Chapter 2: The Trial Part1
My heartbeat sped up as Caius called me over.
Was he going to kill me?
I tentatively got up off the bed, causing it to creak and groan in protest as I did and stepped forward towards him. His presence was near overwhelming, it was as if energy in its rawest form pulsed around him. I suppose such presence and aura was to be expected from a being who was thousands of years old.
The moment I stood before him he grabbed me by the back of my neck and yanked me towards him. Not rough enough to truly hurt me, but a far cry from gentle too. I gasped in pain from his fingers digging into my neck just as I heard the Cullens and especially Edward growl and hiss behind me.
Caius smirked down at me before his free hand gripped my jaw and turned my face from side to side, inspecting me like some prize farm animal for sale. I trembled in his grip, my poor heart feeling like it was ready to rip through my flesh. The fear James had inspired within me was a light breeze compared to this. I was being held and inspected by an ancient – one who could kill me within a split second with only a bit of added pressure from his cool fingers which held my jaw.
"Pretty, yes. Though nothing overly beautiful" he mused before he bent forward and dragged his nose along my neck and stopped at my main artery. He inhaled and let out a low, throaty growl.
He pulled away and looked up at Edward. "Ambrosia"
"Now I see Cullen. To drain a creature with such potent blood would be a waste. You had to keep her mortal, alive, by your side and constantly in your sight. Though why you discarded her all those months ago puzzles me"
Edward growled and hissed out at Caius. "I love her! Of course her blood smells better than anything I've ever come across before – she is my Singer after all, but I love the person Bella is, not just her blood. But then, a monster like you wouldn't know the first thing about love!"
"Edward" hissed Rosalie lowly.
I tried to step away from Caius' grip, but it was impossible – I would just end up hurting myself if I applied anymore force.
"Love" murmured Caius. "The girl is a virgin, how much could you have possibly loved her? If you claimed her to be your mate, the call of her body would have been impossible to ignore. How did you manage it Edward? The scent of her blood, and of her venus-mound must have driven you mad, and yet, you abstained from taking both"
"It was not without difficulty" replied Edward with gritted teeth.
I however, was blushing harder and harder. My venus-mound? Dear God.
"You have a large pool of willpower Cullen, I'll give you that. No doubt received from Carlisle's venom. I on the other hand, have no such will" Caius spoke before looking down at me, hunger evident in his blackened gaze. "I much prefer to give into my baser needs" and with that said, faster than a striking cobra the blonde king sunk his elongated fangs into my soft flesh and began to pull literally the very life out of me.
The Cullens roared, called out my name and hissed behind me as I flailed my arms about and kicked my legs out as the king held me up and off the ground, his hard arms encircled tightly around my waist. I wanted to scream and cry, though stone cold shock was in the lead and all I could do was gasp and push away in vain.
My vision began darkening, my head felt woozy and drunk, my body zinged and tingled all over and a horrible bout of nausea took hold of me while Caius continued to drink from me, his hands roaming my body like that of a lover. Eventually my body and mind could take no more and I, thankfully escaped the trauma and succumbed to the darkness.
My heavy eyes shot open as I felt my forearm being shook by an icy cold hand which was wrapped around it. I yelped and scooted back on the cell's bed and away from the vampire, thinking it to be Caius. However, relief met me when instead I saw it was the teen vampire Jane and not her master.
"Finally" spoke Jane, her tone having no emotion. "After being a snack last night, I'm sure the human needs some sustenance to get her through the trial, yes?"
I whipped my head around the cell looking for the Cullens, though none of them were within – I also regretted moving my head that fast as dizziness claimed me, causing the room to spin. I cradled my head and groaned as the nausea too returned.
"Easy Isabella. You lost a good amount of blood last night, luckily for you Master Caius was in a good mood, otherwise you would've been a pile of ashes within the castle's crematorium by now"
I grimaced and shivered at that frightening thought while my fingers dragged across the two raised and stinging puncture wounds situated atop my main artery on my neck. I can't believe the bastard drank from me! It was horrific! I was shaken to my core and felt very violated, so much so that if I were not the type to suffer in silence I would be curled up in a ball in front of Jane and wailing like a baby.
It took all I had in me to not let my bottom lip tremble as I tried to speak to the perpetual teenager. God, I was so scared and with the Cullens who-knows-where I felt very alone. I wish I was back in Jacksonville with my mom, with the sun, with the beach, with humans.
"Whe… where are the C-cullens?" I asked stuttering a little from the cold of the damp cell and my still fresh shock at what had happened last night.
"Already within the throne room. The trial begins in ten minutes, quick, consume this…" Jane handed me a plastic bottle of mixed fruit drinking yoghurt and a granola bar. "…Hurry now. We do not wish to keep the Masters waiting"
Five minutes later Jane was leading me down a dimly lit hallway which was so long I thought that we would never reach our destination. I was attempting to smooth down my hair, though thanks to the moist air of the dungeons it was now just a big nest of frizz.
"When we enter the throne you are not to look upon the kings until they give you permission to make eye contact, understand?" spoke Jane, her voice cool and stern.
"Why?" I asked, my natural curiosity taking over.
Jane sighed dramatically before turning her head to look at me for a moment. "You are human and female, you are the lowest of the low and not worthy to look upon the kings on their noble thrones"
We walked the rest of the way in uncomfortable silence – uncomfortable for me anyway – when eventually after what must have been a good seven minutes we reached the large ornate and beautifully crafted doors of the throne room.
Jane swung the massive doors open with ease and ushered me inside. The room was huge, both the walls and floors were made of dove-grey marble and small high arched windows ran the length of the round chamber. I looked down to see a large drain within the centre of the chamber and grimaced – it didn't take a genius to guess what that was for.
The Cullens were all present, though they were split up. Carlisle, Esme, Rosalie and Emmett all stood within the centre of the chamber, while Edward, Alice and Jasper stood off to the right. Jane lead me towards the far left of the room where I stood, my head cast down, droplets of fear induced sweat trickling down my temples.
"Ah, dear Isabella. Are you well this beautiful morning? I do hope my brother did not get too carried away last night?" asked a smooth voice which held a feathery joviality to it. I assumed Aro, the main king spoke.
"I… I am d-doing well… sir. L-lord Caius did not do perm—permanent damage" jeez, get a grip Bella.
"Truly Aro, I've not tasted such divine nectar for centuries, it would be a shame for you and Marcus not to sample Isabella for yourselves" interjected Caius with immense smugness in his tone.
"Indeed? Perhaps we will, what do you say, Marcus?"
From the moment the young mortal entered the throne room I had not been able to tear my ever darkening gaze away from her. I studied everything she offered to the eye. Hair the warm shade of cocoa and cinnamon, eyes – innocent, large and hypnotic brown. Skin of porcelain and a subtle hourglass figure sporting hips which seemed to beckon my hands to grip.
And her scent, gods but her scent. Sweet, floral, spicy and fertile. It was a scent that would drive any unmated vampire mad with want, and I was certainly no exception. No woman who I had bedded – both mortal or vampire – since Didyme's demise had inspired such primal lust within me as this Isabella Swan did.
Unleashing my gift I was utterly surprised to find that the mortal and I shared a vivid golden link between ourselves. A mating bond.
Interesting indeed, it would seem that I had found another who was fully compatible with myself, just as Didyme was.
A pity for Aro, for I would be the only one to drink from the young beauty standing before us.
I looked down at young Isabella once more and produced a rare smile interwoven with a small smirk, yes, Isabella Marie Swan was mine.