Later that evening, Klaus held a family meeting. Everyone was there, except for Finn and Esther, who had fled after their spell could no longer be cast. “Mother’s spell is still in place,” Klaus said as he sipped his bourbon. “Even though Kol and I are fortunate that Bella intervened, I do not wish to see Esther destroy us. She can do whatever she wants to Finn. I’m going to do everything in my power to see that spell destroyed, you have my word, Elijah.”
“If your little tramp had been a little bit faster, we wouldn’t be in this situation now, would we?” Rebekah quipped. “She managed to save you two but no, not us.”
“Gee, I wonder why,” Kol snorted.
“Mother is still out there. She’ll be back, of that I’m sure,” Elijah spoke quietly. “She may return in one shape or another. Perhaps now is not a good time to house a superpowered abnormality in our midst.”
“That’s not all,” Rebekah sighed. “While I was baby sitting Elena, I took some pictures in the cave where the natives drew our story. There was another White Oak tree.”
“What!” Kol blurted out. “Another?”
“Three hundred years after we fled back to the Old World. And it’s gone. We need to find it because even a splinter could kill us all,” Rebekah added. “We may have temporarily gotten rid of our mother, but it’s not over.”
“Do you have a plan, Niklaus?” Elijah asked his brother.
“I have one, and I’m afraid our latest family member will not like the idea,” he said, slightly amused as he looked over to Bella. “Do not turn me into one of your animals.”
“I’m not getting involved,” Bella said, throwing her hands up. “But where Kol goes, I go.”
“Oh, that’s quite alright then,” he smiled. “That way you’re safe out of everyone’s reach! You deserve a break, Bella. I want you to accompany Kol to Denver, Colorado, to keep an eye on the youngest Gilbert, just in case the elder one tries to foil our plans. Jeremy hasn’t met Kol yet, which is a great opportunity. You merely need to make sure that young Gilbert doesn’t see you.”
“What if the reason for you to stay in Mystic Falls was Kol? It’s obvious that you two are drawn to each other like moths to a flame. See this as an opportunity to learn more.”
Kol put an arm around Bella and pulled her closer to him. “It’ll be fun, darling. It won’t be all work and no play. It’ll likely be play all the time and a little bit of work,” he then nodded to Klaus. “Whatever Nik needs.”
“It’s fine but all my clothes are in boxes and I don’t know which ones,” she then looked at Myriam. “I believe she hid a few of those boxes as well.”
“I wanted you to explore the house more! A game!”
“We’ll buy whatever we need in Colorado. Now, go pack your laptop. We shall be leaving tonight. But not in your car. It looks like it’ll fall apart by just pointing at it.”
“That’s the second time you’ve insulted my car.”
“I didn’t realize you were keeping score, darling,” Kol grinned and kissed her cheek.
Denver, Colorado was one of the places Bella had never visited with her mother and she enjoyed to discover it with Kol when he wasn’t with Jeremy Gilbert, forging some sort of fake relationship with him to keep an eye out. Bella could spend hours in the Botanic Gardens, writing on her stories, answering emails and chatting with some of her followers. She made sure to stay in touch with Myriam through messenger as well.
Kol didn’t want to re-live history but Bella was interested in Molly Brown’s house. The unsinkable Molly Brown had lived in Denver and her house had been turned into a museum; stepping inside of it was almost as if you were stepping back in time, to the early 1900’s. It helped that the guide was so well versed and made things even more interesting.
Kol took her on proper dates to the zoo and the aquarium when he wasn’t shadowing Jeremy and at one point took her to the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. It was a beautiful church to see. She remembered seeing the church on the news when the pope visited. “This is a very young church. It’s perhaps 100 years old. Before the church opened, lightning struck one of the spires, causing damage that they quickly repaired before they opened. A couple of years ago, another part of this minor basilica was struck by lightning.”
“Maybe God doesn’t like the flaunting of wealth. Wasn’t he all about helping the poor?” Bella deadpanned as she looked around in awe of the detail that went into building the church.
“But any God needs places of worship. The Ancient Greeks had so many temples for their Gods and Goddesses and they wouldn’t be cheap building it either; a beautiful house of worship means more worshippers, because people tend to like the pretty,” Kol explained before pointing at the building. “Who knows? Maybe this church came in place of another one, a church that was smaller and couldn’t hold that many worshippers? Maybe it was old and cold and drafty. Or leaking.”
Bella narrowed her eyes on him. “You’re so hammering on this God thing, are you secretly a bible thumper? Because then I’m out.”
Kol shrugged. “It depends on the Gods. Mother often prayed to Frigg or Freya for her spells, Father was more of an Odin or Thor kind of guy,” Kol then beamed proudly. “I, myself, found myself inspired by the tales of Loki, the trickster God.”
“Somehow, I’m not surprised. At all.”
“I don’t believe that there’s a singular God like in Christianity. I believe that anyone can believe what they wish to believe, mainly because I’ve seen so many variations of the same idea or belief on my travels. All those ‘new’ religions, like Islam or the Catholics, no, I don’t believe that,” he said before leading her out of the Church with a smile on his face. “Mainly because their holy books tell the same stories but with a twist. It’s fiction to me. Or fan fiction, even, if you want to be harsh.”
“The Old Norse Gods. Or the Ancient Greek and Roman Gods. I do believe they’re real.”
“Because if God was real, and would be invoked by a witch, wouldn’t you think that he’d smite her down for practising magic?” He answered cheekily. “If, for example, someone makes a love potion, they have to ask for Aphrodite’s blessing. Why?”
“She was the Greek Goddess of Love?”
“Exactly. If she doesn’t give her blessing, the potion won’t work,” Kol explained. “In the old days, they’d bring sacrifices and worship to the Goddess Demeter for a bountiful harvest.”
“Nah, that’s just climate change at work, bad luck.”
“Ah! So you don’t believe in something invisible such as Gods and Goddesses, but you do believe in bad luck?”
“Yeah, because that shit is real. It happens to you.”
“What if it’s not bad luck but a God or a minor deity punishing you for insulting them for some reason?” Kol sighed and ran a hand through his hair. “Seriously, Bella, you’re not a witch. I’ve been around witches and all kinds of magic for a very long time and they can’t do what you can do unless they’re destroying themselves for a burst of power, corrupting themselves to get that power and that’s not you. You’re not malicious. Well, you are in bed, but in general, you’re the kindest heart I’ve ever come across.”
“So you think I’m a Goddess?”
Kol smirked. “In the sheets? Definitely!” This earned him a smack on the arm from the tiny ball of annoyance next to him. “I think you’re Goddess adjacent. Like a Nymph or a sprite. Maybe even a trickster like a fawn,” Kol said as they were walking back to the city centre. “I’m still trying to find a way to test you to figure it out, but I’m coming up with nothing but to keep watching you, in awe of everything that you do. I do believe you’ve not grown into your powers yet and that perhaps even more is to come. In any case, to me, you’re a Goddess. I already worship the ground you’re walking on, what more do you want?”
“Ice cream, tiramisu. World peace…mostly ice cream right now.”
“Alright, ice cream it is,” Kol chuckled. “You’re unbelievable, Bella Swan, you know that? You know about the existence of vampires, werewolves and magic even though you have ignored it for most of you life, but to believe in Gods?”
“You’re a vampire, why do you believe in Gods?”
“I don’t. I’ve only started to consider the possibility when I met you and what you’ve shown me of your powers so far. I ruled out everything that I know, so why not dive head first into the unknown and the only logical explanation?” He then laughed. “You should read Homer and the Odyssey. Oh my God, are those Gods scandalous!”
“So you think it’s only the Greek Gods who are still around?”
“Well, no. If I have to believe they’re still around, I suppose the Norse Gods are keeping to themselves and pelt banana peels at the Greek for being so strange. Then there’s the Hindu Gods… well, I see them as the school’s emo pack. Besides, I’ve seen a picture of your father, he looks like he has some Greek ancestry.”
“I believe his grandmother was half greek,” Bella said thoughtfully. “Although it could have been Italian. I don’t know much about his family, though. His father is magical. He sent me that dress, remember?”
“Yeah, see, that doesn’t make sense. You’re not a witch, so it’s not magic.”
They went into the closest ice cream shop to get some ice cream and Kol checked his phone. “Ah, it’s young Gilbert. He wants to meet up.”
“Ice cream first,” Bella said as she put a spoonful of tiramisu ice cream in her mouth. “It’s so good!” she exclaimed as a soft moan escaped her lips.
“Don’t moan or I’ll drag you off to the public toilets for another kind of cream.”
She giggled at that and happily continued to eat her ice cream. “You’ll just have to make your way back home a lot faster today… maybe I’ll have a surprise in mind for you!”
A few weeks later, Bella spent a few days in Mystic Falls again while Kol went on an errand run for Klaus. The Salvatores were trying to figure out whose Original bloodline ran through their veins and Klaus didn’t want them to find out, or at least made it nearly impossible to find it out. It felt good to be home again, amongst friends and her old clothes. She had loved her time alone with Kol, though. Despite his talk about Gods and Goddesses, she loved that he was so passionate about things. He was so intelligent and kind and patient.
Oh, she knew that she was a terrible person for not believing him, not after all the rationalisation that he did. If vampires, witches and werewolves were real, why not the Ancient Gods? It was the lack of proof that did it for her. There was no real evidence other than stories and ancient ruins in Greece and Italy. Ruins that could have been made for normal people and merely misinterpreted by archeologists.
The Greek Gods could have been merely superpowered humans; in those days you’d be revered as a God if you knew magic or were capable of doing extraordinary things such as running really fast. She had learned about some of the myths and legends in school during history classes, but always found them hard to believe. Greek Gods had sex with everyone and anyone, including their cousins and had so many children, it was difficult to believe that they were real because where the hell were they all?
Had they moved on? Did they have a special God place like Valhalla or heaven? Granted, the concept of Greek Gods and Goddesses sounded so more plausible than just the one God, that she didn’t believe in, either, but there was no way that one entity could oversee every aspect of life. Internet searches of ‘are Greek Gods real’ came up with the same load of crap as ‘is God real’, because there was no evidence. Only stories in a book and faith.
Bella wasn’t sure why it bothered her so much. Maybe because of her adorable Kol not willing to give it a rest.
When Kol was done with his task, he returned home with a present for Bella, which made her all giddy. Opening the parcel, she blinked as she saw admittance tickets to every Disney park in the world. “What?”
“Let’s travel the world and go to happy places. I’m sorry I went on and on about the Gods thing and from now on, you won’t hear anything about it from me.”
“You bought these to apologize to me?”
Bella laughed and softly kissed him. “Yes, but I’d love to go,” she kissed him again. “Apology accepted.”
“Really? No feelings of wanting to stay in Mystic Falls or stay in the United States?”
“Nope. My place is with you. I think everything will be okay if I stay with you,” she crawled into his lap and kissed him again. “I’m just surprised that Klaus hasn’t killed any of the Salvatores yet.”
“But then he’ll take away our entertainment,” Kol mused. “We simply need to drain them from vervain, because those idiots take it on a daily basis, and compel them for a little harmless fun.”
“Or, I could turn them into an animal and have them end up as roadkill.”
“Bella, I’m shocked,” Kol laughed. “Very well, if you want to kill them, let’s go.”
“No,” Bella straddled his waist and kissed him, hard. “They’re not our problem right now. They’re still Klaus’ problem and you’re free to do whatever you want.”
“Would you like us to leave for Disney right now?”
Bella grinned as she wiggled her ass a little bit. She could feel how he was definitely interested in her. “Maybe tomorrow,” she whispered in his ear. “Right now I want something very simple…”
“Uhuh,” he smiled at her. “I see where this is going.”
“To the bedroom!”
It was like as if they were lost in time as they travelled from park to park, from city to city. Lost in the moment. Enjoying themselves. While Kol had been quite tame when they were in Denver, on their travels Bella discovered just how wild he could be. There were parties and drunk days. There were sex parties. Bella hadn’t been participating and thus, Kol neither, but it was fun to watch other people have sex. Enticing. There were dance clubs and classy jazz clubs, he took her everywhere to have fun and it was, for the most part.
Unfortunately, Bella wasn’t immortal and did need her rest so after six weeks of partying and ringing in the New Year naked on a private beach somewhere warm, Bella begged for a time out. Kol’s solution? He took her to a spa to get pampered and oh, she enjoyed that very much.
It was near the end of January when Selene, one of Kol’s witches that he befriended after he was undaggered, contacted Kol about someone called Silas and Bella could tell that it scared him. He told her all about Silas, and how it was likely that everyone was looking for the cure to vampirism. By doing so, they would unleash the end of the world and he did not want that to happen.
He tried to make a joke of how Bella had once said that the Mikaelsons are Gods for being the first vampires and that if that was the case, Silas was a souped up Titan.
On their way back to Mystic Falls, Kol told more of the story; how magic always requires a balance. How Silas came to be and inevitably, the doppelgangers. How a small army called The Five were vampire hunters, but they also bore the hunter’s mark, a map to Silas’ whereabouts like a tattoo. How the young fucktwad of a Gilbert was now one of those Five and Klaus wanted him to complete the mark, leading him to the cure.
For pure selfish reasons, of course. He wanted to destroy it so that nobody could use it against him. Rebekah wanted it for herself to become human and the Salvatores wanted it for Elena, to turn her back into a human.
It was one mess they were going to return to, and after Kol was done updating Bella on what was going on, she merely smiled at him. “I’m here to observe.”
“I knew you were going to say that,” Kol smiled at her. “I’m curious what you’d do to Silas though, when push comes to shove, threatening us all.”
“He sounds like a powerful dude. Wouldn’t want to mess with him.”
“He’d be no match for you, darling, I’m sure of it.” He opened the door to Klaus’ house and escorted Bella inside. “Niklaus, we’re home!”
“Oh, that’s not a good idea,” Myriam greeted them and put an arm around Bella. “Come, food and then you can tell me all about your trip while we ignore the crashing and destruction of things.”
“Klaus isn’t happy about the cure and thinks it’s a danger. Kol doesn’t care about the cure but thinks it’s with something that’s a danger so… yeah, those two are going to throw punches,” Myriam looked over her shoulder to see Kol walk into the parlor. “So, how was the full off the leash Kol experience?”
“A trip,” Bella chuckled as Myriam produced a carton of ice cream and two spoons. “I think I functioned on maybe four hours of sleep every night for six weeks straight but I didn’t have the heart to say something about it. I mean, he has had to miss so many things over the years, I wanted him to experience it all to the fullest.”
“Oh, it’s not a good thing to indulge him,” Myriam said with a warning tone. “He needs to be kept in check.”
“No, he doesn’t,” Bella defended him. “Parties are great! It’s not like he went on a rampage and killed an entire club or something. He knows how to behave and whenever he fed, it was discrete.”
“You’re saying that he learned to control his blood lust?”
Bella winced when the house shook as someone was being thrown against a wall. Did she really have to sit through this? “At least around me, yes. So apart from all this hunter and Silas crap, what have I missed?”
“Oh, Klaus nearly fell under some stupid werewolf girl’s spell. I killed her. God knows what could have happened. Ew. It wasn’t his fault, though. The girl was all over him, not really giving him any space.”
“Oh gross,” Bella wrinkled her nose.
“She didn’t taste that great, either, no,” Myriam stuck a spoon in the ice cream. “We haven’t had sex for a couple of weeks now and it’s getting harder and harder to resist.”
“How long were you planning on denying yourself from Klaus’ dick?”
“Don’t turn it around and say I’m only torturing myself. He wants me just as bad,” Myriam laughed. “He actually took out his frustrations on his hybrids after finding out that Tyler Lockwood made them all free of the sire bond and wanted to trot off with them. As it turns out, the werewolf that I killed for even attempting to fuck with my man, wanted to double cross them and use them for information about her family.”
“How many did he kill?”
“All but Tyler. Twelve.”
“And Elena’s a vampire so he can’t make new ones.”
“You have to have sex with him before he explodes and does something stupid,” Bella laughed as she put another spoonful of ice cream in her mouth. “Just tell him that I’ll turn him into a donkey if he crosses the line again.”
Myriam shrugged. “I think using Kol as a punching bag will do.”
“Who says it’s not the other way around?”
“Oh, please,” she rolled her eyes at Bella before leaning back. “Who’s winning?” she called out to the other room.
“ME!” Both Klaus and Kol answered.