A/N – I apologize for taking so long to publish the 2nd chapter, but I got caught up studying for several exams. Please review this chapter after you have read it so that I can further improve upon my writing. All types of comments are welcomed. All thoughts are in italics, and all vampire speed conversations are in between ~.
As we stepped into the room, I took a look around, observing everything that I could. The room itself was very large and open. There wasn't much about the room that really stood out. It was almost circular and seemed to be made mostly of marble. There were very few windows throughout the room, seemingly placed almost strategically. Despite the lack of windows and decor, the room had a very open feel to it. There was also a dais in front the farthest wall from the doors that housed the three thrones of the Volturi kings, where they were now sitting, eyes seemingly following Edward and I as we entered the room. Around the room stood several vampires that seemed to watch our every move, guards no doubt, there to do whatever the kings ordered. Edward and I continued to walk towards the dais until we were in the middle of the room, facing the three Volturi kings. They sat in their thrones, continuing to examine us as we stood there. I quickly took the chance to observe the kings myself.
First I looked at the king on the right. He had platinum blonde hair, and what seemed to be a permanent scowl on his face, almost as if he had just tasted a particularly sour candy of some sort. He sat leaning forward in his throne, head resting on a hand that was propped up on the arm of his throne. He was obviously aggravated at having to be here and having to deal with what I am sure are considered to be fairly trivial matters to him.
Next I looked at the king that was sitting in the middle. He had hair as black as night that seemed to go all the way down his back and was held back from his face by what I am assuming is a clip or tie of some sort. He sat completely upright in his throne, looking at the two of us in an excited and curious manner, yet seeming somewhat stern all at the same time. This must be Aro. I remember Carlisle mentioning his never ending curiosity and his habit of studying everything and everyone.
Finally I looked over at the third king that was sitting on the left. He had longer brown hair that seemed to be pulled back into a low ponytail. He sat upright in his throne, looking at Edward and I with disinterest on his face. I began to study his face a little more closely, noticing something hidden in his expression. As I studied it, I could see hidden heartache and grief in his eyes. To think of who he must have lost to feel such sorrow! I wish I could help him in some way. I thought as I could feel my heart ache in sympathy.
"Ah, young Edward!" Aro exclaimed. I quickly turned my head away from the brown haired king to face Aro. "I see that you were mistaken and that young Miss Bella is alive and well! How wonderful!" Aro said excitedly. I see Carlisle wasn't exaggerating when he talked about how excitable Aro is, I think while trying not to roll my eyes.
Edward replied to Aro in a very flat tone, but I zoned out and didn't hear what he said. The stinging in my chest that I thought was sympathy for the brown haired king, had gotten worse. I glanced back at the brown haired king and noticed that he hadn't moved except that it now seemed as if he was looking between Edward and I, not actually at either of us. Aro and Edward kept speaking, Edward growling at Aro at some points, but I couldn't focus on them. For some strange reason the pain in my chest was continuing to intensify, making it very difficult for me to focus on anything but that pain and, for some strange reason, the brown haired king. All of a sudden Edward grabbed my arm and shook me, forcing me to focus on what he was saying.
"What?" I asked, glaring at him, my arm starting to ache where he was holding it.
"Were you not paying attention to anything that is happening?!" he exclaims, obviously frustrated.
"No, I've been a bit preoccupied," I say with a completely flat tone.
"With what?!" he practically yells in exasperation. I raised my eyebrow at how he was acting. This takes his childishness to a whole new level. I thought he was at least smart enough to know how to act in front of the Volturi kings, three people that could essentially kill us and his entire family without even lifting a finger. Fine, if that is the way he wants to speak to me, then I am going to give him a taste of his own medicine.
"I was trying to count how many different ways you have shown how immature you are since I have met you. There are a surprising amount of them seeing as you are over 100 years old. One would think you would know better by now, and be able to act more mature then a five year old," I said, keeping one of my eyebrows raised at him. I was daring him to say something back. Edward just stared at me for a few seconds before shaking his head and sighing in frustration.
"Aro wanted to know if his power works on you," he said. I guess Edward finally gave up on trying to argue with me. Smart man. I thought, smirking at Edward.
I was turning towards Aro to answer him, when the pain in my chest flared up, reminding me of its strange existence. Without realizing that I was doing it, my face had scrunched up in pain, and my hands moved to my chest as if I could pull the pain out of my chest.
"Isabella? Are you alright?" Aro asked sounding slightly concerned. I took a few deep breaths, trying to get the pain in control. Unfortunately, it wasn't helping at all. The more I tried to control the pain, the worse it got. Before I knew it, I had fallen to my knees and had almost completely curled into a ball in a feeble attempt to stop the pain.
3rd Person POV
After staring at Bella in shock for a few seconds, Aro hesitantly placed a hand on her shoulder, a concerned look on his face.
"Isabella, can you tell me what is wrong?" Aro asked Bella genty.
"Chest...hurts...feels...like...my...heart...is...being...set...on...fire," Bella said, panting for breath in between each word I managed to gasp out.
"When did this pain start Isabella?"
"Is there a history of heart problems in your family?"
"N...o," Bella gasps out again. It was obvious that it was getting even harder for Bella to breathe and talk. All of a sudden one of the guards spoke, from somewhere in the large room.
~Master, her heart doesn't sound like it is in any kind of distress outside of the fact that it is beating way too rapidly. To be honest, if I didn't know any better, I would think she was suffering from her mate bond being severed. Her situation seems to be exactly like when we accidentally kill one mate before the other, especially if they had been together for many years.~ this guard said.
~I understand what you are saying, but she is human. How can she be going through something only vampires have experienced before? Unless...this has something to do with her shield! If her brain is close enough to a vampire's in development to have developed her shield to the capacity it is at, then it is possible that her brain is also capable of recognizing her mate!~ Aro said in wonder, lost in the science of it all for a few seconds.
After thinking about it for a few seconds, Aro's expression changed from one of wonder to one of confusion.
~What is wrong, master?~ Jane asked, her own face looking slightly concerned.
~Even if her brain is capable of recognizing her mate, I don't understand why she is going through the pain of a mate bond being severed? Her mate would have to be in close proximity because of the pain of being too far from your mate, and yet no one close enough has been killed that I am aware of, especially someone that she has met and known for many years,~ Aro explained, his face completely confused and worried. As soon as Aro finished speaking, Edward finally cracked and started yelling.
"Stop talking about her mate as if we don't know who he is! I am her mate! I don't know what you have done to her to cause her pain, but you need to stop it right this second!" Edward demanded, almost stomping his foot at the end of his little rant. All of a sudden something happened that no one expected.
"SHUT THE FUCK UP YOU IMMATURE LITTLE BRAT!" Bella screamed, her voice almost shaking from her anger and agony. No one had noticed, but she had been following the conversation as best as she could in her situation, not wanting to be left unaware of what was going on. Everyone started at her in shock of what she just shouted, as she shouldn't have been able to hear what they were saying with the speed they were speaking at. Aro was the first one to recover and simply chuckled at Bella while looking at her in a bit of wonder. She had gone back to curling herself into a ball and trying to block out the intense pain that was flowing through her body.
~Maybe you should listen to Isabella, young Edward. Whether you want to realize it or not, you two simply cannot be mates,~ Aro said to Edward, turning his head away from Bella to look at him while he said this. Edward just glared at Aro defiantly.
~You are wrong Aro, Bella and I are mates!~
~No you are not! Stop and think about it for a minute. Mates cannot hurt each other and they cannot go far from each other without feeling debilitating pain. Not only have you hurt her multiple times, but you broke up with her and ran all the way to Africa to sulk! Not to mention how you refused to allow her to change when she was bitten by that vampire James. If she was your mate, you would have just let her change instead of risking her life further by sucking the venom out!~ Aro declared impatiently, making it painfully obvious how Edward could not have been Bella's mate. He was getting tired of how Edward refused to see the situation as it is.
~That isn't true, I just wanted her to be happy!~ Edward exclaimed.
~If you don't believe me then we can have Marcus check her bonds and see if she holds a true mate bond to you. If she does then you are free to go as long as you change her into a vampire. If she does not hold a true mate bond to you, then you both will be held fully accountable for your actions,~ Aro said.
~That is fine, we will be walking out of here before you know it because I know that we are true mates,~ Edward declared with a smug look on his face. Aro just raised an eyebrow in skepticism at Edwards attitude before turning towards Marcus in askance. Marcus nodded his head automatically, even though he was not fully aware of what Aro had just asked of him due to the thoughts running through his head. Aro then turned to look at Alec.
~Alec, would you please cut off all of Edwards senses until I tell you to release him? I have a feeling that he is not going to react well to the results of this inquiry, and do not want to have to deal with him throwing a…what is the word? ...Ah yes, a temper tantrum.~
~Yes, master Aro,~ Alec said without hesitation before quickly focusing on Edward and blocking all of his senses before he could react to what Aro had just said. As soon as this happened, Aro turned towards Marcus.
~Marcus, brother?~ Aro said in an effort to rouse Marcus from the fog he seemed to be in. Marcus did stir and looked towards Aro with a blank expression on his face.
~Yes, Aro?~ he asked in a bored tone of voice.
~Would you please look at Isabella's bonds and tell us who her true mate is, and see if you can tell why she is in such pain?~ Aro said, gesturing towards Bella, who was still curled on the floor the same way she was a few seconds ago when they began to speak at vampire speed.
~As you wish, Aro, ~ Marcus said in a monotone, clearly trying to continue to look indifferent towards what was going on. Marcus's eyes glazed as he used his bond sight to look at Bella's bonds. After a minute or so, his expression went from impassive to one of complete shock. Aro saw this and was instantly curious.
~Brother, what is it that you see? ~ he asked impatiently. Marcus didn't respond. Instead he remained motionless for several minutes before his face once again changed. This time his expression went from one of shock to one of awe, hope, and love.
~Brother?~ Aro asked again, hoping that what Marcus was seeing would not only set Edward straight, but also show a way to get rid of the pain that Bella was in. Aro walked towards Marcus, touching his hand and seeing what Marcus was seeing in his bond sight. As Aro's face turned into one of joys when he realized what Marcus was seeing, Marcus left his bond sight with a gentle smile on his face, just staring at Bella.
~Well brothers, what has Marcus seen?~ Caius said, finally having had enough of their silence and wanting to know what was going on.
~Edward is not her true mate,~ Aro said with a smile on his face.
~Well then, why is she on the floor in pain? Does it have to do with her true mate, and do you know it is?~ Caius said impatiently.
~We know who her true mate is, and I have a theory as to why she is in such pain,~ Aro said. Marcus's head snapped to Aro as he spoke, wanting to know what had caused her such pain.
~Well?~ Caius said when Aro did not immediately explain, still being as impatient as ever.
~My theory as to why she is in such pain is that her true mate's heart was closed and unable to accept her bond in any way. When she saw her true mate, her soul went to bond with him, but because his heart was closed, her bond was not able to connect with him, and her body is responding as if her mate had died and the bond was severed,~ Aro explained. As Aro said this, Marcus's face turned to horror.
~Oh no, what have I done?~ Marcus whispered almost inaudibly to the vampires, looking like he wanted to cry.
~Marcus, what are you talking about? You haven't done anything to the human girl. Aro, tell us who her true mate with the closed heart is so that we can rectify this situation?~ Caius asked, becoming more irritated and confused by his concern for the human girl and the situation as the seconds went by.
~Her true mate is our dear brother, Marcus,~ Aro said, smile still on his face.
A/N - I hope that you enjoyed this chapter. Again, I am so sorry that it took so long to put this chapter up, but I have been studying for my midterms and didn't always have time to write. I will have the next one up as soon as I can, but it won't take any longer than a week. Once again, I ask that you please write a review with your opinions of my story so far so that I can continue to improve.