A/N: Abandon all thoughts you had of Marcus in the Team Killed story. This chapter has a totally different background on Marcus/Bella post bite; well except Demetri. I had to bring him back and Marcus needs an ally. Facts of the original one-shot still stand. What would happen if there as a different connection between the Bella and Marcus? What would happen if he changed her instead of ending her life? Read and find out.
Thanks to abbymickey24 for beta'ing and Idealskeptic, SagaDevotee & TheLyricalCutie for pre-reading.
All things Twilight are the property and ownership of S. Meyers. I make no money from my obsession.
Perfectly Picked: The Swan Song
Chapter 1: Marcus' Lament
It had become increasingly difficult to hide my disdain for the life I led in Volterra. I had been complacent for the better part of two centuries. After that, I became observant. I began to see the sham I was a part of and in some ways, helped to create. It was supposed to be an equal leadership; three men of different perspectives and viewpoints, balancing each other equally. And for some time in the beginning, it was. Things changed at some point and I could not exactly tell you when. How I was blind for so long to the truth, is what still plagues me. In the beginning we held so much promise and hope for the vampire race. Then it became all about power, greed, and blood.
Aro began to make his move more towards the front of Caius and me. Whenever there was a ruling or a presentation to be made, it was Aro that spoke. At the time, I did not mind. I was not one for grandeur and he was always one that preferred the limelight. I will also admit that there were times when a ruling was swayed his way for his selfish needs. He was a collector of gifted vampires and loved to cull them into his grasp.
So when the land was plagued by a pair of young, vampire twins, they were saved instead of executed. We learned of their powerful gifts and Aro's excitement bubbled like a newborn at a blood drive. They joined our ranks, becoming Aro's coveted pets. Normally fourteen year olds would have been slain. Immature, impatient and arrogant the likes of them. No amount of time could change that. But Aro saw power through them and he would not let that go. It was the same with me and my gift. I could see the bonds of people. It helped in rulings and keeping our guard loyal. As time grew, our bonds became as the dust our bodies would one day become. I wouldn't tell him that though.
Caius gradually showed his true form over time as well. However, I had always known him to be hot headed and eager for a fight. He loved getting his hands dirty and glorified gore. I was not keen on his ways, but sometimes they were quite effective. So I would leave him to his techniques. His bond to Aro never decayed. The more he won in battle, the more Aro found favor in him. Cauis only needed Aro to keep our plush life ongoing and he would sway to the beat of Aro's drum.
What began to open my eyes was the need for blood. They both wanted to saturate themselves in it. I watched as my brothers bathed in the blood of virgins. They couldn't just feed; they made it a massacre. I was not innocent of taking a human's life, but I did not revel in it. I snapped my victim's neck quickly and drained them. I would then have their bodies returned where found, so their families could find peace.
After I became the broken and bitter man I am today, I became more and more compassionate about my meals. I only chose those worthy of my death; the sick, volatile, and lost causes. Aro called me a "passionate fool" and Caius was quite fond these days of calling me a "pussy". What a vulgar term. I paid them no mind, showed them no emotions, simply fed and returned to my wing of the castle.
As I traveled the castle, the corridors became darker and darker. They were a shadow of what it once was. Only my scent remained and it reeked of death and isolation. I wasn't always this bitter and desolate. I once thrived and smiled. Lying down gently on the bed in my quarters, I tried hard to breathe in the old scents, but it was vacant of all but my own. This room was death. This life was nothing for what I thought it was. I once trusted my brothers and this wing of the castle carried joy and love. Now it was just a tomb ready to swallow me whole. It constantly made me ask myself, What keeps you here Marcus?
The answer was always the same. Didyme. Her name rolled through my mind like a ray of sunshine, but it always ended before I could try to hold on again. She was the reason I stayed here. I was nothing without her. She was my very soul reborn. Didyme was my mate and the love of my existence. There would never be a love like I shared with her. It was powerful, full, and made me feel like a true man, human even at times. I ached to breathe her in just so the scent could make me feel like my heart was fluttering. She had the most wonderful smile and charming spirit, despite being Aro's blood sister. Yet, she was beacon of light whenever I felt I was lost. Without her, I was forever trapped here; not wanting to move forward and scared of finding my way out of the dark.
But the fact still remained that she was gone and there was no getting her back. So what else is there to fear when the worst had already come to past? Why not leave when all that was dear to me had been taken away?
Didyme had been plucked from this life many centuries ago. I had been with her for so long and yet not long enough. It was said to have been Romanian spies, but we had long settled our fight with them years that day. We had won the war and had been ruling the vampire world in Volterra for over a hundred years. Time had passed and their wounds licked. The Romanians would not have wasted their time to attack a wife of the brothers. There were only two that remained and possibly five or six loyal soldiers. They had waited over half a millennia to attack us in the first place. Additionally, the Romanians weren't that low.
It took me some time to come to terms with who killed her. Over time I began to see the ruthlessness in Aro's rulings play out. Caius was no better with his love for torturing the accused before we'd even cast judgment. But would they go as far as killing my beloved Didyme? Time and their actions after her death told me they would. Aro never sought retribution over the death of his sister and Caius would never let someone get away with anything against the Volturi.
I began to notice the change when Didyme had become tiresome of the palace life. She wanted to see the world and experience this immortality beyond being a royal vampire. She wanted to wear pants. I gasped for unneeded breath as I laughed when she told me that. I could not deny her, but apparently Aro could. The more she pushed, the more he guilted her into staying. As much as she was independent, she was a wilted flower underneath Aro's watch. He changed her when she had lost everything and soon her human life was to be forfeited. She felt as if she owed him.
Yet her contempt and constant rebuttal was not welcomed in the throne room. She constantly made Aro and Caius look like a fool. They both started to lose their footing with some of the guard. I became more favored, not that I wanted to, but it was inevitable when my dear Didyme would outsmart them during a ruling or call them out on their antics. So when the day came that she said we would leave to the New World, I jumped in glee. We scheduled to meet that night by our favorite apple tree outside the castle.
Before I could make my departure, I felt my soul clench and almost rip away from my body. I collapsed to my knees and felt like something sacred had been broken. Moments later, my most trust guard, Demetri, came rushing over to my quarters. He told me there had been an attack out by the apple trees. I pushed past him and ran towards where I saw the purple smoke billowing in the air. I prayed for the first time in many centuries, that it wasn't my Didyme. Unfortunately, my prayers were unanswered. There Aro stood, holding only the smoldering wedding band that was left in her ashes.
It took me twenty years to stop laying waste to the Italian countryside. Demetri found me slaughtering a village. He was able to calm me down enough for me to weep and begin to grieve. I did just that for nearly a hundred years. Then I found my anger and vowed to make those pay that took her from me. However, all signed pointed closer to home than the Romanians. Plus Aro and Caius' casual attitudes were disconcerting. Even knowing all of this, I couldn't leave. It was like I was stuck here, left to grieve the loss of my mate and do the bidding of Aro. Then there was also my desire to get my revenge. I would have it and have it fill me till I would drown.
As time passed, I was just waiting on the moment I needed. I could feel like something was budding, getting ready to burst forth. I just knew there was something I was waiting for. There was something else pressing me to wait out the madness. Another century would not matter if it meant my Didyme was avenged. For now, I was silent and did as asked. There would be a time when my silence would no longer suffice.
I would have to speak.
I would have to roar.
I would lay waste upon this place and dance on their ashes.
"Master, it has been a fortnight. I do believe it is time for you to feed," Demetri spoke calmly and respectfully.
He had come in the Volturi fold when he was twenty. He was young soldier fighting for his native Greece in the early 11th century. However, he had fallen to the Turks. I had been without my Didyme for some time then. Aro had sent me to discover anyone of talent. I found Demetri tracking some of the Turks back to their base. They were good at hiding their tracks, but Demetri was better. It was clear he had a gift. His battalion would fall to the same camp ground he found not three days later. I found him as he lay dying on the battle field, praying for the life of his family. He was an honest man. I vowed then to make sure Aro does not corrupt him. When it was time to act on my plan, I would need someone loyal.
"Indeed it has, but I have gone longer, Demetri," I replied.
"I meant no disrespect, Master," he said kneeling quickly.
I rolled my eyes at his display. I cherished Demetri, but he was taught under Aro's guards and they are a bunch of ass kissers. Loyalty is key, but I never planned to beat my guards into submission or threatened to kill the last of their human families.
"Demetri, no need for theatrics. I will not harm you. Even though I can go longer, there is no need to prolong this. I am feeling rather on edge today," I admitted to him.
"Shall I bring you a town thief or the rapist from two towns over? You have rid the streets of just about all crime in Volterra," he smirked, relaxing under our comfortable atmosphere.
"No, that is okay. Tonight I feel like hunting."
"Wise choice, Master. I shall see thee later."
Demetri left my room and I headed out the door in the opposite direction. It was a wise decision to create my own entrance and exit to the castle. That way I did not have to see Aro. He never made his way to this side of the castle. However he did send his lackies. I smell one of his little rats now.
"Master Marcus, your presence is requested at feeding. Master Aro grows tired of your absence," Felix spoke.
Vampires are supposed to become smarter when changed. His process seemed to have had the adverse effect. He thought his size was also intimidating. I had been fighting a long time.
"Tell Aro that I drink alone tonight. Tell him that I require solitude for this day of remembrance," I spoke and continued my walk to the exit.
"Your mate has been dead some time. Do you still need to grieve?" He chuckled darkly.
I was on him quicker than he could dodge me. My hand wrapped around his neck and I heard it crack in my grasp. I could hear his head begin to detach from his shoulders as I pulled. He growled and dug his nails into my hand. I did not care; I felt no pain from this weakling.
"Just because Aro has your balls in his pocket, does not mean you can speak me any kind of way. I am still your Master as well," I growled at him, spitting venom.
I tossed him to the ground and he slid away.
"Master Aro will hear of this," he gurgled.
"Tell him I will lay flowers on his sister's grave since he tends to forget," I yelled as I sauntered out of the castle.
When a person dies, you are to celebrate their life, not mourn their death. Yet, remembering her death is what keeps my anger strong and I needed it, craved it. As I reached the place her body was burned, I pluck a sterling rose from the bush growing nearby. They started to grow a year after she passed. It was her reaching out to me. I dropped the rose at the stone that held her memorial and said a prayer for every wrong I ever did and every wrong I will do. I prayed that she would forgive me, for soon I would kill her brother.
With a quick end to my prayer, I shot towards the city. I lurked slowly in the shadows until I found two drunk men fighting in the alley. I ran to them quickly and snapped both their necks. Usually I was more thorough in my search, but I hadn't realized how thirsty I was until I smelt them. I drained one completely and was about to start on the other when the most delicious scent hit my nose. I quickly texted the Volturi cleanup of my mess and made my way to the scent.
As I drew closer a dark red cord began to form at my feet. It was lazy looking, somewhat withered. The closer I came to it the more taut the line became and the red began to shine. When my gift was active as such, red meant passion and fire, red meant that I would be pleasured this evening.
I might be an angry, bitter, old vampire, but I still enjoyed the pleasure of the flesh. I began to desire warm flesh riddled with goose bumps as my chilled body covered it. I never killed the woman I lavished with my sexual appetite, but I did dazzle them into forgetting me. It had been a few years since I had partaken in the act. I had not found anyone worthy. But as I stared at the woman sitting in the plaza, I knew she would know of me in so many ways.
After a brief game of cat and mouse, I came to her and saw so much anguish and pain. She had been hurt and knowing that caused my chest to twist as if it was my pain. The line between us was red, but another line began to coil its way around it. It was black and in everything, black is death. So was I her death or was she mine? I honestly didn't care and chose to know more of her.
She was in fact here to die. She knew of vampires and wanted nothing but to end her human life. Knowing that nearly shattered me and I began to question why I even gave a damn.
"It is what I want. However, I must ask what a King would be doing here away from his castle? Isn't your food served to you?" She spoke in jest and I couldn't help but laugh as I studied her.
"That is a good question…," I paused.
It was then that I realized that I did not know her name.
"Isabella Swan," she replied and my cold, dead heart soared.
We continued on, talking of pain and soul mates and loneliness. She knew the pain from loosing someone you love.
"I understand. It would be a lonely and worthless immortality," I said to her and was caught in the memory of losing my mate.
I turned back to her and saw understanding and compassion. Just then another cord wove it's way into the other two. It was gold and that was affection. I was her death, her passion, and now I would feel something more from her. I did not understand this bond, but the more I was with her, the more I wanted to find out.
Isabella shivered as I touched her skin and I wanted to lick the goose bumps that appeared. I wanted her then and there. I offered her her death, but I also offered her my body. She readily accepted it. I ran with her in my arms to my wing of the castle and laid her down on my bed. I usually used a special room designated for this; however, I did not want to taint Isabella's body with the echo of others. For some reason having her in the bed that I only shared with my Didyme made me off, but it was better option than the others. Isabella needed to be worshipped and I would do that.
As I slipped inside of her warm heat, all my bonds exploded before me and I knew what this was. I had only seen this when a vampire mated. It was similar to this when I mated with Didyme, but how. How could this be? I have never heard of a vampire mating twice. Isabella gripped me and gasped. Her goose bumps begged to be licked and I couldn't stop myself. She was delectable and I wanted to be able to taste her forever.
I pushed deeper and deeper inside her, feeling her walls clench around me. It was a never ending pleasure and I questioned whether I could end this. Could I take her life when I felt like this was the first time in centuries that I felt alive? Could I honor this request when there was peace in my heart, no anger in my soul? Could I take this sweet life from her when the grief I had felt for years had rolled away?
She then orgasmed and screamed out my name.
"That's right Isabella. Again and again," I whispered.
It was then that it clicked. I could not kill her. I could not harm her. In more than millennia, I felt the budding of love. I had to get to know this creature that had already captured my body, soon to claim my orgasm, and rebirth my soul.
I shattered with her on top of me, bringing her over with me again. It was then that I bit into her neck and began to drink from her as she gasped. She reminded me of her promise and I had to deny her. I pumped my venom through her instead. She went limp in my arms and I thought it was too late that I had drained too much. I pulled away from her neck and studied her body. There was no reaction.
I then bit the other side of her neck and pumped more venom there. I took a bite next at her femoral artery and injected more of my venom. I licked the trail of her climax from her thigh and felt Isabella moan and then scream from the rooftops. I couldn't stop the smile that appeared on my face. She would change, we would grow and I would lay devastation on Aro and Caius with her at my side. And I would follow her against her plight against the Cullens. Revenge will be sweet. It will be ours.
"NOOOOOOO! NOT…..THIS!" Isabella screamed.
"Isabella, this is for the better you will see," I whispered to her.
"NOOOOOO! UGH! EDWARRRRRRRRRRRDDDDDDDDD!" she screamed.
I growled at the mention of the mind reader. What a pretentious fool. He is responsible for her pain and yet she begs for him. I leaned down to her ear.
"You are mine Isabella. Mine. No man or vampire shall think otherwise," I spat.
Isabella growled in response. Fiesty. She would have to be in order to be mine in this stage of my life. I was young and naïve in the past. Not anymore.
Just then a knock sounded at the door taking me away from my thoughts.
"Master, are you alright?" Demetri asked.
I covered Isabella and put on pants before walking over to my door to open it. I knew he would have heard her and wondered if perhaps I was having too much fun. The otherside of the door revealed a very amused Demetri, that is until he saw the thrashing and changing Isabella on my bed. His eyes flew open in shock at the creature that had captured me. He then looked to me and back at Isabella. I immediately saw a soft blue cord connect them. It symbolized a burgeoning friendship. Oh this would be interesting. I raised my eyebrow at him and his face straightened immediately.
"We will have a new one among us soon, Demetri," I said to him.
"Not for long Master if Lord Aro finds out. You know he is the only one that 'authorizes' changes. Luckily for us, he and Caius have gone on an expedition to the northern areas for a feast of virgins. They won't be back until four days time," Demetri smiled.
He said "us" and that made me nervous. I would hate for Aro to punish him. However, I knew how loyal Demetri was to me.
"Then we will have some explaining to do. Now won't we," I stated.
"Ed-ward…," Isabella gritted out.
Demetri looked at me and I sighed. I dismissed him and told him for his sake, he should leave for now. It may very well save his life if Aro gets a touch at him first.
"Ed-ed-wa-ward…," Isabella whimpered again.
I stroked her cheek and she leaned in to my touch.
"No my dear, it is Marcus," I said to her softly.
She screamed and turned away from me. I was hurt, but she was already broken. A person should heal emotionally before being changed. But I am an impatient man. Isabella could be the reason I have been waiting for. She could be my savior and I could no longer wait. I needed to escape this place and I needed my revenge. And apparently, so did she.
A/N: Okay so don't freak out. I couldn't contain Marcus in one chapter. I could have written a 24,000 word one shot, but I felt as though it was best to let it play it out. LOL! So this will be a mini multi-chapter story. Team Changed alternative take will probably go about 5-7 more chapters after this. It could be more and I may throw in a Bella POV, but mostly Marcus is talking. I will update every two weeks. Wish I could do it faster, but it's my job's busy season and I gotta make that money. Otherwise Baby UnderStudy may not eat and she is already a greedy thing. LOL!