dark moon

a twilight fanfiction.

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16. Chapter 14 Judgement day

A multitude of thoughts ran through each of their heads, it was difficult to keep track of them all.

Aro was bewildered by my request. Never had he heard of a Vampire wanting to be killed. It has come as quite an unexpected shock.

Caius was equally as stunned, however he appeared content to oblige to my request. I saw in his mind this was mostly due to the fact that he knew of my family; my large family.
He considered large families or covens like mine to be a threat to the Volturi as we were a diverse group of talented vampires. Carlisle had many acquaintances and his family was quite well known. The chance to eliminate one of the famous Cullen family members seemed to gratify him.

Marcus, on the other hand did not react at all like his brothers. He did not appear surprised; in fact he had a particularly apathetic demeanour. He seemed more astonished by my direct approach and candid request. In his thoughts he was reminiscing about a time when he had considered suicide.

After a brief moment they recovered from their shock. Aro was filled with curiosity; I waited for the barrage of questions, however I did not want to elaborate.

            “I beg your pardon?” Caius asked incredulously. 
            “You heard me clearly enough.” I replied. 
            “Why would you desire such an unusual thing Edward?” Aro asked inquisitively.
I felt reluctant to answer.
Would they understand my predicament and the depth of my pain?
I presumed they would never comprehend my reasons due to the way they viewed our existence. 

            “If you do not provide us with reasons, how do you expect us to grant your curious request?”
Again I didn’t answer.
Of course I didn’t expect them to kill me instantly when I asked, except maybe Caius. Aro however wanted answers. They wanted an explanation as to why I no longer wished to live. The Volturi considered vampires to be superior beings; they marvelled at our very existence. Our frozen forms never aging, our strength and potential power and the endless eternity of our lives. They couldn’t understand why any one of us would willingly relinquish such an existence for something as mundane and human as death. 

How could I begin to explain my pain, my loss, my tortured being?
Maybe I should have engaged in my second plan of action first. That would surely have forced them to kill me without the interrogations.

Caius was becoming impatient with my silence. 
            “Perhaps there is another way of retrieving the information you require.” I suggested.
Aro had a vampire gift similar to my own, only it was significantly more powerful in one aspect. With a simple touch he could access every thought that had ever penetrated a person’s mind.

I held out my hand signalling my cooperation. 
            “Hold on a moment.” Caius spoke. “How will that help us understand?” He gestured to himself and Marcus, who did not appear interested, however his thoughts were curious. 
            “I’m sure Aro can inform you himself.” I replied.
Caius grunted in annoyance. 
            “Very well, Edward.” Aro said as he reached to touch his hand to my own and closed his eyes.

A rush of thoughts ran through my mind as I witnessed my own thoughts and memories in Aro’s head.
My life flashed before both of our eyes.
My family.
My actions.
My Bella.

Every thought and memory I possessed was now Aro’s too.
They were no longer only mine, which infuriated me.
They were my haven and the only proof I had that Bella ever existed.

The memories lingered on Bella as she was such a significant part of my existence.
The bad ones made me wince involuntarily. 
The ballet studio and James.
Jasper’s attack.
My departure from Forks.
Tracking Victoria.
My heart wrenching suffering.
The pain I witnessed seemed endless.

The pleasant recollections I saw brought me no joy. Seeing Bella only reminded me that she was dead, that I hadn’t protected her, that I failed in my sole purpose and that I was the reason for her premature demise.

Several minutes passed until Aro finished sifting through my mind and finally released my hand. 
            “Remarkable.” Aro beamed. 
            “What is it?” Caius demanded.
Aro quickly rearranged his expression as he turned to his brother. His thoughts hadn’t actually been concerning me or Bella. He had seen something in my mind that he found captivating and which made me feel like growling.

            “Edward has a fascinating mind and it seems he has acquired himself a companion.”
I grimaced at Aro’s statement. He spoke as if Bella was alive and as if she was mine – neither of which were true. 
            “How is that remarkable?” Caius said impatiently. 
            “The girl is mortal.”
Suddenly I had Marcus’s attention. 
            “Mortal?” He spoke for the first time.
So far, Marcus had hardly shown any interest in my presence. He had been somewhat shocked by my blunt request, but recovered almost instantly. Even his thoughts had been discreet.
I nodded.
            Is it possible?
I nodded again, in response to his thoughts. 
            “But how?”
            Aro answered for me. “It seems Edward exerts astounding self-control in Miss Bella’s presence, or rather he did.”
Hearing Bella’s name being spoken pinched painfully in my empty chest.

            “Did she know what you were? Did she know of our kind?” Marcus questioned. 
            “Yes.” I replied truthfully. I wanted them to know I had disobeyed the rule. I could hope that they would take that into consideration. 
            “What?” Caius exploded. “You exposed yourself to a human!”
            “Peace, brother.” Aro said soothingly. 
            “This changes things, Aro. The girl for instance –“
            “The girl is not an issue, Caius.” Aro interrupted.
I swallowed back a growl at his use of the word ‘girl’.
Bella was not just a girl.
She was an amazing being – the very reason for my existence.
The proprietor of my heart.

            “Not a problem?” Marcus repeated. 
            “I’m sorry to say that Bella passed away.”
Someone else speaking those words out loud somehow made them more real.
I felt weak. I wanted to crumble to the ground and forget everything, but I maintained my stance.
This was the reason I was here.

I focused on Marcus. He has returned to his apathetic state, whilst trying to hide his thoughts from me. I realised then, he sympathised with me. He understood my request because he had the experience of losing a loved one. However he respected the life our kind lived and as a consequence he was suffering the future I was desperately trying to avoid.

            “Even so, he has broken the fundamental rule. He exposed us.” Caius said unsympathetically. He deserves to be punished; therefore we should grant his request. He finished his verdict in his head.
Caius would gleefully destroy me at this very moment but I could see that Aro would be more lenient.

            “Edward?” Aro called. “Would you please leave us to deliberate your request privately? You can wait in the reception area with Gianna, or maybe you would like to hunt? If you wish to do so, please refrain from doing so within the city. I will send a guard member to notify you when our decision has been made.” Demetri’s form appeared in his mind.

I gave him a stiff nod in agreement; however I was displeased. I did not want to wait. It was clear I would not get an answer as to the expected duration of their meeting if I asked. I left the throne room and made my way back to the reception area. I had nowhere else to wait, but I didn’t feel comfortable in close proximity of a human when I had not hunted for so long. Although, I couldn’t possibly put Gianna in any more danger than she already was. I fed off animals – living the vegetarian lifestyle, whereas her employers fed off fragile humans like herself.

I decided to wander the city of Volterra and try to find a place of solitude outside for the duration of my wait.
Gianna kindly directed me to the nearest exit.
I was positive that Aro would respect the privacy I could give them by not being in close enough proximity to hear the thoughts being generated within their discussion.

It was several hours before I encountered any disturbances.
I had located a quite place north of the city blocked from the sunlight and I had settled in the corner of a constricted cobbled street. The surrounding area was deserted – I could not even hear the thoughts of any persons nearby, meaning I was completely alone - the way I wanted it.

I rested my head on my knees and let myself fall into a dream-like state.
Where would I go when I left this world?
I knew I would always have my memories of Bella – I would not allow them to be lost.
But was there a chance I would be reunited with her?
Carlisle believed.
Bella believed.
I hoped.

Even if I had a soul, it was dark and tortured. Would they grant access to heaven to a dark-spirited monster? If there was any justice, the answer would be no.

When I closed my eyes I was transported to my love, my Bella. This was the reason I wanted to have my eyes permanently closed – so I could spend eternity with her.
Forever…with my true love.

I knew at that moment that if Bella was still alive, I would have gone back to Forks and back to her. I would have sought comfort in the rainy town and begged the forgiveness of my Bella, and promised to stay with her forever.

I heard Demetri’s thoughts before I heard his approach. He had been sent to find me. As a tracker – it only took him seconds to establish my whereabouts. Nothing like my pathetic attempt at tracking Victoria. The Volturi leaders had made a decision. Demetri had not been informed of the situation so I was unable to see the conclusion they had come to in his thoughts.

Demetri instructed me to return with him.
As we swiftly made our way back, I couldn’t help but wonder if this was the last time I would see the light of day. I took one last deep breath of fresh air before I entered the Volturi’s lair – hopefully for the last time.

Demetri led me to a different room, instead of the throne room in which we had met before. This room looked more welcoming, with a large stone fireplace and elegant décor.
            Wait here. Demetri ordered in his head.
Exactly one minute later a door at the opposite end of the room opened and in walked Aro followed by Caius, Marcus, Jane and another vampire I had never met, but he was known to me. His name was Alec.

Jane and Alec were brother and sister, both in possession of exceptional and sinister abilities. Jane was able to torment people at will by causing terrible pain with her mind, whereas Alec could disconnect people's senses, rendering them blind, deaf, and numb. Their ability’s made them extremely valuable to the guard. Aro was delighted to have them under his control.

I knew the leader’s decision instantly. They could not hide it in their thoughts
Caius was aggravated – he had been the one with the opposing vote, the one who was happily willing to grant my request, but it seemed Aro had other plans for me.
A proposition; an offer I would not accept…ever.

            “Welcome back, Edward.” Aro greeted me. “I hope your wait was not too inconvenient, however we had much to discuss.”
            “I understand, and I know your verdict.” I said with irritation in my voice. I had been relying on their decision. I didn’t want to waste anymore time. I had to think of a plot to ensure my exposure and force a rapid and fierce reaction that would bring about my immediate extermination. It was imperative for me to leave…right away.

            “Edward?” Aro interrupted my scattered thoughts. “This is an unprecedented situation; however we have decided to deny your request.”
            “I know.” I hissed. 
            “However, we would like to offer you a place among the guard. Your talent would contribute significantly to our strength. We consider it to be wasteful to dispose of you and your ability. Additionally I do not wish to offend an old friend.” My father’s image entered his thoughts.
Caius grunted. His displeasure at the decision bothered me. If he desired to, he could eradicate me right now.
            He is offering him a place with the guard, with us? Jane thought panicky.
Aro obviously hadn’t informed any of his guard as to the reason I was here, as Alec was confused also. 
            “Master?” She spoke in an anxious voice.
            “Don’t worry, dear one. Your place is secure. I will explain the circumstances later.” Aro turned his attention back to me. ”Why don’t you take some time to consider your options?” An image of his guard flashed into his mind, with one extra member; a mind-reader standing robed by his side.

            Why would he need to think about it? It is a great honour. Alec thought. 
            “I only have one other alternative as you are aware Aro. Why waste precious time, when we can settle this now?”
Jane’s thought suddenly got protective over her master. 
            “No” he replied vigorously. “If you wish to proceed with your previous plan we will be forced to act accordingly, but not until that time.”
I saw in his mind that if I did attempt to expose myself and our kind – the guard would be watching and waiting to overpower me at the last second.
I was reliant on that image.

I was not making progress here so it was time to leave.
Aro sensed my imminent departure. 
            “Think carefully, Edward.” He said sternly before continuing in his head. You could be an integral part of what we have here.
I dashed out of the room without another word.

I noticed that darkness had blackened the sky as I exited the Volturi lair, so I didn’t have to avoid the sunlight. Not that I cared about being seen. I wanted to be exposed. Exposure would bring about my death.

I paced the city thinking of an opportune way to evoke the wrath of the ancient trio. There were limited people around due to the time of day. I required a substantial audience to ensure instant death.

The darkness gave me time to think. As soon as the sun rose I could act.
How could I infuriate the Volturi?
What would draw attention to myself?
My mind raced through the possibilities.
A demonstration of my excessive strength?
Attacking the guard?
Attacking humans?
Hunting?
I kept changing my mind. I believed the one that would cause the most uproar forcing an instant reaction from the guard was hunting within the city; hunting humans in a public place.

The sun began to rise as what I hoped would be my last dawn approached.
As I lingered in the shadowy streets, I saw people start to leave their homes to enjoy the day ahead of them, or so they thought. Maybe some of them would become one of my victims….my prey.
I sifted through the thoughts of passing people to find information on where I could get the best selection of people to witness my monstrous activity.
Luck was on my side once again.

Ironically it was St Marcus Day, and there was a festival to mark the occasion. There would be masses of humans to observe my deviant act.
The square in the middle of the city - Palazzo dei Priori, was where the festival was being held. That was to be the stage for my last performance.
I walked slowly in that direction.
The streets were already filled with people.
I inhaled deeply taking in the human scents around me letting them register with me. I felt my throat burn with thirst, but I had no desire to satiate that thirst. I reminded myself that I needed to feed on these people. This was what I had to do to be obliterated.

I began to get anxious as I drew nearer.
She’s dead. Rosalie’s words echoed in my head giving me the determination to proceed.
I noticed a gathering of people standing on the edge of the square, and within range of my deadly pounce.
Innocent people.
I decided that I would kill them all, the entire group first, almost instantly, before I drained their blood.
I forced myself to fall back into a hunting crouch as my vampire instincts refused to overcome me. I pushed all thoughts out of my mind with a huge amount of effort. The whole attack would be forced.

I gasped and collapsed onto my back as Bella’s face entered my mind.
Her human face.
It was smiling encouragingly at me.
I let out a sob.
I couldn’t go through with it.
Bella was human.
I couldn’t kill one of her kind.
Bella had halted me…again.
It reminded me of when I almost attacked that woman a few months ago.
Bella had rescued me then too.

I would have to carry out one of my alternative plans. This disgruntled me greatly as the end would not come as quick.

As I stood up I noticed a shimmer on my hand. The sunlight was shining on my palm making me sparkle.
            “Like a thousand tiny diamonds embedded into your skin.” Bella had once told me.
It was the reason vampires could not go out in the sunlight without being exposed -
My brain clicked.
Sunlight would expose me.
It was a glorious sunny day.
For my very last moments in the world…I would sparkle.

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