Chapter 11.-Past and Present
It has been a long and nerve-wracking night since we left the Volturi in the cabin and started running. We need to put as much distance between them and us, and we're not going to accomplish that with my actual speed. William is carrying me on his back; I usually object to this, but I know it's a necessity. He hasn´t said anything for a while; he just keeps running,
"Where to, Maya?" he screams towards me, considering it's hard to hear over the whooshing of the wind his speed is creating.
I am able to make his words out and can hear the anxiousness on his voice.
"What do you mean?"
"Remember the package I gave you to hide for a rainy day?"
Understanding settles in.
"Ooohh." I remember the statue and where I'd put it.
"Well, it's pouring and we need to disappear!"
I am hesitant. When he gave me the package he was very specific not to ever tell him where it was.
"Maya?" His voice is on edge.
"Okay," I say reluctantly. "We need to go near the border with Canada and then…"
"Okay, Maya, don´t tell me anymore until we get there." He stops and gently puts me down on the ground.
It's night, and we are in the suburb of a town. It's full of houses all nicely lined up; some have some picket fences, the lawns are all properly cut, and all the cars are parked in their driveways. Far away, there is a man walking a dog. He stops, and the dog starts barking madly. We hide behind some bushes to stay out of sight, listening to the man cursing as he walks away, probably pulling the dog who keeps on barking.
Once we can no longer hear the human, William turns and looks at me. He whispers very low so no human will be able to hear us, "We need to look for another transportation method. One that does not leave a trail of our scent. We need another car…"
I nod. He knows I hate to steal anything from anyone.
"Since at this point is unavoidable, how about that one?" He points to a car parked right in front of us; which, turns out to be a BMW M3 E93.
He loves constantly using the computer and surfing the net, looking for the new gadgets and different kind of information; cars being one of them. He's fascinated by them; especially the flashy, fast ones.
"Well that one's nice, but wouldn´t that be a better one?" I move my head toward a red Audi Spyder that's parked next to the house across the street.
If we need to be fast….
His eyes show the dilemma that's going on in his mind, but I know the Audi will be a faster car, and he'll enjoy it far more than the BMW, and so will I.
"Pleaseeee?" I plead, trying to sway his decision towards the Audi.
"How about we go for something a little bit more standard this time? We don't want the cops on our tail, and let the Volturi know where we are."
"Well, if we're looking for something a little bit more standard let's just go for the Honda Civic." My finger points to the car that's parked by the house that's right behind us. I'm momentarily distracted to discover that I'm somehow able to do point at something again, but I refocus on the matter at hand. the irony "heck just for the environment sake lets go for the Prius" I was being sarcastic and disappointed, so no Spyder for us tonight.
"That might be a wiser choice," he looks back at me, seeing my expression full of horror. He's mocking me, considering the circumstances, and smiles at me. I've missed that smile, "but we do need to be little fast. Besides, the BMW has tinted windows."
"Fine," I say reluctantly. The BMW's not a bad choice, compared to the others.
"Stay here," he instructs me.
He crosses the street, looks inside the car, and smiles. He opens the door—there's no alarm—he gets in, and all of the sudden, the cars starts to purr. I walk to the passenger seat and open the door, amazed that I finally got to do that on my own. Once I get in, he puts the car in drive and steps on the gas pedal.
"Come on, Maya, admit it, this is a good choice," he says, looking at the road ahead, driving as fast as he can with the lights off.
"Turns out the owners are very trusting people. There was no alarm and there is a pair of gloves there; you can get rid of those stupid oven mitts," he says laughing a little bit.
I can´t help but laugh a little, considering the night we're having.
It's been a long couple of days and nights. I've been going through the images that I saw and trying to make sense of them. William hasn´t interrupted me; he keeps driving and seems to be doing some thinking of his own.
The first thing that I'm trying to focus on is who am I. I can´t remember much before my little run down with Jane, and—who I now know is—Alec, but Aro´s thoughts are showing me far more than what I expected.
Considering that the memories I'm seeing are Aro´s, everything I see is from his point of view, together with his own thoughts. I try to picture my own images and remember when the first time Aro met me was.
I feel like I'm in a library looking for information, and suddenly everything starts clearing up….
Another tour of vampires is coming to get a good look at royalty. It seems fair enough—it's been a while since that happened—but what makes it more interesting is meeting the slowest and weakest vampire. Somehow is seems impossible. Unfortunately, it needs to be swift; we need to take care of the situation that has come to our attention in England. I need to appoint some of the members of the guard to verify and make sure the corrective measures are in place.
Such a nuisance!
Although I´ve heard that things have quietened down, and there's a good background story—something about a terrible accident—but just to be on the safe side we need to confirm that things are back in course, and provide a good warning to the responsible vampire.
"Brother." Caius comes and takes his place next to me. "Demitri is ready, as is Jane"
"They should feed before they leave. It shouldn´t be long before Heidi arrives. Plus this won´t take long, brother." The newcomers are just arriving in the throne room. I stand up to greet the small party of two, and I can tell that Caius is annoyed. He usually doesn´t approve of this small gathering, but we need to give the people that we rule a small glimpse of royalty.
"Welcome to Volterra, friends." I look at the couple of vampires that are approaching the staircase, before joining them. I recognize the male as he approaches to greet us—which takes me by surprise, considering that we parted in not very good terms some years ago.
That is strange, killing his daughter is not something that can be easy forgotten, but who knows?.
"Benancio, nice to see you again"
"Aro," His stand is tense, and he lowers his head in a reverence, "I would like to present to you Amalia."
I turn and see the small female that is with him. I don't think much of her; my thoughts are distracted by Benancio. Analyzing her, the first thing that comes to my mind is that she is petite, but you wouldn´t mistake her for a child; she has made sure about that with the simple white dress that she chose for the occasion. The corset hugs her figure, accentuating her small waist with a small, light pink ribbon around it. The top part of her dress, delicately shows that her bosom is a grown woman's. She wears a simple necklace with a cross around her neck. While her dark black hair is pulled back in a bun, decorated with small flowers around it. Not a single hair is out of place. Her face is beautiful—above average for our kind. Her features are soft and delicate; her black eyebrows perfectly defined.
Based on the way that she has presented herself, I would think of her as a perfectionist.
"Nice to meet you, Amalia. Let me introduce you my brothers Marcus and Caius."
She makes a courtesy to each of us, but she is not smiling. Her stance is serious, and her eyes are showing fear.
I return my attention back to Benancio; I also detect the same fear on his eyes.
"I imagine, Benancio, that you are not here to meet us, considering the previous circumstances." he flinches, but composes himself quickly. "So I assume this is the the slowest and weakest vampire that you mentioned?"
"Yes, Aro, but actually, we come here to turn ourselves in." His voice is serious. I turn and look at Marcus and Caius. I can see that Caius is alert after hearing Benancio's admission..
"What is it this time, Benancio?" Caius comes down and joins me; he looks from Benancio to Amalia.
"I believe that you are aware of the situation in England," Benancio speaks up.
Caius is now alert. He extends his hand; I take it. His thoughts are transmitting that we might not need Jane and Demitri after all.
I give him a brief nod and I let go of his hand.
"So what exactly happened, Benancio?" I look at the old man and he steps forward and extents his hand. He is aware of how the procedure works. Good, it saves me the time of going through the theatrics.
It seems interesting enough … an accident with fire; it's something that could occur in the human world, but … wait … those children… Why did Amalia save them…?
I turn and look at Amalia; her face is serious and she is looking at Caius. I continue with the images.
Oh! So she thought she could prevent the children from talking by telling them some odd story. Tsk, tsk, tsk. It is not very believable. Of course they didn´t believe the story she told them. They spoke with the priest and confessed what they saw… and he thought of Amalia as a witch.
Hmmm. Okay, Benancio, you took care of the priest and silenced him, but why is Amalia still defending the children? Oooohhh, seems that Benancio learned his lesson from his daughter, Catalina, regarding the vampire laws. Immortal children should not be created. Innocent Amalia. You thought you could convince Benancio to wait until they grew up to change them. It's too much of a risk in the meantime, but they kill them and there were no witnesses. In addition, they spread a rumor about a family curse. Hmmm. It's not entirely believable, but at least it doesn´t point to us or our secret.
It looks that Amalia was the one to decide to turn them over. She thought this way we would wait to listen to the story and the outcome. I´ll hand it to her; that is rather smart.
"Thank you, Benancio, for sharing that story." I turn and see the wondering look of Caius. "Brother, seems that they already took care of their own situation." I look at Amalia and see pain in her eyes and relief in Benancio.
Caius eyes me; he was excited about him going to England to deal with the issue. He takes a hold of my hand. His thoughts are clear regarding his feelings of being lied and tricked so they could tell their part of the story. He is afraid of the precedent that this kind of behavior is leaving and insists on punishing both of them. After all, he thinks they lied about meeting the slowest and weakest vampire of all time; false witness.
"They did not lie. It seems that our dear Amalia does, indeed, have a small problem with that," I answer his thoughts aloud. I look at Amalia and she is not very fond of the comment.
There is something about her in the memories of Benancio that catches my attention. She is smart. I am able to see different times that she outsmarts another vampire, Luca, and manages to make some earnings for their coven without bringing suspicion to them. It won´t hurt to check her thoughts. "Just to make sure Amalia, dear, that it is not all an act." I extend my hand. She steps forward, reluctantly, and stretches out her hand.
Okay, she is quite smart actually. It seems that the vampire that reported the situation holds a grudge against her, but he wasn´t lying either. Hmmm. It seems that Benancio´s feelings are corresponded. She thinks of him like a father figure, taking care of her and Luca. She mainly accepted doing all of this to protect him and Luca. Come to think of it, Luca seems interesting as well. It would be nice to test his ability in Volterra.
"Don´t call Luca, please!" she finally speaks up, breaking my concentration. How did she know that I was planning to do this? She can´t hear what I think? Can she?
I look at Caius and his look is doubtful, not understanding what she means. Amalia's look is also full of shock. I let go of her hand.
"My dear, nobody mentioned anything about bringing Luca in." I smile to her, gaining her confidence to understand what just happened.
"I heard you." Her voice is full of confidence.
"Don´t be disrespectful." Caius starts coming closer to her, but I put my arm up to interrupt him.
"I didn´t say it aloud, but I thought about it." I eye Caius so that he knows that there is something interesting about this female. He gives a small nod. "So you heard me. What exactly did you hear, child?"
She turns and looks at Benancio. He gives her a look indicating she should go on and answer the question.
"I heard and saw everything." Her voice is dubious.
A new talent?
"Everything that I just thought?" She bites her lower lip and closes her eyes.
"No. Everything that you have ever thought and saw." Astounded, I turn and look at Caius. I see distrust in his eyes towards Amalia. He grabs my hand and communicates, "This might be a trick. We need to tread carefully."
"Amalia, this is not the time to lie." Benancio is looking at Amalia, a warning look on his face.
"You know I don´t lie." She looks hurt by what Benancio is implying.
"Let´s make a test to see if that is true." I can see from Benancio´s mind that he has never revealed to her what happened to Catalina or who Catalina actually is. A secret. "Touch Benancio´s hand."
Benancio steps forward, not letting Amalia give a second thought to what I am requesting and grabs Amalia´s hand. Her look is shortly lost as is Benancio's. Their looks are full of wonder. He releases her hand after a short while and steps aside from her.
"Now, child, who is Catalina?" She turns and looks at me. I see sadness in her eyes.
"You killed her, but she was…." Her voice is desperate and her face full of horror.
"Breaking the law, therefore she was punished," Caius finishes the sentence.
"Brother, don´t provide her the answers. We are testing her." Caius looks at me and understands. "Now, Amalia, you were saying?"
She turns and looks at Benancio; he is not looking at her.
"She was Benancio's human daughter. He was changed first, but he didn´t want to leave her behind. The world back then was cruel to orphans, so he changed her shortly after, when she was old enough."
Well, well, well….
"He loved her with all his heart. She fell in love with a human and revealed her true nature to him, never informing Benancio about him. Unfortunately, the human didn´t keep the secret, therefore you took care of her and him." Her voice is full of sadness.
"Does Catalina remind him of somebody Amalia?" I look inquisitively at her, but her eyes are still closed.
"Yes. I remind him of Catalina and he did not want to go through the same agony of losing another daughter. That is why he came with me. He would rather have us both killed, than to lose another daughter." She opens her eyes and looks at Benancio, an apologetic look in her eyes.
"I´m so sorry Benancio."
"Was she able to do this before?" My voice brings Benancio´s attention to the present. He shakes his head.
This is strange. Why is she able to do this now? Could it be that maybe while I was reading her mind, she learned something? I remember seeing in my memories how fast she learned to sew dresses, learn languages, play instruments, garden, even cook….human food?. Could it be possible that she was able to learn my ability, by my getting in her mind, understanding how it worked, and mimicking it?
This calls for further testing. Maybe, just maybe, I have found a golden pot with Amalia.
"Amalia, how would you feel to be a part of our Guard?"
I move forward in the memories of myself that were on Aro´s mind.
Okay, so it looks like she was not able to replicate Corin´s ability, but she was able to go through her mind as well. Maybe that is because Corin´s ability is more of a physical ability and not so much as a mental ability. Considering that she is physically weak, there is not much, we can do about that. That means we can cross Heidi off the list as well.
"Thank you, Corin." Corin turns and smiles at me.
"Please return with Athenodora and Sulpicia. I am sure they are missing you." She makes a courtesy and leaves the throne room.
"Alec. Jane." They look up from the position in which they were standing in the throne room. "Time for you to test Amalia."
They nod and look at each other. Alec steps forward and walks over to where Amalia is located. He is in front of her, standing just a couple of inches above her. He extends his hands and she takes them.
I can see a surprise look on Alec's face, but he quickly composes himself.
"Now, Alec, start using your ability and show Amalia how it works." The fog that is characteristic of his ability starts to spread slowly around the throne room. I let him move it towards where Amalia is located, enveloping her, knowing that at this point she is not able to feel anything.
"Good, Alec. You can let go." The fog pulls back. Amalia´s face is frightened. She did not enjoyed being sense deprived, but let us see the outcome.
"Amalia, do you think you can reproduce Alec´s ability?" She turns and looks at me. I get the feeling she looks weaker than normal, but she stands up high and nods towards me.
"Felix, please ask Romeo to help us out." Felix nods and he soon returns with Romeo, the male human that wants to be turned into one of us. He has been a faithful servant for many years, but there is nothing valuable about him. We might as well use him as a test subject before killing him.
"Amalia, show me what you learned." I point towards Romeo's questioning face, but he knows better than to speak up.
"Yes Sir." She turns and focus her eyes on Romeo. I am expecting to see the characteristic fog surrounding Romeo, but nothing. Oh well, seems that she might do with the mind reading. She can accompany Alec and Jane in expeditions and look for new talents or pull the story from someone like….
"What have you done?" Romeo's hands are in front of him. His look is completely lost, his head moving from side to side.
"Can you hear us Romeo?" I speak up, hoping that he can´t hear me.
"Yes, Master." his head turns towards where I am. "Where are you?"
Amalia´s hands are up, pointing to where Romeo is moving desperately. Her face changes and Romeo is able to focus his eyes to where I am.
"What happened, Romeo?" Caius is sitting on the edge of his chair. It seems that he is finally able to see what I saw in Amalia.
Romeo doesn´t answer.
"He can´t hear you." I recognize Amalia's voice. "I just removed that sense from him."
I look at Alec and then at Amalia.
"And before that I removed his sense of sight."
"Try another sense now." I am now sitting at the edge of my chair as well.
We try all the senses and see the effects. By the look of it, she is able to mimic Alec's ability to a certain extent, as any copy; she is not as good as the original, but that is something we can work with.
Caius looks at me; his face is full of disbelief. I look at Marcus and I see a small glimpse of amusement. It has been a long time since that happened.
"Jane, darling, you are next." She smiles and approaches Amalia, extending her hand. Amalia grabs it, this time without the same security as she touched Corin or Alec. Again, surprise spreads across the faces of Jane and Amalia
"Now, Jane, show Amalia your ability." Her smile widens, her eyes focus on Amalia and the screams from Amalia start echoing in the throne room, she falls to the floor and starts convulsing.
"Jane, now please stop." She lingers longer than she should.
"She needs to learn, Master." Her eyes are focused. She enjoys torturing her.
"Jane." I put a warning in my tone that makes her release Amalia´s hand.
Amalia starts composing herself after a short while. She is finally able to stand up, her face looking drained, her legs barely holding her. Strange.
"Let´s test it." I look at Romeo. His face is white a close shade to one of us, but he is still bravely standing. Amalia turns and looks at Romeo. She once again extends her hands.
I am aware, in a split second, that she is able to reproduce the ability. A pain so unbearable starts flowing through my body. A burning that spreads to my extremities and moves its way to the center of my torso causes me to fall to the floor, convulsing in pain. I am screaming my head off, begging her to stop.
The pain ends as quickly as it started. Is she trying to outsmart me?
I stand up, furious at her. As I start look around the throne room I see every single member that is in there on the floor as well. A look of terror is in Amalia eyes.
"What just happened?" Caius is furious and he is starting down the stairs towards where Amalia is.
"I am sorry, I didn´t know that would happen!" Amalia starts backing away when she sees Caius coming towards her, but she is too slow and Caius already has a hold of her neck.
"Brother, I believe that she did what we asked her to do." This makes Caius stop and look at me. "She learned Jane´s ability. It seems that it affects more than just one." This is rather interesting. It is not as incapacitating as Jane´s, but this is something that I can use. I can picture her, a battlefield full of vampires ready to attack us. Amalia alone on the other side, with a dark cloak indicating she is one of the Volturi, looking so fragile and innocent, not raising a single suspicion on the enemy. She lifts her hands, bringing all the members from the other side down and taking them by surprise.
Interesting. VERY Interesting.
Amalia is looking at her hands, her face is full of horror. She can´t believe of what she is capable. Jane, on the other hand, is glaring at her. She is not happy that Amalia could reproduce her ability.
Her stance is not as it used to be. She is slouching and I can see some trembling in her extremities, as if she is weak. Her eyes are pitch black and the look lost. It seems that her learning is taking its toll on her.
"Amalia, are you thirsty?" She turns, looks at me, and nods.
"Go ahead." I move my head towards Romeo. Romeo looks at me, his face full of disbelief.
She goes nears him, she is short compared to him. She grabs his hand and starts moving it to her mouth but stops. The surprise look on her face once again, together with Romeo´s. She drops his hand and starts backing away, her breathing coming hard and desperate.
"What is wrong my dear?" She stops when she hears my voice, breaking the spell over her.
"I can´t." She stops and looks at me.
"What do you mean you can´t?" I stare at her.
"How can I feed from someone that I know so well? Knowing what he is leaving behind and what he is currently feeling." Is she joking. I can´t help but laugh with the rest of the vampires that are gathered in the throne room. However, her face is serious.
"You get over it. Just avoid touching his hand." Such an easy solution to a problem. I know I did.
She shakes her head. This is something we need to work on then. I´ll give her some time to think and compose herself, I am sure she will feel different once Heidi arrives with the new group and she is in here with all of us.
"Class dismissed. Felix take care of Romeo."
Where could Amalia have gone? It has been two hours since they reported her missing. It never takes this long, at least not when Demitri is involved. She couldn´t have gone far, not with her speed.
"Master?" My thoughts are interrupted. My hopes are raised when I hear Demitri´s voice coming thru the door of the throne room. I look up and see him approaching us. My hopes fall when I don´t see her with him. I can only see the rest of the guards that where assigned to catch her and bring her back entering the room as well.
"Yes, Demitri?" He eyes the room as if he is looking for somebody. His eyes stop on me and it seems that he is trying to look behind me. "What is wrong?"
"We might have a situation on our hands." His voice is dubious. He clears his throat. "I´ve been trying to track her. Unfortunately, I have not been able to find her."
This has never occurred in the past. No matter who we are looking for, Demitri can always track them.
"Show me." He approaches and extends his hand.
This is something that I had not foreseen. While Amalia was learning the abilities, it seems that she also acquired part of the tenor of the mind of others. Demitri already ended up in the castle tower with Corin, then in the quarters of Alec and Jane, and now here with me.
I release his hand and look at him. His face is fearful. I need to calm him down.
"It seems that this is an unexpected side effect, Demitri." I turn and look at Caius, his eyes questioning me. "We might need to track her the old fashioned way."
I turn to Michael, a sergeant from our guard that is in the group. He is the closest thing to a tracker that our coven has. He relies on his senses to track someone, unlike Demitri who follows the tenor of a mind.
"Michael, bring Amalia back." He smiles widely at me. He is happy to comply with my wishes.
"Yes, Master." With a small reverse, he leaves the room.
I continue with the next memory that I appear.
"Amalia, Amalia." Her look is full of defiance towards me, but I decide to ignore her. "You scared us." Her eyes are no longer black; they are now a honey golden color. It reminds me of our friend Carlisle; a clear indication that she fed on animal blood. "If you are not fond of what Heidi brought us, just let us know your human preference and we will most likely oblige"
"I won´t do it, Aro." Her look is locked with mine. "I won´t drink any more human blood."
"My dear, it is better you drink human blood so that you can regain your full strength." She doesn´t flinch. There is resolve in her eyes.
"As I said, I won´t drink human blood." I turn and look at Caius, he motions for Felix to bring a human whose smell is very appealing.
A young man comes in and stops when he is next to Amalia.
"Everyone leave us." Felix, Jane, and Alec leave the room. I turn and look at Marcus and Caius. "You too brothers." I see reluctance in Caius eyes, but he obeys me, followed by Marcus.
In the throne room, there is only Amalia, the young man, and myself. I go to where Amalia is standing.
"My dear, please wear this." I pull out a pair of black gloves. If she doesn´t want to drink this human blood because of what she can see in his life, we will break the contact she can get by touching his hands. She looks down and doesn´t take them.
"Amalia, don´t disappoint me. This is going to help you." She looks down once again, takes them, and puts them on. She looks at her hands assessing how they look, she eyes me suspiciously but I continue as if nothing happened.
"Now, Amalia, you will feed." I pull the small knife that I have on my belt, I hold my breath and cut a big gash on the young man cheek. The idea is for her to feed on him, not me.
The young man's hand goes immediately to his cheek and comes down full of blood. He starts screaming and tries to run away. I block his way, making him go backwards, towards where Amalia is.
Her stand is tense, but she stays put. She looks at me defiantly, not flinching a bit. It seems that I am not the only one holding my breath. I take a hold of the young man's arm and put him in front of her, but she still stays put. I need her to inhale his scent.
I let go of the young man and go to where Amalia is. I get a hold of her hand and squeeze it hard. She screams in pains and looks towards me. I can see her chest going up and down, a clear sign that she is breathing. I release her hand and see her walking towards the young man. Good
"You should leave." Her voice is strained, but she is keeping control of her instinct.
The young man starts backing away, but I intercept him.
"I won´t drink human blood." She backs away.
"You…" The scent from his blood hits me and I can´t hold back.
After I am done with the young man I look up at Amalia. Her face is not revealing much, except for her eyes, there is pain in them, but she keeps still. I drop the body, and there is a loud clank when his head hits the floor.
"Maybe you will feel different after I introduce you to Chelsea." My tone, amicable as always. Her eyes light up and I can see fury on them, but she smiles towards me.
"I don´t think that I will be too happy about meeting Chelsea. I rather you didn´t." Her tone mimics mine. "Remember I´ve been in your mind. If I see Chelsea near me, I am certain some items that Marcus and Caius won´t feel too happy about will be revealed to them."
Is she threating me? Does she even know whom she is messing with?
She starts to leave the throne room.
"Amalia, there are certain vampires in this world you don´t want to mess with. Me being one of them." She stops walking and turns to look at me.
"You seem to forget that I already made my way up to that list, thanks to you." She turns her back towards me. How dare she!
"You don´t stand a chance against me!" I start running towards her. She turns, her gloves no longer in place. She has her hands up and I can´t move. She has removed my sense of balance and equilibrium. I fall to the floor, unable to stand up.
"It looks that in this state I could easily kill you, Aro. Especially now." She starts circling me, looking down at the floor. " I don´t like what you turned me into, it has come at a very high price."
She bends down and whispers in my ear.
"You should know that I don´t have any intention on continuing with the lessons or using any of these abilities to aid you. If anything, I am just to protect myself." I can see her backing away slowly, still using her ability. "So don´t come looking for me."
I start laughing, which actually makes her stop at the door.
"You will do as I tell you or I will go and bring Luca here." I know that she is fond of him and she will do anything to protect him.
"Luca? "Her face is completely lost. "I don´t know what you are talking about."
"You know your coven…" She closes her eyes and starts shaking her head. She lowers her hands and I feel that I am able to stand up. I take advantage of this opportunity and grab a hold of her hand. I go through her mind.
She is right. It was a very high price. This can be fixed, it is just a matter of time and maybe a little bit of torture.
I skip to the next memory.
Exile seems like a good idea; not death as Jane proposed. Too much waste of a good talent. After Jane and Alec work with her, she won´t be able to remember. It seems that torture is a good way to erase her memory. Three days should do, just to be safe.
Now the next step would be to get a fresh start, let her get use to the world, understand the importance of being a vampire and of our mission. Once she is aware of that, she will be happy to join us.
However, I can´t release her as she is. She is too dangerous with all those abilities on her. Hmmmm. If the power flows through her hands as mine does, easy, let's take them from her. But she will be too incapacitated, she already is. She will need somebody to protect her and guard her.
"Master, you called for me?" I turn and see the sergeant.
"Yes, I have a new mission. Neither Caius nor Marcus are aware of it this time." It is better if they think that she died, in case this doesn´t work.
He nods understanding the importance and secrecy of the mission.
"I need your help to select the right soldier for it." His interest spikes.
"I am looking for a soldier that excels in speed and force. He needs to be faithful to our cause and who likes to follow rules." I look at him waiting for an answer.
"Master, I am sorry, you just described all the soldiers, any of them will do." His face is fearful. He is right I start laughing aloud.
"How about one that we can spare." His face lights up.
"Alton just returned with William from the expedition in Siberia. Neither has been assigned to a new position or mission and considering how long they were out, we can spare either one of them."
Alton? NO! He won´t do. I want her to be on our side, not against us. Plus Caius won´t spare him anymore, he will question what I want him for. However, William could work.
"Alton won´t do. He is one of Caius favorites, and he won't allow it. William will do." Considering how distracting he has been in the past for Heidi, it is better to keep him far away. Huh? Seems that I´ll take care of two problems at the same time! "Ask him to meet me at the usual place tonight at midnight. That will be all."
"Yes, Master." He salutes and leaves the room.
He is a good candidate and complies with the characteristics. Just to make sure, I´ll ask Chelsea to create a bond so strong that even time and distance won´t dissolve. Amalia will be my ace under the sleeve in case something goes wrong.
I am back in reality, the clock in the panel of the car is indicating it is the middle of the night. I look at William and although he is driving, he is not paying that much attention to the road. The speed is higher than what the limit is.
"William." I try to get him back to reality, but he is very far off. "William," I say again, louder this time.
"Sorry, Maya." He snaps back to reality. "Did you say something?"
"I was wondering," this thought just came to my mind, "once we have the package, what are we going to do?"
His face was again thoughtful. There was a struggle going on in his mind.
"I was thinking about it. I don´t know if you are going to like it, since you like to stay put in one area. You saw how fast they were able to find us, they have probably been tracking us a while and saw a pattern, or they were waiting for Aro to arrive. So the only solution I have come up with is being on the run constantly, never stopping." He is looks at the road, never meeting my eyes.
"Do you think that might work?"
"Honestly?" He finally looks at me and there is disappointment in his eyes. "I don´t know. It is a long shot, but we need to move and constantly change cars. We will move by train, bus, airplane… whatever it takes."
I understand perfectly what his mind is going through. We need a miracle to pull this one off.
"What about Demitri?" I am not aware of what I say until the words actually leave my mouth.
The car suddenly comes to complete stop, I hear the tires screech on the pavement and the smell of burnt rubber fills the air. I pull my arms in front of me to stop me from hitting the dashboard, leaving a clear mark of my hand on it.
I am waiting for the car behind us to hit us but that doesn´t happen. Good thing it is the middle of the night; however, the few cars that are on the interstate are starting to honk at us.
I look back at William. He is looking back at me, his eyes full of surprise, his mouth hanging open, I start looking around expecting the Volturi to surround the car, but again there is nothing around us. I look back at William, and his face is a little bit more composed.
"How do you know about Demitri?" are the only words that leave his mouth before he starts to drive again.
William, not paying a lot of attention to the road, is still looking at me waiting for an answer, but I am too nervous to answer him. Isn´t it enough that he saw me torture him and the Volturi back in the cabin, now he will think I am a nutcase. I stop looking at his face and face towards the road.
"Maya, can you please tell me what you know about Demitri?" This time his voice has a much sweeter tone.
I am still reluctant to tell him. I don´t want to lose him. I already know I am a monster. I should have kept my mouth shut.
"Maya, I am waiting." He is still looking at me. "We don´t have a lot of time."
"Fine." My tone is sour. He might as well know what kind of monster he is dealing with. "I saw it through Aro´s mind."
He keeps quiet for a while, processing the information that I just presented. I could have sworn I just saw him say something like so it's true.
"What else do you know about the Volturi? Aside from what I have told you."
I give a small sigh and close my eyes.
"Pretty much everything there is to know about them."
He keeps quiet for a while pondering what I just told him.
"So you know he can track us no matter where in the world we are."
"Well, he can track you," I whisper, instantly realizing too late that I said it aloud. I turn, hoping he didn´t hear that part, but sure enough, he did. He quickly turns his head towards me and he tightens the grip in the steering wheel. He is probably mad.
"Maya, how can Demitri, not track your mind?"
Damn, I should have known better than to open my mouth again. I am probably going to get the full questioning. I wonder if I can plead the Fifth?
"Do I have to pull all the answers out of you, or will you cooperate and make this ordeal a lot easier for both of us?" I am dubious to tell him. "Remember, we are on the same team now." Somehow, this last part makes me feel happy, considering the circumstances. I look back at his face, but he is still all business.
"Because of my special ability." I feel ashamed; disability would be a much better word to describe what I can do. "Look, I know this is going to sound a little bit weird, but this is what I saw in Aro´s mind." I inhale and exhale to gain my courage. "My ability is to learn and mimic, up to some extent, others abilities. When I first met Aro, a while ago, I learned how to mimic his ability, to a certain extent. He did some experiments to see what I could or couldn´t mimic, but that came with a certain price, having too many mind abilities kind of confuses my mind, making it impossible for Demetri to find me."
He keeps quiet and pulls the car to the curb.
"Get out," he says matter of factly.
"Maya, if he can´t track your mind that means you can be safe, go anywhere you want. As long as you keep a low profile, you will be just fine." He looks at me, his eyes full of tenderness.
"I don´t think so." I strap my seatbelt just to make him clear I am not planning on leaving this car, or leaving him.
"Fine, then I´ll leave." He unbuckles his seatbelt and starts opening his door.
"Fine, then I´ll follow you." I say this before he starts running. I unbuckle my seatbelt and open my door.
"Maya, please don´t be stubborn, you don´t need me anymore." He looks down at my covered hands. "You have a great opportunity ahead, don´t waste it. I am a dead man walking." He looks back at me. "Besides, you won´t be able to catch me," he says with a smug tone.
He actually has a point with this; my physical weakness is an actual problem I did not foresee in this discussion.
"Then I´ll go to Volterra and hand myself over to the Volturi and negotiate that they don´t kill you." He laughs a little but there is no actual joy in it.
"Maya, you don´t negotiate with the Volturi. That is known fact."
"All I know is that I am a hot item on the market right now. If there is a way I can get them to spare your life, I am going to try. Besides, I thought you just told me we were on the same team now and you don´t leave one of your team members behind." I need to make him understand he is THAT important in my life.
His eyes are looking back at me. I hold his stare even if that is the last thing we do. After a while, he finally closes his car door. I do the same.
"Fine, Maya, if you plan on getting yourself killed that is fine by me, my conscious is clear. It is your choice." He puts the car in drive and we get back on the road.
"Fine, it's my choice, and I say we are staying together." I am still mad, but glad that he decided to stay with me.
The car is back on the road, but we are silent for a long time; William finally decided to spare me the silent treatment, curiosity getting the best of him.
"So, was Aro able to read your mind?" His tone indicates he is still mad at me. "Because if he was, he will be waiting for us wherever you hid the package"
"No, he was not able to read it."
"I am not sure, I think it is kind of like a tag contest. Somehow, when I touched his hand he wasn´t expecting it, so my ability overruled his, providing me a look into his mind and of his plans without him being able to read mine."
"Interesting." He keeps quiet and rummages through this new piece of information. "So you actually know why Aro wants you in the Guard?"
"What I´ve been able to see is that he thinks of me like kind of a massive destruction weapon. The more abilities I learn, the more powerful the Volturi become." I concentrate again on his thoughts. "He thought without a doubt in his mind that I would accept his request, tempting me with my hands." I look at my hands, moving my fingers, a smile playing on my face.
"After he read your mind he saw that I didn´t remember who I was or what I could do." I look back at him. "The greatest irony is, I never figured it through you, but through him. So you complied with your orders soldier." I smile at him and he makes a face at me, but I know he is silently laughing. "But my question is, what exactly did you know about me?"
He gives a small sight.
"I knew you were an important member with the Volturi, right up there with Jane and Alec." He puts his hand above his head indicating a very high position. "There were rumors of what you could do, but I thought they were over the top. Somehow, you managed to get yourself in trouble and Aro decided to punish you. I don´t know why I was chosen to guard you and keep you safe, but as you know now, I was never to reveal anything to you." He looks back at me. "That is pretty much what I knew about you."
"Not that much, huh?"
"I assumed some of your ability had to be related to your hands, since he took them off, but I was not quite sure about that." He shrugs his shoulders.
Time passes and neither William nor I say anything. I know there is a lot on his mind.
"Maya, if we are going to stay together, we need to make sure we play this smart and try to outplay them."
I nod not knowing what to answer back.
"So, is there a place that even if Demetri knows where I am, Aro won´t send anybody to get us?"
I close my eyes and start focusing once again on the images that are embed in my brain. After a little while I look back at William.
"There are actually two places." This gives William a little hope. "The first one is with the Romanian coven." William's heads start shaking.
"Maya, that is no longer an option; maybe centuries ago, but not anymore. Plus, it is close to Volterra. Aro might be tempted to send some guards before we reach it."
"Okay, then the other is with the Cullen's coven." His face is pensive for a while.
"Why does that name sound so familiar?"
"Because we met two of the coven some years ago. Remember Rosalie and Emmett?" He looks back at me, understanding setting in.
"They are still alive?" His voice is full of surprise.
"Seems that they were telling the truth. Plus, their coven is powerful," I say, seeing in Aro´s memory the different members.
"Well, that might be a better option. If I recall correctly, they live here in the States, right?" I give him a small nod.
"But do you think they might help us, since we didn´t help them?" I say feeling guilty. I knew they were right somehow, but I now understand why William didn´t want us to go and help them. We would have been so close to the Volturi and probably make things worse for them. "This will mean putting their family at risk with the Volturi again?"
"It is a long shot, Maya, but maybe we can get close enough that Demitri can sense that we are near but Aro will not send his guard to kill us. We need to stay far away from the Cullen's so they don´t even know we are there."
That at least was a better plan than what we had been discussing.
"Okay, so we drive there after we get the package?"
He thinks this over for a little while.
"Nope, I think it is better if we go straight to them. It will reduce the chance of the Volturi tracking us down."
Somehow, this did sound like a smarter plan.
"So, Maya. Where to?"
"Forks, Washington, William." He inputs the information in the GPS, and makes a U-turn as it indicates.
"And Maya?" I look back at him, somehow the tension that was between us is lessening and I can see a little hope in his eyes. "Keep thinking why Aro wants you back after all these years and what his next step would be."
I nod and start concentrating on his thoughts again.
Thank you very much to Boo Boys and Mesmerizeme for helping me Beta this document. I hope you like it.
Next update will be in two weeks.
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended