Author Notes: This is my first fanfiction piece, and I am unsure how it will be received, and if it is well liked I will continue. Looking for a beta.
Hollow No More
I began to tremble. These Italian vampires had bright red eyes and I knew what hungered them. I didn't want to die, and I certainly didn't want my beloved Edward to die too. A chain events that all started with my selfish and foolish cliff diving. What was I thinking?
"I don't suppose there's any chance that you've changed your mind? Your talent would be an excellent addition to our little company."
My eyes did not deviate from Aro's face. I did not look at Edward and thought I would know his reply, but then, half an hour ago he was convinced he was dead.
"I'd… rather… not."
Time seemed to flow too fast. I was not sure if this meant the end was coming and I glanced at Edward, hoping his body language would give away what the Volturi's thoughts were thinking. Alice spoke, but I wasn't paying too much attention.
"And you, Bella?" I was aware of Aro's voice but I didn't comprehend what it meant until Edward hissed. Did I want to stay for dinner? Well, if Edward were the one serving it I wouldn't have argued. Caius was speaking, but I been to wonder. Edward wouldn't give me immortality. These vampires would. Eternally at age 18.
I was aware of Aro's voice once more. "Can you imagine the possibilities when she is one of us?"
Edward was fuming. I could just imagine him launching himself at these vampires to protect my soul. I don't want my soul! You can have it, Edward! While I desperately wanted to become a vampire, I wanted even more to become a member of the Cullen family. I didn't really consider it. At that point at least.
"No, thank you." Was that my voice? I sounded so breakable.
"If she betrays our secrets, are you prepared to destroy her? I think not."
"I wouldn't—," I whispered. Caius glared at me and I didn't dare finish speaking. Not that I knew what I would have said, anyway.
"Nor do you intend to make her one of us," Caius continued. "Therefore, she is a vulnerability. Though it is true, for this, only her life is forfeit. You may leave if you wish."
Edward bared his teeth. He obviously wasn't going to let that happen. But I did not come all this way for Edward to die anyway! They can have me – just leave Edward alone!
"Unless you do intend to give her immortality?"
I looked into Aro's eyes, and then Edwards. He pursed his lips, and I knew I shouldn't have had my hopes up, even for a flicker of a moment, "And if I do?" Edward said.
Aro smiled, happy again. "Why, then you would be free to go home and give my regards to my friend Carlisle." His expression turned more hesitant. "But I'm afraid you would have to mean it."
He stared into my eyes, and I stared back.
"Mean it," I whispered. "Please." I was begging with my eyes. Please Edward. If I have ever been able to dazzle you, please let this be the time. Please, oh, please. I have never wanted anything so much. And I wish for once he could read my mind, and that way he would know the conviction I feel. Was it really such a loathsome idea? Would he rather die than change me? I felt like I'd been kicked in the stomach. Edward stared down at me with a tortured expression.
And then I knew. I knew that while Edward loved me, he despised himself enough for him to never ever let me be like him. If that happened, I would always be his inferior, I would never be equal. He would always hold power over me. Nearly all of the time, I didn't mind him holding power over me, as I loved him so, but it saddened me to think I would grow old and die. Although there was a flicker of hope, Alice had said she might change me. I knew Edward would fight her before he let her. I felt being pulled in a thousand different directions, and wondered why I didn't break. Edward was convinced I was so breakable – yet he was the one that broke me.
He didn't have to say it, but it was like he was shouting it. The answer was NO.
I trembled and didn't even tell my body to move forward but it did. Edward grabbed my wrist. I looked at him. His face seemed to be screaming 'What do you think you're doing?' and I felt like screaming back at him. For being a spineless boyfriend who convinced himself he wouldn't hurt me – but he did! Bones would heal, but memories wouldn't. Fear had eaten away at my insides and now there was nothing left. I was a shell. This latest blow to the stomach was more then he could ever do to me physically.
I turned to face Aro. He looked amused.
"Will you grant me immortality?" I called out to him.
Edward whimpered. "Bella..." he begged me with my eyes. His hand did not leave my wrist. Looking into his eyes I nearly stepped back then. I should have. But I was stubborn. I would always love him, and when this was over, perhaps he would forgive me and love me once more. I wondered if this act of seeking immortality from another would hurt him as much as he hurt me when he left me in the forest.
I put my hand around his hand that was still forcibly curled around my wrist. I looked him in the eye and thought of every impossibly hard moment I had endured these months. I hoped the anguish on his face was mirrored in mine. One by one I pried each finger from my wrist. Of course I was not strong enough to do this, but the fact I was doing it purposefully, and deliberately. The hurt on my face seemed to burn his hand, and he let me release him. I turned my back on him and walked forward. Just as I was reaching the halfway point in which I was closer to them than to Edward and Alice, she screamed "No! Edward!" and I whipped around in time to see Edward on the floor, gasping in pain. Moments earlier, when he had launched at Jane to protect me I hadn't imagined the anguish on his face was possible. Now I realised that it was the same look he had given me as I pried his fingers from my wrist.
I was shocked. I could not move. He stopped curling in agony and looked at me. Though he was still in agony.
"Let me go, Edward," I whispered quietly. "Or promise me immortality and actually mean it."
His face looked to be thinking intently. I could nearly see his thoughts. He was thinking a million different ways to gain back control of the situation. To keep me human, inferior to him. To gain back control of me.
This realisation hardened my slightly faltered resolve. I turned as swiftly as my human body would let me and walked toward my new life. He let out a roar, the sound of an animal in unimaginable pain. But I did not look back.
I reached Aro's side. I looked up at him.
"I never expected this!' Aro called out, "Maybe I should have thought to ask Alice".
I looked at Alice but the shock on her face showed that she had not seen this coming until it was too late. Edward was getting up off the floor.
"I have reconsidered your offer, Aro. If you still want my services." He said in a low, chilly voice.
Aro smiled. "Alice? Perhaps you wish to join your brother?"
"No," she said meekly. "I wish to return to my husband."
Aro nodded. "Very well. Leave in peace."
Alice briefly looked at Edward; I imagined she was mentally saying goodbyes to him. Or perhaps she was sending him plans that would work in his favour as she considered possible futures. She nodded towards Aro. She then briskly walked out.
Edward walked slowly toward us. The Guard tensed, but Aro waved them off. He reached me and held my hand gently. I may have been imagining it, but it was like I could feel his pain transfer through to me as our palms were interlaced.
"You will forgive me someday for this," I whispered to him.
"There is nothing to forgive you for, Bella." He said so quietly, I was unsure if that's what he had said. "Perhaps, though, one day I will forgive myself for letting this happen."
I put my hand on his chest. He looked down into my eyed. His tortured expression was gone, replaced by longing. I leaned into him. He held me tightly and I knew whatever happened next, it would be okay, because Edward was with me. The rest, I could live through, as long as he was here with me.
Here, with the Volturi.