*Disclaimer- Twilight belongs to Stephenie Meyer. I own nothing.*

Chapter-18 Alone

Maddi's POV

The cottage looked liked it had been plucked right out of Snow White and placed in this perpetually damp forest. The interior however was a complete reflection of the Cullens' decorating style. As I slouched lazily in a medieval style chair, I contemplated the fact that I had been in Forks for precisely eight hours and already my presence was causing problems. However, no matter how hard I tried to make Edward see sense and allow me to leave, he refused. Stupid, stubborn bloodsucker.

Edward was positioned in front of the large book case staring off into space. He turned his head in my direction and his eyes caught mine. His left eyebrow arched and he smirked at me. "Did you really just call me a bloodsucker?" He asked humor apparent in his voice and eyes.

"I also used the adjectives stupid and stubborn, or did you miss that part?" I asked feigning innocent concern that he might have missed a vital part of my mental rant. He simply rolled his eyes and went back to staring intently at the book shelf. "You know immortals can do many amazing things but seeing though walls is not one of them. Is there any particular reason you're trying to engage the book case in a stare off?"

"I'm not staring, I'm thinking. I thought you of all people would know that. Have you finally stopped monitoring my psyche?" He retorted, this time without looking at me.

I sighed theatrically and answered, "What can I say? One can only listen to your painstakingly dull thoughts for so long." That and the fact that listening to him try and come up with a plan to keep me from the Volturi's clutches was giving me a headache. He turned to glare playfully at me now. I responded maturely by sticking out my tongue. Then I frowned at his feet, realizing how easy it was to joke with him and how much I was going to miss it when I left. My frown quickly turned into a glare because, I of all people knew how dangerous those kinds of thoughts were. I couldn't let myself get too attached to something I would soon have to give up.

I looked up to see Edward frowning at me. "You don't have to give it up." He said quietly but there was so much determination burning behind every word that I almost let myself believe it.

But of course, as it always does, the harsh truth of reality crushed that belief as quickly as it had started. "Yes, Edward," I said, nodding my head solemnly, "I do. I'm not going to let you get your entire coven slaughtered trying to protect me from something I have to deal with on my own." Aro. The name echoed inside my head reminding me that soon I would have to face him again.

"Maddi we've defended ourselves against the Volturi before." Edward replied in a tone that suggested I should have already considered this fact.

"And you're willing to risk another altercation with them? What if it's not so easy this time? What if someone gets hurt? Doesn't that matter to you?" Bella? Renesmee? I let the image of my brother's two favorite people rise up in my mind. I knew I was hitting below the belt but in my defense, I was desperate.

Edward looked at the floor of the cottage. "Of course that matters to me." The slight tinge of pain in his voice made my dead heart clench with guilt. Then his golden eyes were blazing into my green ones. "But so do you." The statement was simple but the sentiment was so much more complex.

I was frozen; I couldn't look away from his gaze. At that moment an iron clad resolve began to seep into my veins. I would not let Aro take this away from me. He has destroyed almost every other thing I have ever held dear, but I would not let him take away my last remaining blood relative. I would not, could not, let him near Edward.

"So not even Jane or Alec could penetrate it?" I asked, awe and admiration being the dominate emotions in my voice. Bella had just finished telling me about the last time the Volturi had paid the Cullens a "visit".

"Nope." She replied with a satisfied smile. I could fell the corner of my own mouth turning up into a smirk when I thought about the Volturi being rendered defenseless by little Bella and her powerful mental shield. Aro must have loved that.

I looked down at her from my perch in the tall pine tree and laughed. "I'm really beginning to like you." I said and she smiled warmly up at me from her position at the base of the tree.

At that moment, Edward appeared out of the vegetation and walked over to stand by Bella. His clothes were free of blood but I could smell the slightly gamy sent of deer coursing through his veins. "Are you two finished hunting?" He asked, looking questioningly at Bella and then up at me.

Bella nodded her head, "Yep."

Then two pairs of goldish eyes were staring up at me. I wrinkled my nose in disgust; I didn't want to hunt down a creature that looked eerily similar to Bambi. And besides that, they didn't smell very appetizing.

"Oh come on Maddi, they aren't that bad." Edward said trying to coax me into attacking a little woodland animal.

"It's ok really. I'm not even that thirsty yet." I lied; I could already feel the thirst burning a hole through my esophagus.

Edward rolled his eyes, "Maddi your irises are almost completely black." Damn, I had forgotten about that.

I sighed and jumped from the branch; I landed silently on my feet a couple of inches in front of my twin. I glared at him and then rolled my eyes in defeat. "Fine, I'll kill a stupid deer." I mumbled the irritation clear in my voice. I did not like it when I lost.

My feelings about hunting changed quickly, however, when I began to feel the emotion radiating off the two of them. I didn't need Jasper's power to notice the love on their faces, anyone with eyes could have seen it. I realized suddenly, I wanted to be extremely far away from the happy couple and if I had to kill a defenseless deer in the process, so be it. An all too familiar pain began to rip through my insides and I turned on my heel. I was now facing the forest opposite us, so neither of them could see the look in my eyes. "I'll meet you back at the cottage." I said in a rush and then darted off into the trees, running as fast as inhumanly possible.

I finally stopped running when I was certain I had put a large gap between their love fest and myself. I scanned the surrounding greenery and sniffed the air. That's when I heard the quiet thump of a heart beat and I took off in the direction of the sound. I spotted the large buck grazing in the middle of a small meadow and crouched down. After taking a deep unnecessary breath, I darted out of the bushes and leapt for the unsuspecting animal's neck. My hands reached out and cleanly snapped its neck before I drained it of its life.

I stood up, brushing the dead grass from the meadow off my T-shirt. The back of my neck began to prickle and I sensed that I wasn't as alone as I had thought. Out of instinct, my eyes immediately began to survey my surroundings. My nose and ears were also working to locate whoever was disrupting my solitude. That's when I saw him.

He looked just as I remembered; insanely tall, with the shoulders of a line backer. His bright ruby eyes caught and held mine. He smiled impishly and said, "Madeline." He nodded his head in greeting.

I could feel my muscles tense and my jaw tighten but I kept my tone light and playful. "Felix, long time no see." I smiled pleasantly at him but every nerve in my body was screaming at me to fight or run. I knew that if Felix was here, Aro knew exactly where I was and that thought made my stomach twist into a knot.

"Indeed, it has been a long time; too long, in fact." His eyes narrowed slightly. He was trying to look menacing, he wanted to intimidate me. And if I had been anyone else it would have worked, but since I was me, it had no effect. I had fought and defeated Felix before, many times. "Aro has been looking everywhere for you." I can't imagine why. It's not like she's useful. I cocked my head to one side, hearing both his inner and outer thoughts. I was actually beginning to see some advantages in Edward's gift.

I made an exaggeratedly shocked face. "Really?" I would have said something wittier but my thoughts were preoccupied with trying to come up with an escape plan. I had to get away from Felix so I could try and think of a way to convince Edward to let me leave, alone.

"Really." He repeated. Even though I had already known Aro was looking for me, the verbal confirmation made an internal shiver run down my spine. Why couldn't he just let me go?

"And let me guess, you're here to hand deliver me to him personally." I accused the hulk of an immortal standing across from me.

Felix darted forward; closing the distance between us and in less than a second was a couple inches away from me. He leaned down so we were eye to eye and said, "Nope, I'm only the messenger."

When he didn't continue I asked in a steady voice, "Ok. So what's the message?"

"Aro wants you back in Italy no later than Friday." His tone suggested that we were simply discussing a business meeting "And if you're not," he smiled mischievously, "that's when I get to hand deliver you." Then he turned and darted off without saying anything else.

So, Aro wanted me to come back on my own. Well, he always did love to mess with my head. Instead of just having Felix abduct me and drag me back to Voltaire. He wanted the satisfaction of me having to come back on my own terms.

I rolled my eyes at nothing in particular and then began to sprint back in the direction I had come. As I ran, I thought about how difficult it was going to be to get Edward to stay in Forks while I went to Italy. I sighed; it was going to be a long night

My cell phone buzzing in my back pocket made my feet stop where they were. That was odd I told Darren I'd call him later tonight. My body began to fill with an emotion I was not particularly fond of; panic. I tried to quiet the thoughts that something bad had happened gnawing away at my mind, as I answered the phone. "Hello?" I said waiting for a response.

Darren's voice was shaky on the other end of the phone as he said, "Millie's missing." Those two words sent the entire forest crashing down around me.

A/N: So there it is, for anyone who is still out there. I know, I know. I'm a terrible person but I just moved and I kind of hit a hard streak of writer's block. I know I've said this before but I really am going to try and post more frequently.

So anyways if you liked it or even if you didn't like it, I'd love to hear your opinion =]

The review box thingy is only a click away XD