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His Empire

Chapter One - The Return of Bella Cullen

Bella Cullen

I fled Sicily the night of my mother's wedding to the cunning and highly influential Carlisle Cullen. That was the night I became the step daughter of the richest and most powerful man in all of Sicily. It was also the night that I made thee biggest mistake of my entire life. For which there was no forgiving or forgetting, for blood was spilled that night, my blood. I barely escaped with my life, I fled to the United States with nothing but the clothes on my back, a hundred dollars in cash and a bogus passport obtained by a trusted friend. I left everything and everyone I had ever known behind in order to escape him. Almost a year later he still haunts my dreams as does what happened between us the night of the ceremony. During which I willingly surrendered my virginity to my new step brother and heir to Empire Industries, Edward Cullen.

It wasn't easy adapting to life on my own in America after fleeing Sicily that night. After all I was only twenty four years old and was very innocent to the realities of life. I'd never held down a job before, I didn't even know how to drive and with a hundred dollars to my name you could only imagine my living conditions in those first few weeks. The choice was very simple back then, I could sleep somewhere nice or I could eat, I made the sane choice. I got myself a job as a waitress at a diner, serving up greasy all day breakfasts and topping up coffee fourteen hours every single day, saving every cent to put towards a better life. There was no way I could ever go back to Sicily, something deep inside told me Edward Cullen was searching for me.

I had graduated from college less than a week before the wedding. I knew nothing of the Cullen family but mere rumours from around the campus. Edward Cullen, the heir to their apparent fortune I found was a whispered name, his reputation was that of his father's, a cold hearted bastard with a short temper to boot. I had been a somewhat independent child after my mother divorced Charlie just weeks nearing my eleventh birthday. I had to learn how to take care of myself and things around the house fairly quickly after that. I had to cook and clean otherwise nothing got done. My mother began dating mere weeks after their divorce was finalized and moved us out of Washington soon after. We bounced around for a few years after that, which didn't make it easy for me to make friends. Things got a little better after we moved to Sicily and we finally put down some roots.

My mother never once introduced me to any of the men she was dating, I had no idea that she was even dating Carlisle Cullen. I didn't even know she was seeing anyone until she came home one evening with a gleaming twenty carat diamond ring on her finger. I remember thinking I'd never seen her so happy but I was quickly on the fence about her choice in fiancées, she had kept their relationship hidden for a reason because up until a week earlier Carlisle Cullen had indeed been married! His wife Esme had been involved in a horrific plane crash, killing her and everyone else on board. I was horrified to learn that my mother had been seeing a married man but even more so a man who was so quick to mourn the death of his wife.

Edward Cullen was living in the South of France when news of his mother's death reached him, he did not attend her funeral, apparently they were never particularly close. It was also rumoured for a while that Edward may not even attend his father's wedding, I was delighted upon this news as it seemed every day we edged closer to the big day I learned new gruesome tales of my step brother to be. The rumours about his temper had been grossly under sold, in the end it was his two brothers Emmett and Jasper who filled me in on their brother's true nature, the man whom enough was never enough.

The more I learnt about Edward Cullen in the weeks leading up to the wedding the more desperately I tried to sway my mother's decision into marrying into a family whom were responsible for such horrors. Edward Cullen was not made heir by being the first born, he was made heir to the family fortune only after proofing to his father that Empire Industries would thrive under his domain. What he did to prove himself worthy was beyond imagining. Turns out graduating Yale top of his class with a four point five GPA was but a mile stone compared to what it took to run Empire Industries and yet at the young age of only twenty five, Edward Cullen took over the position of CEO after his father's retirement.

Within a year Edward had tripled their capital, brought in five top national investors and donated a billion dollars of his own money in scholarships. Within that same year Edward Cullen sat at the dinner table of five elected professionals both domestic and international. No longer was he a rumoured mobster but instead a respected business man on the way to the top, outshining his father and grandfather and bringing new power to the Cullen name.

Yet I knew the truth of how he had come to be there, I knew about the blood on his hands, his years of moving guns for his father, his travels to the states and his money schemes to bring more wealth to a family that had already reached the top of the mountain and now longed to touch the stars. What I had learned was that Edward Cullen had been born to continue a legacy, a legacy he would seemingly die then lose. Like I said, he was a man for whom enough was never enough.

I met Edward Cullen the morning of my mother's wedding and less than twelve hours later he asked for my virginity.

And I agreed.

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