Surprised by her question, he sat down on the bed with her and tucked a strand of hair behind her ear as he watched her face. Bella looked as if she was anticipating a positive answer; there was a flash of disappointment on her face, but also a hint of resignation. He never quite knew what to make of her, and that was what kept him on his toes around her. “Now why would you think about that nonsense? Do you want to leave?”
“No, I don’t want to leave you, I don’t. But I can understand if you’d want me to,” she said as she plucked an invisible piece of lint off his shirt and sighed. “And maybe Rebekah was right, you know.”
“Rebekah was under the influence of a curse, and that made her say things she didn’t really mean,” he smiled at her. “Or at least, perhaps she did. But has someone ripping you to shreds with their words have stopped you from anything before?”
“It’s not just that. It’s probably my fault, things that go through my mind. Things that I shouldn’t even think about…” Bella sighed as she met his eyes. “You’re not going to ask me to leave?”
“No, love,” he smiled warmly at her. “I had an exciting day with Camille and Detective Kinney. It appears that Lucien had compelled him to think less of himself and he was about to end his life, and I simply couldn’t allow that to happen. Camille looked heartbroken, and it was pathetic to see a man sit like that.” He sucked in a breath. “So I helped him. A little bit of compulsion, some words…”
“How did that make you feel?”
“She said it was uncharacteristic of me to show kindness like that, and it made me realize that she, too, thinks I’m a monster,” he said after a pause. “And I don’t deny that I am, but I also knew that you’re the only person in my life who sees beyond all that. If you’d been there, you’d have smiled proudly.”
“You have a good heart, Klaus, it’s just that not everyone appreciates the way you’re showing it,” she replied and took a deep breath as she caressed his cheek. She was still wondering why he wanted to talk to her – something deep inside told her that it was a different kind of talk that he wanted to have.
Was this going to be about the fact that she stood nailed to the floor when a psychotic vampire lunged at her? It wasn’t anything new; Jasper Whitlock had done the same thing. The main difference was that he had indeed been much like a live grenade, could go off at anytime.
Oh, she had been scared. Confused and scared. Bella had no idea what was going on when she walked in on all of that, but she didn’t respond to it until Freya started to cut Rebekah’s skin. That was just something she didn’t need to see. It was gross.
“I’m working on the part where I have to run away when something like that happens, I know that,” she eventually said. “You’ve said it before, I’m not okay even after all those years, but I’ve never been one to show my emotions much or talk about them. I either implode or explode.”
It was then that he realized something that he should have seen before. Yes, she had her depressions a couple of times a year, but it almost appeared as if she had found a way to shut off her emotions without the pesky little side effects it came with when being a vampire. And this could prove problematic if she’d be turned. She was caring, she cared for people, for him, deeply, but she was ignoring herself. He didn’t want to have a Ripper on his hands should she decide to turn, if it’s the right moment.
On the contrary, with her showing so much control over her feelings – until she reached a breaking point and plunged into a deep hole she had to claw her way out of – she’d make an excellent vampire. The learning stages would be a lot easier to handle for her. “How did you feel when I left you?” Her behavior had shown him how she had felt; as if the world had fallen apart and not caring about anything anymore. He was somewhat grateful that she had ended up with Lucien and not someone else.
“I don’t see why that’s relevant, really.”
“Love, I don’t want to push you to do anything you don’t want to, but you need-”
“I need, what? To be in touch with my feelings? I am, Klaus. I feel the bad things and then let them go as soon as I feel them,” she shot at him. “In some cases, I may act out, but the thing is, if I’d stop to consider everything the way it’s supposed to be felt, then there’d be nothing left of me. I’d be this sad, sorry mess of a person. Weak. And if something bad happens, it’s usually my fault anyway so why bother you or anyone else with that?” She pushed herself away from him and looked at him. “You’re just like him. Why is it so important for you to know how or what I feel? I’m here, aren’t I? I’m on your side; I’m with you. And not because you made me, but because I want to.”
He smiled at that. “Fair enough.”
She crawled into his lap and made herself comfortable against him. “What was wrong with Rebekah?”
“Oh, just a typical cursed stake that she’d been staked with courtesy of the Strix,” he sighed as he kissed the top of her head. “We’re going to have our hands full with them. What did you learn today?”
“That we really need your dead brother for the last part of that book unless you have a cipher laying around,” she said as she put her arms around his neck. “But you know what? It’s fine. The story about that other Singer, who wiped out thousands of Cold Ones all those years ago after turning, could be real, so if I turn, I will be able to rid the world of them as well.”
“We’re not certain of that.”
“No, but in the absence of more information, this is all we’re going to get. A theory. Unless there’s some way to talk to your brother,” she shrugged and softly kissed him. “But don’t worry, unless Peter warns us or if we spot another Cold One in the Quarter, I don’t want to turn just yet.”
“Good,” he smiled at her. “Now, the reason I wanted to talk to you…”
“That wasn’t it?”
“No,” he snickered and tucked a strand of hair behind her ear. “I think you’re right. Well, I know you’re right.”
“About not including you. I know it’s what we both decided because my siblings weren’t particularly trusting you, but you know what? Sod them. You’re family, and it’s time that they finally accept that. They’ll have no choice in the matter. So, get appropriately dressed, we’re going to celebrate Christmas in a bit. And you should meet Rebekah properly. You’ll like her.”
“While we’re not hosting a ball this Christmas, we do like to make an effort,” he replied with an amused look on his face. “Dress up.”
“Oh, yeah?” She smirked as she moved around on his lap and straddled him. “Will you be wearing a suit?”
“Don’t be ridiculous, a dinner jacket thrown over these clothes will do.”
She had been surprised when Elijah dropped off the remaining members of the A-Squad and Myriam wasn’t quite sure she wanted them to work for her again. Myriam had known from the very start that their allegiance could be bought. That was how they came to work for her in the first place and now they were back. Minus the two troublemakers, Aria, and Ashley. While Myriam had appreciated how Aria’s mind worked, she was too greedy, and Ashley only followed her wherever.
Yes, there was no doubt that the other girls had a mind of their own, a good set of brains, but Myriam wasn’t sure if she could trust them ever again. On top of that, she had realized that she liked a team of assassins working for her and had acquired Abeebee as a start. Funny enough, her name began with an A too. Certain circles talked about this woman in a very positive way, and Myriam had decided to snatch her up.
She’d never expected her to be a complete knock-out, too. Apart from her unique skills, Abeebee was absolutely beautiful with legs for days. Her mixed ancestry made her look exotic beyond words, and while she had been hired to enhance Débauche’s security team, Myriam had also told her that, if Abeebee wanted, she could do extracurricular activities, much like the A-squad had done before their departure.
Abeebee was also quite vocal about Alina, Autumn and Ace rejoining the team. She was against it. As she explained to Myriam, she never liked the girls much. Always taking jobs away from her and she had to work twice as hard to be noticed (or not noticed). However, not entirely heartless, Myriam decided to give the girls a second chance now that Elijah and his sister Rebekah had taken out Aria and Ashley.
She knew just the place for the girls to start their road to redemption; cleaning. Was that a little bit harsh? Perhaps. But they had to start somewhere. Myriam wasn’t mad that they left after getting a better offer, she was pissed about the fact that they worked for Aurora. Despite not knowing her, they should have known better when they were asked to protect the coffin carrying an Original.
Now, those Original Vampires weren’t all they were cracked up to be, but they deserved respect. Those girls should have aborted the mission, especially knowing Myriam’s long history with at least one of them. In any case, Elijah called it her Christmas present and she was happy to have her girls back.
Sticking to the rules that he wasn’t going to enter the club or that she’d come over at the compound – for him – he invited her to a hotel room where she gave him a Christmas present. If she had to be honest with herself, it had been something she’d wanted to do ever since she laid eyes on him when he entered the club the first time. Elijah Mikaelson was an arrogant prick, yes, but he was simply too irresistible on a more physical level, and Myriam liked physicality.
And it was beyond what she had expected. Elijah had proven to be quite the master of seduction himself. Now, it would be rude to compare, but where Klaus had been more animalistic – for a better word, Elijah was gentle, wanted to know if she was doing alright before taking what he wanted.
She had loved it how their bodies melted into each other, more than once that night and by the time they were truly done, she felt as giddy as a schoolgirl. She’d needed this, and when Elijah had told her he had no intention of giving up his advances towards her, something snapped inside, and she wanted him. Fully. Even centuries old vampires could get horny.
Ever the gentleman, Elijah wanted to escort her home, and she allowed him to, but when they passed St. Anne’s Church, a scream filled the silent night, and Elijah briefly paused as he looked at Myriam. “Camille,” he said breathlessly before speeding off into the general direction of the scream.
He woke to his brother’s voice calling from the courtyard. It was still night and checking the time; he realized that he’d only been asleep for half an hour. Fortunately, his Bella had been fast asleep long before he had drifted off after their private Christmas celebration, happy that they didn’t have to pretend she was anything other than his girlfriend anymore.
Granted, Aurora was likely to remain a headache for them all until she wouldn’t be. While the Mikaelson, and Klaus especially, had the reputation of being monsters and killing whoever got in their way, it was surprisingly hard to kill old friends. Because they were just that. Old. And former friends. Sentimentality.
He and Elijah had talked about ridding themselves of the trio, but actions were harder than words. It was easy to talk. In the end, death was inevitable for everyone. Including for himself, but he was a thousand years old, the perfect picture of health and vitality – just ask Bella – and a conqueror of death. Well, he was just hard to kill, that was all. Death came easier to non-Original vampires. Non-hybrids.
Klaus had a conversation with Camille about death, once. She thought that he had a trauma about death. That death did matter to him, if not those of others, it would be his own. Of course, he didn’t want to die. Why else would he have run from Mikael so many times? Why else would he have killed those who were after him and his family?
He didn’t care about death. Death didn’t care about the people it took, or was gifted, so why would he care? The people he’d killed all deserved it. Those who died around him, that he liked or loved, didn’t deserve it, but it was his fault. His failure to protect them, to protect those who couldn’t do it themselves. Mostly humans.
And Camille had pointed out that he was afraid of Death, because why else would he surround himself with only immortals? That when a mortal was orbiting in his life that his anxiety levels went up? Because human life was precious and he and his family would destroy them, one way or the other.
He had no idea how he’d react if something would happen to Bella. To Camille. Take revenge was the most obvious response, and he’d avenge them proper. He’d tear out their hearts and place their heads on a spike for display. The humans in his orbit were under his protection – should anything happen to them, it’d be a failure on his part.
And this was also the reason why it was hard to end the lives of old friends or old enemies. Life was precious, immortal or not. Because you do build up some idea of a relationship with them, a kinship, that you’ll try to avoid killing them. No matter how much they annoyed you or pestered you. You only returned the favor long enough until both parties would get bored and left.
His brother’s annoying voice jostled him out of his dark thoughts, his temporary distraction, and he silently slipped out of bed, careful not to wake his Bella. He got into some clothes and went to the walkway to see what had gotten his brother’s nuts so tightly wound. It was her scent that disturbed him the most. Her dead scent. Cami. But dead. Rushing down the stairs, he took Cami’s body into his arms, ready to feed her his blood. She couldn’t be dead.
He had failed.
“Niklaus, don’t,” Elijah said as he pulled his brother’s arm away from Camille’s mouth. “She wouldn’t want to become a vampire; you know that.”
Yes, he knew that. But it was just unacceptable. Without Camille in his life… well. “What happened?” He managed to let out, trying so hard to find a heartbeat, but it was gone. No vampire blood would be able to bring her back. They could inject blood into her heart with a syringe and manually pump the blood into her system – it had been done before. Camille had to live, against her wishes.
He was such a jerk.
“Aurora,” Elijah said quietly as he observed his brother. He could see the cogs in his head spinning, likely trying to come up with a scenario that would bring Camille back without her being infuriated with Niklaus for turning her into a vampire. “As it turned out, Aurora was under the impression that you were in love with Camille.”
“That’s preposterous!” Klaus spat, cradling Camille’s body tightly as he rocked her back and forth. There might be a few post-mortem broken bones.
“We didn’t have much time trying to get an explanation from Aurora, but it appears that Aurora had Camille compelled. She told her that after your night of passion, she’d have to drink Aurora’s blood from a vial and kill herself,” Elijah calmly explained, he found it remarkable that Niklaus was handling the death of his friend this well; or he was merely pretending to be. “When that didn’t happen, Aurora realized she had made a mistake and killed her. Since she never drank the blood, Camille died as a human.”
“And I ended Aurora,” Myriam’s voice sounded. Klaus wasn’t sure where she had come from but looked up when a heart and Aurora’s head dropped on the ground next to him.
“You did what!” Klaus breezed, looking up to his friend, anger in his eyes. Did she really say what he had heard her say just now?
Myriam felt lucky that Klaus was still holding on to Camille’s dead body, almost like a puppy with the last remainder of his broken toy; otherwise he would have likely killed her in return. “Aurora’s exact words were; ‘It’s the whore, isn’t it? I knew something was up; I’m going to kill that little bitch!’, I feared for Bella’s life, and I ended Aurora. To keep Bella safe. Bella’s my priority, Klaus, and she might be here with you now, but she’s still under my protection as well.”
Klaus gently lowered Camille’s body to the ground and carefully stood up, lowering his gaze upon his friend. “Do you have any idea what you’ve done?”
“Ridding this world from evil? Yes.”
“You have made things a lot more complicated, more difficult than they should have been!”
“Oh, lighten up, Klaus. The sooner you deal with the unholy trinity, the sooner you can truly play house with Bella. You should be thanking me for this because I know that you or Elijah wouldn’t have been able to make this decision.”
Klaus scowled as he paused to think and then looked up to his bedroom where his Bella was still sound asleep. “Let’s move Camille out of the courtyard, find a medical examiner we can compel and organize her a proper send-off.”
“Are you sure about this?” Elijah asked carefully. He knew his brother wanted to bring her back but to be so willing to honor Camille was something entirely foreign to him. Where was the anger? Where was the throwing of things?
“Camille once told me that if she passed, she would want a wake at Rousseau’s, good music, good food, plenty of alcohol. If I’m not allowed to find a way to bring her back, then we will do what she wanted,” Klaus replied as he kept his eyes on the bedroom, stabilizing his emotions by hearing Bella’s heartbeat and breath. His home. “I believe she has plans for the day so we will not inform her of Camille’s death just yet.”
“What will I do with Aurora’s heart and head?” Myriam asked, a knowing smile appearing on her face. “Would you like me to mount her head on a stick?”