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.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

UB Chapter 7 - Cake or Death

To avoid any confusion that may occur, ‘sug’ is an abbreviated version of the endearment ‘sugar’ which Sera uses for Marcus at times.  Sera speaks a certain way for me and one version or the other just ‘fits’ in my head. 

Chapter 7 – Cake or Death?

(Oh, in case you’re wondering about the chapter title, I’m an Eddie Izzard fan.  If you haven’t heard it, you should go listen to his ‘Cake or Death’ skit.  It’s just fucking hilarious and I’ve been saying I’m gonna use that title for this chapter since before I started writing it.  (I will add a clip to the extras post for this chapter.)

Bella POV

I woke to the sound of voices, specifically Sera’s and Marcus’.  For a moment, I wondered why Sera had let Marcus in our room while I was sleeping, but then I remembered what had happened. 

Beneath me, I could feel what I thought was a soft, plush bed, and it was warm.  In fact, the room was quite warm, and I could hear the crackling of a fire amidst the voices.  I definitely wasn’t in the alley anymore. 

I mentally assessed the damage as I opened my eyes.  My head hurt a little; a dull ache from what I’d bet was a nice knot on the back of my head.  My back was a little sore, but it otherwise seemed fine.  I would know more when I got up. 

The room I was in was large - and by large I mean huge, like the ones you see in castles or large manor houses from centuries ago.  The walls were part stone and part wood paneling, though one entire wall was filled with bookshelves.  The fire I had heard and felt was confirmed to me by the large hearth that I would bet was larger than I was.  No wonder it was so nice and toasty in here.

My mental musings and inspection of the room were interrupted when I began to make out Marcus’ and Sera’s words to each other.  I smiled and watched them, almost wanting to cheer as I saw how close and intimate they were being with each other.  As Sera finally put the poor man out of his misery, I almost laughed with elation that they were finally on the road to admitting the depths of their feelings for each other

When the kiss began, I turned my head away, wishing I could disappear from the room to give them some privacy.  While thinking this, my eyes caught the dark stare of a man standing against the wall of bookshelves across from the foot of the bed.  He was leaning back against it with one knee bent, the heel of his boot propped on a shelf.  His hands were crossed in front of his chest in a lazy pose, but I felt it was anything but.  In fact, his stance seemed very lethal instead. 

I shook my head at that thought as my eyes drifted up a body that only the gods themselves could have crafted, it was so ideal.  He had a long, toned build, much like a swimmer.  His t-shirt was pulled taut over his stomach just above his jeans.  It was too dark in the room to tell, but I had a feeling they hid a very nice set of abs.  My gaze continued up over muscular arms encased in the long sleeves of the t-shirt he wore, over the exquisite expanse of chest, and then up to his face.  Here is where my breath froze in my throat and I stopped breathing. 

It was him.  Mr. Hottie.  How could it be him?  I must either still be dreaming or dead.  Maybe I’m dead.  Laurent must have thrown me so hard against the wall that I cracked my head open, died, and was then sent here to heaven to be with the epitome of perfection in a man.  I must have been a very, very good girl at some point in my life. 

I pinched together the fingers on my left hand, squeezing the skin of my arm beneath it.  Nope, not dead.  Okay, assess the situation.  I’m lying in a bed.  Wait, whose bed?  Was it Mr. Hottie’s bed?  Oh well, at least I was fully clothed.  I blushed at the thought of the alternative.  But, no, Sera and Marcus were here too.  Maybe it’s Marcus’ bed?  So I survived the attack with Laurent.  How?  What happened?  Oh, shit, Sera didn’t tell him he was my Mr. Hottie, did she?  Yes, because that is more important than how the super strong, super fast guy actually exists - or, of course, how we survived our encounter with him.  Priorities, Bella!


I was so wrapped up in my thoughts, trying to work through everything that had happened and what was going on, that I missed Sera calling for me until she shouted and appeared right in front of me.  I actually jumped…just a little.

“Sera, geeze!  Don’t do that!”  I play slapped at her and sat up, feeling a slight twinge in my back.  It was nothing a long soak in a nice, hot bath wouldn’t cure, though. 

Sera just rolled her eyes at me and ignored my comment.  “How you feelin’, ‘tite cherie?” she asked, making me smile with the use of her cute little endearments for everyone.

“I’m okay.  A little headache, a little sore…”  I reached up and probed with a gentle touch at the knot on my head, giving a tiny wince.  “I’ll be fine.  So, I guess I should start with where are we?”

Marcus stepped forward and placed his hands on Sera’s shoulders, making her smile and lean back against him.  “You are guests in my home, Bella.  This is my bedchamber.”  I smiled as Sera reached up to cover one of Marcus’ hands with hers, turning to glance at him and give him a smile of her own as he continued.  “Without a doubt, you both are quite curious about a great number of things.  Bella, if you would like a few moments to clean up and use the facilities, they are through the door to the left.  Perhaps, once you have finished, we could adjoin to the chairs by the fire where I may enlighten you both.”

I blinked once.  Marcus’ speech pattern was so formal and polite that it had taken me a while before I’d realized it wasn’t a public mask.  He was just that way.  Still, sometimes it caught me off guard, like now when my head was swimming with a number of issues.  I glanced at Mr. Hottie for a very quick moment, then back at Marcus, cursing inwardly as I felt my cheeks flush again.  Damn blush.  Maybe they’ll think it’s from the heat of the fire?

“Alright, Marcus.  If you’ll excuse me a moment?”  Standing, I made my way around the bed and passed by Mr. Hottie, where I couldn’t resist another glance.  As I did, I felt my cheeks flame even more.  God, he’s even more stunning up close.  My eyes flew to the door - my escape - as my steps sped up, and I made my way through it into a short hallway, which led to a bathroom.  There was a door on each side, both of which I assumed opened to some sort of closets.

Stepping into the bathroom, my mouth fell open as I noted it was roughly the size of our apartment in Florence - the entire apartment.  Every luxury was afforded here - white porcelain, super-sized bathtub with what looked like massaging jets that could probably fit three or four people inside; a large, dual-headed shower encased in frosted glass; dual sinks with long expanses of countertop on both sides; pale wood, custom-made shelving underneath; large mirrors, including one encased in matching wood on a stand in one corner.  I couldn’t get over the opulence.  I was almost afraid to dirty the toilet seat without showering first, but I really had to go, so…I did.

Before leaving, I made sure to wash my face, the splash of cold water helping to clear my mind.  With a final brushing of my fingers through my hair, I stepped back down the hallway and through the door into the bedroom.

Marcus was standing by the fireplace and staring down at Sera with his usual almost-smile expression he wore whenever he was around her.  Well, it was usually an almost smile or a real one when he was with her.  They really were perfect together.

Sitting in one of the chairs with her knees bent to the side and her feet curled under her, Sera was smiling up at Marcus.  They weren’t speaking, but I’ve come to realize that sometimes they don’t need to.  

Glancing to my left as I closed the door behind me, I felt a pang of disappointment when I realized Mr. Hottie had gone.  I nearly pouted, but instead I turned back toward the fire and went to join Marcus and Sera beside it.

“Bella, please be seated,” Marcus said, one hand sweeping out to indicate the chair next to Sera.  I smiled and nodded, tucking my hair behind my ears as I curled into the chair, mimicking Sera’s pose.  “Jasper should return in just a moment, at which time we may begin.”

My brow furrowed in confusion.  “Jasper?”

Sera giggled and leaned over, whispering to me, “Mr. Hottie.”  She sat back again and winked.

Marcus looked like he wanted to roll his eyes, which made me giggle with Sera. 

“Ah, Jasper.”  Marcus said at that moment, his words interrupting our mirth.

I turned to see Jasper striding across the room in a long, casual gait.  I licked my lips, an unconscious gesture that I barely noticed.  My eyes rose to his face where I saw a satisfied smile, almost a smirk, crossing his lips.  It reminded me of a cat who’d caught a mouse, and I wondered what had caused the expression.  He stopped at the other side of the hearth, opposite Marcus, and leaned against the mantle.

Marcus stepped forward and addressed me directly.  “Allow me to make introductions.  Jasper, this is our guest, Bella.  Bella, this is Jasper.  He is also the man responsible for saving Sera and yourself from Laurent last night.”

One side of Jasper’s lips quirked up for a quick moment, his head tilting to one side as he half shrugged like it was no big deal that he had saved our lives.  I was even more in awe of him now.

Clearing my throat, I attempted to sound grateful and mature.  “Jasper.”  I smiled at the sound of his name on my lips and noted that he returned it, which made me smile more.  “Thank you so much.  We were obviously no match for that guy.”

Jasper stepped forward and tapped his head as if he were tipping his hat.  I thought it an odd gesture until I heard him speak.  “My pleasure, ma’am, I assure you.”  His voice was a long, smooth Texan drawl.  I about died on the spot.  He really has to stop being so damn perfect.

“Right…so?”  I looked to Marcus, waiting for him to begin the explanations.

After a thoughtful moment, Marcus began.  “You both have mentioned a number of idiosyncrasies in my nature; my diet most especially, the chill of my touch, and the strange - I believe Sera called it ‘muddy’ - color of my eyes.  It is fairly dark in the room at the moment, but Jasper, if you would?”

At Marcus’ prompting, Jasper reached for a switch on the wall behind him and flipped it.  I blinked a few times as my eyes adjusted to the sudden, bright light that filled the room from sconces on the walls.

“Would you now take note of our eyes, ladies?”  Marcus leaned down to Sera at the same time that Jasper stepped back towards me, also leaning slightly forward so the light would shine directly in his eyes too. 

My gasp was an echo of Sera’s next to me as we noted their color – a bright, crimson red.  My initial response was fear and horror, but overshadowing those emotions were others – curiosity and wonder.  My fingers twitched slightly and I raised my hand toward Jasper’s face.  His eyes still held my gaze, and I noticed he seemed as surprised and amazed as I was.

Sera’s voice intruded on the moment and I dropped my hand as Jasper stood upright and returned to his stance by the hearth. 

“I don’t understand.  How can it be?  Is there something wrong with you?”  Her voice was filled with concern as Sera stood, her eyes examining what she could of Marcus as if looking for injury, her hands following route.  “You’re not dying, are you?  Because damn if that wouldn’t just ruin my day, cher.”

“There is nothing more wrong with me now than at our first meeting, cara.”  Marcus chuckled and took Sera’s hands in his, holding them to his chest as he continued.  “I am not dying, Sera.  I have been dead for a very long time.”

I reeled as I heard this, unable to do anything but sit back in the chair for the moment.

“What?  But…how?”  Sera asked, for once at a loss for words.  Were I not so shocked myself, I would have laughed and teased her about it.  But really, if there was any time to be at a loss for words, this would be it, right?

“I am no longer human.  Along with the aforementioned characteristics, I can no longer digest anything but…blood.”

“You’re a vampire?” Sera cried out, her hand automatically moving to her neck.

Marcus merely nodded his reply, watching carefully for our reactions, it seemed. 

“Of all the-” she cut herself off and huffed a bit, still at a loss for words.

“Well, hell,” I said.  “We never thought of this one, did we?”  A heavy sigh escaped my lips and I ran my fingers through my hair, sifting it absently as I thought.  “So you, like, drink human blood, right?”

Again his head moved up and down in the affirmative.

“Have you fed from us?” Sera asked, her hand rubbing all around her neck, feeling for bite marks.

Now Marcus looked frustrated as he raised his eyes to the heavens and muttered something under his breath that I couldn’t hear.  But obviously Jasper could because a soft chuckle escaped him before he regained his composure. 

“Of course I have not fed from you.  I would never do such a thing.  You are both more valuable to me than any others, alive or dead.”  Marcus’ statement was emphatic.

My brow furrowed at that, making me wonder.  “Both of us?  I mean, I love you to bits, Marcus, and you’re like the brother I never had, but why me?”

Releasing Sera’s hands, Marcus came to my chair and knelt at my side.  “Do you recall our first meeting?” 

“Yes, of course.”

“Didyme was my mate a very long time ago.  The pain of her loss was such that even after so many centuries without her, I continued to feel the pain anew each time I thought of her, which was often.  I had little reason to continue my existence, and what little solace I had was in recreating her image and spending some hours taking them in and recalling her beauty.

“That day, you spoke to her with such intensity, and I was curious - an emotion I had not often felt since her death.”  He paused, for effect I think, before continuing.  “Some vampires have certain abilities or powers.  Some can read your thoughts, some control emotions, and I…I can see the relationships between people.  More often than not, most have no ties to others before meeting, but occasionally I do see such occurrences.  For example, Sera.” 

He turned and held out his hand to her, which she took without question.  I noticed she had tears in her eyes as well and we both sniffled at the same time, making us chuckle softly and breaking the tension a bit.  Marcus even smiled.

“When you spoke of Sera, I never imagined what she would become to me,” he said, his eyes staring into her watery ones.  “I do not believe I was prepared for her.  She won me over with her beauty, her smile, her charm…so many qualities that I now hold dear.  Then I looked at her with my ability and realized she was my mate.  Never in all my years had I heard of such a thing as a vampire blessed with another mate after the loss of one, but it is true.  And if I did not believe in my ability, then I had to believe in my heart, for it is hers completely.”

Tears streamed down both our faces now.  I reached up to wipe at them, but my hand bumped into a box of tissues that suddenly appeared in front of me.  Looking up, I saw Jasper holding them out to me.  I took them gratefully and smiled my thanks up at him.  Plucking a few from the container, I dabbed at my cheeks as I passed the rest to Sera.

“So, you knew all along that you and Sera were…mates?  Like, soul mates?” I asked him. 

“Yes.  And so, I endeavored to spend time with Sera so that she could get acquainted with me, and I with her.  It was my hope that there would be some way we might make things work between us if she would have me.  But I was not about to, as the term says, ‘look a gift horse in the mouth’.”

Sera laughed and I just smiled at the odd colloquialism falling from his lips.  “That just sounds strange coming from you.”

“Shall I continue?” he asked, turning the conversation back to the matter at hand.  When we nodded our agreement, he went on.  “As I was attempting to reveal, Bella, I was quite curious about you, and I made use of my ability on you before I ever spoke to you.  As with Sera, I was surprised at what I discovered.”

“And what was that?”  I asked, beyond curious now at where he was going with this.

“We also have a bond - not of mates, but one of kinship.  It is very faint, but most definitely there.”

My eyes widened.  “Kinship?  As in…family?  So, would that mean I am a descendant of yours?”

“Myself or one of my relatives, yes.”

“Oh, wow.  Will surprises never cease?”  I looked over at Sera, my expression again mimicked on her face.  I swear we were twins tonight with our reactions.

“I understand it is quite a surprise, as it was for me, as all the family I had knowledge of had passed away before my rebirth into this life.”  I just shook my head at that, still trying to take it all in.  “It is due to this bond that I first decided to speak with you, Bella.  In hindsight, I am forever grateful for that decision, as it has brought me not only a very dear friend but my soul mate as well.”

We were all quiet for a moment.  Sera and I were processing information while Marcus and Jasper waited for us.  Finally, I broke the silence.

“So, tell me more about vampires.”

“We must ingest blood to survive.  Abstinence from feeding has severe side effects including increased bloodlust and limitations on our preternatural powers and any special abilities.”

“So, you have to drink from humans to live,” I stated.

“To survive in a healthy, unimpaired state and to keep the bloodlust at bay, we must consume human blood.  However, there are those who are called ‘vegetarians’ who consume only animal blood.  The risks far outweigh the rewards in my opinion.  The bloodlust is quite powerful so I have heard, and it takes great willpower to maintain.  Very few are able to stick to this diet without error.”

Sera spoke up then.  “What do you mean by ‘error’?”

“These ‘vegetarians’ survive within the human population, interacting with them on a daily basis and attempting to infiltrate into their societies,” Marcus tried to explain.  “In denying their natural food source and subjecting themselves to that very thing on a daily basis, their willpower fails at times and an innocent human often pays the price.”

“So why don’t they just drink from humans?” Sera asked, slipping off the chair and down to the ground next to Marcus and leaning into his side.

Marcus slipped an arm around her back and pulled her closer.  “Real vampires are not to be confused with those in literature and modern media, cara.  While blood runs in your veins, venom runs in ours.  Minute amounts of it will do nothing, such as in a kiss or intercourse.  The only reaction, so I have heard, is a slight cooling or numbing effect afterward.” 

Sera grinned and winked up at him.  “I know, though I thought maybe it was a mint or something.  I guess I just wanted some kind of explanation for all the strangeness that is you.”  She laughed and leaned up to tap her nose to his.

“Yes, so you understand.  But venom fed through an open wound such as a bite, especially while feeding, can be more lethal.  Our hunger can make us salivate, which can cause us to inject more venom into our bites.  If we do not drain the human or otherwise cause their death, the venom will begin to attack their blood and neutralize it, taking over their system and transforming them into one of us.  Our venom is the stronger substance.”

Sera’s eyes shot to his at this.  “Then you can make me like you?”

“Is that your wish, cara mia?  It is an excruciating process.  I have felt nothing of the like before or since in my existence.”

“I could be with you forever?  No having to age and die on you?”

“That is correct,” Marcus breathed out the reply slowly.

“Then absolutely.  When you wanna start, sug?” Sera said quickly, beaming a bright smile up at him.

Marcus sucked in a breath, closing his eyes for a moment before opening them again and looking down at her.  “You know not what your words mean to me, Sera.  But I beg that you allow me to reveal all before making such a difficult decision.”

“What’s so difficult about it?” she asked, looking a bit exasperated.  “The most important thing is that I am with you forever.  If I don’t do this, then where will you be when I age and die?  I can’t make you go through that again, Marcus.  Never, you hear me?”  Her voice rose slightly, but her voice was firm and her eyes blazed with intensity.

“There was never a man who loved a woman more than I love you, Sera,” Marcus told her, bringing her tight against his chest in a fierce embrace.

“I never want to leave you, Marcus.  Please don’t ask me to.  I will listen, and I understand, but nothing will change my mind.”  She drew back.  “I told you, you aren’t getting rid of me, sugar.  I love you too much to put you through something like that again.”

Marcus had his heart in his eyes as he hugged her closer.  “Perhaps I should continue.”  Turning to me, he said, “Our skin is harder to the touch than that of a human, similar to a more malleable consistency of marble.  It is also cooler to the touch since we have no blood.  As I mentioned before, venom circulates through our veins, and it is colder. 

“Another aspect is that we have no need of sleep.  Indeed, we are incapable of sleep.  This can be trying, as you may imagine.  Humans sleep to allow their subconscious to process the events of their lives and help them adapt, giving them a reprieve of sorts from the stresses of their day.  Instead of sleeping, many vampires take some sort of quiet time to themselves.  This is done in many forms.  Some lie in a bed and close their eyes, as they did when sleeping as a human, allowing their mind to roam freely for a time.  Others may do the same while performing some menial task that calms them.  It varies for each of us.”

I noticed I was leaning forward, my chin in my hand as my arm rested on my knee.  I hadn’t even been aware of moving, I was so caught up in Marcus’ ‘vampire lesson’.

“There are other physical changes.  The eyes turn red from the blood you ingest.  As time lengthens between your feedings, your eyes will turn darker; more black than red.  They also blacken during times fraught with high emotion, such as when we are enraged or aroused.”

I blushed at that, my eyes straying to the left to see Jasper in his relaxed pose, as if he’d been there all night without moving.  He still had that almost-smirk on his face as he watched me.  I turned quickly back to Marcus, trying to ignore my fiery cheeks.

“Vampires have heightened abilities naturally – strength, speed, agility, sight, hearing, smell, and so on.  Exactly how much stronger varies by individual and ability.  One vampire may be stronger than another, but the other could be faster, if you understand my meaning.” 

Sera and I both just bobbed our heads.  We were doing a hell of a lot of shocked nodding tonight.

Marcus moved on to another aspect.  “Another strange phenomenon of the venom is that it changes the pigmentation of our skin, causing it to shine in the sun.  Because of this, we must be careful of spending time in the sun’s rays where humans may see us.”

“Shine?  Like how?” I asked, curious and almost thinking it was a joke except that Marcus just didn’t do such things.

“It is difficult to explain.  The sun will be rising before long and I will be able to show you more easily, if you do not object to waiting.  We can continue until then.”  Marcus looked over at me.

“Yeah, sure, but you have me so curious now.  So you don’t burn in the sun or any of the other myths?”

Marcus chuckled at that.  “No, I assure you, we are no spawns of Satan.  While we are unsure of our exact origins, we do not burst aflame in the sun nor do we react to holy water or garlic, although I, for one, am not fond of its odor.  And, of course, we are able to enter onto holy grounds with no ill effects.”

“Huh,” was all I could utter.  Glancing at Sera, I saw her head bend as she idly doodled on Marcus’ pant leg with her fingertips.  Her mouth was slightly twisted in thought as she listened quietly.  “How have you kept this such a secret for so long?  I mean, there are vampire myths, but they are nothing like you are explaining.”

“That is where we come in.  By we I mean The Volturi.  We are the vampires’ form of government, if you will.  Our first and most important rule is that we keep the secret.  No human is to know of our existence…”  Marcus’ voice trailed off as if he did not wish to finish his sentence.

“And if they do?” I asked, a sense of foreboding starting to fill me as I waited for his reply.

“The usual protocol is that if they are valuable in some way, such as the possibility of a dormant ability or if they are a mate to a vampire, among other things, then they are given a choice.”

Sera sat up as he spoke, looking at me for a moment before returning her gaze to Marcus.  “What choice?” she asked.

Marcus continued to look at me as he answered.  “They are turned…or they are put to death.”

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