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46. Thea

B.P.O.V

As I sat silently in the training room, I closed my tired eyes, allowing myself to drift back into a comatose state – the closest I would ever truly come to what was once sleep to me.

A cool draft breezed through the room, dancing across my pale skin and filling the room with a bitter chill. Beside me Alec sat deadly still, his eyes never leaving the spot where Jane had recently left.

Not a moment later and the silence vanished, as the doors to the training room dramatically flew open – shaking the ancient stone walls with the sheer force, and rattling the training equipment that had somehow managed not to fall to the cold floor.

A stranger stood before me, his dark hair pulled back into a perfect pony tail as his crimson red eyes searched my blank face.

I briefly glanced over towards Alec, looking for some sign of recognition – his mouth was set in a sort of grim half smile, and his eyes shone with confusion.

I quickly looked away soon after, as the stranger began to speak, his voice light and filled with some unknown emotion.

"Bella! My dear, it is a pleasure to meet you, though the circumstances are not quite as I'd hoped. Perhaps you have changed your mind, it would be such a shame to see such a bright one fade…" He faded off, making his way toward me – and offering his out stretched hand.

"Please forgive me, of course you have no idea who I am. My name is Afton, Volturi guard member, at your service." I listened carefully, sure that he put an extra emphasis on Afton than was needed.

His hand was still outstretched and not wanting to appear rude, I took it – noticing that his skin was paper like, and ice cold as was mine. He soon let go, a new glint in his eye as he shared a fleeting glance with Alec – who stood firmly to my left, his dark cape billowing behind him.

"It is good to meet you too Afton." I murmured half heartedly, quickly taking back my hand and letting it drop back to my side. His lips pulled up into a gleeful smile, and it reminded me of the child catcher from chitty chitty bang bang – a film I had loved as a small child. Creepy, and calculating.

I turned my gaze down to my feet, carefully studying my shoe laces – not wanting to look back up and face the awkward silence that had invaded the space.

Suddenly, Alec spoke in hushed whispers, his voice strained and urgent.

"Bella, we have to go, they are waiting." His features were grave, and I was sure I saw a hint of regret play across his eyes, but as soon as it was there, it was gone again.

I nodded mutely, allowing him to pull me from the room. Leaving Afton staring straight after us, his smile still intact, though his eyes seemed…sad? All in all, things seemed strange and suspicious. Alec was acting peculiarly as well, much to my discomfort.

Alec firmly held his hand in mine, pulling my fingers every so often, telling me to quicken my pace. We had talked late into the night it seemed, and now we faced the early hours of the morning.

Ahead of me were a fleet of spiralling stairs, steep and daunting and as I carefully made my way down each one, securing my precarious footing, I thought of what I was about to do.

I was to die. Soon. I cleared my mind, shutting down my senses. So that I could no longer smell or hear, no longer feel. It was as if my soul had shattered, vanished and I was simply the corpse. Left behind with only one way to reach it's soul once again.

I could only see now, see and nothing else. What I was hearing simply went straight through me – I could not hear what my body did not want to. Step by step we drew closer to the unknown.

Each step was unfamiliar to me, new territory. We reached a large open room, where across from us a frail human sat – looking lonely and helpless. It seemed she was the secretary.

Alec pulled my numb body towards her, and as we reached the desk I saw a flash of confusion run across the woman's features. Her face was pale and looked drawn, and her eyes were blank and haunting, underlined by dark patches as if she hadn't slept in years.

I watched as she and Alec shared a brief whisper of a conversation and then as she nodded mutely, her eyes never leaving mine as we walked away.

Finally we reached a large ornate door, made purely of fine wood I assumed. Alec grasped the handle forcefully, throwing it open and stepping inside – pulling me firmly with him. My arms felt disconnected from my body, and they hung unattractively as Alec kept hold of my right hand.

I stared at my feet again, watching them shuffle forward – with no purpose or drive. I simply wanted to be done with it all.

As we came to a stop I breathed a small sigh of relief, taking the chance to swiftly glance up from my shoes only to come face to face with the thrown room.

The walls were made of the same ancient stone, though they were draped with expensive looking crimson velvet, and the ceilings were high and grand – carved into ancient patterns that reflected the regal theme. Pillars lined the great walls, looking as if they had come straight from the palaces of ancient Greece.

The room was dark and beautiful, and though no windows were present, the walls flickered with torches, glowing an angry yellow and red.

Beside me Alec cleared his throat, and squeezed my hand before bowing his head in respect as dark figures emerged from the shadows. He let go of my hand then, and I instantly felt its loss, though I quickly pushed back the emotions and let my body feel numb once again.

I followed his lead, bowing my head before watching the scene before me.

Three figures emerged, their faces cloaked by the shadows that their cloaks provided. They kept their heads down, and seemed to float towards the three large thrones that sat in the centre of the regal space.

Behind them more figures emerged, and the five lighter cloaked figures, went to stand possessively behind their masters.

No one moved or said a word.

It was the cloaked figure who sat on the second throne – the largest and most ornate one – that spoke. He kept his voice hushed and quiet, but his entire presence radiated power. He was the leader I soon figured out.

It took me a moment to realise he was speaking to me and keeping my head down I listened, though I did not take in every word nor listen intently.

"Child. Please do not hide from us, we do not mean harm; I speak for my brothers and my guard when I say we only wish to listen and hear your story. It is not every day that we face such circumstances as yours…" His voice was filled with emotion, and every word was carefully chosen – as if he had spent hours perfecting it. My silent heart seemed to give a small twinge of pain, at his voice, it seemed familiar to me but my numb heart could not recognise it. I was too empty to care.

I watched in silence as he gave a small almost inaudible cry and then as the cloak figure to his right reached out and placed a hand on his cloth covered shoulder. He seemed to calm quickly, though it took a moment before he spoke again.

He rose lithely to his feet, his brothers following him as if to protect him and watch for any signs of trouble. Behind them, the guard moved too, their lighter capes hiding their faces from view.

As he silently strode forward, his entourage following, I became as still as a statue – my eyes desperately searching for Alec's comforting presence. He was gone. Vanished.

I was all alone. I closed my eyes, and tilted my head toward the floor; letting my mind clear of all thoughts and become an empty, dark hole.

I could faintly hear the footsteps come to a halt, and I knew that they stood before me now. My eyes flew open, as a cool hand reached out to me, pulling my chin upwards so that I now looked into the face of the Volturi leader.

His face was completely shadowed, all except for his crimson eyes that stood out dramatically in the midst of the darkness. His eyes seemed sad and regretful, and they shone with unshed tears.

"Why are you here young one? I feel your sadness, it radiates from you and yet you seem empty, numb." This time it was not the leader – Aro – who spoke, but his brother; who I could only guess was Caius. His voice too seemed familiar, though not like Aro's was.

Caius reached out a hand to me, but quickly thought better of it – pulling his hand swiftly back into the confines of his shielding cloak.

I decided that I needed to speak, to say something in response; otherwise I would never get anywhere.

"I-I want to die, it is all I want. I cannot bear to live any longer; I have no one in this world that cares for me. And the only one I have ever loved never felt the same. I have lived for too long and now my time has come to an end. I just want it to be ever, to end the years of pain and suffering…" My voice broke, and around me I could hear many gasps or shock and surprise. Even to my own ears I now I sounded empty, hollow, only a shadow of my old self. An empty corpse, lost without a soul.

My face was blank, but my eyes were filled with tears I would never shed – no matter how much I willed them too. I gazed upwards, meeting Aro's crimson eyes.

"My dear child. Your words…they are not true, I believe you are loved. You are not alone in this world, and you never shall be. For your loved ones will not allow it. And I will not allow…," He gasped in pain, and some members of the guard reached out for him, "allow you to be ki–killed."

I retreated as if he had slapped me, a cry of agony escaping my lips as I crumpled to the cold stone floor – my knees giving out, and buckling under the pressure. I lay my pale cheek against the ground, pulling my knees up to my chest as I lay in a crumpled mess, my tearless sobs racking my body and jerking my shoulders.

"P-please just k-kill me...end it." I managed to cry out, between my sobs. There was no answer and instead I was pulled into someone's cold embrace as they pulled me up from the floor.

"Young one, do not cry, please it hurts me to see it. Such sadness should not mar such a beautiful young face." It was Aro who spoke, his words muffled, as he smoothed my unruly hair. I gave a small cry in response, and tried to escape his iron hold.

"Kill me!" I shouted, though it was muffled by Aro's hard chest. His body froze, as if I had shocked him and I felt his embrace loosen, as he let me go.

It all happened quickly then. I ran from the tightly knit group, pushing my way through the sea of dark cloth. The doors to the throne room thrust open and Alec seemed to fly into the room, his eyes locked on mine as he tackled me to the floor.

"I'm sorry Bella, but this is for your own good." He cried, into my hair as he pulled my arms behind my back. I growled in response, feeling betrayed and hurt. I had thought Alec liked me, I had thought he was my friend.

I knew my plan was stupid but I wanted to die and I was willing to do anything, and if the Volturi wouldn't willingly participate then I was going to have to make them. I would drawn attention to myself, then they would have to kill me.

I would expose myself to the sunlight, it would be the quickest way seeing as the sun would rise in the sky soon. I threw Alec from me, finding an unknown strength deep within me.

I had almost made it to the door when my entire body froze, my muscles coming to an unwilling halt as everything around me blurred. What was happening?

A figure emerged from behind the great oak doors, but unlike the others she did not wear any dark robes, her head was not cloaked by a dark hood.

Her long black hair fell in waves, reaching down towards the middle of her back. Her eyes were a strange grey colour and were framed by thick dark lashes. She was beautiful, though it was not inhuman beauty.

Suddenly thoughts raged through my mind, thoughts that were not entirely my own. They burned my head, and made me feel as if blood was pounding through my ears. I felt like my head would explode at any minute…

Child you must listen, I cannot help if you will not listen.

I screamed in agony, as the sentence burned through my skull and I was faintly aware of the whispers around me, the cries of pain, and the gasps of surprise.

My name is Thea, and I have watched you all of your life my child. I have watched you succeed and fail, but I love you nevertheless. I was created to watch over you, and to help you in your hour of need, I am not immortal as are you and I cannot stay where I am not needed. I was created to protect and watch over you my child, but I my time is almost up.

I gasped once again in shock before, screaming out in pain; each word she spoke seemed to weaken me and with every sentence I could feel myself slipping into the darkness that threatened to engulf me.

I am sorry that there is no other way little one, but I could not stand by and let you believe such lies, let you go on hurting yourself. I had to step in, and if this is the only way to stop you then so be it. He loves you my child, he does not stop loving you, and he needs you just as you had once needed me. Do not shut him out, open your heart and everything will be ok. I cannot stay any longer my little one, my time has come, but your time is not up yet. Do not forget my words child, I shall forever be with you. αντίο κόρη μου…

Thea vanished, and with one last cry of pain my vision darkened, filled with bright spots as the world spun around me.

And as I was freed from my frozen fate, I fell numbly to the floor. My head hitting the ancient stone with a crash as my name was cried out in the darkness.

"Bella…"

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