Bella had acquired a whole new wardrobe and Kol told her to bring back just a few pieces as he believed that they weren’t going to stay at Myriam’s for any longer. She had used a cubicle to change out of her clothes into dungarees after noticing that he had bought new shirts for himself and demanded the one that he was wearing so she could wear it.
And damn, he never expected for those things to look so hot on a girl.
She was worn out by the time they got back to Myriam’s, so he put her in bed and told her that he’d be back in a couple of hours, that he needed to feed and make preparations for their new home. He wanted it to be just as quiet as this room for her.
Kol made his way down to the basement where his brother and Jasper were working with the other girls and leaned against the doorpost. “Nik, I have something to confess.” His brother wasn’t going to like it that he killed Marcel. It was a spur of the moment thing, really. Kol was never good at impulse control.
“What did you do?”
Oh, he was going to endure the wrath of his brother, no doubt about it. Why was he going to confess that he killed Marcel anyway? Right, he needed backup in case a fight broke out when he was going to march into the compound with Marcel’s body. “Good news is, getting our home back is a lot easier.” Nik didn’t keep daggers on him, did he? Nor nearby, did he? The worst that could happen was that Nik would disown him – again – and kick him out.
Should that happen, he was going to fight hard to get the compound back and have witches put up spells to keep his brother out. Perhaps even going as far to compel city officials to put the compound in Bella’s name and no longer on the historical landmark registry.
No, it was better to ask Jasper. Tell Nik what he did after the deed was done, after protecting his own ass. “Bella and I may have put a dent in your bank account when we went shopping for clothes. I took her to a boutique.” Thankfully, he was a great liar.
“That’s alright, Kol, for a moment there I thought you had done something far worse and irreversible.”
“Who? Me?” Kol laughed. “Please, Nik, I value my life. I don’t want to risk being daggered and having Bella end up with you, now, do I?” He looked over to Jasper, who had a questionable look on his face. Yes, he couldn’t hide from him. “Can I borrow you for a few hours?”
“Of course, where are we going?”
“It’s sunlight out. In case you haven’t noticed, I have a skin condition.”
“Don’t worry about it, we’ll ask a witch upstairs to spell you, I promise you, we’re going to have a blast.”
Klaus looked at his brother and the Cold One as they left the basement. It was nice that his brother tried to be friendly with Bella’s brother, but for some reason he felt that there was more to it. Kol had done something bad and he didn’t want to tell him. He knew that sooner or later, he’d find out anyway.
“You lied to your brother,” Jasper pointed out the moment they had left Débauche. It felt nice to walk around in the sun without having to worry to poke an eye out with his sparkling skin. “Why?”
“I’d rather have myself protected before I admit to him that I killed his ward,” Kol replied as he shoved his hands in his pockets as they walked through the street. “My issues with him got me daggered in the past and I’d rather stick around because of Bella.”
“Why did you kill him? I thought you had a witch put a spell on him?”
Kol scowled. “Nothing gets passed him, you know. He has eyes everywhere so he found out I was at this store with Bella, to get her some clothes that she liked to wear, and he showed up, demanding I’d call off my witch.” He shrugged then. “I didn’t want to cooperate but I had Bella with me and didn’t want to cause a scene so I did. Then Bella came out of her cubicle, showing off her pretty dress and Marcel saw her. Turns out, Marcel has hired her in the past.”
“That made your blood boil?”
Kol nodded. “He then proceeded to insult her and me and I told Bella to try on something else before I dragged Marcel off to the stock room and ripped out his heart.”
“I would have done the same, really,” Jasper agreed. “Bella doesn’t need all that crap.”
“It’s made it easier to take back the city, that’s for sure, but both Nik and Elijah considered Marcel family after Nik rescued him from slavery. I got daggered over him. They treated Marcel better than they have ever treated me.”
“I understand. Why do you need me?”
“I’m planning on taking Marcel’s body back to the compound and claim it back. While I’m an Original vampire and quite capable of killing humans, against other vampires I’m not as skilled as Nik or Elijah, especially not if there are many.” Oh, he didn’t like to admit that he, Kol Mikaelson, had his shortcomings. They weren’t even deliberate. He had always liked to stay away from vampire business and hang out with the witches and on top of that, Nik liked to put him in his box. It wasn’t as if he had that much experience.
“How hard was that for you to admit?” Jasper mused as he looked over to him.
“Thought so,” Jasper deadpanned. “Not that I’m complaining and all, but can you give me a guess of what we’ll find after dropping off Marcel’s body?”
Kol sucked in a breath as they headed towards the store where he had left Marcel’s body; or at least what was left of it. “Marcel had a handful of daywalkers, as he’d like to call them. Vampires who have proven to him to be loyal get a daylight ring. The vampires don’t necessarily have to die, but those rings have got to go. Given the element of surprise, I might be able to compel them all to relinquish them.”
“How many nightwalkers?”
“Oh, quite a lot… Mostly youngsters, but too many to fight on my own when needed.”
“Good; I’m itching for a fight.”
“That’s it? No other questions of why I’m doing things or if there’s another way of doing things or telling me to calm down?” Kol was surprised by Jasper’s willingness to help him out, and was curious about his motives. “What’s your angle here?”
“I understand that you and your siblings have a rather… strange relationship amongst yourselves and that you’re afraid of your brother. If my help will ensure your safety – and thus Bella’s – then I am happy to oblige,” Jasper said as they entered the store. “I want her out of that club, man. Not just because of what’s going on inside, but also because the other girls that were rescued don’t particularly like Bella.”
“She was the oldest of them there, Carlisle’s first success story and oh, she was so perfect and they believed she was treated like royalty. Bella worked harder than any of those girls because she was indeed a success. Carlisle never managed to create another girl like her. Sure, the others were trained to obey and to behave, and for the most part they did, but they still had a will of their own. They blame Bella for their predicament.” Jasper explained as he followed Kol to the store room where the desiccated body of Marcel lay. “They all have a screw loose, though. But I wouldn’t be surprised that should they see Bella that they’ll try to rip her to shreds.”
Kol hummed. “I had a few girls like Bella from them.”
“They were flawed. From what I heard is that most of those girls required a vampire of the original line to compel them into submission and obedience,” he continued. “Bella’s the special one. I have no doubt that once the Cullens regroup and rebuild their sources that they’ll come for her again. Edward’s obsession with her is severely unhealthy. The club isn’t safe. They’ll raze it to the ground in an instant. Yes, it’s well protected, but it’s no longer a safe location because believe me, the Cullens know all about Débauche; they just allowed Myriam to rescue their flawed girls because they couldn’t be bothered by destroying them any longer.”
He was going to be sick. Kol hauled Marcel’s body off the floor after wrapping it up in a giant rug that he had compelled the owners to get for him and put him over his shoulder. “That is seriously fucked up.”
Jasper nodded. “So if by taking back your home will ensure Bella’s safety, then I’m all for it.”
“You’d want to be in charge of security?”
“Would you allow me to?”
“Even against Niklaus when needed?”
“Whatever it takes,” Jasper replied and then smiled. “Besides, you look like an awesome boss to have.”
Oh, flattery. Kol loved flattery and shrugged. “Okay, why not?” If Jasper would prove himself to be a total hack, Kol could always destroy him.
“Don’t worry, Kol. I love doing security, it’s what I do best. Just like smashing in heads.” He then smirked. “Ask Bella if you can trust me.”
“Oh, I do trust you because of her reaction to you the other day, but I don’t know you, darling.”
“Isn’t taking me with you to fight a damn army of squishy vampires a great way to get to know me?” Jasper quipped as he continued to follow Kol.
“Perhaps,” Kol replied and then smirked. “Keep up!” He then sped off with Marcel slung over his shoulder. The sooner he claimed the Compound as his, the sooner he could go back to Bella. All of this could have been avoided, of course, if he had just taken her to the family plantation house and let Nik take back his precious city.
He was such an idiot.
After she had woken up from her nap, Kol hadn’t come back yet. A couple of hours turned into a few days and by day three she had enough of baking and helping the cook cook food for everyone. Not even Klaus and Myriam knew where Kol was, but they weren’t worried, that’s what they told her. That she shouldn’t allow her recovery to depend on Kol. She was her own woman, not someone else’s.
It made sense, of course, and Kol could take care of himself; he was only feeding, wasn’t he? Maybe she could suggest to him that he could feed on her since she couldn’t die. It’d mean that he’d be around and make her feel at ease. Kol had been so generous with buying her clothes that she liked – and the outside world didn’t feel that bad at all! She’d been so happy with how she had handled all the emotions by focusing solely on Kol and now she wished that he was back.
She had looked at the drawings that were in the journals that Kol was supposed to be reading to her and noticed that many of the drawings were by Dr. Cullen’s hand, but some also by Edward’s. Dr. Cullen’s drawings focused on what he had done to her and Edward’s drawings often depict her dismemberment. On occasion, some looked quite loving. The drawings made her feel sick to her stomach, for some reason, and she wasn’t sure if she wanted Kol to read the journals to her anymore. If the drawing had these effects on her, how would the words affect him?
They needed to be destroyed; along with the medical journals that she knew that were in Myriam’s possession. How was she supposed to start anew by learning from her past?
She still had some hope that she’d be saved; that the Cullens would come for her. Bella knew that it would likely destroy Kol, but her life had been easier. She did what she was told – no questions asked. No room for thoughts, no room for realizations. No time to sit idle and do nothing. Simply to be.
But, she also knew that she belonged in this new life. There were people who took care of her, just like the Cullens. It was merely quite different from what she was used to. Perhaps burning the journals would show them that she was ready for this. But perhaps it was best to hold on to them as a memory, seeing as she didn’t have many of those, at least not that many that didn’t involve her manipulating people’s minds, do unspeakable things.
Bella was tainted.
There was no way that the Cullens would come for her; she’d be too broken to be fixed and they would destroy her. Or perhaps break her even further, obliterate her mind. That would be nice.
Oh, that was stupid. She was such a stupid, little girl. Bella had been gifted a new way of life; to enjoy life as it should be, like the clients she had entertained. Why did she want to go back to the Cullens?
Grabbing one of the plastic bags in the room, she pushed the journals in and headed straight to Myriam’s office. Bella was going to ask her if she could burn them in the alley behind Débauche. She focused on her task as she walked down the stairs, Bella could feel a lot of strange, enticing feelings and it stirred something inside of her, unsure what to do with it. Kol hadn’t given her permission to help other men to be entertained, so should she?
Taking a deep breath, she continued to focus on burning the journals and heading to Myriam’s office. Bella could ignore the feelings. Of course she could. The time of giving in to the feelings that weren’t hers had to be gone. It was gone. It wasn’t ever going to return. The security guards let her through the secure door leading to the offices and once at the door of Myriam’s, she knocked.
“Come in!” Myriam’s voice sounded, and Bella was conscious now on how she referred to her as Myriam now, and not Ms. Jenkins. At least in her head.
She opened the door and was surprised to see that Myriam wasn’t alone. Both Klaus and Circe were in the room. Bella was obviously interrupting and she felt her face redden. “Oh, uh, I’ll come back later…”
“It’s alright, Bella,” Myriam smiled at her. “I’m glad you’ve decided to leave your room for something other than food. What can we do for you?”
“Uhm…” she didn’t quite like it that all three of them had their eyes on her, it made her feel so small. “When’s Kol coming back?”
“Soon, I imagine,” Klaus replied as he leaned back in his chair, happy with the little distraction the girl was posing at the moment. “He hasn’t forgotten about you, if that’s what you’re worried about.”
“I’m not. I-” Bella took a deep breath and held up the bag filled with the journals. “Can I burn these in the alley?”
“If they’re the clothes we’ve provided for you before you and Kol went on a shopping spree-”
“It’s not,” Bella interrupted Myriam – Ms. Jenkins. “They’re the journals. I don’t want them and I don’t want anyone else to read them, either.”
Raising an eyebrow, Myriam approached the girl and peeked into the bag, confirming that it indeed held the journals. While Myriam herself wouldn’t want to throw out her memories or at least stories about what she’d been doing, she understood that it was different for Bella. Deciding to destroy the journals was a great step for Bella, her own decision, but was it the right one? “Are you sure? I could put them in my vault – only I have access to it – to keep them safe.”
“I want them gone. Turned to ash,” she held on to the bag as if she was afraid that someone was going to steal them from her. “It’s alright if you won’t allow me to; I’ll wait until Kol gets back so he can do it with me.”
“Are you sure?” Myriam repeated. “When you live for a little longer you’ll forget things, it’s nice to reminisce sometimes.”
Bella impatiently glared at Myriam. “I can’t read. I know what happened in the past – some of it anyway – and I wish to forget. I don’t wish for anyone else to read what I’ve been doing or see the drawings in these journals. I want to burn them. If you truly wish for me to start over, you will allow me this.”
“Are you sure?”
“Myriam, all I want to remember is things from my childhood, to tell things to Jasper since he’s forgotten about it too. It’s not in these things. Stop asking me if I’m sure. Yes, I’m sure!”
Klaus smiled widely, appreciative of how the girl had grown. “Very well then,” he said as he held out his hand from his seat. “Hand them over so you don’t have to see them anymore. Once Kol returns, we shall go into the Bayou for a celebration and burn those blasted journals.”
“You have my word, Bella.”
She walked over to Klaus and handed him the bag. “Don’t read them.”
“Thank you,” she smiled at him before turning to make her leave out of the office.
“Uh Bella,” Circe finally spoke up. “Before you go…”
“No, we’ve talked about this,” Myriam said sternly. “She’s not to be involved!”
Bella turned around, curious. “Involved in or with what?”
Circe grinned. “For the last four days I’ve been doing to the rest of the girls what I’ve done to you before you ran away. Suffice it to say, they were more than grateful for what I did, and I must say that they were a lot easier to work with,” she explained. “Myriam and Klaus have me looking at all the medicine that was brought back from the Cullen’s warehouse and I was wondering if you could help me with them. While my knowledge of drugs is extensive, I can’t seem to make any sense of the bottles. My guess is that you know exactly what’s in them and what they do.”
Bella thought for a moment and shook her head. “I’m sorry but I don’t.”
“Yeah, you do,” Circe pressed on. “The medical journals spoke of someone assisting Carlisle and she sounds a lot like you.”
“In the beginning, maybe, before I was sent out, but his procedures changed over the years. I am or no use to you. It’s better to throw it all out, destroy it all and make sure that nobody will be able to get their hands on the solutions.”
“But I want to learn what it all is, how he did it and-”
“Shouldn’t those medical journals tell you enough?” Bella countered sharply. “If I could help you, I would. Probably. But I can’t.”
“Not even if one of those solutions could help you with your thoughts, emotions?”
Bella shook her head. “It’s filth. Disgusting. It’s dangerous and it hurts a lot. I’m not going anywhere near those solutions. I don’t want anything to do with it anymore. I’m done,” she said angrily before leaving the office and headed straight for her room where she was greeted by a familiar sight.
“What has gotten your panties all tied up in a twist?”
“Kol,” she smiled at him as she dove into his arms, holding onto him for dear life. “Where have you been?”
“Setting up our new home. Kicking the old people out, redecorating some… have a few witches throw up a few spells to keep you safe and our bedroom is a quiet zone where you won’t be harassed by other people’s emotions, just like this room is.” He was relieved to find her having missed him, that she asked. “Aren’t you proud of me?”
“Very,” she smiled up to him and softly kissed him before helping him out of his shirt and pulling it over her head. Bella inhaled his scent and sighed happily before putting her arms around him again. “Thank you for coming back.”
“I will always come back, that’s a promise.”
BONUS SCENE! CLICKETTY CLACK!