Through the Darkness

Chapter 1: A New Chapter for the Human & the Hybrid

A long two weeks had passed since she last saw him. He had not called or visited. "I would have found you." His words ran over and over again in her mind. She was so sure that he was thinking about kissing her that day, as the unknown source of electricity between the two became so strong that she felt her breathing increase. She was so disappointed when he left so abruptly. Cami did her best to go about her daily routines and not think of Klaus, but he crossed her mind anyway and she would find herself missing his dominating presence, hearing his sultry accented voice and, most importantly, feeling the tension between them, which was so palpable that she felt as if she would faint from the intensity of it. She knew that he was probably busy spending time with his daughter, but she still felt hurt that he hadn't contacted her at all. So much for the promise to make it up to me, she thought to herself. Cami had found herself confiding in Vincent more and more. He was a good listener and she began to consider him a friend, which she needed more than anything. "Shift your focus, Cami. Think about yourself for once. Make a fresh start and try to forget about all that Mikaelson drama," he told her one day. So, she decided to make a few changes in her life. She went shopping, which she didn't really enjoy doing, and bought some new clothes. A more mature wardrobe was something she had been needing for quite some time. Then, she decided to get a new haircut, opting for a sleek bob that fell just below her chin, which made her feel much more sophisticated and less like a young college student. Although she knew that being ignored by Klaus was probably not a rejection of her, it felt like it nonetheless. The more she thought about Klaus, the more it angered her that he often made her feel that she was at his beck-and-call. She realized that his promise to make it up to her may have been just one of his manipulations, which was even more reason for her to try and forget about him. Cami had decided to splurge on a bottle of expensive Chardonnay that she enjoyed with her homemade dinner as she sat at the dining table, going through her mail. To her surprise, a wedding invitation from her childhood friend was amongst the student loan and utility bills. She eagerly opened it and saw that Amanda was getting married to a man named Brad, who she had never met. The wedding was the following month, but would require her traveling to Lake Monticello, Virginia to attend. She wasn't sure if she would be able to afford it, based on the measly tips she had been getting lately. Suddenly, Cami's phone rang. She didn't recognize the number. "Hello?" she said.

"Hello, Cami. It's been a long time," a friendly male voice said.

Cami took a deep breath as the realization of who was on the other end hit her like a ton of bricks. "Richard? Oh my God, how are you?" She responded excitedly.

"Very well! Did you get the invitation in the mail from Amanda?"

"Yeah, I just opened it. Are you going?"

"I hope so. I travel a lot for work and I found out that you were in New Orleans. I'm coming through there tomorrow and staying for a few days. I would love to see you again. Are you free?"

"Yes – very free! I have the night off tomorrow!"

"I was thinking about purchasing tickets to the opera. Would you like to go with me?"

"I would love to! Can you pick me up at Rousseau's? That's where I work and I need to drop off the keys to the person filling in for me."

"Sure. I'll pick you up about six?"

"Yeah! Thank you, Richard. I can't wait to see you."

"I can't wait to see you. Bye." Memories of Richard flooded her mind as she thought of the many adventures they had as kids. They went to school together for most of their elementary years, but stayed in touch every so often. It had been at least four years since she had last heard from him. Feeling ecstatic about having a date after so long without one, Cami watched TV for a while before deciding to go to bed. As she looked into the mirror before conducting her nightly bedtime routine, Cami marveled at how confident she looked and felt, for the first time in a long time. She ran her brush through her hair, smiling at how quickly she was done since it was significantly shorter. Simplifying her life was now Cami's new goal as she once again thought of Klaus, who was nothing but complicated. "Who needs Klaus? I'm better off without him." She thought to herself until she walked into her bedroom and saw the window he had entered that night he compelled her. He had changed somewhat since then, and she wanted to believe that she was part of the reason. Or, perhaps it was Hope. Either way, she was not going to be able to forget about him quite so easily. "Who am I kidding?" She muttered to herself, then laid down to go to sleep, with a clear picture of the handsome hybrid in her mind.

There certainly was joy and a sense of peace for Klaus as he sat with Hope in her nursery. As much as he enjoyed being with his little daughter, his mind often turned to Camille, who he left so abruptly over two weeks ago. He had been so tempted to call her or show up at Rousseau's to see her, if only for a moment, but the thought of seeing her beautiful green eyes staring back at him with such anticipation was what held him back. The feelings that surged within him lately whenever he was around her made no sense to him. She had become the only living being he could completely trust. He knew that she would never intentionally betray him, which made her the perfect ally. She also was the keeper of the dark objects, left to her by her deceased uncle Kieran. Another reason she was the perfect ally. As his strategic mind attempted to evaluate Cami's role in his life, he realized that the therapy techniques she had been using on him may have started working. He cared what she thought of him, but did she care about what he thought of her? Did she have any idea of the impact she had on his life, past and present? She had not contacted him in over two weeks. He thought for sure she would come around, demanding he make things up to her, as promised. Then again, this was Camille. Caring, compassionate Camille, who committed so many selfless acts on behalf of him, often putting his needs above her own. He who didn't deserve such treatment. Or, at the very least, he figured she would have offered a chance to talk about everything that had happened with his aunt Dahlia, but he had not heard a word from her. The thought that she might be done with him for good crossed his mind and he suddenly felt a twinge of fear. What if she had finally heeded his warning about staying away from him, for her own good? He shook the thought from his head, realizing how special she was to him and he owed it to her to make it known what he thought of her. "Freya!" he called across the house.

"Be right there," his older sister shouted back. She appeared in the doorway, wearing an apron.

"Well, you've certainly got the Mary Poppins look down. Will you be looking for a nice chimney sweep fellow to dance across the rooftops with?"

"Very funny, Niklaus. I am trying my hand at baking."

"Oh, dear God."

Freya was barely phased by her younger brother's teasing. "I used to be a good cook. I thought it would be good for me to work on a skill."

"In all honesty, Freya, I could definitely use a nanny right now. Would you watch Hope for me while I go out this evening?"

Freya's eyes lit up. "I wouldn't mind at all! You know I've grown to love this little princess!" She swept her up in her arms and Hope began to giggle, wrapping her tiny hands in Freya's long hair. "Will you be gone long?"

"It depends. If all goes well, I may be gone for a while."

"I was wondering how long you were going to wait."

Klaus blinked. "What do you mean?"

"To see Cami. Rebekah told me that you fancy her."

Taking a sharp breath in, Klaus muttered, "Our little sister needs to mind her own business." He began to walk past her, but she stopped him by putting her hand on his shoulder.

"Niklaus, I know that we haven't known each other very long, but the kind of devotion I've seen from her towards you is a rare gift. Don't take it for granted."

Avoiding eye contact with her, he replied, "I appreciate what you are trying to do, Freya, but you have a lot to learn about who I am." He walked past her and left the compound, heading for Rousseau's.

Cami sat at the bar, dressed to the nines. Her co-worker, Bridget, fussed over her new hairstyle and the silver and white sheath gown that she wore. Enjoying a drink as she waited for her date, Vincent walked in and sat down next to her.

"Whoa, Camille! Girl, you look absolutely amazing!" Vincent kissed her cheek.

Enjoying all this attention and feeling on top of the world, Cami smiled. "Well, I took your advice. I have a date tonight!" She saw a flicker of concern cross his features. "Don't worry, he's a human!"

Vincent immediately looked relieved. "You know? You deserve to be happy."

"Thank you," she kissed his cheek. "So, what have you been up to?"

"Oh, you know, trying to teach our new leader to control her magic."

Cami's smile faded. "Is she still trying to hurt Klaus?"

He looked at her incredulously. "Have you ever seen her give up on anything?"

She swallowed and shook her head. "I can't think about him right now."

"You're right. I think you should be focusing on that big shot that just walked through the door."

She turned and saw Richard walking towards her. He had a big grin on his face and was carrying a bouquet of calla lilies. He was ruggedly handsome, with brown hair and brown eyes. The pictures she had seen of him through the years did not prepare her for the attractive man that stood before her. "Richard! You look so…different!" He handed the flowers to her, which she gave to Bridget to put in a vase for her. She stood up and gave him a hug.

"I had no idea you had gotten this pretty, Cami. It's been way too long." He gazed at her for a moment, then looked at his watch. "I have dinner reservations for us at 6, so we better get going."

"Oh, of course!" She grabbed her clutch purse and told her friends goodbye. They entered a stretched limo and drove away.

Klaus arrived at Rousseau's just in time to see Cami being greeted by a man he had never seen before. He felt as if he had been sucker-punched as he stared at the dazzling woman who sat at the bar. She looked radiant, in a way he had never seen before. His eyes slowly wandered up her body, studying her shapely legs, exposed by the high slit in her dress, then the curves of her hips and bosom, then her eloquently-shaped chin and cheekbones. Her face had a confident glow and it was as if her eyes were actually sparkling. There was a shine to her hair, which he noticed she had cut shorter, reminding him of a 1920's style that he was always fond of. Camille was not only beautiful to him, but extremely sexy. As he stood outside watching them embrace, a surge of jealousy began to burn in his heart. He quickly flew up to the roof, where he continued to watch them. Whoever this man was, he did not trust him. His superior vision allowed him to study the stranger from afar. A silver bracelet hung from his wrist with a charm shaped like a serpent. It resembled a symbol on a coat of arms he saw centuries ago. Although he wasn't for sure if his brave bartender was in any danger, he felt the need to keep an eye on them nonetheless.