Epilogue

A/N the end was inspired by NCIS, the episode eternal affairs. My sincerest thanks for everyone who's read and reviewed this, you've been great to me.

She disappeared. Edward had seen her talk to the two remaining Volturi members and a day later they jumped onto a plane without saying something.

The Cullens were grateful for the things she'd done to save them, but they were finally content to just let her be. They had seen who she'd become, and realized that Bella didn't want protectors, but friends. They were waiting for a time when she would come to them, Edward didn't have that patience.

He'd jumped on another plane towards the same destination after three days of waiting, knowing that he needed answers and that she would have them all.

Volterra was not a place he'd visited often, but it hadn't changed much since he'd last been there. Bella, Marcus, Caius apparently hadn't had the chance yet to hire new guards, because he was able to avoid confronting any vampires until he reached the entrance.

He entered the hallway and saw Bella walk toward him. Edward immediately noticed the changes. Her hair was in a ponytail, her clothes were casual, but imposing, and her face was blank. She didn't smile, she didn't blink and she wasn't breathing either.

They started their walk through a maze of corridors and doors of every imaginable size, encountering several new Volturi members.

Bella spoke first.

"I knew you'd come here." There was nothing in her voice but arrogance. She'd been right and that was all that mattered to her.

"Do you love me?"

"When I met you, I was intrigued by your family. They loved me because of who I was to you, not because of who I was. You were not family, but protectors. Was that love? When you left, I knew there was nothing I could do in my life, so I stopped taking care of myself. Was that the loss of love? I changed, became a vampire. I killed others and felt strong enough. I was no longer plain clumsy Bella Swan. I was a vampire. I took care of myself, but I still protected you. I did your job for once. Was that love? I saved your family despite everything you've done for me. Was that love?" For not even a second she showed any emotion. It was like she was repeating lines that had been written ages ago.

"It was love, I can admit that, but that's not enough. You fell in love with a human Bella, but that's not who I am anymore. It's someone I left behind months ago. I don't know if my love was for you, or what you are. Love is not enough. Maybe one day, but not now."

"Everything you did since you were turned, has been for you alone. I won't be tricked Bella. You helped us so you would have numbers when they were going to take you down. You killed them so you would rule. You can't handle the power you have gotten."

"Fairy tale ending for me." Bella smiled as she said it and took her place on Aro's chair.

"The castle was stormed, the guards were killed and you took the dead king's place on the throne."

This was not his Bella, and this was not the new Bella either. This was the leader of the Volturi. She was not who she used to be, maybe someday, but not now, not today. Love was not enough.

Edward left before his last words stopped echoing through the room

"Long live the queen."

A/N Power corrupts, people change, and sometimes love is strong, but their love wasn't strong enough. Maybe one day they'll meet and really fall in love, they have all the time in the world after all.