She was still a little wobbly on her feet after she and Klaus spent most of the day together, in bed or on the floor or against the wall, in the tub… Still high on sex, but smelling like roses, Bella now stood in front of the mirror wearing the dress that she knew that would guarantee Klaus to go batty. Again. It would also catch the eye of Lucien, and she wasn’t sure about Tristan, he sounded just as asexual and stuck up as Elijah.
She was wearing a gorgeous lace column cocktail dress with a jewel neckline and a little bit of sleeve. The illusion was that it was see-through and nude underneath, but in fact, there was fabric in the color of her skin that was attached to the dress to create it. It was one of her favorite dresses, still. She couldn’t remember if she’d ever worn it for Klaus. Probably not.
When she heard Klaus speak downstairs, she moved to the balustrade and leaned over it to see what was going on. She kept herself from laughing when she noticed how ‘dressing up’ for the vampires meant to wear ‘a different suit’ and in Klaus’ case, he’d put a velvet dinner jacket over his casual henley and jeans. Aurora was dressed in a velvet dress. A purple one at that. Since when was velvet back in fashion? It was gross. Those puffy shoulders were clearly out of the previous century!
Lucien looked like a horny teenager when Aurora greeted him. Of course. Why was Bella even surprised about this? What was it with men and falling for complete nutcases like Aurora? Was it her tits? Or was it merely for sentimental reasons, that it was easier, since they were all so ancient? Oh, but she could work with the look of horror that appeared on both Tristan and Lucien’s face when Klaus grabbed Aurora’s attention.
Then, of course, almost as if it was rehearsed, Elijah descended the stairs and rolled into his dramatic speech. “Welcome to our home! I do wish it was under better circumstances. We all face a common threat- a prophecy warning that my siblings and I would all fall within a year.” Cue the dramatic pause. Bella silently snickered. Elijah deserved an Oscar for his performance abilities. “I fear my sister already has.” There it was. She fought hard against the urge to whoop and applaud Elijah for his performance, she did.
There was some petty squabbling and a patronizing Elijah belittling Lucien, before Elijah invited the trinity to sit down at the table. Klaus was just about to speak up when Aurora’s annoying voice sounded. “Nik, aren’t you forgetting something?”
“What’s that, love?” He replied pleasantly as he walked towards her.
Aurora sighed dramatically. “You got into a fight with her madam about this. You should get her down for this lovely feast. After all, we do need to keep the whore happy, don’t we? Since you’re obviously refusing to allow her to return to the rotten place you found her in.”
Bella was surprised by that. Maybe Aurora said it to test him, or her, or maybe it was simply out of kindness. Shrugging, Bella headed towards the stairs and waited. She had to pretend to be compelled. Fucker. Fuck her. Fuck him. Fuck everyone.
“Well, as a matter of fact, I’ve asked her to join us this evening as a referee,” Klaus said as he pointed to the top of the stairs and motioned for Bella to head down. She looked ravishing. Absolutely gorgeous. Even Lucien did a double take. Klaus could hear him swallow, hard. Tristan was surprised, but even he was interested. “Isa, darling, please join us. You remember Lucien, don’t you?”
“I do,” she smiled brightly at him, caressing his cheek with her hand as she passed him to round the table to sit down next to Lucien. “Hello, Lucien. It’s so good to see you again.”
“You’ve been here all along?”
“I have,” she smiled at him. “Klaus is treating me well.”
Aurora scoffed. “Hardly. She’s been compelled to say that.”
“Compelled? Really?” Lucien cocked his head as he looked at Klaus before back at Isa. He knew that she couldn’t be compelled. What kind of game was his sire playing? Not going to ruin his game – as there must have been a reason for this charade, he leaned into her. “You still owe me a shag, beautiful. So repeat after me; ‘I want you to take me home, Lucien.'”
Bella’s smile faltered as she narrowed her eyes at him before reaching for her fork and stabbed him between his legs. “Oh, I’m so sorry, Lucien!” Bella said panicked. “That wasn’t me, I swear!”
“I told you, she’s compelled. There’s no original thought left in her body,” Aurora said bored. “Obviously, Nik wants to keep her all to himself and compelled her to use brutal force against anyone who’d make her want to change her mind.”
Lucien snarled as he pulled the fork out of his skin and wrapped his hand tightly around Bella’s throat. “I shall get rid of his toy, right now!”
“Put down the girl, Lucien,” Elijah commanded, but Lucien wasn’t listening.
Klaus was quick on his feet and broke Lucien’s arm, so he let go of Bella. “Isa’s human and she is not to be harmed. Have I made myself clear?” He spat at his first sireling. “I shall not hesitate to kill you should any one of you hurt a hair on her perfect little body.” Releasing Lucien, he checked Bella over. He had not expected him to do this. “Are you alright?”
She nodded quickly as she reached for a glass of water to drink from it. This had been a bad idea. “I don’t think I should be here, Klaus.”
“Ah! An original thought!” Aurora squealed. “Well done, little girl.”
“I promise I won’t tell Myriam.” She’d never been scared shitless in the presence of vampires. No, something really had changed within her. She wasn’t sure if it was because of her supernatural status or that she didn’t want to die just yet. But she wanted out. This had been a bad idea. What a waste of a pretty awesome dress. She’d wished she’d been able to show it some more.
“Isa, I am sorry,” Lucien started, which earned him a backhanded slap from Klaus, who kept his eyes on her.
“Go fill up a plate then, sweetheart, and go to your room,” he murmured. “I’m sorry.”
“It’s okay,” she smiled at him and softly kissed him before doing as she was told. She didn’t understand why she was feeling the way that she did. It wasn’t the same sort of feeling that she had around Freya or Davina, but it was a more intense feeling of dread and pain. Of betrayal. Was it coming off of Lucien? She had hoped he was one of the good guys, but feeling like this? She wasn’t so sure anymore. “I should be the one who’s sorry.”
Sighing, Klaus bit his hand and dripped some of his blood into an empty glass as Bella gathered some food on her plate. He handed her the glass as she stood to leave. “I’ll check in on you later.”
Elijah watched Bella leave and processed what he had just witnessed. She had met Lucien before and hadn’t really had the idea to leave him, even after his witch had stopped her from leaving. In fact, as the way that his brother had told the story, she turned it around and played Lucien for quite some money. Bella didn’t like Aurora, but that was because she was insane and as much as the girl denied it, she really didn’t want to share Niklaus anymore. However, she didn’t have the same reaction when Aurora was around.
Perhaps a little, but Elijah wasn’t worried about that. No, he was worried that Tristan, his sireling, and leader of The Strix, was the problem. The threat. That Bella’s internal alarm bells went off, and she wasn’t able to pinpoint where it was coming from, but Tristan was the only one she hadn’t encountered before. It made sense. He glanced over to his brother and came to the realization that he had the same idea.
Tristan was going to cause them one hell of a headache.
Some distance did her some good, but almost half an hour later, or an hour later, perhaps, she could hear fighting coming from everywhere in the compound. Talking, slapping, punching, growling. Bella had barricaded all entries to her bedroom, just in case. Not that it would help against a vampire, but it was the thought that counts.
After changing into something more comfortable, she found a note on her bed from Davina. I don’t know where you are, and I hope this comes to you and not someone else. Can you meet me at Gillespie’s Pub? It’s on St. Peter’s, the corner of Bourbon Street. I could use a friend right now. D.
Blinking, Bella grabbed her purse with her money and was glad she hadn’t changed into PJ’s but a pair of jeans and a t-shirt, and tossed the note into the fire. Using a piece of paper and a pen, she left a note for Klaus on her bed and snuck out. She didn’t want to bother the vampires in case something happened, or in case she was interrupting their plans or whatever.
Yeah, it was dark, and yeah, she knew she shouldn’t be out by herself, but Davina had actually reached out to her. It was a chance she had to take. She blinked when she passed Marcel on the street. He was walking by so fast that she didn’t think that he’d seen her, which was probably for the best, before she ducked into Gillespie’s. It was a karaoke bar. Perfect.
She found Davina at a corner of the bar, pushing around her food, looking miserable. “Hey,” Bella greeted her as she slid onto the stool next to Davina’s. “Is everything okay?”
“No,” Davina sighed eventually, putting her fork down. “I’m still trying to process it myself, I mean, where to go from here? I had to do what I had to; otherwise they wouldn’t respect me and it seems to work for everyone else, but why not me? It came round to bite me in the ass, and now I’m useless.”
She blinked as she tried to make sense of Davina’s words. “Slow down; you’re not making any sense, Davina,” she said as she rubbed the girl’s back. “Why are you so upset?”
She took a deep breath and ordered Bella a beer and a soda for herself. She waited for hers to arrive and took a swig. “Were you working? Is that how you could come here so quickly?”
Bella snorted as she pointed at her outfit. “Do I look like I was working?”
“No,” she blushed. “Sorry, it’s none of my business, I shouldn’t have asked…”
“And what if I was? You need me; you magically sent me this note. What kind of a person am I if I refuse to answer it?” Bella took a long swig of her beer and shook her head. “Way to change the direction of the conversation.”
“Yeah well… I’m afraid that if I say it out loud that it’ll be true.”
“If something happened to you, then it probably is true. You weren’t assaulted, were you?”
“No, no, nothing like that!” Davina gasped. “Oh, god no. I don’t know what I’d do if that happened.”
“As a woman, there are two ways to deal with that. One, if you feel threatened by a man, just stare at his junk every once in awhile. It’ll make him feel self-conscious and leave you alone. Two; if it does happen, just break his dick. Uhm. Manhood.” Bella took another swig. “Besides, you’ve got magic; you don’t need strength.”
“True,” she snorted. “But I’m not as powerful as I used to be. They shunned me. I’m no longer a regent, and I don’t belong to any coven anymore. I feel so powerless. And I was well in my rights, you know. Other people kill to make a statement and get away with it, like Klaus Mikaelson, and when I ask a wolf to take care of something, it blows up in my face. Granted, the bitch lost control and killed a lot of witches instead of just the one but…”
“I’m sorry, Davina,” Bella said as she rubbed her back. “Why did they shun you, though? You must have had a good reason to want to get rid of someone?”
“You’re not even shocked that I’m a murderer?”
“You’re not. Perhaps by proxy… I dunno. I’ve seen worse shit.”
“And the reason was that she threatened me. And my position as regent. I know that I’m like the youngest regent ever, but she humiliated me in front of everyone,” she sighed and took a sip of her soda. “And now I’ve lost everything.”
“Yes!” Davina whined. “And it’s not like I could use my position for anything that I wanted, either. I mean, when I became regent, the ancestors granted me all their power for one spell. And I choose the spell to bring back my boyfriend, but, the Mikaelsons hijacked the spell by swapping out his ashes with that of his mother. So all that magic, gone. Because they ended up killing her too. I stopped doing favors for vampires, like creating rings for them, and I fought every coven to remain where I was. It was all I had, Bella. Magic. The power.”
She now understood why Klaus wanted to get rid of Davina; she was an obvious threat, but now with her power stripped away from her, maybe he could ease up a little on her. “You’re still alive; that must count for something. You’re obviously still able to do magic even without the help of your ancestors. You’re more than just a witch, Davina. You’re a person first, and you’re still here.”
“Yeah, you’re right,” Davina smiled at her and nodded. “Thanks, I needed that. Want to do some karaoke?”
“Sure, why not? I’ll even switch to drinking soda as to be your equal. Sucks that you’re not 21 yet,” Bella pouted. “Unless we go somewhere else, like privately and have fun.”
“Karaoke it is,” Bella laughed.
Coming home hours after the ending of the dinner party, she found the courtyard yet again, in ruins. Sighing, she shook her head and headed up the stairs where she was greeted by Elijah. “Good morning,” she muttered, wished she had a good reason to be in this late.
“Good Morning, how are you feeling?” He asked pleasantly as he followed her. “Better?”
“Tired,” she replied. “I’m going to bed.”
He gently put his hand on her arm and made her turn to look at him. “Niklaus is out, searching for Camille. It seems that someone has taken her out of Lucien’s custody, and we’re worried that something has happened to her,” Elijah said gently. “I do not expect him back until he has found her.”
“Okay,” Bella said with a yawn. “Wait, Lucien had Cami?”
“It’s a long story that really doesn’t matter right now,” he smiled politely. “I just need to inform you about a couple of things, in Niklaus’ absence. We’re holding Tristan, and we’re going to try to get the information we need about our sister’s whereabouts from him. It might get loud.”
“Also; since we’re holding Tristan, it’s entirely possible that his minions, the Strix, will make an attempt to get him released. It’s likely it’ll be done by force. Know that you’re protected inside the walls of this building. You are invisible to anyone who’s not a Mikaelson for the next 24 hours. Should you feel that you’re not safe in your room, please hide out in the dungeons.” He then smiled at her. “But please, please refrain from running away.”
“Okay,” she smiled at him. “I trust you. Thank you, Elijah.”
“Do try to get some rest; it’s going to be a long day.”
She stopped him from walking away by placing her hand on his arm. “Elijah, are you okay?”
“Of course,” he smiled reassuringly, but without the actual feeling behind it. “Niklaus believes that we have the prophecy under control, but I’m not so sure about that. On top of that, Camille has been taken and…” Elijah let out a deep breath. “It’s nothing you should worry yourself with. What matters is that you’re safe and will be safe. May I ask… where were you this evening?”
“Davina needed me. We talked and then had a karaoke session, so it was awesome,” she said with a yawn. “Whatever you have planned, or whatever you expect to happen, please be careful.”
“Of course. Have a good night, Bella.”
“Good night, Elijah.”
Bella woke up to screaming, yelling and the smashing of things and fought her own fear of getting hurt. Elijah had told her, nobody but the Mikaelsons could see her, but even then, it was hard to wake up with. Quickly changing into her clothes, she quietly ventured out to see what was going on, only to be nearly grazed by seemingly a member of the Strix. It had been a close call. Had she honestly slept all day then? Had she been that exhausted or was that part of another spell of Freya’s, just to keep her out of harm’s way and not bored?
She did as she was told then, going to the dungeons and wait it all out. She wished she could do something, but if they thought the threat had been severe enough to make her invisible, then she should stay out of it. It wasn’t until Klaus came to find her that she knew that she was safe.
“You’re back!” She said as she flew into his arms and held him tightly. “Are you okay? Is Cami okay? What happened?”
He breathed in her scent and relaxed; he had been on edge all day because of what happened with Aurora and Camille, and then learning that the Strix had invaded his home. All he wanted now was to sleep. He had left Camille to sleep on the sofa in the courtyard, well protected, and even offered her a room of her own, but she refused.
Camille was going to linger for a few days until she’d get back on her feet, until she was certain that no vampire would come after her again. She’d gone through quite the ordeal, and strangely enough, it made him wonder how Bella would have reacted if she’d been in the same situation as his therapist had been in.
“We’re going to be able to spend the next couple of days in relative peace as we’re going to prepare for the Christmas celebrations,” he said instead and kissed the top of her head. “Right now, however, I want us to get into our bed and take a breather.”
“What about Aurora?”
“That part is over and done with, love, no more pretending, no more praising her. From now on, we’re treating her as the person she is; a psychotic lunatic.”
“So it’s just us?” She looked up at him, a glimmer of hope in her eyes. “Really? Can we finally continue being us?”
“For now, yes,” he smiled at her before lifting her in his arms and took her upstairs. “I will tell you everything in the morning.”
“Last question…” she said as she looked at him as he carried her to their room. “Are Elijah and Freya alright? There was so much commotion and…”
“Of course they are. There’s nothing that a little bit of blood can’t fix. Now, please, love, can we change the subject?”
A mischievous look appeared on Bella’s face. “Or we could not talk at all.”