Her bones were aching and her head felt as if it was about to explode. If she didn’t know any better, she had experienced the best party ever and was now incredibly hungover. Bella had stayed down, with her head in Isaac’s lap, overviewing the entire room while she pretended to be whatever they wanted her to be.
It had been two days since Jane started to hurt her, and today it was going to end. Bella was going to end Jane even if that meant she was going to break down the entire building. It had also been two days since Jasper told her to keep fighting, he believed she was mentally strong enough to beat Corin, and he promised her he’d keep giving her waking nudges here and there if able.
And for the first time since she got here, she felt strong enough to push through her influence. All she needed now, was a plan. She’d been stupid when she voluntarily went with Aro, but he had Isaac. And Peter was with her so he had to leave. Aro was not going to take away her Isaac from her, her baby was going to need a father.
While she had hated Corin’s meddling with her mind; it was almost as if she’d been in a fog and happy and stuff like that, it did made her realize that the thing that was growing inside of her was worth loving and exploring. Worth protecting. Worth getting out of this mess for.
It didn’t look like Scott and anyone else was looking for them; it was what Bella had expected. They were simply too busy with their own problems, the dead pool for one, and Bella and Isaac were insignificant. But if Isaac didn’t snap out of this, she was going to have to do this on her own.
She had tried to get her shield to expand again, she had noticed that it had collapsed in on itself and protected the baby, but it wasn’t budging. Probably because of the anxiety that was coursing through her veins. Anxiety and anger. Rage. Not the fluffy feelings that she should be feeling but at least the negative emotions kept her vomiting at bay. But without her shield expanding so she could shield Isaac from Corin, she was on her own. All she could hope for was that Jasper was still on her side and Alice wasn’t paying attention to her.
Bella let out a sigh of contentment as she shifted a little to get a little bit more comfortable. Now that she was fully aware of her body, she noticed how everything ached and how slow it took for broken bones to heal. It wasn’t as bad as she expected, but it still sucked. Everything was fixed, it just needed the little push to get back to full mobility. Letting out a low growl and shifted her hand that was underneath Isaac’s legs, she felt how she forced her body to get indeed that final push.
It just sucked that vampires had such great hearing.
“Good morning, Bella,” Corin greeted her warmly and Bella could feel how the vampire was trying to influence her, making her content in her situation, but it wouldn’t take. She wasn’t sure if Corin noticed. “We have a problem,” Corin turned to Aro. “She’s resisting.”
Corin really shouldn’t have gotten close to Bella. She inelegantly sat up while Corin was trying to invade her mind. Bella concentrated hard to force her out while she grabbed the vampire and pulled her down to her level before starting to try to separate her head from her body. Much to Bella’s surprise, it was Isaac who pulled Bella off of the vampire and she didn’t like it at all. “What the fuck are you doing, Bella?” He was holding her tight and she was trying to get out of his arms. “They’ve been nothing but nice to us, keeping us safe and you want to repay them with killing one of them?”
Bella let out a growl as she glared at Corin and then at Aro, who was looking at her with an interested look on his face. She stopped struggling in Isaac’s arms and crossed her arms over her chest. She couldn’t blame Isaac, he was still under Corin’s influence, but he wouldn’t have been if she’d been able to kill Corin.
She was weaker than she had felt in the forest, this was because of the Mountain Ash in Eichen House’s foundations and she had to be stronger. She had to be able to rip off Corin’s head for the both of them to have a chance of survival.
“Calm down, Bella,” Jasper spoke calmly as he put his hand on her shoulder, but not trying to change anything. It had been a good attempt, she had to fight harder. Her boytoy was useless and Alice had already foreseen that Bella was capable of much more. Of being much more. He gently squeezed her shoulder and she relaxed, he hoped that Aro was only amused by her being able to deflect Corin’s gift and that he wouldn’t kill her. It hadn’t been the plan. Aro wanted Bella for himself.
“Well well,” Aro got to his feet and approached Bella. Without warning, he grabbed her by her neck and lifted her off the floor almost as if she was a doll, ready to be played with. “What are we going to do with you now? Corin was supposed to keep you quiet until nightfall, but if you are fighting her… we’ll have to think of something else.”
“Let go of me,” she tried pushing off of him, but his hand was like a vice around her neck and only held her tighter as she struggled. She managed to put her feet against Aro’s chest and concentrated as she pushed herself away from him, landing on the ground with ease. She was surprised to see that Aro was armless and blinked when something seemed to dangle from her neck. Smirking, she realized that it was his arm and pried the fingers off of her neck. “I think you’ve lost something.”
Had he seen her eyes flash a deep red when she was trying to kick herself off? Surely not, but she seemed to be getting stronger by the minute, almost as if her body had adjusted to the Mountain Ash that surrounded them. He cursed himself quietly; they should have taken over the supernatural wing, but then again, they wouldn’t even be able to do a thing.
With a scowl, Aro dismissed Felix and Jane, who had been eager to deal with Bella their own way and snatched his arm back from the young werewolf. It hurt like hell, but it’d heal.
Time for plan B. He grabbed a vial out of his pocket with his good working arm after pressing his other arm against the wound. He could feel how his body was sucking at the arm to keep it in place and the healing process had already begun. He flipped the lid off the small jar with his thumb and nodded towards Jane, who caused enough pain for Bella to be still affected and unable to turn, and backing her into the nearest corner.
Aro could see why she liked the boy so much, he was a puppy, and not even remotely concerned about the pain his girlfriend was in. He could easily be disposed of. Oh, and he’d have Bella watch. Brilliant! All giddy, he threw the contents of the jar at Bella, the ash forming a nice little circle around her. An inescapable prison of Mountain Ash. They were going to get a human later to break the circle when they were ready to leave, but at least now she didn’t have anywhere to go.
Bella felt a relief wash over her when the barrier came down around her, Jane wasn’t able to hurt her anymore, which also meant that Alice couldn’t see her decisions and both Jasper and Corin couldn’t influence her. Physically, she couldn’t be hurt either because everyone in the room was supernatural. She was safe. However, it also meant that she was going to have an even harder time trying to fight her way out of this as the Mountain Ash barrier was strong, and she was nowhere capable enough to push through it.
She sat down quietly with a scowl on her face and allowed the slow healing process undo the damage Jane had caused. She couldn’t really get angry with Isaac for pulling her off of Corin, but deep down, she was seething with anger. Yes, they were going to get out of this mess and then she’d give him the house and just leave him. End of games. But it wasn’t as if he could do anything about it, but still. If Bella was able to push her out of her head, why couldn’t he? Maybe because she had the venom in her system. Maybe. Maybe the baby was helping her.
She absentmindedly caressed her stomach, a small bump was already noticeable; heck, she had to rip her pants a little to be able to get in a couple of days ago. She couldn’t believe that there was an actual baby growing inside of her even if it was a very bad idea. She and Isaac were nowhere near to be in the place to raise a child. They liked to have way too much fun and if Bella thought that buying a house was a very grown up thing to do, raising a child would be even more of a grown up thing to do and she wasn’t even 20!
Her mom was going to kill her. Charlie would shoot Isaac in a heartbeat.
She reached out to the edge of the mountain ash and growled when it was really containing her. “What are your plans, Aro?” Bella said as she shifted a little to make her a little bit more comfortable. “You obviously got me and you want me alive otherwise I would have been dead days ago.”
The vampire looked at her and shrugged lightly. “Perhaps. Or maybe I want to see you suffer.”
“That’s bullshit. And you’re a moron. You should have taken me back to Volterra when I was still under that bitch’ influence. I’m not going anywhere with you now.”
“Well well,” he said with an amused smile on his face. “I didn’t know you were that eager to come home to Volterra with us.”
“I’m not. I’d rather die.”
“That will be an option, yes,” Marcus mused, looking at the trapped little werewolf from his seat. “Please refrain from speaking further, our plane leaves tonight.”
“You can’t stop me.”
“Oh, we can,” Caius nodded to Felix, who immediately made his way over to Isaac. Felix grabbed Isaac’s arm and smirked at Bella when he broke Isaac’s arm in half. The sound of bones breaking made her nauseous, his cries of agony broke her heart and fuelled the rage inside of her.
“Leave him alone!”
“Once more, please, Felix,” Caius said in an even tone and watched in fascination as the vampire picked up the werewolf and threw him across the space, having him collide with the wall and temporarily knocking him out. “Well done.”
Unable to contain her anger, Bella roared out loud as she got to her feet. Once again, Aro thought he was seeing things when her eyes briefly flashed red. He wasn’t too worried. Bella was surrounded by mountain ash and she couldn’t transform. He was assured that no supernatural being could escape from it or get to her.
“Felix,” Caius coached the vampire, unfazed by Bella’s roar. Felix went over to Isaac’s limp body and lifted him up, watching the boy’s face, almost thinking about what he was going to do next. Shrugging, Felix dropped the boy to the floor and decided to break the arm some more. “Bella, every time you make a noise, we will hurt your boy. It’s in his best interest if you’d refrain from speaking.”
Bella thought for a moment. Hadn’t Argent mentioned something about a wolf needing to shift to get rid of certain external influences? Would it help against Corin’s meddling? It would certainly help him to heal faster. Pain helped him shift, she knew that, and she really didn’t want him to go through more pain, but he was still slightly dulled by Corin’s influence and he’d understand, wouldn’t he?
No, he wouldn’t. She promised him she wouldn’t hurt him and she wasn’t going to hurt him through a proxy. However, she wasn’t going to allow them to hurt Isaac even further. She needed to get rid of her rage, punch something. She was not going to Volterra and Isaac was not going to get hurt even more. Letting out a low growl, she started to push against the barrier of mountain ash.
The first try had her collide with the wall as it bounced back, causing the vampires look at her in concern. “Bunch of pansies,” she muttered under her breath, making eye contact with Jasper and Alice and focused her rage upon them. They were free. Or at least, Jasper was. Bella could tell and once again, he wasn’t doing anything to stop others from hurting people. “You call yourself a vampire.”
Bella winced when she heard more bones break and Isaac falling to the ground again. “Please, please just stop…” Isaac whimpered. “I’ll do better, I promise!”
She ducked when a knife came at her and sneered. She needed to free herself, she needed to get out there and make sure that Felix wouldn’t hurt Isaac again. Isaac. Isaac was important. Focussing on him, she started to try and push through the barrier again. Everything could be beat. She beat Corin. She killed Edward. She found friends who helped her with the Cullens. Yes, it sucked that it was currently her against a barrier and Volturi and she probably wasn’t going to survive, but she was going to try.
She was so busy concentrating to escape, that she didn’t notice that another knife was coming for her until it hit her in her leg, causing her to stumble back in pain. Bella looked at the knife sticking out of her leg almost as if it was a foreign idea for her to get hurt like this, which it basically was. Her shield was around her stomach and that’s where it was supposed to be, but this sensation was weird.
Bella pulled out the knife and flung it back, she wasn’t sure who threw it at her, but she aimed for Marcus’ head and he obviously caught it with a big smile on his face. She could feel how her wound was slowly closing and limped to her spot again. No longer keeping her anger at bay, she was determined to get through this time and nothing, no one, was going to stop her.
Taking a deep breath, she started to push through again, focusing on Isaac. While he was still pretty much out of it, she could see how the pain was bubbling underneath the surface of his skin. He looked like a tortured angel. Hers.
After a few seconds, she saw the vampires scatter and she thought she saw Derek in her peripheral vision but that wasn’t possible, there was no way he could know where she was. Even if it was Derek, she needed to get out of the mountain ash. She needed to check up on Isaac and she needed to kill at least one of the Volturi, preferably all of them. Corin was on top of her hit list, but so was Jasper, as well as Alice.
It was definitely Derek, as he joined the dumbfounded faces of the vampires who were watching her in awe as she was pushing through the mountain ash. Letting out a low growl, she could feel how it finally started to give. She felt empowered, strong and certainly capable of doing this. Bella felt confident that she could take apart a vampire, even with the mountain ash in the building. If she could push through the barrier, she was capable of using her full strength on breaking steel bodies.
She landed on all fours when she finally pushed through and the resistance stopped and roared. Not missing a beat, she pushed herself off from the ground and jumped on the nearest vampire – Jasper – and ripped off his head. She used his still standing body as a jumping board and kicked his head against Alice’s before launching herself at Corin, giving her the same treatment she had just given Jasper.
Landing on her feet, the Volturi scurried away in a corner, with only their guard shielding them from Bella. She looked at Derek, who looked at her dumbstruck, and Peter’s jaw was on the floor. “You’re fucking late,” she said angrily, causing both men to cast their eyes down before shaking whatever made them do it off and making their way over to the Volturi.
Bella made her way over to Isaac and sat down on her knees as she cupped his face. “Are you okay?”
“Not sure,” he said with a groan and rubbed his head. “What happened?”
“We got duped, that’s what happened,” she softly kissed him and helped him to his feet. “Come on, I left some for you to kill.” When she was sure that Isaac was steady on his feet, she looked at Peter and Derek who were both fighting off two vampires. Jane was having a blast with hurting them and this angered Bella. Jane was hers.
She ran over to Jane and knocked her down on the floor, pinning her down as she sat on top of her. Bella’s claws were extended as she ripped Jane’s pretty face to shreds, enjoying the sound of Jane’s cries. She pushed her fingers into Jane’s mouth and ripped out her tongue before shoving it up her nose. She then ripped of her arm and beat her with it until she got bored with it. It took her a little bit of effort to separate Jane’s head from her body but when she did, she took her arm and pulled down Felix’ pants. He was on Derek’s back at the moment while Derek was fighting one of the wives.
The wives were now extremely pissed off as they realized they had been under Corin’s influence for so long, but still they felt this loyalty towards their mates to help protect them. All those years in the tower without any real exercise didn’t do them any favors as Derek easily deflected the wife’s attempts of hitting him.
Felix yelped when Bella pulled his pants down, but didn’t let go of Derek. She then jammed Jane’s arm up his ass and pulled him off Derek, flinging him across the room as he had with Isaac. Isaac was on top of Felix in a second, holding the vampire in a vice like hold with his legs and pulled on his head. It took Isaac a little while, but the satisfying ‘pop’ sound was music to both their ears.
Bella surprised herself by how strong she felt, how powerful. She knew it was the adrenaline coursing through her veins, fuelled by her anger towards the vampires and right now she was happy about it. It meant that it didn’t have to take much to take them down for good. She was just about to reach out and grab Joshua off Peter’s back when she heard Scott let out a roar, causing Isaac to drop what he was doing and Peter and Derek looking annoyed at the Alpha.
Agitated, Bella spun around and saw Scott and his pack standing in the door opening. The twins were there, so were Liam, Malia and Kira and they looked at the scene before them in confusion, but ready to strike when needed.
“Oh lookie, it’s Scott. Better stop killing evil vampires,” Bella remarked sarcastically. “He thinks he can hug them and make it all alright.” She found Jasper’s head somewhere between Derek and Peter and kicked it towards Scott. “He came to hand me over to the Volturi, what does your morality have to say about that?”
“You didn’t have to kill him.”
“Oh he’s not dead. Not yet. The plan is to toss them all out the window into a pile and set them on fire.”
“That’s not going to happen. Back down.”
Derek and Peter looked at each other and shrugged as they both looked at Scott at the same time with an amused look on their faces. “She’s not yours to command anymore, Scott,” Derek said smugly, nodding towards the lines of mountain ash that were looking the same as when Scott pushed through one to get to the Darach, only it was broken outwards.
“What do you mean?”
Derek nodded towards the circle again. “She did that.”
“No way,” Scott blinked and looked at Bella. “You’re not an alpha.”
“No, I’m not. I’m strong enough to break out of that because you fuckers didn’t show up in time,” Bella growled as she kicked Jane’s head a bit harder than she had Jasper’s and nearly hit Scott in the face. “So either help me kill the remaining Cold Ones or leave me to it because you’re not the boss of me.”
“I’m your alpha.”
Bella snorted. “No, you’re not. You’re a douchebag who like to ruin other people’s fun. They need to die, Scott. They will continue to do what they’re doing and they’ll kill loads of innocent people. Abuse them. Eat them for lunch. They hurt me and they hurt Isaac. Do you even care about us?”
“It’s not like you helped us with the assassins,” Aiden rolled his eyes at her.
“Isaac and I have been here for what? Three days? We were here, locked up under mountain ash with psychopathic vampires. Getting our minds fucked with. Did you even realise we were missing? I mean, if I hadn’t done anything, we’d be on a plane to Italy by now,” she said as she pulled Isaac closer to her. Even the Volturi and the remaining Cold Ones were looking flabbergasted. She then turned to the Volturi wives. “You may leave. I don’t care you just attacked my friends, but you were simply protecting your husbands. Leave.”
The wives looked at each other before one nodded. “Do your worst. He deserves it.” Bella watched them walk out the door and raised an eyebrow at Scott.
When he didn’t say anything she rolled her eyes at him. “With friends like you, who needs enemies?” She turned around and grabbed Alice, holding her in a vice like hold and looked at Isaac. “Continue, handsome.”
“Stop!” Scott roared, trying to issue an Alpha command and she could see that Isaac was a little bit confused, but he wasn’t backing away like he normally would.
“Go on,” she smiled at Isaac, ignoring Scott. “You know you want to.”
The next growl Scott let out was when he was fully transformed into his werewolf self and his eyes were bright red. It let the whole building shake and it caused all the beta’s respond with a whimper and wolfing out. But not Bella. She was sick and tired of Scott trying to be the better man and let go of Alice.
She turned to Scott and roared back in return. She felt how she shifted, the tingling in her body felt different, some how. She let out another growl when she felt she was fully transformed and smirked when she saw Scott and his pack look at her either in awe or extreme discomfort. “What!” she demanded. “Stop telling me what to do, asshole!”
“Oh, yeah, did I mention? She’s a True Alpha, just like you, Scott. You’re not such a rare snowflake after all,” Peter managed to quip once the effect of an Alpha’s command wore off on him. Scott’s wasn’t much of a problem, it had been Bella’s that had touched him, which was slightly confusing as he didn’t like bowing down to an alpha.
“Not really, if you think about it,” Peter continued with a shrug. “Apart from who she is as a person and what she’s been through, the Shaman who bound her werewolf side must have known something. Known about her potential as a True Alpha and decided to bind the spell to such. It’s brilliant, really.”
“I’m not an Alpha,” Bella said with a growl. “I don’t want to be one.”
“Well, you are, sweet cheeks,” Peter winked at her. “And I’ll be happy to be in your pack if you’ll have me.”
Derek blinked at Peter. “Seriously? No ulterior motives?”
“Nope. She made me feel something, Derek. It was amazing,” Peter explained and then saw the confused look on his nephew’s face. “When she roared. Fuck, that was amazing. Besides, we’re omegas. I’d rather be a beta because Hales are no omegas, we have a reputation to uphold. I’d rather be a beta to someone who doesn’t like orders and giving them than have to deal with the walking Clearasil ad.”
“Yeah but what about our normal lives? Do we really want to give her that much power over us?”
“Do you really see her interfering with our lives?”
Derek was quiet for a moment and looked at Bella who was basically ignoring the rest of them now as she and Isaac were standing away from the vampires and the wolves, quietly talking to themselves about the baby. Unknowingly, she had already accepted Isaac as part of her pack. “You have a point. Bella?”
Bella looked up, annoyance briefly flashing across her face.
“Can Peter and I join your pack?”
“Seriously?” Scott blinked at Bella. “You take Isaac away from me and you have the Hales join you? Are you nuts?”
“I didn’t ask them,” Bella said with a shrug. “But don’t worry, Scott. I’m sure your friends will stick by you and they can still be friends with you. I honestly don’t care. And I am not going to meddle with your affairs as long as you don’t stick your snout in mine.” She said a bit more forcefully. “So, if you don’t mind, we have some killing to do. You’re welcome to join us.”
Scott just looked at his friends and saw Ethan and Aiden wavering a little bit. They had been wanting to join a pack, not just Scott’s, and with Bella now being an Alpha, she was already strong on her own, but joined by the Hales? It was going to be a pack to be reckoned with.
“And because you’re so good at barking orders at your friends, send one of them to fetch some marshmallows for the bonfire we’re going to have.”