Bella felt all giddy when Hayley told her and Kol to go to the scrapyard and start compelling people to leave or work the machinery for them while Hayley went to fetch the still enthralled Rosalie. She had known this moment was coming and all the work she and Kol had done had lead up to this but to actually do it was exciting, she could feel the adrenaline rushing through her body and she couldn’t stop smiling.
“Would you just stop?” Kol laughed. “Nik will find out and stop us, you know.”
“There’ll be three of us and one of him. He’s a hybrid but we can snap his neck and continue what we’re doing,” Bella said as she jumped around at the edge of the car crusher. “They’re mine. Not his. Besides, he didn’t want me to kill one today because Hayley and Hope were returning and now she’s offering one up. Win.” Bella stopped jumping and looked at Kol after she realized something. “What does Davina think of you having moved in with us?”
“Uh… I haven’t had the chance to tell her yet.”
“You’re going to tell her after we’re done here,” she smiled at him. “You shouldn’t feel obligated to chase after me all the time, I was fine drinking at Myriam’s.”
Kol was silent for a moment before speaking up again. “But perhaps I want to,” he said, immediately throwing his hands up. “Not in a creepy kind of way, I like you as a friend and yes, you’re hot and all, but friends. Besides, you’re with my brother – at the moment. But what you and I have, I like. I don’t have to take into account that I’m still cursed by the Ancestors and can tear out your throat any moment. You’re funny. We’ve spent the last year together and it was so much fun. I like it that my siblings like you. I like it that I can spend more time with my siblings when I’m around you even though they still don’t know what to do with me. I like it that you make me feel like I’m not alone.”
“You feel alone with Davina?”
He shrugged in return. “I’m mad for her, I truly am, but we’ve never been completely honest with each other and I doubt that we’ll ever be. What’s important is that I don’t want her to be killed. Now, Nik and Elijah have backed off because I asked them to, but I don’t want her to die by my hand either. What if I can’t get to you in time?”
“The solution is simple, really,” Bella sat down on the edge of the machine, dangling her legs over the edge before she pulled him down to her.
“I’m not going to turn her.”
“I thought you loved her? Make her a little sturdier so that Klaus can’t kill her.”
“I’m not going to turn her, Bella, she doesn’t deserve that. Besides, she loves being a witch too much.”
“Well, you can’t string her along either.”
“Don’t you think I know that? It’s frustrating!”
“So? Go to her,” Bella poked him in the side with her elbow. “Go to her and talk to her. Be honest with her.”
He was quiet again, the oh so confident Kol Mikaelson had turned shy. “I’d rather not.” He then looked up with a big grin on his face. “Guess who’s here!”
“Oh, I’m so going to kick your ass for changing the subject!” Bella growled as she got to her feet and waved at Hayley. “Hi! How’s she doing?”
“Resisting but nothing I couldn’t handle,” she smirked as she held up an arm. “Sorry I dented the merch.”
“Batting practice!” Kol cheered as he got to his feet and snatched the arm out of Hayley’s hold. “Please, can I?”
“What the hell is wrong with you?” Rosalie snapped at Kol. “I thought our kind had a truce, but instead you keep us all like pets? For what reason?”
“Your family is the only of your kind that’s left, darling,” Kol replied as he twirled the arm in his hand before starting to poke Rosalie with it. “Certainly you would have heard rumors about a Singer decimating your numbers?”
“The Volturi wouldn’t allow it!”
Rosalie blinked at that.
“Seriously, Hayley? For how long have you kept them in storage?”
“They were on the run, didn’t have access to a lot of things, so… I don’t know, maybe they’re just plain stupid. Although according to Peter, the longer they go without blood, the more stupid and crazy they get.” she said as she pushed Rosalie away from her. “So it’s true then, they really can’t see you?”
“Nope,” Bella grinned as she walked around Rosalie in a circle. “Can’t even hear me either until I decide to make my presence known by touching them, awesome, isn’t it?” Rosalie still looked like a flawless barbie doll. Even without having fed in a while, her hair was perfect and her clothes were nearly unscathed. “I’m so glad that they haven’t managed to turn me, though, I mean… at least I can get dirty and get my hair all messed up and move as if I’m still a human.”
Kol huffed. “Darling, you’re prettier than she is.”
“Who are you talking to?” Rosalie said impatiently. “And what am I doing here?”
“Ugh,” Bella said as she positioned herself behind Rosalie and smiled sweetly at Kol and Hayley. “Would you two please make sure she can’t use her legs?”
Kol held on to Rosalie and kicked her leg, snapping it in half at the knee with Hayley doing the same thing. Bella then kicked Rosalie into the pit and waited for her to turn around before waving at her. “Hi!”
“Bella! You get me out of here right now!”
“Is she really that thick, or?” Kol asked curiously. “Seems like all the Cold Ones have forgotten about what you are, Bella.”
Bella shrugged as she sat down on the edge of the machine, knowing that she didn’t have long until Rosalie’s legs would have healed. “Rosalie, I’m a singer, remember? And I’ve been turned. Guess what I am now?” She said calmly before she continued. “I’m going to take great joy out of killing you and your coven for what you’ve done to me. For what you’ve made me do. You’re the last of your kind. Any last words?”
“Get me out. Whatever is going on, I’m sure we can talk about it, it’s okay, Bella, the rage and anger that you feel.”
“Wow. Shame I want to hear you scream because I’m just itching to tear off your head,” she replied, getting back to her feet and signalling the machine operator to start squeezing the bitch into a one centimeter steel board. Taking the arm from Kol, she threw that into the pit as well and couldn’t wait to hear Rosalie scream.
And when it happened, the sound of steel on steel, the sound of the machine struggling with doing what it was built to do and Rosalie’s cries did something to Bella. It wasn’t empathy that she felt, no, elation. Pure madness and elation. When the machine appeared to give up, she, Hayley and Kol went to help the machine to squash Rosalie even further until she stopped making noise and the walls nearly touched.
Releasing the now compact Rosalie from the machine, Bella started with breaking off Rosalie’s fingers and toes before setting fire to the venom that had seeped out of Rosalie’s body. “Adios, blondie,” she said as she gathered the bits that she had saved and smirked at Hayley as she held them up. “Let’s throw these at Klaus.”
“Where have you been? I was worried sick!”
Bella looked at Klaus and huffed. “Please, I’m not a fragile little thing nor am I volatile, I’m in control over my own actions. I just needed to get away from you, which is fine. Hayley and I did some bonding while Kol kept an eye on us.” She flopped onto the couch in the courtyard and looked at him. “Are you cured from your excessive need to control everyone and everything?”
He just stood there, gaping at her.
Bella broke one of Rosalie’s fingers in half and threw it at Klaus, hitting him straight in the chest. “Guess not. But guess what? Hayley got Rosalie for me out of storage and we killed her.” She threw the other half of the finger at him as Hayley threw something else at him from another angle. “I want to kill the rest of them tomorrow. They deserve an unspectacular death, but Edward does, so I’ll think about how I want him to die.”
“If you refuse her that, you’re really an asshole,” Hayley said as she moved towards the empty chair and continued to pelt pieces of toe at him. “What happened to you telling everyone that she’s your equal? She has every reason to make demands at this point. To even think that you’re keeping her from fulfilling her prophecy to the fullest is beyond me, Klaus.”
“Kol, why haven’t you gone to Davina yet? You brought us home safely, go see your girlfriend,” she reminded him before Bella launched Rosalie’s middle finger at his brother for it to lodge into his leg.
Klaus growled as he pulled the finger out of his leg and watched his brother disappear. Whatever was going on, he’d likely find out later. “That hurts! What are you throwing at me anyway?”
Bella shrugged as she threw another piece at him. “Pieces of Rosalie. But don’t worry, I’ll clean up the mess myself and burn it all when we’re done harassing you.”
He wasn’t just going to stand there and allow the two to throw Cold One body parts at him. He had better things to do. Dropping the finger onto the floor, he went upstairs to check up on Hope. Klaus knew that Hayley was right about the way he treated Bella, it was very much his default setting and it was difficult to change that. Camille had told him this as well, and he had once admitted that it was the main reason why he was butting heads with Hayley so much.
He didn’t want this with Bella. For this to work between them, he’d have to change. Find some middle ground and not feel emasculated. He was happy for Bella that she was finally daring to be herself, have an opinion of her own and not backing down from it because she knew what she wanted. Klaus didn’t want to appear weak.
And hell, Bella teaming up with Hayley? That would be a disaster to his relationship with Bella. Klaus needed to change. And change was hard. He could start by having more fun.
Where to start? By giving Bella what she wanted, of course. Hope was still asleep and Hayley would no doubt stay here until she awoke and go back to her apartment across the street. Klaus was going to take Bella to the remaining Cullens and let her play with them, no matter how long she wanted to spend on them. Preferably long, he loved a good torture.
It was going to be just her and him, and Freya to lift the spell that subdued the Cullens in their current living situation. But no one else. No Kol. No Davina, no Elijah, no one else but Bella and him. Perhaps Peter wanted to watch, but he wouldn’t be strong enough to take on one by himself and after all the trouble Freya had gone through to find a spell and perfect it to turn him into a proper vampire Klaus didn’t want something to happen to him – yet. His sister would be so disappointed if something would happen to him.
They hadn’t allowed the Cullens to feed since they had managed to catch them all and it had been fascinating to see the decline in their mental state; while their skin remained flawless, they started to lose their minds. While desiccation hurt like hell, Klaus preferred that over losing his mind, really.
After making his way downstairs he held out his hand for Bella to take it. “Come with me, love, let’s entertain ourselves.”
Bella looked up at him and narrowed her eyes at him. “Where are we going?”
He smiled at that. “You’ll have to come with me to find out.”
Sighing dramatically, she took his hand and got to her feet. “Alright, let’s entertain ourselves then,” Bella replied before checking herself over. “Are we going somewhere where I need fancy clothes or is this fine?”
“You can be naked if you wish, it’d only make the entertainment greater for myself.”
She eyed him as she allowed herself to be lead out of the compound. “Kinky.”
“I’m going to do better, I promise,” he smiled at her, gently squeezing her hand. “We don’t have anything to worry about anymore. We’ve dealt with Lucien, Aurora and Tristan, prevented the beast rising and we’re once again in the New Orleans that we love so much. It’s only fair that we’re going to deal with your demons before we can truly enjoy the life that we have.”
“Even if I want to find a job?”
“Why would you want to work? I can provide you with everything you need if you’ve spent all of your money in Europe in the last year?”
“No, I haven’t, but I’m not one to stay at home and be pretty, Klaus. I want to do something. Make a difference. Now that I’m free, maybe I want to attend college or something, study medicine or become a historian. Now that I’m not ageing anymore, I could be both! Oh, I could study to my heart’s content!”
“Study from home?” Klaus blinked in surprise; he had expected something else and had arranged a big surprise for her but it was her who surprised him.
“Of course not!” She smiled at him then, seeing the disappointed look on his face. “Look, what you love in your friends, their thirst for knowledge, their intellect… You nurture that, why is it so strange that I want to expand my knowledge? I can do whatever I want now and I want that. Or a job.”
“You’re my queen, Bella, you-” Can’t leave, he added in silence. Not with what he had planned.
“And this queen will be very bored if she has to stay at home,” she sighed. “Besides, college won’t start for another few months, I’m dying to dig through all the shit we stole from the Volturi and learn from that, too, aren’t you?”
She had a point, he knew that, but her going off to college and learn something provided security risks, he’d have to think about something to protect her because no vampire would voluntarily go back to college. Everything that he and his siblings knew were from experience, books. Or from times a long time ago when getting an education wasn’t that extensive.
“Don’t you even think about sending someone with me to college to protect me, Klaus. I can handle it myself,” she grinned. “Now, where did you put them?”
“Aren’t you the fantastic Cold One hunter, able to sniff them out wherever they are?”
She growled at that. “I’ve been trying since I got back to New Orleans, asshole. Freya hid them with magic, didn’t she? And not just for anyone, for me.”
“I merely wanted you to come home first,” he admitted playfully. “Haven’t seen you in a year and such.”
“Uhuh,” she eyed him cautiously when they entered the alley behind Rousseau’s, Cami’s old stomping grounds.
“The previous owner of Rousseau’s left Camille the bar in his will; he never changed it after she passed. He died after being in a horrible accident in the Bayou involving some wolves…” Klaus mused. “Camille didn’t have a will of sorts and thus Rousseau’s was put on the market to be sold. I wasn’t too happy about it, since I love coming to Rousseau’s, despite Camille’s absence. God forbid the new owner turns it into some hippy circus and paint the walls purple with red dots.”
“Why are you so afraid of change?”
“I’m not,” he replied before stopping at the back door of the bar. “So the rumor is that the same anonymous donor who saved the club Débauche, you may have heard of it – lovely club, lovely ladies and great atmosphere – purchased Rousseau’s.”
“Not me, this anonymous donor,” he kissed the top of her head before handing her the keys. “Rousseau’s been ‘renovating’ for quite some time now. People talk about the new owner not having enough money left to fix it or whatever, but frankly, I needed a space to stuff some statues in for a while. After they’re smashed, maybe we can look into fixing the place in something that’s more suitable for you? You love to cook, you love people, why not do what Camille did and help others?”
Bella growled and punched him in the gut, hard. “I told you, I am going to college and I’m certainly not going to manage Rousseau’s for you and turn into the new Camille because that’s just an insult to her memory!”
“That’s not what I meant, I-”
Bella loved watching Klaus struggle just a little. She appreciated the sentiment and she’d totally love it to manage the bar in her free time or alongside school, but the way he said it made it sound as if he wanted to replace Cami and her memory. “I know that, Klaus,” she smiled at him and softly kissed his lips. “I love the sentimental fool that’s inside of you, the love that you hold for others. I would love to run Rousseau’s with you!”
“No, no, love, you have me all wrong!” Klaus said panicked.
“I’m nothing like Myriam. I love my independence and making my own place in this world, but you bought this bar, Klaus. If you want me to run it, we’re going to run it together. If you don’t want to do that, it’s best to sell this place again,” she kissed him again and hugged him. “Thank you though, no one’s ever bought me a bar before!” Bella giggled before stepping inside and squealed in delight when she saw the enthralled Cullens wading through the bar as if they were zombies.
He wasn’t one to work, do things that humans liked to do and he was certainly not going to start. Klaus Mikaelson was an artist, not a manager. He huffed as he followed her in, dismissing Peter and Alina with a nod. “I still don’t want to do this with you,” he said to Bella.
“Oh, shush,” Bella dismissed him. “You don’t even have to show your face or work. Rousseau’s is big enough to have a small area where you can work on your art and you can show them off in the bar. Hell, isn’t there an apartment upstairs? We could turn that into an office and an art studio.”
Bella shrugged. “Think about it. I love the grand gesture of Rousseau’s, but I’m not going to do this alone.” She zigzagged through the Cullens and sighed. “Can you call Freya to drop the spells that are making them like this? It’s dampening me too and I really really want to feel everything as I tear them apart.”
“What if they run off?”
“Doubtful,” she replied as she turned around to face him with a big smile on her face. “First off; they won’t see me until we touch and they’ll be too confused and will demand answers from you. Secondly; let them. I’m faster.”
“Very well,” he replied as he got out his phone. “It’s your party.”