“Bella,” Kol complained as he was left shirtless in the morning. She had gotten out of bed before him to get dressed, and she had once again stolen his shirt. At least she had found a nice fitting pair of jeans in the closet with her clothes in it but still, his shirt. Again. “We’re going to have breakfast with Nik and Myriam, do you expect me to be shirtless?”
“I wouldn’t care,” she smiled at him. Bella was fine with not going to breakfast with his brother and Myriam because of what happened the morning before. Niklaus scared her with his negativity, and she was afraid that it was her fault that he felt so negative. She had picked up on that back in Mystic Falls, but she hadn’t been scared of him. She had a job to do, and Katherine was protecting her. Sort of. As well as she could before all things went to hell.
“Well, I do. Give me my shirt back,” Kol reached for Bella, but she giggled and ran away from him. “Bella!” While it was cute that this had been once again an action of her own accord, he couldn’t just show up without a shirt for breakfast. Nik would know that they had fun times or… No way! He eyed the security camera in the room and really hoped that nobody watched them or that it got saved onto a hard drive. Granted, most of what they did happened in the bathroom but… Oh, what the hell. At least whoever was watching got some free porn.
Bella pulled a t-shirt out of her closet and handed it to him. It was a black tee with something pink on it. “Seriously, I’m not a child.”
Sighing, he got to his feet and inspected the contents of the closet himself. While all the clothes were brand new, they were indeed fit for someone who either loved pink very much or a young teenager. Clothes to bring comfort. Granted, Bella was 17 years old, but she had been that way 150 years. Her adulthood stolen by the Cullens. He could see why Myriam thought it would be nice for her to have clothes like the items in Bella’s closet. “You’re absolutely right, darling. What do you say? We’re going shopping today?”
“You’re taking me outside?”
“Do you think you can handle that?”
Bella shrugged. “I don’t know. I think I can because you’re taking me outside.” She wasn’t sure. In fact, she was scared. There were a lot of people in the streets, would she be able to stay in control over her own head? If Kol wanted her to go outside, she would. She could. Failure was not an option. Just like breakfast, apparently.
“And if not, I’ll take you back here immediately, is that alright?” Kol saw the brief flash of panic on her face. “But it might be fun for you to go outside and experience a little bit of New Orleans. Baby steps.”
“I’ll be good,” she smiled at him.
“Good, now hand me back my shirt because if we’re going outside, I’m definitely not going to wear this.”
“And I am?” Bella huffed, crossing her arms over her chest.
“Yes. Until we find something more suitable for you.”
“I could just go topless,” she shrugged, still clinging onto his shirt. “I mean, you wouldn’t mind, would you?”
“Others might.” Tired of her game, he rushed over to her and pulled his shirt over her head before pulling it on himself. She was left with the black and pink t-shirt in her hands. “Put that on.”
Defeated, Bella dropped her head and started to put it on as she was told. “I’m ready.” She followed Kol out to the kitchen where Myriam and Klaus were already waiting. There were glasses of blood next to their plates, and Kol’s, and Bella’s had orange juice.
He didn’t like the stupid smirk on his Myriam’s face. “What?”
“Nothing,” she said lightly. “I just skimmed last night’s security feeds this morning, and it seems that my security guard had some lovely entertainment last night.”
“Don’t,” Kol scowled.
“I never thought you’d be the shy one,” Myriam grinned as she took a bite of her breakfast. “I thought you’d boast about your shenanigans.”
“What were you thinking?” Klaus barked. “Taking advantage of her like that!”
“It wasn’t me!” Kol said defensively. “Well, not at first!”
Myriam placed a hand on Klaus’ arm. “We’ve discussed this, Klaus, no need to scare the locals.”
“What?” Bella said as she looked between the vampires, confused. “Is this about Kol and me having sex? Were we too loud? I’m sorry,” she added before she continued. “Kol seemed to be a little on edge and not entirely with me after Jasper left so I took matters into my own hand.”
“Oh, don’t apologize for having loud sex, Bella,” Myriam shushed her. “Loud sex is fantastic. Loud, crazy sex is even better. Have you forgotten where you’re staying at, Bella? Above a brothel and a sex club. Sex is what we do, and I like to tease. Kol’s blushing furiously so I think mission accomplished.”
“You can watch next time? I’m sure Kol wouldn’t mind?”
“Kol would definitely mind!” Kol objected. “Bella, you’re not everyone’s sex poppet anymore, you’re no longer going to be passed around as if you do not matter. It’s going to be just me from now on if you want that to be and not anyone else.”
Bella blinked at that. It sounded as if Kol wanted her to be his. If this was the case, she got what she wanted; Kol to take care of her like Katherine had done. He’d be her owner. He would be able to do whatever he wanted with her, and that excited her. “You want me to be yours?”
“For how long?”
Bella thought for a moment before nodding. “I’m yours. You will tell me the details of the contract, yes?”
“Contract? What?” Kol blinked at her. “What contract? What are you talking about?”
“I’m yours. You’d need to get a contract or a certificate of ownership, yes?”
“I’m not yours then?”
Kol groaned as he tiredly rubbed his face, ignoring the amused looks on his brother’s face and that of his brother’s girlfriend. “A little help here.”
“Ah, but it’s so much fun to see you struggle!” Myriam cooed as she took a sip of her blood. Poor little Bella looked so confused and sad at the same time. “Bella, can I ask you something? What do you think about the relationship between Klaus and me? What would you compare it to?”
“Like Dr. Cullen and his wife, of course. I was there when they signed the contract to be together forever. It was a different arrangement than mine, of course. Mrs. Cullen was only for him. I don’t know the specific details, only that I never saw her. She was at home. Making sure everything was pleasing for him.”
“Oh good lord, child,” Myriam said quickly. “Klaus and I aren’t married, and I will not make sure that everything is pleasing to him, fuck that.”
Kol snorted. “See what I have to deal with? It’s impossible to reason with her.”
“Am I a burden to you, Kol?” Bella asked as she looked at him, it was evident that she was hurt. “Do you wish for me not to speak?”
“Bella…” Kol sighed. “No, that’s not it.”
“I call Klaus my boyfriend,” Myriam said to Bella, ignoring Kol. “That means that we are together, we have sex only with each other and that we care for each other. No contract needed. We’re equals, do you know what that means?” When the girl kept quiet, she continued. “I know you’re used to being owned, Bella. Or handled, for that matter. But in an equal relationship you discuss things together. Klaus and I are both headstrong, so we usually fight, but we kiss and make up. He’s not more than I am and I’m not more than he is.”
“Unless she’s trying to castrate me for doing something she does not agree with,” Klaus muttered under his breath, causing Myriam to look over to him and kill him with her stare. “What?”
“But you’re not perfect,” Bella eventually said. “Not balanced. I can sense a lot of negativity coming from you both, but underneath it, I sense what I sense with Kol, what is that?”
“Relationships aren’t perfect, Bella. Living more like a human instead of a drone is so much better because you never know what to expect. Kol was not asking you to be his as something to be owned, but he was asking you to become his as his equal, his only partner. Like myself and Klaus. Committed to each other.”
“Not a foursome,” Klaus immediately said. “Two separate couples. You and Kol and myself and Myriam.”
“And the best part about this arrangement is is that once we decide we don’t want the men anymore, we can leave them behind and move on with our lives,” Myriam smirked.
“Why would you want to do that?” Bella blinked. “You’re supposed to be listening to him, obeying him. Walking away from him is not right, is it?”
“We live in a free world, Bella,” she replied kindly. “And I know that it’s the complete opposite of what you know, but basically, nothing will change between you and Kol. You’re merely giving your relationship a name.”
“Then why give it a name at all?”
Myriam thought for a moment and repeated the conversation in her head. “Do you want to be with Kol?”
“I am with Kol. I want to be his, so he can take care of me like Katherine did. Make sure I do what I need to do.” Bella was quiet for a moment as she thought about it. She had thought about it before; he could want her blood. She couldn’t die, and thus, she was an endless blood source. While Edward had hurt, the warm-blooded vampires didn’t hurt that much. On top of that, their blood could heal her. “He can even drink from me if he wishes to,” she added softly, looking at her hands in her lap. “Because I’ll be his and he can do what he wants.”
Myriam smirked. She had hoped that Bella would dig a hole for herself. “Wrong. You can be his, and he can be yours, but that doesn’t mean that he can do whatever he wants. If you don’t want to do what he wants to do then you can tell him off, and he has no choice but to back off. Should he choose to insist, you can break his dick.”
Bella gasped. “I’d never!”
“Give it a chance, Bella, allow Kol to teach you what it’s like to be in a healthy relationship with the opposite sex. If you don’t like it, you can always tell him that and see what would happen.”
“As healthy he can be in a relationship,” Klaus started, a teasing smile on his lips as he looked at his brother, who looked as if he could kill him. “Normally I would advise against dating my brother, but Myriam is right, Bella. You made it abundantly clear that you like my brother, very much so. He seems to be equally as smitten with you. I promise you, if he messes things up or takes advantage of you, I will make sure he won’t do it again,” Klaus added kindly.
“So you will make a contract that says I’m Kol’s, but you own me?”
“Nobody bloody owns anyone,” Klaus was squeezing his own leg with his hand to fight the impulse to slam his hand on the table. “There will be no contract.”
“We’ll discuss it later,” Kol interrupted her and pointed at the spread before them. “Have something to eat, darling. You’re going to want a full stomach when we go shopping.”
“No, I want to know now,” Bella said as she grabbed a slice of toast and put it on her plate.
“Fine. You understand loyalty, don’t you? How you’ve been loyal to the Cullens for 150 years despite having a contract? Even now you fight against your own moral compass saying to defend them because you know they were trouble.”
“If I become your boyfriend, all that loyalty you’ve felt towards them, is what I will feel towards you. I’ll be yours. No contract needed because, Bella, despite your quirks, I want to be loyal and faithful to you. All I ask in return is the same. You’ll be loyal and faithful to me. And by agreeing so, we’ll have a verbal agreement that’s the same as a contract, but easily broken.”
“Okay,” she smiled at him.
“What just happened?” Klaus felt incredulous. He and Myriam had tried so hard, with better examples at that, to explain the whole thing to Bella to no avail, but Kol managed to do it in a few sentences.
“Simplify things, Nik. Find examples that sort of echo with what you want her to understand,” he replied as he buttered Bella’s toast and sprinkled some sugar on top of it. “Simple things for an extraordinary girl.”
“Then why did you ask for help?”
Kol smirked as he leaned back in his chair looking all smug. “As revenge for watching Bella and me have sex on the security footage.”
Klaus’ mouth fell open. “I can’t believe you took revenge using the innocence of this girl.”
Bella took a bite out of her toast and shrugged. “I’m not innocent. Not by a long shot. I’ve done things that will make you even blush, but we’re not going to discuss that, are we? I’m really looking forward to going outside with Kol today.”
“Are you sure you’re ready for that, little one?” Myriam asked worriedly. “Only yesterday you freaked out about picking up on Klaus’ inner turmoil.”
“I’ll be fine,” Bella smiled at looked at Kol. “Kol will make sure of it.”
Bella was all right, if she had to say so herself. She kept her mind focused on Kol, and on the words that he spoke. Words of the past, as he had lived in New Orleans before. His brothers even helped shape the city; especially the French Quarter, when they were here.
There were a lot of people in the streets, but she found it fascinating to be outside again. With Katherine, most of her time was spent in a car, but now she was actually moving amongst others. They all looked different too; there were men and women with tattoo’s, piercings. Weird clothes. Wacky hairstyles.
The wonderful scents of food drawing her to every place that was cooking. She was hungry, even after having had quite the decent breakfast; a piece of toast, an egg and a glass of orange juice. Bella hoped that Kol would get her something to eat, to snack on. She couldn’t wait to try some of the pastries!
He was surprised by how well she was doing, Bella was holding on to him quite tightly, but there was a big smile on her face as she was trying to soak in everything she saw, heard and smelled. However, Kol was well aware that she could head into an overload of stimuli and he didn’t want that to happen so it was best that he took her to a quiet store to try on clothes. Dragging her into a Forever 21 wasn’t going to happen. All those hormones flying around? Not a chance. Besides, Bella deserved something classy.
Kol didn’t even have to compel a shop assistant to be nice and gentle with Bella once they got into the store. It was a decent sized store, and at the moment they were the only ones there. Looking at the prices, he wasn’t surprised. However, the store had a lovely selection of clothes, and he had heard Bella’s heartbeat speed up a little in excitement, so he was confident that she’d be leaving with an entire clothes rack.
As for himself, he decided to get a few new shirts. It was funny how Bella insisted on wearing one of his shirts, and it wasn’t because of the shirts in her closet, no matter how much she tried to blame it on that. She genuinely wanted to wear his shirts. Flattering. Awesome. It also sent out a message to anyone who wanted to mess with her; she was with an Original vampire. Watch out.
They were in the store for about an hour, and Bella had found some clothes to wear, such as unflattering dungarees, but for some reason, she looked crazily hot in them, when the peace was disturbed by an undesired presence. “Kol Mikaelson, I was wondering when you’d show your face again. Haven’t seen you in a while man.”
With Bella safely in a clothing cubicle, he wasn’t too alarmed when he turned to face the other vampire. “I’ve been a little bit busy, Marcel,” he replied as he looked at the man. “How’s the bleeding going for you?”
“It’s why I’m here. I’d like you to call off your witches and stop the spell, this has been going on long enough.”
“Has it? It’s only been a few days!” Kol reacted surprised as he got his phone out and called his witch. “Selene? Darling, I want to thank you for that wonderful spell you’ve placed on Marcel; it truly was a thing of beauty. Would you be so kind to remove the spell for me? Thank you, you’re a doll!”
A few minutes later, Marcel visibly relaxed. “I know you dislike me man, but why?”
“For those reasons exactly,” Kol smirked and put his phone away. “I can do what I want.”
“I’ve told you before, but I’ll say it again; this is my town now. I know you’ve explained why you guys upped and left me like that, but this is still my city. Does Klaus know you’re here?” Marcel had closed the space between them and tried to impress Kol with his height.
Kol wasn’t impressed. The only reason Marcel was still alive was that he’d been busy. “Nik knows I’m here, yes.”
“Well, I want you gone. You’ve been around for long enough.”
He tried to hold back his laughter. “I think not,” he huffed. “How about you scurry on? You’re cured now, you should be thankful for my mercy,” Kol continued, his vampire visage bleeding out ever so slightly. “Should you or your vampires harm Selene, I will make sure the rest of your miserable life is a living hell.”
“Kol? What do you think of this dress?”
Damn her. Couldn’t she have stayed in the cubicle a bit longer? Not taking his eyes off of Marcel, he replied; “I’ll be with you in a second, darling, I’m taking care of something here.”
Marcel looked around Kol to see who he was talking to and laughed. “Oh, wow. I get it, you were busy,” he pat Kol on the shoulder to move passed him. “Hello sweet girl, has he been treating you well?”
“Hello, Marcel,” she replied as she looked up to him. “I wasn’t aware that you two knew each other.” This was the vampire she thought of going to if neither Kol or Myriam wanted her. Marcel was selfless, in a way, not without stroking his own ego and he ran a tight ship, much like Klaus and Kol. Marcel was kind to young girls like the witch he’d been observing for years, watching her grow up and protected her when needed. He wouldn’t have been a bad home. “How have you been keeping yourself?”
“Very well, thank you,” Marcel replied with a broad smile on his face as he put an arm around her and looked at Kol. “What’s this? Some weird Pretty Woman fantasy? You decided to destroy the Cullens and take their best girl for yourself? Wow, Kol. I knew you were something but to stoop as low as this? Getting scraps?”
Marcel was mean. Bella didn’t like the feelings she got from him, either. Knowing that she’d likely get into trouble for her next action, she found herself not caring. She was protecting herself. Bella elbowed him in the stomach to startle him into letting go of her and Bella immediately went over to Kol. “He used to be nice,” she muttered to him. “I don’t think he’s very happy with you.”
“I know he isn’t, darling, I don’t like him very much either,” Kol gently said and caressed her hair. “Your dress is lovely. Now, go and try on something else. We’ll not allow Marcel to ruin our fun.” Kol walked with her to the cubicle before rushing over to Marcel and pulled him into the storage room out of sight from Bella.
Killing Marcel was easy; he hadn’t seen it coming. “No one insults the one I love,” Kol breezed as he tore out Marcel’s heart and crushed it. “And I’m taking back this city.” When the vampire’s body dropped to the floor, he let out a breath. “The King is dead, all hail the king.”
He was going to have to go back for the body later, but for now, he was going to make sure that his Bella was having fun. Kol washed his hands in the sink and made sure that there wasn’t a spot of blood on him before rejoining her. She was already waiting with a big smile on her face in a killer dress that made his cock jump into action. “Definitely that one.”