Daughter of the Count and Countess

A Battle Between Lover and Foe

"To be by my side, I need someone who is strong and able to burden the duties of being with me."

Was I truly capable of being able to bare the weight of his duties when I couldn't even bare my own.

"Win the right to be by my side and become my wife, lover and mate."

Did I truly have the right to become his soul mate.

"How much would you sacrifice for me."

Would I put my own life on the line for him.

"Then you have already made your choice and so have I."

Was I truly going to allow him to go back to that manipulative bitch, Sulpicia.

Aro's words stung, each word puncturing my aching heart along with my own insecurities. The image of Aro kissing Sulpicia right in front of me was like a slap to the face and to make matters worse or in other words adding salt to the wound, Aro declares that he will train Sulpicia. Like my heart hadn't been crushed enough, now it was shattered into millions of pieces. The bundle of emotions I felt were hard to describe as I sat on a roof of a house located somewhere in Volterra. The most prominent emotion that I was able to recognize was betrayal. I wish to have never felt this wretched emotion again, but Aro's sudden challenge had resurfaced them once again.

I couldn't bring myself to hate Aro, he was the one I was supposedly destined to spend eternity with. But, my anger was palpable which is why I took some time away from the castle to clear my thoughts. What was going through Aro's head? Could he feel my emotions even if I was this far away from the castle? Did he not feel ashamed when he bashfully kissed his soon to be ex wife in front of me? Was he trying to hurt me or tell me something? There were far too many variables for me to deduce. But, I was still uncertain that this was the right way to show Aro how I felt for him. Then again, how do I feel about him? If I couldn't answer this question then the duel would be pointless.

I let out a frustrated sigh. What I was to do when he didn't leave me much of a choice. Knowing Aro, I knew he had a trick up his sleeve and would surprise us all in the end. He was probably training that vixen by now and what was I doing? Moping around and mumbling how unfair life was. I hated losing to anyone more than anything, I was the daughter of Count Dracula after all. I stood up realizing the sun was going to rise at any moment, feeling sleep creeping its way into my system. Before leaping off the roof, I felt another presence nearing my location. I froze and sniffed the air, it was a vampire but I couldn't pinpoint which of the many vampires that resided in the Volturi castle it belonged to. A part of me wished it was Aro, but I would have been able to recognize him right away. I sat back down and waited for the unknown vampire's arrival, knowing that whoever it was did not pose a threat.

I felt the wind shifting from behind me and inhaled the scent, it was tangy and smelt of old books laced with what I thought to be mint. It was a pleasant smell, close to being on the borderline of comforting yet there was something depressing about it.

"This is where you have been hiding." The vampire spoke in a dull monotonous voice that I recognized all too well.

"Nice to see you too Marcus." I retorted.

"And for the record I wasn't hiding. I needed time to clear my thoughts." I added softly.

"With the way you exited the throne room after Aro's announcement, it is understandable." He murmured.

"I know all to well, how it feels to lose someone." He continued muttering in a tone that was barely audible.

His tone made me turn to look at him for the first time. He was dressed in his signature black cloak along with a dark suit underneath and polished dress shoes. His expression was saddened as if reminiscing about the past only brought painful memories. Something I knew all too well. His eyes were faraway as if being teleported to the time in which he lost what was dearest to him.

I looked away; "Who is it you lost?" I asked abruptly, snapping him out of his reverie.

I could feel his gaze lingering on me.

"Blunt as always." He answered, sounding somewhat distasteful.

"Haven't you wondered why I rarely speak or engage in any conversation? Or even partake in any social events?" He asked.

"At first I thought it had to do with your bizarre personality but quickly realized that no one- not even a vampire could withhold such sadness." I answered gravelly.

"How so?" He replied.

"Your eyes. I can tell they have witnessed something very terrible, something that has forever embedded itself into your heart that is impossible to forget." My voice sounded distant even to my ears.

I heard his intake of breath.

"You are far to observant for your own good." He murmured.

I chuckled; "So I have been told."

The mood, had slightly lifted from its previous state but it wouldn't last for very long.

"I lost my mate." He spoke after a moment of silence.

I swiveled around to look at him again. Losing a mate had to be the hardest thing for anyone to experience, from what I heard. It is said that they either go mad and find ways to end their existence or lock themselves in solitude never to see an ounce of daylight ever again. Trying to comfort Marcus with soothing words and lies of endearment wouldn't do him any good, especially since he had probably heard it all before.

"Why are you telling me this Marcus?" I wondered.

He turned his attention to me once more.

"I am not quite sure, but there is something trustworthy about you." He responded with a slight shrug of his shoulders.

"We hardly know each other and yet you confide something that brings you great pain to me." I concise.

"Strange isn't it?" He mused.

I stared at him strangely, maybe his personality was just as odd as I first thought.

"What is?" I asked cautiously.

"I think about her everyday and brood in my chambers remembering only the last moments of her life." He answers.

"I don't think it's strange, I did the same thing when my siblings were murdered. All I could think of was revenge." I say quietly.

"For me it was more or less what I could have done to prevent her death, that maybe if I had done something different that day she would still be alive." He said sadly.

"That is a different way to put it. I never though of it that way." I responded.

"That is because you let your emotions override everything else." He answered simply.

His words were so similar to my Uncle Lucian's that for a split second I thought he was here with me and we were conversing normally like we always did when I was younger.

"What was her name?"

"Didyme." He spoke her name so softly and delicately, like it had never been spoken until now.

"What a beautiful name." I quipped.

"It was. It suited her perfectly." He said in a dream like voice.

"It hurts doesn't it." I say stating the obvious.

He nods.

"How do you keep going?" I wondered curiously.

"I take it one day at a time." He replied simply.

"Have you ever thought of ending your life?" I spoke in a hushed tone.

His gaze lingered on me as he thought of what I said.

"When she died." His answer was short and quick, leaving no room for further discussion.

We lapsed into yet another silence.

"You will find another someday." I voiced my thoughts, breaking the silence.

"And how can you be so sure?" He questioned.

"Because you are standing here in front of me now. Because you can talk about her." I say.

"It's true you loved her, I can see it in your eyes and the way you talk about her but there is another out there somewhere waiting for you." I continued and as I spoke I knew it was the truth. Marcus would regain happiness again someday even if it wasn't with his first love it would be with his mate.

"You are very wise, young one." Marcus remarked.

"Although, you can't seem to sort out your own feelings and yet you understand others." He observed.

"You too, are far too perceptive for your own good." I grumbled, voicing Marcus' previous words.

He laughed. He actually laughed. Something I would have thought to be impossible for the likes of Marcus Volturi. It was a deep throaty laugh that resonated with liberty.

"You really are something special Isabella. It has been a long time since I have laughed like that." He sighed contently.

For the first time, I could see some of the stress and depression leave Marcus' features which made me smile. I was happy to know that at least my words got through to him.

"So why is it you came to see me? I don't think it was to talk about your first love." I say changing the subject.

Seriousness formed on Marcus's face.

"Why is it you think I talked to you about Didyme?"

Marcus could be so infuriating at times. He was spinning me in circles.

"Like you said before, I am special." I retorted, deciding to be what humans call ' a smart ass.'

Marcus smirked; "Very comical you are."

"Maybe there was something significant I was meant to understand." I contemplated.

"But, what?" Marcus urged.

I sighed and shrugged my shoulders.

"You can give others advice but when it comes to yourself your completely hopeless." Marcus said bluntly.

I glared at him which he brushed off.

"When the Romanians killed Didyme, the only thing I could think of was; I didn't get to tell her all of the things I wanted to express to her. Like how much she truly meant to me and how much I loved her." He explains.

"Your wondering what Aro has up his sleeve and why he is putting you through such a thing and yet you cannot answer the simple question as to why." He continued.

I sat dumbstruck. I opened my mouth, but closed it immediately knowing that Marcus' words rung with verity.

"How am I suppose to know how I feel. My emotions are all jumbled up." I answer truthfully.

"Stop thinking so hard and just feel it." He replied forcefully, knocking me out of my stupor.

"Your judgement is clouded because you are thinking too hard on whether what you feel is real but have you ever stopped and wandered what it is your heart desires?" He inquired.

"When my heart is revealing what I truly feel and desire." I muttered voicing the words that Aro once said to me in the meadow.

Everything clicked. I knew what it is I had to do and why I had to do it. All of the emotions that were once prominent were now gone, including that of betrayal. I only felt determined. Marcus could see that his words had helped clear the fog that clouded my heart shift, revealing the truth I had been searching for all along.

"Love is a funny thing don't you agree?" He asked amused.

I put my head down feeling slightly embarrassed.

I heard Marcus let out a chuckle as I continued to avoid making any eye contact.

"Thank you, truly Marcus." I said sincerely after he finished laughing at my expense.

His face softened.

"I should be the one thanking you. You have helped me to understand that even though Didyme is gone, her memories and warm smile shall forever remain in my heart." He responded dearly.

I smiled while trying to stifle a yawn.

"But it seems I have kept you up." He titled his head.

I waved my hand in dismissal.

"It's quite alright Marcus." I yawned no longer able to hide its presence.

He smirked; "We should get you to bed, you have a long night ahead of you."

I nodded and followed Marcus back to the castle, smiling the whole way back.

My confrontation with Sulpicia tomorrow night wasn't about who can win Aro's heart or who is fit to be by his side. He had already chosen who he wishes to be with. All I needed to do was give him my answer.

And I already knew, thanks to Marcus.

As we entered the castle I let Marcus lead me to my chambers, walking by many winding corridors and coming across many vampires that I have never even seen since my arrival in Volterra, they eyed me curiously as I went past. Just how many vampires did Aro have hidden in his castle? Marcus and I remained silent during the short walk to my chambers, although there was nothing much to be said. We helped each other understand the foggy haze that were our feelings due to our inaccurate judge of character and helped one another move from the heartache. Marcus and I shared a mutual understanding that neither of us wished to break.

"Here you are, Isabella." Marcus stood in front of two large cherry wood doors that I assumed led to my room. I wasn't actually sure how it looked like, I was whisked away into the throne room before I had a chance to glance inside.

My stuff had most likely been placed in the room by the two guards I had threatened to kill at the front entrance.

"Thank you for escorting me to my quarters Marcus." I say as I stood beside him.

He nodded his head.

"I will leave you to rest." And then he disappeared from sight.

Marcus had given me much to consider concerning my situation, but I think I was understanding the complex mechanisms that reeled inside Aro's thought-provoking mind. Sighing, I wondered why the fates were against me and why it is they led me to Aro Volturi. I firmly gripped the handles of the massive cherry wood doors and pulled. They opened without making a sound and I quickly went inside and was greeted by the capacious room that seemed rather intimidating compared to my small figure.

My room in Transylvania was far more dominant and larger but this was just as massive. The walls were painted with a mixture of a dark silver grey and black. Curtains of various dark shades adorned the windows that lined against the walls. Furniture was arranged neatly around the room along with a full furnished walk in closet. A desk was located in one corner of the room along with a desk chair and had many writing utensils placed delicately on the desk. There was even a quill! A colossal tv took up most of the space in the large room but was hung on the largest wall that faced the center. In the middle of the room lay my coffin instead of a bed. I sighed in relief to see that my coffin was in one piece and delighted to know that the guards took my warning seriously.

Upon further inspection there was not even a single scratch or speck of dirt on both its exterior and interior. My luggage had also been placed inside the walk in closet and I immediately began to unpack my clothing, quickly rearranging them and putting them onto hangers. Once I was done I headed for the bathroom to take a quick shower. The bathroom was just as intricately decorated as the room. The color scheme was dark blue and silver. The bathroom was so large that it was divided into two parts. On one side you had the toilet, sink and shower then on the other was a very immense circular tub that also had a large sink which was off to the side and a mirror to match. The lights illuminated the large space making the dark blue and silver color scheme stick out. Towels draped along long racks on the sides and the white cupboards were stocked with all of the basic toiletries.

After spending much time, admiring the bathroom I finally took my shower and cleaned myself up readying to go to bed. The sun was rising and the rays grew brighter. I made sure all the windows and curtains were closed, as to not allow any strips of light to seep through the room. When I was satisfied I went inside my coffin. I didn't quite fall asleep right away, I stayed wide awake staring at the top of my coffin, thinking about the upcoming duel between Sulpicia and the impending battle that was to come in Transylvania. I had a lot on mind and I had a difficult time falling asleep.

I had already sorted out what I was to do when battling Sulpicia, but I was still pondering over what was to be done in Transylvania to stop there from being anymore bloodshed. If worse comes to worse then I would have no choice but to fight alongside my kind and hope to survive what humanity had in store for us. Although we had many centuries of pure pent up rage on our side that once released the outcome would be quite unpredictable and disastrous for the opposing side. I had much confidence in my combat skills considering I was trained at such an early age, I was also taught to exercise my abilities. Those many years of hard work were in preparation for this. My parents had to have known that the battle against the humans would not be settled so easily. But, just as we have evolved so have they. Most of the descendants from the village that attacked our kind have become less than human.

Maybe I was thinking far too much into this. I need to focus on one thing at a time, my battle with Sulpicia was first then I will strategize a plan with the help of the Volturi and the Cullen's on how to stop this battle from happening and making history repeat itself. I snuggled deeper into the smooth fabric of my coffin, attempting to get comfortable and slowly closed my eyes. Emptying my mind of all its worries, relaxing all my muscles and let sleep whisk me away to some place far away. Where I was no longer Isabella Adriana Dracula, just a small child who enjoyed the company of both her uncle and siblings. Where everything was as it was before.

The air felt cool against my skin as I sat underneath a willow tree. I was covered in the shade it provided me, my back rested against its trunk and my eyes were closed. I was at peace and wore a simplistic smile that appeared to illuminate the features on my content face. I never wanted to leave or open my eyes for that matter, a feeling of security washed over me and no harm would come my way as long as I remained here. I could hear the voice of my Uncle as he talked to me, I could even feel his presence and feel the movement of the soft grass as he shifted to find a comfortable position to sit. I just sat and listened and he continued to talk. His voice was soothing and never dropped into a monotonous drawl, I couldn't quite make out what was being said but I listened nonetheless. Suddenly the voice stopped, I wanted so badly to open my eyes but I couldn't, it was as if my eyelids had been glued shut. I was able to turn my head in his direction, if I wasn't able to use my sight then I would rely on my sense of smell. All traces of his presence were gone.

I heard multiple sets of voices all colliding into one, making it hard to decipher what was being said. But I recognized each one, they were the voices of my siblings. They surrounded me, caressed me and whispered sweet murmurings in my ears. I could hear the sound of Aurel playing the violin its sweet sound filling the air, Dragomir sat beside me softly playing with my hair, Grigore sat on my other side and held me protectively, the sound of Ana's pointe shoes touching the grass as she twirled resonated through the air while she danced along to Aurel's violin. And Diane read one of my favorite plays in a soft spoken voice. Basked in serenity, lathered by bliss my consciousness only got further and further away staying under the willow tree with my siblings who I could not see but sense.

My surroundings slowly began to change and I no longer felt that cool breeze or the coolness of the shade nor did I feel the soft grass or the gentle roughness of the trunk I was leaning on. Slowly one by one each of my siblings disappeared. First Aurel, the sound of his violin began to fade away, then Dragomir's touch became fainter and fainter, Grigore's hold on me became distant, the sound of Ana's pointe shoes twirling in a pirouette got slower and slower no longer following the sound of Aurel's violin and Diane's soft spoken voice turned so faint, I could no longer hear what was happening in the play she was reading. Each of their presences disappeared and I felt alone.

I tried to grab at anything, but only grasped thin air. I opened my mouth to cry out and scream for someone but my airway felt like it was blocked and I was suffocating. My hands immediately went to clutch my throat as I struggled to breathe. The earth beneath me felt hot, my skin was burning, I could feel the welts appearing on my skin. I realized that the inside of my body felt like it was on fire especially my throat. Finally my eyelids opened before me and my eyes widened in horror. The willow tree above me had shriveled and burned to a crisp, the grass beneath me was gone and replaced by molted hot earth that was dry and rough to the touch. Everything was on fire and burning into the air. Even the sky had turned a crimson red, basking in the blood of all living things that were slowly dying away. From afar I saw a castle that once towered over these lands was now being destroyed. Cries of agony echoed through the destruction and bodies lay amongst the mayhem. Their blood soaked the dry surface, filling in the cracked crevices of the earth. I couldn't identify who the bodies were but waves of familiarity struck me over and over again. I realized that I was the only one left. I was to be consumed by these angry flames and the last remaining child of darkness would simply cease to exist.

I was awoken by the sound of tapping, groaning I turned over but as my mind began to clear I realized that said tapping was actually knocking. My eyes opened relatively slowly as the knocking became much louder and far closer than I was comfortable with. Soon the knocking was coming directly from above me. My eyes flashed open in irritation, I manipulated the temperature in the room and it began to drop until it was abnormally cold, the frigid air formed into wisps of mist. My coffin opened quietly and I rose from its depths. My eyes were cold, emotionless and most of all silver. A bright silver that penetrated the frigid air and illuminated the darkened room. My mind still lingered on my disturbing dream but my annoyance was far more prominent now and I stored the nightmare away for later.

I rose thirty feet from the ground above my coffin and saw that my door had been opened by someone. Looking down, I noticed a guard who wore a light grey cloak and the Volturi insignia stood nervously below me. His red eyes darted around the room trying to find means of escaping his dire situation. His hood was down and I could see that he had short dark blonde hair. Out of all the guards I had encountered during my short stay here in the Volturi castle, he was the only one I had not yet met, he must have been a new recruit.

"State your business." I demanded coldly, my voice sounding heartless even to my ears.

He hesitated before answering.

"I was sent here by one of the three masters to come and w-wake you." He answered skittishly.

I tilted my head and slowly lifted my right palm then flicked my wrist, that sole movement was enough to knock him off his feet and have him thrown into the nearest wall, were a hole had begun to form. The impact shook the room and most likely the whole castle. I could hear the sound of feet making their way towards my quarters yet I didn't care.

"Was it necessary for you to knock so incessantly?" My voice had picked up on a lazy tone, displaying my fatigue yet it was still eerily dark and quite irate.

I didn't let him answer and curled my fingers in a tightening motion, as if to squeeze something. He lay sprawled in the pile of rumble but was now bound by my hold and I was slowly crushing him. Cracks quickly began to form along his marble white skin, as they connected they rapidly moved along the bottom of his body until they reached his face. The cracks started off small but grew larger the more I tightened my hold.

"There are quieter methods of waking someone, clearly you have been misinformed by your own ignorance." My hold on him became even tighter and he was slowly crumbling away into a pile of crushed marble.

"Isabella." My name was spoken, quietly without sharpness and yet there held calmness.

Without loosing hold of my grip, I slowly turned my head into the direction of the door way. Many guards crowded the entrance but four stuck out from the rest, displaying their higher rank. They were given room to move in, until they were ahead of the growing group of guards. Alec, Jane, Demetri and Felix watched the scene before them in shock even displaying hints of fear in their ruby red eyes. Yet, the one who had spoken my name was no other than Marcus Volturi. He stood in front of the four guards and Caius was by his side, his expression mirroring that of the other four.

"What is the meaning of this?" He asked in that same tone.

"Are you the one that instructed this simpleton to come into my chambers?" I shot back, ignoring his question.

"Yes, I did." He replied calmly, my hold tightened even more until he began to wail.

Marcus' eyes glanced to the rapidly deteriorating figure of the guard and turned back to look at me.

"I apologize if he has done something to upset you, but Isabella it is time for your duel with Sulpicia. He was merely sent here to inform you." He explained.

I had nearly forgotten about the duel, I was consumed in my annoyance from being woken up that it had completely slipped my mind. The good thing was that I would be fueled by my irritation of being woken up, this would make me far more merciless while battling that wench. There was no guarantee that she would come out alive. My grip immediately lessened and the guard sighed in relief, the temperature slowly returned to normal and the guards outside of my door quickly went into action and helped the dismembered guard who lay on the floor, they carried pieces of his limps out of my room while the others helped him to his feet as he limped away.

Marcus, Caius, Alec, Jane, Demetri and Felix were the only ones that remained. With my target being out of range, I slowly descended to the solid ground, but images of dry earth and spitting fire flashed through my mind.

"I will get dressed now." I say, wincing from the image in my head.

They nodded and left quietly, I heard Caius muttering something about having to get the wall repaired and to inform the rest of the castle never to disrupt me while I am asleep. I smirked.

I walked into the closet and picked out dark clothing that I used for training and went inside the enormous bathroom. I decided to take a cold shower, jolting my senses into overdrive and changed into black combat boots with comfortable black leggings that helped with my agility along with a black long sleeved v neck covered by a dark leather jacket. This was one of the very few outfits I liked that Celestina had made for me. My vampiric self made its appearance and my long curly hair cascaded down my back, my nails were elongated and my skin returned to its porcelain color. My fangs nestled themselves onto my lower lip.

I left the room and was greeted by Marcus and Caius who appeared to be my guides. They both stood on either side of me as we walked down the now empty hallways. Not a single guard was in sight, I presumed they were all in the throne room preparing for the duel between Sulpicia and myself. I was led into a room located off to the side of two huge double doors which I recognized led to the throne room.

"We took it upon ourselves to find you something to eat before your battle." Caius explains and gestures to the five humans who huddled frightened in a corner.

I nodded my head in appreciation and they left me to feast on my meal.

"Please, don't hurt us." One begged as tears streaked her face.

I disregarded her weak attempts at pleading for her life and proceeded to kill her first. I snapped her neck twisting it backwards so I wouldn't have to glance at her pitiful face, I drank greedily while the other four ran around the room trying to find ways to escape the monster that was locked in with them. I finished with her and went for another, their attempts to fight back were pathetic and futile, I mutilated each one of them in a different way after I was done.

I licked the blood from my lips and knocked on the door to inform the two Volturi leaders I was finished with my meal.

They opened the door and I stepped out, Marcus instructed two guards to take away the bodies. I could feel all their eyes trained on the lifeless human beings as they were taken away. Marcus shuddered slightly and Caius coughed unsettlingly.

"Um, quite creative you are." Marcus commented awkwardly.

"Thank you." I mutter indifferently.

"Ready?" Spoke Caius.

I nodded and two guards who I recognized from earlier opened the large doors revealing the throne room. It was the lightest part of the castle yet it was easy on my eyes. Taking a slow deep breath, I walked through with Marcus and Caius on either side of me.

(It almost sounds like it was suppose to end here, but it doesn't!)

Everyone in the castle seemed to be here, Aro sat in his throne, Marcus and Caius joining him. I felt a slight sink in my heart disappointed that it hadn't been him who had come to get me. Alec and Jane stood on the podium on either side of the three kings, while Demetri and Felix guarded the bottom, Heidi and Corin stood off to the side of the thrones along with many high ranking guard members. Caius' mate stood beside his throne yet I did not see Sulpicia.

I walked to the center of the room and awaited for her arrival, she appeared shortly after in what appeared to be her very own combat outfit which showed far too much cleavage. Aro stood up upon her arrival and clapped his hands together, getting everyone's attention.

"There are no rules to this match, each of you can use any style of combat you wish. The winner will be determined when the other has given up or has been badly injured and no longer being able to fight." He finishes.

Lupta corect si fie ca cel mai bun iubit sa castige. I heard those words flowing freely through my mind.

I fought the feeling of embarrassment as the words held the slightest touch of seductiveness in them, I was the only one who would ever be able to hear Aro's last few words before the gruesome battle began. His eyes twinkled slightly in amusement upon seeing my reaction. It was over so quickly that I would have thought to not have seen it. His expression returned blank and void of any emotion and he sat on his throne.

"Begin." His voice was hollow yet resonated with utmost power and decisiveness.

Sulpicia crouched low to the ground, while I remained standing. My face revealing nothing as I patiently waited for her to make the first move, even if it were a slight shuffle or a shift to the side, I would make my move. We seized each other up and as soon as she began to move to the side to begin circling me, I lunged to her unguarded side. I saw her smirk as if predicting this and moved to guard her unprotected side leaving her left wide open. I quickly directed my attack to her left as I fainted for her right. I nailed her in the side making direct contact, seconds after my foot connected to her side sharp nails began to dig into the fabric of my leggings. The good think about my outfit was that it was made especially for rough conditions as not to tear while in battle. Her nails would not be able to tear through any of my clothing.

She attempted to remove my leg, having to use both her hands. I did a back flip and my other leg went up at the same time in a fluid motion, striking her in the face. I broke free from her grasp and she was sent sprawling across the smooth tiled floor. I landed softly on my feet and my body was positioned to the side, readying for the next attack all the while my hands stayed to the side and my face revealing nothing. She slowly got to her feet and wiped at her mouth. She laughed softly at first then broke out into a relentless fit of laughter. Throwing her head back she laughed up to the ceiling then turned her cold hatred filled eyes at me.

"Aro was right, this was exactly what he predicted you would do." Her smirk was taunting.

I made no retort and waited for her to move once again.

"He told me about what strategy you were to most likely use. Wait for you opponent to make the first move, how cliché." She continued on.

I still made no sound.

"You're a fool if you think you can beat me, after all while you were busy sleeping in that coffin of yours Aro and I trained. I know everything. You can't win." She stood straighter and beckoned for me to approach her.

I moved swiftly coming at her directly, accepting the challenge. My feet barely touched the ground as I reached incredible speeds, she stood there waiting for me her eyes never leaving my moving figure. I darted in and out of her sight, she lost track of me and closed her eyes. I knew she would try to track me by the wisps of air I created when moving back and forth. I could simply still the winds by lessening my speed by a fraction, I moved all around her in a dance like motion causing misdirection. Her head titled one way and then another but I always moved in time for her head to turn to in the spot I was just in. I slowly increased my speed until I could control the winds I created. When I moved I made it seem like they were everywhere at once created by doubles I had produced of myself when I was moving around her. I appeared from behind, the winds around us gradually increasing until our hair moved along with it.

I bent down, putting most of my weight on my heels so I would be able to spring up, she realized too late but I had already twisted my body around as I swept her legs from underneath her. I knew she had already figured out that I would come out from behind and most likely aim for her head so I had switched tactics by re-positioning my body to do a sweep in a split second. She lost her balance, but tried desperately to regain it by catching her fall with her hands, but I moved quicker and was already on the move. I straightened myself out of the sweep position and lifted my left leg high in the air and hammered it down on her abdomen, for her to block my attack she would have to let go of the hand that was keeping her somewhat steady. What I hadn't anticipated was for her to push off with that hand and slide away from my reach. By that time my leg had come down, it had created a massive hole on the perfectly smoothed tiled surface of the floor. The impact was strong and created huge burst of wind. Annoyed I removed my leg from the spot Sulpicia had once been.

I thought I could have finished it in that final blow. Sulpicia was now on the other side of the room, the guards had parted away and were closer to the three kings thrones not wanting to get caught in the crossfire. She looked winded and was still unbalanced, I smirked a little. I may have missed but the true intention of my attack had come through. She made a 'tsk' sound and slowly went back into her stance, preparing for my next attack. Thus far I hadn't used any of my abilities, the winds I created formulated because of my speed. I simply manipulated them to my will to confuse her. This time I would make a much more simplistic approach and hopefully throw her even more off balance. I began walking towards her, shocking everyone in the room causing Aro's eyes to twinkle in amusement and Sulpicia stared at cautiously.

The sounds of my shoes echoed in the silent room, when I was face to face with Sulpicia I gave her a pitying look. Her face was contorted in what seemed like humiliation and anger, her eyes reflected that of sadness. I didn't let her emotions effect what I did next, with a quick grab for her hair, I held her by her long thin strands of raven locks. Placing my other hand close to her throat, my nails glistening deadly in the light. She didn't struggle or spit foul profanities, damning my existence. Instead she lay limply in my grasp and awaited for me to end her life. That was the first sign that notified me that something was wrong.

I hadn't know Sulpicia for very long, but from my previous encounter I knew for a fact that she wouldn't give up Aro- the man she had spent many years with, be taken away from the clutches of someone like myself. Not to mention the fact that Aro had personally trained her himself, Aro was not just the leader of the most powerful vampire coven but also an Ancient, a feared individual with infinite knowledge and massive amounts of power hidden away that he could easily tap into if needed. Ending her life couldn't be as easy as this. Her words from before rung in my head, that's when the real warning bells began to ring. From my peripheral vision I could see Aro watching Sulpicia intently as if waiting for something.

"He told me about what strategy you were to most likely use. "

"I know everything. You can't win."

Those words taunted me, forcing me to rethink what I was about to do and how I had just fallen into her trap.

Shit.

I had begun to wonder why Sulpicia hadn't used any new techniques she learned while training with Aro, not to mention the fact that her attacks were very weak and any normal vampire would have been able to defend against them. Which led me to believe that she had set everything up for this very moment, she had already figured out all my attacks but let herself get hit. Why? Because she knew what strategies I was most likely to use and was only observing.

I jumped back in repulsion, but was too late. She nailed me a good one right on the side of the head. I flew back but twisted my body midair so my feet would be facing the ground instead of landing on my back. I must admit I had gotten a little too conceited when I tried to finish her off. Now I am paying for the price for not paying attention. I should have been more cautious when I faught her from the very beginning. Sulpicia's movements increased threefold and she had already gotten to me by the time I landed roughly on my feet, she just missed me by a cm as I quickly dodged out of the way, but her attacks did not end here, she sent rapid kicks and punches. I barely managed to evade them all.

"I told you from the very beginning Isabella, you can't win."

And with a sickening crunch she focused all her power into this one kick that sent me flying hard into a wall. Causing the castle to shake. Dazed and feeling quite sore, I slowly got up only to be welcomed by the hardness of Sulpicia's fist that sent me reeling back into the wall. I struggled to stand up again and that is when she sent a flurry of kicks all over my body. One after the other without giving me anytime to defend myself.

With each kick, I could see images of something flash between my eyes then disappear as quickly as it came. The beating dragged on and I could now see the images more clearly. I was seeing into Sulpicia's memories. The training she had done with Aro, the effort she put into getting it right. She practiced frequently during my time asleep but left plenty of room for trying to seduce Aro into her chambers. Aro ignored her attempts of seduction and was a strict and merciless teacher and his attacks were anything but gentle while sparring with her. Each time Aro made a correction in Sulpicia's technique she listened and tried to correct it.

This was Aro's doing, he must have tapped into her memories so that I would be able to see them, but why. I watched the images closely and saw that Aro held a fiery passion in his eyes as he trained Sulpicia and told her what to expect all the while that passion that burned so deeply in his ruby reds still remained intact. Behind his those eyes his irises swirled a defining silver and gold.

Then the images disappeared and the pain of Sulpicia's attacks were becoming prominent. I had to do something or else Sulpicia would continue to beat me to a pulp. With all the strength I could muster, I managed to throw Sulpicia off for a split second which was enough time for me to distance myself from her. Dust flew everywhere as a result from the pounding I took against the wall thanks to yours truly. I now understood the emotion behind Aro's eyes as he trained Sulpicia, it was yearning.

It had been hidden in his eyes for awhile now but I was too blind to realize just how hard it was for him. This battle was to test me on whether at any given time would I abandon him, leaving him to die in the clutches of the enemy- in this case Sulpicia or would I fight for him with all my might. Wiping away the blood on my face, I felt a new strength rise within me.

"Is this all you have?" She scoffed.

Dismissing me like a piece of lint on her clothes, which only further increased my power.

Am inteles Aro.

"Aro's mine, you can never give him what he wants or pleasure him the way I do." She had a nasty glint in her eyes.

"You don't understand me at all. Aro didn't tell you everything." As I spoke my voice was strong and certain.

As I felt the sudden augmentation in energy, something far more sinister inaugurated inside of me. Each individual power fighting for dominance. I pushed away the unknown source of darkness for as long as I could, but would my attempts prevail in the end?

I sunk low to the ground and focused on pushing my hidden wings out to the surface. It became much easier as the bones rearranged themselves as they moved rapidly within my back. I could hear the bones popping and snapping and finally they broke through my skin, revealing bare bones but were instantly covered with black fur entwined with the colors of gold and silver. My wings spread wide open and began to flap rapidly. Creating burst of wind, the winds became much stronger until everyone in the throne room had to clutch on to something as to not get blown away. Sulpicia was knocked off her feet time and time again as she unsuccessfully tried to get up.

The bruises on my skin began to heal at a rapid pace and my strength was rebuilding anew.

"How is this possible." I heard her say in disbelief as she continued to try and stand.

"I already told you, Aro didn't tell you everything." I say amidst the roaring of the winds, the chains that held the malevolent entity in tact started to break free.

In one fluid motion my wings stopped flapping and returned at my sides. Taking a deep breath, I closed my eyes to calm the raging power inside of me. I heard Sulpicia give out a battle cry and charge directly for me, I remained still. I found it quite ironic, our positions were reversed. During that split second where it took for her to reach me, my eyes flashed open and changed into a bright red as flames began to lick at my hands. I made a slicing motion outwards with my hands and a strip of bright red flames came out from my finger tips burning her just as she leaped in the air. She screamed in pain but I did not stop there. Images of my nightmare haunted me and drove me forward, I felt like I wasn't really here. I did not see Sulpicia nor was I in the throne room. I was back in that empty dry land, watching everything lighting aflame. I was loosing control and getting consumed by a greater force.

Creating two fireballs with my hands and merging them into one, I charged at her falling body and did a flip mid air landing on her back and pressing the ball of fire directly onto her skin. She fell with a thump and writhed in pain. Lifting my palm towards the ceiling, all the energy in the room began to swirl and an even greater ball of flame began to form. It grew until it was bigger than my own palm and nearly engulfed the room. I flapped my wings and the fiery blaze grew at a rapid pace with the help of the wind. My intent was to obliterate the vampire in front of me, I was slowly sinking into a dark abyss I almost didn't hear Aro calling out to me.

Abruptly I felt a cold hand on my shoulder and recognized it immediately. The calming sensation was welcoming and cooled the scorching heat to a dull ache, I was slowly returning and rising from the dark hole. Inhaling his scent the fire began to dissipate.

"Isabella you have won." He says smoothly.

Nodding stiffly, I lowered my palm from its position in the air and my wings remained folded at my sides once more. Looking around the room, I saw the terrified expression of those who watched the fearsome clash between lover and foe, all except for Aro. He stood by me fearlessly and had a worried expression on his face. I hesitantly touched it and he closed his eyes allowing me. He leaned into my hand and inhaled softly.

"I heard you." He says quietly.

I remained silent for a few seconds, shocked that my message had gotten through to him.

"Sorry for not realizing it sooner, I told you I wasn't very good at this stuff." I answer.

He chuckles and his eyes open to reveal his different colored irises hidden behind his pools of ruby red.

"We have the same eye color now." I say jokingly.

This time, Aro gently caressed my cheek.

"I think I might like you Aro Volturi." I whisper gazing into his flawless features.

Rolling his eyes he leaned closer to my face.

"You're still as stubborn as ever." He mutters and closes the distance of our lips all the while Sulpicia is crying out in agony while her impenetrable marble skin was being burned to charcoal by the dark hungry flames.

Okayy... Well I am definitely not going to make any excuses to explain me being all MIA. But, in compensation I have made this super long chapter which is nearly 10,000 words! Oh my gosh! I don't think I have ever written such a long chapter like this before. So hopefully you will be able to indulge on this chapter while I am getting the next one done which will not be the same length as this one.

I do apologize for disappearing on you guys but the good thing is that I have a very easy semester it is just my second one which is a nightmare:( not too mention Halloween is just around the corner! Hopefully if all goes well, I will post a chapter on the 31 of October, I might incorporate some spookiness into the story but it will follow the same story line.

There was a lot going on in this chapter, Isabella is finally starting to realize that she should stop running away from her emotions and is beginning to slowly fall in (dare I say it?!) love with Aro Volturi! Not to mention that Isabella has formed a new friendship with Marcus but there is also something pretty weird going on with Isabella's powers.

I will also give you a taste of the next chapter, along with another Twilight Question.

Everyone who participated got the answer correct from my previous question which was;

Question: Who are the three vampires Jasper encountered during his time in the Confederate Army?

Answer: Maria, Nettie and Lucy

Here is taste of what is to come!

Our lips parted slowly and my eyes opened to reveal Aro gazing back at me. There was something gnawing at my curiosity that had been bothering me for awhile now. Reading my thoughts Aro asked what it is that was on my mind.

"When you announced your challenge, why did you kiss Sulpicia?" I asked sounding annoyed.

He laughed melodically and tilted his head.

"It was simply to get a rise out of you." He answered simply.

My eye twitched slightly.

"Aro Volturi." I said in a quiet tone but one that held much hostility.

He had already begun to back away from me before I could even make a grab for him.

"You are so dead!" I yelled lividly finishing the threat I seeked to accomplish.

He was already gone, disappearing through the large double doors and out into the corridors. I could still hear his annoyingly wondrous laughter as I chased after him. I knew I would never catch him but I had a feeling he enjoyed a good chase. Deep down I knew that Aro had his own personal motive that justified what he did, but that would only remain his secret and his secret alone. Venturing into the mind of Aro Volturi is a task that no one would ever complete. In his eyes he saw the world from a different perspective, his opinions differentiating from everyone else.

What did it feel like to live the life of Aro Volturi? I don't think I would ever find out, instead I will stay by his side. I would need him now more than ever before, for there was an obsidian storm heading towards me and whatever it held would be anything but welcoming. Allhallows eve was vastly approaching. The night were hatred and anger blindly took over humanity, where tragedy and destruction striked my kind. The day where death hung prominently in the air. When the word betray etched agony onto our skin, for it was the night of Crimson Day.

That's all for now! I would also like to give a huge thank you to Hikada for helping me with the Romanian translations, I also fixed the ones from the first chapter and in case you are wondering here are the translations which explain what Aro and Isabella were saying.

Aro: Lupta corect si fie ca cel mai bun iubit sa castige.

Fight fairly and may the best lover win.

Isabella: Am inteles Aro.

I understand Aro.

Now for the usual TwiQn:

Question: From which city did Bella move to Forks?

Until next time!

~Mariam

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