“Welcome, thank you for joining us,” Elijah spoke, a smile dancing on his lips. Bella could see them all standing so majestically on the stairs from where she and Myriam were standing and it was hard not to drool. Kol looked so hot. “You know, whenever my mother brings our family together like this it’s tradition for us to commence this evening with a dance. Tonight’s pick is a century old waltz. So if all of you would please find yourselves a partner and please join us in the ballroom.”
When Esther descended the stairs to join her family, Bella felt a knot tighten in her chest. She identified the feeling as the same one that came into the house the night before, darkness and hate. Myriam was right not to trust her. Something wasn’t right about Esther.
“You do dance, don’t you?” Kol smiled at Bella as he offered his arm to her. “It would be incredibly silly for a Mikaelson to have someone who doesn’t dance.”
“Don’t worry. Renée forced me to learn the classics, so just lead and I follow.”
Okay, so the waltz was trickier than Bella had believed it to be, but Kol was a good leader and she was grateful that when the change of partners happened, that she was now dancing with Klaus. “I must say, Bella, apart from Myriam, I’d think you’re the most beautiful woman present this evening.”
She let out a slight giggle. “Thanks, Klaus.”
“Now, what’s what I heard about you moving in? Trouble at the Salvatores?”
“Not really, unless having Damon yell at your door for you spending time with his enemies,” Bella let out a breath. “As if that would change my perception of him.”
“You already have some of your items in this house, it’d be quite easy to gather the rest of your belongings and settle in here,” he replied with a kind smile. “Myriam would certainly love the company and I believe you and Kol are quite interested in each other?”
She blushed furiously then.
“It’s alright, love,” Klaus said amused. “The supernatural community works differently than the human one. Granted, it would make it harder for me to put him back in his box.”
“Don’t you dare.”
“Not to worry, our mother has forgiven me for my sin against her, I suppose I could only extend that forgiveness to your beloved Kol for his indiscretions,” he smiled at her before turning around and having her end up with Kol again.
“Hello again, my beautiful Goddess.”
“Stop that,” Bella snickered. “You’re making me feel like a real girl!”
“Well, you are, if you haven’t noticed. You have beautiful hair and some amazing breasts…”
They danced some more before Rebekah interrupted their moment together. “Excuse me, can I borrow my brother for a moment? You can sit and rest your tiny little feet before he stomps on them again.”
“Bekah, be nice,” Kol pleasantly said as he escorted Bella off the dancefloor. “I will find you, go enjoy yourself, Bella. Observe.”
She stuck out her tongue to him and headed to the bar instead so she could keep an eye on Kol as he spoke to Rebekah. Bella had always managed to avoid direct contact with Rebekah even when she was in school. Mainly because of the fact that Rebekah was trying her hardest to always fuck with Elena and her friends and with Damon and Stefan. From the stories she’d heard was that Rebekah was a lady, but a dangerous snake from within. She loved manipulating people in getting exactly what she wanted. That mischievous smirk on Kol’s face told Bella that the two youngest Mikaelsons were up to no good.
Bella finished her glass of champagne and quietly made her way outside, feeling the need to breathe. Much to her surprise there was a horse with a carriage standing in the driveway. She hadn’t seen it upon her arrival and the horse was pretty. She gently scratched the horse between his ears and the horse gave her a nudge with his nose. “Careful now, this dress was a gift,” she said softly. “Would be a shame if you ripped it, wouldn’t it?”
She stood out of sight of the door, and saw Kol slip out to where the cars were, not long after that, Rebekah and Matt exited the house and that’s where she put two and two together. If Rebekah couldn’t hurt Elena the normal way, she’d go after her friends. Matt was the only one who was human and easily killed.
They were choices made by them. Bella wasn’t supposed to poke her nose into that, nor did she want to witness it, should something happen to Matt. After all, for a while Bella had hoped that Matt would be her boyfriend and that never happened. Matt was too kind. Too human. Too good.
A few minutes later Rebekah and Matt walked back inside and Bella let out a sigh of relief. Nothing had happened to good Matt. Kol, however, looked furious. Almost as if Rebekah had given him a present before breaking it. “Hey,” Bella called out to him.
“Bella, are you insane? What are you doing outside in the cold?”
“Petting the horse,” she replied before walking over to Kol and looped her arm through his. “Are you and Rebekah up to no good?”
“She promised me a kill.”
“Matt’s an innocent.”
“I want to kill something,” Kol pouted before walking back inside with Bella on his arm. “Mother’s about to make a toast, shall we join them?”
Bella watched the servers as they were handing out glasses of pink champagne. Supposedly pink, but it had a dark glow around it, it was something it wasn’t supposed to be. Much like when Klaus had used Alaric as a meat shell. However, when she touched her glass, the darkness disappeared. “Can I try something?” Bella asked as she handed Kol her glass and took his instead, it also cleared up.
She quickly scanned the crowd for Klaus. He wasn’t hard to spot with Myriam’s fiery red dress, and pulled Kol with her as she made her way over to Klaus and Myriam. Would Bella have enough time for all the glasses to be made clear to her? Likely not. “Here, allow me,” she said, handing her clear champagne to Klaus and took his muddled one before that one cleared up and she switched with Myriam.
“What’s this all about, love?” Klaus asked amused. “Are we playing musical chairs with glasses?”
“Where’s Elijah?” Bella asked as she looked around. But even before she could spot him, Esther demanded the attention of everyone in the room.
“Good evening, ladies and gentlemen,” Esther spoke, a smile on her face. “Waiters are coming round with champagne. I invite you all to join me in raising a glass. It provides me with no greater joy than to see my family back together as one. I’d like to thank you all for being part of this spectacular evening. Cheers!”
Bella had no idea what Esther was up to, but at least Kol and Klaus would be safe from it. They’d have to deal with the fall out later. There simply hadn’t been enough time to get to Rebekah and Elijah. She didn’t care about what would happen to Finn, she had already made her opinion about him clear enough when he was still boxed up.
She wasn’t supposed to interfere, Bella knew that, but she had a feeling that she had to or she’d lose her new family.
“Darling, you look as if you see fire burning,” Kol said sweetly. “What’s going on?”
“I think Esther messed with the champagne. Don’t worry, yours were safe. Hence the swapping.”
“You nullified the effects?”
“I think I did, yes.”
“Do you know what Esther’s up to?”
“No. Maybe it wasn’t Esther after all. All I know is that the champagne was bad,” she sighed then. “I shouldn’t have interfered.”
“Let’s proceed with caution,” Klaus sneered. “I want to see what she’s up to before I -”
“What? Kill her again, Nik?” Kol retorted. “We should have another witch bind her powers so we can have our mother back without having to worry about what she might do!”
“Hey, calm down,” Bella gently rubbed Kol’s arm. “Walk it off.”
Kol let out a sound of frustration before he did just that. “I really need to kill something!”
“Are you sure you want to date that?” Klaus asked amused.
“Don’t you start,” Bella warned him. “You should be worried, someone just tried to poison you or spell you or whatever with that champagne.”
“Let’s not tell the rest of my siblings until we know for sure,” he smiled pleasantly, nodding in the direction of his mother who was approaching him. “Mother,” he greeted her. “I truly have missed all of this, enjoying a nice ball with family and friends.”
Esther smiled then. “And I am happy that you have found your soulmate, Niklaus. You deserve some happiness in your life.”
“Have you met Bella, Kol’s date?”
“I’m afraid I have not,” Esther sighed. “I know that you talk about her, a lot, but I haven’t seen her. Whenever someone points her out to me, there’s an empty space, almost as if I have just missed her. But do tell her to come see me.”
“I’m right here,” Bella said, giving a slight wave. “Nice to meet you, Mrs. Mikaelson.”
“Oh, Bella, I doubt mother would want to be called that,” Klaus chuckled. “Mrs. Mikaelson, please,” he rolled his eyes at her.
“Oh, you heard her, mother,” he said, pointing at Bella. She was standing right next to Myriam, not easy to be missed.
Esther smiled then. “You’re all in on the joke, aren’t you? Pretending my boy has a date to cheer me up?”
“But she’s right here,” Myriam said confused.
It was then when Bella caught on. “Holy shit.”
“I choose to ignore the dark feeling when I came here. I guess it made me ignored by her, as well,” she said with a slight giggle. “Awesome new superpower.”
“Well done, Niklaus. You and your siblings have pulled off the ultimate prank on your mother,” Esther said amused. “Now, please excuse me while I retreat to my room.”
“Damon!” Stefan cried out as he ran to the door and opened it. “Damon! Are you crazy?”
Curious, Bella, Klaus and Myriam headed to the door, just like the rest of the family and Bella’s heart sank when she saw Kol outside on the ground, not moving.
“Maybe a little,” Damon replied as he was pushed aside by Bella who sat down on the ground and cradled Kol’s body. “Far be it for me to cause a problem,” he said before he walked off.
“Don’t you walk away, Damon Salvatore,” Bella threatened him.
“Oh, he’ll be alright, Bella, I merely broke his neck,” Damon said angrily. “Maybe you should open your eyes and see what you’ve gotten yourself into before you get in so much trouble that I can’t save you from. Like Elena.”
“I am not Elena,” she growled. Oh, she had promised not to use her gift but it was so tempting to give Damon what he deserved right now. “I will deal with you later!”
“I’m evicting you!”
“I don’t care! You don’t just go snapping other people’s necks!” She turned her attention back to Kol, gently caressing his face.
A few minutes passed before Damon spoke up again. “Bella, for me to leave, I’d actually have to be able to.” Bella decided to ignore him.
“Come on, love,” Klaus said as he took Kol’s body and hoisted him over his shoulder. “I’ll bring him upstairs where you can play nurse. Then, in the morning, we will collect your belongings and bring them here.”
“What about me!” Damon cried out to Bella’s retreating back. “Bella!”
“Oh, I have plans,” Myriam grinned as she walked to Damon. “You really wanted to be on the receiving end of Bella’s wrath, didn’t you? Well, since you can’t move from this spot… how about I dress you up like santa? Or a snowman?”
“Leave me alone.”
“Yeah, no,” Myriam said as she poked Damon’s arm. “Bella’s been defending you towards Klaus. Said you were off limits because you’ve always been kind to her. And you repay her by snapping Kol’s neck?”
“You won’t, if you continue this. So, santa or snowman?”
Damon grinned then. “Neither,” he said before fleeing off as Bella seemingly let him go.
“Jerk,” Myriam muttered as she walked back inside.
Kol awoke a few hours later, Bella had his head in her lap and her laptop was resting on top of him as she was writing. It was the middle of the night, everyone had gone home and were in bed, although Bella was pretty sure that Klaus and Myriam were having a great time.
“Am I a table now, darling?”
Bella snorted as she removed her laptop from him and softly kissed him. “Welcome back.”
“Can I kill him?”
“No,” she sighed as she toyed with his hair. “But you’re in trouble with Elijah and your mother for making Damon fight you.”
“I didn’t do anything, it is he who attacked me for no reason,” Kol whined. “And I still want to kill something, I’m hungry.”
“You can have a taste of me if you want. Just don’t kill me.”
“That’s boring. I want the thrill of the hunt, the chase.”
“I could drive off in my car and speed?”
Kol laughed, then. “Darling, your barrel of a car doesn’t even reach 100 miles an hour on top speed because it will have fallen apart by then.”
“Don’t mock my car,” she smiled and kissed him. “But I’m serious, if you want some blood and are too lazy to get up…”
“Nope,” he shook his head. “Just because you’re mortal doesn’t mean I’ll use you as my personal blood bag. I respect you too much for that.” He sat up and pushed a strand of hair out of her face. “I am going to get changed and then I’m going for a little hunt.”
“Wait,” she said as she got up to get her phone. “My dad wanted a picture of me in this dress. How about we send him a picture of us together?”
“What?” Kol said sheepishly. “So that he can do a background check on me? Darling, I’m a vampire. There’s no checking to be done.”
“Fine,” she shrugged as she handed Kol her phone. “Then take a picture of me. I can’t believe you’re going to miss out on showing my dad how handsome you are. Please? I want to get out of this dress.”
Kol took several pictures of them together, and Bella on her own before he changed in something more comfortable and headed out. Bella struggled to get out of her dress and then got changed into her pyjamas before sending a picture to her father. It was likely he was already asleep, so she didn’t expect him to text her back.
You look lovely, sweetheart. Your date is quite the handsome fella, when am I going to meet him?
Laughing, she put her phone down and crawled back in bed to finish the chapter she was working on so she could share it before she went to sleep.
When Kol hadn’t returned in the morning, Bella went out and started to pack up her things in the Salvatore guest house. She had loved spending her years there, and she could have dealt with crazy Stefan, but to have an added complication of a crazy Damon, she no longer wanted to stay there.
Esther couldn’t see her, so Bella felt a little bit safer to stay in the house after that discovery. For as long as Esther would stay around, Bella could tolerate being the invisible girl. She put on some music and spent a couple of hours packing. Not that she had a lot of things; she was going to throw out all of her school stuff anyway, but sometimes she’d come across of something that would bring back some good memories of her childhood and she allowed herself to reminiscence.
She was glad that Damon and Stefan weren’t home while she was doing this. She felt bad about abandoning them, especially since Damon had looked out for her for such a long time, but it was time. And it wasn’t like she was leaving Mystic Falls, she just knew that the Mikaelsons were more equipped and capable of looking after her than the boys were due to their experiences and their own thirst for knowledge.
It took her a few trips to the car, but she managed to get everything in. Since she now had a laptop to work on, she had copied everything on her computer to an external hard drive and formatted the computer so nobody could use it without a fresh installation. Not that her computer was worth anything, it was old.
She had found the deed to the guest house with her name on it and crossed out her name so that the Salvatores could enter it again. Leaving the keys on the porch, she went back to her car and drove to her new home.
Much to her surprise, she found most of the house empty, or everyone was in hiding. Apart from Myriam. Myriam had been waiting for Bella to come back. “They all know about what Esther’s been doing,” she said as she carried a few boxes in. “Finn and Esther are in the wind and Kol, Elijah and Klaus are trying to find them.”
“What is it that she’s been doing, anyway?”
“Yesterday’s champagne was indeed part of a spell. Esther tried to link all of her children together, but since you intervened with Klaus and Kol…” Myriam smirked then. “She actually accused me of meddling with it. Which is stupid because I’m a vampire and not a witch.”
“In her mind, her children are abominations and she’s responsible for creating them. She wants to end them. But you know, if one Original vampire dies, their entire line goes along with them. In a way, I’m grateful that you managed to save Klaus from the spell because I like my life too much.”
“I’m sure he won’t get hurt.”
“Oh, I’m not worried, but just in case,” Myriam shrugged. “Hey, after we’ve put all your boxes inside, want to go out for dinner instead of staying in? We could go to something other than the Mystic Grill. Oh, maybe even go out of town!”
“Alfredo’s is nice.”
“Then to Alfredo we go!”