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Noble Deeds

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        Countryside surrounded me as I drove in a high speed down the road. All I saw was fields of wheat and the occasional oak tree. There were times I passed by a farm, inhabited or not. I wasn’t paying much attention to the setting around me, my head was too full with never ending thoughts.
        It’s been a rough couple of years I’ll admit. The pain was so big three years ago and now it was just a dull ache and a reminder of what I’ve lost. All that was left in me was anger and the need of revenge. I just wanted him dead for what he did to me, for taking away everything I’ve ever cared for, ever loved.
        Three years since all of this started. I found out about vampires, werewolves, and witches all in one night. I left home after that, not that there was a home still standing. I left the rubble and ash of my old home and have been on the road since trying to find the one person who had caused my tragedy.
        I’ve met witches and other vampires but they were too afraid to speak up. I once met an Original, he helped me for a while, but that partnership ended abruptly and very badly. Once I get my revenge, I’ll go after him. Maybe, just maybe, I’ll be able to find some peace after all of this but that seemed unlikely.
        The sun was setting in the horizon and I sighed. Vampires could soon roam the earth but I doubted that any vampires were this far out in the middle of nowhere. I shift my hands and place my left one on the steering wheel.
        My eyes shift focus and land on the elegantly molded ring located on my finger. My engagement ring felt heavy in my hand. I still wore it as if there was still a chance that a wedding would happen. There was a good reason as to why I still wore it. It was the one thing that has kept me alive the past few years even though I wished that I had stayed dead.
        I sighed as my eyes strayed away from my hand and towards the road. I played with my engagement ring mindlessly as I drove. I wasn’t really paying attention to the setting until I saw a black car and something that resembled a body beside it on the side of the road. I knew I was going to regret pulling over but I did so anyway. I twirled the ring on my finger but I felt nothing.
        I walked over to the body and roll it over. There were two distinct punctures on the neck and the body was cold. Whoever did this was has been dead for quite some time. I looked around and saw nothing for miles. It was clearly a vampire and not a friendly one by the state of the neck wound. I guess I was wrong in my hypothesis that vampires wouldn’t like the countryside.
        I get up and walk over to my truck. I pull out the gas can and start to pour it on the body and the car. I then lit a match and set the body in flames. I threw the can in the back and turned the truck back on. I continue to drive down the road and check my phone for nearby housings. The sun was soon disappearing through the horizon so I had a small window in finding this vampire if perchance he or she didn’t have a daylight ring.
        My phone locates an abandoned house nearby and I start to drive towards it. I might as well end the day by killing a vampire. Who knows how long it’ll be when I get a chance like this when I reach where I was headed. I pull up to the house and take notice of all the boarded up windows. The sun was just about to set so I grabbed my bow and arrow and quickly made my way inside by the back entrance. I twirled the ring on my finger and felt nothing.
        I scout the house and find a body with the head sliced off. The slight warmth from the ring told me it was a vampire corpse. I assumed that it was also a vampire that had killed him. Either way, whoever was here was long gone now, or so I thought.
        I had to laugh as I turn the corner find the body staked to the front door. The house echoed my laughter and tears rose to my eyes as I gasped for air. If anyone had walked in on me this moment they would have thought me mad and maybe I was.
        I walked over to the Original in front of me. He was still dead and as much as I wanted to leave him that way, I knew it was impossible. He would wake up either way. I drop my bow and arrow and place my hands on the long wooden pole.
        “I’m going to regret doing this…” I whisper to myself as I use all of my strength to pull out the wooden stake. The body drops to the floor and I step back. I grab my bow and arrow and raise it up directly at the Original vampire in front of me.
        A minute passed but it felt more like an eternity. The house was now covered in darkness due to the sun setting. Even through the dark, I could see the gray veins disappear. Soon, he gasped to life. He blinks for a while and surveys his surrounding before his eyes land on me.
        “Griselda.”
        I couldn’t help but smirk as I noticed his whole demeanor turn frigid. It brought me a special kind of joy to see the Original squirm under my simple stare.
        “Elijah,” I say coldly still aiming the bow and arrow at him. “It’s so nice to see you again.”
        "I can explain..." Elijah begins to say but I let the arrow go and he quickly manages to catch it. He looks up at me and sighs. "You know I can catch your simple arrows." 
        "I know." I grumble out as I let the bow drop to my side. "I was just hoping you would let it hit you." 
        "I realize that you hold some deep hard sentiments for me but you should know I had a good reason for it." Elijah says as he twirls the arrow in his hand and slowly offers it to me. I snatch it from his hands and give him a glare. 
        "You left me in a hotel room after you took all of the information I had on Klaus. I had nothing to go on after that." I exclaim stepping towards him angrily. "Everywhere I went that showed Klaus' killing patterns, you got there first. You then proceeded to burn any evidence of Klaus' next location and prevented me from continuing my hunt. I got so tired of arriving so late that I almostgave up."
        "Then what changed?" Elijah asks me interested. I couldn't help the laugh that escaped my lips. Even after I just shouted at his face, he still had the audacity to try to wring me out for information. 
        "For starters, finding you." I answer. "I finally caught up to the great Elijah and I have my suspicions to where you're headed next."
        "And where is that exactly?" Elijah asks his face becoming blank and his voice void of emotion. I smile at him as he looked down at me. 
        "Just 300 miles up this road is Mystic Falls." I state. "I was headed there to find my brother who's late wife knows some interesting information. I'm assuming that's where you're headed to since it couldn't be a coincidence that I ran into you."    
        "You're correct, Griselda." Elijah says fixing his suit. "Mystic Falls wasn't my intended next stop but now it is." 
        "What changed your route?" I ask him curious to what he had to say. Elijah noticed how the tables had turned and just smirks at me in return. 
        "As if I would tell you." 
        "Fine..." I say as I twirl the arrow in my hand. "Be that way." 
        I suddenly stab the vervain soaked arrow head into Elijah's stomach. He groans and falls to his knees. 
        "That's the least you deserve." I tell him as I softly kick him to the ground. "I'm going to get to Mystic Falls first and I will tear that town apart until I find what you're hiding." 
        I walk out on Elijah and make way towards my truck. Before I could even get a hold on the door handle I saw Elijah's reflection on the window. All of a sudden his hands are on either side of my head and he turns it. I hear a crack and then the whole world turned dark. 

****************

        I played with the glass of whiskey in my hand before downing it quickly. I snap my fingers and get the bartender to serve me another. I was thankful for the quick service but I knew very well that it mostly had to do with the tight dress I was wearing. It has been a while since I've dressed up like this but rumors said that a high-up vampire in Klaus' circle would be here tonight, a private bar in a five star hotel, and so I waited patiently. 
        I twirled the engagement ring on my finger. I knew I should have taken it off but this ring saved my life. It was enchanted to protect me in every kind of way possible. The ring was laced with vervain and had a spell that warned me of supernatural beings. A witch named Sealia told me there was more to it but she couldn't figure out what else. I sigh as I contemplate taking the ring off but I didn't. Instead I moved it to my right hand and continued to wait. 
        Luckily after a few minutes my ring begins to give off warmth and I find my target walking in. A man with a neat haircut and business attire who sits at the end of the bar. I grab my drink and tuck the purse under my arm before I slowly make my way towards him. I take the seat right next to him and tilt my head. He wasn't looking at me, instead his whole focus was on his phone and a frown was etched on his face. 
        "Let me guess, bad news at the office?" I ask him. The man looks up at me surprised. I caught him off guard it seems, making this whole plan easier for me. "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to spring up on you." 
        "It's alright," he says offering me a charming smile. If I didn't know any better I would have fallen for it, but I knew better. "Bad news, you say?" 
        "Well you did have this look on your face, you were serious and upset." I answer honestly. "Then there's the suit so I assumed it was business related." 
        "You were almost right," he tells me finally getting his order from the bartender. "Bad news, yes. Office, no." 
        "Then let me take a second guess." I offer and he just nods allowing me to go on. I raise my glass and take a drink having his complete focus. "Was it your wife?" 
        "I'm not married," he answers.
        "Lucky for me then." I whisper as I lean more towards him. He just smiles and looks away. I flattered him it seems, he should be used to it but isn't. "Can I take another guess?"
        "I believe you exceeded your attempts," he answers. He sits back and looks at me with his full attention. 
        "Then can I ask your name?" I ask him. 
        "Elijah Smith." he says extending his hand to me. 
        "Griselda Saltzman." I tell him as I take it. Instead of simply shaking my hand, Elijah places a kiss.
        "It's a pleasure to meet you Griselda." Elijah states. 
        "I believe the pleasure is really all mine."
        Elijah smiles at that and lets my hand go. 
        "I believe it's my turn to ask you a question." Elijah states. I narrow my eyes at him but nod and allow him to. "What is a beautiful woman like you doing here by herself?" 
        "I have some unfinished business that led me here." I answer. 
        "And what business are you into?" 
        "A long, boring one..." I say placing a hand on his leg. Elijah seems to stiffen at this but I continue with my flirtations. "...but I don't want to talk about that right now. I'll rather do something more pleasurable." 
        "What are you doing?" Elijah asks me back in a faint whisper. 
        "The question you should be asking is, what room number am I staying in?" I whisper seductively into his ear. I remove my hand, stand up, and pay for my drinks. I grab my purse and turn to him. He continues to watch me curiously and I just offer him a smile. 
        "I'm sorry Ms. Griselda but I'm not that kind of man." Elijah says. My smile drops as I hear this. I guess Plan A wasn't going to work this time so here came Plan B. I regain my composure and stand right in front of Elijah. I pull out the stake in my purse and firmly press it into his chest as I pull him into an embrace. The stake didn't break his skin, I just wanted to warn him it was there. 
        "This would have been so much easier if you had just followed me to my hotel room." I whisper into his ear. 
        "You don't know who you're dealing with." he growls at me. 
        "No, you don't know who you're dealing with." I threaten back. "I want information on Klaus now or I will put this stake in you so quick that even your vampire speed won't be able to stop it." 
        "I suggest we move to that hotel room you spoke of." Elijah finally says. "Your ruse won't be able to withstand with all that I have to say." 
        I hesitantly pull away and told him to turn around. I pressed the stake on his back and started to lead him out of the bar and into the elevator. Elijah was clearly unhappy with the situation but I didn't care. As long as he told me what I needed to know, I was good.
        The elevator door opens and we both walk out. I smile at the elderly couple that passed us before handing Elijah my room key. He opens the door and I push him in. I quickly switch on the light, but in my distraction, Elijah decides to attack. I quickly raise the stake and in his speed it impales him in his heart. 
        Elijah's face turns gray and veins appear all over his skin. He then drops to the floor with a thud. I groan at the turn of events. This was my strongest lead yet and now he was in my hotel room, dead. This was even worse as I didn't know how to get rid of his body without being caught.
        I sigh and mentally kicked myself as I dragged his body into the bathtub. I pull out the stake from his chest and throw it to the floor. I step out of the bathroom and make my way to the bedroom searching for the gas container and matches. I grab them out of my bag and return to the bathroom. I look up to find the bathtub empty. I drop the items in my hands and quickly scan around the bathroom. He was nowhere to be found. The bathroom door slams closed and I turn to find Elijah standing up, very much alive. 
        "How is this possible?!" I exclaim. "You're supposed to be dead!" 
        "I'm a special kind of vampire." Elijah answers. "Death doesn't suit me well." 
        Before I could do anything, Elijah rushes over to me and snaps my neck. Everything was dark, I was falling in pure darkness, and yet I soon saw a light which blinded me. I gasp awake and find myself in the bathroom floor. I sit up rubbing my sore neck and find Elijah looking at me curiously. 
        "Interesting," he comments.
        "Excuse me?" I ask him. 
        "I killed you but here you are...still alive." Elijah says his eyes looking me over. 
        "I must be a special kind of human then." I answer as I let go of my neck. I look down at my hand and wiggle my fingers inspecting my ring. "Or maybe I just have a few tricks up my sleeve." 
        "You were smart." Elijah states. "You used my vampire speed to your advantage. All I had to do was push myself into your extended stake. Very smart, indeed." 
        "I'm glad to know you find a compliment for me even though I killed you, temporarily." 
        "Well I repaid the favor, I think we're even now." Elijah states narrowing his eyes at me. "I believe we have much to discuss." 
        "Like what?" I ask him. 
        "You attempted to seduce me then threatened me for information on Klaus." Elijah answers. "I want to know why." 
        "He destroyed my home, my humanity, my life." I tell him. "I want him dead; pure and simple." 
        "You're a smart woman and a great huntress, Griselda." Elijah states. "You also have some sort of protection spell on you. I want to offer you a partnership, one with me." 
        "Now why would I want to ally myself with you?" I ask him. "You work for Klaus." 
        "Not anymore." Elijah states. "I have my own agenda with Klaus, one much similar to yours." 
        "Ok," I sigh out. "We may have the same goal but that doesn't mean I trust you, vampire."  
        "I don't particularly find human allies reliable seeing that they are very fragile and vulnerable but you have shown yourself not to be." 
        "What do you know about Klaus?" I ask crossing my arms at him. 
        "I haven't contacted Klaus for a very long time and am having trouble tracking him down." Elijah states. "I was led here but my contacts were wrong." 
        "I'm assuming that's why you had such a big frowny face earlier tonight." 
        Elijah smirks at that but nods. 
        "It seems your contacts are better than mine." Elijah states. "I know how to hide my tracks but you found me still. I'll like to know how?" 
        "I found people who had the same goal as me." I answer. Elijah waits for me to go on but I don't. "If I agree to this partnership, and that's a big if, you have to promise me that I get to kill him. That I'm the last face he sees before I send him into hell." 
        "It's a deal." Elijah says offering me his hand. I take a deep breath before looking at it and finally shaking it. "So tell me, how did you find me?" 
        "There's these two witches I found in Louisiana who are hell bent on finding Klaus." I tell Elijah. "A father and his son... they're the ones who led me to you." 
        "I believe it's time I met these witches." Elijah says fixing his suit and offering his hand to help me up. I ignore it as I stand up on my own. 
        "Are you up for a road trip?" I ask him. Elijah looks at me confused. I walk out of the bathroom and into my bedroom packing my bags. "These witches are still located in Louisiana. We have a longs way drive." 

**************

        I groan as I wake up. My neck and whole body was stiff due to the cramped position I was in. I open my eyes to find myself in the passenger seat of my truck. Elijah was in the driver's seat staring at me blankly. We weren't moving, the truck was parked in some garage. 
        "You've grown slow, Griselda." Elijah comments. "You might want to check that ring out." 
        "My ring is working perfectly fine. I was just tired. I must have fallen asleep." I groan out as I sit up from my seat. "Was the neck-snapping really necessary?" 
        "Was the arrow stabbing?" he asks back. 
        "Ok, you got me." I reply dryly. "What are we doing here? Where is here exactly?"
        "Richmond, Virginia." Elijah answers. "I have been rerouted once again." 
        "Why this time?" I ask him. 
        "There's a vampire here named Slater. He has information about every vampire known to existence." Elijah states. "He's the one who managed to contact me to the vampires in that house you found me in." 
        "So he might know about Klaus." I say more interested in the conversation. 
        "I highly doubt that." Elijah replies shooting my hope down. "But he is a danger for knowing too much." 
        "What am I doing here, then?" I ask him. "You can handle a baby vamp. I have somewhere else to be." 
        "Yes, Mystic Falls will have to wait." 
        "My brother is there." I tell him. 
        "I know but that town holds other things, things that I don't want you to know about, not yet." Elijah exclaims. He takes a deep breath and calms himself. "Jonas and Luka are packing as we speak. They'll settle themselves there and then we'll move in." 
        "Jonas and Luka, they're still alive?" I ask them. 
        "Of course they are." Elijah replies giving me a condescending look. I glare at him as I unbuckle my seatbelt and step out of the car, slamming the door in the process. 
        "You do realize the night you left me behind was the night you took everything I had on Klaus away from me too." I shout at him as I grab my bag from the trunk. "Jonas and Luka were the only friends I had. The only ones who understood the loss. When you left and took them with you, I had no way to know if they were alive or not so don't condescend me like a child." 
        "Griselda, I apologize..." 
        "You and your useless apologies..." I mutter walking towards the doors to the lobby forcing Elijah to follow after me. "Just tell me what numbered room we're in." 
        "Griselda, you should already know by now." Elijah states. 
        "The Penthouse suite," I say as I roll my eyes. "I guess some things never change."
        I entered the very elegant lobby and ignored the looks the people gave me as I sauntered with only shorts and a t-shirt besides the always well-dressed Elijah. I gave them a slight glare, shooing them back to their work, as I slid my sunglasses down. Elijah scoffs at my actions and he earned a glare from me as well. I snapped the hotel key from his hand and left him behind again as I made my way to the elevator. 
        "You need to stop doing that." Elijah states as he slid in between the closing elevator doors and scanned his hotel key on the monitor. "It's impolite." 
        "Which of my actions are you chastising now?" I ask him. "Was it my glare? Impatience? Perhaps my unprofessional attire?" 
        "Take a pick," Elijah mutters. I glared at him through my sunglasses and give him a tight smile.
        "I've forgotten how much I hate you until now." I say as I continued to stare at him. He seemed unnerved under my gaze which once again brought me a certain type of pleasure. 
        "Is that so?" he asks back surprisingly calm. 
        "Yes, it is so..." I respond, shifting my bag to the other shoulder. "The past year has made me forget all your little, cute, hateable quirks. Being here, stuck in a four by four feet elevator with you, reminds me of all of the reasons I wanted to skin you alive." 
        "Ah, how I did miss those threats!" Elijah exclaims as the elevator door dings open. He walks out this time gaining the lead and forcing me to follow after him in an annoyingly fast pace. The view of the small town was nice, but we had stayed at better places. I throw my bag on the couch ready to soon join the old tattered thing when I hear a door slam and a lot of thumping before being pulled into a tight hug. I had to laugh as I saw it was Luka who was lifting me off the floor and spinning me around.
        "Grissi!" he exclaims finally putting me down. "I can't believe you're here." 
        "Me neither," I reply looking at the boy in front of me. A year had certainly made him grow a head taller. "Jeez, you've grown boy." 
        "And so did his powers..." I hear another voice say. I turn and find Jonas leaning on the wall looking at us. I quickly made my way to him and hugged him too. 
        "I thought I would never see you two again." I state as I pull away and look at both of them. "It's been a year since we lost saw each other, have you heard any word of Greta?" 
        "He still has her it seems." Jonas replies sadly. I only patted his shoulder and gave him a small smile. 
        "Well, I'm back." I state. "So we're sure to find her now." 
        "Add that on the list." Elijah says as he comes out of the kitchen, rolling up his sleeves. I looked at him confused.
        "What list?" I ask looking between the confused Martins and Elijah.
        "Oh, the list of things I've missed about you." Elijah replies giving me a sarcastic smile. "Your grandeur of self-purpose is certainly refreshing." 
        "You just want to start of fight, don't you?" I ask as I step towards him threateningly. 
        "Here we go again..." I hear Luka mutter but it doesn't stop me.
        "Come on Elijah, insulting a woman is beneath you." I jab. "If you want to prove your deteriorating masculinity, let's fight a little, just you and me."
        Elijah and I just stared at each other, neither one of us wanted to back down. It was evident that I had gotten to him. I always knew his image was something he held to a high standard and also any man that's masculinity is insulted tended to become upset. I wasn't going to back down just because he was an Original vampire. I've already bested him once or twice and I could easily do it again. So it seemed that neither of us was going to step away from the other, we both had our own reasons not to.
        Then Luka cleared his throat... and we both drew away from each other, a clear draw. 
        "We're going to leave for Mystic Falls, now." Jonas tells me. "We weren't supposed to be here still but once we heard about your arrival, we just had to wait and see you."
        I was a bit disappointed as I heard this. I wished I could have spent more time with them but fate seemed to have decided otherwise. Now I would be stuck with Elijah with his indecision in his trip to Mystic Falls. Jonas and Luka parted after one last hug. The whole condo became awkwardly silent as I stared at the door and Elijah stared at me. I sigh and ignore Elijah's gaze as I grabbed my bag. 
        “They missed you.” Elijah states. 
        “Of course they did.” I answer. “Being confined to talk to one vampire must have been very annoying to them.”
        “Hmm,” Elijah hums with a roll of his eyes. 
        “So what’s the plan?” I ask him. “Kill the vampire and go?”
        “I’m not sure yet,” Elijah replies. “It all depends on how things go.”
        “Ok, well I’m going to settle myself in.” I say grabbing my bag. “And then we’ll do whatever you have planned.”
        “That’s interesting.” Elijah states making me turn to him confused. “You’re actually going to listen to my orders." 
        "I'll listen to them until I won't have to anymore." I tell him. "That's if you let me stay with y'all." 
        "Is what I had planned now." Elijah replies. 
        "Hmm, that's good to know then." I answer walking away from him.
        "I thought I was dead to you." Elijah states causing me to stop in my tracks. 
        "Well congratulations on your resurrection." I state making my way down the hallway and finding the master bedroom.
        "Griselda, that's my room." Elijah calls out. 
        "I know," I reply as I walked into it. "It's mine now." 
        I shut the door closed and prevented him from starting a new argument. I found the luxurious bathroom and debated whether to take my time and take a bath or make it quick with a shower. I decided on the latter knowing not to test Elijah's patience anymore. I knew when he had had enough and I've been pushing his neatly polished buttons all day. 
        "So what's the real plan?" I ask him after I showered and got dressed. Elijah looks up at me from his seat on the couch. He quickly pockets his phone as he gets up and grabs his coat. 
        "I've just been told of a new development in this town." Elijah tells me. "It seems that two of the vampires that killed me yesterday are in town. I thought we should pay them a visit." 
        "You're going to kill them, aren't you?" I ask as I follow after him. 
        Elijah tilts his head pensively and his eyes narrow in thought. He lets out a humming sound as the elevator door opens and we get in. 
        "Perhaps, perhaps not." Elijah finally answers. "It all depends on my mood really." 
        I suppressed an amused grin at that response. It shouldn't have surprised me that he hadn't changed at all. Except for the hair though, that was longer than the first time I met him. Other than that, his emotionless attitude, which I could break him out from with annoying banter, was still the same. He still wore his crisp suits and held an air of elegance wherever he went. 
        We walked around town and as usual we got strange looks. It always happened when we both decided to go out together. I wore my casual clothing and it clashed in his classic attire. We were two different people from two different worlds with one same goal which was why I was still at his side now. If I tried to run, he'll snap my neck and once we eventually find Klaus, I would need his personal intel to bring him down. 
        Elijah finally stops in a lively street. People passed around us and I slid my sunglasses down and nodded in greeting to some of them. I noticed Elijah was focused on something across the street which gave me a window to look around the park we were in. I find a pretzel cart not too far from us and gravitate towards it. I was hungry and I hadn't eaten all day so I purchased a salty pretzel with a drink before returning to Elijah. 
        The Original vampire was still focused on something across the street. I didn't have the sight or the hearing of a vampire but I did take notice of the cafe in front of us that was crowded with life. I twist the ring on my left hand and felt a warmth radiating from it. Vampires were near us but I didn't exactly know who. Elijah crouches down to a guitar playing artist and places a hundred dollar bill. Elijah then pulls out a handful of coins before standing up. I snort at his actions as he shifts the coins from one hand to the other. 
        "If you needed change, I had some." I mutter. Elijah rolls his eyes at me as he continues to transfer the coins. I took in account his serious expression and still mustered the decency to raise my half-eaten pretzel at him. "Want a bite?"
        "Not now, Griselda." Elijah chastises me. 
        "Look, not all of us has the ability to eavesdrop like you do." I state. "So do you mind telling me who we're stalking?" 
        "The three people by the window, there. Two of those vampires are from Mystic Falls." Elijah says nodding towards the cafe in front of us. I find the people he's talking about and nod at him. 
        "What are they saying?" I ask him finishing my pretzel and throwing the trash away. 
        "The Sun and the Moon Curse." Elijah tells me. "And about Klaus." 
        "Oh crap..." I curse. Elijah turns to me questioning my reaction. I sigh as I cross my arms at him. "My brother, his late wife had a fascination with vampires. He must have found her research and given it to these guys. That's how they know all of this. Crap, he knows. Dammit he knows!" 
        I restrained myself from kicking a nearby object, which would have been the guitar case full of change, and resorted to just rubbing my forehead due to the oncoming headache. Elijah ignores my small breakdown as something they say catches his attention. 
        "They're talking about Mystic Falls and... and dispelling the curse in the moonstone." Elijah states. 
        "They can't do that." I exclaim. "We'll lose our chance to lure Klaus." 
        "I know." Elijah replies. The clinking of transferring coins stop and before I could register what he was doing, Elijah throws the coins towards the windows of the cafe, easily shattering them. I was startled a bit by the sudden attack yet I should have expected it. I hear screams coming from the cafe inside and could only assume it was the vampires that Elijah was aiming for. Before I could ask him any more questions, Elijah rushes us away. 

**************

        Elijah returned us back to the suite without another word. Before he could disappear into his room, I managed to block his way. Elijah huffs in annoyance and looked down at me with a glare. I gave him a half smile as I crossed my arms in front of him. 
        "What do you want now, Griselda?" 
        "We're not done here, are we?" I ask in response. "You let them get away. That's not your style when they know too much. So what do you have planned?" 
        Elijah sighs and rubs his eyes tiredly. 
        "We should sit," he tells me. "This is going to take a while to explain."
        I allow him to escort me back into the living room and we both sit down. I made sure to leave as much space possible between us. Proximity was not something I wanted with him, we couldn't let something like last time happen again. 
        "I recounted to you the Sun and the Moon Curse and what it's meant to break." Elijah tells me in which I nod. "There are five needed elements to break the curse; a vampire, a werewolf, a witch to enact the spell, the moonstone, and most importantly the doppelganger. It was believed that there was no longer a doppelganger but I got word that one existed. I was lured to that abandoned house yesterday to make an exchange, freedom for the girl, and well... the girl had two vampires hell bent in saving her which resulted in my loss of her."
        "That's the reason you didn't want me to go to Mystic Falls." I say making the connections. "You didn't want me to get my hands on her first." 
        "I couldn't have you luring Klaus all by yourself." Elijah states. "We stick to the plan and..." 
        "Right, the plan." I hiss out. "The plan in which you kicked me out off." 
        "You're here now, Griselda." Elijah remarks. "We shall go along as planned." 
        I look away from his gaze and play with the ring on my finger. 
        "What are we going to do about the three vampires today?" I ask him. "And if they have the moonstone, how are we going to get it from them? How do we even find it?" 
        "We'll use Slater to find it for us." Elijah answers. "Damon and Rosemarie trust him to say the truth." 
        "Ok..." I say unsure of what he meant by that. "So how do we find this Slater guy? And what kind of name is Slater?" 
        "Jonas has already found Slater's location for us." Elijah tells me ignoring my last question. "He lives in an apartment building not to far from here. We'll check it out when the sun sets in a few minutes. He'll most likely be home by then." 
        I nod at that and look out the window to see the pinks and oranges displayed out in the sky. It was only a matter of time until we would have to get up and go. I turn back to Elijah to find him staring at me curiously. I wasn't used to his presence yet, far less his burning stares, as if he knew something I didn't. 
        "What?" I ask him. 
        "I was just wondering how we used to get along before." Elijah states. "I remembered having a rough start but... but then we just worked well together. Why can't we go back to that?" 
        I sigh and look away from him, fiddling with the ring on my finger. I was not enjoying the new direction that this conversation had turned to. 
        "You know why." I answer plainly. "You damn well know why." 
        "Griselda, I'm sorry..." Elijah starts to say but I cut him off. 
        "You and your apologies..." I whisper a bit annoyed at him. I turn to the window ignoring his stare. "We should get going. The sun's just about to set." 
        I get up from my seat and trusted Elijah enough to take care of the violence tonight, if it came to that. I left the apartment weaponless and followed after Elijah. We entered a nice apartment building and I took the liberty to knock on the door. The door opens and the reaction I get from him was surprising.
        "Griselda Saltzman..." The man says nervously. "The notorious vampire hunter. Born and raised in Texas."  
        "How did you know who I was?" I ask surprised. 
        "Like I told you, Slater knows about everything vampire related. Isn't that right, Slater?" Elijah asks him. 
        "Who are you?" he asks confused. 
        "Someone you failed to memorize." Elijah states pushing Slater inside his apartment and therefore allowing us entrance. I look around the apartment and take notice of the countless degrees hanged on his wall and the computer monitors on display. Slater had recently logged in and I could easily see the countless files of vampires and vampire related things. There was a file for me and to my surprise a file for Isobel and my brother. I printed the three files out so I could read them later and then turned to Elijah who seemed to be compelling Slater. 
        "Elijah!" I call out. "You have to check this out." 
        Elijah makes his way to me and sighs as he sees the countless files and information Slater contained in the simple computer. Knowledge was power, but this was excessive. Elijah sighs and stands up again. 
        "Clear it all." 
        I do as he says which causes Slater to exclaim in protest. Elijah quickly pushes Slater away from attacking me as the computer erased all of the collected information. I turn back to find Elijah compelling Slater to do as he's told. Slater then pulls out his phone and starts to dial a number. 
        "Rose?" he asks. "Yes, I took off, I'm sorry, I was frigging freaked...Look, I want no part in any of this but I did some digging." There was a pause and he continued. "You can destroy the curse but you need the moonstone... Can your friend get the moonstone? You need it..." There was another pause. "You need a witch. Get the moonstone, a witch should be able to figure out the rest. Good luck, Rose." 
        Slater then hangs up and blinks away his dazed state. 
        "Very nicely done." Elijah comments. 
        "Thanks, I have a degree in theater." Slater replies pocketing his phone. "How can you compel me? A vampire can't compel another vampire." 
        "I'm a special vampire." Elijah replies with a shrug and an amused smile. 
        "What, because you're an Original?" Slater asks. 
        "Mmm," Elijah hums displeased with Slater's knowledge. "Now I want you take this and drive it through your heart." 
        Elijah extends his hand and reveals a wooden stake that he must have broken off at some point in our stay here. It all made sense now. Elijah allowing the vampires getting away wasn't a mistake but a small part of a bigger plan. Now that Slater played his role, he had to die.
        "But that would kill me forever." Slater remarks as he takes the stake. 
        "I know." Elijah compels him emotionlessly. "But it's necessary." 
        Having no other choice, Slater drives the stake through his heart. He falls on the floor with a thud as his skin turned grey and dark veins appeared all over his body. I sighed as I stood up from my seat at the computer. 
        "Don't take this as me growing soft on vampires but... was it really necessary?" I ask him. "He could have helped us track Klaus." 
        "It had to be done." Elijah replies. "He delivered his message. Won't be long now."
        "Does this mean we can go to Mystic Falls, now?" I ask him. 
        "Jonas and Luka have yet to settle down and create trust with the people there." Elijah informs me. "All we can do is wait for something to come up." 
        "That's fine with me." I say as I grab the stack of printed papers. "I have some reading to do anyways. My brother certainly has some explaining to do." 
        I walk past Elijah leafing through the papers. He grabs a hold of my arm and spins me towards him. I look up at him confused to the abrupt handling. 
        "I didn't know you had a brother. You've mentioned him quite a couple of times today." 
        "You don't know a lot about me, Elijah." I state pulling my arm away from him. "And I intend to keep it that way." 

Chapter Text

        Elijah drove my old pickup truck down another empty countryside. The sun seemed ready to set and the cool air immediately made goosebumps against my skin. Elijah refused to pull up the windows because of the lack of air conditioning in my car but now I was cold. I huff annoyed as I tried to read my brother's vampire history to find it particularly similar to mine. I guess that's what happens when you forget to send a christmas card to keep in touch. 
        "Found anything interesting?" Elijah asks me. 
        "Like I would tell you," I mutter not straying away from the printed text. I sigh as I close the packet and bit my lip. All this new information was confusing. 
        "Are you alright?" the Original vampire asks beside me. 
        "Not really." I answer more gently than last time. "It just so happens that my sister-in-law managed to become a vampire by this Damon Salvatore. She then faked her own death and has been traveling the whole world making my brother think she died. Her "death" was the reason my brother turned into a vampire hunter. Explains why he missed all those family reunions and recitals." 
        "That's..." Elijah says clearly overwhelmed.
        "I know." I say getting the idea. "I guess I know why he's at Mystic Falls now and why he helped out those vampires at the cafe a few days ago."
        "But why would your brother help a vampire?" he asks me. 
        "I don't know." I answer. 
        "Maybe he doesn't know that he did it." Elijah offers up. 
        "I doubt it." I tell him. "My brother's not dumb. There's something that's making him work with them. He might be trying to help them save that girl. That has to be it." 
        "Perhaps," Elijah says agreeing with me. 
        I close my eyes and leaned my head on the seat. My mind really needed to rest. My whole body needed to rest actually. My soul should have a vacation fro the hell it's gone through. I sigh and hope for sleep. 
        "We're almost there, Griselda." Elijah calls me off my slumber. 
        "Mmm... that's great." I mumble rubbing the sleep out of my eyes. "We're almost where exactly?" 
        "Mystic Falls, more specifically where your brother is at this moment." Elijah replies. 
        I look at the clock on the radio and turn back to Elijah annoyed. 
        "It's 3 A.M." I state. "I'm not going to pay a visit to my brother right now. It can wait till the morning." 
        "Actually it can't." Elijah replies. "Jonas needs a distraction to get into the doppelganger's house. I need you to distract the family." 
        "And I need to repeat that it's 3 in the freaking morning." 
        "Yes, you've already told me." 
        "Elijah, we can't just walk into his house... wait you said doppelganger's house." I say backtracking. "Doppelganger." 
        "Of course," Elijah replies turning to me. "Did that not appear in that transcript of your brother's life?" 
        "What are you talking about?" 
        "Your brother is dating the doppelganger's guardian, her aunt." Elijah tells me. 
        "And there's the reason he's protecting the girl." I say with realization. "He knows her." 
        "You never did tell me what your brother's name was." 
        "Alaric," I tell him. "His name is Alaric." 

****************

         I searched the crowd for someone who stood out. My brother wasn't someone to to fit in. He was always a wallflower but I loved that quirk anyway. The crowd was soon becoming smaller. Ladies with gowns were escorted out with their husbands dressed in expensive tuxedos. I still hoped to find my brother in some suit from work to appear but no such luck. 
        I pull out the phone from my bag and start to dial the number. It rings a couple of times but then goes straight to voicemail. I sigh at that and leave a lengthy voicemail. 
        "Ric, you said you would be here." I start off. "This was my last recital in Boston. We haven't seen each other since our grandpa's funeral but the orchestra is leaving tonight. We're headed to New York now... I uh... I guess our family reunion will have to wait a while. I love you brother and please take care of yourself."
        I end the voicemail and place the phone back in my bag. I close my eyes and shake my head. I sigh at that and look down at my violin case. I lean down to grab it when I become startled by a hand on my back. I quickly stand up and sigh as I catch sight of Noah. I smile at him as I take a deep breath. 
        "I didn't mean to scare, ya." he tells me. "Is your brother a no show?" 
        "Yeah..." I answer looking at the empty lobby. "I don't know what he's up to as of late." 
        "We'll catch him next time." Noah assures me.
        I smile at his comfort and allow him to place the coat on my shoulder. I put it on and relax into his arms. 
        "If there is a next time," I mumble as we start to walk out. 
        "Hey, none of that now." 
        "I just... he's my brother." I tell him. "I thought he would actually show up this time." 
        We walk out of the building where there was a light rain. He takes out his umbrella and opens it. We start to step out into the rain and into the taxi. The car starts to pull away and I see a brown coat running out of the building. I see Alaric's face as he becomes soaked in the rain staring at the speeding car I was in. I turn around in my seat just looking back at his guilty face. 
        "Ah damn," I whisper causing my fiancee to turn to who I was looking at. "Noah, meet my always late brother, Alaric." 
        I turn forward on the taxi and Noah's hands lace through mine. 
        "He seems like a great guy." 
        "Yeah, he can be... if he ever showed up on time." 
        "Come on, Griselda." Noah says kissing the top of my head. "Give the guy a break." 

****************

        Elijah stops my truck in front of the most white picket fenced house in the neighborhood. I sighed at the sight of it. Some lights were on but the house seemed more asleep than awake. Jonas gets out of his car and joins us. I sigh not liking this plan at all but I had no other choice but to follow it.
        "You know your cover story?" Jonas asks me as I step out of the car. 
        "Yeah, I've made one up." I answer grabbing my bag. I turn to Elijah tiredly. "Don't intrude please. This is going to be awkward enough."
        "Why would it be...?" Elijah begins to ask but I ignore him and slam the door closed.
        Jonas makes his way to the back of the house while I make my way to the front. I take a deep breath as I step onto the porch. I could hear some rustling inside and before it could disappear I knock on the door. The rustling stops for a second and I knock once more. The door opens and I find my brother with a bowl of cereal in hand and no pants on. A woman was right behind him with a shirt that was too big for her. I couldn't help but laugh at the sight. 
        "Griselda," Alaric calls out to me but I couldn't stop laughing. "Griselda, stop." 
        I drop the bag in my hand and leaned on the door frame trying to gain back my breath. 
        "Grisi, you're going to wake the kids." 
        "The kids?" I ask amused. I wipe at my watered eyes and look back at my brother. "Since when did you become a responsible adult?"
        Alaric was unable to answer the question as someone else entered the scene. I look up to find a teenager make her way downstairs rubbing at her tired eyes. 
        "Who's at the door...?" she starts to ask before she notices the pantless Alaric and then to the woman and then to me. "Uh...I...I heard something." 
        "Elena," Alaric states nervously. Elena avoids looking at him and turns to me. 
        "I'm sorry. That was me." I say waving a hand at her. "I should know better than to knock at someone's home at 3 in the morning." 
        "Yeah, especially if it's unannounced." Alaric says turning back to me. 
        "I'm sorry but who are you?" the woman asks me.
        "You haven't told her about me?" I ask Ric. "Well brother, I'm disappointed." 
        "Whoa..." the girl named Elena says as she comes downstairs. "You have a sister, Ric?" 
        Alaric turns back to me and sighs. 
        "I need some pants."
        Alaric hands me off the cereal bowl and makes his way upstairs. 
        "Umm... I'm gonna need some pants too." the woman says giving me a sheepish smile. "I'm Jenna by the way and make yourself at home. Elena, can you...?" 
        Elena nods and motions me into the living room. I take a seat on the couch and Elena sits across from me. Curiosity was evident in the teenager and I just smiled at her. 
        "So..." 
        "So..." I say after her. 
        "You and Alaric are related?" 
        "I'm his younger sister." I tell her. "I came cause I thought it was time for an overdue visit." 
        "Your timing is really something," Elena says rubbing her hands nervously. "Why now?" 
        I narrow my eyes at her slightly now knowing her curiousy was bordering suspicion. I restrain the smile on my face and respond normally. 
        "We've lost contact for about 4 years now." I answer. "I finally got word to where he was and now I'm here." 
        "Ok now that we're settled," Alaric says as he and Jenna join us in the living room. "Everyone this is Griselda, Griselda this is everyone." 
        "It's nice to meet all of you," I tell them. "I'm sorry for coming out of the blue but I couldn't wait." 
        "It's fine," Jenna replies. "But how did you find us here?" 
        "Alaric's landlady was very chatty about his whereabouts." 
        "But how did you find me here? Here, as in Mystic Falls." Alaric asks me. "How did you know where I was?" 
        "A psychic witch named Sealia." I answer honestly. Alaric and Elena look immediately at Jenna but my laugh cuts their concern short. "I'm kidding. I have a friend in the police force. They helped me find you." 
        Jenna laughs at that while Alaric and Elena visibly relax. I give Alaric back his cereal bowl and he chuckles as he puts it down on the coffee table. I notice the shadow walk past the hallway and knew that Jonas had gotten what he needed from Elena's room and was now out.
        "Look, I overstepped some boundaries coming here and I am very sorry." I tell them getting up from my seat. "I just couldn't wait on my visit with Alaric so I had to come over. I should really let you get back to... whatever you were doing." 
        "No, wait." Alaric says standing up with me. "Where are you going?" 
        "I have friends here." I tell him. "I'm staying with them for the time being." 
        "Oh ok," Alaric replies. "Can we meet up later? Like for lunch or a drink or something. I want to catch up." 
        "Sure, Ric." I answer grabbing my bag. "I'll talk to you later." 
        I turn to Elena and Jenna and give them another small smile. 
        "Once again, I'm sorry for waking you so early in the morning. I'll make sure to bring donuts and coffee next time." I tell them. Jenna smiles at that and stands up beside Alaric. 
        "It was nice to meet you, Griselda." Jenna says extending her hand to me. I take it and realize my mistake as she notices the ring on my finger. "Oh, you're engaged." 
        I quickly pull my hand back and gave her a blank smile.
        "I should really get going."
        And with those last words I walked out of the house. I made sure they didn't watch me go and quickly got into the truck. Elijah starts off the the pickup and drives away. 
        "Why didn't you tell her about the ring?" Elijah asks me. "You told me it was an old family heirloom." 
        "I don't like people knowing I have it, ok?" I answer. 
        "Not even Jonas and Luka?" he asks. "They don't even know the origin of that ring. We should do some research..." 
        "Why are you suddenly prying into my life?" I ask him. "You've never asked about the ring before." 
        "Because you've never confided in anyone with that secret. Always repeating the same truth of it being an antique. So old you wouldn't know which side of the family it came from." Elijah argues back. "Why must you still keep secrets from all of us?" 
        "When will you stop your secrecy?" I ask back. "Hmm, yes you apologized about abandoning me in that hotel room but you never did tell me as to why you did it." 
        Elijah doesn't say anything so I continue. 
        "You lied to me, Elijah." 
        "I did," he answers.
        "You left me behind."
        "Yes, I did..." 
        "You said you loved me!" I shout.  
        "I do!" Elijah shouts back turning to me. He pulls the car over and runs a hand through his hair. I scoff at that and look away from him. I felt something tighten in my chest but I took a deep breath and calmed down. 
        "Love is a funny thing isn't it?" I ask him not expecting him to answer. "Fine, don't tell me why you left me in that hotel room. You keep your secrets, I'll keep mine." 

**************

        I was on the couch in another Penthouse suite. The blanket was over us which was peculiar since vampires shouldn't feel cold but here he was sharing the blanket with me. My legs were crossed under me and my head leaned on the back of the couch as I stared up at Elijah. This felt unreal and I knew that the tightening in my chest was returning again and I couldn't do anything to make it stop. 
        "Elijah..." I say trying to make sense to how we got here. "Tell me how we got here." 
        "We were talking, don't you remember?" he asks me. "You told me of your childhood in your grandparent's ranch. I'll like to hear more." 
        "No, that's enough of reminiscing." I tell him. "How about you tell me about yourself, suits?"
        Elijah laughs at that. 
        "What? Don't like the new nickname?" I ask him which causes him to laugh even more. 
        "No, no... I like it very much." Elijah replies causing me to smile. "But is it that hard to say my name at least once."
        I roll my eyes at him but couldn't help the smile on my face. 
        "So, Elijah. Tell me about your childhood." I ask him again. "Please tell me how you played with dinosaurs and had a pet t-rex." 
        "I'm not that old." Elijah remarks.
        "Your language and that stick up your ass that seems to have fossilized for all eternity says otherwise." I reply with a smirk and causes Elijah to laugh. 
        "Fine, you want to hear about my childhood, well here it is." Elijah starts off. "We moved to this village. It was beautiful. Nature was all around us and you had to work and hunt just to live for one more day. We had to move away from the old world since it was surrounded by sickness and death. My family heard that the people here were strong and fast. That they never got ill. That's why my family moved here since my parents didn't want to risk losing another child." 
        "You have siblings?" I ask him in which he nods. "How many?" 

        "I had a sister and four brothers." 
        "Whoa, that's a lot to handle." I answer. "Were you the eldest?" 
        "No, but I ended up taking the role anyway. My brother Finn kept on following my mother around so I took care of my younger siblings. Taught them how to hunt and played with them." 
        I smiled as he said this. Elijah talked with sincerity and care. 
        "You seem like the best older brother in the world," I tell him thinking back to my absent brother. "So where are they now?" 
        "Klaus has them." Elijah tells me sadly. "He buried them at sea and I have no way of getting them back." 
        I grab a hold of his hand and gently squeeze it. Elijah smiles at the act and looks into my eyes with an unreadable emotion that seemed familiar to me. 
        "I'm glad that you're here, Griselda." Elijah states all of a sudden. "Things certainly changed with you here." 
        "For better or for worse?" I ask him. 
        "Better." Elijah responds with a smile. "Definitely better."  
        His hands push back strands of my hair away and remains rested on my cheek. For some reason this all seemed like a dream and I felt oddly satisfied with his touch. 
        "Griselda," Elijah calls me out. "I love you." 
        Those three words snapped me out of my trance and I stared at him in surprise. How could someone so well put together love a shattered person like me?"
        "I..." 
        Before I could know what was happening, Elijah leaned in and placed a soft kiss on my lips and everything that had me shattered into pieces somehow mended together. I push my lips into his not wanting the nice feeling of his love to end. I feel his hand tangle itself in my hair and I caressed his cheek as we pull ourselves closer to each other. The tightening in my chest kept constricting my lungs and heart and I allowed it too. The feelings became too much and all of a sudden I was snapped out of them. 
        "We can't do this." I tell him. 
       
        I open my eyes and find myself in the same couch in the dream. I sit up quickly and the blanket that was on me had fallen to the floor. I look beside me and find Elijah sleeping. I realized that at some point we both had fallen asleep. I tried my hardest not to disturb him as I got up and left. I quickly made my way to my room and shut the door. I leaned on it and fell to the floor as I tried to make sense of what I saw. 
        It couldn't have been a dream. He must have gotten into my head. Played with me... but that didn't feel like some cruel joke. Elijah wasn't that kind of man. The first night I met him showed that. It was a mistake then. Must have been a mistake. An accident that he opened a door to both of our minds and let things manifest. I took a deep breath and made my way to my bed feeling tired all of a sudden. 
        The next morning, I woke still having mixed feelings of last night's dream. Hopefully Elijah will ignore whatever happened last night and never mention it. I enter the living room and find it empty. I find that peculiar since Jonas usually woke up early to make breakfast. I start to look around the hotel room. Jonas and Luka's room, empty. Kitchen, empty. Elijah's room, empty. Everything was empty. I threw Elijah's bed over as I noticed that everything was taken. My notes, my maps, my weapons. Everything I had on Klaus was gone. 
        I fell onto the floor gasping for air. 
        I wasn't sure if it was the shattering realization that all of my hard work was gone or that I let a vampire get into my head. Of course my one moment of vulnerability, one of our late night talks, would be used against me. Of course he would use his superiority over me and play with my feelings. He's a vampire. He takes what he wants. 
        But that was wrong. 
        I knew him better than that. I knew that he was incapable of being this heartless. The first time I met him was proof that he wasn't some jerk. That he was better than most vampires.
        I gasp for air as tears fell from my eyes. This was the first time in years that I've cried. That I felt so weak and useless. That I felt betrayed and hurt. I screamed and I was certain that the whole five star hotel could hear me. I cried out of anger and fear and sadness. 
        Never again, I promised myself. 
        Never again will I ever feel this used, this weak. 
        I will kill Klaus. I'll kill him before Elijah does.
        I'll have my revenge and I'll do it by killing two birds with one stone. 

***************

        After staying at Jonas' apartment for a night, I wake up to the smell of bacon and eggs. I get up from the pull out couch and make my way to the kitchen. I smile at Jonas who was drinking a cup of coffee and looking over a grimoire. Elijah was nowhere in sight causing me to relax. Luka was nowhere to be seen and I turned to Jonas confused. 
        "Where's Luka?" I ask him. 
        "At school." he answers and the look of surprise in my face was genuine. "You do remember he's a teenager, right?" 
        "Yeah, I just..." I say waving him off as I grabbed a cup of coffee. "I forget how the normal world works."
        Jonas chuckles at that and pushes a plate in front of me. I greedily eat off the plane, missing the taste of really good homemade food. Jonas looks at me amused and I smile at him. 
        "I'm sorry, I just missed..." 
        "You just missed my food." Jonas says causing me to laugh. 
        "Perhaps..." I answer. "But I missed the company as well." 
        Jonas smiles at me and places a hand on his heart. His smile falters and I knew the thought that he was thinking. 
        "I just reminded you of her, didn't I?" I ask him. 
        "I just hope Greta's as strong as you." Jonas tells me. "She was always a little firecracker. You two have a lot of similarities in your character." 
        I smile at that and take a sip of my coffee. I was ready to leave the room when Jonas stops me with a question.
        "You're not going to ask about Elijah?" 
        "Nope," I answer my whole happy morning going down the drain. "He could go screw himself for all I care." 
        "What happened between you two?" he asks me. I drop the empty coffee cup into the sink and stare at it. 
        "We were always like this." I tell him. "Nothing's changed." 
        "No, no, no..." Jonas replies. "You two have always fought like cats and dogs but now it's different. Now it's like you two are wanting to see who breaks the other first." 
        I remain silent unsure of what to say. 
        "Griselda, it's obvious he cares about you." Jonas continues. "You need to give him a break..." 
        "I am giving him a break." I exclaim. "I'm doing what he tells me to do. I'm following the plan with no arguments. I even went the extra mile and haven't staked him in the heart for his annoying manners. If you think about it, I'm doing better than the first time around." 
        Jonas just sighs and I couldn't help but shrug. I would never change and neither would he. I walk out of the room without another word. I shower and change into better clothes than pj's. It was time for me to leave the nest and have that small family reunion. My brother and I had a lot to talk about. 

******************

        I tapped my fingers on the bar counter and smiled at the bartender as she hands me another drink. I look around the place and recognized the look on all their faces. I hated small towns for this exact reason, that they knew I wasn't from here. I twist the ring on my finger hoping to get some sort of sign and sadly I don't. The ring remained cold so I relaxed into their stares and downed another drink. 
        "You used to not drink." Alaric states as he sits beside me. 
        "I used to not do a lot of things but now I do." 
        "Yeah," Alaric replies. "I have this feeling that the reason you've been M.I.A lately is because you've been hunting." 
        "I guess it runs in the family..." I respond looking at him. Alaric sighs and rubs his face. 
        "When did you find out about me?" he asks me.
        "Just a few days ago." I answer honestly. 
        "And when did you start?" 
        "Three years ago." 
        Alaric once again sighs and a frown makes its way to his face. 
        "God dammit, Griselda." 
        "Your wife disappeared because of a vampire. You started hunting them for revenge." I argue. "You have your reasons. I have mine."
        "And what did they do to you, huh?" Alaric asks. "You posed no threat. You were going to get married and open a music school and have a normal life." 
        "Things don't go as planned." I answer looking down at my empty glass. 
        "Clearly they don't." Alaric replies. "Do you want to tell me where it all went wrong?" 
        "It's a very long story and I'm not drunk enough to tell it." 
        "It can't be that long." 
        "Well... it's not as long as yours, that's for sure." I reply. "Let me see, Isabel faked her death as she lives her life as a vampire and you hunt them because you wanted revenge. Wait, that was pretty short. My story is way longer than yours." 
        "How do you know all of this?" Alaric asks me. 
        "Research, mainly." I tell him. 
        "Huh," Ric responds. "I thought it would have been who did you say her name was? A psychic witch named Sealia." 
        "Well I did know a witch named Sealia but she only pointed a finger to where you were." I answer. 
        "And why are you here?" Alaric asks me.
        "Is the visiting my brother not a valid excuse?" 
        "Stop it with the jokes, Griselda." 
        I become silent as I nod to the bartender for another drink. 
        "How did you survive all of this?" Alaric asks me referring to my new choice in lifestyle. 
        "The same way I always do..." I answer. "...being obnoxious." 
        Alaric sighs once more and looks away from my smirk. 
        "So no, Alaric. I can't stop it with the jokes. They tend to keep me alive." 
        For the first time in our conversation, Alaric laughs. A bitter one, but a laugh nonetheless. 
        "Well, I guess you haven't changed completely." Alaric states. "You're as pesky as ever." 
        "Thanks," I say smiling slightly. "I'm glad I haven't completely lost myself." 
        "I would hope not." Alaric says pulling a case up. The curves and edges were all familiar to me. The worn out exterior were new due to it's oldish age. I immediately put my hands on it and couldn't help my now teary eyes.
        "Mom's violin?" I ask quietly. 
        "Yeah," Alaric replies. "I had to dig it out of storage but I managed to find it. I thought you would like it and I never got to hear you play." 
        "You never did, did you?" I ask him opening the latches of the old case and gently stroking the stringed instrument. "You always missed my recitals." 
        Alaric was about to reply but I plucked the violin out of it's case and grabbed the bow. I started to smoothly draw it across the string hearing the missed sounds of the instruments in my hand. My fingers memorized the curves and strings and they started to play a soft melody. I couldn't help the ease my mind went through when the instrument was laid under my chin and in between my hands. Music somehow had a way of making me sane and this moment was proof of it. 
        I didn't realize when I closed my eyes or when I started to cry or when I completely forgot I was in the middle of a small bar/ restaurant. It wasn't until I heard the sound of clapping that caused me to open them. I look around and found the looks of suspicion were gone. They were replaced by one of awe. Even my brother no longer held the gaze of pity and disappointment. He seemed shocked. 
        "I definitevely didn't mean to do that," I tell him as wipe the tears of my eyes and put the violin back into it's case. People came up and patted me on the back, thanking me for some reason. I only smiled at them as they headed out. Alaric only smiled at all of that and I knew he was struggling to find the words to say. 
        "I never knew you played so beautifully." Alaric states. "Just like mom." 
        "Really?" I ask him flattered. "You said she was the best." 
        "Yeah," he answers. "I wish she could have heard you. She would have been so proud." 
        "Thanks," I whisper a smile on my lips. "That means a lot to me, Ric."

*****************

        I came back to the apartment pretty late seeing the my brother and I spent more time talking than we both meant to. We went through our hunting techniques and how we got them. What weapon was our favorite and why? For once in our life we had something in common and we couldn't shut ourselves up. This was a rare moment as to which I felt almost normal even though the topic was nowhere but. 
        As I entered Jonas' apartment, I found Elijah there. I hadn't seen him since he dropped me off and I didn't particularly care about his whereabouts for the day. I had a suspicion that he was most likely creating a persona and a story to go with it for his stay in this town. He tended to do that to reduce attacks from vampire hunters and to seem normal. If anyone caught word that he was here, Klaus would surely suspect what we were up to and we couldn't have any of that. 
        "Where have you been?" Elijah asks as I set the violin case down and shrug off my coat. 
        "I promised my brother I would have a drink with him." I answer. "Enough of an answer?" 
        Elijah turns away coldly and Jonas looks in between us with concern. I ignore it as I sat down on one of the kitchen's stools and stared at both of them. 
        "So what's going on? What's with the light's being off and only a few candles lit? " I ask them. "I would say you two were planning a romantic night in but the creepy collection of stolen trinkets from that Elena girl being laid out in the table makes me think otherwise." 
        "I lost the girl, alright?" Elijah growls out in annoyance.
        "How did you manage to do that?" I ask him. 
        "I've been in meetings all day." Elijah replies. "I met with the historic society and other influential people. I'm trying to get myself settled into this town." 
        "Then how do we find the doppelganger?" 
        "Jonas here knows how to find her by these trinkets." Elijah responds. 
        I arch my brows in interest and sit back. 
        "Well then don't let me hold you any longer." I say as I cross my arms and watch them from afar. Elijah just sighs and looks back at Jonas.         
        "So how exactly does this spell work?" Elijah asks him. 
        "Give me your hand." Jonas states as he raises up a knife. Elijah does as he's told and Jonas slices his palm. He didn't even seem to flinch at the pain as blood pooled in his palm.
        "Place it here." 
        Jonas directs Elijah's hand onto the picture of Elena in some cheerleading uniform.
        "That's not creepy at all." I mutter. 
        "Grisi, this isn't the time for your snarky commentary." Jonas tells me and I shut myself up quickly. Jonas turns back to Elijah and offers up his hand. "Now, take my hand. Close your eyes. Relax your mind. And look for her." 
        Elijah follows Jonas' instruction and Jonas begins to chant. It didn't take long before Elijah snaps his eyes open. 
        "You saw her, didn't you?" Jonas asks him. 
        "I know exactly where she is." 
        "So where is she?" I ask him standing up from my seat. Elijah slowly looks at me and I couldn't tell if he was annoyed with me or just being his plain usual self.
        "She's at Slater's apartment." Elijah states grabbing his coat ready to leave. "And I have a feeling as to why." 
        I grab my bag of weapons and start to follow after him through the door. 
        "I'm coming with you." 
        "No, you're not." Elijah says pushing me back into the apartment.
        "I'm coming with you because your vagueness isn't enough for me." 
        "You want to know what she's up to?" Elijah asks me. "She's most likely offering herself up to Klaus." 
        "Why would she do that?" I ask him. 
        "It's because she has friends and family she wants to take care of." Elijah replies. I give him a confused look as to how he found that out and he gives me the answer I was looking for. "A perk about small towns and family legacies... they tend to know everything about everyone, even our little doppelganger." 
        "Ok, well if Klaus is a part of this, then I'm certainly going." 
        "No, you're not..." Elijah says pulling my arm forcefully. I pull myself out of his hold and manage to land a slap on him. 
        "Don't you dare keep me out of anything Klaus concerned!" I shout at his astonished face. "You made a promise and I will make you keep it whatever the cost." 
        Elijah's angry demeanor fades quickly. A look of concern falls onto his face as he turns away from me. I could hear him sigh and I look at Jonas confused. Jonas had an expression of realization, one that I did not share at all. I was about to ask what the hell was going on when Elijah finally turns back to me.         
        "Fine, let's go." Elijah says walking out of the apartment causing me to follow. Jonas immediately looks away from my stare and I had no other choice but to run after Elijah who was getting inside into a new black car. I didn't ask questions and let him drive out of Mystic Falls back to Richmond.

        ******************

        Elijah rushes up the stairs while I had to take my time and take a step at a time. I heard the commotion start upstairs already and I knew I had to get there soon. I pull out my bow and arrow from its case and drop the rest of my bag filled with weapons. I bound the stairs two by two now and find Elijah standing in front of Slater's open apartment. One vampire was dead on the floor and by the way my ring heated up against my finger, there were more. 
        I recognized two of the vampires from the one's at the cafe. The female vampire with short hair rushes away at the sight of us revealing Elena who stood in the background afraid at the sight of us. I knew she was shocked and most likely confused that I was standing here with Elijah. The vampire that had the intention to take her. I would also assume she was afraid of what I was doing with him since I did appear into her life about 12 hours ago with the illusion that I was here to visit my brother. Either way, Elena was clearly in shock. 
        "I killed you. You were dead." the dark haired vampire states. 
        "For centuries now." Elijah responds. 
        "Don't worry blue eyes," I pipe in when the vampire looked utterly confused at Elijah. "I made that same mistake countless times. He doesn't particularly like to stay dead." 
        Elijah smirks at that and turns to the other vampire nearby us. 
        "Who are you?" he asks him. 
        "Who are you?" the vampire asks back. 
        "Well this is my notorious huntress friend Griselda." Elijah says as he motions to me before facing the vampire again. "And I'm Elijah."
        Once hearing our names, the vampire turns frigid.
        "We were gonna bring her to you... For Klaus..." the vampire begins to blurt out nervously and clearly afraid. "She's the doppelgänger. I don't know how she exists, but she does. Klaus will want to see her." 
        "Does anyone else know that you're here?" I ask them. 
        "No." the vampire answers. 
        I turn to Elijah who just nods at me. 
        "Well, then, you have been incredibly helpful." 
        Elijah quickly plunges his arm's into the vampire's chest. I let my arrow soar and it lands on the other lackey vampire nearby him. They both grunt as Elijah rips out the heart and I push the arrow deeper into the other vampires chest. The two vampires fall to the floor, dead. Elijah drops the heart on the floor while I pull out my arrow and place it back on the bow. This time my aim was directed to the remaining vampire in the room. He seemed ready to fight us and I was beyond ready. 
        "Griselda, let's go home." 
        "What?" I ask him confused almost causing my aim to falter. 
        "Come on, dear." he responds almost making me drop the bow altogether with the nickname that passed his lips. "We must go home. Dinner's waiting for us." 
        Before I had a say, Elijah grabs me by my arms and rushes us away. Once we were by the car did I push him off me and well continued to push him. 
        "How dare you?" I exclaim. "What the hell was that? What was it with the dear? And the going home? And the freaking dinner?" 
        
"It'll all make sense later. As for now, let's return to Jonas." 
        "No," I state refusing him to open the car door for me. "No, what am I supposed to do now? Elena knows that we're together. She knows! My brother is going to mount my head into a silver platter once he finds out. So there has to be a plan that you've made to resolve this. I can't have my brother hating me especially since this is the first time in my whole life we've ever gotten along and I swear if you ruin another good thing in my life I'm going to...!" 
        Elijah gives me a small smile and grabs a hold of my flailing hands. 
        "I do have a plan, Griselda." Elijah states. "You won't like it but I guarantee it will work." 

*************

        Being his usual secretive conniving self, Elijah didn't offer up any sort of detail of this plan that was going to work. That act itself made me hate the plan already. I played with the ring on my finger sensing the usual warmth it provided when Elijah was around. I stop playing with it as I see the welcome sign to Mystic Falls and soon after the building to Jonas' apartment. I do hope we didn't stay here long enough because living in an apartment with two witches and an old pain in the ass vampire was really doing wonders with my mind and sanity. 
        We let ourselves in and make ourselves at home. Jonas hearing us come in walks out of his bedroom. His sleeping attire told me that he was ready to go to bed but not until he was sure we were back. I gave him a smile as I kicked off my boots and sat down on the couch. Elijah resorted to looking out the window, no doubt watching the people walk in the park that was across our building. 
        "Where's Luka?" Elijah asks Jonas. 
        "Asleep." Jonas answers. 
        "How has school and the rare times of normalcy treating him?" I ask Jonas. 
        "It almost got him killed today," he replies concerned. I sit up as I hear that but Jonas waves me off. "Don't worry, he made the mistake of allowing this other witch channel from him. It took a big toll on him." 
        "Is he ok though?" 
        "Yeah, he's fine now." Jonas replies tiredly. "He just needs some rest." 
        I nod at that and sit back on the couch.
        "Your shadow spell was successful." Elijah states. "I was able to track that girl. However, I did have a little run in with one of the brothers that killed me." 
        "I assume he didn't live to tell about it." Jonas comments. 
        "Actually, he spared him, for reasons I don't even know and most likely won't comprehend." I remark. "And you say brothers were the ones that killed. My God, Elijah... you're losing your touch." 
        "He'd die before he'd let anything happen to her." Elijah explains ignoring my taunts. "They both would. She'll be kept safe." 
        "For now." I state which causes Jonas to hum in agreement. 
        "Well, that's precisely what we need her to be..." Elijah replies before turning to me. His eyes held something that I've seen before but it soon flickered away. "...safe." 

Chapter Text

        "Remind me, why I'm doing this?" I ask as I change into one of the few dresses I owned. Jonas just laughs as he hears me struggle through the other side of the door. "Seriously, Elijah can handle the stuck-up rich class. He's a part of it for God's sake! With his suits and proper English speaking manners... why does he need me?" 
        "Because he has a plan." Jonas answers. "And we never question the plan." 
        "Well I always do," I respond. "I get answers by doing that." 
        Jonas chuckles at that and it was accompanied by Luka's laugh. 
        "Is she complaining again?" 
        "She is just asking questions." I answer zipping up my dress and putting my hair aside. "She is certainly not complaining."  
        "Uh-huh," I hear Luka respond and I could practically see the roll of his eyes. I open the door, done with changing, and look at both of them, holding two different heels. 
        "Ok which one?" I ask them. Both of them were unresponsive and I narrowed my eyes at them annoyed. "And you two are useless..." 
        "You just got us off-guard." Jonas responds snapping out of whatever trance he was on. "We've never seen you dress up like this before." 
        Luka just nodded beside him. I sigh as I pick a pair of heels myself and put them on. 
        "I don't particularly like dressing up like this." I tell them. "I'm the most vulnerable in heels." 
        "But you look very..." Luka trails off as his father snaps towards him. "You look very beautiful." 
        "I couldn't agree with you more," Elijah says walking into the crowded hallway and looking at me. I shoot him a small glare and scoff. 
        "I'm glad you're here," I state causing him to smile for the briefest of moments. "Now you can give me a straight answer as to why I have to wear this whole get up to meet with people who most likely just want more money to add to their already existing piles of money?" 
        "You wouldn't like the answer." Elijah responds. 
        "Well try me." 
        Elijah narrows his eyes at me but sighs and gives in.
        "We have a meeting with Ms. Sommers." Elijah states. "Having you with me should allow me to gain her trust."
        "And why's that?" I ask him. 
        "You'll see soon enough." Elijah states buttoning the buttons of his blazer. "Are you almost ready?" 
        "I need to put makeup on and then I'll be done." I answer. 
        "Well hurry up, we'll be late if you take any longer." 
        "Oh, I'm sorry I had a late start on the day because someone thought it was a good idea to leave a sticky note of the day's plan." I exclaim as I slam the bathroom door on his face. I could hear the faint whisper of talking happening outside the door that soon disappeared when they left the hallway altogether. 
        I stared at my reflection in the mirror and sighed. I rubbed my tired face and noticed how much older I looked. I saw some similarities of my old self but it quickly faded away when I noticed the ring glistening in my finger. It all disappeared at the sight of it. I twisted the ring around my finger and stopped to pick up my lipstick.   

***************

Third POV, Martin Apartment

        Griselda was finishing getting ready, annoyed that she still didn't know what Elijah's plan was. Griselda was preparing herself physically and mentally to the day ahead. Luka had gone to his room and started doing his homework while Elijah and Jonas waited patiently in the living room allowing Griselda to have the time she needed to herself. There was a moment of knowing silence between them before Jonas disrupted it. 
        “When were you going to tell me?” Jonas asks Elijah seeing that this was one of the rare moments he could speak to the vampire by himself. Elijah looks at him confused unsure of what he was referring to. “When were you going to tell me you had feelings for her?” 
        Elijah remained silent unsure of what to say. 
        “I should have realized it sooner,” Jonas continues. “Before this, you argued like a feuding couple. That suddenly turned into late night conversations where you spoke of the simplest things. Then in one of those nights, you told us we had to leave her behind, that Griselda was no longer part of the plan, that she changed her mind to all of this. You looked so… upset. I should have known something was wrong but all I could think about was Gretta and how you promised me you would find her."
        “From where did you get all this nonsense, Jonas?” Elijah asks defensively as his emotions that were always hidden somehow were revealed out in the light. 
        “Last night,” Jonas answers. “When you were speaking about keeping the doppelgänger safe, you looked at Griselda as if it was your own personal intention to keep her safe. Is that why you didn’t want her in the plan anymore? You care for her and you fear for her safety so you left her behind in that hotel room with nothing but her clothes and car.”
        Elijah had to find the words to a plausible answer knowing there was no way of getting out of this one with a simple lie or deflection.
        “My god, I know that look...” Jonas says as he watches Elijah’s expression change. “You love her, don’t you?” 
        “There’s things you don’t know Jonas. Old and ancient myths that are true and are now long forgotten.” Elijah responds lost in his own thoughts. 
        “I suspect you’re speaking about the Marked Soul myth.” Jonas states causing Elijah to look at Jonas in surprise. “I may be one of the youngest witches that you’ve come to work with in your lifetime but I know my stories and mythologies. I’m not blind to what I sensed when I first met Griselda, I just didn’t realize that was the reason why until now. She can’t be your soulmate, the signs are all wrong, how can she possible be your…”
        “She isn’t yet,” Elijah responds. “Something is blocking her from letting the Mark show and take effect. Its preventing her from feeling what she’s supposed to feel.” 
        “But how is that possible?” Jonas asks him. “You’re supposed to feel an instant attraction from the first time you meet.” 
        “Believe me, I felt attracted the first time I met her. I just wasn’t sure why.” Elijah recounts. “It wasn’t until I spent enough time with her that I realized what we were. She has yet to know. That was why I left her behind. I couldn’t have her facing Klaus. If Klaus found out, he would use her against me. I just feared for her life.”
        “Elijah, you need to tell her.” Jonas states. 
        “I can’t…” Elijah replies. “It’ll destroy everything.” 
        “How can you know?” 
        “Because I don’t have any proof.” Elijah exclaims. “How am I supposed to prove it to her if she’s blocked from her own Mark. I don’t even know how that's possible and there's no way in finding out because she hides herself from everyone so I have no idea as to what could have possibly done that to her." 
        “Except her brother,” Jonas offers up. “He knows her better than any of us do. You should have seen how youthful she looked when she spoke to him that first night she saw him. Elijah… he must know what happened to her.” 
        “I doubt it. They haven’t spoken to each other for years now.” Elijah replies as he thought over it. “But he might be able to draw it out of her. It'll take time but I'm sure he'll be able to.” 
        “What are you two talking about?” Griselda asks walking into the room nicely dressed per Elijah’s request.
        “We were uh…” Jonas starts off but was unable to finish. 
        “Come on, Griselda.” Elijah snaps as he manages to snap himself out of the admiring trance he was in. “We have meetings to attend to.” 

*************

        I walked beside Elijah through the park. He still didn't confide in me any sort of detail of this master plan he made to fix everything we managed to break our first few days here. Being dressed up as we were in the middle of the park only made me feel more unsettled than I already was. Elijah sits down on a park bench and I decide to remain standing. 
        "Does it really hurt you if you sit beside me?" Elijah asks. “You act like being around me is physically painful.”
        "Well seeing that last time I sat next to you, bench or couch, you tend to mess with my head so... yes, it does bring me some type of ache." I answer looking around the fairly empty park, glaring down the spectators that kept staring at me. "Why are we out here, Elijah? I hate the attention we're getting."
        "We're waiting on Ms. Sommers to arrive. She seems to be running a tad late." Elijah says looking over his watch. 
        "Who is this Ms. Sommers?" I ask him. "And what purpose does she have for us?" 
        "She owns most of the city's archives, which contains information I need." Elijah answers. 
        "And what kind of information is it that you need?" I ask him. Elijah was about to respond when another voice comes into the mix. 
        "I am so sorry, I'm late." I turn around and find Jenna running up to us. "I was having lunch with..." 
        She falters slightly as she looks at me and then to Elijah who was now standing very closely to my side. 
        "I was um... actually having lunch with your brother." Jenna finishes looking slightly confused but smiling nonetheless. She then turns to Elijah and offers her hand. "You must be Mr. Smith. Hi, I'm Jenna Sommers." 
        I look in between her and Elijah.
        "You're the Ms. Sommers he kept on mentioning." I say trying my hardest not to blow up on Elijah in front of Jenna. 
        "Yeah," Jenna says slinging her bag over her shoulder. "Small world, huh?" 
        "You have no idea, Ms. Sommers." Elijah says having the audacity to place his hand on my waist. 
        "Oh, please call me Jenna." she says smiling at us more relaxed now. "We're all practically family right?" 
        "Excuse me?" I ask her. 
        "Well you know, me dating your brother and you two being engaged and all." 
        "You actually think we're..." I start to laugh out before Elijah interrupts us. My laugh falters as he said this and I glared at the ring on my finger for causing all of this.
        "Griselda and I have been together for what? Three years now." Elijah says pulling me up against him. “Never have I known happiness until I laid my eyes on her. I’m so glad to have her by my side." 
        "You really are a writer. You just have a certain way with words," Jenna says as she smiles at him. Of course she would be subdued by Elijah's charm. While me, on the other hand, just wanted to strangle the guy. 
        "Ok, so now that we all know each other and got that settled, I can show you those archives you asked Mrs. Lockwood about." Jenna states. "I hope you don't mind coming over to my house. That's where my sister kept everything." 
        "No, that's completely fine." Elijah responds. "We'll follow you there." 
        Jenna nods at that and makes her way to her car. Elijah and I keep a fake smile until she entered her own car. Being alone, I landed a hit to Elijah's chest before he grabbed both my hands preventing me from doing any further damage. 
        "What is wrong with you?" I grit out to my teeth. "We're engaged! That's your fucking brilliant plan!"
        "Griselda..." he tries to interrupt but I was too angry to allow him to formulate a sentence. 
        "And now I actually have to feign liking you!" I exclaim. "I have to actually fake PDA and all that romance crap. We're actually supposed to like, act like a couple!" 
        "Griselda..."
        "My brother is going to hate me even more!" I shout at him. "Once he hears word that we're an engaged couple, he's going to rip me a new one!" 
        "Griselda, will you please just let me talk!" Elijah says grabbing my arms and shaking me slightly. I stop my angry rant and look at him surprised that he showed any sort of emotion through the blank expression he always wears. I simply nod at him causing him to sigh and let me go. "Your brother will now think you have control over me. That your love is what controlled me from killing that vampire and the doppelganger the other day."
        "And you sure that's going to work?" I ask him. “That’s a pretty big leap."
        "I'm certain." Elijah assures me. 
        I sigh and had no other choice but to go along with the plan. 
        "So you're a writer and I'm your fiancee who came along..."
        "...because you heard I was coming to Mystic Falls and thought it was best to visit your brother and introduce me to the rest of your family." Elijah finishes for me.
        "Anything else I should know?"
        "For the moment, no." 
        Elijah offers me his arm and I reluctantly take it. I allow him to escort me to our car and tried to get used to the idea of him actually being near me. I couldn't believe that Elijah would actually think up of this plan. Actually, I could believe it. He was a conniving ass after all.

***************

        It was torture. Torture to have to laugh and smile and actually touch Elijah. Jenna of course thought that we were the cutest couple alive and told me in a brief moment of privacy that she thrived to be like us one day. I of course had to smile and tell her that she'll soon get there. I didn't miss the smile Elijah offered my way, obviously vampire eavesdropping on our conversation. 
        Elijah played the loving couple very well which surprised me since I was under the impression that he never once felt anything except for annoyance on my part or pride when vampires shook in fear when they realized who he was. Either way having him smiling and actually flirting almost made freeze in complete shock. The man beside me was not the one I've known for the past couple of years which I guess made it slightly easier to fake a relationship with him.
        We were both now slightly alone, Elijah having a hand on my lower back as we waited for Jenna to pull out the boxes of archives that she owned. We were behind the open closet door as she rummaged through it. I heard footsteps coming from the stairs beside us but couldn’t see who it was. 
        "Hey, what are you doing?” I hear a familiar voice ask. 
        "Perfect timing.” Jenna responds followed by more rustling. 
        "What is this stuff?” 
        "Your mom's files from the Historical Society. I got roped into helping Mrs. Lockwood and by roped... I mean very excited to participate.” Jenna closes the closet door and reveals us to Elena. It was obvious that she was surprised to see us but managed to hide her shock from Jenna. 
        "Hey, I'm Elijah.” Elijah says smiling down at Elena. 
        “Elijah is Griselda's writer/fiancée.” Jenna tells her. “He's in town doing research on Mystic Falls and Griselda came down with him ever since she heard he was coming down here. She wanted to introduce him to Alaric.” 
        Elena once again was trying to hide her shock and was almost failing at it. 
        “Elijah this is Elena.” I introduce him even though we were all aware of who was who. He walks up to her and offers her his hand. 
        “It's a pleasure.” 
        Elijah and her shake each other’s hands and it was obvious to see Elena’s discomfort with the whole situation. 
        "So you're welcome to stay here and rummage through this stuff or Elena and I could help you load it into your car.” Jenna offers beside us. 
        "Or I can come pick it up tomorrow.” I offer turning to Elijah for a slight permission. “Might give me a chance to talk with Alaric." 
        "Also a good plan.” Jenna states. 
        "Thank you so much for inviting us into your home, Jenna.” Elijah tells Jenna before turning to Elena. "and Elena...I hope to see you again sometime soon.” 
        With one final smile towards Jenna and Elena, I start making my way to the front door. Before I could actually reach the door knob, Elijah grabs onto my arm and rushes up so quickly upstairs and into a room. I was about to chastise him for his sudden manhandling but he disappears from the room before I can. Minutes later, Elijah walks in with Elena by his side. 
        "Forgive our intrusion. We mean your family no harm.” Elijah states. 
        “I don’t know if I believe that.” Elena states as she turns to me. “You came into our house, almost exposed Jenna to the supernatural, and told me you were only here to visit. Then it turns out that you’re with him and…”
        “Do you honestly think I would be with him if I didn’t trust him to not hurt my brother or your family?” 
        Elena seemed to relax a bit after hearing this and I didn’t miss the small smile Elijah offered me when I said this.
        "Why did you kill those vampires when they tried to take me?” Elena asks Elijah. 
        “Griselda convinced me not to.” Elijah answers. “She didn’t want you to harmed.”
        I look at Elijah knowing that he was lying slightly. 
        “Also because I didn't want you to be taken.” Elijah states. "Klaus is the most feared and hated of the Originals, but those that fear him are desperate for his approval. If word gets out that the doppelgänger exists, there'll be a line of vampires eager to take you to him and I can't have that.” 
        "Isn't that exactly what you're trying to do?” Elena asks. 
        "Let's just say that our goal is not to break the curse.” I answer. 
        "So, what is your goal?” 
        "Klaus's obsession has made him paranoid. He's a recluse. He trusts only those in his immediate circle.” Elijah answers. 
        "Like you?” Elena asks him. 
        "Not anymore.” 
        "You don't know where he is, do you?” Elena asks us. "So you're trying to use me to draw him out."
        "Well, to do that I need you to stay put and stop trying to get yourself killed.” Elijah tells her. “Griselda will kill me if I allow you to die.” 
        “And believe me, I’ve killed him a couple of times in our time together.” I answer honestly. 
        "How do I know you two are telling the truth?” Elena asks. 
        “I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t think we could help.” I tell Elena. “My brother and your family don’t know who you’re dealing with. Klaus is… he’s not a force to be reckoned with.”
        “Besides, if I wasn't being truthful, all your family would be dead and I'd be taking you to Klaus right now. Instead, I'm here and we're prepared to offer you a deal.” Elijah states. 
        "What kind of a deal?” 
        "Do nothing.” I tell her. "Do nothing, live your life, go to school.”
        “And when the time is right, you and I shall draw out Klaus together and Griselda will make sure your friends remain unharmed.”
        "And then what?”
        "Then I kill him.” I finish causing Elijah to falter a bit in his cool exterior. 
        "Just like that?” Elena asks in disbelief. 
        "Just like that.” Elijah responds. "I'm a man of my word, Elena. I make a deal, I keep a deal."
        “Sometimes…” I whisper to myself in which Elijah of course heard but remained stoic.
        "How are you gonna be able to keep everybody safe?” Elena asks me. 
        “Well I don’t want to brag but I’m feared in the vampire community.” I tell her. “Like my brother, I’m a hunter and a really good one. I have a lot of tricks up my sleeve.”
        I play with the ring on my finger mindlessly and Elijah grabs my hand forcing me to stop. I smile at him actually thankful for the act and returned my attention to Elena. 
        "I noticed you have a friend; Bonnie, is it?” Elijah asks her in which Elena hesitantly nods. "She seems to possess the gift of magic. Griselda and I have friends with similar gifts.” 
        "You know witches.” 
        “With their help and mine combine, we can protect everybody that matters to you.” I confirm causing her to ease a bit.
        “So Elena, do we have a deal?” Elijah asks her. 
        "I need you to do one more thing for me.” Elena responds. Elijah seemed taken back at that. I couldn’t help the smile on my face as Elena stood up against Elijah’s suited ass. 
        "We're negotiating now?” Elijah asks trying to hide his amusement. Elena, with no hesitation, nods.
        “You know Elena…” I say sitting down on her bed. “I think we’re going to get along just fine.” 

***************

        We drove in silence. I knew that it was an intense silence for the reason that it was against both of our nature to not kill each other. We were pushing off our natural desire to see the other one dead. Yet the scene that happened just before showed that we were unable to die by the other one’s hand. This led to a very awkward intense silence. 
        “I should clear this up, Fangs.” I state trying to break the silence. “Where we’re headed, your suit and tie will make you stand out like a sore thumb." 
        "And where exactly are we headed?" Elijah asks me loosening his tie. 
        "Baton Rouge, Louisiana." I answer.
        "And what clan did you say these witches were from?" 
        "Oh I believe I said something between I don't know and none of your goddamn business." 
        Elijah sighs and looks out the window of my truck.
        "I should have known you were one of those girls." Elijah mutters. 
        "And what exactly do you mean by that?" I ask as I turn to him. "Was it my foul behavior that doesn't meet up your high-class bullshit? No, I bet it was me playing with those centuries old emotions of yours. Actually making you think I liked you..." 
        I could see Elijah grimace at that and I stopped. I let my prejudice feelings of vampires go and took a deep breath trying to calm myself down. 
        "I apologize for my rude behavior but I never thought I'll be talking to a vampire in my own car." 
        "No apology is needed." Elijah responds. "I never thought I'll be agreeing to work with a human." 
        "Who said you were working with me?" I ask him surprised. "I'm only taking you in one direction. That doesn't mean we're friends." 
        "I never said we were."  
        "Then what are we?" I ask him. 
        "You have talents that could come useful to me and if your witches are as good as you made them to be then I think they'll be useful too." Elijah responds. 
        "Listen, Count Dracula." I state as I pull the car over. "I'm all for you meeting these witches but having them on your side is another thing. One of them is a grieving husband and heartbroken man while the other is a 13-year old boy. Tell me oh noble Elijah, do you really want to pull these two into your line of fire?"
        Elijah remained silent at that and sighed. 
        "That's what I thought," I commented. "It's not my place to tell the story of the Martin's but it isn't one to take carelessly. You want to create an army to find and go up against Klaus, fine, you can make your own vampire army for all I care. But understand this, you think that you have me and the Martins under your thumb, you're wrong. We're not up for hire."
        "Then what are we doing?" Elijah asks me. 
        "Driving in circles." I answer. "Because there is no way in hell I'm letting you meet an innocent family." 
        Elijah looked at me narrowly and I just gave him a tight smile before starting up the car again and driving down the same road again. 
        "I thought we had a deal." 
        "Well you thought wrong," I answer. "I don't make deals with vampires." 

**************

        After a lengthy debate with Elena, which consisted more of Elijah and Elena arguing while I inserted sarcastic comments here and there, we were able to come to a resolution. A list was made of every loved one Elena wanted protection for and I reviewed it with her. It was a slightly long list but nothing I couldn’t handle. Elijah snuck us out of the Gilbert home and we drove back to the apartment with our heads filled with future plans. 
        “Will you be able to handle the protection front by yourself or will you need my help?” 
        “I can do it on my own,” I answer. “You should just focus on your research.” 
        “I will need you to assist me in a couple meetings here and there.” Elijah states. “Our engagement will need to be broadcasted as for your relationship with your brother.” 
        “Why is that necessary?” I ask him confused. “What does my brother have to do with this?” 
        “Your brother has made a place for himself here. Your relation to him will put people more at ease.” 
        I nod and look up at my phone screen finding it blank. It seems, Alaric has yet to know of the new development with me and Elijah. I wonder how long it will take for him to find that out.
        “We’ll also need to find a place of our own.” 
        “Excuse me?” I ask him taken off guard by the statement. 
        “It’s what couples do, Griselda. They live together. ” Elijah answers. “Besides, we can’t keep living in that small apartment with Jonas and Luka. It’s too crowded.”
        “Elijah, I don’t think that’s a good idea…” I sigh out. “It’s already bad enough that we’re faking an engagement but now you want us to live together. I can’t…"
        “What is it that makes it so hard for you to withstand me?” Elijah exclaims. “Be honest."
        “It’s just you, overall!” I shout. “I can’t handle you touching me, or speaking to me, or being with me at all. It makes my skin crawl and I just hurt all over."
        “Griselda…”
        “I loved you, Elijah.” I confess for the first time in a long time.
        “You what?” he asks. “When did you…?”
        “I didn’t realize it until after you left but I loved you. You played with my head with that kiss but my heart… my heart was my doing. I fell in love with you without even noticing.” I laugh bitterly. “Me? Of all people fell for you.”
        “What is wrong with that?” Elijah asks quietly.
        “Because the problems isn’t that I loved you… it’s that I never wanted to love you.” 
        Elijah turns away from me and stares at the street ahead. I sigh and tried my hardest not to look at him anymore. I could see the lights from our apartment above and saw shadows dance across it. 
        “What does this mean?” Elijah asks out loud. “What does this change?"
        “It changes nothing,” I answer grabbing my belongings from the car. “Because I don’t love you anymore. You broke my heart when you betrayed me and left me behind.”
        “Griselda, allow me to explain…” Elijah starts to say but I interrupt him. 
        "I hate you, Elijah.” I answer. “I hate you for making me feel things I never wanted to feel.” I take a deep breath and grab the door handle. “It’s better if we just go back to the cycle where you try to make me like you and I refuse to. I just can’t have you distracting me of our goal. Klaus is what I'm focused on and nothing is going to change that. This is how things are for me, Elijah. This is how they’re meant to be.” 
        I step out of the car and refused to listen to his response. I knew if I did, he would manage to convince me of a future that was so long destroyed. I make my way to Jonas’ apartment and find him and Luka waiting for us. Elijah appeared behind me short after and while he recounted how things went with us, I left to change.
        “Were you successful in retrieving the stone?” Elijah asked Luka when I finally came back to the living room. 
        "Of course I was. She fell for the whole...show and didn't suspect a thing.” Luka says pulling out the moonstone from the desk. 
        "Thank you, Luka.” I say as I take the stone from him. It seemed like a simple beautiful stone but I was told it wasn’t. This bounded the spell that would break Klaus’ curse. I look at it a second more before passing it on to Elijah who quickly pockets it. 
        “You’re welcome.” Luka responds “Now if you don’t mind, I'm going to sleep.” 
        “Wait.” I call out. I turn to Elijah hesitantly. "There's one more thing Elijah needs you to do.”
        Jonas looks at us and sighs. 
        “What is it that you need?” he asks us. 
        “Some spell casted on a tomb prevents vampire from departing once they entered it.” Elijah explains. “We need you to free a vampire, per request of the doppelgänger, before we lose the full moon.” 
        Jonas nods at that and Luka reluctantly heads out with him. Elijah turns to me in question. 
        “Will you be joining us?” he asks me, his voice sounding distant. 
        “I should probably get an idea of who this Stefan Salvatore is.” I state grabbing my jacket. “And it would be nice to see Katherine again. That sneaky little vamp always manages to slip away from me.”  
        “You are under no circumstance allowed to kill her.” Elijah tells me narrowly.
        “Why the hell not?” I ask him. “She’s a backstabbing bitch. The vamp deserves it.” 
        “Even if her death didn't mean anything to Klaus, I would be the one causing it.”
        “Right," I answer walking out of the door. "I forgot you had a past with her one that she betrayed you in. I guess you do know how that feels..." 
        I grab a stake from my hunting bag and press it on his chest.
        "You from all people should understand now why I want to drive a stake through your heart." I tell him before walking away. "Just so you can feel how it feels to get stabbed in the heart by someone you trusted and cared for." 

**************

        Jonas and Luka quickly undid the spell in the last few minutes the full moon was up. We allowed them to return home while we stayed behind to finish up with Elena's request. It was very eerie being in the forest, dark, slightly wet, and just in the middle of it all was a hole. This town was certainly something and I wondered how I didn't come here before. I walked down the rabbit hole of vampire doom and watched as Elijah slid the giant slab of stone out of the way. This revealed a very dark entrance and two vampires walked out into the light that the moon now casted. 
        "Elijah." Katherine says before turning to me. "Griselda." 
        "Nice to see you too, Kat." I greet with a taunting smile. Katherine looked half-dead and worn out. "I do have to say, you look worse for wear." 
        Katherine looked between me and Elijah with fear evident in her eyes. 
        "Good evening Katerina." Elijah says smiling at her as well. "Thank you for having the good sense to be frightened." 
        I turn to the other vampire and inspect him thoroughly. I took in his blond hair, green eyes, and his facial bone structure. There was also the brooding mysterious aura I was getting from him and that was without the influence of the ring. 
        "You must be Stefan Salvatore." I state walking closer to him. "Hi, I'm Griselda Saltzman."
        "Didn't know Alaric had a sister." Stefan replies. 
        "No one apparently does." I answer before slowly turning to Elijah. "I'm told you two have met before."
        "It was a brief meeting, darling." Elijah pipes in. "Don't forget they drove a stake through my heart." 
        "Right," I respond turning back to the vampire in front of me. "Well color me impressed. My fiancée here is certainly hard to kill... temporarily." 
        Stefan looked at me strangely, even more so with that revelation. Katherine let out a dry laugh. 
        "Well that's certainly new." she comments. "Can't say I didn't see it coming." 
        I had to bite my tongue to prevent myself from blowing up at the idea that people have foreseen this. 
        "Darling," Elijah says placing a hand on my back which I knew was his polite way of warning me. "We've gotten off track."
        "I'm sorry," I say as I take a deep breath and look away from Katherine. 
        "Your release has been requested, Mr. Salvatore." Elijah states once I've collected myself. 
        "What?" Stefan asks confused. "By who?" 
        "The lovely Elena drives a hard bargain." Elijah answers. "However, we reached a peaceful agreement, she and I." 
        I step out of Stefan's way and motion him to step outside. 
        "Please," I tell him. "Come out and see for yourself."
        "I can't." Stefan states still not believing we managed to unseal the tomb. 
        "Yes, you can." Elijah replies. "We had the spell lifted."
        Stefan reluctantly steps outside. Two slow and calculative steps later, Stefan was out in the free world with the rest of us. Once he was out, Katherine attempts to rush away but Elijah blocked her before she could. 
        "As for you however, you should not exit until I say so." Elijah compels Katherine. "When Klaus comes, he'll want to know exactly where you are." 
        I tilt my head to a concerned Stefan. 
        "You're free to go, Stefan." I tell him. "Elena will explain the arrangement to you. If she keeps her word, we'll keep ours."
        "What does your brother have to say about all of this?" Stefan asks me. 
        I turn to Elijah a bit apprehensive about the next part. This all depended on his plan working and I prayed to God that it did work out. 
        "Oh, he doesn't know yet but you be sure to tell him." I answer honestly. "I'll see you around Stefan Salvatore... and say hi to your brother for me too."

Chapter Text

        Without any sort of warning, Elijah showed me a lavishly furnished apartment that was located in the middle of the whole town. He luckily got it through his thick skull to get two bedrooms with their own bathrooms and such. We were simply roommates but even the mere title of that could easily change. I had no other choice but to move in with Elijah. He had a point and I could use a real bed instead of a couch. 
        I was unpacking my bags in which Luka was so nice to help me bring them in. Elijah was not at home having meetings with different important people in town who were helping him in research. It was just Luka and I in the new apartment. Luka leans on the door frame and in his unusual silence, I look up at him. 
        "When were you going to tell me?" he asks. 
        My blood runs cold with all of the things he could be referring to. Elijah, my engagement ring, what I did after they left...
        "When were you going to tell me...you played the violin?" Luka says pulling my case behind his back and smiling at me. I sighed in relief at that and smiled at him. 
        "It isn't much of a secret really." I answer taking the case from him. "I was pretty good in my days. I'll like to think I still am." 
        "Then why don't you play me something?" Luka asks me excitedly. "How about some jazz or some country?" 
        "I'm more of a modern classical kind of girl, Luka." I say unlatching the case. "I hope you don't mind that." 
        "I'll listen to anything you'll play." Luka responds sitting with a bounce on my bed. I sigh at the teenager in front of me and pull the violin and bow out of the case. I take one more deep breath before tucking the violin under my chin and placing the bow on the strings.
        My mind cleared instantly as my bow and fingers started to glide over the strings. My hands did all of the work playing one of the many songs they had memorized. I was solely there to let the music flow in the small room. My eyes closed allowing myself to loose myself in the notes played in the air. The music showed things that I buried so deep inside me. Secrets, emotions, stories lingered in the air and only I could understand them. 
        The song didn't last as long as I would have like it too. There were so many things left unsaid, left buried deep inside me. I only felt things when I played and now I was returning to the cold numbness that I never knew a human soul could feel. Sadden by the song's ending, I open my eyes and found Luka watching me with dejected eyes. 
        "Wow..." he just whispers. 
        "Wow, indeed." I hear a deep voice behind me. I turn around and find Elijah staring at me with a stormy look in his eyes. The peaceful aftermath that I usually had after playing was disrupted by his presence. "I've heard countless times today that you played at the Grill the other day but I refused to believe it. Griselda, you play so beautifully." 
        "You weren't supposed to here that." I state as I placed my violin in it's case and locked it. 
        "Why not?" Elijah asks me. 
        "Because I only play for people who I like... you are not one of them." 
        "What song was that, Griselda?" Elijah asks ignoring my overall annoyed attitude. 
        I ignore the question and put my violin case away. I glared at Elijah hoping he would leave the room but he didn't
        "It's called My Immortal by I think it's... Evanescence." Luka answers. My glare then turns to Luka who immediately closes his mouth. Luka sensing the rising tension rises from my bed. "And that's my cue to go... Thanks for having me over and uh playing for me and uh... yeah, bye." 
        Luka practically runs out of the apartment. I just shake my head at the teenager and continue my unpacking. 
        "My Immortal?" Elijah asks me.             
        "Don't flatter yourself." I answer. "That song wasn't about you." 
        "I didn't think it was," Elijah states quietly. "But for who did you play that for?"
        I pause in my folding actions as I remembered his face, his smile, his everything. I closed my eyes keeping all of those emotions buried down inside me. I take a deep breath and continued placing my clothes in the drawers. 
        "I played for my younger self." I tell him. "She was naive and stupid and blind. Luckily, she's dead now." 
        "Griselda..." Elijah starts to say and I knew he was going to attempt to comfort me in some gentleman-like sort of way. I step away from him and give him a glare to back off. 
        "You really need to stop doing that."
        "Doing what?" Elijah asks confused. 
        "That," I answer motioning to his concerned face. "Caring about me."
        "Griselda," he calls out to me again but I knew that this time he was going to start another argument as to why he couldn't just let me go. Knowing that I had enough of this repeating discussion, I stopped my packing and instead grabbed my things. 
        "I'm going to have lunch with my brother," I state quickly. "Don't follow me. Don't wait up. Don't do anything that involves me, ok?" 
        Without waiting for a response, I walked out of the apartment and started my short walk to the Grill. I didn't really have anything planned with Alaric but I did know he frequented the bar. I just hoped that we could bump into each other and talk. Oh how desperately did I needed to talk to someone that knew me before all of this. I really did miss feeling human even though I am human.

**************

        My head was attempting to make up believable answers to this whole Elijah situation that I completely forgot my brother would be upset about. So distracted by these thoughts, in which I nervously played with my engagement ring, I didn't see myself walking directly into a blond woman. I look up at her light green doe eyes and immediately felt the a cold sensation my ring was giving me. I mumbled an apology before walking away from her. I made sure to keep my eyes on her at all times as she went to talk to the Sheriff. 
       I find my brother sitting at a table by himself. I watched the wolf at the bar and noticed that Alaric was watching her too. Once he caught sight of me, his focus turned immediately on me. 
        "Griselda, I have a bone to pick with you." he states angrily.
        "Uh-huh, me too." I say sitting down right across from him. "That's a werewolf right there. You didn't tell me there were werewolves in this freaking town."
        "That one just came in yesterday and... you know what, I'm not telling you anything." Alaric states. "You lied to me."
        "Lied to you about what?" I ask him. 
        "You're with a vampire, Griselda." Alaric exclaims. "A freaking vampire!" 
        "You're friends with one, you hypocritical ass." I argue back. 
        "You're getting married with one!" Alaric states. "That's completely different." 
        "Love is love." I lie. "Elijah, though a vampire, is still noble and loyal and is helping me bring down a horrible monster." 
        "That's not reason enough to marry the guy." 
        "It is for me. Especially after he saved my life." I answer. "He was there, Ric. He was there when you weren't." 
        "Gris..." 
        "It doesn't matter anymore, Ric." I state. "I found someone and you found a family. We're good. Just let me be ok? Trust Elijah and me to keep our word." 
        "How can I trust you when you're with him?" 
        "Because I'm your sister." I answer. "I would never lie to you." 
        "I don't believe that," Alaric states. "I wish I could, but I can't." 
        I sigh at that and leaned back on my chair. The table became silent as we were unsure of what to say to each other to mend the situation. We never got the chance as Stefan Salvatore walked up to our table.
        "Is that the-?" Stefan asks pointing to the wolf at the bar. 
        "Yeah, yeah. I just sent Damon a message." Ric answers. 
        "So you're doing Damon's dirty work for him now?" I ask him going back to the topic of our argument. 
        "Well you're doing your husband's work, so how is mine looked down upon?" Alaric asks me back. "Besides this wolf could have a cure for Rose." Alaric says this part to Stefan. "I couldn't find anything in Isobel's research except that it's fatal." 
        "You're looking for a werewolf bite cure?" I ask him. 
        "Yeah... you know of something?" Alaric asks me. 
        "No, the cure doesn't exist." I state. "But it does cause some pretty bad side effects on a vampire. Blood cravings, dementia, hallucinations... all sorts of nasty things." 
        "How do you know this?" Stefan asks me. 
        "Because Elijah got bit once when he was looking for Klaus." I answer. "I nursed him back to health and it wasn't fun either." 
        "Then what do you suggest we do?" Alaric asks. 
        "Put her out of her misery." I state. 
        "No, I'm not going to do that." Stefan responds before turning to Alaric. "Do you still know of a way to get in touch with Isobel?" 
        "Even if I did, she isn't gonna help." Alaric replies. 
        "He's right," I state as I collected my things. "Just end her misery, Stefan. If not, you're just prolonging a very long and painful death."

***************
"I thought we had a deal." 
"Well you thought wrong," I answer. "I don't make deals with vampires." 

        We stared at each other in the silence of my truck. Neither of us were sure who would make the first move. It was obvious to both of us that the other could not die. That it was a pointless fight to fight if the other could not lose. It was just a matter of time and one simple decision as to who would fall dead first and who would rise from it faster. 
        We stared at each other unsure of what decision to make but it never came. Instead, a howl disrupted the silence and I felt the cold sensations my ring was giving to me. I turn away from Elijah and look up at the moon over us. I cursed my stupidity as the clouds moved away from the white full moon.
        "Shit..." I whisper. "Werewolves." 
        Elijah was alarmed at my statement. 
        "Drive, now!" he shouts. 
        I place my hand on the keys in the ignition but before I could even flick the car on, there was a crash against the side of my truck. I suddenly press the gas and my truck lunges forward. It was too dark in the night to see how many wolves we were up against. Elijah looked behind him and counted 6 or 7 of them. 
        I drove as fast as I could through the road that the forest surrounded. I cursed my luck for driving backroads at night with a vampire as company. I saw the forest clear up ahead of us but the opportunity of a safe haven was quickly taken away as I heard a growl and a loud pop. The car starts to spin due to the velocity and suddenly crashes into a tree. For a simple split second, the whole forest seemed silent. That second didn't last long as chaos and destruction ensued. 
        "Griselda!" 
        I felt sore everywhere. I placed my hand on my head to where I felt the warmth of blood dripping. I pulled my hand back and saw the dark red color slipping through my fingers. 
        "Griselda, run now!" 
        I look up at my windshield. There was only darkness of the night and shadows moving too quickly for my mind to process what they were. Fire seemed to be starting up in some leaves and branches of the trees surrounding us. Nothing seemed close to us to be of danger though.
        "Griselda, save yourself!" 
        I heard the voice more clearly now and slowly turned to my right. I saw the vampire, his face was blurry, and his door was blocked by the still standing tree. It was as if we were both moving in slow motion. He was trying to reach over me to open the door and I was trying to unbuckle my seatbelt. There was a crashing and before I knew it, jaws clenched tight onto my shoulder and dragged me out of the car forcefully. 
        I knew the vampire was shouting my name but all I could hear were my own screams as yellow eyes looked into mine and claws latched onto my sides. Instinct soon kicked in and I mustered all the strength I barely had at this point and kicked the thing off of me. It howled in pain as it crashed onto a tree. The wolf attempted to move but one of it's legs prevented it. I crawled away from the beast, clutching my bleeding wounds, and tried to remain awake. 
        I looked at my surroundings and tried to surveil it as best as I could. There were three wolves dead on the ground, most likely from the crash, and one flew harshly out of the truck. I quickly tried to see what was going on in there and noticed a wolves biting and tearing up the vampire inside. In a flash, the wolf's neck was snapped and the vampire sighed in relief. His eyes land on me and for some reason I only saw concern in them. 
        "Griselda!" he shouts as he unbuckles himself from the seat and rushes over to me. "Griselda, are you alright?"
        For some reason I allowed him to hold me. Maybe it was the blood loss or the fear of dying alone even though I never really remained dead. I let Elijah hold me up against his chest as he tried to stop the bleeding. Immediately he bites into his wrist and attempts to feed me his blood. With my instincts still intact, I grab onto his wrist before he could do anything. 
        "No..." 
        "Griselda, you're badly injured." 
        "No..." I tell him again. "There's another way to heal me." 
        "Tell me and I'll shall do it." 
        My hand shifts from his wrist to his hand. I lower his hand towards my neck and press it strongly. 
        "End my misery, please."  I whisper as I shook from the sudden shock that my body was having. "Kill me." 

**************

        I walked into the apartment not sure why I thought I wouldn't find Elijah in it. It was even worse since Elijah had guests over so I couldn't chew him out on the failure of his plan. I had to place a fake smile on my face and play host. I had to say fake apologies about all the boxes that were around and show them a tour of our apartment. Luckily, Elijah didn't invite them over for dinner so they left fairly quickly. 
        "Is everything ok?" Elijah asks me once our guests were gone and noticing my glare.
        "No, everything's not ok!" I exclaim. "There's werewolves in this town, Elijah. Not only is that a cause for concern but my brother just told me he couldn't trust me because he thinks I'm marrying you." 
        "Well the whole engagement thing was certainly a long shot." 
        I immediately start hitting his chest upset and angry. 
        "You lying bastard!" I shout. "This was all a joke to you! I stuck my neck out for you once again and this is how I get treated! I can't believe you!" 
        Elijah easily stopped my attacks and looks down at me condescendingly. 
        "You yell at me when I care about you, you yell at me when I don't." Elijah states. "What do you want from me?" 
        "I want..." I start to exclaim but fall short. "I just want..."
        Elijah looked at me waiting for me to say the words that would fix all of this but I couldn't. 
        "I just want to kill Klaus." I say quietly slipping my hands from his grasp. "I just want him dead." 
        "Then trust in me that I will grant you that wish." Elijah states. 
        "How am I supposed to trust you?" I ask him. "All you've done is lie."
        "Because I love you." 
        "Stop saying that!" I shout. "You're just lying over and over and over..."
        My statement cut short as Elijah pressed his lips against mine. His hands holding my face gently upwards to his. I was stunned. So stunned that I didn't stop the kiss. Instead, I tried to ingrain it into my memory knowing it would never happen again because I knew I couldn't let it happen again. Once I had done that, I pulled away. 
        "Kissing you here was far better than that dream." Elijah whispers mindlessly. 
        Hearing that, I immediately remember our argument from before. 
        "You can't do that ever again." 
        "Griselda..." Elijah begins to say upset.
        "We can't..." I say retreating to the door. "We just can't." 
        "You can't just always run away, Griselda." Elijah states as I place my hand on the door knob. I stop, unsure of what to say, but the answer comes quickly into my mind. 
        "Running away worked for you." I state stepping out of the apartment. "It should work for me too."
        I ran out and I started to feel everything that I had been trying to ignore. Everything in my body felt warm, in the process of overheating. My lips burned, missing his lips, and I hated myself for it. I hated that this was how my body reacted to a vampire who betrayed me and had the tendency to lie. The cool air of the night had no effect on my hot skin and I was so troubled by this thought that I didn’t notice the man that sneaked up behind me.
        “Griselda, it’s been a while, don’t you think?”
        I immediately turn around, ready to defend myself, when I saw the sharp smirk of an old friend and I used the term of friend loosely.
        “John Gilbert…” I whisper. “I thought you died.” 
        “I have…” he answers creeping closer to me. “...but just in the same way you have.”
        “Hmm,” I hum taking a step back. “What are you doing here?”
        “I could ask you the same question but I already know the answer.” 
        “And what do you know?” I ask annoyed. 
        “Stefan Salvatore gave me a pretty good summary when he called for backup.” John answers. “An Original with good hair and fancy attire made his way into town offering Elena a deal to protect her friends and family from the evil Klaus. Stefan thought that it wasn’t going to work out, that it sounded too good to be true. Now doesn’t that Original sound familiar…”
        “What’s done is done.” I state wanting the subject to be dropped. 
        “Not quite,” John replies as he circles around me like a lion would to it’s prey. 
        “I’m working with him, John.” I finally confess. John stops in his step and looks at me curiously. 
        “You can’t be serious,” he whispers. “That vampire betrayed you in the most harshest of ways. You can’t be stupid enough to go back.” 
        “He’s my only shot in killing, Klaus.” 
        “No, he’s the one standing in your way.” John states circling me again. “He’ll tell you, he loves you. Whispers words that build up your beauty and talents… and once you let him close, let him kiss you and touch you, he’ll take everything you have to offer and leave you in the dust. Do you want to feel that way again, Griselda? Do you want to feel weak and broken?”
        I push John away from me, a new wave of anger rising in me.
        “Don’t use my weaknesses against me, John.” I growl out. “The only reason you know all of this is because you found me when I was angry and upset. You’ve seen me at my worst and it wasn’t pretty. You don’t want to go against me, John, especially when now I'm at my best.” 
        John just chuckles at that and takes a step back from me.         
        “Oh, I didn’t mean any disrespect.” John says. “I know who and what I’m up against.”
        “Then don’t come near me again,” I state pushing past him and making my way back to my apartment. I didn’t get too far as John called out to me again. 
        “Hey, Griselda!” John shouts out. “I thought you’ll like to know that I found it.”
        “Found what?” I asked turning around to see him, my blood running cold to the only answer he could be referring to. John just smirks that creepy smile of his before he responded. 
        “Found what you were looking for a few months back.” John states stepping closer to me. I glared at his very close proximity. “I found that special something that can kill an Original.”
        “John,” I whisper feeling the inklings of regret rising in me. 
        “Just find me when you know what side to be on.” John states walking away, leaving me to remember of the dark days that followed after Elijah’s abandonment. The things I did, the people I found, and the mistakes made. 
        I somehow found my way back to my apartment. Every cell of my body feeling ice cold to John’s revelation. My soul grew even colder as I saw Elijah’s concerned expression as I walked back into the apartment. 
        “I didn’t expect you to come back.” he states and his worried fill eyes made me want to dig up a hole and bury myself in it. I let my body take over my mind since my mind only made bad decisions. I found myself seeking comfort in Elijah’s arms even though I really didn't deserve it. After everything I've put him through, I was just about to make it a whole lot worse. “What’s wrong, Griselda?” 
         “I’m so sorry, Elijah.” I whispered to him. "I did something horrible… very horrible.”

Chapter Text

        All I could hear was the silent ticking of the clock in the living room. Elijah paced back and forth in front of me, conflicted, upset, and most obviously angry. I assumed he was angry at me for what I’ve done the months after he left, but the expression on his face seemed to show that he turned that anger to himself. Elijah finally stops his pacing and turns to look at me. I could see his mind was full of questions that some were already pouring out. 
        “When did you meet him?”
        “About 3 or 4 months after you left me behind.” I answer. 
        “And you…?” 
        “I was upset and angry, Elijah.” I tell him. “John found me in one of my hunts. Killed my vampire but I was running on anger so I was ready to move on to the next vampire infested town. He tried to hire me to kill some tomb vampires that managed to escape but I declined. I told him I wasn’t some kind of mercenary up for hire and I walked away from him but… he followed me.” 
        “Griselda…” 
        “I was just so angry.” I explain. “So angry! I didn’t mean to tell him everything but he was just there and he motivated me to go on. That bastard fueled my rage even more and I stayed with him for a while as he found me vampires to hunt. He promised to help me get revenge on you, that he would find the impossible, something that can kill you.”
        “Did you have any relationship with this man?” 
        “What? No!” I exclaim. “Why would you think that?” 
        “The promise of finding something like this with no favor in return…” 
        “I know very well what John was doing, Elijah. I’m not stupid.” I tell him. “John is the kind of man who does things for the bigger picture. Whatever the reason is that he wants you dead must be a part for his bigger plan. I just don’t know what that is.”
        “And this weapon he has, do you know what it is?”
        “No, he just told me that he found something that can kill you.” I answer causing Elijah to sigh. “Elijah… do you have any idea of what this weapon could be?” 
        “There’s one thing.” Elijah states his eyes wandering away from me. “But a simple man couldn’t just find that anywhere.” 
        “What do you think we should do?” I ask him. 
        “There’s nothing we can do,” Elijah states. “Not until we find out if John does have a weapon to end me.” 
        “Elijah, you have to believe me that I didn’t mean for any of this to happen.” 
        “I’m not blaming you, Griselda.” Elijah says sadly. He crouches in front of me, placing a loose strand behind my ear, and gently caressing my cheek. “My actions were bound to have drastic consequences. I’m the one to blame.” 
        I grab his hand, squeezing it lightly, before pulling it away from my cheek and simply holding it in my hand. 
        "He told me that you'll betray me again..." I whisper so quietly. "That you'll try to enchant me with your elegant words that build up my beauty and talents. That once I let you close again, let you see who I really am, that you'll take everything I have to offer and leave me alone again."
        "You must believe me when I say that I will never do that to you ever again." 
        "I really do want to believe you, Elijah, but I can't." I answer. "I just... I just need to know why you left me the first time." 
        Elijah pulls his hand away from me and stands up. He turns to the window, his face a blank mask. 
        "I know it couldn't have been me dragging us behind. I was doing really well in tracking Klaus' whereabouts and his future locations. I know it wasn't my skills as a hunter because I'm pretty good on holding my own." I list off. I pause trying to collect my thoughts before continuing. "I've thought of every reason possible but none of them make sense."
        Elijah closes his eyes, his hand turning into a tight fist. Once again his face held an expressionless mask and I couldn't figure out what he was feeling at the moment. 
        "Why did you leave, Elijah?” I ask him. “Why did you leave me behind?” 
        “I never should have done that.” he answers, his deep voice a faint whisper.
        "That doesn’t answer my question.” 
        “The biggest mistake I’ve made my whole life.” Elijah continues. “And I’ve lived a very long life.” 
        “Why did you leave me behind, Elijah?” I ask again tired of his deflective answers. Elijah finally looks at me, sadness evident in his eyes.
        "The answer will go against everything you told me not to do this second time together.”
        "You’ve broken every rule I set for both of us.” I state. “Just tell me, Elijah. I need to know.”
        Elijah sighs and I could see the struggle he was having whether to tell me or not. 
        “You owe it to me.” 
        "I..." Elijah begins to say before any sign of his struggle disappeared. "I must retire to bed. A lot of things have happened tonight. I need time to think, to process things."
        Elijah didn't even give me a chance to say anything as he disappeared from the living room into his own room. I sighed and ran a hand through my hair. I should have known he would run away when confronted. I should have known he would never be upfront with the truth. Why would I think that this one time he'll actually be honest with me?

***********

        I put the coffee on and started to make a simple breakfast. I turned the tv on to have some background noise. I switched channels to the morning news and ignore it as the weather report comes in. I turn back to the stove and turned it off. I slide the scrambled eggs onto the plate and quickly pick up the hot toasted bread. Elijah somehow manages to sneak in and steal a cup of coffee without me noticing. It wasn't until he turned the volume up that I noticed his presence. 
        "Good morning," I whisper to him but Elijah doesn't respond. He was solely focused on the tv screen.
        "The authorities believe last night's assailant may also be related to the missing campers and park ranger who have yet to be found, as well as 25-year-old Jessica Koenig, reported missing this morning. The sheriff's department says investigations are pending and no further comment will be made. In related news Mayor Lockwood spoke earlier today...
        I get tired of his ignoring behaviour. I didn't know if it was because of what I confessed last night or that he was being distant because of the question I asked him. I quickly block his view of the tv forcing his eyes to land on me. 
        "So, is this how things are going to be now?" I ask him. "We avoid each other, act like the other one isn't there, because this is worse than the way we were before. Before we actually talked, more like yelled, but at least you actually looked me in the eyes!" 
        "Griselda..." 
        "God, I ask one simple question and you give me the cold shoulder!" 
        "Griselda..." 
        "And here I am begging for an explanation which is so unlike me, making myself sound weak, like I need your approval or something like that and I just hate that I somehow make myself the villain in this freaking story and..." 
        Elijah grabs my shoulders tightly, I look up into his dark brown eyes realizing the sudden proximity and that his attention was on me.
        "Are you going to say something or are you just going to be holding me quietly?" I ask breaking the silence and his hold on me. Elijah pulls his hands away and takes up his cup of coffee again. A silent sigh passing his lips before the news filled the silence in the room again.
        "Due to the recent tragedies that have plagued our town, we will be holding a memorial in Town Square today to honor all those we have lost. Join us and hope that as a community we can begin to heal.
        "I'm assuming we're supposed to be making an appearance to that." I say hoping to gauge a response from him. Elijah just nods causing me to just shake my head at him for his silent treatment. 
        "You know silent treatments are for teenagers and five year olds, not for thousand year old vampires like you." I mutter. "You're a grown man Elijah. Speak to me!" 
        "Mayor Lockwood would like you to play a piece at the memorial." Elijah states placing the cup into the sink. He starts to walk away but I quickly side step into his way. He visibly sighs but doesn't try to make his way around me. I look up at him sternly and avoid staring at his eyes as I decided what I was going to say. 
        "I know I screwed up by blabbing my mouth to some stranger and I'm sorry." I tell him honestly. "I've put you in danger and that's not what I wanted, well it was...before, but not anymore! I just... What are you so afraid to tell me?" 
        Elijah's face once again held that blank mask that he always wore. His emotions remaining hidden and so were his thoughts. Yet as I looked into his eyes I could see the struggle he was having with himself and I wondered what was making him be like this. 
        "I've already told you everything I've wanted to say, Griselda." Elijah states but I knew there was something he was hiding still. "And there's more I have to tell you but now it's not the time... and I don't think there will be after we're done." 
        Elijah doesn't allow me to ask for a further explanation as he makes his way around the island and walks out of the kitchen. I let him go not wanting to bother with a one sided conversation. I don't know what could have happened overnight to make Elijah like this, but for the second time this day, I was growing worried for him. 

**************

       My hand carried my violin case and Elijah showed no attempt to make us look like a couple. I wasn't trying either. The only sign that showed that we were remotely together was that we walked beside each other and half the town knew of our "so-called" engagement. We walked through the crowded Town Square who were lighting candles and placing pictures of unknown strangers in small shrines. I saw the stage in the middle of the town square and stopped walking. Elijah noticing my pause, turns back to look at me. 
        "Are you ok?" he asks me, concerned for the first time that day. 
        "Yeah..." I whisper unsure myself if I actually meant it. "It's just been a while since I've performed on stage with people actually looking at me." 
        "You'll be amazing, Griselda. Your talent is nothing to get shy about." 
        "I'm not shy..." I say not knowing how to put into words what I felt at this exact moment. "I just feel... nostalgic, I guess." 
        I saw the distant gazes of my brother and Jenna so I grabbed Elijah's hand and squeezed it. I placed a chaste kiss on his cheek which seemed to have caught him by surprise until Mayor Lockwood made her presence with us soon. 
        "Good Morning, Mr. Smith." she greets him nicely before turning to me with a smile. "You must be that lovely fiancee, Ms. Saltzman. It's nice to put a face to the name."
        "It's nice to meet you too, Mayor Lockwood." 
        "Oh, just call me Carol." 
        "Then you must call us by our first names as well." Elijah says turning on the charm instantly with his smile of his. "No more of that Mr. Smith nonsense." 
        "Very well," Carol agrees with a nod. Her gaze lands on me once again. "Thank you so much for coming to pay your respects and thank you again for agreeing to perform a piece. I've heard countless praises from your brother and others who've seen you perform."
        "You flatter me, Carol." I say pulling a smile on my face. "I wish I could do more in this time of loss. So many innocent people... I'm so sorry." 
        "I wish I could have prevented this too but this memorial is all we can do." Carol responds with a sympathetic nod towards us. "Thank you once again for your contribution to our community." 
        With that, Mayor Lockwood departs to talk to oncoming crowds of people. I look back at Elijah who's scanning the area. I sigh as I twirl the ring on my finger and feel nothing come out of the ordinary. 
        "You heard the news," I say as we start to walk again towards the rows of seats. "A camp full of missing people and then some." 
        "If it's a vampire, you can easily kill them." Elijah simply states. 
        "That's the thing, Elijah." I say stopping him from walking any further. "I told you this yesterday but it might have gotten lost with the argument that followed it. There's werewolves in town and you know werewolves..." 
        "They all travel in packs," Elijah sighs out.
        "Those things are more trickier to exterminate." 
        "I'll deal with them." 
        "No, you won't." I say sharply. "Don't you remember the last time we faced werewolves. I died, you died, we both died!" 
        Elijah rolls his eyes as he takes his seat. I huff annoyed and sat beside him, pulling my violin case to my lap. 
        "The full moon just passed us, Griselda. I can handle some mutts." 
        "Yeah, I know you can." I answer. "But last time... last time you got bit..." 
        "I remember exactly what happened. I don't need to be reminded." 
        "Then let me take care of them." I state. "Jonas and I will come up with something and like you said, the full moon passed us. They can't do too much damage." 
        Elijah didn't seem to like the sound of that either but all conversations seized as I caught sight of John in the crowd. I take a deep breath and look away before he could notice me. 
        "I should probably get on stage and you should probably charm your way through the high end society of this town." I say standing up and grabbing my violin. "And it's final, I'm taking care of the wolves." 
        I was ready to walk away but Elijah catches my wrist and pulls me back to him so I could face him. I land softly against his chest, my heart rate increasing alarmingly, as his hands found a place on my waist. His face was graced by a small smile that caused his eyes to wrinkle a bit. 
        "Good luck up there," he says before kissing my cheek.
        I pull away from his quick whisper and nod. The small scene was not unseen since Elijah and I had sat practically on the front row. I look around and see most of the town square staring at me. I take a deep breath and ignore the stares as I make my way around the stage. 
        Mayor Lockwood was making a small speech. She addressed the families in mourning, named the missing people, and went on to say that they were working their hardest to find them. It was obvious that she knew the truth of this circumstance and I wouldn't put it past Elijah that he knew this too. He was probably spending his day meetings figuring out what else the Mayor knew. 
        I tuned out most of the speech until I heard my name being called. I make my way to the stage and smiled as Mayor Lockwood passed me the microphone. Luckily there wasn't any blinding lights or unnerving silence. There was a slight chatter amongst the crowd and not all eyes were on me. I sighed mentally as I set the microphone on the stand. 
        "Hello, umm my name is Griselda Saltzman. Sister of history teacher, Alaric Saltzman." I say introducing myself. "I know I'm not a citizen of this town and that my fiancee and I are just passing through but I wanted to play a piece in loving memory for those you've lost." 
        I open the tattered case and pull out the beautifully intact violin out. 
        "I was unsure of what piece to play but this one composed by a contemporary artist spoke to me and I hope it speaks to you too." 
        With no further words to say, I tuck the violin under my chin and the bow settles on top of the strings. I take a deep breath before allowing my hands and mind be carried away. 

*************

        Elijah and I got caught up by couples and other such groups congratulating us in our upcoming wedding. Most of them complimented my playing, asking if I could perform in certain events or teach their kids how to play. I politely declined being reminded of an old the old life I used to have and not having the strength to go back to it yet.       
        It was easy to get bored with the same repeating conversations that were going on loop with these people. Elijah was able to tolerate them, as for me, I couldn't. My patience ran too thin. My eyes trail off to the remaining people on the square and I catch sight of Jonas talking to a young girl. It was obvious that she was upset with him but Jonas was taking the hate pretty coolly. I grow concerned still and lean over to Elijah. 
        "I need to check in on Jonas," I tell him in which he nods. I say a quick goodbye to the people we were talking to before making my way towards Jonas and who I assumed was the young witch in town. I didn't see anyway of stepping into the conversation carefully. So I threw caution at the wind and just stepped in.
        "Hi Bonnie," I state interrupting whatever rant the young witch was on. "It's obvious to see that you're upset and it just takes one glance at your direction to notice."
        The witch seems to become more upset with my statement but hides her anger away. Seeing this, I decide to continue. 
        "I know this must be confusing to you." I tell her. "Me being Alaric's sister engaged to Elijah and Jonas and Luka's involvement with us."
        "There's nothing confusing about this." Bonnie states. "I trusted Luka, and he betrayed me." 
        "It wasn't our intention," Jonas explains to the young witch. "We're just looking out for you." 
        "Spare me the witch loyalty crap." Bonnie exclaims. 
        "You might not want to believe this, but Elijah is a man of his word." I respond. "And you can trust that I'll keep my end of the deal with Elena to keep you and your friends protected."
        "You're right, I don't believe it." Bonnie states. "I thought that you being Alaric's sister would make you reliable, but I was wrong." 
        "And why is that Bonnie?" I ask her. "Because I'm marrying a so called monster? Shall I remind you that you're friend is dating one? That you yourself are friends with one?" 
        Bonnie was silent and I continued with my lesson.
        "We do anything for the people we love. I sacrifice my blood, sweat, and tears to protect those I care for. Elijah would do the same and so would Jonas and Luka. Trust us, don't trust us... the choice is really yours but it won't interfere anything at our end. We'll keep our end of the deal either way."
        I grab onto Jonas' arm and we both start to walk away from the teenage witch. His eyes strayed away to our surroundings and I knew his mind were full of heavy thoughts. Jonas was good at hiding his emotions, a close second with Elijah, but I could always read him like a book. 
        "She reminded you of Gretta, didn't she?" I ask him. 
        "How did you know?" 
        "A young teenage witch with defiance in her blood. Sounds like Gretta." 
        "She's just so young," Jonas continues. "And she's doing all of this alone. I just can't help but think of Gretta being in Klaus' clutches, alone..."
        "I'm sure she's fine," I comfort him. "Gretta's a strong girl. I'm sure she's holding her own." 
        We walk silently for a bit, allowing Jonas to collect himself again, before I let out the details of a plan. 
        "I'm sorry to spring this up on you at a moment like this but we have a situation." I tell him. 
        "What's going on?" he asks me concerned. 
        "Nothing major, really... just that I encountered a werewolf yesterday. She doesn't know I'm here and I don't really know why she's here. One lone wolf isn't a problem, but a pack of them is."
        "You think she isn't alone." 
        "I'm sure she isn't alone." I state. "With the vampire count in this city, she surely called for backup." 
        Jonas sighs tiredly. 
        "I'll go look over some grimoires, see if I can find anything to locate them or repel them away." 
        "Ok sounds good," I answer getting slightly distracted at the sight of Alaric and Jenna entering the Grill. "I'll catch up with you later and talk more about this then. I've got to talk to someone right now." 
        I leave Jonas and quickly cross the street. I enter the warm restaurant and shrug off my coat immediately. I scan the room for Alaric and catch sight of him at a table. I walk up to it and immediately Jenna catches sight of me. 
        "Griselda, hey!" she exclaims putting down her menu. "Would you like to join us?"
        "I don't think she would," Alaric intercepts quickly. "I'm sure she has stuff to do."
        "I'll love to join y'all," I state ignoring the looks my brother was giving me. "I feel like I haven't seen any of you since I got here." 
        "Elijah must be having you run from place to place, I'm sure." Jenna responds. "He's made quite an impact with the community and so have you. Your performance was beautiful." 
        "Thank you," I answer. "I think this is the first on-stage performance Alaric has ever seen me in. You won't believe how many recitals I had that Alaric missed." 
        "Really?" Jenna exclaims to Alaric. He just sighs in return.
        "I feel like I'm wrongfully being depicted as the bad guy here." 
        "Join the club," I whisper to him. 
        The conversation seized as my eyes stray over to an entering figure. Even Jenna's happy humor turned sour as we caught sight of John. He quickly locates us and makes his way towards our table. 
        "Hey." John greets. "Do you think I can join you?" 
        "Do you have to?" Jenna asks coldly, surprising me how the happy Jenna could quickly turn to a cruel one. 
        "I guess I don't have to, but I might as well." John states. "We're all friends, right?" 
        "No, we're not." Jenna answers. "Now leave John, we were having a nice lunch with..."
        "Griselda Saltzman." John interrupts his eyes landing on me. "Yes, we've met before." 
        "Sadly." I comment not missing the surprised look that Alaric gave me.
        "Wait, you two know each other?" Jenna asks still trying to process the news. I sigh annoyed that John would pull something like this. 
        "We had a short business partnership a year ago." I answer. "We split up because our ultimate goals were no longer the same. Isn't that right, John?" 
        "Somewhat," John answers. 
        I roll my eyes at him and peer over the menu again. 
        "Look who's here." John states causing everyone's attention to turn to the door. Elena was walking in but she wasn't alone. Damon Salvatore was right there by her side. 
        "John, buddy, how have you been?" Damon asks as he reaches our table. 
        "I've been all right, Damon." John answers calmly. "It's good to see you."
        John, with Damon's appearance, repels himself away from him and our table. Jenna's good humor was gone and it was obvious that Alaric wasn't too happy with me at the moment. Damon and Elena followed after John and Jenna saw a friend of hers at the bar and decided to join her. This left me alone with my brother who seemed to be bursting at the seams with questions. 
        "You know John Gilbert?" 
        "Obviously." I answer. 
        "How?!" he exclaims in a loud whisper.
        "I'm a hunter, Ric. Our paths crossed." 
        "Really, Griselda?" Alaric asks. 
        "Believe me, I'm not happy to see him either especially..." I stop myself from going on. Alaric looks at me questioningly and I just sigh. "He's just untrustworthy." 
        I get up from my seat and start to make my way out of the Grill. I grabbed my coat from the coat rack and was about to leave when the vampire flashed in front of me. I rolled my eyes as he blocked the exit from me. 
        "What do you want?" I ask annoyed. 
        "You're Alaric's sister, you're engaged to Elijah, and you're hunter." Damon lists off. "I don't trust you." 
        "Yeah, no one trusts anyone around here." I state. "But I know John Gilbert, and if you're going to trust him over me, then you've made a mistake." 
        I open the door but Damon closes it. I keep my annoyance in check as I look up at the vampire. 
        "Rumor has it that you know a lot," Damon states. "And won't say anything to your older brother Ric."
        "I can't trust him while he's around nosy vampires like you." I answer. "But since Originals can compel vampires, and my fiancee so adores me, I could make him compel you to get out of my way. If you don't believe me, just remember why Katherine is stuck in the tomb." 
        "Katherine's compellable just because all of the vervain had left her system." Damon replies. "Stefan and I, on the other hand, are chock full." 
        I look up at him interested with the new information. 
        "You guys are drinking vervain?" I ask him. 
        "It's an acquired taste." Damon answers. "Which means your fiancee can't compel me and you seem to be out of your cute little hunter bows and arrows so if you know something about Klaus, or any way to kill and Original, I suggest you better start talking, or I will kill you in your sleep." 
        "Kill me and you lose your best friend," I state. "Kill me and an Original will break the deal he has with Elena and come after you, your brother, and all of your cute little friends." 
        Damon's aggressive stance turns frigid and I smile at him. 
        "You see it now, don't you?" I ask him. "I'm an essential piece in a lot of peoples life. It's my presence that makes Elijah not tear down this city. He loves me and he'll do anything for me and vice versa. Let's not forget what my brother would do to you. He would probably come out of retirement and hunt your ass. So you better play nice with me, Damon Salvatore. You've got more to lose than I do." 
        Damon's scowl was etched on his face, his body tense with my response. I reach for the door and open it. This time Damon didn't push it close so I smiled tauntingly up at him before making my exit. 

**************

        I enter the apartment expecting to be the only one there when instead I find Lucas looking through our kitchen while Elijah and Jonas were talking in the living room. I throw my keys on the coffee table and take off my coat, catching the attention of both men in the room. I take my seat and noticed their concerned stares. 
        "What's going on?" I ask them. 
        "The werewolves you said where in town," Jonas answers. "I know a way to find them." 
        "Ok, that's good." I answer. "Let me go get my weapons and we'll go hunting." 
        I start to stand up but Elijah's hand lands on my shoulder and he pushes me back down into the seat. I look up at him confused to the act. 
        "Ok... what's really going on?" 
        "I don't want you to go." Elijah simply answers. 
        "Elijah..." 
        "Look, we don't even know how many they are and I don't want to risk the chances of you getting hurt. I need you to be well..." 
        "Stop!" I interrupt him. "My health can easily be healed by my ring." 
        "Yes but with the snap of your neck!" Elijah exclaims. 
        "Well if you go, we risk you getting bit." I answer. "Full moon or not." 
        "I can take care of myself." Elijah states.
        "I know you can," I respond. "But the last time we faced wolves you were out of commission for quite some time." 
        "You don't need to remind me." 
        "Like you had a fever and a cold sweat..." I continue. 
        "Griselda, say no more." 
        "You were talking about ex-girlfriends and trying to kill me too."
        "I've heard enough." 
        I turn towards Jonas and Luka who were watching both of us very closely. I knew Elijah didn't want me to go further with the details so I continued anyways. 
        "I don't know if it was in the midst of the fever or hallucination or attempts of murder but I swear you tried to kiss me." 
        "I did not." Elijah exclaims. 
        "How would you know?" I ask him. "You were sick in the head." 
        "I uh... I mean..." 
        "Look, this was settled a long time ago. You agreed to take care of the social part of this town while I take care of protecting it. Jonas and I will handle the pack of wolves and you charm this whole town off with your writer facade ok?" 
        Elijah's lips were on a thin line, showing his dislike of the final plan. Jonas knew better than step in and just remained quiet. Luka was more focused on eating the sandwich he made to agree or disagree on anything. In fact, he seemed amused by the scene in front of him. I turn back to Elijah who still seemed indecisive. Finally, all the stress from his shoulders disappears and he gives a short nod. 
        "You're right," Elijah sighs out. "But you be careful, ok?" 
        "When am I not?" I ask him back. 
        Elijah just stares at me still worriedly before clearing the emotion out of his face and turning to Jonas. 
        "You be careful too." Elijah states his eyes moving from Jonas to Luka. "All of you."
        Without another word, Elijah buttons his suit coat and walks out of the apartment. I could only watch him go. Something was troubling him and I would have asked him but recently he hasn't been keen to answer any of my questions. I sigh and turn back to Jonas who had a faint smile on his face.         
        "What?" I snap at him. 
        "Nothing..." Jonas says leaning back on the couch. 
        "That nothing certainly means something." I state sitting across from him. 
        Jonas just rolls his eyes while Luka just chuckles in the kitchen. I stare at both of them suspiciously and was determined to get an answer.
        "What's going on?" I ask them. "You two are acting like two gossiping schoolgirls with a secret." 
        "It's just..." Luka begins but Jonas interrupts him.
        "Luka." 
        "Come on, she has to know." Luka exclaims with a grin on his face. 
        "What do I have to know?" I ask him. 
        "Nothing." Jonas answers again.
        "Seriously," Luka states exasperated. "I just..." Jonas gives Luka a very stern look and Luka just gives up. "uhh nevermind." 
        "Now I really need to know." I state staring at both Martin witches closely. "What's going on?" 
        Jonas just sighs. 
        "Look, if you don't realize it yourself, then I have no right to tell you." Jonas answers. "I'm just an outsider looking in. You have to be the one who has to realize it sooner or later." 
        I looked at him unhappy with the answer given.
        "You know, you speak in riddles." I state. "I freaking hate it." 
        Luka just laughs at that and Jonas brushes off the comment. 
        "We should focus on those wolves." Jonas states. "I found a way to locate them. It's really up to you to find a way to immobilize them." 
        "That part is easy." I answer standing up from my seat and making my way towards the closet in the hallway. I push away the extra linens and pull out one of the many bag of weapons I had. This one contained my heavy duty and highly expensive weaponry. I brought the bag back to the living room seeing the curiosity of both witches. 
        "What's in the bag?" Luka asks. 
        "Lot's of things," I answer as I search for the one specific object. My hand meets the circular gadget and I quickly pull it out. "But this one is the one that really matters."
        "What does it do?" Luka asks again staring at the device. 
        "Why don't you tell me?" I ask him as I throw it to him. He quickly catches it and he inspects the gadget carefully.
        "It's not some sort of small bomb is it?" Jonas asks concerned. 
        "Of course not," I answer. I look back at Luka. "Just press that button in the middle." 
        Luka does so carefully. The circular device lights up and remains that way. Luka looked at me confused. 
        "I don't get it." 
        I stand up and grab the device from him. 
        "It's a sonic device." I explain to him. "It emits a high frequency sound waves that causes headaches, irritation, nausea, etc." 
        "All it's doing is light up though." Luka says still confused. 
        "It has three frequency levels since vampires and werewolves have enhanced hearing." I tell him showing the array of buttons beside the device. "I've managed to narrow it down to humans, vampires, and werewolves. Right now we're at werewolf mode which means we're not impacted by it but they will be."

*************

         Jonas and I walked through the dark woods. The only light we had was the flashlight in my hand, other than that we were in complete darkness. Jonas eyes were closed as he concentrated on the spelled herbal pouch in his hand. He was my human gps as we tried to locate the whereabouts of the pack in the eternal forest that Mystic Falls was surrounded in.
        As we got closer to the location, I felt an immense heat rush through my ring with an equally freezing sensation as well. I couldn't bear it with every step we took so I pulled the ring off. 
        "Something's wrong," I say as I transferred the ring from hand to hand. "My ring's overheating, over freezing... it's burning me either way. Wherever we're heading, both vampires and werewolves are there."
        Jonas didn't like the sound of that but having an obligation we made our way through the many shadowing trees. I transferred the ring to my necklace and after a few more minutes of walking we made it to a small clearing. 
        There was a trailer and a few tents set up. Yet that wasn't the sight that caused me concern. It was the 20 or so werewolves almost killing the Salvatore brothers. Jonas immediately placed a protection spell to those on Elena's list while I turned on the sonic device and threw it in the middle of the clearing. Every werewolf alive fell to the ground with agonizing pain. They held on to their heads and twitched on the forest floor. 
        "What's happening?" the blonde vampire I was told was Caroline asks. 
        "What the hell is going on?" said the lone Lockwood wolf. 
        Jonas just raises his hands higher on the protection spell. I walk over to my sonic device and see as every werewolf slowly passed out due to high frequency soundwaves. Damon and Stefan Salvatore get up from the ground and look at Jonas and I in confusion.
        "Elijah made a promise to Elena." I state. "We're here to see it's upheld. You need to get out of here. Now."
        All three vampires leave without saying a word. I pick up my sonic device and shut it off. Jonas stops the protection spell on Tyler and waits for me to finish up here. I look up at the only standing werewolf knowing he was also the only son that Mayor Lockwood had. Knowing that detail made it harder for me to do this next part.
        "When your friends awaken, give them a message: They need to get the hell out of this town." I state. "If not, this will be you too." 
        I turn the sonic device and Tyler clutches his head and falls to the floor with agony. I shut the device quickly and see him pant and twitch slightly. 
        "You've been warned." 
        I nod at Jonas, who looked at me disapprovingly. I kept my stoic expression and started to make my way out of the woods. Jonas reluctantly followed after me. 

*************

Third POV, Salvatore Boarding House

        Stefan took the initiative to take the shaken Caroline back home. Damon wanted no part of that and made his way to the Boarding House. The dark haired Salvatore hated to admit that he had gotten his ass handed to him. He also hated to admit that Elena's deal to Elijah and Ric's annoying little sister Griselda had actually come in handy. Since he hated to admit both of these things, he didn't admit them at all. Damon was just glad to be alive and at home. That is, until the doorbell rang and Damon opened the door to reveal the pestering presence of John Gilbert.
        "What do you want?" Damon asks annoyed. 
        "We didn't finish our conversation." John answers referring to a conversation both of them had at the Grill. It was more of a failed death threat from Damon to a secretive John. Damon was curious as to why John was at his doorstep after this but he was interested nonetheless. 
        "I'll bite." Damon states stepping aside so John could come in. 
        "I've been thinking." John says as he makes his way to their living room. "Personal feelings aside Damon, I think you and Stefan will do all you can to protect Elena." 
        "I agree with that statement." 
        "So I come bearing gifts." John states as he opens a folded cloth, revealing a silver dagger and a jar full of ash.
        "What is that?" Damon asks unimpressed. John just smiled. 
        "This is how you kill an Original." he answers. "In this vial is ash from a white oak tree that dates back to the genesis of the Originals. The dagger must be dipped into the ash, and then plugged into their heart." 
        Damon picks up the dagger from the cloth and inspects it. 
        "How do you know all this, John?" Damon asks him still not believing a word he said. 
        "Isobel. She's very good at finding out things." John responds. "But, of course, you know that." 
        "Where is Isobel?" Damon asks. 
        "Let's just say if she accomplishes what she's attempting, Klaus will never set foot in Mystic Falls. Where Elena's concerned, you and I are on the same side."
        John turns to leave but Damon still had more questions to ask. 
        "What are we supposed to do about Griselda?" 
        John stops walking. A small grin formed on his lips at the mention of the huntress. He knew that she would fall for Elijah again. It was obvious from her reaction last night. John shrugged his shoulders as he faced Damon again. 
        "Kidnap her, kill her, run her out of town." John lists off. "It's really your choice. I do advise you to kill her though. Once she finds out that you killed her so-called lover, she won't stop at anything to kill you." 
        "What do you mean by so-called lover?" Damon asks him. "They're engaged." 
        "Not when I knew her a few months ago." John states. "A few months ago she wanted Elijah dead."
        Damon didn't know whether to trust John's words or not. It was very hard to tell if he was telling the truth or not but John seemed pretty sure about this. Damon didn't show his conflicted feelings show as he just scowled at John. 
        "But hey! What do I know about love?" John asks trying to ease the tension. "The vampire huntress falling for the big bad vampire. Is that even possible?" 
        "I don't know." Damon answers. "Ask Buffy the Vampire Slayer." 
        John just chuckles at the reference but doesn't let the seed of doubt in Damon's mind wash out. 
        "You might not believe my reasons for being here. You might not believe what I told you about the dagger, but you do have to believe me in this. Griselda has never and will never love Elijah. He's everything that she hates." 
        John leaves after those words and Damon was left alone in the living room with John's words echoing in his mind.

Chapter Text

 Third POV, Salvatore Boarding House

        Damon had called Alaric late last night to come over and check out the dagger that John brought over last night. It wasn't just that, but Damon had questions about Alaric's sister. He didn't want to trust the weasel but he couldn't help but find himself intrigued by what John said. The only way to find out the truth was through Alaric. Though Alaric said no and Damon found someone else to talk to that night.
        Alaric came over the next morning instead, not wanting to sneak around Jenna for that night. He didn't know every detail as to why he was coming over and he especially didn't expect the sight of Damon kissing Andie as the door opened in front of him. 
        "Oh. Hey, Alaric." Andie greets as she walked beside him. "Later." 
        Alaric just waved to her still in shock and turns back to a grinning Damon. 
        "My new girlfriend. Andie Star, action news." 
        "It's not called action news." Alaric corrects. 
        "I know. I just like saying it." Damon smirks. "Come on." 
        Damon steps aside and Alaric finally comes inside the house. Damon quickly joins him in the parlor and leads him to the dagger. 
        "So, John Gilbert gave me this to kill Elijah." Damon tells him, unrolling the dagger from the cloth. "Said you have to dip the dagger in the remains of an old white ash tree that dates back to the Originals, if there's any truth in that."
        Damon hands Alaric the dagger and he takes it carefully. 
        "So you think it's a setup?" Alaric asks him. 
        "It could be." Damon responds. "Guy's a weasel. Wouldn't put anything past him." 
        Damon heads for the bar and turns back to him. 
        "What are you up to today, Mr. Saltzman?" 
        "Well, Jenna and I were supposed to go to her family's lake house, but somehow, we both got roped into doing this Historical Society thing at the Lockwoods." 
        "Where Elijah and your lovely little sister Griselda are the guests of honor." 
        "Tell me you're not gonna kill him at the tea party." Alaric states. "It's been a while and I honestly don't know what my sister would do to you if you killed her fiance!" 
        "Of course not. I'm not stupid." Damon responds receiving a skeptical look from Alaric. "I want to know his endgame before I kill him." 
        "Damon..." 
        "I'll figure something out later about your sister." Damon states. 
        "Damon!" Alaric shouts. 
        "What?!" Damon shouts back at Alaric. 
        "This is my sister we're talking about." Alaric exclaims. "This is her fiance we're talking about. She will hunt you to the end of the world to kill you and honestly, I wouldn't stop her."
        "Really, dude?" 
        "Really." Alaric answers. 
        "Fine, but how well do you know this guy?" Damon asks. "Or your sister in fact?" 
        "We lost contact in the past few years." Alaric responds. "My wife died and I started asking questions and I got my answers. I started hunting shortly after that and I didn't bother to check up on her." 
        "Then it's possible to say that you didn't know your sister was engaged until she came to Mystic Falls?" Damon asks him having John's statement from last night in his mind. Alaric gave Damon a confused look. 
        "What are you referring?" 
        "Well John said that Elijah and Griselda hate-" 
        "You're trusting John's word?" Alaric asks baffled. "Are you serious?" 
        "I'm just saying-" 
        "No, stop saying or asking or assuming things!" Alaric exclaims. "This is my sister. I might not know much about her life but one thing for sure... I knew that she was engaged a few years ago. I was supposed to meet the guy but I missed her violin recital and she left that night for Chicago, I think."  
        "So she was engaged." Damon sighs out. "I guess I should have known better than to trust John, but whatever." 
        "This is not whatever." Alaric comments. 
        "You're right," Damon relies tapping Alaric with the dagger. "This is not whatever which is why I think it's time Elijah and I officially met." 

*************

        I was still upset and last night with the werewolves left my adrenaline running to high morning. I got ready for this tea party we were invited to and picked the violin up from it's case. I hesitated for a second dropping it back in but as usual my emotions were overwhelming me and I had no other choice but to bring the violin back under my chin. 
        It just seemed easier to vent out things without using words. Easier to let myself get lost in the music and ignore the real world out here. Because it was better to hide behind the strings and the dark beautiful wooden structure than to face what was really causing the problem here. I didn't want to be angry or upset anymore but I couldn't help but feel this way. This is the first time I've felt anything in so long. 
        "You've never played like this." Elijah states. I almost dropped the violin as I didn't realize Elijah was in the room already. "You're playing fast, passionately fast... you're playing angry." 
        I listen to his description and had yet to face him. I took my time in putting down my violin in its case before turning to him. I wasn't sure what to tell him. 
        "Are you ready to go to the Lockwoods?" he asks me after a few seconds of silence. 
        "Yeah," I manage to answer. "Yeah, I'm ready.
        Elijah gives me a smile as I grab my purse and allow him to escort me out of the apartment. It was one of those outings that involved me in going with him. There was some high end tea party dedicated to Elijah's "novel" and our presence overall. The tea party was at the Lockwood mansion and only the town's influential people were invited. 
        Too many people with too many names introduced themselves to us. They all hoped to get their own family history into Elijah's novel and the countless family histories I've heard over the past hour sounded all the same except with different names. Luckily Carol Lockwood pulls away from these greedy families and Elijah charmingly begins another conversation with her. 
        "Have you spent much time in Richmond for your book?" Carol asks Elijah. "There's such a wealth of history there." 
        "No, I'm focusing mostly on the smaller regions of Virginia." Elijah answers. "Lots of research. Strictly academic." 
        "That's fascinating." Carol comments. "And how about you Griselda? What do you occupy yourself with while your loving fiance does his research?" 
        "I um... I have a handful of hobbies to distract me of his absence." I say hugging Elijah's arm and placing a kiss on it. Carol just smiles at the act. 
        "I'm assuming playing the violin is one of those hobbies." Carol replies. "Do you teach lessons or...?"  
        "I used to, at some point." I answer. "I used to travel with a small symphony a few years back and then I finally settled in my grandparent's home in Texas. I taught a few lessons to some young kids, some advanced teenagers, even adults." 
        "Impressive," Carol comments. "You must be proud of her, Mr. Smith." 
        Elijah didn't get a chance to respond as Carol Lockwood catches sight of an entering Damon. 
        "Damon." Carol smiles at him. 
        "Carol, hi." Damon responds with a smile of his own. They both exchange a kiss on the cheek. 
        "Hi. Elijah and Griselda, I want you to meet Damon Salvatore." Carol introduces us. "His family is one of Mystic Falls' founding families." 
        "Mm-hm." Damon hums in agreement as he turns to us. "Such a pleasure to meet both of you." 
        "No. Pleasure is ours." Elijah responds as he shakes hands with Damon. The Salvatore vampire turns to me and has the audacity to kiss my knuckles. 
        "Nice meeting you, Mr. Salvatore." I manage to say without snatching my hand back from him. Damon just grins at me as he lets my hand go. 
        "I'm sure Damon has a lot to talk to you about. His family history is one of the most interesting one in this town." Carol states. "I'll leave you gentleman to it." 
        Carol gives us one last smile before going on her merry way. Damon's smile drops as he glares at both Elijah and I. 
        "Walk with me," is all Damon says before walking down the hallway. I turn to Elijah with a look of disbelief on my face. 
        "Did he just...?" I begin to ask him. 
        "He did." Elijah answers unhappily as well. 
        "God, I hate vampires." 
        "Careful darling, you're marrying one." 
        "Wow, you grew a sense of humor." I remark following after Damon. "As well as a delusional mind." 
        Elijah just chuckles as we both enter a private study where Damon was waiting for us. 
        "What can we do for you, Damon?" Elijah asks looking down at the young vampire. 
        "I was hoping we could have a word." 
        "Where's Elena?" I ask him. 
        "Safe with Stefan." Damon answers. "They're laying low, you know, bit of a werewolf problem." 
        "Oh, yeah, I heard about that." Elijah responds casually causing me to smile a bit. 
        "Yeah, I'm sure you did since it was your witch and fiance that saved the day." 
        "You are very welcome by the way." I state narrowly at Damon. The vampire just shrugs not caring  to thank me at all as he sat down on the desk. 
        "Yeah, That adds to my confusion on exactly why you're here." Damon states. "Your future wife and witch friends seem to be doing all the work. What's your job?"
        "Why don't you just stay focused on keeping Elena's safety and leave the rest to me." Elijah answers as he helps me up from my seat ready to leave once and for all. 
        "Not good enough." Damon states rushing towards us. Elijah quickly grabs him before he could reach us and speeds him into a wall. In retaliation, Damon grabs Elijah's throat but the Original was older and stronger and easily pulled Damon's hand off. He goes out of his way to crush Damon's hand which causes Damon to groan in pain. 
        "You young vampires, so arrogant." Elijah says annoyed. "How dare you come in here and challenge me? Challenge the safety of my fiance?" 
        I notice Elijah's hand becomes tighter and Damon struggles. 
        "You can't kill me, man." he gasps out. "It's not part of the deal." 
        "Silence." Elijah orders. His head tilts back at me and nods towards the desk. "Pass that to me, would you darling?" 
        I grab the pencil from the desk and hand it to Elijah. Without hesitation, he stabs Damon on the neck and lets him go. Damon immediately clutches the pencil on his neck and falls against the desk. He quickly removes the pencil and clasps a hand over his bleeding wound. Elijah pulls out his pocket handkerchief and wipes the blood of his hands. 
        "I'm an Original. Show a little respect." 
        Elijah dangles the handkerchief in front of a bleeding Damon and he grabs it desperately and places it on his wound. 
        "The moment you cease to be of use to me, you're dead, so you should do what I say." Elijah states. "Keep Elena safe, it'll make Griselda's work easier." 
        "Yes!" I exclaim. "I would very much appreciate that." 
        "Well then," Elijah says smiling. "We'll leave on that note." 
        Elijah takes my hand and helps me up from my seat. I smirk at the injured vampire as I get up. Damon just glares at us, his hand still over his bleeding wound. 
        "How does that work exactly?" Damon growls at us. "Vampire huntress and Original Vampire?" 
        Elijah and I stood frigidly as we heard that question. We hadn't expected that question from the young Salvatore vampire. 
        "Well I first met her when I recovered from a stake to the heart." Elijah starts off. 
        "Lovely," Damon comments. 
        "And then I somehow made it into his heart." I answer causing Elijah to smile genuinely.
        "And I haven't recovered from that yet." 
        I turn away from Elijah as he said this and focus on Damon instead who was grimacing at Elijah's cheesy response.
        "You guys are really something." Damon states, and the way he said it made it sound like he was realizing this for the first time. 
        "Goodbye, Mr. Salvatore." I state cueing Elijah to start escorting me out of here. We said our respected goodbye's so close to leaving the party when my attention is captured by a displeased looking John Gilbert. Elijah notices were my attention strayed to and he straightens up. 
        "Is that who I believe it is?" he asks me. 
        "That's the men threatening to ruin our plan." I answer seeing John slowly push through the crowd towards us. "And he's headed our way." 
        "Griselda, it's nice to see you again." John greets me with a fake smile. "This must be that fiance I've heard so much about recently. Hi, I'm John Gilbert."
        They shake hands briefly, Elijah not even attempting to be civil.
        "I know who you are," Elijah states coldly. "And I know you know who I am." 
        "Straight and to the point," John comments. "I guess there's no point in me trying to be polite anymore." 
        "You shouldn't have even attempted." I reply. 
        "Right," he answers. "Always with the cold shoulder, Griselda. You need to lighten up." 
        "Oh really? I need to lighten up?" I ask him my voice becoming slightly louder. Elijah noticing this manages to pull me back from John. 
        "We were just about to leave Mr. Gilbert." Elijah states cutting our conversation short. "Is nice to put a face to the name that threatens to end me." 
        "Hmm," John says with a tight smile. "That time may come sooner than you think." 
        It was this time my turn to pull Elijah back from an attempt in killing the ever so annoying John Gilbert. I felt like it was my duty to dissolve any conflict between the two seeing that it was my fault that we couldn't end John right here and now. With the weapon being unknown and John appearing here with a plan of his own, it wasn't smart or safe to kill him without knowing where the weapon would land. 
        "Goodbye John," I state forcing us to walk away. Elijah it was evident by the muttering of gentle curses under his breath as we reached his car. I remained silent, not commenting or making fun of his sudden rage knowing that it was all my fault. We didn't speak on the whole car ride to the apartment. 

*************

        I kicked my heels off once I reached the apartment ignoring the disapproving look Elijah was giving me. I quickly make my way to the living room and just sat down on the couch. Ignoring the issue with Damon and John, I've had a decent day. The werewolves had left town, the doppelganger was safe with her vampire boyfriend, and Lucas was looking over the Bennet witch. 
        I grabbed my violin once more and looked over the strings. I knew I would have to polish the wood sometime soon and perhaps replace the strings due to them being quite old and unused for the longest time. I tightened the strings and just checked over it not noticing when Elijah walked into the room. 
        "You look over your violin the same way you look over your crossbow." 
        I didn't turn to face him as I set my violin on my lap. 
        "It needs proper care," I answer stroking the curves of the instrument. "I wanted to be sure it was still in proper shape." 
        "Griselda..." Elijah says with a serious tone. 
        "It's a little bit out of tune," I voice out ignoring his tone. "It's an easy fix but it'll take some time." 
        "Griselda." he states grabbing my hand, preventing it from tightening the strings. "Stop." 
        "I'm trying to fix my violin, Elijah. If you'll allow me to mend this..." 
        "Don't you see what you're doing?" he asks me. 
        I sigh and let go of my violin making Elijah release his hold on my wrist. 
        "Oh all-knowing Elijah do tell me what I'm doing." I state annoyed as I turn to him. 
        "You speak through your violin," Elijah answers causing me to just shrug at him. 
        "Yeah it's something called music.
        "No, that's not what I meant." Elijah says with a shake of his head. "The mending of your violin now out of all the time you've had with it. You're trying to mend something emotionally." 
        I couldn't help but laugh dryly at that. 
        "Are you psychologically analyzing me?" I ask him. "Seriously Elijah?" 
        Elijah just sighs, collecting his thought momentarily. 
        "The violin." he simply states. "It's your voice, your life, the way you communicate to others." 
        "Like I said, that's what music does!" 
        "This is more than music!" Elijah exclaims. "This, what you're doing right now, mending your violin... fixing it, is your way of communicating to me isn't it?" 
        "I don't know what you're talking about." I answer ready to stand up and leave but Elijah sensing my motives grabs my wrist again preventing me from moving. 
        "Are you still blaming yourself for the John Gilbert incident?" he asks me.  
        "He can kill you any second, Elijah." I answer. "And he's given us no clue as to what this weapon could be or when he'll attack us. I'm trying to find a way to fix this, yes, but I'm not crying for help here!" 
        "Then this morning," Elijah states out of the blue. "What was that about?" 
        "What do you mean?" I ask him. "I just wanted to play this morning." 
        "The thing about you is... when you think you're playing alone, you don't wear a mask. Your music doesn't attempt to hide what you feel." 
        "And what do I feel Elijah, huh?" I ask him. "You just seem to have all of the answers and want to tell me so suddenly when just yesterday you could barely talk to me! I don't understand you! Why do you want to help me today? Are you feeling guilty? Pity perhaps? Or are you just bored?!" 
        "You played angrily this morning." Elijah states causing my rant to stop. "You played in a rage which is why I'm assuming why you so desperately wanted to mend your violin right now, you played too strongly." 
        "What's my diagnosis then, doctor?" I ask Elijah giving up, tired. 
        "You're angry," he answers. 
        "Oh really?" I ask him sarcastically. 
        "And you're upset." Elijah continues. "You say you're angry at me but that's not the case. No, you're angry at yourself and when you realize your mistakes, you quickly attempt to fix them. That's what you're doing with the violin and that's what you were doing with the John Gilbert incident." 
        "You basically gave me a large explanation pointing out my angry self-destructive issues and my failed attempts in fixing it." I state. "What do you want me to do about it? Because everything I'm doing is failing, except for the part when it comes to physical violence. Now that, I'm good at, in fact, I'm great at that!" 
        "You're human, Griselda." Elijah responds. "You're bound to make mistakes and you must believe me when I say that I forgive you and that you must stop trying to fix things alone. We're partners in this, I can help." 
        "Why do you think this is about you?" I ask him. "My anger isn't just about this." 
        "Then what else could you be..." 
        "Klaus." I state causing Elijah's mask to rise quickly. "I will always carry this hate and anger with me. Elijah, I don't want to be angry anymore, believe me, but killing Klaus is the only way I'll be free of this horrible emotion." 
        "What did Klaus do to you?" Elijah asks me. 
        "I told you already," I answer twirling the ring on my finger. "He took everything from me." 
        "And if killing Klaus doesn't set you free?" 
        "Then he won." I tell a waiting Elijah. "Klaus made me who I am today and I hate it. If I don't find peace in his death, he's won because he made me this way, a hollow case of a human with a beast inside. I used to not be like this Elijah. I used to be happy and normal and boringly human. I miss being human, I dream about it sometimes." 

*************

        With my head under a thick newspaper, I ran through the rain into the small coffee shop. I shook off the raindrops off my jacket and threw the newspaper away. My curled hair was now wet and weighed down. I sighed regretting the choice of accepting this date and prayed that my make-up hadn't been ruined like my hair was. I take a deep breath before turning around and looking through the customers of the coffee shop. 
        It's been a few weeks since I last saw him. I managed to get a small vacation from the symphony and found myself here. His invitation was open to whenever I was free. He said he would wait for me for however long it takes and I found myself not having the patience for the end of the fall tour to end to see him again because every time I met him, every date, made me feel something I've never felt before and it grew with every second we spent together.
        My stomach was fluttering with thousands of butterflies as I searched through unfamiliar faces for one that was not. I could feel my heart beating faster than it should be and it didn't seem to stop when the anticipation ended as I caught sight of his warm smile. I couldn't help but run up to him and pull him into an embrace. We kissed, and I felt it to my toes, and I was willing to give up breathing so I could just continue to kiss me.
        "I've missed you" he whispers once we break away from each other. 
        "I've missed you too. Sorry I'm late," I apologize as I shrug off my coat and sit down. "I got caught in the rain but I really shouldn't be surprised since we're in Seattle and it always rains here." 
        "Yeah, I guess I should have put a little bit more thought into this." 
        "No, it's fine." I say with a laugh. "I like it here and coffee is my favorite. It's kinda our thing to ever since our first date." 
        "Don't remind me of that night," Noah says embarrassingly. 
        "That was the best night of my life." I state with a smile. "How could I not remind you of it?"
        "I was a nervous stuttering fool." 
        "And I liked that about you." I tell him. "My grandmother told me that if a guy was too cool when he talked to me that they weren't the right guy for me. The right guy would be nervous to talk to me because he would be afraid of what could go wrong. He would be a nervous stuttering fool." 
        "That didn't really sound like a compliment." 
        "I'm pretty sure it was." I say with a smirk as I drink the cappuccino he ordered for me. "I find stuttering fools my type." 
        "You're going to be the end of me, aren't you?" Noah chuckles out.
        "No, I rather believe this is the beginning of something." I answer. "I love you but you know that already. I just can't explain it but there's something different about this kind of love."
        "I love you too." Noah responds with a smile. "And I think I know how to explain it."
        Noah's hand plays with the steam of his coffee before looking at me.
        "What are your thoughts in magic?" he asks me.
        I looked at him curiously thinking he was joking but it seemed that Noah was completely serious about this. I've never been much of a believer in such a childish thing as magic but there was something in his eyes that made me believe in the idea of it. The connection we had the first time we met, the connection we had now, and the way the rain seemed to have stopped and the sun shined through the windows, magic seemed possible. He made me think that magic was real. 
        "Do you believe in the idea of soulmates?" 
        "Yeah," I say with a nod. "Something about you makes me feel like they're real." 

*************

        My whole day was spent fixing my violin and checking over all of the weapons in my possession. Elijah continued with his research which he still hadn't clued me in but I wasn't too interested anyway. He knew I was more invested in the physical aspect of our job not the research of it. I remained in the living room since I could lay everything out. I was done by the time the sun settled in the horizon and I was ready to start cooking dinner when I got a phone call from Jenna. 
        "Hey, what's going on Jenna?" I ask confused to the late call. "Is anything wrong?"
        "No...well maybe. You're brother was supposed to spend the afternoon with me but I haven't seen him all day ever since the tea party." Jenna tells me. "I was wondering if you've heard from him today."
       
"No, I haven't." I answer getting worried. "But I'm sure everything's fine. It's normal for my brother to run late to things and never appear. Take my violin recitals as an example." 
        "You're probably right," Jenna answers. "Whenever he and Damon get together, he tends to run late to everything." 
        
"Wait!" I exclaim. "He's with Damon?" 
        "Sounds like you met him and you got a bad impression." 
        
"Are you defending him?" I ask her. 
        "No! Damon's an overall ass but he's Alaric's best friend. I can't really get in the middle of that relationship." 
        
"Yeah, well I can." I state starting to pack my bag. "I'll snap Alaric out of this bromance and send him home." 
        "If that's the case please send a kick to Damon's face on my part." 
        
"Gladly," I practically growled as I ended the phone call. I pulled the bag to my shoulder and was about to grab the keys to my truck before Elijah appeared into the room still nicely dressed. 
        "Going somewhere?" he asks me. 
        "Nowhere fancy if that's what you mean," I answer. 
        "I'm coming with you." Elijah just states. 
        "No you're not." 
        "You have your hunting bag with you, I'm going with." 
        "I'm going to repeat myself, no, you're not." 
        "Look," Elijah says pulling the moonstone out of the desk drawer. "There's a disturbance in the Salvatore Boarding House. More than you can just handle." 
        "How did you know there's a problem there?" I ask him. 
        "I may or may have not compelled some people to supervise the houses of all of Elena's friends." Elijah answers. I glared at the revelation of this news in which Elijah just shrugs it off. "Just a security measure." 
        "I really do hate you," I answer as I start to make my way out of the apartment. "Can't even trust me with..." 
        "So you also knew about the number of werewolves that didn't leave town that are in the Boarding House right now asking questions about the moonstone?" 
        I stop in my track as he said this. 
        "How did you...?" I begin to ask but Elijah wasn't going to respond until I answered his question. "Ok, fine, no. No, I didn't know that some werewolves stayed behind and that Damon Salvatore was in trouble. What I do know is that my brother was with him and he's very human and doesn't have abilities to heal himself. We need to get there now!"
        Elijah took the keys out of my hands and took the initiative to drive. I started to get ready for whatever was waiting for us in the Boarding House. I pulled my hair up and started to load the guns I had in my bag. Elijah wasn't too happy to see them but it was a necessary evil in these cases. It seemed that my first warning wasn't enough, the second warning was going to be much worse. 
        The Salvatore Boarding House was lit up like a christmas tree and it was big. I supervise the surroundings and take out the few werewolves that were guarding outside. Once I did that, Elijah rushed us inside just in time. 
        "Where's the moonstone?" the blond werewolf I met before asks to a chained Damon. I took in account the werewolves that were inside the house and inside the living room. I couldn't see my brother anywhere and that worried me.
        "Get over it, honey. You're never gonna get it." Damon responds. 
        "You looking for this?" Elijah asks stepping out of our the hidden hallway. He walks up to the banister and twirls the moonstone in his hand. He walks down the stairs into the parlor and places the moonstone on the end of the table and backs away. "Go ahead. Take it." 
        Every werewolf turns to look at him baffled by the easiness of it all. I pressed myself against the wall and got a better angle. One of the werewolves uses his speed and rushes towards the moonstone and my finger pressing the trigger at the right time the bullet plunges into his heart causing him to drop dead on the couch. 
        Two more wolves rush towards the moonstone while one tries to attack me from behind. I slam him against the wall, twist out of his grip, and proceed to shoot him in the leg and twice in the chest. Elijah seemed to have gotten blood on his hands due to oncoming attacks to the moonstone. The she-wolf seemed to have escaped in our bloodshed and one Omega was left behind. His attempts to hide were pitiful as he crouched to the floor and pulled his jacket to his his face. Elijah roughly pulls him up.
        "What about you, sweetheart, hmm?" he asks him. "You want to take a shot? Yes? No? Yes? Where's the girl?" 
        "I don't know." Damon answers looking around. 
        "Well," I sigh out looking at the remaining wolf. "It doesn't really matter." 
        I pull up my gun and shoot the guy dead with no remorse. Elijah walks over to Damon who was chained to a chair and had a stake-torturing device on his neck. 
        "So you realize this is the third time we've saved your life now?" Elijah asks him. Damon doesn't respond and grabs the moonstone. As Damon begins to stand up, I push him down. Elijah waits patiently and curiously to my act. 
        "Where's Alaric?" I ask Damon. "Where's my brother?" 
        Damon doesn't say anything and instead his eyes stray to the fireplace. I turn around and I find Alaric's body laid out cold on the floor, his neck in an unnatural angle. I turn back to Damon feeling the anger rising within me. I grab the end of the chain of the torture device around Damon's neck and pull on it. 
        "What the hell did you do?!" I shout at him as he grimaced and groaned at the pain. "You dragged him into this! YOU KILLED HIM." 
        "I did nothing." Damon growls rushing towards me. He tackles me to the ground and holds on my neck tightly. "You and your little threat to the werewolves did this." 
        I punch him in the face and made sure to yank his chain again, loosening his hold on me. I roll myself on top of him and pushed the stake collar deeper into his throat. 
        "You're an asshole vampire, Damon. These werewolves were after you not my brother." 
        "You can't kill me." Damon groans out. "I'm on the no-kill list." 
        "My brother was on the no-kill list, Damon and he's dead." 
        "He'll wake up." Damon chokes out. "He has the Gilbert ring on and he died by a werewolf. Alaric will wake up." 
        The news surprised me and I immediately let go of him. 
        "He'll what?" I ask him. 
        "He'll wake up." Damon answers ripping the collar off himself. "God, you're such a bitch." 
        "And you're an asshole." I answer giving him one last kick on his ribs. "If my brother ends up staying dead, I'm throwing Elena's list in the wind, I'll kill you in the most painful way possible." 
        Elijah helps me up and hands me a handkerchief to wipe the blood off my hands. 
        "Oh and one more thing," I say not bothering to look back at Damon. "Jenna sent that kick for you. I don't think she knew it was literal but she'll like her boyfriend back and alive." 
        Damon doesn't respond and I grabbed my bag and gun allowing Elijah to escort me out. I placed everything in the back of my truck before entering it. Elijah didn't start the car and instead looked at me, waiting.
        "What?" I ask him. "If you're going to say I went to rough on him..." 
        "Your brother and yourself have a magical ring that brings you back to life whenever the supernatural causes it." Elijah states. "Care to explain that to me." 
        "I don't know," I tell him. "I thought my ring was a one of a kind." 
        "So did I." Elijah answers warily. 
        Luckily, Elijah didn't push any more questions and seemed to accept the answers I gave him. I mentally sighed as I played with the ring on my hand. I was confused as to how there was another ring like man out there and that Alaric from all people had it. I was also a bit upset that he hadn't told me about it but in retaliation I haven't told him either and if I did that would open another can of worms that I'll rather keep sealed.

Chapter Text

        Elijah woke me early once again seeing that as usual, he's made some sort of plan today and failed to tell me until the last minute. He gave me enough time to shower and change before he was rushing me out of the door. Today, Elijah had set up with Jenna a historical tour of all of the important sights in Mystic Falls. Elijah was either very interested with this stuff or really good at faking it. I wasn't sure what purpose this tour did for us but it was important enough that I had to suffer through it. 
        In one of the brief moments that Jenna went to retrieve some ancient map from the town's genesis was I able to use my phone freely and without guilt. Elijah just sighed beside me, unhappy at my easy distraction, but in my few seconds of being on the web did I end up with some news. 
        "Update on the werewolves situation," I tell him. "Tyler Lockwood ran away from home last night. That should be the last we hear of wolves for a while." 
        "How did you find that out?" Elijah asks interested. 
        "Teenagers are the best way to find out things," I tell him. "They post it in every social media possible. Luka just had to friend one of them and he got the scoop." 
        "I guess that's one less to protect on Elena's list." Elijah comments. 
        "I'm not sure whether to be happy about it or concerned." I confess. 
        Our conversation is cut short as Jenna comes back from her car with the correct maps for this location. We start to walk down the old trail as Jenna excitedly points out what used to be there and the purpose it served. 
        "The old Fell property actually starts just beyond that fence." Jenna says pointing forward. 
        "Ah, the Fells." Elijah comments. "One of the Founding Families." 
        "Why do you say it like that?" I ask him interested in the change of tone. 
        "My research showed me that this area was actually settled almost two full centuries earlier. It was a migration of townsfolk from the northeast, um, it was Salem, to be precise."
        "Massachusetts?" Jenna asks him. "As in the witch trials?" 
        "Which means the ever-lauded founding families...didn't actually found anything." 
        "Well, I bet it was the men who made a big deal about being founders back in 1860." Jenna states. "Men are very territorial." 
        "Yes, they are." Elijah replies placing a hand on my waist and pulling me closer to him. I was confused at the sudden need of affection before I took notice of my brother who was walking up to us. 
        "Elijah, you must know Alaric Saltzman." Jenna says as Alaric reaches us. Elijah just shakes his head and Jenna looked at both of us confused. 
        "Yeah, um... we've actually never met before." Alaric tells her causing Jenna to let a chuckle pass as she looked between my brother and Elijah. 
        "Elijah this is my brother, Alaric." I say making the very late introductions. "And um, Alaric this is my fiance Elijah Smith." 
        "Nice to finally meet you, Elijah." Alaric says shaking Elijah's hand. I could see Alaric's clear distaste for Elijah and noticed as he gripped Elijah's hand tightly. Elijah seemed unphased, in fact, he gripped Alaric's hand tighter and let go when he noticed my brother wince. 
        "Now that this isn't awkward anymore," I state as I look at Alaric. "What are you doing here and how did you find us?" 
        "I got Jenna's message about walking Elijah and you here through the old property lines. I thought I would tag along. You know being a history buff and wanting to spend time with my sister and all." Alaric answers causing me to narrow my eyes at him not believing the words he was saying. Jenna seemed to sense it too but he shakes us both of by changing the subject. "Where to next?" 
        "I'm pretty curious about the freed slave property owners." Elijah tells Jenna. "Some say, you know, the descendents of the slaves are the true keepers of American history."
        "Well, I only brought the surveys." Jenna replies. "I got that list in the car. Just give me a sec." 
        Once again, Jenna walks back to the car leaving the three of us alone. 
        "It really is nice to finally meet you, Alaric." Elijah states. "I've heard some interesting things about you." 
        "Funny, I've heard some interesting things about you." Alaric replies dropping the hospitable tone he faked when Jenna was around. "So what are your intentions with my sister?" 
        I quickly step in between them before things could get worse. 
        "What are you doing Alaric? What are you trying to prove?" I ask him. "You can't be angry at me one day and become protective the next."
        Alaric breaks away from his staredown with Elijah and glances at me unsurely.
        "You're my sister. I'm entitled to be angry and protective." 
        "I'm your sister which entitles me to your trust but you deny me that." I state. "Elijah and I are the good guys here. Why can't you see that?" 
        "You're human and he's a vampire, Griselda. He's not a good guy." 
        "This is where you're being hypocritical. Damon's your friend and he's a vampire. He even let you die the other day." I argue. "So what makes Damon one of the good ones and Elijah not?" 
        "Because he's marrying you for God's sake!" Alaric exclaims. "He can easily kill you! Even worse, he can turn you!"  
        That confession surprised me coming from him. I never expected that he was worried about such things. I hadn't even thought about those possibilities but at the same time, this "marriage" issue that Elijah and I had going between us was completely fake so in reality we had nothing to worry about. 
        "Those are matters that Griselda and I will speak of when that time comes," Elijah says ending the argument between us. I looked up at him thankful for his intervention and he just smiles down at me. 
        "Jenna's coming," Alaric states before glancing at me. "I'll play the approving brother for Jenna's sake but we all know the truth." 
        "And what is that Alaric?" Elijah asks him amused. 
        "That I have a really strong dislike towards you," Alaric answers before making his way towards Jenna and helping her with the bag of archives she was carrying.
        I couldn't help but shake my head at him before turning my attention to Elijah. 
        "I guess your gentleman charm is wearing off," I say jokingly. 
        "Or it only works with women." Elijah replies fixing his suit. 
        I couldn't help but chuckle at that. 
        "Didn't work on me." I say as I place my arm through his.
        "You don't have to be jealous," Elijah says looking down at me with a grin. "I don't really pursue younger women." 
        I open my mouth in hopes that I could come out with a witty reply but nothing came to mind and I couldn't help but just look away at that. 
        "It's a joke, Griselda." Elijah says chuckling. "Lighten up." 
        "If only I had my crossbow, you would really be careful about what you say to me." I threaten him jokingly. 
        "We're in public, dear." Elijah replies. "Do be careful of speaking of our nightly activities." 
        And somehow, in the first time Elijah and I have ever spent together, did I blush genuinely. This was due to the fact that Jenna and Alaric had heard his last phrase and were trying to act like they hadn't heard that at all. Jenna just laughed it off and picked up from where the tour left off. Alaric, on the other hand, was glaring at Elijah throughout the whole time. One thing was for sure, Elijah was in for some very painful payback.

 

*************

 


Third POV, Mystic Grill

        After Alaric crashed the Mystic Falls tour that Jenna was giving for his sister and Elijah, he made his way towards the Mystic Grill where Damon was waiting for him to give him all the details. Though Alaric didn't have much since there wasn't much talking. Now that he thought about it, he realized that he hadn't really tried to get something out of Elijah. He was actually too annoyed by his presence and the way that he was around Griselda. 
        "World to Alaric..." Damon says snapping his fingers in front of Alaric.
        "What?" Alaric says annoyed brushing Damon's hand away. 
        "You were telling us about your morning with Elijah before you got distracted or something." Damon tells him. "So other than the lecture on the history of Mystic Falls, did you get anything out of Elijah or your sister?" 
        "No, it was boring." Alaric sighs out. "Of course, Jenna thinks he's charming and Griselda is literally all over the moon with this guy..." 
        "You sound protective." Damon comments amused by this. "Sound a bit protective?" 
        The quiet and listening Andie, who was this way due to Damon's compulsion, was finally able to speak up for the first time in this conversation. 
        "Kinda do." she replies. "It's kinda cute that you have that overprotective older brother kinda thing. I've always wanted an older brother like that." 
        "Maybe we shouldn't talk about this," Alaric says glancing at Andie before looking at Damon. He wasn't really enjoying Andie's commentary and the fact that she was pretty much a puppet under Damon's compulsion. 
        "Andie?" Damon asks referring to Alaric's concern. "She's been compelled not to divulge my secrets. Haven't you?" 
        Damon asks her as he wraps his arm around her shoulder and Andie snuggles closer to him. She hums a yes as she presses a kiss on his lips. Alaric looked away, not really enjoying their open PDA. 
        "My lips are sealed." Andie states. 
        "This is too weird," Alaric comments under his breath. 
        Having Alaric's concern settled, Damon goes back to his failed plan. He had no idea what Elijah's intentions were and trying to talk to Griselda was the same thing as talking to a brick wall, except that a brick wall wouldn't be able to hunt you like she could. 
        "I just need the right opportunity," Damon mutters thinking back to the still unused dagger that John had given him. As if his prayers were answered, Jenna, Elijah, and Griselda enter the Mystic Grill and start to make their way towards their table. "Ah, there's Jenna and your sister with her fiance. Hi." 
        "Hey, guys." Jenna greets them happily. 
        "So I hear you three had quite a meeting of historical minds today." Damon comments going along with the fake hospitality. 
        "Yeah, I guess you could say that." Jenna responds. 
        "Actually it was more like, Elijah and Jenna were having the time of their lives while I tried to keep up." Griselda says with a smile. "I wasn't really into history when I was in school. Do you remember that, Alaric?" 
        "Yeah..." Alaric sighs out. "I remembered you threw a textbook at my head once. You really hated history." 
        "Not as much as I hated science though," Griselda states with a giggle. 
        "Oh yeah, that was even worse," Alaric says letting out a laugh. The humor between the distant siblings disappears as they both remember on what opposing side they were. "Well, as much as I'd like to continue this, I've got papers to grade." 
        Alaric places some dollar bills on the table and gets up. 
        "No, you know what? We should continue this." Andie speaks up. "Let's have a dinner party."
        "Ooh, my girl. Full of good ideas." Damon comments grinning down at her before the rest of the crowd. "I'll be happy to host. Say tonight. Maybe?" 
        "It's good for me." Andie answers. "Jenna?" 
        "I don't know if tonight works..." Alaric begins to say before Jenna interrupts him.         
        "Yeah, I'm free." Jenna states which causes Alaric to sigh unhappily. Griselda could quickly tell there was some sort of tension between her brother and Jenna but knew better than to bring it up. Instead she looks up at Elijah, unsure of what to make of Damon's request. 
        "We were planning a night in," Elijah states. "But it'd be a pleasure to join you." 
        Elijah could sense there was some ulterior motive to this sudden dinner invitation. The elder Salvatore tended to be reckless and very obvious in his intentions. This time, Elijah couldn't seem to get a read on him and thought it best to just go along with it. Time would only tell if he made the right choice or not. 

 

*************

 

        I woke up with my heart racing and not recognizing where I was and how I got here. I try to look around but the damn room was too dark. I manage to sit up and realize that whatever was under me was soft bed. My hand pats my surroundings and I come into contact with a hard surface and luckily the switch of a lamp. I quickly press it on and the room dimly lights up. 
        The first thing I do is check myself. There was dry blood all over my arms, chest and abdomen. My clothes were covered in dirt and mud, and were torn to shreds. My memory comes back to me as to what happened and I sigh in relief as I see that all of my wounds were healed. I tilt my head side to side, cracking my neck and loosening the knots that were there. 
        After looking over myself, I get out of the bed. There was no windows in this room but it had two doors. One was a very fancy looking bathroom while the other one that led to a hallway. I carefully make my way out of the bedroom and walk down the dark hall. I could hear some things being thrown around and the shattering noise they made. I quietly tip toe into the location of all the noise only to find the vampire from before clutching the wall strongly. 
        "Are you ok there, batman?" I ask him taking notice of his panting.  
        The vampire hearing my voice stops his heavy breathing and turns to look at me. His eyes were dark and I could see the distinct sharp fangs protruding from his lips. It only took one second for me to react as he rushed towards me and I quickly slammed the doors closed. That wouldn't keep him out for long so I pushed myself off the wooden door and start to run down to the room I was in before. It only took a matter of seconds for him to find me. 
        "Ok, I know you got reason to be angry with me, you brunnette version of Eric Northman." I snark out. "But you kept me alive for some reason so snap out of this!!"
        The vampire continued to slam against the door in desperate attempts to reach me. I had some strength of my own but it wouldn't be enough to hold this door between us. In reality, I could see the hinges giving away and my time slipping with my chance to remain alive from his little temper tantrum. 
        "Come on, Edward Cullen." I exclaim. "I thought we were friends here!" 
        I could feel his growl through the door and I sigh as I felt the door give away to the vampires super strength. I cursed my luck. I cursed my luck and the full moon and the stupid half-crazed werewolves and that I, from all people, decided to give a vampire, an Original, a ride through the back roads. I sigh as I found no other choice but reach out to him genuinely. 
        "My name's Griselda Saltzman" I state loudly. "I'm a vampire hunter who lied and dragged you into this horrible mess but for some reason you saved my life and I assume there was a reason for it so... you've got to snap out of whatever you're on." 
        I take a deep breath as I step away from the door. 
        "Come on, Elijah." I whisper. "Snap out of it." 

 

*************

 


Third POV, Salvatore Boarding House

        While Jenna and Andie prepared the salad in the kitchen, Damon and Alaric were talking in the library. Elijah and Griselda had yet to arrive which gave them some time for Damon to discuss his plan. Once again, Alaric was very against it for many obvious reasons, such as his sister and Jenna, but Damon being Damon didn't care much about his opinions. 
        "This is a bad idea." Alaric comments. 
        "There's no such thing as a bad ideas." Damon states as he pours each of them a drink. "Just poorly executed awesome ones. Here." 
        "No." Alaric argues accepting the glass of scotch from him. "I don't like the idea of Elijah being in the same house with Jenna." 
        "Jenna's perfectly safe." Damon assures him. "Besides, it's just a fact-finding mission. It's totally harmless." 
        "Just a fact-finding mission?" Alaric asks him still doubting Damon's intentions. 
        "Yeah." Damon answers as he takes a drink from his glass.
        "Listen, no sneak attacks. No surprise plans. No harassing my sister." Alaric lists off. "Nothing that's gonna put Jenna in harm's way. Okay?" 
        "Scout's honor." Damon states raising his hand in promise before grabbing Alaric's shoulder. Alaric just looked at him still suspicious about his relaxed attitude but didn't get the time to question him on it as Andie walked in. 
        "Hey, Jenna needs help with the wine." 
        Damon just smiles at Alaric before sending him off to help Jenna. Once Alaric leaves the room does Damon walk over to a small trunk and opens it. He pulls out the silver dagger and white oak ash from inside as Andie walks down to him.
        "What's that?" Andie asks curiously. 
        "Dessert." Damon responds as he dips the dagger into the ash. "Elijah's stronger than me, faster than me, and is always around his hunter of a fiancee, Griselda. It's all about the element of surprise." 
        "Ah, it's too bad. I like him." Andie comments. "He's very old-school. Classy." 
        "Which is why you should encourage the gentlemen to take their after dinner drinks in here while you do coffee in the kitchen with the girls." Damon tells her. "I get some alone time with Elijah while you take Griselda out for some good ol' girl talk."
        Damon places the dagger besides the glasses and the scotch, hiding it in plain sight. 
        "Hmm," Andie hums out. "That is a little too sexist for me." 
        Damon turns around and looks at her, a bit annoyed. 
        "Stop talking." 
        Andie just smiles at him, ignoring his harsh tone, and agrees to do his bidding. As that happened, the doorbell rings and Jenna goes to answer it. Expecting to find Elijah and Griselda, she smiles but that soon falls from her face as she finds John standing on the front porch. 
        "Who invited him?" Jenna asks out loud in which Damon finds himself answering as he enters the scene. 
        "John." Damon states with a fake smile. "Surprise. Leave." 
        "When Jenna told me she was coming to a dinner party for Griselda and Elijah, I decided I couldn't miss out on all the fun and games." 
        Damon knew what John was referring to but Alaric didn't and he voiced this out as he came into the hallway to join Jenna. 
        "There are not going to be any games tonight, John." Alaric tells him. "It's just a friendly dinner party." 
        John looks back at Damon, not believing what Alaric said.
        "What he said." Damon says with a shrug and a grin. Though in reality, Damon knew that Elijah would die tonight and with Griselda, well... he'll let Alaric deal with her. 

 

*************

 


Griselda's POV, Salvatore Boarding House

        Elijah was kind enough to help me out of the car and escort me to the porch. I was a bit tired because of the early morning and the long tour I had to endure. Once we were alone, I asked Elijah what the purpose of that tour was and he managed to dodge the question by bringing up the subject of my brother. I then avoided answering that question, not understanding his changing moods at all and so Elijah and I went our separate ways until we had to get ready for this dinner. 
        Now that we were here, I wasn't sure if this whole thing was a good idea. Elijah had convinced me not to bring any weapons and I felt vulnerable without them. He said that if things were to get messy, which he assured me that Damon and Alaric wouldn't be foolish enough to do so, that he would take care most of it while I gathered some sort of weapon to defend myself. 
        Elijah rings the doorbell and we both wait. I sigh as I look at the front door before turning to Elijah once and for all. 
        "I feel like we should have brought something," I tell him. "Like a bottle of wine or a cake. That's what normal couples do, right? When they're invited to such things..." 
        "Well we're no normal couple." Elijah replies. "And we're the guests of honor." 
        "That's what I don't like," I state. "Guests of Honor... I just have a feeling like this whole thing is a trap and that one of us is going to get murdered and we'll force the house on lockdown and try to find out who the killer is." 
        "If that was the case, we're in luck seeing that neither of us can really die permanently." 
        "Elijah..." I say as he misses the point but I'm cut short as the door opens to a smiling Damon. 
        "Good evening." Elijah greets. 
        "Thank you for coming." Damon replies. "Please, come in." 
        I was about to step in but Elijah pulls me back. 
        "Just one moment." Elijah states causing Damon to drop the smile. "This is just so I can settle Griselda's nerves and perhaps hear it for myself as well. If you have less than honorable intentions about how this evening is going to proceed, I suggest you reconsider." 
        "No, nothing, nothing dishonorable." Damon replies. "Just getting to know you and your wife to be." 
        "Hmm." I hum still not believing him. "Well, that's good." 
        Elijah leads me inside but doesn't move further enough for Damon to be able to close the door and he narrows his eyes at him. 
        "Because, you know, although Elena and I have this deal, if you so much as make a move to cross me, I'll kill you and I'll kill everyone in this house." Elijah threatens. "Are we clear?" 
        "Crystal." Damon says his smile falling once more. I couldn't help but chuckle at his expression before pushing past him and smiling at Jenna, who had just entered the hallway. 
        "Jenna. It's great to see you again." I state, pulling myself away from Elijah and heading towards her. She just smiles back at me.
        "It's nice to see you so soon," Jenna jokes. "You look incredible." 
        "Thanks, you do too." I tell her as I allow her to lead me into the dining room. Elijah follows after us and soon Damon joins us as well. The table was already set and I took my seat next to Elijah and coincidentally next to my brother. I frown as I catch sight of John and Elijah seems to notice the source of my distaste quickly. We both ignore him as the dinner is served and surprisingly a peaceful atmosphere settles on the table as light dinner conversation breaks out. 
        "I hate to break it to you, Damon," Jenna says as she pours him wine. "But according to Elijah, your family is so not a founder of this town." 
        "Hmm, do tell." Damon says from the head of the table. 
        "Well, as I mentioned to Jenna earlier, a faction of settlers migrated from Salem after the witch trials in the 1690s. Over the next hundred years they developed this community where they could feel safe from persecution."
        "Because they were witches." I include, hearing my brother choke a bit in the wine he was currently drinking. I turn to him faking concern, not being able to suppress the grin that was breaking out on my lips. "Are you ok?"
        "Yeah, I'm fine..." Alaric replies as he clears his throat. 
        "But there's no tangible proof there were witches in Salem." Andie argues across from me. 
        "Andie's a journalist." Damon points out. "Big on facts." 
        "Elijah's a writer," I say matching Damon's stare. "He's very big on research." 
        "Is he really?" John asks from his side of the table. Everyone ignores his question and Elijah returns to his explanation. 
        "The lore says that there was this wave of anti-witch hysteria. It broke out in the neighboring settlement, so these witches were rounded up. They were tied to stakes in a field together and, uh, burned. Some say you could hear the screams from miles around us. They were consumed by the fire." Elijah says before clearing his throat. "Could you pass the salt?" 
        Alaric reluctantly passes him the salt and I took notice of the way he slammed on the table and the glare he was giving Elijah. 
        "I wouldn't repeat this to the Historical Society." Jenna says referring to the topic of before. 
        "It's starting to sound a little like a ghost story to me." John comments. 
        "So, why do you want to know the location of these alleged massacres?" Damon asks all of sudden and that's when all of this research and meetings with the town's highest leaders made sense. I glance up at Elijah wondering what kind of lie he would tell for him and the rest of the table. 
        "You know...a healthy historian's curiosity, of course." 
        "Of course." Damon agrees, though by the way he was looking, I knew that he had caught on to Elijah's intentions as well. So to save Elijah from this slip-up, I changed the subject. 
        "I think I've reached my weekly quota of history talk," I state. "Can we please speak of something else?" 
        "How about you tell us about how you and Elijah met?" John asks smiling up at me. Andie and Jenna agree quickly to that and I turn to Elijah nervously due to the sudden spotlight. 
        "Umm, well... that's a very long and boring story." I answer. "I'm sure you wouldn't want to hear it." 
        "Called me intrigued, but even I'm interested in how you two got together." Damon says smirking at us. He knew that it involved me staking Elijah and I nervously smiled at him. 
        "We actually met at a hotel bar," I tell him. "He seemed to have a had a bad day in the office so I decided to see if he was ok." 
        "And I wasn't having a great day at all," Elijah continues. "But her company made it better."
        Jenna and Andi awwed the story while John, Damon, and Alaric rolled their eyes. I hoped that was the last of the personal questions but it seemed that John had a bone to pick with us. 
        "And how are the wedding plans going?" John asks. "Decided when and where?" 
        I let out a nervous chuckle at that and glanced at Elijah concerned to where John was taking this. It wasn't that it was hard to lie about these things but it was because one miscalculated lie could ruin all of this. 
        "Uh, we're in no rush to get married." I answer. "We agreed on him finishing his research before we settle down and start to make plans." 
        "Where will you be settling?" John asks. "Mystic Falls is always an option."
        "No, I don't think..." 
        "And have you talked about children?" John asks. "How many you want? Boy or girl?"
        "We haven't even..." 
        "Small towns are the best to raise a family, you know-" John continues, not allowing me to respond. I grew more nervous as to where the conversation was going and I could see that Damon and Alaric weren't happy with the topic either. John was practically trying to expose Elijah's true nature and I didn't know what answers to give that could make this all go away. "-safe neighborhoods, great school system, everyone knows everyone..." 
        "That all sounds nice but..." 
        "You'll probably even want to get some dogs to fit that perfect married lifestyle." John rambles on, sensing my distress. "All you have to do is get married, have some kids, and grow old together." 
        "Shut up, John. I think you've said enough." 
        I turn to a scowling Jenna, surprised that she voiced out what everyone was thinking. She must have gotten annoyed by John's incessant rambling without realizing that his intentions ran deeper than being talkative.
        "Well to actually answer some of your questions, John." Elijah says as he cleared his throat. I tried to hide my surprise as Elijah sat up straighter and stared John in the eye. "We've actually have talked about such things." 
        "Oh really?" John asks amused. 
        "Really." Elijah confirms. "As for where we will settle after our stay in Mystic Falls, I believe we decided on moving into Griselda's grandparent's ranch in Texas. It's a nice small town like this one but with more people and attractions. As for kids, I'll like to have a boy and a girl while Griselda prefers all girls. I think you said something about them being... what was it..."
        "A brand new and strong generation of future women leaders," I state. "And they..." 
        "...they would change the world." Elijah finishes. 
        I couldn't help the smile on my face. It's been so long ago when we had this conversation. A conversation that only sprouted out because Jonas and Luka forced us to talk about it during one of our peaceful dinners. It's been so long ago and it was one of the rare moments I opened up to any of them. 
        "I can't believe you remember that." I state surprised. "That was so long ago." 
        "I remember everything you ever told me, Griselda." Elijah replies looking down at me with an honest look in his eyes. "I've committed it into my memory."
        I once had loved this so-called monster in front of me and I had vowed since the day we reunited that I wouldn't fall for him again but it was comments like these that made it hard to keep that vow. It was times that Elijah seemed so incredibly human. The way he looked at me, almost caringly, and his responses were thoughtful and based on what I would like. It was moments like these that I think that at some point, he had loved me as well, but that time has passed and what we were doing now was just the sake to keep our cover alive. 
        "Would anyone care for some cognac?" Damon asks interrupting my thoughts and breaking the gaze that Elijah and I was sharing. "I have a bottle that I've been saving for ages."  
        "None for me thanks." Alaric replies as he gets up from the table. "Nine bottles of wine is my limit."
        I cleared my throat and agreed to that, trying to ignore the feelings that had temporarily risen, but being unable to do so as I light blush appeared on my cheeks.
        "The gentlemen should take their drinks in the study." Andie states. "Us ladies need our gossip time." 
        "I have to say the food was almost as wonderful as the company." Elijah states rising from his own seat. He looks down at me and whispers. "I'm being called away."
        "Be careful," I say concerned as I see Damon walking into the study. "He'll most likely try to get something out of you about this whole Klaus thing." 
        "I would repeat the same advice but," Elijah says as we both stare at Jenna and Andie. "I doubt they will have any questions about the matter." 
        I couldn't help but chuckle at that before we parted ways. I glance at his departing figure before seeing it disappear down the hall. I sigh at being left alone with women that I hardly knew much about and started to pick up the table. 
        "Here you are, gentleman, make yourself useful. Hmm?" Jenna states more than asks as she hands John a pile of stacked plates before walking of. Jenna starts to pick up the glasses and Alaric quickly comes up to her. 
        "Here, here. Put me to work." 
        "Um, I got it." Jenna says brushing him off as she grabbed the leftover glasses and walked out of the room. Alaric sighs as I walk over to him. 
        "So what did you do?" I ask him. 
        "What?" he asks confused. 
        "What did you do to have her put you in the dog house?"
        "Nothing, I haven't done..." Alaric replies before being interrupted by a phone call. He checks who it is and looks up at me. "I should probably take this." 
        "And I'll take these into the kitchen," I state leaving the dining room to give him some privacy. I settle the empty wine glasses into the dishwasher. As I finish that task, I look up to find Jenna and Andie looking up at me, as if they were expecting something from me.
        "What?" I ask them. 
        "How did you do it?" Andie asks. 
        "Do what?" I ask her. 
        "How did you snag a guy like Elijah?" Andie asks. "Tell us your secret."
        I couldn't help but laugh at the question. 
        "There is no secret," I tell them. 
        "Come on, there has to be." Jenna pipes in. "The way he acts around you and the way you act around him... you make a relationship seem easy."
        "Our relationship has been everything but easy." I tell them honestly. "It took a while for us to be comfortable with each other. Trust had to be earned on both sides." 
        "Yeah, trust..." Jenna mutters under her breath and I knew she was referring to my brother.
        "I've got to ask and I hope I don't step on some toes as I ask this but... what's going on with you and my brother?" I ask her. "I feel like there's some tension between you two."
        "Did I make it obvious?" Jenna asks with a shake of her head. She just sighs as Andie's and my silence answered her question. "I don't know... I really like him. Actually, it's more than like and I want it to work, but I can't help but feel that he's hiding something from me. And then I've got John whispering things in my ear about him." 
        "Like what?" I ask her concerned that John was overstepping in everyone's business. 
        "Things I don't want to believe!" Jenna exclaims. "I feel like I should come to Alaric about this but the missing case about his wife and his past before this... his lies and his sudden disappearances sometimes. I just... I don't want to believe these things John's telling me because, well... it's John for God's sake. I don't trust him." 
        "Oh, well, there you go then." Andie states. "Trust, like Griselda said, is the key to any relationship. I mean, I am so grateful that Damon tells me everything." 
        "Everything?" I ask her feeling some double meaning in that word. 
        "Everything," Andie confirmed smiling at me. I definetively didn't like the sound of that and I hated myself for undermining the woman in front of me. 
        "If you'll excuse me," I state as I start to make my way out of the room. Luckily, Andie doesn't stop me and I'm able to make my way out of the kitchen. I start to head towards the study, having an inkling as to why they set this whole dinner up, especially with John's appearance in it. As I step out of the dining room, I bump into my brother who seems to be in a hurry. 
        "What's going on?" I ask him. 
        "Nothing," Alaric answers. "We've just forgot dessert. That's all." 
        Something was wrong but all that mattered this moment was that I make sure that Elijah was ok and that I hadn't screwed up by leaving him alone with that reckless Salvatore. 
        "Gentlemen, we forgot about dessert." Alaric states as he bursts into the study. 
        "Elijah," I sigh out relieved to see him alive. He looked at me concerned but I only smiled at him. "Join me, please." 
        "Of course, my love." Elijah replies grabbing onto my hand and walking us back to the dining hall. Before we could enter, he stops and turns to me. "What's going on?" 
        "I think this is a trap," I tell him. "Andie was distracting me in the kitchen, she seems to be like Damon's minion, and John's appearance in this dinner at all... everyone hates him but he's still here, as if he was waiting for something." 
        "You think they're trying to kill me." Elijah states. "That the weapon is here." 
        "I'm hoping that's not the case but... it's very possible that it is." 
        Hearing Alaric and Damon make their way down the hall, our conversation is cut short and Elijah leads us into the dining room. We find Jenna pouring John a cup of coffee while Andie sets the table with more cups. Jenna turns to us as we take our seats and begins to pour us some coffee. 
        "Sorry, guys, dessert is taking longer than I thought." Jenna apologizes to us. "I usually just unwrap food." 
        Jenna then leaves the room to check on dessert and it's only Andie, John, Elijah and I waiting for the rest of the dinner party to rejoin. 
        "So I know this is a social thing, but I would really love to ask you some more questions about the work that you're doing here." Andie states as she takes a seat across Elijah. 
        "I'd love to answer." Elijah says before glancing up at the entering Damon and Alaric.
        "Great, that's so great." Andie replies before turning to my still standing brother while Damon took a seat. "Ric, would you do me a favor and grab the notebook out of my bag?" 
        "Griselda, did John tell you he's Elena's uncle/father?" Damon asks while my brother leaves to retrieve Andie's notebook. 
        "Yes, I'm well aware of that." I answer. 
        "Of course, she hates him, so there's absolutely no need to keep him on the endangered species list." Damon says grinning at me. 
        Andie stands up from the table, something about my brother messing up something, which forces her to leave. 
        "What I'd like to know, Elijah, is how do you intend on killing Klaus?" John asks turning to us. 
        "Gentlemen, there's a few things we should probably get clear right now." Elijah states annoyed and I knew full well that he hated the situation that we were in right now. "Griselda and I allow you to live solely to keep an eye on Elena. We allow Elena to remain in her house living her life with her friends as she does as a courtesy. If you become a liability, we'll take her away from you and you'll never see her again." 
        As if the conversation never happened around her, Andie walks back in with notebook in hand and sits back down. 
        "Okay. My first question is when you got here to Mystic..." 
        All of a sudden I hear Elijah gasp. I quickly turn to look at him just to find my brother standing behind him pushing a dagger through his heart through the back of his chair. Elijah becomes pale and dark veins rose all over his face. I wanted to do something. I wanted to attack and fight and tear the whole place apart. I opened my mouth to scream profanities only to have nothing come out. 
        I felt myself suddenly become weak and I wasn't sure why until I look down at my shirt and saw a speck of red turn into a big blood stain that didn't seem to stop growing. I wanted to say something, anything but all I felt was this cold feeling settled in my bones and it seemed to only be spreading.

 

*************

 


Third POV, Salvatore Boarding House

        Alaric hadn't wanted this night to end this way. He hadn't expected that Damon would lie to him about his real plans for Elijah and his ignorance about the dire consequences. Alaric knew that Damon would stop at nothing to kill Elijah and knew that between Damon and him, that he had a better chance at surviving his sister's temper.
        Alaric had a plan. He'll stab Elijah with the dagger, Damon would hide the body before Jenna could take notice, and he'll quickly explain to Griselda that her fiance's death was necessary. He would explain to her that Elijah's intentions for Elena were never good. That he intended her to die so Elijah's death was just clearing the way to keep the young Elena safe. 
        Alaric knew what he was doing and what he was going to do next but the moment he stabbed Elijah in the heart through the back of his chair and set the dagger on the table, he knew he made a big mistake. He knew that this would break their already fragile relationship. There was no going back from this, and he was right, but not in the ways he had expected it.
        The look on Griselda's face was one of pure surprise and genuine horror. It then quickly contorted to rage but finally settled into a blank mask as she looked down at her chest. He waited to hear something from her but she remained speechless and that's when Alaric took notice of the large still-growing blood stain on her shirt. 
        "Griselda," Alaric whispers concerned. Griselda's breathing was shallow and her eyes drooped closed. 
        "He linked himself to her." John states surprised at that outcome. "I guess that takes care of her coming after each and every one of you." 
        Alaric ignores his last statement as he drops to his knees beside his sisters seat. 
        "He did... he...I... I stabbed her." Alaric mutters realizing that it was his fault that Griselda was quickly dying in her seat. "I killed her..." 
        All of a sudden, Elijah had recovered and quickly gasped to life. He quickly took notice of everyone's surprise but didn't care much for it as his eyes landed on a dying Griselda.
        "What have you done?" Elijah growls at them. 
        "Elijah..." Griselda whispers as she hears his voice. 
        Elijah's rage is gone as he quickly collects Griselda into his arms and rushes away. Revenge would have to wait until they were both alive and safe. Elijah settles Griselda into the car and bites into his wrist trying to force it into her mouth but Griselda refuses to drink. 
        "Come on, Griselda." Elijah begs.
        "You know how this works," she coughs out, blood fouling her mouth. "I die and in a couple of minutes I'm back to my normal self." 
        "But this wasn't some supernatural death, Griselda." Elijah states, knowing that her wound was because of the bond that he had refused to tell her about and was now costing her, her own life. He offered his quickly healing wrist once more. "You will die if you don't drink my blood."
        "I will die then," Griselda argues, her head being filled with the similar darkness of death. "But by your hand and I will be reborn..." 
        Elijah hated it when she forced him to resort to this. Something about taking her life seemed to break him further every time. Not even the prospect that she'll come back to life helped relieve him of this pain that he felt every time he was forced to kill her. He moved her, settling Griselda against his chest, as he braced his arms around her neck. He pressed a tender kiss on top of her head, listening as her heart beat slower and slower. 
        "I do this because I love you," he whispers to her, hoping that those words would comfort her as he sent her to death quickly. In one quick motion, Elijah snapped her neck and Griselda's body slumped heavily on him. Elijah took a deep breath as he just held her for a few minutes trying to collect himself, tears threatening to fall. He had been so caught up in his own guit that he didn't notice the approaching Alaric. 
        "Is she...?" Alaric begins to ask but the answer to his question became evident as he noticed Elijah's tear-filled eyes. Elijah doesn't answer as he gently laid Griselda down to rest. He moves past Alaric towards the driver seat. 
        "She doesn't like to feed on vampire blood, refuses to heal that way." Elijah tells him giving the illusion that Griselda died by Alaric's actions. Elijah knew that Griselda would be alive in a few hours but it was best for everyone to believe that she had died. It would allow them to suffer in their own guilt of killing an innocent, giving Elijah enough time to enact a more painful form of revenge. Elijah then starts the car and drives away avoiding any more interactions between them.

Chapter Text

        "Come on, Elijah." I whisper. "Snap out of it." 
        The harsh ramming on the door stopped as I called him by his first name. I hadn't expected that to work but he stopped his attacks towards me for now. All I could hear was his heavy breathing before I heard him drop to the floor. I could feel his weight against the door but Elijah seemed to have given up in his attempts to kill me. The werewolf venom must have messed with his head too much but he seems to have gain a bit control. 
        I slowly open the door, unsure of why I was doing this, giving up my last defense against him. I see him starting to fall back since he lost the support of the door and I quickly catch him before he falls. He looked unconscious but his slow blinking showed me otherwise. His weight overwhelms me and I fall onto the floor with his back pressed against my chest. 
        "Forgive me, Griselda." Elijah gasps out. "It's not my intention to hurt you." 
        "You just went a little bit crazy," I respond. "Happens to the best of us." 
        "The werewolf venom... I'm still..." 
        "Yeah, you're still sick." I state feeling his high temperature due to his proximity. "High fever, bloodthirst, and who knows what else." 
        "I'll start to hallucinate soon," Elijah coughs out. "You'll have to fight me whenever I do." 
        "Before any of that happens we should probably attempt to reduce this fever and drain out the werewolf venom." I tell him. "I'm going to have to move you."
        Elijah groans at this but doesn't fight me as I force him to stand up. I manage to drag him into the bathroom and set him in the bathtub. I sigh in relief as I find that the abandoned cabin still had running water. Elijah becomes soaked in cold water and he gasps as the water hits him. Once doing this, I was ready to go search for my hunting bag but I didn't get the chance to as Elijah grabs onto my arm and I'm sent deep into his mind. 
        I see an image of Katherine running through some large garden. Her laughter fills the air and I could see Elijah running after her. They were playing a game and I could practically feel Elijah's love for the human though he knew she didn't reciprocate his feelings. 
        Elijah's gasp cuts the memory short and I ignore the overshare of information as I search for any sharp object to make the cuts to bleed Elijah out of the venom. I needed to do it soon seeing as the hallucination has already started. I urgently search through the bathroom cabinets and luckily find nail clippers that contained a small sharp blade. I pull out the small blade but as I got close to Elijah he started to trash against my hold. 
        "Elijah!" I shout as I tried to restrain him, getting wet from the cold water pouring out of the shower head. "Elijah, I'm just trying to help you!" 
        Elijah continued to fight against me, trying to attack me with his fangs, but I managed to push him away. I find myself pushing against him and ending up in the bathtub with him. One of my arms wrap around his neck, choking him, until I felt him stop struggling. Momentarily unconscious from the lack of air, I start the deep cuts on his wrist to bleed out the werewolf venom. As I start on his second wrist, Elijah groans awake. 
        "Why are you doing this to me?" he cries out, eyes closed in pain. 
        "Hush now," I whisper to him as we both continued to get wet from the cold water. I cut his second wrist and let the blood wash down the drain. "This is for your own good. You saved me and now it's my turn to save you."
        Elijah luckily doesn't argue with me and allows me to cut his wrists repeatedly as they quickly healed. His fever was still high and we both sat in the bathtub waiting for him to break it. They were two times in which he attempted to kill me and I had to subdue him with a snap of his sneck. I then waited for him to wake up and the wait continued.
        Once he was awake, the hallucinations would return and I would watch through them without meaning to. I saw two more of his ex-girlfriends, felt him when he was human, felt him when he was a vampire, and his incoherent sentences tried to explain his memories to me. He would whisper nonsense to me, saying he was so fortunate in finding me. At one point he tilts up to look at me and leans forward, I pull away unsure if this was an attack or an advance. I never got to find out as his head fell back unconscious once more. 
        I didn't know how long we spent like this, under a cold shower, blood draining down from his wrist, and me finding things out about him from his hallucinations. It was after his fever broke and his pale face looked up at me did I see improvement. 
        "Thank you," Elijah whispers due to his dry throat. 
        "You're very welcome," I answer and for some unknown reason I found myself raising my wrist to him. "You should feed. Gain back some of the strength I drained from you." 
        Elijah looked at me surprised the same way I was as I trusted this vampire to feed from me. For some reason, after hours of seeing his past, seeing him struggle to not attack me, seeing him trust me to save him... I couldn't help but trust him back.

        I wake up in dim darkness. I take notice of the blanket over me and recognize the living room as my own. I slowly look around and find that I was laid out on the couch and wasn't alone. Elijah seemed to have laid me out with him behind me. My back was pressed to his chest and my head turned to the nook of his neck. He seemed asleep, that is, until he spoke up. 
        "You're finally awake," he whispers slowly opening his eyes at me. I found myself only nodding as I feared that if I spoke my lips would manage to reach his due to the very close proximity of his face. "How do you feel?" 
        "Fine," I whisper, feeling very warm all of a sudden due to the growing blush on my cheeks. "What happened Elijah? I can't really remember anything." 
        Elijah shifts himself allowing me more room. I pull the blanket over myself and watch him closely as I notice his expression change from concern to guilt. 
        "Elijah?" I ask worried. "What happened? Did you...?" 
        "I didn't do anything to them," Elijah answers. "I was more worried about getting you out of there alive enough to be able to do what I had to do." 
        "You had to snap my neck..." I say remembering slightly. "...because I randomly started to bleed from my heart. I felt like... like someone had just stabbed me but there was nothing. You... you were..."
        "I was daggered," Elijah states. "A dagger that causes me to die like any vampire but the dagger must remain in my chest for me to remain dead. When your brother took it out, I recovered... you didn't." 
        "How?" I ask him. "Did you link us together?" 
        "No, of course not." Elijah answers. "That would put you in more danger." 
        "Then how did this happen?!" I exclaim. "How I did I get injured just like you?" 
        Elijah remained quiet and I knew whatever secret he's been hiding from me since the first day we reunited was the reason for tonight's disaster. I sigh and shake my head at him and throw the blanket away from me, standing up from the couch. 
        "I guess your secret is worth more than my life," I grit out. Elijah calls out my name but I ignore it as I walk out of the living room and make my way into my bedroom. I slam the door close and lock it. Seconds after, I could hear Elijah outside, knocking so strongly. 
        "Griselda, allow me to explain." 
        I remain quiet, listening him breathe from the other side of the door. I was so tired of his secrets and his fake trust. I was angry that whatever he was hiding was the reason I got hurt tonight. That he knew this could happen to me but remained quiet about it. 
        "Griselda, please..." 
        "I need some time, Elijah." I answer pulling myself away from the door. "Because foolishly I trusted you, and you couldn't do the same for me."
        In response there was only silence. I heard him sigh in resignation and heard his footsteps lead to his own room. I then heard the quiet click of his door closing and I allowed myself to breathe freely. I sigh in relief, closing my eyes, pressing my hands to my face. After a while, I shook off my anger and just became tired. I tore away the clothes I had, throwing away the blood-soaked shirt and dressed for bed. Sleep came quickly, and all I dreamt about was him. 

 

*************

        "I can't believe I let you feed from me," I state as we started to pack up whatever survived the crash. "That's something I don't normally offer up so freely." 
        "You wish for something in return." Elijah states as we start to hike through the woods. 
        "My truck would be nice right now," I answer. "But that seems too far gone to be fixed."
        "Then how may I repay you for your kindness?" 
        "An alliance," I tell him causing him to turn to me in curious interest. "I've had time to think it over and it might not be a bad idea to have someone like you on our side." 
        "I'll like that," Elijah responds warily. "But I assume there's some rules." 
        "You're right," I state. "First rule, no feeding on me. That was a one time thing." 
        Elijah nods at that and I continue. 
        "Second, the Martins, the witches I work with... they stay out of the violence. You won't push them to do anything they feel uncomfortable with." 
        Once again Elijah nods.
        "Third, I don't like you." I state causing him to smirk slightly. "I don't have to like you. In fact, I hate you very much. That won't change. You can try but you won't succeed. I'm your mortal enemy as you are mine but the enemy of my enemy is my friend so..." 
        "I can abide to those rules." Elijah states. 
        "There's one more," I tell him stopping and turning to him. "Like I said before... I want to kill Klaus. I want to be the last person he sees." 
        "He hurt you very badly didn't he?" Elijah asks me. 
        "Sorry, you have to be a level 7 friend to hear my sad sob story," I remark. "And I'm afraid you're at level -5." 
        Elijah just shakes his head at me and we continue walking. The main road appears right up ahead and I see a parked van waiting. Elijah looks at it curiously but I quickly run up to it. 
        "Griselda, wait..." 
        "Don't worry," I shout back at him. "They're friends." 
        Once Elijah caught up to me, I look back at Jonas and a sleeping Luka on the back. Elijah looked at both of them surprised. 
        "Allow me to introduce them to you," I tell him. "This is Jonas and Luka Martin. They're the witches who are helping me." 
        "It's nice to meet you," Elijah greets nodding politely at Jonas who looked very tired. 
        "A vampire, huh?" Jonas says narrowing his eyes at Elijah before glancing at me. "What are you thinking Griselda?" 
        "He's an Original Vampire." I state. "When we stand against Klaus, he'll be handy. Besides, he saved my life." 
        "I guess that's reason enough to trust you... slightly." Jonas states opening the door for him. "You get shotgun. Gris, you can sit in the back with Luka." 
        "Are you sure you don't want me to drive?" I ask him. "You've been driving all night searching for me, I assume."
        "After seeing that car wreck of yours, I think it's better for me to keep on driving." Jonas jabs at me. I shake my head at him and climb onto the backseat where Luka was slowly waking up. Elijah seemed uncomfortable, which I had expected, but I knew he'll soon get used to us. Now us getting used to him, that was another story.

*************

        I woke up still remembering the feel of the dagger through my heart. The feeling didn't seem to disappear and I worried that I still might be injured somehow but I was still alive so that wasn't the case. I quietly made my way to the kitchen only to find it filled with noise. I walk in only to find Jonas and Luka storming around the kitchen with what seemed to be a thousand stacks of pancakes. Once they took notice of my presence did they almost drop everything.
        Jonas set aside the batter in his hands on the island before approaching me and pulling me into a very tight hug. I embraced him back confused to his very big display of emotion. He pulls away and places a kiss on top of my head. I look at him questioningly only to find his face heavy with relief. I look at Luka and find the same expression on his face as well. 
        "Good morning to you too..." I trail off. "What's with the...?" 
        "It's a we're really glad you're alive breakfast." Luka tells me. "Elijah told us what happened last night, we just got very worried." 
        "Ok," I say still not believing them fully. "I'm glad that you care for me this much but you guys didn't have to do this." 
        "We wanted to," Jonas states. 
        I could only nod at that as I took a seat and allowed them to continue to work. 
        "So... what else did Elijah tell you?" I ask them as I poured myself a cup of coffee from the nearby pot.
        Jonas and Luka share a look which didn't go unnoticed by me.
        "He uh... he called us last night while you were still, you know... dead, and he told us to wait till the morning to come see you. He was worried about you." Jonas answers. 
        "Why do I feel like you two are hiding something from me as well?" I ask them. 
        "I don't know what you're talking about," Luka replies with a shrug. 
        "Oh I think you do," I state narrowing my eyes at both of them. "You've been keeping a secret from me. One that, I assume, is the same one Elijah's keeping from me as well." 
        "Elijah lied to your brother last night," Jonas tells me. "He told him that you died. He didn't reveal your reincarnation ring or lied about giving you vampire blood, Elijah just straight out told him you were dead. So, your brother is mourning at the Salvatore Boarding House, believing he's the reason you died."
        "Ok..." I say not concerned about that at all. "But that's not the secret Elijah or you two are hiding. That's recent news." 
        Luka seemed to squirm under my stare but Jonas was cool and collected. I could still see it in his eyes though, he was having a hard time keeping this facade up. Luka almost seemed ready to let it all out if it weren't for Elijah's intrusion. 
        "Good morning, everyone." he states causing Jonas and Luka to return to their cooking. Elijah stared at them before turning to me. "Griselda, a word."  
        "I'm about to eat breakfast," I reply looking down at my coffee cup. "It can wait." 
        "Breakfast won't be ready until a few minutes," Jonas says causing my excuse to be useless. 
        "Fine," I whisper turning to face Elijah. "Let's have that word.
        Elijah nods at me, his face blank of emotion. He leads me to the living room and I take a seat on the couch. He sits across from me on the coffee table and stared at me. He seemed unsure of how to start this and I just stared at him not offering any kind of help.
        "I...uh... you're right." Elijah states. "I have been hiding something from you." 
        "I'm always right, Elijah." I sigh out.
        "You know, you're not making this easy." Elijah remarks. 
        "I gave you countless opportunities to fess up in whatever has been eating you and you always turned them away. I'm not gonna make this easy."
        Elijah sighs at this and runs his hand over his hair. His lips were tight, eyes dark, and I knew that it was taking everything; his composure, his cool, his ability to remain calm, to say whatever was on his mind.  
        "You know I love you." Elijah tells me. 
        "I don't believe you, but yes, you keep reminding me so..." I answer. 
        "I will always love you, Griselda." Elijah states. "And there's a reason why." 
        I narrow my eyes at him as he says this. He opens his mouth to continue but Luka walks in. 
        "Breakfast is ready," Luka states before leaving the room. 
        I look back at Elijah waiting for him to tell me once and for all but he stands up and walks towards the dining room. I sigh but found no other choice but to follow after him. Jonas and Luka made a large breakfast buffet for us. There was fruit salad, pancakes, eggs, bacon, toast, and more. I served myself a bit of everything and once everyone was settled, the table was filled with silence, no one daring to speak up. I watched all of them as they ate and each one of them avoided eye contact with me. 
        I reached over the table and grabbed the butter for my toast. None of them were looking at me, too focused on their own plates. I grabbed the dull butter knife and before any one of them could stop me, I slice my left palm.
        Jonas and Luka jump up from the table and Jonas is quick to hand me a tablecloth for my wound but I didn't care about my injury. My attention was on a calm Elijah and I grabbed his left hand and turned it around, seeing a deep cut slowly healing. I drop it in shock, not expecting this to have happened. I had some suspicion but not this.
        "What the hell is going on with us?!" I shout. "Did you put them up to this?" I ask Elijah motioning to Jonas and Luka. "Is this some spell you casted? For what purpose? Why... how...?" 
        "Please leave us," Elijah orders Jonas and Luka, staring straight ahead of him. 
        I was so upset with everyone. Jonas and Luka give me an apologetic glance before turning away and leaving the apartment. I watch them go and as the door closed, I turned to Elijah. 
        "Please tell me what's going on." I plead. "I'm going out of my mind as to why you would dangerously bind us this way."
        "It wasn't my decision," Elijah says still staring straight ahead.  
        "Then who was it?!" I exclaim not gauging a reaction from Elijah. "Look at me please! Why can't you even look at me?!" 
        Elijah slowly tilts his head up at me. His eyes feeling a storm of emotions; sadness, fear, guilt... I couldn't understand what was making him feel this way and it was a shocking revelation when I realized it was because of me. I slowly take a seat beside him, giving up on my anger. 
        "You have to tell me," I whisper. "Please, Elijah." 
        "I... we're..." Elijah stumbles with his words again and he sighs in resignation. He turns to face me with a very serious expression. "Do you believe in soulmates?" 
        "What?" 
        "Do you believe in the one? A one true love?" Elijah asks me. "Someone who makes you whole?"
        "Why are you asking me this?" I respond. 
        Elijah sighs, his hand covering his face as he seemed to stress all over again.

        "Elijah..." I say concerned. I reach over and pull his hand away from him, forcing him to look at me again. "Just tell me." 
        "You know I love you." Elijah tells me again and I nod this time. 
        "I know," I whisper encouragingly. "Go on, tell me."
        He takes one deep breath before staring at me steadily. 
        "Marked Souls," Elijah states. "In other words, soulmates." 
        I narrow my eyes at him trying to understand why the idea of soulmates was so important to him. Why did this simple phrase cause him so much trouble? Why was he so desperate to know my opinions on the matter? What was so dangerously important about the simple concept of soulmates?
        "Elijah..." I say unsure of where this was going. 
        "Do you believe in soulmates, Griselda? Elijah asks me seriously. "And I need a real answer."
        "Once," I whispered to him honestly. "But I was naive and young and stupid..." 
        "Can you grow to believe it now?" 
        "Why are you asking about this?" I ask him. "What can be so important..." 
        Elijah looks away from me and I kept growing nervous at his silence. 
        "My injuries being yours, yours being mine." I state. "The way you're always trying to make me like you. Your very unnecessary concern over my wellbeing. You always reminding me that you love me and apologizing for leaving me behind..." 
        Elijah turns his eyes back on me and I realize on my own what he and Jonas and Luka have been hiding from me. I realize on my own the secret he's been trying to hide from me from the very start. What he's been hiding when we first met each other. I realize on my own the terrible situation that we were both in. 
        "It's not possible..." I whisper pulling myself away from him. "No, no... you can't be serious." 
        "Griselda," Elijah says reaching for me but I stumble away from him in horror. 
        "I can't..." I say as my voice stops due to the tightening of my throat. Tears threatened to fall and I gasped for air, feeling like there wasn't enough air in the room. "You and I... you're lying. You are lying. You have to be." 
        "We are, Griselda." Elijah states making his way towards me. "The signs are there."
        I put space between us as he continued to approach me. 
        "I can't do this." I state. "We can't... I refuse to believe this. I... I'm sorry."  
        I turn away from a heartbroken Elijah and make my way to my room, locking myself once again. I leaned on the door and slowly fell onto the floor. My sobs racked my body, tears seeming to flow eternally, and I could barely breathe. 
        I was sorry. I was sorry that this had to happen to him. I was sorry that I couldn't love him like he loved me. I was sorry that he was stuck with me as his one true love because let's face it, I am a mess. I was sorry for so many things; my attitude, my harshness, my inability to have human emotions even though I was human. I was sorry that Elijah needed someone so broken like me to make him whole.
        But what I was the most sorry for, was that I already had a soulmate and I lost him and I couldn't think of ever replacing him... not that Elijah knew this though.
        He didn't know that my apology meant all of this. Those two words held so many explanations and I left him thinking there was none. 

Chapter Text

        I refused to leave my room. I just remained seated on the floor and tried to find a way of escaping the apartment without being cornered by Elijah. There were just so many conflicted emotions inside me and I just didn't want to deal with any of them. I tilt my head back and let it lean on the door behind me. I was so deep in thought that I barely registered the soft melody emitting from the study down the hall. I recognize it as the large piano that had been untouched this whole time we were here.
        Someone was playing on it, at first it was melodies that were the artist's own creation, and then there was a pause. I could hear him take a deep breath before continuing to play. After a few minutes of practicing, of becoming familiar with the sound, he takes a deep breath and plays a sudden deep note. The tone echoes around the room and he then begins to play a quick and beautiful melody once it slows down do I recognize the song that he was playing. He wasn't singing, but I could hear him say the words to the song. 

I hope I see you soon,
Because you're fond of me and I am fond of you.
These days I guess that's all it takes,
That and just a few mistakes.
And I have made mistakes,


        I press my ear to the door, hearing him pause and the melody stops. It only lasted a split second and he continued with the song. 

Yes I have made mistakes today,
Yes I have made mistakes today,
Yes I have made mistakes. 

        I slowly pull my nearby violin to me and place it under my chin. I knew the violin piece for this song. It was one I loved playing because the one song that was my favorite. Synchronized with his timing, I started to play and he falters slightly due to his surprise. 

So tonight I'll be your Brooklyn,
So cold and yet so far away.
Just tell me what you want for me to say,
And if it brings you home. 

        I put down my violin and just heard him say the lyrics as he continued to play by himself. I close my eyes following the melody he was playing and fall into a trance.

I guess it's safe to say,
We both could use this fire escape,
Cause I've been breathing ashes in,
And I've been waiting for something to carry you away.

Cause I have made mistakes today,
And I have made mistakes today,
And I have made mistakes.

        Before I knew it, I found myself walking down the hallway and find Elijah's back towards me. He continued to play, saying the lyrics out loud. I sat beside him, my back facing the piano, as I pulled the violin up once more to play my part again.

So tonight I'll be your Brooklyn,
So cold and yet so far away.
Just tell me what you want for me to say,
And if it brings you home

        He plays strongly this time as the violin melody became highlighted. I could see him doing his best to keep playing without glancing up at me. I could feel his eyes on me now and then, but I kept my eyes closed, just letting the violin to have my focus right now. 

So I hope you travel safe,
And I hope you're cool
I hope you find your way,
Because it's sad but it is safe to say,
We disagree on one too many things.

        The music then settles down and I stop playing. Elijah softly plays now and I just sit there silently and listen. I sing the last few lyrics, for the first time saying something in our time playing together. 

And I have made mistakes today,
Yes I have made mistakes today. 
And I have made mistakes...


        Elijah softly ends the song and a brief silence fills the room. Our breaths were the only thing I could hear and I could feel the thousand questions he wanted to ask me. I didn't know what to say. I didn't know what to feel and I wasn't sure how I managed to get myself in this position. I was safe in my room and he had drawn me by his playing, he drew me with his music. 
        "I always forget you play the piano," I find myself whispering. I close my eyes as he turns to look at me. "You play beautifully."
        "I had a great teacher," he answers. 
        "I know," I tell him, remembering that old conversation of his famous composer teachers. "I know." 
        We return to an uncomfortable silence and I open my eyes to glance at him. His face was away from me and he just looked down at the keys of the piano. 
        "You played my favorite song," I state. "You remembered it." 
        "Like I told you before," he says looking up at me, our eyes meeting for the first time since this encounter. "I remember everything you ever told me." 
        I sigh as I hear this, involuntarily shivering at his words. 
        "It's a sad song to like." he comments. 
        "It's a sad life, I've lived." I confess as I twirled the engagement ring on my finger. I take a deep breath, conflicted whether to tell him or not. It would relieve me of the burdens I carried but then it would also reveal the lies I've been telling him. "Elijah, I have to tell you something..." 
        Elijah looks at me with concern. 
        "I can already see how much pain you're going to have if you tell me." Elijah tells me. "You don't have to..." 
        "No, I do." I cut him off. "There are things you don't know about me. Things that no one knows, not even Jonas, and I've told him about everything. Elijah, I haven't been completely honest with you." 
        I pause trying to formulate the words that were just stuck in my throat. I twirled the ring on my finger once more before just prying it off. 
        "With this ring," I state. "This ring is one of the many lies I've told you."  
        Elijah narrowed his eyes at the engagement ring with concern before glancing up at me. 
        "I've lied to you about where I got it from, who I received it from, and why it does what it does; protecting me." I take another deep breath in attempts to calm my rising nerves. "Elijah, you aren't... I mean you can't be my soulmate. Because I... I already had mine." 
        "Griselda..." Elijah whispers. I could feel the tears rising in my eyes as I looked at his confused expression. 
        "His name was Noah," I tell him. "We met in a point of my life where I didn't know about the supernatural. I was just...human. My life was about music and the orchestra and the tours we did. When we got a break from the tour, I would settle down in my grandparent's ranch and I would teach private violin lessons in the neighboring town. I wasn't looking for love... it kind of just happened out of nowhere." 
        I couldn't help but smile at the memory. My mind was rushing to remember everything about him, everything we had together, everything that I loved about him. 
        "I met Noah after a small concert in Boston. I was hoping to catch sight of my brother but once again he had managed to miss this recital...and the recital before that... and the recital before that." I couldn't help but chuckle. "I gave up after a while as the crowd thinned and then there he was, Noah." 
        "He was a bundle of nerves as he walked up to me." I say with a smile. "He stumbled on his words and I stumbled on mine. We were both the most catastrophic people in the world but we managed to make it work. For the first time through that whole conversation he managed not to stutter and asked me if I wanted to take a walk with him. I will always remember that conversation since it was the best one we’ve ever had."  
        “If you don’t mind getting lost for hours on end, I can totally take you on a tour around town.”  I say repeating the exact words Noah told me. "I laughed at that and agreed. We both weren't from Boston and knew nothing of how to navigate through it. We did get lost but we soon found our way to a diner where we spoke for hours at end until dawn arrived upon us. I fell in love with him then and I think he did too." 
        I knew I had railed away from the main focus of this conversation and wiped the tears that had managed to roll down my face. I take another deep breath and continued.
        "Summer was always my favorite season. The sun was always shining, a light breeze would pass by every once in awhile, and then there was my favorite reason of them all; him." I tell a patient Elijah. "So here we were, Texas to be precise, in my grandparent’s ranch. We were packing our bags to go back home after a very short vacation."
        "My favorite part of summer was him because he would pack up the truck, sleeves rolled up, smiling at me as if I was a dream. He would kiss me and I became completely lost in the entirety of him. He would slam the truck closed and helped me out of the back. I jumped and he would catch me in his arms and spin me around." 
        "We were both so in love and I wouldn’t want to have it any other way. I didn’t believe in magic before but he made me believe. He made me believe in so many things." I whisper. "If you asked me a few years before that if I believed in soul mates, I would have said no. But in that moment there, he… he was my soulmate and I was his. He was it. He had to be." 
        I swallow the sob that wanted to escape from my throat. I didn't dare look at Elijah as I bit my lip, trying to hold in the mournful dam that had broken inside me. 
        "That was my last happy memory of Noah." I cry out. "Besides the playful banter and the one night stop in the hotel. That was the last time we were so high on love and believed that we would live forever. That was the one memory I will always hold dear because only a few minutes before he had asked me to marry him."
        I looked down at the ring. I didn't really know where it came from or how it was made but I knew it came from him and only him. 
        "So you need to understand, Elijah… understand that I already had my soulmate." I whisper. "I already had my one chance of love but that chance was ripped away when Klaus killed him a few months later." 
        "Griselda..." Elijah says right after he told me this. 
        "I didn't lie to you about why I want to kill Klaus." I tell him. "That reason is entirely true. He took away everything I had. He did destroy my home, my humanity, my life... he burned it down, in fact. He burned it down with me inside it." 
        "What did he do?" Elijah asks me. "What did Niklaus do?" 
        "He was in search for strong witches that could break that curse of his," I tell Elijah numbly. All of the happy memories were gone as I spoke about this part of my life. "Apparently Noah was a very strong witch." 
        "You didn't know." Elijah whispers. 
        "No, I didn't." I answer. "But I should have known. I... he asked me about magic and soulmates. He asked me if I believed in them and I should have known he was asking for himself. I didn't realize this until it was too late." 
        "What happened?" Elijah asks me quietly. 
        "We were staying in a house in the outskirts of Dallas." I tell him. "That's where we both were situated to work. I taught violin lessons as Noah did research work for a professor at SMU. I always worked late due to the kids coming out of school late and Noah was always home before I was. That day though, I had finished early and I made my way home to see him. I should have known something was wrong." 
        I closed my eyes hating this memory the most. 
        "Noah never had guests over the house and Noah never argued, but there they were, a stranger in our house picking a fight with him. Noah refused to do what he said and the stranger became angry, hearing the tone shift intensely so quick in the argument, I made my way into the kitchen to stop it. That was a mistake, a very big one." 
        "You don't have to tell me." 
        "I have to, though." I tell Elijah. "How else are you supposed to understand why I'm not right for you? Why I'm so damaged beyond repair, Elijah? You deserve someone so much better than me. You deserve someone who's intact instead of the wreck that I am." 
        Elijah was ready to argue with what I said but I didn't give him the chance. 
        "As you suspect, Klaus killed us both." I state. "But not in the quick way you think... he played a game and a cruel one." 
        I shudder as I remember what happened next. 
        "As I stepped into the kitchen, Noah became scared and Klaus took notice of that." I tell him. "Klaus just appeared in front of me and I suddenly became aware that whatever he was, he was dangerous. Klaus seemed to take pleasure in my fear and I just stood there, frozen in fear as his eyes turned dark and fangs appeared." 
        I shiver as I remember the pain of being bitten by him. 
        "He drank from me, took his time, let me bleed out from my neck and then my wrist and then my shoulder. I was dizzy, weak, and couldn't do much as Klaus dropped my body on the ground. Noah fought, he tried so hard to fight, but Klaus was stronger and he had other witches on his side. All I remember seeing in my dazed state was seeing witches come from every corner of the kitchen and send Noah in a wave of pain." 
        "Blood poured from his eyes, mouth, and ears. Too much blood... and I saw helplessly as his eyes lost life in them. He had bled to death and I was getting there. Klaus just grinned at the scene and his eyes landed on mine." I cleared my dry throat before continuing. "He looked deeply into my eyes and all I could see was darkness, pure evil." 
        "Look at what you've done, Klaus said to me." I grit out. "It's clear he loved you. He wouldn't have died if it weren't for you but... tsk tsk, you just had to come in here. Yes, he loved you more than his life and now he's dead because of you, and now you're going to die alongside with him. I'll allow you that sliver of peace, not having to live with what you've done."
        "I couldn't answer. I was too tired to respond and I just wanted to sleep. I just wanted all of that to go away." I confess. "Klaus turned on the gas of the stove and after a while he threw a lighter beside me before disappearing. After a few seconds, our house blew up and I died. I had the pleasure to die, only for it to be momentary." 
        "What... how did you...?" Elijah tries to ask me but I didn't have the answer to that.
        "The ring saved me but I didn't know that until a witch told me it did." I tell him. "All I knew was that I was alive, life burned out of me, and he was gone... everything we had turned to ash." 
        The silence once again filled the room, Elijah unsure of what to say, and I not having anything more to confess. Everything I had held in was out in the open. Someone knew my story now. He knew it.
        "I really am sorry, Elijah." I tell him. "But we can't..." 
        "We can," Elijah argues. "We can... but you're afraid."
        "Afraid? How dare you...?!" 
        "You're afraid of falling for me... of being vulnerable again." Elijah cuts me off. "You're afraid that if you let me in, you will once again have somebody to burn whatever heart that is left inside you." 
        "I'm not afraid." I state sternly. "I just don't want to replace him. If I do... all of this... all I've done to avenge him... would have been for nothing." 
        "It doesn't have to be," Elijah tells me. "We can make this work and I would never want to replace him." 
        "Why are you so incessant in having me, Elijah?" I ask him angrily. "I'm broken. I'm barely human. I'm a mess! Elijah, you deserve a thousand times better."
        "You don't see yourself the way I see you," Elijah whispers with eyes so full of care. "I see you as strong, beautiful, and indestructible. You're perfect." 
        Before I knew it, he was leaning in and I found myself meeting my lips with his. I felt myself breaking, shattering into pieces, and then being put back together. A warmth like nothing before spread around me and I felt alive. He tasted sweet like dark chocolate and I couldn't have enough. I forgot everything I was arguing for as his tongue caressed mine. I lost myself in him and only him. 
        When we finally pulled away, our breaths heavy due to the lack of air, I open my eyes to find myself completely on him. His arms were pulling me close to him as I sat on his lap. His eyes searched mine in curiosity as to what I was thinking but I didn't think, I acted and once more, I pressed my lips to his, wanting more. I wanted him to fix me, to put up with me, to make me feel alive again.
        Even though he made me feel this, I couldn't wrap my mind around him being the love of my life. It just didn't make sense to me but as we continued to kiss, continued to feel more intensely, I found myself being able to be convinced at the idea. 

Chapter Text

        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." 
        "Griselda..." 
        "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."
        "But..." 
        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. 
        "Elijah, I..." 
        "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. 
        "You're leaving?" 
        "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. 
        He speaks. 
        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. 

Chapter Text

        It took a whole days's drive to reach what seemed to be a gated community. One glance from Elijah made the two guards on post rush to open the gates for us. Elijah nods at them before driving through. The street was no longer paved as we drove through a small forest. It was all stones and pebbles causing the car to slightly shake as we drove on. 
        Elijah had yet to tell me where we are and why it was so secluded. He didn't even bother to tell me who we were staying with. He only told me to trust him on this and so blindly I did. It wasn't comfortable putting my life in his hands but after everything we went through, everything that we are, I didn't really have much of a choice. If I had to trust my life with someone Elijah had to be that choice. So I kept the questions to myself until the trees cleared and showed vast green pastures that led to a giant castle. 
        "Jesus Christ," I whisper. "You weren't kidding about the castle." 
        "I told you I have a friend who owns one." Elijah replies with a smile as we drove up to the front. 
        "I thought you were partially kidding," I answer. "So who lives here? Some royal member from abroad seas? One of those high society, tea-drinking families? Maybe the President's mistress?" 
        Elijah just chuckles at my questions as he parks the car. I hadn't even unbuckled my seat before some random vampire was opening the door for me and helping me out. I turn to Elijah in confusion but he was simply waiting for me. I uneasily give a glance to the other vampires that were unloading the car for us before turning back to Elijah. 
        "Don't worry about them," Elijah tells me. "That's part of their duties." 
        "Where the hell are we Elijah?" I ask him as I take his arm, allowing him to escort me in. "And why am I the only human here?" 
        "You'll know soon enough," Elijah replies as we make our way in. Vampires were already waiting for us to open the doors and a vampire butler quickly comes and greets us. He takes our coats and my purse before addressing us. 
        "Mr. Mikaelson it's such a pleasure to see you again," he tells him. "Lord Tristan and the Lady Aya are so glad to hear of your return. They are waiting for you in the main room. Shall I lead you?" 
        "No need Aaron," Elijah tells him. "I know my way around." 
        Aaron the butler nods at this and allows Elijah to pass through. As we walked down the hallways, I took notice of the high quality art and sculptures. I didn't need to ask Elijah to confirm that these weren't knock offs but the real thing. 
        "Lord Tristan? Lady Aya?" I ask him. "Real Monet paintings and Michelangelo sculptures? Who are these people Elijah and how are you...?"
        "My dear, Elijah." a man with a deep accent says as we step into the room. "You dare call us to house you and your lady companion and you didn't tell her about us?"   
        "You're not ashamed of us, are you?" A beautiful woman seated beside the man asks as well as she catches sight of us. "That's quite insulting if you are."
        "It was a last minute plan," Elijah answers calmly. "And this isn't a conversation one has on a long car drive." 
        "Do you care to have this conversation with me now then?" I ask, gaining all of their attention. "Because I am quite confused here."  
        "I like her," the woman comments. She stands up and walks over to me, offering me her hand. "My name is Aya and this is my husband, Tristan de Martel." 
        I shake her hand and smile at her. 
        "Griselda Saltzman." I introduce myself. 
        Aya's eyebrows shoot up as she hears this and her husband clears his throat uncomfortably. 
        "How lovely," Tristan comments. "My sire brings a renown vampire hunter into a home full of vampires." 
        "You know who I am?" I ask them. 
        "We know what you do," Aya states unhappily. 
        "Hold your judgements." Elijah intervenes. "She's not who you think she is." 
        "Then who is she?" Tristan asks.
        "She's my soulmate." Elijah answers. "My Marked Soul and you will treat her with the uttermost respect." 
        Hearing this, Aya and Tristen straighten themselves up. 
        "We didn't know," Tristan responds. 
        "Clearly..." Elijah sneers. I grab a hold of his hand and assure him that I was fine. I knew how to handle vampires and these didn't scare me. 
        "Vampires hate vampire hunters. Vampire hunters hate vampires. It's the way of life." I state. "Your treatment of me doesn't really matter to me. What matters is that I still don't know who you are and what all of this is? What is going on here?"
        "Shall I tell her or should I?" Aya asks Tristan, who contemplates it. Before any of them could begin, Elijah interrupts them.
        "How about I do it?" Elijah asks. "I did create this brotherhood." 
        "And you also abandoned it." Aya answers. 
        "For rightful reasons in which you two understood." Elijah replies. 
        "Doesn't mean we were happy about them." Aya states. 
        Elijah sighs at this and I turn to him. 
        "Brotherhood?" I ask him. "Is this like some elite vampire fraternity? You turn 750 years old and now you're in the club kind of thing?" 
        "Of course not," Elijah answers. "It goes beyond that." 
        "Then explain," I tell him. "Because I'm very lost here." 
        "We're called the Strix," Elijah states. "A brotherhood that I assembled with members with minds filled with curiosity about the world and eager to improve it, along with the time and circumstance to do so. An elite brotherhood devoted to a new, better civilization."
        "Our work has ranged from aiding third world countries to researching cures for cancer." Tristan pipes in. "Anything the world has a problem with the Strix is an organization that attempts to solve them which in exchange betters the world. We've been doing this for a thousand years." 
        "If you've been at it this long, how come this is the first time I'm hearing about you?" I ask them. 
        "Because we are sworn to secrecy," Aya responds. "We're not an organization that prides themselves in their accomplishments, not when the world still needs our help."
        "That's... amazing," I state as I glance over to Elijah. "Why didn't you tell me about this?" 
        "We were too focused on tracking Klaus," Elijah answers. "There wasn't time." 
        He clears his throat and nods towards Tristan.         
        "I believe a tour of the castle would please Griselda." Elijah states. "She enjoyed the artwork on display when we were on our way here. I know Aya's exquisite art taste are located in other places of your home." 
        Elijah turns to leave and I immediately stop him. 
        "Where do you think you're going?" I ask him. 
        "I have some matters to discuss with Tristan," Elijah tells me. "Aya will take good care of you. I'll see you at dinner."
        "Elijah, I..." I start to say before stopping. He had already left the room with Tristan by his side. I sigh at this before turning to Aya who was just watching me. 
        "Shall we go?" she asks me. 
        "Lead the way," I answer as I step aside and let her through. Aya smiles at me before stepping out of the room and leading me down the hallway to a set of elegant stairs. More servants pass us, not sparing a glance at Aya or me. From the warmth of my ring, I could sense they were vampires too.
        "Not a lot of humans around here," I state. 
        "Don't worry," Aya tells me as she glances over to me. "I assure you that you are not the only human here." 
        "I would guess that since you still need to feed." I state. "Unless you run like a human farm or something horrible like that..." 
        "Do you always think the worst of vampires?" Aya asks me in return.
        "I can't easily trust them," I answer. "Not after what I've been through. Elijah is the exception though."
        "Love conquers all doesn't it?" Aya asks amused before leading me further down another hallway filled with high class art. She stops and opens the door, showing me a room filled with lab equipment, doctors, nurses, and patients. 
        "We run a free clinic for those in need here," Aya tells me. "For any social class, for any race, for any part of the world. This wing also serves as a blood donation clinic in which our patients voluntarily donate blood for us to feed on." 
        Aya then closes the door and leads me further down the hall revealing the storages of blood and the different types of clinics. Having seen it all from this wing, Aya takes me across, to the other side of the castle. The first door she opens reveals what seems to be a music room. An array of instruments were around, sheet music shelved on a nearby bookcase, and a small separate studio by the side. 
        "Elijah told us you had an interest in the musical department." Aya tells me. "He says you play the violin quite lovely. Perhaps you'll play for us at some point in your stay." 
        "Perhaps..." I whisper as Aya closes the door.
        "The rest of the rooms in this wing are for the arts. There's an art studio on the right, a library further down on the left, and a stage at the very end." This wing had another hallway and Aya takes me through it. I could distantly hear laughter and happy squeals. The door was already open as we came to it and I took notice of the kids running around, playing or drawing.
        "You have a child day care?" I ask her surprised. 
        "All of the Strix members are vampires but after a thousand years the desire of a family transpires. They adopt and raise their kids. Some have very demanding jobs and therefore the daycare was created." 
        "Do you and Tristan have...?" I begin to ask but Aya answers quickly, a small smile forming on her lips. 
        "We adopted a child 20 years ago." she tells me. "He's currently an undergrad in Yale." 
        "That's wonderful," I answer before turning my attention back to the daycare. "So all of these kids are adopted?" 
        "Most of them. Some are just taken care of here while their parents are getting treatments...except for one," Aya answers. "We have one orphan here. A product from a supernatural incident."
        "What do you mean?" I ask her. 
        "As we offer human rehabilitation, we also offer supernatural rehab." Aya explains to me. "Vampires and their bloodlust, werewolves and their anger management, witches consumed by dark magic..."
        I look around the smiling kids and take notice of how one was separate from the rest. Aya realizes that I've caught sight of the orphan and she sighs tiredly. 
        "His name is Carter," she tells me. "Both of his parents came to us. They wanted to get rid of their dark impulses in magic. They wanted to get better for their son, but... but they were too consumed by it. When we attempted to cleanse them, it weakened them too much and they both passed away. Carter was left to us, there's no other family he has." 
        "So he's a witch?" I ask her as I looked at the silent, quiet boy. His eyes meet mine for a split second before looking immediately back down.
        "Yes and by luck he is still young enough to not have developed his magic." Aya responds. "His magic will develop purely and untainted." 
        "That's good," I tell her. "So what's going to happen to him?" 
        "We've tried to find him a family," Aya explains to me. "But he doesn't speak to anyone. Makes it hard for interested couples to find an appeal to him." 
        "The trauma for both parents being dead will do that to a child," I tell her. "I can't blame him." 
        "Well until he starts communicating with anyone, the Strix will take care of him." Aya tells me. "Though his isolation is concerning, especially as he ages." 
        "Time heals all wounds," I state. "I just hope he isn't too scarred." 
        Aya starts to lead me away, but I spare one more glance at Carter who was still staring mindlessly at the wall. We walk in silence for a while as she shows me different wings and what they were used for. At some point we make it to the garden outside in which contained countless plants, herbs, and other rare flowers. 
        "So Elijah abandoned the Strix to you and Tristan," I state in which Aya nods to. "Why?" 
        "We're a peaceful society," Aya answers. "Violence is not tolerated." 
        "What do you mean?" I ask her. "Elijah isn't violent. He's a gentleman."
        "An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind." Aya simply states.
        "But in the land of the blind, the man with one eye is king." Elijah responds behind us. 
        "Elijah," I call out, relieved to see him. 
        "Dinner is ready," he tells Aya. "Griselda and I will soon be there." 
        Aya nods at this and walks out of the garden, leaving Elijah and I alone. I couldn't help but smile at him as I made my way to him. 
        "So desperate to get me alone?" I ask him.
        "It's always nice seeing you without an audience," Elijah says as he takes a hold of both of my hands placing a kiss on both of them. "Did Aya treat you nicely?"
        "She's a great hostess," I tell him. "I love this place and I love what's being done here." 
        "It's the only thing I'm proud of after centuries of being alive." Elijah tells me. 
        "That can't be true," I state.
        "But it is," Elijah answers as he admires the castle. 
        "Then why did you leave it?" I ask him. "Aya didn't really specify..." 
        "Aya and Tristan aren't entirely happy about why I left," Elijah tells me. "My vendetta against Klaus goes against what the Strix believe in keeping the peace. Going after Klaus meant that I had to abandon my peaceful beliefs and so I did."
        "Is it worth it though?" I ask him. "I know he took away your family but is that enough reason for Klaus to take the Strix away from you too?"
        "Would you abandon your vendetta for your ex-fiance?" Elijah answers with instead. 
        I remain silent and look away from his serious gaze, letting my head rest on his chest. 
        "That's what I thought," Elijah answers as he embraces me tighter, placing a kiss on the top of my head. 
        "When we take care of Klaus, will you come back here?" I ask him. 
        "Will you come with me?" Elijah asks me instead.
        "I would love to," I answer as I smile up to him. 
        Elijah smiled at that and kissed my forehead. 
        "We should go," he tells me. "I believe we've kept Tristan and Aya waiting far too long." 
        Elijah, being the ever gentleman, offers me his arm and I take it. He escorts me out of the garden and back into the castle.

*************

        Dinner went by smoothly but I couldn't but notice Elijah and Tristan whispering amongst themselves. Aya didn't care much about it but I did. I didn't really get a chance to ask Elijah about it as I was introduced to other renown Strix members. An array of artists, musicians, actors, doctors, scientists, and countless more. It was overwhelming to see the variety and the influence each person had. 
        I easily grew tired and asked Aya to lead me to the room assigned for me. She called Aaron over to lead me and I said my goodnights, kissing Elijah on the cheek, before taking my leave. I was led upstairs to what I was told was a floor dedicated to me. Only a few were allowed to come up here. Aaron the butler led me to my designated room and was gone in a second. 
        I found my suitcase already there and I take out what I needed. I change into my pjs and inspect the room. There were some art on the walls but other than that the room was quite simple. It was dark but elegant. There were two large bookcases filled at the brim with books. I inspect the titles before grabbing one and slipping into bed. Turning off all the lights except for the lamp beside me.
        I start to leaf through a clearly very used Pride and Prejudice book. I grew invested in the novel so quickly that I didn't realize that I was no longer alone. I probably wouldn't have noticed if Elijah hadn't cleared his throat. I look up at him and gave him a questioning look. 
        "Elijah... what are you doing here?" I ask him, bookmarking the book and setting it aside. 
        "I should be asking you that question seeing that this is my room." Elijah answers with an amused smile.
        "I was told this was my room." I answer. 
        "Strange, since this is the presidential floor which I occupied until my departure."  
        I didn't know how to respond to that and he just chuckled. 
        "Clearly they made a mistake," Elijah answers. "They thought that we... well we are together but not in that sense yet. I'll just find myself another room to lodge in and leave you this one." 
        "No, that's not fair." I answer. "This is your room." 
        "I'm not going to kick you out of the best room in the castle," Elijah tells me. "You stay and I'll leave." 
        "Who says you have to leave?" I ask him. 
        It was Elijah's turn to give me the questioning glance. 
        "I mean... we're both grown adults." I tell him. "I'm sure we can share a bed. Besides, it's not the first time we've slept together." 
        "Are you sure?" Elijah asks me. 
        I simply nod and Elijah half-smiles before shrugging of his suit jacket and setting it aside. He starts to unbutton his shirt and heads towards the closet to change. I take a deep breath once he's out of my sight, not realizing that I hadn't been breathing for the past couple of minutes. I try to calm my fast beating heartbeat as I took up Pride and Prejudice again and returned to my reading.  
        Elijah came out after a while, changed in his sleeping attire. He gives me another questioning look as he takes the other side of the bed. Seeing that I was still ok with this, Elijah settles down. I couldn't concentrate in my reading as I could feel Elijah's stare on me. I fight back the blush and set down the book. I turn to Elijah, who as I predicted was staring at me, and raised my eyebrow questioningly.
        "So..." I state as I look at Elijah. "What were you and your best friend Tristan whispering about during dinner?" 
        "Nothing of importance," Elijah answers. "Continue reading." 
        "I can't if you're just going to stare at me." 
        "Then let me read with you," Elijah answers. 
        "Grab your own book." I remark. 
        "If I recall that is my book," Elijah says with a grin. I let out a sigh but couldn't fight off the smile on my lips. 
        "Fine," I say scooting closer to him, allowing him to read from the book over my shoulder. Elijah places his arm around me, bringing me closer to him and giving him a better angle to look over the pages. I settle my head on his shoulder and raise the book. 
        "She longed to know what at that moment was passing in his mind; in what manner he thought of her, and whether, in defiance of everything, she was still dear to him." I read out loud. 
        "You are," Elijah whispers beside me. "You are dear to me. You have bewitched me body and soul and I never wish to be parted from you from this day forward." 
        "That's at the end of the book," I state knowing the quote by heart. 
        "But not in ours," Elijah tells me. 
        I turn to look at him to respond and he catches me by surprise and kisses me. I don't mind it though. The taste of his lips was addicting and the setting was romantic. I let myself become lost in him, the book easily discarded to the side.  

Chapter Text

        It was the most alive I've ever felt. I would wake up in Elijah's arms every morning and see first-hand how imperfectly perfect he was. His hair tussled in different directions, a peaceful expression on his face. He was handsome in his sleep as if he was awake. It didn't take long for him to wake up after I did. Elijah always seemed to sense me watching him and would just smile as he opened his eyes at me. A very peaceful and intimate memory that we both shared. 
        Our days were filled with very leisure activities. Elijah had taken me horseback riding and to boat rides at a nearby lake. There were times we would go out to the garden to stargaze and other nights were we laid in bed and read to each other. It was the most peaceful time we've ever had together. All of the stress we've been bearing for the better part of our lives was gone.
        Not every waking moment was spent together. Aya would pull me away sometimes and show me the intricate workings of the Strix. The agents they had around the world and the one's that worked nearby. Though it was nice spending some time with another strong, influential woman, I knew that something was being hidden from me. Aya was being used to distract me while Elijah and Tristan were speaking behind closed doors. This wasn't a suspicion, it was the truth since every time I asked Elijah about it he would deflect the question. 
        It was because of these rising thoughts of mistrust that I turned down Aya's invitation to have tea together and decided to spend time alone. I walked around the hallways mindlessly, not really caring where I was going. It wasn't until I realized that I was at the arts wing that I made a choice and entered the music room that was nearby. My violin case had been set on top of the piano, as if they had anticipated that I would take advantage of this small working space at some point. I unlatched the straps of the case and took out my mother's violin.
        I could only look at the violin at my hands. It's been a while since I've played and it felt heavy in my hands. I sigh as I take a seat on a nearby stool. I tuck the violin under my chin and close my eyes for a very brief moment. I let the music take the lead and let it encompass me. The sound was resonated back to me and the room was surrounded by the melody. At some point I was no longer seated on the stool and had managed to stand up, waltzing around the room in tune. I couldn't help the smile on my face as I played for myself for once, not with an audience present. 
        I slowly started to unwind and the song comes to an end. I couldn't help but just sigh as I felt my mind clear of all the worries it once contained. I open my eyes and take a deep breath. The moment of serenity was quickly diminished as the door of the music studio opens and Aya walks in. She seems surprised to see me but smiles as she catches sight of the violin in my hand. 
        "Sorry for the disruption," Aya states. 
        "It's fine," I say setting down the violin back in it's case. "Did you need something?" 
        "I just came for him," Aya replies. 
        "Him? What him...?" I begin to ask confused before noticing the direction of Aya's stare. I turn around and find a quiet Carter standing up from his hidden position behind some stacked chairs. He was silent as always but his stare conveyed slight fear at being caught. "Huh, I didn't notice you there." 
        "Come on Carter," Aya calls out to him. "Mrs. Langue has been looking everywhere for you." 
        Carter didn't move from his spot, just rooted there silently. 
        "Don't make this harder than it has to be, Carter." Aya says tiredly. 
        Carter glanced at me for a split second before returning to stare at Aya. He looked tired and it was obvious he didn't want to return to the rest of the group. 
        "He can stay with me, Aya." I state causing Aya to look at me with surprise. "I don't mind a little company."
        "Are you sure?" Aya asks me. 
        I nod and looked down at Carter who seemed as surprised as Aya was for my proposition.
        "I always play better with an audience, it seems." I tell her. "I'll look after him and make sure to return him to the day care before dinner starts." 
        Aya doesn't argue with this and just nods at me and leaves us alone. Once the door of the music studio closes I turn to Carter. 
        "So..." I say, unsure of how to go on with this. "How long have you been hiding there?" 
        Carter just looked up at me silently, not giving me an answer. 
        "Ok," I whisper as I realize that we were off to a pretty rough start. "My name is Griselda Saltzman, but people just call me Gris for short." 
        Carter remained silent as usual, just staring at me. 
        "Umm... as you can notice, I'm not really used to kids so..." I start to say before I notice Carter's stare drift to my violin. His stare returns to me and I couldn't help but smile at seeing something that caught his attention. "Do you like music Carter?"
        For the first time, Carter responds with a simple nod and I couldn't help the smile on my face.
        "Cool," I answer as I glance at my violin before taking account of the piano under it. I walk over to the piano and take a seat on the bench. I look up at Carter and pat the seat next to me. He only watches me silently and I just sigh. I kept the smile on my face up anyways and placed my hands on the piano keys. A very slow and choppy melody fills the air and I couldn't help but giggle at how badly I was failing at this.

************

Third POV


        Tristan and Elijah had finished their meeting earlier than expected. Elijah had then gone to search for Griselda but had no luck in finding her. He did find Aya in the midst of his search. She was glancing outside a room but not entering it. Elijah knew that this was very suspicious behavior and when he cleared his throat, Aya's slight jump confirmed it. 
        "What are you up to, Aya?" Elijah asks her as she turns around to see him.
        "Nothing of trouble," she responds. 
        "Oh really?" Elijah asks her sarcastically. 
        Aya couldn't help the smile on her face as she nodded towards the door. 
        "I couldn't help myself," she answers as she looked to the window of the door. "She's good with kids."
        Elijah didn't understand about who Aya was talking about until he glanced through the door and noticed Griselda on the piano. He could hear how badly her playing was but the melody continued. A young boy was watching her and he slowly inched forward. Griselda didn't pay him much time until he slowly took a seat next to her. Griselda stopped playing and looked down at the boy with a soft smile.
        "I'm not good at the piano, but my boyfriend is." Griselda tells him as she played a few keys. "He can play the piano with the same grace I play the violin with. It's beautiful to watch."
        Elijah couldn't help but smile as he heard that. Not just because Griselda had spoken about him, but because the young silent boy slowly placed his own hand on the keys. Griselda smiled at this before replaying the simple one-handed melody and he slowly matched it. 
        "This is the first time I've seen Carter act around like this with anybody," Aya tells him. 
        "I can say the same thing about her," Elijah replies as he watched Griselda continue to teach the young boy how to alternate his fingers to the keys. 
        "She'll be a great mother someday," Aya states before taking her leave.
        Elijah knew that Aya meant well with the comment but it only served to unsettle him. The idea that he could never offer that to Griselda hurt him. She would never have the chance to carry a child and bear it with him. The idea of having her own family was taken from her. Elijah couldn't watch them anymore and took his leave. His mind was now heavy with these thoughts and he needed to clear them out.

************

Griselda's POV

 

        I spent the whole afternoon with Carter. I taught him more short simple melodies on the piano before I ran out. After that he seemed contempt to just hear me play the violin. The time spent together was simple and I had done all of the talking. Even though he didn't talk to me,  he seemed more relax than before and I took that as improvement. As I told Aya, I dropped him back to the daycare before dinner with promise that I'll see him again tomorrow. This caused him to smile at me for the first time and it shocked Mrs. Langue as well as me. 
        I wasn't in the mood to spend an hour with Strix members for dinner so I opted to return to my room and have dinner brought to me instead. After I told Aaron of my intended plans, I started to make my way back to the room only to find a waiter already bringing up dinner. 
        "Wow, vampire serving service does have some fast perks," I whisper as I opened the door for the man who was wheeling in dinner. It wasn't until I stepped inside did I realize that the fast dinner service was due to the man working on the desk. Elijah didn't pay the waiter any mind and so he didn't notice me step in. 
        "Are you avoiding the dinner company as well?" I ask Elijah, startling him in the process. 
        "I didn't realize you came in," Elijah replies. 
        "I snuck in with the waiter," I answer. "Which by the way, dinner's here." 
        Elijah turned around and found the set table served. I smiled at him and motioned him over to come eat. He hesitates, a sign that something was obviously wrong, before slowly standing up and making his way to the table. I took the seat across from him and was concerned by the unusual silence. 
        "Something's wrong." I state after a while. My mind jumps to the worst possible conclusion as he looks up to me with a pained expression. "Did something happen to Luka or Jonas? My brother? Are they ok?"
        "Everything is fine in Mystic Falls," Elijah answers. "Your brother is still mourning your loss and Jonas and Luka are working with Elena to find the witches' burial ground. Everything is going according to plan."
        "Then what's wrong?" I ask him, a bit more relaxed but not quite. "I can see that's something is causing you trouble. What is it?"
        Elijah sighs and pushes away his plate. His eyes avoid me and he focuses on the hanging portrait above his desk.
        "Elijah..." I begin to call out to him before he finally turns to look at me.  
        "Have you ever thought of having children?" Elijah asks me. 
        "Is this what all of this is about?" I laugh out, breaking the heavy tension in the room. I couldn't help the laughter escaping my throat due to relief. 
        "Griselda, this isn't a laughing subject." Elijah says with a still grim expression. 
        His heavy tone cut my laughter short and I was confused as to why Elijah was so upset about this subject. It was obvious from the very start of our relationship how things were going to be, but it was too early to have this conversation. 
        "You're a vampire and I'm human." I state. "It's not that hard to see how the idea of having a family is not going to happen between us."
        Elijah seemed surprised by this and I could only shake my head at him. 
        "Of course in another life I would have loved to have kids." I tell him. "Raise them unlike how my grandparents raised me. Having a household based on love and freedom of choice, not fear and disappointment." 
        "Then why not?" Elijah asks me. "You can still have that." 
        "Why are you asking me this, Elijah?" I ask him instead. "Why are you so stubborn about this topic?" 
        "Because I can't give you this, Griselda." Elijah answers. "And if I'm holding you back, maybe we should..." 
        "Don't you dare say it." I interrupt. "Don't." 
        Elijah closes his open mouth and I take a very deep breath. 
        "If you dare say that we should go our separate ways, after everything we've been through, I would... I can't..." 
        I shakily take another deep breath as I try to stop the rising tears from falling. Elijah's whole demeanor changes as he gets out of his seat and pulls me out of mine. He embraces me and I just wrap my arms around him and relax. 
        "I'm sorry," Elijah answers. "I didn't mean to upset you." 
        I couldn't help but tearfully laugh into his chest. 
        "It's ok," I answer. "I just feel more now and I'm still struggling with that new aspect of myself." 
        Elijah presses a soft kiss on my forehead and wipes away the stray tears. 
        "What started this conversation of kids, huh?" I ask Elijah with curiosity. His eyes lighten up at that which confirms my rising suspicions. "You saw me with Carter today, didn't you?" 
        Elijah nods at this and I couldn't help but chuckle. 
        "When and how long?" I ask him. 
        "I saw you play the piano and heard you say how the piano wasn't your forte." Elijah answers. He looks down at me with a bright smile. "You called me your boyfriend."
        "I mean... I didn't... we haven't decided on labels but you are..." I stumble in my words and I could feel the warmth of my blush. "We're together, kissing and sleeping on the same bed, so yeah... boyfriend." 
        Elijah couldn't help but chuckle at that and I narrowed my eyes at him.
        "How long did you stay?" I ask him. 
        "Not too long," Elijah answers. "Up to the point where Carter started to play alongside with you. Aya commented how you would be a great mother someday and I couldn't get that idea out of my head." 
        "Believe me, neither can I." I answer honestly. 
        The time I had spent with Carter was eye opening. Once upon a time, so long ago, I did dream of having a family but after Noah's death and my search for Klaus that dream was forgotten. Carter reminded me of that fantasy of mine and I couldn't get it out of my head. 
        "Elijah, just so you know, you're not taking something away from me." I confess to him. "How can you lose something you never had?" 
        Elijah narrows his eyes at me, confused as to what I just said.
        "What do you mean, Griselda?" 
        I bite my lip and pull myself slightly out of his arms. I twirl the ring on my finger as a slight distraction before taking a deep breath and facing him once more. 
        "I mean... I don't have the ability to have a child." I answer. "I had a choice and I made it." 
        "Please explain," Elijah says with a furrowed brow. "You're not making much sense." 
        I motion for Elijah to take a seat again and he does. I pace for awhile, trying to find a way to explain this well before just giving in. 
        "Everything comes with a price, and I knew mine and I still took it,” I tell him. “Sealia explained to me that every time my ring brought me back to life that I was reducing the chance of creating it. I had only died once and I didn’t care. It’s been 3 years since then and I’ve died a hundred times. Even if I wanted to have a normal life with some normal person, I wouldn’t be able to have that family. I gave that fantasy up when I started hunting Klaus down.”
        I step towards him and take his hands in mine. 
        "I actually hadn’t expected to come this far, find someone else to love, and have this idea of being a mother implanted in my mind." I tell him. "I never thought I would want all of this again. The idea of a happy life being so close to my grasp but..."
        "But what?" Elijah asks me. 
        "I made a name for myself." I say with a shrug. "Vampires will be after me and having a kid around would just add another weakness I have. They'll come after him to get to me."
        "And added with the enemies that I have, they'll come for him too." Elijah responds. "Let's not forget Klaus himself. He'll use Carter at his advantage." 
        "Carter?" I ask him surprised. "Where does..." 
        I trail off as I take notice of Elijah's knowing eyes.
        "I saw how you acted around him," Elijah answers. "He makes you happy." 
        "Adopting Carter... it shouldn't be about how it makes me feel, it's more about how he feels." I tell Elijah. "Yes he finally interacted with someone but he hasn't said a word."
        "You're right," Elijah replies. "But you still have time to change that."
        "Would you really want to adopt a child with me?" I ask him. "Isn't that too soon?" 
        "I once had a big family and I lost them," Elijah tells me. "Of course I would love to have a family of my own and with you by my side." 
        "But we can't do that now." I answer. "Not when we have Klaus to worry about and everything in Mystic Falls." I shake my head at the thought of it. "I can't just pop back into town alive and with a kid. My brother would completely freak and Jonas and Luka would not let me hear the end of it..." 
        "Then we'll finish what we started and we'll come back here." Elijah replies. 
        "We'll see," I answer hesitantly. "With Klaus, you never know what will happen." 

*************

Third POV, Mystic Falls


        Jenna had had a long day. Alaric had been avoiding her for the past few days and with John still staying over and Elena and Jeremy being rarely at home, she felt paranoid. Something was going on that she didn't know about. Especially as Elijah had disappeared all of a sudden and so did Griselda. Every time she mentioned the couple, someone would change the subject. Jenna hated the secrecy and the lies and had drowned herself in alcohol because of it. Now she was back at home, eating ice cream, as Elena came to join her. 
        "Are John and Jeremy asleep?" Jenna asks her. 
        "I think so." Elena responds.
        Elena knew what Jenna had been up to and had made sure she came back home safely. She didn't know what to tell Jenna. She knew that this wasn't Alaric's fault but her own. It was the only way Elena could keep Jenna safe and so that's why Jenna was still oblivious of everything occurring in Mystic Falls. 
        She had yet to find the burial ground. Damon had hinted that he knew but was refusing to tell her the location. Jonas and Luka were pressuring her to find out since Damon refused to let them in on their kill Klaus mission. With Elijah still roaming around, Damon refused to trust the two volunteering witches and that was putting Elena between a stone and a hard place. She was getting close though. Damon seemed to be ready to trust everyone with the location. 
        "If I go to bed, right now. There's a chance I'll wake up hangover-free." Jenna mumbles to Elena. Before Elena could respond, the doorbell rings.
        "Who's that?" Jenna asks as she rose from her seat.
        Jenna hands the ice cream carton to Elena and walks to the front door. Elena takes Jenna's seat and was about to take a bite of ice cream before suspicion and paranoia got to her. Who would be knocking at their door at this hour? The only time this happened was Griselda and soon Elena jumped at the idea that Elijah was back.  
        Elena made her way to Jenna and finds that she's already opened the door. The person standing outside was the last person she had expected to come visit. 
        "Hi! You must be Jenna... I'm Elena's Mother." 
        Jenna steps away in shock, knowing that Isabel was the missing, thought dead, wife of Alaric. She looks back at Elena in surprise, waiting for an explanation. Elena had nothing to say as she herself was wrapping her mind at this new bombshell.  
        "Isobel."

Chapter Text

        I was running through the whole manor, looking down both sides of the hallway frantically before continuing straight. I hear the light footsteps nearby and I stop as I try to figure out where they originated from. I hear a door shut and I quickly turn around. I start to run down the hallway again and turn to the right. All of the doors were dark except for one. I slowly creep towards it and swiftly open it. I find the room completely empty and I sigh. 
        "You're too good at hide-and-seek," I mutter as I close the door. I scan the room and take notice of the toy planes hanging from the ceiling. The bed was left unmade and toys surrounded the floor. It wasn't too hard to figure out that this was Carter's room. I look under the bed and find it filled with legos and action figures; no sign of Carter. 
        I sigh once more as I stand up and walk around the room. On the miniature table there were crayons and multiple drawings scattered around. I admire the childish artwork, looking through the expanse of them. They were drawings of the gardens and of more planes. I flip through the stack of papers until I take notice of one in particular. It was a surprisingly detailed drawing of my engagement ring. I take a seat on the bed as I saw it, not knowing what this meant. 
        The door creaks open and I look up to find Carter emerging from the closet. He looked at me with a blank expression and I could only smile at him tentatively. I raise the drawing up to show him and he looked at me in indifference. 
        "What is this Carter?" I ask him. 
        Carter doesn't answer and I just sigh as I looked down at the drawing. 
        "This is my ring Carter," I tell him. "How did you draw this when we just met?" 
        Carter looked confused at this and walked up to me. He took the drawing from my hand and stared at it with deep concentration. He looks up at me again and then turns to my hand. Carter grabs it and looks at the ring before turning to the drawing again. He seemed very confused at the fact that I had the ring that he had drawn. 
        "When did you draw this, Carter?" I ask him. 
        Carter doesn't respond and instead walks away with the drawing in hand. I watch him walk over to the table and look around. He pushes papers away and picks a few of them up. He stares at them with deep concentration before walking back to me. Carter pushes more drawings in my hand and I look down at them. 
        "Carter, what..." I begin to ask as I flip through them. 
        The drawings would have seemed normal to anyone's eyes but all I saw was things that I had lived through. There was a drawing of Carter and me at the piano playing music and another one where I was playing the violin. The next few drawings where of things I've never seen; a house in the middle of nowhere and I was between a brown and black haired men. There was another drawing of a broken violin and another blue ring of some sort. The last one was of a blonde woman and I stared at it in confusion. 
        "Who is this Carter?" I ask him. "Who is this woman?" 
        Carter just stared at the drawing in my hand and shook his head. 
        "Do you know her?" 
        Carter just raised his shoulders, not knowing the answer, and returned his gaze back to the drawing in my hand. I sighed as I looked through the drawings once more. 
        "Aya said you hadn't shown signs of having powers," I state. "It seems she was wrong." 
        Carter looked up at me silently and I just looked down at him in return. I put the drawings aside and kneeled down beside in front of him. I took his hands in mine and smiled up at him.
        "How about we keep this between us huh?" I ask him. "Our own little secret." 
        Carter smiled as he heard this and nodded eagerly at this. The next thing he did surprised me as he leapt into my arms. I couldn't help but chuckle as I wrapped my arms around him. 
        "I worry about you, kid." I whisper to him. "You're going to have to talk to me soon." 
        Carter just dug his head deeper into my neck and I just sighed. 

**************

        I drop Carter off with Mrs. Langue for lunch. I promised him that I would find him later for another music lesson. After I left him in the daycare I walked around the manor a bit, slowly making my way to my room, looking at the art pieces on display. I was almost to the presidential suite when I heard a loud discussion occurring inside it. I recognized Elijah's and Tristan's voice and remained quiet as their argument continued. 
        "I've put all of my resources to work Elijah. You have everything they came up with.
        "There has to be more. Klaus always leaves a trace." 
        "He's been deadly silent for the past few months. He's gone completely underground." 
        "Klaus doesn't just disappear. Send your scouts again." 
        "I already did!" 
        "Good, how about the dagger? How did a simple man like John Gilbert acquire that dagger?" 
        "I'm trying to figure that out too, Elijah. The answer is the same though; it must have been Klaus." 
        I open the door and all discussion stops. Tristan smiles at me while Elijah is staring off at the window. I look at both of them before settling my gaze on Elijah's back. 
        "Tristan if you don't mind, I'll like to have a word with Elijah." 
        "As you wish," Tristan says, sensing the tension in the room already. He nods at me and leaves the room, closing the door behind him. Elijah still hasn't turned around to look at me and I become even more annoyed by that. 
        "You got to be kidding me Elijah," I grit out. "How are we back to this point again? Why are you hiding things from me? Especially Klaus-related things?" 
        "Griselda..." 
        "This was meant to be a vacation from all of that!" I exclaim. "Why are you still searching for him?"
        Elijah sighs, rubbing his eyes tiredly.
        "Jonas called today." Elijah tells me. "They found the witch burial ground." 
        I didn't know how to reply to that. Our small getaway had quickly come to an end.
        "That isn't the last news I've received," Elijah continues. "It seems that you're sister-in-law, Isobel, has returned to Mystic Falls and is wreaking havoc." 
        I take a seat as the last news hit me hard.
        "Shit," I whisper as I ran a hand through my hair. "We shouldn't have left." 
        Elijah walks over to where I'm seated but I didn't acknowledge him. 
        "I have to pack," I tell him, standing from my seat and moving to the closet. I pull out my suitcase and set it on the bed. 
        "Griselda," Elijah calls out my name but I ignore him as I pull out my hanged clothes and throw them into the suitcase. "Griselda." 
        His hand grasps mine and I finally look up at him. His eyes, dark with concern, as he stared down at me. I sighed and his hold on me loosens. 
        "Are you planning to leave without me?" Elijah asks me. 
        "Yes," I answer as I pull my hand away from him. "Maybe it'll teach you a lesson for hiding things from me." 
        "Jonas just called me this afternoon with the news." Elijah argues. 
        "You know that's not what I meant," I state as I sit down on the bed. "Why are you searching for Klaus without me?" I sigh as I look up at him. "I mean... I understand why you wouldn't want to break me from the vacation haze, but this is Klaus we're talking about and you know how much I hate you keeping secrets. So why would you hide this from me?" 
        "Because I didn't want you getting hurt."
        "We've established that I'm nearly invincible, Elijah." I argue as I motion to my ring.
        "Not with this," Elijah answers. "Not with what I'm about to tell you."   
        His tone was concerning and the way he was avoiding any type of eye contact was not a good sign. 
        "Elijah?" 
        He hesitates to respond, seeming to decide on what he was about to say next. Once he does make up his mind, it was too late, as the bedroom doors swing open and Carter sprints inside. I was stunned at the sudden entrance, even more so as he launched himself into my arms. 
        "Carter, what are you...?" I begin to ask before I find Ms. Langue running into the bedroom. 
        "I am so sorry Mr. Elijah and Ms. Griselda." Ms. Langue apologized as she waited at the doorway. "Carter was a bit excited to come see you again. He took off running once lunch was over." 
        "It's ok," I waved her off as I set Carter back down. "Elijah and I were done anyways."
        Whatever Elijah was going to tell me would have to wait and he seemed relieve to push off the news. I didn't even want to hear it. Something told me that whatever he wanted to confess to me would change things and we were already on thin ice as it is.
        "If you'll excuse me Elijah," I whisper as I grab a hold of Carter's hand. "I have a music lesson to give."
        Elijah grimly nodded at my request and I left the room without another word shared between us. I closed the door behind me but didn't move beyond that point. Carter looked up at me in concern and I sighed. He squeezed my hand and I sadly smiled at him. 
        "Let's go, kiddo." I tell him, masking away the emotions I felt. "Let's see if we improved on those keys today." 

************

        Carter and I were able to spend a few hours just playing with the keys on the piano. He seemed contempt enough to just play with the few keys he knew instead of me trying to teach him more. One could easily tell he liked making the short melodies instead of playing someone else's work. I watched him play for awhile more before a knock on the door interrupted us. I look up to find Aya wanting to come in and so I nod to her. 
        "Good afternoon Aya," I tell her as she walks in. I barely manage to hide my surprise when she doesn't walk in alone. "Elijah, Tristan." I barely greet. 
        Carter tenses up beside me but I smile at him to ease him. 
        "I'm sorry, is it dinner already?" I ask them. "Time must have passed by..." 
        "No, no, no." Aya cuts me off. "I told Tristan that you were give music lessons to Carter. We all wanted to sit in and watch." 
        I look down at Carter with concern. 
        "Are you ok with this?" I ask him, sensing his uneasiness with the sudden attention. As usual, he doesn't respond but he does shrug. I couldn't help but give him a small smile before looking up at the audience before us. "Ok Carter, show them what you got." 
        He smiles as he hears this and places his hand on the piano. He played a melody of his own creation, sounding better than I ever did on the piano. The melody ends really quickly and Carter looks up at me for approval. In the end, he really didn't need it as Elijah started clapping and Aya and Tristan quickly joined in. 
        "Look at that, Carter." I tell him with a smile. "You've got yourself a loving crowd." 
        Carter couldn't help but smile at that and I knew it was taking everyone by surprise. He blushes slightly at the attention and tugs the sleeve of my shirt. I look at him questioningly and he points to my violin that was on top of the piano. 
        "You want me to play now?" I ask him in which he quickly nods. I sigh and look up at Aya, Tristan, and Elijah. "Do you mind?" 
        "Not at all," Tristan answers. "We've been wanting to hear you play for a while now. Elijah spoke high praises of your talent." 
         I couldn't help but turn to glance at Elijah who just nodded at Tristan's statement. 
        "Ok," I answer as I stand from my seat and take up my violin. "I'll play a piece, but under one condition." 
        "And what is that?" Aya asks. 
        "Elijah must play with me," I answer. 
        "Griselda..." Elijah sighs out. 
        "Come on Lij," I reply. "Just one song. It's time you display that wonderful talent of yours too." 
        Elijah rolls his eyes at my comment and rises from his seat. He unbuttons his suit coat and walks over to the piano. Carter stared at him curiously, but didn't move from the bench. Elijah smiled down at the boy and placed his hand on the piano. 
        "What are we playing Griselda?" Elijah asks me. 
        "Kiss the Rain," I tell him. "I think you know that piece right?" 
        "Yes," Elijah smiles lightly. "I played it for you that one time." 
        "Yeah," I sigh out, remembering that night. "It was that time when I doubted you actually had a musical talent. You certainly proved me wrong." 
        Elijah and I share a warm glance before something clouds his gaze, something like guilt. He turns away from me and focuses on the keys in his hand. I turn away when I hear him start to play the first few keys. 
        The melody was a slow one, one of the softer songs I knew how to play. I closed my eyes as I followed the piano melody echoing in the room. I paired my melody with Elijah's and I could feel our souls connecting, intertwining themselves in this new aspect of ourselves. It was a strange sensation, but one that I welcomed gladly. The song ends too quickly for my liking and I open my eyes only to find myself staring at Elijah. 
        "Amazing," Aya sighs out, snapping my attention away from him. "You are amazing." 
        "Elijah's own praising words failed to describe you," Tristan compliments. "Your talent surpasses words." 
        I couldn't help but blush at their words. 
        "Thank you, I uh..." my words stop as I take notice of Carter tugging Elijah's sleeve now, forcing his hand on the piano once more. I couldn't help but giggle at the sight as Elijah seemed dumbfounded at the action.
        "He'll like for you to play again, Elijah." I tell him as I set my violin on top of the piano. I place my hands on his shoulder and kiss the top of his head. "I think he now knows you're much better at the piano than I am."
        Elijah smiles up at me but his attention is pulled away from me as Carter tugs his sleeve again. 
        "Go on then," I motion Elijah. "Play another piece." 
        I look up, ready to take a seat with Aya and Tristan only to find that they were already gone. They must have secretly slipped out at some point. Carter once again grabs my attention as he pulls me to the already filled bench. I couldn't help but chuckle as I picked Carter up and placed him on my lap, taking his seat on the bench. Elijah smiled at both of us, a smile that I hadn't seen grace his face in the time I knew him, one full of love and care. A melody starts to fill the room again and I enjoy this short moment of serenity. 

***************

Third POV, Later on that evening...


        Elijah enjoyed their time spent together. He cherished every second of it knowing it wouldn't be happening any time soon. Their was a slight tension between Griselda and him, one that he created, one that he regretted. He knew keeping his search for Klaus away from her would create this rift, but he took the risk anyway. Griselda's safety, her fragile humanity, was something Elijah feared would be lost in her need to avenge Klaus.
        At some point, Elijah made up an excuse and left Griselda and Carter behind to their own company. He didn't want to intervene further than he already has. He could see the longing look that Griselda was giving him as he departed, but it wasn't enough for him to stay. She wanted to leave him, and Elijah knew that the secret he was now holding from her would be the final push for her to go out that door. The question that resonated in his mind now was, would she ever forgive him for this secret? Even though he had no way of changing what was in his blood. 
        Elijah contemplated the answer to this question as he walked around the large gardens of the manor. He was so lost in thought that he mindlessly skipped dinner and didn't realize the sun setting in the horizon. It wasn't until a night walker asked if he was ok that Elijah noticed how time had slipped past him.
        Elijah waved off the night guard and returned to the manor, deep thoughts still resonating in his mind as he made his way into his room. He opened the door, loosening his tie, and was caught by surprised at the sight before him. Griselda was as usual, reading in their bed, but this time she was accompanied by a sleeping Carter at her side. She looks up at him and gives him a gentle smile. 
        "He refused to return to his room after dinner," Griselda explains to him. "Would only get ready for bed if I was there. I think he knows we're leaving." 
        The last sentence was said towards Carter. Griselda glanced down at him with an expression that mixed concern and worry. 
        "You think he knows you're leaving?" Elijah asks her. 
        Griselda simply nods at him, not noticing his wording. 
        "He knows a lot more than anyone would suspect," Griselda tells Elijah. "Very observant this one." 
        Carter shifts to his side, but still remains cuddled into Griselda's body. Griselda looks up at Elijah and just sighs. 
        "I hope you don't mind him sleeping with us," Griselda whispers as Elijah sits next to her. Elijah couldn't help but tuck the loose hair behind her ear and kiss her lips, memorizing her taste. Griselda lets out a small moan before Elijah pulls away. "What was that for?" 
        "Just wanted one more kiss, before you go." Elijah tells her. 
        "I'm not mad anymore," Griselda tells him. "I was just upset earlier. I was never going to follow through with that. I would never leave you behind." 
        "After what I tell you, I think you will." Elijah confesses to her. 
        Griselda frowns with concern as she hears this. 
        "Elijah, I don't..." Griselda trails off.
        Part of Griselda just wanted to enjoy their honeymoon bliss and another part of her wanted to know what other thing he was hiding from her. Her mind quickly made the choice, one that deep down she knew she had to make. 
        "Tell me," she states. 
        Elijah glanced down at the still sleeping Carter, before looking up at Griselda. 
        "Klaus is..." Elijah sighs out. "Klaus is... well he's my... Klaus is my brother." 
        Griselda looked up at him, her face shifting from one emotion to the other. At first it was a frown of confusion, and then a scowl of betrayal, before it finally settled into an emotionless blank expression. The silence was so loud in the room. 
        "I think I will leave first thing tomorrow." Griselda whispers out in a surprisingly even tone. Elijah didn't know how to respond to that but the time had passed and Griselda's coldness seemed to have returned. She ignored his guilty expression and reached to turn off the bedside lamp, leaving the room in complete darkness. Elijah remained seated beside Griselda, who turned away from him and pulled Carter closer to her. 
        "Goodnight, Elijah." Griselda's voice echoes in his ears. It was her last acknowledgement towards him for the rest of the night.

*************

Griselda's POV, The Next Morning

 

         The bags were packed and already put away into the trunk of the car. Aya and Tristan had insisted in me letting their chauffeur take me back to Mystic Falls. They didn't want me to return alone. Elijah had helped put my suitcases away and looked at me with guilt ridden eyes. I avoided his stare as I focused on Tristan and Aya who were waiting to wish me a safe trip back. 
        "Thank you so much for housing me even though I'm a hunter and I accidentally killed some of your own," I tell them. 
        "We forgive you for those discretions," Tristan states. "We know you were doing what you believed was right." 
        "And harmony only works if one can ask and provide forgiveness," Aya tells me. 
        I had a feeling they were trying to convince me to stay, trying to convince me that I had to forgive Elijah for his own discretion towards me. It didn't surprise me that they knew of the tension between Elijah and I.
        "I should go so I can arrive at Mystic Falls before sunset." I tell them. "Thank you again."
        I give Aya a hug and shake Tristan's extended hand. I walk towards the waiting car in which Elijah was patiently waiting by the passenger door.
        "I just need some time to myself... some time with my brother..." I begin to explain to Elijah, but he just smiles at me.
        "I understand," Elijah whispers. "I am sorry for..." 
        "Please don't apologize," I reply. "Please don't remind that you..." 
        My words fail me and Elijah looks away from my gaze. 
        "Have Jonas or Luka call me when you arrive," Elijah tells me, his stare returning to me once more. "Please be safe when you get there. I'm sure those Salvatore brothers will have it out for you for our deception."
        "I'll be safe, I promise." I respond.
        Elijah hesitates, but in the end he grabs my face and places a kiss on my forehead. I involuntarily close my eyes and found myself embracing him, leaning into his chest. Elijah holds me tightly against him, his chin resting on my head. I let myself enjoy the warmth he brings to me before forcing myself to leave him. 
        "Jonas will call you when it's ready for you to go back," I tell him. "This is goodbye for now." 
        Elijah opens the door for me and I was ready to step in before I hear someone calling my name. 
        "Gris, wait!" 
        I look up to find Carter running out of the front door and sprinting towards me. He stops suddenly, gasping for air. I kneel down in front of him and Carter immediately jumps into my arms. He clings to me tightly and I press a kiss on his cheek. 
        "Take me with you," he whispers into my ear. "Please don't leave me." 
        His first words to me almost made me want to cry and I had to restrain myself from breaking down in front of him. I quickly wipe the tears in my eyes before I looked down at him.
        "It's too dangerous for me to bring you to where I'm going, Carter."
        "I don't care," he answers. "I'll protect you from the monsters." 
        "You're so brave," I whisper to him as I kissed his forehead. "Such a brave little boy."
        "Please..." he whimpers out.
        I could feel the tears that were threatening to fall. I push them back and only offered Carter a sad smile.
        "Elijah will keep you company for a while, ok?" I tell him. "And you also have Aya and Ms. Langue to play with, you're not going to be alone." 
        "But I want you," Carter replies. 
        "I'll come back for you," I tell him. "I promise that once I'm done, I'll come back for you."
        Carter still didn't seem convinced with this but I couldn't stay, not with the issues that arose with Elijah's confession and the issues that are occurring back in Mystic Falls. I pull him into one last embrace and Carter holds me tighter this time. 
        "He's not who you think he is." Carter whispers into my ear. I turn to look at him, confused at his statement. "He's not who you think he is.
        Carter is pulled away from me by Elijah, who also seems confused to his last statement. He picks Carter up, preventing him from running towards me and stopping me again. 
        "You're running late," Elijah states. 
        "Yeah," I sigh out unhappily. "Take care of him for me?" 
        "Of course," Elijah answers as he holds the door open for me. This time I step into the car and Elijah closes the door after me. The chauffeur starts to pull away from the manor and I wave Carter and Elijah goodbye before I lose sight of them. 

        *************

Third POV, Alaric's Apartment


       The whole apartment was dimly lit by the two lamps in the living room. In the middle of the room, Alaric's unconscious body was seated with two IV's stuck to each arm. The IV's are connected to two vases; one is full of blood; the other is empty and knocked over on its side. Low chanting pushes out the silence in the room. 
        "Somno Ritum Per Dax Ritum, Somno Ritum Per Dax Ritum, Somno Ritum Per Dax Ritum." 
       
This is what stirs Katherine awake from her own kidnapping. She slowly sits up and watches as the witch stops his chanting. Alaric opens his eyes and nods towards the witch who steps away from the chair and bends down in a bow. Katherine decides to get up slowly as Alaric stands up and turns to her.         
        "Alaric?" Katherine asked confused as to why he was holding her captive. Alaric only grins at her and Katherine realizes that the man in front of her wasn't the man she knew. She rushes out to the front door and was ready to make her escape but isn't able to. The witch had created a boundary around the apartment. 
        Alaric walks over to Katherine and grins at her. 
        "Zdravei, Katerina." Alaric responds as he takes Katherine's face into his own hands. "I have missed you." 
        "Klaus..." Katherine whispers in realization. Klaus smiles widely at her before closing the front door and forcing Katherine back into the apartment. 
        "We have a lot to catch up on, Katherine." Alaric tells her. "Let's begin, shall we?" 
        Before Katherine could say a word, there is a knocking on the door. Klaus sighs as he hears it, not happy to be interrupted.
        "Maybe they'll go away," Klaus whispers, but the knocking persists. Klaus scowls at this and motions for his witch to take Katherine away before opening the door. He opens the door and is face to face with a woman he swore was dead.
        "Hey, big brother." 
        "Didn't I kill you?" Klaus finds himself asking, forgetting his place and the body he inhabited. 
        Griselda chuckled at that. 
        "Yeah you did," Griselda said as she played with the ring on her finger. "If you let me, I'll like to explain myself." 
        Klaus was a bit baffled at this woman's appearance. He only recognized her because her death was one that he was constantly reminded of. Klaus snapped himself out of his thoughts as he realized the woman was waiting for a response. 
        "I know it's a bit of a shock, but do you mind letting me in?" Griselda asks him. "It's a lot to explain." 
        "No," Klaus answers, knowing he couldn't let anyone inside the very small apartment that he was now staying in. "Not now... like you said, I'm shocked and I swore I killed you..." 
        Griselda narrowed her eyes at him, confused to his behavior. She looks past him into the apartment and Klaus quickly blocks her view. Her eyes land on him once more and Klaus just stares back.
        "Ok..." Griselda trails off. "Meet me tomorrow then? With the Salvatores as well? I only want to explain myself once."
        "Yeah, yeah... sure." Klaus answers waving her off.
        Griselda still looked at him, trying to read him. She quickly shook her head out of it and waved him goodbye. Alaric quickly shut the door in her face and Griselda huffed out air. 
        "That went better than I expected." 
        Klaus heard her descend down the stairs before calling his witch and Katherine into the room. Klaus looks at the front door then back at them, his eyes narrowing down to the witch. 
        "Do you care to explain how your fiancee, the one I killed, the one you always remind me of, is alive and breathing?" Klaus asks him. 
        "What?" Noah asks confused looking at the front door. 
        Klaus walks across the room and grabs Noah, shoving him against the wall. 
        "Don't act like a fool," Klaus grits out. "How in the hell is she alive?" 
        "I don't know," Noah answers. "I didn't know she was alive... I don't know how she's..." 
        Klaus could see the sentiment in his eyes and lets him go. 
        "Don't you dare go seek her," Klaus orders him. "If you do, I will kill you and I will kill her, and this time it will be permanent." 
        Noah nods at Klaus' commands, knowing the consequences when you defy him. Katherine watched the scene in front of her, fear already embedded deep into her body as Klaus had finally caught up to her. Klaus turns to Katherine, his focus solely on her now. 
        "Now where were we?" 

Chapter Text

Griselda's POV, Martin's Residence

        Jonas and Luka were preparing breakfast while I waited for Elijah to pick up the phone. The Martins had been ecstatic to have me back with them, but their excitement was short lived when they found me alone. I explained to them what had occurred and they respected my decision. It had taken them a while too to look past Elijah's close relationship with Klaus. They had let me stay in their apartment for the night knowing why I wouldn't want to go back to Elijah's and mine apartment. 

        "Good morning," Elijah greets somberly. "How are things over there?

        "Things are ok," I answer. "I came too late though... Isobel's dead." 

        "What?" Elijah exclaims.

        "I don't know the full story since I'm still dead to everyone here, but from what Luka heard from Bonnie is that Isabel killed herself." 

        "She was compelled." 

        "I came to that same conclusion," I answer. "I have a feeling Klaus is on his way here." 

        "Perhaps I should start making my way there," Elijah replies. "If Klaus gets there before I do, they won't stand a chance." 

        "I can handle this for now, Elijah." I tell him. "You stay put." 

        I hear him sigh at his end of the call. 

        "You're still upset with me." 

        "I'm... I don't know what I feel." I respond. “Klaus and you… I know you are not the same, but…” 

        “We share the same blood.” Elijah replies. “I know why it’s hard to overlook.” 

        I become silent, unsure of what else I could say. 

        “Are we back to where we started?” Elijah asks me. “You hating me?” 

        “No, of course not.” I answer. “I care about you. I’ve always cared about you.” 

        It was this time for Elijah to be silent and I sighed. 

        “I just need more time to process this,” I tell him. “I think we both need some time apart.”

        “Very well…” Elijah sighs out. “Any other news you care to share? Have you made contact with your own brother?” 

        “I have, and I think it went very well, surprisingly well.” I tell him. “He was in shock, obviously, but told me that he’ll see me today so I can explain everything.” 

        “And the Salvatores?” Elijah asks. 

        “They have yet to know I’m back,” I tell him. “But they will soon enough.” 

        “Be careful, Griselda.” Elijah states. “I fear for their reaction.” 

        “If they kill me, I’ll just come back to life and kill them.” I respond. “Isn’t that how the circle of life works?” 

        Elijah just chuckles at this. 

        “No, not really.” Elijah answers. “But you are the exception.” 

        I look back to watch Jonas and Luka, seeing them too focused on breakfast than my phone call. 

        “How’s my favorite little man?” I whisper to Elijah. “How’s Carter?” 

        “He’s still saddened by your departure.” Elijah answers. “Remains in the music room and doesn’t want to leave it. He hasn’t spoken a word since… you.” 

        “Is he there now?” I ask him. “Can I talk to him?” 

        “He’s actually asleep,” Elijah tells me. “He would only sleep in our bed.” 

        “I’m glad you two are getting along,” I sigh out. I take a deep breath as I knew I had taken longer than intended in this call. “Tell Carter I love him.” 

        “And what I should I tell myself?” Elijah asks. 

        “That I miss you,” I answer honestly. “I hope I see you soon. Goodbye, Elijah.” 

        “Goodbye, Griselda.” 

        I end the call and remain seated in a couch for a while, reflecting the conversation. I must have reflected for too long as Luka was able to sneak up on me and snap his fingers to my face. 

        “You ok there, Gris?” Luka asks me concerned. 

        I offer him a smile and nod. 

        “Of course I am,” I answer. “Is breakfast ready?” 

        Luka nods and I stand up to go help set the table. 

        “Did Elijah say anything of importance?” Jonas asks me as I set the table for the three of us. 

        “Just to keep ourselves safe,” I tell him. 

        “Nothing else?” Jonas asks me concerned. 

        “Nope,” I answer. “He’ll come when I call him and that will be when I have confirmation that Klaus is actually on his way here. I can’t be depending on the story of a friend of a friend. I need to hear the truth from the horse’s mouth.” 

        “You’re going to confront the Salvatores?” Luka asks surprised. 

        “Yes, I am.” I answer as I grin into my mug. “I can’t wait to see their faces when I, decidedly not dead, waltz back into their lives.”

***************

Third POV, Alaric’s Residence

        Klaus had spent most of his night hearing Katerina recount her past few weeks in Mystic Falls. If he was to play the part of Alaric Saltzman he had to know everything about him. There was a lot of information that Katerina had to offer him and Klaus had quickly drained her of all her information. 

        The sun peaked through the curtains and Noah slipped out of the guest room and into the kitchen to prepare breakfast. His mind was still consumed by a voice he never imagined to hear again. Noah's first assumption was that Klaus was playing one of his usual torturous mind game with him, but overhearing Katherine's recounting of her time spent here, he realized that Griselda was indeed alive. 

        Noah wasn't able to think too deep about this as Klaus demands his attention. 

        "Okay, bad, or badder?" Klaus asks Noah and Katherine as he shows two button down shirts that were hung in the closet. 

        "The dark colors suit you better." Katherine answers in which Klaus chuckles. 

        "Oh, thank you, honey." Klaus sarcastically says as he starts to change. "Okay, pop quiz. The dagger and white ash are in the Salvatores' possession, correct?"

        "The dagger was used on Elijah, but it killed his fiancee instead." Katherine explains to him.

        "The poor girl!" Klaus states as he walks back into the room with the black shirt on. "But knowing my brother's history with courting women, he should have known they would wind up dead." Klaus says as he traces Katherine's jaw and she flinches away causing Kaus to just chuckle. 

        "Who was the girl?" Noah asks as he hands Klaus a cup of coffee. 

        "A notorious vampire hunter," Katherine answers, before turning to Klaus. "And the sister of the body your inhabiting." 

        Noah and Klaus frowned at this news. 

        "You mean to say that Griselda Saltzman is the one engaged to Elijah?" Klaus asks her in which Katherine nods. "This girl who has escaped death twice to my knowledge?" 

        Katherine swallows nervously and nods. 

        "Elijah was so upset over the loss of her life that he left town. Damon even spoke to her ghost. We all thought she had died," Katherine tells him. 

        Noah didn't realize when the mug in his hand cracked until Klaus turned to him with a glare. 

        "Be careful there, Noah." Klaus states, none of his words were meant of concern. "Jealousy does not suit you well." 

        Noah ignored him as he threw the broken mug into the sink and placed a wet cloth over the deep cut on his hand. 

        "So Elijah isn't in town?" Noah asks as he returns to the living room. 

        "If he wasn't with Griselda then I doubt he knows she's alive," Katherine answers before looking up at the warlock. "He loves her." 

        Klaus rolls his eyes at this and Noah tried his best to not show the pain in his face. 

        "The last thing I need is Elijah on my trail. Oh, that guy is a buzzkill." Klaus whines. "Well then, that means I must keep her from contacting him. That should be easy." 

        Klaus gives Noah his half-empty mug and grabs Alaric's wallet and keys. 

        "Don't forget you're on the outs with your girlfriend Jenna." Katherine reminds him. 

        "Right. Elena's aunt." Klaus recalls. "For all the lies about Isobel. What else?" 

        "That's it." Katherine curtly says. 

        Klaus stops in front of Katherine and kneels down to her level in the chair. The fear on her face was very clear and genuine.

        "Oh, so jumpy." Klaus taunts with a sly grin.

        "Please, just...kill me." Katherine whimpers out. "I've told you everything that I know." 

        Klaus scowls at this and places his hands on the armrests on Katherine's chair and looks her in the face.

        "You see, I believe that you believe that, but what would you not know?" Klaus asks her. "What could they be keeping from you? Hmm? Anything? Tell me." 

        "They were trying to see if Bonnie could find a way to kill an Original without a dagger." Katherine answers honestly. 

        "Bonnie the best friend?" Klaus asks her and Katherine nods. "I thought she was still a newbie witch."

        "She is," Katherine answers. "But the Martins are not." 

        "And remind me who the Martins are?" Klaus asks her. 

        "They're the witches that Elijah and Griselda came with." Katherine tells him. "I don't really know much about them. They made sure to stay the hell away from the Salvatores and you kidnapped me, remember? I'm kinda out of the loop." 

        "Well, we'll have to get to the bottom of that." Klaus scowls. 

        "Please, just kill me, Klaus, and be done with it." Katherine begs as he stands up. 

        "And show you kindness?" Klaus asks with a laugh. "I've searched for you for over 500 years. Your death is going to last at least half that long." 

        Klaus pulls out a pocketknife from his pocket, one he found in Alaric's back pocket. He holds it up to Katherine and starts to compel her. 

        "I want you to take this knife...And stab yourself." 

        Without hesitation, Katherine takes the knife out of Klaus' hand and stabs her thigh. She lets out a gasp of pain and blood spills from the wound. 

        "Now take it out." 

        Katherine takes the blade out and wipes the blood away. She watches the wound heal and the pain fade. 

        "Now while I'm gone, I want you to do that over and over and over again." Klaus says as he turns away and grabs his coat. "And if you get bored, switch legs." 

        Katherine restrains herself from crying as she knew her torture could be far worse. 

        "Where are you going?" Noah asks him. 

        "I'm gonna go lay eyes on my precious doppelgänger." Klaus tells him. "And to make sure my sister doesn't go running back to her ex." 

        Noah frowns at this and Klaus just shakes his head at him. 

        "Oh, don't look so glum,, Noah." Klaus tells him. "If I decide to kill her, I'll make sure she remains dead this time, just for you.

        Noah knows better to retort to his threat and just looks down. Klaus grins at the warlock's obedience and looks back down at Katerina. 

        "Again." he orders. 

        No time was wasted as Katherine brought down the blade onto herself once more. 

***************

Griselda's POV, Martin's Residence/Salvatore Boarding House

        I had retuned my violin and I was utterly confused as to why I hadn't heard a word from my brother all day. I knew he would be shocked, but I would have assumed he would have contacted me already. I couldn't have made him this mad at me, could I? If anything, Alaric should be relieved to have me back. He did believe he killed me. 

        "You're staring at your phone again." Jonas points out from his desk as he looked over a grimoire. 

        "Alaric hasn't called me back so we can talk," I tell him. "I need him to call." 

        "Well Luka and I just got a text from Elena to a meeting at the Boarding House," Jonas states with a concerned stare. "Perhaps you should join us." 

        "And ambush my brother?" I ask him before my lips slipped into a smile. "Sounds like a good plan." 

        Jonas just shook his head at me and I couldn't help but laugh. 

        "Go get ready," Jonas says as he looks back down to the grimoire. "The meeting is in an hour."

        I quickly place my violin in its case and leap out of the couch. I place a quick peck on Jonas' cheek before running into the shower. 

        ****

        Jonas, Luka, and I were standing outside the door of the Salvatore Boarding House. From the three of us, Jonas and Luka seemed to be the most nervous for my reunion with everyone in town. It didn't make a lot of sense to me. If push came to shove, I could handle surviving. I gave both of them a gentle smile before reaching in front of them and swinging the door open. The conversation from inside could easily be heard, especially as we made our way in.

        "So we go to the dance, we find him." Damon exclaims.

        "Really? How are we going to do that?" Stefan asks him. "We don't even know what he looks like." 

        "Something tells me he's not going to be sixteen and pimply." Damon grits out.

        "You are incredibly right," I state as I enter the living room. All of their eyes were on me as I step down the stairs, heels clicking on the floor with the Martin witches flanking both of my sides. "Klaus is charming and charismatic with a handsome face to go with it."

        Damon, Stefan, Elena, and Bonnie Bennet just looked at me in shock. No one in the room understood what to do with my reappearance and right as Damon was about to speak, Alaric makes his way in.

        "Sorry I'm late." Alaric murmurs as he enters the room, face focused on his phone. He looks up from it and takes notice of me. "Griselda..." 

        "Well hello brother," I answer. "I've been waiting for your call all day." 

        "You knew she was alive?!" Damon exclaims. 

        Alaric rubs his eyes tiredly. 

        "She came by last night," Alaric answers. "I thought I was dreaming." 

        "Obviously you're not," Damon grits out. Before I knew it, Damon had rushed himself in front of me and had his hand on my throat. Instincts kicked in and I quickly pulled out the small stake from my thigh strap and pressed it into his chest. 

        "I thought we've gone through this," I tell Damon. "You kill me, again, and you'll ruin my family." 

        "It's obvious that killing you isn't permanent." Damon retorts. 

        "You want to test that?" I ask him. 

        Damon scans my face before reluctantly letting me go. 

        "How?" 

        I turn to Elena who is confused about the whole situation. 

        "How are you alive? How did you survive?" 

        "I didn't survive. I really did die." I tell her before I raise my hand to all of them. "My engagement ring brought me back." 

        "Just like the Gilbert ring," Stefan sighs out. 

        "And Elijah?" Alaric asks concerned. "Is he back too?" 

        "No," I answer. "We had a... setback." 

        Damon narrowed his eyes at me. 

        "Wedding postponed?" Damon sarcastically asks. 

        I couldn't help the nervous chuckle as I played with the ring in my hand. 

        "It's none of your business," I tell Damon before my eyes scanned the room and landed on Elena. I look away from her and look up at the elder Salvatore. "Now you were talking about Klaus making direct contact which is why I'm back." 

        "We don't need your help." Damon states. 

        "Yes, you do." I answer. "Question: From all the people in this room, who is A) knows how Klaus looks like, B) unable to die, and C) knows how to kill him?" 

        Damon offers me a sarcastic smile and turns away from me. 

        "Alaric, I need you to put me, Jonas, and your sister down as chaperones at the dance tonight. Klaus made his first move." 

        I couldn't help but smile as to how easily I got into their little clique.

        "Okay, so we find him and then what, hmm?" Elena asks us. "What's our plan of attack?"

        "Me. I'm the plan." Bonnie pipes in. "He has no idea how much power I can channel. If you can find him, I can kill him." 

        "I'm sorry," I pipe in. "You consecrated the sacrificed witches powers alone?" 

        "She was the only one who could do it," Jonas tells me. "She had a direct connection to one of the dead witches." 

        "And what will you two be doing?" I asked confused. 

        "Helping her control all that power." Luka explains to me. 

        "Not to be pessimistic but... Isn't Klaus the biggest, baddest vampire around? How is this going to stop him?" Alaric asks. 

        "Alaric has a point." Damon states. "I mean, what if he..." 

        Without hesitation, Damon rushes towards Bonnie but before he could pin her, Bonnie throws him to the other side of the room with her powers. Damon flies past me and crashes into the table in the hallway. 

        "Well, I was impressed." Stefan pipes in. 

        "It doesn't matter if he's an Original. With the help of Jonas and Luka, I can take down anyone who comes at me." Bonnie states. "I can kill him, Elena. I know I can." 

        "Not without my help of course," I say as I twirl the stake in my hand. "Allow me to take him down." 

*************

Third POV, Alaric's Residence

        Klaus returns to the apartment with a scowl. Noah was in the kitchen trying to find something to ease him while Katherine remained compelled in the chair. Both of her legs were stained with dry blood. The blade from earlier was being held lazily in her hand. 

        "Ah, you're right." Klaus confesses to Katherine. "This witch is all juiced up and aiming to kill and your lovely Griselda isn't that innocent either. She's out for blood." 

        "That's terrible." Katherine replies tiredly, and honestly not that concerned.

        "At least I have Elijah not coming back any time soon going for me," Klaus states. "He's in the outs with his fiancee." 

        Noah grimaced at this but let it go.

        "We're gonna have to kill her, Noah." 

        This time, Noah couldn't look past this.  

        "Klaus, I'll do anything..." Noah begins before Klaus waves him off. 

        "I'm not talking about your precious fiancee," Klaus spits out. "I meant the witch." 

        Noah stepped down as he heard this. He knew when to pick his battles and when to let them go. Killing this young witch was one he was willing to let go. It wouldn't be his first time doing this. 

        "Do you think this Alaric guy has anything vintage?" Klaus asks as he opens the drawer from the dresser. Klaus pokes around through the shirts before noticing the false bottom. He pulls it up and finds the weaponry hidden underneath. 

        "Crossbows, wooden bullets and automatics? Who is this guy, again?" Klaus asks Katherine. 

        "He's the local vampire hunter." Katherine answers. 

        "Ahh. Well, that explains the clothing." Klaus murmurs as he thinks back to Griselda. "It must run in the family too, I guess." 

        Noah ignores the last statement as he offers Klaus a glass of bourbon. 

        "All I could find." Noah tells him. "Guy likes his bourbon." 

        Klaus eagerly takes it. 

        "I knew there was something about him I liked." Klaus comments before turning back and searching the closet now. "There's a high school dance and I'm gonna need you to take out witch bitch." 

        "If she has that much power, she can sense me coming from a mile away." Noah tells him. "I won't be able to get near her without also alerting Griselda I'm back. You have to do it." 

        "In this body?" Klaus exclaims. "I'm a haggard history teacher. She can easily hurt me. I mean, not me, Klaus me, but you know what I mean." 

        Noah shakes his head at Klaus. 

        "No witch could handle channeling that much power. It'll kill her. It would kill me." Noah explains to him. "You just have to make her use it." 

        Klaus thinks this over and recalls the other two witches who said they would help her channel this power. He would have to get her alone and that could easily be done. 

        "You mean I have to provoke her to death?" Klaus asks him. 

        "Won't take long." Noah tells him. "Just keep attacking her until it kills her. His body, Alaric's, will last longer than hers will." 

        "How?" Klaus asks him. "He's human." 

        Noah knew that Alaric's body had to survive. This was Griselda's brother and he couldn't take him away from her. 

        "I can help in that department." Noah states. "I can do a spell to protect you." 

        Klaus grinned at he heard this and looked down at a quiet Katerina who had just listened throughout the whole conversation. She shrinks deeper into the seat and looked down at her feet. 

**************

Griselda's POV, Mystic Falls High School

        Jonas and I walked into the decade dance a bit shocked as to how elaborate it was. We stood out as we really didn't find an appeal in dressing up in 60's clothes like everyone here. Luka had decided to blend in and was now currently asking a girl to dance with him. I couldn't help the smile on my face as I saw this, but it all went away as Jonas spoke to me. 

        "I still think we should have called Elijah to come," Jonas states. 

        "So he could what? Help?" I ask Jonas. "He's not going to go through with it. Klaus is his brother and he won't kill him. He might say he will, but... I don't trust him to actually follow through." 

        "That's not for you to decide," Jonas responds. "He should be here for this. Just in case..." 

        "In case I fail?" I ask him. 

        Jonas sighs and before he could say anything the music stops and a random girl calls for everyone's attention. 

        "Thanks for being here, everybody. We have a special shout-out tonight." 

        I had an unsettling feeling about this as I look over the Mystic Falls gang on the other side of the gym. They were all wearing a concerned expression. 

        "This is for Elena. From Klaus." 

        A random 60's songs starts playing and my suspicions turns out to be right. Klaus was actually here and I felt my body humming with energy. Jonas goes to look for Luka while I decide to talk to everyone. 

        "That was a lame, cheap shot." Damon comments. "He's just trying to bait us." 

        I look around the dance and find no trace of Klaus. 

        "I don't see Klaus lurking in any dark corner," I tell them. 

        "Maybe he's not here." Stefan pipes in. "Just wants us to believe that he is." 

        I nod at this. I wouldn't be surprised that Klaus was just toying with all of us, wanting us afraid, just like he liked his prey. 

        "It's a party, people. Blend. Let him come to us." Damon offers up. 

        "Good idea." Bonnie agrees as she tugs at the younger Gilbert to join her on the dance floor. He does so reluctantly. 

        Damon nudges my arm and I narrow my eyes at him. 

        "There is no way in hell I'm dancing with you." I state. 

        Damon just rolls his eyes at me. 

        "I wasn't going to ask you to dance," Damon spits out. "I was just going to tell you that your brother is here." 

        I look past him and find Alaric standing by the sidelines of the dance floor. He looks back to Stefan and Elena, tugging my arm after him. 

        "We found Ric." He tells them. "We'll be back." 

        Damon and I slip through the slow-dancing couples and finally reach my brother. 

        "Special dedication, huh?" Alaric asks us as we reach him. "This guy's a little twisted." 

        "I'm not impressed." Damon answers. 

        "No?" Alaric offers up. 

        "After you see Klaus burn your life down, you tend to know what's twisted or not." I tell Alaric who just stares at me silently. I become unnerved by his stare and look away from him. I turn to Damon and tug him. "Hey, Damon... I'll accept that dance now." 

        "What dance...?" Damon begins to ask with a scowl, but I quickly tug him out to join the rest of the slow-dancing couples. "What's going on? Are Elijah and you really having that big of a problem?" 

        "You couldn't possibly imagine," I mutter as Damon and I swayed back and forth. "But that isn't what's concerning me right now." 

        "Then what is?" Damon asks concerned. 

        "My brother," I answer as I look at Alaric who was standing in the same spot as before. "I hate to admit this, but you've known him longer which makes you the only who can answer this question. Don't you think he's acting a little strange?" 

        Damon twirls me and I can see him trying to find my brother. 

        "No," Damon answers quickly. "Why do you ask?" 

        "I don't know," I tell him. "Something seems off about him. I would have thought he would be coddling me now that I'm alive again, but he hasn't reached out to me." 

        "Maybe he's angry at you," Damon offers up. 

        "Though Alaric is keen on using the silent treatment when angry, he isn't doing that now." I tell Damon. "Something just isn't right." 

****

        An hour passed by and nothing seemed to happen. I looked around and found no sign of Klaus at the party. Damon had already left me to talk to Bonnie. Elena and Stefan were still dancing. Luka had left to get a drink and Jonas had gone to clue in Caroline about the plan for the night as she hadn't been in the meeting this afternoon. I was supervising the room, searching for Alaric who had managed to disappear on me. 

        As I made a lap around the room did things seem to erupt in chaos. Jonas quickly found me and tugged me down a secluded hallway. I find a group of passed out teenagers and Luka was leaning on the wall with a black eye and bleeding lip. 

        "What the hell happened?" I ask as I quickly make my way to Luka and scan his injuries. 

        "They just ganged up on me," Luka tells me as he grimaced at my touch. "Thanks to Damon and Stefan, I manage to just get out with these minor injuries." 

        "I have to take him home," Jonas states. "I can't be losing two of my children to Klaus." 

        I nod and Jonas places Luka's arm around his shoulder and helps him out of the school. I walk past the passed out teenagers and try to find the Salvatore brothers. It didn't take long in the mazes of hallways for my ring to start to warm up. I turn a corner and find myself smacking right into Damon's chest. Before either of us could get a word in, a crashing sound catches our attention. 

        Damon and I start to run through a set of doors and find Elena and Bonnie sprinting. Bonnie slams the doors closed with her powers and finally turns to us. 

        "What happened?" Damon asks her. 

        "Klaus is in Alaric's body." Elena tells us.        

        I couldn't help but freeze as I heard this.

        "What?" I ask in shock.

        "He's possessing it or something." Bonnie explains to me. 

        I had been right, my brother hadn't been himself. I didn't know how I could have possibly been right about this until I recalled Carter's last words to me. 

        He's not who you think he is. 

        For a second, I thought he had been speaking about Elijah, but now I realized he had been speaking about my own brother. 

        "Go find Stefan. Now." Damon orders Elena. She doesn't hesitate and starts to sprint down through the doors we had just entered. 

        Once she's left, Damon turns to Bonnie. 

        "Can you kill him?" Damon asks her. 

        "This is my brother we're talking about!" I shout. 

        "Well your brother isn't your brother, he's Klaus!" Damon exclaims before turning to Bonnie once more. "So, answer me BonBon, can you kill him?" 

        "He's got some kind of protection spell on him." Bonnie responds. 

        "You have the power of a hundred witches. Break it." 

        "I'm trying!" Bonnie exclaims. "If I kill Alaric, he'll just possess someone else. He knows I have my power, Damon." 

        "Luka and Jonas are gone," I point out. "Without them to help you channel the power, you'll certainly die. A single witch can't handle all of that power." 

        "He's trying to kill me." Bonnie sighs out. 

        "No." Damon grits out. "Klaus does not get to win tonight, no way. You still willing to do whatever it takes to kill him?" 

        Bonnie nods quickly and Damon then turns to me. It dawns on me how risky his plan could be, but it was our only choice. 

        "I'll go make a call," I tell him. 

*************

Third POV, Mystic Falls High School

        Bonnie takes a deep breath as she feels the magic hum within her. Griselda watched her with concern before Bonnie nodded for her to proceed. They both walks through the hallway and make their way inside of the cafeteria. Bonnie and Griselda find Klaus, in Alaric's body, sitting in a chair. He twirled a knife in between his fingers. 

        "What took you so long?" Klaus asks them. Bonnie doesn't answer and Klaus rises from his seat.  "Now, do you want to do this the easy way or the hard way?" 

        Bonnie raises her hand and Alaric's wrist snaps at an awkward angle. The knife he was once holding drops to the floor and Klaus twists his wrist back in place.

        "The hard way." Klaus grist out. "Got it." 

        Klaus takes a step forward and Bonnie raises her hand higher, causing his shoulder to break. Klaus groans in pain but forces his shoulder back in place. 

        "What? You'd kill your favorite history teacher?" Klaus asks her, before turning to Griselda. "Your brother?"

        "It's what Alaric would want." Griselda answers. "And he'd want you to suffer first." 

        The magic was taking it's toll on Bonnie and blood started to drip from both her nostrils.

        "Look at you." Klaus taunts as Bonnie wipes her nose. "Is that all you got?" 

        Bonnie ignores the blood and looks up at Klaus with a glare. 

        "Let's find out." 

        Meanwhile this happened, Elena and Stefan were running through the hallway. Damon stops in front of them with a blank expression.

        "There you are." Damon states. 

        "What are you doing?" Elena exclaims. "Where's Bonnie? Griselda?" 

        "They're doing what they have to do." Damon answers. 

        "What?" Elena exclaims knowing what this meant. If Bonnie channeled the power of the witches alone she would die. 

        "Where are they?" Stefan asks his brother. 

        "Stefan, let them do this." 

        "Damn it, Damon, where is she?!" Stefan exclaims. 

        Bonnie continues to use her powers against Klaus' body. She manages to break his leg and the vast power she was using was radiating in the room. The lights flicker and a gust of wind sends papers flying everywhere. Bonnie's nose starts to bleed harsher than before and Griselda remained stoic. Bonnie then breaks Klaus's foot and he collapses to the floor.

        Hearing rushed footsteps, Griselda makes her way to the doors and forces them closed. She hooks a chair under the handle, preventing an incoming Elena and Stefan from coming in.

        "Bonnie, no!" Elena exclaims from outside. "Please Griselda! Let us inside!" 

        Griselda turns away from Elena's desperate face and turns to Bonnie and Klaus. She finds him crawling on the floor. Bonnie continues to fight Klaus and the lights start bursting into a shower of sparks. Elena screams for Bonnie to stop and Stefan tries to pry the doors open but is unable to as Griselda adds more reinforcements.

        Bonnie turns to look at Elena with a smile. Klaus takes this chance to get up and Bonnie faces him for one last confrontation. Suddenly with a jerk of her body Bonnie bends back and falls on the floor. A huge gust of magic passes through the room forcing the once reinforced doors to burst open. Elena and Stefan push past Griselda and rush over to Bonnie's fallen body.

        Griselda turns around and finds Alaric's possessed body long gone from the room. She leans on the wall behind her with a very tired sigh. Her body ached as the adrenaline left her body. Griselda closed her eyes as she thought of the vampire who killed everything good in her life had taken over her brother's body. She couldn't kill him, which was the point of this plan, but it made her so angry that Klaus had managed to leave without a scratch.

        Damon finally arrives to the scene and looks at the tired Griselda. She simply gives him a grimacing smile before nodding. Damon takes the sign and heads towards Elena and Stefan who were mourning over Bonnie's body. 

        "Stefan, get Elena out of here." Damon instructs him. "I'll deal with the body." 

        "What do you mean, deal with it?" Elena exclaims at him. 

        "The sheriff can't know about this." Griselda pipes in, not wanting Damon to take the full blame. "Last thing we need is another mysterious death." 

        "This is Bonnie!" Elena shouts. 

        Damon ignores Elena and turns to Stefan. 

        "Get her home, now." Damon tells him. "So I can clean this up." 

        Stefan doesn't bother to argue with him and grabs Elena off the floor. He consoles his mourning girlfriend as best as he can at the moment. 

        "No. Jeremy..." Elena cries out. "Oh, my God, Jeremy. What about Jeremy?" 

        "I'll find him." Griselda pipes in. 

        Elena is too tired to argue and allows Stefan to take her away. Griselda watches them go before turning to Damon who is kneeling down beside Bonnie's body and closing her eyes. 

**************

Griselda's POV, Salvatore Boarding House

        After explaining things to baby Gilbert, Damon and I made our way to the Boarding House. Damon had assured me he could take the blame for everything, but I didn't want to let him. I had helped arrange the whole fiasco and I found myself carrying the blame for wanting to take care of Klaus without Elijah hovering over my shoulder. So I found myself walking into the living room by Damon's side. 

        "What did you do with her?!" Elena exclaims as she catches sight of it. 

        "Will you please calm her down?" Damon states as he turns to his brother. 

        "Don't talk like I'm not standing right in front of you." Elena shouts. 

        "Please calm down." I say as I step in. 

        "You knew if she harnessed all that power, that she would die!" Elena shouts. "How could you let her go through with this?!" 

        "It had to be done." Damon answers. 

        I saw the slap coming from a mile away and I knew Damon did too, but he did nothing to stop it. He knew she needed to do this to him. 

        "You need to listen to me, and prepare for what I'm about to say." Damon says as Elena settles down. "Bonnie had to die."

        "Klaus using Alaric's body was a total surprise to me," I pipe in. "None of us were prepared for this, far less me. How was I supposed to kill my own brother? I couldn't."

        "He wasn't going to stop either, and we weren't going to be able to stop him until he knew Bonnie was dead. He had to believe it." Damon tells her. 

        "Jonas and Luka managed to find and cast a protection spell." I explain to Elena.

        "Bonnie's okay." Damon finally states before turning away and heading to his room. Stefan rushes after him and Elena is left behind with me.

        "Call Jeremy," I tell her. "He's got your proof if you still don't believe us."

        Elena quickly nods at this and laughs in relief as she searches for her phone. I make my way out onto the hallway and find Damon and Stefan talking there.

        "I'll take my leave," I tell them before my eyes look up to Damon. "Hate to say this but... we made a good team."

        "I share the same sentiment, baby Saltzman," Damon replies earning a low chuckle from me. "Seeing as I lost my drinking partner, would you care to fill in for your brother's spot?"

        "Depends on what we're drinking," I tell him.

        "Bourbon."

        I hiss as I hear that.

        "Ooh," I grimace. "I'm more into tequila."

        "Your loss," Damon states before ascending to his room.

        I shake my head at the elder Salvatore and wave goodbye to Stefan. I start to make my way out of the Salvatore Boarding House and get into my car. I take a deep breath once I'm inside and pull out my phone from my bag.

****

         From the shadow that the night offered I saw as Elena quietly slipped out of the Boarding House. I drive around and stop right in front of her. She seemed nervous, which I wasn't surprised. Elena quickly gets into the car and I pull out of the curb and start to make my way home.

        "What is this about, Elena?" I ask her after a moment of silence. "I was on my way home. What made you call me and make me come back here?"

        "I don't hold you responsible for what happened tonight." Elena states. "I understand why you did what you did. Klaus was fooled, and Bonnie's alive. I should have known you wouldn't have put the people I care about in danger. Especially with Alaric..."

        "You have yet to answer my question," I interrupt her. "What made you call me of all people?"

        "Because there has to be another way." Elena states. 

        "Another way...?" I ask confused. 

        "Damon is willing to risk anyone's life to keep me alive." Elena tells me. "I can't have that. There has to be another way in which the people I care about don't have to die for me." 

        "And I can help, how?" 

        Elena hesitates, but after taking a deep breath she turns to me with a serious expression. 

        "I think you should call Elijah," Elena tells me. "You need to look past whatever disagreement you had with him...He needs to come back." 

        I couldn't help but offer her a small smile. 

        "I'm already one step ahead of you, Elena." I tell her. "I already made the call." 

Chapter Text

        Elena had stayed over in my room while Elijah prompted to take a flight instead of driving to arrive sooner. He had taken a late flight since he still had some loose ends to tie with the Strix. Not to mention there was also the issue with Carter. It wasn't fair that Carter had to be abandoned but it was too dangerous to bring him here especially with Klaus around. I left Elena to rest as I heard the front door open. I step out of the hallway and find Elijah removing his coat

        "Hi..." I greet as I see him. Elijah looks up to me, the curves of his lips lifting up as he smiled at the sight of me. I sigh in relief as I run up to him and pull him into an embrace. I melt into his arms that held me up. "Didn't realize I would miss you this much in such a short time." 

        As I was pulling away Elijah leans forward and presses a passionate kiss on my lips. I reciprocated with the same ferocity knowing that he needed the affirmation that we were ok. I pull away and was about to tell him everything before I'm interrupted. 

        "I heard something..." Elena bashfully says as she makes her way into the room. "I didn't mean to interrupt your reunion." 

        Elijah looked at Elena with caution. I knew he was caught by surprise with her appearance in our home. 

        "Elena wanted me to call you," I tell him. "This was after I did call you, but the message is the same. She wanted you here." 

        "Can we trust you?" Elijah asks her. 

        Elena looks at me questioningly and I nod at her, "Show him." 

        Elena walks up to us and pulls out the dagger covered in a cloth. She hands it over to Elijah who quickly takes it and places it into the interior pocket of his suit jacket. 

        "You look better," Elena sarcastically says. "I'm assuming the reason why is because Griselda was never really dead." 

        "Correct," Elijah answers. "But the Salvatore brothers, particularly Damon, was being very hostile against us. We knew we wouldn't be able to work out our plan if those sentiments were still lying around. Griselda faked her death, we left, and now here we all are." 

        "There are things we need to discuss, Elena." I tell her. "You have to explain to the both of us the things that have happened after we left." 

        "More specifically, I want to know where you got this dagger?" 

        "I'll tell both of you everything." Elena answers. "But we have to work together. Elijah, I need your word." 

        "Griselda almost died if it wasn't for that ring on her finger." Elijah states. "Your ability to make demands has long passed." Elijah states.

        "No demands." Elena tells him. "I'm offering you my help. And in return, I want yours." 

        "I know that you will honor this deal, Elena." I state, "But will Damon and Stefan allow you too?" 

        Before Elena could answer her phone starts to ring and she immediately answers it. 

        "Where are you? Are you okay?

        "Yes, I'm fine." Elena answers. 

        "Where's the dagger? Why do you have it?" 

        "I gave it to Elijah," Elena answers. 

        "Where are you?" Stefan immediately asks. "I'm on my way."

        "No, Stefan," Elena interrupts him. "Elijah, Griselda, and I need some time alone." 

        "Listen to me." Stefan exclaims. "They can't be trusted. Elijah, he'll use you to get to Klaus." 

        "Elijah is a noble man, Stefan. He lives by a code of honor. I can trust him." Elena tells Stefan. "Griselda wouldn't let him hurt me. And they both know that I'd be incredibly stupid to betray them again. By giving them the dagger, I have proven myself." 

        "You can't do this alone." 

        "It's my decision, Stefan. Please respect it." Elena states. "And make sure that Damon doesn't do anything stupid. I'll be in touch." 

        Elena hangs up the phone and Elijah holds his hand out. Elena looks at me questioningly and I nod at her. She sighs and hands her phone to Elijah who pockets it as well. 

        "It's a lovely day out," Elijah states as he opens the door. "Shall we go for a walk?"

**************

Third POV, Alaric's Apartment

        Klaus, still in Alaric's body, is standing by the door with a hesitant Noah. Katherine was in the kitchen making coffee. She watched them from afar and listened in on their conversation. 

        "I'll be back as soon as I can." Noah tells Klaus. 

        "I'm sure that has to do more with Griselda's safety than mine," Klaus remarks with a slight grin. Noah remains silent and Klaus just chuckles. "Don't worry. Your little girlfriend will be safe as long as she stays out of my way." Klaus fixes the collar on Noah's shirt and gives his arm a firm pat. "And do hurry. I'm anxious to get out of this body. And if you get hung up, call me. You know how impatient I get." 

        Noah nods and takes his leave. Klaus closes the door behind him and Katherine walks over to him and offers him a cup of coffee. 

        "Where is he going?" 

        "To retrieve me." Klaus answers her. "So I can get out of this bad hair-do." 

        "Are you sure that's a good idea, Klaus?" Katherine asks him. 

        "Well, the full moon is almost upon us." Klaus tells her as he pulls out the moonstone and sets it on the table. "I've killed the witch, I have the moonstone, and the doppelgänger is waiting in the wings. Oh, I am ready to break this curse."

        "And why would you do that here?" Katherine asks him confused. "There's so many people that would try to stop you." 

        "Because I have to." Klaus states. "It's the birthplace of the doppelgänger." 

        "I didn't realize that was a requirement." Katherine scowls. 

        "Well, how could you?" Klaus asks as he turns to her with a threatening look on his face. Katherine slinks away from him and Klaus grins at this. "You betrayed me and fled England before I could give you the details, Katerina. But I did find your birthplace and I slaughtered your family. So I guess we're cool. Let's just hope that Elena isn't as stupid as you were." 

        "She won't run." Katherine answers stiffly. "She'll die before she lets anyone that she loves get hurt." 

        "And that's exactly what I'm counting on." Klaus says as he shrugs on a coat. He stops in front of Katherine and looks into her eyes. "You can't leave until I tell you to." 

        Katherine blinks out of the compulsion and sighs. Klaus smiles at her and leaves her behind. 

***************

Griselda's POV, Lockwood Gardens

        Elijah was walking through the gardens outside the Lockwood Mansion. Mrs. Lockwood had left earlier to a meeting and we were allowed free reign of her property due to Elijah's compulsion.

        "How did you know she wasn't on vervain?" Elena asks him.

        "Because I'm the one who got her off it. Right before you and your friends tried to kill me." Elijah answers as he walks down the pebbled path. 

        Elena and I walked closely behind him as he took a deep breath of fresh air. Elena recounted to us scenes that we already knew from Luka and Jonas. There were a few minor details that helped clear up some questions, but nothing impacting. 

        "He's here." Elena states. 

        "Yes," Elijah answer. "Griselda told me this."

        "He's taken over Alaric's body." I tell Elijah. "That's why I couldn't do anything."

        Elijah turns to me in sympathy and sighs.

        "I'm sorry," Elijah apologizes to me. "That's one of Klaus' favorite tricks." 

        "Well, what are his other tricks?" Elena asks him. "What is he going to do next? You two are the only one who know him." 

        "Yes, we are." I answer sadly. Elijah takes a hold of my hand and I look up at him. He nods at me to continue and I turn to Elena who's looking at both of us questioningly. "We should probably tell you the truth... the entire truth of what is going on." 

***************

Third POV, Salvatore Boarding House

        Stefan walks into the living room to find Damon there drinking bourbon. They were both worried for Elena's safety when they heard that Elijah was back and she was with him. As much as they wanted to trust the younger Saltzman in keeping Elena safe, they both knew that nothing would stop Elijah and Griselda from their plan to use Elena in their plan to kill Klaus.

        Stefan's phone begins to ring and he finds Jenna calling him. They hadn't heard from Jenna ever since she left Elena and Ric behind due to the whole Isobel incident. Stefan knew that if she was calling him something must be wrong. 

        "Hello?" 

        "Hey, Stefan. It's Jenna." 

        "Jenna, hey." Stefan greets. 

        "Where's Elena? And Jeremy?" Jenna asks. "No one's answering their phones." 

        "Ah, Elena's not here at the moment." Stefan answers. "Is, uh, is everything okay?" 

        "She left me all these weird messages telling me to stay away from Rick." Jenna responds confused. "What's going on?

        "It's really hard to explain over the phone, but, um, she was hoping that you could stay on campus for a little while longer." Stefan tells her. 

        "Oh, that's kinda hard to do from my kitchen." Jenna responds causing Stefan to become alarmed. 

        "Wait, you're home?" 

        "Yeah. What's going on? Where's Elena?" Jenna asks him confused. "I'm supposed to meet Ric at the Grill for lunch, to talk." 

        "Jenna, listen to me carefully." Stefan says as he grabs his coat and pulls it on. "Whatever you do, do not meet Alaric at the Grill. I'm going to come over right now and I'll explain everything." 

        Stefan hangs up the phone and looks up at his older brother who is just serving himself another glass. 

        "Wow, I'd love to lend you a hand, but you wouldn't want me doing anything stupid." Damon remarks as he quotes Elena's request back to Stefan. 

        "It's seriously going to be like this?" Stefan exclaims annoyed. 

        "You and your girlfriend are calling the shots." Damon grits out. "I'm just backing off, Stefan." 

        Stefan shakes his head at him and finds no other choice but to leave Damon behind. Andie by that time comes downstairs and joins Damon. 

        "Hi," Damon greets her with a grin. 

        "Hi." Andie says as she smiles back at him. 

        "Let's go." Damon whispers as he sets his glass down and grabs his keys. Andie follows quickly after him. 

        "Where are we going?" 

        "Splitting from the team. Going rogue." Damon says as he opens the door for her. "Come on." 

*************

Griselda's POV, Lockwood Gardens 

        Elena and I sit on the bench while Elijah stood behind me. His hand was on my shoulder as I told Elena all about our past, the entire truth of Elijah and I came to be and my reason to kill Klaus. Elena had a frown throughout the explanation and I knew she had a thousand questions. 

        "So you two lied about being engaged?" Elena asks me in which I nod. "Why?" 

        "Because two strangers came into your city at the worst timing ever," Elijah responds. "You would never trust us, but if we were a couple and Griselda's brother being a member of your loved ones, then it would make the relations of an Original Vampire and a Vampire Hunter into your midst much easier to accept."

        "But you two are together now?" Elena asks.

        "Yes, we are." I answer as I place my hand over Elijah's. "It took us a while, but here we are."  

        "And that ring on your finger, it came from Noah's family?" Elena asks as she points out the engagement ring on my finger. 

        "Yeah, it was some family heirloom of his." I tell her. "It works like the Gilbert ring except it also has a warning system. If I'm approaching a vampire it becomes warm and if it's a werewolf it becomes cold." 

        "How about witches?" Elena asks me. 

        I look down at my ring and think over that. 

        "I don't think there's a warning for that," I answer. "Well not that I know of." 

        Elena nods at this and then looks up at Elijah. 

        "So Griselda explained her side of the story," Elena states. "I believe it's your turn." 

        Elijah nods at this and motions us to walk once more. Elena and I flank his side and I knew what was to come. 

        "Before I start recounting my side of the story, I have a question that needs an answer." Elijah states. "What happened to Katerina? She would have been released from my compulsion when I was daggered." 

        "Klaus took her." Elena answers. "We think that she may be dead." 

        "I doubt that." Elijah responds. "Not Klaus' style. Death would be too easy for her after what she did." 

        "I don't understand." Elena states with a shake of her head. "You say that you want Klaus dead, but you still made Katherine pay for betraying him." 

        "Elijah has his own reasons for wanting Katerina to pay." I tell Elena. "Hell, I have my own reasons to want Katherine dead."

        "What did she do to you, Elijah?" Elena asks him. 

        "It doesn't matter now," Elijah tells her. "It's just... there was a time I would have done anything for Klaus." 

        "Why?" Elena asks him. "What do you owe him?" 

        "Nothing," Elijah answers. "Simply the bond of family." 

        Elena looks shocked as she hears this and Elijah gives her a small smile. 

        "Yes," Elijah assures her. "Klaus is my brother." 

        "I heard that." Elena sighs out. "I'm still processing." 

        "I understand," I tell her. "It took me a while to come to terms with it too." 

        "When did you find out?" Elena asks me. 

        I couldn't help but laugh. 

        "Two days ago." 

**************

Third POV, Alaric's Residence        

        Katherine is bored out of her mind in the solitude of Alaric's apartment. She spins around in her chair as she amused herself with the music blaring out of the radio. She soon gets up and walks over to the kitchen in search of anything. Katherine quickly finds a bottle of bourbon. She quickly opens it and takes a swing from it before she hears someone walking up to the apartment. 

        " I don't think this is a good idea." 

        "Investigative journalism....we're investigating." 

        Katherine rolls her eyes as she notices the sarcastic male tone. Katherine approaches the door and continues to listen in. 

        "Alaric, are you home? Andie...Star, Jenna's friend." 

        Katherine attempts to grab the doorknob but is unable too. She tries again but there seemed to be a shield preventing her from doing so. She sighs and gives up. Katherine turns her back and begins to walk away before the door creaks and swings open revealing Damon and Andie. 

        "Thank God." Katherine groans out. Andie smiles at the vampire doppelganger and enters the apartment. 

        "Wow! You were right." Andie exclaims as she looks over at Katherine. "She looks exactly like Elena." 

        "Yep." Damon muses as he attempts to step in but is unable to. He looks down at Katherine with amusement. "Thought you might be dead." 

        "Unfortunately not." Katherine sighs out as she takes another swing from the bottle of bourbon. She looks in between Andie and Damon with uncertainty. "What are you doing here?" 

        "We are here to rescue you." Andie responds. 

        "No, sweetie." Damon corrects as Andie steps back outside and joins Damon's side. "We are here to see if she deserves to be rescued." 

        "Right," Andie whispers as she turns to look back at Katherine. 

        "I figured you still might be kicking." Damon says with a scowl. "Alaric-Klaus was blending way too easily. Figured he probably had some coaching."

        Damon then pulls out the reason of his visit, displaying to Katherine a vial of clear liquid. 

        "Is that...?" Katherine begins to ask in which Damon nods. 

        "Vervain?" Damon states. "Your salvation." 

        "It's not going to undo anything." Katherine tells him. 

        "There's always a loophole." Damon remarks annoyed. "Did he tell you to stay in this apartment until he said it was okay to leave?" 

        Katherine opens her mouth to respond but is unable to. 

        "You can't say." Damon states. "Did he tell you to do absolutely everything he says until the end of time?" 

        "No." Katherine finds herself answering.         

        "There's your loophole." Damon remarks as he holds out the vial. "Drink this and it'll prevent any further compulsion." 

        Katherine steps closer to the door but is stopped from passing through it. Damon grins at her as he still held the vial of vervain past the threshold. 

        "Give it to me." 

        "Answer one question first." Damon states as he brings back the vial to his chest. "You double-crossed us with Isobel, why?" 

        "I didn't think you could stand a chance against Klaus, so I was looking out for myself." Katherine answers. 

        "And where did that get you?" Damon asks amused in which Katherine just glares at him. She extends her hand out and Damon throws the vial at her. "Here." 

        Katherine catches it and without hesitation opens the vial and drinks it down. 

        "Be careful with that." Damon warns her. "If he finds out you have that, you're never getting out of here." 

        Katherine coughs and nods at this. 

        "You owe me." Damon reminds her. "And I will collect." 

        Katherine simply glared at him and Damon motioned to Andie that it was time to go. Andie quickly wished Katherine goodbye before closing the door after her. 

 

Gilbert Residence

        Stefan makes his way to the Gilbert home in relief that Jenna had followed his advice and stayed home instead of going out to meet Alaric at the Grill. Yet Stefan spoke too soon as Alaric/Klaus appeared behind the open door with a big grin. Apparently, he invited himself over to make lunch. 

        "You know, I find chopping...calming." Alaric/Klaus states as he holds up the large knife into the air. "The feel of the blade in the hand, maybe." 

        Jenna looked in between Alaric and Stefan in confusion. 

        "I'm still waiting for someone to tell me what the hell's going on." Jenna states. 

        "Well, would you like to tell her, Stefan, or should I?" Alaric/Klaus prompts Stefan up with amusement, knowing exactly what he was doing.

        "Tell me what?" Jenna asks as she interrupts their stare down. 

        "Do you believe in vampires, Jenna?" Alaric/Klaus asks her as he turns to her. "No?"

        Jenna stared at him in confusion and Alaric/Klaus just laughs. 

        "Well, who does, right?" Alaric/Klaus asks. "But believe it or not, they do have a place in our history. And as a history teacher, I find them fascinating." 

        "Why are we talking about this?" Jenna asks confused. 

        "Well, you've been angry with me for keeping secrets, and this is one of my secrets." Alaric/Klaus answers. "I'm obsessed with vampires. There. I said it." 

        "Are you joking?" Jenna asks annoyed now. 

        "Not at all." Alaric/Klaus answers. "My sister is also obsessed with vampires apparently. How about you, Stefan? Are you a fan of vampires?" 

        "In literature." Stefan answers unsure of what Klaus was intending with this conversation. "Bram Stoker. It's dense, but I appreciate it." 

        "Hmm." Alaric/Klaus hums out. "Did you know that vampires are the oldest creatures of the night? Except for werewolves, of course." 

        "Werewolves." Jenna repeats annoyed. "Werewolves. Now I know you're joking." 

        "You know, I've read that there's an Aztec curse on both species that keeps werewolves slaves to the Moon and vampires bound by the Sun." Alaric/Klaus states as he turns to Stefan. "Isn't that right, Stefan?"

        Stefan glared at him and unaffected Alaric/Klaus turns to a fuming Jenna.

        "You know, they say these creatures would do anything to have this curse broken and that they wouldn't care who they had to kill to do it." 

        Jenna looks at him in alarm as Alaric/Klaus grinned at her as he slammed the knife down strongly on the cutting board. 

*************

Griselda's POV, Lockwood Gardens

        Elena listened through Elijah's explanation and took it in better than I did. Elijah's need for revenge against Klaus made sense, but part of me was still apprehensive to trust him on this. Either way, Elijah told Elena about the rest of the Originals and their current whereabouts. 

        "There's a whole family of Originals?" Elena asks concerned. 

        "My father was a wealthy landowner in a village in Eastern Europe." Elijah explains to her. "Our mother bore seven children." 

        "So your parents were human?" 

        "Our whole family was." Elijah answers. "Our origin as vampires is a very long story, Elena. Just know...We're the oldest vampires in the world. We are the Original family, and from us all vampires were created." 

        "Right, but Klaus is your brother." Elena clarifies. "And you want him dead?" 

        "That is the million dollar question," I answer as I look up at Elijah with hesitation. "And the answer is yet to be determined." 

        Elijah noticed my disbelief of his cause and takes a deep breath. 

        "Let's keep on walking," Elijah suggests. "There's more to tell." 

        Elena and I stood up and we all started to walk down by the small pond on the property. We start to cross the small bridge as Elijah pointed out the Originals lack of vulnerability. 

        "As you've seen and heard, nothing can kill an Original." I tell Elena. "Not sun, not fire, not even a werewolf bite."

        "Only the wood from one tree." Elijah adds in. "A tree my family made sure burned." 

        "That's where the white ash for the dagger comes from." Elena states in which Elijah nods. 

        "Yes," Elijah answers. "The witches won't allow anything truly immortal to walk the earth. Every creature needs to have a weakness in order to maintain the balance." 

        "So the sun can't kill an Original." Elena states confused. "Why is Klaus so obsessed with breaking the Sun and Moon curse?" 

        "Right," Elijah chuckles out. "The curse of the Sun and the Moon. It's all so...biblical-sounding, don't you think?" 

        I couldn't help but shake my head at Elijah's amusement as we both finished crossing the bridge. Elena followed after us quickly with questions. 

        "What's so funny?" Elena asks. 

        "The Sun and the Moon curse," Elijah starts to tell her as she caught up to us. "It was created by Klaus, drawn by his own hand." 

        "I don't understand." Elena states. "So Klaus drew the Aztec sketches about the curse?" 

        "Roman scrolls, African tribal etchings, and any other culture or continent we felt like planting in it." 

        "But why?" Elena asks. 

        "Easiest way to discover the existence of a doppelgänger or to get your hands on some long, lost moonstone is to have every single member of two warring species on the lookout." I answer. 

        "So it's not Aztec at all?" Elena asks confused. 

        "The curse of the Sun and the Moon...is fake." Elijah answers. "It doesn't exist." 

        Elijah offers me his arm and I take it as we continue through the gardens. Elena was left behind as she processed the information we dropped her with. 

        "What?!"

************

Third POV,  Gilbert Residence

        Alaric/Klaus had finished preparing the meal and now they were all seated around the table. Alaric/Klaus was smiling through Stefan's glare while Jenna was still angry at Alaric's nonchalant behavior. 

        "Oh, I know this all sounds so crazy, but...vampires are real." Alaric/Klaus states. "Would you care for some more wine?" 

        Alaric/Klaus gets up to get another bottle of wine for Jenna but she had had enough. 

        "Get out." 

        Alaric/Klaus stops in shock. 

        "Excuse me?" he asks her. 

        "I don't know what it is you're trying to do or why you're saying these things, but..." Jenna says as she stands up from her chair. Alaric/Klaus tries to explain but Jenna waves him off. "I said get out!" 

        Stefan gets up from his seat as well. 

        "You heard her." 

        Alaric/Klaus tilts his head at Stefan, a smirk still playing on his lips. 

        "I'm afraid I don't want to." 

        Jenna, having had enough with both of their behaviors, starts to move past them. 

        "Fine!" she exclaims. "I'll go." 

        Alaric/Klaus quickly picks up the knife off the counter and points it directly towards her.

        "You're not going anywhere." 

        Stefan seeing this quickly grabs him and forces him against the wall using his strength to place the knife at Alaric's throat. All of this caught Jenna by surprise. 

        "Stefan!" 

        "Jenna, get out of here now!" Stefan exclaims. 

        "You can't kill me, Stefan." Alaric/Klaus taunts. 

        "Watch me!" Stefan growls out. 

        "Stefan!" Jenna shouts even more worried. 

        "I may not have a witch protecting me today, but if you kill this body, what's to stop me from choosing Jenna as my next one?" Alaric/Klaus taunts him. 

        "Jenna, go." Stefan shouts once more.  

        "But you're...you..." Jenna stammers out as she points the knife aimed at Alaric's neck. 

        "I said go!" Stefan shouts as he turns to look at her with his face showing his fangs and blood-shot eyes. At the sight of this, Jenna runs out of the house. Stefan then turns back to Klaus who is still grinning up at him. 

        "Kill me." Klaus taunts. "Just remind Elena how easy it will be for me to get my revenge if she tries to stop me from breaking this curse." 

        Hearing the threat towards Elena, Stefan punches Klaus' face causing him to drop on the floor. From there, Stefan kicks him twice into the wall before rushing out. 

*************

Griselda's POV, Lockwood Gardens

        Elijah and I slowed down our pace as Elena ran to catch up to us. I could see the gears in her mind turning as to why Klaus and Elijah faked the Sun and the Moon curse. 

        "Klaus and I faked the sun and moon curse dating back over a thousand years." Elijah explains to Elena. 

        "But if there's no curse..." 

        "There is a curse." I tell Elena. "Just not that one."

        "The real one's much worse." Elijah adds in. "It's a curse placed on Klaus." 

        "What are you talking about?" Elena asks deeply confused. 

        "Klaus has been trying to break it for the last thousand years. And you are his only hope." 

        I could feel the phone vibrate throughout his jacket and Elijah sighs annoyed by their incessant buzzing. 

        "What is this curse?" Elena asks him. 

        "Your phone will not stop its incessant buzzing." Elijah remarks as he pulls it out and hands it to her. "Answer it, please." 

        Elena takes it from him and quickly answers it. 

        "Stefan, what's wrong?" Elena asks him, after a beat, Elena's face falls into a concerned frown. "No, no, no, no. Okay, I'll be right there." 

        Elena quickly hangs up and she looks up at the both of us. 

        "Klaus went after Jenna." Elena tells us. "I have to go to her." 

        "I'm afraid that wasn't part of today's arrangement." Elijah proclaims and I give him a nudge on his ribs to cut her some slack. 

        "She's my family, Elijah." Elena answers. "I have to. I'll be back. You have my word." 

        "That doesn't mean anything to me until you live up to it." Elijah states as he nods for her to go. I pull myself away from Elijah and take out the keys from my pocket. 

        "I should go with her," I tell him. "I need to make sure Jenna knows that Alaric isn't really Alaric." 

        "Griselda," Elijah calls out as he grabs a hold of my wrist and pulling me back. I look up at him and I could see the apprehension he had for letting me go. "We haven't had a chance to talk."

        "We will," I promise him. "But I have to go see her. I have to explain to her what's going on."

        Elijah nods at this and lets me go. "Be careful."

        "I always am," I answer as I place a quick kiss on his cheek. "I'll see you soon." 

        Elijah gives me a small smile before I start running after Elena who was waiting beside my car. I take a glance once more to Elijah who looks at us pensively. I knew we had much to work through, but that would have to wait until later. 

 

Salvatore Boarding House

        Elena and I walk into the always open Boarding House. The first thing we see as we walk into the library is Jenna crying her eyes out. From what Elena told me on the car ride here, Alaric had cornered Jenna at the house and practically forced Stefan to reveal his vampire identity to her. I understood more than most her mental state at the moment but allowed Elena to take the lead in her recovery. 

        "Oh, Jenna, thank God." Elena sighs out as she runs down to meet her. Jenna quickly stiffens under Elena's embrace.

        "No." 

        "I'm so sorry." Elena apologizes to her. "I never meant for any of this to happen." 

        Jenna shakes her head at Elena as she tried to calm herself down. 

        "When I was little, your mom used to tell me bedtime stories. Stories about vampires." Jenna explains to her. "I never thought that what she said could be true." 

        "It is true, Jenna. I should have told you. I thought that if you didn't know, you'd be safe." Elena tells her. "But then things got so out of control and everything I had done to keep you out of it, it just blew up in my face." 

        "Who else knows?" Jenna asks her. "Jeremy?" 

        Elena nods at this. 

        "John?" 

        The answer was clear on Elena's face which seemed to upset and infuriate Jenna even more. 

        "We were just trying to protect you." Elena explains to her. 

        "Protect me?" Jenna exclaims. 

        "I'm so sorry." Elena apologizes to her. "I will tell you everything." 

        "No, no, no..." Jenna sighs out. "I am the one who's supposed to be protecting you and Jeremy." 

        "I know, but there's nothing that you could have done." Elena states. "There's so much more to it..." 

        "No, this is... this is so..." Jenna stammers out. "I don't know how...it's..." 

        Jenna begins to cry even harder than before and Elena consoles her. I remained silent as Elena looks up to me worriedly. I gave her a small smile in support. 

        "Why didn't you tell me?" Jenna cries out. "I'm scared." 

        "I know," Elena whispers to her. "I know, hey. I'm sorry. Jenna, I am so, so sorry." 

        Stefan stands beside me silently as he overhears the conversation. I could see the guilt that was covering his face and I knew he blamed himself. 

        "It's alright," I whisper to him. "None of this is your fault." 

        "I vamped out in front of her," Stefan responds. "Of course, it's my fault." 

        "It's Klaus' fault." I state. "You stub your toe, you lose your keys, you fail a test... whatever it is, you blame Klaus. It's always Klaus' fault." 

        Stefan turns to look at me with slight amusement. 

        "It's better for her to know now," I tell Stefan. "Maybe Klaus made us a favor in this one. Now she'll be ready to face what's to come. Not knowing would have killed her... literally." 

        "You care about her," Stefan points out.         

        "I am human, you know?" I tell him. "I can care about people, things..." 

        "You were a machine before," Stefan states. "Now you're human." 

        I couldn't help the small smile on my lips as I played with the engagement ring on my finger. 

        "We're all human," I tell him. "We could never lose that part of ourselves as much as we try." I look up to Stefan who seemed pensive about this. "Vampire or not."

        Elena motions Jenna to a room upstairs and I turn to Stefan who had seen the same thing.

        "I think she wants to talk to you," I tell him as I push off from the doorway and make my ways upstairs. "I'll take care of Jenna for you too." 

        Stefan nods at this with a gentle smile and I follow Jenna up the stairs. We both enter a vacant room and I close the door after her. 

        "You're in shock," I state. 

        "Obviously I'm in shock!" 

        I let her lash out to me knowing that she needed this. 

        "My brother isn't him right now." I tell her. "There's threats to everyone's life and I want to kill a big bad vampire." 

        Jenna looks at me in shock. 

        "I'm telling you the harsh truth," I state. "It's about time people stop sugarcoating things. Knowing just saved your life." 

        "How?" Jenna exclaims. 

        "Because not knowing could have killed you," I tell her. "And you want to know how I know that? Because it killed me." 

        Jenna stops pacing and stares at me in confusion. 

        "I will tell you everything," I sigh out as I take a seat on the vacant bed and pat the spot next to me. "I will tell you everything I know and what happened to me and I promise you... I promise you that you won't suffer like I did."

        Jenna takes a seat next to me and looks at me, waiting. I take a deep breath and remove the engagement ring off my finger. 

        "So my story starts with this engagement ring..." 

**************

Third POV, Alaric's Apartment

        The music resonates around the apartment as Katherine drinks from the bottle of bourbon and dances around. Even though the music was deafening, Katherine is able to hear the door opening. She quickly sets the bottle down and takes a seat on the couch as Klaus walks into the room. 

        "You mind turning that down?" Klaus exclaims as he motions to the radio. 

        Katherine grabs the remote off the coffee table and lowers the volume of the radio. 

        "Why so grumpy?" Katherine asks him. 

        "Well, this body has outlived its usefulness." Klaus sighs out. 

        "Do you want a drink?" Katherine asks him as she motions to the bottle of bourbon. 

        "No, Katerina, I don't want a drink." Klaus states annoyed. 

        "Come on," Katherine says as she takes up the bottle and offers it to him. "It might loosen you up."

        Klaus, annoyed by her, takes the bottle from her hand and throws it against the wall. He grabs Katherine tightly by her arms and compels her. 

        "What I want is for you to sit down and shut up."

        Katherine knew better than to go against his simple compulsion and takes her seat on the couch, silently. The door opens once more and Noah makes his way in with luggage. 

        "Noah, what took you so long?" Klaus exasperates. 

        "You've got a lot of luggage," Noah comments as another warlock walks in with luggage and finally a disgruntled Greta. 

        "Greta," Klaus sighs out in relief. "Finally." 

        "Klaus," Greta says coldly. She looks him up and down, taking in account his human body. "Nice body. You ready to get out of it?" 

        Two compelled workers come in carrying one large wooden crate and Klaus smiles at the sight of it. Noah and Greta share a look of concern, but nothing comes from it. 

 

Lockwood Mansion

        The sun was beginning to set and Elijah made his way inside of the Lockwood home. Elena came running in and sighed in relief as she found him still there. Elijah looks up to find her and is relieved that she did return, but that relief was shortlived as he saw that Griselda wasn't with her. 

        "Gris...?" he begins to ask before Elena nodded at him. 

        "She stayed behind with Jenna," Elena explains to him. "She thought it best to try to catch her up on everything." 

        Elijah nods at this and motions for Elena to take a seat. 

        "Tell me," Elena states as she takes off her coat and sits down. "What is Klaus's curse?" 

        "My family was quite close, but Klaus and my father did not get on too well." Elijah explains to her. "When we became vampires, we discovered the truth. Klaus was not my father's son. My mother had been unfaithful many years before. This was her darkest secret."

        Elijah stares into the lit fireplace and sighs.

        "Klaus is from a different bloodline. Of course, when my father discovered this, he hunted down and he killed my mother's lover and his entire family. Not realizing, of course, that he was igniting a war between species that rages until this day." 

        "A war between the species?" Elena asks in need of clarification. 

        "The vampires and the werewolves." Elijah answers. 

        "So Klaus' real father was from a werewolf bloodline?" Elena asks confused. "What does that make Klaus? A werewolf? Or a vampire?" 

        "He's both." Elijah states. "A hybrid would be deadlier than any werewolf or vampire. Nature would not stand for such an imbalance of power. Therefore the witches, the servants of nature, saw to it that my brother's werewolf side would become dormant." 

        "That's the curse that Klaus wants to break?" 

        "He wants to trigger that part of him that's a werewolf." Elijah tells her. "If allowed, Klaus would sire his own bloodline. He'd build his own race. Endangering not just vampires, but everyone." 

        "But you helped him?" 

        "I helped him because I loved him." Elijah clarifies. "That's changed, now he must die." 

        "We have the dagger now." Elena tells him. "We can stop him." 

        Elijah shakes his head at her. 

        "When a werewolf is wounded by silver, it heals." Elijah explains to her. "An Original can't be killed by anything but white oak ash on a silver dagger. So you see the conundrum. The dagger does not work." 

        "What... are you saying that Klaus can't be killed?" Elena asks concerned. 

        "There's one way to kill any supernatural species... at the hands of the servants of nature themselves." 

        "A witch," Elena says, "If they can channel that much power... but it would kill them." 

        "The curse must be broken during the full moon, when Klaus is in transition." Elijah tells Elena. "That's when he'll be at his most vulnerable. A witch with enough power...can kill Klaus." 

        "What if I told you that I knew a witch that could channel that much power?" Elena asks him.

        "Then I would tell you there's one more thing that you should know," Elijah tells her. "The night Katerina was meant to be sacrificed, I went to see the witches and I found a way to save her after her sacrifice. I told Klaus of this, but he refused to save her."         

        "But you found a way to save the life of the doppelgänger?" 

        "Yes, Elena. I did." Elijah answers. "But unfortunately, Katerina took matters into her own hands first. I believe you already know how that played out." 

        "You cared about her, didn't you?" Elena asks him curiously. 

        "It's a common mistake, I'm told." Elijah answers with a small smile. "And it's one I won't make again."

        Elijah grabs Elena's discarded jacket and offers it to her before turning to leave. Elena lets out a sigh of relief as she shrugs on her coat and follows after Elijah. 

**************

Griselda's POV, Salvatore Boarding House

        I tried to tell Jenna as much as I could before she drew the line. She had exhausted herself and the adrenaline that had been pumping through her body had finally stopped. I closed the door behind me and let her sleep the hectic day away. I pull at my finger and sigh as I realized once more that the ring was no longer there. I take a deep breath and was enjoying the small moment of relief before I heard a crashing downstairs. 

        "Stop!" 

        I run downstairs and swing into the parlor just to find Stefan and Damon breathing heavily and a fallen shelf from the nearby wall. Elena stared at them in disbelief while Elijah looked...

        "Wow," I whisper as my eyes catch his. 

        I couldn't seem to get my fast beating heart in control. I felt a sudden warmth envelop my whole body as I felt this shock run through my whole body. Every part of myself seemed elevated and he was the only thing keeping me grounded. 

        "Oh my God," Elijah whispers. 

        Everyone seemed to notice the change in the air as Elijah and I stared at each other with shock. This didn't stop Damon from running his mouth though, snapping us from the haze. 

        "Now you've invited him in?" Damon asks Elena annoyed. 

        "Elijah and I have renewed the terms of our deal." Elena explains to him. 

        "Really?" Damon exclaims. 

        "The two of you will come to no harm at my hands." Elijah answers making me look up at him, warmth once more enveloping every part of my being. "I only ask for one thing in return." 

        "What?" Damon asks, gaining my attention once more. 

        "An apology." 

        "A what?" Damon exclaims annoyed. 

        "I'm sorry for the part that I played in your death." Stefan apologizes as he stands in front of Elijah. "I was protecting Elena. I will always protect Elena." 

        "I understand," Elijah tells him before turning to Damon who remained silent. 

        "The sacrifice is going to happen, Damon." Elena explains to him. "Bonnie will be able to kill Klaus without hurting herself and Elijah knows how to save my life. I told you I'd find another way. And I did." 

        "Is that true?" Damon asks Elijah. 

        "It is," Elijah answers. 

        "And you're trusting him?" Damon asks Elena. 

        "I am," Elena tells him. 

        Damon takes a deep breath and stares at each and every single one of us. 

        "You can all go to hell." 

        Damon storms out of the room and Stefan looks up at Elijah apologetically. 

        "He's angry with me right now, but he'll come around." Stefan tells Elijah. 

        "Perhaps," Elijah responds as he watches Damon walk away. His eyes then turn to me once more and I let out a content sigh. "It's been a long day, I believe Griselda and I should head back home." 

        "We'll see you tomorrow," I tell Elena and Stefan as I grab my coat and follow after Elijah. His hands meet mine and I feel this rush of electricity run through my body once more and I knew he felt it too. 

        The drive back to the apartment was short and the journey to our apartment itself was shorter. Elijah and I remained in contact with another, continuing to feel every spark as our hands and lips met one another. 

        "What changed?" Elijah whispers between my lips. "Why can I feel the bond so strongly now?"

        My hands shoved his coat off and I whispered the answer as I kissed his exposed neck.

        "I chose you," I answer. "I chose our future, not the past anymore."

        Elijah pulls my face towards his as his brown eyes scanned my face. I knew he was confused to my response and I simply let my thumb run over his bruised lips.

        "There's only one thing I can think of this moment," I tell him. "One thing that made this whole thing possible. The thing that warns me of vampires and werewolves... the thing that restrains magic from affecting me physically and emotionally." 

        I raise my left hand up and Elijah looks over it. His eyes look back at me and then he scans my hand once more, realizing what was missing. 

        "Where's your engagement ring?" 

        "Jenna has it," I tell him as he grabs my hands and looks at my naked finger. "I thought she should wear it since she's now a part of this."

        "You're defenseless now," Elijah murmurs as he presses a kiss on the top of my hand. 

        "I'm far from being defenseless," I tell him as my other hand slips into his hair. "I'm just not indestructible anymore." 

        Elijah lets go of my hand and instead pulls me into him, kissing me stronger than before. Our hands become erratic as we try to tug the restraints of our clothes off. Elijah chuckles into my hair as we stumble down the corridor. 

        "I guess I'll have to be indestructible for the both of us," Elijah whispers before kissing me once more. I moaned in agreement as he pulls me up and carries me into the bedroom. We both fall into the bed and I finally felt whole for the first time in a while. 

***************

Third POV, Alaric's Apartment

        Maddox and Greta were kneeling on the ground, casting a spell. Candles surrounded all of them as Klaus/Alaric stood over the box with his head bowed and eyes closed. Noah circled around the spell being conducted, his pacing making it obvious to Katherine how he really disliked this change of events. 

        "Phasmatos Tribum, Nas Ex Veras, Uenes Phasmatos Et Sonos. Ex Tutam Exum Lamia Matus." 

        After the chanting is done and the candles extinguished with it, everyone's attention turns to Klaus/Alaric who slowly opens his eyes in confusion. 

        "Elena?" he asks as his eyes meets Katherine. It didn't take long for Alaric to collapse on the ground and Noah quickly catches him before his head hits the floor. 

        Maddox, the ever loyal warlock, stands up from the ground and opens the wooden box that had been leaning over the wall. Once the lid was removed, Klaus steps over Alaric, in his own body. He fixes his coat and grins at everyone in attendance.

        "Now that's more like it."

Chapter Text

        I feel a pattern being traced on my bare back and couldn't help the lazy smile on my lips as I felt little sparks wherever he touched me. I never realized this was what true love felt like. I never realized how much I really loved Elijah until now. I slowly turn around and look over at him. His focus was on the phone that he held with his other hand while he distractedly still drew patterns on my back. I shift once more and his eyes meet mine, a smile tugs at his lips as he sees me awake. 

        "Good morning," he says. 

        "Morning," I reply as I sit up next to him. I look over at his phone and then back at him. "Is everything alright?" 

        "Yes," Elijah answers as he sets his phone aside. "Elena just called asking for us to meet them at the Boarding House as soon as we are able to." 

        "We should probably head over there then," I tell him as I pull the sheet over to cover myself. I was ready to scour the floor for something to wear but Elijah pulls me back into the bed. "Elijah! We have no time to waste." 

        "I know," Elijah replies. "But I can't let you leave this room without doing something first." 

        "What?" I ask him as his face showed complete seriousness. 

        Elijah doesn't respond and instead picks up the empty glass from the nightable. Without another word, he extends his fangs and bites into his wrist, allowing the blood to pour out into the glass. He wipes the drop of blood from his lips and then offers me the half-filled glass. 

        "Drink this," Elijah tells me. "Just in case..." 

        "In case what?" I ask him nervously. "In case I die? No. I'm not gonna do that, Elijah." 

        "Gris..." 

        "I know I took off my ring but that doesn't mean I'm ready for this!" I exclaim. "It doesn't mean I want this life." 

        "What happens if you get injured and I'm unable to assist you?" Elijah asks me. "I would hate myself if I knew I could have done something. I wouldn't be able to live if you had died without being able to resuscitate. I'm not going to risk losing you now that I have you completely so drink this." 

        "I love you, Elijah." I tell him. "But I can't do this. Because if I drink this and I do die, I will wake up in transition and I won't complete it. Then you would have lost me twice and I will not make you go through that." 

        Elijah sighs at this, his face scowling. I could read his mind by the mere expression on his face. He didn't want to push me to hard on this, but he would have to if he needed to. I knew the repercussions if he did this and as much as I would try not to be this way, some things remain unchanged. 

        "If I become a vampire, Elijah... if you force this decision on me... I wouldn't be able to forgive you." 

        This seems to have caught his attention and I sigh as I force myself to tell the bitter truth. 

        "You already know how hard it is for me to give forgiveness. We've been through this cycle and I am so stubborn and you feel so strongly I... I don't want to live like this for eternity. I don't want you to have to live like this." 

        "Fine," Elijah says after a while. "But if this is your choice, you're going to have to respect mine." 

        "And that is?" I ask him as he gets out of bed and starts to tug his clothes on. 

        "I'm not letting you walk into danger without protection," Elijah states. 

        "You can't possibly mean..." I begin to exclaim as he refused to meet my eyes. 

        "You're not allowed to face Klaus or any of his witch lackeys tonight." Elijah states. "I won't have you risking your fragile life on a death mission." 

        "Elijah!" I shout annoyed. 

        "It's been decided," he states as he walks out of the door and closes it behind him. I scoffed at his exit and let my head hit the pillow heavily. 

        "You're benching your best player!" I shout at him, knowing he could hear me from across the apartment. "You're benching me on the championship game... unbelievable." 

****

        What was supposed to be a peaceful, romantic morning ended up being fouled. Elijah and I hadn't really spoken a word. The ultimatum was in place and I had to decide which direction I wanted to take it in. We reach the Boarding House and are greeted by Elena and Stefan. It was only the teenage couple since Damon was still moping around. We motion for them to take a seat as we answered the questions they still both had over the whole Klaus ordeal. 

        "Tonight is the full moon." I explain to both of them. "We should assume that Klaus is prepared to break the curse."

        "Elena said that the Sun and the Moon curse is fake?" Stefan asks us. "That it's actually just a curse placed on Klaus." 

        I look over at Elijah and he takes my sign to answer Stefan's question. 

        "Klaus is a vampire born of a werewolf bloodline. The curse has kept his werewolf aspect from manifesting." Elijah explains to him. "But if he breaks it...He'll be a true hybrid."

        Damon enters the room, from my suspicions he had most likely been eavesdropping since he immediately jumped into the conversation with ease. 

        "Then why are we letting him break the curse?" Damon exclaims. "We can kill him today with Bonnie."

        "Damon..." Stefan starts to warn.        

        "No." Elena intercepts. "Bonnie can't use that much power without dying." 

        "I'll write her a great eulogy." Damon remarks. 

        "It's not an option, Damon." Elena exclaims. 

        "All right," Stefan says trying to calm both of them down. He turns to look at Elijah and I. "How do we break this curse?"

        "Well, the ritual itself is relatively straightforward." Elijah answers. "The ingredients, so to speak, you already know." 

        "The moonstone."

        "A witch will channel the power of the full moon to release the spell that's bound within the stone." Elijah continues to tell him. "After that, Klaus, being both werewolf and vampire, will sacrifice one of each."

        "And where do I fit into it?" Elena asks. 

        "You're the final part of the ritual." I tell her. Elijah walks over to the shelf and pulls out the wooden box he had brought with him.

        "Klaus must drink the blood of the doppelgänger...to the point of your death." 

        Stefan takes Elena's hand into his and I can see Damon look over at with concern. Elijah opens the box and pulls out the jar from it. 

        "And that's where you come in." Elena sighs out as she looks over the elixir. 

        "This is an elixir that I acquired some 500 years ago for Katerina." Elijah tells her. "It possesses mystical properties of resuscitation." 

        "So I'll be dead?" Elena asks. 

        "And then you won't." I answer. 

        "That's your plan?" Damon exclaims annoyed. "A magical witch potion with no expiration date?" Damon then looks over at Elena. "You want to come back to life, what about John's ring?"

        "Those rings only work on us humans." I tell Damon. "The doppelgänger's a supernatural occurrence. We don't want to risk the ring not working."

        "I'll take those odds over your elixir." Damon remarks. "What if it doesn't work, Elena?" 

        "Then I guess I'll just be dead." Elena responds calmly. 

        Damon looks over at his brother for his reaction and Stefan just shrugs. Damon then glances over at me and Elijah with a scowl before leaving the room once more. 

        "Damon?" I call out worriedly but he ignores me and continues to head upstairs. The door slams closed and I sigh at his reaction. 

        "Do we know if Klaus has everything he needs to do this?" Elena asks us, ignoring Damon's overreaction. "Does he have a werewolf?" 

        "Klaus has been waiting to break this curse for over a thousand years. If he doesn't already have a werewolf, my guess is by tonight, he will." 

*****

        Stefan had left to go talk to Damon in hopes of getting him back to our side. Elena remained with Elijah and I as we tied the loose ends of the plan tonight. All of our plans seemed to derail when they came to my role and I could only glare at Elijah as he smirked at me before going on. Elena seemed to notice that something was amiss between us but was polite enough to not ask about it. 

        "You'd think he'd understand why I'm willing to do this." Elena sighs out as she picks up the elixir bottle and inspects it herself. 

        "Why are you?" I ask Elena. 

        "I'm the key to breaking the curse." Elena answers. "Klaus is here because of me. If I don't stop him, then he's going to hurt people. It's that simple." 

        "You know, there's a possibility this elixir won't work." Elijah tells her. "I don't want to mislead you." 

        "I know the chance I'm taking." 

        Elijah looks over at me with a questioning glance and I knew he was asking me to reconsider. I sigh once more and was about to respond before I hear a commotion out by the front entrance. 

        "Get out!" 

        "Jenna, Jenna!"

        "Get out!" 

        "Is that-?" I begin to ask as I recognized the voice shouting alongside Jenna. I run out onto the hallway and find Jenna holding a crossbow trained on Alaric.

        "Jenna, put the crossbow down, okay?" Alaric pleads. "It's me."

        "Stay away from me." Jenna shouts raising the crossbow higher. 

        "Jenna, do you even know how to use that thing?" I ask her as I looked in between her and the supposed Alaric. 

        "What's going on?" Elena asks as she runs in with Damon, Stefan, and Elijah behind her. 

        "It's me," Alaric exclaims again. "I swear, okay? He let me go. Klaus let me go." 

        "Prove it." Damon states. 

        Alaric sighs and thinks for a while. He then looks over at us and his eyes narrow at me with a confused expression. 

        "Griselda?" he asks in shock. "Are you... how are you... Are your real?" 

        I look over at everyone unsure of how to respond. It slipped my mind that my brother, who had been possessed recently, might have not actually known the shocking events over the past few days. 

        "Yeah, you've missed a lot of things..." I tell him. "I can explain." 

        I clear my throat and look over the group before staring back at my brother. 

        "Okay, it's him." I say as I motion to Jenna to put the crossword down. 

        "Why did he let you go?" Stefan asks Alaric. 

        "He wanted me to deliver a message." Alaric sighs out. "The sacrifice happens tonight."

        I take the crossbow away from Jenna and set it down. Everyone files out into the parlor except for me and Alaric who is just looking at me waiting for an explanation. 

        "I will explain everything, I promise." I tell him. "But there are other things going on today that need our attention." 

        Alaric hesitantly nods at this and we join the rest of the group with the exception of Damon who has disappeared once again. Alaric takes a seat as we all surround him asking him questions. 

        "So if you still thought your sister was dead then you don't remember anything that happened?" Stefan asks him. 

        "No," Alaric answers. "It's like I blacked out and woke up three days later. Katherine was there." 

        "She's under compulsion." Stefan explains to him. "Damon snuck her some vervain, but she can't leave until Klaus tells her she can." 

        "Where is Damon?" Elena asks as she looks around. 

        "I saw him go upstairs." Jenna tells her. 

        Elena nods at this and makes her way out of the room and upstairs. Alaric looks nervously at all of us. 

        "So what else did I do?" Alaric asks us. 

        "The question should be more like, what haven't you done?" I voice out. 

        Jenna and Stefan look at me in shock while Elijah just shakes his head at me. 

        "Short version; you blew me off when I came back from the dead, you tried to kill Bonnie at the decade dance, and you tried to kill Jenna." 

        "Oh my God," Alaric exclaims as he rubs his face nervously. "What else did I miss?" 

        "Elijah and I aren't really engage but we are together." I tell him. "Also Damon and I were on the road of being drinking buddies since you were temporarily undisposed." 

        Elijah rolls his eyes at this and Alaric just huffs out a laugh. 

        "Oh I'm also not dead by the way." I add in. "I have a magical ring to thank for that." 

        "Had," Elijah corrects. "You had a ring." 

        "What happened?" Alaric asks concerned. 

        "I gave it to Jenna," I tell him. "She needs it more than I do. I have experience with surviving in the supernatural world." 

        "Not without that ring," Elijah mutters under his breath. I glare at him and shake my head at him. 

        "We're not starting this up again," I whisper to him. 

        Before Elijah could make comment, Stefan stands up and rushes out of the room. We were all confused by this before Elijah's face dropped and we heard the shouting coming from upstairs. Alaric and Jenna ran upstairs as they heard crashing. I look over at Elijah whose scowl held a story of its own. 

        "What's going on?" I ask him. 

        "Damon fed Elena his blood without her consent," Elijah states as he walks over to the elixir. He picks it up and sighs as he puts it into the box. 

        "You ever do that to me I will kill you dead," I state. 

        "If I don't, you'll end up dead," Elijah remarks. 

        I shake my head at this and remained silent. Elijah sighs once more but remains silent since Damon enters the parlor and pours himself another drink. Elijah closes the lid with the elixir in it. 

        "It sounds like you won't be needing this anymore." Elijah tells Damon. "Feeding her vampire blood rendered it useless. Tell Elena we'll be back before nightfall. We'll proceed as planned." 

        I stand up from my seat and follow after Elijah, but Damon's voice stops us from leaving. 

        "We both know that elixir wouldn't have worked anyway." 

        "The problem, Damon: you talk a good game but you don't actually know anything." Elijah states.

        "She'll never forgive you." I tell him, giving a side glance in Elijah's direction. "And never for a vampire... It's a very long time." 

*************

        We return to the apartment and Elijah puts away the resuscitating elixir with a deep sigh. I take a seat on the couch and Elijah remains standing across the room with a distant stare directed towards me. I knew he was thinking about Elena's circumstance and how it paralleled with our situation at the moment. 

        "I don't want to talk about this," I tell him. "But the full moon is tonight and I really want to be a part of Klaus' demise so we have to talk about this." 

        "I can't keep pushing you," Elijah sighs out as he rubs his face anxiously. "I don't want to spend an eternity with you not forgiving me and hating me for forcing this on you." 

        "Elena was forced into this and she'll go through with the transition just to spend more time with the people she loves and maybe I should think like her too." 

        "Are you saying what I think you're saying?" Elijah says with a slight tug on his lips.

        "I'm considering the possibility of extra protection," I tell him. "But I'm probably not going to even need it cause I'm a badass on my own." 

        Elijah chuckles at this and I could see the relief wash over him. 

        "Thank you," Elijah answers. 

         I let out a deep breath and couldn't help a small smile on my lips as his happiness spread to me. I stand up from my seat and walk over to the bar counter. I pull out a wine glass and pop open the cork from the wine bottle and poured the glass half way. Elijah looks at me with a questioning glance and I give him the glass. 

        "It will mask the taste and the red coloring is about the same," I explain to him. "Besides I really need some liquid courage to help me through this." 

        Elijah laughs at this and takes the glass into his hand. He bites into his wrist and lets the blood pour out into the glass. I take the wine glass back and breathe deeply. 

        "It will help you," Elijah assures me. "Injuries will heal, and if you were to die..." 

        "We'll cross that bridge when we get to it," I tell him as I push past my current anxieties and took a big drink from the glass. I grimace at the taste since I could still taste the iron in his blood. 

        "Consider it," Elijah says as he take the glass out of my hand and sets it down. His hands frame my face and he looks deeply into my eyes. "An eternity with me." 

        "Consider this," I respond as I place a soft kiss on his right palm. "I killed so many bloodthirsty monsters in the past few years. How could I possibly become the monsters that I used to hunt? What if I become a bloodthirsty monster?" 

        "That's not going to happen under my watch," Elijah replies.         

        "And what about Carter?" 

        "What about Carter?" Elijah repeats the question with a chuckle. "Nothing will change with him. He knows about this world and we'll raise him as our own." 

        I close my eyes and let out a sigh. I lean into his chest and Elijah wraps his arm around me. 

        "Everything will be alright," Elijah whispers to me. "Like you said, we'll cross that bridge if we get to it. This is just an extra precaution." 

        I nod into his chest and allow his words to comfort me slightly. 

        "I need some air," I tell him as I pull away from his hold. "You check in on Jonas and Luka. I'll go and walk around for awhile to clear my head." 

        Elijah silently agrees and I grab my coat and keys and make my way out. A light breeze hits my skin as I step out and I close my eyes trying to stop myself from thinking I made a huge mistake.

************

Third POV, Mystic Grill 

        Damon arrives at the bar with Griselda's statement repeating through his head repeatedly. She was right and Damon couldn't believe how stupid he was. He takes a seat at the bar and quickly asks for a drink. Alaric, having seen him walk in, takes a seat next to him and orders the same drink. 

        "So you and my sister," Alaric says a bit perplexed. "Are you guys friends now?"

        "You were temporarily replaced," Damon answers. "But then her bloodsucker boyfriend came to her beck and call and now we're done."

        Alaric shook his head at this and looked down at his glass.

        "I screwed up." Damon mutters as he shoots back his drink. 

        "Yeah," Alaric replies. "Yeah, you did." 

        "Yeah," Damon sighs out as he rubs his face anxiously.  

        "Gentlemen?" A voice calls out from further down the bar counter. "Why so glum?" 

        Alaric stiffens at the sight while Damon just sighs and turns to look to the left. 

        "Ugh." Damon mutters. "Klaus, I presume." 

        "In the flesh," Klaus replies with a grin before looking over at Alaric. "Thanks for the loaner, mate." 

        Damon stands up from the seat with a scowl. 

        "Any reason you stopped by to say hi?" Damon asks him annoyed. 

        "I'm told you and your brother fancy my doppelgänger." Klaus replies. "Just thought I'd remind you to not do anything you'll regret." 

        Damon sarcastically smiles at him. 

        "Ha, thanks for the advice." Damon tells him. "I don't suppose I could talk you into a postponement, by any chance, huh?" 

        "You are kidding?" Klaus asks him as his grin falters slightly. Damon's face was completely serious and his face then turns to look at Alaric. "He is kidding, right?" 

        "No, not really." Alaric answers. 

        "I mean, come on, what's one month in the whole grand scheme of things?" Damon asks him. 

        "Let me be clear... I have my vampire. I have my werewolf. I have everything I need." Klaus lists of. "The ritual will happen tonight. So if you want to live to see tomorrow, don't screw it up." 

        Klaus turns to leave but catches sight of the younger Saltzman make her way in. His grin returns as he takes notice of the torment in Griselda's eyes. Her eyes were looking off distantly that it took her awhile to notice the Klaus standing there. She froze at the sight of him and burning white rage now filled her eyes. 

        "Now, now... isn't this a nice reunion at last?" Klaus asks with open arms. "The woman who survived the burning flames of hell. Don't you look lovely?" 

        Klaus pulls the frozen Griselda into his arms and relishes in her paralyzed state. The physical contact was enough to break her out of her haze as she quickly begins to fight against his arms and shoves her away from him. 

        "Don't you dare touch me," Griselda grits out. "Don't you dare touch me you bastard! You monster!" 

        Griselda quickly gained an audience and Alaric automatically pulled a fuming Griselda away from shoving Klaus any further. His sister fought strongly against his arms and managed to slip through but she didn't get to reach Klaus as Damon quickly stepped in and held her back. 

        "Goodbye sweetheart," Klaus remarks before stepping out of the Grill. 

        Even as Klaus was no longer present, Griselda furiously fought against Damon's arm as hot tears pooled in her eyes. 

        "I will kill you," Gris cries out. "I will kill you with my bare hands..." 

        Damon just shushed her until she no longer fought against him. Her head was leaning against his chest and her deep fast breaths hit him with warm air. 

        "I will kill him." Gris states once more. 

        "Yeah," Damon assures her. "Yeah you will." 

        "God," Griselda sighs out as she pulls away from Damon's arms ignoring the aspect that she was just comforted by the elder Salvatore. "I need a bottle of tequila." 

        "Come sit with us," Damon motions her to the bar. "I'll buy you that bottle." 

        "I can't," Griselda answers as she tries to compose herself once more. "I was walking around to clear out my head not to drink myself to oblivion. Thanks though..." 

        Griselda doesn't say anything else and doesn't spare another glance to Alaric or Damon. She takes the back entrance and Alaric just watches her go. 

        "That was fun," Damon mutters as he tried to make sense of what happened. 

        "Are you sure you two aren't friends?" 

        Damon just clears his throat and narrows his eyes at Alaric and scoffs. 

        "The only person who can tolerate me is you," Damon tells him as he takes his seat again. "And maybe your little sister too..." 

        Alaric couldn't help but shake his head at all of this. 

        "How much could I have possibly miss in three days?" Alaric exclaims. 

        "I'll tell you everything on the way," Damon states as he finishes his drink and gets up from his chair. Alaric picks up his coat and follows after him. 

        "Where are we going?" Alaric asks before narrowing his eyes as Damon refused to meet his face. "You're going to screw the ritual up, aren't you?" 

        "You think if I took his werewolf out of the equation, she might get over the fact that I tried to turn her into a vampire?" Damon asks him. Alaric just shakes his head at him. 

        "I think it won't matter, because you'll be dead." 

        "Are you gonna help me or what?" Damon exclaims. 

        "What do you want me to do?" Alaric sighs out. 

************

Griselda's POV, Mystic Falls Courtyard

        I couldn't help but let myself drop into the bench and bury my face into my hands. Ever since I stepped out of the apartment I had been hyper-aware of everything and everyone. I stepped into the bar because I hoped it would be the one place I most likely wouldn't die in but I had a one-on-one confrontation with Klaus instead. It was like I had some sort of death wish even though I didn't want what would happen to me afterwards.

        I pull out my phone from my pocket and fumble with it for a while. My hands were slightly shaking from the adrenaline of facing Klaus without my resuscitation ring. I take a deep breath and dial the number.

        "Hello?" Aya's voice pipes up. I don't say anything as I bite my lip unsurely. "Hello? Griselda, are you there? Is everything alright?" 

        "Yeah," I manage to answer as I clear my throat. "Everything is alright. I just wanted to check-in with you." 

        "You don't sound well, dear." 

        "I have a lot on my plate at the moment, but it should all be over by tonight." I tell her. "The ritual is tonight and it will all be over with." 

        "That's great news," Aya exclaims happily. "Carter will be glad to know you'll be back soon." 

        "Yeah," I answer faintly. "Speaking of Carter, can I speak to him for a minute?" 

        "Sure thing," Aya responds. "Hold on." 

        The line becomes silent for a minute before I hear something. 

        "Hello? Gris?" 

        "Carter?" I reply with a big smile. "Hi kiddo, how are you? Are you good?" 

        "I'm fine," he answers. "Miss you a lot.

        "I know, I miss you too." I tell him. "But I'll come by soon, for good this time." 

        "No you won't.

        I pause as I hear this and I frown in concern, "What?" 

        "I'll see you soon, but you're going to leave again.

        "Carter..." 

        "It's ok though. I can wait." 

        "Carter, what's going to happen?" I ask him concerned. "What did you see?" 

        "I have to go," Carter responds. "Aya's coming back. Bye."

        "Carter, wait!" I exclaim but I only hear the rustling from his end. 

        "Sorry Gris, but Carter has a piano lesson starting soon." Aya tells me. "We'll see you soon." 

        The phone call ends and my hand just drops down to my lap. I feel my phone vibrate and see Elijah's text asking me when I would be home soon. I quickly send out a text telling him that I was on my way back and stood up from the bench. I suddenly felt drained and became unaware of my surroundings. I crashed into someone's chest and stumbled back. My phone drops to the floor and the stranger quickly drops down to pick it up. His head slowly lifted up, curls parting away to reveal a face I thought I would never see again besides my imagination. 

        "Noah?" 

        I met his surprised eyes and I felt like I had been doused in ice cold water. 

        "How is this possible?" I find myself asking him as my hands felt his rapid beating heart through his warm chest. He was real. He was completely real and alive and human. 

        "Believe me," Noah sighs out as he looked down at me with a look of pure adoration. "I asked myself the same question concerning you." 

        That seems to break whatever spell that came over me.

        "Wait, you knew I was alive this whole time?" I ask him.

        "No," Noah backtracks. "I found out three days ago. I couldn't do anything about because Klaus..."

        "You're working with Klaus?" I hiss out as I take a further step away from him. "The man who burned our lives out of us. The one who made me believe you were dead for years! The man who drove me to this insanity!"

        "Gris..." Noah pleads as he reaches for me.

        "This whole time I had this image of you being this brave man who gave up his life in order to not be pulled around like a puppet by this monster," I exclaim. "And apparently, you are everything but that man." 

        Noah takes a step forward but I remain out of arm's reach and push past him. 

        "You're in the past," I mutter as I close my eyes and continue past him. "You're in the past." 

************

Third POV, Fell's Church Tomb

        After having Alaric invite him into his apartment and having an argument with Katherine, Damon made his way towards the tomb where the werewolf and vampire for the ritual was being held. He knew he was doing this to stall Elena from dying but now that he knew that it was Tyler Lockwood and Caroline Forbes being held hostage, Damon knew he really had to get them out. Damon was almost there but was blocked by some man. 

        "Which one are you trying to save? The blond, or the wolf?" Maddox asks. "Did you really think Klaus would leave them unprotected?"

        "Wishful thinking," Damon mutters before rushing over to Maddox and pinning him to the ground. He starts strangling him but Maddox raises his hands and uses his powers to send Damon back against nearby rocks. Maddox gets up and continues to use his powers to provoke a headache. Damon screams and tries to fight the pain but suddenly there's a gunshot and Maddox drops to the ground. Damon raises his head and finds Matt Donovan with a rifle. Before anything else could happen, Damon gets up, snaps Maddox's neck and looks over at Matt suspiciously.

        "What are you doing here?" Damon asks him. He was under the impression that Matt was unaware of all of this. 

        "Where's Caroline?" Matt asks him instead. 

        "Listen, man. Not a good time to play the hero." Damon remarks. 

        "Where is she?" Matt asks as he loads the rifle and points it at Damon. "And what did he do to her?" 

        Damon puts his hands up in surrender and starts to slowly step towards Matt. 

        "I'm just here to rescue her." Damon tells him. He then rushes over to him and hits him with the butt of the rifle. Matt drops to the ground unconscious. Damon picks up the rifle and clears the bullets out of it. He shifts through the bullets and realizes they're made of wood. "You're lucky I already screwed up once today or you'd be dead." 

        Damon pockets the bullets and heads into the tomb. 

 

Salvatore Boarding House 

        Elena had spent the whole day hiking with Stefan. Her last day as a human was well spent as she pushed her body past it's limit and now she was sore. She knew from the very beginning that she never wanted to be a vampire, but now she had no other choice. Elena had people she cared about and she knew the choice she had to make at the end of the day. Stefan parked the car and they both stepped out, complete silence as the moon started to rise in the dark sky. 

        "Thanks for today." Elena tells Stefan. 

        Stefan was about to respond, but he felt that they were no longer alone. He immediately places Elena behind him as he finds who he presumed to be Klaus out on the driveway. 

        "You got me all nervous. I thought maybe you'd done something stupid. " Klaus states as he looked at Elena. "You ready, my dear?" 

        "I'm ready." Elena answers.

        She starts to walk towards Klaus but Stefan places his hand to stop her, "No."

        "I wouldn't." Klaus warns him. "No reason for you to die, too." 

        Elena turns to look at Stefan who kept his stare on Klaus. 

        "No," she tells him as she pulls his focus onto her. "Stefan, hey, hey, it's fine, it's fine. I'll go. No one needs to get hurt... There's no reason for you to get hurt." 

        Elena leans up and places a kiss on his lips. 

        "I love you."

        "I love you," Stefan tells her as he kisses her once more. 

        "Close your eyes." Elena tells him. "Close your eyes." 

        Stefan reluctantly closes his eyes and Elena slowly lets go of his hand. It was silent for awhile and Stefan opens his eyes to find them both gone. Stefan somehow makes his way into the house and finds Alaric there. 

        "There you are." Alaric sighs out in relief. "I got here, the house was empty." 

        Stefan narrowed his eyes at him and then looked around the empty parlor.         

        "Where's Damon?" Stefan asks concerned. 

**************

Griselda's POV, Elijah and Griselda's Apartment

        "Good," Elijah states as he sees me step into the apartment. "I was just about to call Jonas to do a locator spell on you. You've been gone for hours since you texted you were on your way home."

        I didn't respond as my mind was still flooded with everything that had occurred.

        "Griselda," Elijah calls out to me as he stands in front of me. His hand tilts my chin upwards and I finally meet his eyes. He looked down at me with worry and I take a deep breath. 

        "He's not dead," I tell him. 

        "Who's not dead?" Elijah asks me. 

        "Noah." 

        Elijah's touch disappears and he takes a step back. His face being an expressionless mask. I look down at my bare hands and slightly start to panic.

        "My engagement ring," I state. "I'm going to have to get that back..."

        Elijah looks away from me and walks towards the living room. My eyes follow after him as he serves himself a glass of scotch. He refused to look at me as I took a seat on the couch. I heard the glass hit the counter again and the decanter being lifted up to pour himself another glass. 

        "Don't," I tell him. "We have a long night ahead of us." 

        Elijah turns around with a scowl on his face. I knew from his frigid state that he was trying his best in keeping control. 

        "We..." Elijah states with a dark chuckle. "I didn't realize there was still a we." 

        "Elijah," I exclaim upset. 

        "I finally got you," Elijah states. "I finally have you and of course your dead fiancé comes back from the dead." 

        "Elijah..." 

        "You're running back to him!" Elijah shouts. "I thought you would be slightly conflicted but in conclusion you would chose me, your soulmate, and then you ask for your ring back..." 

        "Elijah..." I call out to him once more but instead the glass breaks in his hand. He ignores his bleeding hand and moves to kneel in front of me with desperation in his eyes. 

        "If you want to get married then let's get married. I'll get you a ring. I'll get you the largest diamond. I'll..." 

        "Elijah, stop!" I shout. "Yes, something changed but that doesn't mean I'm going to drop everything." 

        "What are you saying?" Elijah asks confused. 

        "First of all, Noah..." I sigh out. "Noah knew I was alive for three days and never came to find me." 

        Elijah opens his mouth to say something but I give him a look. 

        "Second of all, Noah's working with Klaus." I tell him. "All these years I was trying to find Klaus so I can kill him and I found out he's been working with him this whole time." 

        I take a deep breath and took his hands into mine. 

        "Third, I need to get Noah's engagement ring back so I can return it to him." I explain to Elijah. "It's been in his family for a long time, I can't keep that away from him." 

        "Oh," Elijah whispers as he looks down bashfully. 

        "And when you're ready, when we are ready, your wedding proposal better be so mind-blowingly amazing to make me forget about this shitty attempt of making me your own." I exclaim. "In fact, I'll be in charge of the proposal." 

        "What?" Elijah laughs out confused. 

        "Yeah," I say with a determined nod. "Don't worry about getting on one knee anytime soon. I got this." 

        "Griselda," Elijah calls out with a chuckle. 

        "What?" I ask him with amusement. "A woman can ask a man to marry her." 

        "It's uncommon," Elijah states. 

        "But possible," I tell him. Elijah smiles at this and I was relieved to see him smile. 

        "I'm sorry," he apologizes. "You looked like the world had ended when you came in." 

        "Because maybe it has," I answer. 

        "What?" 

        "I took a walk today and I was so scared of everything around me because I couldn't stop thinking of the vampire blood in my system." I confess to Elijah. "I was afraid of dying and having to become a vampire. I don't know... I don't know if I can go through with the transition." 

        "I understand," Elijah says grimly. "But it hasn't come to that yet." 

        "Yeah, but I confronted Klaus today and it was like I was begging him to kill me." I state causing alarm to shoot through Elijah's face. "Damon and Alaric stopped me from doing anything and Klaus just seemed amused." I reassure Elijah. "It's just... I got scared and I panicked and I almost forced myself into a position that would have killed us both."

        I sigh and I look away from him. 

        "It's going to take something big to make me want to become a vampire, Elijah." I tell him. "But I should warn you now, if I die tonight and I wake up in transition... I'm not going to complete it." 

        "Griselda," Elijah states frustrated. 

        "I'll wake up, make my goodbyes, and then pass away." I tell him realizing now why Carter had been so distant in our last phone call. "You will be sad, but you will push through and take Carter out of that mansion and show him the world and raise him to be pianist who will play concerts in every best music hall."

        "Please tell me I can convince you from this," Elijah pleads. 

        "Not unless you want me to hate you after a century together," I tell him which seems to distress him further. "But this isn't set in stone. This is just a scenario for the night. We can argue about this tomorrow. I'll probably be on a high after we get Klaus out of the way and I'll say yes to anything so don't worry. Just for tonight, this is my decision." 

        Elijah solemnly nods at this and I place a chaste kiss on his lips. 

        "We're going to be late for the plan you so eloquently planned." I tell him. "We should start heading out." 

        Elijah nods at this and begins to compose himself once more. I kiss him one more time before getting up from my seat and heading towards my room to pack up my hunting bag for what I hoped would be the last time. 

**************

Third POV, Alaric's Residence 

        Klaus, after making sure everything was prepared for the ritual, made his way back to his recent abode. He makes his way in and finds Katherine seated at the kitchen table staring off at the distance. 

        "Where's Maddox?" Klaus asks her. "He should be back by now." 

        "I don't know." Katherine answers tiredly. 

        Klaus heads towards the desk and opens up his laptop. It immediately reveals a live video of Jules, the werewolf who had accompanied Tyler back into town, lying on the floor of a cellar, chained to the wall as she slowly transitioned. 

        "What are you doing?" Katherine asks bored, but receives no answer. "Where's Elena?"

        "I sent her off with Greta." Klaus answers. He continues to look at the live feed of Jules transitioning into a wolf. "It's almost time." 

        Suddenly, the door slams opens and Klaus just sighs.

        "I wasn't aware you'd been invited in." Klaus states as he turns around to look at Damon. 

        "I've come here to tell you that you have to postpone the ritual." Damon demands. 

        "Didn't we already have this conversation?" Klaus asks with an amused smile. 

        "Yeah, but that was before I rescued your werewolf and vampire and killed your witch." Damon states. 

        Klaus gets up from his seat, all amusement gone. 

        "Excuse me?" 

        "And you can kill me for it." Damon continues. "I don't care. It was all... me.

        "Katerina," Klaus says not even glancing at her. "Give us a moment." 

        Katherine looks at them warily before making her way to the other room. 

        "I've heard about you." Klaus says stepping towards Damon. "The crazy, impulsive vampire in love with his brother's girl. I knew one of you would try to stop me. It was a just a 50/50 guess on who." 

        Klaus lifts off his phone which is also playing the livestream of Jules' transition. 

        "The nice thing about werewolves is they tend to travel in packs." Klaus tells him. "Need a closer look?" 

        He throws his cellphone to Damon and he looks into the screen. 

        "Jules." Damon says in realization. 

        "When you spend a thousand years trying to break a curse... You learn a thing or two." Klaus explains to Damon. "First rule, always have a backup. Backup werewolf. Backup witch..." 

        "...Backup vampire." Damon whispers in realization. 

        "I've got that covered, too." Klaus states as he quickly lunged at Damon.

        It didn't take long for to get Damon unconscious and with perfect timing Noah makes his way in. 

        "Right on time," Klaus comments as he motions to Damon. "Prep him for the ritual." 

        "Klaus," Noah calls out to him worriedly, knowing the repercussions to what happened earlier that day. "We have a problem." 

        "What now?" Klaus asks annoyed as he picked up his phone from the floor. Noah kneels down and starts to look Damon over. "Spit it out, Noah. We don't have all night." 

        "I ran into Griselda today," Noah blurts out. 

        The whole room turned silent as Klaus looked up from his phone. Noah feared what his silent meant and flinched as Klaus' gaze fell onto him. 

        "I will kill..." Klaus begins to say but stops. His eyes narrows down to Noah's hands which revealed Damon's arm with a very distinct bite mark. "Damn." 

        Noah looks down and finds the werewolf bite starting to take effect in his arm.        

        "Katerina," Klaus calls out. Katherine makes her way back into the room and looks at the scene before. "Call this number and you'll figure out the rest. We need her for tonight or I'll use you instead." 

        Katherine quickly took the phone from his hands and dialed the number. She walked to the other room and Noah stands up with concern. 

        "I did everything you asked," Noah states. "For three years I helped you kill innocent people, covered your tracks, recruited other witches which you later on killed. I have done everything. You can't take her away from me." 

        "She's not yours anymore, mate." Klaus reminds him. "She's dating my brother and by the end of the night, one way or another, she'll be devastated and then dead."

        "Klaus, I beg of you..." Noah exclaims.

        "I do like it when they beg," Klaus whispered to himself. 

        "...I will do anything." Noah finishes. "Anything." 

        Klaus smiled at this as Katherine made her way back into the room with a regretful expression. She gives Klaus the phone back and looks over at a still knocked out Damon with concern. 

        "Noah, follow me," Klaus says as he makes his way out of the apartment. "Katherine stay here. If things go terribly wrong you might finds yourself being used in this ritual after all... 500 years later." 

        Katherine remained silent and only watched Klaus and Noah walk out of the apartment without another word. Once the door closed, Katherine grabbed a blood bag from the fridge and kneeled down next to Damon. She starts to lightly slap him on the cheek hoping he'll wake soon. 

        "Hey, Damon." Katherine calls out to him. "Hey, Damon!" 

        "Ahh." Damon groans out as he slowly wakes up. "What the hell happened?" 

        "He's gone." Katherine tells him as Damon slowly sat up. "He went to do the ritual. I'm sorry." Katherine apologizes. "I had to. He would have known that I was on vervain if I didn't do it." 

        "Do what?" Damon groans out. 

        "Klaus," Katherine repeats again. "He made me call her to lure her out. He needed another vampire." 

        "Who did you call?" Damon grits out annoyed. Katherine looks away from him with a guilty expression and Damon grabs her arm tightly. "Who did you call, Katherine?" 

 

Steven's Quarry

        Elena is dropped off in a random location off the woods with a witch that was just a few years older than her. Without a word, the witch led Elena through the forest without a map or any lighting to lead the way. Elena knew better than to try to run away, but it didn't stop her from feeling nervous with every step she took. 

        "Where are we going?" Elena asks the watch. 

        "This way." Greta answers vaguely. 

        "You're Luka's sister, aren't you?" Elena derives. The witch stops falters in her steps but quickly recovers. "I heard about you. He and your father are looking for you." 

        Greta knew better than to feel emotional at this moment. Once this ritual was over with she'll be free from Klaus' hold. He won't need her anymore and she'll be free to go back home, but for now, she couldn't hope. Greta had to remember that they had yet to cross the finish line. 

        "Looking for me was a waste of time," Greta tells Elena. "I didn't want to be found." 

        Elena could hear the emotion in her voice and knew there was more to the story. 

        "You were scared Klaus would do something to them," Elena states. "You were looking out for them." 

        "This is none of your business." Greta exclaims. 

        Elena knew better than to push it and remained silent as she continued to follow after her. She trips over a rock and almost falls blindly into the night.

        "God, I can't see anything." Elena complains. 

        Greta sighs and raises her hands. Small pits of fires light up around them and Elena is able to see the path and the ceremonial ground in front of her. She sees two fallen bodies on the ground and recognizes one of them instantly. 

        "Jenna?" Elena calls out worriedly. She runs down the rest of the path and turns Jenna over, shaking her. "Jenna, Jenna!"

        Elena places her fingers on her neck and checks for her pulse and finds none. 

        "Oh, my God." Elena cries out. "No, Jenna..." 

        Elena looks up at Greta with tears in her eyes. 

        "He killed her?" Elena asks her. "Why? I did everything that he asked." 

        Jenna suddenly gasps into life and takes a deep breath. Her hand immediately runs over her neck and she looks down at the ring on her finger with relief. 

        "She's not dead anymore." Greta tells Elena. "Klaus just used her to test a theory."

        The man beside Jenna gasps to life and Greta's throat tightens.

        "Noah, on the other hand, is being used as an example. A lesson to show the punishments of disobedience." Greta states. "He's in transition." 

        Elena and Jenna turn to the disoriented man who looked at everyone with confusion. 

        "Noah?" Elena says in concern realizing that this was far from being a coincidence. "As in Griselda's fiancé, Noah?" 

        "I thought he was dead," Jenna whispers. 

        "I wasn't," Noah answers as he started to feel blood cravings. "But now I really am."

Chapter Text

Third POV, Steven's Quarry 

        Elena pulled Jenna closer to her and away from a groaning Noah. He clutched his head tightly in his hands as he groaned in pain in discomfort. Elena knew what he was going through but was more concerned of Jenna's appearance at the ritual. She wasn't meant to be here. 

        "I'm so confused," Jenna whispers. 

        "Do you remember what happened?" Elena asks her. "Do you know who brought you here?" 

        "Umm... You called me. You were so scared. Oh, ah, I should have realized that it wasn't you." Jenna sighs out. "The second I walked out of the house, someone grabbed me and the ring on my finger grew warm... a vampire. It was a vampire!" 

        "Klaus." Elena states. "It was Klaus." 

        "And then... And then he grabbed my head and there was a snap and I don't...I don't remember anything after that." Jenna tells Elena as she looks around. "Where are we? What happened?" 

        "We're at the quarry." Elena answers. "He brought us here." 

        "Why don't I remember anything?" Jenna asks her before looking over at Noah who's still groaning. "What's happening to him? What's going on?" 

        "Jenna, do you remember...When I told you how someone becomes a vampire?"

        "Yeah, if you die with vampire blood in your system, it's..." Jenna pauses and looks over at the man. She scrambles further away from him and pulls Elena with her. "Oh, god." 

        "Jenna, listen to me." Elena assures her. "Listen to me, everything's going to be okay. I'm going to get you out of here." 

        "We have to get out, Elena." Jenna corrects. "I'm not leaving you alone with any of them." 

        Noah groans once more and Elena shoots a concerned glance over at his direction. Greta slowly walks over to him. 

        "You're getting hungry," Greta tells him. "You have to feed." 

        "No," Noah groans out as he stared at her with strained eyes. "I don't want to." 

        "It's Klaus' orders," Greta states. 

        "Please, Greta..." Noah painfully moans out.

        "He'll hurt me if I don't," Greta answers with a cold tone. 

        Elena looks up worried and before she knew it, Jenna was being pulled away from her hold. 

        "No!" 

        Greta waves her hand forward and sends Elena flying backwards. She lands harshly in the dirt and Greta waves her hand again, creating a circle of fire around Elena. Jenna tries to scramble away but Greta still kept a magical hold on her. She's pulled closer to Noah who is trying very hard to remain in control. Elena stands up and rushes towards the flames, but is stopped, she can't escape.

        "Don't bother trying to get through." Greta tells her. "I spelled the circle. You're trapped. No matter what you do." 

        "Greta...Please," Elena begs. "Just... just let her go." 

        Greta looks away from the doppelganger and looks down at Jenna, "I'm sorry." 

        Jenna looks away from her in alarm as she heard a deep growl coming from Noah. His eyes look up at her, hungry, and he pounces towards her. Jenna lets out a scream and fights against him, but he was stronger and his teeth latch onto her neck. The blood slides down his throat and eases every pain that he was feeling seconds before. He feels her stop struggling and his hunger is soon sated. 

        "Better?" Greta asks Noah. 

        Noah shakily looks up to her, mouth stained with blood that continued to drip down his chin. He feels the heightened emotions hit him hard as he looked down at a barely breathing Jenna below him. His disgust is suffocating him as he scrambles away from the almost lifeless body. 

        "Jenna?" Elena brokenly whispers. "Jenna, are you ok?" 

        Noah looks up at Greta with a burning anger, "What did you do?" 

        "What had to be done," Greta answers. 

        Noah starts to rush towards her but Greta is quick to set the boundary spell on him too, fire erupts around him. Noah crashes against the spell and lands on his back. Jenna continues to gasp as her hand tried to stop the bleeding from the messy wound on her neck. The warm blood kept on pouring, but it soon grew cold. 

***************

Griselda's POV, Old Witch House

        Elijah and I step out of the car and meet with Stefan and Alaric. The full moon had yet to rise at it's peak but we had no time to waste to get ready for the plan. There was still much to do even though Elena had already been taken. I pull my bag over my shoulder and walk with Elijah by my side. 

        "The sacrifice is completed in stages as the full moon sets." Elijah explains to all of us. "First the werewolf is killed, then the vampire. Finally the doppelgänger. Once Elena dies, the curse will be broken. Klaus will become hybrid." 

        "So when do we attack?" Alaric asks. 

        "Elena's death will activate his dormant werewolf side. He'll be vulnerable during the transformation." Elijah states. "That's when Bonnie comes in." 

        "And you're sure Bonnie will survive this?" Stefan asks. 

        "If she can deliver him to the brink of death, I'll finish the job myself." I tell them. 

        Stefan's phone begins to ring and he walks away to answer it privately. I look over at Alaric who has his own bag over his shoulder. I didn't want him to be a part of this. He shouldn't have to be.

        After a few seconds, Stefan turns back to look over at us, his eyes showing worry when they came across Alaric. 

        "What is it?" Alaric asks him. "What's wrong?" 

        Stefan only muttered one response, "Oh, my god." 

        "What did he do?" I ask Stefan as he hangs up the phone. "What did Damon do?" 

        "Klaus got Katherine to lure Jenna out," Stefan tells us. "He's using her as the vampire sacrifice." 

*************

Third POV, Steven's Quarry

        Elena could only pace back and forth between the boundary spell. Noah was just kneeling in his as he tried to clean himself of the mess he made. They were both waiting for Jenna to wake up, hoping she'll soon be conscious and be able to escape before Klaus returned. 

        "How are you feeling?" Elena asks Noah. 

        "Everything is brighter. The fire's hotter." Noah quietly answers. "Part of me is terrified, but I'm also relieved... and then there's another part of me that doesn't want to feel anything." 

        "Vampires can turn off the part that's human." Elena comments in which Noah nods.

        "Only a coward would turn their emotions off," Noah tells her. "I don't want to be a coward."

        Elena narrowed her eyes at him as he stared at his hands, "Did you know Griselda was alive all these years?"

        "I didn't until Klaus mentioned that she was and that's when I realized that it worked," Noah answers quietly. "The ring I gave her, it's been passed down in my family in case our significant other is human. I was told that it had a protection spell of sorts. I should have known... I should have known it would bring her back." 

        "Your story just doesn't make sense," Elena remarks. "Klaus killed her, or you thought he did, and you still followed after him?" 

        "He showed me the extent of his power," Noah tells her. "And I had lost everything at that point so I let myself be aligned to him. I wanted to leave, believe me, I really wanted to, but then Greta was dragged into this when she was just 15, a child, so I knew I had to stay and look after her because I knew Klaus or Maddox wouldn't. More time passed and there was no point in trying to leave because Klaus had a strong hold on all of us."  

        "I guess you're not a coward after all," Elena comments as she takes a seat on the ground. "But you're not that brave either." 

        "I know," Noah whispers. "But I really did try." 

        The conversation is cut short as the sounds of twigs snapping were heard from a distance. Groaning could be heard too as it approached closer to the site. 

        "Who's that?" Elena asks confused. 

        "That must be the werewolf." Noah answers. 

        Great drags Jules towards both of them and drops her down to the ground. Jules is groaning in pain and clutching her stomach. 

        "What's happening to me?" Jules grits out. 

        "I cast a spell to slow down your transformation." Greta tells her. "Your insides are trying to tear themselves free." 

        Greta steps away and flicks her wrist creating a third ring of fire that trapped Jules. Elena immediately stands up and looks at Greta. 

        "I thought witches are supposed to maintain the balance in nature." Elena states. "It's your duty to them to keep this curse sealed." 

        "My duty is to Klaus," Greta explains to her. "The new order." 

        Klaus walks in with a small smile. 

        "Glad to know I still have a dance partner." Klaus looks over at Elena, Noah, and Jules, who are all glaring at him. "Hello. Are we ready?" 

        All he received was glares and Klaus just shrugged it off. He walked over to the altar and pulled out the moonstone from his pocket.

        "I've got the moonstone. I spent 500 years looking for this." Klaus tells Greta as he passed it on to her. "I hate to part with it." 

        Greta takes it carefully knowing there was a consequence if the stone were to get destroyed before it needed to be. Her eyes then glance over to the sky and looks over at the moon. 

        "The moon has passed its apex." Greta tells him. "Remember everything you need to do because I'm not too keen to repeat it." 

        "I remember." Klaus reassures her. 

        Greta nods at this and drops the moonstone into a stone bowl filled with flames. Sparks fly as the moonstone is finally destroyed and Greta begins chanting the spell. Klaus approaches the rings of fire with curiosity and remains there. Jules moans in pain, but looks up at Elena with a pleading stare. 

        "Everything I did..." Jules groans out. "I was just trying to help Tyler." 

        "Are you Jules?" Elena asks unsurely. 

        "I didn't want him to be alone!" Jules cries out. 

        Klaus appears around Jules' circle and looks down at her. 

        "Shall we?" he asks her as if she had a choice. 

        The ring of fire around Jules fades away and Jules's eyes turn yellow and she uses her werewolf speed to fight against Klaus. Klaus was prepared for this though and easily gains the upper hand and pins Jules down to the ground. He plunges his hand into her chest and rips out her heart. Jules takes one final breath as tears roll down her face, and dies. Klaus lets out a sigh as he holds the bloody heart in his hands. 

************

Griselda's POV, Old Witch House

        As Alaric broke down the news to Jeremy about Jenna's taking, Bonnie was outside with us hearing the news for herself. It seemed to only feed the rage she already had for Klaus. 

        "Why did he take Jenna?" Bonnie asks. 

        "A punishment for meddling." I answer. 

        "Klaus was going to use Tyler and Caroline." Stefan explains. "But Damon rescued them." 

        "Then we need to go." Bonnie claims. "Now. Before Jenna's been sacrificed. I can kill Klaus myself." 

        "Bonnie... If you use that much power, you'll be dead." Stefan exclaims. "We've already been through this. It's not an option." 

        "Neither is letting Jenna die." Bonnie argues. 

        "That's the thing," I step in. "Jenna has my resurrection ring and Klaus knows what that ring can do so unless he took that ring off then Jenna is a vampire, otherwise she's not." 

        "Either way she's been taken as punishment," Stefan tells me. "And in order to keep her alive we're going to offer another vampire. One that he'll want more. Me." 

************

Third POV, Steven's Quarry

        Greta continues to chant the spell as Klaus holds Jules' bleeding heart over the ceremonial bowl. The blood pours spills into the fire and causes the flames to flicker higher. 

        "Does that mean it's working?" Klaus asks her. 

        "It's working." Gretta says worriedly. 

        Klaus ignores her tone and waits for the next time window. Elena and Noah looked over at Jules' still body knowing that soon they would be next. 

        "I'm next," Noah tells Elena. 

        "Look," Elena whispers to him over the conjoined borders. "Being a vampire, it makes you stronger and faster. You can fight back."

        "I can't," Noah states. "He'll punish me. The first chance he gets, he'll go after Griselda and I can't..."

        "This is your time to make amends, to be brave..." Elena whispered to him. "Fight back, take Jenna with you and run."

        "But Griselda..." Noah argues.

        "She is capable of surviving on her own," Elena whispers to him. "She's been doing it for years now."

        Noah remained silent at this and thought things over. 

        "Okay," he tells her. "I will." 

*************

Griselda's POV, Old Witch House

        "Bonnie did the locator spell," Elijah tells us. "They're at Steven's Quarry." 

        "I don't like this plan at all," I comment as we made adjustments to accommodate Stefan's satyr decision. "You want us to split up?"

        "Someone needs to be there to help Jenna escape," Stefan tells me. "You will go with me first and then Elijah will follow with Bonnie and the Martins when it's time." 

        "Just as the moon hits its final phase." Elijah reminds us. "Bonnie is to stay hidden until then. Klaus cannot know that she's alive." 

        Stefan and I nod at this and I pull up my bag ready to leave. 

        "You're very honorable, Stefan." Elijah comments. 

        "Are you?" Stefan asks as he turns back around to face him. "Because this whole plan is, um, it's contingent upon your honor, Elijah." 

        "I won't fail you." Elijah assures. 

        "Klaus is your brother." Stefan reminds him. "I know I've wanted to kill my brother a thousand times. I've never been able to."         

        "Well, Klaus was not my only brother." Elijah explains to Stefan. "I had siblings... parents. I had a family. Over the centuries, Klaus hunted them down one by one and he took them from me. He scattered them across the seas where their bodies could not be found." 

        "You want revenge." Stefan realizes. 

        "Sometimes there's honor in revenge, Stefan." Elijah tells him. "I won't fail you." 

        Stefan nods at this and heads over to his car. I wait for him to give us some privacy before I face Elijah. 

        "We end this tonight," I tell him as I place my hand against his cheek. Elijah nods against my palm and I move to leave but his hand catches my wrist. 

        "If anything were to happen to me..." Elijah begins to say but I cut him off. 

        "Nothing's going to happen," I assure him. "We're both going to come out of this alive." 

        I could see Elijah hesitating but I force him to look into my eyes. 

        "Hey," I call out to him. "This is going to work." 

        "We end this tonight," Elijah says as he pressed a kiss on my forehead. 

        "We end this tonight." I repeat. 

*************

Third POV,  Steven's Quarry

        Klaus slowly approaches Elena and Noah in their entrapped ring of fire. His eyes glanced over at Elena before finally landing on Noah. His face showed no remorse for turning his once loyal warlock into a vampire. In fact, Klaus seemed very pleased by the sudden turn. 

        "Hello there, Noah." Klaus greets before he looked down at Jenna's still body. "I see that your transition went well." 

        It took a second for Noah to control the wave of emotions that caused him to feel ill of himself, "I couldn't control myself."

        "It's alright, Noah." Klaus condescendingly tells him. "We all lose control every now and then." 

        Noah just glared at Klaus who simply smiled at him. 

        "Come on, Noah," Klaus continues. "What I've done to you has saved your precious Griselda... from more things than one." 

        "What do you mean?" Noah asks him. 

        "Well..." Klaus trails off as he crouches next to the boundary spell. "I'm doing you a favor of killing you tonight. It saves your vampire hunter of a girlfriend from having to do it herself." 

        "She wouldn't," Noah states. 

        "Hmm," Klaus disagrees as he stands up. "She would." 

        Klaus looks down at Jenna's lifeless body and nods towards it.

        "You killed her brother's girlfriend." Klaus tells him. "And the blood stains on your chin just proves you to be like the rest of us,... murderers... monsters. Like me." 

        "No..." Noah stammers out. "I'm nothing like you." 

        "I guess we'll never find that out," Klaus says as he was about to motion for Greta to dissolve the boundary spell but stops. "Well, well..." Klaus says as he looks away from the ritual ground and looks up at the nearby cliff. "I don't recall you two being on the guest list." 

        Confused, Noah and Elena look up to find Stefan and Griselda waiting at the top of the cliff. They both gasp at the sight of their loved ones intervening. 

        "Stefan..." Griselda whispers to him as she catches sight on the figures below. "Jenna isn't the one vampire sacrifice... it's Noah."

        Stefan realized this as well, but that didn't change the fact that Jenna still needed saving. He looks down at Klaus with a straight face, knowing he was listening. "I'm here to talk." 

        "Very well, then." Klaus agrees as he rushed to the top of the cliff and steps towards Griselda and Stefan. "What can I do for you?" 

        Elena and Noah watched the discussion from afar. They were both confused as to why they would interfere at a moment like this. 

        "What's going on?" Noah asks confused. 

        Elena was about to respond but a small gasp prevents her. Her eyes quickly look down at Jenna who's blinking her eyes slowly. Jenna was about to groan but Elena quickly hushes her. 

        "Jenna, stay still and be quiet," Elena whispers to her before looking up at Noah. "They must have come for her. They must have thought she was going to be used in the breaking of the curse." 

        "But she isn't," Noah states. "So what use is there to argue with Klaus at a time like this? They're going to get themselves killed." 

        "I-I don't know." Elena says worriedly before looking up at him. "But you can hear them. You can hear anything. Jus-Just focus on them." 

        Noah knew she was right, but he was fairly new at this. Noah looked up at the cliff and closed his eyes in hopes of helping his concentration.         

        "Why use him?" 

        Noah couldn't help but relax at the sound of her voice which seemed to be filled with worry instead of betrayal. 

        "Noah has been a loyal servant the past few years," Klaus responds. "But his loyalty has wavered... significantly since you've appeared." 

        "Then it should be me you should be punishing," Griselda responds as she takes a step towards him. "Take me instead." 

        Klaus narrowed his eyes at her and looked her over. He extends his hand to touch her, but like before, Griselda struck him in the face and pulled the stake out of her coat and attempted to drive it into his heart. Klaus was quicker than her and caught her arm and spinned her around. The sharp stake's edge was aimed at her throat and Griselda stop struggling in his arms. Stefan attempts to intervene but Klaus stared him down. 

        "Don't play games with me." Klaus tells her. "You'll always lose." 

        "Kill me, Klaus." Griselda offers again. "You'll get what you want in the end." 

        "And so will you, huh?" Klaus asks her as Griselda stiffened in his arms. 

        Noah couldn't help but tense up at Griselda's reaction and Elena noticed this. She had watched the scene from afar, confused and concerned. She needed an explanation. 

        "What are they saying?" Elena asks Noah. "What's going on?" 

        "Just make the trade." Griselda tells him. "Me for Noah. And while you're at it, let Jenna go home with Stefan. No one else has to die tonight." 

        Klaus couldn't help but just chuckle at Griselda's ignorance. 

        "Come on Griselda," Klaus taunts. "Once and for all, admit it. Tell us the truth." 

        "I don't know what you're talking about," Griselda grits out as she struggled against his arms. 

        "Noah," Elena calls out to him once more. "What's happening up there?" 

        Noah couldn't respond, fearing as to what was about to be said next. 

        "Oh love," Klaus taunts. "Did you really think I didn't know?" 

        "Know what?" Griselda breathes out. 

        "We are connected," Klaus tells her. "A bond similar to one's family." 

        "Noah!" Elena shouts. 

        "My brother and you are no normal relationship," Klaus continues. "Your story is more like a fairy tale of sorts. Tragedy, comedy, romance..." 

        "Oh, my god." Noah gasps out. 

        "You're going to have spell it out for me, big guy," Griselda taunts causing Klaus to chuckle. 

        "What is it?" Elena asks Noah as she saw his fallen expression. 

        "Elijah Mikaelson and Griselda Saltzman..." Klaus draws out. "Marked Souls..." 

        "Noah?" Elena asks worried as Noah's face seems to drop.

        "...Soulmates," Noah whispers. "They're soulmates." 

        Noah wanted to stop listening, but he couldn't, and what was said next him mortified him even more. 

        "And both of you have plotted to kill me, haven't you?" 

 

Old Witch House

        Bonnie knew she was rushed for time, but she knew that this was their last hope in saving Elena and keeping her human after the sacrifice. Jeremy and Damon stand by, watching Bonnie perform the spell on John, who had appeared once he heard word about the sacrifice actually happening. Damon, becoming impatient, snaps his fingers at the witch. 

        "Come on, Bonnie, we got a hybrid to kill." 

        Jeremy glares at Damon and before he could say anything, Bonnie opens her eyes and looks towards them. 

        "It's done."

        "That's it?" Damon remarks in which Bonnie nods. "Then let's go." 

        Damon walks out of the room and heads upstairs. John finally awakens from the spell and Bonnie walks past him. She turns to Jeremy and smiles reassuringly at him. 

        "I'll be back soon." 

        Jeremy shakes his heads and reaches for her. 

        "Wait, what do you mean?" He asks her in which Bonnie looks at him knowingly. "No, I'm coming. I need to be there. I need to make sure you guys are okay." 

        "And who's going to make sure you're okay?" Bonnie asks him. 

        "I've got my own ring." Jeremy tells her in which Bonnie sighs. "Look, I'm not taking no for an answer." 

        Bonnie just smiles at him and places a soft kiss on his lips. She pulls away from him and Jeremy smiles at her. As Jeremy moves to step forward, he stops, confused, and starts to fall to the floor. John quickly grabs him and leads him down into a chair.

        "Just go." John tells Bonnie as he noticed her hesitance. "I'll stay with him." 

        Bonnie nods and glances at Jeremy one last time before following after Damon. Reaching upstairs, Bonnie finds Elijah waiting for them. She and Damon head out of the house and Elijah and Alaric follow after them.

        "All right. I got the weapons in the car..." Alaric begins to say before he's stopped by some invisible force at the door. 

        "Bonnie's the only weapon we need." Elijah tells him as he looks at the trapped Alaric inside. 

        "What is this?" Alaric accuses. "Bonnie?" 

        Bonnie stands by Elijah as Alaric looked between the both of them. 

        "We can't put anyone else at risk." Bonnie tells him. 

        "I can't stay here!" Alaric exclaims. "Griselda and Jenna are out there!" 

        "I'm sorry," Elijah apologizes. "But your sister wished for you to be left out of this." 

        "You can't do this!" Alaric shouts as he slammed against the barrier. Bonnie and Elijah ignored him as they stepped into the Martin's car. Alaric then turns to Damon, who just shakes his head. 

        "Sorry, buddy." Damon tells him. "They're both right." 

        Damon walks away from him as well and Alaric remains fighting against an invisible force, unable to do anything, but just watch his friends leave him behind. 

**************

Griselda's POV, Steven's Quarry

        Klaus dragged me down the cliff and Stefan followed in tow. I struggled against his arms but Klaus kept dangerously placing the stake at my neck, threatening to follow through in my death. Elena and Noah stood up at the sight of me and Klaus didn't hesitate to throw me down the ground. I winced as my shoulder hit the floor and I rolled myself over. 

        "Quite the predicament." Klaus sighs out. "You know, it's funny, all this talk about sacrifice and here I am conducting all of this with that intended purpose. Ironic, isn't it?" 

        "Stefan..." Elena calls out worriedly. 

        "Stop fooling around, Klaus." I grit out. "Let Stefan go with Jenna. Neither of them are a part of this!" 

        "A part of what?" Klaus asks annoyed. "A part of your plan to murder me?" 

        "Let them go," I say again. "I beg of you." 

        Klaus chuckled at this, "Never pegged you as someone who begged for mercy." 

        "Let them go," I repeat through gritted teeth. "I won't ask again." 

        "Even on your knees, you show such defiance to your betters," Klaus says amused. "I admire that." 

        Klaus' gaze looked over Stefan and then dropped down to Jenna. 

        "You can stop playing dead, Jenna." Klaus exclaims. "I can hear your heart beating a mile a minute. Get up, now." 

        Jenna slowly opens her eyes and pulls herself off the ground. Blood stained her clothes and neck, but there was no sign of any other injuries. 

        "Go on," Klaus says nodding Jenna towards Stefan. "You may leave." 

        We all looked at Klaus, surprised at the kind act. Part of me suspected that there was an alternate motive to this, but I couldn't think of what. 

        Jenna slowly walks towards Stefan and he places an arm around her. His eyes then look up to me in question, but I didn't know what to tell him. 

        "Go, Stefan..." I tell him quietly. 

        Stefan glances over at Jenna, ready to rush her away, but Klaus quickly intervenes. He stabs Stefan with the stake in his hands and snaps his neck. 

        "No! Stefan! No!" Elena shouts in worry. 

        Klaus then looks towards Jenna and I immediately pull out the gun out of my boot and aim at his back. The wooden bullets hit his shoulder and arm causing him to groan out in pain. 

        "Jenna, run!" I shout. 

        Jenna doesn't hesitate and sprints away from the grounds. Klaus snaps towards me as he pulls the bullets out of himself. I empty my gun out on him, but he relentlessly moved forwards. I move to grab my strapped knife but Klaus quickly slaps me away. I feel my head hit an uprooted rock and the blood starts trickling down my neck. 

        "I have plans for you." Klaus says as he stands over me. "But for now, let's watch history repeat itself." 

        Tears start to well up in my eyes as Klaus starts to walk towards Elena and Noah. 

        "Whenever you're ready, Greta..." Klaus states as he starts chanting the next part of the spell, dispeling the boundary spell surrounding Noah. 

        "No," I cry out as I tried to move. 

        "Your turn." Klaus tells him. 

        "Not again," I whisper. "Not him." 

        Noah looks over at me with a sad smile and I couldn't help but recall what I had believed had been his death. He had looked defeated, lost, and pained. The difference now was that Noah looked at peace, calm, and brave. 

        "Don't worry, Griselda." Noah tells me. "I know what I have to do." 

        Noah takes a step forward and his eyes darken. Suddenly, he rushes over and tackles Klaus down. He attempts to rip out his heart, but Klaus quickly rolls them over and stakes him. 

        "NO!" 

        Noah lets out a gasp and his whole body starts to turn grey, dark veins covering his face. I let out a startled cry as Klaus pulls out the bloody stake out of him. He moves towards Greta, who seems shaken by the whole ordeal, and hands her the stake. 

        The adrenaline in my body seems to fade away and I felt my whole body ache. My vision begins to blur and I find myself fading away. 

**************

Third POV, Steven's Quarry

        Greta continues to chant the spell with Klaus by her side. Stefan wakes up and groans at his still-healing wounds. Stefan looks up at Elena and sees her tear streaked cheeks. He looks over towards and finds Noah's dead body. His eyes then turn to find Griselda laid out a few feet away, unconscious. Jenna was nowhere in sight. 

        "No," Stefan groans out. 

        Elena shakes her head and places her finger on her lips and shushes Stefan, looking cautiously over at Klaus. 

        "Are they going to kill him?" she mouths at Stefan. 

        "Yes," Stefan quietly responds. 

        Their conversation is cut short as Klaus approaches Elena. 

        "It's time." 

        The circle around her disappears and Elena slowly gets up. Klaus extends his hand towards her but Elena ignores it and walks toward the altar on her own. Klaus follows after her and grabs Elena's face in his hand. Stefan begins to struggle to get up, but is unable to. 

        "Thank you, Elena." Klaus tells her. 

        Elena just glares at him, "Go to hell." 

        Stefan continues to try to get up, to fight, but topples over to the ground again. Elena just stares out at the black horizon as Klaus sinks his fangs into her neck and starts to drain her. Klaus holds onto Elena more tightly as his eyes starts to sprout more veins. Elena's eyes start to flutter and her eyes roll into the back of her head. Her heart slowly comes to a stop. Klaus releases her and Elena drops dead to the ground. Blood drips from Klaus' mouth and the flames in the bowl is extinguished. 

        "I can feel it." Klaus gasps out as he steps down from the altar. "It's happening." 

        Greta and Stefan watched in horror as Klaus' bones begin to crack due to his transformation. His eyes are yellow like a werewolf's and his mouth contained his vampire fangs. 

        "YES!" Klaus shouts happily. "YES!"

        All of a sudden, Klaus is thrown through the air and the flames in the bowl reignite, startling Greta. She takes a step back and looks up and finds Bonnie descending the hillside, chanting a spell. She couldn't help the tearful smile as she saw her brother and father following after Bonnie. 

        "Dad..." she cries out as she starts to run towards his direction. Jonas quickly pulls her into an embrace and Luka joins in.

        "Phasmatos Infero Eseri Gratas, Disasustos Vom, Mas Pro Je Ta Sue Te. Victamas Veras. Phasmatos Tribum, Niha Sue Exilum, Disasustos Vom, Mas Pro Je Ta Sue Te. Levam, Mina Sue Te, Disasustos Vom, Mas Pro Je Ta Sue Te. Phasmatos Veras. Fes Matos Tribum, Mas Pro Tes Unum. Victas Ex Melam, Phasmatos Vanem. Mas Pro Je Ta Sue Te." 

        "No!" Klaus shouts as he saw the young witch appear. "You were dead!" 

        Bonnie doesn't respond, instead continues to cast the spell. Klaus' body begins to contort into painful shapes as he screams. Damon rushes in and picks up Elena's body and lays her down next to Stefan. 

        "Elena..." Stefan sadly calls out. 

        Damon grabs Stefan's shoulder, helping him off the ground. Once on his feet, Stefan turns and looks up at him, "I need you to get her out of here!" 

        "What about you?" Damon asks him. 

        "I'm not leaving until he's dead." Stefan tells him. "Go!" 

        Damon picks up Elena's body and carries her away. Stefan moves towards Griselda's body and is glad to still her slow heartbeat. He looks up and sees Bonnie and the Martins continuing with her chanting. Klaus screams in pain, lying against the rocks. Elijah soon appears and Bonnie stops. Stefan picks Griselda up in his arms and nods towards Elijah. 

        "Elijah?" Klaus calls out, pained. 

        "Hello, brother." Elijah greets before punching his arm into Klaus' chest, grabbing a hold of his heart. "In the name of our family, Niklaus..." 

        Elijah twists Klaus' heart, ready to pull it out when...

        "I didn't bury them at sea!" Klaus exclaims. 

        "What?" Elijah hisses out in surprise. 

        "Their bodies are safe." Klaus tells him. "If you kill me, you'll never find them." 

        "Elijah, don't listen to him." Stefan shouts at him. 

        "Elijah." Klaus calls out to his brother. "I can take you to them. I give you my word... brother."

        Elijah begins to hesitate, his eyes glancing over at Griselda's unconscious state. He knew the consequences of either decision, but one risked more risk than reward. 

        "Do it and I'll take you both out." Bonnie threatens. 

        "You'll die." Elijah points out. 

        "I don't care," Bonnie says as she takes a step forward. 

        Elijah looks down at Klaus with a dejected expression. 

        "Think of what this would do to Griselda," Jonas tells him. 

        Elijah shakily glances up at his old friend and sighs, "Tell her I'm sorry." 

        Stefan and Bonnie shout for Elijah to stop, but before either of them could do anything, Elijah disappears with Klaus without another word. 

 

Old Witch House

        Alaric and Jeremy overhear the door open upstairs and they rush up there to find out what happened. Damon had set Elena down on a nearby couch and looks down at her, waiting. 

        "How is she?" Jeremy asks, wondering if Bonnie's spell worked. 

        "I don't know yet." Damon answers. 

        "What about Jenna?" Alaric asks him. 

        Damon looks up at him, unsure of how to answer. "I didn't see here there..." 

        The door creaks open, interrupting Damon from finishing his sentence, and Stefan walks in with a tired looking Jenna alongside him. 

        "Jenna," Alaric sighs out in relief as he runs over to her and pulls her into an embrace. Jenna tiredly falls into his arm and embraces him back. He helps her into a seat and then turns to Stefan.

        "Where's my sister?" Alaric asks as he looks around. 

        "The Martins took her back into town," Stefan quietly answer. "They thought it best if the news came from them." 

        "What news?" Alaric asks concerned. 

        Stefan knew he owed Alaric an explanation, especially since it involved his sister, but he couldn't find the right words. Before he could say anything, Elena gasps back to life. 

        "Elena," Stefan calls out as he moves past Alaric and towards the couch. 

        "What happened?" Elena groans out, feeling like herself. 

        "How do you feel?" Damon asks instead. 

        "I feel... fine." Elena answers. 

        Everyone sighs in relief at this and smile. John watches the scene unfold from outside and couldn't help but smile. His eyes then look out into the woods before shutting closed. John's body falls to the ground with a soft thud, dead and at peace. 

 

Elijah and Griselda's Apartment

        Griselda finds herself waking up in the comfort of her own couch. She pushes away the blanket over her and stretches out. Her hand reaches for the back of her head and finds no open wound in need of attention. 

        "The vampire blood in your system healed you," Jonas states as he walks into the room with a glass of water. "It saved you from the brink of death and it should be out of your system by now." 

        Griselda smiled at him and looked around the room. 

        "What happened?" She asked him. "Did we win?" 

        Jonas doesn't respond and motions for her to take a sip of her water. Griselda ignores him and sets the glass on the coffee table. 

        "Are Luka and Greta ok?" she asks. "Please tell me, they made it." 

        "They did," Jonas answers. "They're currently resting in your rooms." 

        "Ok..." Griselda draws out. "Then what's the bad news?" 

        Jonas sighs, but Griselda pushed on. 

        "It's all over your face, Jonas." She tells him. "What went wrong?" 

        Jonas takes a deep breath and takes a hold of Griselda's hands into his own, "Elijah, he told me to tell you he's sorry..." 

        "No," Griselda exclaims as she tugs her hands away from him. "No...

        Jonas went on with his explanation, watching as Griselda's face fell. She knew that Jonas was telling her things, justifying Elijah's actions, but she couldn't hear any of it. Only white noise filled her ears as she thought back to the night that Elijah had left her and how he had done it to her once more. 

**************

Griselda's POV, Mystic Falls Cemetary

        I didn't know why I had let myself be convinced to make an appearance. John and I hadn't been in good terms, but I couldn't help but find some honor in his sacrifice to save Elena. Even though this was the case, I was told to come and I regretted it as soon as I came in. The group seemed to have a mixed share of pity and betrayed looks sent in my direction. The Martins stood next to me and motivated me to move forward so I did. 

        "Hey," Damon calls out as he moves to greet me. 

        I look up at him, surprised he didn't hold Elijah's betrayal against me. 

        "Hi," I quietly greet him. 

        "I have something for you," Damon tells me as he motions for me to follow him. I do so, and Damon leads me towards his car where he pulls out a black marble urn. "I knew who Noah was to you and Elena told us of what he tried to do for all of us. I thought you would want to put him at peace." 

        "Thank you," I say surprised at his act. "I uh..." 

        Damon forces a smile and pats me reassuringly, "Don't mention it." 

        I nod at this and Damon rejoins the group around John's tomb. I make my way back to the Martins and Jonas take the urn out of my hands. 

        "I know you and Noah were at odds in the end," Greta tells me as she takes a hold of my hand. "But everything he did had a reason. He was only loyal to Klaus because of me. Noah protected me when Klaus became very demanding. He never let me do anything that I didn't want to do. He stayed because of me and he was brave in the end for you." 

        I only nodded at this and sighed, "I don't want to be here anymore. I want to leave." 

        Jonas nods at this and Luka places an arm around me, ready to lead me away. We were out of the graveyard and I was about to get into the car when I hear my name being called out. I look up to find my brother running to catch up to me and I stop. 

        "Gris, wait..." 

        I meet Alaric halfway and look up at him questioningly. 

        "I'm sorry." 

        "About what?" I ask him confused. 

        "About everything," Alaric answers. "For not being there, for Noah dying, for Elijah leaving... I'm... I'm very sorry Gris." 

        "None of this is your fault," I tell him. 

        "And it isn't yours either," Alaric remark. "There was nothing you could have done." 

        "I know," I answer. "I know." 

        There was a moment of silence between us as Alaric looked down at me in concern. I stared up at him with a blank expression and he sighs. 

        "What are you going to do now?" Alaric asks. I look away and Alaric continues on. "Are you going after both of them? Because if you are, I'm coming with you..." 

        "What do you mean?" I remark. 

        "I mean, I'm your brother." Alaric states. "You're not alone in this. If you want to hunt them down, I will help you. We'll find a way to kill them." 

        "You think I want to kill Elijah?" I exclaim at my brother. 

        "Don't you?" Alaric asks confused. 

        "NO," I cry out. Tears rise in my eyes and I try my best to not make a scene. "I love him, Alaric. I could never..." 

        I took a deep breath and let it go. 

        "Klaus knew what we were up to, that we were there to kill him," I explain to him. "He knew what would make Elijah drop everything. His family. The whole reason Elijah was going to kill Klaus was because he had done something to their family. A chance of a reunion... a chance for Elijah to gain back his brothers and sister... how could I blame him for choosing them over me? I would have done the same thing if it came to you... to Noah..." 

        Alaric pulls me into his embrace and I couldn't help but let the tears freely fall. 

        "It hurts..." I whisper to him. "Everything hurts like hell." 

        "I know," Alaric tells me. "I'm sorry." 

        "He left and it hurts," I continue to say. "It hurts so much."

Chapter Text

Third POV, Woods

        Klaus slowly opens his eyes blinking rapidly to adjust at the bright light. He slowly sits up and realizes he's in the middle of the woods with no clothes. On cue, a set of clothes and boots land next to him and Klaus looks up to find Elijah appearing from behind a tree. 

        "You've been busy." Elijah states bored. 

        "That was amazing." Klaus comments as he pulled on his jeans. "How long has it been?" 

        "Almost 2 days." Elijah tells him. "Full moon came and went. You remained a wolf." 

        "I can change at will, then." Klaus concludes. "It's good to know. I remember every single kill." 

        "Yes," Elijah sighs out as he steps closer to his brother. "I've been cleaning up your little mess along the way." 

        "Just like old times, brother." Klaus replies as he grins up to him. 

        "You've had your fun." Elijah tells him, clearly not feeling the same way. "I believe we have a bargain."

        "That's right." Klaus sighs out. "Now, what was it again?" Klaus feigns uncaringly, earning a glare from Elijah. "Oh, wait. I remember.You wish to be reunited with our family." 

        "You gave me your word, Niklaus." Elijah reminds him. 

        "What kind of brother would break his bond?" Klaus questions as he pulls on his shirt. "Even though you did try to kill me." 

        "I could have." Elijah replies as he offers Klaus his jacket. "But I didn't." 

        "And now no one can, not even you." Klaus tells him catching Elijah rolling his eyes. "Relax, Elijah. All is forgiven." 

        "Where are they?" Elijah asks him in no mood to play any more games. 

        "You need to lighten up." Klaus states as he starts to trek through the forest. "I'll bring you to them soon enough." 

        Elijah sighs at this and follows after his younger brother. Klaus glances over at him and could tell that his mind was elsewhere. 

        "Unless... you're not worried about our family reunion, but instead of a romantic one." Klaus prods with a devilish smirk. Elijah ignores his taunts causing Klaus to continue. "Worried your little soulmate won't be waiting for you with open arms?"

        "Niklaus..." Elijah grits out warningly causing Klaus to raise his hand in surrender. 

        "Don't worry brother," Klaus states as they arrive at the car. "I promise you that Griselda will be dying to see you again." 

**************

Griselda's POV, Gris & Elijah's Apartment

        Alaric had stayed over last night and continued to stay in the apartment the morning after. He was currently washing the dishes from our breakfast while I remained on the couch. My eyes took in the empty piano and I couldn't help but remember when it was just Elijah who occupied the room with melodies. I let out a sigh and focus on the bar counter instead debating whether it was acceptable for me to have a shot of tequila so early in the day. 

        Weighing the events that occurred the past few days, I came to the conclusion that it was ok for me to get drunk. I stand up from the couch and make my way towards the bar. I lined up three of the shot glasses and uncapped the bottle. I was just about to pour the drinks out when Alaric came in. 

        "Hey Gris..." Alaric pauses and I sigh as I set the bottle down. 

        "What?" I ask him. 

        "We need your help," Alaric answers. 

        I couldn't help but chuckle as I put the lid back on the bottle. 

        "I'm sorry, brother," I tell him as I turn around to face him. "But you've reached somebody who's currently not operating." 

        "Damon's dying." 

        My eyes peek up in interest before I just shrug. 

        "Well, you must have me confused with somebody else." I say as I make my way out of the room and into the hallway. I open up the closet and pull out the suitcases. "You see, I'm not allowed to help. I can only be put on the sidelines watching my ex be killed again, permanently this time, and my Original boyfriend runs off with his murderous brother leaving me behind again." 

        I roll the suitcases into my room and begin to pack. 

        "All of you have forgotten, haven't you?" I ask my brother who had followed after me. "I am a vampire hunter. I kill vampires. If Damon's dying, then the world is doing me a favor for taking one off the streets." 

        "Damon is my friend," Alaric intervenes. "And he's your friend too." 

        I ignore him as I continue to put my things away. I hear him sigh and his hands tug away the bags from me. I look up at him with a glare, but he was holding one of his own.

        "Tyler Lockwood bit him." Alaric tells me. "We don't have much time."

        I let out a huff of air as I closed my eyes. I knew what this meant and I knew there isn't a cure. 

        "Of all the years I've been out hunting, I've never come across a cure." I explain to my brother. "But as of recently, I've made some new friends. They might be able to help." 

        "Ok, what do you need me to do?" Alaric asks me. 

        "Finish packing my bags," I answer as I pick up my cellphone from the nightable. "Once I save Damon, I'm getting the hell away from here." 

        I make my way out of the room ready to enter the living room when I caught sight of the piano again. I sighed and instead entered Elijah's empty room. The bed was still unmade since the last time we slept on it. My eyes scanned the room and lands on the glass on the nightable. It was a quarter-filled with vampire blood. Elijah must have forgotten to throw it out.

         I make my way over to it and tap at the rim mindlessly. I retract my hand away from it and took a deep breath. I pulled out my phone and willed myself to press the call button. I place the phone against my ear and heard it dial twice before Aya picked up. 

        "Gris!" I hear Aya exclaim happily. "We've all been waiting to hear back from you. How did everything go?" 

        "Everything terrible that could have happened, happened." I tell her. "Elijah ran off with Klaus once he heard that his family could be reunited. It's been about a day and half since he's been gone. I don't know when or if he'll come back." 

        "I'm sorry.

        "There's nothing to be sorry about," I respond. "Elijah made his decision and I respect it, but the world goes on and so must I." 

        A moment of silence passes between us and I recall the matter at hand. 

        "Anyways, something else happened recently and that's why I'm calling for your help." I start to tell her. "A friend of mine, a vampire, has gotten bit by a werewolf. I was wondering if by any chance you or the Strix have a cure." 

        "Ok, well we have cures for many variation of the werewolf venom," Aya explains to me. "All I need to know is the bloodline of the werewolf, it's pack.

        "He's a Lockwood," I tell her. "That's all I know." 

        Aya's end of the call becomes silent and I knew that something was wrong.         

        "Aya?" I ask concerned. "Are you still there?" 

        "...Yes," Aya hesitantly answers. "As for that cure, I don't have it. The Lockwoods haven't triggered their werewolf genes in centuries so we haven't be able to acquire their venom to reverse engineer a cure. Even if we were to acquire the venom now, it would take to long to create it's cure. I'm sorry, Griselda, but your friend is on his own." 

        "Thanks for your help, Aya." I sigh out as my eyes land on the glass once more. "But I have to go." 

        I hang up on the call and couldn't help but feel even worse than I already was. Elijah was gone, Noah was dead, and soon Damon would be too. I would be damned if I was next. I quickly take up the glass and bring it to my lips. I was about to take a drink before I heard my brother walk in. 

        "Ok, your bags are ready," Alaric calls out to me as he comes in. I slowly turn to him and his face drops.I nervously place the glass behind him, away from his eyes. "What happened?" 

        "We should probably head over there," I tell him. "Say our goodbyes." 

***************

        Alaric and I had arrived at the Boarding House. Stefan, who refused to give up on finding a cure, had left us Damon in our care as he went with Bonnie to the old witch house for answers. Alaric and I slowly made our way downstairs where Damon was being held inside the locked cellar. I peak through the bars to find Damon looking at his werewolf bite which seemed to have spread a lot. 

        "Well, that looks bad." I comment. 

        "You look worse," Damon replies as he looks up at me. 

        "Harsh," I mutter as I step back and let Alaric take a look at him. 

        "Yeah, Gris was right." Alaric tells him. "You look like trash." 

        "Thanks, buddy," Damon snarks before groaning. "My subconscious is haunting me, Ric. Please tell me you have something for that."

        Alaric pulls out the bottle of scotch and a glass. 

        "Double shot." 

        Damon watches him pour it out and quickly downs it. 

        "That's good." Damon groans out. "So good." 

        Damon then looked over at the both of us. 

        "So my brother sent you for suicide watch?" 

        "He's just trying to help." I answer. 

        "He's doing what he always does, trying to right the wrongs of the past." 

        Damon groans and falls back onto the ground. 

        "You should want me dead." Damon moans out as he shivers. "I'm the reason Noah got killed."

        "I don't blame you for Noah," I tell him. "A part of me knows he would have died defying Klaus one way or the other." 

        Damon just shakes his head and turns to look at Alaric. 

        "How about you, huh?" Damon asks him. "I turned your wife into a vampire. You must really hate me for that one." 

        Alaric shook his head at him and pulled the bottle back. 

        "Neither one of us is drunk enough for this conversation." 

        Damon shakily stands up and stares at both of us with an intense stare. 

        "Kill me," he begs. "Please." 

        "Hmm sorry bud," I whisper as I grab the vervain injection from my pocket and stabbed it into his hand. "Not today." 

        Damon quickly becomes drowsy and his body hits the floor with a thud. I can see his body begin to shiver and I look towards my brother. 

        "I'm going to go fetch him a blanket," I tell him before making my way upstairs. 

**************

Third POV, Alaric's Residence

        After hearing back from the witches, Stefan made his way to Alaric's apartment knowing that this was the only place he would find Klaus. The apartment was fairly empty for the exception of Katherine who was sitting on the bed waiting. She stood up when Stefan made his way in. 

        "Hello, Katherine."

        "Two days, I've been waiting." Katherine exclaims she walked up to the younger Salvatore. "I'm supposed to be free of Klaus' compulsion by now. He's supposed to be dead!" 

        "We ran into complications." Stefan tells her. 

        "Complications?" Katherine grits out. 

        "Doesn't really matter." Stefan responds. "I just need to find him. Do you have any idea where he might be?" 

        All of a sudden, Katherine presses him against the wall and motions for him to be quiet. They both overhear the footsteps taking place outside and the door slowly opening. Katherine steps out of her hiding spot and greeted Klaus with a grim smile. 

        "Klaus, you're back." Katherine states before taking a step aside and motioning to Stefan. "Look who decided to come for a visit." 

        Stefan steps out and looks at Klaus. 

        "You just keep popping up, don't you?" Klaus asks amused. 

        "I need your help..." Stefan tells him. "For my brother." 

        "Well, whatever it is, it's gonna have to wait a tick." Klaus states as he makes his way to the bedroom to retrieve something. "You see, I have an obligation to my brother that requires my immediate attention." 

        Stefan then turns to look at Elijah who makes his way towards him. 

        "You understand how important family is, or you wouldn't be here." Elijah explains himself. "My brother gave me his word that he would reunite me with my own." 

        "And so I shall." Klaus replies as he appears behind of Elijah. Elijah turns around and Klaus immediately stabs the dagger into his heart. Elijah latches onto his arms in shock. 

        "No," Elijah whispers as his face becomes to gray. "Griselda... she's..."

        "Yes," Niklaus replies. "She's not like the others you fooled around with, but she died all the same." 

        Klaus drives the dagger further and Elijah's hold on him loosens. His body hits the floor and Stefan and Katherine could only watch as Elijah's eyes closed. 

 

Salvatore Boarding House

        Griselda walked out of the linen closet in Damon's room with a stack of thick blankets that should do. She started to make her way down the stairs when she felt a pain in her chest. Her hands dropped the blankets and they floated down to the ground. Her hands shook as they reached for her blouse that was quickly being soaked in blood. 

        "Alari-" Griselda starts to call, but her voice falters as she feels her heart explode. Her eyes flutter closed and Griselda falls. Her body tumbles down the stairs and stops at the mid-landing. 

        The crash is heard downstairs and Alaric quickly runs out to find the source of it. It takes him a while to notice that his sister's body is lying in a heap on the stairs. Alaric skips over the steps and pulls his sister's body towards him. 

        "No," he cries out. "No, this can't be happening." 

        Alaric looks over her chest and finds a hole piercing her chest. His hands are stained in blood as he tries to block the slowly bleeding wound. 

        "Somebody help!" Alaric uselessly shouts. "Somebody please help!" 

        No one else was home, aside from Damon who was still on lockdown, and no one was going to be coming by since no one knew of Damon's predicament. Alaric continued to shout for help and by some miracle, Elena entered the house. 

        "What happened?" Elena exclaims as she looked at the sight in front of her. 

        "I don't know," Alaric tells her as he takes notice that there was no more bleeding. His hands slowly move away from the wound and Alaric starts to shake. "She stopped bleeding... She stopped." 

        Elena moves forward and tries to pry Alaric away from the body. 

        "Not again," Alaric mutters. "Not again." 

        Elena, unable to do anything for Alaric, decided to call in for help. She sent out a text to Luka and his family in hopes that they could help. It was a reach, but it was all Elena could do at the moment. 

***************

Alaric's Residence, Later on the Evening...     

        There was ultimatum drawn and Stefan made the hard choice. It didn't take long for him to be kneeling on the floor with empty blood bags around him. As much as he hated himself, Stefan couldn't make himself stop. Not when Klaus kept on swinging blood bags in front of his face. Stefan grunts as he finished up one more bag and looked up at Klaus with a glare. 

        "You're very cooperative." Klaus comments with a grin. "It's almost as if you're enjoying it." 

        Klaus throws another blood bag to him but Stefan shoves it away. 

        "No more." Stefan groans out. "Not until you give me the cure." 

        "Not until we make a deal." Klaus states. "It's your choice, Stefan. You can either remain here living your life in Mystic Falls, or you can embrace what you truly are, leave town with me, and save your brother's life." 

        Klaus then picks up the blood bag and offers it to Stefan once more. Without having a choice, Stefan snatched the bag and started to drink it.

        "That's the spirit." Klaus tells him as he takes up a nearby vial. He then bites into his wrist and lets his blood pour out into it. He caps the vial and looks over at a silent Katherine. "Sweetheart...take this over to Damon and come right back." 

        Katherine had been on vervain a while back, courtesy of Damon, and was just waiting for a chance to escape. Klaus had just offered that on a silver platter. 

        "You want me to leave?" Katherine asks. 

        "No!" Stefan shouts but it was too late as Klaus nodded at her. 

        "Yes and if I were you..." Katherine takes the vial and rushes out of the door. "...I'd hurry." 

        Klaus takes his seat once more and looked down at Stefan.

        "She'll never take it to him." Stefan mutters as he drops to the floor in defeat. "She'll never take it to him." 

 

Salvatore Boarding House

        Alaric was wringing his dry red hands as he waited for them. Elena tried her best to comfort him, but he was lost once more. Instead, Elena took it upon herself to take care of Damon and went ahead and pulled him out of the cellar and into his room for more comfort. She cared after him as the werewolf venom seemed to spread even more causing him to feel much worse. 

        It was a brief moment of intimacy. Of last words and confessions that prompted Damon to confess his feelings for her. Elena had already known about them and she accepted them. She placed a kiss on his lips and Damon was thankful for the illusion of her care. 

        "Thank you," he whispered. 

        "Your welcome," Elena responds. 

        "Well, it's me you should be thanking." Katherine states as she leaned on the doorframe with the vial in her hand. "I mean, I'm the one who brought the cure." 

        Katherine makes her way in and opens the vial of the cure. 

        "I thought you were dead." Katherine jabs towards Elena. 

        "I was." Elena responds. 

        Katherine takes a seat next to Damon. 

        "You got free." 

        "Yep," Katherine tells him as she poor the blood from the vial into Damon's mouth. "Finally." 

        "And you still came here?" Damon asks surprised. 

        Katherine's hand grazes his face and she offered him a small smile. 

        "I owed you one." Katherine tells him as she stands up once more. 

        "Where's Stefan?" Elena asks concerned.

        "Are you sure you care?" Katherine asks as she perks up her eyebrow in question. 

        "Where is he?" Elena demands. 

        "He's paying for this." Katherine tells her as she holds up the vial. "He gave himself over to Klaus. I wouldn't expect him anytime soon." 

        "What do you mean, he gave himself over?"

        "He just sacrificed everything to save his brother, including you." Katherine answers. "It's a good thing you have Damon to keep you company. Good-bye, Elena." Katherine starts to make her way out of the room but stops and turns back. "Oh and it's okay to love them both. I did." 

        Katherine tosses the vial to Elena and rushes out of the house. Damon turns to look at Elena in concern. There wasn't time to speak about Stefan's current predicament as Alaric came bursting into the room. 

        "They're here." 

        Elena nods at this and sets the vial down, ready to follow after him. A recovering Damon tries to follow after them, but was still unable to. 

        "Who's here?" Damon asks confused. 

        Elena turned back to look at him, "It's the Martins. They're here for Griselda." 

        "What happened to Griselda?" Damon asked even more determined to get up. Elena shook his head at him and made sure to push him back into bed. 

        "She's dead," Elena tells him. "But we're going to try to fix that. Stay here and don't move." 

        Damon was ready to fight on her this but he was still to weak to get up on his own. Instead he watched Elena walk away from him and could only lay back while the world seemed to destroy itself. 

        Elena and Alaric found the Martins moving Griselda's body into a spare bedroom. Her body was resting on the bed and candles were set around the room. Luka and Greta were looking over a grimoire while Jonas took a seat next to Griselda and held her hand. He closed his eyes and entered her mind to see what had occurred. 

        The pain in her chest came out of nowhere and Jonas could see that she realized that this pain felt familiar to her. Jonas dug deeper and realized that the events mirrored when Elijah had been daggered by Alaric. It seems that was the case again, but Elijah had been daggered by someone else. 

        Jonas was about to pull away before he catches sight of an image. He sees Griselda and Elijah in bed. Elijah reaches over for a glass and bites his wrist allowing his blood to pour into the glass. At that time, Griselda had refused to drink his blood and had set the glass aside. Jonas pondered why this memory was so fresh until he realized what had occurred days later. 

        After Griselda's told her brother of the news concerning Damon, she waited for him to leave. After he was gone, Griselda took up the glass again and drank the whole thing. 

        Jonas snaps out of his trance and stumbles out of the bed. Luka and Greta quickly catch him before he could fall to the ground.       

        "Dad, what happened?" Greta asks as she sets him down on a nearby chair. 

        "She's... she's in..." 

        Jonas was interrupted as Griselda sat up from the bed with a loud gasp. Her hand immediately landed on her chest. She ignored the audience in the room as she pulled her shirt down to look over at a small scar on her chest. Her eyes then slowly looks up and sighs. 

        "Elijah was daggered." Griselda says as she quickly stood up from the bed and fixed up her shirt. She glanced over at Jonas with a determined stare. "I need a locator's spell to find his body. I need to recover it." 

        Jonas slowly rose from his seat and watched as Griselda offered a small smile to brother and Elena before walking out. Luka stepped beside his father with a confused expression. 

        "Dad, she didn't have the ring on, and you didn't cast a spell." Luka tells him. "How is this possible?" 

        Jonas swallowed nervously as Alaric looked at him awaiting for his answer. 

        "She's in transition." 

       

Warehouse Unkown

        Klaus stood over his brother who was placed in a family casket. The dagger was still protruding from his chest keeping him in a dessicated stated. Klaus looked down at his open casket with a small smile. 

        "I suppose, brother, you've been reunited with our family." Klaus tells him before closing the coffin and looking over the two compelled men waiting on him. "Put him with the others. We're leaving town tonight." 

        The two guards start to roll his coffin into a storage unit with another four coffins to keep it company. Klaus watches them close the doors before turning to Stefan. 

        "So...Did Katerina make it in time?" Klaus asks him as Stefan checked his phone. 

        "You won't be seeing her again, you know." Stefan replies with instead. 

        "Because she's on vervain?" Klaus asks him, already knowing that tid bit of information. "I've been around a long time, Stefan. I rarely get played for a fool. Besides, she won't get far. You'll help me see to that." 

        "What is it you really want from me?" Stefan asks him with a narrowed gaze. 

        "All will be explained in time." Klaus tells him. "Once we leave this tragic little town." 

        "Then are we done here?" Stefan asks wanting him out as possible. "Can we go?" 

        "Not quite," Klaus replies as he steps towards him with a smirk. "You see, I have a gift for you." 

        Klaus turns towards a crate and beckons a girl forward. "Come here, sweetheart. Don't be afraid." 

        The girl stands next to Klaus, obviously compelled to do as he said, which didn't prevent her from shaking in fear.

        "See, I wanna make sure you honor our deal..." Klaus explains to Stefan. "That you'll be of use to me."

        Klaus then tugs the girl's hair aside and bites into her neck. He only drinks for a second but doesn't let her go once he's done.

        "You see, I could have compelled her to behave, but a real ripper enjoys the hunt." 

        Klaus then releases the girl and she starts to run away, screaming. Stefan tries to stop himself from going to her, but this was the game Klaus wanted to play and like it or not, Stefan had to play. Stefan rushes towards her and easily catches her. He bites into her neck and is unable to stop himself from drinking. After a while, her life is drained away and Stefan lets her body hit the floor. Stefan slowly looked up at Klaus who was grinning maliciously. 

        "Now we can go." 

*************

Griselda's POV, Salvatore Boarding House

        "Hey Damon," I greet as I enter the room. "I'm glad to see you're alive and well." 

        "I can say the same thing," Damon responds in surprise at the sight of me.

        I ignore Damon's further reaction as I start to search his room for a spare shirt. I quickly find one and step into his closet to change. I could hear him trying to sit up and failing. 

        "What happened?" Damon asks as I step back into his room. He was sitting up in his bed now. "How are you alive?" 

        "I could ask you the same thing." 

        "I asked first." 

        "Fine," I mutter annoyed as I grabbed my jacket and shrug it on. "I may or may not be in transition. Which reminds me, blood bags?" 

        "I have some stashed here." Damon responds as he points to a nearby mini-fridge. His eyes look me over as I make my way over there. "Transition, you say?" 

        "Yup," I answer as I take a blood bag out. I pick up two glasses from his nearby bar counter and set them on his nightstand. I start to pour the blood out into both of the glasses. I had filled the glasses with the entirety of the blood bag when Alaric finally caught up with me. 

        "Gris..." Alaric said warningly as I raised the crystal glass up to my lips.

        "What?" I ask him. "Do you want me to die a third time in your presence? This time a permanent death?" 

        "No," Alaric answers. "But is this what you really want? To become the thing you hunted down for years?" 

        I couldn't help but laugh at him. It was bursting inside me and it flew out of my lips before I could stop it. 

        "Ironic, isn't it?" I ask him as I raised the glass one more time. 

        "Stop that," Damon groans out as he places his hand on my wrist in an attempt to stop me. 

        "What now?" I groan out. "I just want to get this over with." 

        "You're planning something," Damon states. "I want to know what." 

        I tap at the glass anxiously before finally setting it down and facing everyone.

        "I died because Elijah was daggered and he's now most likely taken hostage by Klaus," I tell him. "In order to be able to find him and bring him back, I need to stay alive. Now that I'm in transition I only have the option to go up so I'm taking it." 

        "You're turning into a vampire so you can save him?" Alaric exclaims unhappily. "Are you insane? You can get yourself killed." 

        "And if I don't become a vampire?" I ask him instead. "What would I achieve then? Nothing, because I would be dead by tomorrow night. As a vampire I at least have a fighting chance to bring him home." 

        "Home?" Alaric questions again. "What home will you have if you're dead?" 

        "Leave her be." 

        I turn to look at Damon whose shakily standing up on his own. He looks at me with a very serious gaze. 

        "If you want to take on Klaus, then count me in." Damon states. "I want my brother back."

        "You can't be serious?" Alaric exclaims. "This is a suicide mission!" 

        "Are you in on this or not?" Damon asks him instead. 

        Alaric huffed out annoyed, looking away for a second, before giving out a sigh. 

        "Fine," Alaric answers. "I'm in." 

        "Good," I say with a sigh of relief. "Then I guess we should drink on this." 

        I lift up the two glasses of human blood for Damon to take. Alaric grimaces at the sight of them. 

        "I'll pass." 

        I took a deep breath as Damon and I clinked glasses. We both quickly down them down and I felt my fangs extend for the first time. I licked the rim of the glass clean as I felt my eyes darken. I look up at my brother and Damon as my face went back to normal. 

        "Let's get to work, boys." 

Chapter Text

        A few weeks passed by in which Damon, Alaric, and I followed leads from different sources of newspaper. It seemed that Klaus and Stefan weren't even attempting to hide their tracks, but it didn't mean that they weren't keeping their location hidden. The days grew hotter as summer soon came upon us and I couldn't help but fidget with the necklace around my neck as we came no closer than the day they left. 

        Being helpless wasn't something I was used to and it was something that I would simply not tolerate any longer. I knew I had allies I could rely on, but where they ready to come to my aid? 

        That was the question I kept asking myself as I drove my brother and Damon down to the Strix Castle. I didn't know what they would think of it here and the friends I kept in the shadows from them. So many of my questions were going to be answered once I stepped out of this car. 

        "Aaron," I greet as he opens the door. 

        "Ma'am," he says with a tip of his hat. "It's a pleasure to have you back." 

        "I wished it was for better circumstances," I tell him with a tight smile as I hand over the keys of my truck. "Our bags are in the back." 

        Aaron nods at this and goes ahead to retrieve them. 

        "What is this place?" Alaric asks as he took the whole place in. 

        "There's a society of vampires who live here," I tell them as I made my way inside. "They're called the Strix. Elijah founded them a while back." 

        "No kidding," Damon mutters under his breath. "This whole place has his name written all over it."

        "Not everywhere, I hope." Aya states as she makes her way down the stairs to meet us. "I did decorate the whole place a decade or so ago so my name should be there somewhere." 

        "Haha, Damon didn't mean anything by that," I say as I jab my elbow into Damon's rib. He grimaces at the contact and I realize I used to much strength into it. "Sorry." 

        "It's alright," Damon groaned out as he rubbed the sore spot. "I'll heal." 

        The secret was no longer hidden as Aya narrowed her eyes at me. 

        "Are you...?"

        "Yes." I answer as I raised my daylight necklace up for her to see. "I have a lot to explain and so little time..." 

        "Carter!" 

        My attention quickly snaps towards the left hallway and I find Carter sprinting away from his caretaker. I couldn't help smile and kneel down so I could catch him into my arms. I spin him around for awhile and couldn't find myself to put him down yet.

        "You're back!" Carter exclaims. 

        I pull away from him and nod. Carter looks at me and his expression slightly falls as he notices the change too. 

        "You're different," Carter states as he placed a hand on my cheek. 

        "I am," I tell him with a sad smile. "Is that ok?" 

        Carter seemed to think over an answer before his eyes met mine again. 

        "Are you happy?" Carter asks me. 

        "I don't know," I answer honestly and it was true. I knew that being a vampire enhanced your emotions by hundred but all of my emotions were in a tangled knot.

        "Is this because Elijah's gone?" Carter asks me. 

        I knew the question brought alarm to everyone around me and I knew it was time to set Carter down. I glance over at the company who had remained silent throughout the exchange. They would have to wait a while before I could give all of them an explanation. 

        "Now what do you know about that?" I ask him as I kneel down in front of him.

        "I had a dream where I talked to Elijah," Carter answers as he played with the necklace around my neck. "He was also sad." 

        "He's not dead is he, Carter?" I ask nervously. 

        "No," Carter responds as he stops playing with my necklace and looks up at me. "He's just sleeping." 

        His answer didn't put me at ease and I let out a sigh. I offered him a small smile as I fixed the collar of his shirt and brushed off lint from his shoulder. 

        "Thank you, Carter." I tell him. "You've been very helpful." 

        I pressed a quick kiss on his forehead before standing up. 

        "You should go back to your caretaker ok?" I tell him. "I'll see you later for dinner and to get you ready for bed." 

        "Ok," Carter said dejectedly. 

        I look up at Mrs. Langue and she takes her cue to come and take Carter away. I blow him a kiss and wave him goodbye before turning to everyone else. The soft exterior I held up for Carter's sake faded away the moment I looked at Aya. 

        "You should call Tristan in for this," I tell her. "And book a conference room or something. There's a lot to explain and I need all of the help I can get." 

************

        The small conference room started to be filled vampires and witches. Damon had gone to socialize with a few of them as he recognized them from a past time leaving me alone with Alaric. Knowing he was a hunter, the Strix seemed to be on guard with him around. It didn't help that the rumor had passed around so quickly about Elijah being "asleep" as Carter called it. 

        "Is he yours?"

        "Hmm?" I hum out as I turn to Alaric who had asked the question. It took me a while to figure out who he was asking about. "Oh, Carter... umm, well it's hard to explain." 

        "I just need to know if I have a secret nephew that I didn't know about," Alaric states. "I've been kept out of your life these past few years and it's my fault that it happened, that I wasn't there for you, but I've learned so many things about you these past few weeks... I..." 

        "I met Carter during the time I stayed here, hiding out while I played dead," I explain to Alaric. "He lost both of his parents to dark magic and is being taken care of here." 

        "He seems pretty attached to you," Alaric sighs out with relief. 

        "The feeling is mutual," I tell him with a small smile. "Elijah and I uh... we had plans to adopt him before everything became a mess." 

        "Wait, you're adopting him?" Alaric asks surprised. "That's... that's..." 

        "Crazy?" I answer for him. "Maybe a little, but we love Carter and he loves us and then I can't have children so it seems like a perfect fit." 

        "You can't have children," Alaric exclaimed a little bit too loudly for my taste. My glare must have pointed out his mistake and he quickly recovers. "What... why?" 

        "The ring that was protecting me," I tell him. "You should probably know that if Jenna continues dying her chances to have a kid will diminish. It's the balance of life." 

        "I should probably warn Jenna about it then," Alaric states as he pulls out his phone. I smiled sympathetically at him and gave him a moment of privacy. I was going to go talk to Damon before I saw a familiar face in the crowd. I froze at the sight of her and she simply smiled at me because she knew. 

        "Sealia..." I whisper as I see her move across the room. I was about to make my way towards her but Tristan stopped me before I could go further. 

        "We've got everyone here just like you asked," Tristan states. "Please explain to us what is going on."

        "Yeah, of course." I tell him before facing the still talking crowd. I took a deep breath as I tried to find the words to explain the situation at hand. "If everyone could quiet down for a moment please."

        I didn't even had to raise my voice as I said that. Everyone's attention quickly turned onto me and I found myself feeling a little shy from the sudden crowd. 

        "There's been rumors going around ever since I got here," I tell them. "Rumors about me turning into a vampire and Elijah going missing. I want to put those rumors to rest and just tell you the truth. That's the least you deserve." 

        My eyes glance over at Alaric and Damon for a moment who nodded at me to continue. 

        "All of it is true," I tell them causing the crowd to disrupt with small talk. I raise my voice and try to capture their attention again. "Elijah was daggered and taken by Klaus. By miracle, I had vampire blood in my system which is why I'm here today as one of your kind; a vampire turned by Elijah. It is my duty as his soulmate to find him and I need your help. My friends and I keep on finding the bodies and that's not good enough. It's not fair that we're too late and human lives are being lost. We all need to get ahead of this." 

        The crowd starts to talk amongst themselves and I could hear bits and pieces of conversations going on around the room. 

        ...Elijah abandoned us...

        ...Listening to a Hunter-turned-Vampire...

        ...Klaus will rip us apart...

        ...This is hopeless...

        Every discouraging word said was making me lose hope in ever finding Elijah again. These were people he had lead and they were leaving him to fend for himself. I felt an ache in my heart and I knew it was some magical ghost pain of the dagger currently placed in Elijah's own chest. It was getting harder to breathe as the conversations seemed to grow louder. They were suffocating me with every word being said.

        "ENOUGH!"

        I can feel air rushing into my drowning lungs and let out a sigh of relief. I slowly look up and find Sealia at the other end of the room, hands tightly pressed on the wooden table, with a burning gaze set upon every vampire into the room. Her gray-knowing eyes finally land on me, and I give her a small smile in gratitude. She slightly nods at me before standing up. 

        "Elijah Mikaelson sacrificed himself from his own society, one that he has taken so much time to perfectly create, in order to get rid of this world of his monster of a brother and bring justice to all of us." Sealia states to everyone. "Now he has fallen and it is in this times that all of you should be rising from the standards set and do something about it." 

        "She's right," Aya states. "We have sat on our hands allowing our fearless leader to do our dirty work for us. Now is the time to set our old tradition aside and fight." 

        "We understand if you are not prepared to make this sacrifice," Tristan says beside her. "Some of you have families or never been to war. We understand if you're too afraid to stand so aiding us isn't mandatory." 

        "I didn't come here looking for just fighters," I voice out. "We need help on all fronts. We are trying to find Klaus and attempting to find a link between the massacres he's left behind. We could use some help with locator spells or scouting potential areas. Finding or formulating a weapon that can bring down a hybrid." 

        "And for those of those who are willing to fight, Alaric and I will gladly offer some training." Damon states from his corner of the room. 

        "Please, I'm urging you," I tell all of them. "This is the time where we all must stand united." 

        The room falls into a heavy silence as faint whispers can barely be heard around the room. Random groups of people stared at each other trying to gauge an answer from any of them. 

        "I will gladly stand with you." 

        I look up to find a blond vampire stepping through the crowd. 

        "It's been awhile since I've courted war." 

        "We're trying to avoid violence," I warn him. "But knowing Klaus it might come to that." 

        "The witches will side with you," another voice calls out. I turn to look and find small huddles of witches which I assumed were segregated by covens. "Any spell you acquire, we'll be glad to cast." 

        More voices start to pipe up and I find myself warming up at the chance of this actually working. Alaric stands beside me and puts his arm around my shoulder allowing me to relax for the first time since I've stepped into this room. 

        "Our armory is open for all of you," Tristan offers to us. 

        "Thank you," Alaric responds as he nods towards Aya and Tristan. 

        "Go rest," Aya offers to me. "We'll start planning strategies tomorrow." 

        I thank her once more before being led out with my brother by my side. Damon follows shortly after us and Aaron quickly starts to lead them to the guest wing to settle down. I knew I was staying in the presidential suite so I'm left alone for the first time since we've got here and I take a deep breath. I make my way out to the Strix garden in hopes that the fresh air would do me some good. 

        I walk through the maze of flowers before taking a seat and feeling the setting sun rays against my skin. I close my eyes for a simple second of peace which quickly becomes disrupted by someone clearing their throat. 

        "It's unlike you to let someone sneak up on you." 

        "You're not some regular someone, Sealia." I respond as I slowly open my eyes and turn to look at her. She smiles politely at me before taking a seat next to me. 

        "Enjoying the sun?" Sealia asks me. 

        "When it's not trying to burn me alive," I mutter as I play with the necklace on my neck. Sealia narrows her eyes at the charm before glancing up at me.

        "That can easily be ripped off and you can die," Sealia warns me. "Why didn't you get the daylight spell on a ring like everyone else?" 

        "Because I was rushed for time," I answer. "This was all Jonas had on him." 

        "Hmm," Sealia hums out. "I could help with that if you need it." 

        "Haven't you helped enough?" I ask her with residue anger. Sealia's quirk her brows at me in slight amusement and I shake my head at her. "You told me about the engagement ring. You told me about Klaus. Yet you refused to tell me that Noah was alive and well." 

        "And if I had told you that small detail you would have never gone through a self-finding journey where true love conquers all," Sealia responds. 

        "But true love hasn't conquered all," I tell her. "Elijah has been daggered and taken by Klaus. I've been left behind, become a vampire, and I'm on the search for him again." 

        "You still have much to learn." 

        "And what could that possibly be?" I exclaim. "That my life is going to eternally suck for me? That every man I grow to care for will always be taken down from Klaus?"

        Sealia remains silent and I look away from her with a scoff. 

        "I thought so..."

        "Look," Sealia mumbles tiredly. "You are the least of my problems. You got the mellow brother who is actually a nice person so just be happy that he's not dead." 

        "What are you even talking about?" I ask her annoyed. 

        "Do you know how worse this could have been for you?" Sealia asks her. "There's a girl I know, her soulmate will have a close call with death. There's another girl whose soulmate will die and in her arms no less, twice. You should be glad that the worst thing that will happen to you is an evil..."

        Sealia quickly shuts up and I narrow my eyes at her, "An evil what?" 

        "I've said too much," Sealia says looking away from my gaze. 

        "No," I exclaim. "You haven't said enough. What's going to happen to Elijah and I? What do you know?" 

        "I know too much," Sealia says with a cold tone and a frozen look. "I've seen too much."

        We were sitting next to each other but the distance between us seemed miles away as her mind wandered off to whatever deep abyss she found herself in. I turn away and let the silence settle between us. 

        "What else could I possibly learn right now?" I ask her after a while. "What lesson does the universe have for me that it denies me happiness once more?" 

        Sealia sighs deeply before her grey eyes meet my own, "You have yet to learn your full potential, Griselda Saltzman. You have yet to see what you can grow to be." 

        "Now that didn't sound like some riddled bullshit," I mutter under my breath as I stand up. I look down at her and offer her my hand to help her up but she shakes her head. 

        "I want to stay out here for a while longer," Sealia tells me as her hands played with the blades of grass. "I need some time to think over some things." 

        I decide not to prod further in her life and start to make my way back inside. As I expected, Aya and a few others instantly found me with questions of their own. I restrain a sigh from escaping my lips and instead motion for them catch me up to speed with whatever progress they've made that day. 

*************

        Gaining a moment of peace, I found myself avoiding my bedroom and hiding out in the music studio. My head was leaning on the top of the piano as I tentatively played random notes. The tune would carry around the room for a while before returning to silence. I let out a huff of annoyance as I sit up and slam the cover closed. I bury my face in my hands and tried to will myself to not cry.

        "Gris?" 

        I quickly look up to find Carter slowly making his way towards me. I place a small smile on my lips as I helped him on the seat next to me. 

        "Hey there kid," I greet him as I try to hide my emotional meltdown from him. The look in his eyes made it obvious that he saw through my mask. 

        "Are you ok?" 

        I let out a sigh and my smile drops from my lips. 

        "Not at the moment, Carter." 

        "Is there anything I could do to help?" he asks me hopefully. I brush his hair back and shake my head at him. He looks defeated by this but it quickly fades away as a smile appears on his face. "I know what will make you feel better." 

        I don't get the chance to ask him what he's up to when he jumps off the seat and runs off into the nearby storage closet. I wait patiently for him to return and he soon does. Carter attempts to hide something behind his back but I could distinctly see the bow of the violin sticking out over his shoulder. He quickly unveils the violin to me and I smile as he offers it up.

        "You shouldn't have," I tell him with a chuckle as I pull the violin out of his hands. Carter quickly moves to sit next to me and I place the violin under my chin. 

        I take a deep breath and slowly place the bow onto the strings. I swing it forward and I instantly cringe at the sound echoing across the room. Carter instantly places his hands over his ears and I quickly put a stop to it. My hands slightly tremble and I find myself feeling angry... no, not angry... I felt enraged. 

        I couldn't even play the instrument I had learned to play my whole life. The constants of my life kept being taken away from me. The one thing that could bring me peace, could quickly envelop what I felt, my outlet of creativity was gone. It had been destroyed by my vampirism. Everything was destroyed by vampirism and I felt the wood under my fingers crack before realizing that tears had spilled under my eyes. 

        "I'm sorry," I whisper as I place the cracked violin on top of the piano. Carter seemed unphased at my reaction as his eyes scanned the two parts of the violin. "I'm so sorry..." 

        I bury my face into my hands as an overwhelming sense of emotion pulled me at different directions. I take a deep breath and hear a soft melody play. I slowly look up from my hands to find Carter playing on the piano. The melody sounded vaguely familiar and it comes to an abrupt stop. 

        "Was that..." I begin to ask before Carter just nods. 

        "He taught me that while you were gone," Carter told me. "He said it was one of your favorite songs." 

        "Play it to me again," I ask him. 

        Carter nods and starts to play the same tune again. I let myself hum the violin melody until Carter was forced to stop again. The question must have been obvious from my face as Carter didn't hesitate to play it once more. 

        "I hope I didn't scare you," I tell him once he's stopped again. 

        "I'm not scared of you," he responds, "But you are." 

        I wanted to chuckle at this but he was right. I was scared. I wasn't used to this new body of mine. I wasn't used to my strength. I wasn't used to being so freshly heartbroken. I wasn't used to any of this. I needed some control to come back. I needed some aspect of myself back. I needed Elijah back. 

        "I'm scared too if that makes you feel better," Carter offers up to me. 

        "And what could you possibly be afraid of?" I ask him. "You're the bravest kid I know." 

        "I'm scared of the lady in my dreams," Carter responds as he plays with the top of the keys. "I'm scared of what she can do." 

        I narrow my eyes at him and grew worried as to what that could possibly mean. 

        "She's going to kill you all," Carter continues to tell me before facing me with an unreadable expression. "You have to take me with you. I'm the only who can stop her" 

        "Carter..."

        "I'm going to stop her," he tells me. "I'm going to make you happy again."

        "Hey," I call out to him, drawing him out of whatever phase he was in. His eyes blink away the cold gaze he adapted and he looks at me with unease. "Hey... all that matters right now is you being happy." 

        "But..." 

        "No, Carter." I tell him. "All I want is for you to be happy and I'm not going to drag you into this." 

        "Take me with you," Carter begs. "I promise I'll be good." 

        "I know you'll be good," I say with a sad chuckle. "But this doesn't mean this would be good for you. I can't risk you out there Carter. They can hurt you." 

        Carter looks down at his lap with a frown and I sigh as I place a soft kiss on top of his head. 

        "I need you to be safe, Carter." I whisper as I held him. "I couldn't bear losing you too." 

        Carter remains silent as he leans into me. His hand plays with the necklace around my neck and I smile as I see him return to his usual playfulness. I let my chin rest on top of his head and tried not to let my mind plague with new set of problems that Carter brought to my attention. Against what I wanted, my thought surrounded what he told me and I couldn't help but worry of a bigger evil that wasn't Niklaus Mikaelson. 

 

Chapter Text

Two Months Later...

Strix Castle 

        A trail of bodies were the only things we could follow. Locator spells were pointless and the research could only take us so far. When I wasn't on the road, I was at the castle trying to get ahead of Klaus but being unable to do so. I was growing frustrated as the time went on and as much as I enjoyed Alaric and Damon's aid in all of this, they had to return back home to keep appearances with Elena and the rest of her friends. They had a life to get back to while I was trying to get my life back. 

        "Tennessee?" I ask her again as she pulls up the articles of the recent murder. "You want me to head back to Tennessee? I just came back from there."

        Aya was showing me the newfound intel on the monitor in front of me. She requested to inform me alone which was a sign that she had bad news to bear to me alone. 

        "It's what we got," Aya responds as a red dot blinks on the map pulled up on the screen. "Besides it follows the same pattern of mutilated bodies and the victim from Pensacola had family in Memphis." 

        "Klaus was targeting random victims and now we have a distant bloodline connection to Tennessee." I state with suspicion. Something was going on there somewhere. "Why would Klaus target these random victims that share a distant bloodline? What is so important about them?" 

        Before Aya could even offer a hypothesis, my phone starts to ring. I give her an apologetic smile as I see Alaric's name pop and I knew it had to be important. 

        "Let me guess," I start off as I pick up the call. "Tennessee?"

        "How'd you know?" Alaric states. 

        "Aya just briefed me about this murder in Memphis," I fill him in as I look over the police report that Aya managed to get her hands on. Written on a sticky note was an address for some nearby family members. "How did you find out?" 

        "Elena," Alaric sighs out. "Apparently Sheriff Forbes is helping her out."

        "And I'm assuming you haven't told her that we too are also searching for Klaus," I state a bit concerned. "It's been two months, Alaric. I would have thought you would have broken this down for her." 

        "I'm not the best parental role model, ok?" Alaric sighs out. "I mean... how am I supposed to tell her that her boyfriend is tearing up bodies left and right?

        "Why are you asking me?" I refute as I close the file and lean back on my chair. "I have no experience in dealing with teenagers." 

        "Well technically speaking, Elena isn't a teenager as of today." Alaric responds quietly. "She just turned 18."

        "Then it's about time you treat her like an adult," I state causing him to sigh loudly. Knowing he had enough on his plate I decide to end the call soon. "I'm assuming I'll see you soon then in Memphis? There's a distant lead there."  

        "Like I have no other choice," Alaric responds tiredly. "Jenna's going to kill me once she hears.

        "I'm sure she can handle being out of your presence for a couple hours," I retort as I knew that she had grown tired of Alaric's overprotectiveness. Alaric had forbidden her to wear my resuscitation ring as soon as he heard of the side effects and he also refused to leave her unguarded wherever she went. At first Jenna was fine with the attention until it became borderline obsessive. "Let the girl breathe Alaric. Nothing is going to happen to her." 

        "Whatever," Alaric remarks annoyed with me by now. "I'll see you later.

        The phone call ends and I throw my phone onto the table and look up to a waiting Aya. I let my hand run through my hair as I let out a sigh pass my lips. 

        "We are moving too slow if the doppelganger is gaining leads at the same time we are," I warn Aya. "There has to be way to move faster than this." 

        My fingers tap on the rim of the table as I tried to think of something. There murder sprees were random and there were no pattern to be followed until now. There had to be something connecting all of them together but what was it?

        "Find me a connection, Aya." I state as I grab the police file and retrieve my coat. "We're missing something here. Dig into that family connection, see if something is going on there. Klaus has some secret agenda and I need to know what it is." 

        Aya nods at this and begins to make note of this. I nod to her in goodbye before walking out of the conference room. Some witches and vampires quickly make their way in and I assumed they were waiting to get to work with my most recent demands.

        I make my way out of the Strix castle and walk down the stone pathway to a strip landing a quarter mile away from the building. I find Aaron is waiting for me with my hunter's bag packed and ready to go. I take up the bag and he immediately offers his hand for me to take as I climbed the small staircase into the private jet.

        "Have a nice trip, ma'am." 

        "Will do, Aaron," I answer as I reach the top step. "Do make sure to tell Carter I'll be late today." 

       Aaron nods at this and I finally step into the jet. A flight attendant greets me and moves to pull up the staircase and seal the door closed. While this happens, I take a seat on one of the chairs and place my bag on the table in front of me. I look out the window and watch as Aaron motioned to the pilot that we were free to fly. It didn't take long to get us into the air and I leaned into the leather seat as I waited to arrive to Tennessee. 

*************

Tennessee House, Memphis

        I lean against the Strix-issued porsche as I watched the house from afar. I glance down at my watch again as I noticed Damon and Alaric running a tad late. After a while, I hear the purr of an engine come from a mile away and turn to find the white escalade coming down the road. I push myself off the car as Alaric parked the car behind mine. 

        "Nice ride," Damon comments as he takes in the red porsche. 

        "Courtesy of the Strix," I answer as I pull of the sunglasses from my face and tuck them away. 

        "Those are some damn nice perks," Damon mutters under his breath as he admires the car. "How does one gain a membership into your fancy club?"

        "Well, you can either date the co-founder," I state as I point to myself, "Or prove yourself to be a humanitarian."

        The answer caused Alaric to snort and Damon to scowl. He glared at my brother who just raises his hands up in defense. 

        "Being the good guy is overrated," Damon responds as he looked away from us and towards the house. "Come on, we're wasting daylight and we have a birthday party that we have to attend." 

        "Well send Elena my regards," I state as I follow after Damon with my brother by my side. "After we're done here, I have to get back to overlook some research." 

        "Really?" Alaric sighs out concerned. "You haven't stopped working these past few months. I rarely see you and when I do it's doing check-ups like this." 

        "I have to find Elijah," I remind him as always. "I can't leave him like that with Klaus. He doesn't deserve that." 

        "Yeah, right..." Damon snarks as we stop in front of the house. "That guy stabbed us in the back when he went back on his word to kill Klaus." 

        "And if he had killed Klaus you wouldn't have gotten the cure from your wolf bite and you wouldn't be standing here, would you?" I argue causing Damon to scoff. 

        The argument is cut short as Damon's phone begins to buzz. He pulls it out of his pocket and frowns before ending the call and putting it away. 

        "Elena?" Alaric asks. Damon just scowls and I shake my head at both of them. 

        "Unbelievable," I mutter. "I don't know why you two just don't come clean and tell her where we are."

        "Because Andie said this was a half lead and I don't want to get her hopes up." Damon states. 

        "You and Andie are still a thing?" I ask a bit surprised. 

        "I have needs," Damon mutters under his breath. 

        The conversation fades away as Damon and I look around the scene. The birds chirped amongst the trees and the wind rustled its leaves. Besides that, I couldn't hear anything else. 

        "It's quiet," Alaric comments. 

        "Yeah," Damon responds with a frown. "Too quiet." 

        "Damn it," I mutter as I climb up the porch of the house and make my way to the front door. The door opens easily and I extend my foot over the door to test if I could get inside. As expected, my boot easily passes through the doorway and I sigh knowing that owner had to be dead. "I guess we're finding the bodies again." 

        I walk into the house with Damon and Alaric right behind me. Along the hallway walls are blood stains and handprints that leave a trail. I follow after it and walk in to find the two dead women sitting upright on the living room couch facing the TV. Their bodies and clothes were covered in blood. 

        "Ugh," Alaric groans out at the sight of them. "Vampire for sure."

        "Stefan, for sure," Damon comments as he steps towards the bodies. 

        "How do you know?" I ask surprised. Though I knew Stefan and Klaus were together in this killing spree, I never thought of Stefan as this kind of vampire.

        "It's his signature," Damon explains to me. "There's a reason they call him the Ripper. Feeds so hard he blacks out and rips them apart, but then when he's done, he feels remorse."

        Damon uses the heel of his boot and shakes the knee of one of the girls. The head quickly drops from the body and rolls onto the floor. 

        "It's the damndest thing," Damon comments distantly. "He put the bodies back together." 

        "Back together?" Alaric asks with dark curiosity. 

        "Definitely Stefan," Damon responds with a frown. 

        Damon walks out of the room and I didn't question it. I assumed the sight of two dismembered women that his brother left behind could cause a toll on him. 

        "If I ever..." I trail off as I look away from the two bodies and stare at my brother. "If I ever do something like this, take a stake and drive it straight to my heart."  

        "You're kidding," Alaric states with a short laugh. His amusement falters as he takes notice of my face. "You're not kidding." 

        "I've only been drinking out of blood bags," I explain to Alaric. "The allure of drinking from the source is still there in my mind. If I happen to... If I become a ripper like this, I need you to put a stop to me." 

        Alaric shakes his head at me, "Nope. I can't. You're my sister, my only sister. You're all the family I have." 

        "I could kill you and everyone you love," I remind my brother. "That could be Jenna, Elena, Jeremy... That could be Carter..." 

        "You would never hurt that kid," Alaric exclaims. "And you will never get to that point. Gris, I know you..." 

        "No, you don't!" I shout at him. "We haven't talked in years since you left and ever since I came back into your life we've only talked a handful of times. You don't know me, Alaric. You don't know the things I've done. You don't know the half of it." 

        "Then give me a chance to," Alaric argues back. "You leave every time and hide out at your boyfriend's elite club. I've made a home for myself in Mystic Falls. Come back with me and stay. Give me a chance to fix us." 

        I didn't know how to respond. Part of me felt warm at his desperate need to fix our relationship, but part of me knew the cold truth. It knew that my life was a hurricane of disaster and I didn't want to ruin his perfect world back in Mystic Falls. I didn't want to drag my brother into misery. 

        Before I could say any of this, Damon walks back in with a tank of gasoline. Without a word to us, he starts to douse the room in it. 

        "What are you doing?" Alaric exclaims surprised. 

        "Covering their tracks," Damon responds tiredly. "Clearly they have no interest in staying in the dark, but I do." 

        Alaric tugs me out of the room as Damon throws gasoline onto the tapestries and the walls. My foot drops onto the floor and I hear a loud creak come from under it. 

        "Hang on," I tell Damon causing him to stop. He walks up to me and I take a step back. Alaric and Damon then pull the rug aside and reveals a hidden trapdoor. Damon pulls it open and reveals a hidden basement with chained shackles along the the wall. 

        "Well, what do you know?" Damon mutters in amusement. "Werewolves." 

        Damon closes the door and picks up the tank of gasoline again and gets rid of the remainder of it. We all step out of the room and Damon lights a match and tosses it onto the floor. Soon the whole room catches flame and all of us leave the scene. 

        We all step down the porch in silence and I think over what Damon said. Werewolves. The connection I needed was staring at my face. 

        "Oh my god," I mutter as I quickly pull out my phone. 

        "What?" Alaric asks confused. 

        "I found it," I tell them. "I found what I've been missing." 

        Damon and Alaric share a look of confusion while I dial Aya. She instantly picks up and I sigh in relief, interrupting her greeting. 

        "Werewolves," I tell her as I cut her off. "The family connection. They're werewolves. He's searching for werewolves." 

        "But if he's found them already why does he keep killing them off?" Aya brings to my attention. 

        "They're lone wolves," I state as I think back to the solitary murders. "I think he's looking for an Alpha and a pack. Aya... I need to find out why he's doing this. I need answers." 

        "I'll start searching for the next of kin," Aya starts to say. 

        "No, drop that," I interrupt her. "I need to find out why Klaus is after werewolves. Why does he need them? What will he benefit from them?"

        "Alright, I'll converse with the witches then," Aya concludes. "They can consult their magic crystals or those beyond to find an answer. I'll also have some vampires search for potential future victims. I doubt Klaus is done with his search." 

        "Yes," I tell her. "That sounds like a brilliant plan, Aya. Thank you." 

        Aya ends the call and I let out a relieved chuckle. After two months of searching and travelling, I finally got a break. I turn to Damon and Alaric who seemed to have gotten lost in my quick conversation with Aya. 

        "I'm going to find him," I say with a bubbling laugh as I pull both of them into an unexpected hug. "I'm going to find him." 

*************

Hours later...

Salvatore Boarding House, Mystic Falls

        "You promised me a good time," I state as Alaric pours me a glass of bourbon into a glass. I look around at the loud, teenage-filled Boarding House with a look of distaste. "I didn't think that would mean a high school party."

        "How do you think I feel?" Alaric mumbles tiredly as he hands me the glass. "I am every parent's worst nightmare. I am the chaperone teacher from hell." 

        "I love high school parties," Damon hums out happily as he leaned back onto the brick column behind him. I shook my head at him.

        "Is Andie coming?" I ask him trying to get my mind off the young human beings who were flittering in and out of the house. The urge for blood was slowly ticking in as time went by and Damon recommended a glass of his finest bourbon to take my mind off the hunger. 

        "Ten o'clock broadcast." Damon responds. "Should be here in a little bit." 

        "Fun times," I mutter as I down my glass and motion for my brother to serve me more. "I still don't understand how this party is supposed to be a congrats on my beautiful breakthrough." 

        "Just go with the flow, Gris." Damon sighs out. "Go with the flow." 

        I narrow my eyes at him and turn to Alaric. 

        "Did he just call me Gris?" I ask him surprised. 

        "Uh-huh," Alaric says as he drank from his glass. "You two are friends now." 

        "Great," I whisper and before Damon could remark on my unenthusiastic tone, Elena comes out with a tired expression. 

        "Hello Birthday Girl!" Damon exclaims at the sight of her. 

        "Drink!" Elena orders as she holds out her arm and takes Damon's glass. She downs the glass quickly and grimaces at the taste. "Jeremy's smoking again." 

        "Is his stash any good?" Damon remarks with a sly grin. Elena just glares at him, "You're an ass."

        Elena shakes his head at Damon and then turns to Alaric. 

        "Talk to him, please," she pleads. "He looks up to you." 

        Elena hands the glass back to Damon and walks away leaving Alaric to handle the situation. 

        "You're screwed if Jenna finds out," I point out. 

        "Ahh," Alaric sighs out knowing I was right. "I better get to it then." 

        I watch him walk away and turn to Damon with a smirk. 

        "It's funny how he was judging me for adopting a kid when he's practically playing dad for two teenagers," I state with a chuckle. I lean my head back and close my eyes for a second as I tried to block out the noise of beating hearts. 

        "You should cut him some slack..." Damon tells me. I slowly open my eyes at him and find Damon staring down at his glass with a serious expression. "He worries about you. Especially now since you're a vampire on a deadly mission to get your boyfriend back from the evil Klaus." 

        "Elijah is all I have," I confess to him as I play with the glass in my hand. "He's the only one who understands me."

        Damon scowls as I said this. 

        "Please tell me you're not one of those girls," Damon scoffs annoyed. I raise my eyes at him in question and he shakes his head at me. "The one whose whole purpose in life is some guy. Come on Gris, you can do better." 

        "Elijah is my soulmate," I tell Damon seriously. "He literally is my other half." 

        Damon rolls his eyes at this and I knew he wouldn't believe another word I said. 

        "Gris, you gotta let people in," Damon mutters. "You gotta let people get to know you and then you won't be alone anymore and Elijah won't have to be the only person in your corner." 

        I down my second glass quickly and look away from Damon's stare.

        "Your brother wants to get to know you, Gris." 

        I let Damon's words settle in knowing he was right. A sigh passes through my lips as my eyes meet his. 

        "How drunk are you?" I ask with a half-grin breaking the tense-filled conversation. Damon rolls his eyes at me and looks away. "No, seriously. I need to make a note of how many glasses of bourbon I have to get into you to get this mushy, sentimental bullcrap." 

        "Shut up," Damon mutters with a small grin on his own. "As far as I know, this never happened." 

        I couldn't help but chuckle at that, "I'm growing on you, aren't I?" 

        "Whatever baby Saltzman," Damon responds with a roll of his eyes. He looks at the near empty bottle then back up at me. "How are you not drunk yet?"

        "Unlike you, I can hold my liquor," I state as I pour myself the last glass. "Besides, if you want drunk Gris, you gotta put tequila in me." 

        "Well, that's what we're gonna do then," Damon states as he pulls a nearby girl and starts to compel her to bring us a bottle. I shake my head at this but let him do his thing. While we waited, Alaric came back out with a defeated expression. 

        "I'm assuming things didn't go well," I ask Alaric as he pulls up a chair and takes a seat. 

        "Nope," he says as he pinches the bridge of his nose stressfully. "Jenna's going to kill me when I get them back home." 

        I pat my brother on the back with a sympathetic expression. Damon's phone begins to buzz with a text and he scowls at he reads it. He pockets his phone and stands up. 

        "Andie wants me to pick her up." 

        "Your fake, compelled girlfriend wants you to be a chivalrous boyfriend?" Alaric asks with a mixture of a surprise and confusion. 

        "Well, it's a complicated dynamic." Damon comments as he passes of his glass to my brother.

        "Obviously," I mutter as the compelled girl from before shows up with the crystal bottle. Damon smiles at her and takes the bottle before turning her away.

        "Hold the fort down, will ya?" Damon asks as he hands the bottle off to Alaric. "And make sure your sister drinks that whole thing." 

        I shake my head at him and watch him walk away. Alaric looks at the tequila bottle then at me in question. 

        "Isn't it bad to mix clear alcohol with dark?" Alaric asks as he cracks open the bottle and serves me a shot. I shrug at him not knowing what was behind Damon's logic. 

        "I don't know," I answer. "Maybe the vampire healing spiel helps with that?" 

        "Your guess is as good as mine," Alaric states as he clinks his bourbon glass with my tequila one. "Cheers." 

*************

Third POV, Alaric's Apartment

        "Easy there, easy there," Alaric says as he lead a slightly-drunk Griselda through his apartment. He tosses his key onto the counter in the kitchen and walks his sister towards his bed before dropping her in it. "I knew I shouldn't have let you drink that bottle." 

        Griselda giggles at this, actually giggles as she snuggles deeper into the covers.

        "Hmm, this is so warm," Griselda comments as her eyes flutter close.

        Alaric rolls his eyes at this and restrains himself from making a comment. He helped his sister out of her shoes instead and pulled the covers out from under her, causing her to whine, before he let the cover drop on top of her. Alaric couldn't remember the last time he tucked his sister into bed and the sight of her pleased expression made him recall all of the fond memories of their childhood. 

        Griselda's eyes flutter open in apprehension and she sits up from the bed. Alaric is quick to reach for her, but Griselda just brushes the hair from her face and looks up at her brother. 

        "Carter," she states. "I have to call Carter and tell him I'm not coming home tonight." 

        Alaric watched the deep concern she had over the boy and the illusion of childhood memories disappear. Alaric forgot that they were both adults now with two separate lives. Their childhood had been a united front, but now they were on separate paths leading into two different directions. 

        "I'll call Aya and tell her to relay the message," Alaric tells her trying to ease her back into sleep. "Now rest. You're most likely won't have a hangover tomorrow, but you should still sleep the drunkenness off at least."

        "Ok," Griselda responds lazily as she lays back down. She shuffles a little bit until she finds a position that's comfortable. 

        Alaric watched her a little bit wondering how his vampire sister could have become such a drunken child. He smiles at the sight before making sure she had finally succumbed to sleep. He shuts off the lights and presses a kiss on the temple of her head. Griselda groans and Alaric freezes in his spot. Griselda's eyes slowly flutter open and she sadly smiles up at her brother. 

        "I'm sorry for everything, Ric." Griselda mumbles sleepily. "I'm sorry for dragging you into my problems. I didn't mean to ruin your perfect life." 

        Alaric sadly smiles down at his sister and brushes her hair away from her face. 

        "My life is far from being perfect," Alaric confesses to her. 

        "Is it though," Griselda whispers as she scowls at him. "You have Jenna and two kids who look up to you. You have friends and a job and..." tears well up in her eyes as she looks up at him, "...You have a home." 

        She giggles at this as tears roll down her cheeks. 

        "Ric, you got what we always wanted when we were kids," Griselda tells him. "You got yourself a home and I... I've got nothing."

        "That's not true," Alaric tries to comfort his sister. "You've got Carter..." 

        "I can't take care of Carter when I can barely take care of myself," Griselda whispers as her eyes pressed closed. "I can't do it if Elijah isn't here." 

        "Well I'm here," Alaric reminds her. "You still got me, ok?" 

        Griselda smiles at this and seems to calm down a bit. 

        "Maybe I should stay here like you said," Griselda mumbles tiredly as her eyes remained closed. "Carter would like it here... I think we both would..." 

        Alaric couldn't help but feel the warmth spread through his chest as he heard this. Even though he was sure his sister would forget this whole drunken conversation in the morning it was nice to hear her at least consider moving into town. He'll take care of her again until she was able to stand back on her own. Though he had Jenna, Elena, and Jeremy to think about already, adding his sister into the mix would be a welcomed reprieve.