She had made about twelve different pies during the night where he mostly talked, and she listened. Apart from the handful of times that she mentioned her wanting to apologize Elena again. He insisted that she’ll only feel worse after doing so, but he promised her to get Elena’s phone number from Nik so she could apologize. He’d ease the fallout if needed.
For breakfast, Bella made them waffles and pancakes, but just for the two of them. They had done the hard work, and she was hungry. When his brother Nik and Myriam walked into the kitchen, however, he could see a change in Bella. She had gone from open to reserved, closed off, even. Curiously eyeing them as she stopped eating. And it didn’t take Kol long to find out why. His brother was covered in blood.
“We spent the entire night overseeing Myriam’s team with the other girls from the warehouse. To assess them, to see how much help they needed. It took four bloody hours until one dared to mention to us that Alina; Myriam’s most trusted soldier and whom you went to Baton Rouge with, was in fact also working for the Cullens.”
“So you killed her.”
“I felt peckish,” Klaus said simply and shrugged before eyeing the pies. “That is a whole lot of pies. You’ve been busy, Calypso.”
Kol looked at her, and she seemed lost, afraid. “Uh, Nik, why don’t you take off that shirt of yours? You’re scaring the locals.”
“No,” Bella said hastily, almost in a panic before taking a step closer to Kol. “It’s alright; I’m not afraid.”
“These pies look amazing,” Myriam said as she eyed them all, ignoring the lemon one. They all smelled great, too. “No banana cream?”
“Did I have to make that? I didn’t know, I’m sorry,” Bella said, taking another step closer to Kol. “If you would have told me you would like one, I would have made it. I’m sorry.”
“It’s alright, little one,” Myriam smiled as she eyed the pies. “The peach one will do just nicely.”
“And what do we say when someone made food for you?” Kol reminded his brother and his girlfriend. It was still strange to consider Myriam Nik’s girlfriend. Lifelong squeeze. Whatever. It was so unlike Nik, but then again, they were all surprising each other lately, weren’t they?
“Thank you, Calypso,” Myriam and Klaus chorused, a smile on their faces.
“And that’s so not her name,” Kol rolled his eyes at them. “We burned her contract.”
“Oh, now I’m curious,” Klaus cut off a piece of a cherry pie and put it on a plate. “What’s your name then?”
“And where are you from, Bella?”
She shrugged as she casually moved her plate closer to Kol’s. “Kol’s theory is that my mind collapsed in on itself during my time with Dr. Cullen, but I don’t see why knowing about my past is relevant. We’re in 2011, not the late 1800’s. I have to start over because you’re taking away my home from me, so that all doesn’t matter anymore, does it?” Her head then snapped up to look at Kol. “Can I please go to my room? I feel like I’m suffocating.”
“Of course,” he smiled at her. “Want me to come by later?”
She seemed to think for a moment and took a deep breath. “Now.” She took his hand and tried to pull him out of the kitchen. “Kol…”
“It’s just my brother and his girlfriend, Bella. She’s the boss of this place and made it possible to get you-”
“He’s very negative,” she hissed. “It hurts.”
He looked over to Klaus and saw that he heard her words as well. Klaus visibly relaxed. If you had lived as long as they had, you’d learn a trick or two to calm the mind. Pulling her closer to him, Kol softly squeezed her hand. “How’s that? Better?” He had experienced her talking as if she had gotten a new gift or as if she was still with a gift a few times during the night, but he had believed it was impossible.
“What’s happening to me?”
Klaus and Myriam shared a look between them; that didn’t escape Kol’s attention, either. “Her room, now,” he told his brother as he brought Bella to her room. Whatever they were not telling, could be told in her room, in private. Not everyone needed to know about what was happening to Bella.
Damnit, they had such a fun night together, what a downer to end it this way!
Bella pointed at the journals on the coffee table that Kol had left earlier. “Do you think the answer is in there?”
“Doubtful, these aren’t medical journals,” Kol said as he sat down on the couch, surprised that she sat down next to him, not wanting to let go of his hand. While he had compelled her not to be afraid, he hadn’t done anything else and was surprised by her behavior. If anything, his mind must have been the wilder one between him and his brother. Fighting the urge to feed; he was doing well, though. She had kept him entertained during the night while baking. “Or maybe a handful of them, those that pre-date the computer, but it’s likely that a copy of them will be digital.”
“Then what are they?”
“Your story. Where you’ve been, what you’ve been doing.”
She eyed the journals with caution. “I remember a few encounters. Perhaps even most of them. Can we burn them like we’ve had the contract?”
“How about you decide after you’ve taken a look at it?”
“I can’t read, Kol.”
He smirked. “Fine, then how about you decide after I’ve read them to you? Later, after Myriam and Niklaus confess what they know about what’s happening to you.”
“I might need another nap,” she replied as she snuggled up to him. “I’ll nap and then you can leave and have some blood.”
“After,” she agreed.
What if Nik wanted to pull something stupid though? Something Bella wasn’t ready for? “You know what? I’m going to get us something to drink, and I’ll be right with you.” He wanted to know this information before Bella did, that way he could anticipate her behavior.
He left the room and bumped into his brother and Myriam who had a Cold One in tow on the stairs. “Oh, hell no,” Kol exclaimed. “What’s this?”
“The last medical entry in the medical journal was about how Carlisle used Jasper’s DNA to try and fix Bella,” Myriam explained. “It’s possible that she received his gift by doing so. He’s the only one who can help her deal with it.”
Kol scowled as he sized up the Cold One. “Kol Mikaelson, I don’t believe we’ve met,” his voice sounded slightly venomous. Protective, even. “I know you’re the reason we were able to save those girls, but if my brother thinks I’m stupid enough to allow a Cullen to help this girl, then he’s very wrong.”
“Good thing I’m not a Cullen, then,” Jasper replied. “Jasper Whitlock, pleased to meet ya.”
“Whitlock?” Kol narrowed his eyes on the vampire, observing him. He looked like Bella, didn’t he? “You have a sister or something?”
“I knew it!” Myriam said with a wide grin. “See, Klaus? We’re not the only ones who think that they look alike!”
“Not just that, darling,” Kol said, not removing his eyes from the Cold One. “Bella’s last name happens to be Whitlock as well. So, again, do you have a sister?”
“I used to have one, yes,” Jasper replied truthfully. “She disappeared when she was 16 years old, and she was my twin. Why? Do you believe that Bella’s my sister?”
“I wouldn’t be surprised,” Kol muttered as he tiredly rubbed his face. “Look, she’s not ready to come face to face with someone who she’s worked with in the past, no matter your intentions or whatever your… relationship. I’ll figure something out as what to say about what’s going on – likely the truth – but I don’t think we all should crowd her right now. It’s too soon.”
“I agree,” Jasper replied with a nod. “If I had known why Myriam wanted me to escort her and Klaus up to the girl’s room, I would have refused. It’s been only two days; she needs some time to settle in.”
“And not wanting to go back to the Cullens all the time,” Kol murmured, glad that he had found somewhat of an ally in the Cold One. “I’ll have her rest, I’m going to eat something that’s not human-made food, and when she wakes, I’ll start reading the journals with her. To fill in the blanks. Perhaps learn that the two of you are related, without us speculating about it.”
“And in the meantime?” Klaus asked, strangely surprised by how Jasper and his brother agreed with something. He would have thought that his brother would be more abrasive, more protective over the girl than he already was.
“And in the meantime, you and Myriam can completely focus on the other girls or, you know, finish what I’ve started with Marcel,” Kol then smirked. “He may think that he’s ill or something. I taught a few witches some magic spells that have nothing to do with ancestral magic and thus cannot be traced by his super witch. Every time he feeds, he starts to desiccate.” He felt so immensely pleased with himself. Kol never liked Marcel much, and this was perfect torment. “Or starts bleeding from his arse, I do not quite remember what the witches and I have discussed…”
Jasper turned to Myriam. “He’s sincerely willing to help the girl, and I believe he’s the right person to help her,” he nodded towards Klaus. “Despite his willingness, I highly doubt that Klaus is the right candidate.”
“What’s wrong with me?” Klaus said offended.
“You would compel her to behave, to be normal,” Jasper said amused as he saw a smile appear on Myriam’s face. “That’s not what the girl needs right now after 150 years of meddling with her head, do you think?”
“You’re just saying that because it’s possible she might be your sister.”
“I am not. If I were, I would have taken her away from you and brought her to a safe place myself.”
“Even if you are, you’re not taking her away,” Kol growled and pointed down the stairs. “Go. I promised her I’d get a drink, I’ve been away long enough.” He rushed into the kitchen to get her a glass of lemonade before heading back into the room. For a moment he couldn’t find her, but then he saw this hump on the bed and stifled back a grin. Bella had wrapped herself in her blankets and had fallen asleep.
Setting the glass of lemonade on the nightstand, Kol made sure she was asleep before heading out again, to feed. Bella had been right, he was hungry and then some. While he could go for a while longer without having to feed, he was afraid that he might accidentally bite her. And yes, it wouldn’t kill her, but he didn’t want to betray her trust in him.
“Are you sure you’re ready for this?” Kol asked Bella as she cuddled up against him. He had brought in a pot of tea for them to drink after she woke up and she was still slightly sleepy after having slept for six hours.
“I think the sooner I know, the better I can move forward.”
“You’re feeling better then?” He smiled at her, and she looked up to him with an even bigger smile. “What?”
“I think that whatever Dr. Cullen has done to me has now fixed me. I don’t feel all out of sorts anymore,” she replied and sighed happily. “Back to my old self.”
“Yeah? What about wanting to go back to the Cullens?”
Bella shrugged. “Should the opportunity arise, I’ll think about it, but I believe that Katherine was right, I didn’t belong there. It would be an insult to her memory if I’d continue to want something that’s unattainable and not good for me.”
He blinked at her sudden change of personality. “Darling, has anyone compelled you?” She sounded fine, like the girl he had spoken to at the ball, but not under the pressures of the Cullens, not having anything weighed down upon her, as if she was truly free – which she was, but he had a hard time accepting that it came from just a good rest.
“Dr. Cullen was always so proud of me that I could compartmentalize my feelings so well. I put all of that in a corner of my mind and locked it down. I shouldn’t be afraid of my new life because you’re with me and you are nice. You’re kind, and you don’t mean me any harm. I can feel that. You feel the same as Katherine had done.”
“What’s that like?”
“Like a warm, protective… bath, I guess?” she shrugged. “I don’t know how to describe it. I had a better time figuring it out with the gifts Dr. Cullen had blessed me with. Now I just… feel, and I don’t know what most of it means.” She looked up at him and smiled at him. “Do you think that’s because of the treatment?”
“Well, according to the medical journal that Myriam read, his treatment was based on someone else’s DNA. He wanted to fix you, remember? He probably believed the best way to do that was by using a DNA strand that closely matched yours.”
She thought for a moment. “Right, because any foreign DNA would be rejected by my body. I know this. Dr. Cullen explained it to me.”
“Right, so do you have any idea who that could be?”
Bella shrugged. “I’ve been with the Cullens for 150 years. I highly doubt anyone is still alive.”
Kol let out a snort. “I’m over a thousand years old, darling.”
She narrowed her eyes at him, her gaze deadly. “I swear, if I find out you or your siblings turned a family member and cursed them with eternal life, I will find a way to kill you.”
He swallowed hard. She was hot. Sexy. Wow. He believed every word she said, too. It wasn’t a joke, nor was it meant to be. “I’m fairly sure it wasn’t one of us, darling.”
“I meant every word, though,” she replied before settling against him again. “Read me my life’s story then.”
Kol took a deep breath, calming himself before he picked up the first journal and opened it. He had read the first few pages before he gave Bella the cliff notes. “Carlisle did his research; he made a shit ton of notes, and it looks like he’d been watching your family for at least five years before taking you. The family came to his attention because a fire destroyed a ranch, killing the parents and all of their livestock and the two survivors were you and your brother. You were found unharmed, not a mark on you from the fire. Your grandparents took you in the city where you were put to work; you as a maid, a cook, and your brother accompanied his grandfather to work on the railroad. Carlisle waited and watched patiently, seeing if you’d be snatched up by a man or not, but every potential suitor was run off by your brother. In 1860, Carlisle took his chance and took you.”
“I had a brother?” She blinked at Kol. “Really?”
“His name was Jasper,” Kol smiled at her. “From what I know is that you were taken when you were 16 years old and he joined the Confederate Army not long after that. To protect the way of life of the South, but also to try and find you.”
“How do you know?” She sat up, then, and Kol could see the cogs in her mind work in overdrive. “Oh, oh, wow,” Bella muttered. “Jasper Whitlock the enforcer is my brother!” The color drained from her face then. “Does he know? Did he know?”
“No, I don’t think he did,” Kol replied with kindness in his voice. “We believe that Carlisle kept it from him so he wouldn’t take you away.”
“Would he have done so? I mean, he seemed to be quite content with Emmett, making sure we all got home safe.” She couldn’t believe it; she had a brother, and he was still alive. Well, dead, but alive. And he, apparently was an asshole.
“He worked for Myriam, even managed to send some girls her way when they weren’t looking.”
Not an asshole. “Really?”
Kol loved the surprised look on Bella’s face. “He’s in this building, would you like to talk to him?”
“Yes!” She jumped up to her knees then, bouncing on the couch as she looked at Kol. “Please? I want to know if he truly is my brother, if he’s good. I can feel that when I see him, I think. Please? Please?”
“You’re not going to ask him to take you back?”
“Why would I do that? I owe it to Katherine, to you, to at least try this new life, don’t I?” Bella was still bouncing on her knees. “Please?”
“Alright, but don’t blame me when you get upset,” he laughed as he kissed the top of her head and put the journal down before grabbing his phone. “I’ll shoot Nik a message to send Jasper up, okay?”
“Just him,” Kol nodded as he sent the message before taking the journal again. “While we wait, shall we see if there’s anything else in this journal that might be important?”
“You think there’s more to find out?”
“Well, not much,” he replied as he quickly scanned the pages. “Carlisle mostly writes about your beautiful mind, how you’re so very clever. You really seem to listen to him when he explains things to you. He finds you brave, too. ‘Today the girl managed to get hold of a sharp object and tried to hurt me for taking her away from her family. It was highly amusing. She’s a fighter; this might make things more difficult for me.‘”
Bella sat back down again and scrunched up her nose. “I don’t remember doing that.”
“I find it hilarious,” Kol laughed as he kept reading those little incidents to her as they waited for Jasper and he found it disheartening that after ten years of being with the Cullens, nine years of immortality, she had given up on defying Carlisle. Or at least try to tease him with things while he tried to teach her things. When he looked over at Bella, she looked sad. “You were simply trying to protect yourself from the torment,” he assured her. “Anyone would have done that.”
He thought for a second. “I don’t know; I don’t remember what I was like when I wasn’t a vampire. Flashes, sure, but I highly doubt that even I would have endured this for that long, and that frequent. I suppose that turning into a vampire instead of merely an immortal human has its perks.”
“You would have ripped their head off.”
She was quiet for a moment, almost as if she was thinking about something. “Do you think I can be turned into a vampire still?”
“Why would you want that, poppet?”
“So I can kick some butt if I need to?”
Kol smiled at that. “Darling, as long as we’re around, you have nothing to fear. We’ll make sure that you won’t get hurt ever again.”
She let out a relieved sigh and nodded before she looked at the door. Cocking her head and narrowing her eyes at the door, Bella seemed to try and figure out who was behind the door. “It’s okay; you can come in!” She called out before she scooted closer to Kol, to safety.
A/N: Happy Birthday damonslady|yusukemara-girl!