Chapter 4:

For the dead travel fast

Unbeknownst to Anna and Beth, Darius was heading their way. His gift made keeping a close watch on them effortless; humans were such futile creatures against it, as willing as trained pets. What were humans good for at the end of it all?

As for those Volturi sciocchi, it had been a risk to be sure. Darius had almost laughed at how they disposed of Jean and Sabine so nicely. All for a little girl. Easy.

Oh, but Darius wanted Anna to see him that night – even Beth, to see the look on her face as he tore her limb from limb but no. No, Anna would have expected that, and would have fought for her, fiercely. Then Darius might as well ask for death.

Darius thought they would go back to Dartmoor afterwards to regroup, to mourn the loss of their family. Why Dartmoor? Darius had no idea. That red-haired cunt was infuriating.

But they hadn't gone to Dartmoor. No, instead, they'd gone to the nearest airport on the first plane to Italy. It had been too coincidental for Darius to overlook.

They'd overheard everything; Aro had unwittingly rumbled him. So, Darius raced in a stolen model across a dusty stretch of road. Something spicy and unpredictable like cinnamon flowed through the window, though the memory of animal blood overpowered it completely. Darius almost vomited. It was Beth's scent, and she had been here recently.

Darius could still taste Anna's exotic sweetness. It aroused him, as pure and simple as acknowledging the force of gravity.

Over a century ago, Darius had placed Anna gently on his unused bed, as Antoine's venom consumed her from the inside out. Like everyone under its influence, Anna had thrashed around, but she'd never screamed, only whimpered. Oh, the sparks of lust ignited Darius's long-dead soul that night. If Edward Cullen had been there, he would have been disgusted. Fortunately, Darius had promised Antoine he would not do anything, as Anna's blue eyes darkened, and her pink cheeks blanched, but the result had been worth that little compromise.

And yet, she did not notice me.

Despite taking to hunting with (somewhat reluctant) zeal, Anna had still yearned for the boy. Darius couldn't remember the human's name, nor did he care. Like most humans from her time, the boy was nothing but worm food.

Anna had made sure of that. What had she expected? Darius laughed out loud.

Anna had asked – no, begged – to see the human, the day after her completed transformation. Antoine had refused, of course, adamantly stating Anna could not carry on her budding romance, now she was a vampire.

Oh, how Anna had sobbed! Her beauty stunned Darius, even then. She had looked like an angel mourning her fall from the heavens.

Then she ran away. Her little community believed Anna had perished in the housefire, courtesy of Antoine. When the fire had eventually been put out, the body Antoine had left behind was too disfigured to identify. With the case effectively closed, Anna's family gave her a beautiful funeral.

Darius had watched her lover openly weep in his church pew. When Antoine found his body, later that night, the tears of joy were still wet on the boy's face.

What had Beth said once, so melodramatically? Anna killed a part of herself that night. Darius scoffed aloud.

It explained why Anna was always so frigid towards him, even scolding him like a petulant child over his hunting choices. One time she called him abhorrent – but Darius saw nothing offensive about giving some pleasure before the inevitable.

As it was, Anna's anger did not dilute Darius's lust at all. If anything, it made it stronger.

Once Beth was out of the way, Anna would come to him. Oh, yes. She couldn't stand the idea of being on her own. Darius didn't care why, just that she would give in, like a woman should when in the presence of a dominant man.

So, with a fresh (albeit uncomfortable) dose of desire building inside him, Darius drove into the city of Volterra.

To be continued...