They went back to Las Vegas to pick up Kol’s statue and he relaxed even more when Klaus was home and Elijah was down in his box. He’d been anxious about that seeing as Elijah always knew how to make his actions right. Kol was glad to hear that Klaus’ anger and disappointment were more of a priority than brotherly love.
Kol drove them back to Texas while Izzy slept on the back seat of her truck. He didn’t want to be idle for more than a year while Izzy finished her education but a part of him was so proud of her; he had offered her the world and she refused. That it was important to have a job. That, and she really loved animals.
The only thing Izzy didn’t want was for him to compel her parents. So he didn’t even though they were a little apprehensive about the fact that their daughter had an Original vampire for a boyfriend.
And for a while, Kol was bored. He entertained himself with the local town folk and making them do things for his entertainment but that grew old very quickly. Izzy’s parents were amused by him getting cabin fever due to Izzy’s mundane life, and they were getting on his nerves. So, while Izzy was out, he compelled them to stand on the roof and cluck like a chicken.
Of course, Izzy wasn’t happy.
Another time he wondered what bunnies would taste like. He never had the misfortune to have to snack on rats or anything and had never had taken a bite out of an animal. Rabbits were easy to find around the farm, but he made sure he was far away from the house so that nobody saw what he was doing. Chasing the blasted animal for a moment, he grabbed it and sunk his teeth in it. Before throwing up. It was bloody disgusting! It was a good thing that Stefan Salvatore sacrificed himself all those years ago, otherwise, he’d have to kill him for spreading lunacy! Honestly, how could you survive on the blood of animals?
Needing to hide the evidence, he quickly dug a hole and threw the rabbit in before closing the hole and heading back.
It’d only been a month. Something needed to change. It wasn’t as if Izzy wasn’t paying attention to him after work and learning, but he was positively bored out of his mind. Did she really think he was going to allow her to have a job?
Oh, that sounded terribly controlling, but why would she want a job when she could travel the world with him? He’d pay for everything and jobs were so incredibly boring and mundane. Izzy was meant for greatness. To be treated like a queen. His queen. And Kol was well aware that he was sounding like his brother now, but it was the truth, wasn’t it? Izzy wasn’t a princess, she was a queen. His.
And she liked to stick her arm up the end of a cow.
Or at least that’s what she was making him believe. She seemed happy with her arm up the end of a cow, or a horse. Getting fleas all over from infected and sick kittens, puppies…
No, wait. She had mentioned to him that she’d rather wanted to earn money with her art but that it was a tough area to get a job in. Animate children’s stories. He could provide her with that. An income, while she did what she liked to do.
No more sticking arms up the back end of a cow. No more funny smells. Kol wouldn’t ever have to scrub extra hard when taking a shower again after she’d tell him about her day.
He could live with an artist.
Kol decided to pay Izzy a visit at the veterinary clinic, to take her out for lunch and then for her to come with him, no more smelling like poop and animal blood, and all the other offensive animal smells around her.
When he entered the clinic, he was greeted by several animal owners with their respective animals before walking up to the woman behind the desk. “Hi, I’m looking for Izzy.”
“Oh, you must be the boy she’s always talking about!” she almost purred. “My, aren’t you handsome?”
“I know, thanks, I’m here for Izzy.”
“Oh, she and the Doc are out on a call, they should be back in a couple of hours.”
“Thank you,” Kol smiled at her and quickly left the clinic before trying to call her on her cellphone. When she didn’t pick up, he told himself not to worry. After all, she could be arm’s deep into the backend of a cow. But he had another option.
He didn’t have the statue on him to create a bubble for him because he’d been without for fifty years and as long as he stayed clear of the city center without it, he’d be fine. After all, he could imagine the spirits not being entirely happy with his brother and with Izzy’s dad. “Jeremy, darling?”
‘Yeah, just a sec,’ Jeremy said as he briefly poofed in beside Kol and left again.
“Just a sec?!” Kol called out, frustrated, and growing worried. He tried Bella’s phone again but again, it went to voicemail. “Jeremy!”
‘Yeah, man!’ Jeremy poofed back in. ‘The Doc had a heart attack, he didn’t make it, I was making sure Izzy was alright. She’s ready to be picked up 20 miles from uh… Jefferson’s farm,’ he said as he pointed North. ‘Thirty miles that way.’
Kol didn’t need to be told twice and made the distance in double the time, not slowing down until he had Izzy in his arms. “Are you okay?” He let go of her and started to check her over for cuts and bruises.
“No! I’m not okay!” Izzy said angrily as tears were rolling down her cheeks. “Dr. Beck is dead! That’s the second death in a very short time in this fucking town and Dr. Beck was great and kind and the only reason why I didn’t have to spend time in classrooms and with other people but now he’s dead! Can’t you fix him?”
Kol pulled her closer as he shook his head. “I don’t hear his heartbeat, darling, I’m sorry.”
“Why can’t I have anything for myself?” she sobbed. “I really wanted to do this! I was dedicated and so close too…”
“But you have things for yourself, Izzy,” he replied as he rubbed her back. “You’re an amazing and talented artist. You have your parents on a farm. You have me. And I’m sure that with some compelling we can have you get your vet diploma.”
“But that’s cheating! I don’t want that!”
Kol nodded and held her tightly. She was in shock, that was all. Once she’d feel better, she would want to continue her studies and he was not going to take advantage of this situation. “Did you call an ambulance?”
“Good,” he kissed the top of her head before taking a better look at the state of the car, and was confused as to how Izzy was unharmed and in his arms seeing as the car was wrapped around the tree. There was blood on the windshield, the doc had made a dent in it after it bumped against the tree when he had his heart attack. “Darling, how did you get out of the car?” he asked carefully.
“I don’t know, I just did,” she replied, shrugging. “I got lucky?”
“That you did. Perhaps I should take you away from here and once the police comes asking for clarification, we’ll just compel them.”
“I just want to not be here anymore,” she sniffed. “I’m done. This place is bringing me nothing but sadness lately, it doesn’t feel like home anymore and I’m just… done. I’ll find a way to pay Klaus back for paying for my studies but I’m done.”
“Let’s get you home, you’re in shock,” he lifted her in his arms and kissed the top of her head. “Hang on.”
Izzy found herself warm and cozy in her bed and was only left alone for a moment when Kol instructed her parents on what to do should the police come knocking and put a glass of water on her nightstand. “Better?”
She took his hand and pulled him down onto the bed with her and nestled against him. “I meant what I said, and it’s not because of this. I wanted to tell you tonight,” Izzy said softly as she met his eyes. “I always felt safe here. At home. At peace. But not after… I tried, but it’s not the same. It’s like everyone is looking at me strangely, too. Those who are left anyway.”
“Then we can go somewhere else for your studies.”
“You hate the animal smells on me.”
“I do,” he barked out a laugh. “But you seemed to have your mind dead set on becoming a veterinarian. And if you can do that in a city where I won’t get so easily bored like I am now… I’m okay with it.”
“Maybe,” she sighed. “I can’t believe Dr. Beck is dead. What if I’m responsible for it? I mean… I’m not hurt, at all. And he’s dead.”
“I don’t think you’ve killed him, darling, you don’t have that in you,” Kol assured her as he tucked a strand of her hair behind her ear. “And I’m truly sorry for your loss. I know how much he meant to you.”
Izzy sighed and nestled herself against Kol and sighed. She was feeling fine, but she never said no to a cuddle. “I can take a year off,” she eventually said after doing the math in her head. “I have some savings that can last me a year.”
“And what do you want to do?”
She shrugged. “I dunno. Maybe we could go ahead with the plan we had for Bella’s website, visit some ghosties, and I could see if I could write a children’s book with my own illustrations somewhere. If that works out, it works out. I can draw just about anywhere, so we could go places.”
“What? You’re a champ for sticking around this last month, I know you’re bored. I’m fucking selfish and I’ve been fighting so hard to prove that I’m capable of living my own life and all… but I give up. White flag. Let’s stick to something you’re familiar with.”
“As much as I like your way of thinking right now, you just lost your friend,” he said calmly.
“And I can mourn him somewhere else that’s not here,” Izzy was stubborn. “I don’t want to be here anymore. I’m done.”
Kol sighed as he pulled her closer. “You just rest now, darling. Get some sleep,” he said as he looked over her shoulder and looked at Jeremy, who had been there for a while now, quietly observing. Oh, he knew this was so very unlike himself, trying to talk Izzy out of her decision to leave this place.
In fact, he couldn’t be happier, but she’d always spoken highly of Dr. Beck and he didn’t have the heart to take her away right now. Not until she’d processed what just had happened.
“I want food,” Izzy muttered, fighting exhaustion and the adrenaline wearing off.
“I’ll get you some food,” he said as he tried to untangle himself out of Izzy’s hold on him.
“Very well,” he softly said and listened to her breathing and heartbeat, slowly calming down and eventually nodding off in a sleep. It was then that he could pry her off of him and quietly left the room, followed by Jeremy. “What do you know?”
‘I don’t know, I’m just as surprised as you are,’ Jeremy replied. ‘The guy did have a heart attack, but I’m beginning to wonder if she was ever in that car, or, she has low-key teleportation skills to get herself out of mortal danger and she doesn’t know about it. Would be a Bella thing to do, wouldn’t it?’
Kol thought about it as he descended the stairs. “Yeah, maybe.”
‘I mean, Bella went through all this trouble to get Izzy out to you, why not make sure that she doesn’t prematurely dies so you two can have your happily ever after?’
“Maybe,” Kol said again. “I’m not going to question it, I’m relieved that she’s alright and in one piece,” he replied as he walked into the kitchen where Charlotte was preparing food. “Peter doing damage control like I told him?”
“Of course,” Charlotte smiled at Kol. “How is she?”
“Asleep,” he replied as he headed straight for the blood fridge and grabbed himself a blood bag. He wanted a fresh human being, but this was going to have to do. “In shock.”
“We all loved Dr. Beck,” Charlotte said quietly. “He’s been a great mentor to Izzy over the years, he always had a way with children and make them interested in veterinary sciences and Izzy was the one who dove in head first,” she remembered fondly. “It was almost this need, this drive. Almost an obsession.”
“Like her drawings that told her to go to New Orleans?”
“I suppose,” Charlotte replied after giving it some thought. “But I think it was also a way for her to help out on the farm with the animals, to make sure that all the animals were alright. Safe. Taken care of… in some cases… saved or their story told.”
Kol nodded as he kept sipping on his blood bag while Charlotte cooked. It was a good thing that he had compelled Izzy’s parents to speak the truth and elaborate – despite Izzy’s wishes, it had given him a better understanding of them, and what they had done to ensure Izzy’s safety in life. Which was incredibly strange, seeing as she’d been living right under Volturi noses this entire time. “She wants to leave,” he eventually said. “And I’m going against everything I feel and stand for and I’m making her stay, at least until after the burial.”
“That’s very kind of you, Kol.”
“I’m not a monster.”
Charlotte remained quiet as she stirred her sauce.
She sighed and shook her head. “For the last month, you’ve often taken out your frustrations out on either myself or Peter, compelled us to do things that go against our nature or wishes.”
“I was bored, I needed entertainment.”
Charlotte reduced the heat and turned around to face him. “You played with our lives.”
“You’re vampires!” Kol countered, feeling even more frustrated than he’d been previously. “And I wouldn’t allow any harm come over you, you’ve been taking care of Izzy for this long. What are you getting at, Charlotte? Are you afraid I’ll hurt your daughter? I’ve been making sure that she’s been treated well and I have been checking myself, biting my tongue. If it were up to me, she and I would have left already. That had been my plan, to ask her to change her mind about becoming a vet, tonight, until her mentor died and I’m making sure she stays to grieve like a normal human being, what am I doing wrong then, Charlotte?”
‘Kol, calm down,’ Jeremy said as he moved himself between his friend and Izzy’s mother. ‘Take a walk before you do something stupid.’
“Go away, Jeremy, I’m fine,” he said as he grabbed another blood bag out of the fridge. “Charlotte simply needs to understand that she and her husband, like other vampires, will always be at the mercy of my siblings and I, and that me messing with them to stave off boredom isn’t that big of a deal when I could have done the same to humans.”
‘On the other hand, from what you and Izzy have told me, they have been at the mercy of Elijah for a very long time.’
“I am not my brother! What I did was harmless!”
‘I know that, but don’t you think that Charlotte is a little fed up with that right now?’
Kol wanted to reply but when he heard a big thud coming from upstairs, he made his way to Izzy’s room and saw her up and about, her suitcase lying open in the middle of her room and she was throwing things in. Her journals and pencils were next to her backpack. “Darling, what are you doing?”
“We’re leaving,” she said as she threw some clothes into the trunk, not even bothering to fold them. “So please, start packing your own bag,” she said as she pointed at the other suitcase next to the bed. She seemed a lot calmer, even though she hadn’t slept. “I meant what I said earlier.”
“Is that a good idea, Iz?”
She paused at that question and looked at him before nodding. “Yes. Dr. Beck and I have had some great conversations in the last week while we were out and about in the car. His wish for me was for me to leave this place, travel the world, then maybe settle in a bigger area with a good school to complete my education. He knew I wasn’t happy here.”
“You weren’t?” He sat down on the edge of the bed and kept his eyes on her. “But you were so adamant in needing to complete your education.”
She shrugged. “I’m still young, Kol. I can do whatever I want. Like I said, I have enough money to survive for a year, and I’ll find a way to pay your brother back,” Izzy smiled at him as she walked over and sat down on his lap. “I know you don’t like it here, and I want to thank you for trying to like it here, but this life? It’s not you. So, I’ve decided that I’m going to forget about all of this, and we can figure something out together. On our own.” She wrapped her arms around his neck and smiled as she saw Jeremy in the door opening. “Well… you, me and Jeremy, because I doubt he’ll go anywhere.”
“Darling, don’t you need time to mourn the loss of your friend? Attend his burial?”
A faint smile appeared on her face. “Ever since we came back here, people have been looking at me oddly, as if they knew I was somehow connected to the massacre. I never told you because you, or my parents, would have gone to town and compelled everyone to like me.”
“So,” she said as she sucked in a breath. “Going to the burial will only make things worse. Dr. Beck knew how much he meant to me and how much I appreciated him.”
“Darling, if you felt this way, why didn’t you say something before?”
“Because of your brother,” she scowled. “I never asked for help, but he paid for my education and I felt that I had to power through and finish it because it’s his money.”
“You’re so stubborn,” Kol barked out a laugh. “Fine, but I want you to take your totem with you as well.”
“Why? It doesn’t work that well anymore.”
“Well, I want you to bring it anyway. For a backup, or, if we’re somewhere and you can’t switch off. Do it for me?”
“But I don’t want to switch off, Jeremy would get lonely.”
‘Totally,’ Jeremy laughed. ‘But do take it with you in case of emergencies. I’ll be fine.’
She grabbed the totem off of the drawer and threw it into her suitcase, right on top of the clothes before grabbing some toiletry items. “Where will we be going?”
“What? You want to go tonight?”
“After dinner, yes, why not?”
“We could go to Austin and then see from there?” Kol suggested as he took out the drawer Izzy had saved for him and emptied it in his suitcase. This was a stupid task, why not simply buy new clothes when they needed it? He never saw the point in traveling with luggage. It only slowed you down.
It hadn’t been until Bella and Jeremy and their adventures together that he had to pack his own bag, and he supposed that he was going to have to start doing that again, seeing as Izzy was just as careful with her money as Bella had been.
But he was going to corrupt Izzy, and spoil her rotten. With her resignation, it was his time to finally do what he wanted to do. To take care of her. Make sure that she was alright and had nothing to wish for.