Peter had been quietly observing the brothers and Bella and was surprised at her eyes, how they flashed amber instead of red, a color he came to associate with traditional vampires. “Tell me about Bella. She’s not an ordinary vampire, is she?”
“No, she’s not,” Kol said, his eyes fixed on his brother. “My girlfriend spent days, weeks, even, trying to figure out what exactly had been done to Bella when it comes to the magic that made her… almost immune to dying and resistant to turning.”
“I always wished that they wouldn’t have done that. It was torture to see her so drained afterwards. I can’t imagine what her heart must have looked like after a few arrests. Carlisle always managed to get it pumping again and fill her up with blood.”
“The potion he had given her ensured that no matter what blood entered her body, it would magically turn into a bastardized version of Nik’s. Additionally, some of his genetic makeup was absorbed into her. Not changing her one bit, but enough to have her werewolf side triggered when she killed.”
“So she’s not a vampire?”
“Oh, she is. She is what we call a hybrid. Nik’s one, obviously.”
Peter’s eyes widened as he realized what the information meant. “When exactly did she change?” He asked curiously.
“Around six weeks ago.”
The Cold One couldn’t help but laugh as he scratched the back of his head. “Well, that explains why Alice suddenly couldn’t see her anymore. Shit. Wow… Holy fuck!”
“What?” Klaus said as he took a sip of his alcohol, grateful that one of the servants had been observant enough to bring one over. She deserved a raise.
“Alice does have limitations to her gift, no matter how powerful she thinks she can be. Rather annoying, the little bitch can be but she’s my friends wife. What can I say? In any case, Alice can’t see wolves. Which explains why she hasn’t been able to keep an eye on Bella to make sure she was alright. We almost came back when that red head took off with her, but she assured Jasper and I that she saw one of you there to handle her. It wasn’t one of you from who she described.”
“Interesting,” Klaus said thoughtfully. “Bella sent her mother your way. I hear you talk about this Alice and Jasper, but nothing of Rosalie. She never arrived, did she?”
“Sadly, no,” Peter said regrettably. “We found her head on a pike just outside Baton Rouge and the area around it was smouldering so…” he took a deep breath. “We buried her remains in a field.”
“As I said, they’re very close, it’s only a matter of time before they find her.”
“Not necessarily,” Kol said as he thought. “Jeri might know a spell or two to cancel out Bella’s scent, hide the compound from prying eyes.”
“Or you could leave.”
Kol snorted. “That one time in the Bayou after Jessica took her, shook her up even further. She doesn’t dare to set foot outside, and we’re not going to compel her to do so.”
“She may not even be capable of being compelled any longer,” Klaus murmured. “None of us have attempted it since she has turned. She hasn’t had the usual turning, why should she be the same in that sense?”
“You reckon she’s like us but with the weakness of an ordinary vampire?”
“I’m not willing to test that theory,” Klaus said reluctantly.
“Well, I am,” Kol smirked as he got to his feet. “Hey, little mooner?! Would you like to come down for us and have me test something on you?”
“Does that involve grabbing Klaus’ cherries and squishing them?” Bella popped up from the balcony.
Jeri flashed to her side and leaned on the railing, narrowing her eyes at her boyfriend. “What are you looking to do to her?”
“Just a theory. Figuring something out. Harmless and you can be a witness if you don’t trust us.”
“You are not going to dagger her, you asshole!”
“No,” Kol rolled his eyes at her. “Something far less traumatic. You see, daggering isn’t the only thing that sets us apart from other vampires, babe.”
She looked to Bella and shrugged a shoulder, knowing it was her decision if she wanted to go through with what the idiots wanted to try. “It’s up you. I’ll fry their asses if they pull something shady.”
“Fine,” Bella muttered. “As long as you do it, Kol, and not that banana of a Klaus.”
“She’s not swearing?” Peter snorted as Klaus rolled his eyes.
“She calls us food related things as an insult, but I think that comes from her obsession with it,” Kol shrugged. “It’s quite endearing, really.”
Bella and Jeri went downstairs again, and Bella ignored Klaus, going immediately towards Kol. “I’m here, what do you want me for?”
“You know how we can compel humans and other vampires, don’t you? Jessica did it to you, and I did it to Jessica.”
“Yes…” Bella said slowly, not liking the direction this was going.
“We haven’t tried to compel you after you turned. Can I please try?” Kol smiled at her. “I promise I won’t let you do anything you wouldn’t want to do in the first place or something bad. Jeri will keep an eye on you and will fry our asses when I do something stupid.”
Bella let out a breath and nodded. “Fine.”
He got to his feet and looked her in the eyes. “Bella, I know my brother is an asshole, but you must forgive him for not telling you about Katherine and his other conquests.”
Bella was quiet for a moment and saw the hopeful look on Kol’s face.
“Do you understand, mooner?” he caressed a strand of hair out of her face, giving her the perfect opportunity to retaliate and bit his arm. “Ouch!”
“Yeah, right,” Bella huffed. “Try that on me again and I’ll find Niklaus’ stake, wherever the mutt is hiding it in this place.”
“That’s my girl,” Jeri said proudly with a big smile on her face. “Did you have to bite him, though?”
“He won’t die from it,” Bella muttered as she walked away. “Either way, he’ll have you or Klaus to cure him if he doesn’t want to ride out the insanity. Right now they both need to stay away from me before I’ll do worse. And I don’t want to do worse.”
“I do have to admit, the idea of seeing Kol lose his mind for a while… it opens certain doors,” Jeri said with a grin.
“Klaus, please, give me some of your blood,” Kol said as he looked at the wound on his arm. “Your girlfriend bit me.”
“You decided to want to test a theory on my angry hybrid lover. I think that it’s your mistake and not mine,” Klaus said, taking another sip of his bourbon. “However, it’s safe to say that she is indeed like us. Unless you want to dagger her to test another theory?”
“I don’t want to hurt her, Nik,” Kol spat at him, waving his injured arm in front of his brother’s face. “Give me your blood.”
“And neither do I! Which is why I was reluctant to tell her such details that you seemed so happy to divulge! I’m not giving you my blood!”
“What did I do to piss you off?”
“Nothing! I’m on Team Bella! Love you!”
“Walk the plank, Kol, I just bit you, I’m not going to give you my blood!”
“Oh, that was so close to a good swear,” Kol grinned as he flopped in his chair and smirked at Peter. “She’s got fire.”
Klaus took a few moments to compose himself before addressing himself to Peter. “It’s safe to say that things are slightly… chaotic at the moment. Would you mind returning tomorrow when hopefully everything’s back to normal?”
“Oh, don’t mind me, I’m easily amused,” Peter said with a big, knowing smile on his face. “But I take it you have a history with Katherine then? It explains why she left all of a sudden when Kol came to live with us.”
“Katherine has a long history with all of us, yes,” Klaus reluctantly replied. “She’s made things miserable for us, and frankly, she’s a manipulative bitch.”
“And that’s mildly put,” Kol pointed out.
“But, should our paths cross again, I shall not hesitate to end her,” Klaus said truthfully.
“And what about the blonde Kol told Bella about?” Peter smirked.
“Recent but ancient history. No one ever said no to me before, and that intrigued me. Of course, I tried to manipulate everyone around her in retaliation, but still… Bella is where my heart lies, as much as I’m hesitant to share that fact.”
“Yeah, she’s special, isn’t she?”
Klaus nodded as he took another sip of his drink. “Now, about those Cullens.”
“Emmett is the one you should look out for. He’s the strongest of them, and Bella’s adoptive father. However, his head has always been with Carlisle and not with his wife and daughter. If you weren’t loyal and disobeyed orders, you’d be destroyed or, if you were human, you were used as a snack. The lie was that they had been kicked out. With the family… well, he set a great example with Jasper and Alice by locking them up. Killing family members was forbidden but he sure as hell could make their lives miserable for as long as he saw fit. Apart from Jasper and Alice, Carlisle created every single member of his family and could brainwash them from the start to be loyal to him, that his way was the only way to survive.”
“What about rational thinking?”
Peter shrugged. “Carlisle was their creator, who were they to go against him? Edward’s naturally twisted. He likes the attention he gets from Carlisle, the freedom, the presents. He’s his favourite son, and they won’t let anything, or anyone, stop them from getting their favourite toy back. As for the humans in league with him… Carlisle was, and still is, charming. They worshipped him, them, for their charm, good looks and longevity.”
“Humans are fickle and obsessed with youth. Carlisle used his position as a doctor to gain more followers from all around, as he travels a lot and comes into contact with a lot of people. Whenever he goes, he takes his wife with him and leaves his mistresses at home. He promotes love, unity and wealth. Acceptance.”
“How did you end up there?”
Not deterred by the cross-examination, Peter continued. “I wanted to save Jasper from making a big mistake and then had to stay when he got in trouble. I couldn’t leave my best friend, my brother, behind. The three, well, four, of us didn’t have the power to overturn Carlisle’s rule. Now that the tables are turned, and Bella’s with you, we might have a chance to get rid of him. I’m sure the Volturi would rather see them gone as well, after all the attention they pulled towards themselves. The cleaners are working overtime.”
Klaus slowly nodded. He wasn’t sure if he could believe a word the man was saying, but in a way, he liked him. “I have to admit, I’d rather eradicate every single one of you Cold Ones for messing with Bella like that. However, as with any group, there are a handful of good people.”
“He’s good,” Kol muttered. “I read his mind. I believe him.”
“We’ll have to see about that, but for now, I’m willing to give you the benefit of the doubt. Should you cross me, or hurt Bella in any way, I will not hesitate to kill you like I’ve killed the wolf.”
“It’s all good, Klaus,” Peter smiled at him. “You’ll accept our help then?”
“I think you and your friends have just as much reason to seek revenge as Bella does, as long as she gets the chance to do some damage herself for therapeutic reasons.”
“Of course, I’ll even hold the fucker down if she can’t reach for him.”
Klaus smirked at that. “I’d like to meet your associates. Can you bring them here, tomorrow?”
“Then rejoin us tomorrow, I’ll make sure you get to see more of Bella.”
Kol huffed. “Jeri’s siding with her, I won’t be too sure about that.”
Klaus was mildly agitated when Bella didn’t join him in his bedroom that night. Kol had slept on his sofa after being kicked out by Jeri because she and Bella were having a girl’s night. Kol had started to unravel during the night, moaning and hallucinating, and Klaus had been unable to sleep. He’d wanted to snap his brother’s neck or even feed him his blood, but he figured it would be best to wait for Bella’s permission. He did not want to suffer the wrath of his love even further. And Rebekah was there too, also siding with Bella. Jessica hadn’t been invited, not that she’d mind, she was on the prowl in the city.
He had to restrain himself from scooping up his love at breakfast as she joined them wearing a new dress that looked a little bit more daring than the semi-modest ones she’d been wearing previously. She looked delicious. From the look on Jeri and Rebekah’s face, this had been a devious setup.
“Good morning,” the girls chorused as they marched in. While Jeri and Rebekah sat down at the table, Bella rounded the table towards him with her vampire face on.
“Love, your bite won’t affect me at all,” Klaus said with a soft smile. He wasn’t sure about that if he had to be honest. No werewolf bite affected him, ever, but Bella was special. It could very well be different.
She sat down on his lap, facing him and tore open a piece of his shirt for easier access. “Shut up,” she muttered before she sunk her teeth into his neck.
“What are you…” Klaus managed to bring out before letting out a soft groan. It felt so good to have her drink from him like that, and with her in his lap… Wait, was she staking her claim on him in front of his family? That was ridiculously hot. “Oh, I see…” he murmured before returning the gesture.
“Okay good, now that’s over and done with,” Kol said as he looked at Jeri. “Care to take care of me, sweetheart?”
Jeri huffed. “In your dreams.”
“Well, I’ve been dreaming about you last night.”
“Please, please, please,” Kol begged. “I don’t want to go through this any longer.”
Jeri sighed. “You’re pathetic.”
“Bella, I know you’re kinda busy right now, but he’s pathetic.”
Bella growled and sunk her teeth into Klaus’ neck deeper. Her eyes were closed as she swallowed gulps of his blood, moans echoing through her chest, vibrating against his body.
Klaus put his arms around her and got up from his seat before rushing them to his bedroom.
“Damnit!” Kol whined. “I’m sweaty all over; I look as if I’ve been yet again resurrected. Not handsome at all and I’m seeing images of you and bloody Davina having sex right in front of me and I just want my bed. Please, Jeri, please.”
“Oh for the love of God,” Rebekah sighed exasperated. “Cure him already.”
“Fine,” Jeri grumbled and put her hand on Kol’s arm to siphon out the magic.
They were having a quiet breakfast, all trying to ignore the sounds coming out of Klaus’ bedroom when their attention shifted to a sniffling, Jessica. While neither of them quite liked her, crying never bode well. Elijah was nowhere in sight. “Are you alright, Jessica?” Rebekah asked as the girl made her way over to her. She looked dishevelled, her makeup obviously runny from the crying, but parts of her outfit were hanging on by a thread. “Did you just come home?”
Jessica nodded as she sat down at the table. “I’ll be okay, it’s just…”
“Elijah told me to experience things I’ve never done before. I went out and partied all night, and it was great! The music, the atmosphere, the alcohol… The attention…” Jessica wiped the tears from her eyes with a big grin on her face. “I spent most of my time in the French Quarter but I met someone who said that there was a lot more fun to be had elsewhere, and I went along with him,” she took a sip of the water that Jeri placed in front of her. “Stupid, of course. But I was drunk and didn’t care.”
“He sent you out on your own?”
“No, I went with Diego and Raoul but I must have lost them somewhere. That party wasn’t a party, of course, just that guy. And he was nice at first but then… I think it was another vampire, I wasn’t strong enough to fight him off.” Jessica started to cry again. “I was so stupid! Elijah is going to kill me; I’ve really fucked up now!”
Rebekah and Jeri shared a look and sighed. “No, sweetie, I think Elijah will want to hunt the bastard down, just like we want to, it wasn’t your fault.”
“Do you remember his name?” Jeri asked as she rubbed the vampire’s back.
“Eddie. His name was Eddie, and he was new in town.”
“Eddie?” Kol blinked, suddenly intrigued. Sure, it was utter distasteful what had happened to Jessica, she didn’t need to say it, it was obvious, but by a guy named Eddie? “Do you remember what he looked like?”
“I don’t want to!” Jessica said as she pushed herself away from the table. “I’m going to take a long hot bath and pray to God that Elijah won’t reject me. Forget this happened. Please.”
“No!” She squeaked as she backed away from Kol. “Stay away from me! I want Elijah, and just him, and he’ll probably kill me for this anyway. Stay away!”
“What the bloody hell is going on?” Klaus called out from his balcony. There was blood trickling down his neck, but at least he had the decency to pull his pants back on.
“Jessica was assaulted last night,” Jeri explained as Rebekah followed the upset girl to her room. “By a fucker called Eddie, want to go hunting?”
He looked over his shoulder and immediately felt torn between the idea of a hunt and his Bella, who was sprawled out beautifully naked on his bed.
“I don’t think we should,” Kol said carefully, ducking when Jeri threw something at him. “Just hear me out!” he said defensively before lowering his voice to barely but a whisper so Bella couldn’t hear. “I asked her what he looked like because it might be Edward. I won’t know for sure until someone gets inside her head and tells me.”
“What the bloody hell do you think I’m doing?” Rebekah’s voice sounded. “Keep your shirt on brother.”
Kol scowled as he rolled his eyes before looking back up at his brother. “Kissed and made up have you? I hope you two settled your little relationship issues now.”
“We didn’t have any issues, Kol, but I promised her that I will no longer hide certain aspects of myself to her,” Klaus said calmly before closing the French doors again and joining Bella back in bed. If Jessica were assaulted by Edward, then he’d be in a world of hurt. More, really. There was a chance that this Eddie could be him; the Cullens had been close to New Orleans, according to that Peter guy. Maybe he specifically lured Jessica because he read her mind and saw Bella.
If that was the case… Sighing, he softly kissed Bella. “Get some rest, love, I have to deal with something and your Peter is coming by today with Jasper and Alice.”
“I’m not tired,” Bella said as she put her arms around his neck. “And you don’t have to deal with things. Deal with me.”
“Oh, but I plan on dealing with you tonight for another round,” he grinned and kissed her lips. “I’m just going to make sure that we have enough vampires in the compound should we get unexpected visitors. I’ll be back shortly.”
“Okay,” she said with a long, drawn out sigh. “I’ll make myself comfortable then,” she lazily stretched herself, arching her body into his as he was hovering over her. A big wide grin appeared on her face. “Are you sure?”
“Minx,” Klaus muttered, kissed her again and got off the bed in search for a clean shirt. When he walked into the courtyard, he could smell their guests already. When he turned to the entrance, he blinked. “I thought you wouldn’t come round until this afternoon?”
“Things changed, I’m afraid we don’t have much time left,” Peter replied solemnly. “May we come in so we can talk?”
Klaus nodded as he fumbled his phone out of his pocket and wrote his brother a message to come home immediately. “Rebekah! Kol!”
“Oh goodie, I get to participate!” Rebekah said joyously after making sure that Jessica was comfortable in Elijah’s room. She had tried to get inside Jessica’s mind, but all she saw was pure, raw emotion and just flashes. It had been unclear to her who her assailant was, but she was going to try again once the girl was asleep. “Where’s that wanker of a brother, Nik?”
“On his way.”
“Good, he will want to rip apart that asshole who messed with his girl,” she muttered before noticing Peter and his friends. “Hello. I’m Rebekah Mikaelson.”
“I’m Peter; this is Jasper and Alice.”
“Pleasure,” she said as she sat down in a chair and crossed her legs over each other as she waited for Elijah to arrive.
“I’m sorry, we can’t wait,” Peter said, rushed. “We thought we’d have another two months but for whatever reason Edward decided to come into New Orleans. As it was a last-minute decision, Alice couldn’t do anything about it. Something happened last night, and he knows that she’s here. Not just in the city, but the exact location.”
“We know what happened,” Kol said with a scowl. “I knew it! It’s his thing, isn’t it? Scanning people, finding what he needs and then charm the pants off of them, literally, before screwing them over – also literally.”
“It’s not her fault, Kol. The redhead’s mind was easy to read due to her inexperience,” Jasper said calmly. “However, we might now only have days if we’re lucky. He will come for her.”
“Over my dead body,” Klaus and Kol chorused and watched as Elijah sauntered in. “Where the hell have you been, brother?” Klaus asked him.
“I’ve been helping Marcel with setting up perimeters around the city, Niklaus, what have you been doing?” Elijah countered.
“Yeah well, those perimeters are too bloody late! Jessica paid the price for them!” Rebekah snapped.
Elijah blinked at that. “Please explain, sister.”
“Your newborn is upstairs resting right now, but she won’t let Kol or Nik near her try get a read on who attacked her during her night out, something you encouraged her to take. I could barely get glimpses, nothing concrete. Vampire or not, a girl can still be overpowered by another if she is unprepared,” she whispered the end.
Elijah wanted to rush upstairs, but Klaus took hold of his arm. “We need you here right now; you can go to her later,” he said gently.
“I thought you said we’d still have some time, Niklaus. Otherwise, we’d have set them up sooner,” Elijah looked grief-stricken. Of course, he did, but there wasn’t anything he could do at the moment. “I insisted on her having a fun night out with some of Marcel’s vampires because I thought it would still be safe for her. I would never do something to intentionally harm her or Bella, you know that, brother.”
“I’m in the mood for chicken and waffles,” Jeri said as she waved her hand and had things transport themselves from the kitchen to the table. “Oh, don’t forget the maple syrup.”
The other vampires just looked at the table for a moment and then at Jeri, who merely shrugged, sat down and grabbed a chicken leg to munch on. “I thought you were a vampire?” Peter eventually asked.
“But that was witchcraft.”
“I’m a hybrid,” Jeri shrugged again and continued eating her chicken leg. “Dig in, everyone.”
“Don’t you understand the gravity of the situation?” Alice blinked at the woman. “They’re in New Orleans. The only thing that will surprise them is that they think you’re regular traditional vampires. Not hybrids or Originals. They will burst through your defenses, and they will get to Bella.”
“And I’m from the Gemini Coven of witches. Klaus and Bella are hybrids. Let the bastard come,” she repeated as she stared at the pixie vampire. “One of our own was assaulted by the fucker. Be happy in me not running out there to chase the bastard down on my own. Now don’t piss me off!”
“Easy, no need to get angry,” Jasper said calmly. “Nothing will be resolved when you get upset.”
“Fuck you,” Jeri said as she grabbed a waffle and doused it in maple syrup. “I vote for taking action now. Flush them out and tear them apart.”
“And you’ll die,” Alice said sharply after a moment of silence. “Carlisle and Emmett are no doubt hatching a plan to move in swiftly and they don’t care about the casualties. Human or supernatural. If we go on the offense, they’ll punch through and take Bella.”
“As much as I hate waiting and being a sitting duck, a good defense is better than going in with force,” Jasper continued. “As Alice said, they think she’s with standard traditionals.”
Before Klaus could speak up and side with Jeri, Elijah spoke up. “I agree, whenever we’ve encountered vampires of their kind we never fought them, it was always civil. We don’t know what we’re up against.”
“Well, we could give you some training, you’ve got three of us here now,” Jasper said with a nod. “To have you prepared. How big is your army?”
“We have vampires spread out all over the city, our inner circle has about 30 vampires. I’ll have to confer with my lieutenant,” Klaus said as he reluctantly took a glass of juice that was on the table. “He knows the exact numbers.”
“That’s not enough,” Jasper blinked. “Against them? No. Not enough.”
“I’ve been trying to get the witches on our side, but Davina’s ignoring me for some reason. And if she’s not ignoring me, she’s stalling,” Kol said with a pout. “I used to have such a good relationship with the witches.”
Jeri frowned as she eyed him. The information didn’t bode well with her, and she always hated whenever the young witch was brought up. “I think I have a spell for protection amulets. I may only be able to create maybe ten of them though to keep you warded from witches magic.”
Klaus looked at Elijah and shrugged. “I’m sure Elijah wouldn’t mind giving you our mother’s grimoire for the day.”
“Oh,” Kol said in awe. “Yes, please!”
Jeri hesitated as she glanced to the man that protected the relic. “Uhh I’m sure I can come up with spells with what I have,” she said, even though she desired deeply to be able to have access to an Original witch’s grimoire.
“No, that’s alright,” Elijah said calmly. “You can have it for the day to see if maybe there’s something useful in them to bolster your spells,” he continued. “As long as Kol keeps an eye on it.”
“You trust me with it?” Kol blinked at his brother. “Honestly, brother, I thought that you found me irresponsible?”
Elijah thought for a moment. “Very well, I’ll be in the room.”
“I’m… I’m honored, thank you,” Jeri eventually said after finding her voice again. Was she going to lay her eyes onto the Original Grimoire? That was like a dream, the holy grail. Every witch’ dream and Elijah trusted her enough to show it to her? To have her browse through it? She had died and gone to heaven.
“Very well, let us start planning a defense then,” Klaus said as he took his phone to get Marcel back to the compound.