Beneath the Surface Summary: Alice Cullen's creator seeks out the delicate little vampire by order of Aro to bring his prize back to Italy, wishing to use her abilities for his own selfish gain.
While confined, Alice gradually begins to sympathize with Urien when she realizes the physical and mental trauma that Aro has put her creator through these long years while keeping him imprisoned. Alice desperately hopes that she can find a way to reach her creator before they both end up dead for refusing to comply with Aro's demands.
Beneath the Surface
THE dark evening sky above the scout's head reeled with ravens, the birds squawking their displeasure as the flock took flight to the dark skies, attempting to put as much distance between themselves and the encroaching black and purple thunderclouds as possible. The scout clad entirely in black stood stock still and unmoved, watching the skittering and the rustling of the birds, almost with a critical interest.
The movement seemed little more than the whisper of the sighing wind, the scout mused, narrowing his yellowed eyes as he returned his attention to the task before him. The air was laden with the bone-deep chill of the coming storm as the air was heady with the thick scent of an oncoming thunderstorm, which hadn't hit the town of Forks yet, but would do so soon.
Quicker than the mortals who lived here were expecting, though he'd not come to this cesspool that dared to call itself a town to feast on their life-force. Their intoxicating, thickened scents called to him, his throat screaming and hallowing for relief, the thick tang and metallic sweet taste of their blood pumping through their veins resonating with this vampire, this Dark creature from the depths of hell from whence he'd crawled a number of years ago, the humans would say if they all knew what he truly, really was.
They would be freaking. He almost let himself chuckle at that, but he did not allow. He felt nothing. That was the rule.
Nothing. He did not feel pain, or love, or fear. Only hunger, and an insatiable desire to carry out his task at hand and ensure his target was brought back to his master alive and relatively unharmed.
The one his master had been after for years. She truly was a true prize to be won indeed.
His master was an aristocratic vampire with a literal empire of victims to suck blood from. He had no use for personal reflection and so in the mirror, his master saw none. His life's purpose was empty, save for feeding, greed, domination, and of course, lust.
Were Aro to see the most perfect of roses, he himself would only find purpose in the sharp thorns.
The scout felt his anger jump a little at the thought of Aro being presented with such a delectable prize.
He felt the urge to kill pump through his veins. It chafed him, no, it vexed him, the thought of Aro being given the better prize.
He curled his bone-white hands into fists at his side until his knuckles were tight and almost translucent hued.
Aro's scout followed his target, having spotted their silhouette duck down a nearby alleyway, seeming to take a shortcut, which he thought odd, as he recollected Master saying something once about how this one preferred to drive, so why she was walking remained a mystery to him.
But not for much longer.
As a fellow creature of darkness for which he too was scorned, just as she were, just as they all were, he caught up to her relatively quickly.
He was at first amused, and then annoyed when the petite, dark-haired delicate little slip of a thing did not turn round.
She appeared to be fumbling through her purse for something and grumbling a series of a few choice words under her breath that, coming from her, did not sound at all right wafting from her sweet voice and to his eardrums.
His eyes made a quick scan of his delectable prize. The scout's tongue flicked out and ran over his lips, as if to taste the girl's sweetness.
Seeing no need to drag this out any longer, lest he arouse suspicion by both their kind, wolves, and the humans, the scout let out an exasperated sigh and calmly strode forward, closing off the gap of space between the ebony-haired woman and himself in two quick strides, and tapped the woman on her shoulder.
A yelp left her throat as the dark-haired beauty turned and looked at the source, her eyes widening in shock and alarm.
When her eyes landed on him, she harbored such a look of intense confusion as her thin eyebrows knitted together in a look of quandary, as at first, she couldn't quite process the information now.
Her mouth went dry, and she felt as if her chest caved in terror as the feeling seized her entire body. His body looked taller and stronger in his black leather coat than it ever had in his white lab coat back in the mental institution.
"You…" she whispered, the sound emitting from the back of her throat as a meek, faint rasp that did not at all sound like the lovely voice he'd once heard.
"Me," he answered calmly in what he hoped was a nonchalant way as he shoved his hands in the pockets of his black leather jacket and shot her a smile, revealing a pair of incredibly sharp incisors. He licked his lips to moisten them and let out a contented sigh. "Aren't you going to greet an old friend, darling? It's quite rude, you know, not to say hello after all this time..."
His target swallowed down past a lump in her throat as it hallowed and constricted, rendering her chest feeling tight. Even all those years ago, she had never been able to fully appreciate the sheer terror his victims must have felt before they died, or they turned.
Now she could, having encountered a face again for the second time in her life, one whom she never thought she would see again, not in her lifetimes, at least.
When he took a step forward, she stumbled backward and collided against the cold stone of the brick wall of the building behind her, the little one realized that he had more or less cornered her. She could flee, yes, she had the speed, and agility on her side, she knew it too as her eyes darted wildly to the left and right, looking for a means of escape.
But she would find none as he approached her calmly. His actions were always controlled, Aro's scout never rushed. He never ran, never rushed himself. Even if things ever went horribly wrong, he always remained unaffected, because he felt nothing.
His target felt tears prick at the edges of her eyes as he approached her even closer, closing off the gap of space and she waited. She wasn't even going to think about rabbiting off, no matter how fast her speed was.
He was faster. She knew this. Of course, she knew. She knew her chances of escaping were slim to none. He'd catch her before she could even bolt two feet. He could snap her in half like a twig if he were of a mind to, but something told her he did not want it.
She could see it in the glistening un-shed moisture of his eyes, how conflicted and agonized he was over this decision of his.
His right arm rose up over her, and his target put her hands up and cowered down instantly. She supposed some would think it ironic that she was about to be murdered by the very one who had saved her life years ago, considering how much of her life she had spent trying to find him during her down time, but this was a creature who didn't want to be found. But now, it would seem, he'd sought her out.
To her, it still felt like a horrible betrayal of some sort. She was no doubt ridiculous to feel betrayed by this one in the back of an alleyway, this vampire owed her nothing special, but she had tried too hard to reach him, to find him again.
She'd tried so hard to understand and now, he was going to kill her again. And then it would make her just like everyone else.
"Wait!" she pleaded, when he suddenly jerked his fist down, and upon hearing the startled cry that erupted from her lips, the taller, paler vampire froze. She squeezed her eyes tightly shut and waited for the inevitable feeling of his claws sinking into her flesh, for the grotesque feeling of her head being removed from her body, but a beheading didn't come.
When she recovered some of her initial courage, she peeked one eyelid open and looked up at her former friend, one whom she'd once found solace in. The one who had saved her life.
"Urien?" she whispered, her voice carrying a faint pleading lilt.
The other male vampire stared down blankly at her, but she could see his eyes. Like hers. Golden amber with flecks of brown at the edges, the only hint of their former lives that even resembled a shred of normal humanity. Though listless, unlike hers.
They had the look she used to attribute to him trying to make up his mind on something.
The last time she had seen this look was on the night of her Turning, shortly before he'd bitten her, in order to save her life from James. He'd agonized over the decision for several days prior.
"Urien?" she asked again, hardly daring to believe it was really him, her voice much softer this time and to her utter amazement, he slowly dropped his hand, and looked down a crooked nose to look at her.
She looked up at her former friend and something of a first father figure to her, her only friend that she'd had while being locked away in that desolate, wretched asylum for years after her family wanted nothing more to do with her, calling her precognitive gifts and abilities 'unholy', and they would not tolerate a 'witch' in the family. They'd cast her aside.
Alice swallowed a lump in her throat as she looked at the centuries-old vampire with no small amount of trepidation and caution in her glistening irises. She didn't admittedly know how to go about this, and sorely wished she had asked her mate to come with her tonight, though there had been a part of her that just wanted to shop alone.
Not that she'd done much of that. She'd curled up in the local bookstore and coffee shop with a cup of coffee, pretending to drink it, all the while reading the latest copy of a thriller series she was hooked into, not expecting that her walk home would have resulted in this little meeting.
His target flinched when he slowly brought up his right hand and hovered his fingertips over her cheek bone. She could feel his ice-cold pads of his fingers on her face, though he never so much as laid a hand on her. It was like an electrical current that sent spasms all throughout her body, causing her stomach to churn. As she watched him, she felt a swell of happiness rush up inside of her. He had found her!
After all these years of her looking for him, he had sought her out, and he wasn't going to kill her, after all. She had thought that, perhaps he had sent him here, if Aro had managed to find Urien and get to him.
Maybe, just maybe, he had managed to form some type of attachment to her, that still lingered, even after all this time, but that still did not explain to the petite dark-haired vampire why he was here, or why they'd not moved away from the alley.
In that moment, she felt that everything she had done in her life, was worth it. She'd done the impossible. If only she knew what sort of attachment Urien had formed. If he still thought of her like one of his own daughters, though she recollected him at the time saying that he'd had none, otherwise he'd not have been imprisoned at the time, same as she was.
But then a thought occurred to her, one that rendered her even feeling more confused. A surge of uncomfortable heat spiraled within her chest, which was almost unbearable, considering how cold she normally felt most of the time. An occupational hazard of being a creature of the damned from Hell's gates, yes.
One of the reasons why she always favored sweaters and cardigans no matter the seasons, even in the spring and summer months. She was always bloody cold. Though right now, however, she knew her coldness had nothing to do with her regular body temperatures, and everything to do with Urien's presence standing in front of her in this moment.
"Why?" It was all she could ask. She did not think she needed to elaborate. She knew he understood. Why, she was asking him, as their gazes locked and held a private conversation of their own, was he here?
You know why, dear, he communicated in their shared impossible telepathy.
Did he...? She asked, her eyes growing wide and round with fear as her lips parted open in shock.
Aro sent me, Alice. I'm…sorry, that it has to be this way. Truly I am.
Her surge of temporary triumph quickly began to fade as she watched him raise his curled fist again, but before his target could feel the inevitable terror that would soon flood through her entire system, he jerked his hand down, the crushing force delivering a painful blow.
Her vision blurred and went black at the edges, and fell forward, landing completely unconscious at his boots. Though vampires did not sleep, they could still be rendered unconscious, provided enough of an injury had been dealt them.
The kidnapping of Alice Cullen was over in a second. One minute the two had been standing unobserved in an alleyway under cover of darkness. And then the next, Urien had lifted the smaller vampire's unconscious form in his arms and fled.
And then the two vampires were gone. Vanished. As if they had never been there in the very first place.
He carried her swift, strong, and sure, into his abandoned warehouse on the outskirts of Forks, sort of a safe-house, a base camp for him until he could return to Italy on the morrow, but for tonight, he would lay in wake and wait for Mrs. Cullen to regain consciousness.
Urien's frown deepened into a gesture that created lines upon his otherwise smooth forehead and a deep groove near the edges of his mouth as his lips turned down into a disapproving frown. His inquisitive gaze traveled to the simple white gold wedding band she wore on her finger. The delicate little piece of jewelry was exquisite and speckled with tiny diamonds within the band itself.
Strange, he thought to himself, biting at the wall of his cheek.
What he knew of Alice, these days, at least, she favored materialistic things. Clothing, and the like. He would have thought, considering money in their lives was no objection, that she'd have opted for something flashier, but that was the not the case.
It was most peculiar, but no sooner than did the thought flit across his frazzled mind did he dismiss it as something of the utmost irrelevance to bringing her here. He'd not brought her here to ogle that ring.
Frustrated, he slid against the wall and allowed himself to slide to the floor, emanating a tense exhale through his flaring nostrils, raking his fingers though his thick tuft of salt and pepper gray hair, that no matter what he tended to do to it, had a mind of its own. Urien scowled, his features twisting into a pained grimace that made the centuries-old vampire look even more menacing than he already was.
The flickering shadows cast about this way and that from the few candles that he had lit to spread their warmth and light throughout the room, forsaking the usage of the overhead ceiling fan's light fixture, not wishing to be discovered, did very little to illuminate his features, but if you were to look closer, you would see that within this older vampire's irises, glistened a moisture, that was not exactly tears, per se, but yet something flickered within his gold, flashing irises.
Though what that emotions or those feelings might be as he looked upon his former friend, only he knew.
He let out a tired sigh and looked around the room briefly, though nothing here was of little interest to him, save for the stirring form of the vampire resting on the mattress of the bedroom he had made up for himself upon coming to Forks a few weeks ago to study Mrs. Cullen's movements, monitor her behavior, and wait for the opportune moment to get his former friend and acquaintance alone by herself.
It was quiet. Too quiet. There was a flash, a creaking. There was…something lurking in the shadows. An evil that no other vampire but him could see. A monster that tormented the people of Italy.
Urien knew what he was. He knew all too well. It sought out the weak, monsters like him, so easily swayed by the darkness in their own hearts, like this younger vampire now curled into a fetal position and made itself a cozy home inside of her fragile head.
Perhaps that was why he'd liked Alice so much. At the thought of his lovely Alice, his frown ceased, and he felt the beginnings of a soft smile spread onto his emaciated face that did not make his gaunt, sunken-in cheekbones look quite so prominent and terrifying.
But even now, as he gazed at sweet, lovely Alice, the older vampire could feel it. Raging inside of him.
Just underneath the surface. Just loud enough for him to hear it, and just now, in the alleyway when he'd finally spotted Alice Cullen and got her alone, Urien had caught a reflection of his image in a nearby shop window before she'd ducked behind the building. Staring straight back at him. Watching him through his golden irises. Seeing everything he saw.
It was waiting for Urien, hoping the older vampire would let his guard down, knowing that sooner or later, he would change irrevocably, because of Aro. Aro and his influences, his tortures, his methods, had turned him, made him into even more a savage.
He shuddered and squeezed his eyes shut, unwilling to think of thoughts of Master for now. And then as the seconds turned to minutes, and the minutes became hours as they slowly passed, this monster began to look more like him. He knew what he was, but for some reason, this one never saw him as such. Even after the fact, he had a sense that Alice harbored no such resentment for him Turning her.
"Not you, little dove," he whispered throatily,
And then she stirred, her eyelids fluttering sweetly, a muted noise at the back of her throat that sounded like a half-choked sob—
"Oh, dear me, I think I woke you up, sweet thing. I guess our lives together are starting sooner than expected," he whispered, though he could not quite quell the excitement growing in his chest, spreading as an incredible fiery heat that began in the pit of his stomach and spread to other places.
Her eyelids fluttered open, and the barely inaudible gasp he heard Aro's delectable prize give off was very much real.
"Good," he crooned, scooting a little bit closer. "I was beginning to think, perhaps I had hit you a little too hard," he crooned, to which she glared at him, though she was favoring silence as the only response. "Glad to see you're awake."
Though again, she made no comments. Perhaps he'd hit her too hard. Urien furrowed his brows into a frown as he regarded Alice Cullen. Urien bit the inside wall of his cheek as he could have sworn he could Alice Cullen whimper as she backed away as he slowly advanced towards her.
"Are you afraid, little dove?"
The vampire must not have anticipated the sincerity in his question, for she blinked owlishly and did not answer him. Finally, she gave a curt little nod, to which Urien sighed.
Good. The briefest admission of fear. It would do.
"You should be…Alice. Because we're going home."
My first Twilight fic. I know, I know, long over-due and I don't know how active the fandom still is. I didn't like Bella much as a character when I read the books years ago, but I loved Alice/Jasper, and always wanted more of them, so this is me doing a little wish fulfillment from my teenage years. Anyways, I hope it doesn't suck! Please leave a fave or review or a comment below for suggestions on how to improve.