The blondes are wary but it's their only shot of saving Bella. Rosalie more than Irina would much prefer not involving the righteous Cullen in their plan but even she understood it is essential; that he is essential to the success of their plan.
Irina senses the second-thoughts storming her partner's blazed eyes and pulls her away for a second.
"We came to an agreement, did we not?"
Rosalie's hardened eyes flicker between Irina and the back of Edward's head. If he could hear their conversation, he pretends not to, out of courtesy. Every second without their mate here has put both Rosalie and Irina on a frenzy. There had been a lot of anger, unforgivable words and remorse since the night Bella was abducted right out of their home. The duo taking the worst hit due to their bonds with Bella. If it wete not for the mother hens, Esme and Carmen, they would have lost their mind in deep agony and guilt. The mothers barely managed to coax them to divert all their fury and energy from pointing fingers into saving their mate. That and breaking off some limbs to snap them out and get them to start working together with the rest of the covens.
Rosalie nods with a huff, "I still don't trust him to be around Bella."
Irina snaps her fingers to get those glimmering eyes back onto hers, "Hey, hey. Focus! We said it, we'll do whatever it takes, correct? Whatever it takes."
It takes Rosalie back to the day they made amends. They have agreed that if all else fails, if it needs be, they'd willingly sacrifice their lives to save their mate. There is no question about that.
"I don't trust him too but he's all we have to get to Bella. Now, let's go find our mate. The sooner, the better."
Rosalie doesn't need Jasper's help to keep herself calm and laser-focused. Oh, she knows exactly how to release all the pent up wrath when the opportunity presents itself. So does Irina if anyone couldn't tell by the very subtle yet obvious rage in her body language.
The night it happened, no vampire could have anticipated it coming. They knew there was another dangerous presence looming around the small town of Forks but both their leaders, Carlisle and Tanya, even with centuries if experience on them, could not have seen it coming. While half of them were away hunting, the intruders had initiated their plan. They had set foot in the Quileute's land, purposely attacking one of their youngest pups, Seth, which caused an uproar among the tribe. Hearing the howl of the wolves made them turn back to the town only to find six angry looking werewolves, thirsty for vengeance. Although a few weeks prior Carlisle had met with the chief and convinced the Council to also extend their deal to the Denalis, none of them were happy about it. Their presence alone had triggered few of their young ones to phase.
Alice being the seer had seen it at the last minute and sent out Emmett, Kate and Jasper to assist with the situation. By the time they got there, a fight had already broken out and it was getting out of hand. The senior vampires could easily avoid the younger wolves' attacks but it was hard to try and not to hurt them. Carlisle and Tanya had insisted they try to get the situation under control so they could attempt to explain the misunderstanding. Without a mind-reader among them, it was hard to try and understand the reason for the wolves' actions. And so Alice and Irina left Rosalie and the human at the house alone to try and deal with the chaos at the border. What Alice couldn't see in her vision was that Sam Uley had ordered three of his pack mates to get Bella Swan out of the Cullen's house and back to the reservoir for her safety, the Chief was clear about that order.
Rosalie had locked a still sleeping Bella inside her room and went down to greet the three mutt intruders at their doorstep.
"Take another step and I'll kill you," she warned them. Rosalie may not have any gift to assist her in battles but she doesn't need one to protect her mate. Unlike Irina, she will not hesitate to kill the mutts.
They growl menacingly at her before one of them shifted to their human state.
"Bella will be safer with us at the reservoir."
Rosalie naturally scoffed. "Says the party who violated the treaty."
"The treaty is broken when you leech sunk your teeth onto one of our own! Our ancestors should have never trusted you!"
This baffled Rosalie. There was no way any of her coven or the Denalis could break their diet. Last time she saw them, all of them shared the same golden eyes. Even if any of them were thirsty for human blood, none of them would be stupid enough to attack the mutts. It didn't make any sense.
And then she heard it, swift footsteps in the house.
"Fuck! Someone else is here!" Rosalie turned and tried to run inside but she was bulldozed by two stinking mutts and crashed into the wall.
"You idiot! There's an unknown vampire upstairs!"
And then the wolves smelled it too, the scent foreign to their senses, but they were too blinded with revenge to give Rosalie the benefit of the doubt. Two of them pounced again on the already trapped Rosalie and dragged her away into the woods to separate her from Bella, leaving their young wolf to rescue Bella.
He didn't even see the face of his attackers. All he knew was that they stink like how vampires are to them.
Rosalie desperately tried to shake herself free from the two strong mutts but she was easily outnumbered. It took her some time and effort to punch her way out of their sharp teeth. Irina arrived at the perfect time to launch herself against the bigger wolf and help set Rosalie free.
"Bella!" Irina yelled at Rosalie, giving her the signal to return to the house as she threw a tree trunk to take out the other wolf hot on Rosalie's tail. With no more interference, Rosalie took off as fast as she can to return to the house. If she had a beating heart, it would have stopped when she found the young wolf from earlier lying on the floor unconscious.
By the time Irina and the rest of the covens managed to resolve the conflict with the wolves and return to the Cullen residence, Bella was already missing.
"Bella, the Volturi manipulated your bonds and memories. I am not here to harm you," the bronze haired guy spoke quietly, a hint of stress evident in his voice.
Any vampire would be in the presence of a Volturi elite guard. His face flickers something in her memory; something unwanted trying to crawl its way back up. A jolt of pain hits Bella in the chest and she feels a sense of anger and betrayal seeping through. Her hold on Heidi's back tightens and she takes a step closer to the only vampire she could trust at the moment.
Heidi's nerves kick in. Edward Cullen isn't supposed to be here, best of all not today! It hinders their plan and puts everything they worked for at risk. Not only has he discovered their plans but also she could see the darkness in his eyes; the same type of hunger a feral vampire possesses.
He hasn't fed in days for sure. And the fact that Bella remains as his singer makes him a greater risk to the situation. She tries her best to conjure up a wall in her mind to block his gift.
"When was the last time you fed, Edward?" Heidi seized him up, trying to break his manipulation over the human. Eventhough Isabella is not her real mate, Heidi harbours a great hatred for the obnoxiously righteous vegetarian. He often looked down upon them especially the female guards. She was genuinely disgusted by how he had treated the human previously.
Edward swallows the venom that pools in his mouth and straightens himself up, attempting his very best to appear not hostile. Bella's heartbeats picks up its speed as she understands what Heidi is trying to say.
"Bella..." he tried to step forward but Heidi's hiss stopped him in his tracks.
He may have the gift to read her mind but Heidi's skills in battles are unprecedented against his. She has outlived many wars. Edwards understands this. His speed may not even gain him a footing if they were to engage in a fight, especially in his condition. After learning what happened to Bella, he had vowed to both Rosalie and Irina that he would not stop until Bella is safe once again. But he had been running and never stopping. He's overused his energy and the more clues he picked up on, the more he didn't have time to feed.
"Don't you remember me?"
Bella stares at him warily. There have been few memories that returned but they're all still hazy to her. She does remember him but her instincts are screaming danger danger danger.
"What about your mates; Rosalie and Irina?" He pressed her again. Heidi throws a tree trunk to stop him.
Bella feels as if time is frozen, beginning at the end of her spine, growing up to her chest. Both her head and heart start to hurt again. With Edward still at least ten metres away, Heidi chances to turn to the human and tries her best to convince the human differently.
"Isabella, he is a liar. He wishes to separate us," she coaxes with her one hand on her cheek. "You trust me, right?"
There's a battle going on in the inside of Bella's mind as she struggles to answer Heidi. But a flicker of bronze alerts her and she sees him coming for them a bit too late. Everything inside her screams in horror as she closes her eyes and braces herself.
A loud boom is heard as Edward is suddenly flung against a boulder, cracks appearing on the side of his face and neck.
"Edward!" a foreign voice yelled.
When Bella reopens her eyes, Heidi gapes at the human, unbelieving what just occurred right in front of her.
"Bella, you protected us!"
She blinks and looks at her surrounding in confusion. Had she done it again? It's almost invisible to the naked human eyes but Bella hears it. A soft buzzing, like the kind of electrical force on a fence. She squints her eyes further and sees it, a bubble of protection shielding just her and Heidi inside it.
Ever since the incident in the kitchen with Jane, they had been trying to train Bella to conjure her shield again but she couldn't. Bella couldn't the life of her figured out the technicalities. All she knew was...
"He was going to kill you," as if that made all the sense in the world but Heidi knows better than to look into the horse's mouth. Edward bellows in pain and Bella is horrified by the pain she inflicted. All she wanted to do was protect, not cause injuries. Guilt seeps into her soul and the shield seems to flicker, almost collapsing.
But they don't have time for it as Heidi picks up on two more footsteps approaching. They're steadfast and determined. Heidi hasn't got much time.
"Listen Isabella. Whatever you do, keep doing it. I need you to protect us. Okay? Can you do that?" She begged.
"But I'm not even sure how I did it," She sputtered in a mess.
Desperation fills the vampire and she holds Bella's hands a little too tight, causing the human to whimper in pain.
"Let her go, Heidi!"
Bella's head whips up to see two blonde vampires looking absolutely stunning and murderous. The moment their eyes fall on her, relief and exhaustion colour their faces.
Heidi eases her grip on the human and turns around with a smirk, "Do pray tell why should I let go of my mate?"
"You bitch! She's our mate!" Rosalie glowered.
The three vampires engage in a glare contest, leaving Bella all the more confused. The pain in her head reappears and she releases Heidi's hand to try and soothe the headache.
"Becareful Rose and Irina! Bella's shield just manifested itself physically," Edward warned from afar.
Bella refocuses to the two blondes despite the pounding in her head. Rosalie and Irina... Their faces seem achingly familiar. So these are the names to the faces that kept haunting her in her sleep and daydreams.
The shield somehow remains intact and this boosts Heidi's confidence. She still has the leverage.
And she takes advantage of it to try and damage the bonds further. Heidi cups Bella's face and leans in to kiss her on the lips. Bella's eyes remain trained on the two blondes even as if her lips are conquered by Heidi's.
Something exploded, she thinks.
It weirdly feels wrong to return Heidi's hungry lips as Bella sees images of her kissing Rosalie and Irina's lips. The way their cold lips would somehow feel warm and soft against hers; how gentle and passionate they were with her.
"Remember who you belong to."
"It's because you're my mate that I hate this."
"Rose and I discussed this. We both agreed that it doesn't make sense if you're not with both of way, we both get to have you."
"One thing Edward did get right is I don't deserve you. Especially not after the unforgivable crimes we've committed against you and your loved ones. Isabella, I am forever yours, whether you accept it or not. Which means from the day we met until whenever, I will keep you safe, wherever your road will take you."
Her eyes cloud with tears as the memories come pouring in like an unstoppable stream of river. Bella's heart feels like it's breaking with all the sudden revelation of her true feelings. The pain doubles and she cries in pain. Bella steps out of Heidi's arms and hugs her body in self-protection mode.
Everything hurts. Her head is pounding. Her fingers feel cold.
White light suddenly blinds them all and a force separates her from the brunette vampire. Opening one eye, Bella finds herself on her knees, and alone, still under the protection of her physical shield.
She clutches her head and her chest constricts in pain. It feels like she's out of breath and her lungs feel like they're shrinking. Tears keep pouring and the two blondes are immediately kneeling just outside her shield, trying desperately to reach her. More flashes of whites, memories and pain consume her.
"Isabella, please, let us in!" Irina begged.
Her forehead feels hot and she coughs out some blood. Her strength is waning and slowly the shield crumbles down. The blondes notice this and turns around to shield their mate against the threat.
A pair of black eyes and a pair of red stare right down at them. Sometimes during the commotion, Edward recovered and jumped down to the ground. Only, he and Heidi seem to be on the same side now; both are fuelled and driven by their blood-thirst.
"Stand back Eddie! I will not hesitate to kill you to protect her!" Rosalie growled.
Irina stands in between a weakened Bella and Heidi, "You are never touching her again."
The blondes' admission stirs something warm in Bella's chest. She wonders if it's true then, if Heidi's not her real mate. Before she could ask them, all four vampires are engaged in intense battles. Every now and then either Edward and Heidi almost manage to get ahold of the human but is stopped by both blondes.
"It's not safe here, love! Leave!" Irina said while ducking Heidi's fist and striking a blow to the Volturi's stomach.
Rosalie's shoulder collides against Edward's torso as she tries to keep his thirsty and uncontrolled brother away from her mate. "Bella, run!"
Everything feels so confusing but her instincts glow up again from the inside and Bella lets out a scream and summons every ounce of her energy. Heidi's fist and Edward's bite hit Bella's shield instead of the blondes.
The blondes stare in bewilderment to see their mate's shield once again. Realising their mate now cannot be harmed, Rosalie and Irina rush to their limping mate's side. They waste no time in holding their precious mate in their arms and sink into her warmth.
"I can't hold on much further," Bella cried.
Both blondes look at each other in understanding. It had always been their duty to protect their mate, whatever the costs. They share the same look. Whatever it takes.
"Bella, honey. We know it's confusing but somewhere deep in your heart, you trust us. We're going to need you to listen."
"We need to get you to safety so we need you to hold on as long as you can. Rosalie will carry you on her back and run. I'll be right behind you to protect you both, till the others get here."
A sense of dread fills her. Why would these unknown people risk everything for her? She feels greatly overwhelmed by their willingness to sacrifice themselves for her.
"Worry not my dear Isabella, I am an experienced fighter," Irina comforted her, which added more to Bella's confusion. How on Earth did the blonde know the anxiety building up inside her? Heidi was never that attentive with her.
"Irina's strong and I'm fast. We'll be alright, sweetie," Rosalie assured.
It isn't just the fact Bella needs answers from the two strange blondes, but something in her guts is telling her that losing either of them would devastate her.
"Promise me you won't die. Both of you."
To her surprise, they both break out in a sweet grin. "How could we?"
"No way in hell any of us dying when we just found you."
Irina quickly helps Bella onto Rosalie's back and presses a gentle kiss to her shoulder.
A/N: so... what do you guys think?