I have slowly been digitizing my journals and as I have done so, I  have re-read them and refreshed some of the memories that had left me, long ago. I think back to my time with the Volturi and I have to admit that some of my memories of that time bring a smile to my face. Looking back to those times I realize how fortunate I am to have been allowed to venture out back on my own. I can thank my lack of holding a 'gift' for that. I held little use to Aro. He found amusement with my intellect, sure, but I could offer him no more than that and proved useless to him. My leaving was not difficult on him what so ever. The Volturi way of life was not for me. I am very much a family oriented individual and the 'family' feel is definitely not one that I felt in the Volturi Coven. I felt trapped, unable to express myself and so very structured, even more so than a military facility. For me, it was hell. Aro, Marcus and Caius had their ideas of how things worked and how they were to be run and that wasn't exactly how I saw things. While I was gracious and appreciative for the time I spent with them, I learned a lot about myself, I knew it was a short term arrangement and that I would leave as soon as I knew exactly what it was I needed and wanted from this 'life'. I often wonder if Jane and Alec would stay if given the choice. Aro makes it appear as if we were all free to leave at will. It was made painfully obvious to us that it simply not the case. When I met Aro and was invited to meet his 'family' , I graciously accepted. I felt it would be an opportunity to see how things worked in an organized coven. I had nothing to lose. Upon arrival to Volterra, I was treated as a noble guest, I was offered luxury after luxury; fine clothes, a modern (for those times) room and a library that was all mine. It was very convincing. Who wouldn't want to stay?

Aro felt great pleasure with my company. My intellect was appealing to him, my love of puzzles and games also fit right in with his interests. I think I was a playmate for him more than anything else. After time, He and the other 'Masters' fell into a sense of comfort in my company and were more free with with their conversations around me. The facade was wearing off and I began to see what they really were. Beneath the posh and cultured exteriors dwelled horrific monsters ready to plough through anything or anyone that stood in their way.

Felix brought in one of the lesser guards. His name was Bruno and his gift of blocking one's senses, was useful to Aro but apparently not useful enough.  Bruno expressed an interest in leaving the guard. Aro, ever so charming, approached him and placed a hand on his shoulder and said, "My dear, Bruno you are most welcome to leave at any time you wish." He simply tilted his head, ever so slightly and turned to walk back to his throne. Felix took Bruno's head instantly. I closed my eyes tightly and swallowed hard. Aro looked at me and said, "You see, Carlisle, I can't have him running around with a gift like that. He might have decided to use it against us and we couldn't have that, now could we?" Aro snapped his fingers and 2 other guardsmen entered the room and took the body. Aro and Caius resumed their game of Cribbage. Marcus and Caius did not so much as flinch.

I remained with them only long enough to learn how to live under their radar. I had forged many friendships during my time with the Volturi, it was not easy to leave those relationships behind but I knew that if I was going to get what I needed from this existence, I needed to do it on my own. A few decades passed and I told Aro of my intent to leave, he seemed genuinely disappointed with my decision but granted me my freedom. I know that the only thing that saved me from certain death was that I was useless to him.

Knowing what I wanted from this life, I set out to find myself and along the way I have found others who feel as I do. We have existed true to our beliefs and have successfully steered clear of the Volturi until rather recently. Aro has a collection' of gifted vampires and he covets my family member's gifts and I believe he feels threatened by our coven. We are not interested in joining the Volturi and pose no threat to them but his impatience grows stronger and stronger with each passing moment. He will not stop until he gets what he wants. It is truly only a matter of time before they return once again to demand that which they covet. We will stand firm and fight for the freedom that we cherish. Rest assured, none of us will ever, willingly, join the Volturi.

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