Thank you so much to every single person who reads and reviews this story. You guys are my inspiration. Special thanks to Tanya and Lulu for cheer-leading me through this chapter and proofing it for me. Any remaining errors are mine. Without further ado, enjoy!

Don't own. Never will.

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Klaus' whole demeanor changes; his gentle gaze no longer lingers, instead replaced by a cold and detached stare. Caroline feels her heartbeat increase, nerves knotting in her stomach as she fights down her own fear. "Mikael," she continues, albeit a little shakily, "he took blood from Bonnie and I and a third woman, Katherine. He then compelled Bonnie to perform a spell and he, he ah, he poured our blood into a coffin containing—"

"Stop," Klaus snarls as his eyes darken.

Her lips snap shut, eyes wide.

A thousand different emotions flash across his black gaze, scowl growing weightier with each passing thought. "He revived her," he growls aloud before focusing a sharp gaze on Caroline. "What spell did he make Bonnie perform?" he demands, pressing firm hands on her shoulders, grip tight.

Caroline's breathing hitches in fear. "I don't know," she replies, wincing.

His grip tightens, nails digging into her soft flesh. "Think, Caroline," he orders through clenched teeth, "you have to remember," he snarls, shaking her now, eyes slightly crazed.

"You're hurting me," she says, glaring now as she tries to free herself from his inhuman grip.

He releases her, instead favoring slamming his fist into the stone blocks cemented above his fireplace. The stone gives way and cracks horribly before crumbling, falling to the floor with an anticlimactic thud. Klaus stands there a beat before shifting his gaze to rest on her, the intensity of the anger fostered there sending a chill down her spine.

Caroline swallows nervously, heart pattering wildly in her chest.

Klaus turns to leave the room then, bleeding knuckles already starting to knit back together.

"Wait," she calls after him, sliding easily off of his bed. "Esther said something," she begins hesitantly. "I'm not sure what she meant but she said as my heart beats, so does hers. And… when Bonnie spelled life back into her, the hole in her chest swallowed up our blood and my," she falters, fearing to look at him, "my heart shuddered."

He stills in the door way, something akin to pained realization clouding his demeanor. "Sleep here tonight," he says, tone rough and perhaps, even a bit weary.

She blinks, surprised. "I have my own chambers—"

He turns an unreadable gaze on her and the solemnly of it causes her heart to constrict. "Sleep," he commands. "I will fetch you in the morning."

"In the morning?" she echoes. "Klaus, you have to tell me what is going on you can't just—" but the door slams behind him, the sound cutting her words and with a whoosh of suddenly vacant air; he's gone.

She stomps over to the door, intent on swinging it open only to discover it's locked. She gapes in shock. "What does he think I am?" she mummers to herself, "a traumatized invalid?" A soft sigh escapes her mouth as she gives up fighting with the chamber door and turns back towards the bed. Her eyes fall once again on Klaus' expansive bed, covered in valuable wolf furs. She looks down at herself and frowns at the tattered remains of what used to be a beautiful dress, covered in dirt, grime and her own blood.

Surely Klaus did not expect her to sleep in such tatters…? Though, she concedes, anger had clouded his thoughts, taking his mind like a storm. It is possible he didn't realize he'd left her locked in his room without a stitch of clean clothing to wear. Her eyes wander over to the wardrobe nestled in the corner of his massive living chambers; she walks towards it. Opening it with a soft creak, she rifles through the many shirts made of heavy woolen fabric until she settles for a deep red shirt that looks two sizes too big. Slipping out of her tattered dress, she keeps her under-dress on if only for the sake of maintaining a small measure of modesty. Caroline shoulders the shirt on and nuzzles into it, inhaling the musk of Klaus' scent.

Caroline wanders back over to Klaus' bed and climbs into it lethargically, dragging her fingers against the warm wolf furs. And just like that, her body weighs heavily as fatigue catches up with her. As she cocoons herself inside, heat surrounding her, she lets out a tired sigh before letting her thoughts wander. Klaus had looked impossibly angry when he'd left, brows furrowed and teeth clenched.

She thinks on what she said to him and what it could mean. She mulls over Esther's words, playing them over and over again in her head.

She ponders on how her heart shuddered when Esther awoke, beating wildly; how even now her body doesn't feel wholly her own. She feels like a stranger in her own skin.

Suddenly, it all slots into place. Her heart is tethered to Esther's. As one lives, so does the other; as one dies, so does the other. Her heart drops into the pit of her stomach. It is all too much. She rolls over, willing herself to sleep where she can escape from reality, even if only for a little while.

It is not long before dreams plague her.

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It is Elena again. Except, she knows it is not her friend.

"You must trust me, Caroline," she is saying, though she flickers in and out of existence, frayed around the edges.

"Why? Who are you?"

Not Elena smiles. "You know the answer to that."

Caroline scrunches up her nose. "No I don't—" but she is falling, whipping through the air like a ragdoll, hitting the water with bone crushing impact.

She's drowning. She's drowning!

The surface is right above her, she can see the light. She fights against the current, swimming up, up, up; almost there, her fingers reaching out to break through the surface when something below grabs her by the ankle and pulls her deeper; she thrashes wildly, skirts billowing about her. Eyes wide, she looks below and screams, air fleeing her lungs.

Mikael grins sadistically up at her as he pulls her into oblivion.

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Caroline wakes up sweating, eyes wild and heart all but jumping from her chest. It takes a few moments of wild gasping to calm herself. She inhales and exhales shakily, warm light flooding the room. Klaus' scent assaults her senses with its intoxicating presence, calming her immediately. She pulls the wolf furs in close, breathing in the rough smell of him. She rolls over, closes her eyes and wills Mikael's sadistic grin from her mind.

The moment she manages to get comfortable, the door to the chamber creaks open with a whine. She sits up immediately.

Klaus is standing in the doorway, accompanied by a girl she recognizes as Tammy. Caroline winces visibly once she notices the fresh bites marring the girl's neck; Klaus has fed recently. That is all it takes for her to remind herself that despite his handsome appearance, he is still a vampire; a monster with a human face. This leaves her not quite sure how she feels about the heat blooming in her chest as he advances towards her.

"Klaus," she manages, pushing back the furs and moving to slide off the bed.

His eyes trail immediately to the woolen shirt she is wearing. A low, possessive hum resonates from deep within his throat as he runs a hand along the fabric. "This is mine," he states, eyes smoldering.

"Yes," she squeaks, swallowing before she regains her spark. "You locked me in here in blood stained clothes. I made do," she huffs.

He grins at her. It is slow and filled with more subdued heat than she'd like to admit. He leans down, stopping only when his face is inches from her exposed shoulder. He inhales audibly, his eyes half closed and lets out a pleased rumble.

Caroline pulls back and narrows her eyes. "What?" she snaps, cheeks burning.

"You smell… pleasant," is all he says before he's half way across the room, ushering Tammy forward. She's holding a plain white dress; it is far less extravagant than anything Klaus has chosen for her before.

Tammy smiles at her. "Good Morning, Lady Forbes," she says.

"Miss Forbes," she corrects wearily, sighing softly.

Tammy merely smiles in return. "Let's get you dressed, shall we?"

Caroline's eyes dart to Klaus. He smirks and leaves the chambers without prompting. Tammy dresses her quickly, smoothing out the wrinkles in the dress and sighing in contentment when she finishes. "You look like an angel," she says, smiling proudly.

"Thank you," Caroline replies, frowning slightly.

"I wish you a safe journey," Tammy says as she curtsies. "Though I doubt any bandits would dare attack a Mikaelson carriage."

"I'm sorry," Caroline begins, blue eyes narrowing, "but what do you mean journey?"

Tammy merely looks confused. "Lord Mikaelson had me pack up your things while you slept. He said he was taking you somewhere safe…."

"We're leaving?"

"Your presence is no longer required," Klaus says coldly to Tammy, seeming to have appeared out of nowhere. Caroline takes a step back in surprise. Tammy merely nods and exits the room without protest, leaving the two of them alone.

"I don't understand," Caroline begins slowly, eyes skeptical.

Klaus walks around her, eyes racking up and down her body appraisingly. "There is nothing to understand, sweetheart," he says with finality, as if she has no right to protest or ask questions. "We're leaving because it would be foolish to stay here."

Caroline decides to go for obstinate. "Elijah knows of this plan?"

He scowls, anger bubbling just beneath the surface. "He has been informed of Mikael's actions. This was his chosen course of action if you'd like someone to be angry with, love." He grabs her by the upper arm suddenly and begins to forcibly lead her from his room. "The carriage awaits us."

She struggles against him. "Stop, stop—Klaus, stop!"

His grip tightens as he turns on her, his lips pulling back into a rather nasty snarl. "While I am enjoying your rather sudden spark of obstinacy, it would be in your best interests to do as I say."

She meets his stare with fire in her gaze. "I deserve to know."

His expression hardens, all emotion melting right off his face, instead replaced with a quiet, barely contained rage. "Do not force me to do something I'd regret, Caroline," he snarls, voice low and clear with intent. He does not make idle threats.

A spark of fear ignites in her chest and it takes all of her emotional strength not to wilt under his gaze. "Klaus…"

His gaze continues to bore into her as his face moves ever closer. "Now, shall we?" he says through gritted teeth, eyes daring her to disobey.

She nods slowly and he is dragging her along again, feet quick and forceful. They round another corner, only to find Elijah standing there, expression expectant and grave. "Niklaus," he greets and then nods in Caroline's direction, "Miss Forbes."

If it were possible, Klaus' expression twists even more in annoyance. "Move," he growls.

Elijah's gaze is patient. "I wish to speak to Miss Forbes," he says, "alone, if you will."

"I do not have the time or patience for your meddling, Elijah," Klaus sneers, dragging Caroline past him. Elijah's flashes before them again, eliciting a yelp of surprise from Caroline and growl of anger from Klaus. "Move," Klaus seethes, the veins around his eyes growing and pulsing with his rage. "Or I will remove you myself."

Elijah smile is tight lipped. "It is not merely your life her existence threatens. You forget, Niklaus, Esther is our mother as well." His gaze settles on Caroline for a brief moment. When he returns his gaze to Klaus it is calculating. "Or would you rather I rip out her heart right now and be done with the matter?"

Klaus moves with such speed that she almost misses it; one minute Klaus is holding her with an iron grip, the next he has Elijah against the wall, fangs barred and eyes a terrifying golden shimmer. "Touch her and I will kill you," he says, the words ripping from his throat with deadly intent.

Elijah looks only moderately affronted. "Release me," he says offhandedly. "I never had any intention of harming Miss Forbes."

Caroline swallows, wrapping her arms around herself.

"Remember your place, Elijah," Klaus snarls furiously, fangs retracting as he backs away. Elijah cracks his neck and fixes the front of his tunic, expression strained with mild irritation.

"Do try to be civil," he says, advancing towards Caroline. "Elena wanted to see her before you swept her off to some unknown location. You will forgive me if I thought it wise to indulge her."

Klaus straightens, though his glare does not waver. "You've gone soft," he observes with disgust.

Elijah's lips twitch, eyes flickering towards Carline. "As have you."

Klaus sets his lips together in a thin, unreadable line. "Just get it over with quickly," he orders. He walks back over to Caroline and leans down to whisper in her ear. "It'd be unwise to trust whatever lies he is about to tell you." And just like that, he's stalking away, anger wafting off him in waves.

Elijah smiles slightly. "Forgive my brother," he begins, "his temper has been getting the best of him lately." He stretches out his arm. "Follow me. Elena is waiting."

Caroline links his arm with hers reluctantly, remembering his idle threat to rip out her heart. She finds herself incredibly nervous as she walks beside him, arms linked. This only serves to amuse him. She refocuses her mind instead. "Esther and I are linked, aren't we?" she inquires softly, remembering her thoughts on the matter from the night before.

"I believe so," he replies. There is no hesitance; no deceitfulness there. He will tell her the truth if she asks.

She nods and pauses. "Bonnie is alright?"

"Lady Bennett was returned to the Salvatore Boarding House. Lord Salvatore escorted her home. Before she left, she was questioned." Elijah looks at her through a sidelong glance. "Would you care to know what conclusions she came to?"

Caroline sighs wearily. "I suspect she told you that in order to stop Esther's beating heart, you have to stop mine."

"You are quite quick witted, Miss Forbes." He even sounds a might impressed.

She smiles sadly. "Quick wit is hardly useful when a witch tethers her life to yours."

"Perhaps not," he concedes. "Though, it would seem, Niklaus holds more fondness for you than hatred of our mother. You are a curious thing."

Heat flushes her cheeks suddenly. She opens her mouth the reply, but Elena is there suddenly, bounding out of a nearby door and embracing her.

"Oh my god, Caroline," she cries into her shoulder, hugging her tight. "I was so worried. I despaired at the thought of never seeing you again."

Caroline returns the hug. "Ye of so little faith," she teases lightly, enjoying the sudden burst of warmth in her chest. She can feel Elena's magic filling her up, threading through her heart and nestling there, warm and light; happy. She pulls back, tears threatening to spill as she smiles. "Thank you." And she means it.

Unshed tears shine brightly in Elena's eyes as well. She grabs Caroline's hands and squeezes them. "Please, promise me you will be careful." Elena shakes her hands. "Promise me!"

"I promise."

Elena turns to Elijah then and something shifts in his features; his cool mask of indifference slips, just a bit. Elena's expression is fierce in comparison. "How can you let him take her away?" she accuses.

"It is for the best, Elena," he says, looking slightly weary. "We have discussed this."

"I don't trust him," she huffs.

Caroline places a hand on Elena's shoulder. "Even if you do not trust Lord Mikaelson, I do," she says aloud and finds she quite believes it. For all of Klaus' misgivings, for everything that frightens her about him, everything she does not understand… she trusts him. And perhaps that is foolish; perhaps, in the end, he will be the one that ends her life. But in this moment, finite as it may be, she trusts him with every fiber of her being.

Elena's face sours.

Caroline laughs, still bubbling from the happiness Elena threaded into her soul. "And you trust me, do you not?"

Elena's features soften and affection tinges her brown eyes "Of course, Caroline. Always."

"Then trust that I will be okay."

Elena nods, pulling Caroline in for another embrace. "Come back in one piece."

"I will try." She laughs and the sound is good; real. "Goodbye, Elena."

Elijah leads her away and she feels her heart grow heavy. She feels a bit lost as she walks the familiar path to the foyer. After a moment, Elijah slows. "Miss Forbes," he begins resolutely, catching her eye. "I believe it to be a gentleman's obligation to warn you of Niklaus' less than finer points."

She blinks up at him. "Sorry?"

"You said you trusted him," he states. "I believe that to be a mistake. Niklaus is many things … but trustworthy is not one. He will betray you. It would be unwise not to expect it."

She regards him for a moment. "You're wrong." She says it with such conviction, such belief, that the beginnings of a smile tug at the corner of Elijah's lips.

"I wish I were," he breathes as they come to a halt in front of the lavish manor's entrance. "I bid you farewell, Miss Forbes," he says, bringing her hand up to meet his lips, leaving behind a chaste kiss. "May your journey be swift and without incident."

He flashes away, the warmth of his presence still lingering.

Caroline sighs and exits through the main entrance, shivering at the slight chill in there air, her thoughts lingering on the conversation she just had. A fog has rolled in overnight, blanketing the Mikaelson estate in with an ominous atmosphere. It does not take her long to spot Klaus, standing stone still, trademark scowl in place. He seems to relax as she nears, though she is still wary. He grabs the arm she had linked with Elijah, scowl deepening. "Was your talk insightful?" he sneers, lips rearing back in scorn.

She wants to laugh, but she stifles the urge. "Are you going to tell me where you are taking me?" she counters.

"No," he replies, wrenching open the carriage door and then helping her up. "You will know soon enough."

She does smile this time. "Your ambiguity is seriously infuriating."

Klaus climbs inside after her and takes the seat opposite of her, closing the carriage door behind himself. As it clicks shut, the carriage starts with a lurch. "In all due time, love," he replies, aiming a knowing smirking at her. She sighs, though she is secretly glad he's at least seemed to have regained his arrogance. The ride stretches on in silence; Klaus merely sits across from her, eyes locked on her like a hawk. A variety of emotions fade in and out of their depths; want, worry, anger, and several others she is unable to discern.

Finally, she breaks the ice. "I was curious," she begins cautiously, "about something Mikael said."

Klaus' jaw tightens at the mention of his surrogate father's name.

Caroline swallows before continuing. "He said you were human, before."

"We were," he confirms, angling his head to the right to get a better look at Caroline. His face is unreadable and it makes her twitchy, but she continues.

"He said you had magic … like mine."

Klaus doesn't appear surprised by this. "He told you the truth, love. I did, at one point in time, have magic." He leans in towards her, green eyes hard. "Vampirism and magic, you see, they don't play very well with one another. When mother turned us, our magic fled from our bodies, taking a part of our souls with it."

"Oh." She bites her lower lip. "I'm sorry. That…That sounds horrible."

Klaus presses his lips together and emits a low hum. "It was excruciating."

She winces.

"May I ask what your magic was?" she inquires tentatively.

His eyes cloud over. "That is a conversation for another time, sweetheart."

She cannot help the disappointment that swims within her chest. She doesn't have much time to ponder on it, however, as the carriage lurches to a halt. Klaus is already out of his seat, out the door, hand held up for her to grasp. Caroline grabs his outstretched hand and moves to step down but her leg gets caught and she stumbles forward, falling. Klaus catches her easily, holding her tight against his body. Her breath shudders and her heartbeat quickens.

"I-I'm sorry," she stammers, red as a tomato.

Klaus grins into her hair. "Easy there, love."

She pushes away from him abruptly, face aflame. She looks forward, hoping desperately to distract herself.

Caroline then promptly forgets how to breathe.

Not even three yards away, stands her mother; Stefan at her side.

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Gasp! Another cliffhanger? God, I'm horrible. Hope this chapter wasn't disappointing! Reviews are love. Constructive criticism welcome. I would like to have this story finished by the new year, but we shall see. Thanks for sticking with me this far guys! :)

If you liked what you read, but don't know what to say: Just copy & paste the following:

Dear Muffintine,
Loved the Caroline/Elijah interaction!
Klaus had magic?! HOW DARE YOU NOT REVEAL IT THIS CHAPTER?!
He brought her to her mother?
What.
No.
CONTINUE!
Love,
Your name.

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xoxo,

;)