I know it has been forever since I updated but hopefully the fact that this is about 9,000 words will make you feel better. I added a few new characters that I hope you’ll enjoy.
Kol waltzed into the library with a pizza box in hand. The smell wafted through the room as Caroline eagerly took the pizza from Kol.
“Finally,” she said happily. “The cooking is amazing but I’ve been craving pizza for weeks now.”
“We’ve been here a grand total of six weeks,” said Rebekah snottily, sitting in one of the oversized chairs, a first edition of Udolpho in her hands. She’d been reading near the window for most of the morning.
“And that’s been six weeks without pizza,” retorted Caroline around a mouthful of pizza. It tasted amazing. The others just did not understand the value of comfort food. She hadn’t even ordered veggies on the pizza, just sausage, pepperoni and about five layers of cheese.
Klaus shook his head when Caroline offered him some, agreeing with his sister that good food did not come in a cardboard box. Kol refused as well.
“You enjoyed the pizza, I enjoyed the delivery,” said Kol, licking his lips in memory.
“God, really Kol?” snapped Rebekah. “Could you be any less classy?”
“Come on, Bekah. It was just a little drink and then I sent her happily on her way. That’s what they’re here for.”
Caroline hated when Kol said things like that and nearly commented when Elijah turned away from the writing he’d been doing at one of the corner tables. “You’re absolutely right Rebekah,” he said. “We have been here six weeks and it is high time we made our formal entrance into New York’s supernatural society.”
“Um, there was more to the conversation, Elijah,” said Kol.
“Yes, you were discussing your taste for delivery girls. I didn’t realize that was the sort of life-changing event that merited further commentary,” said Elijah calmly, though his tone added a very clear, ‘little shit’ to the end of his words.
“What do you have in mind, Elijah?” asked Klaus, intrigued by the idea that they could stop playing nice sooner. He’d honestly expected Elijah to wait six months, not six weeks, to make a statement.
“A dinner party,” answered Elijah. “Formal, as befits our family, but large in size. I don’t want to wine and dine a few people. We’ll make it clear just what our intentions are.”
“You realize we don’t have the best track record at formal engagements?” smirked Kol.
Rebekah laughed. “So don’t invite a Salvatore.”
The rest of the group laughed.
“Regardless, I suggest we host it a week from Saturday,” said Elijah. “Klaus, will you help me form a guest list?” He waited as Klaus nodded. “Excellent. Any guests in particular that the rest of you feel we can’t ignore?”
“You’ll have to invite some of the wolves,” noted Kol. “Smelly as they may be.”
Klaus threw the empty pizza box at him. “Ass.”
“Elizabeth is a must,” noted Rebekah. “And she’ll be thoroughly insulted if her invitation isn’t delivered personally. The same goes for Grant Duvall. You know how highly they think of themselves.”
“Indeed. Rebekah, take Caroline with you when you deliver Elizabeth’s invitation.”
“What?” exclaimed Rebekah. “Why do I have to take her?!”
“Thanks a lot,” muttered Caroline.
“If that had been a request, I would have included a question,” countered Elijah to Rebekah’s outburst. “Caroline needs to meet some of our guests beforehand. We can’t expect her to memorize every name during cocktails.”
Rebekah started to say something bitchy and thought better of it. “Fine. Oh don’t forget Shiloh.”
Kol’s ears perked up. “Shiloh’s in town?”
“Got in last week,” answered Rebekah.
Klaus grinned as another thought came to him. “You know you can’t leave out Laurel, Elijah.”
“Are you sure?” groaned Elijah.
“You do remember what happened the last time you left her off a guest list right?” asked Rebekah.
“Yes.” Elijah looked furious and oddly embarrassed.
“Who’s Laurel?” asked Caroline, utterly confused.
“Laurel is Elijah’s groupie,” answered Kol.
“Elijah only has one groupie?” deadpanned Caroline.
Rebekah, Kol, and Klaus fell into fits of laughter. Elijah glared at all of them as though it would get them to stop but to no avail.
Once Kol recovered he explained. “Laurel was turned in the early part of the Renaissance and in a shortened version of the story, developed quite a bit of a thing for Elijah. She likes to settle down where he does, trying to get him to notice her.”
“Aw, a crush isn’t that bad,” said Caroline. “I mean, 500 years seems kind of ridiculous but still.”
Elijah sighed. “If it was only a crush, I wouldn’t mind. But Laurel is a bit more intense.”
Caroline raised an eyebrow in question.
“At some point in the 18th century she sent Elijah an urgent request to come over so he would walk in on the two of us fucking in her drawing room,” said Kol.
“Why would she do that if she wanted Elijah?” asked Caroline, wrinkling her nose in disgust. “And why were you sleeping with her if she’s so crazy?”
“To answer your second question,” said Kol with a grin, “she was there.”
Klaus and Rebekah made gagging noises at this and Caroline seriously considered joining them.
“As to the first, she had some misguided idea that it would make Elijah jealous.”
“Misguided?” asked Caroline, thinking of Tatia.
“She was no Petrova,” said Elijah quickly. “Besides, I was more horrified at the sight of my brother’s naked ass.”
“So what happened when you didn’t invite her to an event?”
Elijah sighed. “She may have put a few ideas in Napoleon’s head.”
Caroline was flabbergasted. “Wow that’s intense.”
“May we move on from discussing this?” asked Elijah. “I need to start James on a few arrangements and Klaus and I have to finalize a guest list.”
“Of course,” Rebekah took pity on her big brother. “I want to talk to Ms. Hamilton about tonight’s meal anyway. I’m sick of fish. I don’t care how long she’s had the recipe.”
“Be nice, Bekah,” said Klaus. “You know she’ll use vervain in the soup just to annoy you if you piss her off too much.”
“Fine. Elijah let me know when the invitations are ready and I’ll take Caroline to meet Elizabeth. We’ll take Laurel hers as well. She should overlook the fact that it’s not from you if still personally delivered.”
“Wonderful,” said Elijah in relief. He signaled for James to come in the room and the group started to break up when Caroline had a concern.
“Um, just one thing, and I’m sure you’ve already thought of this,” interjected Caroline, “But isn’t it asking for trouble to tell so many vampires where we are when anyone can just walk in?”
“Caroline, we came to take charge, not go into hiding,” said Rebekah. “Mikaelsons don’t hide out.”
Caroline sighed. “I get that. But wouldn’t it make more sense to let people find us in increments, rather than hosting a 40 person dinner party?”
“I can’t talk to her,” muttered Rebekah in frustration.
“Get over it, Beks,” snapped Kol. “It’s a fair question.”
“Indeed love,” said Klaus, taking the conversation away from his now bickering siblings. “In fact, I’m surprised Elijah didn’t tell you this detail about the house sooner,” he added pointedly.
“I’ve had quite a bit on my mind,” returned Elijah, who was still listening to the conversation, despite already discussing arrangements with James for the party.
“Really don’t care. Just tell me what’s going on.” Caroline wasn’t bothered by what she hadn’t been told, it was all the banter around her. The siblings were so focused on insulting each other, they sometimes forgot there was a question in the first place.
Klaus smiled. “There are actually two parts to the house. The original and the addition, the former of which we sit in now. The later additions to the house include the grand ballroom, the entry way, the formal dining room, coat room, bathrooms and powder rooms, a couple of private studies and the front ballroom.”
“Receiving room,” interrupted Elijah.
Klaus ignored him. “Those later additions are owned by our family specifically. I believe Elijah had them added at some point in the early 18th century, at a time when we were civil, though not friendly. And as we are vampires, those rooms can be accessed by anyone who can get past the outer gates, security, the front door and James.”
Caroline smirked. James was perhaps the most difficult problem. He insisted on old-fashioned formalities, which explained why Elijah liked him so much, and flat out refused to allow guests to just drop by when they pleased. “And the original part of the house?”
“Ah, now that is owned by James,” answered Klaus.
“What?” Caroline was flabbergasted. “But who owned it first? Do you just keep switching deeds around? How did I get in when we first arrived?”
“Take a breath, Caroline,” laughed Kol. “James has always owned the house. Since before Elijah even bought the surrounding land and made the additions.”
Kol’s words were not helpful to the confused Caroline. She looked around but Rebekah had already left to debate tonight’s dinner with Mrs. Hamilton (she wasn’t in the mood for swordfish but the vampire chef was adamant) while Elijah and James were barely concealing snickers at her confusion.
Klaus attempted to bring the conversation back on track and help his girl out. “Remember how we walked in the main entry, Caroline?” He paused while she nodded. “When we reached the doors to the main hallway, James asked if you would please come in and allow him to take your coat and luggage. That wasn’t merely a polite courtesy. It was your invitation.”
“Okay. But James isn’t a vampire if he can invite me in. And he’s not a witch.”
James wiggled his fingers at Caroline to show off a large signet ring.
“I saw that,” said Caroline. “A ring that protects against supernatural death still doesn’t explain.”
“James’ ring is a much more evolved than the Gilbert rings,” said Klaus. “His protects against all death, whether by human or supernatural hands and has the added gift of immortality, hence his youthful looks.”
James raised his eyebrows ever so slightly at that. He might not be a doddering old fool but he looked every bit of 42 years old.
“Wow,” breathed Caroline. “How the hell did you manage to make a score like that?”
“That is a very long story for a very different time,” said James. He motioned to Elijah that perhaps they should leave to continue discussing the dinner plans.
“If you two will excuse us?” said Elijah, not waiting for an answer before following James out the door. Klaus was perfectly capable of answering Caroline’s questions and he had a lot of work to do. A guest list and menu needed to be finalized, the formal dining room put in working order, invitations sent out, several of which needed to be delivered personally, and a host of other tasks. He made a mental note to find Rebekah as soon as he and James were finished. She was the best choice to plan a party that didn’t include murder plans.
A few days later, after Klaus had gone to extend invitations to the werewolf community and the girls were off to invite Laurel; Elijah began making his way through the house. He finally hunted down Kol. His younger brother was downstairs with Oliver, one of the human servants. The two were fencing in one of the gymnasiums. Elijah was happy to see that Kol was earning every touch, and judging by the scoreboard the pair had created, barely breaking even. Not that Elijah wanted Kol to be outdone, he just enjoyed the fact that he’d made a good choice in hiring Oliver. The human could clearly hold his own. That boded well against werewolf and human threats.
Oliver lunged forward to win the match as Elijah applauded. “Well, done, Oliver.”
Kol flicked his sword upwards. “Sure, in a fair fight, Oliver wins. The problem is you’re surrounded by people who don’t fight fair. Never have, never will.”
Oliver tossed his foil to Elijah, who caught it easily without looking.
“Bring it on,” dared Oliver.
“Original. Vampire.” Kol pointed at himself as he said it, then at Oliver as he said, “Human.”
Elijah wondered for a moment what was causing Kol’s restraint. Normally his brother killed people who talked to him like Oliver was. Then he realized it was because he was still in the room.
“Then this shouldn’t be too hard,” taunted Oliver.
Kol gave up. If Oliver wouldn’t listen to reason, he’d learn the hard way.
Elijah watched with interest. Oliver had never shown signs of stupidity but believing he could out maneuver an Original was pretty high on the list of stupid ideas.
Kol lunged at Oliver, fangs out and ready to bite. He had no intention of killing him, but the boy at least had to learn a lesson. Not all vampires would be as forgiving. Kol himself didn’t tend to be a forgiving type, he just didn’t want to find a new fencing partner. And so he launched himself at Oliver.
And promptly ran into the wall.
Oliver waved at him. He’d only moved about a foot but it was enough to send Kol flying past.
Kol gave him the benefit of the doubt. Moving out of the way when you knew an attack was coming wasn’t a big deal. So Kol attacked again.
And missed. Again.
By the fourth time, Kol was snarling, Elijah was fascinated and Oliver was laughing.
After the sixth attempt, Kol stopped. “What the fuck?” he growled at Oliver. “I thought you were human.”
“Then why can’t he catch you?” asked Elijah, curious as well.
“Because,” answered Oliver. “You fight like a vampire.”
Both Kol & Elijah stared in bewilderment. Kol finally found his voice and answered, “We are vampires. Your point?”
“Who, or what, is stronger than a typical vampire?” asked Oliver.
“Us,” answered Kol.
“The occasional witch with the element of surprise or advance warning,” added Elijah.
“So basically, no one.” Oliver waited while the Original brothers nodded. “So who can take down an Original?”
Kol scoffed. “Not a soul. What does that have to do with anything?”
“That sense of security affects your fighting style,” explained Oliver. “You attack straight on, because no one can get out of the way, yeah?”
“That’s your problem. There’s no element of surprise or deception. It makes your next move easy to predict,” said Oliver.
“Interesting,” commented Elijah. “I would not have considered that.”
“Does it really matter though?” asked Kol. “A human will tire eventually.”
“True,” said Oliver in agreement. “But it’s the kind of knowledge that could give a human time to get inside a protected house. Or a vampire that split second to escape.”
“Excellent lesson, Oliver,” said Elijah. “Now if you will excuse us, I need to have a word with my brother.”
“Of course. I should check on the horses anyway.” Oliver hurried away as Kol & Elijah made their way upstairs to Kol’s room.
“Please tell me you have something for me to do,” said Kol once they were alone. “I’m bored.”
Elijah sat on the window seat in Kol’s room. His younger brother had many great qualities but his sloppiness was one of the bad ones. It drove Elijah insane. There were clothes tossed in piles and equipment from whatever sport Kol had been playing that day laying everywhere. Further frustrating Elijah nearly every time he came into the room was the fact that Kol insisted on chairs with soft cushions, so one always sank into the pillows. Elijah hated such slouchy posture, so he sat on the one hard surface he could find.
“To a point,” Elijah said now, as Kol changed out of his sweaty fencing gear. “I need you to watch for weaknesses at the dinner in a week.”
“The sort of weaknesses you find useful?” Kol disappeared into his closet to switch into jeans and called out from inside, “Or the sort I can use?”
“You,” answered Elijah.
“Are we expecting a problem?” asked Kol, reappearing shirtless, with a pullover in one hand and a dark blue oxford in the other. He held both up for Elijah’s approval.
Elijah pointed at the oxford, though Kol could have easily predicted that. “Yes.”
“Really?” Kol was a bit surprised. Elijah usually gave people a chance to prove they could behave rather than assume a problem.
“I intend to announce at the dinner that we will be taking a leadership role over the supernatural community and will expect the members of said community to heed our orders.”
Kol stopped buttoning his shirt and stared at his brother. “So you really weren’t planning on wasting any time.”
“No,” answered Elijah. “I see no reason to keep our agenda hidden. But I need you to help me tonight. Niklaus is of course aware of the situation but if a guest behaves in an unruly manner, his first priority will be Caroline. And I fully intend to respond to any defiance.”
“And you need me for that?”
“I need you to determine which guests will cause a future problem, based on their reactions to anything brought up at the dinner,” said Elijah. “So that you can use your…particular talents, to persuade them to fall in line with our line of thinking.”
“Perfect,” grinned Kol, pulling on his shoes. “Sure I can’t pay anyone a visit sooner? I’ve got about an hour before I have to meet Rebekah at the bar down the street.”
“Not at this time, Kol. But I appreciate your understanding on the matter.” Elijah rose to leave the room and turned back with one final thought. “Could you do me one small favor though?”
Kol looked at his brother, a question in his eyes.
“Keep Rebekah from bringing anyone home tonight?” Elijah sighed. “My rooms are not far enough from hers and I just want a decent night’s sleep.”
Kol laughed. “I’ll do my best, Elijah.”
Rebekah suddenly grabbed Caroline’s arm and yanked her back before she knocked on Laurel’s door.
“Ow! What the hell, Rebekah?” Caroline rubbed her arm.
“Sorry,” said Rebekah, not sounding a bit sorry to Caroline. “Whatever. Just don’t mention her crush on Elijah. It kind of sends her off the deep end. In fact, try not to talk about Elijah at all.”
“I wasn’t planning on it,” retorted Caroline indignantly. “I happen to be quite good at social graces and I know what things don’t need to be brought up.”
“Fine.” Rebekah slipped past Caroline and rapped firmly on the door. “Just so we’re clear.”
Caroline rolled her eyes in response and prepared herself to meet the kind of girl who could possibly make Katherine’s obsession with the Salvatores seem normal.
The Laurel who opened the door was nothing like the Laurel she had imagined. The Originals description made Caroline picture a girl like Katherine. Or perhaps a blend of Katherine and a hooker. A Megan Fox or Olivia Munn kind of girl who was almost too obvious in her sexuality. Instead, Caroline found herself staring and an exuberant and bubbly redhead.
Laurel technically had rich auburn hair that hung in waves down her back. She was dressed casually in leggings and a denim over-shirt, loosely belted. A boho style collection of necklaces hung around her neck. Laurel grinned as she saw her guests.
“Beks!” She squealed, hugging Rebekah tightly. “How are you, beautiful?! It’s been positively decades since I’ve seen you! We have so much to catch up on.”
Laurel barely took a breath during her greeting of Rebekah before flinging herself to Caroline and kissing each cheek. “You must be Caroline. I heard you were pretty but it seems the rumors didn’t give you justice. I just knew the girl who stole Nik’s heart would be stunning.”
She wrapped arms around both girls and swept them into the house. “Come in, come in.”
Once they had settled at the kitchen table, Laurel got glasses of fresh blood for each lady and sat down to join them. “So what’s going on ladies?”
Rebekah nudged Caroline to indicate she should take point on this one.
“We are hosting a dinner party,” began Caroline.
“Like the old days?!” squealed Laurel again, barely waiting for Rebekah’s nod of affirmation. “Oh, what fun! Wait, I’m invited, right? I mean, you wouldn’t be here if I wasn’t invited but then I’m not always invited. Am I?!”
Caroline giggled. She found Laurel delightful. “Of course you’re invited.”
Laurel smiled. “Formal, I assume?”
“Yes,” answered Rebekah. “Which means I have to go shopping. Though we aren’t doing black tie so at least I don’t have to go with a floor length gown.”
“Oh I know! Some of those dresses are worse than corsets, darling.” Laurel placed a sympathetic hand on Rebekah’s arm. “So who are you thinking you’ll wear?”
Rebekah sighed. “I had thought about Marchesa. Though if I’m being perfectly fair, the dress I had my eye on would fit Caroline’s coloring better.”
Caroline gaped at Rebekah. That was almost a compliment.
“The purple silk number?” asked Laurel.
“That would be the one.”
“Oh you have to let Caroline wear it. I have the perfect dress for you anyway, Rebekah.”
“I couldn’t let you do that,” protested Rebekah, though she was dying to see what Laurel would come up with.
“Nonsense! Here let me just fetch it and you can see what you think,” insisted Laurel, running into another room, where Caroline and Rebekah could hear her rummaging through a closet. She came back a moment later.
Laurel first held up the Marchesa for Caroline to see, who promptly fell in love.
“That is beautiful,” exclaimed Caroline.
“Excellent!” Laurel handed it to her. “Then you can wear it to the dinner.” She revealed a gorgeous brooch in her other hand. “I was thinking that if you did a side-swept twist for your hairstyle, you could use this to pin it up. I’ll send instructions to your stylist on how it works.”
“This is so generous of you,” said Caroline. “But I couldn’t possibly impose so much.”
“You don’t understand,” replied Laurel. “I live for the chance to dress other people up. You remember, right Rebekah? The number of times I would compel people in the stores just so I could play dress up with full size dolls?”
Rebekah laughed. “I had completely forgotten about that.”
Laurel grinned, “I still do it sometimes at runaway shows just to mess with people. Such fun. Anyway, Rebekah what do you think of this?” She held up a Lanvin cocktail dress that was, as far as Rebekah was concerned, absolute perfection.
“Gimme!” said Rebekah, taking the dress from Laurel. “It’s perfect.”
The vampire clapped her hands in glee. “Oh I’m so glad! I think I know exactly what I will wear too. This is going to be so much fun, ladies!”
“Fun is one way to put it,” commented Caroline.
“Well of course there will be fussy people but that’s just a given anywhere,” said Laurel. “Half the fun is in seeing everyone’s outfits.”
Rebekah nodded. “True. Speaking of fussy people, we should probably get going. We still have to visit Elizabeth.”
Laurel groaned. “Good luck with that. I’ll have the dresses and pin sent over to your house tomorrow.”
“Thanks, Laurel,” said Rebekah.
The girls said their goodbyes and then Caroline & Rebekah made their way to the street where the driver picked them up and took them to Elizabeth’s.
“That was not the Laurel I pictured,” noted Caroline once they were in the car and on their way.
“I have no idea who that girl was,” said Rebekah in response. “Trust me that is not the Laurel I knew 90 years ago. It looks like her, but her personality is completely different.”
“Well whoever she is, I like this version” stated Caroline.
Rebekah nodded her agreement.
A week later, Klaus and Kol stood near the dining room entry way, a few minutes before the guests were to arrive. Elijah was discussing a few last minute details with James. As the dinner was formal, but not black tie, they’d been allowed flexibility in their outfits.
Both men dressed with intent, determined to make an impression on their guests. Their suits were all black, creating a striking and formidable image.
As they stood talking to each other, Caroline and Rebekah came down the stairs. Klaus felt as though Caroline was stealing his heart all over again.
Caroline was dressed in the purple silk Marchesa gown, leaving one shoulder bare. She’d kept her shoes simple, wearing only black pumps with the gown. Her hair had been swept to one side & then twisted over her right ear and pinned. The vintage silver and pearl brooch was tucked into the center of the twist. Caroline had chosen not to wear any other jewelry, letting the details of the brooch and dress be her only accessories.
Rebekah wore the Lanvin, with its draping and simplicity giving her a look of innocence she didn’t normally show. Rebekah countered this with Alexander McQueen booties in an olive & ocelot pattern. Caroline was insanely jealous of those shoes. She paired her outfit with champagne diamonds and looked positively stunning. Rebekah chose a simple chignon for her hairstyle though she had their stylist add a bit of poof and looser bangs to create a softer look.
“You look breathtaking, my live,” said Klaus as Caroline swept forward and gave him a kiss.
“Thank you darling,” she answered, letting him give her a little twirl to fully appreciate the dress. “I’m more than a little in love with it myself.”
Kol smiled at the ladies. “You both look lovely.” He offered an arm to Rebekah. “I hear the first guests arriving now. Shall we go and greet them, sister?”
“Of course,’ answered Rebekah, placing a freshly manicured hand on Kol’s arm as they walked down the hallway.
Caroline and Klaus followed the siblings to the front of the house. The next half hour was a flurry of activity as the guests arrived. The Mikaelsons were proud of their home and hosting abilities and intended to make that evident. Someone from the family greeted each guest and escorted them into the dining room, visiting as they walked. Klaus was careful to introduce everyone to Caroline and she did her best to remember the names.
“Caroline!” exclaimed Laurel as she came up and kissed Klaus & Caroline on the cheek. “You look gorgeous. Didn’t I tell you that brooch would be perfect in your hair?”
“You were absolutely right,” gushed Caroline. She linked arms with Laure. “Come on, I’ll walk into the dining room with you.”
As the ladies left, Elijah slipped out of the shadows. “This can’t be good,” muttered Elijah as he stood next to Klaus, watching Caroline laugh with Laurel. “Not good at all.”
Throughout the dinner, the various vampires and werewolves that had been invited visited with their neighbors. The supernatural community existed in all parts of the world, and while New York City was a large hub, people were always eager for news of friends or events on the other side of the world.
Still anyone paying attention could feel the tension in the room. Everyone knew the Mikaelsons never wasted their time or resources on a party unless there was a very good reason. Some were there out of mild curiosity; most came to see how their lives were going to be affected by the Originals moving to town.
A small group was of greater concern to the Mikaelsons. Rumors had been spread that because a number of Mystic Falls residents lived, the Originals were weaker than legend told. And a weak Original was an easily defeated Original. Elijah and Klaus were aware of the problem and wanted it fleshed out immediately, rather than allowed to fester. There were seven, four werewolves and three vampires, who were suspected to be the ringleaders. All were invited tonight to see if they could be pushed to take action. Klaus and Elijah had told the others to be prepared for defiance, but in reality they had been hoping for it. It gave them the chance to send a message.
Elijah stood at the head of the table. The room fell quickly into silence. One could sense the anticipation. Klaus and Kol were on high alert, while Rebekah kept an eye on Caroline. Klaus had asked her to look out for her, since Caroline had very little experience with this many powerful supernaturals in one space. If things went south, he didn’t want her to become a target. Rebekah hadn’t exactly been thrilled but Nik bought her vintage Chanel heels as a thank you. A girl will do a lot for vintage Chanel.
“Friends,” began Elijah. “Thank you for coming. I know you are eager to hear why I have called you here so I won’t quibble with long explanations. As most of you are aware, our family is the Original vampire family.” He paused briefly to take a sip of wine.
“Everyone of you can trace your siring lineage back to one of us. In addition, as a son of the first family of werewolves, Klaus represents the oldest member of your race. And lastly, through our mother’s blood, we contain the lineage of one of the first witch bloodlines.”
Klaus used his brother’s speech to feel out the participants. Most were listening intently, though clearly holding back judgment as their eyes exhibited no emotion or reaction on any scale. A few however, seven in total, were beginning to show signs of restlessness. These were the ones that Klaus and Elijah had chosen to extend invitations to on purpose.
“Over the last few centuries, our family has been forced to deal with some family issues, leaving us with less time to focus on the workings of this community,” continued Elijah. His voice grew firm. “This changes tonight. The Mikaelson family will be taking our rightful place as the head of the supernatural community.”
A small grumble began among the seven. Several others reacted but quickly replaced their shock and anger with an emotionless mask.
“There will be order, not chaos among ALL of us. And we will not brook rebellion,” finished Elijah. He sat down and gestured with one hand that the floor was open for discussion.
One of the werewolves, seated several chairs down from Elijah and with only one seat between himself and Kol, growled as Elijah sat. “You have no right to tell us what to do.”
“I just established my right,” clarified Elijah.
“You’re a vampire! We don’t take orders from anyone who isn’t a werewolf,” he snapped.
Several others growled in agreement.
“Then I suggest you listen to me,” said Klaus, with a quiet in his voice that several guests recognized as a sign to shut the hell up. “And consider your words carefully.”
Another vampire leaped in heedlessly. “Why should we listen to you anyway? Even in Mystic Falls, people talk. Humans and a few partially adolescent vampires defy you and live to tell about it?” She scoffed. “We aren’t going to just bow down to what you want when you clearly can’t handle a mere human.”
“It would be best if you refrained from judging matters that you don’t understand,” said Elijah firmly.
“I don’t SERVE anyone!” spat the first werewolf ferociously. He slammed a fist onto the table in rage, causing several glasses to shake and some wine sloshed onto the cloth.
In a lightning fast move, Elijah leapt from his chair to the wolf’s whipped the chair smoothly away from the table and shook the werewolf free so that he landed, snarling, in front of Elijah.
In the time it took for the guests to register that Elijah was facing off against one of the wolves, the other six troublemakers had left their chairs and formed a circle around Elijah.
“I told you we weren’t taking orders,” said the wolf. “We aim to make that clear tonight.”
“Indeed,” answered Elijah.
The wolves and vampires surrounded Elijah where he stood. The other dinner guests had pushed their chairs aside or moved to the edges of the room. No one was going to take the risk of taking the side of this rebellious group, but they were also curious to see how this would go. The Originals had remained off the grid for centuries, the rumors and legends sufficing as instigators of fear. But new rumors had come out of Virginia, rumors that these supposedly fearsome vampires couldn’t take down a human and a few insolent vampires. To cap it all off, the guests might have been concerned if the vampires and wolves had confronted Klaus or Kol, as both men were known for their short tempers. But Elijah? Elijah preferred to do things calmly, rationally, according to tradition. So really, this fight could go either way.
Caroline watched the guests instead of the brewing fight. Klaus had warned her that something like this might happen and told her to see watch the guests for their perception of the fight. So she caught all of this within a moment. Caroline wasn’t particularly worried. She’d seen most of the Originals in action, though Elijah was an exception. Damon had told her stories though. He’d never admit it but the younger vampire idolized Elijah and Caroline didn’t mind listening to Damon gush. She assumed Elijah could defend himself against anything these supernaturals tried. She leaned back to observe the showdown as Elijah spoke.
“Kol, due to other commitments, you missed out on the rise of stewardesses,” began Elijah.
“What the hell?” said the leader.
“I did,” said Kol ruefully, giving Elijah a mock frown. “I heard girls in the 60s were a lot of fun.”
“Oh they were. Delicious,” interjected Klaus, though he shut up quickly when Caroline glared at him.
“Indeed. However, these young career women had specific instructions to give the passengers…”
“Quit telling a fucking story!” snarled the head werewolf. Caroline wracked her brain to remember that his name was Kyle. Stupid name. Perfect for a werewolf.
Elijah frowned. “If I may be allowed to make my point…”
The wolves growled and the vampires snapped their fangs impatiently.
“I will make this quick then,” continued Elijah. He looked at Kol as he spoke, “You see Kol, to direct passengers to a plane’s exit doors, the stewardess would point forward first.” Elijah moved his arms forward, just as a flight attendant would, straight into the hearts of the two werewolves in front of him. He ripped the hearts out, let them fall and returned his arms to his sides in a split second.
“Next to either wing exit,” Elijah’s hands flashed upward, entering each vampire’s body at their ribcage and ripping through bone to reach the heart, which he crushed in his hands as he returned to the first position.
“Finally, the rear exits,” added Elijah, reaching his arms behind him and then swinging them out to bring back to his side, knocking off the heads of the vampire and werewolf as he moved.
The entire sequence took less than seven seconds.
Before the head werewolf could move, Elijah lunged forward, reached into his chest and gripped his heart tightly. His other hand held the wolf in place. “Despite these instructions,” said Elijah, continuing his story to Kol, “Too many people didn’t take the opportunity to exit when offered.”
“Interesting,” said Kol in a tone of utter boredom. “Personally, I like to conduct my business in a room with only one exit. Call me old-fashioned.”
Elijah turned back to the wolf. “Let me be perfectly clear. I am not interested in what rumors you have heard. I am not interested in what your perception of me is. Listen to what I am telling you very carefully. I will not brook rebellion or uncouth behavior in my family’s home. You will maintain a respectful attitude should you ever see myself or my family again. Do I make myself clear?”
The wolf nodded, eyes wide with fright.
“Excellent,” said Elijah, releasing the man. “Now I believe this term you are familiar with as a younger member of society. Get the fuck out of my house.”
The werewolf ran, terrified as Elijah turned back to his guests. “My apologies, everyone. Rebekah, would you mind bringing James in here to clean this up and we can return to our meal. Perhaps inform Ms. Hamilton that we won’t be needing quite as many dessert servings as anticipated.”
Rebekah rose and stepped disdainfully over one of the fallen vampires. As she walked away, she leaned close to Caroline and said softly, “I could use your help for a moment, Caroline.” Her quiet tone was not for secrecy, obviously any vampire in the room could hear her but simply to refrain from interrupting the guests as they returned to their seats.
Caroline followed Rebekah into the kitchen, where the Original gave quick instructions for the clean up to James. The kitchen was far enough away that if they spoke quietly, they would not be overheard.
“What do you need me to do?” asked Caroline, a bit confused as to why Rebekah needed her. Though she was grateful for the reprieve. Her stomach was a little squeamish over that many dead bodies in a room. In Mystic Falls, she tended to hear about the carnage versus witness it.
“That look on your face right now? Get rid of it,” insisted Rebekah.
“The one that says you weren’t comfortable with Elijah’s history lesson,” clarified Rebekah. “You can’t let those people out there know that you’re bothered by death. It’s weak and it’s not how vampires feel.”
“I didn’t do anything,” huffed Caroline. Rebekah was being completely unfair.
“You did. It wasn’t noticed with everyone focused on Elijah. But you have to actually attempt to behave like a vampire,” snapped Rebekah.
“Well maybe you should try not behaving like a bitch,” retorted Caroline.
“What did you just call me?!” Rebekah was furious and barely controlled the volume of her voice.
“I didn’t stutter.” Caroline glared at Rebekah.
“I am trying to help you, Caroline.”
“No, you’re not.” Caroline was pissed. First you were jealous of me. Then…”
“Jealous?” interrupted Rebekah. “I’m not jealous of you.”
“Were,” snapped Caroline. “You used to be jealous.”
“Of what?” Rebekah couldn’t wait to hear what Caroline would come up with to answer this.
“You were jealous that I had the life your parents took away from you,” answered Caroline. “You saw me as the carefree teenager, with friends, family and a cute boyfriend and you assumed I had the perfect life. And you wanted everything you were never allowed to have. But Rebekah,” Caroline’s voice grew softer. “You had no reason to be jealous. You of all people know just how much pain can be hidden behind a single smile.”
Rebekah stared at Caroline as she spoke and slowly sank into a nearby chair. “You may have a point,” she allowed. “Though in my defense, I haven’t been jealous of you in quite some time.
“I know,” said Caroline. “Now you just don’t trust me.”
“It’s not that I don’t trust you, it’s just…” Rebekah hesitated, trying to think of the right words.
“You don’t trust me,” asserted Caroline. “I get that. You see me and you see someone else who will hurt your brother and break his heart. You hate the idea of Klaus being miserable over a broken heart because when he is, you always lose him too.” She continued earnestly, wanting Rebekah to understand. “But Rebekah, I’m not going anywhere. Klaus isn’t my consolation boyfriend and he isn’t a teenage crush. I chose him and I know who I chose.”
“I would love to believe you, Caroline,” responded Rebekah. She meant it sincerely. Klaus aside, Rebekah didn’t have many good friends. She wasn’t sure how one went about having a girlfriend to confide in but she wanted that.
“But if Klaus’ own family won’t be forever loyal to him, why would some random baby vampire be better?”
Rebekah frowned. Caroline was far too good at reading people for comfort.
Caroline continued. “I get it. And I know the only way to really prove myself is to keep sticking around. But could you cut me some slack in the meantime?”
“I will try,” answered Rebekah. “Though you have to hide your feelings better in public. It’s one thing to not like something, Caroline. If you let the world know, you give them a weapon.”
“I will keep that in mind. Besides,” added Caroline, “If I did break up with Klaus, you’d rip my heart out before I’d gotten two steps away.”
Rebekah smiled. “True. I’m not promising anything magical, Caroline. But I’ll try to give you a chance.”
“That’s all I ask.” Caroline stood up. “Should we head back inside now? It does look as though dessert is nearly ready.”
“Oh yeah, let’s go,” replied Rebekah. She hadn’t realized how much time had passes so she started trying to think of an excuse for their absence in case anyone asked.
The girls walked down the hall quietly, each lost in thought. As they returned to their seats in the formal dining room, Rebekah took stock of the room.
James and several others had quickly disposed of the bodies and clearly treated the floor to prevent stains. James had developed a product over the years that cleaned without being overpowering but a faint hint of bleach still lingered for those with heightened senses to detect. The long formal table was partially cleared. Chairs had been shifted towards one end of the table, gathering the remaining guests together. Coffee and after dinner drinks sat before the guests.
As Caroline and Rebekah took their seats, that were now next to each other due to the seating adjustments, dessert was served. Elizabeth turned to the pair. “Where did you ladies run off to? I rather expected you back sooner. Or perhaps your employees are a bit slow on the uptake.”
“My apologies,” said Rebekah smoothly, choosing to ignore this slight against the staff. She hadn’t yet decided if she was going to deal with Elizabeth like everyone else or treat her with more respect until knowing what side she was on. She chose to be cautious. “A bit of blood splattered on my dress and I wanted it to treat it before it stained. Caroline was an extra pair of eyes and a great help.”
“Oh?” Elizabeth raised a single eyebrow ever so delicately. “What, pray tell, is your secret, Caroline?”
Rebekah momentarily panicked. She hadn’t told Caroline what her excuse was going to be and Elizabeth was the type to push when she suspected a lie.
“Milk,” answered Caroline. “And a bit of soda water.”
“Milk?” questioned Elizabeth.
Rebekah was equally incredulous. Though her surprise was at Caroline’s ability to respond as though she’d planned it.
“Yes,” confirmed Caroline. “I learned some time ago that milk helps with wine stains and I tested a bit on a bloody shirt to see if it worked the same. Quite impressive trick, really.”
“Indeed,” replied Elizabeth.
Rebekah knew Elizabeth meant the lie Caroline had told was a neat trick but the girls had shared their story so convincingly, there was nothing for Elizabeth to pick apart. Let her be suspicious, thought Rebekah. It will be good for her to not have a handle on our family yet.
Caroline continued. “I’d be happy to show you sometime. I have a number of remedies for fashion mishaps I could share.” She smiled ever so sweetly at Elizabeth.
Rebekah was almost tempted to hug Caroline. Elizabeth’s face was furious. As a centuries old fashion designer, there were few things she didn’t know. Caroline had been informed of this and yet in a single moment had managed to thoroughly insult the vampire. But the guise of being helpful prevented Elizabeth from commenting. It was a brilliant move.
The elder vampire’s fangs slipped the slightest bit before she recovered and put on a smile. “Should I ever have need of your services, Caroline, I will be certain to call on you.”
Rebekah noticed that Elijah was listening to the conversation and subtly signaled that he should enter the conversation. She wasn’t sure how long Caroline could take on Elizabeth.
Elijah smoothly turned the conversation to him. “Caroline has indeed been most innovative. She’s introduced a few new ideas to our rather old-fashioned household.”
“All good ideas, I hope,” said Shiloh, a vampire turned during the French & Indian war. He’d been talking with Kol primarily through the dinner and had been utterly nonplussed about the earlier fight. Rebekah didn’t mind Shiloh, seeing as he was one of the better vampires out there. He tended to be more of a loner, making friends but never settling down. Shiloh was also one of the rare vampires who had yet to piss Klaus off.
“Primarily,” answered Elijah. “There are a few to which I haven’t quite adjusted.”
Klaus leaned in from further down the table. “My brother refers to Caroline’s insistence that he wear jeans once a week.”
“Horrifying,” said Elijah with a mock shudder. “My tailor can do nothing with jeans.”
Laurel jumped in. “I’m sure you look positively delicious in jeans, Elijah.”
Rebekah, Klaus, and Kol rolled their eyes at once and both Shiloh and Caroline barely covered laughter.
Klaus couldn’t help himself. “He’s ravishing, Laurel.”
Several others burst into laughter. To her credit, Laurel showed no embarrassment, merely winking at Elijah and daintily sipping her tea. The switch worked though as the conversation shifted away from the dinner’s earlier events to more lighthearted topics. Rebekah smiled to herself. The Mikaelsons were nothing if not masters of segues and deception.
As time went on and dessert dishes were cleared, the guests moved to the informal ballroom. Elijah insisted on calling it the receiving room, no matter how many times Kol pointed out that the term was no longer used and hadn’t been since before he was daggered.
Regardless of what one called it, the room was one of Kol’s favorite places in the house. At one point it had been used as an intimate ballroom, so it was quite spacious. Two sets of double doors, spaced about 30 yards apart could be used as main entrances from the hallway. At the back end were another set of doors leading to the dining room. These were used tonight. Towards the Southeast corner, where tempered windows lit up the room, an oasis sat. The stone floor could be used for entertainment if necessary but as a general rule, foliage and small iron wrought tables sat. While popular during the day, this area was quiet tonight. Several groupings of couches and heavy leather chairs broke the rest of the room up and the guests gathered in different areas to continue conversations.
Elijah and Elizabeth were discussing the art that hung on the walls. Snobbery aside, the vampire had excellent taste in art, and like Elijah, had acquired a number of pieces as gifts from the artists themselves. The two were particularly fond of Degas and Cassatt’s work.
Rebekah was visiting with Laurel and several of the more social vampires and wolves, discussing New York’s best night life. Kol kept an ear tuned in to the conversation. He liked to know the decent clubs as well. He’d make Rebekah take him along to check out a few though he could tell his sister was more interested in the boutiques and up and coming designers for now. Rebekah couldn’t resist an exclusive sample sale.
Klaus and Caroline were visiting with other couples, apparently discussing traveling and weekend getaways. Kol quickly tuned them out. How boring. He was much more interested in fun than in romance.
Other guests milled about in their own groups. Kol had perfected his eavesdropping technique over the centuries and he was quite happy to brush up on his skills. The room had been converted to guest usage in large part for this very reason. Conversations were allowed the illusion of privacy due to the large space, but anyone could listen in. While one might think this would hamper conversations, it had quite the opposite effect. Any vampire could hear other conversations so rather than being reserved, they were more open. The mindset seemed to suggest that if the Originals weren’t insisting on secrecy, it was safe to talk. Add a healthy supply of alcohol and far more secrets were spilled in this room.
Kol joined Shiloh in the northwest corner, where two high backed chairs sat on either side of an oak end table.
“Away from the polite conversation at last?” queried Shiloh, as Kol slumped in the chair.
“Ugh. People have gotten so boring lately,” groaned Kol. “Where’s the fun anymore?”
“You have been kind of quiet over the last century,” commented Shiloh. “Where’d you disappear to anyway?”
Kol attempted to deflect. “Oh you know, here and there. Trying to keep a low profile. There was that one massacre that was a bit more public than I intended.” Kol hoped Shiloh would take the hint. The two had a long history of getting into and out of scrapes together and Shiloh had learned of the daggers’ existence over the years. Granted, as a non-Original vampire, Shiloh couldn’t wield the dagger without killing himself and his sense of self-preservation rivaled that of Katherine Pierce. But Kol wasn’t interested in tempting any suicidal vampires.
Shiloh wasn’t an idiot. “I get it. Not having any family myself, I forget that one needs a break from brothers. Nice to see you’ve all made up.”
“Not without a few good punches,” commented Kol. “But what I really need from you is something to do. You have no idea how inane my life has been. I miss chasing someone until they break in front of you.” He sighed expressively. “The Westward Expansion was so much fun, Shiloh.”
“And yet everyone blamed the killings on the natives,” laughed Shiloh.
Kol had loved those years and relived a few memories fondly just then. The pair of them, with Rebekah and Klaus occasionally joining, had found the loneliness of the prairies and the unfamiliar environment to be perfect. Preying on stragglers or small parties was almost too easy. “I need something fun to do.”
Shiloh grinned maliciously. “I have a few ideas. There’s a self-defense class that meets near my apartment.”
Kol’s interest peaked. “People who are hyper aware of their surroundings and actually attempt to fight back?” he questioned with barely concealed glee.
“It’s an active class as well,” added Shiloh. “All that fresh blood pumping. I can almost taste it now.”
Kol’s eyes darkened in anticipation. “How soon are you free?”
Shiloh thought for a moment. “I have a quick trip to make this week so say a week from Thursday?”
“I look forward to it.” Kol was already planning his strategy as they sat there. The nice thing about Shiloh was he didn’t insist on small talk once the prevalent conversation had ended. The two sipped at a 1620 vintner as they observed the remaining guests.
As Elizabeth left the house, Elijah turned back to see if anyone else remained.
“I believe that’s everyone, brother,” said Klaus.
Elijah locked the doors and they retreated to the library in the old house, the part that couldn’t be interrupted. Caroline, Rebekah and Kol had headed that way a few minutes earlier, as the older two were the only ones talking with Elizabeth.
When Klaus and Elijah reached the library, they saw Caroline curled under a blanket, asleep on Kol’s shoulder while Kol was fast fading as well. Rebekah was in an oversized chair, surrounded by pillows and back to her reading.
Klaus smiled at the sight and walked over to lightly stroke Caroline’s hair. “Perhaps we should review tonight’s events in the morning, Elijah.”
“I suppose so,” said Elijah quietly. “It was quite the affair.” He walked over to Rebekah and gave her hand a squeeze. “You did well with Caroline, Rebekah. Thank you.”
Rebekah reached up to hug her brother before returning to her book. Elijah made his way to his own rooms.
Klaus scooped a still sleeping Caroline into his arms and carried her to their room while Kol took over the now fully vacant couch and blanket. Sleep was clearly everyone’s first priority.
End note: Yes, I used the same trick with the house as Elena’s house has in the books. The Originals don’t care about people as much as Elena does though. That part of the house is staying safe.
Also, while Klaus & Elijah did still have that estranged period, I tend to think that it took a century or so for them to truly split up and that back and forth through the years, Kol or Rebekah would ditch Klaus and go hang out with each other or with Elijah. That’s why I reference them hanging out more. Plus you know those guys are all total gossips and tell each other everything.
Please keep reviewing! I love hearing thoughts about what works, what doesn’t and what you want to read more of.