Chapter 15

~o.O.o~

They say a person needs just three things to be truly happy in this world:

someone to love, something to do, and something to hope for.”
~Tom Bodett

~o.O.o~

With everyone keeping an eye on a very angry and a never ending, thirsty Bella, Damon and her Cold One allies left the house under the guise of showing them around town and the tomb. In truth, they truly intending to discuss the radical plan that he thought up and by the nervousness that he had been radiating, it only had Jasper growing more suspicious with each passing moment.

“Your plan has its complications and while it can work, I don’t know for certain that it will,” Peter said seriously as he followed behind the silent vampire, sparking the empath’s concern higher.

“Damon?”

He let out a breath and stopped while he stared up at the star filled sky. “I have an idea of how we can take on Alice and the Volturi bastards but it would be a risk. A bigger gamble, because if they do agree to help, which is very slim considering our history with them, the moment they catch wind of Bella, the bastard would want to use her against us.”

Charlotte stared at him wide eyed as she realized who he was speaking about. She looked to her mate and at the very serious expression on his usually chipper face, she knew that they weren’t joking. “You all are freaking insane to be entertaining this idea. I’d rather go up and deal with Maria than to have to deal with them!”

Peter and Jasper had been exchanging a silent conversation with one another before they offered a stronger opinion. “Unfortunately, it’s the best shot we have with everything right now. We can easily take care of Victoria here with all the traditionals around but when it comes down to Italy, the only ones that have any leverage over the kings is that family. We just need something to offer them to make the deal that they will accept,” Peter murmured.

The traditional vampire was conflicted as he ignored the conversation. Shaking his head, he knew it was worth the risk just so that his Bella could live free from the worry of the psychotic Cold Ones. Pulling out his phone, he still had the eldest’s number and sighed as his finger hovered over the screen.

Making his decision, he hit call and waited for the guy to answer. When he did answer, his greeting was nothing short of what he expected. Unfailingly polite, and cautiously curious.

Hello?” Elijah Mikaelson answered.

“Elijah,” Damon gave himself a tight smile, rubbing his browline at the headache beginning to form. “Long time, no talk! How is New Orleans?”

The older vampire was silent as he was seemingly trying to find the ploy in his words before responding. “It is as expected. May I ask what has prompted this call Mr. Salvatore? I sincerely have my doubts that it is simply just to – catch up.”

He let out a reluctant sigh. “Would you believe that I was calling for your help?” he asked. After a moment, he added. “Perhaps even your bastard brother’s.”

The silence was numbing as the desperate man waited for a response. Instead he continued on, giving an abridged version of events. “My girl has some trouble with a group of Cold Ones. A pair of them having had a hand in events that ultimately lead to her death. If I hadn’t been making sure she had my blood in her… Anyway, she’s been sucking down blood bags like they are juice boxes are going out of style and one of the two Cold Ones is on her way to Italy, looking to get their leaders involved in either killing her or taking her for whatever crazy plan the bitch has.”

Well…that is certainly an unexpected situation you’ve found yourself in Damon. I do give my condolences for the loss of the girl’s human life. I cannot make any promises though. I will however speak to Niklaus about your problem and see if there is something we can do,” the Original answered.

“Thank you,” Damon replied quietly, blinking as he tried to suppress his emotions. The fear of potentially losing the one girl that truly understood and accepted him in every way that mattered was bubbling to the surface. Again. And it sucked.

Elijah hesitated at the soft response he had received, his breath releasing over the phone line. “I will call you back as soon as I have an answer for you. I give my word that I will see if there is something we can do from here, at the very least. Until then.”

When the Original disconnected the call, the Cold Ones stared at the shaken vampire. “He sounded open to a possible agreement,” Charlotte voiced carefully.

“Yeah, well, that’s not what I’m worried about. Klaus enjoys the hunt and kill, no matter the cause. It’s when they get interested in Bella that I’m concerned. They can compel her to do whatever the fuck they want, and unfortunately, that’s why I need them,” he hissed.

“Then all you can do is wait and see what their intentions will be if they agree to come and help,” Jasper remarked. “We will do all we can to help defend her.”

~o.O.o~

It took two days before Damon heard from the Original family. Elijah said they would assist them but said nothing else other than ask a few questions regarding Bella and that he would be in further contact as he made some calls.

It was another two weeks before anything else was heard from them again. He had been busy running around, trying to keep the house stocked on blood bags and alcohol so that Bella could be fed and try to learn to control her thirst. He felt guilty in brushing off her questions about taking her out for a true hunt, promising her that he would take her soon – every time.

Soon enough, her asking stopped as her irritation and glaring grew when he came around her. He had just handed her another bag to feed from when the doorbell rang. Before he could hold her back, she flashed to the door, opening it to find an attractive blond haired man smiling back at her as she held the pouch to her lips.

“Hello, Love,” he greeted as his eyes flickered over her form. “Aren’t you a pretty thing. Is Damon home?”

Her curiosity fell and a scowl formed on her lips at his endearment, as charming as it was coming from his lips. It reminded her too much of Edward, causing her to growl, her eyes darkening with her feral emotions. He only blinked at her, smiling at her reaction and curious as to its underlying reason.

Before he could ask further, a sparkling flash of marble and the familiar dark-haired vampire were in the foyer as they had her pinned against the far wall from the threshold where their visitor stood, watching with fascination.

“Sedate her or something!” Damon yelled as she thrashed against them, fighting to get free from their tight hold.

“What the fuck do you think I’m doing?! She’s fighting against it!” the Cold One argued back.

In frustration, Damon growled out as he reached out for Bella’s head, twisting it in a single motion before stumbling back. Looking up to the open door, he was just tired and defeated now that the man arrived. Pointing to the unconscious body of his girlfriend. “This is why we needed one of you here. You think you can compel her to control her thirst?” he asked as he eyed him.

Klaus turned his eyes back to the girl before slowly stepping into the house. “I will admit that when Elijah told me that you had taken on a new interest, and given up on our doppelganger friend, I was curious. Then he informed of the Cold One issue that she seemed to drag your lot into, I became even more – invested,” he smirked. His blue eyes moved to the Cold One that was staring at him, as if studying him. “I assume that this one isn’t one of the ones you need help in disposing of.”

Damon wiped his bleeding nose with his thumb, Bella having gotten a good elbow in during their struggle. “No. He’s one of the few friends from her previous life that stuck around to help but the one that is lingering seems to have a skill for escaping. Every trap we set up, she found some way to slip out. Then there is this fucker’s ex-wife that took off to the Volturi just before I called your brother.”

The hybrid knelt beside Bella and pushed her hair away from her face. “She is certainly a lovely girl. Why don’t you tell me more about her while we wait for her to awaken,” he suggested in a tone that he wasn’t about to budge on his request if he was going to give his former enemy what they wanted.

The two looked at one another, a silent consultation, before the Cold One nodded. As the man went to scoop up his lover, Klaus watched the way he handled her curiously. Once she was settled on a nearby couch in the Salvatore sitting room, he made himself comfortable in an armchair where he was able to observe the girl in her slumber.

Making his way to his liquor bar, Damon poured himself a generous glass as he kept an eye on their guest. “You want?” he called out.

“Sure! I would love a glass,” he replied, turning his attention back to Bella. “I believe I was perfectly polite to the girl. She’d never met me before unless you spoke some torrid tales of my history for her to react so violently.”

“I haven’t said a word to her that I made contact with your family. I didn’t even tell Stefan, so fair warning for when he and Elena drag themselves home,” Damon muttered as he handed off the glass to the Original. “As far as Sleeping Beauty, it’s more than likely you said something that got under her skin. She’s been like a hair trigger since she transitioned and so far we’ve been able to narrow most of those triggers being reminders of the disco ball family. Save for this asshole here.”

“Fascinating,” Klaus said thoughtfully. “What was all that about sedating her?”

Jasper’s lips pursed slightly as he sorted through the emotions coming from the man before deciding to answer. “I’m capable of manipulating emotions and it takes a great deal of effort to get any sort of influence over Isabella. I’ve got my theories, but I would rather wait and see if your ability to compel her works.”

“Why wouldn’t it work?” Klaus asked, suspicion dripping in his tone.

Knowing it would come out sooner or later, Damon decided it was easier to play it safe. “I was unable to compel her when she was still human.”

“She had vervain then…”

“She never heard of it and her blood was clean.”

Klaus turned to stare at the girl again, shocked. “Well. That does pose a problem if she, is too, immune to myself. You’ve shared this information with Elijah?”

Damon nodded slowly, staring him down as he tried to figure out the man’s angle. “Well, that would explain why he insisted I come here while he went to Italy. He’s going to handle the Volturi for you. They won’t be a problem for the girl,” the hybrid murmured as the topic of conversation began to stir.

“Fucking asshole,” she complained as she held her head. “Stop breaking my fucking neck.”

“Well, if you would actually try to find an ounce of control when you get pissed off at something, we wouldn’t have to resort to knocking you out each time, Princess,” he muttered as he swallowed back his bourbon.

Bella glared at him as she pushed herself up before she noticed the visitor she had attempted to attack. “What are you looking at asshole?”

Klaus threw his head back as he looked to the other vampire, whom was unsurprised by her attitude. Setting his glass down, he moved slowly to lower himself before her. “My name is Klaus. I’m here to help with your little problem,” he said, his voice like silk as she eyed him and pulled away as she pressed herself against the back of the couch. Catching her eyes, he held her gaze. “You’ll want and have full control over your bloodlust and emotions,” he continued, waiting for her reaction.

Damon sat at the far end of the couch on the arm as he watched the exchange, worry covering his features. He had been too invested in awaiting her reaction that when his brother walked in to find someone they all hoped to never deal with again, tensions rose quickly.

“What the…Holy shit!” Elena exclaimed as she witnessed Klaus compelling her friend. Her eyes darting to Damon who looked back at them before going back to Bella.

Bella blinked as she stared at Klaus, confused at what just happened. “I have control,” she repeated, unsure of her words.

The hybrid looked to Damon who stood quickly and pushed him out of the way. “How are you feeling Gorgeous? Are you hungry?”

Stefan quickly realized what they were doing, nodding to Elena as he proceeded slowly into the room. “I take it this visit was kept between you two,” he stated.

Klaus shrugged as he narrowed his eyes on Bella, his constant curiosity about the girl left him unsettled. While she was a beautiful specimen, he knew it enough that his interest wasn’t sexual. He was concerned about her, but it was strange because of the kinship that she sparked inside him. He had to wonder if this was why his brother insisted on his handling the Salvatore’s newborn problem.

“You said you had another Cold One in the vicinity?” he asked as he stepped back. “I’ll go see if I can track the bitch down. What do you know of her?”

“Victoria has wild, red hair. She’s not exactly sane,” Bella answered and he nodded in response. “Who exactly are you again?”

He smiled gently at her. “I am a friend, I assure you. We can discuss this more later. My brother has some questions he needs to answer regarding this – setup,” he sighed. “I’ll be back.” In a flash, he was out of the house.

Stefan and Elena relaxed once he was gone and immediately turned on Damon. “Why the hell would you invite him back to town?!”

The vampire ignored them as Jasper handed him another blood bag so that they could test her thirst. While it seemed the compulsion worked, it was different compared to any other they’ve seen. Damon hadn’t missed the look of confusion on Klaus’ face, that even he was unsure.

“Here you go babe,” Damon murmured as he opened the valve to let her get a whiff of the crimson fluid.

She scrunched her face as she pushed it back. “I told you I wasn’t hungry. Maybe in a bit though. What the fuck was all that Damon? Seriously? What was that guy’s deal?”

He sighed as he ran a tired hand over his face, partially relieved that at least something of the compulsion took. “Your hunger was out of control Bella. We’ve been having a hard time keeping up with your thirst,” he explained as he sat on the coffee table in front of her. Taking her hand, he avoided looking up at her as he toyed with her daylight ring. “I know I promised you to take you out to feed on from the vein, but I was scared when you’ve constantly been craving blood like Stefan was during his Ripper phase.”

Bella blinked as she started to protest, looking to the others to deny his claims but as soon as she saw their faces, she knew they too agreed with him. That they were also scared. “Was I really that bad?”

Damon wove his finger through hers and brought her hand up to his lips. “I called the only ones I could think of that could help you, to compel some control over your thirst. Even knowing how Klaus operates, that he might get interested enough in you to take you away from me.”

“He compelled me? But…”

“Klaus is an Original,” Stefan explained. “Only an Original can compel other vampires. They are the first of our kind. Besides that, he is also a hybrid. Vampire and werewolf.”

The information made her curious as she was once drawn between both before being forced to choose a side. Remembering Damon’s difficulty in compelling her when she was human, she looked back at him to find him studying her with hesitation on his face. And something else he tried to hide from her.

Fear.

“I’d like to meet him again,” Bella admitted.

Heartbreak crossed Damon’s face before he covered it quickly with casual indifference as he started to pull his hand free from hers. “I’m sure he’ll be back,” his voice croaked out.

She looked hurt at his actions and held onto his hand, refusing to let him go. “What’s the matter Damon? Why are you acting like this?”

“I’m not acting like anything Bella,” he denied as he met her gaze coldly.

“Then stop being a dick! I haven’t done anything for you to be like this! All I said was that I wanted to meet him again and all of a sudden the famous dickhead Damon is back! I thought you were over this! That stranger doesn’t know me from Adam, and obviously you all can’t stand one another but he just helped me be less of a monster. I think that at least earns him a thank you from me. Don’t you?” she defended herself. “Are you really that insecure about us that you think I’m going to instantly fall for some handsome face that decides to show me some kindness like you had?”

Growling, she didn’t wait for him to answer as she pushed him out of her way and ran upstairs. Their bedroom door echoed through the house when she slammed it shut.

“Damon,” Jasper started, not fazed by the irritated breath that the vampire drew in. “You should know that I was studying Klaus’ emotions. While he is most certainly curious about her, he is confused. He is drawn to her but he feels a kinship. He isn’t sure what to make of it.”

“That might be the comment he made about wanting to speak to Elijah,” Damon sighed, dropping his head to his chest. “How much longer of this shit are we going to have to deal with?”

“As long as it takes,” he said calmly. “Might I suggest you follow her upstairs and apologize to her?”

“Yeah…that would be a good idea. I doubt she’ll be very receptive to hearing from me right now though, but what the hell.” With that, he threw back the rest of his alcohol and slowly made his way upstairs.

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