"Carlisle, I will see the boy first, but if he is truly lost you know he must be dealt with."
It pained me to see his head bow. I am aware of how very much he loves his son, his first companion, but action must be taken. If the boy cannot be saved he will be eliminated.
My Angel Chapter 12
What if she wants to see him?"
"I don't know brother," Marcus sighed. "In a way I think it would do her good to see him, for the purpose of closure, now that you two have solidly bonded. Your ties to one another are solid. The likelihood of her having anything more than general concern for his welfare is minuscule."
"That's certainly good to hear."
"Indeed. Her many newly forged bonds are everyday overshadowing the damage done by the Cullens. But back to your question, though seeing the Cullen boy may give her mind some closure, I still can't help but feel it would be foolish to expose her to him - given his current break from reality."
Caius nodded his agreement and let his eyes roam once more over his lovely angel. She was sleeping soundly tonight, a small smile occasionally playing across her face. "Aro will want to try and 'cure' Edward," he said, sneering the name, "and I will be ready and more than willing to take Cullen apart once Aro has admitted his failure to rehabilitate the boy."
"Has any more information been reported on Peter?" Marcus asked after a lengthy pause, distracting Caius from his fantasies dismemberment.
"No, but he's hiding something from us. He accepted Aro's hand without hesitation when asked, and his memories confirmed that someone outside of the Volturi had divulged to him the news of Isabella coming to the castle. That information was then relayed from Peter to Jasper during Jasper's trip to Spain. The part that bothers me is that Peter has conveniently never looked his source in the face and therefore cannot unwittingly divulge his identity. I find this highly suspicious. Aro was also able to see many traumas and losses in Peter's life, as well as a passionate need for vengeance, but has been unable to put all the puzzle pieces together to discover the driving force behind this desire. Peter has lived a seemingly random existence for almost a century, though it all seems to be pressing toward one currently undefinable direction." Caius ran an agitated hand through his hair. "I would like to believe Jasper when he says that Peter means no harm to Isabella or to the Volturi in general, but the fact that Aro himself cannot make heads or tails of him keeps me from it. Now Aro has, in his 'great' wisdom, allowed him access to the castle due to nothing more than his longstanding friendship with Jasper in the hope of gaining more intelligence. The guard have consequently been instructed to keep close tabs on him."
Marcus nodded. "And how fares Isabella? I believe her leg has not been too much of a hinderance?"
"Not too much. I've had to keep her ah, occupied frequently so that she doesn't dwell on her current physical limitations."
"Has that been your motive?" Marcus wryly intoned. "I must ask, though you may feel I overstep my bounds, why not change her and spare her the aggravation, not to mention the bonus of restoring her voice?"
Caius stood and walked over to Isabella's bedside. He reached out and traced a finger over her forehead, down across her temple and snagged a lock of hair which he rubbed gently between his fingers. "Because I'm afraid." He finally admitted, his confession no more than a breath in the air.
"I've seen so many transformations go wrong, so many killed by accident or by succumbing to the physical strain involved in the transformation. I cannot imagine not having her always Marcus. What if I lose her?"
Marcus drew a long tired breath into his long-dead lungs. He knew all too well the fear of facing forever without the one who completes you. For him it is not merely a fear, but a reality he must face every day. "You must master these destructive emotions brother." He urged solemnly. "For you will lose her by some other method if you do not. It is true that she will face risks during the transformation, and after. It is also true that our eternity does not always equal forever. Strife and wars within our world claim many. You should not however, delay your happiness too long brother, for you know not how long it will be available to you."
Peter is an odd vampire, Bella decided as she watched him stare at her once again with an odd half-smile on his handsome, albeit disfigured, face. It had been the same every time she'd been in his presence. He would look to her and then observe the way all the other vampires in the room reacted around her. It seemed as if he had figured something out, smug like a cat who'd eaten a canary, (or in his case, a vintage '72 tourister - the vegan kind with the really clean blood) and he wasn't planning on sharing with the class anytime soon. Feeling brave, Bella snatched her notebook up and carefully hobbled across the library floor to stand next to Peter who was leaning casually against the wall next to one of the massive windows overlooking Sulpicia's garden.
"Hello Bella," his smooth voice welcomed her.
'Hello Peter,' she responded on paper.
"Lovely weather we are having today," he provided next with pure mischief shining on his face, fully expecting the eye-roll Bella did not attempt to hold back.
'You know something.' She wrote next.
"I do, in fact, know many things. What kind of information are you looking for?"
'You know something about me, Peter,' she replied, undeterred by his nonchalance. 'I can tell by the look on your face anytime I'm in the room.'
His answering grin was blinding
"Oh, I just love the smart ones. They make life so much more fun."
Bella held his crimson gaze, waiting patiently to see what, if any, insight Peter would be willing to share.
With a small twitch of his lips he whispered, "What I know - that it seems no one else has figured out - is that you're just begging..."
Bella furrowed her brows, wondering where Peter's thoughts were heading. Every movement in the room had ceased, all vampires hanging on his every word.
"I can see it bright as a neon sign. I really don't understand how no one else has seen it. That whammy you smack down on vamps Bella, that drawing them in thing you seem to do, well it's not a power per-se, it's just you...begging."
'Begging?' She mouthed, her confusion, shown so clearly on her face was mirrored on the faces of all the others in the room.
Peter leaned in close, shamelessly breathing her in as he held her eyes. When his head was tucked low enough to hide his face from the eavesdroppers present, he winked quickly - then before she could process it, he had her pulled close, her thick hair pushed away and she could feel the words as he spoke them to the arch of her neck.
"You're begging to be bitten."
The next few moments happened again too quickly for her fully process. One second Peter's hands were grasping her and through a whirlwind of swooshing air, fierce growls, and the spectacular disassembly of an ornate table, she managed to focus once again to find Peter on the floor under Jasper and Aro while she herself was caged firmly in Caius' arms.
Aro was well into the process of beheading the prone vampire. His face was distorted viciously into an expression Bella had never witnessed before from the perpetually cheerful king.
"Um Peter, please tell me you didn't really think that would be a good idea?" Jasper asked his friend, exasperation dripping from every syllable.
"She's not hurt," Peter shot back. "And you," Peter stated turning his glance to Aro, "can see I meant her no harm. I was just having a little fun."
The king released him, asking coldly as he stepped away from Peter, "Your dramatics nearly cost you your existence. Is a little fun worth that price?"
A shadow passed across Peter's previously jovial face. "Not much interests me," he tossed back flippantly, might as well enjoy myself where I can."
He made no move to rise from the floor, merely lay there watching the ceiling as if it were putting on a play that only he himself could see. Bella, having seen something her heart clearly recognized about the odd scarred vampire, directed a pleading look to Caius before squirming free and gingerly seating herself beside Peter.
'I see something most others have missed as well,' she wrote.
Peter trained his eyes on her after reading her words. He raised his mutilated brow in question.
Bella hesitated a moment, hoping she wasn't overstepping her bounds with this vampire everyone seemed to know so little about. She moved slowly and placed her hand on his chest - directly above where his heart once beat. Peter closed his eyes.
"You see correctly," he confirmed quietly as she drew her hand away.
Caius, who had been whispering emphatically with his brothers across the room broke in then, oblivious to the small aside taking place between his love and the ever unpredictable Peter. "Just what were you trying to prove?"
Peter sighed, "It amazes me that with the wealth of knowledge available to a coven such as the Volturi, that you've never figured it out."
"Figured. What. Out.?" Caius ground out through clenched teeth.
"Think on it a moment and tell me none of you have ever been drawn to a human you didn't intend to drain."
Incomprehension passed over most of the faces in the group, but Aro's eyes lit up almost instantly. "Jane and Alec," he breathed. "But how does that relate to our Isabella?," he asked, malice gone from his tone and replaced with wondrous curiosity.
"How long did you wait after finding them to turn them?," Peter asked, avoiding Aro's question for the moment.
"I changed them immediately." Aro answered with a furrowed brow, as if the answer should have been obvious.
"In my experience," Peter said looking once more at Bella, "they turn out to be the truly gifted vampires. Bella here has been around so many vampires for so long without being changed she's attracting every vampire in the area - a morbid sort of destiny I suppose. Her body is calling for death to achieve its true potential in immortal life."
"That's it?,"Caius asked incredulously. "The guard, the Cullens, they all want to be near her because she hasn't been changed?"
"They're protective of her yes? I can't begin to imagine what the Cullen's were thinking," Peter added shooting a wry glance in Jasper's direction, "but what of your guard? What if they weren't loyalty bound to you?," Peter challenged, "Do you seriously think she'd still be human if one of them could bite her without losing their life? So, lacking the ability to change her they are moved to protect her."
"Fascinating. Simply fascinating." Aro murmured, eyes glazed as he considered this new perspective.
Caius drank in the sight of the smooth pale skin beneath his hands. Before meeting his angel he would have denied the possibility to the end of his days, but he found he absolutely loved the texture and malleability of her creamy flesh. He would never have foreseen finding such stimulation in touching a creature that was not a vampire.
"Isabella," he whispered into the dim candle-lit chamber, causing her eyes, which had been closed in pleasure to lazily open and meet his own intense gaze. He knew she loved this, and that knowledge burned joyfully inside him. He could see the results of his attentions in the contented smile that never left her face and he could hear it in the long sighs that fell from her silent mouth. "You drive me mad," he mock-growled and playfully bared his teeth at her poorly feigned innocent expression. He continued working steadily, watching the way his fingers dug lightly into her lithe body.
'I never knew physical therapy could be such an enjoyable experience.' She quipped.
"Yes, well its about time something approaching intelligent came out of Carlisle Cullen's mouth," Caius grumbled in return. "I still cannot believe he thought I would let him take care of this for you, health related or not. As if I would allow his hands to touch you as I do! To run his fingers repeatedly across your lovely skin...To smell the heat rising from your body as it responds to gentle kneading... No, this is mine," he told her and bowed his back so he could reach down and squeeze the taught flesh of her thigh between his teeth.
'Only this leg is yours?' Her hands asked him while her eyes taunted him cheekily.
He dragged his eyes slowly up her form, admiring her shapeliness, presented as it was in her midnight-blue silk night set. The scant swatch of fabric that made up each of the pieces lay perfectly against her curves. By the time his eyes reconnected with hers he could see the pulse of her blood pounding furiously in her slim neck and he grinned darkly. "No, no, my dear, not only that leg," he murmured, his voice low and dangerous. Kneeling as he was, it was the work of a moment to shift and tantalizingly nibble her other leg from her knee all the way up to her full hip. "I claim this one as well." He reluctantly lifted his head from the tempting juncture and used his nose to find her soft belly below her unrestrictive camisole. "This is mine." He declared and nipped the skin there as well. When he raised his head again she placed her hands on his cheeks and he did not need words to see the hunger clearly building within his beautiful mate. The proximity of her arms provided him access to make his next claims. Without looking away from her darkening eyes he nipped first her right wrist then the left, being careful to not break her skin. "These," he stated matter-of-factly, "are mine." He allowed her to draw him closer, crawling up her body as he went. She pulled his face close, and he could feel her panting breaths tickling his lips but he did not meet them yet. He drifted his open mouth down the line of her jaw, and pressed his lips against the jumping pulse in the hollow just below. "You Isabella," he swore solemnly, "are all mine." She shuddered beneath him as he placed kisses liberally along the column of her throat. He nuzzled longingly at the base of her neck, he so wanted to break that tempting skin. As he began to draw away, intending to return for her lips, he was stopped by a small hand on the back of his head loosely gripping his hair. He looked up to find a look he could not instantly place. "What is it?" He asked.
'Would you,' she began but did not continue. He tilted his head slightly, questioning her with his eyes. Finally she worked up the nerve to fully articulate her request. 'Would you bite harder?'
He instantly swallowed back a veritable tidal wave of venom as it flooded his mouth at just the mere thought of tasting her again in such a way. Wide eyed, he took in her pleading, somewhat embarrassed expression and obediently set in to fulfill her wish.
His right index finger deftly slid the strap of her camisole down the slope of her shoulder where it was abandoned so he could trail his fingers back up her bare skin. He chose his location, not too close to her jugular - since he was positive she was not asking him to change her at the moment. He laved her flaming skin, just one pass with his cool tongue and then caught her skin firmly between his teeth, slicing shallowly into her willing body pulling away quickly before her blood could spill into his mouth. He just sat back and watched the mesmerizing crimson liquid as it beaded lazily on her sharply contrasting skin. It built into a beautiful sphere of red, growing and quivering there on her shoulder, until it burst and spilled, trailing a meandering path down her collar bone. He was so lost in the vision of her being painted in mouthwatering crimson that he didn't realize his mouth had fallen open until her finger, washed in the tiny rivulet of red, placed a drop on his parted lips. The taste instantly flooded his senses. He suckled at her finger, desperate to find any remaining trace. She then drew her finger from between his lips and wound her hands into his hair, tugging him toward the small wound. He slowly latched his lips onto her shoulder and waited. He let her blood build and bead again, until it was so heavy that the fat drop quivered and fell. Its warmth crossed his lower lip, trailed past sheathed teeth and ran hot and decadent onto his waiting tongue. It was everything he remembered and more. This blood was his. It restored him, it made him whole when he was in need, this blood currently pumping in the woman who found his heart, who made it come alive for the first time. He pulled more of her life force into his mouth, satisfied on a primal level that, for however short a time, her heart could sustain life in them both.
Yes, it's a shorter chapter than most, and with a large gap in updating. Plain and simple, my heart hurts. RL has indeed hit, and she brought with her a diagnosis for my family that has the world looking like a different place than it did before. I do greatly appreciate your patience and support, and apologize for my distraction. It took hours and hours for my brain to come up with just this much through the fog I'm fighting against. I know I didn't cover much, and I'm not all that excited by this chapter, but hopefully you all will accept this tidbit as a peace-offering, and I'll try for a longer, more action-packed chapter next time.
If I made any SUPER-errors send me a pm.