AN: I'd like to take this opportunity to thank my beta's for all their hard work and help to take this story from 'meh' to 'WOW'. Their help has been brilliant, whether it be with my grammar, criticism or expanding descriptions and dialogue brilliant beta's are:
A Little Birdie Tells Me
The Quote Queen
All these beta's bring their own flavor to help enhance my story to what you are reading here.
Now that I have given credit where credit is due, on with the chapter.
She stood silently as she surveyed the lands; watching and waiting, knowing that the time would soon come. As she waited, a distinct memory of the first day at a new school surfaced; a time when her innocence was still intact. A time long before the horrors and depravities of life slowly phlebotomized said innocence from her, leaving her jaded and seemingly cold-hearted.
The memory was clouded somewhat; it was a lot like trying to see through a fog. A boy was blithering about taking a photo or something along those lines, and a reference was made that she was the type to suffer in silence. Whether it was her or the boy who made the remark, it had long been forgotten. But that observation, that character flaw comparatively speaking, remains even now, stronger than ever; leading to her reputed cold-heartedness.
If only they knew that she was not really cold-hearted, rather, it was more like she had learned over time to bury all emotion, bar indifference, as a mere means of survival.
Most will put a wall around their heart when they have truly been hurt; a form of defense, or reflex. However, with the right set of circumstances, that wall, which seems all but impenetrable, can be breached.
Her walls, however, had been forged through not only hurt, but horrors that very few could conceive, let alone survive, disappointments beyond comprehension, and betrayals that are unfathomable. All of these events had not just left non-cognitive consequences; they affected her mind, her body and her soul. No part of what or who she was, was left untouched; not just physically, but psychologically and emotionally as well.
The façade of indifference hid the soul of a righteous woman, who through all her destitution, can still say to this day that she has never harmed anyone who is pure at heart, regardless of the species. All those who have encountered her have learned one way or another, that under no circumstances can she be forced or persuaded to act otherwise, regardless of the consequences.
As she continued to observe the city below, she spotted a man stalking his prey. A young child around nine or ten, she could guess, was leaving a friend's place after joining their family for supper, as her mother had to work late. The girl was making her way back home after bidding goodnight to her friend and thanking the parents.
Her home was only a block and a half away, and she had made this journey many times before. So the prospect of walking home alone even at such an hour didn't seem as challenging as it might have otherwise.
On her way home, the girl had to pass a few dark allies. She had passed them before and so far they haven't given her any reason to be bothered by them. However, tonight was different; the light outside the last alley had mysteriously stopped working, and it was in this alley that the man was lurking.
From her perch high above, Isabella saw all this and knew it was the time to act. Her leather jacket that reached her knees billowed out behind her as she flung herself from the apartment building that she had been using as her observation deck. Landing with her right knee bent, and her left just millimeters from the ground, her fingertips touched the pavement minutely to serve her purpose of absolute stealth. The only sound that could be heard was the rush of air from her drop from high then there was stillness again.
Without delay, she straightened up, ghosted from her current position, and then she was looming behind the man 9 blocks away. In a matter of moments and minimum efforts, her hand was clamped over his mouth, pulling him within the shadows of the alley. They disappeared to the darkest corner of the ally, just as the girl appeared from around the corner, passing the alley quickly because to the lack of light. She listened to the footsteps of the little girl against the stone ground, as she hurried into the safety of her home, completely oblivious to the torturous fate that she had just narrowly escaped.
Listening intently to the sound of the door slamming shut behind the girl, Isabella whispered into the man's ear, "That girl has escaped your torture, your compulsion to rape the innocence out of young girls. I can tell that many before her have fallen victim to you, and if left to your own devices; many more will after this. I cannot stand by and let this happen by your hand ever again. Have any of your previous victims survived?"
Unable to speak with his mouth covered, he could only nod.
"And how long were they in your merciless care?" She hissed, her eyes narrowing.
The man mumbled against her palm, but with her hearing she was easily able to understand the incoherent muffle, "A week."
Disgusted, but not surprised, she replied, "Fortunately for you, I do not play with my food. But hopefully whatever happens to your putrid soul after your death will be a fitting punishment for your crimes. For I will not blacken mine further by punishing you, as you certainly should be before your death." She growled through clenched teeth.
She struck with a swiftness afforded by her species and drained the blood from his body, not even sparing herself a moment to savor the untainted taste of his blood. She drank until his heart stopped beating, ripping his head from his body to make sure that there is no possibility of him turning.
She promptly disposed of the body in a dumpster a few blocks away, lighting it so that no traces were left of that vile human.
Taking the small mirror out from her pocket, she peered into it to make sure that no trickle of blood was left on her mouth as she waited patiently outside the young girl's small but neat townhouse for her mother to show up. Her mother arrived not long after.
Isabella approached the mother as a concerned citizen, "Excuse me ma'am, I don't mean to intrude." She paused momentarily for the woman to get over her astonishment at Isabella's appearance, all dressed in black leather, but the manners of a truly caring soul, before continuing, "But I noticed your daughter walking home alone from a friend's house after hearing her tell her friend that you had to work late."
The woman nodded at Isabella, affirming the story. Isabella continued grimly, "I also noticed a man watching her, so I thought I'd best follow her to ensure that she arrived home unharmed. I wish to know if there is perhaps any way in which I can assist you to prevent her from having to walk home alone after dark in the future."
As her words sunk in, the woman looked absolutely horrified as the prospect what could have happened to her child drew to her mind. Isabella watched her press a hand to her mouth in relief, "Oh! Thank you so much for seeing her home safely. I don't know how I can repay you, but if there is anything I can do," she repeated earnestly, "anything at all, please just let me know. I work nights twice a week to make ends meet. Normally the old woman next door watches Gabrielle for me, but she had to visit her sick daughter and help her with her kids this week. I couldn't afford a babysitter. I don't know what to do now, I don't think I can work nights after what could have occurred tonight, but if I don't," the woman looked distraught, "I don't know how I will be able to make ends meet."
She started to sob. Tears running down her face, she fought the intense urge to run inside and check if her daughter indeed was truly safe.
Isabella thought for a moment, before saying, "I have an acquaintance that is looking for a Personal Assistant. No experience required. It's a 9-5 job, if any over time is required, she would allow you to bring your daughter to work, or you could hire a sitter if necessary; the pay is above average, if you are willing to work hard. She owes me a debt of gratitude much like yourself now, and she will give you the job, if you want it. As for your debt, there may come a time where you may help someone in just the way Jenny will help you now, no questions asked. Is this acceptable to you?"
The woman looked like she was in a daze, and blinked a couple of times before recovering, "Yes, yes, thank you. You have saved us twice this night, you are truly an angel." The woman smiled, still unable to believe her good fortune.
"Go inside now, and check on your daughter. Then grab a pen and paper and I'll give you the information you need."
The words were barely out of her mouth, before the woman darted inside. She found her daughter sound asleep and grabbed a notebook and pen from beside the phone and rushed back outside and handed it over to Isabella.
"This is Jenny's direct line. Tell her Isabella told you to ring about the P.A. job. Also, tell her this is her debt being repaid and the job will be yours."
"Isabella? Is that your name?" At Isabella's nod, she continued, "I apologize that I didn't introduce myself earlier, but I'm Julia. Thank you so much for all your help." Julia sighed out in relief and a little embarrassment.
"You're welcome," Isabella merely said, "Keep your daughter safe, and bring her up the best you can. Goodbye." The last word spoken in barely a whisper, and just like that, Isabella disappeared into the night once again.
With a heavy sigh of resignation, Isabella returned to the castle, and back to her captors. The only thing that kept her bound there, was the thought of preventing any harm to come to the Cullens. Although they are blissfully unaware that she was serving their punishment, she also knew that most of them would not be able to mentally survive fifty years in the Volturi's service.
Fifty years for each of the member who broke the law. 350 years in total. She had already served the better part of it, 349 and a half of those dreary years, of which, only 250 of those years were served gladly.
Alice and Edward's years, fifty for each, did nothing but piss her off something awful. However, unfortunately for her, it had been an all or nothing deal. But now, there was only six months to go before she could start her own mission of taking care of those who had wronged her. Alice and Edward just happened to be on top of her list.