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Chapter 37 Contrivances_暮光之城:破晓 Breaking Dawn

 Aro did not rejoin his anxious guard waiting on the north side of the clearing; instead, he waved themforward.

  Edward started backing up immediately, pulling my arm and Emmett's. We hurried backward, keepingour eyes on the advancing threat. Jacob retreated slowest, the fur on his shoulders standing straight up ashe bared his fangs at Aro. Renesmee grabbed the end of his tail as we retreated; she held it like a leash,forcing him to stay with us. We reached our family at the same time that the dark cloaks surrounded Aroagain.

  Now there were only fifty yards between them and us—a distance any of us could leap in just a fractionof a second.

  Caius began arguing with Aro at once.

  "How can you abide this infamy? Why do we stand here impotently in the face of such an outrageouscrime, covered by such a ridiculous deception?" He held his arms rigidly at his sides, his hands curled intoclaws. I wondered why he did not just touch Aro to share his opinion. Were we seeing a division in theirranks already? Could we be that lucky?

  "Because it's all true," Aro told him calmly. "Every word of it. See how many witnesses stand ready togive evidence that they have seen this miraculous child grow and mature in just the short time they'veknown her. That they have felt the warmth of the blood that pulses in her veins." Aro's gesture sweptfrom Amun on one side across to Siobhan on the other.

  Caius reacted oddly to Aro's soothing words, starting ever so slightly at the mention of witnesses. Theanger drained from his features, replaced by a cold calculation. He glanced at the Volturi witnesses withan expression that looked vaguely... nervous.

  I glanced at the angry mob, too, and saw immediately that the description no longer applied. The frenzyfor action had turned to confusion. Whispered conversations seethed through the crowd as they tried tomake sense ofwhat had happened.

  Caius was frowning, deep in thought. His speculative expression stoked the flames of my smolderinganger at the same time that it worried me. What if the guard acted again on some invisible signal, as theyhad in their march? Anxiously, I inspected my shield; it felt just as impenetrable as before. I flexed it nowinto a low, wide dome that arced over our company.

  I could feel the sharp plumes of light where my family and friends stood—each one an individual flavorthat I thought I would be able to recognize with practice. I already knew Edward's—his was the verybrightest of them all. The extra empty space around the shining spots bothered me; there was no physicalbarrier to the shield, and if any of the talented Volturi got under it, it would protect no one but me. I feltmy forehead crease as I pulled the elastic armor very carefully closer. Carlisle was the farthest forward; Isucked the shield back inch by inch, trying to wrap it as exactly to his body as I could.

  My shield seemed to want to cooperate. It hugged his shape; when Carlisle shifted to the side to standnearer to Tanya, the elastic stretched with him, drawn to his spark.

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