Bella had allowed Myriam to take her into town and do some shopping. Myriam insisted that Bella had a laptop; she knew she had an aging computer at the Salvatore guesthouse, but if she was going to spend more time at the house, it would be nice for Bella to have everything she needed to feel at ease. Like being able to continue to write.
Bella balked, at first, mainly because she didn’t need charity, but Myriam told her that it was for her own best interest as well; Bella hadn’t been updating her stories for a while now and she wanted to keep reading. She pointed out that first and foremost, Myriam was Bella’s biggest fan and the least she could do was to provide Bella with everything she needed to continue her art.
Myriam then bought a handful of DVD’s for them to watch and they went to the supermarket to get snacks; there was no need to worry about food as they’d be served in the sitting room while Klaus and Elijah had the Salvatores over for dinner.
Myriam insisted that they’d drop by Bella’s place to get her some clean clothes and pyjamas, if she was going to make a habit of staying over, she deserved some closet space for her things. There was nobody home in the big house, both cars were gone and it was nice and quiet, but Myriam was fascinated by the amount of foxes coming out of hiding when Bella stepped foot on the grass. “Wow.”
“Cute, aren’t they?” Bella smiled and addressed the foxes. “She’s good people. Go away.” And just like that, the foxes turned away and scurried off. Upon arriving at the house, Bella looked at Myriam, an apologetic look on her face. “Look, I’m not going to invite you in and it doesn’t have anything to do with you.”
“Honey, I understand,” she smiled at her. “I’ll just sit here on the porch while you gather your things, just hurry up, we have a lot of movies to watch and you can break in your laptop!”
Bella let out a snort as she entered her house and started to gather her things. She was surprised when she received a text message from Damon, asking if she needed anything before he was going out to dinner. She replied that she was well taken care of and that he didn’t have to worry that she was going to starve. And she wasn’t. By the amount of snacks that Myriam bought, she would be able to eat for days and that wasn’t even counting dinner.
Not even half an hour later, they settled in the Mikaelson sitting room and Myriam put on the first movie while Bella made herself comfortable in the big chair. “I was wondering,” Myriam asked as she sat down in the other comfy chair and looked at Bella. “Klaus told me you were talking to Kol all night as if he could hear you.”
“I think he did,” Bella replied with a shrug. “Have you ever dessicated yourself?”
“No,” Myriam snorted. “I wouldn’t dare. Sure, in the past it would have been nice to hide forever but what’s the point in that? It’s better to face your problems head on and I did.”
“I think you can compare it to someone who’s in a coma. Their body might not work, but they’re still in there,” Bella grabbed a handful of chips and started to eat them. “I don’t know for sure, of course, at least not until Klaus decides to free his brother from the coffin.”
“You still don’t want Finn out, do you?”
“Nope, but what can I do? I’m not going to get involved in that, it’s not my business. Same reason why I haven’t undaggered Kol.”
“Your restraint is amazing.”
“I’ve always felt like I was on the outside, looking in, observing things and for most of my life ignoring things. It wasn’t until someone told me to stop ignoring the supernatural or try to rationalize what I saw that I stopped ignoring. Everyone should be able to make their own decisions, not have them dictated by someone.”
“So what do you think of Klaus and his hybrids? The compelled servants in this house?”
“His choice, not mine and not for me to judge.”
“And yet you judge him for boxing up his siblings.”
Myriam laughed. “How is that any different?”
Bella was quiet for a long time, thinking about it. “I think that the answers that I seek, the reason why I’m still in Mystic Falls, lies with Kol. If I add up everything… the way I was drawn to his coffin, the way he responded to my voice and my stories… I think he might know something that I need to hear.”
Giggling, Myriam dug into the bag of DVD’s and tossed one at Bella. “There’s a movie about that, falling in love with a coma patient.”
Bella laughed. “I’m not in love, Myriam. I don’t even know him!”
“No, but you’re drawn to him. Oh, Klaus will freak out!”
“Shut up,” Bella blushed. “I’m interested in Kol because as I said, he might know something that I need to hear.”
“Uhuh,” Myriam smirked as she, too, grabbed a handful of chips to munch on. “Bella and Kol, sitting in a tree…” she sang. “K-I-S-S-I-N-G!”
“You suck!” Bella laughed as she threw some chips at Myriam, who laughed but then heard something at the door, signalling to Bella to be quiet for a moment and listen.
“Damon, Stefan,” Klaus greeted the two brothers. “Elijah tells me you seek an audience. Very bold. Let’s discuss the terms of our agreement like civilized men, shall we?”
“It’s better to indulge him,” Elijah’s voice sounded.
“I smell venison,” Damon quipped. “I hope it’s raw meat for you, brother.”
“I didn’t come here to eat, Klaus,” Stefan sounded as if he was ignoring his brother. Poor Damon. “In fact, I didn’t want to come here at all but I was told I had to because you were willing to hear us out.”
“Well, we can sit and eat or I can reach down your throats and pull out your insides. Choice is yours.”
Myriam sighed happily as she quietly closed the door, making it sound proof. “He’s so hot when making threats. He does it so well…”
“Uhuh,” Bella let out a snort. “I guess you’ll be jumping his bones when the dinner’s over?”
During their first movie of the night, they were served by the maids, the same food as the men were having, and the second movie Myriam put in was Confessions of a Shopaholic. “You know, maybe we could go to the mall tomorrow and shop for some sexy lingerie,” Myriam said, deep in thought as she ate her dinner.
“Well, you could.”
Bella snorted. “I can give you two perfectly good reasons as why I am not in need of sexy lingerie.”
“Yep. One; I haven’t had sex for like a year because I was too busy studying for school and reading all those books to find me a new boyfriend. Two; you’d actually need to have money to spend on sexy lingerie. You already bought me a laptop, I will not allow you to buy me my underwear.”
“Klaus gave me his credit card,” Myriam said, teasingly.
She then remembered the exact reason why she came round to the house yesterday. She needed to rip Klaus a new one because she didn’t need his money. “Excuse me,” Bella said as she got up and walked right out of the room, straight into Klaus’ meeting. Which she had forgotten about. Oh well.
“What do you say, Klaus? It’s time for you to put something on the table,” Damon’s voice sounded before the door opened, revealing Bella dressed in a fluffy pyjama and bunny slippers. “What the hell are you doing here?”
“Miss Bella is my guest,” Klaus replied, amused, before turning to her. “Love, I’m in the middle of something. Go back to your girls night.”
“Yeah, sorry, I forgot…” Bella ran a hand through her hair. “I just remembered why I came here, yesterday, and you and Myriam have been distracting me.”
“Me, love?” Klaus huffed. “Well, that’s just a crazy accusation.” He then turned to Damon and Stefan. “She turned Elijah into a majestic stag last night for a time out. It was quite amoozing.”
“Niklaus,” Elijah warned him, seemingly anxious about something.
Bella narrowed her eyes on Elijah. “What did you do now, Elijah? You’re hiding something!” She looked at Damon and tilted her head. “So are you!”
“What have you done?” Klaus demanded.
“What have you done?” Elijah countered. “See, I’ve learned not trust your vulgar promises, Klaus. We’re doing this on my terms now.”
Bella gasped when she saw the vampire she had talked at that night round the corner and he was so handsome. So incredibly handsome that made her heart beat faster and her skin heat up. That look in his eyes, so… devious. Dangerous.
“Kol,” Klaus said, fear in his voice as he took a step back with his hands up.
“Long time, brother,” Kol replied as he continued his approach.
“Finn, don’t,” Klaus begged when his other brother, the one that Bella warned about, rushed in, grabbed a dagger and stabbed Klaus’ hand, causing him to scream.
Bella was so enthralled by Kol’s appearance that she hadn’t noticed that Rebekah had passed her, blocking Klaus’ escape.
Klaus doubled over in pain and stumbled back, to be caught by Kol and keeping his brother in a body lock.
“You’re free to go,” Elijah told Stefan and Damon. “This is family business.”
Klaus looked over Rebekah’s shoulder to Bella, fear in his eyes. Bella could feel Kol’s eyes on her as well, feeling his awareness, his presence pierce her soul. Klaus didn’t deserve this, and dammit, it happened again. “Damnit! Now it’s my turn!” Bella raised her voice before every sibling, apart from Klaus, flew against a wall, keeping them there until she’d release them. She didn’t even care that Stefan and Damon were caught in the same swoop that she’d done.
She marched over to Klaus and pulled him to his feet before slapping him in the face. “Why did you give me money? Am I a charity case to you? As I told Myriam, I have savings to allow me to feed myself.”
Klaus blinked at her, confused as what was happening. It seemed as if he landed in one mess after another. “It’s called kindness, love,” he spoke quietly. “I have the means to make your life more comfortable, why wouldn’t I do that?”
“I’ve never accepted money from anyone. Anyone. Not even the Salvatores. I can take care of myself.”
It was then when Myriam walked in, impressed by what she saw, amused and frightened at the same time. She gently placed her hands on Bella’s shoulders and squeezed them. “Honey, all Klaus wants is to take care of his family. To keep them safe from harm. To do everything in his power to make sure that when his family does come out, nothing will harm them. To have them not to want for anything.” Myriam gently squeezed Bella’s shoulders again. “Think.”
She looked at Klaus, who had nothing but love and admiration in his eyes for her. “Oh.”
“Yep,” Myriam gently pat on Bella’s head.
“Sorry,” she muttered.
“It’s alright, love,” Klaus said gently, caressing a strand of her hair out of her face. “You’re right, you’re used to taking care of yourself and you’ve been on your own for so long, it’s alright to feel insulted, but it’s not what I meant by giving you that small token of gratitude.”
“I feel so embarrassed now,” she sighed as she turned around and headed towards the door. “I’ll hide out in the library.”
“Aren’t you forgetting something, honey?” Myriam reminded her, causing Bella to look over her shoulder to see the vampires dangling from the walls.
“Oh, sorry,” she said as she shrugged and had them drop down to the floor. “Carry on, don’t mind me,” Bella then walked out of the room, her bunny slippers clicking on the grand staircase leading upstairs.
“Niklaus, what were you thinking bringing that… overpowered abnormality into our home?”
“Elijah, I heard that!” Bella called out. “Behave or face the consequences!”
Finn, Rebekah and Kol gasped in awe when Elijah transformed into a stag, again.
“See, I knew I smelled venison,” Damon deadpanned before he was dragged out by Stefan. “Hey!”
“We need to go.”
“She’s quite capable of handling herself, come on, before she hurts us.”
“Bella wouldn’t hurt me.”
“Let’s go, Damon!” Stefan kept tugging on him until he followed on his own accord.
When Bella heard the front door shut, she turned Elijah back, mainly to show the rest of the siblings that she was not one to mess with, and if someone messed with Klaus, they’d face the same consequences. She needed a timeout. She needed some time to cool off. To safe face, she felt embarrassed and the library was comfortable. Yes it was the end of girl’s night but that was alright. She had a feeling that there would be more nights to come.
When she arrived in the library, she could feel darkness creep into the house. Maybe it wasn’t a good idea to stay. She should get dressed and go home, but Bella also felt a responsibility to stay; to make sure that her new family wouldn’t get hurt. She hadn’t ever felt this torn; whomever just entered the house was definitely scary.
She made herself comfortable in the window seat and pulled the blanket over her and stared out of the window until she fell asleep, only to be awoken a few hours later by Kol. “You’re staring.”
“Well, it seems only fitting that I watch you sleep, since you did the same for me.”
“No, I didn’t. You were awake. I was actually sleeping,” Bella yawned as she looked at him. “You’re being creepy.”
“Kol Mikaelson, pleasure to meet you,” he said, extending his hand to her.
“Bella Swan. Sleep deprived and grumpy,” she shook his hand before snuggling her blanket closer and closing her eyes again.
“I should be more interested in exploring the new Mystic Falls or spend time with my newly resurrected family, that includes our Mother, but you are fascinating.”
“No, I am a tired human.”
“Fascinating,” Kol said again. “Because I think you’re not. You’re not a witch, either, which makes me think you fit in the obscure box of supernaturals who aren’t actually supernaturals. Like a nymph or a pixie.” He took a seat opposite of her in the window seat, not giving up. “Did you know that they’re descended from the old Gods?”
“I’ve already had that discussion with Myriam. Gods don’t exist. The closest thing to Gods are you guys.”
“Ah,” Kol sighed happily. “I’m flattered, darling, but we’re merely unkillable vampires. But please, do go on, tell me how handsome I am.”
“Nope,” Bella yawned. “Because that would be a false compliment.”
“You’re asking me to tell you how handsome you are, that’s ridiculous because that’s not a voluntary complement and therefore, false.”
“But you do think that I am handsome. I could feel it when you spoke to me last night, and when I entered the room to hurt Niklaus. Your heart skipped a few beats and you were aroused.”
She was too tired for this shit. “How do you know that? Maybe Klaus aroused me.”
“Oh please, as if Myriam would allow anyone to even get that up close and personal with him,” Kol grinned. “You clearly don’t like Elijah and Finn… well, he’s just dull. No, you like me.”
“Maybe my preferences lie with the same sex.”
“Rebekah was behind you. Doubtful.”
Bella groaned as she hit him on the head with one of the tiny pillows that were in the window seat. “You’d better stop now, or I’ll give you the Elijah treatment.”
Kol laughed at that and threw his hands up. “Alright, my little Goddess. Or Goddess adjacent. I’ll allow you to get your rest. Busy day tomorrow, you’re going clothes shopping.”
“Oh, yes. Mother wants to throw a ball now that we’re all reunited, to get to know the town and see who’s who and all. You’re coming with me as my date,” Kol said smug. “I don’t have anyone nor the time to find me someone and you’ll do nicely.”
“The hell I am.”
“Yes, you are.”
“You didn’t ask me!”
“What’s there to ask?” Kol countered. “I bet you’ll look astonishing in fancy dress.”
“Nope. And you can’t make me.”
Kol cocked his head as a mischievous smile appeared on his face. “Is that a bet, darling?”
“No,” Bella whined. “I just want to sleep.”
He moved then, sitting on his knees as he brought his face closer to hers. “I could make you scream in pleasure,” he whispered. “I am very talented.”
“Go away. Or you will get the Elijah experience.”
“I’m quite confident that I won’t,” he said smugly. “Because otherwise you would have done that already.” Kol then hopped out of the seat. “Very well, I shall allow you to go back to sleep. We’ll continue our conversation tomorrow.”
“No, we won’t.”
“Yes, we will.” He started to make his way out of the library before turning around. “You know, you could always come join me in my bed, I’m sure that’s a lot more comfortable than that window seat.”
Bella thought for a moment. That would be the ultimate punishment for him, wouldn’t it? She could just fall asleep and have him stew in his own urges. Before she could give him an answer, he scooped her up and rushed them to his room. He put her down on the bed, tucked her in and got into bed himself, snuggling up against her. “Nap time,” he sighed happily.
Bella was surprised. She didn’t know what to think, but thought the gesture was endearing and allowed it for now. Kol hadn’t had any physical contact for nearly a century and she felt for him. And she was super tired. Shifting a little so that she was more comfortable, she sighed happily and fell back to sleep.