Kol seemed to be happier after Bella told him that she wanted to try to find something else she would love to do, but he also told her that she shouldn’t give up on the spirits, either. It was all about finding a balance and doing more research on where they were going first, not after, so they’d know what to expect. Jeremy was less than thrilled, but at least he was glad that they were still going forward as usual until the Volturi were dealt with.
Klaus and Myriam already opted to go to Italy and kill them all for Bella, but Bella wanted more information about them. Despite the general knowledge that the Mikaelsons had on the cult, she wanted to go deeper, find more. Elijah even offered his books for her, and scoured the internet for more obscure books, because as much as he wanted to get rid of the cult too – mainly because they were a pain in the ass and had come after the family once before, it was better to be prepared in dealing with them.
Perhaps they weren’t dealing with ordinary humans in search of true immortality without the vampirism. Maybe there was more than met the eye.
But, all of that was of a later concern. It was October 31st and it was Halloween. A couple of days earlier they had received an email with a ‘plan of attack’, as Bella had requested so she could prepare herself. She, Jeremy and Kol were going to be picked up by a helicopter and flown around for a couple of hours before landing at the location. This was a precaution that Bella’s opinions couldn’t be tainted. She also didn’t want to be there for the full twelve hours so she’d come in after they’d already done 4 hours of TV.
She, Kol and Jeremy weren’t allowed to have their cellphones on them and they were going to be in the air before the show started so their friends and family couldn’t tell them where they were going either. Kol already said he couldn’t promise anything, but he’d turn his phone off and give the battery to Bella, his phone to Jeremy and he would compel anyone who would want to do a pat down.
Jeremy and Bella would not be split up, and be accompanied by either Drew or Hugo, seeing as Bella didn’t like Jace’s energy, but they were also going to be alone together to do some exploration of their own, in their own way. Bella had learned how to fake a seance from Myriam and a friendly witch incase she was going to be asked to hold one, but she sincerely doubted that she was going to be asked as White Witch Linda was a force to be reckoned with.
They had read up on Linda on the internet and she was a very powerful witch, there were even clips of TV shows she had been on previously that astounded even Kol and Jeremy. They hoped she wasn’t going to be, but there was a chance that Linda could prove to be a problem for them if she were able to sense that Bella wasn’t human, Kol was dead and Jeremy a magical powerhouse.
They didn’t have to bring their own equipment, but they put an SB7 and a few voice recorders in their survival bag anyway. Said bag was filled with things that Myriam would need in case she needed to come and help. There were several ‘angel statues’ in there, and some Dark Objects that could secure a room and get rid of spirits, good and bad.
Bella had vervain on her and had even, much to Kol’s dismay, had drank vervain tea, just like Jeremy, although Jeremy couldn’t be compelled. It was an extra layer of protection and reluctantly, Kol drank some too, although the experience had left him incredibly thirsty so he drank through nearly his entire supply at the apartment, but he felt it was worth it as it would make it even harder for potential evil ghosts to take him over. His siblings were much better at ingesting vervain for shits and giggles. He wasn’t. He wasn’t even going to be physically near the location and hang out in base camp, away from the cameras. But, better safe than sorry.
Bella didn’t like flying around in the helicopter much; it was dark and noisy and she couldn’t see where they were going. The pilot deliberately stayed away from any defining landmarks and it sucked. However, the closer they came to the time where they were scheduled to land at the location, the more agitated Bella got as they flew low over the woods, and she picked up whispers. “Fuck.”
The camera man who had joined them switched on his camera and started filming. Of course he would, Bella had started to realize where they were going.
“We’re leaving, tell the pilot to pull up and take us home,” she said as she looked out of the window to see the trees and the Elementals. “Bad place. Bad… bad… worse…” She felt the color drain from her face the closer they got to the location. “Oh, hell no. We’re not going home, you’re going to kill Drew for me!” Bella said angrily as she dug her nails into her legs. “And then we’re going home.”
“You’ve been here before then?” Kol let out a snort. “And not happy about it?”
She pointed at the house that was coming into view. “Neither are you.”
“I AM going to kill him!” Kol growled as he felt the panic rise within himself. There was no way that he was was going to allow Bella to go back into that hellhole, especially since it was going to be without him. While Bella had been more playful about the whole killing Drew thing, Kol was deadly serious.
“Okay, calm down,” Jeremy said to Kol. “We’re still in the air, relax,” he kicked the camera man. “Those two are going to need some time before they’ll join the rest of you, if at all, but I’ll come with you.”
“How bad did things change?” Kol tried to calm himself as he looked at Bella, he was sitting next to the camera man to make sure he wasn’t going to be caught on tape but he wanted to hold her, and tell her ‘no’. “Can you already feel that?”
“There’s so much negative energy here… it’s like… dead from the area, and not from this area, like it here. There’s this pull… like a vortex or a swirly thing in the water… Once the dead are caught in it, they can’t ever leave. The dead can’t die here… I mean… they can’t leave. Their souls.”
“Swirly thing in the water,” Jeremy snorted. “It’s called a whirlpool, Bella.”
“Shut up, this isn’t funny. I should have felt this when we were here without this entire circus below us so I could have tried to fix this!”
“There’s no time like the present.”
“I knew this house was a mess, but not to this extent. And it’s only gotten worse. I feel really horrible. Physically and mentally… definitely need a moment when we land,” Bella shuddered as it felt like an eternity before they were landing. “I think it’s a good thing nobody living has lived here… but all this negativity… these ghosts… the pain… it became worse. You know those rituals Drew spoke about when we were here? Voodoo? Satanists? Witches? Yeah, it only got worse because more people were asked to come inside the house to do their thing. It’s Halloween night, for fuck’s sake, that house must be so damn active right now! It’s not just the Cullens in there, as you know. Everyone. Good, bad… insane… Being sucked right in. If you were a good spirit and you’re inside there, you’ll turn bad eventually.”
“We could just leave,” Kol scowled. “Burn the place to the ground.”
“I know we could do that, but you’re not feeling what I’m feeling or seeing what I’m seeing… I’m not going to do this to help out Drew or please the fans… these ghosts need help, or at least the ghosts that were brought here. We can do this. Please, let me do this?”
Oh, Kol knew that they couldn’t just leave this place. It was likely that Bella was going to make an attempt of helping the ‘good, damaged spirits’ and cleanse areas that were the worst, but that didn’t take away that he wanted to burn this place to the ground. And he was likely going to do that as well once Bella gave him the all clear. On top of that, seeing as they were now investigating the Volturi, some useful information could be found in that basement. That bloody basement. “Fine,” he eventually said as they were nearing the ground. “But he’s going to turn himself on. Like… fully. No holding back and you and I are going to walk the grounds to get the lay of the land first before you join your friends, maybe one of your other friends could actually tell us how bad it is.” He held out his hand for his phone and battery. “And you’re going to need Myriam. Let me send her a message.”
Bella let out a snort as they landed and pointed outside. “The pineapple is already here. No doubt she was watching at home and decided to come out to play when she found out where we were going.”
As the door of the helicopter opened, more cameras greeted them. “Go do your walk, I’ll explain to them what you’re doing,” Jeremy said as he hopped out, blocking the camera from filming Kol from the front so they could walk off.
When they were out of sight of the camera, Bella sat down against the house, digging her hands into the soil and closed her eyes. “The Native spirits don’t want me to enter the house, same story as last time, but now there’s more urgency in their words. However, the Elementals wish to help me, help us, with easing the discord in this house. Whatever spirits I can free, they will welcome with open arms or help them move on,” she then slightly smiled. “They know what I can do now, who I am. The others have spread the word.”
“Why can’t they do it by themselves?”
“Because many years ago, all along the edges of the fence, someone threw up multiple wards to keep them out, but the Native Spirits in. Now, it’s not such a bad thing to keep the Elementals out as it’ll likely freak out the sensitives walking around, but I could open it just slightly so that the warriors can join their protectors and move on. It would certainly make my job a lot… quieter.”
He helped her to her feet and walked with her to the edge of the property where she touched the fence to open it up, took her a bit longer than he expected but when she breathed a sigh of relief, he could feel cold air brush against him as the spirits walked passed them. “Oh, wow.”
“Told you, they’re with many,” Bella smiled at him. “Speaking of which, you told Jeremy to turn himself on, would you like a little of my blood? I know you’re not coming inside with me, and you can’t actually see things on the cameras, but who knows? Jasper might want to tell you things.”
“He’s still here and he’s not gone insane?”
“He’s still here,” Bella smiled as she thumbed over her shoulder. “He’s really happy to see us again, but had hoped not to see us again, of course.”
Kol scowled. He didn’t want to remove blood from her, even if it would be an insignificant amount. She needed to be at full strength. “I kinda wished we had the Ovilus with us on this walk…”
“Take some of my blood, I promise I won’t do anything straining for the next hour until I’ve had something to eat and drink,” Bella said as she pulled him away from the fence and back towards the house to continue to follow the walls. “Jasper merely wants to make sure you’re safe, too.”
“Well, that’s nice of him, but I’m not compromising your safety despite your promise of ingesting some food before you start working,” Kol put an arm around her and sighed as he looked up the facade of the house. “I do feel the energy, somewhat,” he admitted. “It must be terrible inside.”
Bella let out a snort. “I’m still feeling physically and mentally horrible, as if I need to throw up, it’s slowly passing, but I doubt it’ll go away,” she pointed to the windows to point out ghosts stuck against the window. “They’ve plastered the ghosts against the windows as if they’re wallpaper, they can barely talk, but from what I can tell is that they were brought here by various mediums who knew exactly what they were doing. They allowed the spirits to attach themselves to them and then they brought them here, dumped them, the vortexes sucked them right off of them,” she explained, pain obviously etched upon her face. “Good mediums take spirits somewhere else to release them, not bring them to this house of horrors.”
“Guys,” Jeremy came running to them just as they were turning the corner to go to the back of the house. “The new TV boss is Cullen, but they’re keeping him in a separate mobile home because Drew threw a fit,” he said with a smirk. “And sorry, Kol, but Myriam put up a protection barrier around him so he can’t get out and you can’t get in.”
Feeling Kol’s rage, Bella slammed the wall of the house, accidentally using her energy to shake the house and freeing some of the plastered spirits. “He’s a dead man!” She exclaimed, slamming the house with her flat hand again, ignoring the pain. “Oh, I’m going to…”
“Breathe,” Jeremy grabbed her by her shoulders and made her look at him. “Breathe and stop hurting yourself and exerting your energy, the evening is just beginning.”
She growled as she took a deep breath, closing her eyes, ridding herself of Kol’s emotions that had washed over her. “Don’t worry, I’ll think of a plan that doesn’t involve killing him but does involve him making an ass out of himself,” she eventually said after she had centered herself before turning to Kol and rubbed his arm. “I will take care of it.”
“Bella… I- so help me…”
“I. Will. Take. Care. Of. It,” she said slowly and cupped his cheek. “He will feel our wrath, and that of the Cullens and the spirits inside this house.”
“The Cullens!” Kol scoffed and rolled his eyes, anger still rolling off of him. “Now that’s preposterous!”
“Yes, Emmett and Carlisle are evil, but they were bad in life too. But the family is protecting the basement, protecting the secrets of the Volturi and they don’t want Edward to be a part of it because he’s a loser. In a way, they’re victims too.”
“They tried to kill you, Bella, they don’t deserve your wrath,” Kol whined as he pinched the bridge of his nose. “Stop being so nice about ghosts who are pure evil, it only makes things worse!”
“And how many times do I have to tell you that we have to be kind to all spirits as much as we can? Yes, I’m afraid of Carlisle and Emmett. Yes, I’m afraid that they might pull something again, but when I step inside that house, I can’t be afraid because they feed off of that. The best way to approach this nightmare is to approach it as a fresh location without any judgement and fear,” she gently caressed his cheek. “I need you to relax and have my back on this, but do know that Edward will have his punishment, I have many tricks up on my sleeve, remember? Who knows? I might do a little possessing myself,” Bella said cheekily. “I”ll have the spirits deal with him.”
“Fine, but if I don’t like it, I’ll deal with him myself!” Kol wanted to kill him. Bella wanted to have some ‘fun’ with him. She’d never hurt him, which was a shame. He then turned to Jeremy. “Are you fully open yet?”
“No, man, I had to do some damage control after you two decided to go for a walk first,” Jeremy countered. “I’ve never been fully ‘on’, as you refer it to and I’m not sure if I can, but I can try.”
As Kol and Jeremy continued to banter, Bella checked the windows before continuing to walk around the house. Her two bursts of energy had made things even worse inside, especially since it was rage that had fuelled the bursts and not love. The house liked the negativity she had put out as it had been pure, unfiltered rage. She let out a breath and tried to collect herself some more. Jasper was going on and on about how Bella was special and how he was glad that she worked with the tools she had been given, that it would be easier now to watch her back because she saw, heard and felt everything. “Would you shut up?” Bella asked him as she rubbed her arms out of frustration. “Don’t crowd me, Jasper. Please.”
‘My apologies, Miss Bella,’ Jasper replied before taking a few steps back and let her do her thing. ‘Do know that I will be with you once you enter the house, although I don’t think that’s necessary now that you’re working with all your senses.’
“Well, if you do want to help, you could keep an eye on everyone who can’t see what’s coming,” she smiled at him before staring back at the house. “Can you tell me what’s happened since we were here last?”
Jasper sucked in a breath. ‘Oh, Edward went beserk. Hired everyone and everything who had any interest in the paranormal and allowed them to experiment inside the home. The house is crowded now, different kinds of ghosts with different stories. Some from far away, taken from their home and placed here, but that’s what you already suspected. Yes, there have been rituals. Witches, supposed experts in the Dark Arts… bad voodoo… Edward even allowed Rosie’s room to be turned into a gigantic mirror room, the things that come through that massive portal…’
Bella let out a breath and nodded. “Okay, how’s the basement?”
‘Still concealed, truth be told, with the extra spirits and rituals that have been done Carlisle and Emmett have gained more power to fool anyone who enters that hallway – unless, of course, you know what you’re looking for. Why?’
“Because Edward isn’t going to get his hands on that basement, but I’m going to try to have a polite conversation with Carlisle about it, test his loyalty to the Volturi. I mean, that stuff is just sitting there.”
‘I’d like to see you try, miss Bella,’ Jasper said amused, shaking his head. ‘I’m also going to be entertained for the rest of the night, to see what you come up with concerning your revenge on Edward, and also how you will deal with the plethora of personalities that are present.’
“Simple, treat everybody the same unless they’re stupid,” Bella winked at him and turned around. “Guys, are you still coming or what? We’re nearly done walking around the house!” She felt horrible, but had to do this for the spirits inside that house. For her guys. She had to stay strong and not think of worst case scenarios, because what she had told Kol earlier, she wasn’t allowed to be scared because the house would feed off it.
Kol huffed and decided to take off to nerve center before his face would be caught on camera, and he was pleasantly surprised to find his brother Niklaus observing the monitors. “What are you doing here, Nik?”
“Myriam made me come,” Klaus shrugged and then smiled widely. “I’ve compelled these idiots here to act as if I’m not here and it’s working so far. We just have to make sure we stay out of the sight of the camera,” he said as he nodded to the camera in the corner. He then started to proceed to tell Kol what he had learned and seen so far while Bella and Jeremy rounded the corner to meet up with Drew.
“You’ve made it,” Drew smiled at Bella. “I swear, if I had known we were going here, I would have called you and-”
Bella’s sweet smile on her face turned into something dark and she punched his cheek, hard, before smiling at him again as a production assistant attached a microphone on her.
“Okay, I deserved that,” he let out a breath and nodded. “Jace and Hugo are inside with Linda and the others, but maybe you’d like to do a short interview?” Drew asked as he pointed at some chairs.
“Sure,” Bella shrugged. “If it’s alright with you that I have something to drink and eat something? I’m feeling a little… drained.”
“Already?” Drew blinked at her. “What did you do?”
“Well, we didn’t have dinner, for starters, we’ve been stuck in that helicopter for hours!” Bella laughed. “And just being here… it’s gotten worse. But don’t worry, I already made a hole in the barrier around the house to free the Native American spirits, it’s a lot quieter outside than it was when we came here.”
“You made a hole in the barrier around the house?” Drew repeated slowly as he scratched his head. “Well, that makes sense, I suppose. You tend to do things like that! I really need to thank you for coming tonight, you have no idea what it means to me, despite the location. It’s a good thing that we had already planned on taking Father Christian with us, but we are definitely going to need him after this event is over!”
“And you’ve brought your friend the voodoo priestess.”
“Well, I didn’t bring her,” she let out a snort. “She wanted to watch this on TV, but I guess that when she saw where I was going to end up, she wanted to come and join us. The more, the merrier, right?”
“Right,” Drew smiled. “Tonight is going to be epic. As you said, it looks like the activity has gotten worse in the house. We weren’t even inside for 15 minutes when objects started to fly at us. Nearly hit Hugo in the head with a beam, too.”
“Were you being nice?”
“Bella, being nice won’t work in there, trust me,” Drew snorted. “I miss your backpack. No gifts for the dead?”
“Why would I bring gifts when I can simply give you to them to play with?” Bella teased him.
“Funny,” he nodded. “But aren’t you scared? Last time you were here, you got seriously injured.”
She thought about it for a moment and then smiled at him. “You know better than to let investigations to be ruled by fear. I’m fine. My guys are fine. Yes, our visit was traumatic, but there are stories to tell and spirits to help. I just don’t like it that I won’t be in control.” Before Drew could speak, Bella spoke again. “Do you have a list of people that Mr. Cullen brought in since we were here? And what they did?”
“No? Why would there be such records?”
“To make our jobs a lot easier?”
“Ha, you don’t need records, you’re the amazing Bella who never does TV shows because she’s not a science project and doesn’t like the people who does go on TV to find scientific proof of the paranormal.”
“I guess with this house you find more than enough scientific evidence, just know that I’m not a labrat.” She gratefully took the sandwich and the sugary drink that Jeremy had gotten for her, no doubt with a drop of Kol’s blood inside of it. “Ohh, thank you!” She started to chew on her sandwich and sighed happily as she relaxed in the chair. “Isn’t it time for you to bug other people, Drew? I’m not that interesting and I’m not going to do anything until Jeremy’s satisfied I’m good enough to play with some ghosts.”
Drew nodded as the camera man moved away and Bella started to attack her sandwich. She was truly famished, which was strange because she had felt sick before. “Why are we getting smart ass Bella?” Drew sighed as he tiredly rubbed his eyes. “And not easy-going Bella?”
Bella angrily pointed at the Cullen House as she turned off her mic before continuing to eat.
“As a group, we’ve made some changes to make sure Bella’s strong and clear headed before we go anywhere. Her gifts evolved in a very short time and it’s still a little bit unnerving for her at times,” Jeremy explained, it was basically a bullshit story. “She changed for the better, but she’s still the same Bella. Things are a lot different now and will likely change some more in the future.” He put his hands protectively on Bella’s shoulders. “And I think she’s going a little crazy because of the insane energy that’s outside,” he grinned as he gently squeezed her shoulders. “I can’t imagine what it’s like inside.”
Drew, come back inside, it’s time for you to do something stupid. Jace’s voice was heard on the walkie talkie and Drew sighed. “Oh yeah, I’m spending time in the ballroom by myself!”
“Why not take it a step further and go to the mirror room upstairs?” Bella suggested as she took a sip of her drink, washing down her sandwich. “Seems like someone’s been doing some remodeling.”
“Yeah, we saw that room, we’re saving that for later. For you or Linda, perhaps,” Drew winked at her before grabbing his stuff and ran towards the house.
“There are fucking children inside that house,” Bella muttered as she took another sip. “Ghost children and they’re being tormented by whatever is chasing them. The energy is insane, I shouldn’t feel them this far away from the house!”
“You did discharge a lot of energy when you slammed the house, Bella, maybe the energy seeped into you? Just a little bit?”
“Maybe, I don’t know, but those children shouldn’t even be in there!” Bella hissed as she saw a woman approach whom she recognized to be Linda, the white witch, someone she needed to be wary of which was made quite clear during their research into her.
“Oh, don’t fear me,” Linda smiled at her as she pulled the chair Drew had sat on closer to Bella and sat down with her. “It’s so great to finally meet you, Bella, I’ve been watching your videos for years now. You are quite special, aren’t you?” She took Bella’s hand without warning and gasped. “What are you?”
Bella pulled her hand back and took another sip of her drink. “I’m a psychic medium.”
“No, sweetheart, you’re something else entirely, are you even human?” Linda cocked her head before looking at Jeremy. “And you! You’re infused with so much magic… dark magic… but you’re not dark… what are you?”
“Oh boy,” Jeremy muttered under his breath. “She’s good.”
“Don’t worry, your secrets are safe with me. In fact, I have the feeling that they need to be because someone’s out to get you, Bella, and I’m not talking about Mr. Cullen… he has an unnatural fascination… infatuation with you. I’m also not talking about the ghosts… no… I’m talking about someone dark, very dark… and it has something to do with what’s inside that house,” Linda smiled then when she didn’t see any surprise on Bella’s face. “I am on your side. I’ve always been on your side, but now that I’ve met you… your light… it’s beautiful.” Linda then giggled. “I suppose we should turn our mics back on before we get complaints from the guys,” she winked as she took her pack and switched her mic back on. “A lot of people with ill intent have walked into that house and messed with the energy. It is the worst haunted building I have ever been in.”
“It’s not a nice building, no,” Bella sighed as she turned her mic back on and finished her drink. “Okay, I’m going to get my blessing from my friend the voodoo priestess and then I think I’m ready to go?” She looked at Jeremy, who merely shrugged in return.