Chapter 19

Alice and I stood side by side in the empty clearing in front of the Romanian forest. I was cloaking Adara on my other side where she would remain undetected for the duration of the first phase of my plan. I reached out and clasped Alice's hand not caring who thought the action would make me seem weak. As she had predicted the Volturi emerged from the forest much as they had done all those years ago in Forks. They halted in perfect formation about a mile from our position.

"It's only half of them." Alice whispered softly so only I could hear.

I nodded to her scanning over Aro's guard. Felix and Demetri were noticeably absent.

"Isabella!" Aro greeted like I was a long lost friend and not the least bit surprised to find us there. Jane must've gotten word to him of our arrival and subsequent alliance with the Romanians. "So good to see that you and little Alice have finally found it each other." He sneered.

I said nothing at his obvious baiting. He had been the reason it took us this long in the first place.

"Where pray tell are Stefan and Vladimir? I was so looking forward to seeing them here today." He continued his irritatingly sweet tone. Clearly he also knew that Stefan had fallen.

Again I remained silent.

"And what of your family?" He cocked his head to the side in fake innocence. "I would love to see how much little Renesme has grown since we last met."

I involuntarily stiffened at his mention of my daughter and Alice's hand squeezed mine stopping me from attacking him right then.

"Nothing to say to your King Isabella?" He pouted.

"Did you come here to talk or to fight Aro?" I asked him my tone surprisingly even. "When the rest of your guard show themselves, perhaps we could negotiate the terms of your surrender?"

He started laughing manically at the statement. I knew a peaceful surrender would be an unlikely probability, but I wanted him to know we knew about the rest of his men waiting to blindside us.

"My dear, we have come way too far just to yield now. Why don't you ask Vladimir to come out here so we may offer that alternative to his pathetic little army." Aro said, finally allowing a hint of bitterness to seep through his façade.

"Show some respect when you address the next Queen of Volterra, Aro." Alice sneered from my side.

Aro scowled briefly at the insinuation and the new information before his face creepily lit up into his trademark smirk again.

"Well look who finally emerged from the shadows of the Cullens." He looked me up and down as if he was seeing me for the first time. "You think you can fare any better than the Romanian ancients against the Volturi?" He smirked. "We will destroy all of you and little Alice will be taken back to Volterra where she belongs."

That was it, I growled viciously before I cloaked both Alice and myself. As one, we blurred toward the Volturi. We had our targets: Alec, Chelsea, Renata, Demetri, Felix.

Since the latter two had yet to make their appearance, Alec was the first to lose his head, this jostled the army as everyone crouched frantically searching their surroundings for Alice and myself.

We moved cloaked among them. I nodded to her and we started our attack. I appeared in front of Renata grabbing her arms as Alice went for her head. She disappeared soon after and appeared in front of Chelsea delivering a blow to her stomach, disappearing again as I appeared to take her head.

We deviated slightly, targeting a few of the guards who were clearly panicked as their comrades fell one by one next to them. I had wanted to try this on the ancients, but they would require too much attention and that would give the rest of the guard a chance to come to their aid.

After Chelsea fell, we took out another fifteen guards and retreated back to the fortress walls.

I uncloaked myself, Alice and then Adara.

"Now!" I shouted at the walls where Edward, Emmet, Jasper and Rosalie waited. Instantly the large three hundred pound balls of straw laced with rocks and gasoline started rolling over the clearing at lighting speeds, as they flew passed us, Adara lit them on fire before they collided with the Volturi.

Phase two: Great balls of fire – Jake's name – was just intended to jostle the Volturi some more. I was surprised at the number of guards that did not manage to get out of the way. I stared at the sight of the burning bodies running around frantically, the screams not helping the guilt that overtook me.

"Aro had increased his numbers with Newborns. They are easily distracted and unable to efficiently control their bodies yet." Alice explained noticing my expression with concern.

"Felix! Forward!" Aro shouted finally running toward the fortress realising that the only way to stop the fire onslaught was to get nearer to us where we would not risk it to ourselves. Behind him Felix, Demetri and fifty more of the guard joined them.

We had managed to just about even out the numbers. I bided my time, waiting till all Volturi were in the middle of the clearing.

"Attack!" I shouted, as my army came streaming over the fortress walls and the surrounding forest.

They collided with the Volturi from all sides and I nodded to Alice so we could take out Felix and Demetri.

I watched as the large russet figure of Jacob flew through the air and started tearing into Caius viciously. Renesme was at his side instantly and the two of them ripped the ancient to pieces. I was so impressed that I was momentarily distracted and Felix's large fist knocked me a couple of yards into the distance.

Alice was on him in second, her tiny pale arms locking around his neck pulling with all her might as she growled at him. I got up a bit groggily and fearful that she would lose it again, but when Felix's head was removed, twinkling crimson eyes locked on mine and gave me a little wink that sprung me back into action.

I headed straight for Aro, taking in Kate electrocuting a few Volturi before various other Cullens dismembered them. It was a massacre. We were winning, but there was really just one vampire that needed to die to end all this bloodshed.

"Aro!" I shouted to gain his attention before leaping at him with my fists swinging. I connected two out of three punches before Aro blocked me and sent me hurtling back. He was strong and he was fast and I really needed to stay focused I thought to myself before attacking again. Unfortunately my mind was still wondering where Nessie and Alice and the rest of my family were and Aro easily knocked me down again laughing maliciously at my fallen form.

I scanned the crowed that had formed around us, the battle had seemed to come to end. Quickly I took a roll call. My family were all still standing and Alice stood staring at me worriedly with Marcus at her side.

I smirked at her and rose to my feet.

It was just Aro and I now.

I had contemplated this situation for hours on end the previous night. Torn between an honourable fight and whether I should incorporate my cloak. Having received a few hard knocks from a three thousand year old vampire made the decision a lot easier.

I started weaving on the balls of my feet, crouched down low in anticipation as I danced ever closer to the ancient. As he swung at me I cloaked myself appearing a step to his side punching him as hard I could. He swung again and I did the same, appearing on his other side punching him even harder. The surprise of the impact sent him reeling and gave me the opportunity to methodically continue my assault.

I landed blow after blow to various parts of his body as he staggered back unable to regain the advantage in order to launch an offensive strike.

It could be my only opening so I relentlessly and mercilessly sped up my strikes until Aro finally stumbled to the ground. In an instant I was on him weakening his neck and torso.

I planted my feet on his shoulders, bracing myself firmly as I leant down and started pulling at his head. I screamed out in agony as his nails painfully clawed at my calves, and arms and stomach and his fists periodically punched at my thighs. I felt my pants being torn to shreds revealing the large raw gashes he was inflicting. I strained against the considerable pain weakening me, crying out as my lower body felt on fire. But continued to press down onto his shoulders with everything I had left, pulling at his head with all my might.

Finally a loud crack resonated through the clearing and I found myself flying backwards as my own force propelled me from Aro's decapitated frame. I landed with a thud a few feet away from him, his head still grasped tightly in my hands.

Around me it was eerily quiet, as I got up examining the vacant stare on Aro's lifeless face. Realising I was holding a mutilated head I threw it to the side disgusted as a few gross shivers ran up my spine.

I looked up to everyone gathered who stared at me in shock like they didn't quite believe we would win.

"Woohoo!" My eyes landed on Alice as she shouted this, causing everyone to break out in celebration. Hugging each other and clapping in joy and relief.

"The King is dead," the celebrations came to an abrupt stop as Marcus spoke in his usual monotone. "Long live the Queen." He finished lowering to one knee and ducking his head, followed by every vampire that surrounded me.

I watched dumbfounded as my family knelt with big smiles on their faces and was very uncomfortable when I saw Alice doing the same.

I moved to go to her, but she grinned up at me and winked motioning for me to acknowledge everyone else.

I took a deep breath and walked to a point and started thanking random vampires for their loyalty and congratulating them on what they had done that day. There weren't many of us left so it wasn't a daunting task. In truth we would not have won had these vampires not stayed to face the Volturi when all hope was lost.

As I manoeuvred through the crowd my eyes would shift back to Alice as she stood to the side beaming that brilliant smile at me that made my heart grin back in response.

I was taken back to that day in the meadow in Forks where she had just allowed Aro to read her. That day where I had realised that I was in love with her. Fifty years had passed, five decades that I would never have imagined possible.

I finished with the last of the men, receiving loving hugs and pats on the back from my family. They made it quick as they saw where my focus lay.

"Go get her Mom." Nessie grinned at me after I almost squeezed the life out of her in relief that she was okay.

I turned to Alice staring at her with a love and a happiness I didn't know I was capable of feeling. We started walking to each other much like we had done that day. We met each other halfway just the same.

But unlike that day, without doubt our hesitation, I tilted my head down and pressed my lips onto hers passionately. Enjoying the wave of contentment that rushed over me as her arms circled my neck and her body pressed flush against me.

This time round, Alice Cullen was mine. And I, Isabella Swan was completely and irrevocably hers.