It was a funny thing, how much she had changed these months without him. The irony didn't elude her that while she had changed, it was not in the way she had once craved. For a while she had actually been almost undead, but not the vampire she wanted to be. More of a zombie.
He left to give her a normal life, mortal among mortals. But, as if she was a magnet for the supernatural, she was found by other creatures of the legends. Shape shifters, werewolves... Jake! Bella's slightly incoherent string of reveries sharpened into a picture of his face. Her own sun. He believed in her when nobody else did and slowly glued the pieces of her back together. She remembered his strong arms wrapped around her, his superheated body pressed against hers. The way his hands had trailed along her sides, setting fire to her fl...
Edwards annoyed shout ripped her out of her contemplating. She looked at him, momentarily disoriented. He glared at her, and for a second she wondered what she had missed until she looked around.
Right. They were standing in front of the Volturi. She almost chuckled at her own spaciness. Way to go Bella, good place to zone out.
"He wants to read your mind." Edward gritted out between clenched teeth, glaring sideways at her.
"So, my dear, may I?" Aro asked her, his overly cheerful smile plastered on his face.
"No! Edward hissed.
As Bella moved toward Aro, his arm shot out to stop her, but she surprised them all by quickly avoiding his grasp, with a grace she was not known to possess. She held her hands up and entwined her fingers with Aro's, a child-like giggle leaving her lips and Aro gasped in delight. The seconds passed as the tiny slip of a girl and the devious vampire king seemed lost in each others eyes.
"Truly remarkable!" Aro exclaimed, clapping his hands together excitedly.
Bella skipped past him, in a perky way the Cullen's would more likely associate with Alice. The guards could see no danger in a mere human and humored her. On light feet, her skate shoes clicking softly on the cobblestone floor, she bounced up to Marcus. As she stopped in front of the bored king she smiled softly and greeted him silently with a humble nod and bent her knees slightly in a courtesy.
Marcus slowly lifted his gaze and scrutinized her face a few seconds before his bored expression turned to surprise in the most animated way Aro had seen for centuries. Bella lightly spun on the balls of her feet, swiftly moving over to the last of the brothers. She slid to a stop in front of the blond king, slightly tilting her head as she studied his face. He was staring at her, his ever present hostility distorting his features to a scowl. Bella held his gaze steadily as the corners of her mouth quirked upwards until her top lip curled enough to show off a straight line of pearly whites in something between a toothy grin and a snarl and damn if her canines didn't seem just a tad too... sharp. Marcus was still staring at her with an incredulous look on his face.
She skipped back to the Cullen's and Edward quickly reeled her into his strong embrace but she found herself pushing against his chest. By God, had she changed. Up until that fateful second when she pushed him out of the sunlight, this was what she thought she still longed for but now... Not so much.
"Aro." Marcus spoke up in a deep, smooth voice and held his hand up, making the excited leader appearing in a blur at vampire speed in front of the oldest vampire. He took Marcus hand and Aro's head spun towards Bella with such speed, he would surely have broken his neck, had he been human.
"What were you thinking, Bella?" Edward hissed in a scolding tone, grating on Bella's nerves.
"This is so fascinating, truly remarkable! We would be honored if you were to join our guard." Aro strode towards them, clapping his hands together.
"I'd rather... not." Edward replied, trying and failing to not make a disgusted face.
"And you, dear Alice?" Aro turned to the little dark haired vampire.
"I'm flattered, but no, thank you." Alice said with a disarming smile.
Aro turned to Bella, seemingly deep in though. He clasped his hands, tapping his lips with his index fingers.
"So, what to do with the human?"
"She's a liability, brother. Let's kill her!" Caius sneered.
"Isn't that a little rash, considering her... Potential?" Aro smiled at her, his eyes shifting to Edward who strained to contain his growl.
"I'll change her. All I'm requesting is a little more time for her as a human." Edward gritted out between his teeth.
Bella stared at him, her eyes wide in disbelief. If he had changed her in the first place, they wouldn't be in this situation, now would they? And still, he wanted her to be his human mate. Well it was to late for that. She was just about to object when Aro started talking again.
"Oh, but I doubt that, Edward. It was fairly clear in your mind that you have no plans to change her. And to have the audacity to ask for more time, considering how little respect you've shown for our law of secrecy so far..." Aro's eyes turned icy cold as his voice trailed off. "Do not forget that your coven did break the law."
"I'll change her here." Edward was becoming panicked now, realizing they probably wouldn't slip away as easily as he had hoped.
"That's bullshit!" Bella exclaimed angrily, making everyone turn to her. "You are so full of crap! Cut your damned holier than thou attitude." She stared at him, her upper lip curled into a snarl. "I don't want to take your soul." She mocked, making a disgusted face. "All you wanted was my innocence and my blood. Well, tell me, my dear Edward..." she sneered the endearment "...how does that blood smell now?"
Edward frowned and his expression turned to disbelief.
"Actually it doesn't sing to me anymore. I hardly smell it at all. How did that happen?"
Bella never answered that question.
"Did you realize that living as a human would inevitably take my innocence?" She smirked. "Well it is long gone now. That particular line is so far crossed, I couldn't even spot it with binoculars."
Edward stared at her, disgusted.
"Who was it? Was it Jake? Did you enjoy it? Was he all you ever wanted?"
"Oh, they're all enjoying it. And so am I." She had a wicked glint in her eyes, she knew this would shock and hurt him. "They're what I need, at least they were. Now I'm not sure what will happen in the future. All because of YOU!" She ended the sentence in a good impression of a roar.
Aro, sensing the good opportunity to widen the cracks in their relationship to coax someone into his guard, interfered in the argument soon to turn into a shouting match.
"We cannot pass judgment or decide punishments in this case right now. Stay with us for a week so we can investigate this further. Please stay with us as our guests."
"No, thank you." Edward replied.
"I'm not asking. You either stay with us as guests, or you can visit our lovely dungeon." A malicious smile spread across his face, showing the side if him that had gotten him to be a king and stay at his throne for centuries.
Bella stepped forward to him, again gracefully dodging Edwards try to hold her back. When did she get so quick? The expression on his face showed that it puzzled him.
"Thank you, Your Majesty, I'd love to stay." She gave him a blinding smile.
Aro's cheery façade returned. He clapped his hands together before motioning for one of the guards to come forward.
"Demetri, please escort our lovely guest to a room in the north wing."
Bella courtesied with a blinding smile, before she followed the vampire, and as the doors closed, she heard Aro ask the remainder of her so called family how they chose to stay.
She had not been in her room, that was more like a suite, for long before Alice and Edward was ushered in by cloaked figures. "Oh, great" she thought, sarcasm dripping in her inner voice and she smiled a private smile at how much bolder she'd become.
"Dibs on the bedroom." She shouted. "It's not like you sleep anyway." And she wanted some privacy.
Later that evening, she had grown tired of Edwards questions. It was more of an interrogation about things he really didn't have any right to demand answers to. She had locked herself in the bathroom and laid in a hot bath for hours with her ears submerged to tune him out.
Not having planned this trip, she had no spare clothes and she was too warm to slip her water-wrinkled body into her dirty jeans and sweater, so she raided the closets in the rooms and came up with a big white man's button down shirt and a couple of silk boxers. Rolling up the sleeves, she came to a stop in front of the mirror. It would have to do. The huge shirt reminded her of all the times she had walked around in oversized hoodies borrowed from the wolves, and she strangled a sob. She may never see them again and she might as well deal with that for now. Mourning the possible future would do her no good.
The Cullen's still hadn't truly realized how different she was now, and that gave her the opportunity to sneak past them. Her muffled heartbeat wasn't enough to make the two vampires move from their poses on the couch, sitting as still as statues. Bella crept in the shadows along the walls and slipped out into the hallway, padding silently on bare feet over the cobblestone floors. She really needed to be fed now, the sun was descending towards the horizon and this was the last place she should really be this night of all nights, but she found herself not caring.
He would never be able to tell what made him enter the kitchen. Caius had been a vampire for millennia and he loathed humans. To him, it was an abomination that the Volturi even had a kitchen. The only thing he was certain about was that it was not her scent, nor her heartbeat that made him push those swing doors open and enter. Her scent was in reality absent and her heartbeat not loud enough to be heard until he was right in front of her. It was as if a new force of gravity pulled him to her.
Now, Caius did realize he had no clue of human eating habits, that was long forgotten, but he was fairly certain that the sight in front of him was not normal.
The girl was crouched on the counter top in front of the window, the sky glowing in a myriad of colors from the sun that had just sunk below the horizon, painting everything in the kitchen in warm colors. She stopped mid bite to lock eyes with him and he could've sworn her eyes were lighter than before, in the throne room. Both her hands clutched a big piece of raw meat and blood was smeared across her chin and lips. Her long hair had been pulled back in a sloppy braid, revealing a shaved undercut and skin marked with intricate silhouette tattoos of wolves running, howling at the moon and curling around each other. He may have been an ancient vampire and as such prone to not really enjoy the change in fashion, surrounded by women with flowing hair and long dresses, but this girl was intriguing to him. The haircut and markings on her skin reminded him of warriors of old and it suited her, deepened the mystery around her and added to the impression that she was more raw power than she let on.
She continued eating, tearing off pieces and he heard the crunching as she chewed pieces of bone. Caius could see her glancing at him repeatedly but something in her posture told him that she was fully aware of him and the vigilance in her body reminded him of a wild animal guarding a precious kill. Bella swallowed her last bite and turned her gaze back to him, meeting his eyes steadily. She slowly sucked the blood from her fingers and the action sent a heat to his groin. It disturbed him that his body responded to a girl he wasn't even really sure was fully human.
Bella wiped her mouth with the back of her hand, achieving nothing more than smearing the blood more. She swiftly stood and in a flowing motion leapt to the counter closest to him and gracefully dropped to the floor just two feet from him, landing soundlessly. Her gaze never left his as she stepped closer to him, a wicked smile playing at the corners of her lips.
Caius watched her carefully when she leaned closer and her smirk widened into something almost predatory as she scented him. The big shirt that reached the middle of her thighs was stained with a few droplets of crimson blood and the fact that it was animal blood did absolutely nothing to lessen her appeal. Without realizing it he had moved closer to her, pulled in by her eyes that seemed even lighter up close, bordering on an untamed amber, but he found himself not caring. She filled his senses and in this moment, he wanted her more than he had ever wanted anything for as long as he dared remember. There was a brief pause in their motions when everything seemed to stand absolutely still, stretching for a second or an hour, they couldn't tell and it wouldn't matter. Then everything happened at once, so swiftly it was impossible to tell who instigated it.
Caius crashed his lips to hers as her fingers dug into his back, pulling him flush to her heated body as the fabric of his suit and shirt tore under her sharp nails. He slid his tongue along her bottom lip and she allowed him entrance, their tongues battling for dominance. She pushed his jacket from his shoulders in a frenzy and tore his shirt open, the buttons popping out and scattering across the floor. He slid his hands along her thighs, lifting her shirt and when his cold fingers grabbed her hips, he spun her around, pushing her back against a counter. Bella's arm flailed out to in an instinctual move to find leverage against anything at the supernaturally high speed, and she knocked over containers of oils and vinegars, sending them to the floor, shattering and spilling the liquids all over the floor.
The heat radiating from her body made Caius skin tingle wherever they touched, taking him to new levels of arousal he thought impossible until now. The heady scent of her arousal had him growling deep in his chest and she matched it with a rumble of her own. Caius was a King, a man used to take what he wanted, when he wanted it and he wasted no time sliding two fingers into her heated core. Bella's hips bucked against his hand of their own accord and he smirked against her neck, trailing his razor sharp teeth along her neck, feeling her fast pulse with the tip of his tongue. He slowly slid his fingers in and out of her wet core, massaging her clit with the ball of his hand in the process. He raised his head from the crook of her neck to meet her eyes, a wicked smile gracing his lips.
"So wet and ready for me, little girl. What will that boy of yours think?"
Something flashed in her eyes and faster than he thought possible she pushed off the counter and crashed his back to a small serving cart, tipping it over and sending bowls and cutlery crashing across the floor.
"Edward..." She spit his name out. "..is not my boy!" She growled it out between clenched teeth, still pushing him and he fell over the cart, pulling her with him and she landed on top of him, instantly grinding down on his hard cock.
In the back of his head he registered that she shouldn't be able to push him like that, but it seemed unimportant when her heated core was a couple of layers of flimsy fabric away from where he wanted it to be.
Bella dug her nails into his back and bit down on his nipple, licking and teasing it with her teeth and she earned a frustrated growl and Caius bucked his hips up, grinding against her to find some friction. He tore the boxers she was wearing when her hand slid down his stomach and Bella undid his belt buckle and popped the button of his pants with ease. They got his pants off quickly, wrestling their way through the mayhem on the floor until Caius pulled her up on all fours, sliding inside her from behind with one swift push. Bella's fingers scribbled on the stone floor and she growled out the pleasure that was building rapidly.
The back of her shirt was tattered and torn and a few of the gashes were highlighted in crimson red were his nails had broken her skin. Caius easily ripped the back of her shirt and it fell to the floor, the arms of the offending piece of clothing pooling around her wrists.
Bella took advantage of his distraction. In a movement quick as a blur, she twisted, hooking her knee around his hip and pushing him off balance. He landed on his side with a loud crash of stone against stone and she straddled him, her nails digging into the marble by his ribs and she roared out her pleasure.
Now, Caius may be distracted by this tiny woman and the way he reacted to her but submissive, he was not. Her little stunt had him rolling her over and pulling her to her feet, snarling but she didn't even flinch. Her smug smile drove him on and he dragged her along his body, cupping her ass and Bella wrapped her legs around his waist as he slid into her again. He landed them on a counter and she was clinging to him like he was the only thing anchoring her to the world.
Pots and pans clattered to the floor when he pounded into her and when he felt himself getting closer to release, he snaked his hand between them, rubbing her engorged bundle of nerves and seconds later, the clenching of her walls around him sent him over the edge.
They roared out and as the girls teeth dug into his marble flesh in that sweet spot just above his collarbone, heightening his pleasure, he bit down on her neck and slammed his fists onto the counter, breaking it and they fell to the floor in a veritable mudslide of cookware and debris that was once shelves and cupboards. Caius softly lapped up the blood trickling from her bite, sealing it with his venom and she seemed to be tending to his wound in a similar way when the doors burst open. Edward, Aro, Marcus and several guards rushed in, brought there by the crashing and roaring.
Edward stared in disbelief at Bella. She looked up at him, seemingly unconcerned with her nakedness, and the compromising position she was found in. Marcus looked at the couple with the slightest hint of amusement and Aro chuckled at the mayhem.
"How could you Bella? First the wolves and now him? Of all vampires on this earth..." Edward trailed off, a disgusted sneer on his face.
As the full moon was rising over the horizon, giving everything in the kitchen a silver glow, Bella exploded to her feet.
"He's mine!!" She snarled at Edward, amber eyes glowing, baring lethal fangs. "And I'm the Wolf!"
Her form started flickering and they stared in horror as they heard her bones snap and her body contorted. She fell to the floor with a pained cry, clapping her hand over the fresh bitemark on her neck.
"Something's wrong." She croaked out through her pained whimpers, writhing in agony. "I'm burning" was her last coherent words before it gave way to screaming and flailing.
Everyone's eyes snapped to Caius as he fell to the floor next to her, his body shaking. He was rubbing the jagged mark Bella had left on him.
"So cold." He bit out between clattering teeth.
His movements seemed slow and imprecise, as if he was suffering from hypothermia. His eyes blinked sluggishly and then he closed them, slipping into oblivion.