Wherever you go, just always remember
That you got a home for now and forever
And if you get low, just call me whenever
This is my oath to you
Wherever you go, just always remember
You’re never alone, we’re birds of a feather
And we’ll never change, no matter the weather
This is my oath to you
Oath ~ Cher Lloyd
The Mystic Grill was alive with a buzz of excitement as it was most nights. Sitting back in our booth, I turned to Stefan as he eyed the room. Since my transition, things haven’t been the easiest for us. Despite getting my memories back that had been compelled from me, the pain that I inflicted on Damon made me feel guilty. I knew for a long time he had feelings for me and I had tried my best to not let him believe that there was any chance of my own changing. While I did feel something for him, I firmly believed that I couldn’t be what he wanted me to be to him.
Stefan and his relationship had been even more violent and the rest of the gang was growing more concerned. Despite Damon’s caustic attitude towards things, he did prove himself loyal in his way by helping whenever he could. Cleaning up messes that weren’t his or caused by his own hands just to make me happy. As much as he denies it, I knew he changed for the better and to see him reverting back to that first year was painful.
“So what are we going to do about him? Is he still planning on taking off?” Caroline asked, addressing the giant elephant in the room.
Letting out a sigh, Stefan knew that just how close we were to losing his brother. Possibly for good. Heartbreak was something that made someone do stupid things and being vampires, if he flipped the switch to his humanity again, we all knew we’d lose him for good. “He keeps threatening it and even has a couple small boxes in his room that he throws stuff in. If he’s not drowning himself in alcohol, he’s in his room sorting through his things.”
“Is there anything you can think of that would change his mind?” I couldn’t help but to ask. The look that I got from everyone forced be back in my seat knowing the answer wasn’t something I wanted to hear myself. “Forget I asked.”
Stefan had been quiet mostly since the conversation had begun to swing to the subject of Damon, his attention focused elsewhere. “What?”
“I don’t know,” he answered slowly, obviously thinking of something hard. I tried to follow where he was focused to see three faces I never saw around town before walk in. Knowing his abilities, he must have sensed them before they walked in but Caroline and I recognized them for what they were once they were in sight. They were like us. Vampires.
“Do you know them?” Bonnie asked, hesitation and caution making her stare them down as if she could get answers without getting any closer.
Stefan slowly began to let a small smile show on his face when he turned to me. “I think we just were given the answer to our problem about Damon,” he said without explanation.
His words confused the rest of us even more as his smile grew into a full blown grin. A level of excitement in his face that I didn’t remember ever seeing before was there. “Stefan? Care to explain what the hell you’re talking about?”
I was momentarily distracted as he leaned in, running his tongue over his lips. The rest of us leaned in as he spoke quietly. “Back when Katherine had Damon and I at our worst against each other, there was only one person that was able to distract him from her attentions. You could say that she was Katherine’s arch enemy when it came to his interests. I never thought we’d see her in Mystic Falls again, but that might have something to do with Bonnie dying during that ritual. She was spelled to stay out of town by Emily generations ago.”
“So how can this be a good thing if Emily wanted her to stay away?” Bonnie asked, her eyes flashing back to the vampire in question.
He shook his head. “It’s not what you’re thinking. Emily did it to protect her. Something happened – and I won’t get into it, it’s not my story. But something happened and she flipped her switch and gave into her blood lust. It wasn’t pretty and the best way that I can describe it is combining my Ripper history with Damon’s Augustine lust fueling her emotions at the time. She caused damage to both humans and vampires alike and no one was able to get close enough to stop her because she couldn’t be compelled and being that she is damn near, if not older than 2000 years old, she was stronger.”
“Wait, aren’t the Originals the only ones that were that old?” Caroline threw in.
Stefan stared at her, raising an eyebrow. He refused to say the words. “Oh my god. She is an Original,” I said as I spoke my realization. “How is it we never heard of her before?”
He ran a hand over the back of his neck uncomfortably, his eyes following the girl as she made her way around the room with her two friends. “The rest of them wouldn’t speak of her. It was kind of an unspoken rule that they protected her, any means necessary. Elijah probably came through and erased her history in the records. Klaus would have handled anything else. Those two were closer than anything else. I do know without a doubt that they would put their lives on the line for each other without question,” he murmured before ending the topic because she was seen approaching our area.
“Stefan,” her melodic voice sang in greeting. The smirk of a smile on her face reminded us all of Damon’s when he had some kind of crazy plan in his head. I couldn’t stop shifting in my seat at the thought of that and Stefan had to reach over to calm me. The movement brought her eyes to me and she glared down at me with the most hate filled sneer anyone ever gave me. “Seems you still have a thing for doppelgangers. Is this one anything like the last one? Because I am not leaving again and I won’t hesitate in ripping her heart from her body if history repeats itself.”
“You won’t get near her,” Bonnie threatened as she started to stand. I pleaded with my eyes for her to not do anything foolish but she was angry.
“Sit down witch,” the woman demanded, each word punctuated sharply. Whatever was in her eyes as she stared Bonnie down worked which shocked me. She looked over each of us before scowling. “Hm.”
“Izabelle,” Stefan greeted back finally, his face neutral. “Elena isn’t Katherine, I can assure you of that.”
Izabelle scoffed before laughing and shaking her head. “She’s a doppelganger. They are created to repeat the same story over and over again. Why else would you think that you are with her? After all you are one yourself. Tell me, how is Silas?”
Caroline swallowed what was left in her glass as she sat back. “Wow that is just creeping how much she acts like Damon.”
Izabelle raised an eyebrow at her but remained focused on my boyfriend. “Get him here,” she demanded.
“He doesn’t speak to me anymore. Things over the last year have been – difficult,” he hesitated, avoiding her gaze.
“Difficult? Is that so? Let me guess. Your doppelganger played you both, history after all, and you both turned your backs on him, again. You know there is only so much rejection a man can handle before he breaks. You better hope that I can get through to him before he does something foolish. I do not care how you get him here, you just do it. You owe him that much,” she sneered, giving me another hateful glance that had me curling up in the booth in guilt.
The friends that were with her watched on silently, though the blond one seemed to be focused on her with an intense look of concentration. I hoped that whatever his deal was, he would keep her away from us because I felt like she would make real on her threats. Damn the consequences.
Stefan pulled out his cell phone and dialed Damon with trepidation. I watched as he had clearly sent his brother to voicemail, intent on ignoring him as he previously promised. The fear in me spiked as I wondered was she would do to him, or us in general, if she didn’t get her way. The breath of relief that we all didn’t know we were holding when he finally answered was let out in one gust.
“What do you want now brother? I have places to go, people to kill, you know the usual, dot dot dot.”
“Damon. How about you come down to the Grill. There is someone here that wants to see you,” Stefan replied as he ignored the comments that indicated just how close he was to jumping.
“And why would I do that? There isn’t anyone left in this miserable town that I give a damn about. Whoever it is, tell them that I’ve left and that you don’t know when I’ll be back because it won’t be a lie. Except for the part about being back because I won’t be. Ever.”
“Damon, please. Trust me on this. You want to come because well, if you ever cared for any of us in any capacity then you wouldn’t want to see us dead. Would you? I’ll even help you pack your bags for you if you don’t like who wants to see you.”
He was quiet on the other end for a long time, probably trying to decipher the words to recognize the threat against us in it. “Fine. I’ll be there when I get there. Then I’m leaving.” Without another word, he hung up, leaving us staring up at a smiling Izabelle.
Her face lit up with a smile that made her seem much less intimidating and friendly. “Immensely! Now, what to do in the meanwhile…” she said thoughtfully, her finger running across her lip as she looked us over again before turning back to her friends when she caught the staff setting up for karaoke. “You guys haven’t seen me perform before. I think you’ll be in for a show tonight, but I have to think of what to do with you guys tonight if my plans go the way I hope.”
The blond one smirked as if he held some secret between them, but it was the big guy that voiced all our thoughts. “What are you talking about Bells?”
Bells? Stefan mouthed in confusion. She turned back and eyed him as he stared back at her. “Can I trust you with my friends? You know how much I don’t trust you with your brother,” she scowled.
“You know me and you know what happened then. What makes you think that I don’t care for my brother the way you think I do?” he asked back instead of answering her.
Izabelle narrowed her eyes on him before turning to lean her weight on the table. “That is my point exactly Stefan. You and I were once friends. I warned you what that bitch was doing to you. Both of you, but no. You knew what you were doing. You were so in love but it was nothing but spells and compulsions. Every time Damon found the strength to walk away from her, it was you that sucked him back in each time into a never ending hell of false love and bonds that was slowly destroying him. You know he wasn’t always such a cynical, manipulative, and self destructive man. Even when everyone believed him to have turned his emotions off, they were right there with him. He’s always been lonely because every single person that he’s cared for turn their back on him. Even his own blood,” she said before allowing it to sink in for everyone at the table.
I couldn’t find anything to say and I doubt anyone else could either. Even Bonnie sat there considering what she just learned about the brother everyone was expected to hate. Izabelle stood back up, appearing more emotional to me than she had before. Almost nervous which confused me. “I’ll be around waiting. Maybe I’ll go sing a song or two. Who knows. You all can do what you please, but this will be my only warning to all of you. Leave Damon alone. He’s had enough torture in his life. He doesn’t need more from the likes of you,” she snarled before walking away, leaving her friends with us.
They watched her with concern as she disappeared into the crowd then dragged a couple chairs over to join us as we were still stunned into silence. The blond one rubbed at his chin, looking like he was trying to come up with something to say but was unsure.
“Look, we don’t want to cause a fuss. I can understand to a degree where you all come from but I’ve also known Izabelle for a long time. She loves with her whole being and she doesn’t give it freely. I haven’t met this Damon yet, but whatever he’s done for her, or her him, caused a very strong and unbreakable link between them. I would be able to get a better feel of it when I meet him but I can feel it in her,” he explained slowly. He looked around at us, studying us for a moment. Like he was trying to figure out a puzzle. “Before we get more into them, I think my brother here and I should introduce ourselves. My name is Jasper and the big guy is Emmett. We were part of a coven that Izabelle was involved with out west, but we weren’t always this breed of vampire. She and her brother Elijah got someone to change us so that we could get free of the ones we were with. The both of us were stuck in a mated relationship with very vindictive women and now that I have seen and heard some of her history here, I get why she was so adamant about getting us out of there the way she did. Our mates reminded her of this Katherine woman in a way.”
Emmett rubbed his hands as he leaned in to nudge his elbow to get Jasper’s attention who had appeared to have gotten distracted. “They should know about your gift,” he mumbled.
“Gift?” I asked, curious because I noticed how he had been looking for something specific in us.
“As a Cold One, I had a very strong gift of being an empath. I was able to feel, to sense and manipulate emotions of others. During the change over to one of your kind, it carried over. Now, I haven’t altered your emotions but I was monitoring them closely both for our own protection and for Bella’s. We would do anything for that girl for all that she’s done for us. She owes us nothing, no matter what she might claim. You may think we follow her blindly, but we don’t. Stefan here may think he knows her story, and you do. In a small way. You don’t know it all and I don’t think any of us will ever know everything about that girl. There are things about her that she even fears. When she said that she would come after you, I have no doubts to her abilities because I can feel the fear she has in herself of what she can do.”
I didn’t know if what he was telling us was meant to be comforting in that she could have killed us there and didn’t or terrified because of the potential of it. I let loose a shudder that he didn’t miss, giving me a reassuring smile. “I think we just had an information overload tonight,” I admitted.
Stefan pulled me in to give me a hug and kiss, holding me tight. “We’ll keep our distance from Damon, but I don’t trust Izabelle. We all have only pieces of the story and we have never faired well when it comes to that family. I’m sure you can understand our reluctance to have any kind of acquaintance with her.”
“No harm in that,” Emmett shrugged giving off a bright smile that just made everyone relax. “She’s kick ass but even I’m terrified of her sometimes. It’s just the way she is though. I love her like a sister and we were close, are close. She may appear like she hates you all, and I think a small part of her does, but that’s only because of what you are to her friend… What exactly is he to her anyway?”
I could feel my boyfriend chuckling as his body shook against me. “That Emmett is the million dollar question because I’ve wondered that for a long time. At the very least, I think she’s in love with him, and maybe a part of him is as well. Like I told the girls earlier when you walked in, she was the only thing that distracted him from Katherine to hold his attention for any length of time until she got her claws back in him.”
Bonnie was oddly quiet as she watched and listened to everything go down. Shaking her head, she frowned. “I still don’t trust her. I think you guys are okay – I don’t know why, but something is off about her that makes me uncomfortable…” she said before looking off.
We had long recognized when she got that expression. Either she was getting some vision from her ancestors or one of them was visiting to get her a message in person. “What is it Bonnie?” Stefan asked.
“Um…Grams isn’t – happy. She doesn’t like Damon but said that he will be important later. That the others want us to allow what is to come to progress,” she repeated whatever was being told to her slowly. “She’s being unusually cryptic.”
“Oh well. I guess all we can do is sit back and watch the show then,” Emmett announced, flagging a waitress down and ordering up half the menu. Turning around and looking at our shocked faces, he asked, “You guys hungry? I can get something for you all too…” Jasper shook his head as he looked back off to keep an eye on their friend.
Yeah, these two would be interesting. I only hoped that whatever Bonnie’s grandmother was speaking of would end positively.