As the sunlight was creeping in through the windows, Caroline stared in amazement at the diamond bracelet. It was quite possibly the most beautiful thing she had ever seen. Diamonds were supposed to be a girl's best friend, the saying went, but until now, Caroline had never used it unless as a punch line to a joke. Now, she found herself unable to take her eyes off it even though it was a gift from the devil himself. A devil she found herself sympathising with, just a tiny amount.

A sneaky wariness took a hold of her that quickly turned into fear. She wasn't sired to him now, was she? After all, Tyler hadn't even realised it when he had turned into one of his faithful little minions. No, she decided. She was most definitely not a hybrid... But what if Klaus' blood had some other magical properties that she had not known about?

Quickly, she closed the box and put the bracelet away. Out of sight, out of mind was a good approach, right?

She wasn't going to think about it. It was just another of Klaus' mindgames. She knew where her loyalties were. To Elena. Besides, she was reading way too much into a bracelet. Even if it was made of diamonds.

/

"If you don't do exactly as I say, your dear friend Caroline will meet a very unfortunate fate."

Klaus' threat hung ominously in the air as Caroline felt Klaus' hand wrapped around her throat, ready to snap. She could probably take him, if it wasn't so that he had just poisoned her with vervain. Her entire body was aching and everything was hurting as she could not help but let out small sounds of pain. Her body was so cold that the only way she could feel Klaus' hand was the applied pressure his hand put against her throat. Had she been alive, the entire scenario would be weird but Caroline supposed she was adapting quicker than she thought to the whole vampire business.

Her eyes connected with Elena, as she could see the terror in her friend's eyes. Damon, who was standing next to her, was doing his best not to rush up to attempt to kill Klaus then and there. Experience and the gentle grasp of Elena's hand was the only thing preventing him from pursuing his reckless nature.

"Please," Elena pleaded, her eyes glittering with tears. "Don't hurt her." Suddenly she felt something sharp and wodden being pressed against her back. One of Klaus' minions were displaying what a precarious situation she was in.

"I won't. If you follow my instructions. Now leave, and do as you're told."

Elena did not need further encouragement and with Damon as her protective shadow, she left Caroline in Klaus' house. As soon as the pair were out of sight, the minion backed away and Klaus let go of her. Confused, she turned to look at him as he walked towards one of his bookshelves taking out a book, as though she was just there for a visit.

"Oh, by the way," he added causally as though he was talking about the weather, "If you try to escape, I have fifty minions all the way from Chicago ready to snap your neck. The only reason why you and your friends managed to get in in the first place was that I let you."

Caroline massaged her neck. "I know. It was fairly evident from the ambush we got."

"You see, Caroline. I'm very anxious to have peace in Mystic Falls. But now it is simply the case that Stefan and Elena have equally forced my hand."

His eyes quietly met hers as he closed his book and hunched next to her, as she sat on the floor and their faces levelled. "You could just stop you know. Go away and leave Mystic Falls," she commented. That would bring peace all right, and not just submission to his tyranny.

Klaus studied her face intently as though every line or eyelash was the answer of some riddle he was trying to solve. Trying to not to notice it, Caroline broke their gaze and tried to focus on the fireplace in front of her.

"Not when they have something I want." He said simply as a man filled by his convictions.

He stood up again and sat down by his antique armchair he had placed in front of the warming fire. "Now," he continued, "Will you sit down, Caroline? Even though this business is dreadful, we can at least be civilised about it."

Frowning, Caroline considered her options. She could either try to escape, try to find Bonnie and get the hell out of there. However, she was not particularly fast and she had a fresh reminder of what happened if you crossed Klaus. If she was difficult, she might at best get released severely bruised but if she behaved, there was perhaps a chance for her to save Tyler as well as Bonnie. Overall, there was little point to be more difficult than necessary.

Reluctantly, she sat down.

For a moment, they sat there in silence. Klaus seemed more amused than anything. He smirked vaguely, as though he had thought of a brilliant joke, but the amusement soon subsided and he turned serious. As Caroline took a moment to study the fiercesome hybrid master, questions began to grow in her mind like a weed.

"Why did you save me?" Klaus had never been particularly known for his mercy. "I mean, why go through all that trouble of asking Tyler to bite me if you're just going to show up and save me?"

"I needed your mother's support." He replied simply.

Caroline snorted, almost finding the response amusing. "Wow, well... at least no one can accuse you of lying."

"I do not lie. Lying is for cowards. Deception can never be the basis of true power. Honesty is far more powerful."

"Yet you lied to Rebeckah about your mother," Caroline's eyes narrowed.

Klaus shifted, obviously uncomfortable by this ghost from his past that had returned to haunt him. For a moment, it seemed like he had forgotten her presence. "I wasn't as strong back then as I am now. It is not something I'm proud of." Harshly, he was pulled out of his memory and his eyes came to rest upon Caroline once more. "As far as your biting is concerned, I did tell Tyler after he refused that I would find another way to get back at Stefan."

A cold shiver spread through Caroline's spine.

"For what it is worth, I do not think Tyler intentionally hurt you. Sometimes accidents happen."

"Why are you doing this? What is it you want from me?"

"What makes you think I want anything from you?" Caroline did not know how he did it but there was the dangerous mix of confidence of vulnerability once more. Hearing it only arose more questions than it did answers and Caroline found herself unable to completely understand the man that was sitting opposite her.

"You want something from everyone." There were so many things that did not make sense. After she had been bitten, curiosity was looming at the back of her mind but now that had bloomed into full-blown confusion. She had often seen him speak to Elena or Damon but yet she could not help but feel that those conversations were distinctly different from the one she was having now. Even though she was his prisoner, she wasn't afraid of him. But then again, that was probably just what he wanted her to think...

"Perhaps I just feel like we have something in common. Perhaps I just want a friend." At that, he could not help smiling.

Caroline shook her head. "Please. In order to have friends, you have to be able to compromise. You don't."

Klaus thought for a moment. "You seem to think you know an awful lot about me, Caroline Forbes. Have you been checking up on me?" He chuckled, seemingly enjoying his current position as he happily pushed her buttons.

"All I know of you is the calling cards of death you leave behind. Says more about a person than you'd think."

"So you would like people to stop dying I take it?"

Something in his tone made Caroline pause. Her retort was resting easily on her tounge but something prevented her. As a child, her father had read stories that were about people making deals with the devil and the underlying moral of it had always been that it had been a bad idea. For some reason, Klaus words seemed to be more than just a statement.

To his question she had no answer. She could not help feel like a pawn in his game. Like a bug caught in a web, waiting for the spider to eat them alive.

"Just stop with the games, Klaus. Tell me what it is that you want."

"I want you," he said, "to stop seeing me as a monster."

/

TBC