A/N: First, please let me start of by apologizing. I know that I haven't updated in, well, forever. Real life has gotten in the way, but that's no excuse. I'm sure that at this point I've lost most if not all of my original readers, but I hope that some people stumbled upon this story again or are experiencing it for the first time.
I hope that this chapter somewhat makes up for things and, additionally, as another form of penance I promise to answer each and every review! (Though I can't answer if they are made anonymously or through guest accounts.)
I know that there will be questions at the end of this chapter.
Edited & resubmitted: I've republished this with a few additions and edits since I wanted to add a bit more description!
Caius' voice broke through his thoughts and sighing he let his eyes shift away from the small vampire family and he shifted his crimson gaze in his brother's direction. What was he saying?
"We see the child, Carlisle," Caius snarled. "Do not treat us as fools."
My, wasn't he predictable and boring?
The argument continued and he only half-paid attention as Carlisle insisted that none of this was as it seemed. According to their old, gentle friend, the gathering before them was not an army, they were simply witnesses, witnesses that the child wasn't a forbidden life.
He let his bored gaze wander to Edward, Isabella, and the child again. They seemed, frightened, unsure. Did they know that the end was near? That another great love was coming to an end?
At least they had some warning.
He had had none.
He had raced across seas, oceans, and continents to reach Voletrra after he felt the bond between himself and Didyme severed. He was so crazed that he did not bother to conceal himself and he killed whatever living creature he came upon, leaving a trail of death in his wake as he rushed across oceans and contents to try and reach her. Somewhere in the back of his mind he knew that only one thing could break the bond between them, but his un-beating heart refused to believe it.
When the bond had stopped, it was as if he had a pulse again, his life keeping rhythm by the beat of her name in his head.
Didyme. Didyme. Didyme.
It didn't stop. He didn't want it to stop till he knew what had happened. He ran through dust storms, rain, snow, and heat. He had to reach her!
When he entered Volterra several nights after leaving his brothers he found chaos. The humans that lived within the city were running, screaming in terror. There were bodies in the dark streets, drained of blood, and he saw vampires terrorizing the mortals that lived within the city walls, but he paid them no mind, being no more than an indistinct blur as he made his way to the Volturi tower, his voice reverberating off the walls as he screamed out in panic, "DIDYME!"
He ran through the front of the building, heading to the garden enclosure that led to the tower when he saw it.
There before the very fountain where he had sketched her holding their son, the cobblestones that made up a path leading to the tower was a charred circle with something shimmering in the moonlight in the center of the burnt, scarred stone. The glint had caught his eye, but that wasn't what made him stop.
Her scent was still clinging to the air.
Stopping he looked to the spot and saw the ring that she had worn from a time before he had first met her more than a millennia before, was lying there, shimmering in the pale moonlight.
And, at that moment he knew.
Walking towards the spot he fell to his knees before it and picked up the ring. It was so small, delicate; so small in fact that he could only fit it onto his pinky finger.
When he slipped the ring into place, his chest rose and fell as soft keening sounds left his mouth, his body rocking a bit back and forth as he knelt there before the spot where his wife had turned to ash. The pain was unimaginable.
The sounds he was making grew louder and louder until they were the most horrific, animalistic screams that anyone could imagine. His fingers dug into blackened cobblestones and he lifted the crumbled pieces of stone and dirt in his fists, screaming. The scream went on and on. He just couldn't stop!
Then, his body seemed to move before his mind could catch up and he was running throughout the city, his sense of scent leading him to the vampires that were still terrifying the populous. They had to have been the ones that killed her!
He gave no thought to the dead humans or the few humans that were left that watched as he tore his wife murderers limb from limb. The city's inhabitants could only watch in awe as he destroyed the monsters that had been attacking for several overcast days.
He gave no thought about keeping any of them alive to understand their motivation in attacking. What did it matter? They had killed her. She was gone. Nothing mattered anymore.
As he tore apart the last of the invaders in the town square before the city's church, he stood there, looking at his hands…looking at the ring that had once rested on her hand.
It was dawn now and for the first time in days, the sun shone through the clouds, clouds that had hovered over the city for days finally disappearing. He did not realize the sight he made with his glimmering flesh, exposed by the tears and gaps in the clothing he wore. It had become nothing but shreds in his hurried journey here. To the priest standing behind him at the door of the church he looked like no less than an angel in peasant's clothing.
The priest came forward, staring at his faceted skin in awe, while purposely avoiding the twitching pieces of flesh that lay around them.
"Who..who are you?" the old man asked in awe.
Marcus' mind was preoccupied with other things and he whispered in a harsh voice, "Marcus." Not caring in the least that he was exposing his true form to this mortal and the others that were coming out of their homes for the first time in days.
The old man fell to his knees in front of him and whispered, "You have…you have saved us."
Marcus looked at the old man in confusion. His mind unable to process what the man was saying. Her name was still beating in his mind like a drum. Didyme. Didyme. Didyme. He had no coherent thoughts and could not make sense of what the man was saying. Saved? Who had he saved? The one thing that he thought worth saving was burned and gone, nothing left of her, not even ash.
When he said nothing and just continued to stare at the man in confusion, a look of such complete anguish on his face that it made the old priest look away, the old man miscomprehended and thought the pain he saw was caused by the countless human lives that had been lost. In his mind, only one of God's saints could feel that type of anguish. Not able to look upon Marcus' agony, the priest let his gaze wander to the twitching pieces of vampire flesh that seemed to be coming together around them.
Following his gaze, Marcus spoke in a hoarse voice. "Gather every last piece and burn them."
He didn't even give the man a chance to reply as he ran, seeming to just disappear into thin air even as the old priest whispered, "Saint Marcus…he's driven the vampires away."