In the vampire world, news travelled fast. Even to me, a nomad who always moved around living in between rural towns; news and information would always find me and today it did. Someone sent the letter to my Washington state home and I presumed that someone was my brother. Knowing him, he most likely sent one to each of my known properties. No matter where I wandered, I would always end a journey in one of my many residences scattered across the world. Emmett married into and worked closely with our Royal family, the Cullens, so he tended to keep me updated whenever necessary. I left that lifestyle and world behind centuries ago but his hope never faltered in relation to my return. After all, I was still pledged as a soldier reserve in the millennia's ongoing war with the shapeshifters, most commonly referred to as the wolves or by the ancients, the lycanthrope or lycan for short.
I sat down by the river at the rear end of my property, I was almost always barefoot so I let the cascading waves of fresh water flow over my feet, and observed the letter. The wax stamp's seal secured on the back of the small envelope belonged to my brother's wife Princess Rosalie, so my presumption about who contacted me was indeed correct. I traced the royal emblems, the lion, the hand and trefoil carefully before tearing it open. A coin slipped from the confines landing on my thigh with a loud slap against my hardened flesh. I didn't need to review it, I already knew what it was. The scent of my own blood that I smudged on it nearly a millennia before was still pungent, even after all this time. There would be only one reason this coin was sent to me, it was a reminder of my allegiance to the Royal family. It meant war was coming and I was enlisted based on an archaic oath. I couldn't argue with the validity of the oath, it was set in my blood, there was no point in fighting against or appealing it.
I picked up the silver coin, tracing the lion etched into it. The significance of this tiny coin was monumental. Something must have happened with the Royals, otherwise Emmett would not send me this because he already knew of my unyielding feelings about Volterra and the inhabitants of that wretched city. Thinking of Emmett's safety, I swiftly retrieved the letter and unfolded it, scanning the words instantaneously. My body relaxed when Emmett's familiar heavy handed scrawl greeted me but that was short lived. One of the Royal family, Aro, the King's brother and ruling lord had been killed. He was found slaughtered in his own chambers with his head mutilated in a horrid but recognisable fashion. I recalled images of the early massacres of vampire civilians each with their head cut from their shoulders, their eyes stuffed into their mouths and their hair stuck on to their face with their own blood. It had only one meaning, it was an abundantly clear message from the wolves; it was time for war and battles.
I destroyed the note after I read the last sentence, the sentence I didn't want to see. I would of rather have ripped out my own eyeballs than have read the final words. They were waking the remaining two lords, King Carlisle and his son Prince Edward from their rejuvenation chambers. The Royals 'slept' and rested their minds and bodies the only way possible for vampires and primarily exclusive to noble blood. One would reign and the other two would regenerate allowing them to grow stronger. They are first drained of blood and venom meaning they can't heal out of unconsciousness then frozen in secret locations. It sounds like a morbid practice to the average vampire but I had seen the results of rejuvenation, they are stronger and more focused…and just as bloodthirsty. Now that Aro was dead, I understood they had no option but to wake the King and Prince no matter how much it killed me inside.
I ran indoors wasting no time. Self-destruct mode for me was imminent so I needed to send forward my reply before that occurred. I dug around my home office looking for a stamped envelope, I found one and scrawled the castle in Volterra's address on it with my brother's name as the intended recipient. I wouldn't send a letter, it was not necessary because the coin that held me to my oath would suffice. I bit into my left palm and squeezed the coin tight in my hand around the wound. Blood trickled from bite and coated the coin. Once the wound healed, I stuffed the coin into the envelope and then out into the mail box. The bloodied coin meant my oath was intact. I ran out of sight onto my property when I noticed the mailman round the corner, my letter would not take long to arrive in Volterra.
Not being able to control my influx of chaotic emotions I threw myself against a nearby tree, growling, screaming, and destroying everything in sight, anything to help the hurt I felt. I had no choice but to face him after all these years. No matter how I wished I could disappear and never return to Italy, my homeland.
I spent hours uprooting trees, smashing boulders and blooding my knuckles. Although they healed rather rapidly, the pain was enough and helped calm my erratic feelings about the journey I was required to make. I needed to depart quickly in order to arrive in Volterra in time for King Carlisle's and Prince…Edward's…awakening.