I knew it. I knew it, the minute I saw him. It was beginning of the inevitable end. I felt like I was gazing into the mirror of my past. My hollow chest ached with loss, and her name reverberated in my mind. Didyme. How I longed for her. I just wanted to see her beautiful face once more, stand in proximity to her perfection once again. Was that too much to ask?
Yes. It was.
Suddenly overcome with grief, I clamoured for a distraction and rested my eyes once more on my past and present self.
His eyes, black as pitch, were empty, hollow and cold. I knew, like me, this young one had nothing left to survive for.
When you have nothing to live for, what do you have to die for?
I knew it before the words were out of his mouth, before Aro; I spit the name, even in my mind, laid a finger on the child.
Aro. How I despised him. It was because of his hunger for power, my love had perished. His selfishness had killed both of us. She was everything to me and now, without her, I was nothing. I was a mirror in a darkened room. Cold and empty. The nothingness swelled and smothered me. How I wished I could be like this young one here. I longed for death. I knew that was what he was here for. What else? He resembled myself exactly, except he would not suffer for long. I only had eternity stretched out in front of me. My suffering would never relent. I would never know peace.
I was envious of him. His pain would literally go up in flames and disappear along with himself. Mine was a life sentence.
I watched him as he followed the two members of the guard, Felix and Demetri, to the fore. Using my talent, I could see he was isolated from the rest, as I was. I was connected to my brothers by a thread. A single, almost transparently thin bond ties me to them. Yet it was enough so I could not resist. Enough that I could not escape. I had to stay with them. At least, that was what Chelsea had me thinking.
The young one was named Edward Cullen. An associate of Carlisle's, no doubt. I wondered how he was after an odd 300 years. The golden eyes of Edwards proved he had kept up with his bizarre eating habits. Had I any emotion left, I would have been impressed.
Aro was, as usual, eager to hear what he had to offer him within the confines of his mind. I was disgusted. Had he no respect for privacy? I knew the answer already, of course. You can hardly spend three millennia's with someone without learning a few things about them.
Without complaint, Edward extended his hand to meet Aro's halfway. I watched as Aro bent his head over their hands, his eyes closed with concentration. I wondered what had finished Edward. I was interested in his story myself, although I already knew the outcome and what had driven him here.
An audible gasp from Aro wrenched me back to the present; I stole a glance at Caius, who was leaning forward eagerly, wanting to hear what Aro had heard. Aro was shaking his head in disbelief as he stepped back, looking at Edward with what could only be awe.
'Amazing.' He breathed. 'I never thought I could meet someone who could have bested Carlisle in self-restraint. Apparently I was wrong.'
What was this? Bested Carlisle in self – control? Carlisle? How was that possible? He was a human doctor, for crying out loud! He operated on them. He took blood samples without so much as a whimper. What could possibly best that? I was about to find out.
Edward turned to look at me, half a humourless smile on his face.
'I wonder myself.' He said. His voice was devoid of any emotion.
I inhaled sharply through my nose. He was talented. I was sure he had just read my mind.
'Yes.' He replied, answering my thought. 'I guess I did.' That last sentence seemed to bring back a painful memory, his face twisted.
'So', mused Aro. 'You were enamoured with a human.'
Gasps went round the room, including mine. A human? I couldn't perceive how this was possible. How could one of us love one of them? However impossible that was, I still understood him better than anyone in this room, even Aro. I was going through the same pain. The same agony.
'Yes.' He confirmed. 'However, I think the present tense would be more accurate, Aro. I still love her.' He said this while looking directly at me, I echoed his sentiment. We were more connected to our loved ones, even in death, than all the vampires put together in this room were with theirs. True love was eternal. So was loss.
Aro smiled. 'Yes, I agree. How callous of me, I apologise for my thoughtlessness.'
I wanted to snarl. How callous indeed. Edward glanced at me with a wry grin. I didn't need his talent to know he was thinking along the same lines.
Aro continued after a brief pause. 'But not only did you love her, you held her, kissed her; you stayed and watched over her in the night. When she had nightmares you held her close and wiped away her tears. All the time you did this, you fought with your carnal instincts. How… inconvenient that the very ones blood you could hardly resist was the one you could never bring yourself to kill! She was your tua cantante'
The room was speechless with shock. This was unheard of. This was not possible. The boy has hardly a century old, and he had resisted that? Not only was she human, she was his tua catante. Staggering.
'But that's not the best part!' cried Aro excitedly. I swear he should have been performing a victory dance right now. I could practically feel the glee he was radiating. Grinning at his audience, Aro continued.
'And the most amazing feat of all, my young friend, is that you tasted her. You drew blood from her, yet somehow, you stopped. She survived the incident. That was not the cause of her death.'
I wasn't sure I had heard that correctly. Tasted? No. That could not be right. Yet, somehow, I knew it was. Because he loved her. He truly did, with everything he had. He looked at me. I swear if he could cry tears would have been cascading down his cheeks.
I understand. I told him in my head. Truly, I do.
He looked away. He proceeded to stare Aro in the eye and said in a confident tone 'I ask for death. Decide now whether you will grant me my wish, or must I take matters into my own hands?'
Aro was taken aback and a little ruffled by his directness. However, he kept up with his cool façade, smoothing out his expression in an instant. 'This is not usual, my young friend. We do not get many suicidal vampires.' his lip curled. 'This will take some time and discussion. I'm afraid you will have to have patience for a little longer, Felix will escort you to a… safe location, and we will discuss the issue in further detail. We will see each other again soon.'
With that, Aro gestured to Felix to proceed and he and Edward exited swiftly.
I watched his retreating back with awe. What an impressive creature. But I suppose it was to be expected. Love changed those it affected in unalterable ways. For the better or the worse.
A/N: So?? Whaddya think? Think I captured dear old Marcus well? Review and I may write up another chapter…I take time to do this, you know! I want to know what you think! So Read, Review and if I get enough I'll begin work on the update! The tenth Reviewer gets a special surprise ;)
Oh yes, and why do you think poor old Eddie gets upset when he says 'I guess I did?' Why would that remind him of his Bella? Whoever guesses gets a cookie and a hug :)