High above the streets of Paris, far from where the lights could reach, a young woman sat on a tree branch, her ruby eyes observing the Parisians below her, wishing to be as ignorant as they were. Bright blonde hair surrounded her shoulders in perfect curls, her ivory skin was without a blemish and her beauty appeared limitless.
While she would have oozed perfection, blood was smeared across her mouth and hands, reminders of a particularly gruesome kill. She hadn't meant to be as vicious as she was, but her nomadic lifestyle provided no company and she felt obligated to take her anger out on an unsuspecting woman roaming the alleyways, singing annoyingly loud for the red-eyed beauty's sensitive ears.
Deciding it was time to return to her home in Versailles, the young blonde jumped from her place in the tree, landing on her high heel clad feet. She began to hear running, knowing it was too loud to be a human's, and sighed, knowing he had found her. She turned one last time towards the city, hoping the lights would suddenly turn off, leaving a trail of darkness.
"I've been expecting you Carlisle," her voice rang through the woods, stopping the male vampire ten feet away from her.
Amusement was obvious as he spoke, "Did you think you could keep running?" She pondered his question, truly wondering if that's what she was doing. "We need your help Caterina," his voice was suddenly desperate. The emotion caused the female vampire to take a deep, albeit unnecessary, breath and turned on her heels to face her friend.
"With?" Her voice was calm and collected despite the only emotion running through her body was anger.
"The Volturi thinks we've committed a crime," Carlisle said, the plea for help becoming more daunting.
"Well, did you?" She asked, retaining her calm demeanor.
"Of course not!" The surprise in his voice caused Caterina to raise an eyebrow.
She sighed, turning towards the city again, "As much as I would love to help your family, you are aware of my terms with the Volturi, no?" At this he nodded, his head falling in defeat as she continued, "They have been looking for a reason to kill me since I left Carlisle, if they find you guilty of your supposed crime, I'll be the first to die."
"I understand," he gave her a tight-lipped smile and sped away. She shook her head, suddenly becoming very aware of how much blood was on her.
As soon as she returned to her house, she immediately felt a shift in the atmosphere, the comfort of her house disappearing and being replaced by unease. She knew if she ran, they'd catch her, thus, she mustered up as much confidence as she could and walked through the large oak doors. Upon entering, she was immediately restrained by Felix, but she remained calm, also knowing she could destroy him in a minute if the need arose. She noticed the smug looks of Demetri and Jane and rolled her eyes.
"Ah Caterina, how long it's been," Aro's child-like voice invaded her ears, almost causing a chill to run down her spine.
"That was intentional Aro," her eyes met his as Felix tightened his hold on her, though she refrained from showing discomfort.
"I hear the Cullens are recruiting conspirators as part of their ploy to take us down," Aro appeared to be looking for a reaction from the blonde. She did not give one so he continued to speak, "Were you one of their recruits?"
"I turned them down," she remained still, not wanting to give Felix another reason to tighten his grip. Wanting to make sure she was telling the truth, Aro took Caterina's hand in his own, his eyes glazing over as he saw the conversation had only moments ago.
"It appears she is telling the truth," Any hint of amusement had disappeared from Aro's voice as he signaled Felix to let go of the girl. The burly vampire pushed Caterina to the ground and the Volturi guard began to dissipate from the house. Aro took this as his chance to lean down to the young blonde, grabbed her jaw and whispered harshly, "Keep it this way and you might live." He let go of her, standing up straight and tutting at her, "Such a shame you left." After giving her one last eerie smile, he also left.
Hours after the guard had left Paris, maybe even left France entirely, Caterina stood in the shower, trying her hardest trying not to look at the bloody water flowing to the drain. She hid her red eyes behind her thin eyelids, wishing she wasn't about to make the dumbest decision in her existence.
It took less than five minutes to make herself appear presentable after drying her hair and, of course, curling it to her liking. Like any nomad, she decided to leave everything behind at the expense of a fresh start. She knew it was weird to show up at an airport without luggage, prompting Caterina to fill a small duffel bag with her most valuable items, relics from a time long before this.
As expected, Caterina received instant attention upon entering the airport, people gawking was not a new thing, not to her at least. She walked up to the flight desk, a charming smile immediately capturing the flight attendant's attention.
"Bonjour, j'ai besoin d'un billet d'avion pour Washington," the flight attendant nodded, her gawking not any less obvious as she listened to Caterina's fluent French. She shakily handed the blonde vampire a plane ticket, obviously nervous. Caterina grabbed the ticket from the flight attendant's dark hand, intentionally touching the warm hand with her own dead, cold one. The woman gasped as Caterina smiled, "Merci beaucoup."
The flight to Washington was no more interesting than her flight to Russia, or Tokyo, or anywhere for that matter. Caterina just knew she had something to look forward to in the evergreen state. She pretended to sleep for the entire duration of the flight, letting the internal thoughts of the passengers entertain her.
Upon exiting the airport, Caterina walked as humanly fast as she was able to the surrounding forest and then sped through it, hurrying to where she smelled an overwhelming amount of vampires. As she sped through the forest, she became even more entertained as large wolves began to chase her, snapping their large teeth at her. She knew they would never be able to catch her, though, she wanted to make the chase as fun for herself as possible. Caterina jumped onto a tree branch, continuing her run from there, hopping from branch to branch at an incomparable speed to the wolves. She spotted the opening in the trees where a large house stood, vampires quickly exiting at the sound of howls.
"Sorry boys, this is my stop, this was fun though," she blew a kiss at the large animals and swung from the last viable branch onto the soil where a large group of vampires in defensive positions stood.
When Carlisle noticed who it was, he put a hand up, signaling that it was safe. "She's a friend," he smiled at the blonde vampire as most of the other immortals became confused.
"Hello, I'm Caterina," Her greeting was mainly directed at the woman with long mahogany hair standing at Edward's side, a small child with curly hair matching the telepath hidden behind her.
"She helped me - most of us, actually - master our gifts," Edward smiled at Caterina, which she returned and held her hand out to his mate. "This is Bella, my wife," Edward said as Caterina shook the newborn's hand, "and this is our daughter, Renesmee." Caterina knelt down to the bronze-haired girl as she placed a warm hand on the blonde's cheek. Caterina saw an image of Bella as a human, obviously dying as she saw her daughter for the first time. The blonde gently gasped, causing Renesmee to remove her hand.
"She was born when Bella was human? You're the biological father?" Red eyes met gold as Caterina looked to Edward for answers. He only nodded and Caterina looked to the hybrid and smiled, "You are extraordinary." A blush rose on Renesmee's pale cheeks as she smiled widely.
"Do you have any gifts?" Bella asked as she grabbed her daughter's small hand.
"I have an imitation gift," the blonde replied. as she rose from her kneeling position. Seeing the confusion on the newborn's face, Caterina explained, "Once someone uses their gift on me, I am able to use it as my own."
"That's how she helped us master our gifts," Kate explained, "Before Cat, I had no idea how to use mine."
"Maybe she can help you master your shield," Eleazar suggested. Bella looked hopefully at Caterina.
"I'm sure it's better than Kate teaching you," Caterina grinned. The group shared laughter which was cut short by a thick Romanian accent.
"You have some nerve defending someone from the Volturi," Stefan's voice caused Caterina to roll her eyes.
"You have some nerve standing up to them considering such cowards you've been for 1,500 years," the blonde crossed her arms, red eyes glaring at the Romanians.
"You helped burn our village to the ground!" Vladimir shouted at Caterina. Bella instructed a russet-skinned man to take her daughter inside.
"You were enslaving and killing humans. You were a threat to our existence," Caterina remained calm while the European duo expected her to breakdown and apologize.
"You are a Volturi at heart, monsters never change," Vladimir spat at the blonde, attempting to intimidate her. Instead of backing away, she rolled her eyes and electrocuted him to the ground. Once she decided he had had enough, she knelt beside him.
"I left, I let go of the past. Hell, I'm here to defend a child from the Volturi. You're here for revenge in a large group because you know neither of you are strong enough to take them down by yourselves. You're cowards and cowards never change," Caterina stood up from her place on the ground and wiped the dirt off her knees.
"I'm very sorry you had to see that," Caterina apologized to the large group, "I didn't want to do it, but I had to."
"So you were, uh, part of the...Volturi?" Bella became nervous, Caterina understood. Who would want the enemy on their side? Though, Caterina knew she was no longer the enemy.
"Why don't we go inside, I can explain there." The group sped inside, some sitting, others standing. Carlisle knew he could trust his friend, even if his family and friends couldn't understand why.
Caterina stood at the center of the group, all eyes - red and gold - were focused on her. "I was born many years ago, turned when I was 16 by a nomad and taken to the Volturi. Once my gift was discovered, I was forced to train the newborns with gifts.
I left the guard in 1832 after I finally saw through the front of wanting to protect our identity. All the Volturi wants is complete control of the vampire world, and they'll stop at nothing to get it."
The vagueness of her explanation confused most of the room. Her naturally secretive persona caused tension and distrust to float in the room as a balloon would. The large group knew they would be forced to trust her if Carlisle could.
"Did they visit you after I made the proposal?" Carlisle's brows furrowed as he asked Caterina.
"Of course they did. Aro basically threatened my life if I were to join you and I figured no matter what 'crime' you've committed, you're scaring him and I wanted a part in that," a smirk appeared on her lips as she spoke.
No matter her intentions, the Cullens only knew they had a powerful weapon, although they definitely hoped the need wouldn't surface.