“Kol!” Bella called out for him, trying not to wince at how Davina’s voice sounded. It was almost as if she was calling for a puppy to come and heel, and, not surprisingly, Kol did just that.
“I thought we weren’t going to meet today, Davina?” Kol smiled at her, giving her a peck on the cheek as they were in front of Klaus and Myriam.
Despite the physical touch, there was pretty much a dark glow around Kol, and a part of Bella loved the challenge as Myriam had been too easy, but she didn’t like it. Davina was going to pay for all of this and Bella was really fighting herself on this; now Davina was temporarily turned into a sloth, she’d be so easy to kill. “I changed my mind,” Bella replied, looping her arm through Kol’s and pulled him towards one of the couches in the courtyard. “I need to pick your brain for a little bit, if that’s alright.”
Kol smiled at her then. “Of course, but sometimes I have to wonder if you’re only with me because I know so much about you witches.”
Bella thought for a moment and looked at him, a serious look on her face. “I might be, would that bother you?”
“A little,” Kol admitted. “Although I thought my handsome face was good enough for you.”
She cocked her head as she gently caressed his cheek with her hand. “It is handsome, you’re right about that. Did Bella fall for your looks then?” Bella was concerned the dark glow around Kol didn’t even lessen. Granted, it was likely Davina was responsible for the magic befuddling the minds of those Bella loved, but what was this?
“Davina, we do not talk about her.”
“Well, for arguments sake, we are. She’s still in town and if I need to find a way to defeat her, I’d have to get to know her a bit better,” Bella argued. “I just had to drop off a sloth at Rebekah’s. Klaus can confirm that there was, indeed, a sloth.”
Frustrated, Kol ran a hand through his hair and reached for the nearest alcohol bottle to make sure he wouldn’t tear out Davina’s throat. “Imagine it being like taking down Nik or one of us; you can’t unless you have the White Oak Stake. Since we don’t know what we need to use to take Bella down, the best option would be to create some sort of prison where she can’t escape out of, causing her to have to spend eternity in that prison or until someone in her family decides to intervene.”
Bella winced at that, hoping Kol hadn’t seen it. She wasn’t shocked he had thought about it, but the mere thought of having to spend eternity in a box or whatever wasn’t appealing, at all.
“But Davina, despite the fact she left me, that she left us, doesn’t mean she deserves a fate like that. She’s not my favourite person at the moment but if anything, she’s the one person who strongly fought against me being daggered again. Still, to this day, I believe the only reason I’m not boxed up is because Nik still likes Bella that much. Bella wasn’t all bad. She’s done a lot for this family, too.”
Now, Bella was surprised by that. Even under Davina’s influence, he still had his head screwed on the right way and not gone off and do terrible things as he’d done in the past. Or at least, not that she knew of. “Her presence in New Orleans is upsetting the Ancestors. She’s the one person who could tip the balance in the direction of whomever she decides to side with. I mean, she moved on thousands of souls that were located at the Lake. She could easily wipe out the Ancestors, leaving us witches unprotected and without power.”
“Don’t be silly,” Kol took a swig of the bottle. “You’d still be able to practise traditional magic.”
She hit him on the head with the palm of her hand. “Are you on my side or what? I need the Ancestors, Kol. We all need the Ancestors. Not just the witches, but the werewolves and vampires are under their protection from outside forces like beings like Bella.”
“She turned someone into a sloth! There is no way that sloth escaped from the zoo and ended up in the middle of the French Quarter. Who knows who that sloth may be? At least it’s not the Regent!” Bella said angrily, finding it strange to be on the other end of things for a change. “I mean, what if someone manages to find a way to control her? She may be harmless, but if they find a way to do that…”
“I doubt the Gods will allow too much of damage. Relax, okay? Once she realizes I’m yours and yours alone, she’ll go away,” he said reassuringly, softly brushing her lips with hers. “And to answer your question, no, I don’t think Bella was drawn to me due to my devilish good looks. She believed she and I had some connection and I was supposed to be her guide, I already told you this.”
“Yeah, I know,” Bella sighed as she tried to stop herself from jumping into his arms and kissing him senseless as Davina. It wouldn’t feel right. “Sounds to me, though, that you’re still in love with her, defending her so much.”
“I’m just telling you what I know. Or what I knew. Who knows what she learned in the last two years?” Kol cupped Davina’s chin and made her look at him. Why did her eyes look so sad? “I love you, Davina Claire. I’ll meet with Bella, alone, and see if I can convince her it’s only you I desire. Perhaps I can persuade her to go back to Mystic Falls.”
“Do you think it will work seeing as she ignored your request the first time?”
“Bella’s very understanding and she has a big heart. I’m sure that if I tell her the Ancestors don’t want her here she’ll leave.”
Fat chance, Bella thought as she smiled at Kol. “If that doesn’t work, though, we can continue our plans to put her in her version of the coffin, right?”
“Davina…” He really didn’t wish that upon anyone.
“Right? She’s threatening the balance, Kol. Just imagine she’d land herself a werewolf as a boyfriend, she’d go and protect them at all costs! Or she’d get a regular human and finds New Orleans isn’t the place for the supernatural community and she’ll fight us all!”
Kol winced. Davina was right. “Right. Yes. We’ll continue to find a way to neutralize her, although I think we’ll run into some issues with Nik if we do proceed.”
Bella huffed as she looked over her shoulder to see Klaus and Myriam peek around the corner before looking back at him. “Not to worry, Kol, I will take care of your brother and his whore should they stop us. In fact, should your entire family be against us making sure Bella won’t be able to disrupt everything, I’ll take care of them, too.”
Kol snorted. “And then what? Who’s going to run the vampire faction?”
“Well, you are, of course,” she gently pat his cheek. “Or we’ll get Marcel back and have him do that for you.”
Kol scowled at that. “Let’s just keep my family intact.”
“Whatever,” Bella quickly kissed him. “Now, be a good pup and stay here while I go and pick things up. I’ll be back in a bit.” She had to leave before she’d reveal herself or burst out in tears. Or both. She was still angry with him, and would probably be for a long time for making himself available to be manipulated by the witch after Bella had been gone for just a month, but he didn’t deserve this. Stupid Davina.
“And feed,” Bella said as she got to her feet. “You look famished.” This seemed to surprise him. Seriously? Was she regulating his blood intake as well? He looked alright, but he had looked better when fully topped off on blood. How the hell did he control himself? Was she controlling him somehow? “As much as you need.” How was Klaus allowing this to happen to his brother? Was Davina that good at manipulating everyone with her magic and making family members blind to each other or did Klaus really not care that much about Kol after all?
The moment she set foot outside the compound, she turned invisible and released Davina from her slothiness. Bella imagined this being quite hilarious, Davina in a little cage and Rebekah freaking out. She was also going to be on so many shit lists but right now all she cared about was to go to the City of the Dead and yell at some Ancestors. Yeah, she was going to skip the Regent, she was only the middle man anyway.
Hades had taught her to dig deep inside of her to turn the dials of her ghost gifts when needed and oh, she was going to do some serious damage to them if they weren’t going to give her what she needed; it all ended now. Today.
“Bella, stop,” Hades appeared before her blocking her march to the cemetery. She knew she was still invisible, which meant he was as well. “You’re far too angry.”
“Damn right I am!” Bella said as she tried to move past him, but he stopped her by placing both of his hands on her shoulders and kept her in place. “Let me go!”
“Breathe,” he said calmly, his eyes firmly fixed on hers. “You’re not one to go off like this, you need to think about it.”
“Why won’t you fix this?” Bella said angrily, hitting his arms in an attempt for him to let go of her, tears were now rolling down her cheeks. “Or fuck that, just let me go and I’ll wipe them all out!”
“No, you will not,” Hades remained calm. “Because if you do, I will have to take you back and I won’t ever let you go. Your Earth rights will be permanently revoked.”
“I don’t care! They’re messing with my family. They’re messing with the one person I feel normal with and he fucking hates me for leaving so long because of that. I have no doubt that bitch is deliberately keeping him low on blood to keep him deep under her influence and fuck that. If I fix this the way I want it to be fixed, then at least I know my family is free of them and I’ll be happy!” The adrenaline released from her anger was coursing through her body and she loved the feeling of that. Her muscles didn’t quite like it but she didn’t care, she was ready to punch someone. To wipe out all the Ancestors. Fuck preserving the balance.
“You don’t believe that, calm down and use your brain,” Hades said encouragingly, squeezing her shoulders as he did. “Because Helios was right about one thing; you’re the first one who’s shown kindness, mercy and so much love towards others and don’t allow your powers to corrupt you. Give in to the anger now, and there might not be a way back.”
“Then fucking fix this.”
“You know I can’t.”
Bella got quiet then, as if she realised something. “What if I can’t fix this?”
Hades pulled her into a big hug, pulling her close against him. “I do believe you’re making excellent progress on that, don’t you think?” He tucked her hair behind her ear and made her look at him. “You figured out they’re indeed spelled, Klaus is no longer under that spell – although I have to admit, he did most of it himself. I guess it’s great to be this super hybrid. But you cleansed Myriam. You cleansed Rebekah, but she didn’t quite like you anyway so the spell lingered, it might go away in time.”
“I’m not even going to attempt to do it on Elijah. He’s never liked me,” she sulked.
“You figured out that the Ancestors are behind it, or the most likely suspects anyway and Davina’s likely the conduit to it all. I’d say you’re doing great,” Hades said with a nod. “Very positive progress indeed. I think your next step would be is to find whatever Davina uses to have that hold on your beau and destroy said object. I’m sure you know a friendly witch somewhere.”
Bella let out a grunt.
“Hey, I know I fucked up and should have given you the chance to at least check in on your family, but from what I understood was that they knew about the fact time moves differently where we are. You needed the time to get control and pay for sending so many souls to me.”
“Still no apology.”
“Nope. But how about this? Remember the tasks Hercules had to do? Like twelve before he could ascend to Mount Olympus? See saving your boyfriend from the claws of that deviant witch as one of your impossible tasks and your reward will be not one child, but as many as you two want? I could make him fertile for like a month a year to get you pregnant?”
“You’re a fucking asshole,” Bella scowled. “Who’s to say I’ll ever get him back? Or take him back, for that matter?”
“Your weeping heart tells me,” Hades smiled at her. “I may be the God of the Underworld and fertility and shit, but I do know your heart is aching. And that is very unpleasant. But keep at it your way and don’t do anything stupid while you fix this. I have every faith in you that it’ll work, just don’t go blasting cemeteries filled with Ancestors, okay? Klaus is back to his senses, and so is Myriam. You have allies now. Use them.”
“But I don’t even understand why the Ancestors are afraid of me.”
“Because you do have the power to wipe them all out and end Ancestral Magic,” Hades reminded her. “You could tip the power balance, but we all know you won’t. As long as they leave your family alone, you leave them alone. That’s how it works and that’s brilliant. They just don’t know it – you – yet. Once you’ve fixed what you need to fix, go talk to the Regent and come to an agreement, allow her to get to know you the way we all have.”
“Use my brain and keep my cool.”
“Exactly,” Hades nodded and let go of her. “Go to your hotel room and take a nice hot bath. Get some rest. Start tomorrow anew, who knows? People might surprise you.”
“Doubt it,” Bella muttered. “Thanks.”
“You’re very welcome. Now, I don’t know if you still want to hide from the Ancestors, but if you do, don’t forget to turn invisible again,” he winked at her before he disappeared.
Bella looked around with bleary eyes and saw people stare at her again. She’d been so lost in her anger, sadness and her conversation with Hades she hadn’t noticed they had turned visible. Turning invisible again, Bella started to make her way to the hotel. Hades had been right, of course. Bella had always tried to avoid killing people. She’d help them and then it would be their choice of what they did with the information.
Such as Silas and Amara, who she had turned into swans as an alternative to death; pretty much against their wishes but to Bella, the only reason. If they still wished to die, they’d have to kill themselves and that would be pretty easy as swans.
Who was she to depower an entire city of witches only because she was angry with those who gave them power? Since when had she lost the ability to use her words?
When she returned to the hotel, the bath was drawn and there was a huge plate of beignets waiting for her on the table, a large box of chocolates and a bottle of wine with a card from Hades.
Well deserved. Don’t leave the hotel drunk! H
Smiling, she made sure she could let off some steam on her laptop in the bath safely and once that was done, she undressed, poured herself a glass of wine and got into the tub, allowing the warm water caress her suddenly tired feeling body.
It took her a while to realize the banging on the door wasn’t happening in her dreams. There was someone at her door. Glancing over at the hotel issued alarm clock, she could tell the time was 7 in the morning and she was nowhere near done sleeping. Whoever disturbed her sleep, was going to pay.
With a grunt, she kicked the covers off of her as the knocking didn’t stop and managed not to trip on her way to the door. Being drunk of sleep was never a fun thing to have when having to do things. Bella pushed her hair out of her face before she opened the door.
Taken aback by the vision before her, she stumbled back into the room, giving her guest the opportunity to come inside and close the door. There was blood all over; his clothes, his face, his hands and there was a crazy look on his face that told her he was probably high on blood, too. The dark glow around him was nearly gone, but what was he doing here?
“I did it,” Kol proudly said. “Nik won’t be too happy with the bodies in the courtyard but I did it, Bella, I did it.”
Rubbing her eyes to get rid of the sleep, she blinked at him.
“I figured it out! The Davina who visited me wasn’t Davina, was it? It was you. And you told me to go feed!” Kol approached her, but she froze him into place. She wasn’t scared of him or anything, but she wasn’t awake enough to deal with this just yet. “You know, I didn’t really know it was you until I headed out to go to the witches and then I saw you with Hades in the middle of the street and overheard you guys talk. Seeing you falling apart like you did, did something inside of me, Bella. It jolted me awake.”
She turned around and quietly started to make some tea with the services supplied in the hotel room. While she couldn’t hide the fact that her heart was aflutter with Kol in the same room with her and seemingly alright, she didn’t trust him. This could also be a ruse. She had heard him talk about his plans when she was Davina. No, it wasn’t going to be this easy for him.
“So I fed. And I fed. And some more. Oh, Bella, it felt glorious. It was messy and very bloody and it was amazing. Davina found me and stopped me, but your conversation with me and the one you had with Hades was still-”
Turning around, she looked at him. “Why are you here? What is so important that you have to interrupt my sleep?”
Kol giggled then. “The Ancestors might be really angry with me right now and this is the safest place I know. I mean, you’ve been hiding here for months, haven’t you? They haven’t found you, they won’t find me here.”
“You found me.”
“I asked Nik where you were.”
“I can see you’re still spelled, Kol. I’m not stupid, but, assuming you’re telling me the truth, what the hell did you do to piss off the Ancestors?”
“I fought Davina. She had used a binding and controlling spell on me and wasn’t working properly anymore with me topped off on blood,” Kol smirked, still frozen in place. “I drained her from all of her blood and burned her body outside New Orleans and I felt her hold on me disappear.”
Yeah right. This couldn’t be happening, it sounded too easy. Too much like the words she wanted to hear from him. “You what?”
“I killed Davina and made sure she couldn’t join the Ancestors.”
“I’m too tired for this shit,” Bella muttered as she walked to the door and opened it before throwing Kol out and closing the door again. Satisfied with her handywork, she made it back to her bed in time for the kettle to pop to tell her that the water for her tea had been boiled. Bella rolled herself into her duvet and pulled a pillow over her head and went back to sleep.