April 30, 2009
The Volturi weren’t going to stop at anything. Our coven was becoming more strong and powerful than they ever expected, and they didn’t like it. They were going to try anything in their power to either take us down, or take our most powerful members. The Cullens don’t care about power, though. All we’ve been trying to do is live as close to a normal life as possible, happily. The Volturi have been making the ‘happily’ part nearly impossible.
I thought I had reached my full potential as far as strength goes with the punks who shot Charlie in the line of duty. But this feeling was. . . different. I was lost somewhere between an almost blinding malevolence and an overbearing fear. Fear for her. Fear that she had been hurt. I couldn’t think like that, though. Every time I did, I became weak again. Bolted to the ground, unable to move, to talk.
Even Edward–my love, my angel, my life–wasn’t enough to even slightly calm the vicious energy that surged through my dense, pale body. He, too, was blind with anger. His expression was unreadable, his fists clenched so tight they were somehow more white than normal.
We were speeding to the Seattle airport faster than I knew a car was capable of going. Charlie, Alice and Jasper came with Edward and I, while Rosalie, Emmett, Carlisle and Esme stayed back to search Forks and the surrounding area for traces of Baylor or any other Volturi member. Once they were certain that no one was there, they would meet up with us in Italy. The wolves had to stay back, for obvious reasons, but they assured us that they’d contact us if they found anything.
I had to compose myself for the flight that even immortality couldn’t make seem short. In fact, this was the longest flight I’d ever had to endure. At times, I found myself on the brink of breaking down again, unable to move. I tried to keep my eyes closed the entire time and picture us happy again. I pictured Edward’s butterscotch eyes lighting up as Nessie reached her tiny hand out to him and proudly called him Daddy. I pictured Jacob and Nessie skipping rocks at the beach, as they often do.
Without warning, my lips curled up into a smile when I pictured the time Nessie chomped down on Jacob’s arm so hard it made his face scrunch up as if he just ate something too many days past it’s expiration date. You could never look at her innocent face–those big brown eyes, that beautiful golden hair–and think she had so much strength. She really is a miracle.
My thoughts involuntarily switched to the Volturi and of course it made rage burn it’s way through my body, unable to escape. I had to rest my head on Edward’s shoulder and wrap my free arm tightly around his stone torso to keep my thoughts away from the one thing that could possibly throw me into a raging fury. I was afraid the rage would cause me to yell out loud, or do something worse. I really didn’t know what I was capable of. These feelings were all so foreign to me, unpredictable.
Alice and Jasper kept their eyes almost glued to Charlie, who had the window seat. I could see that his mind was in a turmoil. For a newborn vampire like Charlie, it’s usually nearly impossible to be in such close proximity to a group of blushing, blood-filled humans without becoming ravenous, extremely dangerous. I could see the struggle in his expression, but I could also see ease at times.
Jasper’s gift for making those around him feel calm was working its magic. Alice was keeping Charlie’s mind occupied, too, by asking questions about the game, and fishing. When the stewardess would periodically come by, Charlie would discreetly place his pale hand over his mouth and nose, making sure not to breathe in any of her scent. She raised her eyebrows in confusion, but not before looking him up and down, drinking in his now inhuman beauty. It feels weird to say that about Charlie, but I can’t deny that the change from human to vampire has done him physical justice.
When the plane finally landed, I couldn’t get out of there fast enough. The line at the car rental agency was far too long to wait in. We didn’t have a choice; Edward hijacked a steel-blue, perfectly shined car that was left running, half full of luggage. Like the time Alice hijacked the Porsche, I felt as though I should be wearing a black stocking over my head. At least this car was a little less conspicuous.
We were racing against the sunrise, driving impossibly fast–though still not fast enough. In the distance I could see the ancient sienna walls and old towers surrounding the steep hill. The car slowed with the steep climb of the hill, only a little, but enough to make it feel as though we were driving through quick sand. The streets ahead became very narrow and the colors all seemed to blend into each other with no color distinction between the brick road and brick buildings.
This was all too familiar, yet different at the same time. Last time I was here, it was Saint Marcus Day and the streets were backed up and flooded with people and red flags. This time it was much more calm, a typical tourist attraction. Eventually we were close enough that I could see the Palazzo dei Prioro. A wave of emotions washed through me and I saw Edward watching me out of the corner of my eye. I could tell he was thinking the same thing I was. The clock tower was a reminder of how close we were to losing each other, forever. I looked away, unable to juggle anymore emotions.
Alice’s visions had been foggy and almost unreadable the entire time. The Volturi kept changing their minds, aware of Alice’s ability to see them if they solidify their course of action. She couldn’t see Nessie or Baylor, either. Her head was beginning to ache from all the different unreadable visions.
We were far enough into Volterra now that we could start searching for them. We ditched the hijacked steel blue car—which I learned was a Jaguar XP–and headed for the first alleyway we saw. It was important for us to keep discreet, for now. We had a back up plan, of course. If the Volturi didn’t free Nessie, we planned to expose what we are to all of Volterra . . . or at least threaten to.
We were all dressed casually, keeping as much skin covered as possible. We looked like tourists; Alice even had a camera around her neck, and Charlie and Jasper were wearing hats pulled down low over their faces.
Ten minutes hadn’t even gone by when two dark shadows approached, walking towards us. One was extremely large, thick. I recognized him. Even if Edward hadn’t muttered his name under his clenched jaw, I would have recognized Felix.
Demetri was slightly less recognizable, though, his cloak casting a shadow that, with the rising sun reflecting off his pale skin, almost made him look like an empty cloak. They both eyed Charlie from under the shadows of their hoods with uneasy expressions clouding their ashen faces.
Demetri reached out to Edward and clasped his hand firmly on his forearm. Edward was reading his mind, focused, making his expression unreadable. I could see that Charlie was using his ability to make those around him feel compassion as both of the cloaked men smiled and clasped their hands in from of themselves gently. He’s learned to use his power only on those he chooses, thankfully. The last thing I needed was to feel compassion for those . . . monsters.
Felix spoke out loud so we could all hear what Edward was hearing. “Aro has been expecting you. He thought there would have been more of you. If you’ll follow me down, I’ll take you to him.”
We complied. . . .
Hey everyone! I just wanted to let you all know that I have written and will be releasing two books (well, one is a novella). The novel-length one is titled ‘Willow: Coveted,’ and the novella is titled ‘My Darrling.’ For more information about my books, and to listen to playlists and see quotes, click here.
Thank you all so very much for always being here and for always being so encouraging. I hope I can continue to write stuff you want to read.