Disclaimer: I do not own Twilight, Stephenie Meyer does.

A/N: YAY! I finally updated this story! Poor thing, it's always so neglected. The truth is, I do love this story, really I do. I fell back in love with this story, because I feel like it's one of the deepest, with the most background and I dunno, it's just really fun to write. :P Mhm, so that's my take on this little story, and now on to ranting about the chapter.

First of all, this is an intense chapter, and it sets up the rest of the story, so yeah. I also am in love with this chapter, and I won't tell you why, but I'll let you have your own opinions. :)

Again, thanks so much for the lovely reviews and the support, you're all amazing and I love you to tiny little bits. :DDD

Read on, now.

A teenaged boy watched as the man, his mentor and his father for the majority of his life, the only one he ever had, fell limp to the floor. He didn't move, not even an inch, but he could see the spreading blood on his figure, he could see where the bullet had hit him not moments before. His breath was caught in his throat as he watched him take his last breaths, turning to look at him one last time. His lips moved for a moment as if he was wanting to say something, just a few last words, but there was another loud bang.

He could only watch in horror as his father-figure let out a toe-curling scream, turned on his side …

And died. Gone. Dead.

Forever, nothing left but a lifeless corpse swimming in a pool of maroon.

He had been too weak to jump in front of the bullet. He could have saved him, he could have been alive right now. He had done everything for him, he had been planning to send him to medical school – his dream. He could have had everything.

He loved him, and now he was dead.

There was a chuckle from the other side of the room, and he turned to see his father's murderer, a gun in his hand, the gun that had killed his father. Green eyes swam with hate and the boy stepped forward, hasty – but the man was quick, and he grabbed his arm and twisted it.

"Now, now, boy," he began, grinning like a mad man. "Don't you know this is for your own good? That man never loved you anyway. You were the heir 

to the Cullen fortune, nothing more, like a vessel waiting to be used. Why do you think he adopted you? Did you think it was out of love?"

He laughed at him, shaking his head. "You silly, silly boy. This man never loved you. You're nothing but an orphan, a kicked puppy that was easy to delude, you and your spoiled orphan sisters."

He watched as the man circled him angrily, clenching his fists together tightly as soon as his arm was released, angry tears streaming down his face. He had to do something…

"But I can change that," the man continued, smirking at him, shaking his head. "I can make you something, something great. You'll do well to listen to me, unless you'd like to find your sisters in a very," he tapped his chin in mock thoughtfullness, shrugging, "unbecoming situation, that is."

"I can make you a man, Cullen. A real man."

Then the gun was thrown to his feet.

"What do you want to do, Edward? Tell me."

"I want to kill you!" The agonized, tortured scream ripped out from his throat, pulsing through the room as he glanced once more at the dead body of Carlisle Cullen, trying not to cry anymore.

His shaking fingers picked up the black gun, his whole body trembling now.

"Good. Very, very good. You'll do well to remember that."

I woke up in a cold sweat to the shrill and demanding sound of my cell phone, trying to pull myself together long enough to bring the phone to my ear and answer it. My eyes closed tightly as I tried to think of why I had dreamt of that night, the night where my whole life was altered.

"H-Hello?" I croaked into the phone, trying to find my voice, hoping it was Alice or Rosalie, who somehow always knew how to calm me down. They were truly the only ones who understood me anymore, and I loved them for it, as much as I was told not to.

"Cullen, you sound like hell," James voice rang out on the other side of the phone, condescending and mocking, and I tried to pull myself together enough to answer him properly. "It's eleven, have you been sleeping on the job?"

I checked the bedside clock, noting that it was in fact around noon, wondering why Bella hadn't woken me up – she had chosen not to disturb me, I suppose, and James was right. I should have woken up much earlier than this, but then again, I should have been out of here by now, too.

"No," I answered curtly, trying to keep the hate out of my voice from the dream I just had, the memory.

"Cullen," James' voice warned me further, "remember what we have at stake now. I know you want to get those girls of yours to school, now don't you? And what about you? I'm sure there's something you want. I can reward you if you get this done. Now, tell me, how is your mission coming along?"

I grimaced, rubbing a hand through my reddish-brown hair, and trying to figure this out myself. What did I say to him? If I told him I found the key he'd most definitely want me out of here by the end of tonight, which I could most certainly do. I could be back home by tomorrow, perhaps a bit longer than I expected, but still rather timely.

"It's coming along just fine, James," I answered simply, feeling a lump forming in my throat. I was digging my own grave, because I was sure he could hear the distraction in my voice now.

I always let those damn dreams rule my emotions. Those reacurring nightmares that I always tried to convince myself were just nightmares but were, in fact, reality.

I had been right there to watch Carlisle Cullen die, the only person who had bothered to pick me back up after my mother and father, the only person who had bothered to give me a life. He had been my mentor, my father-figure, he had told me everything about right and wrong and how to live and survive -

And then I had turned around, picked up that gun, and followed his murderer blindly.

And I didn't fucking regret it, either. If I had died that night, so would those girls, bouncy Alice and beautiful, witty Rosalie, and I knew that I had to have made the right decision. This was my life now, this was my purpose.

"So, is the girl dead?"

I don't know why it bothered me that he didn't use her first name, because it honestly shouldn't. I knew I couldn't lie about this one, because he'd expect me to be halfway back to Chicago if that were the case.

"No, not yet. I found the key though, and the mission will be complete by tonight, James."

I tried not to grimace at what my words implied, because I knew that now the deal was set. Before midnight, Isabella Marie Swan would be dead, and there would be no buffer this time. I needed to live, I needed to be there for my sisters, and this mission would get me there. I would get James' trust back, and most importantly, I'd be back at the crappy two room apartment to tell off Jasper, to roll my eyes at Emmett, and just be there.

Where I belonged. Where I wanted to be.

"Excellent, Cullen. I hope to see you soon, then."

Then the line was cut.

I could only hope that those kids found their Esme and Carlisle Cullen.

Because even for just a little while, I had felt like I was loved, and James' words rang through my mind, repeating themselves over and over, making me feel sick and alone all over again.

Silly, silly boy. That man never loved you.

I had looked for an opportunity to kill her all day, but she gave me none. First she was cooking me breakfast, bacon and eggs, and insisting that I eat so I had strength. I had growled under my breath at that, knowing that if I killed her now I would be killing her in front of the children who were scurrying around to help, and I couldn't bring myself to do that.

James might be that much of a bastard, but I wasn't about to taint the poor kid's minds, not when I planned for them to have a life beyond this.

Then she was writing, and I couldn't bring myself to kill her then, because maybe if I let her write today she'd be almost done, and I could get her published in memory of her, under a pen name or something. It wasn't like I cared, but it was the least I could do for the kids. They'd want something to hold onto, and I sympathisized with them, as annoying as they were.

The dreams always made me like this, as much as I hated it. They made me feel the emotions I had locked away for years, something I had never liked. Even when I tried to ignore them they found their way back, and when I told James, he had simply stated I was getting weak and it was time to fuel my anger.

He had killed someone right in front of me, suggesting I go do the same.

And that girl had been fucking innocent, in the wrong place in the wrong time, walking the city streets alone – a mistake she paid for with death, and something that still made my stomach churn at the thought.

A little death always hardened someone up, so perhaps that was just what I needed.

The death of Isabella Marie Swan.

I followed her around all day while she babbled to me, and all the time she was sending me these grins and these smiles and these laughs – and she never talked about me, or asked about me. It was always about her, and her job, and her life, and the kids, and what she wanted to do when she was published. It was always like she was confiding in me, like I mattered, like she trusted me when she shouldn't.

"So, when my uncle died and I took the kids," she was explaining, as she went around dusting the living room, something I realized I should be doing, and wondered if she did, "I wasn't sure what to do at first. I was young, and here I was, with two kids. They were sweet, though, and they helped me along the way. I really do love them like my own children. I even let them call me 'Mommy', though it makes me feel old."

And then she did that thing where she threw her head back and let out this laugh that made her hair fall back over her shoulders, and her eyes did this weird sparkling thing, and brown eyes shouldn't do that. They were so deep though, and I had to smile, though I knew I shouldn't. Her doe eyes were focused on me now, and she smiled in return, something bright and goregous.

"I have sisters," I somehow found myself saying, "and they're like your children to me. Our parents died young." They were murdered, but she didn't need the details. It wasn't like she'd know this, because tonight she would be dead. I supposed a bit to information about her killer wouldn't do much damage, now would it?

Her eyes softened at my words as if she understood, and she put a hand on my shoulder, and somehow, I knew she understood. She didn't pity me, it wasn't the same as that, it was something different. "I know how you feel, really, Edward. It's hard, isn't it?"

"Yeah," I managed to mumble, cursing my luck. Of course I'd be assigned to kill the only person who did understand me, but that was the thing. Maybe that was why I should kill her now, to save her the stress.

Look how I had ended up. I was a screwed up, cold-hearted bastard, who killed for money and smiled at death because it meant I got to be where I wanted to be.

I was everything Carlisle had taught me not to be, but I pushed that thought away, suddenly angry again.

I had to do this.

I was a selfish bastard, and it was now or never. The more I talked to her the more I understood her, the more I realized how the same we were – last night when I had been fighting sleep, I listened to her turn on her stereo, and it had played the sweet melody of Claire de Lune, a piece I had always loved, though I had tried to hide desperately.

James would have laughed and insulted me about it, and before I knew it, I would be back down on the bottom where I could barely pay the rent again.

She understood my situation, and everything about me that even I didn't understand, in only a short few days. She had entranced me with her laugh and her smile, and enough was fucking enough.

I grabbed the gun from the pocket of my jeans, aimed it at the back of her head, and watched as she turned around, her mouth open as the words died in her throat. She looked terrified, her doe eyes wide with fear and utter surprise, and I shook my head.

It absolutely disgusted me. I shouldn't have looked into her eyes.

"Don't. Move," I commanded, and my fingers moved to pull the trigger down.

One, two, three, it would all be over.

There wasn't time to think or back out this time.

Her or me. Now or never.

I held my breath, aimed, and pulled the trigger.

A/N: This is honestly probably the biggest cliffhanger I've ever done, and I won't say anything because I'll give way too much away if I do. :P Please stay with me, though, becuase I promise you will be surprised if you just hang in there and read the next chapter, alright? You know me, I'm not one for quick endings, so obviously there's more to this story.

:) I'd love to have your feedback and your opinions.

By the way, I felt for Edward when I was writing about his dream, I felt sick, and it fueled my hate for my James even more, even though I love the sick little bastard. :P So, yeah.

Basically, I'd love your reviews and your opinion, and thanks so much for all the love.

Have I tooolddd you lately that I looove youuu? :PP

I am so sick. I think the cold medicine might be making me a bit loopy, but then again, it might just be me.

Your call.


Nicky xo