A1969: this idea has been stuck in my head for quite a while, and it refuses to leave me alone.
Inuyasha: no kidding.
A1969: okay…so this is an experiment. I normally stick to Inuyasha when I write fanfiction, but I want to try something different. So bear with me.
Kagome: and tell her what you think of this one!
A1969: I don't own Inuyasha or the Twilight series. They belong to Rumiko Takahashi and Stepehenie Meyer, respectively (how I wish I owned both, though!).
This story is in Kagome and Renesmee's points of view only.
TwilightxInuyasha crossover! Nessie's celebrating her fourteenth birthday and, as a surprise present, she and the entire Cullen family—plus Jacob—head off to her favorite country—Japan! They meet Kagome, fall down the well and wind up in the Feudal Era where Naraku tries to use them as pawns. What happens when tragedy befalls Nessie and her heart is utterly destroyed? Who will have the guts to heal her ruined heart?
I never thought that I would heal again. My heart hadn't been broken when he was eliminated; it had been completely and utterly destroyed. But now, it was as if the man in whose arms I rested had given me hope. He didn't fix my heart—he had given me a new one.
I couldn't see.
"Is this absolutely necessary, Aunt Alice?" I asked as I fingered the black fabric that my way-too-hyper aunt covered my eyes with.
I heard her make a tsk-tsk sound. "You have way too much Bella in you and not enough Rosalie," she said, making a comment on my taste for the less extravagant. "I mean, seeing as how Rosalie took care of you when you were still a toddler, I'd thought that her taste would rub off on you."
I snorted. It was quite obvious that Aunt Alice had gone overboard this time. "And please, Nessie," Aunt Alice said as she steered me through the halls of the Cullen house. "Never call me Aunt Alice." She pretended to shudder.
"Anyway," I said. "What's the use of the blindfold?"
"I want you to be surprised, that's all."
"You know there's no point to surprise if my mom and dad aren't around." A week before my fourteenth birthday, my parents had decided to have a proper second honeymoon in Isle Esme. I was shocked to learn of that. They had decided to miss out on my birthday.
Alice was entirely silent. "Aw, Nessie," she said, after a moment's pause, "they'll be home soon enough."
"After or before Jacob wolfs down the cake?" I inwardly sniggered at my private joke. Jacob, my other half, certainly had a huge appetite.
"Silly Nessie," Aunt—I mean, Alice said. "Just because Edward and Bella decided to head off to Isle Esme, doesn't mean we won't celebrate your fourteenth! After all, that comes but once in a lifetime."
I snorted. Technically, I may be fourteen now, but I looked seventeen. I had stopped aging seven years ago and it still felt strange to wake up and realize that, like my family, I was frozen in time. Though there was one good side to it—Jacob wasn't getting any older either.
I heard the swing as the glass doors to the garden were slid open. The night wind blew on my face, bringing with it a barrage of scents that I recognized—freesia, roses, lilac, lavender and peonies. The scents of a million flowers that masked all other scents and could only mean one thing…
Alice had gone overboard.
"Can I open my eyes now?" I asked, placing both my hands on the blindfold.
"No, don't you even try to peek!" she warned. "You'll spoil the surprise."
I inwardly groaned—I hated extravagant surprises.
I felt her leave me and my hands automatically went to the blindfold. "Not yet!" Alice warned. Clearly, she was still in the garden. "Just a moment. Okay, bring it in, Emmett."
Huh? Bring what in? What could they possibly give me that required my Uncle Emmett's brawn?
"Rose, go get them," Alice said again. Aunt Rose was here too. My nose—not so efficient as the noses as the rest of my vampire family's—was totally blinded by the scent of a million flowers.
"This is getting silly," I muttered as my fingers fluttered to the blindfold again.
"Oh no, you don't," another pair of cold hands clamped down on the blindfold, preventing me from taking them off. Uncle Jasper. "I agree with Alice—you'll spoil your surprise."
"Okay…" I heard the sound of feet dashing back and forth across the smooth velvet grass. "Who else is here, Uncle Jasper?"
"Oh, just you, me, Alice, Rose, Emmett, Carlisle and Esme," he answered casually, hands still on the blindfold.
I inwardly sighed. "Mom and dad aren't back yet, then?"
I sighed again. "Okay, Jazz, let her see the light," Emmett was saying.
Jasper removed his hand from the blindfold and at the same time, he took it off.
Every tree in the garden had been laced with flowers—freesia, lilac, lavender, pink peonies and pink roses. Their scent hung the in air, masking out everything else. A wide canopy had been set up in the middle of the garden, their poles laced with flowers. Beneath the canopy was a long table, the kind that you used in banquet halls, covered with white. Above the table were platters of Esme's delectable and mouthwatering cooking. In the very middle of the table was a two layered chocolate cake covered with strawberry icing and beside that was a bowl of red liquid, which turned out to be blood. Animal blood.
Tables and chairs had been spread out here and there, covered with white silk. In front of the table stood those who were dearest to me—my grandparents, Carlisle and Esme (though they didn't want me to call them grandparents—Carlisle and Esme would do), my uncles, Emmett and Jasper (they too, didn't like to be called 'uncles') and my aunts Rosalie and Alice (they also abhorred the title 'aunts'). Okay, almost everyone who was dear to me—my parents weren't here, as were Jacob and my other Quileute friends.
I stared at them. Then I glared at Alice. "What…is…this?"
"Your fourteenth, silly!" she chided as she danced towards me and gave me a kiss on the cheek. "Happy Birthday!"
The rest of my family came and congratulated me, Emmett giving me a bear tight hug. "Happy Birthday, dear!" Esme said, as she planted a kiss on my forehead.
I smiled at them. Oh, well…
I pulled away from them and glanced at the table again, slightly puzzled. For whom did they feel the need to make this much food? Surely, they knew that I preferred blood to human food and certainly none of them would even give a thought to eating a spoonful of chili or lasagna…
"SURPRISE!" several voices shouted.
I jumped and spun around just as my Quileute friends came out from behind the tree. So that was why there was a million flowers.
I smiled as my werewolf friends came toward me. Sam, Seth, Quil and Embry—the closest friends I had among the wolves. They came towards me and we hugged and I realized that there was one werewolf missing—my Jacob.
"Happy Sixteenth, Nessie!" Seth greeted as he gave me a tight hug.
"Thanks!" I said, smiling while my eyes roved around the trees, hoping that Jacob would suddenly pop out.
"We're sorry about Jacob," Sam apologized on behalf of the absent wolf. "Billy's wheelchair broke down—Jacob's still working on it."
I sighed. Not being with Jacob always put me down. I couldn't stand to be away from him for more than a day. "Nah," I said. "It's alright." At least my family and friends were here. I inwardly sighed. Not all my family was here, though. My mother and father were conspicuously absent.
A pair of cold hands suddenly clamped down on my eyes and the scent of flowers became even stronger in my nose—someone, might've been Alice, was holding a spray of peonies up to my nose. I placed my hands over the ones that clamped down on my eyes. One hand was slender and feminine, the other, masculine. Two people had their hands over my eyes.
I already knew who.
"Mom! Dad!" I cried out as the hands pulled themselves away from my eyes. I spun around. Edward Cullen and Bella Cullen were standing right behind me, smirking. They looked more like my peers than my parents and that was what set them aside from ordinary parents—the fact that they were frozen in their teens.
"Renesmee!" Bella cried out as she wrapped her arms around me. Sometimes, I honestly forget that they're my parents. We look the same age, you see.
"I thought you and dad weren't going to be here!" I cried out, giving them both a hug. "Alice—"
"Is a very convincing liar," Edward finished, smirking.
I looked over their shoulders at Alice, who had just put the spray of peonies back on the tent poles. She smirked at me.
I looked at them all. "Aw…this is such a wonderful surprise!" I finally cried out, stifling the part of me that wished Jacob was here.
Emmett chuckled. "We thought you hated surprises?"
"Not this one!" I said.
As everyone flocked to the table—Sam, Quil, Embry and Seth for the food while my family for the blood—I turned to my parents who were still smiling secretly at me.
"I thought you guys wouldn't come," I said as the three of us sat down at one of the tables.
"We left early," Edward said. "Your mother wanted to be back in time, so did I."
I smiled, leaning comfortably against the chair. "I'm so glad that you two are here," I said. "It would've been very drab without the coolest parents around!" Till recently—due to the fact that they looked more like my friends than my parents—they had given me their permission to address them by their first names and not by 'mom' and 'dad'.
"Of course we should be here," my mo—I mean, Bella, said. "Besides, how would we give you this if we stayed away?" From underneath the table, she produced a small white box with a silver ribbon.
"Aw…mom!" I cried out as I took the box from her, calling her by a title. "Dad! You guys shouldn't have!"
Both of them smiled at me. "Go on, open it," Edward urged.
I looked at him and at the box and back to him again. "Don't worry," Bella said with a smile. "It's a hand-me-down." Like my mother, I didn't like it when other people gave or spent too much on me if I couldn't give them anything in return.
I looked at my dad and he nodded. "A hand-me-down," he repeated, his golden eyes shimmering with amusement.
"Okay…" I said. I slowly untied the ribbon and let it fall to the ground, shimmering. I hesitated before opening the box. If it was anything expensive…
"Nessie…" Bella said. "It's not going to bite you."
"Right," I said. "Just a moment."
I finally opened the box—and caught my breath. Nestled within the folds of black velvet, there lay a superb necklace that would've been the envy of any princess. The chain was made of highly polished gold, glinting gently in the garden lights. The pendant itself was a heart shaped pink diamond cut into a million facets and displayed in a five-prong gold setting. The facets of the pendant glittered in the light, throwing rainbows all around. The pendant itself looked so delicate that it was hard to imagine how one could hold it without breaking it.
"It…it's beautiful," I gasped as I lifted the jewel reverently from its box. "Thank you so much!"
"I told you she would love it," Edward said to Bella, smugness in his voice.
Bella sighed and I turned to look at her. Knowing my mother, she might've thought that I wouldn't want anything grand, like her. However, when it came to jewels, I pretty much inherited Rosalie's taste.
Bella smiled sheepishly at me and a second later, she was standing right behind me, fastening the necklace to my neck where it glinted against the light.
I smiled at them both. "I truly do love it," I said. "Thanks again."
"Oho!" Emmett called out as he approached our table. "You're giving her your present already? I thought we were saving that for later." He gave Edward a look.
"Sorry," Edward said as he stood up to stand by Bella's side. "We couldn't resist."
"I wanted to be the first to give her our present," Emmett sighed as he pointed to a package near the table. I gaped. The package was wrapped up in red and was as tall as me and probably a meter wide. What one earth could be in it?
"Our?" I asked.
"Mine and the wolves," he said, grinning.
I looked at the wolves, stunned that they would chip in with Emmett for a gift for me. "Alright!" I said in a loud voice. "When you're all done eating, I want my presents, please." I knew I must've sounded like a child, but I was just so curious as to what they were going to give me.
I watched as everyone finished their food with a bit of impatience, when they were done, they looked at me and grinned.
"Which one first, Ness?" Jasper asked.
I deliberated for a moment. Emmett and the wolves' seemed to be the biggest. Save the best for last, then. Not that theirs was the best. Edward and Bella's had been the best, but they had given it first, so let me rephrase. Save the second best for last.
"Alice," I said promptly.
Alice danced over to where I sat with Bella and Edward at my side. She grinned as she handed me a blue gift wrapped box. I opened it eagerly, throwing the wrapping paper around. Inside I found…another box? It was smaller, but it was definitely another box.
Sam, Seth, Quil, Embry and Emmett howled with laughter at the look on my face. "Okay," I said under my breath, listening to the tinkling of my voice which Jacob said he loved. My stomach clenched. How I wished Jacob was here!
Ignoring the clenching in my stomach, I tore through the second box…only to find another smaller blue box.
Emmett now held his sides as he laughed away.
I looked up at Alice and Jasper and they only grinned at me. What sort of trick were they pulling? I opened the box…there was another box inside.
I could now say that my Quileute friends were literally howling with laughter.
"Jasper," I said through gritted teeth, looking up at him and Alice. "You're so dead."
He and Alice chuckled. "That's the last box, Ness," Alice reassured me.
"It'd better be," I muttered as I opened the box. My eyes popped up in surprise. Inside the box, lay a set of silver keys…
I lifted them out of the box and looked at them, then at Alice and Jasper. Okay…this was a way too expensive gift…
"Don't say that you don't like it," Alice said, grinning. "You haven't seen the car yet."
Speechless, I nodded. "Okay…I'll open the rest first before I check out the car."
"Right," Alice said, with a smirk. "Emmett, you're up!"
My eyes popped up. Here was the gift that I had wanted to see—the one that required Emmett's brawn to lift. Emmett grinned as he picked up the life-sized box. As I watched him lift it, I saw that Emmett wasn't really exerting any force as he lifted the box at all. He was only feigning that it was heavy. Okay. But what was in it?
"Actually," Rosalie said. "Emmett thought of it and the dogs agreed to it." My Quileute friends had long since accepted the fact that Rosalie would always refer to them in this way. They, in turn, referred to her as 'Icy Barbie' of just 'Barbie' for short.
I nodded as Emmett set down the box in front of me. I immediately noticed that the heavy scent of flowers hovered over the box. I raised an eyebrow. What could be in it that needed the scent of flowers to block out its natural smell?
Now I was really curious.
I eagerly tore through the wrapping paper with inhuman speed, accidentally throwing the big red ribbon at Sam who caught it before it could hit him in the face. I eagerly opened the box to find it filled with…
The same kind of flowers that hung everywhere. I tilted my head. Flowers? What would I need flowers for?
I turned around to face Emmett. "Er…I think we've got enough flowers, Em—"
Before I could finish my sentence, I suddenly heard the sound of flowers tumbling against one another as though something were trying to break free from the flowers. A second later, a pair of hands clamped down over my eyes, turning my vision black yet again.
This person's hands were far too rough to be Alice's. The scent of flowers clung heavily to this person. However, it barely masked the scent underneath, the scent that I recognized and sought for all night.
A fresh pine-and-wood smell, the smell of the forest. "Jacob!" I cried out as I spun around and at the same time, I removed the hands from my eyes.
My mouth hung open.
Jacob was dressed up. His hair—which he had willingly cut short, under my request—was kept back and neat. He wore a tuxedo, which was strange, because I have never known him to be the type to dress up. There was a single white carnation in the lapel of his tux. To complete the effect, he held out a bouquet of fourteen silver roses. I didn't have time to think where he could've gotten them (Edward probably had something to do with it), for my attention was drawn to the one thing that spoiled this vision of perfection.
There was a stray flower in his hair. It seemed as if he had hidden—or rather, been hidden—inside the flower filled box.
"Jacob!" I cried out again, as I threw my arms around his neck. "I thought you were with Billy!" I kissed him lightly on the cheek. Usually, I would've kissed him fiercely on the lips, but since my parents were present…
"And miss your birthday?" Jacob asked as he handed me the roses. "Over my dead body." He added with a snort.
I giggled as I took the roses from him. The silver petals shimmered softly in the light. "These are incredible!" I exclaimed. "Where did you get these?"
I looked up at him and saw that his eyes flickered to Edward and Bella, thus confirming my suspicions.
Jake shrugged. "Happy birthday," he said, giving me a peck on the cheek.
"This is brilliant!" I said again, "now everyone's here!" I wrapped my arms around his neck again and this time, I did kiss him.
After a few moments, Rosalie and several others cleared their throats—loudly. I blushed and pulled away and caught Bella and Edward watching, their mouths in a thin line. Oh well. Rosalie then handed me another package which I opened with less fervor than the rest—the best package was already opened and the excitement from opening the rest had all but drained away. Rose's gift turned out to be a diamond jewelry set which could have been worth Buckingham Palace.
"It was my grandmother's," Rose said hurriedly as I skeptically eyed the shimmering ring, earrings and diamond drop pendant. "I didn't spend anything on it at all."
I looked at her and smiled. "Thanks, Rose," I said. "But why are you giving something this precious to me?"
She shrugged. "Well, before…before I became a vampire, I planned to give it to my own granddaughter," she said, and I thought I detected a faint catch in her voice. "However…seeing as how I can't have any, I thought that it would be better off with you." She smiled again, and this time, the smile transformed her face to make her look like a beauty that would have been the envy of Venus herself.
"Thank you," I said sincerely. I knew that I wouldn't probably get to wear the entire set at the same time, but still, I'd treasure it.
The last ones to hand over their gifts were Carlisle and Esme. Knowing how generous Carlisle could be (I've already been to Isle Esme for the summer), I was in a state of dread. What could they have gotten me?
Carlisle and Esme smiled at me as the latter handed me a thick Manila envelope with the words 'Happy Birthday, Nessie' written in Carlisle's elegant hand across the flap.
What could be in it? Documents stating that I now owned the state of Washington? Letters saying that Carlisle had legally purchased the moon? Or papers saying that he had bought Windsor Castle? Not even taking into consideration the bloated accounts all over the world in each and every bank imaginable that was stamped with the various names of the Cullens (accounts which only seemed to get even more bloated as the months rolled by, I'm not exaggerating), there was enough money stashed in the house that could've easily kept one fourth of Asia afloat for several years.
I didn't have time to ponder how my family's bank accounts seemed to get bigger as the days passed; instead, I pondered what could've been inside the envelope. What was it, really? I had already known for a long time that the one person who would be a danger when it came to gift-giving was neither my father nor Alice; it was my grandfather, Carlisle.
"Well?" both Carlisle and Esme asked.
I nodded at them. They were the only grandparents on earth who looked like models—and in a way that was pretty cool.
I immediately tore through the Manila envelope, being careful not to rip out anything inside it. Inside were white papers…tickets.
My eyes popped open. There were ten plane tickets inside. Ten plane tickets to Japan, the country I'd been obsessing for the past several years now. I was no longer obsessed, but to let Carlisle and Esme know wouldn't be good. However, there was one person who would immediately know what was going on inside my head. My eyes scanned the crowd of my family and they finally rested on Edward.
He was giving me a look that clearly said, 'Enjoy it for their sakes'. Sometimes, I envied Bella for being able to keep my father out of her head.
"Thank you!" I squealed with delight. Unlike Bella, my acting skills were flawless. I threw my arms around Carlisle and Esme, giving them a tight hug. "Thank you so much! I've always wanted to jet off to Japan. But…why are there ten tickets?"
They smiled again. "We're all going," Carlisle said simply, smiling. "The family and Jacob too."
If I was slightly averse to the thought of jetting off to Japan because I'd be separated from my Jake, I was now utterly delighted. "Oh thank you!" I cried out with perfect sincerity, no acting this time.
"Just great," Jake grumbled. "Flying off, getting free barf bags…just exciting." Sarcasm dripped heavily from each word. I giggled at him and Edward carefully gave him a punch on the shoulder.
Everyone laughed, but from the peripheral of my vision, I saw Alice make her way over to Edward. They looked into each other's eyes and I knew they were having a silent conversation.
"How could you not see this earlier?!" Edward snapped, his velvet voice suddenly sharp.
Alice's eyes narrowed. "I couldn't see at all because of the wolves and Nessie in general," she said, her tone calm. "I only saw it now, because I was really looking for it. I didn't even get a full look. I only got a glimpse."
By now everyone was aware of Alice's latest vision. That she could've seen anything with the wolves present was astounding. Everyone, except some of the wolves who kept their distance, converged around Alice and Edward. Jasper didn't even bother trying to calm everyone down. We were all too preoccupied with what was going on at the moment.
"It was a snap decision," Alice murmured softly. "I know that I've seen them leave Italy, I know I've seen them come to the country, but, Edward, I never saw them come to Forks!" At the mention of the word 'Italy' everyone suddenly tensed. Italy could only mean one thing.
During our last encounter with the Voltui, they had turned and fled. But over the years, they had collected more power, thus restoring their confidence and the fear that their name brought. Over the years they had gotten stronger, far stronger. The last news we had heard of the Volturi was that they had succeeded in finding a new addition to their ranks. A new addition that had the ability to dispel the gifts of vampires.
I suddenly felt cold. The last time I had seen one of them up-close, it had been Aro. What could they want now?
Jacob wrapped his arms protectively around my shoulders and I snuggled into them.
"What do they want?" Edward suddenly said.
"I'm not sure," Alice said, closing her eyes and trying to see past the holes of her vision. There was a slight scuffle behind us. Sam and the rest of the pack—minus Jacob—had left in order to give Alice some wide berth. "I only saw Jane and Alec…and Isabel."
The atmosphere tensed even further. Isabel, whom Bella hated for nearly having the same name as her, was the latest addition to the Volturi coven. She was a vampire who had the capability to dispel the gifts of other vampires. The fact that the Volturi had sent their three most precious and powerful jewels was unnerving. With Isabel's ability to bring down my mother's mental shied, Alec's anesthetizing people and Jane's burning gift, we were at a high disadvantage should it come to a fight.
"Who else is with them?" Edward asked. "Aro wouldn't let his favorites go alone without some escort." There was disgust in his voice.
Alice closed her eyes again. "I'm not sure. I think I see Demetri and Felix. And…no way…"
"What is it?" Bella asked, worried.
"It couldn't be," Alice said as she opened her eyes. "I've never heard of such a thing before…it's just not possible…unheard of…"
"Alice," Rosalie said firmly. "What did you see?"
Alice looked up at us. There was disbelief in her eyes mixed with slightest hint of fear. "Aro is with them."
"Will you please stop complaining, Inuyasha?" I asked as I placed a foot on the edge of the well. "I told you, I'll only be gone for a week."
It was just me and him in the well clearing. His arms were folded in an annoyed way across his chest and his face was drawn into a pout that—unknown to him—looked very cute.
"Keh!" he said. "You gotta stop going back to your world. How will we find the final jewel shard if you keep leaving, huh?"
I rolled my eyes. Our search for the jewel shard had narrowed down to one final missing piece. Naraku had all the pieces except for the one we were searching. I understood Inuyasha's urgency to find the last piece. But, hey, a girl's got things to take care of, right?
And in my case, it was a week long final examination before the start of summer.
I sighed in exasperation. "Inuyasha," I said firmly, withdrawing my foot from the well's edge and walking right up to him. "We've been looking for that shard for over a month now. There hasn't even been a slight hint of it. Nothing at all. Nothing to go by. If we're not having any leads, if Kikyou's not having any leads, then what makes you think that Naraku's getting lucky?"
He rolled his eyes. "Kagome, you gotta stop being so—"
"Oh! You're calling me self-centered? What a hypocrite you are!"
"What's that supposed to mean?"
"It means that if I'm self-centered, you're even more self-centered than I am!"
"You're not going home, woman!"
I had the satisfaction of watching Inuyasha crumple to the ground with a muffled 'Oomph!'. I sighed as I approached the well again.
"Don't worry, I'll be back soon enough," I assured him as I jumped into the well.
Silence reigned throughout the garden. The flowers swayed eerily in the breeze as though to emphasize the fear in Alice's eyes.
"But…If Aro is with them," Esme said. "Then, surely, Caius and Marcus are there as well?"
Alice shook her head. "No," she said, her voice sounded dead. "It was just Aro. Aro, Jane, Alec, Felix and Demetri."
"But that's impossible," Jasper spoke up. "How can Aro leave Volterra without the other ancients? They always go together!"
Alice shook her head. "I don't know," she murmured. "There's something about Aro…"
Edward had the same look on his face as Alice. "But what do they want?" Jacob suddenly spoke up. His arms tightened around me as though to protect me from the oncoming danger.
Alice closed her eyes again. "I'm not sure either," Alice said, closing her eyes and bringing her fingers to her temples as though to massage away a headache. "All I see is that they'll be here…tonight."
"Can we run?" Jacob asked.
Emmett looked disgusted with the prospect. "No," Edward growled, his own arms going around Bella's waist. "We don't have time. Even if we did, Demetri would still find us."
"What is Aro doing?" Carlisle murmured to himself. He turned to Alice. "Where should we meet them?"
Alice had a faraway look in her eyes and her eyebrows were furrowed. Suddenly, her eyes widened in shock, do did Edward's. He had seen what she had seen too.
And whatever they had seen did not bode well for us.
"Here," Alice murmured her eyes wide with shock. "They'll come here."
"Here?!" Esme exclaimed, her eyes widening, her hand over her mouth. "Here!"
Alice nodded again. "It'll be best if we wait here," she said again. "The outcome will be more…favorable."
Jacob's arms were tighter around me. I silently stared at him. He was staring at me. He had a look in his eyes that could have only meant that he wanted to grab me and run off with me, far from this danger. What was Aro up to? Why would he come here without the other ancients? In fact…why would he come here with the crown jewels of his collection?
We waited for nearly an hour. The breeze blew, and, for some reason, I felt cold despite the warmth of Jacob's body.
A new scent suddenly reached my nose. Edward and Bella immediately stood in front of me, Emmett and Jasper on either side of them, eyes narrowed menacingly. Rosalie, Alice and Esme stood either side of me and Jacob behind me. Carlisle stood at the very front, waiting to greet Aro. They had gathered around me, I realized. I was the one that needed protecting. I was the one who would be most vulnerable to the Volturi.
"Aro, my friend, it has been a while," Carlisle suddenly said.
Dread filled me as I looked straight past the shoulders of my protectors, at the dark trees. Five figures emerged from the trees, their cloaks swishing softly as they approached. Like the last time they had come, the Volturi walked as though to the beat of a march. They fanned out in an almost elegant way, reminding me of the way a fan opens. The cowls of their cloaks were down, showing their face. Jane and Alec stood side by side, with space between them to show the figure behind them. It was the latest addition to the Volturi, Isabel. Her eyes were a bright crimson—they were almost glowing. Her hair was a thick mantle of gold that hung to her waist in wavy curls and she was slightly taller than Jane and Alec. Felix and Demetri stood on either side of Jane and Alec, both looking smug.
Though we were supposed to be surprised at seeing Isabel there, we were more surprised to see Aro. When his face was finally revealed to the light, everyone stifled a gasp. The last time I had seen Aro, he had seemed so frail with his film covered eyes and delicate skin. Now however, was quite different. Gone was the milky film over his eyes, his hair was longer and was tied back in a ponytail, his skin had lost its delicate countenance and looked like hard marble.
He looked powerful.
How could that be possible? I was sure I was not the only one who pondered this question. Before the others could react, however, Aro spoke.
"Yes, indeed, Carlisle, my friend, it has been a while," he greeted. His red eyes flashed to every face as he stepped away from his guard, towards Carlisle. From the peripheral of my vision, I thought I saw Felix wink at Bella.
"What brings you here, my friend?" Carlisle asked. Behind me, Jacob tensed, ready to transform should anything go wrong.
"I merely wished to see how young Renesmee was," Aro said pleasantly. His eyes searched every face until he found mine. "Ah. You look mature now, I see."
"Got a problem with that?" Jacob snarled.
"Peace," Aro said, holding up a hand. "I did not come here to fight. I merely came here to wish Renesmee a most happy fourteenth." His eyes pierced mine, and I could feel everyone tense. If it came down to a fight—with Isabel on their side—we would loose. I had to do something. He came here under the pretence to see me, and that's what he'll get.
"Thank you," I said, stepping away from protectors. I tried to ignore Jacob's growl of alarm, but it was hard to do.
"Now, now," Aro said, looking at Jacob. "We did not come here to fight. We merely came here to wish Renesmee well…and to give her a little present."
Jane's eyes narrowed menacingly at me and she bared her fangs at me. Everyone tensed, crouching, ready to spring. The Volturi responded in a similar way.
"Peace, my dear ones," Aro reprimanded. The Volturi immediately straightened. "Felix."
We watched as Felix approached Aro, withdrawing something from within his cloak. It was a box, an ordinary black velvet box. Aro smiled—it was almost genuine—as he slowly approached Carlisle, holding the velvet box towards me. I stiffened and so did the others.
I glanced at Edward and Bella. They nodded encouragingly. I hesitated as I approached. My heart—pounding frantically in my chest—was the only sound I could hear. I took a step towards Aro. I could feel Jacob prepared to phase, tensing, watching my every move. I was now a foot away from Aro, and yet I didn't feel frightened. I felt calm. Unafraid.
I was thankful, though. It made taking the velvet box from Aro's marble hand much more easier. "Thank you," I said, faking a smile, which he took for genuine.
He and the rest of the Volturi looked expectantly at me.
Of course. I opened the box and my eyes popped up. Inside, nestled within the folds of white satin, was another diamond necklace, the third one I had received that night. The chain was made of intertwined gold. The pendant was a round diamond, the size of a small golf ball. The pendant was fitted into gold vines that twined and twisted so that they held the diamond. I would have immediately thought of discarding it, had it not been for another jewel.
A jewel within the diamond.
Inside the diamond, in the very center, was a purple-pink jewel shard. I stared at it. How on earth could there be another jewel within a jewel? I gently took the necklace from the box and held the pendant up to my eyes. The diamond did not interest me at all. It was the jewel shard within. It had a faint glow to it and, was it just my imagination, or did just turn the slightest shade darker?
"It…it's…beautiful." My voice sounded genuine.
I looked up at Aro. "It's just a little jewel from the sixteenth century," Aro said dismissively. "Something that was lying around."
From the peripheral of my vision, I could see Jane's fangs bared and her eyes narrowed. Hm…did the little darling hate that I was given this? Obviously.
But it was not the diamond that made me want to keep the gift. It was the jewel within the diamond. I was fascinated by it. How did another jewel end up within the diamond?
"I give my thanks," I said, using formal language.
Aro nodded then stepped back towards his protectors all of whom closed in around him. "Must you leave so soon, my friend?" Carlisle asked. Was he crazy?!
"Unfortunately, yes," Aro said. "Volterra without me would not be Volterra at all."
With that, they took their leave.
It was silent for several minutes, then, I felt Jacob pull me into his arms.
"That was it?" I asked.
Edward nodded. "They had no other intention other than to give you that."
Eventually, the party continued, but in a more subdued way. That is, until the other wolves returned. After asking questions, they began to devour the food, restoring the feel of the party which ended close to midnight. As I walked Jacob to main road from the drive, I took out Aro's gift.
"It's a strange thing," he commented. "Another jewel inside—not even a jewel, more like a shard."
I shoved him. "Be nice," I said. "Despite the fact that this was given to me by Aro, I really do like it."
He snorted. "It might be a trap."
It was my turn to snort. I held the necklace in front of my eyes. "It looks harmless enough."
"Sure, sure," he said. We had reached the main road. He tilted my head towards his. "Damn, I hate it when I have to leave."
I giggled as I reached up to kiss him. "Be back tomorrow then," I said, winking. "Oh, and, don't forget to give Billy my regards!"
He nodded, and then he kissed me again. Longer this time. My face in both of his hands, his thumbs gently stroking my cheeks. I giggled as I pulled away. "Alright then, go on," I said, "before Billy accuses me of keeping you hostage."
He grinned then ran off.
- - - - - -
That night, as I lay in bed, I took out Aro's present. I held it out towards the moonlight where it glittered softly, the jewel within the diamond sparkling purple.
It was a strange jewel. But, then again, the intentions of the one who had given it were even stranger.
A1969: wow! First chapter and it was that long. Ow! Finger ache!
Inuyasha: you're such an idiot sometimes. And why is there hardly any me at all in this chapter?
A1969: chill, boy, it's just the beginning. Yeah, there's not much Inuyasha in it. Don't worry, it'll change soon enough.
Kagome: -sigh-she just loves to experiment sometimes.
A1969: well, blame me if this idea was stuck in my head for two weeks now. Anyway, what do you guys think? Yes, no? Let me know in your reviews!