We spent the whole afternoon enjoying each other's company. It almost felt like our late night conversations from a year ago, when we just sat together and talked about nothing and yet everything. Every now and then Elijah would kiss me as if he couldn't believe he could do it now. I savored his lips before he pulled away and continued with the conversation. I was genuinely happy for the first time in these past few years. Yet nothing gold lasts forever.
"Your brother will demand for your body," Elijah states.
"I know," I sigh out.
"He's still in the Boarding House with the Salvatores." Elijah informs me. "If you decide to reveal yourself as alive and explain as to how..."
"I think we should let my brother and his vampire friends believe I'm dead." I tell Elijah. "And I think we should leave."
"They have a dagger that can kill you Elijah." I say, cutting him off. "They won't hesitate in using it again. If they believe I'm dead they will use it. If they realize I'm alive and find out about my ring, they will use it. There's no way around it. Our best strategy at the moment is to take a break. Let Jonas and Luka monitor the situation and we remain out of it."
I grab Elijah's hands on my own and force his attention back on me. His eyes soften as I trace circles on the top of his hands.
"Klaus is the reason you left me behind a year ago," I whisper. "You found out about what we were and what could happen to me if you were harmed. You left me behind in order to protect me."
I press a kiss on his lips, closing my eyes as I set my forehead on his.
"Let me protect you, Elijah." I tell him. "With that dagger in play, you'll be dead and so will I."
"We can't just leave," Elijah tells me. "The Salvatores are reckless and they will most likely draw attention to themselves and have Klaus here before the end of the week."
"And maybe that's what we need." I tell him. "We've been covering the doppelganger's existence for too long. We need to end this now, Elijah. I want to end this."
"We're not ready." Elijah exclaims.
"How are we not?" I ask him. "I have spent 3 years searching for this monster. You've been searching twice my lifetime! We are more than ready."
"Jonas and Luka do not have the power to bring Klaus down." Elijah states. "If we do this too soon, they will die in the process."
"Then what do you need to make them more..." I don't finish my question as I realize the missing piece of the plan Elijah had hidden so well. "The witch burial ground."
"Yes." Elijah says confirming it with a nod. "We need to find the location and allow Jonas and Luka to channel the energy. From there, they'll have enough power to enact the plan I have."
"Which is what?" I ask him. Elijah just sighs, and I feared he would once again keep the details to himself, but strangely enough he doesn't.
"Klaus will go through the ritual," Elijah tells me. "And while he's weak by the transition, he'll be vulnerable for a spell, and we will end him... once and for all."
"Then we'll be free," I say as I lean my head on his shoulder.
"Then we'll be free," Elijah sighs out happily as he tightens his hold on my hand, pressing a quick kiss on top of it. I smile at the small act before looking up at him.
"So what do you say?" I ask him as his warm brown eyes look down at me. "Let's leave town, let Jonas and Luka take control for a bit, let them find the witches burial ground, and once they've done that, we'll come back and be right on time to find Klaus in town reeking havoc, we'll swoop in and end it all."
"Where would we go?" Elijah asks me, considering the idea.
"You once told me you owned a castle," I tell him. "Why don't we go there?"
"That's in England, Griselda. It's too far for us to go to."
"Then why don't we... how about..." I pause as I thought of somewhere nearby and nice. "I don't know." I laugh out. "I've traveled around the states but that was because I was busy with the orchestra or hunting business. I never really took a vacation before."
Elijah just smiled at me.
"I haven't either," Elijah tells me. "But if you desire to see a castle, I have a friend of mine that owns one nearby. I'll take you there."
"Really?" I ask surprised. "So you...?"
"If this is what you want," Elijah states. "Then I'll do it."
"Then let's go," I say as I stand up from my seat. "Like right now."
Elijah just chuckles at my enthusiasm.
"We will," he says with a gentle smile. "But first, we need to pack and inform Jonas and Luka of our decision. I would also like to pay a visit to Elena, inform her of my absence."
"The Salvatore Brothers won't allow that," I tell him. "They'll try to kill you."
"Then we'll need to distract them," Elijah replies with something in the tint of his eyes, something resembling mischief. "And I think I have the perfect one."
Third POV, Salvatore Boarding House/Martin Residence
Night had fallen and the Boarding House was in complete silence. Alaric had yet to move from his spot on the couch. His mind trying to process how he killed his own sister as he attempted to kill her fiance. Now, Elijah was alive and walking while his sister was not. This was not how things were supposed to go. Damon was forbidden from coming near him, Alaric blaming him for the events that had transpired. Elena was the only who could force Alaric to eat and drink while Stefan took care of his brother.
The mourning silence was pestering Alaric. He closed his tired eyes and could practically hear the vampires walking upstairs. He could also hear Elena washing the dishes in the kitchen down the hall. He could even hear the rustling of the trees outside. Alaric wanted all of it to stop.
He wanted to turn back time and not have killed his sister. His eyes land on the dagger that was set on the coffee table. He couldn't believe that one needle like dagger ended the life of the only family he had. Oh, how he wished he could take back everything he said to her and just enjoyed the time he had with her.
The clock ticks, the water stops, and the trees stand still. There was a single moment of real silence before a soft melody plays. Alaric immediately looks up hearing the violin echo in the room. He wasn't sure if it was his tired mind or if he was just going mad but he swore he could hear violin music.
"Does anyone hear that?" he asks out loud, knowing full well that Damon and Stefan were surveilling him from afar. "Does anyone hear the violin?"
Alaric doesn't wait for a response as the music draws him to the front door. He could hear the music grow louder outside and opens the door.
"Alaric," Elena calls out to him concerned but Alaric didn't pay her any mind as he saw a glimpse of a white dress across the lawn.
"Griselda," he whispers before running out to the woods. Elena was just about to follow him when Damon and Stefan rush down.
"Stay inside and lock all the doors," Stefan tells her as he passes Elena and follows after his brother.
"What's going on?" Elena asks him.
"We caught sight of Griselda outside," Stefan tells her quickly. "We could hear her playing and she suddenly appeared. I think it's a ghost and it's best if you just stay inside and we handle it."
"But Stefan..." Elena argues.
"Just stay inside, please." Stefan says before rushing after his brother.
Elena just sighed as she saw Stefan disappear. She took a glimpse of the lawn but found nothing. Even so, she did what Stefan told her and closed the door and locked it. Not sure how that would stop a ghost from coming inside, Elena remained unguarded in the Boarding House.
Alaric could hear her sound closer and closer. He caught glimpses of a flowing dress as it walked deeper and deeper into the woods. She smiled at him before disappearing from him, only to appear farther away from him. Alaric didn't care how far she was taking him, he was just glad to see her alive in some matter.
Alaric pushed past some trees and ran after her. This time he was close enough to see her fully. The dress she had on flowed in the light wind and she was barefoot. Griselda winked at him before disappearing just at the moment that Damon and Stefan caught up to him.
"Ric, what the hell are you doing?!" Damon exclaims.
"You saw her right?" Alaric asks them desperately.
"Yeah, we saw her alright. Are you out of your damn mind?!" Damon exclaims. "She died, Alaric! Her ghost isn't here to play nice. It probably dragged you deep into the forest so she could kill you!"
"I see her again," Alaric says as she catches sight of the end of her dress. He starts to move past Damon but he just pushes him back.
"You're an idiot!" Damon grits out. Stefan catches a tumbling Alaric and wasn't able to stop Damon as he rushed towards Griselda. Damon snatches through thin air and Griselda just laughs at him.
You're going to have to try harder to keep up with me.
Griselda's laughter could be heard as she once again disappeared on him and appeared farther into the forest. Her music could once again be heard around the forest and Damon was getting really annoyed by it. He sets his jaw tight before rushing after her again.
"You ok there?" Jonas asks her as they both paused in their playing and spell chanting.
"I thought I was made," Griselda sighs out. "Keep forgetting I'm not really there."
Luka gets both of their attentions and Jonas and Griselda's conversation is cut short. Griselda started playing again as she had a new lead on Damon. Once Damon got close, she would set her violin to the side and Jonas would stop his chanting. Luka would then set a trail of black sand to another location in the map they had of Mystic Falls' forest and Jonas would begin chanting again. The astral projection had been a good idea from Elijah. All she had to do was play music and play dead. It was now just up to Elijah to wrap this whole thing up.
Elena remained near the door in hopes of catching sight of either Salvatore or Alaric. She hated being out of the loop but knew that this was their way of keeping her safe. So Elena remained waiting for them, too focused in her worrying, that she didn't notice the other presence in the hallway.
"I must say leaving the Salvatores to look over you might have been a bad idea," Elijah states catching Elena off guard. Elena turns around towards him and stumbles back in fear.
"You... didn't have anything to do with Griselda's death." Elijah says, finishing her thought. "But the Salvatores... that's another matter."
"Please, I beg of you, don't hurt them." Elijah cries out to him. "They were only trying to protect me. I swear!"
"Oh I know," Elijah says with a tired shake of his head. "But my dear Griselda paid the price. They must be punished."
"Elijah, please!" Elena exclaims.
"What can you offer me Elena?" Elijah asks her. "What could you possibly bargain now?"
"My life," Elena states. "You still need me alive to lure Klaus into town."
"Planning on suicide, Elena?" Elijah asks her. "You do that and all you do is leave your family to suffer at the mercy of Klaus' rage. You're the only one protecting them right now."
Elena falters as her renegotiation failed and Elijah slightly smirks at it.
"Now that you have nothing against me, I believe I can offer you a solution." Elijah tells her. Elena didn't like the sound of his tone, but willing to keep her friends safe, she was willing to do anything. "It seems that Damon Salvatore might know the location of an unclaimed witches burial ground. I want you to find out where it is located and to inform my witches of it's location."
"Not you?" Elena asked confused.
"In order to prevent myself from going on a blinding rage murdering spree against your fellow friends and family, I thought it best that I mourned my loss elsewhere." Elijah tells her as he walks past her and towards the front door. Elena was in shock as she heard this from him.
"I need time to mourn." Elijah answers quietly. "As you are aware, vampires feel their emotions more highly. I love more and I'm in pain more. Griselda's death... I can't..."
"Alaric's very sorry." Elene states. "He didn't mean too... I mean, how could he have known what he was doing?"
"Either way, he stabbed Griselda in the back for coming after me." Elijah tells her as he paused at the front door. "Do tell him I forgive him though and that I will see that Griselda's body is buried in peace."
"Her ghost is luring around, Elijah." Elena tells him. Elijah had to hide the smirk on his face and remained still. "I think it's best if you set her body to rest soon."
"Will do, Elena." Elijah states. "Until we meet again."
Elena wasn't given the chance to say a proper goodbye as Elijah disappeared. Shortly after, Stefan comes in with a fighting Alaric who did not wanted to be dragged back into the Boarding House.
"What happened?" Elena asks him.
"Damon ran after Griselda. I thought it would be best if I brought Alaric back before he hurt himself."
"Are you ok?" Elena asks Alaric who looked lost.
"I just... I just saw my dead sister and you didn't let me talk to her." Alaric tells her as tears rose to his eyes. "That might be the last time... the last time I got to see her."
"She's dead, Alaric." Elena sympathizes with him. "It's time to let her go. Elijah's going to put her body down to rest. It's time to make peace."
Stefan wanted to ask her about Elijah but it wasn't the right time as Alaric broke down in front of them.
"I killed my own sister, how am I supposed to make peace with that?" Alaric gasps out.
"It was an accident, Ric." Elena tells him. "You've got to forgive yourself. I mean... even Elijah forgives you, Ric. That must mean something right?"
Alaric was too much in pain to listen to her words. Elena takes notice of this and just sighs. She finds a way to lead him back to the couch and make him lay down to rest for awhile. Stefan was waiting for her out in the hallway with questions that needed answering.
"You talked with Elijah?" Stefan asks her.
"He came by earlier to say goodbye." Elena tells him seeing the surprise in Stefan's face. "He's leaving town."
Deep inside the Mystic Falls Forest
Damon kept on coming so close into catching her but every time she was at his grasp, she would disappear. He heard her laugh at him so many times that it was driving him crazy enough to want to rip his own ears off. Through this all, Damon kept on chasing after her, throwing away his own idea that this was all a trap and just an attempt to kill all of them. Damon kept on rushing towards Griselda but always arrived too late, except for now.
Griselda was standing by the top of the hidden waterfall. Damon knew this place well and was surprised that they had gotten this far. Damon approached her slowly, afraid that she would disappear on him. He walked up behind her, believing that she had not noticed him, until she spoke up.
After our mother died, Alaric rode me out on his bicycle to this nearby waterfall in my grandparent's place. It was very beautiful.
Damon didn't know how to respond to that. He didn't understand what Griselda was doing by saying this to him.
Our mother was the only family we had. My father had run off, which was no big loss because he was a mean drunk, but my mother... she was an angel. She played the violin just like I do. I never really got to hear her play but Alaric did. I think he felt guilty that he remembered her more than I do. I think that's why he thought he had to make it up to me by taking me to the waterfall.
Damon once again remained silent as the cascading water fell off the cliff and crashed down. Griselda smiled at the sight of the waterfall under the moonlight.
Alaric did so much for me, being the big brother he is, he sacrificed a lot to make me happy.
Griselda raised her violin up and smiled down at it.
Alaric was the one who signed me up for violin lessons. He was also the one to pay for them.
"Let me guess, he wasted his childhood, teenage years, and part of his college experience paying off those lessons?" Damon asks her. Griselda just grinned at him.
Damon just rolled his eyes and kept his mouth shut.
And you're right. Alaric did work a lot of jobs to pay for them and to keep my lessons hidden. My grandparents weren't too happy about the arts. They thought that music was the reason my mother had fallen for some drunk man instead of settling on someone nice. He took some beatings because of what he was doing for me...
"And then what happened?" Damon asks curiously.
Alaric went to college, met Isabel, got married and that was that. I was old enough to take care of myself and my grandparents had passed away by then. I was able to apply to music programs and I went my own way in life.
"So how did you transform into some vampire hunter?" Damon asks confused. Griselda smiles sadly but doesn't show it to him.
That's another story... one that doesn't matter right now.
Damon was unsettled by this and even more so as Griselda turned to look at him.
So early in our life did my brother and I learn loss. It only served to bring us closer... we were the only one's left in our family. Now Alaric has no one, thanks to you. I hope my death reminds you that your reckless behavior will only cause harm to others and not yourself.
He hadn't expected to feel guilty as Griselda stared him down but it was because she was speaking the truth that he was feeling this way.
Tell my brother I forgive him and that I have his best interest at heart.
With a gust of wind, Griselda disappeared in white smoke. Damon was left alone at the top of the waterfall, thinking over the grave mistakes he's made.
Griselda's POV, Martin Residence
I packed up my violin and tucked the few stray hairs that covered my face behind my ear. The apartment had grown silent as Jonas and Luka cleaned up the mess of the spell. Neither of them paid me much attention. I assumed it was because they were unhappy with our sudden departure. They knew why we were leaving. It was too much of a risk for Elijah and I to stay here.
"So you and Elijah... are you two... did you...?" Luka attempts to ask and I just smile at the rambling teenager.
"We haven't really talked much about what we are." I tell him. "I'm still trying to make sense of it and I think he is to."
"Well whatever you decide on... I mean, just be careful." Jonas tells me with concern written all over his eyes. "There's not much information about the Mark Souls bond, just that it's a very rare and powerful thing."
"We will," I assure him as I pull on my coat and wrap a scarf around.
Jonas just smiles at me as he pulled me into a hug. I could sense he was very afraid of what would happen when we left. It's been a long three years we've spent together and Elijah and I taking a break from all of this was alarming. Jonas pulls back and just smiles a half smile.
"You look younger, you know?" he tells me with a chuckle.
"It's probably because I just lost the weight of the world from my shoulders." I say chuckling back. "It's a bit of a relief."
"When will you be coming back?" Luka asks me.
"Depends on Elena's ability to get us what we want or if Klaus makes a visit first." I tell him. "I promise we're not just abandoning our plan. We will get Gretta back and we will bring Klaus' end."
"We know," Jonas sighs out. "It's just..."
"Something new," Elijah says as he enters the apartment. "I understand it's scary but we must take ourselves out of the equation in order for this to work. We need the Salvatores to become comfortable with this new security which will then allow Elena to find out the location of that witch burial ground. You two will then harness the power there and summon Klaus. Once that's happened, we'll come back."
Jonas and Luka nod at that, still wary, but not voicing it out. I smile at both of them before giving each of them a hug. I pick up my violin case and make my way to Elijah. He takes the case from my hand and like a gentleman opens the door for me. I walk through it feeling the stress disappear as I made my way to the car. I tied all loose ends and was ready start a new beginning.