11: Unexpected Clarity

A/N:I’m sitting on a few chapters at the moment so here’s another one for you. I feel bad for hoarding them. (No, I don’t).


“Welcome! You know the rules, everyone leaves alive. We have an excellent vintage of live blood for the vampires. They’re a bunch of Mormon virgins to sink your teeth into, courtesy of one of our generous hosts. Don’t kill them, don’t devirginize them, however tempting it may be. There’s plenty of food, good music, great booze, enjoy yourselves! Our generous host wants to have a few words as well, so listen up!”

“There is one human girl in here who hasn’t been compelled, and she is off limits to all,” Klaus spoke forcefully and evenly. “She’s mine. Lay a hand on her and it’ll be the last action you’ve done.”

Marcel blinked at Klaus and shook his head. “Have fun, everyone!” He laughed before turning to his sire. “What the hell was that?”

“She’s mine. I just had to make it clear.”

“By spoiling the mood?”

“I didn’t ruin anything, Marcellus,” he said with a small smile and nodded towards the crowd below them. “They’re not shaking in their boots.”

“No, but they will be shaking their booties,” Marcel grinned and jumped down the balcony to join the rest of the party goers.

“Great party, brother,” Kol smirked as he joined his brother in looking at the revelers below. “So I had a thought, yeah? If those asshats decide to show up, and you want to contain them… you’re going to need a witch.”

Klaus looked at his brother and only then noticed he was accompanied by a young woman. Quite possibly around the same age as Bella, stunning in her tight fitting dress, not too tacky but not too modest either. Heels the size of skyscrapers and easily mistaken to be one of Kol’s whores, but he had the feeling that his brother was aiming for something. “What makes you say I don’t have a lot of witches down there?”

“Yes, perhaps, but are they Mikaelson friendly?”

Perhaps not. The majority were following Davina, and she still had a bone to pick with them. Klaus in particular, and Kol maybe for dumping her the moment he was resurrected for ‘safety purposes’.

“This lovely lady is Jeri. We’ve been seeing each other for weeks now, and she’s a very friendly witch,” Kol smirked as he pulled her closer to him. “Quite the powerhouse too.”

“Oh, don’t sell yourself short, Kol,” Jeri almost purred up to him before extending her hand to Klaus. “Nice to finally meet you.”

Klaus blinked at her, shaking her hand before looking at Kol. “You have some explaining to do.”

“No, I don’t. Anyway, she’s a brilliant witch and has agreed to look into your ‘situation,’ as Davina seems to be taking her sweet time, and I know you want answers. Jeri doesn’t have the same limitations as she’s not from New Orleans.”

“Where did you dig her up then?”

“Hello, I’m right here!” Jeri snapped her fingers in front of Klaus’ face. “Don’t talk about me as if I’m not present because damn it if you don’t want my help then screw you. Kol and I are going to have some fun in his room. And if you want to know, my parents and I are part of a small Traveller community that didn’t agree with the majority of our kind. Like Kol, we never wanted to happen what’s happened to the Other Side.”

Klaus was momentarily distracted when Rebekah and Bella finally decided to emerge from Bella’s room and walked out. Bella looked incredible in her dress that looked like a painting on itself. She was wearing flat shoes underneath it, but the whole attire suited her. “Excuse me for one moment,” he muttered as he walked over to them and gently took Bella’s hand before kissing it. “You look wonderful, Bella.”

Bella blushed furiously as she looked at him. “Thank you.”

Oh, he wanted to take her back to his room and have his way with her. She had filled out nicely over the last six months, and the dress accentuated her beautiful body despite it being not tightly wrapped around her, unlike his sister’s dress. He wanted to feel underneath her dress, slip his hands right up her leg and…

“Focus,” Rebekah said as she pushed her brother’s shoulder a little bit.

“Right,” he let out a breath and smiled at Bella. “I’d like you to meet someone, you can join Rebekah in a moment.”

“Oh, here she comes, the Mikaelson’s best kept secret,” Kol grinned as he saw his brother walk up to them with Bella on his arm. “Wow, Poppet, look at you!”

“Wow, that dress is so cute,” Jeri said when Klaus and the girl – Bella – rejoined them. “Hi, I’m Jeri, I’m a friend of Kol’s.” She extended her hand to her for her to take it.

Bella looked up to Klaus to see if it was safe to shake her hand and when he nodded, she shook Jeri’s hand. When she wanted to pull away her hand and wrap it around Klaus’ arm, Jeri wouldn’t let go, no matter if Bella gave a tug, Jeri was holding on tightly. “Can I have it back, please?” she asked softly as she tried to take a step back, so Klaus was in front of her.

“Jeri, darling,” Kol said sweetly. “You’re doing it again.”

“She has strong magic in her blood,” she murmured. “It is unnatural.”

“We know, just let go of her before my brother thinks you’re going to take her away from him,” he crooned and squeezed her shoulder. “On top of that, I believe you’re scaring our little social recluse.”

She tilted her head to the side slightly for a moment before she reluctantly let go. “I would need some of her blood – and his. To know what it is that they have done.”

“They arranged for a witch to use Klaus’ blood to make sure no vampire could turn her, that’s all.”

Jeri shook her head and waved his explanation off. “Yes, I see that already. But there is more to it. I need the untainted blood of Klaus’ and hers now to compare and to figure out. I could have answers in as little as a few days. Maybe less if the powers are cooperative.”

Klaus thought for a moment and shook his head. “If – if – I’m going to hand over some of my blood, Kol is going to keep an eye on you. Hell, I might even join him.”

The witch turned to look up at him, her own nerves over what she sensed unsettling. “I would expect nothing less, especially from what I’ve gathered from your attachment to her blood. It is yours after all.”

Kol beamed at his brother. “I told you; she’s good.”

Klaus huffed. “Very well, you can start tomorrow. We’ll arrange space for you to work in.”

“Klaus is going to see if Bella can handle a lot of people at once,” Kol explained. “Hence his impatience to get away from us.” He wrapped his arms around Jeri and started to nuzzle her neck. “Relax, darling, I’m sure their blood won’t explode upon impact.”

She huffed as she watched Klaus and Bella walk off, relaxing in her lover’s arms. “You never know with some crazy magic practitioners.”

“Would you want to join the party or shall we have a party of our own?” Kol smirked as his hand traveled over her torso over her dress and squeezed her inner thigh. “What do you say?”

“Fuck,” she groaned as she turned around and kissed him eagerly.

Klaus proudly lead Bella down the stairs, making sure nobody was lurking underneath the stairs to take a peek underneath her skirt. He could feel the anxiety in her body rise, and he simply held on to her. “Most of the vampires you’ve seen before. They’re ours,” he murmured. “There are a handful of witches, most likely only here to check up on us and see what we’re up to, and some werewolves. Nobody here is going to hurt you.”

“So many people and it’s so loud!”

“I agree, I tend to like a more refined sort of party. Such as a ball. We’ll host a ball over Christmas, I promise. You will love it,” he lead her towards the cold buffet. “Are you hungry?”

“I think I’m too nervous to eat.”

“You have to eat something,” he said encouragingly and grabbed a plate for her. “How about some fruit?”

“What if this dress gets spilled upon?”

“Then it gets spilled upon, no harm done. We get you out of the dress and buy you another.”

Bella smirked as she looked up to him. “So I’ll be naked until you buy me a new one? What will you do to me while I’m naked?”

“Did Rebekah put you up to this?” He questioned as he put some fresh fruit on her plate.

“No, it’s all me,” she grinned. “And maybe she did… a little… But I think it’s the dress. It certainly is the dress’ fault.”

“Of course it’s the dress’ fault,” he smiled at her. “And to answer your question, what would you like me to do while you are naked? I could cover you up like earlier today.”

Bella looked up at him, her lips pouting as she recalled the experience. “No, that blanket was itchy on my skin.”

“We’ll get you another one.”


He was taken aback at her strong response and looked back to her to gauge her sincerity. To determine if she might have been compelled to be so brazen with him as she had yet to be this…forthcoming before. “No?”

“No,” she smiled at him as she took a grape off her plate and popped it in her mouth before finding the cherries. She absolutely loved cherries. “Can I have some of those too?”

Klaus pulled in a breath through his nose as his eyes darted to where she pointed. He immediately looked back up to her, and his blue eyes darkened as they narrowed. “What game are you playing dear Bella?” he asked as he gave her a playful smile, slowly adding a few pieces of the fruit for her.

“I love cherries,” she said with a shrug.

“Yes. I recall that breakfast vividly,” he mumbled, more to himself as he continued to eye her cautiously.

“I like bananas too, but you haven’t gotten that out here…” she said with a slight pout.

Klaus only hummed as he nodded before letting out a breath and smiled devilishly. “Oh, I am sure we can rectify that…”

She then looked up at him as she took a step closer to him. “I could have yours…”

“You could…” he responded, his voice soft as he looked upon her, the party around them all but a blur. “First, please answer a question for me, Love. What brought about this sudden change? Not that I am objecting.”

“I really like you and… and you probably think I do that because of some… weird, misguided sense of obligation due to my past…” she observed his face for some response. “Don’t get me wrong, I’m really grateful for what your family has done for me and continues to do for me. But I know that what I’m feeling for you… is what I’m genuinely feeling for you. I talked to Rebekah about it and… she more or less confirmed what I was feeling was the real thing. And I could wait a million more years for you to make the first move but I don’t want that.”

Klaus’ lips twitched, fighting against the triumphant grin that wanted to come out at her own revelation of her emotions but the fact that they centered on him had him feeling humbled. “Well then, how about we take our party somewhere a little more private and discuss this some more?”

“Can we bring the fruit?”

“Anything you want, Love,” he said as his eyes scanned the crowd. He saw that all was in order but was just as eager to depart and finally gave into the desires he’d refused himself for months.

She sought Rebekah in the crowd as they walked towards the stairs with a big smile on her face, and when she found her, Rebekah gave Bella two thumbs up. Of course, she had been listening in. Bella was so glad she didn’t screw this up with Klaus. She had been so worried that he’d think otherwise and that he’d refuse her, but he didn’t. At least not yet.


Bella stopped in her tracks halfway up the stairs as she turned around to the voice calling her name. “Mom?” she stammered, blinking at her and unsure if she should let go of Klaus and fling herself around Rosalie’s neck or stay right beside him for safety.

Within moments, they were surrounded by Klaus’ siblings, Marcel and some of the vampires who were working security that night. The convergence didn’t cause many eyes on them from the partying crowd, but enough to cause a slight murmur going around.

Rosalie defensively held up her hands. “Please, I’m not here to hurt her or to take her away,” she spoke quietly as she looked at Klaus. “Is there somewhere we can talk, privately?”

“Very well,” Klaus said as he was glad he was holding Bella’s dinner plate. He would have gone straight for Rosalie’s head if this hadn’t been the case. “Kol. Bring your witch, we’re going downstairs.”

The younger brother glared at the Cold One and merely nodded his agreement before turning and setting off to collect his girlfriend that he knew was nearby watching safely. “Anything else brother?”

“No,” Klaus said with a low growl and motioned for the entire party to escort Rosalie to the basement, to the same area he had Jacob in before. It was going to be their little Cullen containment area now. Yes, it was fitting.

Bella didn’t know what to think. She was holding on to Klaus, and while she knew that she shouldn’t be afraid of Rosalie, she felt herself shaking a little bit. She hated it when things she suspected came true and despite for her have said that she wasn’t there to take Bella away, she couldn’t help but think the opposite.

Klaus knew that for Bella’s true safety, she should be somewhere else entirely, but when he compared her reaction to Jacob with her reaction to Rosalie, he could tell that she trusted her. Klaus didn’t, but he hoped, for Bella’s sake, that he was wrong. “I want you to contain her if she starts to escape,” he told Jeri, who huffed a response. “What?”

“You could add a please to that, or, better yet, ask me. Don’t tell me what to do. I’m not working for you. I’m not another tool on your belt, got that?”

Bella blinked at that. The only two women she had heard speak like that to Klaus were Cami and Rebekah. This girl had some balls.

“Please?” Klaus sighed as he had Bella sit down on a chair and handed her her plate of fruit. He wanted his hands free.

“Gotcha, boss.”

He fought the urge to snap her neck and turned his attention to Rosalie, who had a frightened look on her face. He dismissed Marcel and his vampires as he and Kol were more than capable of handling a Cold One, especially with a witch on their side. “If you honestly mean no harm, I advise you to speak now.”

“The mutt was here, wasn’t he?” The first words Rosalie spoke since they were on the stairs, and it was about Jacob. She was scrunching her nose as if she was smelling something foul. “I’m sorry, his scent is quite distracting. I was fortunate not to live in the main building.”

“Why are you here?” Bella asked softly, staring at her plate before looking up to Rosalie. “You should have stayed away.”

“I can’t believe you’re talking,” Rosalie smiled at her, letting out a sigh of relief. “Are they treating you well? Not like my brother?”

Bella nodded. “Why are you here?” She repeated.

The Cold One’s face fell slightly as she had been casually dismissed by the girl she had raised. The emotion, the hurt that flashed across her face was quick as she looked down briefly before she faced her and her new family again. “I wanted to be sure that you were truly safe. And to warn you and your new family. The others are searching for you. They know you are out here and that you are with traditionals – just not with whom exactly. All they know is that the shifter wolf got you out and were following his crumbs and if he found you and then I… It will only be a matter of time. Emmett is an excellent tracker, and I know how to evade him, but even then, he still follows Carlisle’s word as law.”

Klaus noticed that Bella had gone rigid upon the mention of those names and moved between her and the Cold One. “What I don’t understand is that while you wish her no harm, you come here to tell her that your family is out looking for her?” He had to count to ten, no matter how genuine the woman sounded, his teeth were on edge.

“To warn you. Take her from here. Anywhere they won’t find her! I didn’t want this for her, any of what Carlisle did! I tried to stop him, but I couldn’t. He had all of them against me and the only ones that backed me were captured and imprisoned for treason,” she argued. “She deserves more that what she suffered with Edward and trust me that they only intend to pull her back to that life. It’s not like she would ever find the only one that can turn her! Carlisle won’t tell any of us what he did to her!”

Klaus blinked at that. “What do you mean by that? I’m the only one who can turn her?”

Jeri raised an eyebrow as she paid closer attention as the vampire continued, coming closer to the bars in her distress. “I don’t know! I just know that whoever’s blood he used in his mad scientist experiment bound her to them. Bella couldn’t be taken by the traditionals we had around if they decided to have a morality kick, as in turn her or take her. He got friendly with a witch who helped him bind her to someone that she had no chance of ever coming in contact with that could turn her. That is all I know.”

The witch turned to look at the young woman and frowned. “It makes sense. She has no human blood in her but still smells human,” she pointed out to him. “It has to be a part of the spell used.”

“No human blood?” Kol spluttered as he looked at her. “She’s human, of course, she has human blood in her.”

“She is but for all intents and purposes, she can be considered a hybrid as she has Klaus’ blood in her veins. Despite it being unpure with the magic in it,” she explained. “That’s the binding that this Carlisle did it sounds. He replaced her blood with a spelled sample of the hybrid, turning hers into his. Quite ingenious really. I imagine he practically destroyed his lab with that witch when they performed this spell.”

“I don’t remember much, really. Only that I had to drink something.” Bella said as she popped a cherry in her mouth.

Jeri smiled sweetly as she eyed the girl. “Dear, please ease up with the fruit. I don’t think your boyfriend can control himself much more. He does need to focus on the more pressing matters before tending to other needs,” she teased.

“I’m hungry. He said I could have fruit,” she said defensively.

“Just not the cherries,” she murmured as she smiled up at the hybrid man innocently, raising an eyebrow mockingly. “Save them for the bedroom.”

“I genuinely can’t see what you mean, they’re just cherries. And I like them.”

Kol reached for Bella’s plate and removed the cherries, starting to munch on them himself.

Klaus let out a low growl and looked at Rosalie. “If you cared so much about her, why didn’t you simply pack up and leave?”

“For one, would you simply pack up and leave your family even though they’re not the sanest people to be around? And two, I was all by myself. The only allies I had were locked up in prison, and the other one was working closely to the higher ups. To be on the run with a small child? Please.”

Jeri snorted. “She has you there. You’ve been known to dagger your siblings and cart them around in boxes when things don’t go your way,” she spoke up as she perched herself up on the table beside Bella.

“He does?” Bella blinked at Jeri. “How do you know?”

“Oh yeah! But he hasn’t done it in some time. Word gets around with witches. He’s got quite the reputation, but most witches don’t like vampires. I happen to be quite fond of them. Especially the bad boys,” she grinned wickedly as she looked to Kol.

“Kol, put a muzzle on your witch before she says something else that I wasn’t prepared to tell Bella yet,” Klaus warned his brother.

“She’s been taking sips of my blood for the last week or so after she and I agreed that we’d like to enjoy each other a bit longer. Kill her, and you’ll make my day because she’ll only return, and you’ll be worse off.”

“I’ll just kill her again.”

“Somehow I doubt that. She’d feed you your testicles for lunch and rip out your intestines to wrap around your neck.”

Jeri merely continued to smile back at Klaus as he glared at his brother and her as he pondered the threat and overconfidence the two shared. There was more they weren’t sharing, and it unnerved him with the untold secrets. He turned back to Rosalie and tiredly rubbed his eyes. “Did he use Bella for more experiments? Do you think there’s long lasting damage?”

“If he did, I have no knowledge of it,” Rosalie answered sincerely. “Bella was taken from my care when she turned eighteen and given to my brother. I tried to stop it, but even my own husband stopped me.”

“But they experimented on her before that and operated on her?”

“Yes. As soon as she was able to begin to conceive, our father performed a hysterectomy. I fought tooth and nail against that, but he did not want any more children around the property. It wasn’t until later, after seeing how Bella responded to his – methods, that he considered finding me another infant to raise. I just wanted my Bella, my daughter. They were all insane following him like some deity.”

“You do realize that while she appears to be fully functional, she’ll always be damaged? You should have found somewhere safe for yourself to run and hide with if you truly wanted her to be a normal, human girl.”

Rosalie shook her head and closed her eyes. “I don’t care if you kill me. They are going to burn me when they find me anyway for leaving them as I have. I just had to make sure that she was truly safe and see that she was happy with my own eyes after what they had done. If that isn’t enough then I feel sorry for you,” she said as she stepped back and sat on the floor against the farthest wall away from them, turning away.

“You should go and find Peter,” Bella eventually spoke. “I’m sure Jasper and Alice are with him. You’ll be safe.”

Klaus looked over his shoulder as he narrowed his eyes on her in question. “Who is this Peter, love?” he asked as gently as he could, pushing his anger and jealousy down.

“Peter was Gentleman of the bedchambers to Edward. He helped him bathe and dress and things like that. He went where Edward went, most of the time. And if he was around, and I was still hurt from the last time, he turned people away. Or suggested to Edward that I had to take a hot bath to rest up. Sometimes, he even lied to other people about my state. I didn’t know it then, but he was looking out for me the best that he could,” Bella replied, taking a breath. “When Edward would give me to Peter to use, we just talked. Or he talked, and I listened. Or I’d fall asleep, safe for a couple of hours.”

“Peter was a good actor,” Kol piped up. “Even I believed his big stories about what he had done to Bella or what he was going to do. Didn’t like him.”

“That’s because he’s gifted. He knew what and when he needed to do something, or where to be. The asshole is annoying like that,” Rosalie muttered from the shadows of her prison. “I wouldn’t doubt that if this comes to a battle, he will show up in the middle just to fuck with everyone simply because he likes Bella.”

“So go to him. You’ll be safe,” Bella said encouragingly. “Klaus promised you amnesty.”

“I didn’t want her to know that, love,” Klaus sighed with a small smile on his lips. Sometimes, Bella was too much of an innocent. “That’s what we call leverage or the element of surprise.”

“We like scaring people and then releasing them when they’re telling the truth,” Kol grinned.

Rosalie looked between each of them, her enhanced eyesight trying to pick up on the nuances in their facial expressions. “Is this true? She isn’t lying for you?”

“No,” Klaus shook her head. “Bella seems to be unable to tell a lie. She’s the purest of hearts and enjoys making things quite complicated sometimes while with different things, she finds the simplest answer. She’s a delight to have around.”

“And sometimes quite frustrating,” Kol said with a nod as he opened the cell.

“But, as I’ve told Bella, should you show your face here again, unannounced, we will take out all our frustrations and anger on you,” Klaus added as he looked at the woman. “If I find out you inform your family about who she’s with, I will hunt you down.”

Rosalie nodded and looked past him to Bella as he refused to budge to allow her by. “Treat her like the angel she is,” she told him. “I will hunt you down like the angry mother that I would be.”

“Oh, don’t worry about that,” Kol snickered as he took a step back towards Jeri. “She has him wrapped all around her little finger.”

“No, I don’t,” Bella said as she watched Kol eat the last cherry.

“Sure you don’t,” the witch muttered. “If we’re done here, I’d like to take some blood from the two of you so that I can work on figuring out what the bastard did first thing in the morning. There is a party upstairs, and we had other plans to tend to tonight,” she implied as she ran her hand up the back of her vampire’s neck and into his hair.

“I said you’d get our blood tomorrow,” Klaus said as he turned to the witch.

Bella got to her feet and walked over to Rosalie to hug her tightly. “You’re so cold,” she whispered.

“I could take it without your knowing you know,” she pointed out. “I thought I would just be nice and ask for it. I’ll wait, but I thought I would start and let the two of you sleep in tomorrow so that Kol and I can begin early. No need to be a sour puss. Geez, you really need to get laid. You’re such a grouch.”

Klaus let out a snarl and blinked when he didn’t see Bella sit on her chair anymore. Turning around, he saw that she was hugging Rosalie. Damn that witch for taking his mind off of Bella. He wanted to tear her away from the Cold One, to protect her, to make sure she was alright, but decided against it.

“Let her have her goodbye,” Jeri said as she watched the two.

“Shut up,” Klaus said as he carefully eyed Bella and Rosalie.

She smiled playfully. “Make me.”

“No need for bloodshed in front of Bella. Play nice,” Kol said soothingly. “Let’s go back to our own party.”

Her smile fell as she looked upon the girls and nodded absently. “If it’s any consolation. I don’t think she’ll see her again after this. Not for a long time at least. See you in the morning, Klaus,” she said as she bid a quiet goodnight and followed her beau out silently.

“Promise me you’ll go to Peter.”

Rosalie sighed and nodded. “I promise. I’ll do my best.”

“I’m okay, Mom. They’re taking real good care of me, and I haven’t been hurt, and no man has touched me the way they used to do,” she smiled up to her, still hugging her tightly. “I have my own room and Klaus made paintings for it. They are gorgeous. I never had paintings in my room before. Or a room of my own that I can remember.”

The Cold One glanced up to Klaus over her shoulder with doubt as she held her close as she saw exactly how possessive he was of her. “You are sure that no one has tried anything? You might not remember…”

“There was this one vampire that had his teeth sunk into her, but my second in command caught him and dealt with him,” Klaus said remorsefully. “She doesn’t remember, but she knows about it as we’ve told her.” He hesitated for a moment as he studied the woman. Coming to a decision, he nodded more to himself. “Bella, if you would like to show your mother your room before she leaves us, you are more than welcome. I only ask that you have Marcel or Rebekah at your side. I must speak with Elijah over what we learned here.”

“Now? Can’t that wait until tomorrow?”

Rosalie shook her head with a sad smile. “I’m sorry Bella but the longer I stay around, the more danger you would be in with me here. I would need to put as much distance between us. I came only to give you all the heads up to take precautions against the family. You are in a much better place here than I could ever give you now. I am so proud of you Bella. Show me your life here!”

“Okay,” she let go of Rosalie and hugged Klaus. “Thank you,” she smiled up to him before letting him go too and took Rosalie’s hand before dragging her back upstairs. Rebekah was already waiting on top of the stairs with a smile on her face. “Rose, this is Rebekah. Rebekah, this is my Mom.”

“I would say it’s a pleasure, but I am sure you understand my reservations given the circumstances. I overheard my brother’s permissions,” Rebekah smiled politely to the opposing blond that she felt threatened her position with the girl. “As long as we are clear that there will be no funny business, we should get along just fine until your visit is over.”

“I don’t want any funny business,” Rosalie replied as she looked at the woman. “If you’ve overheard your brother’s permission, then you already heard me saying that I don’t plan on staying for too long as that would only endanger Bella even further.”

The original vampire nodded silently, smiling sweetly only to Bella before turning on her heel to lead them through the compound to bypass the party guests. “Would you like some blood before you leave and to take with you? We have plenty of blood bags on hand,” she offered as they neared the kitchen.

“No, thank you. I’m a vegetarian.”

“Are you a broken vampire?” she questioned. “The last vegetarian I knew was a ripper. Much more fun.”

“I’ve had animal blood for too long that I’m afraid I won’t be able to control myself when drinking human blood,” Rosalie answered candidly. “Bella’s not the only one who’s dealing with influences from the past.”

Rebekah hummed thoughtfully. “Perhaps one day, if Klaus is open to it, he may offer to help. I cannot guarantee it, and I doubt it would be anytime soon. His resentment for your family is too strong right now, as is the rest of our family when it comes to Bella. But do know that he is aware of a method that can help you and it is his choice to offer it. Especially now that it seems that we have acquired a witch into our family.”

“I’ll be okay. Granted, I’d be stronger when feeding upon humans, but I’m not severely disadvantaged by the change of diet. Blood is blood, and there are plenty of deer. However, the men in our family did drink human blood. They are stronger. Especially my husband Emmett, he is one to look out for.”

“So that you couldn’t fight back. I fight that deplorable. Bella? What was one of the first things that I said to you when you came to us?” Rebekah asked as she stared the other vampire down.

“Us girls need to stick together,” Bella replied with a nod. “Rebekah was teaching me some self-defense. How to kill a vampire like her if they attacked me. Like Buffy the Vampire Slayer.”


“We discovered it helps her a lot when watching fictional people on a TV screen,” Rebekah explained as she stopped in front of Bella’s room. “But that’s right, the first thing I said to Bella was that us girls need to stick together. Men always think they’re smarter than us, stronger. It’s a good thing they don’t think highly of us in most matters so we can surprise them, and the look on their faces is just priceless.”

“Oh!” Bella smiled widely. “You should have seen Klaus’ face when I kissed him!” Bella giggled. “Or when Jeri talked back to him!”

“She did? The girl has some balls. If she sticks around as you do, we should induct her into our girls’ pact, don’t you think?” Rebekah smiled at Bella, who nodded in response. She then opened the door to Bella’s room. “Bella’s room is unlocked, but she can lock it if she wants to. We had to adjust the faucets in the bathroom because of her bathing habits from her time with your family.”

Rosalie nodded. “I understand. Carlisle’s approach to her was very scientific and well calculated. Thank you for taking her safety in regard.”

“Well, I’ll give you some time. I will be just outside the door if you need me, Bella – listening,” she said as she looked to the girl before walking out.

“This bed is incredible,” Bella said as she pointed at it. “It’s so soft and warm and comfy. And I sit in the window a lot, just to look outside if Klaus is busy.”

Rosalie sat carefully as she looked around at the paintings that had been mentioned earlier, noticing a certain theme to them. “What do you do when you are not in your room? Besides the training with Rebekah.”

“Kol and I run a few rounds around the compound, and I often watch Klaus paint. I even have my own spot on the sofa and a blanket for when I fall asleep,” she said with a grin. “I offered them to do chores, but they have paid staff to do them.”

“You do know their kind of vampire is capable of controlling your mind? Have they done anything like that?” Rebekah hissed from the hallway in warning.

“No, not that I know of,” she said as she sat on her bed. “Well, there’s this one time. Rebekah told me that I was something called… Uhm… hypersexual and that it was distracting for everyone?” She reached for her dresser and showed Rosalie her vibrator. “It worked for a while, and then it didn’t. Now I don’t use it anymore. Klaus did that, though. Compelling me not to offer myself to everyone. But he lifted it a while ago, and I’m doing fine.” She put the toy back in her dresser. “I know they may not tell me everything, probably for my sake in their belief. But they haven’t deliberately lied or hurt me. Everything they’ve done was to help me. I trust them. I love Rebekah as I love you, Mom. I love Kol like I loved Peter. I – love Klaus. I even like Elijah. And have you any idea how amazing it is to be allowed to feel? To actually feel? It’s like breathing; I need it.”

Rosalie wished she was capable of crying because if she could, she would be. Standing from her seat, she quietly made her way over to her daughter and gently kissed her forehead as she held her face in her cold hands. “I love you, Bella. Forever. No matter how things turn out. Remember that. I will try to send word to your family if I find Peter and his group. You promise me that you hold onto this family and never let them go. You never let them go without a fight,” she said strongly as she stared into the girl’s dark brown eyes.

“I won’t, Mom, I won’t. Not unless they tire of me, but I won’t let go.”

“I can assure you they won’t. Especially your vampire. He’s rather a handsome one, and he is infatuated with you,” she teased. “You just make sure you give that one hell. I really should get on the road now though, and I’m sure he is waiting for you.”

Bella nodded. “Be careful, mom. Find Peter and be safe. I’ll be okay.” She bravely smiled up to her, withholding her tears. “Despite everything, I do love you.”

Rosalie planted another kiss on Bella’s head before turning around and speeding out of the building.

She took a deep breath and sat down on her bed, slightly dazed and emotional from the encounter. But she did well, Bella was proud of herself. She felt sorry for her mother and hoped she’d be able to find Peter and not run into Emmett. Or any of the other vampires who were under Carlisle’s reign. Taking a deep breath, she managed to collect herself eventually and got off the bed. She greeted Rebekah with a big smile on her face. “Thank you, Rebekah.”

Rebekah smiled back and held her arms open, not usually one to give hugs but knew that that the girl would be in need of one. “Anytime love. Come here,” she said, pulling her into her embrace. “Do you feel better?”

“No, not really… I’m now worried,” Bella murmured as she tightened her hold on Rebekah. “Although I am glad she was the one who arrived and not someone else.”

“I am sure she will be alright. Klaus knows she is important to you. I doubt he would just let her go off without someone tracking her. He just won’t tell anyone because he wants to be seen as the tough guy,” she winked. “Come now. He is probably chomping at the bit to have you by now.”

“No doubt he wants to check me over for any damage,” she said with a snort.

Rebekah smirked. “Check you over, sure. For damage, not so much. You really did not see how he stared at you all evening?”

“Of course I did, I just thought that was because I kissed him earlier.”

“I am sure it’s what ignited it, but you gave him the go ahead. Are you ready for that now? Because if you aren’t, he will wait,” she said as she stopped short with concern.

“Of course I am,” she smiled brightly at Rebekah. “I think that if I don’t get to feel his hands on me that I might explode, and you’ll have to scrape me off the walls. Brain matter and plasma and hair…”

“Please, Bella don’t…I don’t need to hear this. It’s bad enough with Kol and his witch being near my room. Thankfully Klaus’ room is nowhere near!”

“The party’s not over yet,” Bella smiled at her. “You and Marcel always seem to hit it off very well, try to seduce him.”

She sighed as they crossed the balcony and glanced over. “We have had our story, once upon a time. He chose Klaus over me; then there were other complications with our father that drove us from New Orleans. Needless to say, the history there is complicated and one that I don’t know if I want to revisit. You just worry about your happiness tonight. Don’t worry about the party.”

Bella hugged Rebekah again. “Have a good night then, Rebekah. Tell me all about the party tomorrow.” And with that, Bella quietly opened the door to Klaus’ quarters and closed it behind her after having gotten in.


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