that they had killed him. It was the only way I could picture them getting away with this. I ached with the thought.
If the Volturri had hurt my family I would spend every day of my immortality planning ways to destroy them. I pictured Edward being ripped apart like I had seen the newborns, and I walked ever faster down the hall. I began walking back and forth between the walls as well as down the hall. Weaving a pattern down toward where I knew there would be a bank of elevators and then a reception hall.
"You aren't at you're most perceptive right now. Do you know where you are love?" Yes. I knew.
I realized at that moment that I had something that no one in this building had. It wasn't bloodlust. I was pretty sure we all had that in common and at this point I was pretty sure that it was my super secret ability. I looked back at Gianna and inhaled. She whimpered.
No, I had surprise on my side… like the fact that I was dragging my intended dinner with me like a to-go cup. Or the startling detail of my nudity. That might throw them for a couple of seconds. It would have made me come up short. Or it could even be something as small as the notion that I had gotten through a door that according to the wibbling woman behind me couldn't be broken by three newborn vampires, and I was just one. Really surprise would have to do right now because I didn't know how to fight, or tell the future, or read minds. I cried out and began running up a small set of carpeted stairs.
"I could never read your mind." It was because I didn't work right. 'Maybe you're a part of that.'
As we ascended to a floor where there was carpet that I recognized, I walked out into a hallway that could have been in any office building. There were many doors that reminded me lightly of a hotel. Each one seemed to need a key card. Hmmm. They give me ancient expensive wood when they could simply settle for particle board and time released locks. I began to wonder if it was out of respect or nostalgia.
Gianna's heart was going at a million miles an hour now. Each floor seemed to bring with it a new reason for faster palpitation. At this stage I kind of wondered if I had simply saved her only to have her frail human heart explode.
Either way, I guessed I was getting closer and chuffed lightly when Edward reminded me once again that Gianna was indeed a person and not a treat. I was so pleased to hear his voice after the grim mental picture that I stopped and closed my eyes. Gianna tripped into me and shrieked when I hissed at her for interrupting me.
"NO! She's just frightened! Bella STOP!" I did stop.
It was at this point that I made the startling revelation that I might be losing my mind. Of course this would be considered something completely permissible at this point. I mean, I had been kidnapped and killed just recently. I started to stumble a bit along the hallway as I began to sob tearlessly.
I wasn't entirely sure if one could get a Multiple Personality Disorder from turning into a vampire. It made sense in a weird kind of way. Maybe the Edward in my head was like Bella2 or something equally messed up. Even then, would I be treatable? I could only imagine Carlisle strapping me down to a couch with barbed wire asking me about Renee. Remembering Renee made me happy.
I remembered my mother. For some reason this caused me to chuckle. This caused Gianna to start pulling against me and trying to break free. Now we weaved back and forth through the hall going forward but in a crazy sort of listless pull and drag that was probably reminiscent of some kind of comedy skit. Only one of us was crying and screaming.
"It's not funny. Believe me." I did know my Edward, but I didn't know how to stop now.
"Let me go! Please!" Gianna pulled her arm uselessly from against my grip. Her legs were no longer propelling her forward and I was dragging her down the hall as she leaned back against my weight. It was the first time anyone had ever done that and gotten a negative result.
A hazy memory came back to me. I was pushing against someone or something while they forced their lips against mine, and feeling frustrated. It scared me because I couldn't remember who was kissing me at that moment. Was I losing memories this quickly?
The secretary that I was taking for a drag started to cry out and scramble even more determinately. "Don't take me in there! I don't want to go! You're losing control already… I can tell! I can't go in there with them. They'll tear me into pieces!" My sanity was being torn into pieces.
"You're here. You don't need to struggle anymore. My Bella. Let go of her." Edward's voice reminded me that this was the room we had met Aro in before.
"Well. This is the place. Let's go Gianna!" She screamed. I threw the woman in ahead of me and walked into the tower room with the grate and pulled the large door closed behind me.
"Bella! Finally!" Aro was sitting in the wooden throne in front of me. Nothing was different from the last time I was here except for me. Now I was a blood crazed naked vampire. I was at a bit of a disadvantage. Unfortunately my earlier summation seemed to be wrong. Being naked, strong, and surprising was apparently not going to do it for me here in the heart of Volterra. They had already known I was on my way up.
"Did you get lost dear?" I shook my head and had the distinct feeling that Aro wasn't talking down to me. "Felix, please pick up Gianna off the ground and bring her to me. I think our lovely newborn Bella needs a visual aid." The vampire to my left whom I remembered was Felix brought the woman harshly up off her knees. She scrabbled against the floor with her feet and made pathetic cries as she tried to get free.
Aro addressed me in a fatherly tone, as if I were just a confused child. "Now Bella, you will find that I am a doting father. I want you to be happy. Can you just imagine what Edward would say if I brought you back in this condition? Crazy and not very happy, and as we watched you on the monitors I think it's pretty clear which road you are headed down. Ha! Ha! Ha!" The laugh I had remembered from the last internment here did not remind me of happier times. He was suddenly serious. "Watch carefully dear."
"Please no!" I wasn't sure if I had cried out or the struggling woman. Gianna's neck snapped like a small twig in the old shale like hands and Aro ripped open her throat with his teeth. I shuddered against what instinct told me was right and what Edward screamed was wrong. Blood dripped slowly over his chin. I was jealous for his indulgence.
The leader of the Volturi held up Gianna toward me. "Drink. She's already dead, but the blood is still warm. It won't hurt. It will make the thirst go away darling girl." I shook my head and slumped over again rocking gently as I felt myself flying apart inside. "Oh, Good Lord, what has Carlisle done to the younger generation in the New World? Felix?" The seeming fragile hands of the older vampire held the woman up and he drank her blood as if he were holding a chalice. When he was done he threw the body down on the floor and Felix pushed her through the grate below.
I cried out. I didn't know Gianna. I definitely didn't like her, but no one deserved to die like that. It was then that I remembered the inference that the young woman in the expensive suit had made. Felix had been her lover. My eyes widened in shock.
Aro read my look with mild curiosity, but continued in a very parental tone, "You look horrified. Please before you assume that I am some kind of disgusting monster, which I'm sure you already believe me to be, allow me to make it up to you."
"How? How could you betray her like that Felix?" The named vampire looked at me in mild irritation. Aro smiled at me like I was his favorite new toy.
"I figure we're just about even from where I stand." I was even more shocked by his offhand answer…that seemed to suggest that this tie had meant nothing. The woman whom I supposed had loved him was nothing to him.
"Felix, please, I'm sure that after suffering through the change you would understand that she is still very confused. She would understand better if we were a little less abrasive. Let us be the example. The… reserve…" He rolled his eyes and then smiled in my direction as if he were doing something for me. Like a father would give a daughter a gift.
"Yes my Lord Aro." Felix bowed out and disappeared, returning seconds later carrying something.
"I first want to clear up some misinterpretations… things are not quite as they seem to you now. Also, we must get you something to feed upon. Believe it or not you're going to need your strength if you are going to proceed. My boy?" He seemed loath to do it, but Aro pointed in my direction.
I feared something terrible. I was probably going to develop an issue with the word 'feed'. I was sure that I was going to be taken aback when the old man said anything about feeding. Afraid, at this point, that he would come up with something more horrifying to tempt my new palate, something like babies… or children.
I was surprised when my arm was full of cat, some kind of domesticated house cat. Not a mountain lion, or a grizzly bear, but a house cat. "Please dear, make do for now. Just do as I showed you and get the crazies out?" The Volturi leader laughed at his joke.
I looked down at the cat in my hands, shrugged my shoulders because Edward did not stop me now, and did as I was asked. Some part of me shied away from the thought that this might be someone's pet. Edward's voice seemed to fade further in my now blood sated haze, and I began to panic.
I must have looked like I had gone two steps back because Aro looked at me with true concern in his eyes. "Now, now Bella Cullen. We made a deal you and I."
"No! You stole me from my home, and my wedding, and ruined my life! I REMEMBER! You turned me into a blood sucking fiend, and most probably killed my family. I just ate a cat! Oh, poor Charlie! Edward!" I fell into a heap on the floor and shuddered against the pain stroking the fur on the carcass. "Besides that… I'm still Bella Swan. I never…" I looked down at the thing I was petting and threw it away from me.
"Nonsense Bella, I would no more kill Carlisle and his family than I would cut off something vital from my own body. There are no reports of the untimely death of your father Charlie, and there is no purpose in killing him… unless you have been sharing family secrets?" I shook my head abruptly. "If you want to hear the whole story you're going to have to be calm."
I watched as each one of the Volturi filed into the room, and Aro, Caius, and Marcus, nighttime patrons of the arts stood before me once again, but somehow I couldn't help but notice that there were some obvious missing persons.