Title: His companion

Rating: K+ (for now)

A/N: This chapter takes place 'during' ep 3x12 – The Ties That Bind. Caroline sees her father in the hospital before Tyler shows up. He tells her that Tyler will have to transform again and again until it is painless before the sire bond is broken. This begins as Tyler is talking to Mr. Forbes…

Having talked to father, Caroline made her way home. She opened the black velvet box, and gently removed the diamond bracelet, putting it on. It was the best peace offering she could think of. With a sigh, but sure of her purpose, she made her way to the house Klaus was building for his family.

Sensing a vampire's presence, Klaus looked up. Seeing his guest, and the bracelet she wore, he smiled. "Caroline. What brings you here, love?"

"I wanted to thank you for saving me. And for the birthday present," she said.

"I'm glad you're wearing it. I wasn't sure you would," he admitted.

"It's beautiful."

"You're beautiful," he corrected.

"I also… have to tell you something. My father is helping Tyler break your sire bond…"

His smile faded. "I know that. What I don't know is why you'd tell me that. Wasn't it you who asked you father to help him?"

"Yes," she admitted. "But I didn't realize… It's too much. I can't let him hurt himself like that. And my Dad… It's too dangerous."

"So tell them to stop," Klaus said, feigning indifference.

"Tyler won't listen to me. But he has to listen to you. Please… Please tell him to stop trying to break the sire bond," she pleaded. She couldn't stand to see Tyler in that much pain, or for her father to be hurt again. If the doctor hadn't had vampire blood… She shuddered at the thought.

"I'll do as you ask… but I want something in return," he told her.

"If it's the coffins, I can't help you with that. I'm not part of that," she told him.

"I know. And I will get my family back. But you, as you say, are not part of that. I should never have made you part of that," he admitted.

"I was just collateral damage," she noted, bitterness edging her voice.

"Was. Past tense. You interest me, Caroline Forbes. Very few people interest me." Seeing the look on her face, he continued, "That was a compliment, love. And brings me to what I want in return. I want you…"

Her eyes widened as the implications ran through her mind. Klaus wanted her

"Oh, come now. I realize you friends think I'm the great evil, but really, love," he gently chided. "I said you interest me. I want you to spend time with me. Be my… companion. I'll never force you to do something you don't want to. You have my word on that."

Both were silent for long moments as she considered. "Alright. I'll be your friend. But no compelling me."

"Fair enough, sweetheart. I won't compel you," he agreed. It was Caroline's spirit and fire that drew him, and he wasn't going to dampen it with compulsion.

"And you have to take me to Paris." Seeing his raised eyebrow, she continued, "You're the one who made me want to live by promising me great cities and beauty. If you want me to be your companion, you have to help show me the things you promised were there for me."

Klaus smiled. "Taking you to Paris will be my pleasure, love. And yours…" He enjoyed seeing the blush that crept up her cheeks.

"I'll call Tyler, and have him come over. You can wait in there and listen, to make sure I keep my end of the deal," he said, motioning to the open doorway.

A short time later Tyler showed up. "Klaus. I… I have to tell you something," he immediately began, to preoccupied to use his heightened senses to sense Caroline's presence.

"You've been trying to break the sire bond. Stop it. You will not try to break the sire bond again."

"I won't," Tyler promised. "That's what I was coming here to tell you. I'm done trying. It was stupid. I can't… It's too much pain. I can't do it."

"Not even for Caroline?"

Tyler lowered his eyes and shook his head. In the other room Caroline's heart was breaking.

"Darling…" Klaus called. Caroline entered the room, tears in her eyes.

"Care…" Tyler gasped out.

"Don't. Just… don't," she said, her voice unsteady.

"But-"

"She said 'don't'. Leave us," Klaus ordered. Tyler did as ordered.

Klaus turned to face Caroline, and gently pulled her into his arms. She tensed, but after several seconds let herself relax, and accept the comfort he offered. Her arms went around his waist, and her bloody tears spilled onto his black shirt.

Neither was sure how long they stood like that.

Offering comfort to the heartbroken girl in his arms felt surprisingly natural to Klaus. He never wanted to let her go. She fit so perfectly against him, he mused. And if it wouldn't have hurt her more, he'd have destroyed Tyler. Yes, he'd ordered Tyler to kill her, but that was before he'd come to know her at all; whereas Tyler professed to love her. Besides, he decided, it would be a much better revenge to force Tyler to watch him make Caroline happier than Tyler ever had. Yes, Tyler would be staying very close, so he'd have a perfect view of watching Caroline fall in love with Klaus.

Caroline had always known that since Klaus was an Original and Hybrid, he had to be strong; but she was amazed at how gently he held her. His strength supporting her, rather than hurting her. His arms holding her close felt like the only thing keeping her from falling apart. Finally she pulled back and stepped away. She was shocked at how much she just wanted to step back into his arms and stay there.

"Since he was going to stop anyway, are you going to say that… negates our deal?"

She looked up at him, and saw the same loneliness and vulnerability she'd seen in her bedroom when he he'd admitted he'd considered ending it, then convinced her to live. She wondered how many people he let see the side of him he'd shown her. That fact that he let her see it made her feel special.

"You really think that low of me?" she asked softly, her tone slightly teasing. "No, Klaus. You kept your end of the deal, I'll keep mine," she said softly. Then she gave a faint smile. "Besides, I want to see Paris…"

"And so you shall, love," he promised.

Then Caroline asked the question that had haunted her since she realized he was going to save, not kill, her. "Why? Why save me that night? I was just collateral damage – you said so. Why choose me to be your friend? Why did you… help me just now?" she asked, desperate to keep her mind off Tyler.

"I told you… you interest me, which is very rare. I went to your house to save you to buy your mother's support. Then we talked… You reminded me of times I wanted to die. You were so innocent, so young… so fragile. Even dying you were still the most beautiful thing I'd seen in… a very long time. And now, agreeing to a deal with the devil to save a boy who is completely unworthy of you-"

"You aren't the devil, and I don't want to talk about him."

"Shall I make you forget him?"

"No! I told you, no compelling me! You promised!"

He saw the hurt beneath the anger. "I didn't mean by compelling you, love," he assured her.

"Then what did you mean?" she asked, the anger instantly fading to curiosity.

Rather than answer, he used his speed to take her by surprise. He once again held her close, but this time captured her lips with his. The kiss was sweet and powerful and her knees went weak. Klaus felt like he was intoxicated. He wasn't overbearing, but neither was he tentative. He took his time and kissed her more thoroughly as she'd ever been kissed in her life.

Eventually the kiss ended. Caroline was taking ragged breaths, out of instinct rather than need for air.

Looking in her eyes, Klaus was pleased. His wayward hybrid was the last thing on her mind at the moment. "I have to go deal with family business, but will see you tomorrow. Dream of our kiss tonight, love," he whispered into her ear. He was a bit surprised how much he liked the idea of Caroline dreaming of him – of them.

As coherent thought returned Caroline mused that in his long life Klaus had certainly learned how to kiss. She knew he hadn't compelled her, but she also knew she would dream of their kiss. It wasn't until she was getting ready for bed and saw Tyler's bracelet that she realized Klaus had done as promised and made her forget Tyler – at least for a while. She threw the charm bracelet away and thought of kissing Klaus in Paris as she drifted to sleep.

TBC?

So what do you think? Should I continue?