Hey there everyone :)

Thanks for all the messages and reviews. No, not abandoned the story and I'm fine. Just had a very hectic couple of months settling into a new job and Christmas etc which has left very little time for writing, unfortunately.

Hopefully things have settled down now and I can make some more progress with the story as there is still a lot to happen!

Xxxx

Previously on Crimson Bonds

Rose watched with a smile on her face, after Victoria's submission to her she knew she had nothing to fear from the nomad. She wasn't going to take Bella from her, just complete their bond. Tanya sighed with relief that this all seemed to be going so smoothly but was a little surprised when Bella tilted her head, baring her throat to Victoria. However, all the sisters were more surprised when Victoria looked to Rose, as though asking for permission to mark the newborn, Rose just smiled at her and nodded.

"It's Ok," were her words and all it took for Victoria to emit a deep purr and attach herself to Bella's neck, Rose stepping in behind the newborn as she went limp in the red-head's arms. The moment Bella felt Victoria's teeth sink in she surrendered, totally submitting to the powerful creature that was her bond-mate, the feeling of being needed by her, being marked by her made Bella's eyes roll back in her head as she experienced a similar blissed out feeling akin to that shared with the sisters in full power but this was so much more, she was floating, only anchored by those amazing teeth.

Victoria was also overcome by the act, with Rose it had been different, she was the one being claimed, surrendering, But, this was another being giving themselves to her unconditionally and with such love. Victoria had never felt this way before but knew that for the first time in her life she was home.

xxxxx

"Take them upstairs," Tanya suggested to Rose after Victoria had claimed Bella, the bonding compete but not as intense as the one experienced between Rose and Victoria, the three-way bond having been formed then but cemented now with Victoria's joining to the newborn.

Before any of the vampires could make a move the patter of clawed feet, skittering over the wood and disturbed the moment.

Victoria pushed Bella's still limp body into Rose's arms before dropping into a defensive crouch just as a white ball of fur sped towards her and her mates.

"No!" Bella roared and Victoria wasn't quick enough to stop herself being pushed out of the way with such force her back crashed against the wall behind the Denali sisters. A shake of her head and Victoria's mouth hung open as she watched a young wolf launch itself on Bella and Rose.

"Hey! How did you get out, you naughty girl?" Bella crooned as she ran her fingers through the soft belly fur eagerly presented to her as Storm wriggled about on the wooden floor.

"She's smart, that's how," Rose grumbled good naturedly as she paid attention to the wolf's head, most noticeably behind the ears. A lift of the blonde's head saw her mate still sprawled somewhat ungracefully against the wall. "Um, Bella?" Rose nudged the newborn and pointed to the red-head who was eyeing them with wide crimson eyes as they greeted their wolf.

Bella smothered a laugh, extremely unsuccessfully, behind her hand as Victoria scrabbled back so he was sitting upright against the wall as the young wolf made her approach. Nose twitching with curiosity, who was this new, tall one?

Victoria held stone still as she was approached, a flick of her eyes towards her mates showed only expressions of amused adoration so she decided to go with it. The creature couldn't harm her and to be honest, she was fascinated by the easy interactions she had witnessed between the animal and her vampires. Storm trotted up and completely wuffled her cold nose all over the red-head, even in the crook of her neck and behind her ear and a rather rude sniff to the crotch but Victoria didn't protest. After all that it was the lick to the cheek that garnered a startled squeak from the ancient vampire and that was all it took for Bella and Rose to burst into laughter.

"Oh honey," Rose chuckled and came to Victoria's rescue, shooing Storm with her hand and the wolf obeyed and returned to Bella. "It's Ok, Bella found her. She's called Storm and lives with us," she smiled as she offered her hand to the red-head. Victoria narrowed her eyes but accepted it, embarrassed by her show of weakness and also Rose's use of such a term. But, this was all new to her so she let it go without comment, still rather overwhelmed by, well, everything. It was not a feeling she was used to or comfortable with.

"Look," Bella joined in, warmed by the red-head's determination not to freak out or bolt over the attention she was getting. "Storm?" Bella asked the wolf who was belly up in seconds, blue eyes calmly regarding the ancient vampire, as though she knew Victoria was nervous. Which she was but tried not to let it show. What if the wolf didn't like her? Would that mean that Bella and Rose wouldn't want her anymore? At the though her chest ached and she gasped, so unused to such strong emotions.

"Come, let them bond," Tanya commanded her sisters who were staring at the new mates, completely rapt by the scene before them. "Now," a slightly sterner tone caught the younger sisters attention and they took their leave, both Kate and Irina fascinated by the new development.

Victoria was grateful when the Denali sisters left, Irina had given her a nod of encouragement before she was pulled away by a somewhat impatient Tanya.

"It's Ok, touch her," Rose had to stop herself from reaching out to take the red-head's hand, mentally berating herself that Victoria was an ancient vampire and did not need help to pet a god-damn wolf! Still, she had felt the surge of panic from her mate and it seemed Bella had too as Rose felt the newborn's chi extend and offer a blanker of love and calm to the slightly ragged form of the red-head's own chi.

Victoria centred herself and stretched out her arm, fingers reaching towards what looked to be extremely soft fur, Bella and Rose looking on and smiling with encouragement, both their chi's sending pulses of affection towards her. Even the wolf was looking at her with expectant eyes.

"Fuck!" Bella roared as they were left with nothing but a draught of cold air as the door slammed shut in the nomad's back-draft. "Fuck!" The newborn gouged tracks in the wooden floor with her nails as she howled her frustration. Rose didn't voice her disappointment with Victoria's behaviour, instead she placed a hand on Bella's shoulder and gave it a gentle squeeze. She knew the newborn's temper was getting the better of her but it would benefit them all to let it run it's natural course so she did nothing to try and calm her mate.

So, it was of no surprise to the blonde to receive a soft, apologetic peck on the cheek and a confusing mess of emotions as Bella scrambled past her and out of the house, the need to feed, to hunt the strongest urge and Rose helped that would help the newborn settle. But, it left her alone.

Rose sighed and went to stand in the yard, staring at the forest where she could smell the trails of both her mates disappearing in different directions. At least Bella hadn't tried to run after Victoria as the nomad obviously needed space to deal with the day's revelations.

"She left," Irina stated as she appeared at the young blonde's side.

"Indeed," Rose confirmed as she kept her eyes trained on the tree line."She needs space." Irina nodded and hummed her agreement.

"You are very alike," the elder commented, turning a soft smile on her companion. "Which is why you understand her so well." There was a long silence before Rose replied.

"She feels trapped and scared, just how I felt when I found out about my bond with Bella," was the confession. "But I know she cares for us, I think she just needs space and time to think." Rose turned golden eyes to her companion's and received a slight nod of acknowledgement. "But, I feel she will miss us and return in her own time." The smile was pained but Rose truly believed what she was saying.

"I think you're handling this perfectly but what of Bella?" Irina raised her concern over the newborn.

"She will return to me once she has fed," of this Rose was sure, the emotions Bella was experiencing were amplified due to her newborn status but she trusted her mate to have enough control to keep herself safe.

"I can ask Tanya to keep an eye on her," Irina offered, knowing Kate would be the wrong choice for such a mission and she herself wanted to stay near Rose in case Victoria decided to return. She knew her friend well and hoped the nomad would come to her for counsel if she felt the need, so being close to the house was her preferred location.

"No, she was in control once she left and knows I will miss her." The elder smiled to herself at the soft look that crossed the younglings face every time she spoke of either of her mates.

"Then I trust your judgement," Irina acquiesced and the silence returned as they stood, each lost in their own thoughts as darkness fell and the rain began to beat down on their unyielding bodies.

xxxxxx

Victoria ran because she was overwhelmed, Bella's roar making her wince but not stop. She couldn't stay, the young ones had looked at her with such affection, love even, that her inner beast had felt trapped and her instincts told her to run. So she had.

As she ran she focused on the motions of her body, stretch, land, push off, repeat, each step powering her across the vastness of the northern forests and grasslands. Still, she didn't stop there, her natural grace allowing her to cross the ice fields and frozen seas until she was on another continent entirely, the scenery of the Russian tundra passing by in a blur until she neared more familiar and loved territorial. It was here, in the lands of her home that she eventually came to a stop, cutting an impressive profile as she stood tall atop a cliff, looking down on the fjords of her homeland.

Here she stood, for many hours, days even as she contemplated her life and the path that had led her here.

Death, loyalty, solitude and a surprising friendship. Those were the things that made her who she was. But the thing was, the young ones, her mates, the ones she had found she loved had no idea who she really was and that thought terrified her. Now she had felt such things, felt so, so whole, how could she ever go back to her solitary existence when they rejected her scarred soul?

Xxxxx

Bella sped towards one of the nearer cities, her thirst growing the closer she got until her throat was on fire and every sense heightened as she extended her chi, searching for a suitable victim. It was a skill she had honed with the coven's help. Eleazar being a source of useful information regarding techniques to fully utilise her power.

The sisters had also been invaluable, given their experience manipulating both their own chi and that of others, they had taught both Bella and Rose to utilise it to it's full extent and this is what Bella was doing now. Reaching out and searching for the dark emotions that characterised her prey.

Slowing as she reached the city limits she took to the roof-tops and as the area became more populated she picked up several potentials. However, she was not in the mood for a long drawn out hunt, she needed blood and she needed it now, She didn't have the patience to stalk the more calculated killers and abusers, those that she needed time to confirm their maleficence. No, tonight she would hunt the more aggressive and obviously violent members of society so she headed towards the slums of the city where drug deals and gang violence were prevalent.

As Bella approached she took a moment to centre herself, the blood lust was on her but she wouldn't let it control her. She thought of Rose, the beautiful blonde who understood her enough to let her go at times like this, and of Victoria, the strong, isolated addition to their lives. As she pictured them both, smiling at her, she calmed, focused and dropped down to street level, following her instincts as she caught a flare of emotions whose signature she now associated with blood and it drew her off her path towards a 'safer' area of the city.

"Well, aren't you a pretty thing?" A voice called out to Bella, she knew instantly that it wasn't human as it carried on wavelengths inaudible to them. Extending her senses the newborn quickly pinpointed it's owner, casually crouched on a nearby rooftop, this is what she had detected, the need to kill and feed coupled with a sick desire to cause pain, that is what drove this vampire.

"Want to join me? I have a lovely family picked out, all helpless and waiting for me to save them from their dull existence. They might even put up a bit of a fight but I know the children are going to be delicious!" Red eyes and white teeth flashed in the darkness as Bella studied the creature. The female reminded her of some of the Volturi, paper white skin and lips drawn back a little too far over sharp fangs, giving them a real resemblance to the human's images of Nosferatu. Human in form but so inhuman in looks. She was beautiful though, what vampire wasn't? Long dark hair framed her heart-shaped face, a slight lift to her eyes indicated an oriental background. She dressed like Lucy Liu in an an action movie, all black leather and buckles, a little over the top but vampires were strange creatures.

"Tell me your name," Bella narrowed her eyes at the demand and cocked her head. The action causing a delighted smile to light on the others face. "I like you, we will feed and fuck," she purred, stretching to her full height and jumping down to where Bella stood, in the narrow entrance to an alley.

"No," Bella finally spoke and the sound of her voice appealed to the stranger who stepped towards her.

"No? I can assure you, you won't regret it," the female inhaled and her chest rumbled as she took in the newborn's scent. "What I would have given to have encountered you as a human. So, delicious."

"Back the fuck off!" Bella growled and dropped her fangs as the stranger approached. She wasn't intimidated but her skin was crawling with revulsion for this, - thing.

"Oh, you like to play? How exciting!" The vampire giggled and it was almost as disturbing as Aro's laughter. A hand reached out but Bella was too quick and moved out of its way, her movement swift and fluid.

"Only with my mates," Bella growled, now getting seriously pissed off by the pushy stranger.

"Mates?" The vampire frowned and paused in her advance.

"Mates," Bella confirmed with a smug half-smile a she maintained her stance, relaxed but on full alert.

"Well, lucky them," there was a flash of something, something Bella didn't have time to recognise in the female's eyes so she reached out with her chi and sensed her companion was plotting something.

"Well, they are very lucky -?" The question sought her name and Bella smiled, she wasn't playing this game. A fleeting frown was seen before features smoothed as the stranger tried a different tactic. "I have been around a long time and yet we have never encountered one another, are you long in this life?"

"No, only a few months, actually," Bella replied honestly, wondering if her being a newborn would make the other vampire more wary or not. When only a smile greeted her confession Bella confirmed that the other was an older vampire who felt secure in her superior strength and experience.

"Well, you are beautiful, it is not surprising that your mate's covet you," Bella exhaled, tiring of this charade. She was being toyed with, that much was obvious.

"What do you want from me? I will not fuck you and I will not kill with you," Bella laid it out there, wanting to move on and get back to Rose, and hopefully Victoria, as she was already missing them both.

"Then I will take what I want and make you suffer for defying me!" Finally, the female showed her true colours as she reached out and grabbed a fistful of Bella's hair with one hand and the other clasped the newborn's throat as perfect lips descended on her own. At that Bella snarled and grabbed her attackers wrist in an iron grip, he newborn strength enough to give the vampire pause but only for a second before Bella found herself pressed face down on the concrete of the ground.

She snarled, it was hot when Rose did it but this was just all kinds of rapey and pissing her off. With that thought she twisted and landed on her feet.

"You have skills, young one," she was wary now, not used to being bested by one so new and she stood to her full height, topping Bella by about three inches, but that did not intimidate the newborn. "But, you have crossed me and I will cause you great pain before I end you," the calm words were accompanied by a shark's smile, all teeth and cold, dead eyes.

"I am Isabella Swan of the Denali coven, leave now or I will end You!" Bella snarled and gathered her chi.

"Oh child, you are so sweet. Do you think you can defeat me?" More of the inane and wholly inappropriate giggling accompanied the words as a slender hand covered her mouth in a faux innocent gesture that made Bella's stomach churn.

"No," Bella grinned, showing all her teeth, the tip of her tongue poking out as she cast mocking eyes over her adversary as she stood, body tensed and ready to fight, fingers drumming against her jean clad thigh, an unnecessary hunch of her shoulders to release the tension as she flexed inside her worn leather jacket before she continued. "I know I can, bitch! She snarled and unleashed all the anger and frustration that had built up during the day, forcing it through her body as she lashed out and met the blow that was coming her way, blocking the other vampire's arm and using a move Kate had taught her to turn it to her advantage.

The stranger found herself pressed against the worn brick of the alley wall, Bella's teeth grazing against her neck. She whimpered then tried to struggle, shocked at the skill and strength of the newborn. Even so she should have been able to free herself but the newborn had done something to her, was inside her.

"Oh, I don't' think so," Bella murmured as she pressed her tongue against the female's scars, at the touch her captive let out a blood curdling scream, suddenly filled with a terrible overwhelming fear. A fear that she had met her match in the most unexpected form.

It was futile, any resistance she tried to muster was met by an overwhelming blanket of power that emanated from her captor.

"What -, do you want?" The words were gasps, as though breath was short.

"I want you to suffer for every innocent human you have hurt, every child you have tortured and killed," Bella whispered, her voice ice cold as she coursed with disgust for this vile creature. "I want you to feel how they felt when you toyed with them." Bella stopped speaking as her instincts took over and her basest nature could no longer resist the flesh beneath her teeth, a sigh and she sank her fangs into the alabaster flesh, piercing and completing the connection of their chi as she sucked the vampire's life essence into her mouth.

It was very different from when her lovers had shared themselves with her, that had been an intimate and erotic experience, this was all about control, power and dominance. The female quaked in her arms as she was held her to the newborn's body, each pull Bella took binding her more to the creature that had bested her centuries of experience.

Bella had learned that draining a vampire of blood could not kill them but it left them weak and vulnerable, so she continued. It wasn't as satisfying as draining a human, as in effect the blood was recycled from the human body but it still satisfied her urge to feed and soon she was feeling the rush. When she had drawn every drop she could from the wound Bella dropped the vampire who fell to the ground and the newborn stepped back, looking down with disdain at the crumpled body.

"Here," Bella crouched down and held out a shiny object. "Do you know what this is?" The weakened vampire nodded. "Take it," Bella commanded and her demand was met as it was taken from her hand. "Use it." The newborn stepped back to a safe distance and looked on, emotionless as the flick of a thumb ignited the petrol in the lighter, flame leaping to the the dry tinder of the vampire's flesh. She was surprised how fast the flames travelled but the screams from the thrashing body did not bother her as she watched it immolate. It did surprise her that it didn't smell the same as burning flesh, more of a dusty decaying scent filled the air as the wind began to take the ashes even before the body stopped twitching.

Thankfully it was over fast, before the flames could draw the attention of any humans she was gone, a small pile of black ashes left that Bella casually spread with her boot until there were no detectable signs of anything amiss for the humans to detect. A pause to dust of the light covering of ash that clung to her jacket and she jogged off, continuing her hunt for more satisfying prey."

xxxxx

Next on Crimson Bonds

Rose stared at her mate before walking into the house. Bella stared after her, a look of utter shock on her face. That was not what she had expected, at all.

"She never ceases to surprise me," Irina muttered as she joined the newborn as they stood, looking at the screen door as it swung back and forth on it's hinges after the blonde's passage.