Elijah opened his eyes, taking a sharp breath now the dagger had been removed from his chest. When he could focus, he saw Elena hovering nervously above him.
"Elena. Thank you."
She laid the dagger aside carefully and tucked one strand of her hair behind one ear. "I'm sorry I couldn't get to you earlier. I wanted to, but this is the first time both Klaus and Rebekah have been otherwise occupied."
Elijah sat up, desperately wishing for blood. "Where are they now?"
Elena handed Elijah a blood bag and he was touched at her thoughtfulness.
"Rebekah went on an urgent mission to Chicago, but it's actually a decoy we set up. And Klaus…it's probably best if you see for yourself."
Elijah watched in mounting horror from near the back of the crowd as Klaus, atop a newly erected stage in the town square, spoke of his desire to be elected. There were posters and leaflets, and girls wearing T-shirts with Klaus's face on them handing out badges. This was why his brother had daggered him again? Because one thing was certain: Elijah would not have stood by and let this atrocity happen.
Damon raised an eyebrow. "Since when does your brother have political ambitions?"
Elijah shook his head. "I don't understand. How did this happen?"
"We don't know, exactly," Elena said. "He made Carol Lockwood step down and started compelling people to nominate him to be mayor. He's found some way to nullify the effects of vervain. Almost everyone in town is under his spell."
"Bonnie thinks it's witchcraft," Damon said and rolled his eyes. "Because Bonnie thinks everything is witchcraft. She's looking into it."
"Vampires aren't affected though. Vervain is still working for them – and for me. Maybe it's a doppelganger thing." Elena shrugged helplessly.
Elijah glared at his brother and this uncouth display. If everyone were compelled – and that was bad enough – then why all the Klaus related paraphernalia? It was arrogant, showy, and incredibly bad taste.
Klaus held up a hand for silence. "And, the best reason of all for you to vote for me: If elected mayor, my first act will be to kill the whole lot of you and burn your town to cinders!"
The crowd cheered as if he'd just promised to give them all cupcakes and every Friday off work.
"Ugh, quoting The Simpsons? What a tool. Can't even be bothered to write his own campaign speeches." Damon looked askance at Elena but she wasn't listening, one hand tugging nervously at her skirt.
"I don't know what I can do to stop this," Elijah said. "But we have to find a way."
When Bonnie and Stefan joined them at the boarding house later that day, Bonnie told them she'd found a way to break the spell and restore the protective effects of vervain.
"We've got most of the ingredients," Stefan said, placing two paper sacks onto the dining table.
"I just need blood from an Original," Bonnie said.
Elijah immediately shrugged back his shirt sleeve and sank his teeth into his wrist. "Lucky you rescued me then, isn't it?" he said with a bloody smile.
The spell proved to be a great success. Next day, Klaus sat forlornly on the edge of the stage, surrounded by discarded 'Vote Klaus' leaflets. Someone had even doodled on his posters.
"Don't look so glum," Damon called as he walked past. "Being mayor is a chump's job. All that baby kissing and paperwork. Not your scene at all."
Klaus gave him the finger.