Chapter 01

The Mikaelson compound was unusually quiet for a Friday evening when Kol walked into the courtyard. His laptop was tucked under his arm as his fingers twitched and tapped on the plastic case anxiously. A nervous habit he adopted from his irritating brother over the years.

Thankfully, it wasn’t him he was there to speak to.

His lips pulled back as he cocked his head to the side, like a playful puppy. “Myriam!” he called out, knowing his brother’s lover was lurking around. The devious thing was an expert at hiding and, well, many other things.

Making his way through the house, he paused outside his brother’s room. “Should I, shouldn’t I?” he sang aloud. “You do know that if I walk in and you are naked, it will be my head on the floor and not yours. My brother’s temper is among the worst when it comes to you.”

Still not a word. What was this girl up to? “I know you are in there!” he shouted. “Bloody hell…”

Without warning, Myriam appeared in the doorway, right in front of his face, wearing a ceremonial garb. “You’re disturbing my ritual, idiot. If some poor soul gets misfortune instead of the fortune he paid for, you’ll be sorry.”

“I must say,” he smirked, looking her over. “It’s very hard to see you in these dressings. You look – like something, um…”

“Like a pineapple?” Myriam looked herself up and down. “Yeah, I know, but hey, what can you do? I figured I’d get caught up on the dealings while Klaus is away and the house quiet.”

“I was going to say you belong in a circus, but that works too.”

She hit her brother-in-law on the head with the stick she had in her hand. “Yep, misfortune for poor Mr. Smith,” she sighed exasperatedly and motioned for Kol to come in while she got rid of the heavy coat she was wearing. “Going to have to give him his refund now.”

“Isn’t the guys you deal with already dead?” Kol raised an eyebrow, wondering what kind of payment she would get from ghosts.

“Usually Mary does all the leg work with the living clients, but for some reason she had more clients than she could handle herself so… I decided to help out a little,” Myriam smirked, hanging the coat on a rack and made sure it was all neat. “Still, after all these years… it’s satisfying to help people.”

Sniffing the air, the vampire looked around. “So, did you bring him back here for your voodoo show? Mind if I have a snack before our little meeting?”

Huffing, Myriam pointed to a chair at the table. “He’s not here, you know very well I don’t bring clients to our home. Sit. Talk.”

Kol was quick as he set up his computer, making sure the most recent youtube video of his latest obsession was already set to play. “So, last night, she updated her blog and this morning the video went up which explains a lot more behind the post. What do you think?”

Myriam sat down as she looked at the video and smiled. “Notifications are awesome, aren’t they?”

“But first, please lose the ridiculous head garment…”

She rolled her eyes at him and placed it on the table behind the laptop. “Better?”

“Thank you, yes. It is distracting and I am here to discuss the girl. Tell me more about her,” he begged.

“I’ve been watching her for awhile,” Myriam smiled as she paused the video to seemingly caress the girl’s face. “Everything she said was right; something had attached to her and it was a lesson she needed to learn. It’s a shame it took so long because I think that despite her assuring her viewers she is fine, it shook her to the core. I feel a little bit guilty for not reaching out to her, but she’s making good progress. That Ann woman… Well, Ann is special and I’m sure she gave the girl some good stuff that would make her believe she’ll be stronger.”

Sitting back, Myriam looked at Kol and felt he was worried about something. “Tell me what’s on your mind.”

“I would like to work with her with these things, but there is something more pressing, considering the medium she says she is – I don’t know how safe she would be right now,” he admitted as he stared at the paused screen.

“I haven’t been able to catch up on everything with her, though. I just saw the name Ann appear and…” It was almost as if then recognition hit. There was only one Ann she knew of who was well versed in herbs, thinking she ran a tea shop. “Wait, is she in New Orleans? And she’s looking for a new partner here?”

“She came to New Orleans for her next project but has open applications for the partner. They have to come to her on their own. I’m here already, and I was going to see about compelling the position out of her but seeing she’s been to Ann’s, she no doubt has vervain on her now,” Kol pouted, falling into a chair.

“I doubt you can compel her anyway,” Myriam said with a slight chuckle. “Mediums are witches, remember?”

“Very low grade, I know. I’ve managed it before,” he waved her off.

“Klaus won’t like the idea of you working with her. Hell, Elijah will throw a fit. They’ll be afraid you’re going to draw attention to them.”

Kol looked up at her through his lashes and smiled deviously, much like his brother Nik could do. “See now, that just makes it all the more fun, Darling. Do you think it would work?”

Myriam opened the blog post on her phone and quickly read it before smirking. “She sets out a lot of requirements for her partner.”

“She wants a bodyguard. What better than have a Mikaelson?” he replied flippantly.

“You have a temper problem.”

“I’ll make sure I’m well fed and keep a blood bag with me. Seriously. How bad could it really be?” he asked.

“You really have no idea, huh?” Myriam let out a snort. “How bad could it be… well… bad ghosts could possess you and you could end up killing her.”

Kol scowled. “It was a rhetorical question. Consult your voodoo hoodoo Gods and let me know. And as far as killing her. No. I’d just turn her. I always wanted my own minions. I never made any during my first life.”

“Yeah, you would turn her. Not whoever is possessing you. Don’t get me wrong, you Mikaelsons are mentally very strong, but there are very dark spirits out there that could-”

“Stronger than some random, idiot human. 10-1 says there will be a response in there from a Salvatore brother to her,” he bet.

Myriam ran a hand through her hair as she watched the young Mikaelson shift uneasily in his chair for a while before she eventually spoke up. “She’s setting up strict boundaries for what she wants in a partner and that’s her right, it’s her safety and theirs on the line,” she then shrugged. “I don’t see why you couldn’t do the same. Just be upfront with her, honest.”

“And say what? Hello, Bella! I’m here for the job, and you should know I’m a thousand-year-old vampire who has died a few times himself and killed thousands, in rage and for food? Yes, I see that going very well. Are you bloody mad?!”

She laughed. “No, you introduce yourself as Kol and being interested in the position. Since initial contact is through email, you’ll say you have no problem being someone’s bodyguard as you grew up with older siblings and always had to fight your way to get heard. You’re ace at technology and don’t mind doing research to prove her stories to be true – mind you, the research will involve getting sources other than your brothers. You’re fine with her not paying you and will tell her you live in New Orleans so she doesn’t have to pay for food and shelter,” she said calmly. “Now, what I expect is that if she invites you for an interview, she won’t be alone and she’ll hear you’re not human. She’ll ask you questions and you need to answer those honestly.”

Kol stared back at the former voodoo priestess. “Where can I get a doll of you? I would like to stab the head with pins right now.”

“I know you’re not an idiot, but you did ask a stupid question,” Myriam stuck out her tongue to him. “You’ll be fine. I’ve consulted with the spirits and they agree, you’re great for this position as long as you’ll set boundaries yourself to protect yourself and your family. Such as limiting information on your family when you’re on camera with her. Or when you’re running into spirits of those whom you’ve killed, you will need to disclose that and tell Bella she can’t use the footage. But I feel she’s a very understanding, empathic, person.”

“And you can guarantee my protection from being boxed by my brothers for this?”

Myriam smirked then. “Of course, once I convince him you’re going to align yourself with someone who potentially can be very useful to him.”

He whined at hearing those words. Nik always wanted powerful allies to protect himself and the family but mostly himself. “Then he will just want to come along and twist her to an allegiance all to him! I want the girl. I want something that has nothing to do with them!”

“Oh, of course, but he doesn’t need to know that,” Myriam winked at him. “The girl will be safe out of your brother’s reach because I will convince him you’re the best man for her. Something as light and pure as she is doesn’t belong to him. Hell, I don’t want to share him!”

“See that’s the thing, you see her as pure, but I don’t feel what you feel when I watch her. She feels like me. I want to meet her. Now,” he said and stood up, pulling his phone out to start sending a message to her site.

Myriam whined. “I may know where she’s staying… it would show off your research capabilities to her.”

“And make me look like the stalker that I am. Great. Let’s go,” he said as he walked out the door. “You’re taking too long Myriam!”

She looked at his retreating back. “Well, do you want to know or not? Do you want to be the stalker or not?” She laughed as she shook her head. “Oh, you’re adorable.”

Kol was back at the door, growling. “Don’t say that word. I dare you to use it on my brother in bed tonight. Be sure include that strap on you got for him after we went to see Deadpool. Give me the address.”

“She’s at the worst hotel at Magazine Street. You know, the one which used to be an orphanage?”

“Oh, bloody hell. She won’t be getting any rest there. I’ll see if I can’t convince her of other arrangements while she is staying in town. Be back later,” he muttered, more to himself as he ran out of the compound.

~o.O.o~

Ever since her blog post went up, Bella had been refreshing and refreshing and refreshing her mail inbox. While the wifi was shoddy in this hostel, she had to grin and bear it. She had hoped more people would be interested in helping her out, but she didn’t get one application. Not a single one.

While she had promised to remain positive, she found it hard to realize that maybe she had to quit helping spirits to find peace or just to interact with them and to listen to their stories. There was no way in hell she was going to do this alone. Ever. Bella wanted to keep sharing her experiences and if this wasn’t going the way, she’d have to think of other ways. Perhaps become a medium you’d see in the streets. New Orleans was filled with people claiming to be able to talk to the dead; connect with someone at the drop of a hat. While some were likely legitimate, others were not.

No, selling out wasn’t the way to go either.

Sighing, she looked over to the corner where she had placed some toys. She was staying at an orphanage, after all, and didn’t feel the children would do anything to harm her. “Hello,” she smiled as she saw the balls move. “Wanna play catch?” When she received a negative answer, she shrugged. “Fine by me, knock yourself out.”

‘Boo!’

Bella blinked when she felt the familiar presence of her spirit guide, Valerie. She was glad Valerie decided to return, but she was curious what the reason was. Valerie felt like a girl of Bella’s own age, fun and funky, but immensely protective and easily to offend at the same time. “Val!”

‘There’s someone at the front desk for you, you may want to greet him.’

“Him?”

‘Yes. And say yes to him.’

“Uh…”

‘Just go, Bella. You’ll see.’

Bella scowled as she got to her feet, grabbed her key and headed downstairs where there was, indeed, a young man standing at the front desk. He was quite good looking too, he had a sense of danger around him but she sensed that he was quite alright. “Uhm… Hello?”

Kol pulled away from the staring contest he was holding with the desk clerk and turned to Bella with a smile. “Hello, Darling. I must say, it is a pleasure to finally get to meet you in person,” he greeted as he held out his hand. “I’ve been following your work since – well, for awhile.” He wanted to say since he came back to life again, and needed human distractions, but figured the current location was not the best for such a topic.

She took a step back and cocked her head, not liking him being so in her face. “How did you find me?”

“Well, you posted about New Orleans, your work leading you here currently. It’s not hard to find someone in this town when you know every bit of it,” he shrugged, sticking his hands in his pockets. “Shall we go get some tea? The place next door isn’t bad, though I know a few in the French Quarter to be much better.”

‘Go on, say yes,’ Valerie urged her.

“N-no,” Bella stammered, taking another step back. “Dude, you’re freaking me the hell out.”

Kol let out a sigh. “I told her this was a bad idea,” he muttered to himself. “Never will listen to that bloody bitch again.” Turning his head to the clerk, he locked eyes with him. “Scram. I need the room.”

As the desk clerk took off, leaving just Kol and Bella in the lobby, Kol moved over to one of the oversized chairs and made himself comfortable. “My name is Kol and I assure you I have no interest in harming you. In fact, I had messaged you about the job opening. My brother’s girl had told me you would be – more open, but I have a feeling she’s back at his place laughing her voodoo queen head off right now.”

The words didn’t quite hit her yet. This wasn’t how it was supposed to go; she’d get an email, she’d assess the email and send back a message to set up a meeting or not. And this guy shows up, messing with her expectations and the clerk was a jerk for leaving her alone with this guy. This… Kol.

She stepped aside in time for the tea rush; every afternoon around the same time the children would run across the hotel’s first floor to go to what used to be the common area for tea, and it was almost like a stampede. Tiny feet running on hardwood floors even though the floor was now covered. Her head filled with giggles and laughter, making her relax somewhat.

Before he could truly temper his reaction, Kol jumped up to his feet, pulling his jacket closed around him and glaring around the room. “Bloody little buggers! I know plenty of witches! I only want to talk to the girl!”

“Hey!” Bella called out, angrily, focusing on Kol, her anxiety releasing through her anger. “They’re children, take a fucking chill pill.” She immediately regretted her outburst. “Sorry.”

He turned back to her, drawing in a deep breath. “I asked you to please go somewhere else to talk. While I’m not unused to this kind of thing, it will take some adjusting to being around them. I tend to avoid these places for a reason.”

“Then maybe you’re not the right guy for the job,” she stated simply as she moved to sit down on one of the chairs.

“Wrong, because while I need to get used to it again, there are nasty buggers bigger and worse than these kids that could do you a lot of harm and I’m a lot better at distracting them from you and getting you out safely,” he reasoned. “I merely need to – acclimate again,” he scowled. “Simply take more trips to the cemetery or something.”

Bella let out a snort as she quietly winced about the flashing memories of the last two years. She pointed at the chair he had vacated and shrugged. “Don’t worry, no activity for the next hour or so,” she eventually said and then realized some of the words he had spoken were unusual to her. “Voodoo queen? Witches?”

“Magic, love. My brother’s girl was a fairly known voodoo priestess in her time, but she lets a local human play her role in town for tours and such. Trust me, she does not appear what you would think for one who performs that kind of magic. Just this morning, she looked like a dancing pineapple that escaped from the circus,” he smiled. “Not my particular type of magic I prefer, but I’m still learning more about it from her and it does have its merits.”

‘Magic is real, I told you this before,’ Valerie’s voice sounded somewhat strained. ‘He’s a vampire. An old one at too.’

Bella turned her head to the voice and rolled her eyes at her. “What have you been snorting, Val? I’d love to have some because vampires don’t exist!”

‘Oh, really? Tell him to show you his game face.’

Kol chuckled as he crosses his legs, hearing her words and getting relaxed. When she looked over at him, he waved his fingers flirtatiously. “Oh, but we do. And while you do smell scrumptious, I’m not interested in you for a meal.” He paused and his eyes flicked over her. “Well not in that way anyhow.”

‘And this is why I said you have to say yes to him. I urge you to.’

Bella blanched at what they both said. “He basically propositioned me! I don’t even know him!”

“Not basically. I did. If you were willing, in the future. I can control my urges if you could,” he winked. “So do we have a deal?”

“Where do you live? Here in New Orleans or somewhere else?”

“Here in town, yes. Though, if you are willing, I am also willing to make a sacrifice while you are in town,” he said as he leaned forward on his knees, peering at her with a smile, waiting to see if she took the bait.

“You’re willing to leave your cozy home in exchange for a room in a haunted hostel?”

He raised an eyebrow and looked around, clearly unnerved by the environment. “Oh hell no, Darling. No. I would move in with my brothers, and sister while you stay at my place. You’ll have all the furnishings to be comfortable, and safety above all. We’d be a stone’s throw away if you need me, but while you are in New Orleans, you may be safe from your spirits in here, you wouldn’t be safe from other things that go bump in the night whereas I have a special spell on my place where you would have to invite anyone in. Living or dead, meaning my kind specifically.”

‘See! Do it!’

Bella eyed him, curiously. “First off, we’ve only met and while Valerie says I can trust you, my past experiences have been – I’m protecting myself here.”

“Yes, I saw the footage with your friend Jake. I must admit I’m not a particular fan of him. Neither is Myriam. I would not doubt she has a doll made of him hidden somewhere,” he murmured in thought.

“Secondly… your kind? Surely it can’t be that many.”

He smiled as he looked at her adoringly. “You have so much to learn about this world. New Orleans is supernatural and paranormal at its core. It’s crawling with witches, vampires, and werewolves. Half the city council, last I heard, if my brother didn’t kill them, were from a particular pack he was never fond of.”

“Maybe it wasn’t such a great idea to come here after all,” Bella muttered as she sat back in her chair. Sighing, she shook her head. “I might quit what I’m doing.”

‘Don’t you dare quit, Bella. You’re doing a lot of good, and that’s good.’

“It’s a great town, Bella. No matter what. And you shouldn’t give up. You need someone to help you. All you are learning is the world is much larger than you thought. You still would have gone out this morning, for your morning coffee and biscuit, and never known the shop owner was a witch. Gone shopping in town, buying a handmade purse on the street, not knowing it was made by a vampire passing her eternal life selling pretty things for pretty humans. Much of the world is still the same as it was an hour ago. Good and bad humans, good and bad spirits, good and bad vampires – which I know plenty about,” Kol explained, sighing as he took in her face. Scribbling his number and address, he left it on the table that separated them. “Think about it. If you change your mind, this is where you will find me.” He then got up and smiled at her. “And now you’re going to do what you would require me to do; go google and verify what I just said. I promise you, you want me for this job.”

Bella watched Kol exit the building, dumbfounded at the information she had just received and took in a huge breath. “Fuck.”

‘Why didn’t you agree to go with him? Why didn’t you say yes? Why!’

“Because he freaks me out, damn it,” Bella muttered angrily as she made her way to her room and started to boil the kettle for water.

‘I think he was cute…’

“Looks can be deceiving.” Bella expected Valerie to have the last word, but she could feel her leave and shook her head, again. “Wuss,” she said as she made her tea and headed over to her laptop, no messages received. Opening another tab was agonizingly slow, not because of the wifi, but also because her computer was aging. She knew about New Orleans, more in the sense of the city that never slept and the legends of the city, always believing ‘vampires’ and ‘werewolves’ were dark spirits, created by old people to scare children or for vampire stories. Hell, even the first hit on her search said so.

But everything she found seemed to contradict what Kol was. He could walk in daylight. He looked human. He was intelligent and didn’t attack her to eat her.

It didn’t feel right, though, him offering her his apartment so callously, on first meet. Granted, his job would include having her in a safe place, but would it truly be a safe place or was it simply a lie to get her where he wanted and then do things?

~Twitter~ I just had the weirdest non-paranormal experience in my life and for once I’m questioning the sanity of my supporters.

She blinked when a handful of emails unexpectedly popped into her inbox, almost as if the wifi decided to behave. The most recent one was a person called Myriam, likely the same Myriam Kol had spoken of. My guess is Kol came across as an over-eager, but a cute little puppy. Maybe frightening, even. He means well, he does want to protect you and he does want to help you. Truth be told, he might even have a big crush on you. God knows what he does in his apartment by himself, watching your videos… Anyway, here are a few links you might want to explore; these are not found on google, but shared amongst the supernatural community. I know all of this may sound frightening to you, but in all honesty, at least you can see the supernatural with your own eyes, unlike your ghosts! Trust you will be safe with Kol.

2 Comments:

  1. love this and Kol’s interest in Bella…..