A/N: All rights go to Stephanie Meyers. I do not own anything except for any characters not originally in the Twilight Saga.

Chapter Twenty-Four: Marcus

We remain close to Aro as he waits for all of his witnesses to arrive before we make our way to see the Cullens. Leandra has not left my side since we left Layla behind and my frozen heart aches to have my little girl in my arms. I know she is safe with Myra, but it is still upsetting to have had to leave her and possibly never see her again. Aro has ordered that Leandra play a role as a guard today since Myra remained behind and I am defenseless. Sulpicia has been giving Lea and I nasty glares in jealousy and it is starting to bother me more than I can explain. I look at my darling mate to see she is staring at the snow thinking of being home and I can see she is trying not to run to our daughter. I take her hand in mine to pull her close to me to remind her that I am there with her. Aro walks over to me with a smile on his face, as if knowing he will this day and get what he has wanted all along.

"It is time, my brother," Aro says happily. His smile disappears when he notices how close I am holding Lea. "Your child will be safe and the two of you will return to her happily."

"I believe you, brother," I say calmly. Lea looks up at me with sad eyes and the wind catches some of her hair, causing it to fall onto her face. I smile as I move her hair out of her face and then lean down to kiss her lips softly. Aro orders for everyone to begin our march to the meting place and I keep Lea close to me so she does not finally decide to run off.

"Promise me you will be be safe if we get split up," Lea whispers.

"I promise," I say. We arrive to see the Cullens are all lined up and ready for anything with witnesses of their own. Lea takes a small step from me when Aro stiffens after seeing his prize not there. My eyes fall onto the newborn vampire at Edward's side along with the little girl with them. She looks to be Layla's age, but she does not seem to show any signs of being one of us at all for being as young as Aro is claiming she is. My mind is elsewhere when the whole procession begins, but Lea is ready to protect me in a moments notice. I stare at the child and try to see the similarities of her and my darling girl. I have never felt like this in centuries for anyone whether it was with Didyme or even for Sulpicia. Maybe I need to leave this all behind to enjoy a quiet life with my mate and our child. I pulled out of my thoughts when the little girl begins to walk towards us with a few guards to protect her. Lea takes my hand, knowing my heart is aching for our little girl in this very moment.

"Hello, Aro," the little girl says when she steps in front of my brother. Aro holds out his hand, but the girl lifts her hand to his face as to caress it. Aro's smile disappears within seconds as if he is hearing or seeing something for the first time. It is then I realise that this child it not an immortal child but a special child that was born under unique circumstances.

"Magnifico," Aro mutters. I suddenly hear the child's heartbeat and it makes me smile a little.

"She is not an immortal child," Lea says in awe. "What does she eat?"

"She eats like a normal human," Edward says. The little girl returns to her parents while Aro remains in shock for a little longer. The Cullens walk away without another word and I see Aro is now wanting to have the girl as part of his little zoo that he calls guards, just like he wanted with my Lea. I pull Lea close again as Aro begins to make accusations about the Cullens siding with our enemies and then saying we do not know what the child can do and could be a danger to us all. Alice and her mate appear with two other people and that is where I lose myself to my thoughts and memories of Layla. I drift to us playing in the garden just the day before and her beautiful smile.

We return empty handed with no new guard attached and Aro is upset about not getting Alice or even the new girl he has found fascinating. I leave him to himself in his office to search for my little girl, only to find she is looking for me with Lea. The two are chatting about something with big smiles on their faces when I round the corner and my heart stops at the sight of the two girls I love the most. My whole world is complete with Lea as my mate and Layla as our beautiful daughter. Layla runs to me with a big smile on her gorgeous face and I scoop her up in my arms. I promise to protect them with my life, to keep them out of harm, and to love them until my last breathe. I have found my new purpose and it has brought life to me. Nothing will happen to my little family, nothing.