Hello, dear readers! What is that? An update without a year in between? Obviously Fake-News! ...
As always thank you for every review, favorite and follow. They do encourage me to continue writing so don't hesitate to contact me however you want.
All mistakes are, of course, mine.
-The following rant continues very minor spoilers for this story so if you want to be completely surprised I suggest you skip the rest of the author's note-
As some of you might (or might not) have been wondering: No, Jane's and Bella's relationship will not be the main "problem" (or whatever you want to call it) of this story, neither will some huge conflict between the Cullens and the Volturi occur (interesting as that may be; but there might be a little squabble here and there). Jane may seem hostile but that's just how she is especially concerning her close relationships.
I hope to introduce the main issue after Bella is turned and her relationship with Jane is a bit more secure.
There are many great stories out there which deal with the aforementioned topics so I wanted to do something a bit different. Needless to say you totally should check those other stories out because they really are amazing.
Now please enjoy.
"I…" Isabella pauses clearly unsure how she should continue.
Not that I care much about – at the moment at least – how she apparently knows that mud haired rabbit munching shame of a vampire.
After he announced his intention of taking my mate away from us, from me, I won't hesitate to kill him if he takes one more step towards her.
My steely gaze fixes on his tense body. A cruel smile plays on my lips. Pain!
Cullen immediately clutches his head and falls on his knees. A small whimper escapes his lips and my smirk widens just a fraction. No one will take her from me.
The rest of his family crowds around the bunny muncher asking him what's wrong. Only the short, black haired girl continues to stare at Isabella clearly unfazed by the events going on around her.
"Jane, please, you have to stop it!" Isabella grabs my arm from behind. I can't help but to almost involuntarily relax a bit under her touch. She's here and safe – with me.
Still unwilling to break my stare away from Cullen I finally look up after she moves herself in front of me lifting my face to make her eyes connect with mine.
I expect the brunette to lecture me about my behavior, but she doesn't. Although she tries to look stern her eyes twinkle with light amusement and a small smile plays around her lips. Suddenly she presses a light kiss to my temple and slings her arm around me.
I huff in amazement at her sudden antics and let myself be pressed close to her, fighting stance forgotten.
Only then do I notice that the room has gone completely silent. Everyone is watching us.
Cullen is still on the ground slack-jawed. His gaze wanders from me to Isabella and back again.
I can't help but to puff out my chest a bit, proud of my mate openly accepting me.
"Charlisle! What a surprise. I can't say we have expected you" My master's voice sounds loudly through the throne room. "And you have brought your family! How long it has been, Alice" He nods at the short vampire who refused to break eye contact with my mate earlier.
Now she just straightens up and throws a presumably charming smile in Aro's direction.
The pixie must be that girl, my masters want for their collection. Unique gifts always fascinated them, especially if they are useful. There have been many nights spent discussing how they can acquire the vampire that's able to see the future. Maybe now that chance has come.
The blonde man – Charlisle Cullen – steps forward and indicates a short bow. Meanwhile the rest of his clan help bunny muncher to his feet.
My continued glare obviously makes him uneasy but I don't try to incapacitate him again – yet.
"And I do apologize for our sudden appearance, dear friend, but my family and I simply had to talk to Bella."
My head turns to look at said girl, eyebrow raised. Why did she lie to me and more importantly, what else does she hide?
My mate throws me guilty look noticing my reproachful facial expression.
"Oh? We didn't know you are acquainted. Telling us must have slipped dear Bella's mind" A dangerous edge has entered Aro's voice. Just like that the situation got tense yet again. Nobody knows what to say. Everyone is staring either at the Cullens, our master or Bella and me.
"Well, they are like my family, so I obviously wanted to wait a bit before I introduced you guys. You know, with Jane and me only getting to know each other…" Isabella trails off because she notices that no one believes her.
"I'm sure you had your reasons, dear Bella, but the fact remains that your 'family' broke one of our laws. Now I ask you, how do you think, we – the vampires' only enforcer of these rules – are to handle such a blatant disregard of them?"
Isabella takes a sharp breath. Her arm tightens around mine and she begs with her eyes for me to intervene.
Trying to evade her stares proofs to be impossible. I sigh. On one hand I can't be bothered to care even remotely for the Cullen clan, on the other hand my mate's pleading eyes are very hard to ignore.
"Master, if I may suggest, you could hear them out before you make any decisions."
The brunette nods her head in agreement almost violently next to me. Aro musters me contemplatively. On the edge of my vision I can see my brother Alec watching me curiously. I don't think he has ever seen me not immediately agreeing with whatever our masters wished to do.
"Very well then. Speak your mind, Charlisle. Why have you come here today and why did you reveal our race to a human?"
The oldest Cullen takes a moment to compose himself, probably thinking about how he can put his arguments as convincingly as possible.
"Bella was quite perceptive, when we met her back in Forks. I don't think we could have hidden our true nature from her any longer than we did. Especially since she became fast friends with Alice." He points at the elfish girl.
Cullen is trying to appeal to Aro mentioning a close relationship with someone he wants in his ranks. Very clever indeed. If she gets too close to my mate I won't hesitate to kill her though, fortune telling or no.
"She also told us about her early encounter with her mate. We figured we can help her out. Bella would sooner or later find out about our race anyway if she is mated to one of us. In the end everything worked out quite splendidly, don't you think, Aro?"
"That doesn't quite explain, why you are here now though, old friend"
"We obviously missed Bella. You probably know by now that she is delightful to be around, and she is, as she has already mentioned, like family to us."
In the end everything turns out much less violent than probably every single vampire in the throne room expected.
Despite (probably) having serious doubts about the Cullen leader's claims to come to Italy because they just miss my mate that much Aro accepts his explanation and doesn't seem to adamant about executing proper punishment for transgression of our laws.
After seeing Isabella's reaction to a potential penance, the old vampire likely figures it's not worth the trouble of angering a – hopefully – soon to be addition to the Volturi clan with a gift that has yet to be further determined and by extension her mate.
But that doesn't mean that they can just wander off with my mate without any objections. Even though they claim to have important business to talk about or catching up or something the Cullens have not uttered a single relevant word since they've been escorted to one of the castle's sitting areas with various couches of different sizes and colors arranged in the center of the room.
Isabella is sitting next to me, her hand tucked in mine, while the rest of her body is pressed close to me.
"Don't you have something to say? Now that you have got your precious family member close to you again?" I make my voice sound unemotional, almost bored but there is still a hard edge to remind them of their place within our walls.
"A moment of privacy seems too much to ask with you, does it?" Bunny muncher's voice cuts through the silence that followed my questions.
My agitation quickly spikes yet again watching the overconfident look on his face seemingly forgetting how I had him on his knees mere minutes ago.
"For you as well apparently since you felt the need to storm into a private meeting – uninvited and unwanted – concerning matters none of your concern."
The others shuffle uncomfortably in their seats. Isabella puts a soothing hand on my shoulder silently asking me to calm down. I don't continue with my angry rant but the death glare should answer his questions about being alone with my mate.
"Jane, why don't you get me something to eat? I'm starved!" My head whips around to look at Isabella disbelievingly. How can she even assume that I'd leave her alone with them.
"Absolutely not. We can go together but I won't leave you here."
Slowly she turns to fully face me. I can feel her so called family watching our every move, silently judging us.
My mate moves to get up, taking my hand again and tucking on it, urging me to come with her to the other side of the room even though it does nothing to prevent other vampires from hearing our conversation. I allow it nevertheless.
"Ten minutes, Jane. I want to properly catch up with them." I open my mouth to disagree with her, but she interrupts me. "No, I can't do that with you here. They are clearly too scared to talk right now" Isabella sends a light smirk and a wink my way trying to convince me to leave. I don't want to but I can feel my resolve faltering.
"You won't be gone long and if they try to take me with them" a low growl escapes my lips at that "I'll be kicking and screaming the whole time clawing my way back to you, okay?"
In the end that argument doesn't last long. Isabella – clearly as usually from now on – got her way and I'm off to talk with the kings about this clan problem but not without telling Alec to position himself close to the door in case bunny muncher gets up to something.
My brother only nods in understanding slinking away to be as inconspicuous as possible.
I linger in front of the door for a while after that. Despite feeling a bit bad for listening in against my mate's explicit wishes I don't bother with a bad conscience for long.
Except they talk about nothing even remotely interesting. "The weather has been rainy as usual in Forks, Bella" – "You missed our last baseball game, Bella"
Of course, I don't believe this charade. I just don't know what their reason for storming the castle could be that Isabella is so unwilling to share with me – her mate. And why she bothered to hide her affiliation with the Cullens to begin with. What else does she hide from me? Doubt settles deep in my bones.
At last I turn around and head back towards the throne room.