A/N: I'd just like to take a moment and assure all of you who are still reading this that I'm not giving up on any of my stories. The truth of the matter is that I just finished writing my own book and am working to get it published. Fanfiction is the place I go to when I have writers block and need to concentrate on something else. I will finish my stories but I can't always guarantee a quick update as most of you have probably already learned. Without further ado here's Edward's task.
Truth and Lies
I was surprised by how long it was taking to reach the place where Aro would test me. It felt like I had been following Demetri and Felix for hours, but that might have just been my anxiety.
My confusion only grew when my bodyguards stopped in the middle of the hall, forcing me to screech to a halt behind them. From what I could tell, there was nothing here. No door, no passage, no one.
"Why…" I didn't get the chance to finish my question. Demetri lowered himself to a crouch before springing straight into the air, pushing away part of the roof. A small ray of light trickled in from the hole illuminating part of the tunnel.
A low growl brought my attention back to Felix whose lips had curled over his teeth, making him every bit the animal his thoughts showed him to be. He didn't say anything but the threat was very clear in his mind.
Careful to stay out of striking distance, I leaped through the exit. Demetri was casually leaning against the side of a building not paying attention to me, but rather to the fading sunset. A thump behind me was the only indication I had that Felix had followed us out of the tunnel.
"How long?" He snarled the question to Demetri, keeping his eyes trained on me.
"In a few seconds," Demetri's voice didn't hold the same rage Felix had, but I knew from their thoughts that Demitri was far more dangerous. "And please Felix, do try to control your temper. We don't have time for a tantrum."
To my surprise, Felix did as he was commanded. At least on the outside. His thoughts still spewed threats at me every few seconds.
"Now," Demetri ordered, lowering his hood and stalking into the dark street. There were still people, most on their way home, but none of them paid attention to us. The streets quickly became a maze as we darted up one street and down another.
If it wasn't for my photographic memory, I'd have been lost. As it was, I felt great relief when we stopped outside a dark warehouse. I glanced at the door then to the guards who flanked me. Both nodded to the building, indicating that I was meant to enter.
Admittedly, I was being far less careful entering the strange location than I would have been before Bella dismissed me. What did I have to fear? Death? It would only mean that those I cared about would be given the chance to leave unharmed.
As I made my way through the double doors, the intoxicating scent of fresh blood flooded my nose. If not for the years of practice in resisting the temptation, I would have most likely began hunting. Instead I pushed my hunger down and followed the barely discernible smell of the brothers.
The trail led to a room in the back of the warehouse. It was just my luck that this room was also the source of the mouthwatering aroma. Slowly pushing through the entrance, I immediately noticed that the large room was filled with at least twenty humans who all wore the same expression of pure terror.
Laughter from my right brought my attention to the four statues. A low growl built in my throat as I noticed Aro's gleeful expression as he watched the humans huddle together in the center of the room.
"Aren't humans so predictable," he whispered in a conspiratorial tone. "Put them in danger and they become a herd. And they think they are so far above the livestock which sustains them!"
"What are they doing here?" Despite my anger, I tried to make my voice sound neutral.
"Yes Aro," Marcus added. "You've kept us all in suspense. Surely now that Mr. Cullen is here you can explain this test."
It was while looking at the bored expression on Marcus' face that I realized that I couldn't read his mind. Now that I thought about it, it was absolutely silent in my head. Where there should have been shrieks and panic from the people huddled in the middle of the room, ther was only my own thoughts.
It could only mean one thing. Looking more closely at the fourth hooded figure who I had assumed was only a guard, I was shocked to see Bella. She was staring obstinately at the ground, avoiding my gaze even when I called her name.
"Ah yes." Aro's voice held an artificial sadness, as if he felt any real regret about the rift these challenges had caused between us. "I'm sorry to say that I had to interrupt Isabella's rest. You see, I can't have you reading minds until the test begins. It would be unfair."
I knew I should have been paying more attention to his words, but all I could concentrate on in that moment was Bella. Would this be the last time I saw her? Did it even matter now that she hated me?
I hated this! Ever since these idiotic trials began, it seemed that the wall between Bella and I had only grown thicker. What made it worse was that I knew that none of this would have happened if I hadn't left her when she had still been human.
"Now about the test," Aro continued, his words finally breaking through. "I think you'll find that this fits with your gift quite nicely."
"This," he said, gesturing to a large black box. Aro hit a button on the keypad resting on top of it causing a bright blue light to flick on. "Is a bomb. It has thirty minutes on the timer during which the four digit password can be entered to turn it off. All you have to do is find the right code."
"That's it?" Caius scoffed. "Brother you are far too lenient! He could put in every possible code within ten minutes."
"I did take that into account Caius," Aro smiled. "That's why Edward only has three attempts. Should you put the wrong code in each time, the bomb will go off."
"That doesn't explain what they are doing here," Marcus added, nodding at the group of humans.
"Rather simple actually Marcus," Aro answered. "One of them knows the code. They each have been given a four digit number and it is up to Edward to figure out which has the correct number."
I glanced back at the group whose purpose now made them far more intimidating. It was hard enough to single out one mind from a crowd without adding panic to the mix. My head ached already at the thought of what would happen when Bella lowered her shield. It wasn't helped when a little boy who was clinging to an older woman's hand began wailing.
"Ah, the innocence of children. They are too young to fully understand the evils of the world, but old enough to understand simple orders." Aro marveled. Shaking his head slightly, he turned back to face me. "Now we'll leave and allow you to either pass or fail this task. Good luck."
With his final words, he turned and began to exit the building, bringing his brothers with him. My heart seemed to come alive when I realized that Bella had not immediately followed. Instead she was finally looking at me with what looked to be concern in her eyes. She cast a furtive glance at the retreating figures before leaning closer to me.
"You can do this Edward. Aro always makes the games fair. Even if this seems impossible, he's already given you everything you need to pass," Bella whispered, making sure to keep her voice low enough that I only I could hear her.
"Isabella," Aro called before I could say anything. "We are waiting."
She turned to leave, but I couldn't let her go like this. Not again.
"Bella." She paused, waiting for me to say anything. My mind which I had once told her could consider every option in seconds was stumped. In a situation like this, it was impossible to know what to say. I settled for the one thing that had always and would always remain true. "I love you."
"Forever," she answered. This one word brought my dead heart more joy than I thought I would ever feel again. Before I could fully dwell on it though, Bella rushed through the doors, taking the gift of her shield away. Panic flooded my head.
A/N Well now you know what his task his. Review. It might not make me go faster, but sometimes it inspires me and it's always nice to hear what you think. And answer this question: Should Bella and Edward complete all six task or should something (like a rebellion just saying) save them? See you soon hopefully!