Summary: After her resurrection, it’s his turn to help her.
Characters: Kol Mikaelson and Bella Swan
Genre: angst, hurt/comfort, friendship, relationship, First Time
Trigger warning: Bella’s unofficial diagnosis is Autism, there are parts in this story that deals with the not-so-pretty side (depression, mental break, asylum). No real/gory details mentioned throughout the story, but it’s skimmed upon.
Author’s Note: Timeframe: During season 3 and 4 of The Originals. This is the continuation/sequel to Intermission. I am Autistic with an anxiety disorder on the side. My door is always open if you need to talk.
“I stand by my original statement,” Davina said as she finished casting her spells on Bella and got to her feet as she looked at Kol. “Her life is linked to yours. It has been since she came back with you. Of course, making herself the vessel to the end of the Ancestors’ influence on you didn’t work against the flaw in her spell, either.” Davina wasn’t too happy about this turn of events, not at all. Kol had never spoken of Bella to her, not until he was dead himself, but for a witch to go through all the trouble she had gone to save the Original vampire, made Davina wonder who Bella was.
Was she merely a very good friend, an ex-girlfriend or a crazy stalker from Kol’s past? Was she going to be dangerous? Was she going to get between her and Kol?
“Great,” Kol grinned as he looked at Bella. “Time for your third chance of life, Bella!” Oh, he knew that she hadn’t wanted this at all. But times had changed and people were more open and understanding towards people who were a little bit different. Bella was going to be fine, like she had been in the last few weeks after she came back with him.
She felt tired and unhappy. Unwanted, as Davina kept her eyes firmly trained on Bella. “I can’t stay here, I’m intruding on your life.”
“I understand, darling,” Kol sat down next to her and pushed a strand of her hair back. “Where did you stay for the last few weeks?”
“In a hotel room, courtesy of Mr. and Mrs. Tucker, who were shocked by my resurrection – they were having intercourse near my grave. Since I believed that I wasn’t going to survive your bite today, I checked out. But not to worry, I’m sure I can find some place to stay.”
“I could ask my brother Elijah to see if there’s an old inheritance in your name? Seeing as the Cullens were quite established-”
“I don’t want their money,” Bella growled as she wrapped her oversized jumper around her and got off the bed. “I believe that there are still shelters around.”
“You’re not going to stay in a shelter. Then at least allow me to pay for a hotel room, or an apartment even! Bella, that’s the least I could do for you since you’ve saved me from doing some major damage today.”
Bella saw the determination on his face, and despite not wanting to have anything to do with him at the moment, she sighed and nodded. “Very well.”
“Great! Now, I’m sure Davina won’t mind if you’d take a nap on her bed while we go and find you somewhere safe to live,” he said as he kissed the top of her head. “Maybe find you some clean clothes, too?” He gently pushed her down to the bed and tucked her in. “And I won’t tolerate ‘no’, Bella. Go take a nap, we’ll be back shortly. You’re safe in this room.”
Kol waited until Bella was indeed asleep before leaving Davina’s cozy home quietly with his girlfriend in tow. “What do you think?” He asked as he took Davina’s hand and softly kissing it as they left the church.
“I think that she’s going to have a really hard time adjusting and finding something she’s passionate about. She may have been a witch and she’s capable of some magic, I didn’t quite feel that she was too powerful.”
“It was enough back in the day,” Kol shrugged. “She didn’t even want it, at first.”
“She has a big heart, maybe she can go work at an animal shelter or something. I doubt anyone has the patience to deal with her when it comes to her magic. She’s great with herbs, I have to give her that. It was brilliant to turn herself into a potion to save you. Maybe she can work at Ann’s?”
“Ann is crazy,” Kol huffed. “Besides, the Ancestors are probably going to be pissed at her for many reasons, including escaping them and curing me, she needs some place safe. I made a mess of her life a century ago, now I’m going to make sure she’s safe.”
Davina shrugged. “She’s likely more than capable of taking care of herself.”
“Likely, but she needs someone to help her with it at first. Aren’t there organisations in New Orleans who help people like her?”
“What, the homeless?” Davina huffed. “Salvation Army, shelters.”
“She’s special. No doubt that this new world is still making her head spin and she needs guidance. I’m not the right person to help her with that, neither are you, and I’m not going to burden Niklaus with her. He’s got enough on his mind already.”
Davina thought for a moment as she looked at him. It appeared that while he was glad that his friend was back and had saved him, he didn’t want to particularly stick around and make sure she was going to be fine. “What’s wrong with her, anyway?”
“There’s nothing wrong with her, she’s simply different than you and I. She doesn’t like to be touched, her social skills are… questionable around strangers, she easily gets tired and overwhelmed,” Kol started to explain. “Back on the Ancestral plane she told me that she’d gotten a lot better with her issues, that she had somewhat healed or at least understood where her being different originated. She’s gone through a lot today, no doubt she has to recharge for days.”
“It’s a shame that Cami’s interests currently don’t lie with psychology otherwise maybe she could help out… but I know this healer near the Bayou who is known to take care of the unwanted.”
“Bella’s not unwanted,” Kol spat, letting go of Davina’s hand. “She needs some time and a little help, that’s all.”
“And Myriam is the right person to help her with that. Trust me. She’s a 300 year old vampire, well versed in her herbs and used to work in a mental health institution. She had endless patience. She’ll be safe from the Ancestors there.”
“Are you sure?”
Davina smiled at him. “Of course I’m sure. We can go visit her now if you want.”
“Cochon!” Myriam advanced at Kol and slapped him, hard. “You Mikaelsons are supposed to leave me alone!”
He had been surprised by her attack, but not really seeing as his brothers liked to make a mess out of things, and was more prepared when she advanced again, grabbing her by her wrists before she could strike. “Now, now, darling,” he purred as he pulled the vampire against him. “That’s no way to treat a visitor.” Kol was already entertained by this Myriam. It was always fun to find a discarded toy.
“Kol,” Davina warned him. “Don’t hurt her, we came here for help.”
“Oh, I’m not hurting her, darling,” Kol smirked as he let the vampire go, keeping an eye on her. “I’m merely protecting myself, for I have no idea what my brothers have done to her to give me this treatment.”
Myriam growled lowly as she rubbed her wrists and looked at Davina. “Davina, so nice to see you again. Will you come in? He can wait outside.”
Davina hugged her friend and sighed. “Unfortunately, we’re here because of him, so whatever it is between you and the Mikaelsons, you have to let it go. Kol has changed, he’s a good person.”
The vampire barked out a laugh. “You’re naive to think that vampires can change, especially him,” Myriam shook her head before shrugging. “Fine, come on in so we can talk.”
Kol followed the two women inside the wooden structure, and inside Myriam had a cozy yet organised home, with seemingly enough space for more people. “You live here alone?”
Myriam pursed her lips as she pointed at the chairs at the dining table for them to sit. “That’s none of your concern, Kol Mikaelson. I’m more than capable of taking care of myself.” She sat down and crossed her arms as she looked at Davina. “What can I do for you? You need herbs?”
“No, thank you,” Davina smiled at her. “Between you and Ann I’m well stocked.”
“Even after your adventure with the Strix coven?” Myriam raised an eyebrow, curious. “Is that how you brought the idiot brother back?”
“He’s not an idiot,” she laughed, shaking her head. “I’ve heard the horror stories, even Kol himself admitted he hasn’t been always on his best behaviour, but I trust him. And yes, they gave me the power to resurrect him.”
“You mean Klaus Mikaelson’s sacrifice gave you the power to resurrect his brother,” Myriam pointed out. “A sacrifice you’re responsible for, too.”
“I had to save my friends, surely you can understand. Had he died, you would have died with everyone else.”
Myriam slammed her hand on the table. “Yes, thanks for that warning, you little rat,” she spat as she slammed her hand on the table again. “I kinda liked being linked to Klaus Mikaelson, it allowed me to keep tabs on him!”
“But you’re free of him now,” Davina said confused. “Marcel and Josh were happy-”
“Well I am not! And if you think I’m willing to help you out, you’re mistaken!”
“Hey now,” Kol warned the vampire. “That is no way to treat a friend.”
“Some friend she is,” Myriam muttered, crossing her arms over her chest again. “You have any idea how much it hurt? I felt as if I was on fire!”
“You’re fine,” Davina shrugged. “And now, if Klaus ever gets killed, you won’t die along in the process.”
“Davina told me you like to help lost causes, from time to time,” Kol tried to sound diplomatic, but he couldn’t hide his disgust for this woman who was unhappy by Davina’s actions. “Davina doesn’t need any help, neither do I, but we do know someone who could do with your guidance and expertise.”
Myriam glared at the Original. “I’ve heard whispers about someone tagging along with Davina’s spell to bring you back. An Ancestor?”
“Her name is Bella and she’s having a hard time adjusting to this time period. Ah, she came back to save me from the Ancestor’s influence on me and by accident linked her life to mine. I won’t even be able to turn her into a vampire. She doesn’t want to be back, she doesn’t want another chance at living because her first life had been less than ideal. Bella’s … different from other people and if you’re really as good as Davina told me you are, you are the best person to teach her new things.”
Myriam was quiet for a moment, contemplating her options. “An immortal witch, an Ancestral Plane escapee… did she retain all of her knowledge?”
“Then she’s dangerous to the Ancestors. She’ll be safe here. If I can help her, I’d need to assess her myself so you’ll have to bring her here. Your brother condemned me to live in the Bayou for the rest of my life and I cannot enter my beloved New Orleans.”
Kol groaned as he rubbed his eyes. “Which one and what did you do to earn this kind of punishment?”
“I didn’t do anything! It’s because of your actions that your brother Elijah had to clean up the mess you’ve made and he was surprised that I was a vampire and hadn’t fled at the sight of you! But I was taking care of my patients. Even managed to hide a few from you as you came to collect one of the-” she stopped herself then, before realizing something. “It’s her, isn’t it? The girl you liberated from the sanatorium came back with you to help you.”
“Kol!” Davina scolded him.
“What?” Kol said defensively. “Easy pickings, darling, I remember most of them being very tasty and very drugged up, it was such a rush! I nearly forgot why I came there in the first place!” The grin on his face grew wider and wider. “Small world, Myriam, small world.”
“Didn’t she get the chance to heal over there?”
“A little, and she’s fine on that front, I believe but I am no expert. She simply needs some encouragement and life lessons that I cannot provide her.”
Myriam huffed as she uncrossed her arms. “You’re no good for anything. Bring her over, I’ll see if I can work with her. However, as my payment, I want your brother to undo his compulsion over me so I can return to the city. A century long banishment is long enough for something you did.”
“And if I can’t get him to do that?”
“Then I’m not going to help your friend.”
Davina looked between the two vampires and felt the tension between them. “I’ve broken compulsions before, on a human,” she said carefully. “I can try it on you, Myriam, but who knows how many times you’ve been compelled? And it’s going to hurt immensely.”
“Elijah or no go,” Myriam said as she got to her feet and pointed towards the door. “See yourselves out please.”
Kol sighed as he and Davina drove back to the city. “This was not a good idea.”
“You should have thought about that before, wasn’t it you who wanted Bella to return with you? Now that she’s here, you don’t even want her around. Great friend you are.”
“She doesn’t deserve me, Davina, because I’m incapable of caring about someone else other than myself.”
“You care about me, right?” she asked carefully. He must care about her, why else would he have done the things he’d done with her back when he was still a witch and then more recently as a vampire?
“Of course, darling,” he smiled sweetly. Maybe when he was still a human, or a ghost, but ever since she brought him back, all he felt was lust and glad that he had his own powerful little witch by his side. Davina was a means to an end, just like any other witch he’d encountered or dated. Bella had already experienced that and she deserved better than him. She wasn’t as tainted or powerful as Davina. She needed things he couldn’t provide.
“Good, because I was just about to dump your ass,” she countered angrily. “And then I’d have gone to Marcel, informed him about you breaking my heart and then you’d be in trouble.”
“Ah, Marcellus,” Kol grinned as he relaxed in his seat as he continued to drive. “Such a fun little toy he is. I suppose I’ll have to do with teasing Elijah with one of his clean up failures then for now. The prophecy can wait for a bit.”
Davina was quiet for a moment, looking out of the window as she decided whether or not to broach the subject that was on her mind. Deciding to take her chances, she looked at him. “I can’t help but be slightly put off by the fact that your friend, your old friend – Bella the Ancestor, and I look a lot alike. Is she a relative of mine?”
“No, Bella came from California. I’m fairly certain that you and her aren’t related. You come from a long line of established Claire witches and as far as I know there hasn’t been any meddling from outsiders.”
“Are you sure?”
“Because the family was a Garden District coven and they put her in a mental institution because she wasn’t good enough to attend balls and be introduced to the young men of New Orleans at the time. Me, thinking it was a bad idea to lock her away, broke her out and ate my way through the asylum before finding a widower who I believed was alright and left her with him,” he said as he gripped the steering wheel tightly. “Of course, he wasn’t the right person for her and I should have taken more time with him, to compel him to be everything Bella needed and to stay away from her, but that was then. She was out of the Asylum and I had found her a husband and I could find another witch to help me out. She lost her mind after her husband repeatedly touched her, had sex with her and fell pregnant. Then lost her child and it got all too much for her, she went into full rage and meltdown mode and killed her husband before arriving at my doorstep, all bloody. I could smell her fear, her anxiety and her sadness. Her anger. She begged me to kill her, so I did. It was the least I could do and she was quite tasty. Fear, anxiety and anger taste so good.”
“That’s horrible,” Davina replied. “Who did you put her with?”
“You wouldn’t know his family. They were from up north.”
“Try me,” Davina grinned as she playfully elbowed him in the side.
“His name was Edward Cullen.”
“Ah,” Davina said knowingly. “The scourge of the Garden District. Not a witch, but we all know the stories about him as a warning to give anyone with that name a wide berth. Good to know that the story that his crazy wife killed him is true.”
“As I said, I would not make that mistake again and don’t think I won’t compel Myriam to treat Bella right. If she’s on vervain, which is likely the case as she’s encountered my brothers, I’ll bleed her out and then I’ll compel her.”
“Yeah, I get it. Myriam will have your balls for it, but as you said, you’re not good for Bella and she deserves better,” Davina agreed as Kol parked the car at St. Anne’s, likely to check up on Bella before going to his brothers. “So the fact that she’s a tiny brunette like me is purely coincidence?”
“Of course, darling.”
“So you don’t have any feelings for her other than the fact that you like her for her giving you the attention you craved?”
He slowly nodded, unsure of himself now. Granted, Davina was at this point also merely a means to an end, or that’s what he liked to tell himself, but deep down, he knew he genuinely cared for Bella, why else would he tell her to come back with him, to live the well deserved second life? What he felt for Bella was completely different from how he felt for Davina. Perhaps as a human he had liked Davina for who she was, but now that he was a vampire he could tell that she was just as rotten as he was. He deserved Davina, and not someone as pure as Bella.
There was simply no room for Bella in his life right now, too many things were happening and Davina didn’t like her much, from what he could tell. But if it hadn’t been for Bella, Davina would have been dead. Bella saved him so she could save Davina. For him. Pure. No ulterior motives. Passing her on to Myriam was the best thing he could do for her; he didn’t want his brothers to be of an influence to Bella and Marcel was never going to lay his hands on her. No.
“Okay, so you’ll go to your brothers now and convince Elijah to come with to the Bayou to remove a compulsion. I’ll go upstairs and give Bella some of my old clothes to wear after waking her up. The sooner she’s with Myriam, the better, right?”
“Yeah,” he breathed out and softly kissed Davina. “You’re a great asskicker.”
“Of course,” Davina smiled at him, her hand running through his hair. “And once she’s gone, we’re going to get some rest ourselves, in my bed. The day has been hard on all of us.”
He kissed her again before speeding off with a big grin on his face. He was going to have so much fun with his brothers! Especially with Elijah. Oh, Elijah was going to regret ever simply compelling Myriam and not kill her on the spot. Why did he save her, anyway?
When he arrived at the compound, his brothers were in deep discussion with Marcel. Of course. Marcel had to be around. Discussing Lucien and his transformation yet again, and Kol didn’t want to hear anything of it. He needed more time with Davina and then he’d help out his family if they still needed it. “I’ve had quite the interesting day, surely Nik and Marcel have compared notes by now?”
“You are in no position to take care of a girl like that, brother,” Elijah spoke, eyeing his brother. “What were you thinking?”
Kol held up his hands in defense. “Wasn’t me. It was all her, to make sure that the Ancestor’s meddling wouldn’t turn lethal. How was I to know she was back and what she had planned?”
“And the poor girl’s life is now tethered to yours for eternity. Honestly!”
“Don’t worry, ‘Lijah,” Kol smirked as he poured himself a bourbon and downed it in one go. “Davina came up with a solution for the girl, because you’re right, I can’t take care of her. Not that she’d need a lot of caring for, but I can’t reintroduce her to the world. I’m a menace and irresponsible.”
“Marcel has offered to-”
“Oh, no,” Kol quickly said. “Marcel isn’t going anywhere near Bella, because like you lot, he’ll fill her head with crazy ideas about me and teach her all the wrong things. She could even turn out to become a whore under his influence and nobody would stop him because she’s quite appetizing underneath all those clothes!”
“Kol, behave,” Elijah warned him.
“Davina’s solution was quite simple,” Kol ignored his brother as he poured himself another glass. “Since Cami has turned to the bad side, she took me to a friend of hers, a 300 year old vampire, a healer and someone with a background in mental illness.”
“D took you to that nut who lives in the Bayou?” Marcel asked curiously. “She’s even less capable of taking care of a young girl like Bella.”
“Who?” Klaus wondered as he looked at Kol’s knowing smirk, Marcel’s confusion and Elijah’s… constipation. He looked uncomfortable.
“What surprised me the most was the fact that she was working at the sanatorium around the same time Bella was there… say… a hundred years ago? Give or take a few years. Imagine my surprise that she was able to tell me about Elijah’s cleaning efforts after I ate my way through the sanatorium to get Bella out of there.”
“Who?” Klaus demanded, nervous now, knowing that his former lover worked there before she disappeared on him again. He hadn’t been too worried, Myriam liked to leave for a few years from time to time, but a whole century of not even a postcard had him think that she was dead.
“Her name is Myriam Jenkins,” Marcel explained with a sigh. “From what she told me was that Elijah compelled her to leave New Orleans or to stay in the Bayou and not to contact Klaus in any way. Myriam believed that Elijah was jealous because she was such a great influence on Klaus.”
“Oh, I didn’t know that!” Kol sat down on one of the sofa’s and watched as Nik flew into a rage, beating Elijah savagely. “Careful, brother, we need him conscious to undo that compulsion of his,” Kol said in a sing-song voice.
“When will your constant manipulation of my life stop?” Klaus yelled at his brother as his fist connected with Elijah’s face. “Are you going after the mother of my child next? I’ve seen the two of you, cozying up, conspiring against me!”
“Niklaus, freeing you from Myriam was the best thing I could do at the time for you,” Elijah didn’t lose his calm, but he did start to deflect his brother’s assault. “And I will not remove her compulsion, that woman was a blight on the Quarter.”
“Oh, you’re wrong, ‘Lijah,” Kol said as he downed another glass. “You are going to remove that compulsion because it will help me. Or, I could of course let Bella run loose in New Orleans and have her create chaos and mayhem. Who knows? Lucien might even pick her up and make her do his bidding even though she’s not powerful enough. But surely he’d have a serum for that, too, right? To boost someone’s magic? I mean, he already had the cure to Nik’s nasty bite, he now has a magical serum courtesy of our beloved witchy sister that turned him into our nightmare… why not give him something pure to fuck up?”
“It’d still be better than turning her over to you or Marcel!”
Ignoring the fighting brothers, Marcel sat down next to Kol. “Look, you and I may not particularly like each other, but have you considered taking care of Bella yourself? At least until she’s back on her feet?”
“You know as well as my brothers do that I am not the right person for the job. Short temper and all that. Myriam is the best choice. Impartial. Granted, I could seek help elsewhere, out of town, but I’m lazy.”
“You suck without humanity.”
“Oh, I know, Marcel, why are you so shocked?” Kol smirked as he looked at his fighting brothers. “But at least I know my shortcomings, it’s been told many times and even Davina was afraid of me being a vampire at first, perhaps she still is, who knows?”
“So you think that Bella, the Ancestor coming back to life, is safer with a 300 year old vampire than an Original vampire with issues? The girl can’t die, Kol. So what if you end up killing her? She’d just come back to life!”
“I don’t take care of people. You lot have the bleeding hearts, not me. I’ve made up my mind and I need Elijah to break the compulsion otherwise the damn woman won’t help Bella.”
“Surely you’ve learned things when you were a witch?” Marcel let out a snort. “Kol, I had started to like you, seriously. You can do this, you’ve done it before. She’s your friend, why hand her off to some stranger?”
Because she’s safer without me. Because she deserves better than me. Because she’s a buzzkill with her observational skills. Because I feel guilty of what I did to her in the past. Because I’ll fuck up. Because Davina doesn’t like her. “I’m sick of defending my decisions,” he said as he got to his feet and pried his brothers apart. “Are you two done? Can we go and pick up Bella now and then go to the Bayou so that Elijah can remove the compulsion and Myriam can take care of Bella?”
Bella quietly watched as Davina dug deep into her closet for old clothes that Bella could have. Davina had been talking, but Bella wasn’t sure if she’d been listening. She held in a breath for a few seconds and then breathed out slowly, her hearing slowly returning. “… so we’re taking you to a friend of mine, sure you understand?”
“I’m intruding, of course I understand. But you didn’t have to go through trouble for me, I can find my own way.”
Davina seemed to agree. “Kol wants you to be comfortable, the plan you proposed wasn’t much of a plan,” she then huffed. “He actually wanted to put you back into an asylum.”
Bella didn’t seem to mind, but was surprised that Kol thought that way, why go through all the trouble in the past only to put her back in? Convenience. That was all. Bella was in the way. A problem. Just like she knew she was. “And?”
“My friend’s place is way cooler. It’s in the Bayou, I’m sure you two will hit it off perfectly,” Davina smiled as she put some clothes into a bag. “I don’t think I’ve thanked you yet for saving Kol from the Ancestors, have I?”
“That’s alright,” Bella replied with a shrug. “It’s what friends do for each other, they save each other and those around them. He would have killed you if I hadn’t saved him.”
“Just promise me not to ever perform magic again, okay?” Davina laughed, shaking her head. “You’re an intelligent witch, no doubt about it, and using yourself as a vessel for Kol’s cure was amazing because the Ancestors wouldn’t pick that up, but you’re terrible at magic and you used far too many conductive and connecting herbs, which is why you’re still alive now and will be forever.”
She nodded as an answer. It wasn’t as if Bella could rejoin the covens of New Orleans anyway, the Ancestors would not allow it and they’d likely have the Regent try and kill her again and again. “I think I want to be an animal doctor.”
Davina playfully ruffled Bella’s hair, who immediately smoothed it back out as she recoiled from Davina’s touch. “It’s sweet of you to think that you’re capable of learning, but it’ll take you at least 20 years to get to the point where you’re up to snuff with what they teach in high school and primary school.”
“I’m immortal now,” Bella pointed out. “I have all the time I need.”
“And who’s going to pay for your school? A place to live? Food? Clothes? The basic necessities? Better learn that first, Bella, before you entertain the thought of going to school. You’d make a great maid or house wife, but I think that becoming a vet is a bit too far out of your reach.”
“Perhaps you’re right,” Bella sighed as she bound her hair in hair tie. “Will Myriam be able to help me find a purpose? A new passion?”
“She’ll teach you everything you need,” Davina echoed as she watched as the door opened. “Had fun?”
“Oh yeah,” Kol grinned as he took the bag from Davina. “You need to stay here, the car is a little full with Nik and Elijah in it too, sure you don’t mind? I’ll be back as soon as I can.”
Davina pouted as she pulled him in for a kiss. “Hurry back and make sure Myriam fully agrees to help Bella out, she’s a crafty old nut but trustworthy.”
“Don’t worry, she’s likely not on vervain if she wants Elijah to break that compulsion,” he smiled at her before turning to Bella. “Are you ready?”
Bella didn’t want Kol to drop her off at some stranger’s place, but nodded nevertheless, in his eyes this was the best way for her to find her way in this life. Away from him. She had to go. He and Davina were so infatuated with each other that it was painful to watch, Bella had never realized that it was this bad and she didn’t quite know how to deal with it. She was intruding, she had to go.
Kol took Bella’s hand and gently pulled her off the bed. If this was the right thing, why was he so nervous about it? Why did he feel like he was doing the same as the family she lived with in the 1900s? They put her in the sanatorium because she was tainting their reputation by not being marriage material and a weak witch on top of that. Granted, this Myriam person was a person and not an institution, but wasn’t he doing the same now? Was it truly the best thing? “It’s going to be alright,” he assured her as they walked through the church to get to the car.
“I trust you,” she smiled at him. “You know what’s best for me and instead of a hotelroom you’re making sure someone can help me until I’m good enough,” she added reassuringly. “You’re far too busy with Davina and the trouble your family is in. Maybe once I’m sure I’m alright and be a productive member of society I’ll leave New Orleans..”
“Darling, the world is your oyster. I’ll make sure we’ll have a bank account in your name once you feel confident enough so you don’t have to worry about money.”
“Aren’t my days of having to rely on men for my survival over? Don’t I have the right to find myself a job to sustain myself?”
“You’re 118 years old, but look like you’re 18. You’re a resurrected supernatural being, made more supernatural by linking yourself to me by accident. Forget about living a normal life, Bella, you won’t be able to do it,” he said as he helped her in the car and got in himself, seeing the looks his brothers gave him. “You’ve met Niklaus, meet Elijah, he’s our older brother.”
“I know who he is, I just didn’t realize he was your brother,” Bella muttered as she hugged Davina’s bag for her. “He used to have dealings with Edward, I don’t know why and I don’t want to know.”
“He ran some successful businesses back in the day, a small pillar in making New Orleans a thriving city at the time,” Elijah explained. “Very unpleasant that man. I had always felt for his ailing wife, and after her death I had hoped he’d remain alone for the rest of his life. I was surprised he had found himself a new wife. Young. Beautiful. Eccentric.”
“And you did nothing?” Kol wondered as he pulled away from the church.
“Of course not, Kol. I only meddle in the personal lives of my family. Besides, the girl didn’t look stressed at all,” a small smile appeared on his lips. “Of course, had I known that you put her with him, I would have.”
“You lot really should let me in on these kind of things more often, you know. I can be responsible and proactive and not just the killer,” Kol muttered. “Even now, I’m trying to control my bloodlust now that Bella’s cured me of the Ancestor’s influence because I don’t want to end up killing Davina.”
“How honorable,” Klaus mused. “But your little friend here is an immortal witch, surely she can be the blood bag that keeps on giving?” He asked playfully but was shocked by Bella’s serious response.
“Of course I can,” she replied as she looked at Kol. “If you’re hungry, you can have my blood.”
“That was a joke, little one,” Klaus gently squeezed her shoulder. “We generally don’t drink from our friends unless it’s an emergency and even then we might not.”
“But it could be my new purpose in life! To give you my blood to drink!” Bella got all excited then. “I mean, my blood is safe, I can’t die, and I’m volunteering.”
“Stop that nonsense,” Elijah huffed. “I don’t know what or who got into your head, but what you’re suggesting is barbaric. Perhaps once we have the prophecy taken care of, we should introduce you to our two sisters who can teach you what it’s like to be an independent woman.”
“What about non of your involvement don’t you understand, Elijah?” Kol shot at him. “That includes our darling sister and our witchy sister! Bella will only be ruined by us!”
“Hardly,” Klaus huffed. “Marcel turned out alright, didn’t he? All Bella needs is some guidance and patience to adjust. Accident or not, you made her your responsibility when she piggybacked on Davina’s spell to bring you back to save you. She’s your friend.”
“It’s quite typical behaviour for you, isn’t it? Run in the face of responsibility.”
“Hey, I’m still here,” Bella shot at the vampires. “No need to make Kol feel bad for making the right decision for me in his eyes. I told him he didn’t have to do this for me, and he wants to do this. Let him do this.”
“You agree with him?”
Bella shrugged. “It doesn’t matter if I agree with him or not. I do need help. I need to find a new purpose. I need to learn more about this time. I’m not his responsibility. We are friends, but he doesn’t have to be responsible for me, despite the fact that my life depends on his. I never wanted another chance at life.”
“You’re too young to be all about doom and gloom, love,” Klaus said encouragingly. “You can still change your mind about this, you can stay with us. It’s likely that once my brother frees Myriam from her restrictions that Myriam will be at the compound with us, anyway.”
“If she does that, I’m going to kill her,” Kol said angrily. “That was not part of the deal.”
“Ah, but you don’t know her as well as I do,” Klaus teased him.
“As I said, if she comes back on the agreement, I will kill her.”
“No killing,” Bella said as she gently rubbed Kol’s arm. “If she doesn’t want to help me, it’s fine and I will adjust on my own.” Because they were in the car with four people, the different scents and smells were suddenly overwhelming her, looking for a way to open the window she accidentally opened the door. The smell of strong alcohol was making her feel sick.
“Woah,” Kol said as he swerved to the side of the road, stopped and reached for the door to pull it shut. “Are you insane?”
“No, I’m getting sick, the window needs to be open,” Bella said as she frantically pawed at the door, looking for a lever of some sort. “How does it open?”
“There are buttons on the handle, darling,” he said as he pointed at them. “The arrow down makes it go down, and the one that goes up rolls it back up. Don’t ever open the door while we’re driving, okay? You’re not even wearing a seat belt, you could have fallen out!”
She immediately pushed the down button and hung her head out of the car, sniffing in the polluted air of New Orleans. The mixture of fresh air, the water underneath the bridge they were on and exhaust made her want to vomit, so she quickly opened the door anyway, hopped out of the car and threw up at the side of the road.
Elijah was the first one by her side to give her his handkerchief to clean her mouth, but it did more harm than good when she vomited again, missing his shoes by a hair. “Are you alright?”
Bella let out a groan as she sat down on the ground, holding her head between her knees. “Sensory overload, it happens, not your fault, although that cloth smells like blood.”
Kol had found a bottle of water in the glove compartment and brought it over. “I should have opened the windows, huh?”
“You couldn’t have known,” Bella replied as she gratefully took the water and rinsed her mouth. “I mean, I was fine, but it just hit me.”
“Are you okay to continue the short drive if we roll all the windows down?”
“Yes,” she smiled at him. “I need a few minutes.”
He sat down next to her and sighed deeply as Elijah went back to the car. “I have to admit, I’m having a harder time with the fact that I’m taking you somewhere else to heal, but you understand, don’t you?”
“You and Davina deserve all the time together as you can possibly have, I’ll only be taking away precious time from that. I don’t need your help, Kol, I told you this.”
“I just want you to be safe and you’re not safe around me or my family at this point.”
“But I can leave New Orleans, if you’d want me to, I could go back to California,” she said as she put her head against his shoulder and sighed deeply, feeling the nausea slowly pass. “Surely I have relatives there?”
“Bella, you have to understand that you can’t go back to your life. You’ve been dead for a century. Now, we can help you with new papers, new ID and even a bank account, but the life you knew is over and you need to start over. From the beginning. Girls your age in this time go out and party, and they study and they don’t even think about starting families at this point.”
“I wanted to study, but Davina said that it was going to be hard because I’m uneducated. But I’m immortal, can’t I simply take my time?”
Kol was surprised to hear that. “Did she really say that?”
“Her exact words were that it’s sweet of me to think that I’m capable of learning after I told her I’d like to become an animal doctor and when I said I have all the time I could need she said that I needed a place to live first, money to sustain me with food, clothing, and of course, education. She believed I’d make a great maid or housewife, and that becoming a vet was too far out of my reach,” she replied, shrugging slightly. “I suppose she was right.”
“Wrong,” Kol said angrily. “Darling, I know you want to be independent and you keep saying you don’t want my help, but money is not an issue. If Klaus is right and Myriam doesn’t work out for you, I will get you an apartment, and enough money to live on. Even go to school with. Private tutors, everything you need. And if you don’t want me to give you money, I’ll have Elijah dig deep into the court archives and find Cullen’s hidden money so you have money to spend that is your right to have.”
He was certainly going to give Davina a stern talking to. Bella was capable of so many things. Perhaps not as a witch, but as a caring human being, even though she didn’t seem to be caring. But he knew that Bella cared deeply, and she didn’t deserve to be put down like that. He wasn’t even questioning Bella’s sincerity, as she hadn’t lied to him before and in his opinion, was incapable of doing so.
“Bella, you’re smart. You’re strong and you say what you want to say. On top of that, you are determined and you can achieve anything you want. Even becoming a veterinarian to take care of the animals,” he continued and then playfully elbowed her in the side. “I’m not saying that it’s going to be easy on you, it’ll require hard work, but I know you can do it. Don’t let someone else dull your interests, you’ve never allowed it to, so why start now?”
“Because the world is a scary place and I don’t know what to do?” She replied in a small voice. “I always had someone with me when I ventured the streets of New Orleans back then, and it wasn’t because I was a young woman, but because my mind tends to… wander. I’m scared. I was scared for those weeks where I was making myself your cure, but I had a purpose, I needed to save you and that’s what I focused on, and I did well, for the most part. There were days where I simply hid and stayed at the hotel, tired of everything.”
“Myriam’s home is in the Bayou, it’s nice and quiet there.”
“But I don’t think that’s good for me, either,” Bella carefully looked at him, hoping he wouldn’t get mad. “How can I learn to deal with all the stimuli if I’m away from it all?”
“At least meet her,” Kol said encouragingly. “She seemed to be qualified enough, she even worked at the place you were put in. She knows my family, or so it seems, so she can tell you all about our shortcomings,” he said with a slight chuckle. “I think she knows her stuff.”
“Do you trust her?”
“I’m not sure about that, but once I’ve compelled her I might.”
“And thus you’re going to do the same as your brother, make people do things against their will.”
“She’s a vampire, darling, she’s one of us, it’s fine.”
“And had I known what kind of a bastard he was, I would have done a proper job on him instead of a half assed attempt,” he said quickly. “It’s a good thing you’ve killed him, because otherwise I’d have Davina resurrect him and do it all over, and make it extremely painful.”
“No killing,” Bella repeated the words she had spoken in the car earlier. Kol was so stuck on the idea of her meeting Myriam and likely being helped by Myriam that she had decided not to resist. Did that make her passive? Not really. She was allowing her friend to help her despite her objections, apparently ‘no’ was still not in his personal dictionary.
Kol smiled at that as he helped her to her feet. “But what if I need to eat, darling?”
“You can do that without killing.”
“That’s no fun,” he pouted. “Would it make you feel better if I only eat bad people and make New Orleans a little bit safer for those who can’t protect themselves?”
Bella thought for a moment as she took a sip of her bottle. “Yes,” she eventually replied as she got into the car. “But you don’t have to do that. I mean… it’s not my place to tell you that. It’s your own choice.”
“We haven’t been killing for sustenance in a long time,” Elijah replied. “We still drink from the vein, yes, but those servants have been compelled not to feel anything and we pay them generously.”
“But you can do that from me, I can’t die anyway,” Bella said confused. “And I know, you don’t eat friends, but the only thing that I am to you is an inconvenience that has a history with Kol and who is keeping you from more pressing matters.” She hugged her back as she looked out of the window. “Who knows? I might even turn out to be the Beast from your prophecy.”
“Don’t be ridiculous,” Kol huffed. “Lucien’s the beast and in cohorts with the Ancestors.”
“I was an Ancestor, how can you be sure that I’m not merely here because I wanted to save you? Perhaps it was my intention all along to link my life to yours, so it’d be more difficult to kill me after you’ve mended fences with your family when you were a witch.”
Klaus blinked at the girl in the front seat and then looked at his brother next to him, who looked as doubtful as he felt. Granted, the girl made sense, but experience told him that this girl was incapable of deceit. “Are you sure?”
“I don’t know,” Bella shrugged. “I mean, were you aware of the Ancestor’s meddling with Kol after he returned?”
“Not at first…”
“Well then, I could be anything.”
“Oh shut up, Bella, this is a ridiculous line of thought,” Kol said, but her remarks still in the back of his mind. It wasn’t entirely impossible.
“I just want you to be safe, that’s all, and that’s thinking of many scenarios. I may not have a mind that’s focused on warfare, but I have read books, heard things.”
“You’re absolutely right,” Klaus eventually said as they drove passed the first trees into the Bayou. “We shouldn’t have assumed your return was a mere accident and focused on saving Kol from himself. How about we will keep our eye on you when you’re at Myriam’s? Or, if she does what I think she’ll be doing, wherever you may end up? Just to be safe? That way, we can put a stop to it before it even begins.”
“Niklaus is correct in this matter,” Elijah said thoughtfully. “She’s an unknown element.”
“I can’t believe this,” Kol huffed as he decided to drive faster. The quicker Bella was safe away from him and his family, the better.