Legal BS: Disclaimer: The original characters and plot of this story are the property of the author. No infringement of pre-existing copyright is intended. This story is copyright (c) 2012 CallMePagliacci. All rights reserved.

Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author of this story. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any previously copyrighted material. No copyright infringement is intended.

Author's Note:

Once upon a time, I saw a pic of Robert Pattinson in a tuxedo. What was I supposed to think?

Chapter One

Sounds of fighting rolled over the dirty floors of the warehouse in a cacophonous, martial symphony, and Edward Cullen absorbed each one with the studied appreciation of a connoisseur. Bullets whizzed overhead, hitting the warehouse's cheap masonry walls with dull thunks and careening off the exposed plumbing with tinny pings. Edward crouched behind a shipping crate labeled, "MARSEILLES FR PERISHABLE." His eyes were open, but he saw only blackness. Nighttime was perfect for an ambush.

He listened attentively, as if he were at home tuning his piano. Edward could pick up even the subtlest whisperings of shoes over concrete, and the continued sound of a multitude of weapons firing. The sounds informed him of his enemies' positions and what firepower they were using; he'd be able to pick out the few allies he had with him as well.

The distinctive crack of an AK-47 almost made Edward swear out loud. Stealth was utmost. He'd hoped to get to his target and have finished the extraction before the foot soldiers got out the heavier artillery.

Several shots came from what Edward could tell was Emmett's sidearm. Then came a double-tap from the larger caliber that Jasper Whitlock carried. Americans, he thought, with amused patronization.

Edward heard the unmistakable sound of two goons hitting the floor.

"Yes!" Emmett whispered.

Emmett and Jasper's bullets had met their marks. Edward looked at Emmett, waiting for the signal- only Emmett could see if the way was clear. Edward pulled the slide back on his pistol, even though he'd chambered his bullet before entering the seedy warehouse. Everything was silent for a short beat. They'd killed all the foot soldiers, and more had yet to arrive. The three spies regarded one another. It was time.

In a smooth and fatal tango, Emmett and Jasper swung around and pressed their backs together. They raised their weapons. Jasper and Emmett each covered two cardinal directions to provide the best cover they could. Edward knew they were low on ammunition.

"I owe you two a pint." At Emmett's quick nod, Edward starting running towards the small door in the northern wall. He kicked it in with barely a pause in his stride. He immediately found, whether by instinct or because of his years of training and experience, an open trap door and the small form of his target trying to pull himself through it.

Edward hurdled over a desk piled high with the underworld's various currencies: diamonds, drugs, and weapons. He grabbed the target's ankle with his non-dominant hand before pulling him roughly down, where he sprawled on the floor at Edward's feet.

"Well, hello there, Alec. Where're you off to so late at night? You've hurt my feelings," Edward said with a sarcastic smile. He had his gun pointed right between Alec's eyes.

"What can I say? I've got a hot date. You wouldn't begrudge me some pussy, would you? And your mother's is so very fine," Alec responded in an accent that Edward couldn't place. Alec's dossier had huge holes in it, especially in his youth.

"I didn't know you were a necrophiliac as well as a poof. I'll add that to your file. Roll over, Alec." When Alec refused, Edward used the additional persuasion of his boot in his stomach. Alec crumpled and tried to use the motion to cover while he grabbed for a syringe in his pocket. He couldn't even get it uncapped before Edward kicked the needle away and viciously pistol-whipped Alec in the jaw. Alec cried out in pain.

"You trying to hit me with your White Fog shit?" Edward said. Alec's particular specialty was a cocktail of Ketamine, LSD, and Ecstasy, which had become popular in the clubs in this area. Alec's shit was pure - addictive and lethal - until it wasn't. Many kids had died after becoming hooked, but it wasn't until a diplomat's daughter had overdosed in the bathroom of a club downtown that Edward had been called in. Jasper and Emmett had been in the area.

Edward knelt quickly, his gun never wavering in its aim at Alec's forehead - Alec didn't know Edward had been ordered to bring him in alive - and flipped him over with a rough jerk on the target's shoulder. Finally, when the small man was spread-eagled and face-down on the floor, Edward quickly zip-tied Alec's hands and holstered his weapon, though he left it unstrapped. Alec was slippery.

"Target acquired and secured. Ready for extraction. Over." An assertive acknowledgement of his order crackled in Edward's earpiece, and a moment later the warehouse's roof was being buffeted with the helicopter gunship's rotor-wash. Edward heard Emmett's heavy footfalls approach. Jasper's more lithe gait followed, covering Emmett's flank. Both were still on high alert.

There was a radio crackle in their earpieces. "Fire in the hole!"

Several seconds later, a targeted explosion rocked the warehouse, and took out the roof. Teams of Special Forces fast-roped in and efficiently went about the task of securing the perimeter. Snipers watched the whole operation from their hovering perch.

Edward roughly pulled Alec off the floor, and with Jasper and Emmett on either side, pushed him forward. He began rapidly to secure Alec into a harness to be winched up into the helicopter.

"You English cocksuckers will never get a word out of me. You know nothing and will never know nothing. I will die to keep the secret. I am loyal. I wi-" Alec's rant cut off with a choked gasp: Edward had secured the harness around Alec's legs perhaps a little more roughly than strictly required, and definitely without adjusting the placement of the straps meant to go around the upper thighs. It was a good thing that Alec would never have cause to use his dick again, thought Edward, because judging from Alec's pallor, he was hurting quite badly, and he wasn't even being hoisted yet. Besides, the intelligence reported that Alec was as queer as Elton John's handbag, and preferred being a bottom. It was one of Alec's many teenage Prosymnusian lovers that alerted Edward as to his whereabouts.

Just as Edward was about to signal to the helicopter to start the winch, a lone shot rang out. The bullet grazed Emmett's thigh before lodging itself in Alec's gut.

"Shite!" The profanity that continued to flow from the burly Irishman's mouth was impressive, and Edward wished he could stop to enjoy a master at work. Instead, he wheeled around and fired off a round not a second after Jasper did the same, rendering a not-quite-dead man definitely dead - and missing most of his skull and brain matter.

"Helicopter gunship, we are ready for extraction, ASAP!" The helicopter began winching Alec- gasping and trembling- as soon as Edward finished speaking.

"Target has been shot in the abdomen, will need immediate medical attention. Be advised. Agent McCarty has also been shot. Superficial wound to the thigh. Stable presently, requires medical attention. I repeat: medevac required for target and Agent McCarty. Over."

"Roger. Will evac target immediately. Standby for secondary ground medevac for McCarty. Over." Alec's limp body was being manhandled into the cockpit. He'd passed out sometime during the short trip. The space that had been designated for the three operatives would now be required to lay Alec out so the medics could work on him.

"Roger, tracking. ETA on medevac? Over."

"ETA four minutes, over and out."

"Over and out."

Jasper had enquired after Emmett's condition while Edward had been radioing the helicopter.

"Oh, I'm fine, ya prick, I was just surprised," Emmett complained in his rolling brogue. Jasper was already pulling a small First Aid kit from his pocket.

"Shut up and hold still." Emmett ceased his anxious movements; the Texan's quiet voice held a strange authority that compelled him to obey.

I wish I could do that, Edward thought, as he watched Jasper quickly tear open Emmett's trousers to expose the wound. After a brief visual inspection, Jasper ripped open a pack of QuikClot and pressed it onto Emmett's thigh, then clapped his hand over it. Emmett hissed in pain and clenched his jaw.

The chopper flew away, leaving the three men in the warehouse with the Special Forces team, providing security while waiting for a tech team to arrive and catalogue what Alec had left behind.

Edward looked at his watch while they waited the requisite amount of time for the bandage to work. They'd been in the warehouse for twenty-seven minutes. Edward frowned. Such a long time wasn't ideal, but they'd experienced more resistance than expected.

He'd killed four men tonight, and between Jasper and Emmett, nearly another dozen were now on their way to Hell.

"Does the killing ever bother you?"

"No," replied Emmett. Jasper added, "Not for a long time."

"Me neither. I don't feel a thing. I keep telling myself that I should be bothered, but I'm not. I suppose I'm bothered that I'm not bothered."

Neither of Edward's companions knew what to say to that. The adrenaline that had coursed through their bodies during the gun fight and extraction was fading, rapidly, and it took all of their considerable training to fight off the fatigue slithering slowly over their bodies and the dulling of the senses that accompanied it. All three knew that such a mistake could be deadly. Emmett now had a gash in his quadriceps to attest to that fact.

"All right." Jasper flicked Emmett's bandage several times, and Emmett's tough facade slipped: he cried out. The QuikClot stopped the bleeding, but didn't do a damned thing for the pain.

"The bandage is sticking and the bleeding has stopped. We need to exfil now and regroup at the safe house ASAP. We'll wait for our next instructions there, while Emmett gets doctored-up rightly."

Edward was the de facto leader of the group, so the other two men waited for him to give the final word. He was about to respond affirmatively to Jasper's suggestion when his cell phone rang. It could only reasonably mean one thing.


"Agent Cullen, you are to report immediately to the airfield. A jet is waiting there to return you to England. You'll be briefed en route."

"What of Alec? The evidence from the warehouse?"

"Both will be attended to by your colleagues. Quickly, Cullen."

"Yes, sir," he said, but the line had already gone dead.

Jasper and Emmett were watching him. Curiosity, despite its fatal nature to felines, was a spy's best friend. After returning his cell phone to his pocket, Edward addressed Jasper.

"Can you get him back to the safe house by yourself?"

"It's a fecking flesh wound! I'm not a fecking invalid!"

Jasper just nodded.

"Good. Go."

No goodbyes, no affection towards his brothers-in-arms, and no backward glance. Edward allowed himself to focus only on his next task: hot-wiring a rusty Peugeot.

Author's Note 2:

If you're curious about which picture I mean, please check out my blog at chekovsgunblog dot blogspot dot com – there's supplementary info and other fun stuff on there too.

I would like to thank my beta, Sara ( abadkitty) and my pre-reader, Jamie ( JadaPattinson).