DC: I don't own it
WARNINGS: This is a dark and angsty fic with lots of blood, violence and some language. Some sex later on.
Summary: AU. Orphaned at ten, Bella heads down the bloody path of the revolution in search of the man who killed her family. Along the way she meets Edward, a strange young man with a mysterious past who thirsts for the blood of the House of Volterra. They fight together in hopes to restore the peace that once was.
The child without a name grew up to be the hand,
to watch you, to shield you or kill on demand.
The choice he'd made, he could not comprehend,
his blood a grim secret, they had to command
So many dreams were broken and so much was sacrificed
Was it worth the ones we loved and had to leave behind?
So many years have past, who are the noble and the wise?
Will all our sins be justified?
-Hand of Sorrow by Within Temptation
Long ago we lived in peace. The House of Cullen ruled us with a gentle hand. My daddy was at one time a member of the guard and the most loyal subject. But he wasn't a subject. King Carlisle never looked upon his people as subjects. We were his citizens. His equals.
Everything was good then. King Carlisle was happy and loved all of us. By his side stood his beautiful queen, Esme. I had only met her once when my parents and I were in the country. Their car had blown a tire and daddy was there to help. They were good people. While my father and the king tried to figure out the tire, I sat inside our little cottage with the queen and her children. The youngest, Edward, was my age. He didn't seem to like to leave his mother's lap. Alice, who was a year older than me, insisted that we play with her dolls. Her sister Rosalie didn't want to play and Emmett, the eldest, dragged us outside for a game of ball.
"You must come and see us someday," Esme said to my mother as they prepared to leave, "we should have a play date! Oh I'm sure Alice would love it!"
"I'm sure she would! Bella would enjoy it also!"
I was five and I liked everyone.
But the happiness would soon fade. I remembered that. I was just a few days over six when problems began to arise. The kingdom began to slip. Harsh droughts from the years before were straining our economy. Try as he might, Carlisle couldn't help. Unhappiness began to spark. That was when They came.
The Volturi. Three brothers and an army. The kingdom awoke one night to find the beautiful palace in flames. I remembered that night. It was a cool summers night. We were enjoying the night on the porch. My parents were cuddled on the porch swing while I caught fireflies. I looked up towards them and it caught my eye. The orange glow.
"Daddy! Look!" I said, pointing. "The sky is on fire!"
Dad leapt up and ran to me. He looked to see what I saw. Mom came too. She gasped and covered her mouth. Daddy ran into the back yard. I followed and mom did too. She cried out when she saw it. I didn't know what it meant. I was so young. She turned into daddy's shoulder and he held me tight.
"Why is the palace on fire?"
He didn't answer me.
The next morning we were woken from our beds at dawn. We were dragged to the palace gates where we looked upon the once beautiful symbol of our kingdom's power. Esme's beautiful garden was ruined. The fountain in front was broken. Windows were blown out and the walls were black.
"LONG LIVE CARLISLE!" someone yelled. The chant grew and grew. "LONG LIVE CARLISE! LONG LIVE CARLISLE!"
"If you ask for it I shall give it!" one of the Volturi brothers said. I hugged daddy tighter.
"What's happening?" I whimpered. My mother's gentle hand was on my shoulder.
"You want your king?"
It was a nightmare. A horrific memory that I wished I could forget but I knew I would never. They held him up. Bloody and blackened, his blonde hair covered in ash, his young face peaceful.
"I GIVE YOU YOUR KING!" he bellowed, throwing Carlisle into the crowd.
"YOU MURDERED HIM!" someone accused. A shot silenced him.
"BEHOLD! YOUR NEW RULERS!"
That was when we became subjects to the House of Volterra.
The years passed slowly and my world changed around me. Daddy kept the newspapers from that day. Aro, Caius and Marcus displayed the bodies for all to see. Charred and bloody. Beautiful Esme looked so, even in death. Beside her were her children. Thirteen-year-old Emmett, eleven-year-old Rosalie and seven-year-old Alice. Bodies from members of the court that couldn't escape were discovered. One of the small bodies was charred so badly nobody recognized it. That was assumed to be little Edward.
Dad would disappear from time to time and return late. But when he did he always smiled at me and held me tight.
"I missed you daddy," I said with a smile.
"I missed you too," he said.
"Welcome home, Charlie," mom said gently, hugging him. She always looked sad when he left. When he returned he would kiss her deeply before taking me to bed. After he tucked me in and read me a story he would kiss me goodnight. Sometimes, if I stayed awake long enough, I could hear the soft sounds of them making love. It brought me a sense of peace. If I listened hard I could hear him declare his love for her. In dark times, that was all I had to give me a sense of peace and hope. My father was still so deeply in love with my mother.
My family was intact. I had my uncles, Harry, Phil and Billy to keep me company. They weren't my uncles by blood. They worked with my dad long before I was born and they had been there all of my life. Billy had a son a year younger than I was named Jacob and two daughters older than me named Rachel and Rebecca. I didn't like the twins much, but Jacob and I were very good friends. I loved his wife, Sarah too. She would always send her love with a box of homemade cookies.
Our life was good considering the state of the world. But my peace would soon be shattered, as I knew it would be. From that day, the secrets about my family would start to spill forth and I would be swept into the revolution.
It was a quiet night. Mom and I waited for dad to return from work. It was exactly midnight, I knew this because of the clock chiming on the wall, when my father burst into the room.
"We have to be out of this house in sixty seconds," he said quickly. Mom jumped up and knew what to do. I didn't know it at the time, but they had been preparing for this. They rushed around the house, gathering bags and supplies. I had no idea what was going on. Dad turned off the lights, leaving on a bedroom light on to appear normal.
He snatched me up and ran up the stairs quickly. He dropped me on my bed and grabbed a bag from my closet. It was already packed. That was strange. I grabbed my stuffed bear and held him like I did when I was nervous. Dad pulled a sweater roughly over my head and grabbed me again. He made it into the living room just as mom did. She was holding a canvas bag and dad passed me to her. He strapped something to his leg. A pouch of some sort and tucked a gun in his pants.
The doorbell rang. We ran. Daddy held me tight as my mother went into the basement. We followed. He kicked open a trap door and mom jumped down first. Dad passed me down and came down himself, bringing the door with him.
"Don't say a word, Bella, not one word," dad said to me in a firm voice that told me it meant serious trouble if I disobeyed. He took mom's hand and we ran down the dark hallway. I heard noises behind us. We picked up the speed.
Something hit. Everything happened so quickly. My arm burst into pain and my mom screamed. I opened my eyes and saw behind me was someone holding a gun. There was a bullet in my arm and one went through my mother's neck and splattered my face with blood. She fell and I rolled out of her arms. Dad jumped over me and with the flash of a knife the man fell to the ground dead. Dad snatched me up. He ran down the tunnel leaving mommy behind stopping only to grab the bag she had been carrying.
We made it to the end of the tunnel and into the icy night. He gripped me tight. Too tight. I could hardly breathe, but I wasn't about to say anything. We were in the country now. Well outside of the city. Our little house had been near the edge. Dad kept running. I didn't know how he did it. Adrenaline helped greatly, but his legs must have been burning. Thick and powerful though they may be.
We made it to a house. I didn't recognize it. It was small and tucked away inside of a forest. Once inside dad dropped me and collapsed.
"God! Oh god why?!" He cried in a breathy voice. He pushed himself up and grabbed the empty table. He threw it across the room and yelled. Scared, I scrambled away from him. He crouched on the floor, holding his head between his knees with his arms. "FUCK WHY?!" he screamed.
I had never heard my father swear before.
"D-daddy..." I said nervously. "Daddy my arm hurts."
He came over to me and swore again. He pulled me into his arms and hugged me tight.
"Bella, I am so sorry," he whispered, "I should have protected her."
"Why did you leave her?" I sobbed. "We need to go back..."
"She's dead," he said bitterly, "because of me. Bella I am a fool."
I didn't know what he meant but I didn't want him to explain just yet. I didn't realize how much pain I was in until the adrenaline stopped pumping. Dad was gentle with me. He took out a kit and cleaned my wound, removed the bullet and wrapped it tight.
I didn't sleep well. I had a slight fever from the injury. I awoke to my father sleeping next to me, holding me protectively and for the first time that morning I felt truly safe. I didn't want to wake him. I curled up into his warm body and closed my eyes. I felt his calloused hand brush against my temple and he kissed my forehead.
"I love you, little one," he whispered.
"I love you too, daddy."
"How do you feel?" he asked, sitting up and grabbing a towel.
"Sick," I answered. He dabbed my forehead with the towel and checked to see if my wound had bled through.
"You have a slight fever," he told me, "probably from shock and blood loss. You'll be weak for a while."
"Dad," I began then I hesitated, "what about mom?"
Dad faltered slightly. He let out a long breath and continued to care for me. I tried to read his eyes, but as usual he managed to mask his thoughts.
"I'll go back for her when it's safe," he said, "right now you are my priority."
I know he didn't mean it, but I felt as though I was a bother. He stood up and took the towel across the room to the sink and washed it. My dad looked very intimidating, square jawed and muscular. He looked like a military man. But he was so soft hearted and warm. Compared to him, my mom was so tiny. I remembered a picture that I had seen of when I was a baby. When I was a newborn I was just a little bigger then one of his hands. He always used to hold me like I was made of glass. It was hard to believe that we were now all each other had.
Dad sat back down and put the damp towel on my forehead. He pulled a quilt up to my chin and smoothed it out. "Things are going to be hard for a while, Bells," he said quietly, "shortly after you fell asleep I called Uncle Billy. He'll take care of you for a while."
"Where will you be?" I asked.
"I have to go away for a while. Into hiding. It's not safe with me," as he said the last part his voice became thicker with tears. With a shaking hand, he cupped my cheek and rested his forehead against mine. "I'll come for you, Bella. I love you very much."
"I love you, daddy," I sobbed. He brushed my tears away with his thumbs.
"You know, Uncle Billy is taking you to a farm where you can take care of horses and cows and sheep. When you get there, he promised me that he would take you to get your very own barn cat. How does that sound?"
"I don't wanna leave you," I moaned. Dad kissed me on both cheeks and sighed.
"I know, sweetheart, I know."
There was a knock on the door. Dad stiffened. He waited. There was a special knock that my uncles had. His hand closed over his gun. The special knock came and he let out a sigh of relief. He stood and left the small room to answer it.
He smiled back at me and left anyway.
Through the small crack in the door, I saw three men in black enter with weapons. My feet moved automatically and carried me to the closet. I slid the door open and hurried inside. I had just slid the door almost completely closed when a man in black was kicked into the room. My dad was thrown in after him and the man in black attacked. I bit back a yelp as I saw the man hit my dad in the jaw.
Daddy drew a knife and killed the man, as well as the other two. Another man entered and squared off with my father, as if ready to fight. This man was dressed in grey. His hair was pulled back into a ponytail and he had a scar on his cheek. Dad made to attack him but another man dropped down behind him and pulled him back with a cord around his neck. A man in black forced my dad to the ground and kept the cord secure around his neck.
"How the mighty have fallen," the man in grey said smoothly, "really how did you not see that coming?"
I curled up in a ball in the corner of the closet. I couldn't take my eyes off of the scene before me. I recognized the man holding my dad still as my Uncle Phil. One of my dad's dear friends.
"And you, Phil?" Dad asked in a bitter raspy voice.
"I've seen what happens to those who betray the boss, and get caught. I don't want my family to end the same way as yours."
"Which boss?" Dad growled.
"The one that wins," the man in grey replied, "I pay well to those that help me. And with you out of the way the rebellion will fall. I've already dealt with Harry and Billy."
I covered my mouth to keep from making noise. Emotion swept briefly across my father's face. Harry and Billy were his partners in battle before I was born. Harry his best man, and Billy my godfather. What of Billy's family? Sarah? The twins? Jacob? My mind was racing as fast as my heart. Not ten hours ago my life was perfectly intact. Mom was playing checkers with me, dad was on his way home and my uncles were alive and well.
"Now, I believe you have a little darling tagging along with you somewhere," the man in grey said.
"Bella, she was injured in the tunnel," Phil told him.
"Bastard," my father growled.
"Well we'll just have to find her," the other man said. He began to look around the room.
"Please," my father rasped, "please spare her. I'll do anything you ask. Please don't hurt my daughter."
"Tell me where your daughter is," the man said with a wide grin.
"I won't betray my child!" Dad cried.
"Fine. Lets see if you will beg for death."
I squeezed my eyes shut and clamped my hand over my ears.
The laughter was dying down. I had found a scarf on the floor and I stuffed it in my mouth to stifle any noise I may have made. I could faintly hear what was going on outside. I heard laughter, taunts and cries.
When it was over I opened my eyes and uncovered my ears. I pulled the scarf from my mouth. I crawled over to the crack in the door and saw the man in grey with a few others, including Phil. Dad was lying on the floor with his hands bound behind him. His clothes were ripped and torn, so much so that he was practically naked. He was covered in bruises and blood. Phil kicked him to the ground and stepped on his back.
"Why?" Dad rasped.
"You took the only thing I ever wanted," Phil said, kneeling down, "so I'll take everything from you."
Our eyes met. Dad looked at me and the tears I had been holding back burst from my eyes. Barely moving his lips, he mouthed live. I nodded from my shadowed closet. He closed his eyes, telling me silently to do the same.
"Tell me where Bella is," the man in grey ordered.
"I will die before I betray her," my dad croaked.
"I suppose you will," the man in grey drew his gun and shot my dad in the head. Laughing the men in the room walked out. The man in grey looked towards me. If he saw me, he didn't do anything. I ran out of the closet and to my dad. He looked at me for a moment. I grabbed his hand and his fingers weakly closed around mine. Then he was gone.
I didn't care what happened to me then. I had lost everything. I clawed at the ropes around his wrists. They were soaked with blood and deep in his skin. His hands fell limp. "Daddy," I mumbled, shaking his shoulder. "Daddy wake up!"
Charlie Swan was dead and I knew it. I dropped my head to his shoulder and cried. "Daddy! Daddy please wake up! I'm scared! Daddy please!"
The door opened and someone stumbled in. I bolted into the closet and hid again. I had to stay alive. Daddy wanted me to stay alive. The door slid open. I squeezed my eyes shut. When nothing came, I peered up. There was Billy, bruised and bloody but alive with little Jacob beside him.
Enjoy and please review! This will be an angsty story. Obviously.