A/N: It’s the weekend! Here, have another chapter!
She hated Klaus. Oh, she hated him so much and yes, he’d been right, it was either her or the club, but she hated him so much. And she hated his brother, as he wanted to ‘meet’ in the fanciest restaurant of New Orleans and she was currently sipping from a glass that contained some very expensive wine as she silently watched Elijah Mikaelson watch her in fascination.
Myriam was sick with worry about Bella’s disappearance and here she was, ‘meeting’ Elijah Mikaelson. The stuck up Mikaelson brother who did nothing but hamper most of Klaus’ ideas, who did nothing but belittle him, baby him, all in the name of the fear that the mighty hybrid might get out of control.
Before Klaus rescued her, she had often watched the Mikaelsons parade around New Orleans as if they owned the place. They basically did. Rebekah had always been so beautiful in her dresses, Elijah always so sharply dressed and Klaus a bit somewhere in between. She had often fantasized about meeting them, thinking that Klaus was the more approachable one and Elijah being more like Mr. Jenkins, or Jacques. Strict. Evil.
So the stories that Klaus told her about his brother made sense. Elijah Mikaelson was a control freak and Myriam hated control freaks – other than herself, she was a control freak and this ‘meeting’ was a recipe for disaster.
“Miss Jenkins, I’m well aware that you’re worried about your friend Bella, but you’re here with me and you don’t seem to be enjoying yourself,” Elijah eventually said after watching Myriam down two glasses of wine. “This is not a business meeting.”
“Then what is it?”
“I believe that we’re on a date,” he said smugly and raised his glass to toast the air and take a sip of his wine. “We’re currently drinking a 600 dollar bottle of wine while we’re waiting for our food to arrive and usually, that would make any woman more susceptible in the feeling of feeling joyous.”
She blinked at that. He really was this stuck up asshole, wasn’t he? A pompous one at that, flaunting his wealth, stroking his ego. “PF Chang’s would have been fine. McDonald’s even.”
“Please, you’re a woman of class, you deserve to be taken to a restaurant as this.”
Myriam let out a snort and shook her head. “You honestly think that me, a glorified madam, am a woman of class? Wow, your standards must be really low.” When she saw the confusion on his face, she smiled at him. “I usually get paid for dates like these, you know, expensive restaurant, some drinking, some foreplay…”
“Would it make you feel more comfortable if I’d pay you for your time?”
“In this place?” She gestured around her. “Mr. Mikaelson, you said you believed we’re on a date. I don’t date. I haven’t had a date for centuries. You pay, I play.”
“Or, you could just leave,” he said simply, an amused smile dancing on his lips. “But then we’ll have to meet at your club and I’d really like to get involved in that business.”
“Why? Why are you so interested in what I’ve built? What I’m doing? Is it because of your brother? Is that it? Jealousy, because he’s done something right?”
Elijah sighed as he checked to see if his tie was still straight. “It’s no secret that the supernatural community is quite the diverse group of people roaming this Earth. The humans have their shelters for the abused but I never once thought that perhaps someone should start a shelter, a safe haven, for the humans getting abused by people like us. We more often than not leave devastation in our wake or abuse our power. I find that admirable and I wish to support you in this endeavour, just as my brother has done and continues to do.”
“Yeah, no. Not going to happen. We’ve been doing alright and don’t need your help. Now, conversation about what I do to give back to the humans is over,” she said curtly as she took another sip of her wine. “We shall not discuss my friendship with your brother, either. And for the love of everything that’s holy, we do not discuss your family issues. I’m not a therapist.”
“Does this mean you’ll stay?”
“I don’t want you involved in my business, so I suppose I have no choice in the matter,” she said as she looked to see the waiter come with their appetizers. “But make no mistake, Mr. Mikaelson, I’m not here voluntarily.”
He swallowed his delicious piece of food and smiled at her. “Very well, Miss Jenkins, what do you do to relax?”
While her date was talking to Klaus, Bella moved through the exhibition and took in every painting. She knew the stories behind them, Klaus had told every single one of them and unknown to all of the people in the Infirmary, he was laying his soul bare for all to see. Klaus was showing his softer side, his fragility, his humanity.
And it was beautiful. She wanted to push a knife through the art critic’s chest as he was quite negative about Klaus’ work and didn’t understand why Klaus hadn’t compelled him to speak nothing but praise about the paintings, but perhaps that was also a reason why he didn’t. Klaus wanted his art to be enjoyed or hated, unspoiled by any kind of influence.
Klaus once told her why he loved to paint. He found it a metaphor of control, everything on the canvas was his choice, done by his hand, with the colors he choose. Whenever he felt that he was losing control, painting was his therapy. His soul and heart was in each and every one of those paintings and she wished that the critic would see at least that. If he was as good as everyone around her claimed to be, he would have seen it and not the fact that the work was ‘derivative’.
Hell, she wouldn’t be surprised if Klaus either taught the master the critic thought it was derivative of or he would have been taught by the master. “Well, I think they’re beautiful,” she let out a breath as she spoke quietly as she happened to be in the vicinity of the critic.
The critic looked at her in disdain. “Well of course you’d think it’s beautiful, you’re obviously uncultured.”
Bella looked up to him with a big smile. “Bob? Is that you? Oh my god! How are you! I haven’t seen you in a very long time!”
Bob the critic turned beet red. “Uhm…”
“You definitely have to come by sometime, I believe I still have the pair of glasses you left behind, they look so sexy on me by the way, and you still need to lick my boots clean,” she pulled his head down and pecked his cheek. “Call me. Soon.” She then hit his ass playfully and made her way to the bar where she saw both Klaus and Lucien look at her with their mouths open in shock. “Close those mouths before something flies in there and get me a drink.” She sat down on a chair and let out a deep breath and eagerly threw back the tequila shot that was placed in front of her. “That was fun.”
“That was my art critic.”
“I know, right?” She smiled widely. “He used to be a regular but I haven’t seen him in a while. Great tipper. Not a lot of stamina.”
Klaus narrowed his eyes on Bella. He didn’t like her work persona very much, he never had, but never had to experience her in full on work mode. This was torture. A familiar scent wafted in and he excused himself. He needed to talk to Camille.
“So,” Bella said as she scooted over to Lucien and ran her hand up his arm. “Did you two catch up yet? Want to watch the paintings with me?”
“No, pet, I need him to come with us to the penthouse so Alexis can show him what kind of danger we all are in,” Lucien said bitterly as he strained his ears to overhear the conversation his sire was having with this Camille.
Bella didn’t like the sound of that. “Threesome? Foursome?” She said hopefully. “You know that it would cost you more if we’re going to do that. Not to mention, likely a new bed, you vampires tend to forget that you’re super strong when you’re in the moment.” She ran her hand up his arm and rested her hand in his neck where she toyed with his hair. “Why take me out on a date when you’re not even having fun? Is it me?”
Lucien ignored her as he continued to listen Camille tell Klaus about this murder victim.
Sighing, Bella let go of Lucien and grabbed her purse. “I think I’ll walk to the penthouse and wait for you there while you conclude your business. I can tell that I’m not wanted here.”
“You are not going to walk home all alone, Isa,” Lucien said as he took hold of her arm as she was leaving. “Give me fifteen more minutes. Then we’ll leave.”
She looked at his hand that was holding on to her and then up to him. “Let go of me or I’ll scream rape,” she hissed. Lucien let go of her and she nodded. “Fifteen more minutes and hope that someone doesn’t make me a better offer.”
She walked up to a server to get a glass of champagne and walked back to the paintings, making sure to stay out of Klaus and Cami’s way. This was going to be a long night. Maybe she should lift someone’s phone to call Myriam because Lucien’s chance of getting laid tonight was getting slimmer and slimmer by all the remarks that he made and how he treated her. Klaus didn’t seem to be in a hurry to bail her out either.
Bob gave her a wide berth, which was hilarious. She found a spot where she could keep an eye on him wherever he went and she liked seeing him squirm. It was the best she could do, all she wanted currently was to curl up on her couch in her fluffy pyjamas after a good soak in a very hot bath and watch Toe The Line.
But, it was likely that she was going to have to face the wrath of Myriam first.
Much to her surprise, half an hour later they were at the penthouse. Lucien, Klaus and her and Lucien was introducing Alexis to Klaus. “Isa, be a dear and go to the bedroom, this business doesn’t involve you,” Lucien instructed her. “I’ll join you shortly, I’m afraid that Alexis will need some time to recover and won’t be joining us.”
Klaus was forcing himself not to react to the scene in front of him. He understood that Bella was in work mode, but he didn’t like it one bit. And the idea of Lucien having sex with his Bella sickened him and he wanted to push his fist into his cavity and rip out Lucien’s heart. However, if there was a possibility that there was a threat against him and his family, he needed to know. Would he make Bella a better offer now, chances were that he wasn’t going to get what he wanted.
“Careful with believing what she says,” Bella said as she kicked off her shoes. “She’s one hell of a storyteller and doesn’t really think things true.” She swung open the bedroom door and sat down on the bed, looking into the living room with her arms crossed over her chest. She wasn’t even going to bother to look sexy until Lucien paid attention to her.
Lucien rolled his eyes as he removed Alexis’ shawl, revealing her wearing a very daring cocktail dress. “Alexis is no back-alley palm-reader. She’s an expert cipher- patterns, trends, cycles… She does exceptionally well on the stock market, and never fails to guess the winner of The Bachelorette.”
Alexis smiled as she seductively made her way over to Klaus, caressing his chest with the palm of her hand before resting it on his chest as she intensely looked at him.
“Bit forward, isn’t she?”
“I’ve heard so much about you. The famous hybrid. Your ancient heart beats strong indeed for someone in such danger. If you wish to get the full experience, I suggest you feed from me while I prophesize, to see the images connect to the words.” She brushed her hair to the side to expose her neck to him while Lucien lifted her wrist to his mouth.
“It’s been far too long since we shared a proper drink, Niklaus.”
He looked over to Bella, who sat there on the bed with her eyebrows raised. He never snacked on a human in front of her. He wasn’t sure if Myriam ever did, but this was a part of him that he didn’t want her to get involved in. Sure, she knew he needed blood to survive but drinking in front of her almost made him feel ashamed of what he was. He currently didn’t have a choice in the matter. Letting out a breath, he sunk his teeth into Alexis’ neck.
“Drink deep, but beware- what you broke is past repair. All your oaths you betrayed, your sacred vows you’ve severed. And now you see that nothing last for always and forever. Three yet remain, two already crossed- yet, in one year’s time, you’ll all be lost. As your family is undone, you will seed the beast that is to come.” Alexis’ voice sounded deeper, distorted as she was in some sort of trance, but snapped out of it once the prophecy was told and the vampires stopped drinking from her.
Klaus was angry and grabbed Alexis by the throat. “You think you can fool me with bad poetry and parlor tricks?”
She smiled lightly in return. “My visions are conjured from you. The threat you face will be more clear the longer I am in your presence. Kill me, and you’ll never see what’s coming.”
Klaus looked over to Lucien and released her with a scowl on his face. “What did you pay for the whore in your bedroom?”
He marched into the bedroom and took Bella’s hand. “I’ll offer you double.”
“Hold on!” Lucien stammered. “She’s mine!”
“Then make a better offer,” Bella smiled sweetly. “I know you have more, because you already paid me $5000.”
Klaus was surprised to hear that, but tried not to show it. He was certain he was going to hear the entire story soon enough.
“I’ll double his offer.”
“Eh,” Bella said with a shrug and looked up to the hybrid. “You can have me for your original offer, good sir. Lucien hasn’t been the most pleasant date. He had the nerve to call me his pet.” She then pointed to Victoria’s head on the shelf above the door. “Look what he did.”
“Well, that’s one worry out of the way, well done, Lucien.”
“What’s going on?”
“Your friend is taking me home,” Bella let go of Klaus and made her way over to Lucien. “But thank you for killing Victoria for me,” she said as she tiptoed to kiss his cheek. “I’d say that I enjoyed spending time with you but since we’ve only known each other for two days…”
“You were gone for nearly five, love.” Klaus reminded her.
“Oh yes, I told you I was indisposed,” she reminded him before scooping up her bag and joining his side again.
“Let’s go home,” he smiled at her, irritation towards Alexis and Lucien still evident in his voice, but at least he was going to take his girl home.
“Nik, forget the whore for a second,” Lucien said as he didn’t move from where he was to stop his sire from leaving. “I told you something was wrong. You’ll need me.”
Growling, he let go of Bella and threw Lucien against the wall. “I am Klaus Mikaelson! I don’t need anyone, nor will I be warned by lesser men!” he shouted as he made his way over and pulled Lucien up by his collar until he was just inches away from his face. “I am the thing that lesser men fear,” he added in a whisper.
“Then act like it,” Lucien smirked as he pushed Klaus away and got to his feet. “Instead of doting on your pretty human girls and pouting about your family’s disapproval! Yes, you are Klaus Mikaelson! You are the most ruthless, wicked beast to ever live! I came here to remind you of that. Because, quite frankly, I’ve been worried that you’ve lost a step.” He then pointed at Isa. “Case and point.”
“Leave her out of this, Lucien!” Klaus warned him with a growl. “I need no reminding of who I am. That truth has been clear to me for a thousand years.”
“And, in those years, you’ve acquired countless enemies. And, with the sirelines at war, you now have mine as well. Anyone who would kill me can now come after you. And, since I have so many rivals, and because I do not want to die, I beg you- let me help you! From now on, I’m the only one you can trust!”
Klaus didn’t say anything and gently took Bella’s hand before pulling her towards the door. He didn’t trust Lucien. In fact, he didn’t trust anyone but himself, and perhaps Bella, but that was it. However, he was sure as hell going to find out if this prophecy was true. Any threat against him and his family – how ludacris and out there it may seem, was a threat. However, right now, his only concern was Bella and get her home. He was itching to kill something. Someone. He needed to get Bella home so it wouldn’t be her.
Bella felt as if she was dragged to the principal’s office. Klaus didn’t speak the entire way, just made sure they kept moving towards Débauche and she could feel his anger in his body language. She also knew that it wasn’t directed to her persé but she couldn’t help but to feel as if he was a walking timebomb.
She stopped him a corner away from the club. “You need to relax otherwise the doormen won’t let you inside, no matter that you’re Klaus Mikaelson. You look like you could snap someone’s neck.”
“Frankly I feel like tearing someone apart limb from limb.”
“Then do it.”
He paused, his tongue running over his lips as his eyes looked anywhere but at her before he slowly turned to face her. His hands reached up to bury his fingers in her hair as he let out a shaky breath, and shook his head. “Love, I can’t. You’re with me.”
“That’s no excuse,” she put her hand on his cheek and smiled at him. “There’s a group of purse snatchers in the alley across the street, I’m sure nobody will miss them.”
His lips curled at the corner of his mouth at her words. “You are condoning my committing murder? For no other reason than the fact that I simply have an urge to kill?”
“Look,” she caressed his arm with her other hand. “I have no problem with you being who you are. You’re a vampire. You kill people. That’s what you do. Or what you should do. I admire your restraint, Klaus, but you are on edge. And they are criminals. Not tiny babies or innocent women. I don’t have a problem with you tearing apart criminals and making this city a little bit safer for us humans,” she then scrunched her nose as if she remembered something. “I think I had a bigger problem with them killing Bambi than you killing people, how fucked up is that?”
Klaus kissed the top of her head with a smile. “We’ve never discussed this side of me before, and I think that we should. I also think that I owe you an apology and I shall do my best to do that when we get home. We should also have another talk.”
“I’m good with talking all night,” she nodded.
“Good, now, let’s go inside the club, say hi to Myriam and pack you a bag so you can come home.”
Bella looked at him, shocked, as she went over his words. “Wait, what?”
“I want you home, with me, where you belong.”
“But… but what about our talk?”
“We’ll do that once you’ve settled in.”
“But what about my apartment?”
“You pack what you need now, and we’ll get your other trinkets another day. Bella, you don’t belong there. You’ll be well protected at the compound.”
“What about my job?”
“We’ll discuss that later.”
“I’m not hearing you refuse coming to live with me,” he said playfully, his anger had somewhat disappeared by her speech, her heart, her warmth. “Let’s go tell Myriam you’re in one piece.”