As I stood there, my eyes transfixed on the pale face of the vampire I love, I couldn't help but worry. The look on his face as he read Aro's mind…it couldn't be a good sign. Edward was always so stoic, so in control, but in those few seconds that the Volturi conversed amongst themselves, he appeared to be suffering. What could that possibly mean? What could this royalty of vampires do that was so terrible that he would be balling up his fists as visual confirmation of his agitation?
"So, what do we do with you now?" Aro mused as he broke from the mini vampire huddle. I sucked in a deep breath. What did he mean, 'what do we do with you?' let me go, that's what you can do with me.
"Couldn't you just let us go?" I dared say. Edward, if possible, stiffened even more at my side, his hold on my shoulder almost painful as he held me closer to him.
Caius stood up from his throne in one swift black cloaked movement and appeared directly in front of my face before I could even blink.
"How dare you?" he began but I cut him off quickly.
"Oh, I dare, alright. What have I done to you? What have any of us here done to any of you? You abide by certain laws do you not?"
"Bella!" Edward interrupted, but I cut him off almost immediately.
"Who the hell do you think you are? You let us go NOW!"
The room went deathly silent. All eyes were on me. Alice let out a little moan and I knew she was seeing an unpleasant future.
"I like this one!"said Aro, barely containing his amusement. He snapped his head toward Edward and all trace of humor was gone in a split second.
"No!" shouted Edward. He took a step forward blocking me from the majority of the room.
"You saw my mind, you know we weren't going to let her stay alive, she is too much of a risk. But now, I think it would be such insanity to let someone with her potential, with her bravery, go. It would be such a waste. Surely you see that Edward."
"Are you saying that you are willing to kill an innocent?"
"She is hardly an innocent!" bellowed Marcus. "I see your tie to her, it's repulsive and unnatural."
"Ah, my brother, please be still." Cooed Aro. "You see this relationship as unnatural, but imagine the possibilities!"
Caius, who was still standing but mere inches from me pushed me. The hold that Edward had on me was broken and I felt my head slam against the stone wall.
I was amazed at myself when I was able to stand right back up and not pass out from the blow. I did have a piercing pain in the back of my head. I reached back and felt something hot and wet. I looked at my hand to see it covered in blood. Oh, damn. I was bleeding in a castle turret surrounded by angry vampires.
I looked up and countless eyes, hungry red eyes, starred back at me. Edward was at my side before I could comprehend the immense danger I was in.
"Bella." He groaned.
"I'm fine." I said shifting myself in his sudden embrace.
"Be still everyone." Aro addressed to the crowd of vampires who were inching their way toward me. They obeyed immediately but only just barely.
"Edward, how do you do it?" Asked Aro, clearly amused. I, however, was not.
"Leave Edward alone. If it's me you want you can have me, I don't care just let them go."
The entire room was filled with the reverberations of the laughter coming from every immortal in the room.
"How brave of you, but, sadly, I cannot aquiess your request." He shifted his attention to Edward.
"Turn her now or she will die. I will either have her as one of us, or as lunch." He said the last word with vehemence.
"Do it, Edward." I said through clenched teeth.
"I will not." He growled back.
"No! Bella, I can read his mind. He will not let you go! He will not let any of us go! He wants to make you his…"
"Mate." Finished Aro.
I was frozen in place. I could not take my eyes off of Edward. How could he just stand there and let me die. Did he really mean what he said to me at the edge of my backyard the day he left me? Did he abhor the idea of me becoming a vampire so much that he would rather me not exist? I flipped my attention back to Aro.
"If he turns me, will you let him go? Will the surrender of my human life grant him his freedom?"
"Bella, what are you doing?"
"Shut up Edward. If he agrees, you can go and forget I ever existed as you so clearly wanted to the day you walked out of my life."
"Will you agree to be my mate?" asked Aro.
"I will only ever be Edward's mate. I love him, no one else. Do you really believe that I would give my heart and my body to someone as…vile as you? Do you honestly believe that threatening me and the only other person I have ever loved will make me want to be with you? You're nuts! No, I will not be your mate, but I will stay here for as long as it takes as long as I know that Edward and Alice will be allowed passage back to their family."
"I'm sorry, Bella, but that will not be possible. However, this I can promise. He will live. We will not kill him." Again he turned back to Edward. "This will be the last time I ask you. I do believe I am being fair here. Turn her or she will die and you will live to see the blood drained from her body, slowly by whomever I chose. What is your answer?"
Edward was as still as a statue for several minutes before he turned to me.
"Is this what you want? You would rather be a prisoner to the Volturi than keep your soul?"
"I want to be with you…forever." I said my voice barely above a whisper.
"As do I my love. Forgive me Bella." He said as his eyes seared into mine. I was confused. Was he apologizing for loving me? He loved me?
"For this." And he held me close to him and pressed his lips hard against mine before moving my head to the side exposing my neck and biting down on my flesh with all of his vampire strength. I yelled out in pain…but not for long. Slowly I felt myself become weak. Slowly I felt the numbness in my body. I willed Edward to be strong and resist the urge I knew he was feeling now. I knew that he thirsted for my blood for far too long. I know that this act was causing the animal within to become unleashed. I just hoped that he would tame it before it was too late.
I don't exactly know how long I was out for, but I was unconscious. What brought me back was the indescribable pain I was in. Every centimeter in my body burned and flared as if I was in a mold of white hot iron. My blood felt like lava flowing through my veins. My heart pounded slowly against my chest, every beat felt like a nail being hammered into my body. My body convulsed in the excruciating pain and I could just barely register that I was not alone.
"I didn't think he would do it."
"Well, she's your responsibility now."
"Why? Aro," said a young male voice. "I am not a baby sitter. I am not going to follow her around and make sure she behaves."
"You will do whatever it is I tell you to do. Is that understood?"
I heard nothing for several moments and then a, "Yes, my master."
The fiery pain overcame me once more as I drifted off into what can only be described as hell.
I'd like to give a special thanks to luvsemtalkdarkandhandsome for helping me come up with the title to the story. I would also like to thank Jazzvamp90 for all of her words of encouragement! Both of you are the best. Everyone else, check them out, they both have amazing stories :)