Disclaimer: I do not own Twilight or anything associated with the series.
A/N: I don't re-read what I write after I've written it. I just use spell check and then call it done. So there are probably lots of mistakes; I apologize in advance for all of them.
Okay, just to make sure everything is clear, I want to explain the pairing and whatnot. It is a Bella/Jane/Heidi where in the beginning Jane and Heidi are more friends with benefits that escalates to being mates when Bella comes into the equation. There are no Volturi kings, only queens who will have a maternal bond with Bella. So Bella is like their adopted daughter and they will, eventually, be like her adopted mothers.
And as normal, I hate Edward. I think he's stupid. And really annoying.
I had just managed to get to Edward in time. I had barely managed to keep him out of the sun. To have his arms around me again was all I had wanted for a long time. I had hoped once I had his arms around me we could go home and forget he had ever left in the first place. I'd hoped we could continue from where we had left off. It would be like nothing had never happened between us. But before we could leave, two vampires stopped us from leaving us. I knew instantly, before I could even see them, nothing good could happen from them appearing. I could tell just from the way Edward tensed up and pushed me slightly behind him in a protective manner.
"Felix. Demetri." Edward said in a tense greeting just as the two men moved away from the shadows so I could actually see them. "I am sorry for wasting your time. We will be on our way home now and you no longer need to be bothered by me." Edward said, his voice sounding like he was straining to sound polite.
"Your presence is required in the throne room." One of the men said.
"I no longer require your services." Edward said through clenched teeth. "Please give my apologies but I'm afraid I must be going home."
"Not before you are given permission." The other man said, sounding just on the side on arrogant.
"I don't believe I need permission to leave." Edward's voice now had a hint of a growl to it.
"You may think you don't, but we all know your human does." The first man said.
"But only if you want her to leave alive." The second added with a chuckle. "I really don't see how she could have put you through so much trouble."
"No harm will come to Bella." Edward nearly yelled, still conscious of the unsuspecting humans that were still enjoying the festivities not too far away.
I gripped Edward's arm, the arm that had pushed me behind him, as I started to realize that we were in a lot more danger than I had originally thought. I wasn't entirely sure how many Volturi there were but from all the warnings I had heard about them from Edward, I would have to assume they were definitely a force to be reckoned with.
"Then do what we say."
Both of the Volturi guards growled in warning and Edward growled in response. Edward took a step forward while pushing me just slightly further behind him. The guards shifted their positions to what seemed like a near defensive stance. Edward crouched just a little and looked like he was preparing to attack. As much faith I had in Edward and no matter how much I loved, I just didn't think he would win in a fight against these two guards. Especially since we were on their front door step.
"Boys, it's not polite to fight in front of women." Alice said as she turned a corner. She was wrapped head to toe in what barely counted as fashionable clothes but worked very well to conceal her skin from the sun and from any wayward human glimpse. "Felix." Alice greeted with a nod of her head as she walked up to me and Edward to stand in between us, as another barrier between me and the Volturi guards. Felix nodded back at Alice in a polite greeting. "Demetri." Alice nodded in greeting to the other guard and Demetri responded in kind.
"Regardless of if it's polite or not, all three of you are required to meet with the queens." Demetri gruffly said.
"I would rather not waste their time and just be on our way." Edward said. "I assure you that the Volturi would never hear about us again." Before either Felix or Demetri could respond, Edward hissed out someone's name. "Jane."
"The queen's want to know why it is taking so long." A woman that I thought was smaller than Alice said as she walked from the shadows behind Felix and Demetri to stand next to them.
The petite woman had blonde hair that was tied up in a tight bun. She was dressed conservatively but so were Felix and Demetri. Jane's clothes didn't match the century at all and for some reason that seemed just like her. What really stood out to me though, were her eyes. Her eyes were the blood red eyes of a killer. She had eyes of someone that killed humans and wasn't very bothered by it. Her eyes held a dangerous glint in them that for whatever reason, I was captivated by them. But at the same time, I knew from all that Edward had told me about the vampires with red eyes, it would be wise for me to keep my distance.
"As I was saying, your services are no longer needed." Edward repeated, a growl more prominent in his voice.
"Regardless of what you want, all three of you are to follow us as your presence is required by the queens." Jane said, her eyes never straying from mine. I knew I should be terrified that I seemed to have Jane's undivided attention but there was a part of me that didn't mind; that was what truly scared me.
"Fine." Edward said with a growl as he pulled me forward to stand next to him and then pulled me tighter against him.
I swore Jane hissed as she moved to the side so that Edward, Alice and me could follow Demetri and Felix into the shadows. Edward gripped me harder than he normally did as we walked down the corridor.
"What did she mean by queens?" I asked as we walked in what I, and probably all the other humans did as well, thought was an abandoned corridor.
"The Volturi are ruled by three self-proclaimed queens." Edward said and I thought I heard a hiss from behind us, from Jane.
"Then who were those three men from the painting?" I asked Edward.
"Old friends of Carlisle." Edward answered and I knew there was a lot he wasn't saying. I was going to have to try and remember to ask him what he wasn't saying when we had some privacy where super hearing vampires couldn't listen in.
After a series of stairs and long hallways, we eventually made it to a reception area where there was a human working as a receptionist. There weren't any other vampires around except for the three guards that had walked with us and the two vegetarian vampires that I trusted to keep me safe in such a dangerous place. If I thought I stood whenever I had gone over to the Cullen's house as the only human, the receptionist stood out even more.
"Does she know?" I whispered as we walked passed her.
"Yes." Edward whispered back, not needing me to explain on what I meant.
We walked towards a set of large double doors that were ornately decorated. Just looking at the doors and knowing that I was in the Volturi castle, I had a feeling that the room I was about to walk into would be where some very old and very strong people showcased their power on a daily basis.
Felix and Demetri opened a door each and Jane moved from behind us and at vampire speed was in front of what I could only assume were the queens. They were sitting on thrones, they had to be the queens that apparently demanded us to be here. Jane was in front of the middle woman and the other two queens seemed to be intently staring at whatever was going on between the two.
"What's going on?" I whispered to Edward as he tightened his grip around me, causing me to wince just slightly.
"It doesn't matter." Edward said with a growl. There was a giant hint of disgust in his voice and I wasn't sure what to think about that.
"Be careful Edward." Alice warned. If she had to warn him out loud, that made me think that Edward was too focused on what he was hearing.
The middle queen nodded and then shared a look with the other two queens that I couldn't even pretend to interpret. Once dismissed, Jane moved to the side and stood next to a vampire I hadn't seen before but he looked a lot like Jane. The middle queen stood and finally all three queens looked at us. The middle queen had her mouth open like she was about to talk but paused as she looked at the three of us. Edward started to growl just barely loud enough for me to hear and it made me nervous because apparently whatever this woman was thinking, Edward really didn't like it. It made me think that perhaps we weren't going to be able to somehow talk our way back home; even if we did have Alice's visions on our side.
"Well, this is a pleasant surprise." The woman said with a wide grin that made me nervous.
"I'm sorry that we have wasted your time Sulpicia." Edward said, talking for the three of us. "But it was a mistake to come here; a simple misunderstanding. We would be happy to leave and made sure you never hear about us again."
"Well, as I'm sure you are aware young Cullen, there have been some recent developments that need exploring." Sulpicia said with a smile.
"I don't believe that's necessary." Edward said, earning a glare from all three of the queens.
"You can't seriously be that dense boy." Another blonde queen said with a sneer.
"Coming here was a mistake." Edward said. "I thought my mate, my Bella, was dead. She isn't. Now I would like us to go home and continue where we left off." Edward pleaded and I felt my heart swell. That was all I had wanted for the last several months as well. I just wanted us to continue from where we had left off and have everything be perfect again.
"I don't think so Edward." Sulpicia said with a grin that made me nervous. "You came here asking for a favor and when we denied you, you went off and attempted to make us do what you wanted." The blonde said with a frown.
"Did you really think you would be able to manipulate us to do your bidding?" The second blonde said. She was the only one of the queens not wearing a dress and it made me think she was more of the fighter amongst the three queens. I hoped Edward was careful not to make her mad enough to attack because even with Edward's gift, I wasn't sure he would win.
"That wasn't my intent Athenodora." Edward said in a reassuring tone. "I'm sorry it looked that way. But now, all we would like to do is leave in peace."
"You broke the law." Said the single brunette queen in a calm voice that made me think she rarely got upset, if ever. "You must face the consequences."
"No law was broken." Edward quickly assured and I could see Alice close her eyes. She must have seen something but Edward didn't seem to have taken notice. He was too focused on what he was saying and probably focused on listening to the thoughts of the queens. "Bella stopped me before I was in the sun and before anyone even saw me."
"That may be true." Sulpicia agreed. But she still had a smirk on her face that made me nervous. "But I'm afraid that wasn't what Didyme was talking about."
I gave both Alice and Edward a worried look because I knew exactly what she was talking about. Edward had made it clear from the beginning that he was breaking the biggest rule vampires had: he told a human about vampires. Edward had never said what would happen if the Volturi found out that his family had told me about them; he just said it was very bad.
"We didn't tell her anything." Edward said, though I could hear just a hint of nervousness in his voice. "She figured it out."
"Smart girl." Didyme said. I was sure I didn't hear correctly, but I thought I heard pride in her tone. But that wasn't possible.
"You know the punishment is death." Sulpicia said and then tilted her head slightly to the side as if she was considering something. "But I am curious." Sulpicia walked towards me and Edward tightened his grip around my waist once again but I managed not to show any discomfort. At least I thought I had, but the disapproving look Sulpicia gave Edward's arm before Edward loosened it said otherwise. "What is your side of the story?" Sulpicia asked as she held her hand out towards me.
I wasn't sure what she wanted to do but after a nod from Alice, I took a couple steps away from Edward and took Sulpicia's hand.
The ancient vampire grasped both my hands in hers and leaned just slightly towards me as she closed her eyes. It was like she was listening intently for something. Whatever it was that she was listening for, she didn't seem to hear it because she slowly opened her eyes and frowned at me.
"Amazing." Sulpicia said with a grin and an awed look on her face. "As a mere human, you can block me." I couldn't stop a confused look from overcoming my face. I assumed she and the other two queens had some sort of gifts as they were the leaders of all the vampires. But I had never bothered to ask and I truly didn't know. "Ah, you don't know. With just a touch, I can read a person's every thought they have ever had." Sulpicia explained and that worried me slightly. Even though I wouldn't mind Edward getting a glimpse into my head, I liked my privacy. That included privacy against a vampire queen that probably wanted me dead for knowing their secret. "But you my dear, are completely silent to me." She added with a grin and I couldn't but be a little proud of myself that I was able to unconsciously block her. "I wonder if she -"
Whatever Sulpicia was about to say was cut off by Edward roaring behind me.
"You will not dare." Edward roared as he pushed me behind him and into Alice and seemed to move to attack Sulpicia. As much as I was flattered that he would do that, I was more worried that he did that. I could only imagine what the repercussions will be.
Edward hadn't gotten close to Sulpicia before he fell and screamed in pain. Before I could even really comprehend what was going on, Edward was no longer screaming and Sulpicia had moved so that she had her hand around Edward's throat. From the cracks I could see forming, she seemed intent to hurt him.
"You really are an arrogant fool." Sulpicia spat at Edward. "Felix, Demetri, make sure he's comfortable." She said with a sneer as she violently pushed Edward away from her and right into Felix who had no problem holding onto Edward and dragging him away from the room.
Sulpicia had done more damage than I had originally though because as Edward was dragged away, I saw Edward's throat and it looked completely damaged. I hadn't even heard him get hurt. Alice had to place her hand on my arm when I tried to go to Edward so that I could see exactly how hurt he was and to make sure that he would be okay.
"Heidi, show our guests to a room while we decide what to do." Didyme said and for a moment I didn't know who she was talking to.
From the same doors that we had walked into the room through and the one that Edward was dragged out of, a tall brunette strutted into the room. It was clear from just the two feet I saw her take that she had no shortage of confidence and I couldn't help but compare her to Emmett. She paused just inside the door to look to see who she was taking. When our eyes met, I saw her take on what could only be a seductive smirk and I couldn't help but shrink back into Alice. The smirk Heidi gave me, made me feel more like prey than I had ever felt when amongst vampires. Even when I was getting tossed around by James.
"Well now, we should have expected this." Didyme said as she stood from her seat and moved towards us. Athenodora also stood from her seat and moved at a more sedate pace towards us but she seemed to move more out of curiosity than out of the determination Didyme had. "Heidi, come here."
Heidi moved towards Didyme and Sulpicia and the brunette queen gave a look to Sulpicia which prompted the blonde queen to take Heidi's and Didyme's hand. Nearly instantly after Sulpicia had touched them, she laughed and clapped her hands. She looked towards me and Alice and gave a wide smile.
"What an interesting turn of events." Sulpicia said, excitement written all over her face. "Alec, show Alice and Bella to a room please."
The boy that was standing next to Jane nodded his head once and started walking towards a door that was behind the thrones. I didn't hear anything said to us, but Alice gently started to lead us towards Alec and out the only other door in the room. I stayed quiet as Alec lead us towards whatever room we were going to be placed in and I was sure I was supposed to not talk because not even Alice was saying anything.
Alec lead us to a plain, non-descript room that didn't seem too far away from the throne room we were in. The room seemed like an ancient waiting room because all there was in it were a few chairs, an end table and a tall bookshelf stuffed with books. Once Alice and I were in the room, Alec promptly left the room without a word. Alice sat on one of the chairs and motioned for me to sit on the other one.
"He's still within hearing range." Alice said as I sat down.
"What's going to happen to us Alice?" I asked, not caring about Alice's warning. I was more than used to having vampires always hearing everything I had to say. As far as I was concerned, I didn't have anything to hide from them. The only thing I would have wanted to hide was the fact that I knew they were vampires and they already knew I knew that.
"I really don't know." Alice said as she seemed to stare off into space but I knew she was either looking through her visions to find something useful or she was trying to force a vision.
"Do you know what's going to happen with Edward?" I nervously asked. Sulpicia had mentioned death as a punishment, I didn't want that to happen to Edward. I came to Italy to prevent that very thing from happening.
"I don't." Alice said with a sympathetic look. "They haven't decided anything, they must just be talking. I think they may wait to make a decision until the last moment so that I can't see what will happen."
If anyone could avoid Alice's visions, especially since they would all know how Alice's vision's worked after Sulpicia read all of Edward's thoughts, it would be the Volturi. If they didn't want Alice to have a vision about something they decided, they could avoid having her see it.
"What do you know?" I asked with a bit of hopelessness in my tone.
"I know that you are for a lot of changes Bella." Alice said with a sad smile. "I'm so sorry but I'm more than sure things will work out in the end."
Why didn't that reassure me?