For the next two years, Myriam spent her time with the Mikaelsons, and it was strange how at home she felt among them. She joined Kol on some of his adventures around the town and towns close by, and she and Klaus spent a lot of time together in his study as he painted. Myriam even allowed him to paint a portrait of her, as he had done of her mother. Rebekah loved to go shopping with Myriam, always wearing the latest fashion and she even involved her in the social circles she moved. And Elijah… well, she appreciated his fast knowledge of history, but he was different from Kol, Klaus, and Rebekah. She didn’t like his energy at all.
Myriam couldn’t get used to feeling like a princess. Never in a million years would she have thought to have the life she was leading now, and all of this because she wanted to save a woman from being attacked. However, for the last couple of months, she had to flee the house a couple of times when emotions were heightened, anxiety levels rose, and their paranoia was through the roof.
She had sent her demons out to see what was going on, but they couldn’t find anything that could be remotely responsible for her family’s behaviour. And Mikael wasn’t getting close at all. One of her demons had located him in Germany. There were still plenty of countries between them and him, and they had plenty of time to move if needed. As long as they didn’t attract any attention, it was going to be alright.
But of course, Mikael on the same continent as them meant that he was getting too close.
Kol was sent to France on an errand for Elijah, which meant that Myriam and Klaus could spend more time together, but on this particular evening, she found herself in the sitting room with Elijah, Klaus, and Rebekah, and the three of them had a serious look on their faces. “Who died?”
“No one,” Elijah replied with a pleasant smile on his face. Myriam didn’t trust it. Why had she stopped telling her demons to listen in on conversations between the siblings? Now she didn’t know what was going to happen! “We have the feeling that soon we’ll have to find ourselves a new place of residence and that situations can get out of control. Don’t you think we haven’t noticed you leaving the house whenever tensions run high in this home, it’s a good thing; you’re mortal, and we could kill you if we aren’t in control.”
She narrowed her eyes at him. “Is that some underlying threat?” she questioned.
“Not at all, but we believe that it’s for your best interest if you travel ahead to the area we wish to settle next. It won’t be without its dangers, of course, but you’ll be a lot safer.”
Myriam was not sure if she should be relieved with what she was hearing. While it appeared they were concerned for her safety, they were well aware she was capable of defending herself – even if they hadn’t seen her actually practice her abilities yet. Turning her gaze to the one in the room that she’d grown to trust the most, she wanted more explanation. “Niklaus?”
“How would you like to go to the New World, love?” he asked kindly. “It would have been better to travel as a family, but we still have some business to attend to here.”
“Then I can wait!”
Klaus sighed and shook his head. “I wish it were that simple, but it is not. We need to secure our tracks because we know our father is growing closer. I don’t want you to get involved in this if we can avoid it so please go ahead and set up our next home for us.”
Myriam then barked out a laugh. “This is the reason why you sent Kol away, isn’t it? Because you know it would be harder to convince me with him around,” she shook her head. “Unbelievable.”
“Mikael is no joke,” Rebekah said, a bit of force in her voice. “And yes, ducky, we are well aware that you can protect yourself, but we don’t want any harm to come over you. Please. They usually send a compelled human over to where ever they want to go next, that they’re willing to send you ahead means that you’ve gained their trust.”
“When will you join me in the New World? Are you giving me your word that you will join me and that you’re not simply sending me away on my own?”
“Of course,” Rebekah smiled at her. “The New World is beautiful, filled with wonders. Elijah, Nik, myself and Kol were born there. There are a lot of opportunities that we don’t have on this continent. Just imagine; you’ll be in charge of getting us a home, and you can do whatever you wish.”
Myriam glanced between the three and the brothers avoid her gaze. “I sense you withholding something from me. Something important. I understand the need to go ahead, but there is more involved. If you want my cooperation willingly, speak.”
“There are three options of landing in the New World at short notice. One is in Charleston, South Carolina. Now the issue with that port is the colour of your skin. You’re only a little too dark to pass off as completely white. Over here it doesn’t matter; slavery is different over here, but over there…”
“What is wrong with the colour of my skin?” Myriam blurted. “Why is that important to anyone?”
“Most of the New World is being built with slaves from Africa. Black people. Slavery is abolished here by now, but two hundred years ago there were black slaves in most of Europe,” Rebekah explained. “But in the New World… they’re going a little back in time because they can’t get the manpower from the Old World to build a new civilisation.”
Myriam blinked as she sat back in her chair, taking in the information in silence. Her jaw clenched in her barely restrained anger. “What other options?”
“There’s a port in Florida. Florida has a very nice climate, warm, like Spain… and it’s a Spanish Colony.”
Rebekah smiled then. “I somehow knew you were going to say that, but them lot didn’t want to believe me,” she said as she pointed at her brothers. “The last one is a very recent port, everything is still in development, and it will be lovely to settle there.”
The young witch stared back at them, waiting for the catch. “What is it?”
“Rumors go that they will get slaves in a few years, and they currently have Native slaves. Your skin might still be a bit too dark to be accepted. However, the issue is that the ship leaves from France.”
“It’s a French colony, requiring their citizenship laws,” she realised. “A woman alone travelling that far is unheard of, no matter how well off she is.”
Elijah nodded as he stared at her, gaging her reaction. “Yes. From what we’ve been able to determine in our research for all the viable options before coming here tonight is that you would need to be married. At least on paper.”
“Not for real, though, right? You can make false papers?”
Rebekah looked at her brother before turning back to Myriam. “While the papers may be false, to them they won’t be. You will be married to them, and you’ll have to act married. Play the part.”
Myriam let out a delirious bout of laughter until tears peaked out from the corners of her eyes. “You all must certainly be jesting! And who do you expect me to marry? Is this another reason why you have Kol running to France? To have him set up a marriage for us? While he and I have been intimate, we would never be able to fool any officials that well.”
“No, but you and Niklaus will,” Elijah replied.
That shut her up. “Now I hadn’t believed it possible for a vampire to be deranged, but you sir have just convinced me. I haven’t even been able to convince him to court me. And now you want us to play married?”
“Listen, we thought about it to be Kol, but everyone who knows about us knows that he’s… low on the pecking order, sort to speak. With your false marriage to Niklaus, it will give you status, especially on top of your family name. It will protect you in the social circles, and it will get you things done,” Rebekah explained. “We will know it’s not real, but it has to appear real to the officials.”
Myriam stood and turned to Niklaus with her hands on her hips. “And you agreed to this madness?!”
“Not without a few temper tantrums,” Klaus looked up at her. “But we want you on a ship as soon as possible, and those three are the most viable options. You could still choose to go to Florida.”
“I hate Spain and Spaniards,” she hissed. “I will only do to Florida what I did to my blood in Florence if a single one were to lay a finger on me. I will never agree to that if one of you were not to go with me.”
Elijah smiled as he waited for her to take several calming breaths. “So, it’s risking potential slavery in the Carolinas, or marry Niklaus to go to Nouveaux-Orléans. If you can come up with another option by tomorrow afternoon…”
“Yes! We wait!”
“Sweetheart,” Klaus rose to his feet and gently put his hands on her shoulders, looking at her with a small smile on his face. “This can’t wait,” he said quietly. “I give you my word that we will join you as soon as we possibly can. You can leave some of your pets behind if you wish, to keep an eye on us if that would make you feel better.”
She stared back at him, lifting her chin in defiance. “And what of you and I? You arrive, and we become strangers? Back to this strange in between of something that you continue to deny yourself?”
He opened his mouth to say something, closed it and then sighed, hanging his head in shame. “Please, for the family.”
“And you question why I’m so resistant for this option,” she whispered. “I’ll be in my room.”
Klaus wanted to go after her, but Elijah stopped him. “Allow her some time to think about this.”
He narrowed his eyes at his brother before pulling back his fist and punched him in the face. “I told you, she wasn’t going to like it!”
Rebekah sighed as she spoke over her shoulder. “There wasn’t an option that was going to be appealing no matter. She’s been after Nik since her arrival. It’s been no secret she fancies him, but she wants her affection reciprocated. You cannot fault her for that.”
“I am not worthy of her, Rebekah!”
“So you keep saying, but who are you to judge your own worth? For God’s sake, Niklaus, there’s this woman who loves you for who you are, and who we all like! Yes, she’s mad for the big bad Niklaus Mikaelson, the big bad wolf! Besides, she’s just as insane as you are. You’re made for each other!”
He continued to shake his head, stepping away. “If she doesn’t want to transition, then what is the point?” he questioned. “She’s mortal now if she doesn’t want to transition, she’ll grow old and die. Perhaps I’ve been holding off to see if she will ever decide on that because Kol’s been harassing her about changing and she has refused to answer.”
“Maybe you should ask her instead? She seems to answer questions from you that she won’t from him. How do you know she’s not waiting for you to ask her to change for you?” Rebekah suggested. “And truly, Nik, you need to stop thinking you’re not worthy of being loved by someone other than the random whore or us.” She then pushed him towards the hallway. “Forget what Elijah said, go talk to her.”
He hesitated as he looked back at his sister before agreeing and slowly made his way up to Myriam’s room at a human pace. When he reached her door, he stood and stared at it, losing time as he attempted to build up the courage to face her again. To say what needed to be said. That he wasn’t ready yet, but he was interested. Just, not yet.
Knocking on the door, he rested his head against the hardwood, waiting for a response. He heard her movement pause and closed his eyes. “Myriam. Please, let me in so we can speak.”
She opened the door and looked at him. “You’ve been standing at my door for nearly half an hour.”
He blinked back at her. “I hadn’t realised. I am sorry…”
She stepped away from the door to allow him room to get inside before she continued to look at her trinkets to sort them from occupied to unoccupied.
He looked around once inside, unsure how he felt to find her luggage pulled out and many of her clothes beginning to fill them. “I, um…I need to apologise for what happened downstairs earlier. It was not my intentions for it to go the way it had.”
“It’s fine,” she said with a sigh, not looking at him. “I’ve always wanted to go to the New World and to travel ahead of you to make things in order is the best chance I’ll ever get to actually get there. Even if it means that we have to appear to be married while nothing is going on between us.”
Klaus’ eyes shot up to her. “That’s what I came to speak to you about. About what you asked of me.”
“I’d rather not have you do that,” she said softly, knowing full well that he was going to let her down and break her heart. If she even had a heart left. She had felt it tighten in her chest during their conversation downstairs and it hadn’t let up since.
He shook his head, swallowing his nerves away. “No, I need to. Otherwise, it may never be done. But before I say what I need to, I need an answer from you to give you yours. Do you ever intend to transition someday?”
She nearly dropped one of her trinkets upon that question and looked at him in shock before composing herself. “Kol has been preparing me for such an inevitability since we left Florence three years ago.”
Klaus stared her down, his eyes demanding an honest answer. “That doesn’t say whether you would ever complete the transition if it were offered to you.”
“I hope that whenever I end in that situation that it will be by choice, not by accident. But I’m 21 years old, Klaus. I am still young. At this point, I value my humanity too much.”
“I was not much older than you when this life was forced upon me by my parents,” he pointed out. “Sometimes we don’t have that option. You cannot predict the future.”
“Yes, it was forced upon you. I have a choice. Unless you’re not giving me a choice,” Myriam said as she grabbed one of her trinkets, it was empty, but still. “You wish to take away the choice?”
He turned away, running a hand over his mouth, trying not to lash out his frustration on her. “No, I do not. But accidents happen, sometimes things aren’t quite so accidental. We have many enemies out there, and while our name does give you protection amongst the humans, it also leaves you vulnerable to others. You wonder why I’ve been resistant to your advances? Everyone we’ve loved has left us. So forgive me when I am reluctant to admit to being afraid of gaining another weakness.”
“You’re sending me to the New World by myself to prepare a home for you to come home to with only your word!” Myriam shot at him. “Words can be broken, I am at risk of you abandoning me, just while I have found my family!”
“I’d be risking just the same!” he roared back at her. “You’d leave me. You can die and leave me alone in this miserable life. Why have I fought this? Because history repeats itself!”
She barked out a laugh. “You’d still have your family. I’d have no one.”
He shook his head. “You are mortal. You’d eventually die,” he reasoned. “Yes, you are a part of our family and would always be considered so, but what you are asking of me – emotions change. So yes, I am infatuated with you Myriam, but I don’t know what to do. If you were not to transition, to not spend this eternity with me, then what is the point? You can’t even tell me that you would change to be with me.”
“You haven’t been listening. As of this moment, I would still prefer to remain mortal, I want to experience the arrival in the New World with my human feelings instead of everything overwhelming me. And once you arrive, I will have my affairs in order and then you-”
“I’m not asking you to change right this moment, Myriam,” he interrupted wearily.
“And then you can turn me. And I will go through the transition.”
Klaus stood silently, staring across the room from her, separated by her bed. He wasn’t sure how to feel by her sudden agreeance. Nodding briefly, he looked around again. “Okay, um… So we will figure out how to make this work, but it will take time. I am not the easiest creature when it comes to change.”
She rolled her eyes at him. “I do wish to transition, Klaus. But only when we’re in the New World. Together. So that I know that you won’t abandon me and you’ll know that I’ll be waiting for you. I’m not the easiest to live with either, you know.”
“No, you aren’t, love,” he admitted with a small smile. “However, to more current events. We do need to tend to official matters before you depart for the boat from La Rochelle. I can have Elijah compel the official, or you and I can go in person to handle the paperwork ourselves before you depart,” he said before hesitating again.
“Does that mean you’ll be travelling with me for three months to La Rochelle?”
“For that, yes. It would be necessary. But the voyage to the New World is far longer and more dangerous. I know we just discussed, passionately, about you transitioning, but I want you to board with several vials of my blood in case you fall ill or injured.”
“Blood will go off within a day if not properly stored,” she said as she looked around to find the vials she had spelled. “I spelled these to preserve just about anything, and a demon is guarding them.” She came prepared. She had spelled the vials maybe a year prior, in case all hell broke loose and she’d had to leave. Kol had already offered to fill the vials, but it hadn’t been necessary at that point. The demon wasn’t attached yet, but she remembered Kol telling her that Klaus valued his blood and never gave it away freely, so it would be a security measure he’d appreciate.
Klaus slowly made his way closer with a smile. “Of course you did, but I would expect nothing less of you.”
“You’d be surprised how prepared I am for many situations,” she smiled up at him as he came closer to her. “I’m a woman of many talents.”
“Of that, I have no doubt, but one day I will properly court you as you requested – even if we are already married by the French courts. No one but those necessary would need to know until we announce it ourselves. Come to it on our terms.”
“There aren’t going to be falsified papers, are there?”
“Elijah’s intention would have produced falsified ones, but if we go and do this, then it gives us time to accept it, true or false. Remember; eventually, it won’t matter to the humans in a century as nearly everyone will be dead. It will just make it much more official for now. Especially since we won’t be able to compel officials in the New World. They may be smarter. We know there are supernaturals there and vervain does exist, just not sure how abundant,” he spoke his thoughts.
“I’ve been doing things the wrong way round my entire life, Klaus, it doesn’t matter to me,” she gently rubbed his arm. “As long as you won’t take off with anyone else because that would make me extremely angry and I won’t hesitate to make your life miserable in any way that I know.”
He let out a chuckle then. “You were taught by my brother, I’ll make sure I’ll toe the line.”
She raised a brow, pulling back. “Is that so? When you have such a willing partner you’re about to wed? How inappropriate!”
“That was a joke, love,” he smiled at her. “Perhaps in my early days, I paid for what I needed… sometimes, but no longer.”
“Good,” she nodded. “Now, are you going to help me pack or will I have to do this myself, husband-to-be?”
Myriam had to admit, it had been easier to share a carriage with Kol two years ago than it was currently with Klaus. While Klaus had a more natural presence, there was this tension between them and him still refusing her affections. Upon arrival in La Rochelle, a package was waiting for her that she had been waiting on for a long time. One of Klaus’ compelled vampires had retrieved it for her in Florence, and the papers were all in her name.
Which was strange, seeing as she told her father to sign it over to her mother. But it was proof that she was a Medici, and that she owned multiple buildings in Italy and France. That she had wealth of her own. It was what the French magistrate would need for her to prove that she was a real person. Included in that package was a filled pouch with gold coins and she had never seen that much currency in one place.
It took five minutes for her to become Myriam Envie Mikaelson. No longer Myriam du Mer, and thank God not Myriam d’Medici. Klaus then made sure she got onto the ship and waited until the ship sailed before running back to Cadiz.
There was some bad weather on their journey to the New World, and it took them three months to reach Port de Mardi Gras in Louisiana. From there, it would be a quick carriage ride to Nouveaux-Orléans. She had barely left her quarters on board the ship because the men on it were rowdy and mostly drunk and she didn’t want to out herself as a witch. She had her quarters protected by her demons, some dark objects, and spells, and she only came out when it was time to have dinner.
Once she arrived in Nouveau-Orléans, she was detained for a while as for some reason her paperwork got lost, and they didn’t believe that she was married and wealthy because of her skin colour. She hated the New World already. She ended up paying the officials 1/8th of her gold coins on her person before she was allowed passage.
Some wooden houses had already been built by Native slaves, and she hated to see them being treated so poorly. One helped her to get her belongings inside her designated home, and she attached a demon to him to help him out. Not to harm him, but to do good. The demon wasn’t too happy with it until she threatened to harm the demon and cast it straight into the fiery pits of hell. No demon ever wanted to go there, it’s why they had their own plane to live on, so they could move freely between layers of existence.
The first thing she did before unpacking was to make sure her home was secure. She had no idea for how long she’d be on her own, and she had promised Klaus to stay safe. She attended the town meeting, with the leader welcoming everyone and telling them the laws and where to find furnishings for their homes, but since there wasn’t a lot of manpower, people were going to have to wait for their things.
Myriam was already determined to make her own bed. How hard could it be? Surely she could call upon spirits who had been woodworkers before they died so they could teach her how to make things herself? Or perhaps that was unbecoming of a woman. Was she honestly supposed to sit still and be pretty instead of helping build a civilisation?
She went out the following day, exploring the area. There were a lot of wild herbs growing nearby, including patches of vervain. Knowing that her family was going to need safety upon arrival, she planned on telling one of her demons to set fire to it one day soon. There was a morass area on a day’s ride on horseback, back and forth, and nobody really came there, not from what she could tell. It was going to be easier to do her more complicated spells in that area instead of in the midst of a colony that was being built with so many Catholic civilians.
Oh, she sat through Sunday masses, because Klaus had told her to blend in. She joined a women’s society where they made quilts where she was miserable and thinking of ways to kill them all to keep herself entertained. But she was never fully accepted. And it was because of two things; she was the subject of the rumour mill for not having produced a husband after six months of being in Nouveaux-Orléans. Then the men started to accost her and hurt her. And the second part was still the colour of her skin. How could someone with a darker skin be well off? Surely she must have stolen her wealth or worse.
After being hurt so many times over the years that she was by herself, she had gone through every vial of Klaus’ blood, and she decided to stay out in the marsh, as for as long as she had lived there, she hadn’t seen a single soul there. She’d be living in peace, waiting for her husband and her family to come. She’d been through worse, she could handle the bugs with a few spells and with a few branches she had made a roof over her head. No one would miss her, in fact, she was convinced that they’d all be glad to be rid of her.
Until her family would arrive. And they’d all be sorry.