Step to the Edge, Chapter 1, Say the Word

No, I don't own anything except the plot... Neither Twilight, or Vampire Diaries belong to me, and no copyright infringement is intended. I'm just having some fun.

Yes, it's a new story... no, I'm not abandoning my other two.

This story will be rated M for a reason... and pretty quickly too, if that's not your thing then don't read it.


I see you there, don't know where you come from
Unaware of the stare from someone
Don't appear to care that I saw ya.
And I want you

What's your name
'Cause'I have to know it
You let me in and begin to show it
We're terrified 'cause we're heading straight for it, might get it.

Kol stood, shifting about impatiently, bored as he waited for his 'friend' Jeremy.

He suppressed an irritated sigh at that thought, he'd come here as a favour to Nik but he had been surprised to find that he'd actually come to enjoy the company of the human boy he'd been asked to watch, and that certainly turned it into an interesting situation.

There were very few beings that Kol had ever truly liked in this world, and he was quite reluctant to consider taking one of them out of it, even if it was at his brother's request.

His eyes automatically roved over the herds of teenagers as he waited, and he realised that out of habit he was looking for his next meal. Even though he had to keep a low profile here, it didn't stop him looking. A little window shopping never hurt anyone.

He was just entertaining himself with thoughts of sinking his teeth into a nearby group of particularly air-headed looking cheerleaders; they irritated him just on principle, when Jeremy walked up.

Catching the look of distaste on Kol's face as one of the aforementioned air-head cheerleaders, blatantly eye-fucked him, Jeremy grinned.

"So, blond and brainless isn't to your taste then?" He snickered.

"You could say that, mate." Kol smirked wryly at the unintentionally apt word choice.

"Batting cages again today is it?" Kol glanced at Jeremy with a chuckle before his eyes automatically went back to scanning the crowds of teenagers. "You do need all the practice you can get after all."

He laughed and dodged the punch Jeremy aimed at him without even looking, and then almost froze in place as something caught his interest, his eyes landing on a petite brunette girl.

She was walking alone, an oddity in itself in this school environment, and even more unusually she wore no makeup. She was dressed simply, in a fitted hoodie and jeans, with her long brown hair left loose.

Jeremy seeing his friend's lack of attention followed his line of sight and grinned. "Ah so that's who you're looking at… That, my man, is Bella."

Kol blinked and glanced at Jeremy curiously. "You know her?"

"Yeah, from a couple of my AP classes, she's cool."

"Fancy her do you?" Kol asked, feeling oddly disappointed at the thought, and not entirely sure why. Beautiful as she may be, she was just a human right?

"Nah," Jeremy answered grinning, "She's cute, but just a friend… which is probably why I'm one of the few people she'll talk to around here. She's kind of shy, and most of the guys here pretty much either started hitting on her or being a jerk the minute she arrived."

"She's new here too then?" Kol asked absently, his eyes fixed back on the brunette girl.

"Yeah, she started here maybe a week or so after I did…" Jeremy trailed off as he looked at Kol, and then laughed as he saw the interested look on his friend's face. "Dude, I can introduce you if you want."

Bella turned her head as she heard her name being called and spotted Jeremy standing with another guy. She started walking towards them, but as she got closer, she got a better look at the second figure and hesitated nervously; he was gorgeous. Jeremy smiled warmly at her as she timidly approached.

"Hey girl, it's cool… this is Kol, and he's not a douche, at least not most of the time."

Bella giggled when Kol punched Jeremy in the shoulder as he laughed. Their joking helped to ease her nerves a little.

"It's nice to meet you." She said quietly when she reached where they were standing and Kol looked at her, his eyes widening in surprise as he met hers when she stopped just in front of them.

"I'm quite sure the pleasure is mine." He said as they gazed at each other.

"So um," Jeremy broke in after a moment, not completely understanding what was going on, but recognising there was an instant attraction and wanting to help his friends, "Bella, we were just heading to the batting cages if you want to come with."

Bella tore her eyes away from Kol and blushed, fidgeting uncertainly. She had hung out with Jeremy a good few times, but never outside of school.

Always aware of the constant threat of Victoria, she had avoided getting close to anyone, for fear of putting them in danger. Though Jeremy was someone who had made that hard to stick to from the moment she had met him.

"I don't want to intrude…" she started to refuse politely but stopped as both of them quickly shook their heads at her.

"You should definitely come." Jeremy insisted as Kol nodded in agreement, mentally thanking Jeremy for his intervention into what could have become an extremely awkward staring situation.

What the hell had gotten into him? Since when did he start losing his senses, and over a human girl at that? Still, he found himself undeniably pleased when Bella had consented and started walking with them.

"It's good you are coming," He said, falling into step beside Bella and giving her a small genuine smile, "We really need someone other than me to tell him just how bad he is at baseball."

She snickered along with Kol, as Jeremy turned, walking backwards as he gave them a mock affronted look.

It had ended up being more fun than Bella had expected too, though she had never been good at sports, they had both made a huge effort to keep her involved and she had enjoyed herself as they good naturedly razzed each other.

After a while, Jeremy had gone to get some sodas when Kol insisted she take a turn. She tried to refuse but Kol had just smiled, walked up to her and placed the baseball bat in her hands before standing very close behind her.

Bella tried not to shiver as his hands skimmed down the outside of her arms to rest over her hands, covering them while he helped her to get the right grip. His tall frame almost wrapped around her as he guided her arms, gently demonstrating how she should swing.

The last time she had been this physically close to anyone was Edward and it had felt entirely different to this. Edward had been like a cold presence that she had no choice but to be aware of.

Kol was only just touching her, a light pressure against her back as he leaned in to speak in her ear, yet she was hyper aware of him as warm tingles erupted from every point their bodies made the slightest contact.

Kol inhaled experimentally as he approached Bella's ear, not anticipating the reaction he would have to her scent. For a second he almost lost control, and had to close his eyes and grit his teeth to prevent his face from changing without his consent.

The sound of her pulse thumping filled his ears, her blood pumping, calling him to drink from her. Not to kill though, no never to kill her. He wanted to taste her as he made her scream his name in ecstasy. He wanted to mark her, to rub himself all over her until she smelt just as much of him as he did of her.

The feeling hit like a sledgehammer, shocking him with its possessive intensity and literally testing his restraint to the limit as he closed his eyes for that brief moment.

He swallowed, his eyes returning to normal as he managed to reign himself in, and bent his head to Bella's ear, his breath tickling her as he murmured quietly.

"Keep your arms loose darling, not too tense." He said, smirking wickedly when she actually shivered against him, even though the words were perfectly innocent.

He might not be a hundred percent certain of exactly what was going on here, but he would happily reap the benefits in the meantime.

Jeremy was walking back to the cages with a couple of cans of coke, when he caught sight of the position his friends were in and stopped in his tracks. Kol, who Jeremy had rarely witnessed even looking twice at a girl before was showing Bella how to bat. Though that was something of an understatement he thought with a grin.

Pausing to watch them for a moment his eyebrows furrowed, as he saw Kol tense up and close his eyes. It only lasted a second, but it tickled something in the back of Jeremy's mind, something about it seemed familiar somehow, like he had seen someone with that same slightly strained expression before.

It had only been an instant though, and then Kol was whispering into Bella's ear still pressed up behind her as she blushed, the whole thing looking very intimate for something that should have been innocent, and leaving Jeremy with the odd urge to either laugh or walk away and leave them to it.

The moment was over then, as Kol stepped back and gently pushed Bella forward to try batting. He turned to see Jeremy there and quickly shook his head and pointed to Bella, indicating that he should stay quiet until after Bella had batted. Jeremy agreed, knowing Bella well enough to realise Kol was right; she wouldn't do it if she knew he was watching too.

Both of them watched as Bella stepped up and took her swing. She smashed the ball dead on and then turned grinning sheepishly, as they both applauded her.

Jeremy waved the bag of drinks he held and Kol gathered up the equipment they had been using, tucking it away before they all headed to a seating area. Kol slid in next to Bella on the bench seat opposite Jeremy as they sat down.

Passing them each a coke, Jeremy grinned as he tossed a package of Twinkies to Bella and kept a pack of Ding Dongs for himself.

"Hey, where's mine?" Kol asked giving Jeremy a dirty look.

"You didn't ask for anything." Jeremy defended himself laughing.

Kol ignored him and turned his head to gaze at Bella, who was opening up her Twinkies. Feeling his eyes on her, she looked up to see Kol all but pouting as he looked at her pleadingly.

"Okay, okay," Bella snickered, "You can have one if you'll stop looking at me like that."

She finished opening the pack and removed one of the Twinkies before handing the other one over, snickering even more when Kol shot Jeremy a smug smirk before taking a bite of it.

Jeremy just laughed and slid a package of Peanut Butter Cups across the table to Bella. "Well I guess that means she gets these, too."

"That was low, mate." Kol complained, and then laughed as Bella promptly opened that pack and handed one over to him. "See, she knows how to treat me."

"Knows how to shut you up is more like it." Jeremy snorted.

They sat laughing and joking for another hour until the sky started to darken and much to the confusion of Kol and Jeremy, Bella started getting nervous.

Letting her leave, thinking that she'd won the argument about being fine walking home alone, Kol had said a quick goodbye to Jeremy and discretely followed along behind her, his instincts screaming at him to keep this girl safe.

He trailed her to the front door of a nondescript house on a quiet little street, and satisfied that she was as safe as she could be for now, he left, making sure to take note of the location so he could easily find it again if he needed to.


You're in the song playing on the background
All alone but you're turning up now
And everyone is rising to meet you, to greet you

Turn around and you're walking toward me
I'm breaking down and you're breathing slowly
Say the word and I will be your man, your man

Bella sighed to herself as she opened the door and headed into her current home.

It belonged to Henrietta James, an old friend of Charlie and Renee's from when they were married, one of the few people that Charlie knew outside of Forks, and who insisted on being called Aunt Etta even though she was of no actual relation.

She was pleasant enough Bella supposed, though beyond insisting on the ridiculous moniker she had barely taken more than a few seconds interest in Bella since she'd arrived. She seemed to believe that what Bella needed was independence, though Bella had to wonder if that attitude had a lot to do with the fact that it didn't require Etta to change own life in any way.

Still it suited Bella, giving her the time she had needed to think everything through, and helping her come to some conclusions about the Cullens and the way she had been treated that she never would have reached being surrounded by the memories the way she had in Forks.

She had fallen to pieces when they had left, become little more than a walking corpse, barely functioning. Charlie hadn't known how to deal with that, and after unsuccessfully trying to get Renee involved – Renee apparently being too involved with her shiny new husband to give two shits about her daughter – Charlie had reached his limit and shipped her off here to Denver.

Bella smiled bitterly at that thought, being faced with the knowledge that neither parent wanted her should have been the last straw, should have broken her completely and yet here she was. It had been a shock to the system learning that, but getting away from Forks had ironically ended up being the best thing for her.

Though Aunt Etta barely had more than three seconds time for her, Bella also wasn't expected to look after her either. For the first time Bella wasn't in a position where she was taking care of someone else, wasn't expected to be the adult in a parent-child relationship and it was somewhat liberating. Or it would have been without the knowledge that Victoria would be coming for her sooner or later.

Bella wasn't stupid, and despite Edward and Alice's insistence that it was a non-issue, she knew that there would come a time that Victoria would seek her revenge, and not on the Cullens. No, she would seek it on the human that James had lusted over – her.

She sighed again. That was why she had kept to herself as much as possible since living here, though that was made easier by the fact that she went to school with a whole heap of jerks and bitches that she wouldn't want to talk to anyway.

Then Jeremy had come along.

She had tried so hard to keep her distance but he was just adorable and funny and had managed to get under her skin. Cute as he was, she did have eyes after all, she wasn't really attracted to him, and it seemed the feeling was mutual. Instead they just enjoyed each other's company, though she had managed to keep it limited to school hours, fearing for his safety if Victoria ever showed up and realised she had a friend.

It had been working and then today she had been blindsided when Jeremy had introduced his friend Kol. Somehow, she had been unable to say no when they'd asked her to hang out.

Even then she had wanted to keep her distance, but that had been blown all to hell when Jeremy had left to get drinks. She had ended up having a ridiculously intense moment with Kol that she just couldn't explain. All he had done was stroke her arms and stand close to her, yet it had felt almost profound in some way. Just the memory made her shiver lightly.

Throwing herself onto her bed, Bella popped in her headphones. Her iPod being one of the things she had treated herself to, along with her laptop from the 'guilt money' Charlie had heaped on her when she had left Forks.

She couldn't rationalise what the hell was going on, but somehow she felt a connection with Kol. He was absurdly attractive, but there was more to it than just that. All she could hope now was that she would see him again, and make sense of a thing or two about him. First, she could figure out why she reacted that way to him, and second,she wanted to see if he had felt anything even close to the same thing she did.

Kol wandered aimlessly after he left Bella, his mind sifting through the events of the day.

He was already having issues with this favour for Nik; his real friendship with Jeremy had been causing him to have second thoughts, but now there was the added complication of that girl, too. Bella, he reminded himself, already not liking referring to her as just the girl even in his head… and what the hell was up with that? Since when did he care?

Since now, since he had a friend, since he had met this girl Bella who had blown him away without even having to try. Did that mean he had gone soft?

No. That was his immediate answer to that question. The thought of killing, of blood and guts, of doing whatever the hell he wanted, still held the same appeal as it always had. So what exactly, did it mean then?

Kol knew that any vampires who met him, and lived to tell the tale, had all assumed he had turned his feelings off. In truth, one of his most closely guarded secrets was the fact that he never had.

While many vampires viewed having feelings as a weakness, Kol instead saw switching them off as the real weakness. There was no strength in not facing them, not dealing with whatever it was you felt and moving on.

So it was with some measure of certainty, he could state that even though he'd had more than his fair share of women - he was over a thousand, after all and good looking to boot - what he'd felt today was like nothing like he had ever felt before.


Come across you lost and broken
You're coming to but you're slow in waking
You start to shake.
You still haven't spoken, what happened

They're coming back and you just dont know when
You want to cry but there's nothing comin'
They're gonna push until you give in, say when

It had been just over a week since the first day Bella had met Kol, nine days actually, but she wasn't about to admit to counting them. He had taken to meeting up with her and Jeremy after school every day since then.

It hadn't done Bella any favours when it came to the bitchy cheerleaders, who had quickly ambushed her more than once, trying to get information on the hot guy they kept seeing her with.

Having them tell her that he couldn't possibly be interested in her had hurt, but she'd stood her ground, telling them that if he had wanted them to know anything about him, then they already would.

Jeremy had overheard that, and had laughed hysterically as the bitchy girls stormed off, though it prompted him to start walking Bella between classes as much as he could.

Though Bella tried several times to talk him out of it, he wasn't overbearing with his protectiveness, so she eventually just let it lie.

In just a few days it had come to the point where the only time she was out of either Jeremy's or Kol's company was when she was at home. She and Jeremy had even started to do as many of their assignments as they could together during lunch, so they would have more of their evenings free.

She had expected to feel relieved to have some space, but instead had started miss both of them terribly over the weekend. At least she had until her phone started going off on Saturday afternoon and she realised that both of them had managed to sneak their numbers on there, as well as get her number. The rest of the weekend had then gone a lot faster with them texting and calling her, making her laugh constantly.

They had ended up back at the batting cages on Monday afternoon after school, and though there hadn't been any ridiculously intense moments that time, Bella did notice that Kol seemed to stay very close to her most of the time, touching her often, and though it was just innocent, each time sent warm tingles through her wherever he touched.

Jeremy had watched the growing attraction between his friends with fascination. He was surprised he didn't feel more awkward about it, but not once had they made him feel anything close to being a third wheel. Instead, he had quickly developed a close bond with both of them.

His protectiveness over Bella had simply become a natural extension of that, though Kol had also asked that Jeremy keep an eye on her at school where he couldn't. Jeremy had been amused by that and questioned it, though Kol hadn't answered him.

It was an odd dynamic between the three of them really, when he thought about it, but somehow it worked and Jeremy couldn't remember the last time he had such a good time in anyone's company.

It was Wednesday now, and he and Kol had managed to talk Bella into going to see a movie with them. Some ludicrous action flick that had the three of them laughing all the way through it.

They had convinced Bella to come and get burgers with them after the film. Finding a booth and sitting in their usual arrangement, Jeremy opposite Bella as Kol slid in next to her.

Bella didn't even try to argue as both Kol and Jeremy offered to walk her home; she had honestly got fed up of trying to talk them out of it, especially when she was fairly certain that they had been taking turns following her to see that she got home safe, anyway.

A part of her regretted that decision though, when the skin started prickling on the back of her neck. Somehow, she was sure that she was being watched, a feeling she'd had a few times recently, but not as strong as it was now.

Desperately hoping that she was wrong, she kept quiet and stayed walking alongside the others, hoping that if it was who she thought it was, she might be able to distract her long enough for her friends to get away.

Little did she know… Kol was also very aware that someone was watching and stalking them.

Kol headed towards an alley that he knew was a shortcut, but was also little traveled, so it would be ideal for a confrontation with whatever idiotic being decided it was a wise idea to track a Mikaelson.

He had known for a little while that he would have a decision to make; though in reality he had already made it, as there was no way he could follow through with his brother's plans now.

He had come to terms with his feelings for Bella, accepting that something bigger could be going on than he'd expected, but what had also taken him by surprise was the very real friendship he had built with Jeremy.

No, there was no way he could imagine following through on anything his brother might request. So with that choice made, the only decision left for him was when to come clean and tell them both exactly what and who he is, and then hope that it didn't change things irreparably between them.

With this in mind, Kol kept going in the same direction, something telling him that the choice of when to confess to his companions was about to be taken away from him.

Halfway down the alleyway Kol stiffened, his senses now going on high alert as he picked up on their stalker getting closer as they got further away from any possible witnesses.

"What's up?" Jeremy asked but Kol didn't have time to answer as a red headed blur suddenly appeared in front of them.

A Cold One Kol realised with a disgusted huff. Realising that he was about to give himself away, but not caring, Kol moved into action.

Instinctively knowing that it was Bella that the Cold One was after, he instantly took up a defensive position in front of her, a rumbling snarl leaving him as he spoke that made the hair on the back of both Jeremy's and Bella's necks stand on end.

"What do you want here?"

Say when
And my own two hands will comfort you
Tonight, tonight

Say when
And my own two arms will carry you
Tonight, tonight

Chapter title and song lyrics are from Say When ~ The Fray

Big thanks (and blue popsicles) to Mommy4Thomas, for doing a fabulous job as beta... though beta is a bit of an understatement for how involved she has been with this chapter and the story in general... I don't think it would have been written without you love! EWE!

So yes, this chapter was my formal application to the 'Bertie Bott's School of Cliffhangers'... Should I hide until I post the next chapter? :D

Read and review please... I'd love to hear what you think :)

As of now, I will be updating my stories first on my Wordpress page. Though they will still be updated on here it won't be until a few days later.