Epilogue (4 months later in Volterra)
"Good Bella, now hold on to that concentration," Marcus called out from behind the protective window separating him from his young niece. His crimson eyes moved from the white flames dancing along the girl's hands and arms to look over his shoulder at the opening door behind him. "Ah, Carlisle, please come and join us," the ancient invited before returning his full attention to the brunette. "Try to build the flames and give them form now little princess," he gently instructed.
Coming to stand beside Alice, who stood on the Volturi king's left side, Carlisle placed a pale hand on his daughter's shoulder in silent greeting. "How is Bella doing today?"
Releasing a soft sigh the pixie's golden gaze remained fixed on her mate as she answered her father in vampire whisper. "She does great with controlling gifts she absorbs, though she can't draw in from as many as she did when still a newborn."
"Really…" the blond doctor commented in curious surprise as he watched the brunette begin to create a ball of white fire between her hands. "What other findings have you gathered with your test?"
"The more aggressive the gift of the vampire, the less Bella can pull into herself," Marcus answered softly, sparing a quick glance toward his blond friend. "If Jane is who she's drawing from, Bella can only use her own gifts along with her sister's. When she taps into Demetri's strength she's able to draw from at least one to two others as well though." A slow smile curved the ancient's mouth as the fire ball cradled in his niece's hands increased in size. "Excellent Bella, now hold onto that and focus your aim on the target in front of you."
Glancing from the ancient to his daughter and finally back to the Volturi princess, Carlisle asked, "and her progress with the fire?"
"She can hold on to it just fine, it's when she lets it go that's the problem," Alice whispered as her petite features took on a worried expression.
"When you feel you're ready Bella," Marcus called with a hopeful lift to his usually somber tone.
Carlisle's golden eyes went wide as a soft groan reached his ears from his right and the white ball of flame shot from the princess's hands like a missile. The fiery projectile impacted with the target, swiftly engulfing the circular cut out in flames and expanding to the all behind it, then moving along the rooms' edges. "Is that supposed to happen?" He whispered in astonishment as the white fire built and crawled along all four walls of the separate room.
With a deep sigh Marcus looked at Carlisle with a frown as he said, "no… it's not." Dropping his crimson eyes to the tiny vampire standing between them he asked, "Would you please calm her little Alice before she takes the entire practice room down?"
Nodding her head the raven haired beauty took in a steadying breath and closed her eyes as she focused on her connection to the Volturi princess. Bella my love… please calm down, I need you to stop the fire baby…I need you to put the fire out.
Marcus smiled when Carlisle looked over his daughter's bowed head with a lifted golden eyebrow. "They have quite the bond," the ancient offered by way of explanation before turning his head to watch the white flames die down to nothing as his panting niece collapsed to the floor on the other side of the glass.
Snapping her head back up with a growl of frustration Alice stormed over to the door leading into the practice room, grumbling under her breath as she went. "Stubborn pig-headed overprotective princess, always pushing too hard, too fast…"
Smiling fondly at the tiny girl's back the blond doctor turned to face his friend when the door slammed shut behind his daughter. "So they've been doing well these past few months?"
"Of course my friend," Marcus answered with a smile of his own, adding, "This is Bella's home and your Alice could make friends anywhere."
"Good, I apologize that it took so long for the rest of us to arrive but I wasn't comfortable leaving the hospital short staffed." Carlisle explained in his gentle tone.
Waving off the man's apologies the dark haired vampire replied, "You're her now my friend and that's what matters."
"Don't you think you're overreacting just a bit Tink," Bella asked with a roll of her golden eyes as she held the door open for her feisty mate and the two joined the pair of chuckling men in the safety room.
"You just about burned the room down on top of you and I'm overreacting?" Alice hissed, swatting the brunette's stomach with a quick back hand.
"It's not like I can burn myself," Bella grumbled as she rubbed her stomach with a pout.
Scoffing at the princess Alice shook her head, saying, "I know because you tried to."
At that Carlisle shot Marcus a questioning look and the ancient nodded with a crooked smile saying, "she wanted to be sure."
Moving her gaze from her mate's narrowed eyes, Bella smiled as she blurred over to the blond doctor and hugged him. "It's good to see you Carlisle, I'm glad you all were finally able to make it here."
The blond gave the younger vampire an affectionate squeeze before pulling back to look in bright gold eyes. "We've missed you princess, and my wife is beside herself with inpatients to see the pair of you," he said with a glance over Bella's head to his youngest daughter.
"Then we shouldn't keep the lovely Esme waiting," Marcus commented with a smile as he watched his niece almost glow with happiness.
Using her vampire reflexes Alice curled her fingers around the brunette's wrist saying, "Don't you dare teleport." Looking over at her father and Marcus she added, "We'll meet you guys in the sitting room."
"Of course little Alice," Marcus replied with a mischievous wink and slight bow to the not so subtle dismissal. "Try not to be too rough on her," he teased over his shoulder before patting Carlisle on the back and walking out the door with him.
Feeling a gentle tug on her wrist, Bella turned to face her tiny lover with a soft sigh as she wrapped her arms around Alice's waist. "I know I scared you Tink, but I need to practice this if I want to be able to use it without killing everyone and everything around me." She said softly as her golden gaze burned into the worried eyes staring up at her.
"Why do you have to use the fire at all… you're strong enough without it." The smaller girl implored with a deep frown furrowing her pale brow.
Shaking her head with a half smile Bella lifted her hand to lovingly trace the worry lines running along the pixie's forehead as she spoke. "I won't chance losing control like I did with the Romans… and if I don't learn how to use the fire, I'll always be risking that happening again." Caressing her mate's cheek down to her jaw line before running her thumb across the raven beauty's full bottom lip, Bella continued saying, "I know these test frighten you but I need to do this Alice, I need to be able to protect you in every possible way."
Kissing the brunette's stroking thumb with a slow smile Alice moved in closer and snuggled into the strong lean body of her mate. "I do know how to take care of myself little princess, and I fully understand the need to protect one's mate… I just don't like this or the danger it puts you in."
Tightening her hold on the pixie girl the brunette placed a loving kiss on the top of the girl's head as she enjoyed the comfort of her mate's presence. "I'm not arrogant enough to believe no other groups of upstart or ancient vampires with think to come after my family for power. There will always be danger as long as my family holds the thrones, and it is no secret that the youngest Cullen is my mate… Everything with Romans ended and at the same time put two very large targets on our backs."
Shrugging, Alice lifted her head to rest her chin on the brunette's chest as she flashed a cheeky smile. "I'll still see them coming baby."
Dropping a swift kiss on full red lips, Bella closed her eyes and pictured the hall just outside the sitting room where everyone else was waiting. Lifting her head with a smirk, she laughed when the expected pinch of annoyance came from her mate. "I can't help it love, you get this adorable dazed look in your eyes when I teleport you." Leaning in close the brunette gently nibbled Alice's neck as she vampire whispered, "It's almost as good as the other dazed look you get when we-"
"Isabella Volturi," the tiny pixie growled out softly as her eyes darkened with awakened arousal. "We need to visit my family so behave," she warned before stepping out of her mate's hold.
Rolling her eyes with an exaggerated sigh Bella hung her head saying, "I'll be good."
Placing a quick peck on the pouting brunette's inviting mouth, Alice turned away to approach the door only to completely freeze in place. Bella what's happening? The pixie called out through their connection in a panic as the hallway faded into complete darkness.
Sensing her mate's fear and hearing her frightened thought, Bella blurred in front of the tiny vampire and looked into unfocused golden eyes. "Alice… Alice my love, baby?" She gently questioned as she cupped the girl's pale cheek. "Is it a vision… please talk to me Tink," the brunette begged in a worried whisper just as the sitting room doors burst open and her family flooded the hallway.
"Bella what's going on, you're fear is overwhelming," Jasper questioned in his smooth southern drawl as he cast a curious glance at his baby sister. "What is she seeing?"
"Nothing," Edward answered with a worried frown as his golden eyes shifted with his search of the raven haired girl's thoughts. "It's like Bella, she's there but I can't see anything."
Glancing from Alice to Edward, Aro asked, "Has this ever happened before?" Reaching out he placed his hand on the pixie vampire's cheek and let out a disappointed and frustrated sigh.
"No, when she gets visions I always see them with her," the younger man answered.
"Jasper, can you feel her?" Carlisle asked hopefully as he turned to face his quiet son. When the southern blond only sadly shook his head in response the doctor set his golden gaze on the Volturi princess. "Bella try through your connection, try with your gifts."
Closing her eyes while taking hold of her father's and Edward's hands to gain more concentrated power, the brunette pushed out with everything she head in an attempt to access her mate's mind. Alice please baby answer me… let me in.
A low growl rumbled beneath the youngest vampire's chest as Emmet shook his head saying, "that can't be good."
Opening eyes alight with pure white dancing flames Bella hissed, "Something is blocking me from reaching her… like a busy signal on a phone line, the connection is there but already being used, they're keeping me away from my Alice."
Giving Jasper a subtle nod, Marcus waited until the heavy blanket of calm settled over their large group crowding the hallway before speaking. "You need to remain in control for your mate little princess." When his niece's fiery gaze snapped over to him, the ancient kept his tone smooth and submissive as he continued, saying, "Take her to your rooms and hold her close until she comes back to you, Alice will not be kept from you for long Isabella."
The flames simmered to gentle flickering as the brunette gathered the raven haired beauty in her tender embrace and tucked her in close to her chest. "I'll keep trying to reach her mind," Bella whispered before teleporting from the hallway with her precious cargo.
"What do you think is happening brother?" Aro asked softly as his thoughts focused on his distraught daughter and the tiny vampire that held her heart.
Shaking his head with a deep sigh, Marcus gave his brother's shoulder a gentle pat as he answered, "I don't know Aro, but I'm sure of what I told the little princess." Squeezing the other dark haired man's shoulder as his crimson eyes met Carlisle's troubled golden gaze, he said, "Alice will find her way back to Bella and then we'll be able to find the answers to our questions… nothing will keep those two apart, not for long."
"Who are you and why did you take me from Bella," Alice hissed as her obsidian eyes tracked the movements of the taller man standing ten feet in front of her.
"My name is Abrielle, or Abe for short," the dark haired man answered calmly, completely unaffected by the girl's almost tangible anger. "And I did not take you from your Bella, at least not physically… in fact I'm sure you're being held in her arms right now." Abe replied with a slight smile. "You're in your own mind Mary Alice Cullen and I'm keeping you here for as long as I need to."
Growling through her chest, the tiny vampire crouched down in her favored attack position. "That might not be such a good idea for you old man." Alice looked up in surprise as she felt a pressure inside her mind accompanied by the familiar citrus scent of her mate. "BELLA," she yelled out loud, trying to reach her lover through their shared bond.
Tilting his head with a thoughtfulness taking over his features and filling his rich brown eyes, Abe's mouth curved up in a crooked smirk as he felt the push of the Volturi princess's power. "Your Bella is very strong…" he commented softly as he locked eyes with the pale pixie once more. "Maybe she'll be strong enough to survive what's coming."
Alice's eyes narrowed at the implications of Abrielle's statement seconds before a guttural snarl erupted from her throat and her legs propelled her petite frame into the air at the taller man.
~ The end~
Already working on the sequel if you guys are interested :D