July 12, 2017
Lightning burst in a brilliant shock of white in the graphite sky, forking its jagged march to the unsuspecting ground. Edward counted out and on the count of two, the thunderous boom rocked the glass window that overlooked the water. It was close, very close. He loved thunderstorms because they made great cover when he capped one of Aro’s men.
Since finding out what had happened to his family, Edward had begun planning the downfall of Aro Volturi. He would always remember the day when his mother told him the truth and gave him his father’s ring. Well, it turned out that Angela wasn’t his blood mother, but she would always be his mother in his heart.
It was the day after his high school graduation and he had come home from hanging out with his best friend, Jasper Whitlock. Edward found his mother in the sunroom sipping on a cup of tea, but there was a worried look on her face.
“Hey, Mom,” Edward said sitting down beside her and patting her on the knee. She had been his everything growing up, often wondering if she still missed his father, because she had never dated.
“Hello, sweetie. Did you have a good time with Jasper?” she asked.
“I did, but what’s wrong, Mom?” Edward asked.
“I’m not your,” Angela started, but a sob prevented her from completing her sentence.
“I’m not your what?” Edward questioned worriedly about his mother’s emotional state.
“Your mother,” she got out.
“Of course you are my mother.”
“Actually, honey, I started out as your nanny. But on a cold, snowy day that the tragic events occurred that ended the lives of your blood family, I became your mother. It became my duty and eventual privilege to protect you from those who wanted to end your family’s bloodline with the death of every Cullen,” Angela explained.
Edward jumped to his feet and began pacing back and forth in the room. His mother wasn’t his blood mother and his whole family was killed. He had never heard the Cullen name. He was always Edward Masen. Looking back at his mom, he remembers the love she had always engulfed him with every second of his life. “Tell me everything.”
After Edward sat back down and took her hand, Angela began her tale. “Before I tell you about that day, I need to give you a little history about your family. Carlisle Cullen was the Don of the Cullen crime family. He had taken over the family from his father, who had taken it over from his father who had come over from Italy and settled in Chicago. Carlisle was the epitome of the title mobster. For him, his family came first and foremost. However, those who threatened to harm his family would witness just how ruthless he could be. I never personally saw it, but my father was his right-hand man or his Capo specifically, and many times he would come home covered in blood. My mother was a pro at cleaning up and disposing of all the blood-soaked clothing. Growing up I was taught about the family and how the family would take care of us no matter what they needed to do.” Angela explained but the next part was going to be hard for her even after all these years. “I went to college and was studying to become a teacher, when one evening on my way home, I was attacked and raped by a group of boys.”
“What the hell? Tell me that your father took care of them,” Edward growled.
“Actually your father helped him. They made them suffer before they ended their lives. Edward, Carlisle was very protective of all his family, whether they were blood or not. After the rape, I closed myself off to everyone, including my parents. I felt like that night had ripped away my very soul, but that all changed on the day that I met you. My father had come home and asked me if I would consider applying to become Carlisle and Esme’s nanny for their little boy, Edward. Over the months, I had watched the pain and concern in my parent’s eyes as they looked at me and I knew I needed to take a chance and make a change. Before the attack, I didn’t let anything bother me and would stand my ground with anything I felt passionate about. The day of the interview, I was of course nervous, but also excited, feeling like my old self again and I couldn’t wait to see where this opportunity might lead. As soon as I walked into the room, Esme and Carlisle both made me feel so welcome and after the interview, they took me to your nursery. You were screaming your little head off, but as soon as they placed you in my arms you stopped crying. I knew then that this was where I was meant to be,” Angela sighed looking lovingly to Edward.
Edward was shocked so far by what his mother had to say, but he knew that the next part was going to be terrible. “I must have known what a great person you were.”
“Oh, sweetie,” Angela cried brushing the tears from her cheeks. Taking a deep breath she began the worst part of the story. “It was a cold, snowy November day and you and I were in the nursery. I heard something from outside and when I looked through the blowing snow I saw men dressed in all white carrying large guns, running towards the house. Suddenly your mother burst through the door and her dress was covered in blood. She explained that we were under attack and needed to get to the escape tunnel entrance.”
“Tunnel?” Edward questioned.
“Yes. Carlisle was always hoping the best, but planning for the worst. In his line of work, there were always death threats made against either him or his family. So secretly he had a tunnel built under the mansion that ran under the property to an old barn hidden in the forest. I was told about the tunnel and that it was used in case of an attack. Your life was all that mattered to both your father and mother. As more men entered the house, shooting at anything that moved, your father was shot. Even though he was fatally wounded, he was keeping the attackers occupied to allow your mother and us to escape. She helped us slip out of the nursey and down to the secret panel that hid the tunnel door. Unfortunately the attackers were hot on our heels, and she made the ultimate sacrifice. As you and I entered through the door, she told me what to do and gave me this to give to you when you were old enough to understand,” Angela explained handing Carlisle’s family ring to Edward.
“What is this?” Edward asked looking at the gold ring in his hand.
“That was your father’s ring. It is the ring that is worn by the ruling Don, and is handed down from the retiring Don to the next. This ring has been in your family for centuries.”
Edward inspected the ring and saw an inscription on the band. La famiglia sopra ogni altra cosa. ‘Family above all else’. He was thankful that Angela had insisted that he take Italian in school. As if the ring was calling to be worn, Edward was overcome to put it on. As soon as the smooth metal slid over the knuckle and rested securely on his left-hand ring finger he felt closer to the man he never knew, his father.
“It looks good on you,” Angela confessed while she continued to wipe away her tears..
“So what happened next,” Edward pleaded.
“Once we were down in the tunnel, I picked up two bags and headed down the long path to the end. It was hard, carrying you and the cases, but I knew that whatever was in them was important. When we arrived at the end of the tunnel, I pushed open the door to find we were in the abandoned barn on the property’s edge. Your mother told me to flip the switch and when I did, the mansion blew up in a thunderous explosion. I knew my father was dead and I felt sure that mother was dead as well, but I couldn’t go home. Your safety was my main concern. Trudging through the heavy snow, we made it to the road and I was able to flag down a taxi. I remember my father saying that the best place to hide was in plain sight. I told the taxi driver to take me to a hotel on the southeast side. We stayed there for several days, only coming out to get food or necessities. As you slept, I went through the cases to find that they were filled with money, new identifications for us and most important a journal. It was in your father’s handwriting and it detailed the plan of action if something horrible happened. The location of other cases was marked, along with the address of this house and keys. Carlisle had bought this house and placed it under the name of his great great grandmother’s last name, Masen. That was the name on our new social security cards and birth certificates.”
“Was your mother dead?” Edward asked.
“Yes, along with everyone who had a connection to anyone in the family. I later discovered that it was a very aggressive attack, at multiple locations. You and I were the only survivors. I brought you here and started our life, preparing for today,” Angela confessed.
“Do you still have the journal?”
“Yes, along with the others that were in the cases,” Angela said getting up walking over to the wall. She turned the square decorative piece and a secret door opened up. Inside was an alcove where she had placed everything she had collected. “It is all in here, everything you need in order to learn about your heritage is waiting for you.”
Edward rose from his chair and engulfed Angela in a hug. “You will always be my mother, Ma.” The two lone survivors of that massacre so long ago, embraced for a while as they both contemplated what the future would now hold for them.
Edward immersed himself in the information that was so painstakingly recorded for him. The journals contained the history, principles, and the modus operandi of the family. Edward took to heart the words of wisdom from not only his father, but his grandfather and great-grandfather. After numerous readings of the journals, he meditated on all that he had learned, and began to plan his revenge. It would be bloody and absolute. He would need to recruit a new family. Since none of his blood relatives were alive, he would research and recruit those that his instincts informed him were trustworthy. Each would become family through their actions, and with their blood oath.
The first person he recruited was his high school friend, Jasper. If there was one other person he felt he could trust with his life and his secret, it was him. Of course, Jasper was shocked by the news of Edward’s true heritage, but he was willing and able to be by Edward’s side as he began to build his empire, and took back was rightfully his.
Little by little, person by person, Edward’s new family began to grow. One of his recruits was a spitfire of a woman. Her parents had been killed by Aro, because her father refused to join his family, leaving her all alone in the world. She had grown up on the streets, learning how to survive and planning for revenge for her parents. Edward happened upon her one night as she was breaking into one of the residences of Aro’s mento plant a bomb. Her forte was building bombs that to this day were untraceable.
Edward carefully recruited others, until a few years later, he had a family that rivaled the size of Aro’s. However, they kept the existence of the new Cullen family shrouded. They slowly and methodically chipped away at the Volturi’s interests. Word on the street was that the Volturi were at a complete loss as to who was fucking with their shit. The time was drawing near for Edward to regain all that was his and to make Aro suffer. Then they would know who.
“Ed, we have an issue,” Emmett boomed walking into the room.
“What is it, Em?” Edward questioned the man he considered to be the muscle of the family. Emmett had been injured by a drugged out driver, who confessed that he had purchased his drugs from a man who worked for Aro Volturi, but before the case could go to trial the guy mysteriously disappeared. Emmett was an active duty sniper in the Marines Corps, however he was honorably discharged after he was disabled by the accident. Emmett or Em, as Edward called him spent months and months in rehab to regain the use of his legs. His back was severely damaged and the doctors doubted that he would ever be able to walk again, but they didn’t know Emmett McCarty. He was determined to walk, not only to make Aro Volturi pay for his suffering but to also impress the blond bombshell orthopedic doctor at the rehab center. From the first glimpse, his heart was gone, however, Rosalie Hale was going to make him work for her affections and that included him running around the rehab center without a pain pill for a date for coffee.
After Emmett had surprised the doctors with not only walking but running, he was released from the center and he began his quest to destroy Aro, and this is where he quite literally ran into Edward. It was in the dead of night and Emmett was waiting for one of Aro’s drug dealers to come out of a flop house, when suddenly he was confronted by another man with a gun pointed at Emmett’s temple.
“What the fuck are you doing here?” The man sneered.
“Don’t shoot me, please,” Emmett cried, pretending he was scared, and hopefully giving him the advantage to take the fucker out.
The man chuckled. “Well you are at the wrong place for that,” he smirked pulling the gun’s hammer back.
Suddenly the man dropped to the ground, his gun bouncing off the pavement. “If you want to live, grab the fucking gun and follow me,” a mystery guy growled.
Emmett grabbed the gun, after he kicked the guy on the ground for good measure, and followed the man down the alley and across the street. Once there, the man turned to face him.
“Well you didn’t answer the dead fucker, but you will answer me. Who are you and what were you doing?”
For some reason Emmett trusted the man. “My name is Emmett and I am after Aro Volturi.”
“Because the fucker cost me my career and almost cost me my ability to walk.”
Edward took a good long look at Emmett and then smiled. “How about you come work for me and I guarantee you can kill as many of Aro’s men as you want.”
That is how Emmett joined Edward’s family and became one of his most trusted men.
“Jacob called and said that Aro is upset. It seems someone has been asking about the Cullen name around town.”
“Really, who?” Edward asked.
“Isabella Swan,” Emmett answered.
“Who the hell is she?”
Emmett walked over to the bookshelf, pulled out a book and handed it to Ed. “Just your fucking favorite author.”