She had made sure that she had taken a few of her trinkets with her with her trusty pets, and also a few empty ones but those were connected to the ones she had left behind in New Orleans. Myriam was also wearing a necklace that her witch had spelt for her to appear human to the supernatural. It was always easy to figure out who was human or not as a vampire or even as a werewolf and Myriam did not want to take any chances.
She pretended to be a Civil War widow who was looking for a quieter place to deal with her grief and found herself in the biggest room of the local inn. Soon she found herself to be invited for tea by most of the founding families, all finding Myriam incredibly brave for trying to move on with her life so soon. Of course, they were after money, so Myriam gave the town just enough to remain interesting.
She sent weekly telegrams to Mr Jenkins in New Orleans, keeping him up to date with what she was doing, it was easier to send telegrams when in the same country than when on another continent. But within a month she knew all the key players in Mystic Falls and knew all of their dirty little secrets.
There were the Fells, with Thomas Fell being reverent of Fell’s Church, and his wife Honoria was a dressmaker and a frequent visitor of Pearl’s Apothecary. Myriam suspected the woman to be addicted to something and the excuse of ‘looking out for the citizens’ was getting a bit tiresome. Honoria Fell was a meddler. Always sticking her nose in business that she had no part of.
William Forbes was the local sheriff, and he loved the ladies. He simply couldn’t keep his hands off of them. He especially liked them exotic, and Myriam had broken his hand when he touched her inappropriately.
Johnathan Gilbert was a man after Myriam’s own heart. He was the mad scientist of Mystic Falls, always trying to invent some gizmo or another and she found him utterly fascinating. Because none of the gizmo’s worked until he took them to the town’s witch, Emily Bennett, who turned them into her kind of Dark Objects. Like William Forbes, he liked exotic women and Pearl was his favourite. Myriam had to be careful around him, but he was the smart one in town. His journals were filled with ideas on the supernatural, and he knew that Emily was a witch, and thus, he was one to watch.
The Lockwoods were dangerous. Myriam’s pets had already warned her about them because they were werewolves. Untriggered or not. One was the mayor, the other a Confederate soldier. It was likely that the both of them were triggered and Myriam really hated wolves. Whenever she interacted with them, she always thought of the day where she tore apart the Crescent pack in New Orleans for nearly killing her.
Giuseppe Salvatore was the town drunk and a businessman. He was also one of the Founders and had lost his wife a few years prior to consumption. While Myriam could relate to his pain, she hated it that he was abusive. Or had an abusive past. His son Stefan was cute as a button, but Myriam could tell that he harboured a dark side, even more so than other humans. And Stefan was hanging out with the wrong crowd, he had an attraction to the dark side alright, and dating Valerie was a part of that. Valerie was a siphoner witch and kicked out of her own coven. Her friend Julian was a vampire, older than Myriam herself, but he was a slick bastard. He ran a kissing booth to aid the Confederate soldiers at the fair and Myriam stayed well clear of him.
There was another Salvatore brother, Damon. For a while, she hadn’t seen him because he was a Confederate soldier and then he abandoned the post and returned home to look after his baby brother. And Damon was hot. Mysterious. Hot. Dark brown hair, almost black, and piercing blue eyes. He seemed to lack a sense of direction though. His impulses always got the better of him, but Myriam couldn’t help but be fascinated by him.
Myriam found it hilarious that the house the Salvatores lived in looked like the Governor’s Mansion in New Orleans. It was likely that they had used the same architect.
Pearl ran an Apothecary under the guise of that she was a widower and had learned medicine from her husband who had perished shortly after their daughter Anna was born. Pearl and Anna were both vampires, and while Anna looked part Asian, there was no doubt that these two weren’t even related. Merely good friends and their mother/daughter act protection. Pearl was infatuated by Johnathan Gilbert, and Myriam had seen them kissing in secret.
And then there was Emily Bennett. Like Pearl, she wasn’t part of the founding families or on the Town’s council, but she was a real piece of work. A witch, and a powerful one at that. The first time Myriam had followed her out of town was to Atlanta, where she was meeting up with Katerina Petrova. Katerina was still in hiding because of Niklaus but wanted a change of scenery soon, and that’s why Pearl, Anna, and Emily were in Mystic Falls, to gauge the citizens and make sure it was a safe place for their friend.
Myriam was glad that she went to Mystic Falls to keep an eye out. Her demon had been correct, something was brewing in the little town of Mystic Falls, and it had everything to do with Katerina Petrova. Or, Katherine Pierce, as she was now known.
“So, who’s this Mr Jenkins you always send a telegram to?”
Myriam looked up from the book she was reading in the town square and smiled when she looked at the face of her friend. “Wouldn’t you like to know?”
“I want to know, that’s why I’m asking,” Damon sat down next to her and took the book out of her hands, frowning at the title. “The Scarlet Letter? And here I thought you were a nice girl!”
“I am a nice girl,” she smiled as she grabbed her book back. “It’s a good book, especially when you realize the historical impact the book has, even its release was only 13 years ago.”
“Oh yeah? What’s that?”
“It explores the darker side of humanity. Guilt. Sin. Adultery. Evil. Because we all have a bit of that inside us, you know. Hester is a victim of adultery after having had intercourse with a Puritan pastor and has to wear a red A on her vest at all times for having an illegitimate child while he remains free and unburdened by it. Because nobody knows. And also because he’s a man,” she explained. “This must be the first book to write about the dark side of humanity in this kind of way, hence why it’s so fascinating.”
Damon smirked as he took the book out of her hands again and started to read. “I’m not one for books, but I might read this one.”
She retook her book and put it in her purse. “And you may after I’m done reading it.”
He huffed as he crossed his arms over each other and leaned back against the bench. “You still haven’t answered my question. Who is Mr Jenkins?”
“Who do you think it is?”
“At first I thought he might be your lover. But you’re a war widow, and so I don’t know.”
“I could be a widow and have a lover, Damon,” she smiled at him. “The world isn’t all that black and white, you know. But you’re right, it would be very improper to move on from my husband’s heroic demise this fast.”
“Although you could have been sinning while you were still married to your husband,” Damon pointed out. “I believe that married women can be just as sinful as married men.”
“True,” Myriam nodded. “But Mr Jenkins is not my lover. He’s my confidant back home. He chose not to make this journey with me because he wishes me to get through this grief by myself to come out of it stronger. But he would only let me go when I’d send him a telegram each week.”
“And you’re not dressed in black.”
“I don’t like rules,” she shrugged. “And neither did my husband. I’m honoring his memory by living the way that we did; unconventional. Why do clothes need to express how I feel on the inside? Black is such a dreadful color on me, and I like to look pretty.”
He laughed then, shaking his head. “You do know what the rumors about you are in town, don’t you?”
“I never listen. I don’t see why you are. You know me, right? Like me for who I am?”
“You’re coloring outside the lines just enough to be seen as eccentric, and that’s beautiful. The world would be a boring place when everyone would be the same. As long as you’re not hurting anyone, you’re alright in my book,” he then scooted over a little and put an arm around her. “But, can I give you some advice?”
Myriam let out a sigh and nodded. “Go on then.”
“I know you’re recently widowed and all… but you’re a woman in your prime. Traditionally, someone, your age would have babies already.”
“Someone my age? Damon! I’m only a few years older than you!”
“And my dear Mother was 19 when I arrived.”
She blinked at him then. “Are you saying that you and I should become a couple?”
“Oh, hell no!” Damon rolled his eyes at her. “You’re so not my type. The long brown hair, sure, but no. Thanks. But you’re also unprotected, a woman alone. The inn is not safe with all the rowdy folk in there… you know… they could take advantage of you. Now, I don’t see you hooking up with Sheriff Forbes. He’s a jerk and a slimeball. Gilbert… no. Everyone else is married, and I really don’t want you to become my stepmother and have my dad beat you to a pulp. No,” he sighed. “What you need is someone as eccentric when you are.”
“I’m not ready for someone else, Damon,” she laughed nervously. He wasn’t wrong, though. Perhaps she should have taken it into account that she was going to stand out like a sore tooth being childless and all. She couldn’t wait for the time to come where women would be equal to men, or that being childless wasn’t a shame.
“My uncle Zak is coming to town, he wants to settle here. I’m pretty sure you’ll like him.”
“And I’m serious too!” she shot at him as she got to her feet. “I-I’ll think about it. But first, I need to get ready, I need to travel home for a few days to take care of some family business… and Thanksgiving. Mr Jenkins and I always spend Thanksgiving together.”
“You’re running away.”
“No. I need to do this. Don’t worry, I’ll be back soon,” she put her hand on his shoulder and squeezed it before walking away. She was going home sooner than expected, but she needed to go. Damon meant well, and always meant well, but she hadn’t been prepared for this. She felt as if he knew that she was hiding something, that he could see right through her, much like Kol and Klaus did. And she hated him for it. But also loved him for it. He was a true friend.
She left in a carriage after, and after two hours she stopped them and compelled the man before running the rest of the way. She didn’t stop running until she arrived in New Orleans and ran straight into Klaus’ arms, smothering him as she kissed him and pushed him against the nearest wall.
“I wasn’t expecting you home for another few weeks,” Klaus said after she stopped kissing him to look at him. “What made you come running home?”
“Nothing,” she lied as she kissed him again. “Make love to me, Klaus.”
“You’re lying,” he broke off the kiss with a playful smile on his face. “Tell me, or no sex.”
“Sex first, then I’ll tell you,” she bargained as she pawed at his trousers to open them.
He took her hands and kissed them. “No.”
“Please,” she begged him. “I want to-”
He lifted her into his arms and brought her upstairs where he sat her down on a chair in his study and poured her a drink. He then sat down on his hunches in front of her and put his arms on her legs for support. “What happened?”
Myriam downed her glass in one go and sighed. “Nothing. Something stupid.”
“Still not helpful, sweetheart,” he pushed a strand of her hair behind her ear. “It’s a small town, what could have possibly sent you running?”
“I hadn’t thought things through, that’s all.”
“Darling, you’re not making sense. Tell me what happened, so I know who to kill, or not to kill.”
“No, you’re not going to kill Damon!” Myriam replied, shaking her head. “No, he made sense. And… ugh. I ran for something stupid. He told me that it’d be better if I’d be with someone so I can still have children at my age! He made me sound as if I’m some sort of spinster! Like I don’t have a life!”
“Well,” he smiled at her. “You are playing a character, aren’t you? You’re Myriam Hawthorne, who has lost her husband in the war and you have a confidant called Mr Jenkins. Of course, you don’t have children, because you’re barren, and your former husband loved you anyway despite knowing that he wouldn’t be able to have progeny. That’s admirable.”
Klaus laughed then and shook his head. “I know it’s difficult to hide the parts of your true self when pretending, but consider this practice for when it’s truly needed. When one of these days Mikael will come and break us up.”
“But it is truly needed! Things are… strange in the village you were born in!”
“Would you like to come back with you?”
“You could always remain here, with me, as I wanted you to in the beginning.”
“No, because I found something out for which I need to go back to play with it,” she suddenly remembered why she wanted to go in the first place. “I’m going to make sure that the town will be near perfect for when you need it in the future.”
“I don’t understand why you want to do that.”
“For you,” she kissed him. “And for me, a little. Playthings,” she kissed him again as he was still holding her hands. “Sex now?”
“So,” Myriam said as she looped her arm through Damon’s as they walked along the path. “I’ve given your idea some thought, I’ve talked it over with my confidant, and we believe that it’s a good idea, but your uncle would need to know something beforehand.”
“And what would that be?”
“It’s not something a woman likes to discuss, but it’s of importance.”
Myriam sighed as she looked up at him. “My husband wasn’t merely a war hero, he was the sweetest and kindest man I’d ever wished. Unconventional, like me. When he started to court me, I felt bad because he had expressed a wish for children and I didn’t want to break his heart later on. I decided to be forward about it to let him off easy. And I told him. I can’t have children.”
He blinked at her. “Oh, I’m so sorry, Myriam. I didn’t know, I-”
“It’s alright,” she smiled at him. “I’ve made peace with it, and my husband didn’t mind either. He saw the positive sides of being childless. One; we could adopt as many pets as we wanted and Two; we could spend the time lost playing and caring for our children together instead. But I can’t give your uncle children, and I’m not sure if you want to do that to him.”
“You could tell him that yourself, you’d be surprised. But are you sure?”
Myriam nodded. “When I was little, I had a bad accident, and I ended up with a pole through my abdomen. They had to remove my uterus because it was badly damaged.”
“Stop apologizing,” she playfully smacked his arm. “Take me to your uncle, introduce us. Please.”
Zak Salvatore was a kind human, a patient man as well. She had started to compel him to believe that they were having intercourse after a few months of his courting and moved into the Salvatore home around Easter. Giuseppe was an asshole, and with Myriam now close to her best friend, she did everything she could to stop Giuseppe from being an asshole. Either by compulsion or her demons.
She really was playing the long-con on this. Biding her time, whispering in the Founder’s council’s ear every now and then about vampires and werewolves. It was quite easy to do when Giuseppe was out cold due to his drinking. Myriam was putting a lot of money into Mystic Falls to build a school and the conservation of the woodlands surrounding the town, and on top of that, she did a lot of charity work.
The Founders rewarded her efforts with her putting her name on the town’s charter and allowed her to build a home for herself – and perhaps to share with Zak Salvatore. Of course, to celebrate, she sent a telegram to Mr Jenkins and for him to send an architect over to draw up plans for her home. It had to be fit for royalty.
The house was up by August, and she loved it. The furniture was exquisite, with the furniture coming out of ‘her former home’ and Zak hated it. He didn’t want to live in the house she had built because she’d been charitable, or hobnobbing with the founders council. In fact, he didn’t want anything to do with the council because he hated politics. So, he found her new home tainted.
She decided to compel him to give up hope that she’d ever recover from the death of her husband and let him go. Despite Damon being delighted that she was protected while she was around his uncle, she could take care of herself. The home she had built was secure.
She went home for a week and returned just in time to see Katherine Pierce arrive with her handmaiden Emily Bennett, Emily being able to open doors for Katherine because she’d been spending time in Mystic Falls already, colluding with Johnathan Gilbert. And she also knew that this was the point where she had to remain out of sight because Katerina would surely recognise her.
Myriam did go along with her charitable cases, and her dinners with most of the Founding families, while she also kept an eye on Damon and Stefan. Katerina had somehow found a way to stay at the Salvatore home – no doubt through compulsion. The bitch had to stay away from her friend.
She invited Damon over for dinner at her place, there were servants in the house now – out of New Orleans and compelled, of course – and he nearly fell backwards when he saw the wealth of it all. “I didn’t know you came from money!”
“Well, you must have suspected something. It’s not as if I was discrete in my donations to the town,” Myriam laughed as she lead him into the dining room. “Besides, it’s mostly my husband’s money. I figured that the council giving me a plot of land was a sign from him to rebuild my life here, and that he’d have wanted for me to live a life of luxury.”
“This is nuts!”
“You’re more than welcome to stay here if you’d like. As long as you keep your lodger away from me.”
“What? Katherine?” Damon smiled at her. “Katherine is a lovely girl! She’s beautiful and funny and everything you’d want in a girl. Or what I want.”
“And she’s also seducing your brother.”
“Eh, I’ll win, I have the better cheekbones,” he winked at her. “She’s an orphan, did you know that?”
“Really?” Myriam sat down on one of the chairs and motioned for Damon to do the same, as she thought of recent happenings that made the news. “Let me guess, the sole survivor of that fire in Atlanta.”
“Yes!” he exclaimed before blinking at her. “How do you know? Did you two talk?”
She smiled at him as she reached for her glass of wine. “No, but I know how people like her operate. She’s not an orphan, Damon. She’s a con-artist.”
“You’re just jealous because she has both me and Stefan wrapped around her little finger.”
“Are you even hearing yourself, Damon?”
“And are you hearing yourself? I mean, you sound as if you’re a jealous ex-girlfriend!”
“I am trying to protect you!”
“From a girl? Please!”
“She’s a vampire!”
“What?” Myriam blinked. “You know?”
“Yeah, she told me. How do you know?”
Myriam bit her lip then, surprised that Katerina had been so upfront with her friend. How did she know? She could hardly tell him that she was a vampire too. “Have you ever heard of Voodoo?”
“Yeah, I suppose it’s a kind of witchcraft. It doesn’t actually require magic, to work though. I’m not a witch. But sometimes I command a spirit to investigate people for me because that’s how I’m keeping safe,” she explained. There was no need to tell him that she actually played with demons for the most part, because she had found them more easy to control. “And I always leave one behind when I head out of town to deal with family business. So, upon my return, my spirit could tell me who was new in town, and what they were.”
“That is so cool, Myriam!”
“Damon,” she whined. “You clearly don’t see the danger in anything, do you? Vampires are nothing but trouble, and you definitely need to stay away from her. I don’t want her to hurt you or to get yourself killed.”
“She, Pearl and Anna have already turned a sizeable amount of humans into vampires in this town, haven’t you heard your dad talk about his adventures with the council? I heard that Johnathan is inventing something that can detect them, and then what? The council will kill them all.”
“No they won’t,” he huffed. “And even if they’d figure it all out, Katherine is always a step ahead, and she’d leave before anything would happen to her.”
“And leave you behind. You don’t have a future with her, Damon. I want you to find a real girl, settle down, have babies.”
“Myriam, I love you, you’re my friend. But you can’t tell me how to live my life, you can’t tell me who I can or can’t see. Her secret and yours is safe with me. I won’t tell anyone.”
“Not even when the entire town turns into vampires?”
“If you’re so worried about that, why won’t you leave? Pick up your things and move elsewhere?”
“I happen to like Mystic Falls just the way it is.”
“And you’re biased against vampires. Katherine isn’t evil. Not in the slightest,” he replied. “So what she’s making some friends of her own kind? She’s lonely!”
Myriam sighed, knowing that she was fighting a losing battle. “Just be careful. You’re my friend, I don’t want to lose you.”
“Now where’s the fun in that?”
Myriam spent some time with Honoria Fell, who, like her husband, was concerned about the rising vampire population and Myriam had gifted her a book on herbs. Sure, Honoria was a simple dressmaker, but Myriam told her that she had used the book to create some herbal creams for her sores and what not so that she didn’t have to go to the Apothecary that much.
And as it happened, she had opened the book on Vervain. “Oh! I forgot about this one!” Myriam said excitedly. “This is your key to making sure the vampires can’t make any more! They’re allergic to Vervain!”
Myriam taught her how to make the vervain into an elixir, and then Honoria brought a lot of bottles over to Pearl to sell it at a reduced rate. Branding it something to boost health and longevity, it’d always sell well with humans.
Myriam was an honored guest at the first Founder’s party and much to her surprise, Katerina was attending too. Or perhaps she shouldn’t have been surprised because she was accompanied by both Damon and Stefan. But this was great. It was going to be a great test to see if her lies held up because Katerina was inevitably going to recognise her from their time in Florence.
She danced some with Damon after putting her name on the guest list and spoke to Honoria who was excited to inform her that the elixirs were selling well and that she was already making more. Myriam suggested that in dry form, mixed with some dried fruits, it made for an excellent tea, too, and Honoria got even more excited, thinking of ways to incorporate them in the cakes they sold at the church and what not.
It took some time for Katerina to approach Myriam, mainly because Myriam kept mingling when not dancing and decided to open the game by going to a quieter part of the Lockwood mansion so that Katerina would feel safer to come at her. And of course, she had Damon by her side when she did so. “Katherine Pierce, I want you to meet my best friend Myriam Hawthorne,” he introduced her. “Myriam has been living here for over a year now, ever since her husband didn’t return from the war.”
“You!” Katherine said as she looked at Myriam and narrowed her eyes as recognition sank in. “How are you still alive?”
“Excuse me?” Myriam blinked innocently before looking at Damon. “Is your friend feeling alright, Damon?”
“I actually have no idea,” he said as he scratched his head and looked at Katherine. “What’s going on?”
“She tortured me in Florence! Over a hundred years ago!” she screeched. “She’s insane!”
“Over a hundred years ago?” Myriam countered thoughtfully. “Wow, that’s amazing, seeing as I’m 27 years old and I’ve never been outside of America. Are you sure you’re feeling alright, Miss Pierce? Perhaps you need to sit down, have a drink of water?” Before Myriam knew it, she was up against a wall. “Oh dear lord… she’s a-”
“Don’t say it!” Damon hissed.
“You smell human,” Katherine blinked as she tried to sniff Myriam again. “How is that possible?”
“Because she is human, now let her go,” Damon said as he tried to pull Katherine off of his friend. “What’s gotten into you?”
“How are you human!” she demanded as she let go of Myriam, who sank to the floor, rubbing her neck. “Tell me!”
“I am human, you crazy bitch!” Myriam countered angrily before composing herself. “But this has happened to me before, perhaps I merely have one of those faces you know,” she shrugged as Damon helped her to her feet. “I’ve read about Doppelgangers. That everyone has one?”
Katherine narrowed her eyes at Myriam. “What?”
“She’s a bookworm,” Damon sighed as he looked at Katherine. “You may want to compel her, she might spill the beans on you at the next council meeting.”
Oh, that’s right. She told Damon she wasn’t a witch, which meant that she would be able to be compelled. But vampires couldn’t compel other vampires. Myriam had to once again, act, but she couldn’t wait to go home and laugh her ass off.
Katherine huffed before approaching Myriam again, who took a step back out of instinct. Perhaps she was human, after all. “Don’t worry, I will not hurt you… Again,” she sighed as she looked the woman in the eye. “You will forget that we’ve had this meeting and you will not remember that I am a vampire. You’re going to excuse yourself from this party, and you’re going home to sleep off the alcohol you’ve ingested. Understood?”
“I understand,” Myriam replied as she then looked at Damon with a big, sloppy grin on her face. “I think I’d better go home, the alcohol is getting to me.”
“Do you want an escort home?”
“No, I’ll be fine,” Myriam smiled brightly. “Could you inform the Lockwoods? I truly enjoyed their party.”
“Of course. Good night, Myriam.”
“Good night, Damon,” she smiled as she sauntered towards the door, bumping into one of the side tables with a giggle before getting out the door. After it closed, she spat off to her home and burst out in laughter.