A moment in time… circa 1949


I followed behind Luca down the eloquent hallway, my body on edge as the group of black robed vampires led us into the main chambers. He glanced back at me, trying to assess my emotions. I kept my face blank, not wanting to give away my anxiousness.


My cousin Renata had written to Luca, inviting him and myself to Volterra. Renata was interested in seeing my new transformation. We had only met twice, both times when I was still a human child. She was intrigued to meet one of Luca’s chosen ones, since Luca had turned Renata hundreds of years before he turned me. Luca informed me that Renata could not leave to meet me and that we must go to Volterra to see her. Centuries earlier, Renata had been approached by the Volturi, the vampires in charge of the vampire world, and joined the Volturi to prevent any bad blood between the families. According to the story, Renata had the gift of a shield, and could prevent physical attacks by entering the mind of her enemy and sending them a repelling thought, confusing the mind. She was connected to Aro, the leader of the Volturi, through Chelsea, who bonded the two of them together for eternity. Renata never left Aro’s side, hence why we were making the trip out to Volterra.


Luca shared with me some of the stories of the Volturi on our voyage to Volterra, and I was beginning to gain a bigger picture of the family. Anyone that posed a threat to the vampire race would be subject to a trial by the Volturi leaders and they were always found guilty and killed by members of the Guard. It was intimidating to meet the leaders of the vampire race, especially since I was a brand new vampire, still in my first years of life. It was at this time that I was most prone to an accident, in which I could accidentally expose my race by my uncontrollable need to feed.


The hooded vampires spread out around the room as we entered the main chamber, three beautifully designed throne chairs at the front of the room. The Guard took their positions along the walls, keeping an eye on things to make sure they ran smoothly. Luca stopped in the middle of the room, his hands folded behind his back, as they usually were. I stood next to him, my eyes following his gaze to the three vampires in their respective chairs. Luca bowed his head in respect and I followed his lead. My slight anxiety made my throat ache slightly, but I tried to keep my mind occupied. I kept my chin up, attempting to show no fear of the three authority figures in front of me.


The vampire in the chair on the left was tall and lengthy with long, flowy brown hair. It was impossible for vampires to tire, but this particular vampire looked quite aged compared to the rest I had met. The vampire on the right was shorter, with pale blonde hair. He sat with one leg crossed over the other, his lips pursed as he observed me. The vampire in the middle had long black hair and wicked red eyes. They pierced into me like a knife. Authority came off of him in waves and I could feel his power in the air. Standing to the right of him was a petite brunette, one corner of her mouth turned up a fraction of an inch from the other. It must have been her way of showing emotion while keeping a straight face. Renata, my memory spoke to me. She looked just as my human self had remembered.


“Luca, it has been a long time my friend.” The man in the middle stood up from his throne chair, his dark robes cascading around him as he moved. He appeared before Luca in a second, his hand stretched out to greet him. Luca smiled softly, extending his hand. The man took Luca’s hand into both of his, holding his gaze. Luca had told me that many of the Volturi had special abilities, yet he had not shared all of them with me. I watched carefully as the two of them seemed to be exchanging silent words.


“It has been much too long Aro.” Luca smiled. They both kept intense eye contact for a minute longer, and then Aro broke off to rest his gaze upon me. I kept my body still as Aro moved in front of me.


“Ah, you must be Makenna!” His instant enthusiasm threw me off guard. My eyes made contact with his and it seemed I could not deter from his gaze. “I have heard much about you from my constant companion, Renata. Luca has also spoken quite highly of you. He claims you’re one of his finest vampires. I beg to differ,” he paused, smirking as he referred to Renata, “however, I have not had the pleasure of being acquainted with you yet. I may find that you change my mind.” His charisma gave me the heebie-jeebies, but I kept my facial features calm in his presence. Aro held out his hand and I offered out my own, not quite sure what to expect. His hand was cold on contact, much colder than my own, which was already much cooler than any humans. My mind felt slightly clouded, and I could feel his presence prying around in my brain. My own memories flashed before my eyes as Aro read my thoughts, each and every thought I had experienced within the last few years. We stayed there for a solid minute as Aro witnessed my life before his eyes. He learned of my first years as a newborn and even got far back enough to learn of Charles, my human sweetheart. Once Aro learned of my relationship with Charles, he pulled his hands away from mine, his eyebrows raised.


“I apologize if I took you off guard Makenna. I was much too excited to learn about you to control myself.” He glanced at Luca, a small smirk on his face. “I am impressed with your choice Luca. Makenna is a fine specimen. You chose well.” Aro began to walk slowly around me, taking in my entire appearance.


“You have a fierce personality Makenna. I admire your strength and compassion. Your ability to form connections with others will allow you to thrive in this new life you have recently come into. From what I have seen, I believe you will live a very adventurous life. However, I am curious about one thing…” He stood ahead of Luca, examining him carefully.


“You are aware of the connection she has with the human, Charles?” Luca nodded in response. “I believe that the human Charles may become a problem if things are not handled accordingly.” Luca remained calm but my entire body was on edge. I did not want Aro lurking into my mind in the first place, let alone discover my connection with Charles. Charles was dear to me and I would do anything to protect him.


Luca lifted a finger to interrupt. “May I interject?” Aro stepped back, nodding. “The human shall not become an issue for Makenna. Her loyalty to me and her family is much too strong. She would not dare destroy that for some human. May I remind you that I offered her an out when she met Charles? However, she chose to continue the family tradition. Makenna is extremely loyal; I have no doubt in that.” Aro raised a brow, speculating this.


“I know you have not come into contact with him yet, but one day you will again Makenna. If you choose to live your life with this human, you must be sure to change him into one of us. It is not acceptable for humans to know of our existence,” Aro eyed Luca as he said this. Our family had a long history of humans being aware of the existence of vampires. It was a gray area for the Volturi and they still were not sure how exactly to handle the situation. As long as none of the humans told anyone, they would be kept alive… for now.


I spoke up. “I promise to turn him once I gain control of myself.” Aro smiled softly, his hands pressed together.


“That is wonderful to hear Makenna. I plan on checking in on you in time to see that our agreement stands. And yes, be sure to gain some control before you attempt to turn him. It would be a shame if you fed on him until his death.” He laughed wickedly, as if he knew how much it tortured me to think about blood, especially the blood of someone I loved. My throat burned even more now as the waves of hunger began to settle in. Aro turned away, returning to his chair.


“Renata dear, please show our guests to their chambers for the day. Allow yourself some visiting time to catch up.” Renata whispered a quiet “Yes, Aro” and began to make her way past us. As I turned to leave, Aro spoke up. “It was a pleasure to meet you Makenna. I shall leave a present for you in your room as a going away present.” I eyed Luca knowing it could only mean one thing, a human to feed on. Aro had sensed my hunger during our interaction.


Luca and I followed Renata down the hallway to our chambers, where we would be staying for the day. I was intrigued to catch up with my cousin, but also on edge after my conversation with Aro. Charles was in possible danger because of my choice to change. I had not seen him since before my transformation and now, I was expected to turn him. What if I returned to him and he no longer loved me? What then? Would his life still be at risk? Many questions seemed to go through my mind at once but once we reached the threshold of the room, the blood waiting for me was too enticing. My mind began to clear and I told myself to worry about it later. The only thing that mattered was the human in front of me now.

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