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A Family Forged by Love, Loyalty, and Honor

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Author’s Notes:

First of all, this is the rewritten version of this story.  When I originally outlined this story two years ago, the central relationship was a love triangle between Damon, Bella, and Kol with Kol being the final winner of Bella’s heart and Damon ending up with Rebekah.  However, when I began writing it I didn’t like how it was reading in Bella’s PoV, so I switched it to Jeremy’s PoV.  Suddenly the story got a mind of its own, and next thing I knew Damon was paired with Jeremy, which is weird because I have always believed that acting on Homosexual urges is wrong.  I don’t have the right to tell anyone else what they can or can’t do but writing a gay relationship, especially a male-male one, was very out of character for me.  I mean no disrespect toward those of you who identify as LBGQT.  It’s just not for me even if I do find myself attracted to women.  The story I was writing made me uncomfortable, but I really liked the plot and storyline, so I kept writing. 

Then several months after the story was finished and I had posted the first six or so chapters of the story I got saved and accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior.  After posting a few more chapters because I really love this story I finally decided that continuing to post this story as it was originally written with the homosexual relationship in it was a sin, so I took it down with the intent of rewriting it. 

I considered making Caroline Jeremy’s love interest, but I couldn’t resolve the changes that would need to take place to make that happen.  I pretty much love how the story was and everything minus that one thing, so I decided the easiest thing to do to avoid having to significantly change the feel and plot of the story would be to make Jeremy Elena’s little sister, not her brother.  Long story short, I turned Jeremy into a girl so that I can still share this story without committing a sin… anyways, Jeremy is now Juliet, Elena’s little sister.

I also googled a list of words not allowed on American Television and went in and removed the majority of those words.  There are a few exceptions (four or five instances of the ‘F’ word mostly) but I’ve made a note of their presence in the Author’s Notes before the chapters they’re in begin. 

Anyway, truth is I actually like how the story overall reads now better than I did before.  I made some changes and added a few new things, so if you’ve already read what was previously posted, you’ll probably want to read this version from the start anyways because I did change some stuff.  As I said added some little bits to already existing scenes making them longer and in my humble opinion more fleshed out. 

As for story/back story information:  Juliet was best friends with Vicki despite their large age difference and Juliet later became best friends with Anna and then Bonnie.  She did not date any of them.

Also, if you’re a big fan of Edward, Alice, Stefan, Elena, Bonnie, or Niklaus as the good guys then this probably still isn’t the story for you.  While not all of the characters mentioned above are portrayed as actually evil, they still aren’t portrayed in a positive light.  You have been warned.

The story starts in Episode 10 of Season 03, ‘The New Deal,' of the Vampire Diaries.  I don’t know what the date is in that episode other than it’s a Sunday after school has started for the Fall but before Caroline’s birthday on October 10, so for our purposes that episode happens on Monday, September 13, 2010 (Bella’s Birthday).  The story starts at around 10 p.m. EDT Monday night. 

For our purposes, Bella was born in 1992 not 1987 making September 13, 2010, her 18th birthday. 

I’m also going with Damon being born on June 18, 1841, not 1839 because when the show started it was ‘41 and now in Season 07 (which I haven’t watched) it’s apparently been changed to ‘39 so I’m sticking with ‘41 because it fits my story better.  Therefore, I am also going with him having told people he was 23 in 2009 when the show started so when our story starts in 2010 everyone would believe him to now be 24. 

As for Jasper, he is in the same grade as Bella, not a year ahead of her, and he was turned in March 1865 not 1863

Also, for my story, Elena and Ric aren’t in the room when Damon goes to compel Juliet to leave town, but they and Bonnie are downstairs while he supposedly does it. 

Jake was born January 14, 1993, in this story and has already come into his Wolf form by Bella’s birthday too and she knows about the Wolves by then too.  He started school when he was four and a half years old, so he’s a Senior too.

And yes I know Klaus didn’t get the coffins back, and the Mikaelson Ball didn’t happen until after October 10th in the show, but in my story, they happen within a week of the start of the story.

Also, any Human whom the Human legal homeowner considers a legitimate resident of the home can invite Vampires into a home.  So for instance, Bella can invite Vampires into her and Charlie’s house because although Charlie owns the house she and Charlie both consider it her home.

Furthermore, I know the show has called some male Witches ‘Warlocks, ’ but the word is, I believe, derived from an Old English word that has at various times meant ‘traitor,' ‘scoundrel,' ‘monster,' or ‘the Devil.'  Therefore, it is my belief that Warlocks are actually by definition evil so I will be calling all Witches, including the men, ‘Witches,’ and entirely avoiding the word ‘Warlock’ in reference to good Witches.

Author’s Note for Chapter 001:  Two of Damon’s lines about ‘Terrible Company’ in this chapter are a quote from the show.

 

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A Family Forged by Love, Loyalty, and Honor

A Twilight/Vampire Diaries (TV) Crossover

By Lilly Gray

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Chapter 001

Free Will Is Sacred

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Mystic Falls, Virginia

Monday, September 13, 2010, 10 p.m. EDT

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Juliet’s POV

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Sneaking back into my room from returning Elena’s Diary to its hiding place I sit on my bed, place my laptop in my lap, and begin typing out everything that’s happened in the last 24 hours as quickly as I can.  I pause and replay the day’s events in my mind then type, ‘I chopped off someone’s head today.  I freaking literally chopped a man’s head clean off his shoulders with a freaking meat cleaver from our kitchen.  How messed up is that?  I’m so sick and tired of all this Supernatural crap, but if I hadn’t done what I did Ric would probably be dead despite his wearing his Immortality Ring, and who the hell knows what would have happened to Elena.  This is my life, and I will do anything necessary to protect those I care about from being harmed, even chopping freaking heads off.’

I pause and run my hand through my longer than I would like wavy brown hair that I think desperately needs to be cut then continue writing, ‘I can hear Elena and Bonnie downstairs loudly whining to Damon and Ric about me being in danger.  Elena’s been getting progressively more high-handed and frankly, her attitude that she’s better than me because she’s a freaking Supernatural and I’m not is getting on my last nerve.  She acts as if she’s the only one who’s lost love ones to the Supe World, and therefore she’s the only one allowed to make her own choices.’

I grin while I type, ‘I’ve seen Damon and Ric rolling their eyes at her behind her back, so I know they’re getting fed up with her too.’ 

Then I frown whileI write, ‘Still, she has them both wrapped around her little finger.  I know any minute now Damon’s going to come up here and do what Elena and Bonnie have been loudly begging him to do for the last 45 minutes: compel me to forget everything Supernatural and leave town permanently.  They don’t even have the decency to be stealthy about it either because I can clearly hear them both arguing with Ric about it right now.’ 

I close my eyes for a second then open them and write, ‘I’m surprised that Bonnie seems to agree with Elena.  That new piece of knowledge hurts and causes a sharp pain in my chest because I trusted her, and now she’s betraying that trust in an epic manner especially if you take into account all of our incredibly long talks about Damon and Elena compelling me to forget about the details of Vicki’s death.  I told her how much I hate that my memories were messed with and that I know that there is a hole there where the memories should be.  Yet she’s still betraying my trust by siding with Elena and trying to convince Ric and Damon to compel me yet again.  Then again I trust Damon and Ric too, and I’m still 70% confident they’re going to cave and do what Princess Elena tells them to do just like freaking everybody else in this messed up town.’ 

My frown deepens while I type, ‘So I know it’s only a matter of time until Damon walks up those stairs and compels me.  Because Tyler got me off of Vervain so Klaus could make an example out of me, there’s nothing I can really do about it, which of course pisses me off even more.’

I do have a semi-plan in place though because I’ve been using my scanner to scan Elena’s diary in its entirety into a PDF on my computer and have continued to do so every time I’m at the house and she’s not.  I even managed to get her entry about today while she’s downstairs arguing with the others to get Damon to compel me to leave town. 

I also started keeping a journal of my own that I’m just finishing writing all of today’s events in.  So they may take my memories away, but I’ll at least get the knowledge they’re stealing back. 

After I speculate about Damon coming and compelling me I type a few more words in telling my journal, ‘Elena and Bonnie are pushing hard for Damon to compel me.  I can’t hear Ric, but it seems like he’s arguing against it, and Damon is apparently fighting them because they’ve been arguing with him about it for almost 45 minutes.  It's a shame that his caving in is inevitable, but at least he’s fighting for me and my rights.’  

I’ve been very careful not to leave any of my entries on the screen anytime anyone else might see them.  I also named my journal ‘Varney the Vampire’, and Elena’s diary is ‘Bram Stoker’s Dracula’ because she hates those sorts of books, especially now that she knows that Vampires are real.  That way if she comes across either file she won’t bother opening them.

I’m done with my entry, so I put a digital sticky note telling me, ‘Read ‘Varney’ and ‘Dracula’ if you no longer live in Mystic Falls,’ on the desktop.  When I finish that I then close my laptop and put it in my backpack, so no one will see it or ask what I was doing on it, or that’s my hope anyway.

I’ve just sat back down on my bed with my sketchbook in hand when Damon knocks on the door and then comes in without waiting for me to invite him in.  I scowl at him, and then I narrow my eyes while I ask, “Is it time to compel the ‘child’ and take away her ability to make her own choices?”

He shakes his head in the negative before he sits beside me on the bed and stares at a spot by my desk for a minute before he shakes his head again and then softly says, “Jules, I need you to stay silent and listen to what I’m going to tell you.  If your sister or Bonnie find out that I’m disobeying them and actually giving you a choice they’ll figure out a way to force me to compel you, and it will probably involve Bonnie’s mind frying trick, okay?”

Wait he’s going to disobey them?  Hope blooms in my chest before I nod in response with wide eyes, so he nods back and moves closer to me, which causes my pulse to race for reasons I don’t care to think about right now.  With a lowered voice, he tells me, “Princess Elena and Sabrina the Teenage Bitch have decided it’s too damn dangerous for you to stay here, so they want me to compel you to move to Forks, Washington to stay with some guy, named Charlie.  Elena said he was your mom’s best friend growing up.”

I nod and ask perhaps a little louder than I should, “Seriously Damon, she wants me to go stay with Charlie Swan?”

Damon frowns and motions with his one hand as if he’s pushing something down and brings his other hand to his mouth to shh me with his finger against his lips.  Frowning he tells me, “Why don’t you say it a little louder, Jules, so she knows I’m not compelling you like I told her I would?  Neither of us will get a say in what happens if she comes up here to supervise your compulsion.”

My shoulders slump before I lower my voice and tell him, “Sorry, so I guess you have a plan?”

Damon’s frown lessens significantly, and he nods while he says, “I do, I want you to go…”  He holds up his hand when my mouth opens to argue, “Hear me out.”  When I nod he continues, “I want you to go to Washington, but you won’t be going alone because I’m certain once you disappear from here Klaus will track you down.  Then you’ll be up against him or his Hybrids all by yourself.  I’ll admit you’re smart so you might figure out a way to keep yourself safe, but you’d be fighting against Klaus all by yourself so… anyway, fact of the matter is I need to get the hell out of this town, and you’re not terrible company.”

He smiles when he says I’m not terrible company, which sends a thrill down my spine, and a suspicious warmth spreads through my chest as butterflies begin dancing in my stomach.  His frown returns a moment later before he says, “Anyway, I’ve known some other Witches besides the Bennett’s, and I have a bunch of their Grimoires stored away.  So this is what I propose, I will offer to drive you to Washington so that there won’t be any record of you flying anywhere.  Your sister and Sabrina, I hope, will say yes when they realize that leaving a paper trail for Klaus to follow is a dangerous idea.  When we get there, you and I can tell Elena over the phone that I’ll leave in a few days once I know for sure you’re safe from anything Supernatural, and you can tell her a few days later that I left.  However, I won’t be leaving you to fend for yourself.  Instead, I’ll stick around, and we can spend all the time you’re not in school reading the Grimoires, and we’ll figure out a way to kill Klaus before he kills anyone else we care about.  So what do you say?”

I sit for a minute.  The raven haired vampire thinks I’m smart?  Smart enough to get myself out of a Supernatural jam even?  He wants to come with me?  I frown and ask, “Not that I’m complaining because seriously I’m really not, but why are you telling me all of this instead of just compelling me and doing what my sister wants like everyone else always does?”

Damon frowns and then leans in closer before he says, “Multiple reasons, three of which I still owe you for, one, I killed your best friend and turned her into a monster who had to be staked to protect you and Elena.  I owe you for that.  Two, I took away your memories of what happened to Vicki without consulting you about it first because it’s what your sister wanted.  I owe you for that.  Three, I killed you when I tried to turn my switch back off after your sister rebuffed my proclamations of love.  Despite the fact that I got very lucky, and you were wearing Jonathan Gilbert’s ring, and even though I apologized after it happened, as far as I’m concerned I still owe you for that too, and honestly I probably will for a very long time to come.  Four, and if you ever tell anyone I said this I’ll kill you for real, but I actually like you.  You’re funny, smart, loyal, and honorable.  You fight for what you believe in, and you do your best to protect those you care about.  You and Ric are pretty much the first real friends I’ve had since I was turned.  And with that fact in mind, five, friends don’t force their friends to do things they don’t want to do.  I heard you loud and clear, Jules.  You don’t want your memories messed with or others making your decisions for you.  You might not be 18 yet, but you sure as hell should have the right to make your own choices in this situation, and yeah physically you’re weaker than most of the rest of us, but you’re smart, and you’ve helped us just as much as the others have.  It’s wrong to take away your right to choose.”

More butterflies erupt in my stomach at his words.  Before I can say anything in response though his frown deepens.  He sighs then tells me, “Feeding Elena my blood and taking away her choice, well when I realized what exactly I had done and that she would hate me for the rest of eternity if she woke up a Vampire I finally figured out that freewill is sacred.  I almost pulled the same crap Stefan did to me, and she would have been right to hate me for eternity just like I hate him.  He took my freewill, Elena’s was almost taken by me, and now she’s trying to take yours, again.  And yeah I’m a jackass most of the time, but I really did hear you when you told us that you don’t want anyone messing with your head or taking your choices away again.” 

He smiles slightly as he continues, “So now, I’m going against everyone else’s wishes and giving you a choice.  I realize it’s a sucky choice because you’ll have to act as though we’re both behaving and doing what they want us to do, but in the long run, it’ll be your choice, Jules, not theirs.  I’ll do it whichever way you want.  I can compel you to forget and leave this town for good like Elena wants me to, or I can help you get away from this God forsaken town and your sister’s crap, and we can team up and try to find a way to save your sister and kill Klaus on our own.”

I smile and tell him, “I like you too Damon, and don’t worry I’ll never tell anyone you admitted that I’m your friend or that you like me.”

We both laugh under our breaths then I ask, “You really think the answer is in one of the books you have?”

Damon shrugs and staring at the spot by my desk again with his brows furrowed he says, “Honestly, I have no idea, but it’s worth a shot.  I think we both know Sabrina will try to commandeer the books if she finds out I have them even if I tell her that I swore to hold them until I meet someone named Isabella.  Isabella will, when we meet, be about to come into her powers and will need the books.  No one but you and Ric would believe me, and everyone else would think it’s too dangerous for me to have them.  Plus, I’m relatively sure I’m not going to meet Isabella here, so if we leave here we might actually be able to find her, and then we’ll have one more person trying to help us stop the psycho from building a Hybrid army and taking over the world.”

He sighs again and then looks me in the eyes before he tells me, “Honestly, I need to get away and clear my head and get rid of whatever this is that I have with your sister.  My relationships with her and Stefan are just not healthy, and besides like I said you’re not terrible company.” 

I smile at that and wonder if the Isabella he’s supposed to meet might be Charlie’s daughter Bella.  I haven’t seen or talked to her in three years, but last I heard she still lived in Arizona with her mom, so I dismiss the thought for the time being.  Instead, I tell him, “Tell me what you’re supposed to compel me to know, and then we’ll see if I’m a better liar than my sister.”

Damon smiles with a small chuckle and tells me, “Oh, my money says that when you’re properly motivated, you’re definitely the better liar.”

I laugh at that too then when we’ve both calmed some he tells me, “Anyhow, I’m supposed to compel you to want to stay with Charlie Swan to get away from the bad memories of all those you’ve lost here.  I’m expected to make you forget about the Supernatural and tell you to live a normal, happy, and carefree life.  Your sister wants me to make you never look back or want to return to Mystic Falls.”

He frowns and then asks me, “Despite my money saying you’re the better liar, do you want me to compel you to be an even better liar?  I can do it so that you’ll know the compulsion is there, and I’ll leave an escape clause so I can remove it when we leave.”

I frown back.  Do I trust the vampire not to do as Elena told him to?  The truth is, yes, I trust Damon with my life, therefore I decide to trust him on this too, so I say, “Maybe you should just to be safe.  You promise you won’t do what Elena wanted you to do?”

He smiles reassuringly at me and puts his hand on my shoulder squeezing slightly before he tells me, “I give you my word, Jules; I’m not going to take away your memories or force you to do anything without your permission.  I’ll just take away your ability to tell anyone what we’ve decided and make you seem to agree with everything they want.  Then as soon as we cross the town line, we’ll pull over, and I’ll take the compulsion off of you.”

It sounds like a good plan, so I nod and tell him, “Okay, do it.”

Damon drops his hand and turns his whole body so that his left knee is resting on the bed with his foot hanging off and he’s facing me completely.  Mimicking him before he looks deep into my eyes, I smile when I notice that his very ocean blue eyes have specks of lighter and darker cerulean in them that almost make them seem to sparkle.  When his pupils dilate, he tells me, “You won’t tell Elena, Bonnie, Caroline, or Stefan about our plans.  You will act as if you want to go to Washington and get away from the memories here.  You will act as though you agree with Elena and the others when they say you’ll be better off and happier there.  You will pretend you have no memory that the Supernatural is real or that Stefan, Caroline, and I are Vampires or that Bonnie is a Witch and your sister is the current Petrova Doppelgänger and constantly in danger.  You also will act like you don’t know that Katherine exists.  You will pretend you have no memory of Klaus or any of the other Originals being Vampires or any of their plans.  You will do all of that until I tell you otherwise.  You will not forget our conversation just now, and you will be able to tell when this compulsion is working.”

He pauses, and I repeat everything he just said back to him, and then he smiles, and his pupils return to normal before he winks at me and says, “You’ll be happier there.”

Just then, Elena comes to the doorway, so I mimic what I just did and what I’ve seen other people do when they were being compelled, and say in a sort of flat voice, “Yes, I’ll be happier there.”

Damon pats me on the shoulder, and then he gets up and walks to Elena before he whispers, “Can I talk to you, Ric, and Bonnie for a minute?  Something occurred to me that we need to deal with.”

She frowns but nods and leads him out to the stairwell but not before he looks back at me and winks again, which causes the butterflies in my stomach to start break dancing.  Maybe going on a road trip with Damon isn’t the best idea, but I made my choice, and there’s no going back at this point.

I sneak out to the stairs and listen in while Damon says, “It occurs to me that sending Jules on a plane will leave a really obvious paper trail that anyone can follow to find her.  Because we’ll all be here and she’ll be alone without any memory that the Supernatural exists that’s a horrible idea, so I think I should drive her there myself, scope out the locals, make sure no Supes are living nearby, and then come back.”

Elena frowns but says, “Damon, I’m not so sure.”

Ric jumps in, “He’s right Elena.  We need Jules just to disappear, and driving across the country is the best way to do that.  Plus, making sure no Supes are living nearby that might pose a threat is an excellent idea.”

The frown in her voice is evident when Bonnie says, “I think we can trust Damon to get her there safely, especially because he knows how angry you’ll be if he lets anything happen to your sister.  Plus, I’ll fry his brain if one hair on Jules’ body gets displaced without her permission.”

My fists clench and my nostrils flare while she speaks.  As if she actually cares whether I give my permission for anything to happen.  Jeez Damon really is the only one who seems to care what I want.  And can we say bitch?  I don’t care what Damon’s done, and yeah most of his history is pretty bad I can admit, but does she have to be so condescending and patronizing?  She should show a little freakin’ respect.  I mean the man is just under 170 years old and has managed to survive the Supe world for more than 145 of those years.  We’ve only been in the Supe world for about a year, and the only reason we survived on several occasions is that Damon was on our side.  That alone makes him deserving of a little respect especially because he didn’t have to save any of us if he didn’t want to.

I chuckle softly while I imagine Damon rolling his eyes at her words like he usually does when someone treats him that way, which sadly is pretty often.

A second later Elena says, “Okay, but maybe Ric could go with them, just to be safe.”

Ric sighs, but it’s Bonnie who says, “He has to work, Elena.”

The vampire hunter clears his throat and tells them, “I actually recently got offered a job in Forks.  An old college buddy of mine is the principal at the High School there, and one of his history teachers had a heart attack and is being forced into early retirement.  I was going to decline the offer, but I’m still within the window of opportunity to accept the position.  I could go with them, and once Damon confirms there are no other Supes in the area that pose a threat to Jules I could stay up there and keep an eye on things just to make sure no one finds out where she is.  Technically, Elena is now an adult, so I’m no longer her guardian, but I’m still Jules’ legal guardian until she turns 18 so I could get a house there that no Vamps have been invited into and keep her safe.”

He pauses then says, “I can still help you guys research, just long distance.  I already gave you all detailed directions on how to make the weapons I usually supply us with, but in reality, it might be best not to leave Jules completely unprotected, especially because you had Damon remove her knowledge of the Supernatural.  She’ll be at a severe disadvantage should any of Klaus’ Hybrids manage to find her.  With me there, it at least gives her a shot at surviving.”

The tone of Bonnie’s voice is hesitant, so I know she’s frowning when she says, “So you and Damon will both be gone, and Stefan is still off the rails even if he is now free of Klaus’ compulsion.  Is this a good idea?”  Ah, so apparently she is aware of the fact that Damon and Ric are usually the only reason we all come out of the situations we get ourselves into in one piece.

Damon speaks up, and I can hear his smirk from my spot at the top of the stairs when he says, “Oh I’m sure you, Vampire Barbie, Wonder Boy, and Xena Princess Warrior, here, can handle whatever comes up.  None of you do what Ric and I tell you should be done anyway.  This way you can just do whatever the hell you want and not have to worry about arguing with us about it first.  You can also save yourselves the hassle of the arguments and our saying ‘I told you so’ afterward too.”

I chuckle as quietly as I can at his words, but it’s sadly true.  Damon and Ric are almost always the ones with the plan that ends up working best.  Still, we almost always do it Elena and Bonnie’s way first, and then Damon and Ric’s backup plan that they form and put in place without Elena knowing allows them to come in and save Elena and company from themselves and whatever baddie they were fighting.

I’m brought out of my thoughts a moment later, and I frown when Elena says, “Okay I want you all to leave tomorrow morning.  The sooner you’re all gone, the better.”  Jeez, thanks for caring, Sis.  She backs up to the foot of the stairs before she turns towards Ric and tells him, “I’m going to head to bed now because it’s been a long day, okay?”

I know he’s nodding even before he says, “Sure, we’ll see you in the morning before we leave.”

I hurry back to my room and start taking my clothes out of my drawers and placing them in piles on my bed. The sounds of my sister’s footsteps as she comes up the stairs echo in my ears, and then Elena sticks her head in the doorway and says, “Good night, Jules.  I really do think you’ll be happier there.”

I force a smile onto my face, and I feel the compulsion working, before I say, “I know.  I do too.  Goodnight, Elena.”

She smiles obviously pleased with herself then she goes into her room and shuts her door.  A minute later, she comes to the bathroom door and closes that door too.  I walk over to the bathroom door on my side and softly shut the door before locking it and returning to my packing. 

Five minutes later, more footsteps on the stairs reach my ears in my room, and then Bonnie is standing in my doorway.  Her face is puffy, and her runny makeup tells me she's been crying even though she smiles a watery smile at me and says, “I’ll be in school when you leave tomorrow, so I just wanted to come up and say goodbye.”

Despite the compulsion, the urge to roll my eyes at her is incredibly high.  I only just barely succeed in resisting the urge before I tell her, “I’ll miss you, Bon, but I’ll be happier there.”

Another tear travels down her cheek, and that urge to roll my eyes is back.  Instead, I frown and walk to her wiping the tear from her cheek before I say, “I really do think this is for the best Bonnie.  Besides, I’ll only be a phone call away, and there’s this neat new invention you might have heard of.  It’s called email.”

She laughs and nods.  Then she throws her arms around me before telling me, “Stay safe, Jules.”

I hug her back and nod before I say, “I will, you too.”

She nods as she pulls away.  She looks at me for a minute then turns and walks to the door.  She stops in the doorway and without turning back to face me, she says, “I’ll miss you.”  Then she walks through the door, and a second later her footsteps from walking down the stairs echo in my ears even louder than before. 

I frown and shake my head before I return to my packing.  Sure she’ll miss me, but it’s not enough to cause her to fight for my right to stay here or choose the course of my own life. 

About ten minutes later, the thumps of more footsteps on the stairs reach my ears, and I figure Ric is going to come say goodnight to me.  A moment later Ric and Damon are standing in my doorway.  They knock, then enter my room, and shut the door before Ric quietly says, “I’m sorry, Jules.  I know how much you wanted your sister to respect your wishes.”

My eyes widen, and I say, maybe a little louder than I should, “You know what Damon and I are doing?”

He smiles and nods but puts his finger to his lips indicating I should keep my voice down.  He tilts his head to try and hear if Elena heard me before he says in a soft, quiet voice, “Damon and I figured it was only a matter of time before Elena would order him to compel you to leave.  We came up with the basics of this plan just in case.  The fact that she’s sending you to Forks and I just got offered a position there is pure luck, but I was always planning to go with you guys.”

This is yet another instance of one of their backup plans saving the day, so I smile while he continues his thought, “I’m pretty sure Bonnie and Caroline will be able to keep them all from getting themselves killed while we’re off trying to find the info we need.  Damon was right too when he said they ignore our advice and do what they want anyway so us being away won’t really have an effect on things, not really anyway.  Besides I’m a good researcher, and I can read, write, and speak, many languages including several Damon thinks will help with his books.”

He pauses then adds, “Anyway, after everything that happened earlier today I figured that today was the day Elena was going to order him to compel you, so when I got home from the hospital I packed what little I had unpacked.  Do you need help packing because she wants us all gone tomorrow morning?”

I nod so they help me get boxes and my luggage out of the attic, and then we pack up my stuff.  I turn eight shades of red while I pile my underwear drawer into my suitcase.  Damon picks up a pair of purple panties and spins it on his finger before he says, “Jules, I have to say I expected boring and plain cotton, but all you’ve got here is satin and lace in all sorts of eye-catching colors.  What other lovely things are you hiding underneath your tomboy persona?”

I blush deeply and grab the pair of panties off of his finger before shoving it deep into my suitcase and telling him with far more attitude than I actually feel, “Wouldn’t you like to know.”

He nods deeply and says, “I’m a man, Jules, of course, I want to know what kind of pretties a hot girl wears under her plain, yet surprisingly sexy, tomboy clothes.  In fact, the idea of you with satin and lace under your clothes is far more intriguing than a girlie girl like Elena wearing satin and lace.  That’s practically expected, but this pile of pretty things you’re trying so hard to hide under your t-shirts is incredibly unexpected.  I have to admit the idea of you in any of those lacy things is well, like I said I’m a guy, so I’m sure you can guess what my opinion and train of thought are on that subject.”  He sneaks his hand Vampire fast under my t-shirts and comes out of the pile with a bra that is lime green satin with a black lace overlay that he holds up towards me as though he’s trying to picture me in it and nothing else.

I’m turning eight shades of red as I grab the bra out of his hands and shove it back under my shirts.  I look up and see that Ric is blushing too, but he saves the day by telling Damon, “Okay this whole conversation is entirely inappropriate given our ages versus hers so knock it off, Damon.”

I can’t keep my giggle to myself when the vampire pouts and opens his mouth, no doubt to say something lecherous.  Ric holds up his hand though and tells him, “Whatever you’re about to say, keep it to yourself.  I am her legal guardian, and if you insist on continuing this conversation, you need to do it some other time when I’m not in the room.  Even then as her guardian I have a sneaking suspicion I’m supposed to object to a 24-year-old grown man flirting with the 15-year-old that’s been left in my care.  Plus, that’s not even taking into consideration that you’re actually less than a year shy of 170 years old not 24 like your driver’s license says.”

Damon chuckles at the pained face Ric is wearing and says, “Steal all my fun why don’t you,” then he turns back to me and winks before he moves to the shelves with my video games on them and begins putting them into a box.  Those butterflies are slam dancing because of not only that whole conversation Ric just thankfully put an end to but also because of that wink.  God, I need to get a grip.  Damon’s just kidding around and doesn’t actually see me that way no matter how badly I might wish he did.

I go back to packing my clothes, jeans this time, and before I know it the room is practically empty of all of my belongings.  At about two thirty in the morning Damon smiles and says, “Wow, we did that pretty fast and we didn’t even use Vamp speed.”

I laugh at that then he looks at us and says, “You guys get some sleep.  I’ve been discreetly packing since we came up with this plan, but I still have the stuff I’ve been using every day to pack, so I’ll go finish packing my stuff, and I’ll meet you guys here at 10 a.m. okay?”

We nod and Damon walks to the door followed by Ric.  The raven haired man stops in the doorway effectively blocking Ric’s escape route and turns and tells me, “Have sweet dreams, Jules, or if you’re as deliciously wicked as your panties suggest naughty dreams.”

I’m turning red again before Ric slaps Damon’s chest and tells him, “Damon, do you even know how to behave?”

Damon shakes his head no to indicate that he, in fact, has absolutely no clue how to behave and then he smirks and I work hard to keep the shiver that slides down my spine as a result of that pantie dropping smile from being obvious just before Damon says, “What?  If I said what I really wanted to say I would have told her to have naughty dreams of me.”

I giggle hysterically while Ric groans and then obviously deciding against arguing with Damon over the issue he just pushes the older man through the door, and they both leave my room.  I’m smiling like a ninny while I change into my light blue t-shirt and light and dark blue flannel shorts that serve as my pajamas and then lay down after setting my alarm for 8 a.m.  While I lay there, a slow pleased smile settles firmly across my face.  I’m getting the hell out of here, and my two best friends are coming with me.  My smile widens.  Damon made a choice.  He chose me and my happiness over Elena and her happiness.  That has to mean something right?  It must mean something; Damon must care more about me than he does her.  I close my eyes and drift towards sleep with a huge smile on my face, and don’t you know, I have naughty dreams of Damon all night long and well into the morning.

Chapter Text

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Chapter 002

It Takes a Lot to Impress Me, but That Might Actually Do It

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Mystic Falls, Virginia

Tuesday, September 14, 2010, 9 a.m. EDT

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I’m up, showered, dressed, fed, and collecting the rest of my things by nine.  At five to ten, Damon knocks on the door.  Ric follows him out to the Camaro, which has a trailer hooked up to it.  After a bit of maneuvering, they manage to get the trailer disconnected from the car and then hooked up to Ric’s SUV with Damon’s Camaro on it.  I smile and take about 200 photos of them on my DSLR while they move around trying to get the trailer hooked up.  When they finish, I go back into the house.

I’m bringing down my last bag and box when Damon comes in and begins moving the few things we’re not shipping that are sitting in the living room out to the cars.  He fills his car first, the trunk, back seat, and even the entire front seat.  Because he packed his car first, there is nothing in the SUV, which seems odd to me but I don’t question him or his reasons.

I take a few selfies of me and Damon and me and Ric while we move boxes and bags out to the car with the DSLR my dad bought me just before he died.  I’m planning to document our trip with the camera I haven’t actually used since my parents died.

I convince a reluctant Elena to take a few selfies and then by half past ten the car is full, Ric has just finished giving all of his boxes and 99.99% of mine that we’re shipping to Forks to the UPS driver, and I have my arms full of my bawling sister.  It doesn’t last long though because her tears abruptly shut off, and she stands up straight after a second.  I kiss her forehead before the compulsion has me tell her, “This is for the best Elena.  I’ll be happy there.”

She nods and says, “Hurry back Damon.  I’ll miss you,” then without waiting for a reply or giving a glance back at her sister who is moving across the country she picks up her book bag that’s laying at her feet and goes to her car getting in without another word and closes the door behind her.  Earlier she mentioned going to school late today, so she could see us off, so I shrug when Ric and Damon both have clenched fists, and Damon’s eyes are narrowed while he breathes kind of heavily.  Damn, he’s hot when he’s angry.

Anyway, once I can’t see her car anymore we get in Ric’s SUV, and we’re off.  I take a picture of the ‘Thank You for Visiting Mystic Falls, Please Come Again,’ sign when we pass the city limits.  A moment later Damon keeps his word and says, “Pull over Ric, I have a promise to keep.”

He pulls over on the side of the road, and Damon twists his body in the front passenger seat, so he’s facing me then he says, “Look at me, Jules.”

My eyes snap to his and after his pupils dilate he says, “The compulsion I gave you last night is now removed.  You can once again do all the things I told you not to do last night and completely disregard the guidelines I gave you for what you can and cannot admit to knowing.”

I smile as I repeat what he said, and then he looks away briefly before looking at me again and telling me, “There, promise kept.”

I smile wider and place my hand over his on the back of his seat and ignoring the current of electricity our touch causes I tell him, “Thanks, Damon, not just for removing the compulsion like you said you would but for giving me a choice too.  I don’t think I had a chance to thank you last night, so thank you.  You probably don’t want to hear this, but you’re a good friend, Damon Salvatore.  Ric and I are lucky to have you.”

Ric nods while Damon’s eyes get wide at my words, but he just sort of half frowns and half smiles before he says, “No problem, Little Gilbert.”

A moment later Ric pulls back onto the road and drives three towns over where we stop at a storage facility.  After Ric puts the third-row seats and the right side second-row seat under the floor, we fill the SUV with boxes. 

While I’m helping carry another box I ask, “Damon, it’s a lucky thing I’ve been working out.  These are some heavy ass boxes.  What’s in them?”

He laughs and says, “These are the Grimoires I told you about last night, well some of them anyway.  When we get to Forks, we’ll get the rest of them.”

I nod and carry one more box and place it in the second row, on top of another box, beside where I’ll be sitting behind the driver.  The SUV is now completely full except for the seats, Ric, Damon, and I will be sitting in.  Once we’re driving again, Damon turns in the front passenger seat and looks at us before saying, “So last night I felt a presence watching us from about the time I first went up to Jules’ room.  When I got to the Boarding House, I confronted it even though I couldn’t see it.  Anyway, we were still outside, so it wrote in the gravel that it was Charlie Swan’s daughter, Isabella.” 

He smirks and tells us, “She gave me her number, so I texted her this morning not expecting her to be up because we’re three hours ahead of her.  However, she texted right back.  Stefan left shortly after I got home and he was God only knows where for the rest of the night and morning and therefore not at home to overhear my conversation with her, so she called me.  We talked for over an hour and a half while I boxed my crap up and then gave it to the UPS driver.  She promised to call back again when she gets out of school.”

Ric and I nod, and we all shoot the breeze for a few hours while I snap random shots of us and the passing scenery, being sure to get the ‘Welcome to West Virginia’ Sign.  I think I’m planning to get each sign for every State we enter on our journey.  Anyway, around one my stomach growls, so we stop at a diner for lunch.  I even take shots of the food, which is pretty good, and when we’re done Damon smiles and says, “I need to go eat my special diet too.” 

I watch while he walks over to a girl who’s been giving him flirty smiles the whole time we’ve been here, and I take a shot of them talking then I follow when he leads her towards the bathrooms.  He looks at me with furrowed brows and pursed lips when I walk into the bathroom behind them, and I just shrug and say, “I want to watch.”

He shrugs back, and when his facial features smooth out he says, “Okay,” then he turns back to her and compels her, “You will stand still, and you won’t scream.”  She repeats his words, and then he turns his face and looks at me just before his Vampire face appears and instead of the dark veins around his eyes, the blood filling them, or even his long fangs scaring me I think he’s the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.  He smirks, which shoots right through my body while I admit he’s kind of sexy with his fangs showing, then he turns back to the girl and leans down and bites her neck taking a few swallows.  A minute or two later he pulls back and after his face returns to normal he positions her collar to hide the bite mark and tells her, “You met a guy last night who was a little rough, and he bit you, but you think you kind of liked it.” 

She smiles, and she repeats his words back to him before he says, “You won’t remember my friend or me.”

She smiles wider and says, “I won’t remember you or your friend.”

Damon and I leave her there and head back to the main room to find that Ric paid while we were busy.

When we get back in the car, Damon turns to look at me and asks, “Not freaked out?”

I snap a shot of his face with his eyebrows drawn together and his eyes flitting all around the car never landing on me for longer than a second or two.  Then I shake my head, “Nah, I know from when Anna fed on me just how good that probably felt for her, so no I’m not freaking out.”

I frown thinking of how hard my sister has tried to pretend that Damon and Stefan are just ‘enhanced’ Humans.  They’re not Human.  They’re Vampires.  I know and accept that fact, so I smile a warm smile at him while he looks at me and I tell him as sincerely as I can manage, “Truth is you’re a Vampire, Damon.  Nothing any of us do will ever change that, and even if we could, I’m not Elena.  You seem to like who, and what you are, so I don’t want to fundamentally change either thing although I also don’t condone killing innocent people.  So basically as long as you don’t go around slaughtering innocent people I won’t try to change what you are.”

I pause and try to put all of my gratitude into my next words, “The fact that you’re a Vampire has saved multiple lives in the last year, mine and Elena’s included.  I’d be an ungrateful bitch if I threw that in your face by wanting to change what you are when it’s inconvenient to me.”

His eyes widen at that, so I smile and continue telling him, “Anyhow, I really have no desire to change who or what you are.  For the record I think fundamentally, underneath all the layers of snark and pseudo bad attitude, you’re a good guy, at least when your switch is on anyhow.  So I don’t consider expecting you not to kill innocent people as trying to change you.  And if you stick to not killing decent people then I’ll put up with your snark and moody attitude and won’t try to dictate whether you feed from the source or from blood bags, the choice is ultimately yours, not mine.  And don’t worry I won’t even bother trying to get you to, how have you put it?  Oh yeah, I won’t try to make you eat Thumper.  I’m guessing based on the faces and comments you make at Stefan that Thumper tastes disgusting.”

He nods while he laughs and then smiles, so I snap another shot before he says, “You have no idea just how awful the animal diet tastes, so thank you, Jules.”

I nod, “That’s what friends do Damon they accept their friends completely with whatever faults and idiosyncrasies they come with because the good they bring to the relationship outweighs the negatives.  And, yes, I realize calling Vampirism a negative is pretty much the understatement of the millennium, but really it’s a small part of who you are, and as I said what you are has saved lives that would have been lost if you were Human.  Besides, when it comes down to it, I like you… just the way you are… snark and all.”

Damon’s eyes get big at that last part, but he’s saved by the bell as just then his phone rings.  He nods before he looks at the Caller ID, and then with a frown on his face he picks up and puts it on speakerphone, “Isa, you can’t possibly be out of school already.  It’s not even 3 p.m. here, and we’re a few hours ahead of you still.”

She laughs, “Well Damon, my boyfriend is MIA today.  Therefore, I have nothing better to do during my free period, so I figured I’d find a quiet corner away from everyone and call you guys.  I already talked to Mrs. Peterson this morning after I got off the phone with you, and she said she’s willing to rent the place sight unseen as long as Alaric calls Charlie and gives him the info he needs to run a background check.”

Ric smiles and hands Damon his phone before the hunter says, “Isabella—”

She interrupts him to tell him, “Please, just call me Bella.”

Ric smiles wider and says, “Okay, Bella, well I’m Alaric, but you can call me Ric.  If you give us Charlie’s work number, I’ll have Damon put it on my phone right now, and I’ll call when we get off the phone with you and give your dad all the information he might need.”

I can hear the smile in her voice when she says, “Sure,” and then she gives the number, which Damon types into Ric’s phone while Ric holds Damon’s phone with his right hand and drives with his left.  Then she pauses a minute and asks, “Is Juliet there?”

I smile and lean forward so she can, I hope, hear me better and tell her, “I’m here Belly, feel free to call me Jules if you want like you used to when we were little, all my friends still do.”

“Okay, then Jules, did you get your records from your old school?”

I frown but Ric steps in while Damon takes his phone back, “I got them for her, and I sent them to Forks High School this morning via my personal email.  Forks should have them and because I used my email account instead of having the school do it Klaus shouldn’t be able to figure out where the records were sent.  Therefore, Jules should be able to start attending classes there a day or two after we arrive.  I think if Damon and I take turns driving, and we stop after 12 or 14 hours every day we’ll get there by Friday afternoon, so she can come to the school with me on Monday and begin taking classes then.”

The frown in her voice is apparent when she asks, “Uh why would you be coming to the High School?”

Ric laughs, “I’m the new history teacher.”

She laughs back and says, “Oh cool.”  She pauses then lowers her voice and says, “So, Damon, you told me you’re a Traditional Vampire, which is different than a Cold One, which is what my Boyfriend and his family are, but you didn’t really go into specifics about the differences.”

Damon smiles and tells all of us, “Well because I don’t think Ric or Jules know much, if anything, about Cold Ones I’ll explain about both species.”

We nod so while I snap another photo he says, “Okay, so I’m what’s referred to in Supernatural circles as a Traditional Vampire.  Although, usually if a Supe uses the word ‘Vampire’ they’re referring to my species, not a Cold One because they’re almost always called ‘Cold Ones.'  Incidentally, the term ‘Werewolf’ usually refers to Traditional Werewolves and the term ‘Shapeshifter’ is generally used for anyone else who shifts shape although there is some overlap if the Shapeshifter turns into a Wolf.

“Anyway, I went into transition because I had Vampire Blood in my system at the time of my death.  I finished the transformation by drinking Human Blood after waking up in transition.  You usually have about 24 hours give or take to make the final choice.  Although I speak from personal experience when I say that toward the end of that 24 hours it’s incredibly painful, and if you find yourself near an open wound or another blood source your survival instincts will take over, and you’ll feed even if you don’t really want to.”

He pauses with unfocused eyes, and then his eyes refocus and find mine before he continues, “The older my kind is the significantly stronger, more powerful, and faster we are with better senses.   Our Vampire Gifts like weather control, shadow control, compulsion, and the use of Familiars get significantly stronger with age too.  Although provided we feed on Humans and not Animals most Vampires can do all those things from the get-go.  My brother, for example, could do all that stuff just as well as I could from the moment we completed the transition.  However, now that he’s been on the Thumper diet for most of the last 60 years he can barely compel a feeble person never mind someone opinionated.  Whereas I’m even better at all the things I mentioned than I was even ten years ago never mind 146 years ago.”

Wow does their diet really affect it that much?  I had no idea.  I mean I figured the animal diet made Stefan weaker than if he ate Humans but Damon’s making sound like it’s an even bigger deal than I realized.  He continues by saying, “We get a lot better and stronger at it the more time goes by, which would include Stefan if he ate Humans but the animal diet severely affected those abilities.”

He pauses then sighs and looks me in the eye before he says, “Not to bring up a sore subject, Jules, but I broke Stefan’s compulsion on Vicki in a matter of seconds because he eats animals, not Humans.  My compulsions on the other hand can’t be broken by anyone but me.  Well maybe an Original might be able to compel the person to do the opposite of what I told them to do, but they’re over 1,000 years old so it might just be their age and not that they’re the Originals.  Either way, they’re infinitely stronger than me, and I’m even a greater percentage stronger than Stefan, and we were both turned the same night by the same woman, so the difference in our abilities is solely from our chosen diets.”

He smiles then says, “Anyhow, the age of our Sire when we’re turned also affects how strong and fast we start out as.  Our Sire’s age also determines how controlled our bloodlust is from the get-go.”

I interrupt to ask, “You both turned the same night and have the same Sire, and you said the age of your Sire affects your control of the bloodlust.”  Damon nods so I ask, “Then how come you can be in the same room as multiple open wounds and not even get veiny eyed never mind fangy, but Stefan, on the other hand, smells a paper cut, and he goes rabid?”

Damon stops to think then says, “No one really seems to know why Rippers become Rippers.  When he was Human he was the exact opposite of a Ripper, so I’m not really sure why he goes so berserk at the faintest hint of blood, but he was like that from the get-go.  The only times I’ve ever been controlled by the Bloodlust were the night I finished the transition and two other times.  One was when I had been held hostage and starved for months and after escaping happened upon the scene of a fatal car crash.  There were a couple of survivors who wound up dead after the accident because their companion’s blood overtook my senses and I lost control.  The other time was last fall when Stefan and Zach starved me while they held me hostage.  I escaped and killed Vicki’s friends and almost killed her the first, or I guess the second time.  That said I’ve never tortured my victims, not ever, but I know for a fact that the only reasons Stefan might not abuse his victims when on Human blood are because of time constraints or interference by a stronger Vampire.  Anyway, so far as I know no one knows why Rippers become Rippers, but I do suspect that he’d be even worse than he was on Human blood if Katherine had been any younger than she was when she fed him her blood.”

My eyes go wide at that and without realizing it I ask, “Really, he’d be even worse?”

He nods and says, “He’s gotten more controlled over the years even as a Ripper, so yeah, I’m pretty sure he’d have been worse if Katherine was younger.”

I nod so he smiles slightly and says, “Anyhow, sunlight burns us if we’re not wearing a specially spelled stone, specifically Lapis Lazuli.  A stake through the heart kills us.  We need an invitation into someone’s home the first time.  We also look exactly like we did when we died as a Human except for our hair, which grows like yours does, albeit a little slower than Human hair, and therefore might look different if we’ve cut it or grown it out.  My hair was much longer when I was Human, and so was my brother’s.  His hair was actually even longer than mine, but now we both have short hair.  Anyway, we can also compel Humans to do what we want them to do provided they don’t have Vervain, which is poisonous to us, on or in them, and as I said the animal diet messes with the ability in significant ways too.” 

He smiles and tells us, “By the way, I brought three plants each of Vervain and Wolfsbane in little starter pots and a few gallon bags of both herbs dried.  My trunk is also full of boxes of bottles of the liquid versions of each to hold us over in terms of weapon making until the new plants mature, and we can make some more.  Plus, this way Isa, we’ll immediately have some Vervain to provide your loved ones with so they can stay safe.  What I brought with us should last long enough for the plants to mature and since Vervain and Wolfsbane are both a lot like bunnies, we’ll have a whole room full of both again pretty soon.”

I smile at that before she says, “Thank you, Damon, I appreciate you bringing some for us.”

He smiles as he says, “No problem,” but then he frowns and says, “As for Cold Ones, they go into transition because they’re bitten by another Cold One and the venom from their bite is in the Human’s system and begins transforming them.  As painful as holding off on transitioning into a Traditional Vampire is the entire process of turning into a Cold One is even more painful.  I’ve heard Cold Ones compare the feeling to having their insides eaten away with battery acid.  After three days of the worst pain imaginable, they are transformed into this otherworldly creature that is frozen for all time and so beautiful and perfect looking it almost hurts to look at them. 

“Newborn Cold Ones are generally the fastest and strongest of them but only for the first year then they lose most of that speed and power and then sort of plateau.  And although after they initially plateau they do begin to get stronger and faster with better senses as they continue to age they’d have to be at least 1,000 years old to be as strong and fast as the average 500-year-old Vampire.  And it’s generally believed that the gap between ages and power will only get bigger the older they get because the speed of the acquisition of their improvements slows more and more the older they get while my kind’s acquisition gets faster and faster the older we get.  Anyway, their skin is rock hard, their hair and nails don’t grow and can’t be cut, and pansies that they are they sparkle if they go out in the sunlight.” 

We all laugh at his choice of words, and then he continues, “Their eyes lose their original color and become red as soon as the change is complete.  If they eat Humans, their eyes remain red, but I’ve heard they turn a kind of toffee color if they eat animals.  Their bites, as I said, are poisonous to Humans, so if a Cold One feeds on a Human, he or she is either going to also become a Cold One or they’ll die outright because the Cold One drained them dry.”

Isa interrupts, “The Human can survive if another Cold One has enough control to suck out the venom and not drain the Human dry.  Edward sucked James’ venom out of a bite on my wrist.  And for the record, the battery acid metaphor is spot on.  I’ve never felt anything as painful as James’ venom trying to work its way through my system.”

Damon’s eyes are wide, so I snap another picture just before he says, “You actually survived a bite?  Cold Ones are not usually known for their steadfast control over the bloodlust, so your boyfriend must have the willpower of a Saint if he managed to only suck out the venom and not drink you dry in the process.”

She chuckles and says, “It’s better than that because I’m actually his Singer, so I can’t even begin to imagine the restraint and strength of willpower it took to resist draining me.”

Damon’s eyes are huge as he says, “Damn, you’re his Singer?  And he still didn’t kill you even just from being in the same room as you with an open wound never mind actually getting to taste your blood?”  He pauses with a frown on his face then tells us, “It takes a lot to impress me, but that might actually do it.”

I snap another picture as they both laugh then he brings us back to the lesson on Cold Ones, “So anyway, a bite usually kills, and they don’t require an invitation into anywhere, but they can’t compel anyone.  Although, their sickly sweet scent smells unbelievably good to Humans, and therefore it attracts Humans to them, and they do have the ability to cloud the minds of Humans to make controlling them easier, but it’s nothing like a Vampire’s compulsion.  Cold Ones can only slightly influence a Human’s decisions with mere suggestions, but if the Human doesn’t want to do whatever badly enough they’ll be able to resist the suggestion.  My kind, on the other hand, can literally make a Human do whatever the hell we want regardless of the Human’s opinion on the matter.  The only way to kill a Cold One is to set them on fire, and that’s usually done after a Supernatural rips them limb from limb, so they can’t run away.  If you don’t burn the pieces, they’re still alive, for lack of a better word, and can be put back together.”

He smirks while he looks at me, so I snap another picture of him before he says, “For the most part, Vampires are stronger, faster, and have better senses than the Cold Ones do.  According to the legends I’ve heard, they were created about 980 to 985 years ago when a Coven of Witches was trying to become immortal without losing their powers.  As such, Humans with powers who are transformed into Cold Ones generally have better control over whatever their power is than a Vampire would.  And while we’re on the topic only those who become Vampires through a spell like the Originals did generally lose their powers after the transition, though I do know of one exception where a Sired Vamp lost his Magick.  Anyhow, the Witches didn’t want to be Sired they wanted to spell themselves into being Vampires because they’re stronger that way and have a number of advantages over the rest of us, but the Priestess of the Coven knew they’d lose their considerable powers.  Anyway, the story goes that she and the rest of her Coven wound up turning themselves into Cold Ones.  One of the Originals, Kol I think, killed the High Priestess, but not before they all managed to turn a handful of followers who in turn made more like them.  Klaus and his family went to war with the remaining members of the Coven maybe five centuries before I transitioned.  To my knowledge, most, if not all, of the original Coven members, were killed, with the notable exceptions of the three Volturi Kings and their wives, though one of them was later murdered so only two of the wives still exist.  Anyhow, during the war Vampires hunted a lot of the rest of the species down, so their numbers aren’t as high as they used to be, and our numbers are much higher now.”

I smile at Damon when he winks at me, and despite my stomach fluttering at his wink, I snap a shot and then smile wider when I look at the screen of my camera.  Yay!  I managed to capture the wink perfectly.  He smirks at me again before he asks, “Isa you still there?”

I smile at him and snap a shot of his smirk before I lean in closer so I can hear her say, “Yeah, I was just trying to figure out if it’s significant that my Boyfriend who claims to love me and wants to keep me safe never told me any of this.  Meanwhile, you, whom I barely know, is happily telling me anything I want to know about the Supernatural World.”

Damon frowns and asks her, “Has he at least warned you about other Supes, like Witches and Traditional Werewolves or even the six types of Demons and the different kinds of Elves?”

I don’t know about half those things, so I’m frowning myself, and I can hear the frown in her voice when she tells us, “No he only tells me things when I pull it out of him, like pulling teeth.  Or he tells me when it’s right there in front of me, and he can no longer deny it, like when I found out there are Shapeshifters on the Res.”

The frown on Damon’s face tells me he thinks that it is significant, but he doesn’t say anything, so I decide to ask him about it when we hang up.

Bella tells us a little about the Cullens and Damon’s frown and even my own keep getting deeper.  When she says, “Crap the bell’s about to ring, so I have to go.  I’ll call you guys later when I get out of school like we originally planned okay?”

Damon smiles and says, “Sounds good, have fun in school.”

She just laughs and then the line goes dead.

Chapter Text

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Chapter 003

The Most Well-Protected Teens in The World

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Somewhere in West Virginia

Tuesday, September 14, 2010, 3 p.m. EDT

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Almost immediately after Bella hangs up, Damon’s scowl returns.  I look at him for a minute then while I snap a shot of his face I ask him, “What’s with the ‘kill you face,' Damon?”

He laughs, which was my goal when I worded it that way, but he’s still frowning when he says, “I just have a really bad feeling about the Cullens.  The only reason they wouldn’t give her all the information she needs to stay safe is if they consider her a pet and replaceable and not an actual irreplaceable member of their Coven like she believes, which pisses me off.  I mean if I were planning to turn someone like Alice Cullen claims this Edward douche is going to I’d give them every piece of information I have about the Supe World before I even thought of bringing up the possibility of turning them.  The Cullens, on the other hand, have put the idea in her head without giving her any of the information she needs to make an informed decision.”

He turns and looks at me, “She knows I killed Vicki and you and that I spent a good chunk of my time as a Vampire with my switch off and therefore killed more people than you and her have probably met in your entire lives combined.  Even knowing all of that she’s still nice to me, and I can tell it’s not because she’s scared of me.  She’s a genuinely nice person, and my gut says we need to protect her at all costs.  I don’t know how yet, but she’s going to help save us all.  I guess I already consider her part of our family, and the idea of someone treating her like a pet pisses me off the same way it would if someone tried to treat you that way, Jules.  You both deserve better than that.”

My eyes widen at his words, but I smile and say, “Thank you for that.”

He nods and then after Ric calls Charlie and gives him all his details I ask Damon, “So if I asked you to fill me in on the Supe World would you?”

I snap another shot when he turns to look at me and smiles a rare smile free of any smirking or implied sarcasm before he says, “Of course, Little Gilbert.  Do you have specific questions or do you want me to just fill you in on what I know, and you can ask questions as we go?”

I frown and then tell him, “Well I know about Witches and Traditional Werewolves, but I guess if there is a Traditional Werewolf that there’s another type too?  You mentioned something about Shapeshifters?”

He nods, “I don’t know as much about them, but I know they’re usually indigenous people, so here in the States, they’d be Native Americans.  They’re Shapeshifting Warriors who take on the shape of their Spirit Warrior.  I know for a fact that they’re not limited to Wolves, though.  Back in the early part of the 20th Century, I knew a guy from Africa whose Spirit Warrior was a Lion.  And I know of a Tribe in Alaska who shifts into Bears.  I think they can be any kind of animal that might be badass enough to be a Spirit Warrior.  I also think where they’re from has an effect on the type of animal as well.  For instance, I doubt a Native American would become a Lion because they’re not natural inhabitants of this continent’s wildlife population, so Wolves and Bears, maybe Foxes, Cougars, or Coyotes too would be more likely for a Native American.  Up in Alaska, you might find tribes that turn into Wolverines or some other predator from that area, although like I said I know of one Tribe that shifts into Bears.  Anyway, the most frequent ones in this country are Wolves and Bears, I think.”

He pauses then says, “All I knew about Traditional Werewolves when Mason Lockwood came to town was that they existed.  I had never met one before, so I knew next to nothing about them, so I did a bunch of research with Ric that Elena and the rest of you may or may not have known about.  Anyway while we were studying Traditional Werewolves we heard rumors about some Wolves of the Spirit Warrior variety existing in La Push which is the Quileute Indian Reservation near Forks, so Isa’s words about Shapeshifters on the Res confirms it for me.  Traditionally Spirit Warriors are the natural sworn enemy of Cold Ones, much like Traditional Werewolves are the natural enemy of Traditional Vamps.  The Spirit Warriors’ bites are poisonous to Cold Ones like Traditional Werewolf bites are to my kind.”

He pauses and frowns then tells me, “I guess the gene that allows them to shift is usually dormant until some Cold Ones start sniffing around the Tribe’s land, and then the male teens and young adults in the Tribe begin changing in response.”

He pauses again as if he’s thinking about something and then he says, “I’m pretty sure they’re immortal for as long as they embrace their Spirit Warrior.  The ones I’ve met are still around and still look just as young as they did when we first met, including the one I met in 1903 so they could live Centuries or even longer theoretically.  Sadly, that’s really all I currently know about them.  Because they’re the natural enemy of Cold Ones and not my kind I haven’t really done much research on them because they tend to leave my kind alone if we leave them alone.  I only know as much as I do because I was drinking buddies with the Lion and a couple of Bears.  Although if there really are some living near Forks I’ll likely do a bit of research when we get there just to make sure I know anything I might need to know.”

He pauses again and then asks, “Any other creatures you want the 411 on?”

I smile and ask him, “You mentioned Demons and Elves, so what do you know about them?”

He shifts in his seat so he can see me better and tells me, “Well there are six types of both of those species, Fire, Earth, Water, Air, and Spirit and then the very rare Elementals which are equal parts of all five of the other types.  They can generally control the Element that their subspecies is named after.  Elementals, which I think is what young Isa is, happen to be very rare.  They can control all five Elements and become very powerful very quickly, so the other types of Demons and Elves hunted them down out of fear and killed whole families, slaughtering hundreds of thousands through the centuries.  If I’m right and Isa is the Elemental I’ve been looking for, then she’s the Last Elemental and part Demon and Elf Elemental.  Her powers are currently bound, probably so she could grow up undetected by those who might wish to destroy her simply because of what she is.”

My brow creases, and I’m worrying my lip between my teeth, so when Damon looks at me, he says, “Don’t worry Jules, even if she’s not the Isabella I’ve been looking for I’m not going to allow anything bad to happen to her if I can stop it.  You and she will be the most well-protected teens in the world.”

I smile at that because I’ve never worried about my safety when around Damon, that one time he snapped my neck notwithstanding.  I figure if he really wanted me dead, I’d be dead for real already, Immortality Ring be damned, and he’s saved my ass enough to make me think he actually prefers me alive. 

He smiles and asks, “Anything else?”

I sit and think for a minute, and then I smile and ask, “Are Faeries real?”

Damon laughs and shakes his head no, “Not that I’m aware of.  I’ve certainly never heard of any or met any and since I’d heard of all the species I’ve mentioned that do exist for most of my existence and have since met at least one of each species I figure I would have heard something or met at least one if they actually did exist.”  He smiles at me, so I snap another shot of his face before he asks, “Anything else you want to know?”

I think again then shaking my head softly I tell him, “No, but if I think of anything can I ask you about it later?”

He smiles again and nods, “Yeah sure, if you have questions don’t hesitate to ask, and if I know the answer I’ll fill you in, or we can do some research if I don’t know the answer.  Don’t tell Elena, but I compelled Slater’s girlfriend to make copies of everything he had on the Supernatural World and give them to me.  I have a set of hard drives hidden away to keep them safe, but I also have another set in the trunk of my car.  Plus, Ric finally cleaned out Isobel’s office after she officially died, and I believe he brought all of it with us, so we can continue reading through that too and see if she knew of any other species because if anyone would know it would have been her or Slater.”

Ric nods to indicate he did, in fact, bring all of Isobel’s research, so I smile and nod and then take my sketchbook and a small box of Conté Crayons out of my backpack.  I draw Damon, and we all sit quietly listening to a Classic Rock station on the radio while Ric drives, and we wait for Bella to call us back.

Around 6:00 p.m. Isa calls back.  She tells us, “Charlie is pulling the night shift tonight, Edward is still MIA, and I already finished my homework, so I’m yours until it’s time for me to go to bed or you get tired of me, whichever comes first.” 

We laugh at that then we decide to get dinner through a drive-through, so we can talk with her in the privacy of the car without worrying if someone else is going to overhear us talking about Supernaturals.

I eat my cheeseburger and fries while Damon fills her in on the various types of Supes we discussed earlier.  Then we get to personal histories.  She’s curious about us and how we came to be together, so we each take turns telling her our stories.  Ric and I go first and then Damon, for whatever reason, seems far more willing to share today than he usually is so he goes way more in depth than he has with Ric and me before. 

I find myself wanting to stake Katherine for what she did.  Then my fists clench and my nostrils flare when he gets to the part about Stefan essentially forcing him to finish the transition.  I didn’t know that part of the story until now, and it makes me lose even more respect for Stefan than I already have in the last few months.  It also makes me understand why Damon treats his brother the way he does.  Damon Salvatore is a man of his word, and he swore Stefan would have an eternity of misery at his hands, so he’s been busy making his younger brother as miserable as possible for almost 150 years.  In my personal opinion, I think ass deserves it and so much more, but that’s just my opinion, and I keep it to myself because I’m sure it wouldn’t do any good to bring it up.

Damon’s studiously not looking at either of us, so I just watch his face, which is scowling, while he opens up to the three of us.  When he gets to present the day, he says, “I tried to convince myself I was in love with Elena, but I’m beginning to realize it was my subconscious trying to pick the safe bet.  I knew all along that she loves Stefan, so she was never going to pick me.  I’m even pretty sure they’re Mates, so I guess my subconscious figured I wouldn’t truly be hurt if I knew going in that it would never be me.  I slowly realized though that she’s not the one I want.”

His eyes flicker over to me then scurry back to looking at the phone and my heart jumps into my throat and the butterflies that like to breakdance inside my stomach anytime Damon smiles at me start dancing hard.  Could he possibly want me?  I’ve prayed for it, and I suppose it is possible.  I mean he dropped everything to get me out of Mystic Falls, and because Ric is moving with me, it really wasn’t necessary for Damon to join us.  Don’t get me wrong I’m thrilled he’s with us, and I would have fought hard to stay if he was staying, but I’m still trying to figure out what it all means.

When Damon finishes his story, Bella takes her turn and tells us about her family and then the story of how she met the Cullens.  The more she talks, the hotter my face and body get, and I consciously try to relax my fists, which are balled up in my lap as she talks about them.  Damon is right.  They see her as a pet, nothing more, and that pisses me off.  Damon sets his hand on top of my fists and, just as it always does when he and I touch, an electrical charge pulses through my body.  When I look at him, he smiles before handing me a piece of paper.  I look down and smile slightly at his curly script while I read, ‘Don’t worry, Jules, she has us now.  We’ll set Doucheward straight and keep her safe.’

I giggle at Edward’s new name and nod still listening while she continues talking.  Her dad sounds as if he’s still pretty cool like I remember from when they’d visit during the summers, but her mom sounds just as bad as the Cullens. 

I must have fallen asleep at some point because the next thing I know the car is stopped and I wake up with Damon’s face mere inches from mine before he smiles and says, “Do you need me to carry you in?”

I giggle while I sleepily take a look around and see that we’re parked in a well-lit parking lot with a lit up Motel sign off to the side.  I smile and shake my head, “No I can walk.”

He pouts and says, “That's a shame,” he pauses then finishes with a smirk in place, “for me I mean.”

I giggle again at his words and blush when he winks at me, and the break dancing butterflies return with a bunch of friends.  I get out of the SUV and with half-closed eyes follow him up a flight of stairs to a room.  Once we’re inside the room, without thinking or even removing my jacket or my shoes, I throw myself on the nearest bed and only vaguely hear Damon chuckling at my behavior before I fall right back to sleep.

Chapter Text

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Chapter 004

You Grow Old and Die, or You Become Like Them

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Forks, Washington

Friday, September 17, 2010, 2:45 p.m. PDT

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We’ve talked to Isa every day during her free period and then again after she gets out of school.  She arranged with her neighbor, Mrs. Peterson, who put her house up for rent at the beginning of the month so that we can live across the street from Isa.  Damon gave her a credit card number to use to order supplies for the kitchen including pots and pans and plate ware and new bedding because none of us other than Ric brought any.  He told her to put sheets and comforters on every bed in the house and put extra pillows on each one too.  Then he gave her carte blanche to buy anything else she thinks we might need and have it all overnighted to our new house.  Because it’s a fully furnished home, she assured us that it doesn’t need much more than kitchen supplies and bedding.  Damon listed a few kitchen things he wants, such as an electric pressure cooker and something called an air fryer.  She gave suggestions, such as some fancy new electric pressure cooker that doubles as a slow cooker and something called a spiralizer that made him realize she knows her way around a kitchen, so finally he told her to buy her dream kitchen, and he’ll let her cook there whenever she wants.  She laughed at that and agreed. 

Yesterday I called the local grocery store and ordered the list of food the four of us came up with then gave them Damon’s credit card number to pay for it, and they agreed to deliver it after school, so Isa could keep her promise and move it all where it goes.

We got to town about an hour ago and stopped at the Lodge, the local diner, she told us about because we knew she had a little while before she’d be home from school.  We finish our late lunch, and then we get in the car and follow the directions to her house.

When we pull in beside a faded red pickup truck, Damon says, “That looks like the truck she told us her dad gave her when she moved here, but I don’t hear her heartbeat inside the house.” 

I frown and ask, “You can hear that well that you’d be able to tell she was inside by the sound of her heartbeat inside the house?”

He turns to look at me over the back of his seat and nods, “You’d be amazed what I can see and hear and from how far away.  I’ve even been able to hear through soundproofing before.  Granted it was severely dampened and muted but I could still make out the words being said from down the street.”

Holy Cow!  My eyes are wide when he gets out and dials her phone then cocks his head to the side and says, “I smell blood and not just a little, follow me.”

We follow him into the woods while he waits for her to pick up the phone.  She’s on speaker-phone again, so I hear when she says, “Hello.”

She’s out of breath, so he frowns and asks, “Isa, what’s wrong?”

She half sighs half pants when she tells us, “Edward took me for a walk in the forest so he could break up with me, and I slipped after he left.  I think I broke my ankle.  There’s a lot of blood, and I’m trying my best not to look at it, so I don’t faint or throw up.”

I speak up to ask, “Damon’s leading us into the forest now, so we’ll come find you, and the resident Vampire can carry you out okay?”

She laughs sounding just slightly calmer, “Sounds like a plan.  Do you mind if I ask you to stay on the line with me until you find me?”

All three of us say at the same time, “Not at all,” or “Yeah sure,” or “No problem.”

I know Damon wants to run to her and is frustrated that Ric and I are slowing him down, but he doesn’t voice it, so a few minutes later we see her sitting on the forest floor.  Damon rushes over to her at Vamp speed and squats in front of her while I marvel that he could smell her blood from so far away, especially given the smells of the forest that even my Human senses can easily pick up.  He smiles and wipes her cheeks with his thumbs asking, “Are those tears for your ankle or Whimpward?”

Isa and I both giggle at Edward’s nickname before she tells him, “A little of both but mostly for my ankle, it hurts like you wouldn’t believe.  I really think I broke it, but I can’t really look at it without seeing all the blood, and that makes me nauseous and lightheaded, so I’m trying not to look.”

He gestures towards her foot and asks, “Well, blood doesn’t make me sick or lightheaded, so can I look at it?”

She looks at him for a minute, probably wondering about the intelligence of letting a Vampire anywhere near her when she’s bleeding, but then she nods.  He smiles reassuringly at her and moves toward her feet then gently takes her foot in his hand and even from where I’m standing when he lifts her pant leg I can see the bone is sticking out of her leg at an angle.  He uses his other hand to press around the wound, which causes her to shout, “Ow.”

He frowns and still in complete control of his bloodlust despite how much blood there is he tells her, “God, Isa, Assward wasn’t kidding when he said that you smell better than most.”

She giggles a little while he smiles at her then he says, “Well you definitely broke it because I can see your bone.  If you’re willing, my blood will heal it.  However, you need to know I’m going to be stuck to you like glue until the blood leaves your system because as I told you the other night dying with my blood in your system will cause you to go into transition.  I already feel like crap for letting Caroline’s choice be taken away from her, and I’m not even friends with her, so I’m not going to let your choice be taken away.”

She’s nodding but frowning before she tells us, “Okay.  I usually can’t stand the sight or smell of blood, but if you think it’ll help I’ll try to drink it.”

He smiles and tells her, “I’m sorry to say this, but I have to push the bone back in, and that’s going to hurt.”  He barely finishes saying the words when she cries out because he pops the bone back into the proper position.  Then he smiles again before he moves to her side and tells her, “There, now close your eyes and we’ll heal it.”  She does as he says and then he bites his wrist and holds it up to her mouth.  Her hands shoot up and grab hold of his arm while she begins to drink.  After she takes five swallows, he pulls his hand away and says, “That should be enough to heal it and shouldn’t take more than 48 hours to leave your system.  The lucky thing is today’s Friday so I don’t have to rely on Jules and Ric to watch out for you at school, though honestly, I’d trust them to have my back, so I’d trust them to have yours too.”

I smile at his words before she nods and grimaces.  If Ric’s description of his own experiences with Supernatural Healing are any indication the grimace is likely due to the itchy and very weird feeling of her skin and bone stitching itself back together.  Fortunately for me, I was unconscious while my neck repaired itself when Damon killed me, so I don’t actually recall the feeling.

I’ve been coming to realize that Ric and Damon apparently view me simply as a younger equal.  Don’t get me wrong they’re both more experienced, much more actually, and Damon’s stronger than both Ric and me combined but despite knowing that they don’t view me as lesser for being younger or weaker or even less experienced. 

That’s what I always hated about Elena and the others, they think they know everything, and everyone else is beneath them and therefore unqualified to have a say in things.  They were even like that with Ric and Damon, which never made any sense to me because both men know a hell of a lot more about life in general, and they definitely know more about Supe things than the rest of us.  Anyway, Ric and Damon aren’t like that with me as evidenced by their plan to get me out of Elena’s ‘sphere of influence’ as Damon has taken to calling it.

After a minute, Damon picks her foot back up and starts pressing along where it was broken, but she just smiles and tells him, “No pain, wow that’s pretty neat.”

He laughs and wipes the blood on his hand on his black jeans before he uses his now clean hand to wipe her tears away again.  After her face is clear of any tears, he stands and holds his hand down for her to take so he can help her up.  After she stands, she cautiously puts her weight on her foot and then smiles, “Wow, all better.  Don’t take this the wrong way but knowing your blood can do that and experiencing it are two incredibly different things.”

He smiles and nods before she bends down, lifts her pant leg, and then says, “Hey despite all that blood I barely got any blood on my pants.  It’s just a little on the inside so Charlie won’t be able to see it when he gets home.”

She stands back up, and then tells us, “He would totally notice if I changed because he saw me at breakfast, and he has his super cop eyes that miss nothing.”

We all laugh at that before Damon nods and then he says, “So Mary Sunshine, do you want to walk or would you rather I carry you?  I can get us out of here faster if you let me carry you, but I also get that you might not want to be carried like an invalid the first time you meet us.”

She frowns and considers this, then tells him, “I just want out of this forest so you can carry me if I won’t be too heavy.”

He laughs and points at himself, “Vampire remember?  I could carry mine and Ric’s cars across the country at the same time without stopping and not even be remotely tired at the end of the trip.  800 yards out of a forest with a slip of a girl like you in my arms is nothing.”  He grabs her hand and pulls it up and around his neck, so her arm is draped around the back of his neck before he puts his arm around her shoulders then he puts his other arm behind her knees and sweeps her up into his arms.  Ric and I follow them out of the forest into her yard.

“Thank you, Damon,” she says when he sets her back down on her feet a minute or two later in her backyard.

He smiles, “No problem, Isa.”

We walk to the front of the house, and her eyes widen when they land on the electric blue Camaro on the trailer behind Ric’s SUV.  She smiles and tells us, “Wow, Damon, I can see why you didn’t want to leave your car behind, it’s so pretty.”

We all laugh then I wrap her in a hug and say, “I’ve missed you, Isa.  I always regretted not staying in touch after we last saw each other.  I had actually just asked my mom to find out your address right before they died, but she never gave it to me, and then I was too preoccupied with other crap to think about trying to go through her things and find it.  Like I said the other day you can keep calling me Jules.”

She hugs me back and says, “I still hate my name, so most folks still call me Bella or Bells.  I’ve got to say though I’m kind of digging you and Damon calling me Isa, so basically call me whatever you want.”

I nod but laugh and warn her, “Careful Damon can and will take you up on that offer, and you’ll never hear your actual name pass his lips again.”

She laughs before I let go of her, and she moves over to Ric and shakes his hand after he tells her, “Alaric Saltzman, but you can call me Ric.”

She smiles and tells him, “Nice to meet you.”

She turns to look at Damon and says, “And you’re Damon.  Thanks again for healing me and getting me out of the woods.”

He just nods and with a smile on his face says, “No problem, Gimpy.”

She laughs before she heads towards the front door of her house and tells us, “I’ve got the keys to the house across the street inside.”

She opens the door and heads in before she says, “Come on in.”

Damon rushes to her side at Vamp speed causing her eyes to pop open wide at his sudden appearance by her side before he tells her, “You really shouldn’t give blanket invitations into your house, like ever, but especially in the presence of a known Vampire.  In fact, from now on just move aside and let whoever cross the threshold without you actually giving an invitation.  That’ll prevent one of my kind from sneaking in.”

Despite her still wide eyes she smiles and tells him, “Okay I can do that, but really, I trust you, and you’re the only one I plan to invite in so no worries.”

He nods, so she leads us into the kitchen and grabs the rental papers and the keys off the table and hands the papers to Ric, “Here, I printed two copies, one for her records and one for yours.  Mrs. Peterson told me to just have you read the lease over, and if everything looks okay, you can sign it, and then I can mail it to her at her daughter’s house in Spokane.  The house is fully furnished, and she told me to remind you that if you want to buy it and everything in it that is a possibility.”

Ric nods and says, “That will depend on how long we’re going to be here.  If Elena and the others get their way, and for the record, I’m inclined to let them, then we’ll probably be here indefinitely and will end up buying it, but for now, I figure we’ll wait and see.”

He reads over the papers and then takes a pen out of his pocket and signs where he’s supposed to and then hands half the stack back to her.

She nods and while she wets a paper towel and bends down to clean the dried blood off her leg she asks, “You guys hungry or do you want to head over?  I can show you around the house and help you move your stuff in.”

We look at each other for a sec, and then Ric says, “We stopped at the Lodge like you recommended for killing time and had a late lunch, so if you don’t mind we can head over.”

After she stands back up, she turns towards the counter where I see a note propped up.  She grabs it and reads it then crumples it up as she says, “Son of a….”

We look at her with questions written all over our faces, so she tells us, “Edward wrote a note making it look like I wrote it and said I went for a walk in the woods.  The jackass knew I wouldn’t be able to find my way back out, and he still left me in there.”

My fists clench again while she shakes her head to clear her thoughts then writes a note telling Charlie, ‘At Mrs. Peterson’s old house helping Ric, Damon and Jules move in.  We’ll be back so I can cook dinner by 5:30 p.m.’

She props the note up where Whimpward left his note then she throws out the dirty paper towel and the forged letter before she leads us back out of the house, across the street, and down to the right about 350 yards.

The yard and house are incredibly large.  They’re both much bigger than all the other houses and yards on the street.  That coupled with the fact that the house is set so far back from the street makes me think this house probably came first and the other houses followed suit much later creating a neighborhood.  When we walk up to and into the very spacious screened-in porch, which has a long row of 15 wooden rocking chairs on it, she hands the keys to Ric and tells him, “I’ll let you have the honors, Ric.”

He smiles and opens the door before he steps in followed by Isa and me, but Damon stays out on the porch.  We all turn back, and Ric smiles wider with a twinkle in his eyes and says, “Hmm, Jules what do you think?  Should we invite him in?”

Damon chuckles and then pouts before he says, “Don’t be an ass, Ric.  Of course, if you want I can always go back to Isa’s house and shack up with her because she already invited me in.”

I laugh at that while he wiggles his eyebrows suggestively, so I bring the camera in my hand up to my eye and snap some shots of his face.  I grin when I see that I got his brows mid-wiggle.  Ric and Isa chuckle at the look on his face before Ric says, “Come in, Damon.”

Damon smiles and steps over the threshold before he says, “Thank you, Brother.” 

Ric nods and takes the two other sets of keys Isa hands him and hands one to me and one to Damon.  Then Isa shows us the downstairs that has a living room, a dining room, a den, and a large study/library.  The library has wall to wall empty book shelves, free standing shelves in a couple sections of the huge room, stuffed armchairs and side tables beside each one sprinkled throughout and a few research tables and chairs all fitting in the vast space comfortably.  Isa sweeps her arm towards the shelves and tells us “This library used to be three huge rooms, including a Ballroom, but they knocked down the walls and made it into one room the summer before I was born.  Apparently, they finished renovating around the time Renee left Charlie when I was two months old.  I don’t actually have memories of how it was before, but I’ve seen pictures, and honestly, I like how it is now better.  Mrs. Peterson told me to inform you that her daughter wanted all of the books, so she hopes you have enough to fill the shelves back up.  I told her you’re a History teacher and probably won’t have much trouble filling the space.”

Ric nods so next, she takes us down to the basement and shows us another much larger library that still has a ton of books in it.  She turns and tells us, “These books are the ones Mrs. Peterson’s daughter, Alicia, didn’t want.  I hope you don’t mind I came down yesterday and looked, and I think she’s a nut because she left all the first editions and classics and took all the modern paperback romance novels and mysteries.”

She pauses then looks at each of us before saying, “Don’t get me wrong there’s nothing wrong with those, but she left behind the ones that are actually worth something.  I helped them pack over the summer, so I peeked when she was packing.  None of the books she took were printed before 1990, and none of them were earlier than a third printing.  She even left behind the current hardcovers, most of which are actually first editions, stating that her shelves are too short for the taller books.  Anyhow, she moved all the books they left behind down here so that library upstairs is completely empty for you to fill in with your own collection.”

When she pauses, I look around and see that this library takes up almost the whole length of the house, and there’s still about three-fifths of it that’s empty too.  She shakes her head briefly before she continues, “I tried to tell them that the books they left behind are worth a couple hundred thousand, maybe, even more, to be honest, but they said they just didn’t have room for them at Alicia’s house.  I guess their loss is your gain.”

After the basement library, she shows us three ‘small’ bedrooms that are also downstairs and are about the same size as my room back in Mystic Falls.  I’m apparently wearing my thoughts on my face because Isa leans towards me and says, “Yeah I don’t think these are particularly small rooms either.  In fact, they’re all bigger than my room at home, but that’s what Alicia and Mrs. Peterson called them.” 

She shows us the fully equipped laundry room, a full gym, and a workroom that has Ric saying, “This space will be perfect for storing and making our weapons in.”

We all nod at that before she then leads us back up the stairs to the first floor.  We stop and look in the kitchen that’s at least three times the size as the one back home and has a huge wooden table.  It can probably fit 30 people comfortably.  There is a professional set up with induction stove-tops and convection ovens, which according to Isa are top of the line and better than most restaurants’ kitchens.  Damon is nodding deeply and smiling big while she talks, but actually, I’ll never use the kitchen to make anything other than cereal because I can and have burnt water.

The resident Vampire smirks at me, and I’m sure he’s thinking the same thing about my cooking abilities or more precisely my lack thereof.  I ignore the smile while we move to the sliding glass doors to check out the covered and screened in deck that’s completely protected from the rain and bugs and probably also two or three times as big as my kitchen back in Mystic Falls.  It has a huge table and enough chairs to seat 30 as well as a state of the art gas grill with all the add-ons standing on a covered yet unenclosed part of the deck.  Damon and Ric have huge smiles on their faces while we leave the deck and go back into the kitchen. 

I’m smiling too while she leads us up another flight of stairs to another den, an office, and seven huge bedrooms on the second floor.  Ric and Damon agree because it was Elena’s idea that we move that I should get to have first dibs, so I go to choose the room in the back of the house that overlooks the forest and has a little balcony.  Then Isa interrupts and says, “You might want to wait to choose until you see one of the rooms on the third floor.”

I nod and continue looking around.  Every bedroom we’ve seen so far has its own full bathroom attached, and the room I might choose is no different, but my eyes go wide when they land on the tub, and separate shower stall, Damon and I could fit in either of them together and still have room for some friends.  That thought causes a blush to creep out over my cheeks, so I think, ‘Thank God I’m the only one in here right now,’ because Damon would not pass up an opportunity to comment on my red cheeks.

I hear Isa telling Ric and Damon, “I did as I was told and ordered the biggest cable package like Damon said to.  Just about every room is wired for cable and sound, and all except the living room and dining room already have huge flat screens and top of the line entertainment systems in them.  The libraries both have massive flat screens that rise out of those chests in the middle of each room.  Even the kitchen and bathrooms have small flat screen TV’s and Bose sound systems, and every room has speakers and docks for mp3 players.  Plus, the whole house has Wi-Fi, and I got you the fastest internet like Jules asked for.”

I smile, and while Ric and Damon pick their rooms, I tell her, “We can’t thank you enough for everything you’ve done for us this week.  I know I speak for all of us when I say we really appreciate it.  You’ve gone above and beyond what any of us would expect from a life-long best friend so thank you.  We’ll have to think of a way to pay you back, maybe some of those first editions if you still love reading the classics.”

Damon comes out of his new room and tells her, “That sounds like the perfect payback.  If Ric approves, you can borrow any of the books in this house.  And if we buy the house, you can keep the ones you want indefinitely.”

Her eyes are wide when she says, “That’s really not necessary.  Besides, I’m looking at my actions as payback for Jules saving me from having to hang with Elena and her flunkies back when we were kids.  I know she sounds like a Class A Bitch these days, but I could have predicted that based on her behavior towards me back when we were little.”

She pauses then adds, “Though I might borrow some of the books I haven’t read yet.  The library has a lot of rare and hard to find books, but I’m giving them all back when I’m done, and I’m taking the best care of them as possible while I have them.”

Damon ignores the comments about Elena and smiles before he just says, “We’ll see.” 

After Ric and Damon choose their rooms, she leads us up another flight to the third floor, which she calls the attic and is really a collection of ten rooms that prompts Isa to tell us, “These were mostly used as storage rooms and not actually used day to day.  Although, they all now have California King beds in them and the rooms themselves are roomy enough that someone could live in them comfortably.”  The rooms each look to be slightly bigger than Elena’s room back in Mystic Falls.  She’s still talking, so I focus on her words.  “I put bedding on all of the beds like you guys asked, and I got eight pillows for each bed in the house just for you Damon.”

He smiles and laughs at that, but she just keeps going after winking at him.  “Mr. Peterson was in a wheelchair from before I was born until his death earlier this year, so there’s an elevator that has doors on each floor and runs from the basement to the garage and then all the way to this floor.  It should allow you all to store whatever you want up here where it’ll be safe but out of the way.  The copper roof is new as of last year so it shouldn’t leak or anything either, and honestly, I think Jules is going to love hearing the rain on it.  I actually sat up here reading one of your new books yesterday while I was waiting for all of your deliveries, and it rained pretty hard at one point, and I almost fell asleep it was so relaxing.” 

I smile at that and stick my head inside the door at the end of the hall to find the biggest bedroom in the house.  I immediately fall in love with it.  It’s the whole width of the house and has honey colored wood everywhere including the floor.  Plus, despite my being five feet nine inches tall already, and still growing, the whole third floor has a high enough ceiling that I could still grow a foot or two, maybe three, and still not come close to hitting the roof.

My new third-floor bedroom is huge, even bigger than the other rooms downstairs and has a sliding glass door that leads to a screened in balcony of my own, which overlooks the forest behind the house and has a nice looking patio table and chairs on it.  The room itself has a couch that looks long enough for me to lay on it comfortably and deep enough for two adult men to cuddle on, two stuffed chairs, a coffee table, end tables, and an enormous flat-screen TV set up on one side.  There are built-in bookshelves along the walls.  On the wall to the right of the wall the door is in are three more doors.  I look into the first door and find a huge bathroom that although it’s longer than it is wide is probably almost the same square footage as my old bedroom.  This one has a gigantic tub with jets and a large separate shower stall with multiple shower nozzles.  The stall is so big I could probably park a car in it.  Damon smiles in approval and says, “I so would have called this room if you hadn’t, even without the walk-in closet.”

I frown and walk to the door beside the tub and find it leads out of the bathroom into a walk-in closet with a ton of built-ins that’s the same length as the bathroom.  No wonder there’s no dressers in the main room.  I, along with my parents, Jenna, Damon, Ric, Elena, Stefan, Bonnie, and the clotheshorse known as Caroline, could probably house twice our entire combined wardrobes in here and still have room for more.

When I use the other door, I walk back into the main bedroom, and I look over to the bed and see that it’s also a California King, which is good because if I get much taller, I would have had my feet hanging off the Queen-Size bed at home.

Damon smiles and says, “Good choice, Jules.  And did you notice the huge room through that door that is even wider than this main room?”  He points to the third door then continues, “It has north and south facing windows and two good sized completely enclosed rooms that are already set up as darkrooms, one for color photos and one for black and white.  They even have all the hardware you might possibly need to develop pictures.”

I walk to the door in question and look into the room.  The main room is probably a little bigger than my new bedroom.  Damon smiles and tells me, “It’s definitely big enough for both of us to use as an art studio if you don’t mind me traipsing through your bedroom to get to it, and the darkrooms will allow me to teach you how to develop your own photos if you’re interested.  The two darkrooms have the same wood floor as in here and the main bedroom, so I figure we can put this particular plastic board I’ve seen in art stores on the floor of the studio and both dark rooms.  It’s like tile but clear so you can see the floor beneath, but it’s still protected from paint and any chemistry that might splash onto the floor.  If you approve, I’ll go on-line later and order some as well as maybe some drafting tables and a few other things I think might prove useful in our new studio.  I can get you a new SLR camera and all the necessary film and chemistry too, and I’ll arrange for my older cameras to be shipped here from one of my other houses where I’ve been storing them.”

I nod and smile with wide eyes while I look at our new studio.  Not only do I get a massive room with everything an average person would want in their whole house, but I get a studio and darkrooms next door to my room.  And it’s all mine, well mine and Damon’s, but I don’t mind sharing with him.  In fact, I might get to learn way more art stuff from him.  He once told me drawing and painting were the only things he did as a kid that his father was actually proud of him for, so he’s been studying art religiously since Damon was about eight years old.  I’m sure there’s tons of stuff he could teach me besides the whole photography thing.  Though the idea of learning how to develop my own photos sounds pretty damn cool.

Thank you very much, Elena, for being an insufferable bitch who sent me away like a misbehaving toddler.  I’ll have to take pictures of my room later and send them to her so she can see how I’ve moved up in the world.  I chuckle at that thought, and Damon just gives me a knowing look and pats me on the back before he says, “Your camera or mine?  I’ll be happy to take pictures for you with you in them, so she gets really jealous.”

Isa and I laugh at that then we leave the room, and while Isa walks us back down the stairs she asks, “So there you have it, what do you think?  Will it work?”

I’m nodding deeply before Ric says, “Honestly for what we’re paying I’d make do with a lot worse, like significantly worse, and still be this ecstatic.  Why is she only charging us $950 a month?”

Isa smiles and tells us, “She initially wanted $3,550 a month, but when Charlie told her that Jules lost all of her family and that you took her in despite not being related to her, well she decided to, and I quote, ‘Pay it Forward.’  She asked what you paid for your old apartment, and because I had already talked to you guys about that earlier in the day, I told her $950, so she chose to allow you to keep paying the same because you obviously can afford it if you already spent it elsewhere.  I told her that was sweet of her, and I was sure you all would really appreciate it because the only other house for rent in town is a dump with a leaky roof, tiny rooms and a flooding issue in the basement.  She laughed and said she wouldn’t want to live in the other house either.  This house doesn’t have any of those problems.  In fact, this neighborhood has never flooded because we’re on the top of the hill and the house has all new appliances and the bed frames, mattresses, couches and lounge chairs as well as the kitchen appliances and the electronics are all new as of no more than a year ago.  Pretty much the only things in this house that aren’t new are the books they left behind and the desks in the two libraries.  Plus, there’s central air and heated floors.”

She pauses then as if she just remembered Isa adds, “Oh by the way she asked me to warn you that if you do decide to buy the house, she’ll want the desk in the basement library back.  It was Mr. Peterson’s great grandfather’s desk that he built himself back in the mid-1800’s.” 

Why didn’t she just take it with her?  Weird, but then I get distracted while we walk towards the front door, and Damon asks, “How much does she want if we want to buy the house?”

Isa smiles and says, “She was going to ask for $850,000 but if you asked about the price on the first walk through I was to tell you the asking price is $750,000.  I have to call her now and tell her, though.”

Damon smiles and tells her, “Do that, we’ll wait.  Ask what account she wants the funds transferred into, and I’ll make sure it’s all in there by the end of business on Monday provided she promises to expedite all the paperwork.”

Isa and I are looking at him with wide-eyes while Ric nods and says, “You want to split it 50/50, Brother?  I’ve got $2.8 million in Isobel’s life insurance policies after her second death because Liz was kind enough to fix the reports, so my lovely wife is now listed as a murder victim and legally dead with a body this time.  Albeit it’s a very burnt body, but a body none-the-less.  Plus, she had a trust fund her parents gave her on her 21st birthday that I inherited, and that’s got more than 30 times as much as the life insurance policies in it.”

Damon shakes his head, “No, you should keep that money and use it for something that would really piss Isobel off.  No, I’m paying the whole she-bang, and the house will be in yours, and Jules’ names provided you have a Will written out and leave your half to Jules in the event of your death.”

Ric nods while I open my mouth to argue, but he turns and tells me, “You’re already listed in my Will as the sole beneficiary of everything I own and my five life insurance policies.  I changed it all when Jenna died, and I got custody of you.  Elena got everything John had, which was just as sizable as what I inherited from Isobel, and she split the just as large estates your parents and Jenna had with you down the middle so this way you’ll have money and a safe place anytime you need it separate from what you share with her.  Plus, this way she can’t invite Stefan or any other Vampires inside because it won’t be half hers like the house in Mystic Falls is.”

I just nod with wide eyes while Isa makes the call.  Halfway through she puts the phone on speakerphone so Ric and Damon can work out the specifics, but I tune them out as I look around the house, our new home, that someday, I hope a very, very long time from now will be mine and mine alone.  Although I fully plan to share it with Damon for as long as he wants because he’s the one paying for it.

When they get off the phone the proud new owners of this house, we head outside, and after Ric moves the SUV into our new driveway, we set about bringing all of our bags and boxes into the house.  Damon, Ric, and I mailed most of our stuff, which Isa accepted delivery of yesterday.  All of that was labeled clearly who it belongs to, so she made separate piles for each of us, which Damon carries up to our chosen rooms at Vamp speed.  Still despite mailing most of our stuff both the Camaro and the SUV were still completely full except for the three seats we used on the drive, so it takes a good hour or so to get everything inside.  Part of the reason it takes so long is Isa is apparently still a huge klutz and keeps tripping and almost face planting on the ground.  Fortunately for her, Damon keeps moving to steady her each time.  The other reason is despite our having a Vampire to help we can see window drapes being pulled aside so our neighbors can watch us, so Damon has to keep everything at a Human pace.

Once everything is inside, well that is another matter entirely because Damon helps Ric and me unpack at inhuman speed.  I smile when he comes into the walk-in closet while I put the last of my clothes away.  He pouts and tells me, “I was hoping I’d be able to catch a glimpse of your pretty underwear again.”

I laugh and tell him, “Keep dreaming Damon.”

He smirks a smirk that shoots right through me before he tells me, “Oh I will.  Have no doubt of that.”

I giggle and so does Isa before she smiles at me and saves me from further embarrassment by telling us, “Anyway, obviously I made your beds with the bedding I ordered and had delivered with the kitchen supplies you bought.  I put the kitchen stuff away too as well as putting all the food in the fridge and pantry yesterday, so y’all should be set, but Charlie and I wanted to invite you all over for dinner tonight so…”

Damon smiles but says, “You’ve had a long trying day, so if you’d rather have us over another night—”

She smiles while she interrupts and tells him, “That won’t be necessary, besides I’m trying to remember what I said the other night.  We can’t help whom we love or whom they do or do not love.  Edward and I are no different.  He—he doesn’t love me the way I love him, so frankly I’m better off he broke up with me now rather than after he turned me.”

We already knew she wanted Edward to turn her, and Ric and Damon don’t so much as flinch, but I can’t stop myself from gasping and asking, “You’d actually have allowed him to turn you?”

Mostly I’m just amazed I’m not the only one who’s seriously considered it because every Vampire I’ve ever met had their choice taken away from them in some fashion be it that they didn’t choose to go into transition in the first place or like Damon didn’t want to finish it.  She frowns and tells me, “I love him, and I thought he loved me.  If you fall in love with a Vampire or a Cold One, then either they watch you grow old and die, or you become like them and stay with them forever.  I wanted forever with Edward.  He apparently felt differently, and as I said, I’m actually grateful he told me now instead of after I became a Cold One.  Though Alice told me, she saw me as a Vampire, so I’m not sure what’s up with that because I’ve never known her to be wrong.  Then again, she didn’t see Jasper attacking me on my Birthday, so I’m totally confused about her visions.  Anyway, if he wanted me forever I would have given him my Human life gladly, but now he’s gone, so unless I fall for another Vampire or Cold One I’m going to have a Human life and die a little old lady 60 or 70 years from now.”

I nod.  I must be wired weird or something because four out of five of my Best Friends including the one person I’ve had feelings for in the past have been Supes and three of the four were Vampires at some point in their lives.  So naturally, I’ve actually thought about becoming a Vampire a couple times, first when Vicki disappeared right after her body was found and I discovered what Anna was.  Then I thought about it more seriously when I actually started hanging out with Anna and became best friends with her, and now that I’m crushing hard on Damon, I find myself thinking about it a lot.  I often wonder what it’d be like to spend forever with him.  I pull myself out of those thoughts though when we turn towards the front door, and Isa says, “Come on if you guys want you can keep me company while I cook our dinner.”

Chapter Text

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Chapter 005

What Have They Been Feeding You?

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Forks, Washington

Friday, September 17, 2010, 5:15 p.m. PDT (con’t.)

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When I pull myself out of thoughts about all the Supes I’ve been friends with we turn towards the front door and Isa says, “Come on if you guys want you can keep me company while I cook our dinner.”

We all nod and follow her out of the house and back to hers.  Ric and I sit at the kitchen table while Damon unsurprisingly offers to help her cook.  She turns and asks, “Anyone allergic to fish?  Charlie loves fish, so if no one objects, I figure I’ll cook up his catch from last weekend.”

We all agree fish is okay, so she sets about breading the fish just before my phone rings.  I take it out of my pocket and sigh when I see the number.  I look at Damon and tell him, “Maybe you should have kept the compulsion in place for phone calls because ten to one she’s about to try my patience like only she can.”  Then I hit the answer button, and after putting it on speaker-phone, I force some cheer into my voice and ask, “Hey Elena, what’s up?”

“Hi Jules, I’m just calling to find out how the trip is going.  Do you want to kill Damon yet?”

I roll my eyes offended on his behalf and say, “He’s not so bad, mostly he tones down his attitude when it’s just Ric and me so it’s good.  Plus, we arrived in town a few hours ago, so now we’re helping Bella cook dinner, well actually super chef Damon is helping.  Ric and I are just watching because it’s probably safer for everyone if I don’t help anyway.”

Everyone in the room works hard to stifle their chuckles, so Elena won’t know she’s on speakerphone.

We can all hear the scowl in her voice loud and clear when she asks, “Oh yeah, what’s Bella like?  Is she still so stand-offish like she was when we were little?  She used to always act like she was too good to play with us.  Do you think Damon likes her?”

She didn’t act as if she was too good to play with them.  She acted as if she didn’t want to play with Elena and company because they were being mean and childish not to mention snotty and stuck up.  Bella was too mature for their crap and not willing to put up with their attitudes. 

Bella and I on the other hand, despite there being just over two years between us, hung out all the time when she and Charlie would visit.  I always regretted that I hadn’t stayed in touch with her after her last visit when I was 12, and she was 14 about to turn 15. 

Anyway, all four of us in the kitchen roll our eyes before I tell her, “She’s cool, super sweet and extra nice just like always.  She put everything away in the kitchen, stocked the fridge for us and everything, and she even made our beds with the bedding we ordered.” 

I pause and then remembering who I’m talking to and what I’m supposed to be compelled to believe I say, “Other than that it’s too soon to say, but I think I’m going to be happier here with no memories haunting me at every turn.” 

I pause again and then smile and get a little payback by saying, “Plus, the house is huge and even nicer than the one in Mystic Falls.  Your bedroom, mine and most of Mom and Dad’s room could comfortably fit in my new room, and it has a balcony, private bath, walk-in closet, and a second huge room off of it that I plan to use as my Art Studio.” 

I was about to leave it at that, but then I recall the other part of her question, so in my best little sister voice, so she knows full well I think she’s a moron for asking, I tell her, “And of course he likes her.  You and Bon are the only people I’ve ever met who don’t; even Care loved her when we were kids.”

“Hmm well let’s just hope he doesn’t like her too much, Jules.  Well, I’ve got to go.  I’m meeting up with Care and Bonnie.”  She pauses and then as an apparent afterthought adds, “Call me if you need anything.”

I frown at the evidence that my sister well and truly doesn’t give a crap about me other than how I affect her.  Still, I force myself to say, albeit reluctantly, “I will love you, Elena.”

With a flat voice that makes me doubt the veracity of her words she tells me, “Love you too, Jules.”  She pauses and I almost think she’s hung up but then with more conviction and a slightly snotty attitude she says, “Tell Damon I told him to behave and that he better come back soon.  I miss him.”

My frown deepens, and in an effort to end this call before I lose my cool I say, “He said he’ll leave in a couple of days, so I’m sure you’ll see him soon enough.”

She doesn’t bother replying, and all I hear is the dial tone, so once the call is disconnected I blow out a deep breath noisily, and then I slam my phone down on the table and say, “That bitch, you better come back soon?  And tell you to behave?  As If you’re not more than 150 years older than she is.  You’re perfectly capable of deciding where and when you want to be as well as whether or not to behave all on your own.” 

I pause then look at Damon and tell him, “That crap about how much you like Isa and Elena missing you?  Ignore it, Damon, she’s jerking your chain because she knows that she can, and she’s worried you’ll realize there are other fish in the sea, fish with fewer attitude problems.  Honestly, I’m beginning to think she has a lot more in common with Katherine than just her looks.”

I actually know that last bit to be fact because I’ve read her diary, every word of it from the entry right before Elena went to the party the night our parents died to the night she ordered Damon to compel me the second time.  By her own words, she’s been intentionally toying with him, leading him on and making him think that he might have a chance all because she likes the idea of two brothers fighting over her.  It makes her feel special and important or some equally stupid and cruel crap. 

However, I haven’t worked up the courage to tell Damon what I know, so he’s clueless.  Part of me doesn’t want to tell him and confirm what I’m beginning to realize he suspects, at least in part, and shatter any hope he might have left.  Plus, I’m afraid if she hurts him too badly or well and truly pisses him off he won’t want anything to do with me because I’ll just be a reminder of my bitch sister.  I’ll freaking kill her myself if she costs me one of my best friends.

Still, Damon laughs and tells us, “That’s another reason why I jumped at the chance to get the hell out of Dodge.  I realized she’s been playing Stefan and me against each other just like Katherine used to.  The first time got me dead and turned, and I’m not stupid enough to think this time will turn out any better for me than it did the first time around.”

My brow is wrinkled, and I’m biting my lip and bouncing my knee, so Damon looks me right in the eyes and tells me, “Seriously Jules, don’t worry.  I’m not going back unless you and Ric go back.  Besides I’m not as hopelessly devoted to her as I may have let on.  I mean, yeah, at first I was all in, but after I killed you, it sort of opened my eyes to how destructive whatever I was feeling for her was, so now I mostly play at being the love-whipped Vampire in love with his brother’s girl.”  He pauses to smirk before telling me, “Mostly I allow the charade because it messes with Stefan’s head and I did promise him an eternity of misery.”

He pauses again and really looks at me for a second before smiling and saying, “And I think Ric and I have both proven with our plan to save you from being compelled that we’re not wrapped around her little pinkie finger like she thinks we are.  Besides Ric has a job here now, and I’m buying that awesome house for you, so even if we do go back, it’ll be to save her ass, and then we’ll all come right back here when we’re done playing the heroes.”

I look at him for a minute, and then after realizing he’s not lying I nod, so he turns back around and goes back to cutting up the veggies for the salad.

Isa spends some time telling us all the gossip she knows about the people we’re likely to meet here and just when the buzzer rings, 45 minutes later, signifying that the fish is done my mom’s best friend, Charlie, comes in the front door.  He slings his gun belt on the hook by the door before calling out, “Something smells great, Bells.”

She laughs, and when he enters the kitchen, she tells him, “I cooked up last weekend’s catch.”

Ric stands when Charlie comes into the room so Isa tells Charlie, “Dad this is Alaric Saltzman, the guy with the salad bowl is Damon Salvatore, and the giant sitting at our kitchen table is little Juliet if you can believe it.”

Charlie shakes Ric’s hand while he tells Charlie, “Pleasure to meet you, Chief Swan.  Thank you for all of your help with getting the house rented and set up for us.”

Charlie nods and says, “No problem anything to help Miranda and Jenna’s family, and please call me Charlie.”

Ric smiles and says, “Then please call me Ric.”

While Charlie nods, Damon sets the salad bowl and a bowl of cooked spinach in some sort of butter sauce on the table and shakes Charlie’s hand, “Nice to meet you, Chief Swan.”

Charlie says, “Good to meet you too, call me Charlie.”

Damon smiles and nods, so I stand and hug Charlie, “Nice to see you again, Uncle Charlie.  What’s it been three years since I saw you last?”

Charlie chuckles, “Yeah about that, you were all skin and bones and gangly limbs and a lot shorter back then if I remember correctly.  What have they been feeding you in Mystic Falls?  You’re all grown up now, and you’re definitely taller than Miranda was, and you’re still young, so I bet you’ll get even taller before you stop growing.”

I laugh at that and nod to show I agree then he turns serious and says, “I was really sorry to hear about your folks and Jenna and John.  I had an active case here when your parents died, or I would have flown out for the service.  And Elena assured me I didn’t need to come when Jenna and John died.  Actually, she flat out ordered me not to come saying I would bring up too many memories for all of you, so I chose to honor her wishes.”

That bitch!  I would have loved to have Charlie there for us.  Still, I smile and try not to let on how upset this new information makes me, and I tell him, “Thanks, it’s okay, I’m learning the hard way that crap happens, and then life goes on if you’re lucky anyway.”

He nods but his brows drawing closer together and the tightening of his face tells me he sees right through my attempt at hiding my feelings, but thankfully he doesn’t call me on it before Isa tells us all, “Okay, everyone sit down, and I’ll serve.”

Once everyone has their food, and we’ve been eating for a few minutes Charlie asks, “So Ric, Bells tells me you’re the new History Teacher, but she wasn’t sure how you came to be Jules’ guardian.  I ran the background check, but it only told me the broad basics and left some pretty big holes in the story, so fill them in for me because you’re as good as family now that you’ve taken Juliet in.”

Ric nods and swallows his bite before lying only a little, “My relationship with the Gilbert family is a little complicated.  Essentially, I was married to Elena’s birth mother before she disappeared.  I moved to Mystic Falls to come to terms with the fact that my wife was likely dead.  When I arrived, I met Jenna who was doing her best raising Elena and Jules.  Jenna and I had an instant connection, and we started dating pretty quickly, and it was very serious from the outset because I actually considered going ring shopping in the weeks leading up to her death.”

My eyes go wide at that because I was unaware that he had actually acknowledged how deeply his feelings for Jenna went.  I smile gently at him when he turns to look at me and nods before he continues, “Anyway, my wife made a brief reappearance to mess with Elena’s head and my relationship with Jenna.  Unfortunately, she didn’t stick around long enough for her to sign the divorce papers I tried to have her served with, but then she decided to come back again and permanently mess with Elena’s head.  We’re pretty sure she convinced her new boyfriend to set her on fire, and they made Elena watch while Isobel burned to death.  Although Liz was unable to find any real proof, it was an assisted suicide and not an outright murder.  Still what little we managed to get out of Elena when we found her traumatized leads us to believe that Isobel’s boyfriend at the least was, in fact, trying to screw with her daughter’s head.” 

Charlie looks horrified while Ric pauses to collect himself and probably remind himself of the stories Caroline’s mom cooked up to account for Isobel’s fiery death and Jenna and John both dying on the same weekend a week later.  He looks at me again then says, “So even with all of that happening I was happily dating Jenna and helping her raise her nieces, and as I mentioned I was seriously tossing around the idea of making it a more permanent situation.  However, then Isobel’s boyfriend, whom we believe was stalking Elena after Isobel’s death, kidnapped Jenna to lure Elena to him.  Jenna, spitfire that she was, apparently fought back and tried to escape and he responded by killing her.  Because Elena’s biological father, her uncle John, also died that same weekend but in an unrelated car accident, the kids had no surviving family or guardian, so the courts awarded me with custody when I asked for it.  I figured I got along with them, and I didn’t really have any family either, so we could be alone together.”

Charlie’s nodding while he eats and listens then he asks, “They catch the boyfriend?”

Ric shakes his head no and says, “No.  We believe he left the state, but Liz and her colleagues in other departments haven’t been able to track him down.”

Charlie frowns and asks the obvious question, “Given all that and that a madman may still be out there stalking her why isn’t Elena here too?  She wasn’t too clear on why she wasn’t coming when I spoke to her the other day, only that Jules needed to leave.”

Ric frowns at his fork and says, “She turned 18 this summer, so my guardianship of her ended less than a month after I got it, therefore, I have no legal standing to control her, and because all of her friends and her boyfriend are in Mystic Falls she chose to stay there.  I tried to get her to come with us and start fresh, but she refused.  Then I offered to stay too so that Jules could be with Elena, but the ghosts of her loved ones were haunting Jules too much, so when I told her I had been offered a job here by one of my old college buddies she told me to take it and agreed to come with me.  Elena then fixated on her sister leaving town and practically ran us out of Mystic Falls.”

He pauses then looks at me seriously before saying, “Honestly Jules dabbled in the drug scene briefly right after her parents died but stopped fairly quickly when she realized she was on a course that could screw up her whole life before it even got started.  Although she stopped the drugs and partying her grades have suffered significantly every time someone dies because she gets depressed and loses interest in her school work, which for the record is completely understandable.” 

He looks at me and tells me, “I don’t want you to think your reactions to all this death have been unwarranted.  Given your age, you acted exactly as you probably should have.” 

I nod, so he turns back to Charlie and tells him, “However, Elena seems to have gone to the other end of the spectrum and has been getting meaner and bossier with every death.  Not to mention she’s been growing more conceited, self-involved, and selfish.  Other than worrying about Klaus coming back I was, I’m ashamed to say, actually relieved when she chose to stay behind because I honestly think it’s better for Jules’ mental health if she’s not around her sister day in and day out.  I mean don’t get me wrong I tried to help Elena, but I wasn’t having any luck getting through to her, so I’m hoping this time apart will actually bring the sisters closer together.  After all, they’re all they have left.”

He takes a sip of his beer and then continues, “Anyway, I was still concerned about leaving Elena unprotected and alone, so Liz promised to have her people patrol Elena and her boyfriend’s neighborhoods regularly.  They’ve all got pictures of the guy, so I’m hoping Elena will be able to learn from the time apart and still stay safe.” 

Charlie and I both nod deeply before Ric finishes, “Despite her being 18 I’m still the executor of all three of her trusts until she turns 27.  Therefore, I arranged for all of her household bills to be paid for her, and I set it up so that she gets an allowance for food and other incidentals as well as some fun money.  I also made sure she knows to call me if her car or the house need any repairs, and I’ll call the accountant and have him pay the repair bills for her.  I’m trying to give her space and to let her live on her own without a parent or adult to rely on day in and day out in the hopes that it will snap her out of her bad attitude.  However, if I'm honest, I’m not sure the damage to her psyche can truly be repaired enough to make much of a difference without her having professional help, which by the way she is currently refusing.  I’m toying with the idea of withholding her fun money to force her to see a therapist, but I’m pretty sure that would just make her attitude worse not better.  Anyhow, I’m pretty sure Jules told you the rest when she talked to you yesterday.”

Charlie nods again and says, “It sounds like you’ve done all you could for Elena and I agree based on what you’ve said and my own conversations with her in the last week or so that it’s probably better that Jules and Elena be separated at least for the time being.  I’ve unfortunately had to give similar advice to other parents.  You’ve got to focus on the kid who’s willing to accept help and just pray for the other child to find their own way home so to speak.  It sucks no question about that, but if she doesn’t want help, then there’s nothing you or anyone else can do for her for the time being.  It’s like dealing with an addict, you can’t actually assist them until they admit there is a problem and ask for help.” 

Ric and Damon both nod apparently agreeing with him, and I have to admit I kind of agree too.  Charlie pauses and then after taking another bite turns his head towards Damon and asks, “What’s your story, Damon?”

Damon smiles and only fibbing a little says, “I fell in love with my brother’s girlfriend, who happens to be Elena.  I knew she didn’t want me, and because I really didn’t want to cause problems for my brother I opted not to fight for her, but watching them together was killing me slowly especially because her behavioral issues have been causing her to string me along and play Stefan and I off of each other.  Really at this point, I’m more in love with who she was when I first met her than who she currently is because if I’m honest I don’t really like who she currently is.  Anyway, when Ric told me he was going to accept the position here, he knew I was friends with Jules and suggested I come with them because Ric and Jules are the first friends I’ve had since mine and Stefan’s father died.  My childhood best friend died a few months after my father did, but Ric has managed to fill the hole left behind when Emily died.  He’s pretty much my new best friend, and he knows me better than most, so he knew how much it was hurting me being around Elena and seeing the monster she’s become every day.”

Wait Emily?  He doesn’t mean Emily Bennett, does he?  I thought she was working for Katherine?  I’ll have to ask him some other time when Charlie’s not around, and I won’t have to keep the Supernatural aspects of the story a secret.

He’s still talking, so I focus back on his words before he says, “Anyway, getting away and mending my heart sounded like a good idea.  Because I inherited a vast fortune from each of my parents when they died, and those inheritances have been well invested, I figured why not.  It’s not as though I had a job tying me to Mystic Falls.  So here I am.”

He pauses to take a bite then after chewing and swallowing he continues, “I have an Art Degree, a couple of them actually, and I’ve got some projects and paintings I’ve meant to create.  I brought everything I’ll need and Seattle, and Port Angeles are close enough if I need any other supplies.  And now that I saw the house we’re buying I’m glad I came, even if only for artistic reasons because there’s this room that’s perfect for mine and Jules’ studio, so I can paint and maybe even get back into sculpting.  And honestly I can create my stuff from anywhere, so here is just as good as there, better even because I won’t have to deal with Elena’s attitude or watch Stefan and Elena be all lovey-dovey every second of the day.”

Charlie nods and tells us, “Well, if you three need anything else don’t hesitate to let me or Bells know, okay?”

All three of us nod and dinner continues with pleasant conversation mostly about Forks and the people who live here.  When dinner is over and the dishes are all clean, Charlie asks, “So Ric do you like sports?”

Ric laughs and tells him, “I played Football, Basketball, and Baseball at Duke so yeah I like sports.”

Charlie smiles and leads Ric into the living room before he asks him, “So, what’s your opinion on the Mariners?  And careful how you answer because your response will impact how well we get along.” 

Ric laughs and says, “I like them just fine, though I have to admit I was born and raised in Rhode Island so except for college sports I usually root for the New England Teams.”

I follow them to the couch and interrupt only lying a little when I ask, “Ric, do you mind if I go back to the house and finish setting up my room?  I know it’s the weekend, so I can sleep in tomorrow and still finish unpacking when I wake up, but I hate the idea of sleeping surrounded by boxes, so I want to get as much done as I can before I head to bed.”

Ric smiles and says, “Of course.  You have the key I gave you?”

When I nod and jiggle it in front of me, Ric tells me, “Then I’ll see you at home when the game is over, or Charlie throws me out because I’m a die-hard Sox fan, whichever comes first.”

Charlie laughs and nods before Isa offers, “Hey Jules if you want, I can go with you and help.  I bet two of us will get more done than just one person.”

I smile and tell her, “Sure Isa, that’d be great.”

When Charlie’s brow raises Damon says, “I feel the same way Jules does about sleeping in a room full of boxes, so I’m going to head back over too.”

Charlie smiles and says, “Okay, have fun Bells.”

We grab our jackets and Damon says, “Charlie, seriously, thanks for everything and especially for the warm welcome.”

Charlie nods with a smile and says, “No problem,” so after Damon nods in response, the three of us go out the door and head over to our new house.

Chapter Text

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Chapter 006

I’m Glad You Didn’t Hit Me

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Forks, Washington

Friday, September 17, 2010, 7:30 p.m. PDT (con’t.)

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When we enter our new house, Damon leads us to the ground floor library, which is full of bookshelves that Damon already filled with all the Grimoires we got from the storage facility.

Isa looks at the shelves and asks, “Not that I’m complaining because I love books and the older they are, the better, but why do you have so many of these?”

Damon smiles and says, “They’re spell books or Grimoires, and this actually isn’t all of them.  In a minute, I’m going to ask you to do a spell or two, and we’ll get all of them.  Anyhow, right after I was turned, my childhood best friend, a Witch, named Emily Bennett, told me that I was going to help a new Witch someday.”

Okay, so he did mean Bonnie’s ancestor, Emily.  I really did think that she came to Mystic Falls with Katherine though, but Damon called her his ‘childhood best friend’ twice now, so I must not know the whole story.

He’s still talking, so I pay attention before he says, “This new Witch would actually be the Last Elemental and descended from the five other species of Demon and Elf each.  All she knew was this Elemental’s name would be Isabella, and I would be a Vampire for at least 145 years when we would meet.  She told me that Isabella was going to need as many Grimoires as possible and asked me to hunt down as many as I could from all over the world and hold onto them for her until it was time to give them to her.  Anyway, I’ve collected at least 8,000 of them at this point.”

8,000?  That’s a lot of books.  Thankfully, I’m pretty sure they’ll all fit and still have room left over.  He walks to one of the shelves and pulls out a book and opens it before taking an old yellowed piece of paper out and hands it to her, “Emily said if you’re the correct Isabella reading that aloud will unlock your powers.”

She takes a deep breath then reads aloud, “Oh Isis, shining lady, my abilities bound once but tied no more.  Release the spell and purify my blood granting me your gifts of lore forevermore.  So mote it be.”

When the last word passes her lips blue and purple lights appear and envelope her body.  The light pulses nine times before her body seems to absorb it.  She stumbles so I stick my hand out to steady her.

When the light disappears, Damon smiles and says, “Guess you’re the right Isabella.”

She chuckles nervously while she gets her footing back before she plays with the corner of the page in her clutched fingers.  Her eyes are open wide, and I can see the whites of her eyes all around her irises just before she tilts her head down and looks at the ground.

I bounce on the balls of my feet and say, “So cool.  So now what?”

Damon hands her the book he got the sheet of paper out of and points to the spells on either page it’s opened to.  He tells her, “You can do either one first.”

She nods her head, and she begins to read it aloud, “Mother Isis, Oh Shining One, mysteries hidden behind foreign words.  Make our minds understand the words from any time.  Words of all peoples and lands in any form take shape in our minds.  May the mysteries be mysteries no more as every word from shore to shore gives us helping hands and clear understanding of your lore.  Use your Besom to clear the rolling storms from our minds and let us do your works and understand your lessons.  So mote it be.”

Suddenly a pink light surrounds all three of us, and then after it too pulses nine times it absorbs into us.  A second later Damon’s phone chirps to tell him he has a text message.  He pulls the phone out of his pocket and reads the message then laughs and says, “Ric says it’s a lucky thing Charlie went to the bathroom when he did, or he would have seen the light that resulted from quote ‘whatever you just did’.”

Damon’s eyes are crinkled, and he’s smiling widely, so I smile at him, happy that he’s happy.  The BS my sister has been trying to pull with him may not have messed with his head as much as I thought it did, but I desperately want him to get completely over her.  Although, a little voice inside my head says, ‘Even if he gets over her, he’s not likely to move on to Elena’s little sister, so you stand no chance,’ which I suppose is true.  I sincerely doubt Damon Salvatore would react well to me telling him I have a crush on him.

Right now my heart and my body want Damon, but I know I’ll never get him.  For one he’s at least a little in love with my bitchy sister, and I’m sure dating the younger sister of the girl he used to love would be too weird even for Damon, his joking about my underwear and his suggestion that I have naughty dreams about him notwithstanding.  For two, technically I’m only going to be turning 16 next month, and he’s supposedly 24 years old so that would be a big no-no I’m sure.

Still, while he stands there in the study of our new home, I can’t help but admire the way his tight t-shirt shows off his hard muscles when he moves or the way his jeans hug his ass and thighs.  Then a minute later, he’s snapping his fingers in front of my face while he says, “Hello, earth to Jules,” my eyes lock on his blue ones before he smiles warmly at me and asks, “You okay?  Where’d you go?”

I blush and then scrambling for a reasonable explanation I tell him, “Uh, sorry I was, uh, just thinking about whether I’ll make any friends here besides Isa.”

Damon frowns and narrows his eyes, and I realize his BS meter just went off.  Despite his instincts crying foul he nods and goes with it and allows Isa to reassure me, “Oh Jules, don’t worry I’ll introduce you to all my friends, and I’m sure they’ll like you as much as I do, so you should have no worries there.  Of course, the only downside to them is that none of them know about the Supernatural.  I always wished I had someone else besides Jake, who is biased against Cold Ones, that I could talk to about all this, but now we have each other, so it should be good.”

Damon is eying me critically with narrowed eyes while he tries to put the puzzle pieces together and figure out what I was actually thinking about.  A moment later, when he takes a deep breath he doesn’t need, his eyes widen, and he smiles, and I’m sure he’s figured something out.

However, instead of calling me on whatever he thinks he figured out, he instead asks us both, “You guys want to start going through the books and see if we can find a way to kill an Original Hybrid?”

We both nod.  After a second, I realize that Isa already did the spell to call all of the other Grimoires to us as well as apparently any of Damon’s and Ric’s personal items that weren’t already shipped here.  The Grimoires are already lining the bookcases, and there are also little statues and a few boxes and glass jars full of herbs on some of the shelves.  I’m surprised to see that although Damon said there were more than 8,000 Grimoires, there’s still enough room for probably three more collections that are just as big to be added to the space. 

Damon takes a minute and runs upstairs to check and see that everything the spell brought here, including his cameras and the rest of his art supplies, are all in the right rooms.  I walk over to a shelf and take a white book off the shelf, then my eyes go wide, and when Damon walks back into the room a minute later I ask, “Uh, Damon, isn’t this Emily Bennett’s Grimoire?”

He takes the book from me and opens it and says, “It is.  I wonder?”

He reaches to the books beside where Emily’s book was and takes a few of them out before opening them and reading a few pages.  When he looks up he says, “These two are her mother’s books and,” He puts the two books back and grabs two more books and then says, “It looks like all of these in this section are all Bennett family books.”  He puts the two books back and walks to the left and takes two more books off the shelf before opening them and then saying, “And these here look like some of the books I helped carry to Sabrina’s car from Jonas Martin’s apartment after he died.”  He pauses with furrowed brows then says, “There was a line in the spell Isa just did that mentioned all of the Grimoires and artifacts intended for Isabella being brought to her here.  Therefore, I think the spell brought every book she’s currently meant to have here even if they already belonged to someone else.  Though I have a feeling more will find their way here soon.”

We both nod at him and he smirks before he says, “I wonder what Sabrina will say when she realizes all her books and possibly some of her supplies are now missing?  She doesn’t let any Vampires, including Stefan and me, into her house, so I’m sure she won’t think I have anything to do with the disappearances.  I bet she’ll call Ric though when she realizes they’re gone, so I’ll have to warn him.”

We smile at that, and then I grab another book before sitting down in one of the plush armchairs in the room, and we begin to read.  When I open the book, my eyes pop open wide, and my jaw drops when I realize I understand every word written on the parchment pages despite them being written in Ancient Greek.  “Uh, I can read and understand this.”

They both look up at me and Bella smiles and tells us, “I changed all the ‘me’s and my’s’ in the spell to ‘us’ and our’s’ hoping it would work on all of us.”

I smile at her and tell her, “Well I think that was a huge success.”

Damon nods and says, “I think so too because I can’t usually read Urdu, but I can understand the words in this book.”

We all smile at each other and begin reading.  At about quarter to 12, Ric comes into the room and smiles at us before telling Isa, “Bella, you should probably head home for the night.”

She nods and places a scrap of paper in the book she’s reading to mark her place and then stands.  Damon stands up too and offers, “I’ll walk you home, Isa.”

She nods before she says, “Good night guys, I’m really excited that you’re all here.  I think this is the start of something really great.”

I smile and tell her, “I think so too.”

She smiles back, and they both leave.  I watch Damon walk out of the room admiring the shape of his butt in his tight jeans when he leaves before Ric clears his throat and asks, “Are you going to tell him how you feel?”

My eyes widen, and they dart to meet his, “I, I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

He smiles kindly and tells me, “I see how you look at him.  I know he wanted to date Elena in the past, but there’s nothing wrong with you having feelings for him.  As Bella has said several times you can’t help who your heart wants.”

I sigh and look at my hands in my lap before I tell him, “Doesn’t matter who I want, he wants Elena.”

Ric chuckles so I look at him before he asks, “Does he?  Because correct me if I’m wrong but he said he’s not as hung up on her as he let on, and I don’t know about you, but I believe him.  Then if you take into account that he left her back in Mystic Falls and dropped everything to come here with you to make sure you’re safe, well, I think that speaks volumes about which of you he cares for most.  He also went against Elena’s express wishes to help you keep your memories intact and preserve your right to make your own choices.  Then throw in that he just bought you a house, one that Elena won’t be able to hold over your head or invite anyone into, well I fully believe he has genuine feelings for a Gilbert, but I’m also pretty sure it’s not Elena he really wants.  In fact, I’m pretty sure he talked himself into trying to love her in the first place because he thinks you are out of his league.” 

Ric thinks Damon thinks I’m out of his league?  Seriously?  Personally, I believe that it’s the other way around.  He not done though so after he pauses he then tells me with a gentle smile on his face, “Look, I won’t tell him what I know.  You should be aware, though, that I’m pretty confident that even if he doesn’t like you like that, he won’t laugh at you if you tell him.  I also don’t think he’d let things get weird between the two of you if you tell him how you feel, and he doesn’t return your feelings, though again I’m pretty sure he does.  Think about it, okay?”

I nod before Ric leaves the room and I sit there wondering if Damon coming here and helping me really means what Ric seems to think it means.  I hope it does, in fact, mean what Ric thinks it means.  While I replay every interaction I’ve had with Damon in the year since we met, I begin to realize Ric is actually probably right.  Damon comes to the house and plays video games with me or just hangs out talking even when he knows Elena won’t be home.  In fact, usually, the raven-haired Vampire shows up the most when he knows she won’t be around.  He’s helped me with my homework and my drawing and painting techniques and actually showed me his own sketchbooks and some of his paintings without my having to ask to see them, something I know he hasn’t even done with Elena.  He listens when I talk and other than drawing or painting advice he only gives advice when I ask for it.  He also didn’t try to kill me again when I showed up at the Boarding house with that stake.  He even apologized for killing me, and I could tell he meant every word of it, and one thing I know for certain is that Damon can probably count all the times he’s genuinely apologized on one hand and still have a finger or three left over.

I jump in my seat when I’m pulled out of my thoughts by Damon clearing his throat after he stands leaning against the door frame.  God, he’s beautiful.  He looks at me for a minute then says, “You want to tell me what you were actually thinking about when you spaced out earlier?  You don’t have to if you don’t want to, but I want you to know that I’m here for you.”

I frown and ask, “Why?  Why do you even care what happens to me?  Is it just because I’m Elena’s little sister?”

He frowns and walks into the room sitting down in the chair next to mine, and after he turns his body towards me, he puts his hand on top of mine and ignoring the electricity sparked by our touch he tells me, “Nothing I’m doing with you has anything to do with Elena.  I, I care because you’re a great girl who’s had a lot of crap happen to her, and you still don’t walk around acting like the world owes you.  You listen when I talk.  You don’t speak down to me either which pretty much everyone else, except you and Ric, does.  You don’t seem to mind just hanging out with me, and well honestly you and Ric are the first real friends I’ve had since just after I turned and Emily died.” 

He pauses then looks me right in the eyes and tells me, “I care because I like you, Juliet.  Nothing in our relationship has anything to do with Elena, at least not on my end.  She’d be pissed if she knew I consider you one of my best friends, and honestly I just don’t give a damn what she wants anymore.”

His hand raises towards my face, and then his face is slowly getting closer to mine while he cups my cheek causing me to gasp when another electrical current shocks through my system.  A moment later my eyes drift closed when he kisses me.  His tongue licks along the seam of my lips, and I sigh into the kiss allowing him to slip his tongue into my mouth.  His tongue slides over mine and then moves around my mouth licking my teeth before it rubs along my tongue again.  Who knew teeth were erogenous zones?  When he tries to pull away, I follow him causing him to chuckle and tell me, “As much as I want to continue this and see where it goes, I think I need to take a step back before I rip all your clothes off and have my way with you right here.  I’m pretty sure Ric would take exception to finding us naked in his library, even if I am the one paying for the house.”

I laugh and then his words register and my eyes widen before I ask, “Wait you want to get naked with me?  You’re not mad that I like you like that?  That, that I think I’m falling in love with you?”

He smiles and cups my cheek again with his big hand, which I lean into finding myself enjoying the shock of electricity running from his hand to my cheek, “In case you missed it, Jules, I kissed you, so no I’m not mad that you like me like that.  In fact, I’m pretty stoked to hear you say you think you’re falling in love with me.  I’m not completely there yet, but I think I’ll love you wholly and completely in a couple of days, especially now that we don’t have to deal with all the disapproving glares and snotty comments we would have gotten back home.  I wouldn’t have cared what they thought, but I know Princess Elena and Sabrina and maybe Vampire Barbie too, would have made trouble for you, and I wouldn’t have wanted that.”

I smile, “Okay, um will you sleep with me?  I mean just sleep.  I’m not ready for much more than kissing with a guy.”

I blush when Damon smiles and says, “I’m not going to pressure you, Jules.  We’ll move at your pace, okay?  And yes I’ll sleep with you.  You want to do it in my room or yours?”

My blush deepens at his words before I tell him, “Uh, my room rocks so mine I guess.”

He laughs and says, “Yes it does.”  He leans in, kisses me softly then stands before he says, “I’ll meet you in there.”

I sit there for a minute wrapping my head around the fact that Damon Salvatore just kissed me and thinks he’s falling in love with me just as much as I am with him.  After a minute, I get up and hurry upstairs to my room.  I keep my underwear and bra on while I change quickly into my sleep pants and tank top.  A minute later Damon knocks on my door and sticks his head in the room.

“Come on in,” I tell him, and then I nearly swallow my tongue when he enters revealing that he’s shirtless and only wearing silk sleep pants.  I swallow hard as my eyes travel over his bare chest and I admire the deep set ‘V’ of his hips.  Hot damn, how am I supposed to sleep with him looking like that?

He laughs and while his hand reaches out and plays with the strap of my bra he tells me, “I feel pretty much the same way.  The physical training you’ve been doing with Ric has paid off because you now have nicely defined muscles.  In fact, the tank top with small glimpses of your lime green bra is a damn good look on you, Jules.  I look forward to the day I get to see you only in your bra and panties.”

My blush returns full force whenI realize I spoke aloud and his words register.  Maybe he wasn’t joking as much as I thought he was about the whole underwear thing that night we packed my stuff.  I thought, at the time, he was just kidding, but now it seems like he’s had thoughts of my underthings before today.

He takes the last two steps to me and wraps his arms around me pulling my body flush with his before he kisses me again.  I wrap my arms around him too while his tongue rubs against mine, and my girlie parts are starting to take notice of the feel of his warm skin beneath my hand and the silky texture of his hair in my other hand.  I reluctantly pull away but smile when he rests his forehead against mine.  His breath is ghosting across my face, and I frown when he pulls away, but then I smile because he takes my hand and leads me to the bed after he says, “We need sleep.”

I just giggle while he turns on the bedside lamp and then vamp speeds to the light switch on the wall and turns off the overhead light before vamp speeding back to the bed and getting in.  I giggle again and then climb in after him.  I lay there stiff as a board before he pulls on my arm and tugs me over so my arm is laying on his stomach, and my cheek is resting against the hollow just below where his shoulder meets his neck.

I can hear the smile in his voice when he says, “I’m glad you didn’t hit me when I kissed you.  I almost didn’t, but you looked so cute sitting there all worried about why I’m helping you, and I just couldn’t resist.  I look forward to seeing where this goes, good night, Jules.”

He turns his head and kisses my forehead, and then I close my eyes, and when my body finally relaxes, I tell him, “Good night, Damon.  For the record, I’m glad you kissed me.  You can be pretty intimidating, so I think it would have taken a while for me to work up the courage to tell you how I feel.”

He kisses my forehead again, and I smile before I let sleep take over.

Chapter Text

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Chapter 007

Better for Knowing You

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Forks, Washington

Saturday, September 18, 2010, 4:20 p.m. PDT

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Isa and I hang out most of the day Saturday with Ric and Damon going through books.  Every now and then, she finds a spell and says it aloud.  She always turns the ‘me’s and my’s’ into ‘us’ and our’s’ so they affect us too.  At this point, I will be able to tell when people are lying to me, and we now know tons of information we didn’t before, everything from world history, art history, English, to math and science.  For that spell, Isa and I actually go and spend a few hours at the town library while Damon goes and liberates a good amount of blood bags from Forks Community Hospital and several local clinics in the district. 

The newly empowered Elemental does the spell on all the high school and college textbooks they have as well as a bunch of encyclopedias and classic fiction and non-fiction books and the cliff-notes, and similar books, for most of them.  The spell allows us to know everything within the pages.

When we get home from the library and tell Ric and Damon what we did Ric leaves the room for a minute then comes back and hands me a stack of papers that look like a test of some sort.

I look at him with my eyebrow raised, so he smiles and tells me, “Humor me.”  I trust him, so I take the pen he hands me and sit down at one of the library tables in the upstairs library and fill in all the answers including the five essay questions and two extra credit questions before then handing the pages to him.  He takes a red pen out of his pocket and then sits back and reads over it.  I’m surprised when he doesn’t write anything on it.  When he finishes he smiles and says, “You, Jules, just got better than a perfect score on the final exam I gave when I was a TA in a 500 level European History course at Duke because in addition to acing the test you also got the two extra credit questions right too.”

He smiles reassuringly at my wide eyes and tells me, “If you don’t object I think I’ll go call Principal Greene now and ask if he can arrange for you to test out of tenth and eleventh grade so that you can take the same classes as Bella.  I’ll bet she found that spell and the two of you were meant to use it like you did so you can be in her classes because you’re both much safer if you’re together.”

My eyes are wide open, and my jaw is also hanging open.  Damon gently closes my mouth and adds, “If you want and Isa agrees I’ll look at her schedule and go compel the secretary to give you all the same classes as her once you pass the test just to make sure it works out how we want.”

I just nod dumbly, so Ric goes to make his phone call.  He comes back 15 minutes later and asks, “I know it’s the weekend, but Mike said if you’re willing we can go to the school tomorrow morning, and you can take all the tests.  It’ll probably take all day.  He agreed to grade each one while you’re taking the rest and then he’ll score the last couple overnight.  He promised to make sure his secretary has the results when it’s time to make your schedule Monday morning.  So are you willing to sacrifice a lazy day tomorrow so you can start your classes on Monday?”

I shake my head a little then ask, “Ric, are you sure?  I mean you just gave me an ‘F’ on that other paper.”

He smiles, “It can’t hurt to try, and we both know that ‘F’ was because you copied the paper off the internet.  And I think we both also know that was more you acting out because of what’s happened recently and your sister’s apparent inability to recognize that she’s not the only one who’s lost loved ones.”

He pauses and smiles before telling me, “No one knows you here, Jules.  You can be whatever type of student you want to be, and no one here will question it, except maybe Mike and I’ve already told him that the tragedies in your life are the primary reasons behind the ‘C’s’ you received the first quarter of last year.  But you got all ‘B+’s’ and ‘A-’s’ the next quarter and then straight A’s during the two quarters that followed, and no one knows what was in mine or any of the other teacher’s grade books the first two weeks of this quarter.  So I hope you look at this as the opportunity it truly is because this is your chance to choose who you want to be and the kind of student you want the world to see you as.”

He grins then tells me, “Hell if it helps take the test simply to spite Elena and everyone else who ever wrote you off as unsalvageable.  You’re not unsalvageable, and if you grab hold of this opportunity it could change your life in ways you haven’t even thought of yet.”

I shuffle my feet and shove my hands in my pockets, so he says, “If I need to sweeten the pot I will.  Think of how pissed off Elena will be when she finds out you skipped a grade or two.  The little sister in you should be eager to grab hold of that opportunity to basically tell her to shove off without ever having to say a word.”

I smile at that prospect but then he frowns before telling me, “Her behavior towards you has been very wrong, Jules, and I’m not sure you actually realize that, not truly anyhow, not yet at least.  You have the right to be happy, Jules, and I think your sister’s actions have caused you both to forget that your happiness is just as important as hers.  And to be frank, to me, your happiness is more important because you actually treat people the way they deserve to be treated, and that makes you worthy of this opportunity to turn your life around.”

He frowns and rubs the back of his neck before telling me, “I know I haven’t said much about my life before Isobel, but my parents and then my grandparents, who got custody of my brothers and me, all died within two and a half years of each other.  My younger brother, Wilhelm, and I were a lot like you and my older brother, Franz, was exactly like Elena.  When we went to live with our Aunt and Uncle they were a lot like Jenna in their parenting style and Wil got into drugs to try to dull his pain and passed up multiple similar opportunities to the one you’re now presented with.  He died four years ago of an overdose after years of regretting not taking the path I took which is the path I’m now encouraging you to take.  So take a word of unsolicited advice from someone who’s been in your position before: don’t let this opportunity pass you by, or you’ll spend the rest of your life regretting it just like my brother did before he died.  He spent 14 years miserable because he turned down every opportunity to be the better man.  Be the young woman I know you can be, the one you’re meant to be not the one Elena seems hell bent on turning you into.”

Wow.  I had no idea Ric and my lives were so similar, no wonder he gets me so well.  The sad look in his eyes at the thought of his little brother seals the deal.  I don’t want to put that look on his face ever, so I smile and glossing over the seriousness of what he said I laugh and tell him, “If you think it’ll piss Elena off then I’ll do it.”

Everyone else laughs now.  I pause then fueled by worry for Elena ask, “What happened to your older brother?”

Ric sighs and frowns before telling me, “Franz let his bad attitude and belief that the rules didn’t apply to him ruin his life, and he’s now in jail for life without the possibility of parole for multiple crimes including fraud, embezzlement, and beating his wife and unborn child to death.”

Whoa.  That sucks, and I honestly don’t know what to say although, “Do you think Elena is like him like you said I’m like you and your younger brother?”

He sighs and sits down slowly but tilts his head up so he can look me in the eye as he says, “Honestly, yes.  Although Elena doesn’t appear to currently have the anger management issues Franz has, but the attitude that the rules don’t apply to her is exactly like it was in my brother.  She also treats everyone like they’re beneath her, which Franz did as well.  It’s part of the reason I was so quick to jump at the chance to get you out of there because Wil’s problems were only made worse by Franz’s behavior.  That’s not to say Wil had no responsibility for his choices and actions he definitely did, but Franz definitely made it harder for Wil to make the right decisions.  I sort of swore to Jenna the day we buried her that I wouldn’t let what happened to my family happen to hers.  I currently have no clue how to help Elena, but if I can help you, then I will do everything in my power to do so.”

I nod and smile before telling him, “Thank you for caring.  I’m really glad we met you.  Jenna was truly happy while she was with you, and I’m definitely better for knowing you.”

He smiles and says, “Honestly you really do remind me of Wil and me so I’d probably be trying to help you even if I didn’t genuinely like and care for you.  But the truth is you’re the daughter I wished Isobel and I could have had before I realized she didn’t want the same things I did.  Caring for you these last few months has been my sincere honor and privilege, and the truth is you and Damon have given me my hope back that I can have a family, even if it’s an unconventional one, despite how Wil and Franz and then Isobel all self-sabotaged their lives left and right.  You’re saving me just as I’m trying to save you but you’re welcome all the same.  You deserve to be happy Jules.  The world, despite what your sister thinks, does not actually revolve around her.  All I want for you is for you to be happy.”

I’m looking at my feet trying to will the tears away, but one escapes before I look up at him.  In that moment I want nothing more than to make him proud, and I resolve to do everything in my power to make that happen.  I wipe my tears away and tell him, “I miss my mom and dad, and no one can ever replace their role in my life, but you, you come about as close to it as anyone can, though honestly I really think of you more like an older brother rather than a parent.  Still, you’re family, maybe even more than Elena.”

His eyes widen at that, but after a moment he nods and then after smiling at me he looks away and picks up the book he was reading earlier.  So I nod back and then follow his example and go back to reading some more Grimoires. 

A few minutes later Isa gets my attention, and she does the knowledge spell on us again with all of Ric’s high school and college level books he’s collected over the years which are quite a lot because he actually has multiple Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees.  He smiles before he tells me, “Wil lost himself in drugs, and I chose, instead, to lose myself in books and knowledge.”

I smile at that and vow to take Wil’s story as the cautionary tale it is and do everything in my power to follow in Ric’s footsteps.  The truth is there are far worse people I could aspire to emulate.

When we’re done with spelling Ric’s books, we head down to the downstairs library and redo the spell on all of Mr. and Mrs. Peterson’s textbooks from their times as college students, who both also earned multiple degrees and their times as both high school teachers and college professors.  After we finish in the basement, we go back over to Isa’s house again for dinner. 

I go to bed early, so I’m refreshed to take the tests though Ric’s words from earlier in the day keep repeating over in my head.  I say a quick prayer, “Thank you, Jenna for falling in love with Ric,” because truth is I totally would have followed in Wil’s footsteps if Ric hadn’t come into my life.  I mean the first conversation I had with him is proof of the difference he started immediately making.  He literally threw Tanner’s Jackass File in the trash and offered me the opportunity to turn my grades and, although I didn’t realize it at the time, my life around.

Damon just holds me tightly while I lay thinking about everything I learned today and I’m grateful he’s not trying to fill the silence.  Eventually, I fall asleep, and dream of graduating from college with full honors while a proud Ric looks on from the audience with a broad and very pleased smile on his face.

I’m smiling after my dream when I wake, and I spend from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday at the school taking the tests.  Isa shows up at lunchtime and hands out grinders she made for Ric, Mr. Greene, my new principle and Ric’s old college buddy, and me.  Then when I finish the last test Ric and I meet Damon at Isa’s house and have dinner with Isa and Charlie yet again. 

Chapter Text

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Chapter 008

It’s Better She’s There, and I’m Here

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Forks, Washington

Monday, September 20, 2010, 6 a.m. PDT

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Monday morning, I wake to find a swarm of butterflies has taken up residence in my stomach, and I don’t think it’s because I’m lying against Damon’s bare chest, though it is a gorgeous chest.  Today’s my first day at Forks High and although I’m pretty sure I aced all the parts of the tests my palms are still sweaty, and my shoulders are tense.  The principal gave me the tests to put me in AP classes like Isa and test out of having to take a language like her too, so if all went according to plan, then everything should be okay.

Damon is still fast asleep, so after staring at his peaceful face for a few minutes, I resist the urge to kiss him awake, and instead I lean over and turn off my alarm before slowly extricating myself from his arms.  Fortunately, he doesn’t seem to wake up, so I go about getting ready for school.

Ric has promised to sign me up for Driver’s Ed and take me to get my permit sometime this week because I’m old enough here.  In the meantime, when he grabs his bag after breakfast Ric says, “I can take you both to school if you want.”

Isa smiles and tells him, “Ric, while we know you’re awesome and not some boring, stuffy adult the other students will not understand, so if you don’t mind, I’ll drive us.”

He just laughs and tells us, “Of course, you wouldn’t want to do anything to jeopardize your credibility as card carrying teenagers.”  We both nod with wide smiles on our faces while we laugh with him, and then he says, “I’ll see you at school then,” before he leaves. 

We follow him out the door a minute later, and while Isa drives, my butterflies are having babies and multiplying at an alarming rate.  I rub my still sweaty palms against my pant legs when we pull into the parking lot where everyone is staring at us, so I ask, “Why are they staring?”

Isa frowns and says, “Probably because the Cullens left.  Forks is like any small town in America, the rumor mill works quickly.  Plus, nobody knows who you are and while I know our neighbors have been pestering Charlie about you guys none of them knows much about you because he told them all to go introduce themselves and find out the answers to all their questions on their own.”

I laugh at that then hop out of the truck, grab my bag, and walk around the back to the other side and wait for Isa to slide down from her seat and grab her bag.

After she closes and locks her door, we head inside towards the office.  When we get there, Isa introduces me to Mrs. Cope who immediately starts gushing, “Ah yes, Juliet Gilbert, the new History teacher’s adoptive daughter.”

I smile and tell her, “He’s really more like a big brother or an uncle especially because he was dating my aunt before she died, but yeah that’s me.”

She smiles and nods then she hums while she pulls up the test results on her computer screen.  Her eyes get wide while she reads.  I’m starting to worry before she looks at me slack jawed and says, “I-I think you’re the first student to get a perfect score on every single part of all the tests you took.”  She pauses and then continues, “Especially the AP tests and the French, Spanish, Mandarin, and Latin tests.  Mr. Greene said you are to be placed in all Senior AP classes, and I believe there was a request by him and Mr. Saltzman that I pair you up with Bella whenever possible.” 

She clicks her mouse a few times and says, “Bella because Alice and Edward Cullen, and Jasper Hale were in all of your classes and they’re now gone there is room in all of your classes for your new friend.”

I grab Isa’s hand and squeeze causing her to look up at me and smile before we both nod.  Mrs. Cope prints out my schedule then prints out a couple of forms I need to have signed by my teachers and the page with my locker number and combo on it before telling me, “Welcome to Forks High School, Juliet.”

I smile widely and tell her, “Thank you so much for all of your help.  I really appreciate how nice everyone is being and how out of their way everyone has gone for me.  I mean Mr. Greene gave up his entire Sunday to help me, so I really appreciate everyone’s help and how welcoming you’ve all been to Ric and me, especially because classes started a few weeks ago, so thank you.”

She smiles widely before Isa leads me out of the office laughing.  When she manages to calm herself, she tells me, “Damon’s not the only sweet talker in your family.  You could be a serial killer, and she wouldn’t care because you were so appreciative, courteous, and polite.”

I laugh at her while she leads me to my locker, which fortunately is not far from hers.  I smile and with a lowered voice tell her, “Well I learned how to be so charming from Damon and Stefan who are technically actual serial killers, so you’re probably right.”

She laughs and nods.  Because I don’t have any books yet to put in my locker, once I know where it is and that the combo works we head to Isa’s locker to grab the things she’ll need for the first class, which happens to be English with Mr. Berty.

When I enter the room, I hand Mr. Berty the slip he’s supposed to sign, and he signs it then hands it back to me before he asks, “Do you have a tablet or Kindle?”

I nod and tell him, “Yeah, why?”

He smiles, “Do you have it here with you?”

I nod and put my bag on his desk to take it out and show him.  He takes it from me and says, “Can I see your schedule?”

I hand it to him, and he begins to type while he says, “I’ll pull up the list of books available to our students for free and then tell it to download the Iliad.  Your other teachers will tell you which books they’re using, and I believe they should all be available to you once I punch in your ID number and the password.  This way you’ll have all your books on your tablet.  Incidentally provided we don’t catch you playing games during class we allow the use of laptops in our classes too.”

I nod and watch while he types in my ID and then the password which gives him access to all of the books available to Forks High students.  He scrolls down until he finds ‘The Iliad’ and then tells it to download the book.  He hands it back to me and then says, “I told it to remember your ID and the password so you should have no problem accessing any of the books you might need for your classes here.  If you want to use a reading app on your laptop, the password for the network and our library is SPARTANS, all caps.  The page with your schedule has your school ID which you’ll need to access both.” 

He points out the ID number on my schedule, so I nod, and he nods back and tells me, “You can sit in the seat next to Bella.” 

I nod and go sit down.  When the bell rings, we do the Pledge of Allegiance, and then the principal gives the announcements over the loud speaker after which Mr. Berty takes attendance and then he introduces me, “Class we have a new student today.  Her name is Juliet Gilbert.  Juliet why don’t you stand up and tell us about yourself, and please include a hobby you enjoy.”

I shrug and stand before saying, “Well, my name is Juliet but you all can call me Jules if you want, pretty much everybody does.  I’m originally from Mystic Falls, Virginia, and I moved here last week with my guardian.  My favorite things to do besides hang out with my friends are playing video games, reading and making comics, drawing, and painting, in fact, I’m hoping I can get into Art School.”

I sit back down after that, and after taking out my laptop and plugging it into the little outlet on the leg of the table, I then input my ID number and the password before downloading the Iliad onto my computer too.  When the bell rings a second time, I begin listening and taking notes while Mr. Berty starts asking questions about the reading everyone was supposed to do over the weekend.  Fortunately for me, the Iliad was one of the books Isa spelled for me, so I know what’s being talked about. 

At one point, I decide Ric is right this is a brand new slate.  No one knows me here.  I can be the smart kid here if I want, so I raise my hand when Mr. Berty asks, “What do you all think the Iliad has to say about War?”

He looks at me for a second then he calls on me, and I start telling him about the glory of war, which is a major theme of the poem.  “The Iliad celebrates war.  Characters are shown to be worthy or despicable based on their degree of competence and bravery in battle.  Like Paris for instance, he doesn’t like to fight, so he receives the scorn of both his family and his lover.  Achilles, on the other hand, wins eternal glory by completely rejecting the option of a long, comfortable, uneventful life at home.  Homer even extended this way of judging character to the gods.  He held up warlike deities like Athena for our admiration while he made fun of gods who run from aggression, using the timidity of Aphrodite and Artemis to create some comic relief.  To fight is to prove one’s honor and integrity, while to avoid warfare is to demonstrate laziness, ignoble fear, or misaligned priorities.” 

I pause to breathe then continue, “Although Homer also doesn’t ignore the realities of war.  Men die gruesome deaths; women become slaves and concubines, estranged from their tearful parents; a plague breaks out in the Achaean camp and decimates the army.  In the face of these horrors, even the mightiest warriors occasionally experience fear, and Homer tells us that both armies regret that the war ever began.  Achilles points out that all men, whether brave or cowardly, meet the same death in the end, although the poem never asks the reader to question the legitimacy of the ongoing struggle.  Homer never implies that the fight constitutes a waste of time or human life.  Instead, he portrays each side as having a justifiable reason to fight and depicts warfare as a respectable and even glorious way of settling the dispute.”

Mr. Berty’s eyes are wide, and his mouth is hanging open just slightly, and so are those of the other students when I finish speaking.  A minute later he seems to snap out of his stupor, and he smiles widely and says, “Thank you, Juliet, that is correct.”

I smile at Isa who smiles back.  Who knows I might actually like being one of the smart kids for a change.

And so the morning goes.  I have to introduce myself in every class, which begins to get tiresome after the second time especially because it seems like all the same kids are in every class.  However, unlike when I lived in Mystic Falls, I actually participate in all my classes raising my hand without being prompted and correctly answering questions despite not having known what the homework was beforehand.

Finally, after fifth period it’s lunchtime, so I follow Isa into the cafeteria, and we get in line.  Eric was in all of our morning classes and is asking, “So I know you’re in our Photoshop and Illustrator class but are the only types of art you like drawing and painting or do you like other stuff too?”

He seems kind of cool and he’s being nice, so I tell him, “Mostly I just draw and paint, but I have the full Adobe Suite on my laptop as well as Poser and the rest of the Smith Micro programs.  I use them all fairly often, and my dad bought me a DSLR right before him, and my mom died.  After the funeral, I didn’t really want to look at it, but when Ric, Damon, and I drove here from Virginia, I decided to use it on our trip to document our travels.  Plus, our new house has a dark room Damon promised to teach me how to use, so I guess I like graphic design and photography too.  Really I like any way I can express myself creatively.”

Eric nods but frowns when I mention my parents and politely asks, “Uh sorry to hear about your parents, how’d they die?”

Bell swats at him, but I turn to her and smile before I tell her, “Don’t swat at him, it’s a fair question.”  Then I look at him and say, “They got into a car accident.  They swerved to miss an animal in the road and drove off a bridge.  They both drowned.  Fortunately, my sister, who was in the back seat, survived, but mom and dad weren’t so lucky.”

Eric frowns deeper and says, “Sorry, I probably shouldn’t have asked.”

I smile a sad smile and tell him, “No worries, I’ve lost a lot of people in the last year and a half, and that’s a huge part of my life, so it’s bound to come up in conversation especially because I bet most students here don’t have guardians.  I mean there might be some kids who were adopted, but Ric’s just my guardian and more of a friend or big brother than my parent, so that’s going to cause folks to ask questions too.”

Eric nods then seems to shake himself free from my sad memories and says, “Anyway, I was asking about the art because I work for the school paper.  We have a bunch of photographers, but you can never have too many of those in my opinion.  Plus, if you wanted you might even be able to draw cartoons like the political satirists in the real newspapers.”

I smile back, “That’d actually be pretty cool.  Who should I talk to about the photography and the cartoon thing?”

Eric sort of bounces on his toes as he says, “Mr. Fitzgerald is our advisor, and Angela is the Editor this year.  She was in all of our classes too and usually sits with us at lunch so Bells and I can introduce you when we get to our table.”

“Great.  Thanks,” I say before I tell the lunch lady, “I just want a slice of pizza,” because the rest of the food doesn’t look very appetizing or edible for that matter.

When we get to the table, there are a bunch of students that I think have been in most of my classes this morning.  I smile and tell them all, “Hey, I think I have at least one class with most of you so you probably already know this, but I’m Jules.”

After I sit down, they go around the table introducing themselves.  The one named Mike is giving me what can only be described as bedroom eyes, much to the dismay of the girl to his right.  I think her name is Jessica.

I take a bite of pizza, chew, swallow and pick up my juice to take a drink and just barely manage not to spit it out all over the table when Lauren says, “So Bella, I heard the Cullens left because you cheated on Edward with Juliet’s roommate.”

She’s lying.  She made the whole thing up as evidenced by the red glow surrounding her that is a result of the Honesty Spell Isa did on us the other day.  Still, I burst out laughing and tell her, “That’s actually kind of funny because we only arrived in town about an hour after Assward broke up with Isa.  And don’t get me started on how much of a douchebag he is because he knew damn well what a klutz Isa is and he still dragged her into the woods to break up with her.  Being her, she fell, and Ric, Damon, and I had to help her out of the forest.  Fortunately, she didn’t hurt herself too badly but still what kind of ass does that to someone he supposedly loved right up until he broke up with her.  I’m just happy I never met the jackass.”

I smile when Isa giggles at all the shocked faces around the table.  Then she tries to give me a stern look, and I laugh again and tell her, “Don’t try to look at me all disapproving like, he’s an ass and doesn’t deserve you and you know it.  Damon thinks he’s an ass too and wanted to kick his skinny ass, and he barely knows you, and if Damon thinks someone is an ass they usually are because it takes one to know one.”

We both laugh at that prompting Jessica to ask, “Uh, who is Damon?”

I smile at her slightly and tell her, “Damon is the one Lauren called my roommate.  He’s my friend and my guardian’s Best Friend.  He’s an artist, so he doesn’t have a regular job.  Instead, he makes art and sells it in galleries.  Because he wasn’t tied down to any one location, he decided to come with us, which is pretty cool because Damon doesn’t have a lot of friends.  He’s very much a loner so it would have sucked for him if he stayed behind because Ric and I are pretty much his only friends.”

She smiles, “Oh how old is Damon if he’s friends with you and your guardian?”

“Uh, he’s 24, so he’s about smack in the middle between Ric and me age-wise because I turn 16 the second full week in October and Ric is 34.”

Lauren leans forward with narrowed eyes before she asks, “How’re you in our classes if you’re not even 16 yet?”

I smile and tell her, “I tested out of grades 10 and 11.”

She frowns slightly before she says, “Oh, well how’d you end up with Ric as a guardian?”

I sigh a little but tell them, “My parent’s died in a freak car accident.  That was one year ago last May.  Then this past May my aunt who had been mine and my sister’s guardian was murdered the same weekend my uncle, who was also my sister, Elena’s, biological dad, died in an unrelated car accident, so we wound up having no family left.  At the time my Aunt Jenna died she was pretty seriously dating Ric, like buying a ring is the next step serious.  I was actually pretty sure they had a forever kind of love and figured they’d get married and have a bunch of kids.  Anyways, Ric petitioned the courts for custody of Elena and me because we didn’t have anyone, and he didn’t want to see us end up in the system.”

Their eyes are all wide, so it takes a minute before Mike asks, “So your sister, is she here too?”

I shake my head and frown a bit, “No, all her friends including her boyfriend are back in Mystic Falls, and because she just turned 18 in June, she decided to stay behind.”

Eric takes a turn speaking, “That sucks.”

I shrug, “Not really, she’s a little self-absorbed at the moment and can’t really find it in herself to admit or acknowledge that she’s not the only person who’s lost loved ones this year.  Personally, I think this time apart will help her realize that I’m still here and I need my big sis.  Until that happens though it’s better she’s there, and I’m here.”

Isa is nodding and tells them, “I haven’t seen her in a few years, but I heard her talking to Jules on the phone the other day, and she seems like a total bitch who’s too self-involved to notice she’s not the only one who had to bury her entire family.”

Angela swallows a bite of her sandwich then asks, “So you guys knew each other before she moved?”

We nod, but I let Isa answer while I focus on eating my pizza, “Charlie is originally from Mystic Falls and Charlie and Jules’ mom, Aunt Miranda, were best friends since diapers until her death.  Once Charlie moved out here to be with his other Grandparents he’d go back every summer, so every summer through to the summer I was 14 we’d go spend the summer visiting her family.  Then the summer I was 15 Charlie and I started only spending a month together instead of the whole summer, and we went to California instead of Virginia, so our trips to Mystic Falls stopped.  Jules and I hadn’t seen or talked to each other in just about three years until last week when Elena called Charlie to tell him Jules was coming to live here.”

I throw in, “We used to get along really well, way better than Isa and Elena ever did, so I was pretty stoked when I discovered Ric’s new teaching position was here in Forks and that Isa had moved here last year.  It all happened so fast too because I hear your old history teacher had a heart attack right after school started back up.  Ric’s friends with your principal and because Mr. Greene knew about Jenna and everything he suggested Ric and I come out here and start over.  Uncle Charlie’s been great too.  He’s helping us buy the house across the street from Isa’s house that Mrs. Peterson currently owns.”

I take my last bite of pizza and smile while everyone nods.  Angela says, “You’re lucky you got to move somewhere you already had a friend.  Poor Bella here didn’t know anyone and had to suffer the ‘new toy’ syndrome of everyone wanting to inspect and play with the new kid.  Hopefully, you’ll get to skip that phase especially now that you have all of us to help fend off the wolves, so to speak.”

Everyone nods and agrees with her before I smile and say, “Thank you, I hope you’re right.”  Honestly, except for Eric and Angela, I think the others are pretty much airheads, but they seem nice enough, and, hey, no one is perfect.  If I can put up with Elena’s attitude for almost 16 years then I can survive being friends with some possible airheads, especially because they don’t seem to have bad attitudes, Lauren trying to instigate aside.

When we’re done eating Eric tells Angela, “Hey Ang, remember how we were talking about trying to add political cartoons to the paper, but none of the art students thought the idea was cool enough to help us out?  Well, it turns out Jules is an artist, and she’s willing to help if you like her work.”

I reach into my bookbag and pull out my sketchbook, which is never far from me and hand it to her.  When she opens it everyone crowds around her to look at my drawings, and I tell her, “Towards the back of the book are some character sketches and possible cells I’m working on for a comic book I’m writing so you can see what my cartoons are likely to look like. 

They ‘Oh’ and ‘Ah’ over the traditional portraits and a few landscapes as well as the character sketches for the comic and when they reach the last drawing, which is of Damon smirking at me, they’re all looking at me with wide eyes, so I ask, “What?  Are they horrible?”

I laugh and so does Isa because they all begin slowly shaking their heads ‘no’ in unison before Mike and Tyler both say, “Hell no they’re not horrible.”  Mike finishes the thought, “Those are freaking awesome.”

Everyone nods at his words and Angela who is nodding more confidently adds, “You’re really talented, so if you want to come up with a few cartoons feel free.  They can be about the school, the town or politics or really whatever you want just keep it tasteful or Mr. Fitzgerald won’t let us publish it.”

I smile and tell her, “I’ll work on some sketches tonight and show them to you at lunch tomorrow, okay?”

She nods and smiles before we all stand to throw out our trash and head to the next class.

When 2:15 finally rolls around, I’m more than ready to head home.  Isa and I stop into Ric’s new classroom for a minute so we can tell him we’re going home.  He smiles when he sees us enter and says, “So Jules, besides introducing yourself you actually participated in my class, without me forcing you to, and the rumor among all the teachers is that you’re very smart and eager to take part in all of their classes.  None of the teachers I spoke to had a single negative thing to say about you.”

I chuckle, “I decided to take your words to heart and use this situation as a clean slate and basically start from scratch.  Like you said no one here knows Tanner had a Jackass File on me or that I used to hang with the stoners or get bad grades.  Which reminds me how did you talk Mr. Greene into letting me test out given the lopsided state of my transcripts?”

He smiles and tells me, “I explained that you entered High School just after your parents died and began acting out and getting bad grades and that that accounts for the first quarter worth of bad grades.  I mentioned that I’m pretty sure part of it was that you already knew what was being taught, so you were bored, and because you had your parents’ deaths to deal with you had nothing to keep your mind off your pain, so you acted out, and the circle perpetuated itself.  I told him that in the last few months before Jenna and John died you seemed to have grown up a bit and your performance at school had vastly improved accounting for the ‘B+’s’ and ‘A-’s’ you got the second quarter and the straight ‘A’s’ you got the last two quarters.  I added that although you had begun acting out again after Jenna and John’s deaths, I thought if we gave you the opportunity to test out of grades 10 and 11 that that might give you the motivation to stop acting out.”

He smiles then tells me, “I may have also mentioned that I thought it might also help perpetuate a different circle because you might actually find yourself learning things you don’t already know, and therefore it’ll help take your mind off of things, etc., etc.…”

He pauses and smiles wider at me then says, “And for once I seem to have gotten something right with you because I have to tell you, Jules, I don’t think I’ve ever seen you smile so much as you have today.  I saw you at lunch, and you looked truly happy and at peace.  There’s a light in your eyes that wasn’t there in Mystic Falls.  Maybe before your parents died, you smiled as much, and the light was there, but I’ve never seen you so happy and carefree.  It’s as though suddenly you’re a teenager again instead of a middle age woman who has to deal with grown up crap.  It’s a good look on you.” 

He pauses again and sits back in his chair before he says, “I think Elena might have actually done us all a favor by insisting you leave because I don’t think I’ve been so happy in a long time either, and I don’t think Damon’s ever been this happy.  And while I’m at it can I just say a smiling Damon is kind of creepy.”

Isa and I laugh at that before I tell him, “I think you might be right that it’s a blessing in disguise, and although we’ve only been here a few days, I can feel a difference already.  Anyhow, we just wanted to let you know that we’ll see you at the house later.”

He nods and asks, “Bella are we still on for dinner tonight?  I’m looking forward to meeting Billy.”

She nods and says, “Yeah, I think he’s bringing Jake too so Jules, and I will have someone else to hang with while the adults watch sports.”

He laughs and says, “Looking forward to it.”

Chapter Text

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Chapter 009

Something to Look Forward to

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Forks, Washington

Monday, September 20, 2010, 2:45 p.m. PDT (con’t.)

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Isa and I walk out of the school and head home.  On the drive, she asks me, “Should we do our homework at my house and not your home because I know I haven’t known Damon for long, but he seems like the type to distract us and not the kind to help us concentrate on school work.”

I laugh loudly at that, “Yeah you’re right about that, so your house is probably best.”

When we arrive, we head into her house and set up at the kitchen table before she pauses to turn on the oven, and we begin doing our homework.  She only stops long enough to put the lasagna in the oven when it’s hot enough and steam the broccoli and make some sort of cheese sauce for it.

Two and a half hours later, I’ve finished my homework.  I’m working on some drawings to show Angela tomorrow, including one that depicts Zeus, the King of the Gods and God of Storms, being angry with the founders of Forks and that is why it’s never sunny here: A God has a vendetta.  I’m hoping she’ll like it and choose this one to publish first. 

While I put the finishing touches on the drawing, Damon knocks on the door.  Isa goes and answers it, and when he comes in he leans down and kisses me briefly before taking a look at what I’m drawing and laughing before he says, “A God with a Vendetta is the reason it’s never sunny here?  I like it!”  He pauses while he looks at it then asks, “Any particular reason you’re working on that, though?”

While he takes a seat, I tell him, “Two of Isa’s friends or I guess they’re my friends now too, anyway, Angela and Eric, work on the school paper.  They asked me to come up with a few cartoons they might want to publish, so I drew up three for them to choose from.  When they pick one, I’ll do an ink version for them.”

He smiles and says, “That’s great, Jules.  So I take it school went well if you’re already claiming friends and participating in extracurricular activities?”

I smile and nod before telling him about my day.  When I’m done, he smiles at me before he turns to Isa and tells us about his day, “I had a very interesting conversation with your dad this morning.  Apparently, your one of the Swan’s so your family is also one of Mystic Falls’ Founding Families.  Therefore, it turns out Charlie knows about Vampires, and he’s actually better versed in all things Supernatural than even Liz is.”

Damon leans back in his chair and kicks his feet out under the table before he tells us, “He said he spoke to her over the weekend about me, and he’d like my help when those sorts of things come up.  He also told me he knows I’m not Human.  He didn’t know what I was, but he said Liz wouldn’t say only stating that he should ask me directly.  Anyway, I told him I’m a Vampire and explained all of our histories with more detail including the supernatural elements instead of the edited for public consumption versions we told him our first night here.  In turn, he told me about the Wolves on the Reservation and that he knew about Traditional Vamps as well as the very broad basics about Cold Ones though he thought he had never seen one of those before.  He added that he thought the Cullens are something Supernatural too, but he wasn’t sure what.”

He turns to look Isa in the eyes while she pulls the table out from the wall and lifts the other side to make the table longer.  He smiles the smile that always makes me do whatever he’s asking me to do before he tells her, “I hope you don’t mind, but I told him what they are because they’re gone now, and he seemed to handle what I am so well.  Needless to say, he doesn’t think very highly of Doucheward, and he knows something Supe was up last spring when you ran to Arizona and got hurt.  I told him he needs to come clean to you about what he knows and that if he does, then I’m sure you’ll show him the same respect by telling him what you know.  I hope I didn’t overstep my boundaries?”

She smiles, “No it’s fine, I’ve wanted to tell him from the start but the Cullens were very clear that telling Charlie would put him in danger, and I didn’t want to put him at risk if it wasn’t absolutely necessary.”

Her eyes pop open wide, and she snaps her head to face the front door when she hears, “Oh Bells, you’re the kid, it’s my job to look out for you not the other way around, and Damon, I thought I told you I’d talk to her.”

Damon most likely already knew he was there due to his Vampire senses, so he smiles his ‘I’m innocent, and I can do no wrong’ smile at Charlie.  Charlie’s eyebrow raises as if to say ‘I see through your act’ before Damon tells him, “You did Charlie.  But I knew, just as I’m sure you would have realized when you sat down to talk to her, that she wouldn’t want to reveal things about me or the Cullens if she didn’t have our permission because honestly, you raised a damn loyal and honorable daughter.  So all I was doing was making sure she knew I wouldn’t object to her telling you about me, but I had to mention that I told you everything else for it all to make sense otherwise she would have wondered why I was giving her permission to talk to you about my secrets.  I meant no disrespect.”

Charlie looks at him hard for a minute, and I smile when Damon actually shifts in his chair uncomfortably but then Charlie smiles and tells him, “I know.  I was just giving you a hard time.”

Damon lets out a breath and smiles back, and then Charlie turns and asks me, “So Jules, you still Human?”

I nod, “For now.  I’m kind of in love with a Vampire, so I’m hoping they’ll agree to change me once I’m an adult.”

Charlie surprises me by asking Damon, “You think that’s something you’ll consider?”

Isa and I burst out laughing at Damon’s wide eyes and his jaw hanging open.  Charlie just smiles wider and says, “I’m a cop Damon, I was trained to notice things like that.  While I remember, I don’t know that I need to say anything at this point but better safe than sorry especially because I really don’t want to have to lock you up.  The age of consent here is 16 so no more than kissing, hugging, and hand holding until her birthday next month, you hear?

Damon smiles and tells him, “I already told her we’d go at her pace, and I really doubt she’ll be ready for much more than what you mentioned before the 13th so we should be good.”  He looks at me then and tells me, “You’re cute when you blush, Jules,” which of course just makes my blush grow deeper.  Then he says, “And for the record, if Jules wants to transition when she’s an adult and closer to my age then I would be more than happy to make that happen, but only with her consent and not until she’s an adult.”

I smile and tell him, “Something to look forward to then.”

He laughs and shakes his head before he asks, “Being a Vampire is something to look forward to?  Since when?”

I giggle and shake my head back while I tell him, “No, getting to spend forever with you is what I’m looking forward to.”

Damon nods and smiles a beautiful smile that lights up his eyes and makes them sparkle with joy.  I’ve never seen that particular smile on his face before.  It seems to say all is right in his world.

Charlie walks back to the hallway and hangs his belt and gun before coming back into the kitchen and sitting down to hear Isa’s story about Cold Ones while she goes about setting the table and then sits back down.  When she reaches the end of her story, Charlie says, “I wish I had known.  I would have at least been a bit more understanding.  Anyhow, Damon told me Edward left you out in the woods last Friday and that you broke your ankle, so he gave you just enough blood to heal it.”

She looks down at the table and says, “Yeah, Edward told me I’m not good for him and that I’ll forget him in no time because I’m Human, and my memory is apparently like a sieve.  He said time heals all wounds for my kind.” 

She rolls her eyes at that and then continues her story while she bounces her knee under the table and plays with the fringe hanging out of the spiral of her notebook, “Then he finished by saying he was tired of pretending to be something he’s not.  He kissed my forehead after making me promise not to do anything dangerous for your sake and next thing I knew he was gone.  I decided trying to chase a Cold One through the forest was a bad idea, and actually, if he could say all he said, then he doesn’t love me the way I loved him.  Anyhow, I was trying to walk back out to the yard when I slipped and twisted my ankle.  When I tried to stand up, I noticed the blood and realized it was broken.”

She pauses and smiles before saying, “Fortunately I had my phone with me so when Damon called I told him what happened and the three of them came and got me.  Damon says his blood should be out of my system by now, so I should be safe from turning without wanting to.”

Charlie looks to Damon for confirmation and Damon nods and tells him, “The amount she took would have probably left her system shortly after 24 hours, but I told her I was going to keep an eye on her for 48 just to be safe.  Elena’s friend, Liz’s daughter actually, was injured in a car accident and their other friend, Bonnie, convinced me to give Caroline my blood to heal her because she wasn’t expected to recover.  Unfortunately, my Sire, Katherine, somehow knew Caroline had my blood in her system and killed her, so she’d transition.  I’m not really friends with Caroline because I treated her like crap when I first came to town.  My switch was off, and I abused her horribly, so I’m sure she hates me, but I know what it’s like to be turned without wanting it, so I feel sorry for what happened to her.  I wanted to make sure the same wouldn’t happen to Isa.”

Charlie nods and says, “Thank you, Damon.”

Damon just nods back, so Charlie tells him, “I took your advice and warned Billy that you’re going to be here tonight and that you’re a Traditional Vampire.  He said they’re aware of your kind and the fact that most of you have much better control than even the most controlled Cold One, so he says provided you don’t attack him or Jacob they won’t bother you none.  He did mention that he was going to talk to you about a Cold One problem they’ve been having the last few weeks.  He said they didn’t trust the Cullens farther than they could throw them, so they were hesitant to ask for their assistance.  Once he heard your name, though, he said he knew of you and that they had been told you would be trustworthy and would help protect Forks and the Reservation and everyone within those borders.”

He pauses with a frown on his face and then says, “It was actually kind of weird.  He was reluctant to ask for help until I told him, ‘Damon Salvatore doesn’t strike me as the type to just stand by and not help.'  Then he fixated on your name for a minute and asked a few questions about you like your age and if you’ve ever been bitten by a Traditional Werewolf.  It was a good thing you had filled me in on your story.  Anyway, then after I answered all his questions he promised to talk to you tonight.  I hope you don’t mind.”

Damon smiles at Charlie, “Not at all Charlie, while I don’t want you telling my story to just anybody, telling the Wolves and the Tribe is fine with me.  Plus, I told you while we’re here Ric, Jules, and I are more than willing to help out in any way we can, especially if you have a Supernatural issue.”

Charlie frowns and asks, “You let Jules help?”

I frown back, but Damon smiles and chuckles lightly before he says, “Oh Charlie, you’ll learn soon enough that Jules is perfectly capable of making her own choices.  And while physically she’s weaker than me, and even possibly Ric, she trained with Ric and me, getting stronger and faster over the summer so she’d be less likely to get hurt.  Besides, honestly she’s come up with some brilliant ideas a few of which actually saved our asses back in Mystic Falls, so don’t discount her simply because she’s young or a Human, after all, you’re Human too, and you hold your own pretty well from what it sounds like.  Jules is just getting a head start is all.”

I smile and mouth the words, “Thank you.” 

He just smiles wide and nods once before Charlie brings the conversation back to Isa, “So Bells, I hope you don’t mind, but Damon told me about the prophecy he was told that involves you.  I have some boxes in the basement that Renee’s mother gave to me right after you were born.  She asked me to give them to you when I thought the time was right.  I think that was her way of telling me to wait until you came into your powers without her actually having to say you’d have powers.  Honestly, I forgot about them until my talk today with Damon.  Wait here, and I’ll go get them.”

Before he gets up from his chair, Damon asks, “You need help, Charlie?”

He shakes his head after he stands and says, “Nah, it’s just three boxes.  I’ll be right back,” and then he heads down the stairs before coming back five minutes later with a box.  He leaves again and then returns with another box.  He leaves and returns once more and then sits down after placing the third and final box on the floor.  “Those should be everything.”

Isa gets up and opens the first box which appears to be full of very old books, Grimoires if I have to hazard a guess.  She takes out an envelope with her name on it that was sitting on top of the books before opening it and pulling out a piece of paper, which she begins to read.  A smile grows on her face getting progressively bigger the longer she reads.  When she finishes, she folds the letter back up and puts it back into the envelope.  She opens the other two boxes to peek inside and then she looks at Charlie and says, “She said the reverse of the prophecy Damon was told… that someday I’d meet a man called Savior who wouldn’t be Human, and he would have been collecting Grimoires for me for close to a century and a half.  She said the spell he would have me do to unbind my powers would actually purify my blood to make me half Demon Elemental and Half Elven Elemental basically getting rid of any Human blood I had inside me.  She said I’m the Last Elemental.  She also mentioned the descendant of the Founding Families, a daughter of a son specifically, and the husband of the Savior’s progeny.  Then she went on to tell me that not all Vampires are actually evil even if they’ve done evil acts in the past and that it’s my job to help the daughter of the descendant and the Husband heal the Savior, the Originals’ Black Sheep, and a man called Major.”

Damon sits up straight at that and asks, “Does it use the possessive or is it the ‘Original Black Sheep’?”

She smiles and says. “No there’s an ‘S’ and an apostrophe, so it’s the ‘Originals’ Black Sheep.'”

Damon sort of half smiles half frowns and says, “So one of the Originals is going to be on our side?”

Isa nods, “He’s been trying to find a way to kill his brother for centuries, and that’s actually why he was daggered the last time.  Klaus discovered that his had Witches searching for ways to dagger him, so he made the Black Sheep watch as Klaus killed all the Witches who were friends of his and then daggered him.  It doesn’t give a name though it just says the ‘Originals’ Black Sheep.'”

Damon frowns then looks at me and asks, “What do you think Jules?  I don’t believe that it’s Elijah, especially because as far as I know he’s been undaggered for most of his existence.  That leaves the other two brothers, Finn and Kol.”

He pauses thinking for a moment before he says, “Bonnie told Ric that Klaus has the coffins back and that everyone’s been undaggered, and their mother is planning a Ball for tonight to show that the family is united.”

At his words, Isa’s eyes lose focus, and she sways on her feet.  Damon is out of his seat and holding her upright in the blink of an eye.  A minute later, her eyes focus again, and while she leans against Damon, she asks me, “Pass me my phone, please, Jules.”

I hand it to her, and she dials after putting it on speaker-phone.  A moment later, someone with a British accent picks up and says, “Who is this, and how did you get this number?  I haven’t even had this phone for two days.”

She giggles and says, “I had a vision that told me to call this number and warn Kol not to drink the champagne when his mother gives a toast at the Ball tonight.  It went on to say to call right now because you’re not anywhere near anyone who shouldn’t hear me talking to you.”

He’s silent for a minute and then asks, “What’s your name, Darling?”

She giggles again and tells him, “Bella, well Isabella, but I don’t generally use that name.  You should know I’m an Elemental in the company of a man called Savior, the daughter of a male descendant of one of the Founding Families, and the husband of one of the Savior’s progeny.”

“My Goddess, it’s come to pass.  Tell me where you are, and I’ll come to you.”

She frowns and tells him, “You have to be at the Ball.  Pretend to take a sip of the champagne, but whatever you do, make sure you don’t swallow any of it.  In fact, if you can keep from taking any of it into your mouth that would be best because I don’t know how much actually needs to be ingested, but if you swallow, it will allow your mother to kill all of you by only killing one of you.  Avoid drinking it, and then tomorrow your Brother should send you on a mission to Washington State which will bring you to our doorsteps.”

I can hear the frown in his voice, “The other Salvatore Brother has gone missing.  Is he the Savior?”

Damon speaks up, “Yes Kol, I am.  I’m currently helping protect Bella and the daughter of the descendant of the Founding Families, whom Klaus only knows as Juliet Gilbert.”

“Wait, Gilbert?  As in the Doppelgänger’s little sister?”

I speak up then, “One in the same, Mr.…”

“Mikaelson, but please call me Kol.”

I nod even though he can’t see it and say, “Thank you, Kol.”

Isa speaks again before he can respond, “Kol, once you’re on the road here you can call this number again and talk to us when you know no one who shouldn’t can overhear us.  Though, if you could try to call after five Eastern Daylight Time that’d be great because Jules and I have school tomorrow.”

“Of course, I look forward to meeting all of you, and thank you for the advice about tonight.”

“No problem Kol, stay safe if you can.”

We can all hear his wonderment as he says, “I’ll do my best, Darling.  Speak to you soon.”

Isa giggles before the line goes dead.  Damon leads her to her seat while she tells him, “I’m fine, really.”

He smiles and kisses her forehead before telling her, “Humor me okay?”

Once she sits he moves back to his seat and then smiles and says, “Guess it’s Kol and not Finn.”

I laugh at that before Damon asks, “So what exactly did you see in your vision?”

She frowns and looks at me with shadowed eyes before telling us, “I saw that Elena is an unthinking and uncaring bitch who acts before she thinks about the consequences.  Apparently, if an Original dies everyone in their Sire Line dies too.  She’s even been told this, but she’s too damn stubborn to listen or consider it might be the truth, so despite knowing you, Stefan, and Caroline will die too she’s still going to help Esther.”

She pauses then smiles and tells us, “Anyway, don’t mention the thing about the bloodlines and all of their descendants dying if they die.  That’s how we’re going to know that we can trust Kol when he warns us that you and Stefan are part of Klaus’ line, and he suggests that we first look for a spell to separate his brother from his Bloodline then we’ll know he’s completely trustworthy.  Just to warn you, though, I think it’s going to happen pretty quickly once he gets here. 

She pauses to take a sip of her tea that she poured earlier then tells us, “Anyway, Esther, the Originals’ mother, is planning to link all of her children with Elena’s blood.  Then Finn is going to willingly and happily sacrifice himself thereby killing them all and therefore every Vampire on the planet.  Lucky for us Kol seemed to believe me when I told him not to drink the champagne.  If he doesn’t drink, then the spell won’t work on any of them.  All of the Originals have to be linked for the spell to work.  So everyone cross your fingers that Kol hides the fact that he’s not drinking well enough to keep anyone from asking questions, especially Elena.

We all nod and I actually physically cross my fingers for a second or two.  Then the doorbell rings, so Isa hops up and answers it to find Billy, Jacob, a man named Sam Uley, and Ric all on the other side of the door. 

Chapter Text

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Chapter 010

A Way to Slow Her Down

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Forks, Washington

Monday, September 20, 2010, 6:20 p.m. PDT (con’t.)

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Isa hops up and answers the door to find Billy, Jacob, a man named Sam Uley, and Ric all on the other side.  Jacob rolls Billy into the house, and introductions are made.  Billy, Sam, and Jacob look at each other for a minute and then nod before Sam walks over to Damon and bows his head slightly, "I’m the Alpha of our Pack.  Do you have some time after dinner to discuss an issue we’re having?”

Damon smiles and tells him, “Of course, but I think we can talk about it over dinner because everyone is now in the know, and I don’t keep secrets from Jules, Ric, Isa, or Charlie.  If they’re not present when we speak, I’m just going to end up repeating everything you tell me, and I’d actually prefer they get a first-person account, so I don’t accidentally get my information wrong.”

Sam nods and says, “Makes sense.”

We all walk into the kitchen where Damon turns to Isa who’s grabbing an extra table setting from the cabinet and asks, “Ms. Phoebe Halliwell, where do you want your boxes, in your room or our house?”

She laughs at the nickname even while she frowns and narrows her eyes furrowing her brow then she says, “I think I want them in my room for now so I can look through them before I head to bed tonight.  My gut, however, says to send them to your house so you can bring them over if you want.”

Damon smiles at her and then says, “Be right back.”

He picks up two boxes and Jacob takes the other and says, “I’ll carry the last one.”

They nod at each other and walk out the door and across the street.  A few minutes later, they’re back, and we all sit down before Isa puts the lasagna with a spatula, the salad she made this morning before school, and the broccoli she cooked before Charlie showed up on the table.

After we’ve all taken a few bites, Damon starts us off, “So you have a Cold One that’s giving you issues?”

Sam nods, “She’s circling the Res, and I know this is going to sound crazy, but I think she’s also circling this house.”

Isa goes unnaturally still before she asks, “What’s she look like?  She doesn’t have curly red hair does she?”

All eyes turn to look at her before Sam says, “Yes, how did you know that?”

She sighs and says, “The Cullens killed her Mate who was trying to kill me.  My guess is it’s not crazy, and she’s surveilling this house and the Res.”

Charlie’s eyes are wide, and his back is ramrod straight, but he gets it together enough to ask, “You guys notice any other patterns besides location?  Time and date maybe, frequency…?”

Sam nods again and says, “She started every other week, and now she’s coming by every other night.  She’s attacked our Wolves multiple times, but it’s like she’s testing us to see what our weaknesses are.”

Isa nods, “That sounds like Victoria.  James was a tracker and a very skilled strategist, so I’m sure he taught her everything he knew.”

Damon leans forward and asks, “Is today the on night or the off night?”

Sam smiles, “She should circle around this house at about 3 a.m.  She’s been getting progressively closer every time.”

Damon nods and asks, “Would you and your Wolves be willing to work with me?  We might be able to stop her tonight.  I don’t know how much you know about Traditional Vamps versus Cold Ones, but we’re stronger and faster and usually have better senses, and not that I'm bragging," he sends a wink my way, making me snort, "but I’m actually considered really strong for my relatively young age.  I probably couldn’t take out an Original all on my own without a lot of planning and probably a very lucky shot, but against a Cold One, hell even against the Volturi, I probably wouldn’t have any problem taking them on.  In fact, I could probably take on up to 10 Cold Ones at once before I’d start to get worried.  So if you’re willing I’ll patrol with you all tonight, and I’ll see if I can sneak up on her and end her before she even knows I’m here.”

While Sam nods I ask, “Uh, if she’s been here since we got here, won't she have smelled you at this house?”

Damon frowns for a second and then smiles before he says, “One of the Volturi Kings, who are each about 980 to 985 years old, could probably detect my scent if it was very recent.  And by recent I mean like within a day or two of my having been there, but except for a few with particularly keen senses, a Cold One even 100 years younger would have a much harder time of it.  In fact, I’d guess that a Cold One under 500 probably wouldn’t notice my scent after a few hours, especially with all the rain you get here and because it’s poured at least twice every day since we got here chances are good she has no clue I’m here.  If I were another Cold One, it’d be a different story because generally, they can smell each other for several days after they’ve passed through, provided there’s no downpour after they left.  Anyhow, Isa any idea how old she is?”

She purses her lips while she pauses then frowning she says, “James and Laurent stated that she and James had been together for close to 150 years, but Laurent insinuated, when he spoke with the Cullens, that James was significantly younger than Victoria.  When Carlisle asked him for clarification, he only said James had been a Vampire for just over two centuries while Victoria was changed somewhere between three and five decades before Queen Elizabeth died so I’d say she’s probably under 500 even if you round up generously.”

Ric speaks up now, “Brother, where do you want Jules and me?”

Damon frowns and then says, “Don’t be angry but I need you both to stay with Charlie and Isa.  If they’re the targets, then we need you guys and perhaps a few Wolves in the house in case she gets by us.  Plus, even if she does get by us you’re going to need the Wolves to do the actual killing because only my hands or teeth, and the Wolves claws and teeth are strong enough to break through her skin to tear her limb from limb.  Once we kill and burn her, we can collect the ashes and use them and a little Magick to fortify our weapons, so they’ll be strong enough to take out Cold Ones in the future.  However, until we have Cold One Ashes, our weapons would break upon impact with her body so you and Jules would have a much harder time stopping her.”

He pauses then asks, “Isa can you call Kol back and without saying who you are or mentioning my name ask him what he would suggest for Humans trying to kill Cold Ones.  He was around when the first Cold Ones were created, so he’s old enough he might know something I don’t.  Plus, if you’ll recall the story I told you the other day, he’s the one who supposedly killed the High Priestess of the first Coven of Cold Ones from which all the others are descended so if anyone knows how to kill them it’s probably him.”

She nods and takes out her phone before dialing.  It rings twice after she puts it on speakerphone before it’s picked up. “Darling, did you miss me already?”

She giggles and tells him, “Of course, I did.  However, we have a Cold One problem and my friend whom you spoke to earlier was wondering if you know anything that could help a Human or me kill her if she gets past him and the Wolves.”

“Wolves, are you speaking of the Quileutes?”

“Yes, you know of them?”

“Yes, tell Old Quil that his old Dreammate, Kol Mikaelson, says hello and we will speak soon face to face.  As for your question, Vervain and Wolfsbane combined will harm a Cold One the same way Vervain would harm a Vampire, or Wolfsbane would harm a Werewolf.  Mixing them causes a chemical reaction of some sort that is harmful to Cold Ones.  They must be combined in equal parts, and the water or oil you use to mix them should be as pure as possible.  If a Human mixes them, they should wear gloves and possibly a mask because Wolfsbane by itself is poisonous to Humans too although once they’re mixed the potion should be harmless to Humans because the chemical reaction counteracts or undoes the poisonous quality of Wolfsbane, for Humans anyhow.”

The original pauses probably thinking through what he said and what else he knows about killing Cold Ones before he says, “Actually killing the Cold One likely needs to be done by a Vampire or a Wolf because only they are strong enough to rip through the Cold One’s granite like skin.  If you have the ashes of another Cold One, you could make weapons that could harm Cold Ones, but I’m guessing you don’t already have some of those.”

She nods and says, “Yeah we don’t have any ashes yet.”

His frown is apparent in his voice when he tells her, “As I suspected.  Well, killing this Cold one will give you ashes to use against future Cold Ones because I understand the Climate in your area attracts them in large numbers due to the distinct lack of sunlight throughout most of the year.”

Isa is nodding again before she says, “So I’ve been told, and honestly I believe it because I’ve met a few too many for my tastes since I moved here.”

He chuckles and says, “One is generally one too many.  But going back to what you and your group can do to fight this Cold One, if you have a Witch, they might be able to use Magick to light it on fire, which would kill it too.  Although if they’re not torn limb from limb first there is nothing to prevent them from running away and finding a water source and putting out the flames before they die.”

He pauses again then asks, “So does any of that help?”

She smiles and says, “Yes, Kol, thank you at least now we have a way to slow her down if she gets past the other lines of defense.”

“One minute, Darling,” We hear him moving through a crowd then the background noise disappears, and he says, “Have you done any spells today, Darling?”

She frowns but tells him, “No why?”

“I’m going to call you later after the toast has happened and hopefully before you are about to go up against this Cold One.  I have a bad feeling your problem is much worse than you currently think it is, so I wish you to teleport me to you, and then you can teleport me back later or even tomorrow if you need the rest.  I’ll lead my family to believe I’m entertaining one of the town’s people for the night.  I know I need to be here to mislead my mother, but once that is finished, I wish to help you all in any way I can.”

She looks around the table, and everyone is nodding so she tells him, “We’ll be waiting for your call then, thank you.”

“You’re very welcome, Darling, now I must go because the toast should happen soon.  I’ll call back in half an hour at most.”  And then the line goes dead.

Isa looks at Damon and says, “What could his bad feeling be?”

The raven haired Vampire sighs, and tells us, “A Newborn Army.  Newborns are stronger and faster than the average Cold One for about a year then they lose the extra strength and speed and plateau at about half the strength and speed of a Vampire the same age.  Then each year they gain more power and speed, but it’s always half what an average Vamp gains.  They’d have to be about 1,000 to match the average 500-year-old Traditional Vamp.  On the other hand, Newborn Cold Ones are immediately as powerful as an average 250-year-old Vamp although the age of our Sire when we were turned usually makes us stronger and faster with better control over our Bloodlust than an average Vamp. 

My Sire, Katherine, for example, had been a Vampire for just over 370 years when she turned me, so her blood gave me the strength, speed, senses, control, and abilities of a 372-year-old Vamp right from the get go.  My Sire’s Sire, Rose, was only 20 or so Vampire years old when Katherine was turned, so she started out with the strength, speed, senses, control, and abilities of a 20-year-old Vampire.  My Sire has gotten stronger with each year so that her strength and speed is that of an average Vampire 20 years older than she actually is.  So my strength, speed, and senses are that of a 518-year-old Vamp despite me only actually having been a Vampire for almost exactly 146 years, hence why I’m considered powerful for my relatively young age.  Anyhow, the Newborns’ enhanced speed and strength usually lasts for about a year then they drop down to about half the strength and speed of an average-year-old Vamp.  Don’t get me wrong they’re still infinitely stronger and faster than Humans, but Vampires are superior in almost every way, except possibly for the control of extra powers such as Telepathy, Empathy, The Sight, Tracking, Shielding, etc.”

He pauses and frowns then tells us all, “Anyway back to Newborn Cold Ones… I read in the paper this morning that Seattle is having a string of disappearances, and the last five months’ murder rate has almost tripled the number of homicides they had in the previous five years combined, and nearly all of the victims have bite marks and are presumably missing most of their blood.  Therefore, I think she’s building an army and the sightings you’ve all made are her patrolling and collecting information about your weaknesses like you suspected.”

He pauses and takes a sip of his beer before he says, “Truthfully like I said, Cold Ones’ strength, power, speed, and senses, for the most part, build slowly and remain half that of a Vamp the same age after the first year.  Vampires, on the other hand, like I said, get significantly stronger, more powerful, and faster with better senses and control over our Bloodlust for every year we add to our age.  Therefore, because Kol is the fourth oldest surviving Vampire in the entire world, and he, along with his siblings, has been a Vampire for just over 1,000 years, having him here will be a huge help.  I’m afraid some of the Newborns may be much stronger than your Wolves simply because they are Newborns, and your Wolves haven’t been Wolves long enough to have gained the strength your kind gains with age.  Plus, Newborns are traditionally much less controlled hence the skyrocketing murder rate, so keeping them away from the people on the Reservation or in town is imperative.”

He frowns then says, “Ideally she would have needed someone from around here though to have gotten the initial lay of the land because she can’t compel Humans to get information… I wonder?”  He pauses then looks at Charlie and asks, “Charlie, has anyone from here gone missing in Seattle in the last, oh say, five or six months?”

Charlie’s eyes go wide, and he says, “Yes, Riley Biers went missing about five and a half months ago.  Because he was in Seattle when it happened, there wasn’t much I could do, but I call Seattle every week asking for updates.  There have been possible sightings but the descriptions have been just slightly off.”

Damon smiles a grim smile, “Let me guess, his features were a little too perfect and he was a little too attractive.”

Charlie nods, “Yes and several witnesses mentioned red eyes, but Seattle PD thinks those descriptions are the product of the witnesses’ prolonged drug use.”

Damon smiles another grim smile and tells us, “The red eyes mean he’s feeding on Humans because only those who feed on animal blood alone get the toffee colored eyes I’m sure the Cullens have.”

Isa nods and says, “So how does knowing Riley is helping her help us?”

Damon smirks and says, “Every piece of information we can gather about our opponent gives us a better idea of what they will do or how they will accomplish it.  Knowing his identity might not help in the end but knowing she has someone who grew up here and likely knows the trails and woods like the back of his hand tells us she’ll have information similar to that which the Wolves have.  Sam, can you appoint specific Wolves to work with Kol and me tonight so that we can I hope have the same advantage she has?”

Sam nods but says, “How do you plan to communicate with us while we’re in our animal form?”

Isa interrupts, “I might have a way to help with that, Damon can you escort me over to your house I need two of the books I was reading Saturday night.  I think I can give us all temporary Telepathy and Empathy.  And if I read the spells correctly our range will be much better than Edward’s is, especially if the Wolves volunteer a few drops of blood.”

At Sam, Billy, and Jacob’s wary looks she adds, “I’m serious, literally three drops of blood that’s all it takes.”  At their continued looks of concern, she tells them, “I smell better than most according to the Cullens and Damon both.  Despite that fact when I first met Damon in person I was bleeding, a lot, from a broken ankle that broke the skin and other than mentioning that the Cullens were right about how good I smell he didn’t even bat an eye.  Three drops of Wolf’s blood which according to the Cullens smells just awful and likely tastes even worse won’t cause him to kill us all, okay?”

Sam nods and looks at Damon before saying, “Our apologies, blood drinkers make us nervous, mostly because we’re usually dealing with the more unstable and uncontrolled Cold Ones and their bites are poisonous to us, we meant no offense.”

Damon smiles and tells them, “None taken, I completely understand.  If the only blood drinkers I interacted with were Cold Ones, I’d be just as leery, if not more so.  I’m not offended by your desire to protect yourselves or those you care for.  I’m actually a tad impressed by all of you thus far.”

They smile then Isa’s phone rings, and we all tense with matching frowns on our faces. 

Chapter Text

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Chapter 011

You’re Nothing Like Your Brother

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Forks, Washington

Monday, September 20, 2010, 8:15 p.m. PDT(con’t.)

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When Isa’s phone rings, she looks at each of us and then puts it on speakerphone and says, “Hello Kol, how did the Ball go?”

“Exactly as you suggested, Darling.  Now I fear your timeline is getting smaller and smaller by the minute.  I need you and someone who can protect you from a Cold One if they happen upon you while you’re doing the spell to go outside because I don’t have an invitation into any of your homes.  Before you offer, I think we should get to know each other better before any of you give up your safe havens.”

Damon stands, “I’ll go with her, but perhaps one of the Wolves should come too.  Sam I’ll let you decide if it should be you or Jacob.”

Sam smiles and says, “Jake is strong for one so new to all of this, so I think he should go with you.”

Jacob stands up and follows Damon and Isa to the kitchen door, but when I stand Damon speeds back over to me, “I know this is going to piss you off, but will you consider staying inside this one time?  I’m still not entirely sold that Kol is on our side, and his brother is probably actively searching for you, so let’s not hand you over on a silver platter okay?”

Isa comes back to me and holds the phone out towards me so I can hear Kol say, “Ms. Gilbert, I implore you to listen to Mr. Salvatore.  I know I’m not trusted by you and yours yet, and I respect that.  I am sure I will earn your trust eventually when I prove myself to be honest and worthy of your faith, but until then you need to play it smart.”

I nod, “Relax I was just going to move to the window so I can have a second-row seat.  I know it would be stupid to go out there for all the reasons you said.”

Damon smiles tenderly and kisses me softly before he walks back to the door with Isa hot on his heels.  Sam, Billy, and Jacob all have wide eyes when he kisses me, but Jacob looks pleased by that development.

They leave the door open, so they don’t have to bother opening it if it’s a trap or Victoria arrives gunning for Isa.  Their voices while they talk reach me easily when Kol says, “Okay Darling, I need you to repeat after me, ‘Mother Freya take Kol to the place he needs to go.  Make it real and not for show.  Use my heart to guide him here and allow him to come and go without fear.  So mote it be.’  You got all that, Darling?”

She smiles and says, “Yes, are you ready?”

He says, “Yes, whenever you’re comfortable say the words.”

She repeats what he told her to and then a purple cloud appears and a figure slowly emerges from the cloud before it evaporates and a man in tux pants and a white dress shirt with the sleeves rolled to his elbows, and the first three buttons unbuttoned is standing before our friends.  His untied bow tie is hanging limply around his neck.  He’s holding his tux jacket slung over his shoulder, and he has ever so slightly unkempt brown hair that has a small bit of curl to it.  The family resemblance between Kol and Elijah is obvious, far more so than Elijah and Klaus’ barely there resemblance.

Kol smiles and tells her, “Well done, Darling.  I am Kol.  You must be Bella.”  When she nods, he turns and says, “I know of Mr. Salvatore, but I am not familiar with you, Wolf.”

Jake smiles and says, “Jacob Black, Sir.”

Kol smiles back and asks, “Your father’s name doesn’t happen to be Billy does it?”

Jake’s eyes go wide again, before he asks, “Yes, how did you know?”

The original nods to himself while saying, “You’re part of the prophecy too, but you and I will speak on that more later, for now, we have a few other things to discuss.  First, Mr. Salvatore know that if you kill Nik with things the way they currently stand you and your brother will both perish because you are both descended from his Sire Line.  Katerina was turned by Rose-Marie, and I heard Nik talking about Rose-Marie’s Sire who was a woman known as Mary Porter.”

Damon asks, “Scary Mary?”

Kol laughs, “Yes, I take it you know her?”

Damon smiles, and I find myself growling low in my throat and pursing my lips before he says, “I used to.  She helped me out a very long time ago when someone was torturing me for information about Katherine.  She didn’t know me, but she rescued me and helped me feed to heal.  Then she gave me a place to stay and most of what I knew about your family up until I met Elijah came from her, and she even told me she was turned by your brother Niklaus.  She was actually very proud of that fact.  I got the impression she was a bit of an Original Groupie because she boasted about all the time she spent with your family back in the day.  Anyhow because I didn’t know I was descended from her line or that I’d need to know who I was descended from I never bothered to actually pay attention to those particular details.  Plus, she and her Mate were a little too crazy for my tastes, so I soon left their company.  Last I heard they were in Kansas.”

Kol nods, “Nik will tell me to go there and kill them both if any of you seem to be headed in her direction, so you won’t know for certain whose Sire Line you are descended from.  However, I can confirm that Nik was her Sire because I personally saw him feed Mary his blood and then snap her neck.  Anyway, it might be best to search for a way to separate Nik from his Sire Line first before we go killing him.”

Isa looks at Damon and asks, “Do you see any red?”

I’ve only been seeing solid green, so I’m not surprised when Damon shakes his head in the negative and says, “No only very bright and very solid green which means he’s telling the truth.”

Isa nods and asks, “Kol do you plan to betray us to Klaus or anyone else?”

He frowns and tells her, “No Darling, I don’t have any plans to do anything of the sort and would sooner kill myself than cause harm to befall you and yours.”

Damon nods and says, “Still only green.”

She nods back and then tells the Original, “Kol, please come inside my house.”

His eyes snap to hers, and he says, “I hope you are certain because there is no taking that back without giving a great sacrifice.”

She smiles at him and takes his hand, both of them gasping with wide eyes at the contact, before she leads him towards the house.  “I did a spell on Saturday on a bunch of us that shows us green when someone is truthful, yellow when they're bending the truth but not outright lying, and red when they’re flat out lying.  Damon and I both saw only green just now, so that means you’re telling the truth.  Plus, my grandmother said I can trust you, and there are few whose opinion I trust more than hers.”

When they reach the doorway, she pulls him inside and asks, “Did they feed you at the Ball?  Are you hungry?  We have Lasagna so I can make you a plate.”

Kol smiles and says, “That would be lovely but only if everyone else has had their fill.  I do not wish to deprive any of you of your necessary sustenance, especially right before a possible battle.”

Charlie says, “There’s plenty to go around.  Please have a seat.  Jake, can you go get the spare chair out of the downstairs bathroom?”

Jake leaves and comes back a moment later carrying a wooden chair.  He places it beside his father’s chair and then sits in the new chair.  Kol sits in Jake’s old chair beside Isa while she makes a plate for him.  We all follow suit, and after we all introduce ourselves Kol eats, and we tell him everything we’ve figured out thus far.

Halfway through Kol interrupts and asks, “Have you and Mr. Salvatore gone to get the books yet?  You should probably do that sooner rather than later lest we risk you running into her on the way there or back.”

He makes a valid point so Damon escorts Isa out of the house, and almost ten minutes later, they come back with two books, a copper goblet, and a dagger.  Isa sits beside Kol again while she flips through the pages looking for the spells she needs.

Kol looks at her and smiles before he says, “After you have done the necessary spells for the Telepathy and Empathy I have another spell for you to do if you’re willing.”

She smiles and asks, “Is there a reason you want it done after the other two?”

He smiles back at her and after his eyes soften he says, “Yes, it will teleport all of my Grimoires and Witchy artifacts to your house for your use.  Obviously, it is not as important to these proceedings as the other two spells, so if you are too tired to do a spell it should be the teleportation spell I have in mind that doesn’t get done tonight.”

She smiles with twinkling eyes and says, “Oh okay that makes sense, and thank you for planning to give me your collection to use.”

He smiles back and says, “You’re very welcome.  I’ve been collecting them just like Mr. Salvatore has for most of my Vampire existence so that when I met you, I would have them to give to you, so they can, I hope, help you on your journey, and in any battles, you may have to fight through the years.”

He pauses, takes another bite, chews, swallows, and then asks, “Who made this food, it’s the best food I’ve had in a really long time.”  He pauses then chuckles and adds, “Well, of course, I was daggered for almost a century, but even still this is exquisite.”

She blushes and says, “Thank you it’s my grandmother’s recipe.”

He continues to eat for a minute then says, “I know I’m not in charge here, but I have a suggestion.  I think the Humans should all sleep in this house tonight.”

Ric speaks up, “Actually, I think we should all sleep in our house across the street.  Victoria and her scout likely have no clue we’re here never mind that we know Bella or know that the Supernatural is real.  Plus, Damon said the rain has probably helped our cause.  If we’re lucky she hasn’t smelled that he’s been here, so if this house is her target, then having all of us across the street keeps us close enough to protect while monitoring this home but just far enough away to, I hope, keep everyone, including those patrolling, safe.”

Kol is nodding, “Alaric was it?  You are correct.  I wasn’t focused on listening to Bella and Mr. Salvatore when they went to get the books, so I did not realize just how close the other house is, but if it is merely across the street then your plan should work the way you think it will, so it’s sounder than mine.”

Damon pipes in then with his usual snark, which has been noticeably absent since we arrived here, “You know you’re nothing like your brother.  You actually seem sensible and willing to admit when you’re wrong.”

Kol laughs a full belly laugh then when he calms some he says, “You clearly know my brother well.  Personally, I find it takes a stronger man to admit when he is wrong or incorrect, and while my brother has brute strength in spades, I don’t think he’s ever admitted fault or that someone else had a better idea.  Sadly, I used to be the same way.  That is until I met a Witch in 1821 who told me that if I did not change my ways by the time I met my Mate I’d sooner kill her and destroy any chance I might have at happiness than listen to her and hers and build stronger plans and ultimately protect our family.  And before you begin to worry she wasn’t talking about the Mikaelson’s but rather the mismatched ragtag family my Mate and I will help forge through love, loyalty, and honor stronger than any bonds of blood.”

I see nothing but green surrounding him, so I know he’s telling the truth, so I just nod.  Damon also nods, and I get the feeling he knows something the rest of us don’t.  I’m sure of it a minute later when he winks and mouths “Later,” at me.

I nod back then focus on Isa when she says, “There’s one.  Here, Jake, please hold this with this page open.”

He takes the book, and she tells him, “Thank you.”

A few minutes later after some more page turning, she smiles and says, “Found the other one.”

Kol smiles at her and his eyes focus on her in a way that I can only describe as feeling hot and makes me believe he’s attracted to her.  He leans in close to her and tilts his head slightly before he then asks, “Would you mind if I read them, Darling?  They might need to go in a particular order that might not be obvious.”

She nods and hands him the book in her hands before she asks, “How do you know so much about Magick?”

He frowns and narrows his eyes before he says, “I used to be a Witch.  All of my siblings were Witches too.  Although we could no longer do Magick once Mother and Father forced the change on us, I was still just as fascinated by it.  In the years since completing the transition, I have made it my mission to learn as much as possible about Magick despite not being able to use it myself anymore.  I actually studied other forms of Magick through the years too, but your kind is the purest form, so that’s the one I usually come back to time and again.” 

He frowns while his eyes become unfocused and he runs his finger up and down the edge of the book in his hands before his eyes refocus and he tells us, “It was originally my thought that I might someday find a spell to return my Magick to me.  However, after more than a thousand years, I have long since given up on that dream, so I console myself by aiding Witches with their studies.  If you permit me, when I arrive for good I would be happy to teach you what I know.  I believe Mr. Salvatore knows a bit he could teach both of us as well.”

Isa practically bounces in her seat as she says, “That’d be great.”

After a minute Kol looks towards Damon then he asks, “May I call you Damon?”

When the younger Vampire nods the Original continues, “Thank you, Damon, I believe you should have Bella spell you a new ring, I think you might find your considerable powers will be returned to you if she does.”

Damon’s eyes go wide before he lifts his left hand and looks at the ring in question, “You think someone spelled the ring beyond the Sun Protection Spell?”

He nods with solemn eyes and says, “Yes, there is a darkness coming from it that should not be there if it is merely a Sun Protection Ring.  I have a gift for reading Auras, even after becoming a Vampire, instead of weakening the ability grew stronger, and that ring has a black Aura around it that does not belong if it is simply a Sun Protection Ring.  It should be sort of an orangey gold color, not black.”

He frowns but says, “It’s quite ingenious if I do say so.  Whoever did it spelled the one thing you would never dream of taking off for any extended period of time, and when you might have eventually taken it off, for whatever reason, you would have been conditioned to believe your Magick was yours no more, so you wouldn’t even try to use it.  Did your brother lose his Magick as well?”

Damon shakes his head, “We had different mothers, and my Magick came from my mother’s line, not our father’s.  I never told Stefan I had Magick, so unless he found out some other way he still doesn’t know I used to be a Witch.  Who would have spelled it that way, though?”

Kol sighs, “If I had to hazard a guess I’d say Katerina Petrova would be my first suspect.  Perhaps that’s unfair, but it is something I could easily see her having one of her many Witches do for her.”

Damon’s shoulders and back tense at Kol’s words but Kol continues as if he doesn’t notice, “All I can tell you is it is not someone who knows or knew you well.  The spell is not quite in tune with or aligned, if you will, with your natural rhythm, so I’d say it was someone who was told of you but that perhaps only met you long enough to spell the ring if they even ever met you, to begin with.  If I had to hazard a guess, I’d say the blackness was placed there first blocking the Magick of any who would wear the ring; however, despite the nature of the spell, it would not prevent another spell from successfully being placed on the ring after it.  It also wouldn’t be easy for someone else to detect unless they had a gift for seeing Auras, so the one who placed the Sun Protection Spell probably didn’t even know the other spell was there.”

Damon sighs and his shoulders relax so I ask, “Why does what he just said make you happy or at least relieved?”

He frowns and says, “My first thought was that Emily did it, but she was my best friend.  I felt betrayed if it was her, but if he thinks they didn’t know me well, if at all, then it couldn’t possibly be her because we grew up together, and her mother was the one who continued teaching me Magick after my mother died.  Emily and I were practically inseparable growing up, and I considered her my sister despite our different skin tones and being from different social classes.  And although my relationship with her and our closeness angered my father and spurred many arguments between us I remained close to her more because I loved her than because it pissed my father off to no end, that was just an added bonus.  Emily loved me like a brother too and because my own father hated me I wasn’t willing to turn a blind eye to someone who loved me for me.  Anyway, we were her mother’s eager students and used to play with our Magick together when no one else was around.” 

He frowns then says, “Little known fact:  Emily only ‘worked for’ Katherine for a short time.  Katherine didn’t save Emily until just before she came to Mystic Falls.  Emily left town with her father to do something for my father about a month before Katherine arrived in town.  When Emily returned, she was traveling with Katherine as her lady’s maid.  Before that, she was one of our slaves, and because she was only about a year older than me, we were as I said fast friends from the time I arrived in the Americas when I was about three.”

Kol interrupts, “No I don’t think someone who had known you for that long or that well could be responsible for that binding.”

Damon nods and asks, “Well, do you think I could just have Isa cleanse it or should I get a new ring altogether?”

Kol frowns and says, “Why risk it, I’d say just get another one, though I have a feeling two new ones will find their way to you and your Mate soon without you needing to look for them.”

Damon smiles at him gently before he asks, “You had the sight in addition to reading auras, didn’t you?”

Kol nods and with a sad smile on his face says, “Yes, I still get flashes but nothing as strong or as frequent as I did before I became a Vampire because it seems to have been directly connected to my ability to use my Magick.”

He goes back to reading the two spells and the rest of us sit and wait.

Chapter Text

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Chapter 012

Tell Me You’re Not Dying!

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Forks, Washington

Monday, September 20, 2010, 9:30 p.m. PDT(con’t.)

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After Kol reads for a minute and then switches to the other book, he looks up and then smiles before he tells us, “It might actually work best to combine both of these spells and make them into one.  Doing so will reduce the amount of energy Bella will need to expend especially because there are so many clouds tonight, so she can’t really draw as much power from the almost full moon without having to use even more energy.”

I get up and walk toward the hallway, taking a pad of paper and a pen out of my backpack.  Then I walk back to the table before handing the items to Kol before I say, “Here this way you can write it down and make changes as necessary without Isa having to remember it all by heart.”

He smiles at me and says, “Thank you, Ms. Gilbert.”

I laugh and tell him, “Call me Juliet or Jules.  Every time you say, Ms. Gilbert, I start looking for my mom or my sister, and although it doesn’t hurt as much as it would have in the past the reminder that Mom’s not here and my relationship with Elena is so very strained still burns a bit.”

Kol nods and looks me in the eye before he says, “Of course, my apologies.”

I smile and tell him, “No worries, I know you didn’t mean anything by it and were, in fact, trying to be respectful.”

He nods and begins writing.  He scratches a few things out while he goes and then looks up, “Damon will you read this and tell me if you think it should work properly.”

Damon smiles, then nods, and walks over grabbing the pad before reading it.  Then he reads it again making a few suggestions I don’t pay any attention to while Kol just nods and hands him the pen saying, “Yes, that will work much better.”

Finally, after they’ve both read it a handful of times and made multiple changes, they rewrite the finished product on a fresh sheet of paper.  Kol hands it to Isa with a smile on his face and says, “Damon you should contribute blood to this as well as the Wolves, but take off your ring before you do so.”

My Vampire nods and slips it off and then holds his hand over the pen lying on the table and after whispering a couple of words I don’t catch the pen begins to float, and Damon says under his breath, “I’ll be damned.”  He just stares at the floating pen for more than a minute then after grabbing the pen out of the air he says, “Kol I don’t know how to thank you for spotting the second spell on my ring.”

Kol smiles and says, “Just protect everyone when I am not here to help you.”  His eyes cut to Isa quickly, and if I hadn’t been looking, I would have missed it because it happened so fast.  A second later Damon nods and smiles, and I know he understands that the one Kol especially wants to be protected is Isa. 

Damon told me about Mates the other night when I asked him, “Why do I always feel like I’m sticking my hand in a live electrical socket when we touch?” 

He laughed and said, “That’s what happens when two Mates touch before they have truly mated.  Once the relationship is consummated the feeling will lessen some, but it will always be there to some degree, or so I’m told.”

Isa and Kol both gasped as if shocked by electricity the first time they touched, so maybe Isa is Kol’s Mate just like I’m Damon’s Mate.

I’m pulled out of my thoughts when Damon says to Ric and me, “We’ll need your blood too because you’re both part of the prophecy and adding your inherent powers to the spell will only make it that much stronger.”

He pauses as if he’s finished then adds, “While I think of it, Charlie, I’m not sure why but my gut says you should participate too.  There’s going to be a positive but unforeseen consequence that should include you.”

All three of us nod and Isa grabs the copper goblet and a dagger that were apparently included in the three boxes, off the table.  She cuts Kol’s hand and lets his blood flow into the cup, then she does the same with Damon and then Charlie and Ric followed by Jake who doesn’t bat his eyes at the fact that it’s more than the promised three drops. 

Before Jake’s hand was cut Sam told Billy, “It should be Jake who participates.”

Billy nodded before Charlie added, “It is his birthright.”

They then had a silent conversation marked by long meaningful looks between Sam, Billy, and Charlie before Jake took charge and stuck his hand towards Isa so she could cut it.

I’m sure I didn’t completely understand the meaning behind Sam and Charlie’s words nor their glances at each other because if I did, then that means Jake is the rightful Alpha and Sam is just waiting for him to step into the role and embrace his power. 

Anyway, Bella adds her blood and mine and then she holds her hand over the cup and whispers, “Oh Shining Ones, Mother Isis and Warrior Freyja, bless this blood.  Control the flood of thoughts and feelings.  We implore you to open our minds and unlock the hidden mysteries of friend and foe in kind.  Free our feelings to share them all with each other mind to mind and heart to heart that we may be able to communicate between friends and species that which we feel and that which we think without our silence broken or a single word spoken.  So mote it be.”

Then she passes around the cup from oldest to youngest, and we each drink a sip from it going round and round a total of three times until there is no more potion left.  I look down after the third sip and notice the cut on my hand is healing from the Vampire blood I just drank.  Then as if a switch is flipped, I hear everything and feel the camaraderie within the room.  Everyone here is loyal to each other, and they will fight to protect each other, to the death if necessary.  When I think that everyone who drank as well as Sam begins nodding and Kol says, “You are wise beyond your years, Juliet.  That will serve you and our family well through the centuries.”

I blush and mumble, “Thanks, Kol, I hope so.”

He nods and thinks to me, ‘It will be so.  I can feel it.’

After a minute or two, the voices inside my head retreat so that I can pull them forward or push them back at will, but if someone thinks my name their thoughts pop up to the forefront of my mind immediately.  The same goes for the emotions.  After a few minutes I figure out how to sort of block them from my consciousness, and I find it’s actually pretty easy to block them or pull them front and center.  Though understanding the finer nuances of the emotions I think will take some time, which causes me to ask, “Hey, how long will this last?” 

Kol and Damon smile at each other, and then Kol says, “Until the three of us write a reversal spell and someone asks us to use it.  I think we’ll be able to remove the abilities from single individuals instead of taking them from everyone so if it becomes too much for one person we can remove it easily, or I should say, Bella or Damon can remove it easily.

I nod at that then just sit pulling people’s thoughts forward and then pushing them back getting a feel for it.  Isa just whispered something I missed but then blue and purple lights surround Kol, and while they pulse nine times and are then absorbed into his body a black cloud is pulled out of his body.  When the lights are gone, and the dark cloud is floating around as if searching for something Isa whispers a few more words I don’t catch.  When the last word passes her lips, a much smaller black cloud emerges from Damon’s ring where it sits on the table, and that cloud combines with Kol’s dark cloud before Isa shouts, “Be gone and do not return to these souls, or any others forever more.  So mote it be.”

It explodes and disappears before Isa smiles and tells Damon, “That should make you able to wear the ring and still have your Magick until your new ring finds you.”  He leans over and kisses her cheek and says, “Thank you, Isabella.  I will remember this gift you have bestowed upon me for all time.”

While Damon slips his ring back on Kol repeats Damon’s actions from earlier and holds his hand over the pen resting on the table.  He whispers some soft, quiet words that are barely audible, and then under his breath but just slightly louder than his previous words he repeats Damon’s words from earlier after the pen begins to float and twirl in place, “I’ll be damned!”

Isa bounces in her seat and claps happily before she says, “There, now you’re both whole again, well for the most part, but the rest has to come from your Mates.”  She blushes when she says that last part, and I understand she means they won’t be completely whole until they consummate their relationships with their Mates.  I sigh.  Damon and I have to wait almost an entire month before that’s even a possibility.  I have a feeling this is going to be the longest month of my life.

Around eleven Isa and I start yawning back and forth so Damon offers to walk Isa, Ric, Sam, Billy and myself over to our house so the Humans can sleep in relative safety.  Sam calls his wolves and arranges for some to stay with us in the house while he, Jake, and the rest of them will go out hunting with Damon and Kol.

When Ric opens the garage and then uses his key to open the elevator door so that Billy can be rolled into it, Kol is standing at the open door to the Garage, so Ric turns to look at him and says, “Please come in Kol.”  Kol’s eyes widen for a second then he nods and enters the garage before we all step into the elevator.  Ric pushes the button for the main floor of the house and up we go.  After we get inside, Ric leads Kol down to the basement to make Vervain/Wolfsbane grenades and Damon, and I show everyone around, helping them pick rooms to sleep in before he walks me up to our room. 

Well, it was supposed to be my room but he’s been sleeping in here with me every night since we moved in, and he moved his stuff from the other room into this room, so it’s intermingled with mine.  He’s even got all of his stuff in the drawers and hanging in the closet, and I’m pretty sure he left nothing in the room he originally thought would be his.  A warmth flows through my chest followed by those break-dancing butterflies and their many friends having a disco party in my stomach every time I see his stuff right beside mine.  I know I’m young to be living with the man I love, but even without knowing we’re Mates and therefore Fated I know this is forever, and I’m so happy we’re at this point already, and that Ric has been so cool about it.  I don’t even want to think about how Elena would have reacted if we got together while we were still in Mystic Falls, and there is no way she would have sat idly by if I tried to move in with him, especially because she’s been stringing him along.  She would have taken it very personally that he’s moved on from her BS.

But we’re not in Mystic Falls.  We’re in Forks, and Elena isn’t here to be all judgmental or jealous.  When we get to our room he kisses me sweetly for long minutes with his hands cupping my cheeks then he places his forehead on mine and whispers, “I need you to promise to stay indoors tonight, no matter what you hear.  If all goes well, you’ll hear what sounds like metal tearing fairly often depending on how many Newborns there are, and I need you not to go investigate the sound.  I can’t keep myself safe if I’m worried you’re going to put yourself at risk, okay, so I need you to protect your Mate by protecting yourself first and foremost, can you do that for me?”

I sigh but tell him, “I promise, but if you get hurt, I’ll be really mad.”

He chuckles and tells me, “Then I guess I’ll just have to make sure I don’t get hurt.  Sweet dreams, Jules, Mia Tesoro.”

I smile and ask, “I’m your ‘treasure’ or am I your ‘darling’?”

He chuckles and nods before saying, “Really either translation is right, but I meant it literally, you’re my treasure.”

I melt just a little at that, so I kiss him one last time, and then he leaves down the stairs and presumably out the door.  I quickly change out of my street clothes into my pajamas and then after going to say goodnight to Bella, who’s already curled up in Damon’s original bed with one of her grandmother’s books, I lie down.  I thought it would take forever for me to fall asleep but it surprisingly happens very quickly.

I blearily look at the clock after I’m woken at quarter to five in the morning when Damon slides into bed.  He lets out a hiss when I cuddle up to him, which puts me on alert.  “Damon, are you okay?”

“I’m fine, Juliet, go back to sleep,” he tries to reassure me, but his words are strained and actually have the opposite effect though because he never calls me by my full name.  In fact, I can’t remember the last time he called me Juliet.

My eyes open fully, and I hop out of bed before he can grab hold of me, which just worries me even more before I turn on the overhead light.

He’s sweating, and his skin is ash colored.  It reminds me of when Tyler bit him, so I tell him, “Tell me you’re not dying?”

His eyes shock open wide, “Why would you ask that?”

My lip trembles while I stand there looking at him and tell him, “You look like you did the second day after Tyler bit you, all sweaty and ashy colored.”

His eyes soften, and he holds out one of his arms, “Come here, Mia Tesoro.”  I just look at him, so he continues, “I was bitten a couple of times, but their venom while painful is not deadly to my kind.  My body is working overtime though to push the poison out of my system, so that’s why I look like Hell warmed over.  I promise I’m not dying.  I’m just going to be very uncomfortable for a few hours.”

I sigh and turn the light back off before I climb back onto the bed and go into his arms when he reaches for me.  He hisses again when my torso comes in contact with his so I tug at his t-shirt, another sign that things are not right.  When my hand hits his skin, I brush upward and find a bandage.  His hand gently circles my wrist before he tells me, “I need you to trust me, Mia Tesoro, while the venom is not deadly to my kind it is to your kind, so I need to keep the bandages and the t-shirt in place while the poison leaks out of the wounds.  I won’t put you at risk, so I need you to trust me, or I’ll go sleep in one of the spare rooms until you leave for school.”

My lips tremble again, and I have tears rolling down my cheeks when I ask, “You’d leave me in here all by myself?”

He sighs and kisses my forehead, “Only if you are going to insist on unnecessarily putting yourself at risk.  Trust me, Mia Tesoro, there is nowhere else I want to be right now than in your arms.”

The tears just won’t stop, so he pets my head while I let all the fear and anger flow out of me with my tears.

I cry myself back to sleep in the arms of the man I love.

Chapter Text

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Chapter 013

Your Time for Greatness is Fast Approaching

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Forks, Washington

Tuesday, September 21, 2010, 5:45 a.m. PDT

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When I wake up again an hour later, I look up at Damon’s face to find him staring at me.  I blush and ask, “Hey, how do you feel?”

He smiles and leans down to kiss me softly then pulls back and says, “Better.  There is only venom left in two of the wounds, so most of the pain is gone now.  I figure within another hour all of the poison will be out of my system, and I’ll take a shower and be good as new.”

His color is almost back to normal, and he’s not sweating nearly as much as before, so I’m not really shocked by his words.  He pauses, and his eyes soften before he says, “I’m sorry I worried you this morning.”

I smile and lean up to kiss his lips, “It’s fine you just looked exactly like you did after Tyler bit you, so that’s why I was upset.  I don’t know what I’d do if I lost you, Damon.”

He nods but thankfully doesn’t make any promises he might not be able to keep in the future.  Although he does say, “While I know there are no guarantees in life I will always do everything in my power never to leave you, and if I do ever leave you I will be kicking and screaming the whole way.”

I smile and tell him, “Me too,” then I change the subject and ask, “So what happened?  Were you right about the army?”

He frowns and says, “Yes, but don’t worry the Wolves, Kol, and I were able to kill them all.  Although, Victoria managed to get away.  Kol’s pretty pissed because she jumped off the cliff into the ocean almost as soon as the fight began once she knew Kol, and I were there to help the Wolves.  I figure maybe we can do a teleportation spell on her later down the line and let Kol kill her because I think it’s his right as Isa’s Mate to kill the one who is trying to harm her and hers.”

I smile and say maybe a little louder and more forcefully than necessary, “I knew it!  They acted like they were shocked when they touched, so I figured they were Mates, but I second guessed myself after a while.”

He laughs, “Well you were right.  I spoke to Kol and promised to watch out for Isa whenever he’s not around especially because Victoria is still out there somewhere.  We burned all 100 or so of the Newborns, and Ric and Kol collected all of the ashes, so they’re now in Rubbermaid boxes down in Ric’s workroom.  Because they’ll last forever and don’t have an expiration date we’ll be able to strengthen our weapons for some time to come, so you, Isa, Ric, and Charlie will be able to protect yourselves better.”

He smiles then continues, “Anyhow, I think Kol’s going to have Isa send him back to Mystic Falls later today.  Then after Klaus gives him his marching orders, he’ll run out of town and then call and have Isa teleport him back here again, so that way he’ll be away from us for as little time as possible.”

I nod and say, “That sounds like a good idea.”

He nods back and then my alarm goes off.  He reaches over and turns it off then kisses me and says, “Time to get up, Mia Tesoro.”

I smile and kiss him one more time before hopping out of bed and grabbing my things to go take a shower in our private bath.

When I finish taking my shower, I head down to the kitchen and find Charlie, Ric, Isa, Kol, Billy, Jake, Sam, and Damon all sitting around the kitchen table eating.  When I come in Isa hops up and takes a plate out of the oven before handing it to me.  “Thanks, Isa.”

She just smiles and sits back down beside Kol.  I sit down beside Damon, and after taking a few bites of my chocolate chip pancakes, I ask, “So what’s everyone’s plans for the day?  I know Ric, Isa, Jake, and I have school but what are you and Kol going to do, Damon?”

Kol smiles and answers for Damon who just put a bite in his mouth, “I’m actually going back to Mystic Falls after breakfast.  I’m going to try the spell myself and see if it works.  If not, Bella has assured me doing it for me won’t tire her too much to go to school.  I’ll be back later tonight if all goes as planned.”

He frowns and then tells me in a sad voice, “Your sister was foolish enough to discuss your whereabouts during the Ball even knowing there were Vampires present, so my brother likely already knows where you are.  I hope he’ll send me to track you down when I get home.  When I return here, I’ll do another spell if I’m not too tired because it’s been awhile since I used my Magick and teleporting there and back might take the wind out of my sails for a bit.  Anyway, the spell will move all of my collected Grimoires and Witchy artifacts to this house so that Bella, Damon, and I can use them to protect our family.”

I nod so he continues, “I might actually rewrite that spell and see if I can move all of my belongings here at once, so I don’t have to worry about them while I’m teleporting.  I hope you don’t mind.  Ric and Damon have been kind enough to offer me a room here if it’s okay with you.”

I smile and tell him, “I’ve got no problem sharing space with you Kol.  In fact, welcome to the family.”

He smiles while everyone else chuckles.  Soon enough we finish eating, and Kol teleports himself back to Mystic Falls.  Now it’s time to head to school, so Bella and I walk across the street to her truck and go to school.

The day passes quickly and uneventfully, and honestly, I actually catch myself having fun a number of times throughout the day.

When we get home from school, we go to Isa’s house to do our homework again.  Just when we finish Charlie calls, and after she puts it on speakerphone he tells Isa, “Bells, Harry and Sue have invited Ric, Damon, Jules, Kol, and us to dinner, but I’m running late.  Can you have Ric drive you and Jules there?  That way he’ll know how to get there in the future.”

She smiles at me and says, “Sure, do I need to make anything?”

He laughs and tells her, “No, I have strict orders from Sue to tell you to take a night off because they’ll take care of everything.”

She laughs back before she says, “Okay, Jules and I are almost done with our homework, so we’ll head over to her house when we finish and wait for Ric if he’s not there already.  Then I’ll show them how to get to the Res.”

“Sounds like a plan, Bells.”

“See you there.”

After she hangs up, we start putting our tablets, notebooks, and our laptops back into our bags.  Then after Isa puts her stuff up in her room, we head out the door and cross the street to find Ric just pulling into the driveway.”

When he gets out, he smiles and says, “Hey guys, what’s up?”

We explain what’s going on, so he tells us, “Give me five minutes to change my shirt because I spilled coffee on it earlier.”

We nod and five minutes later, we’re on our way.  While Ric drives and Isa sits in the front passenger seat, I look out the back window trying to memorize the way there so that once I can drive I can make the trip too because I have a feeling Jake and I are going to be great friends just like he is with Isa.

A few minutes into the drive I ask, “So who are Harry and Sue?”

Isa smiles and turns her head slightly so she can see me before she says, “Harry and Sue Clearwater.  Billy, Harry, Old Quil, and Charlie are all buddies and have been since they were in diapers.  Great-Grandma Deveraux’s family was from here, so Charlie and his parents did the reverse that I did as a kid.  Every summer they’d travel here and stay most of the summer.  I forget how they met, but I think it involved Charlie’s grandparents being friends with Billy’s grandparents.  Anyway, they’ve been thick as thieves ever since they met, and I’m pretty sure they’re why Charlie decided to move here when he graduated from High School.  As I understand it, your mom was actually pretty vocal in getting him to take a chance and move out here telling him she thought it was his destiny to live here and protect the people here.”

I smile, “Wow, I wonder if she knew about the prophecy?  Actually, now that I think about it, I wonder if maybe all the members of the Founder’s Council know about it because several of them now know what Damon is, but after he survived the Werewolf bite, none of them have really tried to do anything about a Vampire infiltrating their precious council.  Sheriff Forbes even went so far as to keep Damon’s secret when she was talking to Charlie, so it seems a little suspicious to me.”

Isa nods and so does Ric who says, “I believe Liz and Carol Lockwood and maybe one or two others know about certain parts of the prophecy specifically the parts that reference you, Damon, Bella, and me.  Once Liz realized Damon had been bitten by a Werewolf and survived, she knew that he was the one foretold of, so they stopped trying to kill him.  Or at least that’s what Charlie told Damon, Kol, and me this morning.”

I nod just before we pull up in front of a modest one-story ranch style house.  After Ric pulls in between Charlie’s cruiser and Damon’s Camaro we get out, and Jake and another boy come out to greet us along with Charlie who says, “Ric, why don’t I introduce you to the adults while the teens get to know each other better.”

Ric nods and follows Charlie around to the back of the house, and I smile at Jake while he introduces his friend, “This is Seth.  He’s Sue and Harry’s youngest and the youngest Wolf in the tribe.”

I nod and say, “Nice to meet you, I’m Jules.”  Just then out of the house comes a girl who stomps rather than walks and appears to be very tense with a scowl I imagine is a permanent fixture on her face.  She seems to have a rather sizable chip on her shoulder while she comes to stand before Isa and me.  She sort of smirks and frowns at the same time before she asks, “Bella, who’s your little friend?”

Little?  I’m easily a few inches taller than her, and it looks like I work out more than she does, so I’m built bigger.  I decide to kill her with friendliness, though, so I smile and stick out my hand, “Juliet Gilbert, but you can call me Jules.”

She smiles ever so slightly and then shakes my hand, and I know she’s a Wolf too when she says, “Leah Clearwater.  You’re the one with Damon right?  He told me last night you were going to be pissed at him because he got hurt.  If he hadn’t jumped in when he did, though, a bunch of us would have been goners, so I just want to tell you not to take it out on him too much because he allowed it to happen to save lives.”

I smile and nod even while I wonder that he’s telling people we’re together and the butterflies are now doing the rumba in my stomach.  “I was more worried than angry.  When I saw him last night, he reminded me of when he was bitten by a Werewolf at the start of the summer.  He was pretty much dying because their bites are lethal to Vamps.  Anyway, Kol’s brother traded for the cure, so obviously Damon survived it, but he looked all sweaty and ashy when I woke up, so I thought he might be dying again, but I’m over it now that he seemed better when we had breakfast so…”

She nods and tells us, “Yeah he was showing Jake, Seth, and me where he was bitten and there aren’t even marks anymore.  He said it was just really painful for a few hours, and then it was as if it never happened.  He said the same would be true if one of us accidentally bites him, hours of pain and then nothing, not even a visible scar.”

They start to lead us around to the back of the house before I tell them, “Well I’m happy to know you guys won’t be a real threat to him if something happens because we all know accidents happen.  That’s actually how Tyler bit him; it was an accident and not Tyler actually trying to hurt him on purpose.  Though I was reading one of Damon’s books over the weekend, and it said once the cure for a Traditional Werewolf bite is given it remains inside the Traditional Vampire for the rest of eternity.  I guess it alters the makeup of their blood or DNA or something.  If the book is correct, and I doubt it’s wrong, even if he gets bit again by a Werewolf, Klaus, or one of his Hybrids it won’t kill him, though I’m guessing it’ll still hurt.”

When we round the corner of the house, we see all of the ‘Adults’ sitting on patio furniture while Charlie and some guy I’m guessing is Harry futz over a grill.  Kol is here already and smiles while he walks up to us, and he tells me, “You are correct Juliet.  I’ve actually been bitten by Nik twice.  The first time was one of the many times we fought over something stupid.  He bit me in his anger, and I reacted the same way Damon did to your friend’s bite.  The next night in my delirium I bit and fed from Nik.  That’s actually how he discovered his blood was the cure.  The second time he bit me in anger again trying to scare me into doing what he wanted but the wound healed after a few minutes and nothing else happened.  He was not happy.”

His smile widens before he says, “That was almost a thousand years ago, and then a few centuries ago I was bitten by a Traditional Werewolf, and the same thing happened.  He was actually quite upset when he came around the next day and discovered I’m immune to his venom.  All of my siblings were bitten by Nik and then fed the cure at some point through the centuries, and they all experienced the same phenomenon, and I’ve seen similar things happen to other Vampires through the years, so I’m positive that Damon is now just as immune.  And apparently according to Damon Katerina was used as an example to show Stefan that Nik’s blood is the cure, so she’s immune too.  Not sure why he chose to do it that way because it took away a perfect way to torture her, threaten her, or even a long, painful way to kill her, but I never said Nik was the smartest of us, just the cruelest.”

I nod and wonder if any other creatures are lethal to Vampires?  Kol apparently hears my thought and answers, “No, Juliet, the only ones whose bites are fatal to us are Traditional Werewolves, Nik, and his Hybrids.  Because Damon and I are now both immune, we simply have to avoid being beheaded, having our hearts torn out or being staked in the heart.  I’d need to be staked by a White Oak Stake to actually die, but any wood would kill Damon.  Though, I have an idea that might actually take that last weakness away from him and the first generation in his Sire Line, essentially making a White Oak Stake the only wood that can kill him.  I have to do a bit of research on that though and then consult with him and Bella on writing the proper spell to do it.  And you should know that if he turns you that you as his direct descendant will also be immune to Werewolf bites.”

He walks to me and leans in close before saying, “Don’t worry Juliet, I’ll make him as strong as possible before you transition.  I’ll do everything in my power to make sure you and your Mate are never taken away from the other.”

I smile and nod before I say, “Thank you Kol.  I don’t mean to worry but—”

He cuts me off, “But he’s your Mate, and you love him, so it’s only natural that you would worry about him, especially because Nik would sooner kill him than allow us to fulfill the prophecy in its entirety.  That’s actually why few creatures know the whole prophecy from start to finish.  Although I think Damon, Myself, Bella, and the Tribe’s Council and, according to Charlie, some of the members of the Founders’ Council, such as the Sheriff and the Mayor to name a few, and probably the Volturi Kings each know most if not all of it.  We’ll have to sit down at some point and compare notes and fill in you, Ric, the Alpha, and the She-Wolf.”

Leah’s eyes get big before she asks, “The She-Wolf?”

Kol smiles at her and tells her, “Yes and because you are the only She-Wolf I’ve ever known in this tribe I believe the She-Wolf spoken of in the Prophecy is you.  Your destiny will be great, and the things you think you have lost were perhaps never meant for you to begin with.  One day soon you may realize that not having those things may not be the enormous sacrifice you currently believe them to be.  If all of us follow the paths of light and good, then, in the end, we will be rewarded, and that includes you.  I believe you may even find your Mate if you keep true to the light.”

Leah’s lip trembles ever so slightly before she asks, “You do?”

He smiles warmly at her and says, “I do, have faith Childe and you too shall be rewarded.”

She nods so he turns to Isa and asks, “Bella, Darling, how was your day?  I hope you weren’t too tired after all the spell work you’ve done in the last few days?”

She smiles and tells him, “It was good.  I’m a little more tired than I usually am on a Tuesday but nothing I can’t handle.”

Kol nods and tells us all, “The good news is the more each of us uses our abilities, the easier they will come, and the less power and energy will be needed to get the same results.”

Just then I see an old Quileute woman standing behind Leah, she smiles and tells me, “Ghost Whisperer, please tell my granddaughter to listen to the Black Sheep because he is correct her time for greatness is fast approaching.”

I smile and hold up my hand to get everyone to stop talking.  I figure the Ghost is talking about Leah but just to be sure I ask, “Madame Ghost, what is your name so I can know who your granddaughter is?”

She smiles with sad eyes and says, “Maribelle Clearwater.”

I smile, “Pleased to meet you, Mrs. Clearwater.  Uh, Leah, your grandmother wants me to tell you not to worry and to listen to Kol because he’s right and your time for greatness is coming soon.”

Kol turns wide eyes to me and asks, “You’re a Ghost Whisperer?”

I blush and shrug before telling him, “The Sheriff in Mystic Falls shot and killed me when she missed hitting Damon before she seemed to get over her desire to kill him.  My ex-best friend who is a Witch brought me back from the dead and ever since I’ve been able to see, hear, and speak with Ghosts.  Usually, it’s someone me or someone I’m with knows like right now, it’s Leah’s Grandmother, Maribelle Clearwater.”

Leah looks around and then asks, “Where is she?”

I smile and tell her, “Behind you and just slightly to your right.”

While Leah turns to face her grandmother, Kol holds out his hand and tells me, “If we combine powers I believe we might be able to allow her to see her grandmother for a few minutes.”

I shrug and grab hold of his hand then he whispers, “Mother Freyja, please grant your daughter and warrior the gift of seeing her ancestor for a time.  So mote it be.”

Everyone gasps a second later when they apparently can see her too.  Leah has tears on her cheeks while she says, “I miss you, Grannie.”

Maribelle’s hand rises and acts as though she’s stroking Leah’s cheek, and when Leah leans into the ghostly touch, her grandmother says, “I know Baby Girl, but immortality was not one of my gifts.  Unlike you who will survive with the help of your Mate for as long as you embrace your heritage and become one with your Wolf Spirit.  You will have a front row seat for history as it happens and by your side, through it all, will be the Honorable and Honor Bound Brother.”

Elijah’s face pops up in my mind when she says the ‘Honorable and Honor Bound Brother,’ and I’m not 100% sure why.  Bella asks, “Who was that man you thought of just now?”

I frown slightly before I tell her, “That’s Elijah, Kol’s brother.  So far as I know, he’s only ever broken his word once in his more than 1,000 years, and that was when he saved the Original Hybrid to rescue the rest of his siblings whom he had thought were lost to him forever.  When he found out they weren’t buried at sea like he was told, he agreed to help Klaus escape.  Elena, Stefan, and Bonnie are still pretty pissed about it, but honestly, I can understand where he was coming from, saving your family should generally come before all else.  Of course, that’s not to say all families are bound by common blood, but family is family be it forged in blood or by love, loyalty, and honor.  Anyway, he’s pretty much the most honorable person I think I’ve ever known, so when she said ‘The Honorable and Honor Bound Brother’ I guess his face popped up in my head.”

Kol smiles and says, “I think I am beginning to understand.  If I’m right, Elijah may decide to fight with us and not Nik.  And I’m pretty sure Leah is the reason he’ll make that choice and have a smile on his face while he does it.”

She turns her wide eyes on him and incredulously asks, “You think he’s my Mate?  A Vampire?”

The Original nods, “Yes, not all Vampires are evil, and really I’ve done far more evil things than Elijah ever has.  When you meet, we’ll see how you react to each other when you touch, and then we shall know if I am correct.”

She frowns and asks, “Where is he now?  Is he safe?”

He chuckles and says, “Spoken like his True Mate.  I’m not sure I need to wait for you two to touch to believe it.  But to answer your question, he should be safe for now.  Our mother is trying to kill us, but Bella and I have thwarted that plan, for the time being at least.  I’m sure we’ll need to deal with Mother at some point to neutralize her once and for all.  However, he’s strong, and he’s incredibly smart, smarter than most individuals I’ve met, and I’ve met some of the smartest people to walk the earth in the last thousand years.  He should be all right for now.  We can all sit down over dinner and discuss if we should approach him or wait for him to come to us.  I’m inclined to think, though, based on what I know of the Prophecy, that he needs to truly see the evil in our brother for what it is and then choose to fight with us.”

She reluctantly nods then Maribelle leans up and brushes her ghostly lips across Leah’s forehead and whispers, “Have patience Leah, everything will happen the way it should and when it should and not a moment sooner.”

The wolf nods and then Maribelle says, “I love you, and you as well Seth.  I don’t mean to ignore you just now.”

He smiles and says, “No worries Grannie, I know Leah needed to see you and hear your words more than I did, but I love you too.”

She nods and kisses his cheek and then Maribelle fades away, and Kol, and I drop hands.  I turn to him and say, “Thanks, Kol, usually I get so frustrated that the person I’m delivering messages to can’t see or hear their loved one too, so thanks for that.”

Leah nods, “Yes thank you Kol.”  She leans up and brushes her lips across his cheek and says, “I look forward to meeting your brother.”

Kol smiles and tells her, “And I look forward to the day I can call you Sister.”

She beams at him, and that chip she had on her shoulder is at once noticeably smaller when she goes to tell her mother what just happened with a skip in her step.

Chapter Text

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Chapter 014

Oops, I Mean Witch

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La Push, Washington

Tuesday, September 21, 2010, 5:45 p.m. PDT

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I follow Leah with my eyes while she walks toward her mother, and when she passes by Damon, I notice his face.  His eyes are narrowed, his nostrils are flaring, and his fists are clenched tightly at his sides, and he’s staring daggers at Ric’s phone while Ric speaks to someone.  Obviously, Damon can hear both sides of the conversation, and he is not happy about whatever they’re saying.  My gut says not to mention that Damon is here, though, so I go over to him and hug him but don’t say anything. 

He hugs me back and kisses my forehead but stays silent while he holds me tightly.  A moment later, I tune into his thoughts to see if I can figure out who is pissing Damon off so successfully, ‘That stupid, arrogant bitch.  She actually made a damn deal with Klaus and now Sabrina the Teenage Bitch wants me to actually talk her out of it?  As if Elena has ever listened to me.’

Even if Damon’s thoughts didn’t tell me who Ric is talking to, Ric fills in any holes when he then says, “Bonnie, I’m sorry, but Damon left yesterday, so if he’s not answering his phone then I don’t know what to tell you.  Though, honestly, I doubt he would have much impact on Elena in this matter.  I could try talking to her.  I might actually have better luck with it than he would anyway.”

He pauses and listens, “Okay, if you think that’s best then I’ll leave you to deal with it.”

He pauses again, and his free hand goes up and pinches the bridge of his nose before he says, “What do you mean by all of his stuff is gone?”

He listens then rolls his eyes before telling her, “Okay, overlooking that she tried to invade his privacy, I was unaware that he had much more than a week’s worth of clothes and his computer and phone when we left Mystic Falls.” 

He pauses again then adds, “Despite Stefan saying that all of Damon’s art supplies are gone, I know for a fact that he didn’t have anything like that with him while we were coming here, so I have no idea what to tell you.” 

He pauses to listen then says, “I’m not saying Stefan is lying because he has no reason to do such a thing, but I am saying Damon had one bag with his clothes in it and a laptop case that had his computer and iPod in it.  The only other things he brought with him were six starter pots with three plants each of Vervain and Wolfsbane and several boxes of the herbs dried and in liquid form, and he gave those to me when he left, so I have no idea where all his things went.” 

He listens again then tells Bonnie, “Sure, if I speak to him, I’ll let him know to call you.”

He pauses then says, “What do you mean all of your Grimoires and most of your spelling materials are gone?”

He listens for a minute then says, “Even Dr. Martin’s books are gone?”

She apparently says yes because he then tells her, “I have no idea what to say to you, Bonnie.” 

He pauses while he listens then says, “No, I’ve never heard of a Vampire being able to enter without an invitation, and I’ve also never heard of things just disappearing like you’ve said they did, so I’m just as clueless as you in this matter.” 

He listens again then says, “I’m confident Damon’s missing things are not connected to your missing things.” 

Another pause then he says, “Because Damon likely shipped his belongings elsewhere with the intention of not coming back to Mystic Falls, at least for a little while, so while it seems like his things disappeared I’m sure there is a non-Magickal reason for the disappearance.  However, your books and things vanishing when no one else has had access to them is another matter entirely and may or may not have a Supernatural reason behind it.  When did you notice them missing?”

He listens then says, “Well, Damon was here in Forks on Friday, Saturday and all day Sunday.  He didn’t leave Forks until after Jules, and I got home from school yesterday, so I know he didn’t take your books because he couldn’t possibly be in two places at one time.”

He listens again then frowns before he says, “Okay if I hear anything, I’ll let you know.”

He pauses again before his frown deepens and he tells her, “Yes, I already said I’d tell him to call you.”

He stops then smiles slightly before he says, “Okay, have a good night.”

When the line disconnects, he turns his face to look directly at Damon and me and says, “Brother, the Bennett Bitch, oops, I mean Witch, wishes you to call her at your earliest convenience.  It seems Elena has made a deal with Klaus to donate a pint of blood every three days and Bonnie wishes you to talk Elena out of the idea.”

It’s Kol who speaks up, “A deal of that sort might actually keep him from harming her or her friends for the time being.”

Damon shakes his head and tightens his hold on me ever so slightly before he says, “You know our purpose isn’t just to save the Doppelgänger’s life.  It’s also to keep her and Stefan from falling under The Hybrid’s influence, which correct me if I’m wrong, but her deal is one step in the very wrong direction.”

Kol nods and says, “I know, but for now it might buy us some time.”

Ric frowns and tells us, “Bonnie also mentioned that Elena and Stefan both went snooping through your bedroom and studio and noticed that all of your belongings are gone, so if I were you, I’d expect Elena, and probably Stefan, to begin blowing up your phone pretty soon.”

Damon sighs and tells him, “Too late, it’s already happening.  In fact, I finally turned my phone off, and tomorrow I’m going to have my number changed, which of course I’ll give to all of you, but it should keep me from being pestered by those I don’t wish to talk to.”

We all nod just before Kol’s phone rings.  He sighs while he takes it out of his pocket and after looking at the Caller ID he turns to Damon and says “I envy you your ability to avoid speaking with those who bother you.  Whatever you do remain silent, Damon,” then he hits send and the speakerphone button and says, “Brother, hold on a minute while I move somewhere more private.”  He moves away from the adults talking by the grill and puts his finger to his lips before waving towards us to follow him.  We, of course, follow then he says, “Okay, the Human’s shouldn’t be able to hear me from here.”

Klaus asks, “What Human’s, Brother?”

Kol frowns and tells him, “I figured time was of the essence, so I called in a favor and had myself teleported to just outside the town young Ms. Gilbert is now living in.  I am currently at a, I believe the word is, Barbeque at the house of a friend of her friend.”

We can all hear the smile in Klaus’ voice when he asks, “So you’ve already insinuated yourself into her life?”

Kol nods even though Klaus can’t see him while he tells his brother, “Yes, I told her I just moved here from Virginia, and I pretended to bond over the lack of sunlight here.  She and her friend invited me to have dinner with them all, and I plan to enroll in the High School tomorrow, and don’t worry I’ll make sure to compel whomever necessary to end up in all of her classes.  By this time next week, we’ll be inseparable Best Mates.”

Klaus is still apparently smiling if the tone of his voice is anything to go by before he says, “Good, good, be sure and take a few pictures tonight and while you’re at school so I can use your position in her life to my best advantage.”

Kol frowns and says, “Of course, anything else?  I don’t want to be gone for too long lest she asks questions.”

“No that is all.  Keep me up to date.”

“I will.”

Then the line disconnects and Kol smiles, “Well, my absence should be covered for the duration of Nik’s plan until either Nik orders me to make a move on Jules, or her sister changes her mind and calls her back home.”

Ric frowns and says, “I spoke to her earlier while I was leaving school.  She made mention several times that everyone is better off with Juliet and me gone, though she also asked me about Damon.  I didn’t know at the time that she was aware you took all of your stuff when we left, so I just told her the same thing I told Bonnie.  You left yesterday afternoon, and if I speak to you, I’ll pass along the message that she misses you and you ‘have’ to hurry home.”

I look up at Damon’s face just in time to see him roll his eyes before he says, “As if.  Where Jules goes, I go, and Elena can go to Hell for all I care.”

Kol places his hand on Damon’s shoulder and says, “You know as well as I do that she needs to be protected and then probably bound and compelled, so she can harm no one else.  If we find a way to separate Nik from his Bloodline, we might be able to separate her from Tatia’s Bloodline and make her blood impotent.  Then when we are finished with her, if you like, I can compel her to leave you and anyone else alone.  My compulsion is stronger than yours, so it should keep her from believing she’s in love with you for the duration of her lifetime.”

He pauses then his eyes pop open wide, and he says, “Oh and you should know I saw Nik compel her last night.  The compulsion is for her to never drink Vampire blood unless it is the only way to save her.  If she does drink Vampire blood, she is to go to him, immediately after healing, and he will make sure she doesn’t die with the blood in her system.  It’s his way of making sure he’ll have her full lifetime to harvest her blood.”

Damon, Ric, and I all nod and Damon says, “As much as I hate to admit this, that’s probably for the best all things considered because we really don’t need a second Katherine running around.  I’ also not convinced Stefan isn’t crazy enough right now to attempt talking her into turning just to spite Klaus.  Then again I also wouldn’t put it past Katherine to set Elena up to be hurt and healed and then kill her to get her own revenge, so Elena being compelled not to drink it or to go to Klaus for protection if she does drink some is probably for the best.  Klaus probably wants her to survive even more than all of us at this point, so that should work in our favor for the time being at least.”

Everyone who knows Katherine and Stefan nods deeply at that.  I even shudder at the thought of my sister as a Vampire.  That would be a horrible nightmare if that happened.

Damon tilts his mouth up and my head down because he’s only an inch or two taller than me and kisses my forehead before he tells me, “Don’t worry, Mia Tesoro, we’ll keep her safe.  However, I am curious what would cause her not to have Vervain on or in her.  For that matter, I wonder what happened to her necklace?  Anyway, once she’s safe then we’ll make sure she wants nothing to do with any Vampires other than Stefan ever again.  Although, the Stefan part will only happen if we get him out of his crazy period.  I think we’re meant to teach him moderation instead of abstinence which should prevent him from going off the rails again in the future.”

Just then Kol’s phone rings again.  He looks at it and then holds his finger to his lips again and puts it on speakerphone before he answers, “Brother, how are you?”

The person on the other end sighs and says, “I’ve been better.  Where are you?  I need your Magickal expertise.”

Kol frowns and tells his older brother, “I’m running an errand for Nik, perhaps you can tell me over the phone what is happening, and I can help you from where I am.”

Elijah sighs again and says, “Please be careful helping Niklaus.  I sense a darkness in him that only seems to grow stronger and larger as time passes, and I fear I won’t be able to stop him from destroying all we hold dear.”

Kol nods even though Elijah can’t see him and says, “I’ll be careful.  You have my word, Brother.”

Elijah sighs and says, “Good, as for what is happening, Esther spelled the champagne we drank last night to link all of our lives together.  Apparently, she plans to kill one of us, likely Finn, to kill all of us and all of our descendants.  I need to know if there is a way to unlink us, and, if so, can it be done without Esther knowing?”

I smile when Kol’s shoulders relax, and he says, “Is that all?  Your problem has already been solved.  A Witch who owed me a favor had a vision and therefore warned me not to drink the champagne when Mother made the toast.  According to this Witch, whom I fully believe was being completely honest with me, my not drinking it prevented Mother’s linking spell from working on any of us, so none of us are linked to each other.  When she kills Finn, it should kill him and only him.  Sadly, according to the Witch, he wishes to die, so, as much as it pains me to say this unless you want to go against his wishes I suggest you let him die.”

I frown at the sad look on Kol’s face at the thought of his brother dying.  Still frowning he continues, “Then when the circle drops after mother kills him, I would suggest pulling her bloody heart out and burning the heart and her corpse.  Although, do it in separate fires at different locations just to be safe then crush the remaining bones and collect each set of the ashes and bones in three individual containers.  After that, bring them out to sea and pour them into the water miles apart trying to keep as much of it from reaching the wind as possible.  Also, the best bet is to make sure there is no land for as far as the eye can see when you pour each container’s contents into the water.”

Elijah’s frown is evident when he asks, “Kol, Brother, why didn’t you tell me any of this before?”

Kol sighs and says, “I tried Elijah.  I asked you to go on a hunt with me this morning so I could tell you, but Nik talked you out of going with me, and because Mother and Finn were present and then Nik sent me on this mission the opportunity never arose again until now.”

“Very well, Brother, are you safe, or would you like someone to watch your back?  I’m afraid I grow tired of Niklaus ordering me about, and as I’ve said that darkness concerns me.  I have a bad feeling Niklaus is going to need to be dealt with at some point.  Although what could possibly be done to contain a creature with virtually no weaknesses and as close to true immortality as one can get is beyond me.”

Kol looks at all of us then after a minute he says, “Elijah, after you have dealt with Mother and scattered her remains call me and I’ll have you teleported to me.”

We can hear the slight smile in his voice when Elijah says, “Very well, thank you for your help and if you see him or her thank your Witch friend too because they just saved all of us and those in our Sire Lines.”

Kol smiles and tells him, “I will.  Stay safe, Brother.”

I imagine Elijah’s smile widens before he tells his younger brother, “And you as well, Kol.”

Then the line goes dead.  Kol looks at Leah and tells her, “The ritual I think my mother plans to do requires a full moon, which is in two nights, so he should be here by next week, and you can see if I am correct about him being your Mate.”

She smiles and says, “Thanks.”

He nods at her just before the parents announce that dinner is served.  The other Wolves have been busy setting up long tables in a square, so everyone can sit and still see everyone else.  Billy says, “We thought this way we can talk while we eat without anyone having to repeat themselves or shout to be heard by the Humans.”

We all nod and everyone goes up to the buffet table to get their food.  My eyes get progressively wider and wider while I watch the amount of food being put onto each Wolf’s plate, but Isa just giggles and says, “Their metabolisms burn so hot that they eat this much six or seven times a day at least.”

Seriously?  Six or seven times a day?  Holy crap!  Jake confirms her words though when he nods and says, “We are growing boys, er and girl, after all.”

Everyone laughs at that.  Soon we’re all sitting and eating.  I moan after my first bite and say, “Whoever did the ribs, Oh My God, they melt in my mouth, and I’ve never had any better than these, not even my grammie’s, and that bar was set pretty high.”

Mrs. Clearwater smiles and says, “Thank you, Juliet.  It’s an old family recipe.”

I smile and with puppy dog eyes and a pouting lip I ask, “Is there any way I can talk you into giving that recipe to Damon or Isa so they can make them for me sometime?”

She laughs and says, “Your puppy dog eyes are almost as effective as my children’s puppy dog eyes, so I’ll see what I can do, though I’m surprised that a Vampire would cook.”

Damon nods and tells her, “Because Human food doesn’t smell or taste bad to us and we can eat it same as you there are actually a lot of Vampires who either continue cooking after they’re turned, or they learn to cook after the fact.  Personally, my story is a little bit of both.  I was Human in the mid-1800’s, and it was in the South, so like most other landowners we had slaves.  Anyway, I was very fond of several of ours, and I happily pissed my father off to no end by playing with them or even eating meals with them.  One of them, Kamilah, was our head cook.  She taught me everything she knew about the kitchen, and until the very day I died, when my father wasn’t looking, I’d sneak into the kitchen and help her make whatever she was cooking.”

He sort of half smiles and half frowns while he remembers and says, “Honestly, she was pretty much my mother figure because my mother died on the voyage here from Italy.  The ship had an outbreak of the plague due to all the rats on board and even when we made landfall the adults had to catch, kill, and burn every rodent on the ship and we had to stay on the ship for two more weeks to ensure none of us would spread the illness.” 

His frown fades into a full smile before he tells us, “My grandfather gave my father the land we owned here and had already set up the residence and all the staff and slaves, so Kamilah was already there when we got to the house.  She immediately took a liking to me, and she would tell me stories of what is now the modern country of Ghana, where she was from.  She also used to hold me and rock me back to sleep when I’d wake up crying for my mother.  I was never as close to Stefan’s mother, Lily, as I was to Kamilah.  Lily only married my father just over a year after we arrived, and then she died a little under two years later giving birth to Stefan, so I never got a chance to build our relationship.”

It sounds like Damon really loved Kamilah so hoping that her story had a happy ending I smile and ask, “What happened to Kamilah?”

He smiles wider and tells us, “My father died just after Stefan and I transitioned, so I went back and offered to sneak her and her family up North.  She accepted, and I took her, her husband, their five children, and their family members with me telling any who questioned me while we were in the Confederate States that they were my slaves.  I was actually always surprised it worked because there were 27 of them traveling with me and I don’t think I had to compel a single person.  Then when we arrived in New York, I gave them letters declaring them free and then set up bank accounts for them, and I’d put money in them every now and then.  I even went and visited them a few times over the years because they knew what I was.  Several of them named children or grandchildren after me, which was a bit humbling.  I’ve kept track of their descendants through the years, and I still put money in their accounts only now I do it every month.  Although I doubt at this point, any of them have a clue Damon Salvatore was a Vampire and that the money is still coming from the same man who helped free their relatives.  If they ask, my accountant is supposed to tell them it’s coming from my descendant who wishes to thank their family for their ancestor’s love and friendship that she freely gave to her captor and tormentor’s son.  I get cards around Christmas and Thanksgiving as well as my birthday.  They tell me they send them on my ancestor’s birthday to honor him and his willingness to free their ancestors.  Anyway, then after I left them in New York I attended a few culinary schools through the years.  I graduated from the most recent one back in 2001.”

Everyone smiles then Isa adds, “The Cullens liked to cook too although Human food smells horrible, tastes like dirt to them, and they couldn’t eat any of it without having to throw it back up afterward, so I don’t think they cooked often or at all until I came into the picture.  They seemed to enjoy it, though, especially Esme.  They were very good at it too.”

Damon nods and adds, “Vampires and Cold Ones have eidetic memory in common, so if we bother to learn how to cook the concepts stay with us very easily, and from there it’s pretty easy to cook whatever we want.  Did Assward cook?”

Isa giggles while the Wolves chuckle then she says, “No he didn’t like it when I ate in front of him either, though he stated that he put up with it because he loved me, which now I think is just bullsh—uh, BS, but whatever.  Mostly it was Esme and Carlisle who did the cooking with a little help from Rosalie, Emmett, and Jasper though I’m pretty sure they had to twist Rose’s arm to get her to help because so far as I know, she hates me.”

Everyone goes back to eating and then a few minutes later Kol, and Ric fill everyone else in on their phone conversations with Klaus, Elijah, Elena, and Bonnie, then Leah asks, “Can I tell them what you did for me, Jules?”

I smile, and shrug because my mouth is full, then after I finish chewing and swallowing, I tell her, “Sure, I don’t mind.”

When she finishes telling the story, Billy asks, “Do you see a lot of Ghosts?”

I shake my head, “Not really, it started with my two best friends who were both Vampires when they died, Vicki and Anna.  They still pop in now and then to warn me when trouble’s coming.  That’s actually how I knew to get back to the house to kill Tony the other day.  Vicki and Anna both showed up and told me Elena and Ric were still at the house, and Ric was hurt, and that was going to make Elena do something stupid and put herself in danger.”

Ric speaks up and tells me, “Next time you see them tell them I said thank you.”

I nod then continue explaining, “Anyway, other than the two of them who show up the most all the other ghosts I’ve seen are related to whomever I’m with at the time.  Sometimes they’re just watching and don’t say anything, but other times they ask me if their loved one is doing as okay as they think they are, or the Ghost asks me to deliver a message.  I’ve never been able to show the live person their loved one though like I did today so that part was all Kol.”

Kol smiles and says, “It was you too, I wouldn’t have been able to make it happen if the ability wasn’t already inside you.  I think if we practice you’ll be able to do it on your own anytime you want, without the incantation, and for much longer than we did it today.”

I nod, “That’s cool, guess I’m Supernatural after all.”

Kol smiles wider and says, “You are.  Only Supernaturals can actually become Ghost Whisperers.  There had to be a Supernatural element already in your blood or the effect would have only been temporary and would have only lasted for a week or two at most after you woke from death.”

I smile and say, “That explains why Matt doesn’t still see ghosts.”

Everyone looks at me with questions written all over their faces, so I tell them, “My friend Matt, Vicki’s brother actually, was helping my now ex-best friend Bonnie, who’s a Witch.  They needed to speak to Vicki, so Matt drowned himself, so he could talk to his dead sister and figure out how to stop that week’s big bad after Bonnie gave him CPR to revive him.  Anyhow, he told me he saw Vicki and a few other ghosts for a few days but then they disappeared, and he couldn’t see them anymore.  I checked too because one time he and I were together, and Vicki was there, and I asked if he could see her.  They both said he couldn’t anymore.  Then another time she wasn’t there, and he asked if she was still around.  Anyhow, I wondered why it went away for him, but the ability stayed with me.  Guess I know now.”

Damon kisses the side of my head and half hugs me before going back to his dinner then I ask, “Hey, anyone know how my ring would have worked if I’m Supernatural enough to be a Ghost Whisperer?  I mean it’s only supposed to work on Humans I thought.”

Kol narrows his eyes and asks, “May I see this ring?”

I look at Damon who nods, so after wiping my hands, I slide the ring off my thumb and hand it over to Kol who studies it for a minute or two before asking, “Who made this?”

Damon and I both say, “Emily Bennett,” I continue the thought; “She spelled this ring and the one Ric wears and a whole bunch of other things for my ancestor, Jonathan Gilbert, why?”

He frowns and says, “If I’m reading this correctly it’s spelled to work on all Humans should they be killed by an element of the Supernatural but it’ll only work on Gilbert’s if a Salvatore kills them, so this would only work on you if Damon or Stefan killed you.  How did you die the time it worked?”

My eyes widen, but I tell him, “I’ve died twice, the last time I was killed by a Human, and Bonnie brought me back using her Magick, so the only time the ring actually worked was when Damon snapped my neck.” 

Everyone but Kol gasps at that and looks between Damon and me clearly wondering how we wound up dating if he once killed me.  Kol on the other hand just nods and says, “That makes sense.  I’m pretty sure it’ll work if Stefan kills you too, so given we’re not sure what side he’ll end up on you should continue to wear it until we know he is no longer a threat to any of us.  However, if Damon and Bella are willing, we may be able to make one for Charlie.  I believe Bella’s Elemental lineage comes from her mother’s side, so Charlie should be completely Human, so a ring such as this one should work on him and protect him from the supernatural.” 

Damon, Isa and I all nod and Charlie smiles while Isa says, “That would be great if we can do it.  That way I won’t have to worry about a Cold One or any other Supe coming and killing him.”

Kol smiles and kisses the side of her head before I tell them, “We have Emily’s Grimoire, so we should be able to find the necessary spell because I doubt she failed to include it in her book.”

Everyone nods and Kol says, “We’ll have to look for it in the coming days.”

I nod, and we all go back to eating.

Chapter Text

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Chapter 015

The Chosen Ones

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La Push, Washington

Tuesday, September 21, 2010, 8:00 p.m. PDT (con’t.)

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When everyone finishes their meals, we all help clean up, and then we head farther into the backyard for a bonfire, and once we’re all sitting, the fire is roaring, and the Marshmallows have been passed around Damon, Kol, and Billy begin talking about the Prophecy. 

Damon puts a marshmallow on his stick and then says, “So the Prophecy is about the man named Savior, the Husband of one of his progeny, the daughter of a male descendant of a Founding Family.  By the way, that and Kol’s words earlier lead me to believe the Supernatural that lets Jules talk to Ghosts comes from the Gilbert side, not the Sommer side.  Anyway, the three of us and the Last Elemental, The Originals’ Black Sheep, The Wolves’ True Alpha, the She-Wolf, the Honorable and Honor Bound Brother, and a man called Major will all join forces together with others to protect the Petrova Doppelgänger and the Ripper of Monterrey from The Original Hybrid and his influence.  We will find a way to stop Klaus permanently.  Although we still have no clue how we’re going to do that because currently to kill him would kill me and Stefan who happens to be the Ripper of Monterrey, and like I said he needs to be protected.  So somehow we’re going to find a way to stop Klaus without killing his whole Sire Line, and if we stay true to the path of the light, we will all be rewarded.”

Kol finishes, “Though if we don’t all stay true, all hope may be lost, and the world could suffer significantly at Nik’s hands.”

Leah leans forward to blow out her marshmallow that caught on fire before she asks, “So the Original Hybrid, Klaus, and Nik are all the same person right?”

Everyone from Mystic Falls nods before Kol tells her, “Yes, sorry for making things confusing.  His full name is Niklaus, but most everyone calls him Klaus, however, my sister, ‘Bekah, and I call him Nik while our older brothers, Finn and Elijah, only call him Niklaus.  I don’t think the four of us have ever called him Klaus or at least not with any regularity.”

Everyone nods so Leah asks her next question, “So who is everyone you just listed from the Prophecy?  Like who are they besides those things?  I mean everyone said I’m the She-Wolf, but I don’t know who anyone else is.”

Billy shifts a bit in his wheelchair and answers her, “Damon is the Savior because his last name is Salvatore which means Savior in Italian.  The Prophecy specifically says he’ll meet the Last Elemental after his 145th year as a Vampire and shortly after he survives a bite from one of the Servants of the Moon.  So because he’s been a Vampire for almost exactly 146 years and he, in May, survived a Traditional Werewolf’s bite we know it’s him.  He’s actually the player in all of this that we were given the most information about and only he, the Last Elemental, and the man called Major were actually named.

Ric speaks up, “I’m the Husband because Damon turned my wife, Isobel, a few years back.  Jules is the daughter of the male descendant.”

Damon takes a turn after he pops his perfectly toasted marshmallow into my mouth, “Isa is the Last Elemental whom the Prophecy specifically said would be named Isabella and Kol is the Originals’ Black Sheep.”

After I chew and swallow I tell them all, “I think Jake is the Wolves True Alpha, and like Leah said she’s the She-Wolf, and Kol and I think his older brother, Elijah, is the Brother who is Honorable and Honor Bound.  My sister, Elena is the current Petrova Doppelgänger and Stefan, her boyfriend and Damon’s younger brother, is the Ripper of Monterrey.  I’m not sure any of us know who the man called Major is yet, but did I get everyone else?  Does Katherine have any role in all of this?”

Sue leans forward in her seat so she can see me better and asks, “Who is Katherine?”

Damon answers her while I stick a marshmallow onto Damon’s stick and take it from his hand to roast it while he talks.  “Katherine Pierce was formerly called Katerina Petrova.  She was the first Petrova Doppelgänger that we know of and she turned herself into a Vampire to avoid being sacrificed by Klaus to remove the curse his mother placed on him suppressing his Werewolf side.  She also happens to be the one whose blood turned my brother and me.  As for whether she has a role in all of this I don’t know.”

Billy frowns then after a minute of contemplation he says, “We have several copies of that part of the Prophecy, and on two of them it says ‘Petrova Doppelgängers,' plural, but the third just says ‘Petrova Doppelgänger,' singular.  We always thought there couldn’t be two Doppelgängers from the same line at the same time because it never occurred to us that one might become a Vampire, so we thought the first two were typos.  However, now I think perhaps it is truly ‘Doppelgängers,' plural.”

Damon nods and says, “That makes sense, and don’t beat yourselves up over the assumption that it was one.  Ric, Jules, and I have been researching Doppelgängers ever since we discovered Elena is one, and in everything we’ve ever read none of us ever found any mention of any of them other than Katherine turning into a Vampire.  In fact, it’s common knowledge in most Supernatural circles that turning into a Vampire makes their blood useless for most of the things it might be used for, which is why Katherine did it.  That’s also why Klaus hunted her for the next 500 years so he could pay her back for making him be stuck without his Wolf side for half a millennium longer than he thought he needed to.”

They nod, so Damon continues, “The Wolves True Alpha will embrace his birthright during a battle of willpowers when he meets his Mate.  He will also help fight Klaus, and he and the rest of us will save the Doppelgänger, or I guess Doppelgängers and the Ripper from Klaus’ influence and ultimately save the world.”

Kol takes over again, “And if we all follow the ways of the light we’ll meet our Mates, find our true destinies and be rewarded greatly, but if even one of us strays from the correct path Nik might find a weakness and the world and all hope will be lost.  If we all stay true to our cause and each other we’ll destroy Nik, and the world will continue on as ever, wholly unaware of the fate they have been spared from enduring by the, quote, ‘willpower and ingenuity of the Chosen Ones’.”

Billy adds, “One of our versions says the Chosen Ones will essentially build themselves a new family bound by love, honor, and loyalty when the bonds of blood are broken.  It also mentions all of you protecting the town and the tribe not just from the Original Hybrid but from others as well both before and after you deal with Klaus.”

I wonder something so I ask, “The bonds of blood probably mean blood relation right?  So is it talking about Kol and Elijah breaking their brotherly bonds with Klaus, or is it talking about Damon and Stefan, or is it actually talking about breaking the Sire Line, or is it all of the above?”

Damon leans over and kisses me quickly before saying, “That’s one of the many reasons I love you, you see things in ways I usually don’t.”

I beam at him basically admitting in front of everyone that he loves me and snuggle into his side while he says, “Anyway, now that I think about it I believe that it might actually be all off the above.”

Kol nods and tells us, “I agree and although I am hopeful that it won’t become necessary to also end Stefan I feel the prophecy is implying that Damon will have new brothers.  While I know Stefan will always be his brother, I think the new bonds are going to greatly overshadow the old bond at the very least.”

Everyone who’s read a part of the prophecy nods then Billy asks, “Any idea who the pair of Witches that will turn the tide are?”

Damon and Kol shake their heads and Damon says, “I have no idea other than it’s a Male and a Female that may very well be Mates.”

Kol nods so Billy asks, “Okay, then any idea who the coven of Cold Ones that’s mentioned is?  For a while, we thought it would be the Cullens because they returned here just before Bella did, but with them gone…”

Kol frowns and says, “I wouldn’t discount the possibility that it’s the Cullens even with them leaving.  I have a feeling Bella and the rest of you have not seen or heard the last from them mainly because we still don’t know who the Major who’s going to join our side and be our brother is.  Though I got the impression that the Major is currently part of that Coven of Cold Ones so who knows.”

Isa head snaps to look at him and says, “The Major is part of the Coven?  Like maybe Major Jasper Whitlock a/k/a Jasper Hale, Edward’s adoptive brother and Alice’s Husband?”

Now Damon’s head snaps to look at her before he asks, “He became a Cold One?”

She nods and he tells everyone, “It’s got to be him because it mentioned old bonds of brotherhood and camaraderie being restored.  I served in the war with Major Whitlock, so we were brothers at arms and comrades in the truest sense of the word.”

Everyone nods and Isa’s smile widens, “Oh I’m so happy he’s coming back.  I want to tell him that none of what happened was his fault because I’m pretty sure he’s blaming himself.”

Kol’s eyes are narrowed until she says, “At least I get one of my big brothers back.”

He smiles and asks her, “He is like a brother to you?”

She nods so he just kisses her forehead with a smile on his face then he says, “Words and deeds of betrayal could be any of the other Cullens, so if Jasper is the Major then the Coven is likely the Cullens based on what I know of that situation.  If I had to guess, I’d say Edward and his sister are the possible candidates for the betrayals because the Prophecy says it’ll be a pair of Cold Ones.

Isa nods and says, “You’re probably right about that, I still can’t figure out how Alice didn’t see Jasper attacking me.  She had to have seen it, and she didn’t do a damn thing to change it.  In fact, she may have even taken actions to ensure it would happen.”

I frown and ask the obvious question, “Why would she do that?”

Isa shrugs and says, “I have no idea.”

Damon looks pensive for a minute then he asks, “Could it have to do with the Kings?  The prophecy mentions someone trying to overthrow the Three Kings, which I’ve always believed was talking about the Volturi.”

Kol frowns and tells us, “I agree the Three Kings is likely a reference to the Volturi Kings.  I know how to get in touch with them if all of us feel it would be a good idea to include them in our plans.”

Damon shakes his head then says, “Probably best to leave them out of it until we know more about who our enemies are.”

Everyone nods so we go back to roasting our marshmallows.  A few minutes later, everyone who participated in the Telepathy spell and the Wolves all turn their heads towards the road.  Isa smiles and says, “I think it’s Jasper.”

I agree because we all hear the Cold One think, ‘I smell Victoria.  I told Assward and my bitch ex that we shouldn’t leave Bella unprotected.  I don’t know what damn game they’re playing, but I do know the last thing they’re worried about is Bella’s freaking safety.  Damn the scent goes over the treaty line.  Now I know why I saved Billy Black’s phone number after Carlisle used my cell to inform the Tribe that we were back.’

I can see him flipping through his phone’s contact list in his mind, and then I smile when he thinks, ‘Thank God I still have it.’

A minute goes by and then Billy’s phone begins to ring.  When he looks at his phone and the caller ID, his eyebrows shoot up, and Isa tells him, “It’s Jasper, not Carlisle.  I think he wants to warn you about Victoria.”

He nods and hits the send button then puts it on speakerphone, “Hello.”

“Yes, hello, sorry to bother you.  This is Jasper Whitlock, I’m one of the Cullens, or I was.  Anyhow, I’m sure you heard they left, but I’m back in town for a few days, and I noticed the scent of a Cold One who probably means Bella Swan and her friends and family harm.  I wanted to call and warn you, so you and your wolves can protect yourselves and your people especially because I just followed her scent and the scent of at least 100 other Cold Ones from Bella’s house to the treaty line which means she’s been on your lands probably as recently as last night.”

Billy smiles and says, “Thank you, Mr. Whitlock, we are aware of the issue, but if you would like to come speak with us in person, I would be willing to send some of the Wolves to meet you at the treaty line and escort you to our location.”

We can all hear the frown in his voice when Jasper asks, “Who is the ‘we’ implied in the ‘our’?”

Damon laughs then and says, “Major Whitlock, he means Captain Salvatore and his family.”

Jasper pauses then asks, “Damn, Damon, is that really you?”

My Vampire laughs again and says, “Yes, it’s really me, and I have quite the story to tell you.  Let us send the Wolves, and you can come to storytime.”

He thinks, ‘If this is a trap it’s a damn good one.’

Then he says, “Okay, provided the Tribe vows they won’t harm me for breaking the treaty by going on their lands.”

Billy speaks up then, “That Treaty is with the Cullens.  You are, by my way of thinking, more of a Salvatore than a Cullen, so you fall under our Treaty with Damon and his family.  Therefore, you shall be safe here.  I give you my word.”

Jasper’s smile is evident in his voice when he responds, “Thank you, Tribe Elder.  I’ll be waiting at the Treaty Line on the road leading into your lands.”

Billy smiles too and says, “Our Wolves will be there shortly.”

They hang up, and Billy turns to Sam and says, “You and Jake should go along with Damon.”

I look at Damon who smiles at me and says, “If no one objects I’d like Jules to come with us as well.”

I grin when several people say, “That’s no problem,” and “Yeah sure.”

Standing when Damon does I grab his hand, and we follow Jake and Sam out to the front of the house, and then we walk down the road.  I figure we walk about half a mile before I see an inhumanly good-looking man standing on the road.  He’s beautiful for sure, but I find myself preferring black hair over ginger, and I chuckle when Damon squeezes my hand having obviously heard my thoughts on his friend.

When we are about ten feet away from Jasper the Cold One smiles and says, “Captain, you are a sight for sore eyes.  When were you turned?”

Damon smiles and says, “Late September of ’64.”

Jasper nods, “I wondered why you didn’t return from leave, but it never occurred to me that you were a damn Vampire.”

Damon laughs and tells him, “Yeah well it never occurred to me that you’d be one of the Cold Ones.  I might have a spell that can cure that and make you like me by the way, but we’ll need Kol’s blood to facilitate that.”

Jasper just raises a brow and asks, “Who is Kol?”

Damon smiles and raises his own brow before he replies, “Kol Mikaelson.”

Jasper noisily sucks in his breath and says, “Crap Damon a damn Original?  I see you’re still making friends with the most random of people.”

Damon drops my hand to hold his stomach while he laughs even harder than before and gets out between bouts of laughter, “You have no idea.”

When my Mate calms some, he straightens up and asks, “So are you satisfied that you will be safe entering their lands.  I also give my word that I won’t allow any harm to come to you.”

Jasper nods and says, “Yes provided the Alpha and his Second reiterate Mr. Black’s vow of safety while I am on their lands.”

Sam smiles, “You have our word that provided you don’t attack our people or our friends we will allow you safe passage over our lands for as long as you remain peaceful towards us.  We do ask that until Damon and Kol can make you a Traditional Vampire instead of a Cold One that you continue to refrain from feeding on Humans.  Then after that, we’d like you to refrain from killing innocent Humans unless you are turning them, and if that’s the case then only with the person’s prior consent.  Those are the only requirements that our Treaty with Damon and Kol has that need to be met other than not attacking us and ours.”

Jasper nods and says, “I agree to your terms,” then he takes three steps forward before laughing and saying, “I know it was only three steps but I feel weird being on your land after all these years of not crossing that line.”

Everyone else laughs too before Damon pulls Jasper into a hug saying, “It’s damn good to see you Jazz!”

Jasper smiles while he hugs him back and tells him, “It’s damn good to see you too.”

I shuffle my feet a bit before they pull apart and turn to look at me.  Damon holds out his hand to me, so I take it and smile when he pulls me to his side and says, “This is my Mate, Juliet.”

Jasper smiles and tilts his head down in a small bow before he says, “Pleased to meet you, Juliet.”

I smile back and tell him, “Please call me Jules, pretty much everyone does.”

Jasper nods and then Damon asks, “So are we ready to head back?”

Everyone nods so we walk back to the Clearwater’s house.

Chapter Text

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Chapter 016

We Both Felt Things

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La Push, Washington

Tuesday, September 21, 2010, 9:30 p.m. PDT (con’t.)

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The walk back to the Clearwater house is silent except for the animals in the woods on either side of the road.  Sam and Jake lead us around to the back of the house and over to the bonfire.  Jasper gasps a second later when he finds his arms full of Isa who quickly tells him, “It wasn’t your fault.  Don’t blame yourself.  I know it was everyone’s bloodlust piled up on top of yours.”

He hugs her back gently and tells her, “Thank you, I wasn’t sure if you realized.  I actually came back to deliver this,” and he pulls a letter out of his back pocket and hands it to her.  “You can read it later, but basically it says I’m sorry, not so much for trying to attack you because that was pure instinct but rather for allowing a situation like that to occur.  I should have been more forceful in telling them all to hunt, but they believed Alice when she said it wouldn’t be a problem.”

Isa gasps, “You told them to hunt, and she told them not to worry about it?  Kol I have to be right, she freaking did it on purpose.”

Jasper nods and says, “I think so too.  I’m not sure what she and Edward are up to, but it’s not anything good you can be sure of that.  They always feel devious, and like they’re, hmm how to put it, they feel like they think they’re getting away with something, there’s a certain pleased quality to the deviousness too if that makes any sense.”

We all nod then Charlie speaks up, “Jasper, I don’t want you to think I blame you for Edward and Alice’s actions any more than Bella does you hear?”

Jasper’s eyes get wider slightly, and he asks, “You finally told Charlie?”  When she and Charlie both nod he continues, “Good, I never agreed with the others about keeping him in the dark, the Volturi be damned.  He can’t protect you or himself properly if he doesn’t know what he’s up against.  Speaking of which, Victoria’s scent led me to the treaty line, and it’s fresh enough that I think she was here last night with about a 100 friends.”

We all nod, but it’s Damon who says, “She was here with a Newborn army.  We killed all the Newborns, but she got away.  If I had to hazard a guess, she’s probably trying to rebuild the army as we speak.”

Jasper nods and asks, “Your side have any casualties?”

Damon shakes his head, “No.”

I speak up to tell him, “No, but Damon got bit a bunch of times.”

While Damon pulls me closer to his side and kisses the side of my head, Leah turns to me and tells me, “I told you that he let it happen to save lives.”

I try to smile a little but tell her, “I know, but it still bothers me.  I don’t like seeing my Mate in pain like that.”

I’m shaking a little while Damon kisses my forehead then hugs me to his side again and whispers, “Mia Tesoro, I’m okay now, it’s over.”

My cheeks flush in embarrassment, but I can’t help it.  My Mate looked like death warmed over when I woke up this morning.  I don’t look at any one person before I say, “I know.”

Damon whispers, “We’ll talk more about this, later on, okay.  I’ll show you where the wounds were, and you’ll see that I’m fine and hopefully your fear will lessen.”

I just nod while I hold on to him tightly.  I thought I was over it, but I guess I’m not as over it as I believed I was.

Kol steps towards Jasper then and holds out his hand, “Kol Mikaelson, Bella’s Mate.”

Jasper’s eyes widen dramatically before he smiles and says, “Thank God, I was pretty sure she wasn’t Edward’s Mate, but I knew he kept telling her he was, and anytime I tried to say otherwise he’d intervene and move her away from me.”

We can all hear in Jasper’s thoughts his memories of several arguments he had with Assward on the subject including one that had him telling Assward, “Edward, I don’t know what game you’re playing, but I think we both know you’re not Bella’s Mate.”

Edward narrowed his eyes, and after Jasper felt the other Cold One’s anger and annoyance rise he told Jasper, “You don’t know what you’re talking about Jasper.  Bella is my Mate just as Alice is yours.  You would do well to keep your false beliefs to yourself, or so help me I’ll tear you limb from limb if you put ideas into my Bella’s head.”

Jasper stepped closer to Assward and growled low in his throat before saying, “I dare you to try, Edward.  Need I remind you that I’m not only older than you by more than half a century but other than Maria, I am one of only three survivors of the Southern Wars, and for the record, the other two only survived because of me.  I’m a warrior while you spent your whole life being coddled and pampered.  So you go ahead and attack me, and it’ll be the last thing you ever do.”

Carlisle stepped in then, “Jasper I understand that you’re concerned about Bella.  We all are, but only Edward and Bella truly know if they are Mates, and I fully believe he wouldn’t lie about it.”

Jasper’s fight left him swiftly at Carlisle’s intervention, but he still told him, “They’re not the only ones who know Carlisle or have you forgotten my gift?  A lot is going on that you have no clue about.”

Carlisle stood and frowned before saying, “That’s enough Jasper, we need to remain united, and this infighting only makes us weak.”

Jasper scowled and said, “Whatever, I’m going hunting.”

A moment after that memory and a few others float through his mind Jasper asks, “You all feel like I’ve somehow revealed something important, but the feeling didn’t happen until a minute or two after I said I tried to warn her.”  He pauses then his eyes go wide, “Can all of you hear my thoughts?”

Damon smiles and says, “Jules, Bella, Charlie, Kol, Ric over there, myself, and all the wolves can not only hear your thoughts, but we can feel what you’re feeling too.”

Jasper’s eyes are so wide I can see the whites of his eyes all around his irises, and the effect only strengthens when Isa says, “I’m an Elemental Jasper, and I think I might be able to help you with both your bloodlust and making your Empathy easier to control.  Plus, if we’re right and you’re meant to be a part of our family then you should have the Telepathy too so that if you run into Edward or Alice, you’ll be able to hear what they’re thinking.”

Kol adds, “We believe the spell that would be required will also put up a wall, which will be impenetrable to anyone who isn’t part of the spell, so basically anyone who’s not here right now would be unable to hear or see you.”

He turns to look at Isa and asks, “Darling, do you remember the words or do you wish to wait and do it when we go home?”

She smiles and says, “Jazz do you want it done now because I’ll be happy to do it whenever you’re comfortable with it?”

He smiles and says, “Now is fine.”

She nods and holds her hands in front of her and whispers some words I don’t catch before her Goblet pops into her hands.  She turns and looks at each of us and then tells Jasper, “So first, if you’ll permit I’ll turn you into a Traditional Vampire because we can’t cut you to get your blood because your skin is currently like granite and your blood doesn’t flow.”

He nods, so she takes the Dagger that appeared in Kol’s hands the same time the Goblet arrived in hers, and Kol holds his hand over the goblet to allow her to cut it.  After she does so, she gives the dagger to Kol who slices her palm, and she holds her hand in place over the cup allowing the blood to flow for a minute. She’s studiously not looking at it, and I think she’s also holding her breath which causes me to laugh.  When she’s bled enough Kol bites into his wrist and feeds Isa some of his blood until her hand heals.  Then she holds her now healed hand over the goblet and smiles before saying, “Freyja, Oh Shining One, please bless this blood and use it to transform your Warrior.  Allow his blood to flow and his heart to beat, let him once more eat and sleep.  Turn him from Cold One to Traditional Vampire with Kol as his Sire.  So mote it be.”

She hands him the goblet and tells him, “Drink all of it, but be forewarned it’s going to hurt going down, and then you’ll pass out, and when you wake in about an hour, you’ll be a real Vamp.”

He nods and takes the goblet drinking it down.  He barely has time to cry out in pain before he drops.  Damon moves and catches him before his head would have hit the ground while Kol grabs the Goblet when he lets go of it.

Then after Damon lies him on the ground, far enough away from the fire that he won’t accidentally catch fire, we all sit back down and start roasting marshmallows again.

An hour later, Jasper gasps before asking, “My God, what smells so good?”

Damon laughs, and the rest of us join in before he tells Jasper, “It’s probably the roasted marshmallows.  The outside, if done properly, is basically caramelized sugar.”

Leah laughs and sticks her tongue out at him for basically picking on her for always burning her marshmallows.  He chuckles while Jasper sits up and then the newly turned Vampire says, “Whoa, I didn’t think it was possible for my senses to get even better than they were.”

Damon nods and says, “You also look like you did when you were Human now too.  And for the record, you’ll need to be invited into residences the first time.  Oh and because we used Kol’s blood and a spell to transform you that means you should be able to survive being stabbed in the heart with a stake provided it’s not a White Oak Stake.  Beheading and having your heart ripped out are probably the only other ways to kill you now.”

Jasper nods before Damon holds a perfectly roasted Marshmallow down towards him and says, “Here try it.  I promise you won’t have to get sick to get rid of it.  Provided you drink blood regularly all of your bodily functions will work like they did when you were Human.”

Kol walks over to him and hands him two bags of blood he teleported here from who knows where, “Here it might be best to eat these first, so you don’t accidentally attack anyone.  Your bloodlust should be much more controlled now, but it’s better safe than sorry.”

Jasper nods and drinks the bags down.  Then he reluctantly slides the marshmallow off the stick, and he pops it in his mouth experimentally and then chews and swallows. 

He laughs before saying, “Well I’ll be damned that actually tastes pretty good.”

Everyone laughs, and he tilts his head and says, “I thought powers like Empathy were supposed to be weaker for Vampires not stronger.”

Kol smiles and says, “That’s probably a result of the age of my blood.  As of Samhain, which is October 31st, I will have been a Vampire for roughly 1,010 years, and I’m essentially your Sire now so…”

Jasper just nods, so Isa asks, “Ready for the other spell now?  Then you should be able to control the Empathy better too.”

He smiles but says, “It’s already easier to control but sure.  I want to be able to know what Edward and Alice are up to when they next see me, and being able to block him will be good too.”

Isa smiles and says, “It’ll prevent Alice from seeing you too because according to a dream I had of my grandmother last night she can’t see anything when the Wolves are about.  Because Jake and Leah’s blood will be included and you’ll, therefore, have their blood in your system until the spell is removed no Psychics will be able to see you either, at least not Cold One’s.  I think Kol and I will still be able to see you.”

Kol nods, so Jasper says, “Then let’s do it.”

Isa smiles and says, “So everyone who contributed blood last night, as well as Leah, needs to do so again.  Then after I take Jasper’s blood and say the words, we’ll all drink again like we did last night.”

Everyone nods in agreement, so she adds everyone’s blood to the Goblet again, then she holds her hand over it and says the same words she said last night.

When the last word is spoken, she gives the goblet to Jasper and says, “Take a sip then we’ll pass it around, each of us taking a sip until it’s all gone.”

He nods and does as told and round and round we go each of us taking a total of three sips before it’s all gone.  A few seconds later, his eyes open wide and he says, “That’s pretty damn cool.”

Damon smiles and tells him, “Give it a few minutes and your control over it will improve, and it won’t bombard you like it is now.”

Jasper nods and while the seconds tick by his smile grows and grows, and he begins nodding.

After a few minutes, Kol suggests, “Why don’t we all sit and we can explain what’s going on to Jasper.”

Everyone nods and we go about explaining the prophecy and everything we know about it and its players.

When we finish our tale, Jasper tells us, “I think you’re right about the Kings.  Edward and Alice are always asking Carlisle things about them or prompting him to reminisce about his time with them.  Now that I know there is a prophecy, I think they probably plan to overthrow the Volturi though I can’t imagine why.  They’ve both been Cold Ones for less than a century each, so neither of them is strong enough to rule over the Cold Ones.  Hell even I wouldn’t have been powerful enough, so unless they’re doing it for this Klaus character I have no clue why they want to do it, but I also have no doubt that they do want to do it.”

Everyone nods, so Jasper asks, “What are we planning to do about Victoria?  I figure right now she’s the more pressing concern.”

Damon and Kol look at each other and then Kol tells Jasper, “Another night we’re planning to teleport her here without her knowledge or permission, and then all of us will tear her limb from limb.”

He nods but asks, “Not that I’m saying we should do otherwise, but why are we waiting until another night?  If we wait long enough, she’ll have rebuilt her army, and we’ll have to take them down too to avoid the Volturi sending anyone to investigate.”

Surprisingly it’s Isa who says, “I don’t know why, but we’re supposed to wait.  We’ll find out when it’s time according to my grandmother.  I agree though that we should kill her as soon as possible to avoid needless deaths, but using her and her quest to build a Newborn army might actually be a good way to get the Kings here to talk about all of this without arousing suspicion about us knowing about the prophecy.  As far as we know Klaus doesn’t even know about the prophecy or that it even exists, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t someone out there who does though and will object to us completing the tasks put before us.”

The Vampires all sort of look at each other for a minute and I avoid listening to their thoughts.  However, I’m not surprised when Kol and Damon nod and Damon says, “That’s not a bad idea, Isa.”

Kol adds, “The Mikaelson’s are the ones who put the Kings in power to keep their kind in check under threat of us coming in and killing them and therefore every Cold One in existence.  I could theoretically call them tonight and mention the news reports in Seattle and that I talked to a policeman who made mention of reports of some of the assailants having red eyes.  I could ‘encourage’ them to come here.  I might even be able to convince the Kings to come themselves.  If I tell them, they can bring whomever they like they just might be willing to come.  Then we can all sit down and tell them what we know and because Alice can no longer see any of our decisions she may not even know they are here until it’s too late.”

I’m nodding with everyone else, but I tell him, “Isa said Carlisle is friends with them so you should also mention to them that they shouldn’t tell Carlisle or anyone who might tell him of their trip.  Otherwise, they could plan to see their old friend and walk into a trap without us even knowing.”

I pause before I frown and then tell them, “Actually now that I think about it that probably won’t work because wouldn’t Alice see them deciding not to tell Carlisle because she, theoretically, can still see them just fine.  Once they decide to come, Alice and Assward will know, so I actually think we need to just warn them to be wary.  Maybe tell them we believe there is a plot brewing against them, so they should bring whomever they feel will adequately protect them though I’m not sure if we should warn them about Carlisle.  I mean on the one hand warning them would prevent them from walking into a trap, but not warning them might keep Alice and Edward in the dark about what we know until it’s too late for their plan to work.”

Kol smiles when Damon kisses me soundly before my Mate says, “See I told you last night she sees things in ways no one else does.  I agree with Jules that we should ‘invite’ them to come investigate the Newborns and tell them that we think there is a plot afoot to overthrow them but that we currently don’t know who is behind the plot and that they should trust no one, not even their most trusted friends.”

Everyone nods, so I blush then I blush harder when I yawn a jaw snapping yawn.  Damon hugs me to him before he looks at his phone then says, “It’s about 11:30 and tomorrow is a school day so we should probably head home especially because Kol plans to enroll in classes tomorrow.  Jasper, if Ric and Jules don’t mind, you’re welcome to come stay with us.”

Ric and I nod so Jasper nods back and says, “Thank you.  I should also probably re-enroll, though my change in looks and my return to my original last name might cause issues.”

Kol laughs and says, “Between the two of us we should be able to compel any who think to ask questions.”

Jasper laughs, “That’s right I forgot I should be able to do that now.”

Everyone laughs and then we get up and begin saying goodbye to everyone with promises to get together again in a few days.

Kol goes in Ric’s SUV with him and Isa while Damon, Jasper and I ride back in Damon’s Camaro.  Damon leads the procession with Ric’s SUV in the middle and Charlie following behind him to make sure Ric doesn’t get lost because it’s damn dark out now.

When we get home, I see an Escalade parked in front of Isa’s house.  While I wave at Isa and tell her, “I’ll see you in the morning,” I watch Jasper get in the shiny champagne colored SUV and pull it into our driveway.  Isa watches too then she nods at me, so I leave her saying good night to Kol and head into the house. 

Ric enters the house then turns around and says, “Jasper, please come in.”

I stand there wondering what I should do before Ric says, “Jules, you look dead on your feet, so why don’t you head to bed, and I’ll give Jasper the tour and help him pick out his room, okay?”

I turn to Ric and say, “Thanks,” then I shake Jasper’s hand and tell him, “It was good to meet you.  I look forward to getting to know you better.”

Jasper smiles warmly and nods before saying, “Likewise.  Sleep well.”

I nod before Ric leads Jasper towards the living room and library, so I leave them to it and walk up the stairs slowly while my legs become heavier and heavier with each step up.

When I reach my room and turn to switch on the light, I’m surprised to find Damon standing right behind me.  “Damon, you haven’t seen Jasper in 146 years.  Don’t you want to hang out with your friend?

He smiles and leans in and kisses me softly, “I’ll go down and talk with him in a bit, but first I want to speak with you.”

I frown.  Did I do something to upset him?  He kisses me again and says, “Relax, you didn’t do anything to upset me, but I did something that upset you, so I want to make that better.”

He turns on the light and then walks me into the room a few feet before shutting the door and pulling off his shirt.  My reaction is the same as it always is when I see him without his shirt on, my mouth waters and my girlie parts take notice.  He walks us to the bed and pushes me slightly, so I sit on it before he takes my right hand and runs it up his left side to rest three-quarters of the way up his torso.  Moving our hands to three different spots, he says, “Three of the bites were here, here and here.”  He pauses to run my other hand up his other side and then using our hands again to point out the spots he says, “Two others were here and here.  Can you feel how smooth the skin is?  The marks left behind are only visible to my kind and Cold Ones, and I no longer feel any pain from them.  They are for all intents and purposes completely gone.  I’m safe now.”

A tear escapes my eye, and I blush, but after wiping the moisture from my cheek I lean in closer and inspect the spots and see that he and Leah are both right, and I can’t even see any scars.  I look up at him and tell him, “I’m sorry.  I know—”

He interrupts me by placing his finger over my lips, “Shh, Mia Tesoro, there’s no reason for you to be sorry.  Your Mate was injured.  You have every right to be upset.  You wouldn’t be my Mate if my pain and any danger I might have been in didn’t bother you.  I’m just sorry I didn’t show you the healed skin before you left for school.  Were you worried all day?”

I look down towards the floor while I nod and another tear escapes, but he tilts my chin back up with his finger and brushes my tears away with his thumbs before he cups my cheeks in his huge hands and says, “Thank you for worrying about my safety.  I’m sorry you were upset all day, though.

I shrug, “It’s okay.”

He frowns and shakes his head in the negative, “It’s not alright.  You had a need, and I failed to meet that need when it was well within my ability to do so.  If our roles had been reversed, I would have been just as upset as you were, and I know you would have taken care of me better than I took care of you.”

I frown and shake my head now, “You were tired and in pain, I don’t expect—”

He doesn’t let me finish, “I know you don’t expect me to take care of you, but it’s my honor and privilege, and I regret that I failed to do so.”  When my mouth opens, he gently tells me, “Don’t try to brush my regret away.  I feel it just like you felt scared.  It happened, and we both felt things, and we need to accept what the other felt, and I need to try to do better next time.”

I open my mouth again to interrupt, but he leans down and kisses me before pulling back.  With a slight smile on his face, he says, “I know I didn’t really do anything wrong per say, but I let my Mate spend all day worrying about me when I could have easily put your fears to rest.  That can’t happen again, and I will make sure that it doesn’t, okay?”

I just nod before yawning.  Damon nods back and chuckles, “Okay, you need sleep.  Would you like me to lay with you until you fall asleep?”

I blush but nod, so he pulls me to my feet and turns me towards the bathroom, “Go change, and I’ll be here when you come out.”

I head to the bathroom, and after using the toilet, I change into my sleep pants and spaghetti strap tank top.  When I go back out into the bedroom I find the overhead light off and the bedside lamp on with my Vampire lying on the right side of the bed, his side, above the covers barefoot and still shirtless.  I raise my eyebrow, so he says, “I think I’ll have an easier time leaving the bed without waking you if I’m above the covers while you’re underneath them.”

I nod and climb in.  My Mate pulls me into his arms and kisses my forehead, so I tell him, “I love you, Damon.”

He pulls away slightly and looks me in the eye as if searching for something then he smiles and leans down kissing me before saying, “I love you, Jules.”

I smile and snuggle into him before he leans over and switches off the light.  I only lay there for a few minutes before sleep overtakes me.

Chapter Text

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Chapter 017

I Had Begun to Think That You Didn’t Exist Either

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Forks, Washington

Sunday, September 26, 2010, 1:00 p.m. PDT

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Jasper has been with us for five days now.  Kol’s sight returned to him with his Magick, so he assured all of us that it will remain cloudy until such a time that the Sun Ring intended for Jasper comes to him.  Although we’re all a little nervous about him being out and about during the day without that failsafe in place, he was still able to come to school with us.  He and Kol had to compel most of the school to forget about his change in appearance and his changing his name back to Whitlock.  They also made everyone forget that he was supposedly Rosalie’s brother.  Jasper just laughed after school and said, “It’s good practice.”

Kol and Damon also changed Jasper’s guardian to Damon and anytime anyone asks about it Jasper just says, “Damon is an old friend of my birth family, and when I heard Damon was living in Forks I asked Carlisle to change my guardianship to Damon, and he agreed to do it.”

Damon, Isa, Kol, Jasper, Ric, Jake, Leah, Seth, and I are all sitting in the first-floor library of our home when Kol’s phone begins to ring and everyone under 20 giggles at his ring tone.

We’re still laughing when he picks up and puts it on speakerphone, so Elijah immediately asks, “Brother, what is so funny?” which just makes us laugh harder.

Kol smiles and says, “They are laughing at the ring tone I gave you.  Are you familiar with the song ‘I Get Wicked’ by Thousand Foot Krutch?

Elijah laughs and says, “Ah, no, I can’t say that I’ve heard that song.”

Kol smiles and tells him, “I’ll play it for you sometime.  So what can I do for you, Brother?”

Elijah sighs and tells him, “The Full Moon was on the twenty-third.  Everything went according to plan except it took Niklaus, Rebekah and me until the next night to manage to kill Esther, and I am sad to tell you that Finn is no more.”

Kol sighs and says, “May he finally be at peace.”

Elijah says, “From your mouth to the Goddess’ ear.  I’ve heard reports of those in his Sire Line all dropping dead half an hour to an hour after he died.  It was actually a bit of a mess covering up why these people just dropped dead and desiccated.  Thankfully, he didn’t turn too many in the century before he was daggered and they also didn’t turn many.  Anyway, I am on a small boat right now heading back towards land after pouring Esther’s ashes into the sea.  I figured now would be a good time to call you because I’m sure the two men on board don’t work for Niklaus, and I fully plan to compel them to forget they even took me out on the water today.”

Kol smiles and says, “Excellent, how do you want to handle Nik regarding you no longer being in Mystic Falls?”

Elijah sounds tired when he says, “Honestly I don’t plan to say or tell him anything.  I just want to have your Witch teleport me, and, if they’re willing, my belongings, to wherever you are and leave no trace as to where I have gone.  Consider it my way of messing with Niklaus’ head.”

We all laugh at that.  Kol pauses for a moment and then says, “If you go compel the crew now I can teleport you and your belongings now, and the last place anyone will have seen you was getting on the vessel.  If you make it obvious that you compelled them when Nik goes to track you down, he’ll either know you’re avoiding him, or he’ll think someone took you.  I’m leaning towards him being narcissistic enough to believe you are avoiding him.”

Elijah laughs and says, “Plus, it’s true.”

Kol smiles and says, “It is at that.  So if you’re willing, go compel everyone while I listen to your technique, and then I’ll bring you here.”

Elijah chuckles and then we hear him telling someone, “You took me out fishing.  When we came back to the shore I left, but you didn’t see which direction I went, and you have not seen me since.  You also have no memory of what I did while on board your vessel or anything I have said while on the phone today.”

The person repeats what he’s been told, and then Elijah repeats it one more time, and then after another man repeats the words back to him, Elijah says, “Whenever you are ready Kol.”

Kol turns to Ric and asks, “Ric, do you mind inviting him in because it’s broad daylight, and I don’t want to have to compel all of our neighbors to forget him randomly appearing out of thin air.”

Ric chuckles with a smile on his face and then says, “Elijah Mikaelson, please come in.”

Elijah says, “Thank you.”

Then Kol says, “Mother Freya take Elijah, and his belongings, to the place he needs to go.  Make it real and not for show.  Use my heart to guide him here and allow him to come and go without fear.  So mote it be.”

Almost instantly, a purple light begins to glow, and Elijah is slowly walking out of it until he is standing before us in a dark Grey suit with a purple shirt and slightly darker purple tie and kerchief.  He’s cut his brown hair since we last saw him, so it’s now short and spiky, and honestly, I think it suits him better than his old haircut, which looked like a throwback to the 1990’s.  This new cut is much more modern.  His bags and a few piles of boxes are resting on the floor behind him.

Kol embraces his brother while Elijah looks at each of us sitting around the room.  If he’s surprised to find Kol friends with Damon, Ric and me, he doesn’t show it before he smiles after Kol pulls away then the older Original frowns and says, “I believe I owe several of you an apology.  I promised to kill Niklaus for you, and I did not follow through, and Alaric and young Ms. Gilbert lost loved ones.  For that, I am eternally sorry, and I hope to one day redeem myself in your eyes.”

I smile at him and tell him, “No one is perfect Elijah.  Do I wish Aunt Jenna and Uncle John were still here?  Hell yes, but you did what you had to do to save your family.  I can understand about saving one’s family.  After all, that’s why we daggered you at least twice.  Plus, if you had followed through my Mate would be dead too.  Anyhow, I’m still a little mad, but mostly I’m pissed at Klaus, not at you, and I’m willing to give you a shot at being a decent, honorable person now.  Oh and feel free to call me Juliet or Jules, everyone does.”

Elijah nods and says, “Thank you, Juliet.”

Ric clears his throat and says, “Although you promised to protect Jenna my understanding is that Klaus found a loophole in your plans for protection and exploited it.  That’s not really your fault because I thought your plan was fool proof too.  That means Jenna would have died even if you had killed Klaus, and like Jules said my best friend would also be dead, so I’m willing to overlook our past differences and start new with you.”

Elijah nods and says, “Thank you, Ric.”

Damon gets up and pours himself a drink from the alcohol cart he placed in the library shortly after we moved in.  He takes a sip and then says, “If you’re willing to overlook that I helped dagger you twice then I’m willing to overlook your involvement in Jenna’s and John’s deaths as well as your failure to kill Klaus when you had the chance.  Of course, if you had killed him then like Jules and Ric pointed out I’d be dead right now so no hard feelings.  However, cross us again, and I don’t care how much older, faster, or stronger than me you are I’ll tear your damn heart out myself because anger and betrayal are great motivators.”

Elijah nods before Kol chooses that moment to add, “His age wouldn’t matter because Bella and I used my blood in your system from the two spells we did together to make you my brother in every way that matters.  You now have the same speed, strength and senses Nik and I have because Nik gave you his blood to cure you of your Werewolf bite, so his blood is permanently in your system too.  My blood in your system with his gave you both of our strengths, speed, senses, and my abilities and the only ways to kill you are beheading, ripping your heart out, or staking you with a White Oak Stake.  You should be able to compel other Vampires too.  Although I’m afraid, you’re not a Hybrid like Nik is.  I have a feeling, however, that several of us are actually going to somehow inherit that trait from him before this is all over, though don’t ask me how because I haven’t quite figured that out just yet.”

That explains the comment Damon made earlier today about his senses seeming sharper.  At the time, he didn’t know what the cause of the improvement was, but I guess now we know.  Damon just stands there with his mouth hanging open before we all hear Kol in our heads, ‘Should we wait to give Elijah back his Magick?  And should we hold off on doing the Telepathy and Empathy spells?’

We all look at each other, and then Damon snaps out of his stupor and says, “Give him back his Magick now because it’s wrong that it was taken from him in the first place.  Both you and I are powerful enough to take him down if he tries to betray us using his Magick so he shouldn’t be a threat.  Then after that we can do the other spell, so those we don’t want knowing what we’re up to will be permanently blocked before we go giving him any information.”

Kol smiles and says, “Very well, Oh Mother Freyja, Oh Shining One.  Please right, the wrong done to my brother, Elijah, your warrior and son, and undo the harm done to him returning his Magick to him better than before he lost the ability to walk under the sun without a charm.  So mote it be.”

A blue and purple light erupts in the room and slowly pulses around Elijah before being absorbed into his body while a black cloud is expelled from his body.  When the blue and purple lights are completely inside of him, and the cloud is completely out of him Kol points at the cloud and says with some authority, “Be gone and do not return to this soul, or any others forever more.  So mote it be.”

The black cloud explodes and then the pieces evaporate leaving Elijah standing there rubbing his hand over his chest where is heart is.  His eyes are wide before he asks, “How did you get your Magick back?”

Kol smiles and points to Isa, “My Mate gave Damon and me back our Magick, and now I have returned yours to you.  Here try to make this pen float,” and he holds out his hand with a pen lying on it. 

Elijah hovers his hand over it for a second and whispers some words, and then it begins to float and spin, and like Damon and Kol before him, he mutters, “I’ll be damned.”  Then as if all of Kol’s words have finally made it to his brain he drops his hand causing the pen to fall back into Kol’s hand before Elijah turns wide eyes on his brother and asks, “Your Mate?  Am I to have a new sister?”

Kol smiles while he nods and holds his arm out for Isa to step into his side.  She goes willingly and sticks out her hand to shake Elijah’s hand and says, “Isabella Swan, but you can just call me Bella or Bells because I don’t really like being called my full name.”

Elijah shakes her hand and says, “Thank you, Bella it’s a pleasure to meet my brother’s better half.  I was beginning to think that you didn’t actually exist.”

She laughs and says, “Oh my soul has been around, but it was never time for the two of us to meet and become one until now that is.”

Elijah smiles and says, “That’s just wonderful.  I’m so happy you’ve found each other.  He seems more content, even just standing here holding you than I have seen him since before we became Vampires.”

She blushes and says, “He makes me happy too.  He and Edward are like night and day.”

Elijah frowns and asks, “Who is Edward?”

I throw in, “We usually call him Whimpward or Assward.  He’s Isa’s ex-boyfriend and a Cold One at that.  He claimed he was her Mate, but Jasper, who was staying with Assward’s Coven at the time, could tell through his gift of Empathy that they weren’t Mates.”

Jasper is nodding, “It was very obvious to me, but Edward was excellent at making sure I was never left alone with Bella and that any time I tried to bring the subject up he would be able to circumvent my efforts to reveal the truth to her.  My ex-wife, his sister, Alice, helped him with that most of the time because she’s Psychic, but don’t worry she can’t see us anymore because we took steps to block her.”

Everyone is nodding before Damon says, “Perhaps we should do the other spell, so Alice and Assward won’t be able to use their abilities on Elijah.”

Everyone nods so while Bella goes around the room collecting blood Kol tells Elijah, “This will give you the gifts of Telepathy and Empathy.  It will also effectively block anyone who’s not currently in this room, a member of Jake, Seth, and Leah’s Wolf Pack, or Charlie, who is Bella’s father, from being able to hear your thoughts, sense your emotions or see your future.  Although they might already be blocked, simply because you’re an Original, we can’t really take the chance that they’re not blocked.  I know it’s a lot to take in, but we can’t tell you anything else about what’s going on until your mind is definitely protected.”

Elijah nods and says, “Very well, I trust you, Brother.  Do what you feel must be done.”

We quickly do that spell as well as the ones for Elijah to know every language he encounters and whether people are lying to him, all of which we’ve already done on everyone else.  Then Damon motions for everyone to sit back down while Elijah works to figure out how his new abilities work.  A minute later he turns to Leah and asks, “She-Wolf, what is imprinting and who might you be that you think you are my Mate?”

She smiles and leans forward in her seat to stick her hand out towards him, “I’m Leah Clearwater, and imprinting is what happens to us Wolves when we first encounter our Mates.”

Everyone smiles when they touch hands and immediately gasp.  Elijah’s eyes are wide, and Leah’s smile is so wide I can almost see her molars.  Elijah sits there holding her hand for a long minute then he smiles and says, “I had begun to think that you didn’t exist either.”

She just smiles, so I get up from my seat, look at her, and say, “Leah why don’t you and I switch places, so you don’t have to lean so far forward to reach him.”

She blushes bright red but still stands and moves to my old seat all without letting go of Elijah’s hand.

We spend the next two hours filling Elijah in on everything we know.  Although his thumb has been brushing over Leah’s knuckles for most of the conversation, when we finish our explanation he just sits there, still holding Leah’s hand, before he says, “Might it be useful to our cause if I go back and act as your eyes and ears.  At the moment Niklaus has no idea that I’m not still devoted to him.”

At Leah’s sharp intake of breath, he turns and looks at her and says, “You could either come with me, or I could come here via my Magick every night, and anytime I’m not required to be Niklaus’ right hand.”

Kol is the one who says, “It might be best not to introduce Nik to Leah just yet.  Although he’s met several Spirit Warriors through the years the fact that she is a Wolf without being a Servant to the Moon would intrigue him too much and possibly lead him to investigate her and the Quileute Tribe, which could lead him to discover the Prophecy.”

Everyone, including Elijah and Leah, is nodding but her shoulders are slumped, and her chin is trembling.  Elijah stands and asks, “Is there somewhere I can speak to my Mate alone?”

We all nod, so Ric tells Leah, “Take him into the living room or the den if you want.”

She nods and they exit still holding hands. 

I notice everyone trying to stay out of Elijah and Leah’s minds but I’m finding it difficult.  I hear her think, ‘I only just found him, and now he wants to leave again?’

I work very hard not to listen to what Elijah’s response to that thought is while I go back to reading Emily’s book looking for the spell to make the Immortality Ring for Charlie. 

Chapter Text

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Chapter 018

Impressed by Your Ingenuity and Perseverance

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Forks, Washington

Sunday, September 26, 2010, 3:30 p.m. PDT (con’t.)

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While Elijah and Leah have their private conversation in the other room, I’m reading Emily’s Grimoire looking for the spell to make Charlie an Immortality Ring.  We meant to look for it, but honestly, we’ve been preoccupied with getting all of Kol’s books here and then trying to search them for a way to separate Klaus from his Sire Line because Kol thought he might have something that would work.  Unfortunately, we haven’t found anything that will do the job just yet. 

I flip the page and then do a double take.  On one side of the book is the spell to make a Sun Ring and on the other page is the spell to make the Immortality Ring.  Sure enough, it says it should work on all Humans if they’re killed by a Supernatural but that it’ll only work on Gilberts if we’re killed by a Salvatore.  It goes on to say how to make a ring without the Gilbert/Salvatore loophole.  I flip the page and see that on the back is a spell to make an Immortality Ring for Gilberts or other Supernaturals that will work regardless of the species that tries to kill us.  Why didn’t Emily just do that?  Then I read and see that she would have needed the blood of the Gilbert who was going to wear it as well as the blood of their Mate.  Plus, the spell will only work if the Mate is also a Supe.

I go back and read over the other two spells and see that they explain what the requirements for the physical rings need to be.  Namely, they need to have Lapis Lazuli stones for the Sunlight Rings or Onyx stones for the Immortality Rings.  I scratch my head while a memory comes to me.  I saw a box of rings with blue and black stones in a dream last night.  They’re in this house somewhere.  I remember thinking the blue rings reminded me of Damon’s and Stefan’s rings, and the black ones reminded me of Ric’s and my rings.

I put the book down on the table beside my seat and get up going toward the basement library.  When I enter the library, I start looking at the shelves looking for the book I need.  Finally, I spot ‘The Odyssey,' so I take the book off the shelf, and I stick my hand in the gap left by the book.  Just as I did in my dream, I feel a keyhole, so I step back and consider where the key might be.  While I think, my eyes land on the desk Mrs. Peterson told Isa she would want back if we bought the house.  I remember thinking it odd that they took everything else they wanted but left this one desk.  So I walk to the desk, place the book on the top, and start opening drawers.  They’re all empty, so then I do something my dad told me about, and I slide the right side drawers out of their holes one by one flipping each one until the bottom drawer when I flip it and find a piece of fabric sticking out just slightly from the edge.  I pull on the fabric, and the bottom of the drawer pops off.  And what do you know?  There is a key on a silver necklace.  I grab the key, put the bottom back on the drawer, and then return the drawers to their proper locations.  When I finish putting the desk back the way it was, I walk back over to the bookcase, slide the key into the lock, and turn it before jumping back when the shelves open up to reveal a series of rooms that appear to be built under the ground beyond where the house is.

Walking into the first room, I automatically put my hand on the wall and find a switch before turning on the light.  When the lights come on, I see walls and walls and shelves and shelves of books built into the walls or arranged free standing the way they would be in a public library.  The books on the shelves all look a lot like the books upstairs.  I walk deeper into the first room and grab one of the books off the first shelf I reach.  Opening it, I smile because I see that it is, in fact, a spell book.  Who built these rooms and left behind all these spell books?

Placing the book back onto the shelf, I walk all the way through the large room to three doors.  I walk through the first doorway and gasp because I see what can only be described as a Witch’s dream work/spell room.  The walls are wall-to-wall shelves, and there are statues and jars of things, mostly it looks like herbs, but there are a few gross looking things too like what I think is a pig fetus.  Yuck!  There is a huge Pentagram carved into the floor off to the side of the worktables.

I walk over to one of two doors and look into the room to see that it’s basically an enormous indoor greenhouse room full of Vervain in various stages of maturity.  Walking back out to the spell room I open the second door and see it’s similar to the previous room but instead is full of what looks like Wolfsbane.  I notice that this room has a ventilation system and there are gloves and masks on shelves a few feet from the door.  There are rows of clotheslines hanging in the back of each room with rows and rows of the herbs hanging presumably to dry them.  Both rooms seem to have all the equipment necessary to dry or liquefy the herbs for use in spells, weapons, or in the case of the Vervain drinking or eating.  Both rooms also have wall to wall shelves full of jars full of the liquid versions and clear boxes that look to have the dried versions of the herbs in them.  I shake my head in amazement.  There’s got to be enough here to make weapons and protect minds for years to come, and that doesn’t even take into account that the crops will produce more continuously.

I go back out to the first room and walk to the door to the left.  I peek inside and see what is obviously a huge weapons room.  There are shelves and cabinets, and walking fully into the room, I open one of the cabinets and find Vervain and Wolfsbane Grenades as well as grenades with a combination of both in them.  They are all clearly labeled where they line the shelves.  There are work tables throughout the room with huge Rubbermaid boxes under them that based on the glittering powder inside each one apparently have the ashes of Cold Ones stored inside them.  There are also hooks on the walls that have weapons hanging from them, everything from swords to bows and crossbows.  There are also stakes in varying forms and configurations including the sleeve version Ric’s shown us before.  He’s going to want to take a look at some of the weapons I see in here because they look to improve upon designs he’s already made. 

I walk farther into the weapons room and head to yet another door which houses a fully equipped gym.  It even has mats for sparing.

I don’t stay in there long before I head back out to the main room and to the third door on the far right side of the other two doors while eying what looks to be an elevator built into the wall off to the left side of the doors in between two bookshelves.  When I walk through the door, I find another library with an antique desk and antique but plush leather armchairs and a few research tables to the left of rows and rows of free-standing book shelves.  This room is actually larger than the library in the basement proper and the upstairs library combined, and there is a curved metal staircase leading down.  I walk down the steps and see another even bigger library that seems to encompass the whole length and width of the house and well beyond in all directions.  My guess is this room is underneath not only the house and backyard but the road and a few of our neighbors’ homes as well as perhaps some of the woods in several directions. 

This bigger room has more books that also look to be Grimoires along the walls and on shelves in the middle of the room.  There appear to be no doors in this enormous room though there is another elevator door that looks to match the one in the wall on the floor above it, so I decide to explore the books later and for now head back up the stairs to the other room. 

After I take the upstairs room in, I walk to the nearest shelf, and I take another book off one of the shelves only to find it’s a leather bound journal started by an Appius Peterson in January of 1432 while he was living in London.

I put the journal back and walk down the row of shelves a bit then grab another book.  That one is also a leather bound journal but written by an Alicia Mae Novak-Peterson in July 1670. 

I put that journal back, and down the row, I go, occasionally taking a book off a shelf and reading the first page to see by whom and when it was written.  The last book on the end of the row was written by Marybeth Knowles-Peterson, and it was started last month.  I flip through it and see that the last entry is dated today despite Mrs. Peterson and her daughter having moved her to Alicia’s house in Spokane on September first.

Out of Curiosity, I go to the other wall and look at some of those books, and they look like manuscripts, and I just know museums and Universities would kill to get their hands on this collection.  Well not literally kill, but they’d love to have access to these books.

Because of the language spell, Isa did on all of us, I can read every book entirely regardless of the language it was written in, so I know the book in my hand right now was written in 802 by a man named Sven Eiriksson.  It appears to be made of parchment and leather because I’m pretty sure paper hadn’t been invented yet when this book was written.  I read enough to know this is half journal and half Grimoire.

I put Sven’s book back onto the shelf, and then I keep going down the row until I find another door and I enter that huge room to find another antique desk surrounded by walls of books but this desk has an envelope propped up against the lamp sitting on the desk.  I’m surprised but not to see my name scrawled across the envelope.

I reach out with a shaking hand before I grab the letter, and then I jump in place and turn suddenly when I hear Damon calling my name in my head, ‘Mia Tesoro, where are you?  I can hear your heartbeat, but it’s like you’re inside the wall.’

He sounds so confused, so I chuckle and walk back out to the front room before opening the door that I hadn’t even realized had closed behind me.  His eyes are wide when the door opens, and I smile and tell him, “I had a dream, and when I read the spell for the Immortality Ring I remembered certain parts of the dream.  Come look at what I found.”

He follows me back into the first room and mimics my actions from earlier when he grabs a book.  I leave him to it and open the letter that is sealed with a wax seal with an emblem on it that my gut tells me I should recognize.  It looks Egyptian maybe and depicts a woman with a crescent moon headpiece and a baby in her arms suckling at her breast.  I know I should know who the image is of, but I can’t place it right now, so I carefully put my finger under the seal so as not to break it, so I can try to figure out what the seal means later, and then I pull two pages out of the envelope.

I carefully open the page and then begin to read, “September 01, 2010, Dear Ms. Juliet Gilbert, If you are reading this then you have found your way to Forks as was intended and have likely had a dream lead you to your rooms.  These rooms including the libraries are yours now and along with the Spell and Weapons rooms are yours to share with whomever you trust to do the good works.  These rooms are protected by very powerful Magick and can only be found by those you wish to be able to find them, and only those you approve of will be able to enter them. 

There are cells, much like the cell in the basement of the Salvatore Boarding House in a hallway that leads out of the underground rooms.  The Magick will allow prisoners to be held in those cells but will prevent them from being able to escape or access the rest of the rooms.

As for all of the books, I am sure Mr. Saltzman and the others will be more than happy to help you read the many books our families have written and collected through the years.

Your mother and my husband shared ancestors, and your father and I also share ancestors.  The familial lines separated in the early-1800s.  Your mother and father’s lines settled in Virginia while mine and my husband’s lines moved West and eventually settled in Forks.  My mother’s side, which is not shared with you, comes from a long line of Witches, and one of my ancestors did a spell many millennia ago.  That spell produced exact replicas of every personal journal or Grimoire ever written by the hands of every member of his lineage or anyone who would ever be connected to him or his in some fashion as well as all of their relatives and theirs and so on.  They came to include all of the ancestors of those mentioned in the Savior Prophecy and their Mates.  You will also find copies of the private thoughts of those who did not write journals for whatever reason whether they came before the written word was invented or in the case of your Mate were just uninterested in documenting every action and occurrence.  They are all written here. 

Among other things, I believe you will find books from mine and my Husband’s lines as well as Jonathan Gilbert’s ancestors and descendants and those of the other members of your growing family.  All of the Journals belonging to Mystic Falls’ Founding Families and their ancestors and descendants have copies here, which should prove useful to you and yours in future years.  Even yours and your sister’s journals are included on the last shelf, and they and those journals written by those who still walk the earth will continue to write themselves as the authors continue to write down or think their thoughts. 

You should also note that Stefan Salvatore’s extensive collection of journals are also included.  Although he is not related to our line directly he is part of the prophecy and he is also your adopted Sister’s Mate and more importantly his brother is your Mate. 

The Mikaelson’s various journals, including Niklaus’ extensive collection, and their family’s Grimoires are included as well as all of Esther’s books and those of her ancestors.  The Bennett line of Witches also has all of their Grimoires and journals excluding the ones you already have in your possession.  I believe you shall find Esther’s and the Bennett’s books most useful through the years.  You should also find valuable information about Niklaus’ plans in his journals.

The members of mine and my husband’s lines have also been collecting Grimoires from other families for as far back as I have been able to trace the lines and all of those books, several hundred thousand of them, now reside in the lower level library.

The rooms will all expand to fit all of the books and journals intended for your family’s use as they are written and/or acquired.  I have prepared this house with everything I thought you and your family might need.  If you have need of anything else or feel I can help in some other way, feel free to have young Isabella contact me at my daughter’s house.  She knows the number.

May you all stay true to each other and the path of the light, and may the Goddess be with you all.

Sincerely,

Marybeth Knowles-Peterson

My eyes are wide open, and I can’t imagine what I look like when Damon walks up to me and rests his hand over mine before asking, “Mia Tesoro, are you alright?”

I just nod and give him the letter before going back to the room that had Mrs. Peterson’s Journal.  I walk through that room and into the room the letter was in and look around at all of the shelves that are also filled with books.  I walk to one of the only shelves that isn’t full, and the journals there seem to be modern yet childish looking books, so I pick one up and open it realizing it’s Elena’s first diary that Mom bought her for her tenth birthday.  I put it back and move to the last book on that shelf and pick it up.  The cover says, “Varney The Vampire,” which causes me to chuckle prompting Damon to ask, “What’s so funny?” after he comes up behind me.

I turn and show him the book in my hand and then explain, “This is my journal.  The original is on my laptop in a file named ‘Varney The Vampire.'  I named it that because I knew Elena hates Vampire books, especially since she found out you guys actually really do exist.  I also scanned her diaries starting from the day Mom and Dad died until the night before we left onto my laptop and put those in a PDF titled, ‘Bram Stoker’s Dracula’ for the same reason I named mine ‘Varney.'” 

I smile slightly and tell him, “The night before we left I knew she was downstairs trying to convince you to compel me to forget and move.  Therefore, I scanned the entry she had written the hour before you showed up explaining what she was planning to get you to do, and then I put my computer away so you wouldn’t ask what I was doing on it.  I even put a digital sticky note on my desktop reminding me to read ‘Varney’ and ‘Dracula’ if I wasn’t living in Mystic Falls anymore.”

Damon’s jaw is hanging open by the time I finish explaining, so I gently push his jaw closed.  He just stares at me for a minute before he bursts out laughing.  Through his laughter, which causes him to double over, he manages to say, “Oh my God… That is classic… the bitch had no idea… you were one-step ahead of all of us…  I might have taken your memories that night… but you would have gotten the knowledge back in a day or two… despite her best efforts… and all without her having a damn clue…  God, I love you, Jules… You amaze me… and I love that about you.”

I smile and ask him, “You’re not mad?”

After he gets himself under control and stands upright again he looks at me as if I’m crazy and asks, “Mad?  Why on earth would I be mad?  You had every right to take those measures.  If Ric and I hadn’t come up with our plan, yours would have been needed and would have worked and given you back everything she would have asked me to steal from you.  So no, I’m not mad, not even close.  I think I’m actually proud, proud and impressed by your ingenuity and perseverance.”

His words cause the deepest blush I think I’ve ever experienced to bloom on my cheeks, but I still manage to say, “Thank you.”

He picks up one of Elena’s journals, and I ask him, “If I ask you not to read her journals, at least not right now, would you wait?”

He frowns while he fingers the cover of the book in question but says, “If you want me to wait or not read them at all I’ll honor that request though I will ask you why.”

I frown back and tell him honestly, “She’s been playing with you on purpose, and I think the only thing you reading her actual thoughts on everything would do is piss you off and maybe cause you to go back to Mystic Falls and kill the bitch.  While you would be totally and completely justified, it would cause the prophecy to fail.”

His eyes are narrowed, but he puts her journal back on the shelf and asks, “Can I at least read my brother’s journals, or are you going to tell me that that's not a good idea too?”

I laugh and say, “I don't know what he wrote, so I have no clue if it’s a good or bad idea, but someone needs to read them because they might tell us what’s going on back in Mystic Falls.  In fact, I think I’m going to ask Isa to read Elena’s if she’s willing otherwise if I read it I might go back and kill the bitch for messing with my Mate’s mind and heart.”

He smiles and then asks, “So have you finished checking out your hidden rooms?”

I smile and tell him, “No, I actually came down here looking for something specific, and I haven’t found it yet, so let’s keep exploring and see if I locate the box from my dream.”

He nods, and I walk to the desk the letter was propped on and start opening the drawers.  The bottom drawer on the right side has a wooden box that’s a little bigger and quite a bit deeper than your standard cigar box.  In fact, you could probably stack three cigar boxes on top of each other and still not get the same height as this box.  It has the image from the letter’s seal burnt into the lid.  It looks exactly like it did in my dream and I realize the image is of Isis feeding a baby Horus.  I open the box and smile.  It’s basically a big Jewelry Box.  Inside the top are necklaces and bracelets and a bunch of sets of earrings. 

I close the top and slide one of three drawers out of the front to find rows of square Onyx rings for Immortality Spells and round Lapis Lazuli ones for Sunlight Spells in all varieties and sizes.  Some of them have Monograms on them including a ‘D,’ a ‘J,’ an ‘I,’ two ‘B’s,’ a ‘K,’ two ‘E’s,’ an ‘L,’ two ‘A’s,’ two ‘R’s,’ four more ‘J’s,’ an ‘S,’ and two ‘C’s.’  The ‘D,' ‘K,' both ‘E’s,' one of the ‘A’s,’ and two of the ‘J’s’ are relatively small, so I surmise they’re women’s rings.  Then I realize the initials belong to the intended wearer’s Mate.  So Isa would wear the ‘K’ for Kol, and Leah would wear the ‘E’ for Elijah.  I would wear the ‘D’ for Damon, and so on and so forth, though admittedly I have no idea who will wear Ric, Jasper, or Jake’s rings or who the second ‘C,’ ‘E,’ or ‘R’ stand for. 

I show Damon and say, “This is what I was looking for.  It should have most, if not all, of the jewelry our family might require for the foreseeable future.  It’s even got pendants, earrings, bracelets, and according to my dream a few anklets too.”

He nods before he picks one of the rings up and inspects it.  “Nice.”

I nod before he puts the ring back inside the box.  I close it and hold on to the box then I lead him down the row of books back towards yet another doorway.  I look in, and this room looks like a huge living room or den but is probably meant to be a sort of safe room.  It’s huge and has got its own wireless internet source and a laptop, printer, and scanner, as well as a TV and cable box and my usual game systems.  There are a couple shelves of my favorite games and movies along one wall.  The room has a huge fridge that currently has nothing in it, a freezer with some of my favorite pre-made foods and deserts, and a decent size pantry with shelves of canned and other non-perishable goods and stacks of boxes full of paper reams.  It has a small kitchenette, and it even has an en suite bathroom that’s identical to the one in our bedroom.  It’s got two long and deep couches, eight plush lounge chairs as well as coffee tables and end tables.  There are two very long rooms one at the end of this room and one on the wall perpendicular to the other that each have 7 doors in them.  The 7 doors in the first room each lead to bedrooms with California king beds in them and desks each with a laptop on it, dressers and closets, and such as well as private baths. 

We go to the other room and open the first 6 doors to find more bedrooms.  The last door is locked, so I take the key that’s still in my hand and try it, and sure enough, it opens it.  The doorway leads down a tunnel that is tall enough for me to grow ten or twelve inches more and still have head room.  I look at Damon and ask, “Want to see where it goes?”

He nods, so we walk down the tunnel, whose lights turned on when I opened the door, for a good three minutes.  All along both sides are cells with heavy doors that lock on the outside and have barred windows in them.  They remind me of the cell in the basement of the boarding house.  We finally reach the end of the tunnel and find a set of stairs going up.  Heading up the stairs, we discover another door that I use the key to open.  When it opens, it reveals that we’re standing inside a tree in the forest behind Isa’s house.  When I close the door, I step away, and another bigger outer door closes that looks like the outside of the tree effectively camouflaging the doorway.  The only thing that differentiates this tree from all the others is a large knot above the door.  I’m amazed because even looking really carefully I can’t tell that it’s got a door in it. 

I can hear when Damon thinks to me, ‘Even with my enhanced vision I can’t see any telltale signs that it’s actually a doorway.’  I run my hand over the edge and find a catch and pull and the outer door opens again revealing the locked door.

When the wind shifts, Damon tenses and then pushes the door closed before he puts me behind him and crouches while looking out into the forest before saying, “I smell Cold Ones.”

Chapter Text

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Chapter 019

We Can Roast Some Marshmallows

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Forks, Washington

Sunday, September 26, 2010, 4:30 p.m. PDT

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When the wind shifts, Damon tenses and then pushes the door closed before he puts me behind him and crouches while looking out into the forest before saying, “I smell Cold Ones.”

He thinks at me, ‘Do you hear their thoughts?  I’m pretty sure it’s Assward and Alice.  Let’s head back to the house through the woods, so they don’t see us going into the tree.’

I just nod and follow close beside him while we walk out of the woods and come out in Isa’s backyard.  Damon thinks hard at everyone in the house and tells them, ‘Outside at Isa’s house NOW!’

Within moments, our whole family is standing in front of us, and the Vampires and Wolves are growling apparently smelling the Cold Ones.  At Isa’s curious look, Jake tells her, “It smells like Whimpward and Alice.”

She frowns and stands closer to Kol before he wraps his arm around her shoulders and we wait for them to exit the woods.  We don’t have to wait long before they leave the forest and then pull up short when they spot all of us.  Alice thinks to Assward, ‘I had no warning we’d run into them.  Why can’t I see anything?’

Whimpward shrugs ever so slightly and then moves towards Isa before he says, “Bella, sweetheart—”

She cuts him off, “I’m not your sweetheart Edward.  I’m not your anything except your ex-girlfriend whom you left alone in the woods.  I don’t know if you know or not but I broke my ankle that day when I slipped and fell, and only my friends here were there to save me.  You’re just a jackass I used to spend some time with, wasted time I might add.”

He tries again, “Bella, Luv, I only left to protect you.  Alice saw that Victoria was building an Army of Newborns.  We thought if we left it might cause her to follow us and leave you alone, but now Alice saw that it didn’t work, and Victoria plans to attack you and Charlie.”

Speak of the devil, Charlie pulls up in his cruiser and gets out surveying the situation.  He walks over to us and stands on the other side of Kol before telling Assward and Alice, “I’d appreciate it if you both would get the hell off my property before I arrest you for trespassing.  Then again I just might skip that and have my good friend, Kol, here tear you both to bits and then we can roast some marshmallows over the embers of your glittering ashes.”

While our group chuckles at Charlie’s words, the two Cold One’s eyes widen when they realize he knows what they are.  A moment later Whimpward turns angry eyes towards Isa and says, “You told him?  Have you any idea what you’ve done?  His life is at risk because you couldn’t keep your damn mouth shut.”

Damon chooses that moment to chime in, “Actually, Eddie boy, that was me who filled Charlie in on the Supernatural World and the creatures that had been right in his midst.”

Edward glares and asks, “What gave you the right?”

Damon chuckles, “Oh sweet pea, you have no clue do you?  First I was born in 1841, so I’m just about 60 years older than you, Doucheward.  Furthermore, I’m a Traditional Vampire who was turned almost 55 years before you were turned and whose Sire was almost 375 years old when she fed me her blood.  Therefore, I am infinitely stronger than you and can do whatever the hell I want without worrying about your opinion on, well, anything.  Second, Charlie and Isa are my Mates family, which makes them my family.  I had and still have every right to protect my family from the likes of you.  Now, Eddie boy and Trelawney, I strongly encourage you to listen to Charlie and get off of his property before I lose my legendary temper and do something rash like, oh, I don’t know, rip your damn heads off.”

Our family chuckles at his words, and I decide that Alice is now Trelawney.  However, Assward and Trelawney only take a few steps back at his words but refuse to leave before Whimpward tells Isa, “You’re not safe Bella.  Victoria and her army, as well as these monsters, are a threat to you.”

While Edward has been talking the glow around him has been shifting between red and yellow indicating that he’s either outright lying such as when he said they left to protect her and bending the truth when he mentioned Victoria building an Army and coming after Isa and Charlie.  His emotions, on the other hand, started out devious, deceptive, and pleased and are now confused, frustrated, still devious, and a little bit angry.  That last part seems to be growing with each passing second.

Isa laughs, “First, Victoria’s Newborn Army is no more because these ‘monsters’ were kind enough to dispatch them the other night.  Second, we have a plan to deal with Victoria the next time we see her.  And third, if they’re monsters, what does that make the two of you?  I’m fairly certain they would die to protect me while both of you, on the other hand, have bent over backward to put me in harm’s way for your own purposes, and although I don’t know what your plan was I know I wouldn’t have liked it.”

Jazz decides to speak up then, “Edward, Alice just go back to Carlisle and Esme and leave us alone.”

Trelawney’s eyes widen, and she takes a step closer before she asks, “Jazzy is that you?  How?”

He rolls his eyes at her, “Quick on the uptake, as usual, Alice.  And the how is none of your damn business just know that I’ve been reunited with my brother and his family, and I no longer have any patience for your bull.”

Isa smiles at Jazz and then says, “Let’s go back to the house guys, I’m hungry, and Damon promised to let me use his kitchen again.”

Damon chuckles and everyone nods before the Supes make sure that they’re between the Humans and Assward and Trelawney.  I take Isa’s hand while we lead Charlie, Ric, and everyone else out of the backyard and across the street to our house.

When we reach the front door, everyone goes inside except Kol who bites his finger and rubs his blood along the jamb of the doorway.  When he finishes doing that he whispers some words I don’t catch because I’m too busy trying to listen to Whimpward’s thoughts, ‘Why didn’t Alice know the Vampires she saw coming had already arrived.  She said we had at least two months before they would show up.  Bella should be broken and ecstatic to see me.  Instead, she seems more upset that we’re back than anything else.  And why can’t I hear any of their thoughts, not even Jazz’s, which I’ve always been able to hear in the past and Charlie’s thoughts, which while always harder to read than other humans were readable to me unlike now.’

A minute later Kol comes in and closes the door before telling us all, “I did two spells, one of which should keep all those who mean us harm out of this house.  Don’t worry, Darling, I’ll do the same to Charlie’s house when they’re gone so that you won’t have any unwanted visitors while you sleep.  The second spell makes it impossible for them to hear any of our words while we’re inside the walls of this house, and before you ask, Darling, yes I’ll do that spell on the other house too.”

She nods and then goes to him and hugs him while she frowns with her brows furrowed and her eyes narrowed.  Her nostrils flare, her eyes flash angrily, and she’s breathing kind of heavily when she says, “Ugh!  I’m so mad.  They actually expected me to be happy to see them and grateful to them for first leaving to protect me and second for coming back to warn me about Victoria.  For the record, moving to protect me does not account for all the hurtful words he spewed at me before he left me to fend for myself in the woods.  How did I not see through their BS from the start?”

It’s Jazz who answers her, “They dazzled you with their ability to cloud your mind and their scent drew you in too.  It’s like a drug for Humans.  I’m actually kind of surprised you didn’t go through withdrawals given how much time you spent in our company before we left.”

Kol tells him, “I wager her coming into her powers is the reason she didn’t go into withdrawals.  Before she went to bed the night Edward left, she had already purified her blood removing all traces of Human from it and received her powers in full, and it’s my understanding that she used her powers several times that night.  I’m quite certain that is why she did not react how they expected her too.  Damon and company put a spanner in the works by telling her of her birthright and making sure she could take hold of it immediately.”

Except for Seth, who goes to the window and stares out at our unwanted visitors, we all head into the kitchen and sit at the long table.  I initially thought the table was too big just for three or four of us, but I’m beginning to realize Mrs. Peterson knew it wouldn’t just be Damon, Ric, and me living in this house for long.  I set the wooden box on the table and open it again before noticing that there is a little pouch attached to the inside of the top of the box.  I pull it off and open it before dumping the contents into my hand.  It’s twenty slightly smaller pouches with necklaces in them that each has a key attached.  It takes me a minute, but then I realize that it’s the key to the rooms downstairs and the tunnel into the forest.

I hand them around telling everyone, “We should probably wear these all the time.”  Then I explain what I found downstairs.  Needless to say, everyone has wide eyes when I finish telling the story.  It’s Kol who speaks.  He first completely overlooks that I found hidden rooms and instead asks, “You named your journal, ‘Varney the Vampire’ and scanned your sister’s most private thoughts into a file called ‘Bram Stoker’s Dracula’?  You did this so that if she had Damon take your memory again, you could get it back without anyone ever knowing?”

I just nod, so he nods back and says, “That… I don’t have words for how amazing what you did is.  Just know I’m proud to call you my sister, Juliet.”

Everyone else nods and my blush deepens.  Isa saves me by offering, “I’ll read Elena’s diaries if you want me to and fill you guys in on the pertinent stuff.”

I nod and tell her, “Thank you.  I’d become homicidal if I had to read that crap more than I already have.  Anyways, I think we should all head down there after dinner and check everything out.  I think I recognized Bonnie’s and Caroline’s journals too so those are two more sets we should read to know what’s going on.  I’ll let Kol and Elijah decide which of them will read Klaus’ journals.  Oh and given that we now have his journals if they’re detailed enough we might not need Elijah to be our mole.”

Leah smiles and says, “I’ll cross my fingers then that they tell us everything we need to know.”

Elijah smiles down at her while everyone nods at that before Kol turns to look at Jake and Leah and asks, “Do either of you know the exact terms of the treaty with the Cullens?  Or more specifically if there is any way for the Tribe to revoke it.”

Jake shakes his head as he says, “The only way to revoke it is if a member of their family harms a Human.”

Jasper scratches his chin for a minute before turning to look at Isa, “Bella if you tell the Tribe, in front of the Cullens, that I tried to attack you and Edward pushed you through a plate glass table that might count, no?  Technically he hurt you, even if at first glance the action was done to protect you.  Furthermore, you could mention yours and my belief that Alice intentionally withheld information from the rest of the family so that I would attack you, which would make it all premeditated.”

Jake and Leah are nodding before Jake says, “That might work, but it would let them know that we have suspicions about their behavior and possible bigger motives, so maybe we should hold off on that until we find out more.”

Kol smiles and tells Jake, “Wise beyond your years young Wolf.  I agree with Jake’s opinion I was just curious if revoking it is an option we might have later down the line.”

Jake smiles and says, “I hear you, Brother, and I’m down with it when the time is right.”

Kol just smiles a smile that looks remarkably similar to Damon’s ‘I’m up to no good’ smirk.

Isa kisses Kol’s cheek before she gets up and begins rummaging through our refrigerator looking for what she’s going to cook for us.

We sit and talk amongst ourselves while she and Damon cook.  Whatever it is it smells amazing and only Seth coming in from the front room about an hour later distracts my stomach enough for me to concentrate on anything other than the mouthwatering smells.

Seth clears his throat and says, “FYI, they’re just standing on your front lawn staring at the house.  They can’t figure out why Assward can’t hear any of the Humans or Wolves.  They also don’t understand why he can’t listen to the Vampires either because Assward knows only the Originals should be immune to his gifts.  While the name Kol is familiar to him as an Original’s name Damon is not one of their names and Damon admitted to only being 169 years old, so he’s confused.  And don’t even get me started on that bitch’s thoughts about Jazz.  She can’t figure out how he’s not one of them anymore.  Apparently, she didn’t see that coming whine, whine, whine, blah, blah, blah.”

Jazz laughs and tells us, “Of course she didn’t.  I didn’t even know it was possible until I was already in the presence of you wolves, so her sight would have been well and truly screwed before I made the choice to go through with the change.”

Kol stands up and goes out toward the front door.  The rest of us follow his thoughts but remain seated before he opens the front door and steps out of the house.  He takes a few steps onto the porch and then says, “Young ones, you’ve already figured out that I’m an Original, so you know you stand no chance against me.”

At that Trelawney thinks to Assward, ‘How does he know we are aware he’s an Original?’

Doucheward just shrugs before Kol continues, “Therefore, children, I strongly encourage you both to do your pondering away from this house lest I decide to be done with you both once and for all and tear you both limb from limb right now.  I’m feeling generous today, so I will point out that, unlike my Wolf brethren, I am not required to put up with you and your Coven’s existence in my town.  So unless you want me to destroy your entire Coven, I suggest you leave at once because I will not be so generous the second time.”

Assward is apparently stupid because he decides to argue with the big bad Original Vampire instead of just nodding and doing what he was told to do, “This is our town, not yours, we were here first.  The Wolves can attest to that.”

I can hear the smirk in Kol’s thoughts when he says, “Actually point of fact, I was present on these lands back in the 1050’s, long before the people who would become the modern Quileute’s migrated here.  That was also long before the Third Wife made her sacrifice, so I was actually here first centuries before even your Coven leader was born never mind turned into a Cold One.  So I say again, leave now, or I will end you all.”

I can see in Kol’s mind when Whimpward and Trelawney nod and back away, but I can also hear Trelawney think to Edward, ‘Let’s go home, Edward.  We can go re-enroll in school tomorrow.  Bella will be alone then so we can use the time to convince her that we only left to protect her and that these new creatures are more dangerous than she realizes.’

I see in Kol and Alice’s thoughts when Assward nods and they both turn and walk back through the woods presumably towards their house.

A minute or two later Kol returns to the kitchen and says, “They’re in for a rude awakening when they arrive at school tomorrow and discover that Jasper, and I are not only already enrolled but are in each of Bella’s classes.  Jasper, I believe I will go to school early and have you keep watch over Bella and Jules on their way to school while I compel Mrs. Cope not to put any of the Cullens in our classes.  Then I’ll meet you out in front of the school when you arrive, and we can keep them safe.”

Pausing he looks at Isa and asks, “Darling, would you mind terribly if Jasper drives you and Jules to school tomorrow and probably every day until the Cullens are neutralized?”

She smiles and shakes her head, “Because you asked instead of ordered like Edward would have, no, I have no problem with that plan.”

He smiles in response to her comparing him to Assward.

I smile too and nod to make sure it’s clear that I approve of the plan too.

Jake’s eyes pop open wide, and he says, “Maybe I should call Sam and warn him that at least Assward and Alice are back.”

Kol nods so Jake leaves the room and makes the call.

Shortly afterward Jake comes back, and Isa and Damon place eggplant Parmesan and spaghetti on the table, and we all dig in.

Chapter Text

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Chapter 020

I Love How Completely and Selflessly You Love

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Forks, Washington

Sunday, September 26, 2010, 7:00 p.m. PDT (con’t.)

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When we finish eating dinner, and those who didn’t cook the food have cleaned up the mess, we all head down to the secret libraries.  Isa utters a few words I don’t catch, and suddenly the rooms are expanding while new shelves appear and books appear on the bookcases.  I realize that she’s moving all the books from upstairs down here when I notice Emily’s Grimoire land on the research table in front of me still open to the page I left it open to upstairs.

Then Kol whispers a few words, and I see through the still open door of the basement library when the books multiply until the library is full.  He smiles and tells us all, “I added mine and Elijah’s extensive library collections to the downstairs and upstairs libraries so they are now mostly full of ancient manuscripts and first editions from every great author to ever be published, plus a few who weren’t actually published.

Damon smiles and then utters the same words Kol did and then he says, “There now the libraries are pretty much completely full now that I’ve added the books I kept in storage and at my other residences.  Someday I’ll add the ones from the Boarding House too, but right now their disappearances would spark too many questions, especially because Sabrina the Teenage Bitch is still trying to figure out what happened to the Grimoires she had at her house.  Stefan mentioning more of my stuff disappearing from our house might make her suspect I have something to do with it especially because I think they’re slowly realizing I’m in the wind right now and ‘no one’ knows where the hell I am or more importantly what the hell I’m doing.  They’ve already called Ric twenty or thirty times since I changed my cell number asking him if he’s heard from me and has my new number, so it’s probably best not to arouse their suspicions lest they decide to come out here and check up on Ric and Jules on their own.  I think the two of them can confirm that that’s something Elena and Stefan would totally do even if their coming out here would defeat the purpose of sending Jules here in the first place.”

I frown and nod then I show Isa where Elena’s diaries are while Kol and Elijah look for Klaus’ journals.  Elijah stops and picks up a book, opens it then says, “Well I’ll be damned, these here are mine.  This one even has the entry I wrote last night.”

He turns to look at Leah and tells her, “Leah if you wish to know of my life before I met you perhaps we can read these together and I can tell you about the people and things I have seen and encountered.”

She nods and smiles before she says, “I’d like that Eli.”

He grins at the nickname and then moves to the next shelf to see if he can find Klaus’ books.  Kol is frowning while he reads from a book and then says, “Well, damn these are Father’s journals.  I think I owe you an apology, Elijah.  You were correct, I was causing too much attention to be cast upon myself and making myself a target for Father to focus on in lieu of his being able to end Nik.”

I look at Elijah who smiles and says, “Apology accepted, though I do regret that the only way I could think of to protect you was to help Niklaus dagger you.  I hated that.”

Kol just nods, so I look at the book in my hand and frown when I read, ‘My Doppelgänger is not as smart as she thinks.  Tonight at Mother’s Ball the foolish girl happily told Carol Lockwood that her dear sister is in Forks.  Carol was very helpful without meaning to be when she asked, “Forks, Washington, with Charlie Swan?”  Does my Doppelgänger not understand that every Vampire in the house heard their entire conversation including her confirming that the younger Gilbert is in Washington and living across the street from a man named Charlie Swan?  Probably not because let’s face facts, the latest incarnation of Tatia is not the sharpest tool in the shed.’

I flip a couple of pages to the entry from the day before yesterday.  Then I read again, ‘I used the photos Kol sent me of him spending time with the Gilbert girl to convince my Doppelgänger to invite me into her house and not to put her necklace back on after she found it lying under her bed.  I had one of my few remaining Hybrid’s get their Human girlfriend to hide it there while young Elena was in the shower a few weeks ago.  She found it faster than I figured she would, but the photos were enough to get her to remove the necklace once more.  In fact, I gave her an envelope and had her slide the pendant into it.  After having the same girlfriend remove the Vervain, I returned it to its rightful owner, ‘Bekah.  Of course, that wasn’t until after I compelled young Elena not to warn her sister or any of her friends that Juliet’s new friend, Kol, is a Vampire or that young Juliet might be in any danger from her new friend.  Then I compelled her not to add Vervain to her diet or to wear any on her ever again.’

I look up and tell everyone, “I found Klaus’ current Journal and I now know what happened to Elena’s necklace and why she’s no longer wearing it or on Vervain.” 

I read the passage to everyone, and Damon frowns and then says, “She was stupid enough to take it off?  Seriously?  Jules I’m beginning to think your smarts and common sense come from Grayson and Miranda entirely and that Elena got her parents’ complete lack of common sense coupled with their belief that no one was smarter than them.”

I just nod and chuckle before I hand the journal over to Kol who flips through it reading various passages before he looks up and gives it to Elijah before he asks his older brother, “I think it’s detailed enough that we can get away without you having to pretend still to be on his side.  What do you think Elijah?” 

Elijah pauses and reads for a moment then chuckles and reads aloud, “‘Elijah seems to have disappeared off the face of the planet.  The last anyone saw him was boarding the boat to dispose of Esther’s ashes, but no one saw him return on the vessel, and the surveillance footage shows him arriving and boarding the boat but not returning to shore.  If he weren't the oldest creature in the world, I’d be worried, but I’m sure he’s just trying to mess with me because he knows he stands no chance of besting me in a fight.  He’ll come back when he tires of playing his games.  In the meantime, it is time to go collect my pint of blood from my Doppelgänger now that the night nurse I’ve compelled to help me should be beginning her shift.’  He must have just written that minutes ago.”

Elijah and Kol are both laughing when Damon says, “Well, I’ll be, these are Carlisle Cullen’s journals.  I wonder if Assward writes his thoughts down and if they are in here somewhere?”

Jasper and Isa both say at the same time, “Don’t get your hopes up,” Jasper continues the thought, “Edward believes there is no point in his keeping a journal because he has an eidetic memory and therefore remembers everything he needs to perfectly.”

Damon frowns and then says, “Damn, you mean I actually agree with the ass on something?”

I chuckle and lean over kissing Damon’s cheek before telling him, “Don’t worry, Damon, we won’t hold it against you.  Especially because, as you pointed out earlier, you came first, so it’s him who agrees with you, not the other way around.”

Damon laughs and asks, “Thank you, how much do I owe you for that ego stroke?”

I chuckle again and tell him, “I’ll keep a tab and let you know later.”

He just laughs harder before I say, “Mrs. Peterson’s letter said the private thoughts of those in or connected to those who are in the prophecy who don’t write journals should be here too.  You might luck out, and Assward might have a set of journals in here, after all, so keep your eyes open for them.”

He nods before we go back to reading and exploring.

I find three massive sets of journals by Aro, Caius, and Marcus whom I easily figure out are the Volturi Kings after reading a few pages.  I point them out, and Elijah says, “I could read those for us if you like.”

Everyone nods and continues searching the books.

Several hours later I yawn for the third time in as many minutes, so Damon smiles at me and says, “I think it’s time for us to head to bed.”

I nod and grab a scrap of paper out of a little bin of paper scraps and mark my place before putting Carlisle Cullen’s current journal, which I was reading, down on the table in front of me.

I hug Isa and then Kol hands me the new immortality ring with Damon’s monogram on it that Kol and Damon spelled for me earlier, which will work if anyone kills me regardless of what species they are.  Kol said I can’t wear the old one while wearing the new one, so I slip my old one off my thumb and pocket it because technically it was my dad’s so it still has sentimental value.  Then I slip the new one onto my ring finger.  It’s a perfect fit.

Damon smiles and shows me his new ring with my monogram on it, which causes me to smile and nod.  While Kol hands black square rings to Charlie and Leah and blue round ones to Jasper and Elijah, I lead Damon out of the hidden libraries to the stairs before heading up all four flights of stairs to our bedroom.

I slip my shirt off, so I’m only in my bra and jeans after I enter the room and kick off my shoes before heading to the bathroom to put my sleep pants and tank top on.

When I come back out Damon is laying on the bed in nothing but his own sleep pants.  I crawl up from the foot of the bed hovering over him before laying myself down on top of him, which is a very nice place to be if I do say so myself.  He groans at the contact before I lean down to kiss him and immediately my tongue is battling his for dominance although honestly, I don’t care who wins because the fight is where all the fun is.  A minute later, I reluctantly pull away to gasp for breath and then trail my kisses down his chin to his jaw.  I follow his jaw down to his neck and begin placing sucking kisses to his collar bone, which he apparently approves of because his hands grip my back tighter and he says, “God Jules, don’t stop.”

I have no plan to, so while his hands trail up under my top over my bare back I trail my kisses farther down towards his chest.  My butterflies are disco dancing in my stomach, and I’m a little unsure because this is farther than I’ve ever gone with a guy but when I reach his pec I lick along the crease and then kiss his nipple before sucking it into my mouth and flicking it with my tongue.

Then all of a sudden I’m on my back, and Damon is leaning over me with his forehead resting against mine while he pants and tells me, “Mia Tesoro, we have… we have to stop.”

I whine, “But I don’t want to stop.”

He takes my hand and places it against his very hard erection and tells me, “Believe me, I don’t want to stop either, but we have to unless you want Charlie arresting me for statutory rape.  And for the record, I’m more worried about what that would do to you than what it would do to me.”

I groan.  He’s right, I know he is, but it still sucks, “Ric wouldn’t file a complaint.”

He frowns and tells me, “You’re probably right about that but what happens if Elena finds out.  Do you honestly think a woman who would play two brothers off each other for her own enjoyment would hesitate to cause her own sister trouble if she feels she or her Mate has somehow wronged her?  The statute of limitations wouldn’t run out soon enough to prevent her from making an issue out of it and probably managing to embarrass you in the process.  I know you don’t want to wait.  I don’t really want to either, but we need to, to protect you, and you need to know there is nothing I wouldn’t do to keep you safe, even waiting to taste every inch of you.”

I close my eyes tight and whine, “I hate being a freaking kid according to the law!”

He chuckles then gives me a quick peck before telling me, “Just 17 more wake ups and then I can have my merry way with you, and there won’t be a single thing anyone can do about it.” 

He smirks that smirk that causes my insides to turn to goo and the break-dancing butterflies to multiply.  His eyes are sparkling too when he tells me, “I haven’t decided if I’m going to convince you to go to bed really early on the 12th so I can wake you up at midnight and spend the rest of the night tasting every single last square inch of your skin.”

He pauses to let that sink in.  Then his smile smolders while he tells me, “Or I might wait until you come home from school, make you a nice dinner, and after our friends give you gifts I’ll bring you up here and feel every inch of you against every inch of me all night long.  Either way, I’ll be blowing your mind I’m just not sure of the details yet though there will be tasting because I plan to lick and kiss every inch of your body multiple times.  And I’m looking forward to possibly feeling you from the inside out while I blow your mind a few times.”

I groan and giggle at the same time and cast my vote, “I vote you wake me up at midnight and blow my mind the rest of the night and early morning because I’m not sure I can even wait that long!  And then later in the day after you’ve made me a wonderful dinner and our friends have given me gifts then you can bring me up here and have your way with me all over again.”

He laughs before he leans down, kisses me softly, then pulls back, and strokes my cheek before he says, “I’ll take your vote under advisement.  I do have one thing I’d like to talk to you about before we sleep, though.  I want you to drink some of my blood every night.”

My eyes widen at that, and I really don’t know what to say.  He smiles at my surprised look and tells me, “Assward and Trelawney being back in town has me slightly concerned.  If they can’t get to Isa, then they might settle for taking their frustrations out on you.  You’ve already mentioned wanting to be with me forever and transitioning so I’d feel better if you started taking my blood every night as a precaution.  Goddess willing it’ll be an unnecessary precaution, and you’ll get to turn at a time of our choosing, especially now that you have your new Immortality Ring.  Unfortunately, all it would take to kill you is for someone to take the ring off, so I’d rather have the option of you turning early than risk you flat out dying before we decide it’s time.”

I frown for a second while I consider his words.  He’s right.  I already made it clear I plan to turn once I’m an adult, so it would probably be stupid to walk around with enemies underfoot without taking the extra precaution.  Decision made I smile and tell him, “Okay.”

He pulls back farther to look into my eyes before he frowns and says, “I don’t have to work harder to convince you?”

I laugh and tell him, “No, I want forever with you, and the only reason we’re not turning me now is that I’m too young.  You’re right, though.  It would be stupid not to take the precaution given that Assward and Trelawney are loose cannons.  I’d rather be frozen at 15 forever and still be able to be with you than not take the precaution and end up being separated from you for all of eternity.

He nods and then rolls to my side before rolling me forward, so we’re spooning.  A moment later I hear him bite his wrist, and then he places it at my mouth.  I take a deep breath and let it out, and then I latch onto his arm and drink.  Fire races through my veins while every nerve ending I have comes alive, and, Oh My God, he tastes like fresh cherries and my dad’s finest Brandy.

I drink for a minute, but when I make to pull away, he says, “Keep drinking until the wound heals.”

I nod and go back to drinking trying very hard to ignore his erection that is pushing against my ass and my own heated body that is begging for attention.

When the wound finally heals, he pulls his arm away and rolls me onto my back before leaning over me and kissing me.  When he pulls away he says, “I need a damn cold shower.”  He kisses me again then says, “I think these are going to be the longest 17 days of my long life.”

I chuckle and nod so he leans down and kisses me once more then he pulls back and says, “Now we need to sleep because you need to be sharp tomorrow.  Kol and I are planning for you to help him and Jasper protect Isa, okay?”

I frown and ask the obvious question, “Uh, I know I’m usually defending my ability to help, but what can I really do against two Cold Ones in the middle of school?”

He kisses me again, and then with narrowed eyes he asks, “Are you really underestimating my Mate?”  He kisses me once more briefly then pulls back and continues his thought, “You are the only one from our family that will be there and not be distracted by wanting to tear them limb from limb for either hurting your Mate or messing with your head and heart.  In Jazz’s case, they messed with him for 60 plus years, so his anger is understandably pretty deep.”

He pauses with a frown on his face then shrugs and says, “I love Jasper and Kol like brothers but truth is they’re biased, and I’m worried they might miss something important in the assholes’ thoughts because they’ll be so preoccupied with their own thoughts about tearing Assward and Trelawney to shreds.  So we need you to be the level headed clear minded one of the group tomorrow because even Isa is going to have unresolved emotions tomorrow, mainly because I can hear her in her bedroom right now crying her eyes out.”

I frown and look him in the eyes, “Is she okay, should we go over there?”

He pecks my lips and smiles, “I love how completely and selflessly you love Jules, but to answer your question, no we don’t need to go over there.  Kol is with her and holding her while she cries out all of her anger, pain, and heartache.  Unfortunately, I think Charlie’s only going to let him stay with her for so long tonight, so she’s probably not going to get a very good rest this evening.  Therefore, I need you to sleep now so you will be sharp tomorrow.  This is one of those occasions where there are few individuals I’d trust more than you to have our backs because really you’re the only one who will be able to take a step back and look at things objectively.”

I smile and ask him, “Okay, is there anything specific I should be looking out for?”

He shakes his head slightly and says, “Not really, just monitor their thoughts the best you can while still being the active participant in your classes that Ric is so proud of you for being.  I don’t think you realize exactly how proud he is of you.  We both agree you really took a messed up situation with your sister basically running you out of town, and you’ve turned it to your benefit, and you’re flourishing Jules.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen you so open and happy, and I love the sparkle you now have in your eyes.  In Mystic Falls Ric felt as though he was letting Jenna down because you were still acting out.  Now he feels like he might have actually made the right choice where you’re concerned by bringing you here.”

I frown, and I wish I hadn’t made life so difficult for Ric.  Damon pauses and seeing my face then says, “Hey, don’t, don’t do that.  You were hurting, and you were dealing the only way you knew how.  Now you know other ways to deal, and you’re coping in a healthier manner.  Ric doesn’t blame you for your bad behavior, not really anyhow.  He knows it was your pain showing through, and he knows your sister compounded your pain by trying to make it all about her most of the time.  He’s not mad at you.  In fact, I think mostly he was worried about you, but now I know his worry is gone, well except for his worry that Elena will somehow mess with your new happy home life in some way.  But he’s not worried about you or your behavior.  Things between you and Ric are good, okay?”

I nod so he pulls away from me, much to my dismay, and rolls onto his back before he then pulls me into his arms and kisses my forehead while he pulls the covers up over us.  I can hear the frown in his voice when he says, “Now we really need to go to sleep because I have a feeling tomorrow is going to be a long ass day for all of us.”

I nod and kiss his cheek before closing my eyes and drifting to sleep surprisingly quickly.

Chapter Text

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Chapter 021

Taking One for Team Isa

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Forks, Washington

Monday, September 27, 2010, 5:30 a.m. PDT (con’t.)

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I wake fully rested the next morning with my face nestled in the crook of Damon’s neck and my arm and leg thrown over him.  It takes me a minute to wake up fully, but when I do, I groan because I remember that Assward and Trelawney are going to be at school today.  I smile a little.  Until they arrived, I had been enjoying school.  Wow, that’s weird.  Well, I hope they won’t be around for long, and I can continue to have fun at school.  Wait, did I really just think that?  As Ric once put it, I think I just lost all credibility as a card-carrying teenager.

I’m distracted by Damon laughing before he kisses the top of my head, “Mia Tesoro, you are too funny.”

I laugh too and lean up and kiss him, “I’m just amazed that I actually like school.”  I pause then add, “Well I did, I’m not sure how much I’ll enjoy it with the Cullens there.”

He tightens his hold on me and says, “It’ll be fine I’m sure.  Even they aren’t stupid enough to risk exposing the Supe World to Humans in the middle of school.”

At my doubtful look, he adds, “Really, Jules, even they know the rest of the Supe World would crush them if they made that sort of trouble for everyone else, and whatever their plans may be their biggest goal is to survive.”

He kisses me then smiles while he pulls away and says, “Now why don’t you go take a shower and use those freaking awesome shower nozzles to blast away the tenseness I can feel in your shoulders.  Then afterward we can have breakfast.”

My only response is to snuggle deeper into him, which causes him to say, “I need you to be strong for Isa today, okay?  I think the Cullens being there will be hardest on her especially because everyone in school knows they broke up and will be watching them both to see what will happen.”

I nod, lean up and kiss him one more time then I groan before I climb out of bed.  On my way to the bathroom, I stop and turn to look at him and walking backward, I tell him, “For the record, I really just want to stay snuggled in bed with you all day, but I’ll take one for Team Isa.”

His laughter follows me into the bathroom.  I strip and get into the shower with a huge smile on my face.  Because it’s still 20 minutes until my alarm would have gone off, I stand under the shower spray just like Damon suggested and let the massaging jets loosen all of my muscles.

When I get out of the shower 30 minutes later, my body is relaxed.  I change quickly and then head down to the kitchen when I see that Damon is gone, and the bed is made.

Kol, Jasper, Isa, Elijah, Damon, and Ric are all already sitting at the table.  When I enter Isa goes to stand so I tell her, “Relax, Isa, I’ll get whatever you put in the oven.”

She giggles and sits back down, so I grab a potholder and take my plate out of the oven.  After I sit, I ask, “So what’s the plan?”

Kol smiles and says, “I already compelled Mrs. Cope and Mr. Greene not to allow Assward or Alice or any other Cullens for that matter into any of our classes.”

Frowning I ask, “How’d you do that?”

He just smiles and says, “Charlie was kind enough to give me both of their addresses, so I went to their homes earlier this morning and caught them before they left for school.  I thought we should arrive at school together to show we’re united.  And honestly I didn’t want to leave Bella for longer than necessary, and because I did the spell to keep the Cullens out of Charlie’s house, I felt most comfortable leaving her while she showered and doing my compelling then.”

I just nod and go about eating my perfectly runny hole-in-the-bread eggs and sausage.

No one talks throughout the rest of breakfast, which is unusual for us, but I figure everyone is busy trying to prepare themselves for what will happen at school.

Finally, I finish my breakfast, and after rinsing my plate and putting it in the dishwasher, everyone stands to grab their things.  Damon walks over to me with my bag in his hand, but when I go to grab it, he moves it out of my reach and leans in and kisses me instead.  Hmm, do I have to go to school?

He laughs while he pulls away before saying, “‘Fraid so, Mia Tesoro.”  He finishes the thought telepathically, ‘Don’t worry, everything will be all right.’

I just nod not as sure as he is before taking my bag from his hand and following Jasper, Kol, and Isa out to Jasper’s Escalade.  Damon follows us to the front door and reminds us, “Don’t forget Jules and Kol have Driver’s Ed during your free period today too so Jazz will have to stick close to Isa while you’re otherwise occupied.”

Damn it I did forget.  Freaking Assward is messing with my head so much I forgot that today is the first day of Driver’s Ed.  Ass.  I was freaking excited about it until he freaking showed up.

While I get into the back of the SUV Damon chuckles and thinks at me, ‘That’s good, Mia Tesoro, hold on to that anger, it’ll help you get through the day.’

I smile the whole way to school.  We’re early like we usually are so that we can hang out with our friends before classes start, so when Jasper parks we get out and head over to our group.  We’re just shooting the breeze for a few minutes when a shiny silver Volvo pulls into the lot, and everyone begins whispering about the Cullens being back.  Lauren is the one to cattily point them out, “Hey Bella, looks like Edward is back, whatever will you do now that your ex is back and you have a new Boyfriend?”

Isa ignores the bitchy tone Lauren used because it’s still early, so the other girl is not entirely awake, and according to Isa Lauren has been toning the bitchiness down considerably since I got here.  So Bella just smiles at Lauren and says, “I’m not going to do anything.  I’m perfectly happy with Kol, and I have no room in my life for Edward.”  She pauses then adds, “Or Alice for that matter either.”

When Edward gets out of his car, he’s smiling until his eyes land on the four of us, which prompts him to think, ‘Damn it, what are Kol and Jasper doing here?  Damn, well I suppose we’ll just have to make sure we’re in Bella’s classes.  Lucky thing Mrs. Cope likes me.’

While they walk by us Edward’s eyes are fixated on Bella, which causes Kol to narrow his eyes and growl slightly under his breath.

Edward just smiles and heads to the office.  His smile likely didn’t last long, and we all chuckle when we hear his thoughts, ‘Crap, God dammit.  That damn Original compelled Mrs. Cope not to let us into Bella’s classes!  Fine, we’ll just get Mr. Greene to put us in her classes.’

A minute later he’s cursing again while he thinks, ‘I don’t want to make do with the other AP tract of courses.  I damn well want to be in Bella’s tract.  Mr. Greene apparently has been compelled too.  Pain in my ass.  How are we supposed to convince Bella to give me another chance if we can’t be in her damn classes with her?’

We head inside and watch from our spot at Isa’s locker while they exit the office with slumped shoulders and scowls on their faces.  When they head by us to go to their lockers, we all smile and wave before Kol says under his breath, “I told you two to leave us alone, but I knew you wouldn’t.  My contingency plans have contingency plans, so the two of you will not be messing with me and mine.”

Just then, the warning bell goes off, so we all head to Mr. Berty’s English class, each of us taking the time to stop in the doorway and wave to Assward and Trelawney, which causes their scowls to deepen. 

Surprisingly I manage to pay attention to what’s happening in class, participate, and monitor Assward and Trelawney’s thoughts.  Needless to say, they’re not sure what to do, but I do hear Trelawney think, ‘How are we supposed to control the Vampires if we don’t control Bella.  Our whole plan rests on us being able to manipulate Kol and Damon into killing the Volturi for us.  And they probably won’t leave us in peace to rule after the Volturi are dead if we don’t control Bella.  Edward, we need to convince her that she’s not safe with them.’

Sadly, he agrees with her.  I’m somewhat surprised to discover that we were right, and they really do plan to overthrow the Volturi.  Everyone in my family agrees neither Assward nor Trelawney are powerful enough to hold the position for long, so I’m confused as to why they seem to think they could take and keep the job of ruling over all the Cold Ones.

I listen to their thoughts all morning long to see if I can figure out why they think they’re qualified for the job, but I get no closer to understanding their motives.  The only time I don’t listen to their thoughts is the 45 minutes that Kol and I spend learning how to drive. 

When lunch time comes around, I groan when we enter the lunchroom because I hear Assward and Trelawney co-opting our friends.  Still, the four of us, plus Eric, get in line and order our food before heading over to the table and squeezing in between our friends so that none of us has to sit next to Whimpward or Trelawney. 

Jessica smiles flirtatiously at Assward and asks, “So you guys weren’t gone for long, what made you come back so fast?”  Her eyes cut over to Isa, so it’s obvious she’s asking if it was a who and not a what that made them return so quickly.

Assward smiles and tells them all, “Esme found she didn’t like how hot it is in Southern California, so she asked Carlisle if we could move back here, and honestly he missed the smaller size of the hospital here.  He said he gets to spend more time with each patient here and really focus on making them well again.  Whereas at the new hospital he barely had time to concentrate on any one patient because he was usually treating twenty of them at once.”

Everyone’s nodding until he says, “Plus, I missed Bella.”

She frowns and tells him, “I’m sure because you were so clear back in the woods the day you left that you didn’t like having to pretend to be someone you’re not.  You were also pretty clear that you thought I’m no good for you, in fact, weren’t those the exact words you used, ‘You’re no good for me Bella.’  Isn’t that what you said?  So forgive me if I’m not buying this ‘I missed you’ BS.  You’re just upset that your ready-made girlfriend went and found someone who actually treats me well and talks to me like I’m an equal and not beneath him.  He also tells me the truth about things, and he does it without me having to pull it out of him like pulling teeth.”

She narrows her eyes when his mouth opens to argue.  She cuts him off by telling him, “You were no good for me Edward, and sadly it took you leaving for me to figure that out, but I did figure it out, so I think you need to move on just as you told me to.  What was it you said, oh yeah, ‘Time heals all wounds.’”

Everyone’s jaws are hanging open when she finishes talking, and I lean over and give her a high-five causing Kol and Jasper to laugh.  I’m pulled out of my laughter a moment later by Angela’s quiet thoughts, ‘I wonder if Bella knows Edward and Alice are Cold Ones?  It sure sounds like she might know.  I don’t know how I’d ask though without having to tell her my secret.  I know Jasper and Kol are Traditional Vampires because they tried to compel Ben and me so I don’t think it’d be wise to just go advertising what I am.  Although then again everything I know and have seen of Jasper and Kol tells me they’re not bad guys despite their need for blood, so it might be okay.  There’s definitely Magick afoot though because I’m pretty sure Jasper used to be a Cold One like the rest of the Cullens, and now he’s definitely a Traditional Vampire based on the attempted compulsion and his very visible change in looks.  I should talk to Ben about it later and see what he thinks.’

I frown.  What is Angela’s secret?  And how does she know that the Cullens are Cold Ones?  If she can’t be compelled that limits the types of creature she could be.  Could she maybe be a Witch?  That’s the most common one I know of besides Cold Ones and Vampires who can’t be compelled by the average Vampire.  I sit and wonder for a minute.  I think Damon said Demons and Elves can’t generally be compelled either so I guess the list isn’t as short as I thought. 

I’m distracted when Kol grins and tells Doucheward, “We told you yesterday when you intruded on us at her house that you weren’t wanted here, least of all by Bella.  I’ve heard all the whispers around school today, though, so maybe you can go con some other poor unsuspecting girl into being in an abusive relationship with you.”

Jasper nods and adds, “I told you multiple times she was going to figure out that you were wrong for her and that how you treated her was borderline abusive.  However, you wouldn’t listen, and then you went and broke up with her in the meanest and most painfully insensitive way possible and virtually guaranteed she wouldn’t want you if you came back.  So you have no one to blame but yourself for the mess you’ve found when you came back and don’t even get me started on you, Alice.  You didn’t even have the decency to say goodbye to the girl you, up until that moment, called your best friend, so you shouldn’t be surprised by the cold welcome you’re getting either.  I warned you both that there would be consequences, and neither of you bothered to listen to me.  Then again that’s nothing new is it?”

Whimpward plays with the cap of his undrunk milk and tells him, “I was trying to give her a clean break so she wouldn’t pine away for me.  I was trying to do what was best for her.”

Jasper snorts and interrupts, “Ha, you were trying to do what made you feel best.  None of what you did or said was for Bella’s benefit.  It was all for your own ego.  You figured she’d be heartbroken and pine away after you, miserable and eager for any scraps you might have sent her way.  Instead, she broke out of the daze she was in while dating you and found someone who treats her like the lady she is.”

“You don’t know what you’re talking about Jazzy.  He did what he thought was best for Bella, and we’re both sure she’ll soon come to realize that he only wants what’s best for her.”

Jasper laughs and tells her, “You forget I was with you when we left.  I got so fed up with your machinations that I asked Carlisle to give guardianship of me to an old friend of my birth family’s so I could get away from all of your BS, so I think I know more than even I’m letting on wouldn’t you agree.  Because I’m pretty sure those googley eyes you were throwing his way meant you felt things for him you shouldn’t have while dating me.”

All of our mouths drop open at that.  She has feelings for Assward?  If anyone would know, it would be Jasper because he was an Empath while with them, but I wonder why he didn’t tell us.

Just then, Jasper thinks at our family, ‘I didn’t say anything because I only just placed what I was feeling and what the looks meant.  I think the spell we did is now allowing me to feel even the emotions she’s trying to hide so I can now clearly feel that she’s in love with him, and if I have to hazard a guess, I bet they’re Mates.  That’s what they were working so hard to keep from me because Alice was insistent that we were Mates and that Edward and Bella were Mates.  I knew enough about what I should be feeling anytime I touched Alice to know we weren’t Mates like she claimed, but I didn’t want to be alone, so I put up with the lies until I finally had too much and left.  You hear me Alice; I know you and Assward are Mates!’

Trelawney’s eyes widen when we hear Jasper’s thought echo in her head.  Well, it looks as though we can still send thoughts to those we wish even if they are usually blocked from us.  Nice to know.

Edward’s eyes are wide because he also heard Jasper inside Trelawney’s head.  Trelawney thinks at him, ‘Edward did you hear that?’

And now we know how he communicates with her telepathically because he makes the deliberate decision to tell her, ‘Yes I heard it too.’

Then she sees him telling her that, and then when he sees her having the vision he decides not to tell her after all.  Interesting.  My family is just smiling while Assward and Trelawney try to figure out what exactly is going on.

Trelawney finally responds to Jasper’s spoken accusation telling him, “I do not have feelings for Edward, he’s my brother, nothing more.”

Jasper just grins and tells her, “Mmm hmm, okay, whatever you say, because I don’t have two perfectly working eyes or anything.”

Kol chooses that moment to burst out laughing, “God the looks on your faces.  He’s obviously correct, or you wouldn’t both look like you just got caught with your hands in the cookie jar.”

He follows his spoken words with some well-chosen thoughts, ‘I grow tired of your games.  Both of you stand up and go sit somewhere else.  If you so much as look at us again I will personally make a trip to your house with Damon and Elijah, and we will end your entire Coven before nightfall.  Am I understood?’

Their eyes get wide again, but then Kol drops the wall, and Trelawney watches in her mind’s eye as Kol, Elijah, and Damon tear the six remaining Cullens to bits and set their remains on fire.  She stands abruptly and says, “Believe whatever you want, we know the truth.  Edward, we’re obviously not wanted here, let’s go sit at our old table.”

He nods, and they both get up studiously not looking at us.  I reach behind Isa and slap Kol a high five before bursting out with laughter as we watch the dynamic duo skulk off to a table on the other side of the room.

Chapter Text

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Chapter 022

The Maturity Level of a Teenager

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Forks, Washington

Monday, September 27, 2010, 12:30 p.m. PDT (con’t.)

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Everyone at the table spreads out a little now that Assward and Trelawney are not sitting with us, and we all talk about normal teenage stuff like going to the movies Friday night to see ‘The Social Network’ the first day it’s released.

I swallow hard, stiffen my posture, and ask those who don’t know Damon, “Would you all mind if my boyfriend comes with us?”

Everyone’s eyes are wide, even those who already know about Damon and me because they realize what a huge step it is for me to tell our new friends about my relationship with Damon.  Everyone sits there staring at me before Lauren and Jessica both say, “You’ve been here almost a week, and this is the first we’ve heard of a Boyfriend.  Spill, Jules.”

I smile and only say, “It just never came up.” 

All the girls smile at me, and Lauren asks, “Don’t think we didn’t notice you haven’t answered our question.  So who’s the lucky guy?  I hope it’s not one of the losers from here.”

I smile and tell her, “No it’s not a guy from here.  I actually brought my boyfriend with me when I moved here.”

Lauren clearly remembers who I came here with so she says, “You’re dating a 24-year-old?  And not just any 24-year-old but one who according to everyone who has met him is sex on two legs with ocean blue eyes a girl could get lost in?”

I smile and nod, “Oh yeah, his eyes are amazing.  If you look closely, there are flecks of lighter and darker blue in his eyes that almost make them look like they’re sparkling.”

She tosses her juice cap at me and says, “I officially hate you.”  Then she laughs and pouting slightly says, “Okay I don’t really hate you, but I want a cute hottie with eyes that sparkle.”

I laugh and toss the cap back at her and tell her, “Isa and I will be more than happy to help you rate the cute guys you meet.  I’m sure all of us will be able to help the two of you find boys worthy of your awesomeness.”

They’re smiling widely so I lean forward and lower my voice a bit while I tell them, “Although between you and me other than the other guys at this table your pickin’s are kind of slim here so we can go guy shopping on Friday while we’re in Port Angeles okay?  I will do everything in my power to help you find the perfect man for you.”

Isa adds, “You wouldn’t want Damon anyway, Lauren.  Anyone who is with him needs to have the patience of Job because he’s usually a snarky, moody ass.  Honestly, I think he and Jules were specially made for each other.  Jules tones down Damon’s crap, and Damon helps give Jules the confidence she needs to be herself.  If she were dating any other guy, she wouldn’t have had the courage to tell you all about their relationship after only knowing all of you for a week.  That’s totally Damon’s influence making her realize that if you pick on her for dating an older guy, then you’re obviously not worth her friendship or her time.”

I smile and nod but tell them, “It’s you too Isa, after all, you said the other day that you thought they’d all be cool with it.  Back in Virginia, the Cheerleaders would have bullied me or some crap, but she assured me that our friends were much cooler and open minded than those assholes.  Obviously, I agreed with her because I told you all, but thank you for proving us right.”

They all smile and it’s Jessica who brings us back to the original topic, “So I think I speak for everyone at this table when I say bring him if he wants to come.  Just… warn him we’re all high schoolers, so he doesn’t expect us to be more mature or whatever.”

I laugh and tell her, “Damon will fit right in because he’s got the maturity level of a teenager most of the time.  He’s always cracking jokes, and no one take offense, but he’ll probably give you all slightly insulting yet humorous nicknames and will probably pick on all of you good-naturedly.  Actually, when you meet him, you should be more concerned if he doesn’t do that because with a few notable exceptions he only picks on people he likes as if anyone he doesn’t like is unworthy of his taking the time to come up with some witty phrase to characterize the individual.”

Everyone who knows Damon is nodding, so everyone else smiles when Mike asks, “So what you’re saying is for once we actually want to get picked on?”

I laugh and tell him, “Absolutely, though don’t worry if it takes him a few outings to find a nickname he likes for each of you but in the meantime, he’ll probably spend the whole time trying out nicknames until he finds the perfect one for each of you.”

Eric nods and asks, “So what are some examples of names he’s given people?”

I frown at the memories of Mystic Falls and my so-called friends and family that we left behind before I tell them, “He calls Bonnie who is my ex-best friend Sabrina the Teenage Bitch because she identifies as a pagan and is, as you might suspect from the nickname, a bitch.  He also calls her Judgey a lot since she judges first and never asks questions.  She’s one of the exceptions that he doesn’t actually like, but she’s also best friends with my sister, so he was stuck interacting with her fairly often. 

I smile slightly and tell them, “He’s called my sister everything from Pouty, to Buffy, Xena Warrior Princess, Scaredy Cat, Sunshine, and Robert Frost just to name a few.  I think my favorite nickname he’s given, or the funniest at least, is when he calls his brother, Stefan, Buzzkill Bob although the face Stefan makes when Damon calls him Saint Stefanie is pretty damn funny too.” 

I smile wider and continue telling them, “Anyway, he usually builds up a list for each person and then picks and chooses from the list depending on the situation we find ourselves in like he called Elena Buffy and Xena after she started taking self-defense lessons from Ric after our Aunt died.  Robert Frost was after she said some trite thing that was supposed to be deep and meaningful and really wasn’t either at all.  Anyhow, he’ll probably start calling you all names pretty quickly because if Isa and I like you, the chances are he’ll like you too.  He’ll spend the first few times he sees you making his lists, and then he’ll probably settle on five or six usual nicknames and then throw out the occasional new one as the situation dictates.”

Everyone is smiling, so Isa smiles wider and tells them all, “Some of them are hilarious and some of them you’ll probably have to go home and Google because he’s brilliant and well-read not to mention surprisingly knowledgeable when it comes to pop culture.  Even with my penchant for reading the classics and knowing my history and knowing pop culture as well as any teenager he’s still managed to say things that I was clueless about.  Then as soon as I Googled it, I smiled because whatever he said or called whoever fit the situation perfectly.  All in all, he’s a pretty cool guy, and I’ve learned a ton of stuff from him just in the week they’ve been here, so you’ll all probably like him just as much as I do because all of us seem to like being made to think.”

We still have seven or eight minutes until class starts so Lauren asks, “How’d you meet him, Jules?”

I smile and tell her, “He showed up at my house right after school started last fall with my sister’s other best friend, Caroline, on his arm, basically inviting himself over for dinner to piss off his brother, whom he doesn’t generally get along with.  Stefan had just begun dating my sister and came over that night for dinner so my Aunt could meet him.  Damon talked Caroline into inviting herself and him over to the house the same night so he could annoy his baby brother.  It worked, Stefan was not happy, and honestly, I thought their bickering or at least Damon’s half of it was hysterical.  Stefan’s a bit of a stick in the mud, to be honest, and I’m honestly surprised Damon doesn’t call him Angel because he’s all broody and has similar hair to David Boreanaz from when he was still on Buffy and Angel.”

I pause then frowning tell them, “Honestly, I never really liked Stefan.  He plays at being a saint, but underneath it all, he’s really a sanctimonious asshat.  Anyway, Damon and Stefan had a falling out due to Stefan’s deep-seated asshat-ness a long time ago, and Damon promised to give Stefan a lifetime of misery, so his showing up unannounced to make trouble for Stefan was in keeping with that pledge.  And trust me that lifetime of suffering is well and truly deserved based on the bits and pieces I’ve managed to get out of Damon about what went down between them.” 

I smile and tell them all, “Anyhow, the moment he walked through the door he started hitting on my sister to mess with Stefan’s head and eventually even played like he was in love with her.  Though I’m pretty sure he really did have feelings for her until he realized she was just playing with him.  After he realized he was her toy and nothing more he just played like he still loved her to piss off Stefan, but then he started coming to the house when we both knew good and well that Elena wouldn’t be home.  It seemed like he showed up more when he was aware that she’d never find out he was there, and we’d just talk and play video games.  He’s an accomplished artist, so he would look at my work and give me tips to improve my technique, and we’d talk about the people in my life or my parents and how much I miss them.  He gets it because both of his parents are dead too.  Anyway, then one day I realized he was coming to see me more than he was coming to see her, and he was one of the few people who actually seemed to really listen to me.  I know being friends with adults is considered pretty uncool for teenagers but besides Isa Damon and Ric are my best friends, and I honestly don’t know how I would have survived the last year without the both of them in my corner.”

I stop to take a sip of my juice then tell them, “Anyways, we didn’t start dating until we moved here, and he kissed me after figuring out I was crushing on him.  And for the record, I hate not being old enough to consent because that means we have to wait to do anything other than kissing until my birthday next month.  Don’t get me wrong I’m not ready to go there yet, but I at least want to be allowed to do more than just hold hands with him.  Holding hands is lame.”

Everyone bursts out laughing and nods while I pout just before the warning bell announces that lunch is over.  Jessica and Lauren both say, “Well I’m looking forward to meeting the guy who swept you off your feet.”

Everyone nods and agrees before we throw out our trash and head to Ric’s classroom for AP History.  I’m acutely aware that Assward and his bimbo listened to every word I said, but I just can’t find it in myself to care.  I don’t think I said anything that can actually be used against us, and not being open and honest with my new friends had really been bothering me.  I know that Damon’s used to being everyone’s dirty little secret, but he’s not my dirty little secret.  He’s the love of my life, and I feel as though I should be open about my relationship with him with the other people in my life, or I’m disrespecting Damon as a man and doing a disservice to both him and our relationship as a whole.

Ric’s class and AP Calculus go by quickly and before I know it Jazz, Kol, Isa and I are walking out towards the parking lot with our friends.  When we get out there, Isa stops short, and we all look at her before she tells us, “See that mountain of a guy over by the yellow Jeep?  That’s Emmett, Assward and Alice’s adopted brother.”

Kol growls briefly before Jazz places his hand on Kol’s shoulder and thinks at all of us, ‘Listen to his thoughts.  He’s not here for Bella.  He’s here to defend her if anything.’

I tune into his thoughts in time to hear him think, ‘Freaking Eddie always does whatever the hell he wants and never mind who gets hurt or caught in the crossfire.  I told him to leave Bella the hell alone to live her life without him because he decided we all had to go.  Never mind that I agree with Jazz that Victoria is still a threat.’ 

As the wind shifts to blow our scents towards him he thinks, ‘Then again those two guys standing next to Bella smell like freaking Vampires, and they don’t look hostile towards her, so maybe she’s safe after all.  Hmm, should I go over and introduce myself?  No probably not.  I sort of lost that right when I listened to Eddie boy, and freaking left Bella high and dry without so much as a ‘nice knowing ya.’  Ah, there’s the asshat I’m here to see…’

“Eddie, I thought Rose and I made it perfectly clear that you and Alice need to leave Bella the hell alone.  You can’t decide to leave her and then just decide to come back when the mood suits you.  You said you wanted to give her a freaking clean break, so freaking give her one, and let her move on from your bull.”

We’re all smiling at his words before Bella hands her bag to me and walks over to Emmett, Assward, and Trelawney.

She smiles warmly at Emmett and then tells him, “I’d slap you for leaving without so much as a freaking good-bye if I didn’t know I’d only break my hand on your face, so I’ll settle for a hug from my big brother who’s apparently still looking out for me.”

Emmett smiles big and wraps her in his massive arms a minute later when she hugs him.  We all walk over to them, and then she turns and smiles at Kol and tells him, “Kol, Jules this is my big brother Emmett.”  She turns back to Emmett and points at me and then Kol before she says, “Brother, this is my best friend since diapers, Juliet, and my Mate, Kol Mikaelson.”

Kol smiles when we all hear Emmett internally freaking out, ‘A damn Mikaelson?  Well, if anyone can properly protect Bells it’s an Original.  Still, he’s not known for eating animals so…’

“Nice to Meet you Mr. Mikaelson.  I’m glad to see Bells here has finally found someone worth having.”  He leans in and lowers his voice before continuing, “Though a word to the wise, I don’t care how much faster or stronger than me you are I will find a way to kill you if you hurt her.  She deserves no less, and honestly, if I didn’t know it would break Esme’s heart, I’d have done the same to Eddie Boy here for breaking my Belly’s soft little heart.  Treat her like the princess she is, and you and I should have no issues, well aside from my misfortune in having an ass for a brother and a heartless bitch for a sister, but I’m hoping you’ll overlook that I’m related to Eddie and Alice.”

Kol smiles and reaches out his hand which Emmett takes and shakes before Kol says, “I know a thing or two about having a jackass for a brother, so I think I will overlook your unfortunate relations.  And for the record, if I hurt her, you’ll have to get in line to kill me and be forewarned the line is pretty damn long at this point because my brothers, Damon, Elijah, and Jazz here would all have something to say about that.  And that doesn’t even take Jules, Ric, Charlie, or the Wolves into account or the fact that Bella would probably be first in line because she’s not the helpless girl Assward and his Mate thought she was.”

Emmett is smiling and nodding until Kol gets to the part about Assward’s Mate, “Wait Eddie found his Mate?  I thought he was still spouting off that Bella is his Mate.  Never mind the fact that if she were truly his Mate, he wouldn’t have been able to leave her behind.”

We’re all nodding, but it’s Jazz who tells him, “Edward and Alice are Mates if I’m reading them correctly.”

It takes a minute then Emmett’s eyes get really wide, and he takes a step forward as he says, “Jazz, is that you?”

He smiles and nods, “It’s me, Brother.”

Emmett’s eyes are still wide open, and his jaw is also hanging open when he finally manages to ask, “How?”

Isa leans in close but says a little more loudly than might be prudent, “Magick.”

I hear Angela turn when she hears the word Magick, and she’s obviously freaking out but not for the reason I would have suspected, ‘Magick, do they know I’m a Witch?  I’ve always tried to stay away from the Cold Ones so they wouldn’t find out.’

Amazingly, Ben is thinking the same thing, so I walk over to them and tell them, “Relax, Ang and Ben, we mean you no harm, and we’ll keep your secrets.  I would, however, like to invite you both over for dinner tonight so we can tell you our secrets to level the playing field so to speak.  It’s only fair that you know ours because we now know yours.  And don’t worry, Assward and Trelawney won’t be in attendance and actually, can’t hear a thing when we’re inside our houses.  Although Whimpward hears most everyone’s thoughts the rest of the time, so he might already know your secret.”  Their eyes both widen at that last part, so I tell them, “You’ve both been good friends to Isa, and you’ve been nothing but friendly and welcoming to me since I got here, so we’ll help you protect yourself from the Cold Ones, no worries, okay?”

They both nod so I tell them, “You guys want to follow us home?  I promise you’ll be safe.”

They both look at each other for a minute, and then they both nod though they both make short jerky movements, and their eyes are blinking rapidly while Ben rubs along the back of his neck and Angela bites at her bottom lip.

I turn back to our group and lead Ang and Ben over to them in time for us to see Assward and Trelawney storm off after one of Kol’s less than flattering comments and Emmett laughs at their expense.  Emmett follows them with his eyes while they get into the Volvo and drive off.  He waits for a few minutes staring at the spot the car used to be in, and then he turns back to Kol and tells him with a lowered voice, “I’m not sure what game they’re playing, but I want you to know that Rose and I are not a part of it.  If we find out anything, we’ll be the first to let you know.”

His thoughts and feelings back up his statement because he thinks, ‘Whatever Eddie boy is up to I don’t want it coming and biting Bella on the ass, so Rose and I will give Kol and company whatever they need to keep her safe.’

Kol nods and shakes his hand again before giving him his, Damon’s, Ric’s, and Elijah’s cell numbers.  Emmett returns the favor by giving me and Kol his and Rose’s numbers.  After reciting the numbers he says, “Although Alice, and therefore Eddie, will know that I decided to help you, y’all should still probably text us if you need to tell us something to be sure no one else will know we’re in touch with you and feeding you information.”  I look at Kol for a minute before he nods, so I give Emmett my number too.

Bella then hugs him and whispers, “Tell Rose we might be able to make her human again if you wouldn’t mind also being human again.  You’d both have to turn back, but I know the only thing she wants more than to be human again is to be with you so… let me know if she wants me to find the spell I saw the other day because I’d be happy to help her out.”

His eyes are wide again, but he’s smiling when he says, “I don’t know what amazing thing we did to earn your friendship, but I’m grateful.  I think we should hold off on trying to be human again though until we know what Eddie and Alice are up to, and we know you’re safe.”

She smiles and tells him, “Okay, but the offer stands indefinitely, so even if you don’t want it until 200 years from now, I’ll still do it whenever or even if you guys just want to become Traditional Vamps we could easily do that instead, whichever and whenever.”

He smiles and says, “I’ll make sure and tell Rose that.”  He pauses then frowns and says, “I’m really sorry I left without saying goodbye.  There’s no reason good enough to explain adequately why I went along with Eddie and Alice’s demands.  I’m inclined to claim temporary insanity because it doesn’t even make any sense to me.  Either way, there is no reason good enough to excuse my behavior.  I hope you’ll give me the chance to earn back your trust and gain your forgiveness someday.”

She smiles and tells him, “I’m going to hold you to that, Big Brother.”

He smiles and nods then tells Kol, “You take care of her, you hear?”

Kol just nods so Emmett turns to Jazz and tells him, “I’ll call you later when Rose and I go hunting to fill you in on everything we know, and if you’re willing you can tell us all that’s been going on since you left us in Alaska.”

Jazz smiles and nods so Emmett nods back and then gets into his Jeep and drives off.

Isa turns to face Angela and Ben and smiles at them, “So about dinner?  You guys want to come over?  We can all work on our homework, and then over dinner, we can fill you guys in on what we all are, and what’s going on, and then you can fill us in on what’s up with you guys?”

They seem to get their confidence back, and they both stand up straighter and hold their heads up high as they nod, so we all get in our cars, and Jazz leads the way to our house.

Chapter Text

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Chapter 023

You Should Own It

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Forks, Washington

Monday, September 27, 2010, 2:45 p.m. PDT

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When we arrive at our house, we all get out of our cars and head inside.  I lead everyone to the kitchen where we all sit down.  Kol takes a notebook out of his bag and begins writing, so I take out my laptop after asking, “Homework first, yes?”

Everyone nods, so I start working on the essay Mr. Berty wants on the Iliad and its stance on the impermanence of Human life and its creations.  An hour later, Damon shows up and stops suddenly in the doorway to the kitchen when he realizes there are two more people than he was expecting sitting at the table.

I frown and think, ‘They know we’re together, so I better still get my kiss!’

He laughs and walks to me before leaning down and kissing me softly.  “How was your day, Mia Tesoro?”

He sits down beside me, and I smile while I tell him, “Pretty good except for Assward and his bimbo Trelawney trying to bother us every chance they got.  You would have been proud of Isa though when she put Assward in his proper place.”

Ang and Ben both giggle with Isa, so Damon turns towards them and sticks out his hand towards Ben first and says, “Damon Salvatore.”

Ben shakes his hand and says, “Ben Cheney.”

When Damon releases Ben’s hand, he reaches for Angela’s hand and kisses it as she tells him, “I’m Angela Webber.”

He smiles that smile that always makes the butterflies in my stomach start break dancing while he tells her, “It’s a pleasure to meet you, Angela.  You’re the editor of the school paper that Jules has been working on cartoons for, right?”

She blushes and nods before Isa swats at Damon and tells him, “Stop trying to melt our friend, Damon.”

He laughs and smirks before he says, “But I’m so damn good at melting young impressionable beauties.  I mean just look at how well I turn Jules to mush.”

I blush but laugh and tell everyone, “He’s not lying.”

They all laugh at that, and we go back to doing our homework, and Damon gets to work making dinner.

Just over an hour and a half later the high schoolers are all just about done with our work, and I’m showing Ang another set of cartoons for the paper when Damon says, “Dinner’s in ten, so finish up your work, and clear the table so I can set it.”

I smile and put my stuff away and then stand and take the stack of plates from him telling him, “You focus on whatever smells so awesome, and I’ll set the table for you, okay?”

He leans in and kisses me before saying, “Thank you, Mia Tesoro.”

I just nod and set the table.  Ric shows up as I’m putting down the last set of silverware and stops in the doorway to the kitchen just as Damon did earlier.  He smiles and says, “I was wondering when you’d start inviting your friends over.  Is it safe to say you feel at home?”

I smile and tell him, “Pretty much, though they’re probably the only two friends I’ll invite over regularly because they’re Supes too, so we won’t have to worry about keeping up appearances in front of them.  I’d feel like crap if I made Damon, Kol, Elijah, and Jazz have to pretend in front of Humans in their own freaking home on anything close to a regular basis.”

Ric smiles and steps into the room and tells Ang and Ben, “Angela, Ben when we’re here feel free to call me Ric instead of Mr. Saltzman, okay?”

They nod with wide eyes while Ric moves to sit in his usual seat before he asks, “So if you’re Supes, do you mind if I ask what you are?”

Ang swallows hard but then straightens her back and looks him right in the eyes while she tells him, “We’re Witches,” then she asks, “What’s everyone else?”

Ric nods and says to Damon, “Well at least I like these Witches.  The last one is still blowing up my phone demanding I have you call her, including an unpleasant call this afternoon during which I actually raised my voice at her after she got on my last nerve.”

At Ang and Ben’s curious looks he tells them, “The town we came from, Mystic Falls, is a hotbed of Supernatural activity.  Our group there had Traditional Vamps, a Witch, a Doppelgänger, a Ghost Whisperer and a Werewolf, nearly every possible species except Demons, Elves, Cold Ones, and Shapeshifters of the Spirit Warrior variety.  Anyhow, Damon, Kol, Jazz, and Elijah, who should be home soon, are Traditional Vampires.  Jules is our Ghost Whisperer.  Bella is half Demon Elemental and half Elf Elemental, and I’m a Human Supernatural/Vampire Hunter whose wife was at one point a Vampire, though she’s finally dead now.  The Kids from the Reservation that come and hang out here are Shapeshifters who turn into Wolves, though of the Spirit Warrior variety and not to be confused with Traditional Werewolves.  Did I forget anything?”

I laugh and tell him, “No I think you covered it all except the Cullens who are Cold Ones.  Hey, should we do the Telepathy and Empathy Spells with Ben and Ang, so we can fill them in without Whimpward and his bimbo, Trelawney, being able to read them?”

Kol scratches his chin while he thinks about it then he says, “Everything inside me says Angela and Ben are and will forever continue to be loyal to Bella and Jules, so I don’t see why we wouldn’t do everything in our power to keep them as safe and powerful as possible.”  He tears off a couple pages from his notebook and hands five pages to Angela and five to Ben before saying, “The first two spells you should both do when you get home, and if you like, I’ll come with you both and donate my blood for the spells.  They’ll keep those who mean anyone in your homes harm from being able to enter and the second one will keep anyone who shouldn’t from being able to hear the thoughts or spoken words of anyone inside your houses.  The third, fourth, and fifth spells are ones everyone in this family have already done, and if you’re comfortable doing the third one, I’ll call the Wolves and ask them to stop by so we can do the spell tonight before you both go home.  Essentially the spell will give you both the gifts of Telepathy and Empathy, but the real reason we want to do the spell with you both is that it’ll keep Assward, who is himself Telepathic, and Alice, who is Psychic, from being able to hear your thoughts or see your futures.  Right now the blood of the Wolves that’s in each of us is making it so that Alice can’t see you while you’re here, but once you leave, she and Whimpward will know everything you know.”

He smiles then tells them, “Therefore, if you want to know our secrets, and we’d be happy to share them with you both, then I’m afraid the third spell will be required first.  The fourth spell is a truth spell that will tell you when people are lying, bending the truth or being honest, and the fifth one will allow you to understand any and all languages you encounter regardless of what form you encounter them in.  No pressure though for any of them, so maybe you should read the spells over and think about it during dinner and let us know afterward okay?”

They both look at each other for a minute and then look at each of us in turn before Angela says, “Maybe you should call the Wolves because I can’t speak for Ben, but I’ll do whatever is necessary to help protect Bella and Jules.”

Ben nods and says, “Ditto for me.  Bella’s like family to us, and Jules is getting there, so if you can use our spell casting to help protect them and any other innocents, then I’m game too.”

Kol smiles a rare, real, and genuine smile before he says, “As Bella’s Mate and Jules’ brother thank you for your offer.  We’ll happily accept any help you wish to provide, and we may actually be able to help you both with your Witch Studies because Damon, Elijah, and I are also Witches as well as Vampires, and this family has a vast collection of Grimoires some of which date back several thousand years.”

Bella smiles and says, “Kol you want me to call Jake and ask them to come after dinner?  Damon, do you think you or Jazz could go get them?”

Kol, Damon, and Jazz all nod, so she takes out her phone and dials before quickly telling Jake, “Jake, hi.  I know I spoke to you during our free period, but we were wondering if Leah, Seth, and you might be able to come over for dessert even though it’s a school night.  We’re adding two Witches to our growing family, and we’d like to do the Telepathy spell with them so we can fill them in on what’s going on.”

She smiles at whatever he says in reply, and a moment later she says, “Okay, I’ll call before someone comes to get you guys after we eat okay?”

He apparently agrees and then she hangs up.

Damon made two spinach, ham, and Swiss and two broccoli, bacon, and cheddar quiches, which he quickly sets out on the table with a bowl of salad and a bowl of cooked carrots in some sort of maple sauce just before Elijah comes inside.  We all sit down, and after introducing the elder Original to our two newest family members, we all dig in.  I lean over and kiss Damon’s cheek after taking the first bite and tell him, “It’s a lucky thing my Mate is so talented in the kitchen because if left to my own devices I’d either starve to death or die of self-inflicted food poisoning.”

He laughs, as does everyone else before he asks, “I suppose I should save these recipes?”

I just nod and pop another fork full into my mouth.

Jazz finishes eating first and offers, “I’ll go get the Wolves if you all want?”

We all nod, so he gets up, grabs his keys off the hook on the kitchen wall, and heads out before Damon takes his phone out of his pocket and calls Jake.  When he picks up, Damon says, “Loup Garou, Jazz is on his way and should be there in ten.”

He pauses and then says, “Okay see you then.”

When he hangs up Ang and Bella are giggling, so Damon frowns and asks, “Hermione, what’s so funny?”

She laughs harder, looks at me, and says, “You weren’t kidding about the nickname thing were you?”

I slowly shake my head and tell her, “No I was dead serious.  And notice he called you Hermione instead of what he calls Bonnie.”

Damon chuckles and asks, “What you’re trying to point out is that I only called her Hermione as in the studious Good Witch from Harry Potter, but I failed to call her Sabrina the Teenage Bitch.  Really, Jules, I hardly know the girl, but she just strikes me as being far too sweet to truly be a judgmental bitch like Judgey so I wouldn’t insult her by calling her a bitch.  Now if she starts frying my brain anytime I disagree with her like Sabrina does then I might change my mind about that, but until she proves otherwise, she’s simply Hermione.”

Ang’s eyes are wide as she asks, “What do you mean by ‘fry your brain’?  Surely you don’t mean what I think you mean?”

Damon nods and tells her, “Judgey once told me she was causing consecutive aneurysms in my brain, but because I’m a Vampire they healed quickly, so it hurt like a bitch, but it wasn’t fatal unless she chose to make it so.  She, of course, implied that if I stepped out of line enough, she would, in fact, make it deadly, but, either way, it still feels like my brain is on fire when she does it.”

Ang and Ben both have wide eyes, and their jaws are hanging open before Ang physically shakes herself a moment later and says, “I can see why you’d call her a bitch.  For the record, Ben and I won’t do that to you or anyone else unless you’re a physical threat to us, our friends and family, or an innocent.”

Damon smiles and says, “And that response is entirely reasonable, and I would expect no less from Isa and Jules’ friends hence why I didn’t call you a bitch.  Although, I might start calling you Apple Pie if you continue to be so sweet.”

Ang and Ben both laugh at that, and I tell them, “Told ya.”

They both nod before Damon asks Ben, “So Ron, how long have you and Hermione been practicing Witchcraft?”

Ben laughs, and after swallowing his sip of ice tea, he says, “Ang has been training with her mom and grandmother since she was a little girl.  I only started when I was ten because when I was little my emotions, and therefore my powers, were a little out of control, so my grandmother and parents bound my abilities until I was a little older and could better control my moods.”

Damon nods and tells them, “I’m sorry to say unless you think your families would be willing to do the Telepathy and Empathy Spells they’re safer not knowing anything about what’s going on.  We’ll let you decide whether to ask them, but if you do you need to be willing for us to use Magick to compel them to forget everything if they choose not to do the spell.”

They both shake their heads, and Ang tells us, “Probably best not to tell them anything to be honest because my family is a little biased against Vamps because a Vampire killed my gramps when my mom was a teen and Ben’s family is probably just as judgmental as that Bonnie girl.”

Damon just nods and tells her, “Okay, we’ll trust your judgment on that.”

She smiles and tells him, “Thank you.”

He just nods, and then the front door opens and Jazz, the Wolves, and Charlie, who just got off work, come in.  After introductions are made Isa goes downstairs to get her goblet and dagger and then returns quickly and sets about cutting everyone’s hands and then saying the spell before we all pass the cup around until we’ve all taken three sips each and the blood is all gone.

We sit for a few minutes while Ang and Ben work to get used to their new abilities and then once they seem to be ready Kol does the truth spell as well as the language spell on them.  When he finishes that he stands and says, “Let’s go down to Jules’ rooms, and we can fill them in on what’s going on.”

We all head downstairs, and I smile at their awed faces when they see the hidden rooms.  The first thing I do is go to the desk and take out the box with the Jewelry and hand them each a key to the rooms.  “You should keep that on you at all times.”

They nod at that, and we all sit down in the safe room and set about telling them everything we know.

Three hours later they’re all filled in, and Ang tilts her head before asking, “Do you need to separate Klaus from his Sire Line, or could you just pull his essence into one or more of you?  He wouldn’t be able to do anything or harm anyone, but he’d be trapped inside you and therefore technically still exist so his Sire Line and everyone in it should remain alive.  It’s just a guess, but I’d say the Vampires in your family would be the best ones to suck him into them.  If you split him up amongst yourselves, then there would be no way he could ever take control of one of you because he’d be too weak inside any single person.”

Everyone is just staring at her with wide eyes, so she begins to fidget before she asks, “What?  Is it a horrible idea?  I mean I’m still not as well versed as my mom and gramma, but it sounded like a good idea inside my head.”

Kol smiles and looks at Damon and Elijah for a minute before they both nod at him, and then he tells her, “Angela, that might just be the best idea ever.  I honestly don’t know why the rest of us Magick users didn’t think of it, but you’re brilliant.  Plus, I know one of these books has the needed spells to not just separate his essence into parts but to trap them inside other creatures in such a manner than Nik or anyone loyal to him will be permanently unable to remove him from the host bodies.  Although, unfortunately, I don’t recall which book the two spells are in.  I just know the spells needed exist and that we need those specific spells because he has taken over other people before and the spells I’m thinking of will definitely prevent him from being able to take control of any of the host bodies.  The second spell, which should be in the same book right after the first spell should keep anyone loyal to him from trying to reunite the parts of his Soul and returning them to his body.  Anyway, they’re here in one of the tomes I contributed to the collection.  I just don’t know which one, so we’ll have to search all the books I added to our library to find it.”

Ang smiles shyly and asks, “Really, it’s not a stupid idea?”

All the Magick users over 100 years old shake their heads no, and Kol smiles gently at her before Damon tells her, “No it’s not a stupid idea at all.  In fact, you just lived up to your name Ms. Granger.”

She laughs and blushes while Ben wraps his arm around her shoulders with a look on his face that clearly states, ‘Yeah that smart bitch is my girlfriend.’

Ben turns to look at me when I think that and asks, “Well do you deny she’s a smart bitch or that she’s my girlfriend?”

I laugh and tell him, “Oh she’s smart no doubt about that, and she loves you and puts up with you calling her a bitch, so she must be your girlfriend, but I don’t think the word bitch has ever accurately applied to Angela.”

She smiles at me before she smacks Ben’s arm and says, “Thank you, Jules, at least some people here know better than to call a strong, smart woman a bitch.”

Damon laughs and tells her, “Oh I have no doubt if those you cared about were in danger the inner bitch inside you would come forth and kick ass and take names.  So I reserve the right to call you a bitch in that sort of situation, and the word ‘bitch’ will probably be prefaced with the phrase ‘bad ass’ or ‘kick ass,' but really it’s a compliment from both me and Ben that he thinks you’re a bitch.  Especially because stereotypically women are called bitches when they are strong and opinionated neither of which is necessarily a bad thing, and in my opinion being a bitch isn’t necessarily a bad thing either.” 

He pauses then smiles and tells her, “Don’t get me wrong when I call Sabrina one I mean it as an insult because she throws her power around without considering all the angles and often puts people in danger because she hasn’t thought the consequences of her actions through.  Make no mistake, though, it’s not always an insult.  So if someone calls you a bitch, regardless of how they meant it, you should own it and your power as a strong-willed, powerful woman.”

Angela is just nodding with wide eyes, so Isa tells her, “See what I meant about him being deep and making you think about things you ordinarily wouldn’t?”

Ang and Ben both nod deeply just before Isa lets out a jaw snapping yawn.  We all laugh, and she tells us, “Sorry I spent most of last night crying about the whole Edward mess, so I didn’t sleep very well.”

Angela smiles kindly and says, “Well we should probably head home anyway, though if you want to call me afterward and talk, we can.  I have to admit I’m kind of excited to have friends who know about the Supe stuff now.  That was the one thing I always regretted about our friends.  They don’t and can’t know because it would only serve to put them in danger, but now we have you, Bella, and Jules, Kol, and Jazz who will be at school with us and will know the truth.”

Bella smiles and tells her, “I just might take you up on that phone call, and I said the same thing to Jules about our friends when she first moved here, so I hear ya.”

Ric smiles and tells Ang and Ben, “Well, I think I speak for everyone in this family when I say you are both welcome here anytime.  And if you guys want I’m sure Charlie and I would be happy to help you convince your parents to let you guys sleep over on the weekends if you guys ever want to do that.”

Charlie, who’s mostly just been sitting quietly while everyone talked, nods deeply and says, “Angela and Jules are more than welcome to stay over at our house and Ben can stay here.  Because we’re just across the street from each other, you guys can hang out until it’s time for bed.”

When Ric nods to show he agrees with Charlie’s words, all the teens, including those who have been so for more than a century, and Damon all smile at each other at how cute Charlie and Ric are for being all parental-like.

We all laugh a minute later when Ric turns to look at me and says, “I heard that Jules, and I’m not going to lie that’s probably the best compliment I’ve heard in a long time.”

I laugh and ask, “You mean the fact that I think you’re parental?”  When he nods in response, I smile a broad smile and tell him, “For the record usually you’re more of a best friend or big brother who is, in fact, the boss of me, but when need be you totally own the parental vibe.”

He smiles big and nods at me before everyone begins standing to walk Ang and Ben out.  When we walk up the stairs, Kol offers, “If you don’t mind, I’ll go with you both, and we can do the other two spells so we can all rest easy that you and your families will be safe in your homes.”

They both nod and after a round of hugs or handshakes and some quiet words between Kol and Isa the three of them walk towards the door.

When Ben opens it they find six Newborns in the yard.  The Wolves and Vamps all file out of the house causing the Newborns to separate and run in opposite directions.  Damon and Kol both tell Isa, Ang, Ben, Ric, Charlie, and me, “They can’t get in the house so stay inside,” and then they each give chase.

A few minutes go by, and then we all hear that metal tearing sound Damon warned me about the night they went against Victoria and her army.

Ten minutes later the Vamps and Wolves come back carrying body parts.  They dump them in the backyard and go back to get the rest before Seth offers, “I’ll burn them and collect the ashes if you guys want to deal with the girl.”

They all nod and I’m curious about the girl he’s talking about.  She hasn’t let go of Jake’s hand since they came back.  When Kol enters, he whispers some words, and then the short brown haired Cold One follows Jake in while she tightly holds onto his hand with both of hers.

Damon tells those of us who stayed behind, “Jake has embraced his role as the True Alpha of the Wolves in defense of this Cold One whom he imprinted on.  Because she’s apparently his Mate, we’ve decided not to kill her.”

Kol leads us all into the kitchen again and sits down before asking, “Okay, young one what is your name?”

She’s trembling, but her voice is steady as she says, “Bree Tanner, Sir.  I really don’t want to hurt any of you.  I don’t know much, but maybe I can help you with what little I do know.”

Kol looks at the rest of us and asks, “Any of you seeing anything other than solid green?”

We all shake our heads no, so he leans back in his chair and smiles before telling her, “Please have a seat, Bree, none of us will harm you provided you don’t try to hurt us.”

Jake growls at that, but Kol’s smile just widens, and he tells him, “Relax Jake, I’m not threatening her, just making sure she’s aware of the consequences of her possible actions so as to avoid us having to fight you when you defend her.”

Jake nods at that, so Kol looks at her for a minute after she sits down then asks, “So what do you know, Bree?”

She shakes her head slightly and tells us, “Like I said, I don’t know much, but I know that a red-headed woman named Victoria made me into what I am a week ago after I got separated from my friends in Port Angeles.  She told me to come here and kill any humans I could get to.  I’m pretty sure she didn’t expect me to survive.  Anyway, I don’t want to kill anyone no matter what I am now, so when I saw you guys, I hid.  I don’t seem to be able to feed without hurting people, though, and I hate that, so after a bit, I thought maybe I’d ask you guys to end me, but then Jake found me, and something inside me clicked into place.”

Jake growls when she mentions us ending her before he turns to Isa and asks, “Can you do the spell you did on Jazz and turn her into a Traditional Vampire?”

Isa and Kol look at each other for a minute before they both begin nodding then Kol says, “Bree we can’t make you human again because you and your Mate don’t fit the requirements for that spell.  However, we can certainly turn you into what I am, which will allow you to drink blood from blood bags and if necessary from the source because our bites aren’t poisonous to Humans.  That way you’ll be able to feed and then erase their memory of it, and they’ll go home slightly tired from blood loss but otherwise unhurt.”

Her lip is trembling, and I’m pretty sure if she could cry she would be when she says, “Please, I don’t want to hurt anyone anymore.”

Everyone nods so Isa and Kol quickly get what they need and then do the spell to turn her into a Vamp.  We all sit around for an hour waiting for her to wake up and then after Ric invites her in so she’ll stop gasping for air we do the Telepathy and Empathy, Truth, and Language spells on Bree so her mind will be safe from Assward and his bimbo.

Jazz takes his phone out of his pocket when the last spell is done and asks everyone, “Do we want her to be a Mikaelson or a Salvatore for school?  Personally, I think she actually looks a bit like Damon so…”

Damon smiles at Bree and asks her, “Bree, do you have a problem letting the world think you’re my little sister?”

She shakes her head no, so Jazz dials a number on his phone and speaks to someone named Mr. Jenks.  When he gets off the phone, he says, “Bree, you’ll need to stay home from school tomorrow, but we should have all your identification and forged school records in time for you to go to school the day after tomorrow, okay?”

She nods, and now she is crying when she says, “Thank you, I really can’t thank you all enough.”

We all smile and nod before Damon tells her, “You’re family now, so you’ll be safe.”

Damon stands after a minute and says, “Bree, Jake, why don’t you guys follow me downstairs and we can make a Sunlight Ring for Bree and an Immortality Ring for Jake now that he has his Mate and she’s a Supe too?  If she has a ring, then I can take her to the Res tomorrow after you get out of school, and the two of you can hang out and get to know each other better.”

They nod, so I turn and kiss Damon and then say, “I’m beat, so I’m going to head to bed now.  Make sure and give her one of the keys out of the box too.”  When he nods I finish, “I’ll see you in the morning.”

Damon smiles and says, “Okay, I shouldn’t be down here for too much longer.”

I kiss him and then after saying goodbye to Ben, Angela, and the Wolves again and welcoming Bree to the family I head upstairs to our room where it takes me less than two minutes to change, get into bed and fall asleep.  I barely notice when Damon comes to bed an hour or so later and merely snuggle up to him and go right back to sleep.

Chapter Text

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Chapter 024

A Bit of Fun on a Friday Night

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Port Angeles, Washington

Friday, October 01, 2010, 9:30 p.m. PDT

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Bree’s been with us for four days now, and she’s been going to school with us for three days.  Isa did the knowledge spell on Bree, and then Kol compelled Mr. Greene and Mrs. Cope to believe Bree tested out of grades 10 and 11 just like I did.  Mr. Jenks even supplied us with filled in tests, so the tests and the results are on file.

Bree has surprisingly managed to fit in quite well.  Damon and Jake took her shopping on Tuesday after Jake got out of school, so Bree now has a full wardrobe and things like a computer, tablet, iPod, phone, a journal, and some make-up.  Her style is pretty funky as evidenced by her blue hair, which I have to admit I think really suits her.  Anyways, she earned our respect when Assward cornered her and tried to intimidate her on Wednesday, her first day of school.  He sneered and said, “Separated from your protectors, Little Girl?”

She promptly told him off and warned, “My older brother warned me about you Assward so shove off.”  Then she shoved him hard enough to slam into the lockers across the hall and leave a dent.  It’s still not clear if he knew she was a Vamp before she shoved him or not but he’s given her a wide berth ever since.

She turned worried eyes to us when we approached her, but Kol said, “Don’t worry, Bree, I don’t think any of the Humans saw what you did, and if they did we’ll just compel them to forget.  No worries, okay?  He totally deserved that.”

She just sighed in relief, but she stuck close to us the rest of the day.

Damon thought the story was especially funny when we told him about it after Bree’s first day of classes, and he laughed hard for three minutes straight before he finally managed to calm himself.  Then he gave Bree a high-five and told her, “Welcome to the family, Bree.”

She beamed at him and nodded.

Right now Damon has his arm wrapped around my shoulder while we follow our group of friends, including Bree and Jake as well as Seth, out of the theater after watching the 7 p.m. showing of ‘The Social Network.'

Mike is in hog heaven because he has Jessica hanging on one arm and Lauren on the other while they lead us towards the diner they apparently usually get food at after going to the movies in Port Angeles.

Kol and Isa are directly in front of us while we walk down the street.  Damon tenses beside me a moment later just before I see Kol’s back stiffen.  Damon asks Kol in his thoughts, ‘How many do you smell?  I make out at least 10 that have been through here in the last hour, maybe two hours tops.’

Kol thinks at all of us, ‘I count at least 14 different Cold Ones.  And I don’t recognize any of the scents, but they all smell young.’

He can smell that?  Damon pulls me in closer to him and just nods while we keep walking.  Kol goes on to think, ‘If it makes it any better, I don’t believe they have anything to do with us other than possibly being made by Victoria.  What I mean to say is I doubt they know we’re here and are targeting us specifically.’

All the Supes with us nod ever so slightly so as not to attract the attention of our Human friends.

Thankfully, we arrive at the 50’s style diner without coming across any of the Cold Ones the Vampires have been smelling.

An hour and a half and many laughs later we’re escorting Jessica, Lauren, Mike, Eric, and Tyler to Jessica’s car when the Vamps in our group begin getting tense again.

As soon as our five Human friends are in the car and on their way back to Forks, Kol leads us towards an alley.  We all follow him and stand on either side of him just before seven Cold Ones in black capes appear at the other end of the alleyway.

The one in the middle who has long brown hair and cold, hard, ruby red eyes steps forward and speaks, “Mr. Mikaelson, I have to say I’m surprised to see you willingly spending time with Humans.”

Kol smirks, “Aro, you act as if you know anything about me other than what I allow you and the rest of the insignificant creatures of the world to know.  Now, I hope you have an excellent reason for stalking my family and me while we were out on the town because rest assured if I am not satisfied with your answer I will end at least a few of you to show you just how displeased I am.”

I silently pat myself on the back, after I manage not to jump or otherwise show surprise when Elijah and Leah appear beside us before Elijah says, “Brother, what have I told you about that temper of yours?”

Kol smiles, and it’s not a nice or even remotely friendly smile while he says, “Hmm, I believe so long as I don’t go making trouble for you that you tend not to say anything about my temper.”

Elijah smiles at the Volturi and says, “He’s right you know, and, honestly, it would be your own fault for being stupid enough to stalk an Original and his family.”

Aro’s eyes are flitting back and forth between each of us, and we all hear when he thinks, ‘Crap, perhaps we’ve taken the wrong approach, best to do damage control.’

Aro takes another step forward and tells Kol and Elijah, “Misters Mikaelson, we meant no disrespect; honestly, we figured you’d take more offense if we just showed up in your town.”

Kol nods and tells them, “Yes, I probably wouldn’t have bothered with the niceties and would have just slaughtered all of you.  Have you dealt with Victoria or her regrowing Newborn Army?  Or have you been too busy following my family and me all night to actually do as you were told?”

Aro and the two other king’s backs stiffen at Kol’s words, but Aro nods and says, “We ended the Newborns both here, and in Seattle, however, Victoria seems to have eluded us.”

Kol frowns and takes a step forward before he says in a dangerous tone, “Hmm, I find it hard to believe that Demetri, the so-called best tracker in the world, is having a hard time pinning her down.  Find her and be done with it, or I will end her myself and then spend weeks showing you just how much I don’t appreciate having to clean up your mess.”

Aro bows his head slightly and says, “Yes, of course, Demetri, Jane please go retrieve this Victoria and bring her to us.”

Elijah smiles then and tells The Three Kings, “You are aware, I hope, that there is a plot against the three of you.  We cannot tell you the specifics, but we believe it is a bona fide threat that should be taken seriously.  The two Cold Ones we believe are behind the plot are Edward and Alice Cullen.”

Caius smirks and tells Elijah, “Why I’d almost think you care what happens to us.”

Elijah smiles a smile I usually associate with Klaus when he’s about to start ripping heads off, and apparently, Caius is familiar enough with the smile to take a step back.  Elijah takes two steps forward before he tells the blonde Cold One, “I appreciate having to police Cold Ones about as much as my younger brother enjoys having to clean up your mess.  Therefore, in a manner of speaking, yes I care what happens to you if only so I don’t get stuck having to deal with your kind any more than I already do.  Of course, if you three and your wives cease to exist then every Cold One in existence will also cease to exist within a few hours of your deaths.  There wouldn’t be a single Cold One left walking the earth, and my family and I would be free of your particular brand of trouble permanently.”

Kol smiles and says, “Perhaps, Brother, we should do it that way anyway and be done with them once and for all.”

Apparently, Aro recognizes the potential disaster if they piss Kol off.  He immediately tries to smooth any ruffled feathers by saying, “That won’t be necessary Mr. Mikaelson, we are more than happy to clean up our own mess and prevent you from having to deal with us and ours as much as possible.”

Kol’s only response is a single nod, which causes Aro and Caius both to let out puffs of breath they don’t need.  Through all of this, the last King has remained silent and continues to simply watch everyone’s interactions with a disinterested mask plastered on his face that I fully believe is meant to hide the very real emotional pain he is in.

I don’t wish to bring attention to myself, but there is a ghost of a red headed Cold One standing to the left of the Silent King who says, “Ghost Whisperer, will you deliver a message for me?” I nod ever so slightly, take a step forward, and ask Kol, “Brother, remember that thing we did for Leah at the Barbeque?”

Elijah looks at me and asks, “Sister?”

I smile at him and tell him, “You’ll understand in a minute, Brother.”

He nods while Kol continues to look at me with wide eyes, but the younger Original finally nods, so I ask, “Would you mind helping me do it again?”

He shakes his head at me and lifts his hand towards mine.  I grab hold, and he whispers, “Sister, who are we showing to whom?”

I look at the Ghost, but before I can ask her for her name, she tells me, “I am Didyme, Marcus’s wife and Mate.”

I nod at her, and I whisper back to Kol, “We’re showing one of the Kings, Marcus, his deceased Mate, Didyme.”

Kol nods and then says louder and more firmly, “Blessed Athena, please grant your son the gift of seeing his wife and Mate for a short time.  So mote it be.”

As soon as the last word crosses his lips all three kings take a step back while they gasp and their eyes get wide.  Marcus’ cold exterior shatters, and his chin actually trembles before he softly says, “Didyme, is it really you?”

She nods with unshedable tears in her eyes and says, “Yes my love, it is I.”

Marcus takes a step forward and tells her, “I miss you so.”

She smiles sadly and tells him, “I know, and I miss you as well, but it’s time for you to let me go.  You’re barely existing, and if you don’t return to your full self, the Volturi will be ended, and you’ll all be dead and stuck wandering the Other Side all alone for all of eternity.  Come back to yourself, live to honor my memory if you must, but live Marcus.  Live and love and protect those who are still with you.  The entire species of Cold Ones is depending on the three of you to keep them alive and peacefully coexisting because mine and Alexandra’s deaths showed us that each of our descendants will also perish if we cease to exist.”

I can clearly hear in all of their heads that Alexandra was the Priestess of their Coven who did the spell that turned them all into Cold Ones.  I smile slightly when I recall Damon telling me that Kol killed her.

Didyme takes a moment and pauses to let the truth about their Sire Lines actually sink in despite them having already had the knowledge.  She then tells Marcus, “Aro and Caius had nothing to do with my death, and Aro inadvertently killed the one responsible years ago, so re-pledge yourself to your brothers and rule as one.”

I frown because she’s surrounded by a red glow when she says that Aro and Caius had nothing to do with her death and that Aro killed the one responsible.  The red light along with the very quick flash of widening eyes that appear on Aro’s face for a split second tells me she’s lying through her teeth.  I understand her motive, though, when she says, “The Supernatural World is depending on the three of you to help keep the balance.”  She’s trying to heal old wounds and make the kings strong enough again to maintain the balance even despite the fact that at least one of them killed the other’s wife.

Her ghostly hand reaches up and touches Marcus’ cheek before she tells him, “I am always with you, my love, and I want nothing more than for you to survive and live the life I cannot.  Enjoy the things I cannot because watching you enjoy them will bring me joy.  All these years I’ve watched you stew in your misery, and I had no way of telling you how much it hurt to watch, but now you know wallowing in your grief only brings us both pain, so I expect you to start moving on.  But know that I will always love you.”

She reaches up and kisses his lips and then turns to Aro and tells him, “I forgive you, Brother, for not protecting me better.  It’s time you forgive yourself for your role in my death.  All of this grief and guilt between the two of you makes the Volturi weak.  Make our Coven strong again.  I’m counting on you Aro to be the glue that holds you all together.”

He nods with wide eyes, so she turns to Caius and tells him, “I expect you to continue to be the, how do they say in this day and age?  Oh yes, the bad cop to Aro’s good cop.”  He smirks and nods, so she continues, “I miss all three of you and wish only for you to return to your full strength and help these two Originals and their family to keep the balance within the world.  Do not let me down, or you and every Cold One in existence will all be stuck wandering the Other Side alone for all time.”

Then she turns towards me and tells me, “Ghost Whisperer, I have waited centuries to find you.  Thank you for granting me my one wish.”

I nod and tell her, “My pleasure.”

She smiles sadly then she turns back to Marcus and tells him, “I’m with you always, my love,” and then she slowly fades to nothing.

All three kings turn their wide, astonished eyes towards me, and while I drop Kol’s hand, I struggle with the urge to fidget because they’re staring.  After a minute or two of staring Aro breaks the tense silence, “Ghost Whisperer, I have longed for centuries to see my sister once more.  Thank you for also granting my wish.”

He’s lying too, and I hear him think, ‘Thank the Goddess she didn’t tell Marcus that it was I who killed her.  Why didn’t she, though?  This was likely her one and only chance to get back at me.’

I smile and think at him, ‘She didn’t tell him you killed her because it’s not in the best interest of your species as a whole or the balance in general for him to know the truth.  Instead of seeking vengeance she’s trying to ensure all of you survive.’

His eyes widen, but he says nothing even though he thinks back at me, ‘How can I hear you?’

I tell him telepathically, ‘It’s one of my gifts.’

Out loud I say, “Your sister only wants what’s best for all of you and your species.  She’s apparently forgiven you for not protecting her well enough, so as she said it’s time to forgive yourself and reform your brotherly bonds with the other two kings.  If the three of you are united as one, then it will make yours and our mission to keep the balance that much easier.  It will also make keeping the three of you alive and in power much easier because as my brothers said we don’t want the headache of having to deal with your kind or your mess any more than absolutely necessary.”

Caius growls and says, “How dare you, a Human, speak to us in such a manner.”

I laugh, “First of all don’t you dare growl at me.  You don’t scare me because I actually live with five Traditional Vampires, two of which are Originals.  The fact of the matter is all five of them are hands down scarier than the three of you any day.  And secondly, obviously, if I’m a Ghost Whisperer, I’m not Human so you would do well to show me the respect I’m owed, or I’m sure the rest of my family will quickly jump to my defense.  Furthermore, threatening me is just plain stupid because I’m obviously keeping company with Originals who have both already claimed me as family at least once each within the last 15 minutes.”

I hear Damon in my head warning me, ‘Careful, Mia Tesoro, you want to appear strong but not foolhardy because I’m not in the mood to test whether your new ring will indeed bring you back if a Supernatural kills you.’

Kol and Elijah both nod, so Aro places his hand on Caius’ arm, and the Blonde backs down but still scowls at me though his growling has stopped.

Marcus chooses that moment to add, “We should not challenge this family because I have never seen the bonds of family be as strong as theirs are.  They would all gladly die to protect each other.  And I can see our demise in them if we do not mind our manners and keep a respectful tone at all times.”

Kol and Elijah as well as Damon and Jazz all nod.  Just then a redheaded blur is thrown to the ground in between all of us.

I see Isa, Ang, and Ben grab hands and begin whispering, but instead of trying to focus on their thoughts to hear what they’re saying, I focus on what’s happening in front of me because it’s obviously the more dangerous situation.

Aro frowns and says, “Victoria, I presume?”

The auburn haired woman tries to stand but something is keeping her on her knees, and I smile when I realize it’s Isa, Ang, and Ben keeping her down.

When Victoria turns and sees The Three Kings, her eyes widen, and she begins trembling.

Aro smiles at her apparent fear and tells her, “We were called here because you felt it necessary to build not one but two Newborn Armies.  My brothers and I do not appreciate being called anywhere, for any reason, but we especially do not appreciate being called across the ocean because of the reckless behavior of one such as you.”

Victoria whimpers but says, “It’s my right to avenge the murder of my Mate.”

Kol speaks up then, “You’re absolutely right.  However, instead of attacking the ones responsible for your Mate’s death, i.e. the Cullens, you instead chose to risk revealing the existence of the Supernatural World to the Humans by building two Newborn Armies.  Then you told them to attack my Mate and her friends and family.  I do not appreciate your poor decision.”

“Edward claimed her as his Mate, so it’s my right to kill a Mate for a Mate.”

Kol steps closer to her and says in a low and very dangerous voice, “What part of she is my Mate did you not understand?  Edward Cullen has no claim on my Mate, and to imply that he does is a direct insult against me and mine.”

He takes another step closer and asks, “Besides the six you sent to our house earlier this week how many Newborns have you created since we killed your first Army?”

She shrinks back when he takes yet another step forward, but she answers him, “45.”

He turns and looks at Aro before he asks, “How many did you kill?”

Aro frowns and says, “38, but make no mistake Demetri will find the other seven and end them immediately.”

Kol nods once and says, “Good, see that he does.  Now, if you don’t mind, I claim the right to end the one threatening my Mate.”

The Three Volturi Kings all nod before Damon pulls me back away from the soon to be very dead Cold One, so I won’t accidentally get her venom on me before Kol tears into Victoria and pulls her arms from her torso and then tears off her legs followed by her head.  Damon hands Kol a lighter which he then drops on top of the pile of torn up Cold One, and we watch while Victoria bursts into flames.  I distractedly note the purple color of the smoke coming from the fire and the sickly sweet scent the flames are putting off while a high pitched whining sound comes from the fire.

We all stand there watching until she’s nothing more than a pile of ashes, which Kol then scoops up into a brown paper bag that he somehow pulls out of his back pocket.

When Victoria’s ashes are all collected Kol stands back up and tells the kings, “I would highly suggest the three of you stick around because the plot by Edward and Alice Cullen to end you originates from this area, and again I do not wish to clean up your mess if not absolutely necessary.  Because the Cullens are currently residing in our town, I’ll permit you to visit, however, know that Emmett and Rosalie Cullen are both under our protection and any harm that comes to either of them will be avenged in the most painful of ways possible.  If you know what’s good for you, you’ll issue death warrants and end Edward and Alice rather quickly and definitely before they cause my family or me any trouble, or I’ll share that trouble with you three, again in the most painful of ways imaginable.”

They nod, and then they leave presumably to go find and kill the other seven Newborns.

Kol turns to face all of us and smiles before telling us, “Well, how’s that for a bit of fun on a Friday night?”

We all laugh at that before heading towards our cars so we can return to Forks.

Chapter Text

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Chapter 025

My Contingency Plans Have Contingency Plans

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Forks, Washington

Saturday, October 02, 2010, 7 a.m. PDT

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At the same time I walk into the kitchen Saturday morning, Kol says to Elijah, “Brother, I don’t like it.  He can’t be trusted, and I have a bad feeling about all of this.”

Damon who is sitting in his usual seat at the table nods and says, “I agree with Kol.  Whatever my brother wants to talk to you about could easily be said over the phone, and his insistence that he speak with you in person sends up alarm bells inside my head.  Because he hasn’t yet written in his journal why he needs to talk to you so badly, I suggest you exercise extreme caution."

Elijah nods and says, “I know, and I agree that caution should be taken.  However, we need to know whatever it is he feels I need to know so badly.  You said it yourself he hasn’t written in his journal, so this is, unfortunately, the only way for us to find out what we need to know.”

While I sit down beside Damon everyone nods at me, and I ask, “Uh not to just jump into your conversation half way through but isn’t it odd that Stefan hasn’t written in his journal?”

Damon nods and says, “Very.  He usually writes in it at least twice a day, once when he wakes up, which is usually about his plans for the day, and then once before he goes to bed, which usually details the events of the day and speculation about the day to come.  Then sometimes he squeezes in an entry in the middle of the day.  He’s almost 10 hours late on his evening entry and at least a few hours late on his morning entry, so I think that’s significant and probably means he’s too busy planning something to write about it.”

Isa frowns and adds, “Elena hasn’t written in her journal either, which also strikes me as odd, especially given that neither of them has written last night’s or this morning’s entry.  I don’t think Elena has ever skipped a day’s entry, never mind two of them in a row, so this seems significant to me.”

Elijah sighs and asks, “Well what would you have me do?  He says it’s important, and if they haven’t written it down then talking to them in person may be the only way to find out what they want in an expedient manner.”

Kol looks at him for a minute and then nods and says, “You’re correct, but that doesn’t mean any of us have to like the fact that you’re going in there blind.  Right now I think Stefan is more of a loose cannon than even Nik is, so just promise me that you’ll be on high alert while you’re there, and you’ll use a charm to teleport the hell out of there instantly if something happens.”

Elijah nods and tells him, “I will, Brother.”

I frown and ask, “What do you mean by a ‘charm’?”

Kol smiles and tells me, “It’s a little piece of wood, usually, and the teleportation spell is placed inside it.  When the wood is broken the spell is released, and the person holding it is moved to the predetermined location without having to recite the usual incantation because it was already done when the spell was placed inside the wooden piece.”

I just nod and say, “That is so cool.”

Everyone chuckles at that while Damon gets up and starts making breakfast for all of us.  Bree comes down and joins the rest of us, and we chat about nothing important while Damon cooks, and then we eat.  When we’re done and the kitchen has been cleaned Ric and Isa leave to go run some errands, and the rest of us all go into the hidden rooms and start reading looking for the spell to separate and trap Klaus’ essence inside some of us.

At ten minutes to nine, Elijah stands and asks Damon, “Has he written anything?”

Damon puts down the Grimoire he was reading and picks up Stefan’s journal and opens it before frowning and telling the older Original, “No, he hasn’t.  Are you sure this is a good idea?”

Elijah shakes his head and says, “No, but I don’t see any other way.”

Kol hands Elijah a little piece of wood that is no thicker than a twig and only about two inches long and tells his brother, “Be safe, Brother.  Know that if you’re not back in an hour and we haven’t heard from you I’m teleporting you out, so call if you’ll be delayed.”

Elijah smiles and nods before saying the necessary incantation and teleporting himself to the woods behind the Boarding House.

We go back to reading until about half an hour later when we hear Isa’s thoughts as she pulls up into her driveway, ‘What the hell is Edward doing here?’

We’re up out of our seats, up the stairs, and out the door as fast as our legs can carry us.

Isa is standing on the porch of her house just in front of the stairs while Edward is standing between her and her door leaning against the door jam.

I can hear the frown in her voice when she asks, “What do you want Edward?  I think I was pretty clear that I don’t want to see you.”

He smiles and says, “I just want to talk to you, Sweetheart and make you see that I left for your own good.”

She laughs and tells him, “Yeah okay, whatever you say, and I’m not your anything and certainly not your Sweetheart.  Now, I want you to get off of my property, and let me go inside.”

His eyes widen when he sees all of us coming towards the house, and he reaches out and grabs hold of Isa’s arm.  Or he tries to at least, but she takes a step back at the same time and miscalculates her distance from the top step and tumbles down the stairs. 

I don’t think I’ll ever forget the snapping sound that I soon realize was her neck breaking.

I rush towards Isa and barely notice that Kol is on Edward in the space of one of my heartbeats.  Damon just stands there watching as Kol beats on Edward before tearing off his arms and legs.

Edward smiles and says, “If I can’t have her then neither can you.”

While I hold Isa in my arms, the tears begin pouring down my face because technically no one killed Isa.  It was an accident, so her new Immortality Ring won’t work.  I look up though as Kol smiles grimly and tells him, “What have I told you about my contingency plans?  They have their own contingency plans, and while I preferred to wait to turn Bella, your actions have only sped up the inevitable because I’ve been feeding her my blood every night since shortly after we met.  So while you definitely won’t have her, your actions have not taken her from me.”

I sigh in relief at that news and reach up and brush my tears away.  Edward’s eyes go wide when he realizes he’s truly lost, and a moment later Kol tears Edwards head off of his shoulders.

Damon walks up to Kol who is breathing heavily and cautiously puts his hand on Kol’s shoulder, “Brother, go tend to Isa.  Jazz and I will carry Assward’s remains into the backyard and burn them.”

Kol nods and walks over to me before squatting in front of me and telling me, “She’ll be okay, Jules, I promise.  We knew this was a possibility.  It’s why she agreed to take my blood every night before she went to bed.”

I nod, and he reaches out and brushes some of her hair away from her face before he takes her into his arms and stands up.  He looks down at me and says, “Come on, Jules, let’s go lay her down on the couch in our house, and we can sit with her until she wakes up.”

I nod and stand before following him back across the street.  I open the door for him and then follow him inside.  He lays her down on the couch in the den and then lifts her head before he sits, so her head in his lap.

I sit in an armchair before I wipe at some more traitorous tears that just won’t stop falling.

Bree comes in and sits in the chair beside mine and grabs hold of my hand for moral support while Kol takes his phone out of his pocket and dials before he says, “Charlie, I need you to come home if at all possible.”

He listens for a minute then he says, “Bella’s going to be in transition, and I figured you’d want to be here when she wakes up.”

Despite him not being on speakerphone, I hear him loud and clear when he asks, “What?  What happened?”

Kol sighs and tells him, “Edward happened.”

Charlie’s “I’ll kill that boy myself,” is also loud enough for me to hear.

Kol smiles slightly and says, “I already tore him to pieces, but if you like I can have Jules go tell Damon and Jazz not to burn him until you get here.”

Kol listens for a minute then says, “We’re inside our house, so come over when you get home, and Jules will let you in.”

He pauses then says, “Okay see you in a few,” and he hangs up.

I look at him for a minute and then ask, “How can you be so damn calm?  I’m freaking out, and she’s only my best friend, not my Mate.”

Kol shrugs and tells me, “Honestly, I knew it was going to happen.  I didn’t know what the exact circumstances would be, but I always knew she would transition.  Don’t get me wrong I had hoped it would be at a time of her own choosing, but it was always part of the plan.”

He pauses and then asks, “Don’t you drink from Damon most every night for the same reason?  You know in the end that you want to be with him forever, so you take steps to ensure it will happen even if something happens and you die prematurely in a manner that won’t allow your Immortality Ring to work.  You probably don’t plan to turn until you’re at least 18 but you drink from him just in case your hand gets forced.  Just so happens Bella’s hand got forced.”

I nod and sit there staring at Bella’s motionless face.  The fact that her chest isn’t rising and falling is kind of creepy. 

Ten minutes later Charlie shows up, so I let him in before he asks, “How is she?”

I frown and tell him, “She hasn’t woken up yet.”

He follows me into the den and kneels down in front of the couch before he reaches out and caresses Bella’s cheek and whispers, “Oh Bells.”

He wipes a tear away a minute later and then stands and lifts her feet so he can slide onto the couch beneath them putting her feet in his lap.

None of us talk while we wait for her to wake in transition.  The silence is only broken when Damon and Jazz come in with a brown paper bag that I know without asking is full of Edward’s ashes.  Damon frowns and says, “He’s dead, Brother.”

Kol just nods and says, “Good.”

Half an hour later Isa gasps and shoots into a sitting position with her hand on her chest.

She turns to face Kol, and after he pulls her into his lap, she throws herself into his arms and begins crying.  He pets her hair while he tells her, “You’re okay, Darling.  We planned ahead, and now you get to decide whether to complete the transition or not.”

She pulls back and asks in a small voice, “Do you want me to?”

He sighs and tells her, “I want you forever, Bella, but ultimately the decision is yours to make.  I want you to consider if you want forever.  It’s yours for the taking if you want it, but you need to decide what’s right for you.  Don’t worry about what everyone else wants, okay?”

She nods and then throws her arms back around him and says, “I want forever with you Kol.  Always and Forever.”

He smiles and kisses the top of her head then asks, “So should we ask Damon to go get you a bag of blood?”

She nods and then laughs and says, “I hope I can handle drinking blood without puking or getting lightheaded.”

Kol laughs, and after he brushes some hair away from her face, he tells her, “I’m sure your Vampire instincts will override your Human dislike for all things blood.”

Damon gets up and comes back a second later with a glass full of blood.  Isa’s back stiffens when she smells it, and then she turns her head to look at Damon and tells him, “That actually smells really good.”

Damon laughs and tells her, “It should taste even better.”

He hands it to her, but before she can lift the glass to her lips, Kol puts his hand over hers and says, “Be very sure, Bella, because there is no going back if you drink from that glass.”

She nods and tells him, “I’m sure.  I want forever with you.”

He nods and removes his hand from hers, so she lifts the glass and sniffs experimentally before she drinks the glass down in three gulps.  She smiles and says, “God that does taste good.”

She begins gasping for air a second later, so because Bree did the same thing when she was turned into a Vampire, I guess at the reason for her gasping and tell her, “Please come in, Isa.”

Her breathing immediately goes back to normal, and she smiles for a second, but then she cries out a minute later when her fangs extend.  Kol brushes her hair away from her face again and tells her, “Focus on them retracting.”

She does as she was told, and a minute later her fangs retract, and the veins that appeared around her eyes disappear.

He smiles and kisses her softly before his brow furrows, and he takes his phone back out of his pocket and dials.

While he listens to the phone ring, Damon looks at him and asks, “What’s wrong?”

Kol frowns and says, “I have a bad feeling, so I’m calling Elijah.”

When his voicemail picks up, Kol tells it, “Brother, something’s happened.  Call me as soon as you get this.”

He hangs up and then dials again, but it continues to ring before again going to voicemail, so Kol looks at Damon and says, “Teleport him here, right now.”

Damon just nods and says the words and a minute later the purple light erupts, but we don’t see Elijah until the light disappears and Elijah appears on the ground face down with a White Oak Ash Dagger sticking out of his back.  Bree says, “Crap,” the same time Damon says, “Damn,” before he leans down and pulls the dagger out of Elijah’s back and then rolls him over.

We sit and wait for a few minutes before Elijah gasps and sits up almost immediately saying, “I’m going to kill that bitch myself.”

We all laugh, and Damon and Kol both ask at the same time, “Who are you planning to kill?”

Elijah frowns and says, “I heard a heartbeat approach, and Elena’s jasmine body wash reached my nose a second before I felt the dagger enter my back.  She was thinking, ‘Just do it,’ over and over, but before I could turn and ask what was going on, she daggered me.”

Damon frowns and says, “Damn it what the hell has gotten into those two idiots?  What could they possibly gain by daggering you?”

Elijah rises to his feet and then sits in one of the armchairs and tells us, “Stefan was going on about needing leverage against Niklaus, so I assume I was their leverage.”

Damon shakes his head and repeats, “Absolute idiots: both of them.”

Elijah looks at Kol and Bella and then sits up straight before he asks, “What has happened?”

Kol tells him, “Edward showed up at Bella’s house and wouldn’t get out of her way.  He made a grab for her, and she fell down the steps and broke her neck.  Fortunately, I have been giving her my blood every night before she goes to bed because her klutz tendencies had me worried that the ring wouldn’t work if some accident happened and she died.  Anyway, she woke up a few minutes ago in transition and then drank some blood.”

Elijah sighs and says, “When it rains it apparently pours.  Although, I have to say I’m glad to see your contingency plans still have contingency plans.”

We all laugh at that then a minute later when we’ve all calmed down I ask, “Should I call Ric and tell him to come home?”

Damon shakes his head, “No, he’s buying groceries so he should be home soon.  There’s no need to worry him until he gets here and can see for himself that everyone is okay.”

I nod then I frown and ask, “Should we call Emmett and warn him that Assward is dead?”

Isa frowns and says, “That’s not exactly something we should tell him and Rose over the phone.  Maybe we can ask them to come over and break the news to them in person.  As much as Edward was an ass, Emmett’s been good to me and even Rose in her honest dislike of me has been good to me in her own way, so they deserve to be told in person.”

I text Emmett, “E, need to see you and Rosalie ASAP.  Please come to my house as soon as you can.”

I press send, and less than ten seconds later he responds, “Be there in 15.”

I tell everyone what he wrote, and then we wait. 

Chapter Text

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Chapter 026

I Made a Judgment Call

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Forks, Washington

Saturday, October 02, 2010, 12 noon PDT

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We hear Rose and Emmett arrive around the same time we hear Ric’s thoughts as he arrives home then a minute later his thoughts tell us, ‘I need you guys to come outside now.’

A second later we hear Alice’s thoughts ranting, ‘I know they did something to my Edward.  I’ll make them pay if he’s hurt, starting with their little human pet.’

Crap.  We all hop out of our seats and head for the door.  When we get outside we meet up with Emmett and Rosalie, and then we see Alice standing in our front yard with her hand wrapped around Ric’s throat, and a bag of groceries spilled all over the ground.

Emmett frowns and says, “Alice, you need to let go of him.”

She screeches, “Edward disappeared from my sight.  They must have done something to my Edward.  They give me Edward, and I’ll give them their little pet.”

Well damn, that’s not going to happen.  We all look at Kol and wait to hear what he says since I don’t think any of us have a clue how to respond since Edward is now nothing more than a bag of ashes.

Kol sighs and tells her, “Edward killed my Mate, so he paid for his crime.  If you release Ric, we’ll let you go on your way, but if you harm him, the same that happened to Edward will happen to you.”

Alice’s eyes are wide as she says, “I want to see Edward.”

Damon goes into the house and comes back out with the bag of ashes and says, “He paid for his crimes,” and he holds up the bag and waves it a little.

Alice would obviously be crying if she could as she says, “No… no… you will pay for this.”

She grabs Ric’s hand and despite him trying to curl his hand closed she pulls off his ring and then snaps his neck all in a matter of a second.  She drops him to the ground carelessly as I cry out and Damon loses his ever loving mind.  He’s on her in the blink of an eye, and he has her arms and legs torn off faster than I could see him move from standing beside me to standing over her.

Since she’s not a threat anymore, I run to Ric’s body and sit on the ground cradling his head in my lap as tears roll down my cheeks.

I barely notice as Alice says something that pisses Damon off and he rips her head off and tosses it towards the backyard.

Kol puts his hand on Damon’s shoulder a second later and says, “Brother, take care of your Mate and Ric.  Jazz and I will take care of burning Alice.”

Damon nods and then squats down in front of me, “Mia Tesoro, it’ll be alright.”

I shake my head, “How can it possibly be alright?  Haven’t I buried enough freaking people?”

He nods and tells me, “I know, and you won’t have to bury Ric.”

I shake my head a little as I say, “I don’t understand, Damon.”

He smiles slightly and tells me, “We were worried about accidents or someone managing to take the ring off, so I’ve been feeding Ric my blood every morning before you come down for breakfast.  We didn’t want to worry you, so we decided to only mention it if something like this happened.  Kol’s not the only one who’s contingency plans have contingency plans.  Ric wanted to make sure you wouldn’t be left alone, so if you let me, I’ll carry him inside, and we can wait for him to wake up and finish the transition, okay?”

My eyes are wide, and my jaw is hanging open, so it takes me a minute to respond, “He’s been drinking your blood?”

He nods cautiously, “Yes, normally I would have asked your permission first because I’m your Mate, but like I said, we didn’t want to worry you, so I made a judgment call and did it without asking you first.  Although, Kol actually had multiple bad feelings today, so this morning Ric actually drank mine and Kol’s blood because Kol’s instincts felt it was necessary.  The plan was for him to drink from both of us every morning, but I think Kol had that feeling that he needed to feed Ric too because this was going to happen today.  Now because of Kol’s gut feeling Ric will have the strength, speed, senses, and abilities of one directly Sired by a 1,010-year-old Vampire.  He can’t get much stronger than that.  Although, I’m not sure what also having my blood in his system will do but we all agreed anything that might result from having both of our blood in his system would only be positive and serve to make Ric that much stronger.”

I let out a whoosh of air and tell him, “Oh thank God!”

He chuckles and asks, “You’re not angry?”

I shake my head no, “Not even a little.  I, I can’t thank you enough, I…”

He smiles and puts his hand on mine, “I know, Mia Tesoro.  We all wanted to make sure you wouldn’t lose anyone else if we could help it.”

I sit there for a second then he asks, “Can I carry him inside?”

I nod, so he takes Ric from my arms and then stands before Emmett sticks his hand down towards me to help me to my feet.

I smile and tell him, “Thanks, Emmett.”

He frowns and tells me, “Don’t thank me.  It’s only Damon and Kol’s planning ahead that prevented my sister from permanently killing your guardian.”

I smile and tell him honestly, “Not your fault man.  The blame resides solely on Alice’s shoulder’s, so don’t think that I or anyone else here blame you or Rosalie okay?  I mean think about it Kol & Elijah’s brother personally killed my Sister and my Aunt and indirectly killed my Uncle, and I don’t blame Kol or Elijah for any of their deaths, so I’m not going to blame you for Alice or Assward’s actions either.”

He nods, “Thank you for that all the same.”

I nod back and then ask, “We’re going to have to wait at least an hour for him to wake up, so would you mind helping me bring the groceries into the house?  That way Ric won’t insist on going and buying new ones when he wakes up.”

He nods while he chuckles, so after I bend down to put the fallen groceries back into their bag Emmett and Rosalie help me carry the groceries into the house and put them all away.  When we finish Emmett frowns and asks, “I’m guessing you didn’t know Alice had your friend, so why did you want us to come over?”

I frown back and tell him, “We were planning to tell you about Edward in person because we didn’t think we should tell you your brother was dead over the phone.  We didn’t think that was the sort of thing we should just say over the phone you know?” 

They nod and follow me into the den where Ric is lying on the couch, and we’re all sitting around waiting for the third member of our family to wake from the dead in as many hours.

Ten minutes into waiting Damon stands from his seat and walks to me before he grabs my hand and pulls me up out of my chair then he sits in my seat and pulls me onto his lap.  I’m sure we look comical given that I’m not much smaller than he is, but I still lean my head against his shoulder and take comfort in his closeness.

About an hour and a half later Ric gasps for air and then sits up before he brings his hand to his neck.  He turns and looks at all of us, and when his eyes settle on Damon and me, he says, “Guess it’s a lucky thing I didn’t argue with you about drinking your blood like I wanted to at first.”

Damon chuckles and says, “Guess so.”

He smiles then frowns and says, “I suppose I need to drink some blood now.  God, that’s weird, even just saying it.”

I smile and ask, “So you’re definitely going to complete the transition?”

Ric smiles despite the fact he just died and tells me, “If you don’t mind being stuck with me bothering you and Damon for the rest of eternity, absolutely.  I think you’ve buried enough people in the last year and a half.  I don’t need to go adding myself to that list.”

I frown, and despite the idea of him dying making me nauseous, I tell him, “Don’t finish it because of me.  Do it because it’s what you want but don’t worry about me.  I’ve got people that would look after me if you were gone.”

He frowns, so I tell him honestly, “I’m not trying to convince you to say no because the last thing I want is to live in a world where you don’t exist anymore, but I just don’t want you regretting changing 200 years from now.”

Ric turns his body and places his feet on the ground before resting his elbows on his knees and looking me right in the eye.  “I want you to listen very carefully, Juliet.  I don’t regret taking you in.  I don’t blame you or anyone else in this room for what happened today, and it will be my honor and privilege to help Damon look out for you for the rest of eternity.  I will not now nor will I ever regret finishing the transition.  I’ve known for a while now that this was probably going to happen.  I mean we spend all our free time with Vampires fighting Supernatural bad guys, so it was bound to happen that I was going to end up dead.  I’m just glad Damon talked me into drinking his blood every day because what I would have actually regretted would have been leaving you and Damon behind.  So somebody get me some blood, and I can finish the transition, and then we can move on with our lives.”

I wipe a tear away from my cheek and tell him, “I’m glad you’ll always be around.”

He nods before Jazz hands him a glass full of blood.  Ric looks around the room at each of the members of our family, and then he drinks from the glass finishing it off in five swallows.  He sits there for a few seconds, and then he begins gasping for air just like Isa did earlier, so I tell him, “Please come in, Ric.”

His breathing immediately goes back to normal but then his eyes get wide when his fangs extend, and veins surround his eyes as they fill with blood.

I laugh and tell him, “Wow, that’s weird.  I never thought I’d see you with Fangs, Ric, but I’m kind of happy I am.  You dying would have gutted me.”

He nods and then a second later his fangs retract before he asks, “Does it always feel so weird when that happens?”

The other Vampires in the room chuckle and Damon tells him, “You’ll get used to it.”

Ric’s eyes land on Isa and his eyes widen before he says, “Uh, I think I missed some things while I was at the store.”

Kol laughs and says, “You have no idea.”

We spend the next few minutes filling Ric in on everything that’s happened today, and then he asks, “So what are we going to do about Stefan and Elena?”

Damon frowns and says, “We should probably wait until they write in their journals and see if we can figure out what their exact plan was.  Ultimately though I think we’re going to have to wait to do anything until we find the spell to split Klaus’ essence into parts and then suck him into the Vampires in this room.”

Everyone nods and then Emmett’s phone rings, so he takes it out of his pocket and says, “It’s Carlisle,” then he presses the send button and puts it on speakerphone before he says, “Carlisle what’s up?”

I’ve never met Carlisle or even heard his voice, but he sounds grim when he asks, “Have you seen Edward or Alice?”

Emmett’s eyes get wide, and he mouths, ‘What do I tell him?’

Kol stands and sticks his hand out, so Emmett places his phone in Kol’s hand, and we all wait to hear what Kol will say.

Kol frowns then says, “Dr. Cullen, my name is Kol Mikaelson.  Do you know who I am?”

Even I can hear him gulp on the other end of the line then he says, “The Original?”

Kol nods as he says, “One in the same, but it might be of more interest to you to know that I am also Bella’s Mate.”

Carlisle takes in a noisy breath but says nothing, so Kol continues, “I am sorry to tell you this over the phone, but today your son attacked my Mate, and I ended him.  The only reason I didn’t torture him first is that I had been feeding Bella my blood, so when she died today she later woke in transition.”

Kol pauses, but Carlisle doesn’t say anything, so Kol continues, “Then Alice who was Edward’s Mate attacked my Human brother in retaliation for Edward’s death and killed Ric.  Again the only reason she wasn’t tortured before we ended her is that Ric had been drinking our other brother’s blood every day, so he just woke and finished the transition.  However, I am sad to tell you that both of your children are now dead as a result of their actions.  I consider this matter over and all of us even, so unless you and your wife wish to join your children on the Other Side I suggest you accept their deaths and move on peacefully because I will not hesitate to end anyone else who comes after my loved ones or me.”

I can hear someone crying in the background before Carlisle asks, “And what of Emmett and Rosalie?”

Kol smiles while he looks at the two Cold Ones in question before he tells them, “Bella considers them family, so they are welcome here anytime, and I’m sure they will return to your house shortly after they finish visiting with Bella.”

Carlisle still asks, “No harm will come to them?”

Kol smiles and says, “Unless they uncharacteristically attack me and mine, no, no harm will come to them.  In fact, I’ve already told the Volturi that Emmett and Rosalie are under my family’s protection because, as I said, my Mate considers them family, so as far as I’m concerned, they’re family.”

A new voice says, “Mr. Mikaelson, am I to understand that the threat against my brothers and me has passed.”

It takes me a second to place the voice, but then I frown when Kol says, “Aro, do you recall what I said would happen if you and yours did not deal with the threat that was Edward and Alice Cullen promptly?  Specifically, do you remember what I said would happen should they manage to harm anyone I care about before your dealing with them?”

We all hear Aro gulp, but he doesn’t say anything, so Kol continues telling him, “Also do you recall what I said would happen should I be forced to clean up another of your messes?”

He pauses again but when Aro still says nothing Kol tells him, “I’m guessing based on your silence that you recall exactly what I said would happen, so finish your visit with your friend and his wife and give them your condolences on the deaths of their children.  Then I highly recommend that you and yours return to Seattle and get on the first plane back to Europe, and then stay in Italy for a few centuries while I work through my anger at your colossal failure to do as you were told and handle your own problems before they became my problems.  I would also recommend you calling ahead first should you feel the need to send you and yours here again to make sure that I have in fact gotten over my anger at my Mate and my brother being forced to transition because you all didn’t do your damn job.  Should we meet again before my anger has abated it will not end well for you or yours.  Do you understand?”

I smile and hold in a chuckle when Aro says, “Y-y-yes, I understand.”

Kol smiles, and it’s not a friendly smile when he says, “Good now give the phone back to Dr. Cullen and be silent because hearing your voice will only incite my anger further.”

Carlisle’s voice shakes slightly a moment later when he says, “You wish to speak to me?”

Kol sighs, “Only to tell you that I’ll send your children home to you soon because you probably want to have your remaining children close to you in your time of loss.  I regret that Edward and Alice did not take my multiple warnings to back off seriously, but I do not blame you or your remaining children, and my anger at Aro and the rest of the Volturi does not extend to you and yours.  I just want you to know that.  If you wish to remain in Forks, I will allow it provided you and your wife vow not to try to retaliate for Edward and Alice’s deaths.”

Carlisle lets out a loud breath and says, “We would like to remain here, so I swear to you that Esme and I will not try to retaliate against you and yours for the deaths of our children.  And for the record, if we had known that you had warned them to back off, we would have tried to intervene and prevent today’s tragedies.”

Kol sighs and tells him, “I’m sure you would have.  If you permit, I’ll allow Emmett and Rosalie to fill you in on what all Edward and Alice have been up to and the plans they had.”

Carlisle sounds sad as he says, “Yes, of course, thank you for personally informing me of our children’s deaths and the reasons why.  If you might, please tell Bella we’re sorry it came to this.”

Kol tells him, “I’ll be sure and pass along the message.”

He says “Thank you,” then he hangs up.

Kol hands Emmett’s phone back to him and then tells him, “You’re both welcome here anytime, however perhaps it would be best if you returned home, for now, to comfort your parents in their time of loss.  Feel free to tell them anything Bella, Jazz or myself have said about what Edward and Alice were up to, and tell them that if they have any questions they can contact me directly, and you can give them my phone number.  Please be sure and emphasize that I very much wish to peacefully coexist with the remaining members of your family.”

Emmett and Rosalie both nod and then head for the door.  About half way to the hallway Rosalie stops and turns to look at Bella then says, “For the record, Bella, my behavior towards you thus far and my apparent dislike for you wasn’t really about you but rather about the fact that I didn’t think Edward was right for you.  If I could have found a way to convey that, I would have, but he was very good about keeping you with him and Alice at all times, so I never had a chance to explain why I acted like I hated you.  I don’t.  Hate you, that is.  And I’m very sorry that things happened the way they did.  I know what it’s like to have your choices taken from you, and I never wanted that for you.”

Bella stands and walks to Rosalie and tells her, “I know.  I figured it out after I had discovered Edward and Alice had ulterior motives.  For the record I don’t hate you either, and if you want me to look for the spell to turn you and Emmett back into Humans you just call and let me know, and I’ll look for it, okay?  No hard feelings.”  Then Isa shocks Rosalie by pulling her into a hug and telling her, “You’re a good friend Rose, even when you’re pretending to hate the person.”

Rosalie smiles while she pulls away and nods then she follows a smiling Emmett out towards the door with Jazz following after them planning to go and console Carlisle and Esme with his two remaining siblings.

Chapter Text

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Chapter 027

The Table’s Dead, Damon

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Forks, Washington

Saturday, October 02, 2010, 1:00 p.m. PDT

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Damon breaks the silence by asking, “Would anyone mind if Isa and I take the day off from cooking and we just order Pizzas for lunch and then have leftovers for dinner?”

We all shake our heads no, so he takes out his phone, and Charlie provides him with the number for the local pizza shop, and he places our order.

We sit around contemplating everything that happened today.  I came very close to having to bury two of my best friends today.  I shudder at the thought, and Damon pulls me closer into his chest while I continue to sit on his lap before he kisses the side of my head.  I look at him and kiss him softly before whispering, “Thank you for feeding Ric your blood.  I don’t know what I would have done…”

He nods and tells me, “You’re welcome, but I didn’t do it just for you.  I also did it for selfish reasons.  I didn’t want to lose him either, and I’d be lying if I acted like that wasn’t just as big a factor in my giving him my blood as knowing how devastated you’d be if he died permanently.”

I smile and tell him, “I know but thank you anyways.”

He just nods and kisses my lips again.

Bella calls Ang and Ben as well as the Wolves and asks them to come over for lunch so she can tell them all that has happened.  When they get here, they’re surprised to discover all that occurred in a few short hours. 

When we get to the part about Elijah, Leah blows up, “That bitch.  Wait till I get my hands around her scrawny little neck.  I’ll break her in freaking two.  The nerve of—”

Elijah gets up from his seat and kneels in front of Leah and places his hands on top of her clenched fists, “Leah, Luv, I'm all right.”

She frowns and tells him, “But you were dead on the floor, how can you—”

He smiles and tells her, “Because I have family who loves me and got me out of there when they realized there was a problem.  They will be punished at some point, but do not allow them to get to you.  I’m here, and I’m safe.”

Her chin trembles before she asks, “Can I stay here tonight, please.  I don’t want to be away from you.”

Elijah looks over to Charlie and asks, “Charlie which of her parents do you think would be more receptive to her staying here if we tell them what happened to me today?”

Charlie laughs, “Definitely her mother, though you might want to invite Seth to stay over too.  That should appease Harry a bit when Sue tells him she’s letting Leah stay over here with you.”

Elijah nods and takes out his phone to call Sue.  Leah gives him the number, and we all listen while he quietly explains what happened and that Leah is obviously and understandably upset.  Finally, he asks, “Would it be possible for Leah and Seth to sleep over here tonight.  I think it might make Leah feel better to only be a few doors away from me while she sleeps instead of several miles away.”

Because I’m sitting right next to them, I can hear Sue laugh and her words when she says, “Don’t think I don’t know you’ll be sleeping in the same room.  I’ll sell my husband that line about being a few doors down, though, when I tell him our children are staying over at your house.”

Elijah laughs before he tells her, “I would never behave in an inappropriate manner with your daughter.  At least not until I can marry her first.”

Leah’s eyes get wide at that, and I smile when he squeezes her hand gently while he listens to Sue.  She sobers up and tells him, “I know we can trust you with our daughter, and she’s 19 now and definitely old enough to make those sort of decisions herself, but I appreciate your words.  My husband and I know that you are her Mate, and we also know enough about that phenomenon to know that it’s a forever kind of thing, so we are aware that you’re not angling to get her into bed just to turn around and dump her after the fact.  We know you’re in this for the long haul.  So I’ll trust the two of you to make sound decisions.  Is Charlie there, and if so, may I speak to him for a minute?”

Elijah nods and says, “Of course, thank you, Mrs. Clearwater—” 

He pauses when she interrupts him, “We’re family now so please call me Sue.”

He nods even though she can’t see him and says, “Thank you, Sue.”  Then he turns to Charlie and hands him the phone and tells him, “She’d like to speak to you for a moment.”

Charlie smiles and says, “Okay,” then he puts the phone to his ear and says, “Hello, Sue.”

He’s too far away, so I can’t hear her end of the conversation anymore, but Elijah and Leah and all the other Supes, in the room, except Ang and Ben are smiling.  I pout and whisper, “No fair, now I’m the only Human in this family, and most everyone else can hear everything I can’t.”

Damon laughs and so do the rest of the Supes in the room before he leans close to my ear and tells me, “She’s just asking Charlie if he thinks Elijah is as honorable as she thinks he is.  Obviously he’s telling her yes so she’s telling him to tell her children that she’ll see them when they get home tomorrow night before Seth’s usual school night curfew.”

I kiss his cheek and tell him, “Thank you.”

He laughs and tells me, “Anytime, Mia Tesoro.”

When Charlie hangs up with Sue and hands Elijah’s phone back to him, he tells Leah and Seth about their curfew and then smiles and says, “Oh to be a fly on the wall when Sue tells Harry she’s letting his baby girl sleep over at her boyfriend’s house.”

Everyone laughs, even Elijah who seems particularly scandalized by the idea of anything other than sleeping happening in his bed.

Soon after that, the pizza arrives, and lunch is rather subdued compared to our usual meals, but I figure we’re all still trying to process everything that happened today.

Finally, when lunch is over, the leftover pizza is in the fridge, and the Vampires, especially the two newest, have all had some blood we all head down to the hidden rooms so Damon and Isa can check Stefan and Elena’s journals.

Isa immediately grabs Elena’s and opens to the most recent entry which is currently writing itself.  She begins reading aloud a minute later, “‘Stefan had this wild plan.  He suggested we lure Elijah to the Boarding House and then Dagger him to use him as leverage against Klaus.  I wasn’t so sure because things didn’t work out so well when Stefan stole the coffins, but he finally convinced me, so today I hid upstairs until Elijah came over, and while he was talking to Stefan I snuck up behind him and stabbed him in the back with the White Oak Ash Dagger.

Stefan carried him down to the basement cell and closed and locked the door after reminding me that last time I undaggered Elijah, so Stefan made a show of pocketing the key.  He said he was going to call Klaus in a couple of days and offer him a deal after he’s had time to wonder where his brother has disappeared to.

I think we’re playing a dangerous game with Klaus, but Stefan just wouldn’t leave me alone about it, so mostly I agreed just to shut him up about it.  I wanted to warn Stefan that Kol is in Forks with Jules, but I can’t seem to form the words, so I can only assume Klaus compelled me not to say anything.  Sometimes I wish Jules had been…’”  Bella stops then says, “Oh, um, you probably don’t want to know how she finished that sentence.”

I look at her hard for a minute and then frowning tell her, “You’re probably right,” because I can think of several ways Elena could have finished that sentence, and all of them involve me either dying at some point or never being born. 

A minute later I hear Isa in her thoughts when she thinks, ‘That selfish bitch!  Who the hell wishes their own sister died in a car accident that claimed their parent’s lives.’

Apparently, Damon heard her too because he slams his fist onto the table he’s sitting at punching a hole through the top.

I have tears in my eyes.  Obviously, Elena doesn’t love me, not like I love her.  I didn’t even care when I found out that she is my cousin and not my biological sister.  I still considered her my sister, and now she’s wishing me dead?  Well once this prophecy is dealt with I’m going to tell her exactly where she can shove it.  I don’t need her.  I have my own ragtag family right here, and they’re all way cooler than she is, and I know not a single one of them would ever wish any harm to befall me never mind actually wish I died.

Isa gets up and hugs me before she tells me, “She’s a fool, Jules.  She has the sister I always wanted, and she doesn’t even care that she’s throwing her family away.  As far as I’m concerned, you’re my sister, not hers, and she can go to hell for all I care.”

I laugh at that and tell her, “Thank you Belly, you’re the sister I always wished I had too.”

She smiles and kisses my forehead before going back to her seat and picking up Elena’s Diary.  I look at her and suggest, “Maybe you should wait until she finishes writing it before reading the whole entry and then you can read to us whatever the important parts are.”

She nods and says, “I should have known better, I’m sorry.”

I smile sadly and tell her while I get up and walk to Damon, “It’s not your fault my sister is a heartless bitch.  Who wishes someone else dead anyway?  Never mind an actual family member.  You and I both had the right idea.  I don’t need her because I have all of you.”

Everyone nods emphatically while I sit down and pick up Damon’s hand that has blood and little splinters all over it but appears to be mostly healed already.  I look at his hand and then the table before I gently pick out the few splinters preventing his hand from healing all the way.  While I’m doing that I say, “I think the table’s dead Damon.”

He chuckles, so I ask, “How’s your hand?”

He smiles sadly, and after I remove the last splinter and the wound heals entirely, he tells me, “It’ll live.”

I laugh at that and then lean my forehead on his shoulder, so he shifts slightly so he can wrap his arm around me and pull me into his side.  I whisper, “Why doesn’t my own sister love me, Damon?”

He sighs and shrugs, “I honestly don’t know what to tell you, Mia Tesoro.  Maybe she suffered brain damage in the car accident that killed your parents.  Or maybe she got knocked in the head too many times since she met Stefan and me.  Or perhaps actually dying in the sacrifice messed something up inside her head.”

I shake my head and tell him, “No she’s always been like this to some degree.  I mean, yeah, it’s gotten worse in the last year or two, but she was always selfish and self-serving.  The world always had to revolve around her, and anything that could get her attention and or sympathy was her number one wish.”

I pause then tell him, “I read enough of her diary from after our parents died to know she enjoyed the attention and sympathy their deaths brought her, not to mention the attention the miracle of her survival caused.  She’s actually been happy at times that they’re gone because she knew they would have told her not to do whatever she wanted to do, and although I love Jenna dearly she let us basically do whatever we wanted.” 

I pause, sigh, and then I continue, “Elena wholeheartedly appreciated that fact.  And, well, she actually resented Ric for trying to tell her what to do.  I’m pretty sure that’s part of why she suggested he come with me.  If he were here with me, then he wouldn’t be able to interfere in her life.”

I sigh again and huff a little before telling him, “Never mind that his opinion is usually right.  I mean I actually felt comforted when Ric took over guardianship of us and started acting like the adult in an adult/teen relationship.  I have no doubt that if I hadn’t given up the drugs and had actually started messing up my life in dangerous ways, he would have done something about it, and I’ve always taken comfort in that fact.  Ric cares that’s why he gets involved.  That’s not to say Jenna didn’t care.  I know she did, but I think Ric is better suited to the responsible adult role than Jenna ever was.  He’s also better at balancing the friend and guardian roles than she was.  He knows when to be the adult and when he can be my friend and just let me be a kid.” 

I sigh once more before telling him, “Elena has always hated when adults tried to tell her what to do never mind that they were usually right.  I just didn’t realize that she actually wished I had been in the car and died with our parents.  She obviously doesn’t love me the way I love her.”

I wipe at another tear as it travels down my cheek then I ask, “What did Stefan write about today?”

He sighs and says, “Pretty much the same drivel about getting leverage over Klaus.  I’m not sure what he expects to get out of that leverage because so far as I know, Klaus has been leaving everyone alone since Elena agreed to donate blood every three days.  I’m afraid when Stefan tells Klaus he has Elijah that Klaus is not going to react well and will probably force all of our hands by ordering Kol to hurt you.”

I let out a bark of laughter, “Ha!  As if that would actually mean anything to either of them.”

Damon sighs and kisses the side of my head then tells me, “Klaus doesn’t have the insight into Elena that we have that’s true, but it’ll still present us with the problem of having to deal with Klaus sooner rather than later.”

Elijah speaks up just then, “What if I call Niklaus and tell him I’m fine.  Or better yet, call Rebekah and ask how Niklaus is doing.  You know as well as I, Kol, that she’ll tell him she spoke to me, especially if he’s mentioned that he thinks I’m trying to mess with him.  She’ll want to have a little fun at his expense, and then I bet he’ll call my phone himself to double check that I am not in fact in Stefan and Elena’s clutches.”

Kol is nodding then he says, “Bella and Damon, let us know when either Elena or Stefan mention contacting Nik about Elijah.  Then shortly after Elijah can call Beks and tell her to call him anytime if she needs anything but that he just needed to take a break from Nik.  Maybe mention to her to tell Nik that he just needs some space to process everything that happened with Mother but that either of them can call him anytime if they have need of him.  Always and Forever.”

Elijah nods and says, “That’s an excellent idea, Brother.”

Everyone nods and picks up a book and begins reading as most of us look for a spell to split Klaus’ essence into parts and then suck each part into a different person.

We only stop long enough for a few of us to go upstairs and grab the leftover pizza and then we all sit around eating cold pizza before we go back to reading.

We find a few spells that might prove useful in the future including one that can make someone appear younger or older and one that can make someone who doesn’t age seem to age as if they’re Human. 

Kol bought a leather bound book for Isa last night while we were in Port Angeles so Isa copies all the spells we think we might need in the future into her new Grimoire for future reference.  She doesn’t copy them the old fashioned way, though.  Instead, she uses another spell she found and literally copies each entry she wants to keep in her book in its entirety into her book so the drawings are identical and she doesn’t have to worry about getting any of the words wrong. 

She already added the Telepathy and Empathy, Truth, Language, Knowledge, and Teleportation spells as well as the ones Kol used to protect our homes from those who mean us harm and to keep others from hearing the thoughts and spoken words of anyone inside the houses.  She also added the spell she used to return Kol, Damon, and Elijah’s Magick to them.

At around midnight Ben and Ang go home and when they’re leaving Jasper arrives home.  Angela stops before she passes Jasper and hugs him whispering something to him which causes him to smile and say, “Thank you, Angela.”

She nods and then she and Ben walk out of the hidden rooms with Kol escorting them to their car to make sure they get in it safely.  I figure after the day we’ve had we can’t be too careful when it comes to safety.

I start yawning about 30 minutes later, so I mark my place in the ancient Grimoire I was reading and then stand telling everyone, “Well I think I need to head to bed because it’s been such a long ass day.  Isa, Ric, Elijah I’m really glad you guys didn’t permanently die today.  I would have… well, it really would have sucked if you had died in a permanent way.  I really don’t want to have to bury any more family, and make no mistake each of you in this room plus Ang and Ben are my family, and I would have been really pissed off if I had lost any of you.  So yeah, I’m happy you’re all still alive, well relatively speaking anyways.”

Isa gets up and hugs me while Elijah nods to me, and Ric smiles and says, “I’m really happy we didn’t permanently die today too.  I hope that’s the last time I need to die because, honestly, I think I’ve done it four or five times now, and it’s really getting old at this point.”

I laugh at that and tell him, “From your mouth to God’s ear, Ric.”

He just nods, so I kiss Damon goodnight and head out of the hidden rooms before walking up the stairs to mine and Damon’s room.

When I get there, I don’t bother turning on the light before I strip and walk into the closet in nothing but my underwear.  I toss my clothes into the hamper, and then I pull on my tank top and sleep pants before walking back out into the bedroom.

Climbing into bed, I grab Damon’s pillow and pull it into my arms and hug it while I lay there going over everything that happened today.  I almost lost three more family members today.  A tear escapes my eye, and I sniffle and wipe it away with the back of my hand.

My own sister wishes I was dead.  What did I ever do to her to deserve that wish?  I always thought I was a pretty good little sister.  I mean yeah, I was annoying at times, but that’s in the little sister job description.  Why doesn’t she love me? 

I’m actually kind of happy my parents aren’t here to see what’s become of their children because I know they’d be really disappointed in us if they could see us now.

More tears pour from my eyes, and I sniffle again, and then I wipe at my eyes furiously when the door opens, “Mia Tesoro, if you want to be alone I’ll leave, but I wanted to offer my shoulder for you to cry on.”

I laugh at that and tell him, “No, it’s fine.”

I see his outline walk into the closet, and then a moment later he returns and gets into bed beside me.  He takes his pillow back and then pulls me into his arms and places a kiss on the top of my head before he says, “You’re wrong you know.  Your parents, they would definitely be disappointed in Elena, but you haven’t done anything that would warrant disappointment.  In fact, I rather think you’ve earned their respect and pride.  I know you have both from the other members of this family and me, so don’t lump yourself in with Elena and her bad behavior because you’re both very different creatures with vastly different behaviors.”

I nod slightly but ask, “How can she wish I was dead?  I mean it’s such a permanent thing usually, at least in the way she meant, and after everyone we’ve had to bury how could she wish that for me, Damon?  What did I do wrong?”

He rolls us, so he’s lying on top of me, and after he settles between my legs, he cups my face in his hands and tells me, “You listen to me Juliet, you didn’t do a damn thing wrong, you hear me?  This falls on Elena and Elena alone.  You are not to blame for any of this.  You have done nothing even remotely in the realm of wrong.  I don’t know why your sister is behaving the way she is, or why she’d be foolish enough to wish a loved one dead, but none of it has anything to do with you or anything you have or have not done.”

I shake my head as much as his hands on my face will allow before I tell him, “That’s just it Damon, I’m not one of her loved ones.  She can’t possibly love me and wish me dead.  So what did I do to make her not love me?  I must have done something.  I mean even with all the crap she’s pulled I still love her, but somehow she doesn’t love me, so what did I do?”

Even in the dim light, I can see his frown before he tells me, “As cliché as it is, it’s not you it’s her.  You’re not the one who did something wrong.  Wishing someone, anyone, never mind a sibling, dead is wrong, and the blame for that rests on the one doing the wishing, not on the one they wished harm to happen to.  Even as messed up as my relationship with Stefan is I never wished him dead, and I had my damn switch off for a long time, and yet Elena has wished her own flesh and blood dead.”

I open my mouth to argue, and he puts his thumb over my lips and tells me, “Yes, you’re not actually blood siblings, but you’re still cousins and therefore flesh and blood relatives.  She did something not even a Vampire with his switch firmly off dared to do, and I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that the reason she did it has nothing to do with you and everything to do with whatever is wrong with her.  She’s not right, Mia Tesoro.  I don’t think she has been since before I met her.  I mean think about it, she’s been playing Stefan and me off each other and toying with me for months now.  She’s been mistreating you and her friends including Jenna and Ric for even longer.  Her wishing you dead is just one more thing she’s gone and done that proves something’s not right with her.  Her behavior is not a reflection of you.  It’s a reflection of her.”

I sniffle and tell him, “I just want my sister to love me back, Damon.  Is that too much to ask for?”

He sighs and tells me, “No, Mia Tesoro, it’s not too much to ask for.  However, I’m not sure you’re ever going to get it, and I think that has more to do with an inability on her part to actually love anyone other than herself than some failure on your part.”

He wipes at my cheeks with his thumbs and then leans down and kisses my lips softly.  “I love you, Mia Tesoro, with all my heart, and the rest of our family loves you almost as much as I do.  You’re not alone, and while I know none of us or our love can ever replace those you’ve lost or Elena’s love, we do love you wholly and completely.”

I smile a little and tell him, “If I have to give up her love to have all of you and your love in my life, then I suppose that’s a fair trade.”

He frowns and tells me, “It’s not even close to fair, but it’s the way it apparently is going to be for you and her.”

I nod and then he rolls again, and my head falls to rest on his bare chest when he lays back and holds me tightly.

I wipe at my nose and sniffle again while tears come pouring out again, and he just holds me while I cry.  Eventually, I fall asleep, and thankfully I don’t recall dreaming.

Chapter Text

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Chapter 028

When They Realized I Was Not Where They Put Me

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Forks, Washington

Tuesday, October 12, 2010, 6 p.m. PDT

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We’re all sitting at the dinner table in the kitchen eating Sue Clearwater’s famous Ribs that Damon made when Ric’s phone begins to ring.  It’s Tubular Bells, the theme song from the Exorcist, so I know it’s Elena calling.  I giggle at his ring tone while he cleans off his hands and then answers the phone and puts it on speakerphone.

“Elena, what’s up?”

Her voice is strained, and she’s apparently worried when she says, “Ric, I, we, uh, did something, and, well, now I’m not sure what we should do about it.”

Ric sighs and asks, “Tell me what you and whoever did, and I’ll see if I can’t help you figure out what your next move should be.”

She sighs and then tells him, “Almost two weeks ago we daggered Elijah and put him in the cell in the basement of the Boarding House.”

Ric doesn’t shout, but his upset is evident when he asks, “You did what?”

She stops and then says, “Uh, we Daggered Elijah.  Then yesterday Stefan told Klaus that we have Elijah and when Klaus asked for proof Stefan went downstairs to take a picture but despite the door still being closed and locked from the outside Elijah’s body was missing.  Now Klaus is demanding proof, and we have no clue where Elijah is or who took him, or even who knew he was down there.”

Ric sighs, “Elena, I really wish you had called me before you decided to Dagger Elijah, but what’s done is done.  When was the last time Stefan saw the body?”

Elena sighs back and says, “When we put him down there, so I guess two Saturday’s ago.”

Ric’s eyes are wide while he asks, “Neither of you checked on him in almost two weeks?”

“Um no, we didn’t really think we needed to.  I mean no one knew we had him, so why would we need to check on him.  He was for all intents and purposes dead.  It’s not like he could have gotten up and walked out.”

Ric’s face goes hard at her attitude before he says, “First lose the attitude, Elena.  I’m not the one who foolishly daggered an Original and then left him unattended for almost two weeks.  That would be you.  Secondly, I’m not really sure what to tell you to do.  Did Stefan pick up on anyone’s scent being in the house that shouldn’t have been there?”

She huffs but tells him, “No, not that I know of.  What do we tell Klaus?”

Ric pinches the bridge of his nose and tells her, “The truth is probably your best bet.  Though don’t be surprised if he doesn’t believe you because even I’m finding it hard to believe that someone just moseyed into the Boarding House and stole a Daggered Original.”

She sounds petulant now as she angrily asks, “That’s all you got for me, Ric?  Tell the fucking truth?  Seriously?  Klaus is probably going to kill someone, and all you got for me is tell the fucking truth?”

His face is hard as he tells her just as angrily, “Well I could have gone with think before you act, or all actions have consequences.  You’re a grown up now, Elena, and I think it’s time you start acting like one instead of the spoiled child routine you seem to have perfected over the years.  You knew when you Daggered Elijah that Klaus would not react well when he found out, and you still did it, so now you have to live with the consequences.  And for the record, I don’t appreciate you swearing at me so knock it off.”

“Whatever, a fat lot of help you are.  I have to go try to keep Klaus from killing anyone.”  And then the line goes dead.

Surprisingly it’s Elijah who starts laughing first before he says, “I really wish I could have seen their faces when they realized I was not where they put me.”

Kol nods and says, “I know right?  Talk about priceless.”

Leah turns to look at me and asks, “Is your sister always such a bitch?”

I shake my head and tell her, “That was actually pretty mild all things considered.”

Her eyes get wide before she asks, “Seriously?  That was mild?”

I just nod, so she mouths the word ‘Wow.’

While everyone eats, it’s Ric who asks, “So now what do we do?  If we don’t play this right, Klaus is going to force Kol’s hand and ask for something Kol’s not willing to do, and then Klaus will know he’s got traitors in his midst.”

Elijah smiles and says, “I think we should do as we originally planned.  After dinner, I’ll call Rebekah and make sure she knows that I am well and that she and Niklaus can call me at any time.”

Everyone nods, so Elijah turns to Jasper and asks, “Your fixer, Mr. Jenks, set my phone up to ping in Manhattan, New York, correct?”

Jasper nods and tells him, “Yes, if anyone tries to use the GPS chip to track you, it’ll say you’re in New York City, and it will appear to move as if you are going about living your life there.  If anyone runs the check, Jenks will alert us and also make it look like you’ve moved location again.  He mentioned Europe if he needs to use another location.”

Elijah nods and says, “Thank you, Jasper,” then we all continue eating.  When we finish eating and cleaning up, we all sit down at the table and watch and listen while Elijah calls Rebekah and puts the phone on speakerphone.  It rings twice before it’s picked up, “’Lijah, is that you?”

He smiles and says, “Rebekah, what’s wrong?”

She lets out a big rush of air and says, “Thank the Goddess, Stefan told Nik that he Daggered you and that you then disappeared.”

Elijah chuckles while he puts on the performance of a lifetime, “He actually suggested that he was able to Dagger me?  After the last time, I would not be foolish enough to be anywhere near Mr. Salvatore or any of his friends without having my guard up at all times.”

“Hey, Nik give that back…”

“Elijah, where are you, Brother?”

Elijah sighs and tells him, “Niklaus, I needed to get away for a while after everything that happened with Esther.  She was not who I thought she was, and I need time to come to terms with that.  However, know that I am safe.”

Klaus asks, “How did Stefan know you were gone to be able to use this ‘he daggered you’ bit against me.”

Elijah smiles and says, “Honestly he probably just noticed that I have not been around, and I also wrote a letter to Ms. Gilbert apologizing for having Rebekah kidnap her and use her as leverage to get Mr. Salvatore to help us stop Esther.  I left it in her bedroom the day I left, so I’m sure she could have told Mr. Salvatore about the letter, which while I didn’t come right out and say I was leaving it could have easily been inferred.”

Even I can hear the pout in Klaus’ voice when he asks, “You said goodbye to my Doppelgänger, but you didn’t bother to say goodbye to your siblings?”

“No, I said I was sorry to Ms. Gilbert and didn’t say goodbye to anyone.  I, I need space Niklaus.  Esther’s actions have brought up all sorts of questions for me.  Questions I never thought I would ask.  Esther turned us into Vampires, but she didn’t turn us into monsters.  We did that to ourselves.  I will return to you when I have made peace with the Monster I have become.”

Klaus sighs then says, “Elijah… we…”

Elijah’s voice is strained when he says, “I do not wish to discuss it right now.  I just wanted to touch base and let you all know that I am well.  Is Kol there?”

“Very well.  No Kol is out running an errand for me.  Do you wish for me to pass along a message?”

“No, I’ll call him when I get off the phone with you.  What do you plan to do about Mr. Salvatore’s claims that he has me Daggered?”

I can hear the smile in the Hybrid’s voice when he says, “Well I think I’m going to call his bluff and then perhaps break a few of his bones to teach him not to mess with me and mine.  Maybe take away some of my Doppelgänger’s freedom to show who’s in charge here.”

Elijah frowns but says, “I’m sure you’ll leave no doubt in their minds as to who is in charge.”

Klaus laughs and says, “Yes I’m sure I will.  Here’s Rebekah, keep in touch, Brother.”

“I will.”

Rebekah asks, “Elijah, you know you’re not really a monster right?  You may have done monstrous things, but it was always in defense of our family.  Always and Forever.”

Elijah sighs and tells her, “Doing the wrong thing for the right reasons is still doing the wrong thing, Rebekah.  But I will come to terms with what I have become, and then I shall return, and we will be a family once more.”

She sighs and then softly tells him, “Don’t be a stranger, okay?”

“I won’t, I’ll call again soon.”

“Good-bye Elijah.”

“Good-bye.”

He hangs up and then looks around the table before he asks, “What are the chances that we can save her?  I really can’t bear to lose more family than absolutely necessary.”

Kol’s eyes lose focus for a minute then when his eyes refocus he smiles and says, “I think ‘Bekah will be okay in the long run, more than okay actually.”

Elijah turns to look at him and asks, “What did you see?”

He smiles and tells him, “I saw her find her Mate, who will side with us when the time comes, and she will choose him over Nik.”

Elijah smiles and says, “Good, I swore to protect her always, and I would have truly hated having to end her.”

Kol just nods so everyone stands and heads down to the hidden rooms to keep looking for the spell we need to defeat Klaus.  I stop in the doorway to the kitchen and turn to look at Damon and tell him, “I’m actually going to head to bed early.  I’ll see you later.”

I wiggle my eyebrows at him, and he chuckles before he tells me, “I’ll be sure and wake you when I come up.”

I nod once and then lean in and kiss him before smiling and heading up to bed.  I’m not really tired, but I know if I don’t get some sleep now Damon won’t want to wake me at midnight.

Just a few more hours and I’ll legally be 16 years old and old enough in the eyes of Washington State to consent to participate in sexual activity with whomever I choose.  Well actually, I checked there are some rules about adults in authority positions so like I couldn’t sleep with Ric since he’s my guardian and a teacher, but Damon doesn’t fall under any of the special rules so we should be good.

While I change into my tank top and sleep pants, I can’t get rid of the huge smile on my face.  It remains in place even when I lay down and is still there when I surprisingly fall asleep a few minutes later.

I’m woken from a dream of naked Damon by Damon getting into bed.  I roll over into his arms and ask, “Hmm, what time is it?”

He turns his head to look at the clock on the bedside table, and the smile in his voice is evident when he says, “Well what do you know it’s 12:01 a.m. on October 13th.  I think there was something I wanted to do at midnight?  Do you remember what it was?”

I laugh and slap his stomach lightly, “You goof, you know exactly what it was?”

He rolls us and settles between my legs using his forearms to keep from squishing me before he leans down and kisses me softly then he pulls back and looks into my eyes, and he says, “Happy 16th Birthday, Mia Tesoro.”

I blush which causes him to laugh and ask, “Hmm I wonder why you’re blushing that beautiful shade of crimson.”

I laugh and tell him, “Gee I wonder.”

He leans down and kisses me before pulling back and saying, “Let’s see how far down the blush goes.”

My hands come up to rest on his back while he leans down and kisses me again.  I sigh into the kiss, which allows him to slip his tongue into my mouth.  As our tongues battle and slide against each other his hand slides down my arm and then back up my side under my top. 

He trails his kisses down to my chin and then down my neck before taking a moment to really suck on my pulse point.  When he pulls back, he’s got a mischievous smile on his face, and I smack his back before I ask, “Did you just give me a hickey?”

He laughs and says, “As a matter of fact, yes, yes I did.”

I laugh back and lean up and suck on his collar bone until I can just barely see a bruise form despite the darkness of the room.  He laughs again and tells me, “You do know that won’t last for longer than a few minutes right?”

I smile and say, “I know, but one of these days it’ll be fun seeing how many of them I can give you in a single go before they all start disappearing.”

He chuckles and then leans in and kisses me again before trailing his kisses lower and using his mouth proceeds to blow my mind just like he promised he would a few weeks ago.

When I’m done coming down from my high it takes a minute for me to get the ability to speak back but then I tell him, “Holy Crap, Damon.  I’ve never felt anything like that.”

He chuckles and kisses his way up my body, and when he reaches my mouth, he pauses and says, “Happy Birthday, Mia Tesoro,” before giving me the kiss to end all kisses.

I can taste myself while he kisses me and I find it strangely exciting to kiss him knowing what his mouth was just doing to me.

I trail my hand down towards his sleep pants, but he grabs my hand and tells me, “That was for you.  I’ll get mine later, go to sleep because you still have school in the morning.”

I pull away to look at him and ask, “Are you sure?  I don’t mind…”

He laughs and tells me, “I know you don’t mind, but I didn’t blow your mind so you’d return the favor.  I did it because I wanted to make you feel amazing.  Don’t worry you’ll get to return the favor some other time.”

He rolls us so my head is resting on his chest and my arm and leg are thrown over him.  Strangely I’m not self-conscious despite the fact that I’m naked.

I kiss his chest and then drift to sleep with a huge smile plastered on my face.

Chapter Text

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Chapter 029

Ignore the Crazy People

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Forks, Washington

Wednesday, October 13, 2010, 6 a.m. PDT

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At 6 a.m. my alarm goes off, and I roll over to slap at the clock and then roll back to lay against Damon’s bare chest.  He chuckles and kisses the top of my head before he tells me, “Better get up because if you’re late getting to school Ric will make rules about what we’re allowed to do and when.”

I turn my face up towards his and crack open my eyes, “He wouldn’t.”

He laughs and kisses my lips before telling me, “He would, and you know it.  Remember, he’s the responsible adult in this family.”

I groan and flop onto my back, “I so don’t want to get up.”

He laughs more and says, “I know, but you have to, besides it’s your birthday, so I’m sure your friends will all wish you a happy birthday at school.”

I sit up and rub my eyes, “Okay, I’m up.”

Just before I go to swing my legs off the side of the bed, Damon sits up and pulls my arm, so I’ll look at him.  When I turn, he leans in and kisses me sweetly before whispering, “Happy Birthday, Mia Tesoro.”

I smile and kiss him again before telling him, “Thank you, so far it’s been awesome.”  I wiggle my eyebrows at him, and he chuckles before pecking me on the lips and then letting go of my arm, so I can get out of bed and get ready for school.  I blush while I run from the bed to the bathroom buck naked.

Breakfast goes the same as every other day except for when I arrive in the kitchen and everyone stops and begins singing, “Happy Birthday to you.  Happy Birthday to you.  Happy Birthday dear Juliet.  Happy Birthday to you.”

Isa hands me a plate full of chocolate chip pancakes with a candle sticking out of the stack.  I stand there staring at the lit candle for a minute and make a wish, ‘I wish for my family to remain safe this year,’ then I blow the candle out.

Damon pulls me into his side and whispers, “Mia Tesoro, you’re supposed to wish for something for you, not for everybody else.”

I pull back and look into his eyes before I tell him, “And I did.  It was an entirely selfish wish because I don’t want to have to bury anyone else.”

He frowns at me, but nods and lets go of me, so I can sit and eat my stack of pancakes.

When we’re done eating Isa tells me, “Jules, you don’t have to help clean up the kitchen at all today because it’s your Birthday.”

I smile and tell her, “Thank you.  Hands down best present ever.”

Everyone laughs at that, and then after the kitchen is clean Isa, Jazz, Kol, Bree and I all get our things and head out to Jasper’s SUV.

I get to sit shotgun and control the radio because it’s my Birthday, and I have to say I’m really digging this Birthday thing.  My parents used to make a big deal out of it too, but I don’t think anyone even wished me a Happy Birthday last year never mind gave me anything or allowed me to skip chores or man the radio in the car.  Actually, I take that back, somehow Damon found out it was my Birthday and despite his switch still being mostly off he gave me an expensive box of pastels that I had mentioned wishing I had the money for the week before.  But he was the only person who acknowledged it was my birthday.  Jenna remembered a few days later and wished me a Belated Happy Birthday before handing me a card with a check in it, but really this year’s birthday already far exceeds last years in terms of awesomeness.

When we get to school, we head over to our friends who all begin singing loudly and totally hamming it up.  I must turn eight shades of red when everyone in the parking lot just stares at my crazy friends and me.  When they finish singing Mike and Tyler intone, “And many mooore…”

The laughter bubbles out of me while Mike strikes a pose and I double over when Tyler mirrors him on the other side of Lauren and Jessica.

Lauren rolls her eyes and says, “Seriously, Jules, Happy Birthday… ignore the crazy people.”

I just laugh harder when the two crazy people in question get outraged faces before they burst into laughter themselves.

Isa leans towards me and warns, “I hope you’re prepared for crazy all day because I refused to let them do anything for my Birthday, so they’re going overboard for yours.”

Jessica overhears her and smiles saying, “There’s no such thing as overboard when it comes to turning 16.  She’s one year closer to being able to get into an R rated movie alone.  She can legally drive and legally have fun with her boyfriend, which if that monster hickey is any indication she’s already been enjoying that part of turning 16.”

I turn bright red and tell her, “Oh my god!  Could you possibly say that any louder, the students on the other end of the parking lot didn’t quite catch it…”  She opens her mouth as if to repeat her statement louder, so I wave my hand in her face and say, “Seriously, shut up.”

She just laughs and leans in before asking, “Seriously, you haven’t even been 16 for eight hours, and you’re already rocking a hickey?  I’m officially jealous.”

I smile after calming my laughter and tell her, “The worst part is the one I gave him already healed.”

My eyes widen a moment later when I realize that Jessica doesn’t know that Damon’s a Vampire, so she has no clue about super Vampire healing.  Fortunately, she glosses over it and says, “I’m sure you’ll manage to give him one that sticks as pay back later.  Surprisingly it’s an art form.”

I just nod with wide eyes before we all head inside to our lockers and then head to class.

The morning is pretty average, but because our crew sang so loudly everyone knows it’s my Birthday, so folks I don’t even know have been walking up to me and wishing me a Happy Birthday.  Other than that though it’s been a regular Wednesday morning… until… lunch…

So I’m sitting at the table with all of our friends except Lauren and Jessica who are suspiciously missing when I notice them walking towards our table with something in their outstretched hands.  When they get closer, I realize it’s a cake, a very lopsided cake, but other than my mom no one’s ever made me a cake before, so I can’t really complain.

This time they get the entire cafeteria to sing along, and I’m beet red by the end.  When they finish Lauren smiles and says, “Jessica, Ang, and I made it for you with a recipe Bella gave us.  The school wouldn’t let us do candles but…”

I smile and tell them, “Candles or not it’s still awesome, thank you.  My mom’s the only one who’s ever made me a cake before.  What kind is it?”

Jessica beams at me and says, “Chocolate with Peanut Butter filling and icing.  Bella told us it’s your favorite.”

I can’t keep my response to myself, so I nod deeply while I say loudly, “Yum!  Well, let’s eat our lunch and then we can all try it to see if it’s as good as it looks.”

They laugh, and Lauren smiles before she tells me, “It looks pitiful you don’t have to lie, but Bella assures us if we followed her directions it should still taste good even if it is lopsided.”

I stand and take my camera off my backpack and hand it to some girl passing by and ask, “Hey can you take a picture of my friends and me with the awesome cake they made me?”

She smiles and says, “Sure.”  When she looks down at the camera, she smiles wider and says, “Hey I just got this model for my birthday last May.”

I laugh and tell her, “Awesome then I probably don’t have to tell you how to use it?”

She shakes her head no, and I motion for all of our friends to gather around the table with me and my freaking awesome cake in the middle.  She takes about 20 pictures and then hands me the camera before she says, “I hope you don’t mind I usually take a ton of shots of the same thing so if someone’s eyes are closed in one shot…”

I finish her sentence, “You can Photoshop it and open their eyes using one of the other photos.  I do the same thing, thank you so much.  In fact, when you’re done eating your lunch come over, and you can have a slice of the cake because you helped us out.”

She smiles and says, “Looking forward to it.”

I sit back down.  We all eat talking about what my plans for the rest of the day are, which honestly I have no clue, so I tell them, “Damon won’t tell me what he has planned.  I’m so clueless about what the rest of my day looks like after school other than I’m supposed to do my homework over at Isa’s house and not show up at my house until 5:30 p.m.”

They all look around obviously excited, so I’m guessing whatever Damon has planned they’re in on it, but I don’t let them know I know because they seem to be having so much fun knowing something I don’t.

When we finish eating Jessica takes a plastic knife out of her backpack and hands it to me, “They wouldn’t let us bring a real knife, so I hope this will work okay.”

I smile, and when I hand her back the knife, I tell her, “I’m sure it’ll be fine.”

I look up and see Eric taking shots of Jessica cutting the cake and Lauren helping her put the slices on little paper plates Lauren took out of her bag.  They hand the first one to me with a plastic fork, so I scoop up a bite and pop it in my mouth, and Oh My God is that heavenly.  My eyes are wide while I chew.  When I’m done, I smile at them and tell them, “It might not be the most symmetrical cake in the world but it’s easily the tastiest I’ve had in years, and my mom used to make this kind of cake every year, so you’re in good company.”

Lauren, Jessica, and Angela all beam at that and everyone grabs a plate and sits to eat my awesome birthday cake.  When we’re done, Lauren takes my plate and the rest of my trash and throws it out for me.  When she comes back to the table for her bag, I hug her and kiss her cheek before telling her, “Thank you, Lauren. This has been the best birthday in a really long time, and that’s in large part because of you and Jessica and Ang and everybody else so just thank you.”

I turn and hug Jessica next being sure to kiss her cheek too before doing the same to Angela.  All three girls have huge smiles on their faces when I tell them, “I’m serious, I think this even tops my eighth birthday which was a costume party.  It was before I truly became a tomboy, so I was Tinker Bell if you're curious, and all of my friends came over, and we had a blast.  The only thing that could have made this Birthday better is if my parents were here.

All the girls surreptitiously wipe away tears at that last part, but they smile and nod.  I proudly carry the remains of my lopsided cake into Ric’s AP History Class, and before all the students file in, I tell him, “Hey Ric, I saved you the last piece of my Birthday cake that Lauren, Jessica, and Angela made for me.  Don’t be fooled by how it looks because it tastes freakin’ awesome.”

He smiles and takes the little paper plate and puts it to the side of his desk before telling me, “Thank you, Juliet.  I have my free period next period, so I’ll eat it then.”

I just nod and head to my seat.  We’re watching a documentary on Henry VIII, so I take out my laptop and start taking notes while the movie plays.  An hour and a half later AP Calculus is over, and when my friends and I are heading past Ric’s classroom, he sticks his head out the door and stops us, “Ladies, excellent job on the cake.  Jules, thank you for saving me a piece.”

The girls are all blushing, but they nod, and I tell him, “No problem.  I thought it was too good not to share with at least you though we should probably keep it between us or Damon will get jealous because you know how he is about cake.”

Ric laughs and nods with a pseudo-serious face and says, “You’re probably right about that.  I’ll see you back at the house around 5:30 yes?”

I smile and nod, “Yes, Isa promised Damon she’d keep me busy at her house until it’s time to go home.”

He nods, and we head out to the parking lot.  I stop and give all our friends hugs and smile and thank them all for making this an absolutely awesome birthday then I get in the car, and we drive to Isa’s house.

Jazz and Kol beg off doing their homework stating, “We promised Damon we’d help set up, so we’ll do our work before we go to bed.”

I just nod, and Bree and Isa lead me into Isa’s house.  I laugh when they maneuver me into sitting in the seat so that I’m looking out the window facing away from my house, but they just smile and take out their laptops, and we start working.

By 4:30 I’m done with my work, so I plug the memory card from my camera into my laptop and upload all the photos on my camera.  My email pings so I look and see that Eric shared a Dropbox folder with me.  I check it out only to find more than 450 photos from today that he and another kid on the newspaper staff took including a couple shots of Ric eating his piece of cake with his eyes closed and a look of pure pleasure on his face.

I click the link to download all the photos and then wait while they and the ones from my camera get uploaded onto my computer.

Almost an hour later I’ve fixed up all 800 plus shots in Lightroom, and I’ve marked the ones with eyes closed or that need other repairs so I can go in later and fix them up.

At 5:30 on the dot Isa and Bree put their things back into their bags, and after Isa brings her stuff upstairs, we all go across the street. 

Chapter Text

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Chapter 030

If Hell Didn’t Just Freeze Over, It Never Will

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Forks, Washington

Wednesday, October 13, 2010, 5:30 p.m. PDT

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When we get to my house they knock, and I laugh at all the trouble they’re going through, but honestly I love every second of it. 

Damon opens the door and hands me a party hat that says ‘Birthday Girl’ on it.  Laughing I put it on, and he leads me into the house towards the kitchen.  When we get there, everyone shouts “Happy Birthday!”

I laugh and start giving hugs and handshakes to all of my family and my friends including Emmett, Rosalie, and the Humans that don’t usually come over here.  Kol turned Emmett and Rosalie into Traditional Vampires a few weeks ago because they want to help with Klaus.  We all want them to be as strong as possible when we go up against Klaus, so Kol talked them into being Sired by him until it’s safe for them to be made Human again.  Anyway, they’ve been happily exploring modern food, and I’m sure they’ll love whatever Damon made for me today.

The table is beautifully set, and Damon motions me to sit in the seat at the head of the table, so I sit, and everyone else follows suit.  Damon goes over to the oven after telling me, “Close your eyes, Mia Tesoro.”

I do as I’m told, and then a minute later I open them when he tells me, “Okay, you can open them.”

My eyes tear up.  My amazing boyfriend made Portobello Mushroom Sandwiches just like my mom used to make every year on my birthday.  He smiles and tells me, “Ric and I had a little side project in the weeks leading up to us coming here.  We scanned all of your mother’s and grandmother’s recipes into a cookbook on my computer.  Your mother and grandmother were both very thorough and wrote who liked what and when they usually made which dish and for what reason, so we thought we’d make you your traditional Birthday Meal.  If I had known about it last year, I would have cooked it for you then too.”

I nod with tears in my eyes.  I stand and pull him into my arms before whispering, “Best Birthday Ever, thank you.”

He smiles and pecks my lips before telling me, “Eat up before it gets cold.  I made the Tortellini and Pesto too as well as the Jell-O Salad, which by the way, you’d think cottage cheese and cool whip would be gross together, but I tried some earlier, and it’s actually my new favorite food.”

When I sit back down, I laugh and tell him, “My mom always waited until after everyone had tried it to tell them what was in it because pretty much everyone thinks cottage cheese and cool whip would be gross.  It’s always a party favorite, though.  Elena could eat pounds of it one sitting.”

I stop talking and frown when I realize she hasn’t called today.  It’s already 8:30 back in Virginia, so if she were going to call, she probably would have already.  I’m distracted by Damon bumping my shoulder and telling me, “Hey no sad faces.  Everyone here loves you, and while it might suck that other people who should probably don’t you do not lack in the love department okay?  You’re not alone, and you never will be.  You have family in all of us.”

Ric picks up his glass and says, “What he said.”

I laugh.  I will not think about my messed up relationship with my sister until tomorrow after I’ve finished enjoying my freaking awesome birthday!

Damon thinks at me, ‘That’s the spirit, Mia Tesoro.’

We all sit around the table and eat the meal my mom used to make for me every year, and I’m struck half way through that I really don’t need Elena.  This, what I have here, is more than enough.  And I was right earlier, the only thing that would have made this day better is if I could see my parents one more time.

When dinner is over the lights dim, and Damon brings out another cake.  This one looks like a professional chef made it, and then I remember that Damon went to Culinary School a few times through the years so he pretty much could be a professional chef.

He smiles when he says, “I hope it tastes as good as the one your friends made you earlier.  I saw the picture Eric took of Ric eating it, so I’m sure it was fantastic.”

I nod and tell him, “The bar is set pretty high.”

He just laughs, and everyone sings to me again, and then I look at the candles again, ‘I wish I could introduce Damon and the rest of my family to my parents.’

Damon smiles at me and thinks, ‘I wish you could too Mia Tesoro,’ then he begins cutting up the cake, and after handing me the first slice, he hands them out to everyone else.

I pop the first bite in my mouth and have to fight the tears that spring up in my eyes.  It tastes just like my mom used to make.  I guess my parents are here in spirit.  In a way, Damon brought my parents to the party the only way he knew how.

After everyone has had cake Kol, Jasper, Jake, and Leah start carrying in wrapped presents.  When they finish bringing them in, there is a mountain of presents sitting on the table.

Slowly I unwrap each present which are mostly art books and art supplies.  I open the not cheap pack of Conté Crayons that I only just told Damon I needed more of.  I look between Mike who gave me the crayons and Damon who smiles and tells me, “I went through all your supplies and cataloged what you might be needing more of soon and then shared the list with your friends.  I also snuck a peek at your list of Art Books you wanted to buy for yourself and shared that list with everyone as well.”

I lean in and kiss him, “Thank you, Damon, you’re too good to me.”

He smiles into the kiss and says, “No such thing.”

I laugh, and then I thank Mike for the crayons before moving on to the next box.  My jaw drops when I take the Wacom Tablet I’ve only ever dreamed of owning out of the box.  I stare between the Tablet and Kol who shrugs and says, “That’s actually from Bella and me because she’s the one who told me about the conversation the two of you had about it.”

I look back at the Tablet and then back at Kol before saying, “This is too much Kol.”

He frowns and tells me telepathically, ‘If it weren’t for you, I never would have met my Mate, so I owe you a whole lot more than a little plastic machine.  As for the price, I’m over 1,000 years old, Jules, I’d be an idiot if I wasn’t worth Hundreds of Billions by now so don’t worry about the cost.  Furthermore, are you not my sister in every way that counts?  Family buys each other the things they cannot personally afford to buy because it brings us joy to see our loved one enjoying whatever it was they wanted but thought they couldn’t have.’

Out loud he says, “My family came to Forks because of you, Jules.  I never would have met Bella if it weren’t for you, so consider this a down payment on that debt.”

I just nod and then remembering my manners tell him, “You’re family, you don’t owe me anything, Kol, but thank you all the same.”

He just nods, so I open the next present until all that is left is a little box sitting in the middle of the table.  It can’t be much bigger than the width and length of a credit card.  I pick it up before Ric says, “That one is a collaboration between, me, Damon, and your father.”

I freeze at that last part.  I look at him curiously for a minute prompting him to tell me, “Well go on and open it, or you’ll never understand what I meant.”

I laugh and open the box.  Inside is a keychain with my name on it and a key hanging from it.  He stands up and tells me, “Follow me, Jules.”

I get up and follow him out of the house where I find a shiny red 1965 Ford Mustang Convertible sitting in the driveway.  Holy smokes.

He turns to look at me and says, “When I got custody of you and Elena the lawyer for your parents’, Jenna’s and John’s estates contacted me, and we arranged for me to be the executor of all of your trusts and whatnot.  He also gave me a copy of your parents’ Will which had a note about a car in a storage shed that your great-grandfather bought for your grandfather as a graduation present when he graduated from College with his Master’s Degree.  He, in turn, gave it to your dad when he got his license.  After your father had married your mom, they bought more family oriented cars so this one went into storage.  Because unlike Elena you are into classic cars he was planning to give it to you when you got your license.  So when I discovered you’d be old enough to get your license here just as soon as you finish Driver’s Ed, I talked to Damon.  We arranged for someone to collect the car, tune it up and give it any repairs it might need, and then we had the paint job redone before having it shipped here.  The mechanic that worked on it said it runs as if it’s just off the lot, not a 46-year-old car.  Happy Birthday, Jules.”

I have tears in my eyes while I walk to him and hug him tight.  He hugs me back for a minute then he pulls back to look at me and says, “It should be kept in the garage when you’re not using it because it is a collectible and shouldn’t be out in the rain except when you’re driving it.  I’ll teach you how to take care of it and how to drive stick shift over the weekend okay?”

I nod and then step back not caring when I wipe the tears from my cheeks.  I turn and kiss Damon who’s standing there with a broad smile on his face.  When we pull apart he kisses my forehead and whispers, “Your parents would both be so proud of you if they could see the young woman you’ve become.”

I nod and then walk to the car hesitantly reaching out to touch it and make sure I’m not dreaming.  I turn back to look at everyone and tell Ric and Damon, “Thank you.  I… I don’t even have words right now, so just thank you.  It’s been like my parents are here all day and I can’t thank you all enough for giving me that feeling.  This is by far the Best Birthday I’ve ever had, even with some loved ones not being able to be here.”

I notice I’m not the only one crying, Lauren, Jessica, Angela, Bree, and even Isa and Rose are all discreetly wiping away tears.

Ric holds out his hand and says, “Give me the key, and I’ll move it into the garage for the night because you don’t know how to drive with a clutch, and we don’t want you to strip the gears of your new car.”

I nod and hand him the key before Damon says, “Tomorrow afternoon after you do your homework, and before dinner, I’ll take you for a ride in it, okay?”

I just nod and walk to him before wrapping my arms around his waist for a minute.  When we separate we all head back into the house, and about a half hour later all my Human friends say, “Well, we skipped doing our homework to help set up and cook.”  Lauren finishes the thought, “I had to promise my mom that I’ll do the work when I get home before bed, so if I want to get to sleep at a reasonable hour, I should probably head out now.”

Everyone else nods and makes similar comments, but Mike adds, “My parents will kill me if I don’t do my homework.”  He smiles and then says, “Okay maybe kill is a little harsh, but they would take away my curfew privileges, so it’s best not to tempt fate.”

I laugh and tell them all, “Thank you so much for everything today.  I really mean it.  This has been the best Birthday ever, and I have all of you to thank for that.”

After the Humans, all say good-bye I walk them to the door and watch while they get into their cars and drive off.

I stand staring out at the front lawn for a minute and whisper to my parents, “I wish you were both here with me.”

A minute later I snap out of it, and I close the door before turning and stopping dead in my tracks.  I blink a few times slowly then I rub my eyes.  I have to be seeing things.  I close my eyes, but when I open them again my parents, Jenna and John are all still standing in the hallway.  “Mom, Dad… Jenna, John, what, how… you were all Human you shouldn’t be able to be here.”

My mom smiles and tells me, “Your dad and John were ¼ Air-Elf, and Jenna and I were ¼ Spirit-Demon, plus my baby sis was a Vampire when she died.  Anyways it was all enough to land us on the Other Side with the other Supernaturals.”

My eyes are wide after I take in what she said then I frown and ask, “Why haven’t I seen you guys before?”

Mom smiles gently and tells me, “We thought it best to give you time to grieve first, so this would be more of a happy occasion rather than us essentially rubbing it in your face that we’re not here with you every day.”

That sounds exactly like something my parents would do.  They always did what was best for Elena and me.  My eyes widen when I think of Elena, and I ask them, “Do you know about Elena?”

They all nod sadly and Dad says, “We are aware of more than even you know, Baby Girl.  We’re not sure why she’s turned out the way she did.  Our best guess is it’s the Petrova Blood interfering with her good sense.  We all want you to know that none of what she has been doing reflects on you.  You have done nothing wrong and have in fact stepped up and become an incredible young woman.  You have met all of our expectations and so much more.”

John speaks up, “We’re proud of you Jules, and we’re happy to see you with your Mate.  He’ll help take care of you.”

I laugh and ask, “Who are you, and what have you done with my Uncle John?  You know the man who repeatedly tried to kill my Mate.”

John smiles and tells me, “That was a miscalculation on my part and good old fashioned closed-mindedness.  By the time I gave my life to save Elena’s I knew that Damon wasn’t the monster I thought he was.  The jury is still out on Stefan though, but we’ve been watching Damon and Ric with you.  They both love you, and they will obviously do anything necessary to protect you, especially because Ric literally became the creature he spent years hunting so that you wouldn’t have to bury another loved one.  And before you worry about him regretting becoming a Vampire, he doesn’t, not even a little.  So far as he’s concerned, it was worth it.  You are worth putting up with all the bad parts that come with being a Vampire.”

My mom smiles and tells me, “We couldn’t possibly be prouder of you, Juliet.  You’ve become a wonderful young woman, and it’s you who has brought all of these warriors together and built a family for them.  Without you, this family you’ve created wouldn’t be half as strong as it is.”

Dad smiles now and tells me, “We love you, Jules, and we support your decisions wholeheartedly, even your decision to drink Damon’s blood every night.  I know we spent most of our lives hating Vampires, but you’ve shown us that not all of them are evil.  There are those that are worth saving and loving.  So if you choose to transition know that we won’t think any less of you for becoming a Vampire.  Eternity with Damon is your destiny after all.  You were made for him just as he was created for you.”

I frown, “I wish he could meet you.”

Mom smiles and says, “Call him in here.  You’ve come into your full powers just now.  Your entire family should be able to see us if you wish them to.”

My jaw drops, “For real?”

They all chuckle, but it’s Jenna who says, “For real, Jules.”

I smile and tell them, “How about we go to them because we won’t all fit in the hallway.”

They smile, and Dad tells me, “Lead the way, Baby Girl.”

I walk past them and lead them into the kitchen.  Nobody says anything for a minute, and then they all look at me and their eyes widen.  It’s Ric who speaks first, “Jenna?”

She smiles and gives a little wave, “Hi, Ric.”

He looks at me and asks the obvious question, “How?”

I smile and tell them all, “Apparently I’m part Spirit-Demon from Mom and Jenna’s side of the family and part Air-Elf from Dad and John’s side of the family, so they’re all on the Other Side.  They wanted to wait to come see us until we had healed a bit, so it won’t hurt so much when they have to leave again.”

Ric nods but asks, “How are we all seeing them?  I assume I’m not the only one who does?”

Everyone nods and agrees that they’re all seeing them too.  I smile and tell him, “Apparently I just came into my full powers whatever that means.”

I hold out my hand to Damon, and he grabs my hand, so I pull him to me and face my parents and tell them, “Mom, Dad this is Damon Salvatore, my Mate.”

Mom smiles warmly and says, “It’s a pleasure to formally meet you, Damon.  Thank you for all you have and will continue to do for our daughter, but mostly thank you for loving her as she deserves to be loved, wholly and completely.”

Damon’s eyes are wide but he smiles and says, “Nice to meet you too, and loving her is my honor and privilege.  You raised an amazing daughter, so I suppose I should be thanking you both for that.”

They smile and nod.  John chooses that moment to clear his throat and say, “Damon, I just wanted to, uh, well, I’m, I’m sorry I tried to kill you, multiple times.  If I had known then what I know now, I wouldn’t have acted how I did towards you.  I still don’t like your brother, but you, you’re an okay guy.”

He frowns then says, “I have a favor to ask, though.  If you have the opportunity, change your brother back into a Human.  My daughter is a horrible Human never mind what she’d be like as a Vampire.  The world and Jules will suffer greatly if she turns.  Therefore because Stefan is her Mate, if you can swing it and he’ll consent, which I’m pretty sure he will, please, you and your family turn him back, so he and Elena can live a Human lifetime together and raise a family for themselves before they die Human.  While Jules was built to be immortal and live for all of eternity by your side, which all four of us give our blessing for, by the way, Elena well I’m not really sure what’s wrong with her, but I do know becoming a Vampire would only exacerbate the problem.  I’m afraid she inherited my selfishness and her mother’s particular brand of crazy, so as evidenced by Isobel’s time as a Vampire our daughter needs to remain Human if at all possible.”

Damon nods and so does Kol, Isa, and Elijah before Damon says, “We’ll do our best to convince him, but I think you’re right that he’ll more than likely jump at the chance to be Human once more.”

John nods back and then Mom smiles at Charlie and tells him, “Hi Charlie, thank you for all you’ve done for Juliet since they moved here.  I miss you.”

He smiles and shrugs before saying, “I miss you too, and I’ll do anything for your girl, Miranda.”

She just nods in response, so I take a minute to introduce each member of my new family to my old family.  When that’s done Mom smiles and says, “It’s nice to meet all of you.  Thank you for all you have and will do for Juliet, especially you Ric.  You gave the ultimate sacrifice to protect our daughter, and that is a favor we will not soon forget.  You’ve done so much for our family, and we really can’t express how happy we are that Juliet will always have you looking out for her.  We would trust few others with our daughter’s safety, but you’re at the top of that list because you have proven yourself time and again.”

Ric just nods.  Jenna walks over to him and raises her hand as if she’s stroking his cheek, and he leans into the ghostly touch while she tells him, “I love you, and I know you love me, but I’m not your forever.  You’ll find her soon in the most unlikely of people, and you will be happy with her.  Don’t hold on to my memory for too long, or she’ll grow frustrated and think you’re not really interested.  Learn from your mistakes with Isobel and me, be open with her, tell her everything, and she will give you the world if you allow her too.”

She pauses then says, “Thank you for loving me.  You made my last few months amazing, and I will always cherish our time together.  Don’t be afraid to move on, though.  I won’t be upset by it, in fact, I’m kind of excited to see what happens when you realize who she is and that she’s your Mate.  Be happy Ric, you deserve it more than most people.”

He just nods with tears in his eyes and says, “I will, I love you.  I think I always will to some degree, but I won’t hold on to your memory for too long.  Or at least I won’t keep your memory from allowing me to live my life and love again.”

She smiles and kisses his cheek, “That’s all I ever want for you Ric, be well and be happy.”

She turns back to me and tells me, “Don’t let Elena’s BS get you down, Jules.  Her issues aren’t your fault.  All you’ve ever done is love her unconditionally, and that’s honestly all you could do.  The ruins of your relationship with her probably won’t ever be healed, but that’s also not a reflection on you but rather her unwillingness to admit when she’s wrong.  Be happy.  You’ve built a wonderful family all around you, and I know they will stand by your side through thick and thin.”

Mom and Dad smile and nod before they say together, “We love you, Juliet.  You’ve made us so proud, and we know you will continue to do so for the rest of eternity.  Be happy, and Happy 16th Birthday.”

They start to turn away, so I call out, “Wait, will I ever see you again?”

Mom turns back with a smile on her face and says, “Don’t worry this isn’t goodbye forever, just for a while.  Now that you’re mostly healed we’ll be around.  You already know how it works: you pull on your side and we pull on our side.  We’re always with you, and we’re just a tug away.”

I smile and tell them, “Thank you, I love you.  I, I want you to know I thought several times today that the only way this Birthday could get any better was if I could see you one more time, so thank you for making this hands down the best Birthday ever.”

They all chuckle and Dad tells me, “It’s the first of many, be well, Juliet. We love you.”

Then Mom walks to me, kisses my cheek, then walks back to Dad, and after taking his hand they and John and Jenna walk out into the hallway, and I know they disappear from sight right around the corner.

Damon laughs and says, “Wow I didn’t see that coming.  And did I hear that right, they gave their blessing for our relationship and you becoming a Vampire?”

I just smile and nod, “They did, on both counts.”

He smiles and kisses me, “Will wonders never cease.  Hell must have frozen over just now.”

I laugh and slap his chest to which he says, “What?  You’ve got to admit to the surreal quality of hearing the de-facto leaders of Mystic Fall’s anti-Vampire movement telling their daughter they approve of your romantic relationship with me, a Vampire.  And they also told you that you’re meant to be a Vampire yourself and that they’re not only okay with that but proud of you for the choices you have and will continue to make.  It was very unexpected.  In fact, if Hell didn’t just freeze over then it never will.”

Everyone laughs at that, and we go back to cleaning up after my party.  Well, they all go back to cleaning while I’m told by several people, “Don’t even think of helping us clean, Birthday Girl.”

Finally, after having my hands swatted for the umpteenth time after trying unsuccessfully to help they tell Damon, “Damon, we got this, go distract the Birthday Girl.”

Damon smiles a smoldering smile and wiggles his eyebrows at me suggestively before he asks, “Hmm, now what could I possibly do to distract you?”

I chuckle when he takes my hand, and while Isa, Angela, and Ben giggle and wave at me, Damon leads me up the stairs towards our bedroom.

Chapter Text

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Chapter 031

The Man You Seem to Think I Can Be

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Forks, Washington

Wednesday, October 13, 2010; 9:30 p.m. PDT

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When we reach our room, he pulls me inside and then kicks the door closed before leaning against it and pulling me into his arms.  He kisses me sweetly for a long minute then pulls away and asks, “Did you have a good birthday, Mia Tesoro?”

I smile and tell him, “I was serious every time I said it was the best birthday ever, and that was before I got to see my parents and John and Jenna again.”

He smiles and tells me, “I don’t have words for how pleased I am for you that you got to see them.  It was the one thing I wished I could give you.  It’s why I made all the dishes your mom used to make and helped Ric give you your dad’s car.  We were trying to show you that they’re still here in spirit, and it turns out we didn’t have a clue just how right we were.”

I nod and lean my head against his shoulder with my arms wrapped around him.  After a few minutes he asks, “Are you tired?  Do you want to go to bed?”

I smile and tell him, “I want to go to bed, but I’m not too sure how much sleeping I actually plan on doing.”

He chuckles and asks, “Is that so?”

I move my face in front of his and then lean forward and kiss him then pull back and say, “I’m yours, and I want you to have me any way you want me, Forever and Always.”

He looks into my eyes for a minute then he asks, “Are you sure, Mia Tesoro?  I’ll wait as long as you need me to for you to give your body to me.”

I smile shyly and tell him, “I’m sure.”

He cups my cheeks and kisses me deeply.  Then we get interrupted by my phone as it rings, and I wonder briefly if Elena might have remembered after all, but when I take my phone out of my pocket, my eyes widen at Caroline’s number on the screen.  I hit the on button and then put it on speakerphone and ask, “Hello?”

I can hear the smile in her voice when she says, “Hey Jules.  I know I haven’t talked to you since before you moved.  I was looking through my date book a minute ago and realized it’s your Birthday so I figured I’d call and wish you a happy one and find out how you’ve been.”

Wow, I definitely didn’t see that coming, so I just stand there for a minute with my mouth gaping open, so she says, “Uh, Jules, you still there?”

I laugh and tell her, “Yeah, sorry, I was just surprised that you’d call to wish me a Happy Birthday.”

She laughs and says, “I know we’ve never been much more than Elena’s little sister and her best friend, but you’re family, so when I realized I hadn’t missed your birthday I figured why not right?”

I smile and tell her, “Thank you Caroline, and you’re right.  You are family, so Happy Belated Birthday to you as well.”

She laughs again and says, “Thanks, you know it’s so weird.  I’m finally an adult, but it doesn’t feel any different than the day before.”

I laugh then she says, “But enough about my Birthday, what have you been up to in Forks, and have you had an awesome Birthday?  I know it probably sucks with Elena being here and you being there, but I’m hoping Ric and Damon have managed to help you have at least a Happy Birthday.”

I frown and say, “Uhhh…”

I can hear her smiling when she says, “Don’t worry I haven’t told anyone that I’m pretty sure Damon is still in Forks with you and Ric.  Honestly, they’re not nearly as smart as they think they are if they think Damon’s just going to leave his two best friends high and dry.  In fact, they’re stupid for even suggesting he should.  And that’s not even taking into account the looks he throws your way when he thinks no one else is looking.”

I laugh and ask her, “How on earth?”

She laughs back and says, “Hey, I’ve got two perfectly working eyes ya know.  Plus, I’ve got Vampire senses, so I hear how your heart rate picks up when his name is mentioned, or he enters a room, and I can smell that you and he um, well, really like each other.”

I’m blushing, and I’m certain she is too, and it only gets worse when Damon chimes in, “She’s got you there, Mia Tesoro.”

She laughs again and says, “I knew it.  Hey, Damon.”

He smiles before he says, “Hey, Vampire Barbie.”

She pauses and then asks, “Hey did he just call you his treasure?  That is so sweet.  So ignoring that I mentioned Vampires and you made no comment and therefore know about the Supe World despite Damon supposedly compelling you to forget, what have the two of you been up to?”

I frown as Damon shrugs so I cautiously ask her, “You won’t tell will you?”

She’s obviously smiling again as she says, “Of course not, I figured when everyone said Damon just disappeared that he was still actually with you, and it wasn’t hard to guess that he’d either taken the compulsion off of you or never put it there, to begin with.  Honestly, I thought it was wrong when Elena and Bonnie told me about it, and they weren’t surprised by my opinion, so I’m sure that’s why I wasn’t involved in the discussion leading up to it.  I mean yeah you’re Human, but so were most of us once, and the fact we’re not Human anymore doesn’t give us the right to steal the memories from someone we claim to love.”

She seems to snap out of her unhappy thoughts and tells me, “So tell me about Forks.”

I smile and tell her, “Well we’ve mostly been hanging out with Bella and her friends, and I’m working on the school paper drawing cartoons and taking pictures for them.  Damon and my friends threw a party for me tonight—”

She interrupts, “I’m not interrupting am I because I’ll totally call back another time if you’re busy.”

I smile and tell her, “No everyone went home a bit ago so they can do their homework.”

I imagine she’s nodding while she asks, “How’s school going?”

I smile and tell her knowing full well she’ll tell Elena, “It’s going great.  I actually tested out of grades 10 and 11, so I’m a senior now too.”

I laugh when she says, “Wait you did what?  That’s awesome, Jules!  How come Elena hasn’t mentioned that.  I figure she’d be real proud of you?”

I frown a little and say, “Honestly we’ve grown apart, and I don’t think I got a chance to tell her.  She’s only called me once right when I got here, and I hadn’t taken the tests yet.  In fact, I didn’t even know Ric had arranged it yet.”

I can tell she’s frowning when she says, “She hasn’t called you more than once?  What the hell is up with her?  I swear her and Stefan seem to be getting more and more messed up.  Not to worry you needlessly, but they’re going around claiming they Daggered Elijah again and that he disappeared after the fact.”

I frown and tell her, “I know.  Elena called Ric yesterday and told him the same story.”

She’s probably frowning again when she says, “I actually think they did it because I think Elijah had a soft spot for her so he wouldn’t have necessarily had his guard as high up as it usually is.  But I also believe he wasn’t completely stupid and had a backup plan in case they tried something stupid, which they obviously did.  So I don’t know how he got away, but I’m sure he did.”

I laugh and tell her, “I wouldn’t put it past Elijah to do exactly that.”

She sighs and says, “Hold on a sec,” then she says, “Damn it, sorry Jules, but Elena is calling, so I’ve got to let you go.  Don’t worry.  I won’t tell her anything you said about Damon or well anything except I called, and you tested out of grades 10 and 11 unless you want to keep that a secret too?”

I smile and tell her, “No you can tell her that but only that and the other bits about school.”

She’s obviously smiling again when she says, “Will do, hey do you mind if I call you again sometime?  That bit about looking in my date book was a lie.  I knew it was your birthday, and I used it as an excuse to call because I’ve honestly found I kind of miss having you around.”

I smile and tell her, “Sure, I’ve actually missed you too Caroline so call anytime, and thank you for not sharing what you know with everyone else.”

“Thanks then I’ll talk to you soon, and no problem.  Happy Birthday, Jules.  Bye Damon.”

He smiles and says, “Wait, if you don’t think anyone will notice, I’ll give you my new number, but don’t share it with anyone, or I’ll come back and kick your cute little ass.”

“You don’t have to give it to me if you don’t want to.  I totally get why you changed your number, and I probably would have done the same thing if everyone treated me the way they usually treat you.  I mean, yeah, you were an ass when you first got here, mostly to me, but, you’ve changed, a lot.  Anyone with working eyes should be able to see that.  Anyway, I won’t be upset if you don’t give me the number, but I also won’t share it with anyone else if you do give it to me.”

He smiles and tells her, “For the record Caroline, I’m sorry for how I treated you when I first came to town.  You’re right I was a total ass to you.”

I can hear the smile in her voice when she says, “Thank you.  I’ve mostly forgiven you at this point especially because I’d be dead right now if it weren't for you.”

He smiles wider and gives her the number which she repeats to him and then tells him, “I put it into my phone as Daniel, so no one will accidentally see that it’s there.  Now I really have to go because Elena hung up and she’s calling back again.  Take care guys and if you need anything feel free to call me though I’m not sure what I can do for you from here but the offer stands.  And Happy 16th, Jules.”

Damon is smiling when we both say, “Thanks and Happy Belated Birthday.”

She laughs and then she says, “Thanks, bye,” and the line goes dead.

I laugh while I hang up and look at him before saying, “Wow, I totally didn’t see that one coming.”

He laughs too and says, “As annoying as she can get, she’s always been good people, and she’s a Saint for not trying to stake me when she remembered all the horrible crap I had done to her before she was turned.”

I laugh at that, but then I get serious and tell him, “Elena hasn’t called since we got here, and she obviously forgot my birthday, but at least we still have Care.”

He smiles and tells me, “She obviously loves you, Jules, if she tried to come up with a reasonable excuse to call her best friend’s sister.  She lied, you’ve always been more than Elena’s little sister and her best friend.  Even when I was ‘dating’ her, she talked about you like you were the little sister she always wanted and never got.  So I’m happy to see I was right, and you still have her friendship.”

I nod and then hug him, “It still hurts that my sister’s best friend cares more about me than my own sister.”

He kisses the top of my head and says, “I know, Mia Tesoro.  But Caroline’s love is better than none of them loving you, no?”

I sigh, “You’re right, I know you are but…”

I can hear him frowning while he says, “It’s okay to he hurt and angry, Mia Tesoro.  Elena hasn’t been treating you right for a long time, but just know there are others who love you as you deserve to be loved, and that list apparently includes Vampire Barbie.”

I smile and lean in to kiss him before asking him, “I don’t want to think about it anymore tonight.  Now, where were we?”

He smiles and says, “I think we were right here,” and he leans in and kisses me slowly.  As his tongue massages my own he slowly walks us towards the bed.  When my knees hit the edge of the bed he pushes on my shoulders, and I fall back on the bed, which rips a girlish giggle out of me, and you know what I don’t give a crap if I sound like a girlie girl either.

He laughs and tells me, “You are too funny sometimes, Mia Tesoro.  I love the rarely seen girlie girl parts of you just as much as I love the tomboy parts of you.”

I laugh while he crawls up my body and then lies down on top of me before he kisses me again.  My hands travel to his back, and I tug at his t-shirt before pulling my lips away to tell him, “Off, take it off.”

He chuckles and sits up before slipping his shirt off over his head.  He looks at me as my eyes travel over all the newly exposed skin then he reaches for my arm and pulls me into a sitting position and then tugs my shirt up causing my arms to lift as he pulls my t-shirt off over my head.  The lacy underwear I usually wear is one of the few girlie girl things I do or wear on a regular basis and the red lacy bra I’m wearing right now is no different.

He moves us to lie side by side and just runs his hand up and down my side while he tells me, “I don’t know what good thing I did to deserve you.  Goddess knows there wasn’t much good that I did until I met you, but whatever it was I’m eternally grateful I did it because my life would be empty without the joy you bring into it.”

I smile he’s not the only one who wonders what good thing he did to deserve a love like this.  He frowns and then tells me, “When Stefan practically forced me to finish the transition I thought Katherine was dead and that any shot I might have had at happiness had died with her.”

Now I’m frowning.  I can’t imagine how painful it was for him to first believe the woman he loved was dead and then to think she was trapped and starving to death for more than a century.  He keeps going, “Then when I found out about the tomb I latched on to that hope of getting her out someday and used it to keep me going for almost a century and a half.  I realize now that that hope was given to me so I would find my way to you.”

He leans in and kisses me for a moment then pulls back and continues, “If I hadn’t met Katherine and turned I wouldn’t have lived long enough to meet you.  But even after I transitioned, without the hope of getting her out of that tomb I probably never would have returned to Mystic Falls and never would have stumbled upon the little sister of my annoying brother’s Mate.”

He smiles now a smile that reaches his eyes and makes them sparkle, “My life would be so much less than it is if I hadn’t invited myself over for dinner and met you.  I knew when you shook my hand that you were my Mate, but you were Human, and my switch was still off, and I was still fixated on rescuing Katherine, so I tried to fight it.”

He frowns then tells me, “Then after I smelled your Virginity I realized it didn’t matter if you were my Mate because you were never going to associate with a miscreant like me, so I stood no chance, so I tried to convince myself I was in love with the other Gilbert.  And through it all, my feelings for you grew and grew mostly without me even realizing it.” 

He can smell that?  He smiles and nods, but then his look gets serious, and his brows furrow before he frowns and tells me, “When I snapped your neck… I honestly… I freaked out once I realize what I had done.  I went home and planned to wait until the sun came up and then take off my ring and kill myself.”

Oh, my God, I came that close to losing him forever?  Thank you, God, for not letting him commit suicide!  He keeps talking though so I pay attention when he tells me, “I can’t tell you how relieved I was when Stefan came home and told me you had been wearing Jonathan’s ring.  But then I was faced with the knowledge that I had killed you, and you would probably never forgive me for that.”

He kisses me softly then says, “Honestly I figured I had lost your friendship too, but then you showed up with that stake and seemed kind of apathetic about trying to kill me back.  I realized then that that meant I had a chance to at least regain your friendship because you obviously didn’t want me dead even if I had just killed you.  So I set about becoming the best friend I could be, which admittedly I was a little rusty because it had been almost a century and a half since I had had a real friend.”

I didn’t notice any rust.  He frowns again and says, “I still thought you’d never go for someone like me, so I continued trying to convince myself it wasn’t you I had feelings for, but every time I touched you I’d be reminded that you and I were meant to be, and then I noticed the little glances you’d give me, and don’t freak out but I could smell and otherwise sense when you’d get turned on, and I was honestly shocked when I realized it was happening when no one but me was around.”

He grins at me and tells me, “That was also about the same time Ric and I talked and realized that Elena was probably going to try to talk me into compelling you to leave and forget everything Supernatural.  I vowed then that wherever you went was where I was going to be, and surprisingly Ric had the same idea.  Although, I guess in retrospect it’s really not all that surprising now that I have some concept of what a person is willing to do for someone they love.”

He pulls away slightly and looks me straight in the eyes, “I would slaughter thousands if it would protect you, and I’ve never felt that way before.”

He pauses and then looks sheepish before he grins and says, “I have a confession to make.  The night we got here.  I walked Isa home, but even then, before my senses improved so much, I could hear every word you and Ric said despite being in the house across the street.  I heard you tell Ric that it didn’t matter that you wanted me because I wanted Elena.  I realized I may have played the whipped love-sick brother a little too well, so I decided to make my move and show you that it wasn’t Elena I wanted at all.  And I have never felt so much joy and anticipation of the future as when I kissed you, and you didn’t pull away or try to hit me.”

He looks at me and then kisses me sweetly for a minute before pulling back and telling me, “I, I’ve never been happier than I have been this month since we left Mystic Falls, and it’s all because of you.  You make everything matter in ways it never did before.  I find myself thinking about what I can do for you to bring a smile to your face simply because seeing you happy makes me feel alive in a way I never have before, not even when I was Human.  Then as if all of that wasn’t enough you gave me a family.  Yeah, it’s a little unconventional but every single member of this family is here because of you, and they love you, but they also love me, and, well, until you and Ric entered my life I hadn’t had that since Kamilah and Emily.”

He pulls me closer and sort of hides his face in my neck before he tells me, “I know I haven’t talked much about my Human life, but the basic gist is that my father hated me.  I was never good enough.  I was never Stefan enough for him.  To this day I still don’t know why he hated me so much.  It’s been recently suggested to me by several people that perhaps I reminded him of my dead mother whom I know he truly loved.  However, since I met you, it seems to matter a whole lot less than it used to because now there are people who love me for me and would fight to protect me and all I hold dear.  I have a life and happiness I thought I’d never have because you chose me.  So thank you, whatever I did to deserve your love I thank the Goddess I managed to do it so I wouldn’t miss out on feeling your love directed at me.”

He pauses, and I don’t know what to say, but apparently he’s not done so he says, “You said on the way here that you had no desire to try to change me, but you have changed me, and I couldn’t be happier about it.  You make me want to be a better man, Mia Tesoro.  You make me want to be good enough for your love.  You just make me want to be better than I was the day before.  You make me want to be the man you seem to believe I can be.”

Wow, just wow.  I’m surprised when his hands come up and wipe tears from my cheeks before he says, “Please don’t cry, Mia Tesoro.”

I smile tremulously and tell him, “They’re happy tears, Damon.  I, I can’t tell you how much what you just said means to me.  I’m full to the brim with your love, and I know I’m not going to turn until I’m at least an adult, but I can’t wait for forever to start.  I love you so much, and at first, I’ll admit it kind of scared me because I had never felt anything as fierce as your love for me, but now I can’t imagine my life without it or you in it.  I’m yours in every way, and I plan to be yours until The End of Days.”

I smile and kiss him then pull back and tell him, “I honestly don’t know what I did to deserve you either.  I mean I’m just 16 years old, and I’ve barely lived, and yet somehow I’ve managed to earn the love and respect of a man who blows my mind at every turn.  You make me think, and you make me happy to be alive.  After my parents died, I honestly considered ending it, but I’m so glad I didn’t because if I had, I would have missed out on this amazing life with you.  So in a way you make me better too in that you show me every day that life is worth living even if you lose people you love.  I see the beauty behind the scariness of the world because of you and your love for me.  I am because you love me.”

Chapter Text

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Chapter 032

Hands Down the Best Birthday Ever

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Forks, Washington

Wednesday, October 13, 2010; 9:30 p.m. PDT

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His lips crash into mine a moment after I tell him I am because he loves me, and while I moan into the kiss his tongue traces the contour of my lips, and then his tongue slips inside my mouth.  I gasp because the electricity I usually feel when we touch jolts through me at every point that our skin touches.  I’ve felt it before usually when we lay in bed to sleep because I’ve taken to sleeping in tank tops instead of the t-shirts I used to sleep in when I lived in Mystic Falls.  My completely bare arms are usually touching his bare chest when we sleep, and it usually brings me a weird sense of comfort, but right now it’s burning my nerve endings in the most pleasurable way imaginable.

My hands reach out and travel the length of his side, and then I bring my hand over his chest down to his stomach and feel the grooves of his muscles.  I smile when they twitch ever so slightly while I touch him.

Feeling brave I pull away from his lips and lean in and kiss his collar bone before trailing kisses down toward his pecs.  I smile even wider because he moans when I brush my lips over his nipple with just the barest of touches, so I go back and place an open-mouthed kiss on his nipple before sucking it into my mouth and flicking it with my tongue.

His hand comes to rest on top of my head and laces through my hair, but he doesn’t try to direct me or move my mouth somewhere else.  In fact, he seems content to let me explore, so I push on his shoulder and follow his body until he’s lying on his back and I’m straddling his waist. 

Leaning down I bring my lips to his other pec and lave that one with flat licks before I suck that one into my mouth too.  When I shift my hips, I feel his hardness pressing into my backside, and I freeze.

His hands leave my hair, and he pulls my face away from his chest and pulls me until my face is level with his.  He cups my cheeks in his big hands and tells me, “You’re in control here, Mia Tesoro.  We’ll only go as far as you want to go okay?  I know what you said earlier, but I was serious when I said I’ll wait as long as you need me to.  As you pointed out earlier we have forever, so there is no rush, and I know you’re excited that you’re finally old enough to make this choice for yourself, but I don’t want you to rush into it if you’re not actually ready okay?  So just be with me and feel me, and you let me know when you want to stop okay, and I promise no matter when you stop us I won’t be angry okay?  I might need a cold shower afterward, but I won't be mad okay?”

I nod as much as his hands on my face allow me to.  I take a deep breath and then tell him, “I really am ready I just I’ve never felt a guy’s hardness before, well other than the few times you’ve put my hand on yours to show me that you didn’t want to stop but that we had to.  It just surprised me is all, but I really am ready, I swear.”

He looks me in the eye for a minute then he smiles and nods once, “Okay, but if you change your mind you just say the word okay?  Saying yes now doesn’t mean you have to keep saying yes if you decide it’s too much.”

I nod again and then lean down and kiss him before trailing my kisses down his neck and back down to his chest.  I give each nipple a lick and a suck, and then I move down to his stomach groaning when I rub against him.  I lick and nibble each groove of muscle and place sucking kisses here and there before I reach his belly button.  I lick around it a few times and then dip my tongue into the little dent.  His hand comes back to lace into my hair again, and I follow his happy trail right to the waistband of his jeans.

I play with the button on his jeans for a minute then I pop it through the hole and slide the zipper down.  I trail my fingertips over the newly exposed skin and then trail my lips along the path my fingers took.  Reaching inside his pants my eyes go wide when I realize he’s gone commando.  I look up at him through my lashes and smile at the smirk on his face.  He really is rather hot when he’s pleased with himself.

He laughs at that thought just before he groans when I wrap my hand around him.  I pull up and then pull down and stop for a second to adjust my grip then I start stroking him while I watch his face.  He’s even more beautiful like this.  The angle is killing my wrist, though, so I pull away and then pull his waistband down smiling when he lifts his hips to help me remove his pants.  They get caught on his boots, though, so I scoot to the end of the bed and take off his boots and socks and then his pants before I stand and remove my shoes and socks as well.  I stand there for a minute contemplating my next move then I figure ‘what the hell,' so very aware of Damon’s eyes watching my every move I snap the button of my jeans through the hole and then pull the zipper down.  I shimmy out of my pants, and then I’m only standing in my red lace bra and panties.

I shuffle my feet a little while Damon looks me over then he reaches out to me and says, “You’re beautiful, Mia Tesoro.  Come here.”  I walk to the side of the bed and then climb on kneeling beside him.  He sits up and turns to face me before he pulls my face to his and kisses me hungrily while his hands roam over my shoulders and back.

When I reach down and begin stroking him again, he unhooks the latch on my bra with one hand, which causes me to raise my eyebrow at him.  He chuckles and tells me, “Trust me you probably don’t want to know.”

I nod and say, “You’re probably right because I don’t want to think about all the people you’ve slept with in the past.”

I’m frowning until his finger comes up and traces my frown lines before he tells me, “Hey, they happened in the past, but you are my Mate.  That means you and only you are going to know me that way ever again.  You’re my last and only from this point forward, okay?”

My eyes widen at his words, but I nod before he pulls away a moment later taking my bra with him and says, “Lay down, Mia Tesoro.”  I lay down, and he leans over me and kisses me softly then he moves to straddle my hips

Leaning down he kisses first my right cheek, then my left then each eye before he kisses right behind my left ear and then whispers, “Do you want me inside you?”

Oh My God!  “I, I want to feel you inside me so badly.”

I can feel his smile against my skin while he nibbles along the column of my neck and then says, “Then you will.”

He takes a moment to lay on top of me, and then I move my legs so his legs are resting in between mine and I moan at the friction that position causes when his pelvis presses against mine.

He rolls his hips against mine, and my eyes roll back in my head at the pleasure of it.  Kissing me deeply, he then trails his kisses down my neck to my collar bone and then leaving sucking kisses along the bone he sucks hard for a minute at the juncture where my shoulder meets my neck, and I reach up and smack the back of his head, “Dammit Damon, stop doing that.  I have to go to school tomorrow, and my friends already commented on the hickey you left me this morning.”

He laughs and leans up to look me in the eyes, “What can I say, I enjoy seeing my Mark on you.  It’s a Vampire thing, then again my fascination with your neck is probably a Vampire thing too.”

I laugh and ask, “Well can you do it a little lower from now on so I can hide it beneath my shirt?”

He smiles back and says, “But then I can’t see it either.”

I laugh again and tell him, “But you’ll know it’s there, which is more than anyone else will know.”

He laughs too and then gets serious, “Does it really bother you, because if it does, I won’t do it anymore.”

I frown and then tell him, “Not really, though my friends really did comment on the one from this morning, and I’m sure I turned eight shades of red when Jess practically shouted it for the whole school to hear.  But I kind of like wearing your Mark as much as you like Marking me.”

He smiles and says, “Okay, and for the record when we’re not naked and in bed, we’re going to talk about the possibility of me actually Marking you.”

I frown, “What does that mean?”

“That’s part of what we’ll talk about, but basically it’s a deeper than usual bite mark that would let any Vampire who comes near you know that you are mine and mine alone.  There’s no undoing the effect, though, so we’ll talk it through before we go making any decisions, okay?  Now, where was I?   Oh yes, putting a hickey right here,” and he leans down and sucks on his chosen spot.  My fingers claw at his back because I see stars when he sucks particularly hard.

He chuckles and then trails his kisses lower and again proceeds to blow my mind.

As I’m coming down from my high I realize I could be embarrassed that he made me come undone so quickly, but I’m too busy literally seeing stars, and while I come down off my high I wonder that that’s actually a thing and not just a saying like I had thought.

Damon chuckles against my hip and tells me, “You really are too funny sometimes, Mia Tesoro.”

I giggle back and tell him, “I’m sorry, I can’t help it.”

I can feel his frown against my thigh then he looks up at me and crawls over me until his face is even with mine, and he looks right into my eyes and tells me, “There is absolutely no reason for you to be sorry, Mia Tesoro.  I actually find it endearing, but even if I didn’t you can’t help what you think, so you have no reason to apologize okay?”

I just nod with wide eyes before he sets about blowing my mind once again. 

45 minutes later I’m once again trying to get my bearings while he licks at his bite mark before we lay there both gasping for breath for a few moments then I start to notice that I’m cold.  Damon laughs and gets out of bed before he says, “Wait here, I’ll be right back.”

He’s gone and back in the blink of an eye with a warm wet cloth to wipe me clean.  When I flinch, he says, “Sorry, you’re probably going to be sore for a bit no matter how gentle I tried to be.”

He looks at me for a second and says, “I haven’t given you my blood today, so I’ll do that in a sec, and you’ll be good as new.”

When he finishes cleaning me up, he picks me up and with one arm lowers the blankets before placing me in the bed and pulling the covers up over me.  He detours to the bathroom for a minute then he joins me in bed.  He bites his wrist and holds it down for me to latch onto, and I reach completion again despite having already done so twice.  I drink until the wound closes and then he pulls me into his arms, and I immediately curl up against him, and after he kisses the top of my head, he tells me, “Happy Birthday, Mia Tesoro.”

I laugh and tell him firmly, “Hands Down Best Birthday Ever.”

He laughs and just pulls me closer to him while I bask in the afterglow and then slip to sleep.

Chapter Text

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Chapter 033

Team Originals

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In the Air Somewhere Over the United States

Saturday, December 18, 2010, 9 a.m. PST

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School let out for winter break yesterday.  All of us, including, Ric, Isa, Kol, Elijah, Leah, Jake, Bree, Seth, Jasper, Angela, Ben, Emmett, Rosalie, Billy, Charlie, Sue and Harry, Damon, and me are now in Elijah’s private jet.  To say I was shocked when I discovered he has his own plane would be a major understatement.

Anyhow, we’re flying from Seattle to D.C. today for winter break but more so that we can finally split Klaus’ essence into parts and then trap the parts inside a bunch of us.  We found the spell last week, and it was very clear that we need to be able to touch him to be able to correctly perform the spell, so we’re all going to Mystic Falls for the holidays.

My butterflies are multiplying at an alarming rate once again at the thought of seeing my sister and my old friends.  Elena never did call me for my birthday and in fact didn’t call me until nearly a month later, and that was only because she couldn’t find mom’s cookbook.  I was surprised she wanted it because she’s an even worse cook than I am, but it turned out Stefan was going to make her dinner, and she wanted a recipe out of the book.

I told her where I last saw it and then she just said ‘Oh,” when it was exactly where Ric and Damon left it: in the cabinet, it always goes in.

She barely managed to say ‘Bye,’ and she didn’t even bother with a thank you before she hung up on me with no mention whatsoever of my Birthday having been the previous month.

I didn’t bother telling Damon about it, but he apparently heard it in my thoughts the next day, and he broke a glass he was holding when he squeezed it too hard.

So yeah, I’m not really looking forward to seeing Elena, and don’t get me started on Bonnie.  She hasn’t called even once despite supposedly being my best friend.

Caroline is another matter entirely, though.  After she called on my birthday, we’ve probably talked three or four times a week ever since.  She’s actually turning out to be an excellent friend, and one day she went hunting in a forest a few miles away from Mystic Falls so I could fill her in on all that’s been happening for real since I moved to Forks.  She wanted to make sure no one who shouldn’t might overhear us talking hence the trip out of town and into a random forest.

To say she was shocked by all I told her would also be an understatement, but she’s been supportive, and she’s been giving us info about what’s going on in Mystic Falls whenever she can.  Although honestly, most of that she emails me and then deletes the sent messages.

So I’m not surprised when I step off the plane and almost immediately have my arms full of Caroline.  I’m not even surprised when she hugs Damon because they’ve been talking too since he actually apologized to her for all he had done to her before she turned.  I could tell he meant it too, so now he’s said he was sorry and meant it enough times to only have two or so fingers left over.

Ric hugs her too, and then we introduce her to everyone who except for the parents she’s talked to a couple of times since my birthday.  Caroline smiles and says to everyone, “So yeah, in case you didn’t figure it out, I’m Caroline, that annoying girl you all have been talking to on the phone.”

Everyone nods and chuckles then we go get our luggage and head out to the cars Elijah, Ric, and Jasper rented for us under assumed names.

Damon, Kol, Isa and I all go with Caroline and follow behind Elijah who leads us to his house a few towns over from Mystic Falls.

Klaus knows Kol is spending the holidays with Ric and me and that we’re coming to Mystic Falls.  In fact, Klaus thinks that I figured out what Kol was and that he’s turned Ric and me to their side of the situation because Elena and company have been treating me so poorly.  He even knows that Damon’s been around and that Kol supposedly compelled him to make sure he’d stay loyal to Klaus’ cause.  We checked, though, and Kol and Elijah can no longer compel Damon after the spell Kol and Isa did making Damon Kol’s brother in every way that matters.  In fact, we checked Kol and Elijah can’t compel any of the Vampires in our family, so we’re not too worried about Klaus compelling Damon and finding out that Kol didn’t actually compel him.

Klaus also ‘knows’ that three weeks ago Elijah went to visit Kol and that he’s been staying with us and helping make us be ‘Team Originals’ instead of ‘Team Elena.’  According to Klaus’ journal, he fully believes everything we’ve been telling him and is actually a little proud of himself for setting up a situation for such a coup.  Never mind that Kol and Elijah supposedly did all the work.

We’ve even had Caroline interacting with Klaus and making him believe she’s disillusioned by her friends and might someday choose him.

Anyway, Klaus thinks we’re staying at Elijah’s to keep Elena from just inviting herself over.

Still, I groan when we pull up to Elijah’s house and see Klaus sitting on the front stoop.  He stands when we pull into the circular drive.

When we all get out of our cars Caroline skips over to him, yes I said skips, and beams at him before she asks, “Nik, what are you doing here?  I thought I wouldn’t see you until later.”

He smiles and tells her, “Well, Luv, I wanted to see my brothers and speak with young Juliet and her Vampire.”

I blush when he looks at me and thinks, ‘I wonder what young Elena will think when Stefan smells his brother’s Mark and the scent of his seed all over her sister.’

Charlie already informed Damon and me, “Legal age of consent in Virginia is 18 no matter what,” so we already know we won’t be having sex, which sucks because we’ve had it at least once a day pretty much every day since my Birthday.  Charlie told us, “You can sleep in the same bed, but you’re back to only kissing, hugging and hand-holding until we return to Washington, you hear?”

Damon chuckled at my pout and told him, “We hear you Charlie, and we’ll follow the rules.”  He turned to me then and said, “Think of it as motivation to get done what we want to be done sooner rather than later.”

I chuckled at that, but now I’m blushing when Klaus gives us knowing looks before he turns to Damon and says, “I see you upgraded to the better Gilbert.”

Damon chuckles and smirks before he says, “I did at that.”

Kol hugs his brother as does Elijah and surprisingly Klaus even helps us carry our things into the house.  He does, however, ask Damon, “So what made you change your mind about my family and me?”

Damon frowns and says, “I still think you’re an ass, but Kol helped protect Jules and Isa from some Cold Ones while we were in Forks and as I’m sure Kol has told you he’s Mated to Isa who happens to be my Mate’s best friend.  So it’s more like we’re all loyal to Kol who just so happens to be loyal to you.  And Elijah always was my favorite Original, so his insistence that you aren’t hurting Elena or any of her and Stefan’s friends helped sway the vote. 

Damon pauses for a second then continues, “Besides, I’m sure Kol told you that I was a Witch before I turned and that someone stole that Magick from me.  Isa returned my Magick to me so I can relate to you having had half of your nature suppressed for a thousand years.  While mine was only suppressed for 146 years, I get how much it must have sucked for you, so I may now be slightly more willing to side with you over Elena who’s done nothing but stab Jules and me in the back over and over.  At least you’ve always been upfront and honest about what you wanted and were after.  You were even honest about how you intended to go about getting what you wanted.  Plus, Jules seems to think you’re cool, but I think that’s more Caroline’s influence than anything Kol, Elijah, or I have said.”

I nod and tell him, “Caroline digs you, and I can relate too.  Know this, though, I don’t care how into you Caroline is if you kill anyone I consider mine again I won’t care how old you are or how invincible you are or even how fragile I am I will find a way to end you once and for all.  As Damon once said anger and betrayal are great motivators, so don’t think I won’t do it if you go back on your word and hurt anyone I care about.”

Klaus thinks, ‘Hmm, Kol was right, Juliet is better than her sister.  She’s obviously scared of me, but she’s still standing up against me if I wrong her and hers and unlike her annoying older sister she’s not being rude about it either, just very matter of fact, which I have to say I admire.’

Thank God, I’ve been hearing thoughts for months now, or my face totally would have given me away when he thinks that part about admiring anything about me.  He nods though and says, “Fair enough, Luv.”

I just nod and ask Elijah, “You going to show us to our rooms or do the Mikaelson’s need to have a secret squirrel stuff meeting first.”

Klaus shakes his head and says, “I don’t have any pressing matters to discuss with either of my brothers I just wanted to greet you all and perhaps speak with Caroline for a moment.  Although, Brother’s, Rebekah ordered me to tell you that you and your friends are all expected to have dinner with us tonight.  Dinner will be served at 7 so plan on showing up around 6 p.m.”

They nod, so he walks over to Caroline and asks, “Luv, can I talk to you outside for a minute.”

She nods, so they go outside, and I listen in to their thoughts, so I hear second hand when Klaus says, “I was wondering if you might join me for drinks tomorrow night.”

Caroline is obviously smiling when she says, “I’d love to, but I have to check with the others because they’re only here for a short time, and you and I have forever to have drinks.  I hope you don’t mind.  Maybe all of us could get together at the Grill for drinks.”

She pauses, but when he opens his mouth, she adds, “I know that’s not what you meant, but I promise when they all go home I’ll go out with you twice to make up for making our outings group activities while they’re here.”

I see him smile through her eyes and I chuckle to myself that she’s arguing with herself over whether or not he’s attractive.

He leaves a few minutes later and when she comes back inside Kol and Isa say a few words to make our secrets remain hidden from whoever shouldn’t know them.  When they finish, Kol turns to all of us and says, “There now even if there are listening devices or people with Supernatural hearing standing right outside the door they won’t know what we say unless we expressly want them too.”

We all nod and I notice a lot of shoulders losing their tenseness. 

Caroline reaches for a bag to help carry it upstairs the same time Jasper reaches for it, and they both gasp when their hand's touch and look at each other wide-eyed.  I know what that means.  Caroline is Jasper’s Mate.  Well, I’ll be.

Caroline still has wide eyes when she asks, “Is that what I think it is?”

Jasper just nods and says, “I think so.  We’re Mates.”

Caroline smiles and says, “Well, that’s unexpected.  Not unwelcome mind you, just unexpected.”

He chuckles and smiles at her indulgently. 

Elijah clears his throat and says, “If you’ll all follow me I’ll show you all to your rooms.”

We all head up the stairs, and a few minutes later we all know where our rooms are and have put our bags inside the rooms before heading down to the sitting room.  When everyone is sitting, I look at everyone and ask, “So what’s the plan?  I should probably let Elena know I’m in town sooner rather than later, or she’ll throw a fit when she finds out and possibly mess with our plans.”

Everyone nods before Caroline says, “I vote we go to the Grill and show everyone around town.  Because all of the blood drinkers in our family are now Traditional Vampires and we all have Sun Rings, we can all go even though the sun is shining brightly.  Anyway, Jules, you know Matt will call Elena and Bonnie the moment you walk in, so that way they’ll come to us instead of us trying to track them down.”

I smile at the mention of our turning Emmett and Rose.  They still plan to become Human again, but they thought it best to wait until after Klaus has been dealt with so Kol turned them into Traditional Vampires so they would be stronger until it’s safe to make them Human again. 

I focus on the conversation while Damon smiles at Caroline and asks, “When did you get so smart and diabolical Vampire Barbie, because I have to say I don’t remember you being that way before we left, but I kind of like it.”

She just laughs and smirks, “I got moves you haven’t even seen, Salvatore.”

He chuckles and nods before telling her, “So noted Care.”

She chuckles and rubs her thumb along Jasper’s knuckles because she hasn’t let go of his hand once since they bumped hands and discovered they’re Mates.

Elijah chooses that moment to be the voice of reason, “Caroline and Jasper are you both going to be able to be around each other and not touch?  Because that will slightly change our plans if you can’t do that because Niklaus really can’t find out that his chances with Caroline are now gone forever.”

Caroline smiles and says, “I’ll be able to pretend because I know it’s only for a little while.”

Jasper nods and says, “I can pretend for a few hours.”

When Elijah nods back with a pleased smile Care asks, “So when do we plan to make our move anyway?”

Elijah, Kol, Jasper, and Damon all look at each other for a minute before they all nod and Damon says, “As much as having Rebekah there as an unknown might complicate things I think we should plan to do the spell tonight at dinner.  Because all the Vampires in our family are now as strong as Kol and Elijah and have the speed, strength, senses and control on par with both Originals Emmett and Rose can intercept and occupy Rebekah because they’re not planning to stay Vampires and therefore aren’t going to get part of Klaus.  The rest of us can hold Klaus down while Ang and Ben do the spell.”

Everyone nods then Damon looks at his phone and says, “Well it’s just after noon, so I vote we head to town and show everyone around then stop at the Grill to have a drink and then come back here and prepare for dinner with Klaus and Rebekah.”

We all agree but the parents, except Ric, opt to stay behind and rest after our flight, so the rest of us stand and head out to the cars.

We drive by the high school though we don’t go inside.  We swing by my old house too, but Elena’s car is in the driveway, and Stefan’s is parked in front of the house, so we don’t stop there either.  However, I do whisper, “Kol, Isa, Ric, Bree, Rose, Emmett, and Jasper, please come into my house,” while we drive by.

Damon and Kol both smirk at me when I invite them all in.  I’m pretty sure it will work.  A second later Damon and Kol are both nodding before Damon says, “You could have done that while we were in Forks.  Provided you said something like ‘My house in Mystic Falls,’ the cosmos or whatever would hear it, and they’d all be able to enter, so doing it when we drove by definitely worked.”

I smile rather pleased with myself.  Damon and Kol laugh before Kol says, “Thank you for the invite, Sister.”

Damon smiles and says, “Invite them into the Boarding House.”

I turn to look at him and ask, “What?”

He chuckles and says, “Those papers you signed making the Forks’ house completely yours also had paperwork mixed in with them making the Boarding House yours.  Klaus was kind enough to compel Elena to sign them for us.  It’s part of Stefan’s punishment for the whole Daggering Elijah debacle.  As of last month, Stefan has been unable to enter the Boarding House, and he has no clue who the house now belongs to so if you don’t tell him, he’ll never know.”

I burst out laughing.  Oh, my God, that’s hysterical!  I’m doubled over while Damon just smiles at me.  When I get my laughter under control, I whisper, “Damon, Isa, Ric, Kol, Elijah, Jasper, Caroline, Emmett, Rose, and Bree, please come into the Salvatore Boarding House.”

Damon leans over and kisses me, “Thank you for the invite, Mia Tesoro.”

I just smile and nod still chuckling.  He leans over and says, “Because you’ve been drinking Vervain with every meal every day for more than a month neither Stefan nor Klaus will be able to compel you.  So even if Stefan does figure out that you’re the new proud owner of the Boarding House, he won’t be able to compel you into inviting him inside, especially because according to his journals he’s on the Thumper diet again.”

I nod but ask, “Seriously, Thumper?  Hasn’t he figured out by now that that doesn’t work long term?”

Caroline chimes in, “No he hasn’t, and if he gives me one more dirty look when I drink from a blood bag I’m going to punch him.”

I laugh at her and tell her, “I hope he gives you a dirty look then because I’d pay to see you hit him.  If I’m really nice to you will you make sure to break his nose when you do it?”

She laughs and says, “You’ve been spending too much time with Damon.”

I smile and tell her, “No such thing as too much time with Damon.  Hey, can we stop at the Boarding House I want to show everyone, plus if Stefan snoops around later maybe he’ll smell all of us.”

Care just shakes her head and asks, “You sure you haven’t been spending too much time with him?  Because you almost sound exactly like him.”

I laugh, and so does everyone else, but Care makes the turn to go to the Boarding House.  When we arrive, we park and get out.  Everyone who’s never been here before looks around and because the Vampires could all hear me loud and clear despite being in different cars it’s the non-Vampires who ask, “So where are we?”

I smile widely and tell them, “This is Damon’s Boarding House.  He just told me that he snuck some papers into the stack of papers I signed making the Forks’ house mine that also make this home mine, so it turns out Stefan hasn’t been able to get into his own house for…”

I look at Damon with my eyebrow raised silently asking him to finish my sentence before he says, “Over a month.”

Everyone cracks up at that, so we head in.  Damon shows them around telling them a little about the history of the house and then while we head back out he hands me a key ring with three keys on it and says, “Best to lock your new house so no one who shouldn’t can get in.”

I look at him for a minute, and he nods, “I had the locks changed the week before you signed the papers while Stefan and Elena were in school, but I told the locksmith to leave the front door unlocked.  He left the keys in the drawer I told him to.  That’s one of two sets of keys for all the doors.  I have the other,” and he holds up another key ring with three keys on it.

I smile and ask, “So we’re essentially locking Elena out too?”

He smiles and says, “Yes, and they locked all the windows and installed an alarm system because we’ll be across the country most of the time, so before we leave we should arm it.”

I laugh before he shows me the false wall the security system is housed behind and after everyone else has walked outside, he tells me, “The pass code is 10-13-19-41-06-18-18-94.”

I smile, “So my birthday followed by your birthday but with the decades of our two birth years switched.”

He smiles back, “Yes, I figured even if they guess it’s your house now they won’t know the code if it’s two birthdays instead of one with the last two digits of the two years transposed.  It’s relatively straightforward, so we’ll be able to remember it, but it’s complicated enough that it would probably take a machine for them to figure it out because Stefan and Elena are not nearly as smart as they like to think they are.”

I laugh and punch in the code to activate the alarm then we lock the door and close it behind us.  Everyone is standing in the driveway, and when we come out they all laugh, and Kol says, “Remind me not to piss you off, Brother.”

Elijah, Jasper, Emmett, Jake, and Seth all nod deeply to show they agree and Damon just laughs so it’s me who says, “Hey the jackass forced Damon to finish the freaking transition so he deserves everything Damon can think of to make his life miserable.”

Everyone including all the Vampires except Ric and Isa freeze at that and turn to look at Damon and me but it’s Caroline who says with a trembling voice, “He forced you?”

I make a face and say, “Um oops,” before turning to face Damon and saying, “I’m sorry, I didn’t—”

Damon chuckles and says, “Relax, Mia Tesoro.  I don’t mind our family knowing, so it wasn’t really a secret I just hadn’t gotten around to telling most of them.”

My shoulders relax at his words before he turns to look at Caroline and everyone else and says, “Yes, Stefan forced me to finish the transition by biting a girl and shoving her at me.  I had told him earlier that I didn’t want to turn if Katherine was dead, and at the time we both believed she was finally dead, so I had every intention of dying for good that night.  I’d been in transition for almost 23 hours, so I was in a lot of pain, and as soon as I smelled the blood my instinct to survive took over, and I fed on the girl.  Afterward, I promised Stefan an eternity of misery at my hands, and I’ve pretty much kept that promise every chance I’ve gotten.”

Caroline frowns and says, “Okay, I take back every nice thing I ever said about Stefan and every mean thing I ever said about you because that totally explains your bad attitude when it comes to him, and for the record, I think you’re more than justified to have said bad attitude.”

He just nods and says, “So the Grill next?”

Everyone nods, so we get back into the cars and drive over.

Chapter Text

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Chapter 034

I Always Knew Where I Was

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Mystic Falls, Virginia

Saturday, December 18, 2010, 1:45 p.m. EST

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Everyone nods, so we get back into the cars and drive over to the Grill.  We point out my Dad’s old office where the Tomb Vampires died.  It’s being renovated, and when we arrive at the Grill I ask Ric, “Who’s renovating my Dad’s old office?”

Ric smiles and says, “Technically, you, but really I’m the one that initiated it.  Klaus also compelled Elena to sign over everything your parents and Jenna left her except the house which you both still own half of.  I signed off on the transfers as the Executor of her Trusts.  We figured she got almost 30 million from John and his house in full, so you deserved to get everything from your actual parents and your aunt because Elena wasn’t actually related to Jenna.  Anyway, when the time comes you can sell your half of the house to her for the market value, so that’s why we let her keep that plus Stefan was going to need some place to stay.”

I burst out laughing at that, “Oh God Ric, you’re too funny.”

He chuckles and shrugs before Damon says, “I tried to convince him to have Klaus include the house in everything she signed over to you, but Ric insisted that Stefan and Elena needed at least one place he could get into.  I was sadly unable to convince him otherwise, and strangely Klaus agreed, so there you have it.”

Kol smiles and says, “Don’t tell but she’s actually been compelled to pay you full price for the house whenever you decide to sell it to her.”

I turn wide eyes on Kol who just smiles and says, “And now that you know the Boarding House is yours all the Vampires in our family who own other residences plan to sign them over to you, and you can invite us all in.  That way you can control who enters until you turn.  Once you turn, you can sign them over to Leah and Jake.”

Leah and Jake’s eyes are just as wide as mine at that news, but I know better than to try to argue with our Vampires and apparently so do Leah and Jake.  Still, I ask, “Why not just sign them over to them from the start?”

Kol smiles and says, “We’re not one hundred percent sure if the invitation rule will still work with them because they’re technically 100% Supes.  We figure until you turn we’ll go with you as the rightful owner because we know it’ll work with you and then we’ll deal with it after you turn and see if it really does work with them or not.”

It makes sense, so I nod and smile before asking, “Can we split the signings up over a length of time, so I don’t get carpal tunnel from signing so many documents?”

Everyone laughs which only gets worse when Damon offers, “I could always just feed you my blood in between signings.  That should keep your hand and wrist from being injured.”

I laugh but smack the back of his head and say, “You Goof.”

He shrugs and says, “It’ll work.”

I nod and tell him, “We’ll see.”

He smiles widely like he just won a prize, so I lean over and kiss him.  He smiles even wider and asks, “What was that for?”

Smiling back I tell him, “Just for being you.”

His eyes are twinkling while his smile finally reaches his eyes.  He leads us to the Grill and holds the door open for all of us and then follows us in.  I walk over to a bunch of empty tables and begin moving them together so we can all sit together.

Once we sit it takes less than 30 seconds for Matt to come to the table and after Damon throws his arm on the back of my chair Matt asks, “Jules, what are you doing here?  I thought you moved to Forks?  And Damon I heard you were missing?”

I smile and tell him, “I thought I’d surprise Elena for the Holidays because I miss my big sis.  As for Damon, well…”

Damon finishes for me, “I always knew where I was, and so did those I wanted to have that knowledge.”

Matt’s mouth just forms an ‘O’ so after about 30 seconds of him staring at us I wave my hand in front of his face and ask, “So can you take our drink order?”

He snaps out of his daze and nods, so we all tell him what we want.  I smile when he realizes two members of our party are Originals.  I frown a second later when Matt says, “Seriously Jules, you’re friends with the brothers of the guy that killed Elena, Jenna, and John.”

My eyes get hard before I tell him, “They’ve been nothing but nice to me, and I don’t blame Kol or Elijah for Klaus’ actions.”

“They’re all murderers, Jules.”

My frown deepens before I tell him, “So is Stefan, and he’s even worse because he can’t control himself around Human blood.  I don’t see you lecturing Elena about the company she keeps or allows into her bed, though, so kindly stop judging me and giving me dirty looks and go get our drinks.  Thanks.”

He frowns before he walks off towards the bar and tells the bartender what our order is then he takes out his phone and texts someone.  Thanks to the Telepathy we all hear him think while he types a message to Elena and Bonnie both and tells them, ‘You need to get to the Grill now, Jules is here and keeping bad company.’

I laugh at that, and then I turn to Damon and ask, “Should we give them a heart attack when they get here and allow them to catch us kissing?”

Everyone laughs which only gets deeper when Damon smiles and nods, so we shoot the breeze pointing people out and telling stories about them to the newcomers all the while keeping a Telepathic ear out for Elena and company.

Then I hear Elena’s thoughts before she asks Stefan, “How can she be back if Damon compelled her never to come back?”

Stefan says, “I don’t know Elena, but we’ll find out.”

When the last word crosses Stefan’s mind, Damon leans over and plants a sloppy kiss on me, and everyone laughs as the door opens and we all hear Elena shout, “Oh My God, Jules, what the fuck are you doing?”

Several parents frown at her when she curses because there are kids present, but I just smile and turn to face her and tell her, “Surprise Elena, Merry Christmas.”

Her frown lines have frown lines when she asks, “Why were you kissing Damon?  And how is she even here Damon?  I thought you took care of that.”

I smile and tell her, “Well, I was kissing him because I love him and he earned it.  As for him compelling me to leave and never come back, yeah that didn’t actually happen.  I left of my own free will when he asked me if I would leave.  I figured I had nothing to stay here for, so I went with Ric and made myself a new family.”

Bonnie moves out from behind Elena and Stefan and asks, “With Damon and two Originals…”

Stefan picks up where she left off and says, “And at least five other Vampires?  And, whoa, Ric…”

Ric smiles innocently and asks, “Yes Stefan?”

“When the hell did you turn?”  Elena and Bonnie both whip their heads to look at Stefan then simultaneously whip them back to look at Ric.

Ric rolls his eyes around in his head as if he’s thinking about it and then says, “The first weekend in October.  The same day you tried to Dagger Elijah if I recall correctly.”

Our entire party nods at that and sends the three of them nasty looks.  I answer their earlier question and tell them, “And yes, I live with 6 Vampires, and Isa lives across the street from us, but she’s over enough it’s almost like I’m living with her too.  Then again Emmett, Rose, Jake, Seth, Leah, Ang, and Ben are around so much it’s almost like they live there too, so actually I’m practically living with 14 Supes.”

Elena frowns and tells Stefan, “Do something!”

Stefan turns to look at her and asks, “And what exactly would you have me do?  My compulsion isn’t strong enough to compel Jules to leave them alone, and even if it was, who would she live with unless you want her to move back here and move back in with you as her guardian.”

I chuckle at the sour face she makes at that suggestion, “Oh Princess Elena wouldn’t want me underfoot, would you Sis?  No, she was quite pleased with herself when she figured out a way to get rid of Ric and me both and keep us from continuing to cramp her style.  I mean now her boyfriend is practically living with her, and we all know Ric and I would not have allowed Stefan to even sleep over if we were still living in Mom and Dad’s house.”

Stefan narrows his eyes but says nothing while Elena huffs, but it’s Bonnie who says, “Jules, they compelled you—”

I frown and ask, “How do you figure that because I drink big doses of Vervain three or four times every day and have for a while now.  Besides they don’t need to compel me.  I’m their friend and sister, and I would gladly side with them over my sister who didn’t even bother to call me and wish me a freaking Happy Birthday.  In fact, she has only called me twice since I moved, once the day I arrived in Forks and once about three weeks ago when she couldn’t find something in the house.  By the way, she practically hung up on me once she realized the book was exactly where mom always put it not bothering to even say thanks or goodbye.  So no they didn’t have to compel me because they all wished me a Happy Birthday multiple times on my actual birthday and they talk to me all the time.  They call me far more than you three and most of them freaking live with me and see me every day.  Meanwhile, you guys whom I haven’t seen in months, all combined called me twice, including the previously mentioned two calls Elena made.”

Bonnie gets a strained look on her face, and then Ang says, “Try that again bitch, and I’ll fry your brain instead understand?”

I laugh and ask, “Tried to fry the Vampire minds did she?”

Ang nods and says, “She did, but we were prepared, and, for the record, we’ll continue to be ready for the duration of our stay here, so don’t bother trying it again even if Ben and I aren’t around because our contingency plans also have contingency plans.”

My group all bursts out laughing at that before I reach over and give Ang a high five.  Bonnie and the others just look confused, so I’m not surprised when Bonnie asks, “How did you block me?”

Ang turns her nose up at Bonnie and tells her, “As if I’d explain it to you, besides you’re not strong enough to do it anyways, so it wouldn’t matter, rank amateur.”

Damon takes his turn high-fiving Ang who smiles and blows him a kiss telling him, “That was just for you Damon.”

He laughs and then turns his eyes to his brother and asks, “So Stefan, how’s the Boarding House doing?  I understand it’s experienced another change in ownership.”

Stefan frowns and says, “Let me guess, you had it signed over to Jules, but how did you get Elena to sign the papers?”

Damon smiles and says, “Oh I have my ways, namely a 1,000-plus-year-old Hybrid who wanted to pay you back for claiming to dagger his brother.”

Elena’s frown somehow manages to get even deeper before she asks, “Why would he help you?”

Damon smiles and says, “Uh could you maybe pay attention to the words coming out of my mouth?  I just told you.  It was payback for your bad behavior.”

Elena turns her puppy dog eyes on me and tells me, “He’s turned you against me, Jules.”

When her lip trembles I laugh and tell her, “Uh, he didn’t have to.  Before I moved to Forks, I had read every journal entry you had written from the one right before you went to the party the night mom and dad died all the way until the one the night you tried to get Damon to compel me for a second time.  So I know you’re most private thoughts about Damon and me and even Stefan.  Stefan, you should find some time to read her journal because I think you will find her views on playing you and your brother off each other to get you both to fight over her may prove most interesting to you.”

Stefan turns to look at her, and she says, “She’s lying.  I love you, Stefan.  It’s always been you.” 

She looks pointedly at Damon when she says that last part so after chuckling slightly I tell her, “Saying the same words you and Katherine used to try to break Damon the night he snapped my neck doesn’t have the same effect on him anymore.  He’s over you and has moved on to the better Gilbert.”

Damon nods but then he growls low in his throat when Stefan says, “He’s just using you, Jules.  Damon doesn’t love you.  He doesn’t know how to love; he never has not even when we were Human.”

I put my hand on Damon’s arm and tell him, “They’re not worth it.  We know the truth, and that’s all that matters to me.”

He smiles at me and then says, “So Stefan can’t enter his home.  Elena told Klaus and every Vampire at Esther’s Ball where her sister was stashed away so that Klaus could send his brother to keep an eye on Jules.  You two Brainiac’s also tried to convince Klaus that you had Daggered Elijah.  Did I miss anything?  What else have you three been up to?  Maybe wishing your sister died in the accident that claimed your parents’ lives?”

I’m shocked when Stefan asks, “How do you know about that?” in a way that tells me he already knew.

Damon smiles at Elena’s shocked face and Bonnie’s horrified face and tells them all, “Oh, just because you haven’t known where I was doesn’t mean I haven’t known where each of you was, and what you were doing and saying when you thought no one was paying attention.”

Matt drops off our drinks at the same time that Bonnie asks, “Elena what is he talking about?  You’d never wish Jules dead!”

Damon smiles, and it’s not a friendly smile before he says, “Really?  Because I’m fairly sure when I stopped by her house right before Jules’ birthday and just happened to let myself in to read her journal that she actually wrote that she wished Jules had been in the car instead of her and that all three of them had died.  Isn’t that what you wrote, Elena.  Then, of course, there’s the conversation you had with Stefan about a week later where you reiterated what you wrote.”

Bonnie looks shocked before she asks, “Elena?  He’s lying, right?”

Elena frowns and says, “I was mad.  I didn’t actually mean it.”

I’m surprised when Bonnie asks, “If you haven’t talked to Jules more than twice since she left then what could she have possibly done to make you mad enough to wish her dead?”

Damon throws out there, “She’d actually only talked to her the once both when she wrote the entry and when she spoke to Stefan.  In fact, it’d been almost a month since she had last had any contact with Jules when she wished her dead.  Who does that to their own sister.  I mean Stefan forced me to turn into a Vampire, and even I have never wanted him dead, and I think everyone here agrees forcing someone to become a Vampire is far worse than whatever excuse you’re about to tell us.”

Elena pouts then says, “Why’s it always about Jules?  What’s so fucking special about her?”

Bonnie physically takes a step away from Elena when she asks that then she turns to me and says, “I swear I didn’t know, Jules.”

I nod but tell her, “I’m sure you didn’t.  I mean how could you because I never got a chance to tell you because you’ve called me all of, oh wait, you haven’t called even once since we left.  Caroline, on the other hand, has called me three or four times every week while the three of you couldn’t get rid of me fast enough.”

I swallow down my soda then look around the table and say, “You guys ready to go?  I want to change my clothes before we head over for dinner because Rebekah can and will comment if I show up smelling like an airplane.”

Everyone laughs but Elijah and Kol are nodding while Kol says, “She would too.”

Bonnie takes a step towards us and asks, “Rebekah, as in the Original?  You’re having dinner with her?  What are you thinking Jules, she tried to kill your sister on multiple occasions?”

I smile and tell her honestly, “I’m pretty sure that was because Elena once again got happy with a Dagger and stabbed Rebekah in the back forcing her to miss, what was it, Damon?”

He smiles grimly, “Her first High School Dance.”

“That’s right, Elena forced Rebekah to miss her first High School Dance.  You see Bonnie I can relate to the Originals, especially Elijah and Rebekah because they’re not the only people in the world Elena has stabbed in the back.”

Bonnie shakes her head, “She didn’t.”

I frown and ask, “Seriously Bonnie?  Because I’m pretty sure wishing me dead is the ultimate betrayal.  I’m her freakin’ sister, and she actually wished me dead on at least two occasions that I know of.  She wrote it down on paper, and then she actually said the words out loud.  So forgive me if I feel like she stabbed me in the back with a Dagger too, but I’m just not in the mood to forgive and forget.”

I look at Elena and tell her, “Don’t worry Sis, I’m only here for the holidays then you can go back to wishing and pretending that I don’t exist anymore.”

Ric throws some money on the table, and I stand and slide out of my chair, “Word to the wise though Elena, don’t try to enter the Boarding House, or you’ll get a nasty surprise in the form of a pair of handcuffs for trespassing.  Have a lovely evening Elena.  Happy Holidays to all three of you.”

I hear Bonnie thinking, ‘I’ll just talk to Elena and make her see how messed up she’s been, and then I’ll call Jules and apologize for not calling.’

When I’m even with Bonnie, I lean in and tell her, “You stabbed me in the back too Bonnie.  You knew how I felt about being compelled.  Remember, I spent hours talking to you the last time it happened telling you how betrayed I felt and how I felt like there was a hole that couldn’t be filled where the memories used to be and how unpleasant that sensation is.  And yet you forced me to stand at the top of the stairs and listen as one of my best friends threatened my other best friend to get him to take my memories away and then again threatened him with bodily harm so he’d get me to Forks in a manner that pleased you.  You may not have wished me dead, but you sure as hell wanted me gone from your life.  That much was evident when you didn’t bother to call and even just say ‘Hey.’  You’re just as guilty in all of this as Elena.  I never thought I’d see the day you would betray me in such a colossal fashion, but you did it all the same.  So if you’re planning to call me now, don’t bother.  I traded up and got me some real friends who would not only fight to the death to protect me but who also listen when I talk and don’t try to force me to do things they damn well know I want no part in.”

I turn and take a few steps away and then stop and turn back, “Oh and Bonnie, if I ever hear that you’re abusing the power you’ve been given I won’t hesitate to take it away.  That means if you ever try to harm any member of my family again, Damon included, I will allow the Magick wielders in my family to bind your powers.  They’ve been practically begging me to let them do it ever since I first told them about you and your penchant for frying brains when people don’t do as you want them to.  Magick is a privilege, not a right.”

I’m about to leave it at that when I see Sheila Bennett standing to the side.  She has tears in her eyes when she asks me, “Juliet, would you mind terribly letting me talk to her.  Maybe I can prevent you from having to take her powers.”

I nod and say, “Sure, Ms. Bennett, be my guest because I’m not lying.  I won’t hesitate to protect my family or innocent people from her over inflated sense of privilege.”

She nods so I close my eyes and open that part of me that allows others to see the dead, but I make sure to only open it to Elena, Bonnie, Stefan, and my family, so the regular Humans in the bar won’t see the Ghost just Magickally appear.  Then I open my eyes when Bonnie, Elena, and Stefan all gasp.  Bonnie has tears in her eyes when she says, “Grams?”

The older Bennett woman frowns and says, “Juliet is right Bonnie, Magick is a privilege.  She and her family would be doing the right thing if they took your powers away from you if you continue to behave as you have.  You tried to harm Damon simply because you didn’t like what was being said.  That man has loved and protected Bennett’s before both of us, and you threw it all in his face by trying to harm him.  Emily would be ashamed of you, and frankly so am I.  Witches are meant to protect the innocent Bonnie, not harm them.”

Bonnie frowns and with attitude says, “Damon is hardly innocent, Grams.”

Shelia frowns and says, “No one is completely innocent, and while yes Damon has committed atrocities against decent people so has Stefan, and yet you are friends with him, and you don’t try to harm him.  Stefan has killed far more people, I’m talking several tens of thousands more, than his brother and he tortured every single last one of them while Damon has never tortured any of his victims.  Yet it’s Damon you attack not the Ripper of Monterrey.  Why is that?  I honestly can’t figure out why you hate Damon so much, but you haven’t attacked him because of any of his wrong doings but rather whatever bias you seem to have against him.”

Bonnie sticks out her chin and defiantly says, “He killed Emily.”

Sheila frowns and shakes her head, “No, Baby, he didn’t.  In fact, he almost got himself killed trying to save her.  Furthermore, he is the only reason you exist because although he failed to save Emily he, at great risk to himself, managed to free and rescue Emily’s children and her sister and her children.  He snuck them out of Mystic Falls mere moments before they were all scheduled to be burned at the stake beside Emily.  He even set up bank accounts that he put money in for them including most of what’s in your college fund.  Damon is not now nor has he ever been an enemy of this family, but you, you’ve been his enemy from the start.  And yes I know he wasn’t very nice when he first came back to town, and even I fried his brain once for trying to harm you, but as soon as he switched his humanity back on, he stopped being a threat.  That is why I willingly gave my life to help him free the woman he thought he loved and then to rescue his brother.  Damon loves Juliet completely, and I sincerely doubt anything other than Jules’ death could cause Damon to turn his humanity off again, so I say with quite a bit of certainty that Damon Salvatore is not your enemy nor will he ever be so again.  But make no mistake if you attack him Juliet and his family will protect Damon just as they should, and I will support them fully if you force them to remove your Magick.  It is not our place to judge people Bonnie.  That privilege belongs to the Goddess and the Goddess alone.  Change your behavior or lose your Magick for good.”

Sheila turns to me and says, “Juliet, promise me if she doesn’t change her ways you’ll ask your family to take her powers and not give them back no matter what.”

I nod with wide eyes because I really didn’t see that coming. Still, I tell her, “I will Ms. Bennett.”

I notice my family all nodding as well before Sheila turns back to Bonnie and tells her, “This is your last warning, Baby.  Take it to heart or lose everything you hold dear and ultimately bring an end to Emily’s line of Magick.”

She turns back to Damon and me and tells him, “Emily says, ‘Hello, Brother,’ and wishes you and Juliet all the best.”

Damon just nods with a soft smile on his face, and then Sheila slowly fades to nothing.  Bonnie turns her eyes towards me and asks, “How?”

I shrug, “I’m a Ghost Whisperer Bonnie.  I show people their deceased loved ones.  It’s what I do.  It’s my gift.”

Bonnie nods but then Elena says, “How come she gets to be a Supe too?  It’s not fair.”

I frown and tell her, “If life were fair my parents would still be alive and my sister would love me, but they’re not, and you don’t so I can say with quite a bit of certainty that life isn’t fair.  Plus, the world despite what you wish does not now nor has it ever actually revolved around you or what you want.”

If looks could kill Elena would be getting her wish right now, and I’d be dead.  Thankfully looks can’t kill, so I continue to remain alive.  She opens her mouth, but I put up my hand and tell her, “Save it for someone who actually cares what you think Elena, because now that I know how you really feel I just can’t bring myself to give a damn what you think or what you want.  There are other people in my life now that are much more deserving of my time and energy than you ever have been.”

I pause then tell her, “I’ll be by the house tomorrow to collect Mom and Dad’s things that I want, and then Ric and I will go back to Forks with our family, and you won’t have to deal with him or me anymore.  I’m done with you, Elena.  My heart just can’t handle having you in my life.”

I turn to Stefan and tell him, “I’ll arrange for your things to be boxed up and shipped to Elena’s, and I’ll be in touch to discuss the possibility of turning you back into a Human.”

Stefan’s jaw drops open before he asks, “How?  That’s not possible.”

I frown and tell him, “I’ve learned in recent times that most anything is possible if you work the right angle.  Merry Christmas, Stefan, or it will be once we do a little Magick and turn you Human again.”

With that, I turn and walk out of the Grill towards Caroline’s car.  I keep the tears inside through sheer force of will because I know even Stefan’s weak senses would be able to detect them, and I don’t want him or Elena knowing how genuinely upset I actually am.

Nobody says a word while we all get into our cars.  Damon slides into the back beside me and puts his arm around me, so I bury my face in his neck and try like hell to hold the tears in.  Caroline pulls the car out of the parking lot, and then a few minutes later Damon says, “He can no longer hear you or smell your tears so let it out, Mia Tesoro.”

I gasp when the tears come pouring out of me like a dam has broken.  “Why does my own sister hate me so much, Damon?  What did I do to make her—”

He interrupts, “You didn’t do anything to make her do anything.  This is all on her.”

After that, I just cry.  I must have fallen asleep because the next thing I know Damon is carrying me into Elijah’s house and up the stairs to our room.  He sets me down on the bed and then crawls in after me and pulls me into his arms.

I can hear him half frowning half smiling when he says, “As angry as I am at Elena and company, I’m proud of you, Mia Tesoro.  You stood up for yourself, and I hope you got the closure you need.”

He pauses then reluctantly says, “Although I don’t know if you noticed her thoughts when we were leaving or not.  Elena started planning to burn down the house with all of your parents’ things in it just to spite you, so Kol compelled her not to harm anything that belongs to you or anyone you’re related to by blood.”

My eyes widen when he says what she was planning to do and the flood of tears returns.  Who in their freaking right mind plans to burn down their house just to spite their sister who merely wants some mementos of her dead parents.

Damon kisses my forehead and tells me, “That’s just it, Mia Tesoro, she’s not in her right mind, and I don’t think she has been for a long time.  Anyway, Elijah followed Kol’s compulsion up with flat out compelling her not to set fire to any buildings or anything really, but especially your parents’ house or the Boarding House.  Bonnie and Stefan were shocked and insisted that she would never do such a thing, but then they looked at Elena’s face and saw the truth, so while we left Bonnie and Stefan were yelling at Elena for even considering arson as a viable option.”

I just nod and lie there for a few minutes before I ask, “What time is it?”

Damon takes his phone out of his pocket and then tells me, “It’s about 4:35 p.m.  You have enough time to take a short nap if you want.  I promise to wake you in time to take a shower so you can wash the scent of the plane and your tears off of you before we go to Klaus’ house.

I shake my head, “I don’t want to sleep, but can we just lay here for a bit?”

He nods, and I can hear the smile in his voice, “Of course, Mia Tesoro.”

So that’s what we do, we lay there in silence while I cry a little and try to turn off my thoughts about my sister.

Half an hour later I get up and take a quick shower and then Damon does the same before we head downstairs to meet up with everyone before going to the Mikaelson home.

Chapter Text

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Chapter 035

There Are Much Worse People I Could Sound Like

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A Few Towns Over from Mystic Falls, Virginia

Saturday, December 18, 2010, 5:30 p.m. EST

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The Magick users in our family have all memorized the necessary spell to bind, split and then trap Klaus’ soul inside our Vampires so after everyone recites the spell one more time everyone except Charlie, Billy, Sue, and Harry head out to the cars.  The adults minus Ric are staying behind because we want as few humans in the line of fire as possible when we spell Klaus.  The fact of the matter is, if we could get away with it I probably would have stayed behind too, but I’m expected to be there, so we just have to pray that I don’t get hurt.

Elijah’s home is only about 15 minutes from Klaus’ house, so it’s a quick drive.  When we arrive at the huge white mansion, we get out and walk to the front door, which opens before we even get to it revealing Rebekah looking as beautiful as always.

She smiles and rushes to hug Elijah, “‘Lijah, I’m so happy to see you.”

He smiles and tells her, “I’ve missed you, Rebekah.”

She beams at that before she pulls away from his embrace and then smiles at Kol and hugs him too.  They both laugh when Kol asks, “What you’re not happy to see me too, Beks?”

She smiles and says, “Of course I am.”

After she pulls away from him, she turns and looks at all of us and says, “Please come inside.”

When we’re all standing in the foyer, she asks, “Now, who is everybody?”

We go around telling her each of our names, and she’s smiling except for when I tell her I’m Jules so guessing at the reason for her frown I tell her, “Rebekah, I just want to let you know that I do not approve of nor condone my sister’s behavior towards you.  She had no right to stab you in the back and basically kill you, so I just want you to know for what it’s worth that I’m sorry she treated you that way.  And if you’re game I have an idea for a little bit of payback.”

She smiles and nods, so I continue, “Turns out my high school in Forks is having our Prom the weekend before Mystic Falls has yours.  If you would do me the great honor, I would l love to take you to my Prom so you can go to two of them and boast the following week about how much fun you had at our Prom.  I figure although it won’t really make up for what Elena did to you two Proms is still better than one, right?  And if you agree we can get the Vamps in my family to compel whomever, so I can take you and Damon both, and then I’ll have the hottest guy and the most beautiful girl on each arm.  Or we can hook you up with one of our Human friends.  Kol should be able to tell you which of them he thinks you’d have the most fun with.”

She smiles and says, “I would love to go to your Prom with you if you don’t mind that I’m going to do nothing but brag about it when I return.”

I smile and nod, “That’s kind of the whole point, so no I won’t mind.  We’ll even make sure Eric and I take a ton of pictures so you can show them to everyone the following Monday when you come back to school here.”

I frown then tell her, “I know it won’t fix what Elena did, but I figure it’s a start at least.  I mean she made you miss Homecoming, so it’s only fair that you get to go to two Proms instead.”

She smiles and says, “Thank you, Jules.  I look forward to it.”

I nod, so she leads us all into a side room where there is a long table set for all of us, and a woman, whom I’m pretty sure has been compelled, goes around taking our drink orders.

When the girl comes back with a tray of drinks she hands them out, but Rebekah grabs hers and another one and gives it to Ric but when their hands brush she actually drops the glass.  I understand a minute later when I see Ric’s face, and he says to Kol, “Why didn’t you tell me it was me you saw being Rebekah’s Mate?”

Holy smokes!  They’re Mates?  Well, that certainly makes everything interesting.  The girl who was handing out drinks is busy picking up the remains of the glass Rebekah dropped when Klaus comes into the room and asks, “’Bekah, what’s the matter, Luv?”

She turns stunned eyes towards him and tells him, “I, he, he’s my Mate.”

Klaus’s eyes widen at that before they narrow and when he opens his mouth, Kol intervenes, “Brother, he will be good for her, and he more than any other I’ve met since I was undaggered will treat her the way she deserves to be treated.  Elijah and I already consider him our brother, so this just makes it official.”

Klaus surprisingly nods but then says, “If he hurts her I’ll kill him slowly and painfully.”

Everyone including Ric nods at that before Ric says, “That sounds fair.”

Klaus smiles and then says, “Welcome to the family then, Mate.”

Ric just nods before he takes the new glass the girl hands him and lifts his glass before saying, “To new beginnings.”

Everyone raises their glasses and repeats his words before taking a sip.

A moment later Klaus’ phone rings, so he pulls it out of his pocket and looks at the caller ID then hitting send and putting it on speakerphone before he says, “Doppelgänger to what do I owe this unexpected pleasure?”

She sounds funny when she says, “I want you to do something for me.” 

Klaus smirks and asks, “And why would I do anything for you?” 

Elena’s own smirk is evident in her voice when she says, “Because otherwise I’ll turn myself into a Vampire, and then you won’t be able to make any more Hybrids.”

Klaus frowns but asks, “And what exactly do you want me to do?”

She confidently says, “Kill my sister.”

While my world collapses in on itself, Klaus frowns before he tells her, “My family has become quite fond of your baby sister, so I’m afraid I’m going to have to call your bluff again.  However, know that if you do turn yourself I promise I will kill you and Stefan because you’ll both be utterly useless to me if you’re no longer Human.  And make no mistake I will end you both as slowly and painfully as possible.”

She hangs up on him, and a second later I jump when a glass crashes into the wall across from me and shatters.  Damon, the thrower, dangerously says, “If you don’t kill her Klaus, I damn well will.”

While I take slow deep breaths to remain calm Klaus frowns and says, “There will be no killing my Doppelgänger.  I already compelled her to never drink Vampire blood unless it is the only way to save her, and then she is to do everything in her power to remain alive and seek me out so I can protect her until the blood leaves her system.  Therefore, she will not be turning herself, and she will not be dying anytime soon.  However, I am open to suggestions on how to pay her back for presuming to order me about and for being heartless enough to actually try to arrange her own sister’s death.”

Isa speaks up, “I say we do what we were already planning to do: Turn Stefan back into a Human and then compel them both to remain together and maybe make them argue or something without them being able to leave the other.  That way Klaus can be assured that Elena will have babies, and she and Stefan will be ordinary Humans.  Maybe even take away their knowledge of the Supe world.”  She turns to look at me and says, “I know you said we shouldn’t compel her to forget or we’d be no better than her.  If we do it, though, then she’ll think she’s utterly normal, and she won’t know about any of us, which will hopefully keep all of us much safer.”

I frown and tell her, “Here’s the kicker, though, I know without a doubt that Bonnie will object, and the first chance she gets she would tell Elena everything, so it’s just not worth it.  We’re better off compelling them not to try to harm anyone or hurt anyone’s property and leave it at that.  As for payback for trying to arrange my death, I say she pays me for mom and dad’s house, but it becomes mine solely.  That way I’ll be able to control what Vampires can get in, and Elena and Stefan will have no say in the matter.  Money means a lot to her so maybe compel her to give me half of her estate from John or something, or I don’t know, donate it to charity or something.  We can compel her to never complain about it to anyone, so she won’t try to claim that Ric is mishandling her money.  Make her believe it was all her idea, or better yet don’t make her think anything, but if she’s asked about it compel her so she says it was her idea and that she felt it was the right thing to do.  That way she’ll know we’re making her do it against her will, but because she’ll be compelled not to say anything or harm anyone or anything, there will be nothing she can do about any of it.”

Klaus laughs and says, “Careful Juliet, you almost sound like a Mikaelson.”

I smile and tell him honestly, “There are much worse people I could sound like, Elena for example.”

He laughs harder at that, and as he raises his glass to his lips to take a sip, Kol walks behind him and then kicks Klaus’ feet out from under him before he and Elijah both follow Klaus to the ground and hold him down. 

Ric wraps his arms around Rebekah from behind and tells her, “Stay out of this Rebekah, and your safety is guaranteed.  But if you interfere they will end you.  They’ll hate it and mourn you afterward, but they’ll do it because Klaus needs to be stopped.  So do us both a favor and stand down, so I don’t have to discover the torment of spending the rest of eternity separated from my Mate.”

She nods at him, so I let out a breath I didn’t even realize I was holding while nearly every Vampire except Ric, Emmett, and Rose is holding Klaus down and having a hard time of it.  Ric cautiously lets go of Rebekah and then moves to help keep Klaus down.

Surprisingly Rebekah follows him and helps to hold her brother immobile.  Just when Ang says, “So Mote it be,” Bree gets knocked away so without thinking about the consequences I steady her, and we both move back into her spot, and we both use our knees on his shoulder and our hands on his neck to help hold him down.

He screams when a fog begins to flow out of his mouth and form a ball above him.  He goes still and silent when the fog is completely out of him, and then it breaks up into ten separate balls before the balls rush at each of us holding him down and enter us.  I let out a grunt when it enters me, and my body stiffens just before blue and purple lights envelop all ten of us and then pulses nine times before being absorbed into us while a black cloud comes out of each of our mouths.  Then I feel energized and like I’m full of the little carbonation bubbles in a glass of soda.  A second later I feel a burst of something, and I’m standing on all fours.  It takes a minute for me to realize that I’m a freaking Wolf.  When I look around the room, I notice nine other Wolves standing around Klaus’ unmoving body.

I concentrate for a minute on being Human once more, and then a moment later I’m lying on the floor in a fetal position. 

I notice Isa change back and then in quick order she points at a black cloud floating around the ceiling and says, “Be gone and do not return to this Soul or any others forever more.  So mote it be.”  The cloud responds by bursting into microscopic pieces and evaporating into nothing.

Then a moment later she seems to notice that we’re all naked, so she says, “Mother Freyja, please return our clothes to us just as good as they were before.  So mote it be.”

I feel my clothes pop back onto my body, but my hands are cradling my ears because everything sounds like I’m standing with my ear right next to a speaker with the volume turned all the way up, so I cry out, “Ah please too loud, please.” 

Damon is by my side instantly.  I have tears pouring down my face, and Damon places his hand on my shoulder and asks “What’s wrong with her?”

God, it’s too damn loud.  Kol answers him, “Do you want the good news or the bad news first?”

Damon frowns and says, “Bad first.”

Kol sighs and says, “I think Jules got part of Klaus, so Klaus is inside Jules just as he’s inside each of us.  The good news is it might make her Immortal with all the pluses of being a Hybrid, with Magick I might add, all without having to be born a Witch or die and drink blood.  I’ll look into it to be sure, but I’m pretty sure your Mate is now just as Witchy and Immortal as you without any of the downsides.  However, it’s going to take a few minutes for her to get her new senses under control just like all of us had to when we finished the transition.  The only difference is I think it’s worse for her because her body didn’t die first and go through the changes that happen while the person is dead before they wake up in transition. 

It’s already getting better, so I tell them, “It’s getting better, but is it always so freaking loud?  How do you guys put up with that?”

Damon laughs and says, “It took me about an hour after I finished the transition to learn to zone the noises out if I wanted to, but after that, you should be able to choose what you listen to and what you don’t listen to.”

I nod and sit up.  I look around the room and whoa, I can see minute details like the little itty bitty cracks in the paint on the walls.  That’s pretty neat.  And whatever is being made in the kitchen smells amazing.  Just then my stomach growls so I say, “Uh, I think I need to eat something soon.”

Rebekah nods and says to the girl, “Please begin bringing out our meal.”

The girl nods and goes through a door before Rebekah asks, “Jules, do you think you can stand yet?”

I nod and tell her and everyone else, “I think so, I don’t feel weak, I just hear everything really loud, but I already notice it’s not as intrusive or annoying as it first was, and it doesn’t hurt anymore.”

Everyone nods before Damon stands and then holds his hand down towards me.  I grab hold of his outstretched hand, and he pulls me to my feet.  He looks deep into my eyes and then with a smile on his face he says, “I love you, Mia Tesoro.”

I smile back and tell him, “I love you too.”

A minute later Elijah rolls a coffin into the room and then opens it before placing Klaus’ body inside it.  He turns to look at all of us and says, “I think we need to use a similar spell as that which was used on Esther’s coffin to lock it and then teleport the coffin to a place only we know about.”

I smile and ask him, “What about the hidden rooms under the Forks House.  Only those I want to know about them can, and I control who can enter by my will alone, so that’s probably the safest place to hide him.  Maybe we can put him into one of the cells.  They’re just as protected as the rest of the rooms, but that way I won’t have to want Klaus to be able to enter the other rooms because, despite his new condition, allowing even just his body into the main rooms makes me nervous.”

Everyone nods so a moment later Kol turns to Rebekah and does the spell to give her back her Magick.  He follows that up with the Truth spell and the Language spell then the Magick users in our family that have had Magick for longer than a few minutes all gather around the casket after Elijah closes it.  I ignore them because the girl brings food out, and I sit and begin eating some sort of pasta in a cream sauce while they all say a couple of spells I don’t hear the words to.  I do notice, however, when the coffin disappears.

When they’re done they all sit down and join me in eating the fantastic food.

We spend the meal filling Rebekah in on everything that’s been going on since I left Mystic Falls, and her eyes just keep getting wider and wider.

Finally, when we’re finished with our tale she smiles and says, “Well thank you for making sure I would be safe.”

We all nod before Ric smiles and says, “It’s not that they don’t love Klaus, they do, but he was evil and getting worse by the day.  You, on the other hand, don’t appear to be even remotely evil, so there was no reason to harm you provided you didn’t try to stop us from spelling Klaus.”

She smiles back and nods, and we spend the rest of the night getting to know Rebekah better.

When dinner is over, she compels the girl to forget everything she saw or heard, tells the staff to clean up, and then leave before she goes to pack an overnight bag so she can come to Elijah’s house with us.

When we arrive at Elijah’s house, I immediately turn and tell everyone, “I need to go lay down.” 

Damon’s eyes are narrowed when he asks, “Are you okay?”

I nod and tell him, “Yes it’s just been a long ass day, and I need to process everything including the fact that my sister actually tried to arrange for my murder to take place.  I know we’ll need to sit down and figure out what to do about her and Stefan, but if it’s okay, I’d prefer to do it tomorrow after I’ve had a good night’s rest.”

Everyone nods so I turn to go up the stairs, but I stop when I feel Damon’s hand slide into mine.  I turn back and look at him, so he smiles and says, “I’m going to bed too.”

I nod and lead the way up to our room.  When I enter I immediately head for my suitcase and take out my sleep pants and tank top because naked sleeping is a no-no in Virginia if one of the people in the bed is under 18.

When I’m changed into my sleep clothes, I climb into the bed and lay looking up at the ceiling while tears sting my eyes.  Damon climbs into bed a minute after me and pulls my arm so I’m lying against him with my arm across his stomach and my cheek resting against his shoulder.  I throw my leg over his and hold onto him tightly before I ask, “Damon, I know I’ve asked what I did to make her not love me like a thousand times already, but she freaking asked Klaus kill me.  She honestly thought he would have no problem doing what she wanted, and given what I know of him ordinarily I think he would have done it.  I, I’m having trouble processing that my sister basically tried to hire a hit-man to do away with me.  I, I must have done something to provoke that sort of response from her.  It can’t just be because I told her I’m coming to the house tomorrow to get some of our parents’ things.  That would be stupid.”

While my temperature rises and my fists clench I pause and then tell him, “I think I’m less sad about her not loving me and more pissed off at this point.  She freaking tried to have me killed.  Her own damn sister, never mind that we’re actually cousins.  How dare she freaking try to have me killed.  What the hell gives her the right to decide I shouldn’t exist anymore?”

I wipe at my face which is covered in angry tears, “She had no right.”

I lay there for a few minutes trying to control my tears but failing before I ask, “Are you going to say anything?”

He kisses the top of my head and says, “You pretty much said everything I would have said.  She had no right to do that, and we’ll think of some creative way to make her suffer for presuming to have you ended.  I really liked your idea about making her give up half of her inheritance and her half of your parents’ house.  I think it should all go to you because she tried to have you killed, so knowing you’re enjoying her money and such will piss her off to no end much more than giving it all to charity would.”

I chuckle slightly because he’s right about that.  If she hates me enough to try to have me killed, then knowing I’m spending her money will drive Elena absolutely nuts.

Chapter Text

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Chapter 036

Best of Luck, You’re Going to Need It

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A Few Towns Over from Mystic Falls, Virginia

Sunday, December 19, 2010, 7 a.m. EST

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I’m not sure when I fell asleep, but I wake up fully rested at 7 a.m., which is sleeping in for me because I usually get up for school at 6 a.m., but if you take the different time zones into account 7 a.m. EST is seriously early.  I look up and stare at Damon’s peaceful face while he sleeps.  Closing my eyes, I say a quick prayer to God, “Thank you, God, for bringing Damon into my life.  I don’t know what I’d do without him.”

His arm tightens around me, and a kiss is dropped on the crown of my head a moment later before he says, “Thank you, Mia Tesoro, that was a very nice thing to wake up to.”

I smile and lean up to kiss him, “I mean it.  My life would suck without you in it.  In fact, I’d probably be dead at my own sister’s hands.”

His hold on me tightens at that, and he gives a little growl that wakes up a particular part of me I’m not allowed to have awake while we’re here in Virginia.

He laughs and says, “It’s allowed to be awake.  We’re just not allowed to do anything about the fact that it’s awake.”

I laugh too then I groan and sit up.  I stretch a little before asking him, “I want to get ready, and as soon as everyone is ready I want to go over to my old house and be as loud as we can, so we’ll wake Elena and Stefan up.  She’ll sleep in if given half a chance, and I want to make sure she’s as annoyed as possible by my visit so...”

He smiles and says, “I showered last night after you fell asleep, so you go shower, and I’ll go see if everyone else is awake yet.”

I laugh and tell him, “Be gentle if you have to wake them up because I don’t want them getting payback on you down the line.  I sleep in the same bed as you so that would not be cool.”

He laughs and says, “Go ahead and take away all of my fun.”

I just laugh and get out of bed before heading into the shower.  When I get out, I dress quickly and then leave the room.

When I enter the kitchen, everyone else is up and dressed, and Isa and Damon are busy making pancakes for everyone.

When I sit down, Kol tells me, “Due to your Uncle John’s request on your birthday I brought the spell to turn Stefan into a Human again with us, so if you don’t object we’ll do it today while we’re at your house if he’s there.”

I nod but ask, “What if he says no?”

Damon turns to look at me and says, “He writes in his journal at least four times a week about how much he wishes he could be Human and live a Human life with Elena, so I’ll be very surprised if he says no.”

I nod before Isa puts my plate down in front of me.  I listen while Rebekah and Caroline talk about coming back to Forks with us.  Caroline points out, “Technically I’m 18 now, so I can move wherever I want and do whatever I want, so although I’m hoping I can get my mom to sign off on my moving to Forks it really doesn’t matter because my approval is the only one needed.  And because I’m still planning to finish school I don’t see why she would argue about it.  It’s the reverse of why Elena stayed here: all of my friends now live in Forks, so I want to finish school with you all.”

Everyone is nodding before Rebekah says, “And my legal guardian is technically Elijah even though I was living with Nik.  Now that Nik is locked in a coffin under your house that means I need to live with Elijah.  Because he lives in Forks, I’m guessing I’m going there too instead of all of you coming here, which, for the record, I’m kind of tired of this God forsaken town, so I’m actually looking forward to living in Forks.”

Elijah smiles at her and tells her, “I think you will enjoy the town.  It’s almost never sunny there, so we go whole weeks without feeling that unpleasant tingling we usually feel when standing under the light of the sun.  Although everyone, except Seth, is a Senior, so I’m sure we’ll be going somewhere else for College.  Am I mistaken in thinking that you’ll all go to the same school?”

We all look at each other for a minute and then begin shaking our heads no.  I tell him, “I can’t speak for everyone else, but I’d prefer to stay close to all of you.  Although, I haven’t taken my SAT’s or even started thinking about College because I was still a sophomore at the beginning of the school year so I’m a little behind.”

Everyone else nods before Jasper says, “If need be I can have Mr. Jenks supply us with SAT scores, and because Elijah has a plane that will fit all of us I figure we can go visit various colleges in the first couple months of the new year.  I mean Emmett, Rose and I have been to College a dozen times each.  Hooowwweeevvveeer, you, Jules, and Bella, Bree, the Wolves, as well as Caroline, Kol, and Rebekah have never been.  Therefore, I think we should do the whole visiting thing and really experience it, so you all get the full effect.  After a couple of decades, it’ll get old, and you’ll have seen all the colleges, but the first couple of times it was actually kind of fun checking them out and seeing what each campus had to offer.  Plus, now Rose, Emmett, and I can go to college anywhere even if it is usually sunny there, so that actually broadens our options significantly.”

I take my last bite of pancake and after chewing and swallowing I ask, “What will Ric do about his job?”

The man in question smiles and tells me, “I’m probably going to put out feelers at local schools near wherever you guys decide to go.  I’ve got the necessary degrees so I could even be a Professor at a college, so my options are not just limited to high schools.  I won’t be able to teach at whatever school Rebekah decides to go to because we’re technically romantically involved now that we’re Mates, but most schools have other schools close by, so I’ll just apply to the other schools in the area.”

Elijah nods and adds, “I also have the credentials to teach at any level so I may follow in Ric’s footsteps once we decide where we are moving to.”

I smile and get up with my plate to wash it while I ask, “What subject would you teach?”

The oldest Original smiles back and tells me, “English is my preference though I also have the credentials to teach any number of other languages as well, especially now that we’ve done the language spell on each of us.”

I bob my head up and down while I rinse my plate and put it in the dishwasher.

When everyone is done eating, and all the dishes and cookware are either washed or in the dishwasher the other girls all head up to their rooms to get their purses.

Five minutes later we’re on our way to my old house.  When we get there, we all pile out of the cars and walk up to the porch.  I smile evilly and after saying, “Rebekah, please come into my house,” I ring the doorbell.  I wait a minute then I knock a few times.  I wait another minute then I ring the bell again.  And I repeat the sequence over four or five times before the door is yanked open, and Elena is standing there in her Pj’s with a scowl on her face.  “What?  Jules why are you knocking when you still have a key!”

I smile and tell her, “I didn’t just want to barge right in because I haven’t lived here for months now.”

She just stands there staring at me, so I ask, “Are you going to invite us in?”

She smirks and says, “Only the Humans can come in because I’m not stupid enough to invite a bunch of Originals or their friends into my house. 

I push past her and tell her, “I was only asking as a formality because they’ve already all been invited inside.” 

I smile at her shocked face when one by one every member of my family walks over the threshold into the house.  “Jules, what the hell you can’t just invite Vampires into my house.”

I turn on her, and after staring straight into her eyes, I tell her, “First it’s our house, not your house.  Second, you will be paying me full market value for the home, and then you will sign full ownership over to me.  You will also be signing over John’s half of the lake house and three-quarters of the investments and monetary value of the rest of your inheritance from John as well as all of his residences and vehicles he left you.  You will do all of that and act like you’re freaking happy about it.  If anyone asks it was your idea and you feel good about sharing it all with your little sister.  You will not complain about it to me or anyone else, and you will not try to destroy anyone’s personal property for any reason, and you will no longer try to harm anyone else or get someone else to do it for you either.  And to make sure you do all of that I’m going to have one of my Vampire friends compel you to do everything I just said.”

I’m breathing heavily when I stop talking, and a moment later she begins repeating everything I just said causing my eyes to pop open wide when I realize I just compelled her myself.  What the hell?

I turn shocked eyes on all my friends and ask, “Did I just…”

They all nod slowly.  Wow, okay, that opens up possibilities I hadn’t even considered.

Elena’s eyes are wide before she asks, “Did you just fucking compel me?”

I turn back to look at her and catch her eyes again and compel her once more, “You will never curse again at me or anyone else, and you will always be courteous and polite to everyone you encounter regardless of how they treat you.”

She repeats it all again, so I smile and tell her, “Now if you’ll excuse us we’re going to go through Mom and Dad’s as well as Jenna’s things, and you will not bitch or complain about anything I decide to take with me.”

After she repeats that last part she frowns and says, “What the Heck, Jules?  You can’t just come in here and—”

I interrupt her and tell her, “I can, and I just did, now move out of my way.”

She moves, and I lead everyone up the stairs.  I ask Ric, “Can you go get a couple of boxes from the attic, Ric?”

He smiles and says, “Sure.”

I lead everyone else into my parent’s room and head straight for Mom’s jewelry box.  I open it and smile at the pieces inside.  I close the box, and when Ric comes in with three boxes, I take one and put the whole jewelry box inside one of the boxes.

Elena frowns and says, “Are you actually taking all of Mom’s jewelry?”

I frown back and tell her, “Consider it my response to your threatening to turn yourself into a Vampire if Klaus didn’t kill me.”

Her eyes shock open wide, and she asks me, “How?”

I smile a not nice smile and tell her, “I told you I was having dinner with the Mikaelsons, and still you were stupid enough to call and make your demands while I was there.  Klaus is gone, by the way, so he won’t be bothering you or Stefan anymore.  You’re welcome.”

Her eyes get wider, before she asks, “What do you mean he’s gone?”

I smile and tell her, “I mean we took care of him, and he won’t be hurting anyone else ever again.”

Just then Stefan comes to the doorway in a pair of sleep pants and a wife-beater and asks, “He’s dead?  I guess Damon and I weren’t part of his Sire Line after all.”

I smile wider and tell him, “No you both totally are in his Sire Line, so we got extra creative and found a way to remove him from the equation without actually ending his Sire Line.  All you need to know is he’s gone, and he’s not coming back ever again.”

I walk to my parents’ closet and open it before looking through the drawers of the cabinet to the left inside the closet.

I grab a small box and open it to find a pair of cuff-links with emeralds on them.  I look at them and fight back the tears.  I very clearly remember the story behind these.  My father was wearing them at the dance he took my mom to on their first date while they were still in high school, and he wore them at their wedding too.  Every year on their anniversary they’d get dressed up and go out to eat together and do some dancing, and every year Dad would wear these on their date.  I close the box and place it inside the bigger box and then start taking out all the other little boxes that I know have more cufflinks and tie pins in them.  Maybe I’ll ask Damon if he wants them.  I think Dad would like my Mate wearing his stuff.

When I finish that I move Dad’s clothes out of the way and open the safe in the back of the closet.  I take everything including the more expensive jewelry my mom owned out of the safe and put it into the box.  I turn and look at Ric and tell him, “Some of these papers might need to be seen by you and the lawyer handling all the wills and my trusts.”

He nods after I step out of the closet.  Then I pull up short when I see my whole family sitting and standing around the room pretty much twiddling their thumbs.  Surprisingly it’s Elijah who asks, “Juliet, is there anything we can do to help?”

I shake my head and tell them all, “Probably not, but you could all talk to Stefan about doing that spell and turning him Human again, and you can do the spell if he agrees because I can’t really help with that part of our plans.”

Stefan’s eyes are wide before he asks, “You were serious about turning me Human?”

Elijah nods and asks, “When you touch Elena does it feel like you’re, hmm how to put it?”

I interject, “Does it feel like you’re sticking your hand in a live electrical socket?”

The younger Salvatore nods, “Yes, why?”

Elijah tells him, “Because that means she’s your Mate.  The only way to turn a Supernatural that used to be Human back into a Human is if their Mate is also a Human or is also being made Human at the same time, which means because she is, in fact, Human we can turn you back.”

I roll my eyes when Elena says, “But I’m not Human.  I’m a Doppelgänger.”

Elijah smiles and tells her, “Any species can be born a Doppelgänger.  Yes, they’re Supernatural, but fundamentally they’re whatever species their parents were.  In your case that’s Human.  Now it turns out you’re not actually fully Human, but it should be enough for our purposes.”

Stefan frowns before he asks, “What do you mean she’s not fully Human.”

Damon answers him, “Turns out John and Grayson were ¼ Air-Elf.  So Elena is ⅛ Air-Elf, and the rest of her is Human.”

Elena smirks and says, “So we’re ⅛ Supe after all?”

I look at Damon and think to him, ‘Go ahead Damon, I know you want to rub in that I’m more than just Air-Elf.’

He nods and says, “Actually Elena turns out Miranda and Jenna were ¼ Spirit-Demon, so Jules is actually ¼ Supe instead of your ⅛.”

I laugh when she actually growls, so while I put another picture into the box, I tell her, “I don’t know why being a Supe is such a big deal to you, Elena.  What you are is just blood and DNA, but it doesn’t actually contribute to who you are as a person.  Your personality and character are what makes you who you are, and personally, I think that matters so much more than what species you are.”

Everyone in my family is nodding, but Elijah, Kol, and Rebekah are all nodding the deepest.  Kol smiles at me when he stops nodding and says, “As someone who’s been alive for more than 1,000 years I can say with some certainty that Blood is what keeps your body alive.  However, Blood is the part of who you are that is, in fact, the smallest part.  Being a Supe doesn’t make someone special, being a good, decent person is what makes people unique and worth knowing and ultimately worth remembering when they’re gone.”

I turn in time to see Elena roll her eyes before she says, “What do you know about being a good, decent person?  You’ve probably killed more people than I’ve ever known, and you helped kill Klaus.”

Kol smiles and says, “Coming from the girl who called my brother and tried to force him to kill her sister or lose the use of her Doppelgänger blood forever that doesn’t really mean much because while I helped kill my brother I did it because he was actually evil.  Your sister, on the other hand, has never harmed anyone, and yet you tried to arrange her murder.”

Stefan tilts his head to the side and purses his lips before he says, “She would never do such a thing.”

Caroline turns sad eyes on him and tells him, “We were with Klaus when she called him, and he put her on speakerphone, so we all, even the Humans, heard her loud and clear.  She told him that if he didn’t kill Jules for her, she would turn herself into a Vampire, and Klaus would never be able to make any more Hybrids.”

Stefan’s frown lines have frown lines when he asks his Mate, “Elena, why would you do such a thing?”

She looks down and shrugs before saying, “I was angry and didn’t really think through the consequences of my actions.  I didn’t follow through on my threat, so obviously I saw the error of my ways.”

I snort and tell her, “More like Klaus compelled you to never drink Vampire blood, and because you can’t drink Vampire blood, you can’t turn yourself into a Vampire.”

Stefan asks, “Wouldn’t Klaus’ compulsion have worn off if he’s dead?”

I shake my head before I continue to pack, “No, technically he didn’t die otherwise everyone in his Sire Line would have died too.  His compulsions should still remain and because he’s now gone with no way of returning there is no way to undo any of his compulsions, so Elena is stuck doing everything he compelled her to do or not do as the case may be.  So anyway, Stefan do you want to be Human again?”

He doesn’t even hesitate before he begins nodding and says, “More than anything in this world.”

Elijah says, “Why don’t all of us go downstairs and we can discuss the particulars and then perform the spell while Juliet and Damon continue packing the things Juliet wishes to take with her.”

They all nod and leave the room.  As soon as Stefan and Elena are gone Damon teleports the two full boxes back to our house in Forks.  Then he smiles and asks, “Do you want me to just teleport everything you might want to keep to our house then you don’t have to go through everything because the ‘Cosmos’ will know what you’d want and will send it to the house for us?”

I smile and nod so he says, “Mother Freyja, please remove, box, and transport everything from this house and the Gilbert’s Lake House that your daughter, Juliet, might wish to keep for herself to the spare room next to ours in our house in Forks.  So mote it be.”

We know it worked because a bunch of things disappear off the top of my parents’ dresser.  Still, I take about half an hour to go through everything that remains and make sure the ‘Cosmos’ didn’t miss anything.  I even go down to the kitchen and make sure my mom’s and grandmother’s cookbooks are gone.

When I’m certain everything is now at the house in Forks, I ask Damon, “Can you do the reverse for all of Stefan’s belongings and move them into my old room?”

Damon nods so he says, “Mother Freyja, please remove, box. and transport all of Stefan’s rightful belongings from the Boarding House to Juliet’s old bedroom in this house.  So mote it be.”

We go up the stairs to my old room, and sure enough, there are boxes now filling the room.  I peek inside one of the boxes and see a bunch of Journals that look like the copies of Stefan’s Journals that we have back home.  Satisfied that Stefan now has no reason to try to enter the Boarding House Damon and I join everyone in the living room where we find them all watching Stefan sleep.  Kol smiles when we enter and says, “When he wakes he should be a Human.” 

We all sit very awkwardly while Elena glares at all of us in turn.  Finally, I get fed up with the nasty looks, so I ask, “What’s with the dirty looks Elena?”

She huffs and then says, “Nothing it’s just you always have to one-up me.”

I have no idea what she’s talking about, or how I may have one-upped her in this situation, so I frown but say nothing because I’m sure I really don’t want to know what she means.

45 minutes later Stefan gasps for air and then his eyes pop open wide.  He lays there on the couch for a moment, and then he sits up and turns to place his feet on the floor.

He looks at each of us and then smiles and says, “I can’t hear the neighbors going about their day or anything outside this room.  That’s going to take some getting used to.”

I nod and tell him, “It shouldn’t take long.”

He nods back then I catch his eyes and say, “You will never drink or wear Vervain, and you will stay with Elena through thick and thin regardless of how bad her attitude problems get.  You will never drink Vampire blood, and you will let one of us know immediately if someone forces it on you.  You will avoid any Vampires not currently in this room, and if any start hanging around, you will immediately call Damon and tell him.  You will continue to keep a detailed journal until you breathe your last breath.  You also won’t remember that I just compelled you or that I’m about to compel Elena nor what either compulsion entails.”

He repeats everything I just said back to me, so I turn to Elena and catch her eye and tell her, “You will remain with Stefan through thick and thin no matter how annoying you might find him or how angry you might become with him.  You won’t ever try to play him off someone else or string him or anyone else along.  You will only give your affections to Stefan, and you will be clear about that.  You will also not try to harm Stefan or anyone else or have someone else do it for you.  You will be civil and polite anytime you talk to or see anyone currently in this room, and you won’t complain out loud when you don’t get your way or things happen that you don’t like.  You will never bitch or complain about Damon and me being together, and you will never publicly or privately question or speculate about our relationship, nor will you ever try to cause trouble for us in regards to my age and our sex life.  You will avoid any Vampires not currently in this room, and if any start hanging around, you will immediately call Ric and tell him.  You will not call me unless you have something nice to say.  You will also continue to keep a detailed diary until you breathe your last breath, and you won’t remember this compulsion or what it entails or that I compelled Stefan a minute ago.”

She repeats everything, so I smile and then stand up before telling her, “Well, I think it’s time for us to go.  My attorney will get in touch to talk about you signing over your half of this house and three-quarters of John’s estate.  Have a nice life, Elena.”

I turn to look at Stefan and tell him, “Stefan, best of luck, you’re going to need it to put up with her and her BS.”

I don’t give him an opportunity to respond before I lead the members of my new family out the front door to our cars.  I don’t bother looking back while we drive away because Elena is my past, and I only want to look to the future from now on, my future with Damon and our family.

Chapter Text

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Epilog

Stronger Than Any Bonds of Blood

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Manhattan, New York

Thursday, December 18, 2510, 5 a.m. EST

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I slowly wake with my head in its usual morning spot, resting on my Husband’s bare shoulder while my arm is laying across his stomach and my leg is thrown over his.  Lifting my head slightly I stare blearily at the clock on the bedside table on Damon’s side of the bed.  5 a.m., ugh, too damn early.

I need as much sleep now as I can get because later today Beks and Caroline are throwing a party to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the night we split and trapped Klaus’ soul inside the members of my family.  It also happens to be the 500th anniversary of the day Jasper and Caroline, and Ric and Beks realized they were Mates.

Because it’s been 500 years, I know full well that the two of them are going to go way overboard and all out for this party.  My hubby of 494 years has graciously agreed to host the party at his Club on Houston St in Lower Manhattan.  We’ve rotated spending lifetimes in Forks, Mystic Falls, and New York mostly with a few other places sporadically thrown in for good measure.

The spell Angela and Ben did to split Klaus’ essence and then trap it inside ten members of our family actually removed the bindings preventing Klaus from making Hybrids without Doppelgänger blood or accessing his Magick. 

A few of us have turned friends of ours through the years who were Traditional Werewolves, so that’s how we know we can now do that without Elena’s blood.  We tried it with the first Werewolf’s permission and gave him Human blood instead of hers because he was willing to die if it didn’t work because he hated turning every Full Moon enough to not want to live if he couldn’t get rid of it.  It worked, though, so he survived, and we’ve turned a few others as well that we’ve come across and liked well enough to offer to take the compulsion to turn at the Full Moon away from them.

As for Klaus’ Magick, although Klaus can no longer access anything each person with a part of him inside them has full access to his Magick.  Jazz, Caroline, Bree, Ric and myself who had no Magick before the spell now have Klaus’ Magick, so there are 12 Magick Users in our family, and we have all done spell work to help the family hide in plain sight. 

Isa found spells back while we were searching for the way to split and trap Klaus that allow us to each look slightly younger or older than we were when we became immortal and then the other spell makes it possible to appear to age as if we are Human.  So although Kol was right and taking Klaus inside of me turned me immortal and just as invincible and as close to truly immortal as Klaus was I have looked anywhere from age 10 to age 99 five times to date. 

And I truly am just as hard to kill as Klaus was because a Cold One got a lucky shot about 400 years ago and snapped my neck after pulling off my ring, and I was staked in the heart about 200 years ago, and although the latter was very messy it didn’t kill me.  I also have Klaus’ Eidetic memory, speed, strength, senses, and abilities and all of them have only gotten faster, better, and sharper through the centuries.

Since the Telepathy, Empathy, Language, Truth, and Knowledge spells all are still in full effect even five centuries later, we’ve mostly been able to stay one step ahead of our enemies.  Those spells and the aging spells have allowed all of us to pose as students and then go through a Human lifetime.  Ric and Beks, Elijah and Leah, and Charlie and his Mate take turns alternating between posing as our guardians and also being minors.

Almost exactly a year after we took down Klaus, Charlie was shot while in the line of duty and the jackass responsible liked his immortality ring, so he stole it.  The ass was Human anyway so the ring wouldn’t have worked, so Charlie died.  He would have died permanently except unbeknownst to everyone except Kol and Charlie Kol had convinced Charlie to take his blood every morning, so after he had died from his gunshot wounds, he woke up in transition and chose to complete it.  It took a bit of compulsion to make everyone in town forget that Charlie had died, but between all the Vampires in our family, we managed to get to everyone in a day or so.

In 2031, Charlie met a Vampire, named Josephina, whom Kol had turned while in Spain some 850 years before Charlie and Josephina meeting.  They quickly fell in love and have been together for close to 480 years.  Josephina gets along well with all of us, but especially with Isa.  Isa finally got a mother figure whom she didn’t need to take care of, and Josephina actually takes great pleasure in taking care of Isa and the rest of us.

Currently, I’m just over 18, and we live in Manhattan so that Damon and I can once again attend Art school here in the city.  Although, unlike the first time I went to college instead of going to the School for the Visual Arts I’m attending Cooper Union while Damon is going to Pratt this time.  We chose New York the first time after spending January and February of 2011 making the most of having access to a private plane so that the family could jet set around the country every weekend and visit prospective cities so we could check out all the schools in each area.  When we graduated from high school in June of 2011, Angela was Valedictorian.  So during the summer, we moved into two brownstones that were right next door to each other.  Angela attended NYU while most everyone except Damon and me went to Columbia, Manhattan College, and Hunter College.

We used Magick to add hidden rooms under the two Brown Stones as well as the Salvatore Boarding House and then used more Magick to make duplicates of every Journal and Grimoire in our possession. 

In 2015 Angela and Ben Transitioned and permanently became members of our family.  Our whole family filled the holes left behind by my parents, John, and Jenna’s deaths as well as my estrangement from Elena.  I sigh when I think of my sister.  Our relationship never recovered, and we only spoke with each other when absolutely necessary.  I usually found out what was happening in her life because Isa continued to read her diary, and Damon continued to read Stefan’s journal. 

Admittedly Stefan would call Damon once a month to find out how things were going and he always called when they discovered they were expecting a child.  All in all, Stefan and Elena had five children, three boys, and two girls.  Elena died when she was 83 years old, and Stefan died two weeks later of a broken heart.

I still own the property the Gilbert house was on, though, it has since been torn down and a new house built in its place.  I also still own the Salvatore Boarding House and all of the residences that the Vampires in our family owned.  Turns out because Kol was right and the spell we did on Klaus made me immortal with all the benefits of being a Hybrid without any of the pitfalls, and I never had to die I still own all of the residences, and therefore only those Vampires I invite in can enter.

The house in Forks still stands due to the Magick that Mrs. Peterson did on it all those years ago, and the secret rooms are still there with even more books filling them, though, as I mentioned we now have three full libraries that write themselves and make duplicates of each new book.

We collected all of the White Oak Ash Daggers and any remaining ash and locked them all in a safe in the hidden rooms beneath the Forks house because the only people who can access the rooms are folks I want to be able to enter the rooms. 

When we took out Klaus, Rebekah had also recently discovered the existence of White Oak Wood from saplings of the original tree.  We did a teleportation spell and moved all of the existing wood and any saplings into our backyard in Forks and then burnt it all before collecting the ashes and putting them in the safe next to the Daggers.  Teleporting all the wood might have been a mess of its own, but thankfully by the time we did the spell, the work of rebuilding Wickery Bridge was done, so all the White Oak Wood was just laying around in piles.  Using the Teleportation Spell allowed us to be certain that no one had walked off with any of it.

Shortly after we returned to Forks after spelling Klaus the Magick users in our family turned Rosalie and Emmett back into Humans.  They stuck close to us through the years, and their first daughter was named after her Godmother, Bella.  When Rose and Emmet were 32, they were out on a date celebrating their wedding anniversary when a drunk driver hit them head on, and they both died.  Fortunately, they had both been regularly drinking Kol’s blood because they wanted to make sure their kids would be grownups before they lost their parents to death.  Anyway, they woke in transition and both completed the transition.  We offered to make them Human again, but they both agreed that if they were turned into Supernaturals more than once in their lives, then it must be meant to be so they decided to remain Traditional Vampires.  Plus, the fact of the matter was, Rose got to have children like she always wanted, so as she put it the rest was just icing on the cake.  All that really mattered to them, in the end, was that they got to keep raising their children, and the kids didn’t have to bury their parents until everyone thought they were over 100 years old.

Three weeks after we returned to Forks from Mystic Falls Stefan called Damon to inform him that Katherine had been snooping around, so Kol Teleported himself to her location and compelled her to leave Stefan, Elena, Damon, and every member of our families alone for the rest of eternity.  He also compelled her to not try to harm any of us, and although we’ve seen her in passing she barely acknowledges us, and we like it that way.

Bonnie managed to only use her Magick for good after we threatened to take her powers, so we didn’t have to follow through on that threat.  She and Matt wound up getting together and were married two years after they graduated from College.  They had four children who all continued Emily’s line of Magick.  Their lines still exist and still have their Magick.

Each of the couples in our family eventually got married, including Damon and me.

I snuggle further into the bed and rub my cheek against Damon’s warm shoulder, while I smile and let the memories of the past slip by and focus on the right now, which is pretty fantastic if I do say so myself.  Damon’s arms tighten around me before he leans down and brushes a kiss across my forehead, “Hmm, good morning, Mia Tesoro.”

I lean up and kiss him before settling back with my cheek once again resting against his shoulder after I tell him, “Good morning.”

He frowns and asks, “Are you sure because it sounded like you were having deep introspective thoughts just now.”

I frown and then smile before I say, “Yes I’m sure.  I was just thinking about how far we’ve come and all I gained even though I also lost some people along the way.  All in all, I may have had to lose my original family, but ultimately I got a family forged by love, loyalty, and honor stronger than any bonds of blood, and I’m okay with that, more than okay actually.  I wouldn’t change my life with you and our family for anything.  I truly know happiness and peace not to mention what it feels like to be thoroughly loved by you and the rest of our family.”

Life isn’t perfect, but it’s perfectly imperfect, and I wouldn’t give this life up even if I could get those I lost back.  “My life with you fills me to the brim with love, and I couldn’t ask for more than that.”  I lean up on one arm and lean down and kiss my husband before proceeding to show him just how much I love him and our life together.

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The End

(Until the Sequel)

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