Fandom: Twilight [spoilers for Breaking Dawn]
Disclaimer: I don't own anything. All characters, settings, and proprietary language are owned by the author of the work from which this is derived
"If we live through this, I'll follow you anywhere, woman."
~ Garrett, Breaking Dawn
They watched as the herd of deer moved languidly past them, stopping to drink from the creek. Up to that moment, the forest carried no other noise except for the wind rustling and the occasional bird chirping. As they watched intently and quietly, deciding when to strike, their breathing became silent and their footsteps so light that they were practically nonexistent.
A gentle breeze rustled up her hair and for a split second, she worried that their prey would pick up her scent. A few in the herd did stop drinking and lifted their heads, looking for predators but when they found none, they went back to drinking.
It was then that the vampires struck.
Their movements were too quick for the human eye to see; like blurring lines across a page. They had already pounced on two of the herd before the rest panicked. Making quick kills of the animals, they moved on to finishing off another three more, deciding that the total should be enough to sate their thirst.
Kate's eyes wandered over to where Garrett was, drinking in the sight of him enjoying the spoils of their hunt. While he was used to hunting humans, wildlife was a different story and it reflected in his killing style. Blood stained the front of his shirt and around his mouth but Kate had never found him more appealing. Strong, rippled muscles, clothes crumpled from the hunt, messy hair; she appreciated what she saw.
Not again, Katrina. You're going to scare off the poor man.
She wrestled with the negative thoughts. It really wasn't her, or her sisters', fault. Was it wrong to appreciate what the male art form could offer? Was it wrong to simply engage in what was natural between a man and a woman?
You're not a woman, not really...
The cynical thought caught Kate by surprise. It had been a while since she thought about her humanity or even the fact that amongst vampires, her coven and her sisters were different. She shook her head to clear her thoughts, draining whatever that was left of her second animal. She heard footsteps behind her and out of her own amusement; she turned and leaped into the air, all in one swift movement.
Garrett caught her in his arms in mid-air, growling playfully. She laughed as he fell on his back, bringing her down with him.
"It's getting easier, isn't it?" She asked him casually, gently tracing the outlines of his eyes. His eyes were of a light golden color now and for that, she was pleased. Surely it would please him too, knowing that his hunting habits no longer resulted in guilt.
"That's because I have you with me." He smiled, kissing the tip of her nose. There was an underlying current of labor in his voice. A vegetarian diet was something he had difficulty adapting to. Obviously, he was still trying but on certain days, it seemed like the only motivation carrying him forward was Kate herself.
His arms tightened around her waist and she sighed, leaning her head against his chest. Garrett had become everything to her in the past few months. He comforted her as she mourned for Irina. He helped keep their family together when there seemed to be no end to Tanya's rage. He held her hand as they explored a relationship that was new, exciting, and even scary for them.
For so long, she had envied Carmen and Eleazar and the love they had for each other. The kind of pure, unselfish and unconditional love they had for each other. She had lovers before, of course, but they never lasted. They never could understand why she hunted differently, why her coven was also her family. But Garrett was different.
While there were still matters he couldn't quite grasp yet, he understood her. He could see her for who she truly was and in spite of that, was not afraid of her. In fact, she intrigued him. He saw her as a challenge, a new land to be discovered; a new adventure to be had. At first, the notion had frightened and angered her. She was not going to be some notch on a bedpost, like a piece of tissue thrown after being used. It was then that the hypocrisy struck her. She had no qualms deserting her lovers but when it came down to the wire, she always wanted to be the person who leaves, not the person left behind.
"What's gotten you all upset, Katrina?" He asked, interrupting her thoughts as his hand patted hers soothingly. He didn't like it when Kate was upset; it pained him to know that someone so beautiful could be so sad.
She liked it whenever he called her by her full name, especially during their moments of passion. There was something in his southern accent that made her name on his tongue so incredibly...sexy.
"Do you promise to be with me forever?" She lifted her head to look him in the eye. "You won't...resent me, would you? For curbing your diet?" That had been her biggest fear ever since they were together. It was obvious that he was an adventurous man; naturally, he would be willing to try a different kind of lifestyle. But what would happen afterwards? Would he leave, like all the others, after the novelty of a vegetarian diet wore off?
"Why would I resent you?" He asked, his tone betraying the sense of being offended. "You've given me a new lease of life. You've shown me that it's possible for us to exist without inflicting pain and suffering to humans. How could I ever leave you for that?" He cupped her face in his hands, kissing her on the lips gently.
Kate smiled. She felt better now. Garrett had never lied to her before; she saw no reason that he would start now. She kissed him back fervently, their animalistic instincts taking over now. Once their baser need for blood was satisfied, their other needs became more apparent to them.
He flipped them over expertly, trapping Kate between him and the ground. Her fingers pressed into his back as she arched backwards, reaching to meet his lips. Their movements were becoming faster, more erratic; their clothes straining with the tremendous pressure. Their hands roamed the other's body and when that wasn't enough, they kissed again, sighing and moaning.
Kate giggled as she ripped open his shirt, the buttons flying in all directions. Garrett laughed as he kissed her forehead and just as his hands were snaking up her shirt, they were startled by laughter. But this was a different sort of laughter, one that was cruel and menacing.
"How rude of us to intrude..."
Kate recognized the voice and she froze.
There was no need for bounds and gags; they knew the couple wouldn't fight back, not especially when they had Jane. Garrett had been violent at first, his first instinct was to protect Kate and he attempted to take on both Demetri and Felix. They even indulged him for a while, fighting back but soon, they grew tiresome and quickly had him subdued, his arms bent at awkward positions, him grunting as they punched some obedience into him with Kate screaming at them to stop. She had wanted to use her own powers against them but with Jane… Powerful as she herself was, she was not immune to the child.
"Isn't this a lovely surprise?" Aro greeted them pleasantly. The two captives had no response. Garrett had been forced to his knees, with Felix applying pressure onto his shoulders to secure him there, and he saw his own silence as a form of protest. Kate knew better than to speak at this point, instead deciding to risk surreptitious glances at Garrett.
"Well!" Aro pretended to be exasperated. "Can't we even have a civilized conversation?"
"To what do we owe the pleasure, Aro?" Kate forced the words out through gritted teeth, each of them painful like poison on her lips.
"Tying up loose ends, shall we say?" The one Kate recognized as Chelsea smiled, flashing a set of gleaming white teeth. Panic was slowly rising in her, but she fought to keep it down. There could only be one reason as to why Chelsea was here but she refused to entertain the thought.
"Now, now, Chelsea, let's not go scaring our friends," Aro mock-admonished Chelsea. It was disconcerting to see him behaving as such, kind but cruel, polite but devious.
"Do friends have other friends kneeling before them?" Garrett spat out, finally lifting his head to meet his captor's eyes. The thong he used to secure his hair had loosened in his struggles and now his hair framed his face in disarray, like a savage ready for a good killing.
"Now, Garrett, I cannot be blamed for your anger management issues," Aro chided him. Still, he motioned for Felix to loosen his grip and he did. Garrett rubbed his shoulders but resisted the immense urge to move closer to Kate. Neither of them knew what would set Aro off and they didn't want to try their luck.
"Aro, please," Kate hated the way her voice sounded; so needy, so pathetic, as if she were begging. "What is all this about?"
"Kate, my dear," Aro began. "I'm here to negotiate a compromise." He started to pace in front of them. "I'm sure you're both aware that our confrontation with the Cullen coven has left us, shall we say, a little embarrassed."
"So?" Garrett knew he sounded like a petulant child but he also knew nothing good would come out of this meeting. He just wanted it to be over.
Aro continued as if he never heard the former-nomad. "I understand you're quite fond of this…" He looked at Garrett from the tip of his nose with a slight look of disdain and found himself averse to even think of an adjective for him. "Hmm, you're fond of him and yet, he was the one who embarrassed us. What I propose is a compromise. Join us as a member of my guard, and we shall excuse the oversight."
Venom swelled up in Kate's eyes but she refused to let it show. This was why Aro was here. He didn't think he would leave Volterra for two insignificant vampires like Garrett and herself but the truth was out. Of course, he would want to be present for an acquisition and who would be better than Kate whose powers would prove advantageous should she be in his guard?
The Volturi had already taken away Irina from her and now they wanted to do the same to Garrett. How dare they? How dare they?
"No," she said quietly, her voice like steel, hard and deadly.
"No, my dear?" Aro seemed surprised.
"Master, I'm sure I can rectify her answer," Jane interjected. Kate fought to keep her anger in check. She wanted nothing more than to rip Jane apart, piece by piece, and limb by limb but she had Garrett to think about now. She was worth something to the Volturi, to Aro but not Garrett. They wouldn't hesitate to eliminate him should they make a wrong move. But one day, one day, she would make Jane pay.
"I'm respectfully declining your offer," Kate repeated her answer. She refused to go down without a fight; refused to take this lying down.
"I don't think you quite understand the situation we have here," Aro spoke slowly, as if he was making sure that Kate would comprehend his words this time. "The Volturi does not appreciate being embarrassed and we don't give second chances."
Oh, but Kate did know what he was proposing. Her position secured in his guard in exchange for Garrett's life. But she couldn't. How could she? The Volturi had killed her sister. She hated them to the core of her very existence. Yes, she would love to be the selfless heroine, giving up her freedom for Garrett's life, but she had only just found him. She wanted to be with him, to spend centuries with him, to love and have him for all of eternity. If being in love meant that she had to be selfish, then so be it.
Her eyes sought out Garrett's and in that moment, she wondered if perhaps she could offer another alternative. Maybe Garrett and her weren't meant to be together in this life, but the next… Surely what Bella said about vampires having souls was true. How else would the two of them have found each other? Soul mates, eternal partners, two halves of a whole?
"Take their offer, Kate," Garrett finally spoke. His voice was one of nonchalance but his eyes betrayed him. He was not afraid to die but he couldn't imagine any harm coming to her. He didn't want her to be in the guard but they had no choice now. It was for the best.
"We should discuss this," she told him quietly. She knew that their conversation would, of course, not be private but she didn't care. This was something she had to do, she had to know what Garrett was thinking, what the both of them could do.
"I love you, I always have," he said, ignoring a derisive snort that came from Jane. "But it looks like I won't be following you this time."
"No," she whispered, shaking her head in disbelief. She couldn't believe he was giving up so quickly, so easily. This was not the Garrett she knew. No, this couldn't be the same Garrett who stood up against the Volturi, defiant and unyielding.
Garrett made his way to Kate on his knees, like a child still trying to learn his balance and perhaps, as a final act of kindness to the couple, Aro allowed this. They immediately pressed together and like voyeurs, the Volturi watched their exchange with hungry, greedy eyes.
"We don't have to do this," Kate insisted, her hands on both sides of his face, her skin desperate to memorize the feel of him, her mind already frantic at the thought of losing him.
Garrett's own hands went to the back of her head, bringing her face closer to his. He kissed her, deeply and longingly and when they pulled apart, it was not because of the need of air, but the pain of the Volturi's sentence. They will be separated, no matter what.
"I can lose you to them, but not to Death," his voice rough as he spoke into her ear. Garrett was, by no means, a coward but he was a selfish man. He was prepared to sacrifice himself but the thought of Kate dying because of him gave him pause. He couldn't do this to Kate. She was better; she deserved better. "It won't be so bad. Maybe I'll come find you someday," he tried to joke half-heartedly. "I'll remember you."
"But I won't remember you." Her voice broke at the end, her thoughts finally dwelling on Chelsea's purpose. She brought to this acquisition for a reason and Kate wondered if it would be a blessing if Chelsea's powers were used on her.
"Yes, you will." He kissed her forehead gently. "In some way, you will."
"Tell Tanya I love her, Carmen and Eleazar too," she said and he nodded. "Make sure they don't do anything stupid, especially Tanya."
"I love you," she whispered fervently, wishing more than ever that the first time these words were exchanged between the two of them were also not their last.
"I love you. I will always remember you, for as long as I shall live." Garrett sounded weak, and in that moment, Kate wished for nothing more except for their lost ability to cry, to show for the sorrow they were experiencing. Even the weather was mocking them with dark clouds closing in but the fact was that while the weather could threaten rain, they would still not be able to cry.
Kate closed her eyes as she breathed in Garrett's scent. Here in the forest, he smelled earthy, woodsy and most of all, real. She knew that if she were to lose her other memories, this would be the one she wanted to hold on to. Her lips seeking his once again, they kissed passionately one last time.
They broke apart once more and finally, when Kate felt as ready as she ever will be, she spoke. "If I join you, you have to give me your word." She stared at Aro, dead set in the eyes, as she held hands with Garrett. "Give me your word that Garrett will walk away from this, unharmed." She knew of Aro's tricks; how he would twist her words to fit his intentions and while she herself no longer had a chance, she sure was going to make sure Garrett would have his freedom.
"Of course," Aro agreed and offered Kate his hand. She took it, feeling nothing but disgust at the wrinkly and papery touch, and got up to her feet. It burned her to the core that once again, she was the person leaving and it was Garrett she was leaving behind. While she kept her gaze on Garrett the entire time, she saw from the corner of her eyes that Jane, Felix and Demetri were already walking ahead of them, leaving only Aro and Chelsea with the prisoners.
"Come, Kate." Aro, gently but firmly, started pulling Kate away from Garrett. Their gaze was still locked on to each other; his hand's grip on hers tightened for the briefest moment before letting go, afraid that any sign of resistance on his part would negate Kate's negotiations.
Kate felt a strange sensation in her mind as Chelsea's powers worked itself into her. She had hoped that her strong tie to Garrett would negate the guard's power but it seems as if Chelsea herself had gotten stronger. There were the beginnings of pangs in her heart before she felt a calm sensation settling over her, leaving only the lingering scent of wood and spice and the face of a stranger before her.