Stephenie Meyer owns any Twilight characters that may appear in this story. The remainder is my original work. Copyright 2010 by vicky-twilight-obsessed.
No copying or reproduction of this work is permitted without my express written authorization. Don't make me send some thirsty newborns on you all.


Chapter 1: Trust

Trust: The strong belief in reliability, truth, ability or strength of someone or something.

Edward Cullen had always been a strong man, not only physically but also emotionally throughout the duration of his life. Hardship and heartbreak were both things that he had gotten used to from a young age and some say that had made him emotionless, others say that was what had molded him into the smart, skillful and beautiful twenty three year old man that he currently was as he was pushed forward onto a cart filled with other slaves.

He didn't speak, he didn't even flinch as he was roughly moved to the front of the cart. His head, covered in a soft mop of bronze hair, stuck out through the bars of the cage as his large, strong hands wrapped around the outside, his long fingers flexing slightly as a smaller, more fragile body was pushed sideways into him.

He rolled his eyes at the obstruction and pushed the boy sideways not caring about the small yelp he let out as the soldiers closed the doors behind them all. Edward didn't bother counting how many other useless men were next to him as he closed his long, dark eyelashes over his green eyes.

His mind started to wonder to more important things as the dirty robe he was wearing stuck to his sweaty body, the bright Roman sun continuing to beat down on him. Their new destination was unknown to him, but he didn't mind it too much as the soldiers leading them all pushed the horses forward with a crack of the whip, sending the cart forwards as it began its journey.

Trust was something which was hard for a man like Edward to understand or even feel. Everyone in his life had betrayed him somehow and this very day had been no different; earlier in the morning he had been working on a farm when the soldiers came looking for more slaves to be sent to the city, sold to owners of training facilities for gladiators. His master was old, weak and in need of money, apparently the bond that he had made with Edward over the past year meant nothing to him.

He meant nothing to Edward now though, so the feeling was mutual as the cart bumped along the narrow, cobbled road out of the farm and on its way to the city. He knew none of the men that surrounded him as they started talking amongst themselves, he didn't bother joining in as he frowned. These men were dirty, they didn't care for anything past themselves and their need for power in their pitiful lives, making Edward feel sorry for them all.

"Don't test my patience Michael." A large man across from Edward grinned at the smaller boy he had pushed earlier. "You know I could beat your useless ass in the ring anytime I wanted." Of course they were talking about fighting, they all thought they would succeed in being gladiators; that they would survive past their first account against heavily armed men and wild animals, only armed with a simple shield and sword.

"Shut up all of you. I want my rest tonight." Edward growled out in frustration at the intrusion to his silence. The men all seemed to bow down away from him as they assessed his posture and body. He was taller than most of them, standing at six foot six with a muscular frame and broad shoulders, he was tense and agitated wanting no more trouble from anyone.

By the deep, dominating tone to his voice they all understood he was above them in authority. No one else spoke for the duration of the journey as they moved on, Edward squinting as the bright light blocked his vision of the open, green countryside. Italy was a beautiful country, his parents had moved there from England years ago when their ship had been taken control of by pirates that roamed the coasts of western Europe.

Edward chuckled lightly to himself; his parents had always been a touchy subject, to be honest he didn't even know why they had entered his thoughts in the first place. Slowly he turned around to face the inside of the cage, his back resting lightly against the wood as he looked over the men. Some had fallen asleep standing up, others were sitting down, shuffling their feet and rubbing there hands together for something to do.

There were only two other men with Edward that could match his fierce body, they were both leaning in the very same position as he was on the opposite side to him. One was only an inch or so taller than he was, but his whole body was also covered in large, rippling muscles. His arms bulged out as they were crossed over his chest, his large thighs barely being contained in the matching robe all the men were wearing.

This man, was much more physically intimidating than Edward and could surely beat him in any way during a fight. Emmett McCarthy silently thanked the bronze haired stranger for his words earlier, he too only wanted silence as he mentally prepared himself for what was to come in his future. He smiled gently in an attempt to get the frown off of this man's face, his mother had always told Emmett that his smile was infectious. She wasn't wrong.

Edward was surprised by the smile that graced the man's lips, he struggled to see why this man was acting so nice towards him. Should he return it back to him? Without even realizing it he was smiling, nodding his head in a greeting. Emmett returned it, glad that the man had not taken his actions the wrong way, he hated violence when it wasn't needed. Edward appraised the man's curly brown hair and soft brown eyes, he lowered his head slightly as the man's dimples also came into view.

He realized then that first impressions could always be wrong and remembered that as the other standing man shook his longer, blond hair out slightly, running his hands through it. Jasper Whitlock had watched the two men exchange pleasantries in fascination, he had expected the two of them to be just as simple as the other men who crowded around them were. He was about the same height as both the men, the only difference was that he seemed leaner in some way; he had always had more of a runner's body anyway.

Jasper's blue eyes shone as both men caught his eye, in those few moments all three of them had exchanged a silent vow to stick together in the future. No words needed to be said aloud, when you knew it... you knew it. Friendship was a little like trust to them all, a foreign concept and hard to realize when you had it, hard to hold onto once you had it out of fear. But they were all going to give it a shot anyway.

Emmett decided he didn't care about what the others may think of him as he beckoned the green-eyed stranger over to him. Edward thought about it for only a second before he balanced him self out, slowly walking as the whole cart rattled. He was careful not to step onto anyway, asleep or not as he finally made it to the other side, landing himself between the two smiling men. He stuck out both of his hands, unsure who to turn to first.

"I'm Edward." He spoke out, their smiles turned to grins as they each shook a hand.

"Emmett." The larger one spoke, smiling at Edward while he turned to the other. "Jasper." He returned, a slight accent tinting his voice foreign to both men.

They all loosened their grips as they shuffled down, their backs resting against the bars as they each sat down. "You guys seem more normal than what I would have expected, I was dreading having to spend all this time with a bunch of losers." Edward chuckled, noticing the glares the other men were giving the three of them.

"Tell me about it." Emmett boomed out, his voice startling everyone at its volume. "But don't."

They talked for at least half an hour, sharing simple talk about their future, not wanting to share their complicated and depressing histories in fear of ruining their upbeat moods. They were all so taken by their sudden friendships they didn't even mind that the other slaves had each started talking, each sharing pleasantries as they all laughed with each other. Jasper had taken to Emmett's humor well, he was not used to laughing and it unnerved him slightly.

The landscape was changing around them as the sun took its turn in taking a rest, filling the sky with vibrant reds and purples. Everyone had quieted down, the only sounds was Emmett's faint snoring and the echo of insects surrounding them in the land.

The lush green of the countryside had disappeared along with the bumpy roads, replaced by barren land and the new straighter and smoother roads the Emperor had recently been commissioning to be built. Edward was thankful, finally giving his head a rest from the aching of constantly being moved around.

Traveling by cart was something Edward had not done before, and after this was determined never to have to do again. If he ever wanted to get his life back on track he knew he would have to win his freedom in the ring through skill and fighting his way out... killing even. The thought would have disgusted him a few years back in his early teenage years, however living without parents or a home had taught him the required strength it took to survive.

He was sure he could do it, but the question was how to get there in the first place.

The Colosseum had been something of legend to country folk up till now, Edward had never been sure if its existence had been real or not but he sure intended to find out. That would be the perfect place to show he was worthy enough to be a freed man, but he would need to work up to that stage anyway. He desperately wanted to stick with Emmett and Jasper, but being chosen by the same master would be a challenge.

In order to compete in the most widely viewed of competitions he would need to be chosen by the very best of training schools, as long as he kept his cool, Edward knew his toned body would be enough to impress them.

He didn't have the power within him to fall asleep, his eyes opening and shutting automatically. They had been traveling for over four hours now, by horse the city was two hours away so he knew they would arrive soon. Jasper had also been keeping an eye on time, counting the mile stones they passed that were lying on the road in order to get an accurate distance. Constant traveling meant he picked it up as a habit; he did it wherever he went, planning out escapes and possible routes to take as he made a mental image of a map in his mind.

Jasper missed being a soldier, he missed it a lot.

"Edward, you awake?" he asked his companion quietly, keeping his head facing forward as another milestone passed his view, he smiled at the irony of it. This whole thing was a new milestone in his life, one of many to come on this long road.

"Yeh I am, can't sleep." Edward grumbled out, clenching his eyes shut in some vain hope he would soon be able to pass over to a simpler dream world that seemed all too far away for him to reach. Jasper smiled at no one in particular, cracking his knuckles and stretching his legs a little as they were growing slightly stiff.

"You and me both." Jasper chuckled, finally turning to face Edward. He remained stoic as Jasper talked, not really focusing on his words as he talked about how far they had already traveled, and how far he thought they had left before they arrived. Emmett gave out a particularly loud snore at some point, waking himself up in the process and knocking into Edward.

"Sorry man." He laughed, patting Edward hard on the arm as he stretched his own arms over his head. "How long was I out for?"

"You sleep like the dead Emmett, anyone ever tell you that?" Edward asked, rubbing the spot that had been on his arm gently. Somehow he thought Emmett wasn't really used to his own overbearing strength.

"Yeh, my mum used to tell me all the time." Emmett replied, shaking his head at the memories. "She used to tell me a lot of things though, you know the stuff mums say to their sons?" Emmett continued on his rant, nothing being able to stop him now that he was awake.

Edward had no idea what Emmett was referring to, his parents never cared for him or looked after him. They never held him as he cried at night, or fed him after days of going without food. Edward had never been loved like the overgrown man next to him had.

"She used to tell me all the time, my mum. She used to say 'Emmett you'll do great.' and 'You'll have the girls lining up to be with you." Edward envied this mother, the mother he could never have. But he knew it wasn't Emmett's fault that they came from different backgrounds, there was no point blaming him. Jasper smiled as he carried on talking, faintly remembering the memories before he ran away from home to join the army.

He never even knew what happened to his family after that. Did he think about them? Yes, yes he did. Almost every night before he fell asleep.

"I believed my mum back then, you know? I thought she was the smartest woman alive, if she only saw me now." Emmett's voiced quietened and his laugh was bitter this time, not joyful and full of life like it had been before. "She would be so disappointed in me."

A single tear ran down his face, his hand quickly swiping it away before anyone would see. Edward frowned and nudged Emmett's shoulder, a plan suddenly forming in his head. "Prove her to be right then man." He said boldly, looking over at Jasper as he spoke. "Prove that she was right all along."

Emmett frowned, not understanding the wise words that Edward was speaking. "What do you mean? Look at us, we're sitting in a fucking cage like animals being shipped of to our deaths. It's not like I'm going to get anywhere out of this man." He practically spat the words back at Edward who remained perfectly calm and still.

"What if we all get into the best gladiatorial school though? We could climb up the ranks-" Edward excitedly said, "-if we all get picked up by the same guy I'm willing to fight for it if you are. We have a better chance for survival if we all work together." Jasper grinned and turned his body, facing the other two men as he eagerly leaned forward to join the conversation. His brain was turning rapidly fast as he processed all the words, realizing just how true they were.

"Emmett, I agree with Edward. I would do anything to get out of here, I need to get back to my old life." Jasper said, not mentioning the key point of his old life whom he missed so much. Alice Bradon, forever forgotten behind him as his fleet moved around the country. He would do whatever it took to get back to her, if he ever saw her again Jasper swore he would ask her for her hand in marriage.

Emmett's eyes starting to glow a little as he started to understand how this could change things for him. Both of these men were physically fit and strong enough to be on the same level as him, not to mention they looked a hell of a lot smarter than most other men anyway. "You mean we could become freed men if we survived everything?" He asked, everything crashing down on him in one go as sounds started to fill his ears.

They were entering the bustling city just as the sun had started to rise above their heads so early in the morning. "Yes Emmett, we could be freed." Edward whispered one more time before they all stood up silently, the other men all beginning to wake up themselves. The cart began to shake violently as the cobbled stones on the city roads caused the large wheels to move up and down rapidly, frequently getting caught between gaps.

People started to fill their vision as they got deeper in, market stalls covered in a wide variety of products, starting with food, going through weapons and ending with clothing came into view as they were being prepared. Edward knew from tales that slaves were always sold in the center of the city by the main forum where everyone gathered, where everyone knew to find them. Soon they would be unloaded and the first part of their plan would come into play.

"Get a move on." The guard screamed, pushing Jasper forwards, down the ramp and into the line next to Emmett. "Learn your place slave." He hissed, hitting Jasper's shoulder with the back of his spear. "You better get used to being pushed around."

With that he left, leaving the three men glaring at his back, similar, murderous thoughts flowing through all of their heads. "If I wasn't in this position, nothing would be stopping me from whacking that guy right in the nose." Edward said to his... friends. Yes, they were his friends now, until either of them proved him wrongly that is. So far they hadn't led him to believe anything less than good things about them.

"Come on guys." Emmett grunted, pulled forward by the metal chains that had been placed around his hands and feet, joining all of the slaves together. "Don't want to piss anyone else off."

They had to walk slowly, keeping pace with the other twenty or so men that had come out of their cart. They were near the back of the cue, none of them knowing if that was a good thing or not, their feet barely being able to move more than thirty centimeters apart from each other. To be a slave was hard work, men of weaker hearts would have given up by now; but it was men like Edward Cullen, Jasper Whitlock and Emmet McCarthy that would struggle through any situation... and always come out on top.

"Line up now, we want all of you to be seen." The guard from earlier appeared before them, separating the line in two and moving the first lot up a set of stairs. A small crowd was growing as they neared a clearing, another guard leading them towards the front of the grand parade of slaves. In this case, being at the back of the line had paid off; no one would be able to miss them now as they stood tall before the crowd.

Each man looking to buy slaves on that day grew happy at the prospects before them, not one didn't think about buying one of the three strong, tall men at the front. Most of them however instantly banished their thoughts, knowing that it would be impossible to get them. Not even one of them.

One man alone had the authority above all others, he always got first pick and he always chose the best. Jacob Black was the chief officer and founder of the Elite Training Academy for Gladiators, the best in all of Rome. Jacob chose men, not because he felt pity on them or their stories, or because they may have potential. Jacob knew that some men had it in them to survive, and some didn't. He was just good at separating those two groups.

"Man look at these douches looking so high and mighty." Emmett muttered to Jasper who chuckled. Edward assessed each of the buyers before him, he couldn't make out a word any of them were saying from the loud noises that echoed around him from market, however he still looked closely at each of them as individuals. Most were gathered in groups of three of four, no doubt all coming from one school each.

Edward sneered down at the weak, old men before him. Soon he would belong to one of them, and he found it outstanding that they had somehow raised in ranks before him. Only one man seemed to stand out above the rest, he was tall and tanned; couldn't be more than five years Edward's senior. He wasn't talking with anyone else, although there were three men holding big palm leaves over his head for shade.

Silently Jacob Black appraised the men, although he only really cared about three men in particular. He wasn't even looking for anyone else as he called the slave auctioneer over with one hand. "Good morning Adam."

"Good morning sir." the joyful auctioneer replied knowing full well who the man before him was. "To what do I owe the pleasure?" Jacob rolled his eyes at the man's obvious attempts of being friendly. He didn't like it.

"I'm looking at the three tall slaves, front row, three from the right. I want to leave now and cannot be bothered staying for the auction. Would you be willing to give me a good price now?" He said condescendingly at the man before him. Adam however didn't seem to notice, his mind was ticking with possible prices he could throw at Jacob. He knew that these men would be able to fetch a good sum.

"How about six gold coins for the three of them?" Adam grinned up at Jacob, his smile disappearing instantly as he took in his cold glare. "Or five coins then?" He muttered, head lowered as Jacob leaned forward, towards him. "How about I make it four and I actually come back the next time you're around?"

"Deal." He sighed, calling a soldier over and pointing out the men he needed.

Jasper and Edward had been watching the little exchange together as Emmett continued to glare at all other possible buyers in order to scare them off. "Edward are you sure he's the best place to go? Remember our future depends on this-"

"Jasper don't worry about it, I'm sure." Edward muttered, looking down at his feet as they conversed. The dark skinned man was pulling several gold coins out of a large sachet, hanging from his belt. It was obvious that he had more, it looked like he could afford all twenty slaves and still have enough to buy half the market square. This was the man who would get them out of this mess, with his help the three of them would be all that Rome would talk about.

Now all they needed to do was get on his good side Emmett thought, as three guards knelt before them and undid their shackles with large, rusty keys. They all instantly rubbed the areas that were already growing sore, they may not have liked the other men but Jasper felt pity for their pain all the same. Little did they know half these men were going to be killed off tonight as they wouldn't be sold.

The sun was at its hottest as midday grew closer and closer, Jacob Black walked slowly over to his new purchases eying them over just to make sure he had made the right decision. Of course he had, they were exemplary models of what any gladiator should look like, he had a feeling they could go far if he played his cards well.

"Names." Was all Jacob said as he handled Emmett's chin, roughly pulling it down and inspecting his face for any cuts or damage. He did the same to Edward and Jasper as they all muttered their responses, careful not to do anything out of order or say anything that could land them in trouble. They needed this.

"Good, my name is Jacob Black and you three men have just been chosen to represent me in the arena as I train you in my Elite Training Academy for Gladiators." All three of them internally sighed at the good news that they had been correct in their assumptions. "We will travel there by horse for it is only half an hour away." Jasper's mind was running off with him, his insticts kicking in as the news reached his ears.

Unluckily for him Jacob seemed to notice, "Don't try anything with me boys, if any one of you tries to run you will be killed. Mark my words." He finished, looking pointedly at Jasper as he spoke. Jasper couldn't believe himself and immediately frowned. "I am sorry Master, the thought never even occurred to me. We shall do whatever it takes to fight well for you." His language skills and years of training had led Jasper to be very good at twisting peoples emotions around.

Jacob was pleased already that they had called him 'Master' without even having to be told, normally he would give five or ten lashings to any new recruit who spoke out of line to him; but there was some burning passion in all of their eyes that had him stop.

He remembered when he had been in their situation, those seven or so years ago; he remembered what it was like to lead the life of a slave and how he was now a changed man. Not many things made him recollect on his old memories, he turned, puzzled, and started walking towards his horses. Five armed soldiers stood patiently behind Edward, Emmett and Jasper before they each started moving, staring down at their new masters feet as he walked away from them.

Edward couldn't help but wonder what Mr Black was thinking of so hard those few seconds ago, whatever it was had changed his frowning face. He looked sympathetic for a short glimpse of a second before the hard exterior came snapping back like an elastic band. He knew then that they would be able to manipulate their master, he had obviously been a slave at some point too; his number still tattooed into the side of his neck.

This was something they were all dreading, being marked by their owner; but it was a necessity in the slave world. Unconsciously Emmett rubbed the small symbol, burned onto his skin just behind his shoulder. Emmett was used to fighting alone, but he'd always take orders from others; Jacob was just another person that he had to please in order to survive. He was the key to their future.

As all the men mounted their horses, each appraised how fine a condition they were in. Edward had expected them to be tied down to the saddles so escape was impossible, with old equipment and feeble horses; quite the opposite was the reality they faced. The horses were clean, large and strong just like the men who rode them as they started traveling quickly through the flurry of people that were beginning to fill the large, elaborate city.

They stuck to the main roads, the men still hadn't earned Jacob's full trust and side roads were always a problem for escapees. If this journey went without incident, Jacob knew he would grow to like these men through time. They were younger than he was; but still a few years older than his wife Isabella. He smiled at the mere mention of her name.

Isabella Swan, wife of Jacob Black had turned eighteen exactly a month ago. Her father had been struggling with money for some time, not being able to pay off his debts; an arranged marriage for his daughter to one of the most eligible bachelors of the city was the perfect escape route for him. They were married in a beautiful ceremony when she was only sixteen years of age, however it was large and elaborate; Isabella had always wanted a private gathering, something she knew was never going to be possible.

Some said she was one of the most beautiful women in all of Rome, her image had been a legend to most; a reality to the few who got the opportunity to see her for themselves. Like all women, her hair was long and hung down her back, finishing just over her thighs. It was silky smooth and a deep, rich, chocolate brown; the same color as her large, innocent eyes.

Isabella had a heart shaped face with skin too light for the sun of Italy, porcelain smooth and delicate without a single blemish to be seen. She never wore makeup, for she didn't need it. Her skin would produce a beautiful, natural pink blush on most occasions, matching the subtle yet natural twinge of color in her full, exotic looking lips.

Women such as Isabella were rare, and that was exactly why Jacob liked her so much. He loved her in fact, a feeling that had not grown in Isabella for quite a while after their marriage. Jacob had been patient with her however and not pushed her to do anything. Isabella grew to like him more than she ever thought possible, she gave herself to him for the first time on the day of her seventeenth birthday. A night than neither of them could ever forget.

Isabella was content in her marriage, she accepted it for what it was; but she was still a woman and occasionally found her self dreaming of what it could be like to be with another; a rougher, larger man than her husband who swept her off her feet. Jacob was too controlled around her, she needed someone with raw power just waiting to be unleashed, someone a little more like herself.

She was leaning on the balcony rail, her hair blowing lightly in the wind as she watched the men train in the court yard below her. Whenever they thought guards weren't watching them, she would notice that they would always look up at her, trying to catch her eye. Isabella smiled to herself as her royal blue dress blew up slightly revealing some of her dainty, perfect legs to anyone who was watching.

She was a tease, but she knew it; the sound of hooves the only thing bringing her out of her fantasies as she whipped around and entered her chambers.

Edward didn't know what to expect as they started to slow their galloping down, they were still in the city but this area seemed to be much less crowded like it was all owned by one man. He was correct in his thinking, Jacob prided himself in his ever growing plot of land; he thought it foolish that any man would think it all only because he was good friends with Emperor James. Jacob worked hard for his business, and even harder to maintain its stature in society.

They each took their turns, gawking at their new home as they entered through large, detailed metal doors; pushed open by more slaves. These slaves were different to them however, these slaves are what they all used to be; little did they know they were no longer going to be treated like this. They were going to be treated like fighters.

"Bloody hell." Emmett muttered at Jasper who was sharing a look with Edward, they both turned towards him and raised an eyebrow at his sudden outburst in fear Jacob heard them. He was too far ahead however, eager to see his wife once again.

They had been separated for over a week now, something he was not normally used to. He had been traveling around Rome a lot himself, supervising the finishing touches to the Colosseum while he visited Emperor James often. Isabella had been astounded how quickly time had gone without him there, she quite enjoyed this time alone. She bonded with all her maids, learning their names for the first time since she had been there.

Alice Brandon was definitely her new favorite.

They had sewn and designed new dresses for Isabella together, also dancing and singing late into the night as they enjoyed their time. Their singing was the sound of angels themselves to most the men who heard it loudly, always quiet so they wouldn't miss a beat. Alice had taught Isabella some very sensual dance moves that had left her blushing at first, but as she got better she found that she simply had to show Jacob when he returned.

Alice had gone so far as to address her by her name, everyone else called her 'Mistress', or 'Madam'. These titles were the very things that upset Isabella and made her feel old, she liked to be young and free; an opportunity Miss Brandon had given her. She had never had a nick-name, once Alice had even called her Bella and both laughed about it afterward. It suited her however, so it was just their little secret as Alice left 'Bella' alone to get ready as her husband and his new men entered through the front entrance.

"Welcome men, to your new home." Jacob said loudly as he dismounted his horse, landing gracefully down as his hand shot out; pointing towards the grand building and courtyard before them. Jasper followed him, dumbfounded that they had found such luck. The gods were definitely acting in their favors today.

Edward and Emmett copied the others as they, out of less practice, almost fell from their horses; Emmett catching his foot in one of the stirrups. He flushed and swatted Edward's hands away as he tried to help him get untangled. "I can do it myself." He hissed, hopping backwards and balancing himself as he released himself from the hold. Jacob simply smiled and shook his head, this man had a strong character.

"I hope your fighting skills are better than your riding skills gentleman." He chuckled, looking back at them all. "You're going to need it here."

With that he started walking forwards, strongly and briskly towards the courtyard where the sounds of men grunting as swords hitting shields were heard. Edward looked cautiously at the other men who were fighting, not one lost focus for even a split second as they passed by. They all continued fighting, focusing hard as they pretended their practice, wooden swords could actually kill a man.

He shook his head of the thoughts as they were lead into a grand lounging area, dimly lit by candles. Jacob went to sit at a large desk straight away, gesturing for the boys to all sit down opposite him on the plush lounger. Emmett led them in as they all sat down, still with plenty of room either side and between them to be comfortable.

There was silence for a second and Jasper wasn't sure whether it was deliberate or not, he was about to speak up, thanking their new master for the opportunity when Jacob's fist smashed down onto the table. None of them jumped or even flinched at the sound, Jacob smiled to himself.

"Good. You all seem strong, brave... willing. I can tell you are going to be fine additions to my school." Edward nodded his head in acceptance, confirming Jacob's beliefs in them. "There aren't many rules here. Obviously, you know by now it is impossible to run away and even more foolish to try in the first place." Jasper internally groaned, he had hit a nerve earlier in the day. "You aren't to be treated as slaves here, you will be treated with respect."

Emmett smiled at Jacob who impishly smiled back, "That is, if you show me and my soldiers the respect we all deserve. Correct?"

"Correct." Edward responded instantly, looking him in the eyes."We will do whatever it takes to fight, and whatever it takes to survive." Jacob stilled his movements for a second, remembering him say the very same words long ago. He lay back in his chair gently, holding his chin between his fingers, thinking thoughtfully about where they would fit in.

"You three will share a room, I assume you all get along? Or would you rather each be put in separate rooms?" He raised an eyebrow as all the boys looked at each other. Jasper sat forward a little, "No, I think it would be best if we stuck together." He asked it as more of a question, not sure if he was testing them for something or not. He wasn't.

"That's great, you will relax today and be shown around before you start training tomorrow. I am putting you in Demetri's training group to start off with, just to let me see what your abilities are before I move you up a group." Edward knew it was inevitable that they would have to start at the bottom, but his male ego hurt a little knowing they were going to be the 'newbies' among the men. It didn't matter though, he wasn't going to take anyone's shit.

"I think you'll fit in nicely with them, Demetri is a little less, how would one say this? Strict towards his students than Felix." Emmett chuckled lightly to himself wanting to meet this Felix guy for himself. His dimpled defined, he looked down as he saw Jacob staring at him. "Sorry." He mumbled, not wanting any trouble on their first day.

It was Jacob's turn to chuckle however, "Do I really look that mean? I don't care for laughing or playing among the men. I want all my students to do well in the ring, and I believe the best way for that to happen is to let them have a little responsibility of their own outside of training." It was actually his wife, Isabella, who had suggested to Jacob that the men would be able to have more freedom; but he didn't bother bringing her up as he carried on with his introductory speech.

"Today you will wash, we will get you all new clothes both for training and sleeping as you clean yourselves up. I understand it must have been a very hot and tiresome journey." All men instantly noticed the lack of sweltering heat surrounding their bodies and glanced outside. The mansion they now called their home actually had ceilings as well as walls on all sides, this truly was a luxury that none of them had had before.

"We will dine as the sun sets in the courtyard on the opposite side of my grounds, I trust you shall all be there on time after you settle in. If I can trust you all, that is?"

Trust. There was that word again, there was that word that felt foreign and odd slipping off their tongues as Edward lent back slightly. "You can trust us Master." Could he really? Truthfully they were only using him to get their freedom, but Jacob didn't know that for the time being as he simply smiled back, satisfied with the answer that was given.

"Good. Tonight you will have a choice of slave girls sent to your room, I presume it has been a long time because of your slavery." Emmett's mouth couldn't get any larger as it dropped open, "Slave girls?" Neither man understood the other, it was perfectly normal at the Elite Training Academy for men to take the girls on a regular, daily basis. Jacob frowned and cocked his head, not understanding.

"Do you not want them?" Jasper was internally shaking his head as Alice sprang to mind, he couldn't. It would only be wrong in so many ways imagining her underneath him as a poor slave girl did all she could to pleasure him. "Not for me Master, at least not today. It has been a very long day." He said diplomatically as Emmett nodded slowly, Edward showed no emotion. He never thought about the opposite sex anymore, not since Tanya had robbed him and left him just when his life was getting back on track.

"Very well then, this is certainly a first. I shall leave you gentleman then, Maria will escort you to your rooms before you bathe yourselves. I have a wife I need to meet." He grinned, his smile so genuine and loving that Edward couldn't help but feel a flare of jealousy ignite inside of him at the mere sight of it. Jacob's teeth were bright white and overpowered all his other features as he stood up, leaving the men behind him.

"Goodbye men." He whispered as he left, running up the stairs to his wife's chamber. Little did he know Isabella was not currently there, she was in fact exiting her room and skipping lightly down the stairs on the opposite side of the villa while the three men in the lounge went outside and stood by the doorway, waiting for their escort to arrive.

Isabella knocked into Maria as she was coming around the corner, they both jumped backwards yet in very different styles. Isabella kept her posture straight and posed, her hand on her chest to slow the sudden increase in pace of her heart as Maria, shocked and embarrassed, immediately bowed before her trembling. "I am so, very sorry Madam. I was in a rush to get to the lounge to escort the new men to their rooms. I wasn't thinking."

She was visibly shaking and Isabella frowned, lifting the maids chin up with one of her petite fingers, finger nails painted in a newly discovered bright red gloss that had been made from crushed berries. "Calm yourself dear, I am fine; only a little surprised." Maria looked up at her with relief and sudden admiration for the kind woman in front of her. Surely she did not belong in such a vile and nasty place as a gladiator trainer's wife. It seemed wrong.

"Now what was this about the new men?" Isabella was surprised at her discovery, she thought the new men were coming in a few more weeks at least. What did her husband think he was doing? Where was he anyway?

"Yes, they are waiting for me in the lounge as we speak. They were delayed in the kitchen preparing dinner and I had to help the cooks out, they still aren't finished however and everyone is panicking a little, I fear." Isabella smiled at the woman's fast words, she could give Alice a run for her money anyway; she suddenly felt in need of a little fun of her own. She simply couldn't help herself.

"Don't worry Maria, why don't you go back to the kitchen and help out?" Maria looked at her puzzled for a second. "But what about the men? They need someone to-"

Isabella cut her off, placing her finger over the woman's lips to hush her ramblings. "I will go myself, I have no other obligations as of now anyway. Be on your way now, make sure the cooks don't poison me." She giggled, Maria shaking her head. "Never Madam, I would cut them with a knife myself if they tried." She truly was a loyal servant Isabella thought as she ran off in the opposite direction towards the kitchen.

Slowly and purposefully she started walking along the long hallway towards the lounge where she knew the recruits would be waiting in. Without even realizing, she was brushing her hair down smoothly with her fingers and biting her lip; a habit she had had since she was a young child. Jacob was always telling her to stop. Too bad he isn't here right now, Isabella thought bitterly as she rounded the corner, her eyes cast to the floor as thoughts of her husband entered her mind. They weren't all nice.

"Where the hell is that maid? I want to go check out my room." Emmett grunted as the three of them waited, leaning against the wall; mirroring the position they were in when they were in the cart except that Edward was now closest to the door. "I don't know, it can't be too long though right?" Jasper commented, cracking his knuckles again and making Edward flinch.

Isabella entered the lounge from the back entrance but saw no one in there, she frowned and looked around before she finally saw the silhouettes of three very tall men waiting on the wall across from her in the next room. She smiled as a sudden rush of adrenaline filled her, Isabelle wanted to make a good first impression; she always did. It was always nice to see men chasing after her even though they both knew it was impossible for anything to happen.

She wore no shoes as she passed through the room, her feet making no noise as she started to enter the other room. Just as she turned however she started to trip forwards, internally punishing herself greatly. Not only would she surely embarrass herself, but her new dress would be sure to rip at the bottom if her feet got caught in it.

Edward had heard someone approaching due to his heightened senses. When living alone in the streets he had learned to recognize different footsteps, for example the difference between another criminal or a soldier out to grab him. Due to the very soft and quiet nature of them he suspected correctly that it was a girl, but was wrong in his assumption that it was just another maid as the woman entered the room.

Edward instinctively caught her in his strong embrace as she began to fall, surprised at himself at how good she felt in his arms. He stood her up, his arms still around her very petite and very small waist as she slowly turned around to face them. Both gasped as they say the other, both dazzled momentarily at the beauty of the other. Isabella was suddenly very self aware of her image and blushed as she saw the two other men staring at her as well.

The heat of the stranger's embrace left her and she instantly sighed as she took a step back. "Welcome, my name is Isabella Swan- Black. I mean Isabella Black." Her voice sounded like bells to Edward as she spoke, he didn't even seem to notice the last name that should be all too familiar to him. Emmett and Jasper watched with amused expressions as Edward's eyes glazed over at the sight of the woman before him.

Isabella criticized her self greatly for her stuttering and her lack of words as the man's eyes continued to look down her body. She flushed and she sighed as she looked down away from his beautiful green eyes. "I'm Jacob's wife."

And there went all the respect and trust that Edward had felt towards Jacob when he arrived. His life had just been made a living hell by a beauty sent from heaven. He was lost in brown eyes as she span away from him, a blush filling her cheeks as she beckoned for Emmett to follow her.

A/N- This is a new story as you can probably tell, but also a first for me since it isn't done in a first person point of view. I don't know if it sucks that I am doing it through a third person's perspective but I would love to know what you all think about this. Winning my Freedom is a story that is set in Ancient Rome, also something I have never done before but something that I would like to try. This story will have more depth and drama than my other stories, and will hopefully appeal to many more people.

I wish you all a very merry Christmas, please tell me what you think of it and if I should continue or not. I love everyone who supports me, I wouldn't be here if I didn't.
Much love vicky-twilight-obsessed xx

I do love how I am writing for you guys on Christmas, but do you know what the best present I could get would be? Reviews. So leave one please :)