Bella made sure that either her sister or Kol was between Hope and her at all times. Preferably both. She had put a soft shield around herself, and her sister, just in case, but Hope would be able to weaken them anyway and get into hurt them. If she wanted to. The worst part was that Hope didn’t have to go back to school for the year, something about being too smart and too powerful and whatnot, and that they’d see her back in school the following year.
The Mikaelsons were delighted, of course. Bella had enough experience with children around her and had enough for a lifetime, and Myriam disliked Klaus’ daughter in general, because she was Klaus’ daughter and Myriam disliked Klaus. Besides, if she was truly everything she had heard about her, then Hope could be a threat. Children were fickle.
It was almost as if since Hope’s arrival, the state of high alert or trying to fix things was gone. Everyone was taking a breather, but Myriam felt something was off. She was uneasy, restless. She needed to kill something. Less and less she had the feeling that Bella wasn’t safe here. That she wasn’t safe here and Myriam knew that she could keep the both of them safe without having to deal with these traditionals.
And, a few days after Hope’s arrival, she decided to snoop around. She had done this before, of course, but she was going to try and hang out with Marcel’s vampires that had been mostly hiding out in the basement. There were plenty of spaces to hide, and plenty of things to hear. There was the usual gossip; who was fucking with who, who scored big, who was stronger, who had the biggest dick… who thought it was stupid for Kol to carry a torch for the broken girl…
See, Myriam could agree with that, but now that she’d been around for a bit longer, he seemed to be struggling with the same thought. He hadn’t been around Bella much, only to show his face once or twice, to check up on her, but he hadn’t actually spent time with her. And Bella didn’t understand. Of course she didn’t. But how could Myriam tell her sister that Kol liked her for more than kindness? That, eventually, he might want to become a couple with her? A) Myriam wasn’t going to, because it was stupid and B) this was something Kol had to tell Bella himself; that she was too- unusual for someone like him to date, but surely there were plenty of other fish in the sea!
And then, Myriam would punch his face again. Because that’s what sisters do.
Bella was doing better. She continued to become better every single day. Sometimes in small increments, sometimes in the bigger ones. Bella had already figured out that she didn’t like cartoons on the television. Myriam still had to find out what was on air these days to see if Bella would maybe like to watch something else, but the TV remained off, for now.
It was fun to listen to Marcel’s vampire talk for awhile until she heard something that she truly didn’t want to hear. They had been fighting off some Cold Ones on the border of New Orleans lately, which, to them, wasn’t a surprise because Freya had an exact map of where Cold Ones were and how they were moving; partially created with Myriam’s blood, no doubt.
Myriam lifted one of the vampires’ phones then, and snuck off to see what more information she could find. There were children missing. She managed to get on the website they had set up as part of the underground and there were confirmations of Cold One sightings across the globe, it was as if they were amassing an army; more people were being turned. Newborns. And they were on their way to the States. All because the Cullens threw a temper tantrum about their most dangerous weapon being stolen from them. Bella. And then rumors about Bella having a sister. There was a prize on both of their heads.
All of this for a poor, innocent girl who would probably be able to fend off a few Cold Ones by herself, but not an entire army.
Bella needed to get out of New Orleans. Fast. They needed to run. There was no way that the Mikaelsons could keep them safe, or help them fight an entire army like this. Why did noone tell her about all of this? Was it to ensure that she wouldn’t start raging again? Was it so that they could turn them both in? Then what was the purpose of trying to help Bella? To fuck with her mind?
Oh, she was raging. She was going to get answers, now. There had still been some light on in Klaus’ study and she had heard hushed voices coming from there. Myriam was definitely going to get an answer or she’d take Bella away and they were going to disappear. Getting to Klaus’ study quickly, she didn’t even bother knocking as she walked inside. “Why didn’t you tell me that there were Cold Ones at the border of New Orleans or that the Cold Ones are making an army of newborns to get Bella? Why!” She said angrily as she threw the phone at him, not even bothered by the strange looks she received from all Mikaelson siblings.
“That’s exactly why,” Klaus pointed out as he rose to his feet, ready to grab her should she lunge for one of his siblings again. “Because you would get angry. Perhaps not angry, but scared, which makes you angry.”
“I told you we should have told her,” Kol replied as he made sure he was on the other side of the room. There was no way that he was going to get punched again.
“There’s nothing to worry about, we are dealing with the problem discreetly,” Elijah explained calmly. “You’re as discreet as an elephant in a porcelain cabinet, Myriam.”
“It’s my duty to kill Cold Ones,” she spat. “I want in on the fucking fight, you hear me?”
Klaus sighed and shrugged. “I shall inform Marcel that from now on, you will be training his vampires, preparing them to fight the Cold Ones. That’s the best offer I can give you for the sake of your, and your sister’s, safety.”
“Fine,” Myriam scowled. It was better than nothing. She wasn’t even going to fight this decision. “But I want to be kept in the loop about everything. Bella may not be someone who can handle it, but I’m a fucking soldier, and you fuckers tend to forget that.”
“But you don’t have to be a soldier, Myriam,” Rebekah spoke as she looked at her. “You can be a girl, first. Honestly, we should go out and have a girl’s night out with the lot of us once this is over. It’ll be so much fun.”
“For now you should utilize me for my knowledge about the Cold Ones and my knowledge of how to fucking fight them,” Myriam said bitterly as she sat down in one of the empty chairs. “Other than that, and being a sister to my sister, I’m not doing it. Now, what were you talking about before I came in?”
“Actually discussing whether or not we should read the information your father has so freely given us without you,” Elijah replied.
“With. End of. Shit might be unreliable as fuck now due to that fucking asshole.”
“And there could also be some valuable information in there, who knows?” Klaus said as he walked to the safe and retrieved the package. “It certainly is a lot more than was left behind by your former lover.”
“Shut up,” Myriam muttered.
“Right then,” Klaus said as he handed the package to Elijah and poured himself another bourbon. “Whatever we learn tonight will not leave these four walls and we’re only going to inform Bella when it’s necessary.”
Elijah opened the package and started to read. “This is incredible,” he said, flabbergasted. “I am not sure how they managed to get this, but then again, if your mother pretended to be a nurse, I shouldn’t be too surprised,” he continued as he pointed at the files. “Freya, perhaps this is something for Keelin to look at when we’re done, it shows in detail how the process of getting Renée pregnant with heavily modified embryos and what they did to those embryos…” he said as he drifted off as he kept reading. “Remarkable.”
“What?” Myriam said as she moved over to him to read what he was reading and she felt herself get physically ill, even though Cold Ones couldn’t get sick. “It does make a lot of fucking sense… I fucking hate science.”
Before anyone asked, Elijah explained. “We all know how normal babies are created, and Carlisle Cullen took real good care of those embryos, stripping them from human abnormalities, such as defective genetic markers. He then added the DNA of some of his coven members from when they were still human.”
“How? Some have been dead for centuries?” Kol wondered. “Even I know that you can’t keep blood right after freezing it for a year.”
“He’s some kind of Wunderkind,” Myriam sighed and pinched the bridge of her nose. “I have no doubt that he has found his own ways. Thing is, he manipulated multiple embryos. Some with all of the material, some with only a few and only Bella and I survived. One of us with material from Emmett’s and Alice ‘s DNA, the other one with Jasper’s and Edward’s. It fucking makes so much sense, but Jasper… I always believed that he was turned by some vampire called Maria in the Southern Wars, and not by Carlisle… or that bitch worked with the fucker. And I believed he had never even met the Cullens before he went undercover with them. For fuck’s sake!”
“You’re going to have to explain why it makes so much sense, darling,” Kol prompted her as he poured himself a glass of bourbon.
Myriam sighed. “I’ve always been very strong, even as a human. Emmett’s the coven’s strong man. I’m pretty sure Alice’s gift didn’t take; she can see what’s going to happen with people based on the decisions they’re making. And I believe we’ve only started to scrape the surface of what Bella’s capable of; Edward can read minds, just like Bella does, but she doesn’t have it that bad and can actually turn it off – which could be a part of the Cullen’s conditioning. Jasper… the fucker could manipulate emotions from those around him. Bella senses the emotions and thank fuck she can’t control us like that.”
“No, but she does absorb emotions like a sponge. Her own, surely, but when she had that meltdown almost two weeks ago, she made sure that we didn’t get hurt. Instead, we were blown away by her own emotions. Those that she didn’t understand. Her pain, her fears, and even her joy,” Freya explained. “It’s something we need to become more aware of the more she becomes more human, the more the cleanses start to work.”
“Even within the womb, Carlisle continued to manipulate the embryos, resulting in the deaths of many, except for the two that survived,” Elijah continued. “It continued on a regular basis, right until the girls were born. And then the medical information stops about Myriam, because you were pronounced dead by Charlotte and taken,” Elijah said before smiling. “However, Peter and Charlotte did note every single benchmark that you hit as a human. First smile. First word. First step.” He handed Myriam those papers to look at. “True parents.”
Elijah then sighed as he looked through the next couple of pages. “A more detailed form about what exactly they were giving Bella, I recognize some of the things as herbs and serums, but I can’t make sense of the other parts,” he said as he handed the papers to Freya. “It’s something for you and Keelin to sort through.”
“From what I can tell without even looking in too deeply they had a witch on staff and a powerful one at that, no wonder I have to work so hard… Holy shit, they really opened her up without anesthetic at some point and poked around?”
“Yep,” Myriam sighed. “And other fun experiments.”
“Myr! I found you! Look!” Bella said as she came running in with her drawing and immediately went to her sister. “I did it! I drew you! Look!” She said with a childlike innocence.
Myriam laughed then as she took the drawing and looked at it. It was incredibly detailed, every hair was in place, every freckle, every angle on her face. “Wow, Bella, that’s incredible!” She said as she turned it around for everyone else to see. “But shouldn’t you be resting?”
“I couldn’t rest until I drew that. It’s like… I had to,” she then noticed the entire Mikaelson family sitting in Klaus’ study, looking at her as if she was insane. “I’m sorry… A-am I interrupting something?”
“Not at all,” Klaus smiled at her, well impressed about her drawing. It only took her a couple of days to get it right, she was a fast learner. She was talented. “We’re always very happy to see you, sweetheart.”
Bella felt it differently. It was like she was being stared at and she didn’t like that. “I-I am intruding. I’ll go back to my room and sleep.”
She was just about to walk out again when Elijah spoke. “Bella, does the phrase La Cantanta Si Alza mean something to you?”
“It’s Italian,” Bella replied, half shrugging. “Doctor Carlisle liked the Italian language, and even spoke it with the Volturi.”
“It means The Singer Rises, or wakes up,” he tried. Granted, the sentence was written in a different kind of handwriting and it could have been written by Jasper for all he knew. A lie. But he had to check.
“I know, but it doesn’t mean anything, at least not that I’m aware, is that a bad thing?”
“No, thank you, Bella. Have a good night.”
Bella nodded before going back to her room.
“What was that?” Kol asked his brother. “Why did you ask her?”
“Well, I’m impressed that she knows another language, but also because it’s the only phrase in the entire package that’s not in English. Perhaps it was something important, but I suppose it wasn’t and it was likely written upon by someone who needed to jot something down quickly and not caring about what it was on.”
Myriam snatched the paper out of Elijah’s hand and sighed. “Jasper. Oh, and hey, look! It even says ‘trigger’ right there! A trigger for what?! And you went ahead and said it out loud?!”
“She didn’t seem to be affected, I’m sure this is a lie,” Elijah dismissed Myriam.
Angrily, she rose from her chair. “What if it’s not? Now I have to spend the entire night with her to see if she reacts to it to make sure she doesn’t do anything stupid!” Myriam fumed as she went straight to Bella’s room.
“She has a point,” Klaus pointed out. “The Cullens were barbaric, what if they used some sort of mental trigger? We already know that they mentally conditioned her with the right responses. What if they hid this from her?”
“Oh, please, Niklaus, why would they do that?”
“Oh, I don’t know, Elijah, in case she falls into the wrong hands?” Kol shot at his brother. “That was highly irresponsible and I’m with Myriam on this. I suppose I’ll be watching her all night as well,” he said before joining Myriam in Bella’s room. “You know, darling, the bed is far more comfortable to sleep on than the floor,” he said as he stood by the door, a smile on his face. “I’ve said it many times before, but why won’t you try it?”
“Are you both going to be here?”
“Looks like we are,” Kol nodded, carefully eyeing Myriam. “We merely want a place to hide for a while, Nik isn’t too happy with us at the moment.”
“We could play a game?” Bella suggested. “Or something else?”
“Darling, you don’t have to entertain us,” he said as he sat down on the sofa. “Go to bed.”
Bella felt that something was off, but couldn’t quite pinpoint what. “But you don’t like each other very much.”
“I promise I won’t punch him,” Myrian smiled at her. “We’ll play nice.”
They were trying too hard to get her to rest, and that was ridiculous. Bella wasn’t tired, even though it was dark outside. She was too excited about the perfect drawing she had made of Myriam and wondered where it was now. “You’re not hiding from Klaus,” Bella said as she sat down at her table and started a new drawing. “But you are hiding something from me and until you tell me what that is, I’m not going to rest.”
“While I’d usually applaud a positive change in behaviour, now is not the time to be sassy,” Myriam scolded her.
“Then tell me what the fuck is going on!” Bella blurted as she snapped her pencil. “You two don’t like each other. This is the longest amount of time Kol has spent in this room for a couple of days now as I’ve probably done something wrong and he dislikes me now. You’re hiding something from me and if you’re not going to tell me, I’ll break my way into your heads and get the truth out anyway.”
He had not expected this behavior from her, she actually sounded like quite the villainess. And used ‘fuck’ in the right context. “Bella, calm down, darling.” Was it true? Had the sentence been a trigger to unlock Bella’s true mind or something?
“I am calm. But I’m done with not knowing things because you think I won’t understand. Tell me anyway.”
“We’re here just out of precaution, darling,” Kol finally admitted, earning him a dirty look from Myriam. “It’s very well possible that that Italian phrase was a trigger of some sort, a mental trigger. Trained into you, tucked away.”
“So you’re afraid,” Bella said after giving it some thought. “Of me. Just like they were. D-Do you think I like being able to read minds? Or turn minds into jelly? Feel emotions but not being able to make sense of them? To become a shield or a container is somewhat better because at least it doesn’t hurt anyone. If there was a trigger, I would have been triggered. You’re making me sad and I don’t want to be sad.”
It hurt that the two people Bella thought were deserving of her kindness were still afraid of her. Hadn’t she proved that she would never deliberately try to hurt someone? All the things they had said in the time she’d been away from home had been lies. She didn’t deserve this confinement, she didn’t deserve the pencils or the food. Monsters didn’t have nice things. Myriam and Kol deserved better than a monster.
She opened the door and threw up a shield to push away anyone who was going to attempt of getting close. Bella was going home. Edward had come to her in a dream and he had told her where he was, that he wanted her to come back. And, at first, Bella had rejected him, because he had hurt her and had left her behind, but she was better off with him and the Cullens. While they were afraid of her, they knew what to do to make sure she was safe for everyone.
She was strong now, she wasn’t going to be stopped. She was going home.