Chapter Three - They Return
It had been almost three days since Jane made her unpleasant, unwelcome visit to my home. Although it had been three days, her request still had me as confused and baffled as I was when she first presented it. How on Earth could Aro expect me to return to Volterra and do his bidding, like I had done two centuries ago? He was no longer my master. I still found myself questioning his actions as I continued my customary activities with my wife and the rest of my family. It was completely uncalled for.
Carmen, among others, had noticed my change in behavior and constantly made attempts to take my mind off of it. These endeavors worked over the short-term, but my endless questions and wonderings would return to hound me again later on. I find that I am the type of person who simply cannot rest until I find the answers to the questions that are pestering me.
Carmen and I could hear Tanya and Kate's footsteps and chatter downstairs, as they waited for Garrett's return from his hunt. Carmen gazed deep into my eyes and giggled - a sound that was sweet music to my ears.
"It seems that they never shut up," she said quietly with a grin.
I chuckled, combing my fingers slowly through her dark, silky brunette locks. "How long have we known them? I would think that you'd realize by now that they do not have the mental capacity to quiet down."
I heard a loud, annoyed, "Hey!" in response to my statement downstairs and laughed again.
Carmen smiled amorously, snaking her arms around the back of my neck and kissing me softly. She murmured against my lips, "Hush, mi amor. You are going to offend them."
I slowly drew my lips back from hers and shook my head. "They know when I am kidding, mi querida." I smiled and planted a kiss on the center of her forehead.
I pulled away when I heard Kate grunt angrily and immediately knew why when Demetri's scent wafted upstairs to mine and my wife's nostrils. Carmen's brow furrowed and she stated plainly, "Does Aro not know what 'no' means?"
I growled quietly and stood, Carmen mimicking my movements as I left our bedroom and descended the staircase where, at the end of the wide hallway, Tanya had opened the front door and Demetri was standing before her. Kate was standing close behind her and both sisters seemed just as disturbed as Carmen and I were.
As Carmen held onto my arm and we approached Demetri at the door, he spoke: "Eleazar, I apologize that we once again had to come and disrupt your time, but Aro requests that you come to Volterra immediately. You do not have to aid us in defeating the newborn army if you still choose not to; Aro would just like to see if he can possibly change your mind about assisting us. If he cannot, just like Jane could not, then you may leave." I could see sincerity in Demetri's eyes when he apologized for disturbing myself and my family's activities.
I sighed with frustration and briskly responded to his request. "Bien, bien. I shall come along. Aro must be extremely desperate in order to send two members of the guard to fetch me." I smirked.
Tanya's jaw hung open. "But Eleazar, you do not have to succumb to Aro's needs any longer. You, of all people, should understand that."
"I feel that he will not leave us be unless I do his bidding, just this once," I replied. My eyes shifted to Demetri's intent gaze. Demetri and I used to be very good friends before I left the Volturi, and I assumed that he still considered us friends by the understanding expression on his countenance.
"Thank you, Eleazar," Demetri said with a smile. "I assume that you would like to bring Carmen along with you?"
I turned my gaze back to Carmen's intent eyes and she nodded.
"Sí," I responded.
Releasing my hand from Carmen's arm, she and I said our goodbyes to Tanya and Kate, and we asked that they extend our farewell to Garrett when he returned from his hunt. Just before we left, Carmen said, "Tanya, Kate, we shall call you when we arrive in Italy."
Tanya and Kate waved and, being their flirtatious selves, blew kisses at me as we left our home with Demetri in the lead.
Our arrival in Volterra was swift. Somehow, spending the entire plane ride with Carmen secure in my arms, chattering away about what plans Aro could possibly have, made the time fly by as if it were nothing at all. She and I did not ask Demetri any questions, because from what I saw, he knew just about as much as we did.
The sky was overcast as the plane touched down in Volterra, meaning that Carmen and I would not have to wear the long, dark cloaks that Demetri had supplied for us, should the weather decide to go against our favor.
As Demetri led Carmen and I to the Volturi castle, we took many winding backroads and darted through multiple forests, avoiding humans at all costs, in case the sun should decide to reveal itself and shine its rays on us three. I would not have protested seeing Carmen in the sunlight, though - her beauty was unmatched in the shade, and only heightened in the sun, with her skin gleaming as if there were millions of small, pristine diamonds embedded in her.
I almost completely lost myself in my fantasies until Carmen whispered into my ear, "Eleazar, we are here."
I shook my head slightly and gazed up at the large, looming castle that I used to call home so long ago. I had not been there in slightly over fifty years and it had not changed in the slightest. It never ceased to amaze me how the Volturi had taken residence here for over three thousand years and the many humans living in such close proximity to them barely even gave them a second glance. Demetri opened the front doors and allowed my mate and I inside, where many familiar faces greeted us.
At the edge of the long corridor stood Felix, Renata, Chelsea, Jane and Alec. The twins, as usual, were holding hands as the group of five turned their heads to see us. Renata and Chelsea smiled and waved, and Felix approached us both with a large grin spread evenly across his lips.
"Wow, I have not seen you two here in some time," he said.
"It is very nice to see you, Felix," Carmen and I responded in unison. We were so accustomed to saying things at the exact same time and finishing each other's sentences that we barely noticed it anymore. Felix laughed.
"Carmen, you look lovely - as always." Felix winked and Carmen laughed lightly in response.
"Gracias," Carmen replied in her angelic soprano of a voice.
Felix nodded. "Aro is eager to see you both."
I sighed. "Of course. We shall be on our way, then."
Felix stepped out of our path and Demetri smiled before leading us towards the large, wooden doors which led directly into the throne room, where Aro, Caius and Marcus stayed. I heard Carmen swallow nervously as the doors opened and I squeezed her hand; my way of reassuring her that everything would be fine.