“The soul says: Yes I am your pain, but, I am also your peace.”
Chapter One: Mirror of the soul
Rain pelted down on Volterra for the last three days and today was calmer, but, alas no different. The skies remained overcast as droplets of water sprinkled over the earth. People rushed through the crowded city, hoping to avoid getting soaked in this chilled weather. The little light that remained in the sky started to seep away as the day grew longer and the evening neared.
This weather was perfect for the Volturi.
As darkness began overtaking the city, they were able to walk the street’s, mingling with the humans, surveying the area and striking fear into the heart of any vampires who decided to pass through the area.
Because of the Volturi’s rule of no hunting in the city, if a vampire were in the area, they were to immediately register with the Volturi, to ensure that while they were in the city, there would be no casualties. Stowaways, when found, were always destroyed, regardless of if they were guilty of feeding in Volterra, or not. And they were always found.
Aro, Marcus, and Caius strolled together, making light conversation with one another, to improve their chances of blending in. Alec and Jane, secretly flanked either side of the trio, keeping their distance, but, making sure nothing would slip through their defenses. If someone got too close, they’d suddenly obtain quite the headache or various other pains. Jane wasn’t allowed to harm them as viciously as she harmed a traitor, but, it’d be enough to keep those unwanted at bay.
Demetri was further back, always making sure that he was positioned halfway between the trio and Volterra so that by chance there was an attack, he could protect whichever area needed reinforcements. His tracking prowess would render an assailants capture, inevitable.
The last of the guard was Renata, who always remained ahead of Aro, for those knowing she was his personal shield, she was used as bait. Those against the Volturi would try to claim her life, in order to weaken their defense, but would only be destroyed themselves. Jane and Alec would be able to support her if needed, as she fell back and latched onto her master.
Normally only Caius ventured out, with Demetri and Afton flanking him, but, Aro had been feeling uneasy lately. He’d been restless, paranoid even, not able to shake the feeling that something big was happening in Volterra.
Vampiric crimes were dealt with more ruthlessly than normal, vampires in question didn’t even get a say in their innocence. If Aro read their mind, and it was uncertain, they were killed, end of story. Everything else would be investigated at a later time.
He’d hoped their outing would produce something. Force a few vampires out of hiding, but, so far, he just appeared to be anxious for no reason. Demetri hadn’t reported any vampires aside from the Volturi and the Volturi Guard in the area, and Marcus hadn’t sensed any bonds shared between a coven. Only the bonds of humans and their families or animals. Nothing out of the ordinary. The only thing they’d accomplished is making themselves hungry, and each of them had been tempted to drain the blood from someone they’d passed. Though none had acted on their instincts.
“I don’t feel safe here.” A young woman's voice called out, in a begging manner. “Please mom, we need to head back to the hotel, it’s getting dark!” It seemed the girl only caught the attention of Marcus, Caius and Aro were paying attention to other conversations.
Marcus had at first only been distracted by the girl's blood, racing through her veins with the worries that piled in her mind, her fear of the dark. However, upon glancing over to her, his views became quite different. There was the slightest hint of a bond connecting the two of them. She was a short brunette, with bright blue eyes, no one he knew. And no one he’d ever seen before. So why was that flicker of a bond there?
The woman was obviously nervous, showing her discomfort, but even as she bickered with her mother, her mother only brushed it off as being in a new city, far from home. It was obvious they were tourists.
“Abigail, please, you’ve been dreaming about going to Italy since you were a little girl, just try to enjoy it.” Her mother responded, ending the conversation. She scoffed, crossing her arms and turning away from her mother, only for her eyes to meet a passing stranger’s disinterested, apathetic gaze.
She was pretty, he thought. A strange familiarity. The girl felt the same, her frown fading, as she offered him a friendly smile. Her heartbeat fluttered, teasing him with her delicious nectar as warmth flooded into her cheeks. He wanted to return her kindness, but couldn’t risk hesitating or missing a step, and turned away, focuses his gaze elsewhere. He knew Aro was paying attention and didn’t want the poor girl to lose her life just because he’d starred at her one second too long.
Nowadays, his gaze just sort of wandered. He didn’t take interest in anything, Aro would find it suspicious if he focused on this girl. Marcus was left as an empty shell, devoid of the love which once filled him.
The love of his precious Didyme. He was a man who had the greatest love and lost the greatest love.
Soon enough, they’d finished their sweep of the city, and return to their lair. Aro and Caius remained together, casually chatting about the things they’d seen in the city. Marcus reported that he’d seen nothing of interest and left to lock himself in his chamber. Solitude would do him some good.
But, tonight was different, he wasn’t plagued by his grief, as per usual. He found himself sitting on an oversized chair in his chamber, absentmindedly fondling himself, thinking of the girl he’d passed in town. And for once, there was some meaning behind it. It wasn’t just for momentary alleviation, he actually seemed to be enjoying himself, if only slightly.
Eye closed, he started to envision the girl, sitting over him, that smile on her face, as she whispered what she wanted to go into his ears. All was well until Marcus’ vision of Abigail had distorted and become a vision of his deceased wife. Immediately, everything came to a halt, he pushed the thought out of his mind, and strangely, started getting angry, but, he wasn’t sure if he was angry, because his moment of pleasure was ruined, or because he wanted to replace his wife with the image of a girl he didn’t even know. It felt like a betrayal, even though so many years had passed since his mate's death.
Meanwhile, the girl was thankfully back in her hotel room, but, she’d locked herself in the bathroom, standing in the shower, letting the warm water drench her, as she thought of the strange man she’d seen on the streets. Pale as a ghost, unnerving eyes, long dark hair, something was off about him, yet she couldn’t place her finger on it. Abigail knew despite that, she was attracted to him. He was the most beautiful person she’d laid eyes on. And she swore she knew him from somewhere. Abigail wanted to talk to him, she also wanted more than that, she had a desire to get close to him, press her skin against his own, smash their lips together. Make love.
Taking a deep breath, she shook the thought from her mind, letting out a normal giggle. Her friends back home had teased her about meeting an Italian man just to get him in bed, but, she hadn’t considered the thought, until now.
Marcus had made a decision. He was going to leave his chambers, and return to the city, seeking the girl out, figuring out what he planned to do once he found her. The idea was easy enough, he just needed to find one of the sewer exits, close to where he’d seen Abigail, pick up on her scent and follow it to her location. Making his way through the winding hall’s under Volterra, passing by Corrin and Chelsea, his advance was stopped, whenever Corrin called out his name, grabbing Chelsea’s hand, making her wait.
“Yes?” He replied, blandly. “Is everything alright? It isn’t like you to leave your chamber.” Corrin had been assigned to help with his grievance, but, he refused her services. Regardless, she did still show concern. She was a little attached. “I am well. Our patrol today made me realize that I spend far too much time surrounded by the same, unchanging, four walls. I simply decided to talk a walk, and get some fresh air for a change. I hope I’m not causing you too much concern.”
Corrin shook her head, giving him a small smile, happy that he wasn’t just sitting around in his room all night. “No, you’re not. But, you realize I will have to report this to Aro…” Marcus just gave a slight uncaring shrug in response. “He’d find out regardless.” His voice sounded just a bit more distant, and that was enough for the girls to continue on their way, leaving him to do as he wished.
It didn’t take much longer to find the exit he desired, after quickening his pace, so that there’d be no more interruptions. The exit was hidden with an alleyway, out of sight from humans. Despite the light rain throughout the day, it was easy to pick up on her flower-scented fragrance. She didn’t just smell like rose’s or lavender, rather she carried the scent of an entire wildflower field on a sunny day. It surprised Marcus that with how appealing she seemed to be, her blood didn’t sing for him.
Following the lingering perfume, he stayed within the darkest shadows, passing by unnoticing humans, counting how many would’ve died if he was still in his early vampiric years. The total was currently 14. He was quite the gluttonous newborn, before finding Aro.
Traversing through the city awoke a lost sense, what it felt like to hunt. His food has been brought to him far too long, Marcus missed the feeling of hunting down his prey, it was a forced thrill, only powered by his hunger, still, it was better than the nothing he was so used to feeling.
What exactly had that girl done to him? Was she gifted similarly to Didyme?
Few minutes later and he was crouch atop a hotel roof, above the girl's hotel room, figuring out what step to take from here, did he sneak inside? If so, how long did this girl plan on staying awake? All human’s had to sleep sometime, but, recently there were humans pulling all-nighters, mainly those with anxiety, and with how she seemed to feel earlier, he wouldn’t be surprised if she were one of those humans.
Metal scraped against metal, the familiar sound of a sliding glass door opening, as her voice once again broke through his thoughts.
“Yeah, I’m sure, you go ahead and go out, I’m just gonna get some fresh air and then head to bed.” She told her mother before closing the door, walking over to the balcony railing, leaning against the cool metal as she let out a sigh. The room had quite a nice view of the ocean.
Marcus leaped down, landing soundlessly behind her, glancing to the door to see that a curtain kept people from seeing inside, and the reverse. No one would catch him.
He noticed something, when she wasn’t aware of his presence, there was nothing between the two. No bond present. His decision was made, it would put the girl at risk, but, he needed to talk to her, figure out what exactly she knew, what she was.
Placing his hand on her shoulder, Abigail let out a gasp, attempting to turn around, only to have his opposite hand clamp over her mouth and force her to look forward. “I won’t hurt you, if you don’t turn around, I just want to talk. Will you agree to that?” He waited for her answer, a simple nod of reassurance. If she screamed, humans would only believe she was insane, he’d leave far before one of them spotted him, and he’d deal with the aftermath later.
As soon as he released her jaw, she questioned him. Her probing wasn’t the normal response of “Who are you?” The first question every human had. Rather what she asked was very different. “Do I know you?”
“That’s impossible.” Was Marcus’ reply, trying to wrap his mind around everything. As soon as he’d spoken, their bond resurfaced. Why was it there?
“Why are you here?” He was prepared for Abigail to be so willing to chat. “I-I’m not sure. I haven’t figured that out…”
“You don’t know?” She was obviously confused. Why bother revealing himself if he didn’t know the next step he would take. “You caught my interest, I wanted to see you up close.”
Abigail gave him a half-hearted chuckle, “Well, hope I don’t disappoint.”
Marcus wasn’t sure how he felt about the young woman. She certainly was pretty, her scent was also nice. But, at the end of the day, she was human, and he was putting her life at risk.
“Why are you so drawn to me?” He finally asked, after a brief pause. Figuring this out was his main objective. “You’re a vampire, aren’t you? I suppose that’s why.”
“Vampires aren’t---” Abigail interrupted his sentence. “They aren’t real. Because that’s what your law says, right? Everything about you has to remain in secrecy.”
“How do you know that?” He demanded, mind racing as he was trying to figure out a way to keep her secret from Aro, mentally fighting against the attachment Chelsea had placed on him. Aro was supposed to come first, no matter what, that’s how tightly they were bound to each other.
“Ever since I was little, I remember having these strange, vivid dreams… Vampires were always part of them. For a while, I thought I was just crazy, but, earlier today, when I saw you, I knew I wasn’t.”
Marcus stayed silent, trying to figure out what to do. If she knew, he had to eliminate her. There was no choice!
Her hand reached up to his own, which now rested on her shoulder. It was chilled, yet, she liked the feeling. And he liked the warmth her hand brought when placed over his own. “Let me see you, I need to---” She spoke while struggling to turn towards him, but, her actions were easily brought to a halt, due to his overpowering strength. “Absolutely not.”
“Please… I just, I need to know who you are!”
Their bond strengthened in intensity. She trusted him far too much, and that was enough to convince him to let go, allowing her to turn around, absorbing what she could from the male. Human’s had far from perfect vision, especially at night.
Still, she grew excited, nearly leaping in his arms as she exclaimed one word.
To Be Continued...