She found the home empty. Nearly empty, that was. Hayley was quietly sitting on one of the couches in the courtyard, watching Hope who was on a blanket, playing quietly. It was almost as if she was mourning someone.
Bella didn’t have much time to register the rest, as, out of nowhere, Myriam appeared and pulled her into a bear hug. Tight. “Can’t. Breathe,” Bella reminded her friend as she hugged her back. Myriam immediately released her and checked her over to see if she was alright. “I’m okay, what’s going on? Peter said I should return immediately and-”
Myriam blinked at that, not having thought of anything other than what they had been dealing with all day. She’d been sick with worry. Not because of the shit that was happening with Klaus and everything, but the knowledge that Bella had gone to a friend and wasn’t reachable because she didn’t have a cellphone… let’s just say that she had been extremely thirsty and ready to sink her teeth into Freya for being… off.
Myriam never meant to stay at the compound; that wasn’t the rule, but she felt as if she had to be there. Klaus and Elijah were getting their revenge and play their little mind games, and basically left the grieving female hybrid by herself. Spending the entire day surrounded by misery, she wondered why Bella hadn’t snapped yet. But maybe that was the reason why Bella didn’t tell anyone where she’d been, to get a little peace and quiet.
Was she going to worry about Peter? In her belief, the Cold Ones were a threat to the girl who had sought refuge with her; it was more important than whatever was going on in the life of the Mikaelsons. “Peter?”
“He appeared at Big Burger, telling me to get here and he sounded quite insistent. Where is everyone?”
“Elijah is doing some Strix business and Klaus is trying to collect Camille’s dark objects before they fall into the wrong hands. Hayley… the Strix got to her and Jackson, and he didn’t make it,” she said quietly as she guided Bella up the stairs towards her room. “Aurora killed Camille last night, and I took care of Aurora, so you won’t have to worry about her any longer, but tell me, was there anything else Peter said?”
Bella shook her head, realizing where Myriam wanted to take her. “Hold on,” she said as they passed Elijah’s library and thanks to his excellent filing system, she found the book she was looking for quite quickly. “I haven’t been in any danger today, well… had I died, I would have turned, but it was quite eventful.”
“What have you been doing?” Myriam wasn’t sure why the girl grabbed The Little Mermaid of all the books out of Elijah’s prized collection and continued to go to her room. “Does Klaus know what you’ve been doing?”
“Looking into myself, because I’m kinda fed up with being a sitting duck. Not being able to turn because we don’t have all the information and… well, he knows. He also knows that the information we need is in the back of this book about Travelers and that until today, only one person knew how to decipher it.”
Bella smirked as she tossed the book onto the bed and walked around the room to gather a pen, paper and the book in question. “Klaus’ dead brother Kol.”
“You went to have a seance?”
“Something like that. Davina wanted Kol to check her spell that could return him to the land of the living, and I took the chance to ask questions. We went to the Ancestral Plane.”
“That’s insane! Have you lost your mind?” Myriam raised her voice, anger and worry evident. “Bella, how do you know you can trust a word he says? It’s Kol Mikaelson we’re talking about. The trickster.”
“I knew that when I went in, I mean, I’ve heard the stories. I knew he’d help me if I had something that would intrigue him. And my situation is interesting to him. Trust me; he’s given me the right way to decipher is code.” She sat down on the bed and opened the books before she started to write on her pad. “Cami’s dead?” she asked quietly as it finally set in. “How did Klaus take it?”
Myriam sucked in a breath and shook her head. “I don’t know if I’m honest. He wanted to bring her back, but that wasn’t the essence of Camille, was it? Knowing him, he went to her apartment to gather all the important things before he notifies the authorities.”
“Nobody knows she’s dead yet?” Bella was shocked at that. Camille was loved by a lot of people in the community, sure they all had a right to know. Were they going to cover up the fact that she had died? Have her body get found days after it happened? Probably yes, if Aurora killed her… maybe that was best. Wouldn’t want to alert the mortals of a vampire presence in New Orleans.
“Let them handle it.”
She huffed as she continued with the code. “Agreeing to live here and try to start something with Klaus has been a terrible mistake, hasn’t it?”
She didn’t know how to respond to that. Myriam had been hesitant to let her go; it was that Klaus hadn’t left room for objection. But despite all the good that he had done for Bella, she could tell that Bella was suffering in silence. It was one thing to be locked in a building for years where she had all the freedom and non-conflict that she could wish for and a whole other beast in its entirety to live with the Mikaelsons.
After a while, Myriam spoke. “I can’t answer that question for you, Bella. But I can tell you that all relationships will go through a time of doubt. You’ll have to talk to Klaus about this.”
Bella shrugged. “When I talk to him about this kind of thing, he says he understands, but does he, really? I mean, whenever we’re together it’s nice, and we can talk… but nothing’s changed since moving here with him. He doesn’t treat me any differently.”
Myriam could tell that Bella was getting agitated about it. “How would you describe a relationship?”
Frustrated, Bella put the pen down and looked at Myriam. “Human. With human problems. With no one picking a fight or get in danger or-” she sighed as she ran a hand through her hair. “I don’t know. I love him, or at least I think I do, but with everything that’s going on… should I stick around to see what’s going to happen or am I going to bail?” She looked at Myriam, whose face she couldn’t read and continued. “Or maybe I don’t have enough confidence in myself, in Klaus, in our thing what we’re having to actually see it through. That maybe, maybe, our paths crossed so we can both fulfill our destiny and then go our separate ways once that happened.”
“You should talk to Klaus about this,” Myriam repeated. She knew that the Mikaelsons weren’t easy to live with, she heard the stories, and if you weren’t careful, you’d end up as collateral damage. However, she knew how Klaus felt about her friend and that she had nothing to worry about. But, if she were unhappy, things needed to change.
“I guess,” she murmured as she picked up her pen again and continued with the cipher. “Maybe I should let go of my humanity to stop appearing like a whiny little bitch,” she eventually said with a small smile on her face as she continued to work.
“No, I’m serious. I mean, you’re a vampire. Can’t you just shut off that part of you that makes you question everything when there’s no reason to do so?”
“It’s either we switch off completely or not.”
“Then I opt for the not feeling anything kind of thing,” she muttered. “I’m tired of feeling like this.”
“It’ll only get worse,” Myriam smiled at her, yet again worried. Yes, her mood would only get worse when turned. It could be disastrous or work out perfectly. There was no way to tell, really. Not until she would turn. Even if she’d turned, she would be something new entirely – a hybrid. Or was it a tribrid like Hope? Bella had Traveler blood inside of her, her mental shield created by magic and she was a singer. On top of that, it was likely that she still had a little bit of Cold One venom inside of her, seeing as her scar hadn’t shrunk in the two years, almost three, that Myriam knew her. Turning her would make her quite powerful, but how much? It was still an unknown. “The only piece of advice I can give you is one you already know yourself; Klaus likes his women strong and vulnerable at the same time. Don’t doubt yourself or your actions.”
“I know, I know,” Bella sighed, not looking up from her task at hand. “And I’m sorry for my temporary loss of insanity; things are merely confusing right now because it feels as if we lead two separate lives.”
“I understand, cherie,” Myriam replied with a smile and got up to pour herself a bourbon. She was wondering when Peter would grace them with his presence, probably only after Bella translated the pages, which was fine. She didn’t want to leave Bella by herself right now with everything that was going on. A part of her was afraid that both Klaus and Elijah wouldn’t come home that night. She hoped that her instincts were wrong – they still needed to organize a wake for Camille. On top of that, she was afraid that once Bella had her information, that she’d run. Again, another feeling and two years of experience. “How about you rest some? I’m sure that Peter will wake you when he’s here.”
“I can’t sleep now, Myriam, I’m so close in finding the last piece of the puzzle that’s me.”
“And it’ll still be there when you wake up.”
“I’ll go to bed when Klaus gets back,” Bella muttered and continued her work. Whatever Kol had been writing, it was a lot of information, or maybe it was something wrapped in a whole lot of nothing.
It was maybe half an hour later when Freya walked into the room with Hope’s toy. The toy knight on a horse that Klaus had made for Rebekah a thousand years ago and it was Hope’s favorite. “Had I known you were home I would have given you this sooner, but Klaus asked me to give this to you so you could keep it safe,” she said a little bit abruptly. “I have no idea why, but you shouldn’t lose sight of it. Granted, I’ve protected it from magic until he informs me why this toy is so important, but he told me to give it to you.”
“Are you okay, Freya?” Bella eyed her carefully. The witch looked a little frayed around the edges, almost as if she’d been casting spells all night. “Get some rest.”
“No, no, I can’t. Klaus went missing and-”
“Freya!” Myriam was quick to put a hand over Freya’s mouth. “We’ve discussed this.”
“What?” Bella blinked as she dropped her pen. “Klaus is missing? And you knew?!”
Myriam sighed as she let go of Freya and rejoined Bella on the bed, gently rubbing her back. “He’s not missing. He’s simply not picking up his phone. That could mean anything. Freya’s been doing everything that she can to locate him.”
“And what if she can’t?”
“Relax,” Freya assured her. “He’s still alive; I know that much.”
“Why didn’t you tell me that he was missing?” Bella turned to Myriam, worry, and anger in her voice. “Something could have happened to him. Maybe Tristan got him, or those Strix witches or someone simply decided to sideline him because he’s a giant pain in their ass?”
“And that’s why I can’t rest. Trust me, Bella, I will find him. You just do your part and keep the little toy safe,” Freya said as she left the room in a hurry. If she hadn’t left, Bella would have thrown the book at her for sure.
How was she supposed to continue with decrypting Kol’s work now? Klaus was missing. “I should go out there and find him.”
“No, you’re staying right here. Peter sent you home, remember?”
“And what if he’s the reason Klaus is missing?” She felt a panic attack coming up. She needed to move, to stay calm. To focus. Klaus had gotten in worse trouble before. Mikael was the first thought that came to her. Mikael had been the worst. Klaus had told her that. No matter the torture or the stabbing others did, Mikael had always been the worst. He was going to be alright. He was the damn original hybrid. He couldn’t be killed.
All of her doubt from earlier, her self-pity, thrown out the window. Klaus was hers, no matter how weird their relationship was, or how inclusive, he was hers. She was his. The best thing she could do is to allow the Mikaelsons do what they did best and take care of their own, and she needed to get a handle on her own path. She still had Klaus’ blood inside of her. If necessary, she could turn and become the powerful creature that everyone thought she’d become. “Fine,” she eventually said as she headed towards the kitchen to get herself a sandwich.
She walked back into her room carrying a lot of sweet treats and walked into Myriam talking to Peter. Bella had told her about Peter, but this was the first time they had met in person, and it seemed to be going well. “There’s a grieving hybrid downstairs and a witch on the other side of this house who’s on edge as well, and here you are, strolling in as if you own the place.”
“Someone’s feeling better,” Peter remarked as he eyed her. “You had me worried for a little there.”
“What do you want?”
“Several things, actually,” Peter said as he sat down in a chair and pulled his feet underneath him. “First, I want ya to finish the thing you were working on. Second… Uhm… I assisted one of your girls, Myriam, when they were keeping an eye on Bella. I am so sorry, but I could not stop Alina in time to fall off that roof… She broke her neck and died; I had to think quick, and she’s hidden inside a dumpster in a darkened alley.”
“Alina?” Bella’s voice hitched. She had always liked Alina. “She’s dead?” Why was everyone dying around her all of a sudden?
“Not quite,” Myriam said soothingly. “Like yourself, she has a little extra to get her heart pumping again. The only thing you should worry about is that she’ll be smelling like garbage when she wakes up.”
“So… not dead?”
“No, Cherie, she’ll only want to drink your blood when she comes back.”
“Ew, my friend will smell like a garbage can when she wants to take a bite out of me,” Bella eventually quipped after the cogs in her head stopped spinning. She should mourn the loss of Alina, but with her coming back, she didn’t have to. She hated that part of the supernatural community so much. So much. But at least she wouldn’t lose her friend. But both Jackson and Camille were dead dead. And that sucked.
“Thirdly, it appears that there’s a powerful vampire in town who has Cullen friends,” Peter stated carefully, watching Bella take in the news. “He must have told them that the Volturi ban on New Orleans doesn’t matter to them as he’s the threat and he needs their help. That’s uh, how Alina ended up on the roof, she tried to take on Emmett, and he tossed her aside to get to you, which is why I told you to run.”
She nearly dropped the pastry she was munching on in surprise. “No, no, no, they can’t be here. No way. The Volturi… you said so, Peter. They forbade… no.” She wasn’t ready for them. Yes, she wanted to get rid of them, but she was nowhere near ready. “How? Who?” Powerful vampire? Surely Elijah would have told Klaus about being friends with the Cullens. Was it Klaus?
Bella felt the color drain from her face. There’s no way that Klaus… would he? It would explain why he wasn’t there, that he was missing. Probably to save face. That he couldn’t face her for knowing the Cold Ones personally. But Klaus wasn’t the threat. It was one of the Trinity and with Aurora gone… Lucien or Tristan. Oh, Lucien was good, very good, to fool her senses. “Do they… do they know I’m here?”
“That’s highly likely, but you do not need to worry,” Peter assured her. “They’ll focus on the Mikaelsons first, seeing as that’s the main reason for Tristan and Lucien to call them, I don’t think those two know about your trouble with them.”
“Not to worry?” Bella huffed, getting off the bed again and started to pace. “I’ve been running from them for seven years, Peter. I should never have left Débauche. I…” Everything was coming all at once now. The pressure. The fear. The worry. Where was Klaus? The disappointment in herself that she needed Klaus. The feeling of being disgusted with herself that she wanted to hide in Débauche. The fact that the ones who’ve been hiding her for two years were now in danger and it was her fault – which was ridiculous even to think this way. If anything, her friends were able to protect themselves just quite well.
Myriam saw how Bella was close to getting back into Isa mode, and she wanted to do something to stop it. The Cold Ones coming to New Orleans had been inevitable; she couldn’t run from them forever, and now she had to be brave. She had to be the brave woman Myriam knew she was. “Bella, you’re still safe,” she said reassuringly as she watched Bella pace around. “Take a breath.”
“Bella, the best thing you can do righ’ now, for your own survival and those you love, is to continue with what you’ve been doing and stay calm. We’ve got this. We’ve got your back.”
They were right. Of course they were. Hope. Klaus would kill Bella if anything happened to her. “Tell Freya to protect Hope or Hayley to take Hope and run,” she said slightly calmer, a nod followed to reassure herself that she could do this. No pressure. Of course not. It was simply a matter of ignoring everything happening around her and do this. She could do this.
Where was Klaus?