Chapter 22: The Volturi
Oh well, time to meet these 'Kings' first.
There were only a few days left until the Cullen clan would embark on their trip to Volterra to follow Alice's direction on where Bella was. Due to Alice's 'predictions' the Cullens thought they were going to intercept Bella just before she reaches the Volturi, but Alice already knew the outcome.
Alice's eyes rolled up as she started double checking her visions. There was little room for error and being thorough was always a good thing.
Her previous visions indicated that Aro would not touch Jane to read her nor would Bella be changed until the Cullens arrived in Volterra. There were a lot more things in play, but Alice already took everything into account.
Alice blinked out of her induced vision with a growing look of terror.
"No… no!" Alice began to induce another vision, but was met with the same thing.
"Alice?" Victoria questioned as the seer began to actually panic. Never had Victoria seen the small vampire so frazzled.
"It's fuzzy!" Alice shouted while her eyes began to roll up indicating another vision.
Victoria tried to stop Alice after the several attempt at trying for a vision and finally got the vampire to settle down.
"It's not supposed to be fuzzy!"
"Alice, what the hell?!"
"It's Bella…" Alice's voice just trailed off.
"What about the human?" Victoria was getting worried now.
"I can't see her."
Damn. Bella felt powerful. After the few bouts of sex and a shower, she felt great! Bella knew that she had somehow siphoned off some energy from Jane, not enough that the vampire would even notice, but just enough to let Bella feel like she was hopped up on some drug.
Even if Bella was on her period, she still felt like a million bucks! The two mates spent the next hour trying to figure out Jane's eyes again since they were turning into that pinkish hue that could melt through stuff. It took the whole hour, but Jane could actively melt stuff now.
Bella had taken some tissue paper and had Jane use it as target practice and it worked. Both of them didn't know how long Bella's blood would empower Jane to melt stuff, but they'd figure it out with more testing.
They had another hour before meeting the Kings and Bella wanted to know a little more of what she was getting into. Both girls were all dressed and were just lying on the bed, with Jane on Bella's lap while Bella was inclined on the large bed.
"So, why do these old guys want to meet me again?" Bella had a few ideas, but might as well hear it out from a vampire that actually lived with them for over a millennia.
"Pat me." Without missing a beat, Bella began to pat the vampire's head. Jane realized how much she loved being Bella's focus and was going to demand as much affection as she could. Bella held in a snort and decided not to tease the purring vampire in her lap. It was so endearing how Jane changed over the past month.
"A report came from some vampire that said the Cullens had broken the vampire law and allowed a human to live. Aro probably wants to use you as leverage against the Cullens." Not like Jane would allow the Cullens to ever take Bella back.
Bella just snorted. When she had first met Jane, Bella had planned out on how to meet the Cullens again to have them answer all her questions. The "whys" on why they left her and a small part of her still wanted to reconcile with them…
…, but now?
Bella realized how much she didn't really give a fuck about the Cullens anymore.
"Would you tell me more about the Volturi? I don't really want to go in there unprepared." Bella knew she didn't have that leisure anymore. While Bella's cares only amounted to Jane's wellbeing as well as her own, she didn't want to take risks.
This would be the start of her new life.
Jane continued to drone on about what important events would be relevant to the Volturi and how they operated. Bella was silent, just caressing Jane's head while the vampire continued to explain. While some of the events were horrific, nothing really seemed all that bad. Demented, yes, but she thought that Vampire Lords would have more… imagination?
It got even more interesting once Jane went into the specifics on who the Volturi was comprised of as well as the powers attached to each one. She wondered how her own power would interact with all the others?
"So, Chelsea has the gift to forge strong bonds?"
"Yes, Chelsea's power is somewhat of an open secret and is only really known by the founding members of the Volturi as well as a few of the older guard." It was nice that Jane was finally cleared of Chelsea's power, well, mostly anyway. She could no longer hear or feel the pounding sense of 'Loyalty, Loyalty, Loyalty!' being sent directly into her head whenever the bond would assert itself.
"Why? It doesn't sound remotely dangerous?" Bella wondered out loud.
"Her power is what keeps the Volturi together. Aro has had Chelsea forge and cement the bonds of master and servant to all Volturi members. It isn't an ironclad master-servant relationship, but it makes anyone under the influence be unable to betray their master. Bonds between all the other members of the Volturi had also been fortified to some kind of familial tie to prevent infighting and to promote cooperation. Well, as much as possible anyway. Chelsea's power isn't all powerful though, that is why Aro has Corin who has the power to make anyone she affects feel content. By apply both of those powers regularly; even the most stubborn would think that everything has been fine." Of course Jane knew. She was the prime example.
Being away from the Volturi as well as being close to Bella seemed to hasten the dissipation of the controlling gifts and Jane could feel her own hatred at being manipulated just boiling under her cold granite skin.
This would not be forgotten, but Jane knew it was too early for anything.
Jane and Bella continued to converse for the remainder of the time. The talk just included more of the other Volturi members powers, the few established covens as well as little other nuggets of information that Bella could use somewhere.
"Don't the Kings know that they ditched me?" It almost put a smile to the brunette's face when she didn't even feel the pain of betrayal anymore. It just seemed like it was such a long time ago.
Had it only been over a month?
"I'm not sure, that was all I was told. More will be clear once we meet the Kings." Jane drawled, but Bella couldn't help, but feel the slight obvious sneer when mentioning them.
"And after?" Bella asked and saw Jane slowly swivel her head to look straight into her eyes.
"And after, I will turn you." Jane husked out while keeping the crimson irises burning into her brown ones.
Bella definitely got wet as soon as she heard that.
…Too bad that it seemed as if time was up as an alarm set by Heidi went off on her new phone.
Bella stroked Jane's head one more time, absorbing a little more energy to boost her confidence, before getting up and heading towards the Throne Room.
Not without one loaded pistol with her. She'd have brought two, but had yet to clean the other one that had a tiny pea crab actually peek out of it.
Bella could feel it. It wasn't tangible, but it was there. The more energy she slowly siphoned off Jane, the more she could feel it. She knew it was her power, like it wanted to be used, it wanted to flourish, but neither it nor she knew how to really do anything yet.
She was quickly brought out of her thoughts as the large looming doors to the Throne Room were just in front of them. Jane had given her hand one last squeeze before letting go and opening the large doors.
The brunette would have been a bit more apprehensive about going into a room filled with vampires while on her period, but Jane waved her off saying that any vampire worth being a vampire knew how to control their bloodlust. Vampires also typically drink every few days, so smelling blood around them wouldn't really matter.
The duo entered and was met with a large area filled with the other guard. Jane could see that a lot of the Volturi guard was actually in attendance.
Bella followed Jane's stride into the Throne Room. At first she was a little nervous with all the new people, but… why was she even nervous? A quick scan around and Bella could see and recognize some of the vampires that Jane had described to her. The three main figures became apparent as she got close to the three thrones.
This is what ruled the vampires? Well, to be fair, you couldn't really judge a vampire by their outward looks; case and point, Jane. But, still! Only the blond guy even looked slightly competent. The long dark brown haired guy looked like he just didn't give a flying fuck and the main pasty look guy was just…
His creepy face had a tiny frown to it, but the closer she got, his face slowly morphed into a retarded grin.
"Isabella Swan! What a delight it is to finally meet you! Come closer!"
Finally, it was time to meet the girl.
He had heard from the reports from the other guard that the girl was already close to Jane.
Is this what was going to cause Jane to rebel?
Aro could remember the bits and pieces of the vision he had seen from the depths of Alice's mind. There was one instant where Aro had held Jane's hand and the next scene was half of his body melted. Then and there, Aro knew he had to figure out how this would occur.
Keeping Jane away on missions had helped at first, but every time Jane had returned, it caused him such fear to touch the girl that he had started to bypass her and looked at the memories of the others instead.
Aro always knew that Jane was loyal, since the Volturi was all she really knew. He had made sure that any outer influences wouldn't affect his precious treasure, but so long as that vision existed. There must have been a way to compromise Jane. He didn't like throwing away his treasure, but if there were no alternatives, then he would have to make do.
He had instructed Chelsea to use her gift against Jane twice as often as any other guard. It didn't really seem to do anything and Aro really couldn't see anything different with his pet, but there was something.
He knew there was something! Something he was missing! Something…
Was there really something?
Wasn't there always something?
The doors opening pulled Aro from his thoughts. Jane entered followed by the girl who was unharmed. It was actually surprising that Jane fulfilled her mission to this extent. At first, he just wanted Jane to be as far away as possible to gather more of his thoughts on how to prevent that particular future, but it looks like something else had occurred.
"It is slightly blurred, but I can already see a bond with Jane." The voice of Markus intoned from his side.
Something else, indeed.
"A bond with Jane of all vampires? Isn't the girl the mind reader's mate?" Caius sneered.
"I cannot say until they are in close proximity, especially with all the distortion coming from the girl."
Silence ensued as the two came closer.
Keep her away.
Aro could feel his mind reel from being too close to Jane as the two continued to get closer.
The girl with Jane beside her stopped just a few feet from his throne.
Aro felt his mind clear. Why was he being paranoid in the first place? Why was he trying to have precautions against Jane when the girl was obviously loyal to him? He still had Chelsea, Corin and the whole guard at his disposal. He had Alec, and Aro knew that the twins would never be on an opposite side of one another.
Did he feel paranoid just because of one vision?
Aro smiled. He hadn't felt this clearheaded since seeing that vision from touching Alice.
Why was he even troubled about Jane?
It was so simple to keep her in line! And if not, disposing of her and Alec was easy enough; costly, but not hard if dealt with correctly.
He had already started recruiting as soon as Jane left anyway. The Volturi was just a little bit bigger than Jane would remember. A massacre here and there always worked in his favor. Slayer intervention always did help his plans along.
"Isabella Swan! What a delight it is to finally meet you! Come closer!"
It really is.
Marcus watched as the girl went closer to Aro. The girl had a perpetual blur around her that was distorting his powers. As the girl got closer to Aro, Marcus could see the hundreds of lines around Aro begin to blur.
Would this not affect any ongoing gifts?
If this girl could passively nullify the gifts of Chelsea and Corin, wouldn't this slip of a girl be the greatest detriment to the Volturi Rule?
Marcus waited for the eventual bombardment of 'Loyalty' that would affect his psyche to tell Aro about his findings, but was surprised when there were only mere whispers.
Should he tell Aro?
The man was smart enough; he could figure it out himself.
The mental silence around him was pleasing enough. Maybe the girl being there would have its uses after all.
Marcus would have listened in and tried to figure out more on how to further the Volturi, but right now his mind was just a little bit clearer and couldn't help but think of the one thing that ever mattered.
"Uh, yeah, hi. Um, Bella's fine." Fuuuck. How were you supposed to greet royalty anyway? Bella didn't really care, but if she was turning into a vampire and these were going to be her 'bosses' then maybe she needed to care a little. Bella took a quick glance at Jane who had her face in her palm.
"Bella." It looked like Aro was testing the name on his tongue. "Very well, Bella. How has your visit to Volterra been so far?" Aro smiled creepily. Like holy shit she wanted to cringe so badly at how he smiled and how he pronounced her name.
How was this a visit? Wasn't Jane tasked with abducting her?
Roll with it, Bella. This fucker is delusional.
"It's nice, I guess." Oh my god, this is so awkward. "So, um, I heard that you wanted to speak with me about stuff?" Might as well try to get to the point.
"Now, now. All in good time. Come closer, Bella" Aro beckoned, extending his hand for Bella to accept. Maybe she should have not asked him to call her Bella, it just sounded creepy now. Jane had already warned Bella on Aro's powers, but Bella wasn't really nervous about that. It was a near definite thing that his powers would fail anyway, and even if it did succeed, there wasn't really much he could gain.
Bella didn't bother hesitating and let the creepy vampire hold her hand. It took a couple of seconds before Aro began to respond again.
"Fascinating, very fascinating! Nothing! I could see nothing at all!" Aro's eyes immediately darted towards Jane. "Jane, if you would please demonstrate your powers on Bella."
"My power has no effect on her." Jane deadpanned trying to keep the emotion and irritation away from her voice.
"Of course it doesn't. Another variety then!" Aro's smile got even wider if that was even possible. "My dear Jane, a few things have changed during this month and we have new family members to the Volturi." Footsteps could be heard heading towards them, parting the crowd of a few vampires.
"I'd like you both to meet Benjamin, formerly of the Egyptian coven."
Jane's eyes grew a fraction wider with the mention of the name.
Jane still remembered the time when Aro had dispatched them to recruit Benjamin the first time.
The Egyptian coven was comprised of four vampires. Amun and Kebi along with Benjamin and his mate Tia. Amun was very protective of Benjamin that it had taken much persuasion to even get to meet the new vampire.
Aro was not wrong in wanting to pursue this particular vampire. The boy had control over the elements, fire, wind, water and earth. Jane was actually awed when the vampire performed a demonstration of his elemental manipulation especially when he manipulated fire.
Fire was one of the major weaknesses of any vampire. Whether newborn or ancient, fire was the perfect weapon against any vampire. The scary part was that this vampire could wield fire like a toy! The flames simply twirled around his fingertips without so much as damaging his skin. He was probably not fire proof, but if he could will the fire not to touch him in the first place, well, then the weakness was all but gone.
The main question was simple though.
Why was he here?
Formerly of the Egyptian coven.
"Formerly?" Jane echoed. Her mind began reeling as she looked up to the newly arrived vampire. A quick glance to his eyes and she already knew that Aro had somehow manipulated everything again.
"Yes. Only Benjamin and Tia survived the attack on the Egyptian coven by the slayers. We also lost Santiago since he was sent on a mission in Egypt. Benjamin will tell you the rest." Aro nodded to Benjamin who had his mate attached to his side as if trying to soothe away the pain from the memories.
Jane just knew that Aro had a hand in this. Slayers did not act without reason and that reason had to be a very valid one. How had he manipulated this?
"It was a tragedy that Tia and I came to. As we were returning from hunting from a faraway city, we found something floating in the air near a small town where our coven closely resides to. We immediately went and looked around frantically because we knew that there was no way that Amun would not have noticed and ignored trouble so close to our residence. Tia and I finally found them along with a Volturi member, well; we found what was left of them. The top of their bodies were gone, as if pierced by some kind of concentrated flame. I could only identify them because of their clothing and the jewelry that Kebi always wore. Santiago, I only learned his name from Master Aro; I knew he was Volturi due to the robes that were left over." Benjamin stopped to catch a phantom breath. His eyes momentarily flashed with so much concealed anger that it was a surprise to see it come from such a normally serene face.
"In the air, I spotted the flying being. It was dressed up in some kind of black and green armor. It looked like some kind of reaper. I was able to see a glance at the face of the slayer and it looked like a young blonde human girl that was probably in her twenties, she was smiling down at us like we were no more than insects beneath her feet. I was about to use my gift, but the figure immediately disappeared. I contacted the Volturi afterwards to get to the bottom of this." Benjamin closed his eyes and his mate had hugged him closer.
Jane didn't really give a fuck about the sob story. A quick glance to Bella and Jane knew that Bella didn't really give a fuck either. Only two things ran through both Jane and Bella's mind at that moment. One was how the fuck Aro manipulated this whole thing and two was just how strong were these slayers to deal that kind of damage to a vampire?
Both girls noticed how Benjamin casually addressed Aro as 'Master'. It was a clear give away that he and his mate were already under Chelsea and Corin's gift.
Just how much had Aro done in the limited amount of time that she had been gone? None could challenge the Volturi outright, so why had Aro decided to start tipping the balance now?
"Well, enough about that." Aro smile was back again as he just casually dismissed the whole story. "Benjamin, would you kindly use your gift on Bella?"
Everything slowed down for Jane as soon as she heard those words. Jane saw Benjamin acknowledge Aro's command. She saw Bella tense, unsure if she should react and uncertain if a non-mental gift would actually hurt her. She saw Benjamin's arm slowly rise up and then…
… Jane only saw red.
AN: There! Finally Bella's meeting with Volturi actually happened! Imagine if I chose to have Bella get lost in some kind of whirlpool in the Bermuda Triangle~
Also, just realized that this story has over 1k follows and over 600 favorites, way passed my HP story! Thank you for all the support! I do my best to try and reply to everyone, but I can't reply to guests!
Oh, I never really indicated Alice and Jasper's relationship, but since I didn't, I'll just make it clear that they're more like brother/sister rather than lovers. It just makes a lot of things way easier than having to deal with Jasper. If I did mention it somewhere, tell me, I'll fix it x.x
If Aro's POV didn't make sense. Basically, Bella's absorption/null aura thing is in passive effect. The aura enveloped Aro and the weak 'paranoia' suggestion that Jasper had inflicted dissipated. This throws a kink in a lot of Alice's plans and also a few others if you can think of how terrifying a passive aura can be overtime. Bella is a wild card, absorbing energy makes her even more of a wild card.
There was actually another portion to this, the Slayer excerpt, but I'm not sure if it would be welcome since they'd all be 'unknown'. Well, technically I'm going to be borrowing them from another fandom, but they'll all be minor and won't really impact on the story much... maybe? Just not sure if I should add it or not. The excerpt was pretty much just a 'Threat Level Assessment' on the Volturi and Bella.
Should I add it to the next chapter? Make an 'optional chapter' for it? Or just delete and forget it?
Thoughts and feedback please?