I exhale and unclench my fists.
"I don't want to make any deals with you." A growl is growing in my throat, deep and ruthless. Aro's eyes do not deceive him.
"Ah, but you know you must. Do you even know where you are?" I don't take my eyes away.
"No." His face softens as if he has already won.
"And don't you want to leave this place? Don't you want to come and find Edward? And your father? I know you miss them terribly..." he trails off as my mind journeys away. So many thoughts swarming in my head, I don't know what I am saying. Nothing is making sense. And at the sam time, I can feel myself slipping away.
But I can't lose this.
I plant my feet and stare the vampire straight in the eyes.
"What have you done with them Aro?"
"You would like to know, wouldn't you? But first, dear Bella, I will need something in exchange." I keep my expression placid.
"What do you need?"
"If I am to give you back two of the greatest weapons in my arsenal, I will need something else of equal or greater worth." Now I know what he is getting at.
"You want me." Aro lowers his eyes and lifts his lips into a tight grin.
"Not exactly." I am taken aback by this, because he has been in pursuit of me ever since I was changed. My cool image falters and Aro pounces. He takes a leap forward and my face is so close to his I can feel his breath.
"You are worth only Edward. Charlie is more powerful than you could ever know, and I surely cannot give up a talent like that. Also, he is a major threat. As they say, Bella, keep your friends close...and your enemies closer." What am I supposed to do? I can fell myself falling away even more, and it seems like Aro is leaving also. This is my only chance, but I can't do anything about it. I have nothing else to offer.
Then the thought strikes me.
"I have something. I promise. It won't fall through. Please, have both Charlie and Edward there. You won't be going home alone." Aro smiles again and nods once in agreement.
Then he is gone, and I am alone in the darkness again. I look around, wondering where he went, but also relieved that he is gone.
"Bella," someone whispers, and I turn around to face the sound. But as I do, the floor which I am standing on gives out and I am falling down into the blackness, nothing to hold me up, the silence returning and piercing my ears. I yell out, waiting for someone to save me.