There is nothing I detested more than these ridiculous gowns. I didn't know why my father insisted that the women of our coven must dress like it was the early eighteenth century. Pristine white stockings, blue lace garter ties around my upper thighs. A tight bra-like top was tied neatly around me, threaded to close in the front with marching blue ribbon. It keeps my breasts pressed firmly to my body. Giving me a flat-chested appearance. Much to father's approval. A plain petticoat to cover most of my legs, with a bum roll to lift the back of my gown slightly. It at the very least tricked the eyes of those who looked in my direction. It gave the appearance that my body had more of a curve then I truly was blessed with. My dress was a soft blue color with a length that nearly reached my ankles. A sheer, flowered scarf hung just around my arms. It was annoying to walk around like this. I felt like a fool. Especially with the frilly bonnet at the top of my head.
I spent the better part of the day locked away in my chambers, waited on hand and foot by delusional idiots. I desperately wanted to escape the four walls of this estate and get a taste of what the outside world had to offer. But that wasn't likely ever going to happen. I would be bored and alone for the rest of my life. I might as well get used to it. And eternity was a pretty long time.
For the evening, I decided to sit in the study. It was a small private room, the only room with a window. It was where my father kept all his books and journeys of his exploits. I took a seat at the nicely polished desk, flipping open a thick book, it dated back to 1340 B.C. The setting was Greece. The Greek language wasn't hard to translate, although I found the text melodramatic and tedious. But the book wasn't what I was interested in. It was the faint glimpse of life outside the window.
My eyes stayed glued to the glass, random flashes of light appeared through the sky. Brilliant. A full array of different colors and textures. I could hear strange crackles and pops as these lights danced through the air. Today there was a celebration in the city. Residents lined the streets in decorative clothing and masks.
Without realizing it, I found myself getting up and wandering over to the window. My hands rested against the glass for a moment. A lump formed in my throat as I watched the people below.
What I would give, to meet someone.
Gently I pushed the window upwards, allowing just a crack of air to roll in. The window made a low creaking sound, which made me freeze. I swallowed hard for a moment and waited for someone to hear it and respond. But no one came.
The breeze felt nice against my skin, but the uncomfortable scent of blood lingered in the air as well. I would endure it. Any amount of pain would be worth this.
"Isabella, what in the world are you doing?" A concerned voice called out from behind me. I knew better than to turn around. I recognized the voice. I had nothing to fear. This intruder wouldn't bring harm to me. My mother, Sulpicia.
"Just watching the show, Sulp-mother" I kept my eyes on the crowds.
She huffed, slinking over to me, before closing the window and drawing the shade down, ending my entertainment for the night. She took my hands and guided me out of the room. She kept an unfriendly look on her face. "Do you know the kind of trouble we would both be in, if your father found out about this little stunt?"
I rolled my eyes, but remained quiet. It was pointless arguing with her. She always thinks that she is right. She always thinks that she knows what's best for me. But I'd never acknowledge her. After all, she wasn't my real mother. She was just a sloppy replacement. My old human memories were buried deeply, but I still remembered my biological mother's face. And the warm relationship she had with my father. Before everything was ruined.
"Well, what do you have to say for yourself?" She chastised.
I lifted my chin, meeting her blood red eyes with contempt. "I'd rather die, then be forced to hide up in this tower a second longer."
Without warning Sulpicia whipped her hand harshly against my cheek. Not hard enough to cause pain, but enough to get my attention. She might have been using all her strength, it didn't matter. I had many more years existing in this world than her. In short, I was stronger and she already knew that. She knew there was nothing she could do to me, that was a threat.
She shrank back from me, as if realizing her mistake. She dropped her hands to her sides. Panic clouded her soft features. "I-I-I," She stuttered.
The door to the stop came open swiftly, revealing an extremely angry looking Caius. His eyes darted between the two of us. I could see the wheels turning in his mind as he tried to make an assumption of what had just happened.
"Nothing to worry about," I replied, folding my arms across my chest.
Caius raised a single brow, keeping his expression guarded. "I heard someone getting hit." I noticed Sulpicia take another step back, her petite frame tense. She knew that she made a costly mistake. Caius didn't drop by often, but when he decided to guard the tower - mostly when he wanted to spend time with his wife, Athendora, he took things extremely serious.
"It was me. I hit her." I said, shrugging my shoulders.
Caius snorted, a slight smirk coming to his face. "I don't think your father would appreciate that kind of behavior from a princess."
I'm not a princess. I'm closer to a prisoner of war.
To keep up appearances, I brought out my best acting skills. "Oh please don't breathe a word to him. I just lost my temper. You understand don't you?" I moved closer to him, gently tugging on his sleeve. A long time ago, my father had Corin create a special connection between me and the others that are affiliated with this coven. Each is unique depending on the person, to fill the void of family that I was lacking. Caius was like a protective uncle to me. He spoiled me rotten. His cold and aggressive demeanor was reserved for everyone else, except for me and of course Athendora.
Caius lightly stroked my cheek, the very one Sulpicia had struck. Softness entered his crimson eyes. "Of course, child, I won't say anything. But please do try to contain that anger. It will be of better use for your sparring lessons." He let his hand fall from my face, before giving Sulpicia a hard look. "Shouldn't you be in your room for the evening, they will be bringing dinner around shortly." His warm voice had melted away to his usual displeased tone.
"I was just checking on my daughter, as a good mother should. I'll be returning to my room shortly." Sulpicia responded. It appears that she collected herself. The anxiety and panic was no longer in sight. But the shifting of her hands, as they rubbed the material of her gown, suggested that she was still on edge.
If I wouldn't have lied, she would have been punished severely. No one is permitted to harm me, in any way. Even an attempt would call for immediate death. I'm not sure if my father had the heart to kill her. But he could be unpredictable at times. We have lost several guard members over the past few years, just for merely staring in my direction for longer than allowed.
"Very well, I'll be just on the other side of the tower, if either one of you needs me." He replied, before turning on his heels and leaving the room.
Sulpicia and I stood there for a moment. She nodded a silent thank you in my direction. Of course we couldn't speak out loud. There were a lot of ears in this tower. If we wanted to fool everyone, we had to remain quiet.
"As I was saying, I'll leave you to your study, but only for five minutes. Then off to your room. Like Caius said. They will be serving us soon." She commented with a serious look in my direction, before she left as well.
I felt a smile tug at my lips as I returned to the window. She actually gave me permission to snoop out the window. That was something Sulpicia never let me do before. I guess she appreciated the fact that I didn't tell on her, to Caius.
Unfortunately, I wouldn't risk anything by opening the window again. Just being able to watch the humans dancing around and have a good time, was enough for now. I could hear the music playing through the streets. It was uplifting and cheerful. I could smell human foods roasting, which wasn't the most appetizing aroma, but the people seemed to enjoy it. There were so many different kinds of people. Young, old, tall and short, skinny and portly. Maybe we were more alike, than my father cares to admit.
My five minutes were nearly up, when I spotted someone in the crowd that grabbed my attention completely. The most handsome man that I ever laid eyes on. Bronze hair, tousled in a crazy state of disarray. His skin was fine ivorcy, with a body that left me breathless. But what really had me frozen in this spot was his eyes. A strange golden color. Something unnatural. Not like the humans, with eyes that were blue, or green, most commonly brown. His were almost yellow, a burnt topaz. The way he weaved through the crowd, without anyone noticing him, along with the speed and accuracy. He had to be a vampire. But… those eyes had my head spinning for answers.
Reluctantly I ripped myself from the window, as I heard the wheels of the dinner cart rolling down the hallway. I jetted out of the study and made my way up the spiraling staircase, to the room furthest to the top of the tower. This entire first floor was mine. Only I was permitted up here. Any guards or visitors had to remain at the bottom of the staircase to speak with me. The only exception was when one of the guards brought the meals.
This top floor had all the basic necessities to entertain someone. A room filled with different instruments - I've mastered each of them, in just an afternoon. A small space used as an art workshop. It had everything for painting, sculpting, woodworking and gardening. I spent most of my time in that room. Mostly working with pottery and clay. I found it relaxing and inspiring to create something with my own hands, that wouldn't have existed, if it wasn't for me. There was something beautiful about that. Although at times, it only reminded me of my unless ability. The same ability that was the cause of my imprisonment here.
There was a kitchen, stocked with as much blood as I could possibly drink. And recently, my father added a bedroom up here for me, with the remaining space. It was something I've read about in a book. Humans had to sleep, usually at night. And they would lay in bed to do so. I wanted to try it out for myself. I knew that I wouldn't be able to sleep. But maybe the act of trying would make me feel something. I've tried many times, lying in the bed, closing my eyes and turning my mind off. But I always ended up back in the workshop, creating something, keeping myself busy. It was the only way to remain sane.
I lingered at the door to this floor, listening to each heavy footstep as someone climbed the long stairs. I recognized the scent of the person who had brought my meal up today. A smile came to my face as he lightly tapped on the door.
"Enter," I said softly.
Slowly the door pushed open, revealing Felix. His dashing smile was always a joy to see. He wasn't like the others. He would share his outside experiences with me, every chance he got. At times he would bring me back a flower, picked from the forested area, miles away from the city. Or a unique rock he found while walking down the busy streets. He always had a story to share.
"Nice to see you miss princess," He bowed his head in a teasing manner, before handing over a wine bottle, filled to the brim with fresh human blood.
I rolled my eyes, pulling the cork from the bottle. "Would you care to stick around and have dinner with me?" I asked inching myself in his direction.
His eyes roamed my body openly, a smirk coming to his lips, but I could see him restraining himself. "As tempting as that sounds, your father wants me to make an appearance at this big meeting this evening."
I pouted, lightly taking a gulp of the deliciously warm blood. I let it sit in my throat for a while, relishing the cooling effect it had on my blistering hot venom that chewed the inside of my throat. "Another meeting, can't you skip out on this one?"
"Afraid not, this one is a pretty big deal."
I sighed. "I guess it can't be helped, but before you go. I have a question."
Felix leaned down, watching me with interest. His hand went out to lightly move a few strands of hair from my face. "What do you want to know?"
"Is it possible for vampires to have gold eyes?"
Felix tensed, standing straight now. His shoulders tense. "Did you see someone like that?" He eyed me warily and shook his head. Communicating to me, to watch how I reply.
"No, just something I read in one of my father's books." I lied smoothly.
"I couldn't say, one way or the other." Felix commented, but nodded his head, silently telling me that yes, it was a possibility. The news excited me more than I liked to admit. The thought of getting to meet a vampire like that… It would be amazing. Thrilling. I just had to meet that mysterious man.
I mouthed him a thank you.
"Well I won't keep you from your obligations. Might you be guarding the tower tonight?" I hoped that he didn't notice how eager I was. How much I yearned for him to be the one here tonight. My one and only person, that could bring the outside world right here inside these stone walls.
His smile returned. "Actually yes, I will be guarding the tower tonight, like I do every Friday night."
So today is Friday, another useful bit of information. Days all seem to blend together after a while. I lose track of what day it is at times. Felix knew me well. We whispered some tender goodbyes, before he departed. And just like that, I was alone again. The isolation felt even worse now. But the excitement of knowing he would return with more information about the outside world was enough to keep my spirits up.
I paced around my room, taking dainty sips out of my glass of blood. I savored every drop and let my mind wander.
Edward's Point of View
I detested being anywhere near the Volturi. I was only here to support Rosalie. After begging me for weeks, I finally allowed myself to travel with her and the rest of the family, to meet with Aro. Of course this came as a big surprise to Aro. But he relented. He had no idea why we were here. But just the sight of him, sitting on his throne, with that ridiculously enthusiastic expression, disgusted me. Marcus and Caius sat at both sides of him. While Jane, Alec and Felix lingered behind us, blocking us from the exit. They wouldn't permit us to leave, until Aro was finished with us.
This was a risky situation that we had put ourselves in. But it was for Rose. I had to keep reminding myself that. Although, I wasn't close to her, in any way. She was family, like it or not. Plus I knew this would mean a lot to Emmett as well.
Carlisle stood in front of us, Esme at his side, their hands interlocked. I could read the stress and worry in Esme's thoughts. She hasn't been face to face with Aro, ever. It was something Carlisle never wanted. Alice and Jasper were next to me, Alice was constantly searching the future, analyzing all possibilities. Jasper kept the mood light amongst us. If he hadn't. I'm sure we would be just as tense as the guard, watching us. Emmett and Rose stood right behind Carlisle, waiting to approach Aro. They are the ones that had the request.
I increased my field of detection, listening in to the others in the room. Marcus was still savoring the last remnants of his meal. It brought an extremely uncomfortable burn to my throat. I instinctively held my breath. Caius was distracted for once, his thoughts were surrounding his wife and their intimate times they shared today. However, the most concerning was Aro. He thought of different ways to convince Alice and I to stay and join his wretched coven. It wasn't going to happen.
"Carlisle, it's so good to see you and your coven, it's been far too long." Aro's pleasantries had no effect on anyone. We saw right through him.
"It has been much too long, old friend, although we haven't come to catch up." Carlisle said with kindness.
Aro raised his brows, eagerly looking at each of us. "Then please inform us, what brings this surprise meeting request."
"Rumors have been surfacing, that you have someone in this coven, with the ability to turn a vampire back into a human." Carlisle replied.
His words set an uproar of aggression. The guard was now closer, in protective stances, ready to kill on demand. Felix appeared the most hostile. His hand was placed on my shoulder, planting me down hard in my place. My feet broke down through the marble floors. He had me pinned. There was no way I could get away from him.
"Ridiculous," Marcus muttered, looking away from all of us. A frown came to his face. Which was a rare sight. Marcus never shows any forms of emotion.
Caius stood from his seat, glaring murderous at us. "The nerve of you Cullens, barging in here, demanding answers."
Rose quickly moved to stand before Aro, she dropped to her knees in desperation. "Please, if a person like that exists here, please, allow them to cure me."
Emmett quickly went to Rose's side, placing his hands on her shoulders. Alec appeared behind them as well, both hands open, waiting for Aro's orders to use his abilities.
"Now, now, let's all take a breath here, we don't want to jump to anything unnecessary." Aro said, his smile now strained. I could hear him grinding his teeth together as he continued to hold his fake mask of peace and acceptance. His thoughts sounded much different. He was ready to execute us all.
"We meant no offense," Carlisle spoke up tensely. "This has been something Rosalie has wanted for a very long time. And I promised to make it up to her. If there was a possibility for me to undo the damage I've caused her, I will do it. That's why we are here. For redemption."
Aro's thoughts turned dark for a moment, as images of Carlisle entered his mind, being bound in the dungeons of the castle. But another face entered his thoughts. A beautiful young woman. With mahogany hair with rosey red eyes. There was something deep inside of my chest that stirred as her image was now in my head.
"There may be someone that could potentially have a gift like that, however, can you imagine the danger that certain person would be in, if the entire world knew of their existence?" Aro said with a raised brow. "Where exactly did you hear this rumor?"
"We had come in contact with a human, by the name of Trent. He claimed that he used to be on your guard. But your daughter used her abilities to turn him back into a human." Rose said quickly, meeting Aro's gaze with determination.
Aro flinched, growing more disturbed, but suddenly a smile came to his face. He seemed to relax almost instantly as more of his guard entered the room. Plans of attack were forming in his mind. He wasn't about to let anyone leave this room alive.
"Fascinating, I truly thought we had eliminated all of those who my daughter had honed her abilities on. It's a shame that one managed to get away." He turned his eyes to Jane now. "After this little meeting, I expect you to take care of that."
Jane bowed, without making a comment. She was eager to please, that was obvious.
"So it's true? You have a daughter, that can make me human again?" Rose stuttered, getting back to her feet. Emmett grabbed her, to keep her in place. He kept his eyes on the heavy-hitters in the room. Felix and Jane being the ones to look out for the most. Alec's abilities were unnerving as well.
Aro nodded. "Yes, although I was hoping the world would never learn this secret. Isabella is my biological daughter and does have the ability to turn vampires into humans. Although her abilities are still limited at the time. She is learning."
Again Aro's thoughts returned to the beautiful woman. I had to assume that she was his daughter that he was thinking about. The others were more surprised by the fact that Aro had a biological daughter. It wasn't exactly common. Felix's hold on my shoulder tightened.
His thoughts were full of devotion for Isabella. The way that he thought of her, like she was the most important thing in the world to him. It brought a pinch of envy to me. I shrugged off the feeling.
"We would never tell anyone about her, your secret is safe amongst this family. You have our word." Carlisle said quickly catching on to the direction of Aro's thoughts.
"How could we possibly no for sure? You all are too much of a liability. We can't risk Isabella's safety. Nor would granting their request be wise." Caius sneered.
Alice spoke up now, for the first time. "I could prove it. I can show you the future. We never break your trust. We keep her existence a secret." She takes a couple steps forward, but Jasper holds her back. Not wanting her too far away from him.
Aro's eyes brighten, nodding his head to allow Alice permission to approach.
We all watched anxiously as Alice walked over. She places her hand in his and for a moment the room falls silent. Aro's eyes dance with joy. A full five minutes pass. I quietly watch the vision that Alice shows him.
It's his daughter, alone in a tower. A sad look on her face as she watches out a small window, to a world she never gets a chance to experience. She is safe and unknown to the entire outside world. It's everything Aro wants. He doesn't want her abilities to fall into the wrong hands. With a power like that, the entire Volturi could be eliminated. She could make each and everyone one of them human, powerless.
She sounded like an interesting woman. I felt a burning urge to find her and set her free. A delicate bird, caged from the skies. It was cruel. She deserved to fly. She deserved to be happy.
"Well, maybe we can come to some kind of agreement," Aro said reluctantly. But again his thoughts went back to convincing Alice and I to stay.
At this point, I was almost willing… just for a chance to meet this girl.
A/N: I hope you enjoyed this chapter. If so, leave a review. I really appreciate hearing what you all think.