Chapter 1: Abduction

Really, the whole thing was her fault for being friends with those vampires, if you can call them that. Not that I would say that to her, she'd be furious!

But if she hadn't been friends with the Cullens, she would have never been brought to my attention. And if she had never been brought to my attention, I never would have decided that I had to have her; that I couldn't live without her. (See what I did there? I'm not even alive! Such a clever beast!)

Anyway, if she hadn't been such a delectable little slice of humanity hanging out with those ersatz vampires, she never would have come up on my red-eyed radar. But she was, and I found myself looking at the thoughts of that reprobate James and his spooky-crazy little girlfriend, Victoria, at this delicious little brown-haired, rosy-cheeked piece of heaven and wondering; "What are those dastardly Cullens up to?"

I mean, they are famously freakish with their yellow eyes and their deer-breath. But befriending teenage girls? I had never known them to actively seek out the company of humans, to "hang out" with them, so to speak. They worked and went to school with them, and I suppose that undead Donna Reed, Esme Cullen, might do the occasional PTA bake sale. But Rose and Emmett Cullen going to the movies with a human girl?

Not only that, but I know there are movie theaters to be had in that Podunk town they live in, not to mention the bustling metropolis that is Port Angeles, but they drive that yellow (yellow!) Porsche to Seattle, my city, to see a film? That's just gaudy. It was a blatant cry for attention. So I gave them some.

I'm far too busy to do everything myself - that's why I have underlings - so I sent James and that nut-bag he calls a mate to do some reconnaissance. Which I have to explain the meaning of, because they are not the smartest bloodsuckers in the Underworld. They come back saying that the blonde-hottie and the big one are "just going to the movies with a girl". Duh.

But what they don't share with me is what a fine, fine girl she is. She's got the best smelling blood since, well, since they've never smelled. And Jamie and Freaktoria are going to try to keep it from me? Forgetting that their vapid, slimy little minds are easier for me to read than a comic strip. Amateurs.

So I send Jasper, my right-hand monster, to go have a talk with them about how secrets can hurt - and I mean hurt - and I leave the Underworld, which is what I call my little Pacific Northwest bat-cave, and slip over to Forks to have a sniff of the dark-haired gourmet meal those silly Cullens dangled in front of my face. I mean, really, a yellow Porsche? Just asking for it.

So, to prove a point, I was as subtle as a breeze, driving to Forks in a Volvo (safest thing on the road, they say) and wearing my best "ordinary guy" clothes: khakis, Converse and a Pink Floyd t-shirt.

I know I'm never gonna be able to slip past the Cullens in this little tiny town, so I decide a direct approach is best.

I pull my Volvo up to the Cullen's house in the woods and give my biggest smile to the four yellow-eyed vampires that come out to greet me.

"Greeting and salutations," I say, taking a bow. Rose (the pretty blonde one with the bad attitude) is looking at me with a scowl. The rest of them are looking at me with their best neutral social-fakey non-smiles. Except the enormous one, Emmett. He has a grin to match his body. Cheeky thing.

"Edward, this is a pleasure. Won't you come in?" Carlisle is the most civilized monster I know. There is no way he wants me in his house. I take a minute to get a read on everyone.

Blonde-and-Bitchy is thinking about how she wishes I would burst into flames, and Big-Guy is wishing I would do something threatening so he can beat me up. Esme is mentally wringing her hands with worry about what is going to happen, and I'm getting no read on Carlisle because he is reciting the Magna Carta in Arabic. Interesting.

I can hear from their thoughts that they have a recent addition to their little veggie commune. A little black-haired girl. I decide not to worry about it. Five is a largish coven, but I have four times that in Seattle. Plus, we're not peacenik hippy freaks.

"Where's…Alice?" I pause while plucking her name out of the big one's head.

Carlisle doesn't bat an invincible eyelash. "She's hunting. She'll be sorry she missed you."

Esme offers me a seat on her white leather couch. Such hospitality. Some of the savages in the Underworld could benefit from Esme's tutelage.

"What brings you here, Edward?" Carlisle peers at me with a kind smile, as if I'm a pesky neighbor here to borrow his lawnmower or something.

"Well, I have a situation that concerns me. It seems your children," at this I gesture to Emmett and Rosalie, "accompanied a young lady to Seattle recently, and I was concerned about the stability of our agreement." Rosalie snorts and I give her a smile. "In short, I was concerned about your delightful offspring falling off the wagon in my territory." Carlisle gives me a patient smile.

"I thoroughly understand your concern, and would like to assure you that the young lady in question is alive and in perfect health. I apologize for causing you such anxiety and a wasted trip out here to Forks."

"I would never presume to question your honesty, but I don't suppose, since I've driven all this way, you could show me?" I am trying to weasel her location out of their thoughts, but Emmett and Rosalie have switched to some, well, amorous thoughts and Carlisle is still blocking me with children's rhymes translated into binary code. Esme, however, can't resist thinking of the little mahogany-haired mystery girl. It quickly flutters away before I can discern a location, unfortunately.

"Edward, you can tell from our thoughts that she's still alive and in good health." Hmm, Carlisle knows I can read minds. Not surprising, he's been around for a while and we are sharing this great state of Washington.

"You're right. I'm sure she's just fine." I get up, accompanied by the big guy and Carlisle. "Thank you, Carlisle. Esme." I bow to her and the other Cullens. "It's been a pleasure. I'll let myself out."

I know that I can get James to track my little entrée down, so I drive back to Seattle, trying to figure what the Cullens were doing. I mean, I guess it could have been an honest mistake, taking the little thing to Seattle.

Either way, I have to figure out how to play this to my advantage.

I am greeted upon my arrival in monster-Mecca by my partner in crime, Jasper. Really, I am the Boss Hogg of this whole ominous organization, but Jasper and I are as close as two blood-sucking mosquitoes from the same egg. He's a frightening combination of vampire-scaring know-how, strategic genius, and the ability to suss out and control whatever you're feeling. He's a formidable asset and I make sure to keep him as happy as a century-and-a-half-year-old empath can be. By which I mean, he can be a little moody despite the cozy little set-up we have here in the Emerald city.

I should take a minute to brag about my kingdom. I have supernatural say-so from Portland to Canada, excepting the Peninsula, which Carlisle shares with some overgrown dogs. I have almost twenty vampires reporting to me. That, accompanied by the advantageous weather, makes this the most powerful coven outside of Italy. A fact that I am trying hard to hide from the powers-that-be in Italy. They would be displeased, to say the least.

But I get bored, and this little slip-up of the Cullen's was just the kind of thing to entertain me.

I tell Jasper to have Jamie track down my tasty little brunette and bring her back here. And because I don't trust James any further than I can throw him (which is quite far), I tell Jasper to go with him.

Now, normally I don't go for take-out, but I couldn't resist sending the Cullens a message that if they left their toys lying around I might take them away. Plus, I was intrigued.

Jasper let me know the next day that they had gotten their hands on my sweet little snack and that she was waiting for me at my apartment.

I have to say that some might think it's unfair for me to make my minions live underground while I put my feet up at a penthouse apartment with a view of the Space Needle. But I will have you remember that I am the Grand Poobah of those leeches with legs. Additionally, I have the dubious pleasure of reading minds. It's simultaneously the secret of my success and a major pain in my perfect ass. Having a specially zoned apartment on the top of an office building gives me a little bit of quiet at night and on the weekends when the building is empty. It's the only way I can get enough quiet to decompress from the stress of being so fabulous and malevolent in addition to having to hear the thoughts of every idiot that gets within a few miles of me.

So I push the button for my penthouse that afternoon with a spring in my step. I am so looking forward to this. It's rare that I allow myself the indulgence of a teenage girl. I rub my hands together, hoping she's a virgin, because, yes, the rumors are true, they are the tastiest.

I run my hands through my messy hair and wink at myself in the elevator mirror. What? But vampires can't see themselves in mirrors, you say? Do you really think I could have survived the past century without the pleasure of gazing upon my own handsome face?

The elevator dings and the doors slide open and I poke my head out. I can smell something especially tasty, like when you come home from school and your mom's been making your favorite cookies. If your favorite cookies were made out of blood.

In the living room, tied to a chair, is the teenage treat I saw in James and Victoria's heads. But seeing her through other people's eyes is like trying to watch a movie projected on a rocky beach. She's…so much more and so much less than I expected, all at the same time.

More, because she's got the best smelling blood I've ever smelled in a century in the blood-sucking biz.

More, because I find myself wishing she was wearing a tighter sweater and I don't even like having sex with humans. Too squooshy.

More, because when I make contact with those big brown eyes I get dizzier than an emo kid huffing paint.

Less, because - for the first time in my life - I can't read a human's mind.

a/n: The dedicated and beautiful Betham betaed this and she is trying hard to wean me off of my apostrophe addiction. A version of this was originally in the Fandom Against Domestic Violence compilation as a one/shot. I'm posting an expanded version here as a four chapter thingie. There's a banner link on my profile page. Thanks for reading! xoxo JuJu