"Don't leave me Eli!" Chelsea squealed, pulling me into yet another tight hug, "Who else will I complain about Afton to?"
"I heard that," Afton interrupted from the other side of the room where he was playing a lonely game of chess by himself.
"If you're going to get offended by everything I say, don't listen," Chelsea retorted and squeezed me lightly once more.
"I'll only be in Alaska for a few days, chill," I beamed at her, "Aren't you guarding us at Bella's wedding in anyway?"
"Yes, but that's five whole days away," she groaned.
Corin, who happened to be a little shorter than both me and Chelsea, and even maybe Jane, shoved Chelsea out of the way and surrounded her arms around my waist, pulling me into a tight hug.
"Send me photos from Denali, Eli!"
She shot me a friendly smile and stepped back in order to allow me to breathe again. While I was bent over slightly with my hands on my knees to try and regain my breath, Renata leant over me and wrapped her arms around my shoulders.
"Me thinks it's going to get boring around here very fast without you livening things up," she sighed.
I patted her arm and straightened my back again. "Five days, you'll survive," I laughed under my breath.
The door to the guards' quarters dramatically burst open with a loud bang as the handle made contact harshly with the stone wall. Everyone's gazes snapped around to the door where Heidi was stood awkwardly in the doorway.
"Sorry, sorry," Heidi backed away slowly and threw her arms around me, "I have two things to say, one; I'm going to miss you Eli, send photos from Denali and the wedding, and two; Master Aro would like to see you in his quarters."
A hand lightly whacked me across the head. "'Mr Volturi will see you now'," Santiago teased.
"Shut up, Santiago, or I'll hug you like I've never hugged anyone before," I kicked him in the leg and he pretended to be in pain for a few seconds, hopping on one foot back across the room.
"See you later, El," Afton appeared beside me and patted me on the shoulder, "and remember, when you go to your mate's quarters, always be responsible and practise safe sex," he held his hands together and nodded with sarcastic sincerity.
"I swear to god, when I become a vampire and I can finally beat your ass, I will destr-"
"That's quite enough for now," Heidi placed a hand on my back and steered me away from Afton before I did anything I regretted to that man child.
"I'll miss you weirdos," I called as I stepped back out of the guards' quarters and down the usual stone staircase that connected it to the main corridor.
I didn't really have any proper reason to be travelling to Denali. In truth, I just needed to get away from the castle for a while, especially after the hectic month or two I'd just had. Also, I'd barely ever seen snow before from living in the UK where the closest you could get was about three millimetres, so I was beyond excited to make a snowman or whatever. I knew that whole coven was wary of the Volturi, understandably, but it didn't mean I couldn't have them as personal allies nonetheless.
Once I made it to Aro's quarters after successfully remembering the route through the dark, echoing halls, I let myself in as usual, having already given up on knocking. Inside, Aro was sat in his plush armchair at his desk going through paperwork with Marcus sat at another chair beside him. They both looked beyond bored and miserable, and it was honestly just a sad picture to see.
Aro glanced up at me from his desk and his face lit up. "Il mio amore, it is lovely to see you," he gestured me over with a finger.
I drew my eyebrows together and stepped around the desk to glance over his shoulder. "What are you doing?"
Marcus sighed. "Paperwork."
"Come now, brother, have a little more spirit," Aro grinned, placing his hands on my waist and sitting me on his lap as I let out a giggle, "Since you are now an adult and you are officially a permanent member of the coven," he glanced pointedly at the crest around my neck, "we thought it appropriate for you to assist in the management and ruling of the Volturi."
He picked up another stack of paperwork about two or three inches thick and dropped it in front of me on the desk with a loud thud. "These all need to be processed. Any direct correspondences are to be placed in the pile there," he pointed to a corner of the desk where a few letters addressed to him directly were stacked up, "any guard applications there," he pointed to the opposite corner of the desk, "and immortality forms need to be signed and placed in this tray," he pointed to a black wire tray at the middle of the desk.
I took the first piece of paper off the stack. "Immortality forms?" I asked him.
"After 1 year of immortality, once the newborn stage is complete, one of these are to be filled out. It contains key information on a vampire such as their height, weight, average speed, and any known abilities," Aro explained.
The first document I'd picked up was in fact an immortality form, one from some new coven based in India. I sighed at the stack placed in front of me, just the sight of it hurting my eyes. Only a few documents in and I was already bored out of my mind.
I dropped my head down so my forehead made contact with the wood table with a loud bang. "I'm bored."
Marcus chuckled and ducked his head to peer over at me through my hair. "Already?"
I nodded and picked up a blank piece of note paper from the desk, folding it into a paper aeroplane. "Where's Caius by the way?"
"Caius is currently hiring our new receptionist. He has very high standards, so the vast majority of applicants are turned down before he has even read their qualifications," Aro humoured.
"I hated the last receptionist. Maybe it was just my imagination, but I could've sworn she called me a whore once," I spat, sending the paper aeroplane flying across the room so that it landed beside Aro's TV cabinet.
"However, Jane found her to be quite an enjoyable dessert," he shrugged.
"Wouldn't usually say it, but that bitch deserved it," I picked up a pen and started drawing on Marcus' right hand.
Marcus paused from his stack of documents and looked down at his hand before glancing back up at me with his eyebrows furrowed. "What on earth do you think you are doing, tesoro?"
I placed down the pen I was holding and picked up a neon pink highlighter. "What does it look like I'm doing? I'm drawing on your hand," I giggled.
After adding the final finishing touches to my masterpiece, I placed the pen back down with a grin. "Ta-da, you like?"
"…um…" he trailed off, clearly confused at the neon pink heart I'd doodled on the back of his hand.
"You are simply lost for words, I know, I understand," I tapped his hand and nodded my head, "my masterpiece is a lot to take in. These emotions you are feeling may include; awe, shock, admiration, and a general sense of amazement."
Aro chuckled at me and turned me back around by my shoulders, gesturing to the remaining paperwork I had to sort through. "These documents will not process themselves, Little Miss Easily-Distracted."
I groaned and leant my head back onto his shoulder. "And I can't even call this child labour anymore."
Caius carefully helped me into the bath and I laid myself back against him, while the warm water surrounded my legs. "I missed you today," I sighed.
"You too, Eliana," he wrapped an arm around my waist, "I hear you were very little help with the paperwork."
"Very little? Aro, that tiny-"
"Were you of any help at all?" he raised an eyebrow sceptically.
I flicked some of the water at his face yet he barely flinched, only lightly scowling at me. "Yes, actually, I was plenty of help, thank you very much."
He hummed in disbelief, running his hand down the length of my body. "If you say so."
"How was your day then?" I asked him.
"Very uneventful, but productive. I believe I have found our new hires for receptionist," he responded.
"If a human worker so much as steps out of line, which they frequently do, they are instantly replaced, requiring me to have a list of approximately twenty hires to work through," he explained.
"How many humans around here are there then?"
"Many, including kitchen staff, the receptionist of course, cleaners, and general maintenance workers," he listed, "and, of course, you."
"Yes, me, your little resident human," I giggled, "serves very little purpose but tries in anyway."
"Your purpose is being the love of my life, and I can confirm that so far you are doing exceptionally," he pressed a kiss to my bare neck before pausing for a second, "Is there anything I can say that will persuade you to cancel your trip to Denali tomorrow?"
"Come on, don't be like that," I turned over onto my front while the water almost splashed out of the tub, "it'll be fine. Besides, didn't you say you're sending ten guards with me?"
"That is true, but regardless, the Denali coven are not exactly allies with the Volturi."
"But the Cullens consider them their cousins, and the Cullens are like family to me, so there's nothing to worry about, if anything I think of them as distant relatives," I rested my chin on his chest and ran my hand through his damp blonde locks.
"There is always something to worry about, especially when it comes to your safety, carissima," he insisted.
"I'll be totally safe, babe, the little guard army you're sending with me will make sure of it," I laughed, "Besides, I'll see you again at the wedding."
Caius growled. "The Cullens have been delaying that girl's transformation for too long, they only mock us with their delays."
"Caius, she's my best friend. This wedding will be fun if you just give it a chance, just promise me you won't make a scene or anything."
"As if I would do such a thing," he scoffed in incredulity.
"Mhm," I drew my eyebrows together, "anyway, Denali has snow!" I exclaimed.
"I am aware," he nodded, finding my excitement amusing, "and why is that so exciting?"
"The most snow I ever saw was maybe three inches when I was a toddler, sucks to be British I guess," I shrugged.
"In that case, you will almost certainly enjoy the winters here in Volterra."
I gasped and my eyes widened. "Does it snow?"
"It snows plenty," he chuckled at my enthusiasm.
I sighed happily, resting my cheek against his smooth chest. "I love snow."
He purred lightly and ran a hand through my hair. "Either way, I do not trust the Denali coven at all with your safety, carissima."
"Caius, I can make my own decisions, I'm not a child anymore," I reminded him.
An idea seemed to pop into his head as a mischievous smirk played on his lips and he pulled me up so my face was in line with his. "If you are not a child, then I can assume this is acceptable, no?" he crashed his lips against mine roughly, his hand running down the length of my spine as he held my warm body flush against his.
Author's note: I'm back again haha, I know I only finished Infinite Bliss a few days ago but I've just been so bored and itching to write this story. I just hope it lives up to your expectations and you enjoy reading as much as I do writing. Just want to say that as long as there I people reading my content, I will continue writing this whole story until the end.
Also, I know many were annoyed as fuck about Rafael, honestly same, but you'll see what I have planned for that little rat soon.
Anyway, I hope you enjoyed reading this chapter, be sure to leave some feedback, stay safe, and ily lots!