Author's Note: Finally. I finally finished a chapter. Apologies to all who had to wait an eternity for an update, and hope you guys don't want to kill me just yet. Writer's block is still going kinda strong but I'm doing my best over here, and hopefully I'll be able to power through it long enough to at least update some other stories too. Thanks for sticking with me all of this time!
Bella woke slowly at first, dizzy and disoriented, and found herself in complete darkness. But despite all this, the ringing in her ears, and Laurent's yelling, Bella knew to keep quiet. She couldn't control her heartbeat and knew they would know Bella was awake, but they would also think she was still out of it, and wouldn't pay too much attention to her. Not that catching their attention would be that easy, as the two new vampires were more focused on the furious, shouting Laurent than the extra weak human that couldn't get away even if she was at full strength.
Wait, Laurent was yelling. Despite the fact that he looked like a maniac, Bella knew that what he was yelling could be important. It's not like these vampires would be too keen on answering her questions otherwise.
"James and Victoria are both dead! You didn't tell me it would be like this!" Laurent snarled at one of the other two vampires.
"What else did you expect, attacking such a large coven of vampires, and one of the Volturi?" a girl's voice replied dryly. "It was your fault anyways, you had been too obvious in your interest in the human."
Right. They had chosen to capture Bella for a reason, and not just because of her tasty smelling blood.
"Don't forget," a boy's cold voice added. "You owe us. We were only supposed to be a last resort in the plan, yet we had to step in and help to catch the target, not to mention to stop the Cullens from killing you as well."
"Well, I think he owes me a little more than you in the whole rescue thingy," the girl piped up again in a sing song voice. "You only had to hide my presence and yours so that no one would notice us while we were watching them, Riley. But I had to amplify his pathetic ability so that it would affect all of those Cullens before they could attack him."
"Then I had to hold off Emmett and Jane after James and Victoria were killed so that you and Laurent could escape with the human," Riley retorted. He shook his head in disgust. "I never knew such strong hunters could be so weak when it comes to fighting other vampires."
Held off, not killed. That meant Jane was still alive. Not that it meant much, as Bella's gift had already confirmed as such. The gift also confirmed that she was relatively unharmed, and that Bella was most likely never going to see Jane again.
"Shut up," Laurence snarled at him. "Victoria's power told her it was dangerous, that all of us would most likely die going into this with your plan, but you insisted. Their deaths are your fault."
"Correction; Vladimir and Stefan insisted, and your friends' deaths rest solely on their own shoulders for being so pathetic," the girl corrected. "By the way, I'm noticing that you're getting a bit too mouthy, Laurent. Maybe you should remember your place before I have to remind you myself, hm?"
"You of all people should know it's not his fault, Bree," Riley muttered into the following silence. "Your power's side effect is causing it."
"It's not my fault any vampire I use my amplifying on gets super thirsty," Bree protested, sounding like she was pouting. "And if he has that little control, then maybe it would be best if we just got rid of him before he does something stupid, like eat the idiotic human over there who thinks we actually believe is still asleep."
Bella sighed and rolled onto her back, staring up at the ceiling.
"I didn't think you would believe I was asleep," Bella said, aware of all three pairs of eyes on her. "It's just that I'm not feeling well and didn't bother moving, what with being knocked unconscious and all."
"Rrrriiigggghhhttt," Bree drawled, reaching over to Bella and grabbing her by the hair. Bella was then lifted into the air, but Bella didn't say a word or even let out a hiss of pain. Giving Bree that satisfaction wasn't something Bella was willing to do. "But I bet you were eavesdropping, weren't you?"
"It was hard not to, with all of the yelling," Bella retorted without a thought. "Next time you don't want to be overheard, you might want to do what any smart vampire would do and talk fast or low."
In response, Bree bared her teeth at Bella and pulled a hand back as if about to slap the human, but Bella knew she wasn't going to even before Riley grabbed Bree's wrist, stopping Bree from slapping her.
"Put her down, Bree. Vladimir and Stefan want her alive," Riley told the other vampire seriously.
With a scoff of disgust, Bree threw Bella to the ground. It was meant to hurt, but Bella once again didn't react. She did, however, notice the blood that started to well from a scratch on her palm that was made at the impact.
"Whatever," Bree muttered. "Excuse me for paying attention and pointing out the obvious." With that, she stomped out, but not before giving Bella another dangerous look that promised the human pain.
It was then that Laurent focused on Bella, eyes pitch black and nostrils flaring, and once again, Riley came to the rescue.
"Get out of here and feed, Laurent. Before you make another mistake that won't be taken so likely," Riley said, staring the other vampire down.
With a frustrated snarl, Laurent left as quickly as Bree, and Bella knew that whoever he would find would suffer because of Laurent's ire. She felt bad, but knew she was in a situation just as, if not more so, dangerous than whatever prey Laurent would find.
Keeping her eyes on Riley's back, Bella brought the scrape to her mouth and licked the blood up, sensing just how dangerous the man in front of her was. While she was keeping a calm and composed exterior, she was the complete opposite inside. She craved her Jay more than ever before, but knew the chance of ever seeing her mate again was about one in a thousand.
She hated it. For the first time, she hated knowing. She wanted to be the naive, unwitting girl who believed that, without a doubt, her mate would find and save her. That, if she could just survive a little more torture, her mate would burst through, kill the three vampires, and sweep her away to safety where they'd then reclaim each other.
But no. There would be no rescue, and Bella knew she was going to be kept alive and suffering for a very, very long time. These vampires also weren't about to die anytime soon.
"So, who are Stefan and Vladimir, and what do they want with me?" Bella asked casually after removing her palm from her mouth. Bella's gift only allowed her to know so much, after all. Which meant she knew Stefan and Vladimir were important and powerful, which anyone could have guessed from overhearing the conversation. She also knew that they wanted her, and wanted her alive, for a plan of theirs. This was also something anyone with half a brain would have guessed from overhearing the conversation.
It was just like with Rosalie and Emmett back in Volterra. She knew that if they didn't stay together, Rosalie would die, but she didn't know how, why, and only approximately when. Yet for some reason, she would know the random specifics of things that often seemed insignificant.
Why couldn't her gift just be a little more specific about the important things? Well, it could be incredibly specific, if Bella managed to ask the right question. Which it looked like Bella was going to do.
If Bella wasn't going to see Jane again, she was at least going to do everything she could to make sure Jane was safe.
Eventually, Riley turned towards Bella, since Bree and Laurent were now far enough away. "Don't worry, you'll find out soon enough."
Suddenly, Bella came to know something else; her capture had to do with Jane. And the reason had to do with Jane's connection to the Volturi.
"You're not going to get away with this," Bella said, trying to play the naive, dumb, hopeful human Bella knew they thought she was. "The Cullens will find you, and my mate will tear you apart and make you suffer. She's strong."
Riley only snorted. At first, he seemed like he wasn't going to say anything, but then he took the bait, just like Bella knew he would.
With two steps, Riley was right in front of Bella, and he crouched down so that he was on her level. Then he grabbed her chin, forcing their eyes to meet. "You're a fool, child. We know who your mate is, and what she's capable of. We also know that, just like any vampire, she would do anything to protect her mate. Or, more specifically, she'll do nothing if that means keeping you alive."
He knows that Jane's Volturi, Bella suddenly knew. I was targeted because of how dangerous Jane is, and they knew they couldn't kill her head on, even with the combination of Bree's and Laurent's gifts.
This was something her gift told her was true. Jane could still use her gift even when frozen, and Laurent would need to stay in front of her in order for his gift to work. Even if it took just a second for it to work, if Jane wasn't taken off guard, Jane would be able to use her power in return.
Still, why kidnap Bella? This wasn't a case of revenge; if it was, they could have just killed Bella in front of Jane right then and there, although they would probably end up getting killed afterwards by Jane in a rage.
Riley, noticing how silent yet unafraid Bella had become, shook her head enough to get Bella's attention back on him. Then they just stared at each other for a few silent moments, both taking each other in.
"You're trouble," Riley said at last, letting go of Bella's chin. "Which is bad more for you than me, I might add. One wrong step on your part, and Laurent or Bree might rip you to shreds. You do seem to have quite the mouth on you after all...not to mention you also smell delicious."
"Are you telling me to be careful?" Bella asked sarcastically, knowing it wasn't so. She also knew that if she were to end up dead before she was delivered to Stefan and Vladimir, that Riley would certainly end up in quite a bit of trouble himself.
That didn't mean that she wouldn't end up dead, though. Not with Bree and Laurent hanging around.
"You and I both know I'm not," Riley answered, his eyes darkening to black as he stared down at Bella, trying to scare her.
Damn it Jane, I need you. Not even to just kill the vampire, but to simply help Bella with keeping her mouth shut. Just because she knew not to say something didn't mean she wouldn't impulsively do it, after all. Especially with all of the sarcastic and smart ass comments floating around in Bella's head about Riley being a bitch to his little masters, among other things.
Eventually, Riley stopped staring Bella down and got up. "Just remember, Bella. Just because we need to deliver you alive doesn't mean you can't be delivered broken."
Threat noted. Bella pulled her knees up to her chest and wrapped her arms around them, making herself smaller, acting afraid. Which, Bella hated to admit, she actually was.
While she would do anything for Jane and was stronger than most girls her age, Bella wasn't exactly immune to pain. And Bella knew, without a doubt, that all three vampires were very good at causing pain without killing a victim. Just like Jane. Jane, her little sexy angelic hellcat who could be so cruel, and make Bella feel like the happiest girl in the world.
"Oh, what is this? Arousal?" Bree's singsong voice asked as the girl skulked into the room with a dangerous grin. "Aw, is the little human thinking about her little blonde vampire? Poor baby, and to think you're never going to see her again."
"Are we ready to get moving?" Riley asked, making no attempt to stop Bree as she stalked closer to Bella.
"Yeah, Laurent's waiting outside. But, I was just thinking...what if this little human tried to get away? We should make sure she can't run." The grin on Bree's face was outright insane as she bent down and grabbed Bella's ankles.
Bella's heart dropped into her stomach as she realized that she wasn't going to be saved from the pain, not this time.
Jane, I need you. Find me! Bella couldn't help but mentally shout, despite knowing it was useless, that no matter how much Jane searched, she wouldn't be able to find Bella. Not in time, anyways.
Helplessly, Bella could only stare into Bree's crazed face as Bree started in on her fun.