Full Summary: Two years ago and only days before he'd planned to propose, Army linguist Edward Cullen left his girlfriend Bella Swan to join the family business which provides intelligence for the US government. A freak accident causes Bella, now a successful reporter, to be valuable to the organization, and Edward has been assigned to train her to use her new ability. How do you work with the love of your life after you've broken her heart and your own?
A/n: Beta'd by: dorothysrubyslippers
Preread by: Aleighy
Twilighted Validation Beta: ladyrip
Ch2 of this story titled "The Beginning" tied for third place in the Killing Me Softly contest.
Disclaimer: Twilight and all recognized characters and content belong to Stephenie Meyer. No copywright infringement is intended. In addition, any resemblance to real life persons or situations is unintentional.
SpecInt Headquarters outside of DC June 2010
I'd kept track of her over the past two years. She didn't know it, but I listened to every report she did. I made excuses to watch her personally when I could. I had surveillance photos of her on dates with Jacob, visiting her parents, and most of all, working. She worked all the time. Bella was driven as a reporter. I only hoped that zeal would transfer over to her new position. When Bella was invested in something, she always succeeded.
Things ended badly between us. My only hope was that she understood, and had forgiven me. Otherwise, our work environment was going to be hell. I stared at her and tried to see the girl I had fallen in love with. She was still beautiful, but there seemed to be a slight change in her. She was even more apprehensive than I remembered… less confident.
It just didn't fit. I hadn't seen that in the photos. Every broadcast she did exuded life, and confidence, but here she was looking slightly mousy. Something had crushed her spirit, and crushed it badly. I knew that she was still seeing Black… perhaps that was it. They hadn't been apart since the ninth grade. She loved him. Maybe being without her security blanket had caused this. Unfortunately, Black couldn't be with her. As much as I hated him, she needed him. He just couldn't follow her here. I wanted to regret that.
My heart literally ached at the thought. I knew when I left that they would be together. However, seeing the evidence so clearly in front of me was difficult. Having her here, period, was difficult. I'd left to protect her: to allow her to have a normal life even if it was with him. It was something that I could never give her. She was so young when I'd left, and she had so much ahead of her. It was ironic that I'd expended so much effort to keep her away from this life, and there she sat in the next room.
She'd been fine with the prospect of being a military wife. We'd discussed that at length. I'd been an Army linguist when we were together, but when Alice decided to follow in Carlisle's footsteps by joining SpecInt, I knew that there would be trouble. Alice could see the future, and was assigned to the team of one, James Hunt. James and his wife, Victoria, were remote viewers, like me. Remote viewing is the process of being able to view or jump to different times and places without leaving one's current location. It was highly useful for intelligence work. Alice's job was to keep them safe on assignment, and help steer the team in the right direction using her ability. Things went well for a while, until James and Victoria left Alice in the middle of Afghanistan. Carlisle pulled some strings and had me reassigned from Ft Gordon to SpecInt to lead a rescue mission. The reassignment ended up being permanent. I removed myself from Bella's life, so that she could start with a clean slate and I could go on at SpecInt without worrying about her safety.
SpecInt, or the Specialized Intelligence Service, was a private sector company that grew out of the CIA's Stargate program. The federal government decided in the late 1990's that it was no longer productive to fund research into espionage techniques that employed the use of gifted individuals to collect intel. Truthfully, some of the methods used proved to be futile. However, techniques like Remove Viewing and the use of individuals such as Alice who could sense the future outcomes of decisions were cut too. So Stargate was privatized and became SpecInt. SpecInt continued to contract for the CIA among other agencies, but they also accepted private contracts and conducted their own research.
SpecInt maintained a close bond with its former Agency, the CIA. As a matter of fact, most of SpecInt's assets were still trained at Camp Peary, commonly known as 'The Farm.' Gifted individuals were recruited by former agents like Carlisle, and then, brought to our facility in Virginia. Alice and I were no exception.
My worth to SpecInt lay in the fact that I could "jump" naturally. Like Bella, I could separate my consciousness from my body and visit other times and places. Unlike Bella, I'd always been able to do it; I had control over it. I was also permitted to skip half of The Farm experience since I was military intelligence prior to joining SpecInt. Bella wouldn't be so lucky.
Not knowing who my new trainee was, I had railed to Carlisle and Jasper in e-mails and on the phone that she needed to be sent straight to The Farm. I felt like she wasn't worth our time, and that we were wasting it by giving her training before sending her off. The Farm served a purpose; it weeded out the weak, and every report on this recruit screamed weak. However, this was Bella, and Bella was strong.
It was fortunate that Carlisle and Jasper vetoed my request to send her off. There was no way that she would have survived the first few weeks of training. She was injured, and needed to get a better grip on her ability before being placed into an intensive training program that included sleep deprivation and extreme physical stress. It would have been a disaster.
I watched her lean back in the CRV, Controlled Remote Viewing, chair. Rosalie attached monitoring equipment to her. Bella winced when she touched her forehead. She was nervous, and I longed to comfort her. I could almost feel what it would be like to fill that role for her again.
I knew that she was afraid. It went against every instinct I had to stay where I was. I never wanted Bella to be involved in this. That was the real reason why I left. It was the only way I could keep her life from becoming the mess that I knew it would become if we stayed together; so, instead of proposing marriage, I ran. I still had the ring in the drawer of my nightstand.
I'd lived this life growing up, and the effect that the espionage business had on the family. I knew that I couldn't ask that of Bella. It tore my mother apart. My mother, Elizabeth Cullen, died of a heart attack when I was ten. It was the stress of never knowing where my father was that got her in the end. I couldn't do that to Bella. However, one head injury two years later, and here she was.
The scars on her forehead were still pink, and there was a spot on her head where the hair sat funny, because it was growing back in where they'd had to shave it to attach a monitor in the hospital. She was still slightly confused and getting a grip on exactly what she could do with her new talent. I laid my hand on the glass as I watched Emmett and Rosalie work with her.
Watching her like this was painful. I turned away from the two-way mirror and looked at Alice, my sister. She gave me a weak smile.
"I take it you saw this coming?" I asked.
"Yeah." She nodded.
"This isn't going to go well. I think she'd rather die than have me train her."
Alice winced, and I knew that it was true.
"I wouldn't count on that," Jasper piped up from behind his wife.
"Jazz, I'd be willing to bet fifty dollars that those are her exact words when she finds out." I turned back to the glass and fought the urge to go to her. I had to be professional. She was a trainee, and to make matters worse, she was with Jacob now. That was partially my own doing, and I had to live with that.
"You're on. I think that you'll find Miss Swan to be quite amenable."
"When are you going to tell her?"
"Tomorrow," he said.
"Are you sure you want me on the team?"
"Edward, you're the best trainer, and she's very green. She needs you. We all need you." I watched Jasper's reflection as he spoke. He'd moved to stand behind Alice. His unwavering calm was a strong contrast to her nervous energy. The two worked well together.
I made my decision then that I was going to do my best for Bella. She deserved that at the very least. She might not want me anymore, but I owed it to her to make sure that she was prepared. I would make her the best agent that I could. The first issue was that she was starting at a disadvantage. She was young, nearly ten years younger than me, and she'd had absolutely no military training. Even Alice had some, albeit rudimentary, training before joining SpecInt. I had my work cut out for me. Hopefully, she'd cooperate.
In this story we will be exploring a highly fictionalized version of a real phenomenon called Remote Viewing. If you would like real information on remote viewing, I suggest reading up on Joseph McMoneagle and David Morehouse.
Thank you for reading.