Because I promised Jasper’sGoddessofWar you get another chapter. I’m a girl of my word.
It wasn’t difficult to admit that his heart had missed a few beats when Bella proclaimed her love for him in her drug-induced state. He did realize that it could have been the drugs talking and that he shouldn’t get his hopes up so much, but at least things were progressing in the right way.
When Rebekah came home after helping the wolves take care of Esme, he started to make tea with the herbs that he had his sister get for Bella. He bashed up the vervain, lemon, sarsaparilla, sage and dandelion – healing and cleansing herbs. He then poured the hot water into the pestle and mortar so all the moisture out of those herbs could infuse with the water. And then transferred it to a mug. Rebekah hadn’t been too pleased when she heard she had to pick up vervain and said it was useless for Bella anyway as she couldn’t be compelled as a witch. Kol had to remind her that vervain always had started off as a protective herb, and that’s what she needed right now.
His sister had huffed and put on a movie while she had settled on the other end of the couch, keeping an eye on Bella. It had been promising that she had showed a little bit of herself after her shower, but he was still worried. It was unclear what she had got dosed with apart from the Rohypnol, but he knew that once Bella was back to her usual self, she was going to see red. He expected them to be back in New Orleans by the end of the week.
“Alright, scoot,” he told his sister as he approached the girls with the tea in his hand. With a sigh, Rebekah moved to the chair, and Kol was able to sit down on the sofa. He placed the tea on the table and gave a soft squeeze on her arm. He didn’t want to disturb her in her sleep, but he had to. “Rise and shine, sleepyhead.”
“I’m still sleepy,” Bella muttered as she refused to move. “How long was I asleep?”
“A couple of hours.”
“I’m not. I’ve watched two and a half reruns of Toe The Line. So that’s at least 2 and a half hours.”
She opened her eyes to look at him. “Liar.”
“Okay, it was some old TV show of the 1980s but still, you were asleep for a couple of hours.”
Bella huffed as she slowly sat up. Everything felt a little fuzzy around the edges while her head was pounding and wanted to kill Kol for waking her up. “Okay, I’m up…”
“How are you feeling, little dove?”
She looked at Rebekah and blinked. “When did you get here?”
“About half an hour ago,” she smiled at Bella. “The wolves and I had some business to take care of. Oh, and Elijah called. He’s flying in tomorrow evening and will stay at a hotel in town to see us graduate.”
“No,” Kol whined as he handed Bella the mug of tea that he brewed. In all fairness, he had liked the last few weeks because they were sibling light. Elijah was alright, he supposed, but he was a self-righteous prick. “Why? I mean we’re going back to New Orleans soon anyway.”
“It’s all about appearances, brother,” Rebekah grinned at him. “The story is that our older brother sent us here to deal with the loss of our parents, so yes, when we graduate in two days, he’ll be with us.”
“Two days?” Bella said confused and then sniffed her tea, it smelled awful. “Don’t you mean four days?”
“You went missing for nearly four days, little dove, Esme made it very hard to find you.”
“I’m sorry, Cuddles, but she did. She knew exactly what to do for us not to find you that easily.”
“Nope. I don’t believe it. That’s ridiculous. You’re just trying to scare me, and that won’t work. Esme wouldn’t do something like that. I would remember. And I only remember one night. And food once.” She said as she shook her head. She took a sip of her tea and tried hard not to throw up.
“I know it’s an acquired taste darling, but you need to drink that.”
She defiantly put the mug back down on the table and looked at Kol. “Why? So you can poison me?” Maybe she had made the wrong decision of going with Kol. But she hadn’t, because Kol was in her home. He had reheated a chicken for her; he had given her food. She liked Kol, very much. But she couldn’t help but wonder if Esme had been right. That being with Kol and Rebekah made her sick.
Kol opened his mouth to say something, but his sister hit him with a pillow and shook her head. Maybe Rebekah was right, and Bella had to figure things out on her own – again. He couldn’t help but feel cheated. Everything was going so well between him and Bella. Bella was getting her confidence back and then she disappeared, because he and Rebekah weren’t paying attention. Oh yes, Elijah was going to be so happy when he’d get to hear that. Not to mention his brother Niklaus. Kol had been daggered for less in the past.
He took the mug of tea and took a few swigs of it to show Bella that it was perfectly fine and set it back down again before getting up with a sigh. This whole situation was frustrating. Yes, Niklaus was right in wanting to protect the girl from the Cold Ones, but frankly, he wished it was over. He hated it that the instructions were that Bella was going to get her revenge on Edward but if Rebekah had killed him the moment they set foot in Forks, maybe things wouldn’t have been like… this.
Bella looked up at him with fear in her eyes. “Where are you going?”
“Out,” he muttered. Before I do something I will regret, he added in silence.
“I’m sorry,” she quickly grabbed the mug of tea and drank it, it was vile but she had to please him, she didn’t want him to leave because she was difficult. If it truly had been poison, Kol would be showing signs of it, and he wasn’t. He seemed upset, that’s all. “Please don’t leave.”
Kol groaned as he ran his hands through his hair and kept walking towards the door. “Rebekah, keep an eye on her. Make sure she sleeps,” he said as he pointed at the confused looking Bella.
“Don’t do anything rash, brother,” Rebekah reminded him. She had stayed out of the taking care of the human girl upon her return as she knew how much he had taken a liking to her. She could understand his frustration, there was an end to Kol’s patience, and he had reached it.
In all honesty, up until the point that Bella went missing, he had been a good man, and when Bella went missing, something inside of him snapped. He had been angry, frantic and had been trying different spells to locate her and had barely slept. It was a good thing that he chose to remove himself from the situation instead of having things escalate. Maybe he’d be back in time to take a long nap himself. “What are you going to do?”
“I’m going to poke a mountain lion,” he said and closed the door behind him.
Rebekah sighed as she settled on the couch and had Bella snuggle up against her. The girl was still very much out of it, had her brother thought that she’d be alright after just a couple of hours of sleep? Who knew what that horrible bitch of an ex-mother in law had done to her.
“Is he angry at me?” Bella asked softly. “I didn’t mean to anger him…”
“It’s alright, little sister,” Rebekah said as she caressed Bella’s hair. “Kol is just extremely tired and impatient, but he is also very happy that you’re back in relatively good shape. He will be back.”
Bella nodded as she pulled the duvet over her.
“I’m going to finish watching this movie, how about you go back to sleep?”
It was a good couple of hours before Kol returned to the house, and Rebekah was glad that Bella was asleep as her brother was covered in blood and scrapes. There was a particular nasty gash at the side of his torso, and she was amazed how he had survived the trip back. “Bloody hell,” Rebekah let out a sigh as she carefully lifted Bella up and gently placed her down on the sofa again so she could feed her brother some blood. “What have you done?”
“I told you,” he said with a crooked smile as he used the table for support. “I was going to poke a mountain lion.”
“That doesn’t mean you should actually do it!” she scolded him as she bit her wrist and held it up for him to take her blood. “You could have been killed!”
“Relax, sister, I’m alright!”
“No, you’re not. Drink or I will kill you myself.” When Kol had his lips around her wrist to drink, she spoke again. “Who knew that Kol Michaelson, the arrogant, self-absorbed prick could care about someone else?”
Kol grumbled for an answer as he drank his sister’s blood.
“I like her too and I’m glad she’s finally back.” She ruffled her brother’s hair and watched his body’s progress of healing. “But I meant what I said; do something like this again, and I will kill you myself.”
Kol huffed as he let go of his sister and wiped his mouth. He then looked at the sleeping Bella and sighed. “I’ll go take a shower and get changed. Will you order pizza?”
“You’re welcome,” she replied to Kol’s retreating backside and picked up her phone.
Bella woke up in the middle of the night in her bed, no – Kol’s bed, but he was nowhere to be seen. Sitting up, she found him sleeping on the floor, and she wondered why that was. The need to visit the bathroom was more urgent though and she hopped out of bed before nearly sprinting to the toilet.
Upon her return, he was still snoozing away on the floor, and she decided to grab her duvet and pillow to join him there. She felt as if she had been drinking too much the previous night or as if she was on painkillers; she wasn’t quite sure what. She did know that Esme had taken her, but other than that, the details were fuzzy.
She smiled when he put his arm around her in his slumber as she snuggled up against him and softly brushed his hair out of his face. She couldn’t help but to quietly giggle as she looked at him. Kol looked angelic in his sleep and if there was one word that didn’t quite sound like him was that. Bella was pretty sure that once he would be back in a place he felt more comfortable; he’d be quite the opposite.
And strange enough, that excited her. Yes, she had chosen to move to Forks because Bella felt that she was restricting her mother to become truly happy, but Bella had never liked Forks. It was cold, damp and downright depressing. Rebekah and Kol were doing everything they could not have Forks dim their spirits but Bella could tell that even they were miserable, albeit probably not as miserable as she was.
Which was why Bella made the decision to go to New Orleans with them after graduation. Not because of Edward or because of her heritage, but because she wanted to stop sacrificing herself so much. It was time for her to become the person she wanted to be. No more of going out of someone’s way to make them happy, no longer staying with someone because her family could get hurt. Soon, all of that would be over.
If Edward and the remaining members of his family decided to follow her because they were obsessed with her, then they’d be in for a surprise. No more meek, little Bella.
“Will you please stop thinking and go back to sleep?” Kol muttered sleepily the moment she was gently tracing his jawline with her finger, and she felt caught. He then snapped open his eyes and looked at her. “Hey, you’re awake.”
“Of course I am,” she smiled at him while blushing furiously. “What are you doing on the floor?”
“I didn’t want to disturb you while you were sleeping off the drugs.” Kol flicked his hand to switch on the light and was pleased with what he saw. “You’re blushing.”
“Stop it,” she giggled before realizing what he had said. “Esme drugged me?”
“You don’t remember anything that happened in the last… oh… days?”
“Yep,” he said with a yawn. “But it’s alright, you’re here now.”
“In the morning, alright? I haven’t slept in days,” Kol whined when Bella smacked him on the chest. “Alright! But we’re going downstairs, and you’re going to drink some more tea.”
Bella thought for a moment, the thought of going downstairs in the middle of the night and having her body cool off wasn’t one of the most fun ideas right now. “In the morning,” she said with a nod.
“Good. Then you can call Charlie to come home too.”
“In the morning, Cuddles,” Kol grinned as he waved his hand to switch off the light again and pulled her closer.
Bella was quiet for a while and then shifted a little, the hard floor was uncomfortable. “Hey, Kol?” she whispered.
“Are you still awake?”
“Why are we on the floor?”
“You joined me.”
“Yes, but why were you on the floor in the first place?”
“You got drugged by Esme, Cuddles, you weren’t actually yourself…” he kissed the top of her head. “I didn’t want you to end up doing something against your will nor bring myself in the position to have the responsibility to deny you what you’d want.”
“Like what?” She had an idea of what he was referring to, but she wanted to hear him say it.
He shrugged for an answer.
“I don’t know,” he said with a sigh. “I guess I was afraid that if you’d wake up and still under the influence that you’d try to…”
He groaned and rubbed his eyes. He wasn’t going to get any more sleep, was he? “Seduce me.”
Bella grinned as she gently brushed her lips against his. “What’s so bad about that?”
“Nothing,” he said with a whisper. “It’s just that I prefer you doing it when you’re not under the influence.”
“Like now?” She purred as she brushed her lips against his again.
“I’m not entirely sure the drugs are out of your system yet, darling.”
“I’m me. I’m fully aware of everything and I really want to kiss you right now.”
“Are you sure? How can you be sure?”
“How can you be?” She had countered before she decided just to shut him up and tenderly kissed him.
Kol gave into her as he shed his duvet to be able to touch her as he made the kiss grow. She was right, how could the both of them be sure that she was back to normal? He had to believe her word for it, although he wasn’t quite sure if he should take it. This situation was exactly why he had chosen the floor instead of the bed. He might not always walk the straight and narrow – this certainly wasn’t the case when he was still an immortal vampire – but he respected Bella too much to give into… this. “Bella, stop,” he breathed after he broke off the kiss. “I can’t.”
“No, I can’t. Not when I’m not sure. I like you too much to even begin to entertain the idea of continuing this with you right now.”
“It’s just a kiss, Kol,” Bella said, feeling rejected.
“I know, Cuddles, but you’ve been through a lot in the last few days. We don’t know what Esme did to you, or if the drugs are truly out of your system, which I doubt,” he said clearly, making sure that she understood. “I’m fine with you and I sharing the floor – well, I suppose we could move back to the bed – to sleep.”
“End of. Tomorrow you’re going to have a few more cups of tea, and then we’ll see.” He said sternly before feeling her move, grabbing her duvet and pillow and going back to the bed. “Want me to come with you?”
“No,” Bella said angrily. While she could understand his reasoning – and it was sweet -, she was certain that she was fine and for him not to take her word for it was frustrating. Then again, it showed how much he cared about her. Edward would have led her on until he had made her feel all hot and bothered and then decide not to proceed. Asshole. She took a deep breath and calmed herself down. It was only sweet that Kol thought of her like that. “I’m sorry.”
“That’s alright, darling, go back to sleep.”
Bella hadn’t been able to sleep for the rest of the night. She felt as if she had slept for days and was bursting with energy. However, considering she didn’t want to let Kol down, she stayed in bed and took the moment to reevaluate everything. The thought of Esme taking her – according to Kol it had been a couple of days, sickened her. The thought of having been drugged angered her. But she supposed now with Jasper gone, they had to resort to desperate measures. What had happened to the Cullens that made them so obsessed with her?
It wasn’t as if Bella was something special because they and the Volturi, had insisted she’d turn into a vampire so the part that made her special would never surface anyway. Bella still had issues with calling herself a witch, because she was just Bella in Forks. They had wanted a mate for Edward, and she had wanted to be that right to the point when he left her to rot in the forest. Because he was weak. He was a scared little boy who didn’t trust himself – or his family – to keep her safe and instead he dumped her and made things worse.
Bella suspected that Esme was dead for what she had done, and probably another Cullen that Rebekah and Kol had tortured to get their information from after their methods in finding Bella didn’t work out. She snorted; it was likely that that was exactly the case.
The mere thought of so many bodies piling up should sicken her but deep down, her mind already made the connection that the Cullens weren’t real people. And if they’d stay alive they’d keep coming for her or even worse; find someone else to manipulate. Death was the only solution for these supernatural beings although Bella wished she had been able to save Jasper. He was a victim too, and she had realized that too late.
She had always thought that the supernatural life was ridiculous when it came to death and killing. Jacob had spoken with ease about it, the entire wolf-pack did, and so had the Cullens. They had no problem with killing one of their own. Humans was an entire different story. Then why did they keep harassing her?
She hopped out of bed the moment the world outside her bedroom window started to brighten. She nearly tripped over the sleeping Kol when she left the bedroom to go downstairs, and she was somewhat shocked by seeing the kitchen, in particular, the kitchen table. Empty blood bags were scattered all over it, and Bella visibly shuddered as she turned to pick up the bin and started to throw the bags away.
It wasn’t as if she could get angry with Rebekah for enjoying the few days away from Charlie after having sent him away when Bella went missing. She could understand the energy it took to pretend to be someone else so why bother? But, if Charlie would come back today, she’d better make the house look like as if nothing had changed.
When she had cleaned up, including – presumably – Kol’s herbs, she started on breakfast. Luckily there was enough in the fridge to make breakfast with, pancakes with bacon, and she was already thinking of what to make for dinner. They always could go to the diner if she couldn’t come up with something. She switched on the water boiler and the coffee machine and then started to stack her pancakes.
It didn’t take long for the smells to wake up the siblings, with Kol nearly tripping over his own feet as he made his way downstairs. “No, no, no! Bella!” He whined.
“Good morning to you too,” she snorted as she flipped another pancake on the platter.
“I knew it; you’re still affected by the drugs, aren’t you?”
“I’m making breakfast like I normally do. I’m famished. Since you thought it was more important to find me than to do groceries, it’s pancakes.” Bella eyed him with a raised eyebrow. “I’m not doing this for you. I’m just making enough for all of us because I’m not selfish.”
“And you cleaned up!”
“It was a mess and this is my house?” Bella countered as she crossed her arms over her chest and looked at him. “And I still remember everything we talked about last night.”
With a slow nod, Kol started to prepare tea for Bella to drink. She might appear to be back to normal, but another cup couldn’t hurt.
“Did I pass your test, Kol?” She asked as she leaned back against the counter and watched him fuss with his herbs.
“You did, with flying colors,” Rebekah said with a grin as she sat down at the table. She had heard the two of them speak last night, and she had admired her brother’s restraint. Humanity suit him, and it was quite difficult not to be jealous of him, he was going to get everything Rebekah had wanted. He didn’t want to break Bella, and that was adorable, but she could tell that Kol was going to have his hands full once she’d feel a lot more confident than she currently felt. In any case, Rebekah was going to make sure that her brothers weren’t going to mess with Kol’s happiness.
“See?” Bella said with a wide smile on her face. “I passed. Now you two can fill in the blanks over breakfast.”