Klaus has always lived his life in this way: see, want, take, have. Depending on the circumstance, and if he's bored, or if someone insists on being difficult or tiresome, 'kill' and 'death' can also be easily be added.
Klaus sees Caroline. He wants her. He even takes her. But he cannot have her, and it is frustrating, infuriating, maddening. He has held her body in his arms, has held her life in the palm of his hand twice, has possessed her in ways that she has never been possessed, and yet he does not have her.
Because with Caroline, Klaus wants her to want him as well.
The having must be reciprocal, because that is the magic of her. Seeing through her eyes makes life new again. Makes him actually believe in something again. Perhaps even himself, because through her eyes, he can see that he is redeemable, that he is more than what he has let himself become.
He does not know how to go about this reciprocal having of a person. He cannot remember last he truly cared if the one he wanted truly wanted him back.
It is not until he has failed too many times in this lifetime to have what he wants of her, that he realizes what it will take.
"Tyler is now free to return to Mystic Falls."
"… what?" It's nothing more than a catch of breath, hope and disbelief.
"He’s your first love…" He sees the tremulous joy, the light that fills her features because she, too, is being set free. She is meant to be free. That is when she is most beautiful.
"I intend to be your last," he tells her, finally at peace himself. "However long it takes."
It is not about having right now. It's about having forever.
Klaus is not known for his patience, but he has a lived a long time. There are not many who have lived long enough to see how patient he can be.