Author's Note: Okay, I just wanted to say, I got this idea, wrote it, and decided to post it. I'm leaving it open for now, but I want to know what people think, if they like it, if they want me to continue it, etc. Thanks for reading!
Nine Years Ago
Jane hadn't been around her fellow coven members for even an hour before Demetri pissed her off. After sending him to the ground writhing in pain, Jane had felt it best to remove herself from the palace before she killed Aro's best tracker. She left alone; Alec knew better than to follow her at a time like this.
Deciding she might as well cool off with a hunt, Jane headed toward the busier part of Volterra, keeping to the shadows so no one would pay her too much attention. Her cloak worked well to hide her from prying eyes, or so she thought.
"Wow, you're really pretty," a voice said in awe, and Jane looked down to find a little brunette child staring at her with wide eyes the color of milk chocolate. Jane scowled at the girl, who couldn't have been more than six, but the girl didn't even blink. Even when Jane hissed at her and bared her teeth, the child didn't flinch or quiver or shrink away. What the hell? This couldn't be a normal human.
"Be gone, child, before I kill you," Jane growled, and was further surprised when the girl laughed.
"Wow, you're pretty when you're angry too. You're lucky, my face gets all red and weird when I get angry," the brunette said, leaning against the wall next to Jane and shoving her hands in her pockets in an attempt to appear casual.
"What are you?" Jane asked with disbelief. Jane was sure it was her disbelief and bewilderment alone that stopped her from using her powers on the child or maybe just killing her.
"Me? I'm Bella, Bella Swan. I'm eight," the girl said with a proud grin, much too cocky for her young age.
"Eight?" Jane muttered in disbelief. The girl was way too tiny to be an eight year old, but then again, Jane appeared young despite the fact she had been sixteen when she had turned. But even she doubted she looked as young as this girl most likely would when she turned sixteen.
"Yup. So who're you?" Trying to be suave, the human reached out to take Jane's hand, and Jane jerked away the second she felt the warmth radiating from the girl's hand, whirling on her with a hiss.
"Don't you dare touch me! I'm dangerous!" she hissed, and for a moment Bella looked surprised, but then shrugged and grinned again.
"Danger is my middle name. But I got it, I won't touch you. I'm sorry." The human actually did look sorry, worried even that she had upset Jane, but not in the way that meant she was worried for her own safety. No, the girl actually looked at Jane with concern.
Who could have raised such a strange human? Maybe it wasn't how she was raised; even the most fearless humans naturally cowered in front of a vampire. Perhaps the girl was defective in some way? Nature had to have messed up with this one. So it would only be natural to do nature a favor and destroy its mistakes.
"So, what's your name?" the girl asked. "Or do you now not want to tell me, since I tried to touch you?" Bella actually looked worried about this, and once again Jane marveled at the human's stupidity. Yet, so deep in her thoughts, Jane found herself answering.
"Jay what?" Bella asked, clearly not happy with just a first name.
"Jane Volturi." Realizing her own slip, her eyes widened, and she cursed herself for being so stupid. It seemed that spending time around unknowingly suicidal children had caused Jane to lower her own defenses.
"Well, nice to meet you Jay," Bella said with a grin, sticking out her hand in hopes of a handshake.
"Don't call me that," Jane said with a low growl, glaring at the human girl.
"JV?" Bella asked hesitantly. When Jane scowled and looked ready to yell at her for that too, Bella sighed. "C'mon, Jane is just so...plain Jane. You should have a really cool name, y'know?"
Jane was actually sputtering. How dare this human insult her like this? How dare she insult her very name? Jane grabbed the girl and slammed her into the wall, needing to instill some anger in the child, and Bella's eyes widened as she found Jane's face inches from hers.
Finally, the human shows some fear, Jane thought, triumphant...only to feel stunned disbelief a moment later as Bella averted her eyes with a blush. Her scent was beyond delicious, a mix of vanilla and hazelnut, but that wasn't what had taken Jane off guard. In fact, she was so stunned, her thirst didn't even make itself known.
"I, uh...I don't think I'm ready for this much yet," Bella mumbled. "We've only just met and all, so…"
Jane quickly let go of the girl and nearly stumbled away, still managing to look graceful. "Get your mind out of the gutter! I'm way too old for you!"
"You are not! You're only, like, five years older! And what's a gutter have to do with anything?" Bella protested.
"I'm sixteen," Jane hissed, furious. "I'm twice your age!"
"Oh." Bella was clearly surprised, but then shrugged, getting over it. "That's fine, eight years doesn't matter. I have a friend whose parents have, like, a ten year age difference."
"But you're a child," was all Jane could think to say, still caught off guard by the fact that a female human child wanted her. The human was so stupid, she doubted Bella would even blink if she knew about vampires and Jane told her she was over one thousane hundred years old instead. "Why are we even having this conversation? What are you even doing here? Where are your parents?" Yes, that was the solution. The sooner Jane got the girl away from her, the better.
"Oh. I'm lost," Bella stated matter of factly, her blush fading as she once again leaned against the wall. Jane stared at her, sure the child had lost her mind, and this seemed to make Bella blush again. "Oh, um, not like that! I'm not, y'know, someone who gets lost easily or anything. It's just...ya see, my parents are getting a divorce soon, and they think I don't know. But I do, cause I'm seriously smart and stuff. I know that they're just doing this to make some last good memories before they give me the news."
"What does this have to do with you being lost?" Jane was actually furious at how careless the girl was. A young, lost, friendly child was easy pickings for all sorts of predators...her included. While Jane and any sane vampire knew not to draw attention to themselves, those who would be so inclined to prey on the weak and helpless would be able to see how easily they could drain Bella. A lost child, in such a big city? While there would be mourning and searching for her, missing children was common. Never finding a body, Bella would just be another mystery that would eventually be buried along with her family.
"Oh. Well, I don't want them to get a divorce. I love my parents, ya know? That's why I pretended to get myself lost. This way, my parents would have to look for me, and they'd have to work together. They'd remember that they love each other, and they'd stay together, and then I won't have to leave my home and my friends––I have lots of friend, and a best friend named Jake, I think you'd like him––anyways, I don't want to leave everybody, and I don't want to have to leave my mom or dad either. This way, we can stay together."
Ugh. If this girl's optimism wasn't sickening enough, the girl's stupidity was. What, did the human live in a fairytale? "But you got yourself lost in a giant city," Jane stated with barely concealed contempt. "What if your parents don't find you? Do you have any way to contact them?"
Realization seemed to hit the human, and Bella deflated. "Oh."
At that, Jane was suddenly furious. "Oh? Oh? Well now what are you going to do, you idiotic, incompetent, child?" Jane ranted, getting in the girl's face. "What if you never get home? What if you're stuck here forever? What if a kidnapper comes along and decides he's going to make you his next target?"
The human enraged Jane further as Bella, still looking unsure and a little worried, suddenly brightened. "I'll be okay," she said with utter certainty, looking into Jane's blackening eyes without a hint of fear. "Because I have you. If things get that bad, I'll know you'll protect me."
Jane stared at the human, then stared some more. Her mouth worked, but nothing could come out. She really, in all her years of life, had never met someone as stupid and naive as the child in front of her. It was a miracle that she was even still alive today.
"Are you insane?" Jane asked at last. "What makes you think I'll help you? What makes you think I won't kill you myself?"
Bella cocked her head to the side, staring at Jane, who was trembling with fury, for a long, drawn out moment. "Just a feeling," Bella said at last with a small, knowing smile. "I know, Jay. I just know."
Jane had to swallow the venom in her mouth as she stared down at the child, unsure, with her emotional state, exactly what she was going to do to the child. She never would know, either, because a voice was suddenly shouting.
"Bella? Bella!" a woman's voice, filled with panic, cut through Jane's emotional haze. Without a word to the child, she melted back into the shadows, watching from a safe distance.
"Hey Jay, that's my mom," Bella said, turning toward where Jane had been, only to find her gone. "Jay? Hey Jay, where'd you go?" Bella looked around frantically, then turned in Jane's direction. For a stunned second, Jane thought the girl had actually seen her, as she stopped and stared with a confused expression on her face, but that was impossible. No human had the ability to see her with the way Jane had hidden herself.
"Bella! There you are!" Bella's mother said with clear relief as she grabbed Bella's hand with hers. "What were you thinking, wandering off like that? You made me and your father worried sick!" She suddenly stopped, turning Bella this way and that frantically. "Are you okay? Are you hurt?"
"Mom, I'm fine! I was talking to a cute girl!" Bella protested, but her mother only rolled her eyes and started to drag her away.
Yes, child, consider yourself lucky that your mother appeared, Jane thought. If you had stayed, I would have most likely ended your life...painfully.
That's what Jane thought, that's what she told herself...but later that day, after she had fed and gone home, she went to Aro as always. And when Aro touched her hand and read her memories, he would see that her thoughts about the girl was wrong. While Jane Volturi, the most dangerous weapon in the world, had often thought about hurting and even killing the child, not once was there even a sliver of intent behind those very thoughts.
He immediately knew what the human child was to her, but Jane, out of her own stubbornness, had absolutely no idea. And she wouldn't know for a very, very long time.