The summer days bleed into nights and pass with such ease and care. I find myself sitting and reminiscing about days gone by. Jane and Alec, Renata, Heidi, Felix and Demetri... we were all quite good friends at one time. Some of my fondest memories are of that time, carefree days and nights, parlor games, hide and seek, tag, cricket and a game that is, today, called, Capture the Flag or Man Hunt. Sometimes our games stretched into week long escapades of endless laughter and fun. To feel that again would be bliss. I look back on those times as somewhat of a childhood though in reality, all of us were already at least a century old. As I near my 400th year of existence (recently celebrated 380 years) I realise how much time really means.  I respect it, fear it and love it all at the same time. I see how precious it is and I don't take a single moment for granted. We are considered immortal yet that is merely a parlor trick. We are no more immortal than any other being, we are simply difficult to kill. Every moment spent here in this castle reminds me of that. 

Alice and Jasper are spending the evening outside in Aro's Lily garden. Alice has expressed an interest in having such a garden and Renata is seeing to it that her desires are met while she is here. They are trying their best to lull her into a sense of belonging and I know that Chelsea has been hard at work doing as Aro instructs. In a way I can't blame him for trying as he does.  He is the patriarch of his family, the same as I am of mine. His intentions are not malicious. His intentions are to create and protect the family he has worked so hard to create and grow.  Adding Alice to his family would greatly benefit them all. His intentions, as they have always been, are to entice them to come willingly.  He wants no bad blood, no reason for regret. He simply does not see that Alice's heart and desires lay with the Cullen family. No matter how hard he tries, what he offers, how he tempts... she will always find her way back to us and of that I am one hundred percent confident.

So while we spend the Summer here, at Alice's request, we learn, we grow and our family bonds strengthen. Aro's plans will never pan out as he wishes and a part of me believes he already knows this. I suppose we shall see over the next few weeks how things go. For now, Esme and I will enjoy the refreshing evenings of the Volterra countryside as the rest of the family learns and grows from this experience.

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