Disclaimer: As always I don't own… SM does… Hell I just owned the plot bunny that popped into my head when Sandy posted a pic of RPattz in a group on FB.
AN: As always my thanks to my wonderful an amazing beta Prettykittyartist, who makes all my work look so much better.
There are some special ladies that need recognition for this work as well. Ginnie, for keeping me from scrapping the entire idea and tossing it out when I was ready to give up and for pre-reading this monster once I was done with it. I will be eternally grateful. Sandy Swearingen deserves a lot of love and credit for this story, if it weren't for her posting the picture on FB I wouldn't have come up with this plot bunny in the first place. She is also the one who came up with the name for this story when my mind came up blank. So a big hug and kiss to her for that. Tkegl for the wonderful beautiful banner she made for this story. All I did was give her the small info I had in my mind at the moment and she came up with something breathtaking like always. And last but certainly not least all the wonderful ladies on Skype that sat night after night WCing together while we wrote, Thank You ladies for the support and encouragement.
This was my piece for the Fandom4LLS compilation. Hope you enjoy.
The headline in the Chicago Daily News paper read "Amendment 18 Ratified" marking the beginning of his career.
"Okay boys, we knew this day was coming. It's official; the beginning of the ban on alcohol," Edward addressed the four men sitting in front of him. "There's been talk by the big boys about how we're going to get around this, but if we want to make a name for ourselves we'll really have to work hard at bringing as much whiskey from the Canadian border as we can. I've already set up clubs where our entire product will be sold. Emmett, you're in charge of security. We have to make sure no one else tries to take our shit. Jasper, you're on managing the clubs. I want the best, hottest, and sexiest broads you can find in those clubs, singing, dancing, and servicing our clients. Ben, you're in charge of getting us enough bean-shooters to keep our operation going. Carlisle, you're in charge of working peace with the other Big Cheeses in the area. I will be busy making sure our dough is growing steadily and keeping track of orders."
All the men nodded their heads, completely understanding the jobs that Edward laid out for them to take care of. They waited for further instruction, knowing Edward wasn't done. Emmett, Jasper, and Ben needed to know where they were to go next. Emmett needed to know who was going to be working with him and who his team was going to be. Jasper needed the locations for the clubs. Ben waited to see if Edward had a specific list of guns he wanted. Carlisle just wanted to see if his nephew needed anything else from him- he knew exactly what needed to be done and who the first person he needed to speak to: the big man himself, Capone.
Edward quickly rattled off the necessary information to Jasper so that he could begin finding suitable beauties for the drum's. Edward also instructed Jasper to retain his cousin Alice's help in making sure the girls were dressed to the nines. With the required information, Jasper quickly left the office they'd taken up using.
Then, Edward turned to Emmett. He explained that a few of the men already had guns and other equipment they would need on the ready and that once the first shipment had left the docks he would get one of the messengers to him with location information. Emmett left to get his team together and get a game plan going on who was going to cover what.
Edward then turned to Ben, "Okay Ben talked to me, what's the newest and latest in bean-shooters you can get?"
"The Tommy's the best out there, boss. I haven't gotten the info on anything new, but you know I will keep my ear out for anything," Ben explained.
Edward didn't respond, he just nodded his head in understanding and then sent Ben off to get him more bean-shooters.
The only one remaining was Carlisle, and what Edward and he were going to discuss was of no consequence to anyone else.
"Hey Uncle C, can you also see what the scoop is with the elephant ears? I want to be the first to know if they're up to something," Edward informed Carlisle.
"Yeah kid, that won't be a problem."
With nothing else to discuss with his nephew, Carlisle left to let Edward figure out what the next step for the organization was going to be.
Walking into his main speakeasy located in Noble Square, Edward made his way toward Alice quickly. It'd been a number of days since he sent Alice and Jasper over there to get things started.
"How's it going with the broads?" Edward asked Jasper in greeting.
"Great, your cousin is the bee's knees, man. She's got all the chippies primmed and proper. Hell, she's even managed to get us a canary," Jasper explained with a brightness in his eyes.
"I know that look, Jasper. Lay one finger on my little cousin and I will have you chilled off in a heartbeat," Edward warned with malice in his eyes.
Jasper held up his hands in surrender. "Hey now, I think she's a damn fine dame and would never disrespect her, or you."
"Good, now show me the flappers." And like that, Edward got down to business.
Jasper went toward the back room and escorted all the chippies out so they could meet Edward. As soon as the last of the women walked in, Edward could feel his breathing pick up.
"Who is the tomato on the end?" Edward whispered to Alice, who'd come to sit next to him when Jasper left to get everyone.
"That, my fine cousin, is the canary," Alice replied simply.
Edward stared a little longer at the woman, starting from her hypnotizing dark brown eyes and going slowly down over her well placed curves, ending on her long smooth legs.
"Damn, look at the gams on her," Edward mused out loud, not hiding his appreciation for her legs, which caused the ladies in front of him all to smile salaciously. Edward's eyes, however, were trained on the one at the end, whose face turned a beautiful shade of pink.
Seeing where his eyes were focused, Alice told him who the girl was. "That's Isabella Swan, as in, Commissioner Swan's daughter." It took everything in Alice to contain her giggles the moment she saw Edward's eyes pop out of his head.
Attempting to control the rage that was beginning to boil under his skin, he turned to Alice, "What the hell would a hammer and saws kid be doing in my joint," Edward asked between clenched teeth
"Oh, don't you get sore with me, Edward Anthony. I checked up on her before letting her in the door. Isabella "Bella" Swan, daughter of Commissioner Charles Swan, and Mrs. Renee Swan. She's an only child, twenty, left home after having a fight with Charlie over her desire not to marry the square he wanted her to be with- the son of his best friend or something. Anyway, she was attached to Rosalie, the blond next to her. When Rose came looking for work, Bella came with her." Alice tried to explain as best she could before her cousin became too upset.
Looking first at Alice, and then Jasper, Edward answered. "You better pray the fuzz doesn't find this place." With that Edward waved his hand in dismissal of the ladies in front of him, and got back to talk business with Jasper.
Edward notified Jasper of the date when the first order of hooch would arrive and when he expected the club to be ready to let the sugar-daddies in.
Jasper informed Edward of what else was going on in the other establishments they owned around town. He also asked Edward how things were going for Carlisle with the other big cheese. All in all, at the end of the night, both Edward and Jasper were up to speed on what to expect in the days that followed.
The weeks passed and Edward busied himself working on making sure all the hooch was delivered, and that everyone was doing what they were in charge of. After getting the bean-shooters, Edward put Ben in charge of local deliveries, leaving Emmett open to work on the large orders. After dealing with the big cheeses and finding out about Bella's link to the heat, Edward asked Carlisle to check out how true the story about Bella and her pops was. He wanted to make sure she wasn't there as a snitch.
After getting the confirmation that the story was on the up -in-up, Edward relaxed a little more around the woman who'd taken over his dreams. He dreamed of having her long, smooth, thick legs wrapped around his waist. Yet, he still wouldn't do more then give her a simple smile when he'd see her at the club.
Everything changed though, the night he walked into the club just as she was singing a sultry jazz song. The gritty, soft, timber of her voice as she sang wrapped itself around Edward's body, causing him to react in ways he'd only reacted in the privacy of his own bedroom before. The problem got worse when he looked up to see her dressed in long, silk sapphire gown that had a long "V" down the front, and a black sparkly belt around the waist. The dress was quite conservative compared to what the other chippies and flappers wore around the joint, which made a much bigger impact on Edward.
He quickly made his way over to Alice, who'd been busy speaking with one of the girls. Spinning Alice around roughly by the arm, Edward growled. "What on God's green earth made you think that putting Isabella in such swanky rags would be smart?"
Brushing Edwards comment off Alice, greeted her cousin, "Good evening to you, too, dear cousin."
Gritting his teeth, Edward answered, "Evening, Alice. Now, do you mind explaining?"
"Looks like someone's stuck on Bella," Alice said with a laugh.
All Alice had to do was look at Edward and she quickly stopped laughing. The feral, angry look in his eyes told her that he was clearly not amused and didn't find anything she was saying funny.
"She looks like a Sheba in that dress, Alice. Get her off the stage and changed before I have to start squirting metal at any pal that looks at her too long. They're here to spend money on the hooch and the dames that are available, not on the canary." The last few words were said with restrained fury.
Alice quickly made her way to the stage and got Bella back into the dressing room, much to Bella's surprise.
Bella looked at Alice with shock and confusion in her pretty brown eyes. Alice could see the unasked questions in her burnt sienna irises.
"Edward didn't find your dress appropriate for the evening," Alice explained.
"Why, who does he think he is saying what I can and cannot wear while I'm performing?" Bella was indignant at Edward's reaction. He'd never directed a word to her, and the only time she'd heard him say anything was that first time he came into the club to inspect them, and all he had to comment about that time was her gams.
Without even changing her clothes, Bella made her way out to the bar to make sure Edward knew how she felt about his reaction. Stomping right up to him, Bella spun Edward around with the force of her anger. In reaction to being swung around without warning, Edward grabbed Bella's wrists. "Get your filthy mitts off me," she yelled with venom.
"Listen girlie, I don't know who you think you are, but you're lucky I wasn't packing a piece on me. I would really hate to have to put a pill through that pretty little head of yours." Edward's words were condescending.
Ignoring them, Bella went on. "Why did you have Alice pull me off the stage in the middle of my act?"
Looking her up and down again, Edward answered, "Because you look like a pro skirt in that dress." His eyes raked over her hungrily.
"My rags have more material on them then most of the women in the joint. What are you talking about?"
Leaning down close to her ear so no one other then she could hear him, Edward whispered, "I can see those ripe, pretty, little tits, and the fact that you're not wearing a bandeaux."
Bella made to slap him, but before her hand could make contact with his face, he grabbed at her wrist. She struggled to get out of his tight hold for all she was worth, but was unsuccessful. He then used his hold on her to his advantage, pulling her toward him and kissing her hard on her unrelenting lips. He could feel her continuing her struggle against his body, making him that much more desperate to feel her in the same way, but without the clothing that was covering them.
When Bella realized that struggling against him was in vain, she let her body go completely slack until he let go of her. When he finally let go of her, she was quick to inform him, "I don't skate around. What's your beef with me anyway?"
"Are you a bluenose then?" A small chuckle escaped Edward's lips when he thought that his sexy, sophisticated, strong-willed woman could be a prude.
Irritated and seeing that they weren't going to get anywhere, Bella began to make her way back to the dressing room, hoping to put the last hour behind her and relax for the remainder of the evening.
But, Edward has different plans and stopped her before she could get too far. "Oh, come on, don't breeze off that quickly. Sit a spell and talk with me."
Giving him a look filled with nothing but discontent and irrigation, Bella sat stiffly in the chair that Edward pulled out for her. He was her boss after all, even if she was reluctant to accept the fact. So, there she sat listening and barely answering questions with the man that irritated and disrespected her.
Trying to get his table companion to relax and converse with him, Edward thought he should apologize to Bella for his crass comments when she first walked up to him. When she brushed off his words and refused to accept his sincere apology, he vowed to make it up to her any way he could. He really was infatuated with the beautiful woman. Deciding to let her go back to her evening in hopes that she wouldn't stay upset with him much longer, Edward helped her out of her chair, and gently kissed the back of her fingers.
Bella felt a reaction to the simple gallant gesture that she never thought she would feel. It was a combination of delight and arousal that she quickly decided to set aside to think over when she was alone.
The days passed before Bella saw Edward again, this time though, it was outside of the club. Angela, Rosalie, and Bella were walking through the Lincoln Park area when Edward stepped out of a warehouse. Next to him was a tall, large man with curly hair that Rosalie quickly took notice of, and a leaner, dirty blond that had caught Angela's attention when he'd come to make a delivery one afternoon. Bella was not as eager to meet the men as Rose or Angela were, but she agreed to walk over toward them to say hello, and hopefully be introduced.
Edward saw the woman walking toward them and stiffened slightly at seeing Isabella again. He knew he'd made a horrid impression the previous time they'd met with his behavior. Emmett elbowed him in the ribs, bringing him back to the present.
"Who are the babes walking towards us?" Emmett asked with a very salacious look in his eyes.
Edward didn't get a chance to answer before the ladies were standing in front of them. Turning on his signature crooked grin, he greeted the ladies, and then introduced them to the other two suckers standing with him.
"Good afternoon, Isabella. Please let me introduce you to Emmett McCarty, and Benjamin Chaney." Edward pointed to each man in turn.
"Good Afternoon, Mr. Cullen." Bella's demeanor was stiffer and colder than Edward's. "This lovely lady is Miss Rosalie Hale." Bella made a big fuss about raising her arm up and down in front of Rosalie, as if she were showing off a new prize. She then turned her attention to Angela. "And this beautiful woman to my right is Miss Angela Weber."
Angela blushed slightly at the attention that Ben was giving her. She looked through her lashes at him, which was answered with a sweet and gracious smile.
Emmett took first Bella's hand, then Angela's, in a gentlemanly greeting, but when he took Rosalie's, he lifted it to his lips, kissing her knuckles delicately. "The pleasure is all mine, ma'am."
"Weber? As in Pastor Weber's daughter?" Ben asked Angela in complete confusion. What would a preachers daughter be doing working in a speakeasy as a damn flapper?
"Yes, he is my father, but just because I came from him doesn't make me his child. Or so he told me the day I walked out of the house for the last time." Indignation and irritation dripped from Angela's speech.
Ben was just about to respond when someone screamed from somewhere down the street. "There's Masen, burn powder."
Acting quickly, Emmett shoved the ladies behind him, while simultaneously walking backward toward the warehouse door. He knew that once inside they would be completely safe, but in the meantime, if he could keep any of the ladies from harm's way it would be worth getting hurt.
Edward and Ben took their guns out and were at the ready in case they had to defend themselves, all the while, very much aware of the women with them. Edward was sure that they were scared, but was relieved that they had kept quiet. Ben was surprised at the fact that they weren't screaming like... well... women.
Bella and Angela exchanged a look, both very conscious of what was going on, and then they both turned to see a very red faced Rosalie.
"Where's my goddamn piece when I need it!" Rosalie bellowed. The sound of metal groaning, glass shattering, and wood splintering continued, all while the group retreated toward the warehouse. Bella was already busy pulling out the small hand gun she kept strapped under her skirt. She fired a few shots in the direction they'd last heard the voices and shots coming from, stunning the men around them.
Once they were all finally inside, Emmett quickly turned and asked, "What is wrong with these chicks? Are they trying to get chilled off?"
Before anyone could get distracted, Ben questioned, "Were those droppers, Edward?"
"Looks that way, Ben," Edward answered Ben's question, and then turned his attention to Bella. "You got anyone we can drop a dime on? Maybe a fuzz that could help us get out of here with our skin intact?"
Bella sighed, knowing she would have to call the one person she didn't want to. "Yeah, there's a sap that's always kissing up to my father. He'd kill to slap some bracelets on someone if it meant that the commissioner's daughter stayed safe."
"Bella?" Angela questioned with her eyes. She knew that Bella calling Michael would result in her having to repay the favor, but was it really worth the price?
"It's alright, Ang." Bella put a hand on Angela's shoulder to reassure her friend.
"Okay then doll, follow me," Edward said as he led the way to the office.
Edward and Bella discussed what exactly they were going to say, so that they wouldn't give the information of the scatter to the cops. Bella also told Edward what the consequence of the phone call was going to be once she was done, which made him very uneasy. He didn't like the idea of Bella having to go out with the guy that he found to be more of a sharper then a sap, and told Bella as much. She disregarded his comments and worried herself more on passing the time with the man that caused all kinds of reactions out of her.
Edward and Bella did not return to the main part of the warehouse after the phone call, instead they chose to stay talking in the office, sitting on the couch on the far end. Neither one realized how close they'd gotten until Emmett knocked on the door, which startled them and caused them both to jump about two feet back.
"Sorry boss, but the coast is clear. We can get out of here now and take the ladies home," Emmett explained apologetically.
"Thanks, bro." Edward took off the Fedora he hadn't realized he was still wearing, and raked a hand through his soft bronze hair before standing and leading Bella out.
Bella was stunned to see Angela and Ben speaking quietly, with their heads very close together in one of the darker corners of the warehouse. When she turned to look at where Rosalie was sitting, she noticed that she had wrapped her arms around Emmett's waist as soon as he returned to the main part of the warehouse. It was obvious that the little scare had not only allowed them time to speak, but express their attraction as well. That pleased Bella greatly as she wanted to see her friends happy and in love. She had little hope of ever finding the same for herself, especially since the man that she was now fancying was someone that would never look at her.
In the end, Edward took Bella back to the club, while Emmett, Rosalie, Ben and Angela all ended up going out as couples.
It'd been about a week since the incident in front of the warehouse, and Bella was getting ready for her date with Michael Newton when suddenly, she heard a loud commotion out in the hallway outside her door.
"Edward, you can't go in there." Bella heard Alice screaming.
"The hell I can't! I need to get in there and talk to her before she takes the fall for all this," Edward replied.
"You make it sound like I'm doing a three-spot, Edward," Bella said laughing once she opened her bedroom door.
"Worse." Edward's low voice dripped with disdain and dislike for what she was about to do. He knew a date with a copper wasn't the same as doing three years in jail, but to him it felt like she was selling herself.
Shocked at what Edward had just said, Bella looked him in the eyes, only to quickly look away, afraid and surprised at what she'd seen in them. His eyes were wild, like a man possessed, the fire and passion that looked back at Bella was staggering. She was too fearful to believe that what she was seeing was really for her, about her, and not about who she was about to spend some time with.
Edward couldn't contain himself any longer. He reached out quickly, grabbed Bella behind the neck, pulled her towards him and he kissed her passionately, weaving his fingers through her hair as he forcefully pushed his tongue through her gasp-parted lips. Edward completely lost himself in the kiss, in the passion, in the feel of Isabella. He'd never felt someone, or something so powerful in his life before- he couldn't get enough. The other thing he couldn't believe was that Bella only slightly struggled against him at first, and then quickly melted into him as well, eagerly lapping and pushing her tongue with his own. Edward's body reacted just like any man's body would when pressed up against a beautiful, desirable woman. He tried to distance his lower body away only to have her wrap her arms around him and whimper in protest. When Edward's lungs finally protested with the need for air, he gently eased away from Bella, kissing a trail of soft, sensual, light kisses from her lips to her cheeks, and finally ending at her ears.
"Baby, we need to breathe," he said with a bit of a chuckle.
The gravity of what she was feeling fell on Bella then, and needing a moment to compose herself, Bella stepped away from Edward, giving him her back. "I'm so sorry, Edward, we shouldn't have done that. Especially not mere moments before… before I am waiting on Michael to pick me up."
With Bella's back to him, Edward couldn't see the expression on her face, and she couldn't see the look of utter pain on his. Was she rejecting him? He thought she enjoyed the kiss they'd just shared. He didn't understand what was going on. Feeling dejected and rejected, Edward turned to go. "I'm sorry. I will let you finish getting ready."
"Why are you leaving?" The words were out of Bella's mouth before she could stop herself.
Edward turned to look at her as if she'd lost her mind. "We a share a kiss like that and you're still planning on going out with another egg? Why wouldn't I leave?" The incredulity laced his voice.
"Edward, I don't want to go out with Michael. I am doing this so that we can work in peace. If I don't, he will be gunning for you and me. He will look for any excuse, hell he will try to throw the bracelets on you for jaywalking. Please, don't be cross with me. I have to do this." Bella raised her hand and caressed Edward's cheek. The pleading in her eyes for his understanding almost broke Edward's heart.
Edward let out a long, heavy sigh, "Promise me, Isabella, that you will be safe. Don't let that man touch you, don't let him make you feel pressured to do anything that you are not comfortable with. Please."
"I promise," Bella said before leaning in and giving him a kiss to rival the passion filled one they'd shared moments before. Afterwards, Edward walked out of the woman's dormitory, bound and determined to have Bella's love, while he left his heart in her hand.
Bella only had to avoid Michael's advances a couple of times, which made Edward's blood boil. Unbeknownst to Bella, of course, Edward decided to trail her like a good little gum-shoe.
He watched as Michael took the object of his affection to a swanky restaurant in the center of town. The man was gentleman enough at least to help her in and out of his Chevrolet 490 -it wasn't as nice as Edward Ford Model T, that was for sure- but every chance he got, Michael tried to put his hands on a part of Bella's body that wasn't exactly considered appropriate.
The ritzy restaurant and car made Edward wonder where Michael could get the paper for such nice things on a copper's salary. He was going to have to spend some time looking into how he managed it. He would ask his uncle to help him look into where Officer Newton acquired his money.
When the evening was finally over and Michael was dropping off Isabella, Edward didn't know where he found the power to refrain from reaching over to the passenger side of his own car and shooting Michael with his personal pistol. Michael had the audacity to corner Isabella in the car in an attempt to kiss her. Edward almost gave himself away when he let out a loud growl. It was apparently loud enough to be heard by Michael and Isabella, as it caused Michael to lean away from Bella once more and help her out of the car. The smile that graced Edward's face after that was comical. He never thought he'd be happy at being jealous.
Bella walked into her room, feeling exhausted and elated that her God awful obligation with Michael was finally over. She'd been tempted on more than one occasion to pull out her revolver from its permanent hiding spot on her left thigh. If it weren't for the fact that Michael was an officer of the law, or for her father- who wouldn't have any qualms about throwing her into the big house- she probably would have threatened Michael to within an inch of his life.
"Bella, blower for you," Alice bellowed from somewhere down the hall, most likely the office area.
Bella got up to see who could be calling on her at that time of the evening. Picking up the phone quickly, she soon had her answer.
"Have a nice evening, Ms. Swan?" Edward's smooth voice asked.
"You would know, Edward."
"Whatever do you mean." He was failing at trying to feign innocence.
"Don't go getting your ticket just yet, Mr. Masen because I saw your black and red Model T following us around the entire time," Bella giggled as she pointed out how she'd caught Edward following her.
"Fuck," Edward cursed in a very low voice.
Bella giggled some more at hearing his foul language, but enjoying it immensely. "I appreciate your concern, Edward, but really, I am able to care for myself, I assure you. Or have you forgotten that I carry a M1917 Revolver under my skirt?"
"Someday you will be explaining that little detail to me, Ms. Swan," Edward said with amusement.
"Nothing to explain, Mr. Masen. I'm a single woman, in a time rifled with mobsters, and the daughter of a police commissioner. I learned I needed to protect myself at an early age. Now, especially that I no longer live under my father's protection, I have to be even more vigilant."
"But, you are now my girl, Ms. Swan, and no one will dare put a finger on your pretty little head or they will have to answer to me." Just the thought of harm coming to Bella had Edward's blood pumping, and vision narrowing.
"Your girl?" Bella asked, being sassy. "Since when?"
Edward playfully growled in return, "Yes, mine. And since now."
The two talked playfully for a bit longer but it was getting late in the evening. Bella needed to get to bed if she hoped to get to the seamstress the next day. She wanted to get a new dress made in time for her next show.
It became known pretty quickly- not only around the club, but around town as well- that Isabella and Edward were together and that Bella was off limits to any of the men. As a couple, they were almost as infamous as the club they worked at most nights. Noble Square's speakeasy had become the most successful of its kind and the envy of organizations twice the size of Edward's. By that time, Rose and Emmett, Angela and Ben, and even Jasper and Alice had gotten together as well. The last couple was only a surprise to Edward since the others knew it was only a matter of time before it happened. No one else knew of the threat Edward had made toward Jasper's life when he first showed his interest in Alice.
When they had to leave the club, or go out on the town, they always went out as a group. It was rare that they'd leave an opportunity for one of their enemies to try and harm any of them. Ever protective, the guys were always weary of something happening to the girls that had become more a fixture in their lives than they ever could have anticipated. They were learning though, that their efforts were often unnecessary, and that the girls were all very capable of caring for themselves. Alice, perhaps, being the exception. Still, the men insisted that they left the warehouse with at least two of the other dames when they couldn't be escorted otherwise.
Then, the afternoon that brought all their lives spiraling out of control happened. It was on an otherwise normal afternoon that the girls first found themselves in a tight spot; one they found difficult to escape from unscathed. Bella was out with Alice and Rosalie getting one final fitting for her gown with the seamstress when Michael Newton and James Ormand walked into the small shop, demanding to speak with the owner. Hearing the commotion coming from the front of the store, she gestured for Rose and Alice to quietly hide behind the changing curtain with her so that they could listen in to what was going on.
"Listen, old woman, I know your husband is here and my boss wants his cut of profits for the month." Bella heard Michael's voice yell at the poor old woman at the front.
"I'm telling you, sir, I am all alone in the store right now. My husband is out on a delivery. Can't you please come back later?" The poor woman's voice broke as she pleaded.
"I think the old crow is trying to find a Chinese angle," Bella heard the other voice grind out, just before a shot reverberate from the front room. Alice let out a small squeak, but it was enough to alert the men in the other room of their presence.
Via the use of hand gestures so as to not alert the men of where exactly they were, Bella and the girls quickly snuck out the back door of the store. They raced as quickly as they could back to the hideout to tell the guys what was going on. When Bella relayed all the information about the other man with Michael, Edward became very quiet, his face becoming one of pure concentration and contemplation.
"That sounds like one of Volturi's men. What would he be doing around these parts?" he mused, the last part more to himself.
"Bella, we need to know- did they hear, or see you?" Jasper asked.
"No, I know we were able to get out the back without being heard, but old Mrs. Parilla wrote down that we were her last customers," Bella explained, looking first at Jasper and then at Edward.
"Edward, if it is Ormand, and Volturi sent him up here, that means not only are they trying to move into our territory, but they have a dirty cop on their side," Jasper explained as he paced the floor of the warehouse trying to come up with some kind of strategy.
"I know that, Jasper. We need to try and figure something out, especially if they figure out that the girls heard what was going on." Edward ran his hand through his hair relentlessly; he tried to work his nervousness through his body, especially if any harm were to come to the girls.
The group talked for a few hours, trying to figure out what, if any, information was known of who was in the shop. Ben and Angela took a walk around the location of the dress shop to see if they could see what activity was going on, only to find that it was surrounded by cops, all trying to investigate the murder of the shop-owner's wife.
"What happened?" Ben asked one of bystanders.
"Someone bumped off the seamstress," the gentleman answered.
"Oh, no. Do they have any idea on who would have done this to that poor woman," Angela asked.
"I overheard one of the flatties say that Commissioner Swan's daughter Isabella did it. She was the last one in the store before the shopkeeper found his wife dead." Angela gasped at the information being relayed to them by the same man. How could anyone think that Bella would do something like that? When she felt Ben's hand on her arm, she knew they needed to get back to the warehouse and inform everyone on what was going on.
They didn't know who was harder to control, Edward, or Bella once the information was relayed. Edward swore war against the Volturi's if anything were to happen to Isabella. Isabella swore pain and destruction toward Michael Newton. She hoped, but had little faith, that her image in her father's eyes hadn't changed so much that he could believe that she would be capable of killing someone in cold blood. Then again, she'd taken to carrying a revolver with her at all times. Could she shoot someone in cold blood? She shook her head, knowing she could never do anything like that. In self-defense, sure, all she would be doing was protecting herself.
Edward fumed; he couldn't believe what was going on. Not only was Aro Volturi trying to move into his territory, but now one of his henchmen had a dirty cop in his pocket who'd framed his Isabella. After the girls went to bed, Edward sat down with Emmett, Jasper, Ben, and Carlisle to try and come up with some kind of plan. They decided that for the time being, Edward and Isabella would stay at the warehouse to hideout. Edward didn't particularly like that too much, but he'd do anything for Isabella.
Three months later, a more permanent solution hadn't been found, and while the time had allowed Bella and Edward to grow closer than either of them thought possible, it was also enough to break Bella's patience. "I've had enough, Edward! I'm not going to keep them from letting me live my life any longer." Also, the secret Bella was keeping from Edward was making her impatient for some kind of resolution to their situation.
"Bella, love, what are you going to do? Are you going to go out there and demand that Aro tell your father that James and Michael were the ones that killed the seamstress? Or are you going to go to daddy dearest and tell him that you're innocent and trust that he won't try to throw you in the big house?" Edward asked with a bit of irritation and annoyance.
Couldn't she see that what he did was all for her. He hated being stuck inside that warehouse as much as she did, but it wasn't safe for them to leave just yet. There were bounties on their heads, not only from the johns, but from the trouble boys as well.
"No, Edward, but I do have an idea. Are you willing to listen to it?" Bella asked with a glint in her eye that Edward hadn't yet seen.
Smiling at the happiness he could see in her eyes, he agreed to listen to any idea she could have. "Okay, baby, what's going on in that pretty little head of yours?" He picked her up, kissing her, and carried her into the office that was converted into a bedroom for them. He laid her on the soft covers, letting his hands roam her body as he listened to her speak.
Bella filled him in on what her plan was. She could see that Edward was enjoying it as well and could see her reasoning behind it. It was the perfect way for them to get out of having to stay in hiding as well having the bounties on their heads removed. They discussed all the particulars of the plan – Bella worked hard to keep her focus on the plan and off of what he was doing to her body. On who they had to contact, when was the best time to put the plan into action, where to do it, and how they were going to do everything so that only those who needed to be were involved. By the time they'd hatched out the plan, their bodies were spent and satiated.
The next day, Edward contacted a newshawk friend of his to come to the club with pretense that Isabella was going to do a final show before turning herself into the coppers. Emmett got a hold of a couple of stiffs that resembled Bella and Edward in height and body structure, and the girls purposely let stoolie overhear them talking about Edward and Bella being at the club the next night, knowing full well that they would run to spill the scoop to Aro and Michael.
The night of the performance, Isabella took the stage and sang more beautifully than she ever had, finishing her set with one of the most haunting melodies anyone ever heard come out of her mouth.
This affair is killin' me
I can't stand uncertainly
Tell me now I've got to know
Whether you want me to stay or to go
Love me or leave me
Or let me be lonely
You won't believe me, I love you only
I'd rather be lonely
Then happy with someone else
You might find the night time
The right time for kissin'
But night time is my time
For just reminiscin'
Regrettin' instead of forgettin'
With somebody else
There'll be no one
Unless that someone is you
I intend to be independently blue
I want your love
But I don't want to borrow
To have it today to give it back tomorrow
For your love is my love
There's no love for nobody else
No one knew what the song was really about. They didn't know whether she was talking about her situation with Edward, or what was going on with the cops and the accusations about murdering the seamstress. It was all a bit cryptic and confusing.
Before leaving the stage, Bella thanked everyone for coming out to see her, not just that night, but during all her time working at the club. She let everyone know that she would miss them dearly and wished them luck wherever life would take them in the future. She then hugged Alice, Rosalie, and Angela fiercely before doing the same to Jasper, Emmett, and Ben. Tears spilled down her cheeks as she walked back toward her dressing room for the last time, where Edward waited for her to put the final piece of the plan into action.
The minute Bella walked into the room, Edward had her in his arms. "It's going to be all right, Bella, I promise you that. Everything will work out just the way it's supposed to. Now let's get ready."
With that, Edward opened the back door to the alley and helped Bella into Carlisle's car. He then threw the bottle of whiskey with the lit rag that would catch fire once it broke. Isabella Swan and Edward Masen were about to die in the fire that would burn the club to the ground. They would never know what happened with those that were left inside. Alice and Jasper were instructed to make sure everyone knew about the fire and got out, but not until they were sure that the dressing room was completely consumed by the fire.
Corrupt Cop Michael Newton Arrested In Connection to Speakeasy Fire and Murder of Seamstress.
Anthony Cullen read the article that spoke of the arrest of a corrupt cop with a large smile on his face. His wife walked in and smiled in response.
"What has you so happy, my love?" she asked him.
"Just the news, my dear, just the news," Anthony replied with a crooked smirk on his face. Elizabeth's deep brown eyes lit up with a grin of her own.
"Elizabeth, my dear, you should not be on your feet right now, that baby could be here any day. You go sit on the sofa while I prepare lunch," Esme, Anthony's uncle's wife scolded when she saw Elizabeth at the sink attempting to wash the dishes. Sufficiently chastised, Elizabeth walked over and sat next to her husband, holding on to his hand.
Anthony rubbed her round with child belly as she played with his disheveled copper hair. Life was nice and normal in Washington State.
AN: Thank you to all who took the time to either donate time, funds, writing, or sweat for such a wonderful cause.
This story started off with one idea and morphed and changed a lot every time I sat down to write it, but in the end I am very happy with the way it ended. So I hope you all enjoyed it as well. I did do some research and tried to stay as close to the era as possible so please don't hang me if I got some things wrong. Below you can find the link to the site used for the lingo as it is too much to put it all on here.
Website used for lingo and dialect…
www . chicagotheroarin20s . tripod . com / the1920s . html
Song used is Love Me or Leave Me by Ruth Etting
Listen to it here – www . youtube . com / watch?v=JB9VVTMiX1k
Lyrics copied from here – www . ruthetting . com / love-me-or-leave-me/
For those who are waiting for an update on TCBS… I am working on it now… I finished the pieces I had to write for Christmas and the collab for the Christmas Countdown… So now I can spend my time working on chapter 5… I will have an out-take in a few days for you all to read… hopefully that will placate you until I can get the chapter finished. Please bear with me since I am having computer issues and I have to write on a notebook and type up when I can. Thanks and see you all soon.