Chapter 23: Broken Reins

He wasn’t sure if he had to be amused or irritated by the sailors that he had hired to bring his sister back to him. They were boasting, thinking about trying to get more money. Oh, and for heaven’s sake, they opened Rebekah’s prison. Now he really had to kill them.

Humans were so predictable. Greed and power were their Achilles heels, but mainly greed, because more money meant buying more power. Elijah believed that he had been quite generous when he hired these men to retrieve something as valuable as his sister, but of course, they thought differently.

Most of them scattered after he tore out the heart of the most vocal one, but he managed to kill some of them. His excitement for getting his sister back overruled his idea of being clean, and he opened the lid of her coffin, seeing her sleep ever so soundly with a spelled stake in her chest. Pulling it out, he watched as her veins receded and her skin started to pink up some. The smile on her face was worth it when she sat up in confusion. “Hello, sister.”

“Please tell me I didn’t miss Christmas!”

“You didn’t,” a woman’s voice sounded from behind them. When Elijah turned around, he was surprised to find the entire A-Squad standing there, all geared up in their catsuits and utility belts filled with knives and a gun or two. Was that a whip on Autumn’s hip? “But I fear you’ll have to miss it anyway.” Elijah knew it was the A-Squad as he’d seen their picture in the newspaper, some were also lingering when he first entered Débauche on his own, and he and Freya may have passed the others on their way up to the second floor that day.

“Our boss wants to keep Ms. Mikaelson safe and doesn’t trust you to provide that safety,” the blonde, Ashley, said, slightly bored. “So please, kindly push the stake back into your sister, and no harm will be done.”

“Oh, you brought me food, Elijah?” Rebekah said as she held on to him to climb out of the shipping crate. “You shouldn’t have!”

“Look, we really don’t want to do this, seeing as you’re our former boss’ love interest and all, but we have a job to do, and that job is to protect what’s our current boss’ property.”

Rebekah huffed as she narrowed her eyes on the redhead. “I am nobody’s property but my own.”

“Oh please, do not tell me that you’ve abandoned your comfortable lives to work for the She-Devil,” Elijah said as he looked at the women to find the weakest link. He was torn between the red head, Ace, and the pint-sized woman who looked to be their technological support. Autumn, wasn’t it? “Whatever she’s been paying you, I’ll pay double.”

“Our allegiance can’t be bought!” Aria fumed.

“Uhm, actually, it can,” Alina was the most levelheaded of the group. Elijah remembered Bella taking a liking to her due to their similar interests. “That’s how we got this gig. We were bored.”

“I really do not wish to hurt you,” Elijah said calmly. “But I will, if you keep insisting that Rebekah should be back on the bottom of that ocean.”

Three of the girls huffed and then they all looked at each other. It was almost as if there was some telepathy going on, a huddle without actually moving from their spot. Well, she is a nutcase. I never agreed to do this anyway. I like Myriam too much to continue. There’s no way we survive two Original vampires attacking us. It’s just a job, get over it and let’s do what we’ve been paid to do. Shut up. “Double, you say?” Aria eventually spoke up and locked eyes with Elijah.

“I’ll make it triple if you see to it that my sister and I return safely. Then, if you wish, you can go back to working for Myriam or be the added security for the humans in our care,” he negotiated before pulling his phone out of his coat pocket. “I can make the money transfer now, if you’d like, but I never break my word.”

“Pass,” Ashley shot at Elijah and drew her gun to point it at Rebekah. “Back into your box.”

Without blinking, he moved to the girl and snapped her neck, allowing Rebekah to sink her teeth into Aria and drain her. “Yay, food,” she said as she wiped her mouth and dropped the body to the floor. “Anyone else or are you going to take my brother up on his generous offer?”

“You do know that you didn’t have to do that, right? It’s not as if bullets can kill you,” Autumn remarked as she looked at the two bodies as she chucked her gun to the floor. “Hardly anything can kill you.”

“Try nothing,” Alina said as she followed Autumn’s lead.

“True, but just because we can’t get killed, doesn’t mean that bullets don’t hurt like hell,” Rebekah said with a slight pout, somewhat disappointed that the other three women were smarter than to go up against Originals.

“So we have your word, you won’t kill us?” Ace said as she reluctantly put her weapons on the floor as well. “Why should we believe you?”

“My brother is a man of his word, darling, don’t you fret,” Rebekah purred as she went over to her and ran her fingers through her hair. “Aren’t you just the loveliest specimen.”

“While it frightens me that your allegiance can be bought so easily, my sister is right.”

“Hey, if it were up to me, we wouldn’t have left our cushy job but the muscle got antsy,” Autumn said, throwing her hands up in the air in surrender. “Being the good little drones that we are, we had no choice but to follow.”

“There is always a choice, now, let’s go home, shall we?” Elijah said amused as he eyed his sister. “Rebekah, the redhead isn’t food.”

“But she’s pretty.”

“And so are you,” Ace winked at the vampire. “And I’m great in bed, too!”

“Great, I’m going to keep you, then,” she said lightly and looped her arm through Ace’s. “What’s your name?”

“Oh, Rebekah please.”

“Shut up, Elijah, and let us go home, it’s been far too long since I’ve seen Nik and I am so curious to his latest squeeze!”

~o.O.o~

It had been so nice to live in relative quiet for a few days. No kidnappings, no attacks, no pesky know-it-all Cold Ones who said they had information but in truth, didn’t come up with much… And most importantly; no psychotic bitch making everyone’s life miserable.

Klaus had moved back with her in their bedroom and when he wasn’t tending to a shaken Camille; he was with her. Talking, digging through Elijah’s books that basically said the same thing that Peter had told them; just in a very ancient dialect of Italian. Probably a Greek dialect at that. It was strange and creepy.

She was in awe of Elijah’s library. Yes, Klaus had his own books, but Elijah’s library was filled with hundreds if not thousands of books on every subject. Every war that had been fought. Every book that mentioned the Mikaelson name. Even personal journals of long deceased world leaders.

It was after that they had browsed through Elijah’s books that they returned to the Traveler book belonging to the other Mikaelson brother, Kol, to the strange language at the end of the book. It wasn’t a language that Bella recognized; even scanning it in on her iPad and running it through a translation program didn’t work and Klaus could tell her why; it was written by Kol in his unique coded language. Something his brother had done for centuries, mainly to piss off the rest of his siblings when he wanted to keep a secret or something hidden.

The only person who could tell them what was on those pages was dead.

Or maybe there was someone else? When Klaus went to follow Camille when she got a phone call – Bella really couldn’t believe that nobody saw the caring side of Klaus like she had, like Camille had, it was so obvious – she sent a message to Davina on her iPad to meet her at Gillespie’s, if she was available, before grabbing her bag, stuffed her iPad with the scanned pages in that bag and headed out.

“Yeah, I’ve seen this before, in a handful of books,” Davina said as she took a sip of her drink. “Never knew what it was.”

“Klaus says it’s something Kol did to piss the rest of the family off, to keep things a secret from them,” Bella replied with a shrug. “I thought maybe Kol would have let you in on this.”

Davina started to laugh and shook her head. “He was really guarded in some way. Very open in other ways, but always guarded. Very mischievous. I didn’t trust him after finding out who he was, and we only started to truly trust each other when he was dying.”

“I thought you were lovers?”

“We were in love, yes, but lovers? No,” the witch replied with a small smile across her lips. “But believe me, I wish we had been. There was simply too much going on, you know, to really stop and smell the flowers. And then he died.”

Bella smiled as she took a sip of her coffee. “I can now totally understand why you’re so desperate on getting him back; you two have unfinished business!”

Davina blushed. “I made a promise to him. He had so much to live for, still. Especially as a witch and it’s sad that his brother took that away from him,” she said as she looked at the pictures of the book again. “I really wished I could help you, Bella. I have a feeling that this will help you so much more in finding out what you truly are, but I can’t. And I don’t know of any spell that could decode this.”

“Eh, was worth a shot,” Bella said with a shrug.

“I’m surprised they allowed you to take screenshots of it, though. The Mikaelsons, especially Klaus, aren’t known for their trust in people.”

Bella smirked. “What can I say? I’m a good little entertainer, and I know that I should probably have them return that book to you, but it’s not your book to begin with, is it?”

“No, true, but Kol wouldn’t mind me having it. Or the rest of his books.”

Bella wasn’t so sure of that. “I’ve been dealing with the Mikaelsons since I came to New Orleans, and if there’s one thing that I’ve learned, it’s that they’re very possessive about their belongings. It’s not as if we can ask Kol, right?”

“No, not yet,” Davina said frustrated. “I’m working on it. So, what are you doing for Christmas?”

She blinked at the girl. “Uhm… I’m working. As a present to himself, Klaus has given my boss a generous amount of money for my company for as long as he pleases. I suppose I should go shopping for a present… any idea what to give a thousand-year-old hybrid?”

Davina scrunched up her nose. “A stake through the heart. White Oak. He’ll make a beautiful fire.”

“Davina.”

“What?” She smiled at her. “Just because you entertain him, and you get paid for it doesn’t mean that I have to like him, right?”

“True,” Bella smirked as she finished her drink. “Anyway, I think I’d better start looking for presents. They’re celebrating tonight; even their sister is coming home.”

“Will Cami be there?”

“Yeah,” Bella smiled. “She and Klaus are very close.”

“Then why will you be there? Aren’t you just going to be in the way of their blossoming relationship?”

Bella shrugged. “I get paid, I don’t care, really.” She had started to wonder if by pretending that she was just the whore – mainly because of Aurora and Tristan, but also because Davina couldn’t be trusted with the knowledge that something else was going on, that she was putting Camille in danger from Aurora. She’d already been taken once, what was there to prevent that from happening again? Sure, she was at the compound, and Klaus had practically glued her to his hip to prevent Aurora from taking her, but maybe there was something else other than friendship?

Bella didn’t like the idea of Camille getting hurt, again. She was a normal human being who had an apartment filled with dark objects that were under the protection of her family. She was Klaus’ therapist and confidant. She had helped Klaus in so many ways.

And maybe that was why Klaus kept her close. Because he was afraid that Aurora would go for her again. Wouldn’t Camille be better off at Myriam’s though? It would certainly relieve the feeling of jealousy that Bella had towards her. Especially now that Davina thought the therapist and the hybrid were about to hook up. The feeling only started a few days ago when she saw Klaus and Camille talk quietly in the courtyard, but it was there, and she hated it. “Yeah, I’d better go. Merry Christmas, Davina.”

“You too,” she smiled back at the woman. “We’ll talk soon.”

~o.O.o~

“Not her, either!”

She shouldn’t have been surprised, really, that when she returned to the compound after a day of shopping – and additional pampering with a nice manicure, Klaus was yelling, and the sound of a battle was going on right inside the compound.

Was that Rebekah Klaus was trying to hold back? His loving sister, the one he spoke so highly of? What was going on? Everyone in the courtyard had a panicked look on their face, and they were now looking at her. Including a very much possessed Rebekah. Her black eyes were telling. Oh, crap.

Rebekah managed to get free from Klaus and used her vampire speed to get to Bella, but Klaus was faster and stopped her right before she could do anything. “And certainly not her!” Klaus said as he pulled his sister away from Bella and eventually managed to get her into a choke hold on the table.

“Ahh, those poor, little humans,” Rebekah said with a smile on her face. “There’s Cami the therapist and Bella, the whore, and you’re so afraid you’re going to ruin them both… Trying to be their white knight, keeping them safe as if they’re breakable objects.” She managed to launch herself off the table but Klaus was able to keep her from running away again.

Bella watched Klaus as his gaze quickly shifted to her and Cami before settling back on Rebekah. Klaus looked horrified as his sister spoke.

“They’re not precious, Nik. Every woman you and Elijah brought into our lives turns into poison. Cami just wants to be loved and appreciated. Bella? She’s so scared and broken that she doesn’t even care that you’re making most decisions for her. Wrap them in bubble wrap, why won’t you?” Rebekah laughed as she watched Cami run away. “She’ll grow toxic too!” Her gaze then shifted to Bella, who wasn’t moving a muscle. “Look at her, Nik, like a deer caught in headlights, too afraid to move, trusting you to have everything under control or so lost in life that she doesn’t even care about her own anymore.”

“Stop talking, sister,” Klaus warned her and was grateful that his brother was now helping him to contain her. Yes, he was still the strongest, but a little help couldn’t hurt. She was right, of course. Camille was too precious of a human being to be hurt, he had pulled her into his world and put her in danger, and she needed to be taken care of as he had failed to do so. And Bella, his beautiful enigma, trusted him with her entire being and that, as history showed, was dangerous for her even though he would do anything not to betray that trust. The worst part of it all was that he could hear Bella’s heart race above everything else that was going on.

Maybe taking her away from Débauche had been the worst idea ever.

“Oh, I’m right, aren’t I?” Rebekah cackled. “You look like a puppy who’s just been kicked!”

“Rebekah!” Elijah pushed her back onto the table. “Ignore her, Niklaus,” he reminded his brother, who turned to help him keep their sister on the table.

“No, no!” Rebekah struggled against her brother’s hold.

“Keep her down,” Freya said with as much confidence as she could muster when she walked into the courtyard and approached her siblings. She looked bloodied and weak, and Bella felt so confused. When Freya produced a knife to slice off whatever, Bella left her shopping bags and ran upstairs to the bedroom. Behind her, she could hear Freya chant and Rebekah cry out in agony, and it was just too much. Too much.

How did Camille do this? Well, it was easy, she didn’t actually live at the compound where the threat level could go from green to red within minutes. She had a place of her own, distance. But Bella didn’t want distance; she wanted Klaus. She knew that by agreeing to live with him that she’d encounter some trouble but this was getting ridiculous. While she’d lived a somewhat fearful life for five long years, she had believed it would have been over by now, or at least things that she could understand.

Cold One trouble? Yeah, no problem with that. Other challenges? Nearly every day? How was this healthy? How could Bella go on and pretend that everything was alright? It wasn’t. She wanted to stand by Klaus with everything that was going on in his life; he deserved that, but at what cost?

And she had felt more in the loop with his life when she was still living at Myriam’s. Yes, Klaus told her everything when they were in bed, but right now she felt as if she was on the outside. He was the only one who included her.

Frustrated, Bella poured herself a glass of bourbon and threw it back while sounds of struggling and then laughter could be heard from downstairs. Who was she kidding? She had no right to think like this.

She was existing, and that was what was important. Her feelings only got in the way of making other people happy. Damn that Peter for telling her to feel something. It only made things worse. Bella was strong, and she had a hot boyfriend who was going out of his way to make her feel loved, and she was always presentable for him. What else could she possibly want?

It wasn’t as if she was a pushover. Hell no, she had an opinion of her own and Klaus liked that. Bella wasn’t a meek, little lamb either, but despite the fact that Peter had given her the temporary ‘all clear’ on the Cold One front, she now felt that it was best not to leave the bedroom anymore. Maybe only go back and front to the kitchen for food.

Create a new bubble world like Débauche had been for the last two years. Maybe by restricting herself, she wouldn’t end up feeling as scared like this all the time. Bella filled another glass and barricaded the French doors that lead to the walkway. There was still an entrance through the study anyway, something she preferred because she could keep an eye on that one.

She felt a little bit sad about closing the doors if she had to be honest. The courtyard was beautifully decorated for Christmas and she had sat in awe the day before, just to look at its sheer awesomeness. It was impressive. Tasteful for the most part. But sacrifices had to be made.

Bella’d rather choose her excitement than to be surprised by it. This was good. She refilled her glass and sat down on the bed as she unpacked her backpack. While she had bought presents for everyone – and they were still downstairs – she had also bought herself some chocolate, and she had ventured into a bookstore and hadn’t been able to stop herself from buying more books. More silly fiction books to add to her collection. They weren’t going to smarten her up, but at least they made her happy.

When she reached for her glass, she was surprised to find Klaus’ hand on it. Allowing her eyes to follow his arm up to his face, she smiled at him. “Can I have that?”

Sighing, he downed it and put the empty glass back down. “We need to talk,” he said in his ‘I mean business’ voice. “And it cannot wait.”

Bella studied his face and swallowed hard. He had a mixture of sadness and fear written all over his face and all she wanted was to pull him into her arms and tell him that everything was going to be alright, but she feared that he was going to tell her that she had to go and pack her bags to go back to Myriam. “You want me to leave, don’t you?”

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