** Charlie's POV – a few days earlier **
My regular patrol-shift had ended for the day, and I figured since I was out near the reservation, I'd stop by and see how Jacob was doing—after his altercation with Edward. What a day that was! A wolf and a vampire going at it…in my back woods.
The rate Jake was healing, I'll admit, caught me completely off guard—but I knew I had to put my mind and understanding into this odd and strange world of the mythical now. Everything I'd read in fiction books and seen in movies and watched on TV, was real, and right in front of my eyes.
I can't say knowing what I suspected from the first time I saw Bella at the Cullen's after Renesmee was born—or 'adopted' at the time—had completely sunk in. It all still felt like a dream world, and I hoped I would wake from its fuzziness soon.
I mean, Bella, my little girl, was a vampire. Out hunting animals and drinking their blood to stay alive, fighting with wolves, giving birth within a month's time, and living forever…
I still cringe when I picture her taking down an elk or whatever she ate, causing my stomach to turn. How did she get mixed up in something as crazy as all of this?
Oh right, Edward.
I tried hard before to be accepting of this boy she had taken a liking to. Trying to convince her that maybe Jake would be a better match. At least he didn't leave her alone in a forest, taking off for months. But when Jacob 'phased'—as they call it—in front of me, I couldn't say then I wanted either of these boys around her.
But she'd made things very clear to me a few days ago when she let me have it. She loved Edward, I knew, and was willing to separate herself from me if I couldn't come to grips with it once and for all. He was her husband and my son-in-law. And I wasn't going to risk losing my only daughter and granddaughter under any circumstances.
It was weird, though, to imagine my blood running through Renesmee's veins as well as …well, whatever Edward had running through her. We were a family. A real oddly, connected family.
Learning, too, that Edward had done everything he could to avoid his kind of life for Bella, made me appreciate the respect he had for her, and human life. He didn't want to hurt her, or anyone. He only wanted the best for her. And my eyes watered, blurring the road a little, as I remembered why she'd ended up being what she was. Edward had saved her.
Even if it was to his kind of life, he'd saved it anyways.
I'd stayed back and talked with Billy for a while after Jacob left to meet up with Edward to talk things over. I hoped things turned out alright, I know how attached Renesmee is to Jake. Maybe it's because he's so playful she feels a kind of connection to him? He is like a human jungle-gym to her most of the time, a grown child himself.
Saying goodbye to Billy later on, I hopped in my police cruiser and made my way towards home. Sue was going to be coming over for dinner, and I wanted to get out of my cop uniform before she got there, looking more presentable.
Once I pulled-out onto the highway, I turned on the radio scanner, to keep in touch with work, and then adjusted the speed-control till I would hit Forks.
After about five minutes of driving, I looked to my right when something caught my attention. It appeared as if something was running alongside me through the woods. The object was a quick blur as it suddenly passed me, and then was gone. I blinked my eyes a few times, trying to clear them, looking over once more.
Nothing. So I continued home along the winding road, still checking out my window every now and then.
The next bend of highway caused me to slam on my brakes, sending me in fishtail motions till I came to a complete stop. Two people had jumped out into the road—one appearing to be holding the other.
I looked out my front window wondering what they were doing, when I realized I recognized one of them.
"Alice?" I said out loud to myself, narrowing my eyes to get a better look. What was she doing? And who was this large man that held her the way he did? Like a captive.
I unhooked my seat belt and double checked to make sure my gun was still in the holster before I motioned to get out of the car. She was trying to yell something at me, but I couldn't make out what it was. And just as I was going to open the door to get out and investigate, my door was yanked opened for me.
"Hello, Charlie," a mammoth of a man greeted me as if he knew me. I didn't know him, though.
"What's going on?" I commanded as I noticed a young man in his arms being held in the same manner as Alice.
"Run!" The young man yelled at me. "Run, get out of here!" he screamed again. But the big, burly guy punched him in the face so hard; he was out cold before I could react to what he was saying.
I reached over and grabbed the handset off the radio to call for backup, but before I could press the button for help, I was being pulled from the vehicle by my uniform jacket, causing me to drop the handset on the floor in surprised panic. My next instinct, was to grab at anything that would keep me in my car.
When I spotted the mounted police radio, I leaned in as much as I could, using the give of my jacket to wrap my free hand around the back of it, trying to hold on. But the man was so strong; the force he yanked me at sliced my palm wide open from the radio's corner in one swift jerk.
I screamed in pain from the tear, as my next grabbed attempt was at my seat, getting blood all over it, trying to find anything else to hold on too. I managed to grab my headrest.
"Stop!" I yelled. "What are you doing?"
"You're coming on a little trip with us, Charlie," the voice said so casually.
"I don't think so," I replied, kicking at him, hoping to get away. It didn't seem to faze him, though. My thick, work boots weren't taking him down at all. In fact, he wasn't even budging.
He let go of me for one second, then readjusted his grip to the back of my belt to pull me from. The buckle dug into my stomach, causing me to lose my breath as he took one more, heavy yank at me. I tried to grab at the door, but my all my bloody hand could do was cause me to slip along it, not getting a firm hold.
"I suggest you shut-up and be reasonable, Charlie," the man said firmly. "Before you end up like this guy here." He motioned his head to the man lying limp in his arms.
Then he grabbed around my waist, lifting me a few feet off the ground, carrying me tightly over by Alice and the other man holding her.
I paused my squirming as I turned as best I could to get a good look at the other guy, before making another attempt to free myself, still wondering how this one knew me. But it was the hardened, red eyes and pale skin that caused me to freeze.
"Who the hell are you?" I chocked at my capture, angry and nervous, pushing my hands at his arm, trying to get out, or at least loosen the gut-clinching grip.
"We're friends of, Bella's." He laughed sarcastically.
And I had a feeling by his tone, and the terror I saw in Alice's expression as we got closer, that 'friends' is definitely something they were not.
"Charlie." Alice looked at me with panic. "Charlie, I'm so sorry…"
"What's going on, Alice?"
"I'm not sure, Charlie. But please don't struggle. It won't be of any use. And…it's best not to upset these guys," she warned me with a meaningful stare.
"Well, will somebody at least tell me what this is all about?" I was frustrated and concerned. I had just been hauled out of my car by a man who knows my name, held me against my will along with a strange young man, and was now carrying me off to another man holding Alice.
"You'll find out in time," the man holding me replied.
"Charlie, your hand," Alice worried.
I looked down at the wound, noticing I had gotten blood all over the man carrying me, plus several drips down my pant leg and on top of my shoes. I had so much adrenaline running through me I wasn't feeling any pain, but the gash appeared to be a good size. And making a mess.
I immediately grabbed onto my capture for security when I noticed the eyes of the man who carried Alice, turn from red to black almost instantly. I shook beneath my skin when a low growl came from him, and he narrowed an intense hungry stare at my hand, and the blood oozing from it.
"No, Demetri!" Alice yelled at him.
Horror leaped from my eyes when it dawned on me then, that these were not 'men' at all. They knew Alice, and she knew them. They also knew Bella. And my guess was that the rest of the Cullen family was familiar with them, too.
I was in the hands of vampires.
"Stop!" Alice was pounding on Demetri's chest as he moved in closer on me. "Felix, tell him to stop!" she shouted.
"Demetri!" My Felix hurled a large, piercing snarl at him, hurting my ears. "Not now, do you hear me?" he continued to shout as I threw my one good hand over my ear. "We have to get going. We need to move! You can have him later. After we see Aro," he commanded.
Demetri's growls lessened with each quick breath he took to try to control himself. Felix's words had obviously eased him some—and alarmed me at the same time.
Have him later? What the hell did he mean, 'have him later'? Was he going to drink my blood, was he going to kill me, was I going to become a vampire? I panicked at the thought of any of those, and then I couldn't breathe.
"Charlie," Alice called to me.
I glanced over at her and she could see the terror in my eyes.
"Remain calm, please," she pleaded. "I'll do everything I can to get you out of this safely, but you have to listen to me and do as I say, and do as they say."
"Yeah, listen to the little lady," Felix mocked her with a laugh.
"Alice?" I half dazed at her. "You don't know what's going on?"
"No, Charlie, I…I don't…." She looked at me apologetically before she stared curiously at the young man held next to me.
He was still out cold when our vampires started running quickly, very quickly, too quickly back down the direction I had come, as I watched my open-door car fade away.
Trees were flying by so fast, it was making me sick. It felt like we were floating, when I noticed there was no bounce in their step. As if they weren't touching the ground.
The sun going down in front of us made it difficult for me to turn and look forward, so I closed my eyes tight, hoping we would stop anytime soon. But it didn't feel like it…until the young man next to me woke up.
Well, what I thought was waking up.
When I peered at the odd noises coming from him, I realized I wasn't sure what was he was doing.
He began convulsing in Felix's arm, thrashing around like in a seizure. His large feet kicked at me several times, leaving huge stings in my calves and thighs.
"Ouch, holy crap!" I yelled at the last one.
"Here, take him!" Felix shouted to Demetri, and then handed me over.
I was grabbed up rather quickly, constrictive again, my feet never touching the ground. This time my arms were held inside the death grip of Demetri, not allowing me to use them to fight.
"What is that?" Alice yelled in fear while the young man made all kinds of bone cracking sounds, growing larger, thrashing more, and growing…fur?
"Aro, caught himself a werewolf," Felix struggled to say as he wrestled with the wolf that was beginning to appear in his arms.
Alice and I were speechless, staring in fright as the blonde-grey wolf he now held, made large growls and attempts to bite at Felix. His barred fangs were about the size of my hand, and came close to taking off Felix's arm several times before he moved it out of the drooling mouth's way in a flash.
"Oh, no you don't!" Felix hollered as he clamped his large hand around the wolf's mouth, holding it shut. The wolf thrashed wildly around again, trying to free himself. That's when Felix lost his grip and dropped him.
He ran in our direction for only a few feet before he was grabbed by his back legs, trying to lunge at Demetri, who didn't move still holding us.
Alice dropped what looked like some kind of fabric on the ground when she leaned swiftly away from the wolf.
His front claws sunk into it as he was dragged back up into Felix's arms, having his mouth clamped down one more time.
"This guy's going to drive me nuts!" Felix said in frustration of the continued struggle. Then he let go, and gave another huge blow to the side of the wolf's head, just as it was making another attempt to bite him. Blood flew from of its mouth towards us, before his head hung limp once again against Felix's constrictive arm.
Alice gasped and I froze. I had to be in some kind of a dream world…a nightmare world.
"He better stay this way," Felix said to Demetri. "If he wakes up in the water, I'm going to be very unhappy."
The water…what water?
"You can't take Charlie in the water," Alice said to Demetri as they took off running again. "He'll freeze to death."
Oh yeah, definitely a nightmare world.
"We won't be in that long," Demetri barked back to her. "We'll hold most of his body out of it if we can. We'll swim up to Alaska, dry him off, and then swim across the ocean to the most eastern tip," he barked again.
"You guys didn't plan this out very well if you wanted to take him back alive," she said with a scowl on her face.
"Well, the plan was to get you and Bella," Demetri confessed. "But that husband of hers never leaves her side, or that dumb wolf friend. Charlie here was our next best bet to get her to Volterra. Plus, Aro wants to see him."
"What?" I whispered in confusion to Alice.
She only gave me a warily confused look before speaking to Demetri again. "You know you're going to bring our whole family there by doing this?" she threatened.
"Yes, we know," he replied then grinned over to his partner in crime, Felix. "Aro is very anxious to meet, Charlie, the 'human' father who knows everything about our vampire world."
Alice gave me a terrified look and I was suddenly scared for myself. It wasn't an emotion I carried well, but Bella had warned me just a few days ago that it wasn't safe for me to know about her. Unfortunately, I knew exactly what she meant now. I wasn't ever supposed to know about her.
Fear took over my mind at seeing Alice's face, and the feeling I got in the pit of my stomach left me sicker than before. I was certain now I wasn't going to make it back home alive.
I tried to breathe, thinking of everything I could do to try to save myself and Alice while these two ran quickly again around the outside of the reservation heading in the direction of the beach.
As soon as they hit the sand in the water, Demetri stopped and set me on my feet, still holding me close. I opened my eyes, feeling dizzy. Watching the waves roll in and out, made me even dizzier.
"Demetri, you seriously can't take him in the water for that long!" Alice scolded him one more time.
"Give me the wolf, Felix," Demetri commanded. "You take Charlie and hold him out of the water as much as possible, got it?"
And the two vampires traded me once again.
"Let's go!" Demetri yelled holding the wolf and Alice very tight to his smaller body.
I decided to try one more time to try to free myself, digging my feet into the sand, leaning back, bracing my body from being taken out into the ocean. Felix picked me up so easily, though, as if I weighed nothing, and I began kicking at him, hoping he'd drop me, too.
"I'm not putting up with this all the way there, either!" Felix growled loudly.
And when I turned to look towards him, a big fist came at me…and all went black.
I awoke slightly to a severe, throbbing pain on the right side of my head. It felt like a sledge hammer had been taken to it over and over. I tried moving my aching jaw around to find a comfortable spot for it and moaned in pain when nothing helped. I attempted to open my eyes with slow blinks and shifted my tongue to the side of my mouth that hurt, tasting a blood crust that had dried in the corner. My face and my head hurt so bad, I thought I was going to be ill.
I noticed I was sitting down, when my thighs were the first thing my eyes were able to focus on. I lifted my head gently and tried to move my arms when I had come around more, realizing my hands were tied tightly behind me when they wouldn't budge.
I'd forgotten about the large gash in my hand until I made an attempt to untie myself, wincing, not even loosening the thick item that bound my wrists. My ankles were also tied to the front legs of the uncomfortable wooden chair I found myself sitting in. I tried to pull against the restraints with what strength I could find, but they were bound too tight. And I knew my efforts were wasted when I couldn't even move them an inch.
Slowly looking up, blinking several times, I was finally able to focus on the room I was being held in. There was a light fire to my left and a big, rectangle desk in front of me. My muscles tightened and I jerked back painfully in my chair in fear when the pasty, red-eyed vampire behind the desk caught my attention.
"Hello, Charlie," he murmured in a relaxed, wispy voice.
I stared at him in shock, not able to say anything as I also noticed farther behind him on each side were two other vampires standing in grey cloaks. Felix I recognized, but not the other one, the girl.
"My apologies," the vampire said as he stood up. "We haven't been formally introduced, have we? My name is, Aro." He grinned eerily at me.
My eyes widened as he seemed to ghost his way around to the front of the desk. I tried to look at his feet, but the cloak covered down too far for me to understand how he moved in such a way.
"Where am I?" I asked in my toughest sounding police tone.
"Welcome to Volterra, Italy." He moved his arms out and around. "We've been very anxious for your arrival." Aro tried to sound pleasant, but I wasn't fooled. This guy had 'bad news' written all over him.
"Why am I here?" I glared. "What have you done with Alice…and…the wolf?"
"Not to worry, my friend, they're just fine." He nodded, grinning wickedly again.
"What do you want with me?" I tried to sound calm, but my nerves shook so much, I knew it was all over my voice. I was alone with three vampires, and Alice was nowhere in sight.
"I was so hoping Bella would be here instead," he sounded disappointed. "But, since you know about our little world now, it seemed only fitting you should come for a visit, as well." He placed one hand over the other in front of him, standing in complete stillness, glaring back into my eyes.
My heart pounded in my chest. "What are you going to do with me?" I half wanted to know, afraid he might actually tell me.
"I think we'll let Bella decide when she gets here." He smirked.
"Bella? Coming here?"
"But of course, Charlie. Once she sees you're gone, I'm sure she'll be very excited to come here and see you."
"I don't understand?" I shook my head, hoping I would wake up from this nightmare soon.
"Allow me then…" Aro ghosted closer to my side and around the back of my chair, pausing, as I felt the hair on the back of my neck stand up. "It's not safe for humans to know about us," his voice was like a dark, cold phantom, speaking in a haunted whisper behind me, "but I'm afraid now that you do, that leaves us with only a few options for you. And nothing would please me more, than to allow Bella to decide which one would be more suiting…seeing as she confirmed your suspicions to what her and Edward were to begin with."
"No! She didn't. I figured it out on my own," I tried to convince him, as chills ran down my spine, and a slight shiver stirred in my voice.
Aro ghosted over by the stone hearth, continuing in conversation. "I'm sure you did, Charlie. We knew it would only be a matter of time. But I'm afraid Bella has gone against the law of keeping our secret…no matter what," his voice ended in harshness.
"Yes," he hissed an extended s'. "You and I, you see, share a common area of work, making sure all laws are obeyed and followed. Bella," he turned to me trying to sound sympathetic for her, "has unfortunately broken our most important law."
"How do you know she told me anything?" I wondered, remembering no one else was at the house but us. How could word of our talk possibly reach as far as Italy?
"We have very good hearing, Charlie," he glowered at me as if it would be wise for me to stop trying to protect Bella. "Your conversation with your daughter and son-in-law at your house came at a great interest to me."
My brows furrowed in confusion.
Somehow Aro knew everything. Everything we'd talked about that day.
I remember Edward and Jacob running around, looking for an animal, being cautious of what they smelled. They had a feeling something was wrong, but Edward had lost the scent back in the woods. Was it the wolf that was brought back here with us that they smelled? Did he tell Aro? I couldn't be sure, but if he did…why? He wasn't a vampire, or anything that resembled a friend of theirs.
Felix said he was a werewolf, and I knew he was being held against his will. He was a hostage as much as Alice and I were. He would have no reason to tell them anything. Would he?
Did he bargain his life in exchange for me?
None of it made any sense.
"What…are my options…?" I eyed Aro nervously.
"That's easy…" He looked at me with amusement in his expression. "You die, or you change."
My breath stopped short at his words, and I felt my heart start pounding fearfully in my chest. "That's it?" I answered in shock.
"That's it," he whispered back.
"That doesn't seem fair," I cautiously protested. "I've wondered for a year now, and haven't said a word, to anyone."
"It's not the wondering that concerns us, Charlie, it's the knowing. It's a dangerous world, and it has consequences we must follow, to protect ourselves."
"You mean everyone who is a vampire, knew?"
"Yes," he paused, "well, most everyone. Some just happened upon it accidentally, and, some…aren't around anymore."
"They chose to die?"
"Not always…" He eyed me with meaning, then looked back at Felix who was smiling. I broke into a cold sweat when I recalled Felix telling Demetri he could "have me later".
My pulse began to hammer harder through my veins when worry made me realize my blood was going to be spilled, no matter how I looked at their options.
This was very bad, and he was going to make Bella decide what to do with me. Why did I have to confront them? This was my fault, and according to Aro, I only had two ways out.
"Why don't you let me decide my fate, why leave it up to Bella?" I was curious and growing a little angry she was going to be brought into this. I was the one who forced it out of her.
"Because, my friend, either decision she makes will be a punishment for her, and, I don't want to miss her expression on her face if she should pick the wrong one?"
"Pick the wrong one?" My eyes widened. "You already know what you're going to do with me, don't you?" I glared back at him.
"We know what we'd like to do with you, Charlie, and we hope Bella sees things that way as well." He tried to smile cheerfully as if one of the two options was somehow better than the other. I just didn't know which one was better for them.
I swallowed glumly at the thought that the life I had known previously was now gone. Sue, my job, my home, my friends…gone, all gone. I knew I was staying here forever, either as a vampire, or buried in the ground.
I shuttered in my seat.
Then I remembered my daughter and her family. Aro said they would come. Maybe I didn't have to have either option happen to me? Maybe they could get me out of here alive…and human. A spark of hope lit in me. A small spark, but a spark at least. And then my brain asked a question out loud my gut didn't have a chance to stop.
"How do you know Bella?" My curiosity took control. If he was here, and she was there in Forks?
"She hasn't told you?" He looked into my eyes, his voice sounding surprised.
"Told me what?" My gut hammered louder at me to quit asking questions, but I couldn't, I had to know.
"No, I guess she wouldn't have told you, would she?" A smile crossed his face as if he was somewhat pleased with her.
"What don't I know?" I persisted.
"Well, Charlie, it appears you don't know your darling daughter and Alice came here over a year ago in a desperate attempt to keep Edward from making a very foolish mistake." His face hardened when he said 'foolish mistake'.
"Bella's been to Italy?" I chocked on the last word. "Over a year ago?"
"She has." His smile widened.
I wracked my brain, trying to think of a time when Bella had left home. A time when Alice and Edward were gone, as well. I shook my head. "Bella's only left home to go to Arizona and Calif…" I immediately stopped myself, remembering the latter was a trip she'd supposedly taken over a year ago.
Aro raised an eyebrow at me. He knew I now knew when she'd been here. She didn't go to California with Alice to talk to Edward in person about her cliff diving as just a sport. She'd come here, with Alice, to keep him from doing something he shouldn't have. What was so bad she had to come all the way to Volterra? No, no, I didn't want to know. Not from Aro. I'd let Bella explain this one herself! If I got the chance.
Aro could tell by my expression I was suddenly very angry and too focused on the lie she'd told me to remember I was sitting in Italy myself, facing the same vampire.
"Don't be too upset with her, Charlie. Her attempt worked. She was able to rescue her beloved, Edward, and take him back home, no harm done," he said as he moved around to the back of his desk.
"Mmmm," I grumbled under my breath.
No harm done, yet!
"Bella will pick neither option, Aro." I glowered at him, remembering my current options while informing him of the stubbornness of my daughter.
"Oh, I'm sorry, Charlie, either she picks, or we do…" he trailed off giving me another evil smirk, then turned and waved a hand at Felix. "Take him out of here," he commanded.
"Wait!" I yelled when Felix headed my way. "What are you going to do with Alice and Bella? Why do you want them?"
"They're both very extraordinary girls that will make a fine edition to our lovely family." He smiled with delight.
Felix picked me up off the ground, chair and all, as I shouted out one last question. "What about the rest of the Cullen's?"
Aro glared at me, his eyes no longer red, but now a burning black. "Wasted space, as far as I'm concerned." His lips tightened and he sounded like he wanted to spit on the floor.
He wasn't planning on keeping anyone around except Alice and Bella. And I doubted by his vaporous presence and tone that he was planning on letting anyone go either. Me included…
Felix carried me out of the room and down a long hall as I struggled to shake the chair away from his grip, hoping to still get lose somehow.
He floated down a half-circled, wooden staircase, crossed an open entryway, then took me down another long hallway containing stairs at the end, leading down another flight further underground.
The stench as we descended grew awful, like an ancient dungeon that hadn't been cleaned of bodies in over four hundred years. I gagged with each step he took, trying not to breathe if I didn't have to.
"What is that smell?" I almost threw up as I asked Felix between gags.
"Nothing that concerns you," he barked.
We rounded a corner when he reached the last step, and continued down another hall that contained a large metal door at the end that creaked loudly when he pushed on it. I wondered if it hadn't been opened in a while.
The smell was better in here, but my nostrils still burned at the disgusting odor that tortured at them on the way down.
Felix set me in the middle of a barely lit, primeval stone room that looked like a holding area for prisoners. Four small lights flickered along the granite wall to my right, casting shadows all around the room. Once my eyes adjusted, I was able to make out three cells along the left side. The one on the far end, appeared to contain something in it, but I couldn't make out who, or what it was.
Another vampire entered the room then, draped in a light grey cloak as Felix bent down and cut the ties to my feet and arms.
When my hands were free, I noticed my gash had been bandaged while I was previously unconscious.
I rubbed at my sore wrists as Felix motioned for me to enter into the first cell, holding the door open. I knew I wouldn't be able to run; I didn't know where I was, or where to go, so I conceded to his request.
He slammed the iron, bar door shut behind me, causing the rest of the bars to shake in fury when he did. I instinctually covered my head and closed my eyes for a second, waiting for the antique walls to cave in from his force. The key he turned then made a metal to metal screeching noise when he locked me in.
"Watch them," he commanded the other vampire, who only nodded his head in silent understanding of his orders.
I watched Felix leave, pulling the large metal door shut with a loud creek again, my hands holding at the locked door in front of me. I cowered back to the middle of the cell and hid my almost-drenched bloody bandage behind me when the vampire in front of me gazed upon me with thirsty, red eyes. Edward said they were strong, very strong, and I hoped he was controlled enough not to rip the door off in haste and have at me.
A slight groan and growl came from the cell one over from mine. I turned my head, narrowing my eyes, trying to get a better look at the creature that was attempting to get up. I heard a chain move along the stone floor when it moved away from the wall in a stagger. After a few minutes, the creature was standing on all fours, and a huff shot loudly from its nose when it noticed the chain that bound its neck. He followed the heavy metal links with his eyes across the ground and up to the middle of the wall it was embedded into.
Once my eyes adjusted better to the lighting, I could tell this was the same wolf—werewolf—that had come with us from the reservation. I recognized the fur colored markings.
I jumped when the wolf made a sudden attempted to yank the chain out of the wall with the force of his large body, over and over, causing a huge crack in the stone, but not enough to free it.
Afraid, I backed up into the farthest corner of my cell when the vampire hissed at the animal, making its way over to it. The wolf lunged with barred fangs and a loud growl at the vampire, but was caught short in midair by the chain that held it back about two feet from the iron door. They glared and noised at each other with intense growls and snarls, as if they were communicating without saying a single word. The wolf remained as close as he could to the door, his chain extended to its limit, snorting in angry huffs.
Once the vampire had had enough, he turned with an evil glare in both our directions and made his way back to the middle of the wall, standing in complete stillness, on guard, watching without looking at either one of us.
The wolf sniffed at the air, then turned and noticed me braced into the corner, peering at me. My facial expression was frozen in disbelief of what I had just witnessed. He dipped his head down and away, recognizing me I think, then began pacing angrily, dragging the chain back and forth along the stone with each turn and stride.
I slid down the wall to the heels of my feet, watching the wolf, and keeping a close eye on the vampire.
A new kind of panic rose over me after that as I looked around my cell to notice that there was no bed, no sink and no toilet. It was completely empty, except for me.
Just then, the metal door opened and I shook to think what was coming in next.
A smaller, grey cloaked vampire made its way in, carrying a tray and holding a blanket under its arm. I noticed was it was a woman when she stopped in front of my door, making eye contact with me.
"Charlie," she called out firmly, motioning me to come to her. She didn't look quite as fearful as the others—although, knowing what she was capable of—still made me hesitant. I stared at her from my corner, not wanting to move.
"Charlie! Come here," she remained persistent. She wasn't going to leave until I went to her. And I certainly didn't want to encourage her to come in after me. Better I'd guessed, to keep the bars between us, for now.
I got up slowly and made my way over, keeping my eyes focused on hers for any sudden movement or hunger in them.
She set the tray and the blanket down on the ground. "Give me your hand," she ordered.
I was cautious to fork over the bloody bandage, keeping it held behind me, fearing what she would do at the sight of it.
"Your hand," she ordered again, then pulled out a kit from under her cloak, eyeing me, showing me she was here to redress it.
I looked out the sides of my eyes at the other vampire who remained motionless by the wall, while handing my hand guardedly over to her, making sure he didn't appear to want to leap.
She un-wrapped the bandage and I got my first good look at the gash that went from the bottom of my middle finger all the way down to beginning of my palm. I winced in pain when she poured a cold liquid over it, causing bubbles to build on top of each other in a frenzied motion.
She held my hand tight at the wrist, not allowing me to pull back in reflex from the burn it was creating. I closed my eyes and hung my head, stomping my foot on the ground to try to distract myself from pain was that running throughout my body. I felt faint, but caught myself when my knees wanted to buckle out from under me.
She dabbed at the gash with a cloth, then wrapped a new bandage around my hand, throwing the old one in a bucket at the base of the wall opposite me. When she finished she turned to the bucket, throwing in what sounded like a match being lit, and a small fire made itself known, burning away quickly at the blood soaked item.
Without saying a word, she handed me a cup from the tray. I took it, looking inside to see what it was. Water. I smelled it to see if it was clean. It appeared so.
Then she handed me a plate that contained what looked like chicken, broccoli and a lump of mashed potatoes through a small, rectangle-sized slit. I looked around for utensils as she threw the blanket through the bars to the ground, but there were none.
"No silverware?" I asked with some confusion as to what I was going to use to eat with.
"No," she replied, then picked the tray up off the ground and made her way silently back out the metal door.
Alright, I thought. It looked like I was going to be using my hands, but that was fine, I was hungry, and I didn't care what I had to use to eat with.
The food was warm. And half way through the chicken, I wondered how blood-drinking creatures were this good at making a 'meal'? My jaw, and the cut on the side of my mouth hurt every time I opened to take a bite of food, but I didn't care about that either. Again, I was hungry.
As I dug my fingers into the mashed potatoes, the door opened again, and the woman returned carrying another tray containing a new plate and bowl. She made her way over to the werewolf's cell, opening the door just a smidge to slide a plate full of what looked like raw animal meat, and water bowl inside, then closed the cell door quickly before he had a chance to leap at her, too.
"Wait!" I yelled as I got up, approaching the door, leaving a few feet in between us.
She stopped and glared at me. "Yes?" she said with a high hiss in her voice.
"There's no bathroom here." I looked around the cell, showing her.
"You'll have to figure that one out on your own, Charlie." She sneered at me, glancing over to all the corners of the cell.
"That's disgusting," I argued.
"Hmm," she thought for a moment. "Let me talk to Felix and see what he would like to do about that. There are no bathrooms down here. It might be difficult to decide what to do for you."
"How long are you going to keep us here?" I tried to get some answers from her before she left again.
"When Bella arrives, you'll be the first to know." She half laughed through her nose, thinking that was funny in some way.
"I see," was my only remorseful response.
"Santiago," she motioned to the vampire that stood along the wall, "will take your plate and your cup when you're done."
"What's your name?" I asked.
"I am, Chelsea," she said, then turned and disappeared from the room quickly. And I went back to finish my food.
When I was done, I handed my plate half-way through the rectangle slit for Santiago to see.
He came over and grabbed the plate and cup from me, then took them over and set them by the bucket along the wall. I glanced over to the wolf, eating slowly at the raw meet, as if he was eating in protest, but hungry none the less.
My stomach felt better, and my head didn't feel quite so dizzy, although the ache still taunted me. It had been awhile since I'd eaten or drank anything. Then the police officer in me hoped they hadn't drugged me with anything.
I turned and looked around the walls of the room, watching the shadows dance along the uneven stones, wondering if it was almost morning or just beginning night. The small window at the top of my cell, which I wasn't tall enough to look out of, showed no presence of light.
I crouched back down in the farthest corner of my cell again, hoping Felix, or Bella would show soon. Preferably in that order.
I watched the wolf lay down and stare at me, as I rested my head back against the cold, hard stone, drifting stubbornly into a light sleep. All this stress and worry had drained me, but it was my full stomach that put me over the edge of sleepiness.
It felt like I was out for only a few minutes before I heard the creak of the metal door again, startling me awake. I hoped this time I would have woken from my nightmare, but as I looked around, I realized I was still in it.
Felix stood at my cell door, waiting for me to see him, and I did.
"Come with me," he growled, then opened the door for me to exit.
When I warily did, he gripped firmly at my arm, directing me out of the room and up the stairs, past the horrible smell again.
"Where are we going?"
"You had a bathroom request," he replied coldly, yanking me swiftly down the hall, and back up the stairs. I had to fight the gagging reflux, not wanting to throw up my dinner. What in the world was that? Decomposing bodies? I held my breath and almost puked when I thought I could very well be right. Felix dragged me back up the circled staircase, down another hall, pausing at a small door, opening it, throwing me in, and slamming the door shut behind me.
It was a small bathroom, an ancient bathroom. There was a stone-built, square toilet sticking out of the ground by the back wall with only a hole in the top, and a little square table that held a wash basin and a laid out towel to its right. Above the table was a tall slender mirror, which I avoided looking in, not wanting to see how bad I looked. There was no window or escape route, so I was going to have to go back out the way I came in. Back to Felix.
When I was finished, I tried turning the knob, but it wouldn't budge. I knocked on the door to let him know I was done.
Felix opened the door swiftly, grabbed my arm and led me back down the way we had come up. I tried to take in as much of the surroundings as I could, remembering as much as possible. When we reached the bottom of the stairs, I noticed two large doors that seemed to be heading to outside. A faint light was coming through the cracks, leading me to believe morning was coming.
When Felix opened the metal door, to return me to my cell, there were furious shouts coming from inside the room. The wolf that was in the last cell was the young man now, shouting for the guard to "let him out" and Santiago was yelling for him to "shut up".
The young man eyed me as Felix dragged me in and threw me back into my prison, slamming the door again with furious rattles.
"Get him out of here," Felix commanded to Santiago, pointing towards the last cell.
The man fought against Santiago's quick grabs after he entered, attempting to detain him in his clutches. Felix followed in to the cell, putting his fist up to show he'd knock him out again if he didn't stop resisting. There were no rules against that kind of behavior here, like there was for a police officer.
Santiago jumped on the man when he looked at Felix, causing the man to snarl then grunt in pain when his head slammed painfully against the ground. The vampire yanked the man's arms tightly behind his back, stood him up quickly and led him out of the cell.
I watched in sympathy as they shoved him past me, somewhat disoriented, blood dripping down the side of his head. He was only able to get a dazed look at me before he was gone beyond the door.
"I'll take him from here," Felix said beyond the door before Santiago returned, shutting the metal door with a slam, maintaining his previous post.
I was all alone now. And didn't know where Alice was. And didn't know where they were taking the werewolf, or what they were going to be doing to him, to me…to us. I only had the idea Aro left stirring in my mind. Would they bury me? I wondered. Or would they simply toss my body in with the rest down here, to rot forever?
I backed into my familiar corner and slowly slid down to the ground, resting my face against my knees and covering my arms around me in misery, hoping my family would get here soon.