Chapter 10 – Epilogue

Chapter 10

Caroline looked up at her new temporary home from her car. She’d been sitting in the driveway trying to get up the courage to go inside for nearly an hour now. She knew that the Originals knew she was out there, but they were giving her space and time to work through this herself which she was beyond grateful for.

They had all been released a week ago, well everyone except Elena and Damon who were both still in there somewhere. Since then everything had changed. She’d been given a week to get all of her things in order, explain the new arrangements to her mom, and just get her head on straight. She was thankful that they had given her so long, but at the same time she wished it had been far longer.

Convincing her mother, without the aid of any compulsion because she would never do that to her again, that this was fine was the hardest lie she ever told. She knew that her mom never really bought it, but at the same time after she explained everything she knew that her mom saw the consequences of non-compliance as well as she did. You don’t just go back on your word once you’ve made a deal with an original, let alone when you’ve made a deal with all of the originals.

She would be living out the rest of her senior year and all of the following summer here with Klaus and his siblings. School was out on break right now so she still had another three days to adjust to her new living arrangements before she had to pour the stresses of school on top of it all. Joy. Like senior year wasn’t already stressful enough. Plus the added stress of everyone now acting on the compulsions the jerks inside had so lovingly given to everyone.

Alaric was still pretty much the same as he’d always been, only with a lot less apathy now. It was strange to say it, but it seemed like the originals punishment had given Alaric back his life. Or at least his will to live it. He was engaging more instead of just phoning it in. So sure his new found interest in her and her life choices was a little annoying, but mostly because she wasn’t used to people besides her mother really caring what she did or why she did it. Now nearly every day, at least once a day if not more, Alaric would question her about one thing or another. Apparently for him loyalty translated to taking an interest and looking out for her as best he could.

Matt still seemed a little apprehensive about his role in Damons punishment. None of the originals had been more specific when he’d asked about what it was exactly that he was going to be doing. All they told him was that after she moved in Matt was to come over once a week to do his part. At first he’d stressed about it to the point she was afraid he was going to give himself a stroke or an ulcer or something. It wasn’t until she’d pointed out that there was no changing it, whatever it was, so what was the point of stressing that he’d calmed down some. She didn’t know if she was going to ask him about it after his first session or not, she would just play it by ear after it happened.

Tyler was being more of a jackass than ever to everyone else around him. He didn’t like the fact that he had to do everything she said, so he’d been avoiding her. That didn’t stop people from telling her all about his latest escapades though. According to April he’s been going around town ducking in and out of bars like he was hiding from someone. She supposed he was, or at least he was trying to. If he thought he could actually hide from Klaus and his siblings he would have to run a lot farther than some bars near enough to Mystic Falls for their classmates to know about it.

Hell leaving Virginia probably wouldn’t even be good enough. Klaus would simply have to call him and tell him to come back. She could have pointed that out to him, but since he was being such an ass she decided to let him figure it out all on his own. It shouldn’t take more than another week for it to sink in.

Jeremy had already asked her three times while she was packing up her stuff, which she had lots of help with from her new loyal best friends, if she wanted some of his blood. Each time he asked he’d glare at her like he was daring her to take him up on the offer. Not that she ever would, everyone who knew her knew that she never fed from a vein. Too many bad memories. She didn’t even think that the Originals thought she would take him up on it, it seemed more likely that his having to offer repeatedly to become what he hated most was his punishment.

Stefan was treating her like they were the best of friends. Where it used to be that he only called or showed up if one of them had a problem or he and Elena needed something now he was calling just to ask how she was doing. Or he was stopping by to see if she wanted to go do something. He was acting a lot like she and Matt used to before dating got in their way. He was acting like he actually cared.

Elena and Damon hadn’t been seen or heard from since they’d all been released. This was met with varying degrees of emotion, because thanks to their new attitudes towards certain people in their lives, some of them just weren’t capable of being as worried as they once would have been. It wasn’t in them anymore to care what happened with them after they left that basement.

She was caught somewhere in the middle. Yes, she was worried, they were her sort of friends after all. But at the same time, they had basically brought this on themselves, they had been the driving force behind the plan that had blown up in their faces resulting in the game that had trapped them where they were now. In either case, there really wasn’t anything she could do about it right now, or any time soon, so she figured she had a nice long time to sort out her true emotions about it and figure out where she stood with the whole thing.

Bonnie was acting like she never had any other friends besides her. Not that she was acting like a pod person or anything, she was actually acting a lot like she used to before the supernatural invaded their lives. It was just strange seeing pre-witch Bonnie behavior coming from post-witch Bonnie. She kept trying to arrange a girls night with just the two of them and talking about their upcoming cheer competition. It was weird, but at the same time Bonnie seemed a lot less stressed out about life. She seemed to be just enjoying being a teenager again, so she had mixed emotions about the whole thing.

She didn’t know what she was going to do, but she at least knew what her next step needed to be. She needed to get out of this car and actually go inside. Taking a deep breath she plastered on her resolve face and marched towards the front door. Just before she got to it, it swung open to reveal Klaus waiting for her.

“Hello love, glad to see you finally made it inside. I’ll show you to your room.”

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Sequel Chapter 1

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