Author's Note: Damn, it has been way too long since I updated this story. But hey, here it is. Thanks for waiting so long guys, you're all awesome.

Chapter 3

It seemed that Athenodora's and Didyme's schemes to change Sulpicia's mind didn't go well. Sulpicia didn't even consider a different option regarding their daughter, even when Didyme flashed her breasts at the other queen. And so it soon became time for them to go, and everyone could only do their best to ignore the tantrum Didyme was having right there on the floor about the situation.

"We will see you soon, Isabella," Sulpicia said, staring seriously at Bella, who was trying not to uncomfortably look at the floor where Didyme was lying. Seriously, this was one of the Queens everyone feared? "Every vacation and every chance you get, you will come back here. We need to get to know our daughter."

"Yeah, I will," Bella said, and despite how crazy the last day of her life had been and the fact that she had to watch an ancient vampire acting like a child, she meant it. She already felt a connection to the three women.

"Also, once the problem is dealt with and you are done with high school, you will come back here immediately. To be turned and join us as the princess of Volterra," Athenodora said, clearly grumpy with the way everything had turned out. She had tried quite a bit of persuasion on their daughter, but Bella had made it clear that she wanted to finish her education. It had taken a lot of arguing between them, something the queen wasn't used to anyone doing outside of her mates, to get Bella to agree to come back and be turned after high school in the first place to be turned by them. If Bella had things her way, she'd be waiting forever for that moronic, prissy fool of a vampire who in no way deserved their daughter to turn her; something that Athenodora knew, without even peering into Edward's mind like Sulpicia had done, would be something that would never happen without outside influence.

Speaking of that little prick, he once again felt the need to speak up, and he dared to even clearly argue with her, right there in front of her mates and her guard. "That is not going to happen. Bella will be safe with our family, and there really is no reason to return."

Athenodora and Sulpicia snarled. Didyme even hopped up from the floor to grab Edward by the neck as she glared into his eyes.

"You listen here, boy. This is our daughter here, and you're lucky we're leaving her in your family's care. You're even luckier to be alive, as if Bella had cared any less about you, we'd have burned you the second we learned of all the danger you put her in," Didyme hissed. "Don't think, for even one second, that you have any right to even speak to any of us again. Not a word. Understood?"

"Um, Didyme?" Bella asked hesitantly, placing a hand on the queen's arm, as she knew better than to get worked up at the moment, even if it was for Edward.

Didyme's face immediately brightened as she turned back to Bella. "Oh, Bella, my dear, you know you don't have to be hesitant around me!" she exclaimed. Dropping Edward like a piece of trash, she whirled to her daughter and picked her up in a dangerously strong hug. "Oh, my child, I can't believe mean old Sulpicia is letting you leave. I can't wait until that little bitch who dared to threaten you is slaughtered in the most agonizing way possible." As she said this, she focused on Jane and Alec. "You heard me, didn't you? I want her to suffer."

"Of course, my queen," Alec and Jane said as one with a quick but low bow.

Bella, who was once again drowning in cleavage, was tapping Didyme's arm as fast as she could, trying to gain her attention. Edward watched tensely, his eyes hard, and it took mere seconds for him to open his mouth to tell Didyme to release the human.

However, Alice quickly put her hand over his mouth.

She meant it, the pixie vampire thought towards her brother. One more word out of you, even if you try to apologize, and she'll rip you to shreds.

Holding in the desire to growl, he had no choice but to stay silent. Despite his tough front, he did admittedly gulp a little as he saw Alice's vision of Didyme tearing him apart before he even got a sentence out.

"Now, that's enough, love," Sulpicia said as she intervened, distracting Didyme with a kiss so she could pull Bella from the dark haired queen's grip. "You really do need to keep in mind that humans need to breathe."

Didyme pouted in response, crossing her arms over her chest, but then realized that Bella was indeed gasping for breath. Oops.

"My queens, if we don't hurry…" Alec started hesitantly, more than a little afraid to finish his sentence.

"Right. It is time for you to go, I suppose," Athenodora grumbled as she plucked Bella from Sulpicia's arms. Putting a hand on each of Bella's shoulders, she stared seriously into the nervous human's face. "If you need anything, call us. We will be there as quickly as we can. And do not worry about how trivial the need is. You're our daughter."

"Athenodora, don't steal her. It was my turn," Sulpicia complained, reaching out to grab the girl. Athenodora wasn't ready to let Bella go, however, and they started to compete in a gentle tug of war with their daughter as they glared at each other.

"Let go," Athenodora growled. "I wasn't done."

"You took her from me first," Sulpicia replied, her gaze steely. She was not going to back down.

Oh, Athenodora was definitely going to make Sulpicia pay for this later. Preferably with the use of Didyme holding her down so Athenodora would be free to do what she wanted to punish Sulpicia without the other queen able to escape. Although Didyme definitely needed to be punished too for her behavior, and if she helped Athenodora with Sulpicia, then it would be hard to find a way to restrain Didyme even after Athenodora was done with Sulpicia. After all, Sulpicia wouldn't willingly turn around and help Athenodora after what Athenodora would do to her. If anything, Sulpicia would try to team up with Didyme to dominate the third queen, and it would be hard to come out on top in that situation.

As Athenodora was distracted by images of her naked mates and strategies for being able to fuck them both into submission without her mates attempting the reverse, Sulpicia was easily able to pull Bella out of Athenodora's grasp.

"Don't worry, Bella," Sulpicia said as Bella stood before her, trying not to rub her arms too obviously. "Your arms wouldn't have stretched even an inch, even after all that. Now, about your protection. We have given you the very best in our guard. They're also well disciplined and have never failed a mission, regardless of how they might seem to you…" Sulpicia trailed off, realizing that the particular vampire she was speaking of wasn't even in the room. Frowning, Sulpicia demanded, "Where is Corin?"

Despite being on the other side of the palace, Corin heard Sulpicia's voice. If she had blood, it would have run cold, as she sensed her own gorgeous face was in danger. And that was something that just wouldn't do, especially as the longer she tried to wait it out, the more her face would probably end up being damaged.

Abandoning her plans to hide from the Queens until the Cullens and their human had no choice but to leave without her, Corin flashed across the palace and into the throne room.

"Right here, my queen," Corin said, trying to sound casual. Like she hadn't planned on escaping babysitting duty despite the wishes of her Queens.

"Corin. If you shirk your duty…" Athenodora growled, eyes narrowing as she glared at the vampire. She didn't even need to finish her threat for the other guard members of the room to start quaking in their boots, affected by Athenodora's menace. Corin, however, only frowned and looked away, crossing her arms over her chest as if to fend off a sudden chill.

"I know," Corin said, her voice soft, but firm at the same time. "I will do my duty to my utmost ability." And Corin would, too. Despite how she acted, she owed the Queens quite a bit, and once she was actually on a mission, she would do whatever it took to complete it. If only this particular mission wouldn't be so long and boring.

As the three queens converged on Bella to say their last goodbyes, all attempting to hug her at once, Bella couldn't help but stare at Corin. The vampire looked more serious than Bella had ever seen her, almost like she was brooding; her blood red eyes were distant, jaw set, and for some reason, it was as if the shadows of the room landed on her just to make her look as sexy and mysterious as possible.

Corin, sensing Bella's gaze, turned and caught her staring. She quirked an eyebrow and smirked as Bella flushed, but the human couldn't bring herself to look away. "Can I help you, princess?" Corin asked, stressing the word princess in a mocking way.

Flushing, Bella felt a swell of anger she hadn't realized she had in her until she met Corin. "Don't call me that!" Bella snapped in reply, hands unconsciously curling into fists like she was about to punch the vampire, regardless of the damage to her own body.

This got the attention of the three queens who all frowned at Bella.

"But you are a princess, Isabella," Sulpicia said, smoothing the human's hair before kissing her temple. "You must get used to it."

"Just know that Corin tries all of us," Didyme added. "And that as our daughter, you can write up a list of her indiscretions so we can punish her on return."

"I have no idea how she's lived this long," Athenodora muttered with a huff, shaking her head. "Really, if she wasn't so useful, I'm sure my mates would have allowed me to kill her and that smart mouth of hers long ago."

"Aw, I love you too, my Queens," Corin said with a wild grin, transforming from mysterious woman to what appeared to be a wild child in less than an instant. She then focused on Bella, her grin taking a lecherous edge as she added, "But as your daughter, shouldn't she doll out my punishments? I'm sure I can endure a spanking from her, even daily if necessary."

Bella opened a mouth to retort, but couldn't come up with a proper reply. Thankfully, she didn't have to, as Edward snarled at Corin, his need to claim Bella as his and remind Corin that she shouldn't even be looking at Bella in that way overwhelming his common sense.

Without even glancing in his direction, Didyme reached out towards Alec, picked up the surprised vampire with one hand by the back of his cloak, and chucked Alec as hard as she could right at Edward's head.

Twisting in midair, Alec managed to right himself enough to land on his feet. Only, instead of his feet landing on the floor, he landed right on Edward's face. Alice had the forethought to dance out of the way in case Didyme decided to throw Jane as well, seeing the debate in Didyme's mind as her vision switched back and forth between everything calming down or another unwilling projectile vampire coming towards Edward in the next few seconds. Thankfully, that never came as Edward's howl of pain as his face crunched seemed to cool Didyme's wrath. Not to mention also cause Athenodora and Corin to burst into loud laughter, almost as mirrors of each other.

"Edward!" Bella exclaimed, rushing from the huddle the queens had made around her so she could make it to Edward's side. Like she actually had the ability to help fix him or help him despite being weak and human. Alec was in her way, and for a second she thought she might have to try and fight past him. But Alec seemed unconcerned with her approach, dusting himself off as he stepped out of Bella's way and towards Jane, who then felt the need to inspect him for any Edward germs that might be contagious. The witch girl didn't want Alec to end up with a little of Edward rubbed off on him, after all.

"Was that really necessary, love?" Sulpicia asked wryly, despite having enjoyed the scene just as much as her two mates and Corin had.

"Of course it was. The boy is just lucky he had only growled. If he had actually spoken, I would have done something much worse," Didyme muttered petulantly. Then she called out, "Thank you Alec, you make a great long range weapon when necessary."

Alec's eyebrows rose, but he composed himself with a nod. "It was my pleasure, my Queen."

"But perhaps next time you might give him a little warning," Jane added, her voice soft and suggestive. Of course, had anyone else thrown her brother besides one of the Queens, they'd be suffering or dead by then. However, even in the Queens' craziest moments, Jane held nothing but respect and loyalty for them.

"And risk giving my target warning as well? Of course not," Didyme sniffed.

"Well with that, I'm afraid it really is time to go," Sulpicia said with a sigh. She glided over to Bella. "Oh, for the gods' sake, the boy will be fine. His face is already healing, and his sister is right there and will know if he needs anything," she said, swatting gently at Bella's hands to stop her from fretting over Edward. She then pulled Bella into one last hug. "Now, we will see you soon. Safe travels."

"Group hug!" Didyme suddenly exclaimed. She ran over, dragging Athenodora with her, and Bella was once again engulfed and held tightly.

Once released, Alec, Jane, and Corin joined Bella, standing close. Jane and Alec were stiff and alert as if something was about to attack, while Corin appeared completely at ease. Yet there was a sharp, dangerous look in her eye. Not just the look of a predator, but a look that reminded Bella of an alpha wolf protecting its pups. It seemed completely at odds with the woman Bella had come to know so far, and it made her shiver, her heart quickening in her chest. Yet despite her body's reactions, what Bella felt wasn't fear.

"I know you three will perform your duties perfectly," Sulpicia said, reaching out to touch the cheeks of the three guard members, one by one, then stopped at Bella, holding the human's face in both hands. She seemed to search Bella's eyes for a long moment, then nodded. And for some reason, even though she had absolutely no idea what was going on or what Sulpicia had been looking for, Bella nodded back.

Bella guessed that was the right answer, as Sulpicia released her with a faint smile and glided towards the other two queens, taking the hands of both of them.

"You may go," the three queens said as one.

The door behind the little band of five vampires and one human princess opened, and the three guard members led them out of the throne room, clearly protecting Bella while ignoring the two Cullens.

As the doors closed behind them, Sulpicia turned to Athenodora. "So, you had plans to restrain and fuck me, did you?"

"Of course," Athenodora replied, red eyes quickly turning to black. They burned as she stared at Sulpicia and Didyme, noting how Sulpicia pulled Didyme into her side with an arm around her waist, only to stroke up and down Didyme's side, lingering on her breast, making the dark haired queen purr.

Sulpicia smirked. "Good. I'm looking forward to it."

"That makes two of us," Didyme murmured as she reached towards Athenodora, trailing her fingers down Athenodora's neck. "Or were you planning on leaving me out?"

"Never," Athenodora snarled, catching Didyme's hand and taking a step towards the other queens, getting into their personal space so that their bodies brushed up against each other's.

Realizing what was happening, the other guard members immediately dispersed, knowing the punishment that would await them if they saw what would happen next. The last guard managed to escape just in time, as a second later Athenodora pounced and proceeded in shredding off the clothes of her two mates. It was there that they would spend the next day or two, as the entire guard pretended they couldn't hear the feral sounds that echoed through the palace walls.