Many instruments lined the music room, covering the walls with shelves of clean, dust-free and perfectly polished instruments.
The room had only one wall full of windows, letting in the moonlight as Erika sat cross-legged near the middle with a mini music stand in front of her and a dark wood violin in hand.
It had been years since she had last picked up one, feeling like she was missing a part of her ability to play for far too long. She liked the weight of it in her hands, and tucking it under her chin felt even better.
Running the bow along the dark strings of the violin, the faint sound of music appeared in the room. Erika closed her eyes, letting herself get back into the zone as she began Fur Elise by Beethoven, a former favourite of her mother's. It was one of the first Erika had learned and memorised.
She let the notes move over her skin like water, feeling the cold and warmth it brought her as she continued, fingers agile as she moved over each section of the song with precision. The music just flowed into the room as she played, no longer paying attention to the laws of gravity.
Erika had closed her eyes and was intently listening to only what she played, never realising that Marcus had opened the door and come in.
Marcus stood at the doorway, closing it behind him as he watched his mate play the violin. Her pearl coloured hair seemed to say in the hair as she continued to concentrate, seeming to float. Eventually, he realised she was actually starting to float as she continued, swaying with each new note.
She gained a foot of height off the ground, never knowing she had left it. She started to float higher and higher with each new pull and draw of the bow, a small smile on her face as she concentrated still.
She began to hum along with it, feeling the warmth come over her once again.
"Erika?" Marcus calmly spoke out into the otherwise silent room.
She paused in her playing, eyes still closed and floating, "What is it?"
"You seem… to be floating…"
"I'm what now?" Erika opened her eyes, seeing she was several metres above the ground before felt the effect of gravity take her. She screamed in fear as she started to fall, fearing the landing as she knew it would hurt.
Marcus jumped and caught her before she could fall to the ground, landing softly before helping her stand up on her own two feet. "Careful. You were up quite high for a Human. It does appear to seem like you have some sort of Magic ability, though you are mostly unaware of it."
She brushed herself off, putting the violin and bow away carefully before turning back to him. "Floating isn't really something Humans do so we can assume that whatever Anna Sallow said was partly true. It still feels a little far-fetched to say I have Magic, but Vampires and Shifters and Werewolves are real so Magic isn't too far off the plausibility scale at the moment."
"Yes. While Witches are not as rare as you would think, powerful ones are. Witches are usual medicinal magicians instead of the full Magic you would presume they would have. Witches having access to their Magic is rarer than being a Witch by itself, usually, the title is passed down through generations."
He could almost see how Erika filed the information away, her eyes trailing over here and there as she heard what he said.
"Should we inform the others?" Marcus tried, careful to suggest it rather than order. "Aro will find out regardless of if you wish to or not because I will not refrain from touching him because you wish to keep this a secret."
"Is that how little you think of me? That I would want you to be in pain to keep a secret from the others?" The half-smile she had was sarcastic and mostly saying that she almost didn't believe what he said. "Touch him, show him everything but if you so much as think about telling him anything, that's when I would tell you to fuck off. I'm selfish but not that selfish enough to bring you harm."
She grabbed the music sheet from the stand, crinkling it by accident in her grip as she went past Marcus, stopping to stand shoulder to shoulder, "Thank you for catching me. You didn't have to help me."
He was going to make a comment about that but found the words stuck in his throat. There was something about the way she ducked her head when she walked towards him, eyes down but searching the ground when she later spoke to him again. She lifted her head back up after getting past the threshold of the room, shaking off whatever was strange with her.
Soon enough, the situation with the Newborns was sorted out and Bella was able to go home a week later.
The Cullens had requested that one of the Newborns, a girl called Bree Tanner, be excused and be allowed to join their coven. The Volturi had allowed this after the royals had a small discussion.
Erika said yes to allowing Bree Tanner to join with cautions and restrictions put in place because of Bella's involvement with the Cullens, but besides that, her mates agreed with what she said which she found a little suspicious but she shook it off.
She came into the throne room with a stroppy tone in her step, frowning. Quickly sitting in her seat at the table, she put her head on her arms as she pouted but relaxed.
Marcus looked up, furrowing his eyebrows, "I thought you were going for a ride?"
"My bike isn't working and I don't fucking know why…" She whined. When Aro stuck his hand out, she took it after looking at it, putting her chin back on her other arm as she rested her head on the table. "I just want the damned thing to work, otherwise I'll need to have it looked at."
"If there is any fault with the bike, why do you not get it completely replaced?" Caius asked. "A newer model would be safer in comparison, perhaps faster too."
"I don't know," She muttered, still holding on strong to Aro's hand as he allowed. She shrugged off all of his memories and thoughts, not wanting to see them at the moment. "I was thinking of getting a new motorbike but the ones I was looking at were like over ten thousand."
"Which one was this?"
"I was looking at the Ducati Monster Seven Nine Seven, next year's model," She used her free hand to rub her cheek as she yawned. "Beautiful but I'm looking at a couple others in my budget. Oh, Bella's truck, the one she got from Billy Black, gave up on her a couple of days ago and Edward got her a Mercedes-Benz two thousand and seventeen. The timing of both our vehicles giving up on us is hilarious."
"I wonder where he got the idea of keeping his mate safe," Caius gave Aro a look which said that he knew exactly what he did with Edward.
Erika slowly sat up, curious anger in her veins as she carefully spoke, "If you had anything to do with my bike breaking, I will hurt you."
Aro clasped his hand in Erika, sending his memories forward. "I did not do anything to your bike, nor did I ask anyone else to. Thank you for accusing me, Caius. So gracious of you to put the blame on me when you were in the garage not too long ago before Erika."
She snorted. "Nah, my bike's been acting up since a couple weeks ago. That's why I haven't been riding as much, thought it best to keep safe instead of risking it with a semi faulty bike."
"With you being Human, your safety is our top property," Marcus said. "So would you be opposed to us buying you the new bike so you can still enjoy riding? It would be far safer than the one you have now."
"If you have to," She hummed. "Oh, Bella extended an invitation to you three for her wedding. With the promise of being on your best behaviours, that is."
"When do we not act appropriately?" Caius asked, watching as his three mates gave him a look. He laughed. "Right. My temper can get the best of me. So she has invited us all for it. Does that include our guards?"
"I wouldn't think so, but I'll talk to her about it," She said. "Having all of you unprotected doesn't sit well with me."
Marcus hummed. "We feel the same when we think of you in the same situation."
She just faintly smiled at that.
They left for America soon after, making sure to leave a few days before the wedding so Erika had time with her family and the kings could discuss what was needed with the Cullens.
Erika still had her apartment from before she moved to Italy, using that as a base in America as she visited her family.
The four of them didn't take the Guard, letting Jane be in charge of Volturi for the time being while they were in America.
The three kings allowed Erika to be home alone as long as she promised to stay inside unless she told them where she went. It was less to do with them controlling what she did and more the mutual need to know the other parts of their quartet. Just as much as they wanted to know where she was, she liked to know where they were.
While she was home alone for the time being, the men went to the Cullens to sort out the situation with Bree Tanner and her association with the NewBorn army.
With a knock at the door, she opened it.
She froze as soon as she saw who was at the door.
Leroy grinned. "Come on. Aren't you going to let me in, Erika?"
"No, why would I?" She shook off her surprise with ease as she blankly looked at him like he was an idiot.
"Because it is polite. Stop being rude,"
When he tried to barge past her and into the apartment, Erika put her arm on the door, keeping it from completely opening.
"It's not rude for me to stop someone who I do not want in my house," She said. "What do you want?"
"Is this any way to treat an old boyfriend?"
"Yes, when I do not want to see an ex-boyfriend, it is. Again, what do you want?"
"I heard about your sister getting married, and I knew you would need a date,"
"As if," She laughed. "I have a date."
"I wouldn't worry about Micheal," He smiled charmingly.
She paused. "If you hurt him…"
"You'll what?" Leroy raised a hand and tucked it under her chin, running a thumb down her bottom lip. "You'll be a good girl, or you'll be puni—"
Erika drew her fist back, instantly letting her anger out as she punched him in the jaw. He grimaced in pain, touching his jaw as if he couldn't believe what she had done.
"What. Was. That?" He asked slowly
"It's called payback, asshole," She snapped. "And I'll do much worse next time."
He laughed. "What could you do, Erika? Tell me. You'll go to the police again and play damsel in distress? That worked once but it won't work again."
"I got a fucking restraining order against you," She said. "You leave now and leave me the fuck alone and I won't call the cops. You want my dad on your ass? Because he'll bust a cap into you if he even thinks you've gone near me."
"Your father wouldn't do anything," He said, stepping forward to stand closer to her but Erika stood her ground. "Your father is a stick in the mud cop who shouldn't even be sheriff if he allows his eldest daughter whore herself out to men who don't even deserve her."
"At least I'm having fun," Erika stated, "You've got no right to comment on my life anymore. My life is my own. My dad knows it is up to my discretion what I tell him, and if you go near him, you'll be going against the restraining order. You go near him, tell him anything and I can assure you that you'll have your ass back in prison sooner than you can finish your sentence."
Leroy stepped closer, leaving barely any space between them. He only jumped back when he heard a large hissing sound and the pain of claws on his calves as Ducissa attacked his legs, clawing them to make him go away.
Ducissa was bigger than normal, the size of a medium dog replaced her already large feline size. Her fur stood up on its ends, making her seem more shadow than fur as she hissed and growled at Leroy. Her claws were long, talon-like as she clawed at the air in threat.
"Witch!" Leroy hissed through gritted teeth, taking more steps back before completely leaving.
Erika took a slow, deep breath in, leaving the door ajar enough to let Ducissa back in before closing it and dead bolting the door.
She sat down on the couch, curling up with a feline-sized Duchess in her lap as she pulled a heavy blanket around herself.
She couldn't be dealing with this at the moment, to be left alone with her thoughts, so she turned the TV on and began to binge-watch a show or two.
Erika took her journal and began to write down a new entry, spending the entire night writing.
Barely into season three of Criminal Minds, Erika felt the nearness of her mates as they came closer to the apartment. They had spent most of the day and night discussing things with Carlise and the Shifters so everything would go smoothly on Bella's big day.
They unlocked the front door with the spare key she gave them, coming in slowly as if they were Humans. Erika had undone the deadbolts a couple minutes ago when she felt their nearness, making it easy for them to come in before she resumed her watching of Criminal Minds again.
They instantly knew something was wrong as Erika didn't even flinch, move or turn towards them as they came in. She focused on the show she was watching, cuddling Ducissa like the feline was a lifeline and she was close to dying.
There was the fresh scent of ink in the air, telling them that she had done some writing in the last couple hours.
Aro gently touched his hand onto one of her exposed forearms, asking her if something happened. She just replied with a simple glance to the journal and permission for them to read it.
Without needing words, Aro looked at Caius who nodded before using his super-speed to read through the newest entry before handing it off to Marcus. Caius sat down on the couch, letting her choose to accept or reject his offer of comfort.
She shifted, curling her legs to the side after opening a side of the blanket to him. He just leaned against the couch arm, opening his side for her to lean into eventually. She curled up, burrowing her legs into the blanket until she looked like a ball of blanket with a head sticking out. Ducissa moved to sit on Marcus' lap when he sat down, letting him pet her as he read the entry.
Marcus closed the book, taking a deep, unneeded breath before exhaling slowly.
"I am going to kill him."
Erika gave him a look.
"Treaty with the Shifters needs to be respected, Mar'us," She mumbled, still curling into Caius' side. "Can't go killing Humans who displease you…"
"Well, my dear," He said, touching the side of her temple as she yawned like a cat just as Ducissa did. "Some people who threaten our safety and wellbeing should be dealt with accordingly. Though, him calling you a Witch is a little unsettling. We will have to find out what he knows."
"I hope not too fucking much,"
"We will hope,"
The reception for Bella's wedding was beautiful with plenty of guests from both sides of the family.
Erika sat stood in her silver dress, letting it fall around her in soft waves as she tried to refrain from rocking on her heels. She held a glass close to her chest, smiling as other people waved and smiled around her but she tried to keep away from speaking to anyone.
She was tired but that was mostly from constantly looking over her shoulder which her mates always told her she didn't have to. She felt the need, something gnawing at her nerves and the edges of her mind to tell her to be careful and sure of every movement and action.
She was called out of her small trance, smiling as Carmen came over to kiss her on the cheek in greeting.
"Carmen, pleasure," Erika grinned, turning to Eleazar with a similar, warm greeting. "You both look well. I hope everything's well?"
Carmen nodded as Eleazar spoke, arm curled around his mate's waist as the other four members of the Denali Coven came over.
"Everything is well and good, thank you," Eleazar said, letting the others appear and stand next to them. "Erika, this is the rest of the Denali Coven."
Erika inclined her head in greeting as she felt the warm hand of Caius touch her waist as he appeared.
"Erika Swan, sister of the bride,"
"And the final mate to the Volturi Kings," Tanya said, keeping a pleasant smile as Aro and Marcus appeared right next to their two Submissive mates.
"Yes," Marcus said as Aro let out a hand to have Tanya take.
Aro phased out for a moment before dropping her hand and touching Erika's.
The eldest Swan sister bristled as she let her gift work, straining a smile.
"I see you don't approve of Bella and Edward's match," She said calmly. "Rather have him for yourself."
Tanya's face seemed to crinkle, confused as to how she should respond. "I don't— How do you—"
"Copy-Cat ability," Erika said. "As long as you don't try and make my sister miserable, we won't have a problem. Will we, Laurent?"
She turned to the black Vampire as he smirked, eyes a light amber as he wasn't used to his diet yet. He nodded once.
"There won't be a problem," He said.
"Since Bella has forgiven you, I will too. But I don't forget. You've had your second chance, screw it up," She grinned, tilting her head a little. "And, well, you wouldn't want to find out how cruel a Human can be."
Kate nudged Irina who just scowled, "I like her."
Erika nodded once, turning away as the coven left and she was left with her mates.
Soon enough, the dancing began with Bella and Edward in the middle, before Bella was passed off to Charlie and Edward to Esme.
When allowed, Erika danced with each of her mates, starting with Caius and ending with Marcus who was a fantastic dancer. The way the two danced around was like Magic, slowing and quickening enough to still seem Human and yet they didn't trip or fall. Her dress flowed around them as they stepped around other dancers.
Bella gasped, mouthing 'SHOW OFF' to her before putting up a thumbs up and laughing as Edward muttered something in her ear.
As it was getting colder in the night and Erika drank more Malibu and Sprite glasses, she soon enough borrowed Aro's suit jacket to wear. The dark jacket looked great on her, a little big but it worked since she was drinking and just dancing.
The goodbyes came too soon, letting Bella go off with her husband for their honeymoon.
She leaned into Aro's side, searching for warmth as it was still cold.
"You're unusually cold," He said, letting her be close.
She shrugged. "I'm used to Italy, I guess."
The car Bella and Edward were in left.
She sighed. "I'm happy she's happy. Just hope for my happy ending now."
The other three looked at each other and then her, all smiling softly without realising.