A.N. A Short (handful of chapters) prequel to 'It's because you are new.'

As before I don't see Caius as he is portrayed in the movies but as older, kind of like Brad Pitt in Troy.

I own nothing.



"Ugh god I can't stand this" she thought in frustration as she landed ankle deep in water. "Who was the bright spark that decided to put a water feature in the middle of this place," Bella grumbled to herself. She looked out across the sea of red cloaks gathered in the square for the St Marco's festival, to find the clock tower. She wasn't far but it felt like miles.

"Please Bella you have to do this, you are the only one he won't hear coming." Alice had said before dropping Bella off in the outskirts of the town. Sounded like a good idea at the time.

"And who was the genius who decided to build this particular town on the side of a mountain." Bella muttered. She had run through the medieval streets as fast as she could, and not tripped once! But it was hard running up hill on cobbles by now she was going on pure adrenalin. Her legs felt like lead weights, there had been far too much 'up'.

Splashing forward she put her head down to plough through the water, it was almost noon. "Great now I am hot, sweaty and wet"

"And not in a good way," Pauls voice came unbidden into her mind. Bella smiled to herself. She and Paul had a 'friends with benefits' relationship which she hoped to continue when she got back home. And 'oh god' did she enjoy those benefits. Yes there were definitely far more enjoyable ways of getting hot sweaty and wet than running through a fountain in an attempt of stopping a suicidal drama queen from becoming a walking disco ball.

As Bella reached the other side of the fountain she looked up to check her bearings again. Almost there.

Again her mind decided now was the perfect moment to shake off reality. Dory singing "Just keep swimming, Just keep swimming" ran round her head. Yes she was having a 'Finding Nemo' moment in the middle of a rescue attempt. Surreal, definitely.

Elbowing her way through the crowds of people, ignoring the grumbles; she didn't speak Italian anyway so who cares what they were saying. Bella looked up to see Edward step out into the sun light and start unbuttoning his shit. "Oh shit" she thought "he is actually going to go through with this." She launched herself through the last few people and threw herself up the steps and onto her ex-boyfriend. She tried in vain to push him backwards into the shadows but he wouldn't move, just starting at her in disbelief.

"Move" she yelled, "Get under cover for god's sake"

At last Edward moved back out of sight with a quick glance around Bella stepped into the shadows after him.

"What on earth did you think you were doing?" She gasped out breathlessly as she desperately tried to fill her lungs. Head spinning she slid down the wall uncaring of where she was as her legs refused to hold her up any longer.

"I couldn't bear the thought of existing in a world where you didn't" Edward answered "How are you still alive? Alice saw you try to kill yourself. When I called your house whoever answered said your father was arranging a funeral"

"And you didn't wait to learn the truth did you?" Bella answered slowly. "No Dad was arranging Harry Clearwater's funeral. He died of a heart attack. And I wasn't trying to kill myself. I was cliff diving, for fun with Jake, Paul and some of the others. Why would you think I would kill myself?"

"I assumed you must have been unable to move forward after I left, that you missed me too much." He answered. "But cliff diving, really Bella, that's not a safe pastime. You should know better."

Bella opened her mouth to tell him to "mind his own fucking business when it came to her activities" but was cut off by his continuing rant.

"I should never have left you, I was doing it to protect you. You weren't safe in my world. I was so wrong. I lied when I said I didn't love you, I had to get you to let me go. I'll make it up to you I promise, we can be together now. I'll never leave you again." He reached out to touch her cheek

Bella shrank away from him and stared up at him in complete disbelief. She couldn't believe the condescending, moronic, idiocy coming from his mouth.

He didn't mean it. He lied.

She was furious, you don't treat people you love that way. She couldn't understand why she had wasted so much time grieving for this arrogant boy. But before she could tell him what she thought of him they were interrupted by two figures approaching. Edward yanked her to her feet behind him as he turned to face the new comers.

"You arsehole!" Bella shrieked "that hurt, you almost dislocated my shoulder." Edward looked at her speechless. His answer was cut off by the larger of the vampires chuckling "got your hands full with this one Eddie". Edward crouched lower and growled again.

Bella looked at the vampires in front of them. Good looking of course, pale with red eyes. Oh great. They must be Volturi. The tallest one could have been Emmett she thought. Tall, huge even with close cropped dark hair and red eyes that sparkled with fun. He winked at her making Edward snarl. She stifled a giggle. It really was a good thing he couldn't read her mind.

Bella looked at the other more closely. He looked confident, self-assured and screamed danger. He had short dark hair and a stone cold expression. "Aro would like to see you, now". He said quietly. Edward was growling, he clearly didn't like what they were thinking.

Alice chose that moment to join them. "Afternoon gentlemen, of course we will be happy to see Aro" She pulled Bella to her. "Just stay with me, you'll be fine" she said.

"What? No Alice, Bella must leave now. We have no reason to see Aro. I have done nothing wrong in the end. Alice why are you blocking your thoughts? What is going on? Bella, Sorry about your arm but come here." Edward reached towards her.

Bella backed away from him. She was still furious with him "Get your hands off me, don't touch me you bloody idiot. Not content with killing yourself now it looks like your theatrics are going to get us all killed. "

The Emmett like vampire's laugh boomed around them. He bowed to Bella. "Felix. May I escort you to Aro, Bella?" He held his hand toward her.

"Yes thanks" she replied with a glare over her shoulder at Edward. She put her arm through his. The other one chuckled and bowed as well. "Demetri" he introduced himself.

For some reason Alice had a beaming grin on her face. Edward was scowling at them all. "Oh this is going to be fun." Bella thought.

They made their way through the quiet streets running around the square and came to a small wooden door in the side of what looked like a wall. Demetri opened the door and stood back to allow them to pass. They went along a long dark passage. It turned a few times and Bella was finding it hard to keep her feet. Her legs were still jelly like. Felix had been really patient with her but when he laughed as she stumbled for what seemed like the tenth time, she had had enough.

"Why don't you do something other than laugh and help me." He just laughed in reply and swung her into his arms. "Your chariot my lady"

At the end of the passage was a reception area. There were two sets of doors but no windows. The receptionist was a human who greeted them in Italian. Felix answered her and walked Bella toward another door.

"Does she know what you all are?" Bella asked quietly.

Felix smiled. She supposed he thought it was a friendly smile but it made her blood run cold.

"Oh yes, She will eventually be turned. "

"Or Killed" Demetri added in a cheerful tone.

They walked along a short corridor to a set of huge doors which swung open as they approached. They walked into a large round chamber with three thrones on a raised dais. There was a group of vampires, Bella assumed, off to the left by another set of doors.

Felix set her on her feet and took a few steps back. Edward immediately wrapped his arm round her and pulled her to him. She tried to shrug him off "I told you to get your hands off me." She growled.

"Please Edward stop pawing the human, she clearly does not enjoy it" a voice came from the right. Bella looked round to see who had spoken.

"Aro" Edward nodded his head but didn't move his arm. A vampire with long black hair and an overly excited expression stepped up to her.

"You must be Bella, It is wonderful to find you still alive. Don't you agree brothers?" He took her hand very gently and pulled her away from Edward.

Bella looked over his shoulder to the two men he was speaking to. One had long, dark, wavy hair and a bored expression. The other was blond and looking away at first but as Aro spoke he turned toward them.

Their eyes met.

Bella gasped.