"Finally, the food has arrived," Caius said quietly, licking his lips. Aro smiled.
"Yes, when would you say was the last time we've eaten?"
They waited patiently for Demetri to bring the prisoners through the heavy wooden doors of their underground home. Though the Volturi was by no means the largest coven, they were the most powerful and well known in the world. Every single coven had heard of them and knew of their residence in Volturra, Italy.
Just as Caius sighed in anticipation for his next meal, the ancient double doors swung open, revealing Demetri at last. Three terrified young humans stood behind him, pale and wide-eyed, and behind them, several less important members of the Volturi were goading them forward. Aro smiled, licking his lips hungrily.
"You've kept us waiting, Demetri."
Demetri bowed his head in respect. "I'm sorry, signor. I know how you feel about your food, so I picked the best ones I could find." He glanced at the three humans behind him. "They're young and fresh, just the way you wanted them."
Aro, Caius, and Marcus stepped forward off the platform to closer inspect their dinner. Two men, one brunette, one blonde, and a red-headed woman, all of them young and beautiful, just as Demetri said. They looked absolutely delicious.
"Thank you, Demetri," Aro said graciously. "You may have one, if you like. One of the men."
"What the hell?" the blond man yelled in horror as Demetri grabbed his arm. "What the hell are you? Leave us alone! We didn't do anything to you!"
When none of the Volturi answered him, the girl cried, "Just let us go!"
Aro smiled at this, slowly moving closer to her. "You are beautiful. I wonder…. How would you look as a vampire? Absolutely stunning," he answered himself. Tears welled in the girl's eyes.
"Vampires?" she squeaked. With more force, she cried, "My brother will kill you! Let me go! Let us go!"
"Your brother couldn't do a thing to harm us, dear girl," Aro said tiredly, motioning to Caius and Marcus to go ahead with the brunette man. They both knew he liked to play with his food before he ate it, and it could very well take him an hour before he took the first bite, so there was no sense in waiting for him. "No one could, not for centuries—millennia, even."
"You don't know my brother," the girl sneered and moved to hit him. When her hand struck him, she immediately pulled back with a cry of pain. It felt as though she had hit a solid cement statue!
Aro laughed. "You just put your brother in a very bad position," he threatened. "You see, with just a simple touch, I can read every single thought you've ever had. I can see your brother through your memories, and my friend, there," he motioned to Demetri, who was leading the blonde man to the Volturi Guards in order to share him. "Can track him down."
Superhuman abilities weren't anything new to the girl, but the fact that her brother could possibly be brought into the mess she was in made her gasp in horror. Before she had any time to protest, Aro leapt forward and grabbed her by the arm. She flinched and clenched her eyes shut, expecting to be ripped apart or something equally as horrible, but nothing happened. She opened her eyes to find that the Vampire that had her in his grasp had his eyes shut and was breathing slowly.
"Jasmine, am I correct? Or Jazz?" he smirked, opening his eyes to look at her. She didn't reply and he continued. "You have many memories, it will take time for me to sift through them all…."
Jazz ripped her arm away from him, but it was already too late. He knew everything there was to know about her. Including who her brother was.
"Studying abroad," he continued with a "tut, tut" noise. "That is too bad for your family. They'll never know what happened to you. Now, your brother…." Going through all the memories of her brother, he hesitated. The casual expression on his face melted into a strange combination of horror and wonder.
"No! Stop! Don't think about him!" Jazz suddenly shrieked. She struck the vampire with both fists, but to no avail. Nothing she did would stop him.
"Your brother…," Aro breathed. He suddenly lost patience for the girl. Jazz pulled back for another punch just as he backhanded her across the face, faster than she was even able to see. She fell backwards to the ground, out cold.
"Marcus, Caius! Demetri!" he yelled, his voice cutting through the terrified screams of the humans that were still conscious. "Drop the humans at once!"
Everyone immediately obeyed. The Volturi guards were itching with pangs of hunger, but they, too, let the humans go. The room became engulfed by sudden silence, and everyone was facing their leader.
"But, Aro, our guards are hungry. What is so important-"
"Silence!" Aro cut Marcus off with a flick of his hand. Turning back to the rest of the Volturi, he explained, "I have just read this girl's mind. Her brother… is like nothing I've ever seen before. A ghost."
Caius became confused. "Brother, we already know about the existence of ghosts. There are four major races, remember? Vampires, Wolves, Ghosts, and-"
"Of course I remember," Aro interrupted impatiently. "But the boy is different than anything I've ever seen. He's only… half of a ghost, however impossible it seems. Demetri I want you to track him down. I want that girl's brother."
"Of course, signor, but may I ask-"
"Why?" Aro knew all of Demetri's past thoughts, so it was always easy to predict what he was going to say. "He's half human! We need to make sure that the human part of him becomes vampire. Could you imagine what sort of possibilities could arise from being half ghost and half vampire? If we had him in our coven, we would be ten times more powerful than we are now. Bring him back unharmed, for I want to be the one to turn him. Besides, he lives in America, not too far from the Cullens. While you are there, you can check on that girl and make sure she's been turned. Take Jane, she will help you subdue anyone, should any trouble arise."
Demetri bowed his head again in respect for his leader. "Brilliant," he said, stepping closer in order to let Aro touch his arm so that he could project memories of the girls' brother into his mind. "I will find him at once."