Chapter 06

It was easy to get the right documents and insurance for what they were planning that night; a simple compulsion got him everything he wanted. On the way back, he picked up lunch for the both of them and stopped by the compound to check up on his brother. “Nik?”

Klaus appeared on the balcony, wearing nothing but a loose pair of sleep pants. “What are you doing here? Shouldn’t you be following the pretty young investigator around on a leash?”

Kol smirked, he loved interrupting his brother while he was having fun with Myriam, knowing it frustrated the both of them to no end. “I was worried when you didn’t check in with me after last night’s party.”

“Myriam was rather – preoccupied afterwards. You understand,” Klaus replied, the corner of his lips turning upward. “It’s rather difficult to say no, however all went as well as expected. Elijah is off attempting to make peace with the witches now. Our sister is still off, frolicking across the country in search of love.”

“Alright,” he replied with a nod. “Uhm, Myriam should expect a visit from young Gilbert. His energy is bothering Bella a lot and while he’s attempting to find a way to remedy this, I doubt he will within the next couple of hours. It’s likely got something to do with the fact that he’s an abomination.”

The hybrid let out a cry of success and raised his hands in triumph. “Ah! So he finally has come to realize reality! Let us shout it from the rooftops! Kol Mikaelson has finally acknowledged the truth behind the Gilbert and Petrova family of the grand Mystic Falls! Abominations the lot of them and only useful for their blood.”

Laughing as she walked out of their room, pulling her robe around her, Myriam rolled her eyes. “Quit your grandstanding. The boy was never meant to become a medium and the abilities were forced on him. The hunter in him clashes with that so I’m actually rather surprised it took Bella this long to reach her limit around him.”

Kol stood in the center of the courtyard, hand in his pockets, as he stared up at the couple with a blank expression on his face. After getting to know Myriam as he had, he quickly learned that this was normal between her and his brother. Especially after his brother’s audacious display. “So, about Jeremy’s energy. You have anything that can help?”

“Oh yeah,” Myriam nodded as she turned her attention away from Klaus. He merely stood there with his arm around her waist to hold her close, a smirk upon his lips. “Just stop by on your way to wherever you go tonight and I’ll have it ready. I – don’t think I’m going to get on it at the moment, but I’ll get it,” she grinned, growling when Klaus went for her neck. “Uh – yeah, later…” She managed to just squeak out the words before the other vampire pulled her back into their bedroom.

Well, that sure was the end of their conversation. Kol headed to the kitchen to grab a blood bag and made sure to drink it before heading back to the apartment with their lunch. The apartment was too quiet when he returned, and soon discovered a passed out Bella on the sofa. He quickly assessed she was in fact, asleep and not knocked out by anything else, and quietly put away the groceries.

It wasn’t fair. All he wanted was to love her like his brother loved Myriam. Have her squirm underneath him in pure ecstasy. Kol’s self control surprised him, because in the past, he would have started to manipulate her so he’d get what he wanted and take it. No matter the costs, no matter the feelings of her. But Bella was different.

While she was mostly out of step with real life, almost a childlike innocence, there were moments where she was this force not to be reckoned with. Like with Jeremy or even with him, talking about her work. Her rules. But what fascinated Kol the most was her dark side. Her dark side would be so interesting to explore; her vindictiveness sounded delightful. Just last night, she had pleasantly asked the matron at the hotel to make sure Jeremy was alright, and if she could check up on him regularly. The children were more than welcome in his room because he was a grump. And Bella had known the consequences, but she didn’t quite care.

And that was awesome.

He cherished the moments where she allowed him into her personal space, invading her privacy and feeling her breath on his face. Had she been anyone else, he’d likely been slapped silly for it, but he figured that she had so much experience with ghosts coming close to her that she didn’t mind.

For a long time she had been his obsession on the internet. Now it was the second full day since he met her and he was absolutely smitten.

He needed to do something, just merely looking at her as she slept was quite the creepy thing to do and decided to set up her new laptop for her, transporting everything from her old thing to the external hard drive. Bella kept all the raw footage from the cameras and voice recordings and everything was just a treasure trove of proof for paranormal investigators. Kol had always felt she kept some discoveries or experiences to herself because of reasons – she likely didn’t want anyone else to know or the information couldn’t be validated.

While he was working on her laptop, a news alert about her popped up on his phone, it was a picture of Bella at the cemetery yesterday, sitting on the steps as she talked to Kaleb. People on the video site often were recognized ‘in the wild’ but this picture made him angry. She was his, not theirs, and he was going to ask Jeremy to track this person down so Kol could make a meal out of them. He sent the link to Jeremy and then looked at the picture again. It was a good picture of Bella, though, he actually kinda liked it.

It was an hour or two later when Bella jolted awake, looking around to get her bearings before relaxing again. “Good afternoon,” Kol greeted her. “Are you okay?”

“Hmm,” Bella sighed as she sat up, running her hand through her hair, untangling it a little bit. “Yeah, I didn’t mean to fall asleep.”

“You’re always welcome to fall asleep here. Just let me know next time and I may join you,” Kol teasingly flirted. “I give great cuddles!”

“Couch is too small for that,” Bella retorted before getting up to get herself a glass of water. “Is that my laptop?”

“Yep, and I made sure everything on your new laptop works the same and has everything so you can use that one instead.”

“You didn’t have to do that.”

He blinked at that. “You’re not going to scold me for doing this? I mean, I could have gone through all your emails and stuff!”

“The only emails I receive are related to what I do. Invitations to visit locations or to join forces or requests for interviews. There’s nothing personal on that laptop, so why would I scold you for that?” She smiled as she took a sip of water. “But thank you for the new laptop, the old one feels as if it’s about to explode,” Bella then let out a giggle. “You spoil me too much.”

That giggle was endearing and sending pleasurable tingles through his body. He wanted to hear it again. “As I said yesterday, darling, it’s merely a small drop in a bucket. You need these things and I can provide.”

Moving over to him, she pecked him on the cheek. “Thank you, but it has to stop, okay? No more new toys.”

“I promise,” he smiled at her before handing her the papers for access to the sanatorium. “Access whenever we want to, as many times as we want to.”

“How did you do that?!” Bella gasped, looking at the papers in complete shock before she remembered he was a vampire. “You can make people do things, can’t you?”

“Yep. It’s called compulsion. Don’t worry, I won’t ever do it to you. I doubt I even could,” he then sighed dramatically. “I can’t even compel Gilbert, which is a shame.”

“Does that damage someone’s brain?”

“No, don’t worry.”

She handed the papers back. “This is amazing,” she took another sip of her water. “Thank you!”

Kol was surprised this information didn’t mess with her ideology. That she didn’t seem to mind this new, for some, frightening, information. “Imagine the possibilities, Bella. We could get into buildings nobody gets access to, tell stories nobody heard before.”

“One location at the time, Kol,” she replied, a smile dancing on her lips. “I still have to see if I’ll survive the sanatorium, it’s the first building in a while, and certainly the first after I took a break. The first one that I’ll be completely free of anything.”

“Are you nervous?”

“Yeah, I am,” Bella said slightly annoyed. “Because it’ll also be the first time with you.”

“No it’s not. There was the hotel and Kaleb…”

“Quite different, really. I was already in the hotel and Kaleb was the only one at the cemetery. Now there might be hundreds of spirits, it’ll be night time in a huge building and it’s freaking me out.”

“Relax,” Kol fought the urge to pull her into his arms and hold her. “Nothing’s going to happen, you’ve got me with you and Jeremy will be there, too. You’ll be safe.”

Bella walked over to her backpack, Kol had noticed she always repacked the bag in the morning and basically carried all of her belongings with her; she hadn’t placed her toothbrush in the bathroom or put dirty clothes in the hamper – he wasn’t even sure if she had more clothes but it was likely they were in the trolley with her old equipment. Or not. Maybe. She retrieved a sachet of herbs and muttered something about taking a bath to hopefully relax her some more.

What Bella needed wasn’t a relaxing bath. There were much more fun ways to relax, according to Kol. He could make her as relaxed as a person could be. Just thinking about having sex with her made him hungry. While Bella was in the bathroom, he took a blood bag from the fridge in the guest room and kept an ear out to hear when Bella was ready as he drank. He didn’t want her to see him drink blood.

While their ‘wine’ last night at dinner wasn’t wine, he wasn’t sure if Bella had noticed. If she had, she wasn’t showing it, but he didn’t want to feed in front of her. No. Not if he could help it. But, on their way to the sanatorium after dinner, he was going to compel a human to stay outside for him if he needed it. Yes. Good idea.

Bella’s anxiety made him nervous.

Great.

Bella was a lot more relaxed after her bath and he received a text message from Jeremy that he was going to see Myriam because some witches were clueless about his energy and he really wanted to come with tonight. Bella wanted to bring her old camera with her as well, and her voice recorder, but all the new stuff went along.

Armed with her backpack, him with the equipment bag and papers, they walked to the restaurant where they were supposed to meet Jeremy and where Kol was going to fill him in on his job – Bella was done talking about it and Kol could completely understand that. In a way, she made Kol feel that Jeremy was his responsibility because he wanted him onboard.

Not necessarily. But the hunter had been on his way to New Orleans for an interview for Kol’s position and if someone like him was drawn to her, then it must be for a reason.

Bella bought a handful of sage sticks as they passed a witches’ shop, explaining to Kol she wants to make sure that when they get out of the sanatorium that they were clean. It was one of her new rules to implement to stay safe – despite Myriam being a voodoo priestess and all.

The small restaurant they went to was tucked away in a corner where not a lot of tourists frequented, but the food was exceptional and typical for the region. Kol knew the atmosphere would be relaxed, because he wasn’t sure if he could handle another jolt of Bella being anxious without the safety of his home.

He knew that even with her spirit door seemingly closed, there was always something in the back of her mind. He had experienced it the day before as they walked the streets. She still felt everything, heard everything, just not as intense as when she’d be open. Kol merely hoped the spirits in the restaurant were friendly and wouldn’t make her upset or something.

The restaurant was a converted house. Very small, very intimate. There was no doubt Jeremy would soon crash in, which was a pity, but then again, Kol and Bella weren’t dating. This wasn’t a date. This was a job.

“Oh, the smells from the kitchen, it’s so good!” Bella said giddily as she sat down at their table. “How did you find this place?”

“When you’re bored, you roam,” Kol said with half a shrug. “I know tons more of these places but I’m not willing to share them with Gilbert,” he winked.

“What about with me?”

“You and I can visit one every day if you like,” he replied, smiling to himself that she was thinking of such a thing.

“I’d like that, but cooking something yourself is fun too.”

“I know how to cook plenty. I could make you some things that would knock your socks off. I just don’t see the point in cooking for just myself and Nik always has his cook of the week.”

“Yeah, cooking for yourself isn’t fun,” Bella nodded. “Or cooking for multiple people and not have your food touched – that’s even worse.”

“We’re talking about food?” Jeremy’s head popped in, a big smile on his face. “Man, this place is hard to find!”

“That was kind of the point,” Kol mumbled unhappily that their time was interrupted so soon. “You seemed to find it fast enough,” he glared.

“I’m a hunter, it’s what I do,” Jeremy smirked as he sat down across from Bella. “Well? Do I feel good enough to join you guys tonight?”

The energy was still there, but it felt contained. Much like how Myriam contained the spirits she worked with. Jeremy wasn’t emitting anything right now and that was just great. “Yep, you’re good.”

Kol cracked his neck, attempting to contain his personal irritation. A small bit of him had hoped Myriam wouldn’t succeed in their request. “You know how to use the video cameras?”

“Yeah, should be easy enough,” Jeremy replied, relaxing in his seat. “Point and shoot, avoiding your ugly mug.”

“These aren’t your normal handhelds. A little higher quality, but yes. I’ll record the two of you while you focus on Bella as much as possible. Anything with me could be edited as necessary, depending on how well I can hold myself together when the dead try to provoke me.”

“We’ll attempt to redirect them to me when they come after you, how’s that?” Jeremy let out a snort. “Dude, it’ll be fine.”

Kol couldn’t help but to start laughing. “It doesn’t always work that way. I doubt that most would be just as uncooperative with us as I was when I was dead and trying to haunt your troublesome friends.”

“You’re a freaking menace,” Jeremy pointed out. “Dead or alive.”

“I did try warning you all that Silas would be nothing but trouble. Do you regret not believing me now?”

“Yeah, dude killed me,” he muttered.

“I should just dangle you in front of those paranormal hunters – You want to know what happens after death? These two can tell you!” Bella snickered as she smiled up at the waitress who came to take their order. “Hi! What a lovely restaurant you have!”

“Thanks! The building is pretty old and has its quirks,” the waitress replied. “Anyway, my name is Candi and I’ll be serving you tonight. Is there anything I can get you now?” She asked as she handed them each a menu, giving the boys, especially Kol, a not so subtle wink.

He frowned, taking the menu from her, purposely moving his chair closer to Bella. “Thank you. We will let you know when we are ready to order.”

“Would you like anything to drink while you look at the menu?”

“Hmm, I have something in mind,” Kol muttered, looking away.

Jeremy kicked Kol underneath the table. “A coke for me, please,” he smiled at the waitress. “And a red wine for my friend. Bella?”

“Water will do me, thanks,” she replied as she gently rubbed Kol’s arm. What was going on?

“Alright, a coke, wine and a water,” Candi said, almost sounding disapproving of the water as she turned on her heel and headed to the bar.

“Hey,” Bella said softly as she continued to rub Kol’s arm. “What’s up?”

“She’s annoying. What kind of name is Candi anyway? I bet she wouldn’t taste like any candy I’ve had.”

“Likely short for Candice and she’s doing her job,” Bella replied and then looked over to Candi, tilting her head a little and shrugging. “Although that low cut top… her grandmother does not approve.”

“She’s hot, though,” Jeremy smirked, looking over his shoulder.

“Knock yourself out. Break her neck while you’re at it,” Kol growled as he noticed the way the human girl was looking their way.

Bella nudged Kol to get his attention back on her and pointed at the menu. “Let’s see what kind of food they have. No doubt it’s delicious, whatever we may choose. Oh, garlic bread!”

Kol kept his eyes narrowed on the bar. “$50 says she spits in Bella’s food,” he bet Jeremy as he stretched an arm across the back of Bella’s seat.

“Nah man,” Jeremy shook his head. “No way she’ll do that. Like Bella said, she’s being friendly.”

“She is going to try to slip her number to one of us before we leave. I’m sure of it.”

“Good,” Jeremy grinned. “I could use the exercise.”

“Oh gross,” Bella rolled her eyes at Jeremy. “You’re one of those people, huh?”

“He spent too much time with Damon Salvatore. Excuse him.”

“I’m a guy, I have needs. Surely you have those needs too, Bella. I know Kol has them.”

Kol sighed and looked away, even though he started to play with Bella’s hair that fell near his hand. “Leave me out of this.”

“See?” Jeremy laughed before smiling at the waitress who was returning with their drinks. “Thanks!”

“Have you made a decision about your food? I can recommend the brisket or the gumbo,” Candi smiled as she set down the drinks. “We get our meat and fish from the local market and it’s very fresh and delicious. Or perhaps you’re interested in the oysters?”

Kol looked back at Jeremy with a significant expression of exasperation. “I’ll have grilled cheese,” he smiled up at the waitress.

“Grilled… cheese,” Candi said slowly before jotting it down with a frown on her face.

“With French fries.”

“On top of the fries or separate?”

“Separate. Oh, and add gravy on them.”

“Okidoki, what about you, sir?” Candi asked Jeremy.

“Yeah, the brisket sounds amazing. With fries.”

Candi was about to walk away before she remembered that there was a third person at the table. “Ma’am?”

“Garlic bread for the three of us please, and I’d like to have the shrimp salad and roasted potatoes as a side,” Bella replied as she handed her menu back to the girl.

“Very well, I’ll be with you shortly then,” Candi smiled and walked towards the kitchen.

“So, dude, tell me about the rules,” Jeremy said to Kol, in an attempt to force the vampire to use his brain and snap out of whatever he was feeling. And Kol did, but not looking away from the kitchen and bar area, keeping his ears wide open while he was telling Jeremy everything Bella had told him.

When the food came, Kol immediately handed the salad back to Candi. It smelled as if old shrimp had been used and the whole dish smelled just awful underneath all of the vinaigrette. A normal person wouldn’t be able to detect this, but he did. “And now with the right ingredients, please.”

“Excuse me?” Candi stammered.

“You heard me,” he said angrily, struggling to remain civil. “Don’t make me tell you again.”

“Oh, I bet the food authority won’t like it that you tried to serve one of their workers bad food,” Jeremy cooed to Candi, a big smile on his face. “She has the authority to close your restaurant, you know.”

“Shit! Crap!” Candi nearly flew to the kitchen.

“Score, free food,” Jeremy grinned as he leaned back in his chair. “Dude, seriously, chill out.”

Bella took a piece of garlic bread and looked at Kol. “Smelled that bad, huh?”

“I never had a problem here before, never. And now I’m bringing you here and there’s trouble,” Kol said angrily as he stabbed one of his fries with a fork. “I want to suck her dry or break her neck.”

“Hey, we’re not going to do that, bro,” Jeremy said sternly. “We’re going to enjoy our meal and then we’re going to head out.”

“Breathe,” Bella whispered in his ear, startling him for a moment because Kol hadn’t been aware that she had moved. “They’re not out to get me, it wasn’t intentional.” She ran a hand through his hair as she sat back down, looking at him with so much admiration in her eyes that made his heart ache, long for her. “There’s a powerful spirit in that kitchen who likes to swap things around for shits and giggles, I doubt the cook notices. Doesn’t like it we’re here, but I told him that we’re not here for him after you sent the poor girl back with the food.”

“He could have made you sick!”

“Breathe,” Bella said again as she picked a fry from Kol’s plate, awaiting her new salad. “We’re here to eat, not to fight with ghosts and if the garlic bread is any indication, I can’t wait to taste my own food,” she smiled at him.

The rest of the meal went quietly, Kol had calmed down and they were now standing in front of the Fleur-de-Lis Sanatorium. Bella insisted that he and Jeremy participated in her little protection ritual, forming a circle, holding hands and to Kol, it sounded ridiculous, but Bella was adamant. It was more elaborate than when she entered the cemetery the day before. “I want you to visualize a ball of bright light over your heads. A ball filled with love and peace. Allow it to enter your body and keep it there for the duration of our little adventure. It may not be for protection, but it’ll make me feel better.”

“Anything you need, Bella,” Jeremy replied with a nod. “This is your territory now. We’re following your lead.”

Bella grabbed her little flashlight and nodded. “Well then, shall we start?”

Five minutes later, they were standing in the hallway, both cameras rolling. Jeremy was also armed with the Ovilus and Bella with her voice recorder. Kol was grateful he was able to see in the dark; it made it so much easier to keep track of Bella from where he was. “Alright, so,” Bella spoke to Jeremy’s camera. “I’m at a former sanatorium in New Orleans with my new guys Jeremy and Kol,” she smiled. “Yep, I struck out and got me two boys. Two! I don’t know what’s more exciting, the fact that we’re in a huge building for the first time ever or that the quality of the videos have just gone up.” She then tilted her head as she looked at Jeremy. “Who knows Jeremy might lose his shirt one day and gosh, imagine the views!”

“Bella,” Jeremy shook his head.

“This is a huge building, two stories up and likely a basement so… let’s start small and stay at the ground floor,” Bella said as she briefly turned on her flashlight to have a good look around. “It’s dark in here. I don’t necessarily need to use the darkness to communicate with the dead, but it does give you that creepy vibe, doesn’t it?” She sighed dramatically. “Anything for my viewers,” she switched off her flashlight and headed towards the hallway on the left. “Hey guys, we’re Bella, Jeremy and Kol. We’re not here to harm you in anyway, just curious to your stories, feel free to come to me if you want to be heard.”

It was eerily quiet for a building like this. Bella didn’t sense anyone around them and just kept walking, occasionally turning on her flashlight to see where she was going. “I’m new to New Orleans,” she spoke nicely. “I think the city is amazing, everywhere you look it seems like there’s a party going on and the smells of food, oh gosh, that’s just.. So tempting! I could stuff my face all day if I wanted to. What’s your favourite part of New Orleans so far, Jer?”

“Oh, anywhere you can dance!”

Bella let out a snort as she turned into a large room. “Oh, hello! Don’t be afraid, we’re just here to keep you a little company for a while,” she greeted the room before turning on her flashlight to see if it was safe to sit down on the floor. “My name is Bella,” she said as she sat down cross legged on the floor and looked at Kol and Jeremy. “They’re a little shy, could you stay out in the hallway for a bit, guys?”

^stay^

“Or not,” Bella shrugged as she focused on the people around her. There were quite a few of them in this room, what looked to be a ward, and they were talking at the same time. Some weren’t making any sense and others were quite happy to talk to her. She let out a whine of frustration and rocked back and forth a little. “Taking turns is hard for them,” she eventually said. “These people weren’t quite right in the head, some were better than others, but you can just tell, you know… God, there are so many people here… why did I agree to this? It’ll only get worse once this place becomes aware, won’t it?”

“It was a mental hospital for some time,” Kol reminded her as he panned his camera around the room. “It also was a quarantine for those infected with the flu.”

“Not this room,” Bella laughed, shaking her head. “No sir.”

“Of course not. I have no clue of which room. I wasn’t around for that,” he teased.

“Anna. She uh… oh, her parents took care of her for awhile but when they died, the remaining family moved her here because they didn’t want her – thought of her as a burden.”

^sad^

“She couldn’t speak, she wasn’t mentally ill or anything, just mute.”

Kol looked over at Jeremy with the new device. “That thing is disturbing. I can’t understand how we can guarantee it’s putting out the accurate words or if they are random.”

“Bella has her recorder going too,” Jeremy pointed out. “We can verify later, but I think it’s pretty accurate so far.”

“I like that other one the other shows have. With the radio frequencies, even if it would hurt my ears.”

“Well I don’t,” Bella scowled, rubbing her arms in agitation. “Too much noise.”

“I’d still like to get one. Then we can send Jeremy off with it to the most haunted room wherever we go by himself. Sounds like a party!” Kol grinned.

“Shirtless, the ladies will love that,” Bella replied. “Anna definitely would.”

Kol merely growled at the suggestion, displeased by her considering something so ridiculous but said nothing else. “You two okay here? I think I want to walk around for some extra film.”

^unhappy^

“I can imagine so,” Kol murmured, inspecting his camera, recalling his own time as a ‘ghost’.

“Derek wants Jeremy to leave,” Bella said as she kept scratching her arms. “Derek thinks he’s too close to me.”

The boy scowled. “Huh? That doesn’t make sense.”

“I think I like this Derek,” the vampire agreed.

“Or Derek is close to me?” Bella looked over her shoulder to see the LCD light illuminate Jeremy’s face. “I don’t like it here, can we go to another room?”

“Sure,” Jeremy readily agreed, looking around carefully to see if he could pick up anything himself but whoever was present, didn’t want to be seen. “You’re running the show.”

“There’s like twenty people here, all talking at once, shouting,” Bella got to her feet and dusted herself off.

“Tell them to shut up. You’re one girl,” Kol replied. “If they keep giving you a problem, I’m sure we can find a shaman to come and cleanse the building. Doubt they would be happy with that.”

“Actually, some want to leave and I told them that they could. They don’t have to stick around, but they… they don’t understand. Much.”

Kol looked thoughtful. “What is it they do on that one show? Salt and burn the bones? You think that would work here?”

“That’s fictional and so not how it’s going,” Jeremy rolled his eyes as he allowed Bella to pass by him back on her way to the hallway. “Besides, do you think these people have graves? Mass grave, I’m thinking.”

“We can go to the county records for anyone that has died here, then follow the trail to the cemetery. Easy ‘nough.”

“Unless their deaths weren’t recorded and there’s a mass grave in the backyard or they were burnt,” Jeremy pointed out.

Kol groaned out, following his friends. “Why must everything have rules. We can just burn everyone and they all move on!”

Just at that point, a large beam fell from the ceiling right in front of Kol.

Kol stopped short, blinking as he stared at the obstacle. “Funny. Real funny,” he muttered, glaring up to where it came from.

“What was that?” Bella could feel her heart pound in her chest.

“One of your ghostly friends apparently didn’t like something I said.”

^vampire^

That caused all three to stop and stare at one another. “Did a vampire kill you?” Jeremy asked, raising an eyebrow curiously at Kol, who shrugged with confusion clear on his face.

^dead^

“I don’t know. I didn’t do anything,” Kol objected, glaring at Jeremy. “Recently at least…”

^fine^

^hit^

Bella wandered off a little while Jeremy and Kol had a discussion with the Ovilus, there was someone waiting for her at the nurses station.

“I don’t bloody understand what you are trying to say with these words!” Kol expressed, frustration.

“You’re a vampire, you’re already dead and you’re fine when you get hit with that beam, keep up, Kol,” Jeremy snorted.

“I would not be fine. I would have a massive headache and want to hunt down whoever decided to fuck with us like that. You could have easily been a few steps closer to me and been hit as well! Bloody hell! If Bella had been next to me?!”

“Stop provoking, man,” Jeremy chided him. “Relax.”

“I’m not provoking. They are provoking me. Attempting to drop beams on me? Uncalled for! I did nothing wrong here!” he argued, glaring around the room at whatever ghosts that he was unable to see. “I wasn’t this bad when I was dead.”

“They’re feeding of our energy, you and I are batteries to them. I fear this is the least they could do,” Jeremy said, panning his camera finally around. “The fuck, Bella! Come back here!”

Kol turned to look around for her, his own panic and worry clear on his face. “Where’d she go?” He listened carefully and lifted his face to breathe in the air before starting in the direction down a nearby hallway. “This way. Her scent goes down here. If any of them messes with her, I have no problem following through on that promise to wipe this place clean and they will be forced to move on or out.”

Bella was sitting on top of a desk at the nurses station, waving her flashlight around so Kol and Jeremy could see her. A nurse who had worked at the Sanatorium during and prior to the influenza epidemic wanted to tell stories about the people who she worked with, and most importantly on how she died.

She felt slightly confused when she thought seeing flashes of Klaus Mikaelson run down the hallway because that was just stupid; Klaus wasn’t here, but Clara kept talking, keeping Bella grounded and not wandering off any further. “Hi guys! Done talking to ghosts?”

Kol set his camera down and went straight to her to look her over for any damage while they had been separated. “Don’t wander like that again. Please? We had a promise about being able to get you out if something tried to overtake you. You just left us,” he rambled as he held her face.

“I’m fine,” Bella smiled at him, caressing his arm. “Seriously, I’m fine. Clara made sure I made it here safely without any trouble. She’s a nurse and she actually encountered a vampire, or so she says. Imagine that, actual vampires.”

“Darling, you are sort of living with a vampire,” he pointed out.

“I know I am, doofus,” she chuckled as she gestured at the cameras. “But you’re interrupting Clara and I. She was talking about her friends Rebecca and Genevieve and this other one called Celeste.”

He looked around, and nodded with a slight sheepish smile. “My apologies Miss Clara- wait. Celeste?”

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