A/N- To all those following this story, I am sorry for the confusion over the weekend, this site decided to royally cock up.
Elijah could practically hear the rumour mill going full bore as he slid on his coat and walked out of the change room.
The nurses desk was overcrowded as people gathered around and he can barely get through to grab his files for the day, luckily Jackson hands them to him.
"Congrats," he announces, "You've got Terrible Choices Lockwood."
Elijah takes the file with a bemused grin, "Who gifted him the nickname?"
"Nurses." Maggie answers, coming up on his left, "His mom brought him back in twenty minutes ago because he's in too much pain, she's screaming that Charlie screwed up his treatment and endangered his life."
Elijah frowns and goes over his chart, "That's exceptionally unlikely, but I'll take a look."
He's not in the ER and Zach, in a curt, pissed off voice, tells him that he was moved to a private room because Carol's shrieking was scaring the autistic kid brought in with the broken arm six beds over.
When he steps into the room, he can almost feel the righteous fury pouring from Mrs Lockwood in waves. "Well, it's about time!" she snaps before he can introduce himself, "We've been waiting for hours!"
According to the chart, he was readmitted sixty minutes ago.
For a non-emergency.
"My apologies," he lies smoothly, "I'm Dr Mikaelson, I'll be looking after your son, today. Tyler, I believe you're in pain?"
"Obviously!" Mrs Lockwood answers, "Why else would we be back in this low-standard hellhole?"
Elijah bites his tongue so he doesn't point out that he's only one of the world-renowned doctors in this top-tier hospital and turns pointedly to the patient,
"Where's the pain?" he asks and Tyler shifts on the bed, locating it with his hand, "Here and it really hurts."
"On a scale of one to ten?"
That was not good.
Charlie had dealt with the fracture and Elijah checks the x-rays again to make sure there's nothing that was missed.
"Did you take the pain meds?" he asks and Tyler nods, "Okay…and what activities did you do this morning?"
"Well, I showered and then packed some suitcases in the car."
Elijah glances up from the x-ray, "Heavy suitcases?"
Tyler nods, "Yeah, we're going to Hawaii for a fortnight."
Last Elijah had seen of Caroline, just a few hours ago, she hadn't mentioned any reconciliation.
"We need this holiday," Mrs Lockwood announced, "After all the stress we've been through."
Elijah considers his words carefully before speaking, "Tyler, you shouldn't be exerting yourself or lifting anything too heavy until your body has healed, now, I can do another x-ray to doublecheck that we haven't missed anything but so far, this does look to be regular pain to be expected from this type of injury."
"Well then, obviously, you need to give him stronger pain medication," Mrs Lockwood snaps,
"He shouldn't be feeling any pain at all."
Considering that Elijah couldn't see a single visible sign or symptom of pain in Tyler's eyes, facial expression and the fact that his body wasn't tensed in any area, he rather suspected that Tyler either wasn't feeling pain or wasn't feeling it enough to have warranted another trip to the ER.
Before he can point this out, however, there's a sharp knock on the door and a blonde man pushes his way into the room, his fists clench and Elijah takes a step closer to the bed, not really wanting to intervene, but if this man was here to injure Tyler further, that would mean a prolonged stay for the Lockwood's at the hospital.
And Elijah really didn't want that.
"Matt?" Tyler says, clearly surprised, "What are you doing here?"
"Your mom posted on Facebook that you were back here," Matt answers indirectly, "I came to get Caroline's stuff back."
Elijah clears his throat to point out that a hospital was hardly the place to do the property transfer but Tyler frowns, "What are you talking about?"
"Seriously?!" Matt snaps, clenching his fists further and Elijah puts the chart on the bedtable with an internal sigh, "Ty, that house is in Caroline's name and not only did you change the freaking locks on her but you took the tv and half her kitchen stuff?! What the hell is wrong with you?! And all her jewellery as well? You know, she reported you to the police, right? They're probably going to press charges."
Elijah is taking a half-step to the left so that Matt will have a clear path in case of attack and has to actually remind himself that he cannot let that happen. So, while taking mental notes for the hospital rumour mill, he looks back to Tyler who's looking visibly confused.
"What are you talking about?" he demands, "I sent mom over there to pick up some of my clothes and that's all she took, right mom?"
In unison, the three of them look to Mrs Lockwood, who pulls on the hem of her suit jacket self-consciously, "Well…I might have picked up some of your things while I was there…"
Matt is looking quite incredulous, "Some of his things? The tv was Caroline's, and her laptop and Tyler doesn't wear her perfume, make-up and why would you take her family jewellery?"
Mrs Lockwood cleared her throat, "I may have taken some of the things by accident…"
"And her panties?" Matt demanded, sarcastically, "Was that an accident too?"
No-one was going to believe his version of events when he retold this later.
"And what about changing the locks?" he continued, clearly on a roll, and Mrs Lockwood gave an almost guilty shrug, before straightening up and putting a hand on her chest,
"Matthew Donovan, how dare you speak to me this way. I am merely doing my best to look after my baby boy after Caroline humiliated him on his wedding day and allowed him to be attacked by that white-trash friend of hers. She could have ruined his reputation and you're here making all these accusations about things that might not have even happened."
Elijah has his expression schooled into a mask of detached professionalism but Matt is wearing enough disgust on his face for the both of them, "I'm leaving now," he announces, "You're going to text me the location where you put all of Caroline's stolen things so I can tell the police so they don't have to take you in for questioning."
He turns to leave on his high horse and the last word but Mrs Lockwood takes one last parting shot,
"Well, they can't question us today because we're flying to Hawaii for Tyler's honeymoon tonight."
She leans over the bed, kisses Tyler on the head and Elijah mentally cancels every one-on-one plan he'd made with his mother for the next three months.
Five minutes later, when he's physically texting her to explain the situation she responds almost immediately,
From: Esther- 'My dear son, if I ever act half that mad, please be so kind as to drive me out to the country and leave me there *Shudder* my skin is crawling.
He grins and heads to the nurses' station to start spreading the gossip before the revulsion makes him throw up his breakfast.
Caroline loved her job.
She loved organizing events, to throw herself into every task that landed on her desk and to create something beautiful that her clients would always remember.
That being said, she had been looking forward to going on her honeymoon.
To Hawaii, lying on the beach, drinking cocktails and just relaxing for two weeks.
She had been mentally preparing for all the mental and emotional rejuvenation she was going to have after the stress of the wedding and now…
Now, she was wandering around her house, contemplating whether or not to go back to work early.
It wasn't like there was much else for her to do. Tyler's stuff was all gone, along with a lot of her stuff, but Matt should hopefully be getting that back today.
Katherine had offered to stay and provide moral support, or rummage around in her kitchen until Caroline got the hint and made her food but eventually she ordered her friend to go home to do whatever it was Katherine did whenever they weren't around.
Probably plan world domination.
Caroline definitely needs her laptop if she was going to go back to work tomorrow- or, Tuesday- but for now, she sets herself the task of sitting on the couch and trying to figure out what to email to her boss.
Obviously, she couldn't use the same line she'd been giving everyone else because she's a professional and therefore, isn't going to start her email with,
'Hi Genevieve, I caught Tyler cheating on me with some stranger twenty minutes before the wedding, so I'm coming back to work early, xoxo Caroline'
Plus, it's kind of humiliating. She's sure that word has probably started to get out by now that the wedding didn't happen, but still, admitting it kind of hurts.
She had invested so much into her and Tyler's future together, she had walked through the engagement with that full confidence and slight smug attitude that came with knowing her dating days was over, that she would have someone to spend the rest of her life with.
How many of the single girls at work were probably laughing at her right now?
She was single again.
Right now, the thought of having to defend her single status to partnered up friends, having to repeat constantly that 'she just wasn't looking for anyone right now' or 'she was focusing on herself or her work at the moment', or the idea of having to swipe through tinder, to try and wade through the dick picks and proposers of three-ways to find that one decent guy, exhausted her.
She had thought she was done.
And now, here she was, sitting on a couch in a house that had been emptied of a lot of her stuff and what good memories remained had been tainted by betrayal.
Maybe she should move?
But that was a thought for another day.
For now, she typed out a quick email and checked the wording three times before pressing send.
Due to unforeseen circumstances, I will not be going on my honeymoon and was hoping I could return to work Monday afternoon or Tuesday morning,
Her phone buzzes and she checks the emails in her inbox.
One standard email from the hotel, noting that despite failure to show up to the reception, same-day cancellation was not possible, therefore, there would be no refund.
Another personalized email from the hotel, apologizing for the inconvenience and letting her know that all items left in her hotel room had been collected by a Miss Bennett, whose drivers licence had been photocopied at the reception desk just in case she was not known to Miss Forbes and that the wedding presents that had been left by the guests had been picked up by a Mrs Lockwood.
One email came from Marcel Gerard and she opened it to find that he offered his condolences and told her that he couldn't give her a refund because the meals had already been cooked when Bonnie had alerted him to the situation, but because he and she had boxed them up and taken them to a local soup kitchen to be distributed, she should be able to claim the full amount on her taxes as a charitable donation. He'd attached a receipt from the soup kitchen and Caroline sends a silent prayer of thanks and an actual thank-you to Bonnie.
Bonnie responds quickly, calling and offering to bring over some food and chat, but after the day she's had, not only is she still a little hungover, but she's emotionally exhausted and just can't handle the thought of talking to anyone and honestly, it's barely five pm but she just wants to crawl into her bed and sleep.
Except that she has to change the sheets and clean up her bedroom.
With a loud groan, she pulls herself up and trudges to her linen closet, opening the door to find herself staring at the bedsheets she'd bought one night when she'd been tipsy and horny. Black silk sheets with a duvet and pillow cover in a pattern that was called Geisha Moon Tattoo. It was from a site that sold erotic bed covers and weirdly enough- bathroom and kitchen décor, but she figures half the appeal was the knowledge that the customer was buying the products for erotic purposes.
Still, even if the bedding wasn't any more or less inappropriate than the purple and white striped sheets she'd had on the bed that morning, she still blushed as she tucked in the corners and smoothed the sheet over the mattress.
And for a moment, she wonders who she could possibly invite over to join her between the sheets for sexy, naked, fun times.
Matt or Stefan would probably be up for no-strings rebound sex, but as bad as things were between her and Tyler right now, sleeping with one of his friends would make it even worse.
She knew Katherine was bisexual but unfortunately, her friend was in no way sexually attracted to her.
Bonnie was straight and, judging from the background noise she'd heard over the call, currently off somewhere with Marcel.
Her thoughts inevitably stray to Klaus, imagining the contrast of his blonde hair and tanned skin against the black of the bedding, his fingers sliding over the sheets and she trembles with a thrill of lust.
He was probably trying to recover from his hangover, jetlag and either still with his family or unpacking back at his apartment.
But when she climbs out of the shower and slips between the sheets, she finds herself reaching for her phone to message him.
To Klaus: How's your day going?
A few minutes later, he replies.
From Klaus: Mother 'suggested' I invite you around for lunch at some point in the near future because 'You have so few nice friends, Niklaus', Kol wants to know when he can ask you out. I hate my family and wish I could go back to London. How're you going, love?
She smiles, and her fingers rapidly swipe over the screen,
To Klaus: Got home to find that Tyler had changed the locks on MY house, with the lease in MY name and that not only had he taken his stuff, but MY TV, my laptop, my kitchen stuff, some of MY clothes, including PANTIES and stolen some jewellery that belonged to my great grandparents. I had to call the police and get the locks changed!
From Klaus: Bloody Hell, he is a right prick. Your friend should have twatted him in the head with a brick.
She laughs and rolls onto her back, the sheets pleasantly cool against her legs, and she feels her body begin to relax.
To Klaus: At least I found out before and not after the wedding. Your mom was right.
From Klaus: She often is, but I'll never admit that to her.
She's about to reply when she hears a key in her back door and panics for a moment before remembering that only four people in the entire world had keys to her house now.
Damon, Katherine, herself and…
"Come in, Matt." She calls as he lets himself in, his footstep heavy as he makes his way to her bedroom, leaning against the doorjamb and taking in the sight of her in bed,
"Hey," he says with a friendly grin, "How're you?"
She shrugs, "Tired."
He nods affably and holds up the box tucked under his arm, "Your laptop, jewellery and clothes are here, I think Carol was planning to pawn some of it but didn't have time…your TV is in my truck and I accidentally broke Tyler's x-box when I was carrying it out."
Caroline laughs quietly, "Thanks."
He sets the box down and leaves with such an unassuming air that she almost rethinks her earlier decision and calls him back to join her in bed.
But when she and Tyler finally talked, she wanted to be able to look him in the eye.
Although, that plan almost falls to pieces an hour later when she gets an email alerting her to the fact that Tyler had changed the name on the plane tickets she'd bought and put in their joint flight account so he could take his mom on their honeymoon.
God, that was like, eight different levels of gross.
Especially because they'd booked a honeymoon suite, with romantic couple activities.
Boy, did she need to scrub those images out of her mind.
But first, she needed to text Klaus and tell him everything.