Chapter 20: Chill

Shayla’s POV

The newcomer was small, little, and above all, insignificant to us all. I nearly scoffed at her size, if she was a girl that is. It was hard to tell. She was just as tiny as Alice but her size seemed to be of no problem to the other guards, Felix and Demetri, as they relaxed their offensive positions to blend in again with the shadows of the opposite wall. Alice moved in front of me and blocked me from her, protecting me. Why? I could take her if I wanted to, she was smaller then Alice, and if it wasn’t for Alice’s abilities, she had yet to beat me in a fight.

Despite her small size, the newcomer was very pretty. She was slim and androgynous under the cloak, and could have easily been recognised for a young boy except for one thing. She let down the hood of the cloak and allowed us to gaze at her beautiful face. She was wide-eyed with full lips along with short, blonde hair that was pulled back into a ponytail. Eyeliner surrounded her red eyes which gave her a sinister look and that was what made me suddenly recognised her. Only one vampire had that look in her eyes.

The petite vampire glared at Edward abruptly and he too, dropped his arms and relaxed – but in defeat.

“Jane,” he sighed in resignation. In front of me, Alice folded her arms across her chest, her expression probably impassive. I let loose a small rumbling growl to show my distaste for the situation

Jane, as I slowly recognised her to be, took no time in submitting orders. “Aro sent me to find out what was taking so long,” she said with her childish voice, annoyance floating in. She didn’t want to be the one fetching us. “Follow me,” she then ordered before she turned and drifted forward, going back the way she came.

Felix smirked and gestured for us to go first.

Alice walked after Jane at once, her hand wound around my own, as she tugged me along. I followed her and she kept a tight hold on me. Like she was making sure I wasn’t going to run. It was like… she was protecting me from myself. Even though I was a bit aggravated at the fact she was treating me like a little kid, another part of me was silently thanking her for it.

Inside, as we walked along the slowly narrowing and downward sloping alleyway, I was beginning to feel terrified. I knew what the Volturi would do to us. Kill us, the vampires, and then, perhaps, eat Bella. I nearly shuddered at the thought. I didn’t to die; I wasn’t even near fifty years old yet! And Bella… she was barely eighteen! She needn’t die yet!

We kept on walking until I heard Edward speak behind me. I turned my head ever so slightly to glance at him. “Well, Alice…” he began, in a conversational tone as we walked further into the darkness ahead. “I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised to see you here. As for you Shayla…”

You’re an asshole, Edward, you know that right? I snarled at him in my head, causing him to smile grimly.

“It was my mistake,” Alice answered in the same tone as Edward. “It was my job to set it right.”

“What happened?” he asked, trying to sound disinterested but I knew him. He secretly needed to know but he didn’t want Jane, Felix and Demetri to find out.

“It’s a long story.” Alice’s eyes flickered towards Bella with disapproval, while I did my best to stop myself recalling all of my memories of her, they still bubbled to the surface in a volcano-like fashion. Alice kept going on. “In summary, she did jump off a cliff, but she wasn’t trying to kill herself. Bella’s all about extreme sports these days.”

“Hm,” Edward grumbled curtly as he saw all of the memories in our minds, sounding rather impolite for the delicate ears behind us.

We came around a loose curve in the alley until Alice picked up the pace a little as we strode towards a brick wall, just as the little Jane disappeared. Alice released my hand and dropped her self into a tiny hole in the stones, set into the deepest part of the street. It looked like a drain, and I eyed the grate suspiciously before I saw Bella and Edward coming up behind us, with Bells looking very worried.

I sighed mentally and jumped down the hole. The wind whistled past me for a short time before I saw Alice take two steps back so I could land crouched, one hand helping to brace my fall that would have severely injured a human, or worse, killed them. Beneath the darkness of her cloak (she had pulled the hood up again), I saw Jane roll her eyes. According to her, I assumed, we vegetarians were an embarrassment to the vampire race.

Edward started to talk but I couldn’t quite catch his words. And then suddenly, I heard Bella call our names as she swung her legs into the hole. “Alice? Shayla?”

“We’re here Bella,” Alice called up, as she got underneath Bella, ready to catch. I went to the other side to help.

Edward lowered her into the blackness. “Ready?”

“Drop her,” we called up together.

In a flash, Bella was dropped by ‘Assward’ (my new nickname for him. It could be worse – I could think up a lot of name more horrible for him), biting her lip furiously before she landed on our rock-hard arms. Alice slipped her off and held her upright while Bella rubbed her arms painfully. She was going to have some bruises for sure.

I glanced up the see the sun disappear as Edward leapt down too, followed quickly by two more shapes. And then we set off walking again, with Bella tight against Edward’s chest. Somehow, the grate above us slid shut with a heavy clanging, trapping us in the dark, dank sewers of Volterra.

Alice was scared, like me. Her lips were pressed into a tight line as her forehead creased with worry. Behind us, the only sounds were Bella’s rapid breathing, her equally as rapid heartbeat, and her even footsteps on the cold, uneven, stone ground. Every few minutes, Felix or Demertri (I couldn’t tell which one) would sigh impatiently or mutter curses under their breath.

We suddenly began to speed up as the path began to go at a slow descent between our feet, taken us deeper into the earth. Alice was a lot closer to me then normal and she kept shooting me ‘be calm’ looks. I almost wished Jasper was here. We could calm us all down. Or even Mom. If someone could sooth me to be composed, it was her. She knew exactly what to say and do – exactly like a real mother. Exactly like my mother would have know how to do. The sudden subject of my mother brought a long lost memory to me.

A woman of thirty reached out to me as I played happily in the dirt as a small child, a typical tomboy. She murmured unheard words before she brushed me off and picked me up. I let out a cooing, baby laugh before my mother kissed my forehead and carried me away.

My only memory of her… And I was going to die soon. Oh well, on the bright side, I was going to see Ma again. She would be in heaven with Pa… Of course, I would miss my other family, Carlisle, Esme, Rosalie, Emmett and Jasper but there wasn’t much I could do about it. All hope was lost. I seriously hoped I would get into heaven. I hoped my soul was still pure enough for God to let me in, even if it was only for a few seconds.

The sewer seemed to be getting lighter. My perfect topaz (but slowly fading) eyes started to pick up tendrils of light, snaking up around the walls. The blackness was slowly turning to dark grey. Along the stone wall, black liquid seeped out the cracks like black ink, like blood.

I heard Bella start to shake behind me; her teeth were chattering. Out of coldness or fear? I half-turned out of curiosity and concern for her welfare but quickly changed my mind when I saw Edward’s determined gaze/glare. He moved away from her, his obviously frigid skin causing pain for her.

But she apparently had other ideas. “No-n-no,” she chattered, throwing her arms around him, not caring if she froze.

He chafed his hand along her arm, attempting to warm her body with the friction created between them. Behind us one guard, Felix I assumed, sighed impatiently to Bella’s slow human progress.

Finally, we reached the end of the tunnel, and in our way, there stood a thick grate. The bars were thicker then my arms, unbendable to a human, but very much breakable to an immortal. A smaller door made of thinner, interlacing bars stood open in the middle, large enough for us to fit throw, small enough for it to be shut closed, even by a innocent, insignificant and barely strong human. I noted the rough surface of the worn bars and ran a single cold, white finger over it, feeling its texture, its oldness, its breakability…

We hurried through to the brighter stone before us through the cage-like bars, before the door shut through with as heavy clang! The snap of a lock followed. I glanced behind, to see Demetri smirking at Bella, though she couldn’t see. I had the sudden feeling of being in a max-security prison now, just one we couldn’t bust out of, even as vampires.

On the other side on the room, beneath the low-hanging room and illuminated by the hanging lanterns and torches situated in stone brackets on the walls, was a low, hanging door. It was very thick – I could tell this because it was hanging open.

I set my jaw tight and let loose a low, thunderous growl. I was determined now. Would we win or lose this fight? I didn’t know the answer to that.

And so, we were led through the door, to go to our fate and destiny I suppose.