ENTRY #81 - AH
Truly Anonymous Twilight O/S PP Contest
Title: THE CRIMINAL
Picture Prompt Number: 3
Word Count (minus A/N and Header): 6158
Summary (250 characters or less, including spaces and punctuation): A road trip. A hot car. A pop star. Her hot CRIMINAL. Her blackmailer. And… a LOVE/LUST collision.
Warnings and Disclaimer: I do not own TWILIGHT or anything affiliated with it. Though, I own this plot.This one-shot has sexual content and language not appropriate for readers below 18.
My foot tapped lightly on the windscreen of the car. My bare legs were stretched straight on the dashboard. The pointed heel of my black, metal-studded leather Gladiator bootie gleamed a little in the dry glow of the sun. I wasn't looking at him but from the corner of my eyes, I could see his jaw twitch a little at my question.
Something was definitely wrong.
I turned my head and raised an eyebrow. Nothing, my ass. His aviators were a black shield between me and him. I couldn't see the hardness in his eyes, or the tightness, or the anger or the frustration. Not one hint of what could be wrong.
What the fuck? This was going to be at least a four hour long road trip. Did he really expect me to tolerate his brusque answers? Bloody fucking Hell NO! He knew how easily my patience wore off.
My four-inch heels were now tapping against each other at the tips. I gritted my teeth and wracked my brain, moving backwards to the beginning of the last twenty four hours. Late breakfast meeting with James 'Fuck-turd' Hunter, morning sex in shower, sleep, midnight sex romp, Moulin Rouge (that we watched for thirty minutes before I had started to blow him), stir fry dinner, eight hour recording that had exhausted me… the search for what I could have done wrong was a fail. What the fuck happened? Why in the world was he acting so…so…so… Ugh!
"Tell me what's wrong, Edward, before my head implodes."
He inhaled and exhaled noisily and didn't take his eyes off the road. My legs were no more stretched and my body was turned fully in his direction. He stubbornly looked ahead.
"I'm waiting for your answer." I fumed over the purr of is fancy-schmancy car.
Five seconds passed and his tense jaw relaxed. He ran his hand through the mess of his hair and his neck finally turned towards me.
"Relax, Bella. It's nothing. Nothing that can't be taken care of."
I scrutinized his face for a few seconds more. I couldn't make out anything with those fucking shades in the way. I scowled but I didn't push.
"I'll take your word for it. Just don't sulk for the rest of this trip. The quiet makes my ears bleed, you know it."
At that he laughed; his throaty and low laugh. I pushed my tongue into my cheek to avoid grinning like a fifteen year old. A girl's got to have some dignity.
His hand reached the stereo and low rumble beginning of a metal rock song started. Rough and coarse rock music was his thing. In my opinion, it suited him the best. Because it was something easily fit with his personality— rugged on the edges, deeply meaningful and so fucking dark. He's was one of those mythical perfect men… Like an urban legend. But he was real. For me. I studied his profile leisurely. The red brown stubble that was outlining his jaw made him look like an effortlessly rough, retro sexual. His leather jacket was deep chocolate brown and looked sandpapered at the seams— a tasteful artificially worn look. His jeans were blue. My eyes travelled to the inseam and I grinned at the button fly. He wore a white vest underneath his jacket. Clean and tight fit. The black of his tattoos was a shadow under the glimmer of white that I could see. My mind drifted to last night and I remembered licking along the chain of Celtic knots from his collar bone to the point just above the dip n the left of his 'V'. It had tasted like salt and the thin sheen of sweat was delicious—
"You're a shameless eye-fucker, Bella."
His voice made my heart thump against my chest with a jolt and then shift into a staccato. Damn. I had lost track of 'subtle' in the middle of my ogling.
"So what, Cullen? I like shameless. And you know that eye-fucking is merely PG-13 for me."
He snorted. "Oh, I know. You can be a one hell of a horny woman. Just tone it down for now. You'll end up embarrassing yourself."
My eyes narrowed. The Maserati revved up a little and then a little more. He smiled a slow triumphant smile as the car swooshed swiftly on the deserted road. My breath hitched when he swiftly took his jacket off and chucked it smoothly at the back of the car. The tattoos, the soft, sparse hair on his chest, the small male nipples against the fabric of the vest. Oh…
"Embarrass myself?" I was a little angry at myself for being so…affected. And I was also irritated by his comments.
"Bella," his voice was low and amused. He turned his head to me and lowered his chin a little. I couldn't see his eyes through his shades but I followed the angle of his chin…which was pointed to the very wide gap between my legs. I was wearing a pair of fitted denim hot-pants and a black and white, metal studded t-shirt, artfully ripped at the sleeves and the collar. My denim cropped-jacket was sleeveless, too. It was a hot ensemble, and I knew it. I didn't bother to close my legs, I did the opposite.
His head shot up at my brazenness and he grinned at me cruelly. He turned his head to the road and he continued.
"If you keep that up, you'll start dripping through the crotch of your thin shorts. I don't want you to spoil the car upholstery."
Heat burst on my face and flushed through my neck to the rest of my body. I should be used to this crassness by now. Of my twenty five years, Edward had known nine. That is why I knew his littlest habits, quirks, likes and dislikes. But it had never happened that the guy could not have taken me off-guard with his crude, sexual remarks. I never see them coming.
"What?"I screeched. How fucking eloquent!
"What I said, sweetness. Now think of your mom or a dead dog or your sick grandmother. The leather on the seats was polished yesterday."
"You're an asshole." I glared at him.
"Why, thank you, Milady."
I crossed my arms (and legs) and turned so I was facing away from him. If he made a move at me tonight, I would knee him in the junk. The pig.
"Crossing your legs will aggravate the problem, Bella. Besides, ladies aren't supposed to sit with their legs crossed."
"Shut up! My shorts are not thin, you prick. And get off your high horse; you can't get me dripping by just sitting there like that."
He just laughed until we reached a filling station. And we reached there, excruciatingly annoying thirty minutes later.
He said he had to pick something to eat as we had another three hours to travel. I was made to sit in the car, just so that I didn't attract attention. Being a singing 'Swansation' was stifling sometimes. Literally. Wow… I used to hate this term 'Swansation'. Now I was using it in place of the right word. Ugh. I blamed the stuffy confines of the car. He had put the hood of the car up and it was getting a little too suffocating. It was a very broken and bare rest stop store. I doubted he could get some expired Potato chips or soggy Oreos from this place. There were two other cars there, an SUV and a worn Camry. The owners were filling them while ogling at Edward's car. I snorted. My man didn't want any attention on me for this trip at least. I welcomed the idea because I needed some normalcy, too. But this car was fucking ostentatious. If any of these guys came closer to check it out, they'd probably see someone sitting on the front seat, despite the dark glasses rolled over. Maserati GranCabrio was a hot car, no denying that. Deep midnight blue, sleek, rare and sexy. Every man's wet dream in flesh, er, metal. And how very Edward in nature, I added as an afterthought.
A couple of men stared for a little longer. One of them walked towards the car and my brow furrowed. He was suddenly standing too close to the window, right where I was sitting. He ran his finger against the rim of window on my side, reverently. He was young and pimply. Still in school, most probably. I was mentally debating if I should honk or knock the glass from inside to warn him away, when he jumped and turned and walked back to the SUV. An older guy was motioning at him with his hand to hurry up. Phew. Minutes later both cars were gone. And suddenly the deserted road and the decrepit filling station started to look scary. I rolled my eyes and waited for Edward.
I was humming my song 'Love Aptitude' when I felt my phone vibrate in my pocket. I didn't have to see who it was. I knew. James 'Piece-of-Bull-Shit' Hunter, who else? I had ignored his seven calls in the last one hour. Because of Edward, of course. I didn't want him to know because I knew what his reaction would be.
He'll turn his car around and pump several rounds of bullets in James throat.
I gritted my teeth and pressed the green button on my phone.
"You got your monthly allowance, you son of a bitch. Why are you pestering me now?" I spat into the mouth piece.
"Bella, Bella. Don't be so ill-mannered, girlie. I just wanted to know where you are. I heard you rushed out of the studio this morning. Steffie told me a sexy blue car came to pick you."
"Cut the bullshit, you bastard. Tell me what you want now."
"I'm trying to be a gentleman here and you are behaving like a stupid bitch—"
"Get to the POINT! Now!"
By this time I was out of the stuffy car and into the sun. An angry me in a closed space was a bad thing. I needed air as I could feel my face burning.
"I received just a forty grand, baby. Where is the rest?"
"The rest you'll get after my San Francisco tour. Got it?"
"You'll finish with San Francisco two weeks later. Don't go slack on me, Bella. The deal was of a fifty grand every month. The file," he sneered, "has two extra copies now. One is for the media and another is for the FBI. Do you want me to make the delivery?"
"James, I'll send you the rest of the money by tomorrow. Keep the files in a safe or I'll kill—"
"Hollow threats, beautiful. You'll piss your pretty knickers before you can even try to kill me. I may not be like your boyfriend but I am a snake. It will take half an hour for me to ruin him and you. Edward Cullen's colorful real life will be fun to watch on 'Breaking News with Pamela Samson'. And paps will bulldoze you with cruel questions till you are dead and bleeding. It would be fun to watch your career rot."
"Fuck you, James. Edward is not what that fucking file calls him. You want money for the rest of your pathetic life, you'll get it. Suck on my blood money all you want, you leech. But if you even hurt a hair on my Edward's head, I'll burn you alive. And trust me I'll not piss my pretty little knickers while I'll watch you scream."
"You bitch! Do not talk to me like that—"
"You'll get the remaining ten grand tomorrow. Now fuck off!"
I snapped the phone shut and threw it on the hot asphalt with a grunt of frustration. And I would have kicked the Maserati's tyre, if my phone hadn't bounced on a very familiar brown leather shoe.
Blue jeans, white vest, aviators hanging in the collar, shiny dog tags in a chain, a black flare of tattoo across the collar bone, stubbled jaw on a pale face and very angry green eyes.
He bent to pick up the two pieces of my broken phone and held them in his huge palm. I looked into his fiery eyes and swallowed. He raised an eyebrow in response. His jaw was tight with tension.
"I-I…" Hot wind blew my hair into my face and I pushed it behind my ears. I tried again.
"It was getting stuffy inside." As soon as the words were out of my mouth, a voice in my head asked me why I hadn't used the A.C. Oh Jeez…
"I had started to sweat. Your upholstery was in danger…"
"You brought an attention seeking car. For someone who likes privacy, a Maserati is an ironic choice."
"A guy there was drooling over—"
His hand was covering my mouth before I could finish and my eyes fluttered too fast. I was startled by his sudden movement and my heart was beating erratically against my ribcage. His eyes pierced into mine with an anger that could melt ice. Not good. So not good.
"Edward," I mumbled against his palm.
"Get in the car."
And he swiftly walked to the driver's side of the car. Shit-shit-shit. I sucked ass at keeping a secret! And I had vowed to keep it under the wraps from Edward just a few hours ago. Ugh! This was not going to be good. I pushed myself into the car and as soon as my door shut, Edward accelerated it to at least a hundred miles in two seconds.
So fucking screwed.
For about ten minutes my brain flickered between fear of Edward's anger and the fear of dying in a road mishap. But soon my heart was about to jump out of my chest because Edward was speeding like a madman.
"I knew it since morning, Bella."
At this my heart took a nosedive into my stomach. Oh shit. I just looked at him with my mouth hanging open.
"One of Caius' men had tipped me off early this morning. Someone had poked around buried records in depth. And until your brunch with Hunter today, the chance that records would be used were ninety nine per cent."
His face broke into one of his crazed grins. Wide and straight, teeth shining and lips stretched. I swallowed.
"And after Ginger, your server for the day, eavesdropped your little chat with Hunter for me, that chance became hundred per cent."
His face turned and he threw me the same genre of smile. It scared me. To death. I didn't want to see it. I didn't want that Edward to return. But damn it! He was almost back— Edward Cullen a.k.a The Leo.
An assassin for The Unknowns of Volterra, Italy.
The sun went down and Edward slowed the car a little. A sign glowed 'Las Vegas—10 Miles!' at me and I wrapped my hands around myself. Edward had known all along. James had just started to blackmail me using Edward's criminal records this morning. Every month a fifty grand were to be transferred to his bank account. And that wasn't it. He had the right to extort money from me whenever and whatever amount he wanted. He was a leech. I could have told Edward myself but I didn't want his anger to return. Edward loved me. He would have killed Hunter.
And now, he was really going to kill Hunter. I swallowed the lump in my throat and rubbed an errant tear with the back of my hand. We hadn't talked in the last three hours. How I had managed to keep shut for so long, I didn't know. I blamed fear, though. The car was now moving on an un-metalled road, dust was flying all around us. This caught my attention and I puzzled over it through the haze of controlled tears. Why were we not in the city limits of Vegas? The next minute, we had stopped. Edward was out of the car in a second and I was still trying to understand where the Hell we were. He opened the door for me and held out his hand for me to take. He yanked me to his chest and hugged me tight.
This was something I hated and loved about Edward— he always caught me at my worst defense. The second his arms wrapped around me, I broke down in sobs. I locked my arms around his neck and bawled. He pushed my hip upwards and coaxed my legs around his waist. He carried me into a small cottage, which I hadn't noticed, standing there in the dark.
I was fed bananas and cheese sandwiches and prunes for dinner. Without words. Then my feet were massaged. Without words. And then I was cuddled on the small couch for a few long minutes.
Without. Any. Fucking. Words.
Edward had gone into one of the rooms. He had said something about a running a shower. Oh yeah, he had said something. I shimmied out of my stupid jacket and I dropped it along with all my chunky bangles on the small rug. And I followed the noise of falling water in the next room.
I needed words. I needed to TALK!
This was a very small cottage. Comfortable, but small. This room was bigger compared to the handkerchief sized living room I was fed bananas in. There was a warm, white bed with lots of pillows and a desk with an ultra latest iMac sitting on it. The temperature was cool and soothing.
And Edward was standing with his back towards me.
His feet were bare.
He was shirtless.
I was licking my lips.
Fuck my life.
"Edward, if you don't start talking now I am going to scream till your ears bleed."
He turned and smirked at me. Then he walked to the computer and bent down to fiddle with it. I was raving mad now.
"What is it, Bella?"
"Don't you 'Bella' me! Just talk to me already, you idiot!"
He inhaled and exhaled loudly before walking towards me and suddenly bending only to pick me up bridal-style.
"What the fuck? No! No shower! You are going to tell me whatever the fuck you are thinking. Put me down, you ass!"
He did put me down but it was in the shower. The next thing I knew that he was stripping me off my shorts. He pulled me to him by hooking a finger in a loop and unbuttoning and unzipping it in record time. All of my choicest verbal abuses fell on deaf ears. My hands tried to push him away but he was too fucking strong! When I refused to cooperate with him when he tried to pull my shirt over my head, he even pleaded me let him take the shirt off. When I didn't budge, he did something un-fucking-believable.
The bastard ripped my shirt in two.
RIP; here goes the front.
RIP; here goes the back.
He massacred the bra along with it.
I hadn't even finished calling him an asshole when he pushed me under the hot cascade of the shower without warning. I gasped and breathed through my mouth. I was wearing my underwear and it stuck to my ass uncomfortably. Till Edward saw it.
"Uh, how did I miss taking this off you?" He muttered before… ripping it off me.
And then I really lost it.
"EDWARD! STOP TEARING MY CLOTHES OFF, YOU SANCTIMONIOUS PIG!"
"YOU'RE A FUCKING A-GRADE ASSHOLE AND A DICKHEAD —"
"YOU CAN'T MAN-HANDLE ME LIKE THIS, YOU STALE, BULLSHIT CAKE—"
He caught me in a vice-like grip around my breasts and held me with my back pressed to his naked chest. His other hand was clamped on my mouth tightly. My chest was heaving and his hairy forearm was pressing into my wet nipples. I felt a familiar warm swirl in the pit of my abdomen and my upper thighs quivered.
I loathed myself.
His warm breath in my ear worsened my situation and I felt my sex shudder a little on the inside. I was seconds away from dissolving into a pile of jell-o. The man got me angry to horny in three seconds. There had to be something wrong with me.
"Now, listen to me and listen to me good." His lips moved against my earlobe making my thighs to clamp together. My ass rubbed against the rough and wet fabric of his jeans and the cold buttons of his fly. I felt like my face would explode with heat. "I will remove my hand from your mouth only when you'll promise to keep your mouth shut and let me speak. Otherwise, I can tell you whatever the fuck you want to know just like this. I know you won't like that 'cause I bet its hurting your tits right now. And I am offering because I happen to be a gentleman. The conditions are that you'll let me wash you and tell you everything and not say one word. Blink twice if you understand and are willing to promise me you'll cooperate, Isabella."
I blinked twice in quick succession. And Edward whispered "Good girl" in my ear. I felt moisture collect between my legs. Bad timing, Ms Arousal, bad timing. I was supposed to be worried and afraid of what might come from Edward's mouth. Instead, all I wanted right now was Edward's mouth on me.
He released his tight hold on me very slowly. Blood rushed to my breasts and they felt heavier. I whimpered. Edward caressed my waist and the underside of my breasts before pushing me under the cascade of warm water once again. He took the bar of soap in his hands and started talking.
"When Garret called meat four AM this morning to tell me about the 'poke and prod' into my records, I was shocked and then I was scared. I didn't want all that coming back to haunt me again. From where I belong to, Bella, there is no quitting. Caius had broken a medieval rule by letting me, an assassin, quit. But The Unknowns couldn't let me go completely. I still work for them. But now I am just a mind for the organization. A mind with ideas and solutions and a new code name. On paper, The Leo is dead."
I was gob smacked. From what I had knew, Edward was no more a part of that organization. And that he was just an owner of the seventy clubs scattered all over the States. My mind went blank. And then it started chanting— he's not a killer, he's not a killer, he's not a killer, he's not a killer…
He lathered the soap and ran his soapy hands on the curves of my neck and shoulders. He massaged the top of my arms and traced back the trail of soap to my collar. And then he raked the short nails of his thumbs along the line of my collar-bones. Once, twice, twice more— I moaned. He paused to look into my eyes before smirking and lathering up my arms with soap.
"Garrett told me that the deleted files had been recovered by some intelligent hacker. Caius was pissed that the buried records were infiltrated. 'The Unknowns' were snitched by some smart geek and Garrett was choking with panic. They all knew that it was too late and by now all the records would be out in the air in print. Caius was frothing at the mouth and was going crazy. Just then a guy from Garret's team located the gap through which infiltration was made. It was local—Volterra. "
I was into his story. But I was suddenly jolted back to the heightened state of my arousal when Edward pushed my nipples into my mounds with the pad of his thumbs. He suddenly stopped and turned me around to wash my back. I was panting noiselessly and was feeling warm— too warm.
"Garrett had to hunt further for just ten minutes. They caught the snitch, you know. It was Marcus' girlfriend, Heidi. She was bought to the headquarters from her bed. Five minutes later, it was all clear. She was fucking another guy, some foreigner. She nicked all info because she couldn't run out of Italy and out of Unknowns' without a defensive shield. She was working on it since forever. She slipped out that the guy was an American."
His hands were on my ass. He moved his deft fingers languorously around the curves. After seconds of being too lost in languid sensation, I was suddenly thrown into a jolt of deeper desire. His naked cock was pressed into my ass. Somewhere in my mind, I wondered why I hadn't dropped dead of a heart attack as yet. His hips stroked my ass and his lips moved against my ear again.
"That woke you up, eh?" He laughed throatily. He pushed me away suddenly making me whimper in protest. He crouched down with the soap in hand started washing my feet. Oh Hell, even his fingers between my toes were driving me crazy! Not to mention that he was naked and kneeling at my feet.
"Heidi was obviously not going back to her lover now. But she had sent him the information a few days ago. Though, she told them that he hadn't used any of it yet. So the guys found out everything about the American lover and Caius himself called me. He told me that 'The Leo' would come out into the light as will many more assassins' identities. He asked me for help because I was in America. I agreed. It was seven in the morning by then and you had just woken up. I was so fucking scared that it may be the end for us. You have been mine since you were sixteen, Bella. I was a killer then but you had loved me back. You had fought your mother for me. You had been heartbroken when I had asked you to not tell the world that you were mine, just because I was an assassin. So I did what my first instinct asked me to do. I fucked you."
I was gone now. I had fallen –again. I didn't want anything right now but him. I started to pull him to me so that I could kiss him, but he resisted.
"Let me finish," he whispered and stroked the skin behind my knees. My legs shook with need but he kept me from falling.
"Caius texted me after some time. He told me that he would mail me the all information about the American fish. He said that he was sending a group of executioners to clean the mess. I was just needed to guide them. He didn't want me to be involved in the act. Jane, Felix and Demitri— assassins, Viper, Rhino and Hound— would take care of it all. He hung up and you came out after finishing your shower. I was thinking about the assassins and their arrival that is to happen early tomorrow morning, when James called you. You looked a little scared and you were doing a pathetic job hiding it. I didn't like it when you dressed too fast and left for the restaurant.
"I followed you because I was concerned. James was a bad chapter of your history. You are not sixteen anymore and you can take care of yourself but he was a jilted lover who was obsessed on you. It wasn't a coincidence that he had returned in your life as one of your event managers. I knew about his mild bullying of you. And this morning my intuition was screaming 'danger' at me. I called the manager and made him eavesdrop on your conversation. I waited all the while in the car outside of the restaurant. Some fifteen minutes later, Ginger was telling me on the phone all about him showing you a thick file. She told me how you had frozen in your seat in horror when you had flipped the pages of the file. My mind was working in an overdrive. I hung up on Ginger and just then my phone had an e-mail alert. James' photograph was labeled as 'American Lover' by Garrett. Turned out I was right. James' file was my file.
"I went back home and called Caius and told him everything. We made a plan for the… clean up. A new plan. The fish is to vanish from the pond by six thirty PM sharp of twentieth of May, Twenty eleven. I didn't want to be there when they cleaned the mess. I lured you from the studio as soon as possible with a promise of an anonymous weekend of sin in Vegas. Of course, you agreed."
He was wearing a triumphant grin that was Satanic. He was truly a criminal. Darker than the night, deeper that the midnight sky and positively sinful. He was no good. But he was mine. Mine. His fingers were leaving lines of fire in the insides of my thighs. A trail of moisture trickled from my pussy on the tip of his roving finger. He paused for a second and then revised the trail into the warm heat of my core. I moaned wantonly now. I shoved my fingers into his hair and he stood up swiftly only to capture my lips into a wanton kiss. His finger was tracing my labia in slow circles and his tongue was pushing against mine. I should be concerned of the fact that Edward had just told me about James impending demise. But I was not concerned about that. All I cared about now was my need for Edward. He had done enough of teasing now. I was the monster now. I needed him to fuck me. I pulled away from his lips with effort. His lips were swollen and parted and his eyes were no more green, they were black.
"Enough foreplay, Cullen. Fuck me before I kill you."
He picked me up and pushed me against the glass wall in the shower all the while he was kissing me. My legs wrapped around his narrow waist and I felt his hardness push against my clit. The noise that escaped my throat was feral. I pulled his face to mine as I clutched the hair on his nape more tightly. My other hand was busy leaving a trail of four dark pink scratches on his chest. He growled and rammed himself into me in one brutal stroke. With one harsh move he was buried in me to the hilt. The next second I came all over him as I screamed his name. He didn't stop. He bit on the soft skin just above my left breast. Hard. He kept on moving inside me with steady long strokes. I came twice more. The second orgasm was unexpected and fast. The third had built in me like a volcano waiting to erupt. And it had shattered me when it blasted through me. I had heard and seen Edward cry out my name before shuddering and stilling in me but I was too boneless to have really enjoyed watching him orgasm.
It was sometime after three in the afternoon. Edward and I had finished one and a half boxes of Cheerios with milk. We had finished devouring two apples each and I had eaten the most of the apricot jam with a spoon. We had been famished after last night and this morning… and afternoon. I was so sore that I had decided to abstain for at least month. Hell, even my man was sore! It had been a fun day till now. But the post sex romp high was wearing off. I was now thinking about James and his last few hours. The apricot jam was no more delicious to me.
Edward brought me a duffel bag of clothes that he had packed for me earlier, from the car. It had a pair of jean shorts, a skirt, two tank tops, two tees and one pair jeans. He had even packed my underwear. I loved him even more. While I dressed, Edward told me that we were going to Vegas to catch a flight to New York. He said he wanted us to stay away from Phoenix a little while longer. He was corresponding with them via internet, I knew. He had been fiddling with the computer for a while now. I went into the kitchen and just to pass time I started cleaning the mess that we had made. It didn't take me long and all trash was collected in a large trash-bag within twenty minutes. And then I went to check what Edward was doing.
Edward had completely dismantled the computer and was typing something in his phone. It was a text that he had sent. He went outside and returned with a large tin trash can. He placed it in the living room and one by one started dumping the parts of the computer in it. I just watched him silently, too shocked to ask him what he was going to do with it. A few minutes later his phone glowed. He read it with a blank face and then threw it in the trash. I watched him wide eyed. After a second he threw my broken phone into it, too. He disappeared into the bedroom once again. And he returned with a box that had two conjoined bottles of strange liquids in them. He asked me to stay away from the trash can and then he removed a clip from the top of the twin bottles. The clear liquids started to change color and he dropped it in can. He stepped away from the can and winked at me before grinning.
After three slow motion ticks of seconds, there was a muted, flameless explosion from inside the bin. It made me yelp. Edward motioned me to come forth with his finger. I walked to the bin that was emitting fumes and strange odors. Without his asking I peered to look into it with my breath held against the fumes.
All I saw at the bottom of the bin was thick, molten black liquid.
A couple of paps met us at the McCarran International. But that was inevitable. It didn't even bother me. Edward parked his car at a Maserati garage. He had produced two new phones for each of us from his own duffel bag. With our meager belongings, we sat in the almost deserted lounge for departure to JFK, NY. The clock struck six, and I didn't even bother to hide my panic. Edward pulled me to his chest and had let me cry softly. I didn't even care if people were watching THE Bella Swan; the #2 singer on the year's V.M.A charts, the star of the Grammy winning album 'Swansational', the 'Aptitude of Love' and the 'Epic Life' hit-maker; was sobbing her eyes out on her boyfriend's shoulder in the departure lounge of McCarran airport.
I knew this would happen. James had been an asshole to Bella but she never wanted him murdered. But the bastard had it coming. He had tried to mess with MY girl's life. Nobody messed with MY girl. Jane must've done the deed, that vicious witch. Felix must be manipulating James' corpse to look like he overdosed on heroine. While Jane and Felix would be designing the scene artfully, Demetri would be cleaning up the 'information'. He would be eliminating all evidence—both virtual and physical. He was a slick bastard. All three of them would be on their flight to Rome by the time we'd be halfway to New York.
Bella had dozed on my chest. Dry tears streaked her cheeks and her lips were swollen and pink. She looked so fucking beautiful. I woke her gently when they called our flight. She smiled as she walked with me to the plane, her hand clasped in mine.
I was a fucking criminal.
A Mastermind—for the biggest mafias after Al Capone.
A former assassin.
An illegal arms trader.
An occasional murderer…
She knew me since I had first picked a gun to shoot the worm who had tried to rape her.
She knew me since I had taken my first assignment to kill Spain's Vice-President.
She knew me since I had first told her I loved her.
She had loved me since then.
And I, a criminal, was going to love her forever and ever.