Chapter 12


The next morning we all stood ready in our assigned places at the clearing, awaiting the coming onslaught. I took another looked around at my family, the people I loved most in the world, and fought back the smothering
weight of sorrow, as I realized these may be our last moments together.


No one can help their parentage. I knew that, but I had been a danger to my family since my conception. I nearly killed my own mother at birth, and had brought the wrath of the Volturi down on my family for a second
time now.  I was bane of my own
existence- I couldn’t help but to acknowledge the irony of the situation. The
term, ‘being your own worst enemy,’ had never had such a perfect situation to
adhere its meaning to before.  I knew the
guilt I felt was completely misplaced, but is still hung heavily around my
neck.


I thought back to the last time we had all stood here. We had been fortunate to dodge the bloodshed then – at least, for the most part. However, our battalion had been stronger then with the backing of our friends. This time
I had refused to ask them to endanger themselves again. It felt horrible, having
to depend on the Volturi and their formidable gifts to help us, but we had no
choice.


Jacob and his pack had made it to the clearing before us. Unlike the last time we were here, the wolves didn’t bother to hide themselves - they flanked behind us in a straight line with Jacob and Sam in the middle. It was a
very daunting formation to behold, even though the entire pack wouldn’t be
involved in this battle. Sam kept the younger wolves at home, but the five that
were here were massive and loomed behind our grouping.


At least, this time, we were more organized. The Volturi were insistent on forming us in the theatrical pattern they used to ‘enforce justice’ as Aro had put it. My father was less than thrilled with order and grouping as
we formed the preliminary setup the night before.


Aro had floated from one end of the line to the next, moving us around like pawns on a chess board. I imagined the analogy was appropriate, as I was sure we all had our own apprehensions. So far, the Volturi were sincere
in their efforts to help, but my father had said that they were never caught
without ulterior motives, and an intricate web of strategy. So, needless to say,
Aro’s placement of us in the Volturi formation didn’t sit well with him at
first.


“Aro, I would prefer my family be placed closer to me,” my father insisted, as my mother was placed at the end of the line, near Demetri.


“My dear Edward, that is hardly effective for our defense, wouldn’t you agree?” he said in his lilted voice.


“We will place Bella at one end so she can shield our company, and you and your brothers at the other. You are all such skilled fighters! You will be able to stop the advance before they even reach her.
Surely, you don’t doubt Demetri’s ability to protect Bella?” he said, scolding.


“No Aro, I just want to make sure we are all safe,” he said frustrated. “I still don’t understand why we are making a formation to meet them…we outnumber them. We should split off in groups and take them down that
way” he said confidently.


His face was very still as he concentrated on Aro’s thoughts, but it appeared Aro was making a concerted effort to keep his mind as quiet as possible.”


“This is the safest way to defend ourselves without either side losing members. You are not the only ones who have something to lose here, my family is dear to me, just as yours is dear to you,” Aro explained
patiently.


“Where is the trust?” Aro spoke again, but lower this time, looking to Carlisle. His voice was full of hurt and sorrow.


“Forgive us, Aro,” Carlisle responded, “but the last time we met it didn’t exactly inspire confidence in your motives. Never the less, we are grateful for your help.”


“Excellent!” Aro exclaimed.


I was constantly amazed at how quickly Aro could switch from one mood to the other. It was almost childlike. He glided down to the end of our formation, clapping his hands, as he and Caius began deliberating again. I
looked over to Jane and Demetri and they exchanged an irritated look with each
other. I wondered if it was it was due to my father’s implication of not being
able to protect us, or at Aro’s misplaced sense of zeal.


The rest of the evening went fairly smooth after that. My mother remained at the end next to Demetri, while myself and the other hybrids were put in the center, where Aro and Caius stood as well. Jane and Alec
flanked the center grouping to the right and the left for our protection, since
we would be the main targets. My father, Esme, Carlisle,
Emmett, and Jasper stood out in front, slightly curving to form the front
barrier. Felix stood slightly behind them in the center. Rosalie and Alice stood
on either side of him, along with the rest of the Volturi’s muscle.


Light had just started to break over the horizon, but the sun was completely hidden behind a blanket of clouds. The effect cast and eerie light across the clearing. The tension pulsed like electricity in the air as we
waited. I could hear Jacob’s breathing, even and steady, behind me.


I looked over my shoulder for him, but he was farther away than I had thought. He trotted forward a few steps, and bent down, so he could lay his furry head against my shoulder. A soft grumble sounded in his chest as I
kissed him behind the ear.


“I love you,” I thought to him. He grumbled again, and dipped his head to the side, as he stepped back to take his place.


“Not much longer now,” Alice said, her musical voice breaking the silence, but becoming part of the electric current in the air.


Even though nobody had moved an inch out of place, something had changed in that second- I could feel it. I felt the entire guard stiffen around us, and an odd chill started to inch its way up the back of my legs,
making my hair stand on end. I glanced to my left and right, and nothing had
changed- at least not visibly- but my skin felt like it would burst into flames,
and I began to tremble.


Not a soul had entered the clearing, but Alec and Jane turned their cherub like faces up to Aro, obviously waiting for a command. I raked my brain trying to remember this part of the rehearsal last night, but we
hadn’t gone over any thing like this. I looked around at the rest of the
Volturi guard in confusion. They had all turned, ever so slightly, looking to
Aro and Caius expectantly. Felix was the only member still staring straight
ahead into the clearing with everyone else.


“Now….” Aro commanded, but he said word so softly I could barely hear.


The entire guard moved in unison, as if they were all connected somehow.


Several things happened simultaneously; In less than a second, I heard my mother gasp in fear. I looked to my right to see that Demetri had stepped behind her and cupped her face in his hand. He tilted her head so
his teeth were dangerously close to her throat. My father whirled around, his
face horror stricken, as he caught my mother’s eye. I felt a sharp kick behind
my legs, and suddenly I was on my knees in the wet grass. My hands flew out
instinctively to catch my fall. I looked over at Nahuel and his sisters, and
they all were on their knees as well, shaking in fear. Nahuel moved closer to
them and tried to wrap his arms around his crying sisters.


“Drop your shield!” Demetri breathed into my mother’s ear. Her face was twisted into the most painful expression, as she looked over at me, and then to my father.


“NO!” she growled back.


Jane reached down and wound her fingers in my hair, yanking my head back as hard as she could. Jacob’s growl filled the entire clearing as he leapt forward, and landed inches from Jane, snapping and snarling at her
heels, but she didn’t flinch.


“I’d listen to Demetri if I were you,” she warned in her childish voice. “Do you really think you can protect everyone before I could kill her?” Jane’s facial expression never shifted from its angelic countenance,
as she said the words calmly and rationally. It reminded me of the way a
teacher would explain an assignment to a student.


My mother’s beautiful face twisted in agony, but she relaxed her stance, and dropped her hands from Demetri’s arm to her sides. My father moved into a crouch with Carlisle close beside him. The snarls from the rest of
my family soared through the air, as they paired off, member for member, with
the rest of the guard.


 “Everyone stay where they are. Don’t be foolish” Caius instructed.


            My father didn’t listen as he moved to spring towards Demetri. Suddenly, Jane’s gaze shifted, and she realized what was happening. Her expression remained placid,
and slightly smiling, as my father fell to the ground, writing in pain for a
brief second, and then he abruptly stopped. Carlisle reached down and quickly
helped my father to his feet, never taking his eyes off of Jane


My father’s eyes were liquid fire as he his gaze found Aro’s. He spoke first, but his tone was so angry the words were strained.


“So this is it? You’re making us to help you band against Marcus by force? You threaten to sacrifice our daughter and Nahuel’s family if we don’t join you? We are a peaceful family, Aro. We are here to protect our
family… and nothing more”


Aro turned to address my father. He floated over to where he was standing, his robe billowing in the breeze. His face, which was normally happy, was terrifying now.


”Ah yes. How nice of you to give away my intentions so quickly. However, it seems unfair for you to speak for your entire family. I merely intended to ask for your help, the force Jane and my guard have used
against you was a precaution to gain your attention, which it appears I have
now.” Aro said darkly.


Everyone looked over at my father in confusion. He kept his gaze focused on Aro, but it was obvious he was addressing us.


“The trade wasn’t just for Alice to ‘show’ them the outcome, it was for us to ‘become’ part of it. They will stand with us to protect Renesmee and Nahuel’s family, but we have to join them in return, or they will kill
us all. They falsely earned our confidence, and penetrated our defenses, in
order to gain the leverage they would need to persuade us to join.”


He narrowed his eyes as he addressed Aro again.


Although, you knew we would never say yes…so ultimately you have come to deliver a death sentence to our entire family.” He accused.


The outrage at this betrayal was audible amongst my family as they exchanged glances. The sisters beside me started sobbing and I felt my own tears stream down my face. There was no other alternative, I knew my father
and Carlisle would never agree to join the Volturi- a group they vehemently despised.


They had been one step ahead of us this whole time. We had been doomed from every angle right from the start. Either Marcus would exterminate my kind , or the Volturi would kill us anyway. It was check mate. I felt a wave
of hopelessness take over and I went limp on the ground.


“I’m afraid Edward is correct.” Aro said in response to my father’s explanation.


Aro’s face fell in mock sadness as he gestured for Alec to step forward. Alec stepped forward, moving in a very deliberate fashion, and closed his eyes in concentration.


I heard the cries from Nahuel and his sisters stop suddenly, and I glanced at them out of the corner of my eye. They all stared, straight ahead, completely silent, seeing nothing.


I watched in horror as his gift drifted across the expanse, and spread next to Alice and Rosalie. They both fell to their knees, softly, with the same vacant expression. They looked like dolls sitting on a shelf in a toy
store; beautiful, yet empty. I squirmed against Jane’s steel grasp but it was
useless.


Alec made his rounds with our group, and I was forced to watch as one member after another in our family fell to the ground in their hollow forms. My mother and father were the last. It was agony to see their ethereal,
perfect, faces masked with sorrow and defeat. They didn’t break each other’s
gaze, even for a moment, and my father mouthed the words “I love you” to her as
Carlisle fell beside him, a mute, vacant shell.


It had become so quiet Felix’s voice was like a thunder clap in the open space.


“Aro, STOP!” Felix ordered.


Alec paused and looked to Aro,who’s face was a mixture of shock and anger, as he turned to look at Felix.


“What is the meaning of this….how DARE you?” Aro yelled. I had never heard Aro angry before. His light airy voice was absolutely frightening. Chills rolled down my spine and I cringed away from him.


“This is wrong! Felix exclaimed. “This family is no threat…they are peaceful. This goes against everything we stand for!” Felix stared straight at Aro, bravely, and said the words with conviction.


“You dare question my authority? We are your family and you side with THEM?” Aro said enraged. Without giving Felix a chance to continue, he looked over at Jane and nodded in Felix’s direction.


Her expression was nothing short of elated as she took a step forward, dropping her hold on my hair. Her eyes narrowed as she looked at Felix, and with a wicked smile, she unleashed the full force of her gift on him,
burning him where he stood. My father and Carlisle’s earlier writing looked
like a picnic compared to the pain on Felix’s face. I couldn’t take this anguish
any longer. He was risking his life, betraying his family for us in vain.


The anger began to bubble inside me, overtaking the sense of defeat. I didn’t care that we were deceived and out numbered, or about my own self preservation anymore. If I had to lose my family and my own life I was
determined to take them down with me.           The
fury engulfed me, and I felt the growl building in my chest, as I dug my
fingers into the wet earth, preparing to spring. A feral snarl erupted into a
roar, as I launched myself forward with all the force I had, knocking into
Jane. It felt like running headlong into a wall. I wasn’t strong enough to make
her fall, but it broke her concentration, and Felix stopped screaming
momentarily. I looked over to Felix who had taken a step in our direction, but
he was pinned immediately by two other members of the guard.


Jane had regained her composure and whirled around to stare down at me. Her angelic expression had turned to pure rage. I crawled back away from her as quickly as I could, squeezing my eyes shut as I braced myself for
the pain…but it never came.


I heard a deafening pop, and felt an extreme heat, radiating from beside me. My eyes were still tightly closed in fear, but I could hear a high pitched scream and the Volturi guard yelling in confusion.


Abruptly, I felt a sharp jerk pulling me in the opposite direction of the scorching heat. At first I began to panic as I imagined the worst, but then I could feel Jacob’s hot breath on my back thru my clothes. He
had the arm of my shirt in his mouth, and I felt myself being rapidly dragged
backwards across the wet grass. He stopped about twenty yards away from our
grouping behind his pack.


“What are you doing?” I yelled at him, “I have to go back!”


Only a few seconds had passed as I pulled myself back up to my knees, preparing  to break into a dead sprint, but I couldn’t move. Jacob had hold of my shirt again and I couldn’t
pull away from him. I thought briefly of tearing it off at the sleeve, but he tugged
harder, growling a warning to me, and motioned with his head for me to look
into the clearing.


The entire formation had broken into complete chaos. My family was free from Alec’s debilitating hold, and they were quickly pulling themselves to their feet. The other wolves had managed to pull Nahuel and his
sisters across the field over beside us. Demetri released my mother and my
father leapt towards him, quickly pulling her out of his grasp. Aro and Caius
had moved to stand next to each other; a frantic Alec standing guard in front
of them. Across the field, almost forty yards directly in front of them, stood
Marcus and his newly formed guard.


Marcus stood in the middle flanked by Zafrina and a vampire I didn’t recognize. He was very tall, almost matching Jacob in height, and well proportioned. His hair was so blond it was almost white, which looked strange
against the light pallor of his skin. Renata stood behind them both, along with
two other foreign female vampires.


“ENOUGH!” Marcus bellowed across the field. His commanding voice was a great contrast to the stoic look he held on his face as he spoke.


I looked over at the Volturi, who were visibly shaken. I felt a wave of relief wash over me as I realized that my family had all gathered together, and were cautiously making their way closer to us. The fire
was still burning giving off black smoke, and a pungent smell that reminded me
of incense.


All of this had transpired in a matter of seconds and with all the chaos I was having a hard time taking in what was happening. Jacob let go of my shirt and nudged me forward to meet my family half way.


“Are you okay?” My parents wrapped their cold arms around me so tightly I could barely


breathe. I wiped my tears away so I could see their perfect faces more clearly.


“Yes, I’m okay” I replied. “What happened?”


“I’m not exactly sure. Someone in their group has a shield similar to Bella’s, so I can’t hear their thoughts,” my father replied incredulously. “All I know is that someone in Marcus’s guard stopped Jane from hurting you as they
advanced.”


I looked back over to the Volturi. Something about the formation was off…smaller. I felt the blood slink away from my face as I took in who was missing. It all began to sink in; the explosion I heard, the heat. I
thought was an attack against us, but I was terribly wrong. I turned away in
horror as I realized the fire that was still burning was Jane! Whoever did that
had a very powerful gift, and the relief I felt for that brief moment vanished,
as I realized we would all burn like that soon.


My father noticed the expression on my face and took my hand in his to comfort me. Despite everything happening around us, he seemed determined to be positive, so I turned my attention back to Marcus and his
followers. The groups had moved closer to one another, standing less than
twenty yards apart.  Marcus stepped
forward still wearing the same unreadable expression. His charcoal grey cloak
flowed behind him dramatically, like it had a life of its own.


“The Volturi have no purpose here, Aro.” He stated.


Aro stiffened and Caius moved closer to him so they could touch hands. Aro nodded at Caius’s silent thought.


“We are here to protect this family from you, Marcus. Nothing more.” Aro responded. Marcus tilted his side to the side slightly and he glanced at my family and back to Aro when he spoke.


“Interesting tactics you take to protect them. You think they would be safer anesthetized? Or maybe writing in pain?


“Nonsense!” Aro trilled. “I don’t see how our tactics are your concern, regardless, Marcus .You pose your own threat to this family. Why else would you be here?”


For the first time, Marcus’s face gave way to an emotion and he was frightening to look at.


“Artifice!” he snapped pointing his finger at Aro and Caius and taking another step closer. “You have given them nothing but lies!”


Aro and Caius bristled at Marcus’s accusation, and looked abashed as they looked over their shoulders at us. We all looked around each other in confusion. Marcus followed their gaze and addressed us directly now.


“My brothers here have greatly deceived you,” No one missed the disdain he put on the word brothers.


“They told you I have broken away from them to enact my own vendetta on your family, which is false. They sent Felix to warn you as soon as I left their company in case I got to you first. When, in fact, I was the one
coming to send warning against them.”


Carlisle and my father exchanged a long look, and you could practically see the light bulb flash above our heads. I swallowed the ball of fire I wanted to spit thru my teeth, as I realized this was all an elaborate ruse.


I was torn- I couldn’t tell if I was relieved to tears, or incensed to the point of violence. The Volturi had used our fears and weaknesses against us. I thought of how they would have put together their
plan- learning to guard their thoughts to fool my father, which was no easy
task. They must have planned to use Carlisle’s trusting nature and compassion
to make their initial breech, and then our faith in him to follow along
blindly.


I looked over at Felix and remembered his valiant stand, against everything he believed in, to save us. He was incredibly forlorn as he stood between the Volturi and our family with a lost expression.


I squeezed my father’s hand to get his attention and nodded towards Felix. He looked sympathetically to Felix and then down at me. The whole family had witnessed our exchange and Emmett stepped out of our loose
formation and took Felix by the arm. He whirled around stunned by the close
proximity.


“You can stand with us if you’d like, brother?” Emmett said warmly. Felix didn’t return the smile, but he stepped back into our grouping anyway.


“I was unable to reach your family in time so I headed to South America, but Demetri had already moved the hybrids here with your family,” Marcus continued. His expression changed from cold and informative to
repentant.


“I have grown bored with my brothers’ lust for blood and power, and I wanted no part of this genocide. I was against this from the beginning, so I sought out to find anyone who would side with me to help your
family.”


Zafrina, who had been quiet through the entire exchange, stepped up to stand next to Marcus. Her wild face begged silently for us to understand.


“It is all true,” she said in her heavy accent. “I would never stand against your family or your lovely daughter,” she smiled at me and winked when she said it. “I didn’t want to risk contacting you after Marcus
told me the close proximity of the Volturi to your family.”


            The lump in my throat subsided and I felt the bitterness of her betrayal fade away. I knew the circumstances leading up to this point left me no choice but to think the
worst,  but I was deeply disappointed in
myself for every doubting her loyalty.


The Volturi gave no further response to Zafrina’s confirmation. The guard moved in solid unison again as Aro and Caius took another step toward Marcus. I could see Caius strategically place himself; crouching
to spring towards Zafrina.


It was evident that all diplomacy was lost at this point, and the battle would ensue. Even though it had only been minutes, I felt a connection, and a great deal of gratitude towards Marcus and the other vampires
I had never met. I was horrified to think of any harm coming to them.


The tension of battle began to fill the air as everyone took their places. Sam and Jacob fell into place behind us as the rest of the wolves flanked behind Marcus’s group. The Volturi spread out into a solid straight
line and Marcus’s group matched their formation. I quickly counted the numbers
of each group and realized that Marcus’s group was out numbered. My father swiftly
moved myself and Nahuel’s family to the very back of our grouping- obviously he
had noticed the same thing.


“Keep them here,” he ordered turning to Jacob and Sam. Both wolves moved in front of my mother and I while my father, Carlisle, Japer and Emmett ran to join in with Marcus.


“I want everyone to remain groups so no one can be singled out, understand?” my father called out to Alice and Rosalie over his shoulder. Felix wasn’t far behind him, and Rose and Alice stayed, moving behind us to complete
the blockade, as we waited for the massacre to begin.


The scene was epic- everyone was poised awaiting the first move. I held my breath waiting, but I didn’t have to wait long. I could see Alec’s oozing gift stretching the distance between the two lines. Then, all at
once, the Volturi guards lurched forward and sprang into the air. Caius lifted
off the ground and made his advance on Zafrina.


Even amidst the horror of the moment, Caius and the guard were the very definition of grace in motion. It hurt to watch as Caius’s massive form catapulted towards Zafrina’s lanky frame. I prepared myself for the lines
to submerge creating a swarm of white bodies, but it was quite the opposite.


Marcus stepped back quickly, and to my surprise- and utter horror-, Zafrina and the small vampire standing beside Renata, stepped forward slightly. The little one looked very young, no more than fourteen or fifteen, with a head
full of golden curls. She was possibly as small as Alice and wore an oddly calm
expression in the mist of all the carnage.


She raised her hands in front of her and furrowed her brow in concentration. With exaggerated purpose, she thrust her arms out in front of her with her palms facing out. Even though she was only pushing against air it
looked like she was shoving against a mountain.


All eight of the Volturi guards stopped in midair like they had hit an invisible sheet of glass, and were hurtled backwards, behind the Volturi line. Then, she took one of her tiny hands and turned it palm down towards the
ground. Her fingers were spread wide, like she was driving an invisible stake
into the ground. I could hear the sounds of struggle coming from the guard as
they tried to get up, but they were frozen in place, unable to move.


Caius hit the ground without a sound, landing a few feet in front of Zafrina. It was obvious he couldn’t see but he lunged towards her anyway. My father and Emmett were on him in seconds, pinning him to the ground,
but even without his sight he was a skilled warrior.


He fought against them, biting the air and clawing at them. In one swift movement, he managed to get his  feet under Emmett’s massive frame, and launched him backwards into Marcus. My father fought bravely as he tried to
hold him down, but Caius was an experienced fighter, and my father was
struggling to keep the upper hand.


The little blond vampire shifted her gaze, locking her eyes onto Caius, as he flailed wildly against my father’s rapidly fading grasp. She held her other arm out towards Caius, and with a swift flick of her wrist, he went
flying across the ground with astounding speed back over the Volturi’s line.


Caius had gotten to his feet along with the other guards, but kept his place. Alec’s ooze had stopped five feet from Marcus’s side.


Marcus helped Emmett to his feet and stepped forward, so he was again standing at the front of his battalion.  With each deliberate step he took, the ooze moved backwards. With great pageantry, the rest of his line advanced with him
until they stopped only a few feet from Aro. Marcus stepped forward with the tiny
vampire, her arms still outstretched and ready, as well as Zafrina on his
right. Aro stood very still with his eyes narrowed waiting for Marcus to speak.


“Your time to reign is at an end, brother.” He spoke the words to Aro decisively.


Aro smirked at him and gestured to the new followers behind Marcus.


“You have amassed a talented following…they could be a wonderful addition to our family,” he said in a placating tone. “Do you really think the Volturi is to be overthrown so easily? We are in place to enforce the law,
to administer justice-“


Marcus threw Aro a harsh look and held his hand up, clearly not interested in Aro’s babble.


“It has been a long time since I have seen justice served by this court. I have seen only bloodlust and crusades for power over the last centuries. And now you have launched another against this family.” Marcus
interrupted,


“Nonsense,” Aro defended, “this is no crusade. This is to correct an aberration to our species. Who knows what trouble could come of this new race?” He argued.


Aro’s head snapped around to where we stood and he locked eyes with me. I felt a chill roll down my spine as he glared at me. His earlier pretense of sincerity and kindness had completely faded, and for the first time
his true colors were showing.


“The Cullen girl is in love with a shape shifter! What is to become of their offspring? Are we willing to take that risk….I think not! We have to exterminate this threat immediately. Surely you can’t deny that,
brother?” Aro challenged.


The snarl building in my father’s chest erupted in to a violent roar and was echoed by my entire family. Both lines shifted nervously in response, but Marcus’s face remained perfectly composed, as if nothing out
of the ordinary had just transpired. He held up one finger, cautioning his side
to be quiet, as he continued.


“All I have witnessed here is you bringing down terror on a peaceful family. As for the offspring created between she and a shape shifter…well that has not even come to fruition yet.” He pointed out. “Since
when do we condemn the hypothetical? These shape shifters are strongly bonded
to this family and are peaceful as well. I see no threat here other than you
and your tyrannical guard. It is time for you to step aside.” He concluded.


Aro lifted his chin arrogantly, but he knew he was defeated. He had no more premise for a logical argument- and he knew it. Marcus had him covered from all angles.


“You would kill your own brother, Marcus? With all your talk about justice and peace this is hardly a good example of either” Aro hedged


Marcus leaned in closer to him and placed one hand on Aro’s shoulder bowing his head.


“I don’t want it have to come to that, but I will if I have to. Step down Aro.” He commanded fervently.


There was a long pause and both sides looked around at each other anxiously. My mother reached over and squeezed my arm in anticipation. What would this mean? I heard Rosalie and Alice suck in sharp breath.


Aro looked at Marcus searching his face. His lips curled back over his teeth in defiance and his hands curled into fists at his side. He abruptly stepped back from Marcus shoving his hand off his shoulder.


“NO!” he shouted and motioned for his guard to take their places. “I will not yield so easily brother…you will have to force me.” He challenged.


Everyone tensed in reaction, but Marcus looked down to the tiny vampire beside him, and nodded. His face was the picture of pure misery as he beckoned for her to begin.


She closed her eyes and raised her slender arms slightly above her head. Very deliberately she lowered them, as if she were motioning for someone to bow. She stopped with her palms out and her arms stretched out
in front of her, parallel with the ground. She opened her eyes and quickly
flicked her wrists in a sharp downward motion. To my amazement, the entire
Volturi guard, including Aro and Caius, fell to the ground on their knees in
perfect unison.


Their bodies quivered in place as they struggled to get up, but they were again frozen in place by some invisible force. Marcus looked towards Zafrina, signaling her to do her bidding, and we could hear their frightened
gasps as she took away their sight.


“I wished it hadn’t come to this, but you leave me no choice, brother,” Marcus said, stepping forward and whispering into Aro’s ear. “Now you will die, stunned and sightless, like so many others you have condemned.”


Aro bowed his head but said nothing. Marcus’s face, normally so expressionless, contorted into a mask of pain as he motioned with his finger for the tall Nordic vampire to step forward.


The blond vampire stepped forward, with stunning grace and fluidity, to stand by Marcus with his hands by his side. He nodded solemnly at Marcus, but the regret was evident on his face. Unexpectedly, he bowed to the
Volturi, showing his respect, for what I could only assume was a worthy
opponent, and quickly righted himself.


It was very dramatic-he began from the left to right, letting his piercing gaze fall on one member of the Volturi guard to the other, and as he did, each of their bodies erupted into flames, sending sparks flying into
the air, and giving off plumes of black smoke. He moved very quickly, saving
Aro for last.


Marcus turned his back, unable to watch, as his brother burned silently. Carlisle put a hand on his shoulder trying to comfort him, but Marcus was inconsolable as he shook with tearless sobs.


The entire field was black with smoke for over an hour as we all sat in silence too stunned to speak. Finally, the rain picked back up and the smoke cleared, leaving small piles of white ash where each member once
stood.


Everyone looked to Marcus, but he hadn’t moved an inch since the fires had begun. Carlisle broke the silence, walking over to Marcus and leading him away from the clearing toward our home. Our family followed closely on
their heels. My father extended an open invitation to the new comers and the
wolves.


I looked around for Jacob who had disappeared into the woods to phase. He jogged out from the east, barefoot in a pair of athletic shorts and a t-shirt. He put his arms around me and picked me up so he could kiss me.
Tears streamed down my cheeks as the enormity of what just happened filled my
head. We were alive, my family was safe, and he and I were together….forever.


“Let’s go home,” I said. “It seems we have some new friends to thank.”


He put me down and led me by the hand following the procession back to the house….

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I don't think that Marcus would have taken such a stance, he was the most violent war driven of the trio. But the story is COOL nevertheless. It really is. I can't believe you were able to keep up this amazing level of storytelling, wonderful job. I wish there was a medal you could win for this. :-)

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