Saturday, August 6, 2011

Quiet Storm Chapter 16: The Trouble In Little Odessa

Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author.  The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise.  No copyright infringement is intended. Beta'd by aeglow. Term glossary at the end.
WARNING: SCENES OF GRAPHIC VIOLENCE. I have line breaks where it starts and ends. (it's really not too bad at all)
Banner by RoseArcadia
"Quiet Storm," chapter 16: The trouble in Little Odessa.
My mind was a mess, wondering about all these possibilities, as it also wandered towards my own fate, as well as Bella's. It all started with that trip down to South Carolina, and even then I knew it was a bad idea. I was so fucking stupid. I never second guess myself, and as soon as I did, I should have backed the fuck up, and said no to the contract.
We went down to South Carolina to do a hit before the wedding. It was to be Jasper's first contract, and I was there, along with Aro to make sure it went through. I didn't want the job, but I needed the money. I was so desperate to get Bella away—get her the house of her dreams—that I didn't care where the money came from.
I was so desperate—greedy—that I wanted it all, and I felt like I didn't have a choice. I wanted those things for her, and the job came at the perfect time. Aro and I had just done the Catello hit, receiving five million from Marcus. That wasn't enough. It wasn't enough to pay for both this house, and the tanning salon.
We were to go down, do what we had to do, and come back—for another five million dollars. Jasper and Aro each walked away with one, and I walked away with three, and I also gave half a million to Marcus.
It was worth all that money though, since it didn't go as smoothly as planned. With Catello, we did it old school. Aro broke into his car, and hid in the back seat. He got an icepick in the neck, and one between the eyes—to make sure we finished the job.
He never saw it coming, and the guy down south...I knew it was going to be trouble.
It's not one of the seven deadly sins for nothing.
Greed—like lust and gluttony, is a sin of excess.
What I did went against Marcus' wishes, and because of that I not only put Bella in danger I put his daughter in danger as well. If he chooses to end my life, I know that I have it coming. He said it was okay, and gave me a pass, but that was before this. I knew I wasn't supposed to associate with the Russians, but me—feeling like the tough guy I portray, had to get in there anyway to show them that the Misone family can take care of anything—and I wanted that pay out.
Yuri called me with a job. He knew where the job was and how much the payout was, but he didn't know anything else. I set up a meeting with Nikolai—the head—and he gave me all the details.
The mark wasn't as important as I thought he would be. It turned out that he had no ties to the Russkaya—the red mob. He just pissed off the wrong fucking people. The price was high, and the contract was offered to other Russian crews, but they couldn't get this guy. He kept slipping through everyone's grasp.
And he slipped through ours too.
I have quite the reputation—a gift to attain the unattainable.
At the age of seventeen, I carried out my first contract. It was sloppy, my aim wasn't too good, and then there was the whole cleaning process—having to cover all my tracks and clean the crime scene. While most of my senior class were down in Miami for spring break, I was in Wyoming. My mission: to kill someone who was in witness protection. I don't even remember his name. He was a snitch, a rat, a nobody that needed to be taken care of.
From then on, I just became better at it, redoubled my efforts, and focused all my free time on studying my fellow "associates". I had a lot to learn, and Marcus saw to it that I was taught everything. With that first hit alone, I had enough money to pay for my whole college education, and money—it's an addiction in itself.
Back in the day—which was really only a few years ago—I became great at hits—it was what I lived for—that rush, that powerful feeling I was granted after is what excited me—almost like when you snort that first line of coke. You feel like the world is yours. That anything is possible—you have that surge of power.
The power to take a life—makes you, the taker, feel invincible.
I excelled at hits, and people grew to fear me—respect me.
Now, I can't be bothered. I'd rather think up a good scheme to make a few bucks, but that doesn't mean I don't go back to what I used to do to make some fast cash.
I was told that he was hiding down in South Carolina, and given an address. Me, being me, had Carlisle look this guy, and his family up. I like to do my homework; all the fucking time—just in case something like this happens.
We went down there, found the house, and we waited. We waited in the woods, just a few yards away, and kept switching shit up to go unnoticed. This guy knew we were coming—knew that someone was coming, since he's had more threats on his life than I can count. The motherfucker stayed on the porch with a God damn machine gun.
The house was in the middle of nowhere, and the mark never left his home. We parked the car a mile down the road and proceeded on foot, everyday, for nearly four days.
On the last day, I grew impatient. I had never clocked someone for that long, and I was ready to give up.
I wanted—needed to get home to Bella.
But defeat, it's just not a word in my vocabulary.
While Jasper and Aro made a shit load of noise in the back of the house, I snuck in the window. He of course ran to his backyard to scream, and wave around that machine gun. I drop kicked him and stole the machine gun, and then that motherfucker ran.
My response was to laugh, and then Jasper ran after him. Jasper tripped over a branch or some shit—which only made me laugh harder—and I popped the guy in the ankle.
That motherfucker kept going. He was still trying to get away, despite the ankle shot. I never saw someone—a mark—with such a strong will to live before. It made me rethink shit, like maybe it was this fucker's fate to live.
Well, I got over that shit very fast. It wasn't his fate to live.
Not when there was five million dollars on his head.
I shot him again in the other ankle to buy Jasper some time. He was too busy cursing, and holding his own ankle to focus. Jasper collected himself, clipped him, and then we were on our way. We sped back to New York. I grabbed my money from Nikolai, went to Carlisle's, and the rest—
The next day was the happiest day of my life. The day I married Bella.
Nikolai promised me his discretion, and since he's the Russian boss, I trusted him. He offered me my own crew too, and that should have been the tip off.
When I came back from my honeymoon, I met with Marcus. I wondered how he knew about my trip.
Nikolai called Marcus, asking him to let me go. Regardless of my status with the Misone family, he wanted to give Marcus ten million dollars for me.
And my job was to be a hit-man for the Russian mob.
Marcus said no to the offer, forgave me, and he let me keep Aro so I'd stay.
That afternoon, I laughed, thanked him for letting Aro stay on my crew, and told him there was no fucking way I would join the Russkaya. Number one, I am loyal to Marcus. Number two, I'm not blood to those Russians, so I'd always be an outsider; three, I don't know their fucking language. It was never going to fucking happen, and highly amusing that Marcus thought I'd consider the offer.
Nikolai accepted Marcus' answer. He doesn't want to fuck with Marcus—nobody does. Not Jersey, not Boston, and definitely not the Russkaya. Things between Marcus and Jersey—the Battaglia's—are hit and miss, but for the most part—it's like a cold war. No actions have been done yet, and both families are just waiting.
John and I are cool, so when Carlisle mentioned that Esme could have been the mark it made some sense. Marcus doesn't like John and vice versa—old beef—so Marcus uses me as the middle-man, someone to keep the peace. John likes me, and will only conduct business with me.
As soon as Aro said that Bella saw the same dude in Eclipse, I knew it wasn't Jersey—sort of. The only reason I didn't think it was the Battaglia's, was that the mark was a woman. We don't fuck with the innocents. Our women, are innocent, and have nothing to do with anything. It's kept separate—two different worlds, so to speak. John could have placed the hit as a low blow, something that would indefinitely start a war, but again, it was highly unlikely.
Although, I wasn't sure about anything—wouldn't be sure about anything until I knew who this prick was.
I'm lucky that I do my homework—have Carlisle do my homework; same difference.
I knew the name.
Sergei is the nephew of the South Carolina mark, but I have no idea how he knew I was involved. Now that—that doesn't matchup. My first thought was that Nikolai said something or possibly Yuri put two and two together and pointed the finger at me, but I still don't know. I will soon—hopefully. I needed to get through my discussion with Marcus and hope Aro finds this guy. Once we find this guy, we'll grill him for answers.
Bella's theory made perfect sense, and coincided with my vendetta theory—an eye for an eye.
Sergei goes to Eclipse to point out who I am to the other dude, but sees me with my wife. Now, they were both unarmed, so they couldn't do shit that night. But why didn't they do it on nights prior? Before Marcus demanded my attention, I asked Momo if he had seen the guy before. He said yes. For two nights in a row the pair sat at the bar, yet went unnoticed—just as regular Eclipse patrons. Why wouldn't they? Hundreds of people go in and out of there on a daily basis. Nothing stood out about these guys, and that piece of shit was willing to go so low as to try to kill my wife.
To me, I would have rather died because I don't think I can survive in a world where Bella doesn't exist.
It's unimaginable.
And in truth, had they not gone after Bella, they probably could have taken me out easier. It's true. I have Aro, but with myself—I can be pretty careless.
I am so fucking proud of her. She saved her own life, Esme's life, and inadvertently mine.
Now, all I have to do is get through this shit with Marcus, talk to this guy, and put these problems to rest. If Nikolai spilled the beans, it's war. If Yuri spilled the beans, I'll take care of him, which will make Nikolai come after me, and then Marcus will declare war any-fucking-way.
So, I do fervently hope that other games are at play.
That is all, if I ever get through this shit with Marcus...
He's sitting behind my desk, and is too creepy quiet right now.
"I'm sorry." I said, breaking the silence. I already told him the whole story, while he just kept nodding his head.
"You put my daughter in danger." He leaned towards me. "I love you like a son—but Edward..." He groaned, chuckling a bit.
I put my head down, nodding in acceptance.
"How much shit can I let you get away with and not break you?" He asked, and I know it's hypothetical and I shouldn't answer. He said the word "break", and that caught my attention. If he breaks me, he'll just take me down in rank. Huh? I thought I was dead. Although, I might be both. He can take me down, and then clip me. Fuck.
"You do what you want—you don't give a fuck about what I say...You're supposed to be boss one—how can you take on such responsibilities when you're so fucking careless? When you can't take orders...oh, I already think you're boss, is that it?"
I didn't reply at all.
"Bring Isabella in here." He pointed to the door.
I shook my head no. "She had nothing to do with it." I rushed out. "She has nothing to do with anything. She saved her own ass—Esme's—I put them in danger-" I pointed to myself. "Please leave her out of it."
He shook his head no. "Bring her in here. I just want to look at her—I'm not going to do anything. I would like to speak with her."
I knit my brows together, staring him down. "No!"
"Go get your wife!"
"No," I said. "I will not involve her. This is about me."
"Edward," he said slowly. "I wasn't asking you, and this is exactly what I am talking about." He widened his arms. "Now, go get your wife."
I groaned and tore open my office door. "Bella!" I called.
She ran quickly. "What?" She asked.
I jerked my head inside, and I didn't dare touch her. My stomach was a mess. If I held her, I'd never be able to let go, and if Marcus decides—well...
I couldn't look at her either. "Marcus wants to talk to you." I whispered.
"Hey," she said to Marcus.
"Isabella," he smiled at her. "Have a seat."
Bella looked back to me, and then back to Marcus. "I told Edward everything already."
"I know that did good—very good." He stared at her. "Are you okay?"
She whipped her head back to me. "I am now—now that I'm home." Her voice broke, and I went to her quickly, to place my hands on her shoulders. I can't stay away. No matter how hard I try, I just can't stay away.
Marcus nodded, staring up at me.
"Is Edward in trouble?" She cried, looking back to me. I quickly shook my head no. "Mr. Misone," she looked back to him. "Is Edward in trouble?"
"Bella," I grasped her chin. "Everything is fine." I grinned.
She shook her head no. "It doesn't feel fine—it feels fucked." She sobbed, clawing at me. I kneeled down and gathered her in my arms.
"Shhh," I soothed her. "It's okay...I'm here...I'm not going anywhere," and I hoped that I wasn't lying.
"You swear?" She sniffled.
I nodded, letting out a quiet sob into her neck. It took everything inside of me to compose myself and put on a straight face. I knew that if I looked scared, Bella would be terrified, and I didn't want her to be. That's why I wanted Carlisle to get the girls out of here. I never thought—if it came to that—Marcus would kill me dead, right here. No, he'd kill me when I would least expect it, but he'd let me know that my time was coming. I didn't want Bella to hear anything like that.
"Isabella?" Marcus asked.
I didn't want to let her go, but I had to. I gave her a good squeeze before I let go. "Answer him." I whispered, rising to my feet.
"Yes?" She rasped.
"I want to thank you." He smiled. "You did good. You didn't wait—you didn't get others involved, besides my daughter—"
"She wasn't there." Bella rushed out.
"Is that so?" Marcus asked.
Bella put her head down. "I knew we were being followed, and Esme thought I was paranoid." She lifted her head. "He followed us back to the room, and since I saw him at Eclipse—I—I knew he was there for me. I didn't want anyone to get hurt. I left the casino...the hotel...I hoped to lure the guy out there, and kill him. I did what I thought was best...I didn't want him to follow us home, or hurt anyone because of me." She rambled.
"Is that all?" Marcus asked, staring up at me.
"I'd do it again." She nodded and looked back up to him. "I did it...Esme had nothing to do with it. All she did was look out for me. She didn't believe me—Like I said, she thought I was paranoid."
"'re saying that my daughter wasn't there? Because I thought she was." Marcus said.
"Do you want the truth? Or what I'd tell anyone who asked me?" Bella stared straight ahead, and my heart swelled at how fucking proud of her I was. "I did this. Esme had nothing to do with it, but I am the reason she was in harm's way."
"No you weren't." Marcus sighed. "Thank you for your courageous efforts. You will be well compensated."
"No!" Bella blurted. "I don't want anything—I want this all to go away, and pretend like it never happened." She shouted. "I mean no disrespect..." She gulped loudly and looked down.
"It's okay. Isabella, please continue." Marcus grinned at her.
"I—I am Mrs. Edward Cullen, and this never happened. I'm a wife—his wife," she jerked her thumb. "-and I would like it if you could look at me like you did last week, like this never happened. I want to forget and move forward, and I'd love it if you could do the same."
I reached out to place my hand on her shoulder. "It's okay." I whispered, rubbing my thumb on her neck.
"Isabella, please excuse yourself." Marcus said.
Bella nodded and stood up. "Um...I threw some chicken in the oven." She looked between us. "Did you want me to call you guys when it's ready?"
"That's very generous of you, but I'll be leaving shortly." Marcus said.
"Oh..." She put her head down.
"Bella?" I asked.
She looked back to Marcus and just stared, I did too—to see him stare back at her.
"Bella?" I grasped her chin and she jerked it away from me.
"Um...if uh Edward is in trouble..."
"Bella," I pulled her to me. "I'm not in trouble." I made her face me and smiled down to her. "Everything is fine."
"I don't buy it—not one bit." She made a face and looked back to Marcus. "Families are supposed to support one another—that's what they're supposed to do. I saw that the minute I came into this family, and people fuck up—we all do."
"What are you getting at?" Marcus asked. "Are you accusing me of not being here for Edward, for you or for my daughter?"
She shook her head no.
"Bella." I said.
"No," she shook her head as a sob racked through her. "What can I do to take it back?" She asked Marcus. "What can I do to make this all go away? I don't want Edward in trouble...he means more than anything to me. I want babies...I want to grow old with him...Please, I'd die..." Her legs gave out and she fell to her knees.
Both Marcus and I quickly kneeled down to her. "Bella, baby—look at me." I choked back a sob. I hated seeing her like this, and knowing that she was still hurting, and so confused.
She refused to look at me.
"Please," I turned her to face me. "Everything is fine."
"Isabella, everything is fine, and Edward is not in trouble. I just wanted to thank you—for what you did, and your discretion." Marcus wiped a tear away from her cheek. "There's no need to be so upset. These things happen, and we all need to move forward. I don't look at you any differently. I still believe that you're the sweet, young girl that swept my godson off his feet." He smiled at her. "I adore you," he palmed her cheek.
"Give me your word." She whispered.
"Bella." I said.
She shook her head no and looked to Marcus. "Give me your word...promise me that Edward isn't in trouble, and that you won't hurt him." She placed her hands on her face to sob into them.
"Bella," I sighed, brushing her hair back. "Please stop crying. We're going to be okay."
Marcus stared at me, and nodded his head yes. "You have my word. Besides, this is my godson." He smiled down to her, and I felt relieved. "He's a pain in my ass, but I love him anyway, just like you do."
Bella actually cracked a smile. "I hope not like I do."
I smiled widely down to her.
Marcus chuckled. "Maybe not exactly."
That godson stuff was bullshit. It honestly doesn't matter who I am, even if I am like his son. Marcus thinks I crossed him, disobeyed orders. The fact that he already forgave me was great, but the consequence of my actions put his daughter in danger, and that was like me signing my own death certificate.
However, when Marcus gives his word, he means it.
Bella may have just saved my life again.
"Bella, can you make the au gratin potatoes?" I was at a loss, and I knew Marcus wanted her out of here.
She nodded. "Carlisle is working on it."
I grinned, helping her to her feet. "If Carlisle has it covered, why don't you go lie down?" I asked.
She shook her head no. "I can't sleep." Her lip quivered.
"Go take a Xanax—take two, and lie down." I said.
She looked away from me and I wished she would listen to me. This was one of those times where I really felt that I knew what was best for her. She needed to rest, and calm down, and I also didn't want her within ear shot of anything that Marcus might say to me. I don't want to worry her any more than she already is.
"Bella," I kissed her forehead. "Please."
She nodded. "Okay...but what if I fall asleep?"
I chuckled. "Then I'll see you when you wake up." I palmed her cheek. "Go on...You need to rest."
She silently left my office, and once she was out, I breathed another sigh of relief.
"Your wife is very brave." Marcus said.
I nodded.
"Smart too."
I nodded again.
"Ever consider—"
"No," I said.
"Why not? She's tiny, can probably sift through the shadows." Marcus laughed. "-and she seems fine. She seems more concerned about you than what she did. She's got balls. You should—"
"What? Put her to work? I don't think so." I shook my head. "She's my wife."
"I was kidding." He laughed again.
"Do you plan to keep your word?" I asked, and he knew exactly what I was asking.
"Even before Isabella's theatrics, I didn't hold a grudge. You fucked up; I realize that. You disobeyed me, and I let it go. Do you know why I let it go?"
I shook my head no.
"Because as much as I should—uh, dismiss you? It's not business savvy, and that is what I am first and foremost, a business man. You're worth a lot more alive than dead." He stood up and walked towards me.
"-and I love you, kid." He patted my bicep. "You're like a son to me, and I know you'll make this all right. You have my word...Isabella has my word, and one day...when it's all yours—" he widened his arms. "You'll do better than me because you're smart. You don't take shit from anyone, even me, and I can admit that it's very commendable, and highly annoying. You will not disobey me again. The next time you need some "fast cash," as you call me and we work something out. I also want you and Isabella to host Thanksgiving" He looked around. "It's time you start acting like a member of this family. We will be together again, and I do not want you to keep distancing yourself from us, understand?"
I nodded again.
"-and my wife threw a shit fit. Since Isabella is new to the family, she thinks it best for her to host dinner. Do you think she'll mind?"
"Does she have a choice?" I asked.
He shrugged. "Have the fucking dinner catered. I don't give a shit. If it gets that wife of mine off my ass..." He groaned.
I chuckled. "I got it. I'm sure she won't mind." I hoped.
"Back to the other can have anyone at your disposal—my crew, anyone from the find out what went down, and you take care of it." He said.
I nodded. "I'll use my own crew. If it came from Nikolai or Yuri—"
"Then you hit 'em up, and you hit 'em hard. You understand? You have my full support and anyone in this family." He said. "We haven't had a war in years, not since I was making my bones actually." He laughed.
I nodded.
"Okay," he blew out a breath. "Now that it's all settled..."
I stared down at the floor.
"Edward, you have shit to do. Don't shut down on me. Isabella handled herself, and she's fine. Keep someone here with her at all times. I hear that cousin of yours is coming up."
I shook my head no. "He has his own family." I shrugged. "I'll figure something out."
"She's not to leave with Esme." He waved his finger. "If there's a mark on her..."
"Right." My stomach tied in knots.
"You do what you have to." He wrapped his arms around me.
I hugged him back. "Thank you for being so understanding."
"You're a loose cannon and I have no idea—You're smart," he leaned away and cupped my face. "You'll make this right—if it's Nikolai..." He smiled. "I want something big—something with candles." He laughed, which in turn made me laugh.
"I'll figure it out—"
"You do that." He nodded. "But try to be discreet—the news will scatter them, and then you'll have to gather them."
Marcus left and he took Esme with him. I'm not sure what Carlisle was trying to prove by staying, but he did. He and Momo finished making dinner. I couldn't eat. I brought a plate in to Bella, and she was out cold. I put it away for her, while Carlisle cleaned up, and then I went back into my bedroom. I laid in bed and held her for what seemed like minutes, but when I glanced at the clock, I noticed a few hours had gone by. Just holding her close to me brought me so much peace.
I traced my fingers lightly over all her facial features, just trying to memorize them—cherish them by touch. Last night was like hell on earth; learning that she was almost taken from me, not being there for her. It was torture; a torture I wouldn't wish on any man. I cried. I bawled, sobbed, sniffled, and hiccupped as I held onto her. I was relieved, sad, angry—so fucking angry, and yet happy. I had all these emotions, and I couldn't tear myself away from her. I knew she wouldn't wake up, but I did try to stay quiet, while I sobbed like a bitch-baby.
"Ed?" Carlisle whispered, poking his head in. "Jasper and Alice are here."
I wiped at my eyes, kissed Bella's cheek, and let her go. "A-huh." I whispered.
Carlisle nodded and let himself out.
"Bella," I whispered, nuzzling my nose to her cheek. She smiled and let out a soft sigh. "Bella, love.." I pecked at her cheek.
She opened her eyes to smile at me. "Hi."
I grinned. "Hey you." I kissed her lips. "Jasper and Alice are here."
She cleared her throat. "Okay."
"You stay in bed." I said. "Alice can make herself comfortable, but I might be taking off soon."
"No..." She clawed at me. "I'll come with you."
I shook my head no. "I'll be fine, and you'll be fine...I'll have Jasper or Aro stay here with you guys. Everything will be fine."
"What are you going to do?" She asked.
I sighed, slumping my shoulders.
"Don't tell me." She whispered.
"What?" I looked to her surprised.
She grinned at me, and yet tears were spilling from her eyes. "Doesn't matter what I say—you do what you have to, and you come back to me."
I nodded, and quickly gathered her into my arms. "Nothing is going to keep me away from you." I kissed her forehead. "I'll be back later, and you call me. You can call me every half hour if it makes you feel better, okay?" I kissed her cheek. "I love you."
She hugged me tight. "I love you too...Tell Alice I'm napping—I—I don't know what to say to her."
I nodded, leaning away. "Don't tell Alice a damn thing. If she asks you what's wrong..." I shrugged.
"Oh.." Bella winced. "Last we came back to the room—well, Nanny thinks I'm pregnant."
A chuckle escaped me while my stomach tied in knots. "Why would she think that?"
Bella made a face. "Esme told her—I must have looked fucked up, in shock—and that's the best Esme could come up with." She shrugged.
I crashed my lips to hers, kissing her forcefully, and pushing her back. "I am so fucking proud of you." I smiled down to her. "-and Nanny, well she lied to us." I chuckled again.
Bella leaned up to kiss me again. "Yeah," she sighed. "But you're going to tell her, not me."
I leaned away. "Sure." I smiled. "We can tell her on Thanksgiving. How do you feel about hosting it here?"
"Really?" She smiled back. "I never cooked for so many before, but it might be fun. I'd love to." She kissed my cheek.
"That's a relief." I just stared at her, not wanting to go anywhere, yet feeling compelled to. "I have to—"
"I know..." She grasped my hand.
I kissed her hand. "You call me...if anything happens, if something doesn't feel right, or—just anything. Even if that baby passes gas and it doesn't smell right." I laughed.
"Oh...don't try so hard to be funny." She pouted, rubbing my cheek.
I rolled my eyes. "I'll work on it." I pecked her lips.
"Okay go..." she nudged me, which made me look to her surprised again. "I—I feel odd, like with all these feelings and shit, and it'd be nice if you threw me down, and fucked me—"
Yeah, I kind of hovered over her. "I can arrange that." I scraped my teeth along her neck, and bucking my hard-on into her.
She whimpered, and pushed my head away. "Not now..." She held my face. "You're fucked up too."
I leaned my forehead onto hers. "Yeah...but when I come back naked, and in bed." I pecked her lips.
She giggled. "I can arrange that..." and then she started crying again.
"Hey," I wiped under her eyes. "What's that for?"
"I want to be—I want to be brave," she sobbed while I chuckled. "I want to be calm, like you and like guys are so brave."
"Bella, baby you are brave. You're so fucking brave, and I am so proud of you." I leaned to her side and hugged her to me. "I know you're confused, sad, and you have a whole mess of feelings running through you. You feel powerful, gutsy—even if deeper inside you're scared shitless." I chuckled again. "Everything is going to be okay. You'll never forget, but you'll move on, and I'm here. I'm not going anywhere, and we can get through it together." I looked up to the ceiling. "Did that make sense? With you I tend to just talk, and you know shit doesn't always come out right." I shrugged.
"It came out right." She grinned.
I nodded, smiling back to her.
"But I'm glad I shot that fucker, now what does that mean?"
"It means that you're my soul mate," I crashed my lips to hers again. "Stop talking about it or—fuck, you talking about it is making me fucking—horny as fuck." I groaned.
She giggled. "Now that was funny."
I tickled her side. "I love you, and I'll be back soon."
She nodded. "I love you too."
I left the bedroom, and closed the door behind me. I met up with everyone in the dining room.
"Where's Momo?" I asked.
"Hello to you too." Alice scoffed.
I ignored her, looking to Carlisle.
Carlisle shrugged. "I sent him outside. So he can keep his eyes open."
I nodded. "Cool." I turned back to Alice and her midgets. "Go watch television." I jerked my head.
"Where's my cousin?" Alice asked.
"Migraine." I shrugged. "Go watch television."
"Is anyone going to tell me what's going on?" Alice asked.
I shook my head no. "Make yourself comfortable and let Bella sleep. I have to talk to them." I pointed my eyes to Carlisle and Jasper.
"I also gave Jazz a short play-by-play." Carlisle said.
I nodded, taking a seat.
"No one gave me a play-by-play." Alice said, looking down.
"Jesus Ali, can't you just listen. Please go inside." Jasper said while I stared at Alice, willing her to listen to him.
She nodded and walked out of the room silently. I watched her and the kids go, making sure they were out of ear shot.
"We should take this outside—" I started.
"Did B really ice a motherfucker?" Jazz whispered.
"It's cold out there." Carlisle took a seat.
I ignored the both of them. "The guy...the guy that fucked up—the only one with cause...he's the nephew of SC." I said. "Now, did you tell anyone what we did, or where we were?" I looked to Jasper. "You didn't brag to any of those hood rats upstate, did you?"
"No." Jazz shook his head. "I did it...and I don't hang my dirty laundry out to dry."
I nodded sitting back. "I believe you." I pursed my lips.
"Why am I here?" He asked.
I nodded. "If they know I was involved, chances are they know you're involved, which means Alice and the kids aren't safe, and neither are you—if this maniac was stupid enough to place a hit on my wife, I don't think he'd bat an eyelash to take out a kid." I stared to make sure he was following me.
"They'll be safe here, understand?" I asked.
He nodded.
"You also wanted to be a part of this family—my crew, and I need us all together." I shrugged. "I don't know how long I need you, but I might need you to hangout in Brighton."
"Um...that's Little Odessa...Russian territory."
"I know that." I scoffed. "I wasn't asking for a geography lesson."
"My bad." He sat back. "I'll do whatever."
"Right, well I don't have any answers yet." I said. "So just sit tight—"
"Man.." Jasper sat up straight. "This is some shit, huh? I can't believe Bel—"
"Keep her name out of your mouth." I pointed. "You're my cousin, but don't think that just because you're my cousin you can say and do as you want. If you want to stay on my crew get used to being treated like any member of my crew, understand?"
He nodded. "I apologize."
"It's okay..." I sighed. "I realize that you still have a lot to learn—need to get accustomed to shit."
"No one is allowed to speak to or about Bella," Carlisle whispered to him.
I shook my head no. "You're her cousin's man...of course you can talk to her. Just don't talk about her." I smiled.
Jasper laughed. "Yet, he can?" He pointed to Carlisle.
Carlisle laughed too. "I am my brother's trusty advisor—"
"Like a Consigliere?" Jasper asked.
Now both Carlisle and I were laughing. "You've been watching mob movies with Bella, haven't you?" I asked.
Jasper shook his head no.
I shrugged. "Carlisle will be to me, what my father is to Marcus—so yeah, basically." I waved a hand. "But you got the term right...we just don't use it, and Carlisle won't be shit until he mans up, and becomes made." I threw a napkin at him.
"My wife married a lawyer...she'd likely divorce me if—"
"That's oobatz." I cut Carlisle off.
"Um..." Jasper looked to me. "When can I meet with Marcus? When do you think my name might be cleared up? And how do you rank? Are you higher in authority than your father?" He rambled. "I'm just trying to—figure shit out. You guys are so secretive, I don't know what is up or down."
I nodded, pursing my lips. "You want to answer him? My dear advisor," I looked to Carlisle.
Carlisle smiled. "You're just coming up—a low man, an associate. You won't be able to meet with Marcus until you rank. Or, you come to a Sunday dinner. At Sunday dinners, he's just Marcus—an uncle, and no business is discussed when we convene as a family." Carlisle shrugged.
"Uncle Ed hates me." Jasper blew out a breath.
"He'll get over it." I said, staring down. "You fucked up—got locked up..."
"He thinks I'm a disgrace." Jasper said.
"-and now you're coming up. Ed Sr. will get over it. It just takes time." I said.
"Right." Carlisle said. "-and since this fuck out ranks him," he jerked a thumb to me. "-and he welcomed you, our father will get over it...soon." He sat back. "In the old country—what you see in movies. The administration is composed of the boss, underboss, consigliere, and then captain—In Edward's case, both captain and underboss mean the same. There are just a few captains—heads of each crew, but Edward—since he's so close to Marcus—like a son, is both, got it?" Carlisle asked.
Jasper laughed. "I think you lost me...Ed has two titles, but they're both the same?" He looked to me.
Carlisle smiled. "If something ever happened to Marcus, it all goes to Edward. Marcus established that a long time ago, and even though Edward is literally a captain, he's the direct underboss as well. The guys call him the skip."
I twirled my finger in the air. "I prefer E or sounds better." I shrugged. "When do you plan to change your name back?" I asked Jasper. "What the fuck is a Whitlock?"
He chuckled. "Just...a name."
"Okay, but you should change it back—be a Cullen." I said.
"Is that a direct order or a suggestion?" Jasper asked.
"It's whatever." I turned when I heard the doorbell ring. "Go see who it is." I told Carlisle and looked back to Jasper. "If you play your cards right, pull through—I'll see what I can do about getting you in...permanently."
Jasper grinned, sitting back.
"-and you're sure you want that?" I frowned, for the first time ever wishing I was a boring lawyer. "Once you're in—there's no way out."
"I want it." He said.
"Okay," I sighed, and turned to look at Aro. "What'cha got?"
"Yuri had him already." Aro said, taking a seat. "The dumb-fuck was bragging to his friends about the hit he set up, and one of those friends happened to be a friend of Yuri's—word got around." Aro shrugged. "Nikolai says he's yours...he wants no part in anything, but he got him, and was holding onto him for you."
I smiled widely. "What's the story?" I asked.
"The guy MC clipped was new to this country, wanted to make a name—earn some cash. He had no ties to anyone or any family here." Aro said.
"What about the nephew—Sergei?" I asked.
"He's yours, and is at O'Reilly's waiting for you. I have Alec and Felix clockin' him." He leaned in to me. "Please let me take care of it."
I shook my head no. "He's mine. Keep him the cellar. I'll make my way over there soon—" I smiled. "How did this Sergei know it was me?" I asked. "Meanwhile, it wasn't me." I looked to Jasper.
Aro groaned. "That's the problem..."
"What are you not telling me?" I asked.
"I spoke to Yuri...he says that Nikolai is giving Sergei to you, in exchange for his wife's cousin." Aro said.
I shook my head. "I don't understand—please elaborate." I looked around. "-and you may speak freely."
"Alec had a pick-up in Little Odessa yesterday, and he saw this Igor—the wife's cousin, and it matches up." He shrugged.
"Go on." I said.
"Igor was missing three fingers. Nik took care of him—took his fingers, and in exchange for his life—Igor's life, Nik's offering up Sergei—even though he has no ties—he thinks it's a favor to you. Igor knew about SC, and told Sergei." Aro sat back. "You have Sergei, but you can't have Igor."
I nodded my head. "So...Nik has a rat in his outfit, and I can't touch him."
Aro nodded.
"We'll see about that." I said. "But I'm not going to worry about that right now—let sleeping dogs lie...What's good with Benji? How does he play into this?"
All I know about this Benjamin is that he came looking for a job a few weeks back, and after a background check—which came back clean, he was hired. Heidi marveled at the sheer size of this guy and thought he'd be a great asset. Besides in passing, I doubt I've spoken more than five words to him.
Aro shook his head. "I have no idea, but I had Joe go scoop him. I took the liberty of telling Joe to bring Benji to O'Reilly's too."
"Good shit." I nodded. "I need one of you to stay here." I suddenly felt anxious to go over there. "Anyone?" I looked between Jasper and Aro again.
"I'd like to go with you." Jasper said. "Let Carlisle stay, since he never likes to get his hands dirty."
"Watch it." I said. "It's between you and Aro."
"I wanna go too." Aro said.
"One of you has to stay." I shrugged. "I'm sure both Bella and Alice together can put the fear of God in anyone, but one of you has to stay." I chuckled to myself, suddenly feeling giddy.
"What about the guy outside?" Jasper asked.
"No," Aro said.
I quirked an eyebrow in his direction.
"I—I don't trust him—not with MC." He shrugged. "I mean...Momo's a good guy, but...I don't know."
I nodded. "Aro, you stay...she likes you. Keep her calm, you can even talk to her...and try to get her to eat something when she wakes up, and keep Alice off her ass." I gave a fleeting look to Jasper.
Aro didn't like my suggestion, but he accepted it.
"You guys ready?" I looked to Carlisle and Jasper. "I'll meet ya's outside." I said.
They nodded and left the dining room, while I looked down to Aro.
"I apologize for my behavior earlier." I said.
"It's fine...I fucked up, and that's why I want to make this right—go with you." He looked up to me.
I shook my head no. "You make this right by being here for Bella, just like you were last night. But, if I come back and there's a hair out of place on her head—" I shrugged. "Do I really have to finish that sentence?" I asked.
He shook his head no.
"Good." I nodded.
"If you should need my services later...don't hesitate to call." He said.
"I will..." I turned to walk away, and then turned back. "You understand that I trust you, and that's why you're staying, right? It's not a reprimand of any kind." I clarified. "I fucked up too—lost my temper."
He grinned up to me. "It's fine. I just—I hope she's okay." He said.
"She will be." I nodded. "When she wakes up...just remind her that I love her." I chuckled to myself.
"I think she knows that already, but I'll mention it."
"Thank you." I put out my hand.
He shook it, and then I turned from him to leave again.
When we arrived at O'Reilly's, I pulled the magazine out of my nine while Jasper stared at me pensively. "Can I help you?" I asked.
"What—uh I thought the purpose of this was to—" he pointed his eyes back to my Glock.
I grinned, placed the cartridge in my pocket, placed my gun at my waist, and hopped out of the car.
Carlisle and Jasper flanked my side as we walked into the bar. This place is more of a dive, nestled deep within Hell's Kitchen, and barely has business. It doesn't make any money at all—only pays its own bills. However, what it lacks financially, it makes up with its convenience. The cellar is dark, large, and you can't hear a fucking sound above—in the bar or in the street. It used to be an old speakeasy during the days of prohibition. It also has many side rooms in the cellar. I love this fucking place, and wouldn't sell it for the world.
"How you guys doing?" Danny asked. He runs this place to his liking, and I let him. He doesn't say shit about what goes on in the basement. All he does is stand there, and tend bar—wearing army fatigues. To the patrons, he's a bit creepy, but he's my kind of guy. Honest, and doesn't give a fuck about anyone or anything.
I slapped my hand to his. "Who's here?" I asked.
He grinned. "Alec, Joe, and they had two insurgents with them."
"Insurgents?" Jasper asked.
I ignored him. "Two you say?" I played stupid.
He nodded. "Any of you fellas want a drink?"
"We're good." I said, and turned to Carlisle. "You staying up here?"
He shook his head no, and again I wondered what he was trying to prove. Every time I come here for a situation like this, he waits up here and drinks at the bar.
"Okay," I shrugged. "Thanks D." I gave him a head nod and walked to the back.
"What's that guy's deal?" Jasper whispered.
"He was in Iraq...came back all kinds of fucked up." Carlisle said.
I nodded agreeing with him, and ran down the cellar steps. "Danny is also our explosives expert." I added.
"Candles...nice." Jasper pursed his lips.
I nodded, creaking open the cellar door. "I think so too." I let myself in, and noticed that the lights were on. I gave a head jerk to Alec and Joe. They were sitting at a small card table, playing cards, and those two fucks were bound and gagged towards the back.
"Sup?" I said. "Where's Lix?"
"Felix got into some shit wit' his baby's mom—had to leave—whatever." Alec said, throwing down a card. "Said he'd be back."
I nodded.
"You motherfuck!" Joe shouted, throwing a card down as well.
"What are you guys playing?" I asked, giving a brief glance to Sergei and Benjamin. It was like I could feel the fear rolling off of them in waves, and I know that my nonchalant demeanor will just fuck with them a little more.
"War...Danny gave us some inspiration." Alec chuckled. "Where's Aro? Still babysitting?"
I ignored him, and glanced back to Jasper and Carlisle. "Carlisle, why don't you go get us some drinks?"
He shook his head no, staring down those fucks in the corner of the room.
I sighed and turned to Jasper. "I a margarita—No, fuck that. Get me a bottle of Jack, and the margarita salt."
He gave me an odd look, but ran back upstairs anyway. Then I grabbed a folding chair and sat down. "Joe, sit them up." I pointed.
Joe looked put out as he threw down his cards and went over to them. "Help me with this fuck—Christ." Joe groaned, trying to lift Benji.
I looked to Alec and snapped my fingers. He ran over to help, and then they lifted Sergei with no problem.
"I wonder if they have anything to say." I said.
Neither one of those fucks made a sound when the duck tape was peeled away from their mouths.
I stared at them, wondering who I should talk to first. Aro told me mostly everything, but there were a few questions that I needed answered.
"You." I jerked my chin to Benji. "How do you know this fuck?"
Before Benji could answer me, Sergei began to speak in his native language, and it seemed as though he was speaking to Benji. Then, Benji started to speak. He spoke Russian too, and the two continued to shout back and forth, all while I had no idea what they were saying.
I stood up, grabbed my nine, and bopped Benji in the head with it. He winced and pulled on his restraints, and that made me smile.
"Speak English!" I shouted.
"Why should we talk to you?" Sergei seethed.
I grinned, and then bopped him one too. "One of you better start talking." I said, noticing Jasper come back with my bottle. "You got the salt?"
He nodded, placing both items down on the card table.
I turned back to Benji, and placed my gun to his forehead. "You better tell me what I want to hear." I pressed it further into him.
He began to shake, which only made me smile wider. "Ten seconds...tell me how you know him." I said, and waited. He closed his eyes, and mouthed words I didn't understand. "What was that?" I leaned my ear to him.
"Maybe he's praying?" Jasper chuckled.
I cocked back the slide, let it go, heard the click, and pushed it further into his skin. "Time's up," I said, and pulled the trigger. He jumped and stared up to me wide eyed. I took the mag out, so it wasn't loaded, but seeing Benji piss his fucking pants was so worth watching.
"Oops," I grabbed the full magazine out of my pocket and loaded my nine for real this time.
"You're fucking sick." Jasper quipped.
I grinned, turning a raised eyebrow in his direction. "So I've been told." I turned back to Benji. "Start talking." I took my seat again.
Sergei and Benji started to argue again.
I turned to Joe. "Put the tape back on." I jerked my head to Sergei, and waited until he was gagged before I spoke.
I looked to Benji. "Talk to me...tell me what you did? How you helped this fuck, and you might just live—all I want are answers." I smiled.
He looked down, and I didn't like that.
Reaching out with my gun, I used it to bring his chin up. "Start talking."
"He gave me ten grand..." He said. "All I had to do was work at Eclipse—find out where you lived. That's all I did."
I whacked him with the Glock again. "All you did?" I asked. "How did you find out where I lived?"
"I didn't." He whimpered. "I couldn't find out..." Tears were streaming down his cheeks and I believed him. "I couldn't just ask—and no one speaks about you."
"Who is he to you?" I jerked my head to Sergei.
"My cousin." He said.
I nodded, looking to Sergei. "I like that ring." I pointed to some bullshit ring on his finger. "Alec," I looked back to him. "See if Sergei will show you his ring."
Sergei began to pull and thrash wildly while Alec grabbed a pair of hedge cutters.
I chuckled watching him, thinking Benji should see this too. "Look," I pointed, and kicked his chair around. "Check out your cousin now."
Sergei moaned out loudly, a shriek despite the tape when Alec cut one of his fingers off. It came clean off, and rolled away from him. I reached down to grab it, and stare at it pensively.
"I hear this is how you Russian's punish each other." I showed it to Benji. He cringed, trying to back away from it. "Oh, come's just a finger." I laughed, placing in his nose.
"Hey E, pick me a winner!" Joe shouted.
I laughed louder and placed it down on his abdomen.
And I left it there.
"Now start talking—" I shouted.
His chest heaved up and down as he stared at the finger. "I don't know anything—I needed the money."
I chuckled. "For ten grand? You—" I shook my head. "I don't care if that's your cousin—don't you know who I am?" I bopped him with the Glock again. "Had you come to me with some information, I would have given you thirty grand." I laughed.
Benji is just some poor fuck they set up to seek me out. "Shut 'em up." I pointed to Benji. Joe reached over and put more tape on his mouth while I stood to tower over Sergei.
I ripped the tape off his mouth again. "Now you go." I said. "-and you better fucking talk or all your fingers are mine." I said calmly.
"You killed my uncle!" This motherfucker spat at me.
I wiped my shirt down. "I think he has a hearing problem."
Alec without missing a beat proceeded to cut his left ear off. He screamed, and I let him. I actually enjoyed the sound, and no one else will hear him.
Just to fuck with the squeamish Benji, I grabbed Sergei's ear and put it on his thigh.
When Sergei quieted down a little, I pulled the chair and sat down in front of him. "I didn't kill your uncle." I said. "He did," my thumb jerked to Jasper. "Jazz, why don't you tell Sergei how his uncle died on his knees, crying and crawling away from you like a little bitch—"
"Yeah, didn't he shit his pants too?" Jasper asked.
"Fuck you!" Sergei shouted.
I back handed him. "So..." I leaned closer to him. "You think I killed your uncle, and you send someone to kill my wife—my fucking wife!" I shouted. "I don't give a fuck if I killed your mother. What made you think you could get away with something like that?" I punched him as hard as I could in the jaw. "Answer me."
"It—it—it was supposed to be you...but then Vlad thought...he thought going after your wife would be easier." He said, and I heard the rest of my crew laughing behind me. "-and it was. We couldn't figure out where you lived—so the other night—he followed you home." Sergei put his head down.
"Where's your friend now?" I asked.
He became quiet again.
"Get his pinky—"
"I don't know where he is." Sergei shouted.
I nodded. "I want his pinky." I jerked my head.
"Is your wife dead?" He asked, and then let out a loud shriek when Alec took his pinky.
I waited for him to calm down some. "Level with me here..." I paused, waiting a little more. "I don't care about you—or this Vlad...I want to know about Igor. How do you know him exactly?"
He didn't answer me. I, in turn grabbed the bottle of Jack and poured some on his hand, which made him scream out again.
"I'm waiting." I said.
"Why—why the fuck should I talk to you? I'm dead anyway." He panted out.
I nodded. "True...but, think about how easy it was for me to get to you...think about how much easier it will be for me to—uh find out who your family is." I grabbed the hedge cutters myself, and opened them onto his middle finger. "Stay still." I grinned.
"Is—is your wife dead?" He shouted out again, before I closed the hedge cutters and took his finger. Then more screaming followed, while I once again waited.
"You need to start talking. Your death is inevitable, but if you level with me, I'll make it quick," I said, while he remained silent. "Take a deep breath." I instructed.
"Fuck you!" He screamed.
I chuckled and poured more Jack onto his hand.
"I hope he fucking raped her before he killed her!" He shouted. "Your wife was nothing but a whore—"
A loud shot was fired, and Sergei was shot between the eyes. The shot made me jump since I wasn't the one who fired it. When I turned around, I saw Carlisle lowering his nine.
I stared at him incredulously. "What the fuck did you do that for?" I shouted.
Carlisle shrugged. "Fuck him. You were going to kill him anyway."
"I know." I said, and since I was pissed I kicked Sergei's dead body over onto the floor. "Fuck!" I turned back to Carlisle. "I needed more answers."
"I'm sorry!" Carlisle shouted, staring down at Sergei. "It just happened...Wow...I never had a reason to use this before." He marveled at his gun.
I nodded, beginning to laugh hysterically. "You broke your cherry."
"Goodfellas?" Jasper laughed. "Now who's watching too many mob movies with B?"
I gave him the middle finger as I continued to laugh. "Good for you." I patted Carlisle's bicep. "My wife, my brother—I feel like a proud—whatever the fuck."
He shrugged again. "That was me, saying thank you to Bella."
I was still laughing when I enveloped him in a hug. Then I composed my smile and turned back to Benji.
"And what should I do with you?" I asked.
He was still gagged, although you could still hear his sobs. "You say you don't know anything—" I looked to Sergei. "But now you know a lot—a lot." I pursed my lips.
He vehemently shook his head no.
"No?" I asked. "Joe...find me something sharp." Joe handed me a small pocket knife. "What am I? A fucking cub-scout?" I asked, looking back to Alec.
"Alec, hand me something sharp." I gave Joe back his Swiss-Army knife in exchange for Alec's larger folding knife.
"This is nice." I said, and stabbed Benji in the thigh. I pushed the knife deep to drag it down a few inches while he screamed in agony.
"Grab me the salt." I said. Jasper handed me the salt and I threw some in Benji's wound. He screamed and thrashed loudly still.
"Take off the gag." I said.
Alec reached over to pull the tape off.
"Did that jog your memory? Cause I can do this all night—or..." I looked around. "I can come back in a few days. Did you know that blood will attract rats? My friend was supposed to take care of the little rodent problem we have here, but he's been busy. Once the lights go out—the whole place is crawling with rats."
He shook his head no.
"Ugh. I hate rats." Jasper said.
"Enough with the commentary." Carlisle replied.
"Sorry." Jasper said.
I smiled at Benji. "Do you know any rats?" I threw some more salt on his thigh.
He shook his head no.
"How about this Igor?" I grabbed the hedge cutters. "Hmm?"
"Just kill me...please—do—n't..." He stammered.
"Hey, relax." I widened my arms. "I'm not a bad guy. All I want is for you to answer some questions, but if you don't know the answers...I can wait...In fact—" I looked around. "In fact, I can leave you here a few days, while you think, but then the rats might eat you." I shrugged. "So, how's that sound?" I asked, and waited for him.
"Just kill me." He groaned.
"Nope." I popped the P, and stabbed him in his other thigh—repeating the same process and making sure I didn't cut his artery.
He screamed out again. "Please...just kill me."
"Tell me what you know about Igor—his involvement in this." I poured more salt into his wounds.
"Igor and Sergei grew up together—that's all I know." He cried. "I don't know anything else—he wanted to get you back—and all I did was point you soon as Heidi said you and your wife were coming in, I called them—" I stabbed that fucker again, this time I dragged the knife down his forearm.
"What else?" I asked. "I heard Sergei and that other fuck came by a few times...what was that about?"
"You were surrounded by people—th—that Aron guy...I don't know. They didn't have the chance."
I nodded. "What else?"
"That's it—I don't know anything else."
I took out my nine and shot him in the foot. He screamed and even fell over in the chair.
"Sit him up." I said and stood up too, while they righted him in the chair. "You got blood on my pants." I punched him in the face. "Now tell me more about this Igor." I said, and I waited for him again. He was crying, and the more he cried, the wider my smile became.
I grabbed the Jack, and relished in the burn it left as I gulped it down. "Want?" I offered some to Benji.
He shook his head no.
"Start talking." I said. "Igor—I want to know what you know about this Igor." I poured some more Jack on him. "You looked thirsty." I shrugged. "Now talk or I'll put a bullet in your fucking kneecap."
"Dude, start fucking talking." Jasper said.
I turned to stare at him.
"I hear one in the kneecap is the most painful thing you can ever imagine." He shrugged, looking to Benji.
I nodded, agreeing with him. "I hear that too. Now what's it going to be?" I pointed my Glock to his knee.
"I heard Sergei say that Igor was on Nikolai's shit list—I don't know." He sobbed. "They took Igor's fingers...for telling Sergei about you killing our uncle Vic...that's all I know. That's all I know" He continued to cry. "Please...please...that's all I know...I wish I could tell you more...please...Please, kill me—I—I—"
"Relax," I soothed him. "You sure you don't want something to drink?" He looked to the bottle and I pointed my nine to his head quickly. I shot him in the temple, and when he fell over, I put another bullet in his head.
Then I turned to look at my guys. "Clean this up." I jerked my head.
"Should I call Aro?" Alec asked.
I shook my head no. "Tell Felix to get his ass back here, and help." I shrugged. "Aro's busy." I pat Carlisle on the shoulder. "Let's go."
"And I'm doing what?" Jasper asked.
I grinned. "You're going to learn how to clean—We all know how to do it, and now you will too. Aro likes to do it, but...everyone on my crew should know. You never know when you need to take care of a situation by yourself, understand?"
He nodded, staring at the mess.
"You'll do good, and have Felix give you a ride later." I pat his back too, and then made my way out of the cellar.
I ran to the back room, where I have a desk, and some extra clothes. I grabbed a pair of sweats, a shirt, and a towel. Then I went into the bathroom to get washed up. My pants had blood on them, and before I left I threw them down to the cellar too. I told Alec to burn them. He knows the deal, and I also told Jasper that I have extra clothes in the office upstairs. He too should change when they're finished.
When Carlisle and I entered his car, he sat stoically, and stared out the windshield. "You okay?" I asked.
He nodded slowly, as he lit his cigarette.
"Gimme one?" I asked, and then helped myself to the pack he has in the center console. "You hungry? Want to get some food?"
He shook his head no. "I ate earlier—there are plenty of leftovers."
"Oh's nice having—like food around. I haven't had greasy take-out in a while." I pulled on the cigarette.
Carlisle laughed. "Meanwhile, you're putting on more weight now."
"You noticed?" I looked down at myself. "I sleep late...and then there's Bella. I've been slacking with the gym." I shrugged. "I rather chill out with her than go to the gym anyway, and she feeds me." I felt giddy again, and couldn't wait to get home. She never called and I really thought she would have.
"I heard Bella tell Esme that you're going to make a home gym." He said as he started the car.
"Yup." I sighed. "She wants a treadmill, and I just want a weight bench. I get enough cardio when we fuck." I laughed.
"About that shit back there..." He trailed off and pulled away from the curb.
"It was too easy." I pursed my lips, staring out the window. "Almost too fucking easy. The guys find them, pick them up, and then this? Too easy."
"They're not affiliated with anyone...without's not so easy to hide." Carlisle continued to drive.
I nodded, agreeing with him. "I still want Igor."
Carlisle groaned. "Just let it go...he's with the red mob."
"I know," I sighed, sitting back. "Nikolai will protect him...for his wife...but I don't give a fuck. He crossed me."
"That'll start a war." Carlisle said. "-and they're fucking ruthless. It'll put our women and children at their disposal."
I nodded. "The way Marcus was talking before—it almost seems like he wants it. Like he wants a war." I shrugged. "I'll set up a meeting with Nikolai this week—and I'll talk to Marcus too. Hell, I should just bring Marcus with me to this meeting."
"Can't you just let it go? Igor lost his fingers for opening his mouth—I'm sure Nikolai—"
I laughed. "I don't give a fuck who he is. No one crosses me and lives to tell the tale. That's just how it is."
He shook his head. "Bella killed that fuck, I got Sergei, and you did Benji—three people already fucking died. I think you got your message across."
"I'll leave it alone." I whispered. "For now." I nodded to myself. "Since when did you start carrying a gun? I always knew you had one—"
"I always carry it." He said. "I have an ankle holster."
"Those things are uncomfortable." I said.
"I would hate it if Esme hugged me, and had to feel it all the time." He cleared his throat.
I laughed again. "That night—the night we met Bella...she thought my Glock was my cock."
"That rhymes." He shook his head, and turned left onto the West-Side highway.
"Yeah well...she said some 'let me see it', and I pulled it out. She fell from my lap, and fucking screamed." I laughed again. Although, in this moment it was more of a giggle. "She thought I was going to whip out my cock, but I thought she meant the gun." I shrugged.
"You've always been so dense when it comes to women." He laughed too. "Things have changed." He gave me a brief look.
I nodded. "For the better." I took the last pull from the cigarette and threw it out the window. "-and I'm still dense when it comes to women."
"When are you two going to try for a kid?" He asked.
I shrugged. "When she wants one. Kids are like an enigma to me. I don't understand them—I mean Jazz's kids—I don't fucking know."
"What's to understand?" He asked. "You've taken enough lives. Don't you think it's time to give one back?"
I looked at him. "That was like—bullshit, philosophical bullshit. We'll have one when we're ready. She doesn't think we're ready." I said. "I'm honestly open to it. I think."
"Hey, if you have a kid, it'll keep her busy. That's all I'm saying."
"Huh?" I snorted. "You think?"
He nodded. "Between the tanning salon, and a kid, plus school. She'll be busy. She won't have time to get on your ass—"
"No." I stopped him. "When she wants one, we'll talk about it. She got that shot thing."
"You're right." He said. "It would just keep her mind occupied is all. Plus, it might bring you two a lot of happiness."
I shrugged. "Bella and I take shit day-by-day, and that works for us." I smiled, looking out the window. "Does Esme know if she's having a boy or girl yet?"
He laughed. "She's barely three months pregnant. We won't know until she's much further along."
"Well, I don't know anything about that female stuff."
"Read a fucking book. It's not that complex. They bleed and ovulate once a month. They have mood swings—wouldn't you? If you had backaches, cramps, and—all that other shit. Wouldn't you be bitchy too?" He shuddered. "Imagine if men had to give birth? The human race would be scarce."
"That's what makes women stronger than men, I guess." I nodded, thinking about something. "Are you going to be a dick and fuck around once she gains weight?" I asked.
"Now that—the fucking around? I take that shit day-by-day, and it's working, but no. I don't think so, not consciously anyway." He said. "I don't want to, not at all."
"Good for you." I said, reaching to put on the stereo. I pressed play to whichever CD he had in there. "You okay though?"
He nodded. "I think so. I'll let you know if I have nightmares." He looked to me. "It wasn't something I thought about, you know?"
I smiled. "Well, what he said? I would have shot him anyway after that shit. I won't lie, so it's no big deal."
"I figured that." He looked to me again. "You realize how lucky we are, right?"
I blew out a breath. "Yeah, I do. I don't even want to think about it." I shivered and sat back. "I know Bella is still a little fucked up. How is Esme?"
He chuckled. "She's fine. She never saw some shit go down like that before. Marcus taught her a lot of things, but not as much as he taught you—he kept her away from all that shit."
"Never thought he did. I meant, like is she okay? You said last week that the pregnancy was fucking with her, and then you two were fighting."
"We're fine." He shook his head. "She's just emotional which is understandable, and she's even more so now, which is also understandable. Don't be too hard on Bella to get back to normal either."
"I know." I said.
By the time we reached my house, I noticed that Momo's car was empty. It alarmed me, but I sent Carlisle home anyway. He had his own demons to battle, and he also needed to scoop Esme. She had called during our drive and her parents were getting on her nerves. I'm sure Didyme doesn't know what went down, but I know Marcus isn't letting Esme out of his sight.
Before I entered the house, I gave Marcus a quick phone call, explaining in short that the situation had been taken care of, and that we needed to meet some time in the immediate future. I also told him that I wouldn't be around too much for the next few days.
I aim to be here for Bella. I'll be anything she needs me to be, and if shit has to be put on hold, so be it.
We were pretty quick, and in the long run I was glad. I bet Bella is still awake, and we can hang out for a while. We can talk, maybe take a bath, and I hope she lets me take care of her.
I know she's still hurting.
"You're back!" Bella shouted, and then ran into me. I smiled, gathering her into my arms again. Her running to the door wasn't anything unusual, but the fact that she kissed me and had alcohol on her breath was.
"You were drinking?" I asked.
She shrugged. "Ali put the kids to sleep, and we've just been chillin'. Aro sent Momo to the store for some drinks." She pulled me further into the house.
"Bella," I chuckled. "You're not supposed to mix booze and pills...are you okay?" I cupped her face.
She waved her hand. "I'm barely buzzed. I had a few sips of beer."
I nodded, and followed her into the living room. Momo was sitting on my couch with a Colt-45, and was playing some dice game with Aro.
"Mo, you can take off." I jerked my thumb, wondering when the fuck my multimillion dollar home turned into Alice's ghetto-fabulous house. I half expected Aro to be licking down a Dutch-Master.
"Wanna beer?" Alice asked.
"You're drinking?" I asked, taking a 22 from her.
"No, I'm pregnant." She stared up at me.
"I know that." I said, opening the beer to take a sip.
"I'm just trying to be hospitable." She shook her head. "The kids are asleep—it's no big deal if we party a little." She looked around. "Where's Jazz?"
"He'll be back later." I said.
"Okay," she shrugged, walking away from me.
Momo gave me a chin jerk before he let himself out, and I took a seat on the couch next to Aro.
"I baked cookies—tollhouse." Bella said.
I grinned. "I bet they taste great." I stared at her, and wondered how she was really doing under that mask she was wearing. She was smiling, yet looked tired, and her stance was off. I pat my thigh in hopes she'd sit on my lap.
"They're okay." She sat on my lap. "I was waiting up for you, but those pills really fucked me. The beer didn't help either. I'm going to go lay down again." She pecked my lips.
"You're okay?" I asked.
"Just tired." She grinned.
I nodded. "I'll be in soon," I took a large sip of the beer.
"Goodnight, and thanks again." Bella waved to Aro. He waved back and then I watched her walk down the hall. She looked adorable. She wore my sweat pants which are way too big for her, along with one of my T-shirts. I have yet to ask her why she likes my clothes, and I have to admit that I like her wearing them.
"How was—" I started.
"So what's good?" Alice interrupted.
I gave her a look.
"Fine." She started to walk away. "I get it."
"Just as long as you do." I gulped at my beer again.
"She's a fucking trip and a half." Aro said.
I turned to chuckle at him. "She is...I can usually deal with Alice, but not tonight. I'm not in the mood." I actually chugged at my beer this time. "How was your night?"
"I baked cookies." He smiled at me. "They came out great. Momo loved them, and I hope you do too."
"Nice." I yawned.
"Yeah, MC also wrote down that chicken recipe. It's really simple...all she does is put oregano, then some salt and pepper, and then she puts it in the oven." He said. "Needless to say, I was out of my element, but I still enjoyed myself."
"Thank you," I relaxed back. "Did Bella eat anything?" I asked.
"Cookies." He shrugged. "How'd your night go?"
"It went...I'll fill you in another time, but just know it's taken care of." I looked around.
"Right." He stood up. "Did you want me to stay in the car?" He asked.
I shook my head no. "Jazz should be here soon...I think we'll be okay."
"You sure?"
I nodded. "She say anything?"
He shook his head no. "I didn't even bring it up. She seems okay though...I think she was more worried about getting pinched—and worried about you than anything else."
I grinned. "I know." I put out my hand to slap it to his. "Go home and get some rest." I stood up too and walked him out.
After he was gone, I stared out the front door for a minute. Everything was quiet, so I double locked the door, and then made my way around the house. I checked all the windows, doors, and I checked on Bella too. She was in bed and the television was still on.
While I was walking out of my bedroom, Alice needed to know where Jasper was. She was worried. I told her to go to sleep, Jasper was just fine, and that I would wait up for him. I settled myself in the living room with a plate of food. I finished my beer, ate, and watched some bullshit. Jasper was back within an hour and a half. Felix had dropped him off, and everything was taken care of.
Once Jasper was back, I decided to take a shower, and as soon as I was finished showering, I felt so much better.
The whole thing went down too easy, and everything was settled easily. It didn't make sense. Usually, there are more games at play—more pawns, but we were fine for now. My wife was safe, and we were all safe. The immediate threat had been taken care of.
And I'll figure out what to do about Nikolai at another time.
Right now, I wanted nothing more than to be in bed, with my arms wrapped around Bella.
"Hey," I whispered, crawling into bed.
She rolled over to face me. "Hi."
"What are you doing awake? I thought you'd be out cold." I pulled her to my side, and noticed that she was naked. Huh?
She sighed, placing her hand on my chest. "I wanted to wait for you." She looked up to me. "Make love to me. I need—I don't know what I need, but I feel that I need you."
I grinned, and turned over to my side. "I can do that." I said. "Whatever it is you need, you let me know, and I'll take care of it."
"I just need you." She placed her lips to mine and kissed me with such need.
She kissed me hungrily, and sloppy. Usually I'm the one to be so aggressive, but tonight it was Bella, and I was down for the ride. She clawed at my shoulders, tried to pull me on top of her, and I complied.
As I eased my way between her legs, I began to trail soft kisses down her body, and when I was kissing the soft skin on her hip, she stopped me.
"What's wrong?" Looking back up to her, I could see the tears in her eyes. "Hey," I hovered over her again. "We don't have to—"
"I want to." She breathed. "But I just want you." She placed my cock at her entrance.
"Just please.." she cried, and I wanted to do whatever she asked of me, but with her crying, it just didn't feel right.
"Bella," I kissed one of her tears.
"I need you." She stared intently into my eyes, and wrapped her arms and legs around me. "I love you."
I smiled. "I love you too." I placed my lips to hers and slowly entered her.
We both let out a content sigh once I was fully sheathed by her warmth. For the first time in what felt like forever, we were finally connected, and I felt such a relief—I stopped thinking. I stopped worrying, and the outside world disappeared. My body moved, her body moved, and it's not something we have to think about. Our bodies knew exactly what to do—and we didn't need to think.
There was nothing like being buried inside my wife—the high from snorting a line, or taking a life, is nothing in comparison to this—Bella, my wife is my new high.
Given the shit that has gone down in the last twenty-four hours, I am grateful that I can still experience this.
Once again, for the billionth time, I felt like the luckiest guy on the planet. My love—my Bella was safe. She's fucking brave as hell too. She stood up to that guy—fucking shot him, she stood up to Marcus, and she had my back—and right now she was just Bella. My Bella—the Bella she is with me—raw and emotional, caring and loving, soft and slow, rough and passionate.
My Bella. My wife—my beautiful, amazing wife that I would have been lost without.
"Thank you." I rasped out, overcome with my own emotions. I feel like such a bitch. I never cry. Never. Yet, for some reason, tears have formed in my eyes multiple times since this woman came into my life.
I don't know what'd do if I never had her warm arms around me ever again, if I never heard her sigh my name mid-moan, if I never felt her soft-hot body next to mine, if I was never inside of her again, if I never saw that smile, if I never heard her bitch me out again, if I never heard her giggle, or laugh so hard that she snorts—it's unimaginable. I don't belong in a world where she doesn't exist.
"UGH!" She moaned as I slammed into her. "For what?"
"For everything. Thank you breathing, saving me, being you. Just thank you." I said that shit from the fucking heart, and then shivered from her touch lingering down my back.
"You're welcome. Now, take me home." She squeaked out, writhing below me.
I placed my lips to hers, picked up the pace, and stared down at her. She's so fucking gorgeous, and she was making my face—that fucking beautiful face.
My body continued to rock against hers, swift and rough—and then she cried out, with the most beautiful—happy expression on her face, while she pulsated around me—pushing me out, and taking me back in; a feeling so good, it always pushes me over the edge. It's like sensory overload—that face—her cries—and the feeling of her.
I followed right after.
Lemon was co-written by ashma0407
clip/ice/hit-all words that mean kill/eliminate
contract/a hit-murder assignment
clean/cleaning-covering up the crime scene
Mark— person of interest—hit the mark—kill that personPinched-arrested
Break/broken - when a member is taken down in rank
oobatz-crazy/bullshit-depends on its use.
the administration-top ranking "family" members boss, underboss, consigliere (advisor)
Little Odessa—nick name for Brighton Beach. A neighborhood in Brooklyn, NY. It's mostly occupied by persons of Russian decent.
When Edward said that Marcus gave him "a pass" means that he let Edward slide.
"I hear your cousin is coming up."— Marcus said this in reference to Jasper, the new affiliate.
low-man-person of basically no rank/a friend of the "family"
Candles—a bomb.
Magazine—gun cartridge that contains bullets.
Glock—brand of armory. When Edward says his "Glock" or his "Nine" he is referring to his 9mm handgun.
The Russkaya/the red mob—The Russian mafia.
Scoop— to pick someone up.
blah...I'm sure most of those were self explanatory, and I do feel it important to use actual words that someone like Edward and his "associates" would use.
Okay, so there were a lot of names thrown around this chapter.
Momo—bouncer from Eclipse.
Edward's crew: Aro, Alec, Felix, Joe, Jasper, and "unofficially" Carlisle.
Nikolai—-Russian mob boss.
Yuri-a member of the Russian mob that Edward is cool with, well used to be cool's all up in the air now-obviously
Igor—the guy who told Sergei that Edward killed his uncle. He's also with the Russian mob, and is Nikolai's wife's cousin. They took his fingers for opening his mouth. And Nikolai gave Edward Sergei in exchange for his life.
Sergei—Nephew of the SC hit (Uncle Vic), the friend at the bar, the one who wanted the hit.
Vlad/Vladislov—the immigrant Sergei paid to carry out the hit—the guy Bella killed last chapter.
Benji/Benjamin—the bouncer from Eclipse that stayed w/Bella when Edward went to his office. He was a pawn in the scheme...I bet you got that.
I hope this clears everything up...(shrugs)

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