[The Abattoir, French Quarter, New Orleans. February 21st, 2020. 8:32 am]
Everyone was still asleep; after they had returned from getting the girls back, their guests were relieved and after some debriefing, everyone retreated to their rooms to sleep. No matter how much Klaus insisted on taking Nina for the night, Bella refused. Yes, it was their wedding night, but she didn’t care. Nina wasn’t going anywhere.
She had changed into something more comfortable than her wedding dress, but she’d been awake all night, drinking coffee while watching over Nina, who was sleeping in Kol’s arms. She was still pissed off, and she knew they couldn’t really do anything about Davina and her power kick seeing as Davina was the regent, but they were sure going to try. Things could go very badly if she couldn’t even control her witches or at least gain the respect that she required as a regent.
Sighing, she decided to get some breakfast for her family and quietly put on some shoes before leaving the room, the sun blinding her as she stepped out into the courtyard. Letting out a groan that sounded pretty much like a zombie’s moan, she made her way to the kitchens and started to prepare breakfast. On the other hand, when she opened the fridge, she noticed that there was still a significant amount of cake left, she thought that would be the best breakfast ever.
Bella triumphantly returned to the room with the cake and some tea and noticed that Nina was no longer in bed. “Nina? Where are you?” She asked as she set their breakfast down on the table and grew worried when Nina didn’t respond. “Nina?” She walked into the bathroom but found it empty, and she felt how panic started to rise in her chest. “Nina!” She walked back into the room and saw her baby girl digging into the cake with her hands. “Where were you?”
“Bed,” Nina giggled as she grabbed a handful of cake and brought it to her mouth. “No worries.”
“Well, I did, don’t hide from mommy again, okay? Unless we’re playing a game, we both agreed to play.”
Kol snorted as he sat up. “I can confirm that she’s been in bed with me the entire time.”
Bella eyed her husband suspiciously.
“Bella, she stepped on my – well, let’s just say she wanted to sabotage our efforts to make future siblings,” he said laughing. “She made herself invisible.”
“It’s not funny,” Bella said as tears were streaming down her face. “We nearly lost her last night and then she was gone and I just… I don’t want to be here anymore, Kol. I want us to go.”
“Come here,” he gently said as he pulled her onto the bed and into his arms. “No one is going to go after our little girl ever again,” he started to caress her back. “Have you slept at all?”
Bella shook her head as she clung on to him.
“You’re going to sleep. I’ll take Nina to the zoo with your parents. Maybe Klaus will come with with Hope, and you’re going to rest.”
“She’ll be safe, I promise,” he laid down on the bed with her and ran his hand through her hair. “Go to sleep.” Kol held her until he was sure that she was asleep and sighed as he looked at his toddler, now covered in wedding cake. “Don’t you look tasty.”
“Don’t come on the bed, let mommy sleep,” he managed to get his arm away from Bella and quietly got off the bed before running over to Nina. He lifted her up and licked her cheek to get some cake off of it. “Hmm…” he hummed as he walked with her towards the bathroom to rinse her off. “Let’s try not to turn invisible again, huh?” he asked his daughter. “We’d like to keep our eyes on you.”
“Oh yeah, it’s a lot of fun,” he grinned. “I used to do that all the time after finding the spell in my mother’s grimoire but you, missy, are doing it all by yourself. And that’s quite scary.”
“Not,” Nina blew bubbles as she stood under the spray of water.
“How about you’re allowed to turn invisible when either daddy or mommy says so?”
“You’re too smart for your sake, you know that?” He laughed as he grabbed a washcloth and started to clean her up. He understood how Bella was feeling though; if he hadn’t been so exhausted from their wedding day, he would have stayed up all night too. Afraid that someone would come in and take his daughter away, right under their noses.
Maybe it was better for them if they left New Orleans, skip his brother’s planned celebrations and Mardi Gras and be free again. Do whatever they wanted to do and not stay in one place. He realized that a lot of people would be unhappy about this, but his family came first. Niklaus still had Elijah and Rebekah and Kol wasn’t too worried about him. Yeah, when Bella would wake up again, he was going to talk to her about it.
[Accessing current feeds]
[The Abattoir, French Quarter, New Orleans. January 25th, 2311. 2:03 pm]
Bella woke up to the smell of a lot of the foods she had missed and some decent coffee and smiled at Kol, who was setting the tray on the bed. “Oh, that smells good.”
“I found a chef who still cooks with ordinary ingredients and with the knowledge of old fashioned food. I just had to compel him because I was missing pastries,” he grinned as he crawled onto the bed and handed Bella an eclair once she sat up. “He’s been cooking up a storm since 8 am.”
“Have you slept?”
“Of course,” he replied as he took a bite off his pastry. “Nik and Sameen are out right now to compel a few workers to clean up the mess in this place and get it back up to our standards. They’re also instructing the vampires to start cleaning up the French Quarter from the wolves. There aren’t a lot of them.”
“Anything I can do?” She moved a little and then hissed; she had forgotten about her ankle.
“Yep, but that can wait,” he smiled at her. “You just take your time and get your strength back. We’re also bringing in a doctor today to look at your ankle.”
“It sucks that I can’t handle vampire blood,” she said with a pout, not really fancying to walk around with a cast until she’d die again. Now that the adrenaline was out of her system, she could feel how tired her body was after the previous night’s excitement.
“We’ll figure it out,” he kissed the top of her head. “But until then, let’s stuff our faces with good food and good coffee.”
She finished her eclair and then reached for a Po-boy. “What’s the damage? Did they ruin a lot of things in the last fifty years?”
“Nah. Purely cosmetic. Most furniture can be replaced.”
“So in what room are we?”
“Our old one, of course. Nik wouldn’t have it any other way. When you passed out again last night, we moved stuff into this room to make it roomy for you. The best bed we could find in here and stuff.”
“Aw,” she smiled as she took another bite of her sandwich. “My boys, looking out for me.”
“Always and Forever, Cuddles, you know that,” he smiled at her.
[The Abattoir, French Quarter, New Orleans. January 25th, 2311. 8:28 pm]
Bella grumbled as she sat in one of the chairs in the courtyard with her leg resting on the small table. The doctor had been compelled to come to their home and fix her up, and she hated it that her leg was now in a cast. She was staring in the face of Rebekah, who was standing at the entrance to the courtyard and was tired of hearing her beg to come inside. “Could you please shut up, Rebekah? I’m trying to get this home fortified with some spells and I need my concentration.”
“Oh, come on, Bella, I thought we were friends! We’re family! Let me in!”
“No,” she said quietly. “You know what you’ve done.”
“Honestly, I’m sorry I called you a whore and that Elijah referred to you as one, but you’re not in your own bloody body, are you? It’s an easy mistake.”
“I should be angry about that, but I’m not.”
Rebekah let out a frustrated sound as she stomped off like a petulant, spoiled brat, causing Bella to laugh as she continued with her spell fortifications. As it was right now, only humans could enter the building, and that gave her a good feeling. No unexpected witches, werewolves or even vampires could come in and take back what wasn’t rightfully theirs. A real fortress.
“Eventually you will have to let her in, love,” Klaus’ voice sounded from behind her before he moved into her field of vision and sat down next to her. “She is family.”
“She is your sister. She’s the reason you’ve been kicked out of New Orleans because your sister and your brother didn’t come and pay you visits or stayed with you after I was gone,” she said angrily.
“I had Sameen.”
“Yes, and while she’s a capable woman, not even she could prevent you from doing stupid things like… I don’t know, getting kicked out of New Orleans. Or better yet, resurrect your brother when we explicitly told you not to!” She looked at Klaus and narrowed her eyes at him. “You fucker, I’m still not happy about that either!”
“Would you feel better to know that if we hadn’t been kicked out in the first place, that we would have found a way back for you as well?”
“No! Because dead is dead!” She shot at him and sighed as she leaned back in her chair. “But it’s very sweet of you to miss us that much, Klaus, and now that I’m back, I will do everything I can to make sure I’m sticking around.” Bella couldn’t stay angry at him for long, it was the look on his face that made her heart melt for all the wrong reasons. He was like this little puppy that needed to be loved and given attention to.
Of course, he could also be the devil beast from hell, but he’d have a good reason to do so. Such as, taking back the Quarter from the werewolves, cleaning up New Orleans by killing some werewolves. It would be a family effort for the Mikaelsons while she’d focus on the witches because that still needed to be done as well.
“I know you’re busy,” she said as she looked at him. “But can you get our books?”
“You’re in no shape to do magic, Bella.”
“Uhm, yeah, I am. I’ve turned this place into a fortress. The only downside would be if you want to have supernatural friends over, I’d have to invite them in.”
Klaus groaned as he ran a hand through his hair. “It’s like asking mummy for permission if I can play with my friends!”
“Does that mean you want to have someone over, darling?” she smiled at him and batted her eyelashes at him. “You know I never approved of your friends, sweetheart, you’ll have to find some new ones that I like.”
“Or I could just kill you right now and make this place accessible again.”
“Ah, yes, but you know that the moment you do that, you’ll get kicked out again by the Bennett witches that are left.”
Klaus grumbled as he crossed his arms over his chest. “At least invite Bekah and Elijah in.”
“No. Give me the books and I might reconsider your request.”
“You drive a hard bargain, little Swan,” he smiled at her and nodded. “Very well. Allow me to take you to your room and I shall bring you your books that you can peruse from the comforts of your new bed.”
“You got me a new bed?” She smiled widely. “When did that happen?”
“When you were too busy yelling at the good doctor who was setting your ankle up in the study,” he lifted her up from her seat and carried her towards the room. “See, that’s the perk of being a vampire, we can do things fast and compel our way if we have to.”
“Uhuh,” she smiled as she pushed open the door of the room she shared with Kol and smirked. “Klaus, I know I’ve been dead for many years, but even I can tell that that bed was expensive.”
“Nonsense,” he said as he gently put her down on the bed. “Allow me to indulge you now that I can, alright? I shall get you your books, and once Kol comes back from having some fun with some wolves, he can get you something to drink.”
It was funny how she had accepted the fact that Kol had to go out and feed. No doubt he was also having fun trying to mutilate as many people as possible or at least fuck with their heads. She had only requested that for the time being, Kol and Klaus wouldn’t go off on their own, together. Both men had a hand in forgetting the time when they were having too much fun, and she didn’t want to worry. Or fear for human casualties, but right now there were too many wolves in New Orleans, and that meant a lot of snacks. She didn’t have to worry that much.
She nodded at Klaus as she made herself comfortable on the beautiful four-poster bed made out of wood, making her wonder where on Earth he could have gotten this bed from. It was super comfortable and certainly much better than the bed she had slept on in Mystic Falls. It wasn’t strange to her that Klaus liked to spoil her with things, but she figured that he upped himself because he felt guilty that he hadn’t managed to bring her back as he had done with Kol. If he had, things would have been incredibly different.
This was also a reason she didn’t want to let Rebekah and Elijah in. They had been celebrating their freedom for centuries, why all of a sudden would they want to stay? Maybe she wasn’t ever going to invite them back in; they’d be able to if Bella died again anyway. She was blunt about it because that’s what it looked like, that she was going to die again unless they’d find a willing host body she could use. Willing was the keyword and clean was the other.
They’d certainly have to find someone from outside New Orleans in case the witches had put something in the water. It had to be someone of Kol’s choosing too. She wouldn’t want him to look at someone who was visibly not his taste for the rest of eternity even though the inside of the package would still be her.
Sighing, she looked around on the bed and widely smiled when she saw that the blankets were electrical. Looking for the little device that controlled it, she came up for a loss, pouting as she crawled underneath them, she had to wait for Klaus to tell her how to make it work. Maybe it would be so hot that it would start to warm her bones. Her cold bones had been a constant companion since she returned. She didn’t want to make a big fuss out of it other than having blankets around her for the most part, but it was highly annoying. The feeling had only intensified when she arrived back in New Orleans to drop the barrier. The witches were manipulating her with something, and she was going to find out what.
Maybe she would pay a visit to the Mikaelson witches in Algiers tomorrow, with Kol and Klaus. Klaus could suss out the liars, and the rest of them could stay at the compound. Or maybe not. Maybe it was safer if the witches stayed put but under the protection of some vampires. Yes. That was a better, more reliable idea.
[Marcel’s old apartment across the river, Algiers, New Orleans. January 26th, 2311. 2:34 pm]
“Are you sure this is a good idea?” Kol asked as he carried her up the stairs. “They’re family of the ones responsible for kicking us out of New Orleans in the first place.”
“Don’t worry, they won’t hurt you,” she smiled at him as she kissed his cheek while she held onto him with her arms around his neck. “Shield has already been raised and been protecting us since we left our home.”
“Are you good with that?”
“It’s a minor spell; I’m all right,” she smiled bravely and slid open the door. “Wow, you lot really don’t go anywhere at all, do you?” Bella remarked as she saw the same witches she met only a few weeks ago.”
“You came back!” Malin smiled widely, getting to her feet but making no attempt to hug Bella whatsoever. Which was good.
“I told you I would,” Bella said as Kol set her down in a chair. “This is my husband, Kol. Hurt him and you’re dead. Either by his hand or mine, do you understand?”
The young witches had gasped in awe before all were nodding their heads. Bella slowly nodded as she looked at the witches. “Malin, was it?”
And hey, they learned some respect too. “I choose you to be the spokesperson. If anyone else wishes to add something to what Malin’s saying, raise your hand. I do not want to be confused,” Bella spoke calmly, almost as if she was a school teacher. When all the witches nodded, she spoke again. “Now what is the exact problem you’re facing and where is Mandy?”
Malin seemed to be a little uneasy about that question regarding Bella’s favorite witch. “We haven’t seen her in a couple of days but can I ask, what happened to you?”
“Oh, broken ankle, I tripped,” Bella shrugged.
“But your husband is a vampire, surely his blood-”
“Been there, done that… didn’t work. Don’t worry about it. Why did you bring me back?”
Malin sighed as she sat down again. “My mother is the current regent,” she started as she rubbed her eyes. “Ever since she’s taken over from our grandfather, she’s been a little off. We suspect it has to do with the influence of the Bennett witches who came to town after our great-grandfather made sure no vampires were able to enter New Orleans unless they were spelled with a very specific spell. We used that spell on your friend Sam Shaw, but lifted it as soon as it became apparent that she wouldn’t be returning.”
“She has,” Bella smiled knowingly and nodded towards Kol. “Didn’t need a spell for him to enter either.”
“We noticed you’ve dropped the barrier, but was that a good thing?”
“I already told you that it’s a step in the right direction on my previous visit. Tell me more about your mother and the Bennett witches,” Bella dismissively waved her hand.
“The witches are actually in league with the werewolves; this is how they’ve managed to take over most of New Orleans. They have been given free reign and even werewolves from other places came to settle here. They know they have no right to be a regent as they don’t have any ancestors buried in the cemetery, but they do know how to control a person.”
This peaked her interest. “How so?”
“The Bennett’s do more of the dark magic variety; they are careless with respecting boundaries that nature has given them.”
Bella looked over her shoulder as she heard Kol snort. “What?”
“Sounds about right, about those Bennett witches. I mean, back in the day I knew one, and she was a pain in the ass, not seeing the danger in learning Expression, for example.”
“But she seemed so… I don’t know… mellow?”
“Hardly,” Kol huffed. “That’s what she wanted you to believe so you’d become her friend.”
Bella snorted before turning her attention back to Malin. “They’re in your mother’s mind?”
“It looks like it, yes. We’ve had good Regents for generations, abiding the rules and teaching us that yes, magic should be fun and respected. My mother… she’s… I don’t know; it’s just different. Her inner court is filled with Bennett witches. They’re doing spells for God knows what and they’ve even turned to sacrificial magic.”
Both Bella and Kol sucked in a breath. That wasn’t good. “And she reinstated the Harvest if I remember correctly?”
Malin nodded. “But to our knowledge, she hasn’t requested it to be restored by the Ancestors so if the Harvest goes ahead, we will lose all our power as punishment for crimes against our own.”
“When’s the Harvest supposed to happen?”
“March 21st, during the Equinox.”
“Well then, plenty of time to talk some sense into your mother,” Bella smiled at her. She and Kol had decided to play stupid when it came to the poison in her body, just to see how the witches would react. If they’d be upfront about it, then their penalty would be mild. “What’s her name?”
“Darling, naming anyone after either my wife or my mother is asking for trouble,” Kol remarked with a grin on his face.
“Names don’t hold power,” Malin huffed as she crossed her arms over her chest. “And did I mention they’re in league with the werewolves?”
“Yes, yes you did, and they’re being taken care of. You resurrected me to help you deal with your witch problems, and that’s what I will do now that I’ve brought the vampires back to New Orleans.”
Derek, one of the young witches, muttered something to his friend, something Bella couldn’t hear, but seeing how Kol shifted his stance, it couldn’t be good and her husband had heard it. When he continued to hear what he didn’t want to hear, he made his way over to Derek and snapped his neck, causing the witches to gasp as the body dropped to the floor. “I’m done,” Kol sneered as he waved his hand dismissively. “My wife has too much patience, and you’re lucky that she didn’t hear what that boy just said, but I did. So, either come clean now, because we know what you’ve done to her, or someone else dies.”
“Bella, please, you can’t let him do this,” Vanja begged as she looked at her. “Killing someone won’t solve anything!”
“I believe my wife said that if you wanted to speak up, you had to raise your hand, darling,” Kol said as he slowly walked towards Vanja. “Your sister is the one with the voice, not you.” He cocked his head as he licked his lips. “Look at that pretty little neck.”
“Bella, please, call him off,” Malin stammered. “Don’t let him kill my sister.”
Bella huffed. “You’re a witch. You can stop him.”
“He’s an Original!”
“So? You may not be able to kill him, but you can slow him down or throw him across the room but somehow I think that will only make things worse,” she said simply and looked at Kol, who had his eyes fixed on her while standing behind Vanja. “Answer him.”
“Call him off, first.”
“He’s not my attack dog. In fact, had it been up to me, you would all be dead by now and not just by his hands,” Bella sneered. “You’re lucky I am incapacitated right now and can’t walk to you and smack the living shit out of you. Talk.”
Malin sighed and reluctantly nodded. “Because Mandy found you in an obscure, written book, we were a little bit hesitant in resurrecting you. You see, we have no knowledge of you. Well, we know that you and Kol are our ancestors and that he was a powerful witch, but there wasn’t anything known about you. And we got scared when Mandy came with the information that you weren’t just a regular human but in fact, just as powerful as Kol, if not more powerful due to your family magic,” Malin carefully eyed her twin sister, who looked absolutely terrified with the tall Original vampire looming over her. “Then we questioned your alignment. Everyone knows of the Original family and how terrifying they are, what kind of monsters they are.”
“Aw, they think you’re a monster like us, how cute!”
“We realized you were very powerful and Mandy was afraid that we couldn’t simply have you walk around unchecked. That was after she fried the chip in Daisy’s brain while we were already in the process of preparing her for you.”
“You could just have not done it,” Bella huffed. “If you thought I was that dangerous, why go ahead in the first place?”
“Because we need your power to deal with mom and the Bennett witches!” Vanja spoke up again, causing Kol to take another step closer to her.
“We needed a way to make sure your stay here wasn’t permanent so… Daisy offered to make a poison, and it would give you a couple of days…” Malin said as she anxiously watched her sister. “You’ve already surprised us by living this long; you probably won’t last longer.”
“Can I just have a taste?” Kol asked Bella, who shrugged for an answer as Kol sunk his teeth into Vanja, causing the girl to scream out in pain.
“Please, please stop!” Malin begged as the other witches finally scattered, afraid that the vampire would go after them next. “Surely, you understand! No one is supposed to have that much power, or at least the power that equals that of the regent!”
“Kol and I were regents,” Bella said as she nudged Kol with her magic, telling him to stop feeding on the girl. They were going to get their revenge eventually. “But we never abused our power, in fact, even before we were regents, we handled ourselves with care. The reason I don’t show up in your heads as a witch is because Kol’s brother Klaus, wanted to protect me. He probably wanted to protect himself too, because I’m not afraid of him and will kick his ass. Someone could resurrect me and brainwash me to go after him. So I understand you willing to control me. That you wanted to poison me to limit my time here. No matter how unfair it seems to me and my husband and my family, I can understand.”
Malin let out a sigh of relief as she nodded.
“What else have you done to me?”
“Nothing, I swear, why?”
Bella sighed as she ran her hand through her hair. “If we find out that you have done something else to me, you’ll be sorry. I have my ways in finding out. Kol and I will be paying the regent a visit and see what the damage is, I’ll do my best to work swiftly for you so that the casualties will stay at a minimum. I’m sorry you lost your friend Derek.”
“What are we going to tell his parents?”
“The truth,” Bella simply said as Kol lifted her up again. “Let them know that the Originals are back in town, and they’re not going to leave again. We’ll be in touch.”
“Pleasure in meeting you all,” Kol said with a grin before he started to exit the loft with Bella and headed back home.