AN: I'd like to thank the people who added the story to their Favorites & Alert list, and to CiaoKawaiirina for reviewing the previous chapter.

I present Chapter 19, enjoy.


Vile Beauty

Chapter 19: Transitions


"Well then?" I replied, waiting for him to continue with his plans.

My focus changed slightly as I became aware of a tingling down my spine, I searched the lights of those under my protection to see which of them was using their power. I located the light and froze.

It was Chelsea.

Aro's lips parted and my vision went black.

I opened my eyes. Before me stood the members of the guard, all of them assembled in formal formation according to rank. The color of their cloaks flowing from darkest to lightest, my other-self stood before them with my back turned towards them, I was face-to-face with the brothers. Mary Alice and Jasper kneeled before them, dressed in identical charcoal cloaks. My breath caught in my throat as both Mary Alice and Jasper began to pledge their loyalty to the brothers. No, this couldn't happen, the scene sifted again and I now found myself alone with Chelsea, the brothers and their wives. "You crossed the line centuries ago, when you began to kill innocents to consolidate your power and to add to your precious collection of psychic guards, it is high time someone called you out on your crimes and righted the wrongs you have committed." The rest of my vision was only a collection of brief flashes, but what I saw in them made me to sit in my chair stiffly.

Before my eyesight could refocus, and before I gave it conscious thought, I dropped the shields around several of those around me, including Aro and Chelsea, then I spoke.

"Aro don't," I murmured as I turned to look at him, "you will seal your fate and that of everything you've worked for." He didn't acknowledge my words and continued regardless.

"Alice, would you like to join the Volturi Guard? I believe there is a special place in it for someone with your abilities."

I leaned back into my chair and watched numbly as Alice gave him a brilliant smile- as if she had just achieved a lifelong dream. "I would be honored."

I turned my gaze to each of the Cullen Coven's individual faces and as my eyes inevitably came to a rest on Edward's face a plan began to form in my mind. I could read the displeasure deep in his eyes.

I brought my partial shield around them and dropped my own defenses slightly so that he could hear me. Don't challenge him. Don't allow your family to challenge him either, it will end badly for all of you.

I could see the beginnings of a frown form on his face.

Keep your face impassive! I hissed. It will peak his curiosity and any hope of saving Alice and Jasper will be lost.

The traces disappeared immediately. Good, at least he could follow instructions.

"Excellent, glad that it is settled then. Shall we go see to your new accommodations?" With that Aro stood and began to make his way out of the room with Alice and Jasper in tow. "Oh," he stopped before the door and turned back. "Bella, please escort our guests back to their rooms and anywhere else they may wish to go."

"Of course." I replied with a slight nod, hearing his hidden request. With my assurance, he left the room in a flourish of his black robes.

Follow me, I told him when I met his eyes and walked past him, leading him in the direction of their rooms. I could hear them move reluctantly behind me, their steps were cautious as if they half expected that I would lead them into an ambush.

I managed a grim smile.

There was a time I would have done such a thing without a second thought, but now- I wasn't entirely sure.

Published: August 2, 2013

AN: I know that this isn't any different from the previous chapter, but I wanted to show Bella's point of view- brief as it is.

So, feel free to share your thoughts.

Until next time,