Chapter One

The beginning of my story starts off like any other. It was a Tuesday, the beginning of summer. Outside my window police sirens wailed loudly, but I was used to that. You have to in a city like this. And the air was already hot and heavy with foreboding. I stayed late at the office for one last cigarette. I leaned back in my oversized chair, propped my feet up on the mahogany desk and opened a fresh pack of cigarettes. It was that one last cigarette that set in motion the events leading up to my death.

If I hadn't stayed for that one final cigarette to conclude my day I would have already locked up and headed across the street to my favorite bar in town, The Vamp, for a drink. If only my vice was coffee or whiskey instead of cigarettes, I would have already been gone. Then maybe she would have found someone else to entangle into her life.

Just as I took my final drag the bells on the door chimed announcing someone's presence. I looked up and there she was. Ready to change the rest of my life. The air seemed to thicken with her presence. My heart began to pound and the thick air didn't seem to want to fill my lungs any more. I should have known from that very first moment I laid eyes on her that she would have been trouble. I should have opened my mouth and told her that the office was closed. But I was too damn entranced by her. So instead I snuffed out my cigarette and waited for her to begin her story.

She slowly stepped towards me and I was immediately over powered by the sweetness of her perfume. My body almost convulsed with desire for her just from that sweet fucking scent. Just as slowly as she walked, I took in the sight of her. I started down and worked my way up, sexy black stilettos attached to slender legs that went on and on. A tight black dress revealing a perfect hourglass shape, that left very little to the imagination. A plain silver cross hung from her neck, falling perfectly to allow the bottom point to get lost in the ample cleavage spilling out of the halter top of the dress. Her skin was flawless. Creamy white against the contrasting black, softly glistening with a thin layer of perspiration. The harsh sunlight from outside reflected around her to giver her an angelic glow. Full blood red lips formed in a perfect pout. Light brown eyes that reflected her obvious distress. And a river of auburn brown curls flowing down to her mid back. When people ask you to think of the perfect woman, this is exactly what I would imagine from now on.

She stood sill, observing the room before she finally took notice of me. Her heels clicked with determination with each slow and deliberate step closer to me. She lowered herself into the chair across from me. The woman leaned forward, her bust magnified and she pulled a cigarette from my pack on the desk. She casually placed it between her perfect lips, looked up at me and waited. I struck a match, the strong smell of sulfur still couldn't mask the intoxicating saccharine scent of her perfume, and I offered her a light. She leaned back, crossed her legs and inhaled deeply. Her eyes closed and head lulled back as she let the smoke fill her lungs and invade her blood. She exhaled heavily and watched the smoke unravel as if it were telling a story.

"I need your help," she finally spoke, eyes still watching the dancing trail of smoke. Her voice was soft and low, causing a sharp shiver to run through my body. There was something intoxicating about this woman. I couldn't tear my eyes away from her striking beauty. Even her voice was perfect, a beautiful siren lullaby, tempting me. Drawing me into her. And as I continued to watch her, I wanted nothing more than to be that cigarette perched between those cherry red lips.

"People who find their way into my office usually do," I respond, finally finding my voice. "Edward Masen, Private Investigator." I extended my hand out to her but she didn't move.

"I know," she said simply, voice soft and low like a kitten's purr. "It's on the door."

I glanced to her left hand. No ring. Good sign. "Boyfriend troubles?" I raised an eyebrow in question.

"No," was her far too casual response. For someone with such telling eyes, her voice seemed to hold no emotion. "My case isn't exactly something that I think you'd be familiar with. It's not your average cheating mate or long lost relative."

I leaned forward and put on my charming smile. "Well then, what brings you here Miss…"

"Swan," she replied in the same sensual tone. "Isabella Swan. I prefer Bella."

"Certainty," I nodded at her. I couldn't help but notice the name. Names in this small town have a way of sticking with you. Swan might not be the most striking but it sure does stand out. "Swan, eh?" I cocked an eyebrow.

Her beautiful cherry red lips curled into a coy smile. "So you've heard the name before then, have you?"

"Hard not to in this town," I replied looking up into her eyes, resisting the urge to look at the breasts she had positioned right in front of my face. Her father started off the chief of police. He did a good job. Too good a job and quickly moved up the city's ranks and into the mayor's office. "So what brings you here, Miss Swan?"

"Bella, please," she insisted but didn't answer my question.

"Bella," I smiled. "What brings you into my office?"

She lowered her eyes to stare at her hands that she had placed in her lap. Her confidence faltered for a mere second before she raised her head and smiled coyly. "You used to be a police officer," she phrased it like a question but I could tell, she had done her research, she knew what she was talking about. "Why did you leave?"

This girl liked to dance around, avoiding getting to the point. People who need my help usually don't like to waste time. Time is money. And money seems to be in short supply around here. But everything about this girl seemed to be a little different. Nothing that I was expecting. So I humored her. "You could say in a town like this, that is to say a town with a lot of unspoken crime, it seems that a lot of the cops are half the problem. There are a few exemptions. Your father always stood out as one of the good ones. It was a sad day when he left the force."

"You don't like him as the mayor?" she questioned. Her tone wasn't angry and didn't hold any accusation. It was a simple and honest question.

I let out a heavy sigh. "He is exactly the type of mayor this town needs. Strict. Not afraid of the fight that it's going to take to get these streets clean again. But the department will miss him leading the organized crime task force. There aren't a lot of honest men out there left to lead the operation. And he can only do so much sitting in a big comfy chair giving orders." She raised her eyebrow at me and I got her point. I accused him of doing the exact same thing that I had done. I left the police department to sit behind a nice fancy desk in a big comfy chair.

"So if half the problem is the police, what is the other half?" She arched her eyebrow suggestively. But she didn't wait for an answer. "Most people would say the Mob war. But then again, most people would say that the war is much more than half the problem."

"Most people?" I questioned as her eyes lowered, I traced her gaze for a second but stopped about halfway down, watching her respiration in the steady rise and fall of her breasts.

"What do you know about the Volturi, Mr. Masen?" she asked as if it were a casual topic of conversation, but nothing about the Volturi was casual.

I cleared my throat loudly. "Call me Edward, please," I insisted buying myself some more time. If this girl wanted me to get involved with the Volturi she had another thing coming. No one was stupid enough to mess around with them. I would think the mayor's beautiful daughter would already know that. She sat quiet and patient, waiting for my response. I released a heavy breath and spoke, "The same as you, I suppose."

Her laughter released like a tinkling bell in almost a mocking fashion. "What a naive answer," she said exhaling another cloud of smoke. "You presume to think you know what goes on in my head. I assure you, you have no idea the things that I know. I didn't ask you about what I knew," she continued. I had a hard time concentrating on the things she was saying. I was more concerned with studying every curve of her body. "I asked what you knew."

"Aro, Marcus, Caius. Three brothers effectively running a very successful business. It is suspect that their business is just a front for a laundry list of illegal matters. Drugs. Extortion. Murder. Your usual mischief and mayhem associated with the Mafia." I couldn't believe that I just likened murder to minor mischief and mayhem. I don't know what the woman had done to my mind but it was a dangerous path that she was starting me on.

"Continue," she beckoned.

This woman was persistent. I released a heavy breath and continued, "They are said to be very powerful and extremely dangerous. Though no one would dare say it to their faces."

"And do you believe what people say?" she again asked it very casually. Does this woman have no fear or does she simply have no care to preserve her life? After a long pause I think she got the idea that I wasn't going to answer. "I do," she boldly stated. This time it was me to be enticed by the trail of smoke that left from between those lips that dared to say such things. But this was not the end of our conversation. She didn't want to end it there. She wanted to push the envelope farther. This woman did not cease to amaze me. "What are your feelings on The Wolf Pack?"

I tried to mask my unease by adjusting my tie. "I think they started out with the best of intentions."

"And now?"

"Are they really any different than the Volturi?"

She smirked. "That depends on who you ask. They are a new breed of legend with the Quileute tribe."

Another long pause fell between us. Her line of questioning had thrown me off. What did a pretty little thing like that have to do with either of those groups of monsters? Little did I know. "Excuse me, ma'am," I finally broke the silence. "But you came into my office for a reason. And I'm sure it wasn't to discuss my views on politics."

"Of course," she said with a smile. "I just wanted to know if you were up for a challenge?" She arched her eyebrow as her gorgeous brown eyes stared me down. "It seems that maybe I have misjudged you."

"Pardon?" She snapped me back to reality with her last sentence.

"There are two types of men in the world. Most are quite content with their lives steeped in mediocrity. They go through life being perfectly average and they are alright with that. They stumble and bumble through life, they go to school, they get a job, they marry the girl next door. They do everything they think they should. They follow the mold. But they always want more. They always crave more. But they are too damn scared and settled into their boring suburban lives to actually go out and get more. They will forever be average and nothing more. They live and they die without consequence. They don't matter and no one cares."

"And the other half?"

"The other half is the half that really matters. They stand out. They take chances. They hate average. They loath boring. Mediocrity disgusts them. They break the mold. Instead of falling into place and settling for the girl next door they take a chance on the girl in the bar. Sometimes the risk pays off and greatness insures. And sometimes it doesn't, but there is always next time. These are the people who matter. These are the men that you don't forget. This is the type of man that I thought you were." She exhaled one last cloud of smoke directly into my face before she snuffed out her cigarette. Her face turned into a cold scowl as she spoke. "But I can see from the way you answered my questions that I was wrong. You are content with being ordinary." Her long legs propelled her to a standing position. "Thank you for the cigarette, Mr. Masen."

She turned to leave and I should have let her. My life may have been ordinary but at least it was my life. At least I was alive. But instead I chuckled softly. "You came all the way to my office to find out what kind of man I was?"

She turned back to face me the smallest hint of a smile playing on her lips. "No, I came to give you the opportunity of a lifetime."

She was good. Too good for me. She had me roped in. It didn't take much. "And what is that?"

Her smile widened and she again walked closer to me, but this time she didn't choose to sit in the seat. No, she kept walking. She circled my desk and stopped behind me. I didn't turn to face her. I sat still as a statue and waited. The floorboards creaked as she bent forward. As she spoke her breath was hot on my ear, sending sharp chills down my spine. "Once we go past this point, Edward, there is no going back." Her voice had sounded even more seductive. "So please tell me, are you content to return home, marry the good girl next door and spend the rest of your life making love to her? Or do you want a shot at greatness? Do you want to take a chance on the mysterious gorgeous girl and fuck her in the alley?" Her hands rested on my shoulders and spun my chair so I was facing her.

"I suppose that you are the mysterious gorgeous girl in the alley that I am supposed to fuck?" I smirked.

"Now, now, Mr. Masen," she said waving her index finger in my face. "That is no way to talk to a lady." But as she said it she stepped closer to me and straddled my lap. She squeezed her thighs tight against my legs and I fought to suppress a moan. It sure as hell seemed like at that moment she wanted nothing more than a good fuck. And by god, was I willing to give it to her. She ran her long fingers through my hair, her hips moving against mine ever so slightly. I became putty in her hands. "So what do you say?" she questioned, her mouth right against my ear as she spoke. "Do you want to help me?"

"Yes," I answered without a second thought. She could have asked me anything at that point and I would have done it. I would have hunted down the devil himself if she wanted.

"Good," she said with a smile. "How about we get down to some business then?" She stood from my lap and I instantly missed the sensation of her body against mine.

"Yes, of course," I agreed. I had the feeling at that moment that I had just signed away my soul to the devil. I was only half wrong.

"Let's get to what brought me into your office today, Edward." She pulled another cigarette from my pack and again, I lit it. There was a long pause. Bella continued to smoke, savoring the moment or simply stalling I'm still not sure, but every move she made was careful and calculated. She was always two steps ahead. Always planned and organized. Ready for anything. She didn't speak until her cigarette was finished and put out in my ashtray. "A very close friend of mine seems to have gotten himself into quite the predicament." She paused, moistening her lips with a quick dark of her tongue. "It seems he has gotten some very powerful people very angry with him. A fairly easy task in this town."

"I don't offer a body guard service," I let her down with a shake of my head. Too bad I didn't. I wouldn't mind spending the night watching over that body.

"I don't need your protection," she said with a small hint of a laugh. "I have plenty of that all on my own." I look around and see no guards inside or outside the building. And I don't see where she would be able to hide a gun on that tight and tiny dress. "Have you heard about my father's good news?" She continued when I didn't respond. "After a quick courtship he's gone and gotten himself married," she announced with little enthusiasm.

"Who is the lucky lady?"

"Sue Clearwater." It sounded so familiar at the time. If only I had paused for a second to put the pieces together. "It's strange to go from being an only child to now having both a brother and a sister. Leah's a cynical little bitch that needs to be knocked down a peg. But Seth, he's a good kid. He's what brings me into your office today, Edward. He's been missing for three days now. Though I am the only one who gives a damn. My father and stepmother refuse to accept the harsh reality, they choose to accept a simple message from him stating that he had plans to travel."

"Why is that?"

"He would keep in contact. The kid can't stop talking about this and that. Always something. Even if it's just by the phone. He would call just to describe how wonderful the sunset was or about the woman who asked him for change. And he's always with someone. He isn't the lone wolf type. He's young and he's stupid. And I fear that he's gotten himself involved in something that he can't handle."

"Have you contacted the police?" I shuffled meaningless papers around my desk, making myself look a little less interested. Make them think you're too busy, too successful to possibly take on another case. You get more money out of sad and lonely women that way.

"They have been less than helpful," she said with a sad smile. She quickly washed the sadness from her face and her eyes bore a hole into my flesh as she stared at me.

"Do you have any idea where he could have gone?" I asked nonchalantly.

"If I did," she paused, again leaning forward. "I wouldn't be here, Mr. Masen."

"Please call me Edward." I reminded her with a smile.

"Well, Edward," she said. I liked the way my name rolled off of her pink tongue. "It isn't like that. There are some very powerful people that are very upset with me, my family and my friends. They don't settle at kidnapping and ransom. And they aren't big on suspense and drawing things out either . So you see, I fear there is only one thing that could have happened to Seth."

"And what is that?" I ask, finally allowing myself to seem interested.

She looked up at me, anger flashing in her eyes for me making her say it. "They killed him, of course." Her voice didn't break to sadness from its sensual tone. Her eyes didn't hint at tears.

I stared at her for a moment. I wasn't able to come up with a single thing to say to her. She had said it like it was nothing. No big deal. Like she was describing the new color of her freshly painted bathroom walls. That wasn't the way that you describe the disappearance and possible death of a relative. "And what do you think I could do about that?"

"I want to know who was responsible for it." Her voice finally lost its edge in that sentence. And for just a moment she wasn't a sex kitten. She seemed more like a little girl lost. She looked more like a regular client and my heart ached for her. Someone that beautiful should never look that sad.

"I'm not a bounty hunter either." And as I said the words I almost changed my mind. Whoever had made her even the smallest bit sad deserved to die. For a fleeting second anger rippled through me and I wanted to be the one to hurt whoever had hurt her. But before I changed my mind, common sense returned to me. Not that it made much of a difference in the future. My fate was already sealed the moment I had met her.

"All I require is a name." Her attitude had quickly changed. I didn't have to feel bad for the broken little girl in front of me anymore. My lust for the voluptuous woman returned with her breathy voice and full confidence. Her eyes seemed to dance at the thought of taking matters into her own hands. She didn't want someone to do the dirty work for her. It seemed that she didn't mind getting her hands dirty. "The rest, I can handle myself," she smirked as she spoke. "So what do you say?"

"We've hardly discussed anything," I spoke still in awe of the woman. She was sexy. She was dangerous. She liked to be in control. She was everything you are supposed to avoid in a woman. But nothing could stop the pull she had on me. I was wrapped around her little finger and she knew it.

"I've given you everything I have," she insisted.

I chuckled. She clearly had no idea about this business. "I would like a list of his last known whereabouts. Friends. Colleagues. Enemies. People with grudges. Daily routines. The list goes on and on. To do my job properly I need to know everything there is to know about him."

It was her turn to chuckle. "A good detective doesn't need those types of things, Edward. A good detective does all of the work for himself." The damn woman smirked as she mocked me. "Because how do you know I wasn't lying to you?"

"Why would you lie to me? You are the one hiring me." It was a simple and honest question. She didn't answer. But I didn't find that suspicious. People in my office were like that. Not always the most talkative. If you needed my help you were in some kind of distress. And people in distress weren't always the most chatty. But I should have known that wasn't the reason. She was more than willing to offer her opinion on some very sensitive matters before. Why had that one struck a cord and suddenly left her speechless?

"Not that it needs to be said but money is of no matter to me," she had changed the subject and I didn't think anything of it. People in my line of work often have very keen senses. A heightened awareness of the things going on around you. And we tend to be very good judges of character. We knew when someone was hiding something. We knew when someone was lying. We had a sixth sense and great intuition. I believed I was no exception. I believed I was better than anyone in the business. I had always been able to focus on what needs to be done. But someone about this woman clouded up my mind. She made me lose my focus and I couldn't even notice that. The only thing I could focus on was her body and all the delightfully sinful things I wanted to do with it.

I wanted to race across the room and pin her to my desk. I wanted my lips to slowly collide with hers. I wanted my tongue to taste every part of her body. I wanted my hands to touch every inch of flesh. I imagined myself bending her over my desk and having my way with her. I would not make slow sweet love to her. This is not what a woman like her wanted. I would fuck her, hard and fast. I wanted to make her scream my name in pleasure as she came for me over and over again.

"And as you can imagine, I am a very busy woman," she spoke, pulling me out of my head and back to reality. She reached into her cleavage and pulled out a small white business card. "If you need to contact me." She stood, again tempting me with her frame. "I've come to you because you are the best. I expect this resolved quickly."

She didn't offer me her hand. She didn't speak again. She simply walked out the same way she came in. But she left my head spinning. I needed another cigarette. I leaned back, propped my feet up on the mahogany desk and enjoyed one last cigarette. How much more damage could that do?

Authors Note: So it's a little different. But different can be good. I hope. And if you're confused as to what is going on, you will get much more information in the upcoming chapters. This is mostly a set up of the characters and the beginning of their relationship.

The story is kind of based off of a weird dream I had and I thought it would make for an interesting story so I went with it. And in my dream old school private investigator Edward was the hottest thing ever. But let me know what you think.

See you next chapter!