Bella woke up the following morning in an empty bed, but with breakfast waiting for her on the nightstand. Oh, why not? She lazily stretched herself out and propped herself up against the pillows before pulling the tray with breakfast into her lap. There was a note from Kol on it saying: ‘I do wish you would reconsider for tonight, if only to annoy Elijah!’
She smiled at that. Now, if he asked like that, how could she refuse?
Bella had her breakfast and then went to get some of her clothes before she quietly left the house to go back home and see if she had anything formal to wear. By the time she arrived at her house, though, Kol was sitting on her couch on the porch with a grin on his face. “Sneaking out, are we?”
“Morning,” she replied as she opened her door.
“Walk of shame, me thinks. Is that what you call it these days?”
Bella snorted. “A walk of shame is when you actually have sex and sneak out in the same clothes you wore the day before.”
“Ah, something Rebekah might do then,” he mused as he got to his feet. “You know, I left early this morning to get to the store, had a lovely chap put some music on this device,” Kol held up an iPod. “Of course, the music you spoke of is on here as well. The Beatles are masterful.”
“Dated, too,” Bella reminded him. “Although some people worship them. They say that their sound inspired so many others that nowadays we’re surrounded by music. Even the electronical and overly poppy things.”
“Still, I do enjoy them very much,” Kol replied as he followed her, but was stopped on the threshold. “Interesting.”
“To keep me safe,” Bella smiled and turned around to face him. “After all, my landlords are vampires. One being crazy and off his rocker, the other one unpredictable but harmless. No one who can’t cross the threshold on their own accord gets in.”
“Very well, then what are we doing here?”
“I need to see if I have something fancy to wear for tonight,” Bella said, teasing him as she walked to her closet. “But I’m afraid that my wardrobe isn’t suitable for a ball.”
“Brilliant! Then let’s go into town and find you a gorgeous dress.”
Bella smiled as she walked back to the door and stood in front of him. “Or… I could go naked.”
“You wouldn’t dare,” he laughed nervously.
“Why? Do you think that my body won’t be beautiful enough?”
“I’ve seen your fuzzy pyjamas, darling, I doubt you’re an exhibitionist.”
She took a step outside and pulled him closer, her hand trailed up into his hair as the other traced his jaw with a finger. “All this sexual tension between us…”
“You need to stop before I’m going to do something I’ll regret…” he softly warned her. “Well, I might not regret it. Likely not.”
“It’s been too long, huh?” she booped his nose with her finger. “What if I told you that it would be fine?”
“That’s not really lady like, Bella, you hardly know me.”
“Who says I’m a lady?” She pulled his head down and brushed his lips with hers. “I’m still a person of flesh and blood with itches to scratch… And you were right last night,” she said in a whisper. “You are insanely hot and you feel good…”
“Stop or I’ll take you right here on this porch.”
“How about you come inside instead?” She whispered, looking up at him. “Inside my house and inside of me.”
Oh, having sex with someone she’d just met wasn’t something she made a habit out of. In fact, this was the first time it ever happened but it felt right. She felt safe with Kol and they both needed to get it out of her system. She didn’t even care at this point if he’d move on to someone else. At least she could say that she had sex with an Original Vampire and that it had been amazing.
But something told her that Kol was going to be around for quite some time, that he was indeed the person she’d been looking for to guide her on her journey, and all it needed was a little more time, seeing as despite his enthusiasm about her being different, he didn’t know that much more than Klaus did. Or the books that she had read.
She had felt the connection while he was still in his coffin, but she truly felt safe with him. Not on edge, not mildly safe or in danger, but he was like a warm blanket to her, if she had to compare the feeling to something. All Bella knew was that at this moment, she was feeling relaxed as hell.
“You do surprise me, Bella Swan,” Kol pulled her into his arms and kissed the top of her head.
“Don’t think I do this on a regular basis…”
“What? Have sex? That’s a shame.”
“No,” she laughed. “Having sex with someone I literally just met.”
“Do you regret it? Because I don’t.”
“Me neither,” she sighed happily. “Can we just lie here for awhile? I don’t think I can walk.”
“I don’t have any better place to be, do you?”
“No,” she smiled at him before softly kissing him. Oh yeah, best sex ever.
When it was lunch time, Kol and Bella decided it was enough time spent in bed. Kol went back home because he needed to be fitted for a tuxedo and Bella reluctantly went shopping for a dress. What the hell did people wear to a ball? She went to a coffee shop to stuff her face with some food and drink coffee while she thought long and hard. What would her dad say about her going to a ball, to actually have to dance? Or her mother, even? There was no doubt that both her parents would love a picture of her in a beautiful dress.
She fiddled with her phone for a while, contemplating her options. Renée would interrogate her, for sure. Charlie? He’d be proud that his baby girl got invited to a ball of seemingly important people.
She was going home. The whole idea of the ball was scary to her, it would make her visible and participating. Kol, Klaus and Myriam would likely be disappointed, but it was for the best. Dressing up was not her thing. She paid for her food, headed to the supermarket and then went straight home. It was going to be a nice night in with a glass of wine and her computer.
Bella walked into Damon as she was walking to her home. “Quite the stunt you pulled last night,” he said as he followed her. “I had it under control. You didn’t need to come in and save my ass.”
“I didn’t come in to save your ass.”
“And what’s with the pyjamas? Were you staying at Klaus’? Are you insane?”
“Myriam and Klaus are my friends. Myriam and I were having a girl’s night. I don’t care what beef you have with them or they with you. They’re my friends.”
“Since when! You could have told me you were in contact with the biggest, baddest vampire in the world!”
She smiled then. “I didn’t know it was them and even so, it’s not my problem. You and Stefan got everyone in the mess that you’re in now. Including Elena. I’ve told you this many times before.”
“I would have thought you were on our side.”
“There are no sides, Damon,” she sighed as she put her bag down on the porch. “I’m not involved in anything you or Klaus is doing.”
“He could kill you.”
“I’m more afraid of Stefan,” she countered before looking up at him. “Are we done?”
He narrowed his eyes on her. “If you know what’s best for you, I suggest you stay here until we’ve killed Klaus and dealt with Esther.”
“If you know what’s best for you, I suggest you don’t make idle threats, Damon Salvatore. You’re my friend, but do not think I will not hesitate to defend myself,” she then opened the door and walked inside.
It was then that Damon caught a strong whiff of sex and Kol Mikaelson. “You had sex with an Original?!”
“Go away!” Bella slammed the door in his face. She could hear Damon yell at her from the door but she choose to ignore it and eventually he stomped off. She put her groceries away and booted her computer before she heard something coming out of her closet. Had a small animal made its way into her home?
She carefully opened the doors to her hanging closet and blinked at the sight before her. There were five fancy dresses hanging in there that weren’t there before. Now, sometimes things like that just happened to her and there was always a note somewhere saying that her grandfather H had given it to her. When she was little, she always believed that it had been her parents who had done it, as she’d never met this illustrious grandfather. Yes, she had met her mother’s father, but Charlie’s father was elusive.
However, now that she was alone and with everything that was going on in her life right now, she believed that it was real. A fairy godfather, perhaps? Was she a fairy herself?
She let out a breath as she pulled out the dresses one by one and each more beautiful than the other. “I guess I’ll be going to the ball after all…” Bella muttered in awe as the final dress she pulled from her closet just spoke to her. It was a sleeveless, one shoulder dress made out of chiffon. While the other dresses had a more outspoken and clear color – or white, even, she liked this one as it was a soft lavender color and it was floor length.
It was then when a pair of heels appeared and a box with jewelry where she found the note she’d been looking for.
Enjoy your ball, my beautiful granddaughter. I am proud of who you’re becoming. The accessories are family heirlooms, treat them well. All my love, H.
Bella surprised herself then, by feeling all girly and giddy when she looked at her presents. She always figured herself to be more of a tomboy, never wearing dresses or skirts and always pants with comfy tops but the dress was perfect, the heels didn’t look that dangerous and even the bracelet and necklace got her excited. She felt like a real life Cinderella!
She drew herself a bath and collected her ‘make pretty’ stuff before enjoying herself for an hour or so. Bella then got into a t-shirt and made dinner for herself while answering some emails on her computer and maybe writing a few paragraphs on a story she’d been working on but hadn’t worked on in quite some time.
Damon came back to yelling at her door, which she ignored by blasting some loud music while she was getting ready. She used an internet tutorial on how to pin her hair up and how to do her makeup, she wanted to be a complete picture. Oh yes, she was in full girl mode and loving it.
Right before she was leaving, her phone rang, it was Charlie. “Hi dad!”
“Hi pumpkin, how are you doing?”
Bella giggled then. “I’m going to a real, old fashioned ball.”
“Well, you’re in the South, I’m surprised this is your first ball.”
“I wasn’t even going until Granddad H turned my closet upside down and gifted me a beautiful dress.”
“Bella, your grandfather is not magical.”
“He is to me, how else would you explain it?” Bella shrugged. “I feel so pretty.”
“Well, send me a picture and we’ll talk tomorrow. I don’t want to keep you from having fun.”
“I will,” Bella replied. “I love you.”
“I love you too, sweetheart. Enjoy yourself.”
On the way to Klaus’ home, she loudly sang along with the CD playing in her car; she wasn’t ashamed to admit that it was Taylor Swift, which was all Damon’s fault, really. He had borrowed her car once and she never felt like changing the CD’s out after he used it. Even the sad songs were catchy as hell.
As she drove on the driveway, she could feel how her stomach started to flutter. She was getting nervous again. While most of what she felt was excitement, a part of her was filled with dread and she couldn’t quite shake it. Bella wasn’t going to allow it to dampen her spirits, she looked hot.
Oh, Bella shouldn’t have been surprised that when she entered the house that everything was decorated, the grand staircase was covered in fairy lights, but not overly intrusive, just really classy. There were already a couple of people, she spotted the mayor, for one.
“You made it!” Myriam broke free from Klaus and went over to Bella to give her a big hug, making other people’s heads turn with her exuberance. “Wow, where did you get that dress?”
Bella chuckled. “You wouldn’t believe me if I told you.”
“My magical grandfather?”
“But you’re not a witch.”
“He is. Maybe. I don’t know.” Bella shrugged. “Point is, I feel pretty.”
“Oh no, darling,” Kol’s voice sounded before he maneuvered himself between Myriam and Bella. “You look absolutely stunning,” he gently took her hand and kissed it. “My beautiful Goddess.”
“Stop,” Bella giggled, blushing furiously. “No one will notice me beside you, look at you, so handsome in your suit.”
“Oh barf,” Myriam rolled her eyes. “Be careful you two, or you might tear each other’s clothes off right here and have sex on the floor in the midst of all these people.”
“Now that’s a thought,” Kol smirked.
“I need a drink,” Bella shook her head, laughing.
Kol offered his arm to Bella and she took it to lead her towards the bar. “For a moment I was afraid you wouldn’t come tonight,” he said truthfully. “But this is a special night, we’re celebrating the reunion of our family. I wouldn’t want you to miss this.” He handed her a glass of champagne.
“I’ll be on my best behaviour.”
Kol smirked at that, before he spotted Damon with Mayor Lockwood. “Oh look, it’s your landlord.”
“Ugh. He was insufferable today,” she said as she took a sip of her drink. “He doesn’t like it that I’ve been spending my time here. He certainly didn’t appreciate it when he caught a whiff of you after I opened my door.”
A mischievous twinkle appeared in Kol’s eyes. “Let’s have some fun, shall we?” he said before walking them over to Damon and the Mayor. “Mayor Lockwood. We haven’t formally met. Kol Mikaelson,” he said as he kissed her hand with a smile on his face. “I hope your lovely town embraces us just as much as we plan to embrace it. Have you met my date, Bella Swan?”
Damon looked beyond pissed off. “Damon Salvatore,” he said as he extended his hand. “Have we met?”
Kol smirked at him, not taking his hand to shake it. “I’ve met a lot of people, and you don’t particularly stand out,” he said before looking at Bella. “Now, if you’d excuse us, there are more people I’d like to introduce myself and Bella to.”
Damon grabbed Kol by the arm as they passed. “You leave her alone,” he said in a low, threatening voice. “She might not recognize danger, but if you know what’s best for you, you’re going to keep your paws off of her.”
Kol looked at the hand on his arm and then on Damon. “Now, young Salvatore, making empty threats isn’t something you should do because would you follow through?”
“I already told him that,” Bella added.
“You were supposed to stay home,” Damon hissed at her.
“I am home.” She swatted Damon’s hand away from Kol and allowed Kol to take her somewhere else.
“You’re home? Does this mean you’re moving in?” Kol smiled at her. “Because I have just the bed for you if you don’t mind a room mate.”
“I already have a closet with some of my clothes in the library, Myriam got me a laptop to work on my stories, doesn’t that mean I’ve already moved in?” Bella replied cheekily before she looked over her shoulder to see the Salvatores fawn over Elena who had just entered. “I love the guest house, it’s been my home for quite some time, but I know what they think about you. I’m impartial to it all, but they’re…”
“I’ve watched them since they came back to Mystic Falls and they make the same stupid mistakes over and over again. The wrong choices.”
“Just say the word, darling, I’m sure Niklaus wouldn’t mind if you’d permanently moved in.”
“Elijah’s going to gather everyone on the stairs,” Myriam said as she joined Bella and Kol. “He told us to stay off the stairs while he addresses the people gathered because it’s family only.”
“Well, that’s rubbish,” Kol said disgusted.
“It was your mother’s wish.”
“We need to respect her rules, unfortunately. Had it been only Elijah’s wishes, then I would have said to screw it,” he kissed Bella on the cheek. “I’ll return shortly.”
“I don’t trust Esther,” Myriam said quietly. “She forgave Klaus for killing her, but I think she’s up to something. It’s just a feeling, you know.”
“Is it because they’re all basically worshipping her?”
“I think they’re genuinely afraid of her. Besides, Finn’s been following her around all day like a lost puppy,” Myriam continued. “Today I had to break up a fight between Klaus and Kol because Klaus was threatening to dagger him again.”
“Klaus can threaten all he want. Hell, he can even dagger Kol again, as long as he knows that I will undagger Kol and turn Klaus into the little puppy that he is.”
Myriam chuckled. “Weren’t you supposed to observe?”
“No one touches my Kol and gets away with it.”
“Spoken like a true Mikaelson,” Myriam said amused and took a sip of her champagne. “But don’t forget, if you touch my Klaus, I’ll be coming after you.”
“And I’ll turn you into the little trash panda that you are.”
“Yeah, there’s no fighting you, is there?” Myriam laughed.