23. Heartbeat

Through the clouds of black smoke and stinking air, I could see them.
They seemed to be gliding through the air with such ease; it was almost hypnotic, and seductive. The only thing that pulled me away from those crimson eyes was the throbbing pain in my neck, and Paul's firm clasped hand on my wrist.

The new arrivals—a group of six or eight—wore something like a cape almost the same colour as the smoke coming from the vamp-fire. They approached the remaining vampire and with incoherent simplicity, stopped the vampire's struggle.
A little brunette girl—with the same crimson eyes as the vampire who I had wounded me and harmed me in turn—sent shivers down my spine. There was something not right about her. The way she smiled as the lone vampire writhed on the ground before her. The way the other's stood still, not approaching her, as if they were afraid of her.

There were three old ones, with skin like onions, wrinkled and almost translucent. I could see, smell and taste the dead blood in the blue veins that decorated their faces like vines. Again I felt uncomfortable in their some what formal presence. It was the way the veg-vamps reacted to them.

"Who are they?" I asked Paul in a whisper.
The tendons and muscles in my neck pinged with pain as I spoke. I could feel the warmth inside me spread but I didn't give it much thought at the moment, I was too interested in the new vampires.

With a growl Paul answered me, "the head vampires, of all vampires. The Cullen's call them the Volturi." Then with a gentler tone he leaned closer, "you're badly injured, and you've been bitten. Don't be stupid and let me help you."

I was shaking from the pain that ebbed through my system but I was persistent.

"They're the HEAD of all vampires? What like a Ministry? This is so 'Queen of the Damned', why are they here?" I rasped.

"Don't be an idiot and let me help you!" Paul ignored me.

I stared at him, he hadn't really ever shouted at me before. Sure rudely, but not loudly. Especially not while breaking the circulation in my hand.

"Paul…you're hurting me." Was all I said.

With contrasting gentleness, he slowly let go of my hand and took a shaking step away.

"I'm sorry." He looked up with dark eyes. "But I don't know how to love you in a way that can make you happy."

I nearly choked at his sincere and "so-not-like-him" words. I could see the mental struggle as he said them. As if he was having a brain fart.

"Paul, you love me just fine." I swallowed tears away.

It was the first time for Paul being so sincere, using LOVE in a sentence. In a time like this, while I was being such a bitch.

"I'm sorry Paul. But you know I can't let this drop. My mother is dead. I've dragged you boys into this, my brother…" I couldn't say it out loud, but I knew from my brother's movements that he enjoyed tearing apart the vampire a lot. Too much.

Paul followed my staggering paces towards the crowd of vampires. Another stupid thing to do. Walk among the enemy.

They were speaking quickly, in low tones.

As I approached them their eyes bored onto my hand clutching my neck.

"She's been bitten!" The blonde one named Carlisle gasped.

He approached me slowly, as if knowing I would quickly step away from him.

"It's okay. I'm a doctor and I know how to fix you. You have to trust me. Alright? You're Paige?"

I glanced at Jacob, he had a cut on his right cheek but I could see that it was healing quickly. Once his eyes met mine he gave a faint nod and I looked back at the amber eyes of the head veg-vamp.

He pulled gingerly at my hand, looking at the bite mark the leech had taken to my neck.

His inspection was brief, he didn't linger long while Paul stood centimeters away from me.

"It's not as bad as…" He stared at a brunette who I could smell with one sniff was human, "was—as I thought. He didn't get deep but the venom is still in your system all the same. Can you feel your immunity fighting it?"

I nodded and he leaned closer.

Paul shook and reached out to grasp Carlisle's hand on my shoulder. Several things happened. There were hisses all around me. Someone shouting protests, then Paul snarling in agony on the ground behind me.

"PAUL!" I looked at Carlisle and took a step away from him, "what the hell did you do to him?! WHAT THE FUCK DID YOU DO TO HIM?!"

I fell down beside him, trying to sooth his body that had curled into the fetus position as he shook.

"Jane, stop." Carlisle pleaded.

I snapped my gaze towards the little girl who I had a bad feeling about. She smirked down at me and then in seconds Paul stopped writhing.

"Paul, Paul, are you okay?"

He didn't answer but I could hear his heavy breathing to know he was still alive.

"Jane has a gift to inflict pain to people/person(s) to the mind."

"Some gift." I snapped.

Carlisle came towards me and stretched out a hand.

"Get away from me, what kind of help were you planning for me? Fix me? You mean suck me dry."

"You would taste like shit." The blonde female blood sucker hissed at me.

"Rosalie." The copper haired one silenced her.

"I will not as you say 'suck you dry', Paige I need to get the venom out of your system before you're infected…or even die."

I hesitated as I stared into those amber eyes. So warm, so trustworthy. But still, doubt lingered.

I glanced down at Paul, he was staring up at me with those eyes that I loved so much. How much I love him I would never be able to put into words. I guess that's one thing we have in common, we're not good with words.

"I love you, Paige." He whispered to me.

A tear escaped my eye as I bent down and kissed him hard. "I love you too…"

"I trust him."

I turned back to Carlisle and gave a nervous smile. "I'm sorry."

"It's quite alright, now relax, the venom has spread quickly I must get it out. Now I should've told you before but—."

"Yeah suck it out." I nodded and meant him to continue on his "fixing" me.

He knelt down beside me and I could feel the fiery pain that I felt before return as his teeth sank into my soft flesh. I gasped and gripped the ground, bringing up dirt and earth.

I knew I had blacked out again.

I knew that Paul was holding me.

I knew that I wouldn't die, not today anyways. Or hopefully anytime soon.

Though what I didn't understand was why the "Volturi" were still here.

A/N: phew that was hard to write. So basically I was busy studying for Math cuz god knows how horrible I am at math. I have also found a new career—my first choice was zoology but then it is hard to achieve and get into, for me anyways—so I chose Kinesiology, which I found was as interesting, and probably much more suitable for me. Anyways, I hope you liked this chapter and more to come. *I'm currently writing a story with my OC and plot/setting*