Where Your True Destiny Lies


TITLE: Where Your True Destiny Lies

PEN NAME: Cullen818

PAIRING: Alec/Bella

SUMMARY: Set during NM. Once Aro sees exactly what kind of vampire Bella will be, through Alice's vision, he decides to keep her for the Volturi. He sends Edward and Alice to a remote location where he holds them captive as punishment for revealing the vampire secret to a human. Aro puts Alec in charge of Bella because for some reason he is the only member of the Guard who doesn't want to drain her.

DISCLAIMER: I own nothing. I just like writing them.

Alec's POV

The senior members of the Guard were summoned to Aro's chambers. I was sure it had something to do with the human that we had recently acquired. She had been here for two days, and the smell of her blood was overwhelming all of us. We had to constantly feed to stop the burning in our throats. We would eventually get used to her, somehow desensitize to her scent, but not without great effort.

Why was she worth all of this aggravation? I couldn't question it. Aro wanted her here among us for a reason, and it must have been one hell of a reason. As soon as he touched the pixie like creature's hand, and saw the vision of Bella becoming one of us, he was completely taken. His orders were swift, and the Guard had seconds to react. Bella was to be taken to the east wing of the castle where she would remain under lock and key. No one was allowed to approach her, and none of us could even think about feeding from her. As for Edward and Alice, they were taken to Turkey, some remote setting, where they would remain for an indefinite amount of time. Punishment for allowing a human to learn what we were. When Marcus questioned why he didn't just kill them, Aro reminded him that their gifts were far too special, and he would not destroy them. Plus, he felt a certain amount of loyalty to Carlisle. Aro was not a kind man, and we all realized that the Cullen coven must have been special for him to allow them to remain in our world after breaking the most important rule that we had. No one was ever spared for doing that.

“Well, Aro,” Marcus said. “Are you going to put us out of our misery? Can we please get rid of the girl?”

“She is rather annoying,” Caius said. “She cries all day and when she finally does manage to fall asleep, she wakes up screaming like a wild banshee. Not to mention what her blood is doing to the rest of us.”

“I'm not ready to have her turned. She needs to live amongst us for a bit, and see who we really are,” Aro said. “But, I won't remind you again,” he warned all of us. “She is off limits. She is not to be turned until I say so or fed from. Do we all understand?”

“Such a waste,” Demetri said. “She smells so good.”

“The waste will be if we don't turn her. I saw in Alice's vision what she will become,” Aro countered. “If she can already shield us in her human life, can you imagine what she will do as a vampire?”

Jane rolled her eyes. She was still annoyed that Bella couldn't feel the pain she had projected.

“You've already told us this,” Marcus said. “What do you want from us now? The human is your problem.”

“Actually,” Aro smiled. “She is going to be one of their problems.” He stared at me, Jane, Demetri and Felix. This wasn't going to be good. I just had a feeling.

He walked over to us. “I'll need to read each of you,” he said. “I want to make sure our Bella is properly tended to.”

He started with Felix. Aro closed his eyes and began to read him. “Hmm,” he said after a few moments, and then moved on to Demetri, shaking his head over what he had seen in Felix's mind.

He took his hand in his, and then smiled. “Yes, she does smell enticing.” Aro said.

“Jane,” he held out his hand for her to take it. He smiled once he read her. “Oh, little Jane,” he laughed. “There is no reason for you to be jealous. Bella could never replace you in my eyes.”

“Thank you, Master,” she smiled. My sister could be such a kiss ass at times.

Once he released her hand, I stepped forward and offered him mine. He nodded his gratitude. After a few moments he let go and said, “Interesting. I wouldn't have expected that.”

“What?” Caius asked. I was just as curious, but I knew Aro would only reveal what he wanted to, and nothing more.

“It seems as though I have found Bella's new guard,” he stared at me. “Alec, I know you won't disappoint me.”

“Me?” I spoke before I realized the words were even coming out. “No,” I shook my head. “I can't be responsible for her.”

“Alec!” Jane warned me.

“Listen to your sister, dear Alec,” Aro said. “This is not a request. This is an order. As of right now, you are in charge of Bella. It is your responsibility to make sure she stays in one piece.”

“I'm sorry, Aro,” I said. “ I was disrespectful. It won't happen again.” What choice did I have? He told me what needed to be done, and I had to do it.

“I'm glad you see it my way,” I heard Marcus snicker. Obviously he knew I didn't have a choice either.

“Aro,” I said. “May I ask why you chose me?”

He looked at Felix, Jane and Demetri, and then back to me. “Because,” he laughed. “You are the only one of the lot who doesn't want to drain her.”

Jane gasped. “What's wrong with you?”

“Nothing,” I defended. Bella made my throat burn, but Aro said she was off limits, so I just assumed that his orders made me suppress my urge to drink from her.

“What's wrong Alec?” Felix asked. “Are you going soft on us? Turning into a Cullen?”

Jane and Demetri laughed, but this only angered me. I was beginning to resent the human and all that she seemed to represent to me. Why didn't I want to feed off of her? Actually, I had never encountered a human that I didn't want to drain. What was so special about Isabella Swan?

I reluctantly headed to the east wing of the castle. Her scent grew stronger with each step I took. Her blood was overwhelming, but her essence smelled kind of nice. She was sweet, some kind of fruit. I didn't know which one since I hadn't a use for fruit. Although, I didn't have a use for this fragile, weak human either, but here I was, standing in front of her door, wondering if I should knock. The door was locked from the outside, so it wasn't as if she could answer. I decided to be polite. I tapped on the door, and immediately heard her heartbeat speed up.

“Bella?” I said. “It's Alec, may I come in?”

She didn't answer. I knocked again. Nothing. I pulled the key from my pocket and let myself in. Her heart was beating out of her chest, and by the look on her face I could tell she was extremely afraid of me. It occurred to me that I was the first one of the Guard to approach her since that day with Edward and Alice. Of course she would be afraid of me, I was the one who took Alice away as Bella screamed in terror. Those images of her screaming out for Edward were coming back to haunt me.

She jumped off the bed and scooted to the corner of the room. Silly girl. Did she really think that she could escape me, if I had come here to harm her?

“I'm much faster than you, Bella,” I reminded her. “And, my gift would allow me to incapacitate you.”

The tears began to stream down her cheeks. She looked so lost and alone. That wasn't my concern. I was here to perform a duty. I took a step closer to her. God, she smelled even better as I got closer. Again, it wasn't her blood that was calling to me. It was her.

She realized she had backed herself into a corner, so she stepped forward, but she tripped over her own two feet. Stupid human. She stumbled right toward me. I couldn't let her fall, instinctively I reached out and grabbed her arm. As soon as my hand touched her warm skin, I felt a bolt of electricity run through my body. It practically jolted me. What the hell was that?

Her eyes widened in shock. Did she feel it too? She winced, and then I realized I was holding onto her fragile arm much too tightly. I abruptly let go, feeling the loss immediately.

“You need to be more careful,” I said. “It really wouldn't be wise to fall and cut yourself around here.”

“Please go away,” she said. “I don't want you in here.”

“Sorry, Bella,” I said. “You're stuck with me.”

She moved closer to the door that I had left open. Was she really trying to escape?

“Bella,” I warned. “You'll only embarrass yourself, and make me angry that I had to go after you. Trust me, angel, you won't make it through the threshold.”

“Don't call me that,” she said.

I quickly went over my words. Angel? Why had I called her that?

“I apologize,” I said. “I'm just here to tell you that I have been assigned as your guard for the duration of your stay.”

“My stay?” she whispered. “I want to go home. I want to see Edward. Can you bring me to him?”

“Bella,” I said, and I almost felt bad. “You're not going home, and Edward is no longer here.”

“What? Where is he?” She started to get hysterical. “Oh my God. Did they...” she dropped to her knees. “Did they kill him?”

Was I supposed to comfort her? I had never dealt with an hysterical human before. I knelt down beside her, and tentatively touched her shoulder.

“Don't touch me,” she screamed. “Get away from me! You killed him!”

I got up and stood by the door. I tried to help her, and she practically spit on me. I was angry.

“No,” I said. “I didn't kill him. He and Alice were sent away to pay for the crime of exposing us. You'll never see him again.”

“No!” she sobbed. “I need to speak to Carlisle.”

“Carlisle can't help you,” I said. “He knows that he was in the wrong. He knew what the consequences were for telling a human what we are. He has accepted the terms of Aro's ruling and you are staying with us. So get used to it.”

“No,” she cried. “My father is a police officer, and he will come looking for me.”

I laughed. “I doubt the police chief of Forks has any jurisdiction in Volterra. He would never find us anyway, and I'm sure your little note that you left him didn't tell him where you were headed.”

“Jake,” she said.

“No,” the poor girl was striking out again. “Your wolf can't help you. He can't risk exposure. He won't tell Charlie who you went off with, and if he did he could never prove it. The Cullen's weren't even in Forks a the time of your departure.”

I saw the shock in her eyes.

“You're wondering how I know so much?” I asked.

She continued to stare at me as she trembled on the floor.

“Once we realized that you knew about us, we learned everything we could about you. Aro is relentless that way. You 'll need to do exactly as he says if you want to stay alive.”

“I don't want to live this way,” she gritted through her teeth. “Not with all of you. You are evil.”

I laughed. She was very amusing. “You don't have a choice. You wanted to be immortal, and since Edward couldn't do it, Aro will. Consider yourself lucky.”

“I don't want to be one of you. I wanted to be a Cullen,” she said and I could see her anger building in her eyes. She was kind of cute in a kittenish sort of way. Stop it, Alec!

“Lucky!” She stood up and faced me. “You're disgusting and I will never be one of you!”

“It's out of your hands,” I said. “The sooner you accept that we are your new family, the better off you'll be.”

“Never!” she screamed. “Get out! I don't want to see your evil, sick face!”

I laughed. “Have it your way, Ms. Swan,” I said. “I'll be close. You're my new charge. Like it or not, I'm your only friend here.” I walked out of the room and locked it with the key. She threw some heavy object at the door and began sobbing.

She cried all night. I couldn't stand listening to her, but what choice did I have? I paced the corridor for hours, resenting her because I couldn't be out training with the Guard. No, I was stuck inside listening to her cry.

Eventually Jane came up with Bella's breakfast tray.

“Do you want to take this repulsive food in, or shall I?” she hissed.

“I'll do it,” I said as I took the tray from her. “Aro said that you can go feed once you give her the tray.”

“Have the rest of you fed already?” I was a bit annoyed that they were all going about their daily routines while I was stuck with Bella.

“We saved two for you,” she smiled. “They are in the lower level. Make sure you lock her door.”

“She's not an animal, you know.”

“No,” Jane sighed. “She's far worse, She's a human who knows our secret. Aro should have destroyed her.”

I shook my head. “He knows what he's doing.”

She stormed down the hall. She didn't like Bella, but I wasn't sure why I did. I gently knocked on the door before inserting the key. It was rather silly that I had to lock her in with me standing right outside the door. She wasn't going anywhere.

She sat up in the bed. She looked exhausted. Her eyes were swollen and red. She had dark circles underneath of them, and her nose was red and raw from blowing it.

“I have your breakfast,” I said as I placed the tray on the nightstand. “You haven't eaten in days.”

“I don't want it,” she said.

“You know, if you starve yourself,” I said. “It will only make Aro turn you faster.”

She moved toward the tray, and I felt a glimmer of hope that she might eat. I didn't know why I cared. She flipped the tray in the air and it fell to the floor.

“Keep your food,” she yelled.

I felt a sudden surge of anger over her actions. I moved with vampire speed, and sat next to her on the bed. I grabbed her arm and squeezed just tight enough for her to feel pain. I immediately felt that surge of energy again when I touched her, but this time it shot right between my legs. I tried to ignore this sudden urge. It didn't make any sense to me. My arousal was getting stronger. My mind may have wanted one thing, but my body had entirely different ideas.

“I'm trying trying to be nice to you,” I growled, and she shrieked away from me. I pulled her closer to me, and leaned in to sniff her hair. She shivered. “Stop pushing me.” I released her arm from my grip, and backed away. I was too close to her and it confused me.

She started to cry as she rubbed her arm where I had held her. I hurt her, and that made me feel bad.

“Bella,” I said. “I'm sorry, but you left me no choice.” It was a poor excuse, but it was all I had at the moment.

“Get out! Leave me alone.”

I did as she asked. I locked her back in and went for a quick run. I needed to clear my head. I wasn't sure what I was experiencing, but I didn't like it. She was nothing to me, so why did I care about her feelings? Why did I feel the need to touch her, smell her, and be close to her? I had to stop this. From now on, I would stand outside her door and only deal with her when it was absolutely necessary.

The next few days were much of the same. She cried herself to sleep every night, but she didn't seem to sob as much during the day. When I brought her food tray in, she would turn her back, so that she wouldn't have to look at me. That suited me just fine. I didn't really want to look into those gorgeous, brown eyes anyway.

A week after she had been with us, she started having intense nightmares. I guessed because she was finally getting into a deep enough sleep to actually dream. Most of the time she would wake up, scream and settle back down. I was learning to expect it as part of her nightly routine. Tonight was different. Her heart rate increased and she was gasping for air as she screamed out for her father. She kept telling him she was sorry for hurting him, and she didn't mean to leave him. She was crying and yelling out. This nightmare was taking much longer then usual. I found myself feeling sorry for her.

“No! No! No!” she cried out.

I couldn't take it anymore. I burst into the room, but she was still asleep, trapped in her own hell. I walked over to the bed and pulled her into my arms. She thrashed around, and banged on my chest, but then she seemed to settle down. I didn't think I could be soothing to her because I was so cold and hard. But, she seemed to be comforted by that. She snuggled deeper into my body. It felt amazing. She needed me. She was so soft and warm, and her body seem to fit against mine. And the best part was that she was no longer afraid. I gently stroked her hair and rocked her. I had never comforted a human before, but it all felt so natural.

“You're here” she whispered. “You came back for me.”

I stiffened. She didn't know it was me. Of course she would be used to my body temperature and marble skin. Edward!

“Bella,” I whispered. “It's Alec.”

“No,” she cried as she tightened her grip on me.

“I'm sorry,” I said. “You were crying and I wanted to help you.”

I felt her warm tears against my chest as they soaked through my shirt. She had realized that I wasn't Edward, but she didn't let go of me. I continued to stroke her hair until her breathing returned to normal and she started to settle down. I regretting letting her go, but I knew I had to do it. This was not normal. I gently pulled her out of my hold and eased her back down on the bed. I turned to leave the room, but she quickly reached for my hand.

“Wait,”she whispered, and I heard her heart beat pick up. “Thank you,” she said before letting go of my hand and rolling on to her side.

It was my pleasure...

Each night it was more of the same. She would scream and I would run in to assist her. At first she would think I was Edward, but then she would realize it was me, and let me hold her. Every night I stretched out the encounter a bit longer. As wrong as it was, I was beginning to look forward to her nightmares, because it gave me an opportunity to be close to her. I wanted to hold her. I craved it.

I had just come back from my morning run, and was preparing to settle in on the floor and read a book when Bella called my name. It was barely above a whisper, and she was so tentative that I wasn't sure what to do.

“Alec,” she whispered again. I hopped up off the floor and unlocked the door with vampire speed.

“What is it?” She had never called for me before. She was sitting on the bed. I could tell that she had just showered because she smelled of soap. It smelled good, but not as good as her natural scent. Berries. I had thought about it all week. She had smelled of some sort of berries, but I just didn't know what kind.

“I,” she started to say, but then looked away. I could tell she was embarrassed by the blush in her cheeks.


“I'm kind of lonely,” she said as she bit her bottom lip. God, she was sexy. Her long brown tresses fell over her shoulders and down her back and when she moved her head a certain way the breeze of her flowing hair filled the room with her scent. It was overwhelming, but in such a good way. “I thought maybe you could sit with me today.” She looked down as she traced the pattern of the comforter with her fingertips. “I mean, if you want to .”

She was so unsure of herself, but her innocence intrigued me. I liked her imperfections, the ones that made her human. I had spent my entire existence around strong, capable vampires, but Bella needed something from me, and I liked it.

“I'll stay with you, if it pleases you.”

“Is it an inconvenience?”

I smiled. She was challenging me. “I have to stand outside the door anyway,” I reminded her.

“Why is that? It's not like I could get passed any of you,” she said.

“Bella,” I gave her a sly smile. “It's not you I'm trying to keep in, it's the others that I'm trying to keep out.” I winked at her.

“Well, how does Aro know that you won't slip up?”

“He doesn't,” I smiled.

“I'm not afraid of you,” she said, confidently.

“You're not that smart,” I said. But, she raised a valid point. “Why is it that you can get so close to us? Humans don't usually do that.”

“I don't know? I guess I just like your kind, well at least the Cullens, anyway.” I saw a sad look cross her face, and I knew she missed them.

“They're the exception to our rule, you know,” I said. “Their way of life is not natural. Aro only tolerates it because he is so fond of Carlilse.”

“How fond of Carlisle could he be? He took Edward and Alice away, and he's holding me hostage.”

“You're lucky you're all not dead. I've never seen Aro show any mercy, to anyone.” That was the truth. I knew Bella must be something special. Whatever Aro saw, he wanted, and I was sure he knew that she would never cooperate if he killed Edward.

“I don't feel so lucky,” she looked down.

I approached the bed, but I stopped.

“You can sit down,” she said without looking up. I was finding that I liked her shyness. It was appealing. I wasn't used to it and it was a welcomed change.

“I don't need to sit down because I don't get tired,” I reminded her.

“I'd feel more comfortable if you'd sit,” she said.

“Oh, so you like it when we act human?” I was finding that I liked to tease her too.

She nodded.

“Very well,” I said as I sat on the edge of the bed next to her. She lifted her head and as her hair slid over her shoulder the room filled with her scent. I took it in as I involuntarily inched closer to her. She shifted her body a bit, but she didn't move away.

She pulled her knees into her chest and continued to stare at me.

“What?” I asked after the silence got to be too much. I needed to know what she was thinking. Why, I had no idea.

“You're eyes are a bit unsettling,” she said.

So were hers, but in a totally different way. I often found myself thinking how I could get lost in them for hours. “Yes, well, I can't help that.”

“Yes,” she curled her lips into a smile. It was beautiful. “You can.”

I shook my head. “Not that I would ever consider feeding off of an animal, but I already told you the Cullens are the different ones, not us. We act on instinct, and we do what we need to survive. The sooner you accept that the easier your new life will be.”

“I don't want to be like you. I want to be like the Cullens,.” she said. “I can't be immortal without them. What's the sense?”

“I know it's all happening so fast, but you're going to be a part of the Volturi. Thanks to Alice, Aro has seen what you are capable of, and he has deemed you worthy enough to become one of us. You shouldn't take that lightly.”

The tears started to stream down her face, and I realized that I'd much rather see her smile. “I don't want this,” she whispered.

“Let's not think about it now,” I said. “After spending time with us, you might change your mind. Why don't we get to know one another?”

She looked up at me, and I noticed one last tear escaping her eye. I slowly reached up and wiped it away with my thumb. I let my hand linger on her cheek for a moment.

“You first,” she said.

“What?” I was distracted, and that never happened.

“Tell me about you,” she said. “How long have you been a vampire?”

“Oh,” I said. “A very long time.”

“How old are you?”

“Seventeen,” I smiled.

She rolled her eyes.


“I'm older then you,” she laughed.

“No,” I shook my head. “You're not.”

“Is Jane your real sister? Or, are you like the Cullens and you just pretend?”

“No,” I said. “Jane and I are biologically linked.”

“How did you both end up here?” she asked.

“It's a long story, but when a group of vampires overtook the village that we were from they decided that we would make a nice gift for Aro. He was going through a phase where he wanted children, and we were a gift for him. It worked out well for him, since Jane and I both have formidable gifts.”

Her eyes widened. “You can't do what Jane can?”

“No,” I shook my head. “My gift doesn't bring pain. I can block what one is sensing. I'm often the last thing one sees before...” I stopped myself because she didn't need to know that.

She looked into my eyes, and I knew she got it anyway. She continued on with our conversation. She asked so many questions, but I found that I enjoyed answering them all. I wanted her to know me as much as I wanted to know her.

We spent the entire day learning about one another. At some point during our time together she started to relax, and drop her defenses. She didn't seem as afraid of me.

The next few weeks flew by. Bella was no longer having her nightmares as often as before, and I had to admit that disappointed me because it was the only time I got to hold her. We spent most of our days talking, reading, and even watching television. I was enjoying my time with her, but I knew that once Aro made the decision to turn her, I would resume my position in the Guard and Bella would have to experience her newborn phase. I wouldn't get to see her much during that time since we had other members of the Guard who tended to those matters.

“Bella,” I said. “Would you like out go out for a walk around the grounds today?” I knew she had been cooped up here since arriving and she was paler than I was.

“Can we?” she asked, and I saw her excitement.

“Yes,” I said. “I cleared it with Aro. As long as I don't take you off the property or let you out of my sight.”

“You never let me out of your sight,” she smiled.

“It's because you're so intriguing,” I said.

“You don't even like humans,” she said.

“Oh, no your wrong,” I smirked. “ I love humans. You all tasted so delectable.”

“That's not funny,” she said as she took my hand and ran to the door.

I was a bit shocked that she wanted to hold my hand, but I knew she was just excited to get outside.

I opened the door for her and led her down the corridor. As soon as we turned the corner I sensed them. I stiffened and squeezed Bella's hand.

“What is it?” she asked.

“A potential problem,” I said. “Just stay close to me.” I led her down the hall and then as expected Felix and Demetri approached. Bella's heart rate picked up as soon as she saw them. I was sure she remembered the part they had played in her captivity.

“Alec,” Felix said as he glanced down at our joined hands. “Going on a date?”

“You could say that,” I said. “I'm taking Bella out for some air.”

“Hmm,” Demetri said. “Can we join you?”

“Make it a real party?” Felix laughed. I knew they were teasing me, but I didn't like it.

Bella stepped behind my back, but she didn't let go of my hand. Actually, she gripped it tighter.

“They're not going to hurt you, Bella,” I reassured her. “I won't let them.”

Felix and Demetri laughed. “As if you could stop us,” Felix said as he took a step toward Bella.

I growled and dropped into an attack crouch.

“I could stop you,” a voice said from behind them. I pulled out of my stance.

“Aro,” Demetri said. “We were just messing with Alec.”

Aro slowly but deliberately approached us. “Alec,” he said. “I see you are doing a very good job with your assignment.”

“Yes,” I said. “I'm doing the best that I can.” I glanced at Felix and Demetri.

“Isabella,” he said and I could feel her whole body begin to shake. She was so afraid. “I hope you are enjoying your stay with us.” I wanted to wrap my arms around her and tell her it would be okay.

She didn't respond.

I knew I was taking a risk, but I kept her firmly behind my back. I was sure Aro knew that I was protecting her from him as well, but over the past few weeks she had become more to me than an assignment. I wanted to protect her, but not because Aro ordered me to. No, I wanted to protect her because I was starting to think that she belonged to me. I wanted her, and I wanted them all to know that she was mine.

“Alec,” Aro said as he took in Bella's scent. “She makes my throat very uncomfortable.”

I stiffened.

Aro noticed and laughed. “No, Alec,” he smiled. “We won't be turning her today. I only meant that you should take her for that walk.”

“Of course,” I said as I pulled her down the hall.

“Bye, love birds,” Felix snickered.

I turned back and glared at him. Of all the ridiculous, immature things he could say. Suggesting that Bella and I were an item.

Once we got outside, I pulled her on my back.

“What are we doing?” she said.

“I'm going for a run,” I said.

“With me on your back?” she asked.

“You've done this before,” I said.

“Yes,” she said, “But, it's not one of my favorite things to do.”

“Close your eyes then,” I said as I took off for the forest. She hooked her legs around my hips and wrapped her arms around my neck. She held me so tight that I was thankful I didn't need to breathe. I liked the feel of her against my body, and I couldn't help thinking that I wanted to reverse positions and press up against her back. I got hard just thinking about all of the things I wanted to do to this beautiful, innocent girl. I wanted to claim her in so many ways.

As soon as we approached the stream I stopped. She slid off of my back and started to sway. I quickly caught her.


She giggled. “That was fun.”

I pulled her close to my chest and made sure she was able to stand before I let go of her. I wanted to continue holding her, but I didn't want to make her uncomfortable. I released my hold and smiled at her.

“I thought you might like that,” I said.

She looked around and then smiled, “It's beautiful here,” she said.

“I thought you might like it here too,” I said. “The stream and the waterfalls are rather peaceful, and you've had a stressful few weeks.”

“I have,” she said as she bit her bottom lip, and I saw that familiar blush wash across her cheeks. “But, you're the only reason I've been able to get through all of this.”

I brushed the loose hair from her face and the warmth of her skin ignited a fire from within me. I closed the space between us and she quickly shifted her gaze from me. I lifted her chin, so that she would look at me.

“I can't seem to keep my hands off of you,” I said as I slipped the rubber band from her hair, letting her locks fall down her back. “I like your hair down.”

I noticed that her eyes were suddenly on my lips. I slowly leaned into her, tilting her chin up as I gently pressed my lips to hers, placing a soft closed mouth kiss on hers. Her heart was practically beating out of her chest. God, I wanted to do more than kiss her. I fought the urge to thrust my tongue into her mouth because I knew if I tasted her now, I would unleash the beast that wanted all of her. I let my lips linger on hers for a few seconds before pulling back. I stared at her and smiled.

“Come on,” I said as I took her hand. “We can sit over by those rocks.” I pointed to a cluster of huge boulders that she could lean against.

Her heart was still pounding and from the look in her eyes she looked a bit disappointed that I had stopped. That was encouraging.

I sat down and pulled her into my lap. I didn't know what was making me act so boldly, but I knew I couldn't resist her any longer. The past few weeks had been the most pleasant of my entire existence. I knew that she wasn't happy with her current situation, but I knew my presence was at least making it better for her. I loved getting to know her and knew that there was so much more too learn.

I knew that she would be turned eventually, and then I would have all the time in the world to get to know her, but I hoped that once she was one of us, she would still accept me, and remember the time we shared. I wanted her to remember how I took care of her those nights that she cried out in her sleep, how I protected her against my brothers and even Aro. Would she remember how I enjoyed spending time with her when she was human?

“What are you thinking about?” she asked as she broke me from my thoughts.

“You,” I smiled.

“What specifically?” she smiled.

“Well, for one, I'm not a Cullen, but here you are sitting in my lap. You're no longer afraid of me.”

“No,” she said. “I know you won't hurt me.”

“I never could,” I said. “But is that the only reason you're in my lap? Because you think I won't hurt you?”

“Alec,” she said. “The past six weeks have been some of the worst of my life.”

I frowned. That's not what I was hoping she would say. She must have sensed my shift in mood.

“Wait,” she said. “Let me finish. You have to know how devastating this has been for me. I've been kidnapped by vampires, Edward was taken from me, I miss Charlie and the Cullens. I'm never going home.”

“It's not what Aro wants,” I said, and I felt like such a coward for not just letting her go. But, that really wouldn't serve a purpose. Aro would kill me and find Bella anyway. “I wish that you understood that this is your destiny.”

“I think I get that on some level,” she admitted. “Obviously, I found out about the existence of vampires for a reason. Edward left me, and Alice brought me to Italy.”

To me.

“I still don't want to become like you,” she looked away. “I'm sorry, but I don't want to kill anyone. I don't want to be a monster and once Aro has me turned I'll be just that.”

“I'm sorry Bella,” I said as I pulled her closer to me. “I wish there was another way for you.”

“There is,” she said. “You could help me.”

Was she serious? Did she think I could betray my family? “Have I not done enough for you?” I hissed. “I will not betray Aro for you.”

She backed away when she realized how angry I was, but I grabbed her arm and held her in place.

“How could you ask that of me? I thought we were friends?” I said. I wanted to be so much more than her friend, but she was using me as a means to an end.

“Alec,” she said. “We are friends. You're the only reason I've survived these weeks here.”

“I don't understand?” What was she asking of me?

“I need you to promise me that once they turn me you'll stay with me. I want you to help me through my newborn phase.”

“You want me with you?” I was shocked.

“You have to help me convince Aro that I don't want to feed off of humans. Please Alec.”

“You want me to help you maintain an animal diet?”

“It's the only way I can accept this life. I 'll go crazy if I have to keep thinking about the fact that I'll kill people. Please Alec, if you can't help me escape, promise me that you'll help me stay away from humans.”

“Yes, Bella, I'll do it. If it keeps you here with me, I'll help you,” I said as I crushed my lips to hers. She melted against my body and I suddenly realized just how much she needed me. She shifted her position and straddled me. I moved my hands under her shirt and along her back.

She parted her lips and a small moaned escaped her mouth. I took the opportunity to push my tongue in between her lips to taste her. She tasted better than anything I had ever experienced before. I moved my hands up her ribcage and over her bra. I felt her nipples hardened as I traced my fingers over them. I needed to feel more of her, so I quickly moved her onto her back, laying her in the grass.

I gently got on top her, realizing just how delicate I needed to be. I didn't know if I could be. I had thought about taking her since that first day I touched her arm and felt that surge of energy. I began trailing my mouth down her neck, licking and sucking her skin. I had a moment of weakness when I passed over her vein and felt the rush of blood pulsing there. I didn't want to drain her, just a small taste would be enough to satisfy me. I wanted to taste all of her, and that included her blood. I realized that this was all happening too fast and if I bit into her neck now, I might scare her and we wouldn't go any farther, so instead I continued my journey down the column of her throat, stopping just at the top button of her shirt. She gripped my hair and arched her back. I took that as a green light, and quickly unbuttoned her shirt and pulled it from her body, revealing her lace covered breasts to me. I instinctively licked my lips.

I couldn't help the growl that escaped my chest when I smelled her arousal. I pushed her legs apart with my knee as I ran my tongue over her nipple.

“Alec,” she breathlessly whispered.

I needed to see all of her , so I quickly reached around her back and unclasped her bra, shedding her of the offending garment. She tried to bring her arms up over her chest, but I grabbed her wrists, pinning them above her head.

“You're beautiful,” I whispered. “Please don't be embarrassed.” I leaned down and gently kissed her lips. I kept her hands above her head as I trailed my tongue down over her breasts.

Strawberries! That's the berry I was looking for!

I took one of her nipples into my mouth and began sucking and pulling on in with my teeth, eliciting soft moans from this gorgeous girl beneath me. I had been with many vampires throughout my years, but none had made me quiver with anticipation the way Bella had. I slipped my hand down her stomach and to the button of her jeans. I had to see the treasure between her legs. I released her hands from my hold and moved my lips down her stomach, licking the skin just below her bellybutton. As I unbuttoned her jeans and lowered the zipper I felt her immediately tense up. I looked up at her and saw the worry etched across her face.

“Are you afraid I'll hurt you?” I asked as I began tracing my fingertips along her stomach, trying to relax her.

“I've never,” she stopped and tried to rephrase. “I mean, I'm a...” she didn't finish, but I understood. I kissed my way back up her stomach and to her lips.

“It's okay,” I smiled. “I want you Bella, more than I've ever wanted another, but if you're not ready I can wait.” I kissed her again.

She twisted her fingers in my hair and forcefully kissed me back. “No, I want this,” she moaned into my mouth. “But, you'll have to teach me.”

“Oh, angel,” I said as I kissed her with as much intensity as she had just kissed me. “There are so many things I can teach you, if you're certain.”

She nodded. “I want you.” She tugged at the hem of my shirt. I lifted myself off of her and raised my shirt over my head. She took in my exposed chest and smiled.

“Like what you see?” I smirked.

“I'd like to see all of you,” she smiled.

With vampire speed I pulled my jeans and boxers off and watched as her eyes widened in shock as she took in my rather large vampire anatomy.

I laughed. “Don't worry, I'll be gentle.”

I placed my hands on her hips and tugged at her jeans. “May I?”

“Yes,” she whispered as she raised her hips up so that I could rid her of her remaining clothes.

I gasped at her beauty. She was so perfect and I wanted to touch every inch of that glorious body. I kissed my way up her thighs, lingering at the wonder between her legs. I had to taste, needed to know if she was as good as she smelled. I spread her legs apart and pushed two fingers inside her heat. She moaned out in shock at first, but once I started moving them inside her she began to relax under my touch. I dipped my tongue inside her sweet folds as I moved it in rhythm with my fingers. She was already so wet with arousal, and her juices were dripping into my mouth. She was better than any prey I could ever drink from. I swore I could survive on her juices alone. After a few minutes of working her with my tongue, her body began to shake, and I could feel her muscles beginning to clench around my fingers. Her abdomen began to tightened, and she spread her legs even further apart as she screamed out in pleasure. I swore I was going to come, just from the noises she was making. Her breathing was ragged and her heart was beating out of her chest, but I knew she was wet enough for me to slid into her, so I moved up her body and roughly kissed her lips, letting her taste her excitement. She ran her tongue along my lips, and if I thought I might come before, I was even closer now.

“Bella, angel, I have to get inside you right now,” I said in an rough, urgent voice.

I gripped her hips and quickly thrust myself into her hot entrance. She held her breath as she dug into my shoulders. I pushed a little more allowing her to feel every inch of me. When I hit her barrier she cried out in pain, but I knew I had to do it quick. Once I was through I stilled my movement so that she could adjust. I stared down at her to make sure she was okay. She was still holding her breath and her eyes were squeezed shut.

“Angel,” I whispered. “You have to breathe.”

She opened those big brown eyes and stared into mine. I knew she saw everything. She knew what I was, and yet, she still wanted me.

“I'm okay, Alec,” she said as she lifted her hips to meet me. “I want to feel you.”

I started to move within her, feeling nothing but her warmth. I had never felt so connected to another, and I had never felt the urge to make someone mine, but with Bella, I wanted it all.

“You're so warm and tight for me,” I said as I continued to thrust deep inside of her. She wrapped her legs around my waist causing me to slip even further into her sweet depths. We were finally one, but I needed something else. I had to show her how much I wanted her to belong to me.

I sat up on my heels, pulling her with me. She was so willing and trusting. If she had trusted me with her innocence, then I knew she wouldn't deny my next request. I moved the hair away from her neck and began to lick and suck on her vein.

She moaned out my name as I continued to move inside her and I could feel her walls beginning to tighten again. “Bella, I want to taste you,” I whispered and then tugged on the skin of her neck with my teeth.

I felt her tense up, but she didn't say anything.

I put my hands on either side of her face. “I won't drain you. I can do it without turning you. Do you trust me?”

“Yes,” she whispered as her body began to let go and she came for the second time.

I moved my lips back down to her neck, making sure there were no traces of venom in my mouth. As Bella was lost in her orgasm, I quickly opened her vein and felt the warm rush of blood flow into my mouth and down my throat.

She cried out when my teeth ripped her skin, but then she started to settle down. I continued to drink from this incredible creature, but I knew I had to stop. I felt my own orgasm approaching, so I released her neck from my mouth and licked away the excess blood. I could feel the tingling in my stomach, and seconds later I shot my cool stream deep within her. I pulled her as close as I could to me and held her there for a few minutes. I didn't want to let her go.

Finally, I lay her back down on the grass and pulled her into my chest. She was tired, sweaty and panting, but she was still the most exquisite woman I had ever seen.

“Are you okay?” I asked as I stroked her hair.

“Yes,” she managed to say. “I'm so much better then okay.” She rolled onto her stomach so that she could look at me.

I gently kissed her lips. “Bella,” I said. “I've marked you.” I ran my finger over the crescent shaped mark that was now on her neck.

“Did I taste good?” she asked.

“Amazing, angel,” I said. “But, that makes you mine. Do you understand?”

“Alec,” she looked at me so seriously. “I wouldn't have made love to you if I didn't want to be yours.”

I covered her mouth with mine and quickly deepened the kiss. I could never get enough of her. I knew now she was my life. I tangled my fingers in her hair and pulled her to my face.

“Bella,” I said. “I'll go to Aro today and tell him that I have to be the one to turn you. I can't have anyone else touch you.”

“I would only want it to be you. I only want you.”

“Bella,” I said. “I will spend the rest of eternity making you happy. I'll keep my promise and get you through your newborn phase and I will protect and love you my entire existence.”

“You love me?” she whispered as a tear escaped the corner of her eye.

“I do,” I smiled. “Very much.”

“I love you,” she cried. “So much. I feel like I've been waiting for you. I've been missing something for so long, and today I finally found it.”

I felt the same way she did. “You've been my missing piece.” I gently kissed her lips, wanting her to feel all the love I had for her. “I'll never leave you.”

“I'm counting on that,” she smiled as she settled back into my chest.

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