AN: This chapter has also been edited. Please reread. xx
After I recovered a small bit, I got up off the ground slowly, my neck, arms and legs aching. The things I had said may have been a little out of line, but throwing me across the room and chocking me almost to unconscious was inexcusable. I never thought he would have actually hurt me as Aro assigned him as my personal guardian.
I left my bedroom and walked with a slight limp down the hallway, grimacing at the ever present ache. I reached the doors of the throne room and stopped. What do I do? Do I knock? Do I ask to come in? Or do I just go straight in? I decided to knock and waited for several seconds before the door opened to reveal an apathetic Alec. In the instant he saw me a dark sneer appeared on his face.
He looked me up and down and smirked. "What happened to you? Fall down the stairs? Not as lithe and graceful as you name implies, are you Miss Swan?" He asked viscously.
I blushed under his stare. Not wanting to cause any trouble, I just nodded. Alec sneered before all traces of laughter left his features, replaced with a look of utter boredom. He rolled his eyes at me and ushered me into the middle of the room right above the big drain.
"Isabella!" Aro's voice chimed. "What are you doing here so early in the morning?"
"Uh..." I didn't know what to say. "Early night's sleep?" I stammered, the answer sounding like a question. My eyes flashed over to Demetri, and he looked back with a questioning stare. He had a smirk on his face, as if to say 'I know you're lying'. He shook his head slightly, still grinning, before turning his attention back to Aro.
"Very well." Aro said simply, with a smile. "What would you like to do as one of the last days of being a human?" He questioned. I didn't dare correct him on my name. Again.
"I honestly don't mind." I replied with a small smile. "I am up for almost anything."
Aro casually smiled back at me. "There is plenty for you to do. Perhaps you would enjoy a day trip into the village?" He asked.
I looked down at the death traps on my feet and at the dress that was so unlike me. "Would I be able to go shopping? There are a couple of things I want to get."
"Yes, of course! It's settled then! I have some matters to attend to with Marcus, so you shall be accompanied by Caius. No questions asked." His voice suddenly became hard, the statement directed at Caius.
Caius heaved a heavy sigh, but nodded reluctantly. He got up and swiftly made his way over to my waiting figure. He gave me a cold, hard stare before walking reasonably slowly off through the doors. I smiled at Aro before quietly following him out of the room.
It started to get very chilly, the sun having no warmed up the castle yet."Caius?" I asked softly, very unsure of myself. He quickly turned around to face me, his expression unreadable.
"Yes?" he asked coolly.
"Sorry to bother you, but I am cold. Could I quickly go and get a jacket or jumper?" I tried to sound like I wasn't complaining, by my voice sounded whiney and I started shifting on the spot, trying to pump blood to my freezing cold limbs.
He sighed quietly. "I will go and fetch on for you. Is there any particular garment that you would like?" he asked politely. I was sort of surprised. Before he was cold and now he is making an effort to be… well, civilised. I don't understand. Is this his way of apologising?
"Any one will do thanks." I said, and with a gush of wind, he disappeared out of sight, leaving me stranded in the castle all alone. He returned a few moments later, this time with a cream, cotton cardigan.
"Is this acceptable?" He asked, holding the item of clothing out to me. I quickly took it off him, almost snatched, and wrapped it around my shivering body, savouring the instant protection from the cold.
"Thanks." I said in appreciation, smiling awkwardly at him.
He nodded his head once in acknowledgement before turning back around and walking off. I followed close behind. Once we reached the gates, Caius carefully pulled the hood of his robe up onto his head with extra precision. The people in this village know all about the legends of vampires and by exposing any of this skin in daylight, a vampire would risk exposure.
The guards, who looked absolutely terrified, opened the gates quickly and we walked out into the sunlight. I could visibly see Caius become even more paranoid. He pulled the hood further onto his head, and as he did, I could see that he was wearing leather gloves, in attempt to protect his hands.
"Why are you so scared?" I asked, feeling a bit braver and a little less awkward. "There is nothing to worry about…" I trailed off when he started to glare at me. "Whatever," I mumbled and looked the other way. The people passing by obviously recognised Caius and they smiled and waved. Caius doesn't respond to any one of them, so I smiled politely at them in response for him.
As Caius and I reached the town square, Caius started to slow down and cower even more away from the people. I shook my head and, for once, walked a little faster than he did, trying to put some distance between us. He was driving me insane. He was supposed to be the all-powerful Caius. Feared by all. It was actually quite amusing to see him shy away from humans.
I stopped for a second and looked over all of the shops, looking for a sign that says shoes. I need some proper comfortable shoes for everyday wear. One sign that catches my eye. Scarpe. The Italian word for shoes.
The shop looked good enough for me, so I started to make my way over to it before I felt a hand clasping my upper arm so tightly that it was almost painful. The person the hand belonged to turned me around to face them. It was Caius. With this new knowledge, I could feel a sensation of tingles rushing up my arm. What the hell?
Caius detected the look of surprise on my face and removed his arm quickly. He cleared his throat. "Where do you think you're going?" He asked venomously. His tone made me jump. Talk about being civilised.
"I was going to the shoe store…" I replied questioningly.
His face contorted into a look of anger. "Without consulting me first?"
I almost scoffed. "What do you want me to do? Bow down at your feet and say, 'Almighty Caius. May I have your permission to walk all the way over to the shoe store, ten feet away from where we are standing, to buy some shoes?'"
Caius looks livid. "Pardon me?"
I rolled my eyes and chose to ignore him. "Besides, Aro said that you must do what I say at all times."
With that, I turned around and started to walk in the direction of the shoe store. I could practically hear Caius seething but this time, I was not afraid of him. I was pretty sure he knew that if anything happened to me or if he did anything to me, Aro would go absolutely mental.
I reached the shoe store and walked in, the doorbell chiming. I smiled quickly at the shop assistant behind the cashier before scanning the racks of shoes. A few seconds later I heard the bell ring again. I ignored it and kept looking at the shoes, spotting a pair of sneakers that I liked. 10 euros. I think I have enough money with me.
I picked up the shoe box with the number of my size on it and walked to the counter. The woman smiled at me and scanned the box.
"20 euros, please." She said with a heavy accent. How did she know I spoke English? Never mind that, 20 euros… I must have gotten the price wrong.
I opened my purse. I only have 15. I blushed and looked up at the patiently waiting lady. "Uhh, sorry. I don't have enou-".
I was cut off. "Here."
Caius' hand was extended to the shop assistant with 20 euros. She took it happily and gave him the receipt. "Have a nice day." She chimed and Caius grabbed the box of shoes and my arm, dragging me out of the store. Another rush up tingles ran up my arm but I quickly pushed that information into the back of my mind. I can't deal with this right now.
I was a little shocked. "You payed for me?" I said look up at him.
He scowled and shoved the box of shoes roughly into my arms. "Yes I did." He said in a monotone voice, looking down at his hands.
I laughed shortly. "Thank you."
He said nothing back and just simply turned around and started to walk off.
"Wait!" I called. He stopped short and his shoulders sagged. I jogged over to him to catch up. "Where are you going?"
He looked over at me with grimace. "I am going back to the castle. I have already had enough for one day."
That kind of pissed me off. "Well, that's not your decision."
Caius looked at me with annoyance. "If you become immortal, Isabella, you will bow down to me. You will not talk back. You will not make snide comments. You will respect me as you rightfully should. At this moment, Aro has an awfully clouded judgment of you. I do not have any idea as to why he is giving you any privileges. Maybe he is feeling charitable. But I am not. I see absolutely no reason why I shouldn't kill you right now and I certainly don't understand why I should take any orders from a mere mortal. For now, however, I will obey Aro's orders." He looked me over before continuing. "If you do not wish to go back then what do you suggest we do?"
I frowned a little at his submissiveness. "Well first I need food. I haven't eaten since I got off the plane." At this Caius rolled his eyes.
"You humans are so feeble. You must feed every day."
I didn't bother replying. "There is a restaurant over there." I said pointing to the quaint little restaurant called La Piccola Casa.
"And I suppose you want me to pay for you there too?" He said dully.
My eyes widened fractionally. I had forgotten about that. I sighed. "I will pay you back for the shoes later."
Caius shook his head. "I do not want your money."
"I don't care." I said a little too harshly. "I am paying you back. Anyway, never mind the café. I will just look for a fruit market stall or something." I mumbled. As if on cue, my stomach started to grumble.
Caius rolled his eyes yet again. "Let me say it only one more time, I do not want your money. I have enough. But we are going to that café. I don't want to hear that awful noise coming from your stomach the whole way back." I was about to protest but Caius gave me a glare and I thought it was best not to argue.
We made our way down to the little restaurant. As we walked in we were met with a boy who led us to a table for two right next to a window. This restaurant was quite pretty in its own quirky way. The tables and chairs were mismatched but it suited the room well. The walls were made of old crumbling bricks but the oak floorboards were shinny like they had just been waxed. Potted plants were all over the place even hanging from the ceiling, all sorts of colours of flowers blooming within them.
This would be perfect place to just come and think. I have to remember to come back here for one last meal before I become officially undead.
A waiter came to the table with two menus. I scanned the menu and found chicken tortellini with cream sauce. I looked up at Caius to see him looking down at the menu in distaste.
"You know, you will probably have to order something. You might look suspicious." I was almost certain he wouldn't but Caius being so paranoid looked up at me with surprise.
"Yes. I must." He looked back down at the menu and chose one of the pizzas.
The waiter came back quickly and Caius ordered for us as he spoke fluent Italian. The man walked away with our orders and Caius and I were left to sit in an uncomfortable and awkward silence. We sat there for 20 minutes before the waiter came back with our food, not one word having been said.
I started to eat my food and it was absolutely delicious. It was the perfect texture and had just the right amount of sauce covering it. When I looked over to Caius, I saw him staring right at me in a look of fascination, a look I had never received from him. It was the same look Edward was giving me when he took me out for dinner. It was unnerving.
"What?" I asked, all of a sudden feeling self-conscious. "I thought you said all humans are disgusting creatures."
"When have I ever said they were disgusting? They are actually quite delicious."
I cringed. "You know what I mean, Caius."
He looked down at my food and back up at me. "How can you eat that putrid stuff so quickly?" He exclaimed.
I looked down at his untouched plate of food. I was almost finished with mine and he hasn't even started. "I don't know. How can you drink blood?" I mentally winced. "Wait, don't tell me. I don't want to know." I looked at his untouched food again. "Are you going to eat that?" I ask, pointing to his food with my fork. "We'll swap plates so it looks like you have already eaten yours."
He looked surprised but pushed the plate of food with one finger over to me. I quickly finished the tortellini and started on the pizza, still not satisfied. Caius continued to stare at me but I decided to ignore him. I didn't want to be reminded of Edward. I only finished half of the pizza because couldn't cram any more into my poor stomach. The waiter came again once more with the bill. I was surprised by the price of the food. A very small amount for the quality. I thanked the waiter and said goodbye before exiting the restaurant.
"What does La Piccola Casa mean?" I ask turning to face Caius as we walked away.
"The Little House." He replied, uninterested.
I nodded once and look up to the peak of the hill where the castle loomed over the village. "I am ready to go back if you are."
Caius' face brightened a little before his blank expression returned and we started to begin our way back to the castle. We fell into silence again but this time it was not as uncomfortable and more peaceful.
As we entered the castle gates Caius turned me to. "I have a meeting with Aro and Marcus in the throne room right now. Can I trust you to make sure you keep yourself out of harm's way?" He asked.
I rolled my eyes and nodded. With that, Caius left so quickly that I didn't see him leave. It startled me but I guess I should get used to it by now. As I turned around to walk back to my room I realise I have no idea what to do with the rest of the day. Or even what to do for the rest of the time I am staying here at the castle. Maybe they have a library and I can catch up on my reading.
I sighed. Only one way to find out. "Demetri!" I called as loud as I could. A few moments later, Demetri appeared right in front of me.
"Hello, Bella." He pronounced my name with emphasis. It kind of bothered me but I brushed it off. "You called?"
"Yes. Could you please take me to the library?" I asked.
He looked at me with a smirk. "Why of course, Bella." He held out his arm in gesture for me to link my arm with his. I looked at him sceptically but I looped my arm in his anyway and we started to walk down the hall. I knew that Demetri was dying to ask me a question because he kept looking over at me, smirking.
I sighed. "Spit it out." I said turning my head too look at him.
"Why'd you lie?" he said simply. I was shocked at his causality. Usually he spoke in an old fashioned way.
When I said nothing, he smiled a cheeky grin before continuing. "Lying is for bad girls, Bella. You're not a bad girl are you?"
My eyes widened and I yanked my arm from his. I wanted to wipe that stupid grin off his face. I brought my hand up and slapped him in the face. Bad idea.
"Fuck." I breathed, my hand throbbing with pain. "Ow, ow, ow." With my other hand, I grabbed my wrist and waved my hand in the air trying to relieve some of the pain. When I looked over at Demetri, he was in a fit of laughter.
"You. Tried. To. Slap. A. Vampire." He spluttered between breaths, clutching his stomach.
I frowned. "Yeah." I mumbled. "And I punched a werewolf too." He stopped laughing for a second and looked at me to see if I was serious. When he noticed I was, he burst into another fit of sniggers, almost chocking. I rolled my eyes. I have no idea why I said that.
Once he had finished laughing, he shook his head once and linked his arm in mine once more before leading me down the hall again, forgetting about his question all together. Thank god…