Hello :) over 30 chapters, and we've crossed the 100 review mark. Woww... thank you, thank you, thank you, for all your amazing support. It amazes me that you all have stuck by me and this story for 30 whole chapters, and are not only still interested, but completely invested in this story, and the characters, and the journey they've undertaken. You all are the best readers a writer could ever ask for, and I really wanted to take the time to tell all of you that I appreciate you so much, and if it wasn't for your overwhelming support along the way... well I would have still written this, because I'm in love with this story as well, but I would not have been as devoted to it as I am, I would not be checking for reviews so often, and just so happy to have any sort of interaction with you lovely readers. So once again, thank you for being you :)
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Caroline came into the room, just as Klaus was coming out of the bathroom, his body still wet, with a towel wrapped loosely around his waist. He was drying his hair, with another towel. He looked up as she entered, eyes shining brightly, a lazy smile spreading on his face. Caroline reciprocated his smile before moving towards him to place a soft kiss on his lips. She flashed across the room, just in time, before he could grab her. She shook her head, giggling, before she noticed that their suitcases were already packed, ready to go.
Caroline smiled at Klaus' thoughtfulness. He had packed her suitcase exactly the way she would have, with everything in their proper place. "Stefan said that you got the last amulet and we're headed to Thailand?" Caroline asked, digging through her suitcase for some clean clothes to change into.
Klaus frowned. "I'm sorry I didn't tell you goodbye before I left. I didn't want to intrude into the time you were spending with your friends" he explained.
Caroline nodded. "After my talk with Bonnie and Elena I came looking for you. Stefan said that you and Darius went to collect the last amulet. So I went back to Elena's room, and the three of us decided to watch movies like we used to. It was actually really great... there's almost no more awkward tension between us" Caroline said decidedly, as she picked out a pair of black jean leggings, black suede boots and a long sleeved button down, floral print top, placing it on her side of the bed.
Klaus smiled. He dropped his towel from around his waist, and started getting dressed in the clothes he already laid out on his side on the bed. Caroline blushed, looking away shyly. She didn't miss his unabashed smirk. "I'm glad your conversation with your friends went well" he said, pulling on a pair of black boxer briefs.
"I mean, Elena's still trying to wrap her head around it but I think she'll be fine, now that she knows that Bonnie didn't exactly betray her or Jeremy" Caroline said, chewing on her bottom lip. She looked up, as Klaus was shrugging on a black Henley t-shirt. He was listening to her intently, a patient smile on his face. Caroline wasn't sure if Klaus would be the least bit interested in idle gossip, but she decided to tell him anyway. "Apparently Jeremy rekindled his romance with his dead vampire ex girlfriend Anna. Though Jeremy could see Anna, Bonnie did a spell so that they could actually be in physical contact. Then Bonnie started spending time with Kol. They've actually been together for years. But Jeremy didn't want Elena to worry or be judgemental about it... so he asked Bonnie to keep it a secret" Caroline explained.
Klaus nodded interestedly. "You're friend Bonnie is rather loyal" Klaus commented sincerely.
Caroline giggled. "Did you just comment my friend Bonnie. The same friend Bonnie who trapped you at the lake house, performed the spell that dessicated your body, put you in Tyler's body, and tried to kill you on several occasions?"
Klaus chuckled amusedly. "You've all tried to kill me on several occasions, love" he pointed out. "And I've tried to kill all of you." He hesitated, "though I think I would have never been able to follow through... in really hurting you."
"Oh" Caroline said, lifting a brow. It warmed her heart to know that from the beginning, there was the slight possibility that Klaus had been genuinely interested in her. Even though he had hurt her, dubbing her collateral damage, Klaus had never been able to go through with it. He had always been there to save her... from himself at least.
Klaus laughed, shaking his head. "Here" he said, offering her a necklace. There was a pyramidic shaped pendant, which Caroline quickly realised was the three amulets fitted into one. It was beautiful, with intricate markings and engravings, a blood red pulsating stone in the middle. Caroline could almost feel the power radiating off it.
She hesitantly took it from him. "I don't think this is such a good idea, Klaus. Ivantika's going to be furious, and she kind of already hates me" Caroline said, unsure.
"I can assure you sweetheart, Ivantika does not hate you" Klaus said, taking it from her and slipping it over her head. The pendent dropped just between Caroline's ample cleavage. "It was actually her idea to have you keep the amulet."
Caroline sighed, running her fingers through her hair. "What did you do?" she asked knowingly.
Klaus smirked. "I offered to be tolerant of her relationship with the wolf, if she promised to be more open minded about my relationship with you. Consider this a sign of good faith... her wanting you to keep this" he said, giving Caroline a smug smile.
"Klaus... your daughter made the decision to turn me into an Original, instead of bringing her mother back from the dead. Not that I'm even considering it. But, I think she's already a lot more than open- minded about us being together" Caroline said, shaking her head. "Ya know, Ivantika really loves you and she wants you to be happy, even if it means being with me. You should grant her the same..."
"You really ought to stop doing that" Klaus muttered, cutting her off. He shook his head.
Caroline frowned. "Doing what?" she asked, confused.
"Thinking the worst of me" Klaus said despondently. "Thinking that I don't care about her happiness. Caroline, I have Ivantika's best interest at heart. Surely you can understand any reservations I may have about a two thousand year old Original werewolf, courting my seventeen year old daughter."
Caroline balked, when Klaus said it like that... "Aren't you the one who always says that she's not just a seventeen year old girl... that she's an Original Hybrid, practically invincible?"
"She's invincible compared to the masses. But in terms of the small circle of Originals, Ivantika is very much just a girl" Klaus reasoned. He went to retrieve the white oak stake, from the safe hidden behind the painting that was hanging above the bed. He made no effort to hide the combination from her. And Caroline thought that maybe Klaus was slowly beginning to trust her, without even realising it. He slipped the stake into the inner pocket of his leather jacket.
"I... I'm sorry" Caroline mumbled.
Klaus' head shot up. "What?" he asked, taken aback.
Caroline rolled her eyes. "You heard me... I said I'm sorry." She sighed. "You're right... Ivantika's your daughter and you've done a great job raising her so far. You obviously love her and she obviously loves you. I should stop comparing your relationship with your daughter to the one I wish I had with my dad" she confessed, earning a tender look from Klaus. "I mean, your relationship with your daughter doesn't fit into any of the cookie cutter moulds, so I should stop being so judgey" she said, chuckling nervously.
Klaus gave her an affectionate smile. "It's all right love" he said softly. "As much as I'd like to think that Ivantika's a combination of myself, Elijah and Bekah... Ivantika's her own person. She's never failed to make it known when she's less than pleased. In fact, Ivantika's temper tantrums could rival even Bekah's."
After a moment, "I should take a bath and get ready" Caroline said a little breathlessly, as her laughter died down.
Klaus was regarding her curiously. He wetted his lips, and Caroline looked down shyly, chewing on her bottom lip. In less than a second he was standing infront of her, his face mere inches away from hers. He lifted his hand to cup her face tenderly, lifting it up until she was looking at him. He leant in and placed a soft kiss on her lips, sucking on her bottom lip gently, as his thumb stroked her cheek. Then he granted her a breath taking smile. "Don't take too long" he said softly, before he left.
The long drive to the airport was filled with accommodating silence. Caroline and Klaus were sharing a car with Ivantika, Darius and Rebekah. The others were in two vehicles following behind. Despite having given Caroline the amulets to keep, and despite the amulets no longer serving much of a purpose, now that the location of the three magic sources were revealed, Ivantika was still hesitant to part with it. Klaus was extremely pleased that Rebekah and his daughter were being tolerable towards Caroline at least. They didn't go out of their way to make Caroline feel uncomfortable. So Klaus decided to return the favour by studiously ignoring the very presence of the Original werewolf.
"So..." Caroline tentatively broke the silence as they made their way inside the private plane.
Klaus chuckled. Caroline had been fidgeting in her seat for the entire car ride. He was wondering how long she'd be able to keep quiet, knowing how much she hated prolonged silence.
"What?" she asked, her brows furrowed. Klaus took her hand luggage and placed them in the over head compartment before taking the seat next to her.
"Nothing" he said, shaking his head.
"There must be some reason why you're laughing" she insisted.
"It's just..." Klaus couldn't help himself from chuckling some more, but at Caroline's hurt expression, he stopped short. She must think that he was laughing at her, which wasn't the case at all. "I didn't join you in the long journey getting from Qatar to Mexico. But now I'm getting the opportunity to travel with you, on a few rather long flights from here to Thailand" he stated. "Let me guess..." he mused, "you won't fall asleep on the plane because you'd want to be aware at all times, in case of an emergency?" Klaus smiled knowingly.
Caroline giggled. "That's just because I'm not as familiar with flying as you" she explained, shaking her head. "Some times it's easy to forget that I'm sort of invincible."
"Actually, there's a high probability of a plane crash killing a vampire" Klaus stated matter of factly. "Despite from the obvious debris flying around that could easily pierce a vampire's heart or severely maim a vampire, there's also the impact to worry about."
"The impact?" Caroline asked nervously. He could see the panic rising, shown in her eyes, and he tried his best to suppress his amusement.
"Yes" he replied, with a stoic expression. "The impact alone could kill even a vampire. I mean, think about it love" he said, leaning in closer to her. "Your body falling hundreds of feet, plummeting to the ground at an insane speed..." he trailed off. "Unless" Klaus said.
Caroline grabbed his arm, holding on to him for dear life. "Unless..." she said, voice barely a whisper.
"Unless you fall into my arms" Klaus said seriously. Then his lips tugged upward into a smirk.
Caroline gasped, blinking a few times. She immediately let go of his arm and slapped his chest with the back of her hand. "Whatever" she muttered.
Bonnie and Elena were giggling from behind them. Even Elijah was trying hard to suppress his smile.
"Oh come on love... if you fall, I'll always be there to catch you" Klaus said, playfully.
Caroline rolled her eyes. "You're such an ass" she mumbled, shaking her head.
Klaus chuckled amused, and after a while Caroline started giggling.
On the final flight, from Mumbai to Thailand, Elijah decided that they should come up with some sort of game plan. It wouldn't do well to get to Thailand completely unawares. Even if there was the tiniest possibility of the Guardians or the witches tracking their movements, they had to be prepared. Even if they had stumbled upon the knowledge that the three magic power sources were in Thailand, it was highly unlikely that they would be able to discover the exact location without the map, that the amulet around Caroline's neck, provided. It was sort of an unspoken agreement that upon finding the three power sources, Ivantika would not be handing it over to the Guardians. Though they all knew that if Caroline's life was even in the semblance of danger, then they would quickly offer it up. Which is exactly why they had to find the three magic sources, make the three wishes, and eliminate all threats, as soon as possible.
At some point, Caroline had fallen asleep, much to everyone's surprise. She was cuddled up against Klaus, with one hand grabbing a fistful of his t-shirt. Klaus was gently stoking her hair. Stefan took a seat on her other side, paying keen attention to the conversation Klaus, Elijah, Darius and Damon were absorbed in. Only Klaus wasn't saying much, barely paying any attention at all. Stefan had no doubt that Klaus was listening to what was being said, but not once had Klaus taken his eyes off Caroline's sleeping face. He had a gentle smile on his face as he looked down at her. Caroline shifted, making a little whimpering sound, before snuggling closer, burying her head in his chest. Klaus' brows puckered in dismay, until Caroline made herself comfortable again. He looked down at her affectionately. Noticing Stefan's eyes on him, Klaus looked up to regard him curiously.
Stefan sighed, looking away. "You really do love her, don't you?" he muttered. Not waiting for a reply, "I always knew that you had genuine feelings for her, but love? I didn't think you had the capacity to love" Stefan said, honestly. "But I don't think it's quite possible to not fall in love with her. She's..."
"Perfect" Klaus finished.
Stefan nodded. He looked at Caroline with such longing. He would give anything to have her in his arms, instead of Klaus'. "You don't deserve her" Stefan said, and he couldn't take the bitterness out of his tone. "You could live a thousand more years and not deserve her."
"And you do?" Klaus challenged.
Darius had already left to take a seat beside Ivantika who was fast asleep. But Damon and Elijah still sat in their adjacent seats, though, probably giving their brothers moral support. Damon looked particularly wary that a fight would break out.
Stefan chucked sadly. "No, I don't deserve her either... but at least I'd try to be better for her" Stefan said, looking at Caroline's sleeping form. "But that's the thing about Caroline..." he said, sounding almost wistful. "She wouldn't even want you to change for her. If she loves you, then she doesn't care about all the horrible things you've done. She's probably already accepted your past and decided that you're the man you are today because of it." Stefan sighed, running his fingers through his hair. "Caroline doesn't love half way" he stated seriously. "She loves with all her heart. And she's loyal to a fault."
"I know" Klaus said, stroking her cheek with the back of his hand. Caroline grumbled in her sleep, snuggling against him again.
"Do you?" Stefan accusing, looking at Klaus perplexed. "If she loves you, then she'll follow you through hell, Klaus. She's never going to let you go. And she loves you. We both know that Caroline loves you... and you'll never deserve her love."
"Let's get one thing clear" Stefan whispered, seriously, paying no mind to Damon and Elijah and anyone else who were listening. "I don't care about the Guardians and I don't care about the witches" he stated honestly. "I'm still her best friend, and I would rather die than see her get hurt again."
"So would I" Klaus said, levelling Stefan with a steely gaze.
Stefan scoffed. "No one believes in your quest for redemption" he said sardonically.
Elijah tensed and Damon sat a little straighter in his seat.
Klaus narrowed his eyes. "Says the ripper of Monterey" he said, giving Stefan a satirical smile.
In a flash Stefan was gone, to wallow in his self pity. Damon left after him in less than a second. But Elijah still sat, staring out of the plane window, his body slowly relaxing.
"That wasn't very nice" Caroline's sleepy voice caught Klaus' attention. He hadn't even noticed she had awoken.
"He started it" was Klaus' childish retort. It earned a small smile from Elijah, but Caroline looked up at him, unamused.
Caroline frowned, before closing her eyes and resting her head against his chest again. "He hates being reminded on that awful phase he went through" she chided.
"Being a ripper isn't a phase, my love," Klaus said, starting to softly stroke her hair once more. He ran his fingers through her curls, gently massaging her scalp. Caroline purred contentedly. "It's a fundamental part of who he is. Stefan's true nature, so to speak."
"You can't really think that" she mumbled, shaking her head a little.
"I do" Klaus said. "Stefan denies himself drinking from humans entirely, because he can't control the blood lust, and killing humans is deemed wrong. So he feeds off animals, since slaughtering animals isn't considered as wrong, though some may argue otherwise."
"So you think he's going against his nature by drinking from animals instead of humans" Caroline surmised. "But at the end of the day, he's still killing to survive." After a moment, "it must be really hard for him" Caroline said, a bit sadly. "Like a recovering alcoholic... everyday's a struggle."
Klaus smiled against her hair. "Rebekah and I were the only two people he has ever known who has never judged him. Never wanted him to change, or deny his true nature. We never thought he was a monster. We accepted him just was he were..." Klaus said.
"You were a great friend to him" Caroline said, voice barely a whisper. She was already half asleep. Her breathing evened out, and Klaus listened as she feel into a deep slumber once again.
After a fleeting glance at Elijah, Klaus closed his eyes, pleased with the knowledge that Stefan had heard every word.
"Home sweet home" Rebekah said, stretching her limbs, as Damon, Stefan, Darius and Elijah began unpacking all the luggage. She stood admiring the vast mansion before her, before making her way to the door. "Kol, would you be a dear and grab my bags?" she called, as she entered through the front door.
"I'm your brother, not your butler" he called back. "Besides, the only bags I'm carrying are my own, and Bonnie's" he said, giving Bonnie a wink. She blushed. "Come on darling, let me show you to our room. This is one of the few properties my siblings and I unanimously agreed on purchasing, and even after several centuries, it's still one of my favourites" Kol said, his eyes shining brightly. It was clear that he was excited... it shown in his boyish good looks. Bonnie simply nodded and waited for him as he collected their bags.
"Come on" Ivantika said, demurely taking Darius' hand in hers and pulling him along, hoping that they could slip in unnoticed. Darius lifted a brow, curious, but followed her quietly.
In a flash Klaus was infront of his daughter, blocking her path. "No" he stated, shaking his head.
"Daddy!" Ivantika protested, throwing her hands up in the air, exasperated.
"You and your mate" Klaus spat out the word mate with obvious distaste, "will not be sharing a room" he said in a firm tone implying that there was no room for negotiation. "You'd do well to show him, the Salvatores and the doppelgänger to the guest house" he said, pointing in the other direction of the mansion.
With a huff, "fine" she muttered despondently, before turning around and making her trek to the other side of the property.
Elijah threw him a disproving glance, but Klaus brushed him off with the wave of a hand.
"Wait" Bonnie said, tugging lightly on Kol's hand. "I think I should stay the night with Elena" Bonnie said, shaking her head. "It's not fair to leave her by herself."
Kol frowned, not pleased with Bonnie's decision. But then he gave her a charming smile. "All right then" he said easily. "I'll be staying with Bonnie in the guest house" he announced, collecting their bags and making his way in the opposite direction, following Ivantika and Darius, before Bonnie had a chance to protest. She giggled, grabbing Elena's hand before running after Kol.
The Salvatores were the next to follow with their and Elena's luggage.
Elijah looked nonplussed for a moment, before shaking his head. "I'm going to have a word with the villagers" he said, flashing off the way they came, leaving Caroline and Klaus standing alone in the driveway.
Caroline frowned, a little surprised by how quickly everyone had dispersed. Weren't they supposed to make plans or come up with battle strategies or something? Caroline doubted the witches, the Guardians, even Esther and Mikael were taking a break, so neither should they. She sighed, looking at the mansion, while Klaus parked the cars into the driveway. It was just as she remembered it, bright colours, intricately carved patterns, regal elegance.
"Are you ready to go in?" Klaus asked from right beside her.
Caroline smiled, nodding. "Everything's so different here. The country, the people, even the air. The house itself seems like something from a whole other world" she said, as they walked to the door, hand in hand. "But I really love it" she said. He opened the door, but Caroline stopped him at the threshold, turning to face him. Klaus looked at her, confused.
Taking a deep steadying breath, "I love you" she confessed, leaning in to give him a chaste kiss on his lips.
Klaus looked completely flabbergasted, not even reciprocating her kiss, and it took a great deal of strength for Caroline to not laugh at his comical expression. Instead, she looked at him lovingly, giving him an affectionate smile. It took him a minute to collect himself. "I love you too" he said softly, but the honesty and fervour in his voice made Caroline's heart swell even bigger. She hadn't expected him to say it back. For a fleeting moment she was afraid she would burst with joy.
Caroline giggled at their silly behaviour. Now that she had finally said it out loud, to him, she realised that she'd been feeling it for a long time. Telling him hadn't been premeditated. It was a spur of the moment decision. Caroline wanted Klaus to know how she felt about him now, and that the way she felt about him now would never change, no matter what they were about to face. Despite the circumstances they were in, Caroline was happy, and she would continue to be happy so long as she was with him.
It was almost too good to be true. A strange feeling of dread slowly started to creep up on her. Klaus was still looking at her with the oddest expression, as if she weren't real. But Caroline sensed an unwelcome presence. Before she could react, or hint at it to Klaus, Caroline was being pulling inside. Her head locked in an iron grip, with a wooden stake pierced through her chest, it's tip scrapping Caroline's heart. On Caroline's side, Rebekah's dessicated body was on the floor, with a silver dagger protruding from her chest. Caroline looked up in time to see Klaus stunned, paralysed with either fear or apprehension as a figure emerged from the dark corridor.
"Hello, boy" a menacing voice greeted him.
Oh, shameless self promotion:
Check out my other fic, Sweet serial killer.