Stick and stones, shattered bones
But in the end they always heal
Take a sip, make a joke
Turn on the pain, but this is real
Every time I look in the mirror, all your words I keep on hearing
Are tearing me apart
Said Too Much ~ Jessie J
“He has returned to New Orleans to look into some rumors for me,” Nik replied as he looked at me. “I’ve grown suspicious that someone close may have been after you, as they had been for some time and some whispers traced back to our old home there. Only I never suspected it would be our own sister.”
“Rebekah has always had some jealousy for me, though I had never understood what for. I hadn’t had access to these abilities, if they were to be true, so it only pisses me off more because if all of this turns out to be a giant disappointment and I’m nothing more than another vampire like the rest of you, then I will hold her heart in my hand for this treachery,” I warned my brother.
Looking over at him, I could see him with his signature pensive look as he was thinking about everything. His eyes turned up to me slowly as he felt mine staring at him and nodded slowly. “I understand and I will support you in this. I suspect Elijah will agree with us, however he is unpredictable.”
Damon remained silent as he sipped on his alcohol but I could feel how he struggled in his restraint. His lack of comment made me want to thank him properly later. “Our family was always about loyalty Niklaus. Loyalty that our sister has broken in her plans for my death. I wish to know if she had something to do with my previous inability to enter Mystic Falls. Where exactly were you in the 1860s? Was she not with you?”
He looked away as he seemed to have to think about it and I narrowed my eyes. “She had been with me for a time. She had disappeared on me for about twenty years or so before I could find her with Mikael searching for us and it was around that time, so no, she wasn’t with me the entire time,” he admitted, and I released the breath I hadn’t realized I was holding. “I would never lie to you Kitten. I never have before and I am not about to begin now.”
Having reached the end of his patience, and possibly sensing himself that my nerves were damn near the end of their limits from the day before, Damon finally broke. “Okay, so what are we going to do about this Alice bitch? I’m all for a trip out west and roast some marshmallows over her pyre.”
Nik let out a breath as he scratched his jaw. “You need to fill me in on your activities since we’ve last parted, Kitten. I need to know more about this Alice person so that we can handle her properly.”
“You need to speak with Jasper in regards to her and the Cullens,” I replied as I stood from the couch, but he held me back. “What?”
“I may have an idea, but it would require some work. Do you trust me to handle matters on this?” he questioned as he looked back at me, almost pleadingly.
“Tell me what idea you have planned and perhaps I will consider it because I want to be involved in anything that would bring down those wretched bitches. They have caused enough grief for those boys as well as myself.”
Nik glared at me as if I was putting him out but I didn’t care as I crossed my arms and smiled. “Fine. I say let her come. Cold Ones are no match for our kind, let alone our family. If she did manage to overcome your compulsion it is only because she may have powerful black magic on her side that may not have known exactly who placed the compulsion in the first place. I want to know who this witch is. I may have some use for them in the future,” he explained.
I thought about it and knew he had a fondness for his witches. It made me think of seeing if any of my vampire friends were still around that might be willing to run some errands for me to check in on the Cullens, but I also didn’t want to risk their lives. “Can you send one of your minions to Washington to try to spy on the bitch? I want to know what she is doing.”
His smile grew into one that I wanted to smack off of his face, but loved just as much because it was so much like Damon as he seemed to have an idea of what my brother was thinking based on the smirk he tried to hide. “I have the perfect candidate in mind.”
“You want to seriously send my brother? You do know that he is the only one barely keeping Elena from completely pissing Izabelle off right now, right?” he questioned.
“Oh no, my dear Salvatore. Elena is more than welcome to join Stefan. Think about it this way. It gets the precious doppelganger out of my sister’s hair so that she can finally enjoy her hometown properly for her return, and you two can frolic all over that house to your hearts’ content without the worry of shaming your dear brooding brother.”
I couldn’t help but feel slightly peeved at his thoughts as I shifted where I stood. “You do realize that you forced Rebekah to claim a room there as well by not allowing her to come back to the house here.”
“Oh posh! She’s full of it! I just didn’t want her to come to the house straight away because I didn’t know where you were or when you would return in case you two ran into one another without Elijah or myself as a buffer around to inform her that your curse has been lifted by the death of the lovely Bennett witch. I doubt that you wished for the room I had prepared for you to be ruined by her petty jealousy,” he argued, causing me to accept the truth in his words in regards to her. “In any case, let’s go search for your friends now. I’m feeling the need to sink my teeth into a nice, juicy steak.”
Rolling my eyes, I turned to Damon who smiled gently up at me. “See! We were able to get along for one family discussion,” he flaunted.
“This was not a family discussion,” Nik corrected. “If it was, you would certainly know. This was entirely about Izabelle’s welfare and only in that am I accepting of you right now. Do not mistake this for anything else. I don’t trust you – yet.”
“Yet,” I repeated as I wrapped my arms around Damon, holding him tightly to prevent him from saying anything else to Niklaus. Thankfully he was choosing to take the higher road and remained silent as he nodded in response. I knew it wasn’t easy for him, after the history that Elijah had filled me in on, but I wanted my lover and my family to be able to get along as I was not willing to part with either. “So let’s go and get some grub. I’m sure Jasper and Emmett would love to be able to have some fun and especially more learning on what it is to be our kind of vampire before we have to get down to the business talk of Alice again with them.”
“That sounds like a good plan Love. Come. Let’s try to get us some fresh vampires drunk,” Nik grinned as he pulled me over to him in a hug and dragged me out of the house with Damon in tow. “Tonight will be a celebration of your return. No pouty faces. I vow to take the heads of anyone that causes you upset my Kitten.”
“Thanks Nik,” I whispered as I hugged him back before he let me go so that he could open the car door for me. He quickly joined us by sliding into the back seat to Damon’s dismay, but again, nothing was said as my brother smiled cheerfully from the backseat. “Isn’t this nice? A wonderful bonding afternoon between family.”
“Right,” Damon commented as he narrowed his eyes on the rear view mirror. “One that will likely end with someone’s blood being spilled.”
“Enough. Both of you. You were both fine inside and I know you two can get along perfectly well, if not without a little effort for my sake. Why don’t you both try and stop attempting to bait one another otherwise I will be the one to spill both of your blood,” I threatened as I turned in my seat to glare at my bother. “Theoretically, if I still carry magic from Mother, and I’m a vampire, I would be strong enough to take you on having an Original witch’s magic in my blood, yes?”
My brother sat stock still in the seat as we moved along, meeting my gaze. I knew he would never willingly admit to being weak to anyone, especially in front of a potential enemy like my desired mate. “You would not dare,” he whispered harshly.
“No, I do not wish to, but I would if I must,” I said. “Cut it out. Damon has made every attempt to find some level of peace with you. I’ve asked for nothing else but your peace with him. Grant that for me.”
He cracked his neck as he turned to look out the window. “You know of the grief and pain he has caused our family. Why shall I give him such an honor?”
“Because I love him,” I said as I looked over at the man and held his hand.
Nik’s eyes fell closed and he knew just how much my words meant. I admitted my feelings far less than he ever admitted weakness. “Very well. I promise you, and you Damon, that I won’t fight with you any longer. However, should you hurt my sister in any way – I will have your head on a pike and feed your rotting corpse to my wolves.”
Damon sucked in a deep breath as he glanced at me and nodded. “Noted. Though I should let you know something. I would find anyway possible to cause you as much misery if you were to ever go back on your own word with Izabelle as well. I have no desire to hurt her and I am sure I’ll piss her off plenty, but I would never intentionally do anything to hurt her.”
I could feel a headache forming from the two men who both had the need to behave like animals striving for dominance. Thankfully the rest of the drive into town remained quiet until we reached Mystic Grill. Knowing the state of my emotions, Damon had steered us straight to the bar where my friends had been sitting, quickly ordering us up a bottle of bourbon so that we didn’t have to keep calling over someone for refills.
It took a few shots each for both of us before we were willing to acknowledge the curious and cautious looks we were getting from Stefan and Jasper, as I’m sure they hadn’t expected us to bring my questionable brother along with us. “Relax,” I said finally after my third shot. “He is fine. Just warn me if you see Rebekah around so that I can hightail it the hell away from her until we know what to do with her.”
Stefan made his way over beside his brother as he eyed Klaus cautiously. “I thought…”
“Original Barbie seems to be all about telling tall tales,” Damon said, cutting him off with a look of warning as I downed my fourth shot – his. “Hey!”
“You plan on doing something about it?” I taunted him as I stepped up between his legs as he sat on the barstool. “Because I think I kind of earned all the alcohol I can get my hands on. Don’t you?”
He glared as he held up the bottle. “That’s why I ordered this. You could have refilled yours.”
I looked at it and shrugged a shoulder. “But yours tasted so much better.”
“It’s the same bourbon!” he complained, but I ignored him as I pulled us back around so that I was trapped between him and the bar as I looked over to my friends.
“You two cool there?”
“We’re chillin’ B,” Emmett nodded. “As much as this Alice situation scares us, we’ve been worried about you more.”
“I’m fine guys. We just have to do more research into everything. Nik and I have to get in touch with Elijah and see what he’s doing because he probably knows something that we are missing. Knowing him, he loves holding the Ace card so I wouldn’t doubt it,” I sighed as I looked around.
Nik smirked as he shook his head. “Elijah may know something yes. I have no doubt of it. But regardless of what he knows, anyone that wants their hands on you will still need the aid of powerful witches to find out the true nature of your hybrid abilities. Half witch, half vampire? Never before. And you were born one. Any other was cancelled out upon creation. Even my hybrid nature was odd and I was the first.”
“You were stronger as a hybrid because of being an Original vampire creation, only Mother never considered your wolf lineage when she performed that spell. She can rot in eternity for all I care,” I retorted as I studied the humans in the place. I easily was able to pick up another hybrid in the room, Klaus’ creation, as well as a witch and a blond vampire. Someone though was missing from that group of merry misfits. “Stefan? Where is your pet?”
He looked up as his eyes surveyed the area. “Elena was with Bonnie and Caroline before. She’s probably in the bathroom or something,” he said, making me raise my eyebrow in suspicion.
“Are you sure about that? Maybe all that slimming diet of yours is messing with your nose Monterey because I don’t smell a recent scent of your bitch in this place,” I snapped, causing Damon to also focus in on the scents of the room closer himself.
“She’s right. I smell her but it’s old. Several hours at least. Are you up to something brother?” he questioned as I looked over to Jasper who focused on him, knowing I would want to know if he was being truthful.
“I’m serious Damon. She came to the Grill with us. She was with us at least right to the front door when we got her, which wasn’t long before you three showed up. Now I don’t know where she is. If you are so interested then why don’t you call her and ask her?” he offered in defense as he held his cell phone out.
I quickly snatched it before he could retract the offer, being a nosey bitch and investigated his contacts and photos in it before snooping through his text messages. “This is disgusting,” I said as I made a face and glanced up at him over the device. “A hundred fifty plus years old and you can’t sext worth a damn. Damon, you need to give the boy lessons.”
Jasper used his gift to silently let me know that he felt honesty coming from the man, but in the same feeling, there was something else woven in. Once he pulled back Stefan’s emotions, I knew he was replacing them with his own, that he was confused and concerned about him. Sending a text message to Elena’s number from his phone, I held onto it while we waited for a response. “So Stefan…What words did my dear sister have to say?”
He let out a sigh as he shook his head. “She didn’t have anything to say. She mostly complained about Klaus’ taking advantage of you before she left,” he answered, earning an amused snort from the man.
“My taking advantage of Izabelle? That is rich coming from her,” he started to complain until I shot a glare at him. “I would do nothing of the sort. Izabelle told me of the lies that little she-devil told your band of idiots, present company aside of course…”
“Of course,” Damon and I both muttered as we eyed him unhappily.
“As I was saying – I’ve known about her so called ability for years and she wasn’t always bound. If I truly wanted her gift then I had ample opportunity over centuries to do so. What makes now any different?”
“Other than the fact that Damon and her have no one to come between them now? For this supposed baby rumor that the witch spirits have been alluding to?” Stefan answered knowingly. “That is what changes things because they have their blessing.”
Each word out of Stefan’s mouth seemed to anger Nik more and more until he snapped and grabbed him by the throat and we all had to jump to try to pull him off of him before it got out of hand among the humans. “Listen to me you ingrate. This girl is my sister. More so than that bitch that you used to fuck when you were hyped up on your Ripper binge when we ran together in the 20s. I would gladly end Rebekah with our father’s white oak stake if it meant saving Izabelle if that does not speak of who I care for more, who my favorite sister is. Do not ever degrade my feelings for her again or I will gladly end you here and now. Whatever Rebekah is up to, know that it doesn’t only affect her. It affects supernatural being in Mystic Falls because the ban that the Bennett witch put on Izabelle, could easily be used on you and your friends. How would you like living a vampire’s life without the ability to move at the speed or strength to defend yourself? Perhaps I shall ask my witch to cast the spell on you so that you can get a taste of the life my sister was forced to live. Of course you would not be allowed to step foot inside your home town otherwise you would be dust…”
“Niklaus…” I murmured, tugging on his arm but at a glance to his intended victim I can see that something that he said seemed to truly get to him. There was a change in his eyes that was akin to regret that had my heart racing. “Stefan? What did you do?”
“I didn’t know…I swear when I asked Emily to get you out of town, I didn’t know what she would do. I just wanted you away from Damon and Katherine at the time,” he said through gasping breaths as Nik’s hand tightened around his throat more.
Damon looked just as bewildered by his admission as I felt as we stared at him. Shaking my head, I knew we needed to get out of there. “We need to take this discussion somewhere else…preferably where I can break stuff…” I muttered. What else was going to go wrong today…