No One's POV
The castle in Volterra was stunning, the gothic style brick, marble and arches a sight to behold by any human or vampire. While many would assume it to be dark and foreboding, it was well lit, something Bella admittedly wished she could appreciate as she marched down the halls with trepidation, wedged between Alice and Edward, the Volturi Guard members, Jane and Felix escorting them.
On their journey to Volterra to rescue Edward, Alice had quickly filled Bella in on the rulers of the vampire world and the rules. Bella wished she didn't know, wished desperately that she was back home in Forks, Washington. In some cases ignorance was bliss. This was one of those cases despite the fact she was once more in Edward's arms.
"Jane, dear one, you've returned!" Aro cried in evident delight as the group pushes through to what is obviously some sort of throne room.
"Yes, Master." Jane smiled, her expression almost looking angelic and child-like. "I brought him back alive, just as you wished."
"Ah, Jane. You are such a comfort to me." Aro smiled again, before turning to see Alice and Bella.
"And Alice and Bella, too!" Aro rejoices, clapping his hands together. "This is a happy surprise! Wonderful!"
Aro then turns to Felix with a glance.
"Felix, be a dear and tell my brothers about our company. I am sure they wouldn't want to miss this." Aro commands.
"Yes, Master." Felix nods, before disappearing in a flash.
"You see, Edward? What did I tell you? Aren't you glad that I didn't give you want you wanted yesterday?" Aro asks, almost scolding.
"Yes, Aro, I am." Edward agrees, tightening his hold on Bella.
"I love a happy ending." Aro sighs in an almost fake, insincere way. "They are so rare. But I want the whole story. How did this happen? Alice? Your brother seemed to think you infallible, but apparently there was some mistake."
"Oh, I'm far from infallible." Alice flashes a smile, seemingly at ease, but Bella notes the clenching of a fist. "As you can see today, I cause problem as often as I cure them."
"You're too modest." Aro chided. "I've seen some of your more amazing exploits, and I must admit I've never observed anything like your talent. Wonderful!"
"I'm sorry, we haven't been introduced properly at all, have we? It's just that I feel like I know you already, and I tend to get ahead of myself. Your brother introduced us yesterday, in a peculiar way. You see, I share some of your brother's talent, only I am limited in a way that he is not." Aro said, almost envious.
"And also exponential more powerful." Edward adds. "Aro needs physical contact to hear your thoughts, but he hears much more than I do. You know I can only hear what's passing through your head in the moment. Aro hears every thought your mind has ever had."
"But to be able to hear from a distance…" Aro trails off. "That would be so convenient."
Suddenly the doors of the room open once more, Felix and two others entering.
Bella recalls the painting in Carlisle's study, the painting was now complete. These were the leaders of the Volturi, the unspoken kings of the vampires, that ruled with an iron fist. She was irrationally angry at the thought, couldn't they just let them go? They hadn't done anything wrong!
"Marcus, Caius, look!" Aro exclaims. "Bella is alive after all, and Alice is here with her! Isn't that wonderful?"
"Let us have the story." Aro announces, reaching his hand for Marcus. "Thank you, Marcus. That is quite interesting."
"Amazing. Absolutely amazing." Aro says, shaking his head as Marcus and Caius turn to walk to their thrones to sit, their personal guard following.
"Marcus sees relationships. He's surprised by the intensity of ours." Edward explains to Alice and Bella quickly.
"So convenient." Aro repeats. "It takes quite a bit to surprise Marcus, I can assure you."
"It's just so difficult to understand, even now." Aro muses, looking at Edward and Bella. "How can you stand so close to her like that?"
"It's not without effort." Edward answers calmly.
"But still – la tua cantante! What a waste!"
"I look at it more as a price." Edward answers dryly.
"A very high price."
"Opportunity cost." Edward shoots back.
"If I hadn't smelled her through your memories, I wouldn't have believed the call of anyone's blood could be so strong. I've never felt anything like it myself. Most of us would trade much for such a gift, and yet you…"
"Waste it." Edward snarks.
"Ah, how I miss my friend Carlisle! You remind me of him – only he was not so angry."
"Carlisle outshines me in many other ways as well."
"I certainly never thought to see Carlisle bested for self-control of all things, but you put him to shame." Aro compliments.
"Hardly." Edward says somewhat impatiently.
"I am gratified by his success." Aro muses. "Your memories of him are quite a gift for me, thought they astonish me exceedingly. I am surprised how it… pleases me, his success in this unorthodox path he's chosen. I expected that he would waste, weaken with time. I scoffed at his plan to find others who would share his peculiar vision. Yet, somehow I'm happy to be wrong."
"But your restraint!" Aro continues. "I did not know such strength was possible. To inure yourself against such a siren call, not just once but again and again – if I had not felt it myself, I would not have believed."
"Just remembering how she appeals to you…" Aro laughs child-like. "It makes me thirsty."
At that, Edward tenses.
"Don't be disturbed. I mean her no harm. But I am so curious, about one thing in particular." Aro turns, looking at Bella. "May I?"
"Ask her." Edward says flatly.
"Of course, how rude of me!" Aro exclaims. "Bella, I'm fascinated that you are the one exception to Edward's impressive talent – so very interested that such thing should occur. And I was wondering, since out talents are similar in many ways, if you would be so kind as to allow me to try – to see if you are an exception for me, as well?"
Bella looked up at Edward in terror, realizing that despite the politeness of Aro that she probably didn't have a choice.
Hand trembling, Bella raised her hand.
"So very interesting." Aro says, releasing Bella's hand.
"A first." Aro muses. "I wonder if she is immune to our other talents… Jane, dear?"
"No!" Edward snarls, Alice grabbing his arm in a restraining hand.
"Yes, Master?" Jane smiles happily.
"I was wondering, my dear one, if Bella is immune to you."
Jane suddenly turned towards Bella with a happy almost child-like, innocent smile.
"Don't!" Alice cries as Edward launches himself at Jane.
Before anyone could react Edward was on the ground, writhing in agony.
Meanwhile, elsewhere in the castle of Volterra, Anastasia was working on her homework, this term for her Master's degree had her drowning in work and wanting to scream and possibly throw her laptop out the window and burn all her textbooks.
"Afton." Anastasia calls, standing up and shoving her books away.
This was useless, she wasn't getting anything done. She needed a break or she was going to scream and murder something, preferably not her school, she actually wanted good grades.
"Yes, my Queen?" Afton asks, appearing in a moment.
"Let's take a walk." Anastasia says, stretching her back and neck before briskly setting off down the hall, winding through the passages towards the throne room.
"Yes, my Queen." Afton answers.
Several minutes later, Anastasia and Afton pass by Ginna.
"Ginna, where are my mates?" Anastasia asks, tapping her fingers light on the desk.
"They're in the throne room." Ginna answers promptly.
"Thanks Ginna." Anastasia answers, quickly spinning on her heels towards the throne room.
"Yes, my Queen but- they're in the middle of a sentencing-" Ginna sputters, scrambling after the Queen.
"It's fine Ginna." Anastasia waves her off, Afton following his Queen loyally.
Nearing the throne room doors, in another moment, Alec and Demetri stand before Anastasia.
"Our Queen." Demetri greets, his hand offering to push open the doors.
"Hello Demetri, Alec." Anastasia smiles.
"Do you wish to go in?" Alec asks, looking worried. "The Masters are holding a-"
"It's fine." Anastasia sighs, rolling her eyes.
Honestly everyone was always so worried about her. It was ridiculous. She was in Volterra, surrounded by vampires. It was hardly like she was going to get hurt. She was probably the most well protected human in the world.
Anastasia suddenly hears a girl shriek the word stop, a voice sounding strikingly like her sister.
"Who is here Alec?" Anastasia demands, her blue eyes suddenly darkening.
"The- the Cullens and-" Alec answers, looking nervous at his Queen's anger.
Anastasia throws open the throne room doors, practically thundering in, her guard quickly following in her wake.
The Masters would kill them without hesitation if any harm were to fall the Queen, no questions asked.
"Il mio amore." Aro stops short, surprised to see his mate walking into the throne room, especially so close to feeding time, for obvious reasons she stayed away.
Alice and Bella, are more than a little surprised at the intrusion upon the gathering, Edward would be too of course, but currently he was still held under Jane's power and writhing on the floor in agony.
Alice could hear the obvious heartbeat from one of the newcomers and Bella, though unable to full see the newcomer's features, could tell the importance of the woman as she was escorted and closed in by three of the Guard members of the Volturi.
"Don't il mio amore me, Aro." Anastasia snaps, shooting Aro a look as Marcus and Caius stand from their thrones wanting to greet their mate.
Suddenly it was if the Cullens and Bella didn't exist anymore.
"Jane." Anastasia recalls the younger vampire. "His whimpers are irritating me."
"Yes, my Queen." Jane bows, looking apologetic and immediately retracting her power.
"You're holding court without me. Are the Cullens here for judgement? Have they broken rules?" Anastasia asks, still faced away from the Cullens and her own sister.
"They have told a human about our existence." Caius answers with a hiss, Marcus and himself now having gravitated closer towards their mate.
"I'm human." Anastasia taps her foot, crossing her arms in front of her and rolling her eyes.
"That you are mia regina. But you are different. You are here in Volterra, with us." Aro answers, reaching for his mate's hand only to have it slapped away by Anastasia.
"No, I'm still mad at you." Anastasia snaps, irritated she wasn't informed of this.
Alec, Demetri, Afton and even Jane and Felix hold back a snicker at Aro's hurt look. Their Queen had a fiery temper, which everyone, all the Guard and even the Masters knew not to cross.
"Did you need something from us tesoro?" Marcus asks, reaching for his mate, this time Anastasia going willingly into his embrace, Aro sending Marcus a jealous look.
Typically the three soul brothers didn't mind sharing, the bonds they shared with their mate, shared equally. But in this case, Anastasia was upset with Aro, and he didn't like it.
"Nothing specific. I was just bored. School work is tiring. I wanted to throw my laptop out the window." Anastasia says ruefully, with a slight laugh.
"We shouldn't have that mio caro." Marcus says, running his nose along his mate's neck, inhaling the sweet and comforting smell of her.
Now that Edward wasn't in agonizing pain he tried to get a read on the human's mind, but similar to Bella's he couldn't. It was as if he was shielded or bounced off.
This of course was Afton's doing, which was why he was apart of her Guard. Since Anastasia had come to Volterra she had been working with Afton to strengthen his gift from being just a physical shield to a mental one as well.
"Now, about the court you are holding." Anastasia taps her foot again, pushing Marcus away from her neck, but allowing Marcus and Caius to lead her towards her own throne, the fourth one, that Bella hadn't even notice was there.
"Yes, what do we do with them now?" Aro sighs, turning back to face the Cullens and Bella.
"The law claims them." Caius hisses menacingly.
"How so?" Edward demands, tense.
"She knows too much. You have exposed our secrets." Caius explains almost bored.
"ANASTASIA!" Bella shrieks, finally catching sight of her older half-sister as she settles on her own seat, seated between what would be Aro's seat and Caius' throne.
"Hello Bella." Anastasia says calmly.
Well hello everyone!
Guess who's not doing her final project for one of her classes... Instead she's writing a new fan fiction... Ummm yeah... This girl.
Also, on another side now, I'm now officially obsessed with Twilight fan fictions surrounded a certain three Volturi kings... Help. Me.
Except, well there are very little stories out there or the ones written stopped being written like years ago... Sad day.
This story is going to be similar to my Saving Grace story, in the sense it will switch back and forth between how the romance began & present time.
Another note... I am still going on my other ones, just you know. Schools a bitch...
On that note, yeah, I should be going to do school right now. Wish me luck ya'll! Finals week is this coming week! Can you see the crazy yet? *desperate laughter*
il mio amore ~ my love
mia regina ~ my queen
tesoro ~ darling
mio caro ~ my darling