She entered the home, a hallway leading to various rooms. There were several pictures up the wall as the man lead her inside and pointed at the couch for her to sit down on. Five minutes later, he returned with some tea and sat down on a chair. “You must be wondering who I am.”
“I introduced myself, it would be nice to know your name, too,” Bella smiled at him.
“My name is Joshua Parker, I’m the leader of the Gemini coven,” he replied. “And forgive me for rushing you inside, it’s been a while since we had someone from the Swans find us for answers. They’re usually male, though.”
“So you know my family?”
Mr. Parker nodded. “A long long time ago, they were ousted from our coven and only the tiniest connection exists to our coven to help those who seek answers about their magic,” he then let out a breath. “But for you to be in the company of the Original who loves witches, has me worried.”
“Why?” Bella asked curiously. “From what I’ve been told, he’s the most knowledgeable about witches and their magic than anyone of his family and he always treats them with the utmost respect. He was my friend before we found out that I have magic.”
“As much as he loves witches, he will only be their friend as long he can use them, as long as they’re useful to him, usually leaving the witch in question dead.”
“He’s not like that with me.”
“You don’t know him, I do,” Bella said a bit more resolute. “And to be honest, I come here for help, and you only insult the one who’s traveled with me to make sure I stay safe.”
“You wish to talk about safety? I’m responsible for the entire coven. If you found me, then others can find me as well. Like the other vampires out there. What do you want?”
“I don’t know what they want, but again, I need help understanding my magic. I’m not here to hurt you or your coven, I’m merely running into some issues and I’ve heard that you have experience with my kind of magic.”
“I’ve been told I’m a siphoner.”
Joshua paled then. “Like your distant relatives.”
“Perhaps, but I might be different.”
“Your kind are leaches. An abomination. We don’t want your kind in our coven, that’s why we ousted them.”
“Which is fair. You’re purists, I can understand that. But still, you’ll have a lot more knowledge about this power than I do, and I’m having some issues,” Bella replied evenly. This man was hostile towards her, she could do the same thing back. It was a good thing that she took some magic off of Kol while they were walking through the barrier, she could still feel it inside of her. “Like… when I get my magic off of a willing Original or one of their sirelings, I can control it. However, I’m involved in some shit that requires contact with shifter wolves and vampires of the Cold One variety and then my magic becomes unstable.”
“You’re better off not taking the magic out of others. You could kill people.”
“I have. A bunch of newborn Cold Ones who were going to kill me and anyone in their way,” Bella replied. “So please, tell me why it’s harder to control my magic when I siphon off a Cold One or the wolves.”
“Why should I?”
“Because I want to help people with my gift and I can’t do that when it’s out of control. You may think I’m an abomination, and that’s fine, but please tell me what’s wrong with me and I’ll be out of your hair.”
“I’m not going to help you, and seeing as you’re not drinking the tea, I’m sorry,” Joshua said as he started to mutter a spell, but Bella was fast enough to deflect it. “What?”
Angrily, Bella got to her feet. “Do you honestly believe I came with you without making sure I had the means to protect myself?” She fumed. “I don’t know what the fuck has gotten into you, but aren’t witches supposed to help each other? I come here for help because your coven are experts when it comes to siphoners because you keep kicking them out. I didn’t even want to come here, you know, but that Original witch-lover out there, and his family, wanted me to get help because they’re afraid something will go wrong with me.”
“Oh, it will,” Joshua spat. “My own son killed four of my children, wounded three of them, because he had learned that my wife and I kept trying for more children to have another set of twins so that one of them could become the leader of our coven. He was an abomination. There was a reason why we ousted people like you, and I had been a fool to keep my son around.”
Bella blinked at him. “Wow.”
“The safety of this coven is paramount. Once the surviving twins are of age, they will merge and my daughter Liv will become our new leader.”
“What happened to your son?”
“I’m sorry to hear that you’ve had so many issues with your family for your beloved coven. It must have been hard.”
“It has been 18 years. I can still hear them all run around this house, laughing.”
“Again, sorry for your loss. I can imagine you don’t want to help me.”
“No, I want to kill you,” Joshua said as he shot another spell at her, causing her to double over in pain. She couldn’t do anything back, she hadn’t taken that much from Kol but with this guy wanting to kill her, she wished she had taken more. “There’s no place for you, all you siphoners bring is death and destruction.”
When Joshua got closer, Bella grabbed his ankle and took some of his magic to push him away from her before scrambling to her feet and nearly falling outside the house as Joshua had come for her again. She was nowhere near the barrier to weaken it or to get rid of it. “I came here in respect!” Bella let out a whimper as Joshua flattened her to the ground. She managed to get her hand from underneath her and knocked him out.
She gasped for air as she got back to her feet and stumbled towards the barrier and fell through it, right into Kol’s arms. “He’s a dick.”
“Are you alright?” Kol asked worriedly as he helped her to her feet.
“I will be,” she nodded as she looked over to the two other vampires and the human.”Let them figure out a way to get in there themselves, I have all that we need,” she replied, a small smile on her lips as they walked towards the car. “Well, snippets, but the internet is a wonderful place.”
“You need to take it easy,” Kol said as he helped her in the car.
“I’ll be fine.” Kol didn’t hold back when driving off, making Bella get smushed against the chair and when he hit a bump, she let out another whimper.
“You said you’d be fine,” Kol grinned as he didn’t slow down on their way to the hotel he had booked while she’d been inside the house.
“So what did you learn?”
“That the Gemini are dicks, that they think of siphoners as abominations. And that their current leader cares more about the coven than his own family. He lost four children because his siphoner son went mental.”
“So would you if you discovered that your parents try to have another set of twins because they don’t think that you’d make a good leader.”
“I don’t want to be a leader,” Kol blinked.
“No, but in the past, you were jealous and angry at Klaus, just imagine that feeling.”
Kol was quiet as he turned another corner towards the hotel. “Betrayal by those you love and are supposed to love you sucks.”
“What if you were promised something and you didn’t get it?”
“I’m sort of alright with my impulses now, darling. But in the past, I would have gone on a killing spree.”
Bella nodded as she braced herself for another turn at full speed. “I think that’s what happened with Parker’s son.”
“Perhaps, but you don’t know that,” Kol replied with a shrug. “But don’t worry, we’ll find someone else who can help you. It’ll just take a while longer.”
Bella sighed. She had an idea but she had no idea if Kol was going to agree to it, because it meant that she’d possibly put herself in harm’s way. “You and Myriam told me yourself that someone like me is rare.”
“True,” he parked in the parking lot of the hotel. “But we’ll find someone, I promise,” he said as he helped her out of the car with a smirk on his face. “Would you like to have some of my blood now, darling?”
Bella sighed and nodded.
“Not that I’m pressing you or anything, but I hate to see you in pain and my blood is an easy fix,” he said as he walked with her to their hotel room, carrying their bags. “You don’t have to suffer unnecessarily.”
Tiredly, she ran a hand through her hair and nodded. “But I’m afraid that I’ll go haywire with the magic.”
“Nonsense, darling, you can handle that.”
“And you said I could handle the wolves’ magic. And the Cold Ones,” she countered angrily. “What if I’m losing control altogether? What if I’ll turn into Mr. Parker’s son? What if I get so consumed with the magic that I like completely lose it? What if the Gemini coven is right to push siphoners out of their coven because they can’t handle the magic?”
“You won’t become like that, you don’t have it in you,” Kol said as he opened the door of her hotel room and put her bag inside. He grabbed one of the glasses, bit his hand and put some of his blood inside of it, setting it on the desk. “Get some rest. I’m going to find something to drink and I’ll find us a nice place to eat later, okay?”
And with that, Kol left. Just like Bella had wanted. Oh, it was likely she was going to lose control over her magic eventually especially if she’d get into touch with wolves and Cold Ones again. But she needed to do research, so she could propose her plan to Kol over dinner.
She grabbed some orange juice from the minibar and mixed it with Kol’s blood before knocking it back and grabbing her laptop out of her bag before connecting to the internet and started to do her research.
Kol knocked on her door a few hours later, and she opened the door with a big smile on her face. “I don’t trust that smile,” he said playfully.
“Shall we order room service instead of going out?”
“Why? I found a great restaurant.”
“Because I found out what happened to the Parkers and did some more digging,” she smiled at him as she pulled him inside the room before sitting back down on her bed with her laptop. “It’s amazing what you can find on google these days, news articles are public and if you pay for it you can even see the census and stuff.”
“Bella, we’ll just find someone else.”
She looked at him and shook her head. “20 years ago, the Parker family lived in that house. Father Joshua, his wife Joanne, twins Malachai and Josette, Joey, Patricia, Patrick, John and twins Olivia and Lucas.”
“That is a lot of children, not even my parents were that mad,” he replied as he sat down in a chair and grabbed the menu for ordering room service.
“And then I texted Myriam, asking what she knew about the Gemini coven when it came to twins. I mean, Gemini means twins, so it must be pretty important, right?”
“To become the leader of the coven, like Joshua, twins have to perform a merge ceremony when they’re 22. The strongest one practically absorbs the weaker one of the twin and the weakest dies.”
“That’s not surprising, I’ve encountered a coven back in the day where they had to sacrifice one of their own family to become leader. It was all about who was the most ruthless.”
Bella shuddered at the thought. “So imagine that you’re a teenage boy and you learn about this. And you learn that they’re rooting for your twin to survive the merge because you’re not capable of performing magic on your own…”
“I’d kill everyone in my path.”
She smiled at him then. This was the sentiment she’d been hoping to hear from him. “18 years ago, Malachai Parker slaughtered his younger siblings. His twin Josette survived, and Olivia and Lucas, but their locations are unknown. Malachai disappeared from the face of the earth. Can’t find much about the whole Parker family after he went berserk. But from what I could gather from my experience with Papa Parker was that the coven came first, not family.”
It was then when it clicked in Kol’s head. “No. Your future self gave you rules. Going back that far is close to when you were born.”
“I’ll be here. And I’m just going to talk to him. See if he can help me.”
Kol pinched the bridge of his nose. “I think that’s a bad idea. He killed his family, Bella.”
“And you and your family killed thousands,” Bella pointed out. “I’m merely going to see if he’s willing to help, what he was like before everything.” She turned the laptop around and smiled. “I know where he went to school? I could go there? Safe place?”
“What if you get stuck?”
“I won’t. I know what to do now. And I’m going back with a purpose, not because I’m afraid or overwhelmed with magic,” she replied confidently as she took the menu out of his hands and looked at the menu. “Are you hungry?”
“I just fed.”
“Then I’ll eat in 1996,” she nodded as she put the unappetizing menu away and looked at him. “You’re not going to stop me?”
Kol let out a groan. “I should,” he replied as he looked at her. “But, this might be the only chance you’re going to get to talk to another siphoner and maybe understand what’s going on. As you said, we said your kind is rare.” He then let out a sigh as he moved to sit down next to her on the bed. “However, this will be our secret and we won’t tell Nik or Myriam. And don’t force your stay over there. If it becomes strenuous, you’re coming back.”
“Not everyone can be saved, you know that, right?”
“I’m not going to save him, Kol. I’m going for information.”
Kol let out a snort and shook his head. “I want to wager that if you return, you’re going to say that you want to go back because he could use a friend and that you were going to give him that.”
“Nope. You’ll lose.”
“Am I?” Kol asked teasingly. “You have a big, bleeding heart, Bella Swan. And your danger radar is far off.”
“Yep, you’re going to lose,” she said with determination. “If I find out he needs a friend, I’ll get him a puppy,” Bella added smugly.
“For him to kill.”
“Well, he might.”
“You’re the worst.”
“Nah, Myriam’s worse than me,” Kol grinned as he held out his hand. “Ready?”
It was a good thing that she looked young enough, still, to be in high school. And it was flipping awesome that she could still direct herself in time and place so that she could go wherever she wanted.
She took some time to look around on campus, and when lunch break happened, she happily joined the queue to get herself something to eat as well, the food looked a lot more appetizing than the hotel menu had done.
After getting her tray, she looked around and found that it wasn’t really hard to find Malachai Parker. He was sitting by himself, not even at a table but in the corner and anxiously looking around while he ate his food. Just by looking at him, she was confused as how he’d end up killing most of his family in just a few years. He was supposed to be around her age, 18.
Bella made her way over to him and sat down next to him before digging into her food. “Hey,” she greeted him.
“Uh…” Malachai’s cheeks turned beet red and he tried to move further into the corner. “Why are you talking to me?”
“Because I’m new to this school. Can’t I be the new kid who likely does the stupidest things? I mean, there must be a reason why you’re all by yourself…” she popped a grape into her mouth as she looked at him. “Let me guess… you’re a nerd, but at the lowest rank. You love those Japanese cartoons or something?”
“No,” he huffed, shaking his head. “My sister and the rest of the family have been telling everyone to stay away from me, makes it hard to finish school.”
“I’m not afraid,” Bella smiled at him and held out her hand. “I’m Bella.”
“I’m Kai,” he said as he shook her hand before his eyes grew wide. “You’re a witch?” he whispered at her. “And you’re sitting right next to me?”
“I have no idea what you’re talking about, Kai,” Bella said smugly as she took a sip of her drink before looking around and sighed. “How did you know?”
“Because I’m one too,” Kai grinned.
Bella bit her lip as she looked at him. “Wanna skip school and do magic?”
Kai’s face lit up like a Christmas tree. “Hell yeah!”