Twenty Years Later
In twenty years of searching, I rarely found any trace of them. In the hand full of times I did find at least one of their scents, it was cold, at least one month old, and when I asked the people of these cities or towns the answer was always the same, they had just moved.
Of course, they never really meant to go where they had told the town; it was just their cover. In twenty years, I have searched every continental state along with Alaska; never staying in one place for more than two weeks. Still, I have come up empty.
Carlisle could have taken them to his home country, but that would mean another twenty to thirty years of searching. I didn't have that long if I wanted to save both my kind and the human race. I had to start gathering my children from my past lives. All five had become vampires. I need their strength if I am to do what needs to be done. With the knowledge I had received from my life as Bella Swan, I knew all but one of my children were alive; all except James.
I knew where I would go next. I would go to my twins; let them see the truth for the first time since Aro had them changed. And I would go in the form they had last seen me; I would go as their mother, Elena Klaus.
The plane ride was horrific. The scents of the humans' blood all mixed together was almost enough to make me wish I had taken a boat across the Atlantic, almost. The man beside me had horrid breath and he wouldn't stop talking. I just nodded my head politely, pretending to listen as he rambled on and on about how this was his first time on an airplane and that he was visiting his great aunt who lived in Rome.
My mind was elsewhere. I knew that my twins probably wouldn't recognize me, even if I entered the chamber exactly as I had when Felix snapped my neck, killing me. It had been two and a half centuries since then and human memories fade over time. Most of the others would know who I am though; especially Aro, Caius, and Marcus.
Some hours later, I arrived in Volterra, Italy. Within seconds I was in the lobby where a young woman greeted me in Italian. I briskly walked past her toward the doors.
"Wait," she called after me. "You can't go in there." I ignored her and walked through the wooden French doors.
The scene before me angered me. Felix and Demetri had hold of a vampire who was struggling to get break free to get to an immortal child who was backed into a corner by my twins. The child seemed to be the only one to notice my sudden entrance and rushed toward me, hoping she'd make it to me before they used their powers on her.
I pushed my shield out around her just as my daughter turned and concentrated on the poor child. I felt her power hit my shield. In frustration, she tried again as I lifted the girl into my arms.
That's when everyone turned to me and Aro took in a sharp, unneeded breath.
"It can't be," he whispered. "Elena Klaus?"
"Yes, Aro," I replied in a strong voice. "That has been one of my names over the centuries; one of my lives. I have come to get my twins out of your clutches. I've come to let them remember me. Jane, Alec, in one of my past lives, I was your mother and I'll be damned before I let you touché one hair on this child's head in a harmful way."