Chapter 5 - Inexorable Decision
"Bah!" I shouted out, finally awakening from my horrible nightmare. Light shined brightly into my eyes, and I squinted, allowing them to adjust to the luminous room. I rubbed them violently with my hands before looking up to see that I had woken up into another dream. I was in a room that I recognized; the grandeur designs of the golden walls, thrones that I was familiar with.
"Hello," I heard the gentle voice of an older man. Reluctantly, I pulled myself off the ground to stare into the crimson eyes of a face I knew too well, but from where? There was no way I could know this stranger who I was sure I never met.
"You must be Bradley," he smiled pompously. "I am Aro. This is Marcus and Caius," he greeted the men standing on either side of him. To his left was an apathetic man, staring silently at the wall. On his right was a ferocious man, clearly the polar opposite of the other. This man was huge, bigger than the two accompanying Jane, and only hatred existed in his face. "Peace, brother," the one called Aro placed a hand on the larger one. Suddenly, I froze in realization to who these men were. They were three out of the four men who were in the painting in Bella and Edward's room. The friendliest-looking of the four, the stunning blonde, was absent.
"May I?" Aro asked, extending his arm out as though he wanted something from me.
"What?" I asked confused and Caius scoffed obnoxiously.
"I shall explain everything to you if it seems fit," Aro smiled, extending his hand out further. I then realized there was another young girl behind him, her jet-black hair covering her face. She had one hand pressed firmly against Aro's back. She stared at me with angry eyes as though I was planning to do something drastic and she was protecting this wrinkly man. As if I could do anything with someone who could shred me into pieces inches away.
"I don't think this human is of any threat," Caius spat at the girl who simply snarled at me. He said human as if they were something else, though I was not surprised.
"Your hand," Aro gestured again to me. Vexed, I placed one of my hands in his, and I gasped at the iciness of his aged hands. They were tough, but smooth, like marble on a winter day.
"Fascinating..." Aro's smile grew. "Just absolutely fascinating..."
"You can't possibly think this boy-" Caius began. Aro lifted a hand at him, and closed his eyes, grasping my hands more tightly. For an old guy, he had a lot of strength. He's not human, I reminded myself.
"You are quite intelligent," Aro beamed. "I've never seen a human conclude the existence of vampires so quickly! And this David, oh you two would make a valuable addition to the Volturi!"
"How do you know about David!?" I snapped, and I was instantly bombarded with the pain from before. The burning flames erupted in my blood, and this time I could hear my screams echoing off the walls.
"Jane dear," I thought I heard Aro speak, and the pain ceased. I collapsed onto the ground, sweat plastering the fabric of my shirt against my trembling skin.
"Oh how I wish Eleazar was still with us!" Aro continued. "He would know the potential of such a child! So clever!" he kept repeating himself, and I could not figure out anything he was speaking about, but I feared to say anything or even get up from the ground, for I knew Jane was waiting in some corner for any chance to strike me.
"A child such as you has the option to join our ranks," Aro said to me, helping me up from the ground.
"Join?" I was still confused. This entire time I thought my death was inevitable, but now he offered me an option, though I could not corroborate was better than death.
"I'm sorry, but I cannot explain anything until you've agreed," the man smiled gently at me, hope sparkling in his crimson eyes.
"How can I agree to something I know nothing about?" I questioned fearfully, turning my head to see if Jane was in the room or if all these people could inflict the same pain she did.
"Do not fear Jane, she only protects us," Aro said softly. "I don't mean to compel you to join us, but the other option is not very..." he stopped to think of an appropriate word. "Attractive," he decided, and instantly I knew he meant death. I couldn't believe what was happening to me, and how things had changed so quickly. Just yesterday, I doubted the existence of some extraordinary thing in the world, and now, here I stood in the middle of it all, being asked to join into this secret life. Suddenly, I was intrigued. Were they willing to change me into a vampire, make me into one of them? Would I reflect the beauty of Edward and Bella with their flawless skin, chiming voice, and sweet, alluring scent? Would I be able to make people scream at the desire for death to take them away from the pain inflicted by a single smile? I didn't know if this is what he meant by joining, but I couldn't die now.
"It seems the choice is not mine to make," I chuckled, though a small part of me wanted to see what was in store.
"Marvelous, you are so intelligent!" Aro shouted out excitedly. "I cannot wait and see what kind of strength you will possess when you've become one of us!"
"Now that I've accepted, will you tell me what is going on?" I asked hesitantly. I had no idea what I was getting myself into, but it had to be better than death. I wanted to survive for David, at least long enough to tell him not to worry about me. He would call me, and wonder why I wasn't responding. He might come out to Dartmouth, worried for me, only to be sucked into the same trap I fell into. I couldn't let that happen. I had to survive to protect him.
"Ah, patience my friend. We have infinite time," he said, smiling to me. "Marcus, if you would," he bowed to the statue of a man, who finally moved from his frozen position and looked at me with lethargic eyes.
"I'm sorry," was all he said, and before I blinked, I felt a fiery pain in my throat that quickly erupted into my entire body. Jane again. I wondered what I had done to upset her again as the pain filled me, though much more bearable after suffering the torment so many times. I felt cold hands on my burning flesh, but I could see nothing.