Klaus, Rebekah and Myriam went back to America while Elijah and Kai remained in Volterra to sort through the Volturi King’s library and artifacts and Bella and Kol went to Egypt. Kai didn’t care as long as Elijah allowed him some fun too. Granted, he wanted to stay with Bella and Kol, but it was all about divide and conquer, wasn’t it?
Bella wanted to be sure that the Egyptians couldn’t step up and grab power. They were really hard to find though and it took Bella and Kol two weeks to find them, but only two minutes for Bella to end them.
Kol happily tagged along, feeling a bit useless as he did, because Bella did all the work. She shouldn’t do all the work by herself. And it also made him wonder what she’d do when the Cullens were dead. When she had her revenge and could live her life freely. What would she do?
He knew what he wanted. He wanted to take her all over the world and enjoy themselves. The occasional killing spree here and there, but just enjoy the beauty of the world. Hang out with witches, have her learn from other people.
Kol wanted Bella to be completely his. Not distracted by her past, or having to take care of her father. He wanted her carefree and by his side.
And that couldn’t happen until all her demons were gone.
After Egypt, they went back to Forks for a week, Bella wanted to spend some time with her father and show the awesome pictures they’d taken… without showing the pictures of their Cold One massacres of course. Kol stayed clear of Charlie Swan while Bella was home and instead ran some errands – such as picking up their diplomas. For Bella it was something special, and he was going to frame it for her.
No, he was glad that Chief Swan didn’t know that his daughter was dating. Or that he was a vampire. Or that his daughter was a heretic. Bella had already texted him pictures of strands of garlic hanging in the house because it was claimed by the people on the rez that it kept out bad spirits. That gave Kol a proper giggle. Those people didn’t know anything about vampires, only Cold Ones and even then, their information was scarce. They were dumb as bricks. It was hilarious. People were such playthings.
On their third or fourth day back, Kol was thoroughly enjoying his new music setup and his gaming setup, kicking ass on Call of Duty, when all of a sudden he heard Myriam yell for him. Choosing to ignore her, he kept on playing before the power went off. “Nik!” He stormed out of his room to find the circuit breaker and when he did, Myriam was next to it, with a devious smile on his face. “I wasn’t making that much noise.”
“No, but you didn’t come downstairs when I called for you, either,” she said as she flipped the switch back on and dragged Kol with her. “You’ve been home for 3 days and already in trouble with the law?”
“No?” Myriam echoed before opening the front door, revealing Charlie Swan standing on the doorstep. “If you’re not in trouble, Kol, then please do explain why Sheriff Swan is here for you.”
Okay so Kol was a big, scary vampire, the one his brothers tend to use as an attack dog – and Kol let them – but Charlie Swan could make any tough guy shiver in their boots. Especially when that guy was dating their daughter without informing him. “I did pay that traffic fine, sheriff,” he eventually said.
“I know that,” Charlie replied. “I’m here to invite you to dinner, seeing as you’ve been spending so much time with my Bells. Tonight at seven. Don’t be late.”
“But I can’t, sir. I have plans.”
Charlie sighed. “Either you come to dinner tonight or I’ll arrest you.”
“That’s abuse of power!” Kol sputtered.
Charlie shrugged. “Seven. Bella will be cooking.” With that, Charlie turned around, walked off the steps and went back to his car and Kol just looked at Bella’s father with a shocked look on his face.
“Ah, young love,” Myriam laughed as she slapped Kol on the shoulder and closed the door for him as she pulled him back. “Why didn’t you just compel him?”
“Bella would kill me,” Kol groaned as he ran a hand over his face. “I don’t do in-laws, Myriam. If I date someone it’s just me and her. Not everything around it. Like parents!”
“And her friends, too,” Myriam laughed.
“Her annoying friends! Did you know, that not once they messaged her while we were gone? That she was always the one to message them first? Sure, they might be busy, but still. I don’t do stuff like this.”
Myriam merely smirked.
“You’re being domesticated. I love it,” she replied with a shrug. “You may want to get cleaned up before you go over tonight.”
Kol grumbled as he headed back to his room, turned on his music again and continued to play his game after texting Bella. WTF?
Couldn’t stop him, he saw too many pictures with you in it. I refused to invite you over as I know you don’t like stuff like this. Charlie’s going to interrogate you about me and your intentions.
Oh great. Just great. I should have just allowed him to arrest me!
Relax. You’ll be alright.
Yes. I will. Because I will compel him and you can’t stop me.
Kol didn’t like the silence.
No, it wasn’t fine. He was fucked. I’m sorry.
No, it’s fine, but if you’d just give him a chance. He’s concerned for his only daughter and worried. I didn’t tell him that we were together, though. Just friends who like to hang out with each other.
Maybe he wasn’t fucked. He just didn’t do parents.
Bella felt nervous. Not for herself, but for Kol. Kol likely didn’t have to deal with fathers in the past, other than his own, and Charlie wasn’t just any father. He was Charlie. And the Chief of Police. It had been different with Edward, it had been brief, and she was the one telling her father that Edward wanted to meet him, officially.
And a gun was involved.
But for Charlie to invite Kol over like that? Yeah, that was scary.
“Dad,” she said as she looked at him from her spot in the kitchen. “Could you be nice to him?”
“Why? Because he’s important to you?”
“Wasn’t that what you said when that Cullen boy wanted to introduce himself to me as your boyfriend?” Charlie countered. “Am I going to be nice? Sure. Will he have it easy? No. Even though you’re old enough to make your own decisions and don’t have to listen to your old man, you are going to listen to your old man,” he added. “I will not allow a boy to hurt you the way that the Cullen boy did.”
“He’s not like Edward at all.”
“He’s from a big, well-established family, living in the same house, driving ridiculously expensive cars – although I believe he did get a suitable car last winter – and there are many parallels between him and the other boy,” Charlie berated her. “And, he took you on trips.”
She let out a snort.
“Multiple times in the last few months,” he took a sip of his beer. “So, you’re going to allow me to be a hardass to make sure that I’m satisfied that my little girl will not be hurt anymore, got it?”
Charlie walked over to the kitchen and pulled Bella into a hug. “I rarely get to see you these days. All those school trips before your graduation… I just don’t want him to manipulate you the way Edward did. Like him telling you you needed to leave me after your baseball outing… that still hurts even if he returned you later. With a broken foot.”
“I love you too, dad,” Bella smiled at him. Yes, if anything would go wrong, they’d compel him, but she didn’t want that. She wanted her dad and Kol to get along the normal way.
“To be honest, I thought you’d have a thing for Kai but yeah, that surprised me,” Charlie deadpanned as he went back to his beer. “He’s a good kid.”
“Kai?” Bella laughed. “Dad, please. He’s so not my type. We’re having fun, that’s all.”
She shook her head as she could hear Kol park his car outside. “Play nice, it’s been a while since he had to deal with a parent.”
She then wiped her hands on a towel and opened the door for Kol, he was slightly fidgety but he carried a six pack of beer for Charlie and a box of chocolate for Bella and he just looked so out of place and adorable, she couldn’t help but laugh.
“What?” Kol whined. “I made an effort!”
“You look cute,” she grinned and kissed his cheek before letting him inside. “Dad, Kol’s here. Dinner’s ready in 15 minutes,” she said as she lead Kol to the table where her dad was sitting before she took the beer from Kol to put it in the fridge. “Play nice you two.”
“I’m always nice,” Charlie huffed. “Nice to see you again, Kol.”
“You too, Chief Swan,” Kol said as he sat down and put the beer down in front of Charlie. “My apologies that we were gone so often for extra credits for school.”
Charlie eyed him for a moment. “It was a little strange, I have to admit.”
“Myriam arranged it.”
“Uhuh,” Charlie nodded. “Well, at least you two graduated. What’s next? What college have you been accepted into?” Charlie nodded towards Bella in the kitchen. “She was late sending in her stuff.”
“As was I,” Kol grinned. “I’m not certain what’s next. Perhaps travel the world for a year, learn new things that way.”
“With my daughter?”
“If she wants to, yes.”
Charlie took a sip of his beer. “And how are you two going to afford all of that?”
Kol smiled then, slightly embarrassed. Bella was surprised by his acting. “I do believe that it’s no secret that my family has money, Chief Swan. My brothers are more than happy to fund our trips, making sure that your daughter is very well taken care of. They’re even happy to put us up in safe, secure hotels.”
“That’ll be a lot of money.”
“Not really, at least not for my family. It’s slightly embarrassing, you know. But they believe that I deserve it and if Bella wants to come along, everything will be paid for as well.”
Kol nervously ran a hand through his hair. “Chief Swan, your daughter and I are dating, while I promise to be nothing but honorable towards her, are you really going to insist on seperate rooms? We’re both 18.”
Bella glared over to Charlie as she was finishing up on dinner. She could almost see the cogs spin inside his mind. “As long as you guys do things safely,” Charlie eventually said, surprising Bella as she brought one of the dishes to the table. “I’m not old enough to be a grandfather yet.”
Kol let out a snort. “There are no plans for that, sir.”
If only Charlie knew. Bella kissed her dad on the cheek before returning to the kitchen to get the rest of the food. “No, dad, we’re still too young for that. Give us some credit.”
Charlie hummed. “Where do you see yourself in five years, Kol?”
“Well, hopefully your daughter won’t have gotten bored of me by then.”
“Hey!” Bella said defensively. “I’d never!” She set the plates down and made sure everything was off in the kitchen and on the table before sitting down next to Kol.
“We’d preferably live somewhere away from my family,” Kol added as he thought for a moment. “And be happy.”
“What about a job? College?”
“That too,” Kol pointed out quickly, knowing that humans liked that sort of thing. “Perhaps become a teacher.” Something low-risk would appease Bella’s father, right? “In any case, there’s plenty of time to figure it out. I’m still young.” Ha. If only. “My family lives to enjoy every single day there is with people you love to spend time with, because life is short enough.”
“Fair enough,” Charlie hummed. “Will you ever get in Bella’s way if she decides she wants more?”
“If she’s tired of traveling around with you or if she chooses to go to a college that’s not the one you want to go to?”
“Of course? What kind of question is that?”
“Plate up, don’t want the food to get cold,” Bella muttered as she got up to pour her and Kol a drink before returning to the table. “This is very embarrassing, dad. Kol’s nothing but good to me. Treats me like a princess.”
Charlie eyed his daughter before relenting with a sigh. “Very well,” he replied as he looked at Kol. “I did a background check on you,” he deadpanned, causing Kol to spit out his drink. “And up until recently, there’s no trace of you and your siblings. I found some newspaper articles dating as far back as the 1800s in New Orleans about your ancestors, but it appears that you never existed. What are you hiding?”
Kol didn’t pale and didn’t hesitate with his reply. “Nothing, because you’re right. Our family lived off grid, akin to nomads, very anti-government of any country and didn’t bother to register or get a social ID.”
“Then how did your family earn your money?”
Kol sighed as he ran his hand through his hair. “We had someone in place for us, their entire family, actually. I’m sure that if you’d look up Richard Smith you’d get a lot of information.”
“That’s the most common name there is!”
Kol shrugged. “I understand that you may be a bit wary about the lack of history my family has, but I assure you, we all have identification, social security numbers and whatnot. We wanted to belong.”
Bella saw the look on her father’s face. “Yeah, maybe that’s too much of a conspiracy theorist kind of thing and he won’t like that, at all,” she said as she looked at Kol. “Just compel him. He asked all the questions he wanted and he was satisfied by your answers, and make him forget what you just said.”
He smiled knowingly then before compelling Charlie. Charlie was satisfied with all the answers Kol had given him, they had a great chat, and were now going to eat dinner while Charlie accepted Kol as Bella’s boyfriend.
Charlie’s face stiffened, his eyebrows furrowed. “Get the hell out of my house,” he grumbled. “I didn’t want to believe Joshua Parker, give you the benefit of the doubt, but get the hell out and stay away from my daughter.”
Bella felt the color drain from her face as she looked at Kol who had a flabbergasted look on his face before looking back at her father. “Dad?”
“Used to be the stuff of legends, vampires. Then Joshua Parker called me,” Charlie said as he rose from his chair and headed to his weapon’s locker. “Saying that my daughter came for guidance because she’s a witch, and that she had her vampire boyfriend with her. Told me all about vampires, he did.”
“Dad, Joshua Parker was an idiot.”
“Oh, that’s exactly what I told him when he said that you were an abomination, Bella, you’d never hurt anyone, but him? He lives on blood and violence,” Charlie turned around with his crossbow.
“Oh please,” Kol scoffed.
Bella got on her feet. “Dad, don’t.”
“I won’t, unless he leaves this house. Right now.”
“No,” Bella said as she walked to her father and pulled the crossbow out of his hands without even as a struggle, but Charlie didn’t seem to notice. “Have you lost your mind? Why listen to some random stranger and not me?”
“Because you told me that you went to Portland for a school trip, Bella, you lied to me.”
“I’m an adult, and more importantly, I wanted to shield you from this.”
“Bella, I’m your father and it’s my job to protect you from everything. Even vampires,” he replied angrily. “What else is there? Unicorns? Werewolves?”
“Good job, where were you when she was in deep with the Cullens?” Kol muttered as he uncomfortably shifted on his feet. Bella thought the world of her father, and to see him like this hurt, mostly because it hurt Bella. He didn’t care, although some acceptance would have been nice.
“Dad, whatever Joshua Parker has told you, not all vampires are bad, just like not all humans are criminals,” she said calmly as she placed the crossbow on the table. “You see, Joshua Parker was the monster. He didn’t care about his children, only about his coven and power. He was afraid of me, and he hurt me when I met him. I had to defend myself. And he killed me. If it wasn’t for Kol, I wouldn’t be here right now, talking to you,” she added before seeing the look on his face. “And I’m sorry, dad, but you can’t remember all of this if we want to continue to have a normal family relationship, so while we can’t use our vampire gifts to make you forget, I’m going to have to do that by magic.”
“Darling, magic won’t stick. He’ll likely remember some eventually.”
“Yeah, I know,” Bella said sadly as she knocked Charlie out with her magic and caught him before he fell on the floor. She dragged him over to the couch and made sure he was comfortable. “But hopefully he’ll stop taking vervain and then we can make it stick. We can check in a few months or so.”
“We can bleed him out.”
“I’m just saying,” he shrugged. “But very well, do it your way. I’m sorry for this, Bella.”
“We’re not going to tell Kai about this, either.”
“No one will know what happened,” Kol agreed.
Bella sighed as she sat down on the coffee table and looked at her dad. “Kol, could you grab my clothes and stuff from my room? It seems like I’ll be coming home with you.”
While Kol was happy to do what she asked him to do, especially because she was coming home with him, it was a sad occasion. Making Charlie forget was for his own protection, although he wouldn’t have anything to fear from them. This was the best option.
When he was done, Bella was stuffing the crossbow into another bag and had cleaned up. “I made him forget that Joshua called him and everything that he has learned since, especially the research into your family. I planted a nice memory in his mind that we had dinner and that he was confident that you’d keep me safe and that he doesn’t have to worry about me while we travel around the world on a budget to see how far we can go, a year long of adventure before starting college. I made him think he agreed to it wholeheartedly because traveling on your own builds character.”
“And then in a while, we’ll come back to make the story stick permanently if it comes back, I’m pretty sure I know what I’m doing as it never triggered you after I wiped your memories of me in Denver.”
“That’s because I didn’t have anything around me to remind me of you, darling,” Kol kissed the top of her head. “Your father is your father. The only way to make it stick is to make him forget that.”
“I don’t want to do that to him.”
“Or to yourself?”
Bella let out a breath and nodded. “Yeah. He doesn’t deserve that.”
“Very well. Let’s go before he wakes.”
That night, Bella wondered many scenarios to see if she could travel back in time to avoid Charlie being called by Joshua Parker and exposing the supernatural world to him. If she’d go back in time a bit earlier to the point that she met him, and killed him, the whole coven would be dead.
She wasn’t sure if that would affect Kai as well, but it was likely that the prison world he was in would collapse.
If she’d go back even further, and kill Joshua Parker, she’d kill Kai for sure.
If she’d go back to after her visit, she’d run into the same problem. So it was unavoidable that the asshat would call Charlie and that sucked.
She could go even further back and just make sure that Joshua was never born, but that also included not having Kai, and while she wanted to fix her father, she wasn’t sure if she was willing to sacrifice Kai for that.
It was frustrating to be able to do something and not change a thing because it wouldn’t matter. It was either, or. Kai was family too and should Charlie ever find out about the past or what could have been future with Kai, then Charlie would be disappointed in Bella.
“Let’s go to Alaska tonight,” Kol suggested as he took a sip of his bourbon. He’d seen Bella retreat into her thoughts all evening and it sucked. She needed a jolt. A distraction. “We’ll have a great snack on the way and we’ll have some fun.”
“What about Klaus and Myriam?”
Kol shrugged “They wanted to come along to the Volturi because the Volturi are big players. The Cullens and their family, are not. You and I are strong and powerful enough to wipe the floor with them.”
Bella hummed and nodded. “Alright, let’s go to Alaska.”