“First of all, I am not, or will I ever be, your pet!” Peter said as he waited for them at the bottom of the stairs. “I heard that, and I’m offended.”
“I’m surprised you haven’t gone crazy down here,” Bella said as she tossed him another blood bag. “Or did you leave last night?”
Peter smiled at that. “I went to the next town over and snacked.”
“Peter!” Bella scolded him, pulling the blood bag out of his hands and gave it to Klaus instead. “You wouldn’t snack on people!”
“Ah, you said in New Orleans. And I didn’t. No worries, peaches, I’m good at hiding my kills,” he said amused as he watched her. “Besides, I don’t know what Edward has told you, but I only feed on criminals, not innocents.”
“Well then, mate, you’re more than welcome to feed on criminals in my city, that is, if you are good at hiding your kills,” Klaus said with some humor in his voice. “I know you lot kill your food.”
“Much appreciated,” Peter said with a nod before letting out a breath. “I had to strain myself to hear what you just told him, but wow, those Travelers. They get around. Even I didn’t know the origins of the Cold Ones.”
“I think that the Volturi want to keep it hidden that you were an accident,” Bella said as she sat down on the crate she had been sitting on the day before and before that. “Highly embarrassing to know that you’re the product of a screw-up.”
“You know what I think? I think you should contact Kol Mikaelson. I’m sure that he’s more than willing to tell you all about that spell of yours.”
“Kol’s dead,” Klaus snarled. “So get talking.”
“I just did. Contact your dead brother. I am not a witch, and he’s knowledgeable about many witch covens. Unless you know someone else,” Peter countered as he looked at Klaus. “The new regent here is a power hungry bitch and not on speaking terms with you. Nor would I believe that she’s knowledgeable. The other witch in Mystic Falls is also quite new. You need your brother.”
“And he is dead.”
“And you have a friend who has his Dark Objects, or some of ’em. I’m pretty sure she has one that can contact the spirit world.” Peter then smirked. “Or ask your sister Freya.”
“You’re of no help; you know that?” Klaus countered and pointed at Bella. “The sooner we get to the bottom of her problems, the sooner I can give my full attention to mine!”
“Or, put her issues on the back burner, tend to your problems and make sure that Bella doesn’t die until you have the full story. But you do require your brother’s knowledge for this,” he said dismissively. “To understand the spell, what it does and why.”
“Or, some other witch could have a go at it and cast a spell on her to find it out.”
“Unless you want that person to die, I don’t recommend it. What happened to your sister was a warning. I think the second time it’ll be deadly.”
Bella cleared her throat. “In all honesty, I don’t care about the spell. What I like to know is if I’m like that Carmen.”
Sighing, Peter tiredly rubbed his eyes. He had enough. Both Bella and Klaus were stubborn and if they weren’t willing to go on a little hunt to find the truth themselves, then so be it. He wasn’t going to offer it. “Once the sun goes down, I’m out of here. I tried nudging you in the right direction, and it’s fine if you don’t wanna follow up.”
“What? You’re leaving?”
“Yes,” Peter said as he looked at her. “I shouldn’t have come in the first place. Well, yes, I should have; otherwise, you’d be dead. But don’t worry, with the impending sire lines war, the Volturi has forbidden any Cold One to enter Louisiana. Everyone’s leaving the state until they’re allowed back in.”
“What does that mean?”
“That means, Bella, you can go out and party. Go shopping. Eat pastries. The Volturi doesn’t want any of us to be involved in this war as they’re afraid that it’ll cause massive casualties on our end.” He then smirked as he looked at Klaus, knowing that the hybrid wasn’t happy about what Peter had just told Bella, before he turned back to Bella. “However, it doesn’t mean that they don’t have other ways of getting to what they like to have, so stay safe.” He then pointed at Klaus. “Bella can’t transition yet. If she does, it’s no harm done, but you don’t want that. The last part of the witch’ prophecy is about you two, but do keep in mind that Bella has her own prophecy to fulfill.”
“Sorry peaches, not going to spoil even more. Like I said, you’re on your own now.” Peter said as he mimed to zip his mouth shut and crossed his arms over his chest, looking at the hybrid and the human.
Bella narrowed her eyes at him. She was glad to see him go, but on the other hand, she wished that he would have been able to help more. Edward had been wrong about him. Yes, Peter was an asshole, but he was alright. He was probably the only Cold One who was alright. “Then I want to thank you, Peter. For your… usefulness and for not killing me.”
He just winked at her and waved.
“Niklaus!” Elijah’s voice came from the courtyard. “You need to see this!”
Sighing, Klaus helped Bella to get off the crate and directed her towards the stairs, allowing her to go in front of him. He then turned to Peter and scratched the back of his head. “Two questions; is my current predicament more significant than hers?”
Peter nodded and then shrugged.
“Is she safe with me? Have I done the right thing in bringing her here?”
He was surprised about Klaus showing vulnerability towards him and sighed. “Yes and no, it’s all a matter of perception. However, keep doing what you’ve been doing. Leave her out of your shit, fill her in, but don’t actively show her off as much as you’d like to do so. Choose wisely. And as for your third question; I’ll be around. Just not here.”
“Yes, you wanted me to ask that. Like you, I only have her best interest at heart. It’s obvious you both want to see this through on your own terms. So my guidance isn’t appreciated. I get that, and that’s alright. So good luck.”
“And you might want to check that out. Like now.”
Running upstairs, he made his way through the doors and stopped short next to Bella and Elijah, who were both too shocked to speak. When he looked at the display; a girl who slashed her wrists in the middle of a sea of lavender sprigs, he already knew what was going on. Aurora. Horrified, he made his way over to the girl to check if she was still alive, but it was clear that she wasn’t. Seeing the note in her hand, he took it and read it before quietly giving it his brother.
“Roses are red; lavender is blue. Find me before I find you,” he read, now also realizing what was going on.
Not liking the deafening silence, Bella spoke up. “So, another one of your crazy ex-girlfriends, Klaus?”
“I remember her being a better poet,” he scowled as he reread the letter.
“Oh, I don’t say that this lacks poetry at all,” Elijah said as he, too, checked on the body to see if there was still any life inside of it.
Throwing her hands in the air, Bella walked away. If what Peter said was right and she was now safer in New Orleans than she had been previously, maybe she was going to visit Myriam. That would be a great adventure! She also realized that there was music in the streets so maybe enjoy that for a while too. Then, on the other hand, Peter could have been wrong, and it was better to stay inside the compound. She was going to email Myriam to come by. That was better.
After a couple of minutes, Klaus walked into the study, looking pissed. “Why did you leave?”
“You seemed distracted by the poetic display,” she countered with a shrug. “Who is she?”
“Are you jealous?”
“No, I’m not but someone who goes to such lengths as arranging that,” she pointed out the window, “Must have meant something to you. Or you to her.”
“Love, I’ve been around for so long and…”
“Spare me the bullshit, Klaus,” she shot at him. “Tell me as it is.”
“It’s Aurora de Martel, Tristan’s sister.”
“Tristan as in… Elijah’s Tristan?”
Klaus nodded slowly. “While Lucien was the first person I turned, albeit by accident, Tristan was Elijah’s, and Aurora was Rebekah’s. It makes sense that Aurora’s here, she’d never stray far from her brother, or Lucien, for that matter,” Klaus pulled Bella into his arms and kissed the top of her head. “Elijah and I are going out to hunt her down and kill her, as we should have done so many years ago.”
“Is she dangerous?”
“She’s insane, and she might have an obsession with me.”
“Were you two lovers?”
“You like the crazies, huh?” She said half-jokingly.
“She wasn’t crazy then, and I honestly thought I loved her, but from one day onto the next, she saw me as a monster, that I wasn’t going to be any good to her, and that she could find someone better,” he replied truthfully. “In all honesty, perhaps it was for the better, we were alerted by Mikael’s presence and had to run. Kol and I had too much fun in those days,” he reminisced fondly. “However, she is the weakest link, and we’re going to put a stop to her.”
“What if you can’t?”
“Then we’ll have to figure out something else. It’s likely that like Lucien, she has access to means that we’re not aware of,” he then sucked in a breath. “I do have a contingency plan in mind, but you’re not going to like it.”
“And what’s that?”
“Convince her that I still care for her and hope to sway her to my side, working with us instead of against us,” he looked Bella in the eyes, hoping to see a reaction but what she was going to say next was unexpected.
“Would you go as far as kissing her? Have sex with her?”
“I hope it won’t come to that.”
“But what if it does?” She tugged on his shirt as she looked up to him. “I know you said that I should be a one man girl when I moved in here, and I’m honoring that. I’m no longer working for Myriam, and I’ve been here the entire time.”
“Love is a very powerful emotion, easily to be exploited. So while I hope it won’t come to that, it might. Which is why I’m telling you this now, to keep you in the loop. I might have to bring her here.”
“But what about me?”
“Well,” he said hesitant and let out a breath, bracing himself in case she’d hit him. “I’d hoped that we could continue the ruse of you being a whore.”
Bella blinked at that, not moving away from him as she thought about his words, and then Peter’s words about letting things be the way they were and she slowly nodded. “Sure, why not. I appreciate you being honest with me, too, you know, considering me in your decision, but you shouldn’t have to do that.”
“Why not, love?” He was surprised by her reaction. He had truly anticipated her hitting him or rage at him for even suggesting such a thing.
“Because technically, we’re not dating. We haven’t confessed our love for each other yet; you haven’t officially asked me to be your girlfriend, only to move in. We share a bed, but that’s it, so for all intents and purposes, I’m still a whore. Just a very well taken care of whore.”
The verbal slap hurt more than the anticipated physical one that still didn’t come, but she was right. “If this is what can keep you safe…”
“I know, but you’ll have to talk to Lucien about this too. He’s a dick, but I think he genuinely wants to help you,” she started. “And inform Elijah and Freya about this.”
“And if you’re making this plan B, then I will have to have my room. Or, I’m keeping this room, and you’ll have to find a new room.” She smirked at that. “Yes. I like that idea. This bedroom is mine. You can have the other one across the parlour.”
He sighed at that. “But I like this bedroom.”
“So do I, and most of my stuff is in here, and I’m not going to move again.”
“Very well. Can I now join my brother in looking for Aurora?”
“Yes. Bring me some pastries when you come back.”
“Because you’re my whore, and I don’t want you to get fat,” Klaus grinned and let go of her before creating as much distance as possible between her and him before she could retaliate.
While Myriam and Elijah had their rules, Klaus and Myriam had their rules; there weren’t rules for Bella inviting Myriam over. She missed her. It had only been a couple of days, but she missed Myriam and the club. And the girls. And the drama-free environment.
With Klaus and Elijah on the hunt for Aurora, Bella knew that this was yet another day where she had to entertain herself, and she hated it. So she had set up a sitting area at the front facing balcony to watch the masses of people walk through the street, listening to some good music and smelling all the lovely foods, and waited for Myriam to arrive.
Myriam did not disappoint. She had gone to Big Burger and had ordered Bella’s favourite burgers for lunch. With a nice cold beer and good company, they watched as the people kept moving below them. “Can’t you just send me like stuff through email for me to work with?”
Myriam laughed and shook her head. “What’s the use of that? I’d have to put those numbers in myself and then send them to you to do what, exactly? Re-check them?”
“Yeah, that doesn’t make sense,” Bella scrunched up her nose before digging into a new burger. “There’s a Cold One in the dungeon.”
She shrugged as she kept eating. “He saved me when Hayley tried to kill me. It’s Peter. He’s a pain in the neck but he offered some good information, and he’s leaving once the sun’s gone.”
“He’s no threat! I promise. He’s been on his best behaviour and even offered to stay in the dungeon by himself. He’s been quite helpful in helping us figure out what’s going on with me,” she took a swig of her beer. “He also said that Klaus’ problem is bigger than mine, so yeah, we’re going to focus on that first.”
“That prophecy Elijah told me about?”
Bella nodded. “It seems that Lucien wasn’t the only one coming to New Orleans to protect his sire.”
Myriam winced at that. “Aurora’s a nutcase. The moment Klaus told me about her was the moment I started to look into her. She’s unpredictable and completely obsessed.”
“You really should have been here a few hours ago. Aurora left quite the display that the cleaning crew just about finished cleaning up before you showed up.”
“Bella, she’s dangerous.”
“So you said. So Klaus said.”
“Then come home with me.”
“I am home, Myriam,” she smiled at her. “And Klaus does what he can to keep me out of all of this – granted, I feel a little bored at times, but he does everything he can to keep me safe. Now that those three are in town, I’m his live-in whore.”
Myriam nearly spat out her beer. “You’re his what?!”
Sighing, Bella finished eating her burger. “It’s fine, Myriam, really. It’s not as if Klaus and I have declared our love for each other. It’s more like… a silent understanding between us that we are together, we just don’t… or can’t… or won’t… admit it out loud. We both know it. He wants me close and safe. This is the only way.”
“And what if he decides to exploit love? He’s not a stranger to exploiting the one emotion that makes every man and woman weak.”
“What?” Bella whined. “He’s been my friend for two years in which I slept with him, but also other men. Why shouldn’t I allow him to be able to be all that he can when he needs to crush his enemies? I trust him, completely.”
“I thought you two said no sharing?”
“We’re not. He has a brilliant, strategic mind and exploiting someone’s weaknesses is what he does best. Hell, I might drill a peephole in the wall and just watch them when they have sex,” Bella huffed. “Or beg for inclusion.”
“I wouldn’t do that if I were you,” Myriam shook her head. “Sure, Aurora would love to include you, but she’ll likely kill you afterwards.”
“Eh, yeah, can’t have that happen yet,” Bella sighed as she took another swig of her beer. “Okay forget about inclusion… hey, can I be included in your and Elijah’s sexcapades then?”
“Down girl,” Myriam laughed. “We’re not there yet. We still have to go on our McDonalds date and no; I’m not going to have sex with you nor share Elijah with you. It’s wrong, and Klaus will likely kill us.”
“Yes, you,” Bella grinned. “Not me. I’ll just come back.”
A loud crash could be heard coming from the courtyard, causing Bella and Myriam to cross the room and hang over the barrister to look what was going on. “Round two!” Bella giddily said as she watched as Klaus and Elijah were physically fighting each other. The bar was in pieces, along with several bottles.
“This happens a lot?”
“Eh,” Bella said with a shrug. “I might complain a little that I’m bored, but at least once a day something’s smashed, someone’s getting punched or verbally smacked around. Instant entertainment. Who needs Netflix?”
“What you did to Aurora, to me- you set my course!” Klaus scowled at his brother as he readied himself for more.
“I protected you! I protected our family. Aurora was the sister of a lunatic and a powerful lunatic at that! Father was in pursuit. What was I supposed to do, Niklaus? And despite every one of your despicable deeds, I alone have always stood by you.”
“And why is that? Guilt! You knew that your secret betrayal was the cause of everything I became!” Klaus shouted at his brother before lunging at him and continuing their fight. Eventually, Klaus’ hybrid face showed up, and as he fanged out, he bit his brother. It was hard to find out who was coming out on top, before Klaus was being thrown into a wall, leaving a dent as he slid down the wall.
“All this blame! Will you ever look at yourself? I have carried you for centuries, Niklaus. No more! You want a fight? So be it.”
The fight seemed to go on for ages as Klaus and Elijah kept shouting at each other, letting themselves really go and making the building shake every once in awhile when one of them got smacked into a wall or support beam, but eventually, they quieted down and retreated to the dining room.
“Wow,” Myriam said as she turned around to lean against the barrier. “I know that it’s serious business, but wow, that was…”
“Yep,” Bella said, slightly concerned about Klaus, but knew that he was still alive, and he’d heal. “Let Freya deal with them; we have a beer to finish.”
“Just like that?”
“This is a family dispute,” Bella said as she walked back to the other balcony and took her bottle to take a swig from it. “I’ll hear the reason of the fight later.”