“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.”
For nearly three and half days, Bella refused to come out of the bedroom. She would not open the door for Damon, though he knew she was just on the other side as he attempted to explain his fears. To explain exactly why he was so afraid of the more powerful vampire taking her from him.
That he would be losing the only person to have a reason to find hope in anything in his long existence.
To hear her open that miserable piece of wood for his brother, pained him. He took to remaining in the living room, trying to drink every last drop of alcohol he could find when the bastard hybrid returned after running from the house days prior.
“You don’t look like you’re holding up very well mate. The compulsion didn’t hold?” he asked, concerned as he looked around for the pretty young newborn.
Damon looked away from him as he swallowed a large mouthful of whatever liquor he made his way to from the bottle. “She’s upstairs in our room, or her room now. I don’t know what my place is anymore considering she won’t speak two words to me since that afternoon.”
Klaus’ mouth fell open as he found himself at a loss for words. Even more when he continued on his drunken spew of verbal vomit. “Oh, but she did mention, before telling me off, that she would like to speak with you. So I’m sure that she would welcome you to our room with open arms. Possibly our bed. But I’m sure you came here with an idea of trying to take her from me,” he smirked as he eyed the contents of the bottle.
“Well – I won’t deny the thought crossed my mind before my arrival…” the hybrid admitted, but he wasn’t feeling in the mood to kick the man while he was down. Especially with the emotions for the girl that he’d been struggling with himself. “However I do give my word that I have no further interest in her in such a manner. I…I’ll see if I will be able to do something about setting this right. Surely it’s only a misunderstanding.”
“No. She knows exactly how I feel and she still refuses to say anything,” he sighed. “I’ve lost her before I truly had her.”
The hybrid let out a breath as he narrowed his eyes. “What exactly are your feelings for her? Is she a distraction from the sweet Elena Gilbert?”
Damon smiled ruefully to himself. “Far from it,” he whispered as he stared at nothing before him. “I never considered the idea until Bonnie gave Stefan her daylight ring, but it’d been in the back of my mind ever since. Even though she freaked out at the possibility. I had to talk her down, but…” He trailed off with a shrug and stood to face him. “It doesn’t matter anymore.”
Klaus frowned. “Go out, grab yourself a fresh meal and sober up. Allow me to get to know the girl and I will see if I cannot find out where her own thoughts are on this situation. Granted it is rather a jumbled mess that you lot created out of nothing. She’s upstairs you said?” He asked as he picked up the canvas bag he had dropped when he walked in before continuing up the stairs, determination covering his face.
Following the scent he recalled from his previous visit, he soon found himself standing outside the bedroom door. He listened carefully and could hear her pacing. Knocking on the door, he waited for some acknowledgment but other than her light footsteps coming closer to the door, nothing.
“It is just I, Klaus,” he gently called out. “Damon told me that you wished to speak with me?”
He heard her turn the latch for the lock before the door opened a crack. Her eyes peeked out at him and he couldn’t help but to smile. “See? Nothing to fear, Love,” he assured her.
Her face twisted with displeasure and he could see the pure rage flicker in her eyes. Thinking back to their first meeting, he took a deep breath and nodded. “You don’t like hearing that word, do you?” he asked.
She dropped her eyes and shook her head, her grip on the knob tightening to the point he could hear the material begin to protest. “Well then, we shall find you another name. How about we get to know one another a little better? May I come in so that we can speak?”
Bella looked back over her shoulder at the room before disappearing behind the door and opening it enough for him to slip through. The moment he was in the room, she closed it quickly and flashed to the other side of the room to stare at him from a comfortable distance. As much as she desired to speak to the man, she also did not want to help facilitate Damon’s fear more than she needed to.
Klaus was unsure of where to begin as he observed her, moving to face her. “I know it must be frustrating for you, to remain confined in the house with such threats out in the world after you.”
“One is in the tomb,” she whispered as she eyed him.
“Then I’ll be sure to pay the tomb a visit before I return home,” he said with a charming smile. “The red head, Victoria, you said? She is no more… I’ve spent the last few days in the woods hunting her. I brought you her head.”
He nodded to the bag sitting by the door, and was surprised to see her move as eagerly as she did to dig through it to see the evidence for herself. Pulling her out by her hair, Bella smiled as she held her enemy in her hands. “I think she would look lovely mounted on the wall. Don’t you?”
“I can see about having that done for you if it’s what you wish,” he responded slowly.
She looked up and nodded. “She killed my entire family. As merciful as it would be to burn this final piece of her, she should spend the rest of eternity in misery.”
Dropping the head onto the bag, Bella looked up at him. “Why is it you are here? I mean besides to compel me? Damon explained all of that to me and while I’m grateful for your help there, you have no reason to stick around and help us. You don’t know me and from what I hear, you clearly don’t get along with my family and friends I’ve made here. So if you do have some plan to take me from the home I’ve made here, tell me now.”
The fire that lit her up when she was angry was rather breathtaking and he wished she had been a werewolf and time had been a bit earlier. He’d had loved to turn her into one of his hybrids and told her so. “But I have no wish to take you from your friends here. As to why I wanted to help with this, I cannot explain. I felt the need to – terminate a threat against you. As much as I would have done for any other member of my family. Perhaps more.”
Her growl that he was not stranger to already made him smile. The vampire visage slowly bled out from her eyes as she stalked up to him. “If you have some demented idea that I’m your mate, you can go fuck yourself! I have a boyfriend! He may be an asshole the majority of the time, but he’s my asshole!”
“I am sure that he is pleased to hear you say that,” Klaus shrugged as he stepped away from her and sat back on the chaise in the room. “But I have no interest in you as a mate. You can rest easy. Why don’t you tell me more about this other problem that my brother is handling on your behalf in Italy?”
“Argh!” she screamed at him, throwing the closest thing within reach at him, one of her journal’s that Stefan had insisted she try to keep.
It’d taken quite a bit of convincing, but by evening Klaus was able to coax the young vampire to end whatever she was trying to accomplish by sequestering herself from her friends. She did so, however reluctantly. As the two headed for the stairs, the hybrid winked at her as he wrapped her small hand around his arm while he escorted her down the to join the others waiting.
Damon looked up from where he stood at the fireplace, his eyes focusing in on where they were joined before turning away bitterly. The action made her only roll her eyes in annoyance, but as she glanced up to her new friend, she could see he intentionally was provoking her boyfriend by the action. “Must you both behave like jackasses?” she demanded, yanking her arm free.
Klaus smiled and shrugged his shoulders innocently. “It’s in our natural, Kitten. I do apologize for upsetting you however. Now,” he paused as he looked around. “Has anyone heard from my brother?”
“He should be here soon. He called that he was on his way from the airport,” Stefan answered from where he sat as he eyed Bella as she approached his own brother cautiously.
“Splendid! I’m eager to hear his tales of how it went with the sparkling royals!”
“I hope he wasn’t harmed at all,” Bella voiced as she looked back at Klaus, stepping closer to Damon. He silently looked at her, almost as if wondering why she was there by him instead of across the room. “Can we talk?”
He stared at her, her large brown eyes as she pleaded with him silently. They’d been through so much in such a short period of time and he’d never felt so tied to anyone. He didn’t want to hear the words from her if they weren’t what he wanted, but knew it would have to be said. Looking over her shoulder to Klaus, he was confused as he found him reuniting with Caroline – and appearing rather pleased about it. “I suppose it has to be said,” he said as he looked back to Bella.
She blinked owlishly at him, not having expected to continue to receive such an icy reception from him. Lowering her head, she nodded and fiddled with her fingers, turning to start to walk out so they could find some privacy but a stranger had walked in stopping them short.
“Mr. Salvatore,” he smiled at him then looked to the girl who appeared to wish to be anywhere else but there. “Any you must be the lovely Isabella Swan.”
“Swan? Little Bird!” Klaus cheered as he pointed at her. “That shall be your name!”
The stranger sighed and held his hand up to him, silencing him. “Allow me to introduce to myself. My name is Elijah. I am Niklaus’ brother and have been working on your behalf in regards to the – complications with the Volturi. May I ask that you delay your discussion for a short while so that we can go over what has occurred?”
“Sounds great,” Damon announced loudly from behind her and Elijah could see that she was uneasy.
The older Original looked between the two as everyone got settled as he prepared to share the details of his trip and he couldn’t help but to study the young girl that drew so much attention in the supernatural world. Looking at her and to his brother, he opened his mouth and closed it before opening it again to speak. “Before I begin…may I ask, how has Miss Isabella and Niklaus gotten along thus far?”
Klaus eyed his brother with his usual level of suspicion, but it only rose as he had previously voiced his own concern that the man had been up to something more than just wanting to be helpful with a troubled, young vampire. “What reason do you ask?”
Elijah’s tongue darted out to moisten his lips as he continued to eye the clearly uncomfortable girl as everyone’s attention was on her. “WHen Damon contacted me, I was unsure about responded to his aid but the more he spoke, I was curious about the girl who was so desired by so many supernatural creatures. There are only so few and in our long existence, every one of them has been in relation to our family, most directly to Niklaus so I wanted to look more into her.”
Damon seemed to break out of his cold facade as his arms that had been folded across his chest fell to his side and then went to lean on the back of the chair protectively where Bella took residence on. “That’s why you asked about her family history?”
“Indeed,” Elijah nodded. “It is difficult to narrow down formal documents but I did seek out a witch before taking the trip to see to the – Italian matters. It was a complicated process with the spell, but with Niklaus’ blood, she was able to give me a list of all of his bloodline, vampire and…more.”
“What are you speaking of Elijah?” Klaus asked, his voice dropping several octaves as he stepped closer to him. “What do you mean my bloodline?”
“Is it not obvious? What is it you feel for the girl? It’s not love, at least not romantic love, but you do feel something for the girl before you even truly knew her. A draw, no?”
Klaus turned to stare at Bella who looked at the two silently, afraid to interrupt as she was receiving more information than she was prepared to hear. It was Damon that voiced what they all were thinking but afraid to say aloud.
“You’re family…” he breathed out, his blue eyes bright almost with relief as he looked to her. Swallowing, his face clouded with guilt for his behavior the previous days and opened his mouth to say something more but was unable to get the words out.
“Indeed. It seems that Niklaus’ father had a sister that none of us were aware of that survived Mikael’s assault on their pack and continued their line. Had Isabella the opportunity, she could have triggered her gene and become a werewolf. If she’d come to Mystic Falls last year when we were here and learned of this, he could have assisted in making her his equal,” he continued but hesitated. “The Cold One bite is concerning as the witch pointed out does make her different from us as well.”
Bella lowered her head and spread her hands over her thighs, trying to quickly process that she now has new family after recently accepted being alone besides the friends she had made through Damon. “Can we come back to this soon? What happened with the Volturi and Alice? Klaus already took care of Victoria. Damon and the others have Edward in pieces in tomb – which I ask that we never let him out while he rots.”
“Oh yes! That reminds me…I shall need the red head’s – head – so that I can have it mounted as you requested, Little Bird,” Klaus commented, earning an eager nod from the girl.
Elijah let out a breath at the quick bonding over the souvenir of revenge and shook his head. “Splendid,” he proceeded dryly. “I managed to reach Volterra before this Alice had. As it seems, she became easily distracted when she had landed in Paris.”
“No doubt. She lives to shop,” Bella smirked as she leaned back. She softly smiled when Damon’s hand moved to her shoulder, giving it a gentle squeeze.
“The three kings of course were curious over why I had decided to come visit without contacting them without prior notice. Usually, we tend to give one another a warning when we have business in each other’s regions. Out of respect, we tend to avoid their city and stay out of their business as they do cover their actions very well. Naturally they were wondering what happened to incur my unexpected visit,” the eldest vampire smiled in memory. “Aro was extremely nervous and Caius was – angry to say the least, when I began speaking of a girl being hunted that happened to be a member of the Mikaelson family. As expected, they attempted to speak their way out of their predicament however your former friend had arrived not aware of my presence, behaving as if she’d been more than comfortable with the kings and the environment.”
He took a moment as he considered how to continue while everyone stared at him with mixed reactions. “Delving into her mind was not a pleasant experience, I assure you. As it turned out, she and the kings had been in league with one another the whole time. If she supplied the human shield to them, in any form whether it be human or original, she’d be granted a high ranking position within their ranks. This Edward fellow was always intended to be sacrificed.”
“That is – entirely fucked up,” Bella mumbled as she blinked. “Where is Jasper to hear this?” she asked as she looked up to Damon.
“He left not long after Klaus arrived. He tried convincing me that he had well intentions with you but I didn’t want to believe him and gave up on me, leaving with his friends. He said you would be in safe hands with everyone now and didn’t need him,” he sighed. “I’m sorry Bella…”
“I know you are Damon,” she whispered and smiled. “We’ll be okay.”
He lifted her hand to his lips, relieved as he kissed her knuckles. They weren’t given more time to share in their moment as Elijah chose to continue.
“I reminded them of their place in our world and declared that the seer’s existence was forfeit for their participation in their attack on our family. It was as simple as that,” he smiled.
Damon clapped his hands together. His voice loud and boisterous. “Great! So how about we go out to celebrate? Dinner on Bella’s long lost relatives?”
The girl stood in a blink and punched him in the shoulder and spun to look around. “So that’s it? It’s over like that? All that hell and you two swoop in and clean it up?!”
Klaus nodded and did a half shrug. “Pretty much. You have to understand that we are stronger than others in our world and many fear us as we are quite difficult to kill. Myself, impossible. Normally we would not help just anyone like this but as Elijah already explained, you have a draw to you that includes us. We were more than curious and it made us wish to help and obviously it lead to his discovery of our relation. Something I do wish that you are open to exploring now that you share immortality with the rest of us.”
“I’m sure she will, but Bella and I have some unfinished business we need to resolve first,” Damon declared as he wrapped his arms around the agitated girl and ran her out of the house.
He didn’t stop until they were at the waterfalls outside of town. The moment they were still, Bella punched him in the arms, chest, anywhere she could reach repeatedly. “You are such an arrogant asshole!”
“I know,” he admitted softly, not once blocking her attacks. “And I’m truly sorry for how I’ve treated you for the past week.”
“You’ve apologized already!” she screamed at him.
Damon sighed as he looked at her. “Then what do you want from me? I confessed my fears to you already. I know now that one of my worst enemies is no threat to you, not like what I thought. And you just said at the house we’d be okay – but how can I get us back there?”
Bella walked away from him, her hand running through her hair as she looked out at the water. Shaking her head, she knew the problem wasn’t with him. It was entirely on her. She’d been so afraid of everything. Losing everything, as much as he was of losing her. “I forgave you for what you did days ago. Klaus even told me that I was being a bitch about it,” she huffed.
“Well, considering you are descended from his wolf family, technically you are a bitch,” he mused.
She glared back at him. “Watch it.”
“You love me,” he smiled at her, his body relaxed for the first time in days.
Sighing she shook her head. “God help me, but yeah. I do. Are we always going to be like this?”
“Fighting like it’s going to be the end of us? Maybe. But think about how awesome the make up sex will be. Bella, as long as I’m with you, I don’t care how hard it will be. Put me in my place. Do what you have to. But know that I will do what I need to make sure that you will be safe, always. If that means I have to go to face my biggest enemy and risk losing you to make sure that you would survive, then I will. With no regrets.”
Bella stood still as he made his way closer to her. Reaching out, her cupped her face in his hands and kissed her forehead, her nose, her lips. “I want my forever with you. In every way possible. I know you aren’t ready to hear it but I need to say it. When Bonnie spelled your ring and I saw it for the first time, it’s been damn near the only thing on my mind. So yes, I know you are terrified of the idea, but I will ask you in the future to marry me and I hope to heaven and hell that you will say yes because it’s only you that I want. Not Katherine. Not Elena. So get them out of your gorgeous mind because I know you. Don’t let it go down that road,” he said breathlessly as he stared into her eyes so that she knew how serious he was. “You. It’s only you. I love you, Bella.”
“I love you, Damon,” she answered him, pushing herself up on her toes, her mouth claiming his in a long awaited kiss that she’d been denying him since their troubles began between them. She repeated herself against his lips with a grin, as he held her to his body tightly, “I love you. Forever.”