Chapter Four- Hopeless

Bella laid back down against the velvet pillows with the soft handkerchief held tightly between her fingers like a precious lifeline. It had never occurred to her that she would return to the home of the most powerful coven in the world. Then again, it also never occurred to her that the Cullens would try to kill her. Feeling the stinging sensation of tears pulled at the back of her eyelids once more, she closed them shut with a shaky sigh.

Her situation now both amazed and amused her. She was in the lair of vampires who feasted on human blood, and she felt more protected than her own home back in Forks. Well, except for Jane, but she had expected the sadistic girl to be angered at her return into the small immortal's "territory." There had been one who had guarded her on the trip here though; one who had sparked a feeling of sister-like affection inside her bleeding heart.

"Felix," She whispered in the darkness with a faint smile before falling underneath the bulk of much needed sleep.

-x-x-x-x-

Felix, filled with an uneasy sensation in his gut, paced back and forth across the cobblestone floors with the intensity of a caged lion. Every dead nerve inside his body was alight with pulsing stress as he waited for the Kings to call him inside their integrated office. Occasionally letting loose a soft growl that was lost in the dense silence, he continued to stride outside the great doors of the Masters' meeting place until a low scoff echoed from behind him. Recognizing the owner of the mocking sound, Felix froze in place and released a threatening rumble that spoke of his feelings of the other immortal's presence.

"You can cease with your absurd sounds, Felix. They make you seem like a senseless beast, and we both know that they do not intimidate me," The cynically soft voice stated with a silent snort.

Pulling his lips back in a soundless snarl, the hulking immortal spun on his heel to glare down the small vampire who was the main cause of his irritation. Jane, cool and poised as ever, gave him a maliciously playful smirk in return, her fingers laced together behind her back in a stance of false innocence. Though her posture hinted at purity, the fresh crimson blood dripping off her curved lips and the dark stains on the front of her black dress said otherwise.

"Jane," he acknowledged in a tone as hard as flint, his icy black eyes flashing with emotion that he forced back down into the deepest and darkest depths of his being.

Amused at his tone of voice, the blonde immortal glided closer to him with a lustful look in her brilliant eyes, licking the sweet blood off her sweeter lips while doing so, in a way that made Felix want to release the beast he kept cage in his mind. Once again, he knocked aside the animalistic emotions with a quick, mental shake of his head. Instead, he exposed the most current mood that coursed through him at the sight of his wicked mate.

"Why do you look at me with such…fevered hatred, my fallen angel? Do you not wish to roam the dark with me tonight?" Jane questioned with a tinge of melancholy, her rose-red eyes gazing up at him with an unspeakable want. Torn between his odd wish to protect Isabella and his desire to join Jane in another night of spilled blood and cruel passion, Felix lowered his eyes to the ground as he replied, "I cannot, Jane. Not this night. "

Tensed silence raised between them instantly like a wall of ice. That is, until Jane asked in a steel-cold whisper.

"You cannot…or you will not?" She hissed between clenched teeth, her eyes slowly beginning to smolder with fury's flames. Unable to answer, Felix turned away with a sigh. A bad decision, he would soon realize.

"How dare you turn away from me?" Jane suddenly shrieked, her voice raising several octaves. In a matter of seconds, Felix was struck with an invisible torch that set his body ablaze with a ravenous fire that burned away at his mind and body. Holding in his need to release his agony in pain-laced screams, he grunted as he collapsed on the floor with an echoing crack of the cobblestones, writhing and shuddering. In the midst of his mental torture, he could hear Jane screamed questions at him.

"Why have you changed?" She questioned with bared teeth, glaring deeply into his eyes. "Why do you not want to be by my side? It's that horrid human, isn't it? She is the reason why you gaze at me with such animosity and disgust now, yes? I knew I should have killed her why I had the chance!"

Shrieking with rage, she raised the intensity of her gift as a painful reminder before freeing Felix from the nonexistent flames.

"I hope you soon remember where your true loyalty stands," She said to her panting lover in a whisper as bitter as ancient wine before storming through the group of lower rank guards and human servants that had gathered to watch the lovers' quarrel. Annoyed at the size of those who witnessed him in his weakest moment, Felix stood up with a threatening snarl that quickly cleared the hall except for one.

Alec, motionless and inexpressive, watched him with his arms crossed in a casual manner. His cold, burgundy eyes stay trained on Felix as uncharacteristic fear flickered over the taller vampire's face. "Alec, I-,"

"I warned you, Felix," Alec interrupted, his expression largely apathetic, it was on the border of hostile. "I warned you what would happened if you dare hurt my sister in any way."

Felix, realizing this was going to be a battle of words, not muscles, stammered for an explanation, "Alec, she was…she was making me choose between her and…Isabella. What was I supposed to do?" Even to his own ears, his words sounded weak and easily dismissible.

Uncrossing his arms, Alec looked down at the palm of his hands where shadowy smoke began to leak from. Casually, he began to entertain himself with the wisps as he asked quietly without a hint of interest, "Why would you choose a human girl you scarcely know above your mate of over six hundred years?"

Not giving an answer, mostly because he had no answer to give, Felix chose to stay silent and face the consequences of said action. He did not have to wait long. Alec soon grew annoyed with the quietness. Though he could not force torture upon the bulky vampire, he could take away each and every sense to leave him feeling weak. So he did, with his eyes narrowed to slits.

The smoke slithering around his hands like ash-gray snake shot out with surprising speed towards Felix, who barely had time to dodge before the smoke wafted into his nose and mouth, leaving a numbing taste on his tongue and nostrils.

All his senses were taken away in an instant, except for his hearing. Paralyzed on the floor again, he heard Alec approached by the rustle of his coal gray suit. "Do not provoke me with your rebellious silence, Felix," The older immortal hissed with restrained violence near his left ear.

"I allowed you to be mated to my sister under the impression that you would not harm her. If you dare prove me wrong again, I will end your existence quickly without an inch of regret on my conscience. Are we understood?" Requiring no answer, Alec gathered back his gift into his palms and walked away from the unmoving form of the large vampire.

Physically strong, but emotionally and mentally weakened, Felix gazed up at the ceiling as strong waves of hopelessness crashed over his head, drowning him in his misery.

"Felix?"

Turning his head to the side, Felix gazed up miserably at Master Aro, who frowned back in genuine pity. "Come inside, young Felix. I am positive that you need a moment away from the rest of the guard, especially…the twins."

With a tired nod, the miserable immortal gathered himself and trudged inside the room as the large doors closed behind him.

-x-x-x-x-

A pitying sigh drifted out of Marcus's throat as he gazed at the bond between Felix and Jane. It was a horribly twisted bond. The lines that held them together wrapped around them forcefully and were sharpened to dangerous tips which embedded themselves in each other's hearts like poison-tipped daggers. Colored to a murky black, which was unnatural compared to the vibrant gold that usually represented mating bonds, it now throbbed heatedly on Jane's end and pulsed gloomily on Felix's. An obvious sign that the two were going through trouble in their dark paradise.

"I am sorry, my dear boy, that you and Jane are experiencing problems at the moment," Aro said with a sympathetic tilt of his head, settling down in the regal chair behind his grand oak desk where a single candle flickered in the hungry darkness. Marcus departed from the shadows in the far right corner of the majestic room, going to stand behind Aro as Caius leaned uninterestedly against the large oval-shaped window on the left of the spacious room, where moonlight shone through to outline him in silver.

"Thank you for your sympathy, my lord, but the fault is mine. I should have never ignited the flames that have been growing steadily inside her," Felix murmured with a hollow chuckle.

Nodding in understanding, Aro raised his smooth palm up to the muscular guard, who took it with a subtle reluctance. Marcus looked between the two as several expressions crossed their faces at the sharing of Felix's thoughts and memories. Noting the passing of minutes, the King of Melancholy drifted over to his fair-haired brother's side.

"Did you think that no one had noticed?" Caius asked the moment Marcus was beside him. Raising a curved eyebrow, Marcus waited for an explanation from the quick-temper vampire's mysterious words. His platinum blonde hair gleaming luminously underneath the clear light of the moon, Caius quirked his thin, cruel lips into a derisively pitying smile as he turned his crimson stare upon the younger-looking immortal.

"You have, unfortunately, been struck with another of Cupid's deadly arrows," He stated in a knowing tone, his face shifting into disapproval and amusement.

Taken off guard by the matter of their conversation, Marcus's eyebrows furrowed as a deep frown etched into his skin. He knew who Caius spoke of. Isabella, with her gentle brown eyes and sweet smile. The first moment he had gaze upon her, he had felt a flicker of, dare he say it, desire. It had warmed his being for a quick moment, watching the passion blaze within her. Now, however, the passion was gone from her. To put it bluntly, she was a shell of her former self, just like him. How could he possibly help her if he himself was fragmented and helpless?

As if reading his thoughts, Caius sneered softly as he hissed, "The girl is broken. A mere liability that will bring nothing but trouble to us."

Narrowing his eyes in unexpected irritation, Marcus leaned over Caius as he whispered coldly, "Hearing your thoughts on Isabella in such a way makes me wonder, brother…perhaps you believe I am a liability, as well?" Caius recoiled in shock at the frosty anger that gleamed dangerously in Marcus's eyes.

"Well, it would seem dear Isabella has been through quite a lot," Aro suddenly stated in a voice filled with soft sympathy and restrained rage. Marcus, noticing the tension turned away from Caius to watch as Aro released Felix's hand with a sharp huff.

Frowning uncomfortably at the tightness in his Master's expression, Felix ran his hand through his short, brunette locks as he said in an apologetic tone, "I'm…sorry, Master. If there's anything I did to upset you, I'll do whatever is necessary to gain back your favor."

Aro's expression softened. "It's not you, Felix, that I point my anger too. Rather, it's your egocentric mate that I'm furious with."

A regretful smile appeared on Felix's face. "I'm afraid that Jane's actions represent me as well, my lord."

"No, dear Felix, they do not. Her actions are her own. Though you are mated, you share different views on right and wrong, correct?"

"I…suppose."

"Then you are quite unalike," Aro finished with a confident nod. Then his eyes hardened, "However, I do believe that Jane should receive a talk on how torturing one's mate is something that will not be approved of in this coven."

Felix shuddered at the memory, recalling a fury in Jane that he had never seen before. Just the thought of the wrath she would have if Aro scolded her for what she did made Felix hurried to deter the dark-haired king.

"That won't be needed, my lord. I can han-"

Felix was interrupted for the second time that night by a hard pounding on the thick, wood doors. Caius, closest to the doors, pulled them open with a scowl of annoyance. "Who dares disturb us?"

"Apologies, my lords," Demetri replied as he bowed in respect, concern radiating from him as well. "I came to inform that the human girl is screaming in her room. What are your-"

Before Demetri could say another word, both Felix and Marcus stiffened, than began to race to Bella's quarters. Marcus glanced at Felix with confusion at the guard's alarm, but he did not mention it. His thoughts were more focused on the girl who managed to twist his heart without even knowing.

As the two approached closer to Bella's room, they heard her distressed screams and picked up their pace. Soon they began to see guards and the human servants gathered around the door of where Bella resided, conversing among themselves in hushed whispers. Growling in synchronization, the two pushed through the sheep-like group with fierce strength until they were in front of the door.

"Isabella?" Marcus called as he turned the knob. To his disbelief, the door was locked. Frustrated, he pushed at the door with his shoulder, but to no avail. In a misguided idea of privacy, the kings had ordered the architectures who built them their home to make sure each and every door was secure…even from vampires.

"Isabella!" He shouted as he rammed against the door with blind worry. Beside him, Felix let loose a horrified gasp. "Master Marcus, do you smell that scent?" He asked in a low voice, his body beginning to shake.

Marcus turned to him with a crazed look. "What scent?"

A coat of mixed terror and dread, sharp enough to send shivers up and down Marcus's spine, glazed over the surface of Felix's face. "Jane and Alec are inside Isabella's room," He whispered with foreboding that was dark enough to silence everyone in the hall immediately.


A/n: Did I really just stopped the chapter there? Yes. Yes, I did. And I'm feeling pretty good about it. Evil good, but still good. So, what did you all think? Did it satisfy you guys? Was it good enough to stand as an apology for me taking so long to update this story? I surely hope so….Anyway, hoped you enjoyed! Until next time, dear readers.