“Now just because there’s impending doom, doesn’t mean we can’t look gorgeous while we fight,” Rebekah said as she lead the four of them out of the courtyard. “And make your ex-boyfriend… no wait, former fiancé, a jealous fucker and distracted.”
“No offense, darling, but your clothing style is horrendous.”
“Bekah,” Freya laughed as she shook her head. “It’s not horrendous.”
Rebekah looked at her sister for a moment and back at the girl next to her and sighed. “No, you’re right… It’s abysmal. You’re in New Orleans now, Bella, you need to dress the part. The heat won’t make it comfortable for you dressed in jeans.”
“I am not going to wear skirts!”
“Short skirts. Dresses. Mind you, I think you have a wonderful body, it’s time to use it to your advantage,” Rebekah said smugly.
“And make Isaac drool… Oh! Speaking of which, we need to put Isaac and Bella up in a hotel for a day or two,” Myriam said excitedly. “You see, they’ve only just seen reason and became a couple and they haven’t had the chance to truly celebrate it.”
Bella felt how her cheeks turned beet red. “Myr!”
Freya sighed happily. “Ah, young love…”
“I doubt anyone would mind to hear them have sex in their room, though,” Myriam grinned. “We all love to hear a good romp every now and then…”
The young werewolf could only cover her horrified face with her hands. “Oh, my, god!”
“There’s this great hotel just down a couple of buildings from the compound,” Rebekah mused. “We’ll give the pups some privacy, shall we? But for now, we’re going to get our coffee and go shopping.”
Bella was taken to almost every clothing boutique in New Orleans, or at least, that’s what it felt like. Rebekah happily picked out clothes for everyone and, Bella had to admit, she had great taste. The dresses were going to be something she’d have to get used to, but they weren’t old fashioned or ugly or even impossible to wear. Nothing like what Alice tried to force her into in the past. And Rebekah wasn’t even forcing her, she just handed Bella the clothes to try it on and Bella made her own decisions. It felt great!
They had lunch at this amazing restaurant with great food and then they walked some more through the French Quarter, Rebekah happily telling stories about how they helped shape New Orleans to what it was today, and the importance of women in history. Such as Dr. Elizabeth Magnus Cohen, the first woman to practise medicine in Louisiana in the late 1800’s. Then there were the suffragists, the teachers, the doctors, authors, philanthropists and the former slaves who became better than the ones who had held them. Then there was, of course, Marie LaVeau, the famous Voodoo Priestess.
Myriam added that Rebekah was one of those women of note, that in the 18th century she happened on a carriage filled with young girls from France in order for them to marry wealthy gentlemen in New Orleans. At that time, the men in New Orleans were far from being gentle and noble and Rebekah saved those girls from a life of suffering, setting them free after killing the men who came to attack the carriage.
“Us women need to stick together,” Rebekah nodded. “I’d do it again in a heartbeat. I hate it when men think that they need to think for us, or have the need to manipulate us. We’re bloody equals and if not, then I will show them reason.”
Bella smiled then. “You want to protect those who cannot protect themselves.”
“Oh, make no mistake, darling, while I think what you and your beau do is admirable, especially working with a Cold One, but it would be nothing for me.”
“Are you sure?” Myriam asked teasingly. “Because Bella and I have been talking about maybe expanding it a little bit and we could use all the help we can get.”
“Expanding, how?” Freya wondered as she looked at her sister-in-law.
“By taking care of humans hurt by the supernatural,” Myriam replied proudly. “Look, Bella and Isaac look after the supernaturals who can’t help themselves. Either because they’re not strong enough to fight the hunters or simply because they want a safe haven. Like there are bad humans, there are bad supernatural beings out there. I think that it’d be great to help those affected.”
“And where do you want to do that?”
“Well, I was thinking that we could repopulate Mystic Falls with them? And maybe have like an extra location here in New Orleans so that we can travel between Mystic Falls and New Orleans so we’re not far away from home all the time?”
“Splendid, I’m in,” Rebekah smiled widely. “It also means I get to spend more time with Bella and annoy Caroline.”
Freya smiled then. “I think Keelin would be willing to help out too. And she’s a doctor!”
“Great! That settles it. After we help Bella with her Cold One problem, we’re going to do this!” Myriam cheered and planted a big, sloppy kiss on Bella’s cheek. “Now, let’s go and find Bella some saucy underwear.”
“Right, first order of business, I’m going to introduce you to the Alpha of the Crescent pack, the werewolves here in New Orleans,” Kol smirked as he lead Jeremy and Kol out of the compound. “Hope’s mother. See, Nik wanted to go and ask for their help but he and Hayley are only on speaking terms because of my niece so Elijah thought it would be better that the ask of help would come from another werewolf.”
“I’m a different kind, and I’m unfamiliar, why do you think she’d listen to me?”
Kol huffed. “You’re a werewolf, duh.”
“Shouldn’t we send Bella? I mean… she’s an Alpha herself. Woman to woman, would work, right?”
“Relax, man, Haley won’t hurt you,” Jeremy replied as he pointed at Kol. “But she might hurt him for being a Mikaelson.”
It wasn’t even lunch time and Isaac was dragged into a bar, Rousseau’s. He hated New Orleans. “We’re not open!” A voice called from the back, stating the obvious because the place was obviously filled with people.
“Oh shush, Josh, it’s me,” Kol replied, wishing that he could have killed the young vampire. But, alas, Davina had liked him and Kol merely kept Josh alive so that he would be reminded of the fact that Davina only liked him when he was a witch.
“Yeah, and you’re not welcome here, Kol,” Josh said as he made his way towards his former friend. “And you’ve brought friends this time. Hi, my name is Josh and if you’re hanging out with him, he’s trouble.”
“So are we,” Jeremy smirked.
“Uh, I came here to talk to the werewolf Alpha,” Isaac said hesitantly. He was good at his job, when he was in a job mindset and after some preparation. This was unfair. “Hayley?”
A woman rose from her seat and approached them. “Sure, I’ll talk to you, but he’s going to wait outside,” she said as she pointed at Kol.
“Fat chance, darling, I’ll just sit here by the window, keeping an eye on you and my friends,” he replied as he sat down in the window seat, his arms crossed over each other. “Besides, it’s my responsibility he gets back to his alpha and girl. Otherwise I have my brother and his girl who happens to be her best friend, after me.”
“Really now?” Hayley said surprised as she motioned for Isaac and Jeremy to join her at her table. “You know who I am, but I have no idea who you are.”
“I’m Jeremy, I killed Kol once.”
“Impressive! But then again, I already knew that because you’re one of my daughter’s teachers, Mr. Gilbert.”
“My name’s Isaac Argent,” Isaac said calmly. “I’m a werewolf, like yourself, but a different kind and I’m here to seek your help. You see, I work for someone who’s really into saving supernaturals from people who hurt them and our biggest concern right now is the safety of my Alpha who’s been hanging out with the wrong kind of vampire.”
“Cold Ones. They sparkle in the sun and are harder to kill,” Jeremy added.
“The thing is that we don’t know with how many they’re coming, but they are coming for her and it could all end badly, even with the help from the Mikaelsons.”
“How do I know that this isn’t a trick? And that you’re a werewolf? You don’t smell like one,” Hayley said as she crossed her arms over her chest. “And I don’t believe anything Kol says.”
“Show her your face, bro,” Jeremy elbowed him. “Not just the eyes, the whole thing.”
“Dude!” Isaac hissed at him. “I’m not going to turn in an establishment filled with people! That’s as high key as it gets!”
“Nah, they’re all witches and werewolves. It’s safe,” Kol said from his spot by the door. “I told you, our community looks out for their own. Give her the proof she needs.”
Isaac scowled before turning briefly until he saw the surprise on Hayley’s face. “What?”
“You don’t turn into a wolf?”
“And you do?”
“Well, no, I’m a hybrid but… okay… so there are more kinds of werewolves.”
“As far as we know, three,” Jeremy said. “Your kind, his kind and then the giant pony sized kind, but they’re more like shifters created to take down Cold Ones and protect humans. They haven’t been doing a proper job at it.”
“And let me guess, Klaus thought it’d be better if you’d lure them to New Orleans,” Hayley stated before shrugging. “Sure, we’re in.” She scribbled her phone number on a napkin and handed it to Isaac. “Whenever you need us, send me a message and we’ll come.”
“It’s that easy?” Isaac blinked. “Seriously?”
“Yeah. As Kol said, we look out for our own. And if your Alpha is in trouble, then we need to help you so you don’t lose her or she won’t lose you and the rest of her pack. I’m sure that Vincent over there will set his hatred towards the Mikaelsons aside too, to help.”
“Speak for yourself, Hayley,” the man replied, shaking his head. “I’m not going to mess with Cold Ones.”
“Don’t worry, we’ll get some of the witches to help you, too,” Hayley winked at Isaac. “So yeah, if you need me, text me.”
“Thank you,” Isaac smiled at her before getting to his feet.
Kol scowled over at the witch, shaking his head in disappointment at the man. If he gave himself a moment to hear the girl’s story the way his family had, the witch would have to reevaluate some of his views and morals.
“What? You have a problem with me, Kol?” Vincent spoke up as he got off his chair.
“Nope. No problem,” he murmured as he drank his drink, causing Isaac to look over with concern.
“No, you do, don’t you? Because I’m not rolling over like the other witches,” Vincent said let out a snort. “Because I know who you truly are. You and your family.”
“Vincent.” Hayley warned him. “He didn’t ask for our help, the werewolf did.”
“Yeah, but when they are helping people, things are about to go sideways and hurt our beloved city. We always have to clean up their messes.” Vincent spoke passionately. “They claim to love this city but whenever they do something, they ruin it, or have you forgotten about the fall out of their power struggle with Marcel? What about Davina? Camille? Even the ancestors themselves didn’t like it when Kol was consecrated as a witch so that he could be brought back and rejoin his family!”
“Alright, let’s go,” Jeremy said as he pushed Isaac towards the door and looked at Kol to follow his friend. “We don’t need the witches, we have your sister and I could call Bonnie.” Jeremy was surprised by Kol’s ability to keep a lid on himself, back in the day he’d surely have torn into every witch in this bar. Restraint was never the vampire’s deal.
Isaac kept looking back and forth from Kol and the Vincent guy and could sense there was definitely more to the story that they weren’t quite saying. “Um, you know what, I think I’ll tell Bella about this meeting and let her decide if she wants to call you since she was the one victimized by those Cold Ones. I don’t know what your problem is with these guys, and I don’t want to get in the middle of it, but what I do know is that since I’ve met them – as much as I didn’t want anything to do with anybody, they’ve been nothing but helpful to our cause. So, thanks, but I’ll pass your – agreeance to mutual aid on and then I guess let it go from there.”
Jeremy looked to his friend, wondering why he just suddenly backed down from the extra help but the look that Isaac shot him shut up any words that might have come.
“But I will inform Bella about you, Hayley, thank you,” he said as he pulled Kol to his feet and dragged him with him outside. “Do you know a great place to get drunk? I mean, I can’t get drunk, but I think we deserved to get drunk before lunch, don’t we?”
“Ah it used to be here, but I think I’d rather go home now if it’s all the same to you,” Kol muttered, pulling away from the wolf to walk away from the two. “You two have fun.”
“Would you like to talk about her?” Isaac followed the vampire while Jeremy casually hung back, likely knowing better than to poke the sulking vampire. “It might take a while, but it gets better, you know.”
“Does it?” Kol’s head snapped up to meet Isaac’s face. “You know, everyone keeps telling me that and it doesn’t bring her back, does it?”
“But maybe they’re right.”
“And how would you know?”
Isaac let out a breath and glanced up the street. “Because I lost my girlfriend to the Oni. Japanese Demon Warriors who were being controlled by a Japanese Fox, a Kitsune. Oh no, wait, the one that killed her was killed by a void, looking like my then Alpha’s best friend. It happened about 8 years ago. Didn’t realize I wasn’t quite getting over it until I met Bella.”
“What the fuck were you all into?” Jeremy interrupted.
“No, wait,” Kol said surprised. “You’ve met a Kitsune? What kind? I thought they were legends but… can you introduce me to her?”
Isaac let out a snort. “Kira’s with the skinwalkers last time I heard. Couldn’t quite contain the fox inside of her. Anyway, Allison and her dad were hunters, and their handmade bullets and arrows could actually kill the Oni. Until she was too slow,” he sighed. “The most painful part is that she died in the arms of her ex, my Alpha, being all lovey dovey.”
“I thought you said she was your girlfriend…” Jeremy said, all confused.
He shrugged then. “I guess that when you can’t get what you want, you go for the next best thing. Doesn’t mean that I didn’t truly love her with every fibre of my being and that it was really hard to deal with her death. But it gets easier, eventually. Bella’s the first one who made me trust again. Feel things. Share.”
“But how can I get over Davina when I get confronted with her ghost every corner that I turn?”
“Simple,” Isaac shrugged. “You move away.”
“I can’t leave my family, Isaac, they’ve only just allowed me in as a brother and not as someone who’s a pain in the bloody neck.”
“Oh, I have a great idea,” Jeremy grinned. “Especially since you’ve been benched, Isaac. By both your girlfriend and your boss.”
“Somehow, I don’t think I’ll like your idea,” Isaac said suspiciously.
“Nonsense. You will love it. You’ll just have to talk it through with Bella and I’m sure Kol will like the idea too.”
Isaac looked around in the hotel room where he had been dropped off, and where Bella was waiting for him. “Uhh…”
“Oh, don’t get me started,” Bella sighed as she pulled him down on the couch with her and crawled into his arms before she started telling him about her day, how she got new clothes and how they had walked for a long time discussing history and a likely expansion to their current operations, which made Isaac laugh. “What?”
“Since when do people ask us for things to do with their lives? Or you know, since when did we become therapists?”
Bella looked at him for a moment. “Seems like you had an interesting day yourself. Spill.”
Isaac told her everything about the meeting with Hope’s mother, and how willing she was to help, and then that a dick of a witch refused mainly because the Mikaelsons were involved. How he had recognized the look on Kol’s face, as he had seen it many times on his own. “In short… what do you say about we taking him home? Help him heal?”
Bella let out a breath as she looked at her boyfriend. Had he gone completely mental? Myriam had talked about Kol quite a lot when they were still in Mystic Falls, even Myriam felt for him and how he was stuck, still trying to get the attention and recognition from his family after all he’d been through. “You really want us to take home an ancient, unkillable vampire and help him with his issues?”
“Jeremy said that he’d love to keep doing the saving missions for Peter and he wouldn’t mind doing it with Kol, and the best part is that Kol doesn’t sparkle.”
She ran a hand through her hair as she eyed her now boyfriend. “Well – as long as the hunters are unable to get their hands on any white oak, we would have an ace in our pocket if that’s the case. But, he would have to be like our secret weapon so everyone else cannot know we are housing an Original.”
“He needs our help, Bella.”
“I’m not denying that or disagreeing,” she smiled at him and kissed him. “But do realize that he might be around for awhile, vampires have a hard time dealing with their emotions and can be stuck for a very long time.”
“Ah, like a puppy then,” Isaac grinned.
“I dare you to use that reference in his face.”
“Are you kidding me? He’ll beat the shit out of me, or kills me, and then you’ll be pissed off at me,” Isaac laughed. “So uh… why are we here, exactly?”
“Oh,” Bella said lightly with a shrug. “Myriam wants us to celebrate that we’re now officially a couple and wouldn’t want our noise to fill the house. We have this room for a couple of days.”