When we got back to my and Bella’s room I told them what I had heard from Carlisle. We couldn’t understand what he was trying to do until Jasper suggested that Bella ‘look’ in on Carlisle to see if she could discover what he is up to. We get Bella situated and comfortable on the sofa in front of the fireplace I sit next to her and take her hand in mine and wait. She drops her shield allowing me into her mind and she starts focusing on Carlisle. When she finds him he is outside in front of the castle. She sharpens her focus and we can hear him on the phone make arrangements for a chartered jet to be on standby. Once he gets off the phone with the airport he makes another call “I need you to get ready to leave, I’m going to take her tomorrow first chance I get. Don’t worry about Edward, he won’t do anything to put her in danger, and she will do whatever she is told to keep Edward safe. You just make sure that your people are in place to prevent him from following.” Bella pulled back and it took a few seconds for her to focus back on the room we were in. We explained to Jasper and Alice what we had seen. Suddenly Jasper jumped up yanking his phone out of his pocket, “Caius, can you and Marcus come to Edward and Bella’s room, we have news about Carlisle?”
Caius and Marcus came in shortly after Jasper’s call. We told them what we had seen when we ‘looked’ in on Carlisle. Marcus was furious “FUCK! That old saying ‘like father like son’ is really true isn’t it? I just got my mate back from Aro and now his ‘child’ is trying to separate another mated couple for his own gain. Caius, we really must put a stop to this.” Caius agreed and called out for guards, when they appeared in the room he ordered them to go find and arrest him. Bella gave them a general location to start looking if he wasn’t in his room.
We didn’t have to wait long before Caius was notified that Carlisle was in the throne room. As we all entered Carlisle just glared at all of us except for Bella “CAIUS, I demand to know the meaning of this. Why have I been brought here like some common criminal?” “Because Carlisle, you are a common criminal. Did you not learn from your sire’s actions? We know that you plan to separate Isabella from her mate. We plan to put a stop to your actions.” “Guard, take his phone from him and bring it to me.” Caius opened the phone and hit redial. We were all surprised when Alec’s phone started to ring. He tried to run but Jasper had him by the throat and on the stone floor before anyone could spring into action. Caius ordered them both to be taken to holding cells stating that he would deal with them the same time he handed out the other’s sentences. As we were all leaving the throne room to head back to our rooms we could hear everyone murmuring about Aro being Carlisle’s sire and how it is true that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.
When we entered the throne room it was already crowded. I was glad there were chairs set aside for us as it was already standing room only. We didn’t have to wait long before Aro, Jane, Sulpicia, Carlisle, and Alec were brought in. I noticed that Rosalie was standing at the back of the room waiting along with everyone else for their sentences to be announced. Suddenly the doors behind the thrones were thrown open and Caius returned to the throne room along with his mate Athenadora and Marcus with Didyme. I was surprised to see Esme come in behind them and stand behind Didyme. She noticed my confused look and let me know what was going on ‘Edward, I was offered the position of tutor/decorator by Caius and Marcus. I am going to be helping Didyme catch up with all the changes and advances this world has had while she was being held prisoner. Caius has also asked me to redecorate their living and guest quarters. He liked what I did with the Forks house.’ I nodded to let her know that I understood and let the others know that I would explain to them later and that there was nothing to worry about.
Caius raised his hand and when the room quieted down he began “Last evening, it was brought to my attention that there was another plot to separate a newly mated couple. Alec Volturi, you are accused of conspiring with Carlisle Cullen to kidnap Isabella Swan. Do you have anything to say in your defense?” Alec simply glared at Caius and then Carlisle, refusing to answer Caius’ question. “Well Alec, I will take your silence as a sign of your guilt. Now as for you Carlisle, what do you have to say for yourself?” Carlisle sat silent for a few minutes then he asked Caius “what did you mean when you said ‘your sire’s actions’?” “Well Nephew, I’m telling you that Aro was the vampire in that alleyway that night. I know he is the one that bit you because I was with him. When we went back to get you, we couldn’t find you and we since we never heard of any killings we assumed that the villagers had found and destroyed you. When you came to Volterra and we realized who you were Aro was too embarrassed by your diet to claim you. As much as you love money it is ironic that you were never claimed as a Volturi Prince and therefore denied access to the Volturi Accounts. Now you know why you were never punished the way you should have been, but that is about to change. I find you guilty of conspiring to kidnap young Isabella and to keep her away from her mate. Well, now that we have all the verdicts out of the way, let’s get started shall we.
Alec Volturi, having been found guilty of conspiracy to separate mates I sentence you to 100 years in the cells below. All your possessions, accounts, and any monies and jewels that you have, known or hidden are to be given to the vampire you planned to kidnap, Isabella Swan. When you are released you will be banished from Volterra for the rest of your existence.
Carlisle Cullen, you have been found guilty of conspiring to kidnap Isabella Swan and separate her from her mate. You too will spend 100 years in the cells below. All the properties you own, the bank accounts you have, hidden and known, will be given to those that earned the money to begin with, Edward and Alice. When you are released you will not be allowed any interaction with humans since we have seen you cannot be trusted to keep the secret. Isabella Swan is not the first human you revealed yourself to. You were warned when you left that young woman in London. You were warned yet again when you left the girl in Boston and headed to Chicago. Now we find that when you left Forks you left Isabella behind with the knowledge of what you are. You are aware that humans who discover our secret are to be changed or killed yet you did neither. It was your place to guide the vampires you made and you failed to do so. By ignoring this responsibility you left them unaware of many of our laws and not knowing what it is to be a vampire. You too will be banished from Volterra for the rest of your nomadic existence. I believe the humans have something called a Restraining Order, I am issuing one against you. You are to never approach any former member of your coven and that includes Isabella.” Caius turned to deal with the others as Carlisle sat stunned into silence. Suddenly Carlisle screamed and bolted for Bella screaming “she will be mine.” He never made it to Bella, before any of us could stop him Esme shocked us all by charging from behind Didyme to grab him and rip his head off. As she was tearing his limbs from his body preparing to put him in the fire we could all hear her muttering “try and keep my son from his mate, you have caused quite enough pain in your lifetime Carlisle Cullen. It needs to stop and I am just woman enough to stop you.” She left the limbs all piled up in the middle of the floor but she wasn’t taking any chances that he might be put back together. She calmly walked over to the fireplace and tossed his head in as casually as she would if she were adding another log to the fire. Then she returned to her place behind Didyme.
Caius stood staring at Esme for a few minutes then turned back to face the room, “shall we continue?”
“Jane Volturi, for your part in the torturing of a Volturi Queen, your sentence is final death. Your estate will be given to the very person you tortured Didyme Volturi.” Having heard the sentence passed the guard standing behind her took Jane’s head off and it too was tossed into the fireplace.
“Sulpicia Volturi, your sentence will not be carried out so quickly as Jane’s and although you will most certainly beg for death to claim you it will not come for you so soon. Before I tell you what your punishment is to be I must first deal with Aro.” Caius walked over and stood in front of Aro.
“Aro Volturi, I have asked Major Jasper Whitlock for his assistance in handing down your punishment. I have requested that he and his mate remain here as my guests for a period of six months. During those six months he will visit you then your mate, Sulpicia, daily. During those visits, after you have had your arms and legs removed he will first let you feel what Didyme felt every time you tortured and raped her. After he is finished with you, as the length of time you suffer is entirely up to him, the guards will bring in Sulpicia and she will feel the pain that Didyme suffered at your hands. As a warning to others who might consider following in your footsteps the first of those punishments will start now.” After warning the other vampires in the room that if any one tries to help Aro or Picia he or she will suffer the same before being sent to his or her final death and if they are mated he or she will watch their mate suffer the same punishment. Caius asks Jasper to begin. Before Jasper can start Marcus takes Didyme and Esme out of the room stating that Didyme has been through enough.
Jasper put Aro through the pain for about 30 minutes then let Sulpicia feel the pain that her silence had let Didyme suffer for another 30 minutes. Aro was then given his limbs back, given a dog to drain and they were both taken back to their cells. Jasper was feeling a bit drained himself and he and Alice left the castle to go hunting.
Bella and I were lying on the bed listening to some soft soothing music. She was quite upset with everything that had happened. Jasper and Alice returned after being gone for a few hours and joined us for the rest of the evening. They were surprised to learn that Caius had also invited us to remain at the castle for a few months so that we could learn more of the vampire world. Bella had seen the library and was thrilled to stay. We were both surprised when Caius handed Bella a check for the bounty that Aro had offered on her, and when Marcus handed me a check for 10 million American dollars, the reward he had offered for any information on Didyme’s whereabouts, asking me to share it with the others.
We ended up staying in Volterra for six months as Bella didn’t want to leave Alice there by herself. Esme was there but she was busy teaching Didyme about all the changes she had missed. Esme was also quite busy redecorating the castle.
Caius was right in his prediction of Sulpicia begging for death, we could all hear her pleas, but he was also right that death would not come so soon for her. After she had served a few months of her sentence one of her maids, not being able to listen to her mistress’ pleas for death any longer, had sneaked down to the cells and threw a lighter in to her. The next time she was in the cell with Aro and Jasper had finished her punishment she walked over, kissed Aro on the forehead, and told him she would never forgive him. Later that night screams were heard coming from her cell and when the guards arrived it was too late to save her. True to his word, he had the maid that had helped her destroyed as well.
No one knew that Alec had the ability to use his gift on himself but apparently he had learned how to use it to shut himself off from the world. After watching him for a couple of months and seeing that he never came back into consciousness Caius took pity on him and had him destroyed.
Didyme and Esme became the best of friends and it was pure joy to watch the light in Didyme’s eyes shine so bright when she learned something new. Everyone that either lived in the castle or came to visit upon hearing the news of her return couldn’t believe the change in Marcus. Where he once gave the appearance of a man that was so bored with the world he now found joy and happiness in everything and everyone around him.
Marcus and Caius had Chelsea remove the bonds from the guards and they were all given the freedom to choose to stay with the guard or to leave and return to their former lives.
The last day of Aro’s sentence we were all called back to the throne room to witness his last bit of punishment. We were all shocked to see the broken and frail man that Aro had become. As had been his practice since Sulpicia’s death Jasper let Aro feel the pain for an hour. When Jasper pulled his power back Marcus stepped in front of Aro, picked up the limbs lying on the floor in front of him and tossed them into the fire one by one. Aro’s screaming increased as each limb was burned. When all the limbs had been burned Marcus tore Aro’s head from his body and tossed both pieces into the fire.
The day we had a couple of surprises, Jacob had called to let Caius know that two tribe members, Leah and Seth Clearwater, had begun shifting. Caius reminded him to keep them in check or he would be back to visit. The second surprise came when we were visiting with Marcus, Didyme, Esme, and her new friend Fergus (Bella thinks they are more than just friends). The doors to the castle were thrown open and we all heard the booming voice crying out “where the Hell is everybody” we started laughing and waited for Emmett and Maggie to join us. As expected Emmett now had red eyes and he and Maggie both were quite excited to learn about mixing human and animal blood. They both hated wearing contacts when they were out in public and wanted to try the mix as soon as possible. Caius had also been intrigued and was experimenting so there were some mixes already made up in the castle kitchen for them to try.
When the morning of our departure came we were all ready to continue on with our journey with Emmett and Maggie deciding to come with us for a while. When I asked everyone where they wanted to go once we got back to our RV everyone agreed that after the events of the last several months there was only one place to go.
Disneyland, here we come.
Well, this is the end my friends. I hope you enjoyed taking this journey with me. I want to thank InLoveWithEric for pre-reading for me. I also want to thank all of you who stayed with me for the entire journey. I appreciate each and every one of you that sent in a review and those of you that didn’t review but kept reading.