This is the full-length version of my Red Ribbon oneshot. Thanks to Tattward and Inkella contest, for all who read it, and my friends (jayisuncouth aka SavMed, Vantastic, Juma and Beige-the philanthropist and brilliant Beta) who pushed me to write it—I'm here. Many of you lovely reviewers asked, stalked and even threatened me for a multi-chapter. I'm scared of you so if you asked, you shall receive (as best in my ability to give it). My heart made a sound every time a review came in. :-)

This one is an idea I had for a while that I haven't seen around here anywhere. It will not be similar to Red Ribbon in some ways. My Edward plans to be a real ruthless bastard. Maybe you won't like him, maybe you'll hate him, but please, keep a spot in your heart for him.

Since I'm a tomboy at heart, I'm into the violent/grungy/angst stuff. My bro is a Marine and I assure you (and brag at times) that I can kill with my bare hands. Ok, not really, but I can do a couple of good moves that includes only my pinky finger. Ok, not really, but I can flip a grown man to the ground, how's that? A nice memory as a kid was watching all the movies girls didn't like watching with my bro in the basement. He'd bring me a blanket and we'd munch on cheese puffs and orange soda he'd stash in his lil fridge. He never let anyone go in there but me. So, I guess I'm dedicating this to him, though he'll never read it cuz I'll never let him. Here's to you, Rat. *pours some drink on ground—watches it disappear*

Remember: Boston public school system was a bitch to my writing skillz. I be thinkin' I haz dem. I juss haz a bit of poetree in my heart, yo.

I DO NOT own Twilight or the characters. If I did, I'd be rich and preferably in bed with Rob—ergo, not here writing FF. I just own a black mini-S and my iphone. Please, review if you agree with what you will read. I love feedback and ideas. Tell me what you'd like to see. No, seriously...I have no idea what I'm doing. Heh.

|:::::[-]:::i):::| —Tighten your belt. It's gonna be a bumpy ride.




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Ruthless and Ivory – Prologue

I'm a murderer. A ruthless, brutal, cold-blooded murderer. I live in the night. I walk with it as my companion. My work demands dark corners and shadows. But I don't consider it work. It has never been work. It never feels like an effort. It made me who I am at this very moment—at this very instant. It prepared me for this second where I feel adrenaline rushing through each vein in my neck, shoulders, arms, connecting to my hands and down my gloved fingers. I know I'm fully charged when I feel it building at the tip of my index finger, where it cradles the trigger. Nothing matters at this point. Not at this very moment when I see red. The darkness turns red. The brick wall behind me…red. I strain to listen and slow my breathing to hear every wave of sound around me. Sound travels farther and sharper at night. I close my eyes knowing darkness will consume the bright contrasting white of my eyes visible to trained, searching eyes.

I am waiting.

Waiting is what I do. For every second I take a new breath, I wait. I wake up and I wait. I sleep restlessly because I wait. I wait because my life depends on it, because waiting is my purpose. Patience is a virtue. What I wait for is what drives me and owns me. It's a burden I carry everywhere I go. What is the point of a human life that only waits? It is wasted and dominated by the very thing that makes it wait; a life that is not my own.

I don't have a normal life. I don't want to be normal. Never have I wished for it or envied those that walk around me living it. 9 to 5 jobs, lovers, children, homes, friends…none of it ever fit me. I was never connected to it in any way. The only similarities in all of them and me are flesh and blood. The fate of our souls run along different paths.

My youth was broken and taken from me. I was forced to live on these streets because I was never wanted. It led me to learn everything I needed to survive on my own. From this hell on earth, I was dragged into another. At first, I didn't know it would turn out the way it did. I was relieved to be found and I thought I was fortunate. For a while I was content. For a while I thought my life was worth a place—a speck on this earth. But I was lied to. Lies like the ones spoken by strangers on streets that faked their friendship and guardians in abusive foster homes. I was alone. I am numb, as I was then because there was nothing in me to salvage.

In the end, what I learned was to never trust again. Enemies, whom I hunt for everyday, were once my saving grace. They betrayed me. I will end them even with the last drop of blood that pumps through my heart. I seek revenge. I seek justice and satisfaction.

I am changed.

I hide in the shadows with the harsh memories of how I evolved here. "The best of our kind", they've said. I am reminded everyday of the pressure that goes with that title. I can tell the subtle ways they assign me the most difficult jobs. I see the stares from the others, when they know I've been promoted. The praise doesn't affect me. I don't phase it. This is not a game. I am disgusted to know they envy. At the end of the day we're all murderers. We are all sinners.

As I ease back to the present moment, I focus to my left and lean my head on the hard bricks. I finally hear the faint sound I've been waiting for. Waiting that finally turns into action.

It is time.

I move my right hand off the magasine and trail it to the top of my gun. With a silent quickness, I move my fingers over the cold metal, swiftly cocking it to prepare for what is inevitable. I feel a slight draft coming from my left, precisely 12 feet away. My target is coming closer at a slow steady pace. I can sense him moving a foot a stride at a time. I know this by the echo from the pavement under his shoes that are grinding on the wet surface from the rain. It stopped pouring conveniently 21 minutes prior to the exact moment I prepared my gun. I need all the help I can get. The wind usually soothes me, but right now I need it to still for a better aim. Knowing I've done my calculations correctly, and I'm always precise, I know the trail of the bullet needs to keep steady for a clean shot to the skin between his eyes. This can be over as quickly as it began.

With my eyes firmly closed, I can cancel out my sense of sight, which enhances my ability to hear all details. Balancing senses is one of the tricks we learned in our training. It's second nature.

The target is at 7 feet and I can hear his pace pick up slightly. He's anxious. I can sense his nerves and I bask in it, sighing silently. I love when their nerves take over. They get sloppy and loose control. It adds to my adrenaline, making my head lift and fall back against the brick wall as I inhale damp air. Fools.

5.5 feet.

I bring my gun to my face, pointing it to the cloudy midnight sky above me. The metal gleams in the moonlight, accenting the ivory base around the grip. My Ivory girl. She's been good to me. She's been my friend for many years.

4.10 feet.

As a ritual for every moment like this, I close the inch between Ivory and myself and press my lips to her barrel, feeling her cold. A kiss for every life she buries…a kiss for saving mine.

3 feet.

This is my prayer. This is my plea. A plea for fate to keep from taking me—I whisper, "Now."

A bolt rushes through me. I dive. Everything slows, as my body turns around the corner of the brick wall. My trench coat opens around my torso. My boot digs the pavement beneath me, ripping a thinning orange leaf that had lost its way from its autumn tree—the lone whispered sound beneath me. My grip tightens around Ivory. My veins pulse with new hot blood rushing to the tip of my finger.

In a fraction of a second, I'm in full view and pull the trigger.

The deafening echo Ivory makes that breaks the silence, assures me. I'm alone again. I open my eyes to find the target glowing in the moonlight, casting dark blue shadows below me. It lies on its back over his debris. Blood is seeping down a dirty drain that glistens from wet rain. The echo slowly fades.

It's done.

I will never know if he had a family, or if he was loved. I was trained to never question—never care. Whoever finds him, will never know I was the hired assassin. I walk away. I am Edward Masen, and I never look back.