Chapter Six - Return

Carmen's POV

Three weeks had come and gone so quickly that it was difficult for even me to comprehend.

Eleazar had no luck finding especially gifted vampires who were willing to join the Volturi guard. Yes, we did find many vampires who harbored unique talents, but they refused to join us. Among the most special vampires we met was a Japanese female who could manipulate people to do her bidding - essentially, mind-control. But she refused, claiming that she could not trust people with so much power over our world. Perhaps it would have helped if Chelsea had come along with us…

Eleazar and I also considered this a brief vacation for us, even though we did not have much time to relax and focus on each other. We were constantly on the move, traveling from Spain to India, India to China, and back again. On one occasion, we even went all the way down to Greece. We never remained in one place more than eighteen hours, making it quite difficult to think of it as a holiday.

But finally, with two days remaining until the coming battle, Eleazar and I had arrived back in Volterra. With much thought before coming to this decision, Eleazar chose to inform Aro that he would attend the battle but would not fight. He did not want me to worry for his safety (but I still would, no matter how much he insisted that he would be fine).

The first familiar face that we saw in Volterra was that of Heidi, who was just leaving the castle to find a group of tourists for the guard to feed on. Eleazar and I shuddered at the mere thought of those poor, oblivious humans being led into such a cruel trap.

Eleazar opened the large, darkly-stained wooden doors of the castle and allowed me inside just before himself. Standing just inside was Afton.

"Eleazar!" Afton exclaimed, smiling at the both of us. "It is good that I found you here. You must attend a very quick meeting among the guard regarding the battle in two days, to get yourself caught up with our plans. If you'll come with me…"

Afton began making his way down the corridor. Eleazar hugged me tightly and gave me a quick peck on my cheek, telling me that he loved me before briskly following Afton's path.

I sighed, smiled and walked in the other direction, toward the guest quarters. I could hear Aro and Alec discussing something quietly in the throne room, but I was unable to make out what they were saying.

I reached for the door to my room, but not before my nose was flooded with sixty two new scents that I did not recognize and my ears were bombarded with the sounds of frantic murmurs. Just one second later, I heard an even more unpleasant sound.

The sound of vampires being torn to shreds.

My eyes widened and I subconsciously released the door handle. My mind was racing.

The newborns. Oh my, the newborns must have been sent by the Egyptians and the Romanians… it must be a surprise attack… I thought.

I could hear the sound of Felix and Santiago calling out orders to the rest of the guard, the cries of pain coming from the newborns being tortured by Jane, and what sounded like metal screeching as it was torn apart (but of course, that was not metal, that was the many bodies of vampires).

I was not certain which room the guard had met in, but that was the exact room that the newborns were attacking. That was the exact room that my husband was in.

By then, Renata had made her way to the throne room in order to protect her three masters. I assumed that Aro, Caius and Marcus would remain in the throne room - their guard knew how to defend itself. I, on the other hand, was racing like a madwoman to the room that was under attack.

These disturbing sounds were becoming louder and louder in my sensitive ears. They must be in the library, I thought.

Within a millisecond, the library doors were before me. My instincts took over and I nearly ripped the doors off of their hinges as I burst into the room and screamed at the top of my lungs, "ELEAZAR!"

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