A/N: I love spy/espionage movies such as James Bond, The Long Kiss Goodnight, La Femme Nikita and even True Lies. This story has some of those elements but at its heart, it's a love story. Please hang in there as I lay some groundwork for the next two chapters. I promise to focus more on the canon relationships as we go along.
Song for this chapter:- Another One Bites the Dust by Queen.
I stared down the scope of the A5 and zeroed in on my target- an overweight Cuban man who wore a Hawaiian print shirt opened to the waist. A shiny gold medallion in the image of Jesus hung around his neck and lay nestled in the black bush of hair on his chest. His so-called security detail flanked him as their eyes darted around the area and looked for potential threats. But none of them saw me. No one ever saw me. I was one of the world's most deadly assassins with almost one hundred terminated targets to my credit and today was just my 25th birthday.
I kept my eyes focused on the target, poised my finger on the trigger and waited for the perfect shot. My finger twitched and a second before I was about to take the shot, a little girl ran in the path and flung herself at the mark. I blinked and immediately dropped my hand to my side as I continued to watch them through the scope. Fuck. My heart thundered in my chest. I had a hard and fast rule about children. Although I already knew I was going to hell, there was no way I would ever harm a child. I watched as the little girl clung to his neck while he laughed and twirled her around.
Fuck. Where did she come from? My cell phone vibrated in my pocket. I looked at the display and realized it was a text message. There was one single word on the screen.
I sighed harshly and began to disassemble my rifle. I hated when there was so much build up and I got completely in the zone and they pulled this shit. But as I glanced once more in the scope at the little girl, who now danced around the man, I was actually grateful for once.
I slung my duffle bag over my shoulder as I exited the hotel where I had been perched atop the roof. I walked half a mile and caught a taxi back to the airport. Fourteen hours later I entered the non-descript office building on Eighth Avenue and took the elevator to the 15th floor. I was met at the elevator by armed guards who relieved me of my weapons, which included the glock in my back waistband. I walked down the hall and entered the door marked D2. I was shocked as hell to see all of the bigwigs from The Organization assembled around the large table, which monopolized the majority of the space in the room.
Usually the debrief session only included one or two people. I stood immobile at the door with what I'm sure was a panicked expression.
"Edward, do come in and have a seat," My eyes flickered to the head of the table and landed on Aro Volturi, head of The Organization. He played the calm, compassionate and dedicated leader when he had to but I knew first hand what a ruthless son of a bitch he could be and I was certain he probably lost count of the number of bodies he had buried.
I hesitated but slowly entered the room and thankfully found an available seat next to Carlisle. I stared at him and gave him my best, "what the fuck" face. He smiled faintly and tried to- I assumed- let me know everything would be okay. I turned my attention back to Aro. His hands were tented in front of him and he smiled at me.
"How was your journey home?" he asked. If I didn't know any better I would have thought he actually cared.
I cleared my throat. "Fine," I managed to say.
"Good. Glad to hear it. So, Edward, first let us all wish you a belated happy birthday," he grinned. "Ah, I remember being twenty five- it was a very good year," he said wistfully.
I tried to contain myself but I couldn't. "So, is this like a surprise party?" I asked dryly.
Aro laughed and the other minions followed his lead. After the laughter died down Aro looked at me again and I could see the real ruthless bastard I knew all too well. "No, it's not a party but we do have somewhat of a surprise. First, let me say that sometimes in our business even when you're the best it does not make you indispensable. We have to continue bringing in new blood to keep The Organization vital while minimizing risks of exposure,"
My mouth went dry. I knew this day would probably come I just didn't realize it would be so soon. I had been with The Organization since I was nineteen. I heard from various people over the years that no one ever stayed with The Organization more than five years. My time was officially up. I was about to be terminated. I had done too much and seen too much for them to keep me alive but I didn't understand why they would bring me to a conference room. I always imagined they would hire another assassin to take me down when I least expected it. What a shitty way to go but at least my life had been consistent from beginning to end.
"Someone with your level of knowledge and experience could become a potential liability or as your mentor, Carlisle has pointed out- you could also be a great asset,"
I turned in my seat and stared at Carlisle. Carlisle Cullen had taken me under his wing when I first arrived. He was like an older brother and sometimes even like a father although he only ten years older than me. I swallowed hard and tried to look for some reassurance in his eyes. He smiled hesitantly and took a deep breath.
"We have a new group of recruits coming in with some very unique and special skill sets. We want to form a unit to do covert operations as we expand into other areas. I've gotten the board to graciously agree to appoint you leader of this new group and to oversee training as well," he smiled.
I stared blankly. I worked alone. I always had. There was no way I was going to agree to becoming part of some bullshit undercover operation with a bunch of rookies.
"There are always other alternatives," Aro said darkly.
I glanced briefly at him before I turned my attention back to Carlisle and tried to muster up all the enthusiasm I could. "When do we start?"
"No time like the present," Carlisle smiled as he stood and motioned for me to follow.
"Edward we are all hoping for great things from you and your new unit," Aro smiled somewhat sadistically. I think the bastard probably would have preferred me dead.
Once Carlisle and I were alone in the elevator I turned to him with a frown. "What the fuck? You know I work alone, I always have," I growled.
"Correction- you used to work alone. Things are changing rapidly around here; you know how this works. I've bought you at least five more years. You're welcome," Carlisle scowled as the elevator stopped on the seventh floor.
We walked down the hall to a door marked T5. It looked like an interrogation room at a police precinct with the mirrors where you could see them but they couldn't see you or vice versa. I followed Carlisle inside and once I closed the door he gave me an exasperated glare.
"Look, I know you're not the most outgoing person and this is going to be a very hard transition for you but there was no way I was going to let them put a bullet in your head. So, can you please work with me?" he sighed.
I knew I was being an asshole but I couldn't bring myself to really care. Surely this was a better alternative than being dead. Right?
"I'm sorry. You're right. Thanks," I muttered.
"Besides who knows what can happen from here. I started with The Organization when I was twenty-one and there were several termination orders sent for me before I became a member of the board. You've got to make this work and prove to them you are indispensable," he placed a hand on my shoulder and squeezed. "Now let's take a look shall we,"
Carlisle turned on a switch that opened a panel on the window in front of us. There were two guys sitting at a table. They looked to be a few years younger than me. I could tell one of the guys was pretty big from where he sat. He was reclined in the chair with his massive arms folded across his chest. He looked bored. The other guy had his head on the table resting on his forearms, he was gangly and his expression was tense.
"Is there any audio?" I asked.
"It's on. They haven't said a word since we brought them in," Carlisle said. "The larger guy is Emmett McCarty. From an abusive home, ran away at sixteen and ended up in a juvenile detention center after destroying public property. Sentenced to ten years in Bass correctional complex in Nashville for the sale, theft and possession of various weapons and artillery. He agreed to work for The Organization instead of serving the remaining eight years of his sentence,"
I nodded as I stared at the guy, Emmett as I played his bio over in my head. "So, his specialty is weapons,"
"Yes, the amount of knowledge he possesses is very impressive. The police confiscated several weapons and guns that he custom made for some of his customers,"
"Hmph, and the other guy? What's his story?" I asked.
"Jasper Whitlock. Hacker extraordinaire. He was doing time in Texas for hacking into Halliburton and Chevron's accounts and funneling money to an offshore account. He also hacked into the Department of Defense, which he said was an accident. He was given a test to see how valuable he would be to our program here and he hacked into our mainframe within ten minutes,"
I raised an eyebrow. "No sad tragic story? So, he's a rich kid who was bored?" I frowned. I especially hated those fuckers.
"His family was moderately middle class. He did well in school but was pretty much a social outcast. I'm not sure what skeletons he's hiding but he does have these weird scars all over his back that appear to be consistent with some type of abuse,"
I sighed. "They are a lot older than most of the babies they pluck off the streets,"
"Exactly. We need some more mature individuals with a bit more finesse to handle the assignments we have in mind,"
I chewed my bottom lip. "So, just the three of us?" Maybe it wouldn't be so bad. Just as long as those fuckers knew who was in charge and stayed the fuck out of my way.
"Ah, no," Carlisle smiled sheepishly. He hit the switch and the panel closed. He pointed to the wall behind us and I turned around. His hand paused over another switch. "These assignments will also require the use of some feminine wiles," He hit the switch and another panel opened and noise immediately filled the room.
Laughter. Giggling girly fucking laughter.
"Ew, you are so twisted!" a voice said.
"Come on, he was hot- right Rose?" another voice remarked.
"In a second cousin with herpes kind of way," a third voice cackled.
My eyes widened as they came in to view. Three of the most attractive girls I'd seen in a long time. There were two brunettes and one blonde. One of the brunettes was shorter than the other and she had shoulder length black hair that was flipped on the ends. She was what I would describe as cute like your little sister or some shit. She was obviously the most talkative of the trio. I tried to tune out her incessant chatter as I sized up the blonde.
She was statuesque with a killer body and face to match. You could tell she worked out. Her arms were especially toned. My first thought was that she was built for sex.
The third girl, the other brunette had this long brown hair almost to her waist. At first glance was pretty but kind of ordinary but when she smiled it lit up her entire face and her brown eyes sparkled. She stared at "Little Sister" and pulled her lip between her teeth and I swear my dick twitched.
"I'm not working with them!" I yelled.
Carlisle chuckled. "I'm afraid they are a part of the package. Besides I think you'll be surprised to know what they are capable of,"
"Making a lot of fucking noise obviously. Can you kill the audio?"
Once the room was silent I turned to him. "Seriously?"
He sighed and turned his attention back to the window. "The blonde is Rosalie Hale. Sexually abused by a male family member when she was a child and after awhile she tired of the abuse and stabbed him in the chest while he slept, she ran away at thirteen and moved from group home to group home until she was sixteen. A guy tried to assault her when she was living on the streets and she broke his nose, four ribs and gouged out one of his eyes,"
"What?" I asked in disbelief as I stared at her seemingly innocent face.
"There have been others who have suffered similar fates. Some of them just for looking at her the wrong way," Carlisle chuckled. "The short, dark haired girl is Alice Brandon. Her parents had her committed when she was ten years old because she heard voices and would have these violent outbursts and totally destroy the house. They thought she was possessed. She served time in several juvenile facilities for grand theft auto and breaking and entering. The only reason she was caught was because she tried to fence the stolen items. She never left a trace of evidence,"
"That little girl stole cars?" I asked incredulously.
"Yep. Our final contestant is Isabella Swan or Bella, as she likes to be called. She is a special case. Her father was actually a police officer killed in the line of duty. She is probably as precise as you are with a gun. She kind of lost it after her father was killed and was in everything from doing drugs to armed robbery. Her path crossed with these two about two years ago and they've been extremely close ever since. They were each serving 12 year sentences for a scam they were running on wealthy, married men,"
"A scam? Involving sex?" For some reason my heart broke a little. These girls were obviously hardcore but I didn't want them to be straight up whores.
"Not exactly, they would trap some pretty high profile men in compromising positions, tape the encounter and blackmail them. Pretty tame stuff considering their background. A sting operation brought them down after they had received close to a million dollars in payments,"
I ran my hands through my hair and pulled at the roots. There was no way I was going to turn the five of them into some elite team of assassins. The guys seemed too subdued and the girls were fucking scary.
"And I'm supposed to do what- teach them to become assassins?" I voiced my concern.
Carlisle laughed. "No, there will be no more of those assignments in your future. We are trying to gain access to some key people in various criminal organizations, so that we can encourage them to cease activities that threaten our way of life,"
"Encourage?Great, we've moved on to blackmail and torture. How long do I have before our first assignment?"
Fuck my life.
After we watched the girls for a few more minutes longer than was necessary Carlisle and I entered the room where the two guys were seated.
"Gentlemen, welcome. My name is Carlisle Cullen," Carlisle greeted them as if they were guests at a vacation resort or some shit. I fought the urge to laugh and rolled my eyes instead.
Jasper sat straight up in his chair and he eyed Carlisle with a nervous expression. Emmett on the other hand kept his arms across his chest and a smirk on his face.
"Welcome to the organization, we are glad you decided to join us," Carlisle continued like he was the old guy from Fantasy Island. I wanted to jump up and down and shout, "the plane, the plane".
Emmett snorted at his remark. I guess I wasn't the only one who knew he was full of shit.
"This is Edward Masen. He will be your unit leader. We will brief you on the rules and expectations as well as cover training, housing and assignments. But first I want to inform you that there will be three other members of your team joining us in a couple of minutes,"
"Unit? Team? I thought this was- that I'd be doing some individual work," Jasper replied nervously he had a bit of a Southern drawl. There was definitely something up with that dude.
"Ah, yes and no. Each of you will be the only member of the team who possesses a certain skill set but it will be utilized for the common goal of the team," Carlisle walked closer to him and he flinched.
"I'm not so good in groups," Jasper muttered.
"You and be me both," I sighed.
Carlisle shot me a glare. I shrugged by way of apology.
"As I was saying, before we go through our orientation three more people- ladies to be exact will be joining us,"
Emmett raised an eyebrow and his arms fell to his sides.
"I need to make sure that all of you understand any fraternizing or having a relationship with these ladies outside of what is required for your unit, is totally forbidden," Carlisle put on his most serious face.
"Damn, they must be hot!" Emmett grinned and revealed two of the deepest dimples I'd ever seen on a man.
I chuckled and again was met with a disapproving glare.
"We will discuss what happens when rules are broken," he said gravely. "Send the ladies in," he called out.
A side door opened and the girls walked in. They held hands and glanced curiously around the room. I heard one of them gasp.
"Welcome ladies, I am Carlisle Cullen," Mr. Fantasy Island was at it again. "This is Edward Masen your unit leader, Emmett McCarty your weapons specialist and Jasper Hale your tech expert,"
The girls stood immobile at the back of the room as Carlisle introduced us, I knew this was probably the quietest they had ever been in their entire lives.
"Please sit down," Carlisle offered. Jasper immediately stood and vacated his seat as the ladies approached. He pulled it out and offered it to Little Sister, er, Alice.
"Thank you," she said quietly.
Emmett sat there with that stupid ass grin still plastered on his face as he eyed the blonde, who hadn't given him a second glance.
"Gentlemen, please allow me to introduce Rosalie Hale, Bella Swan and Alice Brandon. They will be our primary operatives. Before we get started does anyone have any questions?"
You could hear a pin drop it was so fucking quiet.
"Good, let's get started shall we?"
For the next three hours Carlisle talked and explained the goal of The Organization (to eradicate terrorists and terror organizations, which included drug cartel), the role of our unit (to infiltrate said organizations), housing (we would a reside together in one of the newly constructed co-ed pods), compensation (there was none, The Organization took care of all your needs and granted a monthly stipend of $200- to which Alice promptly remarked were slave wages), training (one month of extensive training daily before out first assignment), rules (he reinforced the no fucking each other rule- Ok, he didn't say that but we all know that's what he meant. He also informed the new recruits that anyone who tried to abandon their position or shirk their responsibilities would be dealt with. In other words, don't try to escape because if you do we'll hunt you down and kill you, seriously) and finally he explained the importance of cutting ties with everyone from their former life, I think that was one was pretty self explanatory.
After Carlisle was done they all looked exhausted and totally fucking overwhelmed. Carlisle suggested we head over to the cafeteria to get dinner. Again everyone was silent as we ate. Carlisle didn't join us for dinner, so I used this as my opportunity to break the ice.
"So, if it makes you feel any better I just found out I got this job right before I met all of you," I bit into my burger and raised an eyebrow as I was met with silence.
"I can't believe how quiet you three are right now. FYI, the rooms have microphones. I heard you getting all carried away earlier. Second cousin with herpes?" I smirked.
Bella's eyes widened and Alice covered her mouth with her hands as she laughed. Rosalie looked pissed.
"How long have you been here?" Bella asked. Her voice was silky and sexy as hell. Remember the rules, remember the rules, remember the rules. . .
"Ah, almost six years," I commented as I avoided her gaze. I didn't want to chance a look into her eyes.
"I heard after they are done with you, your number is literally up and they kill you. Is that true?" Rosalie wanted to know.
This got Jasper's attention. He sat up and watched me anxiously.
"Actually, today my number should have been up but I got this instead. I think things may be changing around here," I hoped like hell that was really the case.
Jasper cleared his throat. "Um, so these assignments just exactly how dangerous are they?" he asked. His voice was soft and you could really hear the accent the more he talked. I heard someone gasp again and realized it came from Alice. She looked a little stunned.
"To be honest with you, I have no idea. Like I said this shit just came out of the blue at me today," I shrugged.
"Can we trust that Carlisle fucker? He seems a little too slick," Emmett wanted to know.
I smiled. "He is slick. Slick enough to have avoided being terminated for almost fifteen years. He's on the board. Carlisle is genuine. Just corny as hell," I laughed. This even earned a smirk from the ice queen, Rosalie.
"But I tell you one thing, he's not shitting you about trying to run away from this place. Trust me you'll come up missing and no one will go looking for you if you know what I mean," I said honestly.
"Do you get any freedom?" Bella frowned.
"Would you have had any freedom in jail?" I asked. She scowled at me.
"You were doing time?" Emmett asked her in disbelief.
"All of us were doing time," I scoffed. "They go and make you and offer you can't refuse and you come here and do their dirty work. It's a tradeoff. Sometimes it's cool and other times it's pretty fucked up. I have no idea what they have in store for us but I will tell you this- I worked alone for almost six years. I did what was asked of me and stayed out of trouble. I expect the same from all of you. If you fail, I fail. And I don't fucking fail at anything. A wise man told me once the key to survival is to make yourself indispensable. That's what I plan on doing. I don't know any of you from Adam but I will tell you right now to your faces, if you give me any kind of bullshit, I won't hesitate to turn you in. You agreed to come here, so let's make this shit work," I finished.
They all looked like they wanted to kick my ass. This was going to be so much fun.
End Notes: Let's get this party started! I'd love to hear what you think so far!