The weeks that followed the funeral were extremely busy. Edward and Bella had their hands full with finishing up the plans for the Coven Commission allegiance ceremony. The Commission members would swear their allegiance to the family, receive their tattoos, and begin designing the magna carta of the organization. The remaining family and teams members would attend a larger scale allegiance ceremony, after which they, too, would receive their tattoo aligning them with the Coven. Edward planned to get with Steve, his personal tattoo artist, and get the list of supplies he would need for such a massive tattoo job. He would also have to have Steve provide him a list of the artists he was bringing in to help, and have them vetted by Alec.
Invitations were being sent to the heads of all of the American and International families. Edward had used his connections, and suggestions from Sean to ensure that the hotel in Vegas, where the Coven’s debut was to take place, would be prepared for everything, from the finest cuisine to the best level of security. As he had told Bella in a prior discussion, the entire hotel was booked for the Coven’s debut.
Bella had been coordinating with Maria, Rose, Claudia, Maggie, and Esme to finalize the construction/interior design of the club, and the proper care of the new staff. A meeting was to be scheduled to select the new managers for Diamond Knotts and Solar Eclipse.
They had been blessed with good people under them so the day to day business of the family had settled down and was running smoothly. Both sides of the family were getting along and were becoming more trusting of each other, which was a huge step.
Bella was sitting in her office when Edward came in to discuss the issue of the club managers. Eclipse was nearing completion, all the permits were finalized, and they were waiting for the final occupancy approval. The staff had been training and were prepared to begin their new positions.
“Can I have a minute of your time, love?” Edward asked as he bent down to kiss the side of Bella’s neck.
“Keep that up, and it will take more than a minute.” She replied with a smirk. “What can I do for you, husband?”
“I have the file here of the applicants for both of the club manager positions. I wanted to go over them with you and see what you thought. You know that we need a trained Dominant for Knotts. Someone who is known in the community and is versed with the rules. A trained Dominant would be best, but they also require strong managerial skills. I was hoping we could find someone in the family, but after going through each of the names, no one seems to meet the criteria we have set. These applications are from applicants outside of the family. Most are the result of the feelers we sent out through the BDSM community and club owners throughout the country. It is a short list of candidates.”
Edward and Bella went over the applications and turned over their top pick’s personal information to Alec to begin his extensive background check. Of the five applicants, three were immediately dismissed after Alec’s background check; he had detected red flags for questionable activities and complaints. This left two highly qualified candidates. The remaining applicants were summoned to Seattle for a face to face interview.
The first candidate was Carmine Thomapolis. Carmine was currently managing a five star club in Los Angeles, The Mayan. He was 6’5”, 240 pounds with an olive complexion and greenish brown eyes. Edward and Jasper were both familiar with Carmine, as they had hung out while attending UDub. He was familiar with the BDSM community, however, he was more tailored to the needs of Solar Eclipse. When Carmine took over The Mayan, it was a somewhat popular hotspot with a two to three star rating. During the last five years, Carmine was able to capitalize on the club, raising it to five stars, and making it the “It” spot to be in LA.
The other applicant was a gentleman named Andy Garcia. He was the operations manager of The Drake in Houston, Texas. It was a high-end bar on the lower level, but the upper level was an exclusive member’s only BDSM club. Alec’s background check had come back crystal clear. He was 6’3” tall, dark skin, jet black hair and piercing violet eyes. He was a trained Dominant and was in good standing in the community. On paper, he presented as the perfect choice for Diamond Knotts.
Andy Garcia arrived at Cullen Towers and was in the reception area waiting for his appointment time. He had heard that a new club was being opened, but what interested him more was the name of the owners of the club. He had heard of the Cullen family for years and wondered if all the stories were true.
“Mr. Gracia, Mr. and Mrs. Cullen are ready for you.” Gina said. She escorted Mr. Garcia the conference room where Edward and Bella had designated for the interviews.
Edward and Bella rose from their chairs to shake Mr. Garcia’s hand in welcome. On the table were the questions that they had agreed would give them a clear picture if the candidate was what they were looking for in a manager.
After Mr. Garcia had answered the questions about his experience, ideas he may have had in club improvements, and his expectations for income, Edward was ready to wrap-up the interview. When asked if he had any questions for Edward and Bella, he eluded that he did.
“I’m hoping that this is not offensive in any way, but, in this industry, you hear things. I was curious, and well, felt that if I am selected for the manager position of either club, I should be completely informed of, you know, things.” Mr. Garcia stuttered.
“What type of things are you referring to, Mr. Garcia?” Bella asked. She gave Edward a stealthy side glance.
“Well, you know, about your family being in the mafia.” He eluded. When he saw the glance shared by Edward and Bella, he instantly knew he had made a mistake. He was curious who his possible employers truly were. Was he wrong in wanting to know? He felt he was really wrong right this minute. “Never mind, my mistake, I am sure it was just gossip.”
Bella smiled at him while removing Edward’s death grip from her thigh under the table. She knew he was about to reach for his gun, and that would not bode well for anyone. “Mr. Garcia, frankly, I am not sure what you may or may not have heard, but I can assure you that you are here to interview as the manager of one of our clubs. There is nothing nefarious about our businesses, nor should you concern yourself with anything other the running of said club, should you be selected for the position. Any other questions?”
“No, no, ma’am. I am humbly sorry if I have offended you or Mr. Cullen in anyway.” He offered as he rose from his seat to leave.
“No problem, Mr. Garcia. If you had offended us, as you so delicately put it, you would surely know by now.” Edward responded with a sneer on his face. “I think this interview is concluded. Have a nice day, we will be in touch.”
“Yes, yes, thank you both for the opportunity.” Mr. Garcia offered as he practically sprinted out the door.
Bella turned to Edward and busted out laughing, “Seriously, husband, are you affiliated with the mafia?” She asked as she placed her hand on her chest in mock horror.
“I’ll show you affiliation, Mrs. Cullen.” Edward responded as he raced to close and lock the conference room door.
The interview, a few hours later, with Carmine was the complete opposite of the prior interview with Mr. Garcia. Carmine was extremely charismatic, knowledgeable, experienced, and the perfect selection for Solar Eclipse. Carmine was delighted to see his old college buddy, and expressed his happiness at his recent nuptials. He noticed what an enigmatic couple Edward and Bella were, and already felt at ease in their company. He felt that this venture would prove beneficial for all of them. Edward and Bella certainly knew that the choice was made at the conclusion of the interview when Edward suggested that perhaps they could get together for drinks, along with Jasper, Carmine felt sure the job was his.
Bella was thrilled to at least have one of the manager positions filled, and could not wait to share the news. She phoned Rosalie, and together they invited Elizabeth, Maria, Maggie, Esme, Claudia, and Alice for a girls’ day out. Bella had made arrangements for them to enjoy a day at the spa, then dinner. As soon as she told them about the interview with Mr. Garcia, Claudia piped up, “Is he still breathing?” After everyone quieted their laughs, Bella turned to her grandmother, “For now.” Again, everyone burst out laughing. After their meals, everyone discussed the itinerary for the club opening, and staff, and other statistical information that needed to be fine tuned. It was truly a memorable dinner, and so nice for them all to get together. As everyone was preparing to leave the restaurant, Alice hugged Bella.
“It has been a long time since we got to just relax. I have missed you girl.” Alice stated.
“Oh, trust me, I have missed you, too, sweetie. It seems like I have been on a non-stop rollercoaster.” Bella responded sincerely.
“Well, we will have to make it a monthly habit to get together like this. You know, I was thinking while you were talking about the interviews, and wondered, have you selected anyone for Diamond Knotts?”
“Not yet.” Bella responded, but it was obvious that Alice had someone in mind. “Did you have someone we should consider?”
“Well, I was thinking of Jasper’s brother, Peter. He has trained most of the Doms who are members at the club, not to mention, Edward as well. I was wondering if anyone even considered offering him the position.” Alice asked.
Bella smiled. “You know, Alice, you may be onto something. I’ll talk to Edward about it when I get home, and see what he thinks.” They went their separate ways after embracing once more.
Later in the evening, Edward and Bella were at home, waiting for Steve to arrive. Edward had informed him earlier, when they were going over the supplies needed to tattoo the entire Coven membership, that he felt it would be more intimate for him and Bella to have theirs done in the privacy of their home. Steve was more than happy to comply, with the knowledge that the fee he was getting for this job was more than he made in six months in his shop.
Edward had decided he wanted his tattoo over his right pec, leaving the spot over his heart for a future tattoo that he had in mind.
He and Bella had multiple discussions on where to place her tattoo. The first spot was the on her back near the shoulder blade, but Edward felt that since she would be wearing evening gowns at many functions, that it was not a good spot. Then Bella suggested another location, which caused Edward to blow his top. There was no way she was getting it on her ass. NOT GOING TO HAPPEN! Bella couldn’t understand what the big deal was, but Edward would not allow anyone to have that much access to her ass; it was his. Finally, it was decided that the original location they thought of, her upper right thigh, was the perfect spot. Edward would not be leaving the room while she got her tattoo; he liked Steve, but he was still going to have his hand near Edward’s prized possession.
The day of the ceremony had finally arrived. Every detail of the ceremony had been checked and rechecked. Edward was dressed in Armani black suit, crisp white shirt, black tie, and the cufflinks that Bella had gotten him for the occasion. They were platinum with the Coven crest engraved on them. As he finished placing them on, he turned to find his beautiful wife standing with her foot on the chair, adjusting the strap on her shoe. Her long, toned leg brought images of it and its partner wrapped around him as he drove his hard cock deep inside of her. Since their return from Boston, they had taken every available opportunity to be wrapped around each other. Edward hoped each time would be the time that the new legacy of Cullen empire would be conceived. He walked over and placed a kiss on her leg before taking his long tongue and swiping it up to her knee, causing goosebumps to form.
“Edward, stop that.” Bella moaned unconvincingly.
“But, baby.” Edward cried.
Putting her leg down, and grabbing his necktie, she pulled him up. “We have to be on time, but I promise later, tonight, we will continue this.”
“Fine.” Edward whined.
Bella was wearing a short black suit from Chanel. She had found the dress when she was in New York and knew it would be perfect for the Ceremony. She had also found her dress for formal reception in Vegas. Edward hadn’t seen it yet and she was sure he would be all over her once he did.
“I have something for you.” Edward said, reaching into his pocket and pulling out a red velvet box. He opened it; inside was a pinky platinum ring with the Coven crest engraved on it.
“Oh, Edward, it is perfect.” Bella cried, taking the ring and placing it on her right pinky finger.
The Don and Donna were ready to perform the ceremony that would join the most skilled teams in the world together.
The Coven team members would all be getting their insignias after the allegiance ceremony, during the reception afterwards. Steve was bringing in a team of ten additional artists to assist with the large group of members. Booths were going to be setup along the wall of the Coven chamber, allowing members to get their mark when a booth was vacated. There was a catered reception where they could mingle and get to know their team members, as well as their new Don and Donna. Each team member would be provided with the travel itinerary for the Vegas trip, as well as a surprise bonus check. Edward and Bella were aware of all the effort and hard work the members had been providing in getting the teams equipped and up and running; not to mention their contributions during the apprehension of Aro. Showing that appreciation would go a long way.
The team was assembled in the great hall. Edward and Bella both had been very excited about finding the location. It was a large cavernous room with balconies overlooking the main area. On the back wall, they had the Coven crest placed on a stone slab. Minimal lighting was throughout the entire room, except in the large circle in the center of the room where two bright lights illuminated whomever was standing there. This was the center of power for the group.
Edward and Bella walked into the room and took their positions in the center. Looking around the room, they were amazed at the sheer power that the shadows of the team projected. These men and women were going to be the most lethal group in mafia history, even surpassing their mentors, Monster Inc. from the 1940s.
“The Commission members, please step forward.” Edward commanded.
Jasper, Emmett, Marcus, Reinzo, Sal, and Tony stepped forward and faced Edward and Bella.
“The task before you comes with great responsibility. Your decisions on the contracts submitted will ultimately determine the life or death of intended targets. All decisions must be made with just cause, without regard to any outside influences. You will determine the contracts without emotions, consideration of monetary value, or the relationships involved. All contracts that end in a tie, will be submitted to myself and your Donna for the final vote. There will be no rescinding of the final decision. You will be called upon on a weekly basis to meet and review submissions. You will not discuss any Coven matters outside of the confines of the family. You are to report directly and only to myself, your Don, and Isabella, your Donna. The only release from this oath and your position on the Commission is to be granted such by us, or by death. Do you swear your fidelity to the family, to uphold the rules and laws of the group?”
“We do.” They confirmed.
“Stand behind us, facing your teams.” Bella commanded. The Commission followed her command and were now standing behind their Don and Donna facing their team members.
“Men and Women of The Coven, do you hereby swear your allegiance? Do you vow to follow all orders dictated by your Don and Donna as passed down through the Commission?” Edward asked.
“We do.” Came the thundering voices of the team members.
“Do you swear to maintain and conceal from everyone but members of the Coven the existence and mission of this organization, upon penalty of death until the day you die?” Bella asked.
“We do.” Came the resounding agreement.
“Then, from this day forth, you are avowed members of and will function as part of the elite team and family of The Coven.” Edward and Bella both stated proudly. “Please join us for the welcome reception. You will each be marked with the insignia of The Coven. Tattoo artists have been placed around the chamber ready to provide your insignia. This is the opportunity to celebrate the new beginning and to meet your fellow team members, so we might get to know each of you better.”
Many of the members mingled with Edward, Bella, Carlisle, Michael, and even Sean, who had been invited to attend while he was in town. It was intimidating to everyone; the sheer amount of power occupying the room at one time.
Edward noticed that, for some reason, Sean seemed slightly irritable this evening. Once he worked his way over to him, he questioned, “Hey, Fucker, what’s got your panties in a twist?”
Sean was irritated all right, but Edward actually managed to make him crack a smile. “Got some problems with a Colombian group trying to worm their way into my territory. I warned them once, now I am about to get real on their fucking asses.”
Edward looked at Sean and noticed that he was serious. “What Colombian group?”
“Roberto Cortez’s punks. They’ve been selling in my territory. One of those fuckers tried to knife me while we were in NY. I sent his fucking ass back to his fucking boss to deliver the message, but apparently the fucker doesn’t speak fucking English. I have been on the phone with Liam off and on all night. Looks like I may be your first client. I want the fucker done. Maybe we can meet with the Commission tomorrow and have a sit down and go over the facts?”
“Definitely. We would be proud to have you as our first client. Let me get with the Bella and we will arrange a meeting tomorrow.” Edward responded. He was almost giddy at the thought of having their first client before even having the show in Vegas.
“So how is it going with Elizabeth?” Edward asked.
Sean smiled brightly. “Great.”
“Really?” Edward questioned, leaning close. “So, how great?” Edward smirked, raising his eyebrows up and down.
“I am not telling you anything, asshole.” Sean growled. He was about to tell Edward that they had not taken their relationship to a physical level. He was allowing Elizabeth to set pace on their relationship. During the last few weeks, they had talked daily on the phone, he had sent flowers, chocolates, and a charm bracelet with a claddagh on it, with a note saying “more charms to follow”.
“Fine, fucker.” Edward laughed. “Enjoy the rest of the evening.”
“I will, I have a Coven Inc. member to find.” Sean smirked as he walked away to spend some time with the woman he loved.