Apologies in delay: RL is taking over... Trust me, it was worth the wait.
Thanks to my Beta, Kyra Renee, for helping me massage this one.
Disclaimer: Graphic violence up ahead. If you "squick" out easily, skip to final paragraphs.
I do not own anything related to Twilight.
I'm sitting here in the airport terminal waiting for Dante and Lucien to return from their expedition so that we three can follow Alice's lead.
As I sit here, waiting, I think about my flight back from Alaska. I drove myself mad reliving my final moments with Her in the woods. My emotions were clearly visible on my face and I was upsetting the other passengers with my grimace of pain. So I decided to indulge in my other favourite past time, one that I am not proud of but satisfies my baser self.
I fantasize about catching up to Victoria and her ultimate destruction almost as much as I think of Her. I dream about seeing the flame coloured hair whizzing past me as I chase her down. I visualize seeing her in a crowd, in a meadow, across a field, in the forest…
Right now, in this particular fantasy, I imagine I'm standing on a balcony looking down on a busy street and I see her. I feel the thrilling rush push me to jump down, and can hear the snarling growl escape my lips.
Victoria senses my presence and her head whips around to see where I am. I see the look in her eyes as she recognizes me, and understands why I'm here looking at her. She gives chase, and we're off running. Vengeance gives me the strength of ten Vampires as I am seething at the thought that she might survive long enough to lay a finger on Her. I will not allow that. I feel a guttural roar begin to form in my chest as I leap down to the street. The crowd of people will appear as trees as I run around them never touching them. At most, they will only feel a slight breeze.
I am so close to her that I can hear her soft pants as she runs, though she is not able to outrun me as I am faster than most of our kind. I want to play with her and prolong the chase, making this a sort of foreplay to the final act. I keep myself three steps behind her at all times, enjoying my sinister game of giving false hope. Realizing my game, she jumps up on trees, climbs buildings, and jumps over cars all in a vain attempt to escape me. This only makes me want it more. I want her annihilation so badly I can taste the venom in my mouth become blood-like and metallic.
Thinking this might work, Victoria jumps into a body of water and starts swimming, forgetting that I too can swim like her. The speed with which we swim causes seismic-like waves creating a path of watery destruction in its wake. We swim the breadth of an Ocean and I catch up to her once more. I run sideways making myself parallel to her. To anyone watching, we may be enjoying a friendly run together. I can now hear and see her next move three steps ahead of what they will be. I let myself indulge in the advantage and disappear from her line of sight.
I'm now jumping from tree to tree looking down on her once more. She is slowing her speed as I have successfully lulled her into a fleeting sense of security. She can still sense my presence and once again is frantically searching for where I might be. I manage to soundlessly jump twenty feet behind her and listen with joy at her amateurish thoughts of fighting me off. Her talent is much more in the flight department as she is assessing every possible escape. Her mind is reminding me of a trapped mouse looking for an exit from a maze.
Crawling up behind her, I can smell the fear rolling off of her in the wind. Her breathing is so loud she does not hear my quiet stalking movements. I savour the moment; her frantic fear the only thing that has made me feel alive in months.
My teeth glisten from the venom that has now filled my mouth. My nostrils flare and fill with the scent of rosemary and mint and I feel the lust for revenge in the pit of my stomach.
Victoria. Must. Die.
I can see the fear in her eyes as she realizes her time has come to an end. I can almost hear her plead with me and bargain that I should let her live. "Please, please, please," she will beg. I can hear my cold laughter as I feel my hands rip first her right arm, and then her left. The sound of body tissue ripping fills my mind, and I can feel her fingers clutch the air as the nerve endings have not yet deadened. I caress her hand and rip the skin off starting at the fingertips and dangle the skin in front of her. Next I rip off her legs and taunt her with them by dancing with them and complimenting her grace and form after which I toss one in this direction and the other in that direction.
She is now merely a torso, begging me to reconsider. I read Victoria's thoughts in this moment: she would not have shown any of us mercy, and if I let her go, she will eliminate me and move on to Her. And I will not have it. I cradle her face in my hands and give her a gentle smile before I stroke her hair as I would a pet and scalp her mercilessly. I rip her ears off and ask if she can hear me when I ask "Did you think I would let you live?". She is still shrieking, I stroke her cheek calmly and reach in her mouth and rip out her tongue. I fling it over my shoulder as one would throw a dishrag while working in a kitchen. I place my thumbs over her eyes and push in until I hear a pop. There is now nothing left to do but twist and snap her head off in a single motion.
I take great pleasure in visualizing the flames that will turn to ash as I watch on satisfied in the knowledge that I've kept Her safe.
The captain's announcement that we are preparing for our landing shook me out of my daydream. I can't help but smile knowing I'm close to completing the task at hand.
The memory is wonderfully calming as I wait, and wait, and wait.
Finally, after what seems like an eternity, I spot Lucien and Dante disembarking their plane. Lucien embraced me and was all smiles feeling good that we are finally making progress. They both told me all about Forks and that they could not be sure but they seemed to have encountered a wolf that was hell bent on keeping them on one side of a creek. "It looked more like a horse than a wolf. I couldn't believe the size of that thing! You don't feed off of that do you? The stench coming off of it turned me off our hunt," exclaimed Lucien. I laughed and relayed the story of the Quileutes and how we had encountered wolves in the 1920's. I also told them of our treaty with them, after which both assured me they only hunted twice and both times was in Portland, Oregon, therefore keeping our treaty intact.
"Alright," Dante said. "Lucien and I could find no trace of any other Vampires in the state of Washington. It's safe to say Victoria is nowhere near Forks. Your Alice says this person we're going to see might be Victoria's maker. True or not it would appear she's important and influential. I'm not sure you should be present, but I understand your need to be there. I will do the talking and I'll play up my Volturi past in trying to influence her in giving up Victoria's plans." We all agreed this was the best course of action.
Under the cover of night, we arrived at the address Alice gave us. We entered without knocking and found a very relaxed and otherwise engaged couple of female Vampires. Dante was not subtle about letting his presence be known. He unceremoniously lifted the one female with red hair, who was not Victoria, off the other female, who had dark hair, thus abruptly ending their tryst.
Cutting to the chase, Dante growled "Where is Victoria?!"
The red head scampered off into the night, clearly terrified of our trio. We must have been a sight, me looking like I was on a murderous rampage, Lucien with his military stance, and Dante channelling his former Volturi self.
"She left days ago. She came by for some comfort," the dark haired one cocked an eyebrow as she emphasized the word comfort. "Vicky does this when James fails to satisfy her needs. Only this time she seemed a little wilder than usual, almost as though he has not been around for some time."
I read her thoughts to ascertain if she was genuine or if she knew why we were looking for her. All I saw was a memory Emmett would describe as being hot, I merely thought it pornographic. That may explain why Victoria was here, but not why she's gone or where she may be.
Dante took on a commanding stance that clearly intimidated this woman. "Give me your name. I'd like to know who is hiding this criminal," Dante demanded.
"My n-n-name is Megan. I don't know what Vic-t-t-toria has done, but it can't be as b-b-bad as you think." She was truly intimidated by Dante. I felt quite pleased by that.
"Let us be the judges, my dear," Lucien spoke up at that point. He was turning on the charm, which I found far more chilling than Dante's method. "Who is Victoria to you? Aside from what I gather is a fondness for red heads, what does Victoria mean to you?"
At this point I checked out of the conversation and strictly listened to Megan's thoughts and memories. I could not tell you who said what and to whom, but I did garner much intelligence on Victoria.
Megan was reliving the day she met Victoria, I'd say sixty years ago based on the fashion in her memory. They were in a farmer's market and Victoria sensed the danger that Megan's presence gave and tried to run away, but she was Human and could not out run Megan. Once Victoria became out of breath, Megan bit Victoria behind an abandoned building Victoria was hiding behind Once the change was completed, she endeavored to seduce Victoria and turn her into some sort of concubine. I wish I had not seen these memories as they were vile. My Gentleman self could not stomach the memory, no matter the persons involved. Thankfully, Victoria appeared to be a willing participant. At this point in the memory, I do not know how soon after Victoria was changed, James came along looking for a coven to join. Megan's memories were filled with tryst after tryst. Some of these involved James, some didn't. I felt Megan's jealousy as it would seem Victoria preferred James. This information may be helpful.
Megan's memory did not betray the fact that James and Victoria were Mates, only that they were lovers. Her mind was a sordid cesspool that I no longer want to recall. I came back to the conversation at this point because I could only stomach so much.
"You made Victoria so you could have a playmate." Dante said this with as much disgust as I felt.
"Well, as you guessed, I have a thing for red heads. They make the best lovers, and Victoria was always eager to please. James liked to share his mate, he loved to watch."
"Past tense. You know, don't you," Lucien turned on her in that moment. Megan's thoughts became so alarmed and then her thoughts surprised me.
"Oh shit! Which one can read thoughts? She told me one of these guys could read thoughts. I should call Laurent and ask, he'll tell me," her thoughts told me. I gasped and coughed at this and whispered it to Dante.
With a snarl, Dante asked: "Where is she?" He roughly grabs her face and slowly softened his hands as he stroked her cheeks. This was a veiled threat but the message was made. I watched as he slipped his fingers into her mouth and began to separate her jaw. At her incessant shrieking he stopped.
"I don't know where she is, she never tells me!" Megan was now trembling and her thoughts were begging us to leave.
Lucien approached her in a non-threatening stance. "You tell Victoria we're looking for her and that we mean business. She can't hide forever."
As abruptly as we had arrived, we all turned around as one and left a very frightened Vampire behind.
Once we were out of hearing distance, Lucien asked me what she was thinking.
"Laurent knows something, but what I am not sure. Somehow Victoria has some information about my ability to read minds and I can only guess he told her about that since he's been with family friends all this time."
"Do we know where he is now? Do you think you could call Tanya and see if she knows?" Lucien suggested this as Dante seemed deep in thought. I tuned into Dante to gleam what it was he was thinking. I didn't have to because he then spoke.
"Edward, let us take over. Your family is too close to this Laurent character and I don't want any of your close friends duped into giving you away."
His thoughts were kind, and he felt he'd be putting us all in danger if I continued being open in my search for Victoria. I openly agreed, but planned to continue tracking her. The difference is now I have a real starting point. I will stay close to Megan in the hopes she gives something away.
I will ask Jasper if he knows of any good hiding places in El Paso. He should, this is where he is from.
I bid farewell to Dante and Lucien. Both men promised to keep me apprised of what they find.
The beginning of the downward spiral...
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Final note: Edward is first and foremost a Gentleman - Megan's sexuality does not bother him, her graphic memories do.