Huge gap in update, sorry!!!!!!!!!


Chapter Three

A Little Taste of Redemption

"Um, no, sorry," was the only response I got. Plus some weird looks from Max.

"The Cap is cool, don't worry," he told me, smiling calmly.

"Yeah, totally," said the other vampire girl who's name I didn't know. By the look on her face, she was definitely lying. "My name's Aia, by the way. Spelled A-I-A."

She smiled at me as if she had just answered some deep mystery of the universe. My eyes twitched while trying to repress rolling. Aia (which, in my opinion should've been spelled like EYE-yuh, like it was said) seemed a little pompous.

Nic stopped at several doorways on the way to wherever we were going to hold the door open for us. He grinned at me – every time.

Uh-oh.

"Anytime now," Lillian said, tapping her foot hurriedly and rolling her eyes. After several corridors, she was standing next to a darkly polished wood door in a hallway I'd not seen before – oddly, the dark brown door was the only one in the whole vicinity.

"Was this place purposely built like Wonderland?" I asked Nic sarcastically from the side of my mouth. He snickered and put a finger up to his mouth as we entered the Cap's room.

I had oddly lost my nerves – that was, until we entered the room and the Cap was glaring at me angrily. Vampire hearing, I realized way too late. Oops.

I gasped when I looked around the new room – it was huge. I saw now why it was the only door – the room was the length of the hall outside. And the whole space was occupied by the biggest table I'd ever seen in my life.

"Wow."

"That's the usual reaction," Aia smiled.

"Not that people come here often," the Cap grumbled, still glaring. He looked pretty elderly for a vampire – not in a wrinkly sort of way, but in an exhausted-shade-of-gold eye color and gray hair that hinted me in on the fact that he must've been old when he got turned in the first place.

"As long as they come back out, I'm okay," I giggled, suddenly nervous again. No one laughed.

"Have a seat at the other end of the table," the Cap gestured to the far side of the room.

I was able to walk it quickly, but I could tell that for humans, it would've taken several minutes. Max and Aia both joined me on the far end while Nic and Lillian sat on either side of the Cap on the opposite side.

"Are we purposely testing our hearing?" I muttered to no one imparticular.

"Yes," grinned Max in reply.

Sitting down, the 'Cap' began to speak:

"We have recently unearthed new information on the whereabouts of Giovanni's place of business. We have also uncovered a meeting route designated for fourteen-hundred," he started in a clear, monotone voice. I was confused already. "We are developing plans to interrupt the trade at just the right time, and through that, possibly we could save another vampire. We might just have to deal with some of the wolf-eater guards-"

"Wait, woah, woah, woah!" I interrupted, eyes wide and hands raised. "They trade vampires? And the wolf-eater guards?"

"Yes, that is what I said. I believe you've met the latter and for the first statement, humans sell humans all the time! So close your mouth and please do not interrupt me." The captain's voice was harsh and cruel and he said that all in the space of twenty seconds. I glared at him, rebuked into silence.

He continued on a longer, more boring tangent about base statistics, and I wondered idly why I was invited at all. No way was I invited to this 'rescue mission', nor would I want to go if it meant seeing Ayden and the rest of them again. Once was more than enough.

But I was broken out of my reverie when I heard an all-too-familiar name…

"- And we suspect it might be the Cullen-"

"Cullen!" I shouted suddenly. "What about him?"

The Cap glared at me dangerously for several minutes, and strangely, I could feel my skin start to heat up. But regardless, he explained.

"They have a certain vampire, an Edward Cullen, in their custody. We are interested in him for the base, so we have planned our intersection carefully. I'm guessing it is true then, the rumors that you have been formerly affiliated with him?"

"Yes!" I breathed.

"Wait – I thought she couldn't remember her past?" exclaimed Aia in confusion, cutting me off.

"Only parts," I snapped at her, before turning back to the Cap. "We need to do this, then. I need to."

"Well, of course. But you cannot come along. It would compromise the safety of our members if you went along on a recon-"

"We're vampires, okay? Not marines. We – I – can handle this," I growled angrily.

"We may be vampires, Isabella Swan, but so are they. Even monsters have murderers," he responded coldly.

An image of something Edward said to me, long ago, floated into my head without my consent. Something about monsters – about him being a monster. I didn't respond to the Cap, but instead shut my lips and sat through the rest of the meeting without interruption.

But I would still go, I realized. Even if they didn't let me. I would save Edward.

---

"Are you okay? You've been kind of quiet since the meeting," Nic asked me sometime later, when him, Max, Aia, and I were lounging about in the main living room with a couple of other vampires I didn't know.

The other vampires in the room kept shooting me strange looks, and it was as if I still got Goosebumps for a moment.

"Yeah. I'm fine," I lied, not meeting his eyes.

"Well, okay. I'm going to go get a vial. You want one?"

"No."

He sighed and got up, throwing Max a look that he must've thought I missed. When he left the room and the door swung shut behind him, Max turned toward me from his game of darts with another vampire.

"You know, he snaps at everyone. He just doesn't like being interrupted, the Cap," Max said, somewhat pleadingly.

"Of course," I replied with a phony smile.

"Well, actually, no one is usually stupid enough to interrupt him in the first place," called out Lillian from an opposite corner in the room, where she sat flipping through magazines.

Gee, thanks.

"If I recall correctly, you did when you first got here, Lil," added Aia from the couch next to me. She looked up at me from her laptop and rolled her eyes playfully. I giggled. I suddenly liked her a lot more than I had earlier.

Lillian chose not to respond to that.

"So, Bella, when you said earlier today that you only forgot some parts of your past, what do you mean?" Max asked, trying to sound conversational, several minutes later.

"Um, just before I blacked out," I informed him, resting my head back on the couch and closing my eyes, hoping for peace (and Edward).

"Ah. Sooo, was that a lot…?"

"Shut up, Max," Lillian demanded rudely. I was oddly happy, though, that she had said that. I certainly didn't need questions right then, especially from someone like Max.

"Jeez, sorry! Just trying to make conversation!" Max tried to sound helpless, but he ended up throwing his hand out and flinging a dart at an unexpecting vampire. The dart hit its mark – right square in the center of the guy's back – but the metal tip just hit, bent, and fell to the floor.

The vampire who was hit turned around menacingly to glare at Max.

"Sorry, dude!"

Aia, yet again, rolled her eyes at me, and I wondered idly if that's how it looked when I did it.

If it does, I thought bitterly, I am never rolling my eyes again.

Nic came in several minutes later with an extra vile, which he handed to me. I saw Lillian glaring at me from across the room.

Sighing, I yet again downed the bottle in one.

---

That night, Nic, Lillian, Cap, and some other vampire whom I had never seen before walked together through the living room and into another hallway, which I could see led to a door called "Armory".

"They're doing the mission tonight?" I hissed at Aia, wide eyed.

"Of course. When'd you think they were going to do it?" she asked airily, not looking up until seconds later. Then her voice was skeptical. "Not that it matters…"

"Oh, of course not. I was just surprised, that's all."

"Uh huh," she quipped, disbelieving.

Several minutes passed without them coming out and I could no longer take the tension.

"Where are they? I wanted to see the weapons…" I whined, pretending to look at the clock.

Aia sighed somewhat angrily and shut her laptop with a loud click.

"There's a door in the Armory that leads to the streets. Now why, may I ask, do you care? And don't lie to me, Bella. I have a sense for that kind of thing!" she warned.

I was temporarily at a loss for words. How could I quickly and concisely possibly sum up what Edward meant to me in just a few words?

"He's the love of my existence," I whispered to her, despair filling up my eyes.

Her tough exterior slipped off momentarily, and that's all I needed to see for conformation that she wouldn't call them and rat me out.

"Hey, where's she going?" I heard Max ask Aia from behind me as I ran out of the room.

I didn't hear Aia's answer – I was on a mission to save Edward.

And honestly? It was about time.


Thanks for reading! Reviews always appreciated! ;D