Freya helped. It took Kol to tell Bella to cooperate with Freya, but Freya helped her to take a nice, warm shower. She showed Bella how to wash her hair, and use the body gel, and left her alone for a couple of minutes while she went out to talk to Kol.
“Is it normal of Klaus to bring a charity case home?” She wondered out loud. She, too, had no idea that Bella had been down in the dungeons for two days. “Because this girl… wow. What a mess.”
Kol sighed as he leaned against the doorpost. “How bad is she?”
“She needs to gain a lot of weight. Get her strength back. Detox. Seriously detox from whatever they were giving her for years and years. It’s all layered. I did a quick magical sweep, but it’s not just magic, it’s something else they used on her,” Freya sighed and ran a hand through her hair. “Klaus said you have her file that he brought back… can I see it? Maybe if they listed all the ingredients I can start whipping up some antidote to help her get rid of everything faster.”
He pointed at the table. “Feel free to take it with you after she’s done taking a shower, the more help, the better.”
“I can ask Keelin if she’s willing to check Bella’s blood?” Freya suggested before going back into the bathroom, Bella was still standing still underneath the warm water. “What do you think? Better?”
Bella wasn’t sure. The warmth reminded her of Sam, though, so it was nice. But to undress to be hosed down with water? That was silly. She watched as Freya – Kol’s sister – turned off the water and then handed her something big and fluffy, and she couldn’t help but stare at it. “How am I to wear this, ma’am?”
“You’re not. You’re going to use it to dry your hair and your body,” Freya said as she grabbed another towel and used it on herself. “Like this, see?”
Bella started to mimic Freya’s movements and ended up scrubbing herself raw with the towel on her arm.
“No, no,” Freya quickly grabbed Bella’s hand and gently moved it with the towel over her skin. “Gentle. The towel is a tool to soak up all the water on your skin.”
“But how do I wear this, ma’am?”
“You don’t. I brought you some comfy clothes, nice and fluffy and warm. I’m afraid your clothes will be incinerated seeing as my brothers have an intense sense of smell that even washing powder won’t be able to cover up the things on your clothes.”
“I’m sorry, ma’am, I truly am… I didn’t want to offend… but my body rejected the food and I- I failed.”
“Hey,” Freya dropped the towel and made Bella look at her. “It’s not your fault. You have a different diet than we’re used to, and you likely haven’t had any food for a very long time. It’s only natural that your body rejected what we made you. Don’t worry about it, okay? We’ll find some sort of a balance.”
“But water and oats, ma’am…”
“Not healthy, you need vitamins. Sunlight. Comfort food… but baby steps,” Freya handed Bella her underwear and her clothes. “Get dressed and explore your room. The bed is extremely comfortable,” Freya smiled at her before leaving the bathroom again and headed straight for the file folder. “Definitely more testing and then we need to sit down to make a schedule for her,” she told Kol. “Because without one, this girl is lost.”
“Well… I’ll help you with setting things up,” Freya smiled at her brother. “Even have Keelin come in for Bella’s blood, but once we’ve done it all, you’re on your own. I’m not going to be some grown woman’s caregiver and I’m sorry, Kol, but it’s about time you men do something out of your comfort zone.” She then laughed. “And you know what? I want to bet Rebekah will say the same!”
“Have fun, I’m going to do some ‘light’ reading!” Freya waved at him when Bella exited the bathroom and headed out.
“Look at you!” Kol smiled at Bella as she was dressed in a pair of sweatpants and a fuzzy sweater, both a few sizes too big, but it looked adorable. “How was your shower? Did you enjoy yourself?”
“It was needed, sir,” Bella responded. “But a hose would have been sufficient and less instructional. You shouldn’t invest time in me, sir.” The clothes were itching.
Kol shrugged as he motioned for her to sit down at the table, on a chair and then smiled at her when he sat across from her. “I have spoken to my brother and he’s decided to be lenient. Yes, it was wrong of you to work with the Cold Ones and the werewolves to take his daughter, he also realized that you didn’t have a choice in the matter and he is more proud of his daughter for catching you instead.” When Bella didn’t respond, he continued. “He’s burned your former home to the ground and killed some werewolves in the process. The Cullens got away.”
There was a glimmer of hope still. They were still alive, surely they’d come to take her back. She needed to be on her best behavior, be a good girl. Have her thoughts as loud as she could make them and make decisions. It was likely that the Cullens were in Alaska by now, but that didn’t matter. They would come for her and take her to the other home where it was warmer. Yes.
“Nik will of course, do everything in his power to find them, and he’s left me in charge over you,” Kol said as he kept looking at her, wondering what was going on in her mind. “What are you thinking of, darling?”
Kol hummed then as he grabbed a banana off the table and peeled it before taking a bite. “I think I know. You’re probably thinking that with your people having escaped my brother, they will come for you and take you back with them,” he guessed, a knowing smile on his face. “But, you see, Nik told me that your friends backed off at the mention of his name, so even in that circle of vampires, they know that he’s not one to mess with. I sincerely doubt they’ll come for you and I’m not going to release you so you can go back to them.”
Bella blinked at that. “You’re going to keep me, sir?”
He nodded and carefully chose his next words. “I’m going to use your words. I’m keeping you here. I’m going to take care of you and make sure that you’ll become stronger, and happy. Just like the children you and your people took.”
“What if I want to leave, sir?”
“I’d like to see you try.”
Bella liked to hear that. If she was stronger, on full strength and not in her weakened state, she would be able to walk out of this building and seek help. Go back to her people. It was going to take some time, and it was going to be a challenge, but she was going to take herself back. They would be proud of her, because she was a good girl. The question remained, however, how was she going to get stronger without the syringes with things in them, or her real oats and water? Or the bottle of water with things in them that her birth giver gave her on occasion?
He saw a look of sheer determination come across her face before it slightly faltered. Good, she had accepted the challenge and he couldn’t wait to see what she’d try. He finished eating his banana before peeling another and handed it to her. “Here, eat this. It’ll help you with your stomach aches. It’s really good, and sweet. You’ll like it.”
Another instruction. She gently took the banana and nibbled on it. The texture was that of her oats, but better. She didn’t have to use her teeth much to chew it and could almost swallow it immediately. And the taste, it was unlike anything she had tasted before and before she knew it, she had finished it and had to fight the instinct to lick her fingers. It wasn’t food she was supposed to eat, it wouldn’t make her strong, but this family was different. They had different instructions and different ways. Bella needed to learn them quickly, to make sure that they’d like her and then, when she could use her shield again, she’d go. “Thank you, sir.”
“If you need to use the toilet, it’s right in there,” he said as he pointed at the closed door. “Don’t throw up or have your bowel movements in your room, but in there. And after you’re done, you push the button and it’ll disappear from the toilet bowl,” he said as he looked at her, wanting to feed her something else but if she was feeling poorly, it was best not. “When was the last time you got some sleep?”
“A few nights ago, sir. I had my eyes closed for a while while Sam kept me warm.”
“A defective wolf, sir. He wasn’t aware of his own actions anymore nor could he turn back to his human self.”
“They had you in one room with an unstable werewolf? How did you survive? That’s insane!”
“Not really, sir, he was my responsibility. My failure,” she replied solemnly. “If Klaus did burn my home to the ground, Sam is no longer with us.”
Why would she say that? It was likely that he was going to find out the moment Freya had read Bella’s file, but why would she say that? She looked like she couldn’t even push someone out of her way at the moment, let alone hurt someone. “Does that make you feel sad?”
“It’s probably for the best, sir. Sam wouldn’t be able to survive on his own and he was already abandoned by his pack.”
Interesting, and it made him curious. “Would you be able to survive on your own?”
“Yes sir,” she replied confidently.
She had to be able to, if she had been roommates with an out of control wolf. Of course. “Very well,” Kol smiled at her and got to his feet. “This is your room now. Feel free to walk around or do whatever you want within these walls. If someone wants to come inside, they will knock on the door first before opening it, alright?”
“Yes sir,” Bella replied and watched him leave, closing the door behind him. She took the time to really look around in her new confinement and she wasn’t sure what to make of it. She sat down on the floor instead, never having liked chairs that much anyway, and she was wondering if she was going to share her space with someone else. It was far too big for her punishment and it looked strange.
She had found the shower to be an adventure, but had quickly learned that this family did things differently than her people. Feeling the water on her naked body was a strange thing, and then the water, it was special, it wasn’t the right temperature, but her body seemed to like it, her aching bones responding positively to it. It was a step in the right direction to become strong again. And then the cloth! The towel! She had to dry herself off before getting into clothes? And while the clothes she’d been provided with were really warm and itchy, she found it strange, did they punish people with items that were actually pleasant?
Bella knew that she shouldn’t think of warm water and warm clothes as something pleasant. She couldn’t get used to it because she was still going home. Just like the banana, she wasn’t allowing herself to get used to it. She was going to get strong and push everyone out of the way. Not scrambling anyone’s brains, because nobody deserved that.
She hated being the one who’d been taken and who had her people still out there. She now understood why some children felt the way that they did upon arriving in Bella’s home. It was foreign and unpleasant, and different. She started to yawn, the room was getting warmer now, and it felt as if Sam was with her. Nice and warm. She laid down on the floor and curled herself up, before giving in to the sleep that her mind and body so desperately needed.
It was a pleasant surprise that Jasper joined her in Phoenix, and of course, their reunion needed to be celebrated to the fullest, binging on some lowlives, getting high on blood before having a good romp for a day or two. Something they both had needed for different reasons. Myriam loved blood and sex, Jasper needed Myriam to reclaim him, make him smell like her again and not like the squeaky clean Cullens. It had been one of his toughest jobs, especially since he’d been involved in the not so pretty side of the whole organisation, but he’d been the only one capable of doing this. His skillset was what had made him perfect for this.
It just sucked that he had to pretend to love someone else, to have sex with someone else, while Myriam had to make do with random sex every now and then to scratch an itch.
Jasper was Peter’s brother, but not even by blood, simply because they had been in the war together, Jasper had sired Peter. Had they all been relatives by blood, this whole situation would be so fucked up, but the moment that Myriam and Jasper felt that they couldn’t stay away from each other anymore was the moment that they told Peter and Charlotte, and surprisingly, they had been okay with it. In their eyes it was better that she’d be with someone they knew rather than some random stranger.
They went to town on the Phoenix center. Completely nuts. They freed the children held there, although there weren’t many, killed all the Cold Ones and remaining wolves, and then smashed everything to pieces before setting the place alight. Overkill, but it was so satisfying to let out the rage. And then fuck again. And again.
It never crossed her mind to ask him about her, but as their emotions wound down over the next few days, she could finally think straight again. “Why is she with traditionals?”
Jasper let out a groan as he put his arms around her as they were enjoying the jacuzzi in their hotel room. “Botched extraction, although I’m fairly certain it wasn’t her fault. From what I could piece together was that she hadn’t been given food for over a week, and when they wanted her, they gave her food and the mutt ate it. She got her injections on the way to the location and one of the wolves brought one of the children to her to protect.”
“What went wrong?”
“Magic school. The child was a powerful witch and likely weakened her shield, weakening her in the process and well, the child took her instead.”
“I know,” Jasper started to laugh. “As it turns out, the child’s father is none other than Klaus Mikaelson, the hybrid, quite the scary one if you have to believe the stories.”
“I saw him in Forks after they burned the place down.”
“Yeah? What’s your opinion of him?”
“I don’t know,” Myriam said thoughtfully. “I mean, it was obvious that the act was a retaliation of some sort, and if someone cares about someone that deeply, then he’s an alright guy in my book. If she’s in his custody, which she likely is, she needs to be extracted, but he could possibly become an ally for us against the Cold Ones, help us to take down the Volturi perhaps, seeing as we’ll need an army for that, and it’s just the four of us now.”
“Oh, I don’t know, sugar,” Jasper purred in her ear as his hand traveled down her torso under the water. “The Mikaelsons are quite scary, they are the patriarchs of the traditional line, the so-called Originals. Rumor is that they can’t be killed and you can’t make deals with them because while one may give his word that nothing happens, another member might break that word because they never made that agreement. Klaus Mikaelson is the monster underneath the beds of the traditionals, although another rumor is is that with the birth of his daughter, he has mellowed somewhat.”
“But I’m still going to get her back. I can kill other Cold Ones, so why wouldn’t I be able to kill them if I have to?”
“You could try, but I doubt you’d want him as our enemy. Diplomacy is the way to go… if you don’t get killed on sight for being a Cold One yourself.”
Myriam sighed as she rested her head against his shoulder, enjoying his fingers playing with her underneath the water. “Well, I suppose I’ll have to look like her to get a shot at it.”
“Or perhaps visit a few traditionals to ask what’s the best course of action, you know very well that the Cullens don’t like it when someone shows up to talk them directly when they don’t know the person. You may not be able to kill them, but they can kill you. No matter how strong or fast you are. You’re still vulnerable. She has a shield and is able to protect you, though.”
“Yeah, but she doesn’t even know who I am to her because nobody bothered to tell her!” Myriam said frustrated. “Not even you!”
“By not giving the information she needed, I kept her safe, Myriam. She kept asking me questions, yes, she has a curious mind. But she’s not allowed to form a thought of her own or have her own opinion. Or questions, you know this. If I had told her about you, she would have been confused, which would have resulted in more sessions with Doctor Carlisle and his tools and concoctions created by the shaman or witches.” He nuzzled her earlobe. “Your reunion won’t be easy with her, you two are far too different and she might think you’re going to take her back to the Cullens. Because you’re a Cold One.”
“Then come with me. She knows you. She trusts you and you can help me with the Mikaelsons.”
“I’ll be close by. Again, if she sees me, she’ll truly believe we’re going to take her back to Forks or take her to Alaska, and that’s not going to happen.”
“Okay,” Myriam let out a breath. “We can do this. Let’s go and find some traditionals.”
“What, now? I’m trying to have sex with you here!”