Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, quotes, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners and are simply used under 'fair use'. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended. This story is for legally recognized adults.
Summary: They said 'all's fair…'… They lied. Now I'm playing dirty. And I'm keeping her.
I'm Edward Cullen, feared 21-year-old mob boss. I'm ruthless, powerful, wealthy, and so good looking women die for me, sometimes literally. How much trouble can it be getting one teenager to fall in love with me? Piece of cake, right? Oh yeah, there is the reality to consider... I have no clue how I fell for her. Her family is our main foe. We've hated each other for generations. She doesn't believe in love. She's spirited. Her mind works fucking backwards. She's allergic to the notion of marriage. And she's haunting my being. I can't get her off my fucking mind. So let's be honest. I'M FUCKED!
Info: AH/(very) AU. Possessiveward/Mobward etc. ExB. Rated M for cussing, violence and future adult situations. This is a repost and previous readers can bear testament to the fact that this is a slow burn love story.
Authors Note: Hey guys this is a repost. I'm sending all my love to the people who e-mailed me copies of the story! I seriously never expected to be able to get this fic back. I lost the previous chapters and I couldn't for the life of me remember all of the contents to retype something even close to resembling it but thanks to them, here we are. I've changed the short summary (the one you read prior to opening the fic) to meet the K standard FF wanted, I apologize for having missed that part the first time I loaded ILAW by the way *flowers*. I'm editing the story as I repost up the chapters because I was young when I wrote this so naturally it was my first Twilight fic, and it showed *laughs*. There shouldn't be any major changes for the most part, just some polishing on the story. I have to mention smurfiest because she inspired me to continue writing this story the first time round, thank you hon. My beta JustJJ is plain and simple the president of all things amazing, send her love. Let's get on with this then *smiles*.
In Love And War
*~*~* Chapter One: Stand and Fall *~*~*
'How beautiful you are! You are more beautiful in anger than in repose. I don't ask you for your love; give me yourself and your hatred; give me yourself and that pretty rage; give me yourself and that enchanting scorn; it will be enough for me.' (Charles Dickens)
It's haunting looking out the window tonight. I remember a tempestuous night similar to this, four years ago when they returned. It was cold and rainy. The wind howled menacingly as the black sky was torn apart with every fierce lightening strike. The murderous thunder that accompanied it provided the perfect finishing touch to the ghostly setting.
Like that night, tonight was the perfect setting for me. I'm a dark person. I'm not ashamed to admit it. In fact, it's a title that I wear with pride, as did my ancestors, the greats of their time. Before me, of course, for I will be the motherfucking greatest.
I am Edward Cullen, the first born of Carlisle Cullen, heir of the Masens and the youngest Boss in the history of our Irish mafia.
The mere thought still makes my chest swell with pride. I climbed up the ranks with lethal precision that no one could deny. In the old days, a heir had to be 21 before they could be considered to take over the family business. He'd have to prove himself. If he made the cut, he'd lead while the old Don oversaw his shit for an insignificant space of time, roughly three years, before falling off the fucking scene. As time went by though, more sons didn't make the cut the first time round. Fuck that, I was the first son in four generations to make it on the first try. Born and bred for the title, Father handed everything over to me with no fear for the family whatsoever. I was undeniably skilled, and more than fucking ready. I'd been handling most of this shit for way too fucking long for me to not know what I was doing and for that reason alone the old man rarely shadowed me.
Chicago is home to five crime families and we are at the top of the food chain. There's a family that doubts our superiority but the day will come when I prove them wrong. If I'm being straight, I'll admit their capofamiglia is strong, but I can't stand the fucker. The mere mention of Swan and his pussy sons makes my body burn like there's molten lava running under my skin. His organization is a thorn in my side that must be removed and the day I find that bastard's weakness, the fucking family will all pay. I'll make them suffer before the die; Every last one of the Phoenixes.
For as far back as either of us can date, we share a mutual hatred for each other and the only thing we can ever agree on is the never ceasing battle for power we push between our families. They rule as many areas as we do around the country, but they specifically ran Cleveland for God knows how many generations. That was their origin to the dark side. Our world; where everything is about loyalty, pride, money and power. This is the foundation of the true enforcement that runs the world – the universe of crime lords. Anything can be bought. And, as I believe and practice, if it can't be bought, then it can be removed.
The Phoenixes, however, refused to be bought and if they were easy to remove, I sure as fuck would've had them out by now. But no, they are formidable foes. Both families started coming up in Chicago simultaneously and it's been a bloodbath ever since. The Phoenixes has been the only true form of a contender we've ever had and then they vanished seven years ago. Just like that. Suddenly, Swan and his spawn disappeared back to Cleveland.
The other families are a cakewalk to handle, making the years that the Phoenixes were missing, the only form of actual bliss we've ever experienced. That was, however, until four years ago, when they returned. Despite me being of age, my father almost didn't hand the organization over to me, all as a result of their fucking return and the problems that he predicted we were to face because of it.
Yet another reason why I hated them.
It was rumored that they were gone for those four years because there was a family problem dealing with Swan's 'daughter'.
No one's ever had any knowledge of Swan having a daughter. Nah, there's just those fucking idiot sons of his, James and Riley.
Aside from them, the other crime families aren't worth mentioning. The Volturis run by Aro, his head's so far up his ass that anything that fucker ever tries to do amounts to shit. Eleazar runs the Denalis, who for the most part, knew better than to get in our way. Then there's the Quileutes, they're the locals, headed by a pompous prick, Bill Black, and his mutt son, Jacob, will soon take over. However trivial these jokers are though, the Quileutes counted as the closest thing to a foe we had until the Italians returned to Chicago. Now that cunt Swan has resumed his position as our adversary and we've fallen back into our usual struggle against each other. With the Phoenix, it's an actual battle. They're a ruthless mob fit to rival the Masens, but Chicago is ours, and I would never allow them or anyone else foolish enough to challenge us to gain any control in our territory. It was for this reason alone that my father, Carlisle Cullen, Masen Boss before yours truly, handed me the reins to the most powerful mafia Chicago has ever seen. From that very moment, I've worked tirelessly. I've never proven my words wrong. I've never given my father reason to regret his decision.
I've proved myself.
The door slamming against the wall brought me out of my reverie and I turned away from the massive window in my office to face the imbecile with a death wish that had balls enough to walk in without my fucking permission.
"The fuck—" Exasperated, I lowered my gun from my cousin's form. I think if we weren't related, I would've shot his smug-ass a while ago. "Haven't you fucking heard of knocking?"
Emmett stands at his full height and smirks at me wide enough to dent his fucking face at the sides. "Trust me, bro, this is worth it," He snickers.
"It better be, McCarty," I reply listlessly. I'm not even joking. All this thinking about the fucking Phoenix has blown my mood to shit. "If there's one thing I don't have time for right now, it's games." Sucking hard on my blunt, I pull the smoke deep into my lungs, allowing the burn to calm my nerves. "If this has to do with Black's butterfly dealer, then just fucking kill the bitch. We'll find another way to get the papers," My voice was rising, but I didn't care. Em's used to it, so he doesn't care either.
In its usual pinnacle of cool, Jasper's drawl cuts me off as he strides into the study, "Remember that rumor about Swan's daughter?" He asks, bracing himself by the tips of his fingers on the mahogany desk.
This catches my attention, not something I was expecting. Looks like I wasn't the only one plagued with those thoughts tonight after all. "What about it?" I ask, finally lowering the blunt from my mouth and tossing the fucker out the window into the night so I can face the two men.
My interest piques as their forms shift to a dangerous edge that I'm familiar with.
A wicked smirk stretches across Southern's mug, as he lazily provides electrifying information about something that I never thought I'd hear. "It's true," He says, straightening up to his full height, looking like a smug shit. I can't say I blame him, or Emmett, who's grinning maniacally at his side, because I feel the corners of my mouth twitch and my eyebrows arching up to my hairline.
The words hum in my veins. Revenge begins to brew desperately in every vessel that passes through the red stream within me, racing to my brain already firing on all cylinders, formulating a plan.
"True?" I ask, needing to be absolutely fucking sure we're not going into anything half-cocked. "Swan has a daughter?"
Southern doesn't answer this time. Em jumps in the driving seat with a sinister, booming voice dancing with triumph. "Already on it. She's being moved to Chicago from Cleveland tomorrow."
Contentment fills my mind at a rapid pace. Three words ring in my head at the confirmation.
Swan's. Weak. Link.
I snicker under my breath and move away from the cold pane of the window. The fingers of my left hand are numb from grasping the ice metal. Lightening splits the sky open and the rain starts to pound heavier against the foggy glass. "Well, boys, if Swan's daughter is coming to our city, we really should welcome her." Venom easily laces every syllable, the hate I have for them is that profound. "I want as much information on this as you can get your hands on," I order callously over my shoulder as I pass by my men and retrieve my cell. "NOW!" I bark, when they remain where they are. This is why doing business with family bites. They know they can get away with bullshitting.
"You got it, Boss." They mock salute, but are wise enough leave promptly anyway.
Swan's daughter... I can't help but think, as I make a call to one of my headcrusher's to deal with Black's butterfly dealer. Black's man is a lucky bastard. With news of Swan's daughter roaming through my mind, I'm not in the mood to kill him anymore. I'll just torture the fucker instead. I laugh quietly and snap the phone shut.
Swallowing a smooth gulp of whiskey, I go over things again. This was interesting. How the fuck did Swan manage to keep this a secret for so long? There was no way in hell that he could have in this line of business. At some point, someone would get to know!
I muse harder. She may just be a child? Conceived five years ago? Maybe they left for the birth?
I scoff at the last one. Yes, he packed up his entire fucking operation to witness the birth of his daughter. Don't be a fucking idiot, Edward, it's common knowledge that the Swan men are about as emotional as I am harmless!
Well, whatever the case may be, all that matters is that Swan has an Achilles' heel after all and I'll be damned if I don't fucking take full advantage of it.
It's been over an hour and Jazz finally jogs into the study and thrusts some files onto the table. "She's being brought in from Cleveland tomorrow at the break of dawn," he briefs me on whatever he's gathered so far, "Swan's not going to pick her up, nor are his spawn."
I find this piece of information interesting and he must've as well because he throws in a theory, "It's probably of little importance, given no one knows she exists," he surmises.
I nod in agreement, sounds like Swan.
"She'll be stopping at the Entertainment Company." He hands me the coordinates and goes on proficiently. "I'm not sure why, but I'm guessing it's a smart move for them given it's a public place. Also, she lived in London for a while at Château des Cygne—" Jasper makes a significant pause at this part because my head finally shoots up.
This could be cause for concern after all.
That château was Swan's playground. It was to them what Château Coeur de Lion was to the Masens – the safest place for the family. Château des Cygne is their retreat. Decades ago, it was where the first of the Phoenix rose. Highly guarded, this fort of theirs was where both of Swans' sons had trained before joining their father here.
"This girl's safety was taken seriously enough if she was housed there," I mused. He nods grimly, telling me that the thought occurred to him at some point as well.
When he says nothing in return, I concur that's all we've got for now. "This will be a problem." I swirl the amber liquid in the glass and knock back the remainder. "What's her age?"
Underestimating Swan was something I've never done. The bastard's as conniving as I am. If I was going to accomplish anything, I needed to get all my ducks in a row.
The door swings open, drawing our attention, and Emmett saunters into the room, his game face still on. "Rest easy," he says easily, "she's six. Beat it out of Swans lackey myself. My ears are still ringing from the way that dumb fuck was screaming."
"Spare me the theatrics, Em," I chuckle lightly at his love for providing a play by play of a good fight. "We have a job to complete," I say, switching back into business mode. "We'll be taking Swan's kid captive for a while…at least until we get back the merchandise he owes us," I instruct.
"They won't take this lying down, Edward," Jazz cautions.
This was something I was counting on. "And I'll be waiting," I smirk.
"Swan couldn't care less about any individual," Emmett edges in, "we'll probably be taking out a liability on his side. We need another plan."
Even I have to admit that Emmett raises a valid point, but after a quick thought, I dismiss it. "Maybe under normal circumstances," I explain, "but she's a child, I'm going to bet that they would care if she disappeared." I watched as they thought my reasoning through.
"This just might work," Jazz grins and shakes his head in disbelief. Our day was here. He straightens up and walks towards the door, followed by Em. "I'll get everything together," he says as he disappears.
Emmett, however, stops at the doorway. "You better call in Carlisle. He's going to want to be there tomorrow." He laughs from his gut and I can't help the cold chuckle that escapes my own lips as he shuts the door behind him.
Oh yes, I would call him all right, he was going to love this.
The morning couldn't have come any faster!
This would be the day I finally brought that bastard Swan to his knees. I'd have no mercy. This time they'd be reduced to nothing. If he wanted to ever see his daughter again I'd make sure Swan himself would be the one to end his Phoenix. I would be the ultimate revenge.
I felt a familiar, firm hand clap onto my shoulder as I tossed my phone on the marble bar top.
I didn't bother turning. "Hello, Father."
"Son," Carlisle's voice is always calm and composed. I can never mimic it, no matter how many times I've tried. I can't for the life of me figure out how he remained so collected when he was in my position. "Edward, today's agenda must be called off," he advises. My head shoots up to my old man and he goes on, "postponed if you want," he offers, as room for me to maneuver before I could argue, "But it cannot be done today." His own business voice is now in the driving seat and I know he's dead fucking serious. "I believe you're acting in haste."
Ahh, and there it was, that ever calm, cautioning voice of the former boss. "Everything's planned, Father," I dismiss and breeze past him to shrug on my jacket. Tucking two extra 9mms at the back of my pants, I straighten my tie and turn to face him head on. "I've thought it through from every possible angle. This will go as planned I assure you."
"Unfortunately, son, I don't think it wise."
He sounds certain so I don't protest. Now I'm fucking curious. It's evident too, because my eyebrow arches in question, a habit I haven't outgrown since childhood. "And why is that?" I ask.
He obliges too easily for my liking. "Because I received a call today from Charles Swan and I think it's going to be difficult to capture the girl while we're attending a party to welcome her at their residence this afternoon."
Dad sees my reaction and raises a hand to silence the questions he knows are coming. "Trust me, I was as shocked as you are." He pours himself a glass of my finest bourbon and turns away from me to walk to the fireplace. The light dancing from the flames paints him in a menacing glow as he motions to me with the glass and airs his views. "It would appear that Swan has thought this one through properly and is introducing her to the world so that no one takes him by surprise regarding her."
Carlisle isn't pleased by this at all and with his temper peaking, it's easy to see that we're related. Slamming down the now empty glass, he unnecessarily straightens his suit and clears his throat to get his head on right again. "We'll be attending with various other guests," he clues me in, "including the heads and some guards of the Quileute, Denali and Volturi organizations. Now, that bastard pisses me off as much as he does you, son, but we have to be smart about this. We've got too much to lose if we don't attend. The others will have one up on us. They'll be more informed. I believe it's best we attend."
It's my call and he waits patiently as I mull it over. "We will be attending, Father," I state after some deliberation. He nods in acceptance of the decision, "and we will be watching everything like a fucking hawk."
This would help provide us with valuable information. I needed to take full advantage of the situation, no matter how fucked up it was. We'd spend our time gathering any and all information we can at the party that could help us take the Swan child, because there was no in motherfucking hell, I was changing that plan. Swan was going down one way or the other. The only difference was that we were now going to have to take her from right under their noses.
I've got to hand it to Swan. His knack for showing off was admirable. We were in the grand hall of his mansion. The place was decorated exquisitely. Candles hung from the ceiling and lined the perimeter of the room, illuminating the gold above which contrasted wonderfully with the black of the drapes. I was surprised that purple lights were the preferred choice of lighting against the walls, tingeing the usually swan-fucking-white interior with the color. A welcomed change to the usual white, black and gold colors these pussies usually donned. All in all it looked rather good, still nauseating due to their presence, but good décor never the less.
"Alice would be thrilled," I snigger under my breath.
Jasper snorts at the thought of his wife loose on the party. I had specifically warned him not to tell her about the gathering and he complied all too willingly. We were both too aware exactly how hyper my little sister could be at times.
My fingers flex instinctively towards my piece as I feel someone approach, but I remain aloof. Pretences, that's what came into play at gatherings such as these.
"So pleased you're enjoying yourself, Hale," Riley's icy voice cuts into our otherwise endurable evening as he walks up to us with false pleasantness.
"Well, it was bearable 'til 2 seconds ago," Jasper drawls dryly.
Riley snickers, unaffected.
"Cullen," James greets as he comes to join his annoying, younger sibling. James was 2 years older than me, turning 23 earlier this year while Riley was 21. If, God forbid, either of these cunts were under us, they would be of age to take over the business, but the Swans had a higher age quota for handing down the family business and they weren't at it as yet.
"Swan," My acknowledgment of him is as stiff as his had been. If there was one thing I hated about these fucking meet and greets, it was having to play nice with bitches you want to bust a cap in.
"Let's play civil, shall we." His voice was perfectly polite, but his eyes showed his true revulsion. They were shining with hate. "It's James."
"James, then," I answered back, willing myself to do so without displaying distaste. I had much to gain from this evening, so controlling my temper was vital.
A happy, and I must say, beautiful voice yelled the horrid name. No, not me, rather it was a sweet voice that belonged to a petite girl that proceeded to fling her arms securely around his waist.
I stood dumbstruck as I watched the exchange. I kept my composure externally, while my mind ran a mile a minute with questions. Who the fuck was this? Why was she so happy to see this fucker? And since when does this wop allow anyone to fling fucking arms around him? If there was one thing I knew about James and his family, it's that they weren't the affectionate kind. They don't exhibit public acts of affection. Hell, these guys don't even involve themselves in informal interactions.
Judging from her petite size, the girl was a teenager. My eyes ran over her body, taking note of what I could. She had beautiful, thick, wavy brown hair that flowed down her small back, stopping just inches from an ass that provided me with quite a good view, let me tell you. I couldn't tell much else though, as she was hidden away, hugging a man that I loathed.
Part of me seethed. Literally.
It was obviously because this girl was hugging my enemy, of course.
She pulled back only to capture Riley next. Who, much to my confusion and displeasure, returned the embrace with equal affection, lifting her off the ground briefly before placing her back on her feet.
I was at a loss. This made no sense and I noted that Emmett, Jasper and Carlisle seemed to be sailing in the same boat. At least I wasn't the only one finding this exchange strange, to say the very least.
"I thought I specifically asked you to enter through the northern passage when called for?" James asked her as she bounced away from Riley.
"And I thought I specifically told you I wouldn't?" Her voice was barely a whisper as the two men escorted her away, but I caught it and apparently so did the others because they sniggered too.
The moron Swan brothers lead her to the front of the hall towards Charles Swan. The Phoenix head proceeded to leave his associates mid-speech upon her approach. I was fucking floored. That was something never done before.
I felt my irritation peak as he opened up his arms to her. Must she hug all these bastards? My annoyance only catapulted when she moved into his embrace without hesitation.
Pulling back after a short moment, a beaming Swan proceeded to hold her at arm's length and examine her.
It was then that I saw her.
She had a serene, heart-shaped face, a full pink pouty mouth, stunning warm brown eyes and her milky complexion was accentuated by the flowing knee-length, midnight blue dress she wore, almost making her complexion resemble that of cream.
"Ladies and gentlemen," Swan's voice brought me quickly back to reality as he addressed the gathering, "if I could have your attention please."
The chatter died down to a low hum until it faded out completely. When it was sufficient for his liking, he took a step forward, bringing the girl with him.
"I'm sure most of you were wondering what this event was in honor of." He paused and gestured with his whiskey yielding hand around the room. "Some of you may have an idea. Well, I won't keep you waiting then. Without further ado, this here is the lady of the hour," Charles placed a firm hand on her shoulder, then he fucking beamed and placed emphasis on that wretched last name, "I would like to introduce you to my beautiful, 16-year-old daughter, Isabella Marie Swan."
The hall filled with a buzz of voices, but I was fucking floored.
We watched as the girl blushed. Yes, she honestly fucking blushed. A gorgeous shade of pink making its way onto her face as every eye shot in her direction!
The word stumbled out, inaudible to anyone, but I knew it had been spoken and it pissed me the fuck off.
My jaw set tightly, my mouth forming a grim line as I stared ahead with hardened eyes.
Sixteen? She's 5 years younger than you moron. Get your head in the game.
Tearing myself from my mental musings, my glare moved to Emmett. "I thought you said she was 6?" I hoarsely whispered in both disbelief and irritation.
He shook his head, his mouth slightly slack. "It was hard to make out through all the screams," He answered in much the same tone as me. Minus the irritation though. He was plain fucking stunned that this was the kid. "Looks like it was 16, not 6," he mutters finally, looking me in the eye.
"Clearly," I practically spat, in shock that was mirrored by the three men in my company.
With bugging eyes, we turned back. My cool exterior a perfect mask for the tailspin my head was in. I didn't get it. How could we make such a mistake? This wasn't expected.
She's sixteen... and by God, is she beautiful...
~.~.~ Share some thoughts and R&R. Lots of love, your Kat;) ~.~.~
Definitions: "Capofamiglia/Don/Boss = the Boss of a Family", "wop = an Italian", "butterfly dealer = mob member who deals with fake stock certificates", "headcrusher = someone who delivers harmful beatings without the intention of killing".
FanFiction is über 'iffy' right now so you will soon be able to find copies of all my stories on TWCS (penname: KittyTylz, there will also be a link on my website that will take you to it). You can find the banner for ILAW on my website, I usually post teasers there as well, however, due to the fact that this is a repost I'm not sure if you guys want any? So let me know if you do? There'll be a wait between chapters because I'm editing them but aside from that, to my old readers, consider ILAW officially off hiatus *smiles*.
You can find me on Twitter as well: (a t)KatieA_Tyler
Take care and God bless.