Disclaimer: I don't own Twilight or any of the characters, else I wouldn't be writing fanfiction of it.
Story: After Edward leaves Bella, she's lost. Hanging only by a thread of hope in the form of the Volturi, she heads to Volterra, Italy with her death (and maybe her rebirth) in mind. There, three brothers will start to compete for her heart.
Set AU of New Moon.
Spoilers: For Twilight and some of New Moon, for sure.
Warnings: Smut in the future, language, violence, slightly suicidal thoughts, etc…
Pairings: Aro/Bella, Marcus/Bella, Caius/Bella, Demetri/Athenodora, Felix/Heidi, Charlie/Sulpicia

Stairway to Heaven
Chapter Five: I See the Angels

"Ohhh, how about this one?"

Heidi picked a dark pink gown that made Jane blanch.

"No. It's pink," the smaller vampire deadpanned.

"It's chic," Heidi shot back.

"It's pink."

Heidi huffed and Bella laughed at the two. She traded a look with Felix, who was grumbling snidely to her about the whole thing. Well, that plus he was being used as a pack mule.

"I don't see why we can't bring in a tailor to custom make a gown for Bella," Felix shot his girlfriend a look. "Isn't that what we usually do?"

"Yes, but sometimes girls just want to shop. You're taking all the fun out of this, Felix. You're a guy, so of course you wouldn't understand," Heidi sniffed disdainfully, though she turned and kissed his cheek briefly.

He smiled goofily back at her, which made Bella giggle, although inwardly she felt just a bit of sadness as this scene seemed familiar and like it could have happened with another family of vampires, although she was also happy as she saw the differences and that these people weren't echoes and were who they were and they were truly close to her and right there with her.

Jane, though, shot him a look, as well as a small, quick bolt of her power, which made him cringe.

The other side of this whole situation was that they wanted to distract Bella's mind from the fact that a Ball was coming and that the Cullens would be coming. They had recently just informed her of the annual Volturi Ball, and that she would be hidden away with her father for safety, but they had yet to tell her that the Cullens would be sure guests. However, they were sure the thought crossed her mind many times, as they caught sight of several times a frown would practically be branded on her lips as she looked lost in thought.

She was already bothered by the potential of that clan coming. There was no need to make it confirmed for her.

Shopping for a gown was turning out to be fun and a perfect distraction, and even though Bella couldn't attend the Ball herself and be in the ballroom, there was no reason she couldn't still enjoy herself and have fun in her room, and participate a little in some way.

"Now this is perfection," Jane purred, pulling a luscious crimson wedding gown. "Wedding gown, but doesn't look too wedding-ish. Not like that other gown a few paces back. This will most definitely do."

"Mm, and the Volturi so does love the color red," Heidi eyed it appreciatively.

Even Felix tossed in a comment. "It's our color. Red will look wonderful on Bella."

"It's almost like we're branding her," Heidi teased, giving a smirk over to said human, who took on an enticing flush.

"Of course. She is Volturi now. It is her color," Jane said finally, taking the dress and stalking over to Bella. "Try it on now," the smaller girl demanded.

"Okay, okay. Geez, I will," Bella inwardly rolled her eyes, and gently took hold of the expensive, beautiful gown from the more aggressive female.

It was going to be rather interesting, these coming days…

Meanwhile, her father was also outside of the castle and accompanied by a vampire as well. Currently, he was with Sulpicia and touring yet another of her favorite museums. In fact, it was her absolute favorite museum.

Of course, he still had no clue about this stuff and was completely lost in translation (figuratively and literally). But Sulpicia seemed to enjoy herself and was contentedly spouting off facts and comments about her favorite artworks, which went over his head but he was trying really hard to understand. And, well, he was trying his best to be a real gentleman, opening doors for her, watching himself and his manners, and listening attentively.

He was just horribly adorable and sweet, and it made her just want to giggle incessantly (she had not giggled since she was a human youth). She couldn't help just smiling widely and genuinely at the other, who was trying really hard for her.

Charlie was adorably awkward and unsure, but she absolutely loved how he was trying to play at being a gentleman.

Honestly, why couldn't all humans be like the Swans?

Her sister, oppositely, was practically preparing for war, rather than calmly admiring art and musing about with a human. She and Demetri were currently plotting, and an air of angry vindictiveness surrounded them.

They had a small window of time to have some sort of revenge on Bella's behalf to exact against Edward Cullen after all.

Oh, they knew they couldn't reveal why or be too obvious about it, despite how much they really wanted to and get 'just desserts' against such an idiotic boy –never mind how they weren't the ones who were wronged and that they really had nothing to do with the matter. That didn't matter at all.

Bella was theirs and an injustice against one of theirs, and Bella to be exact, warranted a high-priced retribution in their eyes.

Athenodora was all for dismemberment and being lit on fire. Demetri agreed with the dismemberment part, but rather wanted to send the limbs to any remaining werewolves as chew toys.

But in the incapability of choosing either one of those options, they had to get milder and/or at least a little creative. They did end up tending to trail off and start discussing fantastical situations in which they would be able to rightly punish the Cullen boy, though they kept their voices under human hearing and spoke quietly and rapidly to avoid any chances of Bella walking in and overhearing their rather gruesome fantasies involving her ex-boyfriend. Or be sick or frightened by the descriptions in general.

They were fond of corrupting her, but not in that way.

The Volturi Kings were also very wound up about the Ball, like the others, which was unusual as they had never really been so keyed up about the annual Volturi Ball before. Past Balls had always been the same and they had never really concerned themselves too much over them…until now.

But now they had Bella and Charlie.

And especially Bella. They were overly concerned over her and her reaction to the Cullens being there, and if they would cross paths. Or how they could keep them from crossing paths. They did not wish to tax her or stress her emotions if the worse came to worse.

They would be upset if she would become upset.

"What date shall we set for the Swans to be turned?" Caius changed the silent brooding, asking the others in clipped tones as he quietly but viciously worked through his part of the paperwork.

"Something not too soon, I should think," Aro tapped his lips thoughtfully. "We want them to be eased into it, to be comfortable with the idea and accept their change."

"But of course," Marcus added softly. "They're quite…excitable. I don't doubt they would become jittery at the mention of being turned. We should still somehow mention something to them, so they get used to the idea."

"Perhaps sometime after the Ball. That's a problem already, let's not add to it," Caius scowled.

"Yes, yes. You are correct, Caius," Aro agreed airily. "We must be considerate of their feelings, but it would be best to give them some time with the knowledge prior to the date. But the Ball will pose a problem to their already nervous tension. After the Ball would definitely be best for them."

"Would you visit her during the Ball?" Marcus interrupted softly.

Aro turned uneasy. "I…I suppose it would not hurt to disappear from the Ball for a bit and see Isabella."

"Then take some time, but not too much. You should let us set aside our own time with her," Caius said dismissively, although his words caused Aro to look at him in surprise.

"Whatever for? I had no idea you were so fond of her, Caius."

Caius snorted. "Oh, please. Stop being so obtuse. You and I know just how we really feel about that silly human."

"F-feel?" Aro sputtered. "What on earth are you speaking of? And do not call her a 'silly human!'"

"Obtuse," Caius huffed, rolling his eyes at the other.

Marcus simply smiled to himself in amusement.

"Have you seen the dress they are getting her? Jane sent a picture," Caius once again changed the subject, causing Aro to grumble.

"It's red. A very beautiful red," Marcus murmured.

"Our color," Aro said approvingly. "It'll look quite lovely on her."

"It'll work as well as a collar," Caius commented slyly.

Aro shot him a disgruntled look.

"I have a beautiful set of rubies and diamonds that will match it wonderfully. And it'll be divine on her," Marcus mused.

"Hm, we'll have her don it altogether, and we can see how it'll look," Aro happily said.

"It shall be a most spectacular look," Caius predicted contemplatively.

And on the day of the Ball, she wore the crimson dress, with rubies with diamonds framing the red jewels in a flowery decoration displayed lying just above her bosom and embellishing her ears. One particularly large ruby, shaped as an oval, was nestled on top of her cleavage. Her gown was a lovely clingy material, with ruffles made of sheer lacey material starting from the front of the gown and drifting down and all the way around the skirt of the dress.

Very much a perfect representation of the Volturi.

"Very elegant and beautiful," Marcus complimented, causing Bella to blush.

"Well done, Jane. Fantastic job," Caius uncharacteristically praised.

"Wow, Bells," Charlie blinked. "Strange to see you looking all fancy and all. Good look on you though."

Bella grinned at her father. "You cleaned up well too."

Charlie coughed. "Yeah, well…Sulpicia helped. A lot," he muttered.

Sulpicia smiled serenely at her, though she winked quickly when Charlie looked away. Bella held back a giggle.

"We do apologize, however, that the two of you will have to stay here for the entirety of the Ball. Rest assured, we will continuously drop by to keep you company, and a few of the guard will stay with you. Demetri and Heidi have volunteered to stay with you," Aro informed them, pouting slightly about it.

"The Ball is beginning," Caius announced in irritation about it. "We must take leave."

Aro full-blown pouted. "If we must," he muttered.

"We'll be fine here," Bella reassured them.

"Yep. Much, much better here. Than out there. With blood-thirsty vampires. That probably want to eat us," Charlie twitched.

Heidi patted his back sympathetically.

"Until later," Marcus nodded regally at the two. "Enjoy yourselves here."

Once all the vampires but Heidi and Demetri had left, Charlie and Bella looked at the spread of food laid out just for them.

"You guys went overboard," Charlie raised his eyebrows. "I really doubt Bella and I can eat all of this."

"Other than spoiling you two," Heidi teased, "We wanted to provide you with a variety of choices to choose from, and also have a diverse selection so that if you did not like one thing then perhaps you might like something else there."

"Would you mind terribly then, if I were to finish off that chocolate torte I see?" Bella eyed the dessert hungrily.

Charlie's eyes followed hers and caught sight of the pumpkin pie next to her treat. He licked his lips.

"Actual food first, before you ruin your appetite with dessert," Demetri deadpanned, causing the two humans to sigh in unison.

"Oh well, I still claim it," Bella shrugged, but headed over to the plates. She grabbed one and then a fork and spoon, and began browsing through the food selection so she could eat already. Charlie followed her lead, though instead of browsing, he was getting a bit of everything to try.

"I hear them," Demetri noted. "The vampires that arrived earlier are gathering in the Great Hall, while there are still more vampires steadily arriving. Looks like the Ball will be officially starting soon."

"Sounds fun," Bella sighed.

Heidi draped herself over Bella. "But we can have our own fun here~"

"Yeah, the Ball is usually really boring," Demetri's nose scrunched up. "I hate going. It's the same thing every time, and the music and company is usually bland. Always too stiff and formal, and everyone's uptight. I'd rather be in here than in there."

"Nothing ever happens," Heidi complained too. "And I can't be with Felix."

"And I definitely can't stay with Athenodora," Demetri snorted. "Total faux pas."

"Trust us," Heidi reassured her. "There's nothing to do. It's just a stuffy event."

"Good thing we're here for you to babysit then, eh?" Charlie said after swallowing a bite of Panini bread.

"Yup, save us from boredom and not being able to be near our partners. And plus we like you two," Heidi cheerfully said.

"Glad to be of help," Charlie toasted them.

"And we like you too," Bella added.

"Eat up," Demetri encouraged them. "We don't exactly have many other humans in the castle to feed. At least, not ones that don't eventually become food."

"We're not food?" Charlie raised an eyebrow.

Heidi waved a hand. "No, of course not. You're part of the race of food to us, but we don't consider you food. And you'll definitely won't become food, if us and the rest of the Volturi have anything to say about it."

"That's reassuring," Charlie said sarcastically.

Bella snuck a bite of the chocolate torte, trying not to be seen, but knowing she probably had been.

Stupid vampires and their perfect senses.

"I want to dance," Heidi announced. "Bella, dance with me."

"I'm eat –" but Bella was cut off and swung into Heidi's embrace, her plate of food left behind as she let go of it accidentally and it was thankfully caught by Demetri and put on the table.

And then Heidi was immediately leading Bella into a waltz, humming to a random song. Demetri made it better by playing actual music and then they were waltzing all over the room. Heidi waltz Bella back over to where Demetri and Charlie were, smoothly handing Bella off to Demetri and then snatching up Charlie's hand and then quickly turned into a waltz themselves.

The two couples danced all over the room, first very seriously and genuine swerves and turns, before it devolved into silly shenanigans and they were dancing a lot more ridiculously and acted like juveniles. Their childish antics calmed until they were sitting down on Bella's ludicrously large bed, and were resting (though the vampires hardly really needed to).

"Ah, I have to go to the bathroom," Bella blushed.

"I'll escort you then," Demetri told her warmly. "It's especially dangerous to go out there by yourself at this time."

"We'll wait here," Heidi nodded their way, before turning to Charlie and beginning to chat about his time at Forks, and even needling some stories about Bella there.

"I'm sorry about your bathroom," the vampire apologized. "It's been awhile since your room and suites –well, the wing at all, has been used."

"At least it worked for awhile," she sighed.

"We promise it'll get refurbished," Demetri gave her a smile.

"Hey, wait up, you two!" they heard Heidi, and they both turned around to see Heidi and Charlie catching up to them. "Charlie's got to go too, so might as well go as a group."

"Alright. Let's go quickly then, before we're seen."

Without further ado, they led the two humans to the closest bathroom, which was too close for comfort to the hall that was hosting a whole bunch of vampires, most of whom wouldn't probably give a damn about draining their human guests dry.

Charlie and Bella went separately to the split bathrooms, and came back out to the waiting duo when they finished. Bella and Demetri traded sardonic barbs, and Bella had a huge smile on her face as she talked with him.

But then she turned her head just the slightest and saw a quick glimpse of the family that she'd lost not too long ago –her first vampire family.

Her smile dropped, her heart rate picked up, and her eyes dilated as she stared in the direction of the Cullen. It was the first glimpse of them that she's had since they'd left her behind. She started gasping, catching the others' attention, and panicking and worrying them.

Demetri looked over to where she was looking, and silently cursed. He quickly took her into his arms and gave a meaningful look to Heidi. They'd all had the discussion of what would happen if the Cullens and Bella crossed paths in any way, and they needed no words to communicate that it was happening. Besides, it was much too obvious to see Bella freaking out and they needed to immediately take her away. That and they didn't want the Cullens to see their humans.

And they were their humans now.

"Wait, what's going on? What's wrong?" Charlie panicked. All he could see and understand right now was that his daughter was having some sort of panic/anxiety attack or whatever, and he wasn't able to do anything.

Heidi placed a gentled hand on him, just as Demetri took off with Bella.

"We have to go as well," she murmured to him, and then she took him into her own arms and rushed off.

Started 8/10/13 – Completed 10/31/13

A/n: Ugh, I hate that I took awhile to update this, but the set up for the Cullens' "Homecoming" was being difficult and I wanted to frame it all just right. I'm more confident the next chapter will come out faster though, so hopefully that'll be right. I hope everyone enjoyed and please review!

To Love it: Finally an update, right? And yeah, Bella broke down a bit, but I promise it won't be for long :)

To Guest1: Merci! :D

To Guest2 (Josi 3): I'm glad you're enjoying it so far! As to when Bella and the Kings will get together, they're definitely getting there. It's a bit slow going, but she's getting over Edward and once she finally lets go, it'll be like a catharsis. And then the Kings can swoop in!

To Cats: Great that you got to stumble on this thing! And it's greater that you're enjoying it so far. I hope to keep making this stand out from the others, so here's to that!