Chapter 9: Strained Relationships

"I have to get ready Edward." I explained as I reluctantly pulled away from him. He nodded and left the room so I could get dressed. I took a deep breath and grabbed my bag. I put on the dress pants on and a pair of heels. I slipped a dagger up the sleeve of my shirt and a stake in the hemline of my jeans. I jerked my arm bands into position methodically, and put on a pair of heels so it I would seem normal. I could kick them off. I also grabbed the pendant my twin had given me from where it had lane discarded for far too long.

I walked from the room to spot Edward staring at me in awe. I winked at him smiling. He embraced me a second later. "I love you Bella."

"I love you too Edward, more than you will ever know." I kissed him gently on the lips, but pulled back before he could really respond. We didn't have time to spend kissing. "It's time to leave. Put on nicer outfits, all of you. The council men are waiting." They appeared before me not ten minutes later. Jasper, Peter, and Charlotte seemed tenser than the others. Their poses were rigid, and muscles were straining as if they were a second from lunging into a battle.

"Calm yourselves. I know you're fighters, but now is not the time. We shall go peacefully." They nodded quickly. "Remember, watch the way they carry themselves. If they keep their heads high, but they bear the mark of the moon on their wrist they are cocky and arrogant. Hatchlings are easy enough to see. They look young. They're loud and disrespect most authority. Fledglings are the ones that bear the mark of the moon. The rest are older. Be wary of them. They have much in the way of training. They're normally the most speciesest."

"That's comforting." Rose replied sarcastically.

"Don't worry. This meeting doesn't spell danger for any of you. We just have to meet with the council and my father. In a day or two the girls and I will go meet with the slayers, then in a week there will most likely be a ball." I explained.

"Now please stand the way I had you when we entered this place. Remember the rules I taught you, and for god's sake don't growl at anyone." I added looking at Edward. He held his hands up in mock surrender. They nodded.

"Okay, let's go." I said walking to the front of the line. I opened the door and entered back into the world I loathed. My head raised high I led them through the corridors and up two flights of stairs to the conference room where I knew the council and my father were waiting.

When we entered the room all of the lights were dimmed, but it didn't matter. We could all see. I stopped once we were all in the room. I tried to remain relaxed even though I knew what was coming. Tell Edward to stay still no matter what. I sent to Rose. I took a few steps away from Edward. A second later I was pinned to the ground. I saw them all tense and make to move forward. Rose held Emmett back. I didn't have time to focus on that. I had to pay attention to the man on top of me. I shoved him away and stood quickly hissing. He approached once more and we collided. We fell to the floor each of us fighting for dominance. Once free I pulled a dagger from my sleeve as I stood. He lit a fire ball in his palm. We stood there for a minute: neither of us moving. When he put the fireball out I placed the dagger back up my sleeve.

"Hello father," I greeted the man curtsying. He nodded his head in acknowledgement. The Cullens' and Whitlock's jaws dropped open in shock. You just fought with your father? He attacked you? Rose questioned confused.

Yes, I'll explain later. I said as I turned my attention to the council as the lighting improved and my father took his seat at the head of the table.

"Father, council, this is Edward Cullen, my mate; son of Carlisle and Esme." Edward held his head high as the focus shifted to him.

"Made vampires cannot have children. Was his entire family changed?" My irritation spiked with the question. They were right here. The council should have been addressing them.

"They call themselves a family. Any other questions you have for them you can ask the Cullens and the Whitlocks directly. They know more about themselves than I do." The council men eyed me with shock.

"Princess Isabella, you dare disrespect the council and your father?" A council man hissed outraged.

"Yes, I dare." I said holding my head high.

"Then you are a fool."

"No, foolish are those who confined me to a single form. Did you know they did that Father? They nearly got me killed on numerous occasions. Two of which were because they sent made vampires after me." I stated angrily. I saw a flicker of anger flash through his eyes before he hid it.

"Is this true?" He asked the council men.

"Y-yes, we sent them to teach her a lesson."

"May the elements take you for your lies! They sent them to kill. The male would have succeeded if not for the courageous efforts of Edward and his family." My father looked past e to Edward nodding.

"You saved my daughter, and for that I am grateful." He turned to glare at the council. "If you ever go behind my back like that again I will be in need of a new council."

"We won't Sire." They answered in unison. I kept my face a blank mask, but inside I was laughing at them. The fools; I wouldn't miss them if Father decided to get rid of them.

"Isabella, will you introduce us to the rest of them." It was more of a command than a question.

"Father, council, these are Jasper and his wife Alice, Peter and his wife Charlotte, and Emmett and his wife Rosalie." I said tensing. The shock in the room was almost palpable; then my dad started growling. I winced internally. This wasn't going to end well.

"Princess Isabella, is that why you grew attached to this family? You were trying to recreate what you lost." A councilman accused angrily.

"That wasn't her fault!" Rose defended. Damn it! Why had se spoken? I stepped directly in front of her and opened my mind. A quarter of a second later I was hit with pain, anger, and fear at such high levels my knees were shaking. Yeah, he was pissed. I could barely think around it, and it took all I had not to writhe on the floor. I was able to keep my emotions from Jasper and Rose. Just over a minute later it ended and I straightened and held my head high.

"She doesn't know our laws very well yet. That was a simple mistake, and one easily made in light of what you said." I retorted with an undertone of rage as if the punishment hadn't occurred.

"She should not have spoken out."

"She is to be part of the line once I am married, so quick to judge new family?" I shot back.

"You vouch for this copy?"

"I vouch for Rosalie Hale, yes." I corrected.

"You're just sensitive because she bears the same name." A councilman waved it off.

"I know you all blame me for my sister's demise, but now is hardly the time. I came back out of respect, but I will not tolerate this slanderous behavior. You are in no position to judge me for the death of a family member." Father's eyes darkened with rage.

"Watch yourself daughter. I have little patience for accusations."

"Just because it falls upon deaf ears does not mean the message is tainted." I retorted.

"Isabella," he warned once more.

"I'm sorry Father, but I tend to have a short temper and loose jaw after I discover I have lost a sibling, especially one so young who was ordered to do something beyond their capability and years." I spat angrily.

"He was more than ready."

"He was a hatchling: more so than Edward and his family! He barely knew how to kill and you sent him to do a slayers job. You sent you're youngest to his death."

"Isabella, I will not ask you again." He snarled angrily.

"You were never one for asking Father. I was merely pointing out a fact. I will begin training my siblings so the next time you send them to kill they will be prepared."

"Yes, because the one who got her own twin killed is definitely skilled enough to teach her siblings." The same council man from earlier remarked.

"What are you insinuating?" I questioned giving him a chance to take it back.

"Your skills are not as good as you claim." He stated smirking, cocky bastard. I did a backflip over the table and grabbed him by the throat. I dragged him the rest of the way to the ground pulled out a stake and held it a hair's breathe from his heart. All was quiet. I let him up and moved back to my spot by Edward.

"I'm fairly certain my skills are more than sufficient, but you do what you feel is best." I stated as I replaced my stake at my waist. No one spoke for a minute.

"For now you are excused daughter. I will need to meet with you soon to discuss business."

"As you wish," I replied ducking my head. I turned sharply on my heels and exited the room; the Cullens, and Whitlocks, followed suit.

"Princess," Logan called as he crossed the hall. I rolled my eyes before I turned waiting for him to speak. "So you truly are back." He stated marveling.

"It would seem that way."

"Then would you accept the offer I set before you fifty years ago?"

"No, Logan, I will not."

"As sake con hutweyi." He said in our native tongue.

"A te isk sake." I replied angrily.

"Sut qwue isk shwoon?"

"Se tenke hutwieri."

"Coso?"

"Ses hutwieri isk Edward." I replied gesturing.

"Le esra hutweyi usra diasra? Le elsigra me ovras se?" He questioned shocked and offended. I growled angrily.

"Edward isk muzra dres usra shras thracwa le." He was taken aback by my bluntness.

"Nres vre codro mrazun me larsta." He threatened.

"Vros dran stra larsta usra mrazun tiecklo." I stated firmly.

"Vre le cerza." He stated walking away.

"Vranco." I said. They looked at me oddly. Oh, crap wrong language. "Let's go." I corrected quietly. We walked back to my corridors and I slammed the door I rushed around checking the rooms and swearing up a storm… in my language. "Swarca motraga fusetra! Nre isk usra diasra a les! Se ka tarna pa jirwe le!" I yelled as I finished checking the last room.

Edward grabbed my hand and pulled me to a stop. "Calm down Bella. It's ok."

"It is far from ok." I sighed.

"Do you mind telling us what happened, because I'm pretty sure I didn't understand half of it." Emmett admitted.

"The princess," Jasper teased. I glared anyway. I hated that stupid title. "Bella, took a hit for Rose, and spent the rest of the time politely telling them to fuck off, am I right?"

"Yes, you are."

"What do you mean took a hit for me?" Rose inquired stunned.

"You spoke out against them, so Father tried to punish you, and I took the punishment for you, because I knew I could handle it." I stated simply.

"What kind of punishment was it?"

"Um, Jasper hit them with a dosage of the emotions you would release to drop a vampire in the south but only for a moment please." I asked. They all visibly flinched and I saw Esme's knees shaking; then they were fine.

"He put you through that?"

"He doesn't like it when the rules aren't followed; it's his kingdom after all." I shrugged.

"That was meant for me." Rosalie said uncomprehending.

"Yes, but it doesn't matter. It's over and done with."

"That's ridiculous." Emmett growled out pulling Rose closer and Edward nodded in agreement.

"It's how things work here." I shrugged.

"Speaking of how things work here what the hell were you speaking when you were talking to the blonde vamp?" Rose questioned.

"And why were you attacked when we went to talk to the courts."
"I was attacked because my father was testing my reflexes and making sure I hadn't forgotten my training."

"That's just twisted." Alice muttered.

"It's how I was raised. Besides he went easy on me."

"That was easy?" Carlisle questioned.

"Yeah, we tied. I know it's far different than your parenting style, but you are far more modern than him." I reminded Carlisle. He had nothing to say.

"As for your other question I was talking with Logan. His father is friends with mine and he's liked me since about when Carlisle became a vampire." I informed them.

"How do you feel about him?" Edward questioned cautiously.

"I don't like him Edward. He acts superior towards almost anyone because his family is in high standing. He beats the servants and there have been rumors he abuses the females." I looked to the girls. "Be careful around him. He's far more dangerous than he looks." I warned them. They nodded and the guys moved to stand slightly in front of their mates.

"What language were you speaking?" Rose asked again after a moment.

"Vampire, it was the first language. Most of us learned English when it became popular."

"How many languages do you know?"

"Twenty eight, not including dialects, if I remember correctly."

"Holy shit," Peter muttered.

"I'm eight hundred remember? Hatchlings are supposed to study, learn. The first hundred years are meant to be devoted to schooling. Then you spend the rest of your existence living it up in the courts or gaining field experience."

"And I thought high school was a long time." Emmett said.

"High school is a waste of time." I scoffed. No one replied.

"So what did you say to Logan?" Alice asked.

"Well, he asked me out and I told him no, and I had a boyfriend. He was shocked I was dating Edward, and he called you a diasra." I hissed irritated.

"What does that mean?" Edward inquired.

"It roughly translates to devil, demon, or monster." I said through gritted teeth.

"Calm down, it's fine."

"No, it's not. I told him you were twice the man he was, and then he threatened

me. None of you are to leave this wing unless I'm with you, understood." I basically ordered.

"Yes, ma'am," Peter replied with a cocky salute. I rolled my eyes and cracked a

smile. I could get used to him.

"What do you mean he threatened you?" Edward inquired. He was half an octave away from growling.

"He said, 'we'll see how long they last'. I don't trust him." I stated simply.

"What's he going to do?"

"He may do nothing." Logan appeared and held a knife to Edward's throat.

"Or maybe he'll show up when you're talking and grab your little diasra." Logan said grinning.

"What the hell do you think you're doing?" I snarled angrily. How the hell had I not known about his power? How had no one known?

"You're only infatuated. You'll be fine once I get rid of your pet." No!

"Logan, let him go."

"I don't think I will." He pressed the knife into Edward's skin, and I saw it begin to cut.

"Don't hurt him!" Esme yelled terrified. Logan pulled out a second knife and lay open Edward's arm. He hissed in agony. I took a step forward and Logan held one knife to his heart and the other to his chest.

"What do you want?" I questioned defeated. I couldn't get closer without Edward being hurt.

"You," the family growled in disagreement.

"Bella, I'm fine. Don't listen to him." Logan sliced Edward's arm again.

"Fine," I agreed irrationally. When I went to take a step forward, but Emmett grabbed my arm to stop me. "Let me go Emmett." I jerked my arm out of his grasp and walked to Logan's side. He grabbed my arm and a second later we were in Logan's place. He continued to hold Edward at knife point and gestured towards the stairs. I went down quickly. If I listened maybe he wouldn't hurt Edward anymore.

"Get into the cell." Logan ordered. I walked into the cell watching Logan all the while. He shoved Edward in, and I caught him as he fell. I looked back up at Logan as he locked the cell.

"I will kill you." I stated simply.

"Sure you will." He chuckled. He turned to leave and I raised a wall of earth to block him. He turned back and pulled out a gun. How had I missed that? "Now you're just testing me." He cocked it and aimed at Edward's head. I shifted so that I was blocking the shot. "This gun was made by your grandfather, so you know it will kill you. It'll only hurt him, but you wouldn't let that happen would you?"

"Rot in hell," I growled angrily. He could just teleport, but the bastard had to screw with me instead.

"Drop the act and the wall of rock or I'll put a bullet in you, and once you're gone I'll kill him. I would much rather keep you alive so why don't you drop that wall of yours." He ordered smiling. Edward moved to block me, but I didn't let him. Now was not the time for heroics.

"You're a sick bastard." I hissed dropping the wall.

"Watch it Princess. My finger might slip on the trigger." I refrained from commenting. I just wanted him to go away so I could take care of Edward. "I'll be back shortly." The regal bastard waltzed up the stairs and out of sight.

When I was sure he wasn't coming back down I turned to Edward worriedly. He was hurt, badly. Venom was seeping from the wounds, and the cuts were deep. His body couldn't heal these fast enough for an escape. "I'm so sorry Edward."

"It's not your fault. I'm fine." He assured me as he tried to sit up.

"You're a horrible liar." I informed him as I pushed him back down onto the bed. I touched his arm lightly and he cringed as if I'd slammed on it. "You can't use this arm. Hell you can barely move."

"What are we going to do then?"

"You're going to sit tight and I'm going to have a conversation with the princess." Logan said as he appeared behind me. I pulled the blade from my side and hurled it at him. He tried to dodge it but it pierced his side. He dropped like a log gasping. "That knife went between your ribs and hit your heart, so you're dying. How does that feel?" I snarled.

"Why don't you tell me?" He raised the gun and fired. Edward jumped in front of me half a second before the bullet would have hit me and dropped to the ground.

"I told you your diasra wouldn't last." Logan laughed. A second later he was coughing up blood.

"Save your strength asshole. You're dying." I reminded him.

"Edward, what were you thinking?" I yelled at his unconscious form. I ripped open his shirt to expose where the bullet wound. He whimpered when I pulled the bullet out of his arm. "I'm sorry. I'm sorry." I apologized over and over again. This was all my fault. I wiped the tears away quickly. This was not the time for tears. I had to take care of him.

I raked my nail over my arm; the blood quickly filled the wound and began to spill over my arm. I made sure my blood got into each of his wounds. I held my arm over his mouth and let the blood drip into his mouth for a moment; then I tipped his head back so he'd swallow. This had to work. "Wake up." I begged. He was barely breathing. What if he died? No, that couldn't happen. I couldn't live without him; I wouldn't. I made a new cut, a deeper one, on my other arm and held it above his mouth. "Damn it Edward! Wake up and drink!" I commanded sobbing. I tilted his head so he'd swallow; then I repeated the process. I was getting weak but screw my health. If he didn't live I had no reason to either. My body was trying to heal itself and the blood kept clotting so I got up and pulled the knife from Logan's side. He was dead now anyway, so it was doing no good in his side. I wiped it clean, because I wanted no part of him inside of me.

I sliced my wrist in three places and put it over his mouth with his head tilted back so he could swallow. I wasn't entirely sure when the room had started spinning, but it was fast. I couldn't focus on anything except the feeling of my life draining away. Right Before I passed out I felt Edward's lips latch onto my wrist. I smiled as I let oblivion take me. It had worked!