Klaus turned as James walked into the room, a small notebook in his hand.
“Is that it?” asked Klaus, reaching for the book.
“Every werewolf and potential werewolf in New York & the surrounding area,” noted James, handing it over. “I included addresses and pack information where available.”
“Excellent,” replied Klaus. “Thank you, James.”
“Of course, sir. Will there be anything else?”
“No, that will be all.” Klaus dismissed James and returned to the book. He and Kol had discussed the need for advanced security a few days ago. They needed more warning than enemy knocking on the front door. Klaus suggested sentries, posting lookouts in shifts throughout the city and outlying areas. He felt that a combination of vampires and protected humans would work.
It was Kol who had suggested hybrids and Klaus quickly agreed. Hybrids were naturally loyal to him which meant he didn’t need to spend as much time checking up on employees. And as Kol pointed out, hybrids were immune to the restrictions of the sun. Klaus had James put a list together, including anyone who had yet to trigger their werewolf gene. Klaus wasn’t risking his security network on incomplete information.
Klaus marked several pages in the book. He wanted loner wolves, those who had hinted at wanting to be hybrids, or people with no family who had yet to trigger the change. Wolves in packs weren’t as open to the hybrid idea. Klaus wasn’t ready to risk making an enemy who could go after Caroline by turning the wrong hybrid. Once he had his list of wolves to turn, Klaus grabbed a few vials of Elena’s blood from the secure storage locker and headed out.
It took only a few minutes to reach his first stop. A young wolf named Allie had been going out with them socially and become close with Rebekah. She was rather infatuated with the idea of hybrids in general, though not specifically with him. Caroline had made quite certain that Allie understood the need for distinction on that front.
He rapped loudly on the apartment door. “Allie? It’s Klaus. May I come in?”
Allie swung open the door. Like most wolves, she kept a simple style. Jeans and boots with a loose oxford knotted over a black tank top. She looked slightly puzzled at Klaus’ sudden appearance at her door. “Klaus? What’s going on?” She stepped aside to let him in the apartment. He’d been over a week ago with Caroline so the official invitation was no longer necessary.
“I’m curious,” said Klaus. “Do you have any interest in gaining a few powers?”
Abby smiled. “You’re making hybrids.” It was more of a statement than a question but she still paused to allow Klaus to confirm her conclusion with a brief nod. “Then I’m very interested. What’s the catch?”
“I need sentries throughout the city,” explained Klaus. He saw no point in hiding his purpose. Those who were on board would be leaders in his security team. Those who weren’t…well Klaus found anyone could be persuaded eventually.
“So what do you need from me?” asked Allie. She had already rolled up her sleeves to leave her veins open. The wolf was very familiar with how the hybrid transformation process worked. She also knew that Klaus didn’t tell people about his plans until he was ready to execute them.
“Leadership. Once you turn, I want you heading up a team to watch this particular neighborhood. If an enemy makes it into the city undetected, I don’t want to find out in my living room.” Klaus spoke matter of factly but his tone made it very clear what would happen to a sentry who let a threat slip by.
Allie nodded. “Okay.” She crossed her arms over her chest. “And what do I get in return?”
Klaus as slightly taken aback. Not that he was overly surprised that someone would want to make a deal, he just hadn’t expected Allie (or any of the wolves) to realize they could ask until they’d been turned. And then of course his own feelings on the matter would persuade them not to ask. His demeanor reflected none of these thoughts as he answered Allie. “My protection.”
“Regardless of whether I am currently working for your family,” insisted Allie. “And I want Mikaelson protection, not just yours. Can you grant me that?”
“Clever. Very well, for so long as I, or a member of my family is capable, we will protect you if necessary for so long as you are loyal to us.” He reached out to shake Allie’ hand to seal the deal.
“Swear it,” said Allie.
Now Klaus was truly impressed. While Originals were known for keeping their word, it could still be broken. Swearing invoked an ancient magic, sealing the promiser to his words. To break a sworn oath was risking death, no matter what your supernatural ancestry.He wouldn’t offer this deal to most wolves, or anyone, but the fact that Allie was smart enough to ask was enough to make him agree. It would also further secure her loyalty, making her the perfect leader for his troops. And Klaus was no stranger to a well-worded oath.
“This I swear,” he said now, uttering the words that would secure his oath.
Allie smiled. “Shall we then?”
Klaus bit into his arm and held it out for her to drink. Allie drank quickly and cleanly, leaving only a single trickle of blood as the wound healed.
“Apologies for this next part,” said Klaus, before reaching out and snapping Allie’s neck. As the wolf collapsed, Klaus set her on the couch until she woke up. While he waited, Klaus walked through Allie’s house, familiarizing himself with as many details as possible.
As Klaus snooped through Allie’s things he took note of a few details. She lived simply but comfortably, utilizing older furniture over the latest trends. Her personal items were limited, easy to move if necessary, but clearly important. A worn stuffed dog sat on Allie’s bed, pictures were in banged up frames, and a few journals sat on a nightstand.
Klaus didn’t look in the diaries. People still lied to themselves and journals were no exception. The best clues to a person’s self, to their character were always found in the day to day details.
More important to Klaus was the reading material he found on a locked shelf. Allie had the shelf hidden behind another to keep it safe and presumably hidden from unwanted guests. The books and papers he found showed clear research and notes on the powers of vampries and werewolves. Allie’s own notes separated truth from fiction (with a high level of accuracy) and had information recorded from recent hybrids. Allie was careful and thorough. There weren’t plans of takeovers or attempts to speculate on what could happen in various situations. Her notes simply detailed facts.
Research. Thorough research without embellishment from a supernatural meant one thing. A sense of self-preservation of epic proportions. Klaus rarely saw it in supernaturals, the desire for power was usually too strong. Katherine was one of the best. Klaus still hated the bitch but he had to respect her instincts. Vampires who pissed off Originals didn’t live long. That Katherine had at one point or another crossed every member of his family spoke volumes to her priorities.
Unlike Katherine, whose desire to look out for herself first meant her loyalties were fickle, Allie had clearly chosen a side. Her research indicated that she knew the Originals were the side to be on. In the few months Klaus had known Allie, he’s seen that once she picked a side, she stayed there even at personal cost. Which considering Kol’s hothead attitude, happened more often during their nights out than most of them cared for.
After about an hour had passed, Allie woke up with a jolt. “Oh!” she exclaimed. “That was unpleasant.”
Klaus handed Allie a vial. “This won’t be much better. Just take a small swallow. A little doppelganger goes a long way.”
Allie took a quick drink and handed the vial back to Klaus. “How long will this part take?”
“A few minutes,” he answered, as Allie started to convulse. As usual the hybrid transformation happened quickly and Allie bravely refrained from screaming during her transition.
It was when the transformation finished that Klaus realized he had a problem. Allie, as a hybrid, was no longer invited into her home. She was struggling to breathe as the magic behind the invitation attacked her.
Allie threw herself out the front door with a gasp. “Shit! Okay that part really sucked.” She inhaled deeply, trying to recover. Technically the vampire aspect meant she didn’t need air exactly but old habits die hard.
“This is a problem,” commented Klaus. One that he had no solution for.
“I can actually take care of that,” said Allie, fully recovered.
Klaus frowned. “How? You don’t have family and as a vampire you can’t exactly come inside to invite yourself in.”
“True,” answered Allie. “But in my research I picked up on a bit of wordplay. If I understand it correctly, there should be a loophole. Can you grab my phone for me?”
He picked it up off the desk and handed it to her, puzzled about the new hybrid’s plan. “What do you mean by wordplay?”
“The rules say a vampire can’t invite themselves in. It doesn’t say anything about someone’s wolf or human side being unable to extend the invitation,” clarified Allie as she searched through her phone.
“Interesting. But you’re still part vampire now. Unless you have a clone, I’m afraid you’re out of luck,” said Klaus.
“Better,” grinned Allie. “I have a voice recorder.”
The new hybrid hit play on a message. ‘Allie Kane, you are officially invited into your home.’ The message ended and Allie stepped over the threshold.
“Good thing you had that message ready to go,” said Klaus. He needed a better explanation for Allie’s preparation. A move like that was just a bit too clever.
“I did that several years ago when I first triggered my werewolf gene. I wasn’t sure if a normal vampire could turn a wolf. And I like my home too much to lose it on a technicality.” She set her phone down and poured herself a drink, handing Klaus one as well.
Klaus took a sip and waited for Allie to sit before sitting down as well. “There’s still a detail missing. You also died, that means the apartment ownership should go to whoever is named in your will. Thus negating the recorded message.”
“Ah yes,” said Allie. “Thought of that too.”
Klaus raised an eyebrow in question.
“I left the apartment to myself. Dead, alive, or undead, it’s still in my name.”
“Clever little minx,” said Klaus in admiration.
Allie shrugged. “The Boy Scout motto also applies to female werewolves.”
Klaus laughed. “Indeed. I have more people to visit today. Can you put together a shift schedule and response plan by tomorrow? I intend to have enough hybrids for you and I would prefer that you take charge of the neighborhood guard.”
“Of course,” answered Allie. “I can have it done by tomorrow morning if you want to come by and go over it. Then I can meet the other hybrids later and bring them up to speed.”
Klaus nodded, slipping his jacket on as he left. “Perfect. Thank you, Allie.”
~ ~ ~ ~
Rebekah smiled at Elizabeth as a servant cleared away the tea tray. The visit she and Caroline had made was very fruitful. Elizabeth had been in quite a good mood, going so far as to showing Caroline the inner workings of the shop. She’d even extended a personal invitation to her sample sale later in the week. Rebekah knew that Elizabeth was playing it safe but it seemed the older vampire had taken a small liking to the younger vampire.
“This was delicious, Elizabeth. Thank you.”
“You are quite welcome, Rebekah,” answered Elizabeth. “Caroline how was your tea?”
“Lovely,” responded Caroline. “I don’t think I’ve ever had a tea quite like that before.”
“I should hope not,” said Elizabeth. “The blend was developed especially for me several centuries ago. I have it on special order from Britain.”
Caroline took another sip. “I feel honored you shared it with me then. Thank you again.”
Rebekah nudged Caroline’s foot under the table to insure she didn’t gush any further. They had to keep a balance with Elizabeth. Caroline took the hint and picked up her teacup again to end her comments.
“You will be stopping by the sample sale, won’t you?” asked Elizabeth of the girls. She beckoned for one of the shop girls to come to the table.
“I certainly plan to,” said Rebekah.
Elizabeth leaned in to the girl who came to the table and instructed her to bring invitations back for both vampires.
“I wouldn’t miss it,” added Caroline. “I saw a clutch the last time I was here that I simply have to have.”
“You’ll have to get Nik to give you shopping money,” laughed Rebekah.
“Oh I know how to get what I want out of your brother,” teased Caroline.
Elizabeth’s employee returned and she handed both girls their invitations. “Wonderful. I will see you both on Sunday then.”
Caroline and Rebekah understood that this indicated their time with Elizabeth was over and rose to leave.
“Thank you again for the lovely evening,” said Rebekah, adding compliments to the pastries served with the tea as she walked with Elizabeth to the door. Caroline followed closely behind.
Caroline added her thanks one last time and walked into the night with Rebekah. The original motioned for Caroline to stay quiet until they were far enough away that Elizabeth couldn’t hear them. She knew the vampire would be listening for any and all possible ammunition.
Once Rebekah motioned that Caroline could talk, the younger vampire exhaled with relief. “How did I do?” she asked.
“Excellent,” answered Rebekah. “Seriously Caroline, that was great. I wasn’t sure you’d catch all my cues but you were spot on.”
“I was so nervous that Elizabeth would catch me or ask me something that I couldn’t hide.”
Rebekah stopped and turned Caroline to her. “She can’t make you say anything you don’t want to, Caroline. Only Originals can compel another supernatural creature. And I will be there any time to make sure she doesn’t try to use force. Don’t be scared of Elizabeth.”
“It’s a little hard not to be,” said Caroline. “Elizabeth is more than a little scary.”
“Yeah, good point,” said Rebekah. “I guess just try to remember she doesn’t have to be.”
Caroline nodded and the girls continued towards the mansion. A few blocks from the house, Kol walked up behind them and draped his arms over the girls’ shoulders.
“What Kol?” asked Rebekah.
Kol pretended to be offended. “How are you not thrilled to see me?”
“I might be thrilled if you were someone else,” said Caroline.
“Very funny,” said Kol.
Rebekah laughed. “I thought it was. What do you want?”
“I’m bored. Entertain me.”
“Entertain yourself,” answered Caroline. She rolled her eyes at the vampire. “Call Shiloh.”
“He’s out of town until next Tuesday,” complained Kol. “Please go out with me tonight. Please.”
“Fine,” answered Rebekah.
“Caroline?” pleaded Kol.
Caroline sighed. “Let me ask Klaus first. And if he wants to stay in tonight you accept it.”
“Deal,” said Kol, excitement in his voice. “This will be great. Just a bunch of carefree vampires, out on the town.”
“But Kol, no fights,” clarified Rebekah. “I don’t want to pay to fix yet another dive bar window.”
Kol made an exaggerated crossing his heart motion. “And hope to die. Promise to be on my absolute best behavior for you Beks. I just want to have some fun.” They had arrived at home and he reached out to open the door for the girls.
“I think we got that,” laughed Caroline. “Can we have time to change first? I don’t think I can go shoot pool in this dress.”
“Sure. Meet you back here in 30 minutes?” asked Kol hopefully.
The girls agreed and headed to their rooms to change as Kol pulled out his phone to see if Allie and Laurel would join them.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Kol found Shiloh at a bar just outside the self defense class studio. Classes ran until late at night, accommodating a wide variety of clientele, which worked perfectly for their plans. The two men could barely be seen in the dark and so they went inside for a drink to talk before choosing victims.
“How are you, Shiloh?” asked Kol as they sat down. “You’ve been missing out on all the fun lately.”
“Your brother did request a low profile in the city for now, and I didn’t get to be this old by pissing him off.” Shiloh motioned for a waitress to come over and ordered a bottle of their oldest whisky.
“I’m always surprised that people listen to him.”
Shiloh laughed. “We only listen to him some of the time. Besides, Boston in the fall? Delicious.”
“It’s been ages since I’ve been to Boston,” commented Kol. “I don’t think I’ve been there since…”
“Since you were yelling at a colonial rebel that he was wasting perfectly good tea,” answered Shiloh with a grin.
“Well there are better ways to make a statement.”
Shiloh looked incredulously at the Original. “That night helped trigger a war. I don’t think you’ll find a bigger statement.”
Kol yawned. “Like starting wars are anything new.”
Before Shiloh could respond, the waitress returned with their drinks. Kol leaned in and compelled her to leave the bottle, and to not visit their table again. He wanted a drink from her but he’d save that for a celebratory toast after he and Kol finished their current endeavors. Kol poured a shot for each of them and they toasted the return of a friendship.
“Enough reminiscing,” said Shiloh after a couple more rounds. “Shall we get to it then?”
Kol tossed back another shot and nodded. “Let’s do it.”
The two vampires took the bottle of whisky with them outside and leaned against the wall in the shadows to watch the studio.
“There are two more classes after this one,” noted Shiloh. He knew Kol wouldn’t want anyone from the last class of the night. Those women were more alert, expecting danger so late at night. But those who walked out earlier, when the streets were still busy and people constantly coming and going, those were ones who foolishly thought the streets were safe. They weren’t as cautious.
“Perfect,” said Kol. He was glad Shiloh understood him. Kol had every intention of choosing two victims. Some nights he would zip back and forth between following both, other nights he’d follow just one, making the other think she’d imagined that someone was behind her. Kol loved tugging a victim back and forth from paranoia to security until they were nearly driven crazy by what they thought was their own imagination. Only then would he strike.
When he did strike, it would be against someone entirely different. That always increased the fear. By killing a random, his chosen victim usually ended up gaining a false sense of security. She would be worried and upset of course about the killing but would chalk up the strange noises and feeling of dread over the previous weeks to someone stalking that poor other man or woman.
Kol licked his lips in anticipation.
“You can almost taste it can’t you?” asked Shiloh.
“Fear truly does have the most decadent of flavors,” murmured Kol as he plotted. He had missed this. The sadistic pleasure in psychological torture. His family had been so upfront about their nature in Mystic Falls that he hadn’t been able to slip into the shadows as well. Even his brief trip to Denver as his brother’s watchdog hadn’t been overly fruitful. Every commoner he drank from had been one of those obnoxious vegetarians. Kol didn’t understand how anyone could deny the predator within.
“Class is letting out,” said Shiloh quietly.
Both vampires turned their attention to the studio doors as the class members poured out on the street and headed to their various means of transportation. Most used the subway but a few were hailing cabs. Kol ignored those. Shiloh was the one who liked to pick victims who used cars. They thought they were getting away but cars couldn’t really outrun a 250 year old vampire. Especially not with New York traffic.
Kol spied his first choice almost immediately. An older girl, about 27 who wore a long braid and hadn’t bothered to change from her workout gear. She walked purposefully with others, clearly paying attention to the tips on safety shared by the instructor.
His other victim took time to find. At the sight of a fashionably dressed blonde he perked up and nudged Shiloh. “What do you think of her?”
“Boring,” yawned Shiloh. “She’s obviously here to flirt with the instructor. Or didn’t you notice how long she lingered at the doorway?”
“Wasn’t really paying attention, darling,” said Kol, turning his eyes back to the door. “I suppose you already made your choice.” Shiloh had always been decisive.
Kol watched for a few more minutes. “Hmm, there,” he said finally, pointing out a college aged girl with auburn hair. She walked at a leisurely pace, as though at peace with the world but she kept checking her surroundings in a way that said a streak of paranoia ran through her.
“Much better,” said Shiloh. “Which one will you observe tonight?” Both vampires would spend at least a week researching their choices before beginning the actual hunt. It helped personalize the game.
“This one,” answered Kol. “She seems far more interesting. The other can be the distraction.”
“Have fun,” said Shiloh, taking a swig from the whisky bottle before handing it to Kol and darting off into the night.
Kol took a long drink of his own and watched his chosen victim walk down the street. Only when she had turned the corner did he toss the bottle aside and follow her.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Klaus’ head jolted up from his sketch pad as he heard the bedroom door slam open.
“Klaus!” hollered Caroline.
“In the study, love,” he answered. He knew Caroline and Rebekah’s meeting with Elizabeth had gone smoothly earlier in the week and ever since the two girls had been getting along. Maybe Kol had pissed her off. He needed to have a word with his brother.
Caroline stormed into the study, picked up a vase and threw it with all her might at Klaus. “Are you out of your fucking hybrid mind?!” she screamed in rage.
Klaus flung himself out of the way. So she was mad at him. He wracked his brain trying to remember if he’d forgotten an anniversary or something but came up empty. The only reason he could think of for Caroline to be mad was…”Oh shit.”
“Oh shit is right, you spineless mutt! How dare you?” Caroline was in a fit of rage.
“We needed security,” snapped Klaus. “Hybrids were the best choice.”
“Bullshit. Hire some vampires! You told me after Tyler that you didn’t need hybrids.”
Klaus could feel his own anger rising. “I didn’t then. Now I do,” he said with finality, sitting back down.
“And you think this just ends the discussion? I’m not some original groupie. We are going to talk about this,” snapped Caroline.
“Talk about what? I made a decision for this family and for you,” returned Klaus, his own voice getting louder. “I won’t feel guilty for that.”
“Oh really?! Then why didn’t you tell me what you were doing three weeks ago when you and Kol made the decision?” Caroline picked up a book and chucked it at his head. She knew he’d doge but it still felt good.
“Damn it, Caroline, stop throwing shit at me,” yelled Klaus.
“Then answer me!”
“I didn’t tell you because you didn’t need to know.”
She hissed in fury, fangs momentarily dropping. “What I need to know is for me to decide. I can’t believe you’re doing this again.”
“Taking away someone’s free will just to serve your own purposes. You know hybrids do whatever you want, regardless of how it affects them. This is Tyler’s situation all over again.” Caroline folded her arms and glared daggers at Klaus as she yelled.
“I’m not repeating Tyler’s situation!” screamed Klaus. “This is about loyal security, nothing else.”
“You’re taking away their freedom,” she yelled back at him. “You can’t keep robbing people of their free will.”
“And how well did free will work out for you and Tyler?” snipped Klaus coldly. “I seem to remember Tyler reverted back to being a teenage dick, did he not, love?”
“Don’t you dare call me love right now, you heartless bastard.”
Klaus stopped his next attack of words cold in its tracks as Caroline’s words registered. She never called him that. They’d had fights before and both had proven they knew exactly what words cut the deepest. But Caroline was all too aware of how the term “bastard” made him feel and she stayed far away from using it. At least she had until now.
As Klaus blinked, furiously trying to keep his emotions from getting the best of him so he could fire equally damaging words back, Caroline too realized just how far she’d gone.
“Damn it, Klaus,” she sighed, backing down a half step from the argument. “I didn’t mean it.”
“You said it.”
“I was angry. I’m still angry. But I was lashing out.” Caroline walked over to her hybrid and took his hands in hers. “I would never mean it.”
Klaus held her hands tightly. “I couldn’t bear you thinking so little of me.”
Caroline pulled him down to sit next to her on the window seat, brushing away shards of the broken vase as she did so. “We still have to talk about the new hybrids, sweetheart. It isn’t fair to bind them to you like this.”
“But I haven’t done any binding,” insisted Klaus. “I’ve given them a job, and all I ask is loyalty in return. I promised you I wouldn’t take away anyone’s free will and I’ve kept my word.” He didn’t add that he would compel or kill anyone making any threats to Caroline, regardless of her feelings on the matter. Though he was fairly certain that deep down she knew that.
“That’s not the point, Klaus. The hybrids aren’t just loyal to your commands. They obey your desires, even the unspoken ones. It’s not fair.”
Klaus sighed. “What if I compel each hybrid to only obey my spoken commands?”
“Do you think that will work?” asked Caroline.
“I can try,” answered Klaus.
“What if it doesn’t work?”
“I can’t change the hybrids I’ve already turned.” Klaus gently stroked Caroline’s hand as they sat together, weaving his fingers in and out with hers. “But I could keep from making more.”
“You would do that? For me?”
“If you asked, I would do anything for you.”
Caroline leaned forward and kissed him, her hands moving to the back of his neck and pulling him closer, anger forgotten. “Thank you.”
Klaus kissed back, hoping if he kept her focused on him, she wouldn’t analyze his choice of words too carefully. He wanted to make Caroline happy but he wouldn’t agree to anything that could bring harm to her or his family. Even his love had limits.
~ ~ ~ ~
Caroline poured a glass of B+ in the kitchen and put the blood bag away before leaving the room. Several months in the mansion and she still wasn’t used to letting servants do everything. She was tempted to grab a couple freshly baked chocolate chip cookies but an afternoon snack of blood and cookies just didn’t have the same ring to it.
She walked past the library and heard Elijah call out to her.
“Caroline. May I have a word with you?”
She found Elijah near one of the picture windows. The papers spread out in front of him looked like genealogy charts. Caroline thought about asking Elijah about his work. She was bored lately and maybe a little research would help.
“How much did you know about Bonnie’s family history?” asked Elijah.
Caroline was taken aback. She didn’t think any of the Originals would want to stir up trouble with a Bennett witch, least of all Elijah. “Not a lot,” she answered. “Vampires tended to kill off Bonnie’s family before she really got to know them.”
“Yes, I suppose that contributed to the path she chose in the end,” commented Elijah.
“Gee ya think?” she said sarcastically.
Elijah merely gave her a look.
“Anyway. Why do you want to know?”
“I want to verify that daylight ring spells require a Bennett witch to perform them and not that a Bennett merely created the spell,” answered Elijah, still sifting through papers.
“There’s a difference?” asked Caroline. She figured as long as a witch had the grimoire, any witch’s spells were fair game.
Elijah nodded. “Most spells that a witch notes in a grimoire can be performed by another witch, though usually not quite as well. But some spells are tied specifically to a witch family, meaning that a non bloodline witch can’t perform the spell.”
“Bonnie never mentioned that.”
“Considering her limited training, I wouldn’t expect her to,” said Elijah. “Witches usually have generations of women to teach them the craft. Unfortunately for Bonnie, her mother’s selfish attitude prevented this.”
Caroline sighed and sipped her drink. “I’ll never understand why Abby left.” She perked up for a moment. “Though I suppose you could ask her about the daylight rings.”
“Unfortunately, I cannot,” corrected Elijah. “Damon killed Abby a couple weeks after Bonnie died.”
“What?!” Caroline hadn’t heard this. “Why would Damon do that?”
“He was mad.”
Caroline nearly spit out her drink. “Since when is mad a reason to kill someone? I mean I know Damon doesn’t really need a reason but still.”
“Abby returned to Mystic Falls and tried to insist that Bonnie’s choices had nothing to do with her. But as it turned out, Bonnie had left her grimoires and personal journals to Damon, who sent some on to me.” Elijah apparently found the papers he’d been looking for and set them aside. “In Bonnie’s most recent diary, she noted that the sense of abandonment she felt from her mother leaving her yet again was one of the final straws in realizing that caring didn’t matter.”
“Did Damon tell Abby that?” asked Caroline.
“He did. Abby dismissed it as teenage angst.”
“What a bitch.”
“Evidently Damon agreed with your assessment,” said Elijah wryly. “He told Abby if she was going to be such a heartless bitch, she probably didn’t need to waste the organ.”
“Let me guess, then he ripped it out?” Caroline rolled her eyes. Damon could be so predictable.
“Indeed.” Elijah was secretly quite proud of Damon. After his own issues with his mother, he had pitied Bonnie on that front. At least his mother, murderous plans aside, had still taken responsibility for her own role in the monsters they became.
Caroline took a long sip of her drink then remembered one other name. “Oh! Bonnie had a cousin named Lucy. But she was trying to stay away from the witch and vampire business.”
“Any ideas on how I might get in touch with her?” asked Elijah.
Caroline shook her head. “She was friends with Katherine.”
“Hmm, that does make it a bit more difficult. Though not impossible.”
“Katherine won’t just give you the information, even if she has it,” noted Caroline.
“No, she probably wouldn’t.” Elijah thought for a moment. “I suppose I will have to owe her a favor. It will be worth it if I can verify this information.”
“Why is it so important that only a Bennett can make a daylight ring?” questioned Caroline.
“Control,” answered Elijah. “I need to know what vampires have the freedom to present themselves as fully human.”
“Oh. Guess that makes sense.” Caroline sat quietly with Elijah as he worked, thinking over the new information he had given her.
Nearly an hour passed between the two vampires in silence. Elijah occasionally handed Caroline a stack of papers to organize and move to his filing system in the back of the library and at one point she had fetched both of them a fresh glass of blood. But otherwise they were content to focus on their own thoughts, while maintaining a sense of quiet companionship.
Until the stillness was shattered by the bang of the front door and the sound of someone stumbling inside.
“Klaus!” The mysterious person called out hoarsely for the hybrid.
Caroline turned towards Elijah. “Did that sound like Stefan to you?”
Elijah was already on his feet. “Let’s go.”
The two raced towards the front of the mansion, arriving at the same time as Rebekah and Kol. The four stood in shock as a bloody and bruised Stefan stood weakly in front of them. In some distant part of her mind, Caroline registered that Stefan’s wounds should be healing themselves and yet if anything he seemed to be getting worse by the second.
As they momentarily gaped, unsure what to do, Klaus moved to stand in front of Stefan, putting out a hand to help steady him.
Stefan looked at Klaus as though barely comprehending who the man was. “Klaus?” he asked weakly.
“Yes. Stefan, what’s wrong?” Klaus couldn’t imagine what had happened to his former friend. It had to be terrible to bring him to his door. They had never been able to reconcile their old camaraderie, even when Klaus stopped insisting that Stefan return to his ripper ways.
“Help us,” whispered Stefan, his voice jagged and broken, before collapsing.