This was originally written for IamTheAlleyCat for the Easter Bunny Fic swap. This is not my normal pairing – but was an interesting challenge to write. I hope you like.
Thanks to Twilightmomoftwo for betaing this bad boy. She did a great job and I thank her from the bottom of my heart for helping me with this.
Thanks to GermanAlice and KatieCav for prereading this monster. They both helped immensely with the flow and direction of this story.
Rated M for the lemon variety.
FYI – This will be about 3-4 chapters
Summary: When Jane met up with Bella in the meadow, she was begging the vampire to take her life. To take her away from the misery of her memories of Edward. Instead, Jane takes her to Volterra, where she may just find her future instead. NM AU OOC
A Spirited Girl
"Master Caius, Aro has summoned you to the throne room. Jane has returned with news of her journey," Demetri called from the doorway to my chambers.
Sighing heavily, I looked up at the burly man standing at my door, interrupting me from my reading. "And how did she fare? I heard she was sent off to spy on the Cullen coven."
Aro liked to keep an eye on all the various covens and sent some of the guard to check in on them periodically. We didn't want another Romanian uprising, and tended to keep a tight leash on those who enjoyed living in larger groups. I knew that if Aro was requesting an audience with me, she must have discovered something worth reporting.
"I'm not sure, but she brought a human girl back with her. I have a feeling she's the reason for the urgent meeting."
"Tell Aro I'll be there in a moment." Placing the book I was reading on the side table, I pulled on the ceremonial robe we wore when attending to official business. Whenever I thought about the larger covens, my mind always drifted back to the Romanian uprising and how I'd lost my mate during the battle. They'd kidnapped and eventually tortured her to death, trying to get information on the secrets of the Guard.
No, I had very little patience for these large groups of vampires. My urge for revenge had never been quenched even after we burned every last Romanian that had battled against us. For this reason my heart secretly hoped we would have some sort of punishment to deliver. It'd been too long since I'd satisfied my thirst for justice.
Walking through the dimly lit castle, I could faintly hear the beating heart of our newest guest, even from clear across the grounds. From my estimation she was being held in our dungeon, usually reserved for rule breakers awaiting their trial. Most people rarely spent more than one day in there before they became nothing but ash once Aro decided their fate. He wasn't particularly lenient, and as soon as he touched your hand he knew if you were telling the truth or not. It was a handy skill to have, and one I often wished had been bestowed upon me.
"Caius, so nice you could join us," Aro commented blandly from his throne, knowing the moment I walked into the cavernous room.
"Yes, well, let's get on with it then." Sitting in the large decorative chair beside Aro and Marcus, I looked down at our petite guard member and waited for her to commence with the tale of her voyage.
"Demetri, can you please fetch the girl from her cell. I'd like to see her once Jane's done with her briefing," Aro called out, interrupting Jane, who stood with her jaw slightly parted as if she was about to speak. "I already saw the entire exchange, but could you please tell my brothers what happened and why you decided to bring the girl with you?"
Doing as Aro asked, Jane began telling us about how she'd come upon the human in a small field tucked into the middle of the deep forest near where the Cullen coven had been known to be residing.
"I would have had her for a late afternoon snack, but she kept blathering on about Edward this, and Edward that. It took me a few moments to realize she was begging for her own death. She was quite pathetic really, crying about how he didn't want her and that dying in this place would be symbolic. When I finally asked the name of the man who broke her heart, how shocked I was to realize it was Edward Cullen she was in such a state about."
This little piece of knowledge made my ears perk up. How did this human know Edward, and did she know she'd been in the presence of a vampire the entire time? If so, Edward was in some very serious trouble. The consequences for revealing our secret to the human world was quite severe, and I would be surprised if one of our kind were nonchalant about it.
"You know I would have taken care of the problem right there, but when I tried to use my power on her, she didn't even wince. I figured perhaps you would want to see if she might be useful to you." The tiny girl shrugged, reporting that the Cullens seemed to have moved on; that their house and belongings were all closed up and hadn't looked lived in for a while.
"Did you ask the human if she knew where they went?" Marcus asked, already looking bored in his chair beside me.
"I inquired, but she said she didn't know, that they disappeared once Edward had ended their courtship."
"Thank you, Jane. I think with this new revelation, we may need to set up a search party to find the Cullens and try to sort out the mess their dear Edward made." Once she'd been dismissed, Jane took her leave just as Demetri returned with our human captive.
Shoving the girl before us, Demetri stood behind her, grasping the frail girl's shoulders in an attempt to ward off any attempt at fleeing.
"You don't need to worry. I know you're faster and stronger than me. You can let go," the girl whined, wriggling around to try and get out from under his grasp.
"Silence," Aro ordered, standing up and making his way down the steps to get a closer look at her.
When she looked up, she didn't show any fear. Instead, she appeared defeated and almost resigned to whatever her fate here might be.
"What's your name?" he barked, just as he took her hand in his.
"Didn't you just tell me to be quiet?" she replied, raising her eyebrow in question.
Tisking at her, Aro stated, "Feisty. It would do you well to learn your place here. We don't take kindly to disrespect, especially from someone as weak as yourself."
Rolling her eyes, she dramatically clamped her mouth shut, not revealing her name before doing so.
I tried to hide my amusement at this interesting being. Usually humans, just like wilderness creatures, knew we were the predators at the top of the food chain and were wary around us. It seemed the Cullen boy had charmed her into a false sense of security. I could only hope it wouldn't be her complete undoing.
"Interesting, she seems to be a shield of some sort. She'll make a fascinating specimen once she's turned, I'm sure." Explaining he couldn't see her thoughts, Aro wandered back to his chair to confer with Marcus and myself to decide what we should do with her.
With Aro out of the way, I could look at the young girl standing before us, taking careful note of her beauty and demeanor. She appeared thinner than she should have been; dark circles beneath her eyes made me think perhaps she hadn't slept well in a while, and not just from her terrifying journey to meet her fate here in Italy. Her hair hung limply over her shoulders, brown eyes with flecks of gold, and freckles darted across her nose, making her look much more innocent than I had a feeling she was.
She made a feeble effort to get out from Demetri's grasp at first, but eventually even that little fight seemed to drain her of all her energy, leaving her sullen and unwilling to meet any of our eyes. During her initial struggle, the flush that rose to her cheeks made my mouth water from her delectable scent. We didn't often have humans around that weren't employed by us or set out specifically as our meal. The venom running down my throat made it clearly evident it had been a few days since I'd last eaten.
"I would like to see her turned. But who'd be willing to babysit a newborn?" Aro spoke, more to himself than Marcus or I.
For some reason this girl mesmerized me. I was struck dumb by her unassuming beauty and had a feeling there was more to her crushed demeanor than met the eye. Without really thinking about it, I found myself offering to take her to our remote Alpine chalet for her first year, helping her become acclimated with the vampire world and to hone any talents she might have.
"Why?" Marcus asked, shocked that I would give up the easy luxury of living in the castle and having members of the guard attend to my every whim.
"It's been a while since I've ventured out. She seems like an interesting challenge. Besides, if I recall correctly, newborns have an insatiable appetite for things other than blood." Knowing how feeding and sex went hand in hand, I was looking forward to seeing all that this firecracker of a girl had in store for me. Perhaps with a little time, she might even become a suitable companion for me. I wouldn't know if she was worthy of being a mate until her conversion, but deep down I hoped it would be the case.
I'd grown lonely over the millennia since the war, and hoped perhaps I'd found my match in the enigmatic girl from the Pacific Northwest.
"We still need to deal with the Cullens, but for now, she's all yours." Turning away from me, he addressed the human girl, telling her that she would remain here until nightfall, when we would travel to our chalet, where she would then join our kind.
"You're going to turn me? God, I thought you were going to kill me. Why turn me? I have no interest in becoming like you without Edward." The petulant girl pouted a stone's throw away from a toddler like tantrum.
"The decision has been made." With a flick of his wrist, he dismissed her back into Demetri's care, returning her to the dungeon for another few hours.
"Good luck with that one. Please keep me apprised of her development. We'll talk more later about how to handle the Cullens. I suggest you get your things together, it could be a very long year." He chuckled, amused that the thought of me trying to tame what could be a beast of a vampire when I was done siring her.
As I'd come to later find out, the girl in my custody's name was Isabella. A beautiful name for a striking, yet mysterious woman, who I really was curious to figure out, mainly how she'd gotten herself mixed up with a vampire. Especially one who so easily broke her heart. Our travel up to the chalet was comprised mostly of her giving me the silent treatment and mumbling under her breath about the ridiculousness of the situation.
I was happy to hear that Gianna had made sure the place had been opened and aired out, readying it for our arrival. We had a handful of employees on retainer around the globe specifically to prepare our various vacation homes whenever the mood struck someone in the Volturi. We were mostly creatures of habit and enjoyed the stability and consistency the castle walls provided us, but sometimes even vampires needed a vacation.
Except Isabella and I weren't on vacation. We were coming here for one reason and one reason only; so I could change her. The location was remote enough that no one would hear her screams during the change, yet close enough for me to bring back dinner when we both required sustenance.
"You do realize what's going to happen, right?"
"If you're asking me if I know that I'm going to feel like I'm on fire from the inside out, then yes. This isn't my first rodeo, partner," she quipped, shoving her hand into my face, showing me a bite scar across her wrist that shimmered in the dim light.
"You survived a bite?"
"Yep. A nomad was hell bent on having me for a snack. I was lucky that Edward loved me sooo much he sucked the venom right out. So much for eternal love, right?"
Her snarky reply and petulant eye roll made me smirk at her pent up anger towards the Cullen boy. Hell hath no fury, I supposed. After hearing her speak only for a few minutes, I had a feeling she might have a little fire and brimstone inside her. A thought that excited me endlessly.
"Did he tell you why he didn't let you change," I asked, honestly curious as to what the boy was thinking.
She peered at me, eyes wide with surprise. "You're really going to try and chat with me before you kill me? I mean, really?"
"I know this may sound strange, but we will be spending quite a lot of time together for the next year or so. I'd like to find out more about your life with the Cullen boy before your memories are dimmed by the change.
Leaning her head back on the headrest of the car, she sighed and began telling me all about the mysterious boy who had stolen her heart.
"He sounds quite daft, if you ask me," I replied once she'd completed her tale.
"Tell that to my broken heart." Turning away from me, she looked out the window at the passing scenery.
I wanted to tell her that everything would be okay, that perhaps she'd even have a chance to enact her own revenge someday, but it seemed like the wrong time and place. If she held any of her wrath, I'd help her any way I could. Until then, I decided to keep my mouth shut and prepare for my own challenge.
When we arrived at the chalet, I showed her to the room that would be hers, at least until she destroyed it with her newborn lack of control. Knowing there wasn't anywhere she could really go, I told her to make herself at home and that I would be around if she needed me.
"I'm kind of tired. I'm more of a daytime sort of gal," she quipped, smiling for the first time since I'd met her, dazzling me with its brilliance.
"Right, my apologies for being so thoughtless. Gianna stocked the ice box if you're hungry. She's arranged for a chef to be on call in the morning for you. I'll see you when you wake up, then."
"I don't really have any choice, do I?" she whispered, just as I was about to close her door.
"Now that you know about us, there are really only two options. Trust me; this one's the better of the two."
"Thanks… for being honest with me." With a nod of her head, she turned and headed towards the bathroom, and I took my leave from her room, allowing her to digest all that had happened in the last two days.
Isabella spent the next few days wandering around the chalet, eating her way through the fine Italian cuisine that the chef had prepared while she remained human. Seemed Isabella had heard from the Cullen boy that he missed eating and sleeping the most once he became a vampire, and she was trying to enjoy it all before I would take her human life.
We'd decided she'd be turned after spending a week at the chalet. Giving her enough time to make the necessary arrangements back at home. Time for her to write heartfelt letters, telling her parents that she'd run away because she couldn't take her heartbreak any longer. Of course it was all a ruse, but the letters would be dispatched at different times from different places in the United States, hopefully throwing off her policeman of a father. Once she was changed for a while, I would have to convince her to send her family a suicide note of some sort, so that they would call off the search. With our global connections, we'd make sure there was a body along with some DNA samples proving that she was indeed dead. Once all the formalities were taken care of, she'd officially be able to become a member of the guard.
The delay was also a bit self-serving. I found her more and more fascinating as she became less inhibited around me. Her personality was vibrant and alive whenever she allowed herself to forget about her long lost love. She was quickly growing on me, and I wanted to know as much about her as I could before irreversibly changing her into our kind.
"Caius, I still can't believe you've never tasted pizza. Giovanni is amazing," Isabella mumbled with her mouth filled with something that smelled revolting. I could only assume it was this thing called pizza.
Walking over, I looked down at the offending item, distastefully reminding her, "Yes, well back when I was turned, we snacked on fish that was cooked over an open fire. I can't really remember much, but I don't believe we had the gourmet chefs you have now."
Rolling her eyes at me, she asked, "When were you turned?"
"Back in the thirteenth century BC. I used to live in what is now known as Greece in a little sea side village. I don't really remember much more than that. Just like my father, I had been a fisherman and my wife and I lived simply. My wife didn't survive the attack by the vampire; I was left, I assume when someone interrupted my sire's dinner. I met up with Aro about a hundred years later.
"Wow, Ancient Greece," she said with wonder before asking a slew of other questions about my time as a human and my vampire life up till now.
I'd told her about living with Aro, the devastating war with the Romanians where I lost my mate and the adventures we had when Carlisle lived in Volterra. She was intelligent and asked thoughtful questions. A piece of me couldn't wait for her to be turned, knowing how our photographic memory would work to her advantage, making her even more inquisitive and knowledgeable once she could retain everything she read, saw and heard.
"So, two more days, huh?"
She didn't expand the question, but I knew exactly what she was asking. "Yes. Aro will probably have my head when he finds out I've let you remain human for as long as I have."
"Why? I mean it's not like I can really escape or something? Why does it matter if I'm turned today or next week? Why is Aro in such a rush?"
I was contemplating exactly what I should tell her. The truth, that we were worried the Cullens would make an appearance and muck up our carefully planned agenda, or the fact that I was dawdling a little bit because I was still learning so much about her and knew there would be little conversation taking place over the next month or two until she calmed substantially. Her first weeks as a newborn would be spent drinking, fucking and breaking things, along with the frustration that came with them.
"Are you in a hurry? Because we can do it right now, if you're finished eating that... What did you call it? Pizza?" I used the oldest trick in the world when you didn't want to answer a direct question, stall.
My delay tactic was met with a spark, blazing behind her eyes. "What aren't you telling me?" Her voice echoed in the expansive room. She stalked towards me, her face flushed crimson with the heat of her pent up rage. "Don't you think I deserve to know everything?"
She paced like a caged tiger, hands balled into fists by her side until she abruptly halted in front of me. Pressing an accusatory finger into my chest, she ranted, "What the fuck is it with you vampires? You think you know everything. Heaven forbid the little human might learn something that would be useful for her to know. Fuck!"
There was my feisty girl.
"There is a protocol to these things and I'm giving you the courtesy to set your affairs straight and enjoy your last few days of food, drink and sleep. If you would like me to suspend that courtesy, then by all means, challenge me. But understand this. You. Will. Lose." With a devious smile, I spun on my heel and left her standing, jaw agape, staring at my retreating form.
I hadn't intended on being quite so brusque, but I knew the more questions she asked, the more lies I would have to tell her, placating her until the change. And ultimately until we could ensnare Edward into his very own black widow's web.
Today was the day.
Isabella had been a nervous wreck since yesterday afternoon. I could hear her tossing and turning all night, a shame really when it would be the last time she would enjoy that luxury. I'd left the house to find my own meal, hoping it would increase my odds of actually turning her instead of draining her completely. I hadn't changed a human in almost nine decades, but my memory of the difficulty of it hadn't diminished at all over the years.
"I'm scared," she mumbled through her last meal. A breakfast spread that I didn't think possible she'd be able to consume completely. But here she sat, picking bites of everything from eggs and pancakes to some sort of pancetta sandwich and more pizza. It took everything I had to remain in the same room with her with the disgusting odors assaulting my nose.
"I won't say it's going to be pleasant, because it's not. You'll wish for death a hundred times over before the transformation is complete, but I promise I won't leave your side and will do what I can to expedite it." I reached across the counter, lifting her chin to get her to look at me. "When it's over, you'll never have to worry about getting old, about getting fat or being uncoordinated. You'll have the grace of a cat, the nose of a bloodhound, the strength of Hercules and the beauty any human woman would die for."
"That's nice and all, but I'd rather just die." Pulling away from my grasp, she looked back down at her plate, moving the food around aimlessly. "Can't you just accidentally take too much? Let me bleed out? You seem like a great guy, but honestly, I don't want to be like you. Once upon a time, I wanted that, but without Edward, the Cullens…I just would rather not exist at all."
Walking around the island, I pulled a chair out and sat down, facing her. "Isabella, this isn't just my decision or I might consider it. You mentioned to me that Edward couldn't hear your thoughts even though he could hear everyone else's. Aro has a very similar talent and you blocked him as well. Jane can make you feel pain, yet when she tried in the woods, you didn't even flinch." Taking her hand in my own, I tugged gently until she finally raised her watery eyes. "You're incredibly special. We don't know what talent you will have when you come through the change, but you're going to be spectacular, whatever it is. And I for one can't wait to be the first one to experience the new you in all your gorgeous glory." I tried to give her a reassuring smile, but the tears began to stream down her face, her bottom lip quivering with what I assumed was restrained fear or sadness.
"Promise me one thing?"
"If I can, I will."
"Let me forget. Don't remind me of Edward. If my memories die during the change, then perhaps I can find happiness on the other side. Can you do that?" She was begging me, her lovely freckled face only a few inches from my own.
"I won't remind you of him. If you remember and ask I won't give you any further details? Will this suffice?"
With a curt nod, she pushed away from the counter, letting me know that she was going to take a long shower and change into the robe I suggested she wear, allowing me easier access to her main arteries and veins, and making it simpler for me to clean and redress her when the time came.
A half hour later I heard the water turn off and her voice calling out to me from her room.
Lying down on the bed, she mumbled, "Here goes nothing." Before I'd even had a chance to walk over she sat up suddenly and blurted, "Wait. You're not going to be all creepy and try to have sex with me or anything right?"
Chuckling at her phrasing, I replied that I would keep her covered up and respectable during the entire time. What I didn't say was that she would likely be ravenous for things other than blood when she awoke. I decided I'd let her figure that little tidbit out on her own.
I dimmed the lights, and turned on a CD of ocean sounds. I knew her hearing would be one of the first things to develop, and I didn't want her dealing with the raging fire within her own skin and having to be annoyed by listening to the whoosh of the old pipes in the walls or the birds chirping outside.
Just as she was about to lie down she whispered, "If I die instead, can you please make sure my parents and friends get the letters I wrote to them? They're in the envelopes on the desk, already addressed and everything. If you see the Cullens, tell them I really wished I knew what I did wrong for them to have to leave me. They were like a second family to me." She paused, taking a deep breath before continuing. "And if you ever see Edward, kick him in the balls for me, okay? He really broke my fucking heart." With a quick kiss to my cheek she let me know she was ready.
Okay- Part 2 will post next Monday. Thanks!