Disclaimer: The Twilight Saga and all its characters belong to Mrs Stephenie Meyer. I gain no profit from my stories.

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Age Restriction: M

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Alternate Universe

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Summary: During Bella's incarceration within Volterra she finds herself plagued by disturbing dreams and hallucinations. Eventually these strange events lead Bella to unearth a secret which has been buried for 800 years. It is a secret laden in heartache and treachery, a secret which can bring closure and justice – but with that will also destroy a kingdom. Will Bella reveal the secret to those affected? Or will she be silenced before the truth can pass her lips?

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Marcus: I'm keeping the actor Christopher Heyerdahl as Marcus as I'm in love with the dude and every role he plays.

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The inspiration for a Marcus/Bella story came from me listening to H.I.M's acoustic version of 'The Funeral of Hearts', I found the lyrics to be very appropriate - link to the YouTube video is on my profile.

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Chapter 1: The Dragon's Lair

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Bella POV

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Esme's warm and snug mink fur coat was about the only thing keeping my body temperature at an acceptable level - barely. I could clearly see the puffs of my breath cloud before my lips within the silvery blue beams of moonlight streaming through the small barred window. The floor was damp and hard stone, and the coldness was seeping into my bare feet – I had lost my flip-flops within my mom's living room in Jacksonville during the scuffle I had with one of the Volturi guards who had come to 'collect' me.

It was a shock indeed when I was brought to Volterra and thrown into the dungeons of the castle as if I were a common criminal from the medieval era. And I had been even more shocked and at a loss for words when every single member of the Cullen family were bound in strange shackles made out of what looked like to me as bone. Carlisle had later told me that the bars of the cells and the shackles were made of werewolf bone – about the only thing that could counter the unnatural strength of a vampire – an idea thought up by king Caius, he had said.

I looked over to the beautiful boy who left me, who was still sulking in the corner of the large cell before walking over to the ivory bars of the cell – they needn't shackle me, what could a human possibly do? There was not an electrical light on or candle lit within the dungeons. The only light to be had was that of the moon which shone through the tiny window bars of each cell. I wrinkled my nose up at the soggy, musty stench which permeated the cool air. Droplets of water could be heard falling to the ground from the ceiling and every now and then I could hear the squeaking of rats or mice.

The clank of keys could be heard off into the distance until the distinctive sound of a key unlocking a lock echoed a lot closer. As the arch shaped wooden door creaked upon a flood of pale fluorescent light streamed down the staircase and into the dungeon. A lone guard – the one who arrested me who Alice informed me was named Demetri came strolling in at a leisurely pace with a tray of food in his hands. My stomach growled as the delicious scent of hearty vegetable soup wafted up into my nostrils.

"The human hungers I see"

I didn't answer him as I watched him search for the correct key of the cell door. All I could think about was that delicious soup and italian bread which would fill my aching stomach that was full of acid – it had been a full day and a half since I had last eaten and I was absolutely famished.

As the gate swung open Demetri handed me the wooden tray which held my food and looked down at me with what I took as…sympathy? No, that couldn't be right. Because he definitely didn't hold any sympathy when he climbed through the living room window and seized me while being less than gentle – I had the bruises from his hands strewn across my body to prove it.

"Thank you" I whispered, my voice a little bit raspy. I sat down on the old wonky bed covered in ratty blankets and began tucking into the thick hot soup with a vengeance – the cheese and ham stuffed bread was still warm! I was in heaven at that moment. Never before had I tasted such delicious soup, whoever made this, was a cook worth their weight in gold.

I looked up to discover the Cullens and Demetri looking at me with a smile on their faces and blushed before looking down into my bowl again. Eating like a pig or not, I was damn hungry, and in a dungeon, I doubt manners were called for down here.

"I would offer you some blood bags we have stored away for emergencies… but…" trailed Demetri off. I think he already knew what the Cullens' answer would be. Though I thought it was stupid that they would decline a blood bag, they looked pretty hungry – if their darkened eyes and sunken in faces were anything to go by. Now was not the time for their stalwart stance on human blood to take lead.

"No, that will not be necessary Demetri. Thank you for the offer though" spoke Carlisle softly from where he stood.

"Carlisle, do you not think… it's just one blood bag… I'm so thirsty and I don't know how much longer Jasper can hold out" spoke Alice, her voice trembled slightly, and pleaded a whole lot.

I looked up from the piece of bread I was about to pick up and to Jasper and saw that his facial expression was pained more so than usual. In fact, all of them save Carlisle wore grim and hungry expressions. Was it fair to let them starve because of Carlisle's impeccable morals? His family was in pain, in great discomfort, but he would rather have a clean conscious than see to it that his family was not in pain and not starving. A lot of times I wondered if Carlisle's lifestyle was suitable for anyone but himself. They would hunger so quickly after feeding compared to red eyed vampires who could go at least two weeks without feeding – or so said Jasper. The Cullens had to feed every three days or so. That alone told me that their bodies were not absorbing enough nutrition to sustain them. But, Carlisle was the head of the coven and he had the final say so I looked back down to my food and continued to tuck in all the while feeling guilty that I was eating and they were not.

"Human blood is not ours to take Alice, it is wrong. We are better than that. We must remain strong. Again, thank you Demetri, but we must decline"

"Very well" with that Demetri locked the cell door and exited the dungeon.

I heard Rosalie scoff and looked up to see her face twisted in immense annoyance and anger. "Really Carlisle, it was only blood bags, no doubt collected from hospitals and not from humans the Volturi rounded up for their weekly meal. What harm would it have done to sate our hunger with the bags? I'm sure that I am not speaking for myself when I say that I'm tempted to steal Bella's soup!"

"Now Rosa—" began Carlisle but was interrupted by the strained voice of Jasper.

"For fuck's sake, could we just stop talking about blood and food please? God damnit…"

"Sorry Jazzy" spoke Alice softly as she tried to cuddle up closer to Jasper, but the shackles holding her arms up above her head were making it a bit difficult.

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A good half an hour or so after I had eaten my surprisingly tasty meal a voice that I did not want to hear at the moment softly called to me just as I was about to slip into a light sleep on the grimy single bed.

"Bella" called Edward, sorrow lacing his smooth voice. A year ago I would have melted at the sound of that silky voice calling my name, but now, now the desire and infatuation had dissipated into absolute nothing. Perhaps I still cared for Edward in some way – he was my first love after all, but he is a chapter on a page of my life that I am no longer on.

"What Edward?" I replied in monotone as I stared up at the dark dank ceiling.

"I… I just want to apologize. For this, for… the forest, for everything. The last thing I ever wanted to do was hurt you"

"Could've fooled me" I replied a bit harshly. I was still hurt by the way he dumped me, I mean who does that? What in the hell was wrong with my living room? Or my front porch? But the woods? And then to still say such hurtful things? No, I think it would be quite some time before I forgive Edward for that.

"I know what I said to you in the woods was cruel and painful to hear, but love, none of that was true. I was terrified that you would lose your life if we remained. We had to leave, for your safety, please understand!"

"Do you have any idea just what could have happened to Bella, a girl alone, deep in the forest Edward?" spoke Rosalie in a scathing manner. This surprised me. I was under the impression that she absolutely loathed me. "You didn't think of that did you Edward? You didn't think about the fact that you left a puny (gee, thanks Rose) human in the middle of a forest close to nightfall in the cold, with predators of all kinds lurking around. You could have caused the very thing you wanted to prevent, you could have caused her death right there because of your foolishness!"

"I—"

"And another thing! I blame you Edward and you Carlisle for landing us in this big pile of shit! The rest of us warned you over and over again that leaving Carrot Top alive would only cause shit in the future! But did any of you listen to us? Nooo. If Edward says Victoria isn't a danger, then she's not a danger. Why is it that whatever Edward says is golden law? You're not a leader's ass Carlisle! If you had a spine in you, you would think of the safety of the coven and not just bow to the apple of your eye's every whim!"

"Rose, that's enough" scolded Esme, defending her husband to the last, even though Rosalie was right.

Edward and Carlisle both looked sheepish and a little afraid. Rose sure was scary when she was angry.

Edward was about to open his mouth to reply when all of the Cullens' heads snapped up and towards the door.

Keys jangled up behind the main door to the dungeons, before once again it opened and down strolled a tall male vampire with youthful features and shoulder length snow white hair. He was beautiful. I sat up, both afraid and intrigued as he approached the cell with a smug and gleeful expression etched across his angelic features.

He wore fine clothes which seemed to be from another era, in colours of black, gold and rich burgundy. "Greetings Cullens" he sang cheerfully.

"Hello, Lord Caius" spoke Carlisle on behalf of his coven.

King Caius took a deep breath of air through his nose and opened his eyes once more, his smug smile growing ever wider. "Is it not a beautiful night? Why, I simply feel on top of the world! I wonder why that is?"

"Enjoying your stay, Cullens? Fine citizens such as yourselves deserve only the best accommodations"

"In these circumstances, we could not ask for more, my king" Carlisle, ever the peacekeeper.

"Indeed" drawled Caius, his ruby eyes alight with mirth. "Who would have thought, Saint Carlisle and his little troop of vegetarian cultists shackled in a prison cell for breaking a law which is most sacred to vampires… Christmas has indeed come early!" he grinned. Any more smiling and the man would literally burst from pure joy.

"Are you here for a reason Caius, or just here to taunt us you tyrant?" snapped Edward, who had obviously had enough of the king's teasing. I felt a little guilty finding this amusing – and I'm sure Jasper could feel my emotions. Obviously Caius despised the Cullens and this was just the biggest treat for him to see them at his mercy.

Caius' eyes narrowed, though his million dollar smile was still firmly in place. "My my, such disrespect shown to your king. Emse, my sweet, matriarch of the Cullen cult… what less than savoury manners – or lack thereof – have you been teaching your pseudo-offspring?"

"Please forgive Edward my Lord, he is young and hot tempered, and often sais things in the heat of the moment which he does not mean" pleaded Esme, no doubt fearing Caius might just kill Edward here and now for showing such disrespect.

The king tilted his head to the side before scanning all of the Cullens' faces until eventually his eyes landed on me. 'shit'.

His smug smile turned into one of lechery before he slid the key into the cell's keyhole and slowly pushed open the gate. 'double shit'.

"Come, stand before me child. Let me see what had enthralled a vampire so"

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I enjoyed writing that :-) – I hope you liked it. Please review.