Bella’s heart nearly bounced out of her chest when there was a subtle knock on her hotel room door before she realized it was Klaus on the other side of it. Taking a deep breath, she opened the door, finding herself staring at an incredibly huge bundle of wildflowers. “Are you shitting me?”
Klaus lowered the flowers and grinned as he got inside the hotel room. “Seeing as I do wish to keep you as a potential mate when Myriam decides she has had enough of me, I brought you some chocolate as well.”
Bella narrowed her eyes on him as she closed the door and leaned against it.
“What? No hug?”
“That depends, are you here to kill me?”
“Bella, you and I both know you can’t be killed,” he replied, a gentle smile on his face. “Granted, since your disappearance, I have moments where I imagine pulling your head off your shoulders and tearing off your limbs, but I assure you, today is not going to be that day.”
She crossed the space between them as fast as she could and hugged him, tightly. Not wanting to let go. For weeks she had felt so alone, so scared and with no one to talk to, and now Klaus was here. Actually here and seemingly in his right mind. Bella could feel the weight lift off her shoulders and couldn’t stop herself from crying.
“It’s alright,” he said softly, pulling her even closer against him. He understood her frustration, her loneliness, her anger and her sadness. For the last few months she had to do everything by herself, and for what reason? He hadn’t even sent her a message since the night she brought him the moonstone rings with his blood in them, while he should have, but merely thought that would be wrong. It had been a conversation with the bartender he realized that he hadn’t been a good friend to Bella, at all. “I’m sorry for having ignored you, Bella, I truly am.” He had a hurt young woman in his arms, not the mighty and scary demigoddess everyone had become so afraid of. People often forgot that beneath all the abilities, there was a person. And he was certainly guilty of that, too. He had a lot to make up for.
“It’s not just Kol,” she sobbed. “I overheard Myriam and Rebekah talk and… I’m also pretty sure Elijah hates me even more and-”
“Breathe, little Swan,” he said calmly, rubbing her back. “It’s all going to be alright. We’ll figure it out.”
She wasn’t sure for how long they stood there, but frankly, she didn’t care. With Damon still lost somewhere, she was relieved Klaus was still with her, still alright with her. Once she had calmed down, she still didn’t let go of him. “Hades kept me for as long as he did to teach me control. He turned down the ghost stuff and taught me more abilities, something Helios should have done but didn’t. And I had to clean up the mess that I made… so many souls in the Underworld, I- I fixed it.”
“And then you come back and your boyfriend is seeing someone else.”
“Yes. Why? How?” She looked up to him, pleadingly.
“Your guess is as good as mine,” Klaus replied as he let go of her to get her a glass of water. He was relieved to find her in a decent hotel, that she was using the money he had given her two years ago. He wasn’t quite sure what he’d do if he would have found her in one of the lesser hotels of New Orleans. “Kol spent a month in Forks, waiting for you at your family home. However, Elijah and I ran into some problems here in New Orleans and I recalled Kol to come and help us while he waited for you here. A week later, he walked in the compound with a new brunette on his arm and shortly after that, we all realized you’d abandoned us. That you used us and abandoned us, that there was nothing we could do, either, seeing as you’re a monster.”
“I found that thought disturbing, yes,” Klaus replied as he handed her the glass of water. “You do everything in your power not to kill people, you have the biggest heart of all the people I’ve met and you’re certainly not in possession of any malignant bone in your body.”
“I believe due to some sort of spell,” Klaus sighed as he sat down in a chair, looking at her as she stood there with her glass of water. “I don’t think the source to be Davina, she seems to be truly infatuated with Kol, which is why I wanted to meet with you. Perhaps you could investigate the Regent, Madam LaRue?”
“Why would the witches want to mess with you, though?”
“It has everything to do with the balance of power. There aren’t many vampires left in New Orleans because the werewolves killed them or the witches hurt them. Or, I have to admit, we had to kill four dozen of them for refusing to side with us and still remain loyal to Marcel. The witches are afraid we’ll go after them next and decide to be proactive?” He scratched his head in confusion. “In any case, we have dealt with a lot worse.”
Bella sat down in the chair, a pensive look on her face. “What if this isn’t about you?”
“Bella,” Klaus laughed. “We’re the Original vampires, everyone fears us, even the Ancestors. They know what we’re capable of.”
“Really?” Bella countered. “A few minutes ago you said you believed me to be a monster. You, the big bad Hybrid, calling me a monster. What if this isn’t about you and what if whatever is happening to you is because of me?”
“Don’t be ridiculous.”
“Then why did you tell me you thought of me like that? Because I am more powerful than you. I can do more than just turn people into animals, smack them against walls and turn invisible. I resurrected Kol from the dead. All of this, without having to use magic. I am not bound by the same laws of nature you are. Or the witches are. Frankly, if I didn’t have a good head on my shoulders, I could be that monster quite easily. A loose canon.”
Klaus blinked at her and fell back in his chair. “To be honest, I have no idea why I said that. I know you’re capable of so much more, but I’ve never seen you as a threat, Bella,” he said thoughtfully before a wicked smile appeared on his lips. “The Ancestors might see you as a direct threat. There is no doubt they’d try to stop us from reorganising the Supernatural community of New Orleans, but with us, they don’t have to fear for losing power. Perhaps by influencing the family you’re close to would ensure you’d stay away?”
“If that’s the case, they’re awfully wrong and they don’t know me at all,” Bella muttered, itching to find out if Klaus’ theory was correct. “Because you may be right, I don’t have a malignant bone in my body but they don’t know who the hell they’re messing with and it ends as soon as I confirm this theory.”
“And how are you going to do that?”
“Well, first, I’m going to mess with Davina and talk to Kol. Then, I’m going to track down that Regent and snoop around. And then…” Bella smirked as she thought of something. “I might do something to scare the shit out of the Ancestors and find a way to shake the rest of your siblings out of the hold they supposedly have on them. But only when it’s true. There could be another explanation, but let’s go with this one for now.” Bella set her glass down on the table and got to her feet. “Would you like to come outside with me?”
“What are you going to do?” Klaus said suspiciously. “I thought you didn’t want to be seen in the French Quarter.”
“I don’t, but we have to start somewhere,” Bella said as she took Klaus’ hand and tugged on it. “Come, let’s have some fun!”
“Wait,” he let out a snort, loving her new found enthusiasm, albeit a bit on the darker side of things. “How are we going to prevent me being influenced again and tell everyone about your plans?”
“Hmm… yes,” Bella said as she looked around, finding the little golden bowl Hades had sent down to her. She put her hand in it and retrieved a coin, placing it in the palm of Klaus’ hand.
“I don’t know,” Bella shrugged. “But Hades said this bowl keeps out prying eyes, so I guess everything coming from it will do the same?”
“You’re not sure?” Klaus laughed as he put the coin in his pocket. “Very well then, I’m honored to be your test subject.”
She took him to not an all too crowded space, which was proving to be difficult in the heart of New Orleans, but managed to find a spot eventually. “So, where’s Kol? At your home?” Bella asked as she looked around Klaus to see Davina approach them.
“Yes, I believe so.”
“Good, hold on,” Bella said as she pushed her bag into his arms and picked up an exotic animal from behind him. Walking back around Klaus with the Sloth in her arms, she smiled up at him. “But first, we need to take this little girl to safety. Doesn’t Rebekah run an animal rescue center?”
Bella hummed as she looked down on her clothes. “Hey, look at that, it worked!” She smiled up at Klaus again. “Another new thing I can do, don’t you like it?”
“This is your idea of going to talk to Kol?”
“Yeah?” Bella said as she readjusted Davina Sloth in her arms and started to walk in the direction of Rebekah’s shelter. “Do you think I can pull it off?”
From the surface, Bella did look like Davina. As if she was her doppelganger. There was something about her walk though, that felt off. And of course, Davina was a pushy little brat, could Bella pull that off? “I don’t know, can you? You need to adjust your walk, don’t slouch. Davina is very narcissistic in everything she does.”
“Oh, God, this Sloth is getting heavy,” Bella sighed exasperatedly. “And I think it’s chewing on my hair. Care to trade me for my bag? I don’t wish Kol to see me with a hair out of place!”
“She’s not like Caroline, love,” Klaus laughed and shook his head. “With narcissistic I meant full of herself, confident. As if she owns every inch of the world, she is, of course, one of the most powerful witches in New Orleans and dating an Original.”
“Barf,” she said as she nearly fell flat on her face. “Stupid heels!”
“Well, she is quite short,” Klaus laughed as he had caught her mid fall. “You’ll be alright.”
“Worst. Idea. Ever.” Bella readjusted Davina Sloth again and rounded a corner. “Luckily, we don’t have to go far for Rebekah’s place.”
“Actually, the animal rescue center is yours. It’s in your name. Rebekah is merely the manager in your absence,” he replied with a shrug. “Of course, Rebekah’s medical knowledge is extensive and you’ll have to learn a lot, but you’re still the owner of that building. It was your idea, after all.”
“Well, it was one of the first things we set up, we didn’t know you were going to be gone this long, and I wanted to make sure you had something to do upon your return.”
She blinked at him. “Are you sure you’re not in love with me? Because setting me up an animal shelter sure is a lot of work and I doubt you helped Myriam with her brothel. Do they know it’s in my name?”
“No, they don’t,” Klaus smiled at her. “I intend to keep it that way until your proper return, once everyone is in their right minds. I’m fairly certain Rebekah won’t mind, but she’d likely insist on franchising. It’s doing quite well, you see.”
“Then just give it to her,” Bella laughed, finding it strange to hear Davina’s laugh. “I’ll think of something else to do.”
“You’re not going to disappear again?”
“Oh, I sure as hell hope not or I might actually hurt someone,” she said grumpily as they turned another corner and headed straight for the animal rescue center.
“Davina! What a lovely surprise,” Rebekah greeted her as she walked around the counter before freezing in her steps. “Is that what I think it is?”
“A sloth? Yes,” Bella replied as she handed the animal over to Rebekah. “Please be gentle with it? Wouldn’t want anything bad to happen to this girl, would you?”
“I shall be ringing the zoo and ask them if they lost one of their animals… if not… Kol’s blasted ex is still in town,” Rebekah said disgusted and it was then when Bella saw it; the dark glow around Rebekah, a clear sign for Bella that Rebekah was indeed, spelled.
Quite disappointing, really. Bella had hoped she could wreak some havoc while trying to figure out what the hell was going on and now it seemed like there were witches involved. Remembering that she somehow could cleans spells off of items such as the champagne at the Mikaelson ball, she reached out to Rebekah and saw the dark glow lessened, but not disappeared completely. Which was lame, as it meant that whomever put that spell up, had put some effort into it. Maybe there was a human element to it, maybe there wasn’t. In any case, now Bella looked like Davina, there wasn’t a lot she could do.
“Thank you,” Bella replied with a smile before turning to Klaus. “Weren’t you like… picking up Myriam or something?” She tried to sound as bored as she possibly could. “I’m on my way to see Kol, maybe the two of you would like to walk with me?”
“Why can’t I come?” Rebekah demanded, still with the sloth in her arms. It took a mere nod from Bella to the sloth for Rebekah to sigh and retreating with Davina sloth.
Klaus took Bella next door to Myriam’s establishment, excitedly informing her that there are plans to buy the building next door as well and branch out, as Myriam’s brothel was quite successful. There were plans for a nightclub and more rooms for her girls. He also warned Bella that Myriam wasn’t a big fan of Davina and for Davina to be in her establishment was almost as if she was declaring war to her.
“I thought everyone liked Davina?”
“No, love. Myriam and I merely tolerate her because Kol’s smitten and Rebekah and Elijah don’t make a fuss out of the witch, either,” he replied kindly. “Besides, it’s a good thing to have a powerful witch on your side instead of against you, especially in a city as New Orleans.”
“Great, maybe I should wait outside then.”
“Too late, she’s already here,” Klaus grinned and left her alone to greet his girlfriend. “Behave,” he said playful as a warning to his girlfriend before he softly kissed Myriam’s lips.
“I thought I told you, and her, that she’s not welcome here?” Myriam hissed, grabbing Klaus’ arm and dug her nails into it. “What are you doing with her, anyway?”
He gently removed her hand from his arm and maneuvered her arm through his. “We found a sloth in the street, Davina thought it was only proper to deliver it to Rebekah,” he explained while walking back to Bella. “She also divulged she was going to give Kol a stern talking to about his ex-girlfriend and I assumed you wanted to see the fireworks.”
“Assuming makes an ass out of you and me,” Myriam sighed but relented. “I need to get out of this place for a couple of hours anyway. How about after watching the lovebirds fight, we retreat to your bedroom?”
“Of course,” Klaus smiled at her.
“I’m so sorry, Myriam,” Bella apologized, seeing the same dark glow around Myriam as she had seen around Rebekah. “I completely forgot you didn’t want me in here but…”
“It’s fine,” Myriam snapped as she pointed to the door. “Let’s go then.”
Bella brushed Myriam as she passed to get out first, and by the time they were all outside, Bella could tell Myriam’s glow had completely gone. Smiling to herself, Bella fell into step next to Klaus. “The Ancestors won’t like it that Bella’s lingering in this city.”
“Yeah well, maybe it’s a good thing she’s back, the Ancestors deserve to be kicked down a notch,” Myriam replied, sounding quite shocked by her revelation. “I mean… I…” she looked at Klaus in confusion. “It’s not good, is it? I mean, don’t get me wrong, I still hate her for not giving us a sign of life over the years but I miss my friend.”
“It’s quite alright, love, don’t worry,” Klaus assured her. “As is your hatred towards Bella for not telling us where she was, but I’m quite certain she has a perfect excuse.”
Myriam huffed. “As always.”
“You’ll have to forgive her for her silence, my love, it’s not as if we’ve both been honest with her either, especially not in the beginning.”
The vampire scowled in return. “But still!”
Realizing that Klaus wanted to keep Myriam in the dark as to who Davina truly was at the moment, Bella focused on her posture and her walk the entire way to the compound. She was itching to give Kol a piece of her mind, probe him about the ideas he and Davina had thought of for putting her down and then kill him. Oh, if only. She’d rather kill Davina right now and Kol back where he belonged; with her.