Before you guys read on, I just wanted you to know you've all been a great help to me You've all inspired me to continue with your feedback and none of it could've been done without ;) Thank you guys!
LAST CHAPTER OF BOUND TO A BLACKENED SOUL!
It was a night of metempsychosis.
And it was a night of beauty.
The evening wind bristled my hair and robes as I stepped foot on the balcony overlooking the city. Not a cricket stirred. Not a heartbeat thumped. Just pure, intoxicating silence. It was the first time I had looked down at the city and found no flaw, no distraction to ripple my satisfaction. I placed my hands on the railing and breathed for the first time in hundreds of years.
But as all perfect and silent moments came, they were history in a flash. Aro's scent mingled the hallway, and sure enough, his low, graceful footsteps could be heard as he stopped next to me. And for a good while, we just stood there, side by side, doing nothing but peruse the view.
"An agreeable night," he finally spoke.
I nodded once in agreement. "Yes, it is."
"Never thought I'd see the day when my dearest friend would be so happily married," Aro continued. "It nearly brings tears to my eyes."
I scoffed. "Please, Aro. Marcus is far more dear to you than I ever could be."
"Nay!" Aro looked distraught. "I favor everyone equally, my brother!"
"Probably the most ridiculous thing I've heard you say."
"No," I half smiled. "Not even close."
"Ha!" Aro straightened. "I suspected as such!"
The two of us enjoyed each other's company for the next few minutes until Aro started mentioning the many guests downstairs in the throne room. "They are sure to be wondering where you've went by now," he fixed his long, dark robes. "You and your beautiful bride."
I smiled to myself. Thousands of years alive, and not once had I seen something so fair, so inhumanly divine it was impossible to form words to describe her. Gorgeous, beauteous, and all other kinds of words for the fairest shriveled to her feet at their inability to match her description. It was impossible. Then again, she was never meant to be discussed between the lords and ladies easily. She was too good for that.
Sulpicia and the other Volturi members, pardon Jane, had been believed to be the ones to prepare her. They had truly outdone themselves. When my gaze first directed to the far opposite doorway, I could only remember a flash of white. A flash of hope alighted by God Himself, into the creature that stood there. No flaws to point out, no comparisons to any other females in existence. It just was her. She held the fates of Heaven and Hell in her fingertips, the destruction and rebirth of mankind, that creature- my bride, Bella Swan.
Diamonds and white flowers were strung in her dark hair, the stones reflecting radiantly off any source of light. Her veil touched the ground, along with her enormous white dress that flowed on for several feet. Her hair had been done beautifully as well, but I could not remember it clearly. My eyes had been trained on her face.
She seemed to address the closest ones in the isles with her eyes. All the guests, every vampire just stared. Few ladies in the crowds weren't gaping with disbelief. A few of the men even glanced in my direction after looking at her. They probably couldn't believe she had chosen me, when she was worthy of so much more. I couldn't blame them.
The reception was filled with dancing. The vampires and their mates requested and danced to several of the most erotic dance forms in all the years they had been alive, and it was quite out of my league, as well as Bella's. We luckily got away with only dancing to the husband and wife dance.
She disappeared shortly afterwards with Sulpicia and Heidi to dress into something more appropriate for the reception. No doubt she'd want to get out of pulling that mile long dress.
They had been gone ever since. That left me to address all the guests and introduce some to others, which was painfully tiring. I didn't want to talk to all of them when I could be with my new bride. But since she was still away, I decided to escape to the balcony and take in all the events today.
"It's a shame her father couldn't join us," I responded, ignoring Aro's suggestion. "To miss your own child's wedding must be quite a disappointment."
Aro waved it off. "Oh, dear old Charlie knew the stakes quite well. He knew it would not be safe for him."
"Did we even have to invite them all?"
"Some of them would've crashed the party, anyway," Aro mused. "We simply cannot refuse to let them meet their new queen. It is only fair. Besides!" he boasted. "I have five guards already taking pictures right and left! They'll be sent to him in bundles once the night is over."
I nodded, but the thought still stained guilt.
Aro suddenly patted the railing before turning back towards the doorway. "By the way, your surprise is ready."
"Everything's there?" I raised an eyebrow. "It's all set?"
"All there," Aro smiled.
"Good," I smiled back. "I guess all we have to do now is wait for the goddess to descend back downstairs."
The person in the mirror was beautiful.
I didn't know how it was possible, or how I could ever find myself so… flawless. Even in my vampire years, I had always found something wrong or out of place. Not until now. Not until I was left standing in front of the enormous reflection while two psycho Volturi females were fighting over what to do with my hair for the reception.
I never had much appreciation for Sulpicia, but now she was growing on me. Or at least I was to her. She had sculpted every piece of hair on my head and every jewel strung in the curls. She also had a thing for screaming at others in Italian.
"Her hair must be down!" she commanded. "Bun no ridicola!"
"But my lady!" Corin tried. "If she is to dance, shouldn't her hair be up-?"
"No!" Sulpicia silenced. "I said down!"
"She said down," I shrugged to Corin, who could only oblige to her queen's wishes. The Volturi guard started loosening my clips and diamonds, letting long, luxurious curls fall to my shoulders. Aro's wife merely studied me in the mirror, her eyes squinting and searching for flaws.
"You may remove the diamonds," the queen decided. "But keep the flowers above her left ear. They will do."
"Yes, my lady."
"Do I get no say in this?" I attempted with a weak smile.
Sulpicia scoffed. "If this was up to you, the entire building would've crumbled above our heads, and everyone would wonder how Caius ever wanted the likes of you." She turned my head back into the mirror. "Every vampire in that room must be impressed. There must be no imperfections. No distractions."
"Well, how did I do so far?" I asked. "I did what you said. You know, about actually looking at people in the crowd… I even smiled, too!"
"Yes, I saw," the queen dabbed at her lipstick. "Your smile was off, however. It was too crooked. You could tell it was fake."
Hm. Maybe she wasn't growing on me.
When Corin finished with my hair in the exact way Sulpicia wanted, she headed to the back room to fetch another dress. This one, luckily, was supposed to be much shorter and easy to walk in. And it was beautiful, too! Strapless, except for the huge sash on my right shoulder, beaded with white jewels that matched the heavily crested 'V' shaped necklace around my neck. Sulpicia added a new more touches to my hair and eyes before finally deciding I was fit enough to go back downstairs.
"Introduce yourself to as many vampires possible," she ordered, fixing the hem of her long, blue dress. "They need to see charm, as foolish as it may sound. Do whatever Caius instructs. And soon, you will be able to escape for the night."
I frowned. "Escape?"
She smirked back. "Caius's surprise. You will find out soon enough."
Now I was interested. Sulpicia and Corin both walked in front of me as we descended down the flight of stairs and down several hallways to the throne room. I started to mentally prepare myself for introductions. I always felt weird with these things. Now it was going to suck even more, since my introduction had to be as perfect as Sulpicia created.
My feet slowed to a halt.
What was that scent?
Everyone was supposed to be adjourned to the throne room, yet someone was out of place. And the scent was strangely familiar, yet not familiar at the same time…
My head turned into a hallway, which was constructed of large pillars. They all were finely crafted, but dark, from the lack of daylight. My eyes automatically found the dark figure leaning against one of them in the shadows, pale hands shuffling a deck of cards. I felt my eyebrows tighten in confusion.
Suddenly, the figure lifted his head. He seemed to be wearing some sort of hat, since I couldn't see the color of his hair. The cards twirling in his fingers suddenly drew to a halt, as his low, red eyes studied me with intensity.
Fear and suspicion pricked at my skin. It made no sense. Who was the man, and why was he here? Why wasn't he with the rest of them? I had seen so many red colored eyes in my lifetime it was impossible to count, but this man's were the first to truly frighten me. The man's head slowly eased higher, shadows reflecting off the shapes of his face.
"My lady?" Corin's voice cut through my daze.
I automatically looked back at her, and started to point back to the pillars until my finger hung in its position. The man was gone. And so was his strange scent. It was as if he had never been there in the first place.
"Um," I hurried after them. "Yeah, sorry. Never mind."
What the hell?
Luckily, I didn't have much time to ponder it, because everyone was clapping and praising me when I first came in to view.
I gave them the best smile I could muster, scanning the room full of beautiful faces and warm, red eyes. About twenty different people rushed forward to meet me, and I could only stand there dumbly as they bluntly started cramming words in my head.
"My name is Francisco Valenzuela, my queen!" one vampire had managed to grab my hand and kiss it. "I have been a friend of Aro's for many years, and I'm so delighted to see-"
"My queen, I was wondering if you could get your husband to alter a law-"
"My queen, will you help my family?"
"Um…" I stammered idiotically. "I-It's nice to meet you all-"
"My lady, what was your thoughts on-?"
"Gentlemen," a clear, calming voice rung above all the nonstop chatter, and the vampires all thankfully started to back off. Relief washed through me as I saw the familiar, brilliant face of Caius heading through the crowd until he was right in front of me and took my hand. "Let the angel breath, for goodness sake. She will answer your questions another time." He smiled at me.
Whew. That was close. I thought for a moment I'd have to call for Sulpicia, which would've been hell.
Caius led me away from the dispersing crowd, and apologized for the vampires' actions. "I should've been more prepared," he admitted. "I should've known they'd all want to meet you as soon as possible. Are you alright?"
"I'm fine," I smiled at him lovingly. "I was just… taken back. A little confused on what to do."
"You won't have to deal with them alone," he promised. "Ever."
And I believed him.
He helped me so much with the introductions. He stayed by my side the entire time and always included me in the conversations without a strain. I was actually beginning to feel like the headstrong, beautiful queen that I was supposed to become. I made no awkward stances or comments. I was beginning to feel like I was made for this.
The only problem was all the unfamiliar faces at my own wedding. I wished I knew more of them, or at least were able to invite some people I was close to. None of my human friends or family could join, which was understandable. But someone. Someone to have a completely normal conversation with.
Caius seemed to read my thoughts after I finished introducing myself to a French couple. "I thought ahead on this one," he grinned. "It would just be too cruel of me not to invite a certain friend of yours." He motioned behind me.
I turned around, frowning. "What-?"
Bree was in my arms before I could make another movement. She was screaming louder than I was. "YOU LOOK SOO GOOD!" She blew my eardrums out.
I was laughing with her, happiness overwhelming me. "You don't know how glad I am you're here!"
"I know!" she agreed.
We remained as freak-like fan girls for several more minutes until Carlisle and Esme both came up from behind her. They were matching light colored suits and dresses, brilliant smiles on their faces. "You look great, Bella," Esme hugged me. "Congratulations."
"Thank you," My voice was teary.
Carlisle basically repeated Esmes comment before nodding proudly at Caius. "I hope you had a good stay over these past months, Bella?"
"I did," I answered. "And will continue to do so."
"Good," he smiled. "Both you and your husband are welcome back in Forks anytime." We both nodded, and he started searching the crowds. "Don't know where Emmett and Jasper went… they're around here somewhere. If you don't see them tonight, then know they wished you both the best."
"I'll keep an eye out for them," I promised.
Eventually, Carlisle and Esme pulled Bree along with them to meet more people. I left Caius talking business with four other male vampires, and announced I was going to try to introduce myself to others without his help. He kissed me once and told me he'd be there if I needed help.
It was a bold move on my part. But I guessed I just didn't want to look back on my wedding and think about how helpless and afraid I was to shake hands with people I never met.
Until I came across Alice.
She was wearing a light purple dress with small ruffles, her ears carrying pearls as well as the tops of her shoes. Although she certainly looked the part, her face was solemn and regretful. Her golden eyes flashed to mine before I could turn away.
Well, crap. Now it was too late. The only way to get out of this respectfully was to talk to her. Looking away quickly and heading off another direction would've made me look like a jerk, and I wanted to keep that attitude as far away possible, especially now. The pixie slowly headed in my direction.
"Bella," she said lightly, with a sad tone.
"Alice," I addressed.
She looked up at me weakly. "You look perfect," she said. "It's making all the females jealous."
I didn't crack a smile. "Thanks."
"Um," she suddenly unfolded a parchment from her dress pocket. "Carlisle and Esme already bought a huge wedding gift for you signed by all of us, but… I thought I'd get you something separate. Since you deserve it."
She handed me the paper, and I nearly dropped the expensive charm bracelet folded inside. I caught it just in time though, and I studied the heart shapes and stars crafted from all different kinds of jewels.
"I know you probably don't need it," she continued. "But I felt the need to give you something really special. An apology gift."
I looked back at her, and she quickly lowered her eyes to her shoes. But I was never going to scold her. "No," I said quickly, examining the bracelet once more. "This is, um… this is really great, Alice. Thank you."
Her eyes lightened with hope. "It won't ever take place of what I did," she confessed. "But I hoped you would like it. See that one, there?" she pointed to the biggest jewel. "It was originally a sapphire, but I had them change it to a topaz. Since you once said that was your favorite color and all."
"Oh yeah," I remembered. The color of Edward's eyes. The color of my dead, soulless eyes. That color was officially out of my favorites, but I greatly appreciated the gift never the less. I examined it a couple more times before looking back at the pixie. "Out of pure curiosity… why did you really do it, Alice?"
She shrugged hopelessly. "I don't know. We were fighting Victoria's newborns at the time, and I kept having visions of you and him. It was really confusing me. They were quick flashes. I saw you were happy, but Caius wasn't making any sense to me. I thought he was bewitching you, as did Edward. I really wasn't looking to break you guys up- I mean… yes, I was, but I didn't know your relationship was that serious," her eyes closed. "If I would've known you loved him that much…"
It was a crime seeing Alice this hurt. You could tell from the bottom of the soul her explanation was sound, and real. She hated what she did.
"Did Edward come here with you guys?" I finally asked.
She shook her head. Like I expected.
"Well for what it's worth," I sighed, giving her a weak smile. "Thanks for everything. Not in a sarcastic way, either. I think I understand where you're coming from, finally. After all this time."
Alice's eyes ringed with hope. "Friends?" she stuck out her hand.
I stared at it for a long while, until the point she almost put it back down. But I took it, and I gave her a true, genuine smile.
"Sisters," I shook.
"Where are we going?" I demanded in an amused tone, holding onto my flying dress. "Why are we running!"
"Shh!" he grinned back at me, pulling me along. "We have to put as much distance between us and them as possible. Once they realize we've gone, they'll come straight after us and ruin the moment. Especially Aro."
"What moment?" I asked. "What surprise?"
"Stop asking, sweetness," he laughed back at me. "We're almost there."
So, I did what he told me until we neared the lake. The moon danced along the ripples, and glowed with beauty. And on the shore, perched there next to a couple of candles, was a perfect, wooden long boat with two oars leaning on the sides.
I covered my mouth. "You bought a long boat!"
"Surely you remember last time and how much fun they were," he reminded me, leading me to it. "Don't worry, I've been practicing for months now. I know how to use them a lot better."
"You mean we won't fall out and get soaked, this time?" I smiled.
"That's exactly what I mean," he returned it. "Care for a spin on it?"
I was grinning ear to ear as I stepped inside, and slowly ran a hand over the material. The craftsmanship was incredibly smooth for wood. "This is incredible," I said out loud. Caius climbed onto the opposite end, and gave one stroke out into the lake, only to get us off the shore. Then, he placed the oars back in their position, and sat right in front of me, taking out something from his pocket.
He carefully strung it around my neck, smiling. "Now you're complete," he said.
"Where's yours?" I asked.
He loosened his tie to show me it lying perfectly around his own neck. "I never removed it," he explained. "And I never will. But, as for this one…" He reached into his pocket again, and showed me his old locket, the one shaped like a heart with pearls and the lullaby. "I know I said I lost it…" he admitted. "But I always kept it. And I want you to have it, now."
The old necklace rested in my palm once he opened my hand. I tearfully ran my fingers over the shape, remembering every single detail. "That heart always belonged to you," he added. "And until the stars come crashing down on Earth, it will remain yours forever, Bella Swan."
The old locket fell hard against the boat floor as I lurched forward and wrapped my arms around him, my face buried in his shoulder. If I was still human, and had tear ducts, there would be soak city going on over here. Caius embraced me just as tightly, running a hand down my long, wavy hair. We stayed that way forever, it seemed, until shouts and protests could be heard coming from the town.
"Crap!" I muttered with a huge smile.
"I second that," he grabbed the oars and frantically started rowing farther out into the lake. We both laughed together as all our guests stopped at the shores, watching us get away helplessly.
"Shame on you, Caius!" Aro yelled after us. "You said we were all going to get to see you taking off!"
"Oh, did I say that?" Caius called, and I couldn't stop laughing. "My apologies, my friend, perhaps you misread the memo!"
"Have a good time out there, you two!" Aro scoffed. "Because all hell is going to break loose when you come back!"
Caius laughed with me, and he continued rowing out farther and farther into the lake. "He can't hurt us too bad," he assured. "He might challenge me to a Pac-man if he's really all that upset."
"Ooh," I cooed. "You should be scared, Caius. I heard he's really good now."
"He can't even get passed the strawberry round," he rolled his eyes.
"Well, you can't get past the cherry."
"What?" he grinned devilishly. "That's a lie. I got to the pretzel."
"Oh, I'm impressed now," I held up my hands, and we both continued laughing our hearts out as we did all those years ago, the moon flowing off the water and into the lockets that sparkled above our hearts.
Of Book 2 Leave your responses and thoughts because I wanna hear em' all! Please! Please…
Alright, now here's some updates on future stories and my plans for the rest of the summer. Sadly, after I finish 'New Life' and 'Startling the Fire', Fanfiction cannot be my main priority. I have promised my grandfather that I'm going to work on a book I'm going to publish, and it will need my full attention for most of the summer I'm sorry…
But once that is finished, here are some other books I'm planning to get to afterwards.
'Tied to the Tyrannical Laws' will be the 3rd installment of the Stuck in Volterra series. It will focus primarily on Bella's life as a queen in Volterra, and that will be the main setting, for the most part. Struggles will go between herself and the people, Caius, and a dark force rising from the recent past. Here's the summary of the story that is going to be in the FF label:
The three leaders of Volterra and the vampire world proclaimed me queen and wife of Lord Caius. The good news: I am finally reunited with him and the Volturi members. The bad news: We underestimated a certain newborn, and he's got a pack of wolves directed at me and my son.
It's a rough draft. But I'm sure the 'son' part caught your interest ;) You'll see soon enough.
'Love's A Loaded Gun' will be a Jacob/ Jane story that happens after the events of New Moon. I haven't developed a summary for you guys to read yet, but I know the plotline and everything else. The only way Edward and Bella can get out of Volterra alive is to let Aro have control of a few shape shifters from Forks. This will be in Jake's POV.
'It's Only Forever' is Marcus/ Bella, and it is a romance. The only thing I really got for it is a few basic plotlines and title. And while it is a romance, it won't cover the entire book. It will mainly focus on Marcus's inability to let go of his past wife, Didyme, for fear that loving Bella would make him betray Didyme.
That's all the stories I got that are coming. I know a lot of you wanted Aro/ Bella, and I will eventually get to that pairing too, I promise. Anyways, thank you all for your support and your kind reviews and alerts I really couldn't have done any of it without you guys, and have a great summer too! I'll miss you guys :'(