Disclaimer: Stephenie Meyer owns. Not me. Good enough? It'll have to do.

First things first: HAPPY BIRTHDAY MICHELLE!

This story is written as a birthday present to one of my readers, whom I absolutely adore and has been with me since the very first chapter of Saving Edward. If not for her encouragement, I wouldn't have written a lot of the things I have done.

So this is for you, Shelb!

Prologue

Keeping to the shadows as much as possible, the three boys appearing to be no older than seventeen were practically invisible to the human eye. But then again, they weren't trying to avoid the human eye. That was easy enough in itself. No, the eyes they were trying to avoid could focus clearly in any environment, no matter how dark.

"Come on." One of the boys, tall, slender with honey-blonde hair and a slight Texan accent waved the other two past him as he surveyed the area around him.

The two others passed him, one of them boasting an enormous size and a fierce expression to match. The larger of the boys took to the front, alternating with the blonde haired teenager, whom took to the back, his eyes still scanning the surrounding area.

The three of them stopped at a large wall. The three of them knowing that not even with their superior strength could they clear it, were fully aware of the fact that they would have to climb it. And quickly.

"Are you okay?" The blonde haired boy asked the third individual with them and the larger one of the three turned, watching him closely. "Emmett, you wanna grab him?" Emmett nodded, wrapping his arms around the third boys' waist, hauling him over his shoulder carefully.

"He needs to feed, Jasper." Emmett growled quietly, his gaze fixed on Jasper, who nodded once, understanding the strain and worry in his words. "Soon." The two of them glanced at the boy he was carrying, who appeared weakened by some outside force. "Or he's not going to make it."

"I know." Jasper sighed, running his hands through his less than tamed hair. "First, we've gotta get him out of here. Who knows what Aro and the others will do if they find us here with him. They're gonna be pissed enough as it is when they find out he's gone. And I suggest we're not anywhere near here when that happens."

Emmett nodded, looking up at the top of the wall. Making sure the boy was secured onto his shoulder, he dug the ends of his fingers into the wall, creating great gouges in the brick. Jasper did the same and the two of them scaled their way up the wall, Jasper following slightly underneath Emmett, should the boy fall.

Reaching the top of the wall, the two of them scanned the area below them for any guards passing around this area of the wall. The castle of Volterra was closely guarded, not so much to keep unwanted persons out, but to keep one particular individual in.

Ascertaining the there was no risk of them being caught at this point in time, the two of them launched themselves off the wall, not fearing the distance. Landing deftly on their feet, they kept to the shadows as they wound their way through the backstreets of the small Italian city.

It didn't take them long to reach the car that Jasper had sequestered for this exact purpose. Emmett placed the now unconscious boy into the trunk of the car, closing it softly, before he and Jasper climbed into the front and made their way out of the city.

As they'd expected, they were stopped by human guards the Volturi employed to watch over the population of humans and vampires entering and exiting the city. Making sure that the ratio was exact. Aro didn't like the number of vampires in Volterra to get too high, lest the humans become suspicious of certain disappearances. The more vampires, the more human life lost.

Upon the two of them rolling down the window, the guard stuttered slightly, recognising the two vampires sitting in front of him instantly.

"Official business for Aro." Jasper lied smoothly, his gleaming red eyes seeming to glow in the darkness that had enveloped the country. It was as if he was daring the human, who was barely more than a boy, especially when compared to the ages of the creatures sat before him.

"Yes, sir." He stepped back, nodding to the guard that controlled the gate in front of him.

The gates started to open as Jasper rolled up the tinted windows on the car, smiling at Emmett as they rolled forward, out of the city and towards freedom.

Jasper moved at a leisurely pace whilst still in sight of the city, before really putting his foot down and leaving the city as far behind him as possible.

Jasper didn't stop until the following evening, when they knew that they were far enough away from Volterra at that point, now being on the north western coast of France. The fact that Emmett had dispatched of the Volturi's number one tracker would work in their favour as well. Who knew how long it would be until they caught up with them. With Demetri alive, they would always know where they were, but with him gone, a smouldering pile of ashes, the three of them could go anywhere in the world and not have to worry for a while. They would only be able to trace their scents as far as where they'd had the car parked, finding out they'd left the city through interrogating the guard – most likely killing him when they found out he'd let them pass so easily.

At least they could hide for a while.

"Where you wanna go?" Emmett asked, climbing out of the car, alongside Jasper.

"We need to get him as far away from this continent as possible." He sighed, running a hand through his hair before opening the trunk. The third boy was still unconscious, his body unable to bring him out of it. "Jesus. Aro can't have allowed him to feed in a good three weeks."

"The guy's gone mad." Emmett kicked at the ground, not having anything else to attack at the time. "If Aro thinks that he's going to do what he wants, he's even more insane than everyone already thinks he is."

"Aro knows he's not going to co-operate." Jasper crossed his arms, closing his eyes. "That's why he's done this to him. So he can't fight back when he makes a decision."

"I'm going to find him something to eat." Emmett grumbled, and Jasper nodded, leaning down to pull his unconscious friend out of the trunk of the car. Laying him on the ground gently, he couldn't help but wonder how this all came about.

They shouldn't have been forced to run like this.

He shouldn't be this weak.

He should be in control of the race.

Their king.

Because in reality, by rights, that's what he was.

Emmett returned a few minutes later, a dark haired young woman in his arms. She seemed slightly dazed, not quite sure about what was going on. Jasper shook his head, knowing how Emmett had enticed her to come with him. Using his powers of glamour over the girl, he'd ensured an easy meal for their friend.

"Hey." Jasper whispered, trying to wake the boy. "Wake up." The boy stirred, his eyes fluttering open as Jasper wrapped an arm underneath him, supporting his weight. The boy looked at him, his eyes wide, obviously having smelled the human, and the blackness that possessed his eyes appeared to take on an entirely new depth. It was as though they were endless, like the expanse of the night sky above them, when no stars are visible.

Emmett laid the girl down on his lap without so much as a fuss from her. She was still overwhelmed by the creatures she was with, not realising the danger they all posed. She noticed the beauty of the three of them but did not register the coldness emanating from their skin, the ruby red of the eyes of two of them in front of her, the utter darkness of the third. She did not notice the look of starvation on the weaker boys' face that morphed into a look of relief, hunger and extreme want as she was placed in his lap.

Moving back the hair from her throat, Emmett held the girl in place as his friend brushed his lips over the pulse point in her neck, before sinking two venom coated, elongated teeth into her soft, supple, yielding skin. She whimpered at the initial pain of the bite, before relaxing as the venom started to spread around her system, rendering her immobile as her life force was pulled out of her, mouthful by delicious, life-giving mouthful.

As he drank, the boy could feel strength coming back to his muscles. After having been deprived for weeks, having the much needed blood flowing through him was a bliss he'd never known before.

Finishing off the girl, Emmett disappeared with her body, as Jasper rested the boy against the side of the car, waiting for him to regain more of his strength. It would be a few more hours before he could function properly again.

"Where are we?" The boy asked, looking around, a look of confusion on his face.

"France." Jasper smirked as the boy looked at him again, a small smile on his face. "We did it, Edward. You're free."

Looking around at the expanse around him, sensing that they were close to a city, yet far away so that he wouldn't lose his mind in his half-starved state, he couldn't help the sigh that escaped him.

"I'm free." He closed his eyes, letting that feeling wash over him again. Chuckling slightly, he opened his eyes to see Jasper grinning at him again. "I'm free." Jasper nodded again, joining in with Edward's laughter.

Though he was ecstatic to be away from his captors, he couldn't help but wonder about what would happen. He wasn't daft enough to think that it was still the night they had escaped and surely they would realise he had vanished, Jasper and Emmett's scents mingled in with his own.

They would know that he was gone.

And how long would it take for them to find him again?

I'm sure that some of you have noticed there are certain physiological differences with these particular vamps in comparison with S. Meyer's. There are differences and they'll be revealed throughout the story. They are important, so I'd appreciate it if I didn't get any complaints about how the vamps are different.

I hope you liked it, Shelb. There's more to come. I told you it was multi-chapter.

Love you, hun!