If there wasn’t any more proof that Kathy had gone and truly lost her mind, it was now. She’d gone and brought someone here who was clearly delusional and couldn’t even say my name right. Glaring at the GQ wannabe, I took a step back. “My name is Bella, now who the fuck are you exactly?”
GQ had the grace to actually look a little – sheepish? I wasn’t sure of the actual emotion that crossed his face. I watched as he glanced around at everyone, causing me to take in how everyone else was handling the new presence. It was obvious that they knew who he was and Damon was certainly not pleased to see this man. “My apologies Bella,” he said with his accent that had a gentleness to it that reminded me of Carlisle in a small way, making me narrow my eyes more. “I was not aware that Katerina had not informed you of – our histories.”
I looked over at her, finding myself feeling less than sympathetic as she looked back and forth between this Elijah and myself. “Kathy failed to tell me a lot since I’ve met her. Why don’t you fill me in now on what this is all about,” I demanded, ready to take a threatening step towards him but Damon’s hand wrapped around my arm to pull me back to him.
“Kathy?” The stranger repeated my name for my friend before realizing exactly who I was referring to and nodded in understanding. He was quiet for a moment as he seemed speculative while he looked at Damon and I before speaking again. “I can assure you Mr. Salvatore, that I have no desire to harm Miss Bella. Quite the opposite in fact. It would be an utter travesty for her to be turned into a Cold One. In more ways than one if we are able to learn more about her speculated – abilities.”
“Abilities? What are you talking about?” Damon questioned as he pulled me to him protectively. While the motion would have pissed me off before, he had done nothing in the way like Edward, who tried to shelter me from everything.
Our guest, for lack of a better term, looked unsure as he turned his attention back on me again. “I am not sure. We would have to research the possibilities, but dating back that far could be nearly impossible to get the information that we desire. At least if you are what I believe you could be, you dear are destined to be quite extraordinary,” he explained slowly as his eyes continued to drink me in with curiosity. “Though, I repeat, that we would have to confirm what I may be thinking.”
“What is that exactly?” Damon asked for me as I found myself unable to formulate any words yet. So much new information was coming at me and this stranger who I’ve only just met seemed to be a part of something much larger. That wasn’t what was unnerving to me. It was that he somehow felt familiar in a way and I knew we had never once met.
Elijah only hummed in response as he pulled out his cell phone and made a call. It was a moment before whoever it was picked up and I noticed it made all the other vampires in the room tense immediately. “I am with the girl, Niklaus. Katerina spoke the truth so we will uphold our end of the deal,” he informed the person making me narrow my eyes on my friend. “She does have Beya’s – spirit about her. While she appears strikingly like her, there are marked differences to discount the doppelganger theory. It is something else entirely. Of what, I have no idea yet.”
He was silent for a moment and Damon lowered his head to my ear. “They seem to think you’re related somehow,” he whispered.
“What?” I couldn’t help but scoff at the notion. “What the hell have they been smoking? Kathy. I think you need to toss this fucker back to the bayou because he sucked up too much of that swamp water and is thinking all levels of crazy.”
Elijah cut me a glare, admonishing me with a simple look and wave of the finger to which I responded with one of my own. A middle finger salute. He continued on with his conversation on his phone, “She certainly has a charm to her that reminds me remarkably of Kol and yourself, brother. I will have to do some research regarding the girl’s heritage and look into what other legends the witches and Cold Ones may have of our family but I suggest sending Rebekah back to our native land to see what she may be able to uncover there.”
“Yep. Too much swamp water or someone spiked his bourbon with vervain and it fried his brain cells,” I mused as I looked at GQ thoughtfully as he hung up, giving me an exasperated expression.
“If it were even possible, I am sure that it would be you that would cause all my hair to grow grey,” he sighed.
I pursed my lips as I eyed him seriously for the moment. “Might even get you laid. There are women out there that go for the salt and pepper look old man,” I deadpanned before flashing him a bright grin as Damon used my shoulder to muffle his laughter.
“Charming,” Elijah said with a small smile. “Nevertheless,” he continued and looked around at the others. “I will be here for awhile to assist in researching your history. While I do so, I will also do what I can with your Cold One problem. Would someone care to fill me in on why I chased one away from the boarding home earlier?”
We all looked at one another, a silent exchange as to who would share my story. I threw my hands up, refusing to go into it again as I repeated it enough times for the supernatural world in my opinion. “Not me. I thought you said Kathy told you about me already anyway.”
“Hm, I was not privy to the conversation between my brother and Katerina in regards to you Miss Bella. My apologies,” he responded. “I understand your reluctance to repeat such memories. Would you give your friend permission to share the information?”
“Why do you want to know it?” Damon questioned. “I’ll give you the cliffnotes version. Because of her crazy, delusional Cold One ex-boyfriend, she has not only his pansy ass stalking her, but also the Volturi wanting her since apparently it seems their strongest gifts don’t work on her.”
“Most intriguing,” Elijah mused as he blinked at me, making me roll my eyes as I walked over to the bar to pour myself a drink. “I can assist you with the Volturi aspect by contacting them and informing them that you are under the protection of the Mikaelsons.”
“Thanks, but at the moment I think that would only piss them off to the point they would send their entire guard into town and destroy anyone in their path to get to me. They would know that I was planning on double crossing them too. A headache not worth dealing with. At the moment, I have time so they aren’t the priority. If anything, the threat of their wanting me keeps my ex somewhat at bay,” I had to explain.
He nodded slowly, still staring as if trying to make some sense of something. It was starting to piss me off. “A wise decision given the circumstance,” he said gently, his brows furrowing.
“Look, I don’t know what your problem is and according to Damon here, you seem to think I’m some long lost relative or whatever. I have my doubts about you and your sanity. Besides whatever reason this bitch here gave you to come, why don’t you fess up and tell me why you are really here. Obviously you want something to do with me.”
Elijah smiled as he straightened his back. “You are correct, but not in the way that you or Katerina may believe. I ask that you give me time to look into a few things. I’d rather not give you theories when you are looking for answers. For now, I will assist with the Salvatores in your protection. Of that, you have my word.”
“Great,” I muttered. Looking to Damon and Stefan, I couldn’t help but to give them a grin. “I guess it’s a good thing you run a boarding house because it sounds like the rooms are filling up.”
“Um, how about no?” Damon scoffed as he glared at GQ. “Don’t your family still own that fancy mansion in town?”
Nodding slowly, Elijah glanced at me before admitting to it. “We do. Although considering the level of threat, I think it be more prudent that we stay closer together as a group. I would like to also get to know Miss Bella more in the process.”
“So you’re gonna slum it for lil’ ol’ moi?” I asked as I batted my eyes at him. “This oughtta be fun.”
The man sighed and shook his head, a smile barely there on his lips but I was able to see it. “I have some errands to run but I will return. Please do not leave the protection of the Salvatores – as much as I dislike them. They are your best protection from your past.”
“Sounds great. Come on handsome,” I said as I turned to Damon. “Let’s go paint the town. I’ve been starting to get cabin fever being stuck in here.”
“Can I come?” Kathy asked as she sat up on the couch.
I couldn’t help but scowl. I knew she had her reasons for not telling me everything and she certainly sent me to a hot specimen of a vampire. May eyes narrowed on her as I debated whether I wanted to or not. Looking up at Damon, he appeared just as conflicted. Glancing at me, he shrugged his shoulder for his answer.
“Fine. One more screw up, we’re done,” I warned her. “From now on, full disclosure psychotic slut.”
“I swear to you I will share whatever I know, you crazy bitch. I love ya girl,” Kathy pouted as she made her way to me and pulled me into a hug. I was reluctant to return it, but I did. “Alright. So if we’re going out then I need to make you hot. Let’s go raid Damon’s closet!”
Grabbing me, she zipped up the stairs and stopped short at the sight of her look-a-like coming out of my vampire’s bedroom. “What the fuck were you just doing in there?” I demanded as I glared at her.
Kathy curled her lips at the sight of her. “If she is anything like me, she’s got her sights set on both brothers,” she muttered, earning a dirty look from the girl.
I didn’t care one way or another. I pushed past the teenager and looked around the bedroom. The very brief glance had me furious inside. “DAMON!” I screamed out as I made my way to the dresser that was open partially, eyeing it as I knew without a doubt that I had closed it after I dressed that morning.
He was quick to make his way upstairs with GQ at his side. When the hell was that fucker leaving? I thought to myself.
I pointed to the dresser then the closet where Damon made his way over and took a deep breath. “What the hell were you looking for Elena?” he growled as he turned to stalk the human girl. I already was developing a very strong dislike for the little bitch.
“I wasn’t looking for anything,” she denied as he continued to prowl up on her. Grabbing her by the throat, he shoved her against the wall. “I just wanted to make sure that she wasn’t hiding anything that could hurt you…” As she spoke, his hand went to her throat and started to choke her. She gripped at his wrist, trying to pull him off but what could a human do against a vampire?
“She is not a threat to us,” he hissed in her face, shrugging Stefan off as he arrived to pull him off his girlfriend. He turned to glare at him after he released her and she leaned against the wall, gasping for breath. “The two of you get it through your heads here and now. Bella is the victim. Until something comes up to prove discount her loyalty without violating her, and my, privacy, lay the fuck off!”
Something about it started to get me a little hot under the collar and I was barely able to keep my moan suppressed. He didn’t miss it and grinned at me, flashing a wink. “We’ll take care of that tonight Kitten,” he whispered in my ear as he joined my side. “You and Katherine get ready. I’ll be downstairs waiting.”
Kathy made her way over to me, stretching her arm across my shoulders and leaned against me as she smirked at the bunny muncher and his human pet. GQ was eyeing them with nearly the same amount of disgust as I was attempting to suppress.
“That was highly in poor taste Miss Gilbert. I truly had not expected such an action come from you. Katerina, yes. I am disappointed as I had believed that you were not capable of such malice but I can be wrong. Although…” he trailed of as he turned, looking between Kathy and I thoughtfully. “It is a curious conundrum here. Niklaus will be most entertained by it when he arrives.”
Another new idiot. Great. “Who exactly is this fucker?” I asked, bored with the conversation already and wanting everyone out of Damon and my room so that I could get changed in my now violated wardrobe. “All I know is that Kathy avoided this asshole something fierce.”
Elijah’s lips twitched and he glanced at her. “He is my brother,” he answered slowly. “We can discuss – the family at a later time. You have plans that I am sure you are eager to see to.”
“Bet your fancy suited ass I do. Now how about you help me out and take your GQ style and haul dumb and dumbette out of here so that I don’t have to bust a nail trying to do it myself,” I asked as sweetly as I could with a honeyed tone and smile.
“It would be a pleasure,” he bowed his head before grabbing Stefan by the back of his neck and Elena by her arm tightly, dragging them forcefully from the room.
Once free from the idiots, I was finally able to relax as I went to slam the door closed and turned to my friend. “How the fuck can she be part of your bloodline?”
“I had no control over my progeny. Hell, I didn’t even know my daughter was even alive. I thought my father killed her after he sent me away,” Katherine shrugged as she looked through my clothes. “So…things are going well between you and Damon?”
“As well as can be I suppose. We only just met,” I shrugged as I sat on the bed watching her. “Why are you so hung up on the two of us?”
“I want my best friend happy,” she replied as she came out with a tight red dress. “You should wear this for tonight. Can I borrow this one?” she asked as she held up a black number that was just as revealing.
Sighing, I waved my hand permissively. “Whatever. Will you tell me what the big hoopla that everyone is fascinated about with me?”
At that question, Katherine hesitated, biting her lip. “I don’t know the whole story and there are a lot of broken tales that everyone is tracking down. It’s just that the things you shared and details that lined up with what I’ve seen about you, fits some – theories. Suffice to say, until we all know more, like Elijah said, wait until we have confirmation before we give you answers. Elijah can be trusted, and he honors his word. I promise you that. We all want to protect you, especially to get you out of that Volturi deal.”
“Yeah. About that. Any suggestions? Because I only have little over a year and I really don’t fucking want to be a walking disco ball!”
“Simple. Let Damon feed you his blood and snap your neck,” Kathy shrugged.
I couldn’t help but stare at her incredulously. She acted like it was the simplest answer on the face of the planet and perhaps, it was. “Right. And how would that work into this research project you have going with GQ?”
“Oh, right. That does pose a problem,” she pouted. “I’ll figure something out. Don’t worry.” She threw my dress at me before heading into the bathroom, leaving me standing there, taking deep breathes and fighting the urge not to go searching for the stakes that I knew Damon had hidden in his room.
We had to drive out of town to find a decent club. It was strange going out with teenagers that were officially still in high school. It didn’t matter that they were capable of compelling their way through the door and for alcohol. To me, they were still fucking children and belonged at home doing their fucking homework.
“So your human pet is also a vampire hunter and their history teacher?” I repeated for like the tenth time in the car, even though I’ve met the guy once more after the first night but never got his full story until now.
“Yep. Pretty much,” Damon nodded beside me as he drove.
I turned in the seat to look at the guy. “What is wrong with you? Why the fuck would you get yourself wrapped up in this shit? And stay in?”
Alaric pulled his untrusting glare from Kathy who was smiling sweetly at him to look at me. “I wanted to find my wife. All I knew was Damon killed her, possibly turned.”
“Yeah? How’d that turn out for you?”
He scowled at me and I grinned. “Yeah, I thought so. Glad to have you here! You’re a researcher, right? How about you help the bitch out here with finding more about me and get me answers faster. Work with GQ if you have to. Because both of them were pissing me off today,” I said, my arms folded over the headrest.
He wasn’t so subtle but I could feel Damon’s hand sliding up the back of my leg, inching its way under my dress. I pretended that I didn’t notice, as I waited for Alaric’s response, ignoring Katherine’s eyeroll.
“I could help, but I would need to know the what you’re looking for. There might be something in Isobel’s old research that I might recognize,” he answered me slowly.
“Get the details from Kathy tonight,” I grinned, especially since Damon’s hand had found it’s way to my panties. Looking to him, I blinked innocently. “Are we much further?”
He glanced up at me, one hand on steering wheel, his other trapped between my legs. “No, just a few more minutes,” he smiled.
I twisted myself so that I could sit back down but his hand was caught awkwardly and painfully. His face grimaced as he kept from saying anything about my torture considering what he attempted to put me through with his friend in the car with us. Chuckling, I reached down for my purse on the floor.
“Bella!” Damon hollered, causing me to sit up quickly and despite having my seatbelt on with a vampire for a driver, his quick reflexes weren’t enough to stop the crash that was inevitable.
Groaning, I felt like I went ten rounds with the reservation wolves when reality slowly began returning to me. “Get the license plate of that Mack truck. I’m suing,” I mumbled, turning over.
It took a moment before I realized that the last thing I remembered was being in the car with Damon, Kathy, and Alaric. And I was now in a bed. Opening my eyes quickly, though regretting it would come later as the light coming through the window was making me nauseous. It took a couple moments to focus but I knew right away that I most certainly was not in a hospital. Nor was I back at the Salvatore house. I was in a simple room that was bare for the most part. Bed, dresser, rocking chair. I could see a small bathroom from where I was on the bed. I could hear nothing but silence in the building, indicating that for now, I was alone.
“Where the fuck am I?”