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Breaking the Rules

Edward Masen was the perfect spy. He was intelligent, fast, dashing. Oh, and being immortal helped a lot, too. Vampires run the show at the most elite spy agency in the world. What happens when someone finds out what they are and knows how to destroy them? Very AU.

I KNOW! Don't tell me, for I know what you are thinking. ANOTHER STORY?! We're still waiting for updates on that one you left on a cliffhanger MONTHS AGO! Welp, I write what I want to write, and I wanted to write a spy story :) I hope you like it.

2. The Duke

Rating 5/5   Word Count 2068   Review this Chapter

Bodyguard work, for most people, consisted of standing next to The Client with your arms crossed, scanning the perimeter every few seconds, and scaring away anyone who looked like they might cause a problem. Usually people who hired bodyguards really didn't even need them.

However, sometimes bodyguard work consisted of blending into your surroundings, “enjoying” a few glasses of champagne on the house, and talking with beautiful women, all while keeping one eye on The Client. That was the fun kind of bodyguard job, and it was what The Client chose for me to do. Of course, the champagne would sit in my stomach, waiting to be disposed of in a very unpleasant fashion, and the beautiful women would be killed if I even got a little carried away. The Client didn't need to know that, though...

The Client – Duke Antoine Astley. He was throwing what was supposed to be the biggest ball in France in the last fifty years. He was a stuffy, stuck up snob, the usual guy who thought he warranted a spook to protect him. He swore up and down that his younger brother wanted his title and was willing to kill for it.

The Target – His younger brother, Marcel Astley. He was not invited to the party, but he was expected to crash it anyway. Guards were posted around the perimeter of the building, snipers were on the roof, and multiple evacuation routes for the Duke had been drawn up. The Duke was very worried about Marcel, and if he got close enough, it was my job to take him out. It was sibling rivalry to the extreme.

The party was being held at the Duke's summer manor in the Loire Valley. It was surrounded by hundred-year-old trees, and was basically an enemy spy's worst nightmare. The one massive window faced the lane to the house, and snipers were pointed at every spot where any one could possibly be hiding. There were multiple armed guards at every entrance, frisking everyone.

The evening began slowly. I was told to mingle with the guests in the ballroom, enjoy myself, but be at the Duke's beck and call all night. The classical band was playing at the end of the ballroom. The music drifted delicately throughout the entire house. Hundreds of people were talking, laughing, drinking, and dancing. It was almost too easy to blend in.

“So I told the man, 'If you don't give me what I want, I'm taking my money and walking!'” exclaimed a portly old Count. I was talking to him because the Duke was in a conversation directly behind him.

“You're kidding!” I exclaimed, sounding as surprised as was called for. “You were just going to walk?”

The man didn't seem to notice that I was gazing over his shoulder. “Yes! Just walk!”

The Duke started waltzing away. “Fascinating,” I muttered darkly before leaving the man. He didn't seem to care, though, and almost instantly found someone else to tell his uninteresting tale.

I watched the next, perfectly orchestrated moment carefully. It was something right out of the spook handbook.

A beautiful woman, who was at her very oldest twenty, “accidentally” bumped into Antoine. She was dressed to kill in a formfitting black dress. Her dark brown hair was curled, and hung to a stop a few inches below her shoulders. I had a bad feeling about her. The Duke turned, ready to unleash his fury upon her... and then saw her face.

“Désolé, Mademoiselle. I did not mean to bump into you like that,” said Antoine. He stepped closer and put his arm around her.

“It's my fault,” she said, flashing him a winning smile.

“Would you-” started the Duke.

I chose that time to make my entrance. “Would you care to dance?” I asked, flipping on the charm. She gave me a quick once over. I knew I looked much more than fantastic. My tux definitely stood out as one of the best ones at the party. It was cut just right, which was a hard thing to find these days.

The Duke glared and leaned in. “Just what do you think you're doing?”

I clenched my teeth. I was doing my job. “Yeah, let's dance,” said the woman. She grabbed my hand and pulled me into the area where people were elegantly waltzing to the music. I had been trained for many, many things after getting the job at the Organization, and dancing was one of them. In order to blend in to any situation, sometimes you had to know how pull out a decent waltz or two.

I put my hand on her lower-back and instantly knew all I needed to know. I didn't show it though. “What's your name?” I asked nonchalantly. When I was this close to her, I noticed her smell...

When you were trained like me, you eventually didn't find human blood as alluring as it would be to your average vampire. It was a minor temptation, but when you're in a business where bloodshed is almost guaranteed, stopping to take a drink would definitely blow your cover. But this girl... her blood was absolutely mouthwatering.

She grinned. “It's Bella. Yours?”

“Ezra Richards,” I said. It was completely believable. If there was one thing you could do perfectly when you were a spy, it was lie right through your teeth.

“Okay, Ezra. Are you looking forward to the fireworks later tonight?” she asked.

“I'm not really one for fireworks,” I said wryly. If only she knew.

“I, for one, love fireworks. And answer me this... since when do they let the muscle dance?” she asked innocently.

I grinned. She was good. “Since when do they let ladies like you carry around guns like this? How did you manage to sneak that through?” My fingers trailed upwards a few inches, where the outline of a pistol was almost unmistakable underneath her black dress.

“You have to have special permission from someone important... and be able to charm the ones doing all the frisking,” she murmured just as the Duke stopped the music.

“Everyone, everyone, can I have your attention, please? The fireworks will begin, and the best seats are on the west terrace.” He smiled at the crowd, and then stepped into the crowd.

“Lovely dancing with you,” I said as I headed for the duke. I decided that getting him out of the building as soon as possible was probably a good idea. The woman said she loved fireworks, was hiding a pistol in the back of her dress, and I had never seen her before in my life. Something about her was familiar, though...

I caught Antoine as he was chatting with some friends in French.

“Excuse me, sir, but we need to go,” I said quickly, interrupting his conversation.

Antoine paled and nodded. I took hold of his arm and pulled him along as quickly as I could. We were quickly away from the people at the party. The music was fading as we turned down hall after ornately decorated hall. Antoine was blabbering in French, and I didn't care to listen.

And then, when I turned the corner before the door where we could make our escape, it hit me... the smell of the girl. She was standing in front of the door, her weapon in her hands. I froze. It wasn't your average pistol. This thing would burn me to a crisp.

The duke squeaked and then fainted.

Bella laughed. “Aw, seems your client couldn't handle the sight of a gun... poor guy.”

I smirked. “He's not the one who has to carry it.”

“What I'm wondering, Ezra, is why you're not begging for your life yet,” she said, tilting her head to the side. Her weapon was still pointing at my chest.

“I don't really feel that's something I have to do right now,” I admitted, shrugging. “Now, if you'll be a rose and step out of the way so I can get my client out of here before you blow up the place with your fireworks, that'd be just great.”

She laughed. She knew that I couldn't escape. She didn't know that I was a vampire, but even I couldn't move before she could shoot me. A normal bullet wouldn't really even phase me... the one out of that puppy, though, would catch me right on fire. The gun hiding beneath my jacket was calling my name, but I knew not to pull it. Not unless I was desperate... She'd get a shot out once I pulled the trigger, and then we would both be dead.

“You really think that's going to work on me, champ? Well, at least you asked politely.” She lifted her other arm and showed me her bracelet. “This is a detonator. One push of the button and I can make the whole house go up in flames. We wouldn't want that now, would we?”

“So you're either going to shoot us or burn us?” I asked. “Whatever tickles your fancy?” I knew I could run, but then I'd be risking the lives of every single person in the building. Carlisle would not hesitate to toss a match at me if that were the case. If I shot her, she'd still have time to press the button on the detonator before she died. And for some reason, I just knew that she could probably pull her trigger before I had the chance to kill her. When you were a spy, you knew to trust your gut feelings, because they were almost always right.

“No, no, no, my sweet Ezra. It's entirely up to you! You see, I was hired by Antoine's brother,” she said, smiling.

“Really! I never would have guessed!” I exclaimed sarcastically. “I thought you were just here cause the poor guy didn't dance with you.”

She rolled her eyes. “I did it so I could get into this place. What I'm saying is, you come with me and I save the house and all the little people in it. Antoine stays alive, your boss get the money, everybody's happy!” she exclaimed.

“And if I choose not to go with you?” I asked. I knew the answer, I was just stalling for time. I was waiting for an idea to strike me... but it seemed she had everything checked.

“Well, I could shoot you, or I could leave you alive, shoot the duke and then wait to hear news that you were killed by your boss for allowing the client to be shot. Dead clients don't write checks, you know. Or I could press this button right here and set the whole house on fire, keeping you from escaping at all!” she exclaimed cheerfully.

“What makes you think a little fire would stop me?” I bluffed.

She smirked. “This wouldn't be a little fire. Want a demonstration?”

“Maybe some other time, for you see right now I have a Duke to take care of.” I gestured to Antoine, who had fallen to the floor.

She scowled. “Shut up, Masen. Come with me. You can have your pick of ways to die if you don't. I'm sure your boss would be delighted for your death, too, for letting all that money get away.”

I growled quietly.

Rule Number Three For Vampire Spies – Don't, under any circumstances, let the money get away.

“Edward, come with me now!” she exclaimed. She was done playing games. She had used my real name twice. She knew who I was... what I was, too, I'd bet.

“You will not let the money get away, correct?” I asked, barely hiding my rage.

She beamed. “Not if you come with me!”

I stepped forward. Giving into her demands was the best it was going to get. If I didn't, I would either be burned in the building, hunted down and burned by Carlisle, or shot right in front of The Client. It was the only clean way out. I was almost positive that, once she had her handy bracelet off and gun out of her hand, I could kill her. I'd get back to Carlisle, collect my bit of the money, and then go on with my dull assassination jobs.

She chuckled as she let me pass her. She kept the gun pointed at my back... and then said something that made me absolutely lose my mind.

“Gotcha, Masen.”