There was something about taking things slow enough. Bella started smiling more as weeks passed, relaxing in Kol’s presence and even coming to the Compound on her own, spending time with Myriam. Girls nights out for Myriam, Rebekah and Bella, spa days – to which Bella reluctantly agreed because she still didn’t like them, romantic dates and mostly spending time in each other’s presence while Kol played video games and Bella wrote.
The idea was to bring Bella back to her humanity, back in touch with her feelings because there were more emotions than anger and the fear of abandonment – while it was different for the Mikaelsons as they were all vampires, Bella was still very much human despite her status as a demi-god. It was what made her human that set her aside from everyone else, it was also what had allowed her to roam the Earth instead of being destroyed or taken back – it wasn’t rocket science. Easy to figure out, but not for her.
And not only did Bella get better, Kol finally evened out again too. Even under Davina’s thumb he had been erratic and more prone to bursts of anger, and in the weeks following that when Bella needed some distance, it only got worse, but he was back to his happy self, and he was itching to get out of New Orleans for a while. Saint-Tropez sounded nice. Hell, the whole French Riviera sounded nice about now. Sun, warmth, water, good food… Bella in a bikini…
They deserved a break.
He had spoken to Nik and Myriam about it and while Myriam wanted to go, Nik wasn’t too keen on leaving New Orleans now that it was back into their hands and peace had once again descended upon their city. However, they both agreed that it would be a good thing for Bella and Kol to travel like they did before all of this. Europe would be a nice change of pace.
“Pack light!” Kol announced as he walked into Bella’s apartment that morning, the thud told him that he had scared her awake and out of bed. He quickly made his way up to her bedroom to make sure she was alright, and all she did was look at him angrily. “Good morning, darling,” he smiled at her and softly kissed her. “Get dressed and grab your essentials, we’re going on a trip.”
“We’ll get some on the way.”
“Where we going?” Bella mumbled as she made her way to the bathroom to freshen up and tame her hair that had gotten tangled during her uneasy sleep. When she emerged again, he was holding out one of her summer dresses for her. “No.”
“Yes,” he smirked. “Trust me on this. And pack some comfy slippers. That’s all, the rest we can buy when we get there.”
“Where we going?” She asked again, reluctantly rummaging through her underwear drawer to find matching underwear to wear underneath that dress, deciding to humor him.
“It’s a surprise, but hurry up, there’s a car waiting downstairs,” Kol sat down on the bed and kept his eyes on her, admiring her, as she got changed. It had been a challenge to keep his hands to himself over the last few weeks, but it had also been very exciting. It had been a mess of his own making; he had insisted on taking things slowly with each other. With her. No sleep overs and nothing more than a little snogging and cuddling. But that was going to change.
Bella grabbed her bag and packed her laptop, phone, wallet and digital camera before finding her fluffy pink bunny slippers and putting it in there as well as she decided to humor him even further. “Anything else?” But she really wanted coffee.
“Nah, we’ll buy whatever we need when we arrive at our destination,” Kol smiled at her as he took her hand and started to lead her down the stairs to her front door. “Let’s go, my gorgeous goddess.”
“Where are we going?”
“I applaud you for using complete sentences, but I will not award that with a destination,” he laughed as he closed the door behind her before helping her into the car, crawling in beside her and tapped the driver on his shoulder to drive to the airport. “I know how much you love surprises, but trust it’ll be only you and I going to this destination.”
She cuddled up against him in the car, her arms around his waist, her head against his shoulder. “You still owe me coffee.”
“Don’t worry,” he laughed. Kol blindfolded her before the airport got in sight of them and Bella didn’t like it at all. She was still rolling with it, which was great. He carried her all the way through the building to the private plane waiting for them, ignoring the strange looks he was getting. “Don’t worry, she’s still very much alive and awake, aren’t you darling?”
“Help, I’m being abducted,” she said with a slight giggle. “Can I pull off my blindfold now?”
“No,” he playfully smacked her ass and got her inside the plane. Setting her down with ease, he removed the blindfold and smiled widely. “Tadaa.”
She looked around, unsure where they were and peeked out of the window. “We’re on a plane?” Bella sounded surprised, because she was. She’d never been out of the country before – that is, if they were going out of the country.
“Where are we going?” Bella then realized that she and him were the only ones on the plane. “Aren’t planes supposed to be like buses instead of mini apartments?”
“Perks of being a Mikaelson, darling,” he fastened her belt before sitting down next to her and doing the same. “We travel in style. We have an amazing car waiting for us when we land in… ohh… twelve hours?”
They were definitely going out of the country. Kol was taking her away from everything. “We’re not going to Greece, are we?”
“Oh, hell no. We’re going to some place much better and comfortable for the both of us,” he smiled as the plane started to move. “But until then, we’re traveling in all the comforts in the world, and you’ll get your coffee as soon as we’re flying.”
“France?” Bella was bouncing on her feet after they left the plane. “You took me to France?”
“The best area in France, mind you,” he laughed as he pulled her into his arms, kissing her gently on her lips. “Who needs Paris when you have the French Riviera? Beaches everywhere! Who knows, we might even go on a yacht for a couple of days! Allow me to spoil you rotten, Bella,” he then pointed at the silver Porsche 911 that was waiting for them. “And spoil myself in the process, I couldn’t help myself – don’t worry, it’s a rental, but isn’t it gorgeous?” Kol smirked as he helped Bella into the car. “I love fast cars.”
“I doubt you’re going to hold to the speed limit?”
“Darling, this car is made for speed, don’t worry, I’ll take real good care of you,” he kissed her before going around the car and hopped in. “Saint-Tropez here we come!”
Bella didn’t know what was worse; the plane taking off or landing or Kol skidding away in the car, but she loved the big smile on his face as they raced over the road towards the city. She had already told him that she didn’t need fancy vacations, but Kol had insisted and it wasn’t anything fancy. Well, that was a lie.
Only the best was good for them, there were reservations for them for a large suite in a 19th century castle that was on a hill and close to the sea. Granted, he wanted a hotel at the beach, but sleeping in castles was something Bella had to experience, according to Kol. And it wasn’t as if it wasn’t a great hotel; there were swimming pools, a wellness centre, hot tubs, restaurant, everything they’d ever need.
Kol was saddened by the fact that it hadn’t been a long drive to the castle, but it had been a fun one, seeing Bella look at the scenery in awe, and laugh at him when he was frustrated that inside the city, he had to comply with the speed limit because the alternative was to run everyone over and ruin the car.
Bella was amazed by the size of the suite; it was almost as big as her apartment in New Orleans. There were two bedrooms, a large bathroom with a hot tub and a regular shower/bath combination, a large walk in closet, a living room area and so many extras that it was simply ridiculous. She loved the view they had from their balcony – they could see the sea from where they were at and had a lovely view over the garden. There was a table with two comfortable chairs on their balcony and Bella could see herself write a little there while they enjoyed the sun. It was perfect. Very over the top and likely very costly, but it was perfect.
Since they still had most of the day to be awake, Kol took her into town to shop. They both needed clothes, and he was wondering if he could convince Bella to simply walk around in a bikini all day long – embrace the fact that nobody could care about what she wore, she’d look stunning either way. Much to his surprise, she agreed that with the heat they were experiencing, the less clothes was better, and she picked out a few sets that she liked, accompanied with some skirt item to cover herself up significantly.
And, yes, for appearances sake in case they’d visit a restaurant, they bought a set of normal clothes as well. Kol was happy with a few t-shirts and swimming trunks.
Bella could see why Kol had picked Saint-Tropez as the place to go to; the atmosphere of the city was infectious; everyone seemed to live without a care in the world and the people were friendly. She was surprised to see little shops by the biggest and most expensive brands that you’d normally see in Paris or London or even New York, but Kol explained to her that Saint-Tropez was the world’s worst best secret ever. A lot of billionaires choose the area to spend their holidays because of the scenery and the people.
And should Bella see something she’d like for her own home or maybe as a gift for Myriam or Rebekah, or even Nik, they’d send it home by mail. No expenses spared. Not a care in the world. Just enjoyment and debauchery; something the Mikaelsons were very good at in times of peace.
Oh, Kol knew that he was probably taking things too far; Bella was still looking at the price tags and nearly fainting at some of the prices. Yes, they were ridiculous. Who cares? Only the best for his girl.
They went back to the hotel room where Bella happily changed into one of her new bikinis and joined him on their balcony after room service brought them a bottle of Rosé wine. “Wow,” Kol nearly choked on his glass of wine as she sat down in the lounge chair beside him. “You’re trying to kill me?”
“You wanted me to buy bikini’s,” Bella pointed out cheekily. “I’ll be happy to wear them for you, but just for you. Not in front of the family,” she added quickly. “Hell no.”
He was just happy that she’d taken to the idea so easily and wasn’t shying away from showing off that magnificent body of hers. Kol handed her a glass of wine and sighed happily. “It’ll be quite hard for me to keep my hands off of you now.”
She playfully smirked at him as she sipped her wine. “Thank you for taking us away from New Orleans for a bit.”
He brought his chair closer to hers as he sat down again. “The only reason we remain sane, or at least I do, is to travel after something has happened. Rebekah, Elijah and Nik are always together, now with Myriam thrown into the mix as well, but me? I’ve always gone off on my own because the longer I was away from Nik, the longer I got to live outside of my box. Sunny Europe has always been a favourite of mine – unless they’re all in Europe, then Australia will do,” Kol sighed happily as he took a sip of his wine. “Get used to this, Bella, we’ll be doing this a lot.”
“But what about-”
“Don’t you worry about that, this is all peanuts for us. We live to enjoy ourselves, with the occasional killing, but this is what I like. I loved it when we traveled through the United States, just the two of us. I can give you the world, we can go anywhere,” he raised his glass to her with a smile. “Here’s to never getting bored,” he toasted before he took another sip. “And to you never to bring up the price of anything ever again,” he added with a grin.
“Jerk,” Bella huffed, taking a sip of her drink, really liking the taste of it, but she wanted to taste something else and she hoped that she was going to have a taste of that soon, or else she figured she might burst.
“Ah, but you love me and my handsome face.”
Bella sighed exasperatedly. “Unfortunately, I do.” She then looked at her wrist, as if there was a watch on it. “Hmm, I must say, you have excellent self-control, Kol Mikaelson,” she noted. “Here I am, dressed in almost nothing, still with the glass of wine in my hand… you in that chair next to me…”
He looked like a fish on dry land, gasping for air as he really hadn’t wanted to impose on her, to make it clear that he was that interested. Because he was. And he wanted her now.”Bella, I-”
“It’s about time, isn’t it?” she looked at him before setting her glass down and moving so that she was on her knees in her chair. “For the first few weeks after… I was glad that you left at night, but as weeks progressed… I kinda wanted you to stay…”
“I wanted to stay.”
“Then why didn’t you say anything?” she smiled at him, lightly brushing her hand on his cheek. “Were you leaving it up to me? That’s not like you, at all.”
Kol sighed and nodded as he leaned into her hand. “I believed you weren’t completely done healing yet.”
She bit her lip as she carefully looked at him, although she already knew the answer to her question. “Am I now?”
He lifted her out of her chair and into his lap, putting his arms around her. “I don’t know, are you?” Kol asked playfully as Bella’s hands slid underneath his shirt, trying to get him out of it. “Maybe another night in a separate bed…”
“Don’t you dare,” she tugged fiercely on his shirt, causing him to have to give in to her pulling it off of him. “That second bedroom is offensive,” Bella replied happily once she’d discarded his shirt. “Besides… we do need to work up an appetite for dinner…” She pressed her body against his naked torso as she fiercely kissed him, burying her hands in his hair.
“Are you sure?” He muttered through the kiss, earning him a tug on his hair as an answer. Putting his arms around her again, he made sure she could cling on to him as he got up and headed to the bedroom with her, careful not to bump into anything, although the wall sounded pretty good right now. No, they were both still too dressed for that.
Breaking off the kiss, he gently set her down on the ground and undid himself from his shoes and pants before tearing up her new bikini. She had others. This hadn’t even been the prettiest one, who cared? When he looked at her, she appeared to be pouting. Well, Bella obviously cared about that one. “We’ll get you another one tomorrow,” he promised before backing her up against the wall as he kissed her again, hard and hungry.
“Oh,” she let out a moan when she realized what he was going to do, a shiver running over her body in anticipation as she eagerly answered his kiss and jumped up to wrap her legs around him at the moment her back hit the pristine wall.
It was the wall, the bed, the bathtub and the bed again before they both fully had gotten rid of the tension that had built up between them in the past few weeks and before Bella really needed to take a break, unable to feel her legs.
Kol ordered room service and snuggled up to Bella in bed, taking her into his arms, where she belonged. Bella let out a slight giggle, still floating on cloud nine. “You know, you might have to carry me around for the rest of our lives when the feeling in my legs don’t return.”
“Don’t be weird,” he laughed and kissed the top of her head. “Nothing my blood can’t cure, and for God’s sake, Bella, you’re a demi-Goddess, no doubt you have the ability to self-heal.”
Bella huffed. “And here I thought it’d be a romantic thing for you to carry me everywhere.”
“No,” he shook his head. “Absolutely not.”
She stretched herself as if she was a kitten and rolled further into him. “I’m only teasing, don’t worry,” she replied as she drew a circle on his bicep with her finger as she looked up at him. “Thank you.”
“What for now?” Kol laughed as he softly kissed her. “The great sex? That was both of us, darling.”
“No… well, yes, but for not giving up on me.”
“Never,” he kissed her again. “I will always find my way back to you, and if you get lost, I will help you find your way back to me.”
She giggled then. “Good, because I kind of suck at reading maps.”