Disclaimer: I own nothing but the plot and any original characters therein. No copyright infringement intended.

A/N: Had this lying around for a while now. Tell me what you think of it? I'll expand it if there's enough interest.

Love and Light,



"You're thinking about him again, aren't you?"

A wan smile curved her lips as she stared out over the sea. She couldn't help but feel that the roiling waves, beating and retreating on the jagged rocks below, matched her mood.

He took a seat next to her, his shoulder bumping hers as she took her time forming an answer. "Yeah, I guess I am. It's hard not to now that I'm leaving this place, you know?"

He nodded, though his lips set into a thin line as his eyes swirled with resentment. These were feelings he wouldn't voice though. They'd been through this so many times—even fought over it—that he knew speaking of her lingering feelings for the ones who'd left her behind wouldn't do any good.

For some strange reason, she refused to hate them, even after they'd hurt her so deeply, and it was something he would never understand—especially since hating them was instinctual for him—woven into every fiber of his DNA.

"It isn't just him though, is it?" he asked, already knowing the answer.

That same sad smile tilted her lips and reflected in her eyes as she finally turned her head to look at him. "No, not just him."

"Is that why you're doing this? To save them?" He couldn't hide the anger and resentment in his voice and didn't try. But despite this, he gently took her hand in his.

She gripped back firmly, though she still found the heat from his skin shocking, even after all this time.

"I'm doing this to save us all, Jake. We've talked about this…" she said, her tone now laced with weariness. They'd been over this so many times…

"I can protect you—we can protect you. We killed that red-headed menace and her lackeys, didn't we?"

Leaning over, she placed a soft kiss to his cheek. "You did, and I'll always be grateful for that, but Jake, this situation… Please just trust me? I know what I'm doing."

As she watched, a tear slowly rolled down his cheek, but he nodded, his chin held at the proud angle inherited from generations of noble ancestors. "You know this is the last time we'll ever see each other."

She nodded, swallowing past her choking emotions. "You're the dearest friend I've ever had, Jacob Black." she said, her voice trembling with tears she refused to submit to.

She'd cried too many, already.

With a sigh, she let his hand go and pushed to her feet. Without looking back she got in her old truck and left the reservation for the last time, all the while ignoring the mournful yips and howls that faded behind her as she drove away.

When she got back to Charlie's, she let herself in, tossed her keys on the table, and walked to the mantle of the fireplace. With a less than steady hand, she picked up the framed photo that was taken of her and her father on the day she'd graduated just months earlier. With a tremulous smile, she traced Charlie's smiling face with a fingertip. He'd been so proud that day, especially since she'd rallied through her bout of depression to make valedictorian.

"Bye, Dad." she whispered before setting it back on the mantle. Then she headed upstairs for a quick shower to get the wolf smell off and grab the bags she'd packed the night before.

She'd said her goodbyes that morning before Charlie'd gone to work, but he'd had no idea just how permanent their parting would be, and she hadn't been able to let on. So, she'd smiled and joked about the freedom she'd have at college, ribbing him good-naturedly about parties and boys.

When he'd paled, she'd grinned and kissed his cheek. "Come on, Dad. This is me we're talking about. I'm kidding, and you should know better."

He'd grumbled and given her the firmest, longest hug she could ever remember getting from him, and left for work.

Then, she'd slumped on the couch and cried like a baby before getting herself back together to go to First Beach.

Now here she was, dressed in fresh clothes and waiting on her ride.

When the knock came, her stomach dropped, but, with a deep breath, she pulled the door open and met the vampire's gaze head-on. "Demetri," she greeted and he inclined his head.

"Little human," he returned as he picked up her bags then headed to the nondescript silver sedan parked at the curb.

After locking the door, she trotted down the steps and to the car, raising a brow at the Uber emblem on the window and the way the Volturi guard was dressed. Besides the dark glasses — 'and being damn fit and dangerously gorgeous' — he was completely forgettable, dressed as he was in faded jeans and an untucked, light blue button-down shirt, sleeves rolled to the elbow.

At a distance, he could've been one of a thousand other brown-haired, mid-twenties Uber drivers, especially since the car was new and didn't yet have license plates. "Nice side job?" she snarked as he opened the rear door for her after stowing her bags in the trunk.

He smirked. "Pays the light bill," he said, just as the old lady from across the street dropped the curtain she'd been peeping around. He closed the door and slid in behind the wheel, then glanced in the rearview mirror. "Are you certain you've covered everything? I would hate to have to come back and clean up any mess you've left behind."

She sighed and rubbed her brow. "Everything's in order."


With that, he pulled away and headed out of Forks.

They were nearly to the ferry when his voice finally broke her from her thoughts. "You know, little human, I am not your enemy. I am simply the messenger."

She raised a brow as she met his gaze in the mirror. "Or the harbinger of doom."

His answering laugh was light, and it drew a grudging smile from her.

"You make me sound as though I arrived at your door heavily cloaked and clutching a scythe," he joked.

She scoffed a laugh. "If the shoe fits…"

His glasses were dark, but she was pretty sure he'd just rolled his eyes. "Should I have wanted you dead, little human, you'd have never seen it coming, even with the help of your pack of trained poodles."

Her good humor vanished in an instant.

"They were my friends," she muttered with a frown.

"My apologies, little human, I know they saved you from the red-head, so I'll refrain from mentioning them."

"Thanks. And while we're on the subject of belittling, calling me 'little human' isn't winning you any points with me. My name's Bella. I'd really like if you'd use it."

Their conversation was interrupted as he rolled down the window to hand the ferry attendant his return ticket. He then drove onto the ferry and parked. "Very well, Bella."

A frown creased her brow as something occurred to her. "This is gonna be a long flight, isn't it?"

"Several hours, yes, but it's on the Volturi jet which is not nearly as bad as a commercial flight."

Her brows climbed. "So, I rate a private jet?"

His grin was sly. "No, but I do."

"Well, la-de-da," she said with a curled lip and he laughed.

About that time, her stomach growled and before she could even be embarrassed about it, he reached over the seat with cash in hand. "Go get something to eat."

She eyed the bills in his hand. "I have my own money, thanks."

He stuffed the bills back in his pocket. "All the same, go get something. There won't be any food on the jet, thank the gods, and it will be hours before you'll have the opportunity again."

She looked dubious. "You trust me?"

His smirk was cocky. "You think you could outrun me?"

"You have a point," she said as she got out of the car and made her way to the snack bar. After buying a turkey sub and a latte, she leaned against the rail, letting the brisk air wash over her as she ate. Knowing vampires as she did, she knew Demetri wouldn't appreciate the smell of her meal.

When she'd finished, she tossed the trash in a bin, used the nearest ladies room, washed up and went back to the car. "What did you eat?" he asked with a curled lip as she pulled the door closed. "Even the residue smells foul."

She rolled her eyes and dug a roll of mints from her pocket to pop one into her mouth. "At least I was thoughtful enough to eat it out there. And it was a turkey sub, by the way. Not bad for snack bar food, either."

"I'll take your word for it," he grumbled.

"Don't worry, your meals of choice are just as repulsive to me."

"They won't be for long."

She sighed. "Yeah, about that… No chance they'll let me choose which diet to follow?"

"If you are gifted as Master Aro believes you are, probably not. You see, everything about us is muted when we partake of nothing but animal blood."

"Yeah," she muttered, "Edward had mentioned that. He said it made them calmer—more human."

Demetri didn't try to hide his scoff as the ferry docked and he started the engine. "Weak, Bella, it makes them weak. Certainly stronger than a human, but nothing in comparison to a vampire who's well fed on a proper diet. That applies to any gifts we may possess as well, which is why I doubt you will be given a choice."

"Joy," she mumbled, "I get to be a murderer for eternity."

She didn't expect an answer from him, but he gave one anyway. "You eat meat, so like it or not, you are already a predator, Bella. You'll just be moving to the very top of the food chain."

He smoothly merged into traffic and exited onto a surface street, toward the private airstrip where the jet waited.

"There's a distinct difference," she argued. "I didn't kill that turkey, I just ate part of it."

He raised a brow. "Perhaps you didn't kill it, but someone certainly did. Just because you didn't bloody your hands in the process doesn't exonerate you in the least. It was killed—its blood spilled, so you could sustain your own life."

"It was a stupid turkey for god's sake! Not a person with a job, loved ones, a family," she spluttered.

He shrugged. "You are certainly entitled to your opinions, but consider this: In the wider world, there are groups—whole societies in fact—who believe taking a life—any life, no matter how insignificant—is sinful. By their reasoning, Bella, you are already a killer. Now what?"

The silence stretched and her stomach churned as she searched for words before finally mumbling, "I don't know. I guess it's all in what you believe, isn't it?"

Shortly after that conversation, he pulled over on a rather deserted side street, and they transferred into a waiting black SUV being driven by the biggest vampire Bella had ever seen. This guy even beat out Emmett in the size and muscle department. "Bella, this is Felix," Demetri said as he slid into the front passenger seat. "Felix, meet Bella, our mark for this mission."

The big guy glanced in the rearview mirror with a grumbled "Ciao" as he pulled into traffic.

With a raised brow, Bella buckled in while muttering, "So nice to meet you too, Felix. And yes, I'm quite comfortable, thank you."

His resulting chuckle was wry.

After traveling a city block, Demetri asked, "Did you make sure there were no cameras?"

Felix glanced at him like he was stupid. "Cazzo. One time, and you'll never let me forget it."

"The clean up from that was extensive, if you will recall. I would rather not have a repeat, especially since it was my ass that got reamed, not yours."

The big guy snickered and Demetri muttered, "Stronzo."

They fell silent after that, and it seemed to Bella they were taking a rather long and complicated tour through the city streets before finally arriving at an airstrip with many large, private hangars, one of which they pulled into and parked.

Out on the tarmac was a sleek looking business jet, its engines already running as Felix got her bags from the back of the SUV while Demetri escorted her onto the plane. "Make yourself comfortable. There are books in the overhead compartment, and the bathroom facilities are located toward the back of the plane. We will be taking off just as soon as Felix gets his ass in the pilot's seat, and we get clearance."

"Super," Bella deadpanned as she settled into one of the cushy seats while glancing around. She'd never been on a private jet before, and this one screamed money—serious money, but she really shouldn't have been surprised. They'd had many centuries to amass a fortune, probably much of it in gold, before the advent of paper currency.

After speaking with Felix and whoever else was in the cockpit for a moment, Demetri settled in across from her, reclined the seat and closed his eyes.

After a few moments of nothing but the sounds of hissing interior air and whirring engines, Bella decided to speak. "If I didn't know better, I'd say you're getting all settled in to sleep."

He cracked an eye. "Merda, you're going to be a talker, aren't you?"

She grinned maliciously. "Hell yes, I am. And why shouldn't I? You abducted me, remember."

He raised a brow. "You had a choice. You came willingly."

"Oh, yeah, sure I did. Sorta like Eddie Izzard's 'Cake or Death' thing, except mine was death or lemme see - oh yeah - death. Some choice."

He shrugged. "Still, it was a choice."

"Right, so now you get to listen to me talk…for several hours, from what you tell me, so you may as well resign yourself to it."

He smirked and drawled, "I could just snap your neck, or better yet, drain you."

Her heart rate picked up at that, but she kept her smirk in place, determined to call his bluff. "You won't, because you'd be in for an ass-kicking when you get back to your handlers."

He closed his eyes, his expression blank as the plane began to taxi. "You are fortunate I am feeling somewhat patient and forgiving at the moment, little human."

"Oooh, we're back to 'little human'. I must've hit a nerve."

He waved a hand without opening his eyes. "Fine, chatter away, just know, my patience is not infinite," he said as the plane reached speed and lifted off at a rather steep incline.

"Shit," she muttered, clutching the arm rests with white-knuckled fingers.

His red eyes opened to lazy slits as a smug smirk curled his lips. "Only now you are afraid?"

She sneered at him without loosening her grip in the seat.

His chuckle was low and dark as his hooded red eyes took on a glint that made the fine hairs on the back of her neck stand up. Perhaps he took the 'handlers' comment worse than she thought…

His tone was low, his words deliberate, "You should fear, little human — but not the flying."

She swallowed past her choking unease, her chin tilted defiantly. "Oh really? Just what should I fear, then, big man?"

She heard a hiss and the very next second, he loomed over her, his hands braced on the arms of her seat, his face so close she felt his cool breath on her parted lips as he spoke, his words just above a whisper, "Me, little human … you should fear me."

Their noses were nearly touching, her heart pounding and voice thready as she whispered an absolute lie, "You don't scare me, Demetri."

She drew in a sharp, quiet breath when she felt his hand rest directly over her thundering heart.

His words were a low, slow, hissing whisper, "You lie…"

Her heart stuttered as she stared into his eyes.


He kissed her.


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