dark moon

a twilight fanfiction.

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19. Chapter 18 Premonition

My body made involuntary jerking movements as I writhed around on the stone floor.

My whole form was paralysed with pain.
I wanted to scream – but I couldn’t.
I couldn’t let Bella see in how much pain I was in, it would horrify her.
The searing pain that dominated me was not, however the worse pain I had ever experienced.
As every jolt scorched my heart it reminded me that there was a more wounding pain.
I had suffered pain much worse than this. What Jane was inflicting upon me now was nothing compared to losing my Bella.
Leaving her.
Trying to survive without her.
Believing she was dead.
I knew that any other pain I experienced would never be as horrendous as that.
 
I let the shocks take over my body.
I deserved the punishment.
I accepted that this was part of my chastisement for converting Bella’s life from safe and normal to disturbing and dangerous.
Conversely, no punishment ever inflicted upon me would come close to what I truly deserved, for being the monster that I despised so much.
Not Jane’s pain-inflicting power.
Not the Volturi.
Not even death itself.
 
Bella’s sweet voice touched my ears.
            “Stop!” she screeched.
I wanted her sight to be averted; she shouldn’t have to see Jane’s malicious power in action.
            “Jane.” Aro ordered her to stop and suddenly I was motionless and numb.
            “He’s fine.” I heard Alice tell Bella.
The shocking pain had vanished.
I sat up.
            That serves you right for trying to attack me, Edward. Jane thought. Next?
I sprang to my feet and stared at Bella horror-struck as Jane forced her power onto her.
I braced myself to pounce at Jane again, but I was distracted by Bella’s unchanging stance.
She didn’t fall.
She didn’t crumble in pain.
I promptly switched my gaze to Jane, who was extremely confused.
She had attacked.
She attempted to inflict the pain again.
I breathed a sigh of overwhelming relief.
Bella’s mind was shielded from Jane’s formidable power.
 
            How is that possible? How can it not work? Jane growled in her mind as she shook with fury.
 
At that moment I was vastly appreciative that Bella’s amazingly abnormal mind blocked such intrusions by Aro and Jane.
A beautifully special mind.
An inaccessible and intriguing mind.
 
In one swift movement I was by Alice’s side pulling Bella back safely into my arms.
Aro started to chuckle, obviously amused by the whole situation, whereas Jane was infuriated and hissed in frustration as she glared at Bella.
            “Don’t be put out, dear one. She confounds us all.” Aro said, comforting her. “Ha, ha, ha.” Aro chuckle gleefully.         “You’re very brave, Edward, to endure in silence. I asked Jane to do that to me once - just out of curiosity” He continued.
I shot him a look of disgust.
I was not brave.
The courage I had expressed was necessary in the circumstances.
It was for protection.
I had to appear strong as reassurance – for Bella.
I didn’t want her to be afraid, as I was.
 
            “So what do we do with you now?” Aro asked aloud but to himself.
My body froze at the same time as Alice stilled beside me.
The time has come for them to reach a verdict.
To decide our fate.
The tension in the chamber mounted.
 
            Kill them! Caius and Felix thought simultaneously.
I had a devastating feeling that this situation would end badly, whether we were allowed to continue living, or not. In Bella’s case it would be living, as for me and Alice, we would merely continue to exist.
Bella began to quiver, presumably out of fear. If I wasn’t able to maintain my posture then I would also be trembling.
I could not soothe the anxiety any of us were feeling.
 
            “I don’t suppose there’s any chance that you have changed your mind? Your talent would be an excellent addition to our little company.” Aro asked optimistically before continuing silently in his head for only me to hear. It goes without saying, Edward, if you accept, your life will be preserved.
Jane and Felix grimaced and their thoughts allowed me to observe their abhorrence of Aro’s request. 
 
Aro had issued me with an ultimatum.
I would rather perish than join their forces; however I had a more crucial objective – the guarantee of Bella’s safety and survival. Maybe I could use this as a bargaining device to ensure Bella kept her liberty.
If I had learnt anything from the previous six months, it was that I would never allow Bella to be subject to death due to my own actions.
I had already experienced losing her.
I honestly believed that I had made a significant contribution to her jumping off that cliff.
Now we had been reunited, I had undeservingly been given a second chance to be there for her – to protect her. I would do anything necessary to endeavor to maintain her living status, and hopefully I would still be present to see her released.
If I had no other choice than to join the Volturi in order to keep Bella alive, I would join without hesitation. However, this was not the right moment to commence negotiations so I stated my words clearly.
            “I’d…rather…not Aro.” I said enunciating my words distinctly, but not issuing a definite refusal.
 
            “Alice? Would you perhaps be interested in joining us?” Aro asked my sister.
            “No, thank you.” She replied politely. I would rather forgo shopping for a month than join these people. She informed me in her head. I respected my sister for trying to lighten my mood, but I was preoccupied with Aro’s next intended offer.
What!?
What the hell was he doing?
I could feel my anger rising.
He couldn’t.
Absolutely not.
 
            “And you, Bella?”
I saw an astounding beautiful vampire depicted in his head, and let out a low hiss.
I felt myself fill with anxiety.
Bella had previously desired to become a vampire – did she still want that?
Would she accept Aro’s offer?
 
It was Caius who echoed my first thought aloud.
            “What?” he demanded.
            “Caius, surely you see the potential. I haven’t seen a prospective talent so promising since we found Jane and Alec. Can you imagine the possibilities when she is one of us?” Aro explained.
Caius ignored him and turned away with an abrasive expression upon his face, whilst muttering profanities in his mind.
 
I was filled with fury, trying not to allow the growl building in my chest to escape my lips.
            Bella’s voice trembled as she whispered, “No, thank you.”
Her instant rejection pleased me. 
            “That’s unfortunate. Such a waste” Aro sighed in disappointment.
            “Join or die, is that it? I suspected as much when we were brought into this room. So much for your laws.” I demanded furiously
I did not intend to anger the Volturi, but I had to ask with hope of seeing Aro’s intentions in his head.
            “Of course not. We were already convened here, Edward, awaiting Heidi’s return. Not for you.” He replied.
He blocked his thoughts from me, I couldn’t see his plan of action, but surely the outcome could not be good.
            “Aro, the law claims them.” Caius jeered. The girl is human. At the very least the law claims her. 
            “How so?” I interjected, wanting Caius to voice his opinions aloud.
He pointed at Bella whilst his words were directed at me.
            “She knows too much. You have exposed our secrets.”
            “There are few humans in your charade here, as well.” I argued.
            “Yes, but when they are no longer useful to us, they will serve to sustain us. That is not our plan for this one. If she betrays our secrets, are you prepared to destroy her? I think not.” He ridiculed. 
            “I wouldn’t…” Bella started to speak, but was quickly silenced by Caius with a look, as he carried on with his speech.
            “Nor do you intent to make her one of us; therefore, she is a liability.  And for this, the penalty is her life. You may live if you wish.” But I doubt you will give her up that easily.
I bared my teeth, my mouth dripping with my own venom. Caius wasn’t of a dense nature, because he knew that I wouldn’t surrender Bella to them so they could destroy her, while I walked away liberated with my sister. 
            “That’s what I thought.” Let’s get this dealt with now, before Heidi arrives.
It seemed as if Felix had also heard Caius thoughts, as he leaned fervently towards Bella.
            “Unless…” Aro interrupted.
I could see into his mind now, like he was showing me himself – granting me access.
He did not desire to destroy Bella as his brother did. He wanted to remain in the good faith of my family in a desperate attempt to acquire Alice someday in the future. All the same, he sought to obey the rules they had created.
            “Unless you do intend to give her immortality?”
I thought about it for a split second.
Was I willing to take away Bella’s life later, for the purpose of saving it at this present moment?
Could I promise to do that? – Something I had spent all this time refusing to give Bella.
Aro would surely want corroboration via my thoughts, meaning it was not possible to be untruthful.
            “And if I do?” I asked curiously.
            “Why, then you would be free to go home and give my regards to my friend Carlisle. But I am afraid you would have to mean it.”
Just as I had suspected, Aro held out his hand towards me requesting my thoughts...my promise.
            Caius smirked. Now is the time we will discover his true intentions.
 
I looked at Bella, only to see her staring at me. I gazed deeply into her eyes – all the way into her soul.
It took my breath away.
Could I really annihilate that?
Could I destroy the very essence of Bella?
I knew in my frozen heart – I couldn’t.
 
            “Mean it, please.” Bella whispered to me.
I saw a strained tortured plea in her eyes.
I longed to grant her any request she made, but not this. I could not lie in my thoughts.
 
Before I could think of an alternative, my sister stepped forward towards the Volturi leader with her hand outstretched.
            Don’t be angry, Edward.
I ignored the scowling protests around me, and watched as Alice showed Aro every corner of her mind – specifically her vision of Bella becoming an immortal in the near future.
This puzzled me as I had steadfastly refused to change Bella, but then I saw Alice promise Bella that she would change her, herself.
I wanted to growl in annoyance at my sister.
How could Alice promise Bella that?
I didn’t have the time to think about it, or question Alice right now…but I most certainly would later… if we were ever able to leave and I got the chance.
I held my breath throughout the whole period of time Aro was scrutinizing Alice’s thoughts, hoping he would not want to examine mine also.
 
            “Ha, ha, ha. That was fascinating!” Aro chortled, amazed at being granted access into Alice’s intriguing mind.”
            “I’m glad you enjoyed it.” Alice replied.
            “To see the things you’ve seen – especially the ones that haven’t happened yet!”
            “But that will.” She reminded him.
            “Yes, yes, it’s quite determined. Certainly there is no problem.”
Internally I relaxed slightly.
Caius, Jane and Felix were displeased by this recent revelation, whereas Marcus and Alec remained quiet and impartial.
            “Aro,” Caius protested.
            “Dear Caius, do not fret. Think of the hope for the future. Imagine the joy young Alice alone would bring to our little household…Besides, I’m so terribly curious to see how Bella turns out!”
 
I could hear a distant parade of people shuffling in the direction of this room.
The feast of humans for the blood thirsty vampires was rapidly approaching, which was our cue to escape while we were able to.
            “Then we are free to go now?”
            “Yes, yes, but please visit again. It’s been absolutely enthralling!” Aro replied.
            “And we will visit you as well; to be sure that you follow through on your side. Were I you, I would not delay too long. We do not offer second chances.” Caius spoke with authority in his tone. Consider that a threat, Edward. He warned me in his head.
I gritted my teeth to prevent myself from speaking words I’d be likely to regret, and instead nodded at the threat of their imposing presence in our lives.
 
Felix groaned aloud, getting progressively more appetent. Bella’s scent was tempting him, increasing his thirst.
            “Ah Felix. Heidi will be here any moment. Patience.” Aro said amused.
Aro was right – Heidi would soon be herding like animals, a vast number of humans into this very room, therefore I had to get Bella out of here quickly. If she realised what was about to happen, it would surely upset her.
            “Hmm. In that case, perhaps we’d better leave sooner rather than later.” I suggested.
            “Yes. That’s a good idea. Accidents do happen. Please wait below until after dark, though, if you don’t mind.” Just to remain inconspicuous. Aro added in his head.
I mentally winced at the thought of the accident that Aro was referring to occurring.
            “Of course.” I agreed. I was not relishing the fact that we had to remain in Volterra, rather than leaving this god-awful place immediately, however I did not want to dispute Aro’s request as it would prolong our presence in this room.
            “And here,” Aro spoke whilst gesturing to Felix to come forward. He disrobed Felix and handed the cloak to me, as I was still shirtless. ”Take this. You’re a little conspicuous.”
I put on the cloak, whilst Aro watched me intently.
            “It suits you.” He sighed.
I chuckled at his comment, glad that the outcome of today’s events hadn’t concluded with the disastrous consequences I had expected. We were free and I was not part of his coven.
            “Thank you, Aro. We’ll wait below.”
            “Goodbye, young friends.” Aro said with slight disappointment, before his attention was otherwise distracted by the audience behind us.
“Let’s go.” I said urgently.

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