DC: I don't own it

Thanks to my reviewers!

I hope everyone had a happy holiday!

Chapter 6,

Carlisle skidded to a stop in front of a road block. He honked angrily and the driver in front of him gave him a rude gesture. Carlisle growled and returned it making Esme gasp and slap his arm.

"Don't be rude."

Carlisle shot her a glare and it was so intense and so sudden it made Edward shrink back in his seat. Esme, however, returned it.

"I know you're angry but there is no need to instigate trouble."

Carlisle growled and swerved around the car only to come to another road block.

"What in the world is going on?" Edward asked.

"I haven't seen a crowd this big since you were born," Carlisle said.

"Oh and the funerals," Esme added. "It must be a big royal event."

"There's no way my uncle knew I was coming home. It's not his birthday and it's not the coronation, what with me not being home."

"Let's avoid distractions," Carlisle advised, "Edward hood up."

Edward nodded and pulled his hood up. Carlisle squeezed his car into an empty space and Edward got out quickly.

"If Edward is seen the paparazzi could be a problem. Let's all just make our way to the palace that way if we get separated we know where to meet. Cell phones on?"

Esme and Edward both nodded. Edward put on sun glasses that belonged to Esme, taking a quick shot to his manhood as they were clearly feminine. Esme hugged him tight and kissed him on the cheek.

"Be safe Edward. We don't want you getting trampled by fan girls."

Edward laughed dryly and they took off into the congested city. Edward was surprised by the look of pain on their faces. His heart filled with dread. His uncle had passed. That was why the black flags were waving.

"I can't wait until that half human scum gets what's coming to her."

Edward looked back but saw Carlisle and Esme had been separated from him.

"I just can't believe it. He was like the hottest prince of all time!"

Edward turned his head so quickly he got whiplash. There was a gaggle of teenage girls wearing black shirts with his picture on it.

"LOOK! THE SUN!" They began to cheer happily.

"What's happening with the sun?" he asked.

"What are you stupid kid? Prince Edward's assassin is being executed! Justice! Ignorant punk!"

He was pushed back by the man talking and he took to a run, pushing by vampires to get to the grand balcony. He wondered just what he was going to do when he got there. Would he rip his disguise off and show that he was, in fact, alive? Yeah, that seemed noble. Why let an innocent person die because of him?

Unless Caius was being punished for his crimes. Edward found that thought to be a pretty good reason to drag his feet. It would all just depend on who he saw on the chopping block. If it was the Captain...well...karma was a bitch after all.

---

"Are you ready to pay for the crimes you committed against my nephew?" Aro asked as Bella was brought in.

"You can't possibly believe that I did this."

Aro shrugged. "They do and that's all that matters."

Bella narrowed her eyes and took a step back from him. "But you know I didn't do it! Caius did!"

"Of course he did," Aro said, applying makeup to make himself look pale with worry. "I was hoping he would pin it on a human and I would get his head out of the deal but this is better. His sweet wannabe girlfriend getting her head lobbed off. It'll increase hatred towards the humans and filth like you. Win win dear."

Bella looked horrified and took another few steps away from him. He looked like such a madman. His eyes were black and he looked like he was an uncle who was deeply grieving over his nephew. Well he would have if he didn't have the delighted grin giving his eyes a demented twinkle.

"So tell me," Aro said grabbing her wrists and pulling her closer, "did you love him? Did you ever lay beside his pasty twiggy body and whisper sweet nothings after being a pity fuck? Or did you two clutch each other tight and promise that you would be BFF's forever and ever?"

"Don't patronize me you pompous asshole. Edward is a million times the man you are. Let me guess you killed your brother to. That seems perfectly cliche for someone like you."

"Ah, I wish I had your creative imagination when he was alive. Edward was always a fool who was trying to be a good king. Believe me, sweetie, I wish I had thought of killing him. I wish Elizabeth had survived long enough to have my child because oh my god she was a fox."

"You're disgusting," Bella growled.

"Oh," Aro gasped, jumping back and clasping his hands before his lips, "oh the half human slut thinks I'm disgusting! Oh how am I going to get over this? Do you mean it? Am I disgusting? Your opinion means oh so much to me."

Bella sat on a marble bench and buried her face in her hands. She could see the sky lightening and the people were cheering. Aro walked to the balcony and the roar grew.

"My beloved citizens I wish we could gather for the joyous coronation of my precious nephew. Sadly he was taken from us. But for what? Anger from the humans."

Bella tried not to cry. She wasn't going to cry. She wasn't going to give them the pleasure of seeing her tears! Unfortunately they were dribbling down her cheeks as visions of Carlisle, Edward and Esme went through her head. She found herself, surprisingly, remembering her mother. The cruel woman who gave her nothing but hatred and abuse. Carlisle's kindness made it all vanish. Now that she was facing death, however, she felt the familiar emptiness that her life began with. Edward was long gone and her father was probably just now learning of her execution and well out of range to help her.

"I can only promise two things, dear citizens, to lay your Prince's, my nephew's soul to rest. I will give you the head of the deranged lowlife half human scum that preyed upon Edward when he was weak from infection, and I can give you the heads of all the human monsters responsible for sending her!"

Caius grabbed Bella's arm roughly and yanked her up. "You and Edward can spend an eternity together," he sneered.

Bella couldn't speak. Her voice had gone and she couldn't seem to stop the tears. Carlisle's voice was in her head, singing a soft lullaby as he rocked her in his safe and loving arms. She was brought into the daylight and it blinded her. A sunny day that caused the vampires to shimmer like divine creatures sent from the heavens. How ironic. Her own skin glowed faintly and made a stark contrast to Caius's.

The crowd burst into cheers and she could her vulgar phrases being shouted ranging from die bitch to, well, Bella couldn't even stomach those ones. She was thrown to Jane and Alec who held her arms. Aro was presented with a jeweled sword.

"This sword has been in my family for generations. The very sword my Edward would have held on the day he became king if you hadn't stolen his life."

Bella looked at the angry mob, searching in vain for her small but loving family. She could have sworn she heard someone call her name. She could hear gasping in the crowd but was far too distracted by the feel of the cold blade against the back of her neck.

"CITIZENS! I GIVE YOU HER BLOOD SO THAT PRINCE EDWARD MAY REST IN PEACE!"

Bella expected darkness, but instead saw blue cotton in warm arms.

---

"I can only promise two things, dear citizens, to lay your Prince's, my nephew's soul to rest. I will give you the head of the deranged lowlife half human scum..."

Edward halted when he heard the words. He was touched that his uncle was so broken up about his death and would have liked to have seen Caius about to lose his head but the last words made him freeze. Half human. Had they really just plucked a random person from the warehouse? Edward wondered if he was so lucky. Either way it didn't matter. His almost killer wasn't going to be paying for their crimes so there was no point in waiting.

"...that preyed upon Edward when he was weak from infection, and I can give you the heads of all the human monsters responsible for sending her!"

Weak from infection?! Edward wondered why in the world his uncle said he was sick instead of missing. Surely he would have been found sooner if that message had gone out. And what about the last part. His body went cold and he had a hunting feeling who was paying for Caius's act. Edward threw the glasses off and started moving faster. He saw the magenta curtains open and Caius came out with the condemned. He saw Bella's tear stained cheeks. He screamed her name but his voice was drowned out by a roaring crowd. He felt his hood fall back and the wind in his hair. Aro was babbling about his father's sword. He pushed by people who were doing double takes but the crowd was getting so much thicker as they stood shoulder to shoulder. The angriest seemed to be in front, pushing against palace guards to get at the girl they believed assassinated their prince.

Edward grabbed someone's shoulders and pushed himself up. He could careless who he was trampling at that moment. Aro was positioning his sword and about to declare the execution.

"ARO! STOP!"

His voice seemed to drown in the sounds of the enthusiastic mob. He landed on a guard's shoulders and kicked off. He grabbed the marble balcony and pulled himself up as Aro swung the sword back. He propelled forward and curled his arms around Bella's small body and tucked her against his chest. He ducked and the sword barely missed him.

The crowd was screaming in protest when they didn't see Bella's head go flying. Bella was frozen and Edward was holding her tight in a crouch. Aro turned angrily and he looked honestly surprised to see his nephew.

"Bella! Bella! Say something! Let me know you're okay."

Bella looked at him slowly. She reached up and touched his face. "E-Edward?"

"Yeah. Your dad fixed me up perfectly."

"C-cutting it k-kinda close there."

"Sorry."

Edward stood up and faced his uncle.

"Edward?! You're alive?!"

"Yeah, imagine that," Edward growled. He held Bella tight, afraid of what would happen if she was put down.

"How did you survive?" Aro asked, coming to him and cupping his face in his hands. "You survived an SV to the chest!"

"Why don't you ask Caius about that," Edward growled. "Aro he tried to kill me."

"Edward he knows," Bella said, "he planned it."

Edward looked from Bella to his uncle. "W-what?"

"Edward I would never endanger your life. I have been so worried about you."

"Worried enough to say I was away on sick leave?" Edward asked angrily. "If you were so worried why didn't you send out a search party for me?! Why didn't you put out an alert?! When you put out the order to arrest all half humans the town I was in found out in two days!"

"Edward, please be sensible..."

Edward shook his head no and stepped away from his uncle with Bella safe in his arms. Something in Aro's eyes was amiss. He seemed annoyed and a bit angry. There wasn't any relief that his nephew was alive.

"I can't believe this," Edward cried as his back bumped against the marble rail of the balcony. "You had Caius...in the worst possible...YOU WANTED ME DEAD!"

There was a confused murmur in the crowd below. Edward held Bella tighter and she hung onto him. With her in his arms.

"Edward I would never! I can't believe you would think I wanted you dead!" Aro cried almost hysterically. "You're my nephew! Do you have any idea how worried I've been!"

Edward could see Caius appear on the balcony again and knew something was up. He had a dark and sinister look in his eyes.

"Captain," Aro called, "explain why Prince Edward believes you tried to kill him."

"Some of my troops have gone rogue," Caius said loudly and clearly. Edward knew something was up as they most certainly wanted to be heard by at least some of the vampires in the crowd. "I have my finest men out to get them."

"Excellent," Aro said. "Citizens, please remain calm. This threat will be resolved as soon as possible."

Edward was in complete shock. His uncle was dismissing this as rogue soldiers who were going to kill him! He held tight to Bella and looked at her. She looked scared but mostly traumatized. He figured the experience had been rough but he really hoped she could give him some input. But no, she was quite mute and staring blankly at his chest.

"Hold on tight," he muttered before jumping off of the balcony.

"EDWARD! GET BACK HERE!" Aro screamed. Caius charged past him and leapt off of the balcony after the teenager. "CAIUS BRING HIM BACK!"

"With pleasure," Caius growled to himself as he chased after the pair.

"My apologies," he muttered as he jumped back onto someone's shoulders and proceeded to once again literally step on his subjects. But they were vampires they could handle it. Some of them actually seemed to anticipate his moves and either tried to snag him for the Captain they believed was out to protect him, or boost him to the next one.

It was quite a difficult task. Edward tried to focus on who he was stepping on and if they were going to trip him up while taking a look out for Carlisle.

"EDWARD!"

He heard Carlisle's voice slightly to the west so he changed positions and jumped down as the crowd was thinner. He ducked around people, holding Bella securely and finally he crashed into the doctor.

"We gotta go, they want to kill me!"

Carlisle grabbed his arm and pushed through the remainder of the crowd. They ran through the city streets trying to get to the car. That plan was immediately scrapped when Carlisle realized they were more or less boxed in by others and escaping would be much more difficult. So they ducked into an empty store and hid out in the back.

"Let me see her," Carlisle said.

Edward nodded and set Bella down. Carlisle took her and began checking for injuries that needed immediate care. She was fine overall. Just bruised and cut. What he was more worried about was her mental health.

"Will she be okay?" Esme asked.

"Yes. She's just in shock right now. Listen I want you and Bella to get out of town. I'll stay with Edward and help him. He's much more high profile than she is."

"Carlisle we can't split up. They'll hurt her if the get her or throw her back in the warehouse at least."

Bella shuddered when she heard Edward mention the warehouse. Carlisle hugged her and kissed her forehead. "It's alright sweetheart, we've got you."

"How do you fight an army?" Edward asked. "I mean going to Aro won't do anything. He's the one trying to kill me! When they succeed it'll be labeled as treason by the army!"

Carlisle put his arm around Edward's shoulders and pulled him in for a gentle hug as he started to get a bit hysterical. It seemed that the reality that someone was trying to kill him, or rather several someones, for no adequately explained reason had fully sunken in and now he was reacting to it the way any scared teenager would.

Edward's mind was reeling. He grabbed Bella's hand and held it tight. He felt Esme's gentle hand petting his hair and found it soothing. He just had to take a few deep breaths, calm down and think of a plan.

"Carlisle you go with Bella and Esme. I can handle myself."

"I'm not leaving you here alone, Edward, we'll just figure something out, that's all."

They heard the door opening and everybody jumped. Edward leapt to his feet and a soldier came into the back store room. He tensed when he saw it was Marcus. He was just one step below Caius in military rank and almost as deadly. Edward knew him to be just as cunning as Caius but not quite as dark.

"Prince Edward please stay calm. I am not here to hurt you."

"How can I believe you?" Edward demanded. Marcus took out his gun and put it aside. He stepped forward and Edward softened a bit.

"Caius has given an order to his elite soldiers to kill you upon sight. He has promised that the soldier will not be punished. Personally I think that's a load of shit. As you saw, your subjects will demand the head of anyone that kills you."

"Then why are you here?"

"Because unlike some members of the military I am actually loyal to the royal family. With all due respect, highness, can we spare the questions and keep focus?" Marcus demanded angrily.

"Considering my uncle and the Captain are trying to kill me I have a good reason to be suspicious!"

Marcus sighed. "This won't end nicely. I expect by now SVs have been rationed out. I have a group of loyal soldiers waiting to keep you safe and take down the traitors. You may not believe it, but we have more loyalists than traitors."

"I'm going to chose not to believe it."

"Suit yourself. Now come with me."

"But..."

"We'll be okay Edward," Carlisle promised. "I'll get Bella home safe."

He nodded and Carlisle gave him a brief hug. Bella silently came up to him and he took her hands.

"I'll come back to you."

She nodded and he hugged her.

"Stay safe," he whispered, "I couldn't stand it if I lost you."

Bella hugged him tighter and kissed his cheek. He nodded and gave Esme a brief hug before leaving with Marcus. Carlisle held Bella's hand tight and led them both out of the store.

"Stay close to me," Carlisle said to both Esme and Bella. His daughter responded by holding his hand tighter. Esme pulled her hoodie over Bella and put the hood up. She kissed Bella's forehead and rubbed her back gently as they walked.

"Carlisle how long will this last?" Esme asked quietly.

"Once the shock wears off I think. Being here isn't helping at all. Come on sweetie, are we walking too fast?"

Bella nodded once and her vampires slowed down a bit. Her legs were still numb from the day before and she honestly felt like a good faint may be in order.

"You can sleep on the way home," Carlisle promised, seeing that her walk was starting to slow into a weary shuffle. "We'll get you some tylenol too."

Bella smiled a bit at that thought. Her body was still aching from boot camp. Carlisle gripped her hand tight when they passed a military official. He didn't seem to notice them or even care. Carlisle tensed when they passed. There was no way of telling if he was one of the soldiers trying to kill Edward or one of the loyalists. He put his arm around Bella's shoulders and drew her closer. The officer noticed that but he dismissed it. Carlisle saw that many vampire parents were holding their children closer now that there was a threat of treason in the military.

"I hate the city," Carlisle grumbled as they reached a traffic light and waited. He felt Bella trembling and he looked over at her.

"Are you okay?"

Bella shook her head no. Carlisle went into the gas station nearby and bought a bottle of blood.

"Can I get it warmed too?" he asked as he payed.

"Yeah, sure," the teenager behind the counter shrugged. She popped it in the microwave and put it on for twenty seconds. She popped it out when the timer went off and handed it to Carlisle.

"Thanks," he said with a nod. He handed Bella the bottle of blood and she drank it slowly. They passed another officer and Carlisle could hear muffled talking over the radio. He felt a surge of worry for Edward.

---

Edward didn't really question Marcus, even though he dearly wanted to, while he changed into new clothes. He wore a grey hoodie with a meaningless logo on the chest. He changed into new jeans and even new shoes. He felt it was overkill, but Marcus wanted every bit of his clothes changed.

"Sir, the mission was successful," a young woman said.

"Thank you Kate," Marcus said taking the case she offered him. "Now Edward I know you know how to fight and to defend yourself. All of the loyalists have marked themselves with a discrete uniform change that would be meaningless to anyone else."

"What is that mark?" Edward asked.

"A pin that looks like this on the chest just above the name of the officer."

Marcus showed Edward the pin, a miniature version of the royal family crest. Edward looked at Marcus and nodded.

"Good. Now keep this with you," Marcus ordered giving him a loaded hand gun. "They have been loaded with PVs."

"I can't remember those."

"It's a lesser poison used by police officers that moves several times slower than the serum the humans use and can be treated by simpler antidotes. Try not to hit your head again."

Edward gave him a dry look and tucked the gun in his pocket. Marcus took out another clip and handed it to him.

"Those are SV's. Most of the traitors aren't dangerous and you can escape them with no problem. They are the most hesitant ones that are afraid to go against Caius but don't want to die. However you have to watch out for the elite circle. Jane, Alec, Felix, Demitri and of course, Caius. Jane and Caius are the most deadly. Caius because he has the most to lose and Jane just doesn't like you. They will kill you on sight and you have to be ready for them. Shoot to kill."

Edward felt a little cold. Marcus handed him another hand gun to use and loaded it with SV bullets. He didn't know if he was ready to kill anyone! He was still trying to swallow the notion that someone was trying to kill him! Or rather an army that was supposed to be, more or less, under his control.

"Don't panic," Marcus said, putting his hand on Edward's shoulder, "I won't let anyone hurt you. You only have to worry about shooting if you are alone. I don't want you to kill unless you have to."

"I've never shot anyone in my life! Marcus I can't!"

"Yes, you can. You're braver than you think."

Edward nodded and closed his eyes to calm himself down.

"When we find Caius we'll figure out why he's put out this order and what the king has to do with it."

Edward nodded numbly. He hoped and prayed that Aro had nothing to do with this. His memory cruelly showed a Christmas morning where he was sitting in his uncle's lap working a simple ring puzzle. His tiny hands were being shadowed by bigger ones while his father playfully teased them about getting stumped. There was no way that man was behind this. His uncle loved him for sure.

"When we get Caius out of the way things will get better."

Edward just nodded again. He felt the familiar shock cross over him. He left with Marcus silently to a safe haven where, Marcus had assured him, he would be kept safe from Caius and his men.

They got into a military car and took off. Edward watched the city go by outside with a heavy heart. How many of the vampires they passed were hoping for his survival but afraid to go against the military?

"This would be a good time for the humans to attack," Edward sighed, "a nice distraction."

Marcus gave a dry chuckle. "Yes I agree that would be quite the distraction. But luckily for us the humans aren't that smart."

"Why are we even fighting them? I mean really."

"Because they killed one of our royals, you know that."

Edward did know that. He remembered hearing stories about it. The war had started before he was born after all and that was all he had.

"If my brother was strong enough to do what needed to be done, I'm sure the war would be over," Aro sighed as he walked through the halls with his father and little Edward.

"Now, now Aro, Edward is doing a fine job."

"Poppy what is war?" Edward asked. His grandfather lifted him up and patted his head.

"Nevermind yourself with that now, munchkin, you're still young. As for you, Aro, give your brother some slack. The crown he wears is heavier than you know."

Aro growled something about never given the chance to prove himself but the older vampire ignored it.

"Besides, I don't want you to talk like that around your nephew. He's still young."

"Poppy I'm already four! I'm not that young!"

The former king laughed and hugged his grandson. "You are to me. I'm almost two hundred!"

"Will I live to be that old?"

"If you drink your blood and do as your parents say."

Edward wrinkled his nose. "But mommy isn't fair."

"She's your mother," he chuckled, "she isn't supposed to be fair. But just you wait, Edward, she'll raise you up to be a good man like your father."

Edward grinned and his grandfather gave him a whiskery kiss.

"Highness we're stopping to gather our informant.

Edward nodded and went back to gazing out the window, thinking about his late grandfather and times gone by. He wondered what it was that Aro thought his father needed to do to be a good king. He also wondered why almost all of the memories of his grandfather were memories of being sheltered. He used to wonder if his Poppy's motto was "when you're older". The king had always been hardest on the eldest of his two boys. After all, if not for an infection taking the rightful king, Aro would have lived his life as a consult at best. Edward always wondered if there was some resentment from his uncle towards his father.

"It's just as we suspected," a young woman said after the clambered in the car. "We have strong evidence pointing to Caius's motivation."

"And that is?" Marcus asked, coming to a stop at a light.

"He had orders from the king," the woman said sadly.

"Thank you Didyme," Marcus said with a smile.

Edward felt his body turn icy and his stomach plummeted into his feet and then up into his throat. Orders from the king. His uncle wanted him dead. Marcus was talking plans with Didyme. They sounded long term now seeing as the king was involved. Edward gripped the handle on the door and clenched his teeth. He had wanted it to be a lie. He had wanted Bella to be completely mistaken. His uncle wasn't responsible for this, it was Caius and his treason.

"HIGHNESS! STOP!" Marcus yelled as Edward pushed the door open and took off running.

Edward kept his eyes on the castle he had called home. The castle where his parents died and where his uncle was plotting his death. He could hear Marcus and Didyme following him, trying to stop him from being so reckless. He ran by vampires, pushing them out of his way if he needed to. As he ran by the park he saw memories of himself as a small child enjoying a picnic with his beloved family. He ran by the massive cathedral where the funerals for his Poppy, father and mother were held. Behind it their bodies laid with the other royal members. He knew there was also a small one for his baby brother between his parents. He remembered standing at his father's fresh grave. His uncle was so gentle then. Aro held his nephew's shoulders as he cried for his beloved parents.

Edward shook his head of the memories. He reached the palace and felt the two guns Marcus gave him against his thighs. He saw pins on some of the guards and bypassed them. If he had been paying attention he would have heard struggles in the distance between loyalists and traitors. His footsteps echoed on the marble floors and rung in his ears.

"ARO!" He screamed as he ran into the throne room. The magnificent room was empty. He walked down the long red carpet to the elevated platform that held the two seats. He remembered his parents sitting upon them and how he used to dream of his own kingship.

"It was reckless for you to come here," Caius said from behind him.

Edward tucked his hands in the big pocket of his hoodie. He could feel the cold metal and his hand curled around it.

"This is my home," he said quietly, "and in that home the only family I have left plans to have me murdered."

"Nothing personal."

Edward turned quickly, drew the gun and fired directly into his chest. "You tried to kill me," he growled as Caius fell to his knees in shock, "it's personal."

He watched the head of the powerful military collapse in shock. Edward walked out of the room into the back hall. This was the hall that wasn't seen by many members of the public. Instead of grand portraits there were photographs. Edward knew at one time he had a habit of abandoning toys there when he got bored with them. Off to the side was a grand family room with a warm fire and a soft plush rug. Edward went into it and sat on the the burgundy rug. The room smelled like cologne. Edward had mistakenly broken a bottle on Christmas when he was playing with his ball and it got away from him. The jar cracked and spilled on the rug. He would lay on the rug for hours after his father died, trying to remember his scent. He was curled up on it now.

"Dad I don't know what to do," he mumbled against the carpet.

His phone buzzed and he looked at it. He saw Carlisle's name and felt a bit of relief.

"Aro wants to kill me," he said as a greeting.

"Where are you?"

"The castle. I killed Caius."

"Oh Edward why in the world are you there?!" Carlisle demanded in a pained voice. "Where is Marcus?"

"I ran off. I'm not going to run forever. This is my kingdom and I won't let Aro take it like this."

Carlisle sighed. "Promise you'll be safe? Call me the moment you can."

"I promise. Take care of Bella."

"I will," Carlisle promised. "Take care and please, please use your head."

"I will. Bye."

"Bye."

He hung up and tucked the phone back in his pocket. He stood and looked at the photographs of his parents on the mantel. He wasn't going to die like this. Not over a throne. He walked out of the room and down to the end of the hall to the green room. It had been his mother's favorite room in the entire palace. It was a magnificent glass room that enclosed a beautiful garden. All different kinds of plants grew there. A pathway of cobblestone wove around the room. In the center of it all was a nest of blue roses that had been specially developed for the queen. They had been a gift from her husband. Elizabeth had told him one day, while she was tending to them, that it was a gift to repay her for giving him his most precious treasure.

"What was that mommy?" Edward chirped as he held his little watering can.

Elizabeth smiled and touched a blossom with one delicate hand. "You, of course."

"Me? I'm not a treasure, mommy, I'm a boy."

She smiled and kissed his forehead. "You're our treasure," she murmured, "your father wanted you more than anything."

Edward touched the rose softly with a shaking hand. "So are you going to shoot me in the back?"

"It's nothing personal."

Edward turned around angrily. "Not personal?! Aro you're my uncle and you want me dead! This couldn't be anymore personal!"

"I'm doing what the kingdom needs. You'll fail as a king and as a result the humans will win the war and kill us all. Your father was weak and so are you."

"My father wasn't weak," Edward growled, "more soldiers have died on your watch than his!"

"Admit it, you want to rot in that tiny town with that halfbreed whore."

"So what you're saying is that if I gave you my throne you wouldn't kill me?"

"I was really hoping I could have framed the humans for it. But I'll take what I can get."

"Aro I'm your nephew," Edward said quietly. His voice was shaking and he didn't know if it was from pain or rage. "You were there when I was born and you were there all my life! When did you decide that the crown was more important to you than I was?!"

"If it's any consolation, you're my favorite nephew."

"I'M YOUR ONLY GODDAMNED NEPHEW!" Edward screamed. "YOU PROMISED MY FATHER YOU'D HELP ME NOT KILL ME!"

"Don't be so dramatic," Aro groaned, "Edward I will not surrender the crown to you."

"It's not your crown," Edward growled, "it was my father's and now it's mine."

"Do you even have the balls to take it from me?" Aro asked, folding his arms.

"If I did give you the crown would you even let me live?"

"I'm sorry Edward but no," he answered shaking his head. "I know you'll seek revenge."

Edward gripped the handle of the gun in his pocket.

"Caius is on his way to kill you so I don't have to. Would that ease your nerves?"

Edward walked up to his uncle. "You're disgusting. You won't even do it yourself and claim that it isn't personal."

"And you'll just taking it. You're a whining little brat who spends most of his days sulking. You're wrong for this kingdom and as it's king, it's my duty to get rid of you."

"You're my uncle," Edward said quietly, "and even though you tried to kill me..."

Aro stiffened as Edward put the barrel of the gun against his chest.

"I won't make you suffer."

A bang echoed through the room and Aro fell back. Blood oozed from the open wound where his heart was. Edward could see bits of poison and capsule in the blood. He fired another shot to inject more poison. He looked up as Marcus and other military officers came in.

"Edward! Oh thank goodness!"

Edward dropped the gun and walked numbly towards them.

"We found Caius in the throne room. The media has been alerted of the orders and by now I suspect your adoring subjects will be wanting to know if you're alive or not."

"Why does word spread so fast here?" Edward asked.

"We're vampires," Marcus answered with a slight smile, "we move fast. Right now the Supreme Judges are deliberating appropriate punishments. However, it seems you decided it."

"He was going to kill me. Self defense."

Marcus nodded. "We'll get this cleaned up."

"Ed...ward..."

Edward made to look back but didn't. He didn't want to see his uncle ever again. He walked down the hall and up a winding staircase to his bedroom. He fell onto his bed and looked sadly at the picture of his parents. His coronation would proceed as planned and he would begin his reign as king. He saw his crown resting on his dresser. It wasn't quite as magnificent as his father's had been. He stood up and grabbed it. It was smaller than the one he would wear. He looked at his reflection in the mirror.

The sun was beginning to set. So much had happened in one day. Bella almost died, he almost died and he killed two people, one of which was the man who had been a major part of his life especially after the death of his father. He picked up the phone and dialed Carlisle's number. He felt a warm rush through his body when Bella's soft voice answered.

"Edward? Are you okay?"

"Yeah," he answered with a soft smile, "how do you feel?"

"I miss you."

"Listen, Bella, can I see you soon? Can you guys come here?"

"Yeah, dad's giving me an okay nod. He's worried about you. Esme too. Get some sleep, we'll be there in a few hours."

"You too," Edward advised, "I'll let the guards know you're on the way. Call me when you get here."

"I will. Bye."

"Bye."

Edward hung up and put his training crown back down and curled up on his bed. He ended up grabbing the blanket and going down to the family room. He curled up on the rug and drifted off to sleep.

TBC

I'm surprised it only took me two tries to write this chapter! Seeing as I usually have to make three or four attempts at chapters like this I'm happy! It also helped that I'm snowed in. My street still hasn't been plowed and I have yet to dig out my car. It is funny to see my puppy try to get through the snow to do his business though. :)