Disclaimer: All Characters belong to Stephenie Meyer.
Almost two weeks had passed since our trip to Italy. After Edward and I returned, everything went back to normal. As normal as it could be around Forks. The Cullens moved back into their house, and we all went back to living as though the last 7 months didn't happen. And aside from the Volturi's threat to make sure I was turned as soon as possible, much to Edward's dismay, things between me and Edward were stronger than ever. And now that I was guaranteed immortality, I had nothing to worry about. So I tried to enjoy what little weeks I had of my humanity.
I was now driving to the Cullen's house, to spend the day with the family. Once I arrived and immediately got out of the car, I heard a loud bang followed by a piercing growl. I jumped a bit when I realized that it was more than one person growling, and I got terrified of what was going on. I rushed to the door and swung it open and when I didn't see anyone in the living room area, I knew it was coming from the dining room. I hurried over immediately, only to stop at the entrance.
I was paralyzed with fear when my eyes met the sight of two pairs of bloody red eyes. It was hard ripping my gaze away from the two faces that were grinning at me, but I did as best as I could. I scanned the room, and took in the entire scene in front of me. Carlisle was sitting on the other side of the dining table, with his head in his hands. Esme sat next to him with her hand on his shoulder in comfort, as she looked at me with unshed tears in her eyes. Behind them was an enraged Emmett and Jasper with a very pained look on his face, as they were holding back a very furious looking Alice. She was snarling and growling menacingly at the two red-eyed guests.
I cleared my throat and immediately all attention was on me. Carlisle lifted his head up to stare at me in shock, almost as if I had entered undetected. Alice relaxed from her stance and Jasper and Emmett loosened the hold they had on her, although they still had both their hands on her shoulder just in case.
"Bella, you are early." Carlisle said, once he snapped out of his momentary shocked state.
"uhh .. yes, well, I didn't have any work today. I thought I would drop by early." I felt the situation getting awkward, and needed an excuse to leave. "I'll go find Edward." I added.
"Don't bother. Rosalie took him hunting." Emmett said through gritted teeth.
"Isabella." I immediately turned my attention to the sound of my name being called.
"Please, why don't you take a seat so we can fill you in on the details. You are as much part of this, as the rest of the Cullens. Well, actually you are the center of the discussion." Alec said with a smirk, as he rose from his seat and motioned for me to take the seat next to him.
I was nervous beyond comprehension, but walked over to take a seat. I sat next to Esme instead of the seat next to Alec, he scared the living daylights out of me and sitting next to him was out of the question. Once I sat down, Carlisle went back to putting his head in his hands and Esme wrapped her arm around my shoulder. While Alec sat back into his seat, Jasper took the seat next to me, placing his hand on mine. Alice and Emmett came behind me and stood over in a protective manner. I was tense as it was, and I didn't know what to expect from this. And while I returned my gaze back to the non-vegetarians in front of me, they seemed to be beaming with delight.
"What is going on?" I asked, refusing to take my eyes off the vampires in front of me.
"We came here to offer a proposition for Carlisle and his family." Demetri answered.
"You see, Isabella, the Volturi will be providing the Cullen coven protection. They will be forever protected by us, as long as they meet our condition." Alec went on to explain.
"What is the condition?" I asked. I noticed Alec trying to hold back a laugh. As all the Cullens, except Carlisle who looked like he would collapse, were growling and vibrating with fury.
"They need to give us something in return." Alec went on to explain.
"I don't understand. What does any of this have to do with me?" I asked as I felt panic overwhelm me, but it immediately vanished as Jasper squeezed my hand.
"Maybe I should rephrase my sentence, and clarify myself." Alec replied. He leaned in on the table, as if locking his gaze with mine. "The condition is that, they need to give us someone in return." Alec explained.
I couldn't control the expression that crept on my face. I stared at them with wide eyes, and I feared the worst. Were they after Edward? Is that why he is not here? Did Rosalie take him and fled? I was beyond panicked at this point, not even Jasper could calm me down. I shut my eyes as I tried to confirm my thoughts, my heart felt like it was going to break out of my ribcage.
"Who is this someone that you will get in return?" I asked, my voice breaking a little.
"It's you, Isabella." I heard Demetri say.
My eyes quickly fluttered open, as I stared at the taupe haired vampire in front of me. My jaw dropped in shock at this realization. They wanted me? The Cullens will be safe as long as the Volturi have me? I am a freaking bargaining chip?!
"You will NOT have her!" Alice snarled.
"I am afraid you don't have any other choice. When the Volturi present an offer, you don't turn your back on it without making them into your enemies. I presume that's the last thing you need right now, what with that rogue vampire killing in your town." Alec replied deviously. They knew about Victoria?!
"We can clean our own messes!" Emmett yelled.
"I doubt that. If you could, then you would have done so already. Sooner or later, she could cause our kind to be exposed and we cannot have that. She is already getting out of control and we need to make sure she is disposed of properly." Alec explained.
"Besides, I heard she is killing a lot of innocent people. Wouldn't you feel glad that once we take care of her, then other humans will be spared from death?" Demetri added quirking an eyebrow in amusement.
I took a moment to ponder that. They would kill Victoria, ridding Forks and my father of all the innocents being killed. And they would also provide Edward and the rest of the Cullens with eternal protection. And the price for that is that they can have me, I would be the sacrifice so that my family can be safe. I knew didn't have to think for long, and immediately my mind was made up. And for the moment I was thankful that Edward wasn't here, because I knew he would stop me if he found out what I was about to do.
I suddenly jumped up from my seat when I head Alice yelling and growling in agony. "NO!! No no no no!! Oh please for the love of god, Bella! You cannot be serious!" Alice yelled at me, and I heard a loud bang behind my back. I turned around and saw Emmett pinning Alice back against the wall as she sobbed uncontrollably.
Alec chuckled, and I turned my head around abruptly to look at him. "It seems the girl has made her decision." Alec declared.
Suddenly I felt a hand on my cheek, and I turned around to see Carlisle looking at me in agony. "Bella my daughter, I promise you that we will find a way around this. If it's the last thing I do." He said. And I thought that if he could cry then he would.
At that moment I understood Carlisle's agony. He was the leader of the coven, yet he couldn't do anything to prevent what was happening. I felt saddened for the way my father figure felt, and I placed my hand on his as I felt the tears welling up in my eyes and spilling over.
"Alright, enough wasting time. Since the girl has made her choice, then we shall leave immediately. You may say your goodbyes to her." Demetri said.
"What about my father? How will you explain my disappearance?" I asked, looking at everyone.
"Don't worry about Charlie, my dear. We will find an excuse." Esme replied.
And with that in mind, I nodded and stood up from my chair. Everyone else also had risen from their seats, and came to hug me and say their goodbyes. Esme was the first one to hug me, and when she let go she dry sobbed. Carlisle also hugged me warmly and kissed me head, as he reassured me again that he would find a way to bring me back, while Demetri chuckled at the response.
Alice then came and wrapped her slender arms around me and kissed both my cheeks. "Don't worry, I will come see you as soon as I can. You will not be alone in this." She told me, and I smiled at all the love she had for me. She really is a true sister to me at heart.
Once she let me go, Emmett swiftly grabbed me and pulled me into his bear hug and I hugged him back. I felt fresh tears filling my eyes and spilling over at the farewell I was giving my big brother, this probably hurt the most. After I hugged Emmett, I was surprised when Jasper came over and hugged me just as tightly as Emmett. I didn't think I was that close with him, but his embrace said otherwise and I found myself sobbing loudly knowing I had a family who loved me, and I would be leaving them for their safety.
As soon as I said my goodbyes to all my family members, with the exception of two, I made my way to the door with Demetri and Alec by my side. Before walking out, I turned around once more and tried as best as I could to memorize the faces of my vampire family, to hold me strong until the next time I saw them.
"Tell Edward I love him." I said. And with a nod from my family members, I walked out of the door crying heavily as I was escorted by Alec and Demetri to a waiting car.