Chapter 12.1: Throw Back Thursday.
Being married to Cullen was the most amazing
experience of Emily's short life. She felt invincible with him at her
side. The honeymoon had been full of long hours of lovemaking before
strolling along the sandy beach outside their secret hideaway on a
Emily hadn't wanted to come home but real life was
waiting for them. Cullen had kissed away her slightly petulant frown,
promising her they would schedule another holiday soon when their work
It was only when they got home that both of
them realised they hadn't discussed where they were going to stay now
they were married. After a slightly heated debate, they settled on
living at Cullen's house, though they kept the apartment on as neither
of them could bear to sell it. Emily's logic was it would serve as
somewhere to stay when Anton visited again.
Cullen was sitting in
her office one day, watching her eat her lunch, when Emily turned around
and said she wondered when Dorian was finally going to propose to
Cullen stared at her in shock as she sipped at her cup of coffee and then popped a bit of lettuce in her mouth.
"Propose?!" he repeated quietly. "Dorian hasn't said anything to me about wanting to get married."
laughed and rolled her eyes. "That's because the thought never crossed
his mind until our wedding," she said. "I was peaking through a gap in
the screen when Alice was walking down the aisle. I wanted to see you.
But all I could see was Dorian and the look of complete shock on his
face as he watched Alice. Then one of his beautiful smiles crossed his
face and I knew what he was thinking. He's going to propose, Cullen."
suddenly smiled. "If he is even half as happy with Alice as I am with
you, they will have a wonderful life together," he sighed, his eyes
shining as he watched her.
Emily laughed again and her face flushed slightly at his heated expression.
just stay on that side of the desk, Sebastian Cullen," she warned. "I'm
getting tired of Dorian lecturing us on appropriate timing when it
comes to our love life."
Cullen laughed with her. "He's just
jealous," he grinned. "For so many years, I was always the responsible
one and he got to have all the fun. Now the roles are reversed and he
doesn't like it."
"You'd better get back to work," she smiled.
"And me too. I've got a proposal to put to you and Dorian by the end of
the week. I need to get working on it."
Cullen raised an eyebrow in inquiry but she just laughed and shook her head.
"No sneak preview, Cullen. This is work."
He grumbled good naturedly and blew her a kiss before he left her office.
smiled happily and put the rest of her lunch in the bin. She wasn't
very hungry today. She turned to her laptop and suddenly froze.
feeling of total dread passed over her. It was so intense that she
moaned softly and her hand went to her stomach. The last time she had
felt like this was when Liam had discovered the attempted hacking into
the computers at Karpathia's. But that feeling had been nothing compared
to what she was feeling now. Something dreadful was going to happen.
struggled up from her desk and almost flew down the hall to Cullen's
office. She heard Dorian call to her as she raced blindly passed him. He
followed her as she threw herself into Cullen's started arms.
"Emily, what's wrong?" Cullen asked anxiously, his hand coming to her face to pull her gaze to him.
"Something bad is going to happen," she whispered, her voice tortured. "Very soon."
Cullen gasped at her stricken expression and pulled her close.
Dorian shut the office door, his own face mirroring Cullen's concern.
"Do you know what, Emily?" he asked gently.
shook her head. "I think it involves your kind," she said, her voice a
bit stronger. "It's a more intense feeling of the one I had when Liam
came here that day about the hacking."
"I'm getting her out of here," Cullen said sharply. "I'll take her to Anton."
"No, I'm not leaving," she moaned. "I can't leave, Cullen. I have to be here for whatever is going to happen."
of the question," he said firmly, his beautiful face set. "Not after
what happened the last time, Emily. You're leaving and that's the end of
"Leaving feels wrong, Cullen," she whispered. "It feels wrong. I have to be here."
was a knock on the door and Alice entered quickly closing the door
behind her. Her face looked frightened and Dorian automatically pulled
into his arms.
"There's two really scary looking vampires here," she whispered. "They want to see you immediately."
and Dorian both stiffened and the Dorian went and opened the door.
Emily didn't think she could have seen anyone become more still but
She gazed past him and saw two, tall vampires
regarding the office. They were beautiful as all vampires were but there
was something different about them. Their hair was short. They both had
brown hair but it was cropped very short, almost to the point of having
no hair at all. It was the first time she had seen a male vampire
without long hair.
Cullen inhaled sharply and his hands tightened around Emily.
words were spoken but Dorian moved aside from the door and the two
vampires entered the office. The room suddenly felt very small with them
Dorian crossed the room to stand beside Cullen, taking
Alice with him. The tension in the room was so thick, Emily wondered if
she would be able to physically touch the sensation if she tried.
presence is required at the establishment known as Karpathia's," the
vampire on the right said, his voice cold and hard. "His Majesty, King
Alexander, will sit in judgement this day."
King! No one had told Emily about a King.
"What are the charges?" Cullen ground out, through clenched teeth.
"The human woman known as Emily Cullen is a witch and has been using magics to undermine and subvert the vampire nation."
Emily gasped in shock. "I'm not a witch," she cried out.
The vampires ignored her as if she wasn't there.
"My wife is not a spellcaster," Cullen said furiously. "This charge is absurd! Who levied it against her?"
is for King Alexander to determine the truth or falsehood of the
accusation," the vampire to the left said, his voice equally as cold and
hard. "You must come now."
"Philip, Hugo, you both know us well," Dorian said quietly. "You know we would never do anything to endanger our race."
The vampire called Philip turned to him, he was the one on the right.
is not our place to cast judgement, Dorian," he said, his voice a
fraction warmer. "We serve His Majesty and do his bidding. You must come
with us now. He awaits you."
Emily looked up at Cullen and
shivered when she saw the hopeless expression on his face. Whatever was
happening was something he was powerless to stop. She turned her gaze to
the other two vampires and the sense that this had to happen was
suddenly screaming at her.
"I guess we'd better go then," she sighed softly.
thought Cullen would accidentally crush her he was holding her so
tightly on the way to Karpathia's. She vaguely heard Alice and Dorian
arguing about whether or not the little dark haired woman could come
with them. She sensed Alice behind her so she gathered the tiny woman
had won the debate.
Emily had never seen the room before which
they were taken to. It was huge. The centre of the room looked like a
huge dance floor. It was surrounded on three sides by rows of benches.
At the head of the wooden floor was a raised dais on which sat what
could only be described as a throne. The room was already full of
vampires, all sitting silently as Philip and Hugo escorted them into the
Cullen balked when Philip and Hugo took Emily's arms but
Liam was suddenly at his side. Dorian and Liam forced Cullen to release
his hold on her.
"You cannot stop this, Cullen," Liam whispered
urgently. "Don't make it worse than it already is. There is still a
chance right now. There will be no chance if you go against the King."
was terrified. If Cullen, Liam and Dorian couldn't protect her from
this King then she was in real trouble. She let Philip and Hugo lead her
into the centre of the room. She turned to see Cullen gripping the
wooden balustrade, which surrounded the wooden floor, tightly. His
expression was bleak, as was Liam's and Dorian's. She was in a lot of
trouble and she had no idea if she was going to be able to walk away
from it in one piece.
A loud bang caught her attention and she
heard Philip announce the King. She turned and watched as an ancient
Vampire strode purposely into the room. He was beautiful as was to be
expected. His hair was long and loose and almost the exact same colour
as Cullen's. His eyes were a darker brown and he was tall and lean. He
wore some kind of ceremonial role. Emily felt the urge to giggle when
she found herself admiring the shade of purple of the robe. She must be
close to hysterics.
The King sat down on the throne and turned to
regard the room silently. His expression was closed as his eyes fell on
Cullen, Dorian and Liam. Finally he looked at Emily and she shuddered as
it felt as if he was trying to peer into her very soul.
the woman known as Emily Cullen?" he asked and she was surprised at how
beautiful his voice sounded. It was quite out of place with the stern
expression on his face.
Emily tried to swallow down her fear. "I am," she said loudly, her voice sounding more confident than she really was.
"You will address His Majesty with respect!" Hugo hissed loudly.
apologies," Emily said softly to the man on the throne. "I have not
been in the company of royalty before so I do not know the customs
required of me. Cullen did not have the opportunity to instruct me
before we arrived here. If you would tell me how you wish to be
addressed, I will do my best to comply."
There was a ripple of
sound around the room and Hugo banged a large sceptre against the floor
and roared, "Silence!" The room went quiet again.
"You may address me as Your Majesty," the King said quietly, his eyes thoughtful.
"Very well, Your Majesty," Emily said and inclined her head in what she hoped was a respectful way.
"A charge of witchcraft has been brought against you, Emily Cullen," the King announced. "What say you to that charge?"
all honesty, Your Majesty, I have been too astounded to discover that
witches are real to have been able to think about being accused of being
"You are wed to a vampire and yet you find witches being real an astounding fact," the King mused. "How is this so?"
suppose I didn't really need to know until this moment, Your Majesty,"
Emily said quietly. "As I didn't need to know about vampires until I met
He watched her thoughtfully for a moment and leaned forward slightly.
witch is very powerful and a determined one can bring our nation to
it's knees, Emily Cullen," he said dangerously. "We execute witches on
Emily gasped and paled and she heard Cullen growl behind her.
"Have you never considered coming to a compromise with the witches, Your Majesty?" Emily asked quietly.
a vampire shouted, outraged. The room erupted in loud shouts and Hugo
had to bang his sceptre sharply to restore order.
"Why would you ask such a question if you were not in fact a witch yourself?" the King asked, his voice icily cold and hard.
would ask such a question because I have a love of life so strong that
it grieves me badly to see any living being die when perhaps there was a
way to prevent it, Your Majesty," Emily answered.
"If you love
life so much then perhaps you should work harder at preserving your own,
Emily Cullen," the King snapped harshly. "Your words are condemning
"NO!" Cullen roared, breaking free of Liam and Dorian and rushing to Emily's side. He hugged her fiercely.
"I will not let you harm her," he hissed, his eyes flashing furiously at his King.
"Cullen, no," Emily groaned. "Go back to your seat."
"I'm not leaving you, Emily," he said, his voice hard and determined.
I appreciate you act out of love but this is totally unacceptable," the
King said, his tone bored. "Return to your place now."
Sire," Cullen said, his face set. "I will not leave my wife to stand
here alone to be falsely judged. If you must persist with this trial
then I will stand with her. It was I who brought her into our family. I
am just as culpable or innocent as she is, whatever your decision turns
out to be."
Emily moaned in terror as she felt wave after wave of
dread wash over her. This was wrong. It was so very wrong that she had
to stop it. She saw Liam and Dorian step towards them, their faces set
too. In her peripheral vision she saw her friends from Karpathia's also
stand as if to come to her side as protectors.
"No!" she cried, wrenching out of Cullen's arms. She spun round to face him and made her expression hard.
"Go and sit down," she hissed through clenched teeth. "This isn't about you Cullen, this is about me."
"I will not, Emily," he growled furiously.
will or so help me God if I walk out of this room today alive,
Sebastian Cullen, I will walk out of your life and never return!" she
She winced deep inside as she saw the pain cross his face.
"Emily," he said, his voice full of pain.
She held herself rigid, refusing to go to him as she so badly wanted to do.
"Leave me, Cullen. Heed me now or face losing me forever."
turned to Liam and Dorian who were staring at her in shock. "Take him
back to his seat," she told them, keeping her voice hard.
turned her back on them as she felt the mask on her face slip. She heard
them all moving away until she once more stood alone facing the King.
Cullen's pain was like a wave washing over her. She prayed silently that
he would forgive her if she got out of this alive.
The King said thoughtfully. "Tell me, Emily Cullen, what is so
important to you that you would break your husband's heart as well as
Emily lowered her head and didn't answer. She couldn't
have spoken at that moment if she tried. She heard a whisper of movement
and then suddenly the King was there before her, one long finger
tilting her chin up so she would look at him.
"Why did you send your protectors away, Emily Cullen?" he asked gently.
"Because it felt wrong," she whispered.
"Felt wrong," The King echoed, puzzlement in his eyes.
She nodded as he released her chin but still stood staring down at her.
am not a witch, Your Majesty," Emily whispered. "But I have a sense of
what is right and what is wrong. Cullen and Dorian call it my uniquely
instinctual way of thinking. Sometimes I just know and I have to act
"And now, is this moment wrong, Emily Cullen?" he asked softly.
Your Majesty, this moment feels right once more. No matter what the end
result is for me personally, it is right that I stand here alone before
He chuckled suddenly. "From the look on your husband's
face, if you survive this day, you may receive a severe beating at his
hands for your actions, Emily Cullen," he laughed and returned slowly to
"Tell me what was so wrong when he stood with you," he said as he sat back down.
"It is hard to put into words that will not anger you, Your Majesty," she breathed quietly.
"I am feeling tolerant, speak freely," he said with a wave of his hand.
Emily swallowed hard and tried to control the trembles that were starting to shiver through her body.
I had allowed him to stand with me then Dorian and Liam would have
stood too. Alice would have come to Dorian's side even though she is
only human and you probably haven't even noticed her presence in this
room. I saw my friends from Karpathia's stand also. Soon half the room
would have stood on my behalf. I had to stop it."
"But surely such
a force of protectors would be something you wanted," The King said.
"With such a show of support, it would have effectively halted this
"It was wrong," Emily said desperately. "I will not be the
cause of a civil war between your people, Your Majesty. I will not be
the architect of the vampire nation's downfall. No matter what price I
have to pay.
She sucked in a deep breath "If I must break Cullen's
heart or offer myself up as a sacrifice, I will do so," she whispered.
"The thought of losing the beauty of your kind is unbearable to think
The King regarded her thoughtfully for a long moment.
Making pacts with witches. You do say the most extraordinary things,
Emily Cullen," he finally said. "I am ready to make my judgement."
silence in the room was almost a tangible thing. Emily raised her head
and stared at the King. She was frightened and she ached for Cullen so
badly, even if he was mad enough to beat her right now.
"On the charge of witchcraft, I find the accused, Emily Cullen, to be innocent," The King said loudly.
The room erupted in noise, some angry sounds but mostly cheers. Hugo banged his sceptre and the room went silent instantly.
grieves my heart that some of us fear change so much that we seek to
destroy something of such beauty when it comes to us when we least
deserve it," the King said sadly. "Come to me, Emily Cullen," he
continued, holding out his hand.
Shaking with relief, Emily walked towards the dais and walked up the steps until she stood before the King.
work is complete, child," Alexander said gently, his eyes warm and
glowing with approval. "When you join us, our nation will weep with joy
that one so pure of heart and soul has consented to grace us with her
presence. Have you chosen your protectors, child?"
Emily swallowed and tried to wipe the shock at his words from her face,
"Cullen stands as my husband, Dorian as my brother and Liam as my father," she said quietly.
Alexander smiled. "Have you room in your generous heart for a kindly grandfather, child?" he asked softly.
Emily eyes widened as she realised what he was asking her. Her heart banged loudly in her chest as she sucked in a deep breath.
never had a grandfather before," she whispered. "They both died when I
was very young so I have no memory of them. I have always wondered what
it would be like to have one."
She swallowed hard again and the rightness of the moment was suddenly screaming at her. She smiled shyly at the King.
"There is room in my heart for one as noble and venerable as you, Your Majesty."
A hushed murmur race through the room and was quickly gone again.
Alexander smiled a beautiful smile and kissed her lightly on the cheek.
this," he said rising and coming to stand beside her on the steps. "The
human woman known as Emily Cullen is under my protection. Anyone who
accuses her falsely accuses me. Think carefully before you seek to cause
harm to this child again."
Emily glanced anxiously at Cullen and she heard Alexander chuckle lightly beside her.
you in such a hurry to receive your beating, child?" he said
affectionately. "If he is too hard on you, let me know and I will have
words with him."
He laughed again as she blushed crimson and bit
her lip, worriedly. Cullen's expression was cold and hard, his eyes flat
and unforgiving. She'd be lucky if he talked to her let alone beat her.
"I will keep you but a moment longer, granddaughter," Alexander said softly.
pulled a small vial from within his robes. He opened it and brought a
finger to his mouth, pricking it against his fang and dripping three
drops of thick red blood into the vial. He placed the top back on the
glass bottle and held it out to Emily.
"When you become one of us
and the rightness of the moment is upon you, drink from this vial,
granddaughter. My knowledge and strength will flow through you and you
will rise to your rightful place among us, as my heir. You will be
Princess of Vampires until such times when I no longer walk this mortal
world, then you will become Queen of Vampires. I know you will rule
wisely, my child."
Emily's startled gasp was drowned out by the
collective gasp from the room. She stared at the Royal being who was now
her grandfather in shock.
"I never wanted this," she whispered hoarsely.
laughed. "To tell the truth, neither did I when it happened to me," he
said with a conspiratorial wink at her which caused Emily to burst out
"It's the very fact that you do not seek this which
makes it right that it happens," he continued, his face more serious.
"What do you're instincts tell you, child?"
Emily closed her eyes
and searched deep inside herself. Finally she smiled slowly and opened
her eyes and took the vial from the King.
Alexander smiled broadly and gave her a gentle hug.
"This trial is concluded," he said quietly and turned and walked from the room.
Emily turned to Cullen and froze when she saw he was gone. She hurried across the room.
"Where is he?" she asked Dorian, her expression anxious.
it's best if you give him some time, Emily," her adopted brother said
softly. His expression was concerned. "All of this has been monumental,
love," he sighed. "For all of us. It's going to take a lot of getting
used to, more so for Cullen because you publicly rejected him and now
when you join us, you will become Royalty."
"I had to do it,
Dorian," Emily moaned, her face distraught. "For the reason's I told
Alexander. I didn't want to hurt him. I had but a moment to find the one
thing that would make him leave my side. I had to do it."
"We understand," Liam said softly. "Cullen will too, but you need to give him some time to calm down."
swore to him that I wouldn't run away if there was another problem.
That I would stay and fix it," Emily said stubbornly. "I have to do that
now, before it becomes too hard."
She hurried passed them and went looking for her husband.
ran through Karpathia's looking for Cullen. He wasn't there. Heart
pounding frantically she raced home, crying out his name as she entered
She found him in the study. He stared at her as she
entered the room, his beautiful face cold and hard. She flinched at the
barely controlled violence she saw in his eyes.
"Cullen," she said softly, her voice trembling and her eyes pleading with him.
surprised you came home," he said coldly turning his back on her. "I
would have thought you would have wanted to spend more time with your
"I want to be with you," she said quietly.
"How gracious of you, Emily. Does it make you feel good spending time with the peasants?"
"Cullen you're being ridiculous," she whispered. "I never expected that to happen. You must know that."
must I?" he snapped, turning to face her. His golden brown eyes flashed
with anger as he looked at her. "Is that a royal command wife?"
"Why are you being like this?" Emily moaned softly, her eyes filling with tears.
indeed," he said softly, his voice heavy with menace. "I should be
overjoyed that my wife publicly rejects me, makes me a laughing stock in
front of all of my friends by sending me back to my seat like an errant
child. I should be overjoyed that my wife breaks my heart by
threatening to leave me if I do not obey her commands."
mean it," Emily cried. "I just needed you to let me stand alone. It was
the first thing that came to my mind. You know I don't want to be
anywhere else but with you."
"I know nothing anymore, Emily," he hissed angrily. "I thought I knew you but I was obviously sadly mistaken.
He turned away from her again, his body language screaming his rejection of her.
"Get out," he said tiredly, his hands clenching at his sides. "Get out now, Emily, before I do something we'll both regret."
"We need to talk this through," she said, taking a deep breath and trying to steady her frantic nerves.
to talk about, Emily?" Cullen asked coldly. "I thought Elizabeth's
ambition was strong but you, well, you took ambition to a completely
different level," he grated between clenched teeth.
She stared at him in confusion. Her fear was building steadily as she felt him slipping further away from her.
"I don't know what you mean," she stammered. "What has Elizabeth to do with this?"
suddenly whirled around and advanced on her menacingly. It took all her
willpower to remain where she was as she saw the dangerous look in his
"Elizabeth's ambition was to be a vampire," he hissed. "She
married me and used me to achieve her goal and then she tossed me aside
as if I were nothing. But you, Emily, you seduced me with your sweetness
and goodness, luring me into your little honey trap so that I would
forget her deceit and marry you. So that you could rise high within the
ranks of us to one day rule over us all."
"No," Emily moaned desperately. "That's not true, Cullen. You can't believe that."
clutch Alexander's vial tightly in your hand, even as the lies spill
from your mouth," Cullen shouted, his voice harsh and alien to her.
Emily hadn't even been aware that she was still holding the vial.
"Take it," she cried, tears falling down her face as she thrust it out to him. "I don't want it, Cullen. I only want you."
"Liar," Cullen screamed, knocking her hand away from him.
screamed in pain as she felt her wrist snap painfully. The vial fell to
the floor as she stared at him in horror. Had he had just broken her
wrist? He didn't appear to have noticed what he'd done or if he did
know, he didn't seem to care.
"Cullen," she begged. "Please listen to me. I love you."
Her declaration seemed to incense him and his large hand wrapped around her throat, squeezing painfully.
got what you wanted, Emily," he growled furiously. "But you're still
missing the last part. I'm sure you'll be able to talk someone into
turning you, someone who hungers for power as much as you do. If you are
waiting for me to do it then you will be sorely disappointed. The
thought of being close to you sickens me to my very core. I want you out
of my house by the time I return. I don't care where you go. Just get
as far away from me as you can and I may not feel the need to hunt you
down and break your beautiful little neck."
He threw her away from
him and she fell heavily against the corner of the table. She cried out
as her head connected with the hard wood. When she looked up Cullen was
gone. She called to him frantically to come back. She heard the front
door close loudly as she sank to the floor, clutching her damaged wrist.
She felt wetness against her cheek and the hand she reached up came
To be continued....