Peter pulled shallow breaths as he sat on the bed with his knees to his chest, trying to calm his heart.
Vampires, as a general rule, did not yell. Age taught them patience and cultivated articulation. When speaking with one another, whole conversations could happen across rooms at a murmur without the intent between spoken and unspoken being lost.
"You have a responsibility to our kind! To this family, brother! You are will to throw all of that aside for the sake of a pathetic mortal?" Caius's voice penetrated through the luxuriously lacquered wood of his bedroom door.
He scooped Nosferatu up, heedless of his mew of protest when his new toy fell from his grip and hugged him close as he watched the door. Any second he expected the blond to come in and rip him to pieces.
"I am throwing nothing away," Aro's volume was not nearly as piercing as his brother's, but to hear any volume in his voice had dire implications, "I am placing my trust into my fellow rules and subordinates to maintain order. Are you claiming that you are irresponsible? That you lack leadership? Incapable of making decisions without my guidance?"
"You know very well that your abilities are necessary to maintain power."
"There is enough power here to instill respect and fear in any and all who would dare attack. Besides, petty quarrels over land rights are easily solved without mind reading abilities."
"That is not the point Aro!"
"We are finished discussing this. You have rein over Volterra. Do with it as you will."
Peter jumped out of his skin when the door opened and shut within a matter of seconds, not seeing Aro, not even as a blur, until the vampire came to sit on the edge of the bed.
"Ah! Sorry buddy," Peter said when Nossy bit his hand, prompting him to let go, "I didn't mean to squeeze you big guy."
The cat merely cast him a glance and went back to playing with his toy. He turned his attention to Aro. Before he could speak Aro said,
"Forgive the altercation dearest. I know that you must believe it is your fault judging by the guilty look in your eyes," he smiled and cupped Peter's face, "but you are not. Caius is a stubborn man."
"I take it," Peter smirked, "he didn't like the happy news huh?"
"I can't say that he did," Aro giggle and leaned forward to peck Peter's lips, "but it does not matter. They can manage for a time without me, but I'm afraid that you may not be so pleased with the next bit of news I have to bring."
Peter stiffened, "what?"
"Alec and Jane are coming with us."
"What!" When they'd gotten home and had set about packing, they had discussed what it was going to be like in their new home. Free from Aro's family, Peter would certainly feel more free to be himself. Not have to coop himself up in his room and wait for Aro. It would just be the two of them. Alone. Planning their wedding.
"Peter," Aro moved his hand to Peter's shoulder, "be reasonable. My brother is quite upset. I would not put it passed him to send someone to deal with you. I may not always be there to wait and watch. Jane and Alec are loyal only to me. They will ensure your safety in the event I cannot."
"They don't even like me. Like the rest of your family. How do you know they wouldn't...let the assassin in if one came calling?"
Aro shook his head, baffled at the very notion, "They would never. Not if I asked them not to."
"As I said, they are loyal to me."
"Not theirs I assure you." Aro said firmly and before Peter could retaliate, Aro kissed him again and was up on his feet, taking in the singular suitcase already packed and sealed, "I see you have finished packing already."
Peter smirked and gestured at the tv, "Well, tried to get the tv in there, didn't think customs would let it in."
"We really need to get you more clothing darling. Perhaps when we land after the flight," he glanced at Peter, "and you've had a nap," grinning at the middle finger, Peter knew he wasn't twenty anymore but he didn't like the jabs that he was getting older, "we can go on a shopping spree."
"Won't they cut off your cards or something since they hate you're leaving so much?"
"I have more than enough money already secured where we are going. Finances are one thing neither of us will have to worry about."
Peter nodded and ran a hand through his hair, "yeah, speaking of which, what happened to all my money?" He'd been cooped up for so long that his cards were all but useless chunks of plastic. Not that would have done him good here in Italy but even still. Aro had assured him that the right accountants and lawyers would ensure the storage of his collections and the transfer of his money. In the meantime, Aro basically acted like his sugar daddy buying everything he needed. Not that he needed much give the state of things.
"I had it transferred. When we are settled we can go to the bank and you can get yourself a new debit card."
"Hm," he considered, "well, shouldn't we settle into the new house first? Break it in?" he waggled his eyebrows causing Aro to laugh.
"I'm sure we will have more than enough time for any and all activities we wish to partake in," he touched the tip of his tongue to his lip, "for now, let's wait on it. Absence makes the heart grow fonder as you know. Besides," he pulled a pocket watch from his coat, "we need to be at the airport soon. You know how dreadful an experience those can be."
"Wait, we're leaving tonight? I don't have a carrier for Nossy, I am not putting him in the back or sedating him."
"Relax Peter, I've been planning this for some time and transportation for your cat is available in the car."
"Our cat. He's our son thank you very much." Peter teased.
Aro said nothing but still smiled, "I have all of your documentation in my pocket. The car is ready. Jane and Alec have already assisted in loading my luggage into the vehicle." He held out a hand for his dear, "come now Peter. We shall take our leave of this place."
"Really?" Peter reached out and let himself be pulled off the bed, "just like that? You're really going to leave all of this behind to go to a new home, get married and all that stuff with me?"
Aro's smile became all that much more broad. The mad, happy one, that he brought out only when truly surprised or delighted, "really."
Peter felt his eyes burning and hastily turned around to scoop a fussy Nosferatu into his arms (promptly taken by Aro when he began biting in frustration) and his son's toys, before grabbing the handle of his suitcase. He went to the door and paused.
"Will they attack us?" He said, hand hovering over the handle.
"No." Aro said firmly.
The certainty in that no gave Peter the courage to open the door and step out into the hallway. The first step to a new chapter in his life with his future husband.