A/N: First things first. I have not written anything creative since high-school English, which was... a while ago, lol. I do not have a pre-reader, mentor, or beta. I do not own Twilight or the characters and plots described therein. I enjoy polyamory fics, and think that Bella is enough trouble to warrant more than one mate. Anything that doesn't fit with the book facts (such as Caius's age) fits with my story instead. I am not a purist. If I were, I would not be writing fan fiction. I hope you enjoy, and please let me know what you think by leaving a review.
Marcus sat, as he had done for centuries. To all who watched him he appeared bored, disinterested and thoroughly depressed. He seldom spoke, and when he did his tone was dull and flat, never for a second seeming to invite conversation or inspire even a modicum of excitement.
His brothers knew differently. Marcus was an integral part of the Volturi triumvirate. His ability to see and interpret the type and strength of bonds set before him was instrumental in mediating and judging the vampire world. Order needed to be maintained and Volturi had been successful doing so for a thousand years.
Marcus himself was over three thousand years old. Born in ancient Greece before either of his vampire brothers, and turned just shy of his twentieth year, he was wise, caring, and a romantic at heart. His personality did not carry the extremes of Aro's or Caius's, so he often found himself tempering their arguments and arbitrating peace. To some it may have seemed a thankless repetition, but it was Marcus's strength, and he was happy. He had been blessed with soul-brothers, and nothing could tear them apart.
That was the secret few knew. Marcus, contrary to appearances, had not been bored for a millennium and a half. He had been fascinated.
Aro had been turned in his early twenties. As a human, and then a vampire, he was enthralled by all human life had to offer. While some others may have viewed their eternal existence as a curse, dragging on unceasingly, Aro felt that his unlife had been one new experience followed by another. And they were all to be enjoyed. The changes to human thought & culture - religion, philosophy, science, art, music, gender roles, and family units - were something that had amazed him throughout his long years. They were slow, small, fast, profound, and every degree in between. Changes to the humans way of life and thinking were constant. So different from the vampire way.
And the technology! Especially in the last several decades, it seemed as though there was not enough time to understand one technological marvel, even for his superior brain, before another was introduced to replace it. Aro had made it his personal hobby to try each new offering, and so the residents of the castle had seen practically every commercially available invention since the introduction of the light bulb and the telephone in the late 1800s.
Aro's enthusiasm for all of this made him seem a bit manic. Usually he was charming and quick witted. To vampires outside of his coven he presented a sort of gleeful madness and had gained a reputation for being cunning and ruthless. It was said that he searched out talent and destroyed covens without mercy at the smallest infraction, just to collect their gifted members.
But the truth was that all Aro had done since taking over governance of the vampire world, and his excessively happy personality, was not a facade, and not without reason.
Aro was filled with hope and nervous anticipation. He and his brothers had been expecting their mate for fifteen hundred years, and had taken their world in hand to ensure peaceful coexistence with humans. Even if the humans weren't aware. Even if they regarded most humans as food. The brothers knew the day their mate had been born. For the last eighteen years, they and an elite few of their most trusted guards had been searching for her. Although their efforts had been fruitless, Aro felt like their long-awaited meeting was imminent.
Few who met Caius had very many nice things to say about him. He was impatient, discourteous and had a quick and viciously cruel temper. He was the most easily provoked, the hardest to calm, and were it not for his brothers, Caius himself was certain he would have decimated half the vampire population by now.
Those who knew him best knew other things about him. For Caius, like Marcus and Aro, was more than the stern ill-tempered front he portrayed. The white-haired vampire king was a handsome man, turned in his early thirties, and an excellent strategist and battle-leader. He was a patron of the arts, as well as an artist himself. Throughout the centuries, many a painter, sculpture or musician had been funded by Caius, and the castle was full of original works that humans did not even realize existed. Caius spent a great deal of time in his own studio in the castle, and digging his hands into granite, marble or clay to produce something worthy went a long way toward relieving his foul moods.
Nothing could fully soothe the frustration Caius had had to endure since being told of the mate he and his brothers shared. For fifteen centuries Marcus had been able to see every nuance of their bond, every subtle change. And Aro had been able to see it for himself with a simple touch of Marcus's skin. But Caius had not had that privilege. He would never be able to see for himself the absolute beauty that his brothers described to him; no matter how intricate the detail imparted, he knew he would never be able to reproduce its magnificence. He felt excluded, as though he did not know his mating bond as well as his brothers did, and that saddened and angered him.