UNbeta'ed.

EPOV in Volterra - couldn't fit this in the diary. Hope you enjoy!


March 16th

Volterra. I'm here – waiting.

I have been such an arrogant fool! Presuming I knew what was best for Her, my Bella. She jumped off a cliff! How could she do that? She promised she wouldn't do anything to hurt herself, and she killed herself!

Scratch that. I did this. I killed her. Bella was right all along: she can decide for herself what she wants. She could. If I could turn back time, I would take it all back. I would listen to her when she told me what Jasper did didn't frighten her – that it was nothing.

My angel is gone! Gone.

I have time to relive that moment in the woods again and again. Seeing her try to stop me, seeing the pain I was causing her and I just didn't stop.

No reason can justify this. Right and wrong are mere illusions, I see that now. I understand what Lucien was saying all along. Was it right to leave, to force an existence that was but a sea of pain? Of course she jumped! She was human – if I barely tolerated the torture of separation, how dare I believe she would do better?

The receptionist keeps looking at me, worried. Her mind is warped. She is human and she knows what we are, but doesn't care. Long dark hair, so like Bella's and so unlike Bella's. She is wondering why I'm here, in tattered clothing, demanding an audience with the Volturi: Aro, Marcus and Caius. She is trying to put together this interesting puzzle before her. I can see in her mind that she wants to be like us, and is willing to do anything to accomplish this.

Before too much time lapses, her phone rings.

"Aro will see you now," she says.

They turned down my request. After I confessed to them, they turned me down. There is no mercy here, only callousness. Why Aro believes Carlisle would avenge me is laughable. Carlisle would respect my wishes – I know he would.

After Gianna, the receptionist, escorted me to Court for my audience with the Volturi, I was greeted with confusion and delight.

"Edward Cullen, it is a pleasure to meet you. How is my dearest Carlisle? It's been far too long since he's been here for a visit," said Aro, the more outspoken of the three. "Something tells me this is not a social call. What can we do for you, young friend?"

It all came spilling out, incoherently. I started with the end, back to the beginning and then the middle. Caius and Marcus looked bored and uninterested. Their minds betrayed them, of course. They listened raptly as I prattled on like a magpie. They both internally sighed and stopped listening, knowing that Aro would get it from me in his usual manner.

Like myself, Aro can read minds. Unlike myself, he can only read one person at a time and only if he is touching their skin. His gift is also exponentially stronger – he can read every thought you've ever had. As he approached me, I could read his thoughts. They were curious, and intrigued.

"Edward, please stop explaining. You're making yourself so upset. Here, let me have the story," he said as he placed both hands on either side of my face.

What happened then was as overwhelming as it was fascinating. I could see what Aro was seeing: my own mind –complete and unedited. I quickly saw my first time seeing Carlisle after the transformation. Esme, Rosalie, Emmett, Alice and Jasper: all memories of them swirling around. Aro was sifting through my thoughts to get to the information he was really after.

And there it was, my Bella. The first day we met. The way her scent sent me over the edge and into the wilderness in a vain attempt to escape. The conversation with Tanya in Alaska, the pull of Bella bringing me back to Forks, Washington, and then the memory of how I exposed us. I tried to focus on that one to help sway Aro, to no avail. He will seek what he likes, and no amount of effort on my part would dissuade him.

He focuses now on our relationship: every kiss, every embrace, and every desire to hold her closer. All my wants and dreams that revolve around her. My belief that I am a damned being, and my refusal to change her for fear of her death.

"Ah," he says. "Now we have it."

The hundreds of moments where I nearly gave in, the countless moments of happiness with her in my arms. My plans for her life as a human, and my plan to seek the Volturi out for my own demise when the time came were all exposed.

Aro shifted back to James, and how I killed one of us in defence of a human. He smiled at me at this point, it was a kind smile and his eyes seemed warm. And then I read his mind at what was behind the smile.

"What's this? Are you a soul reader as well, Edward? Such a wonderful surprise," Aro exclaimed. In this moment, while I have no ability to foresee events, I knew he would not grant my request. I immediately saw his scheming ways.

With my being essentially suicidal, I am vulnerable. Aro is counting on my weakness to persuade me to join him in the Volturi, and that I may channel my grief into service and power. I see what he will offer: power, glory, reverence, and every sensual desire I could ever have to be fulfilled.

I am disgusted at the request, but more so because I now know I'll need to be creative.

"Well, young friend. You've certainly given us much to discuss. Felix, please see Edward back to the waiting area and ensure Gianna gives him whatever he may want," Aro said to a rather large Vampire named Felix. Felix's size reminded me of Emmett, though nothing else in his manner or thoughts did.

I was guided back to the opulent waiting room, where an eager Gianna waited.

I saw the simplistic, unsophisticated plan instantly. I was not amused.

It would appear that most of our kind has an insatiable need to feed their carnality, and Aro was hoping that this human could sway me. Fat chance.

I stand in the corner of the room, brooding, wishing they could just get on with it. I begin thinking of what I'll do to provoke them: throw a Buick through a wall in a crowded street, go hunting in the city square, walk naked in the sunlight…

Gianna's voice interrupted my thoughts: "I can help you forget her, Edward."

Well now here would be an interesting way to provoke them: destroy their pet, I thought to myself.

I don't answer her, I merely growled at her. She continued: "I know it's not the same, but what's done is done. I can give you comfort in these arms. You can call me Bella if you'd like."

In her twisted mind, she is hoping I take the bait and lose control and finally bite her so that she may become a Vampire. I see her visualizing it clearly: her lips on my face, her hands in my hair. She imagines undressing me, stroking my back, my chest, my arms, kneeling down before me to finish removing my clothing. I got up and abruptly stormed back down the hallway to see the trio. This will not be borne!

I stop dead in my tracks. They've decided. It's official.

"You're turning me down," I gasp out, shocked despite everything.

"Edward, you broke the rules it's true. But she is gone and so we see no point in wasting your talents. Please consider joining us. We could –," Aro spoke.

I cut him off: "You know it will happen anyway."

Finally Marcus spoke: "We do not act without cause, young one."

I walked away pissed off.

It's 11:15a.m. I have to think of something NOW. They insist I provoke them before they will do anything. If it is provocation they want, it is provocation they will get.

I stormed out of the castle and into the street, covered by shade. I spotted a young man who was annoying some girls. I decided I would kill him and on this day: St-Marcus' day. I followed him around Volterra for a few minutes, and I stopped. If I kill him, I am no longer worthy of Bella on any level and it would add insult to injury and would desecrate her honour – that this angel could love a monster. I gave that idea up.

My previous ideas swirled in my mind, and I kept them coming. I realized, a little late, that Alice is likely watching. It's 11:45.

I have come to a decision. I will keep this simple, as Bella did. I will simply walk into the crowd at noon, when the sun is at its highest.