While Bella hadn’t really liked the idea very much of staying longer at the compound than necessary at first, she was grateful with all the help the family gave her and Kol with the triplets. Kolby and Charlie, the boys, and Emily, their little girl. All hands were on deck when needed. Especially when the remaining Strix came to retaliate for all the deaths that they had suffered by the hands of the Mikaelsons.
The babies were less than a month old then, and with Bella back to full power she had no problem with rendering the mass of vampires useless and making it easier to get rid of them all. The only downside was that it required a great amount of energy and she needed to rest up for days afterwards – making her more determined to become who she was meant to be and embrace every aspect of her being. Maybe not the raising the dead and seeing ghosts thing. That could prove to be annoying as hell with little kids running around and dead people in the way.
Their house wasn’t entirely new, but that was more than alright. They lived near several parks in Audubon and that was all the grass Bella wanted. Their property was huge, even after some modifications to make sure it was big enough and secure enough for their little family. Their home was on 2 acres of land, fenced and their own security system – it was something Bella wanted despite her and Kol being more than capable of taking care of themselves. They had to blend in and nearly all their neighbors had security.
Something Kol loathed. It meant that he had to go further away for his kills, but Audubon was better than the burbs like Lakeview.
For the pretense of normality, the current regent of the witches – a young girl named Selene, someone Bella had an easier time with to talk to than Ms. La Rue – had cast a boundary spell on the property for the growing magic of the children. If they’d do something magical within those boundaries, the humans wouldn’t notice.
There was a courtyard outside, and their back garden was very green with trees and flowers and grass with a nice patio to overlook the garden while relaxing. And of course, the heated pool and sauna were a luxury but Bella had found that she’d loved swimming when she was pregnant – and of course, Kol saw it as a challenge to have sex with Bella there.
The grand entrance had a spiral staircase to the first floor of the house, and several doors leading to rooms. A large den to hang out in and the kitchen was something Bella had wanted and was remodeled to her wishes. A nice big table for the entire family to sit on made it complete.
There was a balcony at the front of the house and two at the back; one attached to the master bedroom and big enough to sleep outside if Bella and Kol wanted to. The one at their room overlooked the back garden, the play area specifically.
The house had all modern comforts; air conditioning. Central Heating. 5 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms and it all looked quite woodsy. Modern, but with a natural flair. Earthy, was the best way to describe it all, and ever since moving out from the compound and their apartment, it truly felt like a home and Bella didn’t wished to ever leave their spot again.
After they had lived at the house for a full year, and miraculously not having one of the kids drown in the pool, Bella felt that the time was right to learn things. But on her terms and had Hades come to her for practise instead of the other way around. She didn’t want to miss a single moment in the life of her children and they were basically Hades’ fault anyway so he had to spend some time with them as well.
Then one day after some gruelling exercises thought up by Hades, Bella was relaxing in the pool while Kol and the children went to visit their aunts and uncles at the compound. She needed a day for herself and Kol was more than willing to give that to her; he admired her so much and his admiration grew by the day. Of course, she was no witch, but to see what she was capable of was simply blowing his mind and he couldn’t help but to be in awe. She had excellent control and she was a good mother to his children, he was more than content.
She outwardly cursed when someone was at the gate in the front, and after covering herself up, she wished that it weren’t sales people or recruitment people because she’d invite them in and turn them into goats to mow the lawn for her. She was surprised to see Jasper Whitlock at the fence. At least she believed it was Jasper when she first laid eyes on him, and his companion looked a lot like the vampire Peter. Curious, she didn’t open the gate to let them in, but decided to find out what they wanted from her.
“Ma’am, both Peter and I are well aware of who you are, and he decided that today was a good day to offer our services and loyalty to you and your mate,” Jasper said kindly. “You, as what you are, deserve to be worshipped like they used to in the olden days, despite that you’re not a full God. The name’s Jasper Whitlock, ma’am.”
“Oh hell no,” Bella breathed out, shaking her head. “You’re not coming here to tell me you want to kiss my ass.”
“We want to serve you,” Peter replied, the intonation clear on serve. “We want to provide more security for you and your family and we don’t mind doing household chores, either.”
“Your mate didn’t seem to think it was a bad idea, likely because he wants to have a few vampires under his own control and not having to rely on his brother’s,” Peter pointed out.
Jasper’s grin grew wide. “We’ve spoken to him first. He actually compelled us to stay here even when you would reject us.”
“I’m going to kill him,” Bella muttered as she shook her head and made her way back to the pool. She was going to give Kol hell when he came home. While yes, he had often spoken about wanting to have a small army of vampires at his disposal mainly for safety, Bella didn’t think it was necessary. But then again, having a few flunkies around meant that should something happen again like the mass attack from the Strix, there’d be redshirts around to help out. She and Kol were, after all, quite awhile from the French Quarter and despite all the modern technology and magic on their property, it was safer.
She just hated the idea. Where were those vampires going to stay?
Still, Bella was curious and decided to visit the realm in between where she could go and spy on people like the Gods did. Like Hades did all the time. She wanted to know more about Jasper and Peter. Why now?
“… even more beautiful than I imagined,” Jasper said as he casually leaned against the fence, doing as he was told to by Kol. “You can tell that she has grown into herself.”
“Still, hard to imagine that someone as tiny as her is so powerful. She made sure that the Mikaelsons got rid of the Cullens and then fought the entirety of the Strix!”
Jasper nodded. “It’s been a very long time since someone like her walked the Earth. The Greek Gods were never the friendliest and their offspring was even worse, but she’s kindhearted and graceful. Family is everything to her.”
Peter snorted. “I never understood your fascination with the Greek Gods, brother, but I suppose we have to do something with our eternal lives.”
“I should have realized earlier that there was another demi-God on this Earth, the signs were all there. I mean, Charlie Swan smelled like sunshine and sand and occasionally cookies, far from a normal scent on a human. If I had known, I could have saved Bella’s father perhaps.”
“Jazz, you can’t be in multiple places at once and to be fair, Alice Cullen had wrapped so tightly around her fingers…”
“She was a mistake, I thought I needed to be in Forks, and I believed for her. I was wrong.”
“Charlotte can make mistakes, you know. She’s not infallible.”
“I don’t blame her. Never speak ill of the dead you loved.”
Peter scowled. “I wish I could have killed Emmett myself.”
“Don’t we all?” Jasper laughed, shaking his head as he shifted his stance, looking around as if he was sensing something and Bella decided to stand next to Peter instead. There was no way that they could know that she was around.
“Ya reckon we scared her off by how we introduced ourselves?”
He let out a breath and nodded. “However, she didn’t turn us into animals or threw us across the street. That’s a start. And once her mate comes back home with their children and explains it all, I believe she’ll turn around.”
“What if she doesn’t?”
“We’ll offer our allegiance to Klaus Mikaelson and stick around anyway. This family is special and need all the protection they can get, despite what they already implemented. Those children will grow up to be very powerful and they will come for them,” Jasper said solemnly. “Original Vampire or not, he’s still a vampire and can be subdued by vervain or distracted by a simple stake. And there are still devices around that can subdue a God, no doubt it works on demi-Gods as well. Kol Mikaelson hates having to rely on his whimsical brother – although the woman has mellowed him out – and wants his own vampires.”
“And who better to lead them than the Major, right?” Peter laughed, shaking his head. “I dig New Orleans, I can see us be really happy here.”
Bella let out a breath as she processed the words and nodded. Jasper was right. The safety of her children was at stake and these two knuckle heads wanted to be protectors. She wasn’t sure if she could trust them, perhaps they were going to steal her children from her, but allegiance could be compelled and if Kol wanted them around, he was going to compel them to be loyal to them only for the sake of the children. Trust was something to be earned and no matter how much Bella had liked Book!Jasper, reality was something entirely different.
A year later, Bella was actually glad with her decision of having Jasper and Peter join them. Together with Kol they found the right vampires to look out for them. Kol liked to boast that his small group of vampires were better than Klaus’ army.
The triplets were four years old now, and walking like maniacs, it was like herding cats every time they went shopping for food and while Bella didn’t like to bring them to the shops, she also knew that the world was bigger than their home and garden and the kids had to learn. But oh boy.
For the past few years, after their battle with the Strix, Elijah’s mental stability had started to fade, a worry for the entire family because Elijah was usually the rock of the family, the glue. Especially in their early days, before Myriam came around, and far before Bella came around. At first it were tiny anger outbursts, tantrums much like Klaus and Kol could have. They didn’t think any different of it other than raising an eyebrow when Elijah ate his way through a dance club. But when it happened again, Klaus and Myriam started to keep a closer eye on Elijah, until he finally snapped and in his uncontrollable rage killed the only non-Supernatural human in the family; Cami. He tore right into her during family dinner, in front of the kids.
Knowing that all the daggers were out of Klaus’ reach, Bella reached into the in between realm where she’d put Kol’s in her sock – unknown to him she had it on her always, so that it couldn’t get lost or stolen – and immediately daggered Elijah. There hadn’t been anything Bella could have done, there hadn’t been a dark aura around him so she could cleanse him, but it was something inside his own mind, and she couldn’t get there. Her illusions hadn’t been able to reach him.
While her children were no doubt going to be subjected to vampire violence more often, they were too young to have experienced this, but fortunately Bella managed to convince them that it had been only play and that there was nothing wrong with Auntie Camille, because despite the fact that Bella didn’t want to see spirits, she did retain the ability to pull someone back from the dead, it just worked differently now. She wanted it to have limitations; only people she deeply cared about and it had to cost her more. Such as sleeping for a whole day or two. This way she couldn’t abuse it and nobody could coerce her to abuse it.
So for the triplets it was all play, and they applauded when their aunt Camille got back to her feet immediately and Kol made a joke about putting their tired uncle Elijah in a bed as he dragged him off. Everyone was fuming and had to keep their emotions in check because the children were there, so Bella decided to take them home so that the vampires could freak out about their damaged brother.
Bella wished that she could have done something to help Elijah, but this was a magical problem for sure and she was going to ask Selene – the Regent’s – help with this. With an unhinged Elijah walking around, New Orleans was no longer safe. Kol had a better bond with Selene now as well, certainly after all that she had done for them at their home when it came to magical protection and glamours to shield vampirism and magic from their neighbours, there was no doubt that he was going to pay her a visit before returning home.
Another year later, Elijah was still daggered, but his mind was in a much better place thanks to Selene and her covens. However, Cami was now afraid of him and Klaus promised Cami that he wouldn’t undagger his brother unless she felt safe again. Bella and Kol both didn’t mind if Elijah would stay boxed forever. He deserved a good rest, after all. Nobody liked him very much apart from Klaus and Cami. The only downside to Elijah’s daggering was that Klaus now had a dagger back. Bella sure hoped that whenever Elijah’s punishment was over, that she’d get it back to ensure that Kol would never be daggered again.
Selene was a fun regent, and often made house calls to teach the triplets to use their magic responsibly. Kol was very active with playing with the kids as well, as his knowledge of magic was enormous, but sometimes it was more educational to see the magic as well. Kol was happy about the relationship they had with Selene, and the mutual respect between everyone was very comforting. Unlike Madame La Rue, Selene wasn’t worried about Bella abusing her Goddess powers and actually encouraged her to learn more and more – to grow.
Bella had started to homeschool the triplets, Rebekah and Myriam were keen participants as well, both having different interests and knowledge to impart on the children. Klaus loved to teach them all about art and culture and the children loved their Uncle Klaus to bits. Sometimes Bella had the feeling that she couldn’t keep up with her five year olds. They were learning things quickly, and retained the information easily. Kol didn’t seem to have the same difficulties with keeping up with them, which sometimes made her feel inadequate. She was smart, just in a very different way. Often she took the kids to the nearby Zoo to teach them all about animals and how they lived and if they were in danger of extinction. The Aquarium was fun too.
She also made sure that every child got one on one time with her or Kol. Emily loved horses, and Bella often took her to the riding school for a lesson or two; she always promised not to practice magic outside and was a very responsible five year old, Kolby and Charlie were more mischievous and Bella sometimes wanted to paste them behind the wallpaper for causing such a ruckus every now and then. She couldn’t take them anywhere! They were always causing mischief and they knew very well that they shouldn’t use their magic out in the open, but she couldn’t actually stop them, either!
It was a warm summer’s afternoon and Bella and Kol were in the backyard with the children and in the pool, having fun throwing them around and catching them, teaching them how to swim while having fun – and well covered with sun lotion. Cries of laughter and joy filled their backyard and the smiled on everyone’s faces warmed Bella’s heart to the brim. That was until Jasper respectfully joined them on the edge of the pool.
He and Peter had been lounging in the front yard with some beers, keeping an eye out like they usually did. All other of Kol’s vampires lived away from the house, but for Peter and Jasper they had made an exception and had built a guesthouse for them to stay in. Bella had allowed them into her home after having warmed up to them, Jasper was much like the fictional Jasper, his humor was sharper though and he wasn’t a tormented soul as such. Selene the Regent had surprised and shocked most of the witch community when she started to date Jasper and Peter in a threesome, but she didn’t care. Vampires and witches could coexist, many thanks to Bella and the Mikaelsons.
“Ma’am,” Jasper said as he squatted down for Bella to swim to him. He had a smile on his face as he watched Kol play with the children, but she could tell by his tone of voice that something was up. “There’s someone at the gate for you, a vampire, and he’s very insistent on meeting with you. He says you know him and that you,quote – unquote, go way back.”
“What’s his name?”
“That’s it, he didn’t want to say, he said it would be a surprise.”
Bella huffed as she pulled herself out of the pool and grabbed a towel to cover herself up. “I’ll be right back,” Bella smiled at Kol. “Do you think you can handle the three?”
“Nah, I’ll drown one if I have to!” Kol laughed as Emily, Kolby and Charlie were using him as a flotation device. “Don’t worry, I won’t actually drown them or let them drown.”
“You’d better not,” Bella grinned as she followed Jasper to the front yard, where Peter was standing in front of their mystery guest, gate still closed. Peter’s stance told her that he wasn’t all too happy. “Relax, whoever he is, he can’t come in unless I invite him in, remember?”
It was one of the best security inventions ever. She was part human, she hadn’t died yet and the house and the land was in her name. With some magic, the invitations for the vampires had to happen at the gate. It was wonderful. Nice and quiet. Kept unwanted guests far away.
“You’d better invite me in because you neglected to tell me that we have a bigger family now!” The unknown vampire responded and Peter stepped away. The voice matched the face and Bella’s grin grew wide.
“That depends, you’re known for killing your relatives, what’s stopping you from going after my kids?”
“You and that Original Oaf you’re with. Now, invite me in Bella Swan Salvatore Mikaelson, or whatever you go by these days.”