The adrenaline was still coursing through my veins, making me feel as though I could still run a marathon. My thoughts, however, were centered upon the fact that I had my arms wrapped tightly around the man, well vampire, that I love. Edward. Alice and I had done it. We managed to fly to Italy and stop him before he broke the laws of exposure. Alice was still a couple miles away waiting in the Porsche for our safe return at this point. Before we could celebrate and move on two towering presences made themselves known in that dark corner of the building. The men were intimidating with their pitch black capes kept together with a silver 'V' pendent on top of their black button up shirts and slacks. The one that was slightly taller wore a smirk that made me feel incredibly uneven and the other vampire looked at me with pity.
Before anything else happened Edward spoke up to the two of them "No laws were broken here today boys, so with that I will be on my way and maybe I will see you in a century or two." Edward went to pull me away as he put his shirt back on, but was stopped by a hand on his chest.
Looking at the reactions on these vampires faces, I knew that it would not be that simple. It's clear as day that I am human and that laws were in fact broken with how at ease I seemed around Edward. It would take a blind person not to see how familiar we were with one another. The taller of the two vampires went to speak when a third one from behind spoke up. "Felix, Demetri what is taking so long with our guests? Aro expects the boy and the girl back down in the castle now."
The girl in question looked no more than fifteen years old. She had blonde hair that was tied up in a tight bun with a matching cape and metal pin that the other two vampires were wearing. Underneath this vampire had on a simple black dress with matching black tights and heels. Would it kill these vampires to wear a little bit of color? Talk about feeding into the myths. As this girl approached us I noticed Edward's arms wrap me tighter in the embrace, as though he feared this particular vampire, or at least what she was thinking.
"We were just about to escort them down when you showed up Jane. Lead the way." Felix, the larger one responded.
With that we started to follow Jane through numerous corridors and tunnels that I am sure I would never be able to make it back through. Without a vampire memory there were simply too many turns for a human to be able to navigate through all of that. Jane led the way with Felix and Demetri behind Edward and me, blocking Edward from any thoughts of escapes. Throughout the journey Edward would release a couple of growls here and there that barely reached my hearing. When I shot him questioning glances he merely shrugged it off and kissed my forehead. Finally, after about thirty minutes, we had reached a large set of double oak doors that must have weighed an extraordinary amount.
Once within the room I took a minute to take in my surroundings. Right in the front middle of the room was three thrones that were each occupied by a person. The middle throne held a vampire with black shoulder length hair, blood red eyes, and the usual black button up shirt and slacks. The leader on his left has brown hair that is longer than my own, crimson eyes, and the same outfit. The final leader had platinum blonde hair that was shoulder length, the deep red eyes, and the usual outfit. Behind each of these men was another throne, each containing a woman. I could only assume these were the men's wives. There were all extremely beautiful and adorned in elegant dresses that finally had some color.
Scattered throughout the rest of the room had to be about seven or eight vampires, including the four I walked in with. It was very clear that I was the only human. As I took in how each vampire appeared my eyes met with one vampire in particular. She had gorgeous flowing blonde hair that cascaded down in waves to mid-waist, her red eyes that should cause fear brought me warmth and comfort. It seemed as though time had simply stopped moving. I couldn't look away, I didn't want to look away, and she wasn't breaking eye contact either. Seconds, minutes, or hours could have gone by before I noticed a difference.
The spell was broken when I heard the vicious growl erupt to the left of me. It was Edward, and before I knew what was happening I felt a sharp pressure placed on my arm that felt instantaneously removed. By the time my human eyes caught up with the scene, the blonde goddess from before was tenderly rolling up my sleeve to check out my arm while Edward was desperately trying to get away from Felix, who had him pinned in a head lock.
Locking eyes with the stunning woman in front of me once more she gave me a smile and put my sleeve back down. By the end of this action I was left thoroughly confused. Looking around the room for answers I met eyes with the king in the center and his wife for the first time and I could have sworn they whispered 'mine.' When I looked into their eyes it was the same intensity that I felt with the woman next to me, just of a different kind. Instead of the strong desire of lust and love I had felt with her I felt love once more, but it was the kind I held for Charlie and Esme. I felt like a child being looked at by her parents. By now Edward was trying everything to free himself of his hold, appearing as though he was a caged animal.
When I looked away from the middle king he broke out shouting "Enough!" At once everyone in the room came to attention and looked to him. I could see his wife behind him twitching, looking as though she wanted to walk to me right away. "Well, this is certainly interesting, Edward it seems as though you have a few things to explain. Come forward and give me your hand."
Edward looked utterly defeated as he was dragged by both Demetri and Felix to the king who immediately grasped Edward's hand. As if sensing my confusion the angel next to me whispered "That is our kind Aro. He possess a gift much like Edward." The way she spat out Edward's name led me to believe she held utter contempt and hatred for him. I was only more confused as she continued on "He can see every thought you've ever had with a single touch."
As she finished her sentence Aro looked up and looked to me once more. Smiling gently, as though he was taking great care not to scare me "Isabella, will you please come forward. Edward here has shown me many things about you, including how you confound his gift." With this several murmurs were sent amongst the guards and I could feel the smile from the woman standing slightly behind me. "Will you please allow me to grab your hand to see if my gift will be blocked as well?"
I had full understanding that even though I did not want to, there was no saying no to the king of the vampires. Sensing my distress the woman behind me cooed in my ear "It's alright baby, he isn't going to harm you." Gently placing her hand on my back she led me to the king in question who eagerly grasped my hand. After a moment he spoke up.
"Nothing. I see absolutely nothing. Demetri tell me can you get a sense of her mind? Would you be able to track her?"
Demetri locked eyes with me and after a few moments a look of amusement came across his face as he addressed Aro. "She blocks me as well, Master."
"Hmm, what about you Chelsea? Can you manipulate her bonds?"
I turned around to notice the brunette in the corner concentrating on me as though I was some sort of experiment. I guess in this situation, I truly was. After a couple of minutes Chelsea looked at me with confusion as she addressed Aro. "I cans see her bonds Master, but I can do nothing to them. Her mind is immune to my powers."
At this Aro looked absolutely delighted at the fact that I was somehow blocking all of his guard's powers. His wife behind me kept looking at me as though a proud mother would gaze at her daughter. Instead of it creeping me out, as though it should, it brought me comfort in the unfortunate situation I found myself in. Before I could think more about it Aro's voice cut through my thoughts.
"Heidi dear, may I see your hand to confirm my suspicions? I have already seen it through Marcus about your bonds with young Isabella. I want to see it through your eyes though."
The woman behind me, who I now could call Heidi, stepped forward with the utmost grace, and a full smile on her lips. She was delighted when Aro looked to her and answered her mental question stating that yes, she had finally found her mate. When she turned and smiled at me, I frowned this time.
Surely they could not mean me? I already had a mate. I am Edward's mate. I love Edward. So why is Heidi looking at me like she would rather eat human food than leave my side? With Aro's announcement Edward tries to get free once more yelling this time with his movements.
"You are wrong! Bella is mine. She will never choose to stay here with you. She is mine!"
I had never heard Edward speak with such ferociousness and I couldn't help but feel slightly touched at his need to defend me as his mate. Apparently, Heidi, Aro, and Aro's wife had other ideas. All three of the vampires growled at him and Heidi even lunged at him, right before she was about to bite him I spoke up for the first time since setting foot in the room. "Please, don't!"
Heidi's mouth stopped midair and when she turned to face me her eyes softened immediately. Instead of resuming her attack on Edward she returned to my side with a smirk on her lips as she made a show out of putting her arm around my waist. Not feeling overly comfortable I tried to remove her arm from my side but she wouldn't budge. As I continually tried to pry the arm away from my waist Aro spoke up once more.
"Heidi, be a dear and take Bella to mine and Sulpicia's private quarters. There is much we have to discuss and I need to handle young Edward before meeting you both there."
The joy was rolling off of Heidi in waves at this command as she kept the arm around my waist and led me out of the throne room and away from Edward. I started to struggle as we reached the doors, but Heidi merely kept her grip firm and basically carried me out. Once we were out I was led down a series of various hallways and staircases before coming to a single door. Heidi held the door open for me and waited for me to walk in first before following suit and closing the door behind us. Inside the room was absolutely stunning. The room is decorated with a red and black theme with a king sized canopy bed against one wall. On the opposing wall there is a flat screen TV placed over the top of a fire place, which is currently lit. The wall containing the door was lined with bookshelves, covered in every inch with numerous books, completely peaking my interest. The last wall lead to what I am assuming is the bathroom.
For the first time since we were in the throne room Heidi addressed me after letting me take in my surroundings. "Bella, I know this is going to be a lot to take in, and it's not entirely fair to you, but when Aro and Sulpicia come in here can you please promise me to hear them out before making any rash decisions? Please?"
There was a certain desperation to her voice that spoke to me, looking into her eyes I could see the swirl of emotions that were currently bombarding her. "Alright, I will wait to hear the whole story. But I am really confused and lost at the moment Heidi, I have a lot of questions."
The look of utter relied that took over Heidi's face made me smile, only serving to add to my confusion. Why did I already care so much what Heidi was feeling? I should be more concerned with what was happening to Edward now. Once again sensing my distress Heidi brought me to one of the couches that are in front of the fireplace. Sitting down next to me she placed a possessive arm behind my back. Looking at just the right angle it would almost appear as if I was cuddling into her. Before I could worry too much about how nice the action actually felt and how I was only becoming increasingly lost Aro and Sulpicia came striding into the room. Aro addressed me first.
"Isabella, I am so happy you decided to come for Edward yourself. This has proven to be a most enlightening day." At the sound of Edward's name Heidi let loose a low growl that I could barely hear and physically pulled me closer to her on the couch. Aro and Sulpicia seemed fairly amused with her behavior but Aro continued on anyways.
"With how bright of a girl you are I am sure you have theories as to what is occurring but I am also sure you have many questions. So I propose this. For every question you have we will answer it to the best of our abilities. In return we get to ask a question of you and expect the same in return. Does that sound agreeable?"
While Aro was once again phrasing his words as if I had a choice, I knew I didn't. I was a human that knew about vampires and had some weird connection with the three I was currently sharing a room in. I knew that this was his way of being polite, and at least I got to ask some questions as well. "Yes, Aro, that does sound agreeable."
The smile on Aro's face made me feel warm inside, like I had just made my father proud. "Alright then Isabella, why don't you ask your first question then?"