Chapter 1 – Unexpected
When they found me, I wasn't the person I was before. It was just the mere shadow of Bella Swan. Bella Swan was nothing without her heart. And her heart, my heart was gone, searching for its wandering Romeo. Trying to remain normal for Charlie, I was busy cleaning the living room when someone knocked on the front door. My eyes looked toward the hall, wondering who was here. No one came to see me anymore. Not Angela, Jessica or Mike. Outside, there was a thick layer of snow on the ground. Even in my truck, I didn't want to drive in it.
The snow and ice brought back more memories that I locked away. Another knock pounded on the door, almost making it shake in its frame. Opening the door, a towering man dominated the doorstep. He looked down at me with a concentrated glare. "We are looking for the Cullens," said a second man. He came behind the large man's right shoulder. Both of them were pale and wearing dark cloaks. The taller one had purple eyes and the other had a strange color of green eyes. The both of them looked at me, letting the freezing air blow in.
The two pale and intimidating men stood on the front steps, not moving. They were beautiful, with their strange colored eyes. Colored contacts over crimson red eyes, obviously, for those who knew. They were too still, like soldiers. They were vampires and most likely, looking for the Cullens. How did they know to come here? Not just to Forks, but to my house.
The tall one looked down at the other, who stood silently, staring. The taller man had a build that reminded me of…. I couldn't say his name. My arm wound around me, trying to hold myself together. "Umm, they moved." The tall one stepped closer, "Where?" I shrugged, trying to hold myself together. I was a terrible liar, but I had to do my best. "Los Angeles. C," the name was stuck in my throat. They've been gone for four months now and I still couldn't even say anyone of their names. "Dr. Cullen got a job offer out there."
I knew it was a lie and so did they, but that was all I knew. The two men looked at each other. "Let me speak to her." A small, wind chime voice came from behind the two men. They stepped to one side and a small girl walked up the steps to stand in front of me. Her face was heartbreakingly beautiful. This girl with a childlike face that could have made an angel cry was in contrast to her stare.
Her eyes were fixed on me, as though she was waiting for something. Her gaze reminded me of my former best friend. My heart raced as this girl continued to look at me. The smirk on her lips began to fade into a hard line, "Why isn't it working?" My eyes narrowed as she turned to her companions. The tall one looked down at the girl, "That's never happened before." I thought about running, but I knew I would be dead before I reached the stairs.
He looked at me, "She knew them. I think she's lying." I huffed in fear, though I tried to hold it in. Thinking back to my birthday, which is something I never did, and remembering what he told me, I had an idea who these people were. They were asking about the Cullens. The Cullens broke the law and they must be the officers. Before he left, he told me about the vampire world's royalty, the Volturi.
The Volturi with their diverse, powerful Guard. The girl looked at me again, "What to do?" The charismatic one, the one with the strange green eyes looked me over, "Consult with Aro. We don't know how much she knows." While they spoke, I looked to the sides of the house, hoping that no one would see them standing here.
Another man came forward. He had dark hair and was dressed in a light gray suit, underneath a dark cloak. His face was exactly like the girl, both of them with dark brown eyes. He looked at me, with the same determined stare, waiting for something. His face became perplexed, "Call him now. Let Aro decide." The charismatic one grabbed my arm and pushed me into the house. My feet stumbled backwards from being pushed.
The large man stood by the door, guarding it. The one with the strange green eyes had his hand on my shoulder and his hold a little too tight, keeping me on the couch. My heart pounded wildly and they could hear it. They must have great control, because my scent was very sweet and strong. As James said, it was very floral. The man, who was clearly the girl's twin, was on the phone.
He spoke quietly and nodded quickly. The girl glared at me, as she stood by the stairs. They were in formation, in case I tried to escape. Escape was impossible. This was fine as long as Charlie didn't come home. Would they hurt him? Would they just take me and leave, not letting their presence known? The tall, hulking one came into the room.
His eyes looked at me, then to the twin who was hanging up his phone, "Alec, we have to take her with us?" The one named Alec nodded, "Yes, Felix. Aro wants to meet her. She was close with the Cullens and they suddenly left. We must know what they told her."
The silent one who was still holding my shoulder spoke up, "I could find Carlisle. That shall not be a problem." Alec shook his head, "No, Demetri. We bring the girl first. Carlisle isn't a priority anymore." Alec looked at me, "How close were you with the Cullens?" I didn't want the Cullens to be in anymore trouble. Before I could speak, Alec pushed a picture into my hand, "Don't lie to us, Bella." I looked at him; how did he know my name?
The picture in my hand was from the prom, when the six of us posed on the stairs in their hidden house. His arm was around my waist in the frozen image. It was clear I didn't fit with them. I wasn't as beautiful as they were. Tears began to form in my eyes and my throat shut in on itself.
The words gagged me as I tried to answer. Alec scoffed, "Oh, that close." He took my arm, forcing me to stand. I fought against his hold, "I'm not going with you!" He looked at me and tightened his hold, "Cooperate please, Bella." I tried to get out of his hold, "But my dad. And my mom." Demetri looked at me, "It's taken care of."
The girl came down the stairs, "Give her to me." Alec pushed me across the room and I stumbled on my own feet. The girl pulled at my arm and towed me up the stairs. She pushed me into my room and I fell on the floor, "You have two minutes to change." The door slammed before I got up. My body trembled with fear. I was going to die. Was Alice seeing any of this? She had to. A hushed voice came from behind the door, "Must we take her? We could take care of this ourselves?"
The voice groaned in pain, "No," the girl said. "Control yourself, Felix. If all goes well, Aro will let you have what you want." Moving quickly, I dressed in my jeans and a thick brown sweater. I knew I wasn't coming back home. My eyes looked around the room, taking everything in for the last time.
The door opened to the girl and hulking man looked at me, "Let's go." This time I went with them willingly. What was Charlie going to think? Coming home to an empty house. A piece of paper was on the coffee table. I recognized the paper from my stationary set. I was pulled into the living room as they discussed their plans. On the paper, my handwriting was a perfectly match:
Sorry, Dad. I need to get away from Forks for a while. I'm going home to Arizona for the break. I'll call you when I get there. Please don't be mad, I just need to be alone for a while.
"Jane, what is your plan?" She held out my keys to Alec, "Drive her truck south and make it seem like she was in a car accident. Her family must believe she's dead." My stomach tightened hearing this. My parents wouldn't know what to do if they thought I was dead, but if it meant keeping them safe, I would comply. They couldn't get involved in any of this. Alec nodded and took my car keys. Demetri took my arm, replacing Jane's cold grip. My coat was pushed into my chest as I was pulled outside into a dark car.
At Sea-Tac Airport, my escort never let down their guard. I was constantly watched, from blinking to shifting in my seat. My knee bounced nervously as we waited for the flight to board. My stomach was in knots that all thoughts of food and drink evaded me. My hands were clinched into fists against my sides. All kinds of thoughts ran through my head. Would they simply kill me? Would they torture me until I told them everything the Cullens told me?
These people upheld the law of their kind and my knowing that they exist was the worst thing for them. The flight across country was quick, because, thankfully, I was able to sleep. Despite where I was and who I was with, this sleep was the most peaceful I've had in months. There was no nightmare. That's what kept them away, fear.
The plane landed in Philadelphia and it was after midnight. The Guard members sat quietly waiting for the next flight to Italy. While sitting, I looked out the window, worrying about my fate. What was going to happen to me? Charlie must have found the note by now. What was he doing? I hated the thought of Charlie worrying about me, again. I've all but terrified him these past few months and now I was gone. And my mom, she must be frantic.
When she saw me last, I was more of less ill. I scared them both when they mentioned me leaving Forks. But now, I couldn't imagine how many times she must have called the house in Arizona and Charlie's house. The one called Felix held my arm, pulling me to the line to board the plane. When we got close to the attendant, he held my wrist and nodded, giving the illusion of a vacationing couple.
He sat next to me on the plane, not allowing me to move. I tried to fight my heavy eyelids, but they were winning. My body wanted more sleep, now that it was peaceful again. They couldn't do anything to me in this small space, filled with humans. I allowed myself to fall back asleep. This time another nightmare came to me. The fears that I was facing marred my orginial nightmare.
In this one, I wasn't searching. This time I was running. Running away from what was looking for me. I was running and running, until I was at a cliff. Something was coming fast and my only escape was the dark, raging waters below. The waves crash against the stones but I couldn't see them. What was chasing me was getting closer and I leapt off the edge. My shoulders jolted, waking me up. The jump and fall was too real, scaring me out of my sleep.
I cleared my throat and looked around, forgetting where I was. Felix looked down at me from the corner of his eye. He didn't say anything. Sweat was on the back of my neck and my heart was stuttering. From the corner of my eye, I looked back at him. Felix's brawn was very intimidating. His forearm was the size of my torso. He was clearly the enforcer.
Demetri and Alec had a more charismatic demeanor, but I shuddered at what their abilities were. Demetri said he could find Carlisle easily. A tracker, like James was, maybe? And the girl, Jane, what could she do? It doesn't surprise me that whatever she can do, it doesn't work on me.
According to the flight monitor, the plane would be landing in 15 minutes. My heart began to race at the thought of what was waiting for me. The wheels touched down in Sienna. Checking a map, we weren't far from Volterra. Felix pulled at my wrist into another dark car. The sun was rising. His hand was locked around my wrist as Demetri drove to Volterra.
Through the dark glass, the Italian countryside was beautiful, well from what I could make out. Did they all drive ridiculously fast? More beautiful than any picture could ever show. The city of Volterra was a top of a high hill, with building made of old stones. It was a beautiful scene.
The antechamber was hidden behind an elaborate office, where a human woman greeted us. She looked at me and arched an eyebrow. She was beautiful, compared to me. But to the others, this woman was a hag. My deadly escort went through a hidden door into a large, rounded room. Two dark haired men stood close together with a man with snow-white hair. The three of them looked back at us.
"Jane, my dear one," one cheered. He came over and kissed her forehead. She offered him her hand and was still for a moment. I recognized these men; they were ones in the painting with Carlisle. Was this the same place in the painting as well? The man, who I knew was named Aro looked at me, "Bella, I've been anxious to meet you."
He held out a hand to me. His pale skin hand waited as I looked at it. What could he do? Getting impatient, Alec pushed me forward and my hand was in Aro's. He bowed his head over them and was still. The coolness of his touch made me shiver. His other hand rubbed the back of mine and he looked up at me, "I see nothing. A first." He walked to his companions, Caius and Marcus. They leaned their heads together, then turned back, "Jane, I would like to see for myself."
The others backed away from me and Jane looked at me. Her stare made my heart race, as it was even more determined, making her brow furrowing. Her fists began to shake from her determination and she bared her teeth, until she snarled, "It's not working!" I cringed back, afraid that she would attack. Should I pretend she was hurting me? I didn't know what her ability was or what it was supposed to do.
Aro laughed cheerfully, "Don't be put out. She confounds us all." His hands were together, "Demetri, show me your story." Demetri extended his hand and Aro was still again. "They left her behind. Sad, but intriguing. Their loss is our gain." Demetri nodded, "She could be a powerful addition." Aro turned around, "What do you think, brothers?" The other dark haired man looked bored, "Do what you wish, Aro." The other looked at me, "She's young, but she can be taught. Jane doesn't work on her and you cannot see into her mind. You must decide."
Aro looked at me, his crimson eyes almost dancing with excitement. He clasped his hands together and sighed slowly, "Felix." Two hands locked my arms down and I was pressed against something hard. I refused to scream as Felix held my body. His massive hand brushed my hair away and tilted my head to the side. Aro came closer and leaned towards me. My teeth chattered as he got closer, "Don't be afraid, my sweet Bella. You will be immortal and we will guide you." His voice was crooning, like putting a child to sleep.
His teeth were like knives as they sliced into my neck. His hand held the back of my neck as he sucked in my blood. The pull was painful, but I didn't scream. Aro stepped back, gasping, "Her blood is so sweet." The burning grew, reminding me of James' bite. Felix held me still. My eyes opened to a cloudy vision. Darkness was coming over me, but I could still make out someone bending over me. Felix' sank his teeth into my neck, finally making a scream break out of me.