The mansion was dark, and, for the first time in weeks, Esme was left alone. She had planned for this moment for what felt like eternity, stashing away money, fake ids, birth certificates, and clothes. She would be changing both her and Edward’s expensive clothes for something simpler and comfortable. Before grabbing the handle of the suitcase, she took off her wedding rings, and laid them on the dresser. Looking at the huge diamond ring, she couldn’t remember one second that she enjoyed wearing it. She would no longer be under Carlisle Cullen’s control, and she would not allow her son to grow up to be part of this life. She had lost how many times Carlisle had come home, dripping in someone’s blood. She had learned after several beatings to never question what had happened or where he had been. She was supposed to be the perfect Don’s wife at all times. Slipping out the side door, she got behind the wheel of the car and drove away with a silent prayer that this would be the beginning of a bright, safe future for her and Edward.
She cautiously drove towards the outskirts of Chicago where she had stashed a clean car. If there was anything she learned from the evil Carlisle Cullen was how to buy something under the radar. She had been witness to many illegal dealings, drugs, guns, prostitution, just to name a few. Carlisle’s guy who cooked his books, Bobby “B”, had, on several occasions, talked about how they would purchase a clean car to do a job. She had also learned where to get fake ids and other fake documents, which she had done for herself and Edward. Purchasing a new wardrobe of clothes and new toys for Edward, had also been done and placed in the waiting car. As of today, they were no longer Esme and Edward Cullen, but Elizabeth and Tony Masen.
Pulling up beside the car, she surveyed the area for anything out of the ordinary. When she felt everything was safe, she got out, and got Edward from his car seat.
“Are you ready for a trip, my love?”
Edward giggled and blew spit bubbles, his large sparkling green eyes so full of expression.
Even though Esme was scared about what the future, she knew that she needed to get Edward far away from Carlisle. Carlisle had already started planning when he was going to begin Edward’s training. Esme didn’t say anything, but she heard some of the vile, ruthless, and disturbing things that they would have Edward do to groom him into a cutthroat future Don. She knew then that she had to take Edward and disappear.
Esme knew that Carlisle would use all his resources to try to find them, but not the police. Carlisle was on several watchlists, from the local Chicago PD all the way up to the FBI. But, unbeknownst to Carlisle, Esme had a very large bargaining chip. She had a DVD video of Carlisle killing two FBI agents. One of his guards had brought it to the house and left it. Carlisle left it on a table, and that is where Esme found it, watched it, and quickly made a copy of it. She knew that if this got into the hands of the FBI, Carlisle Cullen would be locked up for good. However that wouldn’t mean she and Edward would be free. Carlisle’s second in command, James Riddick, was just as deadly, and if he found out that she was the one who had turned his Boss in, her hours would be numbered.
The car wasn’t the only thing that Esme had planned on. She had gone to the local library on several occasions and researched the best place to hide out. After hours of looking, she found a small town in Washington state that looked like a great place to hide. She contacted a realtor and purchased a small home for Edward and herself. The next thing was money; she had been taking the sizable allowance that Carlisle gave her, and began stashing it away. He never noticed that she wasn’t using, it because he couldn’t care less about her well being. She was just for show, a prized bangle on his arm. They even had separate bedrooms, and it was known that he had several women that took care of his sexual needs. The nights that she had to endure him in his bed to make Edward were some of the most painful and degrading of her life. When she became pregnant, he left her alone, but she knew that it wouldn’t be long before he would be expecting her to give him another child.
They started out on their long trek to Washington State. The plan was to stay off the main highways as much as possible, and to only to stay in small Mom and Pop motels. She had thought about changing their hair color, but had decided, instead, to wear a wig, and, when checking into a room, or eating at a restaurant, that, if she was asked, she would introduce Edward as a girl. She had purchased several little dress and hats. He was such an adorable little boy that he could pass as a little girl.
The hours on the road turned into days, and they finally they arrived in the little town. A large sign at the end of the bridge welcomed them to “Forks”. Following the directions that the realtor had sent to her along with the key, Esme drove through the town. It was definitely not the type of town that Carlisle Cullen would step foot in, and that made it perfect for her. There was a small shopping center with a grocery store, hardware store, and a few clothing stores. Across the street was the public library, along with an art studio and karate studio. She passed by the elementary school, and smiled at the children who were outside playing on the playground equipment, with the teachers looking on. This was the type of school that she wanted for Edward.
Turning down the street past the school, she found the home she had purchased. It was a cute little white house, with black shutters and large front porch. A large oak tree was in the front yard, and there were flower boxes on the window sills with lovely greenery and bright yellow and purple flowers. She parked in the driveway, and, out of force of habit, she looked around for any signs of danger. Chuckling to herself, she couldn’t help but think about how stupid it was of her to do that. She opened her door and stretched. Opening the back door, she got the sleeping Edward from his car seat, and walked up the steps to the front door. Using the key she opened the door, and was happy to see that the security company had installed her very extensive alarm system. Esme had called to set up the installation, and the company said was shocked by the amount of security she was asking for, especially considering where she was living.
“Ms. Masen, Forks is a very safe town. Hell, I can’t remember the last time we had any type of problems, other than the high school boys playing a prank on neighbors.” The representative said.
“I understand, but I am moving from Atlanta, and I have always had an alarm.” Esme explained.
“It is your money.” He replied.
Disengaging the alarm, she took around the house. It had lovely hardwood floors, and the walls were all painted white. She had purchased furniture, and had it delivered. Walking from room to room, she was pleased at the feel of the home. Adding her own touch would come with time, but this was a good start. She had always enjoyed looking and watching design shows on TV and had dreamed one day of becoming a designer. Another one of her loves was drawing and sketching. Walking upstairs, she found the master bedroom and Edward’s bedroom. She gently laid him down in the crib and hoped he would sleep until she was able to unload the car.
After several trips, she was able to bring in all the luggage and toys from the car. One of the cases held what she hoped was enough money for Edward and her to live off of for a long time. Making several trips up the stairs, Esme was able to get their luggage up and began the process of unpacking. After about an hour, she heard the sweet sound of Edward waking up. He had never been a crying baby, only doing so when hungry or needed changing.
Esme walked into his room, and found him looking up at the mobile above his bed. It had forest animals on it, deer, owls, bears, and squirrels.
“Did you have a nice nap?” Esme cooed.
As soon as he heard his momma’s voice, he looked over at gave one of his toothless smiles. Esme changed him and picked up. Sitting in the rocker beside the crib, she began to nurse him. Carlisle couldn’t understand why she would want to do that, but it was such an enjoyment, as well as a special time between her and Edward. As he latched on, she began to rock, and think about all that had happened. She had been able to escape from Carlisle’s hold, and had made it to a place that had no connection to him or his family. Now she just needed to keep a low profile and raise Edward. After Edward had finished, and was burped, she changed his outfit, and took him downstairs. She had set up the playpen in the living room, so she could get some things done.
Looking through the drawers and cabinets, she made a list of things that she would need. She was just about finished with her list when the doorbell rang. Cautiously walking to the door, she looked through the glass to find a dark haired woman holding a glass dish. Even though she was scared, she dug deep, and opened the door.
“Hi.” Esme said.
“Hello. I am your neighbor, Renee, and I wanted to bring over a casserole and welcome you to our little town.” Renee said, handing the dish over to her.
“Please come in.” Esme said.
Esme took the dish, and took it to the kitchen island with Renee following close behind.
“Thank you so much for this. I won’t have to cook tonight.” Esme disclosed. “I really wasn’t looking forward to that.”
“I figured. I saw you carrying in a little one when you first arrived.” Renee explained.
“Oh, yes. So sorry. I am Elizabeth Masen, and I have a four-month-old little boy, Tony.”
“My husband and I have a little girl, Bella, who is two months old. My husband is watching her for a few minutes. I am excited to see some fresh blood come to our little town, and to have a another child about the same age of Bella so close by. Maybe we can set up some time for them to meet. I have been reading that it is good to start socializing your child with other children at a young age.”
“I think that would be wonderful.”
Suddenly Renee’s phone began to play a tune. “I shot the Sheriff, but did not shoot the deputy.”
“What is wrong?” Renee answered. She began nodding her head, and trying hard not to break out into laughter. “Take off the diaper, and put a new one on her. I have showed multiple times on how to do that. What? Really? Okay, take it off, place her in the tub, and wash her off. Come on, Charlie, it is just a little poop. All right, I am on my way back.” Renee grumbled, hanging up the phone.
“Sorry about that, but Bella has made a mess, and Charlie is having a heart attack.” Renee signed.
“That is fine. It was a different ring tone.” Esme said.
“Charlie hates it, but I think it is a hoot.”
“Yeah, Charlie is the Chief of Police, and he doesn’t think it is funny.”
Esme’s heart began to race. The Chief of Police was living next door to her. Oh no. Would she have to move again? Then, after a few moments, she calmed down. There was no way that Carlisle would involve the police, so this was actually a good thing.
“Oh, that makes me feel safer knowing I have a policeman living next door.” Esme said.
“Elizabeth, this is a very safe town. I think you will love living here as much as I do. There is nothing like small town living, other than the fact everyone know everyone else’s business. Now, don’t get me started on some of busy bodies living here, or I will be here for hours, and Charlie will have to call in reinforcements to deal with the poop.” Renee giggled, then reached in her pocket, and pulled out a slip of paper. “Here is my number. Please call me if you have questions or just need to talk. So, shit, is your husband arriving later?”
Esme had planned on these questions. “Actually, my husband passed away suddenly eight months ago.”
“Oh my. So sorry to hear that.” Renee gasped.
“Thank you, but I have come to terms with it. That is why I wanted to move, too many memories in Atlanta. I wanted to start over fresh, but I also wanted somewhere smaller and quieter.”
“Well, you picked the right town.” Renee confirmed.
Esme walked Renee to the door, and watched as she walked down the steps and down the sidewalk to the next house. She had just made a new friend, and, for the first time in her life, she knew that she wouldn’t have to worry about what she said, and no worries about it getting back to Carlisle.
Closing the door, and walking over to the playpen, she looked down at Edward, and knew she needed to start calling him Tony, not only for her but for him as well.
“Tony, your mommy has made a new friend, and, guess what, she has a little girl about your age. Looks like you will be having a new friend as well.”
Their new life was beginning, and it looked like it was going to be great.