“This place is dreadful,” Rebekah said bored as she looked out of the window of the rental car she was sitting in with Kol, Jeremy and Bella. Her remaining brothers and Myriam were in the car following them. “Flat scenery, trees, mountains… ugh, clouds.”
“We’ve been to worst places,” Kol mused. “Usually one of those places Nik loved so much because of the art and culture.” He hadn’t been entirely surprised by Bella’s request yesterday at the compound. She looked as if she got caught with her hand in the cookie jar when she requested to head to Forks to Jacob’s memorial and have them fuck with everyone who fucked with Bella in the past.
No one fucked with his girlfriend and got away with it, even if it was years before they’d even met. They’d spare Charlie, for seeing the error in his ways and Klaus and Myriam had already done a number on him, but everyone else was fair game. And compulsion was fun to create mayhem with in such a small community.
Bella sighed as she ignored the passing scenery with nothing more than a glance. “Imagine growing up here. Rain all the damn time. I could probably count the number of sunny days I’ve experienced on one hand. At least until they sent me to the asylum.”
Kol placed a hand on her leg as he continued to drive. “Darling, if this is too much on you, we can always just leave.”
“No, it’s fine. I just agree with Rebekah. Forks is the most boring town in the country and the weather sucks more than you vampires,” she casually replied. “I’m just wondering more about when we get to Italy is all. This stop I think is good.”
“If you want, we can head straight to Italy tonight after we’re done here,” Kol said as he pulled up. “You can sleep on the plane if you need it.”
“Have you heard from Val after the Cullen House?” Jeremy wondered out loud.
“No,” Bella answered before looking back at Kol. “And if you don’t stop trying to baby me, I’ll actually ask your brother to put you in time out. It’s starting to piss me off.”
Rebekah started to laugh. “I’ve been trying to tell them for years not to be so overprotective, darling. It’s a constant battle and you’ll never win.”
“Bella might,” Jeremy grinned.
“Who asked your opinion?” the blonde vampire questioned, still struggling to understand the Gilbert boy’s acceptance into the family. Elijah and Klaus hadn’t accepted him, but tolerated him because Myriam and Kol insisted. Bella was Kol’s girlfriend, and Kol, Bella and Jeremy made their own little family. She still held a grudge against Gilbert for killing Kol all those years ago, but acted friendly and tolerable around him for her brother’s sake.
“You don’t have to bite my head off, Rebekah, I’m a fun guy, just ask Bella.”
Bella had already turned back to her book, trying to ignore the bickering. “Leave me out of this. I still kick your ass at Kol’s video games and kill you in them when he gets pissed at you since he isn’t allowed to kill you for real. Last thing we need is for him to find a reason to detour and set up that damned console again,” she scolded.
“I can’t help it that he sucks at that game,” Jeremy shrugged.
“Oi!” Kol accelerated suddenly to make sure Jeremy would hit his head against something.
“And he’s a sore loser.”
“Bite me, Gilbert.”
“I thought you did the biting, Kol,” Bella replied, looking up at him with an innocent expression.
“Fuck me, Bella,” Kol groaned.
Rebekah raised an eyebrow, and she had to admit, this whole strange dynamic was… strange, but somehow, she actually liked it. Three very different supernatural creatures being so… blasé about things, no fear of embarrassment, so… themselves. No boundaries. So freeing.
“You still haven’t opened that package I got you, so – no.”
As he continued to drive, Kol turned his glare on her as she smirked back at him. “What’s so important about it that my not opening it is bothering you?”
“No reason. If you’d open it, then you’d know what was in it,” Bella shrugged and turned back to her book.
“But every time your eyes fall onto that package, or when we even talk about that package, you get this lovely shade of red on your cheeks.”
“If you’re so curious about my blushing then open the damn thing when we get home,” the girl snapped.
“Ah, but darling, I like to see you squirm,” he winked at her.
“Guys, you’re being gross now,” Jeremy said before looking at Rebekah. “Hey, weren’t you with her when she bought it?”
Rebekah raised an eyebrow and looked over at Bella who was now glaring at her. She couldn’t help but to cower back in the seat herself. “I was, but that doesn’t mean I have to say what she bought. Kol was given a present and it is rude not to open it.”
“But wouldn’t you do the same, Beks, if the person you’re with has this gorgeous response to it every time he or she sees the little gift they bought for you?” Kol said teasingly.
“Guys, come on, stop,” Jeremy groaned. “Are we there yet?”
Bella let out an exasperated sigh as she looked out the window. “Yeah, thankfully. We’re not far from the town border. Another mile or two down the road.”
“For the love of God, this is taking far too long!” Rebekah whined. “It’s so dull out here! Can we at least eat someone?”
The girl appeared thoughtful as she stared out the window, considering the request. She really did hate her time there. “Perhaps. There are a couple people in particular I’d put forward, though if what I heard about them is true, I wonder if vampires can get diseases.”
“Or we could just set fire to the entire town,” Kol shrugged. “Nothing like we haven’t done before.”
“There are innocent people here. I’ll point out those that you can play with and who you will leave alone, alright?”
Jeremy let out a snort. “Do Klaus and Myriam know that?”
“If they’re not, they soon will,” Kol said amused as he looked at the determined face of his girlfriend. “We’ll do whatever your heart desires, darling. Will you be playing too? Maybe resurrect young Jacob from the dead?”
She glared at him again. “Why the fuck would I want to do that?”
“Get into his dead body, get out of the coffin, scare everyone shitless,” he mused. “Confuse the hell out of people. I didn’t mean actually resurrect him, although I wouldn’t mind killing him again.”
“I don’t want to be in him. I don’t want to be anywhere near him. We’re only here because his death gives us an excuse to be so that we can fuck with certain people.”
Kol was quiet for a moment. “Yeah… that idea was gross, sorry.”
“It was beyond gross considering the asshole made it clear he wanted to be more than friends with me on more than one occasion and got pissed whenever I turned him down. Which because of that, we might have some issues with his dad because he and Charlie had some long lived fantasy about us being together,” she said with a snarl to her lips.
“‘Edward’ killed Jake, you had nothing to do with it,” Kol sneered. “And Jake’s father can just as easily join his son in hell for all I care.”
Bella shifted uncomfortably as they passed the Welcome to Forks sign and ignored Kol for the moment. She really didn’t want to get into the Native American histories and their mystical stories of their own ancient magic that she wasn’t so certain was only fables anymore. Especially after learning of vampires and her own truths. “Um, there may be a slim chance that you might not be able to get onto the reservation,” she quietly admitted.
Kol thought for a moment and sighed. “Jacob was Quilete?” Of course. He had come across them once or twice. Morons. Idiots. Morals up high but backstabbing assholes and of course, it wasn’t a surprise that they messed with Bella.
“It’s the only reservation around here,” she shrugged. “They have cousins of a sort in Alaska I think. I largely ignored most of the stories whenever I was there.”
“We’ll be able to get onto their reservation, they’re not as devout as they claim to be. Easily corruptible. Your friend Jake has proven that,” he said angrily.
Bella still wasn’t sure because she knew that the elders, other than Billy, held a strong sense of hatred for her that she never was able to understand. Choosing to say nothing, she shrugged again. “If you’re sure.”
“They may have had some issues with vampires in the past, but from what I have heard they never put up wards against us, and if we can’t get onto the reservation, well, then we’ll think of something.”
Rebekah started to share in Bella’s concern. “Maybe they learned something since you were here last. It’s been a long time Kol. If anything, it won’t hurt us any if we proceed with a little caution.”
“You’re starting to sound like our brothers,” Kol muttered, knowing that they were still in the car behind them. “Oh! But we have something they wouldn’t ever expect!”
Bella looked back at Kol, suspicious of his sudden excitement. “Pray lord, tell me what your master idea is.”
Jeremy even looked nervous at the sudden switch of demeanor in the vampire. “This can’t be good,” he mumbled.
“We have a voodoo priestess in the car following us,” he reminded them. “One that’s very happy that Bella’s her friend and she’s really upset by how Bella got hurt by these jerks.”
Rebekah winced, resisting the urge to look towards the car behind them. While she didn’t always get along with her brother’s girlfriend, she did have to admit that once Myriam get pissed, she was just as destructive as her brother. Perhaps worse. “And you want to let her loose on this little town? You may as well invite the Volturi over and have a picnic.”
“Oh, we had a picnic with Nik and Myriam before Bella dealt with our darling mother,” Kol grinned. “Myriam loves picnics.”
“What?” Bekah deadpanned.
“Oh, right. You weren’t there,” Kol sighed. “Jer, tell her the story.”
“What?” Jeremy blinked. “Seriously?”
“Tell her the story, Jer.”
“I was only there for the beginning of it, you left me to deal with Damon and Elena and I’m still not happy about that!”
Rebekah turned to glare at the hunter. “Your bloody sister and one of the irritating Salvatores was in New Orleans?!”
“Yeah, they were worried about my safety,” he huffed. “Anyway, it all started when we went to the Sanatorium and explored it, trying to get used to how Bella worked and all… At some point during our visits she encountered a friendly but not so friendly spirit.”
“Our mother,” Kol pointed out. “As it turned out, she wasn’t a spirit but something else and guess what? A Volturi whore. Bella knew she wasn’t going to be able to get rid of her in New Orleans, but instead we went to a place where her friends were, some Native American Elementals who were more than willing to help her out because she had helped them and treated their dead with respect. And Nik and Myriam were there too, because mother has this obsession with Nik and all. Nearly lost Bella, but she and the Elementals took care of her.”
Rebekah was speechless as she sat there. “Um, um…”
Bella pretty much ignored the whole thing, tired of how happy the siblings were for their mother to be gone again from their lives. It was old news to her by now. “Go up the street and turn right at the old convenience store. Drive for three blocks and Charlie’s house is on the right. His cruiser should be in front.”
“Do you regret leaving us for so long, sister?” Kol smiled as he did as he was told. “Because you know, you missed a lot of fun and now that Bella’s going to try a different path after we’re through with the Volturi… wouldn’t it be fun to do it all together?”
“I’m starting to see that,” Rebekah whispered in her shock.
“Don’t worry. You’ll catch up eventually,” Jeremy assured her. “It could be worse.”
Rebekah huffed. “Worse!”
“Yep,” Jeremy grinned as he spotted the cruiser next to a house. “That house looks awfully small,” he noted. “Not even we lived in a house as small as that.”
Kol glared at him through the rearview mirror. “While our family compelled our way from rags to riches, not everyone is able to come from affluent families like they seem to do in Mystic Falls.”
Bella agreed, looking a little wistful as she looked up at the house. “The house itself wasn’t that bad through the years. It was just the dreams and everything else I had to deal with. Plus the whole lock on the bedroom door and shit,” she added with a sigh. “Other than that, it was fine.”
He parked the car behind the cruiser and softly squeezed Bella’s leg. “Charlie’s safe. Nik and Myriam would never have let him go if he weren’t.”
“It’s just…” Bella sighed. “I had never expected me to come back here and I really don’t intend on staying long. We’re here to pick him up and get to the rez, that’s it.”
“I’m not even going to get a tour?”
She thought for a moment and shook her head. There was no doubt in her mind that her room would look just the same and that would send him, and all the other vampires likely in a worse rage. “Rebekah could you join Klaus, Myriam and Elijah in their car? I’m going to get my dad.”
“Of course,” Rebekah smiled at her as she got out of the car and Bella headed up the stairs to knock on Charlie’s door.
Charlie was surprised to see his daughter stand before him. “Bella? I- I thought you wouldn’t come after everything?”
“I got an invite. Would be disrespectful if I wouldn’t show up,” Bella replied as she stepped aside to make room for Charlie. “Although I would have thought that they wouldn’t want me there after I discredited their son live on air.”
Charlie shrugged. “Their beliefs are different than ours.”
“But still, I brought my family,” she said as she motioned to the cars. “We’re heading to Italy after this.”
“Sure,” she smiled at him as she helped him into the back of the car to sit next to Jeremy. “Dad, that’s Jeremy, and Kol’s behind the wheel,” she said as she got into the passenger seat. “Let’s get this over with,” Bella let out a breath.
As Kol had expected, there were no issues for them to cross the treaty line because the Quileutes weren’t actually that fanatic in their beliefs and their magic. And they were all surprised to see her. And she was curious to see if they were as delusional as Jake or if they had learned their lesson and would be apologetic.
While her dad moved to support his friend and Jake’s father Billy, Bella decided not to join them and watch from a distance and thought of all the things she could do. It was easy to allow her family to simply round up everyone and snack on them. Kill them. But the tribe had known what they’d been doing all along and were not ashamed to take money from it from her parents.
Their deaths shouldn’t be easy. She had to be careful because her thoughts were once again leading her into a pretty dark place. She was supposed to be balance.
However, Bella felt anger bubble underneath her skin when the spirits of the tribe appeared and pulled Jake’s spirit out of his body to join them during the ceremony and she had to put a stop to that.
Kol had kept his eyes on her this entire time, ready to kill for her if she so requested and all of a sudden she had poofed out. “Jer,” Kol sighed. “What is she up to?”
“Oh,” Jeremy sighed as he couldn’t see her but then remembered he hadn’t opened himself up for it because he had anticipated her just telling the Mikaelsons to go and eat. “Fighting with the ancestors.”
“As you do.”
“As you do,” Jeremy nodded.
‘How can you want to take him with you to go in peace?’ Bella yelled at them as she kept Jake from moving on. ‘Do you have any idea what he’s done? He’s not a good person and doesn’t deserve to join you!’
‘Whether or not he joins us is not of your concern, and you have no authority over us.’
‘I don’t?’ Bella huffed. ‘Well, I guess I don’t. Then I’m just gonna do this instead,’ she added as she grabbed hold of Jake and focused her energy inside of him, filling him up, expanding him outwards until he exploded in dark confetti like substance. ‘No happily ever after for you, douchebag.’ She then turned to the ancestors. ‘And you! How can you allow your brothers and sisters to act like they have? Treat others wrongly? They need to be punished!’
Kol looked up to the sky and saw that clouds were unnaturally forming over the beach. “Uhh…”
“I’m not going to wait for Bella,” Myriam said as she rushed to the group of people and started killing them, causing mass panic and a lot of blood shed. Klaus and Rebekah soon followed and Kol was torn between having some fun and waiting for Bella to return.
In the midst of all the slaughter, Bella popped back in next to Kol and smiled at him as he was feeding on Leah Clearwater. “Keep going, I keep destroying their souls on the other side.”
“Won’t that upset the balance you need to keep? I mean… won’t they unmake you again?” Kol asked worried as he dropped the woman he was snacking on. “You’re light, Bella.”
“I’ll be fine,” she gently put her hand on his cheek and smiled. “This is something Ylva and I feel like we should do.”
“Are you sure?” Since when did Ylva get into play? She’d be against this, wouldn’t she? What were these two up to? He had loved Ylva, and she basically sacrificed herself because she wasn’t complete and the Volturi had been after her. What if it’d happen to Bella? “Bella, I don’t want to lose you.”
“Don’t worry,” she smiled at him before poofing back out of existence.
“Jeremy, you better keep an eye on her!” Kol growled at him before taking his place right next to the only one who could see Bella right now. “I don’t like what she’s doing. She’s overdoing it. First the Cullen House and now making sure nobody from this tribe gets a happily ever after. While she did most of things out of the goodness of her heart, this is revenge.”
Jeremy nodded as he let out a breath. “She’s being kind about it, either. The old woman is egging her on.”
Kol was surprised by that. “You see Ylva?” How was that possible? Ylva was Bella. Bella was Ylva. To see the both of them, what would that mean? Then again, for all intents and purposes, Bella was something impossible herself.
“Yeah, she’s like faded and all but Bella is talking to her and is leaving her alone, so I guess it’s Ylva. I dunno,” Jeremy shrugged. “I can’t understand a word they’re saying, either. It’s all in hushed voices and I don’t want to get close to them in case one of you thinks I’m a snack. Speaking of, what to do with Charlie?” Jeremy thumbed over his shoulder to the stunned human looking at the carnage, seeing his friends die at the hands of Bella’s new family.
“Well… he did Bella wrong.”
“But Klaus and Myriam compelled him to be repentant,” Jeremy pointed out. “He knows what he did was wrong.”
“Two wrongs doesn’t make a right,” Kol growled as he made an attempt to go to Charlie, but Jeremy stopped him. “What!”
“Wait for Bella,” he said kindly.
“Why? We already killed her mother for being the bitch that she was!”
“And the mastermind and the force behind Bella being treated like crap, so, wait for Bella,” Jeremy told him. “I understand you’re angry and likely afraid for some reason, but wait for Bella to tell you what to do with him. Shouldn’t be much longer, you guys move fast.”
“Dude, if Ylva’s physically there, if you can see her, something is off. Ylva is Bella, we told you.”
“We don’t know that something’s wrong.”
“But what if!”
Jeremy laughed. “Everyone who’s happy gets haunted by those words ‘what if’. Relax, she’ll tell you if something’s wrong.”
“What if she won’t because she knows it’ll hurt me?”
“What if again,” Jeremy rolled his eyes at him. “Relax. Although I think you’ll only relax once we’ve dealt with the Volturi and Bella comes out unschathed.”
“That’s right,” Kol murmured as he crossed his arms over his chest and took a deep breath. “But you’re likely right. Just that Ylva’s shown up doesn’t have to mean anything.”
“But what if it does?”
Jeremy tiredly pinched the bridge of his nose and let out a groan. “Kol!”
Bella had reluctantly invited everyone inside the Swan home after setting the reservation ablaze and told them not to go upstairs but find a place to sit downstairs as she sat down at the table with a still pretty much shocked Charlie. She had retrieved a bottle of beer out of the fridge and had put it between his hands and waited patiently for her father to come back to his senses.
“Bella, what the hell was that?” Charlie eventually asked. “And why did I allow you to go through with that? You should be arrested for this!”
“I’m a ball of energy and they are vampires, won’t work,” she replied with a little shrug. “But, I do think that you should move on from this place,” she replied as she looked at him. “This place holds bad memories and we just killed your friends.”
“Are you going to kill me?” Charlie asked her as he looked at her. “Because I-”
“Dad,” she smiled at him as she placed her hand on his. “You did a lot of things wrong, but you listened to mom, and, no offence, you’re a doormat and she had you wrapped all around her little finger. You could have found your balls, eventually, but you know… I already went through all the shit you put me through so…” Bella shrugged as she looked at Kol, briefly, who was looking at the stairs before looking back at her father. “Maybe we can help you. Have Klaus compel you to have a better life and to make better choices.”
“You’re letting me off that easy?”
“No,” she smiled at him. “I’d ask him to erase me from your life completely. You’d never know you had me.”
“Don’t you dare!” Charlie growled at her, grabbing her hand. “You’re my daughter and I love you! How can you make me forget you? Why would you do that?!”
“Because, if you’d remember me you’d remember the things you did wrong and you won’t be able to move on with your life,” Bella said softly. “But it’s fine if you don’t want to, though. But I don’t want you to live your life like this and torturing yourself about it.”
Bella winced when she heard something break upstairs and realized that Kol had gone upstairs against her wishes. She quickly went upstairs to see her bedroom door broken in half, half of it laying in the hallway, the other in her bare room, and Kol was standing in the middle of her room with tears in his eyes. “I told you not to go up here,” she said as she kept standing in the doorway, not wanting to step inside, afraid that the door would magically repair itself and locking her back in there.
It wasn’t a completely bare room. There was a desk with a chair and some books on shelves, her walls were covered in drawings and stories of the spirits she’d spoken to when she was younger. There was a set of drawers that used to hold her clothes and her teddy bear was sitting on top of it. And who could forget the bars on her window? “Come,” she whispered as she held out her hand, the memories overwhelming her. “Please, just get out of there.”
“Your father doesn’t deserve a clean slate,” Kol spat as he wiped his face with his sleeve and took her hand, angrily stepping outside. “He deserves death and this house needs to go up in flames.”
“There was a lock on your door, Bella!” he said as he pointed at the now non-existent door. “Bars on your windows, your room looking more like a luxurious prison cell than a proper bedroom!” He then let go of her and walked into the bathroom, opening the medicine cabinet. “And he still has the medication they put you on in the cabinet! Jesus fuck, Bella!” He ripped the cabinet off the wall and threw it in the bath. “What else is there?”
“Just come back downstairs, please.”
“What else is there?”
“Liar!” Kol spat at her. “What else aren’t you telling me? Why did Jeremy see Ylva when you were making sure those Quileutes weren’t able to pass on?”
“I’m not lying!” Bella took his hand again and started to pull him downstairs with her. “Everything’s alright now, Kol,” she said a bit more calm as she tugged on his hand. “I don’t live here anymore. I’m living my best life ever and that’s all thanks to you and your family,” she said as he finally gave in and followed her downstairs.
“Your father doesn’t deserve a new life,” he muttered as he wrapped his arms around her as soon as they hit the ground floor. “Please let me kill him so we can burn this house down?”
“I didn’t want him dead. Deep down… he’s-”
“Going to be taken advantage of again. You can’t compel such a thing out of a person and change their personality, darling,” he sighed as he kissed the top of her head. “If he meets someone like your mother it could all go wrong, again. We just killed an entire tribe of Native Americans because they treated you like they did and you don’t want to kill your own father for doing the same?”
“He’s my father.”
“And we killed your mother,” he said before looking over Bella and met his siblings gaze. “Go upstairs and look, you’ll have the same sentiment.”
Bella was fighting a war she couldn’t win. She was a bit frazzled from their actions at the reservation and now she couldn’t save her father. Perhaps Kol was right. And perhaps Klaus, Myriam, Elijah and Rebekah were right too after they had seen the upstairs area. It didn’t mean that she was ready to be an orphan, even though Charlie hadn’t been her real father and even though he’d treated her poorly.
And it wasn’t as if you could stop an angry family of vampires, so she went outside with Jeremy instead while her family descended upon her father.