Alright so - now you will see why I dreaded this chapter! I hate a lot of dialogue with no action or resolution! lol But this one had to be done before we can get to some of the more interesting stuff.

As always, let me know what you think, good or bad. :P Just be nice!

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CH 24 - Previously on Maury Povich. You ARE the father!

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The three of us made it back to the house within minutes. Upon entering the common room my mother dutifully went to her husbands side, but not without giving me a small sad smile.

"Well now, if it isn't the infamous Isabelle Swan." Dimitrius stepped forward and extended his hand.

I glanced at the offered hand briefly before glancing to Carlisle who gave me a small nod. Keeping Alice slightly behind me I closed the gap and grasped his hand in mine. Part of me felt like I should feel something, anything…considering this man was a 1/3 my father but I felt nothing. I felt the same hard hand that I would feel from any vampire that wasn't my family. "Dimitrius."

Dimitrius gave a small laugh and grinned. "So formal in your greeting Isabelle. I'm already certain you and your mother have caught up so to speak, therefore we know who we are to each other." He had an almost teasing glint in his eyes. I didn't like it.

"Regardless of the facts of my heritage, that does not make you my father." I spoke firmly as I stepped back putting a few feet of space between us. Alice secured her position to my side and left herself slightly behind me. Thank you. I felt her grip my hand in acknowledgement. She knew I needed to feel as if she was somewhat shielded behind me.

"I see this isn't going to go anywhere near the way I had hoped. Why do you already have such a hatred for me Isabelle? You do not know me. Is it simply because of your mother?" He asked turning to look at his mate. My mother's eyes widened but she didn't take her eyes off me.

"My mother loves you. Do I blame you for taking her from me? No, I don't. She made her own choice to leave with you. Although should she had said no, I can't be certain you wouldn't have forced her to go with you now can I?" I pinned him with my gaze and noticed his eyes flicker briefly. I had him.

"I see. I won't lie, you're correct. Had she told me no, I would have taken her anyway." He turned to face my mother, her gaze hardened. Apparently she hadn't known he would have forced her to go with him. "So let's get on with this shall we? Obviously you are a vampire, a member of this…interesting golden-eyed coven and your mate is Alice, the future seeing young lady at your side. Now that we know those facts, how about we get to the finer details, daughter."

I tensed and grit my teeth. The nerve of this mother- Isabelle…. Alice whispered in my mind and rubbed my upper arm with her right hand as she continued to squeeze my hand with her left. "I am not your daughter. I'm your experiment."

He exhaled and shook his head. "Is there really a difference? You're here now, as you are because of me aren't you?" He was testing me. Now was the time to decide to be truthful, not knowing what he would do with the knowledge, or to lie.

"Who I am and how I am, doesn't concern you and has little to do with you." Not an outright lie, but not the truth either. Good call sweetheart, we don't want to tip our hand too early knowing that he can sense lies. I squeezed her hand a bit tighter. He caught the movement.

"To an extent, I'll agree." He glanced back up at our eyes. "But you see, here's the inquiry. Did you simply stop aging once you reached adulthood, or were you changed by one of the coven here? Another vampire passing through?" He paced a few steps towards the window and back again. "One would think I would be curious to the golden eyes of yours, considering the red I see in them. One would think, maybe they feed on humans and animals alike. I am not that one. You see, you have a lot of the similar gifts, the mating connection that Caius and Felix have, so that is easily explained. Although, I haven't seen their eyes like this. They prefer human blood so perhaps that is why, no chance for any change." He stepped up within a foot of me and I could almost feel pressure in my eyes from his stare. "You feed off of each other." It wasn't a question.

I wanted to test out whether or not he could tell if I lied but this wasn't one to try with. "Yes." He kept staring for a few seconds more, and I could swear I saw a slight flicker of his eyes but it passed quickly. I wasn't sure what to make of it. Did he not believe me when I spoke the truth?

"And here is the real interesting part to this. Vampires do not feed from each other. Sure, in a moment of intense passion it can arise, but not in a full feeding capacity. Our blood doesn't do anything for us, there's no gain, no excitement from it. Many have tried, and then they just don't anymore. But you two…" He trailed off with a glint in his eye. "That's not the case for you is it?"

I couldn't help but let my eyes flicker to Alice's. I'm not seeing anything and I don't know what he's getting at… she growled out in my mind. "Our relationship is very new. Alice is the first-" I shook my head, "Alice is the only mate I've ever had. I've never taken another, therefore it's all very intense and I'll connect with her in any way possible."

He stared at me, eyes hardened. "Perhaps. I can't help but just wonder, how much of your human blood remains in your system. Perhaps…there is more to you than meets the eye."

Back me up Alice. I have an idea. "The same could be said for you. My mother already mentioned your plans. Weren't you going to bring those up?" I felt the change in Alice and knew she was focusing as if in a vision. I knew she had everyone's attention and she continued pretending. My girl knew me well. I gripped her hand and faced her for a few moments when she blinked and made eye contact with me. Her eyes slightly wide and she set her jaw. I turned back to Dimitrius. "Well, lets here it. You have plans to convince me back to Volterra, yes?"

I knew in the next moment, I could lie to this man just as my mother could. Whatever bit of her that gave her the shield she possess against mental attacks and intrusions, some part of that was mine as well. And as long as Alice and I shared our mental link, she was protected also. He bought the whole thing. I had to be completely sure though. Edward – try to lie to him.

"Volterra? You want to take her away from her mate? From us?" Edward asked, a bit louder than he needed to. "I will consult with Aro on this. He owes me a favour, this won't be allowed."

Dimitrius had the nerve to smirk. "Is that right? I call your bluff young mind reader." He knew Edward was lying, which just proved my theory. Three of us in this room could lie to him, so all we have to do is keep the others in the dark and they'll be safe. "Now Isabelle, to answer your question, yes. Yes, I was instructed upon finding you to invite you back to Volterra to meet the Volturi. This invitation of course, would now be extended to your mate as well. We aren't completely heartless you know."

I snorted. I didn't meant to, but I couldn't help it. "Maybe not. But since this is an invitation- that means it can be accepted or denied. We deny your request at this time." I held his eyes, "Perhaps in the future we will consider the request."

"I suppose we will take our leave now. Renee?" He turned towards my mother and she nodded. She looked to me with a look of longing and then flittered out the door. So much for a goodbye. "Don't think this is over Isabelle. The Volturi will want to meet you. You can beat around the metaphorical bush all you want about how you came to be a vampire, but I will find out the truth. Whether it comes from you, this coven or elsewhere." I felt the threat behind his words.

"Why does it matter? I am what I am, and have been for many years." I dared him to lie to me. "What gain do you have in this? Presenting a vampire to the Volturi. I have no special abilities, I can't read minds and I don't get visions. What is it you think I can provide for you?"

"Proof." And with that, they were gone.

I turned to face the rest of the family and held Alice close to me. They all looked around to each other, trying to make sense of what just took place.

"Proof of what?" Emmett was the first to voice the question.

"You may have proved that you can lie to him and shield Alice at the same time, but there's more he knows that he's not letting on. Even to your mother. He's hiding something." Edward spoke and looked at Carlisle. "This is far from over with him."

Carlisle nodded, "I sensed the same thing myself." He turned to me and looked into my eyes regretfully. "I know this isn't what you're going to want to hear, but once we are sure they are clear of the area, perhaps you should spend some time with the pack. I have a feeling not only will we need their help, but that they have more information as well."

I didn't like it. I didn't like it one bit but deep down part of me knew what he was getting at. Of all the worries this brought to my mind, only a few stood out among the others. Would I start becoming a human that could phase while with them, how long would it take, and would it be reversible.

Alice wrapped her arms around my neck and held me close. I'm with you whatever you decide love. No matter what happens, I know this bond and this link between us won't be severed.


Coulda gone better, coulda been worse. You decide.

Until next time!

Nickole