A/N: I don't own Twilight. Stephenie Meyer is one great genius!
Here's Bella's POV
Chapter Three: Betrothed
I have to get away. Now.
Marcus, my so-called father, called me in yesterday to tell me that Aro was coming to Washington with news for me. I looked at him with concern…and fear. Why would Aro come all the way from Texas just to talk to me? I suddenly began running my mind through every situation I'd been in for the last few weeks in Washington. Did I do something wrong? Aro liked me, but he never really showed much interest in me until a few years ago.
A few years ago was when…oh God, I didn't even want to think about why he finally started paying attention to me. Caius hated me. He refused to trust me…hell, he sometimes even refused to look at me. That was okay, though. I hated him, too. Always fought the urge to rip out that greasy blonde hair of his and shove it where the sun doesn't shine.
Marcus wouldn't tell me why Aro was coming, but he had a frown on his face, and that worried me. When he saw my look of fear, he assured me that I wasn't in trouble. He said that it was good news, but his words didn't match his expression. Something was wrong. I walked off, pissed.
I hadn't called Marcus "Dad" since my mother was murdered. Nor had I ever called Aro and Caius "Uncle," but that was for different reasons. Aro, Marcus, and Caius were brothers, and I hated each one of them, even my father.
I hated Caius most because he was the one who had carried out my mother's execution. And he did it with utmost joy. I hated Aro the second most because he was the one who had ordered her to be executed. And I hated Marcus because he just sat by without trying to stop his wife's murder by his own brothers.
I could never forget that day at the playground nine years ago. It was--well, from what they told me--the reason that my mother was killed. She had let Carlisle Cullen, the 'enemy' get away, and the consequence had been death. She had always tried to shield me from this horrid life, the life of murderers and devils who used their gifts to rule the world. But her attempts had been futile; I eventually followed in their footsteps, not because I wanted to, but because I had no choice. Now I was truly a monster.
My gift made itself known about the time I hit puberty. Aro tried reading my thoughts once when I was thirteen, but he failed. Jane's torturous gift didn't affect me, either. My gift became more powerful as I got older and used it more. At first, it was just a mental thing. My mind could not be penetrated. Then I was able to branch out my shield into something solid. The shield protected my mind and my body, like a force field of sorts. The only problem was that branching the shield out to protect me physically took all of my concentration. And if I held up the shield too long, I would grow weak and a massive headache would take over my head. So I didn't normally use my gift.
I was afraid that this would anger Aro, the fact that I was stronger than him, but it just made him happier. He liked to have the powerful on his side. I always wished that he had never found out about my power. He promoted me to the top of his guard, the Volturi. Even thinking the name made me shiver in hatred. Every time Aro wishes to speak to me, he asks me either to kill someone or hunt someone down and bring him back to be killed. Which is precisely why I need to leave. Now. Before he can get a hold of me. I mean, sure, I'd killed people before, but I hated doing it, especially when the person was innocent. The rest of the sick fucks on the Volturi loved to kill. They said it was like an adrenaline rush, a high. I thought it was disgusting. Just because we had special abilities didn't mean that we had a right to say who lived and who died, right? Sometimes I was glad that Aro couldn't read my mind, because if he could, he would probably lock me away, accusing me of being a traitor.
Maybe if I snuck out of the back doors of the castle, I could postpone the meeting with Aro. He would be pissed, but he wouldn't do anything to harm me. He liked my gift too much for that. Making sure that no one was around, I rounded the corner of the back hall and made my way to the double doors.
"Isabella, where are you going?" I heard the snaky little voice of Jane just as my hand reached for the knob. Shit. I froze for a few seconds, debating if I should just ignore her and walk out anyway. The chances of her just letting me go were very slim, though, and I turned around slowly.
"Well, Jane, if you must know, I was going outside to pick daisies. Would you like to come with me?" I said sarcastically. She rolled her hate-filled black eyes. She always sucked up to me when the Volturi were around, but she was a complete bitch to me when no one was looking. Everyone thought we were friends, but honestly, I had never said one nice thing to the girl. I mostly just ignored her.
"You do know that Aro is coming to see you, right? I don't think he would like it if his favorite niece would just disappear for a few hours when he obviously has something important going on," she said, the venom and jealousy clear in her voice. I threw her a dirty look and gave up on escaping, heading back to my room. Jane had been bred for this kind of life. Her mother and father had been part of the Volturi, and she was happy to follow in their footsteps, even if she didn't get the special treatment like I did. Her twin brother, Alec, had pursued me a year ago, but Aro did not let him get what he wanted, not that I wanted him to begin with. Alec was conceded and cruel; I could barely stand being alone in a room with him for more than five minutes. I thanked my lucky stars that his manipulative power did not work on me.
Aro arrived an hour later, immediately sending someone to get me from my room. I was told that he wanted to talk to me with the elders, his brothers, in the grand hall. I sighed, dragging my feet out of the room, down two flights of stairs, and reluctantly sat down in the little chair provided in the middle of the room, facing them. I felt small and unimportant, and it was as if I was being interrogated. I fought the urge to bite my lip, trying not to let them see I was nervous. A person had to act cool, confident, and collected in front of Aro and Caius, otherwise they tore you apart.
"Hello, my dear Isabella. It's a pleasure to see you again," Aro said, practically bouncing in his seat. I briefly wondered what could have happened to make him this ecstatic. He looked like a prisoner who had been set free after twenty years of being locked up. I looked at Caius, who had his eyes narrowed at me. Asshole.
When I didn't respond, Aro continued, "I have wonderful news for you." I still did not say anything, but cocked an eyebrow so he knew I was listening. Aro sighed, but the disgusting smile did not leave his face.
"I've chosen a husband for you."
Wait. What did he just say? I've chosen a husband for you. Did I hear that right?
"Excuse me?" I finally said. Aro smiled even wider.
"Isabella, we've found the perfect suitor for you. He started working for me a few months ago, and he has one of the most amazing gifts I have ever seen. You two would thrive as a couple. And think of all the abilities your offspring would have! Think of all the power we could add to this organization!" He stood up in his excitement.
I wanted to vomit. And I wanted to do it on him. I started to feel dizzy. Things like this happened pretty often, but most people in the organization were willing participants. Aro liked to match up males and females with certain powers, hoping to get an even more powerful child from the union. It was how Jane and Alec and many others had come to be, but I knew better. It was disgusting, this arranged bullshit. What ever happened to making a child out of love, instead of personal gain? I used to question why the couple even got married if all they wanted was a child and no love was involved, and Marcus eventually explained to me that it was because of jealousy. The 'husband' wanted there to be a marriage because most men did not want his woman sleeping with another man. So if they got married, it would be a sin to cheat, and the man would be allowed to execute his wife. I was completely blown away by all of this when I heard. Mostly, because I knew that most of the men in the Volturi cheated on their wives, so how come if the wife cheated too, she was to be killed, and not the husband for the same crime? It made no sense, but that was just how it worked. But I never thought it would happen to me.
"I…no…I will not take any part in this madness. I will not marry a complete stranger," I said forcefully, but I knew it was no use--Aro owned me, and there was nothing I could do about it.
Aro frowned. "Isabella, do you know what happened to the last naïve girl that refused to follow my orders?" he asked menacingly. I didn't say anything, growing frightened every second. I knew Aro would never kill me, but there were other things he could do, like torture me until I went insane.
"I had her beheaded, Isabella. That is what happens when you do not follow my orders. Do you want rid of that pretty little face of yours, Isabella?"
I swallowed. Hard. Tearing my eyes away from Aro, I gazed at my father. He was looking down at his hands, the coward…too scared to face me. I looked at Caius next. The jerk was smirking. I looked back at Aro and shook my head in reference to his question. He smiled again, satisfied with my surrender.
"Anyway," he continued, "you will be meeting him tomorrow after his flight. He's very anxious to meet you, Isabella."
I sighed silently. There was no way I was going through with this.
"May I ask his name, sir?" I said quietly, feigning interest. If I played a façade well enough, Aro might leave me alone for the rest of the night. Aro smiled at me once more.
"His name is James."
A/N: Guys, I'm so sorry that took so long! And this chapter was supposed to be so much longer, but I decided that those of you who want to read this story have the right to read it, so I posted what I had so far. I almost deleted this story, too, because it's nothing like I've ever written. I got the idea in a dream after I watched Watchmen, the movie about superheroes, and the dream bothered me so much I just had to write it down. Then I thought no one would like it because it is just so strange and different, but the plot is still nagging my brain, so I'm going to continue it, and because I'll feel like a coward if I gave up on it. But I do really appreciate the reviews and favorites, so thanks.
Also, I have another story called Stranded. You should go check it out! It's a lot more realistic than this one : )