This has been beta'd by the amazing Dogstar13.

Chapter 12

The guard from that dreadful day stood in front of me, his eyes no longer a gleaming red but a stunning brown. Time froze in that moment. Nothing moved while I took in his expression. The disguised guilt behind his hooded eyes and his parted lips immediately eliminated all other assumptions. It was him. Before I could even speak, Angela barged past me, her deadly footsteps echoing as she approached the guard.

"Where is she?" she growled. The guard did not reply. His eyes seemingly stretched around his face as an image floated in his brain.

Everything went out of focus as the sight of a little girl appeared. She was no more than three or four years old, and was running around some trees away from a group of men, who were raucously cheering and watching two other boys wrestle in the mud. The guard and I followed her as she squealed with innocent curiosity. Our thoughts mellowed at the sight. Maybe I shouldn't kill her, he thought. Maybe I should-

His thoughts cut off as a shutter flew up. The guard narrowed his eyes at me. He was hiding something.

"Well?" Angela's sharp voice broke us both out of our trance. She stood with a hand on her hip, her left foot tapping the floor impatiently. Stamping her foot, she wrapped her fingers around his shirt and pulled him close so their noses were nearly touching. "Where is she?"

The guard said nothing. A sly smirk pulled on his red lips. He inched a minuscule centimetre forward and breathed, "Where is who?"

Angela's knuckles paled, and her eyes darkened. She wasn't going to play his game and he wasn't going to play hers. She snarled in his face but did not say anything. Her fingers were becoming whiter every second. They stared at each other for a long time, taunting each other with a game of truth or dare. No one moved. Benjamin and I looked on. Finally, the guard pulled away, ripping his shirt in the process. The torn material floated to the ground as Angela unclenched her fists. Her face was still filled with venom and hate.

The guard smiled at the expression. "Look, little girl. I don't know who you are talking about, and if you treat me like that again, you will know about it." As he said the last part, his voice shook slightly.

Angela raised an eyebrow. Unable to see that Benjamin was looming behind her with bared teeth, she hissed, "And you have to watch this little girl, because if you treat me like that, you'll wish you were dead!"

The guard just smirked. However, behind his eyes, a tread of despair and a plea for help rang out. And though I am not sure, I think I heard him whisper ever so quietly that he wished he already was. But for all I know, I could be hearing things.

It was a sign of a grieving mate. Something tugged at my stomach, bringing me back from the darkness forming in my soul. Wiping my feet on the mat, I stepped further inside the cottage. My eyes fluttered around the room. It was very small- a kitchen and sitting room in one. Nevertheless, the interior of the room was warm and homely, something Bella would have liked. Swinging my foot out, I shut the door and cleared my throat. "I apologise for my companion's demands. I am looking for someone."

The guard's eyes remained blank. "We are always looking for someone. Whether it is for peace, revenge, or just out of curiosity. We constantly seek them out. In the future or in the past. Everywhere we go," he whispered in a distant voice.

"Well, we are just checking if they are here." My fingers skimmed across the kitchen bench. They paused before grazing a half-eaten sandwich. I shot a glance toward Angela.

She raised an eyebrow with small smirk on her face. What's a vampire doing with food? A mask fell over Angela's face as she looked the man dead in the eye. The conversation we had in the field seemed to be miles away. Angela sighed before inquiring, "Why, though? Can you answer that, smart mouth?"

The guard narrowed his eyes. I mentally thanked her for the distraction as my quick eyes scanned the room for more evidence. I jerked my head at a discarded violet dress, but the guard didn't notice the action. Instead, he snarled at Angela, "First of all, my name is Daniel. Secondly, we're greedy creatures. We suck all the life out of anything good."

At first Angela frowned, unable to understand that he was talking about both species. Her mouth dropped open in horror when realisation struck. "How dare you associate us with your kind?" she snapped.

Daniel shook his head. "Blinded by hatred from thousands of years ago, you don't realise that we are closer and have more in common than you think. A vampire looks like a human…is one in some ways." His voice faded away as I blocked him out.

I kept the dress in the corner of my eyes and discreetly picked it up. As I inhaled, the soft material stroked my nose, soothing it with tender fingers. My groan was muffled by the soft material, and my eyes closed in delight. The sweet scent of lavender flowed into my nostrils, filling it with sweet life. My dead heart thumped.

It was her. She was here and alive. All I had to do was locate her. But then again, things are easier said than done.

Brown eyes met mine when I finally opened my eyes. Daniel took in the sight of my nose buried deep in the dress, and his lips formed a hard, straight line. His voice was bland, bone-chilling in some ways. "I'll never tell you where she is." He stared at me, his eyes dead and distant.

Angela eyed him before her shoulders straightened out. "But you do have her."

He didn't reply. His eyes continued to gaze at me, his thoughts in a jumble as he tried to figure out how to react. With fear, I wanted to hiss, but in this situation that was like adding more gasoline to a burning flame. Rising, I walked over to him, my stride calmer than I expected it to be. A mask fell over my face. The floorboards groaned in agony under the hard soles of my shoes.

Tilting my head to the side, I stared impassively at him. "You know how I feel, don't you? Your mate has been taken from you in a vicious game, and you don't know how to get her back." I watched his thoughts flicker as he struggled to keep the despair from his face.

Louise, a voice sang as if it was the most precious name on earth.

A scene from a memory appeared. Rushing guards and screams were followed by the image of a brown-haired vampire being dragged away. Her voice echoed in the wind while she cried for her mate. Daniel!

Despair and horror flooded through me along with the numbness of pain.

Unable to cope, I forced myself back into reality and prepared for the words I was going to say. Walking to the window, I stared out into the forest. The guards stood waiting, their backs facing us. In my head, the image of Benjamin from the shape shifter attack appeared. I shook it off and glanced at Daniel, my voice low as I spoke. "I think your mate is dead. I think she died painfully-"

A hand slammed into my neck, wrapping around it and tightening its grip like a cobra eating its prey. The pressure didn't last long, as Daniel released a grunt, flying into the air. A table shuddered beneath his heavy form before collapsing. Benjamin stood at the side, a smirk on his lips. He observed his work and smiled, proud to have protected his prince.

Daniel sat up, brushing off some dust with incoherent words bubbling from his mouth. I frowned, and Angela moved forward with wide eyes. Daniel flinched, his eyes taking her in as if she was some kind of monster. I almost chuckled out aloud. To some people, Angela was a monster, but only those who got on the wrong side of her knew. Daniel huddled, head buried between his knees, which were pulled up to his chin.

"She is not dead. She can't be." His muffled voice could barely be heard. "Louise is a fighter. She even fought as they took her from me! They had rip her from my arms! I may not have seen her in a decade, but I know that my mate is alive!" He snapped glaring at me with angry eyes, horrified that I could even suggest such a thing. His breaths started to wheeze.

Angela moved closer, her eyes wide. Daniel stared at her with eyes broken and hurt. "They took her," he whispered. "I had no choice but to stay! They would have killed her if I had not. I never meant for the human to get involved!"

Angela froze, her hand outstretched. He's talking about Renee. Daniel stared at her in desperation- or was it awe? His fingers trembled as he went to cup her face. "Maybe if I had already had a child, the human would not have gotten involved." His thumb stroked her cheek.

Benjamin snarled, his figure looming over Angela to cast a shadow on the man. Not out of protection- he knew Angela could do that herself- but as a claim. She is mine, I could almost hear him say.

The guards outside turned towards the noise with curiosity and discomfort. Benjamin did not care, and with menacing footsteps, advanced towards him. Daniel smiled a sinister smile, his despair and fear gone, as his thumb dug deeper into Angela's cheek.

"So sad, isn't it, to lose a mate before you already have one? So sad to know that their heart belongs to another," he cooed to Benjamin, his brown eyes twisting like a snake. As if he was playing a game, his fingers travelled down Angela's neck and rested on her heart.

Benjamin snarled a no, but it made no difference. Daniel was having too much fun.

"You think she will belong to you?" he asked Benjamin, ignoring Angela's confused gaze. "She belongs to another. Don't you?" His hand caressed Angela's face. "But they are in the ground because of the birth of a babe. You still love them. Is that why you kept the child? Dear Isabella. You kept her, not out of love for her, but love for her mother," he sang to a watery-eyed Angela. Benjamin's eyes opened in horror and pain ripped through him.

He heard no denial escape from his love's lips, and the conversation from the field floated into his brain. Renee. He had assumed she was a man, not a woman.

Staring at Daniel, I realised the tables had turned. We were no longer interrogating him, but were being interrogated.

Daniel turned his cruel gaze to me. "And you. You may know what it is like to have your mate taken from you, but she was not in your arms at the time! Louise was! My sweet, darling Louise…I'm so sorry!" He slammed his fists against the floor. His sinister mask slipped to reveal anguish. Regaining his self-control, Daniel sat up. His lips were in a straight line. "And now you're here to take the only thing I have left of her. "

I shook my head. "No, I am not. Isabella does not have a part of Louise in her. She was not her mother. Renee was."

Daniel snorted and rolled his eyes. "The human was just an egg donor."

Angela's screech pierced the air, startling the guards outside. A split second passed before wood flew everywhere. The door lay useless on the ground. Black cloaks flooded the room along with snakes' hisses. They stopped, staring at the scene in front of them.

Angela straddled Daniel. Her cheeks were red with anger, her breaths heavy while her whitening knuckles clenched around his throat. Daniel struggled beneath her grasp. His fingers pried at Angela's deadly grip. She pressed her nose against his. Saliva dripped from her mouth. "Renee was more than that. She gave birth to the child- your child, unfortunately. She was her mother." Angela yanked him closer. "Don't you deny it."

Astounded, the guards watched the scene with mouths agape. Perhaps it was the first time they seen a human overthrow a vampire. They observed her as if she was a wild creature. Some held admiration, others held longing, and the rest who were previous guards of the Luciraces were filled with disgust. Benjamin shifted uncomfortably, and made a move to get his love from the man. My hand slammed into his chest and I shook my head. Leave her.

Daniel shifted uncomfortably, yet his eyes still held a determined glint. "Louise is her mother. The human was just an egg donor. If she was any more, I would not have looked for the babe but grieved her death. It seems you have forgot where your place is. The vampire prince has been too soft." His voice quivered at the end as Angela pulled viciously at his hair.

"You are a selfish man," she sneered. "You don't deserve that child. She adores her mother. She looks up to her and because of you, she has to think that she killed her. But she didn't. You did. She was just the creation you created, the creation who had to suffer heartbreak. You are a monster!"

Daniel eyes flickered, revealing the slight horror at the new information. However, it did not last long. Wood cracked beneath his fingers as he sneered at Angela. "Kill me then. I know all that. But it does not change the fact that this Renee was just an egg donor. All humans are simply dirt!" His voice rose to a yell.

Angela stopped. Her hands released his hair, and Daniel's hands went up and soothed each curl back into place. The lighter, which had been concealed in her hand, tumbled out of her grasp and clattered to the floor. Her eyes squeezed shut as the words replayed in her head, stabbing her with each thought. The memories of the sanctuaries rushed back along with the pain and torture, the loss of her family and her lover, the insults she had faced.

"Then why did you create her with a human?" she whispered into the air.

Daniel shrugged. "At the time that was all I could think about…"

"So you created a child because that is all you care about?"

Daniel puckered his lips before he thought about answering her. "If you were starving and you were given a piece of bread, would you eat it?" Angela did not reply. He smiled before muttering, "I thought so."

Angela tumbled to the ground as Daniel rose to his feet. Benjamin enveloped her in his arms, his lips pressing into the crown of her head. Even though she was clearly uncomfortable about that, Angela did not flinch. Her limp arms swung by her side. Her thoughts were too consumed by the memories from the sanctuaries to even think about Benjamin holding her.

The rest of the guards hissed and leant forward. Their eyes were filled with anger at Daniel's unwillingness to confess their princess's location. But Daniel just smirked. He loved the fact that our feathers were ruffled and that even he could tell we were desperate. We did not do a good job of hiding it.

Rising to his feet, Daniel walked to a cellar door in the corner. He disappeared for a second before he came back up. He gently lifted a bottle of blood up before popping it open. Benjamin loosened his grasp on Angela as he inhaled the air. He released a groan before he leaned against a wall. Saliva dripped out of our mouths as we watched him sip at the blood. His tongue darted out every few seconds to wipe away the remaining red liquid. I bit back a groan. It looked…delicious.

Angela paled even more at the sight. Her hands clenched into tight fists. Innocently, Daniel looked over the rim of the bottle, his eyes darting around the room. "Want one?" He held the bottle in the air.

We all shook our heads and tried to divert our gaze. We all wanted one, part from Angela. We hadn't tasted blood in ages.

Clearing my throat, I ignored the bottle of blood he was swirling in his masculine hand. "How did you discover your daughter was in my care?"

Once again, Daniel snorted, his eyes glaring at me. Instead of answering me, he turned to look at a fidgeting guard. The young boy, no more than 15 years, stared at the bottle with hungry red eyes. His hair seemed to shimmer like a yellow flame as he jumped from foot to foot. Daniel's smile was malicious as he regarded him. His pupils lit up in delight.

"Want some?" He held the bottle out towards the boy. The boy gulped, his eyes darting about, indecisive to whether he should accept it. He lifted a trembling foot.

My voice cracked sharply in the air. "Don't!" The young boy jumped in fright but obediently lowered his foot back into place. His blonde hair turned brown in the shadows as the boy bowed his head in shame. The rest of the guard glared at him intently.

They had not tasted blood for months, and neither had I, but they knew never to be tempted by the enemy. It was a decoy so that he could get away with the child. My lips pulled into an angry sneer. Turning to Daniel, I clicked my tongue. "You want to play games? I can play games."

Daniel observed me with his head to one side, his smirk covered by the nose of the bottle. His Adam's apple bobbed with each gulp. Shrugging, he licked his lips and leered at the boy. His forefinger thrummed against the cold glass. The boy shuffled back until he was in the shadow of two older guards.

Daniel sighed before tilting his head right back and holding the bottle upside down in the air. The red liquid cascaded into his open mouth, twisting and turning like a swan on invisible water. Some splashed as it hit the edge of Daniel's mouth. I almost found myself reaching for the bottle. My hand retreated in shame as the last drop hit Daniel's tongue. He grinned at us, obviously enjoying how we squirmed under the fuel for blood.

Inside, I wondered how he had created an innocent child who ripped her way through her mother's belly and was birthed the name Isabella. He had created a child that changed my life completely, and would change society forever. I gazed at the empty bottle, the sweet dregs clinging helplessly to the edge. That was why the blood my family drank kept disappearing without notice. Without Daniel to supply her with it, she had to take it from the blood I poured out, and the reason she could do it silently was because she had super speed as well as strength. She was part vampire.

Silently, I wondered how long Angela had known Bella was part vampire. Did she even know that Bella drank blood? By the look on her face, which was still a sickly pale, I assumed the answer was no. It took me a few seconds for another question to float in my head. What was Bella's true age?

Shaking it off, I continued my interrogation. "Look, if you are not going to tell us where she is then we'll arrest you-" I was cut off by the sound of music.

The sweet notes floated through the room, enchanting us all. The guards' eyes shut in pleasure. Some even groaned. The notes wrapped their fingers around our chins, luring us towards a trap door in the ground. I focused on it. Daniel moved, finally free from the spell, and slammed his foot over the top of it.

"Look, arrest me. I don't care."

However, his words were unheard. We stared intently down at the trapdoor beneath Daniel's shaking foot. The music seemed to press against the wooden door as if it was struggling to break free. Bella!

The whole room looked at me. Some eyes were confused, some eyes were filled with joy, and one pair of eyes were filled with terror. It was then that I realised I had spoken aloud.

"Bella?" Angela whispered in wonder, her hands prying Benjamin's bulging arms from her waist. He shook his head, enjoying the feeling, as if he knew it was all he was going to get.

I nodded. "Bella."

Daniel quivered, his eyes darting around the room, taking in the guards' snarling faces. "No," he whispered under his breath. He pressed his foot firmly on the door. The guards didn't pause or wait for my command, and tackled the vampire to the ground. Four grabbed his legs while four other grabbed his arms and lifted him off the floor. They knew that if it really was their princess, I would want to get down there.

Limbs tangled with each other along with screams as Daniel struggled against their hold. "No, you can't! You can't have her!" He tried to kick the blonde boy but his foot missed, creating a hole in the wall. Aggressively, his hand lashed out. The empty glass bottle smashed to the ground when it collided with Benjamin's hand, a shield for Angela's face.

Trying to ignore the scene before me, I opened the trapdoor and climbed down the ladder. At the end, I dusted myself off and looked up. Smooth, circular, muddy, walls surrounded me. Pictures, layered with dust, swung unsteadily on rusty nails.

Step by step, I wiped away the dust. Pictures of the sanctuaries and a familiar-looking girl with deep brown hair running in the trees. My finger rubbed at the bottom of the picture to reveal a plaque. Our future sweetheart. Another picture of the girl read "Daddy's little girl".Blowing the dust away from one of the pictures, I stared at the woman in the frame. Fine pale skin, a button nose, a pair of blue eyes, and hair tied in a neat bun. Louise.

Unconsciously, my fingers grabbed the picture off the wall in the midst of my muse. While Daniel held more resemblance to the little child, she shared her round babyish face and curly face with Renee. Touching it with the pad of my thumb, I continue to move down the corridor. In the distance, a tinkering of keys could be heard as the sound of musical notes floated through the air as the keys of a piano were pressed. My eyes closed involuntarily, the music enchanting me, taunting me to come closer. Each step I took, my heart would shudder with anticipation what secrets the music would reveal. Like a bird in the wind, the notes floated through the air, dropping light feathers into my ears. I had to find out who was playing. I knew who was playing, but whether my brain would accept it or not was a different matter.

My heart drummed against my chest. Its hooves slammed enthusiastically like those of a young colt galloping through the hills. I reached the end of the corridor and turned to face a door. This was it. With trembling fingers, I pushed open the door. The mysterious player stopped playing, fingers hovering above the keys.

"Keep playing," I whispered, trying to fight a smile from appearing on my face. The pianist bowed her head before her fingers pressed once more to the white, shiny ivory keys. Notes travelled in dainty beats, swirling like a butterfly into the air. Beautiful. Moving over to the pianist and the source of the enchanting music, I sat in the chair nearby and ignored the urge to take her in my arms. The figure played the song with agile movements as I watched in awe.

"Hello." A tinkering voice chimed over the top of the ballad. "You took a long time."

I smirked and shook my head. "I was on my way, I was always on my way." I sighed.

The pianist smiled, their eyes meeting mine. "I'm glad, I thought you forgot about me." I shook my head and stared at her. Silence fell between us as we focused on the piano. The music danced into my ears with tapping little feet and soothing hands. Closing my eyes, I leaned back against the back of the chair. My head rolled in bliss at the musical notes. How could I forget about her? She was my life. It was clear, she had benefitted from whatever Daniel had done to her.

I smiled while I listened to the music. Yes, she had benefitted and she seemed happy, content with her life. I beamed at the thought. At least she hadn't suffered so badly, like Angela and me.

The figure spoke quietly, breaking the air of silence. "I heard you interrogating Father." I flinched at the tender term and how her tongue twisted around the words in a sweet lullaby. Prying my eyes open, I stared at the figure and their intense eyes burning into mine. "Honestly, I didn't appreciate it. He has been through a lot and you bringing up Mother really hurt him." I stared at the piano with wide eyes.


"Yes, Mother. He has been through a lot since they took her."

"That's his excuse for his crime."

The figure shook her head, her curls brushing against her forming cleavage which could be seen through the baggy jumper she was wearing. She sighed and the ballad became melancholy. As if it was mourning someone's death. A harmony of angels greeting someone into heaven.

"No, he was wrong for what he had done. But so were you." I scowled. What had I done wrong? I was innocent.

Not hearing anything, the figure glanced at me. Her eyes searching my face for realisation or any emotion. Turning back to the keys, she continued to play. "You also took me when you had no right. You never asked me whether I wanted to live with you, nor did you ever consider let me go."

The music seemed to be just as full of sorrow as my thoughts. She was right. I had just kept her with me upon my own opinion, not hers. I had jumped to conclusions and planned to keep her shut up like a caged bird. Staring around the room, I bit back a snort. But her quality of life was better with me.

"How do you know?" Her voice woke me from my musing. I frowned at the words. The figure raised an eyebrow. "How do you know that my quality of life was better at the palace? I learnt a lot here and I have not been kept in a room- I can go out into the forest if I want to. I learned more here than I have ever before. No offense." She held one apologetic hand up in the air without removing her eyes from the piano.

I stared at her with my mouth agape. She seemed unfazed by her harsh words. Since when had she become so cold? No cold was not the right word. Cynical? As the music got lighter, like a feather in wind, enlightenment filled me. She had gotten smarter.

I wanted to move near her, to rest my head against hers. Another part of me told me that I should keep away. So instead, I stood and moved so I leant against the piano. My cheek rested in my hand as I watched the figure play. My eyes scanned her face with desire.

No longer a child, her face had lost its roundness, yet a little baby fat clung to her cheeks to stop it losing all its innocence. Her once big eyes sat balanced on her stretched face, no longer oversized. Her ruby lips lengthened into a smirk while she waited for me to speak. I just sat and admired her. The way her curls moved with each breath or the way her head tilted to one side with each long note. And how slyly she would glance at me with her serpent-like eyes, luring me to my doom.

I grinned at her. I would gladly succumb to my death if it involved the angel in front of me.

"You've changed."

The woman rolled her eyes, "Did you expect me to remain a child forever."

I flinched at the harshness of her voice. "Of course not, but I did expect to find a child when I finally found you, not this." I waved a hand down her form.

She snorted. "Of course you did. You wanted things to be like they were before, where my whole world revolved around you." And just like that, I felt exposed, vulnerable.

I shifted uncomfortably as I watched her. It was like she could see right through me. I had wanted things to go back to the way they were. I was foolish in some aspects. I was selfish, but then again, who wasn't? I looked away, observing my finger in the light. "I would be lying if I said no. But that is what every mate dreams. Their other half thinking about them."

"Really? Or is that way to make excuses for your thoughts?" she sneered. The music became thunderous. The notes screeched, their soft hum gone in the breeze. Her fingers almost wrapped themselves around the keys and pounded the notes out of them. Her serpent eyes narrowed in anger and fright.

This was not the girl I knew, the sweet princess who had smiled at everything. I observed her. "When did you become like this? How?" The woman stumbled in her playing, the notes dancing awkwardly in the air before finding their feet again.

"Like what?"

"Well the girl I knew would have never questioned the quality of life I gave her. In fact, she loved it."

"Well I'm not her anymore. I was never her. I was scared. Scared of everything around me. I did not understand what I was feeling, and you were too busy to even listen." The music had stopped. The woman sat in front of me, her eyes scrunched shut in agony. Her lips trembled. "And then I came here and it was like I was back home in the sanctuaries. I was free to do what I wanted. I had understanding again of the world around me, and no fear."

She stared at me with determined eyes as she mumbled the last words. Silence was her reply. I couldn't speak. My tongue hurt too much to move, as pain wracked my body. I remembered feeling sympathy towards Benjamin for his rejected love for Angela, and how I almost mocked him. It had been so foolish an action, because in this moment, it was what I was feeling- rejection. My mate had just admitted that she felt more liberty with a man who kidnapped her than she did with me.

"No," I whispered. I don't know who I was talking too or whether I was comforting myself. "I think you are still her. I think you still have her innocent smile and freedom. I believe that you are her, and you always be."

I pushed off the piano and walked towards the door. The carpet did not stir beneath my feet, not even as I scrubbed a little bug into its frayed threads with my feet. If I was not going to have a life, a little bug certainly wasn't. I sighed, thinking about how, a few moments before, I had seen her again and how overjoyed I was. Shaking my head, I continued to walk to the door. How quickly had this happy reunion turned into something so sad?


Her voice wobbled in fear. I heard the piano stool screech against the floor as she rose. "Where are you going?"

I paused in the doorway, my hand resting on the wooden frame. I stared at the wall. "If you would like to stay, I will call off the guards and we will leave." I heard her gasp in horror and resisted the urge to turn around. No, Edward, do this for her. "If you are truly happy here, then we will go."

The smell of salty tears was in the air. "No. Edward, I may like it here but I don't want you to go."

Upon her words, I looked at her over my shoulder. She stood in the middle of the room with tearful eyes and sullen lips. In her hand, she clasped the hem of her dress as if she was trying to stop it from moving. I didn't reply, my eyes full of sorrow.

The woman stumbled forward. "How could you think I wanted you to go!" she spat. "I missed you so much and while I was here, all that fear disappeared so that I finally understood what I felt for you. Now that you have found me, I am not letting you go."

Her fingers wrapped around my bicep as she stared at me, her eye tracing my lips in horror yet desire. Her tongue darted out as she stared at me.

I reached across, finally giving into desire, and traced her face. "Are you sure? Because the life you describe will vanish as soon as we walk up those steps. The life of royalty is never easy."

The sheer look of disgust on her face was enough for my answer. She was a bird, free in the wind. I was a hunter with an arrow that wanted to kill her joy for my own selfish pride. I could never do that.

Exhaling, I turned back around and begin to walk out of the door. "Goodbye-"

Air left my mouth, leaving me breathless as a heavy force slammed into my stomach. "I did not give you my answer." Isabella pulled her hand away from my chest. Her fingers lingered over the cloth in desperation. They began to skitter up down the material and thrummed against my skin. "Why is it that you always presume you know my answer? Am I that predictable?" she breathed, her lips inches from mine.

My tongue darted out and ran itself over my bottom lip. "So is that a yes?"

Isabella shook her head. "First, answer my question, and then I will answer yours."

"No, you're not predictable, but your face reveals your true thoughts."

"What about if that is not the case?" she hissed, her eyes narrowing in anger. "Once again, you presume things about me you don't know! Just like you did when I was a child!"

"I never did that."

Isabella snorted and pulled away to lean against the door frame. Her hair blew slightly in the air as if it was rubbed vigorously with something like a balloon. She wedged the tip of her tongue out between her closed lips like a child. My smile was wiped off my face by the death glare of the woman before me. As I scrutinised her, it dawned upon me the fact that she had become like Angela. There was a living fire in her eyes.

She never had that fire before- or, she had and I had never noticed. Her foot thrummed against the ground, causing her folded arms to shake lightly at the force.

"Really? Who was the one that assumed I needed Angela when I first entered the palace?" Me. "And who thought that I was a weak human child that he didn't stop Angela ripping the head off his own brother! You!"

"Yes, but at the time everyone thought that," I defended myself. "And did you want Angela to die?"

Isabella's fire dulled and she breathed a sigh of guilt. "No."

Slowly, with my hands held out in the air, I tiptoed towards her. Her eyes followed me with curiosity and flickered when my hands clasped around her arms. I could feel the blood pumping quickly through her veins. Unable to resist, I leant forward so my mouth was at her neck, and inhaled. Her scent filled my nostrils and galloped through my body like wild horses on the desert plain.

"Sweetheart," I cooed, and felt Isabella shiver beneath my breath. "This is not how I wanted us to be reunited."

"Neither did I," she gasped, her neck arching slightly.

"We are fighting and screaming like an old married couple. Our relationship hasn't even begun," I snickered, and Isabella nodded with a giggle.

Grasping her face, I looked her dead in the eye. Tracing the flecks in her pupils, I sang, "So let's restart this."

Her lips were on mine before I finished the sentence, moving with grace around mine. My hands grasped her hair in lust and yanked tightly at her roots. She gasped but continued to massage my lips with hers. Breathless, I finally pulled away after five minutes. Isabella laughed and leant against the door. Her eyes twinkled in the dim light. There was the girl I knew.

"Oh, Edward," she breathed in disbelief. I would have believed her if I had not noticed the teasing twinkle in her eye. We were replaying the reunion.

"Isabella, I've missed you," I cooed back.

Her eyelids fluttered innocently. "So have I, my sweet."

I leant closer so I could feel her breath. "Not as much as I. I have dreamt about you under the moon and stars."

"Well I have prayed that I would one day elope in your arms." Before she could finish, I was swinging her around in the air. My cry of glee sang into the air like the piano she played. Our sweet laughs joined together to create a melody so enchanting, I'm sure the men upstairs stopped to listen. Finally after a few spins I lowered here to the ground. My cheeks struggled to drop down out of my smile.

Watching me with curious eyes, Isabella leant against the wall with a smirk. However, the innocence that she had when she was younger was still there. It existed in her eyes and parts of her smile. As I stared at her, I sighed. She was the girl I knew.

"Was that good enough for you? Because technically, you flung yourself at and kissed a child." Or not.

I shook my head at her and withdrew my fingers from her hair. "No, my fair lady. I think it was you who flung yourself at me first and viciously pressed your lips against mine. And you said so yourself-you're no longer a child."

"When did I say that?"

"You didn't say it, but you did implied it."

"Oh, really? I can't remember implying it." I smiled at her husky tone as she leaned forward and pressed her nose against mine. Her eyes followed mine with anticipation for my answer.

"Well I think it was when you did this." My lips grazed hers once more, and she released a moan. But before she could deepen the kiss I pulled away and smiled. She stared back at me with wide eyes, clearly shocked by the fact that I surprised her.

Sliding my hand down her arm, I grabbed her hand. "Come on." Halfway down the tunnel, her hand squeezed mine, and I grinned as I glanced at her.

Boy, was Angela going to be surprised.