I'm packed, only a change of clothes, passport and money, money was hidden in secret compartments, as was my mobile and MP3 player.
Fred was heading out the door, "Stay safe sweetheart." He kisses me on the cheek. Fred looks hurt and concerned.
"I'll be fine, I've done nothing wrong, I love you." I smile.
"I love you too baby." Off he goes. Closing the door I make a sandwich and a coffee.
1pm, everything is clean, just as I sit on the sofa there is a knock at the door, standing up I walk and open the door, there stands Felix, "Afternoon Felix." I smile.
"Good afternoon Ara," Felix smiles, "are you ready?"
I grab my bag, "Ready." Locking up I put the keys in my pocket.
I'm shopping with Sebastian. I'm scattered. My friend is leaving. If only for a few days, I’m terrified.I pushed the carriage up, and down the aisle ways. Slowly looking at each item. Sebastian babbled as I walked.
"Hello there handsome." An elderly woman smiled at him as we past. He grinned at her, then looked at me.
"Why hey there. You married? If so I could change your mind." I whipped around, and Travis was smirking.
"Clown." I shook my head.
He laughed hugging me. "I saw you, decided to join you. Hi buddy."Sebastian smiled. "So lunch? What are we having?"
I shook my head, "I'm not hungry."
He sighed, "You have to eat." I kept pushing the carriage.
"So Felix, how are we getting to Volterra?"
Felix spoke softly, "Private plane, Aro insisted upon it, we do not have to go far, if you feel tired I can carry you." He smiled.
"I'm sure I'll be fine but thank you for the offer," remembering, "Felix before we go I want to text Leah."
Felix nodded, "Of course."
I grabbed the phone out of my bag and text, "Hey lovely, we are just heading off, I wanted to text you, please do not worry, also please eat, I love you to the moon and beyond, I will text you when I return, say hi to Hunter for me and give Sebastian a kiss from me, love you my sister, Ara xxx." I look at Felix, "Ok let's go." With that we were gone, on our way to the plane.
My phone vibrated, and I read her text. Travis hugged me, "Hey its ok." I leaned over kissing Sebastian. "She'll be ok. I promise." I started pushing the carriage. Travis walked with me.
Boarding the plane, the air smells of vanilla, "Nice touch." I wink at Felix.
"Again Aro's idea, food is available for your consumption." He helped me into my seat.
"Right now I could do with getting some sleep." I reply.
In an instant Felix was up, he helped me out of my seat, into one of the huge comfy chairs, "You can sleep there, it's comfortable, do not fear sweet Ara, you are in safe hands." Felix touched my cheek.
"Thank you." Curling up I gently close my eyes.
I feel the plane take off, we are in the air. Someone's hand is holding mine, opening one eye I see Felix, "Why are you holding my hand?"
"To reassure you Ara." He looked at me carefully.
"You do realize I'm engaged?" I say softly.
"I do but that does not stop me looking after you." He kisses me on the forehead, "Sleep Ara, dream sweet dreams, I will be watching over you."
Smiling faintly I begin to fall asleep.
We continued through the grocery store. We'd finally made it to check out. Travis put his stuff up for his lunch behind mine. The cashier looked at us. "Hi Sebastian." Travis played with him as I was paying.
"Your son is adorable." The cashier said, smiling at Travis.
"Whoa. Not my little guy. Just my nephew." The cashier apologized.
Stretching after just waking up, one of the best things ever. Even though things are a bit hazy, Felix is watching me and smiling, "I have brought you pancakes with maple syrup and blueberries, I hope it is to your liking?"
Sleepily I answer, "How long to go?"
"One hour." he replies.
Looking at the food, "Oh they look yummy, thank you Felix."
I got Sebastian in the car, and put the bags in. Travis smiled, "Listen get home. I will see you later ok."
I looked at him, "Where are you off to?"
He smirked, "Some of us don't have half days of work.” He winked, and kissed me on the cheek, "Bye sis." I waved, and watched as he left.
"Well Boo, time for us to go home. You need a nap." Sebastian yawned, and I chuckled.
Arriving at Volterra, Felix is keeping a close eye on me. Up ahead I see Jane, she greets me with her high pitch nasal voice, "Glad you could make it." she sneers.
"Don't even start girly, you maybe older than me in terms of creation but I am wiser than you." I snarl back.
Once we were home, I brought Sebastian in. "Nap time kiddo." I changed his diaper, and nursed him. “Sweet dreams sweetie.” I kissed him, and put him down in his crib. I stepped out, closing the door behind me. I headed back to the car, and started unloading it.
Hunter came up from the basement, "I didn’t know you were home. I would have unloaded the bags.” He kissed me, “Laundry's done baby. Let me help. You sit down."
I shook my head, "I'm ok. What do you want for lunch."
He shrugged, "Whatever you're having." I mentally growled. I wasn't hungry. If I wouldn't eat, he wouldn't. It was his way of making sure I ate to stay healthy.
Entering the lift Demetri and Alec are there.
"Don't even start threatening me Alec, I can tell you want to-" snapping my head round and grabbing Jane by the throat, "pathetic child, anyway if you use your power on me it will only bounce back on you." Letting go I grin at Felix and turn to Demetri, "Hello Demetri."
He nods, "Ara, nice to see you."
Felix and Demetri exchange glances.
I put together vanilla yogurt with granola, strawberries, and blueberries.
"Looks good baby. Anything else?" I shook my head. He came over to me, placing his hands on my hips, "Easy ok. I know your stomach is upset."
Demetri goes ahead while we wait.
A few moments later he comes back, "Aro would like to see you tomorrow, let Felix show you to your room."
With that Demetri Jane and Alec vanish leaving Felix and I.
"Babe that was delicious. Are you sure you don't want anything else?" Hunter smiled. I shook my head.
I kissed Hunter on the cheek, and went to take a nap. I was exhausted. I still had to check on the bookstore later on.
Felix opened the door to my room, allowing me to enter first he followed, "Wow," I survey the room, a plush four poster bed, a love seat, a small collection of books neatly on a bookcase in the corner, candles were lit, giving a gentle glow.
Felix closed the door, "Ara, if Aro asks you to join us, please say no." He looked worried.
"Why would he ask me that?" I ask.
"Just don't say yes, you have a life set up there, I have seen the change in you."
"Felix, since I am not needed until morning, would you like to join me in Pisa?" I smile.
Felix comes to within inches of me, he smiles, "I would love to, that way I can keep you safe."
He walks out and returns a few minutes later, "Aro agrees that it would be best I escort you, so whenever you are ready."
I grab money out of my bag, "Is the little market on in Pisa?"
"Later on yes, by the time we arrive it should be opening." Felix opens the door for me.
"Thank you." We descend from Volterra and head for Pisa.
Brenna called, and it woke me up. "Hello?" I yawned.
"Leah you need to come in." We're having a huge interest in the Sylvain Reynard books. I put the display up, and used some fabrics to accent the book covers."
I got to my feet, and headed upstairs quickly changing. "I will be there soon." I hung up. Hunter had left a note.
"Male bonding time. No girls allowed ;) love your boys." I chuckled and quietly left.
Pisa was coming to life, people bustled around, herbs and wine permeated the air, Felix saw the beam on my face, "You look magnificent." He commented.
"That is the atmosphere talking." I chuckle.
Sure enough at the book store, it was bustling. Brenna grinned, "Hey sweetie."
It was getting late, I could tell I was getting tired, got everything I needed, including a hikers rucksack, which would fit everything in easier. Felix puts his arm around my shoulder, "You are tired, time to go so you can rest."
I smile, "Agreed."
"Guess the newsletter enticed them to come in." She grinned, processing a sale.
I nodded, "You did great."
She smiled, "Ordered more books. Also posted about signed copy contests going on."
I smiled, "Brenna you're doing great with this.
I'm up, dressed fed and watered, awaiting one of the guard to take me to meet Aro, looking out of the grand window I sigh, "Twenty four hours and I will be heading home." I smile.
The night has ended. I'm exhausted, more so then before. I can't sleep though. It's bothering me. Ara isn't here, and I hate that.
I'm about to enter the lions den, Jane is a few steps in front, she looked annoyed that she wasn't Aro's favourite pet, I snigger, Jane spins round, "Something wrong?" She eyes me up and down with hatred.
"Just thinking, you must not be flavour of the day." I stare right back.
Jane growls and we enter the meeting hall, sitting in the middle is Aro, to the left is Caius and to the right is Marcus. Standing near is Felix and Demetri, Alec and Jane go join them.
I get down on one knee and bow, "Aro, " I lift my head up, "a pleasure to meet you."
Aro glides from his chair, helping me to my feet, "Dear child, the honour is mine."
Aro takes my hand in his and begins seeing my life.
"Aro, if you don't mind me saying, Vladimir is a danger to the world and a danger to my world,” anguish, "why did you not burn him to ashes?"
"I did not feel it was right." His haunting voice replies.
"So, where is he?" I ask.
"Free with limited power," kissing my forehead, "do not fear, he is a shadow of his former self."
Crossing my arms, "So you think," feeling defeated, "sorry Aro but you have made the biggest mistake of your existence," sighing, "you are not the ones who pay the price, my family and I will pay the price and it will be dear," fear ripples through me, "he lied to you just as he lied to everyone, you are not there to pick up the pieces, that has always been my punishment," rubbing my neck, "I decline the offer."
"Child, you punish yourself without good reason." Aro looks at me, "I see the answer is no to joining my guard?"
I spoke, "The punishment fits the crime, for each wrong he does, I am damned to right it, without hesitation, finally I found my place in the world and he spoils it," kissing Aro's hand, "I must decline, I have found at last a family who cares for me and I would give my life in exchange for theirs over and over again," small smile, "I am retiring to my room, I will see you tomorrow before I leave."
With my head hung low I walk slowly out of the hall and back to my room, closing the door I sob.
Back home all was quiet. The middle of the night and I was wide awake.
"You're reading that again? How many times now?" I looked up to find Jacob in my sun room.
"Three so far." I put a bookmark in the place, and shut the book.
He nodded, "Redemption. Something you're seeking?" He asked, and I shrugged.Jacob looked at me, "Why do you seek redemption. You've done nothing." For him he couldn't feel it, or understand it. The way I felt when Sebastian was first born, I needed forgiveness. Jacob could read me. "You seek redemption for the wrong reasons. You're an amazing mother, and person. I love you. You're my friend, and sister." I nodded feeling his honesty.
Jacob looked at me, and smiled. I was too tired to think. I rested my head on his shoulder. "Remember the time I kissed you. I can tell my kids I kissed and older woman."
I laughed, "I was your test."
He nodded, and a good one at that, although awkward.
Jacob looked at me, "Leah can I ask you something?"
I nodded. "Of course."
He spoke softly, "I held off on proposing to Renesmee. Did I do the right thing?" I held his hand, "If it feels right, then you'll know when to do it. That’s something special, and it’s all about a feeling." he smiled.
Jacob smiled, standing up, "Get sleep. I need to get going." I smiled, and walked him out. I shut the door, and laid on the couch. I flipped on the television, and started watching P.S I Love You.
Something disturbed me from my sleep, sitting bolt upright I look around the room, "Who's there?" I whisper sleepily.
Vladimir comes from the shadows, "Give me the element." He demands.
"Not a chance," putting my rucksack on, "you need to hear me, hear me well," standing up, "if ever history speaks of a tyrant, let it be known you were the most cowardly of all, you get others to do your dirty work, you should do it yourself."
Vladimir stands there, anger pulses from him, "I do as I please." He growls.
"Get out before Felix walks in and finishes you." I smirk.
Strange words come from his mouth, things grey around the edges but I'm fighting, he repeats the words faster and faster, the world grows dim.
Esme answered the door, "Hello Felix. Please come in." She stepped out of the way. His tall frame towered over her. "Carlisle, Felix is here."
"Thank you." he nodded and walked in, waiting for Carlisle.
Carlisle walked over, extending his hand to Felix. "Pleasure seeing you. What brings you here?" Esme stood beside Carlisle, and he carefully held her,
Shaking Carlisle's hand, "A pleasure," coughing, "I am here because Aro sent me, Ara vanished from her room in Volterra, I called at her home but she wasn't there," worried, "so I thought she might be here?"
Carlisle shook his head. "She's not called." Esme was extremely concerned.
"She vanished on the 11th, I was supposed to escort her home, but when I went-" a very real thought hits me, "Aro let Vladimir go with limited power, Ara told him it was the biggest mistake he had made, she said her punishment was to forever right his wrongs," looking at Carlisle, "then there is only one answer."
Esme covered her mouth, "He has her." That's all she can say.
He hung his head in shame, "More than likely."
Carlisle shook his head, "We can't let Leah know." Esme nodded. Jasper, Emmett, and Edward flew out the door without a word.
"If I did not have to return I would hunt him down myself." he look worried.
Carlisle spoke, "The boys are going now."
"What about Ara's fiancée, will you let him know?" He was ready to go.
Carlisle sighed, "The boys will have gone to get him."
"Then I best be on my way," holding Carlisle's shoulder, "I'm sorry." He walked out and vanish.