Hello to everyone. Well this is a new story that will be completely different from Sweet Nightmares. There might be some dark moments to come but in general this is going to be romantic story. I hope you like it.
Songs used as inspiration for this chapter :
Parla piu piano – Gianni Morandi
Speak softly love – Andy Williams
Many thanks to my amazing beta Anastasia Dreams.
Chapter 1: Down the aisle you go.
Parla più piano e vieni più vicino a me,
Voglio sentire gli occhi miei dentro di te,
nessuno sa la verità,
è un grande amore e mai più grande esisterà
Caroline Salvatore was looking at the mirror trying her best not to break in tears. Her life wasn't supposed to be like this. She was supposed to be far away from this madness, from this death. Yet, here she was, dressed in a beautiful wedding dress, looking like a princess and feeling like she was about to attend her own funeral. She shook her head, her diamond earrings glittering under the bright lights in the room. She was trapped and she was about to be locked away in hell, but she was not going to allow anyone to break her. Not now, not ever. And especially not him!
Ugh! Who was she kidding? She was doomed to become Satan's bride tonight, and that scared her the most. Scared her? Scratch that, she was terrified. She was a Salvatore, her family owed half of Chicago and she was used to being around tough men with no moral compass, or at least this is what she kept telling herself. But this, this she just couldn't handle. Truth to be told, she had led a very secure and protected life. She was her daddy's little girl. She was the younger of her two big and extremely protective dangerous brothers that always looked after her, until now. Now she was going to be the sacrificial lamb in their games of power and domination.
Having grown up in a wealthy environment, she always had everything she asked for, was always respected and loved even if she was locked away in a golden cage. Yes, she was spoiled but the last year she tried to change that, and was making a difference. Until her dad's health went downhill that is. They had buried him just five days ago and tonight she was being forced to marry her family's worst enemy. She felt like she was about to break in a thousand pieces. Outside her door there were guards, and even more were everywhere in the mansion and in the gardens.
There was no escape, not that she would try that, not anymore.
7 days ago…
She was outside the hospital, crying her heart out, she couldn't bear such pain, it was just too much. Her father had just died, his heart giving out. Giuseppe Salvatore ironically had a heart and it had stopped beating. She was away from home when he had his heart attack. S he was in college and she had recently started working in a bookstore. Her life was starting to make sense.
Until her brother Damon called. "Father isn't doing well Caroline, come back NOW", after that phone call Stefan called her, "You must come back, it isn't safe for you anymore there, we are losing him, Care." She took the next flight and came back to Chicago.
When she got accepted to college she literally had to fight her father and brothers to go. She was going to go even if it was the last thing she did. So she stood up, well eventually after all the crying and the yelling Stefan took pity in her and helped her. If it wasn't for him, Damon and dad would have probably locked her up in one of their estates until she would become more …agreeable. Of course she was constantly watched, she was never alone, the most trustworthy men of her family's security (yes, this what they called themselves) were always one step behind and one step in front of her, but even like that this was her first breath of freedom. For the first time she was far away from home and she finally had something normal in her life, her studies, her friends and Matt. He was the sweetest boy she had ever known, and he loved her for who she really was, not for her name, just for her. She was in love with him, she wanted to be with him, despite all the angry calls she kept getting from Damon telling her, threatening her, to break it or else he would come and drag her back home. Of course his goons would always report straight back her "indecent behavior" aka the few kisses she shared with her cute and most of all patient boyfriend. Matt was willing to wait for her, to make her feel comfortable, he wanted their first time, her first time, to be special and she loved him even more for that.
What was all the fuss about? Well, since she was the only woman in her family, she would eventually have to get married and breed babies to someone that her family could trust and to someone that would be an important player in their little games. You know, guns, drags, money laundry, murders, every day normal stuff.
Yes, she was Caroline Salvatore, the only daughter of Giuseppe Salvatore, lord and leader of one of the most feared Mafia families in Chicago. Actually there were two families that controlled Chicago and other places. Places like Italy and New York. Places with great crime rates. Her family was the one, with a reputation all over the world. The other was the Mikaelsons.
Rivals to the death. Literally.
This war between their families had been raging for years. Endless years painted in bloodshed and grief. A vendetta with no mercy, no one was safe, and no one was innocent.
She was, but she always tried to stay away, her mother made sure of that. She was adamant that her little girl wouldn't be a part of this world and since her father adored her mother he agreed. The day her mom dies was the last day that Giuseppe smiled. He had smiled relieved that her pain was about to end and cried holding her hand as she stopped breathing. After that, the only thing that was left in him was brutal cruelty. He had a soft spot for her, yes, but he was always hard, violent and unrelenting when it came to her brothers, especially Damon, because he was going to be his successor.
And now he was. Long live the new king.
She kept gazing at the mirror. Under all the make-up she was pale as a ghost. Her eyes were shining with tears that were about to spill. In seven days her life had become a nightmare. She looked at her hand; a dazzling diamond bracelet was secured at her wrist and an engagement diamond ring was on her finger. She had seen him only once, he inspected her like she was an object he was going to buy and then with a cruel smile that made her face contort with disgust he kissed her hand. She tried to pull it away, but his grip held it in place. Her hand captured beneath his lips, his eyes locked with hers. He had the most mesmerizing and terrifying eyes she had ever seen. It was like he could dive into her soul and thoughts with those eyes. He gave her the bracelet as a gift for their impending wedding and went to talk with Damon about the merger of their businesses and that was actually his marriage proposal. It was pretty simple, actually, it was a code of honor.
Yes, in their world that was above all.
She was going to marry him and have his children and his sister was going to marry Damon and have his children. That way they were going to become one happy freaking Adams family!
You see the last two years a new family came in Chicago. The Lockwoods. They were rising fast, gaining power and spreading mayhem everywhere. They destroyed some of the Mikaelson's facilities and burned many of her family's storage buildings. The victims were increasing. The Lockwoods even sent files to the police department causing Michael Mikaelson and Giuseppe even more trouble. In this world it was all about power, the weak were tossed aside and eaten alive. Simple as that. People kept dying, brutal murders, blood and unidentified bodies at the bottom of the ocean. This was war. A war that was now in Damon's court. Before Giuseppe died, he had spoken with Michael about if they wanted to survive this they had to end their feud. Uniting their families, as one, they would bring hell to anyone that would dare oppose them. So Caroline and Rebekah would be given to each family as brides. Caroline to the eldest son in the Mikaelson hierarchy and Rebekah to Giuseppe's successor, his eldest son Damon.
She stared at the mirror, her body wrapped up in an elegant dress that a girl could only dream of. That was also a gift from her husband to be. She was suffocating.
5 days ago…
"You can't be serious Damon!" she yelled at him.
His dark gaze was enough to tell her that he was dead serious.
This couldn't be happening. This was a bad joke. It had to be.
"NO, NO, NO! NO WAY IN HELL!" she was on the verge of hysteria.
"Care, sweetie," Stefan tried to intervene.
"No Stefan, you are not going to pamper her anymore." Damon's cold voice made Stefan sigh.
"Are you hearing yourself? What are you asking me to do? There is no way, this is just, no, no, NO!" she yelled even louder than before.
"I am not asking you sister, I am telling you, this is what father wanted," he announced with a detached tone.
"This can't be, no, daddy loved me," she said tears falling from her eyes.
"He did but you are a Salvatore and you have responsibilities, we all have," he said for the first time looking tired. In the last days he had been organizing everything. He had to prove that he was worthy and capable to be Giuseppe's successor. Caroline was an integral part of the deal with the Mikaelsons and this was what had to be done. He was in charge now and he couldn't show any signs of weakness, not even for his spoiled little sister. Everyone's safety was depending on the Salvatores and the Mikaelsons uniting. He wasn't that ecstatic about his upcoming marriage with Rebekah Mikaelson either but it had to be done.
"This is crazy, dad just died, we just buried him today and you are expecting me to do what? Give up on my life?"
"You mean if I expect you to stop fooling around? The answer is YES."
"NOOO!" she screamed at him. She and Damon always fought like there was no tomorrow but this was just surreal. She believed that although he was a first class jerk at least he loved her. Obviously she was wrong.
"You will walk down that aisle even if I'll have to drag you there!" he was starting to lose his patience.
Stefan pinched the bridge of his nose. This wasn't going well.
Elena entered the living room,
"What is going on? You can be heard all over the house!"
Stefan went to his wife and wrapped his arms around her giving her a knowing look. Elena looked at Caroline with sympathy.
"Did you know about this?" Caroline accused her sister in law.
Elena was about to say something when Damon stopped her and grabbed Caroline's arm.
"Damon calm down," Stefan tried to stop his brother but it was useless and he was hurting seeing Caroline like this. It was inevitable, but he couldn't stop himself from wanting to protect her. It was his primal instinct. Damon's too. He knew his brother loved Caroline above all, but in this moment he wasn't her brother, he was the head of this family. It was egoistical, but he was always relieved that this was Damon's responsibility and not his. He looked at his wife, an arranged marriage for sure, but in his case it was different, he had been in love with Elena ever since he was a teenager. Their wedding was the happiest day of his life. He had done many horrible things, he wasn't a saint, but Elena always kept him sane, she was his haven. It was breaking his heart that his brother and sister didn't have his luck. Elena looked at him and smiled sharing his thoughts.
"Both of you stay here!" Damon said dragging an unwilling Caroline behind him.
He pushed her in their father's office; well it was his office now. Damon slammed the door and made her sit in the leather seat behind his big wooden desk. She was shocked that he was treating her like this and she tried to move but his hand on her shoulder kept her in place. He then opened his laptop and pointed at the screen. What she saw next made her blood turn to ice. It was Matt, outside the café taking orders.
"What is this?" she whispered looking at Damon. It was a live connection.
Damon looked at her silently for a moment,
"This is your beloved…friend, correct?"
Caroline looked at the screen again,
"Look carefully, sister," he did and she gasped. A red dot was shining on Matt's forehead. He was smiling unaware of what was happening.
"It only takes a phone call," he said as Caroline was rendered speechless. She just kept staring at that red dot, it was all she could see and she knew what it meant. This wasn't right; Matt didn't deserve this, not because of her. Her insides burned her. She wanted to throw up.
"Why are you doing this?" she asked almost inaudibly.
Damon closed the screen and turned her around. He kneeled in front of her and stared at her. She was shaking like a leaf, her lips trembling and her cheeks wet from the tears she couldn't stop from falling. Damn, this was harder than he thought, he hated doing this to her. When it came to it he didn't have any problem inflicting pain, but seeing his baby sister terrified like this was breaking him. He was supposed to be the one to protect her from ever feeling like this. He knew about the kid she kept seeing, he was a decent guy and if things were different he wouldn't mind Caroline being with him. The day he called Caroline to return, his men caught some of Lockwood's lackeys outside Caroline's campus. They were after her. He wasn't fond of the Mikaelsons, either. He grew up hating them and was hit by one of them before and ended up in the hospital for two months. When he retaliated he sent his attacker to the hospital for three months.
Their attacks were constant and their guns were always loaded. There was always an untold rule between them though, a silent agreement that no one ever broke. Never target a woman or a child. Things were different now, Caroline was not safe, and this marriage in the long run would keep her safe. She would get used to it. They both would have to.
"Tomorrow he will come to propose, formally, I expect you to be presentable and complacent. Everything is arranged and the wedding is happening in a few days"
"Please don't make me do this," she pleaded with red eyes.
"This is a matter of life and death, it was what father wanted. He was going to bring you here in the end of your semester, but the Lockwoods after his death have become more aggressive. We have no time to waste"
"I, I can't, I…" she couldn't breath, this was a nightmare, all she had to do was to wake up but for same reason she couldn't. Why wasn't she waking up?
"Your friend will be safe …as long as you stop resisting. There is no way out of this, besides the Mikaelson family is similar to are own, until now we might have been in opposite sides, but now you will be respected and protected. Besides what future could you have with that waiter guy, sister? This way you will still live the lifestyle you are used to and in time you will see this is for the best"
She couldn't look at him anymore, she had to compose herself, to find a way out of this, but it seemed that she didn't have a way out of this. Matt, her only thought was him. She loved him so very much and she knew that her brother wasn't messing around. She started feeling dizzy, she was lost.
Damon stood up, her silence was enough of an answer, but he couldn't take any chances. Through the intercom he called one of his guards. His men were all around the house. After their father's death there had been two attacks so they had to be extremely careful.
"Yes, sir," said the man that came to the office.
"Take my sister to her room make sure she stays there," Damon said helping Caroline stand. She didn't say anything. She just stood motionless.
"Miss?" the guard said, but Caroline wasn't listening as she robotically walked out of the office, not looking behind her. The guard followed her and then stayed outside her bedroom door.
In the last five days she had lost her freedom completely. She was followed around everywhere by her brothers' men and she wasn't allowed to leave the house, it was supposed to be for her safety, but that wasn't the whole truth. She was constantly watched, it had to be made sure that she wouldn't try anything stupid like trying to escape. Damon had made sure she wouldn't.
She wasn't going to try anything though, all she could think of was Matt. Stefan tried to talk to her but she gave him and everyone else the silent treatment. How could they do that to her? She hated them for it, they were coercing her into marrying a man she didn't know, a man she was taught to fear and hate. They were making her leave her whole life, her friends, the man she loved behind.
The past days people kept coming and going, they kept asking her opinion for her wedding but she remained silent, she didn't want to be any part of this. People kept staring at her with curiosity, sympathy and even with pity from time to time. When she first tried the wedding dress she could swear that it was so tight she couldn't breathe, but the dressmakers insisted it was perfect on her and all that was just bridal anxiety.
This was supposed to be her day, her special day that she would walk down the aisle and the man of her dreams would be waiting for her on the alter. When she was younger that man didn't have a face, but lately she could picture Matt waiting for her at the end of the aisle. Now her dream day had turned into her worst nightmare. She was about to marry a monster. She had heard so many stories of terror about him and every one of them terrified her. Her father and her brothers had mentioned him in the past; he was the most dangerous of the Mikaelsons, a cold-blooded killer. Horror stories were always connected with his name and everybody feared him. Even her father, a man known for his ruthlessness, had acknowledged that this Mikaelson would be a problem for them like no other they had faced before. To her surprise, her father seemed to hold respect for their enemy because of this. Now she was about to marry the enemy, a man that rumors said that had killed his older brother in order to take his place as the leader of his family. A man that had killed hundreds and most of the times with his own hands. A man that tonight would claim her as his lawful wife. She wanted to run and hide, but there was nowhere to go. If she did Damon would kill Matt and then he would find her and drag her back to marry that monster anyway and in the end her life would turn even more of a hell than it was about to be in a few hours. She tried to think about what was about to happen tonight. That she was going to marry this man and sleep with him and the thought made her sick. This couldn't be happening, she remembered the way he looked at her the one and only time she had seen him for those ten minutes. He looked at her with a penetrating predatory gaze that made her shiver. He was dangerous and she would belong to him. To a stranger, to a man she despised, to a…
"Caroline, are you ready?" Elena's voice interrupted her thoughts.
It was time.
In the abandoned warehouse not far from the docks the man's screams kept filling the air. He was tied on a chair and he was already beaten half to death. His face was unrecognizable, full of blood, cuts and bruises. He couldn't look straight anymore and the multiple wounds all over his body were bleeding out, he just wanted this to be over. His attacker took all the answers he wanted. His eyes looked like death, his reputation was right after all, going against the Mikaelson's was the worst mistake he ever made and he was about to pay it with his life.
"I want you to deliver a message to Richard Lockwood" said the man calmly. The same man that was giving the orders but wasn't afraid to get his hands dirty. The man that only a few moments ago had beaten his prisoner to within an inch of his life and now was wiping the blood out of his hands with a handkerchief.
"Anything," the broken man said with a pleading tone.
The men behind him started to laugh but they immediately stopped when they saw the deadly look their boss threw at them.
"You are the message," he said throwing his bloody handkerchief on his prisoner's lap.
"You know what to do," he said to his men.
"I have a wedding to attend to."
His own wedding, he thought, while walking towards his parked car. A shot was heard through the air, coming from the warehouse. He didn't look behind, he just stared at the sea and the boats. It was already night and in less than an hour he would be married to Caroline Salvatore. He had heard it before, but it wasn't until he saw her just a few days ago that he realized that the rumors about her beauty weren't exaggerated. She looked like an angel and that was such a contradiction with the blood that ran into her veins. Such a contradiction to the world they both lived in. It took him less than a minute to realize that she was an innocent, a girl that didn't seem to like being anywhere near him. When he met her she was silent, but her look was defiant. He shook his head, he wasn't very fond of the idea of them getting married either but at least she would be a beautiful thing to watch and to have in his bed.
He took a picture from his pocket, the brown eyes of the girl of the photo still haunted him, he sighed, this was his past and now his present and future was the soon to be Mrs. Mikaelson, Caroline.
He started the engine of the car; there was no turning back anymore.
The wedding was taking place at the Mikaelson estate, in a beautiful chapel that was built many years ago in the beautiful gardens on the estate. The security measures were higher than anyone could have ever imagined. No precaution would be enough for this night. Men with hard faces and guns under their jackets were moving around the estate. To her eyes, they were uncountable, some of them she knew, most of them she had never seen before.
No one could get in without an invitation and without being checked from head to toe and let's not forget that no one could get out that easily either. Definitely not her.
Tonight was the first step, two organizations were merging into one. One family above all. The place was swamped with all kind of people, family members, some of them hostile towards the other's family's members, first class and low class criminals, people with wealth and power. Even outlaws that had been on the run for years were attending the wedding. People had come from the other side of the world for this wedding even though it had happened on such short notice. Then again, this was supposed to be quite a deal in their world.
Her bitter side was emerging, it was like all those people were mocking her, watching her walking her way to the gallows to be hanged. She was about to get executed and no one would save her, they would just applause her misery.
She was standing alone behind the curtains, peering through them and looking around. This could have been anyone's dream wedding. Everything was shining under beautiful ice-white lights; the pews aligned with white and black bows and elegant bouquets of orchid, lilies and roses. The aisle was scattered with rose petals. Up at the altar there were two large bouquets of red roses and white candles.
The church was already full, everyone was already sitting, but the groom was nowhere to be seen. His two best men where already standing in their positions waiting for him, one was his brother and the other was Stefan. Having Stefan there was supposed to be a sign of respect. Her bridesmaids Elena and Rebekah, were talking to some guests, soon both of them would walk down the aisle and would wait for her to do the same. She took a step back, time was running out and she could not outrun her ending.
Tears welled up in her eyes once more.
"Stay strong, stay strong, don't break, you can do this, you can do this."
This was her mantra all day long and now more than ever. She kept repeating those words to herself again and again while the minutes were running by faster than she would have liked.
Damon approached her and gave her the bouquet. It was made out of lilies, appropriate she thought bitterly since those were the flowers of death.
"You are the most beautiful bride I have ever seen Caroline," her brother said looking at her with his most tender look. She didn't say anything; she just grabbed her bouquet tightly. Damon looked at her with sad eyes and kissed her forehead but she moved her head away.
Her judgemental gaze found his for a moment clearly telling him that she was never going to forgive him from this.
He offered his arm to her while the music started to play.
It was time.
She took a deep breath and started walking down the aisle next to Damon, grateful that his arm was supporting her from falling down. Everyone stood up and stared at her while a few whispers could be heard here and there. She couldn't see and hear anything though, all her attention and energy was concentrated into not falling apart and running away. Each step was heavier than the one before.
There were looks of pride and approval around her but everything blurred together.
She finally looked up and saw the groom standing tall in his black tux waiting for her. His penetrating gaze seemed to be taking in every detail and for a minute she thought there was wonder in his eyes. She was wrong though because the next moment his eyes held an untold cruelty that terrified her and she was reminded of what he was capable of and what he might do.
She shouldn't be here, this was wrong and yet here she was, this was her destiny. In their world this meant forever. No ways out, no escape. She was about to bind her life to his for the rest of her life. Her heart swelled with despair. She was coming closer to him.
She slowly walked up the steps and he took a step closer. Damon kissed her on the cheek and gave her away to his once upon sworn enemy. He took her hand and gently led her up to the altar. The candle-lights momentarily lit up brighter.
She took her place across from him. Neither one of them smiled. The priest started the ceremony.
"Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to join this man, Niklaus Mikaelson and this woman, Caroline Salvatore, in holy matrimony."
She took a deep breath. She was about to become the wife of Klaus Mikaelson.
Speak softly and come closer to me,
I want to feel my eyes inside of you,
Nobody knows the truth,
It's such a great love, it can't get any greater than this.
So this was the first chapter, what do you think? Should I go on with this? Let me know...