Disclaimer: Stephenie Meyer owns Twilight ... I own a pair of dark blue converse.
Chapter 1 – The meeting
Tears streamed down my face as I ran across the deserted street. I needed somewhere to hide and the old abandoned Petrillo house was my only hope if I wanted to get out of this alive.
Gunshots rang out in the air, disrupting up the eerie silence that always blanketed the still, dead night. I ducked and covered my head with my hands on instinct, or in fear. Either way, it was stupid because the gunshots weren't anywhere near me. But they were closing in and here I was, immobile on the overgrown, weed infested lawn which gave rise to steps that led to the dilapidated, seemingly detached front porch. I tried to remember what it looked like back in its glory days. Mrs. Petrillo and her husband lived here, such a nice old lady, hubby was weird though, always so serious and still. I always wondered …
I was pulled out of my reverie by another barrage of gunshots that penetrated the air. An involuntary chill raced up my spine.
I'm dead on my feet. My fear whispered
Run Bella, run! My instinct screamed.
I willed my legs to move and took off at a frenzied sprint aiming for the back of the house; the front door was bound to be locked. Rushing along the side and stomping the bush as I went, I kept my eye on the prize and hope in my heart. Realizing I was almost there and I hadn't fallen yet, I thanked the Good Lord that my usually ever present clumsy nature was suddenly non-existent. As I rounded the corner to enter the backyard, I came in contact with what I thought was some kind of steel yet human-like structure.
Spoke too soon.
I toppled and rolled in the grass, groaning. Leather gloves grabbed me and I was suddenly pulled upright. My eyes widened; I was no longer alone. My back was pulled against this stranger's chest, my heart took residence in my throat; I choked back a sob.
This is it.
"Hail Mary, the Lord is with you ... uh …" Although I hadn't been to church in years, I began to recite my prayers. "Pray for us sinners now and in the hour of our death … uh … I'm totally sorry for the parts I skipped. I don't remember. Amen"
An amused chuckle filled my ear and a slightly accented velvet voice followed "Listen, bellissima, I won't harm you, if you stay quiet. Capisce?"
"Um …" I droned. I was confused; I'm supposed to be dead right now.
"Or I could end it for you right now, if you want." He stated nonchalantly and let it hang in the air.
Then he continued "However, I think you'll spend more time in purgatory for not knowing your prayers." Another amused chuckle, and his breath washed my face, invaded my nostrils. It was clean, warm, refreshing and I took a deep breath hoping to suck all of it in.
"Spread out, search the area!" A malice laced tone chopped the air. "Ya better fucking find her!"
"Choose now!" My velvet suddenly hardened.
I steeled my nerves and closed my eyes. "Capisco!" I whispered.
Velvet sprung into action. He pulled me along the back wall, rubbing it, searching for something. I followed blindly, bumping into him as he abruptly stopped. He exerted some pressure against the wall, his hand was covered by the weeds and something gave with a muffled thunk.
"Trovato! Get down bellissima, into the window." He urged "Pronto!"
It was a little window that led into the basement. It was just above the dirt level but it was covered by the overgrown grass. I got down and lowered myself in; feet first. Feeling with my legs I kicked an old work table and used it to steady myself.
"There's a table, you can stand on." I informed Velvet quietly. I hopped off the table and landed on my ass. Sighing, I pushed to my feet as Velvet slid in the window, all graceful and smooth.
"Ya always this clumsy or is it just because of me?" Velvet joked as he closed the window silently.
"You're just envious of the close relationship I have with the floor." I smirked and brushed off my blue jeans and hoodie. Velvet moved and moonlight filtered in from the window.
My eyes adjusted to the slightly better lighting trying to take in the surroundings. Another work table was situated at the other end of the room. Boxes were stacked in a corner and a covered washing machine sat in the other. Everything was draped in a thick layer of dust and cobwebs. Squeaks sounded and I heard rats scurrying about. I made a small circle and hit my head on a small chain hanging from the ceiling. I raised my hand to pull on it but Velvet stopped me and shook his head no.
"It's just the light I have one like it in my basement." I whispered. His touch on my fingers burnt a trail that warmed up my entire body.
"No light, they'll see it." He reasoned.
I shrugged out of his hold and nodded my acquiescence. I walked across the room to sit on the worktable away from the window after brushing it off. He let out a breath and joined me. We stayed quiet for a while and I tried to look at anything but him; I really wanted to know what he looked like. I hoped he was handsome; it would be a shame for such velvet to go to waste.
Ha, I'm in an abandoned house with a strange man who could snap my neck like a pencil and I'm worried about what he looks like.
"Need to get your head checked bells!" Rose's voice and laugh echoed in my head.
Would I ever see my sister again? I'm alive aren't I? But for how long?
"Thank you for not killing me." I blew out a breath I didn't even know I was holding in.
"You're welcome." He chuckled.
"They're looking for you too?" I asked mildly curious.
Silence enveloped us again. I felt safe with Velvet. He hadn't given me any reason not to trust him … yet.
"You gonna ask what I'm doing around here?" Velvet questioned.
"It's ain't my business." I replied. "They got guns, I'm pretty sure you're packing heat too. But you're friendly and they ain't. That's all I need to know."
"I like that." I saw the outline of his mouth turn up in a smile. It went away as quickly as it came. "Why they lookin' for ya?"
"I live around here. I took a walk and I was passing the alley by Gallo's Bakery when I saw a blonde dude with a pony tail pump two into Paul Greco Junior. I knew Paulie from around the way. It was rumoured that he started hanging with a mafia family; the Cullens but he owed the Volturis, who are another mafia family, money."
I slightly stiffened as she mentioned the Famiglia. I peeped to see if she noticed. But she seemed oblivious as she continued her story.
"I was frozen … I stared as the blood poured from his skull in the alley and on the wall he slumped against. Then Blondie turned around and saw me standing there. He started screaming in Italian to his cronies who were standing around just watching Paulie bleed. Sick bastards! I caught two words 'Voglia morta'." She whispered her last sentence.
"I want her dead." I stared into space. James was never one for tact.
She moved her head, a bobbing motion and I could see her shoulders shaking; she was crying. I draped my arm around her pulling her closer. She leaned into me.
She sniffed me. "You smell nice."
"Did ya seriously just sniff me?" I asked in mock outrage.
"I said you smell nice" She giggled, like she was drunk, it was a very sweet sound. I wanted to hear it again.
"What happened next?" I probed, needing to get all the information.
She sobered quickly "I ran. Then I bumped into you."
I rubbed her back. She was a dead on her feet if I let her go back out unprotected; James would never let it go. He would never stop. I didn't want her to die, I felt obligated to her.
Why? She's a broad you don't even know. The capo in me reasoned. Are you really going to risk war over her? Once James finds out she's with ya, Aro Volturi will ask for a sit down where he'll request we hand over the girl. To avoid it Carlisle will probably order me to hand her over.
I can protect her… The optimist in me stated.
Really … How ya gonna do that? The capo asked.
The optimist ignored the capo. I need more information.
"Bellissima, what's your name?" I asked.
"Isabella Swan, but my friends call me Bella. You can call me Bella." She then rushed to add "uh … If you want to." She raised her head to look at me.
Even though I knew she probably couldn't see much in this lighting, my face felt hot under her gaze.
Going Goo-goo over this broad? The capo chuckled.
"Can I know your name?" She asked "You don't have to tell me."
I contemplated lying, but decided against it. "It's Edward."
"Edward …" She sighed.
My heart sped up; I loved the way my name floated out of her mouth. I wanted to spend more time with her. Get to know her and sort out those feelings I had coursing through my body.
"It sounds very Victorian era."
"I'm named after my grandfather. I dunno; maybe he was born then." We shared a laugh. I felt at ease with Bella. Like she would keep my secrets and accept me for whom I was, regardless.
"The bitch got away." A calm deep voice invaded our ears as footfalls were heard above. We were right below him; they were right outside the window we entered the basement through. Bella's eyes were wide as saucers and I held her closer to me.
"Shit!" James grounded out. "Call off the search Lau, Aro's calling me." James kicked the wall. "Fuck!"
"We'll find her; Henry and Petey can cruise the 'hood tomorrow." Laurent, James' right hand responded.
"Youse tell them bring that puttana to me, I'll teach her a lesson about sticking her nose where it doesn't belong, after I take her for a ride, or two." James laughed evilly and Bella shuddered in my arms as they walked away. I guess she realized what James meant by ride.
Take me for a ride? That bastard wants to rape me. An involuntary chill raced down my spine this time and I felt my eyes well up with unshed tears.
"Shhh …" Edward's velvet voice was comforting in my ear. "I won't let that happen."
I nodded but, I didn't believe that. What could he do?
We stayed there for a while longer. Edward wanted to make sure that no guinea bastards would pop out of the woodwork. He hopped up on the table and opened the window and stuck his head out to scan the area. Satisfied, he lifted himself out the window with a groan and then helped me out. We stomped quickly through the knee high weeds and he helped me over the Petrillos' back fence. We then hurried through the adjacent yard and ran over to the other side of the road where Edward's car was parked.
I let out a low whistle and rubbed my hand along the hood. It looked expensive. I gave him directions to my house. During the drive I found out it was a black 2011 Chevrolet El Camaro.
"My sister would totally love this." I commented and adjusted myself on the vinyl seat, as he gunned the engine and took a left. The clock on the dash said 2:34am; I had gone for a walk at 11pm.
"Why? Cause she's a little vapid bitch?" Edward laughed cruelly. I stared at him. Wondering who I was sitting beside and where was my Edward … I mean the Edward I met in the basement. But, mainly I was pissed that he would say something like that about Rose.
"No! She's a mechanic and a car enthusiast. And don't talk about her like that. I love her and I'll kick your ass 6 ways to Sunday. You Wop!" I seethed.
Edward seemed unfazed. The only telltale sign that he had heard me was a smirk which contorted his mouth. He didn't even reply as he parked in front the house. I unfastened my seat belt, opened the door and stepped out.
The lights in my house were on and Rose barrelled out in her mechanic jumper which was half open and bundled at her hips, a wife beater with her peaked cap on backwards with her blond hair crowding her face. She stopped right in front of me.
"Isabella Marie Swan! I've been worrying my ass off. Where were you?" She pulled me into an embrace, I hugged her and then pulled back to see her face. But she was looking over my shoulder and her eyes widened.
I turned to see Edward leaning against his car. The light from the post cast a shadow on his face but I could see much more than I could in the basement. I took his appearance. Italian loafers adorned his feet. Long legs and narrow hips were encased in black slacks. Broad shoulders were outlined by a grey long sleeved button down, no tie. His hair was copper and disarrayed like he just had hot sex. I resisted the urge to rake my fingers through it.
"Something wrong with your sorella Bella?" A chuckle followed his sentence and I immediately knew he thought that Rose was stunned by his presence.
"She's not staring at you." I shook my head. Such an egotistical bastard.
"How would you know?" He cocked an eyebrow as if he was saying how I dare question his demi-godly good looks.
Rose took a step closer. "Is that the 2011 Chevrolet El Camaro 1LT coupe with the V6 cylinders, 24 valves, DOCH plus Direct injection, torque of 278ft-lbs 5100 rpm, 312 horsepower 6500 rpm and a base engine of 3.6L."
"That's how I know." I snorted. "Yes, Rose."
"Wow…" Obviously stunned at Rose's knowledge Edward breathed out "Car enthusiast… you weren't yanking ma chain huh Bella?"
As if seeing him for the first time she stared at Edward. She snapped out of her stupor and unleashed the tirade I've been mentally preparing myself for since we pulled up.
"Who are you?" Hatred and suspicion rushed out alongside her words. She turned to me "Who's this Bella?"
"This is Edward; he saved me" I replied meekly.
"Saved you from what?" Her voice barely above a whisper as fear crept into her features.
"I saw something I wasn't supposed to …" Edward cut me off.
"Look Rose, it's a long story and Bella isn't exactly safe right now. We should take this inside." He beeped the alarm on his car and gestured towards the house.
Rose looped our arms and I leaned on her shoulder. We walked towards the house. Edward stopped on the porch as Rose and I opened the door. I looked at him. He took out his phone.
"I have a few calls to make, I'm not leaving." He smiled genuinely. I nodded.
"Tell your sister what happened. Don't leave out the part where I rode in on my white horse in shining armour." I winked and she giggled. Love that sound.
She suddenly became serious "Thank you Edward." She went inside.
I heard the low hum of their voices and dialled Emmett's cell. He picked up on the second ring.
"Yea Boss?" He answered.
"Em, need ya to sit on a couch and watch the television." He knew what I meant.
"Kay Boss, Whose?" I gave him the location.
"Be there in 30." The call ended. I scrolled through my phone and found the number I was looking for. The line rang 5 times before a sleepy voice floated over it.
"Somebody important better be fucking dead." My brother bitched.
"Almost, I need you to do a background check on one Isabella Marie Swan."
"What the fuck? … now?" He groaned.
"Yea, now." I knew it was late and I didn't want to pull the rank card; so I added "Please, as a favour, to me, your beloved brother."
"Beloved, my ass," He scoffed and then sighed. Gi' me two hours."
"Grazie Jas." I put my phone in my pocket and opened the door to the Swan house. I saw Rose sitting dejectedly the couch, her eyes glazed over. I sat in the one seater.
"Where's Bella?" I asked, feeling the need to talk to Rose.
"In the bathroom," A sigh escaped her lips "Our parents are died in a car accident that happened 5 years ago." She pointed to a picture on the wall of two brown haired older folks. Bella resembled the man. "Bella is all I have left. I have to protect her."
I nodded, not knowing what else to do or say. She continued "I'm not stupid."
"Whatcha talkin' bou?"
"You dress like them. You're involved in the Mafioso." It was a statement not a question. She was right on point but I said nothing. "I can't lose her."
"I don't plan to." Rose stared at me, I wondered what I said. Replaying the conversation in my head I realized what was said. I pinched my nose. "What I meant to say …" I started but Rose cut me off.
"You got feelings for her."
"You're very perceptive Rose." I needed someone sharp as that in my crew. I sighed. If only she were a man.
Just then Bella came down the stairs in a pair of blue pyjama shorts and a white tank top with fuzzy pink bunny slippers on her feet. Her chocolate orbs bore into mine. My phone rang and I answered it while still eye locking with Bella; I couldn't look away.
"I'm outside." He said.
"Come in." I hung up. I then spoke to Bella and Rose "My friend's going to stick around for a while. He's a good guy."
"You mean good fella?" Rose raised an eyebrow.
"Rose!" Bella laughed nervously, "Rose has this crazy theory that you're in the mob. Tell her it's not true."
I looked between her and Rose, I didn't want to lie, but I couldn't tell them. Just then there was a knock on the door. Rose went to the door, opened it and stared outside. She was probably stunned by the sheer size of Emmett; he was a huge motherfucker standing at 6ft. 5in and very muscular.
"Hey, I'm Emmett; a friend of Edward's. Can I come in?" He asked gently.
"Su-su-sure." Rose stammered. I laughed; this broad that was screaming her head off at me half an hour ago, was nervous around Emmett.
Bella leaned on the arm of the one seater and whispered "She likes him."
"No." I scoffed sarcastically.
They came inside and Rose and Bella sat down on the love seat while Emmett stood against the wall.
"Yo-You can sit." Rose gestured to the empty couch.
"I'm good, sweet stuff." Emmett replied moving the curtain to look outside the window.
"I brought Em here, to protect you, for the night. I have a plan to take care of our James problem."
Emmett sent me the "What the fuck is going on?" look.
I sent him the "We'll talk when we're alone" look. He nodded and I continued:
"But, it will change, youse lives forever. Not for the worst though, and I can't talk about it until I've cleared up some things. But I will tell you." I met Bella's eyes and we stared for a while. My chest tightened and I wondered if she got those feelings I had too. And if not, how could I make her feel like I did.
Rose coughed "Hungry Bella? I bought provolone cheese and salami." She then looked to Emmett and I. "We could make youse two Italian hero sandwiches." She bumped Bella's shoulder.
"Sure, I'll take one for the road." Bella's gaze dropped and I realized she was sad because I was leaving her.
"Emmett?" Rose asked.
"Sure, sweet stuff. I'll take three to start."
Rose snorted. "Come help me Bella." Rose dragged Bella to what I assumed was the kitchen.
Emmett sank into the couch and looked at me expectantly with his arms folded across his massive chest. So I filled him in on what happened and included the fact that I had no idea what to do to take care of the issue. I could trust Emmett we go back to kindergarten.
"So, what's the next move?" I shrugged. "What are you going to do with the sorella?"
"Rosalie … She's into cars and fingered me for a wise guy just by looking at me. She's smart and got a pair on her; cussed me out on the lawn when I arrived."
"Yea, she's hot. That mechanic jumper on her … Whoo! But, how come I can't get a decent sentence outta her?"
"Ehhh … Bella says she's got a thing for you."
Emmett popped his collar and flexed his muscles "Yea that's me, Emmett Irresistible Moretti." We laughed and then he leaned in with his arms on his legs. I could tell he was going to say something being serious then "I saw youse staring at each other. Somethin's there. I'll back ya, whatever your play, but ya sure?"
"Yes." He leaned away; just then Bella came in with a coffee pot and mugs on tray followed by Rose who had two plates of sandwiches and a paper bag on a tray. They set them down on the coffee table.
"Pour me a cup, Bella." I ordered. Bella proceeded to do as I said but Rose grabbed her arm glaring at me. I stared back. She raised a bitch brow. Emmett mouthed the word please.
I said "Please." Rose let go Bella and allowed her to pour my coffee. Bella then handed me the mug. She then grabbed a sandwich and plopped down on the love seat. Rose handed Emmett a plate with three sandwiches plied in a pyramid and he asked for coffee. She nervously poured him a mug and sat down beside her sister.
I sipped the coffee. "Good stuff, Salute!" Emmet and I raised our mugs. He grunted; his mouth too stuffed to give any verbal response. He pointed to what was left of his sandwiches, which wasn't much, and gave Rose thumbs up. She blushed. I downed my coffee. While placing the mug back on the tray, I stood and looked at Bella. Her eyes were downcast.
"I gotta go." I shuffled my feet and headed for the door.
"Wait Edward, don't ya want the sandwich? I made it … Especially for you." I turned to see her standing behind me with the paper bag in her hands. I used my left hand to grab the bag while I used my right hand to caress her cheek. I leaned in to whisper. "I'll be back tomorrow at 3pm. We'll talk then. Hmmm"
Her breath caught in her throat. "Okay."
"Rosalie, Em." I nodded, and then they nodded. I shared one last look with Bella. "Lock the door behind me. I'll take care of this, I promise." I then removed my hand from her cheek and ducked out the door.
A/N: Don't be afraid to tell me what you think.
All forms of criticism welcome.
Looking for a Beta ... With mafia/italian knowledge, preferably.
If not, we'll research it together.
Chapter Two is on it's way. :)