When Bella’s bruises faded while she rested with some of his blood inside of her, Klaus quietly made his way out of the apartment and headed to Myriam, anger once again rising inside of him.
The wanker who hurt his Bella was no longer inside the security office, which was good, as Klaus would have killed him. He walked into the office and was met with a bright smile that was on Myriam’s face.
“How could you be smiling right now?” He demanded as he nearly slammed the door out if its hinges. “One of your girls was just assaulted! Bella!”
“I know,” she simply stated as she met his eyes. “Despite every security measure it still happened. This was a one in a million chance.”
“You’re not even remotely concerned?”
“Of course I am!” Myriam shot back as she rounded her desk to approach him. “I called you, didn’t I?”
Klaus growled as he pushed Myriam against the nearest wall. Myriam let out a cry of delight as she put her arms around his neck. “Sometimes I wonder if you truly care about your girls, even those you’re keeping safe.”
“Bella knows the risks, Klaus,” she rolled her eyes at him. “Especially since security can’t hear her thoughts.”
“Please,” she huffed.
“Voice activated cameras, then.”
“No, we’ve been over this a long time ago, you’re just acting like this because it’s a girl you like. Her mind is a fortress. She’s crazy as fuck. You’ve never had a problem with her working before and on top of that, I’m not forcing her.”
“I don’t have a problem with her working, I have a problem with assholes!”
Myriam slapped him. “You’re having a problem with yourself then,” she said as she poked him in his chest. “And you promised to let me run the club. I already agreed to everything you suggested, but apart from the cameras in the public places, everything that happens behind closed doors, stay that way. Why have cameras when we can read the girls? I’m not going to install cameras just because one girl can’t be read.”
“You are. Don’t make me make you.”
“I will have your balls if you’ll make me,” she threatened. “Just for your information, we took some pictures of him in our strip club, then tossed him out and took pictures of that as well before forwarding those to the press. They’ll spin their usual story about him and we get free press.”
“I would have killed him.”
“I also told him to never come back, get cleaned up and make a huge donation to the local women’s shelter.” She then grinned. “He’ll think that he lost his manhood when he sobers up. At least for a couple days or so.”
“I still would have killed him,” he muttered before angrily kissing her.
Myriam jumped up to wrap her legs around his waist as she returned his kiss. She could understand Klaus’ anger, and if she didn’t have a business to run – if Luke Harris had been an ordinary John – she would have killed the asshole herself. Nobody laid a hand on her girls like that.
She dug her hands into his hair and scraped his scalp with her nails as she broke off the kiss. “What’s the status of your cock, Klaus? Has it had any playtime lately?” She said in a low voice, watching his face. His eyes darkened as the expression on his face softened. “Do you want to play?” She teased him.
“I have no time for this,” he said playfully as he put his forehead against hers as his hand ran up the inside of her leg, scooting up the skirt of her dress. “But you could come home with me?”
“Screw you, you and I both know you never take me places for both our safeties,” she said as she put her hand between them and undid his zipper. “Fuck me. Now.”
He pulled her away from the wall and walked them over to her desk, kissing her neck, scraping his teeth over her skin as he set her down on top of it. Myriam cleared most of her desk with one swoop, lucky that her laptop didn’t fall, but the rest of the knicknacks were now scattered underneath them.
She laughed as she pulled him down with her with one hand and the other opening his pants so he wouldn’t have too much friction. “Oh, I knew you’d see reason.”
“I aim to please,” Klaus kissed her, hard, as his pants fell to the floor. “You should have called sooner,” he could feel her wetness on his hand as he had put his hand between her and her knickers. The heat radiating from her body was welcoming him back as if he’d returned to a warm home after having been away for far too long.
Maybe he had been, but after Freya had followed him, he could not possibly guarantee the safety of the girls. He wanted them away from his family, stay hidden in plain sight and luckily, Freya understood. She’d never tell Elijah about Débauche and what truly was going on.
Myriam whacked him on the shoulder with her fist. “You’re wandering off, how about you fuck me? I’m drying up here.”
He snickered at that. “Hardly, love,” he withdrew his hand and tore her panties before guiding himself towards her entrance and pushed in, only letting out a breath when he was completely inside of her.
“Shame, no foreplay this time,” Myriam complained as she looked at him with a cocky smile on her lips. “Next time, you’re going to devour me like you used to.”
“I am?” Klaus started to thrust as he licked along the vein in her neck.
“Yes. You just promised,” she let out a moan when one of his hands had managed to get underneath her dress and had cupped her breast. “You’re the only one I fuck.”
“Fuck with,” he said as he rubbed her nipple with his thumb.
“I fuck with everyone. I only fuck you. There is a difference,” she let out a moan when he hit a sensitive spot inside of her. “A girl has her needs.” She growled as she dug her nails into his back, drawing blood. “Harder.”
“Oh my God!” Autumn exclaimed after she opened the door. “In your office?! You knew I was going to come by to have a look at your laptop!”
“And you still don’t know how to knock!” Myriam looked over Klaus’ shoulder right at the woman’s face. “Leave!”
Autumn hesitated for a moment. “Can’t I join you guys?” She asked cockily and tilted her head to look at the amazing ass that was facing her. “I’d so tap that ass.”
Myriam dug her nails even deeper into Klaus’ back as she could feel him tense up. While he was quite the exhibitionist, this was unwelcome. Even for him, but she needed to keep him with her so that he wouldn’t snap the human’s neck. “Oh, Nique ta Mere! Leave us!” She demanded.
“I’m sorry,” Autumn quickly said before shutting the door.
Myriam then cupped Klaus’ chin and made him look at her. “You forgot to lock the door.”
“In my defense, I hadn’t anticipated such a rendezvous.”
“Always anticipate this. Now make me come.”
He had promised Freya that he’d leave it alone, but the mere thought of having seen his brother so… vulnerable – if that was even the right word for it – had kept him awake all night. To know that his brother showed remorse about what he had done, in his attempt to talk his actions right to the woman on the other side of that door, was oddly satisfying.
Elijah could not help but think that there must be something else behind his brother’s behaviour. Granted, when he assured that he had the sole custody of his daughter, he had changed. Mellowed out, somewhat. Everything revolved around Hope.
However, he had believed his brother’s softness and protectiveness towards his daughter had been nothing but the protection of power. The admiration of the potential his daughter had. His brother’s obsession with power, the ability to dominate everything and everyone came full circle. Why want more, when you are the father of quite possibly the most powerful being on this Earth?
Yes, it was family above everything. It had been that way for centuries and despite their differences, they always came back to each other. Niklaus had been the strongest, the fastest and the most deadliest of them all. And now the monster had a daughter. It was frightening, really.
He always believed that his brother’s notion of love was loyalty and nothing more. Maybe it was. Loyalty and curiosity. A desperation, a means to not feel alone. Perhaps Niklaus once possessed the ability to love many years ago, but that feeling, that experience, got lost along the years they lived. Elijah never believed that his brother could stumble upon something deeper, until he saw him patiently sitting against that door, talking to a woman who didn’t want to face him.
Elijah was well aware of all of his flaws, one of them being that he liked to examine something he found intriguing and he was never good at keeping that bottled down. He was going to find out everything he could about Débauche, and his brother’s involvement. Freya didn’t want to talk about it, but that wouldn’t stop him from trying to turn every stone for information. No matter the outcome. Surely something left in his brother’s hands was on the brink of crumbling?
Knowing where find his first source of information, Elijah picked up coffee and breakfast on his way to St. Anne’s Church. Now that his brother had allowed Marcel back into the city and had actually given the control back to him as well, Marcel had transformed the church into a gym, a fight club, for his newest vampires. To test them. To train them. And of course, for personal gain; letting off some steam.
Elijah had helped Marcel with setting it up, as he believed it was a great idea, and had used it himself a couple of times – in order for Elijah to be around his brother, he needed to take out his anger on someone.
“Elijah!” Marcel greeted him with that big smile of his. “Kinda early, isn’t it?”
“Good morning, Marcel,” Elijah spoke calmly and held up the coffee. “I brought you breakfast.”
While Marcel gratefully took the coffee and showed Elijah to a couple of chairs, he knew that this wasn’t simply ‘breakfast’. “What can I do for you, Elijah?”
Elijah appreciated it that he didn’t beat around the bush, it made things less tedious. “You and Niklaus, you were as thick as thieves in the past. At some occasions, you still are.”
“Much like yourself, Elijah.”
“Of course, but my relationship with my brother is entirely different from the one he has with you. He taught you everything he knows, did he not?” He asked with an amused smile, taking a sip of the chain-coffee and tried his hardest not to wince at the taste.
The vampire had an amused smile on his face as he, too, took a sip of his coffee. “I doubt that, but what do you want to know?”
“Have you ever been to Débauche, that strip club?” he asked carefully before seeing the expression on Marcel’s face change. “What?”
“Why are you asking about Débauche?”
“I’m merely trying to satisfy my curiosity, Marcel,” he replied as he retrieved a newspaper clipping out of his pocket. “This caught my eye, I thought I’d see what it was all about.”
“The A-Squad?” Marcel laughed and shook his head. “Man, clubs like that are so corny! Couldn’t they have thought of something more original to promote their shows? There’s a reason why I tend to go somewhere else, where there’s more excitement!”
“You know more about the city than my brother and I do, what kind of people go there?”
“I don’t know. I’ve been there once, and it was shit. Seriously, Elijah, don’t go there. Even my vampires don’t go there.”
“Because it’s not the best thing there is. This clipping is nothing but bought PR, I mean, look at that picture. It’s as if someone gave Hope scissors, glue and a thick marker and decided to use that as their advertisement,” he said with a chuckle. “If you want to get your rocks off, go to The Phenomenon near the Air Base or Nadia’s in Lakeview.”
Elijah thought for a moment and sat back on his chair. Marcel was far too deflecting, too passionate, about his dislike for the club. “Interesting.”
“Both establishments are as far away as possible from the location of Débauche. Surely there’s something like that here in the Quarter so I won’t have to go out of my way to be entertained like that?”
Marcel’s responses had been too quick, too calculated and too rehearsed for Elijah’s liking. It made sense that if Niklaus was truly hiding something, and Marcel had stumbled upon it – as Marcel liked to do – his brother would have compelled Marcel to run in the opposite direction. “Tell me, Marcel, did my brother ever compel you?”
“He doesn’t have to.”
“Alright, well,” he got to his feet and set his cup of coffee down. “I suppose I have plans for tonight. I’ll be going to Débauche.”
“Are you nuts?!” Marcel stopped him from leaving. “You’re not going there.”
“I believe that I am. I’m due for a night out in town. Would you like to join me?” Elijah said, entertained by the sloppy compulsion. Whatever it was, his brother obviously never took the time to expertly compel Marcel for whatever he discovered.
“I will never set foot in that dump again. I’d gladly paint the town red with you, Elijah, but not there.”
Elijah brushed Marcel’s hand off his shoulder. “Noted,” he said calmly. “Have a good day, Marcel. You’ve been very helpful.”
She had been a little disappointed when she awoke and didn’t find Klaus waiting for her. He never stuck around and she was conflicted about that. A part of her always wanted him to stick around, another part of her didn’t. And hadn’t it been for the hiccup last night, they’d probably have had some good sex too!
Bella dragged herself out of bed and went to the bathroom to fill up a bath for herself. Today was a new day. She was feeling a lot better and it was time to try again. She was quite sure that the attention Klaus had given her – and his blood, had something to do with her good mood. She was capable of doing everything, and she was going to do just that.
But first, a well deserved soak in the bath. Just like last night. Although this time she was going to extend her cleaning regimen. While she had quickly cleaned up last night, she was now going to take her time. She hadn’t done anything for days and it made her feel icky. She also needed to do something with her hair, maybe a few strands of color would make her feel better. She hated it when she was in a funk. And she hated it even more that it took an assault and the attentions of her friend to get her out of it.
She was doing better, however. She’d been living above the club for two years now and she liked it how things had settled down. No more running. She was now simply hiding. Maybe she got depressed every now and then because her life was missing something. Was she secretly missing the running that she had done? All across the world, for five whole years, while the Cullens and Victoria were on her trail.
There had been quite a few times where she’d simply given up, allowing her pursuers come incredibly close, but there was always something that kept her going. It had been easy to uproot her life after her mother told her to run. There was nothing for her left in Forks but misery and she ran. When they thought that killing her mother would have her return to them, she kept running. Her mother had wanted her to be safe, and she’d do anything to stay that way.
Bella was in Morocco when she heard of a safe haven in for women who were being pursued and abused by supernatural beings. This lead her to follow a few breadcrumbs here and there, taking her to Indonesia and Greece, before hearing that it was in America. It took her almost six months to find it in New Orleans and she’d been hiding out ever since.
And she felt comfortable. And in a way, she had the Cold Ones to thank for it because hadn’t it been for them, she wouldn’t have to find other means of getting money – she couldn’t stay in one place for too long to work in case they were on to her – and selling sex had been the best way. It hadn’t always been safe. But now it was.
What happened last night was just a tiny hiccup.
Drying herself off, she walked towards her music set and turned on the radio as she continued to dry her hair with the towel. She felt cleansed and clean. Both were very good.
By the time she was dressed – tight jeans and a crop top as it was still quite early, she was singing along loudly with the music coming out of her little set. Wouldn’t it have been great if she was a real tiger or a lion and could actually roar as loud as she wanted?
It was a good thing that the rooms were so well isolated though, Bella knew she couldn’t hold a tune but didn’t have it stop her from singing. Most girls would wake up well after the afternoon, even if they didn’t work. There was a skeleton crew working at the bar and club – mostly the cleaners and the managers, as they wouldn’t open until three or four.
She peeked into her cupboards and fridge but didn’t find anything edible so she was going to have to raid the communal kitchen for food. Which was fine, it was why it was there so that people like Bella didn’t have to go outside and possibly run into the very person, or persons, they were hiding from. Occasionally, when she really craved something that wasn’t in the well-stocked kitchen, she’d ask Myriam or any of the girls who didn’t live on the premises. Because even though it was truly disgusting, sometimes a Big Burger was the thing she needed.
She took one of her bags and left her apartment to cross the space to the kitchen, where she bumped into Ashley, a member of the A-Squad and apparently always in the building. Bella knew who they truly were as part of Myriam’s all inclusion deal with Bella. They were the main attraction to the club, sure, but in fact, they lead completely different lives. They weren’t normal.
“Shall we spar? The gym is free,” Ashley smiled at Bella as she opened a bottle of water. “Work out a little.”
“I just took a nice bath and cleaned myself up, I don’t want to become sweaty again,” she replied as she opened the pantry and was greeted by Ferrero Rocher by the buckets. “Oh, Christmas has come early!”
“It’s a miracle with the amount that you eat, and mostly shitty food as well, that you have the body that you have,” she slapped her flat stomach and smirked when her abs weren’t moving. “Hard work, this.”
“You know better than trying to make me jealous, it won’t work,” Bella said as she threw some chocolate in her bag, followed by a few bags of chips. She reluctantly went over to the healthy stuff to fill up her bag and waved at Ashley. “Have fun, I have a date with Ferrero and Rocher.”
“Oh, Miss Bella?”
Bella turned around when she heard her name to face the person wanting her attention. It was Emma, one of the humans Myriam employed for their blood and assistance in other things that didn’t directly involve the club.
“Miss Myriam requested your presence in her office.”
“I’ll be down soon, I need to put away my things,” Bella acknowledged as she opened the door to her apartment. “Thank you, Emma.”