POV: Kathryn Taylor – Newborn Vampire – Original Character (I Invented Her)

The door swung open slightly harder than I had intended, bumping into the wall with a short, hollow crack that ominously reverberated in the archaic stone. Fearfully, I examined the chamber before me. The Volturi – dressed in their familiar black robes – were on their thrones, conversing with each other and clearly unaware of my presence.

Again, my fear desperately battled to gain the upper hand, swamping my mind with a million reasons for me to turn around and run for my life. But I fought back and took a step into the room against my will. Angry, fear retreated, but it was replaced by guilt at what I was doing to Jared.

This is wrong, my conscience reminded me. He saved your life, and by doing this, you will most likely end his.

He threatened to kill me! I retorted.

My conscience repeated, He still saved your life.

Shut up! This is about survival, not morals! I mentally shrieked. Finally, my guilt withdrew, although still lingering at the very edge of my consciousness.

I took another step into the chamber, hoping that I didn't appear as frightened as I felt. Stay calm, Kathryn. Stay calm, I told myself. I took another deep breath and opened my mouth to speak. My throat felt dry and scratchy, so I took another deep breath, finally managing to find the will to address the Volturi.

My voice was shaky and feeble, but audible. "Aro."

In an instant, he wheeled around, startled. His hazy irises stared into mine, boring into my brain, and I somehow got lost in the clouded voids of ancient crimson. They were surreal and intense. Darker and hazier than my own eyes, but more perceptive. They analyzed me for what felt like forever, slowly and methodically scrutinizing me, as if they could see my every thought, fear, and motivation. I stood locked in place like the marble that my flesh appeared to be made of. Finally, Aro spoke, and the sound was nervous, sharp… nothing like the sweet whisper from the day of my transformation.

"Guards! An intruder!"

Intruder? Dazed, it took me a moment for me to realize that Aro was referring to me. And calling guards!

"N… no, no… no!" I stuttered, waving my arms frantically. "I'm not your enemy!" I clarified, but my assurance came too late. Five guards materialized in the doorway, blocking my exit.

"Seize the newborn!" Aro ordered. Immediately, the guards did so, grasping my arms with immortal strength. I was stronger than they were, but there were too many of them, and they overpowered me, forcing me to collapse to my knees on the cold stone.

"Stop!" I demanded. My emotions continued to escalate, increasing from nervous to frightened, from frightened to angry, and from angry to enraged. I abruptly realized that I was clenching my teeth like an animal. I could feel my eyes smoldering like coals, as if they could burn right through Aro. Separating each word, I growled, "Let me go!"

Aro remained unnaturally calm – he had clearly destroyed innocent victims like me several times before with hardly a thought. He sighed a lengthy sigh. "Calm down, newborn."

I ignored the order, thrashing in my enemies' grip, but they only tightened their hold. Finally, recognizing the futility of my struggling, I grudgingly submitted to the guards.

Caius turned to me, his voice harsh but not angry. "Why have you come here?"

"For safety," I explained.

"From?" Caius pressed.

"Safety from… from…" I wrestled with my emotions. Now was the last moment that I had to choose – would I or would I not betray Jared? My guilt revived, snuffing out all other thoughts, but my survival instinct fought back. Eventually, the instinct won, and the guilt finally fell dead. "…safety from Jared," I gasped.

"Jared?" Aro looked confused. "He's been trying to destroy you, then?"

"N… no," I stammered. "He threatened… to kill me… because I nearly exposed him. He's been… protecting me."

There was no going back now; I had divulged the truth. Aro's eyes glowed a brighter red, like lava. "Protecting you?"

I nodded weakly. The rage was plain on Aro's face – Jared had no hope of survival now. As guilt, again, resurfaced, I fought it, but it struggled to pull me into a void of regret. I couldn't retaliate forever, and I eventually tumbled into a pool of remorse. I buried my head in my hands, defeated, whimpering like a child all over again.

Aro mistook my emotion to be fear. "It's alright, newborn," he soothed. "Don't be afraid. This is Jared's fault, not yours – you did the right thing by informing us of his actions."

Aro's words didn't help. I wailed harder, horrified at what I had done.

"Newborn, it's alright," Aro repeated. The guards released my arms as he approached me, placing a comforting, but incredibly icy hand on my shoulder. "You have nothing to fear now," he consoled. "You were wise to approach us – you will find that we are far kinder than Jared."

I lifted my head. "What… what will you do to him?"

"We will do…" There was a lengthy pause. "…whatever is necessary," Aro finished. "We will protect you; you have our word."

"I'm safe, then?" It was hard to believe. I wasn't sure whether to leap for joy or suffocate under revulsion at what I had done.

"Yes, you are safe," Aro replied. "You may return to Jared."

I suddenly felt confused. "Return?"

"I will need time to determine his punishment. But I summon him tonight, and your troubles will end."

"Thank you, Aro," I said. Finally, I was safe. But oh, the weight of my guilt. It was like carrying the world on my shoulders.

"Go," Aro ordered. "Immediately."

I did so, hurrying out the door, feeling both relieved and miserable. Eventually, I collapsed to my knees in Jared's chamber, where no one could see me, where I could hide from my remorse. But remorse is like a snake – it is slow, but eventually, it will slither after you and find you. And then it will wind its ugly body around you and squeeze until you feel ready to die. The snake of guilt found me, and, as the invisible reptile struck, I succumbed to my emotions.

And emotionally fell apart.