Chapter 10

Over breakfast, everyone had laughed on Bella’s expense, and yes, it was kinda shitty of them, but to be honest, it was kinda funny and it was a lesson for Bella to stay out of someone’s head when they were too incapacitated to put up their mental roadblocks. Myriam went out into New Orleans to a) avoid Klaus and b) to get some board games to play with Bella since her sister pretty much said that she didn’t do anything for fun. It meant that she was sitting still, waiting for the next thing to happen.

That wasn’t living. Bella needed to have fun. Maybe, just maybe, Myriam could teach her how to bake cookies and eat them. Or lasagna, the cook’s recipe from when she was growing up had been delicious and Bella could share with the Mikaelsons for all Myriam cared. She just wanted to give Bella something to do, to keep her engaged. Like a fucking toddler needing to learn all the things.

She wasn’t going to mess with Kol and Bella’s friendship or whatever they had going between them. While the exchange had been hilarious, this was something that Kol needed to talk about with her sister, because right now she was feeling as if Kol didn’t like her very much. Which was partially Myriam’s potty mouth’s fault, but that was beside the point. While Myriam would love nothing more than to see her sister happy and taken care of, she was nowhere near that point and Kol was going to have to keep a lid on his feelings for her until she was ready. She hoped that he was smart enough to realize that.

The best part of seeing her sister up close was that she could get the measurements right. Bella was shorter, likely due to the fact that she didn’t get enough sunlight and the best food while growing up, and of course, thinner. It would likely take months for her to look like a healthy human being. Myriam loved shopping for clothes, and it was more fun to shop for someone else, while looking at them to see if it fit and if it was something for them.

Even though Myriam wanted to buy all the tight stuff, she refrained from doing so and opted for a nice summer dress instead. And underwear. She hadn’t seen any underwear in any cupboard in Bella’s room, likely because she was wearing sweatpants all the time and second hand underwear was gross. A nice cozy big shirt to sleep in and some fluffy bunny slippers. Of course, now that Myriam was going to stay for a while, she needed some essentials of her own, clothes.

When she returned to the compound, she saw Kol slip into Bella’s room – it was about time, the bastard hadn’t left his room since he returned the day before! Myriam decided to stay out for a while longer, although she secretly wanted to listen in on the conversation. It was always good when men squirmed.

Kol found Bella sitting in her favourite corner, knees hugged to her chest, and only acknowledging him briefly before staring blankly ahead of her again. “Hey, Bella, how are you doing today?” He asked as he sat down next to her. “Is everything going well between you and your sister?” When she nodded, he continued. “Can we talk about what happened yesterday?”

She looked at him then. “We don’t have to. You weren’t feeling well and didn’t appreciate my kindness.”

“I had far too much to drink, alcohol, even more than we can usually tolerate and I was absolutely shitfaced. I had a lot of blood inside of me as well and I was a little frustrated,” he said slowly and in a soft tone of voice. “It’s embarrassing that you saw me that way. Stark naked about to wank and-”

“What’s shitfaced? What’s wank?”

“Right, well, shitfaced… have you ever experienced being in a situation where you felt really good and your head was all floating and thinking crazy things? Perhaps you felt urges you’d never felt before at the same time? That’s what alcohol does to you. And drugs. And too much blood, in my case. When you’re shitfaced, all your walls come down. Like… all of them. No self control, nothing.” When Bella nodded, he continued. “And wank… well… humans and vampires alike enjoy a lot of things similarly. Wanking is the action of stroking my penis until it feels so good that white stuff, semen, comes out of it. It makes you feel relaxed. It’s basically playing with yourself until you feel good and relaxed.”

She couldn’t see the appeal to both of them. Losing control over your own actions was scary and wanking sounded gross. She’d never touch herself down there, for what purpose? It was where her pee came out! But she nodded, thanking him for his explanation anyway. More information to remember.

“And you, you went inside my head, you devious little thing,” he said as he playfully poked her arm. “You know I don’t like you to poke inside my head.”

“You were sick. I was merely trying to make sure you were truly alright,” she replied softly. “But instead I found something that I didn’t like.”

She found something she didn’t like. Progress. He hated it, though, that she didn’t like something about him. “Really? What was that?”

“You don’t like me,” she stared right at him. “You used Myriam’s bad word in combination with my name. But it’s okay, you don’t have to like me. I have Myriam now, we can go if you’d like me to.”

Myriam’s bad word? Fuck? Yeah he often used that word inside his head, they were a part of his thoughts, but his thoughts were unfiltered and- oh. Shit. “Right,” he sighed as he put an arm around her and pulled her closer. “Didn’t they ever mention that hearing someone’s thoughts is hearing them unfiltered? That what that someone thinks is private and usually raw? Think about it. Your inner monologue is different what comes out of your mouth. It’s likely not a huge difference for you, but for most people it is. I understand you wanted to make sure I was alright, Bella, but you shouldn’t have read my thoughts while I was incapacitated like that. Just because you can, doesn’t mean it gives you a free pass.”

“Are you going to punish me?”

“Never,” he smiled at her. “Why would I punish you for things you still need to learn? You know it’s wrong now, and you likely won’t do it again.”

“But you don’t like me.”

“I do, Bella, I do,” he replied as he held her even closer for a moment. “I don’t want you to leave because you think I do. I’m not sure in what kind of context of the word fuck was used when I was shitfaced, but I think you should ask your sister about it, since she’s the one who’s using the word a lot.”

“But it were your thoughts, it wouldn’t be kind of me to discuss them with Myriam.”

“It’s from my understanding that Myriam knows a lot about the different meanings of the word fuck, I’m sure she’d love to tell you all about it.”

“But to discuss your private thoughts with someone you’ve only met yesterday?”

Kol shrugged, pretty sure knowing what his thoughts were. “Your sister is more alike to us than you or she might realize at this point, being raised the way that she is. I don’t mind. It’s actually a topic that should be openly discussed rather than to feel embarrassed about.”

“She told me to ask you.”

“And I’m telling you to ask her,” he grinned. “Now, did you manage to get any sleep or did your sister keep you awake all night?”

“Cold Ones never sleep, I’m used to that.”

“Ah yes, but you’re a human, darling, you require regular hours of sleep, how about you take a nap? I’ll have to go and discuss something with my brother anyway and if I see your sister, I shall tell her that you’re resting.”

“But you truly meant it? You do like me?”

“Yes, Bella, I do. Very much so,” he took the blanket and wrapped it around her. “Go have a nap, darling, I’ll be back to fetch you for dinner.”

She smiled then as she shifted and took her place on the floor. One of these days, Kol was going to have to convince her somehow that she’d really prefer the soft bed that was standing in her room. It wasn’t just an object, it was something she could use and it was more comfortable than the floor.

Kol stayed until she started to breathe steadily and evenly and then quietly left her room, bumping into Myriam, who had a big smile on her face. “Don’t even think about waking her up.”

“Oh, I’m not,” she grinned. “I just couldn’t help but listen in on your conversation with her and how hard you needed to work to deflect talking about your most deepest desire.”

“And what’s that?”

“You want to fuck my sister!” Myriam started to laugh. “You honestly want to fuck a broken bird, couldn’t you have waited to develop feelings for her until she was… I don’t know, functioning like a normal person?”

Kol growled as he pushed Myriam away from Bella’s room so that they wouldn’t wake her up. “I don’t want to fuck her, Myriam. I want to covet her and treat her like the brilliant person she will turn out to be. Don’t you think that I’m not appalled with the fact that I’m attracted to her? Not because she’s awful or ugly, but because she needs to find herself, she needs to get comfortable in her own skin and amongst us. She needs to forget her training and that will take time.”

Myriam hummed then, a random thought popping up. “You know, being around Cold Ones makes humans be completely infatuated by them, what if she has that effect on you?”

“Freya already checked her over for that and she doesn’t have that gene, I wish it was that easy, but it’s not.” Kol decided to change the subject then, as he was tired talking about his feelings for Bella. “How was your night with Niklaus? Did you two have fun?”

Myriam narrowed her eyes on Kol. “No, and that fucker is staying away from me. I’m here for my sister, not for anything else.”

Kol was surprised to hear that. “You two did not have sex? I have lost a bet with Freya then… What happened? Performance anxiety?”

“You need to stop or I will kill you,” Myriam told him as she slowly started to lose her cool. “I’ve already spoken to Bella about my evening with your brother, I’m not going to discuss it with you.”

“With Bella?” Kol laughed. “Oh, that poor girl, she must have been so confused!”

“It’s no laughing matter!” Myriam said as she pushed Kol away from her. “She’s twenty years old! She’s a fucking human who, until she came here, had never tasted good human food before! She’s never been through puberty, or it’s been fucking repressed. She’s so fucking innocent that I don’t even want you around her because you’re thinking about fucking her while you smell like the whores you’ve been visiting previously!” So much for keeping her mouth shut about her sister’s friendship with Kol Mikaelson.

“Hey now,” Kol defended himself. “I have been taking care of her, making sure she felt safe and secure, ate, and got some routine going with the help of my sister. I have been nothing but respectful towards her! So yeah, forgive me if I went teetotal last night because your sister requires a lot of patience and control and I’m not known to possess those qualities! I had to let loose!”

“You’re saying she’s a handful? A burden?” Myriam lowered her voice, definitely making sure it sounded like a threat as she approached him. Oh, she so wanted to kill him. Traditionals would be so easy to kill…

“I did not say that!”

“It sure sounded like it, try again, see if you can make it sound like she’s not a burden to you,” Myriam said, still advancing on Kol, who was walking backwards, towards Bella’s room. Even if he’d go inside, wake Bella up and ask her to put her shield around him, it wouldn’t matter. Myriam could get through. It would be good practise, a test of theories. “How dare you to claim to have good intentions when you’re looking elsewhere to get off? She deserves better than that! Better than you!” Myriam grabbed him and threw him across the courtyard, straight into the partition that hid an ugly spot in the courtyard, a loud crash could be heard as Kol’s body broke the partition and he dropped to the ground.

In one fluid motion, she was on top of him, not giving him time to recover. “She deserves someone who’s dedicated to her, and her alone, not allowing his needs to seek his kicks elsewhere simply because at the current time he can’t get them from her!” She wanted to punch him, but he was quick enough to dodge her fist and she cracked the pavement. “You’re not even introducing her to the most human things to do! Board games! Cooking! Ride a ferris wheel! Learn how to read, devour books! Watch movies! Let her be a teenage girl, or a child, even! She’s never had that! You know what I did this morning? I went out and bought her clothes. PJ’s. Fluffy bunny slippers and a handful of board games she might enjoy! Oh, and crayons! Because she’s never had that! And what do you do? You come in, talk, and leave her to stare into nothingness, not engaging her mind at all! You fucking claim to want her with everything that she is and that makes you no better than the fucking Cullens.” The next punch she threw, hit, shattering a cheekbone. “You’re fucking lucky I’m not taking her away from here because we have nowhere else to go, but you’re not going anywhere near her again!”

“Alright, that’s enough,” Elijah’s calm voice sounded as he pried Myriam off of his younger brother, whose face looked dented, Myriam’s knuckles having left quite the imprint. Knowing he couldn’t contain the furious Cold One himself, he pushed her towards Niklaus, who grabbed her tightly and held her close as Myriam fought him.

“Let me go, you fucker! You’re even worse than he is!” She said as she tried to push herself off of the ground, but all Klaus did was to lift her feet off of the ground. Despite being taller than Bella, she still was a tiny ball of fire and Klaus was taller.

“Calm down, love,” Klaus said softly as he was impressed by Myriam’s strength. She hadn’t been lying that she was strong and he’d never encountered a Cold One this strong – yet. “You’ve done enough breaking for today.”

“Don’t talk to me,” Myriam spat as she tried to wrestle herself loose. Klaus held her good, she couldn’t move her arms at all and her legs couldn’t even kick him as he held her at an angle, keeping everything away from her. “If it hadn’t been for your stupid daughter, Bella wouldn’t have been here.”

“No, she would have been dead,” Klaus replied calmly. “Go ahead, blame everyone and the world, but you need to calm down before you seriously injure someone.” Myriam knocked her head back, colliding with Klaus’, causing the hybrid to stumble, but not to let go of her, seriously pissing him off now. Such a shame that Cold Ones couldn’t be put into time out with a snap of the neck. He felt his hybrid façade bleed out and carefully scraped Myriam’s neck, careful not to get her venom onto him, because that would be a bitch.

Myriam stilled then. It was something Peter would do during her year of being a newborn and she was getting out of hand. She could be decapitated and that would bring her nowhere.

“Now, calm down, and once you’re calm, we’re going to have a civil discussion without breaking things, do you understand, sweetheart?” Klaus asked nicely. “I am going to hold you until you calm down seeing as we have no space in this house that could contain you in particular.”

“Kol,” Elijah spoke quietly as he didn’t take his eyes of their audience. “Would you be so kind to go to the kitchens to get yourself some blood to heal yourself a bit faster?”

“A Cold One smashed my face in, Elijah, a little sympathy couldn’t hurt,” Kol shot at him as he managed to get to his feet, Elijah moving slightly to block Kol’s sight on Bella’s room.

“You and Myriam garnered quite the audience during your little scuffle.”

Little scuffle? Seriously, ‘Lijah?” Kol huffed as he touched his cheek and was surprised to find it dented. “Oh, bloody hell! Who thought it was a fucking good idea to have a Cold One underneath our roof? And unstable at that! My handsome face!”

“Kol,” Klaus said, warning him, as he could feel Myriam’s muscles tense up again. “Get yourself fed. Where’s Freya?”

“She’s with Keelin,” Elijah replied as he watched his youngest brother walk off towards the kitchen before going over to Bella, who was still looking at what had happened in the courtyard. “Everyone is alright, Bella, no one got hurt.”

“Myriam can still get hurt,” Bella said as she looked at Klaus holding her sister like she’d seen happen many times before. Her neck was too exposed. She needed to shield her so that Klaus couldn’t hurt her.

“I can assure you, the last thing Niklaus wants is to hurt your sister,” Elijah smiled at her. “He’s merely keeping Myriam from hurting herself or others.”

“But Klaus doesn’t like me. He’s fearful of me, why would he allow me to have my sister after she attacked his brother?”

Elijah sighed as he pinched the bridge of his nose. “Niklaus, for one time, would you please allow Bella access to your mind so she can see for herself how well your intentions are for her, and her sister?”

“Oh, I know exactly what his intentions are!” Myriam growled.

“Hush, sweetheart,” Klaus whispered in her ear, and Myriam stilled again. “I’m not a fan of that idea, Elijah.”

He looked back at the pair. “I do not either, but you need to allow Bella to read your mind to be reassured what you’re doing is the best option for now. Considering what she came from, imagine what you two appear like to her at the moment. And perhaps Myriam would gain some perspective herself when the day is over,” he finished, his tone mildly scolding as his eyes settled on the Cold One at the end.

“Do I get any reassurance that she won’t mess around in my head, instead?” Klaus wondered out loud.

Elijah huffed in frustration. “Niklaus for God’s sake…,” he retorted. Turning to Bella, he knelt near the girl in attempt to appear less imposing. “Would you only read his thoughts and nothing else? Could you promise that?”

“I can’t manipulate thoughts and feelings like Jasper could, I can read only.”

“I think he’s more afraid of what you were able to do to the humans outside if you were actually in his mind, dear.”

Bella blinked at him. “I don’t enter people’s brains to do that, it’s just happens and I don’t have control over it. But I can’t do that by myself. I never hurt people when I read their thoughts. I don’t want to hurt people.”

Elijah stared at her for a long minute to gauge her understanding. He truly felt that sinister ability was emotion based and it hadn’t affected the family at the time. Nodding, he looked over his shoulder at his brother. “I trust that she can do it. We need to begin trusting her if we want her to trust us,” he murmured in addition.

“Very well,” Klaus sighed as he opened his mind, hoping that whatever Bella would see in it wouldn’t be confusing for her because otherwise he’d be in trouble.

Bella didn’t particularly feel like she wanted to read Klaus’ mind, especially not after she had read Kol’s and he had told her that it was his privacy that she’d been invading and that his thoughts were his. Unfiltered. Raw. Unreliable. “I promise I’ll keep them to myself,” Bella said as she took a few steps closer to Klaus, his mind was harder to get into than she had anticipated. “But do keep talking, if you wish.”

I don’t like this. For Bella’s reassurance opening my mind for her? As if I would ever harm a woman! That thought is preposterous!

Myriam squirmed in his arms and smirked at her sister. “I told you he only wanted to get in my pants. Now you have confirmation of that.”

“What does preposterous mean?” Bella questioned. “I don’t understand.”

Elijah eyed his brother. “It means absurd, or ridiculous. Forgive my brother. He favors his expensive words almost as much as I.”

“Don’t be ridiculous,” Klaus huffed at his brother, glaring in confusion at the girl in his arms for her outrageous claim.

Expensive words, I say education. Long years of living. One’s bout to pick up words he favors, difficult or not. Myriam’s strong. When is she going to stop struggling so much? Peter should have given me other options. Other than to ‘build a bunker’ and this one. Peter doesn’t know everything, can’t know everything. Jasper manipulated his ability to know everything, danced around it. Hid things. And Peter was worried about the safety of his girl and her sister. Well, yeah, so am I. They’re safe here, for now. Peter assured me that Myriam has her own special way to make sure Bella’s safe to be around with.

That thought surprised Bella, Myriam said it would be their secret, and Peter told Klaus about it? So much for it being a secret! She liked to identify the feelings and have the mind tell her what reason it was for them to feel that way. It made her understand it easier, but sometimes it only made things worse for her.

Myriam was right about bringing more humanity in this home, Freya said the same and I was going to send Kol out to buy things that could possibly interest Bella. It’s a good thing Myriam was already a step ahead, painful, too. Myriam needs our help as much as Bella does, her life couldn’t have been easy, either. Lonely, perhaps, knowing she had a sister and not – perhaps Freya could try to bond with Myriam, they both have the same experience concerning siblings.

But why on Earth would Myriam think I was trying to woo her and bring her to my bed? We’ve only just met. I was just showing her the city. Our beautiful New Orleans. The lights. The buildings. The places she could feed safely without the deaths being too much of a nuisance. The Art. That’s what set her off. And that conversation I overheard that she had with Bella made no sense. Myriam is attractive, yes, but we’ve only just met! I was trying to get to know her and now she’s acting like this. Oh, perhaps in time, she’ll see that I was only being friendly and making sure that she wouldn’t turn our home into a ruin…

Did she really have to pick a fight with Kol, though? They both mean well and they were both fighting for Bella. Well, perhaps Kol did deserve it. Myriam was right in that sense, if Kol is truly interested in Bella as he claims, then he shouldn’t seek his entertainment elsewhere. Those days belong in the past, not in this time. Granted, we’re vampires and we don’t have to adhere to humanity’s standards… well… Kol has to. I don’t- but I do. Nowadays.

Oh, she is beautiful, isn’t she? Despite her cold, marble skin, she’s a beautiful raging sun that would make me want to see how amazing it would be if she’d exploded around me. Glorious, I’ll bet. I need to paint this beautiful metaphor. Oh, if only I wasn’t still holding her.

Bella blinked and gasped as she watched the metaphor happen. Klaus’ thoughts were quite vivid, images, feelings, thoughts, all at the same time and she tried to listen to the words, but this image was spectacular, incredibly detailed and the feelings- overwhelming. Was she supposed to see this? What was this? What needed to happen for Bella to feel this for herself? Would she even be able to?

Elijah and Myriam watched Bella’s reactions and he looked over at his brother in wonder. What exactly did she read in his head to garnish such a response. All he knew was that Klaus was trying to hide a blush within Myriam’s hair.

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