Izzy could hear the door open and close downstairs and sighed as she heard the footsteps come back up. “So, how do you want me?”
“Hot and spicy, the way you always were,” the vampire replied just as easily. “So you finally chilled the hell out or shall I call my very boring brother to come and tell you some story about some point in his life that sends the rest of us running and begging for our eternal deaths?”
She pointed at her broken phone on the floor. “Jerkface said some things, things you said too, and some other shit.”
He nodded, not coming any closer. “I see,” he commented. Without any other word, he took the package he opened, pausing a moment as he picked it up and took it over to one of the bedrooms and threw it in before slamming the door closed and leaned his head against it. “Are you going to stay here or you coming with me?”
She looked up at him. “Where will you be taking me?”
“I thought about going somewhere fun before the witches try to run me out of town. Maybe the Sanitorium,” he emotionally shrugged. “Maybe those fuckers will drop another beam on my head.”
Izzy sighed as she got to her feet and walked over to him. She was going to take a page out of her dad’s book and try to help someone out. Even though the boy was her kidnapper, he was obviously struggling with things. “What’s your name?”
He stood up and turned to look at her, considering answering. “I was hoping you’d remember.”
She nodded. “Okay, fine. If this whole reincarnation thing is true, I probably should,” she said empathically.
“Yeah, you should. Imagine my disappointment,” he muttered. “Let’s go. Just, when we get there, stay close. We don’t have our golden retriever anymore.”
“He died two years ago.”
Izzy frowned then. “That’s one old golden retriever.”
“He was the other guy from those videos you keep mocking,” he glared at her. “And a good friend even if he did manage to nearly kill me twice.”
“I’m sorry you lost your friend,” she said as she followed him down the stairs. “It mustn’t have been easy for you to deal with the loss of someone you’ve known for a very long time.”
He sighed and ignored the comment, not wanting to acknowledge it but coming out the door to see his siblings home he raised an eyebrow. “When you’re over a thousand years old, you lose a lot of good friends. Sometimes even family and lovers. People who never should have left, but sacrifices are made for the greater good. For the first time in a long time, I want to be selfish.”
“Those other people I drew, they’re your family?” Izzy asked and when he nodded, she nodded too. “And you’re the youngest?”
“Hm, yes. Of the boys. I have a sister who is younger. Though one might consider my brother’s mate to be emotionally on the same level on some days. Thankfully she has finally ditched her ridiculous pineapple headdress.”
“I was an only child,” Izzy said as she followed him. “I can’t imagine what it’d be like with a big family, but I’m sure it mustn’t have been easy for you.”
The vampire glanced at her. “Every version of you that I had learned of was an only child and had a difficult life.”
“I didn’t have a difficult life,” Izzy let out a snort. “My dad’s a jerk, sure, but they love me. They’re taking care of me. In fact, this is my first trip out on my own. I grew up on a farm with horses and cows and was homeschooled.”
He stopped to look at her curious and confused, trying to figure out what was different. “I think something or someone interfered and placed you with them to avoid what happened with your past versions.”
“I wouldn’t know,” she shrugged. “But I didn’t have to want or need anything as it was given to me.”
“My Bella had vague impressions, memories of her past that it took some time for us to realize what was going on, but you have none except those drawings. I think those little memories blocks, those houses that Ylva had been building in your mind are completely constructed now,” he mused, more annoyed than anything as he started walking again.
Izzy pulled a little statue out of her pocket. “My parents tell me that this statue keeps me safe, always, it’s something I was found with.”
He turned to look at what she was talking about and his eyes grew large in recognition. Reaching to snatch it out of her hands, he blinked as he studied it. “Bloody fucking hell. Myriam will fall over dead to know you have this,” he grinned as he looked at her, pulling her into him to kiss her cheek and moved to take his phone out to snap a picture to send his sister.
“This was yours?”
“My sister-in-law made this for you when we left to run from your dad who neither of us wanted to see. We were going towards Memphis and eventually found our way up to Chicago to the Cullen property,” he explained while he waited for the phone to connect to his family. “Myriam!”
“Where the hell have you been hanging around? You missed family dinner!”
“I’m home. I finally found her, but she doesn’t have a single fucking memory. I’ve been trying but nothing is working on digging a fucking thing up but she draws the family and she has your totem,” he grinned like an excited schoolboy.
“That thing could have been stolen in Italy and drawing the family is not real proof, Kol.”
He looked over at her with a smirk. “Can I take your picture darling? My sister doesn’t believe me.”
“I’m your fucking slave, you can do whatever,” Izzy said as she snatched her totem back and put it back in her pocket, letting out a relieved sigh.
He quickly took the picture of her annoyed face and sent it to Myriam before getting back on the phone. “Her loveliness is on the way.”
It didn’t take long for an excited squeal to come out of the phone on the other end. “We’re coming to New Orleans!”
“She doesn’t know anyone, Crazy Pineapple Voodoo Bitch. Chill out. Give us some time to try it my way and then maybe your shock methods later,” he winked at Izzy.
“But… that’s no fun. We’ve missed her too, Kol.”
“Oh, so that’s your name. Kol Mikaelson.”
Kol stared at her with his mouth open. “What did you say?” he asked, hanging up on his sister. He’d deal with that fall out later.
“Kol Mikaelson?” she said a bit unsure of herself. “I mean… that fits with your first name so if it’s not the case… I’m sorry.”
“I never told you my name. Did anyone tell you anything of my family before coming here?” he demanded. “Did Davina?”
“Then how did you know my last name? Myriam only said my first name.”
“She did? I believed I heard her say both,” Izzy shrugged as she pushed her hand in her pocket and clutched her totem. New Orleans was getting to her now.
He slowly shook his head. “Vampire memories are impeccable. A thousand years and I can recall the pain of my father killing me when I was created. So, I can recall a conversation thirty seconds ago when my name was or was not mentioned.”
“Okay, fine, you win. Weren’t you taking me somewhere?”
He looked at her, reconsidering now that he was aware of the possession of the totem. “I have a better idea. Come this way,” he said as he went over to his family’s home. Only before they entered, he turned to eye her. “Give me that totem. I want to see your reactions inside without that.”
“If you lose it, I’ll fucking kill you.”
“Trust me, I’m the last person interested in losing something this important,” he said sincerely as he leaned in her ear.
She sighed. She didn’t want to but she was at his mercy, wasn’t she? She couldn’t run or call for help, and even though she was seriously freaked out by this, Izzy had to do it. Humor the crazy vampire. “I don’t see why you need it, it’s mine,” she muttered as she handed him the angel statue, and now felt completely naked.
“You’d actually be surprised,” he grumbled. “Come on now. It’s safer to practice this in here than where I was looking to go originally.”
“Test,” he grinned as he pushed her inside the courtyard.
Izzy blinked as she cocked her head. There were confusing things going on and she hadn’t experienced those things when she first set foot in the courtyard and met the witch. “Fuck me,” she muttered. “Jerk was right all along, I’m like completely open,” she added as she started to walk around, looking up to the walkways above them. It was something to get used to.
On the farm, they didn’t have any spirits because the story went that she went nuts one day when she didn’t have the statue on her when she was five and nearly killed herself because she fell into a ditch and couldn’t swim. The whole property had shamans and priests coming over to get rid of everything and establish a boundary.
“What do you want to know?” Izzy asked as she peeked behind the staircase. “Kol?”
He sat down in one of the chairs as he looked at her. Izzy was different from Bella. Seemingly more in tune for the first experience. “I don’t know, what can you tell me?”
“Uh, this building is old, but there used to be wooden houses on this land… the 1700’s?”
“I already know this was your home, but I see a Christmas celebration. You and your siblings looking very handsome, although you’re slightly worried as you all pose on the stairs for a picture. I think early 1900’s or maybe late 1800’s. Not sure about the date.”
“1912, I was daggered,” Kol sighed. “For scheming against my brother.”
She blinked at that, unsure of what to make of that knowledge as she looked back at the stairs. Taking a breath, she scratched her arms nervously. “What’s up with these spirits stuck against the wall?”
“My sister-in-law’s ancestors. They turned their backs on her so she made them her spiritual pets. She practices voodoo,” he shrugged as he looked around.
“Yeah, up there,” she said as she pointed to the room. “And next to that is a room with an easel.”
“I’m sure you’ll find a lot more in the dungeons downstairs. That room is my brother’s study, her husband’s. Your previous self was actually pretty good friends with him. I never figured out how or why.”
“It was because of Myriam,” Izzy said as she climbed the stairs until halfway. “And because of you. Your brother thought your interest in the girl was endearing and had actually believed she’d end up as a snack. When she didn’t, he started to appreciate her more, but I do believe he feared her.”
“Yep,” Kol succinctly answered, looking down at his hands, remembering the morning the family knew that Bella was fully off limits with a small smile.
She walked down the stairs again and walked in an area. “There used to be a room here. Family gatherings. Uh… food. Dining room?”
He looked up and shrugged. “Not really. We just set up the table during family dinners. It was open concept, but the table was generally there. I could go for some Italian.”
Izzy’s eyes then grew wide at what she saw on the table as she saw two people having sex on the dining room table and then she rubbed her eyes and turned away. “I’m feeling sick.”
Kol stood and made his way over to hand her the totem. “That’s enough for today. I’ll come find you at the Audubon Cottages in two days. Get some rest,” he said before turning to go look at his old room with a solemn face.
“How did you know I was staying there?”
“Vampires and witches, oh my,” he replied, climbing the stairs like he was walking to his death. “Go get some rest Isabelle.”
He stopped short. “Isabelle. If you don’t want me to break your pretty neck, I suggest you get the hell out of here right now.”
“And I somehow get the feeling that you shouldn’t be alone right now.”
“I just want to be with my memories. I’ll be fine, like I’ve been for the last fifty years. I’ll find you in two days.”
Izzy sighed as she walked back to her hotel and gathered her stuff before returning an hour later with her bag and food. She pulled some sheets off the couches, tables and chairs and set the food down on the table. She opened a bottle of wine and poured two glasses. “So, if you’re a vampire, you must have vampire hearing. I’m back. I’ve got food and alcohol. You can join me whenever you want,” she said as she tucked into her lasagna. “According to the butler service at the cottages, this is the best Italian in town. Although my lasagna is better.”
The sound of doors slamming open and a flash of movement zipped across the floor before Izzy was engulfed in a bear hug. “Oh my god, I’ve missed you forever! Don’t ever die again! If you sacrifice yourself again, I’ll bring you back and kill you myself!” the woman cried as she rocked and hugged the girl.
Izzy let out a strangled sound. “You must be Myriam,” she said as she tried to breathe. “I need air,” she said as she tapped the vampire on her arm. “Please, let go of me.”
Another man showed up and tried to pull Myriam off, irritated and concerned by the scene. “Love, please let the girl go,” his smooth voice sounded. “She won’t disappear.”
“The hell I am. Yes she will!”
“The girl is human. You can smell her as well as I can,” he said, growing irritable. “Let her go. She requires oxygen.”
“But we can turn her and then she won’t have to leave ever again. Let me turn her. Please, Klaus, let me.”
“Myriam, that is her choice to make,” he warned before drawing a sigh and shook his head. He reached out and grabbed his wife’s head and twisted it, an audible snap filling the room and he took his lover in his arm before she fell. He reached out with his other to make sure that the human girl made it back to her seat. “KOL! Get your bloody arse down here!”
Any sane person would have grabbed their things and left. No, she should have upped and left, because she’d been nearly strangled by a vampire and now that vampire was dead. And food was ruined. Izzy had thought it’d be nice to bring food to Kol since he was talking about Italian food earlier and she was hungry, but instead the two vampires she’d seen having sex on the dining room table were here. And nearly killed her. “Is she dead, sir?”
Klaus let out a sigh as he put his lover on the sofa and made sure she’d be comfortable after waking up. “You don’t remember anything, do you?”
“No, Mr. Mikaelson.”
He tiredly pinched the bridge of his nose. “And my brother told you to leave, why did you come back?”
“He basically kidnapped me,” Izzy said as she hugged her knees to her chest. “And then he said I could go and he’d come and get me in two days. But I felt like he needed my help, so I came back.”
Klaus nodded slowly. “He hasn’t been the same since you left, but I’m sure everything will turn out alright. Myriam and I are here now and you can go back to your hotel.”
“I cancelled it.”
Izzy shrugged then. “My parents picked that hotel for me so I’d be safe, but they also made it clear that I’m a journey by myself, without them, so I suppose this was me pulling off the proverbial band aid.”
He sighed then and tiredly pinched the bridge of his nose. “We’re in no shape to entertain a guest right now. As you can tell, we haven’t been in our home for quite some time and it needs some cleaning. Go back to your hotel for one night. Tomorrow is a different day.”
“Oh, I can sleep anywhere, Mr. Mikaelson. Even if it’s not a clean place. I’ve spent weeks in the barn sleeping on hay because we had some cows and horses who were prone to difficult labor,” Izzy smiled at him.
Klaus stared back at her with a dumb and numb expression. “I’m going to want to kill you myself, aren’t I?”
Izzy shrugged. “I’d ask my dad to confirm that threat but I deliberately ruined my phone,” she said as she got to her feet and grabbed her bag. “But sure, I’ll go.”
He continued to stare at her as he stepped back. “If you truly ruined your reservation, I can make you a new one or you can stay across at Kol’s flat. Whichever you find more comfortable. But here tonight is a bad idea, Sweetheart.”
“I’ll find some place, don’t worry,” Izzy said as she pointed at the food. “He needs to eat,” she said as she started to walk towards the gates. “Have a good night.”
Klaus eyes the bags with a frown. “You didn’t cook this?” He called out, almost disappointed in what she’d say.
“No! I would have if I’d have a clean kitchen to work with, my lasagna is to die for,” Izzy turned around to face him. “If your kitchen is clean tomorrow, I’d be happy to cook for you.”
Klaus smiled then. “We’d like that.”
Izzy nodded. “Good. Then you’ll see me tomorrow,” she then turned around and headed outside the gate to find herself another place to stay. The hotel she’d stayed at was likely now completely booked because yes, she did screw up her own reservation and maybe that had been stupid, but she felt like she couldn’t stay there. Too fancy.
She eventually found a hotel on Magazine street that looked run down and old, but she loved the atmosphere of the hotel. It was rustic. She was shown to her room and it may not have looked a very safe space to be in, for one night it would be alright.
During her sleep she got awoken several times by the sounds of children giggling and a matron walking in and out her room and eventually Izzy got so tired of it that she took the angel statue with her in bed and the world had gone quiet again. Of course, she’d be the one to choose a haunted location to sleep in.