Bella visited every six months, even when she wasn’t feeling like it. The safe house with Mary had been a great thing, but it also gave Bella the chance to slip back into old habits as she wasn’t constantly on the move anymore. The house was also in the middle of nowhere and it was a long – very long – walk to the nearest village or city.
Bella reluctantly took Hope into the forest as much as possible to give Mary a breather from the toddler, and taught Hope about the flowers and showed her little bits of magic that she could do, innocent little healing spells. They saved a lot of animals over the years. Birds, butterflies, mice, even a deer at some point.
But with just Mary and Hope there, and Myriam and Hayley in the weekends, Bella kept looking forward to seeing Myriam and have some fun with her, to keep Bella from slipping too much. Mary liked Bella enough, as Rebekah predicted, Bella was harmless and Mary liked that. But like Hayley, there was a very sharp edge to Mary. There wasn’t a weekend passing where Mary didn’t wonder why Bella was being kept around and eventually Bella was so fed up with it that she adjusted the protective bubble around the coffins to only give access to her and Myriam.
The closer they came to having all the ingredients to the cure to Rebekah’s curse and Marcel’s bites, the more Bella started to feel uneasy. Kol was going to be more than okay and she was going to have to hold a conversation she really did not wished to have. Myriam had gotten her some books about healthy relationships to show that her experience with Edward had been a bad one and how relationships usually worked, but there were no clear directions other than; do not hurt your partner and consent is everything.
But what did love feel like? She could see the devotion Myriam had for Klaus and Hayley’s devotion to Hope, but what did it feel like? Was there a clear answer to that? Or wasn’t it a feeling at all? Merely feeling at home with your friend, safe, comfortable and was the only difference between friendship and a relationship the intimacy?
Bella couldn’t imagine Kol touching her body all over. She was fine with her hands, and arms, and now hugs, but everything else was hers. And maybe Myriam was right, that she had to meet Kol half way, but she didn’t feel the need to have intimacy, and Kol had to know that. She wanted to be with him, he was the only man she trusted fully, but that was because of their history together. She was keeping good on her promise of not leaving him, especially now that he was in a fragile state and unable to protect himself, but was that love?
She cared about him, that was all. Was that love? She was going to have to talk to Kol about this, it was why she wanted to wait to have the conversation because she wanted to talk to him in private, not with other people hanging around them, like Rebekah.
Bella was sitting next to Kol’s coffin with her book on maths – advanced – when Myriam burst in. “We found the last wolf. We’re going to convince her tomorrow. Go tell them the good news,” she smiled widely. “After nearly 5 years, we’ve finally done it, Bella! We can get Klaus back!” She grabbed Bella’s box and started to lay out her stones and herbs.
“Or we could just surprise them with a rude awakening,” Bella shrugged as she kept reading her math book.
“You don’t mean that,” Myriam said as she sat down next to her and looked at her. “I know you haven’t had to think about your conversation with Kol for the last few years and that once he wakes you know that you’re going to have to talk to him about things. I know you’re scared, but it will all work out, I promise. And yes, giving them a rude awakening sounds hilarious, but you do know that we’ve had werewolves on our tail for weeks now, and some vampires. What if we have to wake them in the middle of a fight? Or we’re waking them and a fight ensues because we’re being ambushed? Better tell them what’s going on so they know what’s going on.”
Bella sighed, knowing that Myriam was right. “What if I send you over, instead?”
“Nope, not going to happen, you’re going,” Myriam said as she got to her feet and continued to place down Bella’s protective circle. “We need happy Originals and a content Mikaelson witch.”
She put her book outside the circle and took hold of her pink moonstone. She felt her mind realign, her focus intensified and grounded, and then slipped into the Chambre De Chasse. She got greeted by Freya, who looked surprised to see her. “You’re early!”
“I know,” Bella smiled as she looked around. “Where is everyone?”
“Oh, we’re playing hide and seek,” Freya grinned. “I’m the stupid idiot who has to chase after these vampires if I find them, very unfair, I know.”
Bella shrugged as she looked around the clearing. “Come out, come out wherever you are! I have news!” she called out and soon enough, all three vampires came running out of the woods. “Hey, look, Freya, you found them all!”
“Ah, do you really have news or are you merely pulling or leg?” Rebekah whined. “I had the best spot.”
“We’ve found the last werewolf. Tomorrow Hayley and Myriam are going to make contact with her and ask for her help. She was very hard to find as she’s the only surviving member of her pack. So we’re either able to wake you tomorrow or the day after.”
“Really?” Rebekah could hardly contain her excitement.
“Yeah, we have everything ready,” Bella replied with a nod. “And Myriam wanted me to tell you so you can be aware of the fact that they have been trailed by a group of werewolves and some vampires, so it could be that you’re in for a fight when you wake.”
“Fighting means blood, I’m in,” Kol said as he rubbed his hands in glee. “Go pack your bag, Bella, we’re going to Disneyland when we get out!”
“I’ve been living out of my bag for the last five years, Kol, no need to pack it up,” she replied as a matter of factly. “I’ll see you when you wake up. With the added threat I’m going where your coffins are going.”
Kol wanted to pull Bella into a hug but she disappeared before he could do just so. He looked at his sister, confused. “Did I miss something?”
“I think she’s merely nervous, brother,” Rebekah said as she pat his back. “You’re going to have the talk when you’re back in the real world. And please, don’t be so forward. Yes, you can be forward and likely need to be but reign in your excitement, okay?” Rebekah turned on her heels, making a little pirouette. “Oh, just imagine… we’re going to be able to feed again!” She smiled widely. “Are you going to join me for a little party?”
“Likely,” Kol grinned as he put his arm around his little sister. “Disneyland and then St. Tropez?”
“Oh, you do know how to throw a party, brother!”
When Bella came back to see Myriam and Hayley they were already busy with loading up the coffins into the truck to take to the Old Warehouse in Austin, Texas that they had found. It had been abandoned for years and it was the perfect place to work and keep everything they had gathered so far. Bella had made sure that there was a table where Freya could work, too, should she come to.
“We’re moving them now?”
“Under the cover of darkness, of course,” Hayley said as she lifted Kol’s coffin as if it weighed nothing. “Pack your things, princess, we’re staying the night.”
The following night Bella was witness to how they extracted werewolf venom for the first time in the five years she’d been with Myriam and Hayley and it didn’t look too pleasant. However, Keelin seemed to take it like a champ. She sure was brave. Bella wasn’t sure if she’d ever do such a thing for someone she didn’t know.
She made sure she stayed clear of everyone as she prepared the altar for Freya. She placed the vials of werewolf venom carefully around the bowl, along with a vial of Klaus’ blood and tried to ignore Hayley’s talking with Keelin. As did Myriam. Myriam was merely keeping an ear out for company.
“We’ve got company,” Myriam scowled after picking up sounds of at least three cars outside the warehouse. “They’re tracking her.”
Hayley tossed the last vial to Bella, who only barely caught it and scowled. “I’m going to wake Freya and I’ll be joining you. Bella, you keep everyone safe inside. Strengthen your protective bubble, or channel that fucking cuddle rock and help Freya.” She then grabbed the syringe and plunged it into Freya’s chest before running off to make sure nobody would come inside.
Bella eyed Keelin, who was cuffed to the table, before moving to Freya’s coffin. Freya gasped for air as she sat up and looked at Bella, puzzled. “Where’s Hayley?”
“Outside, Keelin brought some friends,” Bella thumbed over her shoulder before helping Freya out of her coffin. “Are you alright?”
“I am weakened, but I will be fine. Do we have everything?” Freya said as she went to the altar, seeing everything splayed out in an organised fashion. “Ah, you studied the spell!”
“To help,” Bella replied as she walked over to Freya. “What do you need from me?”
“Time,” Freya replied as she smiled weakly at Bella. “Do whatever you need to do to make sure I have time to finish this. We have about an hour before Kol and Elijah wake up and die.”
Bella nodded as she took her moonstone from her bag and held it before standing next to Freya. “Channel me if you need it, the moonstone gives me so much power it’s ridiculous.”
“Good, isn’t it?” Freya grinned before she started to focus on the cure to Marcel’s bite. “I won’t need your power, I need you to keep us safe and make sure that the werewolf doesn’t die, she’s the last of her line, isn’t she?”
Bella nodded as she started to place the dark objects in the pentagram on the ground that she had drawn. When the door flew off its hinges and a bunch of vampires entered, Bella took a deep breath and extended her bubble, pushing the vampires back to the door, but their constant hitting of the bubble was weakening it. It didn’t stay up as it should.
“Melt their brains,” Freya noted as she moved to place the vials around the pentagram. “Just imagine doing it to all of them, and the same movement and feeling for only one. You could come closer to the pentagram and channel the dark objects a little if you’re not confident enough but I think you can do it.”
“Why aren’t you doing it?” Keelin asked afraid. “Hayley said you’re the baddest witch there is.”
“And I need all my strength to help my family right now. Bella can do it by herself, she’s come a long way in five years,” Freya replied confidently and cheered when the first vampire fell, his head exploding. “Overkill but that works! Great job Bella, now the others!”
“But I don’t want to kill them!”
“You’re going to have to. I’m not immortal like you and neither is Keelin. If I die, so do Elijah and Kol. You have to kill them. They’re just vampires. There’s more where they come from, and if not, someone will make them anyway.”
“Yeah,” Myriam grinned as she pulled the heart out of one of the vampires who was still battling Bella’s bubble. Myriam was covered in blood and cuts, but she seemed pumped. “See? Easy peasy.” Myriam dropped the others quite quickly as well. “Keep it up, Bella, we’re so close to reuniting the whole family, something we’ve worked for for so long. Nearly there.”
Bella nodded as she moved back to stand closer to Freya, retracting her bubble just a little to give herself a rest. Freya was breathing heavily as she changed and channeled the dark objects to create a paste to heal Elijah and Kol. More vampires were coming in and Bella just closed her eyes and imagined them falling down as she reached out her hand. If she didn’t see them drop, she didn’t kill them.
“You are such a wuss,” Keelin snorted as she tugged on her bonds. “Free me so I can help you fight.”
“Leave her alone,” Freya shot at the werewolf before she continued to chant. A few minutes later, she stopped and collected her bowl.
“Did it work?”
“Let’s find out,” she said as she opened Elijah’s coffin and smeared some of the ointment on his forearm. She then opened Kol’s coffin to do the same and mentally nudged Rebekah to wake up. She then turned to the charging vampires and collectively made their brains melt. “You can drop the shield now, Bella, we have this.”
Bella nodded as she turned to pack up her moonstone. Elijah was the first to rise, and upon hearing the fighting outside, he quickly went outside to help Hayley without saying a word to Freya or Bella. Kol and Rebekah were next, but not even they stopped to thank and greet at least Freya, and ran off, likely to satisfy their hunger, and Bella couldn’t help but to feel a bit relieved at that point.
Keelin was talking again and Freya was replying to her, and Bella tuned them out as Myriam walked back in. It was a couple of hours later, at sunrise that they reunited with the previously hungry vampires, even Elijah had done a good feed and Kol was still charging after one of the prisoners on the bus.
Freya was trying to break a cloaking spell but with all the screaming around her she couldn’t focus very well. “Is this absolutely necessary?”
“Well, that depends,” Rebekah replied. “Do you want us at full strength when we go and get Nik or not?”
“I’m trying to focus here.”
“Kol! If you’d please!” Elijah sighed tiredly before the screaming stopped. “Thank you. You were saying, Freya?”
“Klaus is still in New Orleans, I can’t exactly pinpoint it unless I’m in the city itself.”
Hayley sighed. “That’s going to be a problem. I have contacts in New Orleans and they tell me that the place is crawling with vampires with a severe hate towards this family. Whatever we do, we need to do it fast.”
Freya nodded. “I wasn’t planning on a pub crawl, I don’t want to stay longer than we have to but we need to go now.”
“Woah. Wait.. wait, we’re not doing this today, are we?” Kol said surprised, blinking at his siblings and then looked at Myriam. “This was part of the plan?”
“Hasn’t Klaus suffered enough?” Myriam questioned him.
“Yes. And I’ve died. Twice. I’m not about to give Marcel another shot at a third. Now, I say, we draw that muppet out of town, and when he’s gone….”
“I’ve been away from my daughter long enough. If you’re afraid…” Hayley shrugged.
“It’s called being sensible. Until Freya can make enough cure with her werewolf hostage, Marcel can basically chew through our bloody throats!”
Elijah rolled the prisoner off of him and got to his feet. Dusting himself off, he spoke quietly. “Enough, we’re all in danger. We free Niklaus today. Even if I have to burn that city to the ground.”
Seeing as Freya was human, like Bella, Bella kept following her as the vampires kept running around. They went to the bell tower in New Orleans to do another locator spell and located Klaus; he was at the Mikaelson compound, underground. Rebekah was at the cemetery, trying to distract and talk to Marcel while the rest of them went to Rousseau’s to gain access to the underground tunnels.
Kol wasn’t a particular fan of Josh, who now ran the bar after Camille’s death. Josh used to be a good friend of Davina’s, and he still believed in her with everything in his being. Such a puppy. Kol ‘volunteered’ to stay behind to protect the entrance to the tunnel, so Bella decided to stay behind too, since Freya went along with Elijah, Hayley and Myriam to free Klaus.
He hadn’t paid much attention to her yet, which was a good thing, and she remained quiet for the most part. This was a Mikaelson operation, and she wasn’t one of them. Just linked to one. Kol was drinking a lot, staring at a picture of Davina and Camille as he did.
“Well, here’s to nobody dying today,” Josh said as he refilled Kol’s glass and turned around where he found Bella, quietly sitting in the corner looking out of the window. “Miss?”
“She’s with me,” Kol growled as he looked at Josh. “You stay away from her.”
“She’s with you? Then why is she all the way over there?” Josh pointed at Bella, who was now looking at Josh intensely.
“Because she’s smart and is giving me, and my family, the space we need right now to get our brother and leave. I can’t wait to leave this filthy city behind,” he replied as he knocked back his drink before snatching Josh’ phone out of his hands as he received a text message. “Perhaps you could explain what “Teutoburg” means.” Kol pushed Josh against the bar.
“Look, I’m really not a part of this…” Josh stammered.
“Of course you are, especially when you’re receiving coded messages from the man that’s holding my brother captive. Now listen very carefully. If something has happened to my sister, or if something is about to happen to another member of my family, this city and everyone in it will burn: you, your boyfriend, your friends, this bar, your home! Shall I continue? Now, tell me what “Teutoburg” means.”
Josh huffed. “You should know your history better than I do!”
“Don’t test me,” Kol said angrily, his vampire face bleeding out. “Speak.”
He sighed as he ran his hand through his hair. “It’s a battle where the bad guys caught the good guys off guard. Marcel is warning me that you’re all here so that I can spread word to the rest of our guys.”
“So you can keep us busy and Marcel can kill us,” Kol nodded as the idea clicked in his head. Snapping Josh’ neck, he leaned him against the bar. “Bella, I want you to stay here and keep an eye out, I’m going to find Rebekah and get her to the rendez-vous point.”
“What about me?”
“We’re not returning.”
“Exactly, then what about me, Kol? You want to leave me here in New Orleans while you’re leaving?” Bella got to her feet as she looked at him, hurt. “I’ve spent the last five years looking after you, performing magic that I’m still afraid of to keep you safe and helped Myriam and Hayley to find a cure for you. Now that you’re awake you don’t need me anymore and thus you’re leaving me behind?” She was feeling all the feelings she didn’t feel comfortable feeling. Anger. Hurt. The feeling of being able to hurt someone.
“I don’t have time for this discussion right now, Bella,” he snapped at her.
“Don’t you think I know that? It’s the reason I’ve been following you around quietly, but you’re not going to leave me behind!” Bella was fighting the urge to give Kol a blinding headache. “Take me with you.”
“I need to get to my sister.”
“Fine,” Bella replied as she walked towards the door. “But I’m not staying here. I’ll see you two at the drainage pipe,” she slammed the door of Rousseau’s shut and marched away. She knew a shortcut.
For a moment there, Kol had to compose himself. Why was she so angry with him? What a spitfire! How exciting! No, his sister was more important right now. He bolted out of the bar and headed to the cemetery.
Bella waited for what had been 15 minutes when Kol and Rebekah showed up in a car, Rebekah with some holes in her clothes and Kol yet again bloodied, but she was still angry with him for wanting to leave her behind at Rousseau’s.
“Bella, what’s wrong?” Rebekah asked worried. “Did something happen?”
“He wanted to leave me in New Orleans while you run off,” Bella replied as she angrily looked at Kol. “I think I deserved better than that.”
“You wanker!” Rebekah hit her brother with full force on the arm. “New Orleans as it is right now is no place for her! And we are going to Disneyland with the three of us, remember?”
“I can’t look after her with all of this going on, Rebekah! One bite from Marcel and we’re both toast!” Kol countered angrily.
“She doesn’t need looking after, she’s been keeping herself out of harm’s way since we’ve returned and we didn’t even hear her speak, to allow us to go about our business. No more ditching people because we’re scared, Kol,” Rebekah hit him again. “And you two can have your talk now that we have to wait for Myriam and the rest of our siblings to arrive with Nik. Talk. I’ll be over there,” she said as she pointed to the nearest tree.
“And you’ll still hear our conversation.”
“Yes, because you’re an idiot,” Rebekah countered as she turned her back to him and headed to the tree, looking down into the drainage pipe.
“You can’t force us to talk, Beks,” Kol sighed as he leaned against one of the rocks and looked at Bella. “This isn’t really the place to talk, is it?”
“I’m too angry to talk about what we were going to talk about now,” Bella said as she crossed her arms over her chest, gently clawing her arms in aggravation. “You didn’t even apologize for wanting to leave me behind. I understand that your mind is in war-mode and that you’re itching to get away from your siblings after 5 years in Freya’s beige world, but that doesn’t mean that you can be mean to me.”
Kol really liked this Bella. She was still Bella, but with a sharp edge to her whole being now. Then again, she was with Myriam for five long years and of course with that cunt Hayley. He shouldn’t be surprised, really. Had she become a master of hiding her true self or was this confidence boost the exact thing that she needed to work with her quirks? And she was right. He hated it, but she was right. His fear of dying was running amok in his mind and he couldn’t stop it, could she? “I’m sorry, darling, I didn’t actually stop and think…”
“You never stop and think,” Bella let go of her arms, but held onto one with one hand, pulling it close against her. “And that’s fine, but you need to realize that it’s not nice.”
That sounded more like the Bella he knew and loved. He took a deep breath and nodded. “Again, I am sorry.”
“You’re forgiven,” Bella replied, relaxing her stance a little. “And you’re right, this is not the time or place to have our conversation. I’m certain a moment will pop up in the future.”
“Ah! Come on! I wanted to have some entertainment!” Rebekah whined as she shot off another text message to Elijah. She was getting impatient and wanted to leave. She was very close to just walk into the pipe and get everyone out herself.
“No, it’s something between me and Bella,” Kol told her, a playful smile on his lips. “But not to worry sister, when we get out of here, we are definitely going to Disneyland.”
When the family was reunited and just about to get into the car, Marcel showed up with a bunch of vampires and Bella, as a safety precaution, put up a minor version of her barrier spell to protect everyone at least long enough for Freya to give them all a brainmelt. However, Marcel was generous enough for allowing them all to leave, but as soon as Bella passed him to get into the car, he stopped her for a moment. “These people will ruin you.”
“I’m already ruined, Marcel. I have been ruined since the day I was born, but thank you for your concern,” she smiled kindly at him. The monster who made Kol’s life a living hell. “Thank you for allowing us passage out of town.”
“Don’t come back later and tell me that I was right, okay?” he spoke kindly, and Bella was confused for a moment before remembering that Marcel, like Kol, loved his witches and Davina had looked like Bella.
“I won’t, because you’re wrong,” she moved away from him and got into the car, squeezing herself in to sit next to Kol. “Creep,” she muttered, causing Myriam to laugh loud as she had her arms around Klaus.
They drove back to Texas, to their safehouse, and Bella, for the first time in five years, went to sleep in a real bed as the siblings caught up with each other. Bella was tired, and the bed felt good. She hadn’t mind her nest, not at all, it was what made her feel closer to Kol and to where she needed to be to protect them, but a bed was nice now that he was back.
Peace, blissful peace.
She slept in for most of the day, only to be roused from her bed by Kol. “Wake up, silly,” he smiled at her. “I’m going for a feed and arrange us a car. You, Rebekah and I are leaving.”
“We are?” Bella asked sleepily. “Don’t you want to spend more time with your family?”
“I’ve had enough of my family to last a long time, darling. We’re stuck in an endless cycle of Paranoia, deceit and violence and Beks and I want to leave. Now.” He pulled the sheets off of her and blinked. “Why are you still fully dressed?”
“Oh,” Bella shrugged as she pushed her hair out of her face. “In case I needed to do something to protect you- which is silly because I don’t have to be vigilant anymore…” She sat up and sighed. “I’ll take a shower and change my clothes.”
“Don’t pack anything, we’ll buy what we need,” he gently squeezed her shoulder before leaving her alone to fully wake up and do as what she had said.
Ten minutes later, Bella walked into the kitchen and quietly made herself a sandwich. She heard some hushed voices in the house, but the one she liked to hear was Myriam’s. She was talking to Mary and Bella decided to say goodbye to her. “Sorry to interrupt,” Bella said as she turned the corner. “I just came to say goodbye. Kol is coming back soon to come and get me and Rebekah.”
“Good,” Myriam smiled as she pulled Bella into a hug. “Don’t let that jerk get away with shit, you hear me? Make him sweat. Don’t have a serious talk with Rebekah around.”
“I know,” Bella smiled as she returned the hug. “Kol told me not to pack anything, but I took a book, just in case.”
Bella huffed as she squirmed in Myriam’s hold. “Biology.”
“You’re going away to have fun, I suspected you to have a trashy romance novel instead,” Myriam let go of the girl and shook her head. “Enjoy yourself, Bella, you’ve earned it.”
“But you’ve earned it too!”
“I know, and that’s why I’m staying right here, with my man and his child.” Myriam looked outside the window and rolled her eyes as she saw what car was coming to the house. She pulled a hair tie out of her pocket and handed it to Bella. “He found himself a convertible.”
“No!” Bella gasped. “He drives like an idiot! A convertible isn’t safe!”
“You better buckle up, honey,” Mary laughed, glad to see at least two Mikaelsons leave the property. She had been hesitant on letting Bella go, but Myriam managed to convince her that this was a good thing, that Bella actually wanted to leave, too. While Mary hadn’t been a fan of Bella, like Hayley, she had taken a liking to her at some point and believed the girl was too unstable to hang out with vampires. Hell, all vampires were bad news.
Rebekah came to get Bella from inside the house, and just like that, they were gone. Bella figured out that being with the two youngest siblings meant that sleep would come to you when dead. They liked to party and then some. It was hard to do a pub crawl in Disneyland, but they mostly went there for the fluff and fun, but a big city was nearby so after the park closed, they went on to party in that city.
While Rebekah was flirting with everyone and anyone, Kol didn’t, for which Bella was grateful. She wasn’t quite sure if she’d like it if he’d try to flirt with other women. Granted, he certainly didn’t get any lack of female attention, which he conveniently took advantage of by feeding on them. Bella usually hung out in one of the corners near the door, the clubs and pubs were too loud, too smelly and not something she was particularly interested in, but she was glad that Kol and Rebekah were getting five years of fake blood, fake alcohol and fake everything out of their system this way.
After spending a week in Disneyland, they went to France, to the coast. Bella hadn’t flown before and thought it was all very daunting and scary, but it wasn’t that bad. She had expected the plane to be filled to the brim, much like a bus, as that’s what she was taught by watching tv or reading magazines. That it would smell horribly and that it’d be noisy with the amount of people onboard, but surprisingly, it were just her and Kol and Rebekah on the plane, and it didn’t look like a bus, more like a small apartment. Very comfortable and Bella took the time to nap and recharge her batteries.
France was utterly beautiful. The warm climate was something Bella could really find herself in and Rebekah took her shopping. A lot. Bella went swimming in the ocean while Rebekah and Kol slept off their blood rush on the beach and she had a great time. She also liked the fact that while her French was rusty and old fashioned, she could still hold a decent conversation in the language, as she grew up speaking both English and French. It was interesting to learn new words, and discover how much the language had changed over the years. Then again, the French spoken in New Orleans was an entity on its own, impure, compared to the French in France.
Bella was texting Myriam a lot, keeping her up to date with what they were doing and sending pictures of the area, and Myriam was quite jealous of Bella’s surroundings. She also encouraged Bella to be more a part of Rebekah and Kol’s partying behaviour, dance on the music and have some alcohol for liquid courage.
It took Bella a couple of weeks to actually feel courageous enough to do just that, and she found it fun to have a girl’s day of pampering at the spa and then followed by the shopping for clothes with Rebekah after she said she wanted to try to be more like the rest of the people around them in the clubs. Not to stick out so much.
Because even though while Bella wasn’t a part of the party crowd, she stood out because she wasn’t a part of the party crowd and a lot of guys tried to get her onto the dancefloor. Which usually resulted in Kol taking a bite out of those poor men or to compel them to leave. So maybe, just maybe, this would help. She couldn’t even dance, but Rebekah assured her that that would come when she’d start to drink.
Kol was a little skeptical about this idea, if Bella felt the need to change her behaviour as to keep up with him and Rebekah, wasn’t it better for them to slow down and find other means of having fun? He hadn’t seen Bella drink before and had no idea what kind of drunk she was. Despite her life being linked to his, she was still so very human, anything could happen. Of course, Rebekah disagreed with him and told him that if this was a new experience for her, she would have to experience it at least once and then decide if it was a good idea or not. She had two Original vampires by her side, what was the worst that could happen?
Kol hated his sister. When she and Bella joined him outside to go to the club that night, he could tell that she had helped Bella with looking pretty. Nothing over the top or overboard, but perfect. The skirt of her dress a little shorter than Bella was used to, the dress revealing just a little bit more than usual. Rebekah swatted Bella’s hand whenever she wanted to scratch her cheek because of the make-up she was wearing. Adorable. And super hot. He hated his sister. Above all, he hated Myriam for encouraging this.
“Well?” Rebekah asked playfully. “Doesn’t she look amazing?”
“Careful, Bekah,” Kol muttered under his breath as he fought the urge to put his coat around Bella’s bare shoulders and opted for an arm around her instead. “Are you ready for this, Bella?”
“Yep!” Bella smiled up to him, liking his arm around her already. Safe. She was scared shitless, but what was the worst that could happen? Kol and Rebekah had a high tolerance for alcohol and would no doubt look after her. She had to admit, she was a little bit nervous but she couldn’t, and wouldn’t, allow it to stop her from having a new experience.
“See, it’s going to be alright,” Rebekah looped her arm through Kol’s free arm and pulled the other two along to the club she had picked out. One that she knew that didn’t have a lot of vampires frequenting. Unknown to Bella, they had been partying with some vampires of Elijah’s sireline, the younger generation was a lot more tolerable than those nasty Strix. Of course, just to annoy their brother, an occasional kill was the sign of anarchy. That’s what she and Kol were, the anarchists of the family. Hell yeah. “We’ll start by having a few drinks at the bar, start things slow. The music isn’t as loud, but still danceable.” She then grinned as she looked at Kol. “Who knows? We might end up dancing on top of the bar!”
“No!” Bella gasped. “Please no!”
“Myriam would do it,” Rebekah pointed out.
“Stop scaring Bella, sister, she has her brave boots on, don’t ruin the experience by scaring her,” Kol gently squeezed Bella’s shoulder. “It’ll be interesting to see the effect of alcohol on you, Bella. I promise, I shall remain a gentleman to you.”
“And not to everyone else who will try to get into your pants,” Rebekah grinned. This was going to be an interesting experience indeed. She had chosen a place where they played mostly 80s and 90s songs, she loved that kind of music after Stefan had introduced her to it – despite of the reasons he did, and she knew that Kol didn’t mind that kind of music either. It was a more relaxed vibe than all those other clubs with loud music and bass drops. Saint Tropez had everything for the tourists, Rebekah loved this place.
The place wasn’t too far away, and they settled in a booth with Rebekah ordering all the drinks on the menu for Bella to try and taste. If Bella didn’t like it, she or Kol would, most definitely. Like a girl of her own heart, Bella prefered the Appletini. Sure, Rebekah drank bourbon to stave off hunger because of its high alcohol contents, but mixed drinks where her go-to drinks when out partying. And for Bella it was going to turn out a very deceiving drink; the alcohol was barely to be tasted and after three drinks, her skin was already flushing red and Bella was giggling because of a joke that Kol had told her half an hour earlier.
Kol was showing Bella some funny pictures on his phone that he had found online, and she was laughing her cute little ass off. “Do you want to dance, Bella?” He asked when a slow song came up. “Get you moving a little?”
“Yes, as long as you hold me. I don’t think I can stand,” she said as she looked thoughtfully and got to her feet. “Oh, I can still stand. I’m good.”
He took her hand and pulled her with him to the dance floor before gently holding her and swayed a little on his feet. “See, dancing is fun.”
“Hmm,” Bella hummed as she took a few steps closer to him and put her arms around him. “You’re right.”
Kol was annoyed when Rebekah took a picture of them, no doubt to send off to Myriam as proof that Bella was drunk. “You okay, darling?” he asked Bella as he put his hands a bit lower on her body to make sure she remained upright.
“I like the taste of the drink,” Bella replied as she thought hard for the correct words. “I don’t like how it turns off my brain.” She looked up to him as if she needed to explain herself. “I mean, imagine my brain being a row of closets and they’re all shut most of the time. Some are slightly ajar, but most of them are shut.”
“Now most of them are wide open and I think that it won’t take much for me to behave not like me. The control lever is dissolving.”
“I’m sure you’ll be alright, darling,” he smiled at her and tucked a strand of her hair behind her ear. “Are you enjoying yourself?”
“I like this music and I like you and that drink is good, I’m happy. Because you’re here with me,” she sighed before she started to cry without any warning whatsoever. “You’re the only one I feel truly safe with, always have,” she said with a strained voice as tears ran down her cheeks. “It hurt so much when you started to ignore me and then when I was put away by the family. And when you came to get me out, I know I was angry with you but that was because I knew I was safe there, safe from you hurting my feelings. And you found me Edward. And he hurt… and…”
“Shh,” Kol pulled her closer and escorted her off the dancefloor. She wasn’t talking loud or anything, he was glad he could hear her clearly with his hearing. She was an emotional drunk. Of course she was. He walked back to the booth and pulled her onto his lap, his arms around her as she continued to sob against his shoulder. Her makeup running and staining his shirt.
“And then when I asked you to kill me because I couldn’t take it anymore, I was relieved that you wanted to do that for me, despite your protests. And- And I didn’t want to come back with you after you died because I knew you were going to hurt me. Not physically but… inside. Deep inside,” she said as she pointed at her heart. “And you did. Many times. And I’m stupid because I’m still here with you. We’re okay now, but you wanted to leave me in New Orleans, what’s stopping you from running away now? Or leaving me behind?”
Oh, he didn’t want to have this conversation while she was drunk, she may not remember their conversation when this was all over. “Remember I said I wanted to talk to you about missed opportunities? Missed chances?” He asked in a calm, soothing voice close to her ear as the bar still bustled with people around them.
“I’m not doing relationships, Kol, I’ll only get hurt or I have to touch and… be touched and… You scared me when you said that like that.”
“And I am sorry, but forget what I said about that because we’re clearly touching now and you have no objections.”
“Because I like being touched by you, you make me feel safe. But you keep hurting me by not wanting me!”
“That’s what I was talking about, darling,” he smiled at her. “I do want you and to be with you. I went looking for companionship in all the wrong places when you were always there back then. And then when I saw you with the Ancestors… Bella… I knew. I just knew. And yet, I went back to Davina because off that bloody spell of hers and my skewed sense of loyalty.”
“So you’re not going to leave me behind anymore?” She asked with a small voice as she looked up at him. “And you’re not going to hate me for not really understanding where to go from here?”
“I’m not going to leave you behind anymore. Nor pawn you off to someone else. Nor put us in danger. You and me are going to have a fun life from now on, I promise. I’m not one of the most patient people around, but I’m sure going to try my best for you.” He kissed the top of her head and was glad that she had stopped sobbing. Instead, her tears had made way for a big, bright smile. “Look at that, so much better than tears,” he said as he cleaned her face with his shirt.
“My head’s swimming, I think it has a pool and the door opened,” Bella remarked as she kept looking at him. “Is that normal?”
“Yes it is,” he laughed and gently caressed her hair out of her face. “Are you feeling better, darling?”
“I’m not sad anymore,” she sighed happily as she moved a bit to get more comfortable. “And I am comfortable.”
“Can I have more? I think I have had too many already, I mean… I was crying and sad and that was bad, because it should have stayed inside. It was wrong of me.”
“Oh, no it wasn’t darling, it’s great to have an insight on your inner turmoil and I feel fortunate that you shared your thoughts and feelings with me,” he replied as he nodded at Rebekah for more drinks. “And now that’s out of your system, I think you’re going to want at least one more so we can continue to party and be very happy.”
“I am already very happy.”