Rose wasn’t sure why they were still going over the story or Klaus’s past when it was obvious that he was in town now. In her opinion they should be more worried about what he was doing now than what he did back then. She wasn’t going to argue though, the more information they had the less likely they were to do something reckless to get them all worse than dead.
“So what came next, madam Rose?”
“Well Klaus was transfixed by the sight of Caroline’s blood and with it his bloodlust rose but his love for Caroline was by far his most powerful emotion. It overpowered his killing rage at his father before and it overpowered his bloodlust as well. Without uttering a single word he ran out of her home as quickly as his new abilities would allow him and went in search of something or someone else to feed from. On the night of the full moon of course the first thing he found was a werewolf…”
Klaus didn’t understand it, he had feared the wolves for nearly the whole of his life, but now looking at this one all he felt was hunger. Normally seeing a wolf would send him running in the other direction praying for safe shelter with every step he took, but now all he wanted was to attack it, to tear it apart and get to the blood that he could hear and smell just beneath the surface of its skin. It was all powerful, all consuming, and he was helpless to stand against it. With that last coherent thought he attacked and gave in to his urges.
“But Klaus wasn’t simply a vampire, because when he was human he was born to his witch mother and her werewolf lover, making him a werewolf by birth. When he made his first kill as a vampire it activated his werewolf side, and created the first ever hybrid of the two.”
“If Esther knew that he was a werewolf, then why did she turn him into a vampire?” It didn’t make any sense to Bonnie, why make a predator an even deadlier monster?
“Esther couldn’t very well admit to adultery to her husband and her best friend, and she thought that becoming one would negate the other. She did not think it would be possible for one to be both, but like always Klaus proved her wrong. After his werewolf side was triggered he shifted for the first time. Normally a shift, especially the first one, would take hours sometimes even the whole of the night. Since Klaus was a vampire though, and everything about him was somehow more, he shifted in minutes. However there was a price for this speed, while his shift itself was shorter he still felt all the pain associated with a long drawn out change, he just felt it all in those few minutes instead of stretched out over the hours.
When his change completed as you would have guessed, the pain left him disoriented and coupled with his vampiric blood lust he was nearly feral. He hunted the entire night killing anything that got in his path, until close to dawn he began to feel the effects of it all. Both transitions and the massacre he’d created. Finally calming he went to the only place he could ever think to go.”
“Yes, Elena, to Caroline…”
Caroline wasn’t sure what had happened the night before, one moment she and Nik were talking and the next he was just gone like he hadn’t been there at all. She had wanted to follow him and make sure he was alright but all it took was the howl of a single wolf to make her stay inside. It wouldn’t do anyone any good if she ran out foolishly and got herself killed, knowing that no matter what was happening he would eventually make his way back to her she sat on her bed facing the door and waited.
Hearing a strange scratching at her door she swung it open and came face to face with a wolf. Throwing herself backwards she landed hard on her backside, terrified of what it would do, when it only whimpered in sympathy she looked closer at her new house guest. It was waiting outside just beyond the doorway as if waiting to be invited in. Inching steadily closer she looked more carefully at it, wondering if she knew him or her in their human form. It wasn’t until she finally looked right into its eyes that she knew who had come to see her.
Another whimper in response, she watched as his head bowed almost as though he were ashamed for her to see him this way.
“Oh my love what has happened to you? Come inside, we don’t want anyone seeing you and getting it into their heads that you need killing.”
Like that was what he’d been waiting for the whole time, he quickly darted over the threshold and into her arms.
“Easy now, don’t you worry, this won’t change a thing. You and I are forever, no matter what.”
She was so busy trying to reassure her love that she didn’t notice the shadow coming from her still open door.
“Oh, I beg to differ you harlot.”
Her head whipped around to the doorway at the sound of that voice and so did Nik’s.
“Why was she there? What did she want?” Bonnie was so confused. The more she learned the harder it got to see the originals, and especially Caroline, as the villains she’d always seem them as before.
“Whoa, whoa, whoa, slow down there. All your questions will be answered soon enough. Esther had used her magic to track Klaus after she completed her spell sending Mikael into transition as well, she wanted to know where he was so that once her husband was reborn he could easily rid them both of Klaus. When she found him at Caroline’s she found him as a wolf and her worst fears were made reality, her adultery was standing before her plain to any who saw it for what it was…”
Caroline didn’t know what to do, she had never officially met Nik’s mother but she knew who she was nonetheless, and what she was capable of as well. She didn’t want anything to happen to Nik, but she also didn’t see any way for her to protect him from such a powerful witch.
“We will leave, no one ever need know of his transition, we will both just fade from memory.” She knew her pleas would likely go unanswered but she had to try something, anything.
“Oh, how adorable, but I don’t think so. The plan had been for Mikael to kill the vermin, but I can’t let him see the weakling like this, he would know the truth. No, I will kill him, and tell the others that he did not survive the night, the wolves were roaming after all and we all know how deadly they are. After what he allowed to happen to Henrik it would almost be poetic justice that they believe the same fate befell him as well.”
What was she talking about? She wouldn’t truly kill her own son would she? Looking into her eyes she knew it was true, she was insane.
“You cannot do this, I – I won’t let you!” Looking around frantically she searched for something, anything that would save her beloved from the fate his mother intended for him. Finding nothing she stepped forward intending to fight to her last breath for her future happiness even if it was a futile effort she had to try.
When Esther raised her hand preparing to toss her effortlessly aside with her magic, she tried not to flinch. Closing her eyes she prepared for the impact only to feel a rush of air at her side and heard the woman’s scream of agony moments later. Opening her eyes she found Klaus pinning his mother to the floor his teeth buried in her shoulder holding her in place.
“Klaus!” She didn’t know what to do now, Esther was attacking them, but she couldn’t just let Nik kill his own mother.
“Let her go my love, come back to me.”
The wolf released his hold and looked back at her for a long moment, almost as though he were assessing her in some way. She watched as he slowly circled her before stopping just behind her, when she heard the telltale breaking of bone she knew what he was doing, he was shifting back, he was coming back to her as she had asked.
By the time he had fully changed Esther was back on her feet, bleeding badly, but otherwise unharmed. Her hatred now directed at them both as she spewed her venom at them.
“How dare you attack me! Me! After I have given you so much, certainly more than you deserve! I should have killed you at birth when I first realized what you were, it would have saved me all the grief that your life has caused me.”
“How dare you! You hateful bitch, you have no right to talk to him like that. You are not welcome here, I demand you leave my home at once!”
“Oh, you demand do you? Congratulations Niklaus, you found a woman with spine, at least one of you will have a backbone. Come along son of mine, come back to the village and face Mikael like a man, end your life in the way you never lived it.”
Caroline was livid, how dare she say such things.
“Of course mother, then I can regale my siblings with the tale of my oh so adventurous night away. Being a werewolf is just so freeing I could never keep such an experience from them, could I? What kind of brother would I be if I did?”
She never took her eyes off of Esther, knowing that threatening to out her secret would be enough to send her into a rage. When her eyes began to darken with power she knew this would not end well for any of them, but when her hand rose to direct that power, it was not at Nik that she aimed but at her. Turning to face her love she saw the dawning realization on his face as he understood what his mother was planning to do, he ran towards her intending to push her out of the way, but he was too far away his speed failing him in his panic. She felt Esther’s power slam into her body full force, knocking her from her feet, she landed in a heap against the far wall.
Desperately gasping for air for a moment it felt like her entire body was on fire. Hearing a strange wet sound she looked up to find her beloved Nik his face morphed by his rage into that of a demon, his eyes glowing the brightest gold of the wolf, but the veins below them black as pitch, and his mouth filled with fangs. That did not hold her gaze for long for what she realized next was far worse, for his hand was in his mothers chest, grasping her beating heart.
“What have you done to her mother? You will answer me or I will rip your heart out!” As a witch she had the power to heal the wound he made as long as he pulled his hand back and left her heart intact. He was giving her the option to live.
“She loved your wolf so much – I figured – she should have one of her own. For only a monster can truly love a monster. Every full moon she will shift, in agony, this is my gift to you both.” The word gift was filled with such vile hatred it was clear what she meant, curse.
“Ahhhh!” Pulling his hand free Nik held her heart up before her eyes, it still beat within his grasp, and it was the last thing she saw in this world.
Feeling her bones begin to break she screamed in agony, the moon was fading as the night slowly gave way to day, but it was still high enough to trigger her change.
“What happened next? Is Caroline a werewolf? I thought she was a vampire though, is she a hybrid?”
“I didn’t think you could make someone without the gene a werewolf.”
“We will get to that, if you would stop interrupting me we would get there a great deal faster.”
“Yeah, but before then, I suggest that we all get something to eat and stretch our legs a bit. Come on Stef, you and I need to take a short walk. Bonnie can tag along too if she wants, I know how much witchss love nature.” Damon interrupted everyone, taking command of the situation by simply walking out and expecting everyone to just fall in line.
Stefan wasn’t sure if this was really the best way to go, but as far as he could see, it was the only way they had. Stalking slowly behind his brother they both made their way down to the tomb beneath the church, Katherine’s supposed resting place, the tomb that no vampire could leave once they’d entered. When the opening came into view he hesitated for a moment before stepping up beside his brother to project a unified front to their prisoner, even if it was a lie. They were at odds about this, like they were about everything else in their long lives.
He didn’t think his sing-song patronizing tone would help matters, but they couldn’t exactly argue about it in front of her, not if they wanted to keep the illusion of control.
“What do you want now Salvatore, or is it Salvatore’s?” The girl’s voice was calm and even almost like she was visiting them in their home instead of being locked away in the dark. Yet, he still couldn’t see her face, while her voice carried out to them she kept herself hidden in shadow. The whole time there was something nagging at him in the back of his mind, something wasn’t right.
“We have a question for you.” His brother was being as arrogant as ever, just assuming that she would answer them because of where she was now. For some reason he didn’t think she would help them no matter what they did.
“Oh well then, let me just cooperate and tell you everything you want to know because you’re all big and scary and I’m the frightened little girl. Please.” He was momentarily taken aback by how much she sounded like some of Bonnie and Elena’s cheerleader friends that for a moment he had to remind himself of just who it was they were talking to. She may seem like a normal teenage girl but she was in reality over a thousand years old and very deadly.
“You’ll tell us or we’ll be forced to make you.” Wait, what? That hadn’t been the plan, they were supposed to come down here and be nice to her, more flies with honey and all that.
“Come on in here and say that to my face.” Her voice held the smirk that the darkness hid. She knew they couldn’t enter any more than she could leave. Is Caroline a werewolf? I thought she was a vampire though, is she a hybrid? Elena’s question floated through his mind again, vampires couldn’t leave the tomb once they crossed the threshold, but was Caroline really a vampire?
“I’d rather just stay out here and have my witch do the talking for me. Bonnie.”
While Bonnie gave Caroline aneurysm after aneurysm as his brother shouted their question at her over and over again he wondered if they truly had the upper hand or if that was as much an illusion as their show of unity to her.
“Where does Klaus have Matt Donovan?”
If they had clued him in on the plan before they came he would have told them just how much of a bad idea he thought it was, taking her was one thing but hurting her was a sure way to get Klaus very angry. Hadn’t they been listening to Rose’s story at all? Caroline loved Klaus, and Klaus loved Caroline, and when you loved someone there wasn’t much you wouldn’t do for them, case in point look at what they were all willing to do for their love of Elena.
So preoccupied with their task to save Matt none of them noticed the man in the suit standing just behind them all fighting to keep his fury under control.
“Where is Matt Donovan?”
Elijah had, had enough of this little display. He had managed to convince Klaus to allow him to follow the children to his beloved, but this torture would not go unanswered no one harmed his family and got away with it. No one. Caroline was as much a part of his family as Rebekah or Kol and he would not allow this any longer. The fact that the witch’s little spell would pass over Caroline leaving no harm did not excuse them this trespass.
“You could always ask nicely, maybe that would get you the answers you seek.” The fact that his voice startled all three of them improved his mood slightly, but not nearly enough to help them.
“Caroline darling are you alright in there? I came as quickly as I could.”
“I’m fine Elijah, thank you for coming at all, I have missed you so.”
“And I you darling. Would you care to step out and join us or are you restrained in some way?”
The two young vampires and their little witch all remained silent during his conversation with Caroline but his invitation for her to join them all seemed to spur them back into the land of the animated. Their heads whipped around to stare at the entrance to the cavern where his beloved sister stood as though the thought of her stepping over the threshold had never occurred to them. Oh, when would people learn to stop underestimating Caroline? As though some stupid barrier spell could truly hold her.
When Caroline stepped out of the tomb Stefan knew they were done for, not only had they tortured her but they had been caught. Even if they wanted to fight Caroline was obviously stronger than any of them had guessed and she had called the stranger Elijah, as in Klaus’s brother an original. Glancing over at his brother and Bonnie he didn’t know what to expect but he knew it would be painful and long lasting. He prayed their tempers would get the better of them and the two would simply kill them now, but he doubted it. No he was fairly certain they were all about to meet Klaus, not for the first time he wished they had simply stayed to hear the rest of the story.
Klaus paced the length of the den again and again never pausing for more than a moment. What was taking so long? Elijah had gone to fetch Caroline back to him over an hour ago, they should have been back by now. He once swore to his beloved girl that she would never be without him, but for now at least she was. It was driving him mad.
Hearing the door to the mansion open and close he rushed with all his speed towards the sound. Seeing his angel standing there a little rumpled but otherwise unharmed made his heart pause in his chest. She was still the most magnificent thing he had ever seen in all his days and she would continue to be so until the darkness of death finally took him.
“Welcome home love.” With every step he took towards her the lump in his throat grew ever larger making it harder and harder to breath. He knew the pressure would not ease until he could finally touch her again.
“It’s good to be back. Your brother and I brought home guests, I do believe they would do best in the red room don’t you?”
Placing his hand gently against her cheek he gazed into her loving eyes and spoke the words that burned in his mind.
“Anything you want darling.”
“Good, now do we need to talk about what you’ve done to my beautiful furniture while I was away. You know a great deal of thought goes into choosing every single thing in our home, stop breaking things.”
He could not stop the smile that spread across his face, she was here safe and sound in his arms again. She could rant and rave about his faults all she liked, he would gladly serve his penance at her feet.
Elena knew something was wrong, everyone had been gone for far too long.
“Where could they be?”
She knew Rose was starting to get anxious about the whole thing, not that she could blame her, but if the others didn’t return soon she knew Rose would blow town before they had heard the whole story. She was about to try to calm her down when her phone rang, looking down she read the caller I.D. Damon, thank god.
“Damon, where are you guys? You should have been back an hour ago.”
“Sorry doppelganger, it seems your friends ran into a bit of trouble while they were out of your sight.”
“Klaus?” What the hell had happened? Why did Klaus have Damon’s phone?
“What happened, why do you have Damon’s phone?” Out of the corner of her eye she saw Rose inching away from her and towards the door but didn’t have the heart to try and stop her.
“Well, it seems your little playmates decided it would be a good idea to capture and detain someone I hold most dear. Don’t you worry your pretty little head she’s been released but since my brother had to release her himself and your friends had no intention of doing it themselves I’m afraid things are about to become quite violent.” Oh no, Caroline. Hadn’t they been listening to Rose at all?
“What do you want?” Stupid question she already knew what he wanted, her.
“Simple really while your little friends had my darling girl they called me to negotiate for your life, this is a counter offer of sorts. You come to me, accept the inevitable, and I will release Matt Donovan.”
“What about Damon, Stefan, and Bonnie?” What? Since when did Klaus have Matt? What the hell was going on?
“Don’t get greedy now, the quarterback can go free since he’s served his purpose but yours is just one life darling and since you’ve only the one life to give then you only get the one life in return. I’ll give you the rest of the day to decide but come sun down I’m going to need your answer. If you agree, come to Wickery Bridge and we’ll do the ‘exchange’ there, if you decline I’m afraid the world will have to keep turning with one less quarterback in it.”
Without another word the call disconnected leaving her standing frozen in the center of the boarding house listening to the deafening dial tone.
“I have to go.”
“Elena wait, he gave you until sundown you still have several hours, there’s more you should know. Please.”
“Fine, but talk fast.”