Everything burns
While everyone screams
Burning their lies
and burning my dreams

Chapter Twenty Two


No answers were to be given. Everything the townspeople needed to know was right in front of them. They all knew that Jane was a murderer – the little demon had killed her own father years ago – however, they thought her reserved brother would a die a virgin in that way. It was not to be.

The boy was more damaged than his sister, they understood. Here was a boy that had beat a man – a rich, respectable man – dead. Torn out his heart and then just laid there, a small, victorious smile on his face.

Jane had worried over him, shouting that the deed should not have been done, but her brother simply told her, "I failed you when you were captured, Jane. Should I not have tried just this once to redeem myself?"

They shared a small, insane smile, and their hands brushed together.

Then Annalynn had Alec on his knees, her small hands around his neck. Others held his shoulders and kept him down. First, he thought he was going to be killed. You're not that lucky, the cynical voice in his head drawled. You are going to be burned still. They just want you to be a bit quieter, so those of weaker stomachs can watch and cheer. Just as your dear mother and brother. Surely they will be cheering everyone on. Aren't you excited?

Jane was also forced onto her knees, and a much bigger man – the son of the late chestnut seller – rapped his hands around her throat.

Both were choked until they could only sit quietly and attempt to breath. By the time it was time to begin, everyone had gathered in the square. Madiline and Harold were in the middle, Madiline sobbing into Harold's shoulder, and Harold oddly serious. They were happy to see Jane and Alec go, however.

The two were dragged over the shoulders of two men who they did not reconinize. Annalynn cried loudly, holding the hand of her mother and brother. Why did her father have to die? He never did a thing wrong.

Two iron stakes sat close together in the ground. Jane was tied to one, and she did her best to spit and curse at the crowd, who cheered when they were brought in. Alec was tied to the other and made no sounds or facial expressions, just looked at Jane, wishing he could do something, anything to make her not feel anything. He knew that when done correctly, it could take two hours for one to die.

Madiline glared murderously at her children, and with Harold, began to shoot and curse, condemning them for their horrid ways. Madiline never thought that it was partially her fault they turned out the way they did.

News of what happened with Alec and Gregron had quickly hit the ears of the Volturi.

"Thank the Gods!" Caius exclaimed, much louder than he should have been. He glared disdainfully at the two containers of water. "I did not want to wait any longer."

"Would it have killed you?" Aro was rather sick of Caius' complaining.

"With any hope, it will kill them." Caius gestured to the twins, who had just been sat on fire.

Jane's screams intertwined with curses, and it made Caius even angrier. "Horrid little parasite."

"Then you would have wasted your time." Aro smiled pleasently as Caius took in the knowledge of what he had said.

"Be quiet. I want to hear their terror."

Jane screamed wickedly, even as the pain built in her legs and her skin began to melt. She wanted them to feel the fire, them to suffer, them to pay for the way her life had went. Alec, however, looked the best he could through the smoke at Jane. While she hollowed and spitted, wanting, so sadistically, for them to hurt, he only wanted her to stop hurting. To not feel.

Aro was correct with his reasoning.

"I want to begin now," Caius had barked, five minutes into it. He was far from bored, but he had better things to do, and the thought of saving the little brat, having that in his future, made him want to act now.

"Very well," Aro allowed after a moments thought.

Caius and Marcus picked up the containers and ran into the square, going to extinguish the fires. Aro followed slowly after.

Felix ripped the head off Annalynn, licking at a bone as he did so.

Santiago bit into Harold's nose and spit it out, playing his game until Harold's eyes were knotted in his hair, and his body was empty of blood.

Madiline had the pleasure of having her blood sucked through her breast while Demetri raped her.

Heidi pranced around, ripping heads from people. She wasn't hungry, and wasn't in the mood to play.

Jaspien was the last to die. He had tried to take refuge behind the apothecary, but Afton had found him. He had ripped his jaw off and left, no longer thirsty.

Caius and Marcus poured the water over the twins and ripped them from the stakes, holding them in their arms. Caius distastefully, Marcus uncaring.

"Go on now," Aro prompted. The children looked like they would die soon.

"You do it!" Caius thrust Alec's limp body at Aro as Marcus bit into Jane's neck.

As her screams started anew, Alec cracked open his eyes and tried to find his twin.

Aro shook his head.

Caius bit Alec, doing so quickly and wincing. "He is nasty!"

"You two should hold them on the way back to Volterra." Aro said smartly.

Fifty-one dead bodies lay on the ground, most bloodless, but much blood had been spilt on the ground. Demetri leaned against a building, looking content. "Humans," Caius sneered. "When I thought the Guard could get no lower…"

"Corin, Chelsea, do take care to see the city is reduced to ashes," Aro ordered as he lead the rest of them back home.

As they screamed, the twins managed to find each others hands. They hung there, between Caius and Marcus limply, but from the strong way they gripped each other, Aro knew they would make formidable Guard members.