The Canon Tour - New Moon round - WON Best use of prompt! Thank you to everyone who participated and to Solareclipses!
Summary: "Aro's take on New Moon. Why can't an old man enjoy some leisure time in peace?"
I relaxed in my seat and inhaled the scent of fine leather. Unfortunately, the bliss didn't last, since it was mingled with the scent of the two women who had been here before me. Those two intruders. The events of the past few hours replayed in my mind.
Why couldn't an old man enjoy some leisure time in peace?
I was admiring my newest acquisition. I'd given her a new name, Sun Ray, because she was as bright as the sun. She was finally ready, and I was beaming. She was even better than I'd imagined. But Felix came to bother me.
"There's a visitor in the main hall," he announced. The grimace on his face told me that he knew how I hated to be disturbed. Regardless, he went on. "He asks to speak with you."
"Dannazione. Who is he?"
I wondered if my friend could have had a change of heart, after so many decades. "Carlisle is here?"
"Actually, no. He says he's Carlisle's son. Edward Cullen."
Felix's choice of words made me scoff. Son? As if we could ever father a chubby little bundle. I patted Sun Ray's side. Later, baby.
Carlisle's son was standing in the middle of the main hall, his head bowed. What could have led him to Volterra? I smelled him and cringed. Disgusting. Che schifo. What had happened to him? It seemed that he'd spent months in an attic. He smelled like dust and mildew. Even if he was eager to meet us, he could have showered first. Hadn't Carlisle taught good manners to his boys?
"Caius." With a nod, I signaled that I wanted to know why I'd been disturbed.
Caius glanced over at the boy and shook his head. "Edward has a request."
A request? Really? Was he asking to be accepted into my guards, perhaps? I had some objections regarding his form, though. The boy was keeping his eyes fixed to the ground. He was slumped forward, as if the world had fallen on his shoulders. Diamine, for it sure wasn't the way to make a good first impression to his prospective leaders. In addition, Caius' and Marcus' demeanors were far different than I'd have expected for such a happy event. The arrival of a new vampire was something to celebrate. So, what was that expression of disbelief on Caius' face? And why was Marcus even more still than usual, tense on his seat, lost in such distant thoughts? I had to show them how to be more aware of our role. How would they manage without me?
"Let's hear this request, then," I instructed.
"Edward asks to die."
"He asks what?" I boomed, my words echoing in the hall. The Cullen boy didn't flinch, rooted to his spot.
In this same room, I'd seen vampires begging me to spare their lives. Not even during Romanticism, when suicide was so trendy, had I received such a request. What had Carlisle taught his son? I was responsible for an army; I didn't have time to waste over a kid's tantrums. I let out a sigh. This inconvenience just had to happen today, when my baby was ready for me.
I rushed toward the young Cullen. "Here," I ordered, "your hand."
Long fingers. I wondered if he played an instrument. Piano, I would have bet. But there was no need to bet; I was going to discover it soon. Pianist or not, he was in bad shape. His clothes seemed good, even tailored, but they were crinkled and worn. And then, his eyes: black like coals. I couldn't believe that the boy had a death wish. He had to be delirious because of the hunger. His mind began to tell me about his life.
I saw him in his human years, in Chicago. I was right, he could play the piano. Then, like a movie in fast motion, I was informed of his first years with Carlisle and got to know the vampire Esme, who was like a mother to him and his siblings. I looked Edward over a second time. Carlisle's wife wasn't doing such a good job if she allowed her children to go around like tramps.
To be sure, Edward had a temper. At a certain point he'd come to his senses and had followed his instincts as any self-respecting vampire should. So, he was a mind-reader. Interesting, indeed. Cut the death wish! He could be so useful in the guard. But then, he'd gone back to Carlisle. I rolled my eyes, seeing that he'd considered himself to be a sort of prodigal son. No wonder Carlisle had been moved by his return to his coven...oh, they called themselves family. How quaint! And then Edward had resumed denying himself humans. Only animals. The Cullens called themselves vegetarians. And now, one of those vegetarian vampires had ended up in front of me, asking to lose his head?
Indeed he'd already lost his mind. I knew why: all that animal blood had gone to his brain. I skimmed through years of the same routine...relocating, high school, college...if he was so brilliant and willing to learn, why did he not ask to join us? Didn't he know how much we appreciated culture, in Volterra? Until...
Edward lifted his head as his memories reached the last year. Since he was a mind-reader, he could see me absorbing his thoughts. It was like looking in a mirror. The boy had found his mate at a certain point. Bella. Wonderful, the girl had an Italian name and an Italian grandmother. I would have said that it was a good choice, but...it turned out that she was human.
She'd risked everything for him, and he'd ended up killing one of our kind to protect her. Caspita. This story would have made a good novel. It could even become a movie. What did they call them, these days? Ah, blockbusters.
Out of the blue, Edward began to shake. I tightened my grip on his hand. My fingers under his chin, I tilted his head up. He was in pain. For a moment, even my thoughts stilled. I knew that kind of pain, since I had to see it every day on Marcus' face.
Edward had lost his mate.
I released his hand as if I'd been holding a snake. Enough. I'd seen enough. Now the memory of his sorrow would be stuck forever in my mind, too. I knew that the day hadn't begun under good auspices.
I distanced myself from Edward. I could call Felix and tell him to snatch the boy's head. It would have been over in a minute, and then I could leave with Sun Ray before the young Cullen had turned to ashes. But at what consequence?
Carlisle was a friend. Every time I had read his mind, I hadn't caught anything but loyalty and honesty there. All my guards together weren't half as good as him. Why on Earth did I have to become the one who would destroy his son? And for what? The human girl was dead. Of course, Edward had to be reprimanded, since he'd disclosed the secret to a human. But I was the one who set the rules; I could make an exception. Una pietra sopra, as we said in Italy. Forgive and forget.
Edward caught the answer in my mind a moment before I could voice it. Annoying. The boy could spoil every surprise.
"No," I stated. "We won't destroy you."
He knew that I wasn't going to reconsider. His destruction would be wasteful, and I didn't like wasting. I could leave him some time to blow off steam; then, if he still didn't know what to do with his existence, I could offer him a place with us.
He left the hall without a word, and I let him go.
Finally, I was free. I rushed back to Sun Ray. She was still waiting for me. Of course, where else could she have gone? I laughed, recalling how the Porsche dealer had been surprised by my request. Yellow. The car had to be yellow, and I was pleased to see that – as usual – I was right.
I brushed the car hood, which stood out under the garage lights. Yellow, which made me recall the sun. I closed my eyes and remembered the days in Greece. No amount of time could make me forget how much I'd loved running under the sunlight, when the Aegean sea seemed covered in diamonds.
I checked the interior. Black leather, and the windows were tinted dark. Just as I'd requested. It felt safer inside, like nighttime, and I could drive Sun Ray during the day, too.
The engine purred. Perfetto. The thrumming rhythm spiked when I revved it impatiently and drove away into the night.
I headed toward Florence and left the car near the airport. An old man had the right to enjoy some leisure time in such a fine city, right?
I enjoyed a walk through the city center and through my memories. I'd seen many of these buildings while they were still under construction. The fast ride and brisk walk made me feel younger. After quite a long time I felt like…hunting.
Florence was full of tourists, as usual, and I was in the mood for something exotic. Edward had come directly from Brazil. It gave me an idea. It'd been a while since I'd tasted something Latin American. I had to walk for a while and be patient, but finally I found a good meal. Florence never disappointed, after all.
Too bad that another disappointment was waiting for me. I knew. Yesterday hadn't begun well, and today promised to be much of the same. Dannazione. I could keep vampires under control, I could rule them throughout every continent, and those humans couldn't manage to keep the city safe from a petty thief?
Someone had taken Sun Ray.
I growled, eager to find a neck to tear apart. I retrieved my cell phone from my back pocket. "Heidi."
"Yes, Master." She could feel how angry I was, could she?
"A banquet. Today, in the early afternoon. I'm coming home."
I ran toward Volterra, dashing through the woods. Heidi aimed to please and knew my preferences. I bet she would bring something international.
How did Americans say? When it rains, it pours. Caius ran to inform me that the Cullen boy was a true pain in the ass. Almost choking on his breath, he gave me a brief report of the show Edward had tried to put on during Saint Marcus' festival. He'd sent Demetri and Felix to fetch Edward, but those two stupid guards were proving to be as slow as snails. Was it possible that everyone wanted to test my patience?
I went back to the hall, exasperated. A poor old man couldn't enjoy a moment of peace.
"Jane," I snapped. I nodded toward the clock tower. "Bring everyone back here."
It didn't take long before she came back, smiling at me like an angelic child. At least I could trust the girls to meet my expectations. "You're such a comfort to me," I praised her. I hoped that Heidi, too, wasn't going to disappoint with the banquet.
I'd been right – as usual – to refuse to kill the Cullen boy. He was quite entertaining. Not only had he been creative, with his idea of shocking the crowds during Saint Marcus Day festival, but he'd brought two new visitors. From his memories, I knew that they were Alice and Bella. So, the little human wasn't dead, after all. This love story was quite interesting. Bella's sudden appearance, when Edward was going to kill himself, would have made the audience scream, if it had been a movie.
I clapped my hands together. "This is a happy surprise! Wonderful!"
Maybe both Edward and Alice could join the guard. Alice flashed a dazzling smile; she looked perfectly at ease. A fine, elegant woman. So it seemed that the Cullens did possess some manners. I looked at Edward, scolding him. Yesterday he'd smelled like garbage; today he was going around shirtless. Oh, young ones...he needed to cool off.
Who could have imagined that even the little human had some surprise to offer? I could almost see the three of them with us. Bella was such an intriguing novelty. A shield, like the one Greek warriors used to carry in their fights. Bella. I rolled her Italian name on my tongue, already envisioning the moment when I would have her at my beck and call.
But these days the young were never satisfied.
I had to reiterate the rules to the Cullen boy. Die or change. There was no third option. If he wanted to keep his human, I would turn a blind eye, provided that he turned her. Unbelievably, none of them were interested in my offer to stay in Volterra. Did they not realize what an opportunity they were turning down?
If they couldn't appreciate it, they didn't deserve it. I wasn't going to cast pearls before swine. They could go and resume their absurd existence, resisting the joy of a good meal. I knew all that animal blood had gone to their heads.
If all the fun was over, there wasn't any reason to keep them. Besides, Heidi was due to come back at any moment...
I resolved to check Alice's mind. And then I saw her. Sun Ray.
For a moment, I considered punishing Alice and Bella for what they'd done. They'd taken my Sun Ray. But after all, they'd provided a nice change of pace. They'd crashed Saint Marcus Day, which was always so boring, and Sun Ray was back. Alice's mind told me where she'd parked my car. The appreciation Alice had for my little jewel didn't go unnoticed. Some Cullens had good taste, after all.
"Please, visit again!" I encouraged them, already focusing on the banquet.
The keys of Sun Ray clattered in my hand as I retrieved them from the car. Gianna was waiting for me. She smiled politely when I approached her, her head slightly bowed in a nod of greeting. Well done. Manners were important.
"Did they leave?" I asked, referring to the Cullens and their human girl.
"They did," she confirmed.
She shook her head and smiled. "No, Master."
Good girl. I nodded toward Sun Ray. "Have you seen it?"
Gianna's smile widened. "It's wonderful, Master."
I swung the keys tantalizingly. "Would you like to try it?"
Her eyes shone in excitement. "Really? May I?"
I let out a small laugh. "Sure. Enjoy."
Gianna accepted my offer on the spot, proud that I was giving her such a honor. I walked cheerfully back to my study. After all, she was the one doing me a favor. Humans taste so much better when they are happy.
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Story prompt used: Who was the owner of the Yellow Porsche?
Grazie! to Camilla10, Marlena580, and Jmolly. They rock! I'd give them a yellow Porsche as a gift!
Camilla10 was the first one who wrote a story about the yellow Porsche, go read it! h t t p : / / www. fanfiction. net /s/5688081/1/The_owner_of_the_yellow_Porsche
I'm currently posting my second multichapter story, An Italian Winter. Would you like to check it? Reviewers get a little gift.
My first multichapter story, De Immortalitate - an AU/vamp TwiFic set in the Roman Empire - is now complete.
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