Snow on Italian Rooftops
Takes place around the early winter months when Bella first moves to Forks and meets Edward.
Meanwhile, in Italy…
Disclaimer: If I were Stephenie Meyer, this would be a whole lot better. Savvy?
This was written for the "Volturi fanfic contest" with the prompt word "justice".
Title: Snow on Italian Rooftops
Genre: Drama, (Angst)
Short Summary: Jane learns of the events of the beginning months of "Twilight" from an informant.
Silence engulfed the alley except for the extremely quiet crunch of my boots on the snow. The long black cloak swirled around me, little white dots catching in the wool fibers. I shook my hair, knowing some would have caught in that too. I reached the end of the alley, and stopped, staring out into the deserted main square from the shadows.
Since I had become immortal, little had been extraordinary enough to catch my eye.
The view from the edge of the shadows were I stood was certainly different.
Snow drifted gently in flurrying swirls towards the ground. There was no moon in the infinitely black sky that stretched forever upwards—the only light being the eerie blue glow that reflected up off the fallen snow.
I gazed toward the empty fountain that had been shut off earlier this month.
A snowflake landed on my eyelash, obscuring a corner of my vision. I shook my head, attempting to shake off the offending white puff. I blinked again, and it was gone.
Snow was only good to look at. Nothing more.
My thin skirt swirled around me as I continued walking out into the open square. All the windows of shops were dark and deserted. I put my hands on my upper arms more out of habit than the chill. My skin was roughly the same temperature as the frigid winter air around me, so I had no need of a coat.
I had only opted to wear the gray cloak because it was required since I was out for business reasons.
If I had been human, the loud clanging of the clock tower across the square might have caused me to jump.
Nine…Ten… I counted in my head as I strode across the silent plaza.
Eleven. The clock tolled its final chime of the hour and then fell silent. The soft squeak of snow under my boots sounded unusually loud in the sudden quietness.
I stopped as another white puff landed on the tip of my nose. I stopped for a moment, watching as the flake did not melt as it would have if my skin were not the same temperature as the snow itself.
Finally I brushed it off my nose, not even pausing to watch it flutter to the ground.
I continued walking as I reached the other end of the square, pulling the grey cloak tighter around me—more out of habit than for need of warmth. My legs would even be bare from the knees, revealed by my dark crimson dress, if it weren't for the cloak.
"Jane?" An icy voice inquired from the shadows from the alley as I reached its mouth. "You're late."
"I'm not late, Eli," I contradicted as the young vampire stepped from the shadows. Eli was a newcomer, with no particular talent, except he could mill about unnoticed quite well. For this reason, Aro sent him on observation missions to covens across the globe.
Aro himself had requested I come pick up Eli's report, although I was clueless why. He could have just gotten one of the others to do it. Internally, I sighed. There was no use pondering it now. Aro's thoughts were private—unlike the rest of us. Where was the justice in that? But I decided to remain opinion-less on the matter.
"How do you figure?" He asked, and the sharp flicker of light reflecting off a silver object caught my eyes. Eli absentmindedly flipped a silver pocket watch over and over in his hands. I could see it through the part in his cloak. It was a silly little trifle from his human days. I wondered vaguely why Chelsea had not rid him of his connection to it.
But only vaguely. My many centuries of serving in the guard had taught me not to pry into matters that did not concern me. Justice had nothing to do with the status of our family. It only lies in the work we do.
"Never mind that," I quipped, and below the dark hood, I saw his features stiffen. "Remind me again where you've been. I don't keep track." I waved me hand passively, feigning boredom.
"America," he answered. "Washington to be exact."
Ah. Now I understood why Aro had sent me out to collect the report for this specific mission. He knew my secret obsession with the Cullen coven, their numbers holding so many skilled and talented vampires. He knew the fixation I had of keeping track of their every move. Repayment at last for my work—some scrap of news.
"You've been keeping an eye on the Cullens."
"Yes. Aro sent you for the report?" He assumed, obviously not picking up on the flare in my eyes when he'd spoken of the place in which the Cullens resided. I only nodded.
"Give me the overview please," I said, injecting a business-like coolness into my tone
"It seems they've acquired a human pet, so to speak." My eyes widened.
"What do you mean?" I shrieked, my high, bell-like voice echoing strangely off the frozen walls of the deserted plaza. I could feel the electricity of my power skitter across my skin. Eli could feel it to. I could sense the hairs on the back of his neck raise from where I stood. The boy flinched.
"Don't shoot the messenger, Jane," he reminded me, and I clenched my teeth together, forcing the electric pulses to skin back into my skin. "It seems Carlisle's first son—Edward, has attained quite an infatuation with a certain human girl."
"Name," I demanded, holding out my hand.
"Isabella Swan," he replied, slipping a large enveloped from inside his cloak and placing it into my outstretched hand. I opened the gold clasp, pulling the fist page half way out and scanning it, Eli voicing the words I was now seeing with my own eyes. "Age: seventeen. Hair and eye color: brown. Moved to Forks Washington from Phoenix only a few weeks ago to live with her father who is the police chief, Charlie Swan. She previously lived with her mother, Renee and her mother's new husband, Phil—a minor league baseball player."
I slipped the page back into the envelope, fastened the clasp, and slipped it into the safety of my own cloak.
"Nothing. Except Edward Cullen can't read her mind."
"What?" My voice sounded strange—almost choked.
"You know he possesses the ability to read minds? It seems this human girl is an exception."
"It was a rhetorical question, Eli," I hissed through clenched teeth, the electric skitters on my skin erupting as I lashed out with the power I possessed.
Eli cried, out, collapsing to his knees in the thin layer of snow that covered the ancient stone. I pulled back immediately.
"I apologize," I muttered, as I watched Eli trying to catch his breath, still kneeling in the snow, his hand pressed against the alley wall. "I have been a little on edge lately." When you were part of our family, you only dealt justice, not received it. You got used to that after a while. There was no fair. There were only rules.
He didn't say anything—only stood up, and I thought I heard him mutter "lately?" but couldn't be sure.
"Thank you for the report, Eli," I told him, but he just looked down, his features shrouded by the dark hood covering his face. "Aro will surely reward you for you work." Again he did not respond.
I was beginning to get annoyed with the young one, but decided not to act on it. I had already lost my temper once tonight.
"Until next time, then" I chose to say, and turned on my heel, heading back across the square. Although I heard nothing, when I risked a quick glance over my shoulder, Eli had disappeared into the kaleidoscope of black and white—blending with the drifting snow and melting into the alley shadows.
How insolent the young ones were growing to be these days. I would have to speak with Aro about this. I turned on my heel, heading back out across the square, first making sure that the envelope was securely under the protection of my cloak.
A human. I felt my mouth twist into a disgusted frown at the idea of it. How could he stand to have a human so close to him? Not only as a pet he planned to eat later, but as a companion…a mate!
Perhaps the century of denying himself of human blood had finally driven one Edward Cullen insane. But then why had not Carlisle followed the same path, I wondered, my boots making a soft squeak on the powdery wet snow underfoot.
I shook my head, trying to rid my hair of the soft white flakes once again. It was no use to think about it now, with close to no facts about the subject.
I sighed, stopping and reaching my hand out to catch one of the little white puffs floating down from the completely silent, inky sky. It just lay there, on my fingertip, the intricate patters only a couple shades paler than the skin it rested on.
I pulled it closer to my face, staring at it.
Unlike if it had been caught by a human, the flake didn't melt from my hand, or my breath, it just lay there, frozen in time and cold—just like me. When you were part of our family, you only dealt justice, not received it. You got used to that after a while.
I tipped over my hand, watching as the little piece of snow floated the rest of the way to the ground.
What foolishness, spending time over human trifles such as gawking at snow. I'd seen it enough in the centuries I'd lived in this city. Snow no longer held wonder after so many years. I vaguely tried to remember what awe felt like. But only vaguely.
There was no fair. Only rules.
I started walking again, my boot coming down, compressing the flake into the hundreds of others that covered the ground.
Snow is no different than humans. They were everywhere… and so fragile; so easily destroyed. I shook the stray flakes off my cloak and hair as I neared the other end of the square.
"Such foolishness," I muttered to myself, reaching the sewer drain plate, "staring at snow…"