Chapter Three


When we got back to the Volturi's castle, Kelli, the secretary was waiting for us. Artemis, Aro would like to speak with you alone. He's waiting in your room. He said to go there as soon as you got back," she told me, looking down at the ground.

"Of course, Kelli, thank you for giving me the message. Jane, Edward, it's time for me to take my leave," I said walking away from them. I was suddenly glad that Aro wanted to see me. That means that I wouldn't have to be spending more time with Edward. Already I was weakening. I had to be strong. I was in the right, Edward, the wrong, and he would pay. I don't know how or when, but he will. I comforted and distracted myself with these thoughts.

I got to my room on the seventh floor and opened the door. Aro was standing by my closet just staring at the wall. He turned to look at me and said, "Artemis, tomorrow there will be many tourists here waiting to come and visit the castle. They don't know that they are on the menu. Last time, Heidi went out to fish. This time it's your turn. If you'd like to take someone with you, that's fine. As long as you get enough tourists for all of us. Oh, and I suppose if the "vegetarians" stay here, we'll need to have animals brought in for them. Unless we can convince them to turn to this life. Kate's power would be a wonderful addition to our family, if she was willing. Eleazar and Carmen had been a part of our family a long time ago. But we allowed them to leave. Did you have a fine time hunting," he said.

"Yes, Jane and I separated. So I was stuck with Edward although all he did was watch me. So it wasn't that bad," I confided in him.

"Why did you want them to come here in the first place Artemis? As to your reasons I am very curious." he asked me.

"I wanted to show Tanya that I was not lying and that the Cullen s aren't as great as some vampire s think they are. They have their faults. Although I must say, they are the biggest coven besides us. And if they joined us, do you know how much bigger we would be. I know that they will not join us. It goes against their very nature. But if they did decide to stay, if you are stupid enough to ask them, I won't be staying much longer. It would be nice to get out and travel around the world," I said just a bit dreamily.

"I'll leave you to your daydreams. I need to speak with my brothers about some very important matters. Good-bye for now my dear," he said grandly as he kissed my check, before gliding out.

I sat there on my bed. My bed was queen size and had, surprise, surprise, black sheets on it. I know I don't need a bed, but it's still nice to have one. Just to rest on and read. I was laying there rereading Wuthering Heights. When all of a sudden I heard someone in the room. I looked up from my book and Edward was standing at the foot my bed. He had closed the door behind him.
"What do you want?" I asked, getting up from the bed and closing my book. I stood in front of him, my hands on my hips. So fast that I didn't even see it coming, he had stepped even closer to me and his arms were around me. I was in his embrace, I leaned back to pull away when he crushed me closer to him. His lips found mine and he kissed me with a passion that astounded me. Before I knew what was happening, my arms moved of their own accord, wrapped themselves around his neck, and my fingers braided themselves in his hair. He pulled me even closer and moaned into the kiss. His tongue traced my bottom lip. Desire raced through my veins like molten fire. This isn't happening, I screamed in my head. Yes, it is, said a voice that I haven't heard from in five decades, Bella. Go away Bella, you are dead. Dead, dead, dead. I pulled myself away from Edward's embrace.

"What are you doing?" I growled at him.

"What does it look like I'm doing? I'm kissing you. I've wanted to kiss you since I saw you," he said exasperated. He came towards me as if to pull me back into his arms.

I leaped back from him as if he had burned me.

"I'm not going to say that I'm sorry I kissed you. Because I'm not. And I'd do it again, but next time I'll wait until you give me a sign that that's hat you want. Your wish, my command," he said bowing with a flourishing sweep of his hands. With that he left the room only to be replaced with Alice and Jasper. The Bella side of me wanted to yell out for Edward to return to me. No, I snarled. Go away Bella. I can not allow myself to fall for Edward again. Never again could he hurt me, yet still I wanted him. Shut up, Bella! I'm warning you. I growled at her.

"Bell...Artemis; I wanted to talk to you. Please could you forgive me for leaving without saying goodbye? Edward wouldn't let me. And I didn't want to fight with him, she asked throwing her arms around me.

Again with the touching, I thought. Aloud I answered,"Alice, I'm not sure if I can forgive you. After you guys left, I was so empty. You guys left me and it was like a part of me died. And in reality apart of me did die. The Bella part of me died. Bella would have already forgiven you, Edward and your whole family. But I'm not Bella. I'm Artemis, and Artemis isn't so weak as that. I am stronger than her, and she will not be allowed to come back. I will NOT let her come back," I snarled more to myself than to them. But of course Jasper took it as a threat, and crouched in front of Alice snarling at me. His arms reaching out towards me as if he was going to attack me. His scar ravaged skin was something that my human eyes would never have seen. Of course, I crouched in response to his snarls and his scars.

Before either of us could do anything several things happened in succession. All of a sudden Alice was standing between me and Jasper reaching out towards Jasper. He grabbed her wrists and whirled her back behind him. He sprung towards me, before I could do anything Edward was between me and Jasper. My room filled with people, the rest of the Cullen's, the Denali's, Jane and Heidi. Jane smiled beatifically at Jasper and he collapsed on the floor writhing in agony and screaming. Before anyone else could react, I jumped in between Jane and Jasper. Jasper stopped writhing in pain and instead Jane was the one on the floor writhing and screaming in agony.

I stared at Jane my eyes horrified. I couldn't believe what I was doing to Jane. My best friend. I was protecting one of the vampires I hated from my best friend, and hurting her. I looked away from Jane horrified and sickened. I reached out a hand to help her up saying, "Jane, I'm so sorry. I didn't mean to. I wasn't thinking. I'm so sorry," I said in a rush.

Surprising she let me help her to her feet. I could feel everyone in the room staring at me in disbelief. I ignored them, and asking my friend to forgive me.

"Jane, please forgive me. I didn't mean to hurt you. I don't know why I even protected Jasper," I said.

She looked at me for a long minute, before laughing.

"Jane, why are you laughing? And why aren't you mad at me?" I asked surprised at her reaction.

"I'm laughing because Heidi was right. Artemis, Heidi told me that she thought Bella was going to come back. I didn't believe her, but now I can see that Bella is trying to come back. And I know that you won't let her come back. You are stronger than that; you are no longer weak, human, Bella, but beautiful, immortal, goddess Artemis. Oh, and of course I forgive you. You're my best friend and I know that Artemis would never hurt me. Bella would hurt me to protect the Cullen s. Artemis would hurt the Cullen s to protect me. So, if we ever have to fight against the Cullen s, I know that you'll be on our side," Jane explained to me with sidelong glances at the Cullen s and Denali s.

"You and Heidi are right. Bella is trying to come back but you are also right when you say, that I'm not going to let her. Bella has been visiting me more and more lately. More, that is, since the Denali s and Cullen s got here. But she's not strong enough. Pitiful, weak, Bella," I sang, tossing my hair.

"How did you do that?" Carlisle asked me, wonder in his voice.

"I have powers too you know. Your family isn't the only one that's gifted. Although, I have more than one gift. You already know that if I want to, I can read minds. You see, that's my power, I can use my power to use other vampire's powers. I am also a shield. I can shield myself and others from mental and physical attacks. I can also pull my shield in and allow vampire's powers to work on me. Like right now, I am blocking Alice's, Edward's, Jasper's, and Jane's gifts. That's why Alice didn't see me coming to Italy to be killed. She didn't see me being changed, and she couldn't see why you guys were being asked to come here," I explained to them with a patronizing air.

"Now, Artemis, it's time for you to go fishing," Heidi told me with a mischievous smile on her face. "I'm not going with you this time. Because I would love to see how many little fish you can bring in on your own. When you get back, we'll compare. See who gets more fish."

I smiled widely her challenge. "You're on!" I told her excitedly.

"Now, everybody that isn't me, Artemis, or Heidi, and better clear out now." Jane said sharply to all the waiting vampires.

They all looked at each other before filing out silently. Soon, only I, Jane, Heidi, and Edward were left. "I said everybody that isn't..." Jane started to say, glaring at Edward.

"I know, I heard you. But I wanted to speak with Bell...Artemis alone for a second, if she wouldn't mind," Edward said, looking at me.

Jane opened her mouth, what she was going to say I don't know, but I forestalled her saying, "Why not?" more to myself than to anybody else. Bella was in my head singing at my reply. She knew better than to come out, but that didn't mean that she wasn't going to talk to me or make comments in my head.

Jane and Heidi looked at me in surprise, but said nothing and just left the room silently.

"What did you want to talk to me about Edward?" I asked him quietly.

"Why did you do that to Jane? Why did you protect Jasper when you say you hate us so much?" Edward asked confusion and curiosity the most dominant emotions on his flawless face.
I did it without thinking. I just panicked when I saw Jane hurting Jasper. At the time, I didn't understand why I did it, but now I know. Bella isn't as as dead as I thought she was. She is trying to come back, but I'm not going to let her. She must never come back. I can not allow Bella to rule over me once again. Letting Bella rule over me would be terrible. She has no understanding of the word punishment. Bella is not as strong as I; she lets her heart rule her mind and everything else. I don't do that. I rule with my head and not my heart." I answered him strongly wanting to shake him and make him see that he should stop hoping Bella would come back.

"Why don't you just let Bella come back? We would love for Bella to come back. I love you Artemis. I love you because I know that deep down inside you are Bella. You may have changed your name, but you can not change who you are. Your name doesn't make up who you are, you do. Do you understand Artemis? I am not going to give up. Wherever you go, I will follow. Now that I know you are alive, I will never let you leave me again. Besides, I know that living with the Volturi, they are probably not going to let you go. Especially not with your amazing powers. Aro collects things. And his living pieces are the most valuable and coveted of all his pieces," he said with fervent emotion in his voice.

"Bella. Is. Not. Coming. Back!" I snarled at him. "Now, will you please, kindly leave? I need to get ready for my fishing trip," I replied, holding the door open in a clear gesture that said, GET OUT!

"Fine, but I'd like to go with you on your fishing trip if you don't mind," he said with a smile.

"You can come, but you must not interfere. Aro would be displeased with me, if I didn't have a good haul," I said, just a little shocked that he was wanting to come along with me.

"Good," he exited the room, looking surprised, and brushed along my cheekbone with his had as he did.

Jane and Heidi came into the room then. Jane holding an outfit that I had never seen before. It was a tight, black, leather mini dress, it had a deep V neck and it didn't look like it even reached my knees. There was also a short, black, leather jacket, and open toed, black, stiletto, sandals. To complete the outfit was a pair of blue contacts.

"Here's your fishing outfit. It's not going to be sunny at all today. So you don't need to completely cover your skin. And you do look wonderful in black. So that works out really well for us. We'll leave you to get dressed.

As they exited, closing the door behind them, I started to replace the black robe I was wearing with my fishing outfit. Of course it would be more black. Black seemed to be the color they were dying to keep me in. I wonder what is so special about the color black. It's because you look so good in black. I wonder why you're letting Edward go with you on your fishing trip. Does that mean that you are thinking of loving him again? Bella asked me. No, I am not. I just didn't feel like fighting with him. I know that he just going to keep bugging me about it. I needed to get dressed and so the best thing to do was to let him come along. Beside, he may help fish a little. I'm pretty sure Heidi is a better fisher than I am and it wouldn't hurt to have a little help. You must know that Felix does like to have a few pretty s among his feast.

I looked at myself in my floor length mirror and smiled winningly at myself. I couldn't but help the grin that spread across my face as I imagined what Edward would say, or think, when he saw me in this. Butt out Bella. This is none of your business. What makes you think that that's me? Maybe it's you who s thinking that? I don't think so Bella, that's something YOU would think about, not me. The Bella in my head pouted at me. Fine, you win this one. But I will win in the end. Just keep thinking that Bella, just keep thinking that. I said shaking my head at that annoyingly persistent.

I exited the room after depositing the contacts. I had about an hour before the venom in my eyes completely dissolved the blue contacts. So I was in a hurry to leave.

I was ready to go fishing. Heidi and I were competing to see who was able to bring in a bigger catch. Heidi was more beautiful than me, but it would be fun to see how I fared, especially since I had Edward with me. He was sure to catch a few extra people, even if it was unconsciously.

I made my way to the reception area where Kelli was probably sitting at her desk bored to tears. When I got there, Edward was sitting on one of the plush, red, cushioned benches, waiting for me. Kelli was trying, in vain, to catch his eye; he seemed to be oblivious completely lost in his thoughts. Or somebody else's thoughts, I thought to myself sarcastically. When he saw me his breathing picked up speed, I saw, to Bella's satisfaction, that his eyes popped out of his head as he took in my fishing outfit. Bella was cheering silently in my head; Edward still loves me, look at his face! She practically was screaming in my ear. Shut UP! I roared at her. She just continued to ignore me, doing her happy dance in my head. I shook my head and concentrated on the task ahead. I decided that I didn't want to know what he was thinking, so I didn't open up my mind to his thoughts.

"Are you ready?" I asked him.

"Yeah, where are we going?" he responded, every time he looked over at me, he smiled his crooked smile that usually melted me. I didn't melt, but I could feel Bella in my head, her voice was now incoherent. Thankful that his smile was able to do that, I hoped that he would continue to, if it continued to work to keep Bella incoherent.

"Outside into the square. That's where most of the tourists are. We, or whoever is out doing the fishing, attracts as many people as possible. To get them to follow us, we just tell them that we are taking them on a tour of Castle Volterra. That gets them following us, no matter what their preconceived notions of us are," I told him with a smile of my own.

Once we got outside, we stepped out of the cool gray shadows, into the warm, gray light of the square. Thank goodness it wasn't sunny today. Otherwise I would have had to completely cover my skin. I saw the first fish, two men, black haired and a blond, were standing on the sidewalk staring at me and Edward. I smile and winked flirtatiously, I could hear their heartbeats stutter erratically. I sauntered over to them, making sure my hips swayed seductively. They swallowed several times in succession. The black haired man, was muscular and kind of cute, he smiled at me. I smiled back and walked over to them, I was barely aware of Edward's eyes staring at us. The guys must have noticed him, because suddenly they were eyeing him speculatively. When they looked back at me, their eyes narrowed in suspicion.

"Oh, I am not together with that guy. He's my brother's best friend, you know. My brother doesn't trust me, but there's no reason you shouldn't," I smiled and again their heartbeats stuttered erratically. Their breathing was also picking up speed. The black haired man then smiled at me and said, Hey, no problem. We understand, do you need someone to show you around?"

"Aren't you two tourists? I've never seen you two around here before." I asked with confusion on my face.

They looked at each other and smile sheepishly, "Well, we are tourists. We just thought you might keep us company" replied the men.

"Actually, I am collecting people to go see the inside of Volterra Castle. We only choose certain people to go. It's very exclusive," I informed them, smiling seductively.

They swallowed and nodded their heads. They followed me, practically drooling. I looked back at Edward every once in awhile, I saw that his eyes were hard and his hands clenched into fists at his side. That picture made me smile, and Bella scold me.

It was relatively easy to attract people, Edward even attracted a few pretty girls, Felix would be happy. I caught both men and woman. I caught the men by flirting and the women by promising to make them beautiful as me. That was a compliment to me. Every time Edward saw me flirting, his hands would clench into fists and his jaw would strain. I never looked inside his mind. I knew I didn't want to know what he was thinking.

The men drooled and tripped over their feet to get close to me. Several times, hands would touch my arms, my face, or even my stomach. I was glad that I was wearing a dress and not a shirt. Because if I was, my shirt would probably be riding up. I was sure stomach exposure would catch more attention, but I didn't feel like getting arrested for indecent exposure, although, if it were men arresting me, I could probably flirt my way out of it. The next set of men was staring at me long before I got to them. When I sashayed up to them, their heartbeats stuttered and one man's heart stopped for a second. I smiled to myself, but I think they thought I was smiling at them and both their hearts and breathing picked up speed. I told them about Volterra Castle and brushed my hand along the face of the guy whose heart had stopped. He had curly blond hair down to his shoulder, and gray eyes. His blood smelled sweeter than any other humans I had ever smelled. The venom that had been swimming in my mouth got worse. Now I was practically drowning in it. I realized, from something that Aro had told me, that I had just found my il mio cantante. The person whose blood sang for me, I knew instantly that I had to be the one to drink this man's blood. I had to use all of my self-control not to take him right there in front of everybody.

They accepted the invitation. I knew that we needed to get back to the castle as soon as possible. My mouth was swimming in venom and I knew that my hour was just about up. We headed back to the castle, I made sure to stay far away from my cantante, and I couldn't afford to lose control just yet. A couple of the woman stared at Edward and tried to rope him into their conversation, but he politely refused and continued to watch me. I was dying to get back to the castle. I had been pretty full when I first started out fishing, but finding my singer made me really thirsty. I was concerned with keeping up my self-control, not to attack my singer, but one small part of mind was running through the amount of "fish" that I'd been able to catch. I had caught 50 "fish"! Ha, I had more than Heidi's last "fishing" trip!