Chapter 08

“…If this Katherine person was a vampire, then how the hell can she walk in the sun without sparkling like a glittering idiot?” Bella asked, confused and frustrated as she pulled away from Damon and practically stalked the floor as he watched on.

For the most part, he was rather amused. Smiling slightly, he raised an eyebrow as he moved to lean against the couch to try to explain what he can to her. “Bella – I don’t doubt that you’ve met vampires before,” he started to say dismissively, making her turn to look at him sharply. Damon leveled his eyes on her, not taking them off of her to make it clear just how seriously he was taking her admission. “There is more than one kind of vampire out there. I actually knew you had come into contact with a Cold One when you had dinner with us. Your sleeve slipped a little and I caught a glimpse of the scar on your wrist. You can tell me that story another time.”

She threw an accusing glare at him as she backed away a few steps and shook her head, struggling to accept what he was saying. “What exactly are you saying Damon?” she questioned.

“What I am saying, Bella,” he smirked as he drew out her name. His amusement turned serious after a moment as he studied her, pushing back the sense of sadness that threatened to filter through. Damon quickly held back a growl of irritation, wondering what was taking Stefan so long that he had left him to deal with this conversation on his own. Knowing she needed answers, he continued for her. “I knew you knew more about the supernatural since the day you came over for dinner. My brother saw you earlier that day, you remember. He called me home early from a trip because of you…”

Bella raised an eyebrow as she took a defensive stance, not sure if she was liking where this was going already. “Because of me? How about you cut out the mysterious innuendo and just get to the point because my patience is running really thin. I have a psychotic vampire that wants me dead back in Washington that, last I was aware, doesn’t have a clue where I am right now, and you just told me that some new breed of vampire, that happens to look like one of my human neighbors that I already don’t particularly care for, also wants me dead? Why the fuck does everyone want me dead?!” she screamed, feeling more pissed off than hysterical as she stared at him.

He raised an eyebrow as he crossed his arms and met her eyes. “I don’t know why this other vampire is after you but Katherine alluded enough to give us an idea of why she wants you dead. Supposedly, you’re to be pretty powerful, but I don’t know how so. I don’t think you’re a doppelganger because the likeness that I knew of you – well, let’s just say, I’m confident that bitch killed her before she could have any children. Or at least I’m hoping…” he trailed off with a conflicted expression on his face as he looked away, but she caught it and moved so that she was in his line of sight again.

“What is that supposed to mean?” she asked, her tone slightly calmer but it still made him grimace, indicating to Bella that he clearly did not want to elaborate on that particular comment. “Damon…”

“I don’t think you would really want to know that answer if it was possible. I don’t want to know the answer because it is just wrong for what I want right now but there are other things that you want to know that is more important,” Damon snapped, backing away to put some extra space between them as he scratched the back of his neck as he avoided looking at her. “When you were at our house for dinner and you went to the bathroom, we had a visitor. Katherine. She caught your scent off of the furniture where you were sitting and said some things about us needing to kill you if we were smart. That you would attract a larger danger. Initially, as always, we believed her to be full of shit.”

Bella swallowed her nervousness and tried not to react outwardly as she stood frozen as she watched him admit to what she had missed that evening. She still remembered the voice whispering in her ear to stay in the bathroom about a danger, but she let him get what he needed out before she considered telling him about that particular experience. “Go on,” she said calmly.

“Based on some things she said, the best we can figure you to be is some kind of reincarnation of someone. If we can figure out who your original is, we can see who or what kind of spell has you being reborn as you are so – often,” he explained almost breathlessly as he glanced at her, but her ever observant eyes did not  miss the pain that was in his.

She recognized the emptiness that flashed before he turned back to her, seemingly like nothing bothered him at all, leaving her wondering what it was all about. Her mind replayed his words quickly and could only associate the expression with something that had to do with her. “Be honest with me Damon. Tell me the truth. What about me has you all – I don’t know. Weird?” she asked.

“I’m not being weird,” Damon denied quickly as he glared at her for a moment before making himself comfortable in one of the armchairs. “Anyway, like I said. Best we guess, you’re a reincarnation. Witchy is supposed to be asking her ancestors about it, see if they know anything.”

“Witchy?” Bella repeated as she moved closer, her face full of skepticism. “And just how do you know so much about vampires and supernatural stuff? You seem to be awfully comfortable with what I admitted knowing.”

He flashed her a knowing grin and shrugged as he remained seated. “Maybe because I’m a vampire myself. Kinda have to be okay with it. You know?”

She faltered in her step as she stopped short. “You’re like Katherine?”

“It was Katherine’s blood that turned me, yes,” he answered carefully as he watched her. “I’m not going to hurt you Bella. If I wanted to, I’ve had plenty of chances to do so already. You know this.”

Nodding, Bella held onto the back of the couch as she moved around it to sit down again, feeling weak from learning that the second man she ever felt any attraction to was also a vampire. It was both daunting and irritating to her as she let out a huff of annoyance. “And Stefan?”

“Same. Katherine played him the same way she did me. Look, long story short, he and I were both involved with Katherine a long time ago and she played us both. She fed us her blood to get us to change if we died, which we did. I really don’t want to tell you about that story right now, but I will if I have to when the time comes, because it probably has to do with one of your past lives –”

Bella waved him off, interrupting him as she had slowly begun to piece together his story with the hallucinations that she was experiencing. “My visions or whatever I was having since I moved here. I think I know what they are,” she muttered as she rubbed at her temples as she felt a headache coming on. “I think they are memories.”

Damon’s eyes widened as he nodded slowly. “Reincarnations generally are able to remember things of their past lives according to Witchy – erm, Bonnie. You remember her. You said you saw Stefan in period clothes with Elena. That was more than likely Katherine. We were turned back in 1864 so that would explain the style. If it’s really memories, then you should be getting more the longer you’re around because you were here back then. Or at least one of your past selves,” he said with another conflicted face again.

She narrowed her eyes on him as she let out a huff, pushing herself back up to her feet and started to make her way to the front door. “Look. If you aren’t going to tell me what the fuck is bothering you about me, then you can get the hell out of my house because I’m really not feeling very well. If this psychotic bitch wants to get me, then fine. If there is one thing I’ve learned, is that if a vampire wants you dead, they will eventually get to you. Now you have two choices. Tell me what about me is giving you constipation face or get the fuck out of my house,” she demanded as she pulled the door open to stress her ultimatum.

He sat there with his mouth falling open for a moment as he eyed her, almost wondering if she was being serious but as she held the door open and met his eyes with a fiery gaze, he thought better of turning the situation into a joke as he would normally on instinct. “Bella, I…”

“Don’t. I’ve been as honest with you as I could. If you can’t afford me the same respect then get the hell out,” she snapped, jutting her chin towards the open doorway to indicate the direction for him to head.

Slowly he headed out, not wanting to anger her more. Of everyone in that miserable town now, she was the last one he ever wished to hurt, intentionally or not. Turning as soon as he crossed the threshold, he went to apologize but she had slammed the door shut behind him and the distinct sound of the door locking reverberated in his ears as he blinked at the glass in disbelief.

With Katherine lingering around town and knowing that she had a thing about killing previous versions of Bella, Damon knew he couldn’t just leave her alone in the house as he wasn’t sure if his psychotic ex had access to it as he did now. Running a frustrated hand through his hair, he growled slightly at the predicament he got himself into by being unable to admit to the girl about his personal history with her past. Sighing, he made himself comfortable on the porch swing that one of her ancestors had installed some years back as he sent a text to his brother, cursing him out for his lack of punctuality.

Inside, Bella was struggling to calm herself down as she grabbed her backpack and headed upstairs to her room. The entire event since he arrived replayed in her mind and it had finally caught up with the realization that Damon had admitted that he was a vampire. Albeit not like Edward and his family, but some new breed that she had only just learned about but a vampire regardless. He had admitted that both him and his brother were vampires and while she hadn’t questioned that they were brothers by blood before, it made her wonder how they both were turned now. Her curiosity of the Salvatores after such irritating actions by Damon only made her pissed at herself, when all she had wanted was answers.

She had intended to try to get some homework done but couldn’t concentrate as she had felt a headache coming on from the stress of the afternoon. Going to lay down, Bella stretched out on her bed as she closed her eyes and tried to relax and forget about her vampire problems for awhile.

She did not know how long it was before she had fallen asleep but when the dreams started, they had felt so real that she truly was not sure if she was asleep or not anymore. Bella had found herself once again out on her front lawn as she had the night Elena had brought her home, a crowd of people gathered for some event. Looking around, she seemed to be to see more this time. Like she was in another’s body and it truly was unsettling.

“Miss Swan,” a voice called from behind her, causing her to turn to face the source but she could feel the body she was in cringe at who was approaching.

“Mister Lockwood. What can I do for you this evening? I do have a prior engagement,” Bella heard her voice reply lightly, but with a hint of a twang that reminded her of a southern belle. She watched as the man’s eyes tighten in anger and barely disguised jealousy before he attempted to overwhelm her with what he may have perceived to be his most charming smile.

“I do not doubt that you do, but I am sure that the Salvatore fellow can find someone else more to his standards. Why should you lower yourself for the likes of him? You, darling, should be betrothed to a family of prestige and standing…” the arrogant fool continued on, but both Bella and her former incarnation had both tuned him out. She was wondering what he had meant about being betrothed, and by Salvatore, if he was referring to Damon or Stefan.

Bella, or her form hadn’t the opportunity to question the man when someone had approached from behind to come to her rescue. “It is rude and highly disrespectful of the lady to intrude on her and her wishes after she had informed you numerous times that she wanted nothing to do with you Lockwood,” Damon interrupted as he leveled a steely gaze on the man.

The two stared one another down for a moment before the other eventually backed down and walked away. “Damon. What has taken you so long?” Bella found herself asking, her modern self watching on in disbelief as she was learning exactly what he may had been holding back from her, but that she needed to remember on her own.

He gave her a small smirk as he pushed a strand of her hair back behind her ear that had fallen out of her pins. “Before you object, I have a surprise for you, but I just need a few more minutes if you would indulge me. I promise I’ll be back soon. I just have a few more things I need to finish,” he pleaded.

She released a dramatic sigh before nodding. “Of course. I assume Stefan is in on this secretive project of yours as well as I have not seen him around town all day?”

“Maybe. I’ll be back soon. Enjoy the Founders Day festivities. I’ll come collect you as soon as I am done,” Damon said as he lean in to Bella’s surprise as they kissed. He paused as if he wanted to say something more but only grinned before running off.

Her eyes took in the gathering but a loneliness crept up inside her. She did not want to be a part of the festivities if Damon was not around and went around the back of the house to head towards the old crypt that was on the land. Bella was along for the ride, watched curiously as the girl took her over an area of the property she hadn’t seen before and wondered if it still stood. She pulled the heavy wrought iron gate open with slightly more strength than she had thought she would have had before stepping inside, slowly following the winding steps down to a small room that was lined with solid stone and iron bars. What the hell is up with this place? Bella wondered.

The body she was in moved forward towards the end of the cells where there was a ledge carved into the stone wall, but Bella could see that there was something off about the stone itself. They were interrupted from doing anything else other than eyeing the area as they heard footsteps behind them. Turning, Bella had instantly been filled with fear but the girl she inhabited didn’t feel any of it.

“Isabelle,” the girl greeted, a devious smile covering her lips. “What a surprise to find you alive – again. I wonder…Do you remember me?”

“Katerina. How could I forget?” Isabelle replied but the resignation in her tone made Bella nervous as she could do nothing but watch everything unfold.

“And you are still just merely a human,” the Katerina girl stated triumphantly as she blurred quickly in front of her. The startling resemblance to that of Elena was so unnerving that she truly had to question their relation more later. “You know, it doesn’t matter how many times you are reborn. I will always find a way to make sure that you are dead before you ever get a taste of true power. I will hunt you down every century to destroy you.”

Bella wasn’t sure what her body’s expression was giving her but this Katerina must not have liked it based on the scowl she was giving. “Katerina. You may have killed me a few times already. I know you will kill me tonight. But you won’t always win. I can assure you of that. You see, I may not have all of the abilities I am meant to have yet but I have begun to receive a few already. And you know what Katerina? I have foreseen a girl that will be no match for you. She will see through your lies and deceit, and despite the hardships she will have experienced, she will find her true partner in the one you will are so shamelessly planning to toy with after killing me. He won’t fall for your games forever either. Once he realizes the spell you put him under, he won’t hesitate to kill you when he gets the chance but it will be my blood that will bring your final breath.”

Katerina let out a shriek as she threw a tantrum before she reached out to claw at the girl, intending to cause her more damage and pain before biting down roughly and feeding aggressively from her neck, causing Isabelle, and Bella, to scream loudly in pain.

~o.O.o~

Stefan arrived at the Swan manor to find a very irritable Damon waiting out on the porch. Raising a confused brow, he glanced towards the door. “I would have thought she’d invite you in,” he commented.

“Oh. She did. We chatted. Had a little heart to heart. Then she threw me the fuck out. What the fuck took you so long?” Damon demanded as he stalked up to his brother. “And she confirmed that she knows about vampires. Cold ones. Knew nothing about us so you can rest easy about her. Right now, I’d be more worried about Katherine because I don’t think that bitch is going to leave town this time until she kills Bella.”

“Back up. Bella kicked you out? Did you tell her about us?” Stefan asked, holding his hands up to try to calm him down, but the motion only seemed to annoy the man more.

Damon scoffed as he begun to pace as he glared at the front door. “Yeah, she knows. She didn’t seem to care one way or another. Either that or it didn’t register with everything else discussed. She told me about these hallucinations she’s been having since she moved to Mystic Falls, only I think they are memories from her past life here.”

“If that’s true, then she would remember us Damon. She didn’t indicate anything at that dinner…”

“She knew the sauce Stefan. Explain that. She may not have all the memories. It could be coming in pieces since she only just got here, who the fuck knows? I don’t know know how this reincarnation shit is working with her. Witchy hasn’t gotten back to either of us yet. Barbie is tucked away at her house until sundown then you have a baby vamp to babysit until she’s trapped by the sun in the morning. Fucking Katherine. I’m going to kill her myself.”

Stefan let out a sigh, fearing that was what his brother was doing when he had contacted him, but at least his friend was safe for the time. “How is she handling the change?”

“Barbie? She fed. She completed it without anyone to hold her hand,” he shrugged, not particularly caring as he went over to the edge of the porch where he pulled himself up to sit on the rail. “She’ll adjust and be fine.”

“We don’t need another Vicky around here,” his brother reminded him, earning an eyeroll.

“It’s Barbie. Do you think she’ll go all blood thirsty on the town? If you do, then I’ll go stake her as soon as I’m sure Bella is fine. I was the one that gave her my damn blood. It’s my responsibility,” Damon muttered but he seemed distracted as he had his attention up on the second floor windows.

“What is it?”

He held up a finger as he listened, extending his hearing. “Bella must have went to lay down for a nap but it doesn’t seem to be a very good one. She’s restless,” he murmured as he continued to focus on the sounds.

“If she’s trying to sleep, then we can come back later to talk to her about everything. Come on Damon –”

A loud, piercing scream reached them, echoing down from the house. Knowing that it could only come from one source, Damon rushed to the door, throwing it open and didn’t hesitate to go in, but Stefan was stuck at the threshold hold. “I haven’t been invited yet. Go. See what’s wrong. I’ll keep an eye out for Katherine in case,” he said, receiving a nod as the vampire disappeared up the stairs.

With a sigh, Stefan looked out over the empty street that seemed to be peaceful and quiet while everyone was, for the most part, at work or oblivious to their everyday lives. He couldn’t help but worry about the danger that Katherine had warned that the girl upstairs meant, but he hoped she would be worth the risk because he knew Damon was jumping in feet first this time.

~o.O.o~