After two weeks of Saint-Tropez, Kol wanted some more action in their lives. There were so many ancient settlements along the coast and there was one close by, perhaps only an hour away – well, less with Kol driving the Porsche to its fullest potential, which was also close to two theme parks; one waterpark with a lot of crazy slides and another one with roller coasters. Some adrenaline in their bodies for fun was going to be amazing.
Granted, he wasn’t too happy with the lack of choice when it came to hotels or apartments, but they were only going to stay there a few days at most.
After that, they travelled to Cannes, Kol didn’t like it very much but it was something Bella needed to experience, the crazy buzz of Cannes. Next up, Antibes. He knew that Bella didn’t like sea animals in captivity, but there was a place where they had killer whales and you could actually meet the dolphins. Of course, he had arranged it so that they could privately swim with the creatures for a while, and Bella did like that.
When they were a month and a half into their walkabout and halfway through Italy as they followed the coast, Kol received a message from his brother Niklaus that they needed Bella’s help in New Orleans. He found this strange, because they had made it clear to Bella, but also to themselves, that they’d never rely on Bella to bail the family out of tight spots.
While they were sitting on the terrace of their hotel on Giglio Island and sipping on a glass of wine, Kol was slightly worried by Nik’s text message and decided to call him on speaker. “What’s going on, Nik? Are you alright?”
“Oh, just fine,” the hybrid sneered on the other end of the phone. “Yet again a relative causing some problems and whatever we try, we can’t stop it.”
Kol thought for a moment. It was next to impossible for the relative being either one of their parents or their brother Finn, as they were dead. “Who?”
“Our lovely aunt Dahlia.”
“Huh,” he said impressed. He had heard of his mother’s sister, of course, but had never truly met her as mother and her had fallen out with each other. But how was she still alive?
“She’s a very powerful witch, brother, she’s tied herself to the magic of our sister Freya.”
“No, Kol. That had been a lie… come home, I’ll explain when you get here.”
“Yeah, Nik, that might take a little while,” Kol scratched his head, looking over at Bella, who didn’t look all too happy. “We’re on an island. We’re going to have to take a ferry to a peninsula and then drive to Rome to get to a plane… Ah… we’ll be there as soon as we can be.”
“You’d better hurry, this woman is a bloody nuisance and the Regent and the Ancestors are getting antsy. Bella, after all, promised to ensure their safety when one of our enemies would come to town.”
“I did do that,” Bella winced.
“Yes, you did do that,” Kol laughed as he tucked a strand of her hair behind her ear. “But that’s alright, we can always choose to ignore my brother’s plight.”
“I’m still here!”
“I always keep my word, remember?” Bella reminded him. “Besides, it even counts double now that I’m an honorary Mikaelson.”
“There’s nothing honorary about you, Isabella Swan. You’re a Mikaelson, whether you like it or not. Now, come home and help us to keep the peace with the bloody witches.”
“See you in two days, Nik,” Kol let out a snort and hung up on his brother. He tossed his phone onto the table and relaxed in his chair as he grabbed his glass of wine. “We’re not leaving just yet, it’d be a shame to have this good wine go to waste.”
“The ferry stopped for the day anyway,” Bella shrugged, but already worrying about the state of New Orleans.
“Ah, no thinking about what could, can or won’t happen, we’re still on the other side of the world and tonight, we’re going to conclude this epic trip epically,” he playfully hit her on the head with a napkin.
“We could always go back after, right?”
Kol smiled brightly. “Yes, yes we can, darling, and we likely will!”
Myriam greeted them at the airport after landing. The moment Bella stepped off the stairs, Myriam was bear hugging her. “Oh, it’s so glad to see you in person again. The pictures were great but to see you still in one piece after all this time is so much better.”
“Hi,” Bella laughed.
“And thank you for all those lovely little gifts you sent us. I had Klaus put up a shelf with his own bare hands to accommodate it all, he wasn’t amused,” she put an arm around Kol, too and marched them to the car. “You look great. Nice and tan and happy. I’m glad.”
“How bad is it?” Kol sighed as he got into the car with the girls and put his arm around Bella. “You’re being too friendly, Myriam Jenkins.”
“Your long lost sister is a bitch,” Myriam said grumpily. “Which I can completely understand because she’s a victim of circumstance and basically your aunt’s well of power, but damn, she’s a true Mikaelson, just unpolished like you and your siblings. Klaus, of course, is amused by it.”
“We were always told she died of the plague.”
“I think that was a lie that Esther felt she could live with, the truth is a lot darker than that. Esther couldn’t conceive so she made a deal with her sister who performed some magic and in return, would receive Esther’s firstborn.”
Kol groaned. “As if our family couldn’t get any more dysfunctional. What do they want?”
“Freya wants to be free of Dahlia and join the family, Dahlia wants more power, guess who she’s targeting?” Myriam shot at Kol, irritated. “I swear, she’s messing with Klaus’ head. I’m surprised he was able to call you for help.”
“I’m not,” Bella said as she put her head against Kol’s shoulder as she watched New Orleans come closer and closer while they drove to the city. “He might simply be pretending to be messed with, he has quite the high tolerance to magic.”
“Dahlia sounds like a leech,” Kol sneered. “What’s Nik thinking? What could we do?”
“It’s not what you can do, it’s what Bella can do,” Myriam pointed out. “We don’t have a witch on our side to deal with the magical enemy aspect of our lives and the one we do have is currently still linked to that shrew so she’s of no help.”
“I get it,” Bella said quietly. “I’ll fix it, just like I fixed Silas. We don’t want the witches to be upset.”
“Bella, we’ve tried, truly.”
“Don’t worry about it,” she smiled at Myriam. “Anything for the family.”
Kol huffed. “I’m not sure if I want another sibling around, no doubt she’s a very powerful witch and Nik will be in awe and Elijah will be practically worshipping her and-”
“Hey,” Bella smacked his arm. “You’ve got me now, always.”
Kol softly kissed her. “So you’ll make Dahlia go poof and then we can continue what we were doing?”
“No,” Myriam pouted. “You’re staying put for a while. We all miss you. Hey, Bella, maybe you can come and help out at the brothel?”
“Absolutely not!” Kol objected. “If anything, she’ll be giving me private shows!”
They heard the entire story when they arrived at the compound, even meeting Freya Mikaelson, the eldest sister, and while it had been hard to believe, Bella could tell that this woman, this girl, was genuine about her heritage, much to Kol’s annoyance. He believed that her only redeemable quality was that she was a kickass witch, and his brother would love to have her around just in case.
It was clear that Freya had everyone who had remained in New Orleans wrapped around her finger, and Bella believed that her intentions were of the good kind after having simply listened to what had been shared that night about her and Dahlia. And the past. Freya wasn’t malicious, she was scared. Maybe she’d settle down somewhat once her biggest fear was defeated.
Of course, Bella’s status as a demi-Goddess was kept from Freya. Despite the family bond, Klaus liked to have an ace up his sleeve, and it was only for Bella’s protection. “So, what needs to happen to Dahlia to break her link to you?” Bella piped up eventually, as she had patiently listened on the couch, sipping her wine. “Does it require a spell or?” Oh, Bella knew it had been a spell; Freya had a dark cloud wafting all around her and it was likely that she could cleanse it with ease, as she had done previously on different occasions.
“She needs to die,” Freya said angrily before pointing at Bella. “I thought this meeting was family only?”
“Love, Bella is our family as much as Myriam is,” Klaus said kindly. “I suggest you be nice to her because she might be your only hope in ridding yourself of Dahlia’s link, and our only hope to stop the wicked witch of the West. I also suggest not to antagonize her, she’s known for her tricks.”
“Oh please,” Freya huffed. “I eat witches for breakfast.”
Bella blinked at her and then shrugged before finishing off her wine. “Alright, I’ve heard enough, I’m going home,” she softly kissed Kol. “Do you want to stay?”
“Yeah, I’m going to have some blood and then I’ll be up,” he smiled at her. “You’re not going to cleanse her?”
“She doesn’t deserve it,” she kissed him again before heading out of the courtyard to their apartment.
Kol had an amused look on his face before heading towards the kitchen to fetch him some blood, hearing his siblings talk amongst themselves as he did.
“It’s in your best interest to at least try to be civil with our Isabella,” Elijah’s voice sounded. “While she and I don’t see eye to eye, I do respect her immensely.”
“In other words, he’s afraid of her,” Myriam chipped in. “But he’s right; be nice to her or she won’t help.”
“What can she do that I can’t do myself?” Freya defended herself. “You’ve all been saying these wonderful things about her and how she’ll make sure that this family is safe, but she can’t be more powerful than me, what can she do?”
“She has saved this family more than once in the short amount of time that we’ve known her and for that, she deserves our respect. While getting her and Kol back from their trip to help us, it’s still up to her if she’s willing to do so,” Elijah replied calmly. “While I predict she’ll help, it’s uncertain how or when.”
Kol sauntered back onto the courtyard, blood bag in his hand as he sipped from it. “Oh, Bella will help, alright,” he said as he passed his family. “If only our long lost sister had been kind, she’d have been released from our Aunt’s influence and link tonight,” he then waved. “Good night, Bella and I are going to try not to be too jetlagged in the morning while Freya ponders the next thing she’ll say to my Bella. Might I suggest it to start with an apology?”
Something in the back of his mind was nagging at him and he sauntered right back into the courtyard. “Christmas, 1914,” he said as he looked at Freya. “You were there.”
“I was,” she replied.
“As my date!”
Myriam laughed. “Took him long enough to realize he dated his own sister. Perv.”
“It wasn’t really a date,” Freya explained, a humorous smile on her face. “Kol’s so easy to flatter. Throw enough pretty words at him and he’ll think you’re in love with him. I simply wanted to spend time with my family even if they didn’t know who I was.”
Kol scowled. “Yeah, Bella was right in not helping you right off the bat,” he said as he turned around and left again.
“I don’t want to have breakfast at the compound,” Bella sulked as she had entangled her legs with his and was using her body to stop him from leaving the bed.
“You did promise to help,” Kol reminded her, not minding that Bella wanted to stay in bed longer, they were quite comfortable in their own bed, in their own little nest.
“I’m not sure I can help Freya without alerting your aunt to what I’ve done,” she sighed as she drew little circles on his chest with her index finger. “The dark cloud around her is so thick, it might not even work and it’ll only end when I take care of Dahlia. Using Freya as bait wouldn’t really work. She wants Klaus, above all. She knows that Freya is linked to her and has no other option to return.”
“How do you know?”
Bella shrugged. “It’s just a feeling, I guess. I mean, it’s really the ancient magic that’s the problem here. The spell has been on Freya for a thousand years…”
“Sounds to me you have performance anxiety,” Kol grinned as he flipped them over on the bed and started to nuzzle her neck. “Don’t worry, darling, I’ll be happy to fix that for you,” he whispered in her ear.
“Down boy,” she giggled as she tugged on his hair. “I need to show off today,” she softly kissed him as she kept tugging on his hair. “But I promise you can have me anyway you want tonight.”
“Anyway I want?” Kol’s eyes lit up with excitement. “Oh, the possibilities… I might have to go shopping for that.”
She laughed as she covered her eyes with her hand. “Oh boy.”
He grinned as he got off of her. “Go take a shower. I won’t join you, I might not be able to keep my hands to myself now.”
Bella hummed for an answer, kissed him and started to get ready for the day. She already missed the idea of not having to put much clothes on other than a light shirt, a short skirt and a bikini underneath. But no, it was back to jeans and a shirt now, fully dressed. Her body was only Kol’s to look at.
“Aw, darling,” Kol whined as he left the bathroom after a quick shower and saw Bella’s choice of clothes. “Jeans?”
She flashed him a smile. “My ass looks great in these, don’t you think?”
Kol wondered if Freya’s first words to Bella were indeed an apology. Elder sister with a tragic backstory or not, it didn’t give her the authority to be superior to everyone in their family. Niklaus and Elijah were still in charge, and if not, they needed to grow a pair of balls and tell sister dearest that she had to calm down. The way Kol saw it, both Myriam and Bella were higher up the family totem pole than their blood relative. Freya was more of an intruder than anything else.
When they stepped into the dining room, Freya was the first to rise. “Bella,” she said a little unsure. “I have to apologize for my behaviour last night upon our first meet,” she continued, and Kol was satisfied. “You do have to realize that I have been looking for my family for centuries and I have been fighting our aunt for just as long and I never believed that my siblings would be happy with someone outside the family.” Alright, Kol thought. Close enough.
“You don’t think they deserve to be?” Bella questioned, a little surprised by Freya’s admission. “What’s the point in having a long life when you can’t share it with someone and be happy? I know your life hasn’t been easy, Freya, and that you’re happy that you’re reunited with your siblings, but that doesn’t mean you have to be rude to those in this family who are not related by blood.”
Kol simply smiled in admiration of his girlfriend. Bella in Goddess mode was hot as hell. Granted, she was hot, period, but when she put human Bella aside in exchange for a better version, it almost melted his insides.
“You’re not a witch.”
“No, no, I’m not. And I’m not going to tell you what I am until we’ve gotten to know each other a little bit better, but trust that I am more powerful than you can imagine,” Bella replied to Freya before stepping up to her and placed both her hands on Freya’s shoulders in an attempt to cleanse the elder Mikaelson. She managed to chip away a little bit, but had to give up. “Eh, I tried. I’ll have to try to do it the other way around then,” she shrugged before sitting down beside Kol and grabbing them some beignets before she looked at Klaus. “You’re going to take me to Dahlia and by the end of the day, everything will be over and done with.”
“Love, I can’t take you to our deranged aunt, what if-”
“She won’t,” Bella said playfully. “I could handle Silas, I can handle Dahlia.”
“I have been Dahlia’s prisoner for so long, you don’t know what you’re up against,” Freya said a bit confused, almost as if something had changed around her. “Her connective magic is strong and she will draw from me if you engage her in battle.”
“I won’t engage her in battle,” Bella blinked at Freya. “I try to resolve things peacefully without any bloodshed on my behalf.”
“We have all the faith in our Bella to take care of our current problem, she knows we won’t ask for her help unless there isn’t anything we can do,” Klaus said amused, seeing the confused look on Freya’s face. “As you said a while ago, Freya, we’d need to have the ashes of a viking and we’d need a witch like my mother – which would mean we’d have to resurrect our parents and that’s not an option. You shall be free at the end of the day.”
“If you’re going to hang out with Nik today, I’m going shopping for tonight,” Kol whispered in Bella’s ear. “Don’t break him.”
Bella huffed as she pushed a beignet in Kol’s mouth. “Oh, I won’t, I have other plans!”