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A Rose By Any Other Name...

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James leaned casually against the tall tree, looking down the slope of the mountain where the two infuriating girls spun under the twinkle lights. He grimaced in disgust as the young blonde who had beaten him at his own game dipped her human girlfriend, gently pressing her lips against the mark where Victoria had bitten her. James glared furiously; She had been so close to catching her prey. He watched them spin carelessly below him, the urge to take them out now wrestling with his desire to make them pay for their mistake slowlypainfully

No, killing them both now would be too simple, and their coven wasn’t that far away… If he decided to kill them now, the tiny psychic one who had escaped Victoria would see it happening, and he would risk his own destruction- he felt that in every cell of his body, his abilities advising him to take a wiser path of action. He would kill this human girl in retaliation for his own losses, but he would have to be careful; He had escaped last time, but he didn’t like his odds now that Victoria and Laurent were both gone.

Victoria’s loss was a blow, a hard one. He had tried for centuries to find a tracker with abilities that could have rivaled that collared bloodhound Demetri- only to lose her to a coven of golden-eyed, human-loving freaks. Still, he understood all too well her need for revenge, and had let her go against his better judgment, just to keep her happy.

Although losing her was detrimental to his plans, James couldn’t help feeling a tiny speck of relief now that Victoria was gone; He had never loved her in the way that she had him, not really. He’d pretended to, of course, since she had been essential to his success- as had Laurent. Traitor though he was now, James would miss having him around, if only for the conversation and sparring. He had been going to make Laurent his second in command, his General- Now, he was going to have to start from scratch. All the way back to square one.

His plans had been so meticulous, all to be undone because his fun-loving companion had wanted to stop for a stupid game of baseball. He should have told him no, insisted they keep heading North to Seattle. They had been so close to their destination, so close to beginning the next phase of his plans… Seattle’s crime rate was perfect for concealing their involvement, but he had needed the benefit of other, more restrained vampires like himself in order to pull off what he had in mind. He knew that starting over would take a while, and he was growing more and more impatient as time’s arrow continued to shoot forward.

His beloved Heidi suffered every day under the thumb of those puffed-up aristocrats, though he knew that she was none the wiser of it; Used for her talents as a glorified golden retriever, delivering fresh victims for the ones too old and frail to hunt for themselves like the privileged, protected, pathetic creatures that they were. James pulled the silver chain from around his neck, opening the locket at the end. Her crimson eyes bored into his chest, leaving a hollow ache where his heart had once been…

He had left it behind with her that day, as she had screamed at him to run- as his sister and their mother were burned for a crime that they had not committed, all because the ancient ones had craved Heidi’s power. He hoped, deep inside himself, that the one they called Chelsea hadn’t been able to make her forget him- or worse, despise him… that their love was more powerful than any poisonous power she carried within her twisted head. If he arrived to rescue her, storming the gates of Volterra with an army whose sole purpose was to free her- only to find nothing in her eyes when she looked back at him… Well, he couldn’t think about that. He pressed his lips to the photograph, and tucked it away again under his shirt.

Looking back down at the girls in the meadow, he made up his mind; This coven would pay for their interference… but not yet. He would bide his time, lure them into a false sense of security. This coven had many gifted ones among them, it would be a suicide mission to take them on alone… But, what if he wasn’t alone?

He smiled as he realized what he had been given; A test run. An opportunity to try the tactics that he had discovered in the south before he went to Italy and used them for real. He would rescue Heidi, but she was safe where she was, for now. She was as safe as she could be. She wouldn’t be harmed as long as she remained useful to the Italians, and she had no choice but to do so thanks to Chelsea. He had time to do this the right way, really make the Cullens and their precious human suffer for making the grave mistake of crossing him… Perhaps he would even pay a visit to Laurent first, to send a clear message; No one crosses him and gets away with it. No one.

“I’m coming, my love.” James whispered to the locket, placing one hand over it. He chuckled darkly to himself, turned on his heel, and sped away towards the city; He would need numbers… And a new General.