I.M. Swan a best-selling author is on top of the literary world. After coming off her book tour for her latest book, she has begun her research for the next, a book on the Chicago Mafia. Spending hours in the library and courthouse, she is surprised to find out a most curious piece of information about the Don of the largest crime family. He is not the rightful heir to the family.
Aro Volturi planned and executed the complete destruction of the Cullen family. Wiping away any documentation or body of any evidence of the family from the face of the earth, or he thought so.
Edward Cullen was smuggled away with the aid of his faithful nanny, who kept him safe until it was time for him to take revenge for his family’s death. Training and building a new, stronger family to take back what is rightfully his and executing the man who took his family from him.
One evening, as Edward is following one of Aro’s hitman, he witnesses him a young woman in the alley. Coming to her aid, he is mesmerized by her beauty and when he gets to know her, he is in awe of her intellect.
Will Bella be able to survive with Edward’s help or will Aro get to her and silence her forever? E&B
I own the storyline for Words to Die By, but I borrowed the characters’ names from Stephenie Meyer. No copyright infringements are implied.
Chapter One ~ November 13, 1987
Carlisle Cullen lay gasping for his last breath; lungs were filling with blood, his heart working hard to remain beating, all the while holding onto his prized firearm in his bloody hand. Carlisle would fight until he could not fight anymore, hopefully, giving his wife and son time to escape.
As he looked at his hand, he saw the bare little finger, where he had worn his family ring since the day he took control, he prayed that one day his son would avenge the many deaths that had happened today. Carlisle knew who, but he didn’t understand how Aro Volturi had pulled this off.
After years of planning, the Volturi were prepared to make their move. At first, the plan was to attack in the dead of night, but the Cullens always had extra security in place during that time frame, so a daytime attack had been formed. Planning the takedown to the minute and deciding which Volturi family member would be responsible for the death of which Cullen family member, had been fine tuned. Aro Volturi had collected pictures of each of the Cullen immediate family members and soldiers, putting them on boards in one of his warehouses on the lower east side, where they had been planning the attack.
Aro had also invested a significant amount of money in the arsenal that would be needed for the job. He knew when he was in control of the turf that the Cullens owned, the money would be made back in spades. No longer would the Volturi family live off the scraps that the Cullens allowed them to have all these many years.
The most substantial amount of money paid was to the government official at the courthouse responsible for erasing the existence of the Cullen family. Carlisle Cullen, the current Don of the family, would have never been born. His father Anthony Cullen’s immigration records would no longer exist. The newest Cullen, the heir to the family, Edward, would no longer exist. Any legal property owned by Carlisle Cullen would be altered to show ownership had always been Aro Volturi. However, he knew that it would take a considerable amount of money to bribe a banking official to change the Cullen accounts over to him. Aro knew there was a vast amount of cash already stashed throughout the Cullen estate, along with the fine jewels, silver, and gold bars.
“Sir, we are ready to begin,” James said.
Aro looked out the window to see that it had begun to snow and not a few flakes, but large, heavy flakes. Pointing out to the storm, Aro turned to James. “Does everyone know to wear their white gear?”
“Yes, Sir. I am actually excited to see the snow. It will give us some cover, even during the day. The skies are very dark and the snow is making it hard to see anything other than a few feet away. Our men will be able to sneak up on the mansion and the other designated locations to take out the assholes, without them being able to sound an alarm,” James explained.
“Alright, then in two hours we hit and make sure the men know that I will not allow subpar performance. If any man fails to kills his target, there will be dire consequences. Do I make myself perfectly clear?” Aro asked, his face full of conviction and determination.
“I, no sir we will not let you down, Boss,” James said.
Aro smiled at the sound of James calling him Boss. By nightfall, he would be just that, Boss of the Volturi Crime Family and the most powerful man in Chicago. “I will be close at hand and let me know when you have Carlisle; I want to be one to put the final bullet in between that fucker’s eyes. The last thing he will know before leaving this earth will be that I am now in control.”
“Sure thing. Let’s go take these motherfuckers out,” James grinned, then began paging all the men to ensure that they knew what to do and where to be.
Aro called his inside guy at the police department and gave him a heads up with the time frame. Mike would make sure to delay any cops showing up on the scene at the Cullen mansion while the siege was taking place. He had already received the first envelope with fifty thousand dollars and when this was all over with, he would receive another hundred thousand dollars. Fuck this was more money than he could even possibly make in eight years on the force. Aro had also promised that if he continued to provide him information and keep the cops off his back, that the money would continue to flow.
Carlisle had just finished up the last of his paperwork. He had moved his main office to the mansion years ago when he got married. Family always came first and he wanted to be there for Esme if she ever needed anything. When Esme had become pregnant with their child, he took every precaution that she was happy and safe. Nine months later she gave birth to a healthy baby boy and they named him Edward Anthony, after his great-grandfather who had passed away in Italy with his loving wife of 35 years.
They brought Edward home from the hospital and began to enjoy being parents. Carlisle insisted that they hire a nanny to help with Edward. Esme at first protested that she could take care of him without any help, however after a few weeks of no sleep and a colicky Edward, she changed her mind.
Esme had a list of requirements and qualifications for the nanny position, while Carlisle needed the person to be part of the family in some form. The nanny had to be trustworthy and know how to keep their mouth shut around the law and others who were a threat to the family. A list was made and the interview process began. One after another was disqualified for one reason or another and they thought they might not find someone that would fit all their qualifications. That was until the afternoon when Angela McCarty walked into the office.
Angela was the daughter of one of Carlisle’s Capos. She was twenty-five; however, she had no desire to get married. While in college she had been attacked by a group of frat boys who had beat and raped her. The effects of the attack had stayed with her and she was scared to be with any man alone. Carlisle and her father made sure that the low-life scum who had attacked her had a first hand introduction to retribution. After they got through with the frat boys torture, there was nothing left that could identify them. Even though Angela knew that her attackers were dead, it still didn’t heal the wounds that they had caused her spirit. Maybe one day she would feel differently.
Angela’s father, Marcus had been so worried about her that when he heard that Carlisle was looking for a nanny for Edward, he thought it might be just what she needed.
“Angie, baby, Carlisle and Esme are looking for someone to take care of little Edward. I was wondering if you might be interested in the job.”
Angela thought for a moment about what her father was saying. She hated the fact that she was such a bother to her father. She had lived at home after the attack, moving out of the dorms and finishing up her degree under the watchful eye of the guards that her father had placed to protect her. However at this point, she couldn’t see herself working in the general public, but something was comforting about the idea of being surrounded by the level of security at the home of Carlisle Cullen. Little Edward would be protected by the best soldiers at all times and in the most secure home in the city.
“Dad, I would love to talk to Mr. and Mrs. Cullen,” Angela said.
Marcus was shocked but also excited to see his little girl showing signs that she was regaining her confidence. Before the attack, she was fearless, independent, and strong woman with a kickass attitude. “I will set up an interview.”
Marcus called Carlisle and told him that Angela was interested in the job. Carlisle was worried that she wouldn’t be able to handle the stress of taking care of an infant. However, Angela would be the perfect choice with her knowledge of discretion and loyalty to the family. Carlisle arranged for Angela to come by and to speak to Esme and himself.
Angela arrived at the mansion and when she walked into the room, Carlisle was shocked to see that Angela seemed to be recovering some of her old spirit. He had seen her before the attack and after, and the woman currently before him was the Angela before the attack. She held her head high and even had a smile on her face. “Angela, it is so good to see you again, please have a seat.”
Angela sat down and smoothed her skirt and hoped her voice wouldn’t crack when she spoke. “Thank you, Mr. and Mrs. Cullen, it is nice to see you again as well.”
“None of that Mr. and Mrs. stuff, it is Esme and Carlisle. After all, we are family,” Esme said with a soft smile. After that, the rest of the interview went smoothly. When they went into the nursery to see Edward, Angela fell in love with the child. He had to be the cutest baby in the world, with reddish-brown hair, adorable nose and pouty lips. He always had a large set of lungs, screaming loudly and nothing seemed to stop him. Esme tried to sooth Edward’s cries, however, he continued to bellow.
“May, I?” Angela asked.
Esme looked at Carlisle, who shrugged his shoulder. “Of course, dear.” She carefully handed the screaming Edward into Angela’s awaiting arms and seconds later he was silent. Looking up at her with his big tear-filled green eyes, he cooed sweetly and yawned.
That was when Carlisle and Esme were sure that Angela was perfect for the job. Angela was offered the position, which she quickly accepted. She moved in, as soon as she could pack, and began helping Esme take care of Edward.
It was several weeks later that Angela was in the nursery, tending to Edward, when she heard what she thought was gunfire coming from inside of the mansion. Looking out the window through the falling snow, she saw men carrying large guns rushing toward the house. This couldn’t be happening and suddenly the door to the nursery burst open. Esme rushed in, and her light grey dress was covered in blood.
“Angela, we are under attack,” Esme cried. She had been in her library when she heard shots fired in the hallway. Sneaking through the door that led to Carlisle’s office, she found her loving husband lying on the floor with blood coming from his chest, with two dead men at the door. Rushing over Esme bent down and placed her hand over the wound trying to stop the blood from pouring out.
“Darling, darling, are you okay?” Esme whispered.
“No. I am not going to make it sweetheart,” he coughed. “I need for you to get to safety. Take Edward, use the tunnel and disappear,” Carlisle groaned in pain.
“I won’t leave you. Car, I can’t leave you,” she cried.
“You must. I don’t know who is behind this, but they are well armed and they are taking out my men with precision. We have talked about and planned for this my love. You have to protect yourself and Edward. When he is old enough, give him my ring and tell him about the family. He has my blood flowing through his veins and he will want revenge,” Carlisle coughed, blood spraying all over Esme’s beautiful dress.
“Please don’t leave leave me, leave us,” Esme cried.
“I don’t want too, my love but the devil has decided to take me early. Know that I loved you with all that I have and Edward has been the bright light in my dark world,” Carlisle struggled, then heard the gunfire getting closer. “Esme go, be safe.”
Esme bent over placing a kiss on his blood covered lips. “I will love you until my last breath.” Taking his ring, the symbol of the leader of the family, Esme stood and went to the desk and removed a gun from the drawer. Carlisle had taught her how to shoot; however, she had never had to in this type of situation. Going to the door that would lead her back to her library she turned one last time to take a look at her love. He had somehow pulled himself up into a sitting position and was holding onto his prized gun, ready to give her as much time as he could. Walking back into the room, she opened the door that led to the hall and carefully peeked to see if she could make it across without being seen. Thankfully, there was no one alive in the hall and she rushed across, opening the door and slipping inside. She found Angela holding Edward on the floor beside the large oak dresser.
“Are you hurt?” Angela asked, looking up and seeing the blood on Esme’s dress.
“No, but we have to get to the tunnel and fast,” Esme whispered.
Carlisle Cullen was a man who always planned for the worst possible event. That is why he had a secret tunnel designed that ran from his home, to over half a mile away to a secret escape door in an old barn on the edge of the property. In the tunnel were cases full of money and new identities for Esme, Edward, and the recently hired Angela. She had become such a huge part of the upbringing of Edward in such a short time, that he wanted to make sure she was protected if someone decided to come against the family. Carlisle and Esme had sat Angela down and explained everything to her. Angela was shocked but also honored that they felt the need to include her in their escape plans. However, she never thought she would have to use it ever and never this soon.
Angela stood up and grabbed Edward’s diaper bag and stuffed it full of diapers, wipes, bottles, pacifiers, clothes, and his favorite stuffed giraffe. Putting his one-piece snowsuit on and wrapping a blanket around him. Esme reached into her pocket and pulled out Carlisle’s family ring, placing it into the pocket of the bag.
“What about my father?” Angela asked.
Esme had seen him lying in the hall outside of Carlisle’s office. She was sad that Angela would see her father in that position, but at that point, they couldn’t stop and allow her time to say goodbye.
Walking over to Angela, Esme placed her arm around her shoulder. “Angela, your father gave his life trying to protect the family.”
“Where is he?” Angela cried.
“He is in the hall, but we can’t stop when we leave this room. Please don’t let his death be in vain,” Esme pleaded.
Angela nodded her head as tears flowed down her face, while her heart broke for the loss of her beloved father. She would be brave for him and for Edward..
Esme once again went to the door and was happy to see no one was in the hall, but she could hear voices yelling, and gunfire from the lower level. Thinking quickly she thought that if they could get to the stairs that led to the kitchen then they could make it to the secret door off from the den on the lower level.
“Come, Angela, we must hurry,” Esme pleaded.
Opening the door, Esme lead Angela out carrying Edward into the hallway. Grasping Angela’s hand Esme lead her past Marcus’s dead body. A small gasp escaped Angela’s lips, but she placed her hand over her mouth to try not to let any more noise escape. Now was not the time to cry, that would be when Esme, Edward, and herself were safely away from the mansion. They made it to the steps and slowly walked down one by one, listening and watching for those who were out to get them.
Finally they reached the lower level, however, they needed to get to the den without being seen. There were strangers everywhere, kicking the dead bodies of Carlisle’s men checking to ensure they were dead. If they moaned the attackers would place another bullet into their head. Esme evaluated the situation and knew that there was no way that they all could get to the tunnel safely. Someone would have to be the decoy to pull the attention away from Edward and there was the only person that could or should do this. A mother’s love for the well being of their child would be cause to give their all, to ensure that he was safe.
Leaning close to Angela’s ear. “Take care of him, love him, and tell him what happened here today,” Esme whispered.
“But you are coming with us,” Angela said.
“No, I need to give you the chance to get to the tunnel door. Remember to pick up the case, which will have the information where more money is stashed. Keep a low profile and don’t trust anyone,” Esme explained. “But there is one thing else that needs to be done when you reached the end of the tunnel.”
“What?” Angela cried, trying to wrap her head around what was happening. Esme was going to give up her life for Edward and herself.
“There is a switch in a black box on the far wall. You need to flip the switch and don’t look back,” Esme said, then looked down at the sleeping Edward. Bending over she placed a kiss on his head. “I love you with all that I am and will always be keeping an eye on you, even though you won’t see me. Grow to be the man who will lead others, and take back what your father worked so hard for over the years. Angela, his father’s ring is in the bag, make sure he gets it when he is old enough to understand.”
“I promise,” Angela declared.
Esme heard the voice growing louder and she knew their time was up. “Go and don’t ever come back here.” Esme squeezed Angela’s hand one last time and took off through the hall toward the sounds of the voices with the gun she had taken from Carlisle’s desk in her hand.
Angela waited for a second then started to the den and to the secret door behind the bookcase. As she neared the door she heard Esme screaming and rapid gunfire. Moving the bookcase away to gain access to the door, she opened it and stepped inside. As she moved the case back, she looked toward where she had left Esme. “I will love him as if he was my own and protect him with my life,” She whispered.
After securing the door, she made her way through the tunnel, making sure to pick up the case. Half through their trek, Edward woke up whimpering for what she knew was a bottle. It was time for his feeding.
“Shh, my precious little boy, I will feed you in a little bit.”
They soon made their way to the end of the tunnel and up the steps to the barn that covered the entrance. Angela stopped for a moment and handed Edward a bottle, which he grasped it in his chubby hands and began sucking in earnest. Once he was finished, Angela put the bottle back in the bag and went over to the wall to find the box that Esme had told her about. Pulling open the door she saw the switch and in a deep breathe she flipped it. As soon as she did, she heard a massive explosion coming from the mansion. Opening the door to the outside, she walked out and looked back toward the mansion to see a large plume of smoke and fire. This would cover up their tracks and give them a chance to get away undetected.
She would make sure that Edward Cullen grew up to be the man his parents would be proud of, and who will someday take back what was rightfully his. The day will come when he would have his revenge against those who harmed his family.