Alternative beginning of the chapter. Too… meh?
“Oh, you don’t have to worry about seeing anyone from that night,” Rebekah said cheerfully as she parked the car in the square. “Nik has Damon and Stefan somewhere for his entertainment.”
“I’m not worried,” Bella was confused, why would she have to be worried? “I trust you.”
Rebekah barked out a laugh. “You don’t even know me, for all you know I’m taking you somewhere to kill you.”
She shrugged in return. “I’m immortal, like yourself. The worst thing that could happen is that I could get overwhelmed by all the people,” Bella replied as she got out of the vehicle. “But what are your plans, exactly?”
“I want you to use your super power on a human and tell me what he feels about me.”
Bella blinked as she followed the vampire. “Can’t you just ask him?”
“He’s on vervain.”
“That’s not what I meant,” Bella replied, a smile on her face. “Ask him. Use your words.”
“It’s Matt, okay? I know that I told Kol to hurt him and all, but I…” Rebekah sighed. “I still feel bad about it and I like him.”
“No, I’m not!”
“Yes, you are. But that’s alright.” There was no doubt that Rebekah wanted to talk to this Matt, but she wasn’t feeling bad about wanting to hurt him in the first place. Rebekah had something up her sleeve, Bella could tell.
The Mystic Grill looked quite relaxed and extremely empty. Bella wondered if this was always this way; Kol had told her that you could tell a lot from an empty restaurant; it meant that they weren’t really that good or their business wasn’t all that pure. That evil people ran it or whatever.
But Mystic Falls was a tiny town, it was not as dangerous as New Orleans as that city was immense with a lot of different kinds of people. No, the people were simpler here. Quite boring, compared to the big city. Bella didn’t know why the vampires liked it here so much, wasn’t there a greater risk in being found out?
Rebekah compelled the bartender in giving her a bourbon and Bella opted for tea. She wasn’t fond of alcohol, mainly because it impaired her greatly while she was already struggling so much without being under the influence. Sitting in a corner of the establishment, Bella quietly observed Rebekah. “Do you know why we’re here?” She eventually asked.
“Yes, and I find it admirable of my brothers that they are going after those blasted Cold Ones for once and for all, but I don’t want to be a part of it.”
“Then why are you still here?”
“Where else can I go but with my family?”
“Anywhere you want?” Bella smiled at her. “You don’t need them, Rebekah, and you certainly don’t deserve to be treated the way you have been. Go and have some fun!”
Rebekah’s mood swung from relaxation to agitation as she lunged forward and grabbed Bella’s wrist tightly. “Do not talk to me like that! Nik told me you were shy!”
Bella knew that Rebekah was trying to scare her, but it wasn’t working. “It’s okay to remember me, you know. You should, now that I am not what I used to be.”
“You’re not her.”
“But I am,” Bella motioned to herself, her hair, her face. “This is what I look like. Not the cute brunette in the fancy clothes who seduced you to get rid of your boredom at a party.”
“But you can’t be.”
Rebekah let out a breath and tightened her grip on Bella’s wrist. “You’re with Kol! He’s the wildest of all of us, and you’re with him! Niklaus says he’s mad for you, but you should have run away as far as possible from us vampires, you don’t deserve to get hurt again.”
“Is that why you’re worried about Matt? Why you’re hesitant to leave your family?”
“This is not about me, it’s about you,” the vampire replied, a small smile appearing on her lips. “You talk to me about leaving, do something for myself, but here you are, still with those who rescued you from hell.”
“Kol cares about me, cares for me as I do for him. I’m not afraid to get hurt, I know he won’t hurt me.”
“I know my brother.”
“Do you? Because it appears that none of you knew what Klaus was doing with Myriam all this time. Or that he was in a relationship,” Bella countered defensively. “And truthfully, if Klaus didn’t think Kol was worth it to stay outside of his coffin, undaggered and all, he would have daggered him, wouldn’t you think? Perhaps there’s a side to your brother that you don’t know. In any case, I accept him the way he is because Kol’s perfect. He’s kind. He’s funny. He’s caring.” Bella then took a deep breath and eyed Rebekah. “It’s tiresome that I feel that I need to defend him towards people who seem to know him.”
Rebekah relaxed then, a big smile on her face. “You know, despite what Nik has told me about you, you have a good head on your shoulders. I like it. You need strong convictions to survive in this family,” she grinned. “Don’t worry, I put Myriam through the same thing.”