She got roused from her thoughts when the door flew open and an angry looking man walked in. “Where is she?!” he bellowed, making Bella cower in fear, something she wasn’t supposed to, but this man was scary. Scarier than Emmett. Scarier than Doctor Carlisle. His mind filled with rage and worry. Unpredictable.
Hope giggled. “You’re in trouble now, missy,” she told Bella before running over to her father. “I’m here! I’m okay! You didn’t have to come all the way here, dad.”
“Nonsense,” the man replied as he enveloped the girl into a big hug. His arms were all wrapped around her, much like Bella had seen previously in the minds of the other children. “I had to make sure you were alright, little wolf, and question your Aunt Caroline and Uncle Alaric about what happened.”
“Klaus, we were warned in time, we have sufficiently protected ourselves,” the blonde woman, Caroline, spoke. “I don’t know why Hope allowed herself to be taken, but-”
“You did what?” the man, Klaus, looked at his child, curious, and perhaps a little smile of pride on his face.
Hope shrugged. “I was bored. But I’ve got you a present, though,” she smiled as she let go of her father and revealed Bella from her invisibility spell, and unlinked the girl from herself. “They brought me to her. I’m sure she can tell you everything about the people who attacked us.”
Bella could feel the rage burn inside of the man and she didn’t dare to look up. She tried not to flinch. Not to blink. She wasn’t to show fear. She had been left behind and now she needed to protect her family.
“Oh, don’t you even think about it,” Caroline’s voice sounded as she pushed Klaus away with the same amount of force that Emmett used on Edward or even Bella. “There are children present here!”
“She tried to take my daughter!”
“Your daughter allowed herself to be taken,” Caroline told him. “And she took this girl in return. Now, don’t get me wrong, Klaus, the girl is definitely wrong for being a possible child snatcher, but Hope put herself in harm’s way first and even hid the girl from Ric and I, so… I don’t know, maybe Hope needs to be disciplined for doing it. There was no danger at all, we knew they were coming and fend them off and everyone is safe.”
Klaus scowled as he looked at Caroline, then his daughter, and then his daughter’s prisoner. With the girl now here, she was a danger to the children and the school. He was going to take care of it. He was going to take her away, interrogate her and then kill her. Simple. “Very well,” he said as he walked over to Hope, kissed her on the head. “I’ll take her with me, you won’t have to worry about this girl anymore.”
Klaus took the girl by the arm and dragged her outside to his car, pushed her inside and drove off. She wasn’t looking at him and she wasn’t talking. He wasn’t even sure if she was showing remorse. He’d have to stop the car to compel her and interrogate her and he needed to be far away from the school. For some reason, he didn’t like killing near the old Salvatore Boarding House.
He had calmed down enough when they were already halfway to New Orleans and stopped the car. Klaus pulled the girl out of the car and against it, shaking her until she’d look at him. “Who are you?”
“No one, sir,” Bella replied as she looked at him. He was trying to get inside her mind, just like Edward. Why?
“Do you even know your name?”
“Then tell me.”
Klaus let out a frustrated growl and hit the top of the car, right next to Bella, denting it. There was fury and rage swirling around inside his mind, and while Bella found that beautiful, she also knew it was bad. Very bad. “You can’t be compelled,” he stated as he looked at her in surprise. “But I don’t believe you are a witch, either… what are you?”
“Nothing, sir.” Bella wasn’t scared. This was her purpose. Her punishment. She had been left behind to clean up a mess. To take responsibility. ‘Those who attacked the building work for me.’
“I hardly believe that, love, and please use your words, stay out of my head,” Klaus sighed as he took a few steps back to fully look at the girl. In his worry and rage, he had not paid attention to what she looked like. Skin over bones. Pale. Fragile. There was no way that this girl was the leader of something. “Why did you take Hope?”
‘She’s special, they like their children to be special,’ Bella replied, not looking up, but back at her feet. ‘I failed, the child had me fooled. I deserve any punishment you see fit. Even death.’ She could sense that they were looking for her. No wonder, the werewolves and the vampires could run faster than Klaus’ car was running. Edward was trying to reach out to her, so Bella tried hard to make decisions so that Alice could pick up on them. She made the decision to shift a little on her feet, and maybe to ask Renée for a water with oats if she got home.
Good. The girl knew she was in trouble and was expecting death. Well, that could be arranged. But she wasn’t going to give him the information he required. He was going to need help from his witchy sister, meaning he was going to have to take the girl home.
Just when he wanted to push her back into the car, a pack of shifter wolves surrounded them, snarling at Klaus. “Toy dogs?” He laughed as he looked at Bella. “Are you running with the Quileutes, love? What of them vampires?” He had heard of a collaboration like this, but had always dismissed it for its ridiculousness. Granted, the Cold Ones had always been a pest, but he’d never think that they’d be up to something as deranged as going after children.
“Yes sir,” she replied, a small smile appearing on her face. She felt a glimmer of hope and gratefulness, they hadn’t abandoned her at all. Which also meant that she was going to go home and get punished, but at least she’d be home. She decided to walk towards Jake, but Klaus held her back.
“She’s mine,” Klaus announced to the wolves as he held her by the arm. “You tried to take my daughter, I’m taking your colleague.” Jake snarled as he leapt forward, his big mouth snapping at Klaus, who only laughed. “Oh, you have no idea who you are trying to piss off, have you?”
Bella looked at Klaus and saw his face change. Veins appeared on his face, fangs grew out in his mouth, his eyes changed color. Was he one of those traditional vampires Jasper had told her about?
“Do try to attack me, I am itching for a good fight after you tried stealing my daughter, but know that I will win and that I, Klaus Mikaelson, will not rest until I have found each and everyone of you to pay for your misdeed against my family!”
‘Stand down!’ Edward’s voice rang inside her head, no doubt the wolves heard it too, as they cowered and took a few steps back. He then emerged from the trees. “My sincere apologies, Mr. Mikaelson,” Edward spoke softly, a charming smile on his face. “We never meant to take your daughter, had we known she was yours, we would have let her be.”
Edward was being deceptive, Bella could tell.
“However, you have her back, safe and sound, now please, hand me the girl, and we shall go on our way. There is no reason to fight,” he said calmly as he held his hand out for Bella. ‘Push him back with your shield and come with me.’
Bella did as she was told, but the traditional vampire wasn’t budging, which surprised her. Then again, she felt weak, and perhaps her shield was far too weak after Hope’s assault earlier. She then tried to pull herself loose, which wasn’t working either as the vampire’s hold on her was tight, and she didn’t want to give him a headache. Scramble his brains. She didn’t like doing that. She wouldn’t.
‘Hurt him, Bella,’ Edward’s soothing voice sounded. ‘It’s alright, you won’t get in trouble for freeing yourself.’
She didn’t want to disappoint Edward though, so she tried, but all she could do was piss the vampire off even further.
“Quit your stomping around in my brain, love,” he said before looking at Edward. “I’ll be taking your girl as an insurance policy that you will not go after my daughter again. When you do, I shall send you back this girl’s corpse in pieces.” He was still going to kill them all, he merely wanted this girl out of the way first, and his sister was going to help him.
Seeing no progress with Bella, Edward snarled. “Keep her. She’s defective,” he turned around and signalled for the wolves to follow him on full speed away.
Bella couldn’t believe that Edward was going to leave her with this vampire. She could feel how her hope sank deep into her feet, along with some emotions she didn’t understand and couldn’t help but slink back against the car, hugging her knees to her chest and rocking herself. This wasn’t happening. She thought that Edward was going to take her home. Now she was alone. Like the lonely children. While she had her new purpose still inside her mind, to protect her people, she felt torn. She’d always been loyal to them and now they had abandoned her. Just like that. Because she was defective.
This was her true punishment. She had no purpose anymore.
He watched as the girl shut down, fell apart like a house of cards, and had become unresponsive to everything he said to her. While he was still angry with her for wanting to take his daughter, he believed something else was going on. There was no way that any normal person would respond like this. That their acting would be this good.
He could leave her, of course, and then return home only to find himself feeling guilty for leaving the poor girl all by herself. Perhaps a new project for him and his siblings to kill some time until their next catastrophe would be sufficient. But he was still going to destroy this Cold One/Quileute collaboration, as soon as he figured out where their base of operations were. He could still leave the girl behind and not tell his siblings about her, of course. But chances were that the Cold Ones would come back for her anyway, that them leaving her was a mere ruse, and he didn’t want to give them the satisfaction of him giving up that easily.
No, this girl was going to come back with him and to be interrogated. End of.
He managed to get her inside the car and drove the rest of the way to New Orleans, the girl not changing position at all during the ride, although he would think that sitting the way that she was, was extremely uncomfortable for a human. It frustrated him that she couldn’t be compelled, he’d rather have the answers now than later, but then again, patience had never been one of his virtues in cases like these.
She was still his enemy. He was going to lock her in the dungeons so she couldn’t escape and then call for a family meeting, explaining the entire story. He was going to be ridiculed for his heart, but also for bringing someone who ran with Cold Ones and shifter wolves into their home. It was a recipe for disaster and Klaus was going to release her as soon as he got the information he needed. Shouldn’t take longer than a week.
Klaus pulled her out of the car. “You have to walk,” he told her as he looked at her on the floor. “I am not going to carry you inside.” She wasn’t moving, she was still breathing, so that was a plus. He lifted her up and threw her over his shoulder before running to the dungeons. He put her down on the cot and closed the door behind him as he walked away. Perhaps a few days alone would do her some good. No visitations other than to bring food and water, and he could compel a human to do that.
Maybe he wouldn’t tell his siblings about the girl in their dungeon. This was his problem, not theirs. Yes, that was for the best. He was sure that Elijah had some books on Cold Ones and perhaps Kol heard stories about them. He could always ask hypothetical questions and see where they would lead him. Then again, weren’t the Cold Ones the same as the Volturi?
He found Elijah in one of the dens. “Cold Ones and Quileutes are working together,” he greeted his brother. “They attacked the school, but they had been warned that something was coming. Hope is alright, as are the other children. Aren’t they supposed to kill each other and not work together?”
“You wish to go to Forks and raise some hell, brother?”
“Of course,” Elijah replied as he looked at his brother. “I have been keeping an eye on their operation for years, but there’s not much that I know bar from the fact that they do love their pharmaceuticals and experiments.”
“On children, Elijah!” Klaus spat. “We’re going to end this, now. How dare they to come after my daughter and almost getting away with it?!”
Elijah smiled then. “Very well. It’s been a long time since we’ve done some proper killing. How does tomorrow sound?”
Elijah sighed exaggerated and got to his feet. As he straightened himself up, he nodded. “Now is good, brother. Care to inform the rest of our family? Bring Hayley, perhaps, seeing as Hope is her daughter, too?”
Klaus knew that Kol wasn’t home, Rebekah had gone to France that day for a couple of weeks and Freya was out with Keelin. Shrugging, he announced he was going to wait in the car instead.
It didn’t take Bella long to get to her senses a little. Klaus had put her in a dark place, reminding her of home, except for the uncomfortable … bed.. He had put her down on. She preferred the floor. And Sam. While it had been warm by day, by night it significantly cooled off and she didn’t have Sam to keep her warm. Someone had come by to bring her a plate, three or four times already, and she hadn’t taken anything. The bottle of water had been nice, but what had been on the plates was puzzling. It had been hot. Or cold. Sweet. Smelling. Sam would definitely have eaten it all, but this wasn’t Bella food. And to bring food that often? That was ridiculous, she didn’t need to be fed that often.
She tried to listen to the sounds upstairs, or on the street, and was surprised that there was so much noise around them. She was used to the silence, the bristling of the trees, Sam’s snoring. There was music. Or at least she thought it was called music after having picked up on the thoughts of someone passing her window. She used her bed to try and tiptoe to look out the window, since she wasn’t being monitored now, but startled when someone slammed their flat hand on the bars of her confinement.
She turned around, eyes wide in shock, squishing herself against the wall as she carefully stepped off the cot.
“Is my brother living out some fantasy of his, or something?” the man asked as he opened the door. “Starve the whore?”
“No sir,” Bella stammered as she wished that her space was bigger, so she could have more space between her and the man. She wasn’t a whore. She didn’t do sex. She was something far worse.
The man hummed as he stepped over a full plate of dinner. “Chef’s not going to be happy about you leaving yet another plate untouched,” the man said, shaking his head. “Nik compelled him to bring you food, you know. Chef takes pride in his cooking. Is it not to your liking? Because I had to learn from Chef that my brother was keeping a girl down here. Amazing how nobody ever tells me anything.”
She blinked at him and cocked her head. He didn’t appear to be the person who came to give her her punishment, and certainly didn’t sound like one. Did he want her to eat the food? Using the wall and the bars, she moved to the plate, not directly looking at him. She squatted down and picked on something green. Plants she could eat.
“No, darling,” the man sighed as he took the plate away and put it outside the space. “That is old and cold. It was delicious when it was nice and hot, though,” he said as he walked back in, the girl backing away again. “So tell me, what are you in for? Did you cross Nik? Oh, are you the reason he’s away on a business trip now to burn a place down to the ground and kill some wolves?”
Was her people going to end up dead? Was she the reason? Yes. She was abandoned after getting caught trying to be the best that she could be, to be a good girl. She was a bad girl. And her people ending up dead was her punishment. “Yes sir,” she said in barely a whisper. She was going to be all alone, she felt that pit in her stomach again, it was unpleasant.
“Nonsense,” the man said as he sat down on the cot and looked at her. “You look like you couldn’t even hurt a fly. Well, not in the state that you’re in. No offense, darling, but you look like you’ve been through hell, came back and went back to hell. Several times.” He sighed then. “Believe me, I know the feeling.” When the girl didn’t speak, he spoke again. “Which is why, you need to eat. So, tell me what you like to eat and I shall make it for you.”
This was strange. Why would she be punished and then to be asked what she’d like to eat and make it sound like an order for her to tell him? ‘Oats and water… please.’
“Oh, none of that…” he blinked at her after having heard her voice inside his mind. “We’re not going to snoop around in my head, you’re going to use your words.”
Klaus had told her the same. She had been taught to communicate mostly through telepathy, and only use her voice sparsely, mainly because it was thought to make her ability stronger, eventually. Which it didn’t, which was a let down to all and Bella was marked to be a failure. A monster. An abomination. A good girl. But now this man had given her an order. “Yes sir.”
“So oats and water… that sounds bland. Prison food, but even in prison people get better food than that.”
“Normal food, sir,” she whispered, half stammering. She didn’t like using her voice for full sentences. “Water and oats, sir.”
The man let out a breath and nodded before using his vampire speed to get her her food. She was with traditional vampires. Was everyone a vampire here? The difference between her vampires and traditionals were that traditionals looked like humans and they had fangs. And were warm. Klaus hadn’t felt cold at all after he grabbed her by the arm. The man was stupid for leaving the door of her confinement open, or perhaps this was a test.
Bella wouldn’t try to escape anyway. She couldn’t outrun vampires even if she had some energy, and right now, her shield was still not working properly. No, this was her punishment. For getting her people killed. For being defective. She sat down in the corner of her room and hugged her knees to her chest.
She missed Sam.