It’s my last big breath what you want me to do?
When you act all cool like you already knew
That I’ll be stuck here cold just waiting it through
‘Til your heart starts beating for that somebody new
You know that it’s true
Beautiful People ~ Cher Lloyd
After we finished business at the Cullen mansion, the four of us returned to the home that Elijah had been calling home as we planned out the process of returning back east. I had been keeping a close eye on Jasper and Emmett to make sure that they were handling the changes as their kind did not react well to major alterations to their lives.
“What is bothering you Izabelle?” Elijah questioned me as he brought be a glass of bourbon that I sipped thoughtfully.
“Just how good is your witch?” I questioned, a very risky idea coming to mind.
He narrowed his eyes on me. “Why do you ask?”
“Mystic Falls is very sunny Elijah. I want to shift them into one of our kind,” I murmured. “They’ve been prisoners long enough. We would need spelled rings as well.”
“I figured that you might have wished for something like that so I am already ahead of you. We will have to leave soon. Explaining our sudden departures will be more difficult, especially since no one was aware that we are related.”
Sighing, I let out a frustrated growl that startled my favorite sparkly friends. “Do whatever you need to Elijah. I want to go home. Quickly! I’ve already compelled Charlie. It’s just the school that we need to deal with in the morning. Do you think you’ll be able to get to everyone necessary in one day?”
“Of course. You and your friends should get whatever personal items you wish to keep with you so that we can have the rest shipped back to the house. We will travel to our next location by car,” he announced.
I couldn’t help but to raise an eyebrow at him as I took a seat next to Jasper on the couch, throwing my legs across his to make myself comfortable. “Road trip. Nice. That isn’t quite your style Elijah. Hiding from Mother? I thought Nik had her body staked and locked up somewhere.”
“Okay, hold up you two! I think Jazz and I need a crash course in your family history so that we can keep up. What in the effing hell are you guys going on about?” Emmett interrupted. Rightfully so. I rolled my head to look up at my brother, allowing him the option to answer. When he didn’t, I was forced to.
“Mother is a maniacal bitch who wants to kill all of us so that she could feed off the shift of power that is released from our deaths. That’s the real reason, I think. She claims she wanted to right the wrong of our creation as she and our father turned us into the first vampires. With that, if we die die, then every vampire created down the line by our blood dies with us. Think of it as generational. I die, every member of my line, my children and their children, and so on, dies with me. The only problem is that we can only be killed with a stake from a very rare piece of wood. Or a ridiculously powerful spell that requires almost an infinity amount of magic that is next to impossible. The tree species is extinct and the last pieces of it is hidden well away for our own safety. As you can see, I’m not interested in being dead in any form, any time soon. Too much fun to be had out there, especially now that I am back to myself. Ooh! We are so going to have to throw a party when we get there…” I trailed off as I thought about the necessities for an epic party for my return.
“Wow. And I thought the Cullens were screwed up,” Emmett commented after he came out of the stupor my speech left him in.
I smiled and patted his hand. “Honey, the Cullens ain’t got nothing on the Mikaelsons. They are the Brady Bunch in comparison. So, about the other things that Elijah and I were discussing. If the witch is able, would you like to become one of us? Our kind of vampire? It’ll require more work but you’ll be able to blend in better and with a spelled ring, you’ll be free to go out in the sun, eat food. Oh my god, you guys have probably never had pizza. Shit, the first thing we’ll be getting you both is a fucking shot of bourbon or whiskey. I think you’re more a whiskey man Jasper.”
Sharing a laugh, the two were still a little bewildered by the difference in my personality as I no longer had the need to hide myself. Jasper smiled. “I think it sounds wonderful, but I am not about to get my hopes up if your brother’s friend is unable to do so. I imagine it would cost something for the change. You said that nature demands a balance after all.”
I waved him off. “Let us worry about whatever sacrifice is needed. I’m sure we can locate a doppelganger or two. That’ll give enough power to balance the scale.”
“No. It’ll have to be during a full moon or some other way. The doppelgangers that we know are off limits,” Elijah interrupted, causing me to narrow my eyes on him while he avoided mine.
“What doppelgangers? What line?” I questioned, but he continued to evade me. In a blink I was mere inches from him as I stared him down, trying to understand his sudden shift when it came to me. “Petrova! That bitch is still haunting the family! Who is this new doppelganger that has you so infatuated? Hm?”
Elijah sighed and shook his head. “You will meet Elena when we reach home. I don’t believe her to be anything like Katerina.”
“That’s bullshit. All the Petrova doppelgangers know how to do is play people. Especially Katerina. Tell me Elijah. Does your hesitance on flying home, which would be significantly faster, have anything to do with my Salvatores?”
He pulled in a breath and shook his head, stalling for his answer. “This Elena sucked them both into her web, didn’t she? Tell me how bad did they get when she broke their hearts just like Katerina or Katherine. What the fuck ever she is calling herself now.”
“Their story is not mine to tell. I was not there to know every nuance of their relationships, nor do I ever want to be. You will see your precious Salvatore soon enough. What more is a few more days?”
“I’ve had enough of a few more days. I want to go home!” I screamed. I was not above throwing an epic tantrum at this point. I knew quite well how unstable the brothers were emotionally, especially after hearing of Stefan and his ripper traits. That was why I was so determined to help Jasper gain control over his issues so that history did not repeat itself there.
Elijah refused to budge. “We will leave in a few days time. I won’t disappoint you Izabelle. You will be reunited with those you love. Please have some patience. We are still fighting against this spell so there must be precautions taken to safeguard your welfare.”
“Two days. That is all I am willing to give. I want to be home,” I said with finality. I would be more than willing to take my chances going back on my own and he knew that because he finally relented and nodded his agreement.
Of course my luck would always suck. I didn’t get my two days but at least we were well within reach of Mystic Falls before week’s end. Elijah had the car stopped just outside the town’s threshold as I stared at the welcoming sign, knowing that I would need a moment to myself. Getting out of the SUV, I walked up to it as if it were some sacred artifact. To me it was. I could feel the tears coming down my face as I reached out to touch it, needing to feel that it was real.
I didn’t know how much time I lost just standing there. It wasn’t until Jasper came out to pull me back, probably feeling the tornado of emotions simmering down finally. It was a difficult adjustment to see him and Emmett more human after knowing them as marble statues for so long. We had made the pit stop along the way to Elijah’s witch who had helped us with little demands making me wonder just what kind of power my brother held over her.
“Let’s go,” I whispered to Elijah, my voice broken and rough. He knew how much I just hated to display any weakness so he said nothing as he started the vehicle again. Driving into town, I couldn’t help but be glued to the window as I watched everything that we passed with new eyes.
So much had changed that it didn’t look anything like what my memories that kept me going. “So what does everyone do around here for fun now?” I asked.
Elijah chuckled as he drove on. “I am not sure. I don’t spend all my time here anymore. Rebekah might be the best to answer that. She has been attempting to play the part of human in the high school and befriended a few recently.”
“Seriously? Rebekah?” I repeated incredulously.
“Who’s Rebekah?” Emmett asked, his newly brown eyes sparkling in the sunlight instead of his skin for once.
“Our sister. Think of Rosalie with an accent, except possibly with a heart. I don’t doubt that Rosalie had emotions, but they were always focused on herself. Rebekah… She was always a little jealous of me. She was the favorite until I came along but knew that I hated the attention the boys gave me and that was the saving grace of my relationship with her. I think you may like her. She’s a world better than the Barbie Bitch.”
“Remind them of the rules Izabelle,” Elijah piped up again, causing me to roll my eyes.
“Fine,” I huffed before turning in my seat to look at the guys. “You have your daylight rings so you’ll be fine. Don’t lose them. Do not take them off. Ever. It has my symbol of the family crest on it so in a sense, I’ve claimed you both as my own line. Don’t try to piss off my brothers. That symbol gives you some protection against them. Unless your name is on the deed to a property that isn’t public, you need to be invited in by someone living that resides there. Feeding. Preferably from blood bags until you get used to the changes in your system. Then we can slowly introduce you back to the real thing,” I continued, pausing in thought. Adding more to myself, I pursed my lips. “Damon will probably be a good teacher there.”
“And Damon is?” Jasper asked. It wasn’t the first time he brought up either Stefan or Damon, but I always managed to get out of explaining my history with them.
Elijah tapped his fingers on my knee in warning, knowing I couldn’t run from the conversation forever. “Fine. Damon is my unrequited love you can say. I told you about the Petrova doppelganger legacy. Well the last one, at least that I had met, seems to have some gift to lure men to her and forced some kind of witchy voodoo bond to her from them. Stefan and he could never seem to think straight when around her, even to the point of trying to kill one another. But when things tend to get tough for the bitch, she runs. They get friendly again, for what they could after all the hurt they have caused each other. They are brothers after all and no matter how much they hate each other over her, they still support one another. Poetic, don’t you think? Anyway, Stefan always had an issue with his blood lust. Much like you Jas. He’s a strict animal drinker and it does make him significantly weaker than the rest of our race. If either of you wish to continue the veggie diet, you can talk to him. Unfortunately, he even drinks the bunnies in desperation to supplement his increased need for blood that he would normally be satisfied by the humans. Problem with humans for him is that he gets kinda psychotic so he literally cannot switch back unless we want to deal with the Ripper again.”
Jasper sat forward as we turned up the long drive that led to the main house on the family property. “I’ve heard of him. He didn’t kill anywhere near as many as I had during the wars, but it was…note worthy. Even in the Sparklies history.”
I couldn’t hold back the smile at our nickname for the other race before shrugging. “We’re here. Come! Let me show you around!”
Jumping out, I let me eyes roam over the facade of the building. It was nearly identical. Just with new flora decorating the front drive and yard. When the front door opened, I hesitated because I wasn’t sure how my return would cause the others to react. Seeing Nik as he leaned against the door frame, he held out a glass of my favorite whiskey for me.
“Welcome home Kitten. I am pleased to see that our esteemed brother managed to locate you. I would have come for you myself but I’ve been – busy,” he smiled, leaning down to kiss my cheek as I accepted the tumbler. I kept my eyes on his as his strayed past me to observe the company that had begun to unload the truck. “I see you brought guests with you. Care to introduce?”
“They are my friends and their rings hold my emblem Nik. You do not get to play with them,” I warned as I linked my arm through his.
“I wouldn’t dream of it Kitten. Any friend of yours is a friend of mine. Of course except for your Salvatore pets,” he sighed before slapping a forced smile on his face as we approached the car.
I sighed, knowing that he would still find something to taunt the guys with. I made mental note to get a powerful witch in my pocket soon. As much as I loved Nik, he just couldn’t help himself. “Niklaus, this is Jasper and Emmett. Guys, this is my brother Nik I told you about.”
They held their hands out to shake. Emmett with a friendly smile as always, Jasper more reserved as he worked to get a taste of my brother’s emotions. I would have to talk to him when I got the chance because if my brother was planning something, I wanted the details.
When Nik’s nostrils began to flare, he looked down at me with suspicion. “What did you do?”
“They were Sparklies I made friends with in my last location. I felt I owed them a change for helping me so we stopped and had a witch change them. Do they really smell that much different to you?” I questioned. To me they smelled just as good, though slightly sweeter.
“It must be the werewolf in me detecting it then,” he mumbled as he got himself controlled and turned back to them. “I can assure you it won’t be a problem. You are both welcome to stay with us. If you prefer to find a place of your own, we will be more than able to assist with any financials.”
“Thanks man, but we’re set on money. We’ll probably get some place soon,” Emmett shrugged. “At least after Bella gets sick of our faces and sends us packing. Hey! Maybe you can tell us what fun things we can do? Where we just came from, the place was no bigger than spit. The nearest decent large city for anything to do was hours away.”
Nik pursed his lips as he studied Emmett before answering. In that simple expression, Jasper allowed a small grin slip to his lips as he recognized the familial resemblance between myself and him. “There is a mall about a half hour away. A decent college neighborhood a little further. In town there is the Grill. It’s a bar and hang out for much of the young minds around here. They do serve a tolerable bar selection. That’s about all I would go for.”
“I guess we know what we’ll be doing tonight boys,” I smirked as I grabbed one of my bags while Nik moved to grab the larger items to bring inside for me. “My room is untouched, yes?”
“Of course Princess,” Elijah answered as he returned with his own scotch. “Why don’t you show your friends to their rooms while I assist our dear brother with the rest of the luggage.”
My eyes followed his back as he disappeared outside. Without a doubt, I knew they were keeping something from me and it put me on edge. Jasper raised an eyebrow at my spike of emotions. Shaking my head, I pointed to my ears indicating that we would be heard, that discussion would be for another time. “Well you heard him. Let me show you around and get you settled in and fed. I’ll have to make a trip to the blood bank to get a supply for the house soon.”
“No problem,” Emmett said easily. “He seemed cool. I like him. He’s half and half you said? That’s awesome! He’s not anything like the La Push mutts, right?”
“No. He was bound by a curse to the full moon but he was unable to shift and it caused him a great deal of pain,” I explained softly. “All due to our mother. For that pain, I will always hate her. Come on. We’ve got a lot to do before we go out. I need to find a kick ass outfit that will have the boys in town drooling.”
Emmett let out a roaring laugh. “You know, I’m really loving this version of you better. I always knew there was this side of you but thought you needed a little help in letting go. To find out that it was just hiding – well I get it. Eddie was an idiot to do what he did but it was nice to see you get your revenge on him!”
“I didn’t but thanks. Trust me, one day I will go back and make sure he feels the pain he tried to inflict on me,” I said seriously. “But that is not today. Tonight – we party.”