Chef had brought her some food, but Bella hadn’t been hungry. She had had three whole pancakes that day and they had been delicious but the more she thought about that morning, the more truth she saw in it. She was a Cold One, and Cold Ones didn’t need human food, they couldn’t eat it. She shouldn’t eat so much.
The food was still resting on her table, though, as a reminder.
It was quiet in the building. Freya was out, Kol was out, Klaus was out with Bella’s sister and Elijah was reading. Bella enjoyed the silence very much as she was sitting underneath the table with her legs crossed. It was welcomed, after everything that had happened that day. It was getting late in the day, the sounds outside were changing from passing cars to more people on foot, laughing, thinking loudly, but that was alright, Bella didn’t have to listen. Her bubble was nice.
Until the point where her door flew open and slammed shut again. She shifted so she was sitting on her knees and peeked out from underneath the table. Kol would knock before he’d enter. So would Freya. “Fucker, fuck!” It was Myriam. Bella’s sister. What was she doing in her confinement? Bella couldn’t get a read on her, but she could tell that she was slightly drunk on blood. “What a fucking asshole! Taking me out to see the city? How nice of him! Exploring the city was wonderful, saw many beautiful and old things and I heard many stories. Then he took me to an all you can eat buffet!” Myriam barked out a laugh. “Jesus fuck, there were so many of them that I thoroughly enjoyed myself while we fed. And then it dawned on me… you know, the fucker says ‘love’ a lot. A LOT. Oh, and ‘sweetheart’, jeez, that’s fucking annoying! He held the doors open for me. Made sure everything was to my liking. Fucker! See, that’s why I hated him calling Dad, because Dad would make a joke that I’m fucking cheap and it would get ideas in someone’s fucking head! Just because I fucking killed my fuckbuddy doesn’t mean I’m free and open for anyone else! Jesus fuck!” She stopped pacing then, the smell of cold human food entering her nostrils and spotting the plate. “And I didn’t give up my humanity for you so you can skip your dinner. Sit down and fucking eat your food!” She pulled Bella from underneath the table and set her down on a chair before taking a seat in front of her, where Kol usually sat. “I’m here for you, Bella, I’m not here to get fucked with by traditionals, you got that? No messing with my mind or no nudge in the right direction because I swear, I will kill you.”
Bella did as she was told and started to eat the food, she wasn’t sure what Myriam had been going on about, other than it sounded like Klaus was being kind to her. “It’s called kindness, ma’am,” she softly said as she continued to eat. “This family is very kind, except for when there’s anger and rage involved.”
“No, Bella, Klaus was trying to get into my pants.”
“I doubt it’d fit, ma’am,” Bella replied as she kept her eyes on her plate and continued to eat.
Myriam didn’t know whether to laugh or dismiss it. Because it did sound funny and it was the truth, Klaus Mikaelson would never fit into her pants, but Bella was so innocent. “You have no idea what I was ranting about, do you?”
“You didn’t like Klaus’ kindness, ma’am,” Bella said, half shrugging. “It is something to get used to, but give it a few days and you will appreciate it that these vampires like kindness above else. They don’t believe in punishments or water and oats, and they don’t do experiments. They do magic and Freya made it look so pretty. And these vampires’ touch is warm, not cold. They’re soft, like I am!”
Myriam sighed as she leaned on the table and rested her head in her hand. “You’ve been here a while… have you been inside their heads? Do you trust them? What do you think of them?”
“When Edward abandoned me, Klaus took me with him, ma’am. I was sure I was going to get punished or killed, and I welcomed it. I felt as if nothing mattered anymore, because they had finally found a way to get me away from everyone. To be safe, and not to have someone as defective as me. I don’t like Klaus much, he has a lot of fear and rage inside of him. Kol found me in the dungeons while Klaus was away, and Kol started to show me kindness. And I tried so hard to refuse. I believed that Edward was going to come for me and take me back home. It was only because Kol forced me to feel something, to make me hurt twenty people in the street, that I know that I have been wrong in rejecting kindness. That they are trying to make me adjust to their version of living, likely in the hopes that I can serve them as I tried serving the Cullens. Like the children we had at home, we showed them a better way of life and made them stronger.”
Myriam sighed then. “For you, this is a better way of life. Yes, you were raised as a Cold One, but not entirely because you’re still human. You have needs that the Cullens couldn’t give you and birthgiver and sperm donor only used you for appearances sake. You don’t have to be quiet. You don’t have to serve. I can see that now. You’re free. Like I am.”
“No ma’am,” Bella shook her head. “I might hurt more people. I’m a monster, I’m a bad girl. You’re the good girl. You’re strong, and you’re fast, and you’ve made a good impression on Klaus. You kill bad Cold Ones. I only hurt good people or people who don’t deserve it. And I’m aware that I’m different.”
“It’s good to be different, if we were all the same, life would be so incredibly boring,” Myriam shrugged. “And to be fair, your innocence is so adorable. You’re not a bad girl, Bella. You’re a good girl who’s had bad things happen to her. You’re a good girl, wrongly instructed by bad people. The Mikaelsons are trying to teach you their way of life because this is exactly how life should be lived. With kindness. With good food. The first 18 years of my life had been fantastic, Peter and Charlotte couldn’t cook for shit, but they employed a cook so that I had my normal, human food. I spend my days out in the sun on the farm. Riding horses or training to become stronger and faster. Because Peter and Charlotte told me about the bad Cold Ones when I was old enough to hear where I came from. And ever since then, there’s this fire inside of me that just needs to kill bad Cold Ones, you know. I won’t rest until they’re all dead,” she smiled then. “And maybe, one day, you’ll feel strong and confident enough to come and help me.”
“But killing is bad.”
“Killing bad Cold Ones isn’t bad. It’s good,” Myriam pointed out. “It makes the world a little safer for humans to live in. On top of that, I don’t feed off of good humans, either. I feed on the bad humans, because they deserve it.”
Bella had finished her plate and carefully put it aside. “What’s a sperm donor, ma’am?”
Bella hadn’t slept because she didn’t need sleep. Like her sister because Cold Ones didn’t sleep. Kol hadn’t come home, and Bella was a little bit worried, but she knew that he could take care of himself. He had told her that quite often. Instead, Bella listened to Myriam as she spoke about how and where she grew up, describing a lot of things in detail so that Bella knew that things were, or at least understand. Bella was good at listening, and she believed that Myriam simply wanted to talk to someone.
When it was morning, and the staff of the Mikaelsons started to prepare for breakfast, Bella couldn’t believe it had only been a day since she met Myriam. Myriam was an open book, there was no need to go into her mind to understand her, because she spoke openly and used the word ‘fuck’ a lot. Bella had the feeling that she knew Myriam quite well already – granted, there were things that Bella didn’t understand but simply let Myriam talk. And talk. It was what Myriam needed.
Bella wasn’t sure how to feel about having a sister. In her experience, families were bad, like the Cullens. But the Mikaelsons were a family and despite all of their anger issues, they were together and they were kind. It was confusing and Bella didn’t know how to be a sister. What if she’d be bad at it?
“So, tell me about Kol,” Myriam smiled at her. “He’s been looking after you, hasn’t he? Been teaching you things?”
Bella nodded. “And Freya and her doctor Keelin are figuring out how I’m built and what’s in my bloodstream. They have to determine if they need to get it out or if it can stay.”
“Yeah? Like what?”
“Birth giver’s herbs, I guess ma’am. All the syringes with things in them to make me better. Freya said that she wouldn’t be surprised if Doctor Carlisle rewired me on the inside, in my chest, but Keelin took pictures of me, you know those where you can see on the inside? And she said I was complete. I still had everything, although I don’t know what could be missing.”
Myriam sucked in a breath. “Well, sometimes Cold Ones who are in the business of ‘helping’ special children, like to remove a kidney to sell it for money. Or half a lung. Or you know, get the part out where you can grow a baby.”
“I don’t want to be a birth giver!”
She laughed then. “No, you don’t have to be one. You can become a mom if you want to. But you’ll never have to worry about becoming a birth giver. That might have eventually happened if you weren’t caught by Klaus’ daughter Hope. But you know what? That’s a talk we can have some other time. What else did Kol do for you?”
“He showed me that warm water is nice, ma’am. That it’s much better to be underneath the shower or in the bath than being hosed down. And that I had to use a towel. Oh, and the toilet, but luckily I knew how it worked having been on one a few times. And that human food is indeed better than water and oats. And most of all, he taught me that it’s good to talk about what you feel and that crying could feel good. He thinks that because of my instructions of not being allowed to feel anything that I’m getting those explosions in my head that hurt people.”
“And, is that working?”
“My head still feels light, ma’am. Usually by now it starts to feel a bit heavy. And then heavier, and heavier…”
“And then it takes just the right push for you to explode.” The whole ‘ma’am’ thing was annoying Myriam immensely. She was Myriam, for fuck’s sake. Her sister. She was not a ma’am. “Well, guess what?”
“According to Jasper, and to my parents, I can block mental abilities. Like… Jasper’s manipulation of feelings. Or compulsion by traditional vampires… or… Edward’s mind reading. Haven’t you noticed? You can’t get into my mind? That’s because I’m keeping you out. You can push people away with your shield, or protect them, right? Well, I just have to stand in front of whatever is happening and it goes away. Hurts no one.” She saw a big smile appear on Bella’s face, a smile of relief. “I haven’t tested it yet with your meltdown, though, so you’d better keep on the good work so I won’t have to.”
“You can really do that, ma’am? You can make sure that I’m safe to be around? For everyone?” Bella sounded like an excited child, her voice filled with hope and anticipation.
“Theoretically I should. Yes.”
“Did you tell Klaus, ma’am? That would certainly ease his mind about me!”
Myriam smirked then. “I have not told him and let’s not tell him, okay? He’s a polite asshole who tried to get into my pants. We’re not going to tell him anything. I’m not sure what’s in the bundle of information that Dad has, but if it’s not in there, we’re not going to tell.”
“But isn’t that bad? Not telling something important to someone, ma’am?”
“Not in our case, Bella. You and I are special. Perhaps even more special than Klaus Mikaelson himself, and we can’t give away our secrets like that. You know why?”
Bella shook her head.
“Because in the case of emergency and we need to get the hell out of here, I’d rather have them surprised by what we can do than for them to have anticipated our moves,” she said as she helped Bella to her feet. “Because even nice people can be bad, especially for us Cold Ones. Now, come, let’s get you something to eat, they’ve finished setting things up. You need to tell me what you like to do for fun so we don’t get bored,” she said as she looped her arm through Bella’s and took her to the courtyard. “You do have hobbies, right?”
“What do you mean, ma’am?”
Myriam sighed and ran a hand through her hair. “What do you like to do to kill time? Like… cooking or reading or… I don’t know…”
“I remain in my confinement until I’m needed, ma’am.”
“That was there, what do you do here?”
“The same, ma’am. Although I do like it when Kol’s spending time with me.”
Myriam scowled as they sat down at the table. “Seriously, what’s up with the sir and ma’am shit? I’m Myriam. I’m your sister. I’m getting very very icky vibes off of you calling me ma’am, makes me think that the Cullens did more than you say they did. Did they ever like tie you up? Pushed their cold hard junk inside of you? Whipped you?”
“Oh, kinky,” Kol said grinning as he sauntered into the courtyard and for Myriam he was reeking clearly of blood, booze and sex after his long time at Débauche. “I’d love to, darling, but I am spent! Maybe tomorrow!”
Bella watched Kol go into his own room and blinked. “I thought vampires couldn’t get sick?”
“Oh, they can… well, they can. I can’t. I think he drank through an entire bar or two…” It was fortunate that she didn’t need to breathe, Kol’s stench almost made him vomit. “He smells disgusting.”
Bella started to fill a plate with some food and got to her feet. “I’ll be right back, ma’- Myriam.”
“Where are you going?”
“He’s sick, he needs to eat something to make him feel better, like he told me to do,” she said innocently before going over to his room and knocked on the door. “Kol?”
“Go away, Bella,” Kol’s voice sounded from the other side of the door. “I’m not feeling too great.”
He sure didn’t sound like himself. She took a deep breath and opened the door, slightly. Kol had helped her when she was feeling sick, it was kind to do it for him, too. The room was dark, the curtains were drawn and there were no lights on, and no place for the sun to come in. She hadn’t been into his room before, but it reminded her of her confinement at the Cullens, just warmer. She opened the door slightly further. “I know, but I brought you something to eat. You’ll feel better when you eat something. Those are your own words.”
Kol let out a groan. “Oh sure, now you’re paying attention,” he muttered. “Darling, I’m not sick. I merely… overindulged and I’m not sure if I’m quite done yet, but they kicked me out after having had every girl in that brothel, there was no one who could satisfy me.”
“I’ll just put the plate on your table so you can take some food when you feel like it,” Bella said as she quietly got into his room and managed to find the lightswitch so she could find a table. Kol wasn’t wearing any clothes and he was on his bed, looking at Bella as if he was shocked. Not even blinking, she slipped into his mind for a moment as she made her way over to the table to put the plate down.
What the fuck! Oh bloody hell, this is going to ruin her, why didn’t anyone stop her? She smells so good though… oh fuck, yep, there it comes. Kol grabbed a pillow to cover up his modesty and kept his eyes on Bella, who didn’t seem to be bothered, at all. “Thanks, darling, you can go now,” he said with a strained voice. Why haven’t I seen this before? No, I did. But she’s broken and innocent. Not pure, but interesting. No, this wasn’t love, this was lust. Because she was new and exciting. And I want to fuck her. Fuck. Her. Fuck. Bella. She’d feel so good…
“I’m sorry,” Bella said softly as she left his room. Why were his words contradicting his feelings? She felt a little hurt that he didn’t like the kindness that she showed him. She sat back down at the table and grabbed herself a pancake.
Bella’s silence told Myriam enough. She had read his mind. “What did you learn?”
“He was likely feeling feverish, he wasn’t wearing any clothes. He used your bad words in reference to me,” Bella replied sadly. “He didn’t like my kindness.”
“My bad words?” Myriam said surprised, thinking about her vocabulary and what Bella might have heard. “You mean fuck?”
“You use that when you don’t like something or someone,” Bella nodded slowly. “Kol doesn’t like me…” she then picked up another stray thought. “And he wants to eat me.”
Myriam started to laugh, and couldn’t actually stop laughing as Bella nibbled on her pancake. This was hilarious as fuck and she wasn’t sure if she should be the one to give Bella the talk about the birds and the bees. She wasn’t even sure if the girl was ready for that, seeing as she had a hard time identifying some emotions still, and wasn’t expressing enough on her own. “Alright, Bella,” Myriam was still laughing as Bella’s words played through her head. “Get out of his head, give him some privacy.”
Apart from the presence of one Klaus Mikaelson, this place was a hoot. Myriam was definitely going to stick around!