Chapter Two

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All things Twilight belong solely to Stephenie Meyer. No copyright infringement is intended. I hope you enjoy this! Thanks for reading! Also, thanks to Christina Downs for betaing for me in the contest. You rock, girlie!

And to Clo ... my dearest Clo ~ You are a goddess of banner making. I love what you created for me for Married to the Mob. So. Freaking. Hot. MWAH!

Chapter Two

EPOV

"How many people have you killed?" she asked.

"Twenty-two," I answered. "All of them very bad people, murderers, rapists and ..."

"Have you ever killed someone who didn't deserve it?"

"No," I replied.

"Can you protect me? Protect my family?" she asked, her eyes looking up at me. "I don't want to feel what I felt last night. That fear. I don't want Uncle Jimmy to ..."

"I'd die for you, Bella," I said honestly.

"One year," she murmured. "Married for one year."

"After an engagement, of course," I chuckled. "I'm the oldest son and my mom wants to plan a wedding."

With a sigh, she eyed me and made a face. "It looks like I'm marrying into the mob."

I wanted to kiss her, but she was scowling, unhappy with the agreement. "I know that you made this decision under duress. However, with being my fiancée, you'll get protection and you will not have a repeat of last night, dolce," I whispered.

"What does that mean? Dolce?" Bella asked.

"Sweet," I answered. "It's Italian and you are so very sweet."

"Don't try to butter me up, Cullen," she snapped. "I was brutally attacked because of my association with you. I'm agreeing to this because I don't want my family, the small amount of family that I have left, to be hurt because of our relationship. I want my uncle protected, too."

"It's done, Bella," I said. "It'll be subtle, but he will be protected."

She nodded, looking at the clock. "Shit! I have to go to class!" Bella tried to get up and nearly fell in the tangle of sheets. I caught her before she collapsed. "Edward, I have to go."

"Bella, you have a concussion," I said, holding her squirming, writhing body. She gasped, collapsing against me. "And damage to your ribs." She cried, her entire body shaking from her sobs. "Dolce, you need to calm down."

"I've got too much to do ... my classes, my job ... FUCK! My apartment," she said, her voice hysterical. I swept her into my arms and sat down on the overstuffed chair in the corner. I held her in my lap, cradling her tenderly. She eventually sagged against me, exhaustion washing over her. "What am I going to do?"

"Let's talk about all of it," I said, tucking her head under my chin. She melted against me, idly playing with the buttons of my wrinkled dress shirt. "With that asshole who attacked you, I think it's best that you stop working for your uncle."

"I need my paycheck to pay for my classes, Edward," she muttered.

"Which brings me to my next point ... since we're engaged ..."

"Without a ring," she deadpanned.

"That will be remedied, I promise you," I vowed, cupping her chin and looking into her espresso depths. "I want to get you something that represents your beauty, your strength and your tenacity." She blinked, her bruised face breaking my heart. "Back to what I was saying. I'm not going to renege on my promise to pay for your education. I will pay your tuition."

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