Victim Zero

Kiva Johns-Adkins

MA/NC-17 For Extreme Violence

Contribution for Fandon4Texas

Summary: In 1927, Edward leaves the home he shares with Carlisle and Esme in Wisconsin to discover who he really is as a vampire. His first stop? Columbus, Ohio to Dublin, Ohio to exact justice for Esme for the violence her former husband, Charles Evenson heaped on her in her human life.

Warnings: There is extreme violence and gore in this story. It deals with domestic abuse. This is extremely violent and angsty but is my version of what Stephenie Meyer says Edward did when he left Carlisle and Esme.

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I had tried so hard to be like Carlisle and Esme; to embrace the life of "vegetarianism". But the desire to feed on human blood was eating at me. I tried using every ounce of self-control that Carlisle and Esme taught me to fight off the urges, but I knew that soon enough I would have to give in to those urges. I didn't want to bring shame to my mother and father and I didn't want to bring attention to us. I had to leave. I had to go away and lead the life of a nomadic vampire in hopes of getting it out of my system and one day returning to the life Carlisle hoped for me.

I was in my bedroom in our home in Wisconsin, packing a backpack and small suitcases; journals and clothes, basics I knew I would need. There was a soft knock at my door.

"Edward," Esme said softly, gently opening the door a crack. "May I come in?"

"Of course you can," I welcomed her, reaching for the iron knob, pulling it open for her. "You are always welcome. You don't even have to ask."

"So, you are almost ready to go?" she asked, re-folding shirts I had just folded and placed in the suitcase.

"I hope I won't be gone long," I said, wanting to mean it more than anything.

"But you could be gone forever," she sighed, reaching over to hug me. "What if you find someone to fall in love with?"

I chuckled. "That's not what I am looking for."

"I think this life would be easier for you if you had a mate."

"Perhaps," I said. "But right now it is the blood-lust I have such a desire for. I need to know what I am giving up. I need to live it. Besides, there are bad people in this world that need to be taken care of and I can do that. At least then I don't feel I am doing evil. I will be doing good. I will be eliminating problems."

She smiled and wrapped her arms around me in a tight hug, causing me to hug her tightly in return. "You have such a pure heart, Edward Cullen, the purest I have ever known. You will find your happiness. I promise."

"Thank you, mother," I said, kissing her on her head. "But, I have to remind you I have no heart."

"That is just not true. It may not beat with blood, but you do have a heart and you have a soul. You are a good man. You are still the man you were before you changed. That did not go away. For that, I am grateful."

"You are a good woman, Esme," I said, kissing her forehead. "You are good for Carlisle. He waited a long time for someone like you. Sometimes I feel like a third wheel. You two could use some time alone together, as well."

"Oh, Edward," she chided me. "Do not leave because of us. We all belong together. We are a family and you and Carlisle have been together longer. We all belong together."

I put the final items in the suitcases and closed and latched them, slinging the backpack over my shoulders and picking up the suitcases. "I am not leaving because of you, or because of Carlisle. I am leaving because of me, and who I am. I have to learn things."

Esme moved to open the bedroom door for me and I stepped out and onto the second floor landing, moving aside so she could go down the stairs first, where Carlisle waited at the foot of the stairs.

"Are you sure you have to go?" Carlisle asked sullenly.

"Right now, it is what I feel I must do," I reassured him, sitting down my suitcases and slipping off the backpack so I could hug him and put on my wool overcoat that hung over his arm.

I reached into the pocket and there was a wallet, stuffed with money. I looked up at Carlisle who reached out his hand in a gesture to ensure I put it back in my coat.

"You need it son," he said. "Times are hard right now and I don't want it to be any more difficult for you than necessary. I have done well, as you know, and it is the least I can do to help you along."

"I don't feel right taking it from you," I protested quietly.

He chuckled. "Edward, I am your father. You should not argue with your elders."

I smiled and shook his hand. "Yes, sir."

Esme reached down and lifted the satchel to help me put it on my back once again. Not that temperature mattered one bit for me, but it was a cold February and I had to keep up appearances with my wool coat and boots.

"Please, be safe, Edward," Esme said softly as Carlisle pulled her to him. "I will worry about you."

"You needn't worry," I assured her, opening the front door. "You and Carlisle have taught me well and I can run faster than any human. I will be fine."

I hugged each of them and gave Esme a kiss on the forehead, then picked my bags up and stepped outside into the Midwest February night. Deep snow drifts blew a white wind into my face as I walked down the farm road into town. There, I waited for the next bus to Columbus and paid for my ticket. I tossed my bags underneath in the luggage compartment and made my way, with my satchel to the back of the bus. The passengers on board all looked strangely at me and moved away, although they had no idea why they were avoiding me. I meant them no harm, and I had learned enough self-control that I would do them no harm. Besides, I had fed recently and I was in no need for blood. I had a kill in mind and I was focused on that and that alone. I hadn't shared it with Esme or Carlisle. Only I knew who deserved to die by my hand. Victim zero.

Xxx

Within a day of arriving in Columbus, Ohio I found the man I was looking for. It seemed his parents died a couple of years back and he moved outside the city to Dublin when he inherited their hog farm and took to farming it. I holed up in a motel in a rundown section of town and worked on a plan. I bought an encyclopedia set from a salesman and commenced with my plan of pretending to sell my wares. I emptied my clothing into the dresser drawers, organizing them as neatly as Esme had put them in my suitcase and replaced them with the encyclopedias. I then put on my woolen coat and strapped my satchel, slipped on my rubber boots and made my way, by foot, for Dublin.

I could hear the hogs and sows before I saw them. Actually I could smell them long before anything else and the stench was absolutely putrid. As soon as I reached the mailbox I knew I was in the right place.

C. Evenson

The farm was rundown. There was no doubt it needed the TLC Esme certainly could have brought to it had she remained Charles' wife, but he beat her to near death and running away, pregnant with his child was her only option.

She hadn't told me anything about the abuse she suffered at his hands. She didn't have to. I could read her mind, although I tried not to intrude on her thoughts. But knowing that someone would hurt someone as kind and loving as her left me seething with anger. I never spoke to Carlisle about it either. I know they spoke of it with each other, but she never shared the most intimate details, the bits that embarrassed her the most.

She had run away to her cousin's place in Wisconsin when she was pregnant because he continued to beat her, even breaking her arm, when she was pregnant with his son. She knew he would heap the same abuse upon him when he was born and she wouldn't have that. She would protect her offspring at any cost. She would take just about anything, but she would not put her child through it.

In fact, she was just a mere child herself when her parents married her off to a much older Charles Evenson. He began to abuse her before the ink was dry on their marriage certificate. She told her parents of the abuse and begged them to let her divorce Charles and return home to them but they encouraged her to be a good, dutiful wife and stay with her husband.

Soon, he went off to fight in the Great War, the one I had so longed to be a part of. When he returned, the abuse just escalated. What had begun as emotional abuse before the war had progressedinto physical and sexual abuse and soon she became pregnant. Once again, she begged her parents to take her back, telling them how the abuse had gotten worse (the parts she wasn't embarrassed to share) but they continued to encourage her to be a good wife and do as she was told and he would not abuse her or it would get better, that it was just the war and he would stop drinking. They promised her things would change. But they never did and after being turned away by her parents, she gave up. She even went to his parents once, but they were old and infirmed and old Mr. Evenson was a drunkard himself and old Mrs. Evenson lived a life of an abused wife herself. There was no help for Esme there. She was all alone. The only way out was to run.

I walked up the creaky wooden steps that were windblown with snow and missing a piece of wood here and there. I opened the screen door and rapped on the wooden door. An old dog with gray whiskers around its muzzle barked at me from the side yard where it was chained to a dead tree. I would have to remember to make sure it was taken care of when I left.

"Yeah, what do you want?" A dirty man, who appeared to be the age my father would have been, asked. He had overalls and what appeared to have previously been a white thermal shirt, covered in pig slop and who knew what else?

"Yes, my name is Edward… Masen," I began, sitting my suitcase down between us, opening it to show him the encyclopedias, taking one out to show him up close. "I am an encyclopedia salesman…"

"I don't need no encyclopedias," he said as he began to slam the door shut. I stuck my foot out, to jam the door open and pushed my hand against it, surprising him.

"Everyone needs encyclopedias, sir," I explained. "You are a long way from town and a library. What if your… son needs to find information for school?"

"It's just me and the hogs out here," he answered gruffly, pushing the door against me, in a losing battle to close it. "I have no need for the encyclopedias, so be on your way."

"I have walked all the way from town, sir and it is awfully cold," I pleaded, removing my hand from the door, but keeping my foot over the threshold. "Could I at least come in and warm up a bit and perhaps have a cup of coffee before I head back to town?"

He poked his head out the door and looked around.

I don't see no one else. He looks safe enough. Besides, I have that shotgun under the bed and the baseball bat behind the couch.

Good to know.

"Sure," he said, opening the door to let me in. "Come in and I will put a fresh pot on the stove."

"Thank you very much," I said, putting the M encyclopedia back in the suitcase and closing it up, sitting it just inside the doorway in the living room, next to the couch.

Evenson shut the door behind me. "You can lay your coat on the couch and take your boots off and set 'em by the fire. You can hang your socks right by it if you like and warm up there. I will go to the kitchen and get a fresh pot brewing."

"Thank you very much," I replied. I did as he instructed, although my cold, wet clothes didn't bother me any, but it would help to not have them get in my way.

"So where you from, Mr. Masen?" Evenson yelled from the kitchen. I preferred not to call him Mr. because I had no respect for him at all.

"Chicago," I said.

"Never been to Chicago," he answered back. "Been through there, on my way to Wisconsin."

"Family up there?" I asked.

"My wife had family up there."

"Oh," I said, as if I didn't know. "I thought you said it was just you here.

He stepped back into the living room and took a seat by the fireplace, across from me.

"Pot's on the stove, heating up," he said, nodding his head, rubbing his hands together, near the flames for warmth.

"Again, thank you very much."

"It's all right," he said. "I didn't mean to sound so contrary. It's just, no one comes out this way."

"Your wife?" I pried. I figured he didn't deserve any of my compassion. I knew where she was and what happened to her. She was much better off without him.

"Oh, she passed."

"I am so sorry to hear that," I lied.

"Do you have a wife?" he asked.

"No sir," I answered.

"Smart man," he smiled. "Smart man. Women are nothing but trouble."

"I don't know about that," I grinned. "My father adored my mother. God rest her soul."

"Your mother passed?" he asked.

"Yes," I replied. "My mother and father, from the Spanish Influenza."

"Really?" he asked, surprised. "You must have been a young boy when that happened."

I remembered I hadn't aged in 11 years. "Yes sir," I lied again. "I was very young. My uncle, Carlisle raised me."

"Well, I was married once before the Great War and she couldn't have no children, so I divorced her. I lived in Columbus then. Then I married another gal, young gal, named Esme. She was a beauty but spoiled. Her momma didn't teach her to do nothin' and the house was always a mess. I had to teach her how to be a proper wife but she didn't learn too well, then I went off to the War, saw things I wish I ain't never saw, came back and I think she had messed around with other men while I was gone. She didn't want me touching her. I had to remind her she was my property. Then she got pregnant and I thought that would remind her of her place, well, it didn't. Anyhow, she went and got sick while she was pregnant and lost her and the baby both. Then my parents passed and left me the farm and I moved up here."

I gritted my teeth and the venom began to flow heavily as I listened to him talk so disparagingly about Esme. I knew it was lies, all of it. That was not the Esme I knew and I knew she did not die in childbirth. She gave birth to their son and when he died from a lung infection, she jumped off a cliff trying to commit suicide. That was when Carlisle turned her.

"Maybe you just had a run of bad luck," I said flippantly. "I hope to find a woman like my mother."

"I doubt you will," he said snidely as he rose from his chair to go into the kitchen. "The only good woman is the one that knows her place."

I waited until I heard him in the kitchen, opening and closing the cabinet doors and I quietly got up, moving towards the couch. I reached behind it and found the Louisville Slugger baseball bat he said was there. I lifted it without a noise and carried it behind my back with one hand as I made my way to the kitchen.

"Oh my, you scared me nearly to death!" he exclaimed, almost dropping one of the coffee mugs as the cabinet door slammed shut. "I would have brought it in there to you."

"I am curious, Evenson," I began. "Do you know your place?"

"Excuse me?" he asked, surprised, sitting the mugs down on the counter, stepping back a few steps.

"I don't like the way you treat your women," I said, venom flowing so much I was nearly gagging on it.

I took one swing of the bat, holding back my full force, and hit him across the back, dropping him to the kitchen floor. I could hear his ribs break and he screamed in agony.

"Why?"

"Your wife did not die in childbirth!" I spat venom in his face, burning his eyes.

"Who are you?" he gasped. I was certain his lung or lungs were collapsing.

"I told you, I am Edward Masen. But your wife lived to give birth to your son, despite the beatings and abuse you heaped upon her. She loved him so much, even though your vile blood ran through him."

"How-?" was all he could get out.

I stepped on his knee and heard the bones crack beneath me and he screamed again, reaching for his leg.

"Your son died shortly after, of a lung infection and that is what killed Esme."

"So why do you give a shit? Why are you doing this to me?"

I knelt beside him, grabbed him by his wrist and whispered in his ear. "So you can never, ever do to another woman what you did to her." I then twisted his arm, breaking it at the shoulder. Tears ran down his cheek and he gasped for air.

I stood up and went to find a seat at the dining room table.

"Are you going to get me help?" he asked, trying to pull himself up in a futile attempt.

"No, I am not," I answered. "I am your help. I am helping you to never hurt another person."

"What do you plan to do?"

"Play it by ear," I chuckled. "But mostly, I plan to torture you a bit at a time, like you did Esme, and then kill you."

"And the police will find you."

I laughed. "But they won't. There will be no body to find to look for a murderer."

I sat at the table, looking through lock boxes and collecting money he had hidden throughout the house. No one trusted banks. For that, I was lucky. Evenson lay in the floor, gasping for air, writhing in pain and begging for mercy.

"Why me?"

"Why not you? You should be a lesson for others. Women should be loved and adored and treated with respect and cherished, never like property or abused or treated like the dog you have chained outside. You are not superior to any woman or any animal because you are a man."

I stepped over to Evenson, deciding what my next step would be. I rummaged through the drawers until I found a proper knife. When I pulled it out his eyes bulged out of his head and he did his best to scoot away from me until I stepped down on the thigh bone of his other leg, insuring he would go nowhere.

"Now what are you going to do?"

"Deal with your superiority issues," I replied.

Again, I knelt down beside him and quickly undid his belt and undid his overalls, pulling them down to his legs. His cries grew louder, knowing what I had in mind.

I cut off his under wear, exposing his penis and balls. "You used this to inflict harm on your wife, to torture her instead of to love her and satisfy her." I poked him with the knife in the balls and he screamed like a little girl.

"Please, no."

"Did Esme beg you to stop, not to hurt her?" I asked.

"Yes," he answered honestly.

"And did you have mercy on her?"

"No."

"Then I shall show you no mercy," I said, moving the knife under his balls, where I began to saw them off, dissecting them from his body. He broke out into a pain induced sweat and might have moved in and out of consciousness.

"You will go to Hell for this," Evenson said.

"I am already going to Hell for so many reasons," I said. "For this, I might get points towards Heaven."

The blood that poured from him was great and I wanted to feed but I wasn't done yet. I had to be patient.

I cut his balls off and I stuffed them in his mouth to shut him up, then I proceeded to cut his penis off.

Everything I was doing was so unlike the person I was, but it felt good. It felt right. I was righting a wrong. He was a bad man, who had done bad things and I was making sure it would never happen again.

By the time I finished, he was lying in a puddle of blood and he was passed out. I removed his balls from his mouth and slapped his face. "You with me Evenson?"

"Just kill me now," he mumbled.

First, I have had a long journey and I need to feed, then I will finish you off. I bent over him and bit into his neck and fed greedily for minutes but not until I drained him. I needed to leave blood, to attract the hogs and to keep him alive.

"What are you? It burns. My body burns."

"I am a vampire. Now, Mr. Evenson, your torture, ends." I picked him up and went out the kitchen door to the hog pen. I tossed in the cut off parts first which got them in a frenzy. Then I tossed in Evenson and the hogs and sows went crazy and I could hear his week screams and cries as they finished him off, eating whatever evidence might exist.

I returned to the house and cleaned up the kitchen and straightened the living room, just like no one had ever been there.

I wanted to write a journal entry to Esme, to tell her he had paid for his crimes but it would upset her. As bad as he treated her I was sure she would still wish him no ill will. For now, it would be my secret. Victim Zero.

I put the money in my satchel. I had plans for it in the future. I took my suitcase of encyclopedias and heading back to Columbus, to my hotel room. I tossed them in a dumpster of another motel and resumed to pack my clothes right back in and go on my way. Next stop, St. Louis.


Author's Note: Thank you so much to my one and only beta, ForksPixie. Without her, my Edward would not live. I hope you enjoyed this, angsty as it was. If you didn't try out some of my other one-shots or my fics, which are EPOV for all of the saga stories. I am currently working on Shroud, which is EPOV of Eclipse. Next up is Breaking Dawn. I am branching out a little, doing the Twilight 25 and trying out new things. This was a story I have been wanting to tell for months. Edward is near and dear to my heart and I have written journal entries of his travels before and when SM said that his first kill was Esme's husband, well, I was all over that.