Klaus hesitated before nodding. “If Bella should show up, don’t confront her. Just call me. I will deal with her.”
“Are you going to let your brother know about this?” Jasper asked, his voice cautious as he dialed his own adopted sibling.
Klaus considered the proposal, knowing that while he should let Elijah know the change in the current circumstances and threat, only he understood the way she was operating inside having recently experienced it himself. Recalling the short conversation he shared with his wife before she drained the human girl, he grinned to himself, hope that he might have an idea of a way to get to her. He turned sharply toward him, eyes intent. “No, we will leave him out of it for now. Do not say a word. I have my own plans…”
Elijah looked upon the Cold Ones, sighing with what he had to work with to fight the one that was after his sister-in-law. Calling in Rebekah was a necessity and preparing their next home would have to wait. He wished Kol had left the seer with him as she would have been an asset but he too knew that the creature would be of greater aid in luring Isabella out as she held a significant distaste for her. And family always came first.
“With the wolves tending to their fallen; shall we take this conversation back to a more comfortable setting?” he suggested, raising his brow.
Carlisle and Esme reluctantly lead the way back to their home, the not so subtle reminder of what their son had inflicted on their only potential allies in fighting Victoria coming from his words making them flinch. The two others that would join the family in leaving Forks followed Elijah silently, nodding to him in their allegiance and support.
While the two sped off at vampire speed, eager to return to the idea of safety their home provided them, the three remaining continued at a human pace. Elijah could see the curiosity and questions bubbling within the two and had not hurried himself to return. He knew that he would have a difficult time in planning a battle against the Cold One with the pacifist couple so leaving them out temporarily would not be difficult.
“Is there something you wish to discuss?” he asked casually as he stepped over a fallen log.
Emmett’s words had been on the tip of his tongue, eager to escape the moment that he was given permission and his ‘parents’ were out of earshot. “Would you finish the story? And tell us more about why Bella is more dangerous now?”
Elijah let out an audible sigh as he looked ahead wearily. “When a vampire of our kind turns off their humanity, they no longer have any regard for the lives around them. They kill indiscriminately. She won’t care about exposure or who her victim is. Niklaus, while he has his humanity, he often is ruled by his emotions when he kills. Now when your friend said that she turned her emotions off, he was only half right there. She does still have her emotions but most are pushed aside and ignored. Knowing Isabella as I do, I believe she will be driven by her anger, and perhaps lust. I can see her attempting to lure Klaus away with her.”
“He’s her husband…” Rosalie commented, confused why Elijah would be concerned. “Wouldn’t it be a good idea if he went with her to try to talk her back?”
The older vampire smile gently. “Not necessarily. She… is his everything and he would give her the world. If she managed to convince him to turn off his own humanity, then we would have a much harder time in controlling the two. He is no angel by any means, and she knows it. We accept that it’s in our nature now; as it’s been for over a thousand years. Isabella just has been the the most controlled since our turning, having the highest regard for human life despite her attitude at times.”
Rosalie and Emmett knew what power the Original family held, but most of all, they knew, without seeing it firsthand, what Klaus would be capable of if he shut everything off.
“There would be no stopping them if they both turned it off, would there?” She asked, her tone suggesting that she wasn’t asking.
The eldest living Mikaelson was quiet for a moment as he gathered his thoughts and when he spoke, his words were tainted with solemnity.
“Niklaus is, I admit, the most powerful of us all, the combined nature of both vampire and werewolf allowing him to be immune to most things that would be a permanent hindrance to any of us, including true death. When he is at his most volatile, we find that should he need to be… put down for a time, the only way to do so would be use a specific stake that will put him into a deep sleep until it is safe for us to release him…” He glanced over at the other two Cold Ones, letting them know that he would not divulge the name of the stake.
Emmett ate the words up as he looked at him eagerly. “Is that why Bella came to Forks? Klaus became unhinged? I thought she said something about someone being killed?”
Elijah released a breath as he looked forward as he considered the question posed. “In a way, perhaps. Niklaus had been seeking to break a curse placed on him that suppressed his werewolf side for a long time. It has been 500 years since his last opportunity and considering the location, he had not wished the chance for any harm to come to Isabella. It was wise to keep her away as there were some… unanticipated complications that arose during the stay forcing us to extend the separation of our family.”
“That Mikael that she mentioned at the house? Bella seemed afraid of him,” the Cold One pressed, curious as the original grew more hesitant once the name was mentioned.
“Mikael…was a monster unto himself. Isabella never cared for the man and he shared similar sentiments for her, as he had for Niklaus,” he admitted carefully before he slowed his pace until he stopped altogether to face the two. “Mikael is a sensitive subject matter, even now as he has been neutralized. I can assure you if he is brought up, it will only anger Isabella more in her current state. There is a long history there that should stay where it belongs, in the past.”
Emmett nodded sincerely as he understood the gravity of the story. “Okay so about Bella and Victoria. Do you have any plans for her? She’s been pretty slippery.”
The eldest Original remained pensive as he thought about the troublesome vampire. “Niklaus agreed for us to call in our sister. While she will be displeased to have to come out so far, she does enjoy her revenge. Rebekah has always had a soft spot for Isabella and I do know she won’t be too happy to hear about what has transpired thus far. I dread the tirade that she will undoubtedly force us to endure.”
“Sounds like a real bitch,” Rosalie commented but as they had gotten back within cellular range of the house, Elijah’s phone rang, much to his annoyance.
Answering it, he listened to his brother describe his tracking of Bella to the river before losing her. He knew suggesting to contact Katherine Pierce was a longshot, considering that the woman wouldn’t have known where they had sent her, he still grew uneasy and concerned over the game of cat and mouse that his sister was trying to play. Getting in her mind was often a difficult thing to do on the best of days, and now, to try to figure out what would be driving her would be much more challenging.
He toyed with the device in his hand for a moment, debating on whom to attempt to call first. Calling Katherine was possibly the least complicated at the present, however it would only spark her intrigue and might be used against them later. Still… Sighing, he dialed the last number he had for her and she answered after a few rings, curiosity lacing her tone.
“What can I do for you, Elijah?”
“You wouldn’t happened to have heard from Isabella recently?” he asked, eyes narrowing as he strained to listen carefully for any cues on her end.
She hummed an amused breath of surprise. “Isabella? I was actually curious why she wasn’t with your family while you all were here when Klaus broke his curse. Have you all lost her?”
“Katerina… If you have heard from her – tell me. It may save you from my brother’s wrath,” Elijah warned, causing the Cold Ones to watch on with increased fascination.
The girl only giggled on the phone. “I have not heard from her in nearly two hundred years. She is just as good as hiding as her husband and I. She is the one that taught me how to run from him after all.”
“Yes and I assured you and her that I would never tell him that so if you want me to continue to keep my word, you will inform me if she does come in contact with you.”
“You sound concerned Elijah. Something the matter?” Katherine questioned, her playful tone easing up and growing serious. Despite the games the vampire enjoyed playing, she too held a level of respect for the one Mikaelson family member for her continued survival.
Unsure if he should tell her the truth of the matter or not, it was a dangerous situation for all supernatural should they be unable to keep his sister contained. “As a matter of fact, there is. Isabella had taken time away from the family while Niklaus dealt with his curse. She had lost a good friend during her stay at the hands of a family member of an ally of his. It seems the pain of the loss was too much to bear so she – chose an easier route.”
“She flipped her switch? You’re saying you have an unhinged bitch on the loose wherever you are,” she sighed. “Text me where you are and what you know so far. I’ll see what I can find out from here.”
She hung up before he could protest her involvement, knowing Klaus would not be happy. He continued to hold a great deal of resentment against her running from him when he wanted to use her; the first opportunity he had to break his curse. She had found a way out of that and his own bleeding heart and Isabella’s fascination in her resemblance to her long dead sister drove them to assist in Katherine’s hiding while helping in hunting her down, though he was certain they’ve each participated for different reasons.
“Well – that did not go as intended,” he muttered to himself as he eyed his phone, dismayed that he now would have to juggle an untrusted vampire on top of everything else.
“Who was that?” Rosalie questioned, a perfectly formed eyebrow arching as she eyed him.
“Someone we really do not wish to find her way here. She would only anger Niklaus. Please do give me a few more moments and then we can proceed. I really must make one more call,” he smiled gently as he raised the phone back to his ear.
“When are you getting here Elijah? Marcel is being a dick and Nik may have to use his special brand of persuasion for us to reclaim our home,” his sister greeted him once she answered. “In the meanwhile I have secured the old governor’s home. Marcel does not know but it will suffice for now.”
He released a breathy sigh, wondering how to break the news to her, all previous thoughts gone. Having remained silent too long was enough to set her on edge and she continued more cautiously. “Elijah? You are coming? You’re not leaving me to deal with Nik on my own?”
“No Rebekah. We ran into some complications when we arrived to collect Isabella. I do require your assistance here however, so New Orleans will have to wait for time being,” he shared.
“What the hell do you mean complications? What did our asshole brother do?!”
“I am afraid he is innocent in this and is just as concerned as I am. Isabella lost a friend here and decided to turn her emotions off. On top of that we have a Cold One issue that seems to have it out for her, so with her not interested in assisting on that any longer, I need your help in taking out this particular crafty being while our brothers track down our sister.”
Rebekah was uncharacteristically silent before she spoke again. “Where are you? Nik didn’t say where he sent her.”
“Pacific northwest. Forks, Washington. I am assisting with the Cold One issue while Kol and Niklaus track Isabella with his friend.”
“Yes. You should know that before Isabella flipped her switch, she agreed to allow two of the Cold Ones, as well as our brother’s friend to join us when we leave. They have been more cooperative than the others, eager even. The parental figures however… I will leave you develop your own opinion when you arrive,” Elijah smiled slightly as he eyed Emmett and Rosalie.
Her annoyance was almost palpable over the phone line. “I will check the airlines and see how fast I can be there. Do avoid tearing any Cold Ones apart before I get there. I want to have my fun too. Especially if one has hurt my sister in some way. And you better be ready to tell me the whole story of why she was there to begin with when I arrive. You won’t have to worry about Nik daggering you. I will do it myself!”
With her threat, she hung up on him. Emmett stared at him with surprise. “Wow dude. The chicks in your life really love hanging up on you. What do you do to piss them off?”
Elijah glared at him as he pocketed his phone, unwilling to answer. He began walking again, with an increased pace to his step. “Rebekah has always been temperamental and she is not particularly fond of your kind. So be warned that she will likely be confrontational with you when she arrives. As far as Katerina… She knows that I would have refused her involvement so she avoided giving me the opportunity to say so. There is bad blood between she and Niklaus; resentment that he still is festering. He only allows her to live now as he enjoys a good game of cat and mouse.”
Rosalie huffed as she smacked her mate over the back of his head, seeing another question forming on the tip of his tongue. “Shut up already,” she yelled at him. Exasperated, she looked between the two. “Look, not for nothing, but can we just get back already? I’m grateful that you were able to give us more history so that we know what we’re getting ourselves into, and I’m sure there is more considering that you have a thousand years on us, but the sooner we deal with the nomad, the sooner we can go help the others with Bella.”
“Splendid idea. After you,” the older vampire smiled as he bowed slightly at the waist, his hand out for her to proceed ahead of him.
She raised an eyebrow at the gesture but said nothing as she continued forward, albeit at an increased speed to reach the Cullen property more quickly now. With the two male vampires on her heels, Rosalie didn’t want to leave Carlisle and Esme alone for very long as her distrust of her adoptive parents grew exponentially following Edward’s actions with Bella and later, Jacob.
By the time they returned to the house, the three found the pair sitting uncharacteristically still on the sofa, waiting. Narrowing her eyes on them, Rosalie turned to Elijah, who too, looked upon them with the impression that they were indeed hiding something as they were simply too poised.
“Mr. and Mrs. Cullen,” he greeted with a simple nod. “I have contacted my sister and she is making arrangements to come out and assist with the nomad situation while Niklaus and Kol are tracking Isabella. Is there any information that you might be able to shed on your interactions with this woman that might be of use to us?”
Esme turned her head away from them, refusing to answer. She was still mourning for the loss of her son and her husband was torn. He was feeling Edward’s loss as well, but at the same time, he was well aware of the power that these vampires posed against them. “We’ve already shared what we knew. She is cunning and deceptive. We do not understand how she has been able to slip past the wolves as often as she has.”
“Could she be gifted as others of your kind sometimes are?” he asked, tired of the insolence that they continued to display.
Carlisle started to shake his head but realized that he truly could not deny the possibility for having little contact with the woman. “It is possible, but highly unlikely. James, the leader of their coven was the gifted one, a tracker.”
“Please enlighten me,” Elijah said politely. “I am trying to understand your way of living. You call her a nomad, but you also said she was part of a coven, how does that work?”
“Nomads don’t stay in any one area. They move frequently, regularly. You can be in a coven and be nomadic,” the doctor explained. “We have many nomadic friends. I have a few who do not claim any coven name. Covens simply provide a type of protection. Such as your family name for yourselves. It’s well known through your race and the older generations of ours to the point that it strikes fear when it’s mentioned. Ours is known in our kind for being different with our diet choice.”
Elijah slowly nodded. “Our kind doesn’t quite work with naming our groups covens, we leave that word to the witches. Frankly, it is rare for our kind to seek the company of others if they’re not related or mated in some way.”
“Like Isabella and Klaus?”
“Isabella and Niklaus were married before we were made immortal,” he explained. “In a way, she’s always been a part of our family. Our emotions in our new states only strengthened what we felt and they were truly intended for one another, unlike any two I have ever seen.”
Elijah looked down at her wrist for the time, regretting how much has passed. He moved to peer out of the window, concerned for his siblings and how they were faring in their endeavors. With sun beginning to set, he frowned at the feeling of unease he sensed as night slowly approached. He couldn’t help but wonder if it was some omen.
“If you want to get some rest, there is a guest room upstairs. We can keep an eye on things in the meanwhile,” Rose hinted as she walked into the room, handing him a tote bag that held some sleep clothes as her eyes swept over her parents. “No need to be exhausted in dealing with this mess.”
“I appreciate your kindness,” he smiled and nodded his thanks. His eyes flashed to her mate who saluted him, but mostly kept his attention on the Cullens and going about some of his usual routines until they decided what they would do next. His phone beeped with a text message. After checking it quickly, he nodded to himself. “Rebekah will be arriving in the morning. I shall take my leave for the evening. If you need me, please do not hesitate to knock.”
With that he sought out the refuge of privacy of the guest quarters for the night. After showering and changing for an early evening, he sighed as he texted Katherine, inquiring for her to find out anything she could about Cold Ones and what she could about a nomad named Victoria. He did not trust Carlisle Cullen at all, and his lips curled in the faintest amusement at the thought that his brother and sister-in-law’s thousand year old paranoia starting to influence him.
Nowhere near the events occurring in Washington state, another Cold One sat in his home with his phone in his hand as his gift flooded him with knowledge of everything going on. Shaking his head, he knew there was a lot that would have to be done to help his friend. The extremes that would be necessary to get her to turn her emotions on, her family weren’t yet aware of. Hell if he was the one to share that.
Taking off for an extended hunting trip, Peter headed northwest to where he felt that Bella would most likely head if she were to leave the state, doing whatever he could to make it difficult for her to lose her family’s tail, once she earned hers. He still was in a state of shock himself when he was hit with that whammy of information overload. Another hybrid running around. Like the supernatural world needed another one.
He knew her husband was busy trying to follow her scent and coming up with a plan of his own to turn her humanity back on, and while it had potential, he wasn’t sure it would work. Knowing she was in hiding and laying low, trying to sort out the changes that were occurring within her as the full moon was approaching, Peter estimated he had only two days to wolf proof the southern and eastern borders of the state before heading off and implementing the rest of his plan to help get the new hybrid to Louisiana without the rest of the Original family being involved.
Texting her husband, he smirked as he knowingly would piss him off. When the full moon rises, wolf out and chase her north into Denali forest.
It wasn’t long before he received a response. His phone rang and smiled as he answered it, not saying a word. “Who the bloody hell do you think you are?!”
“Me? I’m nobody that you need to worry about. Just trying to help you keep your problem as contained as possible during the full moon. I doubt you would want an emotionless wolf out loose in the continental United States,” he replied flippantly, earning a growl from the upset hybrid.
“How exactly do you know of our situation?” Klaus questioned, suspicion rightfully filling his voice.
Peter sighed as he continued to spread the wolfbane plants through the region. He knew it wouldn’t work much for her in her human form, but as a wolf, it would be enough of a deterrent. “I just do. Ask my brother. I suspect he is with you or nearby right now. Just push her north towards the Denalis. Jasper can direct you.”
He was silent again, though there was a growl that echoed over the line. “Why should I trust you? I don’t even know who you are.”
“But I know Isabella and I have a debt to her for something she’s done for me some years ago. Jasper is my brother and my sire. You trust him, somewhat. Talk to him before you make any decisions and be careful of any bullshit Alice feeds you. She may play along with you now, but she always has her own agenda.”
Peter whistled a light tune to himself as he could hear a whispered exchange over the phone line, knowing that the Mikaelson was confirming parts of his story with Jasper. There was a low growl that echoed over the line again making him eye the device in his hand. “Let’s say you are speaking the truth. What do you know about Isabella now? Where is she?”
The Cold One stopped and sighed as he decided he was done with the current area. “She’s laying low and doesn’t quite understand what happened yet. That’s not to say it won’t change considering how unpredictable she is going to continue to be for your family. She has some deep seeded issues. Of what, I don’t know. The information doesn’t come to me like some magic 8 ball you know. If something does change, I’ll get word to you or Jasper as soon as I can, but I spread deterrents as much as I could to try to keep her from coming south, out of the northwest.”
“When I find you, I promise I will rip you bloody apart!” Klaus screamed into the phone. “I want to know where my wife is!”
“She will show herself soon. Before the full moon. That’s all I know,” Peter sighed. “I can’t give you more than that.” He hung up before the irate hybrid could continue on, feeling sorry for his friend who would have to bear the brunt of his wrath but he had other things to deal with in the meanwhile.
Some miles north of Forks, hidden inside a cave she had found, Bella had spent the rest of the afternoon and into the night sorting through the changes that her body had begun to undergo. There was a strength in her body that was never there before and the onslaught of emotions she was forced to endure when she killed the blonde bitch made her want to vomit the blood back up as soon as she was clear from Niklaus and the others.
Her hands fisted as she attempted to quell the shudders that ran through her, her eyes darting to the forest that provided her cover from the night sky. Being so far up in the elevation, she was able to see the moon clearer. Her eyes narrowed as she felt the ache that Nik suffered in his bones as they prepared for the change that would never come in the approach to the full moon and she quickly pieced together that she was now like him. Only she never was bound by a curse as she had always had more control. Until then.
The corner of her lips tugged up as she thought about her family and how they would be running around, searching for her. Attempting to figure out her next move. Her next kill. She ran her finger over her lip as she had originally been in debate over going after Jessica Stanley versus Lauren Mallory, opting for the latter. If what she knew of the Cullen bitch was correct, she would have set her on the path for the other.
And she was so very hungry.
Jumping down and running through the forests, she reached the the town’s border quickly enough. As she zipped through town, she found herself herself outside the house she wanted. Standing in the shadows, she watched the occupant move through the house, completely unaware of the threat that lurked outside.
Bella hadn’t decided if she was going to feed on this particular human yet or not, her thoughts distracting her from her thirst on what her pesky family was doing to locate her. She had laid enough trails around the area to have them going in circles for some time before they truly caught on. She could not help but smile in twisted pleasure as she had watched from a safe distance when her husband indeed realized her ploy.
Her dark eyes turned back up to the window she had drifted closer to, the scent of the human’s blood intoxicating. Her mouth fell open as she let the thirst slowly consume her very being. Just as the human turned to look out the window, she disappeared in a blink.
Walking up the front steps, she smiled as the door opened and worried face looked over her. “Where’ve you been Bells?”
“At the Cullens, Dad,” she smiled at him, though it had been rather forced. “Didn’t Alice call that I was on my way?”
“No…where’s your truck?” he asked as he looked past her, attempting to suppress a shudder. He reached out to pull her closer and into the house. “It’s late.”
Bella inhaled his scent, her eyes lingering on his neck as she stepped past him into the house with a grin. Keep her back to him, she shrugged a shoulder. “Edward dropped me off. I was having troubles with the truck. I’m surprised she didn’t warn you.”
He felt on edge as he backed into the house, a danger lurking in the dark that he couldn’t see. “Don’t worry about it now. You’re home now. Just make sure you remember to call next time. I got some pizza. You hungry?” he asked as he locked the door and turned to face her but his breath caught in his throat at the horrifying mask she had on.
With her vampire visage on, her new amber eyes with black veins expanding outwards and elongated fangs, she was truly the threat in the room that he feared. “Actually Charlie, I am…”