Chapter 17

Disclaimer: I do not own Twilight, The Vampire Diaries, or The Originals in any way shape or form. I just merely enjoy playing with the characters for my own, and your personal amusement…

Please choose option A, Klaus had said.

The Cold One’s imitation of a coven leader stepped forward, coming between Edward and the Mikaelson brothers. “Please. There is no need for violence. I’m sure we can work out a peaceable solution to the situation.”

“Oh, I’ll be perfectly at peace with ripping out the throat from your sorry excuse for a creation,” the hybrid sneered, his body tense for a battle.

Edward glared at the three and shook his head. “They are nothing but monsters and they are holding my Bella prisoner, Carlisle!”

“Prisoner, mate? Really? Now you’re really more foolish than you look,” Kol laughed. “You spied and watched us all here long enough to see that she was with us of her own free will. Not only that, but when she wakes up, I’m sure that she would dispute your claim as being yours.”

“Yes. I did overhear a conversation between Isabella and Damon about her breakup with you one evening. I wonder if the rest of your family is knowledge of the true events that occurred that night. I am almost certain that they would not be agreeing with you so much if they knew what you had said to the girl – who is with her rightful family,” Elijah added, his eyes narrowing on the petulant boy before focusing on the leader again. “It would seem that he crushed every ounce of spirit she had, claiming she was not worth his time to pretend to play human any longer. Then of course, leaving her unprotected and lost in the woods, deep behind her home, and with an unhinged Cold One hunting her down because your family killed her mate.”

Jasper and Carlisle turned to look at Edward after the new accusations came to light, the empath sensing the truth coming from the older vampire. “What did you do, Edward? How did we not know what really happened? And you lied to us?” He looked over the rest of the family before his gaze fell upon his wife. “You had to have known his decision. I knew something was off about Bella claiming she wanted nothing more to do with us. She was always accepting of who and what we were without reservation.”

“But she belongs to Edward. Not that guy that left with her,” Alice answered, her voice soft and innocent. “Edward was always planning on coming back for her.”

The empath looked at her like she was a few marbles short of crazy, causing Klaus to smirk but remain silent as the arguing began within their own group. “The hell is wrong with the both of you?! You don’t break someone like that if you love them! And you lied to the rest of the family on top of it. Perhaps you two are better suited for one another than with Bella or I. I’ve never been more ashamed of this family, or of you Carlisle, for allowing this to happen.” He slowly backed up until it was clear that he was on the side of the Mikaelsons. “If you continue to pursue Isabella, know that I will fight you with her and her family.”

Carlisle remained silent as he absorbed the combined threat now facing his family. Looking around, he could see that while Esme, Alice, and Edward clearly wished to continue in getting Bella back into the family, his other two glared at him and their siblings for what they brought to them. In that moment, he was certain that Emmett and Rosalie would not fight with them, if they chose to take a side at all.

Nodding, he moved closer to the three. “We shall take our leave then -”

“What?! Carlisle! We need to get Bella back!” Edward argued.

“No. They are right in that you could have handled the situation differently when you chose to leave her. Whatever mistakes she chooses to make here with her new friends, they are hers alone. Let’s go now,” Carlisle harshly whispered, pulling Edward away from the scene.

Emmett looked back at Jasper with a sorrowful smile. “While I don’t agree with what they did, we should stick with them in case Edward gets the bright idea to come back. We can at least give you the heads up if he takes off. Take care of Belly for us.”

Jasper gave his brother and sister a nod and watched as they ran off. Releasing a deep breath, he turned to face the Mikaelsons. “If it’s alright with you, I would like to stick around to run interference if any of them return. I promise you that I will keep my distance from Isabella.”

Klaus narrowed his eyes on the Cold One. While he could respect the man to an extent, he was extremely cautious due to the relationship with the same beings that hurt his new sister. He was barely able to suppress a growl when Elijah responded first, sneering at his older sibling.

“I do not see why an arrangement can’t be struck,” the vampire started, holding his hand up to silence both of his disagreeable brothers before they begun. “However, do remember that if we find you involved in anything that may upset Isabella, we will come to you first to seek justice. Justice however my two brothers see fit.”

Jasper nodded, accepting the terms easily. “If I unknowingly lead anything to her, I will come to you myself. If you will allow me, I should find some arrangements to stay…” He bowed slightly, waiting for a dismissal.

“Go to the Salvatore Boarding House. Inform Stefan that Elijah sent you. If he has any problems, tell him to call me.”

“Damon won’t like this,” Kol murmured, glaring at his ‘peaceable’ brother as the empath sped off.

Elijah smiled. “He just may, as I will invite him and Isabella to stay with us or speak to Mr. Swan about living at her home. You’ll find that he may just agree with my intentions here. Who better to babysit the unknown factor now in town, then the former Ripper?”

~o.O.o~

Debating on where to bring Bella in her current state, Damon eventually settled on returning to the Mikaelson estate. Immediately, he brought her up to an empty bedroom and tucked her into bed so that she could wake somewhat comfortably instead of how she had in previous experiences.

He had little concern about the Cullens. He was certain that the brothers liked the venomous family just as little as he did. Leaving her to sleep off her dreams and memories, Damon made his way through the house, casually looking around as he had unsupervised freedom in enemy territory for a time. While he didn’t go digging particularly deep into the family members’ rooms, he was surprised at how normal much of the house was and damned if he didn’t begin to think of the Original family as something other than his enemy.

Finding his way into the kitchen, he dug around the cabinets to begin making some food for when his girl woke, waiting for everyone’s return so that he could get the details of what he’d missed. He was regretful about not being able to rip the annoying ex’s head from his shoulders. He hoped that someone kicked his ass, and knocked him well off the pedestal that he believed himself to belong.

The food was nearly ready when he heard her footsteps grow closer to the kitchen. He wasn’t sure why, but he could not help but be nervous for what was approaching. Turning to face the entrance, Damon smiled as she rounded the corner. Bella looked back at him, seemingly just as nervous as he felt.

“Bella,” he whispered, taking a step towards her, but keeping his distance in case she did not welcome his presence.

“Still out dealing with unexpected visitors,” he answered, knowing the unspoken words. “How are you feeling?”

She blinked and nodded. “I’m still me,” she replied, letting out a breath, looking around. “Where is…?”

Bella moved closer to him, reaching for his hand before leaning into his body. She needed to feel him against her, a sense of something current and real for all that she currently felt overwhelmed with. Her body shuddered as he wrapped his arms tightly around her, holding her as close as he could possibly have her. “I’m happy they are not here right now. I just need some time before I see them,” she murmured into his chest.

“I can imagine why,” he replied, running his hands over her back.

“The memories – there’s just so many that…” she trailed off, her body shaking, from what, he didn’t know.

“I’m here. I’m not going anywhere,” Damon reassured her. He felt her nod against him and they simply remained there for several minutes until he looked over his shoulder where the food was beginning to burn.

Bella let go of him as she whispered a spell to fix the food and make her way to the stove to plate everything for serving. She felt his eyes on her, but she was still absorbing all the new information, the memories of learning magic in her first life after losing her family.

“Do you want to talk about it?” he asked as gently as he could, hoping not to scare her off.

Hesitating, she set the bowl of pasta on the island counter before looking up at him. “Everything they’ve claimed, is true,” she spoke, keeping her eyes down. “Our mother essentially sold me to her sister, who raised me until this curse was placed on me in case I would betray Dahlia.”

Damon ran his hand through his hair. “So, do you know what we have to do in order to break the curse?”

Bella looked up at him and shrugged, tears in her eyes. “I don’t know.”

“The more I learn about this family, the more I wish I could drink myself into oblivion. But then, I think about you and I realize, I gotta deal with them from now on,” he scowled.

“If you don’t want to… I won’t force you to stay,” she tried to say, before he cut her off.

He glared at her, zipping over to her side and taking her hands in his. “No matter what you try to throw at me, I’m here with you. Sure your family is crazy as fuck, but mine isn’t much better. Fuck, Bella! For all we know, in some alternate life, Stefan would have tried killing you a time or two considering his ripper history! Don’t pull this sacrificial shit with me because I want you. Klaus and the rest of them are a package deal, I get that, just as you accept Stefan comes with me.”

“Package deals, huh?” She said weakly, looking up at him into his beautiful blue eyes, so full of trust and love and it was almost too much. “What’s next to discuss? Dowry? I’m pretty sure I’m worth at least five llamas.”

“We did not keep llamas back then. Sheep, pigs, yes,” Klaus spoke up as he walked in, announcing the return of the brothers. “Now, why are we discussing farm animals and dowries? I believe we already made our position clear on Damon’s relationship with you to your former – allies.”

Bella shrugged. “I liked the sound of llamas.”

He shrugged as he grabbed a plate and began serving himself some of the prepared food. “If he wishes to insist on payment for your hand, I do enjoy a fine bottle of scotch.”

Elijah followed in with Kol and sighed. “There will be no such payment, Niklaus.”

“Bugger. You have to ruin everyone’s fun. Kol and I were so looking forward to option A, but you had to allow them to take the second.”

She fisted Damon’s shirt as she took a step closer to him. “I’ll deal with them myself when they come back,” she muttered darkly. “No, we were merely discussing that our families come with us as a packaged deal. You guys have to start getting along better.”

“Carlisle Cullen assured that he will make sure Edward remains away from you,” Elijah replied, looking to her, earning a disagreeable snort from both brothers.

“I’m perfectly fine with Damon,” Klaus smiled with his fork dangling from his hand. “As long as he doesn’t break your heart, his shall remain in his chest.”

“Hear, hear,” Kol cheered in agreement, raising the glass of liquor he was pouring.

“Stefan comes with the territory,” Bella pointed out, a faint smile on her lips as she looked back up at Damon and realized that his eyes had never moved away from her face, or her head. “Although it’s perfectly legal to lock him up, right? Like… a pet monkey.”

Elijah sighed and walked out of the room, leaving Klaus and Kol eyeing one another with thoughtful expressions. “You think if we drain him of the vervain, we could compel us a little pet?” Kol inquired.

“It’ll be fun,” Klaus agreed, looking to the young couple. “So how did things go here?”

Bella lowered her gaze and shrugged a shoulder. “Finn was right in that I was taken by Dahlia. She cursed me in the event that I might betray her after she raised me,” she explained.

Damon guided her to a nearby stool so that she would be more comfortable to answer any other questions, before making a small plate for her. He remained silent as he met the brothers’ eyes, a silent agreement to take their questioning as easy as they could.

“You betrayed our aunt?” Klaus asked, his eyes locked on her as he warred with his own feelings about their family turning on him.

Sighing, Bella threw her arms up in defeat. “I felt I might be strong enough to fight my way to freedom, only to find out that my only escape was in death. But she placed this curse on me so that I would never truly escape her. Now, this body, is the furthest I’ve survived, at least having gained back as much magic as I have. I think it’s more down to having Damon and you all to help protect me from Katherine, and even Elena. There were more like her, and I hate to say this Damon, but also like Stefan, that all did kill me over these years.”

Damon’s lip curled up in disgust. “Pet monkey it is.”

“I think as long as Katherine or Elena exists, Stefan won’t become what they are. I believe it’s part of Dahlia’s spell that any doppelganger generally seeks me out to kill me. A thousand years, and they all are troublemakers,” she recalled, scratching her head. “I still fail to see what you all ever see in these girls.”

“Hey now! Don’t lump me in with this idiots,” Kol protested. “I always disliked Tatia when we were human, but Nik and Elijah chased her around like horny dogs with their tongues falling out of their mouths!”

Bella smiled at him, entertained by their teasing. The smile however did not last long as she focused on Klaus. “No matter what, we must deal with our aunt here and now before your child is born. Until then, she will be focused on me for my attempt to escape her and our mother’s agreement with her.”

Klaus leaned forward, setting his fork down and pursed his lips. “What did you do?”

Bella ran her hand through her hair, tugging on the ends. “I tried to escape her the moment I could. But in finding myself a husband, I also learned that there was more than just selling me to Dahlia. This is why I would want to deal with her once and for all. You see, their deal was that every first born would be owed to Dahlia as a payment for her spelling Mother to be able to have children. I, I got pregnant and when I was near birth, she came to me. I did the only thing I could to protect my child from her. I took poison, killing my baby and myself. I didn’t know she put a safeguard on me in having me and my magic reincarnated for her own gain of power.”

She was quiet and soft spoken as she recalled the early past, a history of her life that would continue to affect them in the current time, especially as Klaus had shared an important detail when they had first truly spoken. She kept her eyes on him as he absorbed that the coming that wasn’t just about herself, but also for his unborn child he left in their other sister’s protection. Bella was reluctant to look at Damon, as she revealed that she had previously married and would have been a mother, sure that he would be upset despite it being in a distant lifetime.

“So we lure the bitch to town and kill us a witch,” Damon shrugged, leaving the room and quickly coming back with a new bottle of liquor. He poured generous glasses for everyone, kissing Bella’s a temple as he passed by.

Elijah had rejoined them, having heard her story and their discussion from the nearby room. He wasn’t so confident as the younger vampire, knowing what his family’s capabilities were when they were human. If their aunt was still around, then she would be formidable. “It won’t be as easy as you hope. We have no idea the level of power Dahlia now holds. We know nothing of her weaknesses.”

Bella’s focus drifted as she thought about her time with the witch. “She was sensitive about discussing Mother. I know her magic is rooted in blood, and she feeds off familial power. She had always wanted to be immortal and was furious when Mother created your vampire race.”

“Okay. So how do we fight a superpowered witch? Bella’s presence would be a complication if she would use her power,” Damon argued, frustrated at not knowing how to keep her safe.

“Another witch, maybe,” Elijah thought as he considered some possibilities.

Klaus sighed. “It would depend on the type of magic that could go up against her. If she is anything like our mother, it will be hard to take down an original witch.”

“I can try talking to Bonnie. She might know something or talk her juju spirits. She liked Bella, so she might be willing to help,” Damon offered. “In the meantime, what do we do? Because whatever is coming, is getting closer and to be honest, Bella, I’m not thrilled with the idea of you being alone now. Not even with Charlie.”

“I agree. It would be much better for you to stay close to us until this is over,” Elijah spoke, drawing a deep sigh from the girl. From the pensive expression on her face, he continued. “If you are thinking about Charlie, I’ll be happy to call him and inform him of the situation.”

Bella frowned and shrugged. “He already knows much more than I would have liked. And don’t think I am not angry for going behind my back and telling him everything that you have already. You had no right-”

“No, we didn’t Sweetheart, but in order to protect our own, sometimes we must do things that the other does not like. I apologize to you for the way we circumvented you, however, it does work out to be for the best now as you do not have to withhold secrets about what you are and your original family,” Klaus interrupted as he kept his voice soft while he looked her in the eye. “And you get to keep the man you’ve known and cared for you as a father in your life. Did he tell you that he was considering going through the transition in order to remain at your side, in keeping you safe?”

“Did he?” Bella wasn’t sure whether to feel angry or flattered. “He’s insane.”

The brothers smiled and Kol shrugged. “Perhaps he is, but he only knows you as his daughter and what decent father wouldn’t want to be there for his girl however he can?” he commented.

“My father was an asshole that shot Stefan and I when he found out about Katherine’s true self. Then let’s not get on the subject of your father. Now he certainly won’t be getting any awards for Daddy of the Year,” Damon snorted. “As far as the witchy business, I’ll go see if Bonnie can help with her juju. Surely her spirits might know something useful.”

He wrapped his arms around Bella before he left, leaving a kiss on her temple. “Stay here where it’s relatively safe. I’ll be back.”

She watched as he left and let out a sigh. Looking at the three, who all stared back at her in silence, every one of them waiting for something. “So…family game night? Scrabble? Twister? Monopoly?”

Klaus smirked. “You will do just fine in the family. There is no need to be nervous, Sweetheart.”

“Yes. I imagine it will take some adjustment on all our parts. I knew you as an older sister, as I was still in the womb but you aren’t quite that now,” Elijah added. “All that matters is that you are our sister, family, from this time forward. Anything that is ours, is also yours.”

“Except for my iPod. You can’t share that,” Kol interrupt, a serious expression on his face, causing Bella to blink in surprise before letting out a small laugh.