Bella never goes to Forks, instead living with Renee and Phil throughout high school. During her 3rd year at NYU, she is studying abroad in Florence, Italy. Her life is forever changed when she is compelled to visit Volterra; stumbling into a world she never dreamed could exist. AU, OOC, MA, Bella/Jasper

A Note from Mae

I am an avid fan of Twilight fanfiction. I've also been a fan of writing my own stories from time to time. So I decided to combine the two and recently started writing my own fanfiction. Feel free to check out my profile on FFn.

This blog is primarily for additional info and pics to accompany my story, Unfathomable Bonds. This is my first multi-chapter fanfiction story and I'm very excited about it.

If this story sounds interesting to you, please check it out. If you do, please feel free to let me know how you like it.

Lots of love, Mae.

Disclaimer: Stephenie Meyer owns Twilight and all its affiliated characters; I just like to play with them. I also do not own any of the artwork discussed in any chapter of this fic. I am merely using them in one way or another for the purpose of my story.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

UB Chapter 4 - Confrontations

Many huge groveling apologies to my readers for this chapter taking so long.  Unfortunately, life doesn’t always work out the way we want it to.  I actually started this chapter a long while ago, but just couldn’t get it right in my head in order to write it out.  But finally you will be seeing a lot of love, some drama, and a teeny bit of action with a tiny dab of Jasper on top. 

So, I hope this is worth it and I’m off to start the next chapter now.  I do hope it won’t take me so long to get this one out, but I can make no promises.  I do hope you all stick with me and enjoy the story as it unfolds regardless of my slow nature, however.

Thanks to my lovely beta, JaspersDestiny, for putting up with my craptastic writing and making it readable.  J

Rating: This story is rated M (MA) for a reason.  It will at times contain violence, lemons, and other adult content.  I really don’t do PG, as anyone who knows me can tell you.  So, if you aren’t of age, you should not be reading this.

Disclaimer: Stephenie Meyer owns Twilight and all affiliated characters - I just like to play with them.  I also don’t own any of the artwork discussed in any chapter of this fic.  I am merely using it in one way or another for the purpose of my story.

Chapter 4 – Confrontations

Sera POV

My eyes were narrowed slits as I looked at the man across the table from me.  Here I sat yet again, my plate showing the remnants of my meal, while his sat nearly untouched.  I fumed as I listened to his latest excuse.  “Forgive me, my dear, but I ate quite well for lunch and I fear I am still somewhat full.”  It wasn’t that it wasn’t a good enough response – once – but he had an excuse for every meal.  So, me being me, I rolled my eyes and called him on it.

“Marcus, really, what’s going on?  You never eat and you’re always cold.  Not to mention these here gems...”  I held up the pendant that he constantly insisted I wear at all times.  I had exchanged it with another to match my outfit once and he wouldn’t budge from the apartment until I put it back on.  “And then there are the bodyguards and the expensive cars and suits - you throw money around like beads at Mardi Gras, and your eyes…well, let’s not get into that.”

I sighed in exasperation and watched him, waiting for an answer.  He was quiet for a long while, looking at me, and then down at his untouched plate.  It looked like he was trying to decide what to tell me.  It gave me time to think.

Marcus was very fastidiously courting me, no doubt about it.  He made sure to use his old world charm and smooth, silent demeanor to put me off guard and draw me in at the same time.  I was like a moth to a flame when it came to Marcus.  It was both exciting and terrifying, the hold he seemed to have on me.

Over the past few weeks we had been out at least a dozen times.  Sometimes Bella went with us, like when we visited Lucca for the day.  Other times it was just us – wait, let me rephrase that – just us and either Felix, Demetri, or both.  It was strange to have someone follow us all the time, but Marcus didn’t seem to notice them.  Whenever we were together, he seemed to be focused completely on me.

Marcus seemed content with whatever I wished to do.  All I had to do was even hint that I wanted to try something and Marcus would make it happen somehow.  It didn’t matter if I wanted to visit a museum or a city, take a drive in the countryside and paint or take pictures - he made it happen. 

“Sera, I would like to tell you everything about myself.  Truly, I wish for nothing else,” Marcus said, breaking me from my reverie.

“Then why don’t you, Marcus?” I asked him, and then bit my lip in a nervous habit I was gaining from Bella.  “Is this-” I broke off, wondering if I should voice my thoughts aloud, but then I decided honesty was the best policy.  “Is this just fun to you?  Us, I mean?” I asked, gesturing to each of us with my hand as I spoke.

“No!” he stated in a loud voice but then seemed to realize he’d nearly shouted.  Reaching across the table, he took my hand in his chilled one.  “No, cara mia, this is not just ‘fun’, as you call it.  I have never done this,” he squeezed my hand in emphasis, “with anyone else.  You must trust that I would never allow anything to hurt you – in any way.  This includes myself.”

Quietly observing the way my hand fit into his, I contemplated his words.  “And yet, you don’t want to share some things with me.  And I have a feeling they aren’t little things either,” I paused and took a breath.  “How am I supposed to get to know you when you keep such a huge chunk of yourself hidden away like that?  How can I-” I shook my head before I could finish that train of thought.  It was way too soon for that conversation.

Thankfully, Marcus spoke.  “It is not my intention to upset you thus.  I merely worry that it is too soon to tell you.  I worry that I may frighten you away were I to enlighten you so completely at this time.”

Again there was silence at the table.  I noticed a waiter coming our way, but a stoic-faced Felix stopped him.  It was strange to see Felix in anything but his usual jovial demeanor.  I watched as he spoke quietly to the waiter, who then turned and walked back to the kitchen.  Felix resumed his guard and sent me a small smile. 

I shook my head and returned my gaze to Marcus.  I didn’t know how to go on with this man.  He confused me on such a level that I just couldn’t think anymore.  “I think,” I started, and then swallowed before I continued, “that I need some time.”  My eyes rose to his and I nearly lost my resolve at the sadness I saw in them, but he remained silent.  As always, he was letting me have my say.  “I think we both do.  We need to decide where we want this to go, if anywhere.  And you need to decide if you want to be completely honest with me or not - because this can’t go anywhere without that.”  I stopped him as he began to speak, “Please don’t answer now.”

I went to pull my hand from his, but he held tight, not letting me go.  Instead, he silently tugged on my hand until I stood so he could pull me close.  Our bodies were only a breath away from touching as I looked up into his murky brown eyes.  We stared at each other a moment before Marcus raised a hand and passed the back of his fingers over my cheek.

“Cara mia,” he began in a soft whisper that had me shivering in a way that had nothing to do with the cold and everything to do with the man in front of me.  “I do not need this time you mention to know what it is I want from you.  From us,” he clarified.  “I want there to be an ‘us’, as you say.  There is nothing more absolute as that simple fact.  You are a beautiful, intelligent woman and a very talented artist.  Moreover, you have a passion for life that entices the people around you to enjoy every moment they are alive.  There is no other woman like you, nor will there ever be such a one as you.  I do not think you realize as yet just how great a hold you have on me – on my thoughts and my feelings.  I want to spend eternity learning every nuance possible about you.  I want to spend eternity allowing you to do the same.”  He paused and cupped my face in his hands, gazing deep into my eyes.  “I want an eternity with you, Sera.”

As the final words touched my ears, his mouth descended on mine.  I had been dreaming of kissing him - it was a fantasy I often had, among others.  The fantasy did not compare to the reality, though, that’s for sure.  So shocked was I that the only part of myself I could control were my lips, which after a short moment joined in the kiss enthusiastically.  His lips touched mine, caressing, sliding in a gentle touch across them.  I was afraid he’d pull away then, but he came back for more.  It was loving and sweet and so beautiful that I could feel tears prickling from behind my closed eyes as our lips met again and again. 

When Marcus finally lifted his head from mine, I opened my eyes slowly.  He was looking down at me with an odd expression I couldn’t place. 

“Say nothing, cara mia,” he told me as I opened my mouth to speak.  His fingers touched my lips lightly, his skin cooling my heated flesh.  “I will give you the time for which you have asked.  When you make your decision, I want you to be absolutely certain that this is what you wish.  There can be no change of heart once you have chosen.  Do you understand?” 

I nodded mutely at him, a little bewildered by his comment and a lot flustered still from the kiss. 

He smiled and kissed me again, but this one was much shorter than the last.  This time when he raised his head, he released me and stepped back. 

We were silent the rest of the night as he helped me into the light sweater I had worn and discarded in the warmth of the restaurant.  Taking my hand, Marcus then led the way to the car, and Felix drove us back to my apartment.

As Marcus led me to the door, I sighed and turned to him, saddened when I realized I didn’t know when I would see him again.

“Marcus-” I began, but he stopped me again.

“Sera,” he said, cutting me off.  “Please, take this time to think.  Take what time you need, cara.  I give it to you.”

With a final kiss, Marcus opened the door as I walked inside, and then turned and walked back to the car.  A moment later he was gone and I was walking up the stairs in a daze.  As I reached the top step, I turned and sat on it.  I could hear my roommates inside and wanted a moment to think and compose myself before seeing them.

The scene at the restaurant with Marcus replayed in my head.  I placed a hand to my racing heart as I remembered his words.  No one in all my years had ever said that to me.  Granted, Marcus says a lot of things most people don’t say, but this…this was different.  My heart was aflutter that he seemed to care so much - so deeply and so quickly. 

I had known I was falling in love with the quirky, reclusive man, but now, as I sat here thinking about him, I realized I was mistaken.  I wasn’t falling in love with him - I had already fallen well before this. 

The question now was what do I do about it?  There was still the issue of him not being completely honest with me about his diet, his eyes, his skin…many things. 

It didn’t take me long to decide what to do.  In the end it was easy, really.  There was no way I could give him up, but I could stand my ground.  I’d give him a day or two to think things over, and then have a nice little sit down with him - man to woman. 

I grinned, feeling better once I’d made my decision, and I stood, brushing off my skirt as I walked in the door of the apartment. 

The next two hours were spent getting ready with the girls.  It was the weekend, so we had opted for a girls’ night out at a local club.  We’d been there before and it had a nice atmosphere, good drinks, and great music. 

I thought about talking to Bella about Marcus, but decided against it.  I had a feeling it was going to be a long conversation, and with the four of us trying to eat, get ready, and head out to the club, I decided to let it go and talk to her about it tomorrow. 

Bella POV

The night club, Yab, had been in full swing when we arrived hours ago.  We had paid our cover and entered into a large open room.  Along one wall was a bar with a couple of sets of tables and chairs next to it.  Along the other walls were various sets of seating areas – sofas, chairs, and benches.  Strewn throughout were large columns, and in the center of the room was a huge dance floor.  All of this was illuminated with pink and purple fluorescent light bulbs in various shapes and sizes, adding vibrancy and dimension to the otherwise plain design of the room.

Our first stop, of course, had been the bar, which we revisited many times throughout the evening.  I could tell there was something going on with Sera, but when I tried to talk to her about it, she just told me we’d talk later when we had more time.  I was sure something had happened with Marcus, and while I was curious, I didn’t press her.  I knew we would talk later tonight or tomorrow.

I noticed, however, that she wasn’t as into the girls’ night out as she normally would have been.  After one Mai Tai, she’d switched to water and was very distracted the entire evening.  Neither of us were big drinkers, but we usually had enough to get us a little tipsy. 

It was well after midnight when Sera and I left, leaving Hailey and Kelli to continue their dancing and drinking as usual.  Sera and I often left before them, so it wasn’t an odd occurrence.  Besides, I think Hailey and Kelli could tell that something was off with Sera, though they said nothing.  We all smiled and hugged each other before Sera and I left the club.

We walked silently a few blocks, each of us wrapped in light jackets to ward off the chilly autumn night air.  Briefly, I considered asking her about Marcus, but decided she would talk when she was ready, so I said nothing.  I was beginning to think we would be making the entire trip in silence when she spoke.

“I love him.”  Her voice was so quiet I almost didn’t hear her.

Smiling, I wrapped my arm around her waist and hugged her to my side as we walked.  “I kind of guessed that already.”  I looked over at her face, seeing her troubled expression.  “But it’s not as simple as that, is it?”

She shook her head.  “No, it’s not,” she said as she launched into a description of her evening with Marcus. 

I grinned when she mentioned taking him to task about all his oddities.  It was something we had both been curious about all along.  I knew it wasn’t the actual oddities that bothered Sera, as they didn’t really bother me.  Rather, it was the fact that we knew he was hiding something from us.  I was in complete agreement with her, and I think Marcus realized that but was afraid that whatever it was would scare her away.

When she told me what he said to her, I was nearly moved to tears.  I knew Marcus cared about her.  You could see it in the way he looked at her, as if the sun rose and set on her.  Sera looked at him with just as much love in her eyes.  They would work it out, I’m sure. 

She was just getting to the kissing part when we were interrupted by her phone ringing.  We looked at each other in curiosity, wondering who would be calling at this time of night.  Sera dug out her phone and looked at the display.  “It’s Marcus,” she said. 

“Maybe he misses you already?” I teased her, smiling.

She returned the smile and answered the phone.  “Hello Mar-” she began, but was cut off by the voice on the other end of the phone.  I could hear the muffled sound but couldn’t make out the words.  “Marcus, calm down.  We’re fine and on our way home from the club.”  She was quiet again, listening to him speak as she looked at me with an odd expression.  I returned her look with one of my own, wondering what was going on.  “We’ll just meet you at the apartment, cher.  We’re only a few blocks away…We’ll be fine.  Don’t worry.”

“Oh, I think he has reason to worry.” 

Hearing a smooth voice coming from behind us, heavy with accent, we both spun around.  There, leaning against the wall, was a man.  He was tall, with short cropped dark hair.  His head was tilted down as if he were inspecting his nails, but I could tell his eyes were on us, even in the dim light of the deserted street.

I was suddenly terrified, realizing we were two lone women walking in the early hours of the morning with no one in sight.  Not only that, but there was something about this man especially that terrified me. 

My grip on Sera’s waist tightened and I could hear the low rumble of Marcus speaking on the phone to Sera. 

“Marcus… Alright, cher.”  Sera’s voice was soft and I could tell she was just as scared as I was.  With a trembling hand, she held out the phone to the man.  “He wishes to speak to you.”

The man looked up in surprise and curiosity.  For a moment, I thought he was going to ignore Sera, but then he pushed himself off the wall and stepped into the light toward us.  I gasped as I saw his eyes.  They were a dark crimson red.  Hearing Sera gasp next to me, I knew she had seen them as well. 

Plucking the phone from Sera’s hand, he pressed it to his ear.  “Hello.”  He paused as Marcus spoke.  “Ahh, Master Marcus.  So nice to hear from you.  I found it quite interesting that they wore the Volturi crest.  I just had to make their acquaintance.”  He stopped again and listened intently, and then chuckled.  “I’m afraid you’re going to be too late.”  With that, he snapped the phone shut and tossed it off to the side.  It landed with a loud crack and broke into pieces.

A moment later, he was gone from our sight but not from our presence.  A second later, we felt him behind us, an arm wrapping around each of our necks, his hands over our mouths. 

Marcus POV

The view from my chambers was a picturesque one, even more so with the nearly full moon shining across the landscape.  The gardens below, as well as the hills in the distance, were bright in the sparkling, silver moonlight. 

Although I watched the moon move in its slow cadence across the sky to illuminate the world around me, I was unable to appreciate the scene at present.  My mind was replete with images of her.  Sera.  My mind breathed her name as it escaped my lips in a muted plea.  I knew what I was asking of her… of my beautiful mate.  That is who she was and would always be. 

After losing Didyme so many centuries ago, I never imagined happiness finding me yet again.  Even now I felt her loss.  Didyme had been such a beautiful soul and I would love her for eternity.  When she was lost to me, she took a part of me with her, forever altering me from the man that I had been. 

No longer was I that carefree, happy man.  With her death, I was transformed into a man ravaged by his loss.  I became distant, pensive, and apathetic.  I performed my duties as leader of our kind, not only because I felt honor-bound to fulfill them, but also because I was well aware that I would have found a way to end my own life.

My only solace had been my thirst for knowledge.  When not dealing with my kindred responsibilities, I immersed myself in books and art.  It kept my mind active and distracted from my loneliness and longing. 

My pensive mood was disturbed by the sound of the door being wrenched open and slammed against the wall.  I turned with a growl to see who had thus disturbed me, only to be met by a very stoic-faced Felix and Demetri standing just inside the door.  My eyes barely registered the broken door now resting off its hinges against the wall as Felix spoke.

“Master,” Felix began.  He paused for a fraction of a moment, his face contorted with worry, before rushing to continue.  “Jasper just checked in.  He arrived in Italy and is on the trail of a rogue named Laurent, but he hasn’t found him yet.  He’s asked for Demetri to help track him down.”

The venom in my veins turned cold as a sense of foreboding swept through my person.  “Where, Felix?”

“Florence,” was his quick reply.

I growled, a loud rumble escaping my chest as I worried about my mate.  Grabbing my phone from my pocket, I quickly dialed Sera, noting the time to be early morning.  As the phone rang, I prayed she was either still at the club or finally home and safe from the rogue vampire loose in Florence.  Rogues have no loyalty to the Volturi, or our laws, and as such the pendant that should protect her and Bella would in fact be useless.  It may even make them more of a target if said rogue had any type of vendetta against us.

Still listening to the ringing through the phone, I started out the door of my office and through the corridors, running swiftly with my guards following behind me.  I barked out instructions as I went, praying I was overreacting but fearing I was not.  “Felix, get the car and get to Florence as soon as possible.  Demetri, you’re with me.  We run.”  I sensed Felix turn and rush off toward the garage on the lower floors of the castle, and Demetri followed me out of the castle and across the garden to the eastern wall.  We easily jumped the minor obstacle and flew across the countryside toward Florence, the phone still attached to my ear.

Finally, she answered, her voice soft and lilting as always and with no hint of distress.  The tension in my body released an infinitesimal amount as I cut her off, too worried for her safety to follow proper etiquette.  “Sera!  Are you alright?  Where are you?  Are you safe?”  I asked in a rush.

She replied that she was fine but was on her way home.  This was not the scenario for which I was hoping.  After a quick review of the best course of action, I told her, “Sera, this is very important.  I wish you to go immediately into a crowd, perhaps back to the club.  I am on my way to you presently.”  When she tried to argue that she was almost home and would meet me there, I tried to dissuade her.  “Sera, you don’t und-“

My words were cut off as I heard a voice in the background.  “Oh, I think he has reason to worry.”  It was a male’s voice, and he had a light French accent - as if he had spent a great deal of time in the Americas.  I did not recognize the voice, but instinct told me this was Laurent. 

“Hand him the phone, Sera,” I told her.  When she tried to protest, I could hear the worry and fear in her voice.  My greatest wish in that moment was to wrap her safely in my arms, but I knew it was a foolish thought.  “Everything will be alright, Sera.  Stay calm and hand him the phone.”  I kept my voice even in the hope of easing her worry. 

“Hello,” Laurent answered.  He sounded curious but unconcerned.

I left him no time to continue.  “I am Marcus Volturi, and the women with you now are protected.  You would do well to leave them be.”  I prayed my words would give the necessary time for one of us to come to her aid.

Laurent gave a dry laugh.  “Ahh, Master Marcus.  So nice to hear from you.  I found it quite interesting that they wore the Volturi crest.  I just had to make their acquaintance.”

I growled into the phone to emphasize the seriousness of my order.  “If you harm them in any way, your life is forfeit.  This is your one and only warning.  I am en route this minute to ensure their safety.”

“I’m afraid you’re going to be too late.”  Those were the last words from Laurent before I heard a loud noise followed by silence on the other end of the phone. 

A sound erupted from my chest - a mixture of rage, worry, and agony at the thought of, yet again, losing my mate.  Fate could not be so cruel as to finally give me another chance at happiness after so many centuries of apathetic loneliness only to rescind it in such a manner, and so soon after having found it. 

At that moment, I was thankful for my deadened heart, for if it had a beat, it would have frozen in fear at these thoughts.  I could not lose her.  I knew she was my mate, having seen the fine threads that bound us and, of course, I had enjoyed her company these last weeks.  But knowing it is not the same as feeling it - and by the Gods, did I feel it now.  That vibrant, beautiful woman had stolen her way into my heart and soul in a way I never would have imagined, and there was nothing I would not do to keep her there. 

“Master,” Demetri called to me.  When I looked over to him, he held out his phone.  “It’s Jasper.”

I took the phone quickly, noting the lights of Florence in the distance and hoping against hope that we would not be too late.

“Jasper.”  My voice was curt, but I could not help the tension in my voice.  “Did you find him?”

“Not yet, but you know I will,” came the deep voice on the other end, still laced with a tinge of a southern drawl from his human life.  “Demetri said Laurent found some women you’re protecting?  He told me where they were and I’m on my way now.”

I could hear the wind whispering softly through the phone as Jasper moved.  “Not just women,” I growled firmly. 

Shock and curiosity was evident in Jasper’s voice as he asked, “Someone I should know about, Master?”

“My mate, Jasper.  He has my mate.”  I growled again into the phone, this time louder.

“Fuck,” was Jasper’s only reply.



Yab – Nightclub in Florence – http://www . yab . it/

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