Revival Part 4

Their first success came after a few months on the road, visiting all old company buildings previously owned by Lucien Castle and they found the first werewolf pack to request their venom for the cure. It was quite a modern pack and they lived in a small village where there was a mystical store as well.

Even though Bella had promised Kol not to leave him, she promised him that she was going to come back but wanted to find something to read. Be productive. Math and Biology wasn’t being productive, she needed to become a stronger witch. Or at least work with her limitations and find other means. She was interested to learn about the Chambre du Chasse and how it worked. If there were ways to get in or out of there safely without endangering the original spell, just to keep the family up to date on their progress, that was a nice thing to do, wasn’t it?

Bella could be delicate. She was going to be delicate. She stayed out of the way of Myriam and Hayley as much as possible, especially when the baby was crying. She hated babies. Bella went out to get them food and cooked, but she spent as much time with Kol and her books as possible.

She learned how to channel through powerful talismans or people over the next few months. Granted, she didn’t like to use people and she wasn’t sure if she even should boost her power, but she knew it wasn’t enough to work with the Chambre du Chasse. While wearing the talisman she could even protect herself and the baby when they were attacked during a fight that Hayley had picked, Bella was impressed by the way the werewolf was flying through the air and collided with a tree. But still, the power made her fearful. This wasn’t her.

On the first year anniversary of them leaving New Orleans in search for multiple cures, Bella was confident she could pay a visit to Kol and his family. “Can I ask you something?” Bella asked Myriam while all of them were around a campfire eating canned beans. The truck was behind them, not far away and they were in a safe spot somewhere in Washington state.

“What’s up?”

“Would it be alright if I’d try to get into the Chambre du Chasse to see how everyone’s doing? I’ve learned the spell, I know how to boost my power and I know how to get in there without destroying the world Freya created,” she asked carefully, knowing that Myriam didn’t want anyone messing with the magic. “We’re safe here and yes, I’ve made some mistakes in the past but I know what I’m doing, otherwise I wouldn’t ask.”

Myriam let out a chuckle after shooting a warning glare to Hayley. “Bella, I know we’re all eager to see everyone back on their feet, but perhaps you should leave them alone. They’ll likely ask you questions you feel uncomfortable to answer or you’ll make them even more worried because it’s taking so long.”

“I miss my friend, I didn’t get to spend a lot of time with him,” Bella sighed as she put her can of beans down. “And I promised not to leave him, I want him to know I’m still here.”

“Do it,” Hayley said as she fed Hope. “Maybe it’ll lift their spirits if someone comes to visit.”

“You can’t be serious!” Myriam scoffed. “They’re safe now!”

“Yes, and your cuddly hybrid is still breathing and alive in whatever prison Marcel has for him, if you’re really determined, you could go back and find out where he is to go and cuddle him, tell him everything’s going to be alright and that his suffering isn’t in vain,” Hayley shot at her. “That girl has done nothing but study ever since we left for this purpose. We’re safe here, we’re taking a breather. Let her do something to help them out. Maybe Kol can convince her to leave us and be useless somewhere else.”

“Here we go with the useless again!” Myriam huffed. “She’s not useless. She’s-” she sighed as she apologetically looked at Bella. “Okay, maybe a little bit useless then. But she’s still here. She’s still with us and still doesn’t mind riding in the back with the coffins while we’re driving around in comfort. She deserves talking to Kol more than you or I deserve to talk to Klaus or Elijah!”

“See, I knew you were going to say that,” Hayley smirked as she looked at Bella. “You’re welcome! Go have some fun, we’ll check in on you in about an hour. Please be back by then. Don’t get lost. You’re here, they’re not able to be here.”

“Thank you,” Bella said as she hurried to the truck. She wasn’t a big fan of Hayley, but she knew that Hayley liked Elijah. If Bella going into the dream state and could bring back a message for her, sure, that was likely the only reason Hayley let her go. After climbing inside, she gathered her ingredients and talisman and opened Kol’s coffin. It took her a couple of minutes to focus and get the right amount of power, but once that was all sorted, it was easy for Bella to slip into the Chambre Du Chasse.

Bella found herself in the middle of a huge back garden and a large mansion on the edge of it. There were birds flying around, making noises, and the flowers smelled extraordinary. The sun was out and burning, but the temperature was nice. She made her way to the house and could hear talking. “Hello?” Bella called out, having the feeling she needed to alert them for her for some reason.

Soon enough, three vampires were in front of her and Freya following shortly. “Bella! What are you… how?” Kol stammered as he walked towards her and hugged her, Bella allowed him to and even hugged him back. “You’re here!”

“I’m impressed,” Freya smiled as she finally caught up with her siblings.

“Ah, so this is the mystical Bella you lot were talking about,” Rebekah commented. “She looks tiny and harmless. And like food.”

Bella let go of Kol and looked at him before looking at his siblings. “I’m glad to see the spell has truly worked for you, how are you doing?”

“Bored,” Rebekah and Kol chorused. “There’s no entertainment, darling, too bad you didn’t bring any games. Freya had forgotten about that when creating this world!”

Bella blinked. “I can bring things over? Seriously?”

“I’d rather not have you do that,” Freya couldn’t help but smile at the sentiment.

“Come sit with us, Bella,” Kol said as he took her hand and pulled her with him to their luxurious lawn chairs. “Tell me, how are you managing this?”

“I’ve spent the last year studying the spell, learning everything about Chambres that I could and a witch taught me that I could channel objects and people to boost my power. I’m using a talisman right now that she voluntarily parted with,” Bella said as she sat down. “While Myriam and Hayley are doing everything they can to get everything together for your salvation, I decided to focus on this. To tell you that I haven’t left you, like you asked.”

“Oh dear, she’s smitten,” Rebekah remarked as she sat down in her own lawnchair. “How cute. Another teenager.”

“Beks, no need to be mean to our guest,” Kol chided her. “Just because you’re bored doesn’t mean you can take it out on her.” Kol kissed Bella’s hand. “I am so proud of you. What does it feel like to have more power?”

“I’m a bit afraid of it, to be honest,” Bella admitted. “I had to use it the other day to protect Hope and you guys when we were under attack and Myriam and Hayley were out. I sent someone flying so far and hard that he snapped a tree in half after colliding with it. I don’t like that.”

“You’ve given up on your math and biology studies?”

“For now,” Bella nodded. “I hope you’re not angry with me, but I wanted to be useful and not useless.”

“Bella, how many times do I have to tell you that you’re not useless?” he kissed her hand again and gently squeezed it. “How are they treating you?”

“I try to stay out of their way as much as I can. I try to avoid Hope, she keeps crying whenever I’m around her and she’s loud. Myriam’s nice and makes sure I have everything that I need, even defends me when Hayley is being a bit… complicated.”

“Complicated?”

“She’s in a constant state of fight. High adrenaline. And when she isn’t, she’s… complicated,” Bella said carefully, knowing how much the family appreciated the hybrid and that she was basically their saviour now. “I don’t really feel comfortable around her. But that’s okay, don’t worry about it. We’re making great progress in seeking out the werewolves. We have found two packs now, and in a couple of days we’ll be at a Kingfisher office where it’s rumored to have the recipe for Freya’s antidote,” she said hopeful. “Myriam can’t wait to get her hands on that so she can start collecting the herbs. Myriam is great with those herbs, you know. You can really tell that she’s been studying for so long, and I can only hope that I’ll get her extensive knowledge one day.”

“Is there even room in the truck cab for all of you?”

“No,” Bella smiled at Kol. “But that’s okay, I’m in the back with you. Myriam avoids potholes when she’s driving.”

“Just how poorly is Hayley treating you, Bella?” Freya asked carefully. “Is she calling you useless again?”

“Still, but that’s alright. I mean, she even told me I could leave if I wanted to, but I made a promise to Kol not to leave him, ever. So I’m staying.”

“What else is she doing that makes you uncomfortable with her?”

“It’s fine, I’m here for you, I’m not here to talk about my worries or troubles,” Bella said as she looked at Elijah. “For example, is there anything you wish for Hayley to know so I can tell her?”

“Yes, for her to stop being a cunt,” Freya remarked angrily. “While I feel quite safe with a vampire and a hybrid driving us around, you’re also a line of defense and it’s admirable that you’re finding ways to help in your own way, such as boosting your power. Are Myriam and Hayley at least supportive of that?”

“Myriam didn’t want me to come here, but Hayley managed to turn her around. Myriam was afraid I would harm the original spell, despite me feeling quite confident that I was able to do it safely. I would have understood it if the answer remained ‘no’, though. I’m not sure what I’m going to do after I go back. I don’t like hurting people, but I also want you to be safe whenever I’m alone with you, watching you. Or, I could leave and wait for your return somewhere else, but that’s scary.”

“No, you stay where you are, darling,” Kol smiled at her. “I feel a lot safer with you protecting us. Perhaps you could put a forcefield around us, too?”

“Already up, didn’t need the talisman for that!” Bella said proudly. “It’s like using my healing spells or when I’m cleaning, I don’t need a boost for that. This spell, however, far beyond my powers.”

“I know your interests don’t lie with magic, Bella, that you want to resume your studying to become a veterinarian in the end, but continue to practise your magic and learn to work better with the talisman. There’s nothing wrong with boosting your power, you’re a responsible girl and I’m sure it’ll be alright,” Freya encouraged her. “It’s always a good thing to have another witch in the family, no matter how powerful or not. Your speciality is healing, that is a good thing.”

“And don’t be afraid to put the bitch into place,” Rebekah added. “Turn her into a toad or give her a headache from hell, that works.”

“You have to envision Hayley’s brains and then focus on that, then squeeze your hands into a fist, like this,” Freya showed Bella the move. “And then hold that until she drops to her knees and screams in agony. It’s quite effective.”

“And painful,” Kol muttered, having been on the receiving end of such a headache numerous of times.

“I can’t believe we’re discussing ways to hurt Hayley,” Elijah huffed as he sipped his drink. “She responds to a civil conversation as well, you know.”

“And Bella doesn’t trust her, her words won’t connect. This will,” Freya nodded and made her way over to Bella, squeezing her free hand. “Just because Hayley – and Myriam – are more powerful than you are, doesn’t mean that you have to take their shit. If you’re tired of riding in the back of the truck, tell one of them to sit there while driving. If they say no, give them a headache if you can’t get the words out. They’ll get over it.”

“And that neat little trick will work on werewolves as well. Humans might get seriously injured though,” Kol smiled and got to his feet. “How long until you have to go back?”

“About twenty minutes or so.”

“Good, let’s go for a walk, you and I,” he said as he helped her to her feet. “Let me show you around.”

Freya pulled Bella into her arms and Bella stiffened as she allowed herself to be hugged. “Thank you for checking in on us.”

Rebekah joined in on the hug. “Welcome to the family, little one.”

“Help,” Bella said with a small voice. “Too much.”

“Alright, enough of the hugging, I’m going to show her around,” Kol said as he gently nudged his sisters away from his friend and took Bella’s hand to pull her with him. “Freya did a great job on this, didn’t she?”

“I’m sorry that there’s no entertainment though,” Bella replied as she followed him.

“Eh,” Kol shrugged. “I suppose the entertainment comes from family grievances, old ones at that. Loads of fighting going on. And of course, running after the wildlife. Little cute bunnies trying to outrun a vampire.”

“Bunnies?”

“Or deer.. There are some elks in the vicinity too, but can’t go that far out, it’s a very tiny area Freya’s put us in. Emotions run high quite easily and there’s no place to hide,” Kol sighed. “Frankly I wished I was back with the Ancestors, at least I could deal with their constant assault.”

“But you’ve got me now,” Bella gently squeezed his hand. “I can drop in every now and then.”

“That would be lovely darling, but best not to mess around too much incase Freya’s spell won’t hold – now, that’s not because I don’t trust your abilities, it’s that she had to create this in a hurry and it might not be as sturdy as she made it believe.”

“You think it’ll collapse? But then we’re all going to die!”

“Nah, darling, I’m just saying we have to be careful with it. So no frequent visits, as much I love seeing your face,” he explained as they walked around the corner, showing a large pool. “I understand this is a very strange place to have a good conversation, but now that you’re here, I really wish to talk to about missed chances and opportunities. I’ve been waiting a whole year now, I don’t believe I can wait longer.”

“Okay?” Bella said confused, vaguely remembering the conversation before.

“Because everyone, including you, have been right. Everyone I’ve been seeing in the past century, and that’s not a lot of people as I’ve been boxed for the most part, all reminded me of you in some way or another. Davina… well she looked like you… then there’s Bonnie who I crushed on but she didn’t like me. She marched to her own drum, much like yourself. And while I was saving you from the Sanatorium and placed you with Edward, I was seeing someone who was just as kind to me as you are. Thing is, Bella, I realized that I was mad for you ever since I laid eyes on you, but you weren’t open for relationships back then and I’m not sure you’re open for one now, but… I still want you to be my girlfriend, Bella.”

She stopped, panicked, and pulled her hand back. “What?”

“Relax,” Kol said as he took both her hands and squeezed them. “I know that comes as a shock to you, but nothing has to chance, okay? We remain friends and can take it slow, I know you trust me and like me enough to keep saving my ass, and let’s continue this and move forward.”

“I don’t want your penis inside of me,” Bella said quickly, blinking at him. “I am so not ready for that, Kol. I can’t be… relationship? But… no! I like you but no penis inside of me!”

“I know we’re far from that, but I’m willing to wait, I just want you to know that I’m not going to chase some other girl’s tail anymore, because I want to be yours and yours alone.”

“I won’t leave you as promised.”

“See? That’s relationship territory,” he winked at her. “And you’re getting better. You like my hugs now.”

“I just came here because I’m your friend, Kol, and wanted to show you that I am keeping my promise, and now you’re…” She pulled her hands back and took a few steps back. “I need to go, I can’t…” She could feel her heart beat in her throat. Bella didn’t even have the time to say goodbye as her focus shifted and she fell out of the dream state quite roughly. Scrambling to her feet in the back of the truck, she slammed Kol’s coffin shut and bolted out of the truck, nearly bumping into Myriam as she did.

“Bella?”

“No,” she said as she hyperventilated, but kept running nevertheless. “No.”

“Bella, hey,” Myriam said worried as she stopped the girl in her tracks and made sure she stood still. Something was wrong, her heart beat was all over the place, it’s what made her go to the truck a little early so she could check up on her, but Bella was having a panic attack. “Breathe,” she said kindly as she made sure Bella looked at her. “Breathe.”

“No,” Bella whined as she struggled against the vampire’s hold. “Let me go… please…”

“No, breathe and calm down,” Myriam said calmly. “Talk to me, what happened? Did they hurt you? Are they in trouble?”

“No, they’re fine,” Bella breathed as she decided to steady herself against the vampire instead, there was no use of outrunning Myriam anyway and she felt too unstable to give her a vampire headache as taught by Freya.

Myriam pulled Bella down to the ground between the trees so they could sit down and have Bella continue to breathe in and out. Slowly. “Okay, that’s good. Why are you upset, sweetheart?”

“Kol… he…”

“Did that asshole break your heart? I’m going to kill him!”

“No… he said he wants me to be his girlfriend! Do you know what that means?”

“Happiness?”

“No! It means that I’ll get hurt and he will want his penis inside of me and I am so not… no! I help him because he’s my friend and I care but… no!” Bella hiccuped as she wrapped her arms around herself and pulled her knees up. “I helped him because he deserved help, I allow him to hug me and I like it, but that’s because I trust him, despite everything he’s done wrong in the past. He’s a good person. Even though he asked me not to leave him while he was delirious, I am standing by that promise and I’m making sure that I can protect him and his family but… does that really mean a relationship? I’m not made for that! I don’t want his penis inside of me! Nor his hands on my bare skin!”

“I understand,” Myriam replied, rubbing Bella’s back. As always, Kol was moving too fast, perhaps this time out of desperation, that should he die or whatever, at least he wasn’t alone. Still, Bella and Kol would be great together as a couple, she had only wished that Kol hadn’t opened his mouth about it and just let things progress naturally like they were when Myriam had brought Bella back from the Bayou. “I wouldn’t put much stock into his declaration, Bella,” she said calmly. “He’s likely acting out of desperation. He’s stuck there in the Chambre Du Chasse, and you’re here, able to encounter nice men and he wants you for himself.”

“But I am his!” Bella countered surprised. “I don’t see why that has to change? He can keep his penis far away from me, but the rest of him is more than welcome in my space. But no to relationships, those are bad. Very bad.”

Well that was a strange turn of events. Bella panicked because Kol decided to label them as a couple and to be in a relationship, and she had only bad experiences with relationships. Myriam frowned as she decided on the next words to say. Taking a breath, the vampire was cautious in her movements around the girl but did not attempt to go closer than the girl was comfortable with at the moment. “From what I know of your history with Kol, your only experience in any kind of relationships was with the Cullen fellow and he wasn’t the kindest man. I don’t know if your mind might be helping with some fear here because Kol was involved with that but I can assure you that he regrets his part in it if you give him the opportunity to speak on it when we find the cure and bring them back. It will take time, but we will, together. Being afraid is okay, but it’s your choice now that he’s made his position known if you want to start to overcome those fears to start meeting him halfway if you want to have the relationship in the future he may look forward to when he comes out, or you could let him down and continue on with the friendship that may not even survive because of this new change of feelings, or just go on with separate lives when this is over. It is a lot to think about, I know, and I could beat him from here to Timbuktu for the pressure he put on you, but it’s not like those feelings weren’t there under the surface of Davina’s magic before. When he came with Davina to ask for my help, and then brought you later, I could see it clearly. Klaus saw it too, but we tried not to say anything because of everything going on and knew it would take awhile for you adjust to the change of emotions for him to bring it up.”

Bella thought of the words Myriam had said and again, was confused. “But I thought in this modern age women didn’t have to have men?”

Myriam let out a chuckle. “No, we don’t. But having someone you can cuddle with, to rely on and to have your back is nice. Men and women are equal now, or at least more equal than a century ago.”

“Even someone like me?”

“What do you mean?” Myriam asked confused. “Someone like you? There’s nothing wrong with you Bella, I told you that.”

“But both you and Hayley called me useless today, before the spell. Hayley calls me useless at least once a day and she actively tries to push my buttons, so isn’t it better for someone like me not to be in a relationship?”

“I already apologized for that, and I will do that again. I was trying to make a point to Hayley, but you do understand why I didn’t want you to go in there, right? Freya had to construct the Chambre Du Chasse in quite a hurry and I was afraid your little trip was going to hurt the safety of the Mikaelsons.”

“Kol said the same thing, I can come over, but not frequently,” Bella admitted with a nod. “But it is very small and there’s little to no entertainment. A lot of fighting, yes.”

“I wouldn’t have expected anything else, to be honest,” Myriam smiled at her. “But you’re not useless, Bella. No way ever. You wanted to continue to practise magic and get better on your own accord to protect the family, and you’re finding out new ways to do things and I’ve never been against it, and never will be, because it does help to have a witch on our side.”

“Even one without a lot of power?”

“You set up that force field around the truck on your own, I’d call that being very powerful because it still stands and all of us can move in and out of it. That’s very clever. Just as turning yourself into Kol’s cure when he was in trouble,” she replied. “You’re great with herbs and healing spells and it’s great you want to apply that to becoming the best veterinarian out there with me as your assistant. And we should all be grateful that you’ve put that on hold to aid the family. That shows loyalty. Love. Determination. Don’t tell me that they weren’t impressed with you in that Chambre.”

“They were,” Bella replied softly, looking at her hands. “And Freya taught me something to defend myself even better, and maybe put Hayley in her place when she’s being troublesome again. Because I’m not confident to tell her off, but I can hurt her now to show her I’m not pleased.”

“It’s not the vampire headache thing, is it?” Myriam winced. “Those hurt!”

“Don’t worry,” Bella smiled, looking at Myriam. “I’m not going to use it on you.”

“Good, because us girls need to stay together and some new kid who has a child with my boyfriend can go to hell, despite her blooming relationship with that maniac Elijah. You don’t trust him, do you?”

“No, he has darkness, and he’s not nice.”

“Good, because he’s the worst out of all of them,” Myriam nodded. “And as far as that vampire headache, you have my blessing to use it on Hayley, I can’t wait for it, let’s do that now!”

“No,” Bella chuckled. “I think I’m going to bed, I’m exhausted.”

“That’s a good plan too,” Myriam agreed as she got back to her feet and pulled Bella to hers. “Tomorrow we’re crossing the border into Canada.”

“I do have to admit, despite the circumstances, I do like this long road trip. I’ve never been outside of New Orleans apart from the long journey from California when I was a child, but I don’t remember much from it, only that the coach ride was a long one. It’s nice to see more of the world.”

“Good, Kol likes to travel too, I’m sure he knows plenty of places to show you that we haven’t even heard of,” Myriam smiled as she and Bella walked back to the truck.

“I think I want to buy a photo camera so I can make pictures and show them to them after they wake up.”

Myriam hummed. “Or, we could upgrade your phone to a smartphone. Then you can make calls with it and take pictures,” she said as she got out her phone and showed it to Bella. “See?” she turned on the camera and took a selfie with Bella. She then showed the result. “Instant result, too.”

“Oh, I like that!” Bella said impressed and gently took Myriam’s phone to look at the picture. “I look tired.”

“Yes, but that’s no surprise, seeing as you just said you’re exhausted,” she laughed and took her phone back. “Alright, no screens before bedtime. Are you sleeping outside with us or are you going to sleep in your den?”

“I’ll go in the truck,” Bella replied with a smile.

“Fine, hand me the talisman, young lady, I don’t want you to go sneaking back in there with Kol to continue this talk with him. Let him stew for a little bit.”

“But I’m tired, I was planning on going to sleep, I promise,” Bella said, shaking her head. “I’ll go back in next year or the year after, to make sure that I don’t mess things up.”

“Okay, good and good night.”

“Good night,” Bella replied as she crawled into the truck and made her way to her little corner where she had made her den, as Myriam called it. It was as comfortable as Bella could make it with a lot of blankets, but it was her spot. Tonight was going to be different though, she wasn’t going to look at Kol’s coffin, instead, she was going to turn her back on him so she could get some sleep and not having to think about him in her sleep.

Six months later, Bella had been gifted a fully charged pink moonstone by a friendly pack of wolves who Hayley had talked into of parting with their venom after Bella had taken a liking to their Shaman’s herb garden. It made three packs now who gave them their venom, and that was great. The shaman’s garden had some herbs needed for the antidote to Freya’s poisoning and they had been allowed to take some with them as well.

Bella couldn’t be happier. A moonstone meant that she didn’t have to use the talisman to channel her power, but use the moonstone instead, and make it so that she wouldn’t make such an impact on Freya’s spell, either. She was slightly nervous about her impending visit, mainly after the last time, but she felt it was time for another visit, and Myriam agreed, while Hayley was causing problems this time.

For the first time since having been taught the spell to hurt a vampire, Bella reached out while holding the moonstone and gave Hayley the headache from hell, knocking her out completely, causing Myriam to smile widely. “Well done! Now, off you go, I’m going to look after the little one.”

It was easier to get into the dream state with the moonstone, she didn’t have to focus as much and it got a lot easier. She appeared back in the garden and was nearly run over by Kol and Rebekah as they were fighting with each other and running around. “Hey!” she called out angrily. “Careful where you walk! I’m just moving between the fabrics of planes of existence, no big deal!”

“Oh, the little one has a mouth!” Rebekah cooed after stopping and hugging Bella as a greeting. “You’re back!”

“And I’ve made a safer trip, too,” Bella beamed. “With a moonstone and it’s pink!”

“Good girl,” Rebekah smiled. “And just between us girls, I have your back, I couldn’t help but to overhear your conversation with Kol the last time and I gave him a hard time about it.”

“That’s okay, but thank you,” Bella smiled at her before looking at Kol, who looked like a beaten puppy. “I’m not angry with you, nor fearful, I understand why you said what you said, but we do need to talk about that. Just not now, only when you’re out of here, okay?”

Kol was glad that Bella was back, and that she seemed… healthy and mouthy. And that she was willing to talk. He just hated it that she didn’t want to talk about it now. It was likely Myriam’s influence on her. Myriam had a thing for drawing things out and making people sweat for longer than necessary. “Okay,” he nodded. “For what it’s worth, I am sorry…”

“We can talk about anything but that,” Bella pat her jeans and grinned as she got her phone out. “Seems like I can bring things in here! I’ve made pictures with this, Myriam got me this phone.”

“Oh!” Rebekah snatched the phone out of Bella’s hands and ran off with it, flipping through the photos as she went looking for Freya.

“So a fully charged pink moonstone? Where did you find that?” Kol asked as he fell instep next to Bella as she slowly walked towards the house.

“Pack of werewolves. They had a lot of moonstones laying around, gifts for friendly witches and all charged, too. I feel it’s more stable than the talisman, too. A lot more stable and less erratic in its energy discharge. More like a cuddly blanket than a prickly one,” she replied. “And around me I have a protective circle with some protective herbs and some grounding stones such as Jasper and Quartz.”

“Look at you, going all hippy,” he smiled brightly. “I haven’t seen a witch practise like that in ages!”

“No, because they’re all supercharged freaks these days,” Bella replied before Rebekah came back, showing Bella a picture. “Yeah, we went there.”

“Kol, she went to the happiest place on Earth. Without us. This isn’t fair,” Rebekah pouted. “I swear, when we get out of here, we’re going there. I need fun. I need entertainment and I want to be a Disney princess.”

“Hope loved it,” Bella smiled as she pushed one picture further, a picture of Hope covered in candy floss and chocolate ice cream.

“She’s getting so big!” Rebekah whined. “We’re missing out on quality aunt time!”

“So yeah, that’s three venoms now and some ingredients. We’re getting there.”

“What about my curse?” Rebekah asked as she kept flipping through the phone.

“That one’s proving to be a little bit tricky, but I swear, we’re working on it,” Bella replied, hopeful. “We’re remaining positive. We’re not leaving a stone unturned. Well, Hayley and Myriam are doing most of the work, I am browsing through books, amassed quite the selection in the back of the truck.”

“Look at you, super witch,” Kol said proudly.

Bella shrugged as she put her hands in her pocket. “I do what I have to do and once you’re out, I’m going back to studying math and biology… and maybe a little bit of this on the side, I do have to admit, I’m enjoying this just a bit.”

He was happy to hear that she was less fearful of her magic and when boosting it. She’d never be as powerful as Freya or Hope, but witches are a good thing for this family. And he liked teaching. If Bella was open to that… he could already imagine all the places he’d take her once he was out of here. “And, did you give Hayley a headache yet?”

“Yep, today was the first time I did it, she wanted to stop me from coming here… but I was holding the moonstone, she passed out,” Bella shrugged again. “I didn’t even think about it and just did it, and that… well… I suppose I should apologize when I get back. That hadn’t been my intention.”

“Kol! She went to New York!” Rebekah gasped as she followed her brother. “I didn’t know there was a pack in New York!”

“There wasn’t, we passed through on our way to Maine and Delaware. And of course to Pennsylvania. Packs are hard to find, especially particular ones. And of course, they like to make us chase our own tails in order to protect people. Some packs don’t particularly like Hayley, either.”

“Hope needs her mother, otherwise we would have killed Hayley ages ago,” Rebekah mumbled. “Oh, Hope looks so adorable…”

“We have a safe house in Texas now, we’re going there in the next couple of days and keep you all there. According to Hayley it’ll be guarded by a werewolf grandmother with a shotgun,” Bella said as she looked at Kol. “It’ll make things easier for Myriam and Hayley to travel without the truck around, and Hope will have a sitter.”

“Mary is a doll, she doesn’t like us much, but she’s a good person. A real grandmother. She may not like Myriam, but you’re not a threat to her so she’ll like you,” Rebekah said as she still followed Bella and Kol while flipping through the phone.

“We’ll see,” Bella shrugged. “I don’t really care, as long as you’re safe. I don’t even know where we’re going, exactly, but we’ll see. Myriam was talking about finding one of her sirelings loyal to her to keep an eye out on the house as well.”

“Might not be a bad idea if the property you’ll be hiding out at is a big one,” Kol pointed out. “I am so proud of you, Bella, you’re keeping up with your magic and learning new things and you’re doing it. Just like that.”

“With herbs and stones and I don’t like the intensity much, but at least the stone feels a lot friendlier than the talisman. It’s more natural.”

“Stop putting yourself down, you’re not like everyone else, so what?” Rebekah playfully tapped Bella’s head. “Thanks to you we’re not completely cut off from everyone else and Freya says it’s quite hard to enter a Chambre de Chasse. So no more ‘yeah buts’. Oh, pizza party!”

“That was fun,” Bella smiled widely. “Just me and Myriam, a lot of pizza and some movies. Oh, and more snacks but a lot of pizza, tonight we’re going to the movies and McDonalds.”

“I’m glad you’re having fun, Bella, but we do want to get out of here too!” Rebekah whined as she showed Kol another picture on Bella’s phone.

“And do you know how hard it is to find the cure to your curse?” Bella countered playfully, not afraid of the vampire, Myriam told her that she could talk the way she spoke to Myriam and Kol to everyone. “Or to find some of the wolfpacks that are very good at hiding so we can cure your brothers? We’re lucky we found the antidote for Freya! And Myriam and I are working it already, it has multiple layers, and it takes time. And Myriam and Hayley deserve a break from time to time. I know this situation isn’t ideal, but it’s what you have.”

“This is worse than being boxed,” Rebekah pouted before nodding. “But you are right. We’re all very impatient, that’s all. We believed it would be easier. How much time passed anyway?”

“18 months since Freya cast the spell,” Bella replied as she took her phone back. She wasn’t even sure if it was really here or still with her unconscious body in the back of the truck, but she felt naked without it in her pocket. “I’ll try to bring in some cards next time and hope they’ll stick around once I leave.”

“Are you leaving already?” Kol asked surprised. “Why?”

“See this as a test run,” Bella shrugged. “Besides, I’m not sure if me visiting is doing you any good, perhaps I should just leave you alone in your slumber until it’s time to give you a warning that we’re close to-”

“No, if you’re able to come back, please do,” Kol said quickly as he took her hand. “Don’t leave just yet, please.”

“I have no choice, Myriam’s poking me to wake up. Talk to you soon,” Bella said as she disappeared.

Kol scowled as he looked at his sister. “She’s different. She’s changed.”

“That’s what a little bit of confidence can do to a person, and Myriam has oodles to give away,” Rebekah grinned. “No doubt she’s teaching Bella everything she knows about her herbs that Bella doesn’t already know and gives her confidence boosts on a regular basis.”

“But she didn’t want to talk about the last time!”

“Give the girl some credit, she wants to have that conversation when we’re out of here. This place isn’t real, she wants to do it when we’re awake. Good girl, in my eyes. She knows how to make you squirm.”

“It’s not fair,” Kol sulked.

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