Story summary: Bella’s gift as a human is grossly underestimated by the Cullens. As Edward’s obsession sends her running for her life, her turbulent emotions throw her abilities into chaos. The question that begs an answer is who is capable of helping her now?
Pairing: Demetri/Bella Swan
Warning(s): Language, Violence
Note(s): This story was originally written for what had been intended as a fundraiser, Fandom4, but I wasn’t happy with the result by the deadline and other issues. Pairing I chose was for a friend, Speklz, who I hope is satisfied with my attempt at Demetri. Still not quite confident I will attempt another one, but only time will tell.
Since Bella returned from rescuing her idiot boyfriend from the Italian rulers, she’d grown more irritable and frustrated by his presence. She was never more pleased by the fact he was incapable of hearing her thoughts. He would be highly offended by what crossed her mind whenever he entered her line of sight.
If it wasn’t Edward Cullen pissing her off with his overbearing, protectiveness, it was Alice. She’d shown up out of nowhere, dragging her across the globe against her will just as she’d begun to get over the loss of the family’s abandonment of her. While she entertained their attempts for forgiveness, only one of the so-called family had truly received it – although she felt he had not needed it in the first place.
Jasper had wisely kept his distance once he got a taste of her emotional state once Edward and Alice paraded her into the Cullen house after everyone returned to Forks to await their arrival from Italy. Despite his attempts suggest to his brother and wife to back off and be mindful of the girl, he was readily dismissed as the cause of the problem. His eyes met Bella’s and the internal rage she had never felt around them was almost glorious. He would admit that he was even more fascinated by the waves of anger she felt.
He felt her anxiety growing, the need and desire to be somewhere else. He could not help but wonder if more hadn’t changed for her since the family left Forks. It could only have been amplified by whatever occurred in Volterra. As he watched her gaze remained fixated on the fireplace that Esme had lit for her arrival, he continued to taste her emotions as he eyed his siblings. He noted as the storm within her continued to swirl and he knew it would only grow, making him smile as the flames began to flicker in the windless home.
Unsure if there was a draft somewhere, Jasper began to check the house to find the cause of it. Despite being a vampire, he was quite concerned of Chief Swan’s reaction and didn’t want Bella to catch a cold. Only each turn to focus on her, it was like absolutely nothing but the vampires around her were of interest.
When her gaze crossed him, he felt what seemed akin to a warning flowing underneath the very obvious contempt for the family. He needed to get her away and fast. Not just away from Edward, Alice and the others, but from Forks. He narrowed his eyes as he plotted an escape beneath decisions of shopping excursions that he typically was expected to take his wife out on. Picking up and including Bella would not cause the woman to think anything as she carried on her conversation with Esme. Getting the girl away from Edward would prove to be the more difficult of the two as he was the more compulsive and obsessive when it came to Bella. And not just about her blood. He was certain that by now, with the involvement of the Italians, the whole bloodlust problems was nothing in comparison to whatever that they will eventually they would be facing.
Because no one walks away from the Volturi the way Alice, Edward, and Bella managed to without some underlying reason. And Jasper was certain that it involved the very peculiar human.
Bella had made it out of Washington state with Jasper’s help and eventually south to the sunshine dominated states. However, she was well aware she was not safe from her overbearing ex-boyfriend. Although he would deny he was anything but such a term and they were in far more advanced in their relationship than she ever recognized them to ever be.
She needed safety but there was none. She could not reach the rendezvous Jasper had arranged for her with friends of his. Her anxiety grew with the weather, the winds grew faster around the city she got caught in. The rain whipped past her, smacking her but she could barely feel it as she tried to see for hints of sparkles where there should be none. The unnatural speed of human-like shapes. Only trees moving in the wind, bending with the increasing forces.
The storm was natural. The storm felt unnatural. Bella backed against the wall of the building on the street, under an awning of a small shop where some people peeked out to watch as they were safe, but she could not find herself to join them. Her eyes brought back around as a lawn chair from an outdoor seating area from an eatery up the block flew past, barely missing her, caused her to jump and her heart rate to rocket again.
The winds began to pick up speed.
As debris continued to be strewn around by the heavy winds, Bella was traumatized in spot by fear of the storm and running from those she once trusted. A loud crack of thunder sounded just as she felt an icy hand grasp her around her arm and pull her away from where she’d planted herself to the side, around the side of the building providing only minimal protection and certainly more privacy from the prying eyes from humans in the shop.
When she finally risked looking up, fully expecting to find herself resolved to face Edward again, a new sense of unease filled her. She did not recognize this red-eyed man. He looked nothing like the vampire Jasper had described she’d meet and he was not one that she’d seen in the throne room. This could be either really bad or really good. She leaned more towards the ‘really bad’ part at the moment.
“Who are you?” she barely managed to whisper out, though she knew he heard her.
He narrowed his eyes at her, drawing in a breath of her scent. It was the same as he found at the castle that intrigued him and was slow to answer. He lifted his head and looked out somewhere that her human eyes were not capable of seeing. Stay or go. The conditions were guaranteed to decline based on her current state as his observations. “It’d be wise if you calm yourself,” he shared.
“What are you talking about?” Bella questioned.
His attention half on the distance, his eyes focused on her confusion. “We don’t have time to entertain your lack of understanding of your gift. Why Aro allowed you to leave Volterra is beyond me, but this storm is of your creation,” he gestured above him.
“No,” she shook her head, taking a step back from him. “I was told I had a shield. That – this is impossible!”
“That’s what you may have been told, but not what you are, clearly. However, you are not in the position for debate. We need to leave the area. You need to calm yourself. Or you may reunite with your former Cullen allies. I was under the impression you’ve parted ways,” the stranger murmured as he curiously narrowed his red eyes at her. “Perhaps you would like to go back?”
“Look, vampire I never met before. I may have been on my way to some for protection from Fuckward, but they were on recommendation of one that I do know and trust. I don’t know you.”
“Hm,” he hummed as his eyes glanced at her. Introductions likely would make his mission proceed much smoother, but this wasn’t a routine vampire he was dealing with. No. It was an extremely, overly gifted human who would eventually be overburdened by its complexity. “You may call me Demetri. Now may we go?”
She looked at him to the area behind him and back. The desire to run was strong within her and she knew nothing about this man. His sarcasm did not endear her to him any more than before.
“Cullen is not far behind. I’ve been tracking you not because of his failure to follow his order to turn you but because of your inability to control your gift,” he impatiently pointed out. “You need help and I am here to offer it.”
Every instinct in her that she witnessed of the Volturi, heard of them from the Cullens up to the inevitable trip, she’d been so confused and torn apart emotionally that the only ones she knew not to trust were Edward and Alice. “Are you going to kill me?”
Demetri shrugged dismissively. “I could. If you want to live, your best chance is to come with me. Your choice.”
“Why would I want to go to Volterra?” Bella questioned, still confused about how this Demetri told her that this freak storm was her fault. This wasn’t her fault. While the Cullens had warned her about the Volturi, and especially what she had seen with her own eyes when she went to rescue Edward, they were power hungry jerks who used the rest of the vampire population as their toys.
“Turn or die, was the agreement?” Demetri replied, annoyance growing. No doubt his appearance scared the girl, she needed to calm down, not to be more upset and create a hurricane that could wipe out entire cities. “There are many aspects of the Volturi you’ve not been exposed to. Only the kings and a limited idea of their court to have an idea of what you would be your fate if you fail to adhere to your agreement with Aro.”
Bella bit her lip out of frustration and took a deep breath, causing another gust of wind to barrel down the streets, making cars move on their own and trees bending almost unnaturally. There was such an agreement and back then she believed she wanted to turn. The deal hadn’t been that harsh, but what if Demetri was right and this storm was her fault?
“The Volturi have experience with extraordinary gifts such as yours. You need proper training. Perhaps they’ll be willing to go back to the original agreement.”
“And if I don’t want to stay? Is my freedom guaranteed or would I be forced into centuries of servitude?”
He let out a sigh, shaking his head. Frustrated by the antics of Aro and his pets, it only made his work more difficult when rumors of cohersion get out and exploited. “If everything goes smoothly and you follow what I tell you, I see no reason why you would not be able to leave – turned and in control,” Demetri replied, choosing his words carefully. He would not lie and say she would not be allowed to leave under Aro’s rule. However, they would all soon be playing a much more dangerous game. “Would you not have requested such had someone come with similar disdain once upon a time for your animal feeding allies?”
She wouldn’t have put it passed the Cullens to have blatantly lied about the Volturi. Perhaps because they considered themselves to be better than their rulers. But what was to say that Demetri wasn’t lying to her, too? “And what if I’d rather risk waiting for my friend’s friend?”
“The Whitlocks?” Demetri surmised, closing his eyes briefly. “I’m sorry to tell you but Cullen and his sister are much closer than they are. They would not make it. I can assure you of that. If you desire to truly remain out of Edward Cullen’s reach, I would advise we leave now, and for Volterra.”
Volterra was likely the last place Edward would go to find her. He wasn’t stupid like she had been. There was no doubt that without her interference, Edward might have ended up destroyed for what he had planned to do. “Fine. What do you need me to do?”
Demetri nodded, pleased to finally get out of Texas. “Splendid. First, it would help if you would calm the fuck down otherwise your storm will follow us across the Atlantic. I’ll be fine, but you’ll end up in the ocean with the plane. That, of course, is if we are even able to convince the American authorities to allow us to take off in this shit.”
“And how do you suggest I do that?” Bella angrily shot at him, lightning striking a tree close by. “This is not my doing!”
“Hell if I know. Find a human and get laid? I sincerely doubt Cullen assisted in that department,” he muttered as he pulled her by the arm from the alley, towards the airport on foot. When the rain did not change for a number of blocks, he turned and growled at the girl. “Figure out how to control this shit or I will do it for you.”
“Fuckward didn’t want to have sex. Hell, even kissing made him look constipated. He was afraid to break me,” she scowled as she struggled against Demetri’s pull on her. “I’m a teenager, I have needs. I don’t know what to do!”
Demetri rolled his eyes, his grip tight enough on her to leave light bruises in their haste. “Then you should have had the Major help you out. You’re just his type. He’s probably been the one keeping your emotions locked down until you were out of his reach before this storm was born.”
“Jasper promised me that he’d never do such a thing.”
“He would not have manipulated you unless it was for your safety or the others around you. The bastard is too honorable for that. Look around you! Do you call this safe for the humans around here?” he challenged.
“Then he should have fucking said something!” Bella shot at him. “And this is a storm, this is not my fault. I was told I had a shield.”
Stopping short, he pulled her back and glared back, slightly irritated by the girl’s persistence. “And how would you have reacted? Resistant like this to where he would fail to keep a lid on you and then we truly would have to step in and do something that I doubt either of us would want.”
“Oh come on,” she rolled her eyes. “Are you honestly saying that it’s possible to control the freaking weather? Mother Nature herself? I’ve heard crazy things, but that’s just insane.”
Demetri turned and stared at her, no emotion seemingly appearing in his red eyes causing her to lean back from him. “You’ve met Jane, yes? Then you know she can make you think you feel unimaginable pain. I know of a vampire that can cause illusions of the mind that can have you see anything they wish for you, make you believe you are somewhere you aren’t. Those people who were just standing beside you aren’t there at all. The shield that Aro and the Cullens suspected you to have wasn’t a shield at all. Just wind blowing your thoughts past them so fast that they could not hear,” he hissed his words across her face in his anger. “You humans cannot hear through this weather well unless you shout, most not at all. The winds in your mind were so forceful vampires cannot hear through them. Does that explain your situation better?”
Bella blinked, the rain making her feel as drowned as her emotions were beginning wain. “Then how could Jasper get through to me? And Jane does not affect me?”
“The Major affects a different area of your brain. Same as Jane. I would suspect her ability would have to find a gap through the winds. Not everything is always easily explained. It could be that you know the Major and allowed access. What does it matter?” he questioned, irritated by the conversation now.
“I’m a freaking human,” she countered. “Nothing special. I trip over my own feet. Bump into things. Hugely uncoordinated.”
Demetri lifted the wrist he held and felt the bite from another vampire, raising a brow. “You carry venom within you, however minuscule. It altered you,” he pointed out, bringing his mouth to her ear as the winds decreased but the rain grew in intensity. “I don’t know about you, but I would like to get out of this godforsaken territory and somewhere dry.”
Yes, she shivered. Now that she thought about it, she was cold to the bone. She didn’t even feel the temperature difference between her skin and Demetri’s hand. And his voice sent shivers down her spine. Good ones. Pleasant ones. Hot ones. What if he was telling the truth? If she was responsible for this weather then yes, she would have been dangerous. She was dangerous. Wouldn’t she be better off dead then? Poor Charlie… well, she wouldn’t die unless Charlie died, that’s for sure, she didn’t want to break his heart, even though she was breaking his heart right now because she had disappeared without saying something.
As the girl thought, Demetri noticed the weather mellowing a little. He was interested to see just how the Cullens manipulated her thought process. For as much as he learned about the girl, and knowing what he knew of the Major, he was certain that she was keen on fair treatment of others if she was running like she was from Edward Cullen. It left him curious if he could convince her to join his team once he has her turned. She would certainly be a powerful ally.
A scowl was etched on his face as he stared back at her, waiting for her to look back up at him. “Let’s make this trip across town a bit faster.”
“You want me to ride on your back?” she asked, her face taking on a slight green tinge.
“If you would be more comfortable,” he nodded, slightly bowing his head and turning to watch her over his shoulder as he lowered to his knee.
Bella sighed and grabbed him by his shoulders before pushing herself off and up, wrapping her legs around his waist as if she’d done it a million times. Granted, Demetri was taller than Edward, and maybe a little bit broader, but it was easy. And yes, she had done it a few times. Not a million. But this was better than to be carried and cradled as if she was a baby, or to be thrown over a shoulder as if she was the victim of a fire.
As soon as she was on, he ran the rest of the way to the airport. Depositing her inside the private Volturi jet, he paused a moment to eye her as he debated leaving her alone as he needed to deal with the officials and feed. “I need to deal with some things. If you run off, know that I can and will find you and the result won’t end well for you if I have to do so.”
She wasn’t going to run. She had convinced herself to go this far and what was the point in turning back now? She was responsible for this weather, wasn’t she? She needed to learn how to control this. She also wanted to go as far away as she could so that Edward wouldn’t come after her. Walking through the plane, she found the galley and fixed herself some tea before finding a blanket to wrap herself around in so she could warm up.
Why had she ever believed that her life was with Edward and his family? How could she have gotten herself so deep into shit?
It wasn’t long before Demetri returned, eyes brighter red and a bag hanging over his arm. He dropped the bag into a seat and settled into an empty one. “Just waiting on clearance and a willing pilot.”
“You were that hungry, huh?” Bella asked as she cradled her warm cup of tea, keeping a distance.
He looked at her, unfazed by her criticism. “Actually, that would be why we don’t have a stewardess. An annoying thing the one we had. I just snacked on a baggage technician from some budget airline nearby.”
“You’d better compensate their family for their loss,” she muttered before realizing something. “Are you going to eat me?”
Sitting back, considering her for a moment. “Would you like me to?” he smirked.
She furiously blushed at that. When she recalled what she had said, she wanted to smack herself in the face, but opted not to. She was comfortable in her blanket, getting warm.
“There are dry clothes in the bag. There is a bedroom,” he smirked, “in the back, you can change in.”
Comfortable or dry clothes. The decision was made quickly. “Thank you,” she managed to say, still as red as a tomato as she set down her tea and took the bag before heading in the direction he had pointed out. Demetri surprised her by the clothes. Only Alice would have thought about getting Bella a dry change of clothes after being out in the rain, but that was because Alice the manipulative bitch was a fashion addict and couldn’t stand seeing anything out of place on a body. Edward would have never thought about dry clothes. Oh, there was no doubt that Demetri stole them from the luggage after or before snacking on the airline employee, but it was still more considerate than she pegged him to be.
As she was peeling off the wet clothes, she stumbled and fell onto the bed, only just missing the sharp edge of the surrounding area and she couldn’t help but feel tired all of a sudden. After all the running and anxiety, she felt as if she could sleep for quite some time. But no. She needed to stay awake. Drink her tea. Eat something. Keep an eye on the Volturi vampire until she’d be able to get into a room that she could lock.
Not that locks would keep vampires out, though.
Grumbling, she got back up after struggling with her wet clothes on the bed and found the clothes in the bag. All perfectly her size. And a nice warm hoodie to wear to boot. Sighing happily, she made her way back to the front of the plane to her tea. “Again, thank you.”
Demetri sat with his leg casually crossed as he watched the weather through the window, seemingly ignoring her presence. “I do not expect we will have to wait much longer. I had made a handsome offer for a pilot so once one comes up, I foresee us taking off within a few hours.”
“Don’t planes like these come with their own pilot?”
“Usually,” Demetri replied as he eyed her. “Not to worry, Isabella Swan, you will be safe with me even while we sit here on the tarmac.”
She arched an eyebrow at him as she settled back into the plush seat, tucking her feet underneath herself. “I’m not afraid. I probably should be, but I’m not.” And she wasn’t, it was likely because she’d been so afraid for a very long time, and now had settled for this. Going to the Volturi was the best thing now.
Bella took a breath. “You said I created that storm, and I believe you, I think. What am I to expect once we get to Italy?”
Demetri wasn’t surprised by her reluctance to accept her gift. It was a powerful one that he was surprised to learn of himself and would not have believed it if he hadn’t have seen it with his own eyes. The question was easier, and yet, expected. In fact, he was waiting for it. “A contact at the airport will notify Aro of our impending arrival when the plane is on approach. We will be taken to the Throne Room, most likely, for reception, where your status will be assessed. The Cullens will likely be determined to be called for trial from that point and we will be dismissed. You will be taken to be turned or killed. However, you won’t be allowed to leave as you had before now that your gift had been gratefully been miscalculated and underestimated.”
“After turning, I could still leave?”
“A human, without control over such a strong gift that could harm thousands of lives – I am sure you understand the danger you are…”
“Please stop saying I’m a danger,” she softly said as she looked at him. “I don’t know what’s worse, knowing that I’ve been lied to and manipulated for years or that I’m the worst thing there is on this planet.”
Demetri shrugged, giving her a rueful glance. “Now, I wouldn’t go that far. There are vampires we haven’t met that I’m sure to have gifts that yet to come on our radar. Yours, we recognized only because we’d been watching your situation because of the stipulations the coven had been placed under when you were dismissed on your previous visit. You can be certain that if your gift exists, there is someone out there that matches your strength in some form.”
Bella sighed and threw her hands up in the air as in defeat. “Yeah, fine, whatever. Anything’s better than Fuckward,” she said.
The vampire sat and turned back to the window with a smile pulling at his lips. He was confident he would turn the girl towards his goal.
Demetri escorted Bella into the Throne Room with their bulky enforcer, Felix, that she recalled vividly. She glanced at him uncomfortably, but her companion kept her moving forward. It wasn’t long before she found herself once again before the three kings, who looked at her without surprise.
“How long will it take for a missive to reach the Cullens?” Aro questioned no one in particular as he stared at Bella, his tone light and curious.
“Not very long,” Marcus replied. “We have people in the area, all it takes is a phone call.”
“Please don’t,” Bella squeaked, already fearing the worst as her chest tightened. “I don’t ever want to have to deal with them again, please.”
Aro smiled and shook his head. “Unfortunately, child, Mister Cullen failed to follow through on his agreement with us.”
Demetri kept his place next to Bella, but kept an eye out on the weather outside. It had been a sunny day out, but Bella’s fluctuating emotions had brought out dark clouds. “Master, if I may,” Demetri said as he slowly bowed. “Miss Swan is very well aware of the agreement. She has no inclination of going back on said agreement. However, she has requested asylum from the Cullens and assistance with her gift that has only come to the surface once she was out of Major Whitlock’s influence. Should she turn now, it could be more difficult to gain control of her ability as a newborn and she should be given the opportunity to show her loyalty.”
The brothers exchanged a look, and while Caius wasn’t very pleased, he was too, curious about the girl’s powerful ability. Aro pursed his lips and nodded. “I see your point, but do understand ours, Miss Swan. The Cullens have skirted our laws for a very long time. Long a before you became aware of our existence. The coven needs to come and answer for their actions. Now, depending on what may show in Major Whitlock’s memories to his actions in your case, he may be excused, you may not have to do anything but give witness and leave. Whether it be before or after you turn, that is your choice.”
The moment his King mentioned Bella to give witness was the exact moment when a bolt of lightning shattered one of the color stained windows and hit one of the seats. “Isabella. We discussed this,” Demetri warned, his red eyes speaking volumes as she looked up at him. She knew she could easily destroy the castle with the weather, or even a vampire. However, she found something else in his glare that he tried to hide that she wasn’t sure he meant to show.
“I’m sorry,” she whispered, keeping her head low. “Do I really have to say something or see them?”
“See it as a court of law,” Aro explained, his eyes fully on her.”In your human court, when criminals are being put on trial, the more witnesses there are, the better, right? It’s what makes your court system work and punish people.”
“In our court it works the same You, a human, joining a coven like you had, required action as well, resulting in the agreement you’ve made. And now, with you giving witness, my brothers and I can finally give the Cullens a proper punishment for their deeds.”
“But I don’t-”
“You can give witness on writing, that one of the Kings, or a member of the guard, could read when the Cullens are here. All you’ll have to do is confirm when one of the brothers ask you to. Would that satisfy you?” Demetri supplied, interrupting Aro with a glare.
Marcus found it interesting to see how his tracker handled the girl. The girl didn’t fully trust Demetri, yet, but she did feel safe with him. While the tracker displayed indifference, he knew the man well enough he was intrigued by the girl, in his own way. “Perhaps we should continue this discussion at a later time. Revisit after her change, Aro,” he put forward. “I am more concerned about the error in the belief of her being a shield.”
Aro threw a scowl at his brother. “I do not believe this is the time or place for such drollery! I failed to hear the girl’s thoughts, just as I am unable to hear dear Renata. How many vampires are capable of such a feat?”
Another lightning bolt struck the Throne room, missing Felix by just a hair. “I suppose we’ll have to ask Major Whitlock about this when he comes to give his account,” Marcus deadpanned as he finally looked at the window. “What’s with this weather all of a sudden?”
“Instead of having to rely on Jasper, ask Demetri what he suspects,” Bella grumbled as she slouched but straightened when he tugged her back up. “Because if he’s right, and I think he is, I’m dangerous.”
“I could, yes. However, I suspect that he will share what he knows about you when he is ready. You two are dismissed, but may I suggest that you, Isabella, decide your ultimate fate soon so that we can prepare whatever arrangements necessary for you, hm?” Aro nodded, waving them off, pausing briefly to speak in vampire tones. “Demetri. Do keep her close for her own safety.”
Demetri nodded, knowing that Bella was quite upset right now as the winds started to pick up outside. The brothers thought it was more important to deal with the Cullens first, and the agreement rather than the immediate threat and that was Bella and her powers. Who was he to object? But a mere servant, he rolled his eyes.
“She should be turned – or killed. Be done with this nonsense,” Caius commented.
“Isn’t it wise to deal with her new gift first? She has every intention to honor the agreement to turn and returned willingly to uphold it,” Demetri asked. “If she’d to turn now, we might have an even bigger problem on our hands, one we might not be able to control.”
“Why can we not do both?” Marcus questioned, narrowing his eyes at the man. “Besides – I think you should focus your attentions on your new charge right now and worry less about everything else before asking such questions that you might not like the answers to.” Or be ready to hear.
Demetri wasn’t even going to respond to that. He bowed, masking his contempt for them. “My apologies, Master, I shall do as I’m told,” he said as he put his arm around Bella and started to lead her away. As soon as they were out of earshot, the weather was only getting worse. “Do try not to destroy the castle.”
“What kind of squirrelly conversation about me did they have with you?” Bella questioned as soon as they were in the hallway. “I hated when they did that to me all the time.”
“They told me to stay close to you for your own safety, that is all,” he replied. “I have to make arrangements for quarters for you. It may be safest to keep you in mine.”
She made a face at the suggestion. It wasn’t as if she wasn’t used to being around vampires while she was asleep. She stayed over the Cullens frequently, faking sleepovers with Alice often. Only, she wasn’t sure how she felt about sharing living space with someone she just met. A virtual stranger, no matter how good-looking, the man might be.
Demetri did not miss the uncomfortable shift in her stance, narrowing his eyes and giving her a nod. “It’s not the ideal scenario but the safest.”
Bella looked down the empty hallway and shrugged, unsure of what to say anymore. Everything she thought she knew was turned upside down and the future she had planned for herself had gone straight to hell quicker than she ever imagined. All because of one boy.
“Calm yourself,” Demetri voiced himself, much closer than she heard him before. “Whatever you were just thinking, it’s not important tonight. Tonight you need much-needed rest and the humans need not fear a sudden hurricane that does not happen in the middle of Italy.”
Taking deep breaths, she struggled with trying to find some sense of peace to do as he asked, but it only amped up her fears. Drawing in a sigh, he stuck his head out in the hallway, calling for the closest vampire. When it was Jane that appeared, he frowned having heard of her attempts of attack on the girl. “Go fetch your brother and bring him quickly before the storm worsens,” he ordered. It wasn’t a method he particularly wanted to use, but if for the night, it would have to do.
Jane looked at Bella and snarled before looking at Demetri and nodded. She went off to do as she was told. Alec had been close by, however, having already sensed the emotional turmoil the girl was in even before entering the castle. Even before Alec stepped into the room, Bella had a glazed stare overtaking her expression before her legs failed to hold her up and Demetri had to catch the girl. He placed her on the bed and walked back to Alec. “What are your thoughts?”
The vampire gazed at the human girl for a moment before raising a brow to the older vampire. “About the unnatural storm or the fact that you are interested in the girl as a potential mate? My opinion doesn’t really matter in either situation, but she is highly dangerous if she doesn’t control herself. As much as she fascinates Aro, if she continues like this, even he won’t grant her the opportunity for the change knowing how unstable newborn emotions run. Your intention doesn’t weigh in on the law until she is turned.”
Demetri nodded, knowing full well of how Aro played his games. He was tired of running around them so he had set in motion centuries past the beginnings of what was to turn the tides of the Volturi. He had more control and respect among the guard and underlings within the castle than Aro believed and nothing truly went on without his knowing.
He knew Aro promised Bella she’d live in some form or another. But it was smoke and mirrors as he was beginning to covet her gift even more at the new knowledge of just how potent it was. The tracker would do what he had to in order to ensure the promise made was kept, but his own curiosity had been piqued and he did not want to let her go. Not yet.
Shooting a glare at Alec, he released a low growl. “Choose your words wisely when speaking,” he warned, again receiving a knowing look in response. “She can be a great asset if we can get her to control her emotions, but that will be her choice. For now, just go on with business as usual. If she decides to turn and leave, I’ll send her to the vampires she was seeking.”
“You aren’t concerned about the Cullens finding her?” Alec asked, confused.
“Of course, but she’ll be turned by that point and hopefully with the Whitlocks. I doubt Carlisle’s creations would be that stupid to pick a fight with them,” he gave a flippant reply. Looking thoughtful for a moment, he smirked at his friend. “The Major has parted ways with them anyhow. So they are going to start looking for alternatives. I would not doubt that they will reach out to Aro. We just have to delay that communication.”
Smiling at his unspoken order, Alec nodded. “Shame we’ve been having so many problems with our phones and the ancient ones never took to mobiles. Call if you require my assistance again. I expect the dose should wear off in about three hours.”
His eyes followed him until she was out of his room and closed the door. Turning his attention back to his charge, he let out a sigh. “Oh, how you fascinate so many creatures. What am I to do with you?”
Bella awoke, rubbing the back of her hands over her eyes and let out a yawn as she stretched out on the bed. A frown pulled at her lips as she realized she shouldn’t feel as comfortable as she did before looking around. Her memories slowly returned to her sleep filled mind and recognized Demetri’s room. He wasn’t there, and for that, she was grateful to have the opportunity to wake alone.
The more aware she grew, her discomfort increased. Knowing how the environment was affected by her, she struggled to keep it subdued by baring in mind that she was left relatively safe in the room. Surveying her surroundings, she found what appeared to be clothes set out for her on the chair beside the bed, she made her way to inspect the pile.
Finding simple jeans, a sweater that was smaller than she’d typically wear but still her size, and underwear, her face reddened as she hugged them to herself as she made her way to the oversized ensuite bath. Her thoughts strayed, recalling the last coherent memory of the night before. She knew she was overwhelmed by the entire day, and more, by the time they reached the room. Before she knew it, she felt nothing.
As she went through the motions of her much-needed shower, a face she’d seen during her first trip to the castle. She knew Jane’s ability didn’t work for her and she didn’t understand why if she wasn’t a shield. If Alec’s did, then what made it, or her own gift so different? It made her nervous.
Finishing her shower, she dressed and used the extra brush that was left out and walked back to the main area brushing her hair, startled to find Demetri sitting in one of the armchairs near the windows. “If you don’t want me to start up anything with the weather, scaring me is certainly not a way to go about that.”
He was unfazed by her reaction, turning the page of the book on his lap calmly. “First, this is my room. I do not need to ask permission to enter. You do not have anything I’ve not seen on other women, human or vampire, for which I waited out here for you to finish tending to your needs. Second, you already have a small cluster of rain clouds in the area that was not in the forecast. What’s upsetting you?”
Bella shifted, her toes curling on the carpet as she considered what might have been done. “The vampire Alec… I remember him when I was here before…”
Demetri slipped a marker in his book and set it aside and looked up at her, giving her his full attention at the mention of the vampire. “Go on.”
“He did something to me last night. Used his gift? Right?”
He stared back at her, wondering if she was asking or looking for confirmation. “What are you looking to know?”
She swallowed, her throat feeling dry. “Did you know he did something to me last night?”
“Yes,” he answered without hesitation, surprising her. “I won’t apologize if that is what you are seeking. You were on the verge of a breakdown with an unstable power. We needed you out of commission so that you could get proper rest and that I could get some work done without having to babysit you.”
“What work could you possibly have to do?” Bella questioned, blinking in shock of his disregard.
“Contrary to what you may believe, there is much to do around the castle,” Demetri answered with a sigh. “Once you are turned, you will get a tour and perhaps I will speak to you about one area that you may be of great assistance.”
“If I stay?” she asked.
He stared back at her, nodding wordlessly he assent. Of course, she’d stay. He would not admit it yet, to anyone or himself, but the human belonged to him. Somehow the fight and fire combined with the innocence of her endeared her to him. Still, until she was turned, there was no claim and no bond formed for him to give her more protection than he could in the confinement of his quarters.
“Okay, so what next? Every time I have a freak out you have Alec cut my senses off?” she asked, falling into the seat across from him. “How can we control my ability before I turn? For that matter, who’s going have the honors of the bite?”
Resting his chin in his hand, fingers covering over his mouth in attempt not to let a groan escape from frustration or irritation, he closed his eyes. “I don’t know yet about how to deal with your gift. The only other vampire I know that has a gift like yours deals with the basic elements and he’s around 200 years old, young, but still hasn’t mastered his ability.”
“Well, he’s gotta have more control than I have. That’s something. We can call him for help,” she suggested, appearing eager only to have Demetri shake his head.
“I won’t call him because of his sire. He and his sire won’t have anything to do with the Volturi,” he explained. “But it does give me an idea of the area of your gift. You may be an atmospheric elemental.”
Bella was curious as she thought about what he said. “Would that stop Jane’s gift?”
Demetri shrugged. “Depends on how her illusions get through to your mind. You may not have a shield in the sense of Renata, but there could be a protection like static electricity from the lightning in your storms. It could disrupt her ability perhaps,” he shrugged.
There was a knock on the door, drawing a sigh from the vampire. He went to open it, revealing an unfamiliar one to Bella’s eyes as they passed him a note before he closed it again. Reading it briefly, he glanced back over to his human guest.
He regarded her for a moment, considering the possible ways to address what he needed. The weather was stable, currently, so he chose to just go forward. “Today, I need you to write your witness statement for the Cullen’s. It has been verified that they have reluctantly accepted their invitation to Volterra to come before the brothers.”
She sat there frozen as he broke the news to her. While she knew she was requested to write such a statement, she hadn’t expected it to be so soon. “It can’t wait?” she whispered.
“No. The Cullens have been located and are presently making preparations for their trip to Volterra. We expect their arrival within the next day or two.”
“But I thought we had time. I was going to practice my ability and then change. I thought you’d want me to get my newborn time under control before subjecting me to them,” she accused, tears prickling her eyes.
Sighing, Demetri shook his head. “Wants are immaterial. It’s a matter of addressing violations of the law. We cannot allow them time to victimize another human as they have done you. Surely you understand?”
“N-No, I understand,” Bella nodded as she rubbed her eyes. She wasn’t going to cry in front of this Cold One. “But I thought we had time. I’m not ready to face them like this, what if I create a tornado and it decimates this city because I know that they’re close?”
“Well, I suppose that would depend on your emotions and how well you can control yourself in the face of them. Are you truly that terrified of the Cullens? Considering all that surrounds you now,” he pointed out.
She stared back at him, thinking about the unspoken strength that he hinted at. Bella was in the heart of the Volturi now. Exactly where Edward and Alice did not want her to be, and yet it was them that had essentially brought her there. They could have handed her to the powerful coven themselves on a silver platter the way Edward’s suicidal behavior played out.
“Is there any chance that I could be changed before the proceedings? I don’t want to face them as a human. Edward did everything he could to keep me from turning and the next time he lays his eyes on me, I’d like to truly be among your kind,” she requested. “I’ve always wanted to be turned, I don’t fit in my human skin.”
He kept his eyes on her, curious. “You will be turned, but only if you can control your powers.”
Bella stood and moved to stand in front of him, hands on her hips. “That could be never as a human. I was once told that a vampire’s emotions tend to be extremely volatile and ever unpredictable. Here’s a clue about humans. We can be just as moody and the pendulum can swing just as fast. Especially if it’s a female on her fucking period.”
Demetri stood there, eyebrow raised that the small human female as she argued against his logic and by all theories, he failed to come up with a response. He’d not dealt with a hormonal female since he was human, if you did not count Jane, and he vaguely recalled the time. He did know the humans he observed and if what he just heard was any indication of such, then he was relieved his meal preference was large males that tried to fight.
Running a hand over his face, he never anticipated the human to be so – eager. He wasn’t objecting to her change. In fact, he looked forward to it, except for the pesky detail of her ability. And his plans. Focusing on his gift, he searched for the location of every vampire in the castle.
“There is more going on than you realize, Isabella. More than just the Cullens and it wasn’t something that I wished to discuss with you until you turned,” he admitted. “When you are turned and in the height of your newborn emotions, you will be pulled in different directions and expected to take a side.”
Her eyes narrowed at him as she took a step away. “A side in what?”
Bella stared back at him, drawing in a deep breath. If she was going to be caught in between warring factions of vampires, she wanted to know the whole story before she turned. While she felt she was meant for the supernatural world as an immortal vampire, she just might not be willing to be used as a pawn and would take the end road.
Four days it took the Cullens to drag out their affairs and arrive in Volterra. It was long enough for Demetri to feel as if he was driven mad by his charge. The unprecedented weather in the region had made records and he silently prayed to the old gods that Isabella would quickly learn to get herself under control with her anger.
He knew he shouldn’t have put her in the position he had, but he had little choice and he would not know the girl’s decision until the final moments when she would be forced. She made that abundantly clear.
As the tension in the throne room remained palpable, he glanced around as the Cullens were presented before the brothers. While he had absolutely zero interested in saving the coven, he did have to consider assisting in one’s survival if it came down to it. In fact, this event just may be the day for such plans.
“Carlisle,” Aro greeted with a grim smile falling from his lips. His hands were folded across his front as he stood at the center of his dias and stared down at his longtime friend. “Thank you for coming so quickly to our request.”
Carlisle glanced at the brothers and around to the elite guard members standing strategically around the family before nodding. “Of course, though it did not sound quite like a request.”
“Yes, yes. True, that it was not,” Aro sighed as he looked towards Demetri who he last knew had taken their human guest to the Italian Alps to gain control of her gift, who stared back impassively. He’d yet to have a response from Isabella regarding any decision she would make. Of which, the tracker was certain it was due to the seer in the room. “Demetri, you’ve returned?”
“Shortly ago. Our guest has been – frustrated with her ability, but it will take time before she makes a decision.” Demetri answered. He then turned to the Cullens bored. “You’ve been summoned for violation of the laws and a witness has born statement to your atrocities,” he reported.
“Witness?” Carlisle repeated, turning to look back at Aro. “What is the meaning of this?”
“Exactly what Demetri has stated. We have a guest that has sworn a statement against the Cullen coven that you’ve broken a number of vampiric laws and I’m afraid that we must see that those charges are met,” he shrugged. Behind him, Caius leaned on the arm of his chair, an eager smile gracing his lips as he watched on in hopeful silence as his entertainment played out. “If you or your coven has not broken any laws, then present your hand and you will be declared innocent of the claims against you,” Aro announced, holding his own out.
Carlisle eyed his friend’s outstretched hand before glaring back at his first creation. While he himself hadn’t actually broken the law, Edward, with Alice, certainly had, and together brought their entire family down with them. “I’ll never forgive you for this Edward,” he murmured to his son as he took his king’s hand.
Aro closed his eyes and wrapped his hand around his friend’s, trapping it there.
Demetri’s head rose, eyes twinkling as he sensed a spark of approach that almost made him smile. “Are you with us, or with them?” he questioned.
The female sighed, running her hand over the back of his neck. “Of course I have to side with my maker. Any fool going against him and that crazy bitch that can strike a vampire dead with the weather is a pair not to be trifled with. Did I miss the show?”
“It’s due to begin any moment,” he answered, raising the back of her hand to press a kiss to her knuckles.
She turned her head over his shoulder to look towards the group gathered before Aro. Nodding to the blond male, she raised a brow. “Is he with them, or with us?”
At her question, Jasper looked over to the couple and surprise rose within him. He blinked at who he found, not expecting the girl to be in Italy of all places. Looking over the coven he’d been staying with, and back at the rosy-lipped smirk of the vampiress that was watching him, he was careful to step back and away from the group. The movement marked his unspoken alliance as Demetri knew very well, Carlisle would side with his friend if and when it would come down to a fight.
Edward had been so thoroughly focused on the exchange between Aro and Carlisle that he nearly missed when Jasper recognized a familiar face and separated himself from their family. Turning his head towards Demetri, his eyes wide and wild as he glared at the male and female, he let out a growl. “She belongs to me! What is she doing here?!”
Aro dropped Carlisle’s hand and frowned at the disruption. “You have not been given permission to speak young Cullen. Remain silent or you will be silenced!” he ordered, raising a hand to bring Jane forward.
Such a cue had Demetri and Alec meeting eyes before he pulled Isabella around to full view. Even Aro looked at the two questioningly as he was not pleased by the lack of knowledge of the girl’s current state. “This Tempeste is the one giving witness against the majority of your coven. She refutes any claim you have on her and -”
“And have been claimed over and over,” Isabella finished, smiling devilishly as she glanced up at Demetri. “The Alps has been a truly – enlightening experience.”
“Tempeste?” Carlisle murmured as he eyed the vampire he’d known as a human with a more critical eye.
“Something wrong Carlisle? A mistake catching up perhaps?” Isabella asked, her tone quite innocent despite the rumbles of a storm brewing above the castle.
All the vampires that were aware of her true gift looked at the ceiling with concern, including Aro, as he stepped back. “Now, now, Isabella. They are here to serve for their crimes…”
She barely gave him a glance, her red eyes bright from her recent feed as she closed the distance between the Cullens and where she had stood beside Demetri. “They will pay for their crimes against humanity that is true, but what of you Aro? What of your crimes? I do believe that the time of ploys and games has ended,” she called out.
“What treachery is this?! Jane! Alec!” Aro called out, only to find his ever faithful Jane beside him, but Alec had moved to Caius side, hands outstretched and his gift slowly stretching out.
“It is what you would call a coup d’état,” Isabella shrugged. “You are not fit to rule our world. You crave too much power and I recognized that even as a human. There were vampires amongst your believed trusted that has plans for an even more – violent seizure. You should be relieved that it is I that has decided to step forward to lead your downfall.”
Edward had the nerve to attempt to approach her and started to reach out to touch her, however, a bolt of lightning broke through the stained glass panes striking the marble floor at his feet. Her eyes never wavered from Aro’s during the event. “You aren’t surrounded by as many friends as you believe, Aro. In addition, you still fail to underestimate my control,” she drawled, rolling her eyes to shift her gaze to her stunned ex-boyfriend. “You attempt to lay a finger on me again, and we all will see what happens to a vampire when he is struck by lightning. Do we understand one another?”
He swallowed as he looked beyond her as Demetri approached. Hearing the thoughts in his mind, the memories play out that were quite deliberate as he stared back at him, clearly staking his claim on the beautiful and powerful creature, he could do nothing but step back away.
The Bella he knew was nothing that he thought and was far more powerful than he ever anticipated. While he did crave her strength for himself, he’d be foolish and suicidal to push it. Why had he chased her so hard across the American countryside?
“Game’s up,” Isabella grinned, recognizing his expression. It was the same she had when she knew she was being played all along.
Before the seer could make a break for it, Jasper was quick to grab her, having been able to anticipate her reactions after being her companion for so long. He had already known she was involved with something suspicious in regards to acquiring Isabella into the family, pressing hard to capturing her after he’d help her escape.
“So, Aro loses his crown, and Alice loses her head,” Isabella commented, running her fingers over her lips thoughtfully. “I did kind of feel as if I was running through Wonderland when the Mad Hatter, Fuckward, and March Hare, Malice, were chasing me. Fucking weirdest part is that I played the part of Alice and was rescued by the Cheshire Cat instead of following a white rabbit around.”
“Who do you plan on leading? Not yourself, certainly!” Aro boasted. “If you and your followers believe that I’ve amassed too much power, what will they believe in your gift?”
Isabella smiled as she stepped aside for Demetri. “Caius and Marcus are quite capable of continuing. In your place -”
“Demetri.” Several voices called out from around the room. Voices that Demetri and Aro had recognized previously as siding against one another, but the tracker met Isabella’s gaze as she gave him a knowing smile.
“Demetri has been with the Volturi for much longer than many of the others and is quite capable and far more fair than you ever were or could be,” she stated. “Stand aside or I will put you down.”
“I WILL NOT!” Aro bellowed as a number of trusted vampires rushed the dais to take hold of him. Alec approached to put him under his gift before looking to Demetri.
“What would you like me to do with him? He does have a mate in the tower,” he reminded the new couple.
Isabella had briefly met the so-called Queens and Corin. The gifted vampire was one of Demetri’s allies and while she understood the pains of a separated pair now, she knew the former king still needed to suffer. “Put him in the dungeons and make sure he receives no contact with anyone. Put only someone trusted to guard him and absolutely no physical contact.”
As they begun to leave with their new prisoner, Demetri had turned to assess the remaining problems of the Cullens when his mate called out to Alec. “Also, he is to be fed a ration of rodent blood.”
Even the animal drinkers in the room grimaced at such a meal sentence. Demetri nodded his consent and the group continued. Looking at Carlisle, and readily dismissing his as inferior, he focused on his main problems. Edward and Alice.
“She’s yours, I get that,” the mind reader quickly spoke.
“There was never a doubt since I’d picked her up in Texas,” he pointed out without any hint of emotion. “I still do not trust you or that you would not pull something in the future. Your obsessiveness is well known, even here, since your sire created you. Which means you are a threat to what is mine.”
Isabella’s eyes held a dark glitter of lust as he spoke and a grin as she moved around her mate, watching Edward’s reactions. Her hands splayed across the backs of his shoulders, fingers dancing over the top as thunder echoed through the grand hall. “As much as I’d love to watch you tear his ass apart from here to Mexico, but I do believe the more pressing matter would be the driving force behind the coven. Exactly what did Alice see about me that made her want me so bad?”
The question was enough to distract the demon from her mate as his attention immediately was on the midget vampire being held by the southern warrior. The male was a formidable foe in his best form, on a strong diet, but even on the weakened animal one, Demetri was still able to detect his sharp gaze. He knew what his Tempeste had told him, that the diet was necessary to maintain his sanity given his ability. While he could understand to a degree, he still deemed it unnatural and believed there were other ways to go about his problem.
“Why did you want Isabella?” he questioned Alice.
She attempted to squirm in Jasper’s hold, but he held firmly and loaded her with an emotional cocktail to encourage her self-importance and loosen her lips. Let her think that they needed her around even though he knew very well there was no way Isabella would allow her to live after she heard whatever the truth was.
Alice sank into Jasper’s arms after failing to find an escape, whimpering. “I really needed you, Bella. The family needed you. You would have been perfect with Edward if he would have just gotten his head out of his ass and just changed you. I would have changed you myself if you hadn’t run!”
“Why?” Isabella demanded her answer.
“Because I wanted you to get rid of the sun so that we could go shopping in Los Angeles, or Hollywood, or anywhere sunny! Places we can never go!” she wailed out, leaving the entire throne room stunned by the answer.
Even Demetri, who in all honesty, through his interrogations have heard some outrageous excuses hadn’t anticipated that one. “That’s a new one…”
“She’s telling the truth,” Jasper shared. “Uh, what do you want to do?”
“Please, you can’t kill her!” Esme spoke up, reminding the frozen vampires of the rest of the Cullens presence.
“The hell we can’t,” Isabella replied, glaring back at the one-time mother figure that abandoned her. “The fuck is wrong with the bitch? She made my life hell so that she could go shopping? I say off with her head!”
Demetri fought back a smile and pulled his angry newborn back to his side before she attacked someone. “Easy there, Tempeste. I do believe you need to lay off on the Alice in Wonderland references.”
“You shouldn’t have brought me the book then,” she sneered, her temper flaring. “She needs to go otherwise I will hunt her down until she is dust myself.”
“Then I get the same permissions for Edward,” he stated, raising a brow in challenge.
She turned and eyed the vampire who stared at her fearful and silently begging for his life. She knew now that he had been roped into Alice’s games, but she also was aware of his history and that she wasn’t his first human as he claimed. “Deal.”
“Bella! Be reasonable!” Carlisle objected.
“My name is Isabella. You are not my father and you allowed your creation to break vampiric laws and assisted in covering it up. Through either negligence or not reporting his crimes, you should also be guilty of the same crimes to a lesser degree so you should be relieved that the rest of your coven get to keep your pathetic lives,” she growled, lightning sparking all around the room now. “Edward and Alice are to be culled. You have no say in the matter, just as you did press your leadership in stopping him from leaving or allowing anyone to say goodbye when you left me defenseless. No, you are not a leader. You are a pathetic coward and I spit on everything you stand for.”
She turned away from him, ignoring the longing glances from Emmett for his lost sister, and newfound respect from Rosalie. The newborn had no interest in the rest of the coven anymore.
“Demetri. Be done with them,” she waved her arm as she moved to make herself comfortable in Aro’s abandoned chair, much to Caius’ amusement.
“Who is the new leader? Demetri or you?” he asked her.
“If he expects to get laid any time this century, he’ll listen to my opinions,” she shrugged as she watched him dispatch her ex to the continued protests of Carlisle. She knew he was listening to her as he held a smile on his face the entire time, and at the same time, enjoyed taking out any potential competition. “You can dispose of the little rat too.”
Demetri turned and looked at her and she gave him a cheeky smile. “You want to get laid tonight, yes?”
“Who said I wasn’t?”
“If you have a bitch on the side, then he or she is as good as char,” she shrugged. “You may be a tracker, but I can sense your particular electricity in the air. I know where you are and just one lightning bolt…oops!”
“I created a demon…”
“Dispose of the garbage and we can get on with our lives. You can organize this place to your liking and then go play with your new pet downstairs. Unless you want to keep these fuckers around to play with,” Isabella suggested, looking towards the Cullens.
Demetri piled the parts of Alice and Edward together over the trapdoor to be dropped into the fire pit. “If you want pets, I’ll find you some females to play with. I draw the line after Whitlock only because he helped you escape. No other males from that coven.”
She pouted as she looked back at them and shrugged. “Where is Chelsea?”
A knock on the door interrupted Demetri and Isabella, earning a deadly growl as he was sure to rip the head off whoever was stupid enough to encroach on their quarters when they had explicitly announced they had no intentions of coming out of their room except to feed. The previous months were spent sorting through Aro’s documents and Volturi files to put the castle into proper order and make it a leadership of respect.
“It could be important,” Isabella muttered as she ran her teeth over a lingering scar she’d given him time and again on his shoulder.
“It can never be important enough,” he complained as he climbed off her and made his way to the door to pick up the missive that was slipped underneath.
She rolled on the bed, enjoying his naked body and not caring about the amusement he received from the note he was reading. “Come back to bed. If it’s so entertaining then it can wait.”
“You’ll enjoy this, however. Your little idea has your pet entertained highly, though he requests that Chelsea’s bonds be lifted. Seems that Peter cannot go anywhere without all the Cullens following like a heard of, and I quote, ducklings, after their mama,” he shared, returning to kissing her neck.
“Hmm, yes, well, had his friend gotten to me a bit quicker with his gift, then I’d be with them now, wouldn’t I? They could deal with Cullen ducklings for a year or two before we revisit that idea,” she grinned, pulling him down into the bed with her.