The next couple of weeks were quite something, a rollercoaster ride, if you will. It wasn’t as if the sisters weren’t trying, but their instability made them all wonder if saving them had been the best option. Maybe they both weren’t trying hard enough, but it was frustrating for all.
Bella’s shackles broke by day two after waking up. When she was able to focus on one voice at the time, Kol’s, she was doing fine, but when you gave her something else to do that required her attention, she got distracted. While Freya’s idea of meditation had been a good one, Bella simply couldn’t meditate and shut off all the voices. She barely slept and Kol had to mentally knock her out a few times to make sure she got at least some rest, but it wasn’t easy. On top of that, she still wasn’t up to speed to all the nuances in feelings and emotions, and Kol had wondered if he should give her a crash course by allowing her inside his mind to show her all of them, because over the years that he has lived, he had felt them all.
Kol wanted to turn Bella, perhaps her magic would go away, but everyone else thought it was a bad idea because Myriam regained her magic upon becoming a traditional tribrid. She was moody, even worse than normal, she had a hard time focussing on the present as she kept slipping into the future. Not by much, but enough to drive her insane. Meditation worked, a little. Myriam had a lot of anger inside of her, still, and she was stronger than a normal hybrid, but easier to make her relax now that her neck could be snapped.
Klaus was against that, of course, but only when the safety of others was in jeopardy, he’d snap her neck. Usually causing Bella to go off at him, Myriam didn’t deserve to get her neck snapped. Myriam had been surprised by the power of her magic. She once had the entire compound shake when casting a spell when angry, enough so that the city of New Orleans believed that there was a small earthquake going on in Bourbon Street. Everything was brute force with Myriam, even her magic.
But, when they were able to function normally, everything was alright. Bella would keep apologizing and get out of everyone’s way. Myriam made no excuses, only that she was a crappy creature. Bella and Myriam often talked about leaving together, knowing that the Mikaelsons didn’t deserve them like this. They needed to be better, and not falling apart. However, Bella had become really smitten by Kol and she didn’t want to leave him. In turn, Myriam admitted that she, too, had become infatuated with Klaus. He wasn’t Jasper. Klaus didn’t remind her of anyone in her past.
But still, both girls hated it that they couldn’t be stable for longer than a day, or two. They cooperated with anything the Mikaelsons came up with to try and stabilize them, but nothing truly stuck. Life was hell, and Bella could feel that everyone was getting fed up with them. Patience was wearing thin.
It was one of their off days, but they managed to get the kitchen all to themselves, Myriam was going to teach Bella how to bake all the things. Myriam had always liked baking as a distraction and it was time the girls took their rehabilitation into their own hands, no matter how messy things were going to get.
“We really need to get ourselves under control,” Myriam said as she slammed one of the kitchen cabinets closed. “Because this is getting out of control. We’ve had them try everything, it didn’t work. Surely there’s something we could do?”
Bella was sitting on the kitchen island and watched her sister grab everything she needed to start baking. The kitchen staff had been sent away for a couple of hours and the kitchen was basically a no-go zone. So far, Bella was doing ‘all right’. She at least remembered to use her indoor voice while communicating. “What did that cabinet ever do to you?” Row row row your boat…
“Sorry,” Myriam muttered as she closed another cabinet after grabbing a bowl or two. “No, I know you’re right, but still… this is getting annoying. I feel like a fucking newborn all over again and even then it didn’t take me this long to adjust.”
Eggs. Flour. Caster sugar. Butter. Bacon. Eggs. Sausages. Baby you light up my world like nobody else. Fucking asshole. I wish I could fire his ass! Can animals commit suicide?
“Yeah, and I know that, Bella. It’s fucking frustrating, that’s all,” Myriam said as she continued making the batter of her cake. “And I know, I know that there’s something brewing between you and Kol, and between myself and Klaus, but isn’t it better for all of us if we’d just go back to Texas? To Peter and Charlotte? At least until we’ve figured this out?”
Bella blinked as she realized what was going on. “Slow down, Myr, you’re having a discussion with me that I’m not a part of yet.”
“Sorry, but you understand, right?”
“I do,” Bella nodded. “And I’m reluctantly agreeing with you.” If I turn myself in, do I get to keep the reward money? I mean, 50k is very nice! My pc isn’t working! Oh, I don’t know, have you tried turning it on and off again? Seriously, how hard is it? It could slide right in. Sticky, oh, so sticky. I should apologize to her. “However, can’t we take them with us?”
“The whole point is to relieve them from us,” Myriam pointed out as she turned on the oven to preheat it.
“True, but what’s the point in leaving? Doesn’t that mean that we’re giving up? We should stay and fight. Keep trying. There must be a solution somewhere even though it seems like we’ve tried everything already. If there’s one thing that we have in common is that we’re not quitters. We’ll just have to avoid them more when we’re not fully functional,” Bella said quickly, in one breath as she focused, hard. Everybody, rock your body, Backstreet’s back, alright! “We could call Peter, maybe he knows something.”
“No, he’s on his way anyway…” Myriam then realized what she had said and lost all color in her face. “Oh fuck, this isn’t going to end well, at all. We should warn Klaus.”
Bella pointed at the carton of eggs that Myriam had been holding, all eggs now crushed and dripping on the floor.
“Oh fucker!” Myriam threw the carton of broken eggs into the sink and started to clean up her mess. “This is so not fucking fair! How can you remain so calm, Bella? Fucking Peter is coming. We’re a fucking mess, we’re creating more messes and we’re already in a fucking mess because of the stupid Cullens!”
“Because I’ve done panicking and it’s not working,” Bella replied as a matter of factly, still trying so hard to find Kol’s voice again, his presence. His emotions. “But that doesn’t mean that there’s no fight in me left. We should go over everything we’ve learned and come up with again and try harder.”
“Fuck that, it doesn’t work,” Myriam said angrily as she was still mopping up the eggs. “We’ve tried our best, I certainly wasn’t slacking.”
“And maybe the real issue here is that we both need to learn how to relax properly. We’re both on edge all the time. We can’t relax, even a bath isn’t relaxing. Snapping your neck doesn’t work for you, and well, if my neck gets snapped, I’m dead.”
Myriam then thought for a moment and then a big grin appeared on her face. “There’s one thing we haven’t tried yet.”
Curious, Bella slipped into her sister’s mind. Myriam was easy to find, and also easy to tune out. What she saw in Myriam’s mind was… disturbing, but not? “I’m not going to use my troubles as an excuse to have sex, Myriam, but you can do that with Klaus and tell me how you got on,” she said encouragingly. She could feel her sister’s anger, her disappointment and her despair, but also her cheeky side. But when she was with Bella, it was a lot less intense than when they were with others.
Bella shrugged as she hopped off the kitchen island to grab Myriam new eggs. “Or bake first, bake Klaus a cake with ‘Let’s Get Lucky’ written on it with icing. But I think he’s holding back, he might turn you down, as he might feel he’s not worthy of that trust yet.”
“Sex is sex,” Myriam shrugged. “I can do it with Klaus.”
“Not if he feels as strongly as he does. He truly adores you, Myr. He won’t allow you to have meaningless sex with him, he wants the true thing for you. Intimacy, trust, love.”
Myriam huffed as she thought of her sister’s words. “Well, then you’ll just have to do it first then.”
“Sex with Klaus?”
“No, you dummy,” Myriam rolled her eyes at her sister. “With Kol.”
“But we’ve just barely started to explore touching and stuff. Besides, he’s too frustrated with me because I can’t hear him at times when he’s talking,” Bella replied as she put the eggs on the counter and sat back down.
“Fine, then I’m going to ask Rebekah to buy us vibrators so we can help ourselves to relax and get a fucking good orgasm,” Myriam said as a matter of factly as she dusted some flour over Bella’s head and started to laugh. “Dusted!”
Bella reached for the bag of flour and grabbed a handful before throwing it against Myriam, a smile on her face. “I already know you’re going to win this, you’re a vampire with vamp speed.”
“It’s all about the fun!” Myriam grinned as she grabbed an egg and cracked it open over Bella’s head. “Come on, shorty, do your worst! Get moving. Don’t let me get you with food, but try to hit me with food!”
Bella hopped off the counter again and ducked while she headed to the fridge and grabbed some tomatoes. Squeezing one first, she aimed at Myriam and Myriam allowed her to hit her because she wasn’t even moving out of the way.
“Yes! That’s what I mean! Come on, more! With feeling!” Myriam used her speed to get into the fridge herself and found some cold mashed potato. Grabbing a handful, she made a potato ball out of it and threw it at Bella’s back. “You’re hit!”
Soon enough, they were using every throwable food item in the kitchen to throw at each other, running around the kitchen, screaming, laughing, making a complete mess out of the formerly spotless kitchen and not paying attention to anything or anyone.
It was only when the kitchen staff returned that they briefly stopped in their tracks and pointed and laughed at each other, both covered in all food possible and the cook looked less amused because they had cleaned out every cabinet and the fridges. There was pasta sauce on the ceiling, the cabinets were covered in food and drinks and the whole kitchen looked like a warzone with two giggling sisters slap bang in the middle of it.
The cook angrily went to get the boss, and when Klaus came to check the damage, he was impressed by the mess the girls had made. Except how could he be angry with them when they both looked so elated? He hadn’t seen them this relaxed in quite some time. “Did you go through all the food, ladies? Or is there more to play with?”
“No, all done!” the girls chorused, causing them to start laughing again.
“Then may I suggest you clean yourselves up so that Chef and his people can get this kitchen back in working order?”
Bella giggled as she moved passed Klaus to exit the kitchen, he was careful to avoid the food dripping girl before eyeing Myriam, who was standing on top of the counter now, with a stupid grin on her face, and he got slightly worried. She hopped off the counter and rushed to him, hugging him tightly, rubbing slightly against him so he’d be covered in food too. Myriam then let go of him and used her speed to go to her room, passing Bella as she did. “I’m faster!”
“How rude!” Bella called after her before bumping into Kol. “Oh, sorry,” she giggled as she tried to wipe off the flour and tomato sauce off his shirt, but only made it worse with her dirty hands. “I need to clean myself up.”
She looked cute. He wanted to pick her up and give her a bath and give her a proper rub down, everything. “My shirt,” he pouted as he looked down instead, and pulled his shirt off. “Ah, I hated that one anyway.”
Bella started to blush furiously as she saw the images inside his mind and quickly ran to her room to get undressed and take a shower. It was getting harder to ignore those thoughts he had about her, but she appreciated it that he was being patient in that department too. But she wasn’t worthy of that level of kindness, not with the way she was now.
She froze when he joined her underneath the shower then, still dressed in his pants and socks, his feelings for her overwhelming her and she was wondering if she was putting these feelings inside his mind, because his behaviour was kinda funny, unlike him. “Relax, darling,” he assured her. “I’m merely here to help you get clean…”
“That you are,” he replied as he grabbed a washcloth and put some soap on it.
Bella let out a breath and shook her head. “No, Kol, not like this. Your feelings… they’re… no. Baby steps. You promised. Please. No,” she put her hand against his bare chest to push him away.
“This is baby steps, Bella, I’m not asking for more.”
“I’ve touched your naked skin before, underneath your shirt, now you’re completely naked and you shouldn’t be ashamed of what you look like, Bella, because you’re gorgeous,” he said as he stepped outside the water. “Yes, my thoughts may demand more, but I’m true to my word. You need help cleaning that muck out of your hair.” He then started to remove his pants, but kept his boxers on. He removed his wet socks and stepped back in. “I’ve evened out the playing field, better? We’re both naked now.”
Bella was silent as she kept her head bowed slightly, lips pursed as she was absorbing the emotions and situation. “No we’re not,” she blinked, still feeling uneasy but slightly more accepting of his explanation.
“You’re not ready for that, darling,” he chuckled, shaking his head before grabbing the washcloth again and started to gently clean her skin. “But you’re gorgeous, you shouldn’t hide it. You’re so gorgeous it hurts.”
Bella shook her head as she didn’t dare look at him. His overwhelming feelings ebbing away a little, making room for the baby step versions of his feelings.
“You know, in the beginning… before all this, I was so frustrated with myself, because I fell so hard for you, and I couldn’t do anything with it because you didn’t understand. I was furious with you for being who you are, but you couldn’t help it. It was wrong for me to feel the way I did then, but now… I’m not ashamed, Bella.”
“Your attraction to me is only physical?”
“No, not at all,” he smiled at her as he lifted her chin, lightly brushing the cloth across her chest, trying to calm his excitement for touching her breasts through a wash cloth. “You’re gorgeous on the inside, that hasn’t changed, it was the first thing that I noticed about you. Even after you were allowed to be free, oh, Bella,” he sighed happily. “Is there a more powerful way to say that you’re beautiful, gorgeous?” Kol thought for a moment. “You’re like a goddess to me. I want to worship you the way that you should be worshipped.”
“This is baby steps?”
“This is baby steps for experts,” he let out a breath as he soaped up her arms. “But I’m glad you’re feeling better than you did a couple of hours ago.”
“Me too,” she said softly as she allowed him to continue to touch her, to clean her up. It felt great, her skin was reacting to his touch and this time she couldn’t hide the goosebumps that were on her arms. “For a moment there I thought I was putting things in your head…”
“We’ve established that you won’t, or can’t,” he assured her. “This is all me, and maybe I did come on a little bit too strong just now, but Bella, I wouldn’t have done this when I wasn’t sure that you weren’t ready for this.”
“You overheard me and Myriam talk,” she concluded, narrowing her eyes on him. “It’s rude to eavesdrop.”
“Ha! Says the mind reader who can’t keep her gift under wraps because it’s too powerful!” Kol barked out a laugh. “You little hypocrite,” he said teasingly. “Of course Nik and I listened in, we know all about your plans of wanting to run away. Let me tell you. Nik and I aren’t going to let you go. Period. Because you’re right, quitting is not an option. We’re fighters.” He got rid of the cloth and grabbed the shower head to rinse her down, before starting on her hair. Perhaps he should have started with her hair first, now he’d have to wash her body again after this! Oh, but he didn’t mind at all. “And until then, we just have to live for the little moments like this, when you’re able to hold a proper conversation and enjoy life instead being burdened by everything else.”
He had a point about eavesdropping, but it wasn’t as if she could help it. In fact, she found it strange that the little control that she had had previously, wasn’t working in the current situation. But she was also glad to hear that he wasn’t willing to give up on her, either. “Sorry for -”
“Not hearing it,” he said as he had managed to get almost everything out of her hair and started to put the shampoo on her hair. “We vampires are fickle with our emotions. But I truly don’t want you to go. We have a very bright future ahead.”
“Until I’m too old and you’ll trade me in for a younger model.”
He was unsure what to say about that, because that was true. Bella didn’t want to be a vampire and turning her could have disastrous implications for her gift as they could be enhanced like they were with Myriam, all thanks to those meddling Cullens. “Never,” he eventually said, although his vanity was cursing him to bits now. She’d be old and wrinkly, he’d still have his handsome face. Bella was worth it. Oh, she was so worth it.