“I must say, Elijah, I’m surprised that you allow Edward Cullen to hideout in your vicinity,” Katherine purred as she had put her arm through his while walking up the stairs. “Did he offer his money?”
“You know as much as I do that we do not require money, nor anything else he may have offered, Katerina,” he said pleasantly. “But what I don’t understand is why you call the girl, it.”
“Oh, surely you have been graced with Edward’s tendency to share it?”
Elijah sucked in a breath. “Fortunately, I can’t say that I have.”
“Fortunately? Oh, Elijah,” she snickered. “It’s absolutely fun. The best way to spend your time. Surely you need to unleash your inner beast every now and then?”
“I have my methods.” He stopped when they stood in front of his brother’s door. “Now, tell me, are you certain you wish to negotiate with my brother at this moment?”
“Yes, the sooner I get it over with, the quicker I can get to see my favourite past time.”
“Have you never wished a better life for the girl? Or regretted your actions towards her?”
Katherine huffed. “Of course, but when in Rome…”
Elijah smiled at that and opened the door, revealing the devastation of Klaus’ study. “Oh, Niklaus. What have you done?” He muttered, holding Katherine back for a moment. “Are you certain?”
“What’s wrong with him? Is the moon acting up?”
“I am alright, Katherine,” Klaus said as he stepped into their vision, fully dressed and spotless. Hands clasped behind his back. “What is it that you wish?” He looked over her shoulder towards his brother and smirked. It was incredible how Katherine believed his brother’s ploy, she must be desperate.
“Oh, Klaus, I’m so scared,” she said as Elijah let her go and allowed her to walk into the study. “There’s a powerful vampire hunting for me, apparently I wronged him or someone he deeply cares about, and I seek your protection.”
“Is that so?”
“Yes. I’m scared. You need to help me.”
“I don’t need to do anything, Katherine,” Klaus spoke as he walked towards the door leading to his bedroom. “I released you from everything you owed me. I promised you that I would not pursuit you anymore for those indiscretions,” he leaned against the doorpost and was surprised that his guest was quiet in the other room, probably biding her time. “Tell me, what have you done that has made you the target of someone?”
“I don’t know.”
“I don’t know. It may have to do something with my dealings with your guest, Edward Cullen?”
Klaus raised an eyebrow. “Who said anything about me entertaining the Cullens?”
“But Peter… I saw him downstairs.”
“Oh, of course. Yes, I’m entertaining a pair of Cullens and a Cold One. How could I forget?”
“I aligned myself with them for a while, until Kol showed up.”
Klaus merely smiled at her, waiting for Katherine to dig her own grave even further. “And what did you do with them?”
“Oh, you know… they offered me protection from you… and from the crazy bitch from Mystic Falls… entertainment…”
He blinked at her. “I offered you your freedom, what have you been doing that might anger me?”
“I might have killed Lucien and Aurora… Granted, I didn’t do it all by myself, but I wanted to take my revenge on you. For having murdered my family and ruin my life.”
Klaus let out a low growl. Did she touch his first sired? He now thought it was a bad idea to leave Katherine to Bella, he wanted her blood on his hands, now.
Bella moved to the ajar door and gently took Klaus’ hand to calm him. She hadn’t liked the idea that Klaus proposed, but this was going to be so much fun, that she went along with it.
“What was that?” Katherine’s eyes shot to the door. “What are you hiding in there?”
“My entertainment,” Klaus deadpanned and gently pulled a naked Bella from behind him. “Isn’t she gorgeous?”
“Oh, so he does share!” Katherine said giddily. “You’re not mad at me?”
“Of course I am, but I’m a changed man,” he gently brushed a strand of hair out of Bella’s face and sniffed her neck. “She smells delicious.”
“She does, I remember,” Katherine was almost salivating.
Bella looked up to Klaus with admiration in her eyes and then looked at Katherine, her expression shifting from loving to deadly.
“Bella, be a dear and welcome our guest,” Klaus said as his gaze on Katherine now matched Bella’s.
She sauntered over to Katherine, swaying her hips and licking her lips as she’d been taught. From the corner of her eye she saw Kol, Peter and Jeri pop up on the balcony, sharing a bucket of popcorn, and it was hard not to break character, this was fun. Looking at Katherine through her lashes, she dropped to her knees without breaking her gaze, her face morphing quickly as she sprung forward and then bit her leg.
“What the hell!” Katherine cried out, pushing Bella away before lifting her pants leg to see the bite mark. “Those are not human teeth!”
Grinning, Bella rose to her feet and grabbed Katherine’s hair, pulling her back, so she had access to her neck to give her another bite. “Surprise!” Releasing her, she pushed Katherine to the other side of the room and looped her arm through Klaus’ who had joined her side. “Can we please watch how she slowly goes insane? Please?”
“No, no, no!” Katherine screeched, seething in anger. “This is not happening! Edward!”
“He’s not coming,” Bella said as she picked a piece of meat out from between her teeth. “He was such a lovely bonfire. All that was missing were some marshmallows.” Bella sighed as she looked up to Klaus. “I knew I forgot something!”
“And here I thought you had switched your humanity back on, love.”
“Nah, your compulsion didn’t stick either,” she said with a shrug before letting go of Klaus and picking up a piece of wood. She quickly moved to Katherine, cornering her, and used the wood to nail her to the wall before pulling off Katherine’s pants. “Oh, fancy underwear!”
“Bella, what are you doing?”
She fell to her knees and grabbed another piece of wood before looking over her shoulder. “She once thought it was funny to push a stick covered with barbed wire up my hole. Granted, Carlisle wasn’t too happy about it, but I thought I’d return the favor.”
Katherine let out a cry as she pushed herself off the wall. The wooden beam going through her body and she tried to make it to the nearest exit, only to be surprised that she couldn’t leave. “Let me go!”
“Elijah? Did you forget to mention that Jeri made Klaus’ chambers a supernatural playpen?” Kol asked disapprovingly.
“It may have slipped my mind, yes,” Elijah replied, standing in the doorway with Jessica at his side. “My apologies, Katerina. You are beyond help and at the mercy of Niklaus and his mate, who, as it turns out, still has her humanity switched off.” He had to admit, it hurt his heart to see his once beloved Katerina half undressed and in a right state. But she had it coming, and Elijah did not want to stop his brother this time. “I do wish you the best of luck.”
“Elijah, please,” Katherine begged. “Don’t let them do this to me.”
“You’ve made your bed, Katerina. It’s time you’ve finally slept in it.”
Klaus pulled Katherine back into the room and bit the other side of her neck. “Oh, we’re going to enjoy watching you suffer.”
“Hand me some popcorn,” Bella, still naked, walked over to the window and looked at Kol, Jeri and Peter. “You get to share; we want some too.”
“Shouldn’t you cover yourself up, kitten?” Peter asked.
Bella looked down at herself and then looked him straight in the eye. “What? Don’t you like what you see? Then turn around or avert your eyes, like Kol’s doing. Popcorn.” She held out her hand for some. “Or throw a human in here. We’re hungry.”
Kol smirked as he waved his bucket out of her reach. “You should turn your humanity back on, Mooner.”
“Shut up, Kol.”
“Klaus, please,” Katherine was clinging on to him. “Don’t do this, I’ll be good! I promise! I’ll be good, please, just give me your blood.” She was about to take a bite when Klaus pushed her off of him. “Klaus!”
“You’re pathetic,” Klaus said as he turned around to fetch Bella a robe. She didn’t mind her nudity much, but he didn’t want his brothers ogling her either. Bella was still in front of the window when he returned and covered her before turning to Katherine. “You will suffer in silence, or I will feed you my blood, heal you and we’ll do this all over again until you get the message, do you understand?”
“Fine,” Katherine muttered, crossing her arms and sat down against the wall.
“Alright, I’ve had enough,” Kol said as he jumped into the room from the balcony and grabbed Bella by her shoulders. “Poppet, you’ve had your fun. Now turn your humanity back on because frankly, I’m missing you.”
“Are you mad!” Elijah cried out.
“Brother, I know what I’m doing.”
“I sincerely doubt that,” Jeri muttered. “Kol, you are an idiot every single day of the week. Couldn’t you have taken one day off?!”
“Nope,” Kol grinned as he looked at Bella. “Come on, poppet. I miss fooling around with you.”
“Kol!” Klaus warned him.
Bella noticed Klaus’ uneasiness with Kol’s attention to her and bit Kol so he would let go of her. “Get away from me.”
“Ah, come on!” Kol whined as he rubbed his arm. “We’ll need to buy you a muzzle if you continue to do this.”
She growled as her eyes flashed amber and Kol took a step back, holding his hands up in defense. They changed to red before she bit the palm of her hand and offered it to him. “Welcome to the nuthouse, we’re so glad to have you.”
He had blinked at her before he looked at Klaus for permission. Klaus gave a slight nod as he watched his brother drink his mate’s blood. His brother was an idiot, but he hoped that he had a plan. Frankly, he welcomed the help. He was at a wit’s end; he wanted Bella back too. And hopefully, she’d retain some of the things she discovered during her time without any fear.
“Hey, Klaus,” Cami’s voice sounded before the door opened, and she stepped inside. “Bella, Kol and… a loser for a vampire.”
“Cami, this may not be the best time for a visit,” he said, quickly moving between the fragile human and Bella.
“I think this is the best time for a visit, I’m starving!” Bella said, taking her hand away from Kol, pat him on the head as if he was a puppy and made her way over to Klaus and Cami. “You smell delicious, fresh,” she licked her lips. “And your heart beats so fast… oh my, you’re scared!”
“No, I’m not,” Cami said as she looked up to Klaus. “As your therapist, I was shocked to hear Rebekah retelling the story of Elena and how she got her groove back.”
Bella’s smile that she had on the woman slowly fell as her eyes shifted into a displeased expression. “Who the fuck is Elena and why is this the first time I’m hearing about this bitch now?”
“Oh, Elena,” Kol cooed, watching Bella’s bitemark disappear. “Oh yeah, Klaus had it in for her alright. Just like Katerina here, he wooed her to break the curse of the sun and the moon, making him the biggest and baddest hybrid out there.”
“Stop your lying Kol. You were boxed for that event,” Klaus snapped at him.
“Elijah told me the story,” Kol said nonchalantly. “Apparently, it was very cute.”
“And you twist the facts to stir up more drama and make her more angry at me!”
“Oh get off it, brother,” Rebekah’s voice sounded as she leaned against the door. “We all know you have a special place in your heart for the little bitch of Mystic Falls. Or wait, was that the Hayley girl? Or maybe Caroline? I’m sorry, I could never tell your teenagers apart.”
Bella began to growl deeply as she looked over her shoulder at him. “Hayley?”
“And then there was me,” Cami spoke up, taking a step forward. “For a while, Klaus and I had a passionate relationship.”
Not only Bella, but Klaus’ head spun around to stare at her in shock. She considered Cami a friend before she was turned, and her eyes began to darken as the veins grew outwards. “You what?” she questioned lowly.
“Yeah, it mostly involved a lot of yelling from his side. But that doesn’t matter now. All I wanted to say to Klaus that we needed to talk about how Elena got her groove back.”
He was so overwhelmed with what was going on that it didn’t actually click inside his mind yet. “Cami, what have you done?” He asked in a whisper, holding Bella’s arm.
“She got her groove back with Matt, wasn’t it, brother?” Rebekah coached him.
His eyes narrowed at his sister through the open doors, still slow to follow as his mate’s growls grew with her anger as she started to pull away from him. “Are you seriously suggesting that I willingly allow Bella to be with someone else?! Are you out of your bloody mind?! No! Absolutely not!”
“He’s quite slow, isn’t he, sister?” Kol smirked. “Let’s see… after Hayley and Caroline there was Cami… spending hours and hours on end in Klaus’ presence, talking, painting, drinking. According to Marcel, there was some sexual tension between them.”
“He was absolutely enamoured by Vivianne the last time we lived in New Orleans,” Rebekah shared.
“He even raised her from the dead and married her. Didn’t turn out so well for New Orleans or him, for that matter.”
Bella managed to get free from Klaus’ hold by breaking his arm and lunged for Cami, snapping her neck without flinching. She watched how Cami’s body dropped to the floor and didn’t know what to quite think about that.
“Congratulations, poppet. You just killed your human friend. Are you happy now?” Kol said from his spot away from Bella. “No more Cami for you. No more girls nights with Cami and the rest of the girls because Cami is gone.” He moved over to Klaus to hold him back as he saw that it finally dawned on his brother what was going on.
“No…” Bella murmured as she looked at the heap on the floor. “I didn’t- I didn’t do this. I can’t have…”
“But you did. You and your cold heart.”
“Cami,” Bella said as she started to sob and fell on her knees, pulling the lifeless body into her arms. “Oh no, I killed Cami!” She started to cry as she cradled Cami’s body. “I’m so sorry; I’m so sorry!”
“Good job, Bella.” Kol shot at her.
“No! This is unforgivable!” Bella pleadingly looked at Jeri. “My life for hers, please, please, can you do that?”
“No,” Jeri said as she, too, hopped into the room and made her way over to her, showing Bella the ring that Cami was wearing. “You didn’t kill her, Bella,” she said kindly. “Well, you did, but she’ll come back.”
“Promise?” Bella turned into Jeri and put her arms around her. “Promise?”
“I promise,” she said gently as she helped Bella to her feet. “Kol will make sure she’ll be comfortable when she gets back on her feet, in her body. But first, we all are going to leave this room, apart from Katherine and then you and Klaus can talk in your room, okay?”
Bella nodded and watched as Kol scooped Cami up from the floor and walked out the door. It was then that Bella noticed the destruction of the room and knew that she had done that. She shot Klaus a fearful look, wondering if he was mad at her, but she couldn’t see anything on his face that indicated that he was. Letting out a sigh of relief, she allowed Jeri to take her out of the room.
There were fresh clothes and food in her room and waiting for Klaus to come in was agonizing. She could hear him yell at his siblings before he simmered down and thanked them, and all she could do was wait. She felt too nauseous to eat now. She had killed Cami in her rage. She had taken care of Edward, killed him proper. Actually killed him. It wasn’t that he didn’t have it coming, but she had done it without hesitation, and that scared her. She had ruined some of Klaus’ paintings. She had been mean. Angry. Jealous.
She looked out the window onto the street and smiled. She had learned, though, that the outside wasn’t that scary and that she wanted to go on a new adventure, have Klaus show her, New Orleans. There weren’t monsters in the sewers or behind the bushes. She was the monster, and she had proven to herself that she was strong enough to be on top of the food chain, like Klaus. As an equal.
When the door opened, she didn’t hesitate to run into Klaus’ arms and put her arms around him. “My behaviour over the last few days is unforgivable.”
He held her close for a moment before pulling back to look into her eyes, to assure himself that it was indeed his Bella that was inside her. Smiling, he shook his head. “Nonsense. What you’ve done is something that many vampires have done at one point or another. There has been periods that I’ve let my temper go unchecked for a decade and blood ran in the streets like glorious rain. You have done nothing to be ashamed of Love.”
“I didn’t mean to do it; it just happened when I panicked.”
“We realized that soon after, especially since we had yet to explain that it was an option to you. For you to discover it accidentally, was a shock to all of us, but you are back now, and that is what matters,” he assured her as he pressed his lips to her hairline.
“My behaviour has been appalling. I am really sorry; I didn’t mean to be jealous or angry for things that happened in your past. It’s the past.”
Klaus smiled at her. “I’d be upset if you weren’t. I admit I’ve made questionable choices in the past, and many are still walking the earth. I promise you, Bella, that none of them hold a candle to how I see you. I am yours, and you are mine. In fact, I believe that this little mark that you have gifted me this week indicates as much,” he said smugly as he pulled at the collar of his shirt to reveal the scar she left on him.
She smiled as she breathed in his scent. “Yes,” she said with a slight giggle when the memory resurfaced of that night. “That was incredible.” She looked up to him, adoration in her eyes. “Will you take me out to dinner tomorrow night? Have we deserved that?”
He raised an eyebrow as he reared back in surprise. “Out? Beyond the doors?” he clarified.
“Out,” she nodded in confirmation. “You can show me New Orleans and if I’m doing well, well… you promised me sex on top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris so…”
“That I did, didn’t I? Well then, dinner tomorrow it is. I think I have just the place in mind…” he started to say.
“Oh! I passed a great smelling restaurant when I was dragging Edward with me. He had to read the signs, and he wasn’t happy about it. Fucker should have taught me to read. But it’s called Alfredo’s.”
Klaus couldn’t help but to laugh heartily as he pulled her closer. “If that is where you wish to go, then I will be pleased to accompany you there…” His ears picked up light discussions in Kol and Jeri’s room, where they had taken Camille. “Cami has woken up.”
“I’ll apologize to her later,” she said as she kicked against the door to have it closed and pulled Klaus towards the table that was set with goblets of blood and all of Bella’s favourite food. “I’m starving, what about you?”
He looked over the arrangement and let out a sigh before turning his eyes to her. “I don’t see anything on the table that particularly fancies my taste, but there is something underneath that robe that satisfies my hunger much more…”
Bella let out a sigh of relief. “Oh good, because I was in the mood for something long and salty and… spunky.”