13: Do you want to play?

[The Abattoir, French Quarter, New Orleans. August 11th, 2029. 6:11 pm]

“I’m so glad you allowed me to cook for you and have us over for dinner,” Bella smiled at Klaus as she set down the last dish to get served on the table. “It’s been awhile since we all sat down and had a nice dinner together, don’t you think?”

Nina huffed. “We’re here almost every day, mum,” she said as she picked on a bread roll. “Do you know how uncool it is to spend so much time here? I barely get to hang out with my friends.”

“Yeah!” Sophie chimed in. “What she said!”

“You hear that? You’re uncool, maybe we should give you some more puppy therapy,” Bella grinned as she ruffled Klaus’ hair. He had been miserable for the last few weeks, and she couldn’t figure out why and if Kol knew it, he wasn’t saying anything.

“I do have to admit that the meal you’ve cooked for us is impressive, Isabella, thank you,” Klaus smiled at her and watched as she sat down. “I have a feeling you want to talk to me about something?”

“Two things,” Kol said with a nod as he put some food on the plate of their youngest, Eliana. “I think both of them will please you.”

“Please tell me you will respond to the pleading of the covens and ascend to Regent,” he said to his brother. “I know I’m not one of the most favoured people to the witches right now after taking a bite out of Davina but…”

Kol sighed and pinched the bridge of his nose. “Yeah, that was a particular stupid thing to do. On top of that, you left two small children without a mother.”

“They still have a father!”

“That’s not the point, Nik. I was handling it.”

“She destroyed ten of my best vampires, how is that handling it?”

“Hey, no fighting,” Bella said sternly. “We’re having dinner. And yes, Kol’s going to respond to the coven’s pleading of him ascending to Regent.”

“And I will inform them that the only condition I have is that I can be co-Regent with Bella.”

Klaus nearly choked on his drink. “The both of you?”

Kol nodded. “We need to restructure the covens, make new rules, better ones that aren’t outdated. It’s a lot of work for just one person and the power given as Regent is too much for one person to handle.”

“Ha! You don’t trust yourself to have more power.”

“Maybe,” Kol smirked. “Maybe not, but sharing is caring, isn’t it?”

“Congratulations, let me know how that works out with the council,” Klaus smirked and dug into the delicious piece of venison that Bella had prepared for them. “What’s the other thing?”

Bella waited for Klaus to have chewed and swallowed his food. “You’re going to get another niece or a nephew in February.”

He blinked at her. “You told me that Eliana was your last.”

“I never switched back to the DEPO shot, in case we wanted to go and travel again. I got sick in May after the cook you hired didn’t prepare the meal properly,” Bella said with a shrug. “Kol and I have talked a lot about it and we decided to allow it to come and see what happens then. Might tie some tubes.”

“Well, congratulations,” his smile was sincere this time. “I suppose I shall ask the planning permission to give you permission to extend your home.”

“That would be lovely, thanks, Nik,” Kol grinned.

[The Mystic Grill, Mystic Falls, VA. April 1st, 2288. 4:15pm.]

When Nik told her that he had the best April Fool’s Prank in the history of mankind, she had not suspected this. This naked, freshly resurrected, ranting lunatic who was currently draining some relatives of the founding families of Mystic Falls. She was not pleased, at all.

What was she going to do with two of these vampires? Even less than she could have done with Nik. Sure, she could match him in a fight, but just match him. He came close to killing her a couple of times over the last two hundred years, and she didn’t want to have Kol around. She’d brushed up on her Original vampires history with help from The Machine, and he was worse than Nik if she had to believe her.

She watched him feed on the humans from her spot against the wall as her mate had gone over to the bar to fetch a bottle of bourbon, and she was appalled by Kol’s appetite. Sure, the guy had been dead for like, forever, and he probably deserved it, but he was a messy eater. There was blood everywhere. She considered buying him a bib.

When Sam moved from her spot to join her mate for a drink – anything to not to feel this nauseated, she caught the eye of the naked Original Brother. She found herself pinned against the wall the moment she had pushed herself off of it. Sighing, she looked at him with an even expression on her face. “What?”

“You’ve outdone yourself, Nik,” he said chipper as he looked at the young vampire in front of him. “A strumpet, for me? And a vampire one at that? You shouldn’t have!” He pressed himself against Sam and nuzzled her neck. “Smells nice too. Maybe I will forgive you for having resurrected me.”

“Get your hands off of me,” Sam bit at him before kneeing him in the groin. When he turned from her to protect his private parts, she took hold of his arm and broke it in half. She then kicked against his backside and had him collide with a table.

“Oh, feisty!” Kol chuckled like a maniac, high on blood and fury, as he straightened his arm and felt it heal. He turned around and lunged at her, pushing her once again against the wall. “I like it rough.”

Growling, Sam reached for Kol’s dick and broke that in half. “Get. Your. Hands. Off. Of. Me.”

“Nik! The harlot you found me is being mean to me!” Kol whined as he took a few steps back, anxiously looking to see if his dick was going to heal on its own too. “Fuck, that hurt.”

Klaus walked back into the room and tossed his brother some clothes he pulled off of his brother’s victims. “No less than you deserve, brother,” he said chipper. “Sameen is not yours to take.”

Kol’s jaw nearly fell to the floor, and his eyes grew large. “That’s Sameen? Your Sameen? Holy…she’s hot…”

Sam hit Klaus on the head. “You told him about me?”

“A moment of weakness, love,” he replied with a shrug. “Are you alright? Did he hurt you?”

She huffed and jacked the bottle of bourbon out of his hand. “Hardly. You know me better than that. This is mine now.”

“Of course, I’ll fetch myself another bottle,” Klaus said amused as he looked at his brother, still undressed but staring at them in shock. “I wasn’t lying when I told you I had a mate, Kol. You should know me better than that.”

“I… Oh, I need a drink.”

“Put some fucking clothes on first. No one needs to see your ass any longer than necessary,” Sameen muttered as she threw back a shot.

“You don’t like what you see, darling? This body is gorgeous,” Kol smirked as he looked at his bloodied chest. “I missed this body.”

“I have the Original hybrid. You can’t compare to him,” she murmured as she turned on her stool, eying him up and down. “No. No comparison. Nik is packing more.”

“Nik!” he whined as he got into the clothes. “She’s worse than Rebekah.”

Klaus threw a bottle across the Grill. “The subject matter pertaining to our siblings is off limits, especially around Sameen.”

Sam had been staring at Kol since he mentioned the sister she desired to shove a stake through. Her jaw was clenched, and one could hear her teeth grinding from across the room if they listened hard enough. “You really wish to lose your insult of a cock. Don’t you?”

“I could easily kill you, little young vampire. Nik’s mate or not…”

“You’d like to think that, wouldn’t you,” she said with a dark smile.

Kol huffed as he sat down on a table, quiet for a moment as his thoughts gathered. “At least tell me why I’m not supposed to mention our siblings. I’ve been dead for quite a while. I have a lot to catch up on.”

“Always and forever doesn’t pertain to them,” she muttered, taking a swig straight from the bottle as she looked away.

“After your death, dear brother, they decided it was time for them to permanently stay away from me. Bella tried to get them back, of course, but even after she passed, they didn’t return,” Klaus said as he walked over to his brother to hand him a bottle.

Kol downed half the bottle in one go. “Fine. Then talking about Bella is off limits too. It hurts.”

“Agreed,” Klaus said with a sigh as he mirrored his brother’s actions. The loss of her still hurt him too; she stuck with him even after Kol’s death while she wasn’t related to him by blood. It had been amazing, and it had been a genuine sad day when she finally passed.

Sameen looked at the two men and smirked. “I am going to say this once and you never forget it. Neither of you are to stop me if they decide to show their faces again. I will break their necks and shove a stake up their asses or anything else I please in the moment.”

[Accessing current feeds]

[City of the Dead, LaFayette Cemetery 1, New Orleans, LA. January 27th, 2311. 3:30 pm]

As she stood at the door of the building, she looked over her shoulder and gave Kol a thumbs up. She felt exhausted from her trip; it was about 30 metres, but it seemed longer. She didn’t have a walking cast, and it was a bitch to get to the door. She felt incredibly pissed off too, whoever was controlling her was in this building, and she was going to kill that person.

She opened the door and was surprised by the bare insides of the building that seemed to look quite majestic on the outside but like nothing on the inside. “Hello?” Maybe this was the house of the Regent? Maybe the Bennett witches hung out here, she wouldn’t know for sure until she saw someone. Bella moved into the hall and kept quiet, trying to hear if she could hear something. “Hello?” She eventually said again.

“Bella?” Mandy’s voice had sounded before the young girl peered around the corner. “Is it you or a figment of my imagination?”

“It’s me,” Bella replied as she looked at the witch. “Are you alright? The others have been worried about you.”

“I can’t leave this house,” Mandy’s voice dropped to a whisper as she looked over her shoulder before running towards Bella. “Come on, you can’t stay out in the open like this,” she said as she helped her walk.

Bella, relieved with the assistance the girl gave her, had no choice but to follow her down to the basement. “Whose place is this? The Regent?”

“No,” Mandy replied, shaking her head. “I don’t know, all I know is that I can’t leave for some reason.”

“Then why bring me down here? Surely we must have been able to break the spell together?” She sat down on the stairs and took a deep breath. The air was thick and smelled funny, maybe it hadn’t been such a good idea to follow Mandy down, it wasn’t as if she could run up the stairs if trouble would arise.

“Whoever it is, they can’t get into the basement. A side effect of their own spell, I guess,” Mandy replied with a casual shrug as she walked around. “I’ve had some time to familiarize myself with the contents of this basement. Whoever it is, he or she has some serious power and skill.”

Bella hummed a response as she looked at the vibrating device she had gotten out of her pocket. She had to smile at this; she had never given the device back to Sam for some reason and the words appearing on the screen were concerning.

[Message: Be careful.]

She looked at Mandy. “For how long have you been here?”

“I don’t know, I lost count,” she said with a shrug as she skimmed through what looked like a grimoire. “I’ve been trying to find a way out of here. Did you cast a spell to find me?”

“No,” she said, slightly embarrassed that she was selfish. “I cast a spell for my own benefit.”

[Message: Trust no one. Attempting to gather more information.]

“Really? And it brought you here?” Mandy said brightly as she looked up with a smile on her face. “What kind of spell?”

Sighing, Bella casually waved her hand around, deciding to trust the words appearing on her screen as they had helped her before. “I got bored after taking back our home.”

“Oh, I saw that! That was incredible!” The girl giggled and clapped. “I mean, you must have had so much luck with finding the right spot to cast the spell to lower the barrier around New Orleans to get your family back in.”

Bella shrugged. “I don’t think luck had anything to do with it, but it’s the first step of ridding New Orleans of most of the werewolf population and restore balance.”

“It was impressive, I honestly didn’t know you had it in you.”

She blinked at that. “What do you mean? Weren’t you the one who brought my existence to the attention of the Mikaelsons?”

“Yeah, but I didn’t know how powerful you were,” Mandy huffed as she grabbed something off the table and walked towards Bella again. “I mean, even with the poison slowing you down, it’s impressive.”

“You know about that?”

“Of course,” Mandy smiled at her. “I was the one who supplied the spelled herbs. I even spiked it with a drop of special blood that I managed to acquire. It prevents you from being saved by your family, heaven forbid someone as powerful as you should continue to live on for a bit longer. That would just be wrong.”

Bella put her shield up to keep Mandy away from her and watched her as she bounced off of it. “What kind of special blood?”

[Message: The object you seek is near.]

Groaning, Bella got to her feet and rolled her shoulders as she looked at Mandy. “I mean, don’t get me wrong, I applaud your thinking. Resurrect a powerful witch, make sure she has enough time to do whatever is needed to save the city and the covens and then have her go away again.”

“Just a little something that doesn’t like vampire blood. How many times have you thrown up yet?”

“Once,” Bella smiled at her as she started to drag her leg through the basement, looking at everything while trying to keep an eye on Mandy. Something was off. “So, I actually helped more than I should have, haven’t I? By reintroducing the vampires back to New Orleans?”

“Yeah, that was actually a bummer. I never thought you’d be able to get the barrier down in your weakened state. The last thing we need are vampires. Any chance you can throw the wall back up?” Mandy slyly smiled at her, revealing the pouch in her hand. If there was dust in it, some sort of herbal dust, Bella’s shield would not be able to stop that from coming close to her.

Bella extended her shield a little as she observed the grimoire. “New Orleans is my family’s home. They built the city into what it is now, who am I to deny them entrance?”

“Yeah, I suppose. But the poison was brilliant, wasn’t it?”

“Oh yeah, absolutely. It’s amazing how you managed to slow down the effects of it,” she then looked up at the ceiling as if she was listening to something before looking at Mandy again. “There’s no one else here, is there? It’s been you all along.”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

Bella muttered a spell to set fire to the grimoire and pushed Mandy against a wall, as far away as possible from her. She was weakened from something in the air in the basement and from her trip to the building itself.

“Hey, you have no respect for personal property, do you?” Mandy responded angrily as she waved her arm, throwing Bella against the nearest wall, knocking the air out of her lungs. “That’s my grimoire; you bitch.”

Bella was still getting back to her feet and throwing her shield back up when Mandy had taken a handful of the dust and tossed it at her, causing her to cough and ingesting it.

“If only you’d have stuck to the plan,” Mandy said as she managed to extinguish the fire in the grimoire while Bella was still coughing. “See, I was taught that back in the day, women were meek women who liked to obey orders. With you being married to a Mikaelson, I was hoping you were even more than that. Malleable.”

“Sorry to disappoint you,” Bella wheezed as she held herself up against the wall and slammed Mandy against another wall. “I don’t like sticking to plans that aren’t my own.” Whatever she had just breathed in, it burned like hell. “So what else have you been using?”

Mandy shrugged. “Nothing. I just thought it was fun to add some further misery onto you with something extra.”

“Representational Magic?”

“Oh yeah,” she smiled brightly. “You used it once to influence the then mayor of New Orleans, it was pretty cool, thought it would be fun to use it on you. Mainly dunked it in a bucket of ice cold water, though.”

“So, where is it now?” She was starting to feel sluggish, and it was hard to keep up her concentration and stay present. Maybe she should kill Mandy now and worry about the object later. Surely if they’d burn the house to the ground that the item would be gone as well? Kol needed to get her. She didn’t like doing this without him.

“Wouldn’t you like to know,” Mandy laughed as she finally got to her feet. “Oh, hope you don’t mind, but I’ve released the delay a little bit on the poison in your system. I don’t want you to screw things up even further for me.”

“Why are you doing this?”

Mandy shrugged. “The power is nice, I suppose. Once the current Regent is gone, I’ll offer up myself to get into her place and then eradicate the Bennett witches and make New Orleans a lovely town again.”

Bella groaned. Even three hundred years later, Claire witches were still power-hungry bitches. And if Mandy indeed sped up the workings of the poison, it meant that she didn’t have long to live and to find a different way. Time was of the essence, and she had already flat out refused with finding her a new body. Or maybe she should. Her descendants were just as insane as Mandy; it didn’t feel right to wear a Mikaelson body.

“I will stop the harvest. I mean, from what I can tell, the Regent hasn’t communed with the Ancestors yet to make it a done deal so I think the Bennett witches just influenced her to do a Harvest to get rid of a few witches that are not them,” Mandy continued as Bella slowly approached her. “Maybe I could ask your husband to take care of the Regent, I will tell him that this setback you’re suffering from is her fault and that I came in at just the right time to get you out.”

“Mandy, you’re a bitch,” Bella sighed as she stayed calm, what use was it to freak out about the fact that she was dying? Again? Yeah, maybe she should freak out about leaving Kol and Klaus. Again. She promised them she wasn’t going to. “I do applaud your acting skills; you’ve fooled me, and you’ve fooled everyone else.”

“I know, right?” Mandy smirked as her attention stayed on Bella, watching her with interest. “And I fucking hated Daisy, so it’s a good thing you got rid of her too.”

[Message: It’s the doll on the shelf.]

Straightening up as she felt the adrenaline kick in, Bella reached for the cauldron with her magic and flung it with force against Mandy’s head, knocking her unconscious in an instant. She then set the entire shelf on fire with a simple spell that didn’t require her to do much but to utter the words and felt how her body got released from an invisible force, allowing her to move a little bit easier – and clumsier.

She knew she had to kill Mandy in order for the barrier that was keeping Kol out down and sighed. Bella was feeling all fizzled out; she wanted to take a nap. She stumbled towards Mandy’s unconscious body and just before her legs gave out from underneath her, she managed to grab a knife from the table before falling on top of the girl.

Bella hadn’t killed anyone before. Not like this. Not physically doing it herself. Sure, she had her fun with some of the Cullens, but that was different. She used her magic to do it. But she couldn’t risk Mandy waking up while her batteries were recharging. It would make her a killer in the eyes of the law, it would make her a murderer, period.

But she had killed before. Just not like this.

Maybe she didn’t have to kill Mandy. She could just ask the girl nicely, and maybe she’d drop it.

As if.

Mandy was a threat and neither Kol, Klaus or Sam would hesitate to eliminate this menace. She felt how her heart started to beat faster and how her breathing sped up. Now was not the time to get a panic attack.

She rolled off Mandy to get her breathing under control but kept her eyes on the unconscious form of the Claire descendant. If Bella allowed Mandy to live, Mandy would continue to be a pest. She’d screw things up even further for the restoration of the supernatural balance in New Orleans and just like Davina, she’d be a thorn in Klaus’ side.

“Get it together, Isabella Marie Mikaelson,” she told herself. “You’re a fucking Mikaelson and you need to do what’s best for the family. Any means necessary. You can do this.”

“Damn straight,” she answered herself and got to her knees before pulling Mandy up and slit her throat. It was the easiest way to kill someone, maybe not the cleanest, but it was the easiest.

Bella didn’t even have time to push the body away from her because Kol had rushed right in and smiled up at him. “I did it!”

“Well done, Cuddles,” he said appreciatively as he pulled the body away from Bella and lifted his wife into his arms. “But let’s rejoice outside, shall we?”

She had blinked at him before it became apparent that most of the basement had already caught fire, and she had been sitting underneath a support beam that was burning. She had been so focused on Mandy that she hadn’t even noticed this tiny detail. When she was outside, she started to cough, trying to get some air into her lungs and hopefully expel some of the herbs that Mandy had used on her.

It didn’t escape him that something else had happened in that basement. Her complexion had turned a different shade of pale and she was covered in tiny little fragments of herbs. He could smell them on her. He bit in his wrist to offer his blood to her, but she violently shook her head. “But she’s gone,” he said confused. “She doesn’t hold any influence over you anymore.”

“It wasn’t the doll,” she looked up to him with sad eyes. “She added something to the poison that makes me reject your blood or any vampire blood. Some kind of special blood, she said.”

“Oh, for fuck’s sake,” Kol whined as he held on tighter. “Can’t we catch a break?”

“Get me home. Tell Klaus. I need a bath.”


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