Volturi Spy

IC Time: December 8, 2007
Location: Black Orchid and Cullen Residence
Synopsis: The Cullen's meet with Aro, the outcome is not pleasent for all.
Submitted by: Esme

Olympic Towers: The Black Orchid

The call was made earlier in the day, a simple request in a rather monotone voice to meet with Aro at the Black Orchid. Carlisle was invited, though it was made clear any members of the 'talented and lovely' family were welcome… obviously Aro's emphasis.

Presently, the hotel is rather somber. Almost fully taken over by the Volturi, the atmosphere is one of cold detachment. The receptionist is ready to point Carlisle and anyone accompanying him to the lounge, where Aro sits, listening lazily to a quartet of string musicians, playing a rather upbeat tune. He dons a suit, and sits on a couch.

The door opens and Carlisle enters with his daughter Rosalie. Two more might be fashionably late to the meeting. Greeting the recptionist he nods a thanks once she directs him to where to go. Offering Rosalie a casual glance he gives her a nod that things should be alright.

Carlisle walks into the lounge with a bright smile. "Aro, my dear friend!" he calls with a light tone heading for where he currently is seated.

Rosalie remains by Carlisle's side as they are welcomed through. Just being here made her hand clench, but when Carlisle nods to her she tried her best to assume a casual stance. A greeting is given, and she waits behind him..letting her eyes search the room slowly from where she stood. Though her expression remains neutral, there is a tight set to her jaw. Finally she focuses back onto Carlisle and the Volturi.

Emmett has arrived.

Aro does not rise in greeting of his old friend, though true enthusiam shows around his harder edges, his red lips loosening into a smile, papery skin crinkling around his eyes. "Ahh, Carlisle! It's been too long. So unfortunate that circumstances have come to this to permit us a visit, hmm? Please, come in. Sit," he gestures to the couch across from him, and allows his gaze to rove over Rosalie. Not one with a talent, if he so remembers. "But a beauty nevertheless," he muses aloud. "There is some business we need to discuss! But first, my old friend, tell me how you and your family have been? And where's Bella! Dear Bella…" Amusement hides in his red eyes.

Esme has arrived.

In the lounge Carlisle is standing with Rosalie before Aro. "We are doing well. Hope the same for you, Marcus, and Caius." he settles on the couch across from him. Looking towards Rosalie he just smirks a little to the words. "Of course she is as all my daughters are." glancing back to the Volturi leader. "Bella is away with Edward for the weekend." really he wasn't sure where she is but that sounded good as anything. "So what do you wish to discuss?"

The drive isn't long but was tense after receiving the phone call. Two more of the Cullen family at least are on their way in after being cleared to do so. The door opens again and two enter a tall strong form of Emmett and beside him his mother Esme looking strong for her family as she is. Emmett spots Rosalie and moves in towards her, but turns after a few steps and speaks. "Sorry we're late." he voice is stiff but polite none the less.

Rosalie's eyes tighten as she listens to Aro, still her gaze focuses on Carlisle. The Volturi's regard to beauty make her lips press into a thin smile. She promised Carlisle she would be on her best behavior, and she was trying. The mention of Bella brings no reaction from her, but as her father gets closer to Aro she stiffens..wanting so much to be nearer — like between them.

As Emmett and Esme appear, she meets each of their gazes for a breath before turning back toward the couches. Rose moves carefully to stand behind Carlisle's couch, hoping Emmett does the same.

"Young love. So precious and dear, don't you think?" Aro responds easily to Carlisle, leaning back in his sofa a bit more. As two other golden-eyed vampires enter, the leader smiles gingerly. "So happy you could join us," he says quietly, allowing his eyes to rest on them for but a moment before they swing back to Carlisle and Rosalie. Rosalie's tension is noticed, but Aro says nothing, instead flashing her that same, ginger smile, and tenting his pale hands together. "My brothers and I have been deeply saddened as of late…though I appreciate your sympathy," he says shortly, clearly not wanting to linger. "Business. Ah, yes. I heard you talked to some of my guard. Alice's visions, in particular, have been so helpful." He pauses. "However, my friend. I am shocked to hear you wouldn't take the side of an old friend in a conflict that affects us all. Perhaps I could ask your reasons?"

Assuming his wife will either come sit beside him or stand to his back. "We will be happy to aide in the investigation. You know how I feel about violence and I'm not going to go out looking for trouble." Carlisle adjusts his potition propping his right leg upon her knee. "It is a matter of family, Aro. I'd personally would help if I saw a wolf attacking you. But just to go prowling around for the joy of collecting wolf skins. The answer is no." Keeping his eyes up his friend but aware of where the others are currently. "If we were attacked. You would come fight for us?" he turns it around. Not that they need the Volturi to fight their battles.

Emmett moves around to be near his family after the initial greeting. He isn't the spokesperson though, and reaches out grasping Rosalie’s shoulder lightly planning to try and remain calm. He stays like this golden eyes scan back up to Aro as he listens to the conversation. He gazes back and forth as the conversation continues.

Esme offers a motherly smile towards Rosalie before she moves to settle at her husband's side. "Hello Aro," she greets in all politeness. Outside of that, though, the woman remains silent, listening to her husband and the elder vampire speak.

Rosalie does not bother to add that Carlisle WAS attacked, and so conveniently around the time that the Volturi proposed this war against the wolves. Her delicate hands unclench from their fists as she stands behind the couch where Carlisle is perched, bringing them to rest against the back of the large seat. Emmett's hand at her shoulder helps keep her 'calm', or at least under control. Amber eyes move between Esme and Carlisle .. she did not want to focus on their current company for too long.

Aro inclines his head toward Esme slightly, pressing a warm smile on his lips. Or, as warm as it can get. It's Aro. "Esme. A pleasure." He moves on quickly, however, after listening to Carlisle. "Violence? It's not so much that. Of course, I'm not quite sure how you cannot hesitate to harm a regular wolf, though you'd hesitate to lay a hand on our mortal enemy. But even that, I can dismiss, for the sake of our friendship. My friends, I never expected you to hunt or persue the wolves, I merely hoped for a bit of allegiance toward myself and my brothers. A stand against something threatening the nature of our kind." He pauses and shakes his head sadly. "I do see though, that it won't happen." He smiles chillingly. "On another subject completely, I have decided that with the surge of…activity in town, that it is in the best interest of our kind to feed on the residents of Forks once more. Completely unrelated, but thought I'd mention it." Of course, his light tone and somewhat impish smile seems to indicate it's /perfectly/ related.

Carlisle slips an arm around Esme once she sits next to him. "We were attacked by a feral wolf. He was taken care of I assure you." The sound of breaking the neck still haunts him. "How are we not in allegiance with you? We follow your laws and do as you ask. Bella was turned as you wanted. We came to the ball, if I wasn't in allegiance with you and your brothers I wouldn't have bothered." After speaking his piece he listens to the latter part of it, "As you wish. That will make no difference to my family. This only threatens that newborns and those that don't know better will likely expose themselves and our kind. But… This could happen in any city in the world. So to each their own."

Emmett listens carefully to the words of the Volturi. He has been good and able to keep his temper down. The tallest Cullen's eyes widen at the last part and he doesn't seem to be deceived perhaps remembering the scene back at the bowling alley between the vampire and human he winces but his place is here with his family he isn't meant to save them not really anyways. He looks to Carlisle as he speaks and trusts in his judgment biting his tongue once again though pressure is put only slightly more into his hand on Rosalie’s shoulder in assurance.

Esme quietly listens, before resting one supportive hand upon her husband, moving the other up in hopes of seeking one of her children's hands and taking a hold of it. Esme, like her son, maintains her silence, her job here is to offer her support to her husband.

Rosalie's lips part to protest, fingers squeezing around the back of the couch a little too hard. This would ruin everything she is trying to do. Again her gaze returns to Carlisle's profile, her lips pressing together again in that familiar thin line of agitation. Emmett's strong reassurance again keeps her from speaking, but it is a struggle now for her to keep her disgust and opposition to this new development from showing.

Aro nods politely. "Yes, yes, all of which we appreciate," he responds back to Carlisle mild-manneredly, swishing his hand through the air. "But I do feel like it would…unite us more if we worked together. My regrets are deep." There is a pause as he watches Emmett and Rosalie, focusing in on the blonde. "Something you have to say, Rosalie?" he asks pleasantly. "Please. I welcome your comments." He waits expectantly for her reply before moving on to another topic, crossing his legs and reclining further.

Carlisle just continues to wear his smile, most of it was rather fake. It kind of goes along with a topic he had with Rose not that long ago. "Then tell me, Aro. What would you like us to do? What would make you happy?" he asks trying to get to the root of all this. Though as his daughter is called out he turns his golden gaze towards her just waiting.

Emmett turns quickly as Rosalie is called to speak, his golden gaze is narrowed slightly but he breaths in and sighs knowing that wont help things. "It's okay Rose." he reassures her in calming voice he still is trying to lighten the mood though it doesn’t seem possible in the slightest given his feelings. He gazes to Carlisle and than to Esme perhaps a plead on it or trying to read there looks. His fists go into his pockets where they are fists no doubt.

Esme turns her head, just slightly, to look at her daughter, moving a hand to the back of the couch, closer to Rose, whilst the other remains with her husband. She doesn't expect her daughter to say something she shouldn't, though she's curious what she will say.

The grip on the back of the couch does not ease until Carlisle's gaze meets hers. Rosalie's fingers seem to relax one by one before she finally looks upon Aro. His smug smile and red eyes only make her wish she could do or say more. "This change, regarding the humans in Forks. It .. surprised me. I would think the Volturi would be opposed to such things in a populous as small as Forks, as it would certainly risk exposure to our kind." She pauses briefly, looking back to Carlisle and Esme. "I am fully supportive of Carlisle, and our family. And I fear this change will put us -all- at risk."

"I've already told you, my friend. I want your word that you will stop associating with the wolves. That you will call us when you see one, at the very least. Cut off your ties with the Quileutes, or otherwise use them to our advantage. These are the things my brothers and I seek from you, and yet, I have low hopes that you will comply," Aro says, his tone growing slightly authoritative and less friendly as he continues on, though a smile remains pasted on his lips. He adverts his gaze to Rosalie after a moment. "Ah. So I see your concern. How…touching. I have considered it — that it may arouse more suspicion from the humans. Yet, I lift this law not without the expectation that the vampires in this city will behave within the limits they are expected to /everywhere/. Any recklessness will be punished."

This causes Carlisle to rise to his feet, "We are just going to have to agree to disagree. Many of the werewolves didn't ask for this existence anymore than we did. Like we obey your rules we also abide by the treaty we have with the Quileutes. Which also keeps the rest of our kind safe." Looking towards his wife and then towards his children with a nod towards the door. "Like I said we will help with the investigation. Though cutting off communication with these wolves could hurt in the long run. Some of them trust us and that being the case might give us information you could use later on. Rather than severing our connections we should use them."

Emmett stays where he is, not mistrust in his face at least but knowing he wishes to be the last to walk out just in case anything is try'd. His hand still on Rose's motions very slightly for her to begin to move if she will. He looks to Esme also the same motion but only a small tilt of his head. The tall Cullen looks last to Carlisle and waits patiently.

Esme drags her eyes from her beloved daughter to Aro, quirking a brow, faintly, at his words. The woman bites her tongue though; she considers some of the Quil's to be family in a way of their own. She does keep her silence, though, listening to her husband’s words, supporting him. At the look she gets to her feet and moves to stand at his side. "Rose," she offers her daughter her hand, a form of support, so to speak, as she makes her way towards the door.

Rosalie's jaw clenches behind her pressed lips. One hand is dwarfed by Emmett's and held firm, the other accepts Esme's. Her focus, however, is still for Carlisle. She did not wish to move until there is more space between Carlisle and Aro, but did not want to cause yet another reason for the Volturi to keep them here. Rose gives Esme and Emmett's hands a subtle squeeze, hoping they understand her hesitation.

A flicker of annoyance crosses Aro's face at the family's move toward the door. "Leaving so soon?" He does not rise to his feet in chase, watching them leave and continuing to talk. "You all said so little. Pity, I would have liked to catch up more." The ancient clears his throat. "Aha. So you /would/ be willing to spy for us, then? Tell us all you know about the wolves?" Wry amusement crosses his face. "You know. You wouldn't even have to say anything." With that, he rises suddenly, gracefully, and moves to follow Esme, touching her shoulder lightly. "My dear?" His hand is extended out, waiting expectantly for Esme's.

Carlisle moves to step between Aro and his wife staring into his eyes. "Esme darling, take the children and wait for me outside. I'll be along shortly. I want to speak to Aro alone." He was not afraid to be alone with him. "Surely you would not mind?" he watches Aro a moment closely. "Go." he tells his family again in case they want to hesitate.

The growl escapes the now showing teeth of Emmett before he can think better. The hand brought to Esme is too much, but he checks himself closing his eyes for the briefest of moments. He looks as Carlisle moves to stop the motion and is about to do the same when his father speaks. He stops eyes widening but thinking to himself that he does indeed trust his father figure. He moves like a flash, "Lets wait outside." he does seem unsure but is trying to behave.

Esme doesn't move when Rose's hand squeezes her own, giving her daughter a nod. She turns her eyes upon her husband, though only for a moment or so, as Aro now addresses her. Her glance darts about her family, from Carlisle to Emmett and then to Rose and back to Carlisle. At her husband's words she nods. "I do as my husband desires," she responds, simply, to Aro, before she turns to head out the door, hopefully still with her daughter's hand in her own. "Don't be long, Love," she requests of her husband, just before the doorway.

Rosalie's shoulders tense as Aro touches Esme's shoulder, her hand gripping Esme as if she would pull her far from his reach. As she tenses, she hears the brief growl from her husband, and the swift interjection of their father. Rose refuses to move, until Carlisle gives his final 'Go'. One hand reaches to touch his arm before she turns and moves swiftly with Esme and Emmett, hoping they still remain as close as they can.

Any pretense of friendship is struck from Aro's face at Carlisle's interruption. His gaze steels on the other man, mouth turning to a set line. "My friend. Your mate has something to hide?" A brow raises over his crimson eyes as he circles the blonde man, watching the rest of the family depart. "You understand that such a refusal is extremely dishonorable. You're a smart man, Carlisle. Bring your wife back in here, or I'm afraid I can no longer consider you or your family friends at all," he says quite seriously, his expression somber.

Knowing this has to be handled delicately. For all he knew Jane and her twin was waiting somewhere to strike them. Turning he goes in blur to catch them. "Esme." his voice echoes out knowing she will hear. Turning he holds out his hand for her to rejoin him. "It's alright." he speaks softly to her then looks towards Emmett. "We will be along. You two head home and wait there." Knowing this probably won't sit well with either hopefully Emmett can drag Rosalie out of the building. Assuming Esme is with him, the doctor returns to the lounge. Walking up to the Volturi leader, "We have nothing to hide, Aro. I am just protective of my wife and family. Surely you understand." With an arm around Esme protectively he looks at his wife, "It is ok. He won't hurt you. Take his hand."

Emmett he stops when Carisle is suddenly near them. "Carlisle? We cant…." his voice is concerned as he speaks, and than is going to move Esme back to the room. He doesn't feel good about this one bit his arm slipping from Rosalie’s shoulder to her waist. "Come on lets go." his voice is firm with his concern. He looks to his father figure and mouths 'will be close', under his breath as to only allow him to hear. There doesn't seem any chance they'd head home to wait.

Esme tilts her head as her husband comes out to collect her. "Go on," she says to her children, though the words are very reluctant to leave her lips, and the expression in her eyes clearly reads that she'd prefer they stayed, especially as this appears to be a task that she doesn't wish to attend to. "Of course he won't, Dear," he just might hurt the wolves she knows who've sworn to help the family should they need it. Either way, she returns to where Aro stands, nodding slightly. "You'll forgive him, I'm sure, he does tend to be protective of his family, and he can't be faulted for that," she explains simply.

Rosalie's vice grip on Esme's hand reluctantly loosens as Carlisle comes for her, but what she could not convey with words, she certainly does with her expression. Her fingers slip from Esme's just as Emmett's arm goes around her. Did Carlisle truly think she would leave? As if truly made of marble, she plants herself firm to the spot, giving Emmett a look and quietly warning him of her intent to stay. As if the peculiar behavior of Aro was not enough, the door opens to reveal one of the many Volturi guard. Rose's eyes tighten, and her fingers curl back into familiar fists. "I won't leave them." she hisses quietly to Emmett, and turns to keep both the newly arrived guard and her parents in view.

Carlisle watches as before Esme takes the hand of Aro a cellphone rings. Saved by the bell! Once Aro excuses himself, he just looks around noticing Stasia. No doubt there to be sure they stay put. Call it a hunch but he just knows that Rosalie and Emmett didn't get past the front doors. Holding onto Esme's hand giving her the choice to tag along or wait he moves towards the door leading to the reception area. "I'm not leaving." he insures the guard there and once the door is pushed. "Come on." he tells them in case they do want to rejoin them. Probably safer that way anyway, returning to his previous spot he stands close to Esme enough to whisper into her ear.

Stasia doesn't precisely /block/ the door, but she does stand along the wall next to it in what might be considered a guard's position. She glances briefly sidelong, as Aro's cellphone rings… annoying things… that's why she turns them off.

"You think I want to leave?" the hulking figure says through his teeth as well in undertones. Emmett has seen the guard as well entering and is more reluctant because of it. He turns back intime to catch Carlisle with a nod he moves back over his hand drops from Rosalie. "A family." he says with a hint of his old smirk, it fades looking to his parents and to Rose. "We will be with you both."

Esme offers a thankful smile as Aro's phone goes off, before casting a brief glance towards Stasia and wrapping her hand firmly around her husband's. She's no intention of leaving his side right now. As Carlisle whispers to her she nods lightly, not speaking for the moment, she's a little more concerned about what Aro will catch from her mind.

Rosalie moves wordlessly as Carlisle motions for them to return. Having Emmett by her side, and Esme and Carlisle within reach makes this ridiculous situation a little more bearable. Both of her hands reach to touch either parent gently at their backs, a quiet reassurance of their support.

Carlisle moves back a step to offer Rosalie his free hand. Giving it a gentle squeeze he was worried about what Esme did have to show him. It wasn't about the wolves but about Bella. Waiting patiently for Aro to return.

Stasia doesn't speak to the Cullen’s and disciplines her features to show only cool composure.

Emmett looks back to Carlisle leaning in and speaking so only he can hear before looking about the room once more his eyes linger on the guard for half a moment before it's back to his family. He waits for the phone call to be over so things will continue the tall figure is also wondering what all they will gather from the thoughts that will be seen.

Esme starts to fidget, out of habit, as she waits for Aro to complete is call. It's likely she's trying to focus, or clear her mind, though it's doubtful that any of these will work, she's happy to try, after all. To her children she gives a nod, along with a reassuring smile towards Rose.

Rosalie takes Carlisle's hand, squeezing fingers around his as she stares intently at him. It is moments like this she envied Edward for his gifts. She looks then to Emmett, silently thankful for his ever-supportive presence before looking at Esme. Rose is unable to offer a smile to her in return, but knows her mother understands. Again she glances to Emmett as she keeps hold of Carlisle's free hand, and she mouths toward Emmett 'I want this over with'.

Carlisle listens to his son whispering back to him. Then giving a stiff nod of the head to him. He looks back at Esme keeping his protective grasp around her waist. 'I love you' he whispers against her ear. Kissing her cheek he looks back still waiting for Aro to return. Doesn't the Volturi leader not know how to use voicemail — the thought does bring a light grin to his face but it quickly disappears as he puts his thoughts into check.

Emmett closes his fists once again as he listens to his fathers words. "I will try." he says back in the same whispered tones. He looks about the room taking in his surroundings a bit better in a single scan before back to his family. He keeps his face straight not wanting any to be concerned more. He looks back to Rosalie and nods mouthing "Me too."

Stasia keeps making like a statue by the door. Though she appears to be alone, more than likely she's got considerable backup at a millisecond's notice. Patiently, she waits, ignoring glances and whispers alike.

Esme wraps her arms around her husband's waist, settling herself close to him, whispering 'and I you' in his ear before she settles back onto her feet, having to stand on her toes to whisper. She then settles her head upon her husband's shoulder, and watches, waiting.

Aro pockets his phone, his features stony and revealing nothing of the phone call that occupied a surprising chunk of time. Though he slipped into the next room, undoubtedly the words 'Caius' and 'brother' slipped into earshot now and then. Presently, the ancient sets his gaze on Esme, though Stasia is noticed with an approving smile. "Thank you for keeping our guests company, Stasia. I was just saying farewell to them, though — and Esme was going to do me the honor of allowing me to practice my gift. Shall we?" He offers his hand out to Esme after closing the space between then, his crimson eye sparkling with curiosity. If she accepts, he holds her hand for quite some time, trying to gather an understanding of the Cullen's relationships with the werewolves and shifters.

Yes, Alice is normally aware of all fun things that go on, but apparently, she's running a bit late this time. Sometimes it grows to be hard when you can't tell time of day; closed rooms never help. Though perhaps not on time, but at least in the right place, Alice skirts in gracefully, pausing near the door, either just inside if it is open, or just outside if it is closed. A knock sounding if it is the latter.

Carlisle lets go of Rosalie's hand to offer comfort to his wife. "It's ok." he assures knowing this is a 'damned if you do, damned if you don't' situation they have come into. Looking towards the door to see his other daughter strolling past the guards. A glance is casted to Emmett and back at Alice. Alice, Edward, and Bella were the three that don't need to be here, but here is Alice. Looking back to Aro he waits for this to end.

Stasia bows her head in a gesture of respect as Aro addresses her. "My lord." She murmurs. The young vampire glances sidelong as Alice strolls in, but the unruffled expression doesn't change.

Emmett turns to the door just moments after Carlisle and sees Alice enter. He cant help but smirk at her timing, he mouths "Your late." but turns back to Carlisle and nods in understanding adding alice to his 'in case' thoughts. He stays still looking to each face for a moment and knowing he can only wait to see what happens when Esme touches the others hand.

Esme turns her head and offers just the slightest of nods towards Alice before she schools her expression and places her hand in Aro's, whilst still maintaining a hold of her husband. The woman bows her head slightly and closes her eyes, her brows furrowing together, as if this might well be a great effort on her part.

Despite her closer proximity, Rosalie is not the least bit comforted or any more at ease. She glares toward Esme's hand, as if willing it to move far from Aro's reach. Even with Alice's appearance she does not move or turn her gaze from Esme and Aro. Rose knows that Emmett can feel her tense up, and she reaches blindly for his hand as they wait.

The moment Esme slides her hand into Aro's there is nothing he notices but the flow of the woman's thoughts. Esme was not someone he'd touched before, and he continues holding on for a long time, his mouth set in a frown for a long while, his brows arching in a surprised manner before he releases her gently, and steps a clean step away. "I am sorry for your loss," he says shortly, quietly. He moves on quickly though, his brows furrowing. "Werewolves /cannot/ be trusted for friendship, Esme Cullen. You have a big heart, my dear, but do not confuse feelings of camaraderie amongst other species. At heart, we are different, and in the end, our kind /will/ wipe out theirs. You unknowingly mark yourself as a traitor to our kind." He watches the group of them. "Here are my terms. You have these…relationships with werewolves. Carlisle, you have volunteered to tell us about them, yes? Either you sever ties with all of them, or I shall have one of your family come to me every week and report on these relationships. That, my friends, is allegiance, and it is what your kind demands of you."

Alice smiles briefly at Carlisle and bows her head partially to Aro, but given she hasn't been stopped at this point; she continues. She glances to Stasia, gracing past her to stand at the larger brother's side. He's probably the safest person to be by right now. She briefly looks at the rest of her family present, but given the situation, her gaze settles on Esme and Aro finally, and stay there as Esme touches the Volturi. She listens to what he has to say, golden eyes dancing from Carlisle, back to Aro. "I have been helping your Demetri find the ones responsible for Felix and Heidi's demise on the terms that my family be left alone out of this war of yours." She comments, though her voice is soft with a tinge of reverence for Aro. "That is what this is all about, isn't it? Choosing sides for a war that is not our own?"

Stasia's gaze shifts to Alice only briefly, then back to Aro. She doesn't appear surprised about the Cullen alliance with some werewolves.

Carlisle watches Aro as he ups the ante for them. Before he can respond he looks at Alice once she begins to speak. Snapping a look to her he just grins, "See we have been keeping our promise to help the investigation." he looks back to Aro but just nods. "Fine we will stay out of contact with the wolves. But we will keep the treaty we've made with the shifters of La Push. That has nothing to do with the Volturi, it is our personal affair. Though if you wish to use as as spies among them then fine. But it won't be just anyone of my family to report weekly. It is either me or no one."

Emmett is glad as Alice steps in closer to the family. He is of course focusing on what's happening between Aro and Esme but she isnt forgotten. The tall figure looks to her only after the words spoken by Aro. He listens closely knowing she is one of the family who should spend the least amount of time around these people possible. His golden gaze falls on Aro after Carlisle speaks and he waits for the answer to what's been said already.

Esme removes her hand from Aro's as soon as she possibly can and quickly steps back to her husband's side, wrapping her arms around him and hiding her face against his shoulder. 'I'm sorry,' she whispers, though the words are rather muffled by his shirt.

Aro shifts his gaze onto Alice, becoming perhaps a bit softer in his features. "Ah! Alice. How very delightful to see you." A grin spreads 'cross his features. "You don't come and visit very often. Your visions have helped us dearly! However." And it's a big 'however,' it hangs in the air for quite a few moments before he continues on: "It is. And this IS your war, Alice. It is a war for our kind. This is /not/ the Volturi's war. That is the very mindset we're trying to avoid." He glances to Carlisle. "So, you'll cut ties, and you'll report to us about the shifters?" He smiles. "Wonderful!" Aro clasps his hands together. "Then, my friend, I look forward to meeting with you once a week, just you and I. It will almost be like old times!"

"I never have much reason to." Alice replies to Aro easily, though with the faint under thought of 'fortunately'. Her hands wring together partially in a faint show of nervousness before she supplies: "I had a vision of the attack on your Heidi and Felix." Might as well appear like she wants to be helpful, right? Maybe it will lessen the rest that her family has to partake in. Her lips press thin as she looks from Aro to Carlisle, having some small sense in defeat.

Carlisle watches him for a long moment. Obviously he has already made a deal with the devil. "Done." he offers Aro his hand to shake in agreement and read him if he feels the need too. "I take it you are extending your stay here? Or should I be looking forward to trips to Volterra?" Have to know what to prepare for in case it comes down to it.

Stasia stands along the wall, next to the door, in typical 'guard' fashion. She has barely spoken this entire meeting and maintains disciplined self control.
The hulking figure still remains silent but he isn't fooled by deal anyways. He looks to Carlisle as he speaks thinking of this deal to cut them off from those who really are the Cullen families allies, not all of them but some at least. Emmett sighs knowing this is the only choice. His final look is to Alice perhaps trying to see in her face if she sees anything 'wrong' in this future.

A shrug rolls off Aro's shoulders, not ruffling the perfectly starched nature of his designer suit. "I have not yet decided. I'm sure we'll find a way to each other, Carlisle," he responds with a certain firmness to his tone, despite the smile that plays at the corners of his lips. He takes Carlisle's hand as it's offered, though of course, a shake to Aro is something a bit different — seeing it as an open opportunity, he reaches his other hand out to sandwich the blonde’s hand between his own, getting a quick read of his thoughts and his sincerity regarding the situation. When it's finished, he turns from Carlisle, lifting his brows lightly at Stasia before turning to Alice. "A vision? So I heard. Have you had any other visions since? And, perhaps, you'd like to reconsider my offer to join our coven?" It's more of a playful question, really, one that he doesn't regard with much seriousness. "Emmett. I'm not a /bad/ man," he says finally, noticing the brunette's sigh. "Business is business. War is war."

As it happens with visions, Alice's expression fades to colorless, seeming to almost look through anyone in front of her. That vague expression tightens, a sense of urgency coming into her gaze as the golden orbs snap to Carlisle. She shakes her head, "Carlisle.." She breathes almost as if out of air, hoping to get his attention enough to possibly get the message across: DON'T DO IT! She is afraid to outright blurt what she witnessed, but she can't just stand by either. Her golden eyes shift to rest on Aro, a hard steel to her soft features; a conviction. "My answer has not changed." Though to answer his own question; it is fairly obvious that she just had one. The shake that Aro gives Carlisle brings a lump in her throat, almost making her waver, but she holds her arms close to herself, hugging herself in a manner to try and keep herself at bay.

Carlisle of course offered his hand on purpose, not just to shake like gentleman but so he knew this was legit. Hearing Alice call his name, looking over at her knowing this action will most likely cause more than enough headaches for him. "If you have nothing else. I'd like to get my family home." he looks back to Aro moving his hand down to take hold of Esme's hand giving it a squeeze more for his own comfort than hers.

When Alice's body language abruptly changes, Stasia makes that slight adjustment of position in response: preparing to defend. Her upper lip threatens to curl, but when the seer appears to relax, the Guard eases slowly out of her defensive posture.

Mouse strides in almost as if not invited and seemingly not caring either if she was or wasn't. The blonde carries a smirk on her lips, a few ribbons in her hair, while darkly lined red eyes stand out against porcelain skin. "War is war," she echoes Aro only a second after the man has said the words though she continues on them. "Some will live and some will die, but the story is ever changing." Eyes turn from one to the next as she crosses the room to stand beside Aro, resting on each for a moment appraisingly, Alice earning a few seconds longer than the rest. "You didn't tell me the Cullen’s were here."

Emmett looks on between Aro and Alice and Carlisle his gaze has remained on Alice for the passed few moments. He knows that look well and is cursing Edward not being here where he should be. He looks up as his name is spoken and his face is calm. "This could be true, but my families safety IS my top priority is all." is the reply his tone is carefully polite. He is still mostly thinking trying to guess what Alice saw as it didn't look good. He looks as the option of leaving is brought up a hopeful expression now.

Esme releases her hold on her husband to allow him his shake with Aro, instead she takes a step or so backwards, to stand alongside Rose and Emmett, though the look on her face is quite sullen. The look remains, though she takes a firm hold of her husband when he's done, returning to his side.

Rosalie again reaches her hands forward to gently touch the back of Esme and Carlisle, a subtle hint that they should leave their company as swiftly as possible. Their original business is done, the unfortunate 'deal' made. Her impatience does not show on her features, but those who know her best could see the change in her. The meeting has gone on far too long, and Rose is grateful for Carlisle attempting to end it. When Emmett speaks, she fights a smile.

Aro presses his lips together. "I consider Carlisle a long lost brother," he says coolly to Emmett, "it rather hurts me you think I'd harm your family!" His tones indeed reflect this 'wound' he feels, though it's easily forgotten as Alice displays a rather quirky expression, and then proceeds to silently 'beg' Carlisle. "By all means, Carlisle, leave when you will. But first. Alice? Have something to share?" He studies her intently, before he's distracted by… who else? "Aurelia." Annoyance doesn't quite stay hidden in his gaze, though it dissipates quickly. "The story changes, quite right! Some have a better idea on what that story /is/ than others," he adds, amused. There is a pause. "I didn't. Meet the Cullen’s." He's ever the gentleman, right? "Cullen’s, meet Aurelia. My newest-old addition. Quite a prize she is! Just like my Stasia." If it's a mockery, he doesn't seem to show it.

Mouse's entrance only briefly gains Alice's attention, her golden eyes taking in the other woman, but her thoughts are far from contemplating the new Vampire in their midst. Her urgency is suppressed forcefully, almost trembling with the effort, but she soon becomes nothing more but a small ice statue, watching vigilantly of the proceedings before her; helplessly. She sucks in her bottom lip in consideration before she steps forward, bravely, past her family and extends her bare hand to Aro with a hard set expression. If she is afraid; she hides it well under an expressionless demeanor.

Stasia hasn't had the pleasure of meeting Aurelia and hadn't known of any "new-old" additions to the coven. She shifts position slightly in surprise, studying the newcomer.

Mouse chuckles, the sound perhaps a touch too menacing being that it comes from such a slight girl. "Now daddy," the words tossed teasingly towards Aro as that grin continues to play across her lips. Yes, she know he finds her somewhat annoying. "You certainly don't need to brag about me. "You though," she continues, eyes tracing back towards Carlisle, "certainly are the odd man out aren't you. You and your little 'family'. So sweet." There's another laugh as Alice presents herself and ruby hued eyes find her. "He doesn't bite," she mocks, "not hard anyway."

Carlisle is ready to go home. Though offering a nod to the new guard member without words. He steps backwards, taking Esme by the hand, until Alice decides to step forward. Deciding to just remain where is, hopefully they can get this done and be on their way.

"It wasn't meant in offense. Only a statement." clearly it was, but still no good to piss them off now. Emmett is glad to be about to leave when another member of the guard is introduced his gaze is flicked towards the new arrival, until Alice steps up to also touch Aro's hand. He shake shakes his head seeming not to think any good can come of any of this after all. The guards comment only heightens this sense but he's calmed for now.

Esme doesn't turn her gaze towards Mouse, instead she turns her eyes from the ground to her pixie-girl, watching, almost curious, but not enough to not want to grab Alice and pull her back. She restrains herself, though, only by keeping a very, very firm grip on her husband's hand.

Aro's expression betrays a look of surprise — perhaps exaggerated — as Alice approaches him, hand extended. "Ahh, see. Your forwardness is a trait we wouldn't mind having," he teases, but quiets to absorb the thoughts Alice wishes to share. It takes some time; he absorbs her visions concerning the attacks, and at last, gets her most recent vision. "So I see." Thoughtfully, he rubs his hands together. "The future is fickle, Alice. Right, Aurelia?" He smiles at the other shorter vampire. "…Don't call me that, either." There is a pause before he looks to the visitors. "I think we're finished. So I'll see you in one week, Carlisle."

Despite Aro's 'compliment and surprise', Alice's expression only sombers, eyes shifting away from Aro as soon as her hand is freed. She steps back, sinking behind the line that Esme and Carlisle draw, but careful not to bump into Rose and Em. "I can only hope." Though as the 'meeting' seems to have been brought to a for sure close, she turns to leave, but only if the others move with her. She says nothing else, however. Silence and detachment from the smallest Cullen.

Stasia inclines her head faintly, watching Aro. Either he will say what he read from Alice, or he will not.

Carlisle nods his head towards Aro, "See you in a week. Have a good evening." Turning around still holding onto his wife he walks towards the door and even past the reception area to go outside.

"Fickle," Mouse agrees with an ever so slight nod of her head, "And temperamental and changeable." Beat. "Sometimes." The clarification on that note perhaps not quite as reassuring as it could be. Its a fine like between flippant and not quite respectful that she draws with her reply to Aro, "Don't call me that and we'll see, besides you know you like it." Its a deviously sweet smile that she flashes back towards the 'children' of the Cullen family, gaze settling once again on Alice while taking in them all. "Do be careful."

Emmett turns reaching out for Rosalie’s hand, he takes it in his, and begins to move to the door once again this time not wishing to be brought back. He is focusing on his family allowing them to pass through the door before he finally crosses the way and moves out.

Esme moves with her husband as he exits the hotel, though Mouse's words catch her attention, the last three nearly drawing her to a stop. "Let's go," she mumbles as she looks about, in hopes of ensuring that her children are also on their way out.

Carlisle has left.
Esme has left.
Alice has left.
Emmett has left.
Rosalie has left.

Stasia watches the Cullens leave and is not at all sorry to see them go. She glances into the lobby until they have departed the premises, then looks back to the two ancient vampires.

Aro watches them leave with a faint, frozen smile on his lips before he turns to retreat to his couch. The two others aren't exactly invited, though they aren't dismissed, either, and he sits with a refined sort of grace. "How very interesting! Alice, can you believe it, had a vision that I might use what Carlisle tells me against them!" His surprise is all mockery, surely, and his brows rise. "Don't get me wrong. Friendship are sacred, but am I expected to remain the eternal friend when Carlisle, one of /my/ oldest friends, will not even agree to align himself with me?" He laughs. "I hope they'll be helpful."

Mouse chuckles, she turns, though she doesn't follow. That eerily playful smirk still painted across her lips. "Don't tell me you hadn't thought of it already. Though if you ask me," which she wasn't exactly, "Friendship is overrated. So called 'true friendship' anyway."

"He is a consummate hypocrite and he disgusts me." Stasia doesn't mince words. "He'll claim friendship with you when it suits him and would sell you out when that suited him as well. And all the while, continue that self-righteous drivel of how upstanding and moral he is."

Aro glances at Mouse from the corner of his eyes. "Friendship is a wonderful thing, Aurelia! Try it sometime. Stick around for awhile," he suggests with enthusiastically, though a smirk curls at his lips. "And…Stasia! I'd berate you for talking about my friend in that way, but I'm rather afraid you're right." With that, the ancient sinks into the couch cushions and exerts a sigh, his arms propped behind his head.

Stasia inclines her head, a gesture of respect. "I can only rely on my own experiences and judgement, master. Alice may not want to see the part of their own inconsistent might play."

"Very true," Aro concedes, closing his eyes for a moment. "It is, however, wonderful to see what she sees! The future is an exciting thing." His eyes flutter back open. "You are dismissed. Both of you," he says, not unkindly, but a bit airily. He reaches for his phone, no doubt going to call his brothers.

Cullen Residence: Main House

The front door slings open as Carlisle walks through it. He moves into the living room where he takes a seat in his normal chair. Leaning forward he rests his elbows to his knees and his head to his hands. An ache is lightly making his head thump and he considers this must be how Edward sometimes feel or even Jasper.

Esme follows her husband into the house, leaving the door open for the rest of the family. The woman haphazardly discards her coat and shoes before she moves to her husband’s chair, wherein she sits on the floor and rests her head on his leg. The expression on her face, though, is not one of calm, her brows are furrowed, to be certain, and her head slightly bowed where it rests.

Alice came home with the others of her family, though the entire way she kept very deeply quiet and resolved to a silent contemplation. She moves in the front door slowly, her gaze traveling over the others if only briefly before she sinks into Jasper's usual chair, curling her legs underneath her (shoes kicked off beforehand of course). She isn't going to be the first to speak.

The first indication of the next Cullen to arrive is mutter and lowered words under his breath. The tall strong figure of Emmett makes his way through the door and into the living room with the rest. He moves and takes the two seater next to Alice. He looks to his family and lets out a sigh is all waiting himself.

Carlisle ducks his head lower locking his hands behind his neck. Right now he can't bear to look at any of their faces. Pretty much he just offered himself to the Volturi. Wanting to know what Alice saw but not having the words to just ask. Where is Edward when needed? Finally sitting back he just remains silent looking towards their pictures on the wall.

Alice looks from one member of the family to the next, though her golden eyes solidly settle on Carlisle afterwards. It is a long space of time before she finally inhales to speak: "I'm sorry." She whispers, almost without enough strength to even say it.

The door opens and shuts, quiet footfalls carry Rosalie into the room with her somber family. Anger still flashed through her eyes as she looked to each one, lingering upon Emmett for a moment before turning fully toward Carlisle. His posture made him look deflated, and she hated the Volturi even more for it. Immediately she moves to stand in front of him, one hand reaching to squeeze against his shoulder. "What can we do" she asks simply, voice low but strong.

Emmett looks to each of his family in turn and doesn't seem to be able to think of much to say. He stretches a bit out of habit or something to do. It only changes when Alice speaks and the corners of his lip twitch up. "For what Alice? You cant be everywhere at once." he looks away as another arrival appears and spots Rose knowing this is hard on her often. "We have had to think about this before if it comes to it it's fight or flight I guess."

"Alice, you have nothing to be sorry about." he says his tone flat and deflated. Carlisle does look up to Rosalie for a moment. Once Emmett speaks he shifts slightly in his chair. "You can all go. Travel and be safe elsewhere. I'll remain and do as Aro wants." he doesn't see any way out of this. He already knows those words won't go over well to anyone. "This is my fault."

Esme shakes her head at her husband's words. "It's not your fault. If I'd of just kept my thoughts to myself, this wouldn't have happened," she points out in a sullen fashion before she gets to her feet, moving towards the nearby window, casting her gaze at the yard outside.

"I didn't see it in time. But.." Alice shifts a little in the chair she is in, almost uncomfortable even though it physically is an impossibility for their kind. Except for the wound of a wolf, of course. "They will use what you tell them against them, Carlisle." Alice never had much love for the wolves, of course, but those that they had made allies with she at least grew to tolerate them. She knows how badly this information will devastate her family but she can't hold it in. "I saw Caius leading a group of Volturi, hunting them, they want to use the information you give them to win this war of theirs." She still refuses to call it their own war.

Rosalie's laugh is short and unamused. "Try again, Carlisle. We're not going anywhere, and it wont help to cast blame." She crouches by Carlisle's chair, and she moves the hand from his shoulder to his arm, gripping it gently. "You know if I thought fighting them would help, I would've been the first to jump over that couch and strangle Aro. I'm too angry to see what we can do to fix this, but I know we -can-." She glances back to them all now, but remains by Carlisle. "Damage is done.. we'll just have to try to fix it now."

"It's not anyone’s fault. I doubt any one of us would leave you like that Carlisle we ARE a family." he shakes his head his hair not moving much in the action. Emmett seems to be thinking of what else can be done, he looks up to Esme. "If we had not agreed it would have just turned into a fight. Almost wished it had, would have had at least one of them in peaces by the time the guard showed up." he chuckles but there's no humor there really. "Do we warn the wolves we are friendly with and leave the others to fate or do we follow all the rules?"

Carlisle rises up to his feet and pulls away from Rosalie. Putting space between himself and the family, "It doesn't matter anymore. Aro has been wanting me to join him for decades. There is no fighting them and win." Folding his arms he then turns his back on them, a harsh gesture especially coming from him. "I took this on to protect my family. This is what I have to do. What they do with the information is their business."

Esme shakes her head a little. "We can't do anything, not while we have to keep in touch with them," she gives, not once turning to look back at her family. "We're committed to severing our ties with the wolves, all the wolves, and if we don't not only will we pay the price, so will our friends," the woman offers only the faintest of shrugs. "If the family leaves, they're certain to win, Carlisle. They want us to be split, some of the family they want to join them, some they will be unconcerned about…"

Alice shakes her head. "They can't sever us. We are a family; despite the decisions we make and the things we do to try and protect each other, we are a family. They can't change that." She rises to her feet, gaining back some of her resolve despite how badly she feels over what transpired. She almost says something else but instead closes her mouth, looking down and away.

Rosalie's face falls as Carlisle not only moves away, but turns his back on them. Never in all the time they had been together has he done this, and she feels the blow as if she were physically struck. She stands immediately, and tries to move past them all and leave the house before Alice sees. This was all Aro's fault. She didn't know how to change things, but she couldn't stand to see Carlisle's back turned to her. With a fleeting glance toward Emmett Rose bolts for the door.

"Okay, well than we stay together than, we do what is best for our family sever ties with the wolves." the tall form even while sitting says looking around. "I know it's easier said than done, but we can get through this of course we can together." Emmett sighs here looking around the room. "Rose." he stands and moves in a flash to try and stop her. "We're all just worried we'll be fine." he says to her somehow he's made it to the door first.

Esme does nothing more than stand, facing the window, her hands clasped behind her. The elder of the Cullen women either has nothing more to add, or know not how to put them into words.

Carlisle stares ahead before turning to head for the stairs. "Don't any of you see what has happened?" he turns to face them a hard glare in his eyes. "Don't you get it? I'm now a Volturi Spy. There is no getting out of it, there is no going back on it. Aro will likely destroy us all if I do. I took this so I wouldn't have to send one of you each week and worry if you will come back." Placing a hand on the banister, "It's over." he says finally in a defeated tone. Turning again he leans against the wall before sliding down to be seated on the stairs.

"Its not over." Alice protests, always the one for optimism, right? Her gaze flicks to Rosalie as Emmett stops her and states simply: "That won't end well." Either she went through a small part of a vision or not is hard to tell. "You didn't have to sacrifice yourself for us." Though she turns to the front door, and moves towards it. "Nothing is over." Though unless someone stops her, she is out the front door, and gone in her car.

Sometimes Emmett's speed is really annoying. Rosalie nearly slams into him, glaring at him and Alice both for a long moment. She turns to look at Esme, wide eyes dark now with anger. A more comfortable emotion than the pain it was hiding. "I can't be here right now.." she warned Emmett in a low voice. Silence falls over her for a long moment, but when she does speak again it is directed toward Carlisle. "You can turn your back if you want.. but I'm not going to." She looks up at Emmett again, waiting for him to move so she can leave.

"I don't bet against Alice Carlisle, if she says it'll be alright and nothing is over we gotta believe that." also an optimist for the most part Emmett would block Alice but he cant block both and she escapes. He looks to Rose still not moving out of her way. "It's not over." he states more firmly We are a family." he looks to his wife and nods moving out of the way at last he's left with his parents looking between both.

As much as Esme may wish to be sullen and sulk, she can't condone doing so when her husband is in such a state. "We know you did that for us," she gives, slightly. "Perhaps you shouldn't have, we would have been fine, if we'd kept certain members here. I hate, I HATE," her words are quite vehement now, "that every week I have to send you off to Aro. You know, perfectly, that I'll accompany you every time you go," she raises her hand, though she's yet to turn and look at her husband, "no, I know you want to argue with me. This time you'll not win," is stated as she looks through the window. The reflection on the glass reveals that she truly would be in tears right now, if it were possible, despite how well put together her words seem. As Alice leaves, Esme sends a silent plea that her pixie-girl should run and not come back until this absurd war of the Volturi is done with. Esme turns around, though, and tries to look her daughter in the eye. With a quick move Esme's at her daughters side and pulls the blond into a hug, holding onto her daughter tightly. "I love you, Rosalie Hale," she whispers to her oldest daughter, seemingly not willing to let go of her once she's got Rose in a hug.

"You are /not/ going with me." Carlisle stresses towards his wife. Managing to stand up on the stairs, "That is final." he turns and this time heads up the two flights of stairs to their bedroom. Last sound that can be heard is a click.

Rosalie touches Emmett briefly as she moves toward the door, but is quickly caught by yet more arms. These, however, she won't pull away from. Esme's gentle words make her eyes shut tight, and Rose hugs her mother hard. She didn’t want Lev to be right, but as Carlisle speaks again her arm reaches out and snags Emmett into the embrace. Rose loved all in her family, but it is these three that are closest to her heart.. which explains why she feels as though it is breaking. "He's never been like this.." she whispers, pressing herself against Emmett and hugging her mother still. "For our protection or not, how could he stand to say these things.."

Emmett moves into the group hug and is quiet shaking his head slightly "No he hasn’t since I’ve been with you. He cant stand to say them that is why he's upstairs he will break if forced to face us we will be fine though. He has said it a few times and does believe it just the same. He pulls back only slightly looking at the other two. "If he wont let you go with him Esme I will go with him." he says in a firm voice

Esme scowls at her husband. "Oh you bet I am. I'm not letting you go there alone, and I'm not letting the children go," she states furiously as she wraps an arm around Emmett, kisses her daughter on her forehead, and slips out of the embrace. "Stay here, please?" she requests, taking one of her children's hand in her own, squeezing them both tightly. "You're important, and I'm so glad you're both home, but for now I need to keep your father from doing anything stupid," she states, as if she doesn't feel like doing things similar to what he desires as well. "Emmett, don't let her run off and do anything she shouldn't," oh, she knows they can both be irrational, but she knows that Emmett may think before he takes off to do something, Rose will probably do and then think. With her words said, hugs given and general affection for these two made known, she makes for the stairs, sending a parting look at them before she finishes the ascent. Soon she is out of sight, though one can hear her footsteps, and finally the opening and closing of their bedroom door up on the third floor.

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