Just as he had made plans for Bella to move into the compound with him, his brother announced that he was going back to Mystic Falls to ensure that he could continue to make his precious hybrids. Kol had flown into a rage, then, despite wanting some distance from Nik because of him murdering Marcel. No, he felt hurt that, yet again, his brother wanted to seek for family elsewhere. To create an army of hybrids and be unstoppable.
Kol loved his brother dearly, but this was one of those schemes destined to fail and Nik wouldn’t listen. Myriam was going with Nik to make sure he didn’t do anything stupid, but where did that leave him? Alone. All his siblings in Mystic Falls.
Kol was fine with being alone, he had been alone for centuries before he was daggered the first time, but he was going to be left, by himself, with a huge responsibility on his hands – the leader of the vampire population in New Orleans and the protector of witches. He wasn’t going to have any time for Bella, was he? Not if he didn’t want to mess this up.
Bella’s rehabilitation was important too.
Selene had orchestrated a meeting with the current Regent of the Nine Covens of New Orleans, Josephine LaRue, so that Kol could make his intentions clear; to ensure her that he was nothing like Marcel and that the witches could practise their magic freely. Hexes and curses, however, were only allowed after careful consideration by himself and Selene. He promised her that his vampires would protect the witches from the werewolves and didn’t expect anything else in return. This surprised the Regent greatly, but she accepted it.
It was a week since he moved Bella out of Débauche before he truly had some time for her. He had made time. The entire day and more if needed. Bella wasn’t complaining that she didn’t get a lot of attention from him, but she never complained, did she? She understood that he had a job to do, that taking his home back from Marcel Gerard came with a seat of power and that he became an important vampire in the community.
Bella never became angry with him, or sad, or frustrated. If she felt any of that, it was because of her own thoughts and emotions, but it was never directed towards him. She always greeted him with the biggest, goofiest smile she had available. So innocent. So trusting. So loyal.
Oh, he knew that the loyalty and trust mostly stemmed from the way she’d been treated in the past, but she was giving him something he hadn’t felt for a very long time. She saw him, truly saw him, and thought he was a good person, which made him want to work harder not to screw that up. For her.
Granted, Niklaus and Elijah probably wouldn’t like the way Kol was handling things right now in New Orleans, or how it was supposed to be given some time, but Niklaus left, leaving him on his own. Kol hated leading things, but he was making it so that he didn’t have a lot to do anyway. More time for Bella.
And once Niklaus would wake up and figure out that more hybrids wasn’t the way to go and come back to New Orleans, Kol was going to make sure that by that time, Bella felt safe everywhere so he and her could leave. Travel the world.
Yeah, that was a great plan.
“What are you smirking about?” Bella sleepily asked as she rolled into him, looking up at him with her beautiful eyes.
“Future plans,” he grinned and softly kissed her. “Good morning, beautiful.”
“You haven’t slept.”
“I don’t need sleep. I’ve been watching you all night and wow, such a sight.”
She scrunched her nose like a little bunny and sighed, almost as if she was resigning to her fate. “Where are you off to today?”
He put his arms around her and smiled. “I was thinking we’d go into the city and find some furniture to decorate our home, it looks a bit bare, doesn’t it?”
“It’s your home.”
“It’s our home, Bella.”
Bella let out a small huff as she shifted a little, entangling her legs with his. “I don’t know anything about decorating a house.”
“Well, neither do I.”
“Then what’s the point?” She shifted again, this time she rolled on top of him, straddling his waist with her legs, a cheeky smile on her face as she looked down at him.
He smiled at that. “To be honest, I have no idea. My siblings were always the one who put furniture in wherever we were. Elijah, really. To try to create a sense of home, I suppose. Or make us appear normal when having to deal with humans. A display of our wealth.”
She looked like a goddess sitting on top of him like that. Totally naked. He couldn’t help but to touch her, his hands were running up her sides as she wiggled her ass. Kol had her initiate sex, mainly because he wanted her to make some decisions, but if this wasn’t going to lead anywhere, he was likely going to beg.
Bella smirked as she leaned forward and started to kiss along his jaw. “What would you like? Something modern, I’m guessing,” she arched her back, pressing her breasts against his chest.
“If it were up to me, we’d have a couple of sofas and a large entertainment system with all the toys. Music, games, movies…”
“Oh, that sounds like a great idea,” she agreed as she softly brushed his lips with hers. “Before or after we’ve had some fun in bed?”
“In between,” Kol flipped the both of them over, loving it that she had started all of this, and decided to make her melt into him. Fly apart against him as he fucked her as excruciatingly slow as possible.
By week two he was bored with the politics. He wasn’t a leader; he liked to march to his own drum and Kol found himself missing Elijah. Of all people, he was missing Elijah, because Elijah liked these kinds of things.
Kol had found Marcel’s witch in an attic above St. Anne’s Cathedral. She was so young, but oh so powerful and accidentally angered the Regent by killing the girl after discovering that she was relaying messages to people near the Cullen family. He was grateful for Jasper’s ability then, and Abeebee’s gift of righting wrongs by the power of patience and words. By the time Jasper and Abeebee had worked their magic on good ol’ Josephine LaRue, even she realized that it had to be done; that killing Davina had been a necessary evil; the Cullens were not allowed to rise to power again.
No doubt that Elijah was laughing when by week three, Kol was shooting him messages. ‘Come to New Orleans! It’s ours!’ ‘Nik can have his throne!’ ‘Please, brother!’ Rebekah had shot him down, of course. Even though New Orleans was now void of Marcel, she refused to come back and help out. She’d rather stick with Nik and make him see reason, that hybrids weren’t an answer, that she, too, was family. Kol wouldn’t be surprised if Rebekah found a way to kill the Doppelganger and destroy all of the blood that his brother had procured.
It’s something Kol would do.
He liked checking up on Jasper’s training with the vampires during week three, trusting Jasper in awarding the right vampires with daylight rings made by Selene. He also loved to see the blossoming relationship between Jasper and Bella. No new memories had surfaced, much to Bella’s disappointment, but it was clear that they were siblings and sometimes even reminded him of his own family; the relationships he had with Nik and Rebekah.
It took a whole month for Bella to feel confident enough to leave the compound on her own and do some exploring. To do some shopping. While they had decorated the compound quite modernly within Kol’s wishes, he had also wanted that she’d put something of herself in it; something she’d like. She’d been teaching herself how to read, Abeebee had gone and got her a few books, and even though she wasn’t quite fluent – yet, she was enjoying it so much that she went out and got herself a few cooking books.
She thought it was nice to finally be able to use the correct measurements on a recipe, even though the math of multiplying was still beyond her, but Bella felt confident that she would get to that eventually. She was immortal, after all.
The first few recipes she tried from the books were awful, of course, but it was a learning curve, and once one succeeded, Kol saw her confidence grow even further. She didn’t need the cooking books, she was an excellent cook and baker, even she said so, but Bella said she liked to broaden her horizons a little bit, and it was clear that she was enjoying herself.
Kol loved to see that she was making so much progress, coming out of her shell a bit more even though she was still quite shy around strangers. She asked him if he could fire the kitchen staff because she felt they were redundant; she could make food when needed and they made her feel uncomfortable whenever she was playing around. So he did and told her that she could have done it herself; she was his equal, not his inferior.
Whenever he couldn’t find her, she was in the kitchen, in her element.
Kol had started to ignore his duties as a leader of the community; everything seemed to be running smoothly, there was no reason for him to stick his nose into everything and was finally able to enjoy the entertainment get up that he had bought. Video Games and music. He either played Rockband 3 or Call of Duty with music blasting out of his set without a care in the world, until one day he heard Bella scream.
She was in the kitchen, but he could hear her over the noise he was making. Kol dropped everything and rushed over, only to find Jasper with his sister and two new faces. Cold Ones. Kol didn’t like it already. Bella flew into his arms and he tightly held her as he looked at the new arrivals. “Jasper, I don’t appreciate you bringing in guests without telling me first,” he said with a playful voice, but a tone of warning underneath it.
“My apologies, Kol,” Jasper replied, running his hand through his hair. “I thought that she’d be ready for this by now.”
“Explain yourself and better hope that I’m liking what you’re telling me or your friends are dead.”
“This is Peter, and Charlotte, and they’re my friends. Peter is gifted, like myself, and both of them have chosen to steer clear of the Cullens ever since they met them,” Jasper explained, reaching out with his gift to calm the Original and his sister. “Peter has some information.”
“You should have come to me. Not her.”
Jasper sighed. “Again, I believed she could handle it.”
“The Cullens have received an investment from their European cousins,” Peter ignored the behaviour of everyone. “For the last few weeks they’ve been setting up shop in a small town called DeLand in Florida, ready to start anew with their business. Their time in Baton Rouge has taught them better ways to deal with the sun. Now, Charlotte and I have taken care of the European cousins with some help from a pack of shifter wolves out of Washington, but we figured you might want to have a go at the Cullens themselves.”
“Florida’s far away enough.”
“I believe they’ll be coming for the girl,” Peter said again. “They want to start over. What better way to do that with their beloved princess? Despite it being a 9 hour drive by car, you know how fast we are and how much we like our cars.”
“This gives us some time to plan something,” Jasper added. “Call your brother to help us out. Get Myriam’s team back together and end them for once and for all.”
Kol huffed as he still had his arm around Bella, pressing her against him. “Nik’s too busy trying to make his precious hybrids and you know what? If the Cullens were planning on taking Bella back, we would have known.”
“I’m telling you now,” Peter replied, not believing the Original’s lax attitude. “I don’t know when, but they will come for her. Edward’s obsession with her is unhealthy. Carlisle wants her back so he can resume using her as a labrat. They know that you’re the only Original here and that your family is back in Mystic Falls. You’re an easy target, Mr. Mikaelson.”
“I can’t be killed.”
“No, but Emmett will make sure you’re down long enough for them to fight off whatever security measure we have in place, the army of vampires you have is quite astonishing, but they’re like match sticks,” Jasper tried to reason. “Hell, even during training the best of your lot I accidentally killed one or two.”
“Security is your job, Jasper.”
“Yes. And while it’s impressive, it won’t hold up against them. Not if they pull in the cousins. Their friends.” Jasper grimaced. “And look, I understand your frustration and your arrogance, but Bella’s special. She’s the holy grail for them. One girl. Wars have been fought for less.”
“I don’t trust him.”
“No, but you trust me. And I trust him. I trust his word. Abeebee is already reaching out to the girls to see who’s up for a little fight to make sure my sister remains free.”
“I remember Edward telling me that he hated a Peter. That they tried to get him into the business but that he refused on principle,” Bella softly spoke, looking up at Kol. “His gift scared them, but they wanted him anyway so that he could help Alice.” She could feel that Kol was scared. He wasn’t so much scared of the Cullens, but more that it was likely that he had to do this without his brother having his back.
“What’s your take on him?”
Bella looked at Peter and Charlotte before looking back at Kol. “Nothing negative.”
“Do you think that they’re right? That the Cullens will come back for you?”
She shrugged, then. “They’re stupid enough to try.”
Kol knew that Bella didn’t want to go back, she had whispered that in his ear one night, but she had never spoken the words out loud. But this was a victory; she loved her new life, exploring new things and do whatever she pleased, why give that up? “Do you want to go back to them?”
Bella huffed. “No.”
“They don’t know that we know, now is the time to attack them before they get to us while we’re unprepared,” Jasper said kindly. “Call your brother.”
“And admit that I can’t do this without him? What was he doing when we were getting you? Sitting on his arse in Myriam’s office, no doubt screwing her brains out.”
“That was a surprise attack. Now they know what they’re up against,” Jasper pointed out. “They’ll be prepared and we can use all the indestructible vampires we can get our hands on. That is, if you’re still willing to fight for Bella. If not, I will take her away from you.”
“Hey!” Bella objected and glared at her brother. “You will not! I’m staying with Kol for as long as he wants me to be with him and that’s that.”
“Even if he doesn’t want to engage the Cullens?”
“Even if!” Bella felt fearless as she defended Kol and herself against her brother and realized that Jasper was messing with her. Briefly letting go of Kol to step over to her brother, she kicked him against the shins, which hurt her and not him, before going back to Kol. “Stop regulating my feelings. I’m fine.”
“Yes you are,” Jasper winked at her.
“But honestly, Bella, would you really want them to start over and hurt other girls? Take you back and do god knows what? Turn you into a perfect baby factory?”
Bella blinked at Peter. “Excuse me?”
“You may be immortal, but you still have a functioning womb as you’re not dead like us. All the Cullens need to do is find a perfect match and have you poop out babies for them to grow and nurture into an army or the perfect slaves or whatever.”
“No way.” She looked at her brother in shock and shook her head. “Please tell me that he’s lying.” Bella hoped that Peter was lying; the idea of it made her feel sick. It was probably worse than being brainwashed and sent out to have sex with people.
“It was in your medical files,” Jasper replied reluctantly. “Should you ever become too damaged to work again, they’d ensure the success of their business by having you give birth to babies, figuring that since you’d be the mother, that the children would be perfect to manipulate any way they wanted it to be.”
It hadn’t been a secret what Jasper just told her. In fact, they all knew but had chosen not to tell Bella about it, mainly because she didn’t want to be reminded of the Cullens as she was settling in in her new life so well. But Jasper’s words changed something in Bella then. While she hadn’t been that negative out in the open towards the Cullens, she knew that what they had done was wrong.
Turning back to Kol, he could tell that she was on the warpath. “Please.”
Kol knew what she was asking, she just couldn’t say the words. “Are you sure?”
“They can’t start doing this to other girls, Kol, especially not now that they’re funded with their cousin’s money. It’s a wealth so big I cannot even begin to imagine. The possibilities are endless.”
“And what about you?”
She huffed as she put one arm across her breasts and one hand protecting her modesty. “This is mine and yours. I trust that you won’t let them touch me ever again. Let alone make me a baby factory. Small children are disgusting.”
Kol felt so proud. Smiling, he reluctantly dug out his phone out of his pants. “Alright then, let’s give my brother a call, shall we?”