A/N: And! We're back again, with a bit of a change of direction this time. (I wanted to do something to be a bit of a throwback to the original Breaking Dawn, especially since I thought it would make sense to go back and find out what happened from this side, though it's only this one chapter.)
At the end, there will be a note on last chapter, how Sulpicia knew of the wolves and Beau's relationship to Jules. Looking back, I know that might have been a bit confusing, and at least as far as I remember I don't think there's going to be anything in the story itself to explain it.
Also, just as a reminder, when it comes to the wolves, the Animorph rule is still in effect. (If that doesn't sound familiar, check out the note at the end of New Moon Reimagined, Chapter 15: Pressure. I tried to explain my reasoning there on stepping outside canon mechanics, a lot of it having to do with making things easier on myself for things here.) There's also no imprinting in this version of Reimagined.
Thanks so much for all your thoughts and comments last chapter, I so much appreciate the feedback. Hope you'll enjoy this next one even if it's a bit of a switch (again, unlike the original, it will just be this one chapter), and see you at the end!
Chapter 7: Life sucks, and then you die
Julie Black, Two days earlier
Life sucks, and then you die.
That was what my dad always used to say anyway. Probably quoting somebody famous, not that I'd ever asked. It had always seemed kind of pointlessly pessimistic to me. My dad and I always laughed about it, while Bonnie looked on with a kind of vague disapproval.
I wasn't laughing now.
I felt the damp forest floor beneath my paws, the thick smell of lush greenery in my nose as I ran, avoiding the trunks of trees by inches. The last two months I'd spent out here in the broad wilderness, living like an animal, killing all my food and eating it raw. Above all, I tried not to think.
Thinking hurt. Thinking was pain.
In a way, it was kind of stupid, which some of my less sensitive fellow pack members were only too quick to point out. Like there weren't about a million other girls in the world who had had their hearts smashed to bits, and had to watch as some other girl won out in the game of love. Lots of girls had experienced total heartbreak, without turning into a wolf and running off into the wilderness to sulk and nurse their wounds.
Of course, most girls couldn't turn into wolves. If they could, maybe the forests would be full of a bunch of animals running around like they'd just had their eyes gouged out. And as many heartbroken girls there probably were in the world, I really doubted very many of them had lost to a bloodsucking vampire. I doubted there were very many girls for whom losing meant the person they cared about most was either going to become a monster, or die in the process.
Yeah, life really sucked.
I wanted with just about everything I was to just let go. To detach myself from this whole messed up situation. Beau had made his choice: I'd lost, and it wasn't any of my business anymore. He was marrying her, and not long after that, he would disappear. Either his blood sucked dry, or as one of them. A fiend bent on drinking human blood.
But it seemed like the more I tried not to care, the more I tried to stop loving Beau, the more the beating organ in my chest seemed to constrict, the more my mind seemed to darken with anxiety and horror. His name just repeated itself in my mind like a chant. Beau. Beau. Beau. Even as I sunk myself deeper and deeper into the wolf mind, his face was always there. Laughing, sky blue eyes twinkling at some dumb thing I'd said, or his eyebrows furrowed in one of his serious looks.
I put my head low to the ground, feeling my claws tearing up the earth beneath me as I raced like a bullet through the forest. Trying to outrun the pain.
It was happening tomorrow. Although I had tried to block it out, the mental voices of the others reached me anyway. And because Sarah knew exactly when it was, I knew. With every inch the sun dropped in the sky, the time drew closer. The time for Beau's inevitable death, one way or another.
The sky glowed a deadly blood red, and though the main heat of the day had passed, it felt like it was burning against my fur.
He made his choice, said a voice in the back of my mind. Just let him go.
I had let him go. At least the way a girl gives up a guy to another girl. It was just letting him die I kept getting hung up on.
Of course, as always, I wasn't alone in my head.
Emma and Quil were out running patrols, and I could hear their thoughts in my head. They didn't speak to me, they'd given that up a while ago. They tried not to think about me, leave me alone, but they didn't quite succeed. Scattered thoughts of the wedding flickered through Emma's mind, and she wondered what I must be feeling. Quil was wondering, when he was changed, what it would mean for the treaty.
Very likely, the treaty would soon be broken. Either Beau died, or he became one of them. Would the pack take action? Attack the bloodsuckers?
The blazing heat on my fur seemed suddenly to turn to ice. Fighting the Cullens. No doubt, if that happened, Sam would order me to return. Order me to fight. I'd have no problem tearing my teeth into Edythe Cullen, and maybe some of the others, but what about Beau? Even if he was an it, a monster who cared about nothing but sucking human blood and who would kill Charlie and my mom and anyone else as soon as look at them, could I really fight him? Kill him?
Maybe. Maybe, if I concentrated on the fact the Beau I knew would hate what he had become. That the old Beau would want me to stop him before he could kill anyone he cared about.
Chills ran through my body, from nose to tail, and I felt suddenly sick.
I felt when both Emma and Quil faltered in their runs, hit by my wave of dread and revulsion.
It was Quil who spoke to me first.
I didn't want to talk to them. Not now. I didn't want to hear their reassurances about how I wouldn't have to go up against Beau, that someone else would do it if it had to be done, or arguments about how he wouldn't really be Beau anymore. I didn't want to hear the arguments that had been going around and around in my head for so long drawn out and used against me.
Images of the imagined wedding tomorrow flickered through their heads, and suddenly I couldn't take anymore. I needed to be alone. Really alone.
The smell of petrol and concrete touched my nostrils, and I abruptly turned my massive body, ripping through the forest like a drag racer. There was a city close by.
My mind stayed blank in those few seconds that I tore for the city's border. I thought about nothing but the forest, tinted red in the twilight, the feel of the dirt beneath my paws and the push and pull of muscle and sinew over bone as my wolf's body worked together like a seamless machine.
The distinctive smells of the city, a thousand, thousand human bodies, oils of fast food, and the industrial metal and glass, grew stronger, and at last, I slowed to a stop, just on the edge where the trees thinned into nothing. I closed my eyes, and I concentrated. I felt as my body drew back in on itself, compacting down, my long nose retracting instantly into my face, my fur turning to skin. In a moment I was once again human, kneeling on the forest floor.
I hadn't been human in weeks, and for a moment it was disorienting, to have hands instead of paws. I climbed to my feet, and I staggered briefly, falling against a tree, as I struggled to balance on just two legs.
Still, it felt good to be alone in my head again. I shook my head, and bits of leaves and twigs fell from my hair. I looked down, and my clothes weren't much better, plus I was barefoot. I would probably attract quite a few stares if I walked into town like this.
But, at the moment, I really didn't care. I wanted to be out of the forest. I wanted to be away from the voices of my friends, away from all strangeness and magic.
The forest went right up against the town. I didn't know where I was, except that I was probably still in Canada, or maybe the northern United States. I'd gone up really north for awhile, until the air turned chilly even in the middle of summer, but my wanderings had brought me back down again—like a magnet, forever being drawn back to the place that was the source of my torture. Maybe I would go north again. As far away as I could go. Until the summer disappeared, and the cold froze my fur.
I did my best to brush the main part of the twigs and other debris I'd collected sleeping for the last month on the forest floor, but I was sure I missed some. I knew how wild I had to look, a girl in a tank top and spandex, covered in leaves, no shoes, no hiking gear. I probably looked like an escaped kidnap victim. Or maybe a convict from a local prison.
I passed quickly from the damp forest earth to dark asphalt, where there was a parking lot beside a small, seedy-looking grocery store. A guy slouched outside, smoking, and he watched me as I strode across the lot like I knew where I was going. I felt bits of grit and rock scrape against my feet, but I ignored it.
I kept on going, past a few dumpy-looking houses, and then a street of small businesses. A liquor store, with a neon sign out front, a tattoo parlor, and a tanning salon at the end. There was a place advertising easy quick loans in bold yellow letters. A few people glanced at me as I passed, but I didn't attract as much attention as I expected. Maybe they were used to seeing people who looked like they might be on drugs.
I turned down another sidewalk, and I was surprised to find myself suddenly in what looked like a better neighborhood. Strange, to see the two worlds coexisting side by side, the back-alley fringes and normal life. I kept on going, past a line of nice middle-class houses, with neatly mowed lawns and grass kept relatively green, though it was late July. I came to the end of a lane, and as I turned a corner, I found a small park just ahead. Even though it was getting close to dusk now, it was packed with kids and families, out enjoying the balmy summer evening. Kids swung on the swings and tumbled down the slide, while others built castles and dug craters in the sand. Parents sat on the nearby benches or lounged in the grass under the trees, watching their children intermittently as they read or tried to catch a few minutes' sleep.
Strangely, the background of shouting and laughter was a relief after the months of quiet, with nothing but my wolf mind and the minds of my pack. I staggered toward a large elm no one had taken, and threw myself on the grass beside it. Of course, at this time of day, the tree afforded no shade, and the heat of the blood red sky burned against my skin from the west. Or maybe the heat I kept feeling wasn't from the setting sun. Maybe it was inside, this feeling, like I was being burned alive.
I closed my eyes as I tried, as always, not to think.
"Are you all right?"
I opened my eyes to see a young guy hovering nearby, looking a bit anxious.
"Do you need help?" he asked. He was looking uncertain now. When I still didn't reply, he said, "Because, well...if you need a ride anywhere..."
I must really look bad if random strangers were coming up to me and asking if I needed help. Not just my clothes and lack of shoes, if my face was half as dead as it felt right now, it must look like I'd had my soul crushed out of me.
He went on quickly, gesturing behind him, "That's my mom and my sister back there."
My eyes flickered to a tree over near the playground, and I saw a young girl, maybe nine or ten, and a woman with the beginnings of wrinkles around her mouth and gentle eyes. I wondered why he was telling me that, then thought maybe he thought that knowing his mother was nearby would make me feel more safe.
"Um," he said, growing more awkward by the minute. "So, if you change your mind..."
My eyes flickered back to his face, and for the first time I really focused on his features. He was probably about my age, maybe a year or two older. His hair had a sandy quality about it, light, but with a whole range of colors between red and gold. If you looked close, you could see a spattering of gold freckles across his nose. His eyes were a warm brown, like cinnamon. He was actually, really good looking.
It suddenly occurred to me that maybe I'd been going about this all wrong. Maybe the way to forget about Beau, cut him out of my heart, wasn't to turn myself into an animal and try not to think. Maybe what I needed was to find something, or someone, to crowd him out. Beau was the only guy I'd ever really liked. Maybe what I needed was to get out there, see the world, find someone else. Someone better.
Someone who wouldn't throw his life away to vampires.
I slowly sat up, resting my arms on my knees. "What's your name?" I asked, giving him my attention.
He blinked, startled. "Um, it's Eli." He looked a bit sheepish. "My friends just call me Li, though."
Somehow, though I didn't really feel like laughing, one escaped me anyway. "Is that because they think you're cool enough to deserve it, or are they making fun of you?"
He blinked. An unwilling grin flashed across his face. "Kind of both, I think." He paused. "What's your name?"
"Julie," I said. "But my friends call me Jules."
He grinned. "Is that because they think you're cool enough to deserve it, or are they making fun of you?"
I really did laugh then. I liked this guy. He was nice enough to come to the park with his mom and sister, and ask some weird girl with wild, shorn hair and covered in forest muck if she needed help, but he still had a sense of humor.
"It was my older brothers who gave me the name first, so you do the math."
He grinned. "I have older brothers, too. Two of them." He paused, looking hesitant. "So, uh...did you need a lift anywhere? I just got my license, so I've been driving the car." He added, smiling a bit again, "It probably won't break down on the way. I just put in a new carburetor."
I raised an eyebrow. "Is there such a thing as a new carburetor? Didn't those go out like, two decades ago?"
He looked impressed. "Do you know something about cars?"
I shrugged. "I built one once, actually."
"Wow," he said. "I always wanted to build my own car. But we don't have that kind of money."
I nodded. "Story of my life. I had to scavenge half the parts from the dump. She runs great, though."
He was looking really interested now. No longer just trying to be a good Samaritan and help out somebody who needed it, he looked like he really did want to talk some more.
"Wow," he said again.
We both heard a faint cough, and he turned to glance back at his mom and sister.
"Um, I've got to go," he said. He hesitated, then said, "So... So you want to come? I could drop my mom and my sister off home, and I could buy you something to eat. There's this diner around the corner from my house my friends and I always go to..."
I gazed back up at him for a long minute. A part of me wanted to go with him. However, after a moment, the smile slowly faded from my lips. No, that wasn't true and I knew it. As much as I wanted to want to go with him, even though we seemed to have so much in common, and he was nice and this conversation was fun, as we joked I wasn't really seeing his face. I was still seeing someone else.
"Sorry," I said, with a bit of a rueful smile. "I can't. I've got somewhere I need to be."
"Oh," he said, his face falling slightly. "Okay."
I climbed slowly to my feet, brushing myself off, though some of the twigs still remained stubbornly in place. "I have a friend who's getting married tomorrow, and I'm going to have to hurry if I'm going to make it back in time."
"A friend?" he said, curious.
I sighed. "Yeah, he'll probably want me to be there."
Li studied my face. "He?" he said. And I knew he probably guessed at least part of the story behind all this. Perceptive as well as nice and good-looking.
"Yeah," I said, sighing again. "Biggest idiot of a best friend there ever was, he'll probably be depressed if he doesn't see me at least once before he runs off for his honeymoon. And I guess I kind of would like to see him one more time, too."
"He must be an idiot," Li agreed, and his eyes moved over my face.
I smiled a little. "Yeah. But he's a good sort of idiot. He just doesn't have good taste in girls."
I turned in the direction I had come, the sidewalk that led to the back alleys that led back out into the woods.
"Hey," Li said. "My mom and my sister come to this park a lot during the summer. If you're ever in the neighborhood..."
"I'll look you up," I said. "And you can show me that diner."
I felt his eyes on my back as I walked back down the sidewalk, but I didn't look back. I strode quickly, still barefoot, and the rough concrete scraped against my soles like before, but now I barely felt it. It was getting dark now, the sun almost completely set behind the horizon, leaving the sky a deep purple. I had less than twenty-four hours to get back to Washington—I should be at least able to make the reception.
I knew suddenly I had to see him again. I'd tried to pull away, tried to detach myself, but it was no good. I had to see him, and I had to be there for him, or I knew I'd regret it. I must be a masochist.
I walked quickly past the seedy grocery store, and headed back out into the dark woods. What was left of the light from the sky quickly vanished in its shadows, but I kept walking, away from the city, away from potential witnesses. I was headed back, back to the world of magic.
I came to a stop in a small, open area between the pines. I closed my eyes and took a deep breath—and that was when I smelled it.
"I wouldn't move if I were you," said a soft voice right behind me.
I spun sharply.
For a second, the shock of her appearance immobilized me. This one was unlike any bloodsucker I had ever seen. Most bloodsuckers could pass for human, as long as they stayed in the shadows. But this one's diamond skin had an oddly fragile, papery quality, and her eyes were covered in a milky film. Though like all bloodsuckers her body was young, there was something about her that made her look...old. Ancient. She wore a long cloak as black as night, clasped at her neck. Her long dark hair fell about her face.
I blinked, and I realized I could see another smaller vampire standing just behind the swirls of her cloak. This one appeared to be cowering behind her, one hand gripping the woman's sleeve. A boy. He, too, was dressed in a long cloak, this one a dark ashy gray.
Two more bloodsuckers emerged from the woods, to flank her on either side. They both had their hoods up, but my eyes didn't need much light to see, and I saw one with dark hair cut at a severe angle, a woman, and the other was a tall male, with dark hair combed back. I thought I caught yet another cloak some ways back behind them.
I knew I was about to die. I couldn't face this many bloodsuckers alone and live. However, I would take as many of them as I could with me. I bent my shoulders slightly, baring my teeth as I readied myself for the change.
"I wouldn't if I were you," said the one with the dark hair in the middle—the leader, I was sure. Her voice was still melodic, soft, like a teacher or a parent making a gentle correction. She added, "If you do, you will die instantly."
I ignored her. I felt a tremor go down my body.
"You don't want to do that," she said, and this time her voice was harder, more insistent. "Trust me, young one." She took a swift step forward. The little one clinging to the back of her cloak stepped with her.
Automatically, I backed up a step, and my back ran into something hard.
I was sure I'd stopped where there weren't any trees nearby, and when I reached back to find out what I had hit, I didn't feel the rough texture of bark, but something smooth, like glass.
My trembling stopped, for just a moment. I eyed the dark vampire in the middle for one moment longer, before I let my gaze turn back, for just a fraction of a second, to see what was behind me.
There was yet another vampire standing there. He looked young, a teenager maybe, with dark brown hair and bright crimson eyes that made me sure he must be new. I froze for a second—I couldn't believe he had gotten so close without my realizing it. And I realized suddenly that I couldn't smell him. No, not just him, as I drew in a deep breath, I realized I couldn't smell the others, either. I had only had a taste of them on the air, and then it had been completely cut off.
As the panic began to crawl over me, I searched again for the barrier I had hit before. I didn't see anything. But as I reached out a hand, I felt it, something hard and smooth, but invisible. My hand traveled over the surface, and it seemed to curve around me. I reached out my other hand, and found it was above my head, too, barely inches to spare. My hands moved all around, until I realized—it wasn't an invisible wall, but a sphere. A cage, extending out barely a foot from me in all directions.
"You see," said the vampire with the long dark hair softly. "If you were to attempt to change right now, as your body expanded outward, all your soft tissues, your heart, your lungs, stomach and intestines, they would collapse in on themselves. You would be left as little more than a shapeless mass of blood and fur. Not to mention your dog's skull would be crushed, and the shards of bone would tear your brain to ribbons. And don't think you could break the barrier—if it could be broken with brute force, we would know, believe me."
The taller bloodsucker flexed a fist, as though to remind me of the brutal, car-crushing strength of their kind.
I felt a bead of sweat break out on my brow as I stared back at them.
"Who are you?" I asked. My voice came out flat, rather than defiant as I had meant it to be. "What do you want?"
The vampire smiled slightly, and her filmy eyes had that vague, gentle look again. "We go by the name the Volturi—perhaps you've heard of us. My name is Sulpicia, and we are here because there's something with which we need your help, Julie Black. There is much at stake, the world teeters on the edge of falling into chaos. And the only way to stop it requires you."
I laughed. There was an edge of hysteria in it.
"The Volturi," I repeated. "Oh yeah, I know you. You're the leeches that rule over the others. You're the queen of darkness. And now you're here, asking for my help? Seriously?"
My half-crazy smile was suddenly gone, and I glared at her with pure hatred. "I'd die sooner than help you," I spat. My mouth curled again in a smile, cold and twisted. "Getting my skull crushed in doesn't really sound so bad. Be interesting anyway. And it would be worth it, just to keep you from getting your way."
The dark-haired leech, Sulpicia, I guess she'd called herself, the one Beau had told me about meeting in the lair of the vampires, looked at me thoughtfully. Then she glanced to one side, and I saw she was looking at one of the other leeches. Another woman standing unobtrusively behind the others, in another long cloak black as midnight. I saw long white-blond hair beneath the hood. The woman's eyes were on Sulpicia, and I saw her placid features twist in the slightest hint of distaste. Then her eyes shifted to me.
Sulpicia turned her own misty gaze back to where I stood. "Much hangs in the balance," she said softly. "We need you, Julie Black."
I opened my mouth to make another sneering reply, but I hesitated. As I looked into her filmy eyes, I felt the oddest tug. I realized, somehow, I believed her. And I wanted to help her in her cause, whatever it was.
The feeling intensified, muddling my thoughts. Sulpicia was right, Sulpicia was good. If I didn't trust her, didn't help her, people were going to get hurt. I wanted to help.
My eyes flickered to the blond vampire in the black cloak behind the others, and she gazed back at me with crimson eyes, in a look of supreme concentration.
Something ice cold plunged in my stomach, and even though I couldn't have articulated it in words, I knew.
I clutched my head, gritting my teeth. My knees buckled under me as I fought. Somehow, they were doing something to me, getting inside my head. I had to fight them, I had to keep myself.
Sulpicia's eyes never moved from me. However, when she spoke, her voice was barely above a murmur, and so I could tell she wasn't talking to me.
"You couldn't have been more subtle...?"
The blond one's eyes were boring into me, cold, but I saw her mouth tighten with resentment. "I have never made an effort to master this power, as you well know, Sulpicia."
"I suppose a more honest use is indeed preferable," Sulpicia conceded, though she sighed wistfully. She took a step forward, so graceful it was almost as though she were gliding over the ground, like a ghost. In a moment, she was standing right before my cage.
She knelt down in front of where I was still on my knees, my back bent against the spell trying to take control of me. She looked me in the eye, and I couldn't help but stare back.
"I'll die sooner than help you," I hissed at her through my teeth, though I felt my very being recoil at such defiance. I felt like I was snarling at my own mother. And that made me hate her all the more.
"I think that will do, Athena," she murmured, her eyes never moving from mine. "You ought to go and join your forces now. I will finish our preparations, and call both you and Marcus when we are ready to go to battle."
Athena, or whatever her name was, didn't answer, only her mouth was still twisted down with distaste, and abruptly, the intense feelings of kinship with this stranger and monster faded. However, they didn't go entirely. They lingered in the back of my mind, stuck there like bits of rancid tar.
The blond turned and left swiftly, her dark hood pulled low over her face.
"I don't think you quite understand your situation," Sulpicia said to me softly, gently. "You could kill yourself to get away from us, but that would be an act of cowardice rather than the courage you imagine. For some time we have followed you, waited for you to resume your human form so that we could catch you without the others of your kind knowing. But if we can't have you, we will simply move on to another member of your pack. One of the smaller, younger ones, who will not be so foolish as to defy us. Will you intentionally die, and leave one of them to suffer as our prisoner in your place?"
My lips curled back from my teeth, and a snarl that wasn't faintly human escaped my mouth.
"You wish, leech. You wouldn't get near a single one of them. They'd know if you tried to go onto Quileute lands."
She smiled faintly. "Ah, but as you must know by now, we have ways of concealing ourselves from your wolf senses. You would be surprised—we could walk right into your village, and steal one of your young sisters from her bed. Maybe two—then we could use one to keep the other in line."
My blood felt like it was boiling in my veins. I looked into her smiling, papery face, faintly glowing with her triumph, and I wanted to rip her throat out. And I decided, I would stay alive. Not just to protect the rest of the wolves of the pack, but so, when the opportunity came, I'd have the chance to rip her apart.
"Good," she said softly, as though she were reading my thoughts. "Now, we ought to go—to set up for the next stage of the plan. You kept us waiting a long time, but now we may finally proceed."
She studied me speculatively for a moment, then her eyes flickered to the boy behind me, and to the other vampire at her side, the female. "Brenden, Tacita," she murmured. "Would you please...?"
Suddenly, the air was no longer dead around me, and I felt a breeze on my face. I nearly gagged as the burning scent assaulted my nostrils again. However, I kept my head, and I knew what it meant— the cage was gone. With a snarl, I spun on the monster, and coiled my legs to spring, vibrations running along my spine.
The small vampire behind her cringed into her side, but she didn't react in the slightest.
Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a blur of motion, the female with the angled hair. Faster than even my eyes could follow, she was suddenly behind me, and I felt something hard strike me in the back of the head. For a second my vision spun, and the world tilted around me.
Yeah, I thought, just before I fell into unconsciousness. Life really sucks.
A/N: And, another one down. We're starting to get somewhere.
I know not everyone liked the long section of Breaking Dawn that switched to Jake's perspective, but I've also talked to some people where that was their favorite aspect of the book, and it was always one of my favorites too. (Of course, many of the things I liked most about the original there wasn't really room for here, but I enjoyed working on this chapter anyway, and getting to draw a few parallels.)
How Sulpicia knew about Julie and the wolves, and specifically Beau's close relationship to her—
I know this has been a while back, but in New Moon Chapter 17: Visitor, when Archie comes back to Forks after thinking Beau killed himself, Beau tells Archie about the wolves, and Beau's closeness with Jules becomes pretty apparent. Then, in Chapter 21: Verdict, Sulpicia touches Archie when he's trying to convince her that he will take responsibility for making sure Beau gets changed even if Edythe is against it. Sulpicia instantly gained access to everything Archie knew about the wolves at that point (including the fact he can't see their futures), and Beau's relationship to Julie. (She also has a fairly deep understanding of the Cullen family dynamics and just Beau's character and values from having touched Edythe before.)
Interestingly, by this same logic, Aro would have also known about Jacob and the wolves in the original storyline in the same way. (This might present a bit of a plothole in that in Eclipse, Edward is worried about the Volturi finding out about the wolves as their volatility would be something the Volturi would be inclined to stamp out. However, Aro doesn't seem to have the same personal vendetta against werewolves that Caius does, so possibly it could make sense he would have kept the info to himself, and wanted to wait until he had real evidence of wrongdoing by the Cullens that he could seize on before taking the guard down to the area, so that he could implement his plan to take Alice and Edward without danger of the public losing faith in the Volturi as a fair force for justice. He wouldn't have known about the later vampire-wolf alliance.) I'd probably have to read Breaking Dawn again to decide what to think on that, though I guess an alternative might be in interpreting how his power works, such as, even though Aro can read every single thought, he has to kind of pick and choose what he looks for when he touches someone. In that case, it would be possible for him to miss things even if it would still be impossible to deliberately hide things from him.
Thanks so much for reading, and for all your thoughts and comments last chapter! If you have a moment, let me know what you thought, and hope to see you next time!