So, surprise, surprise. I decided to start a new story. It's been in my head for a long time now, and I just wanted to finally get it written down and posted.

I'm hoping that I have good enough ideas for this story. By the way, this was all a spur of the moment thing. I got this one conversation between Bella and the Cullens planned out in my head, and I just had to write it.

Hope you enjoy :)


Disclaimer: I do not own Twilight.

Chapter 1

Edward

I shoved my suitcase into the trunk of Carlisle's Mercedes. Nothing but annoyance filled me at this moment. I sighed in frustration, running my fingers through my bronze hair.

Three weeks ago, Alice had gotten a vision of our family getting invited to a ball in Volterra. The Volturi, who are basically the closest thing vampires have to royalty, invited vampires all around the world to a celebration they were having. For what, I had no idea.

I, unfortunately, couldn't weasel myself out of going because:

a.) I really didn't want to get on the Volturi's bad side.

And

b.) Alice had a good feeling about going to this ball. Something I learned to never question over the years.

Although my family and the Denalis would be the only 'vegetarians' - or animal drinkers - at the ball, which made me uncomfortable, it was still a way for us to socialize with other vampires.

Plus, there had to be a few human-drinking vampires out there who felt compassion towards humans, but didn't know another way of life.

That was Carlisle's main reason for deciding to go - so that he could save a few vampires from living like monsters - along with the fact that he wanted to catch up with his old friends Marcus, Caius, and Aro. They were also known as the leaders of the Volturi… basically the kings of the vampire world.

Carlisle had gone to them in the early days of being a vampire, and lived in their home for a while. That was until he grew tired of the constant screaming of humans being drained, week after week. I didn't know how he even survived in the first place. The way he described it was just plain awful.

I hoped they would at least be polite enough not to do that in the castle while we were staying there. We were only going to be staying for a week or two, but I really didn't want to hear hundreds of humans being killed over that time period.

Going through a dark phase in my life, I understood that human blood could be very tempting, and that some vampires didn't have enough will to change their diet. However, that time in my life had long gone. The dull ache in my throat had subsided over the years, and I no longer had an overwhelming urge to drink human blood. I was, after all, once human, so I didn't enjoy 'the kill'. Animal blood was enough to satisfy me.

I sighed, thinking about what the ball would be like.

These events never failed to bore me, and I wouldn't doubt it if one or two persistent females flirted with me. That was one of the reasons I hated socializing.

I shuddered, thinking about how filthy and lustful their minds would be.

After a few moments of mentally whining, I shrugged, getting into the back seat of the car. I couldn't exactly stay back, so I might as well get this trip over with.


My family and I exited the airport, hopping into our rental cars. I wasn't the happiest camper in the world, after having the most annoying flight in the world.

First off: a stewardess was shamelessly flirting with me for half the flight until I made it clear that I wasn't interested.

What made it worse was when a male flight attendant started hitting on me, apparently thinking that I was gay.

Emmett and Jasper were guffawing for the rest of the flight at my awkwardness, while I just sent them several death glares. luckily, that made them turn their attention away.

...Okay, I may not have been interested in any girls over the past one hundred years, but I was 100% sure that I was straight. Definitely after that flight. I cringed.


By the time we reached the Volturi underground castle, I just wanted to get settled in and be by myself.

As soon as we walked in, however, I was hit by the scent of strawberries and freesias. I resisted the urge to close my eyes and sigh with pleasure after getting a whiff, knowing my family would believe I had gone insane.

It wasn't that the scent awakened the vampire in me...It didn't even make my throat ache. It was just a wonderful smell. Like a perfume.

I wrinkled my eyebrows in confusion. I could hear a steady heartbeat coming from down the hall, so I knew the scent belonged to a human. But I wasn't at all affected by it. I wondered if it was just me.

That was until I looked over at Jasper. He was the newest member of our coven, still not used to being around humans - because he always craved their blood.

But once glance at him told me that he was calm as ever.

However, his brow was creased, and his thoughts were in the same direction as mine:

"Why don't I want to feed on this human?... Why isn't the scent appealing? What's wrong with me?"

I just continued to follow my family, deciding that my my questions would be answered soon enough.


We finally made it to the receptionist's desk, and my mind was suddenly consumed by a bell-like, melodic voice. The stawberry-freesia scent also increased, leading me to believe that this was the girl the scent belonged to. Unfortunately, a large, blonde figure was blocking me from putting a face to that voice and aroma.

"So babe, how old are you?" the blond asked.

The angelic voice said bluntly, clearly uninterested, "Sixteen." My forehead creased. They were hiring teenagers to work now? That was just wrong.

I wondered what would become of this girl when the Volturi got tired of her. Would they change her? Or drain her? I frowned at both options.

I tried listening out for her thoughts, but only heard the ones of my family. Again, I tried zoning out my family's thoughts, but the only other thoughts I came across were of the perverted blond in front of me. I immediately tuned those out, keeping down my shudder.

My eyebrow creased. Why couldn't I hear her thoughts?

The blond whistled, "So I guess you and me hooking up would kind of be illegal, then?" My hands balled up into fists. I couldn't believe how disgusting people were nowadays.

"There are other people waiting for help. Please leave," getting no reaction from the blond, she continued,

"Leave now, or else I'll get someone to forcibly remove you," the girl said, frustration clear in his voice.

"Sure, babe. Once it's you doing the removing…" I could just picture the guy winking suggestively at the girl, while she rolled her eyes. She sighed, clearly exhausted.

"No, but really. When am I gonna get up on that?" the blond questioned, still not getting the hint. I was getting ready to punch him. No girl deserved to be talked to in this manner.

"When hell freezes over. Twice," I couldn't help but chuckle at her response.

The blond, finally receiving her frustration, gave up, "Okay ouch, fine, I'm going. But, babe? You should know that it really turns me on when girls play hard to get."

The blond turned around to leave, and my eyes narrowed at his red ones. It was only then that I realized how brave this girl truly was for standing up to a guy who could easily kill her with one move.

My family wore expressions of disgust on their faces as the guy left our sight.

It was only then that I finally got a glimpse of the girl that possessed the musical voice and wonderful scent.

I gaped.

I wanted more than anything to read her thoughts, and find out what she was thinking. It was frustrating being blocked from someone's mind, especially someone whose mind I wanted to read more than anyone else's.

I'm pretty sure if my heart was still beating, it would be palpitating right now. She was absolutely gorgeous. Never had I ever seen a girl more beautiful than her in my existence. Her mahogany hair fell down in soft waves, framing her heart-shaped face. She wore little make-up, though she didn't need any at all. She had natural beauty, I could tell. Lastly, she had the most beautiful chocolate brown eyes. I could swim in them for days, and I think I was, until I heard her greet us.

"I'm terribly sorry about that. It took a while for him to get the hint," she laughed, music to my ears. I snapped out of my reverie. What was I thinking? She was a human. I could not be thinking this way about a human.

I shook my head. Rosalie spoke up, "Why are you apologizing? I was tempted to beat the crap out of that guy for you."

The girl blushed. My dead heart skipped a beat. It was a sight to see. She looked so pure and innocent.

"Thank you," she smiled politely to Rosalie, who smiled back.

I was surprised - to say the least - that Rosalie was being so nice to the human girl. Rosalie usually hated humans, and she didn't hesitate to show it. It was all due to her jealousy of them, as she was robbed of her chance at humanity after she was turned. She still hasn't fully gotten over that fact.

Her sudden change in attitude was probably because she felt very defensive when it came to topics such as rape. That only seemed right considering her past.

"I guess you all must be the Cullens?" it came out as a question. I was surprised. How did she know? Random people must walk in and out of this place every day.

The girl glanced at me, and noticing my surprised expression, she explained, "Your eyes gave you away. And I know that the Denalis aren't coming until a few extra days."

Confusion and shock painted my face. "How do you know so much about... vampires? I didn't know they clued in the receptionist so much," I spoke my thoughts aloud.

Realization dawned on her face and her mouth formed a small 'o' - it was quite adorable - before she clarified, "Oh, I'm not the receptionist. I'm just filling in for her while she's gone to run an errand. I'm Bella."

Bella. It suited her perfectly. It meant 'beautiful' in Italian.

"It's lovely to meet you, Bella," Esme smiled warmly.

"Likewise," Bella returned the smile.

"So um… who exactly are you?" Jasper spoke up. "Not trying to be rude or anything…"

She furrowed her eyebrows together, "You don't know? …Wow, when Felix said you guys were out of touch with the vampire world, he meant really out of touch."

Our expressions remained blank, and Bella thought for a moment.

She then sighed, "Well, you guys are probably wondering why a random human is lurking about in the Volturi right now." We all nodded.

"Okay, well. I'm not exactly… human," she spoke cautiously, awaiting our reactions. I arched my eyebrow at that. What did she mean? Of course she was. I could hear her steady heartbeat from across the desk.

Realizing that her answer hadn't explained much, she plowed on, "No, I mean, I am. It's just…. Not completely. I'm half human, half vampire." Bella finished. We all stood there, shell-shocked. Was she joking?

Carlisle spoke for the first time, "How is that even possible? And why would Aro, Caius and Marcus let you stay here, when the most important rule in the vampire world was broken in order for you to be born?"

"Good question. You should know the answer to the first part… same way all children are created. And as for your second question, probably - and this is just a guess. Probably because one of them is my father," I could tell Bella was trying to explain this without shocking us too much. She spoke slowly, gauging our reactions.

What? It was utterly disbelieving to me that something like that was possible, but I realized that it only made sense for her to be half-vampire. Her scent didn't make me crave her blood, and she didn't cower away from us. In fact, her personality was similar, if only slightly, to one of the kings of the vampire world. The way she was funny, and witty…

"You're Aro's daughter, aren't you?" I asked making her head dart up to stare into my eyes intensely. I stared right back.

"Yes, Edward, I am," she said softly. My name rolled off her tongue beautifully. I wanted her to say it again, and again, until I realized… "How do you know my name?" See, this is where the whole mind-reading thing would come in handy. So I wouldn't have to ask so many questions. I felt like I was being a pest. I wanted desperately to know why I couldn't get into her mind.

Was someone shielding her?

Her striking blush returned before explaining to all of us, "I did background checks on everyone before we sent out the invites. So, I know almost everything about everyone. Your powers, et cetera. I didn't want total psychopaths attending." She shrugged, making us all laugh.

"Just semi-psychopaths?" I clarified.

Bella laughed, making me smile unconsciously, "Yeah, basically."

I mentally cringed. Was I...flirting? It was like I had no control over my mouth around this girl. Words came flying out before I could really think about them.

She bit her lip, shifting her eyes to each of us, "So, you all probably have more questions."

We all nodded, almost simultaneously, "Well, lucky for you, Gianna just came back." As if on cue, an older woman who was most definitely fully human walked in, looking extremely frazzled.

"Oh my gosh Bella, thank you so much for doing this. I completely forgot to pick Bruce up from school. I'm a terrible mom," the receptionist said, unaware of our presence.

Bella stood up with a kind smile on her face, "It's okay. I know how it is. My parents always forgot to pick Jace and me up from our extra-curricular activities."

Jace? Who was Jace?, I wondered.

"Good luck with the rest of your work," Bella said goodbye to Gianna walking up to my family.

Gianna had seemed to relax, until she saw my family. She quickly peered down into the work on her desk, looking busy, and trying to look oblivious to our presence. I didn't blame her. If I was human, I would be terrified to make eye-contact with anyone.

"I'll show you to your rooms. Oh, and if you want, you can start the questions now…" Bella led us to a pair of large, oak doors, and opened them. The last time I came here was about thirty years ago, yet not a thing had changed. Everything still stood in its Roman glory.

Large white pillars stood in each corner of the room. There were several doors leading to different rooms, and a winding staircase was placed on the right side of the room, leading to a floor above.

Emmett started off first, "So your mom and dad, was it a one-night stand?" My family and I snapped our heads in Emmett's direction, with similar expressions of shock.

He held his hands up in defense, "What? Just curious…"

Bella giggled, "No, it's okay. Um, no, it wasn't. My dad was about to… feed on her, one day - she came in with a group of tourists. But he didn't end up doing anything, because he realized that she was different. My mom, Renée, wasn't scared at all of what was happening. My dad found that extremely strange, yet intriguing. She didn't fear vampires, so my dad decided to keep her around: first, as a receptionist. But eventually, they developed feelings for each other… and they got married. No one knew, except for Uncle Marcus and Caius.

"My uncles didn't exactly approve of his decision, knowing that it was breaking one of their rules, but they didn't want to prevent him from being happy. My dad didn't know that it was possible for vampires and humans to have children. So after their honeymoon, he was shocked when she got pregnant-" Suddenly, we were interrupted by someone shouting, "Bellarina!" before engulfing Bella in a tight hug. I felt an urge to pull them apart, but I shook it off, wondering what was going on with me.

"Oh my gosh. Jace, please tell me that you're soaked in water right now," Bella squeaked out, closing her eyes and holding her breath.

"But I don't lie, Bella," Jace said calmly, and mischievously.

Then, Bella was squirming out of his grasp. "Eww," she shuddered.

Jace shook his, what I'm assuming was, sweat-soaked black hair in Bella's direction, laughing when she glared.

Bella turned to my family, looking apologetic, "I'm sorry, I'll be back in a few minutes. I'm just going to take a very, long shower." She stared pointedly at Jace who simply shrugged.

"Was that really necessary?" Bella glared. Jace only smirked.

That just seemed to fuel her frustration.

"I'm trying really hard not to slap that smile off of your face," It was actually quite cute when she was mad. Her lips jutted out in a pout, her eyes squinted, and her eyebrows came together in a glare.

She rolled her eyes, turning around and walking away. The front of her shirt had looked slightly damp, while her jean shorts didn't look too affected.

"Love you too," Jace called after her retreating figure. I don't know why his words made me feel so... I don't know, but they did. Jasper looked at me with a funny expression on his face, like he knew what I was feeling. I turned away, avoiding eye-contact with him.

Seriously, what was going on with me?

"So, you're the Cullens, right?" Jace turned towards us. He was tall, and looked about Bella's age. He had jet black hair, and blue-grey eyes. He was quite muscular, about my build, and he was wearing a soccer uniform with muddy sneakers. His red and white uniform was drenched with sweat along with his body.

After hearing that we were, in fact, the Cullens, the guy introduced himself, "I'm Jace, Bella's brother."

My body relaxed instantly after hearing that Bella and Jace were related. I had no idea why. I mean, I shouldn't have cared if Jace was instead her boyfriend, or something. I didn't even know Bella.

I shouldn't care, I convinced myself.

"So there are more of you?" Rosalie asked, eyes wide.

Jace laughed, "No, no. Just Bella and I. We're fraternal twins. There aren't going to be any more of 'us'."

I crinkled my eyebrows in confusion, "What do you mean?" Thankfully, I could read his mind:

"Hmm, they seem like nice people. Finally some vegetarian vampires. Human blood-drinkers are alright, but they give me the creeps."

He didn't answer my question in his mind, but at least I knew that Jace wasn't shielded like Bella. Could that be her gift? A shield?

Jace explained, "Well my dad realized the consequences of fraternizing with a human. He reinforced the 'no relationships with humans' law. He doesn't want any more abominations to be created." At the end, Jace's tone turned bitter.

"Your father think that you're an abomination?" Esme asked gently. Jace visibly softened under her tone, and I smiled knowingly. Esme just had that motherly effect to her, that made it impossible for anyone to be mad while with her.

"Well yeah, we weren't supposed to happen. Our mom had to be changed after our births, because we were basically breaking her body due to our strength. We're not vicious, man-slaughtering monsters - we don't even drink human blood… because that's like cannibalism if you think about it - but my dad's convinced that if this ever happens again, the 'product' may not be as controlled," Jace rolled his eyes at the end.

I nodded in understanding. I mean I kind of got where Aro was coming from. He didn't know what would happen to the next half-human, half-vampire created. For all he knew, it could end up being extremely dangerous and uncontrollable. I highly doubted that, after meeting Bella and Jace, but I guess Aro was only trying to be smart.

"Don't get me wrong. My dad loves us, and he cares about us. He just doesn't want this to ever happen again. Even though we're the best things that happened to him," Jace smiled at the end, shaking his head.

I guess things had changed after all. Who knew Aro would ever have kids? Who he loved and cherished?

Jace showed us to our rooms where we got settled in. Huh, I guess this trip wasn't turning out to be so awful after all.


So how was that? It didn't come out how I wanted it to. Hopefully, it'll get better. Please just give it some time

I love all reviews… good, bad. I just like feedback :D

Xoxo

LoveACullen