“Bit silly of you calling a family meeting when you, the one who called for it, shows up late!” Klaus scolded his youngest brother as he walked into the courtyard.
“Oh, step off, Niklaus, it’s not as if you have anything of importance to do,” Kol shot back at him. “And to those who do, Rebekah, Myriam, I am sorry I’m late but I had to be sure I wasn’t followed.”
Myriam let out a snort as she settled in Klaus’ lap. If anything, she didn’t quite mind leaving her place of employment for a little while; the smell of sex and the energies in her brothel usually made her horny as fuck, and she was going to drag Klaus off to his bedroom as soon as this meeting was over.
Kol had sounded worried and scared when he called her and she was glad that there was at least one thing Klaus had taken from the whole Silas situation a few years back and that was to listen to his siblings, especially Kol, when something was going on. Kol didn’t scare easily, so whatever it was, it was going to be good.
It wasn’t connected to the current werewolf problem the Mikaelsons had been dealing with for the past couple of months, otherwise it could have waited until there was more news. The whole thing was interesting as hell.
“Proceed, Kol,” Elijah encouraged him from his spot near the bar.
“I never thought the day would come where I’d say this, but for once it’s not one of your deranged exes that have come to town,” Kol pointed at both his brothers. “Davina and I were minding our own business today when Bella showed up thinking I’d take her back.”
“Bella’s back?” Klaus wasn’t surprised by this. Before she disappeared they had been a family, he had considered Bella to be family, but as time progressed and she didn’t return like the first time she’d disappeared like that, he knew that she had abandoned them.
At first, he had feared that his brother Kol would turn to his old ways, but soon after Klaus had recalled him to New Orleans to deal with the witches, Kol found his new girlfriend, Davina, who seemed to be more sane than Bella. Also, she was a witch and easier to kill should she betray them like Bella had. A witch who had her powers under control.
Klaus liked it that he was back to being the one to fear.
Granted, Bella was entirely different from them. She played by different rules, and time progressed differently for her when she wasn’t on Earth and she couldn’t be blamed for having been gone for so long. But she did abandon them; she could have fought harder with Kol for not going to New Orleans because she didn’t have the control she needed.
And who was to say she had control now?
Elijah tiredly pinched the bridge of his nose. “We can’t deal with her now, we have a lot on our plate already with the Guerrera’s.”
“I know that, and I told Bella to leave. To leave us alone. I know that she probably won’t do that as she’s so obsessed with us, so me and Davina are going to work on a few spells that will hopefully be able to contain Bella for a long time. Or at least to slow her down so that we can think of a permanent way of dealing with her.”
“That’s a bit overkill, isn’t it?” Klaus spoke up, not entirely surprised by Kol’s eagerness to make sure that Bella wouldn’t do anything to them, but it did sound a bit too harsh. “Has she ever done anything to purposely harm us?”
“Given time, it’s likely she would have or will,” Elijah replied. “We’ve been over this, Niklaus. She’s an immortal demigod, she has powers we haven’t even begun to understand and she doesn’t either. Sentiments aside, she has the power to cause major destruction and we’ll be unable to stop her. Demigods aren’t known for their benevolence, either.”
“Oh, please,” Elijah rolled his eyes at his brother. “In comparison to him, then yes, Bella’s a saint. But Gods can’t be trusted. I’ve read everything we have on Gods and ordered first editions of other books that I’ve read too, and Bella does not fit in with the characteristics. She’s an unknown.”
“And she hurt us all by leaving,” Rebekah replied, getting up from her chair and let out a breath. “Very well, I will have my guard up. Thank you for informing us, Kol, but I have to get back to the animal shelter.”
“Davina and I will handle this when she comes back again, I promise,” Kol said sincerely. “I will not allow her to mess with our family again.”
A good thing about being invisible was that she could move around without being noticed and encounter people doing embarrassing things. Bella felt like a private detective as she roamed the streets of New Orleans with her notebook. She followed the hushed whispers of the witches as they spoke amongst themselves about a family of drug trafficking werewolves who had been at odds with the Mikaelsons for quite some time now and they were now going to end it for once and forall.
Bella was shocked to find out that they had managed to get Klaus’ blood and fabricate rings that would allow the wolves to control their transformations during the full moon; much like how some vampires were able to walk in the daylight without burning. It angered her, as one of the wolves she’d followed was happily chatting on the phone telling the other person that through this, they had weakened the big bad hybrid.
She had followed Elijah to City Hall where she watched him bribe – no, compel – a city worker to do something and Bella realized that the Mikaelsons were readying themselves for war with the wolves by making sure the Guerrera’s didn’t have any place to hide.
She needed to work fast. It was likely that they weren’t going to fight in broad daylight and seeing as night was about to fall, Bella had to go before blood was spilled. It was easy enough to get inside the house, all she needed to do was to slip in when the door opened and everyone was conveniently gathered in the same room as they discussed their battle with the Mikaelsons. Bella could tell the rings were spelled with Klaus’ blood. For some reason, she could feel it deep inside of her.
Bella smacked everyone against the wall; some went through a wall, but that was alright, she had hit them hard enough to knock them out, for now. She ripped the rings off the fingers of the wolves and put them into a nice velvet bag that she had acquired in a gift shop before taking one of the smaller guys and extended her invisibility to him after turning him into a harmless little puppy that she could carry with her.
Despite her being immortal and part God, her strength, her physical strength, was that of an ordinary human. Bella figured Klaus wanted to spill blood for what these wolves had done to him, so she was going to leave him a little present. If he and his siblings wanted to kill the wolves she’d knocked out, then that would be their decision, their choice. Not hers.
Clutching the still unconscious puppy underneath her arm, Bella decided to make a run for the bus. The full moon was already out and she wanted Klaus to be at full strength and happy when he’d join Elijah, Kol and Myriam in their fight against the wolves. Then again, it was also very likely that Klaus would stay at home and use her offering’s blood as paint. With Klaus, things could go either way.
She also wasn’t sure if the mere act of taking the rings off of the werewolves would have restored Klaus’ strength or that if they needed to be destroyed. It was best to remain hidden for now, Kol had been angry with her as it was, and she was certain that Klaus would know this gift came from her, right?
Half an hour later, she slipped inside the building and carefully made her way through it, trying to find where Klaus might be hiding out. Bella merely hoped that Kol had gone with Elijah and not stayed behind to look after his brother, because that would certainly be awkward. She froze in her steps when she heard scuffling behind her, steps, and when she turned around, she saw that it were the rest of the wolves.
Not knowing if Klaus had protection or not, she smacked the wolves against the brick walls of the building, and the handful that a hard head, she smacked them twice. Knocking them unconcious. There were more on top, but they were being held back by an invisible force. Kol’s harlot was the source of that.
Scowling, Bella managed to find Klaus in his study, quietly painting and seemingly no longer under the influence of people wearing his blood in enchanted stones. Jerk. Had she been that worried about him over nothing?
Bella made the little velvet bag holding the rings visible and threw it at him.
Klaus turned around and caught the little bag, a smirk on his face as he peeked into it. “I thought you were told to leave,” he said playfully, looking around in the hope to see her, but she wasn’t there, or was she? “Learned a new trick, I see?”
She kept quiet as she turned the puppy visible and released it on the floor now that it was conscious. Bella then turned it back into a normal person and she saw the smile on Klaus’ face grow wider.
“Oh, you shouldn’t have! I want to bet that his color will be the right color that I’m missing in this painting!” Klaus launched a brush at the werewolf’s neck and penetrated it, causing the werewolf to fall down instantly. “Wonderful!”
Bella didn’t understand why Klaus was being nice. Was Kol the only one of the family who wanted her gone? Or maybe, whatever the reason was for Kol not liking her hadn’t rubbed off on Klaus.
“Hurry along now, CeilingCat,” Klaus quietly sang as he focused on his painting, using the blood of the slain werewolf. “This will be our secret, for now. But do know that we don’t need your protection.”
She did as she was told and while dodging more werewolves, and, Davina, she managed to get out of the building undetected. She hopped on a train car and rode it for awhile, until she was certain she was as far away from the French Quarter as possible before getting off and made herself visible in an alley. She needed to eat, and think about what Klaus had said.
Scratch that, her next order of business would be to delve into Davina’s life. She had already sussed out where most of the Mikaelsons lived, worked and hung out, and now it was time to focus on the bitch who stole Kol from her. It was likely that she had to do something with Kol’s attitude towards her.
Or maybe this was the case with vampires in general. She wasn’t sure. Picking at her food, she decided to call the best vampire she knew outside the Mikaelsons.
Bella blinked at the sound of the voice she heard. Really not the person she expected. “Stefan?”
“Bella? Where have you been?”
“Fixing my mistakes, why do you have Damon’s phone?”
“No, seriously, we’ve tried calling you, where have you been?”
“Stefan!” She had a bad feeling about this. “Did something happen to Damon?”
“Not just Damon. I mean, they have to leave Katherine alone because she’s the Anchor to the other side, but we’re all at risk of getting caught. Especially me, however, for some strange reason they’re leaving me alone, too.”
“I’m coming to Mystic Falls,” she said as she shoved her plate out in front of her. The Mikaelsons could wait, Damon was more important.
“No, don’t. Whatever you’re going to say, or whatever you want to do, you have to let us handle this. It’s still my job to make sure you’re safe and as of right now, I really can’t guarantee your safety in Mystic Falls. There’s this coven of witches called the Gemini and they’ve mostly died out, but a handful still remain. According to Alaric, they’re known for creating prison worlds where they put the most dangerous of creatures and we suspect that they put Damon in one. They’re like the witchy police. Bonnie’s working on finding a way of getting him out.”
“Listen to me, Bella, we’ve got this. I promise you that I’ll have Damon call you when he’s back.”
Bella scowled then, taking a sip of her drink. “I’m not fragile, you know. I could kick ass.”
“I know, but should they find out about you, who knows what would happen? Now, what did you need Damon for?”
“I don’t know,” she sighed, pulling the plate back towards her to finish her food. “I mean, I know Kol’s reputation and how he used to be, but are vampires really that fickle? He saw me disappear before his own eyes once before, I can’t help it that it took me nearly two years to get back! And Klaus, he’s acting somewhat normal, but is this kind of behaviour normal? I mean, didn’t I mean anything to Kol?”
Stefan sucked in a breath. “I can’t say for sure, I’m not him, but he’s Kol Mikaelson, anything is possible. It’s very easy for a vampire to fall back into old habits. Maybe that’s what he’s done without you.”
“But he changed, Stefan. He was sweet and kind and all… manly,” Bella’s cheeks flushed by the sheer memory of him naked in front of her. “I thought what he and I had was something worth waiting for. If not, at least knowing what I am, understanding why it took me so long to get back.”
“What about the others? Have you spoken to them?”
“No… but I might have eavesdropped on Rebekah and Myriam when they happened to cross my path…” Bella sighed again. “Is it possible that I believed that there was a real connection going on when there really wasn’t?”
“Oh yeah, especially considering you involved yourself with a Mikaelson.” Stefan sounded way too happy about that and she imagined her next fry to be him and bit his head off. “On the other hand, you involved yourself with a Mikaelson and they tend to have powerful enemies. You’re going to have to do what you started out with here, observe. Learn. See if something’s wrong. Stay out of trouble.”
“And one other thing; from what I saw from your relationship with the Mikaelsons when I was… well… not entirely sane, they do like you. They like you a lot, enough for them to open their home to you. To give you money so you can have things. In all honesty I was glad that Klaus gave that to you because you’ve always refused me or Damon helping you out financially. You were family to them, and they don’t take that word lightly. They wouldn’t have turned their backs on you that easily.”
“So there is something fishy going on?”
“There’s a great chance something is wrong, yes. So, as I said; observe and learn. Stay out of trouble and you’ll soon be knowledgeable enough to fix things. I have to go. I will have Damon call you when he’s back.”
“Thanks Stefan,” she smiled and disconnected the call, feeling slightly better than before. If something was wrong with the Mikaelsons, she was going to find out and make sure they would never do that to them again. No matter if she had to shed blood to do so.
For the next few weeks, Bella did her homework. She had plastered a large piece of paper on the wall of her hotel room and drew lines from names to names; mostly following Davina around and seeing where she went. She often went to a little tea shop near the Seamen’s church, a shop lovingly ran by a girl called Ann, and upon further inspection, it was one of the places to get herbs for spells without being frowned upon by other witches.
It was something that Bella had noticed; Davina wasn’t really favored by the other witches in the Quarter; the word was that she had left the coven to start out on her own and then there was this story about how she nearly destroyed New Orleans by not wanting to participate in the Harvest. Now that Davina was hanging out with vampires, she had completely fallen out of grace, but it was Ann who managed to restore a little bit of Davina’s grace by selling her herbs.
Bella was in the middle of eating a beignet on her way to the Regent’s house when she received a message on her messenger app.
TrashPanda: I would have figured you’d contact me sooner. K.
CeilingCat: Been a little busy.
TrashPanda: We need to meet. Come meet me at Jackson Square and let’s look at some paintings?
CeilingCat: Don’t you think that’s inappropriate? Sneaking behind Myriam’s back to meet me?
TrashPanda: It’s just a meeting, Bella, I have some information for you that you might find useful.
CeilingCat: Jokes are lost in text, aren’t they? Meet me in my hotel room. Hades gave me a little present to ward against prying eyes, as an apology for keeping me there so long.
TrashPanda: Now who’s being inappropriate?
CeilingCat: I’ll admit you’re hot but my heart belongs to your brother.
TrashPanda: Well, Kol will be sad to hear that you’re secretly in love with Elijah.
TrashPanda: Of course, should things not work out between you and Kol, and should Myriam and I have a falling out, there’s always the chance that we could try and see if we’re compatible?
CeilingCat: Just come meet me!