A/N Well thank you to everyone who read and reviewed my story! I really do appreciate it. A few of you were confused as to where this story is going and I am afraid that this chapter probably doesn't make my plans completely clear! But rest assured I am going somewhere with this! Remember, this story is all about Bella healing and what happened in the last chapter and what is going to happen in this chapter is all to do with her healing.
I had been in Volterra for a few months now and I had settled in nicely to my new job working in a local shop. I had only really made some acquaintances and not close friends but I was reasonably happy to lead a relatively solitary life. I smiled at customers and did exactly as my boss told me to and I enjoyed my peaceful night-time walks and all together my life was good and more importantly in my control. I knew exactly what was going to happen the next day, and the next, and the next day after that. No surprises, no pain and no complications.
One day when I was at work a customer, clearly a tourist, asked me about the history of the area where the shop was and I honestly couldn't answer her. I decided that it was appalling how little I knew about the place I was now referring to as home so when I got home that night I went onto my computer and looked for a guided tour of the city. I found a number to call and wrote it down, planning on calling in the morning as it was getting quite late.
In the morning the first thing I did was pick up the phone and dial the number. I waited as it rang and was about to hang up when it was answered.
"Hello, how may I help you?" A pleasant female voice said, anonymous and cheerful.
"Umm, I would like to go on a tour of Volterra, and I found this number." I said.
"Ah yes, well out tours run on a slightly irregular basis but there is a tour on this Sunday that starts at 10am. Would that one be ok?"
"Yes, that would be great. Where does it start and how long does it take?" I asked.
"It starts in underneath the clock tower and you should probably leave the rest of your day free. We cover a lot of information in our tours and it can take quite a long time." I thanked her and hung up the phone, pleased that I had made my arrangements. It was odd that it would be a whole day as Volterra wasn't that big, but I guessed that there was a lot of history to it.
I don't know how the guys talked me into it but I had agreed to meet them on the beach for a bonfire. I hadn't 'hung out' with them for such a long time but I was here now so I may as well relax and at least try to have a good time. I was the only one there but soon enough I heard footsteps and turned to see my old pack approaching.
"Paul, phase." I was shocked by Sam's request and angry manner.
"What?" I replied.
"Phase. Now," he said with a frown on his face.
"No!" I didn't want to phase, there was no point. I wasn't suicidal but I didn't want to extend my life span any further. There was no real point to life now that Bella had gone.
"You cannot go on like this. You need to get your life back, and if that means that we have to find Bella then that is what we will do. But you need to phase and join the pack. We will have to track her and you are useless as you are now. So phase." We were going to find Bella? That was the only thing that he said that really registered with me. I was trying so hard to absorb what he said that I didn't see the fist that was aiming for my jaw until it was too late. Pain shot through me and with flared a familiar anger that I hadn't felt in months. Hell, I had barely felt anything for months but the thought of seeing my angel again seemed to bring me back to life. The anger at the punch was now rippling through me and I felt myself beginning to shake.
I knew that I was going to phase but it felt slow and odd and I wasn't yet a wolf. Come on I thought, but I was still resolutely human. I tried thinking about things that made me angry but nothing worked until I thought of that bastard James and the way he had hurt Bella. With a yell I felt my whole body and being shifting into the unmistakable form of a wolf. I felt the earth beneath my feet and smelt the multitude of smells. It was as if I had been living under a veil and now my senses were free. The whole world looked sharper, brighter and I felt the power and strength of the wolf flowing through me.
We spoke to Charlie and Bella called him a year or so ago from New York, but it didn't sound like she was planning on staying there. We were thinking of asking the Cullen's for some help. They have been around for ages so they probably have contacts all over the place.
Sounds like a plan.
The air seemed to shiver as the rest of them phased and then we were off, running in the direction of the Cullen's house.
I turned away from Felix and Demetri after having made it quite clear how annoyed I was with them. I issued a command to have the now beheaded corpse of the vampire properly destroyed before turning away from it. I slowly glided over to my throne and settled myself upon it before reaching out a hand to Caius. He looked to be lost in deep thought and I was intrigued to know what he was thinking about. He reached out his hand and brushed his finger tips with mine.
Why did she do it? Why did she kill when it was so obvious that another human was nearby and then not kill said human? What made her kill so conspicuously? Couldn't she see that we as vampires were blessed and that we should try to obey the rules that kept us alive?
So his thoughts were centred on the girl they had just killed. Indeed she had killed conspicuously, but what had surprised me more than what the vampire did was what the other human did. She had completely ignored the scream and had barely reacted to the vampire leaving the alley way and hadn't gone to investigate. Any other human would have tried to find out what happened and I would have had to deal with them but she just kept on walking. Granted they didn't just kill the vampire for that one incident but a collection of similar incidents. And every single time the same human girl had been nearby and hadn't reacted to the screams or mysterious dark figure. I found it odd and I couldn't quite shake the image of her face from my mind. I had been keeping an eye on the incidents for a while and had issued a command for the guard to bring her in when the local people began to talk.
I was still quite angry with Felix and Demetri for killing her before I had a chance to read her thoughts, but she had been attacking viciously and they had been at risk of personal injury so I wasn't as angry as I might have been.
I left my brothers in the throne room to wonder down the hallways until I reached the library. I wondered through the extensive collection of books before selecting a very modern one, the first of the Harry Potter books, and headed back to the throne room to read it. I was using it as a distraction from the steady burn in the back of my throat. Tomorrow Heidi would be bringing in a group of tourists and I couldn't wait. I glanced towards the fire that was now burning in the far corner of the room and I just managed to catch a glimpse of fiery red hair before that too was consumed by the flames.
We ran as fast as we could to the Cullen's house and the mind reader was already standing outside when we got there, the rest of his family waiting behind him with curious looks. We stopped just within the tree line and phased back and I was grateful when Jake handed me a spare pair of shorts. We all jogged out of the forest and up to their house. The mind reader stepped to the side and we all filed into their house.
"We need your help," Sam said, getting straight to the point.
"With?" I hated the way the blonde one always behaved so haughtily around us.
"We have to find Bella. Paul needs her and the imprint must be causing her pain as well. We should never have let her leave and we thought that you might have some contacts that would help us?" The mention of my angels name made my heart give a little leap and for the first time in over a year I was feeling hope.
"Are you sure that pursuing her is the right thing to do? I mean, it was her choice to leave," The leader, Carlisle, said.
"I need her," I said, realising the complete and utter truth of my words. I couldn't go on without her for much longer and I was positive that it was the same for her as well.
"We do have many friends around the world, so I will start calling around if you are positive that this is what you want to do." We all nodded at Carlisle and he ran out of the room and seconds later I heard him on the phone.
"If you do find out where she is, then I would like to come with you to get her." The haughty blonde one stepped forward and was surprisingly talking directly to me. I remembered how she had comforted and helped Bella and I nodded to her.
"We will call you if we find anything." The mind reader's words were clearly a dismissal and we all took the hint and left their house. I was glad to get away from their stench and I phased once I was in the forest. It was easy, natural this time and I was able to relax into my wolf form and just enjoy the freedom.
Would you like to do the patrols for now? Leah is on as well so the two of you could take the afternoon shift. Sam thought and I agreed. I felt Leah phase and was surprised by how excited she was that we were going to find Bella.
Shut up jerk. She's my friend. Leah hadn't changed then, still as blunt and insensitive. I dodged her gaping jaws as she chased after me, laughing at her temper.
Come on, Sam's gonna kill us if we don't do a proper patrol. We began to run along the border and around La Push and the rest of the afternoon passed quietly. We phased back when Jared and Jake took over and Leah invited me to Emily's place. I was surprised by that as well but it seemed that Leah and Emily had started to make their peace although there was still a little tension between them. Emily had cooked our dinner and it felt great to have a proper meal again. With my return to shape shifting I had also regained my massive appetite and I shocked myself by how much I could eat.
After dinner we all settled around the tv playing video games and it was great being like old times. I eventually left to go back home and crashed onto my bed expecting sleep to claim me quickly. It was whilst I was lying there that the waiting became tense. I couldn't sleep, my mind to active and the anticipation for the Cullen's to call too great so I ended up watching tv for the rest of the night.
The hours turned into days and still the Cullen's didn't call. The wait was now becoming unbearable and my happy excitement was diminishing by the second. Doubts began to creep into my mind and I began to despair at the thought that we might not be able to find Bella. I mean, she had wanted a whole new start, so she might even have changed her name and everything. The Cullen's probably had a lot of contacts, but what were the chances of one of them having seen and remembered Bella?
Two weeks after we I began phasing again I was over at Emily and Sam's place and the phone rang. All of the pack were there having a barbeque but our spirits were hanging a little low after all the excitement we had a fortnight ago. We all froze when the phone rang and we could all hear Sam answering the phone.
"Hello Sam. It's Carlisle. Would you like to come over?"
We all leapt up at that and we were sprinting to their house before Sam could finish the conversation. It took us almost no time at all to reach the house and Carlisle was waiting outside for us.
"I am afraid it isn't good news. None of my friends have seen Bella. I haven't been able to contact all of them so I will keep on trying but there are only another five I haven't managed to reach." I felt my heart drop to the pit of my stomach and I felt physically sick. I had placed so much hope in this endeavour and I had no idea what to do now.
"I am well acquainted with the most powerful coven in the vampire world but I don't really want to contact them. If they did help us find her then we would be in their debt and trust me when I say you do not want to owe the Volturi anything." I met his eyes and knew instantly that I would rather be in debt to these Volturi for the rest of my life than to go back to my pathetic and Bella-less existence.
"Call them," I said calmly, keeping my own eyes focused on his golden ones, trying to convey how much I needed this.
"Sam?" He turned away from me after a moment to ask our Alpha his opinion.
"Tell me more about these Volturi first, and then I will decide."
Carlisle gestured for us to enter the house and we all did except for Embry and Quil who Sam sent on patrol. The rest of the pack sat on the sofas but I was too restless to sit still so I chose to stand instead.
Carlisle began to describe the Volturi, how they were an ancient coven that was the equivalent to royalty in the vampire's world. He himself had been a member and was considered a friend, but he disagreed with them. He described the members and the powers they had and how dangerous they were. All the time that he was talking I was praying that Sam would agree to contact them and when Carlisle finally finished Sam nodded to him.
"Contact them. Paul needs Bella; in fact we all need Bella back, by any means."
A/N There you go! I know this chapter is a little shorter than the last one but I really wanted to end it there! As always, I would really appreciate it if you could take only a minute out of your busy lives to tell me what you think of it and all criticism is welcome! Thank you for reading! Relwot xxx