Hey, guys! Long time no see but here I am! Been working like hell, but I'm gonna try to get back to a normal schedule soon enough. Years passed and Bella stayed with the Egyptian coven, reviling in the trust and security offered by the vampires. Before she fully believed that she would never trust another vampire, but now she was a part of the Amazon coven, as well as the Egyptian coven, as Tia had proudly and firmly stated to her.
The lions remained with them, and the shifter often spent nights curled up around new cubs, protecting the pride with a sense of fulfillment. Her maternal instincts had never died after her family had, and she happily channeled it into the lions surrounding her.
All seemed to be going well, until Amun returned one afternoon with a grave, frightened face. Instantly the were all at attention, even Bella, though she was still in lion form. Tia zipped over to him and took his hand. The older vampire sighed and looked directly at Bella. They are on the way now. The first, the one who had spoken, was merely five feet tall, maybe shorter, with short, pin straight blonde hair, ruby red eyes, and a permanent scowl.
The man beside her dwarfed her at six feet, at least. His black hair and red eyes both stood out against his pale skin, and he was rippling with barely contained muscle.
Shifter, change back. Instead, she chuffed and stood, ears brushing the ceiling before she shifted seamlessly back, her clothes still perfectly intact. This time. She hadn't quite figured that out yet. I do not believe I have done anything to draw the attention of the Volturi in the nearly 20 years since I last heard of you? It was only right for us to check the lead out.
It would seem they were right. Clearly you are no werewolf, though. Bella growled and scoffed. Lions are much more… sophisticated. We are not shifters, nor are we werecats. We are a species all our own. Jane nodded and Felix tilted his head. We expect you on the air strip in no less than three hours.
Bella crossed her arms, the muscles flexing powerfully before settling again. She turned to the frightened vampires and shrugged.
Bella frowned and reached out, setting a blazing hand on her friend's shoulder. They didn't even leave the doorway. Besides, once the kings hear of what the Cullens have done, I doubt they will care about one lowly lion. The lion took a deep breath and dropped her hand from Amun's shoulder.
There was no way for the man to be more comfortable. Amun would never want her to go alone, he would want his mate close, but not leave his territory unprotected. He would definitely hate to send Benjamin alone. Bella sighed and looked at the coven leader.
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I know how protective you are of them. Who do you trust me to protect? Amun, for his part, froze. A shock ran through the entire coven, but Bella's face slowly broke into a smile, happy the man trusted her enough to protect his mate, especially. Just… all of you, be safe. When they finally arrived, Jane smirked and closed her pocket watch, tucking it inside her dark cloak.
The vampires that stood with the lion looked back and forth between them, worried this jab would cause the witch sister to lash out and use her power on the lion. They watched her brow furrow before a growl left her lips and she glared full on at Bella. The lion felt a twinge of pain, but shook it off quickly which frustrated Jane more. Felix stepped in before things could get messy.
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She took her seat at the back of the craft and sighed, trying to relax. Kebi of course sat beside her, pulling up the armrest and nuzzling into Bella's side to steal her unlimited amount of warmth while Tia, forgetting just where she was for a moment, flopped over both their laps. The lion chuckled and tucked her forearm under the vampire's head for support while the two guard members looked on in… confusion.
Two mated vampires being so… carefree in their… cuddling?
And the lion was completely okay with it, even forgoing her own discomfort for the sake of the vampire's? She was damn near pissed to admit that even she couldn't seem to hate the lion. She even found herself feeling calm, and safe. The flight was a strange mixture of peaceful and tense.
When they landed hours later, Bella hadn't slept a wink, instead being on guard, though her demeanor said otherwise. On the outside, the lion looked completely content in an aircraft full of older vampires, even though two of them believed they were far more powerful. They exited the craft together and the lion followed the Volturi into a car with dark tinted windows. The drive slowly built more tension and Bella's companions pressed into her more.
When they arrived, Bella took a deep breath and exited the car, holding the door for Kebi and Tia before doing the same for a grumpy Jane, who was mildly shocked. Felix often did this for her, but out of fear. Bella only gave her a small smile and waved her arm in an "After you" motion. Bella and the girls stood behind them a few feet.
Bella refused to bow, only because she saw no need, while Tia and Kebi bowed at the waist. Three men sat on a raised platform, all with milky red eyes and verging ranges of excitement or anger. I see you've brought me someone?
He had waist length black hair, papery skin, and an expression of a kid in a candy store. Aro, the man in the middle it seemed, stepped forward and in a flash, almost too quick for Bella's eyes, he was before her. The beast within her bristled but she was mature enough to know to stay calm, despite the invasion of personal space.
She took a deep breath and set her hand in his. The vampire's brow furrowed as the other kings watched on in a mixture of caution and anger from the blonde one. Finally, after several minutes, Aro dropped her hand after giving it a gently pat and opened darkened red eyes.
Who was turned first?
Swan poses no threat to us. She is powerful, do not doubt that. But we have more important matters at hand. I have the power to see every memory, every thought someone has ever had, and yet… I can read you, but only flashes. Enough, however, to understand what you have been through. No one is to be held against their will. They are not the ones we should be punishing. Bella nodded and backed into the middle of the room, eyes flicking around before she began to change. Before everyone's eyes, her clothes seemed to melt into her skin, quickly replaced with dark fur before she exploded into her lion form.
She shook out her fur slightly, her mane puffing up some before she stood tall, head held high as she gazed around at the vampires around her. Caius rubbed his chin, satisfied that she was not of the moon.
A lack of windows would block out the moonlight, even if it wasn't mid-day. Now his mind was on the problem that was clearly on Aro's mind. The man looked… well, serious. Which meant he was angry, furious even. Aro was always smiling, even as he issued death penalties. So what could cause him such anger?
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Bella let out a chuff and sat back on her haunches, lazily cleaning her paws of invisible dirt as the vampires around her began to discuss what to do. Bella looked at him and relaxed her muscles, showing she would not attack. Though, truthfully, she didn't feel threatened by the man.