The first night they simply took their time to decompress and generally lazing about before heading out into New Orleans together the next day. Bella decided to wear the wrap dress they had bought at one of the regular retail stores. Rebekah didn’t like going into that store much, finding it all mass produced and the same, but Bella had seen a gorgeous dress in the window outside and wanted to try it on. It was a soft red dress, with a few spots where there were multi colored hearts, and she loved it. She didn’t even mind that the dress came above her knees, either.
And she could tell that Isaac loved it.
They went on a typical sight seeing tour, visited some museums and one of the more infamous cemeteries that Bella really wanted to see before going on a steamboat dinner tour. The boat went up and down the Mississippi river, there was live Jazz music on board and amazing Creole food. After that, they went on a Ghost and Vampire tour. Just for shits and giggles, because today, they were tourists and weren’t thinking about the more pressing matters.
And it was good, to spend the day with just the two of them, talking about nothing in particular and taking things easy. And by the time they arrived back at their hotel room, Isaac’s hands were all over her, his lips had been on her in the elevator and she had jumped in his arms to get them to their room faster.
For the first time in a while, the both of them slept wonderfully, nestled in each other’s arms, satiated, satisfied. Loved. Sex as a werewolf was awesome, Bella found. Not only was Isaac more sensitive than a regular guy, so was she, and her body had been on fire all night.
The next day, she and Isaac explored the more immediate neighborhood, getting familiar with the alleys and roads around the compound. It’s what Isaac had wanted, seeing as it would be important to know where to go if things went sideways during the fight with the Cold Ones. Places to hide. And for some reason, Bella felt as if they were being watched and it annoyed the fuck out of her. She ignored it at first, but she couldn’t help but ask Isaac if she was crazy or not while devouring a beignet. “So… is it just me, or are we being watched? I feel like we’re wearing big neon signs or something, saying ‘look at us, we’re tourists!'”
Isaac let out a snort. “No, not tourists, babe. We’re an unknown type of werewolf to most of the New Orleans supernatural community. Jeremy had me turn when we met with Hayley and that bar was filled with werewolves and witches.”
“Oh, great, so we’re a curiosity! A freak show!”
“They’re just curious, that’s all. Because the wolves here, they turn into real wolves when it’s the full moon and they don’t have control over it unless they’re wearing a ring similar to Myriam’s protection ring, or unless they’re a hybrid. We don’t turn. We get stupid.”
“Speak for yourself,” Bella grinned as she took a bite out of her beignet. “You think we should try asking the witches for help again? Show them that we mean no harm but that we need their help?”
“Do we, though? I mean, I think with the allies we’ve gathered thanks to the Mikaelsons, and with Peter and Jasper still coming with two Cold Ones that are on our side… or maybe three if he decides to bring Charlotte… I think we can manage.”
“And don’t forget my brother. I had expected him to show up by now.”
“Maybe he’s already here and Myriam convinced him to leave us be for a couple of days?”
“Yeah, I wouldn’t put it past her to do such a thing,” she sighed as she relaxed into her chair. “So we’re just going to have to tolerate the eyes on us?”
“Until they are certain that we are no threat, I think that’s the best we can do. No doubt their behaviour stems from their leader, Vincent, who wasn’t happy about the Mikaelsons being involved, and truthfully, I doubt Kol will even want them to help.”
She munched on her beignet and finished it as she gathered her thoughts. “It would be a hell of a lot easier with some magic on our side.”
“And the witches would also be more vulnerable to the Cold One venom, they might end up seriously hurt if one gets too close.”
“Like I did?”
“Well, your werewolf side was being suppressed, of course you got hurt.”
“Asshole,” Bella let out a laugh. “But I see your point. What about Freya, though?”
“She offered willingly.”
“Meh. You know what? Fuck all this. I want to talk to this Vincent. Just out of principle. Because of Kol. I want to hear more of this story.”
He smiled as he ran a hand through his hair. “Yeah… I figured you would want that,” he then pointed across the street where the bar Rousseau’s was. “I met him in there. No doubt he’s in there again. I can smell him from here.”
“Great! Let’s go!” She pulled Isaac along with her and crossed the street without even looking out if she was able to and opened the door. “So, who’s Vincent?” She asked loudly, her eyes scanning the inside of the bar. It looked old, worn and kinda cozy. There were some vampires inside, she could smell the other kind of wolf and then there was this black skinny dude who tried really hard not to look at her. “Great, come on, Vincent, you and I need to talk. Outside.”
“Isaac, what the hell?” Hayley demanded.
“Trust me, it’s best if they talk outside. Reduces the chance of blood and mayhem on our behalf,” Isaac shrugged as he scratched the back of his head. “I uh… told my observations from the other day and Vincent is on her… our shitlist.”
“Right now he ranks even higher than my two faced, manipulative uncle, who has actually killed my sister to gain her Alpha status. So, yeah, let’s have a chat,” Bella added, her lips pulled back in a tight smile, baring her teeth.
“Look, I said the witches wouldn’t help because the Mikaelsons are involved and whenever they’re involved, this city goes into ruins.”
She narrowed her eyes on him. “I don’t give a shit what you think about them. I’m here about your personal attack on someone I’ve come to consider a friend.”
“What? Kol?” Vincent laughed. “Oh please, if you consider him to be your friend, I’d really question your sanity.”
“Hold on,” another guy stood up and walked over, making sure he was between Vincent and this girl and this Isaac. “You know the Mikaelsons?”
Bella looked him up and down, quickly dismissing him with a sniff. “Yeah, so? What’s it to you. This is an A and B conversation…”
“I’m just curious to how long you’ve known them, that’s all, and I want to make sure you won’t hurt my friend here.”
She looked over at Isaac who shrugged. Sighing irritably, she threw her hands up. “I don’t know. Klaus a few months? Though I saw him twice in that time. I met the rest of them when I arrived in New Orleans and we had dinner the first night. What’s the big deal?”
“How did you get in contact with them?”
“Why do you want to know so much? Writing a book?” she questioned. “We have mutual friends where we live that put us in contact.”
“They’re friends of Hope’s teachers,” Hayley explained to him. “It’s okay, Marcel, Klaus didn’t seek these two out for trouble. Hope’s impression of Isaac was that he was a goofball and harmless, and Bella’s merely looking out for everyone else. They’re good people. Helping other supernaturals with the hunter problems.”
“Oh, like those idiots in California?” Marcel huffed. “I’ve heard the stories.”
Bella shrugged and studied her nails. “That pup doesn’t know what the fuck he’s doing. We just do it bigger and better. Next time I see him, remind me to shove his snout into a concrete wall, Isaac.”
He then blinked at her. “You could have just allowed me to keep beating the shit out of him when I was doing so!”
“No, because I would have jumped you there and then. You’re mine, now. He’d better stay away from us,” she smiled at him as she gently pat his arm before looking at Vincent. “Are you coming outside with us or not? Because I don’t mind having this conversation here, but the risk of blood being spilled in large quantities is much higher than when we do it outside.”
“I’m coming with,” Marcel said as he followed Vincent out.
“Hey,” Hayley said as Bella and Isaac were about to follow Vincent. “You need to watch your backs. Marcel’s dangerous, even Klaus is wary of him now while he raised Marcel like a son. He can’t be killed.”
“Thanks, Hayley, I appreciate the head’s up,” Isaac nodded as he followed Bella out.
Once outside, Bella smacked Vincent against the side of the building. “You need to enlighten me, Vincent, because you’re a witch, and from what I was told, Kol Mikaelson is a friend to all the witches here.”
He held up his hands as he let out a breath after getting the air knocked out of him. “Relax, I’ll tell you some of the witch history of this city and then tell you my story and why Kol Mikaelson in particular grinds my gears.”
“Better give us the cliffnotes,” Bella threatened, her eyes briefly glowing red as she held him against the wall. “My patience is running a little bit thin today and I’m not in the mood to entertain.”
“The witches of New Orleans perform Ancestral Magic. We consecrate our witches, in the City of the Dead, which acts as the Ancestral Plane and basically the power we use. Davina Claire used to be one of the Harvest girls,” Vincent started.
Bella began to growl under her breath as he explained about witch history 101 that she was briefed when she agreed to come to New Orleans.
Vincent told her about the Harvest Girls, Marcel’s involvement, the MIkaelson’s involvement. Then Davina becoming the regent. Esther Mikaelson fooling around with her sons, using Vincent as a vessel for her son Finn and another body for Kol, who had been killed by Jeremy years before.
“I’ve gotten a lot of this already from Myriam. The vampire doesn’t shut up when she’s drunk.”
“Oh, great. Myriam,” Marcel groaned as he leaned against the wall. “That woman is batshit crazy.”
“Watch your mouth, Marcel,” Bella shot at him. “She may be batshit crazy, but she’s my kind of crazy and my friend!”
Vincent continued the story with Kol’s resurrection and his relationship with Davina. And the witches. How he became regent and lost it – briefly. How Kol was cursed by the Ancestors and eventually killed Davina because he couldn’t control himself, and how that made Vincent feel.
Bella socked him in the stomach before turning away. “You are a real fool if you see him as the guilty party here while you’re now the regent and the Ancestor’s puppet yet again. Yet, you don’t do anything to make his pain any less. Quite the opposite, isn’t it? You’re turning the witches away from him, as a punishment for what Kol did under the influence from your precious Ancestors. Jesus fuck, you are a bunch of dicks! He has no support system. He has no one to talk to about his girlfriend who died because of external influences and you’re only making things worse for him!” She hit him again, this time she hit him in the face, bones could clearly be heard breaking.
Marcel eyed her, his hands slipping into his pockets. “You are taking this awfully personal for someone who just met the guy.”
She glared at him. “We should. I’m Isaac’s Alpha and he’s already lived that same story. So, yeah, we know it well. And here’s another little bit of information you may want to know about our kind. We’ve got empathic abilities. So I know you are here for something other than just being a referee. Come on Isaac, let’s go. I got what I wanted.”
Vincent held Marcel back as he made an attempt to follow the two werewolves. “It’s not worth it,” he said, slowly shaking his head.
“I can see why the Mikaelsons wish to help her with her little problem though.”
“It’s not a little problem, Marcellus, it’s a big one. A big Cold One problem and soon our city will be filled with sparkly vampires. Now, I don’t know how much help they will be getting, apart from Hayley and her pack, but New Orleans will be a battle zone once again.”
“Because of the Mikaelsons.”
“No, because of their bleeding hearts for once. For once, their heart might be in the right place,” he said as he motioned for Marcel to follow him back inside where Hayley was pouring her blood into a glass for Vincent to take.
“So you’re going to help, then?” Hayley asked chipper.
“Hell no,” Vincent shook his head. “But I won’t stop any witch from helping them if they choose to do so. The Ancestors will have my head if I stick my neck out again.”
“Or you could consult with your Ancestors and maybe they can make an exception,” Hayley suggested. “We could really use your help if those Cold Ones are that nasty.”
“Or maybe the two were right and you just don’t want or can’t admit to it,” a voice spoke up from the bar. “Because it definitely looks like you’re blaming someone else for something your beloved ghosts did, hurting him in the process.”
“And who the hell are you?” Marcel asked. “You weren’t here before and I didn’t see you walk in while we were outside.”
“Oh, I was at the back,” he said lightly, pointing towards the toilets. “Because I knew those two were coming, I’ve been following them around town all day… and yesterday. They didn’t recognize my scent because Bella’s not been around it for long and I know how to hide it from other wolves anyway.”
“Again, who the hell are you?”
“Oh, I’m one of the main reasons Bella’s beta was hurt in the past,” the man grinned. “I wish it was a pleasure to meet you but you truly are quite something. Not even I could be this bad,” he downed his drink and as he passed Vincent, he pat him on the back. “Good job, asshole.” The unknown man then left the bar and disappeared.
Once they were away from the bar, Bella turned to Isaac and put her arms around him. “Are you okay?”
“I’m fine,” he smiled at her and kissed her. “That was hot.”
Bella let out a giggle then. “Imagine how I felt when you beat the crap out of Scott,” she returned his kiss before dragging him back off to the hotel. “Tomorrow, we’ll go back to our friends, but for now, I want some more of you.”
Bella and Isaac checked out before lunch and then went back to the Mikaelson home where they found Derek sitting in a chair talking to Myriam and Kol. Immediately Bella felt Isaac tense up. “Hey, we talked about this,” she said calmly as she caressed his arm. “He’s my brother and he’s here to help.” Bella then let go of her boyfriend and headed over to Derek to hug him. “Hi! Sorry we weren’t here to greet you, Myriam and Rebekah put us up in a hotel room.”
“I know, I’ve been following you around,” Derek grinned. “Great to see you, sis.”
“You what!” Bella narrowed her eyes on him. “You’re such a pervert!”
“I needed to know you two were okay, to see if you two had talked before I showed up here and would get my head smashed in or see you without your sanity,” he smiled at her. “Don’t worry, whenever you retreated to your hotel room, I went back here.”
Isaac was pissed off. Once again, Derek was trying to control, to manipulate. “I didn’t smell you,” he said from the other side of the courtyard as he leaned against the stairs.
“No, because I’m older than you and I’ve been a wolf for longer than you. I have my tricks, Isaac. You know this,” he explained calmly. “Don’t worry, I didn’t tell them anything about your trips, although that thing at Rousseau’s yesterday was awesome, Bella.”
Kol quickly got to his feet, slightly looking nervous. “What did you do?”
“We had a chat with Vincent,” Bella said calmly as she walked over to the Original vampire and gently rubbed his arm as she looked up to him. “I’m sorry that the community you love doesn’t love you anymore, Kol. And that those Ancestors are nothing but power hungry bitches. When this is all over, would you like to come back to Mystic Falls with us? While you’re not a werewolf, you can be part of my pack. We’ll take care of you.”
Derek let out a groan. “Bella, you can’t have non-werewolves in your pack, they don’t add any value to you or your pack.”
“You don’t get to say anything about how I live my life or how I should be as an Alpha, Derek,” Bella said, her voice with a sharp edge to it as she was picking up on Isaac’s emotions. “It was a choice by Isaac and myself. We want to help Kol. We do that, you know, help other supernaturals? But this one will be staying with us,” she smiled up to Kol and ruffled his hair. “Like a cute little puppy.”
“I am not a charity case!” Kol growled.
“No, but Isaac and I want to help you,” she smiled kindly at him. “And we’re aware that it might take a while because you’re… well… old, but we can put you to good use. Especially with the plans your sisters and sister-in-law have.” She then let out a breath. “But ultimately, it’ll be your decision. Just know that Isaac and I want to help you.”
Isaac stifled a grin. While Bella had dared him to use the puppy reference to Kol, she had done it instead and he wasn’t surprised that the vampire lashed out, if only just a little. He’d likely never hit Bella, which was a good thing.
“Alright, time for lunch! And text that sparkly vampire of yours, Isaac, we need to know where he is and when he and his friends will arrive,” Myriam said as she shepherd everyone into the dining room. “But so glad to see, and smell, that you two finally had sex. Well done, you two!”
“Myr!” Bella whined.
“What? We can all smell it, it’s not a secret,” she grinned as she sloppily kissed her friend on the cheek. “Young love, it’s so beautiful!”