A/N - Thank you to all of you who reviewed and asked for more! I really appreciate your support.
Here's Chapter Two for you to enjoy!
I calmly studied the gathered company as Aro made his announcement regarding his mentorship with me and caught the many surprised and shocked looks. I trailed my eyes around slowly and came to stop on the most beautiful pair of brown eyes that I had ever seen. Large mocha eyes set in a small heart shaped face with a cute button nose and red pouty lips made up the face of an angel. Her long mahogany hair fell around her in soft waves and with the back light, she was given the appearance of a halo. Her expressive eyes stared back at me in a daze.
She was perfect.
The air around me started to crackle as if there was a livewire exposed. The air felt charged and alive and the feelings coursing through me were new and foreign. Vaguely, I heard Aro announce the last person.
"And last but not least, Isabella Swan. Your mentor will be Sue Clearwater."
I watched as the angel stepped forward. She never once removed her gaze from mine. I saw many things in that moment. Her past, my past, her future, my future.
I felt as if a cord had unwound from her and wrapped itself around my heart. In turn, my soul reached out and touched hers; wrapping tendrils around her protectively. The part of me that was Veela reared up and roared in approval of finding my mate.
With a jolt, I recognised her for who she was and what she meant to me. I stayed locked in her eyes as she moved forward as if in a daze and came to stop in front of me. Without thought or provocation, my hand lifted and settled on the base of her neck, my fingers tangled in her hair and my thumb caressed her jaw. The electricity that surrounded us intensified as soon as my skin touched hers. The zing travelled up my arm and into my heart; solidifying our bond.
"My oh my! What a pleasant surprise!" The sound of Aro clapping his hands gleefully brought us out of our bubble and we turned out heads to see him grinning widely. I didn't remove my hand and nor did Isabella step away from me.
"A mating connection! How wonderful!" he exclaimed, still clapping.
"Congratulations to both families on this doubly joyous occasion. I fear that the hour grows late and we must continue with the Fealty Ceremony. I vow to speak with both Isabella and Edward once the vows have been taken. My dears, if you would please step to the centre." Aro continued.
I looked back down at Isabella and smiled before trailing my hand down from her neck to her shoulder and then down her arm before I finally reached her fingers and intertwined my own with them. I gently tugged her to stand beside me at the centre of the floor before the dais. I looked up and found my mother watching me with shining eyes and a soft smile full of pride. I smiled back proudly, the Veela in me preening at the success of mating with an angel. My mother laughed quietly at me; knowing exactly where my mind was. She should. She was married to my father after all – a full Veela.
I knew nothing about my new mate but my natural instincts to protect and possess did not care about that. I had seen the leering looks of Jacob Black towards my angel and it raised my instincts automatically. It was as if an 'On' switch had been flicked the moment I had touched Isabella's skin and there was no hope of it being turned off again anytime soon. The only thought in my mind as we waited to speak the words that hundreds before us had was - Mine! Mine! Mine!
Slowly the chant in my mind receded as reality set. Aro climbed down from the dais and walked towards the four of us with red robes hanging from his arm. One at a time he placed the cloaks over our shoulders. However, as he stepped from me to Isabella I couldn't help the warning growl that ripped free from my throat. It surprised me just as much as it surprised the gathered company. No one had ever growled at the leaders. My instincts though were in full alert mode.
Aro chuckled and shook his head indulgently, "Have no fear, young one. I do not covet your mate; she is yours and yours alone. I merely wish to do my duty – if you will allow?" he said gently as I smiled sheepishly and nodded reluctantly for him to proceed – not removing my hawking gaze from his hands for even a moment. I only relaxed marginally once his hands were firmly back at his sides. Aro merely grinned at me before walking back to the dais and climbing it to stand beside his brothers; motioning for us to kneel as he did so.
Aro, Caius and Marcus moved the edge of the stage and stood above us with their hands clasped in front of them. At first the words they spoke were merely a soft murmur, but they grew louder as other people joined in the blessing chant. The low hum of magical energy that had permeated the air until now rose to a crackle until finally it seemed to flow in the spaces between our bodies and through us – warming us from within. The air thickened and zinged raising the hairs on my arms. My hand – which was still intertwined with Isabella's – tightened as I flexed my finger as I tried to not give into the urge to call my fire power to the surface. I felt Isabella move her thumb in a soothing circular motion over my knuckles as if she could read the struggle within me to contain myself. I chanced a glance at her and found she was staring straight ahead with an expression of reverent awe; her mouth shaped in an adorable 'O', drawing my gaze to her full lips.
I was broken out of my perusal by three successive claps from the stage and turned to see Aro, Caius and Marcus now kneeling with us.
"Goddess above, hear my plea. Welcome our young ones into your warmth and wisdom as you have welcomed me and mine. We kneel before you today in fealty. Accept us into your warm embrace and we vow to serve you and you alone." The three brother's intoned in unison before rising and coming to stand before the four of us.
"Repeat after me." Marcus ordered gently.
"We pledge to uphold our laws, to govern ourselves with the highest respect. We choose to follow and lead with valour, courage, faith and trust. We vow to forsake those that would wish upon us harm but promise to afford them a moment of doubt. In above all else, we ask the Goddess to watch over us in good and bad."
I could hear my three companion's voices mingling with mine as I repeated the Fealty Oath after Marcus and I marvelled at the sense of rightness that settled within me.
"This is my pledge as is my oath. This is my duty as is my honour."
There was a moment of deafening silence following the last echo that died away softly in the air before there were loud cheers and clapping from the crowd behind us. All of a sudden I was lifted from the floor into a crushing embrace from my parents and brother as they laughed and cried with pride. My hand was torn from Isabella's when I was lifted and I felt panic set in as I lost sight of her in the many bodies surrounding us.
"Edward, I am so proud of you! You did beautifully, son!" I could hear my father praising me but my mind and eyes were preoccupied with searching for my new mate. I could feel the growls building in my chest as the panic rose to a crescendo. I felt my father step back to search my face and surrounding area for the sign of danger or the source of my whimpering growls. My mother laid a hand on my arms and asked me what was wrong - but I was too far gone in my panic to reply. I vaguely heard my father speak to her.
"Move away from him Esme. He will not listen to reason right now."
"What's wrong with him? Carlisle, what's wrong with my baby boy?" Mom asked frantically as dad pulled her to stand behind him.
"My love, how do I react when you are removed from my sight without my permission?" I heard dad ask as I continued to search. There was a moment of silence and then my mother gasped.
"Isabella!" I whimpered at the sound of her name and doubled my efforts to find her. Mom placed a hand on my arm in a calm soothing manner.
"We'll find her, Edward. Patience." She cooed as rubbed my arm.
I felt her before I saw her. She was in the corner of the room by the 'Valour' pillar and she looked to be struggling against a tall dark haired man. Without a second thought - and before my family could stop me - I flew across the room with a roar of rage. I felt the flames of my power lick body and I knew that the fire was dancing harmlessly over my entire being. I charged up to the duo and with a snarl I pulled the man from my Isabella, placing myself in front of her – hiding her from view – protectively. Ready to fight to the death to ensure her safety.
My growls grew in volume until I became aware of Isabella's hand on my arm. My instincts to protect her refused for me to shift my awareness away from the perceived threat in front of me but I still cocked my head in her direction without removing my gaze. The man in front of me looked at me incredulously and it was only as I stared back at him that I noticed the similarities between his eyes and my mates'. They both had the same eye colour and shape. Could he be related to my Isabella?
"Edward! Stand down, son! There is no danger here." I heard my father say from my right hand side, but I could not rein in my instinct to protect.
"Carlisle, care to explain this?" the man in front me asked as he waved his hand in my direction.
"Ah...Charlie, I'm sorry about this. He's part Veela." Dad responded somewhat sheepishly.
"Part Veela, eh? And why does he think I'm a threat?" This 'Charlie' replied skeptically.
I spread my arms to conceal Isabella further, "You were hurting her!" I snarled venomously.
"Edward! Don't be rude." Dad exclaimed. My eyes flickered briefly over to my father and then returned to the stranger who was now looking partly amused and partly annoyed.
"Edward? It's ok. I'm ok. There's no danger here." For the first time I heard my angel's voice and the effect was immediate. My tense posture relaxed and the growls calmed into a low purr at the pleasure flowing through my body at her touch and voice.
"Are you calm, son?" I became aware that my father was trying to gain my attention. I slowly moved my gaze from the man to my father once again who was standing two feet to my right, staring at me cautiously.
"I'm...better." I offered hesitantly.
"Can you extinguish your fire then please?" Dad asked lightly.
"Huh?" I startled as I looked down to my hands to see that my power was still dancing across my knuckles and arms. What shocked me was that the fire was not affecting Isabella in any way. Instead it seemed to skip over her hand and continue on up my arm. I looked over my shoulder to see her smiling softly up at me. I smiled back before returning my attention to the men in front of me, simultaneously recalling my power back into the deep recesses within me.
Dad grinned at me before turning to the brown haired man, "Well, Charlie, I'm sure you won't forget that first meeting!" he chortled.
Charlie chuckled, "Nope. I'm pretty sure I will never forget that." I looked confusedly between my father and the man who had been hurting my mate.
"Dad?" I questioned.
If at all possible, Dad's grin widened, "Edward, son, meet Charlie Swan - Isabella's father." I gaped at my father and the traitor simply smirked back at me.
Turning to my mate's father I held out my hand sheepishly, "Um, pleased to meet you sir." Charlie stepped forward and took my hand, shaking it tightly.
"Same here, Edward. It does a father's heart good to know that his daughter will be cherished and cared for." Charlie smiled at me reassuringly. I smiled back and felt my face heat slightly in embarrassment.
"I'm sorry about before, sir." I mumbled.
"No blood, no foul." Charlie shrugged before flicking his gaze over to my mate.
"Aro will want to speak with you before we leave, Bella. Why don't you and Edward take a walk around the lake and get to know one another whilst we wait for him?" Charlie stated.
"Ok, Dad. Do you know where Ali is?" Isabella replied.
Charlie shook his head, "Probably off with Jas. Go on now. Be back in an hour, ok?" he prodded gently.
Charlie turned to me and nodded in acknowledgement before he spun around and walked off in the opposite direction. I looked over at my father; who had been silent during the entire exchange and cocked my eyebrow.
"What?" he asked innocently.
"Traitor." I muttered at him, causing him and Isabella to chuckle at me. I looked down at my beautiful mate and smiled, "Shall we?" I gestured towards the heavy oak doors that led to the expansive gardens and the lake.
"We shall." She murmured before walking ahead of me.
I followed, throwing once last look at my dad. It was time for me to find out more about my mate. My Isabella.
A/N - So? How do you like EPOV? I've always loved the fierce protectiveness Edward feels for Bella, but hated that he blamed himself for most of her misfortune. That will NOT be happening with my Edward!
Just so you know - The chapters will be shortish. They may get longer as the story progresses or they may stay around the same as now. I have no update schedule as I can't seem to work like that. I write when the muse takes me. Sorry! *Shrugs*
Don't forget to R&R, friends!