As she had expected, Klaus told her everything that had happened that night when they were in bed, even the fight; that he had found it exhilarating to finally reach a mutual understanding with his brother, even though, sadly, the original plan of killing Aurora had somewhat failed. Bella quipped that it was a good thing though that they hadn’t brought the bag filled with her old clothes to the club and she was now sorting through the clothes, making sure that the bedroom was sprawled with them. And her shoes.
Oh, her shoes. They were definitely the kind of shoes that screamed ‘hooker’ and she was damn proud of it.
Even though she and Klaus had agreed to her playing up her part, didn’t mean that she was going to let him off easily. No, she had chosen the clothes that he had responded quite well to in the past, and since she was in relative safety, she went out by herself to get herself some nice-smelling bath products and perfume that Klaus hadn’t packed for her.
Being out by herself was quite scary. But she knew that Klaus was in the Quarter, somewhere, trying to find Aurora and see what she was up to, whose side she was on and what not, so Bella was pretty sure that if she’d be in danger and would call loud enough, or even scream, he’d find her.
She loved the perfumery on Royal Street; she had just never imagined it being so close to Klaus’ home, though. She usually ordered from them online, but to do it in person now was just too good to pass up on. She ordered some rose scented, lavender scented and orange blossom scented perfume, body shower, lotion, and shampoos. What she loved about this store was that she could buy everything she needed, and they weren’t as intrusive in scent as the regular high-end brands out there. It was perfect.
Bella then went to buy some handmade candy and chocolate, and that dress she saw in a window was going to be hers too. It was only then that she noticed that she was being followed by someone she didn’t know and instead of stopping for a beignet or something else to eat, she went straight home.
It was a shame, though, she had loved being outside in the sun, walking around as if she didn’t have a care in the world. It was only then that she realized that the person following her couldn’t have been a Cold One, but with everything that was going on in Klaus’ life, she figured she’d done the best thing she could have done and flee.
She helped the housekeeper to make the other bedroom look as if Klaus had been living in it for years, transferring most of his clothes there, reposition the art and make it look home to him before she had another surge of bravery. Bella went across the street to buy additions to her maintenance toiletry bag, such as razors. Débauche usually provided their girls with it, so she never had to worry about it, but she had to take care of it herself now, which was fine.
By the time she was satisfied with herself, she had made her way down to the kitchens to fetch some dinner for herself. There was nobody there; the place was deserted, and she didn’t quite feel like cooking an elaborate meal for herself. A sandwich and some reheated soup would do her just nicely. From the window, she could see Klaus and Aurora walk into the courtyard, and she felt a pang of jealousy wash over her. Aurora was all over him as she took in the yard that was still in ruins after Klaus and Elijah’s fight. Bella didn’t like the way that Klaus moved around Aurora – as if he was smitten and Aurora was a delicate flower. She had to hand it to him; he was a great actor, but so was Bella.
She was going to have to have her dinner later, right now she needed to greet her client upon his return home. Grabbing a bottle of bourbon, she took a few sips to have alcohol on her breath and watched as Klaus took Aurora upstairs. Going the other way round, she was just in time to see Klaus kiss the redheaded vampire and Bella nearly gagged. “Oh! My apologies!” Bella said as she averted her eyes. “I didn’t mean to interrupt…”
“More food!” Aurora squealed as she used her vamp speed to get close to Bella.
“No,” Klaus went after her and stopped her only a second before she’d sink her teeth into her. “This is Isa. I compelled her to come and greet me whenever I come home,” he said as he ran his hand through Bella’s hair. “She’s quite lovely, isn’t she?”
“Tasty,” Aurora said as she licked her lips. “Oh, Nik, can’t I just have one sip?”
“While I’ve paid for her services, her boss won’t be too pleased if I return her with less blood in her body than she left with,” Klaus lifted Bella’s chin and looked her in the eyes. Oh, she looked so hot, she smelled so good, and she was playing her part so well. He wanted to snap Aurora’s neck and have sex with Bella instead. “I won’t be needing your services tonight, love, go to your room. Close your doors and watch some Netflix until you get sleepy and go to bed, understood?”
A mischievous twinkle appeared in her eye as her stomach growled. “Of course, Klaus.”
“Have some food before that. I do not wish for you to starve. Your boss will have my hide if you die of starvation.”
“Thank you,” she smiled at him, and as he released her, she turned around and walked away, swaying her hips and trying not to laugh out loud. Pretending to be compelled was so much fun. It was a good thing that he asked her to close the door, at least she wouldn’t have to listen to him and Aurora… Bella shuddered at the thought and realized it was hypocritical of her to think this way.
“You didn’t have to drop everything for this appointment with me, Elijah,” Myriam said as she popped a french fry in her mouth. “I know you have more important things on your plate right now.”
He hated the smell of the place. It was artificial; it smelled like oil and grease, the worst quality of food and sweat. So many sweaty tourists surrounding them that it was distracting. Myriam didn’t seem to mind; she was happily eating her fries and her burger while he hadn’t touched his food. For safety, he had chosen what she had picked out for herself as he thought it would be nice, but if he had to be honest, he felt like a fish out of water. “We set a date, impending doom or not, you’re more than capable of taking care of yourself, and I see no reason for us to stop seeing each other.”
“Is that so?” Myriam took her styrofoam cup filled with cola and drank from her straw as she eyed him. “What if your enemies think that there’s more between us and would like to use me as an advantage?”
“I know that we don’t know each other very well yet, but I hadn’t imagined you being a typical damsel in distress.”
“I’m not,” she replied as she popped another fry in her mouth before pointing to his food. “You haven’t touched anything, aren’t you hungry?”
As if his nails were being pulled out from this fingers, he unwrapped his burger and took a bite out of it. It was as if he was eating cardboard. The meat was processed to the bone, and he wouldn’t even be surprised if there was, in fact, discarded bone in there. “How can you eat this?” Elijah asked after he painfully swallowed the bite and had to resort to taking a sip of his beverage to be able to talk.
“Easy, it’s food,” Myriam said amused. She was so tempted to take her phone and snap a picture of Elijah and the hamburger to send it off to Klaus; he’d be laughing his ass off. “So, I know you Mikaelsons like to implode when shit hits the fan, keep everything between yourselves, but if you need help, don’t hesitate to ask me, huh? Like you and your brother, I have access to a lot of resources.”
“I’m sure that we’ll be fine, Myriam, thank you,” he said pleasantly. “I even suggested to Niklaus that he’d bring Bella back to you for the time being, but he refused.”
“Of course, he did. Not that she’d leave, either,” she said as she took another sip of her drink. “She feels a little left out, but knows that it’s for the best.”
“I don’t trust her, still.”
“Elijah,” Myriam sighed disappointed. “Is this because there was a Cold One in the dungeons for a couple of days?”
“No,” he said, not surprised that Bella had informed Myriam about it. “It’s the little things. How she seemingly dropped everything concerning her so that Niklaus can focus on our matters. She’s a far removed relative from people we’ve encountered before, and they weren’t trustworthy to say the least, always playing their own game alongside ours. I’m merely trying to figure out what her play is.”
“Her play?” she was surprised at that. “My dear Elijah, her play is that she loves your brother. She’s not one to draw attention to herself, to her problems. Should the both of them have decided that your problems are more pressing, then you should respect that. She told me about everything.”
“Of course, the girl needs someone to talk to. You’re all at risk here, she’s concerned, allow her to help.”
Elijah sighed and slowly nodded. “It’s just that she doesn’t trust my sister, Freya, which is strange seeing as she helped you and Niklaus with your club, hasn’t she?”
Myriam shrugged. “Speaking of the club, you’re still not getting in. Especially now that you’ve got a target on your back. I do not want my girls in trouble.”
He smiled at that. “When this is all over…”
“You still may not enter my club,” she said stubbornly. “Not until I’ve made sure you’re trustworthy enough and that you’re not using me to get what you want.”
“And what do I want?”
“I haven’t figured that out yet. It could be to have something to hold over your brother’s head or to make sure that there’s a rift between your brother and me…”
“Or perhaps there’s a genuine interest and admiration for your work,” Elijah replied with a slow nod. “However, I do not wish to enter your club at this point, because of the issues we’re dealing with right now.”
“Am I falling in the category of the friend who could take you down?”
“Do you think I consider you my friend?”
“Perhaps not, but I’m a friend of Klaus.”
“Let’s not go down that path. At this time, I do not believe you to be the cause of the downfall of one of us,” Elijah replied, trying to eat a fry but abandoned it. “Can we please go somewhere else to eat, next time?”
“Aww,” Myriam said as she smiled at him. “That took you long enough.” She gently pat his hand and reached for his fries. “Of course, Elijah. You pick the venue; I’ll be there. Just not something as uncomfortably fancy as the last time. Or, you’ll have to pay me for my services.”
Elijah was quiet for a moment. “This was a test, wasn’t it?”
“Of course it was.”
“Did I pass?”
“I’m not saying anything,” she said playfully. “But perhaps it would be wise to pay for a hotel room next time.”
Shocked, he blinked at her. “Really? Do you think I’m that easy to persuade to have a sexual encounter with you?”
“One, it’s cute that you call it that, but it’s just sex. Two; you may be a vampire with a rod shoved up your ass, but you’re still a man, and you like sex. Three; if you don’t, by the time our next encounter ends, you’re going to wish that you had,” she got to her feet and shook his hand. “Until next time, Mr. Mikaelson,” she winked at him. “I have to run; I have some business to attend to.”
Elijah watched Myriam leave the establishment before making a run for it himself, smelling like grease, he went straight to the compound to take a shower and burn his clothes, but he was pleased that things were progressing so well between him and Myriam, and he was going to follow her instructions. If she was open to more, then so was he.
It had been days. Days since she had had a decent conversation with Klaus. Days since she had seen more than five minutes of him and she had no idea what was going on. She had caught a few snippets here and there, that Aurora had Rebekah in her possession and Lucien now had some sort of thing that could lock people up or whatever, and Bella was bored.
With Aurora around, it wasn’t as if she could walk around the compound like she usually would or invite Myriam over because that would be dangerous. The first time she mentioned to Klaus that she was bored was when she passed the study where Elijah and Klaus had been discussing his ‘affections’ for Aurora. Elijah questioned whether or not his brother would use the same tactics on Tristan and Lucien and Klaus said they weren’t his type. She offered to help, but both vampires said no.
That was when she sent her first email to Myriam.
The last one was the day before Thanksgiving, and that was when Myriam came over. “Niklaus!” her voice bellowed through the courtyard. “If you’re not using my whore, I’d like to have her back please!”
Bella giggled as she made her way to the walkway and leaned over the barrier to look at Myriam. Klaus appeared next to her, only a few doors down and looked at her before looking at Myriam.
“I’m paying for her services, love, whether I use her or not,” he then looked at Bella before making his way over to her. “How dare you.”
“How dare I? I’ve been telling you that I’m bored. For days! You won’t allow me to leave the compound, or my room on most days, and I’d rather work for my money than to sit in my room, unused and look beautiful. Or knit. I’ve finished all the books I’ve brought with me; I’m pretty sure I watched everything on Netflix!”
“Isa, behave yourself,” Myriam scolded her as she used her speed to get to Bella and Klaus. She crossed her arms over her chest as she moved in front of Bella and looked at Klaus. “My girls like to entertain. They like to make sure that their client has everything he needs,” she said as she looked over his shoulder to see Aurora step onto the walkway as well. “And it seems that you have no use of my girl.”
“As I said, I’m paying for her services, what I do or don’t do with her is my problem.”
“Then give her some freedom. Isa has been nothing but loyal to you, and only you. If you’re not going to entertain her, then at least allow her to go out and buy some toys to entertain herself. Allow her to buy new books. Don’t keep her here.”
“I don’t want her to see other men!”
“Why is that, Nik?” Aurora asked playfully, finally made her way over to them and ran her hand over his arm. “This madam is right, if you’re not using the goods… why waste her?”
“I think he has some abandonment issues,” Myriam replied with a smile. “He’s had Isa for so long now; perhaps it’s hard to let go of her. Fine. You’re paying double from now on, and you’re going to allow her to go outside today and whenever she feels like it. You know she’s loyal. You made her that way.”
Sighing, Klaus nodded as he pushed past Myriam and narrowed his eyes on Bella, who, obstructed from Aurora’s view, smirked at him. “Have some fun outside these walls, love, but do return to me.”
“Thank you, Klaus,” she tiptoed and brushed his lips with hers before going into her bedroom to change into something a little more decent.
“Was that so hard?” Myriam asked as she looked at Klaus. “I expect payment in the Swan bank account soon,” she said as she stared him down. “Don’t make me come here again to tell you to loosen her reigns. A happy whore is a good whore.”
“Also, do not forget to feed her tomorrow at Thanksgiving. Not the shit you feed your servants, but the food you’re going to eat. Or I will take her away from you.”
“Fine,” Klaus muttered before paying his attention back to Aurora. “Where were we?”
Aurora giggled and pulled Klaus back into his bedroom. Bella, now more conservatively dressed, exited with her bag and hugged Myriam. “Thank you.”
“Do you want me to go with you?”
“Nah, I think I’m going to the cemetery to catch some sunshine in a safe place. I need a change of scenery,” she replied as she walked with Myriam down the stairs and towards the exit of the courtyard. “I want my brain challenged and engaged.”
“I really should get you a mobile phone so you can just call me instead of sending me an email.”
“Why? It worked, didn’t it?” Bella laughed and hugged Myriam again once they were on the streets. “I’ll see you later.” She hoisted her bag over her shoulder, her bag being slightly heavy due to its contents. While she had told Klaus that she’d let her side of the problems rest, she simply couldn’t. And now that she was completely out of the loop with his side, she figured it was time to do some digging of her own.
She was going to see if she could befriend Davina Claire. Yes, she knew that she didn’t like the Mikaelsons and Klaus didn’t like her in return, but Klaus’ second in command Marcel did. Marcel was a good little soldier and had told Bella about Davina’s relationship with the dead brother Kol. And if someone like him could stomach a girl like Davina… then it was worth a shot.
Before she went to the cemetery, she bought a few beers and some pastries. Maybe, just maybe, she was going to get lucky the first time of trying to meet with the girl.